New to SGP - advice on sequence management


#1

As the title suggests, I’m new to SGP and am having some difficulty racking my head around managing sequences that are incomplete from the night before and adding new items to the sequence. Do people usually name their sequences by night (i.e. Jan 1, 2016), or by objects? I could see just having one sequence per object, but that defeats the purpose of an automated system since you have to load each sequence for running.

For example, earlier this month, I had started IC405 and got about 40% through. That leaves me with some extra time at the end of that session. I’d like to start on another object that may span several nights depending on conditions. So it appears that having incomplete sequences that have targets piggybacking off others will be a recurring theme. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


#2

I’m not sure I understand the problem. If you have a seqence with one partially finished target, when you reload that sequence, the target will be in the exact same state (whatever frame you finished previously are still marked as done). Then you add a new target, add location data, check the box to have SGPro auto center on it and your sequence will move to this target as soon as your old target is complete.


#3

Thanks Ken for your response. I was thinking of keeping a historical record of what objects were done. It would be nice to have some way to manage that, either by adding profiles for targets or by selecting sequences to be run in succession (i.e. IC405 sequence, then M42 sequence, etc.)

As far as I know, there’s no means to automatically start another sequence after one has completed.

I suppose another way to segment it would be to save targets separately from sequences and add targets with all the events specified for LRGB, etc.

Thanks,
Gabe


#4

Gabe, glad to see you came over here.


#5

I guess that depends on what you’re after. At star parties I generally shoot multiple targets per night. Say 2 targets in the same sequence. However at home I generally focus on a single target at a time so I’ll have a sequence per target.

If you’re constantly splitting targets over multiple nights this could get a little laborious to manage. Or you just keep adding them to the same sequence until you decide enough is enough and scrap it and start over.

I think of a sequence like an objective “I want to shoot these 2 targets over 3 days”. I then setup the sequence with those two targets and have it jump to the second target when the first one is too low (or when the second is at it’s prime).

I see no reason to keep sequences around for “historical data.”

This is correct. But a sequence can support multiple targets.

Thanks,
Jared


#6

Hi, AstroGabe:

I just wanted to chime in and say that one of the things I like about SGP is that it allows for quite a bit of personal preference on how to organize imaging several objects over multiple nights.

The process that I’ve settled on is to develop a single sequence file for a night’s shooting session that may have multiple objects, each possibly with several filters depending upon my wishes for that night. If I have several nights of imaging, I make a copy of the sequence file and use a different directory in which to place my light frames each night. I like to have my raw files separated by night.

If I need to disturb the optical train from one night to another I try to first obtain a set of flats to associate with prior light frames, proceed with the changes, and then associate new flats with the next set of light frames. When possible, I try not to change the optical train so that I can apply a single set of flats to light frames from all of my nights, however this is not always possible. By having separate directories for each night I find that I can organize all of this a little more easily.

My preference for file names is to use lots of information in the name: object name, filter, CCD temperature, date, etc. I also try to use a “suffix” number to distinguish one night’s set of files from another. This comes in handy when combining calibrated images from multiple nights/directories later. This can be a bit cumbersome and makes for lengthy file names, however it’s the system that works best for me. Much of this information is available in the FITS header, however I still like to have it in the file name for my convenience.

You have opportunity to adopt your own system, which will likely be refined as you go along and get used to using SGP. Have fun, and good luck!

Best Regards,
Ben


#7

Hi AstroGabe,

I go by seasons. I’m currently working on a sequence named “Winter
2015” that has several targets that I intend to image over the next few
months. I only enable the ones that I want to do that night. If it
doesn’t finish that night (and it almost never does), it simply starts
up where it left off the next night. I add more targets as necessary.
I will actually be reusing my “Summer 2015” sequence sometime in May or
Jun, since I didn’t get as much data for some of my targets as I needed.
(Great monsoon season means we get a lot of very needed rain, but also
that I don’t get a lot of good imaging nights!)

Of course my method means I have to hope that Ken and Jared don’t make
any changes that invalidate old sequence files! Does anyone else run
multi-year sequences?

  • Shane

#8

Something very important would have to force our hand at this… otherwise we will make every effort to ensure that sequence remain compatible with future versions of SGPro.


#9

Thank you!


#10

Thanks everyone for the replies and tips on how they go about sequencing. It will really help. Last night, I imaged for the first time in a while and found myself tweaking the sequence - adding and removing objects. I settled on doing just a few objects, but in adding objects, I think that doing something along the lines of what Shane is saying makes quite a bit of sense. It’s good to hear that the sequence files will be compatible across subsequent SGP versions.

Thanks!
Gabe


www.mainsequencesoftware.com