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Decline of EAA

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#1 Alien Observatory

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 10:23 PM

I have noticed many EAA contributors have not posted in the last several months...Looks like the EAA Forum is dying due to NV...Just like in the Eye Piece Forum NV has and continues to deplete the Expertise Level to a few folks....Maybe time to either Kill It or move on to its own space... Pat Utah :)


 

#2 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 10:55 PM

That's to be expected. The best stuff is still too expensive for most folks.


 

#3 t_image

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 11:27 PM

I have noticed many EAA contributors have not posted in the last several months...Looks like the EAA Forum is dying due to NV...Just like in the Eye Piece Forum NV has and continues to deplete the Expertise Level to a few folks....Maybe time to either Kill It or move on to its own space... Pat Utah smile.gif

I guess you are submitting your thought as a hypothesis to be tested and replied to for verification?

Social media is a strange matter.

Have you done an analysis of particular contributors and seen if they are active on CN elsewhere?

Maybe some of them have their real lives occupying them recently or maybe they live in an area where clouds have turned them elsewhere.

 

I would imagine EAA would encompass a more diverse age demographic than some other CN related forums and thus the non-retired ones might have the dynamics of life keeping them busy elsewhere.

Additionally people's ordinary zeal for evangelization of their excitement for a particular will wane after a while.

EAA tech lends itself towards paradigm-shifting astro-obs experiences so is probably more inclined to create initial enthusiasts that will happen to increase traffic for a while then wane....

 

A survey of the discussion seems that innovation in CMOS camera tech and new camera testing has also slowed a bit,

and the word is spreading about the reasonableness of affordability (if one is spending $$$$ on scopes or mounts) NV isn't out of reach.......

NV is one of those paradigm-changing experiences so it stands to reason that if the latest cutting edge EAA tech is hitting a lull in development,

and the fact that NV doesn't depend on the latest cutting edge tech to bring excitement will necessarily step in to fill in the vacuum.....

 

It is also readily apparent to readers that this section of CN isn't always the most hospitable towards those who do things differently.....

Ironic that the initial thesis is a bit antagonistic towards those "different."

Maybe the non-inclusive sentiment among a community of what would otherwise be a very diverse range of tech and ways to do things doesn't lend towards the growth of this subsection of CN as far as forum participation.......


 

#4 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 11:55 PM

I have noticed many EAA contributors have not posted in the last several months...

 

It's called "winter".


 

#5 Stargazer3236

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 01:59 AM

Yeah, up here in New England, the weather gods are frowning on us because of the cold temps and wind chill factors. I am all in favor of getting out and imaging, but my limitations are 10's and 20's temps and any kind of wind is very debilitating especially when it comes to working on a laptop trying to stack your images.

 

When the temps eventually get back in the 30's and 40's, I will be out there stacking away and submitting my pics to Astro Video Image Gallery.


 

#6 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 02:03 AM

It's called "winter".

This....


 

#7 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 02:08 AM

I have noticed many EAA contributors have not posted in the last several months...Looks like the EAA Forum is dying due to NV...Just like in the Eye Piece Forum NV has and continues to deplete the Expertise Level to a few folks....Maybe time to either Kill It or move on to its own space... Pat Utah smile.gif

 

It will neither be killed or moved to its own space. NV is another way of doing EAA. Different, yet part of the overall EAA experience. 

 

And it's not NV which is the problem, but the weather. I personally had my last EAA session in late July, then went on vacation, came back and managed one observing session (visual) and weather and commitments have not permitted me to do EAA. I hope that in a month or so when weather clears again, to be up and running...

 

From my last session on July 20th, M11, 15 x 15 second screen grab, Gain 320, ASI294MCPro, UV/IR filter, 6" RC.

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  • M11 15x15G320.jpg

 

#8 elpajare

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 03:52 AM

There may be several factors that limit contributions to this subforum, weather is one. But this is an international forum and it is not winter all over the planet.

 

One of them could be that it is not allowed to improve the images obtained from the camera. There is a no man's land between astrophotography and the EAA, our photos can not compete in an astrophotography forum because we do not use their techniques (or at least in a pure EAA we should not) and in this site we are not allowed to improve them as much as possible before publishing them (why?). Participation is being curtailed.

 

I respect the decision of the owners of the Forum but may be limiting the participation of many fans in this subforum .... IMO


Edited by elpajare, 22 January 2019 - 03:53 AM.

 

#9 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:04 AM

Answer is simple: You can process all you want and then post in the imaging forums, because then it is not about visual through enhanced techniques, it is about imaging.

 

This is not a competition at all so why do you feel you have to compete with someone who only does imaging. Imagers do their thing, we do our thing. Both different!

