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MaximDL - you are kidding me!


Sp@ce_d
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I know there's others here thinking of automation with more than one camera, be aware..

A discussion here - http://stargazerslou...40#entry2010556 about focusmax and automation led me to the understanding that I have no choice but to submit to Maxim if I wanted to use any form of unattended automation in the Obsy involving Focusmax.

Now, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece of software engineering... but are they serious!!

I've fallen at the first hurdle, I'm building a triple shooter and I have 3 imaging camera's. For the life of me I can't see how to set up any more than 1 camera and 1 guider without having to launch multiple instances of Maxim. ( and I'm not sure that's even covered by the license!) So, if that's the case.. how do you sync them.. what if I want to dither?

Well a trawl of the web and I've found this.. and if I understand correctly it means forking out for at least 2 copies of Maxim PLUS a 2nd obsy 'puter ( I guess a virtual machine may work though?)

http://astro.neutral...camera-docs.pdf

I cannot believe setting this stuff up is still so painfully stuck in the dark ages... I've had enough of a wasted night.. I'm going to bed.

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As you've found out you only control 1 main camera and 1 guide camera. Whilst I agree that maxim could benifit from multi camera support i don't think it's fair to just target maxim. You have to judge it based on what its designed for and thats is for 1 camera and 1 guide camera. If you don't think it's worth it for just that then thats fine (i can see your point and undestand that).

But I also share your frustration as i want to add a second camera at some point and the only real solution i can see is another instance of maxim as it seems to be the only software that fits what i want to do.

It seems to be a general theme now as far as astro software for automation. My observatory control software only handles 1 main camera as well so i'd be interested in what software people have come across.

Perhaps a thread on the possibilities of automating multicamera setups would be good?

What does ccdcomander use, is that maxim?

I think as far as astro software is concerned theres need for a retweak and an increase in the perceived standard astro setup from 1 camera to multicamera.

I assume this harks from the days when imaging cameras were expensive so we only tended to have 1, now we can afford multiple cameras it's not good enough.

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 2

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Useful to know. I am far away from this being a problem, but like many I suspect, I have ended up with the view that MaximDL is the Rolls Royce of tools for the serious amateur. Flexibility is a must in tools for creative amateurs as almost by definition they will stress a system in ways not imagined when the tools were designed.

old_eyes

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If you use your triple shooter to take 'some of each' in each scope you are effectively dithering. If you dedicate one scope to one filter then, no. I've just combined RG and B data from two Atik 11000s, one an old camera with a big column defect which defeats calibration. The effect of combining the data from two cameras, though, was glorious. No column. Not a hint of it. And the rest of the data was clean as a whistle, too.

Of course, you may not want to do this with your triple setup but I just pass on this recent experience.

Olly

PS, would it be worth researching the far less avariciously priced AstroArt 5.0?

Edited by ollypenrice
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As you've found out you only control 1 main camera and 1 guide camera. Whilst I agree that maxim could benifit from multi camera support i don't think it's fair to just target maxim. You have to judge it based on what its designed for and thats is for 1 camera and 1 guide camera. If you don't think it's worth it for just that then thats fine (i can see your point and undestand that).

But I also share your frustration as i want to add a second camera at some point and the only real solution i can see is another instance of maxim as it seems to be the only software that fits what i want to do.

It seems to be a general theme now as far as astro software for automation. My observatory control software only handles 1 main camera as well so i'd be interested in what software people have come across.

Perhaps a thread on the possibilities of automating multicamera setups would be good?

What does ccdcomander use, is that maxim?

I think as far as astro software is concerned theres need for a retweak and an increase in the perceived standard astro setup from 1 camera to multicamera.

I assume this harks from the days when imaging cameras were expensive so we only tended to have 1, now we can afford multiple cameras it's not good enough.

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 2

Thanks Neil, as you may suspect I was rather tired when I posted last night. I was peeved with myself really when it dawned on me I hadn't considered this might be an issue. It suddenly looks 2 or 3 times as expensive & very clunky to put multishooter automation together than I had planned for.

I was thinking of using ACP but if you're also saying it only handles the one too then even finding some way to sync multiple instances becomes very costly in terms of licensing!

Looks like CCDcomander uses Maxim too from what I can see..

You're right I think its time for a thread on multi imaging setups

Graham

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If you use your triple shooter to take 'some of each' in each scope you are effectively dithering. If you dedicate one scope to one filter then, no. I've just combined RG and B data from two Atik 11000s, one an old camera with a big column defect which defeats calibration. The effect of combining the data from two cameras, though, was glorious. No column. Not a hint of it. And the rest of the data was clean as a whistle, too.

Of course, you may not want to do this with your triple setup but I just pass on this recent experience.

Olly

PS, would it be worth researching the far less avariciously priced AstroArt 5.0?

