Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

ZWO ASI2600mc Settings in APT?

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 13 October 2021 - 09:30 PM

Hi, Sorry if i have got this posted in the wrong section,  I tend to always get this wrong.

I have also posted this on the APT forum trying to get some advise also,

 

So i  am just moving over to a ZWO asi 2600mc camera, I have previously been using a Canon EOS 600D, so it is a bit of a steep learning curve to get the basic understood, at least it is for me.

So i am trying to set up this asi2600mc in APT ( astro photography tool ), so far everything is completely different from the Conon 600D, been doing a bit of a search around but the only information i ca really find is when things are already up and running.

So i am looking for some help right at the beginning please.
So i have to options to connect the camera with when using the shift + connect on the camera tab:
1. Ascom camera
2. ZWO camera.
Not sure which one i am suppose to go with here?

In option 1. Ascom, i have some more options to confuse me further:
Under preset, i have 3 options:
1, Manual, 2. Highest Dynamic Range, 3. Lowest Read Noise.
Again, i am not sure what i should be going with, but Lowest read noise seams to be an obvious choice?
Then i have a sliding option for Gain, 0 - 100, not sure about this also.

If i go right back to the beginning and select option 2. ZWO camera i have again more options.
Black level/offset, not sure what this is or what i am suppose to put here.
USB speed % wouldn't i just select 100% for this?
Enable Dew heater? ( i run the Pegasus pocket power box so i assume i leave this unchecked as i am driving it through the Pegasus own software )
WB_R default is 50, but again not sure on this
WB_B is also default at 50, not sure on this also
Hardware Binning, i would assume just leave this at 1x1

As you can see, i am in a bit of a confused muddle here at the moment, if anyone can please help be de muddle this a tad for me it would be greatly appreciated.

I have a few questions in regards to the imaging plan also, but prefer to get this bit sorted and understood first.
Thanks in advance.



#2 Fang86

Fang86

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 13 May 2021

Posted 13 October 2021 - 10:06 PM

It's been a while since I set up APT, but ZWO Camera should be the correct one.

As for the options, if you post a screenshot of the options menu for ZWO here, I can try to make things a little clearer.



#3 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:39 PM

Thanks for the reply,

I have attached a screen shot of the screen in APT that i have been referring to,  I hope it all makes sense as to what i am trying to ask.

This is the screen shot when i have selected ZWO as the camera in the camera tab and not ASCOM

Screenshot (2).png


Edited by bluesilver, 14 October 2021 - 01:59 AM.


#4 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:43 PM

And this is a screen shot of when i select ASCOM instead of ZWO

Screenshot (3).png


Edited by bluesilver, 14 October 2021 - 01:59 AM.


#5 Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,026
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2020
  • Loc: New Jersey, USA

Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:59 PM

It looks like ZWO is using the ZWO driver, vs a generic driver for Ascom. Which makes sense because ZWO is giving you more ootions like manual white balance setting (R/B), ability to turn on the dew heater _in the camera itself_, USB speed, etc.

Leave binning on 1x1, leave the offset at the default for now (You can probably lower it a bit, but it won't make much difference. If you lower it too much though, it can be detrimental). If you get frost on your sensor from cooling, turn on the dew heater, and gain should be left at 0 unless your exposure length is limited by some factor like poor tracking. Lower gain will have hogher read noise, but allows you to use the full well depth of the camera. Higher gain will have lower read noise, but also much lower well depth. If you do mess with gain, use either 0 or 100, there is no point to using anything in between those two as you wont gain much in read noise reduction but will have significant well depth reduction. Some people prefer 0, others swear by 100. I prefer 0 myself on my 533, which is basically a smaller version of the same sensor.
  • Fang86 likes this

#6 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 14 October 2021 - 01:35 AM

Thanks again for the information and advice.

 

So basically, i would be better of using ASCOM and not ZWO as the way to connect the camera in the Camera tab as it allows me more options for the ZWO settings?

I don't get those options if i select ZWO and the camera driver in the camera tab.

It makes sense now in regards to the dew heaters now you mentioned that, I forgot about the heaters in the camera, sorry about that.

 

Just did a bit of research on the full well depth as i wasn't familiar with that.

 

This is screen shot of the camera tab i am referring to.

 

Screenshot (4).png

 

 

So, would i be correct in saying that you would generally use lower gain like 0 to get the full well depth in dark skies like Bortle 3 and below,  and you would use high gain like 100 in light polluted skies like Bortle 7 and above?

Dose that sound roughly correct?

 

All help is appreciated.

Thanks.


Edited by bluesilver, 14 October 2021 - 02:03 AM.


#7 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 14 October 2021 - 02:11 AM

If i am suppose to go with the ZWO camera option i have that other box to fill in that has:

Black level/offset, 

USB speed % 
Enable Dew heater
WB_R 
WB_B 
Hardware Binning,

The ASCOM settings so far look easier if i have got everything understood correctly so far



#8 Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,026
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2020
  • Loc: New Jersey, USA

Posted 14 October 2021 - 05:34 AM

The ZWO probably has all those settings too, if you check the "advanced" box. But they likely would have default settings in them. Or you could use presets high DR should be gain 0 and lowest read noise should be 100. Regarding sky quality, either will work, but darker skies require longer exposures to swamp the read noise, and gain 0 requires longer exposures to swamp the read noise. So it's actually the opposite of what you wrote. Gain 0 from dark skies would require very long exposures, and as such, very good tracking. What will work best really comes down to how good your tracking is. Like i said, if you can track long enough to use gain 0, thats the better option because of the higher well depth. Narrowband would be an exception because it already requires much longer exposures, so folks tend to use higher gain on NB. Try both on the same target, see which you like better.

#9 mackiedlm

mackiedlm

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 523
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2019
  • Loc: Galway, Ireland

Posted 14 October 2021 - 06:50 AM

With my 2600mc and APT I always use ZWO rather than ASCOM and I've never had any connection or control issues. I have heard some people have a problem if they use ASCOM particularly if they are running a second ASI camera at the same time - like my 120mm guidecam.

 

I set my offset at 50 and have seen no reason to change.

USB is set at 40% and I've had no issues.

 

Leave both WB's at 50

 

I only use gain 100 because of the reduced read noise and the full well on the 2600 is so high anyway its not an issue for me. Using only 1 gain, 1 offset and a few different exposures reduces the number of different darks which I need to hold in my dark frame library. If I ever try to do a target that really needs different gain or offset  I'll worry about that at the time but for the moment it simplifies everything for me to use 1 gain and 1 offset.

 

My dew heater is on all the time because in Ireland dew is a problem most of the time.

 

HTH



#10 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 14 October 2021 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the reply and information, that has helped heaps, all starting to make a bit of sense to me now slowly.
Is it possible that you can help me out with just a few other little issues i have in regards to setting it up in a imaging plan as it appears a bit different from a DSLR

 

In the imaging plan you have the exposure, bin, gain, offset, pause, count.
I was mainly trying to work out the Gain and offset settings.

I take it that you just leave the offset at 50, but not sure about the gain, do i just set this at either 0 or 100, so just set the gain to either 0 or 100

Then there is that box in the lower right hand corner called object name, in there you have Bulb seconds and gain, do i also just put the gain as 0 in there as well, and for the bulb seconds is this just really how long it takes an exposure for when plate solving?

All information is appreciated.
Thanks.

Screenshot (5).png


Edited by bluesilver, 14 October 2021 - 11:07 AM.


#11 mackiedlm

mackiedlm

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 523
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2019
  • Loc: Galway, Ireland

Posted 14 October 2021 - 01:23 PM

@bluesilver

For me - since I always use gain 100 and offset 50 thats what I put in the imaging plan. I'd reccoment that at this stage you keep it simple, choose a gain and offset and stick with it for your next several runs of images at least. I think that if you leave them blank in the imaging plan then it will default to what you have in the "settings" tab we worked on earlier. But I always enter them into the image plan just to keep everything transparent.

 

The box at bottom right does not do anything to the settings in the image plan - its is only used when you hit the shoot button (Top right of centre) for platesolving or framing. So you can tweak it 9for gain and exposure duration) for that purpose without changing the image plan. I think that unless you set a default exposure time in the Goto++ settings it will use this exposure duration for goto++ also. i set my goto++ default to 15 secs because if for some reason 9framing maybe) you have set this to 60s then thats what goto++ will use and its abit frustrating. Note that you'd need to set the Exp to "bulb" also (in your pic its NA)

 

The object name will be populated if you use "Objects" to enetr a goto location or a platesole location. It will then be used within the file name for your exposures (if your naming convention has that) which is handy.

 

HTH.

 

BTW - hitting the ? at very top right of the APT window opens up the APT Users guide which is actually very well laid our and useful.


Edited by mackiedlm, 14 October 2021 - 02:38 PM.


#12 Mpaige10

Mpaige10

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2020
  • Loc: New Hampshire, NH

Posted 14 October 2021 - 02:33 PM

To preface - I’m a beginner!

I’m using that camera as in APT as well - also coming from DSLR world. You shouldn’t need to adjust the settings too much, find what works for you and then go image.

ZWO native drivers seem to give people fewer issues. No need to adjust offset, color balance, or binning. As others have said, gain 0 or 100. I use gain 100, 90 second exposures for broadband targets, 4 minute exposures with my duo narrowband filter (L enhance). Shooting out of my driveway in Bortle 5, so some light pollution but manageable enough. Take as many subs as possible. At 100 gain, I could get away with shorter exposures, but those times seem to be a good balance between maintaining dynamic range and not having too many subs to deal with. I have been cooling to 0deg C. It’s attainable at all ambient temps I’ve imaged in, and when I went cooler I didn’t notice significant noise reduction (again- beginner’s eyes!)

Edit: some more thoughts
- I leave dew heater enabled in the cooling aid just in case
- Make sure you enable “manage gain/offset” in the settings tab
- the bottom right box can be adjusted for single exposure stuff (framing, focus, goto++). This will be superseded by an image plan

Edited by Mpaige10, 14 October 2021 - 02:39 PM.


#13 bluesilver

bluesilver

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 327
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Tasmania, Australia

Posted 14 October 2021 - 04:35 PM

Thanks heaps for the replies,  all starting to makes sense with me now,  definitely a bit different from a DSLR.

But appears the practice might very well be very similar in the way i actually take images.

When i get some be clear skies here i can put all this into practice.

Yes i did have everything filled in to show what i was on about,  but for some reason i must of cleared it all when i was trying a few things out then took the image of the screen,  sorry about that.

Very much appreciate all the help to get me sorted this far,

I will wait until i get some clear skies and put it into practice and see how i go.

Appreciated.


Edited by bluesilver, 14 October 2021 - 05:21 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics