Tonight I was able to gather a half dozen videos each for Jupiter and Saturn. While everything worked, there are some issues that I need to deal with. First here's my equipment
- Celestron-11, between f/10 and f/20 using 2X Barlow
- Losmandy G-11 mount with Gemini-1 electronics
- ZWO ASI 290MC
- ZWO ADC
- Firecapture 2.6
- MacBook Pro 16GB, 500GB SSD, USB 3.0
The 2X Barlow lens set was attached to the camera nosepiece. This was inserted into the ADC and straight into the C-11 rear port (no diagonal). It has been a few years since trying any L/P imaging. So I'm a bit rusty. Using a ROI the frame rate was ~170 fps for Jupiter and ~75 fps for Saturn. USB 3.0 is the way to go! Here are some of the capture settings:
- RGB and AVI format
- Debayer was not enabled
- Gain ~350 for Jupiter, ~375 for Saturn
- Exposure for brightest color at around 70% on the histogram.
- Gamma off for capture
- Jupiter videos were either 60 seconds or 120 seconds. Saturn was 120 seconds.
I used the G-11 mount's search function to acquire the planet if go-to didn't put it on the sensor. Focusing was a challenge, especially after the seeing deteriorated. Focus was established on the planet itself. I found Jupiter easier than Saturn, since it had more details. Saturn just had the Cassini division. But the biggest issue was a dirty sensor - lots of dust spots. I had to move the planet to a location on the full sensor that didn't have any dust spots. Then I manually guided the planet to keep it within the ROI. I made a half-hearted attempt to adjust the ADC. While I'm sure there was still some dispersion, the situation was at least improved.
So first off I'll need to clean off the dust spots. I have a Pocket Rocket for the loose stuff.
Any suggestions for cleaning?? Can I use a lens brush if necessary? What about lens cleaning fluids? Once cleaned, keeping the Barlow lens set attached should keep it clean.
I'll be running the videos through AutoStakkert 2 or 3. Is there a Mac OS version? That would be easiest. If not I have an old XP Windows machine with Registax and AutoStakkert 2.
I'll likely re-install a JMI EV-1 motorized Crayford focuser, which will make focusing easier. It has numeric index marks that should help determining best focus. It will be something like - Is setting 34 or 35 a better focus? How about 36? The ability to have repeatable focus settings is a big improvement over the stock moving mirror focus with the image shift and all. I'll be able to calculate the f/ratio once I determine number of pixels under each planet. It would be nice if it was around f/15, with my camera's pixel width of 2.9μ.
Any comments or suggestions about FireCapture settings and video capture technique would be appreciated.