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.