Feature Request: Initial Setup Wizard


So, someone posted in Cloudy Nights how SGP is hard to configure for first time users to the point he chose to use ACP/MaximDL. This floored me! Would it be possible to create some kind of a form that populates all the fields when you initially start SGP? You know, all the little things like,‘do you have a observatory?’ Or ‘what is your camera image scale?’ Instead of relying on the user to manually go through and do this.

I’m just thinking a guided setup might help people who are unwilling to ask for it and might help the ‘noobs’.

What do you think?


I think that could be quite useful… I know I have certainly had to climb up the learning curve to find where all the various settings are, and, those settings interact in ways that I did not initially expect. It all makes sense, in the end, but it took me a while to get there. (And, I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet fully arrived.) But, you know, this is how it is… with great power comes great responsibility: sophisticated, flexible programs have settings. It is inescapable.

A “Quick Start Guide”, (“quick” for certain long, slow, complex values of “quick”), could be quite useful.


Of course, I like the idea, but since I’m not the one who’d have to code up such a thing, my opinion should be deeply discounted.


From my experience, Maxim DL makes SGP look like child’s play. I find SGP more intuitive than most, if not all the other control programs I have owned or demo’d. Read and re-read the Help files…they are way better than most.


Agreed. I went the other way too and found SGP to be fantastic compared to the other options. But, apparently it is a barrier to entry. I think it needs to be more than a tutorial; there are several of those out there (all very good). It needs to be an initial setup wizard that walks you through all the basic settings.


I like this idea. It will require some careful planning though or it will end up as complex as just entering settings in like they are right now.


One thought, there are a lot of properties in the ASCOM drivers that could be used, for example the Telescope driver has focal length and diameter properties, the CCD driver has pixel size and the focuser has step size.

These could be used to set up things such as the pixel scale and make an estimate of a good auto focus interval. The focal length, pixel size and CCD size in pixels give you the field size.

This relies on these properties being set correctly of course but it could help.

One thing to bear in mind with people saying another application is better is that software is very good at teaching you to work round the issues. People who are familiar with the most arcane and complex software will think it’s easy and obvious and get quite hostile to people who suggest otherwise. Better not to name names :slight_smile:

I’ve abandoned CN as a reliable source of information or somewhere I can contribute.




I can relate to your feelings on CN. I still like to pop over there and remind people that SGP is a viable solution to their imaging needs. I dunno if I’d like to trust that people would fill those fields out in ASCOM when apparently it’s difficult to do when you initially setup SGP.

I don’t find SGP ‘hard’ to setup after trying to use CCDAP/MaximDL/etc. It’s the easiest astro-software I’ve ever used. But, I think it could be a little more user friendly with a simple ‘Welcome to imaging, here is the stuff we need to make this work!’ wizard.


Done the same on CN, added the link to the video’s, which may be easier than writing a wizard?


That’s the problem Buzz, people are ‘lazy’ and don’t want to watch a video. I agree with you that I don’t find SGP even a little tedious to setup. Install ASCOM, install drivers, install PHD2, install SGP… fill out profile, fill out equipment page, build a sequence, and you’re imaging.

I think if we had something similar to what PHD2 has now, it would help people get imaging faster and make the process less daunting.


After climbing the mountain called The SkyX, learning and using SGP was more like taking a walk around the block.
I hope the Developers continue to spend their time and resources on meaningful advances to this amazing software.


My put there would be that if they have more money, they’ll develop even cooler advances later on :).

The more accessible SGP is, the less likely it ends up like some of the other guys.


The weather here in germany is always cloudy, so I do not make astrophotography that much. I think I had filled all fields in SGP right, but I am not shure. I wish I have had an setup wizard. Sorry for my poor english.


Just a thought - there may be another approach. When I am doing batch processing in PI, it runs a diagnostic beforehand to tell me if I have missed anything.

Maybe there could be a sanity check feature that would review the settings and warn of any missing information or risks in the settings (like slave settings)? Starhopper would benefit from something as simple as a checklist.