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Do I need Maxim DL in order to use Focusmax? Can I use focusmax standalone?

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#1 Rayastro

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 12:39 PM

Do I need Maxim DL in order to use Focusmax? Can I use focusmax standalone?

I ready several forums everyone is answering focusmax would not work with SGP.  I am fine with than.  I am trying to use Focusmax by trying to connect camera and telescope directly.  

 

Any response would be appreciated.

 

Regards,

Ray



#2 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

It will not. It works with the SKYX and with MaximDL and that's that. I doubt that there are any plans to support SGP camera control software or other platesolving software beyond TPoint and Pinpoint.

Rgrds-Ross


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#3 Rayastro

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 04:03 PM

It will not. It works with the SKYX and with MaximDL and that's that. I doubt that there are any plans to support SGP camera control software or other platesolving software beyond TPoint and Pinpoint.

Rgrds-Ross

Thanks for the quick response.  Between SkyX and MaximDL which one is a better investment to work with focusmax?  I already own SGP for my CGX, CGX-L and AVX mounts.  I use both RASA 11 and Celestron 14" Edge HD.   Reason I am looking at focusmax is because SGP is trying to focus with multiple stars plus based on focus steps.  I heard focusmax goes by the rate of the turn and not the steps.  I need that feature plus focus on single star feature.  

 

Regards,

Ray



#4 OrionSword

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 04:20 PM

Do I need Maxim DL in order to use Focusmax? Can I use focusmax standalone?

I ready several forums everyone is answering focusmax would not work with SGP.  I am fine with than.  I am trying to use Focusmax by trying to connect camera and telescope directly.  

 

Any response would be appreciated.

 

Regards,

Ray

If you can find a version before Focusmax went CCDWare it will run stand-alone.  I ran it years ago on Moonlite and Rigel Systems stepper focusers.

 

Focusmax versions 3.7 and 3.8 ran pretty well.

 

 

https://www.astronom...smax-downloads/

 

 

Folks are also getting good autofocus routines in Voyager, N.I.N.A. and SGPro acquisition packages.  Maybe Astrophotography Tool as well, it's been a while since I used it.


Edited by OrionSword, 14 August 2019 - 04:22 PM.

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#5 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 04:36 PM

The original focusmax used MaximDL. I remember this from years ago. It does not run "standalone" because it would then need its own camera control software. Download a version and try it, if you can get it to run at all. 

 

The issue of getting really good single star focus seems to be at the heart of your ask. I think that what may not be obvious is that you will have to make a full switch over to something else like the SKYX to make FMAX 4 a good choice. Otherwise you will need to be shutting down SGP whenever you want to focus your telescope. You will then need to start up the SKYX or MaximDL, connect to all of your devices all over again and then run FMAX. Maybe you are OK with this but it's not a trivial changeover. 

 

I would recommend the SKYX rather than Maxim DL because if you buy Professional you get the use of Image Link and the SKYX own one star focusing routine - @focus2. With MDL you also have to buy Pinpoint to be able to plate solve. Plate solving is really useful with FMAX. That's because doing single star focusing requires finding a suitable star. FMAX4 has the "Acquire Star" routine where it runs a query to find appropriate (magnitude) stars, slews to them, focuses, and slews back to your target all automatically. 

 

I run CCDAP on top of either MDL or SKYX so that I can focus periodically, when the temperature changes, or when I change filters. You can't really do that without some additional automation program. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#6 Rayastro

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:08 PM

If you can find a version before Focusmax went CCDWare it will run stand-alone.  I ran it years ago on Moonlite and Rigel Systems stepper focusers.

 

Focusmax versions 3.7 and 3.8 ran pretty well.

 

 

https://www.astronom...smax-downloads/

 

 

Folks are also getting good autofocus routines in Voyager, N.I.N.A. and SGPro acquisition packages.  Maybe Astrophotography Tool as well, it's been a while since I used it.

Thanks so much for this info.  In the old times, How are you connecting your camera to FocusMax?



#7 Rayastro

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:59 PM

The original focusmax used MaximDL. I remember this from years ago. It does not run "standalone" because it would then need its own camera control software. Download a version and try it, if you can get it to run at all. 

 

The issue of getting really good single star focus seems to be at the heart of your ask. I think that what may not be obvious is that you will have to make a full switch over to something else like the SKYX to make FMAX 4 a good choice. Otherwise you will need to be shutting down SGP whenever you want to focus your telescope. You will then need to start up the SKYX or MaximDL, connect to all of your devices all over again and then run FMAX. Maybe you are OK with this but it's not a trivial changeover. 

 

I would recommend the SKYX rather than Maxim DL because if you buy Professional you get the use of Image Link and the SKYX own one star focusing routine - @focus2. With MDL you also have to buy Pinpoint to be able to plate solve. Plate solving is really useful with FMAX. That's because doing single star focusing requires finding a suitable star. FMAX4 has the "Acquire Star" routine where it runs a query to find appropriate (magnitude) stars, slews to them, focuses, and slews back to your target all automatically. 

 

I run CCDAP on top of either MDL or SKYX so that I can focus periodically, when the temperature changes, or when I change filters. You can't really do that without some additional automation program. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

Ross, thanks.   I am debating between Voyager and SkyX.  Obviously Voyager is a bit cheaper than SkyX.  Besides the cost, do you think SkyX is a good investment?  I heard Voyager will do lot of automation via scripting.  I love what you said about FMAX4.   

 

Regards,

Ray



#8 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 07:56 PM

Voyager is the better choice and cheaper. It will allow you to focus on a single star or on multiple stars. I am not a big fan of it as yet as I find that it has quite a learning curve. Nevertheless, so does the SKYX and with Voyager you don't need FMAX. My initial experience with it is that it focuses as well as any other single star program I've used. Moreover, handles multiple targets and meridian flips which the SKYX does not at this time. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#9 OrionSword

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 07:11 AM

Thanks so much for this info.  In the old times, How are you connecting your camera to FocusMax?

At the time I ran CCDSoft in server mode with ST8300M and STF8300C cameras STAND ALONE. Did not need Maxim.  Now with all the new choices it all depends on your budget and the product that will deliver the best performance from it's various modules.  Focusmax had a bullet setting then for either CCDSoft or Maxim.


Edited by OrionSword, 15 August 2019 - 07:19 AM.


#10 rgsalinger

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:06 AM

CCDSoft is a deprecated Bisque camera add on software for the SKY6. At this point where downloading it requires you to have an original certificate for it AFAIK. You can argue that if you happened to be using Bisque software back (10 years ago?) you didn't need MaximDL and then you can run a deprecated version of Focusmax. You need a second licensed (you pay for it) product for it to run and that's not "stand alone".

 

FMAX needs camera control software. The modern version requires the SKYX or MaximDL. Voyager is the cheapest alternative that will give you single star focusing if SGP can't do it that I know of. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#11 Rayastro

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 05:37 PM

I was able to make the automatic focus work in SGP.  Thanks folks for all the suggestions. https://www.youtube....h?v=9bPXo4oFDI8

 

Regards,

Ray




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