What a terrible night. The transparency was poor, and the seeing wasn't much better....and everything that could go wrong did. My goal was NGC 2024, the Flame nebula, but as I suspected, my setup just wasn't up to it. It's a tough target from light poluted skies. Tracking issues aside, I think it might be possible to get a decent image from a dark site. To make matters worse, the batteries died in my scope, and when I switched to my AC adapter, the connection was loose. Then the clouds rolled in.
Then, later in the evening, I switched scopes to get some video of Saturn, but realized the video capture software had been deleted from the computer......so I had to reload that in the dark. By that time Saturn disappeared in the clouds......coming in and out of view, but never completely clear. I never got the chance to use a barlow with the webcam......which is mandatory with Saturn. It is a tiny target.
Here are my images of the Flame nebula and the only useable image of Saturn. I am sure most of you would trash these shots and try again (I will), but I am posting them to recall how bad they were when I finally get a decent image.
NGC 2024: 31 subs @ 11.3 sec per sub. 80mm Orion short tube refractor, Meade DSI color
Saturn: 1077 frames, best 292 frames aligned & stacked in Registax, Celestron Nexstar 4se,
ToUcam Pro II (not barlowed)