Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Time to try EAA due to light pollution

  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 MrRoberts

MrRoberts

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 389
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Barrington, Illinois

Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:31 PM

I am most likely going to sell my 15" DOB. My C-8/E in Tucson (stored at parents house) can see things better than my DOB here. It's just wasted where I live NW of Chicago with the pollution getting worse each year, and I can't load and go anywhere with it (age/body pains/etc.). CN members say I should look into EAA as a good way to overcome this problem. I had been pondering this change of visual observing for a short while now. So I hope you folks can bare with me as I try too figure this EAA out. 

I am thinking of using a WO's GT102 on an Ioptron IEQ30 mount along with ZWO's ASI224MC. But I may have this all wrong.

I already have Sharp Cap Pro, and see it has "live view". I suspect that is what I am going to have to learn how to use.

 



#2 Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

    Lagopus lagopus

  • *****
  • Posts: 4664
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2004
  • Loc: Arctic

Posted 05 May 2019 - 01:05 PM

I use an IMX385, which is Altair GPCAM. The sensor is similar to IMX224. An IMX224 is a good start for EAA. I started with Revolution Imager R2 and it opened me to EAA and never turned back.

 

As for telescope, WO GT102 is good with an IEQ30. Many use a telescope of that kind for EAA.

 

I use Celestron C925 on CGEMII mount and I like it.

 

With EAA you can see many faint object in light polluted skies.

 

You are on the right track to EAA.



#3 Rickster

Rickster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2008
  • Loc: NC Kansas Bortle 3 SQM 21.8+

Posted 05 May 2019 - 04:40 PM

Considering your experience level, and your choices of scope and mount ($3000+), your economy camera choice is a mismatch.   Not saying it wont work.  The 224 is a fine, and popular little camera.  But I would spend the money to get a camera that would provide a wider FOV.   A 183 would be a better choice for that scope/mount.

 

You can check out the impact of camera choice on field of view here.  http://astronomy.too.../field_of_view/



#4 Stargazer3236

Stargazer3236

    Soyuz

  • ***--
  • Posts: 3758
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Waltham, MA

Posted 05 May 2019 - 05:21 PM

Yes, I concur with Rickster. However,  I would go for the 294MC camera. It is now $100 cheaper since I bought it last August. It has a 4/3" sensor chip and 11.3mp. It has binning option from 1x1 to 4x4. You can also play around with the ROI to mimic other cameras, such as the 224MC, if you encounter vignetting issues with SCT's and larger refractors. It has a Full Well of 63.7K which means stars won't bloat that much such as the 224MC camera with only 19.2K Full Well. It also has a low read noise from 300 gain and up. But the 224MC has the lowest read noise at 0.7, however, you pay for that with the smaller sensor chip and smaller FOV.

 

I like to have a set of cameras for each purpose. I use the 290MM when imaging the planets and also smaller ROI when imaging galaxies and planetary nebula. I use a Celestron Neximage 5 camera mainly for planetary image capture. It has a small 5mp sensor chip. I might possibly get the 1600MM camera with a 4/3" sensor chip gathering of large emission nebula in Ha.

 

There are infinite choices out there. You should pair up your camera choice with your refractor choice. If you buy the WO GT102, you can pair that up with the cheaper CEM25 mount, which will handle the GT102 very well and save you some cash. I use its predecessor, the ZEQ25 mount, and it is an awesome mount. Polar alignment is possibly the best out of all the EQ mounts I have ever owned. It can handle 27 lbs of payload and for astro imaging purposes, it handles 13.5 - 18 lbs without flinching. I have had my Nexstar C8 ota on it piggybacked with my AT60ED APO refractor and with imaging equipment, topped out at nearly 20 lbs and it chewed the weight up and spit it out with out flinching. A very solid mount and light weight.

 

Try comparing cameras. My choice is the 294MC at $699, uncooled. Cooling is only intended for long exposure astrophotography and is pretty useless when doing short sub exposure EAA stacking. The extra weight and power requirements are a hassle. The camera will work just as well as the cooled version for just short exposure EAA!


  • MrRoberts likes this

#5 MrRoberts

MrRoberts

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 389
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Barrington, Illinois

Posted 05 May 2019 - 05:57 PM

I was originally thinking of the 294MC but someone was trying to talk me out of it. Cost (to some degree) is not the problem here. Heck I am probably going to have to spend $2,000+ for a bigger laptop or???. My Surface Pro 3 works with SC but more screen area might be nice or buy a separate monitor (and power it??)



#6 Stargazer3236

Stargazer3236

    Soyuz

  • ***--
  • Posts: 3758
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Waltham, MA

Posted 05 May 2019 - 06:23 PM

Try going to eBay and look up RedTagComputers or go to Walmart.com and look for refurbed business laptops. Basically you are buying an off-lease business laptop that has been refurbed by a certified refurb manufacturer. It gets a licensed copy of whatever O/S you are looking for, Genuine Microsoft or Linux O/S. It can have from 4gb to 8gb of RAM and generally uses an i5 or i7 CPU with up to 3 Ghz of speed. You can get your option of a standard HDD or get an SSD (but it might cost you more). The recently made off lease laptops generally have at least one USB 3.0 port and sometimes two and maybe up to 4. The screen sizes generally are up to 15.6". The prices range from $220 up to $300 and offer money back guarantees.

 

I bought an off lease Dell Inspiron from Walmart about two years ago for $184 and it came with 8gb already installed and a 320gb hard drive. I have since replaced the HDD with a 256gb SSD and it runs like a champ. I had to install my own Smart Card USB 3.0 ports because the computer did not come with any.

 

But the computers offered nowadays come with at least one USB 3.0 port. You can buy a separate monitor, but remember the power options available to power your monitor and the extra gear you need to carry when transporting the equipment to a dark sky site.

 

My current laptop is a Toshiba Satellite from 2014. I have upgraded the hard drive to a 500Gb SSD, moved the 500HDD to secondary storage by taking out the DVD drive and upgraded the memory from 4Gb to 8Gb. I just replaced the battery and it gives me up to 6 hours run time based on the outside temps. The older battery started giving me problems last Winter when it would fail after 30 minutes in the cold air, in which I had to plug it into my car 12vdc port to keep it running. It would say Fully Charged, but the charge dropped in the cold air.


Edited by Stargazer3236, 05 May 2019 - 06:23 PM.


#7 Stargazer3236

Stargazer3236

    Soyuz

  • ***--
  • Posts: 3758
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Waltham, MA

Posted 05 May 2019 - 06:26 PM

The 294MC is the best camera going. A lot of CNers are using it and gives very satisfying results. I don't know why someone would talk you out of it, it is a very good camera and it offers a wide range of software options in SharpCap3.2.



#8 Rickster

Rickster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2008
  • Loc: NC Kansas Bortle 3 SQM 21.8+

Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:56 PM

I agree that the 294 is an excellent camera.  And normally, it would be my first recommendation.  I recommended the 183 instead of the 294 because the GT102 has a relatively short focal length of 704mm @ f6.9.  I assume that you may want to use a focal reducer which may drop the focal length as low as 350mm.  With a focal length 350mm to 700mm, the 294 yields 1.35 to 2.7 arc seconds per pixel, which I don't think does justice to the APO.  The 183 has smaller pixels, yielding 0.7 to 1.4 arc sec/px.  I like to stay under 1 arcsec/px.  The 183 gives up some FOV to the 294, but not too much, considering your focal length.  And it is a little lower priced (since you originally selected the 224).  Either way, 183 or 294, it is kind of a toss up, depending what is most important to you.

 

FWIW  The 224 yields 1.1 to 2.2 arcsec/px.

 

Edit to add.  Also, keep in mind that a color camera requires a 2x2 matrix of red, green and blue pixels to create the equivalent of one full color pixel.  The arcsec/px values provided above were calculated by the astronomy tools website.  I haven't double checked their calculation, but I suspect that to be technically accurate, their values should be multiplied by 2.


Edited by Rickster, 06 May 2019 - 02:31 AM.

  • f6uhbgf likes this

#9 Rickster

Rickster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2008
  • Loc: NC Kansas Bortle 3 SQM 21.8+

Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:09 PM

Regarding the laptop.  I would save some money as David suggested.  Sharpcap is very efficient.  And, I am willing to bet that after the first winter outside with a laptop in Chicago, you will be looking for a way to stay warmer.  That will likely mean a complete change of computer hardware so that you can observe via a big screen inside your warm toasty home while sitting in a comfy chair.



#10 Mazerski

Mazerski

    Mariner 2

  • ****-
  • Posts: 202
  • Joined: 13 Nov 2013

Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:16 PM

MrR == have you considered keeping the 15" and picking up a night vision device? Maybe you have read some of the posts in this forum section - it will visually open a whole new universe (even in light polluted city glow); unless you are heading into AP.


  • Vondragonnoggin and MrRoberts like this

#11 MrRoberts

MrRoberts

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 389
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Barrington, Illinois

Posted 06 May 2019 - 07:28 AM

I recently saw an advertisement for a company called Night Vision Astronomy that had a google like device that I suspect just slips into the focuser (no ep's I guess). Looked very interesting. I would consider adding something like that to the dob.



#12 MrRoberts

MrRoberts

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 389
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Barrington, Illinois

Posted 06 May 2019 - 07:33 AM

Or any scope



#13 nic35

nic35

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 866
  • Joined: 08 Sep 2007

Posted 06 May 2019 - 09:01 AM

A couple of thoughts -

 

 

You might consider getting a hyperstar for your C8 and use that as an imaging OTA.  This turns it into an f/2 system, and will greatly reduce the time it takes to acquire a decent signal, especially through a light pollution filter.  Plus, the extra aperture is always a bonus.  And, the C8 can serve well for planetary work.

 

You may want to look at  the field of view of various combinations of scopes and cameras.  Here's a good site for making comparisons - http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fovcalc.php.  You'll also get the arc seconds per pixel calculation for each combination.

 

Your's is a familiar journey - light pollution ( as well as age, eyesight, cold tolerance ) beats aperture. EAA is a solution for many, many issues!

 

good luck

 

john


  • octobass likes this

#14 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 06 May 2019 - 09:54 AM

I recently saw an advertisement for a company called Night Vision Astronomy that had a google like device that I suspect just slips into the focuser (no ep's I guess). Looked very interesting. I would consider adding something like that to the dob.

We (members here using Night Vision) do this frequently with a pvs-7 goggle

 

This buyer’s guide is a good place to start - http://pwang.io/hobb.../nvbuyersguide/

 

 

Has all parts you’ll need and some filter recommendations. You’ll get amazing views from the dob or your refractor.

 

More extensive list of resources in the “Best of NV” sticky. You can buy new or used. Basically looks a little like this to put in any telescope (mine is older model and varies slightly from newer body. I also have an additional focal reducer screwed on the nosepiece here which is why it is a long looking nosepiece)

 

D9056572-B8D6-4CD2-AE6C-A074D11226BB_zps

 

It it looks like this in my 120ST:

 

6CEA225F-0714-4A95-B6BF-C431050AF20B_zps



#15 Rickster

Rickster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2008
  • Loc: NC Kansas Bortle 3 SQM 21.8+

Posted 06 May 2019 - 11:04 AM

Now that they have broken the ice to NV, I will throw the following in.  I used a PVS-7 with my 16" dob before going crazy and mounting it on a GEM for camera based EAA.  A PVS-7 would make that big dob everything you might have dreamed of when you first bought it.  It is a completely different experience than using a camera because it is real time and immersive.  You get the feeling that you can reach out and touch the object that you are looking at.  It is a near religious experience.  It is stunning.  On the other hand, camera based EAA is more of a technical experience, which is why I (an engineer) gravitated away from NV to cameras.  But you can be sure that my PVS-7 is the last astro tool that I would sell.  I think it would be worth finding someone in your area that could let you try out NV before deciding which way to go.


Edited by Rickster, 06 May 2019 - 11:06 AM.

  • Vondragonnoggin likes this

#16 Mazerski

Mazerski

    Mariner 2

  • ****-
  • Posts: 202
  • Joined: 13 Nov 2013

Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:26 PM

MrR,

 

here is a CN thread and while it is now 3 pages, on the first page, Post #10, I added photos of devices, filters, adapters for hand held use or use in a scope focuser.

 

https://www.cloudyni...uture-nv-setup/

 

You can also search this forum on iPhonetography and wow, some of the few second exposure photos are outstanding. 

The eye can see almost as much. 

 

You can also also do a google search on  jdb Astro — both photos and videos. 



#17 MrRoberts

MrRoberts

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 389
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Barrington, Illinois

Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:50 AM

I want to thank you all. The information on NV equipment is really intriguing. Although I am going to have to sell the big dob regardless due other circumstances, I still plan on getting the WO GT102 with the IEQ30. I am thankful also that I have the resources to afford the ASI183MC and should I decide even the MOD 3 white/filmless.

I will continue to read here almost daily

Thank you all again bow.gif 


  • Vondragonnoggin likes this

#18 descott12

descott12

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1067
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC

Posted 09 May 2019 - 08:06 AM

I agree that the 294 is an excellent camera.  And normally, it would be my first recommendation.  I recommended the 183 instead of the 294 because the GT102 has a relatively short focal length of 704mm @ f6.9.  I assume that you may want to use a focal reducer which may drop the focal length as low as 350mm.  With a focal length 350mm to 700mm, the 294 yields 1.35 to 2.7 arc seconds per pixel, which I don't think does justice to the APO.  The 183 has smaller pixels, yielding 0.7 to 1.4 arc sec/px.  I like to stay under 1 arcsec/px.  The 183 gives up some FOV to the 294, but not too much, considering your focal length.  And it is a little lower priced (since you originally selected the 224).  Either way, 183 or 294, it is kind of a toss up, depending what is most important to you.

 

FWIW  The 224 yields 1.1 to 2.2 arcsec/px.

 

 

I recently discovered this very issue. The 294 is my "go to" camera and it works great for 90% of what I view in EAA such as larger, diffuse objects. But the 2+ um image scale doesn't allow you to see some fine details and I now use my 178 mono (image scale about 1.1 um)  to see things like the M87 jet and also the fine structure in some of the smaller spirals. At the end of the day, there is no perfect camera for everything but the 294 certainly is a great all-around performer and I would definitely not talk anybody out of it.


  • Rickster likes this

#19 DSO_Viewer

DSO_Viewer

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 880
  • Joined: 03 Jan 2016

Posted 09 May 2019 - 11:29 AM

I recently discovered this very issue. The 294 is my "go to" camera and it works great for 90% of what I view in EAA such as larger, diffuse objects. But the 2+ um image scale doesn't allow you to see some fine details and I now use my 178 mono (image scale about 1.1 um)  to see things like the M87 jet and also the fine structure in some of the smaller spirals. At the end of the day, there is no perfect camera for everything but the 294 certainly is a great all-around performer and I would definitely not talk anybody out of it.

The ASI294 can capture anything and it really comes down to selecting the right scope or more importantly focal length for that particular object. If you really wanted to see the jet in M87 then you would have needed to select a longer focal length.

 

Steve



#20 descott12

descott12

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1067
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC

Posted 09 May 2019 - 12:02 PM

The ASI294 can capture anything and it really comes down to selecting the right scope or more importantly focal length for that particular object. If you really wanted to see the jet in M87 then you would have needed to select a longer focal length.

 

Steve

Clearly that is true, but it is easier to switch in a $300 camera with smaller pixels than it is to buy a new a scope for $1000+.


  • donstim likes this

#21 Rickster

Rickster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2008
  • Loc: NC Kansas Bortle 3 SQM 21.8+

Posted 10 May 2019 - 03:10 PM

Dave, I thought your M87 post was a great one.  Not everyone has the heart to share their real life experiences as they learn.



