Monday, May 23, 2016

reconfigured for traces

12:21 AM. Reviewed my traces notes...

I had used the electric focuser. Right. Grabbed all the associated cables. The Optec cable, the 6-wire extension, and the USB-serial adapter. Gah. Would need the software only on the Dell laptop... Not in the Warm Room. Forgot to get it earlier. It would help offload tasks from the lowly netbook. It almost stopped me. Ahh. Went to the house... It was the right way to do it. I really wanted to do it.

Ian D popped in.

Set up the Dell and transferred telescope control. Slewed to M13 as a test. Went smoothly. Connected and tested the focuser. COM port issue; easily corrected. 7. Remembered to set to Manual at the hand paddle. Set to 3500.

Prepared the camera. I would need to power it continuously. Detached the battery grip. Hooked up the DC coupler. Removed the intervalometer. Removed the long lens and added the t-ring and 2" eyepiece shaft.

Grabbed the USB-ethernet extension bits, including power supply. Interconnected the Canon to the ASUS. Powered the camera. EOS Utility automatically launched. Closed it. Launched Backyard EOS. The new version was different--the camera type screen presented more technical information including the date range for the camera. It was not obvious but I chose the "215" line.

Turned on more lights in the Warm Room. Removed the red film from the monitors.

Risa returned to warmth.

Slewed to Vega. Did a spiral search.

Manually focused. Then fine-tuned with the Optec. While using the BYE software.

1:01. Noted the targets. Closed SkyTools.

Considered how to time the drift. I could use the stopwatch on the Android. Affixed the small red film piece to Ananke's screen.

Slewed to Messier 29.

I couldn't remember how I set things, like the exposure. I was expecting the Live View image to change... It didn't seem to be working. The simulated exposure... How the hell had I done this. Floundered. So I went back and carefully re-read my earlier notes. Spent a l-o-n-g time re-reading my notes... Frustrated that I did not have a quick reference somewhere.

1:37. Finally clued-in. I had used EOS Utility, not Backyard, to focus and then shoot. I realised it all by inference. Sheesh.

On Vega. I went back into BYE. It carried over the camera settings. But the quality showed as JPG S, the lowest. Why? Maybe that was a feature. Simply used by the Frame and Focus routine. Set the focuser to automatic.

Launched EU again. Set up a target folder. Activated Live View. Adjusted the camera settings. Went to M29. Programmed an image run. 2 minutes. No delay. Set the interval time to a very high value.

Ho ho. Wow.

Oops. When I forgot to deactivate tracking for a few seconds, it caused the stars to burn in, a bit. Then, when I finally switched off the sidereal tracking, the stars trailed away. I didn't mean to do that. That's not what I did before. But it created a very neat effect. It seemed like they were falling! Just wild. Happy accident.

Tried again.

While waiting for the next 2 minutes exposure, I reviewed the work flow:

Slew to target with TheSky.
Start EOS Utility.
Go into Live View.
Use simulation exposure to see the stars.
Start exposure.
Turn off tracking.

Dropped to ISO 800. It darkened the sky a bit. Blues, yellows, whites.

2:00. Could not figure out why I did not see Sadr. Found it. Figured out the centring/pointing bias: moved up and right a bit.

Imaged M29 again. Hopefully centred. It worked!

Went to Alderamin. Noted the bias was above. Slewed to The Garnet. I saw the star in the Live View (magnitude 4.3)! Awesome.

Started the timer. Stopped tracking at 15 seconds. Oops. Pointer not moving... Flubbed it. Reset.

Optec said the temperature was 7.7.

Holy Scheat. It was amazing.

But, 2 minutes was not long enough, in this case. Bumped up to 2.5 minutes. Started shot. Verified it was tracking.

Suddenly realised I was not using the tablet.

Started packing up, while waiting.

Wow. Frickin' crazy. Incredible colours.

Considered NGC 6939. Wait! What was the super-red star I had seen a short time ago... UX Draconis. Looked up an alias. SAO. Slewed. Increased the exposure time to 3m.

Continued packing up gear. Including the tripods outside.

Amazing colour!

Slewed to the open cluster.

2:33. Was waiting for the NGC image to finish.

Wow. Interesting. Very interesting.

Done. All I wanted to do. Closed out EOS Utility.

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