Date   

Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Ok, thanks, I saw it. I was looking for a big notice saying SIGN HERE (it's in the text itself).


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Dale Ghent
 

On Jul 30, 2021, at 15:32, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:

cameras can connect to only one application at a time.
I may not understand this comment fully, but multilple apps can connect to a camera simultaneously with ASCOM drivers (and presumably Indi). I connect camera to multiple applications all the time.

only one app can use the camera at a time, maybe that's what you mean?

A clarification - yes, multiple apps can access a camera through an ASCOM driver, as the ASCOM driver acts as the arbiter, or proxy, for all client applications that want to talk to the device (mount, camera, etc.). In the example of doing things with APPM and your chosen astrophoto app, both APPM and SGPro/Maxim/NINA/Voyager/whatever else would connect through the camera's own ASCOM driver.

That is all fine and dandy until you want to connect to the camera directly from an application, bypassing ASCOM, such as in the case where the app has a "native" driver for the camera. The reasons for wanting to do this are compelling - the speed of the frame download almost always remarkably higher, and one gets access to camera controls and telemetry that aren't available via ASCOM's defined interfaces.

But this means, generally, that other apps - including the camera's own ASCOM driver - cannot also connect to the camera at the same time as the app with the native driver. This means that the app now needs to offer a way for other apps to control the camera through it. Several astrophoto apps have APIs that allow this to happen, it's just that /other/ apps need to be able to talk to these various APIs. APPM (as of 1.9) grew that ability for NINA's API in addition to its already existing abilities to talk to the API for SGPro, Maxim, and other apps that you see listen under the Camera device dropdown in APPM.

What this means is that, with 1.9, one doens't have to manually disconnect the camera in NINA to then use it under ASCOM in APPM, then when that's done, disconnect the camera in APPM (under ASCOM) and then reconnect to it in NINA using the native driver. Eliminating this dance of who-is-connect-via-what with APPM now allows for the kind of point mapping automation that I've talked about in previous posts.


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

Karen Christen
 

George is right.  The link is about halfway down the Availability tab, in the answer to the question How do I sign up?

 

Karen

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of George
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 3:30 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

 

Marcelo,

 

In the description go to the availability tab and you will see a link to the form.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Marcelo Figueroa via groups.io
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 3:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

 

I don't see the form to fill out. Only the update of July 30 announcing the draw, but nothing where to register.


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

George
 

Marcelo,

 

In the description go to the availability tab and you will see a link to the form.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Marcelo Figueroa via groups.io
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 3:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

 

I don't see the form to fill out. Only the update of July 30 announcing the draw, but nothing where to register.


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

Marcelo Figueroa
 

I don't see the form to fill out. Only the update of July 30 announcing the draw, but nothing where to register.


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

>>> cameras can connect to only one application at a time.

 

>> I may not understand this comment fully, but multilple apps can connect to a camera simultaneously with  ASCOM drivers (and presumably Indi). I connect camera to multiple applications all the time.

 

>> only one app can use the camera at a time, maybe that's what you mean?


Well, I learned something new.

 

In my case the camera includes a focuser and a filter wheel.  Those are accessed by COMx devices (in windows), and those can only be used by one program at a time, so that is likely where I got the impression, as when I change use of the camera I also include the focuser and filter wheel.  In some cases that might not be necessary, but TSX in particular automagically connects those three things as a unit when you connect the camera (at least by default).

 

Sorry for the confusion.  Then I’m not sure how NINA helps the APPM process, I thought I know, apparently wrong.

 

Guess 1.9 will let me understand it all.    Hopefully soon.

 

Linwood


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

 

>>> cameras can connect to only one application at a time.

I may not understand this comment fully, but multilple apps can connect to a camera simultaneously with  ASCOM drivers (and presumably Indi). I connect camera to multiple applications all the time.

only one app can use the camera at a time, maybe that's what you mean?

On Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 12:25 PM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

>>> If APPM will be able to platesolve using ASTAP directly, and I have an ASCOM camera (which APPM can also use) then no other intermediate software (SGP, NINA, etc.) is needed?

 

>correct

 

What may be confusing in the prior discussion surrounding NINA, basically it was to allow NINA to control the camera.  This allowed the process to run without disconnecting the camera from NINA to connect to APPM (or whatever), and then reconnect to NINA.  So handy for NINA users, but not implying NINA was a requirement for ASTAP.

 

Unlike mounts, cameras can connect to only one application at a time.

 

Linwood



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

>>> If APPM will be able to platesolve using ASTAP directly, and I have an ASCOM camera (which APPM can also use) then no other intermediate software (SGP, NINA, etc.) is needed?

 

>correct

 

What may be confusing in the prior discussion surrounding NINA, basically it was to allow NINA to control the camera.  This allowed the process to run without disconnecting the camera from NINA to connect to APPM (or whatever), and then reconnect to NINA.  So handy for NINA users, but not implying NINA was a requirement for ASTAP.

 

Unlike mounts, cameras can connect to only one application at a time.

 

Linwood


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

 

>>> If APPM will be able to platesolve using ASTAP directly, and I have an ASCOM camera (which APPM can also use) then no other intermediate software (SGP, NINA, etc.) is needed?

correct

This will be in the upcoming 1.9 release, which is not yet available

On Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 12:14 PM Jerome Allison <jallison@...> wrote:
Maybe that's what's confusing me. If APPM will be able to platesolve using ASTAP directly, and I have an ASCOM camera (which APPM can also use) then no other intermediate software (SGP, NINA, etc.) is needed?



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

 

Maybe that's what's confusing me. If APPM will be able to platesolve using ASTAP directly, and I have an ASCOM camera (which APPM can also use) then no other intermediate software (SGP, NINA, etc.) is needed?


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Bill Long
 

ASTAP support comes in V1.9 of APCC. Until then I use SkyX. SGP is another option.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jerome Allison <jallison@...>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 10:54 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?
 
I have not done any modeling yet, and I'm not sure I completely understand the software chain involved, but It seems it would have been nice to include Leonardo Orazi's "Voyager" during this development.:

Voyager – Astrophotography Automation Software (starkeeper.it)

Jerome


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

 
Edited

I have not done any modeling yet, and I'm not sure I completely understand the software chain involved, but It seems it would have been nice to include Leonardo Orazi's "Voyager" during the new APPM version development.:

Voyager – Astrophotography Automation Software (starkeeper.it)

Jerome


Re: NINA and AP1200

Bill Long
 

Voyager and NINA both have very active development. The older apps like Maxim, SGP, and SkyX have much longer cycles between updates. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 10:04 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] NINA and AP1200
 
  • How it compares with any given other app is a highly subjective assessment. NINA has some features that other apps don't have, and NINA does not have some features that some other apps have. What matters out of all that depends on your particular needs and way of operating.

 

I’ll offer a few associated comments (I am not part of the NINA team).

 

Most of the apps you mentioned are … let’s call them venerable.  They have a long history, a large-ish installed base, and a fairly slow development cycle (I’m sure some developers may disagree, but just maintaining backward compatibility with a large base forces a certain slowness on the processes, but even so some seem really lethargic as though the developers just lost energy).

 

NINA is developing fast, the nightly version with the advance sequencer changes rapidly, based on real use by both the developers and fairly real time feedback on discord (and elsewhere).  Fast does not always equal better, but it does mean that NINA will incorporate new features or techniques more rapidly than you are likely to see them in its older cousins.  This newness also means it may not have features that have been around for ages in other programs, that might not have been considered useful to these developers.  Since it is not a commercial product they are not really trying to satisfy every SGP or TSX user’s likes, only their own (or what they think useful).  Personally I think this is good, making just another SGP is rather pointless, just buy SGP (as an example).

 

Developing fast also means there is a certain onus on the user to keep up, especially if you are using the nightlies (which honestly most people may want, as the features are great).  If you upgrade to clear some bugs, you will also find differences in the UI, or in how triggers work, from the last time you tried it.  I’m coping with that now as I was without a mount for a couple months due to a repair.  And frankly the documentation on changes is present, but not terribly easy to find and digest for a user.  Some people love this fast changing environment, some will hate it.  Only you know which camp you are in.

 

It also has a very different support paradigm. Most of us are used to forums for user-to-user support, or email/phone for vendors.  Discord takes some getting used to.  It works, but it is a bit of a paradigm change you need to come prepared to learn.

 

FWIW.

 

Linwood


Re: NINA and AP1200

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

  • How it compares with any given other app is a highly subjective assessment. NINA has some features that other apps don't have, and NINA does not have some features that some other apps have. What matters out of all that depends on your particular needs and way of operating.

 

I’ll offer a few associated comments (I am not part of the NINA team).

 

Most of the apps you mentioned are … let’s call them venerable.  They have a long history, a large-ish installed base, and a fairly slow development cycle (I’m sure some developers may disagree, but just maintaining backward compatibility with a large base forces a certain slowness on the processes, but even so some seem really lethargic as though the developers just lost energy).

 

NINA is developing fast, the nightly version with the advance sequencer changes rapidly, based on real use by both the developers and fairly real time feedback on discord (and elsewhere).  Fast does not always equal better, but it does mean that NINA will incorporate new features or techniques more rapidly than you are likely to see them in its older cousins.  This newness also means it may not have features that have been around for ages in other programs, that might not have been considered useful to these developers.  Since it is not a commercial product they are not really trying to satisfy every SGP or TSX user’s likes, only their own (or what they think useful).  Personally I think this is good, making just another SGP is rather pointless, just buy SGP (as an example).

 

Developing fast also means there is a certain onus on the user to keep up, especially if you are using the nightlies (which honestly most people may want, as the features are great).  If you upgrade to clear some bugs, you will also find differences in the UI, or in how triggers work, from the last time you tried it.  I’m coping with that now as I was without a mount for a couple months due to a repair.  And frankly the documentation on changes is present, but not terribly easy to find and digest for a user.  Some people love this fast changing environment, some will hate it.  Only you know which camp you are in.

 

It also has a very different support paradigm. Most of us are used to forums for user-to-user support, or email/phone for vendors.  Discord takes some getting used to.  It works, but it is a bit of a paradigm change you need to come prepared to learn.

 

FWIW.

 

Linwood


Re: NINA and AP1200

Kent Kirkley
 

Dale
Thank you for your input.
I'll investigate it further.
Kent Kirkley



-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 11:50 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] NINA and AP1200


How it compares with any given other app is a highly subjective assessment. NINA has some features that other apps don't have, and NINA does not have some features that some other apps have. What matters out of all that depends on your particular needs and way of operating. Do you have anything specific in mind that's outside the usual schtick when it comes to sequencing apps?

