Running 2 Instances

Can you run 2 sessions on 2 different cameras in SGP or do I need to just set up a different laptop?

I’m piggybacking a 70mm WO scope on top my RC8 and just wondered if this is possible.

Thanks Sean

Yes you can, you have to start two separate instances of SGP. There can be complications if you have identical cameras, then it really depends on the camera driver on how that is handled. With Moravian cameras for example it works well but I think I remember problems from others users with different makes. If you have two different cameras then this should not be an issue.

You also have to bear in mind that none of the actions are synchronised between the two instances so dithering for example is almost impossible. Using auto focus and an off axis guider is another problem area as the focus run will upset the guiding etc.

Yes, I do this all the time. I’ve even had 3 instances of SGP running with 3 cameras.

Wow! I thought I was being stupid. Can you point me where in the manual it tells you how to do it?

This is great

Thanks Mike I did not see this. I cannot believe you can actually do it. I’ll pull it up this afternoon and check it out. I may have a few questions

Thanks a lot for helping me

Just start SGP like normal, then go and start another instance just like normal. Or, what I do is have a shortcut on my windows 10 taskbar at the bottom. I start SGP by clicking on that shortcut, and then right click on that shortcut and start the second instance that way.

So I guess you just let the main scope run the guiding and use the 2nd instance to run the second camera and focuser?

Makes sense

That answers my last post. I was planning on using two QSI 690’s so I’m not sure if that’s gonna work. I could always slap a dslr on the Williams GT71

I have run 2 or 3 scopes/cameras for the past several years. Works wonderfully.
But there are some rules:

  1. the scope doing the guiding possibly should not dither. Depends on the relative focal lengths of the scopes. If they are close to the same, causes problems for the slave scopes. If you do dither, make it as small as possible to minimize unwanted movements for the slaves.
  2. slave scopes only take images and do focusing.
  3. images taken on the slave scopes will usually be trashed when the primary scope does a meridian flip, starts a new target, or ends the current target.
  4. If using an OAG, turn on the option to “Pause guiding during autofocus”

The end result, IMHO is about as good as if SGP actually supported multiple scopes/cameras. In that scenario, you still lose some imaging time on one or the other scopes. The biggest advantage is you would be able to successfully dither, at a cost of additional lost imaging time.

I personally do not dither, and have not found that to be a problem with my image quality. The cosmetic correction feature of the Batch Preprocessing Script in Pixinsight does a wonderful job of removing hot pixels. None of the images I have posted on my Astrobin site have been dithered. Search for jmacon if you would like to see some of them.

That depends on the QSI drivers. If QSI offers an ascom driver, you could run one instance of SGP with the QSI native driver and another instance of SGP with the QSI ascom driver. Or, some manufacturers now allow 2 cameras on their ascom driver. For example, the ascom driver for both QHY and ZWO allow two cameras to use the same ascom driver (or multiple instances of the driver behind the scenes).

Thanks everyone for the assistance. I’m gonna get out and just go for it. That’s always the best way for me to learn. All of you gave great info to get started. Thank you all


Okay it looks like I settled on the QSI 683 over the ATIK 383L so that means I will be attempting to run two instances with two different QSI cameras.

Has anybody done this with QSI? If so do you have any words of wisdom of how to handle it with Ascom?

If it becomes a problem I could always set up a second laptop but that would take my teamviewer pc away and I wouldn’t be able to hide out in the house! Lol

Is there a QSI ASCOM driver available? Looking on the QSI website it doesn’t look like there is one.

I doubt you’ll be able to run two QSI cameras at the same time using the same native driver. If there is an ASCOM driver, you would run one camera using the ASCOM driver and one camera using the native driver in SGP.

I kind of figured that. I’m not sure how to do a native driver. I’m not that smart ha ha.

I’m not sure if you need to install anything or not. The native driver is built into SGP already.

Forgive me but I don’t understand the difference between the two. All I know is to hit the dropdown and click on QSI Camera and that’s it.

I don’t know where else I would go to connect to the other camera.

That’s the native driver. It’s already built into SGP so you don’t need to install anything.

For most other cameras, SGP requires that the camera uses the ASCOM driver that was made for that camera by the manufacturer. The ASCOM driver is a totally separate driver and can be used for another camera. For example, SGP supports both the native and ASCOM driver for ZWO cameras. So Theoretically I could have one instance of SGP running the ZWO camera with the native driver, and another instance of SGP running a second ZWO camera with the ASCOM driver. Each driver (native or ASCOM) can only be used by one camera at a time (unless the ASCOM driver supports more).

In your case, I don’t believe there is a QSI ASCOM driver so you will only be able to use the native driver, which means you can only have one QSI camera connected to your computer at a time.

Okay that’s cool. I’ll just run a separate PC with SGP for that camera when I piggyback it. Beyond that it’s all good because I’ll just be using the one camera when I switch to another scope.