Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Orion, Round Table, Mallincam, Moonlite, Speco....

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
143 replies to this topic

#51 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:01 AM

END OF TRAVEL/SHUT OFF

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2168964-end of travel (640x480).jpg


#52 dvb

dvb

    different Syndrome.

  • *****
  • Posts: 6725
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2005

Posted 05 February 2008 - 01:22 AM

Sweet looking set-up.

Is there an adjustment on your Digitial Setting Circle/Computerized Object Locator to compensate for the tilt?

#53 Bowmoreman

Bowmoreman

    Clear enough skies

  • *****
  • Posts: 9650
  • Joined: 11 Sep 2006

Posted 05 February 2008 - 02:49 AM

The tilt doesn't matter when aligning/using the COL. The only time that you have to make sure things are vertical/level is when you first assemble the base and OTA; there's an adjustment bolt that defines the vertical stop.

This is done only to make sure the OTA is vertical and perpendicular to the base. Once that is done, you never again need worry about it.

Just put it on the RTP, do your usual alignment with stars, and you are good to go for as long as YOU don't move things... Obviously, if your Polar isn't reasonably good, the longer you go from your alignment timeframe, the more you will start to "drift" from the COL perspective.

Note: I have not (yet) tried it after doing a "reset" on the RTP - so maybe there is some interaction there which might complicate things...

clear enough skies

#54 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:17 AM

Sweet looking set-up.

Is there an adjustment on your Digitial Setting Circle/Computerized Object Locator to compensate for the tilt?


All you have to do for alignment is do it at the reset position, just like you were sitting on a slanted hill. The COL has an enternal clock, so at the end of the run you just reset it, and everything is lined back up for the next target. This is the method you would use if you didn't want to do another star alinment. Now if you take the COL and manualy turn off the enternal clock you can keep finding targets during the platforms travel, but at the end of the travel you would have to do another star alignment. I guess the second method would be nice when doing an outreach event, where you want to move to multiple targets so not to loose the interest of a croud of people. Usually, I will be using the reset method to spend a LOT of time on an object, and really soak it all in. Both methods take about the same amount of time, so it's not that big a deal anyway. I do know where most of these objects are anyway, but the COL helps put it on the CCD chip as long as you have a low warp factor alignment.

Neil

#55 kent

kent

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 854
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:13 AM

Hey Neil. Great looking setup there my man! Boy you really went all the way in a short time! Can't wait to see new first light now that you have your TP. You know the routine(PICS) Good luck with the weather!
Clear Skies

#56 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:31 AM

Hey Neil. Great looking setup there my man! Boy you really went all the way in a short time! Can't wait to see new first light now that you have your TP. You know the routine(PICS) Good luck with the weather!
Clear Skies


Thanks a lot Kent! Yea, I didn't half step it. I figure if your going to go in debt, you might as well do it all at the same time, and crawl out as soon as possible. Having all your toys when paying off your debt makes it a little easier.

I actually might have a few hours tonight to give everything a trial run. At least thats what the weather man told me! :tonofbricks: I'm keeping my fingers crossed :praying:

Nice shot of M42 by the way! How did you not blow out the trap? What was your settings?

Clear skies!
Neil

#57 kent

kent

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 854
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posted 05 February 2008 - 09:38 AM

Thanks for the nice comments Neil :bow:
I kind of thought that it was blown out a bit. I just used the original settings as stated in the instructions. There must be a way to get a little bit better detail though. I'll try and give it a go next available chance. Hopefully a wee bit warmer.
Good luck Neil!

#58 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:13 AM

Thanks for the nice comments Neil :bow:
I kind of thought that it was blown out a bit. I just used the original settings as stated in the instructions. There must be a way to get a little bit better detail though. I'll try and give it a go next available chance. Hopefully a wee bit warmer.
Good luck Neil!


Not as blown out as my first try at M42 with the recomended settings at 2 second integration! :question:

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2169521-orion.jpg


#59 kent

kent

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 854
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posted 05 February 2008 - 11:09 AM

Hmmm, good point Neil. There's a little difference there alright. I wonder if my Paracorr might have something to do about it. More glass to alter the light intake?? Or maybe I made a mistake in the settings. Because as far as I know I just used the list on Rocks sheet. Like I said in the other thread it was cold so I didn't really enjoy first light all that much, and didn't really fool around with the settings. I just packed it in after checking out Orion. :grin:

#60 Bill Cowles

Bill Cowles

    MacGyver

  • *****
  • Posts: 2867
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2006

Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:15 PM

Neil, did you get the MFR-3 reducer. I'm trying to find out would it would turn an F/5 into?

