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Seeking advice using Edge 11 DSO setup for planetary

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#1 chadrian84

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 11:54 AM

I'd like to image Mars but I'm set up for DSO.  I'd appreciate advice on A) how much improvement (if any) to expect when switching to a longer focal length and/or B) product recommendations for making the switch.

 

My current DSO setup is Edge 11 -> Moonlite CHL crayford focuser -> OAG -> EFW -> ASI6200 mono = .28" pixel scale @ native f10 2800mm.  I have two identical rigs set up this way.

 

I foresee several issues if I try converting the rig/s to a longer FL.

- Will I have to ditch the filter wheel and/or focuser?

- Which Barlow/Extender to use?  I have an ES 2x extender I use for visual but it only accepts eyepieces (no threads).

- How is backfocus affected when using an extender?

- New connections/adapters will be needed

- What other accessories will I need (if any)?

 

Good seeing usually gives 1.4" FWHM when doing DSO imaging and 1.0" for excellent seeing.  Any advice is appreciated.

 



#2 Tulloch

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 12:32 PM

Hmmm, here are my suggestions. The best focal ratio to use for planetary is 5x the pixel size of your camera, so the 2x extender should be used with the 6200MM. Does the camera come with a 1.25" nosepiece? The filter wheel and focuser are fine. Don't worry about backfocus. Capture in 8 bit mode using a cropped area of the sensor. Capture 1-2 minutes per colour at 100+ fps. You will need an IR-cut filter for correct colour balance.

 

These tutorial videos are very good.

http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

 

Hope this helps, Andrew



#3 gcardona

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 12:40 PM

I have a C9.25Edge that I use for DSO and planetary. For planetary, I remove my camera, OAG and filter wheel and replace with a TV 3x barlow, using a 2" to 1.25" adapter, then I put my planetary camera and filter wheel into the 1.25" barlow. I have a ASI224MC and manual filter wheel for planetary. Then I need to adjust the focus using the stock focuser because it is going to be WAY off. Once I get the focus OK with the stock focuser I use my external focuser for fine focusing. For your 11", you probably won't need the 3x barlow, a 2x should be good.



#4 chadrian84

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 03:17 PM

Thanks guys.  Connecting everything was less painful than I expected.   The ASI6200 came with an adapter ("M54-M48 21mm extender") which slides into the focal extender and has male M54 threads on the camera side which screw into the female M54 OAG tilt plate.

 

I haven't tested yet but hopefully I can find focus and the 6200 plays nice with FireCapture.  I'll report back with an update.

 

In the picture below: DSO setup on the left....  planetary setup on the right.

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#5 Tulloch

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 08:14 PM

Good luck!

 

My advice would be to play with the setting in FireCapture during the day before you go outside - there are a lot of settings to play with, and the tutorial on FireCapture should you navigate some of them.

http://planetaryimag....com/capturing/

 

Main tips - capture in 8 bit mode (really), reduce the ROI to about 50% larger than the planet size (especially the height), keep the maximum histogram to around 50% of maximum, record the raw8 (undebayered) footage.



#6 chadrian84

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:00 AM

Following-up:  Focus was easy to find with the configuration shown above (right) - about 15 turns of the Celestron knob.  Firecapture works well.  I selected high speed downloads and maxed out around 120 fps @ 250x225 pixels.  Selecting 16 bit doesn't seem to affect download times.  Perhaps because the 6200 is native 16 bit?

 

Seeing was poor but here's my quick and dirty proof of concept.  I'm not sure what the blue sheen is around the edges.  Maybe chromatic aberration, an atmospheric effect, or RGB channel misalignment - I couldn't find guidance on how to align channels (PI requires stars to align).  The shadow on right is due to a gibbous phase I think.  

 

I'm looking forward to getting out under better seeing.  Solar system imaging is far less stressful than DSO.  For ISS imaging I presume I'll also want to use the 2x extender.

 

 

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#7 dhammy

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:14 AM

Nice capture. Blue sheen is Mars’ cloud. You can use Registax 6 for RGB alignment and sharpening after stacking in Autostakkert. Try to capture at an exposure around 3ms and set the gain so the histogram reads 50% - that should bump up your frames captured per second to around 200. The more frames the better.




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