Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Pre dry run set up check list with new setup

  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#26 fewayne

fewayne

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,923
  • Joined: 10 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Madison, WI, USA

Posted 22 January 2022 - 04:55 PM

You do you for hardware and software, but as an Ekos user myself...

You may wish to try using PHD instead of the built-in Ekos guider, just to help locate the source of the problem. The only change is that your INDI profile needs to specify PHD for guiding. Use the INDI mount and camera options when configuring PHD, not the direct ones.

The advantage to PHD is its huge user community, including entire fora devoted to debugging problems.

At the very least, you can identify
if the problem was with Ekos or, say, not enough power over a USB connection, or a bad cable.

Edited by fewayne, 22 January 2022 - 04:57 PM.

  • rgsalinger likes this

#27 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 22 January 2022 - 05:30 PM

I didn't put the AT80EDT in my op? Ugh just me missing things here and there lol. Yeah planned on the AT80EDT tonight with it's matched .8x reducer flattener bringing the thing to 384mm if I remember right.

I meant to say both the asiair pro and ekos both had issues with guiding with the EQ 6 R pro. Ekos with the AVX acted drunk, thinking the install on the laptop with ekos (running mint) is borked or I missed something else. Haven't tried the AVX with the asiair so fingers crossed it works.

Guiding the EQ 6 R pro has been just bad to absolutely nonsense. Does ironically seem to track decent.

As for PhD2 on Linux I never could get it to install. Tried the instructions and signing whatever the instructions say and just get nowhere. Like I mentioned I'm not fluent in Linux and a couple hours maybe every month or two when things don't line up to problem solve is frustrating.

Got a little bit before I start lugging the rig out (AT80EDT and AVX with asiair pro) to see if I can get somewhere with it. I'm already running up against that wall if I want to attempt to mess with something else.

Seems I'm part of the issue as I keep changing things around trying to get a somewhat less frustrating rig running.

Originally a while back I had thoughts of running dual setups but so far it seems like I got half of one that kind of works. It's mostly been me feeling like I'm just chasing my tail :(

#28 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 22 January 2022 - 07:44 PM

Okay so not sure on this. Think I got it decently balanced, it's very back heavy. I'm wondering if I'm going to be dewed out. Got a couple hand warmers rubber banded to the front (to also help a little with balance) but thinking they are not going to work.

Dew is really worrying me about the set up. Couldn't get the dew strap on properly. Waiting for it to get darker to do polar alignment if things are not soaked. Humidity at about 50% dew point 21 degrees and temps dropping...

#29 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 22 January 2022 - 07:44 PM

Okay so not sure on this. Think I got it decently balanced, it's very back heavy. I'm wondering if I'm going to be dewed out. Got a couple hand warmers rubber banded to the front (to also help a little with balance) but thinking they are not going to work.

Dew is really worrying me about the set up. Couldn't get the dew strap on properly. Waiting for it to get darker to do polar alignment if things are not soaked. Humidity at about 50% dew point 21 degrees and temps dropping...

#30 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 22 January 2022 - 08:36 PM

Welp. That's a failure. Almost to the point I'm ready to box everything thing up and toss it in storage.

Asiair pro connects long enough to drop the connection even though I'm standing right. Next. To. The. Rig.

Can't even get it to point at an object

#31 Psychlist1972

Psychlist1972

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2021
  • Loc: Maryland, USA

Posted 23 January 2022 - 12:00 AM

Are you still in Denver? It would be weird for dew to be the problem there at freezing temps. 

ASIAir: is it crashing, do you know? Is it getting enough power, especially with anything else you've added on?

 

Pete



#32 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 23 January 2022 - 01:17 AM

Asiair plugged right into outlet. Things got worse. Spent about 4 hours trying to get something this evening.

Surfaces did start to get wet, especially the plastic table but optics where okay not that I needed clean optics.

I brought the OTA back in after the asiair failure, thought for a bit, removed the asiair, did a quick imaging train tweak, removing the oag and went back to the guide scope. Interestingly I found the helical focuser for the oag actually screwed to the mini guide scope so when with that.

In the dark I rewired the set up to a USB hub. That was fun. Pulled out the old Linux ekos laptop since I kinda knew my way around it though nothing else I could maybe get a few light frames, or a short sequence.

Tried about 3 times to get ekos to connect. Oops, accidentally had the power buttons for each USB port off. Turned them back on and got more errors. Reboot the computer. Finally got things fouo and connected.

