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SICK AND TIRED - SGP + Edge 11 issues

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#1 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:28 PM

Bear with me, I am here to complain! This whole year I had nothing but bad weather and equipment issues. I think having the telescope permanently setup in an observatory has a couple of downsides, I think the temperature fluctuations is causing some of my issues, first it was the Mach1 with a loosen RA, very little, just enough to cause chaos in the whole system, because of it I was not able to calibrate for guiding, tracking was awful, this took months to troubleshoot and fix. Then was my flats, I could not calibrate my images, I don't even remember what was causing this but I also think it was something loosen in the rig. Now a few weeks ago I noticed my images had a huge pattern of dust donuts which I thought were caused by condensation+dirt on the inside of the corrector plate. I removed the secondary to try to stick my hand in there and blow the dust and that's when I noticed the whole ring that holds the secondary in place was loosen and rotating freely and this caused the metal particles to drop on the inside of my corrector plate, this shouldn't be happening, I never remove my secondary, I don't even own a Hyperstar for my Edge 11". Anyway, I was able to make things tight again and place the secondary aligned with the 3 o'clock position so that's fine and I was able to confirm that my stars are round but I can still not calibrate my images and now I have no idea what is going on, things are tights and shouldn't be moving anymore, I'm completely lost.

 

Now the most aggravating issue, SGP keeps locking up in the middle of the night, every single time, no error message, no indication that it is frozen, things look normal until I check and see that nothing is happening and when that happens, the only solution is to reboot the whole computer, just closing SGP is not enough. Yes I know I can send the log to the guys on the SGP forum but first I like solving things on my own and trying to find out if anyone else has similar issues. If I am able to fix those 2 very annoying issues (my flats and SGP crashing) and I will be back in business.

 

So, any thoughts? Thank you for letting me vent, I just want to enjoy my hobby and best time of the year for it will soon be here and I would like to solve these issues ASAP.

 

Please see attached pics, single exposure and stack to see what I'm talking about when I say I have a bazillion dust donuts. Do you all think I cannot calibrate my images because there is something still moving on my imaging train or the dust motes are so excessive that the flats are not correcting?

 

Thanks!

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#2 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:29 PM

Stacked

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#3 Thirteen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:37 PM

Looks like condensation to me.

 

I would advise you to disassemble the imaging train and have a look if you see subs like that.  If you last assembled it in the warm months and trapped moist air in there, you may have condensation falling out as the components get down to ambient temperature or on the camera cover glass?   


Edited by Thirteen, 13 September 2017 - 12:41 PM.


#4 rigel123

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:41 PM

The size of the dust motes makes me think they are on the window of the camera, but I have to admit I have never seen so many and arranged the way they are they appear to bunch up in the lower right corner.  It almost looks like the motes are rotating as you take the flats and when you stack the flats you get those arching rows of motes.  What does a single flat exposure look like?



#5 rgsalinger

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:41 PM

Over the years, having my imaging software lock up and require a reboot has, in almost every case been due to a USB problem. Some of the USB code seems to run in the kernel of Windows and when that fails - bad connection, etc - there's nothing that will clear it other than a reboot. 

 

So, that's what I'd be looking at to see what's what. First, get as much stuff away from whatever hub you have and directly into the computer. Ignore the quality of the result - it can even be cloudy. Just run the thing night after night and see which component is causing you problems. That's my best advice.

 

I have no idea what's wrong with the images, though. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#6 rigel123

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:43 PM

Looks like condensation to me.

 

I would advise you to disassemble the imaging train and have a look if you see subs like that.  If you last assembled it in the warm months and trapped moist air in there, you may have condensation falling out as the components get down to ambient temperature or on the camera cover glass?   

I think you might be right about condensation on the camera cover glass.



#7 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

Looks like condensation to me.

 

I would advise you to disassemble the imaging train and have a look if you see subs like that.  If you last assembled it in the warm months and trapped moist air in there, you may have condensation falling out as the components get down to ambient temperature or on the camera cover glass?   

I actually did remove everything from the imaging train and checked everything with a glass, it's all clean and I don't think it's condensation, if I go there now and take a flat image it will show the same pattern but it's definitely an idea and I''' double check that. Thanks!



