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My "Progress" So Far

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#1 Jireh

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 09:15 AM

I'm very new to deep-sky astrophotography so I have been patiently waiting for opportunities to practice and just get a system down. I'm using a SkyWatcher Esprit 100, SkyWatcher EQ6R Pro, Canon 5dm3 and PoleMaster. Software-wise I am using BYE, Astrotortilla and CdC. So last night, even though there was way too much moonlight so nothing to really show for my efforts, I went out just to see if I could get all of the parts working together. I've been out a few times so I'm comfortable with polar aligning using PoleMaster (great tool!). But last night was the first time I was able to get everything communicating, used CdC to slew to my target and then (finally) successfully use Astrotortilla to plate solve for alignment.

 

Again, too much moonlight, but I imaged for about 2 hours until my target (flame/horsehead) dipped behind some trees. I did a series of 15", 30", 60", 90" and 120" exposures, really just to check my unguided tracking. Nearly all of the 15", 30" and 60" looked good. About 2/3's of the 90" were good. None of the 120" were acceptable. A little disappointed with that. Tomorrow my ZWO ASI290MM Mini and Orion 50mm mini Guide Scope will arrive so hopefully I will get a chance to practice another time or two during the next week and be ready to capture something worthwhile once the moon gets out of the way.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 


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#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:29 AM

You did fine for unguided.

 

Star clusters are a better idea in moonlight.  The Beehive would be an excellent target to learn on.


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#3 Stelios

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:46 AM

You should not be disappointed. You are making excellent methodical progress. Most of the people who post saying they do great while unguided for 2-3 minutes are whistling in the dark, trying to persuade themselves they don't need to deal with the imagined complexity of guiding. (In reality it's the biggest piece of cake one can find in this hobby).

 

Even at 60", close inspection will generally show eccentricity in the stars in *some* of the images. That's because of the periodic error shape. When it flattens, you get perfect-looking images, but when it goes up and down you don't. 


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#4 nimitz69

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:51 AM

Was going to recommend M3 which is what I’m be focusing on ... its also a reasonable distance away from the moon which helps.

Since you have the. EQ6-R pro you should look into using EQMOD which among other things would allow you to eliminate your hand controller .... mine never comes out expect when using the scoop for visual at an outreach event ...
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#5 Jireh

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:55 AM

You did fine for unguided.

 

Star clusters are a better idea in moonlight.  The Beehive would be an excellent target to learn on.

Thanks, Bob. Tomorrow's forecast looks pretty good - I think I'll give it a shot!



#6 OldManSky

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:55 AM

I like your approach. Careful and thoughtful, taking it step by step.

I think that bodes well for future success


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#7 nimitz69

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:55 AM

You should not be disappointed. You are making excellent methodical progress. Most of the people who post saying they do great while unguided for 2-3 minutes are whistling in the dark, trying to persuade themselves they don't need to deal with the imagined complexity of guiding. (In reality it's the biggest piece of cake one can find in this hobby).
 
Even at 60", close inspection will generally show eccentricity in the stars in *some* of the images. That's because of the periodic error shape. When it flattens, you get perfect-looking images, but when it goes up and down you don't.


I find that many who post and make statements like “ ... I’m doing just fine doing ...” while tying to explain why you don’t need to do something, typically never post any images of their work .... smile.gif
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#8 Jireh

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 11:04 AM

You should not be disappointed. You are making excellent methodical progress. Most of the people who post saying they do great while unguided for 2-3 minutes are whistling in the dark, trying to persuade themselves they don't need to deal with the imagined complexity of guiding. (In reality it's the biggest piece of cake one can find in this hobby).

 

Even at 60", close inspection will generally show eccentricity in the stars in *some* of the images. That's because of the periodic error shape. When it flattens, you get perfect-looking images, but when it goes up and down you don't. 

 

Thanks, Stelios - I appreciate the encouragement! Yes, I've had people tell me I should be getting 3, 4 and 5 minute unguided subs with the EQ6R Pro so I was a little discouraged. If my guide package arrives in time tomorrow I hope to take another step forward tomorrow night.

 

 

Was going to recommend M3 which is what I’m be focusing on ... its also a reasonable distance away from the moon which helps.

Since you have the. EQ6-R pro you should look into using EQMOD which among other things would allow you to eliminate your hand controller .... mine never comes out expect when using the scoop for visual at an outreach event ...

 

Thanks _ may take a look at M3. I hadn't really been focusing on star clusters so it's nice to know there is something to shoot for during this moon phase. Yes, I'm using EQMOD with CdC, BYE and Astrotortilla with no hand controller. It took a while to get everything communicating but it's working pretty well now.



#9 Jireh

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 11:08 AM

I like your approach. Careful and thoughtful, taking it step by step.

I think that bodes well for future success

Thank you - I appreciate that! I tell my wife if I can just take a step forward most nights I go out to image then I am happy.



#10 Jireh

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 06:36 AM

My guidescope and camera arrived yesterday so I was able to attempt adding guiding last night. After a few failures trying to get PHD2 to work (star did not move enough) I was finally able to get it to guide.

I also received my Bahtinov mask so focusing was a breeze.

A little more progress while waiting for the moon to cooperate.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
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