Well, had to focus the scope. That took a bit. Ekos no good at autofocusing. Seems they can be almost in focus run the routine, it's next step (think 500 step size, probably too much) it will defocus the star and complain it lost it. Ugh. Up the exposure time a little bit and still have issues. So I plugged the remote into the focuser and manually tried to focus. Since I broke my bahtinov mask, I got it close, which took a bit, ran the autofocusing routine and same thing. It defocused the stars and complains it lost them. Sigh.

I go again counting button clicks until I get something that looks reasonable focused. I leave it alone. Oh, backspacing is off. Sigh. Meanwhile I unplugged the zwo eaf and removed it from the profile to keep it from racking focus accidentally (again).

Meanwhile I massively underestimated battery time on the laptop (will come back to this shortly).

Tried next to get the guide scope focused. Took a little bit but not as bad as the main scope (still needing tweaked). Get it close.

Whew...

Well, will the mount move to an object so I can test plate solving? Pick off m42, hit go to, hey, it's moving! Laptop goes blank... battery dead :(

I gave up and walked away from trying to image tonight.

Wanted to get things set up enough and focused close enough to park the mount, bring the laptop in, run the USB repeater line from inside where it's more comfortable.

Instead I ended up spending more time trying to get things to work again then actually using them.

The asiair is out. I'm to the point of doubting myself and wonder if this hobby is just above me. Guess EAA might be on the table but autofocusing? Can't seem to get that to work. Really want to try and get some images, to see more and be more comfortable but endless fights with gear almost makes me want to box things up and find something else... Nights are few and far between and couple that with computer or gear issues it's almost to the point of why bother. Maybe solar system stuff. I don't know :(

#33 Psychlist1972

Psychlist1972

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2021
  • Loc: Maryland, USA

Posted 23 January 2022 - 01:42 AM

It may not be that ekos is bad at focusing, it could be your settings. I use NINA. My autofocus step size is 15 for my ZWO EAF attached to my WO FLT91 w/reducer. I also have backlash set to 50 and just out (0 for in) with compensation method set to overshoot. That backlash setting I got by actually watching the focus knob while I kept incrementing the EAF value until I saw the knob move. Before an autofocus, I get the scope approximately in focus (I only had to do this once, some time ago).

 

A quick search online shows that Ekos needs you to be near-focused for its autofocus to work. So, likely quite similar to NINA.

 

For my guide scope, I used the bahtinov mask to focus. I haven't changed focus on that in months. So once you get it, you will probably be fine for a while.

 

Sorry about the laptop battery. That's a bummer. Why not just plug it into the outlet the ASI Air was in?

 

In your signature, you have a quite a lot of gear. Are you using others for visual imaging, or something else? I figured you have astro experience already given the sig. But this hobby DOES take patience as parts of it can be frustrating until you get through them. It also requires a thoughtful approach to debugging issues. Things like only ever changing one thing at a time, working through issues, research online, etc. Debugging things outside in the cold and wet is extra frustrating, so I try to do as much as possible inside. That includes testing connectivity etc.

 

Pete



#34 scottdevine

scottdevine

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2021
  • Loc: St Louis, MO

Posted 23 January 2022 - 10:19 AM

I see your experience as a flashback to me last summer. So frustrating.

The key thing that I learned is setting my expectations low and then I’m either not disappointed or pleasantly surprised.

There are lots of good posts out there about your first 10 sessions and what to do. Getting everything connected and working indoors is one. Figuring out how to focus (which took me at least 3 wasted nights) should be next. Nothing else (including guiding) will work until you focus. You can’t get the OAG in focus until the scope is. Also, the OAG has to be the right distance from the sensor to ever get in focus. They are related.

Start with getting in focus manually (adjusting in small steps with your program) and then you can run auto focus the fine toon.

Don’t give up. All of this makes it so exciting when you finally get things working.

Just keep venting on the forums. You will figure it out.
  • Psychlist1972 likes this

#35 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 23 January 2022 - 12:38 PM

Yeah my gear? Kind of put the cart before the horse I guess some of it was to try and hack my limited outings but that didn't happen.

I suppose some of my issues like as mentioned is settings. Before my laptop gave out I did get the guide algorithm set from sep to smart didn't get the chance to try it out. As mentioned I could have plugged the laptop into the power strip (should have done that first thing) but between the fiddling, racing the battery I thought I had another half hour on, being hungry and wanting dinner and starting to get cold, thin high clouds moving through I took it as a sign to just stop for the evening.

Might have another clear night tonight and doing some thinking.

