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N.I.N.A. how it's working for me after being set up...WOW!

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#1 scadvice

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 11:49 AM

Just information for those wondering what it can do and how well it works. This was my first test run once learning NINA.

 

BTW - If I had a flats screen on an observatory wall or a flipper screen it could have done my flats also.

 

I had very good results with it. Example...a couple of nights ago I got it all setup and pressed one button then never touched the scope again until three hours later. It found my object, plate solved and centered it while cooling my camera down to -10 degrees. Once the camera was cooled it auto focused my camera. When the camera was focused it turned on PHD2 and started the guiding then move my filter wheel to the proper filter and started taking images.

 

About an hour later as the scope came to the meridian it stopped the imaging session including PHD2 and flipped the mount to the West side, plate solved, re-centered and refocused again then turned PHD2 back on and continued imaging. An hour after that it decide the scope need to be refocused and it stopped imaging refocused then continued imaging.

 

When it was done with the first imaging session it went on the next and changing the filter checked focus and adjusted it before imaging again. At the end of the imaging  instructions it warmed the camera back up and parked the telescope.

 

I never touched it the whole time. I was so stoked I had to tell someone. snoopy2.gif


Edited by scadvice, 30 June 2020 - 12:02 PM.

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#2 OldManSky

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 11:56 AM

Isn't it great?  When you get that all setup and working, it's a game changer.

I've been running that way for about a year now.  Love it! :)


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#3 AgilityGuy

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 12:03 PM

Excellent! I’ve been changing over to NINA incrementally and it’s all I use now. Incredibly simple but it_just_works. The autofocusing setup just took me only the time it took to watch a tutorial on YouTube then fine tune the backlash compensation. I click autofocus, it goes through the routine and it’s done. Out of curiosity I’ve put my B mask on just to check the focus and it’s spot on. The developer guys working behind the scenes are very responsive and quickly get you moving in the right direction, if you need help.

#4 astro_1

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 12:11 PM

Curious to know if N.I.N.A users are migrating from other software and which? or just starting new with Nina .



#5 OldManSky

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 12:31 PM

Curious to know if N.I.N.A users are migrating from other software and which? or just starting new with Nina .

I used MaximDL for many years.  Got a little frustrated with the focus on SBIG cameras, limited support for other hardware, and the huge cost of "updates."

Starting in 2019, I tried out a few of the offerings, including the SGP trial.  Then I found NINA.  Never looked back.  


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#6 futuneral

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 12:36 PM

Migrated to NINA from SGP, mainly for its free built-in mosaic module. Works wonderfully. Same as OP - just click run and it does everything. 6 panels, dozen of nights - always perfect pointing, focusing, guiding.

I'm starting to feel like I am some unnecessary accessory to my imaging setup...


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#7 scadvice

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 02:52 PM

I started imaging with a DSLR and BackyardEOS. Then like a lot of us I bought a cold camera and had to start over at controlling the camera. I picked APT and it’s a great program but with my longer focus 910mm refractor and local temperature changes I found myself spending more time focusing than I wanted. I was too dependent on the temperature drop of any particular night or a number of filter changes because APT didn't yet have Auto Focus.

 

 

I bought SGP (Sequence Generator Pro) because… well… everybody did and it had the auto focus. Before I got into learning SGP  I started hearing about the N.I.N.A. program that also had auto focus. As it was free so I saw no reason not to try both out at the same time and finish with the one I liked the best.

 

 

SGP has a whole bunch of You Tube video’s on how to use it. NINA didn't have so many.   However, when I got into the videos, I had a very difficult time understanding those for SGP. SGP is a very powerful program but I was struggling with it so much I couldn’t get over that first hump of a learning curve into understanding it’s flow. With all the updates and so forth it seemed that over time the ones with the basics were out of date and a bit fragmented in the information they provided  making it very hard for me to put it all together. I ended up breaking from trying it and started looking at NINA.

 

 

NINA on the other hand was so new that the few videos available were close enough to the current revisions when I watched them I was able to link it all together. Particularly because Cuiv, The Lazy Geek on You Tube also started producing a whole series of NINA videos at that same time. Cuiv is a contributor to the development of the program. NINA's originator is Stefan Berg.

 

 

To learn some of NINA I started out just using just the auto focus at first and switching back to APT to control everything else. A bit counter intuitive perhaps but it worked quite well for me even though doing so gained me little or nothing time wise. Then I started using the plate solving and adding in more of it’s features as I learned. Pretty soon I was no longer using APT.

 
Automatic meridian flip kind of threw me at first. I never used it in APT or tried to understand it in SGP so I can’t fairly compare the three methods. With NINA the mount actually is set just to make sure it tracks past the meridian enough so the mount control knows to slew back to the Eastside when given a slew command. Or optionally if you cannot go far enough past the meridian or need to stop because of tripod or pier interference you can. It just waits long enough for the object in the sky to get far enough to the West side to allow NINA to do a slew command and move the mount back to the East side again without the mount having a conflict with the slew command and the mount not moving. You set your mount to no meridian flip and just to stop as a safety feature out a little further past your normal flip point in case something like a laptop computer failure.  Actually it’s a quite simple solution and method.

 

I'm beginning to sound like a salesman for NINA...ubetcha.gif  fortunately I can't be accused of that because it's free! IMHO it has the big three...Free...Easy to learn...and just plain works. 


Edited by scadvice, 30 June 2020 - 03:37 PM.

