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Please Please Please - When Asking for Help

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#1 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 05:40 PM

Please Please Please - when asking for help, include the following information.

 

Detailed description of the problem.

 

Equipment

- Scope:
- Focal Length:
- Focal Ratio:

- Field Flattener:

- Focal Reducer:

- Exposure: in seconds

- # SubFrames:

- ISO:
- Mount:
- Camera:

- File Type: RAW / FITS / JPEG
- White Balance:
- Filters:
- SQM or Sky Brightness:
- Observing Location:

- Ambient Temperature:

- Humidity:

- Sky Conditions: Haze / High Clouds / Passing Clouds / Wind

- Transparency: Use thumb test in day, or judge by extinction altitude: Terrible / Bad / OK / Good / Great

- Seeing: Terrible / Bad / Decent / Good / Incredible

- Calibration frames: Type and number of each: Darks x 16 / Bias / 64 / Flats / 64

- Software used for Calibration: DeesSkyStacker / PixInsight / Other

- Software used for Processing: PixInsight / Photoshop

- Special Processing Techniques: SMI / DHPL / Decon / Star Reduction / Other

- Sigma combine parameters:

- Working Color Space: sRGB / Adobe / ProPhoto RGB / Don't know what you are talking about

- Monitor Calibrated? Yes / No / Hardware Calibration / Software Calibration / Don't know what you are talking about

- Experience Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

- Goals: Just get something in focus and correctly exposed / Best on the Planet - this is a spectrum and you can pick anywhere between these two on any scale you want.

 

Guiding

- Mount: Mach1GTO

- R.A. Balance: Perfectly balanced  (or Lifting weight on the East / What's Balance?)

- Dec Balance: Perfectly balanced (or Lifting weight on one side / What's Balance?

- Autoguiding?  Autoguided / Unguided / Manually Guided

- Off-Axis Guider: not used

- Autoguider Scope: Astro-Tech AT65EDQ with 2x Televue Barlow

- Autoguider Camera: Lodestar X2

- Autoduiger Camera Pixel Scale: x.x"/px

- Autoguider mounting method: Double rings on main tube, additional ring on focuser drawtube

- PHD Parameters:

- Guiding Exposure: 5 sec
- PHD Dec set to: auto, dither on

- PHD Guiding Algorithm: Default
- PHD RMS: RA: 0.27 (0.56") Peak: 0.81, (1.65") with guidescope set to 840mm in PHD2
- PHD RMS: Dec: 0.31 (0.64") Peak: 0.93, (1.89")
- PHD RMS: Tot: 0.43 (0.88")
- PHD Osc Index: 0.28 with RA AGR set to 90, Hys set to 10, minmo to 0.25
- PHD Dec set to Auto, Agr to 100, minmo set to 0.25
Notes: Snow on the ground. Had some focus drift, don't know if it was because lens dewed up forgot to plug in antidewers, then hit with hair dryer; Refocused at 10:49pm. PEM apparently disabled in APCC for first couple of hours, turned on at 11:02pm, clouds at 1am, stop shooting ngc 3628. Incredible fireball lit up the ground at 11:26 p.m. edt like nuclear explosion - Missed it. (I was looking at my feet... wondering why they are cold). 3:49 a.m. edt ANOTHER fireball lights up the ground! This time even brighter! Missed it -  This time I'm sitting in the car with the heater on.

 

It REALLY helps to have this info when trying to help you figure out your problem instead of us having to ask for it every time.  And you should be recording all of these things (except the last three) for every image you shoot anyway.

 

It also REALLY helps if you post an image of your problem with enough resolution to actually see what the problem is. If you can't post the full-resolution image to Cloudy Nights because of their space limitations, get yourself a free DropBox account and use that and post the link to the image.

 

EDIT - I've added some stuff and broke out the autoguiding problems section.

 

NOTE - I've used some of my typical readouts from PHD for examples on a night of decent seeing.

I'm sure some other experts here will have additional things to add.

 

Jerry


Edited by Jerry Lodriguss, 18 September 2018 - 08:04 PM.

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#2 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 05:46 PM

I posted this in the DSLR forum, but I think it's appropriate for Beginner's and Intermediate Imaging also.  If the moderators don't think so, please delete this.

 

Please Please Please - when asking for help, include the following information.

 

Detailed description of the problem.

 

- Scope:
- Focal Length:
- Focal Ratio:

- Field Flattener:

- Focal Reducer:

- Exposure: in seconds

- # SubFrames:

- ISO:
- Mount:
- Camera:

- File Type: RAW / FITS / JPEG
- White Balance:
- Filters:
- SQM or Sky Brightness:
- Observing Location:

- Ambient Temperature:

- Humidity:

- Sky Conditions: Haze / High Clouds / Passing Clouds / Wind

- Transparency: Use thumb test in day, or judge by extinction altitude: Terrible / Bad / OK / Good / Great

- Seeing: Terrible / Bad / Decent / Good / Incredible

- Calibration frames: Type and number of each: Darks x 16 / Bias / 64 / Flats / 64

- Software used for Calibration: DeesSkyStacker / PixInsight / Other

- Software used for Processing: PixInsight / Photoshop

- Special Processing Techniques: SMI / DHPL / Decon / Star Reduction / Other

- Sigma combine parameters:

- Working Color Space: sRGB / Adobe / ProPhoto RGB / Don't know what you are talking about

- Monitor Calibrated? Yes / No / Hardware Calibration / Software Calibration / Don't know what you are talking about

- Experience Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

- Goals: Just get something in focus and correctly exposed / Best on the Planet - this is a spectrum and you can pick anywhere between these two on any scale you want.

