Planetarium software recommendation (windows)


dang.astro
 

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan


Eric Dreher
 

Cartes du Ciel with my Mach1, CP4.  It's never caused me any problems at all with my A-P mount, and three previous brands.  It just works with no fuss.


Christopher Erickson
 

I use several different programs, depending on what I am doing.

Starry Night Pro Plus when I am generally goofing around.

C2A when doing occultation work.

I mostly use the AP hand controller when imaging.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2018 4:40 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount
through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through
my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan

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Woody Schlom <woody@...>
 

Dan,



TheSkyX hard-wired or wireless for imaging.



SkySafari-5 PRO Android running wirelessly on an Android tablet or phone for public outreach.



Woody



From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2018 7:40 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)





Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Keith Olsen
 

I use Cartes du Ciel at the computer and Luminos from my iPhone or iPad connected wireless to the GTOCP4.   


Ron Kramer
 

I've tried most all the above.  (cartes? poor graphically) SkySafari? Better but not really showing what I want to see as far as nebula details I'm targeting.  Stellarium? (decent for the price (free). A bit cumbersome with its separate scope interface. 
I to have the Mach1. Being retired, I have had time to try them all. All worked, but nothing really the way I dreamed it to work. 

Welcome  WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE!   (FREE)  it's a online browser planetarium program. (kinda neat, but limited) but a few months ago I stumbled onto a windows download client of  WWT! (WorldWide Telescope).

I now use it exclusively. I run it in a window along side my other coveted software (SGP, PHD2, APCC etc). 

What I like?  It shows ALL nebula/sky detail.  So - if you go to say the Pelican nebula. You will see it. ALL PARTS OF IT.  I can click on any detail/part of it and  "goto that specific detail".   Where as Sky Safari showed a "outline of the area".   This way I can see my target before I point at it... I can click in any area of the target to center there.   Scope control is built in, just set it and connect it.  (in the download client version only - not in the browser version).

I also like that I can ROTATE/ORIENT  ANY WAY - my view. This means I can orient the view to that of my camera.  When working around M42, I clicked on various areas (running man, horse head, etc) to center on those actual targets.  When I then shoot a sub I can compare and look for details in my sub.  I'll attach a image that shows my display.  The color photo is WWT display. The mono image under it is MY CAPTURE of that area of the nebula.   There is no comparison to any of the other programs above.  Yet I don't know of anyone else using this. 

For more info contact me... My obsey page - https://www.facebook.com/Ron.R.Kramer/

A pic using WWT (color image) my sub if same area below.









On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 9:53 AM, keitholsen@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

I use Cartes du Ciel at the computer and Luminos from my iPhone or iPad connected wireless to the GTOCP4.   



Ron Kramer
 

P.S.

The other day I wanted to test my Quark. Using WWT - I clicked on the sun.  Took a shot and there it was.  


On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 11:26 AM, Ron Kramer <ronkramer1957@...> wrote:
I've tried most all the above.  (cartes? poor graphically) SkySafari? Better but not really showing what I want to see as far as nebula details I'm targeting.  Stellarium? (decent for the price (free). A bit cumbersome with its separate scope interface. 
I to have the Mach1. Being retired, I have had time to try them all. All worked, but nothing really the way I dreamed it to work. 

Welcome  WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE!   (FREE)  it's a online browser planetarium program. (kinda neat, but limited) but a few months ago I stumbled onto a windows download client of  WWT! (WorldWide Telescope).

I now use it exclusively. I run it in a window along side my other coveted software (SGP, PHD2, APCC etc). 

What I like?  It shows ALL nebula/sky detail.  So - if you go to say the Pelican nebula. You will see it. ALL PARTS OF IT.  I can click on any detail/part of it and  "goto that specific detail".   Where as Sky Safari showed a "outline of the area".   This way I can see my target before I point at it... I can click in any area of the target to center there.   Scope control is built in, just set it and connect it.  (in the download client version only - not in the browser version).

