Author Topic: What sortware to go for  (Read 2492 times)

julian489289

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What sortware to go for
« on: June 04, 2014, 07:19:11 PM »
I have been imaging for about 24 months now and would like to improve my capture and focus routines but still feel an astro newby!  :o

Currently, I use APT to control my Canon 650D DSLR, Cartes du Ciel & PHD to control my Magnificent mini auto guider.  I have aHEQ5 pro mount which I have to set up each occasion I go out to image, ie not a fixed mount and control through my laptop.

I have heard of Astro Tortilla for plate solving.  I think this is just for accurate alignment of my gotos but would like to know if it can also me used for aligning the same target over multiple imaging nights so that I can gather loads of data of that target over time??  I hope some one can advise if this software can do this or alternatively, how I can ensure that the target is accurately targeted each night.

I have also read about nebulosity as a capture and pre process software.  Is it worth the outlay to buy this software rather than just using APT or BYEoS?  I would like to get into dithering the DSLR.  Can Nebulosity do this or even APT?  If so, how would i set that up.

I am also looking into autofocusing.  I have seen the Lakeside focuser and wondered how this stood in people's recommendations.  I see it is expensive but it is a stepper motor and can be used for auto focus & temp correction.  Are these important considerations?

I use PHD to guide and note that it can be linked to APT or Nebulosity.  What is the benefit of linking PHD into these programs rather than running separately as I do now?

Sorry so many questions in one topic, hope you guys can guide me in the right direction to improve my set up and routine.  Have made some expensive mistakes in the past with buying gear not really knowing what I am doing!   ;D
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 07:51:50 PM by julian489289 »
Julian

8" Meade LX10 SCT
Antares F/6.3 Focal Reducer
Revelation Crayford Focusser
Explore Scientific 102mm ED APO Refractor
Orion 50mm Guidescope
Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan Mount
Canon 650D DSLR with Astronomik EOS CLS clip Filter
Bahtinov mask

blinky

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Re: What sortware to go for
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 12:26:08 AM »
I have been imaging for about 24 months now and would like to improve my capture and focus routines but still feel an astro newby!  :o

Currently, I use APT to control my Canon 650D DSLR, Cartes du Ciel & PHD to control my Magnificent mini auto guider.  I have aHEQ5 pro mount which I have to set up each occasion I go out to image, ie not a fixed mount and control through my laptop.

I have heard of Astro Tortilla for plate solving.  I think this is just for accurate alignment of my gotos but would like to know if it can also me used for aligning the same target over multiple imaging nights so that I can gather loads of data of that target over time??  I hope some one can advise if this software can do this or alternatively, how I can ensure that the target is accurately targeted each night.

As far as I know it can, I don't see why not but I have not used it. I use MaximDL and it comes with it's on Pinpoint plate solve engine which works in the same was as Astro tortilla. Plate solve an image, save the co-ords then use them as the target the next night, do a plate solve then re-sync to target.

I have also read about nebulosity as a capture and pre process software.  Is it worth the outlay to buy this software rather than just using APT or BYEoS?  I would like to get into dithering the DSLR.  Can Nebulosity do this or even APT?  If so, how would i set that up.

Not sure - I aint never used it and I have a CCD, again I use Maxim for my guiding and image capture

I am also looking into autofocusing.  I have seen the Lakeside focuser and wondered how this stood in people's recommendations.  I see it is expensive but it is a stepper motor and can be used for auto focus & temp correction.  Are these important considerations?

Temp compensation, depends I think, what scope are you using?  Personally I build a little stepper focuser and connected it to arggggghhhh cant remember its name now! But its free :-)  the circuit is easy to make, you need an arduino (bout a tenner) and any old stepper motor (I used one from my HEQ5 that was replaced when I upgraded it to GoTO)

I use PHD to guide and note that it can be linked to APT or Nebulosity.  What is the benefit of linking PHD into these programs rather than running separately as I do now?

I think it allows you to dither between subs...... not 100% sure on that. Also I think it might be possible to disable guiding when downloading an image, as some people seem to have problems with this

Sorry so many questions in one topic, hope you guys can guide me in the right direction to improve my set up and routine.  Have made some expensive mistakes in the past with buying gear not really knowing what I am doing!   ;D

So.... Where are you anyway?  I'm just outside Edinburgh in Gorebridge, moved here a few weeks ago so next year I will be building my own observatory again as I needed to leave it at the last house!

julian489289

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Re: What sortware to go for
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 09:55:05 AM »
Thanks Blinky. :)

There seems to be so much software out there, inc some freeware that makes AP alot easier.  It's just knowing what to use. It sounds as though, i just need to add Astro Tortilla for my plate solving from night to night and continue with APT for my PHG & dithering which would save me 60-70 on the new controlling software.

I would love to have the knowledge to build my own auto focuser and stepper motor but I am one of the unfortunate ones that have to buy these things!! ???

I am down in the North Notts area but unfortunately do not have great skies where I live to build my own observatory.  That must be fab to have one, do you get good dark skies in Gorebridge?

thanks for your input, this forum never fails to help :)
Julian

8" Meade LX10 SCT
Antares F/6.3 Focal Reducer
Revelation Crayford Focusser
Explore Scientific 102mm ED APO Refractor
Orion 50mm Guidescope
Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan Mount
Canon 650D DSLR with Astronomik EOS CLS clip Filter
Bahtinov mask

blinky

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Re: What sortware to go for
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 01:42:04 PM »
I only moved in around the end of astro darkness but it seems pretty dark - there is nothing south of me till Jedburgh etc so it should be pretty dark!

julian489289

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Re: What sortware to go for
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 02:10:08 PM »
Should be good dude, oh for dark skies.  Can get some but about 30 mins drive for me!! :'(

Post a shot of the observatory when you have built it, would like to see it
Julian

8" Meade LX10 SCT
Antares F/6.3 Focal Reducer
Revelation Crayford Focusser
Explore Scientific 102mm ED APO Refractor
Orion 50mm Guidescope
Orion Starshoot Autoguider
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan Mount
Canon 650D DSLR with Astronomik EOS CLS clip Filter
Bahtinov mask