DSSR Now Supports ZWO Cameras

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Feb 282015

DSSR version 4.10 adds support for cameras from ZWO Company as shown in this screen shot.

ZWO camera

I don’t have a ZWO camera myself which is why the video screen is black, but several users have confirmed that their ZWOs display and capture fine.

This was only possible thanks to the support offered by Sam of  ZWO Company and the generous help given by Robin (author of SharpCap) who even donated some SharpCap code for DSSR. A big thanks to both of them.

 Posted by at 11:37 am

DSSR Error Debugging

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Feb 282015

DSSR started displaying error messages and even refusing to load on some PCs in December 2014. Even my garden observatory PC was affected even though no code had changed. I can only surmise that some Windows update had upset DSSR. Most errors were easy to fix and DSSR 4.10 now has a debug mode and improved error logging that help me fix any future errors.

First off, check that your Windows text size in your Windows display settings is set to the default 100%. DSSR may not start and will certainly not autoguide if it is not 100%.

Next, start DSSR and click the I Agree (debug) button. You will then see a series of boxes with a letter code like A, B etc. Click on the OK buttons and remember the last code displayed before DSSR crashed. If you get as far as the main DSSR window make sure logging is running and then write down exactly what you are trying when you see the error. Close DSSR.

You can then use my software support group to post your results together with the relevant log which should be in your capture folder. I will get back to you in a matter of minutes (or days) with a fix.

 Posted by at 11:17 am

DSSR and Windows Text Size

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Feb 272015

We just had some problems with new users which was tracked down to the Windows text size which can be altered in Control Panel>Appearance and Personalization>Display.

Any setting other that 100% may prevent DSSR from starting and will certainly prevent it from autoguiding.

Apparently, a lot of laptops are now shipped with 125% text size out of the box and these need to be changed to 100% before running DSSR. This will also solve problems in other software with text not displaying correctly.

If you have trouble reading text at 100% then use a lower screen resolution which will not affect DSSR.

 Posted by at 2:27 pm

DSSR Fixed – Again

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Feb 222015

DSSR 4.9 is now available on the Downloads page.

This version fixed a problem where the WinTrak window was not showing for some users. It also has improved error logging and the expiry date has been removed. This version should see you out.

I also uploaded new versions of DVS and DFM where the only change was to remove the expiry date.

Enjoy and clear skies,

Starry Dave

 Posted by at 9:53 am

Flash in Orion

 Deep Sky  Comments Off on Flash in Orion
Feb 172015

I was imaging Orion when I captured this shot. Still trying to work out what it was. It was taken from Inverness, Scotland on 16th February, 2015 at 21.04UT.

ufo 4se m42 30s 6400_0096 text

Below are some other shots I took the same night.

M42 using 300mm lens

M42 using 300mm lens


M42 using Nexstar 4SE

Flame Nebula

Flame Nebula using 300mm lens

All images taken with Canon 1100D, stacked in DeepSkyStacker and processed in StarTools and Krita.

 Posted by at 1:06 pm

Alt-Az Orion Nebula

 Deep Sky  Comments Off on Alt-Az Orion Nebula
Feb 142015

I got a book on astrophotography for xmas and one of the things it said was that you can’t do deep sky imaging with an alt-az mount. I thought I would try it out and left my NexStar 4SE tracking M42 un-guided while I watched the football. My Canon 1100D recorded around 50x good 30sec exposures which were stacked in DeepSky Stacker and processed in StarTools and Krita to give the result below.

Click for full size image

Click for full size image

 Posted by at 8:55 pm

New Version of MS ICE Mosaic Stitcher Released

 Moon, News, Tutorials  Comments Off on New Version of MS ICE Mosaic Stitcher Released
Feb 072015

Microsoft have just released an update to their Image Composite Editor (ICE). I gave it a quick try on my last set of lunar mosaic tiles and it looks like a much nicer package. In particular, the export to disk is now almost instantaneous. Download the 64bit version here.

ICE Screenshot

ICE Screenshot

 Posted by at 9:05 pm

Another Lunar Mosaic Tutorial

 Moon, Tutorials  Comments Off on Another Lunar Mosaic Tutorial
Feb 022015

This was shot with my 5.5″ mak – DMK21 – HEQ5 Pro combo.

20150129 cropped

Scaled down terminator detail.

20150129 full

Click on the image to see it full size.

The image was made up of 50 video files which were automatically captured by DSSR as shown in this speeded up time lapse video. The blue tiles are dark sky which DSSR skips to save time. The whole capture process only took 23 minutes.

[vimeo 118480741]

I then used AS2_Cull_Movies  by Andrew Cool of SkippySky to remove videos with only a sliver of Moon because these will crash the stacking process.

AviStack then processed the videos in batch mode and ICE was used to produce the final mosaic.

 Posted by at 1:21 pm

Cluster of Clusters

 Deep Sky  Comments Off on Cluster of Clusters
Jan 252015

Here is my first real go at capturing clusters with my Nexstar 4SE OTA and Canon 1100D combo on an unguided HEQ5 Pro. All stacked in DeepSkyStacker and processed in StarTools and Krita. Krita is very cool and easy to use and can handle the 16bit tiffs from StarTool. Lights and darks all 20s and biases 1/4000s, all at ISO 6400.









 Posted by at 3:02 pm