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Old Scopes and Modern Imaging

ccd classic equipment imaging
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#351 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:15 AM

My first attempt of imaging with my RV-6 last night.  I used an ASI120MC and a 2x TeleVue Barlow.

Outstanding!!  What computer / operating system is your ASI120MC connected to?


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#352 DreamWeaver

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:45 AM

Outstanding!!  What computer / operating system is your ASI120MC connected to?

Thanks JW!  The laptop is a 10 year old HP Dual-Core Pentium with 3GB of ram, running Windows 7 Home Premium.  I need to see how my work laptop does with imaging and processing.  It has an i7 processor with 32GB of ram and a solid state hard drive.  Me’s thinking it might be a bit faster.  lol.gif


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#353 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:05 PM

Thanks JW!  The laptop is a 10 year old HP Dual-Core Pentium with 3GB of ram, running Windows 7 Home Premium.  I need to see how my work laptop does with imaging and processing.  It has an i7 processor with 32GB of ram and a solid state hard drive.  Me’s thinking it might be a bit faster.  lol.gif

It might... But if it's a Windows 10 device, you may not get the ASI120MC to run on it, due to the USB Standards differences -- that's the issue I'm trying to fix with my NOS Panasonic ToughBook (isn't that a cool name?) running Windows 7 Pro.  Took 3 days to get all the MS Updates downloaded & installed.  Today:  I'll get the camera & capture software loaded, and see how it does.  TINY Screen!  Have to wear my reading glasses just to do routine stuff, but it should work.  I can upgrade the RAM and change the hard drive from SATA to SSD to speed it up...



#354 Bonco2

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 03:22 PM

DreamWeaver

Love you Mars pic with the RV6, Stunning!

Bill



#355 DreamWeaver

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Bill!

 

I processed another video from that night, and I was able bring out a little more detail.

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#356 TerryWood

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:40 PM

Just an amazing photo of Jove Terry! It’s a real testament to the wonderful optics of the little Questar, paired with the skills of a very talented photogrqpher!

Thank you Terra, too kind of you! 

 

V/R

 

Terry


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#357 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:49 PM

Windows 7 to the rescue!  My little ToughBook recognizes all 3 of my "old" digital imagers -- 2 Planetary + 1 Deep Sky.  Did some daylight tests this morning with 3 different capture programs, and saw no latency / video freeze during AVI mode.  NWS says WEDS & THURS will be Clear, so maybe I'll get at least 1 night to try imaging Jupiter & Saturn in my Meade 826 -- first chance with this scope since I got it.


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#358 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 02:51 PM

I'm happier than a duck on a June-Bug!  Not with the picture quality last night, but with the imaging hardware.  It all works.  No snags, no lags, no freezing frames.

 

I'd forgotten how complicated all this stuff can be!  Especially since I tested 2 very different cameras, and each with its own capture software.

 

Air was too wavy for imaging, but I got OK results from Clammy (that SP-C102 OTA) anyway.  At times, Titan was a rapid-fire variable star.

 

For Other ASI120MC Owners:

 

- Windows 7 Pro

- USB 2.0 ports on the ToughBook

- USB Cable length did not affect captures (my longest test ran 5:30 on Jupiter) -- some folks have found using 1m or shorter cables helpful with Windows 10.  I tested 2m & 3m cables -- no problems.

 

The AUTO Mode on the NexImage camera gave acceptable quality on Saturn, but Jupiter was too bright -- belts almost washed-out.  From what I could see, the ASI showed more belts & details.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 30 September 2020 - 02:52 PM.

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#359 ETXer

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 08:14 AM

... For Other ASI120MC Owners:

 

- Windows 7 Pro

- USB 2.0 ports on the ToughBook

- USB Cable length did not affect captures (my longest test ran 5:30 on Jupiter) -- some folks have found using 1m or shorter cables helpful with Windows 10.  I tested 2m & 3m cables -- no problems.

 

The AUTO Mode on the NexImage camera gave acceptable quality on Saturn, but Jupiter was too bright -- belts almost washed-out.  From what I could see, the ASI showed more belts & details.

