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teoria_del_big_bang

What Imaging Sequence Software do you use and Why ?

What Imaging Sequence Software do you use and Why ?  

74 members have voted

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  1. 1. Poll: What Imaging Sequence Software do you use ? If you can it would be good to post which you have tried and what you like and do not like. I guess many will have tried several and will have good reason to use what they currently rely on, whist others, similar to myself, use the one they first tried because it works and they know their way round it so are frightened to try any other.

    • Sequence Generator Pro
      11
    • APT (Astro Photography Tool)
      17
    • N.I.N.A (Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy)
      13
    • Backyard EOS
      1
    • Maxim DL
      1
    • EKOS
      16
    • Nebulosity
      0
    • Backyard NIKON
      0
    • IRIS
      0
    • Images Plus Camera Control
      0
    • Sofortbild
      0
    • Astronomer Control Panel
      1
    • Gemini Controller Software
      0
    • AstroImager
      0
    • Voyager
      8
    • ASAIR
      1
    • Other - Please post below what you use
      5

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  • Poll closed on 31/08/20 at 22:59

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APT for me. Found it better than SGPRO, I can set APT screen colour to red for night time imaging where as SGPRO you can't.

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I started with APT and still use it from time to time. Mainly using NINA now, primarily for its auto focus routine as I think APT is lacking in that department. NINA has a good sequence routine and will happily slew to target, platesolve, centre, image, dither, autofocus as often as you want (x number of frames, x number of minutes, or if HFR values of stars increase etc) auto meridian flip etc. Oh, and its FREE!

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Posted (edited)

AstroPhoto Plus.. mainly because I wrote it 😅

I often use KStars/Ekos too for the missing features, usually I use the two of them in tandem

Edited by GuLinux
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I have only used INDI and Ekos/Kstars. I started with INDI on a raspberry pi, installed from scratch, this was pre-StellarMate. Ran Ekos on my windows laptop. But I found that my wifi wasn't up to the task as I kept losing connections. I upgraded to a Rock64 which had usb3 before the Pi, and ran Ekos/Kstars off that. I believe I was the first person to use a Linux/Rock64 as data capture computer, because I had to ask Patrick Chevalley to fork the Linux version of phd to arm64, and there was no mention of one on any astronomy forums. There were also a lot of bugs in the Rock version of ubuntu. Eventually I ironed out most of the wrinkles with the help of members from the INDI forum.

Now I have gone from Ubuntu/mate to Armbian, and replaced the sd card with an emmc module. This has resulted in a substantial increase in speed and stability. I still use windows remote desktop to connect to the sbc, but once I have everything up and running, I can disconnect and use my laptop for other stuff.

This winter/spring I have experimented with the scheduler module in Ekos, in order to increase the level of automation. Atm only focusing is not automated, because the mechanical connection between the Pegasus focuscube and the sw focuser keeps slipping. This will be an easy fix during summer recess.

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With my Atik cameras I just use good old Artemis Capture. I am utterly at a loss to know why I would want to use anything else. It does not try to second guess my every move. It lets me focus, it lets me choose where I put each capture, it lets me, as in ME, choose what I call each capture.  SGP, which I have to use with a Moravian camera, drives me frantic with its constant interfering. I don't want to read a ruddy manual in order to find out how to file this capture in that directory. Sorry, I'm a dinosaur, but anyone writing a capture program should look at Artemis Capture and shut up. Rant over.

Olly

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I use AstroArt, but can’t see it on the list

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1 minute ago, JeremyS said:

I use AstroArt, but can’t see it on the list

I can understand this. If I could get the Moravian drivers to work I'd get the hell out of SGP and into AstroArt in a trice.

Olly

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1 minute ago, ollypenrice said:

I can understand this. If I could get the Moravian drivers to work I'd get the hell out of SGP and into AstroArt in a trice.

Olly

Indeed. I’ve used it for 16 years and it’s been flawless. Perhaps I shouldn’t tempt fate....

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Olly,

I cannot disagree with any of that, I have seen many of your images and it obviously works.

To be honest being so new to all this I amazed what software is out there for this, when I started I thought it would be so specialised that I would not have much choice in what software I would use.

How wrong could I bee both in capture software and processing software.

I think good software helps but at the end of the day you are taking a number of snapshots of a certain target with a certain scope and camera and the end result is down to your equipment,  your viewing (LP and visibility) and selection of target and exposure etc.

The software is just a help (or hinderance) 🙂 

Steve

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9 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I use AstroArt, but can’t see it on the list

Sorry but as said I was totally unaware of so much that was available and still a little amazed at what is out there.

