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Quickcam VC Capturing Procedures

I use Jim Berry's freeware Astrocap program to capture the images with the Quickcam. What I like best about this program is that it does dark frame subtraction interactively. Since I took the UV filter (greenish filter) off the QC, the pics usually end up pretty magenta, so I usually and up sliding the color sliders towards the left (cyan and yellow) a bit. I try not to keep the brightness slider too high (no more than 80% or so), and use the exposure to adjust image brightness, tending towards a bright, but now washed out image. After you get the exposure you think is good, use the dark frame feature to get and use a dark frame by covering the lens. Below is a screenshot from the astrocap settings screen which is fairly typical of my settings. I usually don't touch the Video Quality, Sensitivity and Color sliders. For Jupiter and Saturn, I leave the brightness alone, using the exposure slider to get the desired brightness. I also play with the contrast, going anywhere from about the halfway mark up to almost the top.

I have the QC attached to a 2x photo teleconverter which is then attached to the back of the ETX using a t-adapter. This results in high magnification making it sometimes very hard to find the planets, but giving great results. I usually take 99 bmp images at a time with no time delay between. For the pic I put on Weasners, I did this twice in a row, for a total of about 200 pics. Be careful not to waste too much time, since Jupiter rotates incredibly fast. It should be no more than a minute or 2 at the most to get all the shots. BTW, I've had the best luck with a polar alignment and using the default controller. The Autostar is unnecessary and causes more vibrations.

I've purchased an electronic focuser, which has been a great help.

I follow the same procedures with my new LX-90 as with the ETX-90, except that it is about 1000 times more stable and the autostar is great to use with capturing. It also has more magnification and much better tracking. I've left Jupiter in the middle of the screen and left for 40 minutes only to come back to it still being smack dab in the center. Wonderful!