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Lodestar Live V0.11 (Beta)


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Hi all, It seems a long time coming.... but here finally is V0.11.  OSX: LodestarLive.app.0.11.osx.150115.zip Win32: LodestarLive.0.11.win32.150115.zip From the change log: - Added stacking informati

Hi All, Here are some captures using Paul's new LL v0.11. What a pleasure to use. The new controls are easier to use and produce, I think better results, certainly in regards to color balance and sa

Thanks, Paul. Couldn't do it without your brilliant work. Here is a capture I got last night of Comet Lovejoy using the x^0.25 scaling function. The non-linear scaling really helps to bring out the

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Is it possible to do "blind" stacking in LL v.011? I mean without registration and without the program trying to place stars on stars. Just placing frames on frames assuming that alignment and tracking of the mount is perfect.

I am aware that there is no such explicit option. But wondering if this can be achieved by setting very lax keyframe control values or by any other trick?

I am also aware that it is a strange desire to bypass something that's working so well. But I am into some experimenting that needed unconditional stacking. 

Thanks,

--Dom

Hi Dom, currently no - one of the first steps is to extract stars and match them to the stars in the current stack. Your experiment sounds interesting - PM me if you want to discuss further as I can probably cook you up a 'one off special' if it helps!

Hi Paul

Any plans to port Lodestar Live to Linux at all ? :smiley:

Steve

Linux is always dear to my heart - the code is fully cross platform compatible (QT and libUSB), so if you let me know your distro details I can likewise probably get something sorted.

Paul

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Cheers Paul

I`m forever distro hopping but currently using Ubuntu 15.04 Mate 64 bit and all the Ekos/Indi stuff is working like a dream at the moment (quickly touching wood!) so I won`t be changing soon unless something stops working. (God....... tempting fate now :sad: )

best

Steve

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Paul,

I'm trying to decide how to set up to do video astro, and it seems that Lodestar Live is a very popular and attractive option.  It's great that you've gone to the trouble to create this and share it with the community.

I have a camera compatibility question.  I see people using the mono and color lodestars with LL; I am wondering if you have evaluated the software with the new  Superstar guider?  It looks very similar to the Lodestar in form factor and USB/guider connection, but has a high-resolution CCD (same overall chip dimension).  

Thanks,

Alex

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Hi all -- let me start by saying that LodeStarLive has really changed my life...I now have 2 Lodestars, mono and color X2's.  I can use one for guiding and the other for imaging and switch between mono and color depending on my target and goals.  The results are truely eye popping, particularly when stacking a few images.  I'm located in suburban NYC but still have no problem getting great views for example of M81 spiral arms and M82 with lots of detail.

My one question is when exporting FITS color images and trying to work with them in external tools like GIMP and FITS Liberator they don't recognize the color but just report a single grayscale layer in the image.  Is there something else I need to configure or a different tool that you all can recommend?

Thanks again for a really super tool in LodeStarLive!!

Charlie Wiecha

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Hi Charlie

If I'm post-processing I use Nebulosity. As Helen says, it is necessary to debayer the FITS (*). In case it helps in whatever tool you use this is the matrix that Dr D sent me and seems to work pretty well in providing the correct colours:

post-11492-0-00546300-1427128933.png

Martin

(*) In my case this isn't the first step: I do it after creating a master dark and subtracting it. 

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OK, thanks!  I've checked out DeepSkyStacker and seem to be able to open the FITS files and see color.  I will have to read about "de-bayering" since it's not clear from the UI in DSS how/what to do :-)

While my goal is to get these into GIMP just to play with the curves it's not too urgent since mostly I'm using LodeStarLive for near-real time observing.  I don't do much afterwards with the saved images.

Thanks for the pointers!

One final question, I don't see an easy way to restart the stacking feature in LSS without actually having to change the mode for example from Mean to Sum and back again.  Unchecking and rechecking the Enable stacking button doesn't see to do this.  Any thoughts or suggestions on this point?

Thanks again for all the help!

Charlie Wiecha

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Finally got time to catch up with the forum...

Paul,

I'm trying to decide how to set up to do video astro, and it seems that Lodestar Live is a very popular and attractive option.  It's great that you've gone to the trouble to create this and share it with the community.

I have a camera compatibility question.  I see people using the mono and color lodestars with LL; I am wondering if you have evaluated the software with the new  Superstar guider?  It looks very similar to the Lodestar in form factor and USB/guider connection, but has a high-resolution CCD (same overall chip dimension).  

Thanks,

Alex

Hi Alex - I want to open up LL the other SX cameras. They all use a common protocol, which I have coded from scratch (such that it runs on all platforms). Currently, LL connects to the Lodestar automatically, but it can be overridden to connect to other SX cameras... Another forum member has used it with the Oculus camera. If you have a superstar PM me and I can give you instructions and we can see if it works. Once I have tried a few different types of SX camera and sorted the bugs then i'll do a release in which enables them without the extra steps. The main issue will be if someone tries to use a very high resolution camera - I suspect the display processing will be a little slow and additionally to increase sensitivity for the higher res cameras I can enable binning. My big unknown is how binning effects OSC cameras, so that is one area that would need work. However, as an initial first step the cameras should work at the full res. The Superstar resolution should be fine though if you have a reasonable modern machine.

Charlie - thanks for the kind words, glad you got the FITS exports sorted!  :grin:

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Finally got time to catch up with the forum...