#22 descott12

descott12

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1067
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC

Posted 10 May 2019 - 03:45 PM

Dave, I thought your M87 post was a great one.  Not everyone has the heart to share their real life experiences as they learn.

This hobby is so interesting but the amount of knowledge required is massive. I just hope my comments help somebody else. I started with this stuff less than  year ago and there are so many different things involved. I have come a very long way and CN has been a HUGE help to me so I am just trying to give back.  Your posts are also very helpful so thank you for contributing.

EDIT: horrible grammar! Sorry, typing on iPhone is like getting a root canal!


Edited by descott12, 10 May 2019 - 07:44 PM.

  • Rickster and saguaro like this

#23 Stargazer3236

Stargazer3236

    Soyuz

  • ***--
  • Posts: 3758
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Waltham, MA

Posted 10 May 2019 - 05:11 PM

I have the fortunate knowledge to know what everything is in the sky, where it is and how to reach it. I am also very knowledgeable in equipment too. This stems from my 50 years in astronomy since I was 9 years old. The only place I am deficient is my lack of massive amounts of money. The things I could do with $10000! I have also learned a lot in the last 4 years, since I started out with planetary imaging and then on to EAA. I learned all about imaging by reading the forums under EAA topics, as well as CCD/CMOS imaging forum and Beginning and intermediate imaging forums too.  Now I am mentoring a couple of friends in my local area on how to take images with their equipment and telescopes. I got all my practice and equipment over the last 4 years, so I am somewhat comfortable doing what I can to enjoy this part of the hobby, but one of my friends only started last August and he is trying to play catch up and he finds it very frustrating. So, it is best to start slow and easy because the learning curve is quite steep.



#24 GaryShaw

GaryShaw

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 303
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2017
  • Loc: Boston

Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:28 PM

Now that they have broken the ice to NV, I will throw the following in.  I used a PVS-7 with my 16" dob before going crazy and mounting it on a GEM for camera based EAA.  A PVS-7 would make that big dob everything you might have dreamed of when you first bought it.  It is a completely different experience than using a camera because it is real time and immersive.  You get the feeling that you can reach out and touch the object that you are looking at.  It is a near religious experience.  It is stunning.  On the other hand, camera based EAA is more of a technical experience, which is why I (an engineer) gravitated away from NV to cameras.  But you can be sure that my PVS-7 is the last astro tool that I would sell.  I think it would be worth finding someone in your area that could let you try out NV before deciding which way to go.

Rick

I hear what you’re saying about nv-especially the ‘near religious part’. Reading your comment is the closest I’ve come to being interested in trying it. None the less, there’s something about this tool that really creeps me out and I just can’t get past it. I need to find someone nearby that uses this tool so I can experience it for myself. Thanks for your comments.

Gary


  • Rickster likes this

#25 Rickster

Rickster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2008
  • Loc: NC Kansas Bortle 3 SQM 21.8+

Posted 10 May 2019 - 10:10 PM

Gary,  Thanks for your comment.  I hope you do get to try NV sometime.  Most people are mesmerized by it, but I have had a couple that seemed turned off for some reason.  Your comment about being creeped out brings a funny experience to mind.  So, I was showing the 16" dob/PVS-7 to a friend, his wife and daughters.  I first showed them a couple of nebula.  Ho Hum. Green clouds in the sky.  Then came the Hercules cluster (which fills the eyepiece with a starburst).  Ok, they thought that was pretty.  Then the Andromeda Galaxy (which more than fills the eyepiece, as if you are actually in the galaxy).  The twenty something daughter looked into the PVS-7 intensely for a few moments, shuddered, turned and walked a couple of steps away.  She had a disturbed look on her face.  I said, everything OK?  She says, yeah, I just never realized they were so close (The Andromedans I guess).  You can imagine how hard it was for me not to burst out laughing as I thought to myself.  I got you!.


Edited by Rickster, 11 May 2019 - 12:00 AM.

  • GaryShaw likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics