Old 09-02-2020, 08:19 PM
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Loupy31 (Peter)
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Zwo 1600mm pro

Hi Guys,

I am having difficulty using my camera
Is there a step by step user guide for those who dont have knowledge setting up this type of camera.

Regards Peter
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:35 AM
Pepper (Steve)
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What sort of difficulty?
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Old 10-02-2020, 04:18 PM
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Loupy31 (Peter)
Invented the Four Track

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for starters, I dont know how to set it up, how long to expose, how to set up in software (APT), take test pic
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Old 11-02-2020, 02:14 AM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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I wish you luck, astro photography has a VERY steep leaning curve

Join a club and work with others

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Old 11-02-2020, 05:29 AM
Russj (Russ)
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G'day Peter,

I dont use APT so I cant help you with setup, I've found over the years that youtube is often the best source of information for AP, you may have to discard some of the more hit and miss posts, but if you spend the time searching you will find good post on most AP subjects.

Try this bloke



he is a good source for beginners and he uses APT.

Beginning in AP is daunting to say the least, there are several books which may help,

Deep Sky Imaging Primer by Charles Bracken

The Astrophotography Manual by Chris Woodhouse

Cheers Russ

Last edited by Russj; 11-02-2020 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 11-02-2020, 07:34 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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First steps, have you downloaded the drivers from ZWO? you will need both the basic driver that includes the USB driver to get Windows (I assume you are using Windows) to see the camera and the ASCOM driver for the camera as well (Backing up a step, have you installed the ASCOM platform on your machine?)

I have not used APT for a while, there was talk of implementing ZWO native drivers in the program which would mean I am talking out of my hat and you just have to select the ZWO camera in APT.

Once you have APT talking to the camera, I would try out the cooling, try for -15 degrees and see how the cooling power level looks in your typical ambient temperatures. You don't really want to see it averaging more than about 75% power on the cooler when the temp has stabilised, to leave some headroom for warmer nights.

Once the cooling is sorted, I would start out by using some of the default settings in the camera driver via APT, try "Unity" gain, which should give you some default gain and offset settings. Then you really just need to try some test shots to work out exposure length. A lot of people seem to use about 2 minutes with the ASI1600 so it is probably a good place to start. Too short and you won't get faint details, too long and you will get loads of saturated and blobby stars.
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Old 11-02-2020, 07:52 AM
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Last edited by HeavyT; 23-02-2020 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 11-02-2020, 10:08 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hi Peter,
I’m currently trialling APT so I can move from my DSLR over to a cooled OSC Camera mid year
I used my ZWOASI120MM guide camera to bench test APT on my desktop and write a basic procedure

Here’s a procedure I put together based on a few days bench testing ( I also sent a copy to Ivo the developer of APT on the APT forum and Ivo gave it a thumbs up )

APT Trial Version
Open APT
Select “Camera” tab
Plug in camera
Then press Shift + Connect Camera
The Camera Properties Dialogue box pops up
Select CCD Ascom Camera
If using a Colour Camera make sure you check the box “ Colour FITS Preview” and select the corresponding Bayer Matrix Filter eg: RGGB
Press OK
Ascom Camera Chooser Window pops up
Select your camera from the drop down menu and press “Properties”
ZWO camera properties are displayed
Camera model
Image Type Raw 8 or 16
Preset : Unity Gain
Advanced settings ( off set etc...)
NB: For OSC colour cameras use default “Unity Gain” setting on Native driver and review your images , change again and Offset if necessary
Press Ok , Camera is now connected
To frame and focus target before imaging , select “Live View”
At the very bottom of the camera section (RHS) select exposure time in seconds and camera binning
Try 4 to 6 seconds to eliminate buffering of image ( at 1 or 2 seconds buffering is noticeable)
Try 2x2 to 4x4 Binning to get a Live View image with improved resolution
To improve the Live View image you can use the “Histogram” feature in the “Tools” tab. Open Histogram and try the Auto stretch left button or Auto stretch right button to improve resolution on your Live View
Use EQMOD to locate and centre target
Select the “Tools” tab to find Focus Aid and Magnifier.Ensure to switch Preview mode from (On Fit) to (On 1:1) to enable Focus Aid and Magifier
Use Focus Aid to focus target
Use Magnifier to help focus target
Once framed and focused turn “Live View” off

Then under “Gear” tab select “Guide” to set your guiding settings
Guiding Program : PHD2
Auto Dithering: On
Dither Distance : 1
Dithering Stability : 0.60 to 0.70
Dithering Settle Time : 20
Dithering Time Out : 180
Dither on # images : 1 to 3
Dithering start delay : 0
Remainder of settings are defaults

Now start PHD2 guiding and run for 5 minutes to see how your guiding is performing
Now set your Capture Plan
Under Camera window click on Edit
Click “Plan” then “Add new Light Frames Plan”
Edit Plan Name as object etc..
Set Exposure , Bin 1x1, Pause 2 sec and Count or number of exposures
Click “Add as new” button
Press OK
To start your image capture Press Start
During your image capture you can click on the image preview button “Img” and it will display the image folder/ file location below. Click on this folder / file location and the “Browser Window” will pop up in the Image Preview screen. Click on the Camera CCD 1 extension and then press OK. The main thumbnail folder will appear below the folder/ file extension name.Double click on this thumbnail folder and all frames will appear as thumbnails vertically below.As each frame is taken it appears one after the other below.You can double click on each thumbnail and it will be displayed in the main Image/Preview screen for review.
NB: You have to wait until the first image is completed and saved in the respective folder/file location before you can review thumbnails

Stored images are now located in designated folder / file name in your respective drive
Only 4 thumbnails can be viewed in the image thumbnail screen at once, just use the arrows to scroll up or down to review remainder
To review your images saved in the PC , open respective drive and click on APT images folder
A thumb nail folder will appear plus associated FITS files
Open thumbnail folder and another folder appears as S11 and have copies of all individual thumbnail images saved as a .PNG file
S11 folder has the same thumbnail images
Double click and Open a thumbnail which can be viewed in Windows Photo Viewer
You can then zoom out thumbnail to review image and scroll left to right with arrows as normal
When all images have been reviewed and accepted , the FITS files ( both lights, darks etc...) can be loaded into DSS ready for stacking

Hope the above helps you in some way

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