Hi Alex - I want to open up LL the other SX cameras. They all use a common protocol, which I have coded from scratch (such that it runs on all platforms). Currently, LL connects to the Lodestar automatically, but it can be overridden to connect to other SX cameras... Another forum member has used it with the Oculus camera. If you have a superstar PM me and I can give you instructions and we can see if it works. Once I have tried a few different types of SX camera and sorted the bugs then i'll do a release in which enables them without the extra steps. The main issue will be if someone tries to use a very high resolution camera - I suspect the display processing will be a little slow and additionally to increase sensitivity for the higher res cameras I can enable binning. My big unknown is how binning effects OSC cameras, so that is one area that would need work. However, as an initial first step the cameras should work at the full res. The Superswtar resolution should be fine though if you have a reasonable modern machine.

Charlie - thanks for the kind words, glad you got the FITS exports sorted!  :grin:

Paul, that sounds like a great development plan for LL. To start with I have decided to go with a monochromr lodestar, but if I eventually get a hyperstar for my c8 I am going to need a finer pixel pitch, so the Superstar would be a fit there. I will absolutely get in touch if I get one. Also very supportive of the idea of supporting binning if you integrate the bigger SX cameras. Thanks!

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I am a newbie and this is my first foray into astrophotography. I decided on the Lodestar X2C and LL (version 0.11). The system works fine but when I tick the 'enable live stacking' box the camera fails to respond. Off the telescope the camera responds to light and dark in LL but ticking the box merely results in a black screen although the X2C is still shown as being connected. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

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Hi Mike

Welcome to the world of EAA. By 'the system works fine' do you mean that you can see images when stacking is not enabled? If not, my advice is to start without stacking enabled in order to get used to the other controls. Your black screen might be something as simple as not  having the histogram between the black and white levels (easily fixed by changing the brightness control until you can see some data in the histogram and something resembling an image appears, then adjusting contrast to widen the histogram somewhat).

Let us know how you get on.

Martin

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Hi Martin

Without live stacking there is a good image and histogram. With live stacking enabled there is no image and the histogram is a single black line at the origin. Retested by exposing the camera to light and dark without telesccope connection where it responded OK  but remained dark when stacking enabled.

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Hi Paul or Other Cognisanti,

I am trying to use the non-linear DR mapping options (arsinh or x^0.25) but have difficulty to figure out how they interact with the contrast settings. The shape of the histogram changes dramatically, and sometimes into unusual shapes, when I move contrast slider.

It might be helpful to know the internal order of processing steps that LL follows. Is this correct?

1. Debayering into 16 bit RGB space.

2. Brightness and contrast adjustment.

3. DR mapping and allocation (linear, arsinh, x^0.25 and black and white point settings).

4. 8-bit conversion.

5. Hue and saturation settings in HSV space.

6. Display.

Or are 2 and 3 reversed? (In other words, does the contrast slider stretch the original (linear) histogram that later gets mapped? Or does contrast stretch the already mapped histogram?)

Also, both non-linear options seem to de-saturate colors. Are they only B&W or am I doing something wrong?

Thank you,

--Dom

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Hi Martin

I think that I tried that. I will wait for the next clear sky and try again. At the moment we are in mist. :-(

 Mike - on your next session can you enable FITS export for each exposure (this will save each dark and light exposure to a FITS file) - this way if you are still having trouble we can try to sort the issue out and I can try your data to see any potential problems or help diagnose the issue.

Its probably worth a quick play with the FITS export during the day to check you get the files saving as expected so its all ready for the next session under the stars.

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Hi Paul or Other Cognisanti,

I am trying to use the non-linear DR mapping options (arsinh or x^0.25) but have difficulty to figure out how they interact with the contrast settings. The shape of the histogram changes dramatically, and sometimes into unusual shapes, when I move contrast slider.

It might be helpful to know the internal order of processing steps that LL follows. Is this correct?

1. Debayering into 16 bit RGB space.

2. Brightness and contrast adjustment.

3. DR mapping and allocation (linear, arsinh, x^0.25 and black and white point settings).

4. 8-bit conversion.

5. Hue and saturation settings in HSV space.

6. Display.

Or are 2 and 3 reversed? (In other words, does the contrast slider stretch the original (linear) histogram that later gets mapped? Or does contrast stretch the already mapped histogram?)

Also, both non-linear options seem to de-saturate colors. Are they only B&W or am I doing something wrong?

Thank you,

--Dom

Dom, you pretty much have the order correct. I want to do some tutorial videos on the non-linear modes and hopefully will get a chance this coming UK bank holiday weekend (4 days off work :grin: ).

Have you modified the brightness settings - this effectively moves the histogram over the dynamic range and so will effect how much the data gets warped through the non-linear mapping function. I'll cover this in the tutorial videos.

I do suspect the non-linear modes will play with colour saturation, hopefully that can be compensated with the correction slider.

I'll also have to double check all my maths in the non-linear modes, I would like to get time to write up the equations and post then online here for review as its quite possible I have goofed up so would be nice to have a peer review double check...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Paul,

Was out (finally!) again last night with LLv.11, and came to the auto-file naming issue again,

so just wanted to check if you'd been able to track that down? I'm running OS X Mavericks

on a MacBook Pro. LLv.10 works properly in this regard, but has the non-standard dialogue

box for file saving.

Essentially, every time I save in v.11 my file is Untitled, and none of the auto generated date

and time stamp info is available....

Cheers!

Greg A

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Hi Greg,

Yep I'm pretty sure this was an error on my part. One of the changes for V0.11 was to build it against the latest version of QT4 (4.8.6). Previously I was using QT4.8.5 which had this bug (the workaround was to use non-standard dialogues).

Annoyingly,  I linked V0.11 against the older QT... Ooopps!

(for those wondering what QT is - its a cross platform application framework which LL uses for the user interface)

V0.12 will be using the very latest QT 5.4 as this will fix the rendering issues on surface tablets. I need to fully try it all out tho.

Hoping to get V0.12 within the next week (resolves these bugs and adds an optional separate image window which can be moved to a second monitor for outreach / NSN etc).

Paul

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