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Mac please....I can't stand Windows anymore!

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133 replies to this topic

#126 GlenM

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 09:19 AM

Really happy that everything went well for you.

 

Clears Skies,

Glen.



#127 rlancaste

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 01:38 PM

Last night I experienced just how well astrophotography actually works, without Windows.

I purchased and installed a hi-res Moonlight motorized focuser, ASI 1600MM camera, and ZWO Electronic Filter Wheel.
I had never had any experience before with motorized focusers, CCD astro cameras, or filter wheels. I have only done things manually with a DSLR and film camera.

So I added all the gear, loaded my WO-Star 71 onto my iOptron CEM25P and took it to the roof. I attached all the cables to the Stellarmate, added the equipment to the INDI profile, and launched EKOS. Everything worked flawlessly! The focuser found focus quickly, the camera dropped down to -10C and took a series of images with various filters. Everything was perfect.

EKOS was brilliant. I don’t have a finder, so I was aiming blind. I also can’t see either the southern or northern poles as I was right on the equator. But I simply pointed the mount due north (I am in the northern hemisphere by a few minutes) and didn’t bother with a drift align, as I just wanted to see if my new gear worked. I asked EKOS to point at M3 which I knew was high in the sky and the mount moved toward it. I then asked EKOS to focus, and then perform a plate solve. It did, without any issues, and showed how far off my mount was. It then moved my scope to put M3 dead center in the camera. I then took 30 10-second unguided photos which was all I could probably due with my mount so badly off. I did 10 each in R, G, B and the resulting images looked great. I just need to process them now. The ease of using EKOS to focus, plate solve, and control the camera is noteworthy, especially as I was using new equipment for the first time.

If the weather is good, i’ll do a polar alignment tonight and get done nice long shots of something more challenging.

PS: all this was done using a Stellarmate, KStars and EKOS controlled wirelessly from my MacBook.

That is good to hear.  I have volunteered a lot of my time working on porting and writing code for KStars and INDI so that it would work on Macs.


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#128 Lead_Weight

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 03:06 PM

I've pretty much had the same exact experience with EKOS. 

 

Whether I'm using my AT6RC or my 102 refractor, with Moonlite focusers, ASI1600MM-C camera, ASI224MC guide camera, ASI filter wheel, and AVX mount, I've had little to no issues. 

 

Great success using them. Here's something I shot over two days just over a week ago with EKOS.

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

Prior to this, I had been using AstroImager, SkySafari and PHD2 combined with little to no issues.

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

I think there's a lot of options on the Mac now for almost any scenario with multiple options. The only area I see that's lacking in any way is planetary image processing. The two apps that exist for this, don't appear to be actively developed anymore, and will likely stop working with future OS X releases when 32bit support is dropped.


Edited by Lead_Weight, 12 July 2018 - 03:06 PM.

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#129 jcj2249

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 11:33 AM

I think there's a lot of options on the Mac now for almost any scenario with multiple options. The only area I see that's lacking in any way is planetary image processing. The two apps that exist for this, don't appear to be actively developed anymore, and will likely stop working with future OS X releases when 32bit support is dropped.

Did you try FireCapture v2.6 (http://www.firecapture.de) or oaCapture (https://www.openastroproject.org/oacapture/)



#130 Lead_Weight

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 02:55 PM

Did you try FireCapture v2.6 (http://www.firecapture.de) or oaCapture (https://www.openastroproject.org/oacapture/)

I have used both of those, but they're only for planetary capturing. Not processing. I just learned that SiriL can align and stack planetary images or video, but we're still missing an app to do wavelet processing, though I believe PixInsight can do this. So it seems there is now a modern app to do all work on the Mac side of things. Though I wish there were a specialty program just for processing planetary on the Mac.

 

PixInsight has quite a learning curve, and can be costly if you just want to dabble. However, SiriL is free, though I don't know how full featured it is. I don't know if it gives you any control over quality of images to integrate during the stacking process for planetary.



#131 WSMIKE

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 10:24 AM

Cool, once I get back from vacation I’ll try loading up my Mac mini. What program did you use in OSX to remote into Stellarmate?

cheers

Mike



#132 Lead_Weight

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 12:40 PM

Cool, once I get back from vacation I’ll try loading up my Mac mini. What program did you use in OSX to remote into Stellarmate?

cheers

Mike

 

I use EKOS on my desktop. It remotes into Stellarmate since Stellarmate runs the EKOS web server. You can alternatively VPN into the Stellarmate and run EKOS directly on it. But it's kind of slow to do that.



#133 WSMIKE

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 01:06 PM

Great 

obviously I didn’t realize one could do that. So much prep so little time:) I’ll try it tonight 

cheers



#134 Lead_Weight

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 03:06 PM

Great 

obviously I didn’t realize one could do that. So much prep so little time:) I’ll try it tonight 

cheers

 

On your Stellarmate desktop, you should see INDI server, load that up, add the drivers for each piece of hardware. It should provide an IP address or local host name.  Once it's configured and turned on, you go to your Mac desktop in the comfort of your home, and launch Kstars/EKOS. Go into EKOS, open up the equipment panel, and set it to your use the remote host with the IP or host name. Close out that panel, and click "Connect" it should connect over the network to your Stellarmate, and use the interface of EKOS on your Mac to control everything at the telescope. 

 

You can even have it store the images remotely on the Stellarmate, or transfer them over your network to a local drive on your Mac. As long as you have a decent network, and can handle transferring a single image every minute or two based on your sub length, you should have no issues storing them directly to your Mac. However, if you're capturing faster than you can transfer them to your local Mac, have them save remotely to the Stellarmate. Then you can pop out the memory card of the Stellarmate after an imaging session and download the images to your Mac using the Memory card.

 

Or, if you don't have a Stellarmate, you can use a Mac mini or Mac Laptop at your scope, and do the same thing to get images and control from inside your house using your Mac desktop.




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