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 Post subject: Remote-control imaging of Jupiter
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
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Location: Bolton
Last night I tried a new arrangement for planetary imaging from indoors (in the warm).
Rather than my usual setup of feeding three control cables in through the kitchen window, this time I left the laptop outdoors and used a wireless link to a second PC indoors.
Attachment:
File comment: Imaging Jupiter with a C8 and Philips webcam, running SharpCap on the laptop. I've also got the mount linked up with a COM port, so I can control it with NexStarControl pad on the PC.
rdp_garden.jpg
rdp_garden.jpg [ 245.39 KiB | Viewed 2497 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: Laptop indoors linked via a WiFi hub. With this Remote Desktop I can control SharpCap and NSCP from indoors.
rdp_indoor.jpg
rdp_indoor.jpg [ 273.06 KiB | Viewed 2497 times ]
The update rate of the video from the webcam was a little slow, but still easily fast enough for me to keep Jupiter centred using NexStar Control Pad - and then to see when it had clouded over! :roll:

It was handy to be able to control the system from anywhere in the house, but as I don't have a computer-link for my focus-motor, I still had to go out from time to time to give it a tweak.
But with the outdoor system all running from a battery, it could be set up much further down the garden than I could reach with my 10m control cables - so giving a view further to the South.

I was using an old wireless router as the WiFi hub, and the MicroSoft Remote Desktop to link the two computers (thanks to Carl for his advice in setting this up). And this arrangement could also be used to relay live images from an outdoor 'scope onto the big screen at any of our "activity night" meetings...

Incidentally, here are my two images of Jupiter, showing a transit of Europa's shadow in progress. I was intending to take images every 15 mins to make a time-lapse movie, but it clouded over soon after 8pm. :(
Attachment:
File comment: Stack of ~ 500 images at 19:36. This capture was initiated from the laptop beside the telescope.
Jupiter 27_02_2014 19_36_37.jpg
Jupiter 27_02_2014 19_36_37.jpg [ 15.2 KiB | Viewed 2497 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: Stack of ~ 500 images at 19:51. This capture was initiated using Remote Desktop from the PC indoors.
Jupiter 27_02_2014 19_51_35.jpg
Jupiter 27_02_2014 19_51_35.jpg [ 17.53 KiB | Viewed 2497 times ]
(All processing in RegiStax6)


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 Post subject: Re: Remote-control imaging of Jupiter
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 1250
Location: Bolton
rwilkinson wrote:
it could be set up much further down the garden than I could reach with my 10m control cables - so giving a view further to the South.

I tried this last night, and although the remote-control and wireless link worked OK, I encountered more challenges as Jupiter moved to the West...

Using my German equatorial mount, I needed to do a meridian flip after the planet passed through South - this needed careful supervision to avoid the webcam and focus-motor leads getting snagged. Then as the optical tube was "upside-down", I had to crawl underneath it to use the finder and flip-mirror to re-sync to my target!

But then, after having a reasonably steady image for the earlier part of the evening, I found that it was getting quite wobbly - what was happening? Well, as the planet moved West I was seeing it through the turbulent rising warm air coming from our neighbours' heating systems (whereas whilst it's to the East I'm looking over trees).

Anyway, here's an animation of my first three images:
Attachment:
File comment: Jupiter's rotation over 35 minutes, from 3x 500-frame captures.
Stacking in RegiStax6, subsequent processing in IRIS, GIF conversion in IrfanView and animation in unFREEz

Jupiter 28_02_2014.gif
Jupiter 28_02_2014.gif [ 102.67 KiB | Viewed 2480 times ]
After that the hazy cloud degraded the signal too far.


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