NINA is coded in .Net Standard and its UI is implemented using Windows Presentation Foundation, so it is a Windows-only app for now. This might change in the future with a heavy-lift migration to dotNetCore and replacing the use of WPF with a cross-platform UI framework. But these are not trivial things to do and will take a lot of time. That said, it's not a priority at the moment but the code will move in that direction incrementally.


> On Jul 30, 2021, at 12:25, Kent Kirkley via groups.io <kgkirkley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
> Dale
> I've just become aware of NINA.
> How does it compare with other systems like Maxim DL, APCC, The Sky, etc.
> Is it available or works with Mac OS?
>
> Thanks Kent Kirkley
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 9:58 am
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] NINA and AP1200
>
>
> Hi Luke,
>
> There's nothing in particular that you need to do in NINA regarding the fact that you're driving a 12000+CP3, so your questions are more of a general NINA usage kind. In this capacity, the A-P ASCOM driver "just works" and is basically transparent, so there's nothing in particular that you need to configure to suit NINA. The only things you might possibly want to check up on in the ASCOM driver, from a "good housekeeping" perspective, are syncing your PC's clock to the mount is on and that syncs are converted to recals.
>
> I'm going to assume that you're running 1.10 (hopefully patch level HF3) and are using what we now call the Simple sequencer, as the upcoming 1.11 release adds a new sequencer that we refer to as the Advanced sequencer.
>
> So, you're driving the mount around via the keypad and manually framing. I suggest a different, more deliberate way to go about framing, and this is what Framing Assistant in NINA is for:
>
> First, you can go Framing Assistant and search for an object. If the object you desire isn't in NINA's internal, slimmed-down database of objects, you can import the coordinates of one from any of the support external Planetarium apps - Stellarium, TheSkyX, etc. Given what they are, these apps tend to have very extensive databases of objects. You can select the object or, in Stellarium and TheSkyX, frame it, and then press the button to the right of the coordinates field in NINA to import those coordinates. Setting up an external Planetarium app is covered in NINA's online documentation.
>
> In Framing Assistant there is a multitude of sky surveys that can be selected to fetch images from. I suggest using the HIPS server as it's (generally) the fastest at returning images compared to the others. They're all slow; it's just that the HIPS server is less slow than the other options, if you follow. Make sure that the FOV setting is appropriate for your setup. Generally you want NINA to request images of a FOV that is larger than what your camera sees in order to give you space around your desired coordinate to frame things up.
>
> Once you frame your target, then you can send it to the sequencer using either the "Replace as Sequencer Target" or "Add as Sequencer Target" buttons.  The target will then be instantiated in the sequencer, with any predefined sequence template (as set under Options > Imaging > Sequence Template) being loaded for it. A sequence template is a saved sequence that has things set and laid out how you generally want a default to be. Options and the type and number rows in the sequencer and all that can be preset this way. When you send the target info from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer, NINA will load this template and sub in the target's information. It's a quick way to get things going.
>
> Now that you have progressed from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer and have set up your sequence how you prefer (either manually or via the aforementioned template, or template plus some manual tweaks) then you can save your sequence using the Save button down in the lower left. This saves the sequence to a file of your choice so that it can be loaded and used again the next night, with target info saved with it. Doing this will obviate the need for you to go in and try to reframe what you had the previous night. Just save the sequence and you're done.
>
> As for sequence options, you will likely want Slew to Target and Center Target turned on. The first is obvious - it slews the mount to the target's coordinates. The second is key to get what you intend in terms of framing. Centering ensures that your telescope is pointed at the coordinates by the use of plate solving. Once your scope slews to where the mount thinks your target's RA and dec are, NINA will do a plate solve to see if it's actually there. If it isn't, the plate solve results are synced to the mount and another slew to the target's coordinates is commanded. This process will repeat until NINA sees that your telescope is pointing within the configured Pointing Tolerance (see: Options > Plate Solving > Pointing Tolerance).
>
> There is the additional aspect of desired rotation for the target. If you do not have an ASCOM rotator, you can select and connect the Manual Rotator device in NINA. When this is connected, the Centering process will also consider your defined target rotation. You will be prompted during the centering process to also rotate your camera by N degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. As with pointing, the centering process will not be satisfied until the camera is rotated within the defined Rotation Tolerance setting of whatever rotation angle you defined for your target. This setting is found along with the aforementioned Pointing Tolerance setting under Options > Plate Solving.
>
> The rest of the sequence progresses after the above process is done. So framing your target, sending it to the sequencer from within the Framing Assistant, setting up your sequence (manually or via template) and saving your sequence to a file would be my suggestion going forward. The goal here is to avoid the use of the keypad and manually driving the mount around. You can do all the above steps offline, without even being connected to your mount. This means you can set up sequences beforehand, save them to a file, and then load them up when you're actually set up and ready to image for the night. It pays to be lazy.
>
> You mentioned the optional plate solve sync. This option is for when you do *manual* plate solves under the Imaging > Plate Solve window. When you do a plate solve there, you can optionally have it sync the results. You can optionally also have it reslew the mount to the last commanded coordinates after the sync is done. Turning on reslew also turns on syncing as it depends on that. In a sequence, the Center process will always sync the solved coordinates to the mount in order to be able to do its job. There is a way to prevent even that, but this is for very specific mount setups that aren't applicable to your situation.
>
> For further in-depth help, I suggest getting on the NINA Discord chat server where you'll find a lot of community members who can help answer your questions, plus all us developers hang out there. There's a link to it on the NINA website.
>
>
>
> > On Jul 29, 2021, at 22:54, Luke Dodd <lkdodd@...> wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I am trying to work out how best to use my AP1200 with NINA.
> >
> > I have had a 10plus year break and have been trying to bring myself up to speed with the tech  over the past 6months. I have been getting some good images but with a fair bit of manual intervention in the process.
> >
> > I have the CPT3 version and I resume from Park 1, mount connects to PC/Nina and slews to target. Generally target is in frame of my QHY294 with 674mm scope. I then use keypad to finalise the position of the object in the frame. ( my keypad backup battery does need to be replaced, as a keypad slew to an object in its database fails to locate the target. But so far things are working just using PC interface)
> >
> > I can plate solve successfully, do I need to synch anything here, i did note there is a synch option in NINA but I havnt selected this as yet..
> >
> > Also I am trying to frame the object using the previous nights image as a template. There is something I am missing, as when I use framing assistant and load image from file, then scope wont slew / realign the camera to match. I have not introduced any rotation into the image train from the previous night. I have read the manual tried a google search but I am obviously not really getting anywhere.
> >
> > What I have done to date is, connect mount using NINA, slew to target using NINA sky atlas, check object is in the frame. I go to Framing assistant, select object, choose load from file. Select last nights image of the object, NINA states a plate solve needed, I then move the framing guide to where I think it should be but scope wont move to reframe the camera. Do I select recentre or slew option. Do I need to enter any coordinates manually? Do I need to load a snapshot of the current image from the camera?
> >
> > Please note I do most imaging from home, but dont have an observatory, so I dont park the scope at the end of an imaging session as I have to bring scope/camera inside each night.
> >
> > Any help greatly appreciated.
> >
> > Regards Luke
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

