Getting ready for first cooled CMOS sensor

Discuss what equipment you are using.
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STEVE333
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Re: Getting ready for first cooled CMOS sensor

#81

Post by STEVE333 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:16 pm

carastro wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:35 pm
Mono imaging after a DSLR will be a big jump forward for you. A cooled camera and much more sensitive sensor.

It took me a few months to get the hang of combining the different filters together as they normally need registering, but once I discovered how to do that there was no holding me back. Targets can be visible on looping (fast download), if you adjust the brightness, and if you can view that in the negative it works even better. You'd never get that with a DSLR.

On the few occasions I have used my DSLR (perhaps travelling abroad or the odd special event like the lunar eclipse or a comet) it reminds me how much easier mono imaging is to focus and find things.

I use CCD as CMOS was not on the market when i started imaging. It suits me and I think the CMOS files are pretty huge, and probably far too big for my laptops and computers to handle.

Carole


Hi Carole - Thanks for the encouraging comments. It's always a little daunting when going into something new. However, I'm already starting to feel comfortable with APT which is the program I'll be using to control the new CMOS cooled camera/filter wheel combination. I'm looking forward to the additional rejection of LP that comes with NB imaging.

Sounds like you have been at this for a while. I appreciate your sharing your experiences with this.

PS : Carole is the name of my first girlfriend back in high school. Your name brings back nice memories. Sadly I lost my lovely wife of 50 years a little over a year ago, so, staying busy with AP has helped a lot. The new gear coming will keep me busy for some time.

Cheers,
Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#82

Post by carastro » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:20 pm

Sadly I lost my lovely wife of 50 years a little over a year ago, so, staying busy with AP has helped a lot. The new gear coming will keep me busy for some time.
That's really sad. It's great that you have a hobby to give you a focus and circle of friends.

Carole
Mount: HEQ5 + Polemaster
Guiding: SW Finderguider and QHY5
Scopes: Skywatcher ED80, Skywatcher ED120, William Optics ZS71
Cameras: Atik460EX, Atik429EX, Canon 1100D
Filters: Baader
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#83

Post by STEVE333 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:23 am

Everything arrived this afternoon. Woo hoo!!!

So far I have the filters (SHO and LRGB) installed into the filter wheel. Nerve racking to put those tiny screws into the masks and screw it onto the filter wheel with those expensive filters just waiting to be damaged!!! I think everything went in OK. Gently "blew off" the filters and put the cover back on. The camera screws directly onto the filter wheel so that is done.

Think I'll let my nerves calm down, have some dinner, and put the rest of the system together tomorrow. After it is all connected together it will be time to cable it all together and see if everything talks to and works with APT. Also need to see if my mount power supply has enough "oomph" to power both the mount and the camera cooler. There is power available right at the dovetail to be used for a camera which will be great if it is powerful enough. Saves another cable which will make balancing easier. Big day tomorrow.

Cheers,
Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#84

Post by STEVE333 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:06 am

Well, of course, I just couldn't wait. So, I connected the camera to the filter wheel, then, connected the camera/filter wheel to the telescope with the 16.5 mm adapter. Then cabled all the parts together. Since the camera has a 2-port USB hub I was able to connect both the filter wheel and the guide camera into this hub.

With everything connected together I then connected the mount + equipment to the ethernet USB 2.0 extender then through 40' of cable to the laptop with APT running. Next I started "connecting" to APT one piece of equipment at a time. Everything connected perfectly!! Wow, I was amazed.

It was time to try the camera cooling. I used the Cooling Aid to cool the camera down, and, it easily got down to -8C using only 52% cooling power. Since I was inside the house at 70F (21C) this is about equivalent to -14C when I set up outside. Very good news, the mount power supply has sufficient reserve power to also power the camera cooler!! The camera was "alive" but not focussed on anything because the telescope was just looking at the wall. However, changing filters caused a predictable and noticeable change in brightness.

So far, everything seems to be working as it should. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to set up outside and try for first light!!!

A good evenings work. I'll sleep good tonight.

Time for my "No Sugar Added" ice cream with peanuts as a reward.

More to come.

Thanks for looking,
Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#85

Post by Baskevo » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:47 am

STEVE333 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:06 am

So far, everything seems to be working as it should. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to set up outside and try for first light!!!
Woohoo! This is awesome news Steve! I can't wait to see what you can do with it :)

It is nice that your guide camera is a different brand than the 1600mm... I had a little bit of trouble with that at first. Did you make sure PHD2 works?

