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@stash_old - I will give your list a try. As this is a new laptop, which has only had the astro software installed, I hope it is not 5 - that would not bode well for being able to ever set it up - but there is a recovery partition so it should be at least possible.

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3 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

there is no way I am giving up polemaster

Dont use it myself - I just use Sharpcap equiv which has been proven to work 100% as well as Polemaster. Best of British !  Clear Skies

plus "slowly Slowly catchy Monkey" - i.e. dont go putting all the Astro software on in one go and restart a lot plus sorry you will have to "bite the bullet" and do the Windows updates as some software may need them to work (e.g. C++ dist for example). Once all working - do a backup of the whole system and "lock it down" 

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2 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

but there is a recovery partition so it should be at least possible

I was assuming that when I said reinstall Windows 10

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24 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Dont use it myself - I just use Sharpcap equiv which has been proven to work 100% as well as Polemaster. Best of British !  Clear Skies

plus "slowly Slowly catchy Monkey" - i.e. dont go putting all the Astro software on in one go and restart a lot plus sorry you will have to "bite the bullet" and do the Windows updates as some software may need them to work (e.g. C++ dist for example). Once all working - do a backup of the whole system and "lock it down" 

Sharpcap is very good, so is the kstars/indi/ekos polar align - haven't tried the new PHD2 one but supposedly good too.

Ref the windows updates - I did wonder, the OP is averse to internetting the device, but if its still on an as manufactured windows 10 level software I'd be surprised if it runs at all - my wife's zen book was useless until it had had 14hrs of updates.  I'm sure you can download the required service pack and updates and transfer them to the laptop for offline updating.

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Progress.

Tried running polemaster software with guidecam and it rejected the idea saying there was no polemaster camera found.

Uninstalled polemaster driver and software and then installed normal guidecam software. That made a considerable difference. Sharpcap will now not only recognise the guidecam:hello2:, it will even recognise it when running through the camera hub:hello2::hello2: and will in fact recognise both cameras at once receiving data from whichever one I select:hello2::hello2::hello2:. It even does it using the original cable (so there's £2.79 wasted! - at least I haven't spent £269 on a new guidecam - yet!).

Next step, install the ascom driver and see if phd2 will now detect it. It does:hello2:, identifying 3.75 um pixels - just checked that and it is right so it has either genuinely detected the camera, or made a very good guess!.

I would appear now to have 3 options:
(1) Contact QHY to find out how to get both of their cameras to run at the same time, as suggested by @stash_old .
(2) Get a different guide cam anyway and sell the QHY5Lii as a going concern, so that I can continue using polemaster.
(3) See if I can get any other form of PA working (the problem was always me, not the methods!) and sell the polemaster.

I think this choice is a bit of a no-brainer. Whether option (1) gets a satisfactory response or not, it costs me nothing to try and, as long as it does not take for ever to get some sort of response, is a good first move. In the meantime, I can be looking at what I have to do to get sharpcap to do it.

Thanks to everyone who has helped on this issue, with a special 'thank you' to @John78 & @stash_old for providing the break-through.

 

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1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

I can be looking at what I have to do to get sharpcap to do it

Glad its working - Cant remember if "normal" Sharpcap (unpaid v3.0) has PA but Sharpcap Pro does at £10.  Search SGL and see Staurt J from Leeds/Louth (? Sorry Staurt) did a very good write up. P.S. read the instructions and I missed "Press Next" buton :sad2::hiding::laugh2:

Plus Sharcap has a Platesolve button - your favourite subject :laugh2:

Found it 

 

Edited by stash_old
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I'd be more inclined to sell the polemaster and use sharpcap or PHD2 for PA but I'm a cheapskate. 

QHY are helpful with addressing support tickets / forum posts - I'm sure there is a thread on their forum about this very issue and I'm blasted if I can see it today.

Bottom line is whatever happens, the camera isn't broken and its 'just' a software issue so all is well enough.

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7 hours ago, John78 said:

I'd be more inclined to sell the polemaster and use sharpcap or PHD2 for PA but I'm a cheapskate.

I  had a quick look on my phone last night, so will go looking further today, but based on what I read (which only went up to v2.9, I have v3.1 installed) the main problem I see would be with the angle of view that I need. One combination of scope/camera I use offers me a fov of only 7'*9' - and it was saying that I need a 1° fov instead. Yes, I could fiddle around with changing cameras, and/or buying a finder and attachment on which I could use the QHY5Lii, but once I start doing that it is either (i) an extra bit of 'fiddle' to eat into clear-sky time that I don't need, and/or (ii) additional expense that eats into the potential saving of not buying a new guidecam.

The other thing, of course, is that the QHY5Lii as a going concern would probably fetch more than the polemaster when others could also use Sharpcap for nowt.

