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Hi, 

So I've got EQMOD set up, APT and Sterallium, all working fine.  Problem is APT doesn't support fuji cameras, and whether I pick APT or Sterallium to go to an object I'm finding i still have to do a bit of slewing to get it bang on the target (not much, but a little). I've also got PHD2 set up too and working. 

Is there any other ways I can plate solve with these programs or is there another program I can use?

Cheers,

Mark

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54 minutes ago, david_taurus83 said:

Hi Mark. Have you tried the method I described previously by loading images into APT as opposed to taking them? Or have you tried playesolving with the guidescope/guidecam?

Hey, yes thanks again for the suggestion, no not yet, as I'm currently figuring out the best way to do your suggestion.  The fuji XT2 has 2 memory card slots, i shoot raw in the primary and jpg in the secondary.  It also has wifi and I believe I can set up file transfer to my laptop using it.  Just not go round to trying this.  Posted here to see if there was any other alternatives while I figure this out.

What program would I use the guide scope / camera in for plate solving? I know there is that option in SharpCap.

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3 hours ago, Sidecontrol said:

Hey, yes thanks again for the suggestion, no not yet, as I'm currently figuring out the best way to do your suggestion.  The fuji XT2 has 2 memory card slots, i shoot raw in the primary and jpg in the secondary.  It also has wifi and I believe I can set up file transfer to my laptop using it.  Just not go round to trying this.  Posted here to see if there was any other alternatives while I figure this out.

What program would I use the guide scope / camera in for plate solving? I know there is that option in SharpCap.

Ah I see, I didn't realise it would be so much of a pain then to try and load individual images from camera to PC. In that case, I'd give it a go with APT and your guidescope. What guidescope and camera are you using?

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13 hours ago, david_taurus83 said:

Ah I see, I didn't realise it would be so much of a pain then to try and load individual images from camera to PC. In that case, I'd give it a go with APT and your guidescope. What guidescope and camera are you using?

Been trying to set up the wifi transfer tongiht, apparently its been an issue for the last 6 years lol.

I'm runing the ZWO mini guide scope and the ASI 120mm mini mono cam

Edited by Sidecontrol
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I hope I am not adding confusion here as @david_taurus83 seems to have the best suggestions but if APT does not support your main imaging camera what is APT actually doing for you?

I expect nothing but you just want to use it to plate-solve and that you are using stellarium to say what your target is and then would like to plate-solve so you can correct the wrong position of your mount and get the image same as the FOV you selected in Stellarium.

If that is wrong then ignore the following.
So you cannot easily transfer an image from your main imaging camera to the laptop running APT / Stellarium but you are working on a way to do it via WiFi.

I would say using the guidescope and guide-cam is a possibility, but it does give you several things to overcome:

  • Guide-camera would need to see same FOV as your main camera - which it won't - but at least the center of the image needs to be on same center as the main camera if that makes sense.
  • Also the rotation of the guide camera needs to be same as your main imaging camera (or very close withing a degree or two)
  • Both the above will take a bit of doing but possible and so long as you do not dismantle guidescope and guide-cam from main scope after each session should be fine as you do not want to do this start of every session. Or at least have a way of removing the guide-cam and guidescope and making sure it goes back same rotation every session - which is easily done.
  • In both APT and Stellarium I would think you then have to set them up to say your guide-cam is the main imaging camera and your guidescope is the main telescope as this is what will give the FOV and image and it needs the Pixel size, image size and focal length etc of those to use in calculations in the plate solving.
  • I think it should then just work as APT and Stellarium just think you are imaging with guidescope and guide-cam.
  • The issue may come then when using PHD2 in that APT has a handle on the guide-cam and I am not sure PHD2 and APT can connect to same camera (maybe if using an ASCOM driver and not native driver - but this is something I don't know what I am talking about so no real idea). Or I guess you could hold off connecting to PHD2 until you have plate solved and in correct position and scope is in tracking mode then turn camera off in APT and connect APT then start guiding.

As I say sorry if I have misunderstood but they were my thoughts on the issue.
I guess if you can get the WiFi transfer of the jpg images between camera and laptop working then that would be easier and just get APT to look at the image and plate-solve. It will then move the mount to correct any error with respect to Stellarium and all is good.

Steve

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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When I suggested using the guidecam, my thinking was this.

Start APT but not PHD at first. Connect to the guide cam in APT. Connect to the mount in APT. Slew to your chosen target. Take a 10 second exposure with guidecam. At 130mm focal length you should pick up a good few stars. In Pointcraft, press Solve. If that fails try Blind. Fingers crossed, it solves the image. Press sync. Repeat until you are on target. Close APT now as you no longer need it. Connect up PHD and start your calibration/guiding. Set your Fuji to start imaging however you plan to do this.

There are a few things to consider before you try this. First, as Steve points out, the guidescope needs to be pointing in practically the same position as main scope. You can do this by aiming at a far off target during the day or at the moon at night. Secondly, you need to make sure you add a profile into APT for the guidecam and guidescope. Also, you need to make sure you have the relevant indexes installed in All Sky Plate Solver for the field of view of the guidecam and guidescope. Out of curiosity, I tried something like this myself. I struggled to get Solve to work but I got Blind to work. Fingers crossed it may help you as well.

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32 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

I hope I am not adding confusion here as @david_taurus83 seems to have the best suggestions but if APT does not support your main imaging camera what is APT actually doing for you?

I expect nothing but you just want to use it to plate-solve and that you are using stellarium to say what your target is and then would like to plate-solve so you can correct the wrong position of your mount and get the image same as the FOV you selected in Stellarium.

