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M101 (again...) - Now using N.I.N.A Imaging Platform

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After my mini rant and toys out of pram regards RPi-4 and astroberry last week , over the weekend I moved my galaxy imaging rig on to a Mini PC (NUC) running Windows 11 and loaded up N.I.N.A, ASCOM, PHD2 , ASTAP, PlateSolve2 ,Cartes du Ciel and got it all talking to each other and running under N.I.N.A.

Planetarium goto -yes

Plate solving -yes

Auto focus - yes

Guiding - yes


Last night forecast waScreenshot2023-04-25035448.thumb.png.3123225a4551ec1f5f03f5047b565847.pngs clear skies after midnight, and the sky did clear and I set up for a session into the wee small hours... apart from a few little gremlins with ASCOM settings, it all worked and I got just under 3 hrs of subs back on M101, packed up at 4:30am as the sky  had brightened significantly and Deneb, Vega and Altair were shining wonderfully in the east.


Screenshot of N.I.N.A, its got a lot going on and it is very much designed around setting up sequences - reaonably intuative to navigate, but a few google searches and Ciuv the lazy Geek youtube videos helped enormously to short circuit the learning curve.

So here we are again, M101, with 4hrs 14minutes of integration (dumped quite a few of the last captures as they sky background was too bright.


I did make a setup error, I assumed, incorrectly, that as N.I.N.A used ZWO native drivers the gain/offset would be automatically setup - its not, I set the gain at 100 but forgot to set offset and its default is 1.

I had to re-take Dark, flats and dark_flat calibration frames today to process the session from last night as my previous dark master file had its bias/noise pedestal higher then the subs and APP complained  that during normalisation everything went negative, which it would when my subs had offset of 1 and original master dark had offset of 50... Anyway was not a big issue to resolve and once I fed APP with correct offset Dark frames - everything got processed as it should.


Image details

Dates:          17 Apr 2023 ·  19 Apr 2023 ·  25 Apr 2023
Frames:       127×120″(4h 14′)
Integration:   4h 14′

Imaging Telescopes     Astro-Tech AT106EDT
Imaging Cameras         ZWO ASI2600MC Pro ×
Mounts                          Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 GT
Accessories                  Celestron Off-Axis Guider ×
Software                      Aries Productions Astro Pixel Processor (APP) · Astroberry Project Astroberry Server · Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight ·
                                     Russell Croman Astrophotography BlurXTerminator · Russell Croman Astrophotography NoiseXTerminator







Edited by Astrobdlbug
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Excellent image and great processing.

Good to hear the switch over was smooth.

I’ve always used APT since abandoning Maxim and it has issues at times.

Trouble is, with so few chances to image it’s hard to justify the curve. 

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