I also like that I can ROTATE/ORIENT  ANY WAY - my view. This means I can orient the view to that of my camera.  When working around M42, I clicked on various areas (running man, horse head, etc) to center on those actual targets.  When I then shoot a sub I can compare and look for details in my sub.  I'll attach a image that shows my display.  The color photo is WWT display. The mono image under it is MY CAPTURE of that area of the nebula.   There is no comparison to any of the other programs above.  Yet I don't know of anyone else using this. 

For more info contact me... My obsey page - https://www.facebook.com/Ron.R.Kramer/

A pic using WWT (color image) my sub if same area below.









On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 9:53 AM, keitholsen@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

I use Cartes du Ciel at the computer and Luminos from my iPhone or iPad connected wireless to the GTOCP4.   




Joe Zeglinski
 

Good report Ron.
 
    You have convinced me to try your planetarium and scope setup, even though I am comfortable in my old ways.
 
Joe


Roland Christen
 

TheSkyX and MaximDL

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: dragracingdan@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Mon, Apr 16, 2018 9:41 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan

------------------------------------
Posted by: dragracingdan@...
------------------------------------

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Roland Christen
 

That's pretty nifty.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Apr 17, 2018 10:27 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Planetarium software recommendation (windows)



I've tried most all the above.  (cartes? poor graphically) SkySafari? Better but not really showing what I want to see as far as nebula details I'm targeting.  Stellarium? (decent for the price (free). A bit cumbersome with its separate scope interface. 
I to have the Mach1. Being retired, I have had time to try them all. All worked, but nothing really the way I dreamed it to work. 

Welcome  WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE!   (FREE)  it's a online browser planetarium program. (kinda neat, but limited) but a few months ago I stumbled onto a windows download client of  WWT! (WorldWide Telescope).

I now use it exclusively. I run it in a window along side my other coveted software (SGP, PHD2, APCC etc). 

What I like?  It shows ALL nebula/sky detail.  So - if you go to say the Pelican nebula. You will see it. ALL PARTS OF IT.  I can click on any detail/part of it and  "goto that specific detail"..   Where as Sky Safari showed a "outline of the area".   This way I can see my target before I point at it... I can click in any area of the target to center there.   Scope control is built in, just set it and connect it.  (in the download client version only - not in the browser version).

I also like that I can ROTATE/ORIENT  ANY WAY - my view. This means I can orient the view to that of my camera.  When working around M42, I clicked on various areas (running man, horse head, etc) to center on those actual targets.  When I then shoot a sub I can compare and look for details in my sub.  I'll attach a image that shows my display.  The color photo is WWT display. The mono image under it is MY CAPTURE of that area of the nebula.   There is no comparison to any of the other programs above.  Yet I don't know of anyone else using this. 

For more info contact me... My obsey page - https://www.facebook.com/Ron.R.Kramer/

A pic using WWT (color image) my sub if same area below.









On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 9:53 AM, keitholsen@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
I use Cartes du Ciel at the computer and Luminos from my iPhone or iPad connected wireless to the GTOCP4.   




Andrew Jones
 

Thanks Dan for the topic. 

You hit upon one my hot buttons. I think I have have tried them all. It is amazing to me how difficult it is to find a decent Planatarium software for Imaging. I paid more than care to think about for for the pro versions of TSX + Camera Addon + Dome Add On and I rarely use it. Same goes for Starry Night Pro 7  

TSX Pro tries to do everything, but it is a beast of a program in my opinion. I can never find anything as they departed from every known software navigation methodology known to man. What is so hard about File, Edit, View, Tools, Hardware, etc? Why would you completely go off and create a unique navigation structure that doesn't match any other software on the planet? I do like the TSX Closed Loop slew when it works, but I find it to be quite slow and sometimes can take ages to come back particularly if it was unable to plate solve the image. There is no status windows or display that shows you the progress so you don't know if the process is hung and there is no way to cancel the process once started without just killing the program. It has some decent technology, but is in serious need of a make over, IMHO.