 

Guiding Problems

- Mount: Mach1GTO

- R.A. Balance: Perfectly balanced  (or Lifting weight on the East / What's Balance?)

- Dec Balance: Perfectly balanced (or Lifting weight on one side / What's Balance?

- Autoguiding?  Autoguided / Unguided / Manually Guided

- Off-Axis Guider: not used

- Autoguider Scope: Astro-Tech AT65EDQ with 2x Televue Barlow

- Autoguider Camera: Lodestar X2

- Autoduiger Camera Pixel Scale: x.x"/px

- Autoguider mounting method: Double rings on main tube, additional ring on focuser drawtube

- PHD Parameters:

- Guiding Exposure: 5 sec
- PHD Dec set to: auto, dither on

- PHD Guiding Algorithm: Default
- PHD RMS: RA: 0.27 (0.56") Peak: 0.81, (1.65") with guidescope set to 840mm in PHD2
- PHD RMS: Dec: 0.31 (0.64") Peak: 0.93, (1.89")
- PHD RMS: Tot: 0.43 (0.88")
- PHD Osc Index: 0.28 with RA AGR set to 90, Hys set to 10, minmo to 0.25
- PHD Dec set to Auto, Agr to 100, minmo set to 0.25
Notes: Snow on the ground. Had some focus drift, don't know if it was because lens dewed up forgot to plug in antidewers, then hit with hair dryer; Refocused at 10:49pm. PEM apparently disabled in APCC for first couple of hours, turned on at 11:02pm, clouds at 1am, stop shooting ngc 3628. Incredible fireball lit up the ground at 11:26 p.m. edt like nuclear explosion - Missed it. (I was looking at my feet... wondering why they are cold). 3:49 a.m. edt ANOTHER fireball lights up the ground! This time even brighter! Missed it -  This time I'm sitting in the car with the heater on.

 

It REALLY helps to have this info when trying to help you figure out your problem instead of us having to ask for it every time.  And you should be recording all of these things (except the last three) for every image you shoot anyway.

 

It also REALLY helps if you post an image of your problem with enough resolution to actually see what the problem is. If you can't post the full-resolution image to Cloudy Nights because of their space limitations, get yourself a free DropBox account and use that and post the link to the image.

 

 

EDIT - I've added some stuff and broke out the autoguiding problems section.

 

NOTE - I've used some of my typical readouts from PHD for examples on a night of decent seeing.

 

Jerry


Edited by Jerry Lodriguss, 18 September 2018 - 08:03 PM.

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#3 OleCuss

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 05:56 PM

This one might be sticky-worthy (with the deletion of this/my post).


Edited by OleCuss, 18 September 2018 - 06:23 PM.


#4 scadvice

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 06:10 PM

I'm copying the list to Word and answering all that I can... then keeping a copy to post with any questions I ask. Thanks Jerry!


Edited by scadvice, 18 September 2018 - 07:30 PM.


#5 Stelios

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 07:22 PM

This is a long list for most questions, but the concept of providing as much information as possible upfront is valid. 

 

A lot of the above can be put in a signature as well (scope, mount, camera). 


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#6 scadvice

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 07:29 PM

This is a long list for most questions, but the concept of providing as much information as possible upfront is valid. 

 

A lot of the above can be put in a signature as well (scope, mount, camera). 

LOL - as long as the guy/girl has only one scope listed as primary. I've seen 5 or more scopes listed in the signature.scratchhead2.gif


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#7 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 07:29 PM

I've just added some things and broke out a separate guiding problems section.

 

Jerry


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#8 Salacious B Crumb

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:00 PM

Guilty...

 

 

- Mikko



#9 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:01 PM

I've updated the original post and added some things and broke out guiding problems to a separate section.

 

Jerry



#10 KenS

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 09:39 PM

For PHD guiding it is far better to attach the guide log from the session in question as it contains not only all the information listed but also shows the guiding over the entire session. Any calibration would also be included. For some time now PHD2 always saves the guide log and it cannot be disabled and there is a help menu option to open the folder where the logs are located. There is even a help option to upload the logs to the PHD2 support forum.



#11 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 09:43 PM

For PHD guiding it is far better to attach the guide log from the session in question as it contains not only all the information listed but also shows the guiding over the entire session. Any calibration would also be included. For some time now PHD2 always saves the guide log and it cannot be disabled and there is a help menu option to open the folder where the logs are located. There is even a help option to upload the logs to the PHD2 support forum.

Good point.

 

I keep it with the numbers with the images to compare from night to night, but if you are having problems, then you're right, the logs are better.

 

Jerry



#12 sharkmelley

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 06:40 PM

I think it's a bit onerous to include all this info each time.  But it's definitely worth folk scanning the list so at least the most relevant info can be given.

 

Mark


Edited by sharkmelley, 19 September 2018 - 06:40 PM.


#13 ImNewHere

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 07:01 PM

Quite guilty...




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