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18 replies to this topic

#1 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:19 PM

If anyone on this forum is using DSW, I'd like to hear from you in this thread or via PM to share experiences and perhaps to form a cooperative arrangement around repairs and upgrades to our systems. I know it's a long shot but I'm giving it a try.

Rgrds-Ross



#2 iwannabswiss

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:23 PM

There are a few people on here who use DSW.  pbunn, tolga are two that I'm aware.



#3 rockstarbill

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:24 PM

A remote imaging forum would be good to have. 


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#4 choward94002

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:37 PM

A remote imaging forum would be good to have. 

+1 for this ... there are a *few* of us that are running remotely, y'know ... :)


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#5 sink45ny

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:44 PM

rgsalinger I think jhayes_tucson may be using DSW also.



#6 dhaval

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 02:44 PM

pbunn (Pat Bunn), Tolga and John Hayes (and you of course) are the ones that I know of. But there are others - Mike Selby I believe is also at DSW (he's also part of an imaging team that I am a member of) and a few others that were at SRO at one point (or still may be).

 

CS!



#7 isogroup

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 02:50 PM

I'm using iTelescopes, but let me know if anyone wants to form a team to host a scope.



#8 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:52 PM

I've already talked to John Hayes about some of my ideas. Basically, what I'm thinking is that it would be useful to exchange ideas about how to make DSW a better place for imagers. I am not thinking about vendor bashing but I have noticed a few things that a group might be above to agree on with an eye toward improving the customer experience.

 

Let me explain what I'm thinking and say at the outset that these same issues would apply to most remote sites.

 

First, on two occasions when I was working on my equipment I received calls when no one was in the observatory as it was night time. On one occasion a light had been left on inadvertently. I could hear the observatory phone answering machine with someone saying "Turn off the Wall Light". That led me to find the switch and turn it off. (I wondered why it was on in the first place.) Problem solved. On another occasion, a fellow imager was having trouble focusing and called the observatory. Since I was the only one there and the "network" room was open I answered the phone. I'm pretty sure fixed his problem by just tightening a screw. Now, there are something like 20 telescopes in that big room and there's often an imager out there. I'd be willing to try to fix simple problems that others are having in return for the same courtesy. John Hayes thought this was a poor idea because an attempt to fix something could just make things worse, people don'k know each others equipment, and you might be trying to help someone and then it gets cloudy and then you'd really be in a pickle. Still, I wondered what others thought of this.

 

Second, there are things that I'd like to see improved but I'm just one particular customer and improvements might well extend across different venues. I thought that if there was an exchange of ideas we as a group could better guide the owners to make the changes we'd like to see in a constructive manner. I really have nothing particularly spectacular in mind at this point. I'll give an example. It would be nice to know when someone is on site who can do adjustments and have white board kind of arrangement for those requests. Maybe there's a need for earlier or later open and closes. Or better weather integration, etc. 

 

Third, it seems to me that it would be useful to quantitatively share results. I'm not talking about swapping finished mosaics, but rather what kind of results we're getting night after night. I know that my own results have been quite variable. Some nights it's wonderful and some nights not so much. If I'm interested in getting better and more consistent results it would be nice to know what others with similar equipment are achieving. The telemetry at DSW (for instance) is terrific. I'd love to see how some things like sky temperature or the dark sky chart correlate with actual user experiences.

 

All of these thoughts come from my long experience in dealing positively with vendors providing complex solutions in situations for a single customer has little control. They are things which could be applied to any other remote imaging venue. I'm only singling out DSW at this point because this is where my equipment is currently located. 

 

A forum about remote imaging would be really terrific. I've imaged remotely from four different places over the past 5 years and each one has had pluses and minuses. It would be nice to have a neutral forum to - NO VENDOR BASHING - discuss the pros and cons. Some have permanent onsite help, some do not. Some have better weather or internet connections than others. I could go on and on, it's just a thought that I'm forming at this point.

 

Comments more than welcome - criticism (but no name calling) also welcome.

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#9 choward94002

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:19 PM

Hmm ... OK, different idea than I was thinking ... so a few comments and I'll be quiet ...

 

- Does the DSW site have the ability/ desire to host a forum like you're looking for, like Main Sequence does for SGP, Voyager does and SkyTools has?  You don't want to be stepping on any toes or usurping anyone's perceived authority ...

- Remember that CN is a global website, where anything posted lasts forever (even if it's deleted here the second after it's posted, through the miracle of Google spiders and the Internet Wayback Machine that deletion ... didn't happen) ... so if you post something like "did you see all the water yesterday from the rainstorm?  Glad my pier was elevated!" until the end of time DSW will be answering questions like "do you have your water problems under control yet" which will get old for them fast ...

- CN prides itself on being vendor agnostic; if they set up a forum for DSW, what about ZWO, or Celestron, or any other vendor?  Could be a really slippery slope really quickly ...

 

... thanks for all the fish,

 

<<out>>



#10 Dan Crowson

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:21 PM

One suggestion I would make would be to setup a group (I like https://groups.io/ versus Yahoo) and use that for this kind of stuff. We've done this for several years at Dark Sky New Mexico (Rancho Hidalgo before that). You can quickly reach all users and it can be restricted to members. I can think of several reasons for this.

 

Dan



#11 N1ghtSc0p3

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:25 PM

A forum about remote imaging would be really terrific. I've imaged remotely from four different places over the past 5 years and each one has had pluses and minuses. It would be nice to have a neutral forum to - NO VENDOR BASHING - discuss the pros and cons. Some have permanent onsite help, some do not. Some have better weather or internet connections than others. I could go on and on, it's just a thought that I'm forming at this point.

 

Comments more than welcome - criticism (but no name calling) also welcome.

 

Rgrds-Ross

+1 on this idea. I think with the explosion of suburban/exurban sprawl, and the corresponding destruction of even moderately dark-ish skies, remote imaging facilities, and imagers looking to move to a "remoted" site would be on the increase. Having a dedicated forum to discuss issues you mentioned above would also be very useful, especially as a resource for folks looking to get into remote imaging (much like CN as a whole is for folks looking to get into just about any facet of astronomy as a hobby.)


Edited by N1ghtSc0p3, 17 December 2018 - 04:26 PM.


#12 Andreas_Roerig

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 05:07 PM

Hi, 

 

I am a member of the FSQ team at DSW. I don't have own equipment there.

DSW already has a forum on their website. I am sure Lloyd would set up another board if you request one.

 

Best regards

Andreas 


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#13 Alex McConahay

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 05:47 PM

Is this thread about...

...a forum about remote astroimaging?

Or

....a forum about how groups or users at DSW can work together?

Alex

#14 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 06:24 PM

You're right Alex, it's morphing. I'll appeal to a mod to change the topic. I started out this morning thinking about DSW and over time felt more and more that the DSW title wasn't as important as maybe getting something broader started about remote imaging  -- setting up your own system, using other people's systems etc.

 

Rgrds-Ross



#15 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 08:55 PM

Ross,

Service at remote sites like DSW is always an issue and I’ve made more trips out there than I’d like to admit.  There is certainly some merit to your idea and I didn’t actually say that your idea was a poor one.  I did express concern that it’s often easier to screw things up before you make them better—and that I never want to be responsible for messing up someone else’s system, particularly if I don’t know it very well.  The other concern that I have is that when I’m out there, I usually have a limited schedule and a lot to do so it’s hard to spend very much time working on someone else’s scope.  I’ve observed the same thing among most of the other users when they are out there.   Furthermore, some problems are trivial to help out with; however, there are other problems that I’ve seen with a few scopes would be real tar-babies to try to fix!   I hate to throw cold water on your concept, but I’ve been out there long enough to have seen a lot of different issues and I would personally be very circumspect about taking on many of them.  Please feel free to ask me to tighten a screw, swap a cable, or inspect something; but, I’ll demur from swapping cameras, doing a polar alignment, cleaning components, fixing cable snags, fixing certain balance problems, or aligning a secondary.

