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Author Topic: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?  (Read 1094 times)

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Offline stars_are_cool

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What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« on: 21:09:56, 05 November, 2017 »
Hi,

I’ve been looking at APT for CCD camera control (auto-guiding), but what do you use?

Recommendations gratefully appreciated!!!

Cheers,
Graham.


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Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #1 on: 22:18:16, 05 November, 2017 »
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #2 on: 23:13:14, 05 November, 2017 »
Graham

Have you seen this post http://ukastroimaging.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=64326.0 ?

Chris

Cheers Chris! no, I hadn't seen this...most useful indeed!
Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #3 on: 23:16:34, 05 November, 2017 »
Graham

Have you seen this post http://ukastroimaging.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=64326.0 ?

Chris

PS - I had not idea about PRISM... wow! I'll certainly be looking at that one. If it works well, would mean I could ditched other (free) software too.
Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #4 on: 08:08:15, 06 November, 2017 »
Graham

PRISM has an 80 day trial so you can really test it out before purchasing. It does do a lot but is quite expensive and when I last tried it, I found it a little cumbersome to use. I think that was V9 though so I may have to give V10 a run out.

Personally I prefer my capture program to be quite intuitive and easy to use out in the field and I always do processing on a separate computer so splitting between capture and processing seems natural to me.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #5 on: 14:12:11, 06 November, 2017 »
Can't beat APT for image capture IMHO and for the price.  It obviously not only does DSLR but also CCD's with ASCOM drivers (which is what I use) and it has a heap of other useful bits with the ability to control the mount which integrated with plate solving as well as talking to your electric focuser etc etc.  It's a great way to pull lots of pieces of software that are running in the background into one place.

As Chris says though, doing capture and processing on separate computers using different software is well established and allows you to select "best of bread" for each as technology / software develops over time making it more future proof than using a "all in one" tool which are often much more expensive.

Food for thought.
S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #6 on: 15:20:55, 06 November, 2017 »
Graham

I have just given Prism10 a run out and it is little changed from V9. It certainly does everything you could possibly want to do and a lot of things you are never likely to want to do but in being so comprehensive it looses a lot of the ease of use you need when its cold and wet. For similar sorts of money, SkyX with Camera Control knocks it into a cocked hat in my opinion.

As Simon mentions, APT is very competent, intuitive and astounding value for money and with 1/100th of the learning curve of Prism.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline PaulB

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #7 on: 18:25:10, 06 November, 2017 »
I  use APT. But I also use SGPRO.
Both are very good. APT is in my opinion a lttle more user friendly than SGP.



Paul.
"Whirlpool Observatory"
Losmandy G11-Gemini L4.
Celestron C9.25.
Megrez 80 ED II Triplet.
Orion OMC 140
Altair 115ED F7
Coronado PST
Atik 428EX
Atik EFW 2
QHY5L-II.
Modded Canon 1000D.
IOptron Mini Tower II
CCD Images
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulabrierley/

Offline Eccoskies

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #8 on: 20:24:51, 06 November, 2017 »
SGP for me. When it works, it works but, it can be a PITA some times  :duh:

Mark
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Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #9 on: 21:01:55, 06 November, 2017 »
Graham

PRISM has an 80 day trial so you can really test it out before purchasing. It does do a lot but is quite expensive and when I last tried it, I found it a little cumbersome to use. I think that was V9 though so I may have to give V10 a run out.

Personally I prefer my capture program to be quite intuitive and easy to use out in the field and I always do processing on a separate computer so splitting between capture and processing seems natural to me.

Chris

Cheers for the info about how you work.
I was using a (slow) laptop in the field and a fast desktop when I got back, but is all very time-consuming for me.
I’m part-way through setting up a new rig and focusing on imaging / videography 100% now (not visual anymore).
I bought a very fast i7 laptop.
I’m either in my garden, or local farm (big open fields with horses and cows, and the farmer doesn’t mind me setting up for the night!).
I looked more closely at PRISM, but not tried it yet. Just waiting to get my new CCD’s before downloading to take full advantage of that 80 days!

