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Time to try EAA due to light pollution

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35 replies to this topic

#26 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 11:20 PM

there’s something about this tool that really creeps me out and I just can’t get past it.

Can you elaborate on this? Creeps you out how?

 

Just trying to understand the mentality here.

 

I can’t, for the life of me, find anything creepy about Night Vision Astronomy.

 

Maybe if someone explains their reservations on using a tool like this to see more, members here using this tool could explain usage to alleviate any creepy feelings about it.



#27 t_image

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 08:33 AM

Can you elaborate on this? Creeps you out how?

 

Just trying to understand the mentality here.

 

I can’t, for the life of me, find anything creepy about Night Vision Astronomy.

 

Maybe if someone explains their reservations on using a tool like this to see more, members here using this tool could explain usage to alleviate any creepy feelings about it.

So I'm going to guess and maybe be told I'm way off but then maybe you'll get your answer.....

  • I could see an individual having particular experiences that has shaped their associating it with its original uses/still current uses by warfighters,

and one has a pacifist inclination or the such.....

  • or maybe they associate it with law enforcement uses and have some reservations with that association.
  • or maybe they see it as too good to be scientifically real and maybe too "witchcrafty" in nature.....
  • or maybe its the eerie coloration and seeing landscapes in the dark that reminds one of the "Tales from the Darkside" show intro--now that's creepy.....

  (at least night IR photography does this for me).....

https://www.youtube....h?v=7xKZs_ApkSk



#28 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 08:41 AM

Or maybe it’s use by Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs....

 

but really, how many photos done with cameras have encompassed some creepy behavior in movies or wartime association or spyglass/spotting scope/telescope/binocular use for that matter in both creepy movies and real military use?

 

Still would like to know the specifics from the person stating it just creeps him out.

 

Ive always thought it the opposite of creepy. Creepy things prowl in the dark and people that can’t see the creepy things get bugged out. As a tool to illuminate the dark and get a good view of dark, scary unknown things, it kind of reassures me to have NV technology when camping in the woods or street lights out and weird noise coming from outside. I just grab an NV device and check things out.


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 11 May 2019 - 08:48 AM.


#29 Astrojedi

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 07:28 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.

You are not alone in your situation. EAA can make the hobby enjoyable and fun for you again. I would recommend you start out slow (as in small investment) and then as you can upgrade your equipment as you gain skill and experience.

 

As others have mentioned there is the NV path and there is the camera path. I do both and honestly they fill different needs. I will address this first then get to equipment in my next post.

 

NV pros & cons

Pros:

- feels like visual observing and truly real time

- it offers a very different and unique perspective on the night sky

- the Milky Way views at 1x - 3x are just superb

- most effective on nebulae

Cons

- I personally don’t prefer NV for star clusters or galaxies - offers little benefit on galaxies which are my favorite DSOs 

- Lacks color

- limited in how deep it can go - with a camera you can stack longer 

- Expensive in the sense there is a large upfront expense but for many it is worth it

- you have to be at the scope observing - in winters or bug filled summer days I rather be indoors

 

Camera for EAA

Pros:

- Smaller upfront expense

- Color

- can achieve much higher resolution

- easier to share your results with others (I really enjoy sharing my EAA images with friends and family and on these forums) 

- on very cold or bug infested evenings you can sit on your couch and explore the universe

- I have neck issues - on bad days I can still enjoy the universe from my recliner.

- can go much deeper than NV

Cons:

- needs extra equipment

- learning curve for hardware and software

- Lacks the ‘at scope’ experience - for some does not feel as live as NV


Edited by Astrojedi, 11 May 2019 - 07:52 PM.

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#30 Astrojedi

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 07:51 PM

So what is my recommendation? I would say based on the pros and cons you need to decide where you want to start.

 

I can give you perspective on EAA with an Astro camera. There are many other users here much more knowledgeable about NV who can guide you on that path. But no matter what path you go down you will enjoy this hobby a lot more... 

 

The WO 102GT which a fine scope and IEQ30 will be an excellent setup to start with. You can pair it with a ASI385, ASI183MC it AS294MC cameras. All of these are very high sensitivity cameras hence easier to start with - focusing & framing will be easier, you can use shorter exposures due to which you can avoid guiding and mount gymnastics and really smooths out the learning curve.

 

Also you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a Astro PC. I currently use a Intel Core i5 mini PC which I bought refurbished off woot.com. It was $250 and it has 250GB SSD drive and 8GB of ram. Even with live stacking using SharpCap Pro and my ASI183MC at full resolution and running Stellarium and other SW it is barely taxed. 

 

I run it headless... i.e. without a screen or keyboard mouse. I just connect it to a power source and to the camera and mount and switch it on. Then I come indoors and use Windows Remote Desktop application to control the PC. It is completely seamless. You will need a relatively new WiFi router for this which supports 5Ghz connections. This will allow for a high resolution experience. I had it running on my 60” tv for an outreach event at home and it looked amazing.

 

Sounds complicated but it is not. Once you have it setup you will be up and running for an observing session within minutes.

 

Let me know it you have any questions - feel free to PM me if you like and I can help you get setup.


Edited by Astrojedi, 11 May 2019 - 07:54 PM.

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#31 Cobalt5120

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 09:28 AM

You can pair it with a ASI385, ASI183MC it AS294MC cameras. All of these are very high sensitivity cameras hence easier to start with - focusing & framing will be easier.....

 

 

Hi.

 

Is focusing happening out at the PC, or do you have the ability to focus once you are inside on the sofa?

 

As far as framing, that is being done with SharpCap (or similar) once inside, correct?



#32 descott12

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:19 AM

Hi.

 

Is focusing happening out at the PC, or do you have the ability to focus once you are inside on the sofa?

 

As far as framing, that is being done with SharpCap (or similar) once inside, correct?

Many have the ability to control the focus remotely. That is actually a must-have if your PC is not scope-side.  There are many different motorized focus gizmos to choose from. I use a JMI Motofocus. Kinda of low-end but they work well and are inexpensive. Celestron also has a new one for SCT's that is only $199.

 

Framing can done either by slewing the scope or by using the camera's region of interest (ROI) function in SharpCap.



#33 Astrojedi

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:36 AM

Hi.

 

Is focusing happening out at the PC, or do you have the ability to focus once you are inside on the sofa?

 

As far as framing, that is being done with SharpCap (or similar) once inside, correct?

With a motorized focuser you can focus remotely from the couch. I usually focus manually using a focus mask at the beginning of a 2-3hr session which is usually sufficient.

 

Yes, the goto and framing can be done remotely as long as your mount is connected to the PC.



#34 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 01:01 PM

You are not alone in your situation. EAA can make the hobby enjoyable and fun for you again. I would recommend you start out slow (as in small investment) and then as you can upgrade your equipment as you gain skill and experience.

 

As others have mentioned there is the NV path and there is the camera path. I do both and honestly they fill different needs. I will address this first then get to equipment in my next post.

 

NV pros & cons

Pros:

- feels like visual observing and truly real time

- it offers a very different and unique perspective on the night sky

- the Milky Way views at 1x - 3x are just superb

- most effective on nebulae

Cons

- I personally don’t prefer NV for star clusters or galaxies - offers little benefit on galaxies which are my favorite DSOs 

- Lacks color

- limited in how deep it can go - with a camera you can stack longer 

- Expensive in the sense there is a large upfront expense but for many it is worth it

- you have to be at the scope observing - in winters or bug filled summer days I rather be indoors

 

Camera for EAA

Pros:

- Smaller upfront expense

- Color

- can achieve much higher resolution

- easier to share your results with others (I really enjoy sharing my EAA images with friends and family and on these forums) 

- on very cold or bug infested evenings you can sit on your couch and explore the universe

- I have neck issues - on bad days I can still enjoy the universe from my recliner.

- can go much deeper than NV

Cons:

- needs extra equipment

- learning curve for hardware and software

- Lacks the ‘at scope’ experience - for some does not feel as live as NV

 

I would say that is a pretty good summation.

 

I differ a bit on clusters (realizing that to some extent personal preference comes into play). NV is rather phenomenal on Globulars, almost as much so as nebula. Only on the brightest ones (6th magnitude) will I use a conventional eyepiece at all. (On the bright ones halo effect comes into play, so the bright resolved members don't look as sharp.)

 

Open star clusters can be great too, largely dependent upon the nature of the cluster in question. If the cluster is poor/sparse, few bright members, or all about the same magnitude, NV buys you very little. Also, clusters not well-detached can be a mixed bag. NV brings out so many background/foreground stars the cluster can be overwhelmed. On clusters with nice color tint I will use both conventional and NV. Conventional to enjoy the tints, NV to pull the cluster members beyond the reach of a standard eyepiece. Not many people realize, for example, the Double Cluster has about twice as many stars in it you think it does. That experience is worth monochrome, IMHO.

 

As far as the user experience, I have only used (briefly) the Mallincam Deep Sky Raider. It is a very equipment-intensive pursuit coming from a strictly visual background. I suppose you get used to it after awhile.

 

OTOH, in terms of use NV is just like another eyepiece in the case - except it allows any given scope to go 2+ magnitudes deeper. The electronics and power source is completely self-contained. Nothing external to fuss with.


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#35 tgrlx200

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 11:43 PM

As far as a computer is concerned,  I purchased a mini computer (it is 6x6x1) and a 19" monitor. Costs around $250 total and I am able to broadcast to my big screen TV in my family room. Looking into telescope control so once I have aligned the scope I can sit in my easy chair while I star hop.



#36 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 01:02 AM

To the OP: if you live in Tuscon you should check out CN user Saguaro. She is a wealth of EAA knowledge (she hangs out at Starizona sometimes) and her advice would really set you on a fun path for EAA.


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