 

I agree that having a CN forum dedicated to the issues of remote imaging is a good idea.  As for DSW, they do have a private forum for customers and Lloyd is always open for ideas on how to make it better.  Lloyd can get you hooked up on it if you aren’t already on it.  I personally haven’t spent much time on that forum for a lot of reasons; but, it’s there if you want to try it.

 

John


Edited by jhayes_tucson, 17 December 2018 - 08:57 PM.


#16 dhaval

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 09:17 PM

Ross,

You know my situation. It might be great to have a remote observatory/imaging team section where we all can collaborate. 

 

Having said that, and with Bill out there at MaRIO full time, I still make trips to Marathon every 4-6 weeks. But I also like being there and can be there quite easily as well given that I am only about 5-6 hours away from Marathon. 

 

Remote imaging is difficult and I feel that one has to tune their system in their backyard before moving it to a remote location. And while we may do that, the issue starts when something goes wrong with one of the components and we "change" that component without testing it as a full system. 

 

Right now, one of my system's USB is not working. I have to change that USB hub. I am guessing this particular issue is not that bad, but I have had to send my NiteCrawler back, have changed my guide cam twice (once when a cable snagged and once because I changed guide cams between the 2 systems that I have at MaRIO) - but these were not tested completely in my backyard and I worry what sort of issues I will face as a result. While it works, it is great, but there is always that fear that something will break and I will be left without a working system.

 

As you know, I am also a member of an imaging team at DSOC - we have had similar issues over there as well, but there we test everything very thoroughly. But things still break! 

 

I will "third" the idea of a remote observatory/imaging team section here on CN!

 

CS!



#17 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 11:34 PM

First I'm glad the the mods changed the name of the thread - thanks mods. Second, I think that those of us who image remotely have a lot of fairly unique knowledge about tricks and techniques. I've posted over on the DSW forum about getting a group together and that's that. If we can't get a new forum, I think my next move is to start up some threads over on the observatories thread. I'm in the process of getting my own observatory for my CEM120EC2 and that's what's got me interested in all this.

 

Dhaval I told you to get that Startech USB3 industrial grade hub almost a year ago. I have a spare one now since I got my CEM120EC2 and will sell it cheaply. So, there's the first piece of advice - make no changes to your system as part of moving it. My bestest moving experience was when I took my system out to SkyPi observatory. I had it up and running at my local site. I took everything down and had the scope serviced by the manfacturer. Then the whole system was taken out to SkyPi and it was working by midnight. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#18 Sixburg

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 11:47 PM

Should be a good group.

#19 choward94002

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 12:13 AM

First I'm glad the the mods changed the name of the thread - thanks mods. Second, I think that those of us who image remotely have a lot of fairly unique knowledge about tricks and techniques. I've posted over on the DSW forum about getting a group together and that's that. If we can't get a new forum, I think my next move is to start up some threads over on the observatories thread. I'm in the process of getting my own observatory for my CEM120EC2 and that's what's got me interested in all this.

 

This I can agree with wholeheartedly ... it's hard enough to image things with a scope that's set up at Mount Backyard, much harder to do it remotely at Mount Far Far Away where you can't fix things that go wrong very easily and your gear is totally at the mercy of the daytime elements as well as at night ... there are little tricks and tips people have learned (like surrounding your imaging gear at the back of the scope with an extra large 24" hairnet that has been spray waterproofed to keep bugs/ dirt/ water out of your focuser mechanism/ camera fan/ filter wheel/ small sensitive part that doesn't do well in dust, or putting a remote laptop/ computer inside of an extra large ziplock to keep it nice and warm on those cold nights it wants to otherwise lock up, or getting a UPS with an IP-connectable on/ off switch for your mount, or the dozens of other little tricks that you need to keep things that are running far away continue running night after night) ...

 

+1 for such a forum ... 


Edited by choward94002, 18 December 2018 - 12:22 AM.



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