In need of a SharpCap tutor

Somewhere to ask questions about the best way to use SharpCap
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psy1280
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In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by psy1280 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:04 pm

I do hope this ins't an inappropriate question to post, but nevertheless, let me proceed.

I am determined to learn how to use SharpCap. To date after some disastrous first attempts (although, with Robin's help, I solved my focusing issues, unfortunately, at best, I've only able to see one star, nothing else). Mike from Revolution Imager suggested I go back to using the the RI's 7" screen and not try to learn on SharpCap (I did this last night and was able to see mostly stars and constellations, haven't had a chance to view other objects).

Now my question: I'm looking for anyone to work with me, step-by-step, to get up to speed in order to use SharpCap (I must confess, I've never been good at this kind of application). I would like to hire someone in order to have regular tutorial sessions (via email, phone, skype, PayPal, etc.).

FYI: I've gone through the manual, watched some YouTube videos, etc., but just can't seem to put it all together.

Can anyone help? If this is not an inappropriate request, I will be glad to follow up with my email address.

I'm not one to give up, but my frustration is mounting. I need a tutor.

Thank you
Joe

galljj
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by galljj » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:12 pm

I don't know of any tutors - but you might try looking at this https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share ... 2A=0&mgh=1

Also, post your woes on the Cloudy Nights EAA Observation and equipment forum. If you do so, tell people your equipment, location and light pollution levels.

john

BlackWikkett
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by BlackWikkett » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:39 pm

Hi,

Come over to https://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/ someone usually broadcasting nightly weather permitting. Several users of SharpCap that broadcast there. Most broadcasters are in US so you'll want to check during darkness in the continental United States. There are also folks broadcasting from EU and Australia and New Zealand just not as often. You'll need a user account to chat or use voice but it's free setup and use. Everyone will be happy to answer your questions if they're able. Before you hire someone you may to to check it out. May be the piece of the puzzle you need to put it all together.

Hope to see you there!
-Wikkett

psy1280
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by psy1280 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:19 pm

Thank you for the suggestion, however (and unfortunately) I have more than "a question" to ask, I'm more in need of a guide. I'm so lost, I don't even know what my questions are :-)

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oopfan
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by oopfan » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:36 pm

Wikkett,

Your website displays a blank grey screen. You may want to talk to your developers to have them redirect to a page explaining why cookies and local storage should be enabled. I run a tight ship here. I find that many sites these days simply assume that cookies are turned on. Bad programming practice. And you know what turfpit-Dave says about "assume"? Ask him (/sarc).

Brian

BlackWikkett
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by BlackWikkett » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:31 pm

Not a web developer so don't know anything about grey screen. It works for hundreds of other users. I'll pass it along. This isn't a commercial site more like a community of like minded individuals and not a lot of development budget if any. I'll pass along your concerns. Just want to toss out a life line. Can't make anyone grab it. GL in your search for tutor.

-Wikkett

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oopfan
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by oopfan » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:15 am

You can recreate it by going to your browsers settings:
1. Delete all cookies.
2. Check or select "block all cookies"

It works for hundreds of other users because they are not overriding the default browser setting that accepts all cookies and site data. That gives all websites they visit the authority to dump all kinds of junk on their computers. I prefer to block all and then selectively whitelist those that I want.

Brian

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turfpit
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by turfpit » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:49 am

Joe

I was were you are now 2 years ago. How I made progress was 3-fold:
  • Going on some one day imaging workshops.
  • Practising inside the house where I was warm and comfortable. At first during the day - that helped with learning how to use the equipment. A tree blowing gently in the wind can be stacked in Autostakkert. Moving on to night time work, I used a Bahtinov Mask to learn how to focus on a distant street lamp. Night images from inside can be useful as a learning tool.
  • Writing the SharpCap manual
At the beginning, I was using an Astro Video Systems DSO-1, which is a CCTV style video camera. Most of the controls are in the camera menu system and are not exposed to the SharpCap interface. The suggestion to use the screen is sensible as it reduces complexity. That will get you to focus on the camera controls. Until you understand those, not much is going to happen with Astro imaging.

I think I have sent you some pointers to getting started in a previous post.

I assume (dangerous) you are located on the North American continent which would make the travel expenses outrageous for me. :)

Brian's statement about assume and me - for the newcomers:
ASSUME will make an ASS of U and ME but assumption was summed up much better in the film Under Siege 2.

Dave

psy1280
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by psy1280 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:56 pm

Dave,
Your post was most encouraging!!! Thank you. As to your three points, can you give me any information about "day imaging" workshops. I never heard of these. And yes, I've been able to stack moving branches using SharpCap in the daytime (no problem with bright objects using a 1/10000 speed). Since you've been so helpful, let me ask a few more questions:

1.) One thing I'm thinking is that I've messed up all the setting in SharpCap with my trial-and-error fiddling around, is there a way to set all the settings to default?

