Detailed Sequence View

Hi Gents:

So what I would desperately appreciate and love to see would be an option that shows EVERY step that SGP is going to take when I press the “resume sequence” button. There are so many things buried in equipment control and target setups that it’s not obvious what is going to happen when I start the sequence. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve manually had something perfectly framed and focused and guiding started and SGP goes off and starts a target sync or focus sequence and messing up the guiding to boot. If there was something on the main page (give me a tab or something if necessary) that would show that pressing start is going to take a certain set of steps before and/or between images, it would save a lot of headaches, not to make it easier to see what all the buried checkboxes are doing.



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Do you mean by this that you are either not using SGPs “Center on when target starts”, or you are using it and then you manually adjust your framing of the target? If the later, this would be a bad process to follow. Any loss of guide star by PHD2 will force a re-center process and you will lose your manual framing.

The focusing process should not mess up your centering much if you selected to turn off guiding during the auto-focus process. This is important if the auto-focus routine moves focus far enough out to cause PHD2 to lose the guide star, if you are using an ONAG.

In my experience, SGP always performs a very consistent set of processes. I would suggest you make note of these for several nights, making careful note of anything you did manually, to see where there are differences and what caused them. You should end up with a very consistent set of events.

No, I mean I’ve manually done a “center on target” by right clicking and have no need to do it again. Likewise on the auto focus. Part of the reason for that is that for whatever reason, SGP/PHD2 does a very poor job of auto-selecting a guide star and usually ends up with garbage guiding.

If everything was fully automated and everything worked perfectly, then that would be one thing, but that’s not the case. While I’m working towards that goal, I still generally have to fiddle quite a bit and also battle the weather, etc. Thus, I have a sequence with a list of targets that which target I start with and how far I go, etc. depends on conditions and opportunity. So one night I might want to start with the first target and have it switch to the second target at a certain time, while on a later night it might not be possible to start with that target and I might skip to the next one but not want to have the same options checked then. When I select a target (or more) for continuation of the sequence, I’d really like to be able to see everything that the sequence is about to do. Digging through each target’s settings to see whether or not a particular checkbox is checked, etc. is annoying (and should be unnecessary) at best. Note that this would also be different if SGP were smart enough to realize it’s already ON the target (and in focus) and not just blindly do it again.

At any rate, the point here is that this is not about changing my process, but rather having SGP be clear about what steps it’s going to take. Note that this leads in to another request that is associated with this “finer grain” visibility of a sequence and that’s to actually have additional non-imaging/non-target sequence steps that could be added to the sequence list. As-is, every extraneous action you might want to have happen is tied to a target and an image sequence. It’d be nice to have a finer level of control.



So I will ask again: are you using “Center on when target starts” for all of your targets?

If you are doing that, then you should never do a manual “center on target”. That is because as soon as PHD2 loses the guide star, once PDH2 recovers the guide star, SGP will then re-do the “center on target” thus undoing your manual “center on target”. You can’t mix the two without getting the results you are seeing.

On PHD2 not picking a good guide star. What interval are you using for PHD2 image taking? You may find that increasing the exposure time by a factor of 2 to 4 will give PHD2 a lot more stars to choose from.

I am curious as to what all these parameters are that you are changing from target to target. I have not found this to be necessary or useful.

And I thought I answered, but I guess I didn’t make myself clear. The answer is, “It all depends.” In some cases I may attempt to use the center on start, but if I’ve already done so, I don’t want or need to do so again. The point of the requested feature is to find that out without having to go digging through the menus to see the settings for the next thing that will execute. Again, I’m not asking to be told to use the tool differently, I’m asking to have the tool be more user friendly to the way I need to use it. I have good reasons for why I’m operating the way I am at the moment, and a visible queue of events would be very helpful, even if I was running fully automated all the time. At a minimum, a “next action” status bar that shows the next thing that will occur (and is up to date BEFORE I press the start/resume button) would be better than nothing.



AMEN to the original post and I haven’t even read it all yet. YES! So glad someone brought it up. YES I too and sometimes waiting for a loaded target to rise above the trees and go slew to something to kill time and want to
grab 10-20 shots and am FORCED to use frame and focus.

THEN I might click the goto for the previous target that is now above the trees and when I start it will slew and center (and doesn’t need to) so that means that I often go in and uncheck slew and center and then start. Then something always seems to go wrong, it will of course start focusing. (and I was already in focus). Of course curing centering it will plate solve and spend 5 minutes solving and centering. I know I can turn these off but like the original poster said - things are BURIED ALL OVER THE PLACE.

To toggle them off do I do that in control panel? If I could wish for one thing in SGP it would be a SINGLE screen that has user profile, site, all options on one page.

Here is another scenario. I have a library of SEQ files. All setup for one setup. I swapped the camera from this setup which didn’t want a filter wheel (OSC). The sequences all screwed up when I tried to use the new setup. (It just occured to me - do I create just a different equipment profile? ) that’s what I mean - THERE ARE TO MANY PLACES TO ENTER DATA.

So anyway - I use the old SEQ file, I change to NO FILTER WHEEL in the connect devices. And the setup still screws up. Why? (focus had a with filter option on) (buried somewhere else, then place solve has a filter specified as well. The whole darn sequence I had set for another camera is a mess. so I go to stop the sequence (pause) and the dome shuts the shutter and the mount often goes to park.

If I don’t stray from the same routine. (started at park and run sequence) I’m fine. But if there is any bit of straying from the norm - all hell breaks loose.

  1. If the filter wheel is disconnected from devices. (ALL refrences to “use filter [ ]” should be blank / off. This way if we don’t use the filter wheel the rest of the settings aren’t wrong and it won’t error trying to set a filter for plate solve exposure or focus.

  2. Maybe have an option for SLEW and CENTER - you have “on and off”. How about adding a “ASK”. This way unattended sessions the guy can click “ON” and forget it. But for many of us that are present and using the system… we can set “ASK” and at the start of the sequence it could pop up - "slew? [ ] center [ ]? and we can leave them checked or uncheck.

  3. Same for start sequence or resume focus. A setting of On [ ] Off [ ] or Ask [ ] would again help because 1/2 the time I need a focus done and the other 1/2 the time I already am in focus.
    Adding a ASK option would always present a pop up for easy toggling of the option. As it is now we have to dig for the option. And in many cases it errors and says “a filter wheel is needed for this sequence” even though I have it disconnected and no filters are in the sequence list. I then wonder where is the option looking for a filter.

The option to “perform this on seq start” or “perform this on seq resume” seems fine, but it’s not because it might be 50/50 if we want to return on start or resume. We might need a refocus or recenter after a resume. Or we might not need a focus or slew before start.

Again if I power up and load and say GO and (nothing is wrong) I’ll have a great night from SGP. On the other hand - RARELY is nothing wrong. If I found I slewed to tree tops I then have to pause. If I wait 5 minutes for it to clear the tree’s I won’t want to center and focus again if I’ve been tracking the target already. At that point there is no easy way to SKIP those parts of the sequence.

THIS IS THE ONE DREAM I’D LIKE FROM SGP. I guess I would call it the FLEXIBILITY update.

LordBeowulf said " At a minimum, a “next action” status bar that shows the next thing that will occur (and is up to date BEFORE I press the start/resume button) would be better than nothing."

YES must like a Continue Y/N or ASK!

ANY wrench in the system causes SGP to be a cluster f…!
Case in point - I was just pointing around - doing some test grabs. I wanted this shot and couldn’t get it in SGP (quickly) no other way than to click frame and focus 8 times.
I thought “THERE HAS TO BE A EASIER WAY” for a quick n dirty - just grab 8 reps.
I then used DSS LIVE to stack from the frame and focus directory.


EXACTLY - if we’re not setting it up for full automation and are sitting at the controls we might be just enjoying misc targets early in the night. Doing ANYTHING out of the norm messes up SGP. For example we might say “always start slew/center”. it does - but maybe we restarted again after a crash (and don’t need to) or maybe we paused right away because something was off and then a resume (slew and center on resume) does it again! But say we paused for another reason and we were not centered or focused then having focus on resume would not take place. THERE ARE LOTS OF SCENARIOS. SGP is programmed for only one scenario.
I have no problem guiding and lose of a guide start and selecting one doesn’t trigger a re-center? That would drive me nuts. I know exactly what LORD B is talking about. Some nights are smooth sailing others are a cluster of screw ups and a nightmare when you have a 30-60 minute window of clear sky and didn’t get anything accomplished. I find I have to revert to F&F exposures all to often. (so over ride SGP’s normal operation).

Thanks, Ron, for your support and excellent set of examples. I’ve been meaning to respond to this for a while and just haven’t had time (actually posting from the Heathrow business lounge at the moment!).

The one example I wanted to add is part of the focus (no pun intended) of another thread or two on improving focusing. Generally when I start a night, there’s not much chance that the focus will work first time out. I’m on an SCT and thus being more than a few steps from focus results in the dreaded M shaped curves. This, if for no other reason, is a critical reason to have the ability to manually focus when needed and not have to refocus if we’re in focus. Now each of those are issues listed on the other threads (better SCT star size detection, allowing better auto-ranging, and automatically detecting if the current position is still in focus or has drifted) but without that working perfectly, it’d be really nice to have better and more obvious control over what will happen when I press the run sequence button.


I have swapped over to a 11" RASA myself. I get you on the focus! I have REAL HARD TIME with auto focus on that scope. The focuser needs SO MANY STEPS to make a slight adjustment that I’m still trying to find out best focus “steps” to try. I’m still testing. SGP and the dome setup is often frustrating so I just put together a nice little portable setup with ASIair (love it) my 80mm and a full frame 094. OAG (To keep things simple). I had to laugh the other night. It’s like… everything COMES AROUND FULL CIRCLE. I started in the hobby a couple years ago doing this. Got sick of bugs and dew and got a dome and grew from there. NOW - I’m back to the small mount little scope and setting up. Though it’s FAR LESS WORK (no laptop) no cables. I just drop the scope setup - AC power and wireless IPAD to control it. (I polar align with the pole scope in the mount in about 15 seconds).
Then I pulled this shot with only 90 seconds. (and displayed on the ASIair like this.

YES 1 - 90 second exposure. No post other than Debayered, boosted levels and saturation. DONE.

Very cool! I ALMOST went for a full frame QHY-367C someone had last year, but wasn’t sure that I had a flat enough FOV on my ED80 to make it worthwhile vs. just using my camera zoom lens on my QHY-247C. Instead I decided to go the other direction to smaller pixel size and got a QHY-183C instead. I’m HOPING to do some good planetary with it this summer!