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Thread: New ASI294MC Pro

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    Default New ASI294MC Pro



    I finally got a chance last night to try out my new ASI294MC Pro that I got for Christmas. I used my Orion ED80T-CF/AVX, a Televue 0.8x Field Flattener/Focal Reducer, and an IDAL LPR-P2 filter. I figured my focal reducer is bringing my f/ratio from f/5.9 to f/4.8. This is from my front yard (borderline red/orange zone). These are unprocessed. They're straight from within Sharpcap 3.1 beta. No darks either. Cooling was set to -20:

    Click the image for the full size:
    M45 (34x16s, gain 400):



    M42 (213x1s, gain 400):



    M81&M82 (40x16s, gain 400):





    Flame Nebula & Horsehead (38x16s, gain 400):



    M97 & M108 (38x16s, gain 400):
    OleCuss, Bobble, Peppy2 and 9 others like this.
    Rob

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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    That's amazing stuff for such short frames!
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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Nice shots Rob.

    I received my new 294 Wednesday and I'm hopeful that the wind dies down enough tonight so I can give it a shakedown run. Last night was the first clear night in weeks but the wind was at 20 mph with gusts to 35. Clear again tonight but still around 15 mph and gonna be cold for me with temps in the low 40s to upper 30s.

    Curious if you tried any shots at native FL? Also, how did you arrive at using 400 gain?
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    Dennis
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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdib View Post
    Nice shots Rob.

    I received my new 294 Wednesday and I'm hopeful that the wind dies down enough tonight so I can give it a shakedown run. Last night was the first clear night in weeks but the wind was at 20 mph with gusts to 35. Clear again tonight but still around 15 mph and gonna be cold for me with temps in the low 40s to upper 30s.

    Curious if you tried any shots at native FL? Also, how did you arrive at using 400 gain?
    I haven't tried it natively yet but I probably will next time out. I've never reduced the refactor so I thought I'd give it a shot. I also captured images for the CN object of the month thread. It does make things rather small (not the best choice for a planetary nebula). I only included M42 here as all the others were too small to be interesting.

    The gain was just a guess based on what others used. Looking at the ZWO chart, the lowest read noise for the camera is at 350 gain, so anything beyond 350 probably yields no benefit.

    I thought you bought a QHY163?
    Rob

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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Those are amazing!

    I find the M45 the most insane. You are getting significant nebulosity with just over 9 minutes of subs!!! Just nuts!

    You do seem to have at least one bad pixel showing up, however. You might want to contact ZWO and they may be able to help you map the pixel and effectively delete it.

    I hope to see more!
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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    I did buy a QHY163 and went out one night with it. It gave great results but since I'm mostly into NRTV, I swapped it for the 294. I took a small hit on the swap but I think it will be for the best over time and High Point worked with me and gave me what I thought was a fair deal.

    In fact, I did get to go out for a quick trial with the 294 this evening and I can already see that it is better suited for what I'm doing than the 163 was. I say quick session because about 30 minutes after I got set up, I started smelling smoke and realized that my neighbor was firing up his BBQ grill and of course the wind was blowing my direction. Didn't get to save any images but the NRTV was really good.

    Did you crop your images? I used my 152mm refractor with my Optec 0.7 FR and I see some coma around the edges. Next time out I'll try my 80mm at native FL. I may need to contact Optec and see if I can get a flatener to use with the FR for my 152mm.
    Dennis
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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdib View Post
    I did buy a QHY163 and went out one night with it. It gave great results but since I'm mostly into NRTV, I swapped it for the 294. I took a small hit on the swap but I think it will be for the best over time and High Point worked with me and gave me what I thought was a fair deal.

    In fact, I did get to go out for a quick trial with the 294 this evening and I can already see that it is better suited for what I'm doing than the 163 was. I say quick session because about 30 minutes after I got set up, I started smelling smoke and realized that my neighbor was firing up his BBQ grill and of course the wind was blowing my direction. Didn't get to save any images but the NRTV was really good.

    Did you crop your images? I used my 152mm refractor with my Optec 0.7 FR and I see some coma around the edges. Next time out I'll try my 80mm at native FL. I may need to contact Optec and see if I can get a flatener to use with the FR for my 152mm.
    No. Those are uncropped. I do have a Televue Field Flattener though (which is also a 0.8x reducer). I picked it up used on CN. I just bought an Orion Field Flattener which doesn't reduce for those times I want to run it at the native focal length but that hasn't come yet. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the ASI294 came with spacers to give me 55mm needed for the FR.
    Last edited by Robrj; 01-13-2018 at 04:36 PM.
    Rob

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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by OleCuss View Post
    Those are amazing!

    I find the M45 the most insane. You are getting significant nebulosity with just over 9 minutes of subs!!! Just nuts!

    You do seem to have at least one bad pixel showing up, however. You might want to contact ZWO and they may be able to help you map the pixel and effectively delete it.

    I hope to see more!
    Is that the red pixel? Would darks take care of it?
    Rob

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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Here's the Horsehead/Flame touched up and brightened a bit in Startools & Photoshop:

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    Rob

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    Default Re: New ASI294MC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Robrj View Post
    Is that the red pixel? Would darks take care of it?
    It is a red pixel which I'm noticing. Darks applied to each individual light frame really may nearly eliminate the thing depending on what format you are using to save your subs.

    As a for instance? FITS will save the image exactly as you captured the thing. Darks run with FITS should (I think) eliminate the stuck pixel from your images. Worked pretty well with a CCD camera I had and which had far too many bad pixels.

    If you use something like the TIFF format? IIRC, TIFF de-Bayers the image prior to it being saved. This means you can have the bad pixel data/noise spread (to varying degrees) over several pixels and only then saved. Darks may not do a superb job of eliminating the bad pixel in this case but in my experience it does a pretty good job and is usually good enough for most of us.

    But I think ZWO has the ability to help you map the bad pixels (dead, stuck, or hot). I believe this allows you to effectively shut down that stuck pixel so it is now effectively a dead pixel. The net effect is that if you have superb tracking and that now effectively dead pixel is positioned perfectly to be the only pixel detecting that star - you won't see that star. The odds of that happening in any series of subs to a significant degree are very small due to atmospheric issues, tracking, etc. so a few dead pixels is seldom a significant issue.

    It is my understanding that all our sensors with lots of pixels have bad pixels. So somebody (I think the CMOS camera manufacturer rather than the sensor manufacturer) maps the faulty pixels and shuts them down. With so many pixels we just don't notice that some don't show up at all.

    For those who don't know this already? You could also view your stuck pixel as a bit of a feature. It will give you some idea of the amount and type of tracking error you have occurring.

    This is because you are taking a series of images and tracking error means your camera/scope isn't pointed in quite the same place from one image/sub to another. Depending on the type of mount you have, the mount's quality, the precision of alignment, as well as guiding error - the pattern and length of the streak or dots will change due to the way the stacking software handles the subs.

    When you really have only one or two stuck or hot pixels and are doing typical astrophotography (trying to generate a pretty picture at the end) this usually just isn't a big deal. If you have just a little competence in post-processing and you are using decent software you can pretty quickly delete the effect of that bad pixel. If you are doing strictly NRTV imaging and it doesn't bother you much (and it likely won't) you can simply ignore the bad pixel or consider it to be the feature which helps you keep an eye on your tracking (not terribly valuable since not very easily quantified but interesting anyway).

    Upshot is that with one or two bad pixels you really may not be inconvenienced or bothered. With lots of them mapping and/or darks are a good way to go. Ideally we do darks routinely, but sometimes you just may not want to bother with them.

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