A question really easy


I write from Italy. I apologize now if it appears difficult to understand.
is a long time since I follow you, I have not tried any trial, but one of these days I’ll try.
My question is simple; the rumors were saying that you would put in the new version of the versatile and connect and control more than two CCD at a time.
It 's true, you want to do it but you have not yet inserted or there is no hope?

Many of us, in order to optimize the nights, installing multiple telescopes with CCD for everyone, but the difficulty is then the management / synchronization.
I am waiting … confident?

Clear skies and congratulations for the work already done.



I am not aware of any application that can control multiple imaging cameras. If it was connecting via ASCOM, that currently imposes a limitation too. There are some workarounds but…
When you think about what is needed, it is not a question really easy after all ! - multiple cameras suggests multiple focusers, multiple filter wheels, multiple guiding settings and maybe control of multiple mounts too.


I assume it is not easy to achieve such a program, but I think that a program that has the ability to control at least 3 CCD (including guidance), 3 focusers and rotators, filter wheels, would make the case for many, and the good fortune of those who created.

The news of a number greater than 2 CCD, etc… I had read on a forum … I hope that one day the miracle happens.

Clear skies




I believe that you can control multiple cameras simply by using multiple instances of SGP. The limiting factor would be dithering - which would need to be disabled. My understanding is that the SGP developers are working on that:

I have never tried multiple instances of SGP (I think I’ll try it) but I have read where others have done so successfully. A few things come to mind that you might want to be aware of. Only one instance should be connected to the mount. Also, you may have problems if your cameras are the same model and use the same ASCOM driver. I think there is a way around this, but don’t recall what it is.

However, if your cameras are all different, and have different ASCOM drivers, there should be no problem running multiple instances of SGP. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.



Hello Tim,

I do not think that with double or multiple instances you will have the desired result, since you can not manage the monitoring of the two instances filming began, the waiting time for dithering and everything else.

I hope someday…



The only real problem with multiple instances of SGP would be coordinating dithering. At present, there is no way to do that. So dithering would need to be disabled. Another potential issue I suppose would be shutter shake if you’re using a DSLR as one of the cameras. CCDs generally don’t have this problem, so if all of your cameras are CCDs, this would not be an issue. You could control each camera, exposure length, focus and filter choice independently as long as you aren’t dithering. The only other issue I potentially see would be meridian flips. If the instance of SGP that is controlling the mount orders a flip while the other camera(s) are imaging, you would lose those frames. It is certainly not perfect, but definitely workable.



There are actually quite a few issues with multi-camera imaging stability (stuff we are working on):

  • Dither coordination
  • Target coordination
  • Target centering coordination
  • Meridian flip coordination
  • Recovery mode synch


It seems like there needs to be some definition of what a multi-camera setup actually is. I assume we are talking about a single, beefy mount with multiple imaging OTAs. Each OTA has a focuser, filter wheel and camera. Not SGP controlling multiple mounts simultaneously.

One such multiple OTA system I saw had four OTAs on one mount with each OTA dedicated to a single filter. This allowed LRGB data to be captured simultaneously. Of course, all four OTAs were precisely aligned to point at the same spot on the sky.



For info - I’m using the Optec ASCOM server - which acts as multi-device ASCOM hub and also has the facility to connect to two devices of the same type. Currently it is the only hub that I know of that allows non-standard ASCOM commands to domes. It is not free but not expensive.


I’m using two cameras in two instances of SGP, it works very well for me. I am using dither but the second camera is wide field with much shorter exposures so the odd dropped sub is not a problem.