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New website for MetaGuide Collimation, Guiding and online apps

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#1 freestar8n

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:18 AM

Hi everyone-

 

I have created a new site with a forum and online apps for MetaGuide - a video-based tool for collimation and tight guiding.  It is completely free and the site has nothing for sale and it does not request donations.  The new site is:

 

https://www.smallstarspot.com

 

The site name has two meanings - for collimation and guiding the goal is to have small star spots in the image;  at the same time the site is a spot for people to discuss and learn how to get small stars.

 

All the images and documentation have moved there, along with a new version for download, currently 5.5.1  Please upgrade to the latest version for bugfixes and usability enhancements.

 

There is also a link to my recent video presentation on collimation and guiding kindly hosted by The Astro Imaging Channel on youtube (TAIC).

 

Finally, there are four online apps for advanced simulations of

  1. Autoguiding behavior, particularly the impact of latency on guide corrections
  2. How much deeper you can go when imaging in the presence of different amounts of noise
  3. The impact of the exit pupil - and its location - on vignetting
  4. The impact of focus drift over time in stacked exposures

I see a lot of ongoing discussions in CN on how to collimate and many of them don't even mention video as a good way to do it these days.  I encourage trying video with MetaGuide for realtime interactive collimation of a real star under a real sky - for best actual results and at no cost - if you have a video camera.

 

And for guiding there are big benefits of low latency corrections provided by MetaGuide.

 

Please visit the site and register for the forum if you have questions or feedback.  There will be a delay on your initial postings for moderator approval.

 

Thanks!

 

Frank


Edited by freestar8n, 23 October 2020 - 02:10 AM.

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#2 Stelios

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:53 AM

Thanks for keeping this up to date, Frank. I love the collimation part of this app, maybe I'll get the guiding part to work now (more my impatience than the app).



#3 freestar8n

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:06 AM

Thanks for keeping this up to date, Frank. I love the collimation part of this app, maybe I'll get the guiding part to work now (more my impatience than the app).

Thanks Stelios!  I appreciate it.

 

Frank



#4 skycamper

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 08:51 PM

Frank,

 

Where is the download link to your program?  I went to smallstarspot but its a forum for discussion. Is the link in there?

 

Thank you!

Abraham



#5 skycamper

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 08:57 PM

Nevermind, found it!    One question, I have a C11HD on a fork mount. No wedge currently.  Can I use the collimation tool without guiding and without a wedge for now?   

 

Thanks!

Abraham



#6 skycamper

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:48 PM

Nevermind, found it!    One question, I have a C11HD on a fork mount. No wedge currently.  Can I use the collimation tool without guiding and without a wedge for now?   

 

Thanks!

Abraham

Frank, what button do you press to begin the collimation process on the interface panel?

 

EDIT:  Looks like it does it automatically!  How long should the collimation exposures take?   Need to read the manual ! Lol. Thanks


Edited by skycamper, 26 October 2020 - 05:09 PM.


#7 Astrojedi

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 03:54 PM

Thanks Frank. I love using MetaGuide. I am very impressed with the resolution I can achieve with my EdgeHD 11.


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#8 freestar8n

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 05:50 PM

Thanks Astrojedi and Skycamper-

 

I'm happy to answer questions about using MG but don't be shy about asking on the forum!

 

For collimation the main thing that helps is to use a bright star near the zenith and a red or IR filter.  Exposures for a bright star can be very short - as in milliseconds - so you can have high frame rate.

 

Feel free to ask for additional help in the forum - I'm happy to answer so others can get the same info.

 

Thanks!

 

Frank



#9 Benni123456

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 08:58 AM

By the way, will metaguide be able to use the active optics from sx and sbig? The sxao has a manual where it documents how it must be commanded:

 

 

https://www.sxccd.co...- version 2.pdf

 

 

I think that a video system like metaguide may profit from the fast reaction time of an ao...



#10 freestar8n

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 04:07 PM

By the way, will metaguide be able to use the active optics from sx and sbig? The sxao has a manual where it documents how it must be commanded:

 

 

https://www.sxccd.co...- version 2.pdf

 

 

I think that a video system like metaguide may profit from the fast reaction time of an ao...

Hi-

 

That link doesn't work for me but I have an idea what it says.  Actually it was results from amateur adaptive optics that made me realize fast guiding would work in the first place.  This is because people were seeing benefits from those tools even when they made corrections as slow as every second.

 

From basic seeing theory there is no way adaptive optics could correct for movement caused by seeing with corrections every second.  They would need to go much faster - and even then they would only improve a small section of the field around the guide star.  And with AO the guidestar is usually not even in the field since it relies on a form of OAG.

 

So if there is a benefit from corrections every second they must be due to corrections in the mount itself and its tracking.  And there is no reason at all that mounts can't respond very rapidly to corrections.

 

Meanwhile you have people claiming that fast corrections will "chase the seeing" - and that myth has stopped people from a)  reducing latency in the guide software and b)  experimenting with faster guiding.

 

All I can say is - I am getting fwhm's in the low 1" range with mid-range equipment and fast guiding, so clearly it works and there is no concern for "chasing the seeing."  And at the same time I don't expect any benefit from an AO device since most mounts respond very quickly to guide pulses around 10-50 ms long.

 

Frank




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