Friday, 26 July 2013

Imaging Toolbox Updates July 2013

A new update to the Imaging Toolbox has just been released with several great new features, including:

  • Create, name and display multiple reticules simultaneously to compare the fields of view of different camera and telescope / lens combinations. Great for evaluating prospective investments in new equipment!
  • Arrange multiple reticules by panning them horizontally and vertically.  Handy for planning a wide-field mosaic consisting of several image panes.
  • Save all existing reticules to your browser and reload them automatically on your next visit.
  • Experimental support for tablets/smartphones with a display that re-sizes to fit narrower screens.
Read on for more information.

Monday, 1 July 2013

PHD Guiding Basic Use and Troubleshooting

[Article First Published on the Stargazer's Lounge forum]

Pleas for help with PHD Guiding seem to come up more often than almost other long-exposure imaging topic. I make no claims to be the ultimate expert on the subject, but I have travelled some way along the road from guiding failure to success, and so I thought it might be good to share a few pointers I've picked up along the way.

(By failure I mean I was getting one 1 minute exposure out of every five where the stars were slightly less egg-shaped than the rest. By success I mean I now discard one 10 minute exposure out of every thirty due to a guiding issue).

Firstly, I am going to cover the basics of a good guiding set-up, since many problems that are blamed on PHD are actually external issues related to the equipment being used or abused. After that I’ll take a look at how to diagnose and fix guiding problems with PHD.