#1  
Old 02-04-2009, 08:43 AM
ZL4PLM's Avatar
ZL4PLM (Simon)
Registered User

ZL4PLM is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 57
Smile newcomer to CCD imaging - recommends??

HI all

im just finalising the purchase of a sec hand Meade 12" LX200GPS with all the trimmings (eq wedge, dew heaters, hood etc etc) ... arent I lucky

well im interested in CCD imaging using a PC .. Im in South Island, NZ and the ideas of standing out in the cold NZ winters dont leave me with much enthusiasm!

So.....

Id like to look for a CCD imager that will introduce me to imaging .. do some half decent planet, lunar and perhaps an intro to DSI and then also be capable to being used as a guider - as I plan to buy a QHY8 once I have some time under the belt!

Id like to be able to use some of the support software like K3CCD or similar too to assist me in capturing ani's etc

So whats a good recommend ... my astronomy friend says avoid meade imagers ... so whats else fits the bill??

perhaps an orion or even a QHY5

help!

thanks!

Simon
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-04-2009, 08:57 AM
iceman's Avatar
iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

iceman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,709
Hi Simon

The problem is, good lunar/planetary imagers don't really make good DSO imagers, and vice versa.

They *can* do it, but they're not the best tool for the job.

Do you want to do lunar/planetary photography more, or will your focus be on deep space?

Most lunar/planetary imagers do work pretty well as guide cameras.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-04-2009, 09:21 AM
ZL4PLM's Avatar
ZL4PLM (Simon)
Registered User

ZL4PLM is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 57
Hi Mike

yes I understand that a LPI is not a good DSI ...

Ive been advised not to walk before I can run and spending on a QHY8 just now might be inadvisable (sorry Gama!)

so ... I was looking for a camera that will allow me to cut my teeth on imaging using my 12" SCT by imaging planets etc and then use it as a guider.

If the guider wont image DSO then I guess Ill be moving up fairly quickly!

I was trying to resuse and avoid then selling something that could be pressed into service as a guider

I was looking at the QHY5 colour version as an intermediate step

Its a bit of a mine field for imaging I see

even at the lower end!!!



rgds

Simon
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-04-2009, 01:08 PM
ZL4PLM's Avatar
ZL4PLM (Simon)
Registered User

ZL4PLM is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 57
as a cheap start I just found an SPC900NC on trademe for 80 bucks ... purchased and now looking how to use it for LPI use
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-04-2009, 04:09 PM
Gama's Avatar
Gama
Registered User

Gama is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZL4PLM View Post
Hi Mike

yes I understand that a LPI is not a good DSI ...

Ive been advised not to walk before I can run and spending on a QHY8 just now might be inadvisable (sorry Gama!)
................ ................. .................

rgds

Simon
DOH ! .
But seriously, i recomend you get a Modded DSLR first. Like a 300 or 350 canon. There very cheap now.
Being in NZ, your temps are sort of "Antartic", so the noise wont be as predominant as it would like here in Australia because of our hotter temps.

You get a great field of view due to the big chip, easy to use, connect, and process.

Then if and when ready, move up to a Astro CCD of your picking.
Because by then you would have enough experience to know what all the jargon means and you could make a better informed decision (Still a QHY of course ).
Theres also plenty of help here on this site if you need it.

Theo
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-04-2009, 04:38 PM
gbeal
Registered User

gbeal is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4,301
Don't pussy foot about, just buy the QHY, and save some money. You will get one eventually anyway, take the short cut.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-04-2009, 04:56 PM
Bassnut's Avatar
Bassnut (Fred)
Narrowfield rules!

Bassnut is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 4,772
Yes, Im with Gama there, a DSLR would be a good start. You should get into guiding straight up at that FL, or you will be buried in frustratingly bad images, an ST80/QHY5 combo would be cheap, light and do you for years of OTA/mount/cam upgrades.

And get good software to start, Maxim DL springs to mind, it will handle capture, guiding, processing. I made the mistake of fiddling with several cheap/free apps to start, you waste a lot of time with multiple steep learning curves. Pick a good one and stay with it, and youll get good at it over the years. Also, IP is the standard for DSLR processing.

If you can afford it, a QHY8 would be a imaging cam. Getting by with a cheap cam can be discauraging too.

Its a bit of a myth that starting with inappropriate cheap gear is a good start "untill I get used to it", you would find a QHY5 cam for DS imaging , or no guiding very fustrating and maybe put you off altogether, nothing gained by that.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:19 PM
ZL4PLM's Avatar
ZL4PLM (Simon)
Registered User

ZL4PLM is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 57
i think you guys are in league with Theo!

You see my problem is that spending a chunk of a 350 would a chunk towards a QHY8 ..... sigh!

i can see the side to buying the best now and then not getting frustrated .. makes sense ...

what kind of planetary images would a QHY8 take??
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:34 PM
Bassnut's Avatar
Bassnut (Fred)
Narrowfield rules!

Bassnut is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 4,772
Unless you want to specifically go that way, forget planetary, its a whole different world of pain, different scopes,cam,skills and software. The 12" Meade suits DS. Planetary uses fast hi frame rate, relatively low res cams. DS is the opposite, guided long exposures and preferably hi res cooled cams.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:57 PM
kinetic's Avatar
kinetic (Steve)
ATMer and Saganist

kinetic is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Adelaide S.A.
Posts: 2,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassnut View Post
Unless you want to specifically go that way, forget planetary, its a whole different world of pain, different scopes,cam,skills and software. The 12" Meade suits DS. Planetary uses fast hi frame rate, relatively low res cams. DS is the opposite, guided long exposures and preferably hi res cooled cams.
And DS is not a whole world of pain Fred?
The guy wanted to start with planetary...
I think steering towards a low cost webcam and/or a DMK/DBK would be
a better start?

You can modify a webcam (SPC900 etc) and dip your toe into DS
that way.
The 12" should be a good platform either way he chooses to go.

IMHO.

Plus...I think I've demostrated that the 'planetary high frame rate
theory carries over fairly well into DS stuff too

Steve
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:16 PM
Bassnut's Avatar
Bassnut (Fred)
Narrowfield rules!

Bassnut is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 4,772
Hey, sure, Planetary is a worthy cause, if thats the way he wants to start, great, NP. Its just hard to do both on the 1st night .
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:57 PM
Geoff45's Avatar
Geoff45 (Geoff)
PI rules

Geoff45 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassnut View Post
Hey, sure, Planetary is a worthy cause, if thats the way he wants to start, great, NP. Its just hard to do both on the 1st night .
Or any night. You either set up for planetary or dso. Changing halfway through the night is horrendous--rewiring, rebalancing--forget it! My DSO road was DSLR followed by CCD monochrome. In some ways it's a good path because the learning curve is not so steep. On the other hand, you always look at the DSLR images and think "If only I had a dedicated astro cam!" If I did it all again and knowing what I know now, I'd jump right in with a monochrome ccd camera.

Geoff
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-04-2009, 08:05 PM
ZL4PLM's Avatar
ZL4PLM (Simon)
Registered User

ZL4PLM is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 57
well I just bought an SPC900NC on the net cheap so that will be a start ... just need to work how to connect it to my LX200GPS!

the idea was to image the moon and planets .. get some scope time then move up to DSO having understood the basics of my hunk of glass and how its moves and behaves.

Then move upwards ... I think imaging planets etc is as exciting as DSO .. Id love to see some comets and asteroids too, hell Im looking forward to having a poke and see if I can find ISS too!

So .. all in good time!

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-04-2009, 09:45 PM
rat156's Avatar
rat156
Registered User

rat156 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,653
Hi Simon,

Next things to buy, in order of importance...

1. A good 2x barlow (maybe 3x, if the seeing is reasonable at your site), forget a 4x on the 12" unless you're in the Bahamas.

2. Once you've gotten hooked by the planetary thing (it's Saturn season ATM, closely followed by Jupiter season), you'll want a step up in resolution, so get a monochrome CCD planetary camera, a DMK 21 is perfect as it uses the same chip as the SPC900NC without the bayer matrix on it.

3. Either a fiterwheel and filters (expensive) or a 1.25" flip mirror (this what I use). You whack one camera in either port and flip between colour and monochrome imaging, then combine them later. Some here use the filterwheel and filters, they'll comment on the pros, but you've already got the colour webcam, so you might as well use it.

Mostly remember that collimation is of utmost importance when doing planetary imaging, learn how to collimate the SCT and do it. Probably should have put Bob's knobs at the start of the list, if the scope doesn't have them, consider it first.

Have fun, the first images will be fuzzy, but they'll get better with practice, don't be afraid to ask questions, look at the planetary images in the forum and ask the poster questions, we don't (usually) bite.

Cheers
Stuart
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-04-2009, 01:51 AM
Gama's Avatar
Gama
Registered User

Gama is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,121
Kajing, kajing $$$$$ the money sound is in the air..

Theo
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-04-2009, 08:10 AM
ZL4PLM's Avatar
ZL4PLM (Simon)
Registered User

ZL4PLM is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 57
the imaging sharks smell blood lol!

the scope has bobs knobs fitted plus a dew hood, heater straps (no controller but I can get one local) plus an ultrawedge and has been extensively modified (ie peterson clutches and gearsets etc)

so should be quite a useful tool.

actually this is a dream for me ... i always wanted a big scope ... 12" is something I only ever dreamt of ..... so im pretty interested how this all plays out!

hence the walk before running approach!

thanks for all the sound advice!

rgds

Simon
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 02:02 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Star Adventurer
Advertisement
EQ8-R
Advertisement
Astromechanics
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Celestron RASA
Advertisement
Testar
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement