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NINA Struggles - FITS Image Viewing and Pause Between Frames

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#1 benringel22

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 04:49 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I recently got an ASI2600MM Pro to begin my journey into monochrome imaging, and I decided now was a good time to move from APT to NINA (version 2.0.0.9001). So far I enjoy many of the features of NINA, but I have a few very basic functions that I cannot find anywhere that are strongly disrupting my workflow. I also cannot find any information online about these missing features, so alas I am here. Hopefully I am just missing something obvious that someone can quickly point out to me.

 

Here are the two features I cannot find in NINA:

  1. I can't find how to view any FITS file I have generated at any point in the evening. So far, I have only been able to view any lights, darks, or biases that are currently in my sequence using the "Image History" window, and I have only, been able to view flats and flat darks in the "Flats Wizard" window directly after generating them. Is there a way to load any FITS file in NINA for viewing?
  2. When capturing bias frames, I have not figured out how to set a pause between frames to allow the cooler to catchup. Because of this, I am only able to capture two or three bias frames at my target temperature before the temperature has risen too high. Normally I just put a short pause between bias frames in APT, but I cannot find a way to do this in NINA with the simple sequencer. Does anyone know of a way to place a pause between frames in NINA?

Thank you all in advance for your help on these issues!

~ Ben


Edited by benringel22, 11 August 2022 - 04:55 PM.


#2 nebulasaurus

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 07:07 PM

1) - No.  The closest you can get is loading a file into the framing wizard.  This is by design.  NINA intends to be an outstanding automation tool, and review of data is not a core function.  I use pixinsight on my imaging NUC to perform this function.

 

2) No - The whole purpose of a cooled CMOS/CCD is to be able to maintain the setpoint temperature.  You are either overcooling your camera, or your camera is faulty.  This is not normal. What is the cooler power when temperature (setpoint and ambient) when this is happening?

 

If you really, really want to insert a delay, you could do so in the advanced sequencer, but you would be fixing the wrong problem


Edited by nebulasaurus, 11 August 2022 - 07:08 PM.

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#3 jpengstrom

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 07:38 PM

2) No - The whole purpose of a cooled CMOS/CCD is to be able to maintain the setpoint temperature.  You are either overcooling your camera, or your camera is faulty.  This is not normal. What is the cooler power when temperature (setpoint and ambient) when this is happening?

 

If you really, really want to insert a delay, you could do so in the advanced sequencer, but you would be fixing the wrong problem

Depending on ambient temperature that's not necessarily true.  Short exposures used for bias frames require the amplifier for each frame read which will add extra heat.  QHY lists their cooler specification on the 268 as follows:
 

 

 

Less than 1S lower than ambient temperature -30C in continuous mode

More than 1S continuous mode or lower than ambient temperature -35C in single frame mode

So if your cooler is running very near max power (and yeah, I get it, there are problems with that too) and you're taking lots of short subs (like for bias) then you have the possibility of rising sensor temperatures.  I've run into this when taking my flats at the beginning of the night when ambient is 32° C.  But my flats (.1 second exposures) don't raise the temperature more the .3 degrees.  And I haven't found any problems with that little of a temperature rise.

When I took my biases in the house at 24° C I had no problem maintaining 0° C sensor temperature for all the bias frames.



#4 nebulasaurus

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 07:46 PM

In other words, you are running your cooler so hard that it has no spare capacity to deal with the additional heat generted.  That is the very definition of overcooled.


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#5 jpengstrom

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 07:57 PM

In other words, you are running your cooler so hard that it has no spare capacity to deal with the additional heat generted.  That is the very definition of overcooled.

Re-reading your original response I think you're comment about it "not being normal" was really talking about normal operating conditions but it's certainly not the way I read it.  So yeah, if you have no spare capacity in the cooler (overcooled as you say) then short exposures can raise the temp of the sensor above the set cooling point, but that does not indicate a problem with the camera.


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#6 benringel22

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:01 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies.

 

 

1) - No.  The closest you can get is loading a file into the framing wizard.  This is by design.  NINA intends to be an outstanding automation tool, and review of data is not a core function.  I use pixinsight on my imaging NUC to perform this function.

1) I'm sad to hear there is no way of viewing images at all in NINA. For the number of features that NINA has, this one seems so basic and pretty fundamental. I really hope they add that in the future... maybe there is a plugin that could be used??

 

 

2) No - The whole purpose of a cooled CMOS/CCD is to be able to maintain the setpoint temperature.  You are either overcooling your camera, or your camera is faulty.  This is not normal. What is the cooler power when temperature (setpoint and ambient) when this is happening?

 

If you really, really want to insert a delay, you could do so in the advanced sequencer, but you would be fixing the wrong problem

Depending on ambient temperature that's not necessarily true.  Short exposures used for bias frames require the amplifier for each frame read which will add extra heat.  QHY lists their cooler specification on the 268 as follows:
 

So if your cooler is running very near max power (and yeah, I get it, there are problems with that too) and you're taking lots of short subs (like for bias) then you have the possibility of rising sensor temperatures.  I've run into this when taking my flats at the beginning of the night when ambient is 32° C.  But my flats (.1 second exposures) don't raise the temperature more the .3 degrees.  And I haven't found any problems with that little of a temperature rise.

When I took my biases in the house at 24° C I had no problem maintaining 0° C sensor temperature for all the bias frames.

2) That is interesting; I have observed this on multiple cameras, so unless all my cameras are faulty, I think the use of amplifiers from so many exposures in a short period of time can put out a lot of heat (as mentioned by jpengstrom). I have noticed the response to this temperature increase is extremely slow; e.g., it will drop 0.1C per exposure with a setpoint at -10C, and will take until around -9C to increase the cooler power at all. Strangely, I am having this issue even at 21% cooler power, which means this may be some control issue. Does NINA control this response or is this something within the camera? In regard to the pause function, I am once again disappointed this basic feature is not available... perhaps I will need to use APT just to take biases or use the advanced sequencer.



#7 benringel22

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:03 PM

Re-reading your original response I think you're comment about it "not being normal" was really talking about normal operating conditions but it's certainly not the way I read it.  So yeah, if you have no spare capacity in the cooler (overcooled as you say) then short exposures can raise the temp of the sensor above the set cooling point, but that does not indicate a problem with the camera.

So if I do see this issue at 21% power as I am, does this indicate there is an issue with the camera? I see a drop from -10C to around -8C over 50 biases with a very slow response (power is EXTREMELY slow to increase). I am still in the 30 day return window and could return it if necessary.


Edited by benringel22, 11 August 2022 - 08:04 PM.


#8 Oort Cloud

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:19 PM

It's normal for the temp to raise a few tenths while shooting bias. The frames don't need to be exactly the same temp, especially for bias. They just need to be as short as possible.
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#9 jpengstrom

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:20 PM

So if I do see this issue at 21% power as I am, does this indicate there is an issue with the camera? I see a drop from -10C to around -8C over 50 biases with a very slow response (power is EXTREMELY slow to increase). I am still in the 30 day return window and could return it if necessary.

I'm almost certain that NINA has no control over the power supplied to the TEC.  I believe all it does is tell the camera to turn the cooler on and what the desired temperature is and the camera's firmware does the rest.  Hopefully others here can provide more detail.

 

As to whether it's normal, you might want to reach out to ZWO and see what their response is. I do know that I've only seen a slight temperature increase using NINA when at at or near 100% cooler power.  If I'm at 21% power I haven't seen this.


Edited by jpengstrom, 11 August 2022 - 08:21 PM.

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#10 nebulasaurus

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:29 PM

Re-reading your original response I think you're comment about it "not being normal" was really talking about normal operating conditions but it's certainly not the way I read it.  So yeah, if you have no spare capacity in the cooler (overcooled as you say) then short exposures can raise the temp of the sensor above the set cooling point, but that does not indicate a problem with the camera.

Yeah, I could have worded that better.  This is what happens when you try to be helpful while relaxing and drinking a glass of wine grin.gif

 

What I really meant was that if you are running the cooler at 98% power, then you will see issues like this.  Alternatively, if you are at say 70% power, and the TEC can't keep up, then that may indicate an issue with the camera.


Edited by nebulasaurus, 11 August 2022 - 08:30 PM.

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#11 jpengstrom

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:34 PM

Yeah, I could have worded that better.  This is what happens when you try to be helpful while relaxing and drinking a glass of wine grin.gif

 

What I really meant was that if you are running the cooler at 98% power, then you will see issues like this.  Alternatively, if you are at say 70% power, and the TEC can't keep up, then that may indicate an issue with the camera.

I think you've figured out the best way to deal with cloudy nights!  And it's not all on you, if I would have taken the time to read your post more carefully I would have understood what you were saying.  It's all good - now I have to decide between a glass of wine and a martini.


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#12 benringel22

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:38 PM

Yeah, I could have worded that better.  This is what happens when you try to be helpful while relaxing and drinking a glass of wine grin.gif

 

What I really meant was that if you are running the cooler at 98% power, then you will see issues like this.  Alternatively, if you are at say 70% power, and the TEC can't keep up, then that may indicate an issue with the camera.

So in my case, I am seeing this at 21% power, but it isn't that the TEC isn't capable; it just isn't responding quickly enough. Should I be concerned? 



#13 Broz22

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 03:24 AM

While NINA does not have a fits viewer (to my knowledge), there are lots of freeware fits viewers with a lighter computer load (and free) than Pixinsight if you want to run at the telescope side. Since NINA is running under windows, all you have to do is load one of the fits applications on the same computer and load files from wherever NINA is storing them. Most of them allow various viewing stretches, and can give you image statistics. Just do a search for free fits viewer.

John


Edited by Broz22, 12 August 2022 - 03:25 AM.


#14 tosjduenfs

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 11:53 AM

If you use ASTAP for plate solving you can use that as a FITS viewer.



#15 fmendes

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 12:11 PM

 

1) I'm sad to hear there is no way of viewing images at all in NINA. For the number of features that NINA has, this one seems so basic and pretty fundamental. I really hope they add that in the future... maybe there is a plugin that could be used??

 

Besides the Image History, you can use the simulated camera and load a file. Then you do a single exposure, plate solve, etc.


Edited by fmendes, 12 August 2022 - 12:16 PM.

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#16 benringel22

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:09 PM

Besides the Image History, you can use the simulated camera and load a file. Then you do a single exposure, plate solve, etc.

I was just able to load an image in NINA using ASTAP in the framing tab (although I suppose I might as well just load the image in ASTAP..?). Thanks for the advice!

 

How can I load an image using the simulated camera? Is this in the image history or still in the framing tab?

 

Thanks!

Ben



#17 fmendes

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 04:03 PM

I was just able to load an image in NINA using ASTAP in the framing tab (although I suppose I might as well just load the image in ASTAP..?). Thanks for the advice!

 

How can I load an image using the simulated camera? Is this in the image history or still in the framing tab?

 

Thanks!

Ben

On the "Equipment" tab, stop and disconnect all cameras. Select and connect the NINA Simulator Camera. Click on the gears, and then "Load Image". If you are using an astro camera, all details should be on the FITS header. Still you can use any exposure to make it appear on the Image window. From there you can also plate solve it, send to the framing assistant, etc.


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#18 ghilios

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 07:09 PM

If you want a delay between biases you can create an advanced sequence and put a delay in directly. I've done that personally in the past
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