 

After all, the stated purpose of the EAA forum is "Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) is the use of a digital image capturing device in lieu of an eyepiece at the telescope. Here members can talk about the equipment used, share their observing experiences, and post sketches and images captured with EAA devices."

 

Apples to oranges when comparing to imaging ;)


 

#10 Noah4x4

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:32 AM

I must confess my enthusiasm is waning, not for EAA, but for the format of this EAA forum that I agree with Pat (Utah) is losing its way. 

 

I have zero interest in capturing pictures in an AP (long exposure) manner. I simply want to 'live' observe using solutions that defeat light pollution. But frankly, I don't think we can dispute that only Visual or NV or perhaps fast frame web-cams can truly meet that criteria. What most of us are now doing is merely 'near live' observing using stacking with strictly no post processing. I rarely <save> my results.

 

The problem as I see it is that if you pursue the Horsehead one needs to stack many 20 second images even on Hyperstar. It then crosses deeply into the realm of AP as regards aggregate time elapsed. However, it is a different technical challenge and success is possible even on an Alt-Az with good tracking. But I invested a fortune in Visual and AP paraphernalia before I even discovered 'stacking'. I have boxes of redundant kit accumulated because of these forums and lack of clarity until the penny dropped. 

 

The result is this Forum has become a mush of threads embracing the full gamut of NV, AP and EAA challenges which must be confusing for the newbie, yet it's the Forum where some of the most innovative and constructive posts appear. Repeatedly, we get requests for more simplicity, but equally often we get challenging questions about the most technical of issues of relevance to either AP or EAA. It needs a rethink. This was brought home to me when I recently visited the 'Post a pic of your EAA set up' thread. The distance travelled since 2007 is remarkable.

 

My suggestion is the EAA Forum should be renamed 'Short Exposure AP and EAA' (including stacking - strictly no post processing).

The Astrophotography Forum be renamed 'Single frame Long Exposure AP (no stacking).

NV should have its own Forum.

 

I think this would better highlight the differences between contemporary techniques and assist the newbie.


Edited by Noah4x4, 22 January 2019 - 04:40 AM.

 

#11 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:52 AM

1. We ain't supposed to be doing AP so no post processing. Views must be what we see on our computer screens. Post processing, is NOT what we see on the screen. Where does " Short Exposure AP" fit with this in the title?

 

2. Re NV crowd: They are also "using a digital image capturing device in lieu of an eyepiece at the telescope. Here members can talk about the equipment used, share their observing experiences, and post sketches and images captured with EAA devices". So, they definitely fit in EAA.

 

3. Astophotography forum is not "'Single frame Long Exposure AP (no stacking)". That would be a big mistake for a proposed name for AP forum. They definitely stack to get the final product.

 

What is confusing about this for new people in EAA? You can do EAA with Alt/Az mounts subject to some limitations, you can use EQ mounts, you need a decent camera, best option is SharpCap, you do not need a guide cam, you can use additional resources like ASPS and CDC if you want to platesolve / goto without using a controller and have at it. Like any venture which includes various technologies, yes, some reading is required. 


 

#12 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:54 AM

BTW, to clarify. I am not posting in this thread in my capacity as Admin, but purely as a practicing EAA member.

 

But I am taking note of the discussion as there was a similar looooong discussion about what to do with EAA last year. I am always interested and open to hear feedback and if something warrants action AND is feasible with resources we have (remember, we are all volunteers here), I am not just going to ignore it...


 

#13 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:03 AM

And some more feedback. I got into EAA because light pollution on my little island is on the increase. Significantly. So, I needed to find a way to punch through it. Enter EAA.

 

Open this in your browser and on top right side, go through all VIIRS images of light pollution, oh, 2015 to 2018 should do it. LEDs are killing the night sky. While this is not a discussion about light pollution, I bring to the table my experience and the reason I decided that I need to try EAA, learn EAA and practice EAA alongside visual astronomy.

 

EAA will not die. EAA in all its forms, with cameras and NV will provide a means of being able to see faint objects when visually there are handicaps. So, I expect EAA to flourish in the future!

 

Side note, as soon as I sort out some other gear AND get over the sticker shock, I plan to add NV to the mix.


 

#14 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:16 AM

Some related topics which have bearing on this discussion:

 

Why only 5 minutes maximum integration?

 

Why does Night Vision not have its own forum?

 

*** Important Announcement ***

 

Some of the issues raised in this thread, are covered in detail in the above 3 topics.


 

#15 ccs_hello

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:04 AM

Non-scientific / non-fact based guessing...

 

I think there are a few that are not so comfortable of using computers and also not so easy to describe a processing step if

it is software based -- on a specific software application's GUI.