Also, I just remembered that when I got my camera, I didn't realize that the filters have to face a certain way. You made sure of that right?

It sounds like you are all ready to go! Now that you have narrowband, I have nothing on your pictures! Especially with your darker skies. It should be a great Spring for you!
-James W.

Telescope: Explore Scientific 80mm FCD100 Triplet APO Refractor
Mount: EQ6-R Pro
Cameras: ZWO ASI1600mm Pro (Cooled) | Canon DSLR EOS T7i
Auto-guiding: ZWO ASI120mm-Mini + Astromania 50mm Guidescope

Filters: ZWO 31mm Ha/Oiii/Sii 7nm + LRGB | Orion 2" Skyglow Filter
Accessories: Explore Scientific 2" Field Flattener, ZWO EFW 8 Position
Software: APT, SharpCap Pro, PHD2, CPWI | PixInsight, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/186194203@N06/18B629
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#86

Post by STEVE333 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:04 am

Baskevo wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:47 am
STEVE333 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:06 am

So far, everything seems to be working as it should. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to set up outside and try for first light!!!


Woohoo! This is awesome news Steve! I can't wait to see what you can do with it :)

It is nice that your guide camera is a different brand than the 1600mm... I had a little bit of trouble with that at first. Did you make sure PHD2 works?

Also, I just remembered that when I got my camera, I didn't realize that the filters have to face a certain way. You made sure of that right?

It sounds like you are all ready to go! Now that you have narrowband, I have nothing on your pictures! Especially with your darker skies. It should be a great Spring for you!


Hi James - I couldn't try PHD2 because I was inside, but, APT did say that it was connected, so, I think it is OK.
I got the ZWO Ha and Sii in according to ZWO guidelines. I'm hoping I have the Chroma 3nm Oiii in correctly because I couldn't find any guidelines from Chroma. I'll find out soon enough.

I was very surprised when everything worked the first time!!!! I kept waiting for the next piece of equipment not to connect, but, it never happened.

Can't wait to give it all a try. I need to have data so I can learn how to process NB images (HOO, SHO).

PS: I notice you live in Orange County. I used to live in Irvine a little over 30 years ago (College Park development just off of Culver). It sure grew fast.

Cheers,
Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#87

Post by Baskevo » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:46 am

STEVE333 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:04 am

Hi James - I couldn't try PHD2 because I was inside, but, APT did say that it was connected, so, I think it is OK.
I got the ZWO Ha and Sii in according to ZWO guidelines. I'm hoping I have the Chroma 3nm Oiii in correctly because I couldn't find any guidelines from Chroma. I'll find out soon enough.

I was very surprised when everything worked the first time!!!! I kept waiting for the next piece of equipment not to connect, but, it never happened.

Can't wait to give it all a try. I need to have data so I can learn how to process NB images (HOO, SHO).

PS: I notice you live in Orange County. I used to live in Irvine a little over 30 years ago (College Park development just off of Culver). It sure grew fast.

Cheers,
Steve
Well I am sure PHD2 will work! The only reason mine didn't work is because I selected ASI Camera 1 in both APT as my imaging camera and PHD2 as my guiding camera, when PHD2 should've been ASI camera 2. Luckily you won't have the problem!

That's awesome! That never happens haha

It isn't too bad. PixelMath can be your best friend. The way I do it is I basically process three separate images to the stretch (Crop, DBE, MaskedStretch, LinearFit, and then curves transformation), and then combine them. Others probably do it differently, I have heard of people combining straight away and doing all of the processing on one color image, which is easier but I feel like you have a lot more control over the images when you do it all separately.

I would highly recommend taking a look at https://www.lightvortexastronomy.com/tutorials.html, specifically these tutorials:
-Preparing Monochrome Images for Colour-Combination and Further Post-processing
-Narrowband Bicolour Palette Combinations
-​NGC7000 North America Nebula and IC5070 Pelican Nebula - CCD Narrowband Bicolour
-​Narrowband Hubble Palette
-Combining Monochrome R, G and B Images into a Colour RGB Image and applying Luminance
-Combining LRGB with Narrowband

In that order! Even if you don't use that exact process, there are a LOT of great tips in those tutorials... I learned a ton from that site, and it's free!

I would also recommend downloading the Multichannel Synthesis scripts, which make it easier to play around with the different color combinations you can do. I have been playing around with my old Canon data, separating the RGB channels, and combining some SHO with the canon data... It's pretty fun! Even though my imaging scale is a little different between the cameras, The star alignment tool is so cool and will scale the images for you perfectly! You will have a lot of fun playing around with narrowband :) Again, you get to go back through half of the messier list!