Then there are Stallarium, and CDC, which are a little easier to navigate, but have limited functionality and in the case of Stallarium no native ASCOM support.  

Starry Night has the best graphics of the bunch, but this also means it is a memory hog which if I am running on the same PC as my imaging software consumes a lot of resources. I wish it had camera support and closed loop slew functionality as even though it is resource intensive, i would probably use it if it had these capabilities.  

At the moment I have settled on CDC as it does allow me to see what objects are up and has the ability to slew to objects, but without any camera support it also can't do precision centering. It does have native ASCOM support, so it is easy to connect to an AP mount which is why I tend to use it. I can slew to objects and then copy and paste the coordinates into Sequence Generator Pro's Framing and Mosaic Wizard to get it to center on the object. 

All of this of course is my own personal opinion and experiences with these Planetarium Software packages. I am sure there are people here who love some of the ones I despise (like TSX). I am not really looking to get into a debate about one program over another. I just wanted share what my experience has been as I have gone through an extensive search for a good Planetarium software that is really designed for imaging. Most of the existing Planetarium software have their roots in supporting the visual observer. The added some GoTo and Imaging capability later, mostly as an after thought. 

Maybe as imaging gains in popularity someone will build a Planetarium software from the ground for imaging, but at the moment all of the available options have their limitations, IMHO. In the end I guess you have to pick one that gives you most of what you need. I would start with the free one's first as I have learned spending more money on these programs does not guarantee better functionality.

Just my personal experience.

Andrew J



Suresh Mohan
 

The Sky X, Starry night pro and HC ( mostly), except when I go to Himalayas I use the sky x and wifi ( I’m not used to cold weather )
Suresh


On 17-Apr-2018, at 9:53 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

TheSkyX and MaximDL

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: dragracingdan@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 16, 2018 9:41 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan

------------------------------------
Posted by: dragracingdan@...
------------------------------------

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
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Hemant Hariyani
 

I use The SkyX. Works very well for me for imaging. Features like plate solve etc help a lot. For visual, I use SkySafari5 Pro and connect it to APCC on PC using a simple TCP<->COM bridge. Works flawlessly. I have also tried connecting SkySafari to TheSkyX TCP client. It works partially. I guess this is only supported for Paramount.

Regards
Hemant


On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:39 PM, dragracingdan@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan



Maarten Vanleenhove
 

Ron,

Tnx on the tip on WWT! Downloaded it, looks fantastic!

Maarten

Op 17/04/2018 om 17:26 schreef Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto]:

 
I've tried most all the above.  (cartes? poor graphically) SkySafari? Better but not really showing what I want to see as far as nebula details I'm targeting.  Stellarium? (decent for the price (free).. A bit cumbersome with its separate scope interface. 
I to have the Mach1. Being retired, I have had time to try them all. All worked, but nothing really the way I dreamed it to work. 

Welcome  WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE!   (FREE)  it's a online browser planetarium program. (kinda neat, but limited) but a few months ago I stumbled onto a windows download client of  WWT! (WorldWide Telescope).

I now use it exclusively. I run it in a window along side my other coveted software (SGP, PHD2, APCC etc). 

What I like?  It shows ALL nebula/sky detail.  So - if you go to say the Pelican nebula. You will see it. ALL PARTS OF IT..  I can click on any detail/part of it and  "goto that specific detail".   Where as Sky Safari showed a "outline of the area".   This way I can see my target before I point at it... I can click in any area of the target to center there.   Scope control is built in, just set it and connect it.  (in the download client version only - not in the browser version).

I also like that I can ROTATE/ORIENT  ANY WAY - my view. This means I can orient the view to that of my camera.  When working around M42, I clicked on various areas (running man, horse head, etc) to center on those actual targets.  When I then shoot a sub I can compare and look for details in my sub.  I'll attach a image that shows my display.  The color photo is WWT display. The mono image under it is MY CAPTURE of that area of the nebula.   There is no comparison to any of the other programs above.  Yet I don't know of anyone else using this. 