Karen Christen
 

Hey Astro-Nuts,

 

Just a quick update to let you know the 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form is open and available on the Availability tab of the Stowaway product page here: https://www.astro-physics.com/92f665

 

The sign-up page will be open until 12:00 noon, Central Daylight Time (UT -5) on Friday, August 6.  You may sign up at any time during that window to be entered in the drawing.

 

We wish all of you good luck!

Astro-Folks

 

 

From: Karen
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2021 2:17 PM
To: 'ap-gto@groups.io' <ap-gto@groups.io>
Subject: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

 

Hello Astro-Nuts,

The fourth production run of our 92mm f6.65 Stowaway is well underway and we have contacted all of the remaining people who had signed up on our notification list in April 2018.  Roland fulfilled his promise of making enough scopes for everyone who signed up the first time who wanted one.  We are producing more scopes that will need a good home. So, now what do we do? 

After much deliberation we’ve decided to offer the remaining scopes in a random-drawing format.  This is a departure from our usual processes, so we know you have questions.  We have answers:

Why can’t I just order one? We wanted to provide an equal opportunity to people who would really like to own and use this scope. If we simply opened our phone lines to take orders, it would favor people who live in particular time zones and only those who happened to hear about it. We anticipate that they would have sold out very quickly, possibly even before people on the other side of the globe were awake. Since we have an international following, we wanted to give everyone an opportunity.

What do you mean, random drawing?  For one week from Friday, July 30 to Friday, August 6 (12pm noon central daylight savings time), anyone can sign up on the 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form.  It does not matter when you sign up, as long as it’s within the sign-up window.  From this group of interested people, we will randomly choose the people who will be notified of the opportunity to purchase a 92mm Stowaway.

Why aren’t you just notifying people in order of when they signed up, like usual?  Traditionally we have collected names of those interested in a particular product in chronological order and notified folks of the opportunity to purchase the item in that order.  We’ve occasionally received criticism, most especially if the list is only open for a short time, from folks who were unaware of the list, on vacation, on the other side of the world and asleep when the list was open, etc.

We only have a limited number of Stowaways and wanted to give everyone an equal chance to purchase one.  With advanced notice and a one-week sign-up window, we hope to catch everyone who might be interested in this scope.

How do I sign up?  Go to the 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form and fill in all the required fields, including your name, phone number, email address and billing address.  The link to this form will be available on July 30th at noon on the Availability tab of the 92mm Stowaway website page: www.astro-physics.com/92f665

When can I sign up?  The 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form will be available from July 30 to August 6 (12pm noon central daylight savings time for both). 

Will I receive a confirmation of my sign-up?  Yes.  Following submission, a confirmation window will appear. Assuming that you provided a valid email address, you will also receive an auto-generated confirmation email with all of the information that you provided for your reference. If you do NOT receive a confirmation email, it may be in your spam folder or you may have entered an incorrect email address. 

When will I know if I was selected?  After the deadline, we will contact the people whose names we draw randomly from the entries. This process may take several months since we do not sell the final scopes in the run until they are completed. We will post periodic messages on the Availability tab of the 92mm Stowaway website page regarding the status of the drawing: www.astro-physics.com/92f665

When would I pay for my order?  The order process will remain the same as usual: Once you’re notified, you will have 2 weeks to decide whether to purchase and submit a 50% deposit.  At that time a scope will be reserved for you and we will provide an estimated date of delivery.

We wish you luck!

