Paul Imm replied to the topic 'Starters Guide to ASI294MC Pro' in the forum. 1 month ago

Mike,

I haven't considered using stacked paper for flats.  That will be another idea to try should my grey T-shirt and Light Box method fail.

I have attempted stacking my data without flats once.  What I discovered was that there was a lot of vignetting, otherwise the image was fairly clean looking.

I did give a once over on what Bulrichi wrote.  Even though I don't use PixInsight he had a lot of helpful information.  I am still kind of fuzzy on a lot of the terminology but this article helps.

This evening I took some Flats using my UHC-2 filter.  I think the captured image might help in conveying what to me poses a problem.  This of course is what shows up while in Ekos Capture mode.  I'm assuming that the frame is stretched in the FITS viewer.  It does look totally different upon import on my MacBook Pro.
Mike,

I haven't considered using stacked paper for flats.  That will be another idea to try should my grey T-shirt and Light Box method fail.

I have attempted stacking my data without flats once.  What I discovered was that there was a lot of vignetting, otherwise the image was fairly clean looking.

I did give a once over on what Bulrichi wrote.  Even though I don't use PixInsight he had a lot of helpful information.  I am still kind of fuzzy on a lot of the terminology but this article helps.

This evening I took some Flats using my UHC-2 filter.  I think the captured image might help in conveying what to me poses a problem.  This of course is what shows up while in Ekos Capture mode.  I'm assuming that the frame is stretched in the FITS viewer.  It does look totally different upon import on my MacBook Pro.

  



This shows how inflated the Red values can be.

Since there is such a variance with the ADU values I am wondering whether this would be considered a good flat frame?  If not how would my capture technique need to differ to get this to a better result?

Sorry for invading your tutorial sticky thread.  I am hoping that in getting an understanding of what constitutes a good restricted band flat image that it might be helpful to others with this camera.

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Paul Imm replied to the topic 'Starters Guide to ASI294MC Pro' in the forum. 1 month ago

Hades,

I am making sure that my image train is the same every time that I start an imaging session.  If I take UHC Flats and Dark Flats I follow this with UHC Lights and Darks.

Thank you for your description on how you take Sky Flats.  This certainly is a viable and simple option.  Personally I chose getting a light box as I was aiming for longer flat exposures which I have heard from some that this camera prefers.  At the time I tried Sky Flats I had a 10 second download delay (now this is 2 seconds with PowerLine adapter) with Ekos between 5 second Sky Flats.  By the time the images were completed the ADU variance due to the darkening sky was over 10,000.   Of course a light box carry's it's own set of challenges, such as adding on T-shirts to deaden the light over longer exposures.

The main thing is to stick with what works for you.

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Paul Imm replied to the topic 'Starters Guide to ASI294MC Pro' in the forum. 2 months ago

Hi Mike,

Thank you for replying back.

I am using Astro Pixel Processor for my stacking and Star Tools for the Post Processing.

My biggest struggle is with Flats, if not for this I think I might be getting somewhere.

With my flats I try to be somewhere between 25,000 to 35,000 with the Median ADU.  I purchased a light box to aid in tweaking the numbers.  I know that the combination of longer flats and dark flats should yield better results; for this reason I've not really adopted sky flats as the dusk sky can rapidly change with ADU.  It has been a challenge in getting the flats to stay in an acceptable range.  Normally the issue happens to be that the light from the light box raises the ADU too high even though it is on the lowest setting.  I have been playing around with white T-shirts and acrylic additive to the light box to tone it down a little.  From there I have tried a grey T-shirt, which brought the ADU too low.  From there I experimented with lighter shades of grey T'shirts which I had mixed results.

Recently I tried using an UHC filter that I happened to have.  Now that I think about it, this may have been causing the red cast that I talked about.  I don't know if I ever got a good flat with this.  The red levels were 10,000 above the blue and green.  It's a shame that I couldn't get this to work as it really picked up the Veil Nebula well.

Yesterday I tried out the 50 White Balance that I was glad to find suggested here.

Unfortunately in looking over these flats they were truly flat.  I think with the red value so much higher than the other levels it must just be messed up.

By any chance would anyone know the trick towards getting good flats with UHC or other prominent red filters?

This evening I received a cheap UV/IR filter which I immediately tried out.  I tried a 5 second image.  I was elated to see that red, blue and green ADU numbers were very tight and a very good vignetting and dust mote image preview showed up.  This is within the light range of the light box towards the low side.

I'm hoping to apply this to an imaging session this evening.

Thanks for your help!  I'll feedback whether the UV/IR filter finally achieves what I've been after.

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Paul Imm replied to the topic 'Starters Guide to ASI294MC Pro' in the forum. 2 months ago

This camera is my 1st CMOS style camera and it has been very challenging for me.

I have caught a number of recommendations for the camera which I have been following, but I can't say that I've been successful with the settings yet.

I've followed the recommendation that Spartacus has suggested in regards to 120 Gain and 30 Offset.

I've also heard different things about shooting Flats.  One is that it is recommended to get at least 3 second frames with the Flats.  With the Flats it is recommended to get the same exposure length and settings for Dark Flats instead of Bias Frames.  I've heard that the preferred Median ADU would be a little above 30,000.  These Flats don't have to match the Gain and Offset that the Light and Dark frames are.

I'm struggling with a number of the settings with this camera however such as;
1) My flats with the Median ADU of 35,000 have a red cast to them.  The red value ADU's are typically 10,000 higher than the Median value.
2) I can see where the Red and Blue white balance is adjustable in the INDI Control Panel, but adjusting these values doesn't seem to lower the ADU for red in relation to the other 2 colors.
3) Is there a way of holding the cooler temperature to maintain a minimum temperature value?

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Tonight I tried another set of Flats and noticed that it wouldn't capture again once I set the option to not take images if a temperature wasn't met.

It's possible that this caused the issue the 1st time but it didn't seem so obvious and it should have allowed an occasional image to be taken.

Would it be possible to force the settings to maintain a specific temperature?

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Jasem:  This problem was with all images that I tried.

Would there be any reason that flats would be captured differently than Lights or Darks?  I don't know how that works.  (That does bring up another question which I'd like to ask towards the end of this post.)  I tried Lights out this afternoon and they eventually gave me the capture aborted message.

I ended up horsing through this problem this afternoon.

Since I was having issues with the capture I decided to update the INDI driver from the Stellarmate Updater.  I let it run through it's update.  I noticed that Ekos was unresponsive, likely due to the PI rebooting.  I waited over a half hour before just pulling the plug on my setup and I took a look at the PI inside my house on a monitor.  Unfortunately nothing at all came up.  I tried to format the micro SD to install the SM software from scratch.  Only 245 MB of data showed up.  After messing around with this for a while I was resigned to the fact that by me unplugging the PI, it likely killed my SD card.

I replaced this card with another card.  After struggling to get all of the devices to connect I once again tried taking images.  It saved an image to my external USB drive on the very 1st try.

Perhaps there might have been a better way of fixing the image download issue rather than killing my micro SD card.  The next time I do a Stellarmate Update I will do this inside and closer to my router.

The one question that I have is whether it might be possible for Stellarmate's CCD tab to include another drop down item for types of image capture.  Presently there is Light/Flat/Dark and Bias.  I personally am not now taking Bias frames.  I would really like to have a dropdown choice for Dark Flat.

I have noticed other people inquiring about this.  Would this be possible to have added to the Ekos software?

I almost doubt whether this caused the issue I was having but I manually added a Dark Flat folder to my USB capture drive.  I was hoping that this might make it possible to save Dark Flat images in it's own folder.  This was the only change that I'm aware of that I made prior to my download capture issue.

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Yesterday I tried collecting a set of flats.  In the preview it showed how the flats turned out but when it came time to actually save the images it failed.

I tried saving both to the media drive as well as on the Pi device unsuccessfully.

I disconnected my Ekos connection and cycled the power off and on.  When this came back up initially my ASI294MC Pro did not read in in the INDI Control Panel.  It later showed up.  I still could not capture any images.

Every time the capture was attempted it got stuck on something around .05 download.

I saw the message "capture failed" but it might be because I cleared the capture.  Otherwise I'm not seeing what is causing the failure.  I did 2 evenings of image capturing on subsequent days.

I am running 1.5.8 INDI software version on the Stellarmate OS.

