Have the ability to Save and Load Event lists


#1

One thing that I’ve not found is a way to save or load event lists - a set of filters, bin factors and exposures that can be added to a sequence. The sort of use for this would be, for example, a LRGB event list that would set up a set of events to acquire LRGB data, or a Calibration list that collected calibration data such as flats and darks.

I find that at present I end up doing a lot of repetitive set up, setting up this sort of data for each new sequence.

Or could I achieve this in some other way? Maybe by merging sequences?

Chris


#2

Chris - do you mean some standardised acquisition parameters that can be applied to a number of targets?


#3

yes, that’s the idea. Either targets in the same sequence or in different sequences.
Chris


#4

It could be almost like forming a sequence from three profiles:

Equipment profile - as today
Imaging Profile - exposures, organisation, type, file locations etc
Target Profile - targets, availability, angle, mosaic


#5

Yes, I love this idea.


#6

Me too. 


#7

OK… here is another brain dump of my thoughts. I apologize for the TLDR; but the beauty of this is that you will only read it if you do care. So… in the spirit of transparency, here it goes.

I have been thinking about this for a bit (long before this thread existed) and I hope I have arrived on a direction that can accomplish this without adding a massive amount of confusion (hopefully reducing it…). The approach will be kind of like this (I don’t have any storyboards, so you’ll have to use your imagination):

Picture the current equipment manager. As you’ll recall there is essentially a list of equipment profiles on the left hand side. The first thing that would happen is that this would go away and would be replaced by a standard Windows “Tree Control”. This will lay the groundwork for a consolidation of all profile manager types. The top items in the tree control will be “Equipment Profiles” and “User Profiles” (initially). Clicking on a profile in this tree control (by expanding the “Equipment Profile” item) will do the same thing it does right now… just load the profile. It will just allow for editing of all profiles from a single manager.

OK, so what? That doesn’t really get at the heart of the matter. The next step will be to add an “event profile” manager (add “Event Profiles” as a peer to the Equipment and User Profile items in the new tree control). When you add or edit here, you will see the normal event creation tools that you are used to seeing in the Sequencing Window. In here you can save various combinations of events. These profiles will have a dependency on equipment… like available filters, binning vs ISO, etc, so we will need to figure out a slick way to present that.

Alright… now we’re getting somewhere, but not where we want to end up ultimately. This is similar to what @buzz mentioned above, but I see it as possibly lending itself to the fabled sequence wizard

You get the idea… a wizard that asks some questions about your sequence and gets profile data that way. It asks how many targets you want, lets you select an event profile for each. You can finish this and click “Run Sequence”. If you forget something, there will, of course, be ways to apply profiles directly to an existing sequence (meaning that power-users could skip it altogether if they wanted to).

A couple examples:

  • You want to create a new galaxy sequence for a remote site. You have the equipment profile done, you made a user profile for this location and you are imaging a galaxy so you tell the wizard you want one target and pick your LRGB galaxy event set. Run the wizard, pick these profiles, select 1 target with the LRGB event set… everything is done and you are ready to go.
  • You have a sequence saved with the equipment you are you going to use tonight (meaning you created a sequence from an equipment profile… possibly by hand, possibly by using the wizard and skipping the target portion). At the time you started this, you were unsure of your targets. Later, you decide on a couple targets… one a broadband galaxy and the other a narrowband nebula. After adding each target (manually), you can apply an event profile to each. You would apply some LRGB variant to one and some NB variant to the other (maybe a bi-color or the full smack or whatever).

I think this is the leading candidate for the first beta of SGPro 2.5.


#9

Not sure what happened here… .looks like they got stripped out on the email post?


#10

I replied by email, it looks as if that doesn’t work. Try again.

With you so far. The display on the right would change to reflect what
is selected in the tree to the left.

This would be a named event list I suppose - LRGBEvents, Ha03Events,
FlatsAndDarks and so on. It would be another overlay on the right hand
side of the Profile Manager window, something similar to the lower half
of the Sequence window.

It looks as if it’s worth a try. Would some sort of UI demonstrator be
useful? Maybe with no functionality behind it? I’m not sure if many
people could give useful feedback without it being functional though.

How does this fit with the existing sequence manager? I find that,
because the sequence manager window is in front of me at the start I
seldom go to any of the profile managers. Would this replace the
existing Sequence window in some way? In any case people need to be
presented with the primary interaction window.

A use case to consider is the new user, starting SGP for the first
time. How do they get started?

I assume that they have some sort of imaging system, a telescope, a
camera, optionally a focuser, filter wheel, observatory etc., and it all
has the appropriate drivers installed. They may be slewing to targets
and using a totally manual approach to acquire data. This is what I did.

They download and install SGP, start it, then what? At present they are
presented with the sequence window, this is essentially a toolbox. This
is where a Profile Wizard would be useful. It would present the options
to select and set up the various devices one at a time in a sensible
order and where possible suggest reasonable defaults.

The event section could be populated with sensible default event sets.

They should end up with a system with equipment and user profiles set
up. They set a target, this is set with default settings, for example
if no plate solver is specified it uses slew, not centre.

These default profile settings are saved.

By the way, the existing Target Settings window has an Object: Textbox
in the Reference Data (J2000) groupbox. What is this for? I get the
impression that I should be able to type an object name and the various
position fields would be populated automatically using some database.
It doesn’t actually do anything for me and it doesn’t seem to be
mentioned in the help.

Something that did do this would be very useful.

Hope this helps, it’s difficult to be clear by email.

Chris


#11

To be honest, I’m not familiar with the term ‘tree’ unless you mean a series of linked drop down menu selections. Anyway - these are my starters for ten:

If I think about what is going on behind the scenes first - in effect this could be a relational database of management options, device properties, exposure planning properties and target properties, linked together to form an event. A sequence would be an array of events. The discussion is then how best to allow the first time and experience user to populate the various tables and link them together to form an event. The nice thing is there are many databases out there today and I’m assuming we can evaluate them for inspiration.

I didn’t find SGP hard to work out in the first place and was up and running in a day (I was coming from MDL :wink: ) but I think we are approaching a point where a wizard is a good idea for the first time user. There is nothing like an early success to prompt further effort. The wizard could step through an instance of each device, exposure and target object in turn (or allow one to choose from one created earlier) with guidance on what the options do and then it would create a single-event sequence.

For the advanced user, the device (equipment) profile input system could remain but we would need a target profile input dialog (possibly linked with Astroplanner as today) and an exposure planner input dialog. It would require a re-working of the sequencer - so that what we now know as a sequence would be a series of events with a common equipment profile selector but behind the scenes linking target and exposure events. Its display could be similar to what we know today.

Exposure planning is interesting - it certainly is handy for doing calibrations but I suspect less so for imaging. I tune my exposures for each object so I do not clip bright cores etc… Certainly when I’m adding RGB stars to a NB setup, it tends to be a standard set of exposures.

There is another exciting possibility too. The exposure planner gives an opportunity for batching events as well as the customary exposure, filter, count and binning options . What I mean by that is say you have an imaging window for an object of 3 hours before it is obscured or is too low in the sky. You want to make the most of a clear night and can image several objects in turn as they pass over. The exposure planner could use Alt/Az limits which would make it move on to the next accessible target in the sequence, keeping track of the remaining exposures to do for each event. The sequencer would optimize the event order in terms of target positions, time of year and imaging Alt/Az limits. On each successive night it would pick up from where it left off. Theoretically, you could put a year’s worth of targets (events) into a sequence and just tell it to get on with it!


#12

This is an age-old windows control. You have seen it hundreds of times:


#13

We can probably rig something up to be a little more demonstrative before we dive in too deeply.


#14

Thanks, I did wonder - It obviously would work but I’m not sure it is as slick as some other means of tying together options. I’m assuming this is not the ‘wizard’ view.


#15

Correct, this is the “power user” view. The wizard view will be exactly what you’d expect from a Windows Wizard. Even with a wizard there still must be somewhere to manage profiles… this would be it.


#16

Buzz, it always makes me chuckle when someone tells me they find SGP hard to use. I feel the same way! :smile:


#17

Ken, that sounds really good. I really like how Chris described the ‘new user wizard’ too. I think that would really help what I’m reading over at CN.

I keep asking people to come over here and post feedback. Maybe we’ll get some more engagement on this process.

Chris


#18

Hi, I’m a recent adopter of SGP and find that I can do most of what I need in a highly concise and automated way. The one thing I find I have to do manually each time is the subject of this old thread - hope you don’t mind me re-awakening it.

Once I’ve used the excellent Framing & Mosaic Wizard and I have my generated sequence, I have to manually go into each event and set it up. Ideally I’d like to be able to load one of a range of defined event profiles - e.g. “LRGB 5minx20” or “LRGB Flats”, etc. One of these could be defined as the default as in the Equipment and User profiles. Is this available currently or could it be considered for a future release?

Thanks, Peter


#19

A thought - generate a one target sequence - target name “LRGB 5minX20” and set up the appropriate events
Then for your new sequence import this sequence File->Import-> SequencePro - make sure this target will not run but select and from the pull down menu select Copy Events to… - this will do as it says and your standard events will be in each of your targets. I use a variation of this for variable star lists from Astroplanner imports. A word of warning there is a limit in SGP about the total number events you can have in a sequence and it crash without warning if you exceed this - your limit will be determined by trial and error but mine is around 120 TOTAL Events


#20

Great suggestion - many thanks


#21

Unfortunately this doesn’t work for me - if I open the “LRGB5mX20” sequence that I have defined it has the set of events as I defined them but when I import it to another sequence it loses them so there are none to copy over to the real target…


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