Thanks Olly, yes a lot more to consider when attempting this. I've just picked up my 2nd set of Baader LRGB's from the post office as I had intended to be as flexible as possible. However, if I ever go down the Astrodon route ( and I really like the look of the NB filters) there's no way I can put a set on each one! ( She would batter me with every single one of her "Imelda Marcos" shoe collection :grin: ) so dedicated scopes it would be!

Actually, pricing this automation lark up I think it'd be more cost effective to pay you to run around looking after it all night!!! :cool::grin:

Graham

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Thanks Olly, yes a lot more to consider when attempting this. I've just picked up my 2nd set of Baader LRGB's from the post office as I had intended to be as flexible as possible. However, if I ever go down the Astrodon route ( and I really like the look of the NB filters) there's no way I can put a set on each one! ( She would batter me with every single one of her "Imelda Marcos" shoe collection :grin: ) so dedicated scopes it would be!

Actually, pricing this automation lark up I think it'd be more cost effective to pay you to run around looking after it all night!!! :cool::grin:

Graham

No way! I run around too much as it is!

The Astrondon Ha is great but I intend to see if using it as luminance to modify a 7Nm image has any mileage. Worth a try before buying a second one...

FWIW I didn't really get on with the Astrodon RGB set. This was a bit of a relief, as you can imagine.

Olly

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You can run multiple instances of AA5 - each instance will let you run 2 cameras (main and guide)

Thanks.. thats good to know. I'll investigate that too then. The problem I keep coming across though is that most of the Obsy automation apps seem to be in bed with Maxim.

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I recall that you can install maxim onto the same machine several times if need be for this very requirement. Is there sometbing that prevents this working?

I use maxim as my sole expensive piece of astro software,, so having paid for it, ill be stretching

that license as far as it can go...

Mike

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I recall that you can install maxim onto the same machine several times if need be for this very requirement. Is there sometbing that prevents this working?

I use maxim as my sole expensive piece of astro software,, so having paid for it, ill be stretching

that license as far as it can go...

Mike

I'm on the trial version. I can fire up multiple instances & configure all 3 CCD's plus guider. However I don't see any way that they can be aware of each other. So it still seems a manual process as opposed to being able to configure an unattended session. I've sent a mail to ACP (DC3Dreams) to see if they handle that, whilst I wait for access to the Maxim support group.

The license mentions one user one computer. I didn't see anything about multiple instances on the same one.

Tom How has a method for running multiple PC/Maxim's but it must require separate installations from what I can see. I'm also not sure how that would be handled by automation such as ACP.

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Nebulosity will let you run multiple instances too - try the demo version.

Thanks.. yes I currently use Neb and Artimis Capture (also will run multi instances) the problem is finding unattended/remote access software that can talk to these. Most of them use Maxim.. also Focusmax needs it too!.. nightmare..

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Surely for remote access you can use tight VNC? That will give you complete control over the imaging netbook. VNC software is also available for Android, I was using my phone (via its 3G connection) to monitor and adjust settings while on walkabout at SGL8. Best bit is.... its free!

Ive not used focusmax, but is it a stand-alone or does it need to be a plugin? If its stand alone, that can be controlled via VNC too. The only thing it wont do is turn everything on/off for you.

http://www.tightvnc.com/

Just had a thought.... maybe you could bodge together a relay switch that can be set off remotely (via lan wakeup?), that would take care of the power. Or permanently have a computer switched on that could take care of the power operations.

Edited by Uranium235
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Surely for remote access you can use tight VNC? That will give you complete control over the imaging netbook. VNC software is also available for Android, I was using my phone (via its 3G connection) to monitor and adjust settings while on walkabout at SGL8. Best bit is.... its free!

Ive not used focusmax, but is it a stand-alone or does it need to be a plugin? If its stand alone, that can be controlled via VCN too. The only thing it wont do is turn everything on/off for you.

http://www.tightvnc.com/

Thanks Rob.. Yeah. I use teamviewer at the moment. Works great cross platform on the Macs to the netbook (also got it on the iPhone). I can setup connection into the obsy server no problem. I'm able to remote most of the stuff now, I can also control power and watch what's going on via cctv from anywhere I have a network connection. The problem is I need to start it up, monitor & shut it down.

Focusmax seems to be the weapon of choice and appears to be tied in with Maxim. It's still early days for me with auto focussing so I have an open mind on this still.

I guess I'm being ambitious but I'm also trying to compromise with the other half about my night time activities.. :grin:

What I'm trying to do is plan ahead with my choice/investment of software so I can leave it unattended & fully remote control if I need. I'll want to be able to know that it'll monitor the weather, open/close the roof. Park/unpark, slew to target, focus, plate solve etc.. and I want to make the most of our poor UK skies by collecting 3 times the data in each session. The stuff I've been looking at will do this... however, it seems rather restricted that you can't control more than one imaging platform at a time, or so it seems at the moment.

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