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Skytools 3 worth ???

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#51 Andrev

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 01:57 PM

Cames.

Its fun you tell me that as last night I was looking at some double stars. Yes for sure I have a great interest in multiple system. Sorry for the long delay on posting, I didn't check the forum for a while.

I'll check Beta Mon for sure tonight and let you know. I have some issues to work on especially with labels. I don't know how to remove the labels in certain situation. This software is really great but not user friendly. Sometimes is very hard to figure what I'm looking.

But Skytool 3 is representing Jupiter in the most accurate fashion. Coloration is just perfect compare to what I see in the scope.

I like the wait the stars are more accurate than Starry Night. I was watching the double cluster in Perseus and was really pleased to see it as I see it in my scope. Its really fantastic how the clusters are represented. Beautiful.

Andre.

#52 Andrev

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:59 PM

Cames.

I had a look at Beta Mon. You are right, very nice multiple stars. Its very nice how SK display the multiple systems. Much better than Starry Night.

Andre.

#53 Michael Rapp

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 12:22 AM

Just had to update this thread. I am four hours into my first observing session aided by SkyTools. I love it! It is light-years beyond any other observing planner, charter, and logging software out there.

This is software programmed and refined by someone who clearly uses it! Best $125 I've spent in astronomy in a long time!

#54 rmollise

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:51 AM

Just had to update this thread. I am four hours into my first observing session aided by SkyTools. I love it! It is light-years beyond any other observing planner, charter, and logging software out there.

This is software programmed and refined by someone who clearly uses it! Best $125 I've spent in astronomy in a long time!


Once again, Uncle Rod gets to say, "Told ya so." :roflmao:

#55 Michael Rapp

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 01:22 PM

Yes, you do!

I took the time to make altitude and azimuth measurements with my scope to construct my obstructed horizon. Aided with that, the Real Time mode was perfect and a joy to use. The only objects displayed were truly only the ones visible from my driveway. That alone is worth the price of the program.

Another thing that struck me as unique about the software is how flexible it is, yet it doesn't negatively affect the user-friendliness of it. If there are certain things I don't want to use, such as object ratings or web links, they just fade into the background.

The ubiquitous keyboard shortcuts were a dream. I could pull up nearly anything by just hitting a key. This was great...no squinting for where my mouse cursor was on the dim screen.

The interactive atlas is the most accurate I have used in recent memory. Cluster after cluster, the star positions matched what my SDC-435 was showing. I had much fun finding the limiting magnitude of the night with M26 and M103. I also appreciated Greg's adding of a confidence level of the stellar magnitudes. There were a few times in which the brightness of the star in the FOV, did not quite match the expected brightness in the atlas. Without fail, these stars' magnitudes were marked as "poor quality."

I logged over 30 objects last night. SkyTools adjusted wonderfully to my whims of the moment, sorting and resorting based on whether I wanted to view in optimum order, stay with GCs for a while, just hang out in Cygnus, or venture off the path to try something really dim.

Excellent program.

#56 okieav8r

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:32 PM

I love ST3. I guess my only real complaint though, is that to me, some of the features aren't very intuitive to use, so I feel like I'm probably missing out on a lot of the capabilities of the program. I often have a hard time getting it to do things I want it to do. I'm a bit of a clutz when it comes to creating or deleting lists. When it comes to things like software, I kind of like to have a print manual to spoon feed the 'how-to' of it to me, but I realize that such manuals are a thing of the past. I've noticed that Greg has put up a lot of instructional videos lately, so I need to give those a look. I have The Sky on my computer also, but I like ST3 much better.

#57 Photoner

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:07 AM

I've had it for a couple of years and have no idea how to use it. Yep not very intuitive. I can't tell if I got all the modules I paid for. I was hoping to print out object specific maps on a laser printer. ST3 is instant frustration and a big disappointment overall and I'm not sure I want to go to class to learn the secret places to click the mouse. I'd rather spend time learning the sky.

Im back to the PSA and Uranometria and having a great time of it.

#58 rmollise

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:54 AM

I've had it for a couple of years and have no idea how to use it. Yep not very intuitive. I can't tell if I got all the modules I paid for. I was hoping to print out object specific maps on a laser printer. ST3 is instant frustration and a big disappointment overall and I'm not sure I want to go to class to learn the secret places to click the mouse. I'd rather spend time learning the sky.

Im back to the PSA and Uranometria and having a great time of it.


Computers are not for everybody. On the other hand, I've found few things of value, especially computer programs, that didn't require some study and work. ;)

#59 Andrev

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:51 AM

Hi guys.

More I play with ST3 more I like it. Last night I sorted a couple of list for objects of interest in each category. Very useful and well done. Its really fun all the fine tuning you can do to sort the objects. Now I have a very beautiful list of multiple stars system, globulars, galaxies, nebuleas etc. And once all list were done, I mixed all galaxies, diffuse and planetary nebuleas together to concentrate my effort on these ones at once next time I'll go in a dark site.

I sincerly think all serious astronomers should have ST3. Its a must.

Andre.

#60 RGWOOD

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:41 AM

I am a fan of this software as well. Just like Andrev, I keep a list called "Next Time Out" where I copy objects of interest that I want to concentrate on. These objects could be targets from the H400 list that I am working on, or could be an object of interest that I have come across in blogs or one of the periodicals that I subscribe to. It is a great way of organizing your targets to maximize your success at the eyepiece.
I also keep another list called the "Holy Grail." This is a list of objects that would be near impossible for my aperture or my regular observing site. I maintain that list for the rare occasion that I am at a extremely dark site and have perfect seeing.
I have owned a lot of astronomy related software in the past and without a doubt, Sky Tools has proven to be the most valuable.

#61 Andrev

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:24 PM

Rob.

Its the great fun with ST3, you make your list and after that you can pick only some items of interest from each list by putting them in another one for the next observing session. Its so well done. I like the real time where the optimum window change with time.


Andre

#62 Andrev

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 05:01 PM

Hi.

One other very useful thing I can do with ST3 is choosing exactly what I want to see and where. In my dome, I tend to observe mostly from east horizon to the meridian and because my dome obstruct a certain altitude, when creating my observing list, I can remove the objects higher than unwanted altitude and passed the meridian keeping only those ones at the correct location. Its very very useful to concentrate my effort on wanted objects.

Also I can create a tourist list when going out in a dark site with visitor. So I can show them the toursist objects first and concentrate on fainter objects later.

I really love ST3.

Andre.

#63 rmollise

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:25 PM

What it can do seems endless. The other night I didn't even bother to make a list. I asked it to give me all the globs in Ophiuchus and just worked off the search results.

#64 Michael Rapp

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:27 PM

Just like Andrev, I keep a list called "Next Time Out" where I copy objects of interest that I want to concentrate on.


This is a good idea....I think I'll start trying it too. I can imagine moving objects to this list that I missed as they dipped below my treeline or objects that I don't go to as I am too tired near the end of an observing session.

#65 Andrev

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:59 PM

Michael.

That's the fun part of ST3. You keep in the list only the visible unobstructed items so you don't loose time for invisible or hidden ones.

Me I prepared lists for all kind of objects in individual list as globular, galaxies, comets, etc by choosing very specific criteria as magnitude and altitude or more. Once the list is generated with maximum items all around the seasons, you create a blank ones where you will copy only the ones you want to watch from the complete list for the actual moment. This way you don't have to regenerate a complete list because you have truncated it be removing items. Once you are done with your observation, you delete the tonight's list.

Andre.

#66 mountain monk

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 03:55 PM

Uncle Rod, all:

Since I will be running ST3 on a iMac, I need to order CrossOver. Is the standard version OK, or should I get the Pro version. Thanks.

Dark skies.

mm

#67 GeneT

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:34 PM

Scott,
Would you recommend a different program, and if so, which one?

#68 michael_m

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

I am late to this thread. First off, I love the program. Glad I bought it. My answer...yes it's worth it. It's going to revolutionize my observing potential.

However, it appears that when say Mars is chosen and I play with eyepiece views I cannot remove those darn planet feature labels. They are just obscuring the planet surface so much it's hard to see the planet so I see the features themselves. Anybody know how to do it?

It also would be nice if it allowed for the eyepiece section to put two barlows in place. I have a 2x and 2.5X and can only input one at a time. Can that be done?

#69 michael_m

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:07 PM

Discovered how to turn planet features off. Now if I could only figure out how to spread the planet feature labels out far enough so I could actually see which line goes to which label!

#70 Cames

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:25 AM

Michael, here are some hints you may find useful.

Easy way to turn labels on-off: Select the view, then repeatedly toggle your "L" (for label) key. There are several similar shortcuts.

Zoom farther in to sort out the labels on Mars.

For multiple barlows, create a duplicate telescope with the same eyepieces and finder for each barlow; name the telescope appropriately. Switch to that telescope when using its unique barlow.

The Skytools Yahoo! Usergroup is moderated by the author of the software. That's the best place to get answers to specifics. Usually you get answers the same day. Link

Don't be discouraged. It takes a while before one begins to appreciate its capabilities. Generally speaking, if it's not doing what you need, it soon will once you learn how.

I'm excited for you about your new telescope. It is so close to completion. Wishing you many years of joy with it.
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#71 michael_m

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

Cames, no I'm not at all discouraged and I'm getting around pretty well with the program. It is truly a great program and I love it. But you know...just a couple of things here and there. Making observing lists and having feedback about what to expect for my particular scope is invaluable.

GREAT suggestion of multiple scopes. So far I am getting around it by creating an "eyepiece" that accounts for the barlow. So, if I already have a 9mm eyepiece view, and already have a 2x barlow inputed, I then just create a 9mm barlowed 2.5x as if it were a 3.6mm eyepiece. It seems to be working, it just requires a litte math.

I'm hoping that someday the author will make an update allowing us to input 2 barlows since a lot of us have two.

I will go to the Skytools Yahoo! Usergroup. I should learn more stuff there for sure. Yep, new scope getting pretty close, very exciting! Thank you.

#72 Sarkikos

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

Gene,

I like Sky Safari Pro better because it will run on my Asus Transformer Tablet. From the other thread, I read that you have both of them, also.

ST3 has a plethora of features, is very powerful, but is much more challenging to use - "clunkier," I would say - than SkySafari Pro. I have ST3 on my "mini"-laptop, but even that is heavier than I want to have at the eyepiece, where any star atlas should be, not on a table or in the van.

I wish they would port ST3 over to Android. That might be worthwhile.

Mike

#73 rmollise

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:07 PM

SkyTools 3 is hardly clunky. Yes, it has a lot of features, and it takes a while to learn them, but what worthwhile application doesn't take a while to learn? I know I couldn't fly MS Excel and Access around the room without some work to learn them first. ;)

I think SkySafari is a wonderful program, but it doesn't hold a candle to ST3 in features or utility.

#74 Sarkikos

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:23 PM

Uncle Rod,

SkyTools 3 is hardly clunky. Yes, it has a lot of features, and it takes a while to learn them, but what worthwhile application doesn't take a while to learn?


Let's just say, I don't think the interface is "intuitively obvious."

I think SkySafari is a wonderful program, but it doesn't hold a candle to ST3 in features or utility.


IMHO, perhaps the best feature of Sky Safari is that I can load it onto my light-weight tablet instead of having to run it on a laptop. I like to have a star atlas - whether hard copy or software - right there with me at the eyepiece. I can hold the tablet indefinitely. I can't hold the mini-laptop comfortably for more than a couple minutes. I've seen some setups that have the laptop on a tray supported by the mount, but none bring it as close as I want it to be. I haven't been able to rig up anything that works well for my scopes and mounts. Ergonomic comfort is a top priority among my observational protocols.

:grin:
Mike

#75 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

SkyTools 3 is hardly clunky. Yes, it has a lot of features, and it takes a while to learn them, but what worthwhile application doesn't take a while to learn? I know I couldn't fly MS Excel and Access around the room without some work to learn them first. ;)

I think SkySafari is a wonderful program, but it doesn't hold a candle to ST3 in features or utility.


For me, Sky Tools 3 and Sky Safari serve two different purposes, I like them both, Sky Tools at home searching databases for interesting targets, Sky Safari for general purpose use and in the field.

With SkyTools, I can spend some time searching and sorting through all the doubles in constellation and find. Later, I might use Sky Safari outside on my cell phone or tablet to actually locate the target.

Jon


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