For more info contact me... My obsey page - https://www.facebook.com/Ron.R.Kramer/

A pic using WWT (color image) my sub if same area below.









On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 9:53 AM, keitholsen@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

I use Cartes du Ciel at the computer and Luminos from my iPhone or iPad connected wireless to the GTOCP4.   




dang.astro
 

Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions! I will dig into the free ones first to see how it goes. Appreciate all the help, keep em coming

Best,
Dan


Woody Schlom <woody@...>
 

Dan,



There have been some complaints regarding TSX’s user interface and I agree it’s a bear to learn and not the one I’d prefer. But that said, once you figure out how to use it, it’s quite powerful and flexible.



I particularly like how easy it is to create custom FOV’s for your particular scope/camera/focal-reduction configurations. And you can even create complex FOV’s that contain not only the imaging FOV, but the off-axis guider’s FOV in the same FOV display. This way you can pre-select guide stars for the camera rotation you want.



It’s an expensive, hard-to-learn, but very flexible and powerful package. And it’s expandable as your equipment or skills or needs increase or change. Not for beginners or those looking for instant gratification. But a powerful and useful tool for advanced users.



And important for me, it’s a package very many imagers use. So it’s easy to pick the brains of fellow club members for tips, or follow along at advanced imaging workshops.



Woody



From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:29 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)





I use The SkyX. Works very well for me for imaging. Features like plate solve etc help a lot. For visual, I use SkySafari5 Pro and connect it to APCC on PC using a simple TCP<->COM bridge. Works flawlessly. I have also tried connecting SkySafari to TheSkyX TCP client. It works partially. I guess this is only supported for Paramount.



Regards

Hemant





On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:39 PM, dragracingdan@gmail.com <mailto:dragracingdan@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> > wrote:



Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...>
 

You didn't mention if you image or not and if you do image if you use
plate solving.

If you image and use plate solving then spending money on a planetarium
program imho is kind of pointless.  In most work flows based on plate
solving you aren't ever going to manually be selecting an object in the
planetarium program and slewing that way.  Rarely will the catalog
coordinates even yield an ideal framing for objects that fill most the
camera FOV.

I've used Cartes du Ciel since around 2005 and it just works and doesn't
have any goofy features like pronouncing the names of stars or all
that.  Just tons of solid  catalogs and a mechanism where you can pull
in custom catalogs fairly easily.

I plan all my imaging runs using Aladin to frame the object with a
custom FOV and this yields a position on the sky (J2000) and a rotation
angle.

I then let Sequence Generator Pro, or more recently EKOS (under Linux), 
slew the mount to these coordinates and plate solve and iterate until it
is close enough to my desired target coordinates. The plate solve also
tells me the orientation of the camera so I use that to manually rotate
the focuser until I get the desired sky angle.  Then I'm done for the
night and start the imaging run and goto sleep.

The only reason I have CdC running is so I can monitor the position of
the mount on the sky, or if I want to diagnose something like a poor
autofocus solution and I can use CdC to slew to a nearby bright star and
slap on the Bahtinov mask.  It is mostly sitting there idle since my
imaging software is running the show.

Michael Fulbright


Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

Woody, I'm with you. I use TSX exclusively for planetarium and imaging and I am very happy with it.

BTW - I'm pretty sure the PixInsight team intend to integrate telescope control soon and then people will have an option to do EVERYTHING in one program. Might be very cool. 

Stuart

On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 4:00 PM, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Dan,

There have been some complaints regarding TSX’s user interface and I agree it’s a bear to learn and not the one I’d prefer. But that said, once you figure out how to use it, it’s quite powerful and flexible.