Thanks Bob, this is good to know, since so far I've happened to just been using Windows 7 (Starter) laptops (older Acer netbooks) with my ASI120MC only because they are small and easy to deal with.

 

Except I had an interesting experience yesterday morning on my first ever Mars imaging attempt... the sad tale is here. All was going well until I tried to stop the capture in SharpCap, whereupon I kept getting the following message: "The Capture Folder (path) is missing or can not be written to. Please select a new capture folder and try again."

 

I've used that same computer and cable (the camera-supplied cable) several times until now with no issues. I tried everything I could (restarted, uninstalled/reinstalled SharpCap, reinstalled drivers, created a new folder, etc.) until I gave up and grabbed my second Laptop that's a little slower, but it had SharpCap installed (but no ASI driver). I managed to get the driver installed and started a capture, but clouds rolled in after about 15 seconds and had to stop the capture. The second laptop was able to save the capture with no issues (other than a pitifully small number of frames).

 

Any ideas what could be happening here?

 

Cheers, Allan


Edited by ETXer, 02 October 2020 - 09:28 AM.


#360 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 11:30 AM

SharpCap was one of the programs I tried on Windows 10 that froze just like the ZWO-recommended / provided software.

 

On the Win7 ToughBook, these programs all work:

- Celestron's linked AmCap

- Orion's older AmCap (bundled with the StarShoot 2)

- iCap

- ASICap (bundled with the 120MC)

 

That Error Message sounds like a generic Windows fault.  Did you try Closing SharpCap, unplugging the camera, plugging it back in, and re-starting SharpCap?   I had to do that with iCap with the 120MC -- but not with the NexImage.

 

FYI:  When I built the ToughBook, I created 2 partitions:  C: (Win7 NTFS System Files) & D: (FAT32) -- yeah, I know, that's a bad security practice, but the TB isn't connected to the Internet.  It's a single-purpose laptop.  No permission issues capturing to the FAT32 drive.


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#361 ETXer

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 07:55 PM

SharpCap was one of the programs I tried on Windows 10 that froze just like the ZWO-recommended / provided software.

 

On the Win7 ToughBook, these programs all work:

- Celestron's linked AmCap

- Orion's older AmCap (bundled with the StarShoot 2)

- iCap

- ASICap (bundled with the 120MC)

 

That Error Message sounds like a generic Windows fault.  Did you try Closing SharpCap, unplugging the camera, plugging it back in, and re-starting SharpCap?   I had to do that with iCap with the 120MC -- but not with the NexImage.

 

FYI:  When I built the ToughBook, I created 2 partitions:  C: (Win7 NTFS System Files) & D: (FAT32) -- yeah, I know, that's a bad security practice, but the TB isn't connected to the Internet.  It's a single-purpose laptop.  No permission issues capturing to the FAT32 drive.

I think you're right, it has something to do with Windows, vs. SharpCap, and something to do with permissions, but my knowledge is weak in that area on how to work my way through that. I did try what you suggested, and then some. I may try a system restore and see if that helps given I was able to use that laptop a few months ago, but not now.

 

I may also give ASICap a try and also possibly FireCapture (although I'll feel a little like I'm starting from scratch).

 

Thanks! Allan



#362 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:26 PM

I like the old simple interface with Orion AmCap, but ASICap gets updated fairly often, and produces better captures -- just takes more tweaking.  Wouldn't be a problem, except that my opportunities to image are even less than observe, and that's been pathetic for going on 3 solid years now...


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#363 tim53

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 12:26 AM

Mars with the Televue 102mm Renaissance, 2x barlow, and Pt Grey Flea2 color camera.  Best 111 frames out of 9000 frame video.  Seeing maybe 4/10.

 

 

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#364 tim53

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 12:39 AM

This one's better.  By increasing the exposures from 33milliseconds to 67, I got half as many frames but they're less noisy, so process cleaner:

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Edited by tim53, 04 October 2020 - 12:42 AM.

