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Posts Made By: Chris Hetlage

November 9, 2002 04:03 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M42 D60, Unguided 3min

Posted By Chris Hetlage

I was impressed that I could get this kind of pic from a 3min exposure without an autoguider. This was my first attempt at M42 and my first attempt at drift alignment. It is definitely not a keeper but one of those encouraging pics I felt worth sharing. It is noisy, blurry and low res but shows the possibilities.

AP130, AP600e, Canon D60, 1-3min pic, prime focus, levels adjusted and noise reduced in Photoshop, no darks were taken.

February 3, 2003 06:08 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M81-M82 from GA

Posted By Chris Hetlage

Just got back from a long weekend, this may need some more processing...

Comments welcome,

February 6, 2003 09:15 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

First M42 with ST8XE

Posted By Chris Hetlage

This is my first 'real' M42 (I shot a few unguided images last fall that didn't really turn out). This is also my first attempt at layering in Photoshop.

Basically this is what I did; I took a combined image, say the Blue. I lowered the histogram so all I could see is the core of M42. Saved it as a new TIF file. Then I took the same image, opened it again, and adjusted the histogram so I could see all the nebula detail (with the burned out core). Saved this as a new file. Opened both files in Photoshop. Converted these to 8bit TIFS. Did a select-all on the brighter image. Copied and pasted it into the image with the dim core detail. Then I used Select color range to select the burned out core, feathered it a bit, and then deleted the selected portion to show the dim core details below it. Flattened it and saved it as a new TIF. I repeated this for each color channel. Then I combined the RGB images and used PS to adjust the color and levels and sharpness.

Does this make sense? I thought it turned out OK but I have seen much better.

Here is the link this image on my site with the exposure details.

Any comments would be appreciated.

February 12, 2003 10:02 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Re: Using a wireless system instead of laptop??

Posted By Chris Hetlage

Hi Eric, I use a Dell laptop with an 802.11b wireless connection to my desktop, when I am imaging from home. I also use a Linksys WAP/Router. It requires that I place my laptop outside alongside my scope setup, but it does work quite nicely. I have all my equipment on a wheeled cart so I can easily move it in and out of the garage. Connected to the laptop is my AP Mount, Robofocus, and ST8XE. Once I have made a good drift alignment, and a 1 star GOTO alignment, I am ready to be remote for the rest of the evening. I use TheSky to slew the scope and CCDSoft for image acquisition and focusing. I have used RemoteAdmin to control the laptop CPU and it works fine. Right now I am experimenting with VNC (which is freeware) and it also seems to be working well.

I have not seen wireless USB hubs yet or wireless serial extensions but with Bluetooth I suppose may be coming soon or already exists. Wireless USB hubs would be fantastic for me as I am mostly portable and it would be GREAT to sit in the warm-up shed and have full control of my setup. I suppose if one had 2 laptops he could do a peer to peer wireless network in the field (I may have to try this sometime).

My 2 cents. Hope this helps.

BTW, here are two images I did from home using this setup


March 11, 2003 06:45 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M51 in Quickie Mode

Posted By Chris Hetlage

Bet you never heard that term. Last Sunday I was at one of our clubs dark sky sites and was demonstrating imaging to a few new members. I roughly polar aligned, using only my AP Polar Scope, installed my ST8, and used my Robofocus to quickly focus. I must have been aligned pretty close as my guiding errors were really low.

Since this image only took 10 minutes I call it Quickie Mode. Maybe we can have a Quickie Mode Marathon to see how many DSO's one can get in an evening.

AP130, AP600e, ST8XE
5, 2 minute exposures

March 11, 2003 06:48 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M13 in Quickie Mode

Posted By Chris Hetlage

Another Quickie Mode pic from Sunday night

AP130, AP600e, ST8XE
5-2 minute exposures

April 30, 2003 07:47 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Leo Trio from this weekend

Posted By Chris Hetlage

I reworked this image and think it looks a bit better. I hope it is not over-processed. Image processing is still frustrating for me. Ron, any word on that new book? I would be happy to review it and write an testimonial smile

Click here for the details


May 4, 2003 10:30 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Seeing some great images recently

Posted By Chris Hetlage

Thanks to all for sharing the great pics this past week. I've been unable to reply individually so here is a group Ya-da-boy!

I'll add my most recent. I wasn't able to get any color but will the next time out. Looks like I got some good L.

M101, AP130 f6, ST8XE, 20x3mins.


July 15, 2003 07:05 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

OK, I'll post my first Mars

Posted By Chris Hetlage

AP130 @f48 (AP2x, PowerMate 4x) ToUcam Pro, 300 frames, absolutely the worst seeing ever (I mean fog, clouds, big moon...). I WILL DO BETTER.


August 13, 2003 06:37 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

It doesn't take much....

Posted By Chris Hetlage

Not my scope and an $80 webcam!

I used my clubs custom-built 20in and a ToUcam for this pic. Transparency was poor and focusing was difficult. I'm hoping the skies will clear again for another try.

- ToUCam Pro 740k with Moog, Sirius NIR1 filter and Baader Contrast Booster filter (These really help the blue channel)
- 550 frames out of 1100 Autoselected, aligned and stacked in K3CCDTools
- Color Channels realigned in ImagesPlus
- Curves, Unsharp Mask, Gaussian Blur, Color adjusts in Photoshop.

Thanks for looking,