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LPI Problem


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#1 jrduke

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:44 PM

I just got a new LPI and have been trying to get a picture of Saturn. I downloaded the manual from the Meade website and the screen shots of the camera controls are not the same as what I get on my system.

I spent hours trying to get a good focus on the screen but all I get is a bright blur that has a blulge. I finally started playing with the controls to see if I could change things. If I put the gain and contrast to zero, yes zero, I get a bluish looking thing that resembles Saturn. Since the manual doesn't look right I'm thinking it's really software for a DSI since the screen shots look the same. It does say LPI on the screen but.... 

Just for grins I tried starting it from the autostar image menu the gives a choice of LPI, DSI and Pictor cameras. It doesn't matter whether I click on LPI or DSI I get the same screen and it says it is an LPI.

I think they sent me the wrong software. What's your feeling?

#2 wsuriano

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:24 PM

I don't think you have the wrong software.  What is your exposure time?  Saturn is so bright that you need very short exposure times.  Drop your exposure time well below 1 sec until your image looks dark, certainly not a white or blue blob.  Play with your gain and offset and manually adjust the histogram, if necessary.  And, focus,focus, focus.  I'm willing to bet that you will get a decent image with the software that you already have.

#3 Mark Sibole

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 03:28 PM

Sounds like you have the proper software.
What you are seeing is from over exposure.
Your exposure times for planets can and will be more likely like .0025 seconds  maybe a bit longer or shorter.
As planets are very bright you will need to use a very very short exposure.

Regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#4 jrduke

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:40 PM

That's what I thought until I tried to reduce the exposure time. The smallest exposure time the software allow is 1 second. That's why I think it's the wrong software.

#5 Mark Sibole

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:21 PM

Make sure you dont have the long exposure tab checked.
If you use the live mode it will let you go to just about zero exposure.

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#6 jrduke

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 04:55 PM

OK. I think I'm past the exposure problem.  Thanks!

Now on to the latest. I'm not sure if it's my focus or if the scope is just shaking too much.
I don't get a clear image, it certainly doesn't look anything like the live image I see,  and it moves what seems to me to be a lot. How much actual motion will the camera accomodate? I made a Hartman mask to help focus and that didn't help with the camera. It works great with live viewing but when the camera shows just one image the live picture still is fuzzy. I took some 500 frame shots anyway but it was no better. I trtied the image processing program using FITS and saving all the frames to see what I could do but I'm not any better with that than the actual camera. Is there some place on the web where I can get a tutorial on the processing of the images? As for the shaking I tied the tripod down and it doesn't move at all and very little vibration if any. I'm not sure if it helped.
I am assuming that the vibration comes from the tracking motor on the scope mount while it follows Saturn. Should I be concerned with that or the focus or...?

#7 codec

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 11:06 PM

It may not be the same thing at all, but I found cleaning the LPI helped me enormously.
I was getting rubbish images before trying out some experiments in daylight.

#8 wsuriano

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:26 AM

When you say "shaking", is the live image moving around the screen, but staying in the preview window?  How is your seeing?  The image will not be consistent from one frame to the next, but if you have established a tracking box, properly, the software will line them up.  Try this.  Set your quality high, say 90%, use 20 evaluation frames to even things out and tell Envisage to combine the images.  Tell Envisage to save the combined image as a bmp or jpg.  You should see the software building an image using only those images that meet the quality standards.  Using these settings, you should get a decent image after it has combined about 20 to 30 images, maybe less.  You'll get some additional improvement after that.  Let us know what happens.  If you get a decent image out of this process, it's not the LPI.




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