I would offer up my data for you, and I can if you really want :), but I am sure there is much better data that is on par with what you will be able to do from your darker skies. My data is messy and cloudy from the LP. While it is a challenge, it is probably not the best to learn with :( You probably won't need it before tomorrow! You will be shocked by how noise-free a narrowband, cooled image is, even if you only capture 30 minutes of data.

And BTW, you have no idea how lucky you have it that your mount powers your cooling for your camera!! One of my biggest pains is the super heavy AC cord for my camera T.T

No way! Irvine is 20 minutes from my house. I go to CSUF, and I'm applying to Irvine Law for the fall :)
-James W.

Telescope: Explore Scientific 80mm FCD100 Triplet APO Refractor
Mount: EQ6-R Pro
Cameras: ZWO ASI1600mm Pro (Cooled) | Canon DSLR EOS T7i
Auto-guiding: ZWO ASI120mm-Mini + Astromania 50mm Guidescope

Filters: ZWO 31mm Ha/Oiii/Sii 7nm + LRGB | Orion 2" Skyglow Filter
Accessories: Explore Scientific 2" Field Flattener, ZWO EFW 8 Position
Software: APT, SharpCap Pro, PHD2, CPWI | PixInsight, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/186194203@N06/18B629
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#88

Post by bobharmony » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:13 pm

Steve - I just caught up on several days of updates on this post. I'm glad to see you are having success with your combinations, Steve. +1 on the checklist idea. One of the first things I did with APT after buying the license was to take my checklist from its spreadsheet and copied into the APT checklist. I confess that while it was in Excel format, I knew it was there, but I almost never looked at it. Being able to display it in the image capture software brings it to my attention much better.

About connecting everything, I find that order doesn't really matter to me. My main deal is that it takes a couple of minutes after doing the "Quick Align" (my system is very similar to Jim (Juno16)) before I can connect anything to the scope. Once that period passes I am good to go. My normal routine is to have PHD2, APT, and Cartes du Ciel all connected to the scope. They all play well together and I haven't hit any issues yet.

Looking forward to seeing what you get with NB!

Bob
Hardware: Celestron C6-N w/ Advanced GTmount, Baader MK iii CC, Orion ST-80, Canon 60D (unmodded), Orion SSAG
Software: BYE, APT, PHD2, DSS, PhotoShop CC 2020, StarTools, Cartes du Ciel, AstroTortilla

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#89

Post by STEVE333 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:52 pm

Baskevo wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:46 am
It isn't too bad. PixelMath can be your best friend. The way I do it is I basically process three separate images to the stretch (Crop, DBE, MaskedStretch, LinearFit, and then curves transformation), and then combine them. Others probably do it differently, I have heard of people combining straight away and doing all of the processing on one color image, which is easier but I feel like you have a lot more control over the images when you do it all separately.

I would highly recommend taking a look at https://www.lightvortexastronomy.com/tutorials.html, specifically these tutorials:
-Preparing Monochrome Images for Colour-Combination and Further Post-processing
-Narrowband Bicolour Palette Combinations
-​NGC7000 North America Nebula and IC5070 Pelican Nebula - CCD Narrowband Bicolour
-​Narrowband Hubble Palette
-Combining Monochrome R, G and B Images into a Colour RGB Image and applying Luminance
-Combining LRGB with Narrowband

In that order! Even if you don't use that exact process, there are a LOT of great tips in those tutorials... I learned a ton from that site, and it's free!

I would also recommend downloading the Multichannel Synthesis scripts, which make it easier to play around with the different color combinations you can do.

You will be shocked by how noise-free a narrowband, cooled image is, even if you only capture 30 minutes of data.

And BTW, you have no idea how lucky you have it that your mount powers your cooling for your camera!! One of my biggest pains is the super heavy AC cord for my camera T.T

No way! Irvine is 20 minutes from my house. I go to CSUF, and I'm applying to Irvine Law for the fall :)


Congratulations on you college career. Sounds like you are moving right along.

Thanks for the processing tutorial tips James, I'll look into those.

I just added the Multichannel Synthesis scripts, thanks.

