Newbie Alert



I am a first time user getting the SGP environment set up. I have a few (probably very simple) questions that I cant find answers to in the helps at this point:

  • In a few places in the help files I have noticed that other packages are mentioned as ‘most commonly used with SGP’. Is there a list of a recommended (or most commonly used) full set up? What other set of applications are ideal to bolt up with SGP?

  • I am assuming that if I want to send myself an email or SMS alert when some part of the sequence completes (or fails) I can do that by writing a script, then hooking it to the appropriate event in the sequence a via pre- or post- event script. Is this correct?

  • It looks like the Delay setting on the Sequence Management screen is between all of the events in the script. Can I have a delay between just two events that I select (maybe via script?)

  • I see how to connect to an environmental monitor but not how to use the inputs from it in the sequences. If clouds come over , for example, how would I stop the sequence, send me an alert, etc?

Do I own and align the telescope first, from some other pgm (like TheSky or the mount hand controller) then start up SGP? How does SGP figure out the initial position of the telescope post alignment?

Thanks for the help.


It’s primarily PHD2 for guiding and PinPoint or PlateSolve2 for Solving. Lots of folks also setup ANSVR as a failover for solving as well.

You can just use the Notification System that is already built in to do this. For the SMS you’ll likely need to use an SMS Gateway provided by your cellular service (most support this). Essentially you email yourself like and it sends you a text. Domain varies by carrier:

Yes, this is correct. You can set a start and end time in targets. Maybe this is what you’re looking for? If not what would be the reason to delay between events in the same target?

At the moment the observing conditions device is not used to trigger a safe/unsafe condition. This data is used to populate information in your files. Many Observing Conditions devices also implement a Safety Device which is what SGP will use to determine if your sequence should be aborted.

This depends on your individual setup. But generally you’ll want to get your mount setup, polar aligned, and have a pointing model setup prior to connecting the mount to SGP. However if you’re using Auto Center with Plate Solving in SGP then you can likely skip the pointing model and just do a single solve and sync to tell your mount where it is located.

We’re connected to the telescope, so we just ask it for the position and it tells us.



Thanks for your response.

—> I’ll get the plate solving packages that you mentioned.

—> I will also check out the Notification System more thoroughly. I have clearly missed something important there.

—> In thinking about the delay issue more carefully, I can see that you are correct: the asymmetric delays that I was thinking of would only happen between sequences, not inside them. I think I’m straightened out on this one.

—> Does SGP expose an object model that I could hook to if I wanted to build a UI to allow the user to specify environmental unsafe conditions and actions to be taken?

—> Understood on the initial positioning. Sounds ideal.

Once again: my compliments on this product. It has clearly been designed by people who really know what they/we need at the telescope. I cant wait to get outside to try it!



Another question: Is there a place in SGP to log data from a Sky Quality Meter (to record seeing conditions)?



I tried to use the product last night, but it was unable to perform the autofocus. It kept getting hung up trying to do a plate solve to get the sequence started: it said ti was unable to perform the solution because there were too few stars. Then it failed over to my secondary tool and failed again. My primary plate solve is PinPoint and my fail over is: (remote). Any ideas how to get around this?




Try increasing your exposure time to get more stars, and bin 2x2 if your camera supports it. But we need to know more info about your setup (equipment) and what your current plate solve settings are.


I will try that next time out. Not knowing what you are looking for, I created some print screens for you to look at. Anything pop out? Is there anything else I can supply?



Yeah, you’re exposure time is only 1sec which is too low especially for an OSC camera. I’d push it to 7-10s.

Is your image scale really 4.0 arcs/px? What camera, telescope (and reducer if used) are you using?

Finally, your “attempt to center” is only 1 time. This means that SGP will only attempt to center the image 1 time and if the solve is more than 50 pixels away SGP will give up and go into recovery. Of course, this isn’t your problem here as you aren’t even getting a star image that works. But I would set “attempt to center” to 10 times.


Thanks. I wasnt sure what to set those values to. I’ll try it again when I get back outside.



Yes, the scale on that camera is actually: 4.13 It is a
Starlight Xpress Trius SX-25C mounted at the front of an 8" Celestron astrograph using theStarizona Hyperstar, which brings the image train down to f/1.9



Hmmm…in that case binning 2x2 may not be such a good idea, as that means your scale is 8.26 which is really high. You’ll just have to experiment with that.


Hmmm…in that case binning 2x2 may not be such a good idea, as that means your scale is 8.26 which is really high. You’ll just have to experiment with that.