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HELP! I need EAA for Dummies - Please don't drown me in technobabble

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256 replies to this topic

#251 paulymo

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:29 AM

"Many have bought and seem quite happy with the Rising Tech version of the 224MC camera which can be purchased on line for less than $200.  There are lots of threads on CN about this camera."

 

Thanks Curtis.  I'll read up on that camera as well as the link you provided.  While I've read both of your "low cost setups" threads, I hadn't seen that R2 vs. 224 thread and that might be exactly the info I needed.



#252 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:02 AM

I should have been more clear on my statement " maximum time you can stack frames".

 

As Don noted, the maximum sub-frame, i.e. time for individual exposures will be limited by field rotation with an Alt-Az mount and, likely, sky conditions for an EQ mount which is well aligned.  However, there is another maximum practical limitation with an Alt-Az mount.  While SharpCap and other SW will rotate and align sub-frames, after a while you will begin to see black edges in the frame where individual sub-frames to not align.  So, over many minutes, 5-10min of stacking with an Alt-Az your image area will get smaller and smaller.

 

Think of a bunch of photos of the same star field that are all slightly rotated relative to each other which you have to align.  The stack might look like a pinwheel.

 

Regards,

Curtis


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#253 Kaikul

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:40 AM

"Many have bought and seem quite happy with the Rising Tech version of the 224MC camera which can be purchased on line for less than $200.  There are lots of threads on CN about this camera."

 

Thanks Curtis.  I'll read up on that camera as well as the link you provided.  While I've read both of your "low cost setups" threads, I hadn't seen that R2 vs. 224 thread and that might be exactly the info I needed.

Your post #243 had me thinking that you want a low-cost setup that your kids can enjoy. But then you mentioned you are interested in a sub-$100 webcam of sort, because of budget. However, your latest post implies you got enough wiggle room for maybe somewhere between $100 to $200. You can then get a bit creative.

 

If the goal is the same, i.e. something that is capable, yet simple enough for them to use themselves - after you setup the equipment, you can't go wrong with RI2. You have the option of using it with just a monitor (more kid-friendly) or with a computer (dad-friendly). I'm not sure how computer-savvy you little ones are, but they just might not have the patience to deal with using software controls to obtain the right mix for whatever object they are looking at. In contrast, the built in OSD menu in the camera has only few controls that they have to deal with when doing EAA.

 

The RT224, is a very promising camera, that there is now an RI packaged for it marketed as the advanced version. Well, advance means added level of complication. For one, you have to have a computer to use it. If if this is not going to be an issue with the little ones, this might be what you are looking for. But if it's an issue, and you have a budget of, say $200...

 

Give OCT a call and see if they can sell you just the camera and the remote control. Not sure if they are doing it still, but they've done it before. I would ask for a video grabber so you can use it with your computer. For the video monitor, you can buy a 7" monitor on eBay for around $30. Or you can even use a small TV for this. To connect to your camera, get video/power twin cable, around $25 for a 100' in Walmart. A great advantage of this is the viewing area can be away from your scope setup, so less accident of kids bumping on to it. A focal reducer is great have but you can buy this elsewhere later. Same goes with the IR filter - but get the reducer first.

 

To stay under $200 takes creativity, but it will get you started with the bare minimum requirement. If you can push the budget to score an RI2 package, I'd say go for it.

 

Good luck!


Edited by Kaikul, 25 April 2017 - 09:43 AM.

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#254 GoFish

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:16 AM

After spending several nights becoming familiar with my new RI2 I blieve that I have found a set up settings that work well for general observing. At first I spent quite a bit of time working with the manual and fixed settings. This worked well for pushing the edge of what the RI2 can do, but I was constantly fiddling with the various settings. For general observing I found that the automatic settings worked very well. I still need to tweak some things a bit, but ths might work we ll for starters.

 

On the monitor I turned the brightness all the way down. The aspect ratio was set to 4:3. All other settings were left at their defaults.

 

On the image setup on the camera I set the brightness to 110, contrast 34. All other settings at their defaults.

 

For the exposure control I set the mode to Auto. Under the Auto settings I set the AE Level to 250 (max), AGC Max to 36, Sens Up to Auto.

 

I set the DNR to 6. For telescopes like the EXT I'd suggest a DNR of 3, higher if the tracking permits.

 

With these settings the images were nicely toned, easy on the eyes, and very natural looking. The next time I'm out I may boost the color saturation a bit, but it may not need it.

 

Using the automatic setting took all the work out of fiddling with the camera settings and I could spend the entire evening enjoying the view. The only problem I had was that I was seeing so much I filled pages of my notebook. It was fantastic to pick a region of the sky and explore every star and every object shown in the Pocket Sky Atlas.

 

Fun stuff.

Sorry to dredge up an old thread. But I've not been clever enough to figure out how to set the aspect ratio on my RI2 to 4:3. I'd like to see rounder globulars, in particular.

 

The instructions I found talk about using the ZOOM menu to set the aspect. But I can only find the EZOOM menu, which does not affect aspect. 

 

Assistance would be greatly appreciated!


Edited by GoFish, 23 June 2017 - 09:17 AM.


#255 Censustaker

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:29 AM

The aspect control is on the monitor, cycle thorough the controls and one of them switches between 4:3-16:9


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#256 GoFish

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:58 PM

The aspect control is on the monitor, cycle thorough the controls and one of them switches between 4:3-16:9

Thanks. I'll give that a try. 



#257 rml63

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 03:05 PM

I love this old antique thread its like getting my hockey cards out Ken Dryden, Bobby Orr .....

 

Mike




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