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First time trying out N.I.N.A. instead of SGP

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#51 cuivienor

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 11:42 PM

@Mert: confirmed, with the settle time added, autofocus works fine now! Got perfect curves yesterday.


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#52 georgian82

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 12:24 AM

After reading this posting, I have become very interested in trying NINA out! I have been using SGP but I hate how long it takes between frames!!!

 

Questions for you guys that are already using NINA...for Windows 10, should I download 64 bit version?

 

Also, I see that I have to install Sky Atlas which is about 1G. Now, I control my mount via EQMOD and Cirque di Ciel...this being the case, do I still have to download the Sky Atlas? I am assuming they performed the same function based on the youtube videos I came across...

 

Thanks!

 

Sebastian


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#53 dghent

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 12:50 AM

Questions for you guys that are already using NINA...for Windows 10, should I download 64 bit version?

Normally yes, you can use the 64bit variant. The only time you need to use the 32bit version of NINA is if you rely on ASCOM drivers that are 32bit only. Judging from the list of items in your .sig, you'll be ok in this area and the 64bit variant of NINA should work fine.

 

Also, I see that I have to install Sky Atlas which is about 1G. Now, I control my mount via EQMOD and Cirque di Ciel...this being the case, do I still have to download the Sky Atlas? I am assuming they performed the same function based on the youtube videos I came across...

Strictly speaking the Sky Atlas data is optional as NINA will function at a basic level without it. However you'll absolutely need it if you wish to use the framing assistant and slew-to-target sequence functions which rely on that data to do their thing. You can still use CdC to drive your mount if you wish, though.

 

Also note that if you run a ASCOM client program such as CdC or the like as Administrator, but run NINA as your regular non-privileged Windows user, ASCOM will count it as separate instances and will throw up a fuss because there's now more than one instance of ASCOM running at that point. This is true for any program and not just NINA, but it's worth mentioning as I've seen some users encounter this issue and the cause of the confusion is not immediately obvious.


Edited by Elektronkind, 27 March 2019 - 12:51 AM.


#54 georgian82

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 11:02 AM

Normally yes, you can use the 64bit variant. The only time you need to use the 32bit version of NINA is if you rely on ASCOM drivers that are 32bit only. Judging from the list of items in your .sig, you'll be ok in this area and the 64bit variant of NINA should work fine.

 

Strictly speaking the Sky Atlas data is optional as NINA will function at a basic level without it. However you'll absolutely need it if you wish to use the framing assistant and slew-to-target sequence functions which rely on that data to do their thing. You can still use CdC to drive your mount if you wish, though.

 

Also note that if you run a ASCOM client program such as CdC or the like as Administrator, but run NINA as your regular non-privileged Windows user, ASCOM will count it as separate instances and will throw up a fuss because there's now more than one instance of ASCOM running at that point. This is true for any program and not just NINA, but it's worth mentioning as I've seen some users encounter this issue and the cause of the confusion is not immediately obvious.

Thank you so much for the reply...this is very helpful. 

 

My signature is a bit outdated and I have not taken the time to add my current equipment. That being said, my mount is a Vixen GP2 with a Goto kit and is driven via EQMOD and Cirque du Ciel. 

 

So if I understand correctly, I should be using either Sky Atlas or Cirque Du Ciel but not both, correct? Does Sky Atlas connect to EQMOD automatically?

 

Finally, how can I find out if my equipment runs on 32 or 64-bit?

 

Thanks again,



#55 dghent

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 12:05 PM

My signature is a bit outdated and I have not taken the time to add my current equipment. That being said, my mount is a Vixen GP2 with a Goto kit and is driven via EQMOD and Cirque du Ciel. 

 

So if I understand correctly, I should be using either Sky Atlas or Cirque Du Ciel but not both, correct? Does Sky Atlas connect to EQMOD automatically?

 

Finally, how can I find out if my equipment runs on 32 or 64-bit?

A bunch of users use the EQMOD ASCOM driver. It being ASCOM means that it's the one thing that communicates with the mount, with all ASCOM client applications (NINA, CdC, PHD2, and so-on) going through it. As per ASCOM's design this allows multiple apps to concurrently access your hardware. So yes, this allows you to use NINA to drive your mount during imaging, PHD2 to guide it, and you can use CdC to slew to targets. But CdC and NINA don't talk to each other (yet) so if you tell CdC to slew to something while NINA is imaging, CdC will happily command the mount to do that while your camera is exposing. Some of the guys are looking at ways to communicate with other apps (such as CdC and TSX) to see if there's any kind of useful integration that can happen there.

 

But! You can also just drive the mount using the sky atlas data in NINA. Naturally NINA is designed more around this use-case than any other. I recommend that you play around with it and see if the workflow suits you. I used to use TSX to slew the mount around and all that, but since the addition of the framing assistant in NINA 1.8 I've used that to line things up and move between targets. I still do keep TSX open on the side to have a nice view of the sky at that moment, not to control the mount in any way.

 

As for ascertaining whether your ASCOM drivers are 32 or 64bit (or both), this is kind of cumbersome on the ASCOM side of things as there's no tool that ASCOM provides which comes right out and gives you a list. There's a little sleuthing involved. The best way I can tell is to run the ASCOM Diagnostics application, and select "Choose and Connect to Device" in the "Choose Device" menu. Select the class of device you're interested in ("Telescope" for mount drivers) and see if the driver is listed in the window that pops up after you hit the Choose button. If it is, congratulations, the driver is 64bit. If it isn't, do the same but under "Choose and Connect to Device (32bit application" and see if it's listed only there. If that's the case, the vendor of the hardware in question provides only a 32bit driver and that means you'll need to use 32bit NINA.

 

I can tell you right off the bat that EQMOD will be 64bit, as will your ZWO ASI camera driver, so you're likely fine with the 64bit variant.


Edited by dghent, 27 March 2019 - 12:07 PM.


#56 georgian82

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 12:44 PM

A bunch of users use the EQMOD ASCOM driver. It being ASCOM means that it's the one thing that communicates with the mount, with all ASCOM client applications (NINA, CdC, PHD2, and so-on) going through it. As per ASCOM's design this allows multiple apps to concurrently access your hardware. So yes, this allows you to use NINA to drive your mount during imaging, PHD2 to guide it, and you can use CdC to slew to targets. But CdC and NINA don't talk to each other (yet) so if you tell CdC to slew to something while NINA is imaging, CdC will happily command the mount to do that while your camera is exposing. Some of the guys are looking at ways to communicate with other apps (such as CdC and TSX) to see if there's any kind of useful integration that can happen there.

 

But! You can also just drive the mount using the sky atlas data in NINA. Naturally NINA is designed more around this use-case than any other. I recommend that you play around with it and see if the workflow suits you. I used to use TSX to slew the mount around and all that, but since the addition of the framing assistant in NINA 1.8 I've used that to line things up and move between targets. I still do keep TSX open on the side to have a nice view of the sky at that moment, not to control the mount in any way.

 

As for ascertaining whether your ASCOM drivers are 32 or 64bit (or both), this is kind of cumbersome on the ASCOM side of things as there's no tool that ASCOM provides which comes right out and gives you a list. There's a little sleuthing involved. The best way I can tell is to run the ASCOM Diagnostics application, and select "Choose and Connect to Device" in the "Choose Device" menu. Select the class of device you're interested in ("Telescope" for mount drivers) and see if the driver is listed in the window that pops up after you hit the Choose button. If it is, congratulations, the driver is 64bit. If it isn't, do the same but under "Choose and Connect to Device (32bit application" and see if it's listed only there. If that's the case, the vendor of the hardware in question provides only a 32bit driver and that means you'll need to use 32bit NINA.

 

I can tell you right off the bat that EQMOD will be 64bit, as will your ZWO ASI camera driver, so you're likely fine with the 64bit variant.

Perfectly clear! Thanks again for taking the time...I really appreciate it. 

 

Cheers


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#57 Mert

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 03:30 PM

@Mert: confirmed, with the settle time added, autofocus works fine now! Got perfect curves yesterday.

Will that be implemented at some time??



#58 cuivienor

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 06:01 PM

@Mert, I think it's in their latest nightly build - they added my code to the main development repository. Of course, nightly builds = Use at your own risk!



#59 MDWingsFan

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 06:14 PM

Any chance of seeing a "park/home" feature added to the end of a sequence, and also meridian flip and solve?  I used NINA last night for these photos BTW... If I can get those features, I'm sold and will be switching from APT.  As a career Software Engineer, I really like this great job!   

 

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#60 cuivienor

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:12 PM

@MDWingsFan those are excellent results you have there! Also, on a CEM25P, wow.

 

Yeah, parking the mount at the end of the sequence (or for mounts without parking, returning to NCP or SCP and turning off tracking) would be awesome. As far as I understand, it's part of what the main dev is looking at for the next major release of NINA.

 

As for the Meridian Flip, NINA does it automatically (and better than SGP IMO because it will work with mounts who do not report side of pier, or report it wrongly) - just go to the Options -> Imaging tab, and set "Auto Meridian Flip" to On. Change settings as desired. At this stage it's worked without issue for me.

 

Oh, and if you're a software engineer, how about coding in your free time (because you don't look at monitors enough during work hours I'm sure!)? :p After all it's open source, so if something is missing for you and you have the time, you could always add it yourself! (I did that for a couple of features I needed).

 

Cheers,

 

Yannick



#61 MDWingsFan

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:34 PM

Yannick,

 

I might just do that tongue2.gif



#62 diggy

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 07:18 PM

Very impressed by what I'm seeing so far with this program.  The UI just "makes sense", compared to some others.  One problem I have:  I can't get my ZWO ASI183MM Pro to produce an image.  I'm set up with everything else working.  I attempt to take a single frame in the Imaging window, or to run a sequence,  The UI indicates an image is being taken, but I cannot find any actual data in the folder I specified.  (I tinkered with the USB download slider in the ASCOM properties for the camera with no result).

 

I downloaded the 64-bit Beta.  Could this be a driver problem?  The camera performs as expected in a couple of other imaging softwares I have.  



#63 cuivienor

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 09:14 PM

Diggy - sorry to hear that. I have no idea what could be the cause. Have you tried looking at the logs? They're in %localappdata%\NINA\Logs . Also under equipment tab (in options), did you try setting bit depth to 12? Not sure whether that's even taken into account, but hey, why not try. And when trying from the imaging tab, do you see an image appear?

 

Best is probably to join their discord chat, there's a support channel there.

 

Completely unrelated, but I see you;re a fan of the 183 since you have both the mono and color versions. What filters do you use with the mono? How is the camera working for you?

 

Cheers,

 

Yannick


Edited by cuivienor, 28 March 2019 - 09:14 PM.


#64 diggy

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 12:09 AM

Thanks, Yannick, I'll try those tips.  I'm sure I'll get it figured out, since others I'm sure are using this camera.  Aside from that problem, I'm extremely impressed with this software.  I've been using SGP for a while and, like you, groan at how slow it is and often that autofocus fails.  I've been recently been experimenting with Voyager, which has wickedly good focusing; but the whole user interface does not work well for me.  So, hope to forge ahead with NINA.

 

Yes I'm enjoying the 183 cameras.  I just recently got set up with the mono version.  I have a set of Optolong LRGB, a Baader Ha (7 nm)  and a ZWO mini filter wheel.  Very small pixels (2.4 microns) and so I'm over-sampling at 0.52 "/pixel which has a few complications.  But galaxy season is here!  I built my own autofocus controller, using a Moonlite stepper, which is working great.  Still getting my feet wet with this monochrome imaging...lots to learn!  Getting the 183 OSC was a big step up from my old Nikon D90.  But I think I'm rapidly becoming a monochrome convert!  And I'm plowing through Pixinsight.  Weather's been pretty awful here this spring, so lots of time for fine-tune my rig and all the software.  

 

Clear skies,

Doug

 

Diggy - sorry to hear that. I have no idea what could be the cause. Have you tried looking at the logs? They're in %localappdata%\NINA\Logs . Also under equipment tab (in options), did you try setting bit depth to 12? Not sure whether that's even taken into account, but hey, why not try. And when trying from the imaging tab, do you see an image appear?

 

Best is probably to join their discord chat, there's a support channel there.

 

Completely unrelated, but I see you;re a fan of the 183 since you have both the mono and color versions. What filters do you use with the mono? How is the camera working for you?

 

Cheers,

 

Yannick



#65 cuivienor

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 04:33 AM

Mono is amazing from light polluted areas... OSC will really only shine from dark zones. Thanks for your impressions on the camera! Depending on how well I can get my 294MC to perform, I may get one of those!

On the camera, another thing to try is simply ASCOM connectivity, see whether that works... Good luck!

#66 cuivienor

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 06:39 PM

@diggy Just was asking about ASI183 support in NINA, and one of the main devs actually uses one natively without issue. If you still have issues, you should just join the NINA discord channel (on their website) because it should be working :)



#67 diggy

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 12:37 PM

Turned out to be a flaky cable :-(   Got a problem-free first light 2 hours of M51 last night. Would have been more but I was tired.  Hope NINA adds a shutdown feature so that after a sequence it stops tracking, parks scope, warms camera, etc.  One of the strengths of Voyager with its scripting.  I can see myself using both softwares:  NINA for "hands on" sessions, Voyager for unattended multi-target all-nighters. We are lucky to have such good choices.

 

@diggy Just was asking about ASI183 support in NINA, and one of the main devs actually uses one natively without issue. If you still have issues, you should just join the NINA discord channel (on their website) because it should be working smile.gif


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#68 dghent

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 12:58 PM

I'd say that right now we're in a usage data collection phase with NINA. The NINA 1.8 release can be regard as its coming-out release, and we're interested in seeing how people try to use its sequencing and what is desired out of it. We have talked a bunch among ourselves about different ways we can mature the sequencing feature set and its overall architecture, but if we're going to repaint its walls, we'd rather do so with a comprehensive design that implements features we know people want rather than throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. So, in short, the more feedback the better :)

 

Session close-out like you mentioned seems to be the top want, followed by a few other things.


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#69 dghent

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 01:01 PM

Turned out to be a flaky cable :-(

Let me guess, was it the included USB3 ribbon-style cable? If I'm right, I'm not surprised, since I had my ASI1600 dropping out constantly using that type of cable. It just doesn't meet USB3 needs in terms of interference rejection. It's a poor design and they should stop bundling it, instead opting for a proper USB3 cable.



#70 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 01:06 PM

A nice feature of the flat usb cable is its flexibility. Does anyone know of a source for USB 3 cables that retains flexibility in the cold? I.e silicon insulators and jacket...



#71 dghent

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 01:14 PM

A nice feature of the flat usb cable is its flexibility. Does anyone know of a source for USB 3 cables that retains flexibility in the cold? I.e silicon insulators and jacket...

Yes! I've sourced my USB cables from L-Com for years now, and they have high-flex variants in a variety of flavors: http://www.l-com.com...able-assemblies


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#72 Salty_snack

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 04:00 PM

Just downloaded and it looks very promising! I really enjoy the tab style workflow rather than the menus upon menus you find in other programs. I couldn’t figure out how to load an image as I’d like to see how it analyzes it as well as have the ability to center on a previous image and click to center within the fov.

I’m really looking forward to trying it out in the field.

#73 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:13 PM

Yes! I've sourced my USB cables from L-Com for years now, and they have high-flex variants in a variety of flavors: http://www.l-com.com...able-assemblies

Thanks dghent, I just ordered a usb a-b cable.



#74 Denali

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:21 AM

N.I.N.A. 1.8 released yesterday


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#75 darkarchon

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 12:05 PM

Indeed 1.8 released yesterday and I made a video showing off some of the new features we implemented.

https://www.youtube....h?v=edYcKUPEEAU
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