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Does Voyager Work Well With Gemini 2

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#1 terry59

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 07:37 AM

I'm considering trying Voyager but after looking over the site I have the question in the title. My reason for asking is that Voyager interfaces with various planetarium programs but Gemini2 has everything built in. Does Voyager recognize that?

 

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#2 Madratter

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 08:53 AM

Terry:

 

You would hook up your Gemini2 like any other ASCOM based mount.

 

It would not use the built in planetarium within Gemini2 although there is nothing to keep you from using it to point at a target.

 

The planetarium in Voyager functions in two ways. First, it is used as a way to find the coordinates of objects. Second is less obvious at first but it is also used to find appropriate stars for use in focusing when doing single star focusing as opposed to local field. You will want to do that at least once when initially setting up focus for Voyager.

For that purpose, you can get any of a number of free planetarium programs that are out there, and it should work just fine with Gemini 2.

 

You can actually dry run much of this in daylight without even using the 45 days trial. When you install Voyager, it comes up as follows:

 

Voyager Demo Mode 20200811.PNG

 

Instead of choosing to activate the trial, simply choose demo mode. There are a number of things you cannot do in demo mode (such as run drag script), but there is a lot of initial setup/testing you can do.

 

In fact, I keep a version of Voyager on my Desktop that hasn't been activated (I have purchased the program), simply so I can bring it up and help with various questions about the program without accessing the computer in my observatory.

 

Bottom line is I am basically positive you can get this to work with Gemini 2, but you probably will want to install a separate (and free) planetarium program so that Voyager can find single stars to use for focusing.



#3 terry59

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 09:25 AM

Thanks Madratter.....I was afraid that would be the case. I'll have to give this more thought

 

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#4 Madratter

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 11:10 AM

I'll just add that you won't have to install very big star databases for use with whatever free planetarium you use. Focus stars are usually around 6th magnitude or so, so anything that goes down to like magnitude nine would probably be fine.



#5 terry59

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 11:45 AM

Correct me if I'm not looking at this right. Gemini 2 and another plantarium *should* be identical. In other words if Gemini says it is in a particular spot the planetarium should have identical positioning. If I synch the mount then the planetarium offsets my position Gemini won't know

 

At least that is my thinking....any input appreciated 



#6 Madratter

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 01:43 PM

I'm not sure what you are getting at, but I'll take a crack at one possibility.

 

It isn't really important if those positions are quite identical or not. The planetarium is used to look up coordinates of a star to use for focusing. The coordinates are sent to the mount. The mount may or may not be precisely pointed at the star. It really doesn't matter. The location will be platesolved, and the star will be centered well enough to focus. None of this requires the mounts idea of where the star is to match exactly what the planetarium says. After focusing, another slew command will be given, the location plate solved, and a correction made if needed to point at whatever object it was you were trying to image. Again, nothing requires or breaks if the planetariums idea of what the center of M81 is doesn't match what is in Gemini 2.

 

The above assumes you are doing Robostar single star focusing. If you are doing local field focusing, it is immaterial. But you will want to do Robostar focusing at least once for the initial automatic focusing wizard to learn the proper parameters to use for focusing.

 

In other words, I think you will be absolutely fine. All you need to do is pick up one of the free planetarium alternatives (Cartes De Ciel, or Hallo Northern Sky), and populate it with a minimal star database going down to around mag 9 or so. You don't even have to like how the interfaces to those programs work, since you don't have to use it the planetarium program yourself. It serves basically as a database of star positions (and deep sky positions if you use that part of the functionality - you don't have to do so, although it can be convenient in Voyager to type in M81, and have it query the planetarium program and return the position).



#7 terry59

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:19 PM

Thanks Madratter...I did some reading of the documentation and think I'll pass until it supports Gemini 2



#8 terry59

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 05:24 PM

This kind of seals it for me

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#9 Madratter

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 05:41 PM

I have seen this come up with other mounts and it has always been a user configuration problem. I don't recall what that problem is off the top of my head.

 

EDIT:

 

I recalled this thread:

https://www.cloudyni...ows-10-upgrade/

 

The user was having a very similar problem and ended up needing to reinstall his driver. Odds are it will just work for you. But if not, Leonardo can almost certainly getting it going.


Edited by Madratter, 11 August 2020 - 05:45 PM.


#10 rockstarbill

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 06:05 PM

Here is the thread in question:

 

https://forum.starke...r-programs/1634

 

Now if you say the deal is sealed for you because you don't want software running in Admin mode, that is totally fine. If you are avoiding Voyager because of the underlying technical issue there, then you are making a mistake. The problem here is that whatever Voyager interfaces with (such as the Gemini ASCOM Driver here) needs to be running in the same user context. Otherwise, it will attempt to launch a new instance of that driver (as admin, since that is what it uses for its user context) and if there is a non-admin instance of that already running - some software will not allow that or will not work properly.

 

That is why I would guess Leo asked for this user to contact support. It is not a problem with Voyager, per se.


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#11 terry59

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 08:27 PM

Thanks guys. That is an easy fix to have Voyager talk to Gemini 2. I have another question. Initially I would use this with my 183M/SV70T narrowband only on targets the site says does better with LocalField autofocus. Does it need the external planetarium under these conditions?



#12 rockstarbill

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 09:13 PM

No external Planetarium is needed. It can just query SESAME online for lookups. For narrowband I'd strongly suggest using RoboStar but if you wanted to use LocalField that's fine too, just takes longer due to the length of the frames for narrowband.

#13 terry59

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 05:36 AM

I find that I "just have a thing" about needing a third party planetarium for Voyager to use when Gemini has everything already. SGP as no issue using Gemini and I guess I'll stick with that until Voyager interfaces directly with Gemini's planetarium. Thanks for the answers

 

smile.gif


Edited by terry59, 12 August 2020 - 05:43 AM.


#14 Madratter

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 06:56 AM

I find that I "just have a thing" about needing a third party planetarium for Voyager to use when Gemini has everything already. SGP as no issue using Gemini and I guess I'll stick with that until Voyager interfaces directly with Gemini's planetarium. Thanks for the answers

 

smile.gif

The reason SGP doesn't need one is that it doesn't do single star focusing. But I certainly respect your sticking with SGP if that is what you want to do.


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#15 rockstarbill

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 08:27 AM

I find that I "just have a thing" about needing a third party planetarium for Voyager to use when Gemini has everything already. SGP as no issue using Gemini and I guess I'll stick with that until Voyager interfaces directly with Gemini's planetarium. Thanks for the answers

smile.gif


SGP doesn't look up objects in Gemini. It just uses the mount. It doesn't look up objects in Sky X or AP hand controllers for that matter either.

#16 terry59

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 09:46 AM

SGP doesn't look up objects in Gemini. It just uses the mount. It doesn't look up objects in Sky X or AP hand controllers for that matter either.

Yes I understand....I've done some more research this morning on the (un)official Gemini 2 site it states that using a 3rd party planetarium disables certain Gemini 2 attributes that I use, specifically the virtual hand controller. 

 

This may be workable but so far it looks like a lot of effort to get things working in a way that I can deal with



#17 rockstarbill

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 10:00 AM

Yes I understand....I've done some more research this morning on the (un)official Gemini 2 site it states that using a 3rd party planetarium disables certain Gemini 2 attributes that I use, specifically the virtual hand controller. 

 

This may be workable but so far it looks like a lot of effort to get things working in a way that I can deal with

As long as the planerarium isnt connected to the mount directly, which in this case it wouldnt be, I dont see how it could interfere.


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#18 Madratter

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 10:05 AM

That may well be more trouble than it is worth. I'm pretty sure the problem with Gemini and Planetarium software can be overcome by simply not connecting the planetarium to the mount but just to Voyager.



#19 terry59

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 06:24 AM

Well I decided that there couldn't be any harm in trying out Voyager in demo mode. I also installed cartes du ciel and have it communicating with Voyager. I have to say my initial impression of the interface is positive. I also switched from using the SSAG windows drivers and installed only the SSAG ASCOM driver. This, along with using ethernet to communicate with Gemini allows me to use synchronous pulse guiding via the Gemini ASCOM driver

 

Thanks for helping convince me to at least give Voyager a try

 

smile.gif


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#20 Madratter

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 07:38 AM

Now that you have it installed, I think you are going to really like it. IMO the focusing is best in class for a number of reasons.

 

The web dashboard is really slick, although you can't try that in demo mode as far as I know.

 

Some things like Roboclip are really useful once you work them into your workflow. Once you have a target setup the way you want, save the coordinates to Roboclip, and next year when you want to shoot the same target, you just pull the coordinates out of the database. :)

 

I could go, on, I really like this program, but rather than subject you to the many things I like about it, I'll simply try to answer questions as you have them.


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#21 terry59

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 07:50 AM

I'm reading through the documentation on the wiki site...very helpful

 

BTW, the dashboard was one reason I decided to give it a try


Edited by terry59, 13 August 2020 - 07:54 AM.

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#22 terry59

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 08:10 PM

Something I'm trying to figure out is how to open a profile for editing. I created one yesterday and saved it unfinished expecting that editing would be easy.

 

 scratchhead2.gif



#23 rockstarbill

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 09:00 PM

You clone to a new one, then open that clone up and edit.

#24 terry59

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Bill



#25 Madratter

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:50 AM

If you click the profile tab then you get some options for saving, loading, etc. profiles.

 

VoyagerProfileOptions 20200814.PNG

 

If you click the wrench/screwdriver like thing just above that, then you edit the current profile.
 

Voyager Profile 20200814.PNG


Edited by Madratter, 14 August 2020 - 05:32 AM.

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