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Tutorial SETnC users

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#1 ColdNights

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Posted 13 March 2024 - 12:40 AM

Just got an email from the developer of the SETnC program.  A user has done a tutorial for the program.  I have not seen it all at this time but will tomorrow.

Here is the email body.

One of the SETnC users was so kind to produce a youtube video: https://www.youtube....h?v=khQzQG85XI4
Note: Do not change the form size from normal to small. This will make text unreadable.

 

Yes will be viewing tomorrow.

Jerry


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#2 starstruck85

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Posted 13 March 2024 - 09:34 AM

Thanks Jerry, this is great!

 

I've already done a few test runs with SETnC, and it seems like it will get the job done on the big day. However, I went into it completely blind and just stumbled my way through it all.

 

I'll be watching this tutorial to see what I might have missed, what I could be doing better, or any other tips I might get out of it.

 

One thing I'm really curious about is when (like how many seconds before C2 and after C3) should my exposure table be set optimally for Diamond Ring exposures? Perhaps this tutorial will cover it... going to check it out soon!

 

John



#3 starstruck85

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 11:47 AM

Had a chance to watch it and it does seem to cover just about everything you need to get started and do your own testing.

 

I will say that I'm not so sure you would want to disable "Set time automatically" as I think you would want your UTC time synced precisely to a time server. I would not imagine that your time would be wildly different by April 8th if you disabled it now, but there would be a chance of it being off somewhat by then. You definitely would want to turn off "Adjust for daylight saving time automatically" as he mentioned and also have "Set time zone automatically" off as he did. It also helped me to change my PC clock time to 24 hour format to match what SETnC displays.


Also, you can use Google Earth to find out what elevation your observation location will be, so you can precisely add that into SETnC. Just click anywhere in Google Earth and it will show the elevation in the very lower right corner.

 

Overall, it was really quite good... wish I had this a month ago or so! Hah.

 

John


Edited by starstruck85, 14 March 2024 - 11:47 AM.

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#4 naztronomy

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 01:10 PM

I hopped on CloudyNights to share a link to a tutorial I made and saw that someone already posted it. Thank you, Jerry!

 

The developer, Robert Nufer, fixed the font issue you mentioned. The latest version on his website should have the fixes.

 

 

Had a chance to watch it and it does seem to cover just about everything you need to get started and do your own testing.

 

I will say that I'm not so sure you would want to disable "Set time automatically" as I think you would want your UTC time synced precisely to a time server. I would not imagine that your time would be wildly different by April 8th if you disabled it now, but there would be a chance of it being off somewhat by then. You definitely would want to turn off "Adjust for daylight saving time automatically" as he mentioned and also have "Set time zone automatically" off as he did. It also helped me to change my PC clock time to 24 hour format to match what SETnC displays.


Also, you can use Google Earth to find out what elevation your observation location will be, so you can precisely add that into SETnC. Just click anywhere in Google Earth and it will show the elevation in the very lower right corner.

 

Overall, it was really quite good... wish I had this a month ago or so! Hah.

 

John

Fair point about 'Set Time Automatically' - I agree that it would be good to have the time synced precisely. 

 

As for the elevation, Xavier Jubier's interactive map shows the Elevation. I originally planned on showing that piece as well as confirming that the contact times in SETnC matches what you see on Jubier's map but my video was already really long so I decided to save that for a follow up. I'm hoping to post a follow up next week noting the bug fixes, I'll mention what you said about setting time automatically, and using Jubier's map for elevation and confirming contact times. There are also a couple of other cool features I didn't notice until after the video. If you have any more things I should cover, let me know!

 

Funny enough, I was supposed to get this done a month ago! But my son brought home a bug from daycare and we lost 10 full days in February and I fell behind on my videos. I have a few more planned before I leave for our eclipse road trip. 

 

-Naz


Edited by naztronomy, 15 March 2024 - 01:11 PM.

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#5 aroughroad

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 04:02 PM

I hopped on CloudyNights to share a link to a tutorial I made and saw that someone already posted it. Thank you, Jerry!

 

The developer, Robert Nufer, fixed the font issue you mentioned. The latest version on his website should have the fixes.

 

 

Fair point about 'Set Time Automatically' - I agree that it would be good to have the time synced precisely. 

 

As for the elevation, Xavier Jubier's interactive map shows the Elevation. I originally planned on showing that piece as well as confirming that the contact times in SETnC matches what you see on Jubier's map but my video was already really long so I decided to save that for a follow up. I'm hoping to post a follow up next week noting the bug fixes, I'll mention what you said about setting time automatically, and using Jubier's map for elevation and confirming contact times. There are also a couple of other cool features I didn't notice until after the video. If you have any more things I should cover, let me know!