Also, I tested all of the cables in regards to being plugged in.

I may for the sake of ruling it out update to the latest software as I'm slightly behind.

Other than that I'm not sure how to troubleshoot from here.

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Just to bring my issue to closure; I reviewed the StellarMate Faq's and there was a handful of possible causes of the failure to connect.   stellarmate.com/support/faq.html?view=faq&faqid=27

I went through this list up to the point of receiving a new Nikon to StellarMate video cable.  Today I tested the new cable out and believe it or not it worked.  I went back to the old cable to see if this might be a fluke.  Even though this connection can be found by doing the lsUSB command the old cable did not connect properly.

This issue is resolved and another lesson was learned.  

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This afternoon after updating the StellarMate OS I tried to connect only 2 devices on my StellarMate Plus. (I also have a separate USB Hub that only has the dew heater).  The Pegasus Pocket Box connected with no issues every time.  The other device which was the Nikon D5300 did not connect once.

There were times that the Nikon camera showed up in the INDI Control Panel, but the majority of the time it didn't show up at all.

I tried sorting this out with making assignments in the Serial Port Assistant.  I got an error message saying something to the effect that you can't add duplicate devices.

The Nikon camera did show up as not connected for a while but after I pulled out and plugged back in the Nikon's power cable in the Pegasus device it did not show up again.

My PPB is registering at port 0.

The Nikon camera is showing up in the USB listing.

 



Does everything look correct in this listing?

Any ideas in how to get the Nikon D5300 listing in the INDI Control Panel?

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Last evening in doing an online search I was able to find a sudo script that erased the majority of the images in the trash bin.

This was:   sudo rm -rf ~/.local/share/Trash/*

As going through this process of erasing on the Pi hard drive is quite tedious I would certainly prefer locating my FITS images on a USB flash drive, but I've found that this just doesn't work.

I may end up getting an extra long ethernet cable and snake it through my house and outside to prove out whether bad WiFi signal is the culprit of the whole download latency or failure issue.

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Alright, I think the issue might be because I have 22 Gigs in my trash can.  Unfortunately I am unable to delete the trash can using right click delete or just clicking on the trash can to delete.

Any ideas in how to get rid of the data I put in the trash can?

Here is the screen I am getting on the Pi.

 



Is there a command or permissions that can help me move these files off?

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Last evening I attempted to capture some flat images using Ekos CCD tab.

The captured images were directed to the Pi device.

I was able to capture 7 flats but with quite a bit of download latency.  (The pop up showed 11 seconds but it likely was longer between images).

On the 8th image the capture errored out; this was what was on my screen.

 



I tried shutting down and coming back up again but could not get the capture process working.  It would try once with the long delay and then the camera clicked at good capture speed with errored out images.

Normally the download takes around 5 seconds, but I've not been able to capture images to a USB flash drive due to download latency.

I believe some updates over the weekend may have helped in one area but created some extra latency.

Here is the error message that I am seeing on the Nikon screen.

 

Any ideas in doing a test to see what's going on?  Might there be a setting or 2 that I need to review?

In the future I might do some house wiring projects to get the proper circuit run outside to connect a TP Link power line type adapter to my network.

However my EQ6R mount is directly outside my door so I should have adequate WiFi signal.

Really hoping to be able to finally get my Ekos setup for the EQ6R mount up and running.

 

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Yes, I do wish this would exit the INDI Control Panel properly but even so at least now I can continue with the rest of the set up and tweak these minor details instead of being stopped dead at the starting line.

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AstroNerd:  I used the sudo script and it did go through an update routine.  As far as I know this has resolved the connection issue as every time I enter Ekos the connection resolves itself.

I am however seeing one undesirable behavior when I hit the disconnect button to close the INDI Control Panel this drops me to the Stellarmate desktop without actually closing the INDI Control Panel.  The next time I get into Ekos and the INDI Control Panel it warns me that an instance is still running.

I'm hoping that the sudo script went successfully all the way through the install routine.

Just in the event that it didn't I'll attach a screen shot of the end of the install.

If this looks normal I guess I can't suspect that it was due to the install fading out.

 



Even if the exit to the desktop disconnect is not fixable it is very awesome that the connection behavior appears to be resolved.

Thank you!
 

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