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I’m putting together my first imaging rig!

astrophotography
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#1 carbean

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 01:58 PM

Well, here I go. I’m going to try my hand at astrophotography. I’ll update and will need some guidance as I get this system together. But here’s where I am with it so far...

6e4fdb73232f8b870941780367f86bfa.jpg


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#2 PirateMike

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:12 PM

Very Nice. I see you have a Stellarvue scope, Celestron mount and a place to put your laptop, all very nice equipment and they should get the job done just fine.

 

What's scope it that anyways, and what mount do you have to the right of the image?

 

Do you plan on using a DSLR or a dedicated astro camera? 

 

Good luck waytogo.gif , and remember, we'll be here when you need us.

 

 

Miguel   8-)



#3 carbean

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:22 PM

Very Nice. I see you have a Stellarvue scope, Celestron mount and a place to put your laptop, all very nice equipment and they should get the job done just fine.

 

What's scope it that anyways,   It's a Stellarvue SVX080T-25SV Premier Apochromatic Triplet Refractor

 

and what mount do you have to the right of the image?  A Celestron AVX with a 9.25 HD on it for visual

 

Do you plan on using a DSLR or a dedicated astro camera? I plan on ordering a ZWO ASI294MC-PRO as soon as I get the refund on the ZWO ASI183MC Pro I just returned on the advice of members of this community

 

Good luck waytogo.gif , and remember, we'll be here when you need us.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

Thanks for all the advice I have gotten so far from the CN community!

 

Todd (carbean)



#4 carbean

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:25 PM

You know I originally bought the AVX for the Stellarvue scope but members here talked me into using the CGX.  It looks kind of funny to me like the mount is way overkill for that little scope but I have read over and over again how important the mount is for astrophotography so I switched 'em out.

 

Todd (carbean) 


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#5 PirateMike

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 03:55 PM

You know I originally bought the AVX for the Stellarvue scope but members here talked me into using the CGX.  It looks kind of funny to me like the mount is way overkill for that little scope but I have read over and over again how important the mount is for astrophotography so I switched 'em out.

 

Todd (carbean) 

Hey Todd,

 

You have made the wise decision to follow the advise given. Now you have a mount that can easily handle your current scope and probably any other one that you may get in the future.

 

As far as the setup looking funny... don't worry, it should be very dark when you're using it!  lol.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 12 June 2019 - 03:55 PM.

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#6 carbean

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:57 PM

So where does the field flattened go?  Between the scope and focuser?  On the end of the objective?  I am at work and can’t look at it right now.  Thought someone might know off the top of their head.

 

Todd



#7 carbean

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:01 PM

The next step is to mount the guide scope.  I couldn’t do it the other day when I was home because I didn’t have the right size Allen wrench.  I ordered a set off of Amazon.  It should be there when I get home in a couple of days.  The finder scope I got shows an upside down image when I look through it.  Do you just attach the guide camera to it or do I need some kind of image rectifier or diagonal or something between the two?

 

Todd



#8 bobzeq25

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:25 PM

So where does the field flattened go?  Between the scope and focuser?  On the end of the objective?  I am at work and can’t look at it right now.  Thought someone might know off the top of their head.

 

Todd

Between the focuser and the camera.  The reducer to sensor spacing is critical.

 

The next step is to mount the guide scope.  I couldn’t do it the other day when I was home because I didn’t have the right size Allen wrench.  I ordered a set off of Amazon.  It should be there when I get home in a couple of days.  The finder scope I got shows an upside down image when I look through it.  Do you just attach the guide camera to it or do I need some kind of image rectifier or diagonal or something between the two?

 

Todd

Mounting the guidescope is critical.   "Differential flexure" is easy to get, devilishly hard to diagnose.  Your images are bad, your guiding seems to be good, and you don't know why.

 

Do not use a finder shoe.  Scroll down this page for good examples of how to mount it.  Similarly, don't use any excess hardware.  You may need a straight threaded spacer.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ardrails/page-4

 

The term "overkill" does not apply to mounts.  Honest.


Edited by bobzeq25, 13 June 2019 - 04:26 PM.


#9 carbean

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Posted Yesterday, 05:08 AM

Between the focuser and the camera. The reducer to sensor spacing is critical.

Mounting the guidescope is critical. "Differential flexure" is easy to get, devilishly hard to diagnose. Your images are bad, your guiding seems to be good, and you don't know why.

Do not use a finder shoe. Scroll down this page for good examples of how to mount it. Similarly, don't use any excess hardware. You may need a straight threaded spacer.

https://www.cloudyni...ardrails/page-4

The term "overkill" does not apply to mounts. Honest.


This reducer you speak of, is that part of the field flattener or something I need to purchase separately?

Todd

#10 carbean

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Posted Yesterday, 05:18 AM

I posed this question yesterday and did not get a response. I bought a Stellarvue 10x60 Straight Through Finder Scope - Matte Black - F060M3. When I look through it the image is inverted. Does the guide software compensate for this or do I need some kind of prism? And how about finding targets? Do you view an image on the laptop that is corrected or do I need a separate finder scope or device?  Or does CDC plate solving and go to functionality take care of navigation and target finding?

Sorry for all the questions but I am truly a neophyte in this field.

Todd


Edited by carbean, Yesterday, 05:57 AM.


#11 bobzeq25

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Posted Yesterday, 09:40 AM

This reducer you speak of, is that part of the field flattener or something I need to purchase separately?

Todd

They're generally flattener/reducers.  Get the one Stellarvue recommends for your scope.  The shelves of imagers are littered with mismatched flattener/reducers.  DAMHIK.  <smile>

 

I posed this question yesterday and did not get a response. I bought a Stellarvue 10x60 Straight Through Finder Scope - Matte Black - F060M3. When I look through it the image is inverted. Does the guide software compensate for this or do I need some kind of prism? And how about finding targets? Do you view an image on the laptop that is corrected or do I need a separate finder scope or device?  Or does CDC plate solving and go to functionality take care of navigation and target finding?

Sorry for all the questions but I am truly a neophyte in this field.

Todd

Inverted is no problem, as you said, the software doesn't care.  You go through a calibration process, and it figures it out.  As I said, you do not want to add unnecessary bits, every connection is a potential point for flexure.  Look at the examples I cited, they show you how to do this.

 

How I find targets.

 

I GOTO, not caring how good it is, or if the target is even in the frame.  I just need to be close, for PlateSolve2 to work fast.

 

Shoot a short exposure, at high gain or ISO.  Binned if I can.  I just want some stars.

 

Use PlateSolve2 to tell me exactly (understatement) where I'm pointed.  Do the math and correct.

 

Shoot another image.  Wham, there it is.  Adjust framing to taste.

 

I really should get Voyager going and automate the process.  Just silly procrastination.  <smile>



#12 carbean

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Posted Yesterday, 11:03 AM

Thanks bobzeq25. I have the flattener Stellarvue recommended for the scope. Now waiting on some precision screwdrivers and Allen wrenches to mount the guide scope, field flattener and focuser.

Todd
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#13 TelescopeGreg

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Posted Yesterday, 04:27 PM

How I find targets.

 

I GOTO, not caring how good it is, or if the target is even in the frame.  I just need to be close, for PlateSolve2 to work fast.

 

Shoot a short exposure, at high gain or ISO.  Binned if I can.  I just want some stars.

 

Use PlateSolve2 to tell me exactly (understatement) where I'm pointed.  Do the math and correct.

 

Shoot another image.  Wham, there it is.  Adjust framing to taste.

Hi Bob,

 

So this "do the math" part...  I've never seen an explanation about what exactly this is.  Sounds like something involving paper and pencil or a calculator.  I've seen your posts about not going the wrong direction, but what exactly are you calculating?

 

What I have been led to do (still waiting for a good night to try it) is that I do the first GoTo, take an image, then plate solve and sync to the mount.  Then re-do the GoTo, and am supposed to land on the target.  That Sync part, I think, removes the need to do any math, especially when it's not something one can do in their heads (at least, not mine).

 

No?



#14 StrStrck

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Posted Yesterday, 04:44 PM

Great that you are finding your way into astro photography, and taking advicewaytogo.gif

Mine would be reading Charles Bracken’s The Deep-Sky Imaging Primer. There’s SO much explained in that book about imaging, and in a not-too-heavy way. 



#15 PirateMike

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Posted Yesterday, 04:50 PM

Hi Bob,

 

So this "do the math" part...  I've never seen an explanation about what exactly this is.  Sounds like something involving paper and pencil or a calculator.  I've seen your posts about not going the wrong direction, but what exactly are you calculating?

 

What I have been led to do (still waiting for a good night to try it) is that I do the first GoTo, take an image, then plate solve and sync to the mount.  Then re-do the GoTo, and am supposed to land on the target.  That Sync part, I think, removes the need to do any math, especially when it's not something one can do in their heads (at least, not mine).

 

No?

That's how I do it.

 

My first slew is usually off by a little, so I take a quick image, plate solve and sync.

 

At this point, if you go back to your planetarium program you should see that the "box" of where your scope is pointing has changed. The scope now knows exactly where it is pointing.

 

Slew again and BANG... I'm there.

 

 

The only math needed is to determine how much PITA plate solving and syncing the mount has saved you!   lol.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, Yesterday, 04:53 PM.


#16 fewayne

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Posted Yesterday, 05:07 PM

Even easier with some software. Ekos lets you specify a target, then click the "Capture and solve" button with the "slew to target" option selected. It will iterate taking an image, plate solving, and slewing until the solution is within the precision you specify. It'll also start from an existing image file if you want to go back to someplace you were previously shooting -- don't even need to specify the target, in that case. Either way, it also syncs your mount with the solution so it knows where it's pointed too.

 

Took ME a couple of iterations to get it working, but it has saved me literally hours of time. When I think about how hard I struggled to get objects in view before I got that working...actually I got reminded of it a couple sessions ago when it didn't. SO...FRUSTRATING.


Edited by fewayne, Yesterday, 05:07 PM.


#17 bobzeq25

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Posted Yesterday, 05:16 PM

Hi Bob,

 

So this "do the math" part...  I've never seen an explanation about what exactly this is.  Sounds like something involving paper and pencil or a calculator.  I've seen your posts about not going the wrong direction, but what exactly are you calculating?

 

What I have been led to do (still waiting for a good night to try it) is that I do the first GoTo, take an image, then plate solve and sync to the mount.  Then re-do the GoTo, and am supposed to land on the target.  That Sync part, I think, removes the need to do any math, especially when it's not something one can do in their heads (at least, not mine).

 

No?

I'm calculating the difference in RA and DEC between where my target is, and where the first platesolving said I'm pointed.  Simple subtraction, but it's easy to then go 180 degrees the wrong way.



#18 carbean

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Posted Yesterday, 05:44 PM

Great that you are finding your way into astro photography, and taking advicewaytogo.gif
Mine would be reading Charles Bracken’s The Deep-Sky Imaging Primer. There’s SO much explained in that book about imaging, and in a not-too-heavy way.


I bought it, it’s at the house. Plan on reading some this weekend when I am off. Getting lots of sage advice from the CN community. There seems to be lots of folks with deep knowledge and experience on here who are kind and helpful. I am grateful for their help so far and glad they have been tolerant of my ignorance of the subject.

Todd
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#19 TelescopeGreg

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Posted Today, 01:48 AM

I'm calculating the difference in RA and DEC between where my target is, and where the first platesolving said I'm pointed.  Simple subtraction, but it's easy to then go 180 degrees the wrong way.

Ok, that's what I suspected.  Not to be too snarky about it, but I can't think of anything less appealing than having to do Degrees / minutes / seconds subtraction, for both RA and Dec, in order to aim my mount.  I mean, sure, it's probably a good learning exercise.  Once (or twice if you do it backwards the first time).  But after that, not so much, especially in the middle of the night.  In the dark.  When it's cold outside.  Ever watch "New Math" by Tom Lehrer?  Borrow a minute from the 10's place?  The mind boggles...  (*)

 

More seriously, though, is there an advantage or ability that doing it this way has over the solve-and-sync method?  I can't think of one.

 

 

(*)  I actually grew up with the "New Math" experiment, and looking back I believe it actually did help me understand what was going on.  But that realization didn't occur until High School, when I was learning how to program a computer in binary...




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