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First CCD

Started by bobblack, 05/28/2011 09:55PM
Posted 05/28/2011 09:55PM | Edited 05/28/2011 09:56PM Opening Post
Hello guys, This is my first crack at CCd imaging. I am hoping that some kind hearted soul might take pity on me and give me a little help.
I recently purchased a used Sbig ST 2000 XM with CFW8A & st 237 chip.
I have two software choices CCDSoft ver 5 or CCDops. Having spent considerable time reading both mainly because of 2 weeks rain, I think I like the ccd soft the best.

I am running a 152mm for imaging and have a SSAG if the CFW8A doesn`t work to good.
A megrez 80mm tracker all mounted on a losmandy G11.Also PHD

Question (one)My CFW8A filter has 5 filter capacity but the ccdsoft program only has controls for 4 colors LRGB. How would I be able to use my Ha filter

(Two)-When I start up to focus, which filter should I be using to set up focus image. also, which one to set up autoguiding. I`m wondering if I will be able to see a star to lock on to through he filter.
(Three)What ratio of green images to red to blue & luminance so color is balanced
(Four)When I type in the number of images for each color in CCDSoft, does it matter which order they are imaged in. Do I have to tell the program this info or does it just know..
(Five)I would rather take my darks all at once and then subtract them the same way. Is there way to do this

Final, I promise. My Sbig has a ST 237 chip added. It reads that it is an autoguider chip so, why is the heading for it under imager. Under what situation would I use ST237 rather than ST2000XM for imaging. Thankyou so mush and hope these very basic questions are not too boring for you, regards, bob
Posted 05/28/2011 10:40PM #1
Robert,
Starting from the begginning : you will have immediate answer for nearly all questions reading ST 2000 manual and not skipping the basic CCD part smile
Adding something more - you MUST focus your setup with the desired filter on th position ! Each filter has a different focus point ! There are of course some sets called" parafocal" but believe me - I never found them 100% parafocal.
Concerning ST 237 chip- once again read manual. It is precisely defining what is autoguiding, how to use internal chip and so on...
Regards
Maciej

Location:21 19 E 52 25 N, visit www.astrofun.pl
Posted 05/28/2011 11:48PM #2
What was already said, plus, CCDSoft can control all 5 positions of the wheel for all filters. You must set it up correctly to do this.

[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
Amateur Imager
Posted 05/29/2011 09:00AM #3
OK. Step by step:
ad.1.Open CCDsoft. Go to Camera >setup . Then click setup filter> choose CFW 8. Click on small "settings" right from the filter wheel window and setup all filters..simple?
ad.2 .- Both- autoguider and imaging chip of ST 2000 "looking" through the same window( eq.the same filter) . There is not separate filter for guiding chip and imaging chip. Once again- focus your setup with the filter you will shoot.
ad.3. It depends what kind of filters you are using.
ad4. As soon as you probably dont have Robofocus or something similar its better no to set automatic session. Shoot red, green and blue separately as well as luminance. Dont forget to correct focus after filter change.
ad.5. Darks are filter-independent. My advice - arrange "darks library"- record 5-6 darks in each temperature and desired lenght, make Master and store in file.
ad.6. Well, you can use ST 237 as a imaging chip but I can help you in that. Never used.

Regards
Maciej

Location:21 19 E 52 25 N, visit www.astrofun.pl
Posted 05/29/2011 09:39AM | Edited 05/29/2011 09:41AM #4
All good advice. Also, remember that you have to use a matching Luminance filter, as opposed to using no filter at all. If you don't, the Luminance position will not focus at the same point as the RGB positions do.

Also, don't get hung up on color at all until you can reliably acquire just Luminance images. In general, it's best to fight one battle at a time with CCD imaging IMO.

Good luck, and be patient!