The release of SGPro 4.1 is impending and we are starting to get our backlog of new features organized and prioritized. Nothing stated here is a commitment… just insight into our current thought process.
Next up (for sure):
Circumpolar support for meridian flips (i.e. support for meridian flips when the mount is tracking a target with a zenith below the relative altitude of the pole).
Auto focus trigger by change in HFR value
These 2 things are essentially already complete. They will require the normal beta process prior to release, but these beta periods should be significantly shorter in duration than that of 4.1.
Candidates after those:
Localization (language translations) will be ongoing through several releases
User submitted splash images (this is a seemingly silly feature, but in reality, it is a necessary step for a larger vision where SGPro users can submit and share meaningful and useful sequence or image data). This will help “kick the tires” before we get there (and some folks are actually quite interested in sharing their work with this feature).
Flats cal wizard to support variable brightness or exposure length by instructing the wizard to minimize either exposure time or brightness level
Additional target settings for start and end times that allow a user to select dusk / dawn plus / minus some static offset.
Add sequence options for equipment behavior when the sequence is between targets (waiting)
Support for user defined auto focus subframes (including support for multiple user-selected subframes)
In terms of feedback to us, this is the place to make your pitch if you have features or ideas. We appreciate the individual posts in #sequence-generator:feature-requests but consider this thread as a way to prioritize them against one another (feel free to link the individual requests here too).
Thanks, Charlie. I had seen the ASCOM driver before and perhaps I haven’t spent enough time trying to figure out how to install it. However, it’s much easier for me to start NINA and just use NINA flat cal wizard to collect flat frames, given that it supports the Spike-a-Flat natively.
I would appreciate the ability to do the same in SGP without having to switch software and without having every time I reboot the computer to remember whatever steps necessary to run the alnitak emulator. That’s what I mean by native support.
I have a side-by-side rig and am changing my observatory to a slotted, rotating dome. SGP’s dome slaving parameters currently only offers a vertical offset of the scope from the RA axis. In some orientations, this will not allow the scopes off to the side to have a clear view of the sky. Adding a horizontal, or angular offset for a scope position would solve this. For example, a scope’s positions could be defined as 12" vertical offset and 10°East offset from the RA axis. Or 12" vertical offset and 5" East offest. Not sure how many people have this issue, but to me it is a critical one.
The typical reason to dither is to help your image processing program handle hot pixels and column defects by moving those defects around on an image by image basis. To do that, you want to dither on every frame regardless of the length of the exposure. The only real option is how big of a dither to perform to achieve the goal of eliminating defects in the processed image. Normally, a hot pixel or column defect will look the same in a ten second or a 600 second exposure.
As an addendum to my original post, I completely forgot to add another partially complete feature that will be in a release shortly after 4.1… specifically:
Matched Flat Events
Really nothing more than a normal flat event with a new property. That is to say: you assign the event type of flat and all the normal things will auto populate for that filter-binning combo. Nothing new there… Still working on the UI for this, but the idea is that you can assign the flats event to a lights event that has the same filter-binning combo. Just before a frame from this event is captured, SGPro will inspect a combination of the matched light event and the most recent light image file from that event, determine the mechanical position of the rotator when the light frame was captured and then move the rotator prior to flat integration prior to integration. Some notes:
The existing Flats wizard would work in the same way, but it would optionally allow for the flat events it creates to be automatically attached to its corresponding light event.
Initially, I think this property will only be valid in targets that have no light frames. Eventually, we’d be able to remove this restriction when we can add steps to essentially “recover” the sequence if a new light event were to run after a flat frame that moves the rotator.
Would not be available to the manual rotator.
Would not be available to DSLR users emitting only RAW images
Maybe some other stuff… but that’s the general idea
The current “work in progress” allows for managing “sub frame sets”. A subframe set is user created with a series of drawn rectangles that allow for the areas defined by the rectangle to be interpreted as “included” or “excluded”. For instance, if you wanted to make a subframe set for a rig that should ignore the edges of the image and also the center:
Draw an “include” rectangle over the entire portion of the image you want to include (i.e. crop the edges).
Then, switch to an exclusion rectangle and make a rectangle in the center
That’s excellent, @Ken . Just to clarify, when you say “work in progress”, do you mean that it is already out in a beta or that is in development?
One more request, would it be possible to insert auto-centering actions in a sequence with triggers like every number of frames or every xx minutes? This would help to keep the frame centered with unguided imaging.
It is close to beta, but not in it currently. While it’s not fully ready, the primary reason is that we don’t want to have 2 beta tracks at one time and 4.1 is still in the last phases. Specifically, with respect to this feature, the auto focus subframe “editor” (drawing boxes) is almost complete and the work for the AF routine to actually use said boxes is also complete. Still more work to do on management, deleting, editing, defaults, how to assign to a target, deeper integration with equipment profiles, etc…
For those of use with multiple setups on one mount, it would be great to be able to switch between them during the night. For example, if a small target is available for the first half of the night, I’d want to use my RC10 with its camera and OAG guide camera. But a larger target may be available for the 2nd half of the night so I’d like to switch to using my small refractor and piggybacked guide scope/camera.
Currently, SGP is locked to one set of gear for a session. Perhaps some way to link SGP sequence files so that when one sequence is complete, it closes itself, and you can specify another sequence file to start up as a follow on, with its own set of equipment connections, which automatically connect when kicked off.
Allow the end time of a sequence to include a date so that a sequence can span multiple days.
I love the way I can currently use SGP to shoot around the clouds by using its recovery mode. Since I have a CloudWatcher, with can monitor sky brightness as well as clouds, wind, etc. I can set a non-dark sky as an unsafe to open condition for the observatory. Then if a sequence spanned several days, recovery could would keep checking with the Cloudwatcher until the sky is dark enough, and clear of clouds, etc., and re-open the observatory to continue shooting a target.
This would take automation to the next level where you could set up for a particular target, and let your gear automatically start and stop whenever conditions allow, to gather loads of integration time over many days.
This is currently supported with SGPro now. You’d need to set dawn as an unsafe condition, dark as safe and then ensure that the target has no end time. Combined with the “restart when safe option” this can carry a sequence for many days without human intervention.
I have the latest release version and the start and end times for a target just have “Today” and “Tomorrow” next to them. No way to set a date for either of them. Is it available in the beta? Or are you just saying to leave the end time checkbox unchecked and let it run open-ended?