Perhaps there is a need for a hitchhiker's guide to map the common concept (of adjusting exposure, brightness, gain, acquisition/frame update rate)

to a specific software's GUI settings.  Currently, it's more like talking 5 different (written/spoken) languages in a forum discussing the same thing.

 

I don't know, may be talking about a slider on a computer screen is less fun when compare with talking about turning physical knobs. 

 

My 2 cents...

It is unavoidable, progress is pushing for not-so-tunable CMOS image sensor/SoC (the USB based imaging head) and highly flexible PC or ARM mini-PC software for continuous image processing.

 

Another 2 cents...

NV tube based, mirrorless such as A7s based, dual-purpose/dual-use CMOS imager based, traditional analog improvised security cameras, etc.

all help elevate the EAA branch to a well-recognized status.  We'll have to congratulate our success and at the same time embrace the diversity.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello 


 

#16 Noah4x4

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:06 AM

And some more feedback. I got into EAA because light pollution on my little island is on the increase. Significantly. So, I needed to find a way to punch through it. Enter EAA.

 

Open this in your browser and on top right side, go through all VIIRS images of light pollution, oh, 2015 to 2018 should do it. LEDs are killing the night sky. While this is not a discussion about light pollution, I bring to the table my experience and the reason I decided that I need to try EAA, learn EAA and practice EAA alongside visual astronomy.

 

EAA will not die. EAA in all its forms, with cameras and NV will provide a means of being able to see faint objects when visually there are handicaps. So, I expect EAA to flourish in the future!

 

Side note, as soon as I sort out some other gear AND get over the sticker shock, I plan to add NV to the mix.

Exactly my path too Nick as I entered EAA frustrated with light pollution and 'faint fuzzies' even at dark sky sites. As I said earlier, I never post-process anything and rarely <save> "images". My focus is upon what I see on screen.

 

However, the fact is that to see 'near live' a decent on screen view of (say) the Horsehead that might take a few minutes of 30 second stacking depending on seeing conditions albeit that a vague shape might appear after very few stacks. This is where confusion lies as once that on screen image has formed, it will also offer a decent AP image if <saved>. I would never post such an image in Cloudy Nights as I think that length of stacking is too excessive to call it "EAA" and the "imagers" that get in this Forum will unjustly criticise its composition, when my intent was simply to suggest what I saw on screen, and in no way was I attempting to become Astrophotographer of the year. But where do we draw a line? I don't disagree your responses, but many of us do feel that the EAA Forum is starting to stray too far from its intended purpose because of the contributions of people that are confusing EAA with AP. Frankly, I don't know what the solution is as a mere restriction on the images posted isn't working. It seems obvious to me that today, most people want to view stuff on screen and additionally <save> images.


 

#17 CharlesC

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:08 AM

I have noticed many EAA contributors have not posted in the last several months...Looks like the EAA Forum is dying due to NV...Just like in the Eye Piece Forum NV has and continues to deplete the Expertise Level to a few folks....Maybe time to either Kill It or move on to its own space... Pat Utah smile.gif

 

The new highly restrictive rules for pics may have something to do with it.  I stopped posting.


Edited by CharlesC, 22 January 2019 - 08:10 AM.

 

#18 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:11 AM

Noah,

 

It is still EAA to me. I don't have the 25 minute stack of the below, as I didn't take a screenshot, but I left the computer stacking for a full 25 minutes and reverted every 5 minutes exploring the additional detail. Still observing (electronically assisted) to me.

 

 

M31, 32 images, 15 sec each, total integration time 480 seconds, Gain 320, RC 6", ASI294MCPro, UV/IR filter

 

EDIT: THIS IS NOT A 25 minute stack as some people think. It is clearly labelled as 32 images of 15 sec each!

Attached Thumbnails

  • M31 32x15G320.jpg

 

#19 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:13 AM

The new highly restrictive rules for pics may have something to do with it.  I stopped posting.

 

We are not here to "beautify" our images. There's the AP forum for that where people spend hours and hours perfecting their results. Our images should convey to other members what we saw at a precise moment in time on our monitors.

 

I wish you would post. I wish all would post. Is anybody going to post a negative comment? I think not. The beauty is in capturing what we see at that moment and sharing it! Not in the "massaging" of data to the point of bruising the data on occasion. Let the imagers do that, and I do enjoy seeing the results of their craft in their forum!


 

#20 nic35

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:38 AM

The fact that this thread got almost 250 hits in a short time suggests many look, few post ?  So, no decline, people just got mute.

 

I think the winter is an issue for many and I suspect our membership is slanted towards mid northern latitudes in Europe and North America. At least in my area of New England, the weather has been very poor.  Even on clear night the transparency is very bad. 

