On November 17th, I solved a huge problem I have had with guding.

First, a little backstory, I have had some strange issues with guiding that I could never quite pin down for quite a long time.  I do know that the primary reason this keeps being a problem is that I have never sat down to do a real scientific guiding experiment to rule out different variables to pin down the exact cause.  But I have tried different software packages, different methods, and I even took apart and cleaned my entire mount.  Recently I went to a friend's house to help him with his setup and I was surprised when he was getting sub-arcsecond guiding.  He has the same mount that I do, the same cables, and pretty much the same system.  The only big difference that I can see is that he is using the ST4 auto guider cable and I wasn’t.  I have only ever used the computer -> mount RS232 connection for guiding.  I never really tried the ST4 cable.  So last night I tried that, and what do you know, I had much better guiding.  When there were no clouds, it was almost as good as Ron’s and even when there were clouds the star didn’t jump more than 5 arc seconds.    I plan to do a more extensive experiment in the near future, to see if that is really the problem, but the initial results are very promising.  For the first time, I had to throw away exposures due to clouds but NONE due to guiding errors.  That makes me very happy, even though there were clouds.


During my test, I decided to image the Claw nebula, near the bubble since I haven’t done it before and thought it would be a good target.  The clouds were not too cooperative, so I had to discard about 2/3 of my images due to quality, But this is what I got from a stack of 5, 5 minute Hydrogen Alpha Exposures.  Please note that the scope was not collimated, so the stars at the top right look like plus signs, but the stars at the lower left are nice circles.  Thats fine.  I plan to go back and image this nebula again when there are no clouds (and a more careful collimation).  I think its a really cool object.  That bright nebula in the middle looks like an eye and the claw kind of resembles a beak.


In addition, I did a bunch of work over the last few days on major revisions to my workbench area in my workshop.  I ripped down the whiteboard, cleaned up the wiring, added some reinforcement, put it back up, added the monitor I was describing last month on an articulating arm, made a shelf for my laptop and radio, and installed a really nice workshop power strip.  I was doing my astrophotography sitting there last night.  It was a huge improvement to my workshop!   That 34 inch monitor is awesome.  Here is an image of the screen during my imaging session:


Astrophotography Articles

Awesome week for Astrophotography
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 269
These last few days have really been phenomenal nights for Astrophotography!  I was set up in my own driveway on Wednesday night, I was at a friend's helping him with his setup on Thursday ...
Imaging Spring Galaxies in 2018
Published: 03-21-2018 Hits: 209
It's Galaxy Season!! Since it is now Galaxy Season, I was thinking that it is a good time for me to switch back to my big scope, my homemade 10 inch f/6, to image galaxies.  I had not yet ...
Imaging the Butterfly
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 226
I had a little time last night (Oct 18th, 2017) to do some imaging in this great week of clear skies.  I chose the “Butterfly Nebula” near Sadr in Cygnus as my target.  I did not have ...
Imaging the Flaming Star and KStars Stacking experiment
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 257
One of the features that has often been requested for KStars is Real Time Stacking.  So I decided to invest some time into writing some algorithms that could be used to process, align and stack ...
Imaging The Great Mexican Space Dragon
Published: 03-21-2018 Hits: 211
On September 23rd 2017, I went to an astronomy special interest group meeting.  It was the first time I have had my equipment out since July and I think this was a good restart. ...
Imaging the Jellyfish with new powerbox
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 240
I kind of wore out my big 100 AH battery a couple of weeks ago, so I have been working on solutions.  First, on Saturday Feb 17th 2018, I solved part of the problem by getting a new 100AH ...
Imaging the Lobster Claw and solving guiding issues
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 227
On November 17th, I solved a huge problem I have had with guding. First, a little backstory, I have had some strange issues with guiding that I could never quite pin down for quite a long time. ...
Imaging the Pelican
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 235
On July 19th, 2017, a friend and I had some fun doing astronomy experiments ;-). It was a beautiful night aside from intermittent clouds every now and then.  We carefully put the ...
Imaging the Rosette Nebula
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 227
Here is an image of the Rosette Nebula that I did last night (December 20th, 2017).  This is 8 Ha and 8 OIII images that are 5 minutes apiece.  I was planning to collect a lot more data, ...
Imaging the Tadpoles and More guiding experiments
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 206
Last night (November 21st 2017) there was slightly better weather than the previous night, but again I got clouded out.  Anyways, I did some more guiding experiments and I did some imaging of a ...