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What "Cheats" do you Know? Please Post Them Here

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#1 kel123

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 10:52 PM

When we used to play video games back when we were kids, one of the most interesting words in our vocabulary, was "cheat" . It simply means executable actions in games that were hidden and not in the manuals.
Cheats were mostly a combination of two or more buttons in quick succession that gives you an interesting outcome in the game. It can also be a press of a single button while a particular action is going on, to introduce another outcome.

I know a lot of people know what I am talking about here, hence I am wondering if there are "cheats" in astronomy or astrophotography gears.

This could be in operation of mounts, cameras, or any other accessories, even including processing softwares.

Is there any feature you know of that is not in the manual and not widely known or simply not advertised by the manufacturer, probably as a result of omission or commission?

Please post your cheats here

#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 11:16 PM

A software one... probably obtuse, but here goes. Suppose you are doing computationally-intensive (aka slow-running big-math stuff like coherent wave-optics lens design). And the commercially-available software optimizations are taking forever and you want/need faster. Well, back in those days, I derived, coded and implemented my own routines that ran 100x faster and gave the same accurate results. I won't get into the details (unless someone is actually interested) and will then be delighted to spill the beans. Anyway, I have a feeling some of my techniques would still speed things up today.

 

But, computers have become so fast... It may not matter as much anymore.

 

I doubt that is what you were actually looking for, but it's in the same conceptual category. My having an extra grad degree in math helped, of course!    Tom



#3 t-ara-fan

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:54 AM

Plate solving is kind of cheating.  I do polar alignment, but not a 3-star alignment or anything like that.  A GOTO gets me to within a degree or so most of the time, and plate solving gets me the rest of the way.


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#4 rockenrock

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 03:39 AM

Forget calibration. Just stack and post!grin.gif grin.gif grin.gif


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#5 Eeqmcsq

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 04:41 AM

If you're indoors and you're aiming your telescope at an artificial star across the room, instead of moving the tube while looking through the eyepiece to find the target, shine a flashlight through the eyepiece. The tube will shine out a spotlight. Move the tube until the spotlight is aligned over the artificial star. Much easier to aim than the usual way of looking through the eyepiece.


Edited by Eeqmcsq, 11 December 2019 - 04:42 AM.

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#6 SonnyE

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 07:34 PM

I didn't play any video games.

I'm old school. Cheats get shot.

 

shocked.gif

crazy.gif lol.gif

 

I do "cheat" by using my guide camera on-screen view as my finder scope. And I use my Main Camera as my alignment view.

 But it goes like this: 1. Telescope slews to first star. 2. I use my Red Dot sight to get on the star. 3. Then my guide scope camera view (Crosshair). 4. Then my main camera view (Crosshair)

Slew to next alignment star, repeat.

And I slew to 4 extra alignment stars.  Celestron 2+4 alignment. My way of thinking is to give the brain as much alignment as it can take. Usually the last star is purdy near dead centered in the cross hairs on a good night.

And my targets are well within the Main Camera's objective. I center it up, and begin catching photons.

I'll usually use the final alignment star to set my focusing, then use Stellarium to take me to a target.

And if I'm not happy with my focusing, I will step it either way watching for a crisp picture.

But I'm seriously EAA, and even do remote imaging from my nice warm ManCave / Home Office.

So I'm a real cheater.



#7 kel123

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:29 PM

Forget calibration. Just stack and post!grin.gif grin.gif grin.gif

grin.gif You have just cheated your image.lol



#8 kel123

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:31 PM

Plate solving is kind of cheating.  I do polar alignment, but not a 3-star alignment or anything like that.  A GOTO gets me to within a degree or so most of the time, and plate solving gets me the rest of the way.

One of the best things to happen to AP



#9 spacemunkee

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:39 PM

UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A.

 

If you had a Nintendo, you know...wink.gif

 

(Can't believe I still remember that..I need to clean out and defrag my internal hard drive..)lol.gif


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#10 Eeqmcsq

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 02:52 AM

UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A.

 

If you had a Nintendo, you know...wink.gif

 

(Can't believe I still remember that..I need to clean out and defrag my internal hard drive..)lol.gif

Since that code worked on many Konami games, anyone who played NES/SNES games back then had that code memorized by heart.

 

Another telescope "cheat" I thought of involves barlows. Depending on the barlow, the same barlow can be used to produce 2 or 3 different levels of increased magnification. I discovered this by accident when my 2x barlow was magnifying more than 2x. According to my research:

 

1. For a high magnification increase: tube -> barlow -> diagonal -> eyepiece
2. For a medium magnification increase: tube -> diagonal -> barlow -> eyepiece
3. For a low magnification increase: Unscrew the barlow lens from its tube, screw the barlow lens onto the eyepiece, same way as a color filter. Only works if the barlow lens can be unscrewed from its tube, such as this GSO 2x shorty barlow.

 

I have not yet tested these 3 configurations due to 3 weeks of rain/clouds, with more coming. Argh.


Edited by Eeqmcsq, 13 December 2019 - 02:52 AM.


#11 Raginar

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:32 AM

I bought a 10u.  It feels like you're cheating as you mostly automate polar alignment and it takes unguided images perfectly all night. It's about as portable as my CGEM too.

 

Best money I've spent in astronomy. 


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#12 SloMoe

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:09 PM

Many, many times I've cheated, especially on DSO's

 

 

I sit in my lazy-boy and stream Hubble to my TV from my laptop................



#13 PJ Anway

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 05:33 PM

averted vision......it even sounds suspicious crazyeyes.gif



#14 KLWalsh

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 12:35 PM

A mechanical cheat:
If you’re having problems with dynamic balance on a GEM mount - where the scope is balanced in one position, or on one side of the meridian, but not the other - clamp a heavy pair of vice grip pliers to the c’weight shaft to counteract the imbalance. With a bit of fiddling you can get a good balance.
If you’re worried about scarring the shaft with the pliers’ teeth, wrap some painters tape around the shaft first.

#15 v3ngence

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 02:30 AM

With OSC cameras using narrowband or LPF filters, Photoshop's Reduce Noise, set to 100% color noise, is just magic for getting crisp white stars!



#16 Noah4x4

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 04:28 AM

Hyperstar is my "cheat" converting my OTA from f/10 to f/2 means...

No GEM required, Alt-Az is satisfactory.

NO wedge

No Polar Alignment

No autoguiding

A 10 second exposure has the equivalent light gathering power of 4 minutes without Hyperstar.

Means 'fast' images without field rotation issues. 

 

But.....

 

Removing one's secondary mirror increases FOV x 5 (great) but at the expense of magnification, not great where target objects appear small. The "cheat" I use here is to use a 4/3" sensor 16 megapixel resolution camera output to a 4k UHD display/monitor. Having so many tiny pixels available increases your capacity to apply camera zoom. With images appearing so quickly, "near live" EAA observing is truly feasible using Hyperstar. I spent two years phaffing about with Wedges, DSLRs, polar alignment and discovering Hyperstar was like a fog lifting. Best "cheat" ever.




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