I have been in touch with Andras from Gemini Telescopes with regard to their Snapcap/Flatcap and he has indicated that he would like to work with the SGP team to bring this product within the SGP environment. Is this a possibility? It would be nice to have this as a fully functional alternative to the Alnitak as they don’t have a “Flatcap” available for larger telescopes such as the C11.
Andras may be contacted at:
Thanks for the reminder. Andras had reached out to us and I had forgotten to get back to him. We can certainly add support for it. I’ll coordinate with Andras.
Next version of SGP (likely beta, but possibly release) will have SnapCap support. Unfortunately the SnapCap doesn’t have a way for us to know if it is a Cap only or a Cap + Light. So that will be up to the user to correctly set the options in SGP.
Hi Jared. I’ve been testing the SnapCap with Flat panel and have found two things, at this point, that are an issue with the current beta release.
- When the brightness slider is set to zero the Flat panel does not switch off. I had to go to the Flat panel control box and manually switch it off.
- When the brightness slider is set to any number greater than zero it holds for one image and then resets to zero for the next image
I checked this with the vendor software and there are soft on/off buttons for the Flat panel and it does hold the brightness setting for all scheduled images.
I have made a feature request to add opening and closing options as pre and post event features. Also, an option to close the SnapCap and turn on/off the Flat panel when taking Flats, as pre and post events for flats would be nice.
I hope this helps.
How are you taking flats? Are you taking them as flat events and do you have the brightness values setup in the Filter settings dialog?
Towards the bottom it covers flats:
Hi Jared. I set it up as a Flat event then use the Flatbox module to open the SnapCap and set the brightness. I can set the brightness level for one image and then it resets to zero. I use a modified Canon 600d for OSC imaging. My Flats would be the same (OSC) so setting up filters, unless I’m using a narrow band clip filter, wouldn’t be something I would have considered. Is there something I’m missing?
Hi Jared. I’ve been able to set up the flat box as you suggested by using the filters and all seems to work correctly with the exception that the flat panel doesn’t turn off. I have to manually switch off the power to the flat panel when the Flat cap is open and imaging lights. This is the situation regardless of whether or not I have a flat event scheduled.
Can you add a flat with 0 brightness at the end -equivalent to turning off ?
That’s a good thought. I tried it at the beginning when I discovered that it wouldn’t switch off. It stays on though even when no flat event is scheduled. The SnapCap itself works as it should and when I take flats I’m getting excellent results. The only challenge is getting the flat panel to switch off without manually having to do so. With the SnapCap software I can switch the flat panel off and on etc., so, while I’m not a programmer, I suspect the flat panel isn’t receiving an on/off command at the appropriate time.
I should mention that when I say manually switch it off I mean switch off the power supply to the flat panel.
Have you been able to get the flat panel to turn off through SGpro without turning off the power yet? Interested in getting the Flatcap myself.
Hi. Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been out of town. I still have a problem with the SnapCap and turning off the Flat screen. The cap works perfectly. I have been in touch with the developer who is checking from his end. As we’re dealing long distance it is taking a bit of time. We’re hopeful to have this sorted out soon. One thing I can say is that the customer service is exceptional and I have not regretted going with the SnapCap. Turning the flat screen on and off by switch rather than remote is not an issue for me as I’m usually at the scope when I take flats anyway. The issue will be sorted out and it is just a matter of figuring out how to get SGP and the Flat side of SnapCap to talk to each other.
The issue is likely on our end. I need to revisit this again. I can probably spare some time to double check the implementation with it this week.
We also have the SnapCap now and have problems using it with our Canon EOS. We already tried to setup the filter dialog, but does not seem to work. How is your filter called? in the EOS Sequence there is no filter to use in the menu.
Would be great if you could share your findings!
Thanks, Anna and Jörg
Hi Anna and Jorg,
As I shoot with a canon 600d with Hyperstar on a C11 and the only filter I use is a Light Pollution filter mounted to the Hyperstar unit. I don’t set up anything under filter wheel in SGP. That is, “no filter wheel selected”. I do have my filters set up in my equipment profile manager. The SnapCap works perfectly as far as opening and closing the unit. Where I have difficulty is getting the Flat unit to work correctly. I can’t seem to turn it off except by manually flipping the switch. Also, SGP doesn’t seem to retain the Flat settings. Jared had indicated above that it was likely an SGP issue and I know that Andras was also looking into it from his end. I’m not sure where they are at on this. I haven’t been able to image since early October as we have had rain, snow, rain and more rain here in the Pacific Northwest. I plan to move my scope indoors to test this and am just waiting for a dry day to bring it in. I’ll keep you posted and if you’d like to PM me that would be okay as well.