Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Sequence Generator Pro questions
      #5870670 - 05/19/13 02:50 AM

After spending the last couple hours trying to figure out what programs I will be using for guiding, capture, ect... I think I'm settling on using Sequence Generator Pro to use for capturing mainly because it supports dithering and looks to be compatible with the equipment I already have/will be getting.


Some questions

1. Is there anyway for it to wirelessly control a DSLR, if so will it connect with Skyfi through a virtual port?

2. Will I need a separate planetarium software or can I use Stellarium if I want?

3. Any other capture software have dithering and other similar features?

4. I only have a SE mount, but will be upgrading to a VX shortly, will it still work for now?

Programs I'm leaning towards: Sequence Generator Pro, Elbrus, PHD > Deep Sky Stacker > Star Tools

I have Windows 7 64bit 6gb ram.

Other recommendations are welcome.

Thanks


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: palmer570]
      #5871020 - 05/19/13 10:01 AM

Hey Palmer,

Come over to the MainSequenceSoftware Yahoo Group. You'll find your questions quickly answered. Just from my experience:
1. Is there anyway for it to wirelessly control a DSLR, if so will it connect with Skyfi through a virtual port?

No, that's not how it works. Since you plug your Canon into it with a USB cable... there are wireless usb devices, they don't work very well.

2. Will I need a separate planetarium software or can I use Stellarium if I want?

It doesn't have a built in planetarium. Frankly, I find I don't need one at the mount doing AP. I pick my targets during the day, and only build sequences for them. Once I'm aligned, I start the sequence and it does everything else. You can use stellarium through it though if you need it. You can also pass your port for programs such as Sky Safari (without needing a SkyFI).

3. Any other capture software have dithering and other similar features?

MaximDL can dither. So can TheSkyX. I'm sure I'm missing others.
4. I only have a SE mount, but will be upgrading to a VX shortly, will it still work for now?

Your SE mount is alt/az so you'll be limited to shorter exposures (<60 to 30 sec). It'll work.

You've got a great software chain planned out. Another option is a local astrometry.net server to aid if Elbrus fails. There are directions in the Yahoo Group on how to set this up. SGP has a blind fail over to the astrometry.net website, but you can setup a localized server that helps speed it along. Elbrus isn't 'perfect'. It relies on a fairly tight aiming accuracy (within 5 degrees) and it requires an accurate angle for it to do its work. You can use it to determine the angle, it's just an additional step in the process (AFAIK, I don't use it).

Good luck, the developers are very helpful. Their manual is a good place to start and you get a 45 day trial.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Raginar]
      #5871153 - 05/19/13 11:18 AM

As I understand it, Sequence Generator Pro, CCD Commander, CCD AutoPilot, and such all work by taking over other programs.

That means that they do nothing in themselves to control your camera, mount, and so forth. You need MaxIm or something to control the camera. You need The Sky or something to control the mount. You may need Pinpoint to plate solve and re-point the scope......The Command program (SGP, CCDC, Autopilot, etc) does not speak to the camera, mount, etc. but to the program that controls them.

So, in general, you have to get software that does what you want first. And then you automate that software through one of the command programs.

Alex


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
David Ault
sage


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: Georgetown, TX
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5871345 - 05/19/13 01:05 PM

palmer570,

I use SGPro and it is a stand-alone tool. It controls the camera, focuser, filterwheel and mount directly (well, through ASCOM drivers anyway). It does control Canon DSLRs and the developers are just now testing Nikon cameras. It's true that it does use some external programs like Elbrus/PinPoint/Astronomy.net for plate solving and PHD/MetaGuide/Astroart for guiding, but as you have free options for both processes I don't really factor that in. As Chris stated it is not a planetarium program (I use Stellarium), nor is it an image processing program (I use PixInsight) so you need to look elsewhere for those functions.

I think the programs you listed are excellent and cover everything you will need except for a planetarium program or some other tool for determining your targets.

Regards,
David


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5871464 - 05/19/13 01:33 PM

Thanks for the info

I was hoping to have my laptop connect through skyfi for the mount controls, and some other wireless way to control the dslr. But forgot I will still need to be wired to the guide camera.


edit: Hehe got some answers as I was writing this. I already have Stellarium for planning my viewing. Thanks for setting my mind at ease. Was getting information overload from researching all these programs at once.


Edited by palmer570 (05/19/13 01:48 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: palmer570]
      #5871570 - 05/19/13 02:07 PM

Also will I need any special cables, like the ones from Shoestring?

I have a usb to serial and RS-232 cable.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: palmer570]
      #5871600 - 05/19/13 02:22 PM

Alex, SGP is standalone. It doesn't rely on any software besides PHD to run. However, if you want plate solving, it needs to integrate with outside programs.

It's pretty neat if you haven't tried it out.

Palmer, you gotta tell us what equipment you have. If you have a Canon, you don't need special cables. If you're autoguiding with anything other than a specific autoguider you *might* need a GSUSB box if your mount can't do pulse guiding. You'll definitely need a cable to interface with your hand controller/mount. Usually those are some type of RS232 connection to USB.

Chris

Edited by Raginar (05/19/13 02:25 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Raginar]
      #5871823 - 05/19/13 03:58 PM

What I have/backordered:
8SE
Canon t3i
motofocus for SCT and FCUSB
usb to RS-232
Skyfi
StarSense(new controller make a difference?)
AT65EDQ

What I'm leaning toward to buy next:
VX mount
ST80 autoguide package
a motofocus for my WO DDG focuser if possible

Edited by palmer570 (05/19/13 03:59 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoseBorrero
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/04/09

Loc: Puerto Rico Island
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: palmer570]
      #5872154 - 05/19/13 06:28 PM

I need step by step details about how phd is handled

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Raginar]
      #5872390 - 05/19/13 08:22 PM

I stand corrected....Sorry,

Alex


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: JoseBorrero]
      #5872400 - 05/19/13 08:26 PM

Quote:

I need step by step details about how phd is handled




I'm not sure what you mean.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Momerath
sage


Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Upstate SC,
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: palmer570]
      #5872476 - 05/19/13 09:01 PM

Backyard EOS soports dithering. Nice little program

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5872804 - 05/19/13 11:16 PM

Alex,

I hope that didn't sound like an attack.. you were spot on with the other two programs requiring MaximDL. Go check it out sometime. It's really amazing what you get for 100 bucks. I've been pleased with it; and when it does break, the developers are really quick to get patches out (like the new SBIG driver that broke their software, update was out in 6 hours before the night!).

Palmer,

Looks like you have a sweet setup coming . Definitely work on getting the guider package. One thing you can do if you're so inclined is make a wedge for your SE8. There was another person who built one; I believe it's in the DIY section if you'd like to see what he did. It wasn't complicated and it would allow you to set your 8SE up equatorally until you can get a GEM.

Jose, PM me on Google bro. I can walk you through it if you'd like. All it does is utilize the server features built into PHD to control it. It handles calibration, star selection, dithering, flips, and will even re-calibrate after you've changed declination by a user-defined amount. Pretty neat program. It has a 45-day trial. Go check it out and give it a whirl. The first night I tried it out because I was frustrated with 'other' programs... I had it running in an hour and it worked all night long to include a meridian flip.

Clear skies,
Chris


Edited by Raginar (05/19/13 11:18 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Raginar]
      #5873288 - 05/20/13 09:16 AM

I did not feel attacked at all, Chris. I was surprised to learn SGP was stand alone. I had been told that SGP had used the same approach that the others had. ANd my sources were pretty reliable. I will be trying it out later this summer when I get back from some travels. No big deal. Was not the first mistake I had made.

Alex


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
averen
Vendor Main Sequence Software
*****

Reged: 01/20/09

Loc: Austin TX
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5873362 - 05/20/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

I did not feel attacked at all, Chris. I was surprised to learn SGP was stand alone. I had been told that SGP had used the same approach that the others had. ANd my sources were pretty reliable. I will be trying it out later this summer when I get back from some travels. No big deal. Was not the first mistake I had made.




Alex,
Sequence Generator (not Pro) started out using Nebulosity or Astro Art for capture. About 2ish years ago we developed our own capture interface and named it Sequence Generator Pro. So your sources are reliable...just a little out of date :-)

We're completely stand alone now except for guiding and plate solving. We figured PHD is the defacto standard so why reinvent the wheel? Also Astrometry, Elbrus and PinPoint are all excellent solvers.

We currently have 2 versions of SGP. There is the 'Lite' version which supports cameras and filter control. This version is free. Just download the trial and when it expires you'll be left with the 'Lite' version. It does not support saving of sequences, but it does save images and is still a fully capable capture application. We also have the Pro version which is fully featured.

If you click our link in my sig below and go to the "Store" tab there is a break down of feature differences (make sure you click "Show More". Just for clarification both are still stand alone.

Thanks,
Jared


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: averen]
      #5873441 - 05/20/13 10:39 AM

Give SGP a VALID go. You will most certainly be pleasantly surprised.

There are things I'd like to see further incorporated (import target RA/DEC settings from a planetarium software like Carte Du Ciel or Stellarium AND plate solve the focus target object), but for ease of use, great UI layout (customization to an extent), hardware control through ASCOM, merdian flips, auto guiding, hardware profiles, multi-target acquisitions, mosaic plans, plate solving ... etc.

I judged it far too quickly early on and the more time I have spent with it, the more I enjoy it - far more than MaximDL. I just wish my new CCD and FW were here so I can test it with that platform instead of just using my DSLR.

So far and based on my very limited exposure to Maxim, I don't understand the $500+ price tag. I can see the benefit of working through a single automation console to link it with other software (planetarium), focusmax and long history, but that does not justify $500+ considering it (automation software) was written by other orgs.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
lawrie
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/31/06

Loc: Okanagan Valley
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: hytham]
      #5873706 - 05/20/13 01:00 PM

How good is it at keeping focus?
As I understand it, you have to focus first, then the program maintains focus.
Does it find stars around your target, or do you have to go off target and re frame?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoseBorrero
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/04/09

Loc: Puerto Rico Island
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: lawrie]
      #5874002 - 05/20/13 03:34 PM

How PHD work on SGP?

Can open PHD automatically on SGP start?

Can Auto Calibrate Between targets?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions new [Re: JoseBorrero]
      #5874089 - 05/20/13 04:04 PM

Jose,

You start PHD, and it will take care of it from there once you connect your mount/camera. It will calibrate between targets, but only if they differ in declination by a user-defined amount. It works great.

Lawrie,

My focus is around 3 FWHM with it. You do focus prior to starting and it takes it from there. You need to figure out your critical focus steps and then give yourself some slop around it. I've found it pretty good.

It can do either frame and focus on your target OR you can select a star somewhere else.

Hytham, I agree completely. Maxim is stuck in the stone ages at this point if two part-time software developers can create something like SGP in a period of a year. It does one thing that SGP can't do (yet, hopefully) which is support a self-guiding camera. It's really the only part I wish it had. Everything else is on par or better.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Sequence Generator Pro questions [Re: Raginar]
      #5874226 - 05/20/13 04:53 PM

The other question that comes to mind is whether SGP has the ability to read the brightness of the image in terms of counts from a CCD image?

I want to be able to measure the linearity of my CCD to determine the best brightness to acquire my flat frames.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
14 registered and 26 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Knuklhdastrnmr, fishonkevin, WOBentley, rflinn68 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1196

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics