Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting better

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Starry Jack
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Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting better

Post by Starry Jack » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:53 am

I've fixed optical train alignment issues and am starting to get some very pleasing images. Note that this image is a single frame grab from a Mallincam Jr. Pro video camera. Not as sharp as a true CCD, but for watching a live shot I am very happy. Post processing can be done later with captured movies or series of stills. Also finally located the dust specs so I'll attack those next.

Thanks all for the help,
Jack
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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by swisswalter » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:56 am

Hi Jack

great result
Only stardust in the wind, some fine and some less fine scopes, filters and adapters as well. Switzerland 47 N, 9 E, in the heart of EUROPE :)

from 7 am - 7 pm http://www.nanosys.ch

from 7.01 pm - 6.59 am http://www.wastronomiko.com some times vice versa ;)

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by marktownley » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:31 am

Good stuff!
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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Valery
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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Valery » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:36 am

While there is a definitive progress, I am not so optimistic about the level achieved. Need to be corrected further up to really good results.
This configuration has much higher potential. So, don't give up and move ahead!

Valery.
"Solar H alpha activity is the most dynamic and compelling thing you can see in a telescope, so spend accordingly." (c) Bob Yoesle.

Largest full size 185 - 356mm Dielectric Energy Rejection Filters (D-ERF) by ARIES Instruments.

Starry Jack
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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Starry Jack » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:02 pm

Valerie,
Thank you for the challenge. It means I have an achievable goal.

So let's look at root causes here and potential avenues to pursue:

1) Quality of Optics: Can't change...100mm Nexstar

2) Quality of ERF: LUNT...can't upgrade to Baader at this time

3) Quality of Camera: Mallincam is excellent, but there are versions with smaller pixels which I can buy as time goes on...

4) Using a Different Camera: I don't plan to change from a video camera at this point in time because my primary observing experience is LIVE rather than post processing...that said, I can produce stacks of images and movies in real time (live) but I don't know how to use Registax and Autostakker...YET.

5) Optical Train: I believe I am as aligned as possible, but I can keep an eye on that and can try some experiments to see if I can align even better

6) Histogram and other settings (gain, brightness, contrast, exposure, gamma, hue, saturation, etc): I'll seek help from some experts I know on modifying these settings but please feel free to advise here.

7) PST Tuning: I'm not convinced I have the magic formula for tuning the PST. Currently I am rotating the tuning ring right and left and when I get the center of the FOV dark and the widest swath of tuned FOV I then turn the opposite direction just a fraction to "lock it in". This seems to help.

8) Other???

Give me some targets to shoot at and I will hit them,

Jack

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Valery » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:25 pm

Starry Jack wrote:Valerie,
Thank you for the challenge. It means I have an achievable goal.

So let's look at root causes here and potential avenues to pursue:

1) Quality of Optics: Can't change...100mm Nexstar

2) Quality of ERF: LUNT...can't upgrade to Baader at this time

3) Quality of Camera: Mallincam is excellent, but there are versions with smaller pixels which I can buy as time goes on...

4) Using a Different Camera: I don't plan to change from a video camera at this point in time because my primary observing experience is LIVE rather than post processing...that said, I can produce stacks of images and movies in real time (live) but I don't know how to use Registax and Autostakker...YET.

5) Optical Train: I believe I am as aligned as possible, but I can keep an eye on that and can try some experiments to see if I can align even better

6) Histogram and other settings (gain, brightness, contrast, exposure, gamma, hue, saturation, etc): I'll seek help from some experts I know on modifying these settings but please feel free to advise here.

7) PST Tuning: I'm not convinced I have the magic formula for tuning the PST. Currently I am rotating the tuning ring right and left and when I get the center of the FOV dark and the widest swath of tuned FOV I then turn the opposite direction just a fraction to "lock it in". This seems to help.

8) Other???

Give me some targets to shoot at and I will hit them,

Jack

Jack,

All camera models we do use here are TELE cameras. They have a stream video flow to the computer but in the digital form, not a video PAL
signal. You can easily see the image in a real time and with faster frame rates than the camera you do use with a plenty of adjustment parameters
like brightness, contrast, gamma, frame rate, exposure time, region of interest (ROI) change etc etc.
You also can record movies and then play back them countless times and stop them, print screen them, and, of course, create a final pictures which
allow to have images very contrasty and very high in resolution.

Really, forget about these Mallincam cameras, especially color ones.

All other problems are easily solvable.

Hope this helps.


Valery.
"Solar H alpha activity is the most dynamic and compelling thing you can see in a telescope, so spend accordingly." (c) Bob Yoesle.

Largest full size 185 - 356mm Dielectric Energy Rejection Filters (D-ERF) by ARIES Instruments.

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Starry Jack » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:26 pm

Valery,
Would you mind sharing a link? I can't seem to find the camera you are referencing.

Jack

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Derek Klepp » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:02 pm

Jack all my pics are with a GSTAR EX mono running PAL or S-Video like you my main aim is live view straight onto an old CRT Tv that matches the camera output to the letter.I am guessing I am the only one still on analogue here.With my camera using the occulting function and on occasion colour filters I can get the limb and disc clearly in one take(see my latest Ha post).I have a digital camera A 174 chipped but at the moment I run 8-10m cables and USB doesn,t like that. I think it comes down to what one is happy with in there setup .
Cheers Derek

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Valery » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:47 am

Starry Jack wrote:Valery,
Would you mind sharing a link? I can't seem to find the camera you are referencing.

Jack
See and read here: http://www.ptgrey.com/astrophotography
"Solar H alpha activity is the most dynamic and compelling thing you can see in a telescope, so spend accordingly." (c) Bob Yoesle.

Largest full size 185 - 356mm Dielectric Energy Rejection Filters (D-ERF) by ARIES Instruments.

Starry Jack
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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Starry Jack » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:02 am

Valery,
Thank you for the link. I'd like to suggest that from this point forward comments not center on disparaging remarks about my equipment if possible (you've made at least two of them). I love my equipment and for good technical reasons as well. When I looked at your link I thought that your comments about how poor my camera choice was sounded familiar so I did a little research and see you are an active member of Cloudy Nights which has a habit of banning Mallincam users.

So, while your camera choice looks great, my choice is my choice at this time.

If you say, "all the other problems can be fixed", let's focus on coaching for those issues because at this time they are in my control. Money for another camera is not in my control so let's concentrate on getting better at using what I do have.

With great respect and admiration for the work you do and the time you devote to this hobby,

Jack

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Starry Jack » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:06 am

Derek,
Thank you for the referral to the GSTAR camera. I will certainly check it out (and thanks again to Valery for the referral to Point Grey). I love seeing the options out there I can drool over waiting for more funds to show up at the door.

I have to laugh...no...you are not the last of the analog users. We have several in the Mallincam user group at Yahoo as well. They love the fact there is no computer involved to glitch or setup. And their results are stunning. :-)

In fact, when I don't want to haul out my laptop to the observatory, I too image directly to an 8" monitor and love the results.

Best,
Jack

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Starry Jack » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:14 am

WOW Derek! I saw your images on the GSTAR site. Egad that's amazing stuff.

Jack

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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Derek Klepp » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:39 am

Jack I'll try to upload some set up pics.If you click on the pics twice you will be able to read the labels
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Re: Pleased as Punch: Alignment fixed and images getting bet

Post by Starry Jack » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:49 am

Derek,
That is an exciting setup.

Thank you for sharing.

Jack

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