I’ll let the forum know how I get on!

Thanks Chris.


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Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #10 on: 21:04:12, 06 November, 2017 »
I  use APT. But I also use SGPRO.
Both are very good. APT is in my opinion a lttle more user friendly than SGP.

I was trying APT with my 600d when I had it (sold it last week), it’s a good program, I never tried it with CCD for camera control - does it fair well? Any differences between how it works with DSLR vs CCD that you know of?


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Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #11 on: 21:06:21, 06 November, 2017 »
Can't beat APT for image capture IMHO and for the price.  It obviously not only does DSLR but also CCD's with ASCOM drivers (which is what I use) and it has a heap of other useful bits with the ability to control the mount which integrated with plate solving as well as talking to your electric focuser etc etc.  It's a great way to pull lots of pieces of software that are running in the background into one place.

As Chris says though, doing capture and processing on separate computers using different software is well established and allows you to select "best of bread" for each as technology / software develops over time making it more future proof than using a "all in one" tool which are often much more expensive.

Food for thought.
S.

Ah cheers! I was wondering how well APT fairs with CCD...

Thanks for this!!


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Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

Offline PaulB

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #12 on: 06:27:27, 08 November, 2017 »
I am going to use APT with my Atik 428ex, when we next get a clear sky.
I will let you know how I get on.

I agree with Marks comments about SGP.
Paul.
"Whirlpool Observatory"
Losmandy G11-Gemini L4.
Celestron C9.25.
Megrez 80 ED II Triplet.
Orion OMC 140
Altair 115ED F7
Coronado PST
Atik 428EX
Atik EFW 2
QHY5L-II.
Modded Canon 1000D.
IOptron Mini Tower II
CCD Images
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulabrierley/

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #13 on: 07:58:32, 08 November, 2017 »
I bought a very fast i7 laptop.
I’m either in my garden, or local farm (big open fields with horses and cows, and the farmer doesn’t mind me setting up for the night!).

You really don't need a fast laptop for capture software. I run everything in my observatory off a second hand Dell Core2Duo mini tower that cost me about £100 plus a bit for a new hard drive. That happily runs SkyXPro with all the bells and whistles plus some weather monitoring and the dome controller. I have another cheap laptop (Core2 Duo again) that I use if I set up outside with a second rig. I have seen that laptop covered in frost so they do take some abuse. I would keep my new shiny i7 for indoor use where its dry and warm.
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline stars_are_cool

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Re: What do you use for auto-guiding / CCD camera control?
« Reply #14 on: 08:30:50, 08 November, 2017 »
I bought a very fast i7 laptop.
I’m either in my garden, or local farm (big open fields with horses and cows, and the farmer doesn’t mind me setting up for the night!).

You really don't need a fast laptop for capture software. I run everything in my observatory off a second hand Dell Core2Duo mini tower that cost me about £100 plus a bit for a new hard drive. That happily runs SkyXPro with all the bells and whistles plus some weather monitoring and the dome controller. I have another cheap laptop (Core2 Duo again) that I use if I set up outside with a second rig. I have seen that laptop covered in frost so they do take some abuse. I would keep my new shiny i7 for indoor use where its dry and warm.

Cheers! I took advise from Ivo at StarTools (as I’m currently using that for processing), hence the i7, that said, it was a bargain! Secondhand, £275 delivered ;-)
When outside during winter especially it’ll be in a 1-man tent/shelter, so hoping it doesn’t get too trashed...
Cheers though, obviously I’m still chopping n changing my rig, so the advise and experience is much welcome.
I would love a dome, but I’d probably have to cut down my neighbours tree first! It’s on my wish-list for sure.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Graham.

William Optics ZS61 (...more refractors to follow!)
Skywatcher HEQ5-Pro
Laptop (image processing in StarTools), i7 16gb RAM, SSD

 

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