I particularly like how easy it is to create custom FOV’s for your particular scope/camera/focal-reduction configurations. And you can even create complex FOV’s that contain not only the imaging FOV, but the off-axis guider’s FOV in the same FOV display. This way you can pre-select guide stars for the camera rotation you want.

It’s an expensive, hard-to-learn, but very flexible and powerful package. And it’s expandable as your equipment or skills or needs increase or change. Not for beginners or those looking for instant gratification. But a powerful and useful tool for advanced users.

And important for me, it’s a package very many imagers use. So it’s easy to pick the brains of fellow club members for tips, or follow along at advanced imaging workshops.

Woody

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)

I use The SkyX. Works very well for me for imaging. Features like plate solve etc help a lot. For visual, I use SkySafari5 Pro and connect it to APCC on PC using a simple TCP<->COM bridge. Works flawlessly. I have also tried connecting SkySafari to TheSkyX TCP client. It works partially. I guess this is only supported for Paramount.

Regards

Hemant

On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:39 PM, dragracingdan@... dragracingdan@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... ap-gto@...> > wrote:

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





Ron Kramer
 

After finding a target and clicking on it in WWT. (it will go) click a inch left or right to center. I was able to move around the edge of the sun by clicking on it.
As to plate solving.  That's another program.  SGP  handles that and all automation.  Actually I havent' had to plate solve in quite some time. Once solved..the mach1
seems to stay accurate. I just point in WWT and there I pointed appears in my sub-frame.  I rotate the orientation in WWT with the onscreen controls. 
(only planetarium program I've seen allow this) that way I can sync with my camera angle/rotation.  

It also (when you click on a point) will load in photos others have taken that are on line of targets in the area you pointed. (well in the boundaries of the constellation). 
Click on a photo and it will go there and or ZOOM in and that photo will be auto placed IN THE SKY. 

The one thing that bothers me is I'd like to be able to zoom out more than it allows.  Not really a problem, but I often like to zoom to full sky to get my bearings. 
mouse wheel zooms in and out.   snow and ice today again - but this weekend is in the 60's (F) so I hope to get out there again soon.




On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 5:01 PM, Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Woody, I'm with you. I use TSX exclusively for planetarium and imaging and I am very happy with it.

BTW - I'm pretty sure the PixInsight team intend to integrate telescope control soon and then people will have an option to do EVERYTHING in one program. Might be very cool. 

Stuart

On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 4:00 PM, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Dan,

There have been some complaints regarding TSX’s user interface and I agree it’s a bear to learn and not the one I’d prefer. But that said, once you figure out how to use it, it’s quite powerful and flexible.

I particularly like how easy it is to create custom FOV’s for your particular scope/camera/focal-reduction configurations. And you can even create complex FOV’s that contain not only the imaging FOV, but the off-axis guider’s FOV in the same FOV display. This way you can pre-select guide stars for the camera rotation you want.

It’s an expensive, hard-to-learn, but very flexible and powerful package. And it’s expandable as your equipment or skills or needs increase or change. Not for beginners or those looking for instant gratification. But a powerful and useful tool for advanced users.

And important for me, it’s a package very many imagers use. So it’s easy to pick the brains of fellow club members for tips, or follow along at advanced imaging workshops.

Woody

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Planetarium software recommendation (windows)

I use The SkyX. Works very well for me for imaging. Features like plate solve etc help a lot. For visual, I use SkySafari5 Pro and connect it to APCC on PC using a simple TCP<->COM bridge. Works flawlessly. I have also tried connecting SkySafari to TheSkyX TCP client. It works partially. I guess this is only supported for Paramount.

Regards

Hemant

On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:39 PM, dragracingdan@... dragracingdan@...m> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... ap-gto@...> > wrote:

Hi, I was wondering what software AP users are using to control their mount through Windows. I'm using point to point wifi on a Mach1 with CP4 through my laptop.

Suggestions and experiences appreciated

Best,
Dan

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




--



dang.astro
 

Does WWT need an internet connection?  I am a portable imager and often dont have access

Thanks,
Dan