Back spacing is off so that needs adjustment, guessing another mm or two but that's more fiddling.

Unsure about autofocusing. Can take the step size down by half to start with from 500 to 250 and see if it complains. I mean if I need perfect focus to start with then why autofocus? Can do it by hand faster but worried about focuser slipping or temps and potential filter changes if I get that far. Still can try a smaller initial step size. Can also see if I can get a smaller bahtinov mask to get initial focus. I also wonder if it picked a star on the outer edge that where elongated too badly or exposure was still too short to detect.

Balance was another concern, even with a 3.5 pound counterweight under the front of the scope hanging off some, was still a little back heavy. Guessing from the filter wheel.

If I attempt round 2 tonight I'll probably just fight with the Linux laptop. Not sure I want to mess with autofocusing. Also not sure I want to fiddle with trying to get backspacing more correct. Was thinking redcat. I don't have 2" filters for monochrome. Also unsure I can halfway cobble together the black cat autofocus mount for it that's supposed to hold the asiair (counterweight) to balance things out better since my asiair is basically a brick.

Ironically when I first got started back into the hobby I seemed to have better success, seems like I've gotten progressively worse. I was considering a new mount and scope upgrades but why bother when I can't get what I got out enough and when I do it's a battle. As mentioned previously I did wonder if my EQ 6 R pro is borked or needs adjustment. Was thinking of merging the two mounts for either a cem40 or cem70 and swapping the rasa for a hyper newt. But seems like flushing funds now at least until I can prove there is mount issues and if I don't have a computer that works probably or me, probably need to hold up on upgrades.

Forgot to mention I do have the WO handle on it's way in for the AT80EDT instead of the standard at handle maybe that will help mounting options and balance the scope better.

If I do get the rig out (not sure which one yet) plan B would be some EAA if nothing else. Or just pull the dob out for a bit.

Trying not to give up and stay engaged in the hobby.

Edited by wxcloud, 23 January 2022 - 12:59 PM.


#36 Psychlist1972

Psychlist1972

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2021
  • Loc: Maryland, USA

Posted 23 January 2022 - 01:25 PM

Yeah my gear? Kind of put the cart before the horse I guess some of it was to try and hack my limited outings but that didn't happen.

I suppose some of my issues like as mentioned is settings. Before my laptop gave out I did get the guide algorithm set from sep to smart didn't get the chance to try it out. As mentioned I could have plugged the laptop into the power strip (should have done that first thing) but between the fiddling, racing the battery I thought I had another half hour on, being hungry and wanting dinner and starting to get cold, thin high clouds moving through I took it as a sign to just stop for the evening.

Might have another clear night tonight and doing some thinking.

Back spacing is off so that needs adjustment, guessing another mm or two but that's more fiddling.

Unsure about autofocusing. Can take the step size down by half to start with from 500 to 250 and see if it complains. I mean if I need perfect focus to start with then why autofocus? Can do it by hand faster but worried about focuser slipping or temps and potential filter changes if I get that far. Still can try a smaller initial step size. Can also see if I can get a smaller bahtinov mask to get initial focus. I also wonder if it picked a star on the outer edge that where elongated too badly or exposure was still too short to detect.

Balance was another concern, even with a 3.5 pound counterweight under the front of the scope hanging off some, was still a little back heavy. Guessing from the filter wheel.

If I attempt round 2 tonight I'll probably just fight with the Linux laptop. Not sure I want to mess with autofocusing. Also not sure I want to fiddle with trying to get backspacing more correct. Was thinking redcat. I don't have 2" filters for monochrome. Also unsure I can halfway cobble together the black cat autofocus mount for it that's supposed to hold the asiair (counterweight) to balance things out better since my asiair is basically a brick.

Ironically when I first got started back into the hobby I seemed to have better success, seems like I've gotten progressively worse. I was considering a new mount and scope upgrades but why bother when I can't get what I got out enough and when I do it's a battle. As mentioned previously I did wonder if my EQ 6 R pro is borked or needs adjustment. Was thinking of merging the two mounts for either a cem40 or cem70 and swapping the rasa for a hyper newt. But seems like flushing funds now at least until I can prove there is mount issues and if I don't have a computer that works probably or me, probably need to hold up on upgrades.

Forgot to mention I do have the WO handle on it's way in for the AT80EDT instead of the standard at handle maybe that will help mounting options and balance the scope better.

If I do get the rig out (not sure which one yet) plan B would be some EAA if nothing else. Or just pull the dob out for a bit.

