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Before I purchase BYEOS...

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#1 Ryan1776

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:45 AM

I've been using BYEOS with my DSLR Canon T7i. 

I have about another week left on my trial version. 

It's REALLY slick piece of software. 

Before I purchase the full on license; I'm considering buying a ZWO astro cam. 

Either the ASI 183 or maybe a bit lower uncooled 224 to start.

I would NOT need nor use BYEOS if I go to a dedicated cam like that, correct? 

 

Ryan



#2 RedLionNJ

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:15 AM

I've been using BYEOS with my DSLR Canon T7i. 

I have about another week left on my trial version. 

It's REALLY slick piece of software. 

Before I purchase the full on license; I'm considering buying a ZWO astro cam. 

Either the ASI 183 or maybe a bit lower uncooled 224 to start.

I would NOT need nor use BYEOS if I go to a dedicated cam like that, correct? 

 

Ryan

Correct.  But BYEOS is exceptional value for DSLR use.


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#3 Ryan1776

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:17 AM

Correct.  But BYEOS is exceptional value for DSLR use.

I agree, but that's 50 bucks toward a camera if I'm not going to use a DSLR anymore..... 

That's what I thought. 

Thank you! 

waytogo.gif


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#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:20 AM

I've been using BYEOS with my DSLR Canon T7i. 

I have about another week left on my trial version. 

It's REALLY slick piece of software. 

Before I purchase the full on license; I'm considering buying a ZWO astro cam. 

Either the ASI 183 or maybe a bit lower uncooled 224 to start.

I would NOT need nor use BYEOS if I go to a dedicated cam like that, correct? 

 

Ryan

Correct.  I think the reasonably close equivalent (there are differences) for the astro cam is Sharpcap.  The free version is very competent, I think you'll like it

 

Two other points.  The real advantage to a dedicated astro cam (assuming we're not talking mono) is cooling.  The extra money is one of the few times I'll say, to anyone in any situation, is worth it.

 

The tiny pixeled 183 is signal to noise ratio challenged.  Its specialty is short, fast scopes.  I got my 183C for a C8 RASA, 400mm, F2.  That's its sweet spot.  For grins, I tried it on my 910mm, F7.  Did nothing over my larger pixeled CCD, but wreck the signal to noise ratio.


Edited by bobzeq25, 18 September 2019 - 09:26 AM.

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#5 Ryan1776

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:25 AM

Correct.  I think the reasonably close equivalent (there are differences) for the astro cam is Sharpcap.  The free version is very competent, I think you'll like it

 

Two other points.  The real advantage to a dedicated astro cam (assuming we're not talking mono) is cooling.  The extra money is one of the few times I'll say, to anyone in any situation, it's worth it.

 

The tiny pixeled 183 is signal to noise ratio challenged.  It's specialty is short, fast scopes.  I got my 183C for a C8 RASA, 400mm, F2.  That's its sweet spot.  For grins, I tried it on my 910mm, F7.  Did nothing over my larger pixeled CCD, but wreck the signal to noise ratio.

I can't argue with that, as last night my DSLR was at 36°C yikes. 

 

HA when you said that 183 is for fast scopes, I thought, yeah, my f4 is fast....but not f2 fast! 



#6 ajaymandke

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:27 AM

You can free edition of Astro Photography Tool (APT). It supports both DSLRs and dedicated CMOS/CCD cameras using ASCOM. If you like it, you can upgrade to full version, through free version is also very powerful/feature rich.

https://ideiki.com/astro/Default.aspx


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#7 OldManSky

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:14 AM

Another suggestion would be to try out NINA ( https://nighttime-imaging.eu/ ).  Full-featured, free, and works with both DSLRs and the ZWO cameras (and many others).


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#8 jerahian

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:18 AM

The tiny pixeled 183 is signal to noise ratio challenged.  Its specialty is short, fast scopes.  I got my 183C for a C8 RASA, 400mm, F2.  That's its sweet spot.  For grins, I tried it on my 910mm, F7.  Did nothing over my larger pixeled CCD, but wreck the signal to noise ratio.

Hey Bob, may you help explain why smaller pixels would wreck the SNR?  I mean, assuming the exact same signal and noise fall onto a sensor of small pixels vs. one of larger pixels, the noise would get "buried" with the desired signal in the sensor with the larger pixels but would be more isolated on the sensor with the smaller pixels.  But, wouldn't stacking remove the noise better from the sensor with the smaller pixels since it's isolated and not buried?

 

Is my thinking here totally incorrect and am I even making sense?

 

Thanks for your insight...



#9 nimitz69

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:19 AM

Do not buy an uncoooled dedicated Astro camera ... if that’s all you can afford stick with Your DSLR

 

I had BYNikon when I was using a D5300 -  a really slick piece of s/w and only $50!


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#10 SDTopensied

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:31 AM

I've been using BackyardEOS for several few years now and I'm very happy with it.  I doubt there will be any new features added to the application any time soon.  If there's something you need that BYE doesn't have, you'll have to wait for it if you get it at all.  APT is being actively developed at the moment and might be something to consider.

 

I saw a comment regarding how warm their DSLR was.  I have been using a Central DS CDS-600D which is a highly modified and cooled Canon T3i.  On a warm summer night in Georgia (USA), the camera temperature is usually around 28 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

An example of what you can expect out of a cooled DSLR...

 

https://www.astrobin.../full/c4u2cw/0/

 

-Steve


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#11 jgraham

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:33 AM

+1

If you are considering an uncooled camera you are much better off with your DSLR with it's nice, big, high quality sensor.
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#12 Noobulosity

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:57 AM

Another suggestion would be to try out NINA ( https://nighttime-imaging.eu/ ).  Full-featured, free, and works with both DSLRs and the ZWO cameras (and many others).

I'll second this suggestion.  There's no free/pro split with N.I.N.A.  But, it's also still in active development.

 

I'm using v1.9b right now, and really liking it.  It includes a lot of the features found in Sequence Generator Pro, and adds a sky atlas, framing, image capture/review, etc.  It'll do plate solving (I use ASTAP inside of N.I.N.A.).  It's fantastic, especially considering it's free.  I chose to donate to the project after I started using it.  I've used it on an Atom-powered stick PC, and it's done great with my DSLR and ZWO ASI290MM Mini guide cam.  It should also support dedicated astro cameras without any real issues.

 

The other free options are great to test out, too.  You might like those just as much, or more.  It never hurts to try out different tools to see which one suits you best.


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#13 Stelios

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:11 AM

I third the "don't buy an uncooled camera." 

 

But I'd suggest SGP (which I use) rather than Sharpcap or N.I.N.A. It will support both astro-cams and your DSLR, and is *the* most full-featured program for under $100. You will never need anything more. Its list of features is astounding.

 

It does cost $100 (after a free trial) but I think for something you will use forever it's worth doing. 


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#14 bobzeq25

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

Hey Bob, may you help explain why smaller pixels would wreck the SNR?  I mean, assuming the exact same signal and noise fall onto a sensor of small pixels vs. one of larger pixels, the noise would get "buried" with the desired signal in the sensor with the larger pixels but would be more isolated on the sensor with the smaller pixels.  But, wouldn't stacking remove the noise better from the sensor with the smaller pixels since it's isolated and not buried?

 

Is my thinking here totally incorrect and am I even making sense?

 

Thanks for your insight...

Just another example of how unintuitive AP of DSOs is.  <smile>

 

Smaller pixels gather light more slowly.  Less photons.  The more of those you get in each pixel, the better.

 

It's yet another example of how snr and resolution is _always_ a tradeoff.

 

I knew putting the 183C on the 910mm F7 was silly.  But, if I'm going to recommend stuff here, actual data is always good, and it was easy to do.  I was completely unsurprised by the outcome, though.  <smile>

 

Does that mean you could overcome the difficulty by doing more total imaging time with the small pixeled camera?  Sure.  But like just about everyone, for practical reasons I never do enough total imaging time.

 

The easy way to look at it is image scale.  Good image scales are generally between 1 and 2 arc sec per pixel.  Close to 1 can get you more resolution, IF a number of other things cooperate, mostly seeing and tracking.  Otherwise...   Closer to 2 gets you better snr, no matter what.  It's an easier road to go down.  And going "too high" (over 2) is very useful some times.

 

Below 1 is expert territory, it's for the people with tons of experience, _really_ good mounts, and big scopes.

 

Also, re SGP, recommended above.  SGP is a fine program.  But, when I tried it, I soon gave up.  Too convoluted for me.  I get enough of that with PixInsight.  <grin>  So I tried Voyager, and fell in love.  It (and its developer) have some quirks, but they're relatively easy to deal with.  <smile>  I'm blown away by its utter reliability, once you figure just a few things out.  More often, I get surprised by how often it does the right thing, without my having to direct it to do so.  I've made a couple of mistakes by trying too hard to "help" it.

 

In just a couple of months of using it, I've added autofocusing and dithering to my arsenal.  I always thought those would be hard, with Voyager, they've been easy.

 

From what I've seen, people also really like NINA, and some, APT.


Edited by bobzeq25, 18 September 2019 - 11:40 AM.

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#15 Cristofori

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:39 AM

I agree with everything Steilos said above. You might consider going to APT first and then transitioning to SGP. I found the trial time in SGP insufficient for me to learn everything (due to equipment changes, weather, time availability, etc.). I found that learning the concepts of plate solving, frame and focus, etc. were easier to grasp in APT and made the transition to SGP easier.  



#16 Noobulosity

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:08 PM

I third the "don't buy an uncooled camera." 

 

But I'd suggest SGP (which I use) rather than Sharpcap or N.I.N.A. It will support both astro-cams and your DSLR, and is *the* most full-featured program for under $100. You will never need anything more. Its list of features is astounding.

 

It does cost $100 (after a free trial) but I think for something you will use forever it's worth doing. 

 

I agree with everything Steilos said above. You might consider going to APT first and then transitioning to SGP. I found the trial time in SGP insufficient for me to learn everything (due to equipment changes, weather, time availability, etc.). I found that learning the concepts of plate solving, frame and focus, etc. were easier to grasp in APT and made the transition to SGP easier.  

For what the average astrophotographer does, I'd be curious what SGP does that N.I.N.A. or APT or BYEOS cannot.  Dropping $100 on a tool that does cool stuff you don't need yet just adds to the already-high cost of getting into AP to begin with.

 

I considered SGP, and even tried the trial, but I just found many aspects of it confusing.  Its UI is also not very intuitive, as Bob mentioned above.  I tested APT for a little bit, but just found I didn't need the features, yet.  (I could use many of them, now.)  APT is a popular choice, though it does cost money.

 

I only need framing, camera control, plate solving, guiding, and basic sequencing.  I don't see additional value in SGP or APT at this point, for my own needs.  Many suggest SGP because it integrates many different aspects of imaging into one platform.  N.I.N.A. has nearly all of the big features of SGP, at this point (framing, sequencing, plate-solving, lights/darks/flats, camera control for DSLRs and dedicated astro cams, cooling/warming ramp up/down for cooled cameras, mosaics, meridian flips, equipment profiles, auto-focusing, electronic filter wheels, rotators, centering on existing images, PHD2 integration and dithering, getting coordinates from CdC or Stellarium, customizable image tab UI).  It even integrates a sky atlas for finding targets.  And the user interface was easier for me to understand than SGP.  It works with all sorts of ASCOM-compatible mounts and cameras, as well as some native drivers (such as ZWO camera drivers).