If that is wrong then ignore the following.
So you cannot easily transfer an image from your main imaging camera to the laptop running APT / Stellarium but you are working on a way to do it via WiFi.

I would say using the guidescope and guide-cam is a possibility, but it does give you several things to overcome:

  • Guide-camera would need to see same FOV as your main camera - which it won't - but at least the center of the image needs to me on same center as the main camera if that makes sense.
  • Also the rotation of the guide camera needs to be same as your main imaging camera (or very close withing a degree or two)
  • Both the above will take a bit of doing but possible and so long as you do not dismantle guidescope and guide-cam from main scope after each session should be fine as you do not want to do this start of every session. Or at least have a way of removing the guide-cam and guidescope and making sure it goes back same rotation every session - which is easily done.
  • In both APT and Stellarium I would think you then have to set them up to say your guide-cam is the main imaging camera and your guidescope is the main telescope as this is what will give the FOV and image and it needs the Pixel size, image size and focal length etc of those to use in calculations in the plate solving.
  • I think it should then just work as APT and Stellarium just think you are imaging with guidescope and guide-cam.
  • The issue may come then when using PHD2 in that APT has a handle on the guide-cam and I am not sure PHD2 and APT can connect to same camera (maybe if using an ASCOM driver and not native driver - but this is something I don't know what I am talking about so no real idea). Or I guess you could hold off connecting to PHD2 until you have plate solved and in correct position and scope is in tracking mode then turn camera off in APT and connect APT then start guiding.

As I say sorry if I have misunderstood but they were my thoughts on the issue.
I guess if you can get the WiFi transfer of the jpg images between camera and laptop working then that would be easier and just get APT to look at the image and plate-solve. It will then move the mount to correct any error with respect to Stellarium and all is good.

Steve

Hey thanks for the reply, 

I had set up APT and Strallium before I discovered that APT (its only the free version I'm using) doesn't support my camera.  I've since discovered the connecting my camera via wifi is a non starter, so I can only use a cable from my camera to my laptop (which I'll need to buy). 

If I don't need to use APT then I'm all ears for other alternatives. 

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Just now, david_taurus83 said:

When I suggested using the guidecam, my thinking was this.

Start APT but not PHD at first. Connect to the guide cam in APT. Connect to the mount in APT. Slew to your chosen target. Take a 10 second exposure with guidecam. At 130mm focal length you should pick up a good few stars. In Pointcraft, press Solve. If that fails try Blind. Fingers crossed, it solves the image. Press sync. Repeat until you are on target. Close APT now as you no longer need it. Connect up PHD and start your calibration/guiding. Set your Fuji to start imaging however you plan to do this.

There are a few things to consider before you try this. First, as Steve points out, the guidescope needs to be pointing in practically the same position as main scope. You can do this by aiming at a far off target during the day or at the moon at night. Secondly, you need to make sure you add a profile into APT for the guidecam and guidescope. Also, you need to make sure you have the relevant indexes installed in All Sky Plate Solver for the field of view of the guidecam and guidescope. Out of curiosity, I tried something like this myself. I struggled to get Solve to work but I got Blind to work. Fingers crossed it may help you as well.

Yes that pretty much how I would see it working 🙂 

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2 minutes ago, david_taurus83 said:

When I suggested using the guidecam, my thinking was this.

Start APT but not PHD at first. Connect to the guide cam in APT. Connect to the mount in APT. Slew to your chosen target. Take a 10 second exposure with guidecam. At 130mm focal length you should pick up a good few stars. In Pointcraft, press Solve. If that fails try Blind. Fingers crossed, it solves the image. Press sync. Repeat until you are on target. Close APT now as you no longer need it. Connect up PHD and start your calibration/guiding. Set your Fuji to start imaging however you plan to do this.

There are a few things to consider before you try this. First, as Steve points out, the guidescope needs to be pointing in practically the same position as main scope. You can do this by aiming at a far off target during the day or at the moon at night. Secondly, you need to make sure you add a profile into APT for the guidecam and guidescope. Also, you need to make sure you have the relevant indexes installed in All Sky Plate Solver for the field of view of the guidecam and guidescope. Out of curiosity, I tried something like this myself. I struggled to get Solve to work but I got Blind to work. Fingers crossed it may help you as well.

Thanks, this makes sense and I'll surely give it a try.

My guide scope / cam sits ontop of my telescope facing in the same direction.

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1 hour ago, david_taurus83 said:

When I suggested using the guidecam, my thinking was this.

Start APT but not PHD at first. Connect to the guide cam in APT. Connect to the mount in APT. Slew to your chosen target. Take a 10 second exposure with guidecam. At 130mm focal length you should pick up a good few stars. In Pointcraft, press Solve. If that fails try Blind. Fingers crossed, it solves the image. Press sync. Repeat until you are on target. Close APT now as you no longer need it. Connect up PHD and start your calibration/guiding. Set your Fuji to start imaging however you plan to do this.

There are a few things to consider before you try this. First, as Steve points out, the guidescope needs to be pointing in practically the same position as main scope. You can do this by aiming at a far off target during the day or at the moon at night. Secondly, you need to make sure you add a profile into APT for the guidecam and guidescope. Also, you need to make sure you have the relevant indexes installed in All Sky Plate Solver for the field of view of the guidecam and guidescope. Out of curiosity, I tried something like this myself. I struggled to get Solve to work but I got Blind to work. Fingers crossed it may help you as well.

I've ordered the cable for my camera to attach to my laptop, I'll give the cable a go, by upload a jpg to APT for plate solving before trying to use the guide cam. 

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