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ASI294MC Pro

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#26 jgraham

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 10:56 AM

Fantastic! I had a similar issue. Once I started using good calibration data all was well.

Love this camera! I had mine out last night from dusk to dawn.

#27 iandh2010

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:04 AM

Hi Luca,

Many thanks for coming back on that! So you are now completely happy with the results from your ASI294MC Pro colour camera then?



#28 descott12

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:06 AM

Regarding using the 294 for planetary: I have used it with quite good results. Maybe not anything award winning but actually quite good. With my Evo 8 and 2x  Barlow, I calculate an image scale of 0.23 "/pix. And if you use the ROI and go down to 640x480 in 8 bit color, I have gotten up to 80fps.



#29 iandh2010

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

Thanks Dave,

I will give it a go! What software did you use to drive the camera at that speed?

 

I normally Use AstrArt for my imaging but that is very much geared to longer exposure planetary imaging through ASCOM. What drivers do you use for the camera. I am running 64bit Win10!

 

 

Jupiter and Saturn will still be available as good targets by end Sept from La Palma! So I will definitely give it a go, thanks.



#30 descott12

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:44 AM

SharpCap. Many also use FireCapture but I haven't had nearly as much luck with it.



#31 jgraham

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:50 AM

Same here. I used FireCapture for quite a while, but for some reason it tended to become unstable. I haven't had any problems with SharpCap.



#32 lucam

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:27 PM

Hi Luca,

Many thanks for coming back on that! So you are now completely happy with the results from your ASI294MC Pro colour camera then?

Yes, the data is very clean and am finally working on my first image with this camera.



#33 iandh2010

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:33 PM

Hi Luca,

I would be interested to see the results of your first image, if you would care to post it.



#34 iandh2010

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:37 PM

Hi John and Graham,

So you say SharpCap!

 

So what drivers will I need to load into my new win10 64bit laptop to allow SharpCap to drive the ASI294MC for higher speed planetary imaging? 



#35 descott12

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:55 PM

 

 

So what drivers will I need to load into my new win10 64bit laptop to allow SharpCap to drive the ASI294MC for higher speed planetary imaging? 

Just the native driver from ZWO. It works very well



#36 iandh2010

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 01:08 PM

Thanks Dave.

Just looking at SharpCap now!

 

I am ending up with so much to learn in the 14 (sorry 13 now) days that I have left to load all the drivers into my still not delivered new laptop, purchasing my new ASI294MC camera, and now learning SharpCap. Then making sure that I take some good lights, Darks, Flats etc. etc. so that when I get back from my astro-trip I have the raw data to process into some stunning images, I hope!



#37 PeteM

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 09:25 PM

Yes, the data is very clean and am finally working on my first image with this camera.

Look forward to seeing this result Luca! Your data collection and processing skills are top notch and that camera can sing with its DR and sensitivity.



#38 lucam

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:58 AM

Look forward to seeing this result Luca! Your data collection and processing skills are top notch and that camera can sing with its DR and sensitivity.

Thank you, Pete! Once I sorted out the calibration woes the camera is a delight to use. I just posted the first image in a new thread. I chose Gamma Cass and IC63 to test the dynamic range and internal reflections, and the camera did not disappoint. 


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#39 iandh2010

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:30 PM

Hi Guys,

So after listening to all your kind help and suggestions about the ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera, I have taken the plunge and ordered one, together with the power supply.

 

The supplier was out of stock but has several stuck in customs at Heathrow London, which he anticipates receiving tomorrow and he has promised me one of them!

 

Now I just need my new laptop to be delivered on Friday, as it has been promised, but many promises have failed to materialise over the last 10 days! frown.gif


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#40 iandh2010

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:25 PM

Hi Guys,

Am I going to need an IR filter on the front of the ASI294MC?



#41 jdupton

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:46 PM

Ian,

 

   If you will be using refractive optics, it would probably be a good idea. I know the IMX294 sensor can easily detect IR at 910 nM. I have tested that with my multi-spectral flat field device.

 

   In my normal usage, I use the IDAS LPS-P2 filter so don't have a separate IR/UV blocking filter but it would be a good idea if you plan to image with a refractor. Otherwise, you may get halos around brighter stars.

 

 

John



#42 jgraham

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:20 PM

Yes, you should use an IR filter. Color cameras often pick up false signals in the green and blue channels in the IR where the Bayer matrix filters begin to transmit again. The filter will also keep dust off of the sensor.

#43 iandh2010

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 07:08 PM

OK Guys,

After all of your help and advice I am now the proud owner of an ASI294MC Pro colour camera and have just got it working with AstroArt-7 through ASCOM.

 

In the ASCOM setup dialog in AA7 I can set up several parameters inc:

Gain

Offset

USB Limit - this I think refers to some USB bandwidth rate???

 

I am hoping it will be clear tomorrow evening so hopefully will get a chance to test it all out on the end of my scope! This is going to be some learning curve as I need to get the Starlight Xpress active optics unit working for it to image through.

 

To get me in the right ballpark, can someone please offer a suggestion as to what the above parameters should be set to please?

 

There are four Presets offered and all have the same Offset of 30 and USB limit of 40.

The only difference appears to be with the gain settings that are:

Lowest read noise Gain = 390,   Unity Gain = 120  Highest Dynamic Range Gain=0?

 

Thanks



#44 lucam

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 09:38 PM

OK Guys,
After all of your help and advice I am now the proud owner of an ASI294MC Pro colour camera and have just got it working with AstroArt-7 through ASCOM.

In the ASCOM setup dialog in AA7 I can set up several parameters inc:
Gain
Offset
USB Limit - this I think refers to some USB bandwidth rate???

I am hoping it will be clear tomorrow evening so hopefully will get a chance to test it all out on the end of my scope! This is going to be some learning curve as I need to get the Starlight Xpress active optics unit working for it to image through.

To get me in the right ballpark, can someone please offer a suggestion as to what the above parameters should be set to please?

There are four Presets offered and all have the same Offset of 30 and USB limit of 40.
The only difference appears to be with the gain settings that are:
Lowest read noise Gain = 390, Unity Gain = 120 Highest Dynamic Range Gain=0?

Thanks


Unless you are going after some really faint stuff, unity gain should serve you well. That’s the gain at which read noise drops significantly and offers a compelling trade-off between dynamic range and sensitivity.


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#45 mewmartigan

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:02 PM

I agree with Luca, I leave mine at Unity gain, Offset 30. My USB Limit is 80 and I am running USB3 all the way to computer. Are you connected via USB2?

 

Remember if you change the gain you'd need new flats/darks/dark flats.



#46 iandh2010

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:29 PM

Hi Luca and Martin,

OK, if its good for you, then that's good enough for me.

 

It is looking good for clear skies here from 10pm local (9pm GMT) for about 6 hours so I'm just getting everything setup now!

Managed to get a sneek peek at Jupiter and its four Galilean moons through the 294 but all blurry at present but that was just how I first installed the SX-AO unit and ASI294, so hopefully it should improve through the night but not on Jupiter of course! It is so low down from here and past the meridian, so now getting even lower.

 

One little problem I found, my scope had lost it's hibernated alignment as the calendar had reset to 00/00/00 but the GPS must have captured the time correctly, strange that it did not get the date as well!

 

I'll report back on progress tomoz!



#47 OleCuss

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 05:17 PM

That date problem makes me wonder if you are dealing (still or again) with the GPS roll-over issue?  I think the NexStar GPS would have that problem.

 

I think you'd actually have to get a new hand controller to fix it as I think the older ones cannot (or will not) be updated to fix the roll-over issue.



#48 iandh2010

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:29 AM

Hi OleCuss,

I'm hoping that the date issue was down to the rechargeable battery having dischared as it is so long ago that I last used my NexStar GPS.

 

However, that does not explain the time being absolutely correct but not the date! So it probably is as you say but I have not seen this until now and I did use the scope some months ago, this year!

 

However, on the bright side, I did have to upgrade my handset several (maybe 10 now) years ago and it is re-programmable, so hopefully if I can find the right firmware download, it will cure this problem, if it is as you say!


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#49 iandh2010

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 05:02 AM

Hi OleCuss,

 

I'm hoping that the date issue was down to the rechargeable battery having discharged as it is so long ago that I last used my NexStar GPS.

 

It looks like you were correct about the GPS roll-over issue on my Nexstar GPS!  It was back to 2/2/00 last night so had to go through the whole setup procedure AGAIN! 

 

As I said my handset is the newer re-programmable one so I will just have to find out what version of handset I have look for the correct download and try to remember how to reprogram it etc. etc. I do have the programming cable somewhere!

 

Strangely, my observatory clock was totally wrong last night! This is radio linked to the atomic standard in the National Physical Laboratory here in the UK. It was correct the previous night...... but this may just have been a coincidental battery issue. However, I have just replaced the batteries and it re-linked to the NPL but the date and time are still incorrect! 



#50 iandh2010

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 05:26 AM

Hi Luca and Marcus,

So I have managed to get two clear nights for observing, on the trot. Almost unheard of in the UK!

 

So when I select the Unity Gain in the drop down list in the ASCOM setup dialog it appears to set the following:

Gain = 120, Offset =30 and USB Limit = 80

 

Question - how does a gain of 120, equate to unity gain?




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