Atik Horizon

Noah4x4
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Atik Horizon

Post by Noah4x4 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:32 pm

I have been using this excellent CMOS camera for over 12 months on HyperStar for EAA using Atik Infinity software and have had no major issues with (say) vignetting or amp glow etc. However, my pals with the very similar ZWO ASI600 have been suggesting that the new feature in SharpCap embracing flats/darks on the fly is beneficial with this sensor. So I have paid my £10 and joined the SharpCap Pro brethren as Infinity software does not support this feature.

Today, I have been experimenting with SharpCap and despite my Atik requiring connectivity via ASCOM I really like what I am seeing, particularly since it appears that SharpCap also supports my MicroTouch auto-focusser when I thought that was only possible via the very expensive Maxim DL and SG Pro. Currently, its controller APP shares my screen with Infinity and integration of focusser control is a real bonus, if only to reduce screen clutter and improve navigation.

I have been experimenting for only a few hours and due to awful weather only indoors using both the Horizon and the 'Test camera 1 (deep sky)'. I have found SharpCap to be intuitive and fairly easy to pick up, albeit that my learning curve is more about the Interface rather than camera and software basics. However, it is an inevitable disadvantage that there is not more specific support for Atik cameras, but that isn't a barrier to me. I think I am working it all out OK

However, I thought I might open a new Forum topic for Atik Horizon and/or Infinity owners to exchange SharpCap tips and ideas. If anybody has any good stuff to contribute specifically about using SharpCap with the Atik Infinity I would be especially grateful. But I intend to be up to speed quickly in order to post my own findings of benefit to others that follow. But my first impressions are very good.

Phil

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admin
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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by admin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:36 pm

Hi Phil,

Welcome to the forums and it's good to hear that SharpCap is working well with the Atik infinity camera. I don't think I've heard of anybody else using that camera yet but I'm sure that people are using it out there was SharpCap and maybe some others will sharpen the forum soon. In the meantime it'll be great to see your images once you get the camera fully up and running.

Cheers, Robin

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by Astrogate » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:27 pm

Robin, Phil is not using an Atik Infinity camera which is a CCD he is using an Horizon camera which is CMOS (same sensor as the ZWO ASI1600MC). I would love to use Sharpcap 3.2 Pro with my colour & mono Infinity cameras in order to take advantage of the dark and flat feature, but using the ASCOM driver does not work properly. When capturing an image say of 60 seconds it looks like a 10 second image so something is not right. Perhaps the ASCOM driver for the Horizon works fine and that's great, but it would be nice if the Infinity worked also.

Chris A

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:58 pm

Hi Chris,

Oops, sorry I was obviously having a bit of a moment when I wrote that reply and got the wrong Atik model name. If you are having a problem with the infinity using the Ascom driver then I would suggest gathering as much info as you can (for instance the exposure time at which the brightness stops increasing) and reporting the fault to Atik.

Cheers, Robin

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by Astrogate » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:20 pm

I will do that Robin thanks again!

Chris

Noah4x4
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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by Noah4x4 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:42 pm

I have still not been able to properly test my Atik Horizon with Sharpcap due to the poor weather. So, I can't comment beyond the early feel I have for it during indoor experimentation.

However, I have loaded some images that I captured using Infinity into the Test Camera (DSO) feature. Using its Gamma and Histogram I have managed to improve them! If this is how the Atik Horizon will perform I will be delighted, but I realise this test is probably invalid as it's not using ASCOM. But if it does, Sharpcap does seems to offer easier control.

In Atik ASCOM mode I have been able to get my actual camera working (including cooling - which ideally needs a progressive warm up feature), I made a dark too. But until I get outdoors I can't prove anything. But I am hoping it works, and I feel like a lone pioneer. A request for comment from Atik users of Sharpcap in Cloudy Nights has produced a zero response!

One thought for Chris, Atik posted updated core software and drivers at the end of 2018. You might try updating your ASCOM drivers.

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by turfpit » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:35 am

Noah

I have an Atik 314E, images and details here:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1347

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1327

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1217

https://www.astrobin.com/371371/?nc=user

I run with drivers from a 2017 installation package. ASCOM driver is 7.0.8.25151.

Dave

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by Astrogate » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:30 pm

Hi Noah

I just went back to view Atik's web site and they only state this "The latest version of the core software (Version 4.2.2.9) was updated on the 21st of Aug 2018." I tried to find a link for any updated core software & drivers from the end of 2018 but could not find any. Do you have a link to the latest core software & drivers please?

Chris

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by Noah4x4 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:04 pm

First clear night in ages (albeit brief before clouds rolled in) so a first opportunity to try out Sharpcap outdoors with my Atik Horizon. Chris, I was using the August 2018 Atik drivers.

I quickly got a crude image of the Orion Nebula on screen, but whatever settings I tried, the small histogram data was so utterly to the left it was unusable. I then tried the Horsehead as it is a nearby less bright object. Same problem. I then opened the larger histogram from <tools>. Saw no 'Brain' symbol, so I guess can't teach the software my sensor profile. I suspect reliance on mere ASCOM drivers means much of the added functionality doesn't work with Atik cameras. Chris, we might now know why we have not heard from many Atik owners. I would love to hear from anybody that has Sharpcap working with Atik Horizon camera, but note that it has been working with an Atik CCD. But mine is CMOS. Perhaps that makes a difference?

I went back to Atik Infinity software, tried the same DSO objects, instant success. I probably need to refer to the Sharpcap instruction manual, and it could simply be the steep learning curve. We are spoilt by 'Infinity' presets. I am keen to get the 'Darks' feature running, but until I sort out the basics that is too ambitious. Trouble is, might be days before I get another clear night. The histogram worked perfectly with the Test Camera One and with an image I loaded. So I have no idea why it didn't work with a live image. Robin, any thoughts? Thanks.

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Re: Atik Horizon

Post by Astrogate » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:58 am

Thank you Noah for the update and that is the same drivers that I tried out. Yes it would be great if the Atik cameras (Infinity & Horizon) would work correctly with Sharpcap. Until then I will use the Infinity software for my Infinity cameras and SharpCap for my ZWO cameras. Cheers!

Chris A

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