First Light with Prism

Hardware and software setups, autoguiding and plate solving parameters, etc..
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rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
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Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:44 pm

Last night I got the Prism trial working. I think my biggest issue is that I was over-thinking some of the setup and that led me to clicking on things I should not have been, which in turn just caused me more issues. One example of that would be in the Telescope setup under guiding there is a check box for "Do not use pulseguiding" Well I mis-read that to mean "check here to USE pulseguiding"... The software has almost to much customization !

After I managed to get all the hardware connected and working, I noticed for some reason (not sure if this is a windows 8 thing or what) but for me if you click on "minimize" on the sub-windows they disappear and I cannot get them to come back. So most of the night was spent arranging windows to be out of the way or bring them back to the foreground to check on things or adjust something.

I'm still trying to figure out how to "tune" the guiding to be a bit better. If I read this right I was getting around 4" peak to peak with Prism guiding. With PHD2 using the PPEC algorithm I was getting 1.2" (same night).

I managed to take some frames manually and with the sequence button. I tried the "Automatic Observations" but it kept telling me it was already at the end of the sequence? not sure what I messed up there.

From there I messed around trying to snap a picture of a comet. I found 2 I could try last night but both were blotted out by the light pollution, however I know they were in the frame based on platesolving.

I would like to know how I can guide at the Comet's rate so that I can image the comet, then I would like to get the star-field so that I can composite them , is that something that can be done with Prism?

All in all I'd say that I have much farther to travel on the learning curve, but I'm very impressed with Prism's focus routine. I have been using SGPro for a couple of years now and I was able to achive a much finer focus with Prism on my hardware than with SGP. It lead me to go back to SGP to realize that I had some settings wrong, and could have been getting much better focus all this time (1.2 HFR with Prism, 2.8-3.6 with SGP before changes).

I really like the idea of becoming a bit of an asteroid/comet hunter as well, and I find myself wishing that my setup wasn't portable but instead that I had a perm. pier setup...

I also like the diagnostic tools (Analysis), very cool stuff.

Still there are a few tricks/tips I'm hoping to find out about:

Contrast/Lum (F4). Is there a way to make that setting perm. for all images taken? Adjusting the histo on each image get's old.

I posted some other threads about GPS location, etc over under getting started as well. Noticed that my GPS unit was providing data but the fields never updated in Prism. EQMOD read it nearly instantly.
Hamza Touhami
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Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
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Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:55 am

Great report. A few points:

- When using the contrast/Luminosity setting under settings, whatever you choose there becomes a the standard thresholds for what is displayed every time. The closer you get to 100% the darker the image gets. Adjust to taste :D
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Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
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Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:57 am

when you find a comet in PRISM ( easy to do ;) ) and you double click on it, the rate will be shown if it is known. PRISM provides a staggering amount of information right at your fingertips. Please keep in mind that rate offset can be adjusted under the mount control window IF your mount's driver allows this change.
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
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Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:14 pm

I have something a bit selfish to ask. Unfortunate my trial period was mostly me sorting out equipment setup issues, laptop display issues, and just plain crappy weather.

Do you ever offer any 1-2 week trial extensions? I’m seriously considering purchasing prism but the cost and doubts about if I solved the issues have me hesitating. Unless there is some kind of refund policy?

Thank you!
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:11 am

Glad you're giving it a whirl, you can just install it on another computer and the Trial will be a full 80 days trial again. There is no way for me to allows any other duration, this is the developer's policy.
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:16 pm

Thank you. I just had to wipe my laptop and re-install everything, so I upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 10. I figured now was a good time to make sure it would still work before I buy.

Thanks again!
rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:34 pm

I purchased Advanced! :) very happy right now
rottielover
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
Contact:

Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:59 am

So after getting help and getting up and running, here is my real "first light" with Prism

This is M13 11 Lum's of 30sec , calibrated and stacked in Prism. I have not learned processing yet in Prism so I used PixInsight to do the Stretching, conversion to JPG, and I used a process in PI called "ACDNR" which is a general use noise reduction process (no settings changed), but otherwise it's close to what I would call "unprocessed image"... I'm actually pretty impressed as this is from a Red zone with full moon to boot.

Image

https://www.astrobin.com/402117/
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
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Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:29 am

that is an awesome start, now you can just automate, go to bed, and process in the morning..all without ever leaving PRISM ;)
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
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