#8 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:52 PM

The size of the dust motes makes me think they are on the window of the camera, but I have to admit I have never seen so many and arranged the way they are they appear to bunch up in the lower right corner.  It almost looks like the motes are rotating as you take the flats and when you stack the flats you get those arching rows of motes.  What does a single flat exposure look like?

Definitely not on the camera, I checked and it's all clean (sensor and glass).



#9 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:53 PM

Over the years, having my imaging software lock up and require a reboot has, in almost every case been due to a USB problem. Some of the USB code seems to run in the kernel of Windows and when that fails - bad connection, etc - there's nothing that will clear it other than a reboot. 

 

So, that's what I'd be looking at to see what's what. First, get as much stuff away from whatever hub you have and directly into the computer. Ignore the quality of the result - it can even be cloudy. Just run the thing night after night and see which component is causing you problems. That's my best advice.

 

I have no idea what's wrong with the images, though. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

That's actually a great tip, it doesn't hurt to switch the USB hub's cable to a new one to start! Thanks much!



#10 Thirteen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:05 PM

Sam, do you see that same pattern when you swap the camera to another scope?

Edited by Thirteen, 13 September 2017 - 01:06 PM.


#11 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:06 PM

Sam, do you see that same pattern when you swap scopes?

I don't swap scopes, Jason. It's a monster that I try not to touch!



#12 hjd1964

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:09 PM

Have you tried something like this?

 

http://www.ccdware.c...ources/dust.cfm


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#13 anismo

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:12 PM

Sorry to hear that Sam. I have had this issue  and sadly it is very hard to recover those subs . Your final stacked version looks decent actually (mine was full of horrible embossed donuts)

 

In my case those were dried water marks from condensation on the sensor window. Even though you dont see any dust, the marks show up like these and you need to spray and clean it up (blowing with bulb isnt going to work). 

 

 

Regarding SGP locking up, what version of the SGP are you at? The logs should give a clue on what the last action it attempted before the hang and start from there.  



#14 Thirteen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:26 PM


Sam, do you see that same pattern when you swap scopes?

I don't swap scopes, Jason. It's a monster that I try not to touch!
Gotta do it, though, to eliminate things. Can't you just unscrew the camera and put it on something else? You don't need to mount a new scope. Just point it at a wall.

Edited by Thirteen, 13 September 2017 - 01:27 PM.


#15 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:49 PM

 

 

Sam, do you see that same pattern when you swap scopes?

I don't swap scopes, Jason. It's a monster that I try not to touch!
Gotta do it, though, to eliminate things. Can't you just unscrew the camera and put it on something else? You don't need to mount a new scope. Just point it at a wall.

 

Yeah i can definitely try that which can eliminate the camera only but not the focal reducer! It may be worth trying though! Thanks for the advice.



#16 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:51 PM

Sorry to hear that Sam. I have had this issue  and sadly it is very hard to recover those subs . Your final stacked version looks decent actually (mine was full of horrible embossed donuts)

 

In my case those were dried water marks from condensation on the sensor window. Even though you dont see any dust, the marks show up like these and you need to spray and clean it up (blowing with bulb isnt going to work). 

 

 

Regarding SGP locking up, what version of the SGP are you at? The logs should give a clue on what the last action it attempted before the hang and start from there.  

Anis,

 

True, at this point I'm not even worried about all the lost subs, I just want things to work. The stacked version may not be too bad but it is, it looks awful, dirty and makes the whole picture look noisy. I have a hard time reading the logs to be honest, there's too much info and I don't really know where to look at, I try doing a search for the word error but don't see anything that is a clear error. Ugh



#17 Thirteen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:53 PM


Sam, do you see that same pattern when you swap scopes?

I don't swap scopes, Jason. It's a monster that I try not to touch!
Gotta do it, though, to eliminate things. Can't you just unscrew the camera and put it on something else? You don't need to mount a new scope. Just point it at a wall.
Yeah i can definitely try that which can eliminate the camera only but not the focal reducer! It may be worth trying though! Thanks for the advice.
Just a way to be methodical, just keep adding components one by one to see what causes it. If it happens right away, no doubt it's the camera. Definitely look though the scope once you remove the camera to see if you see anything. Also, inspect the camera window under bright light at a steep angle to see if you see any residue.

