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Posts Made By: Barry Megdal

June 5, 2008 12:30 AM Forum: Refractors

Electric Focusers

Posted By Barry Megdal

I want to get a high quality focuser to use while imaging, and prefer to not have the Robofocus mounted on the scope all the time (interferes with manual use). The FLI PDF and the Optec TCF-S3 seem like good high-end choices, but I have not seen any opinions posted -- I know the Optec needs a lot more backfocus, but think it may be stronger then the FLI, which has some play in the ones I have seen.

I would appreciate any comments.

- Barry


October 9, 2009 05:40 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Core of IC1805 in Halpha

Posted By Barry Megdal

This is my first post to this forum. I have been a visual observer, but new to photography.

This is about 5 hours of Halpha of the core of IC1805. Scope is AP206, camera STL-11000. Taken from the middle of Los Angeles, and only possible because of an Astrodon 3nm Ha filter.

Processing was minimal.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.


- Barry

September 13, 2011 08:22 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

M16 Eagle Nebula in Ha

Posted By Barry Megdal

Imaged from my backyard in the middle of Los Angeles, this is 90 minutes of Ha, taken with AP206 scope and field flattener, FLI 16803 camera and Astrodon 3nm filter.

full resolution version at:

Many thanks to Francois Regembal for his help with the processing in Photoshop.

- Barry Megdal

October 17, 2011 10:47 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

FITS plug-ins for Photoshop

Posted By Barry Megdal

Which FITS plug-in for Photoshop is preferred - FITS Liberator from ESA/NASA, or FITSPlug from Astroshed?

- Barry

June 23, 2010 03:35 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Extinction Scale Factors

Posted By Barry Megdal

I have had good luck with the coefficients generated by the eXcalibrator program, which uses the extensive star color databases available through the Aladin Sky Atlas Program in an approach more sophisticated than simple G2V matching. Nice feature is you just create your composite RGB images, w/o having to pay attention to the elevation or conditions under which the individual images were generated. Then you feed them to eXcalibrator, and get back the coefficients.

Anyone else have experience with eXcalibrator?

- Barry

Charles Hakes said:

This includes a printout of part of an Excel spreadsheet. As best I can tell, my images have not been blue enough. (!?)

Would a Java applet be useful? Comments?

In the mean time, I was planning on observing tonight, but the sky full of smoke does not show up on the Clear Sky Chart! sad


April 3, 2013 08:13 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Comet Ison

Posted By Barry Megdal

Inspired by Roland's image, I tried imaging ISON last night (from the middle of Los Angeles). 206EDF scope with FLI PL16803 camera. Ten images of ten minutes each. As Roland said, it is moving pretty fast, so I made the images into an animated GIF.

Apologies for the quality - very bright sky here, and the seeing got worse as the sequence went on.

- Barry

Roland Christen said:

Last night was clear and cold, perfect time to go after this faint comet, which is supposed to be the comet of the century in December. Right now hovering around mag 16. Taken with a 206EDF F8 refractor and STL11K camera.

The comet was just visible in a 10 second exposure above noise level. This image consists of nine exposures of 5 minutes each, stacked, with the addition of one set of star images. The comet did move significantly during this time, something I did not expect to see. later on I will make a short GIF to show the movement in the 1 hour time period.

The comet is just above center in the wide field image, which spans about 1.25 degrees.


April 10, 2013 04:58 PM Forum: Comets

ison comet

Posted By Barry Megdal

After seeing Roland's image, I took a few myself with an 8" AP refractor (from Northridge in the middle of Los Angeles). Ten ten-minute exposures. Here they are put together as an animated GIF (the comet is moving fast!):

This is with the images aligned on the comet:

- Barry

Joseph Babendreier said:

I saw the images Roland C posted in the images forum. (Worth checking out if you haven't seen them.)

I heard that the comet will pass so close to Mars in its trajectory (a few million miles) that NASA will be able to get some good lose up images.


August 17, 2010 09:31 PM Forum: Polls

I agree with Mr Obama

Posted By Barry Megdal

That is not what Obama said.....

April 27, 2018 07:13 AM Forum: How to make AstroMart BETTER!! My idea is.....

Re: NEW ASTROMART - Requires your feedback!

Posted By Barry Megdal

I have set classified notifications to digest mode, but I get a digest email exactly every half hour, and many are empty.  I don't want to get an email until there are more (say 10) new ads.....

May 9, 2018 12:23 AM Forum: How to make AstroMart BETTER!! My idea is.....

How Digests Are Sent

Posted By Barry Megdal

Not sure if I am the only one having this problem, but I have had Astromart set up for years to send digests of Classifieds and Auctions so I don't get a huge number of individual emails.

But with the new interface, I get an email every 30 minutes listing ads placed during the last 30 minutes, and if there were none, I get an email that is essentially empty.

This is not much better than getting individual ad emails.  Is there any way to get functionality like what we had before, where no digest was sent until some number (say 10) new ads were placed?

I have had to turn off all Classified and Auction notices because of this problem, which I don't like doing.


- Barry