 

Funny enough, I was supposed to get this done a month ago! But my son brought home a bug from daycare and we lost 10 full days in February and I fell behind on my videos. I have a few more planned before I leave for our eclipse road trip. 

 

-Naz

I'm trying to push the limits of how quickly my mirrorless Canon Eos R5 can take shots and write to my CFExpressB card.  If my script in Set'n'C dictates a different exposure every tenth of a second but the camera can't write to the card so quickly, what happens?  Does Set'n'C keep taking the photos regardless of whether the photos are being written to the card?  Does the camera freeze up?  Of course I can test this but was just wondering if someone has experience with this and how to get the fastest possible burst of photos when scripting with Set'n'C...


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#6 naztronomy

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 08:44 PM

I'm trying to push the limits of how quickly my mirrorless Canon Eos R5 can take shots and write to my CFExpressB card.  If my script in Set'n'C dictates a different exposure every tenth of a second but the camera can't write to the card so quickly, what happens?  Does Set'n'C keep taking the photos regardless of whether the photos are being written to the card?  Does the camera freeze up?  Of course I can test this but was just wondering if someone has experience with this and how to get the fastest possible burst of photos when scripting with Set'n'C...

Short answer is that SETnC is dependent on the camera.

 

Long answer:

SETnC waits for the previous action to be completed. The camera will let SETnC know when it's ready to take the next exposure. The speed really depends on how your camera saves. Some cameras will have a buffer where they can take a bunch of photos and then save them one by one in the background while the camera keeps taking pictures. My Canon T2i seems to do that. I just did a quick test of exposures a tenth of a second apart for 30 seconds. At one point, it saved a tiny bit slower because there was a backlog of photos that needed saving but caught up pretty quickly. Camera does not freeze up. SETnC doesn't freeze. And SETnC doesn't skip any exposures, it simply waits until the camera is ready. So this can mean that it falls behind on time which may not be ideal. 

 

With that said, if you're controlling your camera via USB, I believe there's a limitation to how many times your can trigger the shutter. I believe the limit is between 1-2 per second, unlike an intervalometer which doesn't have the limit. When you create an exposure table in SETnC, for baily's beads, it sets exposures at least 1 second apart so that it never falls behind. 

 

I believe there are ways around that like using a DSUSB or a DB9/USB Adapter. I've only read about these methods and have not used them myself. 


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#7 chvvkumar

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 09:35 PM

Short answer is that SETnC is dependent on the camera.

 

Long answer:

SETnC waits for the previous action to be completed. The camera will let SETnC know when it's ready to take the next exposure. The speed really depends on how your camera saves. Some cameras will have a buffer where they can take a bunch of photos and then save them one by one in the background while the camera keeps taking pictures. My Canon T2i seems to do that. I just did a quick test of exposures a tenth of a second apart for 30 seconds. At one point, it saved a tiny bit slower because there was a backlog of photos that needed saving but caught up pretty quickly. Camera does not freeze up. SETnC doesn't freeze. And SETnC doesn't skip any exposures, it simply waits until the camera is ready. So this can mean that it falls behind on time which may not be ideal. 

 

With that said, if you're controlling your camera via USB, I believe there's a limitation to how many times your can trigger the shutter. I believe the limit is between 1-2 per second, unlike an intervalometer which doesn't have the limit. When you create an exposure table in SETnC, for baily's beads, it sets exposures at least 1 second apart so that it never falls behind. 

 

I believe there are ways around that like using a DSUSB or a DB9/USB Adapter. I've only read about these methods and have not used them myself. 

I am testing both, Set'n'see and EO with my 6DMKII with USB+USB shutter cable.I wish Set'n'see could use the serial cable. I won't be lying if I say Setnc is much less anxiety inducing. But EO has much greater control. I think I will use Setnsee for my shorter focal length corona rig and EO for the longer FL shots. EO is going to be primarily for Baily's beads and prominences etc. and Setnsee for everything else. 


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#8 aroughroad

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 12:02 AM

I am testing both, Set'n'see and EO with my 6DMKII with USB+USB shutter cable.I wish Set'n'see could use the serial cable. I won't be lying if I say Setnc is much less anxiety inducing. But EO has much greater control. I think I will use Setnsee for my shorter focal length corona rig and EO for the longer FL shots. EO is going to be primarily for Baily's beads and prominences etc. and Setnsee for everything else. 

No faster than 1 exposure per second?  That's horrible!  I can at least double that manually with a cable release.  

 

Short answer is that SETnC is dependent on the camera.

 

Long answer:

SETnC waits for the previous action to be completed. The camera will let SETnC know when it's ready to take the next exposure. The speed really depends on how your camera saves. Some cameras will have a buffer where they can take a bunch of photos and then save them one by one in the background while the camera keeps taking pictures. My Canon T2i seems to do that. I just did a quick test of exposures a tenth of a second apart for 30 seconds. At one point, it saved a tiny bit slower because there was a backlog of photos that needed saving but caught up pretty quickly. Camera does not freeze up. SETnC doesn't freeze. And SETnC doesn't skip any exposures, it simply waits until the camera is ready. So this can mean that it falls behind on time which may not be ideal. 

 

With that said, if you're controlling your camera via USB, I believe there's a limitation to how many times your can trigger the shutter. I believe the limit is between 1-2 per second, unlike an intervalometer which doesn't have the limit. When you create an exposure table in SETnC, for baily's beads, it sets exposures at least 1 second apart so that it never falls behind. 

 

I believe there are ways around that like using a DSUSB or a DB9/USB Adapter. I've only read about these methods and have not used them myself. 

No faster than 1 exposure per second??  That's horrible!  I can easily double that manually with a simple cable release...are you sure about this?



#9 aroughroad

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 12:05 AM

No faster than 1 exposure per second?  That's horrible!  I can at least double that manually with a cable release.  

 

No faster than 1 exposure per second??  That's horrible!  I can easily double that manually with a simple cable release...are you sure about this?

Perhaps I don't understand...how were you able to take exposures a tenth of a second apart for 30 seconds if you're limited to 1 exposure per second...I am planning to have my laptop connected to my camera with a USB-C cable...



#10 starstruck85

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 07:57 AM

 

No faster than 1 exposure per second??  That's horrible!  I can easily double that manually with a simple cable release...are you sure about this?

I'm using a T8i with my testing and I've also found it curious how slow the pictures actually get taken with SETnC. I'm not even sure you can have multiple exposures set for diamond ring/bailey's beads moments because it will fall behind on the timing. During the totality loop, this is not as big of a concern for me because it will have the chance to cycle through all the exposures set at least a few times.

 

 

I won't be lying if I say Setnc is much less anxiety inducing. But EO has much greater control.

I think this is an important point. SETnC is completely free software that is relatively straightforward to use. I'm thrilled I have a chance to use it and can devote all my attention to just experiencing the eclipse.


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#11 naztronomy

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 03:24 PM

No faster than 1 exposure per second?  That's horrible!  I can at least double that manually with a cable release.  

 

No faster than 1 exposure per second??  That's horrible!  I can easily double that manually with a simple cable release...are you sure about this?

I read about it on CN a while ago but can't find the thread. Someone from the Fort Worth Astronomical Society also told me the same. I only looked it up because I noticed it was slow. 

 

This is a limitation on the connection, not the application. My T2i can do about 5 exposures per second if I do it manually.



#12 aroughroad

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 05:05 PM

I read about it on CN a while ago but can't find the thread. Someone from the Fort Worth Astronomical Society also told me the same. I only looked it up because I noticed it was slow. 

 

This is a limitation on the connection, not the application. My T2i can do about 5 exposures per second if I do it manually.

Ok I've tested.  I'm using the Canon Eos R5.  Set'n'C is setup to take an exposure every tenth of a second, but I can see that it maxes out at one exposure about every 1/2 a second.  I am going to test again on Monday with a tether cable, which is supposed to be both faster and more reliable, but if that isn't any better, the best thing to do may be to shoot manually with a cable release for diamond ring / bailey's beads (when I can go faster than the program) and then use Set'n'C only for the totality sequence, which loops and is very convenient.   Can you foresee any issues with the software continuing to work if I also have a cable shutter release plugged into the camera at the same time?


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#13 Kayl

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 09:48 PM

Ok I've tested.  I'm using the Canon Eos R5.  Set'n'C is setup to take an exposure every tenth of a second, but I can see that it maxes out at one exposure about every 1/2 a second.  I am going to test again on Monday with a tether cable, which is supposed to be both faster and more reliable, but if that isn't any better, the best thing to do may be to shoot manually with a cable release for diamond ring / bailey's beads (when I can go faster than the program) and then use Set'n'C only for the totality sequence, which loops and is very convenient.   Can you foresee any issues with the software continuing to work if I also have a cable shutter release plugged into the camera at the same time?

I like this idea; I may have to test this. You can always exclude the diamond ring/bailey's beads on Se'n'C, but I wonder how the intervalometer/release and the USB control would work together.



#14 naztronomy

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 10:06 PM

Ok I've tested.  I'm using the Canon Eos R5.  Set'n'C is setup to take an exposure every tenth of a second, but I can see that it maxes out at one exposure about every 1/2 a second.  I am going to test again on Monday with a tether cable, which is supposed to be both faster and more reliable, but if that isn't any better, the best thing to do may be to shoot manually with a cable release for diamond ring / bailey's beads (when I can go faster than the program) and then use Set'n'C only for the totality sequence, which loops and is very convenient.   Can you foresee any issues with the software continuing to work if I also have a cable shutter release plugged into the camera at the same time?

I'm curious to know how the tether cable works. 

 

I like your idea of switching to manual for Baily's beads! You could even set your own audio files where you say "START MANUAL EXPOSURES" and then "STOP MANUAL EXPOSURES" so you can keep your eyes on the eclipse and your hands on the intervalometer. 

 

The only issue I can think of is if you keep shooting manually, your camera may stutter when saving all those images. It could potentially add a delay to SETnC when it starts back up but I don't think it's the end of the world. If I have time tomorrow, I'd like to test it because I think it's a good solution for burst photography of baily's/diamonds.  Depending on my test, I'll share this in my follow up video. 

 

I'm not sure if I'll be doing it though. I'd like to take more exposures but I'll have 4 rigs running along with ~10 people around me that I'll need to pay some attention to so I need my systems to be as autonomous as possible (minus removing/reattaching filters).

 

I like this idea; I may have to test this. You can always exclude the diamond ring/bailey's beads on Se'n'C, but I wonder how the intervalometer/release and the USB control would work together.

I think they'll be fine because the intervalometer control and usb are two different physical mechanisms on the camera. Only issue I foresee is a delay in saving and starting of the automatic sequence as I mentioned above. 



#15 naztronomy

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Posted 22 March 2024 - 09:36 AM

I made a follow up video based on discussions here and elsewhere to highlight getting the elevation, some bug fixes, and manually editing the exposure table to take more baily's beads images: https://www.youtube....h?v=ty3G8ai5l5A


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#16 starstruck85

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Posted 28 March 2024 - 03:26 PM

I believe there are ways around that like using a DSUSB or a DB9/USB Adapter. I've only read about these methods and have not used them myself. 

I believe Eclipse Orchestrator works this way to achieve the higher FPS. Does anyone know if SETnC would work with this method, or is only a USB connection supported with SETnC?



#17 vballrican

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 05:27 PM

Hello, setting up SETnC with my canon 7d mkii but it's missing some crucial exp times like 1250, 1500, 1750, etc.. I don't know where to ask for help.. help!!! Thanks. 



#18 starstruck85

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 06:59 PM

Hey there,

I'm almost positive I remember seeing/hearing about an "advanced" version that has many more exposure times. Maybe it's on the SETnC website? Or it could have been an invite only beta test? I hope I am not misremembering it...

#19 TimberRock

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:40 PM


I set everything up with correct latitude and longitude in SETnC then generated an exposure table I practiced and practiced. On April 8, 2024, just before the start of the eclipse I started SETnC and noticed the countdown timer for the start of C1 indicated that it would start taking photographs in five hours. I could not resolve the issue and lost an opportunity which I will never have again. What did I do wrong?

#20 starstruck85

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 05:38 PM

Dang, sorry to hear that. If it makes you feel better, my experience was completely clouded out...

The only thing I can think of is that your PC was not set to UTC since you say it had 5 hours before starting and Texas is 5 hours behind UTC when it's daylight savings time. Maybe that was it?

#21 TimberRock

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 06:28 AM

PC was set to local time. Did not know about setting it to UTC. I think the time is automatically set via internet. Was forcing a different time required?

Thanks for replying.

Added: That was the problem. I missed that in the instructions. Boy do I feel bad.

Sorry about your experience.

Edited by TimberRock, 11 April 2024 - 06:51 AM.


#22 chvvkumar

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:25 AM

PC was set to local time. Did not know about setting it to UTC. I think the time is automatically set via internet. Was forcing a different time required?

Thanks for replying.

Added: That was the problem. I missed that in the instructions. Boy do I feel bad.

Sorry about your experience.

Yeah I was bit by this too. Fortunately I also had EO installed and ready to go just in case. But still had to scamper to get a new sequence created on the fly. In the end EO came through.



#23 TimberRock

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 09:36 AM

With eclipses being so rare, I would think that this would need to be something that is very obvious.
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#24 aroughroad

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:32 AM

With eclipses being so rare, I would think that this would need to be something that is very obvious.

It's the third bullet point in the user instructions on the SetnC website.  It's even called out in bold text.



#25 TimberRock

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:04 PM

True that it is in the instructions but dummies like me need it spelled out in the actual program. Kinda like the red banner which appears when doing a practice run. Oh well, I won’t have to ever deal with it again unless I travel to Europe for the next time.



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