2.) I was able to use the Revolution Imager and 7" screen quite successfully. The stars were generally okay (I did focus with a Bahtinov mask), however most of the non-centered stars were rarely circular, mostly little blobs. I tried different exposures and gain, with some luck, but the views were terribly disappointing (could have been the quality of the monitor) all I kept thinking was to wait to spring and simply get back to visual astronomy.

Yes, I'm about twenty minutes north of New York City and light polluted skies). I tried to view the pinwheel galaxy, and a few dark sky objects using the 6 stackings of Revolution Imager--absolutely nothing!

3.) I work most evenings (psychologist) and when I'm off it's been typically cloudy, but next opportunity I was thinking to set up with the 7" screen, get something like a cluster in focus (using, of course, the camera controls) and then disconnecting and setting up SharpCap. If I do this, do you think the same image will be seen in SharpCap, i.e., or will I have to manipulate the camera settings in SharpCap in order to see anything? Previously I couldn't see anything in SharpCap (I'm sure it was probably exposure, etc., etc., although I don't know, which is why I'm writing this to you)

Well, it would be great to have you as a tutor (Any chance of Skyping to walk me through any of this, I'm more than willing to pay for your services, I would not otherwise take up your valuable time), unless, of course, you think I simply need to continue my trial-and-error plodding. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm just very lost at the moment. But, not defeated!!!!

You've been most kind to offer a helping hand, I do appreciate it.
Joe

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turfpit
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Re: In need of a SharpCap tutor

Post by turfpit » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:56 pm

Joe

Day imaging workshops - I live in the UK and found some workshops which were delivered by world class imagers such as Damian Peach and Gary Palmer. They involved a 300 mile round trip and 6 hours scribbling down notes. First time at each course, I was overwhelmed with info. I attended each course the following year and that worked for me because second time around I had some good questions to ask plus sample data to discuss. The courses were deep sky, lunar, planetary but none of them were specific to my camera. Given your location, there must be equivalent workshops being delivered by experience imagers. Otherwise seek out a local astronomy club.


Answers to questions:
1. At the top right of the Camera Control Panel, you will find Capture Profiles. Click on the Manage button and in the Capture Profile Management window, expand any cameras in the left hand pane and delete any associated profiles. That would put the settings for that camera back to SharpCap defaults. Perhaps Robin has a faster way to do this?

2. What do you use to access the RI menu system? Is it some other software or buttons on the back? Post an image (screenshot using the snipping tool) of a star in focus using Bahtinov mask like this viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1151. Post some images of the RI menu settings you are using - these can assist others in order to help you. Pinwheel is not perhaps a good starter object. Consider these objects - moon, M42, M45, a globular cluster. M42 and M45 are big and bright, so easy to find. The moon is good as a waxing crescent at the moment. In my M42 Chronicles post, viewtopic.php?f=16&t=596, the first two images are with the DSO-1 but a year apart.

3. That would work as SharpCap is only displaying what the camera sees and most of the settings are done in the camera.

Having worked as a teacher/lecturer for a few years, I sense that what would be most beneficial to you is to actually have someone with you. Remote sessions with software like TeamViewer would be awkward.

This is my setup workflow, some of it may not apply to you depending on your equipment:

- Dummy set-up and check all extensions for eyepiece and camera inside house in daylight.
- Eyepiece to focus on civic centre mast array.
- Check alignment of scope and RDF.
- Swap eyepiece for camera & refocus.
- Polar align mount via polar scope.
- 2 + 4 star mount alignment.
- ASPA for mount.
- Focus on star near to object of interest using Bahtinov Mask.
- Take test frame and inspect in FITS Liberator.
- Commence image run.

This is always my starting point for a session, when finder scope and telescope are aligned on a land based object. Note use of reticule for centering. At this point focus will be 'good enough' for stars when aligning the mount.
2.jpg
2.jpg (62.24 KiB) Viewed 1243 times
Some things to post back.

- Equipment used (scope, mount)
- Camera internal settings and associated image for a daytime land based object.
- Camera internal settings and associated image). Do this for the various images such as lunar, M45, M42 and a globular cluster.

Have a look at my other posts to you - they should help.

I am in the process of writing a book which actually addresses your situation. It is however about 3 months into next year if all goes well. The subtitle is 'the book i wish I had when i started out with this money pit of a hobby'. Looks like a chapter on CCTV style video cameras is probably on the cards. I will have to dig out the old DSO-1 and see what I can do with it now plus a post back into the M42 Chronicles topic.

It will be interesting see how many views this thread clocks up as an indication of how many people are in the same place as you.

Remember Joe - nil desperandum.

Dave


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