As I say, I will do a bit more investigation today.

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Guys,

SharpCap Version 2.9 was the last version with the "free" Polar Alignment feature.

V3 onwards will show the polar misalignment but not the corrections without the added cost of the Pro version.

 

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Thanks, Merlin. I will factor that into my final decision.

My preferred option is still to find a way of having QHY5Lii & polemaster functioning together. Just checked the FAQ section of QHY and it did not highlight this issue, so now going to investigate the 'forum' section - 37 pages of it. I may be some time ....

Edited by Demonperformer

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I did a quick search for "polemaster" + "Qhy5Lii" on the forum and it came up with this thread. Not sure if it is the one @John78 was thinking of, but it seems to indicate that running the two together is possible, the problem being associated with timeouts on PHD (which would itself be a problem, but one for another day). This is, on the face of it, encouraging.

One thought has occurred to me. Everything I was trying above involved trying to add the QHY5Lii to the polemaster, but I haven't tried it the other way round. I don't know a lot about the mechanics behind the way drivers work, all I do know is that they can be finicky whatsits. But I am wondering if it would work now that I have the QHY5Lii installed and try to add the polemaster to it. Worst case scenario: it all stops working again and I go back to uninstalling them all and reinstalling just one.

Think I will give that a try.

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It is nice to know that even I can stumble upon the right answer occasionally - both cameras are now working on the same laptop at the same time. So. to clarify the solution for anyone else encountering this problem:

** Install the QHY5Lii drivers (normal & ascom) FIRST. THEN install the polemaster driver followed by the polemaster software. **

Both of these cameras now appear in the "astroimaging equipment" section of my device manager. [As an aside, this section did not appear at all in my DM when I only had polemaster installed - don't know where it was and am not going to mess around with the system trying to recreate those conditions again now :icon_biggrin:] I have run sharpcap with QHY5Lii and polemaster software together. Both cameras respond correctly to "cover lens (black screen)/uncover lens (white screen)" test routine. In-the-field testing will have to wait until I get a clear sky, but overall I am happy with this result.

Thanks.

Edited by Demonperformer
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13 hours ago, John78 said:

I'm a cheapskate

Or just "savvy" by not following the "Emperors New Clothes" crowd and saving £250 :laugh2: 

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Glad questions 1 and 2 are sorted and it is good to find i am not alone in my pain with imaging software.(hope that is not taken the wrong way-apologies if it is).

 

Now what is question 3.

Edited by m.tweedy
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5 minutes ago, m.tweedy said:

Now what is question 3.

I have a good idea about that, but want to a bit more digging to make sure I cannot solve it myself first.

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Third issue: Sharpcap 3.0 is not offering me "Blind Plate Solving" in Tools menu.

I'm now starting to look at the platesolving capabilities of sharpcap - if I can get this operational, I see no reason why I would need to keep APT (or PS2) installed on the laptop - more space for images! This is listed as a feature from Sharpcap 3.0, but is not listed as one of the "Pro" features.

My version is 3.0.4076.0 (listed as the latest one on the sharpcap downloads page). I also have Astrotortilla 0.7 installed. The only thing I did differently from a normal installation was to copy the index files (all the 4200 & 4100 files) onto the drive in the default location (c:\cygwin\usr\share\astrometry\data\) rather than have the machine download them automatically. The locations of the AT & cygwin programs were automatically determined by the installer.

Now, according to this page I should be able do a blind plate solve, without a mount attached, from the tools menu. If it identifies the right location from an image I put into it, then it will be ready to test live - if it can't then that needs to be sorted first. However, when I click on tools in my version of Sharpcap, I do not get this option (see pic). Indeed, there is no "Plate Solving" tab in the Sharpcap Settings dialog box of my version either.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

tools.png

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Have you paid for sharpcap as you need to purchase the pro version for this to work along with the polar alignment add on.

You are right @Demonperformer and it should work. Have you tried on the sharpcap forum?

Edited by spillage

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Is this the end of the road for new features in the free part of the program?

A: Absolutely not – SharpCap 3.0 adds new free features including Plate Solving and filtering Live Stack frames by brightness to allow detection of patchy cloud.

 

Yes still free but only in the 3****** version That i see you are using.

Edited by m.tweedy
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Only thing I can suggest is download v0.8 that was released in 2016. Yours is from 2014

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5 minutes ago, m.tweedy said:

why diont you use the ASPS that is used with APT

Basically because I already have all the materials for AT from when it was running on my windoze 7 machine, so I don't have to worry about it wanting to connect to the internet. In addition, I was only using APT as a requirement for PS2, and if I can get AT working on SC then I can completely remove APT/PS2 and free up that space for extra image files.

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I still use APT as SharpCap (that i have purchased the licence for) kept freezing so could not rely on it. 

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