Edited by Thirteen, 13 September 2017 - 01:54 PM.

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#18 Thirteen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:58 PM

Another good check would be to put a different camera on there and take a flat.

#19 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:04 PM

Another good check would be to put a different camera on there and take a flat.

Good idea, that would be much, much easier to do!



#20 Henry from NZ

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:33 PM

Sam, how does looseness in RA manifest on your mach1gto? I had some random spikes lately and Howard took me thru re meshing but I have not had time to test it due to month long bad weather.

#21 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:35 PM

Sam, how does looseness in RA manifest on your mach1gto? I had some random spikes lately and Howard took me thru re meshing but I have not had time to test it due to month long bad weather.

Hi Henry,

 

I could actually feel by lightly moving the counterweight back and forth but the initial issues were on calibration on PHD, the star was all over the place.



#22 anismo

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:40 PM

One more thing that has caused crash earlier with SGP was the number of saved images/targets . It seems to balloon the memory usage and ends up crashing. 

 

It is a shame given how well the target itself looks :(

 

If you want, I can do synthetic flat for the stacked image for you to use. If so, just share that fits file and I will get you the  flat subtracted version.



#23 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:29 PM

One more thing that has caused crash earlier with SGP was the number of saved images/targets . It seems to balloon the memory usage and ends up crashing. 

 

It is a shame given how well the target itself looks frown.gif

 

If you want, I can do synthetic flat for the stacked image for you to use. If so, just share that fits file and I will get you the  flat subtracted version.

Anis,

 

Thank you, I think that was actually using the synthetic flats but it was the first time I tried this technique and I'm not sure I did it right.



#24 BenKolt

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:37 PM

Sam (Ladyhawke):

 

When I saw your title "SICK AND TIRED - SGP + Edge 11 issues" I first thought somebody had resurrected one of my old threads!

 

Howard mentioned that dust mote calculator in #12, and I've actually found that to be helpful in tracking down mightily annoying dust specks.  It helps to calculate the distance from CCD to dust distance, and this may help in finding them.  I was going to initially guess filters.  What happens when you change filters?

 

The systematic approach mentioned by others is the way I have settled on finding the source of my issues.

 

As for the Mach1GTO problems, it sounds like remeshing is the first order of business.  I did that recently and eliminated issues I was having with guiding spikes and whatnot.  Beyond that you can at least know that you've remeshed.

 

Good luck!  I like your images and hope to see more of them soon!

 

Best Regards,

Ben


Edited by BenKolt, 13 September 2017 - 04:37 PM.


#25 Ladyhawke

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:49 PM

Sam (Ladyhawke):

 

When I saw your title "SICK AND TIRED - SGP + Edge 11 issues" I first thought somebody had resurrected one of my old threads!

 

Howard mentioned that dust mote calculator in #12, and I've actually found that to be helpful in tracking down mightily annoying dust specks.  It helps to calculate the distance from CCD to dust distance, and this may help in finding them.  I was going to initially guess filters.  What happens when you change filters?

 

The systematic approach mentioned by others is the way I have settled on finding the source of my issues.

 

As for the Mach1GTO problems, it sounds like remeshing is the first order of business.  I did that recently and eliminated issues I was having with guiding spikes and whatnot.  Beyond that you can at least know that you've remeshed.

 

Good luck!  I like your images and hope to see more of them soon!

 

Best Regards,

Ben

Hi Ben,

 

The issue with the Mach1 was the first one this year and has been resolved but now I know that temperature fluctuations caused this because I never touch that mount for anything, don't switch OTA's, nothing. I will try the dust motes calculator, I always thought that the larger the donuts the further from the chip and that has been consistent with my experience but I could be wrong. I won't give up, I never do and I'll keep digging until I find the source of the problem and the solution but this is wearing me out big time, I have a new job that I cannot afford losing sleep like I used to anymore, at least for a good while because this new job demands focus and attention to details so right now, especially the issue with SGP crashing in the middle of a session is really holding me back from enjoying clear skies during week days (they're rare anyway).




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