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super member

Reged: 12/28/12

Loc: Ohio
Re: Help with align and neximage 5 use new [Re: CoreyS]
      #5759129 - 03/26/13 08:39 PM


butsam, I tried it with settings set on auto and was able to get it into view and somewhat focused. max resolution could only bet set halfway cause any higher and the image goes off of my computer screen and I have to scroll a lot to see everything. I did get Polaris into view but no details to go wow over (might try with a barlow next time to see if it makes a difference.)

I wouldn't expect to get much (if anything) out of Polaris, for two reasons:
(1) Polaris is so much further away than any object in the Solar System
(2) I am not aware of any prominent features near Polaris that would be within the FOV of a standard ~7 mm EP (although someone please correct me if I am wrong).

You are going to have your best luck shooting Jupiter or Saturn (this time of year...or other Solar System objects once they are visible) with this camera. I haven't even tried anything else...but the camera is specifically for Solar System imaging, not for other imaging. It does support long integration times (with a firmware update), up to 30 seconds, but I have no idea how well it performs. Maybe you could get the Orion Nebula, but keep in mind the single-fork alt-az mount also isn't great for long integration times...and the FOV is pretty small (optimized for planetary imaging, not for wide FOV objects).

Also, to make navigation/centering easier, I have a few tips:
* Initially, acquire in 17 mm EP (I see you have the Celestron kit, right?), center, then acquire in 8 mm EP, center. Don't worry too much about focus, unless you want to see it for yourself before sticking in the camera. (I tend to want to observe with my own eye first, but it is not necessary, and the camera focus is dramatically different from the EP focus.)
* Then, insert the NexImage without the Barlow. On my NexImage, the proper alignment is with the "A" in NEXIMAGE facing directly away from the scope (if the star diagonal is used)...this will make it so "left", "right", etc work as desired on the Hand Controller. I have still used the star diagonal, although this is not necessary. (Keep in mind, your image will be inverted if you don't use the star diagonal...but you can change this display in the iCap software, as well as correct for the mirror imaging present with or without the star diagonal.)
* Speaking of Hand Controller, don't put it back in the storage area every time, and keep in mind whenever you let go of the HC (gently!!!), you will temporarily induce some vibrations. With suppression pads, on grass, they die out after about 1/2 second - 1 second, not sure what it is like without suppression pads.
* Crank up that gain, go with max resolution, no binning, max framerate. When out-of-focus, it will not be easy to see Jupiter. You are looking for a smear of "butter", not for something that looks like an out-of-focus Jupiter!
* Now, focus...keeping in mind max framerate at max resolution is close to 4 fps, so the response will not be immediate. At this point, your goal is to get it close, not to get it right.
* Once it somewhat resembles a circular object that looks planet-like, start centering it. Keep in mind you can turn down the gear slew speed! I set it to about "3".
* Now, insert the Barlow (if desired), and repeat the process.
* Decrease resolution, find it again. If you lose it, increase resolution again immediately, and keep trying.
* Once at a lower resolution, make sure framerate is relatively high (~30 fps)...if you can't get it that high, keep centering and reducing resolution until you can get it that high. For Jupiter, this will help you get more total frames before rotation becomes an issue, for better overall noise reduction in post-processing.
* Now, it will be easier to focus more precisely. (Keep in mind the atmosphere may temporarily make your "best focus" look not-so-great, but it should go back-and-forth...kinda like is also true in the eyepiece, where the view is sometimes better than others and you may have to wait a bit to get more detail.) You will also probably need to reduce gain to get a better won't need as much gain once it is in focus as you did to see the "butter spread".

Once you've done that, you are ready to record. Capture several videos, and experiment! It tends to work best at around 30 fps, for 30 seconds, based on my (very limited) experience. Once you get to this point, I can share some Registax tips, let me know.


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super member

Reged: 12/28/12

Loc: Ohio
Re: Help with align and neximage 5 use new [Re: butsam]
      #5759188 - 03/26/13 09:09 PM

Also, if it helps, this is what Jupiter looked like on March 8, in "raw" form from the NexImage 5, and then a post-processed version at the end:

Jupiter looked somewhat better than this in the EP, but somewhat worse than the final post-processed image in the EP. So, the camera won't work wonders -- but reducing atmospheric noise effects in post-processing will!

Finding the GRS depends on timing it right; has a good calculator; Stellarium is not accurate for GRS transit times.

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Thread Killer

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Help with align and neximage 5 use new [Re: CoreyS]
      #5759210 - 03/26/13 09:20 PM


Also on a quick note I'm trying to see if my telescopes software/firmware needs updating but when I look at the numbers they don't even come close to matching up so I don't know if I'm looking at the right numbers or not.
On the telescope the numbers I have found are:
The versions I found on the site are:
Motor control firmware: 2.2.5
Remote: 1.7.22
Hand Control firmware: 1.1.14


The last 3 items are the versions of the updater or installer programs and not that of the actual firmware.

For example HCUpdate.exe is the program that performs the firmware update for v4 hand controllers. It downloads the appropriate firmware to do the actual update. Since you have a v5 hand controller you won't use HCUpdate ... you'll need the CFM application for that.

MCupdate.exe is for updating the motor controllers and this application is appropriate for your setup.

Remote is the NexRemote.exe virtual v4 hand controller application ... and I believe you could run it if you wanted to try out a downgraded hand controller, otherwise there would be no point in using this application. There is no v5 hand controller emulator available yet.

For info on the various firmware levels and updater applications, and usage of NexRemote have a look at Mike Swanson's website

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Reged: 11/10/07

Loc: N35°10' W106°32'
Re: Help with align and neximage 5 use new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5759357 - 03/26/13 10:55 PM

Re: Tel; lunar tracking: I could swear I had seen it in the manual. I pulled out the manual; it did not say that; it just said that with Solar System align, you can view objects in the daytime. My bad memory; sorry.

Hand control & motor control versions: Corey, you're pretty modern. HC 5.something means you have the new handcontrol with the nifty "C" logo button thing. 5.21 is pretty much latest firmware.

The reason I suggested *visually* tracking Polaris is that the scope won't move. It shouldn't. If it does, then, we have identified a problem.

An interesting exercise after aligning, is to go to your alignment stars, one-by-one, and just cycle. See what happens.

Anti-backlash settings, according to Mike Swanson's book, are mainly useful when reversing directions.

If you are losing objects from the FOV within minutes, something is going on that we need to diagnose. The last time I wasn't a wimp because of weather, I had dipped my toe into AP, and pointed a used Meade DSI at Jupiter (OK, that's sort of a useless thing to do--but I just wanted to see what was going on). It kept it there for > 1 hr. Now, that's a small chip (used DSI,so that's maybe a 10 mm diagonal chip?). I quit when I got scared that my laptop would crash...

Best of luck!


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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28 N, 81 W
Re: Help with align and neximage 5 use [Re: butsam]
      #5759439 - 03/27/13 12:15 AM


Also, if it helps, this is what Jupiter looked like on March 8, in "raw" form from the NexImage 5, and then a post-processed version at the end:

The title of the video says Jupiter, 8 May 2013. RegiStax is pretty amazing, now it shows what things will look like in the future?

Watch the last few minutes of this video and see if there is something you can do with RegiStax to make your processed image even better.

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Cloud Magnet

Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Help with align and neximage 5 use new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5759528 - 03/27/13 02:50 AM

That is pretty cool. I didn't know you could do stuff like that in Registax. Gives me something to do at work besides hanging around CN all day.

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