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Old 25-03-2012, 12:15 PM
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CCDsoft and autodark for autoguider

I have been using CCDsoft.

I am using a Lodestar and it works better if you can use autodarks. But it can't do autodarks because it either does not have an electronic shutter which is controlled by CCDsoft or it does not have a mechanical shutter. As a result it simply will autodark out most of your guide star. It will still guide but its now more of a fiddly situation.

If I use a library dark, then select reduce under the image menu, then make sure the dark file is attached under select frame and same with bias it works when simply taking a full frame.

But when you click autoguide and the frame size becomes very cropped the darks and bias is no longer subtracted.

Am I doing something wrong here?

Is anyone using library darks with their autoguider in CCDsoft?

Greg.
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  #2  
Old 17-04-2012, 02:31 PM
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Greg
Did you everget to the bottom of this as I was going to get a lodestar to use with ccdsoft but I would come up against this problem.
I then realised that if I used PhDguiding I could take darks to use with this camera and then continue, but I wouldn't be able to use CCDSoft.
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Old 17-04-2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
I have been using CCDsoft.

I am using a Lodestar and it works better if you can use autodarks. But it can't do autodarks because it either does not have an electronic shutter which is controlled by CCDsoft or it does not have a mechanical shutter. As a result it simply will autodark out most of your guide star. It will still guide but its now more of a fiddly situation.

If I use a library dark, then select reduce under the image menu, then make sure the dark file is attached under select frame and same with bias it works when simply taking a full frame.

But when you click autoguide and the frame size becomes very cropped the darks and bias is no longer subtracted.

Am I doing something wrong here?

Is anyone using library darks with their autoguider in CCDsoft?

Greg.
Greg

Cant help with Lodestar but the SBIG STi has its own shutter.

in CCDsoft it takes autodarks every time you change exposure length and then does auto dark subtract.
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Old 17-04-2012, 05:34 PM
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As far as I can tell and I have tried several times, library darks for the autoguider only work when it is full frame. Once it does subframing it does not do library darks. Most likely because the frame sizes would no longer match.

If you use autodark which I sometimes do, it works, but because the Lodestar does not have a shutter as Chris mentioned the STi does, it takes a light and subtracts it from the light it took a second ago. I have a STi enroute and I can do a comparison and post the review.

Now funnily enough that actually works in that the guide star must move enough or shift in shape enough that a sizeable portion of the guide stars survives and autoguiding works!

I get perfect round stars at 3 metres and 15 minute subexposures doing just that.

I haven't used PHD and it may be better suited to the Lodestar.

The Lodestar is very convenient with only one cable and also very light and a convenient size fitting in eyepiece holders. But the 2 I have had showed bad artifacts. The first with horizontal lines was cured by using 64 bit driver and the line went. The 2nd I got has a white line down the left. Perhaps that may go with PHD?? I can live with it though. If I get a bright enough guide star it does not interfere. If I do get interference from it (guide errors go to 15 in X and 8 in Y) I simply select autodark and it works.

Greg.
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Old 17-04-2012, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cventer View Post
Greg

Cant help with Lodestar but the SBIG STi has its own shutter.

in CCDsoft it takes autodarks every time you change exposure length and then does auto dark subtract.
Does the same in Maxim.

Mark
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:41 PM
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Using the Lodestar with Maxim, the software always requested me to cover the scope to take a dark but CCDSoft never did. I eventually put the Lodestar away and bought the ST-i. I, of course, still use Maxim!! but the ST-i shutter still does well.
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:43 PM
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I suppose if the end of the scope is reachable you could simply put a piece of cardboard over the end and take the first shot and then the software keeps using the same dark all night.

Greg.
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:07 PM
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I suppose if the end of the scope is reachable you could simply put a piece of cardboard over the end and take the first shot and then the software keeps using the same dark all night.

Greg.
That's what I do - haven't gotten around to a dark library yet. Couldn't get it to work last time I tried in Maxim. Must persevere one day!

DT
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
As far as I can tell and I have tried several times, library darks for the autoguider only work when it is full frame. Once it does subframing it does not do library darks. Most likely because the frame sizes would no longer match.

If you use autodark which I sometimes do, it works, but because the Lodestar does not have a shutter as Chris mentioned the STi does, it takes a light and subtracts it from the light it took a second ago. I have a STi enroute and I can do a comparison and post the review.

Now funnily enough that actually works in that the guide star must move enough or shift in shape enough that a sizeable portion of the guide stars survives and autoguiding works!

I get perfect round stars at 3 metres and 15 minute subexposures doing just that.

I haven't used PHD and it may be better suited to the Lodestar.

The Lodestar is very convenient with only one cable and also very light and a convenient size fitting in eyepiece holders. But the 2 I have had showed bad artifacts. The first with horizontal lines was cured by using 64 bit driver and the line went. The 2nd I got has a white line down the left. Perhaps that may go with PHD?? I can live with it though. If I get a bright enough guide star it does not interfere. If I do get interference from it (guide errors go to 15 in X and 8 in Y) I simply select autodark and it works.

Greg.
Greg
I ordered my STi last november and it arrived yesterday along with the pouring rain.
I think just wait for the STi and sell the lodestar when it arrives. Solves this hassle.
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  #10  
Old 18-04-2012, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfranks View Post
Using the Lodestar with Maxim, the software always requested me to cover the scope to take a dark but CCDSoft never did. I eventually put the Lodestar away and bought the ST-i. I, of course, still use Maxim!! but the ST-i shutter still does well.
Yes and Maxim no longer asks you to cover the scope as it simply triggers the STi shutter to take the dark

Mark
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  #11  
Old 18-04-2012, 02:07 PM
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Greg
I ordered my STi last november and it arrived yesterday along with the pouring rain.
I think just wait for the STi and sell the lodestar when it arrives. Solves this hassle.
Terry
I have PMed you
Allan
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  #12  
Old 18-04-2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
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Greg
I ordered my STi last november and it arrived yesterday along with the pouring rain.
I think just wait for the STi and sell the lodestar when it arrives. Solves this hassle.

Let me know how it goes.

Mine should be here this or next week. I think I'll keep the Lodestar as I want a backup guide camera and I am also interested in experimenting with multiple guide cameras.

I had yet another bright idea the other day! If you had say 5 guide cameras and you were able to synch them so they went off in sequence with a bit of software script. Then if you had one second guide exposures you would get 5 corrections per second! That's like an AO device but it would be a lot easier to get a guide star.

Maybe 5 or 6 cheap QHY5 tied together with some controlling software.

Could be an interesting experiment for those who can write script (CCDsoft allows some scripting) and like to tinker.

Who wants to advance autoguiding with the U-Beaut Multi Autoguider??

Greg.
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