Moon, The Great Orion Nebula (M42) and Equipment Tuning

My objective was to quickly step through a fresh calibration (not entirely necessary since nothing had changed from the last one) to see if some adjustments that I did during the day had any effect. With that done, I had hoped to do some actual imaging.

The temps were around 40 degrees, RH was about 68%, and there was an occasional slight breeze. No dew or frost formed on anything.

While waiting for the sky to become dark enough to begin my work, I took a gratuitous image of the Moon – a single frame of 0.0015s

I powered up, polar aligned, and connected to devices with no issue. I am starting to feel “smoother” at DSO stuff, at least the beginning parts.

Once up and running, I played with guiding longer than I had hoped. I tweaked the Ra and Dec Agr values, and seem to have gotten some improvement. At one point my RMS values were RA: .59 and Dec .30. I can live with that!

I had some issue with plate solving. Apparently, my slews last night were so spot on, even without doing a star alignment, that I thought that plate solving was working perfectly. Tonight, I was seeing targets that were too low in the frame. It took me quite a while to figure it out, but it turns out that ASTAP was not even installed on the laptop. Interestingly, NINA did not throw an error.

I did an RGB run on M42 of 60s x 25 frames/filter. I was too tired to take flats, but I wll be sure to do that during my next session.

This would have been a great night for DSO imaging if I had been ready for it. After this session, I think that I am ready for the next great DSO imaging opportunity.

Other things that require attention is the buzzing noise that the power supply makes. I think that I am going to order a new power supply and repair the old one, if I can, and keep it in reserve as a back up. Also, I have a brush hair on the sensor glass that needs to be brushed away.

The 15’ USB 3 cable from the ASI6200 directly into the laptop does not work reliably. The work around that keeps the rear of the scope from dragging a cable around is to slew to a location, and then connect the cable. The cable being dragged around while imaging can cause guiding problems, so I want to eliminate the cable hanging off the back of the camera.  I will try running the image data through the USB hub on the power board with a shorter cable, or if that doesn’t work, I’ll try a USB repeater cable.

The Moon - 2022-12-27 22:17 UTC
The Moon
The Orion Nebula (M42) - 2022-12-29
The Orion Nebula

One thought on “Moon, The Great Orion Nebula (M42) and Equipment Tuning”

  1. 15′ USB cable has been removed from the bundle. An 8′ cable through the USB hub on the power board worked just fine, and downloaded images from the ASI6200 at the same speed as a direct connection to the laptop, so the 8′ USB cable has been added to the cable bundle.

Leave a Reply