Steve

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9 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Indeed. I’ve used it for 16 years and it’s been flawless. Perhaps I shouldn’t tempt fate....

 

6 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Olly,

I cannot disagree with any of that, I have seen many of your images and it obviously works.

To be honest being so new to all this I amazed what software is out there for this, when I started I thought it would be so specialised that I would not have much choice in what software I would use.

How wrong could I bee both in capture software and processing software.

I think good software helps but at the end of the day you are taking a number of snapshots of a certain target with a certain scope and camera and the end result is down to your equipment,  your viewing (LP and visibility) and selection of target and exposure etc.

The software is just a help (or hinderance) 🙂 

Steve

This is what I want to do:

Frame.

Focus using FWHM.

Set up a sequence: filter/ exposure time/binning/number of captures.

Name those files. (Hello, that means I want to name them with no help from the software.)

Run.

But no, that is far too simple for the likes of SGP who know far more about what I want to do than I do.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Olly

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3 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

 

This is what I want to do:

Frame.

Focus using FWHM.

Set up a sequence: filter/ exposure time/binning/number of captures.

Name those files. (Hello, that means I want to name them with no help from the software.)

Run.

But no, that is far too simple for the likes of SGP who know far more about what I want to do than I do.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Olly

Yes I know what you mean. I never used SGP, tried it for a few weeks but could not get to grips with it, but very much liked APT. This seemed to give you a good choice of the filenames and file destination but still insisted on at least 2 things you had to include in the filename which did not bode well with what I wanted to name them. but apart from that I did like most of what APT was doing and love the fact I was not charged a ridiculous price for using it.

Having been on the scene a bit more now since I started this thread I realise there are so many more options than I included.

Steve

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11 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

 

This is what I want to do:

Frame.

Focus using FWHM.

Set up a sequence: filter/ exposure time/binning/number of captures.

Name those files. (Hello, that means I want to name them with no help from the software.)

Run.

But no, that is far too simple for the likes of SGP who know far more about what I want to do than I do.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Olly

Soooo demanding!! 😉

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2 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

 

Having been on the scene a bit more now since I started this thread I realise there are so many more options than I included.

Steve

Most of them bonkers.

🤣lly

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Well as usual we all do our own thing and swear by the software we use - nothing new here. I started with AstroArt then went over to SGP. SGP did go through a 'bad patch' with many problems coming to the surface. At that stage I actually bought Voyager but to me, that is now going through the 'growing pains' that SGP has gone through (....personal opinion!). I continue to use SGP and am extremely happy with it....it does everything I want it to do.

So - no rant - each software fills the various little niches that its users want/need....  but also I think all have evolved by their users suggesting changes to the core programme. They all have a place....in fact the more out there the better (thinking of Price with that statement).....and just use the one you want ....and leave it at that!

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Before I got my first (!) ASA mount I was using AstroArt 5 for capture and processing (In fact I still use AA7 for processing), and only stopped because I had to use Maxim DL as part of the ASA package (Something that really pi$$ed ($$ intentional) me off). The file names that Sequence uses are your target name and your filter name, that you, yourself, have set up in your target and exposure files.

One thing that could be better in Sequence is the folder naming, where it will set a new folder for each night, something that has given me problems where I might have had more than one target in a session and found two in one folder, or even two folders for one target. I hope the next version 9If it ever appears) will address this.

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I think what's best for you depends on several factors . How remote you are. What kit you have. What you are doing etc.

I have a SB Paramount and the remote observatory uses a observatory control system that links easily with Voyager. Hence The Sky X with Voyager and apart from Voyager's verbose file names (which is changing) it allows me to do exactly what I want.

Wait for astro dark and target at specific altitude image as I need stop either on specific

altitude or astro light. Focus, slew etc as you will.

Regards Andrew 

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2 minutes ago, Kinch said:

Well as usual we all do our own thing and swear by the software we use - nothing new here. I started with AstroArt then went over to SGP. SGP did go through a 'bad patch' with many problems coming to the surface. At that stage I actually bought Voyager but to me, that is now going through the 'growing pains' that SGP has gone through (....personal opinion!). I continue to use SGP and am extremely happy with it....it does everything I want it to do.

So - no rant - each software fills the various little niches that its users want/need....  but also I think all have evolved by their users suggesting changes to the core programme. They all have a place....in fact the more out there the better (thinking of Price with that statement).....and just use the one you want ....and leave it at that!

Difficult for me to comment much on this. I am pretty new to the scene (Only been imaging for little more than 2 years) the first sequence software I came across was APT and apart from forcing me to include a couple of things in the filenames or directory name I really did like it and did most of the things I needed to do.

