Camera names

Spidy
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Camera names

Post by Spidy » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:42 am

Hi. New member, first post. I did a search on two ZHO cameras to find if my question has been answered but I couldn't find an answer.

I have SharpCap2.9 (trying before buying as I'm a complete noob and don't have a clue what I'm doing) and run two ZHO cameras; 071MC-Pro and the 174MM-Mini. I have a Celestron 9.25 Edge HD and run it with a .7 reducer and an OAG. The 174 on that rig gives a FOV of 0.39X0.25, which is well and truly below the program's ability to plate solve, so I'm forced to use the main imaging cam, which is colour and less sensitive but does have a larger 0.82X0.55 FOV, which the program should be able to handle for polar alignment.

My question is this, does the newest version of the app list the names of the cameras or does it show them as ASI camera(1) and ASI camera(2), as is the case with v.2.9? It's difficult to ascertain which camera is which.

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Re: Camera names

Post by admin » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:21 am

Hi,

if you are seeing the 'ASI Camera(1)' and 'ASI Camera(2)' names and are not seeing any other entries for your cameras then you are accessing the cameras via the Ascom driver rather than via SharpCap's built-in support. I suspect that what is happening is that you have relatively new versions of the ZWO drivers installed and that the very old version of SharpCap you are using doesn't work with those newer driver versions. You should update to a recent version of SharpCap 3.2 and you will find that you the camera name shot correctly and that you get much more control over the camera settings.

Recent versions of SharpCap, including SharpCap 3.2, are still free to download and you can use about 95% of the functionality in the software without needing to buy the licence.

Hope this helps, Robin

Spidy
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Re: Camera names

Post by Spidy » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:59 am

Thank you Robin.

I recently read on this forum that the latest Sharpcap uses the latest ZWO SDK and as a result the gain can no longer be adjusted. It this correct? Can I use a version that still controls gain?

I plan on buying a license as I need to use the polar alignment feature. I'm in the southern hemisphere and have an obstructed view of the SCP, hence me wanting to try the older version of Sharpcap. Another challenge I face is that my kit is at the very limits of the recommended FOV (0.82X0.55 using the main imaging camera) and I'm a complete newbie.

Knowing all this, which version of Sharpcap should I use and does the license unlock that version (if older than current)?

Your guidance is both welcome and appreciated.

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Re: Camera names

Post by admin » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:32 pm

Hi,

you can still certainly control gain using the latest versions of SharpCap with ZWO cameras. I think it was the gamma control that they removed at some point along the way, not the gain control.

The SharpCap pro licence will unlock any version of SharpCap from 3.0 onwards, but there's no real gain to be had by using an old version except in the very odd case that your model of camera doesn't work for some reason in the latest versions but did in an old one.

You don't need to buy the pro licence to try out polar alignment – without the licence you can run through three quarters of the procedure and get to the point where SharpCap will tell you how far off your polar alignment is. The pro licence just unlocks the last stage where SharpCap guides your adjustment to bring the polar alignment error down to 0. If you can run through the polar alignment procedure as far as getting a measurement of the alignment error with your conditions then the final adjustment stage should work as well. If you struggle to get the first stages of polar alignment to work due to the obstruction of the polar sky then you will probably have to look for an alternative polar alignment solution.

Hope this helps, Robin

Spidy
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Re: Camera names

Post by Spidy » Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:43 am

Thanks Robin, it certainly does help. Next clear night I'll give it a go.

Kind regards,

Phil.

Spidy
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Re: Camera names

Post by Spidy » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:03 am

Tried both versions 2.9 and 3.2. Couldn't Plate Solve under either. Will try an All Star Polar Align to get close and attempt it again.

One question I have, the manual says the mount should not be tracking while you do this, but the stars in my very tight field move quite quickly. Is this correct, no tracking while polar aligning?

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Re: Camera names

Post by admin » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:20 pm

Hi,

if your camera is pointing towards the pole then the rate at which the stars move in the field of view should be very low even if the mount is not tracking - if they are moving quickly then maybe you are pointing somewhere quite distant from the pole?

Cheers, Robin

Spidy
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Re: Camera names

Post by Spidy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:02 am

Yeah, I don't know Robin. I swear I could actually make out the trapezium shape of the Octans, but no joy.

Does anyone want to buy a telescope?

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Re: Camera names

Post by admin » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:22 pm

Hi,

if you can see some stars on the screen then take a snapshot image to PNG format and upload it to nova.astrometry.net which will tell you what area of the sky you are pointing out as long as there are about a dozen or more visible stars in the image.

Cheers, Robin

Spidy
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Re: Camera names

Post by Spidy » Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:00 am

Yeah, that's a good idea, thanks Robin.

Kind regards,

Phil.

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