Dual Camera?

Hi all,

After reading a discussion about a simple implementation of SGP Pro’s synchronization feature from 6 months ago, I have to ask, this is not part of the latest release yet, is it?

Clear Skies,

Paul

Hi Paul,

I haven’t heard a response to this post asking about running two scopes/cameras on one mount, since the OTA is defined in the ASCOM mount driver, and I haven’t received a response. Thus, even though I’m still running 3.x, if there was something being done in 4.x to improve the situation, I would have expected someone to say so. I’ll probably just have to fix it myself with a custom ASCOM driver.

Thanks,

Beo

1 Like

Hi Beowulf,

Thank you for replying. Your equipment profile appears very similar to mine (2 scopes on one mount and a C11 on another). If you proceed with an ASCOM driver tool to either utilize multi camera on one Mount or coordinating two mounts/2cameras to a single target, I will be a good fit for beta tester.

Clear Skies,

Paul

Controlling a dual scope / camera setup is way, way harder to do than it might seem. You also have limitations from ASCOM as it was not intended to control multiple devices of the same type. Some ASCOM vendors have provided work arounds by actually installing two versions of their drivers – eg, “Camera1” and “Camera2” but not all have done this.

Additionally, coordinating the exposures, autofocusing, dithering, etc. is not trivial to do. No imaging software can do this; even though some say they do.

In the interim, you can get close to a dual camera setup by having a second PC control the second camera, focuser, rotator, etc. You will loose some frames when the scope is commanded to meridian flip by the main PC and you can’t dither but you still have a 99% solution. The PC power needed by the second PC is trivial and a small, $200 PC can do it.

Charlie

Thank you Charlie,

A work around, is a bad pixel map of the camera’s sensor, so one could work around having to dither. If one desires to do this, what resource could I find on how to do this.

I also could set my dithering to, say, dither every 5-6 subs and set my e posture time on one camera to be 2-3 times the other. ThT way, potentially one would only have to throw out 1 out of 10-15 subs on the “slave camera”.

Clear Skies,

Paul

@promero

The importance of dithering has been greatly reduced by the advancements in image processing software. For example, in PixInsight, the WBPP procedure can pretty much eliminate hot and cold pixels, satellite trails, column defects, etc.

If you do dither, you almost have to dither every frame to effectively eliminate pixel defects. You might want to experiment with dithering and not dithering to see the actual results.

But the bottom line is that you will only lose a small number of frames from the secondary camera which can be made up for by just taking more to begin with.

I have not tested SGPro to see if it will initiate an imaging run w/o being connected to a scope. If not, configure the second PC to use the ASCOM telescope simulator as the scope being controlled by SGPro. It can slew and flip that “pretend” scope all it wants to without affecting your imaging run.

Charlie