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ASTAP, BackyardEOS, and Noise



Hi All!

Is anyone successfully using ASTAP and BackyardEOS with a Canon T3i?

I have the applications installed and talking, but am not able to get a successful solve.  I opened an image directly in ASTAP and the image is extremely noisy, which I suspect is tripping ASTAP up.  Is there a setting in BackyardEOS or ASTAP that I’m missing?

Any help or thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated.


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If you are unable to solve the image with ASTAP directly, then BYE will not be able to magically make it work.

You may be able to reduce noise by keeping the camera as cool as possible (for example, use a "fake battery" A/C adapter).

Are you shooting through a lens or a telescope? What ISO are you using?

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I’m shooting through a Skywatcher ED80.

Interestingly enough, I’m able to solve a fits image taken with Sequence Generator Pro and the same camera and scope.  

I believe I have BackyardEOS set to Canon Raw.  Should I be using FITS with BackyardEOS and ASTAP or is that setting unrelated to the ASTAP integration?


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BackyardEOS does not currently support FITS images.

Since BYE is integrated with ASTAP, it should only provide an image that ASTAP can use for platesolving.

My previous advice was directed at how to reduce noise in an image by reducing the ISO which brightens the complete image including signal and noise. I am not familiar with ASTAP, but you may be able to configure it to better reject noise.

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Here is some advice that may help you with ASTAP...

1) If you are capturing RAW in BYE, it will send RAW to ASTAP.

2) ASTAP does its own conversion from RAW to FITS internally using either "dcraw" or "LibRaw".   In ASTAP, you select which conversion to use on the "Stack method" tab of the stack menu.

3) If your camera makes ".CR3" files, you need to use "LibRaw".  If your camera makes ".CR2" files, "dcraw" may work for you.

4) Assuming you are using BYE 3.2.2, Be sure to use ASTAP version ß0.9.554 or later (especially if you need to use LibRaw).

5) ASTAP is very sensitive to knowing the Field Of View height.   A wrong value can be a cause of failure to solve.  BYE does not have a way to set this value, so you need to launch ASTAP and go to the "Alignment" tab of the stack menu.   If you don't know the FOV value, ASTAP will figure it out for you if you select "auto".   Once you know the value for your setup, ASTAP will solve faster if you select the correct FOV value.

6) Especially if the field of view is small, be sure that you installed the "h18" star database.   You can check this in ASTAP by selecting the "Alignment" tab of the stack menu.

7) Before going out under the stars, load and solve a sample "raw" file (corresponding to your optical setup) using the ASTAP fits viewer.  This will confirm that ASTAP is setup correctly for your configuration (Camera + Telescope + Image file type).

😎 If you still have problems solving, review this checklist: http://www.hnsky.org/astap.htm#conditions.


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