Image AND scope controls are mirrored?

Discussion of features and issues relating to Altair Astro Cameras
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mchriste
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:48 pm

Image AND scope controls are mirrored?

Post by mchriste »

Hello, I recently bought an Altair camera and have started using Sharpcap Pro. I am running into a frustrating problem. With AltairCapture I have an erect image but in Sharpcap, the image is mirrored. What makes it very strange is that this mirroring also affects the scope controls in Sharpcap!

Let me explain:
Focusing on text at a distance.

In Altaircapture and Synscan App: Text is legible. Using the Synscan App, moving mount left makes bboth mount and image move left, right to right. ASCOM mount controls also behave the same way (tried both with Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel). No flip or rotation flags checked in AltairCapture.

In Sharpcap Pro: Text is mirrored. Telling the scope to move left moves the mount physically to the right, moving right makes the mount move to the left! Image is only flipped horizontally, up and down is correct and mount moves up when up, down when down. To be clear: commands sent to the mount from Sharpcap are physically mirrored.

My system specs:
Altair GPCAM3 385C on refractor (432mm f6), attached with star diagonal
Skywatcher AZ-GTI in AZ mode, EQDIR FTDI USB cable for AZ-GTI, connected via ASCOM
Windows 7 Pro 64bit, Skywatcher Mobile driver (Synscan Pro App 1.19.0 running, scope connected and aligned)
SharpCap Pro 3.2.6473.0 - 2021-01-02; AltairCapture 4.10.17729.20200922

Further thoughts:
[*]Isn't it strange that I am getting an erect image in AltairCapture in the first place? Since I am using a refractor and a star diagonal, shouldn't the image be mirrored? (Not using any rotation / flip controls).
[*]Switching between RAW/RGB has no effect. Flipping the image (in RGB) does not change the mount behavior.
[*]Does the fact I am using an AZ mount (no EQ wedge) have anything to do with it?
[*]Farfetched theory: could it be that Altair implements a horizontal flip for this camera by default (for convenience?9, but that Sharpcap does not read such a flag correctly?
[*]I'm still a newbie. This is my first astrocamera so maybe I am missing something obvious? :)

TL;DR: Sharpcap mirrors both image and scope controls, Altaircapture does not. Quid?
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admin
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Re: Image AND scope controls are mirrored?

Post by admin »

Hi,

the flipping/mirroring of the image on screen is as expected – SharpCap doesn't apply any correction to the image orientation. You may be right that Altaircapture is automatically applying a correction. As you've be noted, you can use flip controls when your camera is in RGB mode to reorient the image, but these controls are unavailable in RAW mode on Altair cameras.

The inverted behaviour of the mount is going to be correctable in the next major update of SharpCap (SharpCap 3.3) - will be able to configure inversion of the horizontal and/or vertical movement directions, which will allow people with and without diagnosing the imaging system to all get their directions correct. See viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3121

Normally people don't worry too much about the orientation when doing Astro imaging - it doesn't really show up in the same way that it does looking at terrestrial target. In fact you might find that you end up rotating the camera to an odd angle just to get target to fit nicely into the field-of-view of the camera.

Cheers, Robin
mchriste
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:48 pm

Re: Image AND scope controls are mirrored?

Post by mchriste »

Hi Robin, thank you for your much appreciated feedback. I apologize for only acknowledging it now; yesterday was literally the first halfway clear night we've had since I posted my question!I'm not so bothered about the inverted image (although being able to line up with the sensor view in Stellarium would certainly be nice), but the inverted controls were driving me crazy. I tried SharpCap 3.3 and it's definitely more useful to me, thanks!
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