Trying not to give up and stay engaged in the hobby.

If you have time, during daylight today, get as much set up as possible inside your house, with a full stomach and a heater. Sort out connectivity while here.

 

Autofocus: you just need to be within a range. I'm not sure what autofocus is like on that app, but in NINA, it's only going to go out so far left & right of the point in order to find the focus curve. You don't need perfect, you just need to be in the ballpark. Then, once you get there, you really don't ever have to worry about it again, unless you change your setup.

 

I recommend you stop thinking of swapping or buying things. Chances are, the products aren't defective here, but you're just not putting in the time to learn them. Take out whatever you have as the simplest and least error prone setup and like others have said, learn one thing at a time.

 

ASIAir: you sure that's a brick? Power it up in the house, even if not attached to anything else, and try it out. If this is a Pro, make sure the SD card is properly seated in there (those can be a source of error) and if you get it going, follow their instructions for creating a backup of your license key.

 

But most of all, stop moving everything around and changing setup looking for a solution. You have good equipment already. Focus (no pun intended) on one simple setup and get it going. Throwing money at the situation just wastes money. Well, unless buying stuff is your hobby (it is for some folks).

 

Also, I can't say this enough: get as much working as possible while it's daylight and you're in the house. Then, take it all outside before dark and get it set up and roughly (using a phone, compass, whatever) polar aligned. Let it sit outside with the dust caps on and come to temperature. Then go back out, after supper, and do the focusing and polar alignment. Don't stress about perfect PA, just get it somewhat close. You're not at the optimization point yet. Because you sorted all the wifi and other issues while inside, this should be less stressful. For example, you can figure out your focuser backlash while the scope is sitting on a table or chair in the house. Just use the app to move it a ton in one direction (like 1000 steps), and then move it in small increments (like 5 or 10) in the opposite direction until you see the knob on the other side of the focuser move. It can help to put a bit of tape or a pencil mark on it. Keep track of how many times you moved it and then multiply that by that step size. That's your backlash setting. Mine is 50. I've seen them as high as 100 with the EAF and some rack and pinion focusers.

 

Autofocus: why resist the values I told you worked for me? Why not give those a shot? Maybe it's not the same for that app, but the EAF is the EAF. If those don't work, then try something larger. OR, just skip autofocus, but have the EAF on. Throw on the bahtinov mask and then use the focus jog controls to get the stars in focus. 

 

And most of all, if you're spending 4 hours trying to get something working, take a step back away from the problem and break it down. We rarely think clearly when tired, hungry, cold, and annoyed. :)

 

Balance: this will show up as bad guiding. Don't stress about it for now. Just get it close enough in RA that it's pretty steady so you don't grind the gears. Beyond that, it's optimization.

 

Back focus distance (not back spacing): As long as you have round stars in the middle of the frame, again, ignore optimization here for now. On my own setup, I have some tilt, so I tell the autofocuser to only use the middle 80% of the frame when figuring out if stars are in focus. Not all products have this option, but again, this becomes optimization. Honestly, you just need to be in focus enough to be able to see something and plate solve. Pinpoint stars will come later.

 

If you take out the redcat, ignore autofocus and backfocus for today. I used my redcat without a focuser for a while. It's easy enough to twist it into decent focus with the bahtinov mask. Do focus your guide scope as reasonably as you can. 

 

Maybe even just skip filters. Nothing says you can't just take black & white photos for tonight to get going. 

 

Pete



#37 Northrim

Northrim

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 248
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2019
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 23 January 2022 - 08:05 PM

For the avx I recommend astro farmers video mastering the avx.

 

 

https://youtu.be/FinqhN-17XA

 

For NINA I recommend using sky simulator to learn how to use it.

 

https://www.google.c...h8ZdTG5bNgNwHs6



#38 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 23 January 2022 - 10:03 PM

Progress! Somewhat I think. I can't tell if my sensor is dewed up or just bad conditions. Anyway redcat 51, asi1600mm

 

Single 2 minute exposures. Just "saved as" in the preview box. For some reason ekos opted for fits file no matter the format I requested but anyway... Something. 6nm astronomik h-alpha filter. Was dodging thin clouds again.

 

While doing some testing I managed to sneak about 6 objects I even somehow managed to eek out a couple wisps of sh2-240! But it's too large for my rig (and dim). Haven't got to try guiding yet.

 

For some reason this seemed to so far work better then sharpcap. Perhaps some hybrid manual EAA here? Still would like to capture an actual sequence. But seeing a half dozen objects in a short amount of time was nice.

 

Rig still sitting outside while I wait for conditions to improve some or it'll be more testing.

Attached Thumbnails

  • thehorse2min.jpg
  • 2min_rosette_ha.jpg

  • scottdevine and Psychlist1972 like this

#39 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 23 January 2022 - 10:34 PM

One more single 2min 6nm h-alpha frame.

 

This was actually kind of fun. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2minconeha.jpg

  • Psychlist1972 likes this

#40 Psychlist1972

Psychlist1972

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2021
  • Loc: Maryland, USA

Posted 23 January 2022 - 10:40 PM

Nice!

 

I like to slew around in NINA sometimes and see if I find something interesting. After midnight here, at home, the pickings are slim so I tend to find things I wouldn't normally seek out.

 

Glad to see you got it working.

 

Pete



#41 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 24 January 2022 - 01:34 AM

Doing more testing. About ready to just forget the concept of auto guiding. Now on the AVX it won't calibrate due to possible RA backlash. Huh. EQ 6 R pro exhibits declination backlash. Sigh.

Attempting some trailing drifting data I'll likely toss.

Had plate solving fail most of the night. First issues was for some reason I ended up with the wrong telescope selected. Next when I changed out the telescope for longer focal length and attempted EAA (was busy testing) and 480mm wouldn't plate solve with asi224mc. Ended up swapping it out for the asi533. Session is coming to a close for a bit.

I did have fun with some single exposure nebula images. Just hopping around. I think my filters or camera sensor on the 1600mm fogged up. Had strange Halo with the L filter. Not sure what my next steps are. Seems auto guiding is the major issue now. And trying to get electronic focusing working which might work. Auto focus would be better. Clouds roll in tomorrow.

#42 Psychlist1972

Psychlist1972

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2021
  • Loc: Maryland, USA

Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:09 AM

Not sure if you're reading or using any of the suggestions in this thread, or if I'm just shouting into the wind, but I'll post anyway.

 

Plate solving usually fails, in my experience, if any of the following are true:

 

1. Clouds or other obstruction covering a significant portion of the image. (I run into this a lot with clouds and trees here at home)

2. Focus is way out

3. Star trailing because tracking/guiding is messed up or the mount moved. (I run into this all the time when polar aligning)

4. Lens fogging (although I've not had that happen because I've always had dew straps)

5. Exposure time is not long enough to get enough stars (often more important with narrowband filters like SII)

 

I imagine it can also fail if camera pixel size, or scope focal length aren't correctly set, but I've not run into that myself.

 

Backlash:

 

All mounts have backlash. Every one of them, including the "zero backlash" models. In those, it's just super small or it's actively corrected. Every single geared or belt-driven mechanism since the dawn of the industrial age has had backlash. It's often compensated for in software and sometimes minimized in hardware (I've built a number of CNC mills and routers and 3d printers over the years and they all have mechanisms for dealing with backlash in the drive screws and belts).

 

Yes, some mounts have more than others. It's possible the AVX is one of those, but according to others, they are often set up the opposite way -- too stiff. I assume you haven't tinkered with it and that you bought it new. Here's some relevant threads:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-adjustment-20/

 

https://theskysearch...opic.php?t=2890

 

https://astromart.co...stron-avx-mount

 

However, in those threads, it seems most folks have issues with Dec, not RA.

 

 

PHD2 requires that calibration happen near the celestial equator (around 20 degrees Dec). I'm not familiar with the AVX or how it handles calibration, but that may be useful to know.

 

Halo in filter: could be any number of things, including internal reflections. Most of the time things like this calibrate out when you take flat frames.

 

 

Pete



#43 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:39 AM

Oh I figured the reasoning for the failed plate solving, one I had wrong scope selected (had the reduced AT80EDT selected and not the redcat) which would cause that first failure, I probably wasn't paying attention when I set the profile up.

Next round plate solving failure is probably because the narrow fov and I might not have had a catalog in the solver for it :)

I focused the camera with bahtinov mask (not completely fool proof, I know) so wasn't complaining here, just jotting down my experience so far.

This was my first real attempt at using the AVX with ekos and was slowly getting things dialed in. Just found it a bit amusing one mount had RA backlash and the other had declination. I thought amusingly while I was sitting outside for a moment if I could tape the two together and cancel the backlash out :)

I'm guessing the filter Halo in the L filter was as you mentioned, bad skies, vignetting or possibly some fog. I didn't even think about that possiblity. I got a few heater for the camera. Did see some fogging up when I brought that rig in.

Tonight's goal was basically just testing. Get back into things. I have been unable to install phd2 on Linux just gives errors.

Despite how the previous post came out, I did have fun. Basically it was single exposure captures just trolling around and looking. Seen a bunch of stuff and got some testing in.

The comments about foregoing guiding that was me basically saying I can kind of work around that if it's not working. Yeah do need to try to guide though.

I have been reading and I think some of your comments have kept me from dust binning the hobby and helped get me back outside :)

#44 scottdevine

scottdevine

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2021
  • Loc: St Louis, MO

Posted 24 January 2022 - 07:39 AM

Progress! Somewhat I think. I can't tell if my sensor is dewed up or just bad conditions. Anyway redcat 51, asi1600mm

 

Single 2 minute exposures. Just "saved as" in the preview box. For some reason ekos opted for fits file no matter the format I requested but anyway... Something. 6nm astronomik h-alpha filter. Was dodging thin clouds again.

 

While doing some testing I managed to sneak about 6 objects I even somehow managed to eek out a couple wisps of sh2-240! But it's too large for my rig (and dim). Haven't got to try guiding yet.

 

For some reason this seemed to so far work better then sharpcap. Perhaps some hybrid manual EAA here? Still would like to capture an actual sequence. But seeing a half dozen objects in a short amount of time was nice.

 

Rig still sitting outside while I wait for conditions to improve some or it'll be more testing.

My friend...this is what it's about. Great pictures! All the struggle with the gear to get these.  Very nice. You have some amazing equipment, so don't give up.

 

Also, guiding is BY FAR the most challenging thing for me.  NO amount of money or time can predict if it is going to work well.  I can do EXACTLY the same thing (no changes in set up) from night to night and have >1" RMS differences.  Reading the trouble shooting stuff from PhD2 is fascinating, and it will essentially tell you that...you just never know when it's going to work and not work.  With wide field like the RedCat 51, it should work a little better overall, but focus is key. 

 

You have me emotionally invested in your success now, so please keep going.smile.gif   You have already made a lot of progress.


  • wxcloud and Psychlist1972 like this

#45 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,887
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:41 PM

Here is a quick image with the redcat and zwo L filter. The ring was visible in the fit preview when taking the image. I just hit the equalize button in gimp to show it better.

The flare on the bottom right corner I'm thinking is the top of the filter (they're 1.25" threaded) I'm guessing perhaps the filter might be too small for the light path. I haven't really used lrgb filters so. Narrow band filters seemed a little less bad. This could be normal. Could be sensor or filter fogging up. Might just need flats or perhaps my skies where worse then I thought. While trying to focus I had the scope pointing north and did see streaks and this halo I assumed where clouds.

Hmmm another quick thought is perhaps is a reflection off the ring of the filter. Sky was on the bright side and sure moisture in the air scatters light around (humidity was about 50% I think).

Attached Thumbnails

  • badring.jpg

Edited by wxcloud, 24 January 2022 - 02:43 PM.


#46 rgsalinger

rgsalinger

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 11,582
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Carlsbad Ca

Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:45 PM

Anytime it's below 0C you have to consider icing up as well. All sorts of odd effects happen under those circumstances. Just a thought. 


  • Psychlist1972 likes this

#47 Psychlist1972

Psychlist1972

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2021
  • Loc: Maryland, USA

Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:58 PM

Here is a quick image with the redcat and zwo L filter. The ring was visible in the fit preview when taking the image. I just hit the equalize button in gimp to show it better.

The flare on the bottom right corner I'm thinking is the top of the filter (they're 1.25" threaded) I'm guessing perhaps the filter might be too small for the light path. I haven't really used lrgb filters so. Narrow band filters seemed a little less bad. This could be normal. Could be sensor or filter fogging up. Might just need flats or perhaps my skies where worse then I thought. While trying to focus I had the scope pointing north and did see streaks and this halo I assumed where clouds.

Hmmm another quick thought is perhaps is a reflection off the ring of the filter. Sky was on the bright side and sure moisture in the air scatters light around (humidity was about 50% I think).

If you take some flat frames, they will help you sort out what the ring is about (and will also help you remove it).

 

My money is on reflections from the side of the filter mount or something else in the imaging train. But it can be lots of things. Start with flats. (You can take them outside with the scope pointed up at sky (not sun) with some t-shirts rubber banded over the dew shield. My camera is seemingly super sensitive, so I use white plastic cutting boards.

 

Pete




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics