How does the SSM software work? It is hooked up to a guide camera/scope or something running in parallel with your imaging camera?
Is that new? I don't recall you posting those screenshots previously.
I would like to try it out as I general only view/image during the worst parts of the day and I am curious how good or bad my seeing actually is.
You can make one for next to nothing if you're electronically savvy. I'm not, so I bought a used Airy Labs SSM. I've wanted one for a long time, but didn't want to pay the new price imported. I finally got one used from someone local and that was the only way I was willing to do it. They're not new, they've been around quite a while.
Airy Labs SSM:
Here's what it is, basically at heart, and a DIY paper on how to make one yourself:
It uses a little IR photodiode to sample twice per second. I mount the diode with my imaging scope facing the sun. With this we can measure seeing conditions in arc-seconds real time. The unit gives you both the sampled seeing condition real time and the 1 minute average so you can gauge things. The data can be used several ways. You can just use it without any software and just read it from the box (see my image, there's no display because the refresh rate of the LCD wasn't sync with my camera shutter so it shows dark instead of all 3 lines of data), or you can use the data via USB to a laptop and use several pieces of software to do something with the data. There's standalone software simply to view the data an graph it (like my screen shots I'm posting recently). Or you can directly input into FireCapture with its unique plugin (which works great!). With the FireCapture plugin you can program it to initiate imaging captures based on the seeing values with lots of parameters and how long to go. It allows imaging automation based on good seeing. Or you can use it to simply avoid imaging when seeing is bad too.
My seeing was around 1.4 arc-seconds at its best today, mid-afternoon, which is ok, but poor for my image scale, but lucky imaging still works out.I really need to be between 0.5~1 arc-seconds for my image scale, but that is truly excellent seeing. Still, it happens for moments between the poorer seeing. If I'm between 1~2 arc-seconds seeing, I can image at these scales though. Beyond that, and really, it's too poor of seeing and I need to reduce aperture & scale. While I can see this real time just looking at the laptop camera feed, it's nice to put a metric to it and to have automation if you want to do something else while waiting for the seeing to improve.
It's new to me, but it has been around for quite a while now.
I like to use it to measure seeing conditions so I can relate the arc-seconds seeing values to the data and its image scale as it relates to lucky imaging.
Edited by MalVeauX, 09 January 2020 - 05:19 PM.