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#8 astro_1

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 03:30 PM

Nice summary. Thanks for sharing


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#9 johnoelliott

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 03:53 PM

I had my first attempt at a multiple sequence this morning.

NGC7000 followed by the Bubble Nebula then M31 then parked.

Got up this morning and everything was there!

 

My new Autofocuser is supposed to be here on Thursday and I'm off on two weeks holidays beginning next Wednesday.

 

So I apologize in advance to everyone in southern Ontario for the next 3 weeks or so of crappy weather  storm.gif


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#10 dgpilot

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:44 PM

What's the benefit over SGP? I'm pretty content with SGP and its automation but I haven't tried an auto meridian flip yet.



#11 futuneral

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:46 PM

What's the benefit over SGP? I'm pretty content with SGP and its automation but I haven't tried an auto meridian flip yet.

"Free...Easy to learn...and just plain works."

 

plus, free mosaic tool


Edited by futuneral, 30 June 2020 - 05:58 PM.


#12 scadvice

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:10 PM

What's the benefit over SGP? I'm pretty content with SGP and its automation but I haven't tried an auto meridian flip yet.

I can't tell I was not able to get far enough to compare. I just got NINA and SGP I couldn't get. Doesn't mean SGP is not as good as NINA or even better just better for me. Your going to have to ask those who switched why they did.



#13 dgpilot

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:07 PM

I can't tell I was not able to get far enough to compare. I just got NINA and SGP I couldn't get. Doesn't mean SGP is not as good as NINA or even better just better for me. Your going to have to ask those who switched why they did.

 

I guess I'll find out tonight. Nina downloaded, setup and ready to go. If it can flip M16 through Meridian and plate solve correctly without much hassle I'm switching pronto, especially since I'm still in trial mode of SGP



#14 futuneral

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:12 PM

I guess I'll find out tonight. Nina downloaded, setup and ready to go. If it can flip M16 through Meridian and plate solve correctly without much hassle I'm switching pronto, especially since I'm still in trial mode of SGP

Pretty sure it will. Use ASTAP for plate solving.

 

I went to try NINA for the mosaic tool. Transitioned completely because it never errors out during the session and meridian flip is done seamlessly. SGP was never successful in restoring the framing / guiding after the flip, even though the flip itself worked fine. Also quite often my session would just be randomly aborted due to inability to resume guiding.


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#15 scadvice

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:12 PM

Let us know how it goes.



#16 dgpilot

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Posted Yesterday, 11:19 AM

Let us know how it goes.

OK, I'm officially NINA'ed.

I was very impressed with the software last night. It only took maybe a couple hours to learn everything. It literally took over the whole session, and also performed my first auto meridian flip with plate solving and centering.

There are some clear benefits to using it over SGP. I also hope that it's still actively being developed as I see some areas could use some refinement. For example: There's no way to edit your sequence while it's in progress. There were a few other things... but honestly for free software this is more than one could ask for. I'll be using this from now on every night!


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#17 scadvice

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Posted Yesterday, 11:45 AM

From what I've seen they are actively improving and welcome suggestions on their site. From the time I downloaded it there have been at least four updates. One was the focusing overshoot function. There is talk on their Discord page of a major update coming soon to the sequencing. What it is I don't know could be it includes your thoughts.

 

Which version did you use? I'm now using the 1.10 Beta017...



#18 Ettu

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Posted Yesterday, 02:01 PM

Thanks guys for the comments and discussion.

Reading the OP, I was wondering - that sounds like a monochrome camera app - not DSLR's per this forum, So was wondering does n.i.n.a. apply as well/easily here? But it seems posts that followed indicate it is for (any?) dslr too? 

My journey has been MaximDL, MaxPoint, DC3 Dreams, Focus Max

In other words, way too much money - initially and annually, And that for software not primarily for dslr's

 

Finding APT (and platesolve2 & phd2) have been godsends for me.

 

I hate learning new software - yet again!!

But all your comments are prompting a look see for me.


Edited by Ettu, Yesterday, 02:04 PM.


#19 scadvice

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Posted Yesterday, 03:01 PM

I believe they do support DSLR's but you will have to go to the Discord site sign in and ask about your specific camera. I have not tried my Canon T3i yet.

 

Wait... I just asked and yes it supports most Canon and Nikons...



#20 Dreamship

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Posted Yesterday, 06:13 PM

I'm trying to go to the website for NINA but I get 404 errors: https://nighttime-imaging.eu. Is there an alternative for the download?



#21 Astrojedi

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Posted Yesterday, 06:20 PM

Yup, NINA works really well and its free! I automate almost all my imaging runs with NINA (except when I am doing Photometry and Astrometry - even some of those runs I automate). It is great to wake up to fresh data in the morning all ready for processing.

 

Now all I need to do is automate my observatory so I don't have drag my backside down to the yard to close the obs every morning. Then I can really collect cobwebs and gain a few pounds sitting on the couch. This is really making me lazy.


Edited by Astrojedi, Yesterday, 06:21 PM.

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#22 scadvice

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Posted Yesterday, 09:44 PM

I'm trying to go to the website for NINA but I get 404 errors: https://nighttime-imaging.eu. Is there an alternative for the download?

Yes. I was on their Discord site earlier and they were talking about the NINA site being down.

 

IsbeornToday at 1:31 PM
i'll upload the x64 version to the bitbucket download section until this is resolved



#23 scadvice

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Posted Today, 10:46 AM

Site appears to be up again.




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