I do really appreciate the power being available right on the dovetail mount. In fact, because the cooled camera has a 2-port USB 2.0 hub on the back, I'm able to plug the guide camera as well as the filter wheel into the cooled camera hub. Then, the camera USB output is connected to a USB connector also on the dovetail mount! The only two cables I have coming off the mount are the two dew heater cables! They fit down through the center of the Dec axis and come out the rear of the RA axis, so, no cables hanging off the telescope! I really like the cable management on this CEM40 mount. I discussed it in my review of the mount, but, I'm liking it even more as time goes on. It has greatly simplified my ability to balance the system, and, no concerns about cable snags when performing a meridian flip.

I am looking forward to seeing the NB data. I hope it is as clean as everyone is saying. That would be a pleasure!!

Thanks again.
Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#90

Post by STEVE333 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:48 pm

bobharmony wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:13 pm
Steve - I just caught up on several days of updates on this post. I'm glad to see you are having success with your combinations, Steve. +1 on the checklist idea. One of the first things I did with APT after buying the license was to take my checklist from its spreadsheet and copied into the APT checklist. I confess that while it was in Excel format, I knew it was there, but I almost never looked at it. Being able to display it in the image capture software brings it to my attention much better.

About connecting everything, I find that order doesn't really matter to me. My main deal is that it takes a couple of minutes after doing the "Quick Align" (my system is very similar to Jim (Juno16)) before I can connect anything to the scope. Once that period passes I am good to go. My normal routine is to have PHD2, APT, and Cartes du Ciel all connected to the scope. They all play well together and I haven't hit any issues yet.

Looking forward to seeing what you get with NB!

Bob


Thanks for sharing your experiences and ideas Bob. At 78 I may look into updating the checklist just as a reminder. Couldn't hurt.

You are fortunate that order doesn't matter. For my setup it seems imperative that the mount be the first thing connected. After that it doesn't seem to make a difference. Just glad I found the solution.

I haven't yet integrated Stellarium with APT. I probably should look into that. Just so many new things it's a bit overwhelming. However, I'll keep it in mind.

With all the potential pitfalls and problems it amazes me that so many of us end up with really nice images. It is a testimony to our perseverance!

Cheers,
Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#91

Post by bobharmony » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:02 am

After reading your post, Steve, I realized that the difference for me is that I don't actually load any mount-specific software on the PC. After the initial setting of time adnd date with the HC, I never touch anything on the mount again. I just use the Celestron ASCOM driver and let everything else control the mount. First PHD2 slews near the celestial equator and meridian so I can do drift alignment, then I use CdC to slew to a bright star followed by APT to plate-solve and center if needed. Then the Bahtinov tool in APT for focus, then either APT or CdC to slew to my target, with APT for platesolving, and PointCraft with GoTo++ and Aim to get the framing just where I want it.

I have to agree we ARE a persistent bunch, and hang in there to get the results we are looking for. AP is NOT for the faint of heart!

Bob
Hardware: Celestron C6-N w/ Advanced GTmount, Baader MK iii CC, Orion ST-80, Canon 60D (unmodded), Orion SSAG
Software: BYE, APT, PHD2, DSS, PhotoShop CC 2020, StarTools, Cartes du Ciel, AstroTortilla

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#92

Post by Juno16 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:46 am

STEVE333 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:48 pm


Thanks for sharing your experiences and ideas Bob. At 78 I may look into updating the checklist just as a reminder. Couldn't hurt.

You are fortunate that order doesn't matter. For my setup it seems imperative that the mount be the first thing connected. After that it doesn't seem to make a difference. Just glad I found the solution.

I haven't yet integrated Stellarium with APT. I probably should look into that. Just so many new things it's a bit overwhelming. However, I'll keep it in mind.

With all the potential pitfalls and problems it amazes me that so many of us end up with really nice images. It is a testimony to our perseverance!

Cheers,
Steve
Steve,

I know that you have started a lot of new things, but you have really acclimated well. I was using CdC, but with all of the obstructions in my yard, I just looked on Skysafari on my phone to make sure that my focus star or target is in a visible part of my
sky. I then use GoTo++ in APT to get there.

You will have a new chunk of learnings soon with the new camera and filters!

Finally got a clear night (but windy) to get out. Its been two weeks! Trying the Cone Nebula. I will run into the trees soon, but I hope to get in about 3 hours.

