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Thread: From Boon to Bust in one night!

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    Default From Boon to Bust in one night!



    This 'hobby' of ours can be so perplexing and frustrating at times it is amazing... My story...

    So Monday night's imaging session went off without a hitch! Everything connected first time, solve and synch worked flawlessly, I was off running images in literally 5 minutes. The session ran all night long without a hitch with the welcoming "Sequence Complete" message greeting me in the morning.

    Last night, Tuesday I decided to start a new sequence. Nothing else had changed except the targets. Everything started in fine fashon, everything connected, phd calibrated, plate solved worked! Great I am ready for another night of no problem imaging. I connected the remote control and moved into the astro shed and clicked 'start sequence'.

    A few minutes later I am still waiting on plate solve to center the object (M96). I went back out to the scope and found it pointing straight at the ground I finally figured out what I had done. I had used a frame of M69 from astrobin to use for the plate solve

    Not a big deal this should be easy to fix. But oh no... this is just be beginning!

    After parking the scope I unparked and commanded a slew to M96 and the mount went off to some random location... good grief. I guess the synch got borked from being pointed at the ground.

    So I slewed to a clear patch of sky and hit solve and synch, after about three minutes still nothing, then I noticed the filter wheel had quit responding, I could hear it going whirr whirr whirr but never seating the filter.

    So I stopped the sequence power cycled the filter wheel, twice, still no connection, that's when the laptop froze up :tasdevel:

    Well pooh of course the camera is already cooled but no choice, got to reboot! So I re-booted the laptop, power cycled the mount, got everything hooked up again and all seems good. Attempt to get the camera back to cooling again ASAP and.... now the camera is not responding Time to reboot and reset... again!!!

    After several other instances similar to the outline above I finally did get everything hooked up and running or so I thought. The mount slewed to M96 and "Waiting on autoguider status" that's normal, whats not normal is its taking freakin 5 minutes to settle! So I look at the PHD display and there is nothing! Nothing at all no stars just a milky white background! What in the heck?! Must be in the trees! I checked, nope not in the trees!

    I tried everything exposure duration, noise reduction, everything, just noise from the guide cam. So I slewed over to a brighter star and POP all of a sudden the cam starts working again. I track that star for a few minutes and guiding looks decent.

    Slew back to M96 and... nothing! Just a milky white background...

    By now its almost 11:30 and the sequence hasent even started I threw up my hands parked the scope warmed the cam and threw on the covers and went to bed... phooey!

    I don't have a clue what was going on with the ASI120mc, I guess transparency was just bad enough to spoof it out and only the brightest of stars would resolve. Tonight I plan on going back to the Starshoot... for cryin out loud!

    Sorry had to rant! From a 'perfect' night to nothing working in one night.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Sorry to read of the nighmare of a imaging session going bad Tom. I feel your pain.

    Wish I could help with some words of wisdom but unfortunately, as you said at the begining, this hobby can be so perplexing its amazing. What can go wrong will go wrong when you least expect it.....And without reason too!!
    Hope you have a better session next time.
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    Dave
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Sigh - that was painful to read, Tom. I can only imagine how PO'd you must have been. The goal of repeatable, successful, sessions just seems to be frustrated by random events! I'm sure the next session will be better (after all, it couldn't be worse).

    Bob
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Thanks for the kind words all. Honestly I have no idea what was up with the guide cam (ASI120mc) but this is not the first time I have had issues with having a hard time finding a suitable guide star. But last night like I said it was just milky white noise background.

    I don't know if it was thin high clouds that weren't heavy enough to blot out bright stars but muted the smaller stars, or the camera crapped out.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Hello Tom,

    frankly, I am very sorry for your bad luck.
    The problem, as with everything today, is too much electronics, with a significant statistical opportunity for defects,
    or something simply going wrong.

    Trying to avoid the electricity and magnetism as much as possible,

    JG
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Here's another data point: When I was imaging Jupiter the other night with the ASI120MC, I noticed the image was suddenly GONE! I looked up and Jupiter was still there, but there were high thin clouds in the way, but barley noticeable with the naked eye. So, perhaps your transparency theory is correct and the ASI120MC is sensitive to changes in transparency.
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    UM, I'm not gonna "like" that post because I'd be lying through my teeth.

    Here's to tomorrow being a better night.
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    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Quote Originally Posted by cardogab7341 View Post
    Here's another data point: When I was imaging Jupiter the other night with the ASI120MC, I noticed the image was suddenly GONE! I looked up and Jupiter was still there, but there were high thin clouds in the way, but barley noticeable with the naked eye. So, perhaps your transparency theory is correct and the ASI120MC is sensitive to changes in transparency.
    This is interesting to hear because to me at least to the naked eye the transparency was not all that bad. But I did note there was not as rich a star field as usual.

    I am going to try the star shoot tonight anyhow weather permitting.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    In Illinois last night...before my run in with the moon I also noticed a lack of transparency when viewing. But naked eye it was not obvious. Usually i have very sharp stars. When I pulled my focus to see my colmination rings around the stars they were in good shape, but they were dancing a bit. I thought it was because of the sudden drop in temp we had yesterday and thru the night. And when the moon busted up my playtime by 3 am I noticed two faint but wide dull circles around the moon. The moon was clear in the scope, but sharp hardness of focus that my es80 gives was not there. Around 1am my view of jupiter was good. Moons sharp...but they seemed smaller. And the detail on jupiter was soft...in focus but soft. Is this about transparency or is it called something else?
    Mark

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    Default Re: From Boon to Bust in one night!

    Sorry about the dumb question. I clicked on the word in your post and got my answer. :-)
    Mark

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