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Cascable Anyone?

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#1 geneva_min

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:51 PM

I see lots of threads regarding what software to use with DSLRs but Cascable never seems to get a mention.  It’s not much more than an intervalometer but it allows complete control without having to rely on the camera’s tiny LCD like most intervalometers.  

 

When using my ZWO camera I prefer Sharpcap.  For DSLR work I settled on Cascable over the others including BYEOS.  It’s IOS based so I use an iPad to control the camera instead of a PC but the live view is better than BYEOS in my opinion.   A drawback is that it’s not dedicated AP software so it doesn’t have tools to help focus like BYEOS but I use a batinov anyway.   Guiding requires adding a PC to the mix but for controlling the DSLR portion it’s never let me down.  It also avoids special drivers like most other PC based solutions.  

 

Just wondering how many have tried it and what you think.  

 


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#2 geneva_min

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:32 PM

I guess I’m alone on this one.  Well it works for my needs anyway.  smile.gif



#3 Paul in Northern Michigan

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:16 PM

I was reading through the individual posts in my 1st thread and was curious to see what you might have shared in regards to the Ioptron mount that you have used.  In looking through your posts I stumbled on your mention of the "Cascable" application.

 

I just purchased a used Nikon D5500 as the 1st component of my budget astrophotography setup.  I have been doing some heavy consideration on how everything will come together and really didn't have a clue about the best way to automate multiple shots which I will need to do.

 

There have been heavy recommendations for BackyardNikon as well as the counter to that which would be the use of an intervalometer.  I have also learned that Nikon has it's own settings for doing intervalometer type shots.  I almost have sided with going the internal Nikon route, but the Cascable option apparently has a lot to it's merit.

 

The 1st big plus was that it was an Apple product as I own an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Pro.

 

I looked at a number of Youtube posts and there are a number of people who prefer this to other routes that they previously tried.  I didn't see anyone using this specifically for astrophotography but it appears that you could do most of what backyardNikon or an intervalometer can do in a more portable format.

 

Even though I am on a tight budget it appears that this might be worth looking into to see if it will meet my needs.  There are a few things I would be curious about, but since not a lot of people have gone this route I would perhaps need to find out by trial and error.

1) I have heard some complaints about using Nikon D5500 as an internet hotspot.  I am wondering whether I would need to have my iPhone's internet connection drive, but it certainly would be nice to see the larger photos on the iPad if the Nikon's connection was adaquate.

2) Almost related to my 1st question I am wondering how easy the transfer of photos from the camera to the iPhone or iPad might be?  It may be that this is quite slow.  I believe this can transfer into the device as raw photos.  I am wondering whether the iCloud would be necessary to capture the images off the camera.

 

I am wondering in your experience whether you have done any editing on the iPad or have you taken this over to a Mac or PC to begin editing?

 

I have heard that Cascable also has an interface for the Mac but haven't heard how that works.

 

I am hoping that Cascable will be another piece that fit's into my astrophotography puzzle.  

 

I'm glad you mentioned this application.  Hopefully others might have more to add about this product or perhaps find this useful in the future.



#4 geneva_min

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 10:29 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Welcome to the obsession and it’s great to see you’re approaching this with an open mind!   Nothing against BY but as a beginner I found it frustrating and cascable became my best friend because I could use stable iOS devices and it didn’t require wires or drivers.  

 

Before I weigh in on your questions I’ll just say that this hobby requires some serious software to process our images. We’re not going to find that on iPad....at least as far as I’m aware.  People only use iPads to interact with the imaging device.  The actual processing requires bigger guns.

 

Now on to your questions.   

 

1) DSLR Wifi range sucks in general.  I think it’s a function of battery conservation.  When I image using my main setup which connects through my home WiFi, I’ll head in the house and be able to interact with the rig.  That’s not possible when depending on a DSLR’s own WiFi.  You’ll need to leave your controlling device outside near the camera.  The second part of your question is interesting.   Let me just say you’ll never be satisfied with a single pic.   Even with perfect focus and aim, a single image of your target will be a barely visible smudge if you can see it at all.  

 

2) Just save to the camera’s sd card.  Then you can move the images to your MacBook Pro for processing.  

 

Regarding ioptron.  I started with the skyguider pro.  For simple polar alignment their reticle is the best in the business.  The rig struggles with the weight of a scope.  Some people claim to get 3 min exposures without elongated stars but in my experience it’s more like 30 seconds.  It’s a great mount though and you’d be able to get a great pic of Orion in a couple months.  It’s battery powered too!

 

Hope this advice from a relative noob helps.   PM me if you’d like to learn more from the trenches.  



#5 Paul in Northern Michigan

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:19 PM

Just moments ago (with the assistance of Cascable support) I was happy to sort out the biggest reason for not whole heartedly recommending the Cascable application. In using the shutter robot intervalometer settings I thought the interval setting meant delay when it meant the total shooting time. Now that I tested this out after changing this to the shot time plus delay I can see that this application works great!

I know that the popular choice for assisting photos is Backyard Nikon or Backyard Eos. My 1st reservation to this was that it would make a need for wiring a laptop or windows tab
let into the camera. I didn't want to add another big purchase if a basic intervalometer would work half way decent for setting up shots. I also really didn't require a windows laptop or tablet for anything else.

In my experience (as limited as it is) I now would highly recommend Cascable for it's element of portability, versatility and giving users an alternative to windows.

Here is the big limitation, if your camera doesn't have a WiFi hotspot you wouldn't be able to use it.  There should be a listing of cameras that this would work for.  In my case the Nikon D5500 does have a WiFi hotspot. You would enable WiFi on the camera, then you would pick up the WiFi connection on the iPad or iPhone settings.  So far I have been pleased in how well the connection has held.  It has only disconnected when the camera has been out of proximity with my iPad.

Once connected to the camera's network you enter the Cascable application and enable the camera.

Cascable photo 1

 

Once the camera is connected likely this will pop into live view mode with the camera.  At this point you can select and change many of the camera's settings.

 

Cascable photo 2

 

From this point I like to just use the intervalometer instead of the camera recipes, but if needed you can use "recipes" for complex shooting settings with patterns of delays, f stops, bulb mode, etc...  When using the intervalometer settings just choose how many shots you need to shoot, what the total shooting time is (interval) and what the stop criteria is (which for me is also the number of shots).

 

Cascable photo 3

 

If this is not enabled you can just take a single shot with the given settings, once this is enabled it will perform the shots to the settings you've selected.  In the last shot there will be a short review of one of your long exposure shots.

 

You can transfer images over from the camera to iPad or iPhone but that likely would be quite lengthy in time.

 

There are several things that I like about this application in terms of Astrophotography.  

 

1st of all by having the live view on the iPad it helps you to know if you were in the right neighborhood of stars.  I disable the histogram view in order to have more viewing screen.

 

Once the location is set up you can zoom in on a specific window you can place around a star which I use for setting up focus.

 

I also like how the last frame shot reviews on the screen briefly as then you can see whether your shot settings achieved what you were looking for.

 

I know I don't have the shooting experience to be lending any advice but for me a starter I find that the Cascable application helps considerably.

 

I'm sure I'll run into more quandaries as I have more shooting time but I would certainly +1 this application recommended by Geneva_min.


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#6 jimsmith

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 02:02 AM

Sounds like a useful app. I think I will give it a try with my D750.

 

Jim



#7 Paul in Northern Michigan

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 08:45 AM

Since there is a free version it can't hurt to give it a try, at least to see whether it will connect appropriately with your camera's network.  If it connects see how it will work with your setup.

 

With the free version you can use the Intervalometer settings for your shots.  Where you will start to see limitations is when you try setting up bulb mode shooting.  That is when you would need to purchase the app which unlocks recipe mode in which you can setup repeated timed sequences in bulb mode.

 

There are other things that the free version doesn't support, but I'm not exactly sure what they are.

 

One thing that I wish the catchable app would give is multiple zooms which is a feature that is on the camera live view.  The zoom is fairly substantial but there are times I'd like to zoom in even closer to a star.  I've contacted the developer about this.

 

You will not see a live view on your iPad when you are taking a shot(s).  At the end of the sequence however you will be able see the last frame shot.

 

If I get into auto guiding on my SkyGuider Pro I may have to abandon Cascable.  Either that or get a WiFi bridge to perhaps allow for more than 1 network connection at a time.

 

For now it wouldn't hurt to just try out the free version to see if it might be helpful in your instance.


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#8 jimsmith

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 09:09 AM

Hi Paul,

 

Well, I've given it an indoors, daytime test on my iPad and D750. It seems to work just fine. The single level of zoom is limited, but with the iPad screen being so much bigger than the one on the camera it may be enough for adequate focussing. A nighttime test will tell me more.

 

So far...so good!

 

Jim

 

(BTW I used to work for a company that had offices in Ann Arbor which I visited from time to time. Is that anywhere near you?)



#9 Paul in Northern Michigan

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 03:06 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Well, I've given it an indoors, daytime test on my iPad and D750. It seems to work just fine. The single level of zoom is limited, but with the iPad screen being so much bigger than the one on the camera it may be enough for adequate focussing. A nighttime test will tell me more.

 

So far...so good!

 

Jim

 

(BTW I used to work for a company that had offices in Ann Arbor which I visited from time to time. Is that anywhere near you?)

Hi Jim,

 

I'm a few hours up north from Ann Arbor.  I live near Cadillac Michigan which is close to Traverse City.  Still waiting for Spring here. frown.gif  There is supposed to be a small clearing tonight but the temps will be in the teens. (F)

 

Depending on your situation you may find that the zoom won't allow you to achieve full focus.  You still may want a Bahtinov mask.

 

The images you take can be transferred to the iPad but this would be somewhat tedious.  I will many times just upload one or 2 of the images in Cascable used for finding focus.



#10 jimsmith

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 06:08 AM

I posted my first result using Cascable from last night...

 

https://www.cloudyni...bles-in-boötes/

 

I thought the focussing went OK. For me, the limiting factor seems to be by how small an amount I can turn the focussing ring on the lens rather than the magnified view of the stars on my iPad.

 

I did like that I could review the images taken while the "bulb robot" was still running. It's good to confirm that the images are being recorded as you expected.


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#11 Paul in Northern Michigan

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 02:39 PM

I posted my first result using Cascable from last night...

 

https://www.cloudyni...bles-in-boötes/

 

I thought the focussing went OK. For me, the limiting factor seems to be by how small an amount I can turn the focussing ring on the lens rather than the magnified view of the stars on my iPad.

 

I did like that I could review the images taken while the "bulb robot" was still running. It's good to confirm that the images are being recorded as you expected.

It does appear that you got good focus.

 

I did not realize that you could review photos after they were taken during your session.  I will have to try that out.

 

My standard procedure has been to take 1 or 2 test shots prior to engaging the full length program.

 

Another thing I haven't checked into is how you would cancel the series if there was an issue.  I don't believe I've seen any cancel button.




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