Have a good night!
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO, Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.
Mounts: Celestron AVX with Orion MM Autoguider, SLT;
Binoculars: Bushnell 10X50
Camera / Software: Nikon D5300 (Ha mod), IDAS LPS D-1 Filter, Astrophotography Tool, PHD2, SharpCap v3.2, StarTools 1.6 alpha, PE14
Dog: Jack
Sky: Bortle 6
Astro Photos https://flickr.com/photos/157183480@N07 ... 7681236785
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#93

Post by Baskevo » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:15 am

bobharmony wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:02 am
After reading your post, Steve, I realized that the difference for me is that I don't actually load any mount-specific software on the PC. After the initial setting of time adnd date with the HC, I never touch anything on the mount again. I just use the Celestron ASCOM driver and let everything else control the mount. First PHD2 slews near the celestial equator and meridian so I can do drift alignment, then I use CdC to slew to a bright star followed by APT to plate-solve and center if needed. Then the Bahtinov tool in APT for focus, then either APT or CdC to slew to my target, with APT for platesolving, and PointCraft with GoTo++ and Aim to get the framing just where I want it.

I have to agree we ARE a persistent bunch, and hang in there to get the results we are looking for. AP is NOT for the faint of heart!

Bob
Bob! You should use CPWI, it shaved off at least 20 minutes of my set up time with the AVX. It is a program made by Celestron, which basically gives you a hand controller for the computer with 10x the capabilities. It automatically imports the date, time, location, etc. for you to the mount, so no more typing all that in when you start up the mount, and you can do a 0-star alignment! If you use CPWI, that is streamlined as well. Everything is just much better with CPWI, and it still works with Ascom. It is absolutely wonderful. I would highly recommend it!

I used to just turn on the mount, connect CPWI, and then select 1 star for alignment JUST for focusing (I never finished alignment half the time because I would forget), then plate solve to my target, and I was shooting in 5 minutes :) It is the best!

I didn't like my Skywatcher mount at first, because EQMod (the mount control software) is no where near as nice as CPWI... I got so frustrated because I was so spoiled with Celestron's program. I am really surprised more people don't use it. I swear by it, whole heartedly! The PEC is super easy to set up too with CPWI, which can be a huge bonus depending on your mount.
-James W.

Telescope: Explore Scientific 80mm FCD100 Triplet APO Refractor
Mount: EQ6-R Pro
Cameras: ZWO ASI1600mm Pro (Cooled) | Canon DSLR EOS T7i
Auto-guiding: ZWO ASI120mm-Mini + Astromania 50mm Guidescope

Filters: ZWO 31mm Ha/Oiii/Sii 7nm + LRGB | Orion 2" Skyglow Filter
Accessories: Explore Scientific 2" Field Flattener, ZWO EFW 8 Position
Software: APT, SharpCap Pro, PHD2, CPWI | PixInsight, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/186194203@N06/18B629
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#94

Post by Graeme1858 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:11 am

Baskevo wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:15 am
Bob! You should use CPWI, it shaved off at least 20 minutes of my set up time with the AVX. It is a program made by Celestron, which basically gives you a hand controller for the computer with 10x the capabilities. It automatically imports the date, time, location, etc. for you to the mount, so no more typing all that in when you start up the mount, and you can do a 0-star alignment! If you use CPWI, that is streamlined as well. Everything is just much better with CPWI, and it still works with Ascom. It is absolutely wonderful. I would highly recommend it!

I used to just turn on the mount, connect CPWI, and then select 1 star for alignment JUST for focusing (I never finished alignment half the time because I would forget), then plate solve to my target, and I was shooting in 5 minutes :) It is the best!

I didn't like my Skywatcher mount at first, because EQMod (the mount control software) is no where near as nice as CPWI... I got so frustrated because I was so spoiled with Celestron's program. I am really surprised more people don't use it. I swear by it, whole heartedly! The PEC is super easy to set up too with CPWI, which can be a huge bonus depending on your mount.

I'm a big CPWI fan as well. I don't use an eye piece at all now (except for polar alignment (and I've drilled dents for the tripod feet so I don't need to do that too often if I don't take the mount off the tripod)) CPWI is a Celestron joint effort with Plane Wave Instruments who also make the PlateSolve2 software. It also controls my motorised focusser, such a doddle to sit and click to watch the bat mask lines come together on APT live view.

Regards

Graeme
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#95

Post by Graeme1858 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:31 am

STEVE333 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:48 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences and ideas Bob. At 78 I may look into updating the checklist just as a reminder. Couldn't hurt.

You are fortunate that order doesn't matter. For my setup it seems imperative that the mount be the first thing connected. After that it doesn't seem to make a difference. Just glad I found the solution.