Bill

#61 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 05 February 2008 - 11:45 PM

Hi Bill. Yes I have the MFR-3 and I have the 10mm extension ring giving me a f ratio of 3.3 from my f/4.9. I hope this helps.

Neil

#62 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:15 AM

Well I took the new set up for a short stroll tonight, and I'm pretty happy with almost everything that I bought. I am kinda confused about a few things, but I'll get to that in a minute. The Mallincam worked good, but I need more instruction with this thing!!! The Round Table worked great, and gave me no troubles for two hours streight. It kept the target dead center through out the whole hour of travel so I did two runs and this is what I found.

My settings were:
Title / OFF
sense up / 128X
ALC,ELC / ALC, shutter off, slider full right
BLC / OFF
AGC / MAN, slider set 1/3 from left
WB / MAN, I set this to taste
SYNC / INT
Option / SET
Zoom / OFF

All in all, these settings worked fine. I did have to play around with the AGC and the integration times. The more gain you give it the less time you have. This brings me to the confusing part. Where is the APC function. I looked in the options sub menu and this is what it listed:

mask a / off
mask b / off
mask c / off
mask d / off
posi,nega / posi
h-rev / off
v-rev / off
freeze / field
priority / AGC
gamma / .45

Am I missing something?

I did see some great views, like the Flame, the Horsehead, running man, and of coarse M42, but I feel like I need a beginers coarse in Mallincam settings. The Flame was what I got stuck on the most. I could see it on the screen, but it wasn't as sharp or colorful as some of the captures I've seen here. There was some LP, but not a lot. I was using the 5mm, and the 10mm with the MFR-3 so I was running at f/3.3. Can anyone help me out? :help: :bow: :help:

Neil

#63 Bowmoreman

Bowmoreman

    Clear enough skies

  • *****
  • Posts: 9650
  • Joined: 11 Sep 2006

Posted 06 February 2008 - 05:33 AM

Kent, glad to hear you got this working with your Paracorr! I haven't tried mine yet, cause I've had NO opportunity in almost 3 weeks now to view (between weather and the week trip to upstate NY/PA for my Father in law's surgery).

Anyone using MCHP+Paracorr on an Orion/GSO 10" or 12"er out there? Can you reach focus? Or do you HAVE to then get a low profile focuser?

I will test it out when I get...

clear enough skies (sometime soon please!)

#64 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 February 2008 - 08:10 AM

Well I took the new set up for a short stroll tonight, and I'm pretty happy with almost everything that I bought. I am kinda confused about a few things, but I'll get to that in a minute. The Mallincam worked good, but I need more instruction with this thing!!! The Round Table worked great, and gave me no troubles for two hours streight. It kept the target dead center through out the whole hour of travel so I did two runs and this is what I found.

My settings were:
Title / OFF
sense up / 128X
ALC,ELC / ALC, shutter off, slider full right
BLC / OFF
AGC / MAN, slider set 1/3 from left
WB / MAN, I set this to taste
SYNC / INT
Option / SET
Zoom / OFF

All in all, these settings worked fine. I did have to play around with the AGC and the integration times. The more gain you give it the less time you have. This brings me to the confusing part. Where is the APC function. I looked in the options sub menu and this is what it listed:

mask a / off
mask b / off
mask c / off
mask d / off
posi,nega / posi
h-rev / off
v-rev / off
freeze / field
priority / AGC
gamma / .45

Am I missing something?

I did see some great views, like the Flame, the Horsehead, running man, and of coarse M42, but I feel like I need a beginers coarse in Mallincam settings. The Flame was what I got stuck on the most. I could see it on the screen, but it wasn't as sharp or colorful as some of the captures I've seen here. There was some LP, but not a lot. I was using the 5mm, and the 10mm with the MFR-3 so I was running at f/3.3. Can anyone help me out? :help: :bow: :help:

Neil


I went to the Yahoo group files and found out that there's a "Option 2" menu that has the APC function. I'm just guessing, but I take it that when Option is high lighted, you press right or left to get to Option 2?

Now my question is how much does APC (automatic pixel control) effect the overall views? If it doesn't do all that much, then I'm sure I was doing something wrong!

Thanks for your help.

:bow: :bow: :bow:

Neil

#65 kent

kent

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 854
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:05 AM

Hey Dave, I feel your pain about the weather.
I guess my Skywatcher is the exact same scope as the Orion at 4.7. I have no trouble with focusing it, least not the other evening anyway. I did change out my visual back for a Mercury systems one that uses the compression ring in stead of the thumbscrew type, but that's all I've done. So the Mallincam and Paracorr should come into focus with a Orion scope.

#66 kent

kent

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 854
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:19 AM

Neil, I'm like you. The camera is so simple it shouldn't take much to learn how to use it. But I wish there was a group of settings listed somewhere for each individual DSO. I'm sure that someone out there has a long list of settings for this purpose. It would make this quest so much easier. If a fellow could get some weather and some decent temperatures I think one could experiment and make my own setting going off the factory settings as a base line.

#67 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:50 AM

Neil, I'm like you. The camera is so simple it shouldn't take much to learn how to use it. But I wish there was a group of settings listed somewhere for each individual DSO. I'm sure that someone out there has a long list of settings for this purpose. It would make this quest so much easier. If a fellow could get some weather and some decent temperatures I think one could experiment and make my own setting going off the factory settings as a base line.


I just wish that there were a more in depth manual that not only tells you what each function does, but how to apply it in the field using examples. I know it's not all that hard of a tool, but it would be nice to know that you are using this tool to the best of it's ability. I do think I remember Jack saying the he and another guy were working on one, but thank god that we have this forum to bounce our ideas off of!

On top of not knowing what the ACP function will do for the over all quality of my views, I wondering if the mask functions could help with some brighter objects like M42. I've been going over in my mind what I did and did not like last night, and I think it would be nice to be able to mask off part of the core/trap of M42 to not blow it out, and let the unmasked part of the CCD allow the nebulosity to pop! Is my thinking right on this?

Clear skies!
Neil

#68 Pat G.

Pat G.

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 395
  • Joined: 24 Apr 2003

Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:41 PM

On top of not knowing what the ACP function will do for the over all quality of my views



Niel, in case you haven't seen this....


<< APC >>

PRESET OFF

H-GAIN >----I----<
V=GAIN >----I----<

Return

By sliding the two adjustment bars to the LEFT, sharpening and digital anti-blooming are held to an absolute minimum. When the two adjustments are to the RIGHT position, maximum sharpening and digital ant-blooming occurs. The default position is with both sliders to the CENTER position.

If both AGC is turned OFF and the APC sliders are to the LEFT, then there is NO GAIN – the camera is converted into a straight through CCD imager.

From one of Jack H's files in the user group forum.

#69 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:53 PM

On top of not knowing what the ACP function will do for the over all quality of my views



Niel, in case you haven't seen this....


<< APC >>

PRESET OFF

H-GAIN >----I----<
V=GAIN >----I----<

Return

By sliding the two adjustment bars to the LEFT, sharpening and digital anti-blooming are held to an absolute minimum. When the two adjustments are to the RIGHT position, maximum sharpening and digital ant-blooming occurs. The default position is with both sliders to the CENTER position.

If both AGC is turned OFF and the APC sliders are to the LEFT, then there is NO GAIN – the camera is converted into a straight through CCD imager.

From one of Jack H's files in the user group forum.


Thanks for chiming in Pat. At first I needed to know where it was in the menu. The manual said that it was in the options menu, but I couldn't find it. It happens to be in the "options 2" menu that I was'nt aware of. Now I'd just like for someone to tell me if using this function has a dramatic impact on the contrast and resolution of the targets? Oh, and the mask feature is a little vague too,as I was saying.

Neil

#70 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:20 PM

<< APC >>

PRESET OFF

H-GAIN >----I----<
V=GAIN >----I----<

Return

By sliding the two adjustment bars to the LEFT, sharpening and digital anti-blooming are held to an absolute minimum. When the two adjustments are to the RIGHT position, maximum sharpening and digital ant-blooming occurs. The default position is with both sliders to the CENTER position.

If both AGC is turned OFF and the APC sliders are to the LEFT, then there is NO GAIN – the camera is converted into a straight through CCD imager.