I am now trying to use KStars and all that goes with that. Again some things I don't like but a lot I do like and some features I did not seem to have in APT (although I would do nothing but praise this software).

Unless you are capable of writing your own software I guess you just have to use what is available and often it is a case of using what you are used to because changing will probably mean a few lost nights of data while you get used to some different software that ultimately does the same as the old software.

Steve

 

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The ASA software package is written for the remote operation of professional robotic imaging set-ups.

I'm seeing a lot of "new" sequencing packages, SGP, NINA, EKOS etc, but to me they are just playing catch-up to what the ASA software has been doing for years beyond count.

That being said, Sequence and Autoslew are both (Sequence more than Autoslew) badly in need of bringing up to date.

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11 minutes ago, DaveS said:

The ASA software package is written for the remote operation of professional robotic imaging set-ups.

I'm seeing a lot of "new" sequencing packages, SGP, NINA, EKOS etc, but to me they are just playing catch-up to what the ASA software has been doing for years beyond count.

That being said, Sequence and Autoslew are both (Sequence more than Autoslew) badly in need of bringing up to date.

Forgive my ignorance but is ASA same as Astroart ?

Steve

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1 minute ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Forgive my ignorance but is ASA same as Astroart ?

Steve

No, Astro Systeme Austria, purveyors of fine telescopes, as in "If you have to ask how much..."

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, DaveS said:

 "If you have to ask how much..."

 

I understand what you mean, I must but another lottery ticket I think. 🙂 

That said then is it just that we are expecting too much from free, or at best fairly inexpensive, software ?

I am capable of writing windows applications, but not to the level of any of the sequence software mentioned here, but I would imagine even if i were capable the end product would be very much something I required rather than a package suitable for all of us to use. I think we are all very individual with our own thoughts and needs and very difficult to cater for everyone. 

Or am I just thinking too much here ????    Probably 🙂 

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang

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I must have tried nearly all. I went with SGP for a while because of the promise of dual scope support but it never materialised. Trying to maximise the rare UK clear skies I got very frustrated trying to use a dual rig & then a triple at one point with different software. I'm lucky enough to have built my own obsy and it was the much missed Per who in the end persuaded me that ACP was the way to go.. eye watering yes, but then so are Astrodons & Chromas!! I had discounted it before because it only supports one scope at a time but the thing is once I got the hang of it.. & yes it may be "just a bunch of scripts" .. it made such a difference.. far out performing managing a triple shooter all night with no sleep for sky time!. So I fully automated the Obsy. I can go to bed with a cloud filled sky.. wake up to a cloud filled sky .. but checking the catch in the morning it's been opening up grabbing subs, closing with bad weather & then opening.. etc. For the UK's weather its ideal to grab those rare gaps. The scheduler will keep it going for months.. years even. I've literally not had the need to go into the obsy for months at a time. In fact, I still have data going back a few years now that I just haven't got around to processing! So yeah, I'd have probably given up through lack of sleep alone if I hadn't gone down the automation route with ACP.

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5 hours ago, Sp@ce_d said:

I must have tried nearly all. I went with SGP for a while because of the promise of dual scope support but it never materialised. Trying to maximise the rare UK clear skies I got very frustrated trying to use a dual rig & then a triple at one point with different software. I'm lucky enough to have built my own obsy and it was the much missed Per who in the end persuaded me that ACP was the way to go.. eye watering yes, but then so are Astrodons & Chromas!! I had discounted it before because it only supports one scope at a time but the thing is once I got the hang of it.. & yes it may be "just a bunch of scripts" .. it made such a difference.. far out performing managing a triple shooter all night with no sleep for sky time!. So I fully automated the Obsy. I can go to bed with a cloud filled sky.. wake up to a cloud filled sky .. but checking the catch in the morning it's been opening up grabbing subs, closing with bad weather & then opening.. etc. For the UK's weather its ideal to grab those rare gaps. The scheduler will keep it going for months.. years even. I've literally not had the need to go into the obsy for months at a time. In fact, I still have data going back a few years now that I just haven't got around to processing! So yeah, I'd have probably given up through lack of sleep alone if I hadn't gone down the automation route with ACP.

Sounds like you have achieved what most imagers dream of (and with plenty of sleep to dream with 🙂 ).

I also guess that it does raise another point about imaging, or sequencing, software. What is required by somebody, like myself, with a scope and mount that I have to get out when weather permits, or even somebody with a permanent pier but still no obsy, is totally different to what somebody with a fully automated obsy ideally requires. And then as you mention anybody with a dual or triple rig also needs much more flexibility and ways and means of handling data.

Steve

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