End time does not run end of event

I’m not sure if this is a bug in the software or a misunderstanding on my part (although I can take a guess which!), but the end of sequence does not seem to run when I have a single event with a specified end time. The details:

I wanted to shoot IC1396, but due to obstructions such as trees and the house, I wanted it to end at midnight. I set the event to take 80 images at 3-minutes each, and started around 20:30. Since the sequence would have ended well after midnight, I set the end time in the target settings to midnight. The post-event setting option was set to park the telescope.

My expectation was that things would run until midnight, capturing less than 80 images, then shut things down. When I checked in the morning, I found that this didn’t happen as I expected. There were a total of 61 frames captured (as expected), but the camera was not disconnected, PHD2 was not disconnected, and the scope was not parked and had continued to track (things finally shut down around 04:30 when the battery died). From this, it appears that specifying an end time shuts down the image capturing, but leaves everything else running, e.g., the end of sequence cleanup is never run. As a side note, I’ve run this same sequence before without an end time and the mount parked when the sequence was complete. The only difference is that this time I set an end time.

Is this expected behavior (in which case using an end time doesn’t do what I want), a bug in the software, or have I misunderstood the end time functionality and/or missed a required step? I’m running release version, I’ve attached the log file of the sequence also, if that helps.

sg_logfile_20191102193107.txt.zip (106.3 KB)

An obvious question - did you enable the shutdown/disconnect feature? It is not on by default.There is a small icon in the sequencer window that brings up the sequence options.

Nope - I missed that one. Thanks for the info, and I’ll remember that one in the future. It doesn’t address why the scope didn’t park, though. This is also the first time that I’ve run out of battery power, which suggests that something is consuming power that normally does not, even though the shutdown/disconnect wasn’t enabled in earlier runs.

Thanks again for the info (I’m still learning!)

Possibly another miss - how did you tell SGP to park your mount at the end of sequence?

I had a single event, and in the event settings I had the post event options set to park the scope. The “park” icon in the event listing was set, which implies (to me) that at the end of the event, the scope should park. The only difference between this run (where the scope did not park) and previous runs using the same sequence file (where the scope did park) is that in this run I checked “end time” in the time constraints in the target options. That seems to have messed things up.

It never reached end of event if it timed out first. The event is complete when all the exposures are made. SGP is working as you direct it. I routinely run mine while I’m asleep and it puts itself to bed when I run out of darkness or altitude. Check the other options for the sequence rather than for an event.

Found it - in the telescope tab on the control panel there is an option to park telescope at end of sequence. A sequence is ‘ended’ if it times out.

OK, that explains things (and thanks very much for taking the time to dig into this and provide an explanation). I looked at the sequence window (which is still open from last night), and it shows 75% complete. That tallies nicely with your explanation and shows what is happening. I should have picked up on the discrepancy between when things ran out of battery (04:30) and the fact that the sequence was only 75% complete at midnight.

This sounds like a logic bug in SGP to me. You can have an end time for a target that is earlier than the projected completion time of an event, and in this case things will just hang since the event never completed. End of sequence processing may occur, but the event is still active. So now you have an active event within a completed sequence. Seems a bit convoluted to me, but knowing how things do and do not work I can compensate.

I think the safest thing is to just skip setting the end of target times and figure out timing by hand, as well as checking the park scope option in the sequence options.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions - right on target (so to speak) and very helpful!

Not really - a sequence is made up of several targets. Each target has a number of events. It can occur that the sequence end time is earlier than a target end time - completely up to the user and in practice, necessary. My target exposure times span several nights but I need the sequence to terminate when the altitude gets low or I run out of night. If a target ends before the sequence end time, it just means it completed early. It either goes on to the next target in the sequence (if there is one), or SGP runs end of sequence. If the sequence reaches it end time before a target/event is completed, SGP saves the sequencer file so that on the following session, it picks up from where it left off. It has been like this since the beginning and it does work well.

Aha - I think I have it now and can understand the reasoning behind the behavior. Just to clarify, I’ll use a contrived example as follows. I want to capture an image of an object, and want a total of 24 hours of integration time. In this case I would set up the sequence as follows:

1.	A single event, with the number of exposures and exposure time totaling 24 hours.
2.	Event start time when it’s dark enough and the object has risen high enough
3.	Sequence end time when the object is setting or when it gets too light
4.	Don’t park the mount when the event ends since that won’t happen for a few nights
5.	Park the mount when the sequence terminates since that will happen every night

I then run the sequence for several nights, and it will pick up exposure count each night starting where it ended the night before. If it turns out that the start and end criteria limited each night to 5 hours total exposure, then it would take 4 full nights plus one partial (4 hour) night for me to get 24 hours of exposure.

Assuming that I have this correct, I understand how all this ties together now, and can also see how incredibly useful it is. I can also see how it’s easy to get multiple targets per night over multiple days using this method.

Thanks again!!