I've got a good idea of how this works now, after some very helpfull guys on the Yahoo forums helped me out. If you have one of these cameras, you realy do need to be a part of it, but the APC vertical and hoizonal sliders slid more to the right will give you more contrast and bring out faint nebulosity, but will also put some halos around bright stars. This way will be for more of a live view. Now if you slide the sliders left you are not going to have problems with the halos, but you will also not have as much contrast. This is the method to use when you want to capture frames for stacking and processing, or just to share. Tom O has some amazing shots in the picture files, on the yahoo forums, using this method. You've got to check it out!

Now if I can get my head around the proper use of the masking technique.

It looks like I'm going to have great conditions here from Thursday, through Monday :jump: and I'm just tring to get all my ducks in a row for five nights out perfecting my setup, and getting all my list of objects captured for compairason. It will give me the perfect chance to do all my reviews and get it right!

Feel free to chime in if you have and masking techniques to share!

Neil

#71 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:24 PM

Review part 1

First off let me say :jump: :bigshock: :yay: :thewave: :jawdrop: :applause: :waytogo: :band: :woot: :gve: :bounce: :rockon: :tomatodance: :banjodance: :pulpdnc: :rofl5: :elephdance: :hamsterdance: :whee: :flexible: :woohoo: :drool5: :thankyou: :locked: :choochoo:

Now that I've got that out of my system, lets get down to the business at hand.

Today was a slow day at work, so I spent a lot of time researching, and reading as much as I could about the techniques for AP. I know the Mallincam isn't built for this, but it's still bound by the same principles. As soon as I got home from work, I went ahead and setup everything to give my scope at least three hours of cool down time. I checked, and re-checked the collimation, and aligned all my finders. I decided to do all of my observing for the evening with the 5mm, and 10mm extension rings with my MFR-3 focal reducer, bringing my scope down to a f/3.3. I also decided that since I will be testing all the equipment over 4 straight nights, I would limit tonight to concentrating on getting everything just the way I like it, and making sure that the cameras settings were spot on! After digging around in the Yahoo forums, I did find all the material I was looking for including masking techniques, and how to use the APC (automatic pixel control) correctly.

It was a beautiful sun set, and I was eager to get started, so I lined up on M42, and as soon as the screen lit up I knew all my hard work, and all the helpful advice I've gotten, had paid off. I don't know what I was doing the other night, but it had to be all wrong. I've heard here so many times that the colors you see in the photos we share here, don't even come close to the actual live view, but seeing truly is believing! This was when the camera was still on the two second setting too! I held my breath, and flipped the switch to seven seconds, and started to count. When it hit the screen the core was way blown out, but the outer part of nebulosity was so intense, I stared at it for at least thirty minutes. I can see why Roland loves this tool. The details you see on the screen are hard to describe. An almost 3-d effect, where the color makes things look like their flowing. It's a very surreal feeling. After the thirty minute pause I remembered I could add more exposure time :foreheadslap: I reached for the switch again and started to count. Fourteen seconds did show more nebulosity, but with this bright target, it was blowing out the whole screen. This is one target I will come back to when I get all the other targets bagged. This is one that I will use the masking technique on, to capture different exposure times for later stacking.

I'll go ahead and post the 2, 7, and 14 second captures, so you can see the difference and then continue!

2 SECOND LIVE FRAME, NO PROCESSING!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2175965-2 second.jpg


#72 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:27 PM

7 SECOND LIVE FRAME, NO PROCESSING!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2175972-7 second (640x427).jpg


#73 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:29 PM

14 SECOND LIVE FRAME, NO PROCESSING!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2175974-14 second (640x427).jpg


#74 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:35 PM

CRT vs LCD!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2175990-CRT vs LCD (640x480).jpg


#75 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:52 PM

OK, on with the story. :bow:

The next target was the Running Man. When I got to him, he seemed a little too RED, so I went into the menu and did some adjustments with the color scheme, and that's what did it. I think I like this method over adjusting everything on the speco monitor, and it makes the capture that much better. I've never seen the little guy run so fast. I'm not kidding! He ran off the screen. Oh yea, I've got to reset my platform :foreheadslap: It's thing like that that make it all worth while. Anyway, I spent a good 10 or 15 minutes getting it just the way I liked it, but I'm sure I could do better! Here's a shot.

7 SECOND LIVE FRAME, NO PROCESSING

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2176031-Running Man (640x427).jpg



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics