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NINA and Orbitals Plugin

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#1 Squeezer04

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 03:33 PM

I want to image the comet C/2022. I found a YouTube post on how to use the Orbitals plugin for NINA which is supposed to allow you to track comets. Unfortunately the latest update to NINA (Unstable Nightly Version) no longer has Orbitals as a plugin. Is there another way to track comets? If not is there a way to go back to a previous NINA version where I can utilize this plugin. Thanks, Mike



#2 jonnybravo0311

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 04:28 PM

You can use Stellarium to get the comet's coordinates and then use NINA's framing wizard to pickup the RA/Dec from Stellarium. You can also go back to a previous version of NINA by uninstalling it. Make sure to backup the preferences directory... don't think you'll need to, but in case something goes bad with the uninstall / reinstall, you'll have your old preferences saved.


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#3 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 05:25 PM

That's not true.  I am using it.  Make sure you are NOT using NINA 3.0.  Its in development and unstable.  Use 2.1 HF1 RC004.

 

Uninstall 3.0 and install the above release. 


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#4 dghent

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 07:09 PM

I want to image the comet C/2022. I found a YouTube post on how to use the Orbitals plugin for NINA which is supposed to allow you to track comets. Unfortunately the latest update to NINA (Unstable Nightly Version) no longer has Orbitals as a plugin. Is there another way to track comets? If not is there a way to go back to a previous NINA version where I can utilize this plugin. Thanks, Mike

There is no need to use the development version of NINA right now. You're fine running 2.1 or the 2.1.1 release candidate


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#5 Squeezer04

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 11:28 AM

Thanks all. For whatever reason I quit getting notifications of nightly updates. I went to the NINA web site and installed the latest and Orbitals was there. Now I have to figure out why C/2022 was nowhere to be seen in the frames I shot last night. It may be something to do with NINA 3.0. I’ll go back to 2.1 and see if it makes a difference.



#6 cecomp64

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Posted 27 January 2023 - 08:10 PM

I have been struggling to use the Orbitals plug-in for the past few mornings to get C/2022 E3. The short story is that there is at least one category of bugs (I’m on NINA 2.0) where the comet position doesn’t update. If you are adding an Orbitals panel to your sequencer and select the target object, it will populate with the current position and, crucially, it will update the position every 20 seconds.

That is, until you start and then stop, reset, or save and load the sequence with your orbitals panel. As soon as one of those things happen, that panel will never update automatically. You can update it manually by re-entering the target, but it will not update periodically. You have to add a whole new panel and add your target to the new panel.

When it works, the positions are dead on. You can slew to them, and even use the “center after drift” trigger.

Tracking on the comet is even more of a crap-shoot, unfortunately. There are two options: set the tracking rate in your mount, or use set a shifted guiding rate in PHD2. The mount tracking failed catastrophically for me. It didn’t track the comet, and I couldn’t restore it to sidereal without a power cycle and reboot.

The guiding solution worked maybe 20% of the time. It would inevitably start to show comet trails after a few 300s exposures, if not immediately. I thought at first it was related to the order of instructions (start guiding first or set the shift rate first) or the use of the guiding trigger, but ultimately I had issues in any configuration I tried. But, I got a few good frames with heavy babysitting and starting and restarting sequences.

If anyone has gotten the comet tracking to work reliably, please share the process!

Good luck on your acquisitions :)

#7 pmuller

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Posted 27 January 2023 - 08:31 PM

Orbitals works just fine for me with version 2.1, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is there and I can send it to frame wizard with no problem. However, when sending to frame wizard it centers it dead center and it does not show the comet there with Nasa Sky Survey (at least for me), but I can see it on the plate solving frame. What I did was to just play a little bit on "blind mode" with framing until I saw the comet on my left side of the frame as I knew it would drift away to the right side (in my case, for my optics). 

 

Weather permiting I recomend doing some tests, first night I spent a good hour testing and getting 30mins of data to understand my own framing situation and processing steps.

 

Good luck!


Edited by pmuller, 27 January 2023 - 08:32 PM.



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