Camera or Pro License Problem??

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carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Wed May 08, 2019 9:03 pm

Fellows, it seems that I can't reply to each of you in the order your responses came in. It seems that I can only respond to the last person who wrote me.
I will do a better job after about 9pm tonight.. But to the first one (BlackWikket): no I don't guide. I only use the tracking (guiding) movement provided by my Celestron computer directed mount which has been very effective until getting the Pro License.

To Admin: I will check as you say the next time I go out which looks like it can't be faster than a week because of the weather.
My Celestron system suffers from one outstanding problem in that for about 5 nights the moon can shine so brightly as to prohibit it from being able to point the scope to items I choose. Bright moonlight can interfere with it "seeing" through its camera enough stars to 'understand' where it is. That can be another delay to me getting out and trying out what so many of the forum is suggesting.

I will respond in turn to everyone tonight. But that ability to stack on empty space (somewhat proven by examining the stacked pictures and seeing no stars, only the few hot pixels) remains to be explained.
It use to be that I might have to raise one or both of gain or exposer to get stacking mode to stop dropping frames. Now that does not seem to matter. It might be happy to stack on the physicist's mysterious Dark Matter and Energy too,, I guess.

But thanks, I will diligently check everything that you all have suggested. Thanks again, Carl Wagle

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Thu May 09, 2019 2:09 am

To BlackWikkit: I mentioned earlier that I do not "guide" but I do use a Celestron tracking system that until recently has given good stacked images. The stacking ability of SharpCap has overcome the slight error my equipment generates until recently. I have double checked the smoothness of its tracking operation while not using SharpCap an it works like brand new.

I can't be sure that the ALIGN FRAME box was checked on until weather permits me to set up again outside. However, I did use the practice camera (DEEP SKY) provided by SharpCap, showing Orion, and noticed this box was not checked on. But I'm thinking that I have known to check this for being on months ago and know from experience that with out it on there will be no stacking. I have presumed that it comes back on automatically. I DO need to relook at this. It could be that when I installed the new Pro License that this box got unchecked and I was not aware or expecting that. Thanks,, Carl

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Thu May 09, 2019 2:55 am

Robin, as I just mentioned to BlackWikkett I will check with clear eyes that Align Frames box being checked ON.
I have been using M-44, BeeHive Starcluster for a couple of months because it does have so many stars that it easily supplies the required three if not more than fifteen. When ever I can count 6 stars in the work area screen and have trouble with stacking I incrementally increase gain and exposure until stacking begins. For this target stacking has reliably begun around 200 gain and slightly over 2 seconds exposure.

Let me ask you a question: If I did not have the ALIGN FRAMES box checked ON an began a LIVE STACK,, if were not getting stacking would I not see beneath the box that tells me how many frames are stacked a message telling me that a particular number of frames are not being stacked? I was not seeing such in the FRAMES NOT STACKED box. No, recently it seems I can stack all frames no matter what I'm pointing at.

Earlier today I took a look at the two Dark Frames that I used that night and both of them were remarkably lacking in any hot pixels showing up except for three that were roughly in the area where I have found them in my stacked picture. They are as uniform and spotless as new black velvet eccept for these three dots.

I took a look at the poorly stacked picture I sent you an notice there is no way provided that you can magnify them. But if you move the picture around and look carefully you can see 3 small BRIGHT spots on them.. A hand lense would help. I will be checking everything the forum has suggested, but like I originally wrote I think stacking is being affected by these FEW hot pixels being 'seen' (or counted) as stars. They are often times the brightest (although very small) component of the picture. Thank you for your suggestions, they will be used. Carl

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Thu May 09, 2019 3:34 am

Dave, the four questions; How to run the snipping tool, I will get experience here with my son this Saturday about using that.

Show live stack settings on a forums post, I thought the "camera settings" that I sent in were that. Do you mean for me to include a screen shot of some sort? Could you show an example of what you mean? I will learn to do screen shots and attach them this weekend.


Are Dark Frames working for me? I think I'm capturing very good ones. If they were filed as FITS I would send you all one as an attachment. I hope to learn how to send them to the forum this weekend.
A person needs the Pro License to get any experience with applying Dark Frames. My experience so far, at this early stage,has not been satisfactory. Please read what I just sent to Robin.


Are you correctly focusing? I use the Bahtinov Mask and it certainly does give you certainty you have a good focus. I have recently noticed when using it that only in RGnB color mode (did I get that right?), not RAW 8 nor RAW 16 nor MOMO 8 do I see color in the diffraction pattern. That is the reason I selected that color mode last time because that is the first sign of any color I have seen since I started using SHarpCap and I was hopping I could see some color in the stars of M44. But no, there was no star color in my FITS picture nor work screen. Thanks for your reply. Carl

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Thu May 09, 2019 3:50 am

Dave, I will work on learning snipping this week en.
About your third reply. I may not cover it all, I will double check this. Yes, now several people have mentioned to be sure the ALIGN FRAME box is checked. I think it has been but I will thoroughly make sure that it is.

I apprieciate what I think is a screen shot that you just sent. I can't go back right now and see it but I have been thinking the two boxes directly beneath that Align Frame one might be useful in limiting interference of stacking due to Hot Pixels. I think one has the initial WFMB in it and the other is a brightness limiter. Do you think they would work on the problem I've described? Carl

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Thu May 09, 2019 6:22 am

Dave, I have been having a lot of trouble getting this message out. I will get back on this about 10:00 pm tomorrow and finnish about hopefully by 2:AM. Carl

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turfpit
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by turfpit » Thu May 09, 2019 8:21 am

Carl
I did use the practice camera (DEEP SKY) provided by SharpCap, showing Orion, and noticed this box was not checked on
That may be why the Align Frames box is unchecked. SharpCap will 'remember' the Live Stack settings and apply them at next start up. It is easy to check by just using the laptop + camera (no need for a telescope).
  • start SharpCap
  • connect the camera
  • start Live Stack
  • check settings in Live Stack panel
This screen snip hopefully explains what settings are saved/not saved in the CameraSettings file.

settings.jpg
settings.jpg (112.98 KiB) Viewed 540 times


When trying to find what is not working, it is helpful to prove what is working when trying to solve a problem. If I was trying to solve your described problem on my machine I would carry out these steps in the order listed:
  • Check Align Frames and Highlight Detected Stars in Live Stack settings.
  • Prove that Dark Frame Subtraction is working.
  • Prove good focus.
  • Try Live Stack.
The first 3 items in the list above are all possible reasons why stacking could have problems.

Good Live Stack targets at the moment for me would be M13, M51 and M27 (plenty of stars to align with).

Posting back screen shots to the forum will demonstrate those aspects are working and assist those people trying to help you.

I would suggest creating a master dark just before imaging an object. That way ensures that there is a good temperature match between the dark and light frames. The process will only take a minute or so to complete.

Dave

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Thu May 09, 2019 8:26 pm

Hello Dave.
I stayed up very late last night going through the instructions you gave me before this last one.
I went though all the steps 3 times before I made any conclusions.
But first let me say that the Align Frame box was first seen as CHECKED on. It comes back on from who it was used the last time, So, its been coming on automatically for the past month. Installing the Pro License did not turn it off nor did I accidentally. That has not been the problem, what it is needs to be determined.

Last night my doing things over and over created some confusion in exactly what Dark Frame went into the window to the right of the BROWSE button. When I click on that box I can't see what has been selected like I can in the clipping you sent recently. What I see is a pop up like window beneath it with 4 or more horizontal lines, each one seeming to give a choice of Dark Frame I could use. The top line gives the option NONE.

Since there was any confusion I'm going to do the whole thing once after deleating any Dark Frame I have ever stored. When making a Dark Frame, I have not been clicking on that button for making a LIBRARY. No, I have been clicking on the one to the right of it.

But what I did do last night was work back from a 3 minute 450 gain setting until I got a pixel noise 'density' that was about the same as the one you sent which came to be about 90 seconds with about 300 gain. I made three pictures of that noisy picture for later reference. Then 3 dark frames which I never double checked to see how dark they really were. That takes a lot of time and I will do that on this try. The results of that kind of magnification and looking over has been reported by me within this subject earlier (it being not perfect).

looking forward to taking stacked pictures of M13, m51, m27. M3 (not M13) is easy for me to find, but no luck on M51 . Before the next clear night I hope to get this problem of poor stacking solved. I have not had it until I recently obtained the Pro License. I hope after my next response you will be able to determine if there is any problem with me using a dark frame and help me see my way through it . Carl

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turfpit
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by turfpit » Thu May 09, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks Carl
When making a Dark Frame, I have not been clicking on that button for making a LIBRARY. No, I have been clicking on the one to the right of it.
Using the Dark Library setting will create a folder structure for your Darks. I think you are starting to find your way around now.

capture-dark-frame.PNG
capture-dark-frame.PNG (17.32 KiB) Viewed 525 times

Don't forget, the dark frame test can be carried out in the house without a telescope. That way you don't waste good skies doing testing. This is how I work now - prove as much as possible in the comfort of the house.

The fact that you had to use much higher gain and exposure that me to force the hot pixels is because your camera is much better.

M3 would be a good target also - plenty of stars.

Don't forget to check the box Highlight Detected Stars. A screen snip of the Live Stack window with that enabled will be useful.

Dave

carlwagle
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Re: Camera or Pro License Problem??

Post by carlwagle » Fri May 10, 2019 4:10 am

Dave, I just finished running that 4 step process you recommended yesterday. I got the same results as I did last night. The picture with out the dark frame used had at least a thousand or two pixels showing up all over the screen. But what disappoints me is the picture taken with the dark frame had at least 50. That is a tremendous reduction and perhaps that might seem like the subtraction was well done. But I have seen my stacking interrupted (like you have seen in the posted picture) by as few as four that I can see using some magnification.

My results appear to be about the same as seen in your #7 picture when a 3 or 4 inch hand lense is used to magnify it. Your picture does have a good number of bright pixels showing up. Our pictures one and seven look very much the same. I've looked closely at many pictures made by me tonight using the dark frame and not. Checking 4 using df subtraction I found one that showed utterly no pixels. I double checked that one! Boy,, that's what I expect! It's hard to believe but perhaps we should expect that everytime.

On the dark frames that I have used before getting the Pro license I have counted as few as four anywhere on the frame. The differences in numbers probably relates to the higher gains and exposures called for in making your test along with the higher camera temps found inside my house.

But a suggestion I think you made was a good one to cease filing my dark frames under CAPTURE FOLDER and file them in the other choice to the left, CAPTURE LIBRARY.. That has made them a lot easier to find because earlier I had to leave SharpCap and pick them from a folder accessed from an Icon labeled SHARPCAP CAPTURES. located on my computer's start up page. And, mistakes could have been made.

I will be looking forward to the next clear night to see if I can do better. Thanks for your help. Carl

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