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NINA plate solving question

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#1 nimitz69

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 02:09 PM

trying to understand if when I do plate solving as I'm setting up for a session matters?  what my workflow has been is as follows:

 

- turn everything on

- go to the 'sky atlas' tab & find the target & hit 'set as sequence target'

- go to manual focus tab, select a manual focus star & slew to it

- plate solve that

- set camera to looping & dial in focus

- go back to sky atlas & hit 'slew to'

- plate solve at the target image location

- in sequencer select slew to & center to along with start guiding

- start sequence

 

last session I was testing different sub lengths but using the above even though the PS showed successful the target was not in the FOV.  Its been successful in the past when doing the above but once or twice when starting the sequence the scope would reposition slightly & be off target.  if I went back & did another plate solve the image would center & if I selected 'slew to' in the sequencer everything was fine

 

trying to figure out a better work flow that will guarantee success each time without having to manually verify i'm centered?  what does everyone else do?

 



#2 ryanha

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 02:16 PM

One thing I do first is issue a "search zero position" just in case I move the scope manually (e.g. disengaged the clutches).

 

Also I use the new sequencer exclusively in NINA so with that you could create an "initialize" sequence that would do it all.  You can even issue a slew to a good calibration position and program a PhD calibration command.

 

My startup sequence does the following:

- unpark scope

- Cool camera

- Move focuser to position XXX (known good position)

- Switch to L filter

- Autofocus

 

 

Then my target sequences do

- Slew to target

- Switch filter 

- AF

- center (this cycles plate solve / sync / slew until within tolerance)

 

 

 

--Ryan


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#3 ryanha

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 02:20 PM

Also, if you select "reslew to target" the manual plate solve will loop platesolve and slew adjustments till you are within your tolerance setting.

Attached Thumbnails

  • NINA Platesolve.jpg


#4 nimitz69

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 02:14 PM

is this the version that has the multi star guiding capability now? is it still in Beat? not familiar with the "search zero position" option? where is that?


Edited by nimitz69, 24 January 2021 - 02:14 PM.


#5 ryanha

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 03:40 PM

is this the version that has the multi star guiding capability now? is it still in Beat? not familiar with the "search zero position" option? where is that?

The screenshot that I posted is of NINA and I am using the nightly builds.

 

I am also using the latest dev build of PhD with the muti-star guiding but you would not need that if you use the NINA nightlies with the new sequencer to use the calibration feature.

 

Search zero position is a feature of the mount.  Essentially telling the mount that the telescope is pointed north with the counterweight pointing straight down.

 

--Ryan



#6 nimitz69

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 10:20 AM

ok, my EQ6-R pro doesn't have that feature ... :)

 

given my past history with getting s/w up and running I'm very leery of using anything but confirmed stable builds ... specifically now during what is prime imaging season for me ... maybe during the summer since I don't care that much about galaxies

 

supposed to be clear tomorrow night so maybe after my target goes behind some trees I'll stay up and play around with the sequencing to see if I can figure out a good workflow that always centers the target ...  I'm sure its some simple setting I have wrong since plate solving does work and I recently finished collecting 17 hrs on M31 without any real issue ...

 

 

 

 

 

 



#7 BobE102330

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 11:18 AM

The plate solving tab In NINA 1.10 under imaging has the sync and reslew options that Ryan showed. Enable both.  If the tab isn't available click on the plate solve tool in the upper right - not the one with the "plate solve current image" tip.  

 

Assuming your EQ6R behaves similarly to my Sirus, once polar aligned manually set the home position and cycle the power to the mount.  It will assume that it was powered on in the home position.  This step will make your initial slew more accurate.

 

You can simplify your process a little.  Before you go out, set your template up to include slew, center and start guiding. You can also set the template to use your usual settings for exposures, time, gain and dither. That way once you replace the sequence target you'll be ready to go. After focus, just go straight to sequence and hit start.  


Edited by BobE102330, 25 January 2021 - 11:20 AM.


#8 nimitz69

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 10:01 AM

thx!  I have an observatory so most things are already setup but I may have my changed my plate solving setting and got them out of whack ...



#9 OhmEye

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 02:20 PM

I spend no effort on alignment or platesolving, my park position is roughly pointed near Polaris. Whether I have undone clutches or whatever, I always start a session with the scope in park position. NINA slews and centers the target with no additional help from me. As long as the scope not pointed far from the park position so the mount coordinates aren't way off, platesolving syncs and centers the target easily.


Edited by OhmEye, 27 January 2021 - 03:13 PM.

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#10 Noobulosity

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:20 PM

Plate-solving does make a difference, particularly if you plan to slew to other targets.  For instance, I slew to a star to fine-tune focus.  I'll plate-solve and make sure I sync to my mount.  This makes future slews more-accurate during that session.

 

Otherwise, it's probably not hugely-important to plate-solve right up-front.



#11 Noobulosity

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:21 PM

I spend no effort on alignment or platesolving, my park position is roughly pointed near Polaris. Whether I have undone clutches or whatever, I always start a session with the scope in park position. NINA slews and centers the target with no additional help from me. As long as the scope not pointed far from the park position so the mount coordinates aren't way off, platesolving syncs and centers the target easily.

Are you saying you don't bother with polar alignment?  Or are you just referring to manually pointing to a target when you say "alignment"?



#12 OhmEye

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 12:32 PM

Are you saying you don't bother with polar alignment?  Or are you just referring to manually pointing to a target when you say "alignment"?

I PA when I move the mount, but usually leave it set up and under a 365 cover. I just don't bother with any star alignment or platesolving prior to imaging to "align" the scope coordinates. Slewing to the first target is close enough that platesolving can sync and center the target without any help from me. My point is that I see no need for platesolving or star alignment process to "prepare" for slewing to a target, that takes care of itself.


Edited by OhmEye, 28 January 2021 - 12:46 PM.


#13 ryanha

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 01:14 PM

I PA when I move the mount, but usually leave it set up and under a 365 cover. I just don't bother with any star alignment or platesolving prior to imaging to "align" the scope coordinates. Slewing to the first target is close enough that platesolving can sync and center the target without any help from me. My point is that I see no need for platesolving or star alignment process to "prepare" for slewing to a target, that takes care of itself.

FWIW, I do the same as OhmEye.    My mount has a built in polar scope so I can do a quick check to make sure it has not drifted much just by launching the iPolar app and flipping to it while the camera is warming up.  The times where I felt it drifted out of polar alignment on its own more than I wanted after adjusting I didn't notice better guiding so now I pretty much just leave it be.

 

Thanks,

--Ryan



#14 Noobulosity

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 03:41 PM

I PA when I move the mount, but usually leave it set up and under a 365 cover. I just don't bother with any star alignment or platesolving prior to imaging to "align" the scope coordinates. Slewing to the first target is close enough that platesolving can sync and center the target without any help from me. My point is that I see no need for platesolving or star alignment process to "prepare" for slewing to a target, that takes care of itself.

Gotcha.  I figured that's what you were saying, but thanks for clarifying.  On a side note...  can't wait until I can put in a pier and skip the PA every session...  :)



#15 nimitz69

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 01:47 PM

ok guys, still having the same issue as before ...

 

I'm on a permanent pier in an observatory  and the mount always parks at the end of a session & begins in Park as well.   when I select a manual focus star & hit 'slew to' it gets pretty close before any plate solving.  also when I pick a target from the sky atlas, select as a sequence.

target & hit 'slew' it gets pretty close.

 

I then plate solve that and I'm on target - the 're slew ' option is selected in plate solving. the issue comes when I also select "slew to" & 'center' in the sequencer.  what happens is when the sequence starts is moves to some other position & the target is no longer centered?

 

I had this exact same thing happen again last night. turned everything on, set the sequence target, selected & slewed to a manual focus star, then slewed to my target & did a plate solve.  target centered nicely in the FOV.

 

went to the sequencer, selected 'start guiding", 'slew to" & 'center & hit start.  checked after the first 2 subs had finished & no target,  stopped the sequence, unchecked slew to & center.  did another plate solve & a quick 30 sec test image & the target was centered perfect again.

 

At that point I just left well enough alone, when to the sequencer, insured start guiding was checked & the other 2 unchecked & hit start .... completed a 2.5 hr sequence without issue.

 

Still don't understand why using those 2 functions in the sequencer move the target location.  Its like its plate solving something else?


Edited by nimitz69, 01 February 2021 - 12:29 PM.


#16 ryanha

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 02:34 PM

Can you check the coordinates for the target in your sequence and verify that the RA/DEC coordinates are the same that you want?

 

That has happened to me before where I set the target but maybe I had moved the framing window or had the FOV incorrect in the framing tool and got it wrong.  It is worth checking.

 

Also if I understand correctly you are able to plate solve/center through the platesolve tab.  In that case, just to be sure maybe manually take an exposure with the imaging tab to be certain that manual plate solve is working correctly and that you are in fact on your target.

 

It is also worth looking through the NINA logs to see what is happening.

 

Hope that helps!

 

--Ryan



#17 nimitz69

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Posted 01 February 2021 - 12:33 PM

i can check but I'm not using the framing tool ...

 

what you suggest is what I've gone to doing .... I always take a quick exposure to ensure i'm on target before starting the sequence.

 

I know this has worked before where I selected 'slew to' & 'center' ... I'll try to look at the NINA logs to see if something jumps out at me




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