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With new mount and upgraded scope features, now looking to venture into imaging.
Before I start, I'm not looking to get feedback on polar alignment, mono guidecam, better imaging cameras, etc; this is more a 'dummies guide' setup discussion! I'm not expecting to get great images at this stage, just more the options available, getting over some issues, so that I can jump outside on a clear night with an ideal, foolproof(!), setup for either imaging or visual as time would permit and what may work best for me. As you may guess from the topic name, I'm a mac user (Macbook Pro) and would rather keep to this if possible (whilst I do have Windows (and Ubuntu) via parallels, I'd rather not use these).
I've got a setup which has worked well for visual, and obviously want to have a couple of 'staple' setups that I can use depending on expectations of night observing or imaging. So far, the best one for me has been the Skywatcher Wifi Synscan controller, which has worked a treat with my Android phone - I use the Synscan app to complete alignment and GOTO stars/planets/DSO etc, or Stellarium_plus after completing alignment. This removes the need for the Synscan Handset and any USB cables to the mount altogether. But I don't know if this will work for guiding.
That then brings me to my issue on mac - connecting USB(A) between Macbook and Handset, I've attempted to control the mount through Stellarium. Trying each of the available connections (/dev/tty.usbsetial-1420, /dev/cu.usbsetial-1420, and just for sake of it, the /dev/tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port and /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port) in the dropdown menu under DeviceSettings/SerialPort, I cannot get the mount to connect (well, more like selecting the telescope and clicking the "Start" on the TelescopeControl just results in the spinning icon and I have to Force-Quit Stellarium and start again with the same result each time. Annoyingly (for fellow mac users!), Parallels/Windows/Stellarium connects and controls the mount fine! As the mount is the newer "pro" type, I also have a USB connection directly under the hand-controller RJ45 and AutoGuider ST4 sockets, but using this still results in the same issue. Another issue I have seen is that when I unplug the USB from the computer when connected to the handset, the date on the controller jumps significantly - for example, last night at ~23:30, I was transported through the local wormhole galaxy to Jan 2048 according to Synscan! Obviously unplugging isn't going to happen during a genuine session, but just wondering if this is a possible issue somewhere?!
Any other mac users connecting USB directly to the SW 'Pro' mounts?
Software wise, would folks generally suggest steering away from Stellarium towards KStars or SkySafari(Plus) for controlling the mount?
Can the Wifi dongle be used for controlling mount from computer (any OS) or do I need to go USB either to handset or directly to mount?
Is there an issue in using Mac USB to the telescope compared to 'straight' Windows (i.e. PC/laptop with Windows instead of virtual)?
Anyway, back to topic... I've a Nikon DSLR to use for primary camera at this stage, which would be triggered independently from guiding software. PHD2 is my hopeful choice of guiding software (is EKOS with KStars similar?), with T7C guide-camera on 240mm f/4 guidescope, and at this stage, I can confirm PHD2 at least connects to the camera on OS-X. There is an ST4 port on the camera, but having read several topics, I think I want to pulse-guide directly - is this correct or is ST4 best for this setup? This sorta comes back to software and connections - my understanding is one of the following cable setups for guiding (as a minimum) :
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => SynscanHandset => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => Wifi => SynscaWifi Adapter on AZEQ6
[using ST4: ST4_on_AZEQ6 => Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2] (no additional connections needed if ST4 is used)
Additionally, I'd like to use an observatory package, say Stellarium/KStars/SkySafari, to select objects and drive the mount, then use guiding software to keep good 'tracking'.
Where in this train does EQMac fit in, or when is it used?
What about the 2019 addition to EQMod (ASCOM Alpaca)? Can this be used or is it already in other packages?!
For Windows users, how does EQMod fit in (if I go down route of getting Windows laptop for controlling things, is the setup similar to above?
There may be bits in the above that repeat, and for that, I'm sorry, just want to get across the message that I'm new to the guiding but haven't quite settled down into the software/hardware I'm expecting to use for 'goto' and 'guiding'
For a mac user, what setup and software are folks using for guiding and observatory softwares for the newer USB-on-mount 'AZEQ6/EQ6-R Pro' mounts from SW?
The Trifid nebula, aka M20 or NGC 6514, a popular and bright nebula about 4300 light years away in the constellation Sagittarius.
This image was taken through my Celestron 8" SCT on the CGEM at f6.3 using a cooled and astro-modded DSLR.
RGB subs: 6x60s, 5x120s, 5x180s, 5x240s, 4x300s
HII subs: 10x600s
OIII subs: 9x600s
Total Time: 04hr 21min.
Most of this image is natural color because I only used 10% of the HII and OIII stack to emphesize the detail in the red and blue hues.
Picked up a Basler acA1920-155um a week or so ago second hand. Currently using Basler's own 'industry' software which doesn't offer any movie save out function, so I'm working with individual .tif files... thousands of 'em! (Hopefully James will be able to support the camera with OACapture on the Mac in the future)...
TSA102s > Internal Baader UV/IR > Chromo Quark > Camera (so no reducer than previous goes with the DMK41). Running around 80fps which makes a nice change from just 15! All on my less than perfect tracking alt/az Nova Hitch mount.
First image was from the 'first light' images off the camera at 8.41 this morning, 100 frames from 1400+, second 150 frames from 1660. Unlike OACapture, the software isn't overly straightforward, so I'm not quite sure what gain and gamma settings were best to use, I just tried to keep the gain low (12 from 36), gamma set to 1 (I think it goes from 0 - 4) and 10-12ms exposure. The histogram roughly in the middle... no helpful .txt file saved out with the capture, unlike OAc...
Processed in AS!2 and ImPPG (via Wine - Mac) and the PS 2017CC
Pleased so far but plenty to learn!
I'm trying to connect SkyWatcher Synscan to my MacBook Air via wifi adapter using EQMac v2.0.0 beta3.
According to the release note of EQMac v2.0.0 beta1, it supports wifi as well as serial connection. However, I couldn't find any document for wifi connection.
What I'm trying to do is..
1. Establish Wifi connection to "SynScan_WiFi_####"
2. Configure following connection in EQMac's Preference
Connection Type: TCP/IP
IP Address: 192.168.4.1
3. Close Preference setting
However, EQMac console is still gray out..
Appreciate if anyone share how to configure EQMac for wifi or alternative application/tool to connect Synscan to Mac via wifi.
Has anyone upgraded on Mac to "High Sierra" (OS 10.13) and had any issues with PHD2 or using Wine to run DSS, or any camera control software? I'm getting the notifications for the upgrade, but I'm worried some of my AP software (currently running on 10.12) won't work right before a big trip to a dark sky site in 2 weeks.