New / Improved Features for SGPro


#1

Hi folks,

I’m coming back from a much needed break (at a bit of a slower pace). The first step for me is to get back in touch with our users. Honestly, I have lost the pulse of the community, the feature request category is in a bit of a mess and I’m not 100% certain where most of the needs, wants and pain exist.

The easiest way past this hurdle is probably just to ask… Below is a list of stuff that, at least at one time, had been pretty popular requests. This is the first pass. Please add to this thread with feature requests or links to existing ones that are not included. Once we have a decently complete list together, I will post a “poll” and give folks a couple weeks to vote on stuff. Hopefully this will aid in terms of getting back in touch and re-prioritizing our backlog in some type of meaningful way.

If at all possible please avoid making requests that try to compensate for inadequacies in gear or other software (some exceptions to this are made). Example: My whizbang swirls like it’s supposed to but sometimes it will report that it is done swirling when it is still swirling just a little bit… can you add an option that that allows me to set a swirling delay before the sequence continues? SGPro trying to compensate for all of these idiosyncrasies is a very quick way to make an unusable application. If you’re not sure if your request falls into this category, please go ahead and post… not a super big deal.

Stuff our users want (in no particular order):

  • Auto focus frame cropping (for cameras that support it)
  • Multi camera sequence capture (coordination of dithering, target change, meridian flips, target synch, other options, etc…)
  • Target options for specifying start and end times with methods other than local time (altitude, etc…)
  • Proportional event rotation, instead of just normal rotation or forcing a filter to finish, the target will move to the event that is behind… when all are equal, will proceed with normal rotation
  • Smarter dithering decisions (i.e. not dithering if filter changes, after other mount movement, other small time savers here too)
  • Dither every N frames option
  • Seed the MFW canvas with any arbitrary image and make it easy to expand its borders
  • Ability to use 32 bit FITS files as centering and MFW reference images
  • Flats Wizard overhaul: Scan the entire sequence for a comprehensive set of flats that would be required to cover all light frames. Be able to select / deselect easily (in case you have already captured some prior to running the wizard). Other items here too (like consideration of camera rotation).
  • Event profiles: Make predefined events, add them easily to a target, multiple targets or to an existing equipment profile (i.e. when the equipment profile is chosen, it might populate events with the chosen event profile)
  • Sequence merging tool: Merge other sequences into the current sequence (at the target level)
  • API enhancement: Right now the API is designed to control equipment that is attached to it, but has little to no control over ACTIONS… like starting / stopping a sequence, running AF, centering a target etc…
  • SGPro auto updater: If a user option is selected, have SGPro automatically download, install and restart new versions of SGPro (user is still involved in the decision)
  • SGPro memory consumption: Allow for SGPro to have a very large number of targets without consuming much memory.
  • More “target wizard” type behavior. Help selecting targets based on location, time of year, object type, etc… (extra cost addon)
  • Smart target execution: Given a sequence with a bunch of targets, create a run list to maximize data capture (extra cost addon)

#2

Welcome back Ken!

I would still like to see native support for the Innovations Foresight ONAG SharpLock technology.

Bob


#3

Welcome back Ken. All the main features are working really well for me. The changes to Autofocus have been a major breakthrough for me. I also can’t believe how I previously survived without plate solving. PS2 is great!

I think one major opportunity for improvement is with the reference image for the framing/mosaic wizard. The DSO images it currently downloads are pretty much unusable for me for framing purposes as there is insufficient detail in the nebulosity to allow informed framing. I believe there are other options that provide better quality and detail - Astroplanner has access to some good examples.

Cheers,

Peter


#4

Hello Ken and welcome back!!!

There is one request about not to scale DSLR data to 16 bits :


would like if you give this consideration.


#5

Hi Ken,
welcome back.
My top 3 list is:

1 Multi camera sequence capture

2 Dither every N frames option
3 Smarter dithering decisions

Thanks

Regards Uli


#6

Great to have you back Ken… Hope that the break was good for recharging your batteries and spending quality family time together :slight_smile:

Something that did come up while you were away was the ability to be able to plate solve every N frames… this is getting more relevant now with the introduction of the new CMOS sensors that only require very short exposures, but possibly many of them… It makes DSO imaging really viable for those people not using a GEM mount and they really will need to be able to plate solve every so often to get the target back to the middle of the frame.


#7

I hope you’ve enjoyed your break with family and are fully refreshed.

It would be great to have an option to auto-disconnect from equipment at the end of the sequence, including non-light frames, to enable auto-power down of equipment using remote power devices, eg IP power switches.