 

Based on all of that, what can SGP or APT do over N.I.N.A. that an average astrophotographer needs?  And considering N.I.N.A. is free, I'll save my $100 for a filter or put it toward a new scope at some point.

 

I'm all for just biting the bullet and buying something that works.  But, in this case, I didn't have to.  Why not try the free option before dropping more money?

 

P.S.  I realize I sound like a N.I.N.A. ad here...  but, honestly, I have no skin in the game, other than I tried it and had great success with it.  It's free, open-source, and in active development.  It also does everything I need.  I'm extremely happy with it, and always willing to recommend it to anyone needing software like this.


Edited by Noobulosity, 18 September 2019 - 12:10 PM.

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#17 Noobulosity

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:24 PM

Also, re SGP, recommended above.  SGP is a fine program.  But, when I tried it, I soon gave up.  Too convoluted for me.  I get enough of that with PixInsight.  <grin>  So I tried Voyager, and fell in love.  It (and its developer) have some quirks, but they're relatively easy to deal with.  <smile>  I'm blown away by its utter reliability, once you figure just a few things out.  More often, I get surprised by how often it does the right thing, without my having to direct it to do so.  I've made a couple of mistakes by trying too hard to "help" it.

Huh...  I hadn't seen Voyager.  While I'm happy with N.I.N.A. (obviously, based on my previous post), Voyager is really interesting.  I like how it supports multiple imaging arrays.  Maybe someday, if I want to control a long focal-length scope and wide-field scope simultaneously, that could be really useful.  Gonna bookmark that one...  Even has dome support and weather monitoring.  Thanks for mentioning it!


Edited by Noobulosity, 18 September 2019 - 12:27 PM.


#18 Stelios

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:54 PM

For what the average astrophotographer does, I'd be curious what SGP does that N.I.N.A. or APT or BYEOS cannot.  Dropping $100 on a tool that does cool stuff you don't need yet just adds to the already-high cost of getting into AP to begin with.

 

I considered SGP, and even tried the trial, but I just found many aspects of it confusing.  Its UI is also not very intuitive, as Bob mentioned above.  I tested APT for a little bit, but just found I didn't need the features, yet.  (I could use many of them, now.)  APT is a popular choice, though it does cost money.

 

I only need framing, camera control, plate solving, guiding, and basic sequencing.  I don't see additional value in SGP or APT at this point, for my own needs.  Many suggest SGP because it integrates many different aspects of imaging into one platform.  N.I.N.A. has nearly all of the big features of SGP, at this point (framing, sequencing, plate-solving, lights/darks/flats, camera control for DSLRs and dedicated astro cams, cooling/warming ramp up/down for cooled cameras, mosaics, meridian flips, equipment profiles, auto-focusing, electronic filter wheels, rotators, centering on existing images, PHD2 integration and dithering, getting coordinates from CdC or Stellarium, customizable image tab UI).  It even integrates a sky atlas for finding targets.  And the user interface was easier for me to understand than SGP.  It works with all sorts of ASCOM-compatible mounts and cameras, as well as some native drivers (such as ZWO camera drivers).

 

Based on all of that, what can SGP or APT do over N.I.N.A. that an average astrophotographer needs?  And considering N.I.N.A. is free, I'll save my $100 for a filter or put it toward a new scope at some point.

 

I'm all for just biting the bullet and buying something that works.  But, in this case, I didn't have to.  Why not try the free option before dropping more money?

 

P.S.  I realize I sound like a N.I.N.A. ad here...  but, honestly, I have no skin in the game, other than I tried it and had great success with it.  It's free, open-source, and in active development.  It also does everything I need.  I'm extremely happy with it, and always willing to recommend it to anyone needing software like this.

 

The thing with "free, open-source and in active development" software, is that it's as good as the main developers' interest. Which is not guaranteed to persist. Developer fatigue has been a problem with SGP too, but at least there the financial benefit keeps the developers coming back. 

 

I have downloaded N.I.N.A. but have never used it. I haven't needed to, as SGP does everything I want (which is more than you do, but within the feature set of N.I.N.A. if the above list is correct--does it  have text notifications though?). N.I.N.A. is the new kid on the block, and attracts notice, but one tends to see the shiny stuff first, and any possible issues only after a fair amount of use. 

 

One thing about SGP is that it is a *very* well known and widely used piece of software, so if one has problems figuring out how to do things, you get a *lot* of support both in their forums and here on CN. 

 

Still, I do plan to spend some time learning N.I.N.A., if only to make a fair determination.  If we want to be complete, we should add the dinosaur (Maxim DL), Nebulosity, APT, and PRISM to the list of acquisition software (and there's more without much of a following).



#19 Ryan1776

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:10 PM

All. 

Wow. I had no idea I'd receive that much feedback. 

 

Since this is in the vein of this thread......

Which of, if any of these programs listed can plate solve natively? I've used Astronomy.net online solver and it's good, just a little laggy, but expected. It's just another step with another thing to do. And it wouldn't work in the "field" unless I tether to my phone. 

I'd like something that I can take a shot......and tell me where I'm pointed. "Manually" (using hand controller) adjust my mount, because it's awful on goto, take a shot....tell me where I'm aiming. Repeat. 
I took shots last night while trying to find the Ring Nebula which is all but directly overhead and I swung around it and gave up. (Plate solved today to see how close I was) 

I gotta believe the database would be enormous however. But I have a 2TB external HDD I can use. 

I downloaded the install tool for AstroTortilla but didn't know which database to download....I didn't have a lot of time at that point so I abandoned it for the time. 

I don't know if this is a "thing" but after the plate solving, lets say I'm looking for the Ring Nebula, I would be able to scrub around the image and see or somehow know which way I need to move. My mount can't be directed by a computer, at least that I know of, so that would be a big help. 

Like the SkyWalk app on my phone. There's an on screen arrow pointing which direction I need to look. 

 

N.I.N.A. I like free.

APT is pretty cheap at 20 bucks.

If it's SGP for 100....That might be something I would consider. As I don't want to get frustrated with what little time I get outside at night with clear skies. Trying to star hop my way around won't happen overnight. As you all know. 

 

 

 

Cooled vs uncooled camera debate.....I've read a lot on these forums about cameras. And obviously a cooled camera is the high end way to go. 

But I've seen some incredible images with non-cooled, and DSLR.

 

I also believe that until I get a SIGNIFICANTLY better mount, I won't be taking 4min+ exposures. Just not going to happen. 

With an 18month old at home, unless someone want's to give me a smoking deal on an Atlas or HEQ5,  I'll be 1min exposures for a while, and that's OK. With an F/4 scope I can do A LOT with 30sec or less subs. While I'm know cooled will still be a benefit here, I'm guessing not as significant. 

 

I could keep my dslr but the added weight isn't helping my mount at all. Not to mention my cheesy focuser that doesn't like the added weight, which is causing some misalignment issues on my images. "So change the focuser."  More weight and still using the DSLR=weight. 

 

The ability to adjust a ZWO from the computer has it benefits. 

The fact that it won't have the filter in front of the sensor like my T7i also has it's obvious benefits. 

 

Planetary work with the frame rate would be beneficial as well. 

From where I sit, I can't justify spending 4x the cost of a 224. Or 10x that of a 120 for cooled, yet.

 

As Steven Crowder would say..... "change my mind" tongue2.gif grin.gif

 

Ryan



#20 Noobulosity

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:21 PM

The thing with "free, open-source and in active development" software, is that it's as good as the main developers' interest. Which is not guaranteed to persist. Developer fatigue has been a problem with SGP too, but at least there the financial benefit keeps the developers coming back.

I have downloaded N.I.N.A. but have never used it. I haven't needed to, as SGP does everything I want (which is more than you do, but within the feature set of N.I.N.A. if the above list is correct--does it have text notifications though?). N.I.N.A. is the new kid on the block, and attracts notice, but one tends to see the shiny stuff first, and any possible issues only after a fair amount of use.

One thing about SGP is that it is a *very* well known and widely used piece of software, so if one has problems figuring out how to do things, you get a *lot* of support both in their forums and here on CN.

Still, I do plan to spend some time learning N.I.N.A., if only to make a fair determination.  If we want to be complete, we should add the dinosaur (Maxim DL), Nebulosity, APT, and PRISM to the list of acquisition software (and there's more without much of a following).


There's something to be said for using proven tools. You know what you're getting, and the fact that there's a good user base is always helpful. Sometimes paying extra for that peace of mind is worth it. Only you can determine that worth for yourself.

As I said, my experience with N.I.N.A. has been very positive, so far. It does not, to my knowledge, have a notification system via email or text messaging, as of right now. A good feature request, if it's not already in the system.

I don't mean to discourage use of SGP. It just feels like it's nearly all that gets mentioned. Some users push SGP as though it's the only real choice. I dislike that "only solution to everyone's needs" mentality. It's good to be aware of other available options and find the one that best suits your own needs.



#21 Noobulosity

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:28 PM

I believe all of these tools integrate a third-party plate solver. I know SGP can utilize PlateSolve2 and I think Astrometry.net. N.I.N.A integrates PS2, Astrometry.net (online and offline), and ASTAP (which is the recommended solver in N.I.N.A., and I've found faster and less finicky than PS2). I also think APT uses PS2 or Astrotortilla, among others. So I don't think any of them have their own plate-solving. They rely on those other tools to do the work. I could be wrong, though. Each one will tell you what they support.

Plate-solving databases are usually several hundred MB to a couple GB, so not horribly-huge.

Edited by Noobulosity, 18 September 2019 - 01:30 PM.


#22 Ryan1776

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:36 PM

I believe all of these tools integrate a third-party plate solver. I know SGP can utilize PlateSolve2 and I think Astrometry.net. N.I.N.A integrates PS2, Astrometry.net (online and offline), and ASTAP (which is the recommended solver in N.I.N.A., and I've found faster and less finicky than PS2). I also think APT uses PS2 or Astrotortilla, among others. So I don't think any of them have their own plate-solving. They rely on those other tools to do the work. I could be wrong, though. Each one will tell you what they support.

Plate-solving databases are usually several hundred MB to a couple GB, so not horribly-huge.

Oops. Yeah that makes sense using a 3rd party. 

What I meant is that, it will do the plate solving within itself. I don't have to take a shot, save it, open another piece of software, upload it or open it determine what I'm doing, go back into original software take another, save it......etc. 

I can be in one software, it takes the photo....run a solver....you're "HERE". Move scope......take photo...you're "HERE". 

 

Does that make sense? 



#23 Noobulosity

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 01:43 PM

Oops. Yeah that makes sense using a 3rd party.
What I meant is that, it will do the plate solving within itself. I don't have to take a shot, save it, open another piece of software, upload it or open it determine what I'm doing, go back into original software take another, save it......etc.
I can be in one software, it takes the photo....run a solver....you're "HERE". Move scope......take photo...you're "HERE".

Does that make sense?


SGP, APT, and N.I.N.A. all integrate plate-solving into their software. Not sure about others.

#24 View2

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:03 PM

You can free edition of Astro Photography Tool (APT). It supports both DSLRs and dedicated CMOS/CCD cameras using ASCOM. If you like it, you can upgrade to full version, through free version is also very powerful/feature rich.
https://ideiki.com/astro/Default.aspx


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#25 SHFT

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:16 PM

I bought BYEOS and I love it, it is great software, bang for the buck.

However since I tried APT I have never touched BYEOS since, the integrated platesolving of APT is fantastic and a key part of my astro sessions.

 

I might use it again for more widefield with my Skyguider


Edited by SHFT, 18 September 2019 - 02:17 PM.



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