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#365 tim53

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:17 AM

Seeing is definitely getting better as Mars gets higher and I get colder and sleepier.  One more time, then I'm packing it in for the night and staring at my eyelids for a few hours.

 

Seeing maybe a 6 or 7/10 now:

 

 

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#366 highfnum

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 02:56 AM

a real steady night orange c8 asi120mm IR filter

Capture 10_4_2020 2_20_33 AMc8irr5p.jpg

 


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#367 ETXer

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 01:27 PM

From this morning, the Appennines in a horizontal orientation through my classic (orange) C8 in so-so seeing.

 

ZWO ASI120MC, the best of  616 frames, SharpCap 3.0, stacked/processed in Registax 6.

 

50432014223_e86f5a7cd9_c.jpg


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#368 DreamWeaver

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 08:25 PM

Another image using the RV-6 from last night.  Taken with an ASI120MC and 2x Barlow.

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#369 tim53

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:12 PM

While not technicallly a classic, my C9.25 is descended from one, and so is the Tak NJP mount it's riding on.  But truthfully, the SCT is from 2004, and the mount is from 2000.

 

The image is fully modern, though.  I used a Pt Grey Flea3 camera I bought recently NIB.  I bought it because it has 9.9 micron pixels, so nice and sensitive.  Even though it's only VGA, it's a 5/9" chip, so it's easy to get the planet on chip before swapping in a 5x Powermate to get the planet nice and fat on the screen.  Problem was, that the seeing hasn't been that great the last couple nights, so I haven't done much with the results. 

 

But then, this morning I thought before I caved in for the night, I'd take a try at capturing Deimos, which was far to one side of the planet this morning.  I took 100-frame videos of 1/2" exposures.  Mars was overexposed and bloated, of course, swamping Phobos (which was too close to the planet to see anyway).  Deimos is the faint dot to the right and down from the overexposed planet.  There are other dots in the full frame that this is cropped from, but those were hot pixels not completely removed by the software I used to acquire and process the results (Astro IIDC):

 

post-6788-0-76121400-1602589117.png


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#370 DreamWeaver

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 12:35 AM

Last attempts from Tuesday night imaging with the RV-6...for now.  Time to start playing with another scope.  I’m quite happy with the results, considering how much the planets were bouncing around the computer screen.

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#371 highfnum

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:10 AM

a redo of 8-17 gibbous mars

showing mons(mountains)

Capture 8_17_2020 5_17_18 AMt2.jpg

 

 


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#372 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 12:00 AM

Don't think I've shared this Moon shot from the Aldebaran Occultation back in 2017 made with the Dakin 4" F10:

 

Dakin 4 - Aldebaran Occ 20170305V04D75.png

 

 


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#373 Peter_D

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 06:59 AM

I took an image of the Mars / Pleiades conjunction yesterday:

Tasco 9VR, Canon 60D Eos on an unguided GP mount.

Single shot, 30 second exposure, ISO 1250. Adjusted the brightness a bit in the photo editor.

Clear skies,

Peter

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#374 TerryWood

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 04:05 PM

I decided to try some imaging last night with the Brandon Master Birder 80mm f/5.6. Hey, why not. 

 

I mounted it on Tak Sky Patrol (version 1) mount and used a Sony A7S camera. 

 

Exposures were at 10 seconds at ISO 6400.

 

I think I used around 90 for the Orion Nebula and 50 for the Horsehead/Flame Nebulas. 

 

Shot in jpeg mode for simplicity and processed in DSS and Lightroom. Gritty. The colors are not right, but I was just mainly trying to bring out the nebulosity and messing heavily with the sliders in Lightroom.

 

I was just "horsing" around...yeah, pun intended, hahal!

 

Thanks for taking a look.

 

V/R

 

Terry

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#375 Helvetios

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 06:49 AM

I missed this thread up until now.  I have done some photography with an RV-6 as well (1971 vintage).  The camera used was the ASI290MM.  The Mars image was done with a Stellarvue 2x short Barlow and the two lunar images were done with a Siebert 2x Barlow.

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