#8

Welcome back, Ken!

Two that would make my imaging more effective:

  1. Starting and stopping targets based on altitude.
  2. Signal PHD2 to autoselect a guide star after autofocus.
  • Shane

#9

Perhaps just clear out all the current entries in the “Feature Request” category and let users start requests anew since many of those requests have been met by the latest release of SGP.

BTW – if you never added another feature, I would suggest SGP is already the best image acquisition product there is.

Charlie


#10

Hello Ken
Welcome back.

I’m really struggling with auto focusing when I use Nikon D810A.
The autofocusing works great with QSI683 but somehow it is not working well with D810A.

I’m not sure this is due to thee new aggressive binning done to accommodate slower PCs.
During autofocusing the image statistics report binning 800.

Another thing that I notice is that the number of stars found reduces a lot while the autofocus routine approaches to the best focus.
For example the number of stars are 300 when HFD is 4.5 but it starts reducing.
When the HFD is around 3.2, the number of stars are reduced down to below 70 near the best focus.
This seems to be skewing HFD by not using those smallest well focused stars.
I tried different minimum pixel sizes but it didn’t really help me.

I’m not sure if my issue is the resolution of the images or the nature of DSLR images.

Thank you.
Donghun


#11

Center without relying on sync slew. Sync optional at end. I provided tested code.

Autofocus choice of direction. Increasing or decreasing. Right now this required an electronic or mechanical fix. The user should just indicate which way to take the focus curve and how much backlash there is. Then the backlash compensation direction would be known.

Delay any image after focus change. I cannot use autofocus with some cameras without this.

Display autofocus result immediately when it is known and before prompting for new curve. I cannot tell if the result is good or not if I don’t know what it is.

Frank


#12

Welcome back Ken.

In addition to some of the items on your list, a few minor things I would like to see:

Allow “last opened” sequence to open on start;

Allow log files to be saved wherever I want (i.e. the cloud).

Do not force new sequence with flats wizard - I use an led panel that is not consistent and has to be be calibrated every session. It’s frustrating when SGP’s flats wizard requires a close of the current sequence and opens a new sequence, shutting down the camera cooler in the process.

Larry


#13

Welcome Back!


#14

Alright… thanks for all the feedback. I will get an official poll together soon so no need to +1, like or vote yet, if it’s in this thread I’ll do my best to get it into a “voteable” format very soon.

AstroPlanner will use SDSS when available otherwise it uses DSS (just like SGPro). SDSS is higher resolution, but not useful for huge parts of the sky. I guess it’s possible that we might check SDSS first, then default to DSS, but that seems like a bunch of effort for not a lot of gain. DSS can be helpful for framing (and lots of folks are just fine with it) if you use the stretch controls to tweak the results a bit.

Not exactly sure what this means. I can’t recall the Flats Wizard needing to do this. Are you maybe referring to the “Flats Calibration Wizard”? If so, I still don’t really know what that statement means.

Implementing the third one seems hard and might get awkward.

Will definitely work on it… not 100% sure how to do it at the moment. Might just rename that whole category something like “old feature requests” and then start a new empty one.


#15

Welcome back Ken!

I have a request which just came up tonight in another post. I have just learned that for Paramounts, Software Bisque has removed all sync functions in newer builds of TSX. This breaks the accurate centering function of SGP for Paramounts. Yes, I can stay with the older version but eventually these builds will become the release version.

Perhaps the accurate centering function could be changed to not require a sync to the mount? Just nudge it?

Chris


#16

See above for my reference to centering without sync. It should work fine for your issue and many others that come up.

Frank


#17

+1 for this feature


#18

I would like to see take flats at park position added to equipment profile.
Also a take flats button now would slew to park if a scope is connected.
Finally, the wizard should be able to insert flats at the beginning or end of a sequence.

A way to see object elevations for planning.
One thought allow planning information import through the from the free online tool http://dso-browser.com/.
(It does not have rotation currently)

Welcome back!

Max


#19

Ken, Sorry for the lack of clarity. Yes, I meant the Flats Calibration Wizard. It requires you to assign the calibration to a profile, then it tells you it will close the current sequence and start a new sequence. I think the problem is it is assumes everyone will have one flats calibration per profile, but that just isn’t consistent with the use of variable light sources. I would like to see the calibration done for either a profile OR for an open sequence so I can re-calibrate every morning.

Larry


#20

Ken,

Welcome back! I am glad that you come back!

Cheers,

Jose


www.mainsequencesoftware.com