New/prospective user questions

I’m new to astrophotography but have used telescopes and cameras for years. My career is IT, I’m very comfortable with tech and hardware. I live in the middle of the Dallas Texas metroplex, so I generally can’t see but three or four stars from my backyard.

I have a new SkyWatcher EQM-35 Pro mount without the hand controller or GPS module. I’ve taken it out in the dark country and gotten it working with ASCOM drivers and the laptop, the mount will respond to computer commands.

My camera is a Nikon D850 DSLR, I’ll be using a long telephoto (AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 E ED VR) lens. I have a USB cable for the Nikon.

What parts am I missing to use SGP? I’m about to travel to south Texas for a solar eclipse, would like to work on nighttime astrophotography while I’m there. I expect to have Internet access, but no access to Amazon or even Walmart to buy anything.

Thanks for all help and ideas!

Hi there @manowell

Yes, all of your gear will work with SGPro.

The actual answer is “nothing”, but if you get bit by the AP bug the answer will quickly become “everything”. SGPro will operate and automate as little or as much gear as you’d like to use. It’ll work with a DSLR on a fixed tripod or it will work with a professional observatory. The choice is yours…

Sounds like the only thing you’re missing is experience. SGP is robust and relatively easy to use, but astrophotography is complex by its nature. I’d download SGP and spend some considerable time learning it, and practicing using it with your gear. You don’t want to travel to a solar eclipse without having full confidence in your gear and your own capabilities.

You might take ASTAP plate solver along and the D50 and W08.

We head out to the eclipse path on Monday. Same objectives.

Welcome to the community manowel!

Clear Skies,


I agree completely. I didn’t use SGP (or anything else) for the eclipse, it was right there and all 15 people with me had viewing devices properly protected.

I DID finally get SGP running, I had to learn to find and read the log files to find out what was missing. Didn’t really get to use it by then, but took copious notes for six months from now.

THANK you to all who replied!

Partial annular eclipse with incidental turkey vulture: