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New Camera – EAA with ZWO ASI224 with NexStar 8SE

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#126 Astrojedi

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:15 PM

Here are a couple of videos of live integrations using the ASI224. The effect is subtle but the detail builds over time. Once you are at the end of the video rewind to the first few frames and you will see the difference.

 

The objects in the videos are a little dark due to the difference in black and white levels between my computer displays. The objects always look much brighter on the stacking computer's display. I will see if I can post additional videos with adjusted levels.

 

The video compression is also killing some detail. You can see the end result of both these integrations on the threads here in CN to get an idea of the detail produced.

 

Both videos are live real time integrations using 15s subs and a gain of 350. The scope is a C8 @ f3.3 on an Alt Az mount. Used an Orion LP filter. Software used was Fire Capture and AstroToaster.

 

M33: https://www.youtube....h?v=tSAxrVgb_NQ

 

M1: https://www.youtube....h?v=hkVXe7wH79s


Edited by Astrojedi, 11 December 2015 - 02:22 PM.

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#127 Starman27

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 04:49 PM

Very nice. Excellent equipment discussion.



#128 RafaelP

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 07:14 PM

Nice demonstration of the capabilities of the asi224!

#129 Art_NW AZ

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 12:04 AM

This is my first post, but I have done a lot of research on CN, and watched many of you on NSN, so thanks to all of you for what you've already taught me.

 

This thread is perfect for me because I use a CPC 9.25 without a wedge, and also because I'm limited in upgrading my current setup by a tight budget.. I've been thinking of moving on from my Micro-Super to an 828/829 sensor for the sensitivity, larger size, and capability of longer exposures (30 seconds with alt/az?). The Xterminator is too expensive for me, but I've liked what I've seen of the Lodestar X2c. Now that I've seen the amazing short exposure/high gain work that Astrojedi has done with the ASI224, I have to consider that camera as well. It's been very helpful to see comparisons of the two cameras by someone who owns both.

 

I have a couple of questions which may rule out the ASI224:

 

1. Does the adapter that the fisheye lens screws into have C threads? Will I be able to use my MFR5 II reducer/nosepiece as I do on my Micro?

 

2. Can this USB 3.0 camera be used over USB 2.0 as one seller seems to indicate? I know that Hiten said that throughput is very important. If yes, what would the negative consequences be?

 

Re darks in DSS/Astrotoaster:

 

1. Are you stacking 5 - 10 individual darks in AT, or creating a master dark in DSS and stacking that in AT?

 

Thank you very much for the input,

Art



#130 mclewis1

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:32 AM

1. You'll need one of these - http://astronomy-ima...-to-cs-adapter/



#131 Astrojedi

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 11:25 AM

This is my first post, but I have done a lot of research on CN, and watched many of you on NSN, so thanks to all of you for what you've already taught me.

 

This thread is perfect for me because I use a CPC 9.25 without a wedge, and also because I'm limited in upgrading my current setup by a tight budget.. I've been thinking of moving on from my Micro-Super to an 828/829 sensor for the sensitivity, larger size, and capability of longer exposures (30 seconds with alt/az?). The Xterminator is too expensive for me, but I've liked what I've seen of the Lodestar X2c. Now that I've seen the amazing short exposure/high gain work that Astrojedi has done with the ASI224, I have to consider that camera as well. It's been very helpful to see comparisons of the two cameras by someone who owns both.

 

I have a couple of questions which may rule out the ASI224:

 

1. Does the adapter that the fisheye lens screws into have C threads? Will I be able to use my MFR5 II reducer/nosepiece as I do on my Micro?

 

2. Can this USB 3.0 camera be used over USB 2.0 as one seller seems to indicate? I know that Hiten said that throughput is very important. If yes, what would the negative consequences be?

 

Re darks in DSS/Astrotoaster:

 

1. Are you stacking 5 - 10 individual darks in AT, or creating a master dark in DSS and stacking that in AT?

 

Thank you very much for the input,

Art

 

Art,

1. The camera has standard t threads i.e. M42x0.75 so you will need a C thread adapter as Mark mentioned

2. Yes, it can be used over USB 2.0. Throughput will be lower but does not impact DSO imaging/viewing. Only relevant for planetary imaging where you want the highest possible frame rate. You should still use a computer with a fast hard disk as stacking is read write intensive.

 

Darks: I just load the individual darks in AT. AT automatically creates the master dark.

 

If you are on a budget this is hands down the best camera for high resolution EAA and is extremely versatile. But do keep in mind that the 829 sensors don't require as careful darks management and have a more integrated SW experience for EAA but the color sensor requires slightly longer exposures vs. the 224. End of the day you can't really go wrong with either.

 

Hiten


Edited by Astrojedi, 13 December 2015 - 11:27 AM.


#132 DonBoy

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 12:49 PM

Art,

 

The adapter is not needed for the fisheye lens that comes with the ASI224 is fitted to this adapter.  Just stick a small non-maring rod into one of the two holes of the adapter plate and unscrew the lens.  You can then attach your MFR5 II to this adapter.


Edited by DonBoy, 13 December 2015 - 12:50 PM.


#133 Art_NW AZ

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 02:16 PM

Mark - Thanks for the quick reply.

 

Hiten - Thanks for clearing up my USB 2.0 concerns, and for the other info as well. The SW workflow shouldn't be a problem because I'm basically doing it now -- I capture in Miloslick but use other software to control the camera because the Micro isn't supported by Milo. I only view Milo's histogram to verify that my exposure/gain is good, then push the images to Astrotoaster which is a fantastic program for everything else. I definitely would need practice with darks. I've used them but it's been hard to see much difference because the Micro-Super has no amp glow, and mine has no hot pixels. Warm pixels are minimal due to short exposure and my reluctance to use gain with this camera.

 

It seems the primary reason to go for the X2 would be if I truly believed it would do better with dimmer galaxies and galaxy clusters under my conditions. The only way to really tell would be to buy it and a filter or two and see if my mount could handle the required exposure time. I think it tracks OK for Alt/Az, but who knows?

 

I agree with a previous poster who said that owning both an ASI224 color and an X2M (like you!) would be nice.

 

Don - Thanks for confirming that I should be able to unscrew the lens and use the included adapter as my C-mount. BTW, I've enjoyed many of your NSN shows over the past few months -- you are on a lot -- you must have clear skies and great weather! You get great views with your ASI224 too but it seems you prefer longer exposure/less gain? I doubt that would work with my CPC mount but I won't know until I push it.



#134 DonBoy

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 04:19 PM

Art,

 

Don't take my long exposure imaging as the best way to use the ASI224.  I needed to investigate it's potential and since 99% of my astronomy imaging is broadcast it then ends up on the web.  I have more experience with longer exposure EAA than I do with shorter exposure, primarily do to the fact that my other cameras were made to work that way, hard to break old habits.  With long exposure imaging I was looking to see how few subs I needed to present a clean enough detailed image on NSN.    I'll need to see offline what extended long exposure CCD style imaging will yield.

 

Short exposure imaging is not out for me, I definitely need to spend more time with that improving my technique and exploring it's potetntial. 



#135 Art_NW AZ

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 04:34 PM

Hiten,

 

I really liked the few wide-field images you posted using the Orion 50mm but it appears you have sold it? Was there an issue or did you move on to something better? They were so good that I'm considering replacing my stock CPC9.25 finder with something similar... maybe a SV50 finder with guidescope accessory.

 

I still haven't pulled the trigger on an ASI224. My fear is that at my skill level it will only be an incremental improvement over my Micro. This despite the evidence of its capability that I see in the images posted by you and other experienced users. I have been watching for a used one though.

 

Decisions, decisions,

Art



#136 Astrojedi

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 04:48 PM

The Orion 50mm I had did not have a helical focuser. This was fine when I was using it for auto guiding for long exposure imaging as the camera was permanently mounted but became an issue when I started using the guidescope for EAA as I wanted to switch cameras often. Since I do very little long exposure imaging these days I just decided to sell it.

 

Going forward I am planning on doing wide field EAA with my AT72ED which gives a flatter field even with a 0.5x focal reducer.

 

Just FYI... Astrolive will soon support ASI224 which should substantially simply the experience of using the camera for EAA.


Edited by Astrojedi, 16 December 2015 - 04:59 PM.


#137 Astrojedi

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 04:54 PM

Here is a short video of the live view from Sharpcap of the Orion Nebula with 5s frames using the ASI224. No stacking. This is the view I usually use for focus and framing.

 

The scope was a AT72ED (72mm) at f4.8.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MEwmzyyrt5I

 

Had quite an enjoyable evening with the camera. Viewed a number of bright objects including a number of star clusters without any stacking in live view. Perfect for cruising star fields and bright nebulae.


Edited by Astrojedi, 16 December 2015 - 04:56 PM.


#138 KGoodwin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 07:17 PM

Just FYI... Astrolive will soon support ASI224 which should substantially simply the experience of using the camera for EAA.

 

Initial reports are positive.  It seems to be working in the currently released version of AstroLive.  A forthcoming version will make the support "official."


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#139 alphatripleplus

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 11:19 PM

Here is a short video of the live view from Sharpcap of the Orion Nebula with 5s frames using the ASI224. No stacking. This is the view I usually use for focus and framing.

 

The scope was a AT72ED (72mm) at f4.8.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MEwmzyyrt5I

 

Had quite an enjoyable evening with the camera. Viewed a number of bright objects including a number of star clusters without any stacking in live view. Perfect for cruising star fields and bright nebulae.

 

Nice video, Hiten. Have you tried stacking with the latest vsn of SharpCap (Dec 11 version)? I'm curious if the software experience for the ASI224 has improved now using SharpCap as standalone software for live viewing plus stacking, or whether there are more improvements needed before it is as well integrated as say, Lodestar Live is for the SX cameras?

 

Errol



#140 ippiu

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 09:57 AM

Here is a short video of the live view from Sharpcap of the Orion Nebula with 5s frames using the ASI224. 

 

AStrojedi, could you please tell me if Starlight Live recognize the ASI224? Could you please make a quick test (also inside home on the table). If yes, the combo Starlight Live + ASI224 should become on top of my list! 



#141 Astrojedi

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:32 AM

No, unfortunately Starlight Live does not yet support the 224 although the author has mentioned he may support it in the future.



#142 ippiu

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:47 AM

:mad:  :crazy:  :(



#143 A. Viegas

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 11:06 AM

Sam fro ASI mentioned to me that he had spoken to Paul from LL and encouraged him to migrate his software to support ASI cameras.  Because the ASI drivers are all ASCOM compatible, this suggests that it will not be difficult for Paul to do this.  What we as customers do not know is if Paul has a competition restriction on his licensing of his software to a competitor of Lodestar...

 

Al



#144 Art_NW AZ

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 11:58 AM

Hiten,

 

Thanks for explaining your wide-field choice. I know the AT72ED has a great reputation.

 

Your Sharpcap video was helpful too. Love the round(er) stars of the ASI224.

 

Art



#145 KGoodwin

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:55 PM

Sam fro ASI mentioned to me that he had spoken to Paul from LL and encouraged him to migrate his software to support ASI cameras.  Because the ASI drivers are all ASCOM compatible, this suggests that it will not be difficult for Paul to do this.  What we as customers do not know is if Paul has a competition restriction on his licensing of his software to a competitor of Lodestar...

 

Al

 

Paul's software doesn't use ASCOM, it interfaces directly with the SX devices.  Since it is cross platform (Windows and Mac) he would likely need to continue to use that strategy and directly integrate with the ASI SDK since there's no ASCOM on Mac.



#146 A. Viegas

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:59 PM

Ahhh...  thx Kyle.   Well in any case, I sort of think its unlikely that LL will support ASI, as it would have been poor negotiating tactics to not have locked Paul into only supporting Startlight's Lodestar family of products...   but then again you never know, sometimes Lawyers drop the ball   :fingerscrossed:



#147 Relativist

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 04:43 PM


Here is a short video of the live view from Sharpcap of the Orion Nebula with 5s frames using the ASI224.


AStrojedi, could you please tell me if Starlight Live recognize the ASI224? Could you please make a quick test (also inside home on the table). If yes, the combo Starlight Live + ASI224 should become on top of my list!

Did this question come from a typo?


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