I haven't yet integrated Stellarium with APT. I probably should look into that. Just so many new things it's a bit overwhelming. However, I'll keep it in mind.

With all the potential pitfalls and problems it amazes me that so many of us end up with really nice images. It is a testimony to our perseverance!

Cheers,
Steve



You have to fire up Stellrium before APT or APT returns an error. Stellerium is a bit long winded to set up but well worth it. Especially if you're already a fan. There's two basic functions. You can use Stellarium as planetarium software and you can use it to control the mount. But you probably already knew that! I don't use it for telescope control, just for showing what the camera is looking at and how the image will be composed.

Perseverance is addictive!

Regards

Graeme
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Celestron 9.25 f10 SCT, CGX mount.
Canon 600D, Altair GPCAM2 290C, 0.5 Reducer.
Celestron 80mm Guidescope, QHY5-II Mono
Miranda 10x50 Binoculars.
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#96

Post by bobharmony » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:18 pm

Baskevo wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:15 am


Bob! You should use CPWI, it shaved off at least 20 minutes of my set up time with the AVX. It is a program made by Celestron, which basically gives you a hand controller for the computer with 10x the capabilities. It automatically imports the date, time, location, etc. for you to the mount, so no more typing all that in when you start up the mount, and you can do a 0-star alignment! If you use CPWI, that is streamlined as well. Everything is just much better with CPWI, and it still works with Ascom. It is absolutely wonderful. I would highly recommend it!

I used to just turn on the mount, connect CPWI, and then select 1 star for alignment JUST for focusing (I never finished alignment half the time because I would forget), then plate solve to my target, and I was shooting in 5 minutes :) It is the best!

I didn't like my Skywatcher mount at first, because EQMod (the mount control software) is no where near as nice as CPWI... I got so frustrated because I was so spoiled with Celestron's program. I am really surprised more people don't use it. I swear by it, whole heartedly! The PEC is super easy to set up too with CPWI, which can be a huge bonus depending on your mount.
Thanks for the idea, James. I took a quick look at the download page, but don't see my mount listed in the compatibility list. I am running with the ASGT, which followed the CG5 and preceded the AVX. It does have the Nexstar+ hand controller, so I may give it a whirl anyway. Not having to manually set time, date, and DST setting would be a plus for me, Latitude and Longitude are already loaded into the mounts memory. I would still have to drift align, as my set-up isn't quite repeatable from night to night. Maybe I should stop using the anti-vibration pads and make small divots in the composite decking for the tripod points to address that. Drift alignment is my biggest time sucker during setup. If I only had to focus and center my target, it would be very nice.


I messed around with NExtRemote for a while and it loaded the location and time information nicely, but was not very good at centering objects during slew. I wrote that off it its apparent lack of support for JNOW, it seemed to insist on J2000 for its coordinates.

In any case, you have given me something to think about :). A look at the TeamCelestron page doesn't give me much hope, but you never know.

Bob
Hardware: Celestron C6-N w/ Advanced GTmount, Baader MK iii CC, Orion ST-80, Canon 60D (unmodded), Orion SSAG
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#97

Post by carastro » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:38 pm

That was a wise move Steve. I know a few people who have inbuilt filterwheels with only 5 positions and it severely limits their capabilities. It's either narrowband or LRGB but they can't do both without changing the filters, and it's not a good idea to keep swapping them in and out with dust and damage risk.

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#98

Post by STEVE333 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:10 am

Graeme1858 wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:31 am

You have to fire up Stellrium before APT or APT returns an error. Stellerium is a bit long winded to set up but well worth it. Especially if you're already a fan. There's two basic functions. You can use Stellarium as planetarium software and you can use it to control the mount. But you probably already knew that! I don't use it for telescope control, just for showing what the camera is looking at and how the image will be composed.

Perseverance is addictive!

Regards

Graeme


Thanks Graeme - I use Stellarium often, but, never with APT. I'll give it a try.

Steve
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Software: PHD2; APT; PixInsight **** My AP website: www.steveking.pictures ****

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#99

Post by JayTee » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:55 am

Hi Steve,

Ivo has made APT work well with both Cartes du Ciel (CdC) and SkyTech X (STX) (personal experience) and when you are in the setup page under the Planetarium tab you'll see that he has listed CdC first then followed by C2A (which I have but don't use) then followed by STX. You'll also notice he has listed Stellarium last. I take this as a sign that this was the order he got the planetarium programs to work with APT. This is why I choose CdC and STX over Stellarium for my planetarium app for APT.

Cheers,
JT
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