 

Some of the most active threads revolve around new gear and  there's been a dearth of  attractive new gear, particularly inexpensive gear.  We all suffer from techno-lust, and are limited only by our budgets. 3 and 4 years ago things blossomed (from my view) with Revolution Imager cameras, inexpensive 1/3rd sensors cameras, etc.  The most recent hot new packages are now one to two years "old", and are in the $1,000 to $1,500 range; budget busters for many.

 

One of the most viewed and talked about post in the past year is for the cheap IP/CCTV lenses for the XXX224 cameras.  

 

There continues to be a stream of noob questions, which I think is a good thing.  I also wonder how many have questions, but simply don't post because they are afraid to look dumb, or they simply are shy about posting (long time lurker/first time poster).

 

I believe that a pinned topic either with hints about starting, or containing links to informative posts would go a long way to answering many noob questions, but there seems to be some reluctance on the parts of the moderators to adopt such an approach. If we are somehow limited in the number of pinned posts, i'd suggest dropping the live broadcast announcement one - it is rarely used, and could easily be eliminated and replaced by a link to NSN.  

 

john


 

#21 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:44 AM

A pinned thread is not something frowned upon. It exists in other forums as well. There is a "Best of" for example in Beginners and fore example one with software links in Astronomy Software & Computers.

 

Please take this up with the moderating team. Ideally after y'all discuss it, specific links to topics which are worth being considered as "best of" can be added to a pinned topic. But these tend to die out as members do not contribute to constant updating by alerting the mods to consider specific topics. Look at the one in Refractors - last updated in 2010.

 

Careful what you wish for, especially in a field like EAA where things change constantly with the evolution of technology ;)


 

#22 elpajare

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:46 AM

In my view, Nick, you have taken an extreme position.

NEITHER need to process with Pixinsight or similars Nor should we renounce to correct the normal parameters in any photograph (contrast, histogram, color saturation, etc ...) with a specific external program that does it MUCH BETTER than the complicated systems that include the programs of capture.
Some time ago, in this forum, a colleague who is no longer contributing argued that simple corrections of these parameters did not invalidate the image as EAA. Whether with the image capture program, or with a more appropriate external program.


 

#23 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:49 AM

I respect your opinion, but in the case of manipulation, it is not what you see on the screen then, is it? It is beyond what you do in the field, correct? You go home and edit, or you stop observing in the field and tweak the images by editing them.

 

So, if one wishes to manipulate the results that appear live on the monitor, that makes it image processing, the realm of astrophotography. One can spend years debating parameters and set arbitrary limits as to how much correction means it is EAA or not. I disagree. Manipulation of data as it appears on the monitor Vs untouched raw data from the monitor.


 

#24 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:51 AM

In the end, at least for me, it comes down to: If I manipulate the data AFTER it was taken (and not as part of the stacking process during a live observing session where I am observing at that moment on my monitor), it is not EAA.


 

#25 alphatripleplus

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:52 AM

I can't speak for anyone else here, but I am less active than I used to be here. I still read a lot of what is posted here, but here are some of the reasons that I am not around as much:

 

1) I'm lazy about going out in cold weather unless I have some new equipment, I really, really want to try out. (I'm also a cheapo and haven't upgraded my equipment in some time).

 

2) From my backyard, I can see about 20% of the sky because of trees that obscure a huge amount overhead. I'm too lazy to trek out to a different location with more open sky too. As a result, I have exhausted nearly all the good narrowband  (i.e.H-alpha) targets  that I can see with my small scopes - and under my whitezone LP, I usually stick to narrowband nowadays. If I got my C8 back on a larger mount, I would go back to looking at broadband targets like galaxies, but I know from experience that I'm pretty limited on the galaxy front with low surface intensity targets under my LP. It is doable, but not my first choice, and the C8 is better for that than my smaller scopes, based on my own comparisons. So when I upgrade the mount and/or move, I'll be hitting more galaxies with the C8.

 

3) I posted much more when I was actively trying out new equipment and first got my cameras, because a) I had lots of questions, and b) I thought that it might possibly be of interest here to some people if they wanted to try out my stuff. So I started threads on my first experiences with an ASI224 and Sharpcap, then threads on moving to mono with my Lodestar X2 using Starlight Live and narrowband, and stacking twin f/6.3 reducers etc., etc. To be honest I don't have much in the "new" department for me to report about.

 

4) A lot of members have moved onto higher resolution low read noise cameras, while I moved "backwards" to  a CCD guider like the Lodestar X2 which I sense is probably not the first choice in cameras for people doing EAA  nowadays. That is fine with me, but as I'm a bit out of the mainstream here I think a lot of readers may be more interested in hearing about the newer tech so I feel comfortable with only occasional posts of what I do.


 


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