The Astro-Folks

 


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: NINA and AP1200

Dale Ghent
 

How it compares with any given other app is a highly subjective assessment. NINA has some features that other apps don't have, and NINA does not have some features that some other apps have. What matters out of all that depends on your particular needs and way of operating. Do you have anything specific in mind that's outside the usual schtick when it comes to sequencing apps?

NINA is coded in .Net Standard and its UI is implemented using Windows Presentation Foundation, so it is a Windows-only app for now. This might change in the future with a heavy-lift migration to dotNetCore and replacing the use of WPF with a cross-platform UI framework. But these are not trivial things to do and will take a lot of time. That said, it's not a priority at the moment but the code will move in that direction incrementally.

On Jul 30, 2021, at 12:25, Kent Kirkley via groups.io <kgkirkley@...> wrote:

Dale
I've just become aware of NINA.
How does it compare with other systems like Maxim DL, APCC, The Sky, etc.
Is it available or works with Mac OS?

Thanks Kent Kirkley



-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 9:58 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] NINA and AP1200


Hi Luke,

There's nothing in particular that you need to do in NINA regarding the fact that you're driving a 12000+CP3, so your questions are more of a general NINA usage kind. In this capacity, the A-P ASCOM driver "just works" and is basically transparent, so there's nothing in particular that you need to configure to suit NINA. The only things you might possibly want to check up on in the ASCOM driver, from a "good housekeeping" perspective, are syncing your PC's clock to the mount is on and that syncs are converted to recals.

I'm going to assume that you're running 1.10 (hopefully patch level HF3) and are using what we now call the Simple sequencer, as the upcoming 1.11 release adds a new sequencer that we refer to as the Advanced sequencer.

So, you're driving the mount around via the keypad and manually framing. I suggest a different, more deliberate way to go about framing, and this is what Framing Assistant in NINA is for:

First, you can go Framing Assistant and search for an object. If the object you desire isn't in NINA's internal, slimmed-down database of objects, you can import the coordinates of one from any of the support external Planetarium apps - Stellarium, TheSkyX, etc. Given what they are, these apps tend to have very extensive databases of objects. You can select the object or, in Stellarium and TheSkyX, frame it, and then press the button to the right of the coordinates field in NINA to import those coordinates. Setting up an external Planetarium app is covered in NINA's online documentation.

In Framing Assistant there is a multitude of sky surveys that can be selected to fetch images from. I suggest using the HIPS server as it's (generally) the fastest at returning images compared to the others. They're all slow; it's just that the HIPS server is less slow than the other options, if you follow. Make sure that the FOV setting is appropriate for your setup. Generally you want NINA to request images of a FOV that is larger than what your camera sees in order to give you space around your desired coordinate to frame things up.

Once you frame your target, then you can send it to the sequencer using either the "Replace as Sequencer Target" or "Add as Sequencer Target" buttons. The target will then be instantiated in the sequencer, with any predefined sequence template (as set under Options > Imaging > Sequence Template) being loaded for it. A sequence template is a saved sequence that has things set and laid out how you generally want a default to be. Options and the type and number rows in the sequencer and all that can be preset this way. When you send the target info from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer, NINA will load this template and sub in the target's information. It's a quick way to get things going.

Now that you have progressed from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer and have set up your sequence how you prefer (either manually or via the aforementioned template, or template plus some manual tweaks) then you can save your sequence using the Save button down in the lower left. This saves the sequence to a file of your choice so that it can be loaded and used again the next night, with target info saved with it. Doing this will obviate the need for you to go in and try to reframe what you had the previous night. Just save the sequence and you're done.

As for sequence options, you will likely want Slew to Target and Center Target turned on. The first is obvious - it slews the mount to the target's coordinates. The second is key to get what you intend in terms of framing. Centering ensures that your telescope is pointed at the coordinates by the use of plate solving. Once your scope slews to where the mount thinks your target's RA and dec are, NINA will do a plate solve to see if it's actually there. If it isn't, the plate solve results are synced to the mount and another slew to the target's coordinates is commanded. This process will repeat until NINA sees that your telescope is pointing within the configured Pointing Tolerance (see: Options > Plate Solving > Pointing Tolerance).

There is the additional aspect of desired rotation for the target. If you do not have an ASCOM rotator, you can select and connect the Manual Rotator device in NINA. When this is connected, the Centering process will also consider your defined target rotation. You will be prompted during the centering process to also rotate your camera by N degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. As with pointing, the centering process will not be satisfied until the camera is rotated within the defined Rotation Tolerance setting of whatever rotation angle you defined for your target. This setting is found along with the aforementioned Pointing Tolerance setting under Options > Plate Solving.

The rest of the sequence progresses after the above process is done. So framing your target, sending it to the sequencer from within the Framing Assistant, setting up your sequence (manually or via template) and saving your sequence to a file would be my suggestion going forward. The goal here is to avoid the use of the keypad and manually driving the mount around. You can do all the above steps offline, without even being connected to your mount. This means you can set up sequences beforehand, save them to a file, and then load them up when you're actually set up and ready to image for the night. It pays to be lazy.

You mentioned the optional plate solve sync. This option is for when you do *manual* plate solves under the Imaging > Plate Solve window. When you do a plate solve there, you can optionally have it sync the results. You can optionally also have it reslew the mount to the last commanded coordinates after the sync is done. Turning on reslew also turns on syncing as it depends on that. In a sequence, the Center process will always sync the solved coordinates to the mount in order to be able to do its job. There is a way to prevent even that, but this is for very specific mount setups that aren't applicable to your situation.

For further in-depth help, I suggest getting on the NINA Discord chat server where you'll find a lot of community members who can help answer your questions, plus all us developers hang out there. There's a link to it on the NINA website.



On Jul 29, 2021, at 22:54, Luke Dodd <lkdodd@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I am trying to work out how best to use my AP1200 with NINA.

I have had a 10plus year break and have been trying to bring myself up to speed with the tech over the past 6months. I have been getting some good images but with a fair bit of manual intervention in the process.

I have the CPT3 version and I resume from Park 1, mount connects to PC/Nina and slews to target. Generally target is in frame of my QHY294 with 674mm scope. I then use keypad to finalise the position of the object in the frame. ( my keypad backup battery does need to be replaced, as a keypad slew to an object in its database fails to locate the target. But so far things are working just using PC interface)

I can plate solve successfully, do I need to synch anything here, i did note there is a synch option in NINA but I havnt selected this as yet..

Also I am trying to frame the object using the previous nights image as a template. There is something I am missing, as when I use framing assistant and load image from file, then scope wont slew / realign the camera to match. I have not introduced any rotation into the image train from the previous night. I have read the manual tried a google search but I am obviously not really getting anywhere.

What I have done to date is, connect mount using NINA, slew to target using NINA sky atlas, check object is in the frame. I go to Framing assistant, select object, choose load from file. Select last nights image of the object, NINA states a plate solve needed, I then move the framing guide to where I think it should be but scope wont move to reframe the camera. Do I select recentre or slew option. Do I need to enter any coordinates manually? Do I need to load a snapshot of the current image from the camera?

Please note I do most imaging from home, but dont have an observatory, so I dont park the scope at the end of an imaging session as I have to bring scope/camera inside each night.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Regards Luke







Re: NINA and AP1200

Kent Kirkley
 

Dale
I've just become aware of NINA.
How does it compare with other systems like Maxim DL, APCC, The Sky, etc.
Is it available or works with Mac OS?

Thanks Kent Kirkley



-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 9:58 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] NINA and AP1200


Hi Luke,

There's nothing in particular that you need to do in NINA regarding the fact that you're driving a 12000+CP3, so your questions are more of a general NINA usage kind. In this capacity, the A-P ASCOM driver "just works" and is basically transparent, so there's nothing in particular that you need to configure to suit NINA. The only things you might possibly want to check up on in the ASCOM driver, from a "good housekeeping" perspective, are syncing your PC's clock to the mount is on and that syncs are converted to recals.

I'm going to assume that you're running 1.10 (hopefully patch level HF3) and are using what we now call the Simple sequencer, as the upcoming 1.11 release adds a new sequencer that we refer to as the Advanced sequencer.

So, you're driving the mount around via the keypad and manually framing. I suggest a different, more deliberate way to go about framing, and this is what Framing Assistant in NINA is for:

First, you can go Framing Assistant and search for an object. If the object you desire isn't in NINA's internal, slimmed-down database of objects, you can import the coordinates of one from any of the support external Planetarium apps - Stellarium, TheSkyX, etc. Given what they are, these apps tend to have very extensive databases of objects. You can select the object or, in Stellarium and TheSkyX, frame it, and then press the button to the right of the coordinates field in NINA to import those coordinates. Setting up an external Planetarium app is covered in NINA's online documentation.

In Framing Assistant there is a multitude of sky surveys that can be selected to fetch images from. I suggest using the HIPS server as it's (generally) the fastest at returning images compared to the others. They're all slow; it's just that the HIPS server is less slow than the other options, if you follow. Make sure that the FOV setting is appropriate for your setup. Generally you want NINA to request images of a FOV that is larger than what your camera sees in order to give you space around your desired coordinate to frame things up.

Once you frame your target, then you can send it to the sequencer using either the "Replace as Sequencer Target" or "Add as Sequencer Target" buttons.  The target will then be instantiated in the sequencer, with any predefined sequence template (as set under Options > Imaging > Sequence Template) being loaded for it. A sequence template is a saved sequence that has things set and laid out how you generally want a default to be. Options and the type and number rows in the sequencer and all that can be preset this way. When you send the target info from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer, NINA will load this template and sub in the target's information. It's a quick way to get things going.

Now that you have progressed from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer and have set up your sequence how you prefer (either manually or via the aforementioned template, or template plus some manual tweaks) then you can save your sequence using the Save button down in the lower left. This saves the sequence to a file of your choice so that it can be loaded and used again the next night, with target info saved with it. Doing this will obviate the need for you to go in and try to reframe what you had the previous night. Just save the sequence and you're done.

As for sequence options, you will likely want Slew to Target and Center Target turned on. The first is obvious - it slews the mount to the target's coordinates. The second is key to get what you intend in terms of framing. Centering ensures that your telescope is pointed at the coordinates by the use of plate solving. Once your scope slews to where the mount thinks your target's RA and dec are, NINA will do a plate solve to see if it's actually there. If it isn't, the plate solve results are synced to the mount and another slew to the target's coordinates is commanded. This process will repeat until NINA sees that your telescope is pointing within the configured Pointing Tolerance (see: Options > Plate Solving > Pointing Tolerance).

There is the additional aspect of desired rotation for the target. If you do not have an ASCOM rotator, you can select and connect the Manual Rotator device in NINA. When this is connected, the Centering process will also consider your defined target rotation. You will be prompted during the centering process to also rotate your camera by N degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. As with pointing, the centering process will not be satisfied until the camera is rotated within the defined Rotation Tolerance setting of whatever rotation angle you defined for your target. This setting is found along with the aforementioned Pointing Tolerance setting under Options > Plate Solving.

The rest of the sequence progresses after the above process is done. So framing your target, sending it to the sequencer from within the Framing Assistant, setting up your sequence (manually or via template) and saving your sequence to a file would be my suggestion going forward. The goal here is to avoid the use of the keypad and manually driving the mount around. You can do all the above steps offline, without even being connected to your mount. This means you can set up sequences beforehand, save them to a file, and then load them up when you're actually set up and ready to image for the night. It pays to be lazy.

You mentioned the optional plate solve sync. This option is for when you do *manual* plate solves under the Imaging > Plate Solve window. When you do a plate solve there, you can optionally have it sync the results. You can optionally also have it reslew the mount to the last commanded coordinates after the sync is done. Turning on reslew also turns on syncing as it depends on that. In a sequence, the Center process will always sync the solved coordinates to the mount in order to be able to do its job. There is a way to prevent even that, but this is for very specific mount setups that aren't applicable to your situation.

For further in-depth help, I suggest getting on the NINA Discord chat server where you'll find a lot of community members who can help answer your questions, plus all us developers hang out there. There's a link to it on the NINA website.



> On Jul 29, 2021, at 22:54, Luke Dodd <lkdodd@...> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> I am trying to work out how best to use my AP1200 with NINA.
>
> I have had a 10plus year break and have been trying to bring myself up to speed with the tech  over the past 6months. I have been getting some good images but with a fair bit of manual intervention in the process.
>
> I have the CPT3 version and I resume from Park 1, mount connects to PC/Nina and slews to target. Generally target is in frame of my QHY294 with 674mm scope. I then use keypad to finalise the position of the object in the frame. ( my keypad backup battery does need to be replaced, as a keypad slew to an object in its database fails to locate the target. But so far things are working just using PC interface)
>
> I can plate solve successfully, do I need to synch anything here, i did note there is a synch option in NINA but I havnt selected this as yet..
>
> Also I am trying to frame the object using the previous nights image as a template. There is something I am missing, as when I use framing assistant and load image from file, then scope wont slew / realign the camera to match. I have not introduced any rotation into the image train from the previous night. I have read the manual tried a google search but I am obviously not really getting anywhere.
>
> What I have done to date is, connect mount using NINA, slew to target using NINA sky atlas, check object is in the frame. I go to Framing assistant, select object, choose load from file. Select last nights image of the object, NINA states a plate solve needed, I then move the framing guide to where I think it should be but scope wont move to reframe the camera. Do I select recentre or slew option. Do I need to enter any coordinates manually? Do I need to load a snapshot of the current image from the camera?
>
> Please note I do most imaging from home, but dont have an observatory, so I dont park the scope at the end of an imaging session as I have to bring scope/camera inside each night.
>
> Any help greatly appreciated.
>
> Regards Luke
>
>







Re: Early Meridian Flip not completing

Wayne Hixson
 

Hi Ray, this is happening even when I’m just running APCC. The only change I remember making is enabling Safety Park and that doesn’t seem pertinent.

Wayne

On Jul 30, 2021, at 4:59 AM, Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:

Hi Wayne,

E and W limits are the same per Ray's (W reflected to east).
CW slews enabled east and west. Override ASCOm selected
Previously you wrote:

Thanks Ray, can I change just warn to Flip? If I start my imaging before
the meridian limits?
There was a reason I suggested you should use "just warn". If the mount is configured to auto-flip, then whatever control program you are using might have issued a move in the middle of the flip. It is best to have APCC set to "just warn" and let the controlling software do the flip.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2021 10:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Early Meridian Flip not completing

This was working great until tonight. The scope reach the meridian limit about an hour before transit and would do a
CW up pier flip and resume from there. Now it starts the flip but stops halfway through and stops tracking with CW
down and the scope pointing west. It looks like it's just symmetrical to the starting position with CW down pointing
west instead of east.

E and W limits are the same per Ray's (W reflected to east). CW slews enabled east and west. Override ASCOm
selected

Wayne





Re: NINA and AP1200

Dale Ghent
 

Hi Luke,

There's nothing in particular that you need to do in NINA regarding the fact that you're driving a 12000+CP3, so your questions are more of a general NINA usage kind. In this capacity, the A-P ASCOM driver "just works" and is basically transparent, so there's nothing in particular that you need to configure to suit NINA. The only things you might possibly want to check up on in the ASCOM driver, from a "good housekeeping" perspective, are syncing your PC's clock to the mount is on and that syncs are converted to recals.

I'm going to assume that you're running 1.10 (hopefully patch level HF3) and are using what we now call the Simple sequencer, as the upcoming 1.11 release adds a new sequencer that we refer to as the Advanced sequencer.

So, you're driving the mount around via the keypad and manually framing. I suggest a different, more deliberate way to go about framing, and this is what Framing Assistant in NINA is for:

First, you can go Framing Assistant and search for an object. If the object you desire isn't in NINA's internal, slimmed-down database of objects, you can import the coordinates of one from any of the support external Planetarium apps - Stellarium, TheSkyX, etc. Given what they are, these apps tend to have very extensive databases of objects. You can select the object or, in Stellarium and TheSkyX, frame it, and then press the button to the right of the coordinates field in NINA to import those coordinates. Setting up an external Planetarium app is covered in NINA's online documentation.

In Framing Assistant there is a multitude of sky surveys that can be selected to fetch images from. I suggest using the HIPS server as it's (generally) the fastest at returning images compared to the others. They're all slow; it's just that the HIPS server is less slow than the other options, if you follow. Make sure that the FOV setting is appropriate for your setup. Generally you want NINA to request images of a FOV that is larger than what your camera sees in order to give you space around your desired coordinate to frame things up.

Once you frame your target, then you can send it to the sequencer using either the "Replace as Sequencer Target" or "Add as Sequencer Target" buttons. The target will then be instantiated in the sequencer, with any predefined sequence template (as set under Options > Imaging > Sequence Template) being loaded for it. A sequence template is a saved sequence that has things set and laid out how you generally want a default to be. Options and the type and number rows in the sequencer and all that can be preset this way. When you send the target info from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer, NINA will load this template and sub in the target's information. It's a quick way to get things going.

Now that you have progressed from Framing Assistant to the Sequencer and have set up your sequence how you prefer (either manually or via the aforementioned template, or template plus some manual tweaks) then you can save your sequence using the Save button down in the lower left. This saves the sequence to a file of your choice so that it can be loaded and used again the next night, with target info saved with it. Doing this will obviate the need for you to go in and try to reframe what you had the previous night. Just save the sequence and you're done.

As for sequence options, you will likely want Slew to Target and Center Target turned on. The first is obvious - it slews the mount to the target's coordinates. The second is key to get what you intend in terms of framing. Centering ensures that your telescope is pointed at the coordinates by the use of plate solving. Once your scope slews to where the mount thinks your target's RA and dec are, NINA will do a plate solve to see if it's actually there. If it isn't, the plate solve results are synced to the mount and another slew to the target's coordinates is commanded. This process will repeat until NINA sees that your telescope is pointing within the configured Pointing Tolerance (see: Options > Plate Solving > Pointing Tolerance).

There is the additional aspect of desired rotation for the target. If you do not have an ASCOM rotator, you can select and connect the Manual Rotator device in NINA. When this is connected, the Centering process will also consider your defined target rotation. You will be prompted during the centering process to also rotate your camera by N degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. As with pointing, the centering process will not be satisfied until the camera is rotated within the defined Rotation Tolerance setting of whatever rotation angle you defined for your target. This setting is found along with the aforementioned Pointing Tolerance setting under Options > Plate Solving.

The rest of the sequence progresses after the above process is done. So framing your target, sending it to the sequencer from within the Framing Assistant, setting up your sequence (manually or via template) and saving your sequence to a file would be my suggestion going forward. The goal here is to avoid the use of the keypad and manually driving the mount around. You can do all the above steps offline, without even being connected to your mount. This means you can set up sequences beforehand, save them to a file, and then load them up when you're actually set up and ready to image for the night. It pays to be lazy.

You mentioned the optional plate solve sync. This option is for when you do *manual* plate solves under the Imaging > Plate Solve window. When you do a plate solve there, you can optionally have it sync the results. You can optionally also have it reslew the mount to the last commanded coordinates after the sync is done. Turning on reslew also turns on syncing as it depends on that. In a sequence, the Center process will always sync the solved coordinates to the mount in order to be able to do its job. There is a way to prevent even that, but this is for very specific mount setups that aren't applicable to your situation.

For further in-depth help, I suggest getting on the NINA Discord chat server where you'll find a lot of community members who can help answer your questions, plus all us developers hang out there. There's a link to it on the NINA website.

On Jul 29, 2021, at 22:54, Luke Dodd <lkdodd@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I am trying to work out how best to use my AP1200 with NINA.

I have had a 10plus year break and have been trying to bring myself up to speed with the tech over the past 6months. I have been getting some good images but with a fair bit of manual intervention in the process.

I have the CPT3 version and I resume from Park 1, mount connects to PC/Nina and slews to target. Generally target is in frame of my QHY294 with 674mm scope. I then use keypad to finalise the position of the object in the frame. ( my keypad backup battery does need to be replaced, as a keypad slew to an object in its database fails to locate the target. But so far things are working just using PC interface)

I can plate solve successfully, do I need to synch anything here, i did note there is a synch option in NINA but I havnt selected this as yet..

Also I am trying to frame the object using the previous nights image as a template. There is something I am missing, as when I use framing assistant and load image from file, then scope wont slew / realign the camera to match. I have not introduced any rotation into the image train from the previous night. I have read the manual tried a google search but I am obviously not really getting anywhere.

What I have done to date is, connect mount using NINA, slew to target using NINA sky atlas, check object is in the frame. I go to Framing assistant, select object, choose load from file. Select last nights image of the object, NINA states a plate solve needed, I then move the framing guide to where I think it should be but scope wont move to reframe the camera. Do I select recentre or slew option. Do I need to enter any coordinates manually? Do I need to load a snapshot of the current image from the camera?

Please note I do most imaging from home, but dont have an observatory, so I dont park the scope at the end of an imaging session as I have to bring scope/camera inside each night.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Regards Luke

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