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A few newbie Qs

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#1 MadUKScientist

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:22 AM

Equipment: SW EQ6-R pro, SW Esprit100ED+FF, ASI294MC pro camera, SW Evoguide 50+ASI290mm, Sesto Sensor2 focuser, Polemaster.

 

I’m just getting into astrophotography and after waiting for months, my gear finally arrived so I can stop using my rickety tripod.     I thought I would start fairly wide field with the 100ED initially to see how I got on.   One thing about having to wait for months to get your equipment is that I’ve had loads of time to do lots of reading and play with simulators.  

 

I’ve only had three clear night to have a play and have got most things working OK, including EQMOD, plate solving and guiding with PHD2.    Focussing caused me issues initially but is much easier now I’ve added the Sesto Sensor.    I’ve even manage to get about 1 hour’s data on my initial target, M81 with OK(ish) results.

 

I have a few newbie questions which I’d be most grateful for help with.

1.  If I decide to rotate the camera a few degrees for better framing after I’ve done the focussing is there a need to refocus?

2.  Regarding PHD2 calibration, is there a need to repeat after a time period?  E.g., as my new mount loosens up with use will this affect the calibration?

3.  Can I use flat calibration frames for more than one imaging session if I use the same camera temperature, camera orientation and focus (or very small changes to the last one)?

4.  I’ve started using Astrophotography Tool which is OK now I’ve found where things are hidden.   Is there something better out there I should be trying?      (I’ve already decided to switch from Photoshop to PixInsight).

Many thanks for any help.


Edited by MadUKScientist, 09 May 2021 - 10:23 AM.


#2 Midnight Dan

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:43 AM

1. No, as long as the camera stays at the same distance.  However, it is good practice to set your rotation first, then focus.

 

2. Generally no, but it doesn't hurt to do it from time to time just in case.  Backlash can change over time and backlash compensation is part of the calibration routine.

 

3. No.  You will have dust motes no matter how much you clean things.  And even a very slight difference in the orientation will cause those to show up in your image.  Take flats at every imaging session.  They don't take long and fix a host of issues.

 

4. Pixinsight is the way to go for processing.  You'll still want Photoshop for final touch up and other tasks like tweak PI masks.  I have no experience with APT, but generally recommend NINA or SGP for session management and image acquisition.

 

-Dan


Edited by Midnight Dan, 09 May 2021 - 10:44 AM.

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#3 zakry3323

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:49 AM

 

I have a few newbie questions which I’d be most grateful for help with.

1.  If I decide to rotate the camera a few degrees for better framing after I’ve done the focussing is there a need to refocus?

2.  Regarding PHD2 calibration, is there a need to repeat after a time period?  E.g., as my new mount loosens up with use will this affect the calibration?

3.  Can I use flat calibration frames for more than one imaging session if I use the same camera temperature, camera orientation and focus (or very small changes to the last one)?

4.  I’ve started using Astrophotography Tool which is OK now I’ve found where things are hidden.   Is there something better out there I should be trying?      (I’ve already decided to switch from Photoshop to PixInsight).

Many thanks for any help.

 

1. It depends on what your attachment is and how you're rotating your camera. For physical loosening and rotation of say, a nosepiece, you may not have moved out of critical focus, but you've got automated focusing now, why chance it?

 

2. I recalibrate every few months, but generally PHD2 is very forgiving smile.gif

 

3. Some people do. I always shoot fresh flats for every session. Vignetting won't change, but you might be surprised by how much dust can move around smile.gif

 

4. I haven't used APT. NINA is very intuitive and great for "just getting the subs" - I use it often. I moved away from SGP- it's great software but too many foibles for me. I like Voyager best, but initial setup time/learning takes a bit more time.


Edited by zakry3323, 09 May 2021 - 10:50 AM.

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#4 MadUKScientist

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for the quick replies, I’ll have a look at NINA.


Edited by MadUKScientist, 09 May 2021 - 10:52 AM.

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#5 zakry3323

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for the quick replies, I’ll have a look at NINA.

For the price, it can't be beat :)


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#6 Birddogoby

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 11:27 AM

I used APT for a year but once I discovered NINA, I switched and have never looked back. It's a great program that has many features with excellent technical support.

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