Sequence Generator Pro Beta is Released for Testing

Hi folks,

Here is the latest 2.4.3 beta:

This will likely be the last release in the 2.4 line and will finish the implementation of these features: Changes:

  • Initial implementation of pause guider during backlash compensation. This was a bit invasive to the sequence… if you are testing this feature (found in the Auto Guider tab), please watch your sequence for a bit to ensure this is working as expected.
  • SGPro will now attempt to set the initial focuser position of the first required filter in an absolute manner (as defined in the filter table). After this, filter movements that adjust the focuser will be made relative to one another’s position. If your absolute position of the first filter is close enough to derive a plate solve or get a good focus (from AF), this means you should literally be able to open a sequence and click “Run” with no prep work. This is only applicable if you are using the “Adjust focus per filter option”.
  • The interval and duration of recovery mode are now user definable.
  • Fixing a bug that would sometimes not populate the filter list when applying a profile to an existing sequence.
  • The MFW text angle box no longer requires you to click enter for the typed angle to apply to the mosaic canvas
  • The initial angle of the MFW is no longer restricted to between 0 and 180 degrees
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the first event on a target with the “rotate through events” option selected would be temporarily skipped.
  • Small tweak for %am file name token (hardening)
  • Non-functional option to force non-light frames to finish even after sequence failure (please do not attempt to use this yet) Changes:

  • Fixed a bug which can sometimes (conditions unknown) cause the event to increment before it is supposed to.
  • Added an option for Nikon cameras that will facilitate better compatibility. If your camera exhibits behavior where exposures less than 30 seconds appear to hang and those greater than 30 seconds work fine, open the Nikon setting dialog and check the “Always use Bulb mode” option. This should fix your short length exposures. Reminder that your camera needs to be in M(anual) mode. Thanks to @rofus for his help on this. Changes:

  • Implementing “Slew Here” option on the context menu. This will use data about a previous solve to provide rapid, low overhead movements (without the need for a full centering process)
  • Fixed a bug that prevented temp compensation from functioning properly.
  • Adding file naming tokens for focuser position (%fp) and ambient temp (%am)
  • Can no longer attempt to center the scope or automatically rotate the camera while the camera is occupied with another task (like plate solving or frame and focus).
  • Auto Focus crop now applies (crop % / 2) to each edge of the image. A crop of 25% will now not consider 12.5% of each edge (previously, it would not consider 25% of each edge).
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the sequence to hang if the camera times out during image download Changes:

  • Stabilized communication between SGPro and PHD2 (for profile management). Not perfect yet, but way better than This beta requires the use of PHD2 2.5.0dev3. If you are not comfortable with using PHD2 dev builds, you might want to stick with the SGPro 2.4.2 release. You can find it here:
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the dome to move in the wrong direction when imaging targets near the pole.
  • Known Issue: If you open PHD2 by clicking its “settings” button on the control panel, do not close this instance of PHD2 prior to starting your sequence. SGPro will get confused about which version of PHD2 it is supposed to talk to and error out. This will be fixed in the next beta. Changes:

  • Some stabilization between the new SGPro and PHD2 interactions (more to come probably… or if it doesn’t work out might just be removed)
  • Initial implementation of MetaGuide start / stop for use in target changing and meridian flips (No real way I have to test this that I know of… just going off of guidance from @freestar8n )
  • Fixed an issue where OBJCTRA and OBJCTDEC could not be read properly in non-English regions.
  • Fix for sometimes misidentifying certain FITS headers for dates (non-functional issue)
  • Fixed an issue where the sequence might continue well past the target end time if recovery mode was invoked just prior to it
  • Fixed an issue where sequence images may not open with the sequence Changes:

  • Adding the notion of auto-guider “properties”. While they may apply to any guider, PHD2 is the only guider that uses them right now. Currently, via SGPro, you can select a PHD2 equipment profile, then select sequence options that will allow you to automatically connect and disconnect PHD2 gear when the sequence begins. You actually don’t even need to have PHD2 open when you run the sequence any longer… SGPro will start it, connect your gear and start guiding on its own.
  • Re-introduced “pause guider on main camera image download”. While this option appears in the control panel, it is actually only available for SBIG cameras right now (this is to help with PHD2 issues when using the on-board guide chip). We will likely implement this for FLI, QSI and DSLRs in the near future. We cannot implement this feature for ASCOM cameras. Note: There is a known issue where SBIG cameras will attempt to pause the guider for non-light frames (this will be addressed shortly)
  • These guider settings belong to SGPro equipment profiles (they are not global SGPro settings).
  • Can now connect or disconnect PHD2 gear from the PHD2 docking module
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the AIRMASS FITS header to fail sporadically.
  • Fixed a bug where moving successful plate solve parameters to a target’s settings would ignore the image angle for the camera rotator.
  • Fixed a bug where duplicating a target would ignore camera rotator options.
  • Plate solvers now give better feedback to users for obviously bad hints.
  • The FITS header display window now opens significantly faster.

As always, you can download it here:

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I’m a little slow on the uptake Ken and this doesn’t make sense to me. Could you elaborate on this? Does this mean that if my Red filter is the first filter in the sequence, and the focus point for Red as defined in the equipment profile is 30,000, when the sequence starts the focuser is moved to 30,000 position?

Maybe? It has nothing to do with the sequence and everything to do with whatever filter is set first… might be for solving, might be for AF. Now that you’re writing, I think we may need to remove (or rework) this feature because it will mess up folks who already have their focuser where they want it, but still want to use the offset positions during the sequence. These might need to be 2 different things.

This is in an attempt to resolve this feature request:

That’s exactly my concern, but I wasn’t sure if I understood correctly.

OK. Actually, it might work nicely like this… for both camps.

  1. Camp 1 (I want to do stuff and focus manually before I start my target. AF must be run before the sequence). The absolute position of the first filter in the sequence will be ignored and the the sequence will use relative changes like you are used to.
  2. Camp 2 (I don’t want to do anything… just open a sequence and click run). The absolute position of the first filter change will be recognized, the sequence will set the focuser to the absolute pos of the first filter encountered.

Does this seem like it would work for you (since you’re not in the camp that the feature was added for)?

Actually… reviewing the code, it already works this way… no changes required. If you fiddle around with stuff (filters, AF and other stuff before starting the sequence), the first filter movement in the sequence will be treated as relative. The stuff you did prior to the sequence will satisfy the initial movement of the focuser.

Well it would certainly be easiest for me to remain in camp 1. The reason this is of concern to me is because my focuser (Robofocus using Moonlite ascom) on rare occassions seems to randomly lose it’s position, so I would run the risk of SGP automatically trying to move the focuser to a position it physically can’t get to.

Camp 2 for me would require complete confidence that my focuser retains all the proper settings/position and I don’t have that confidence right now.

I like the idea of camp 2 and just push run and go, but experience tells me that things can go wrong with my focuser so I’ve gotten into the habit of running autofocus prior to sequence start so I avoid those little hiccups.

Right… well, as mentioned above, if you fiddle with stuff prior to the sequence the sequence will run just like you are used to anyhow (you will implicitly satisfy the needs of first FW movement). If we decide to use this, I just need to find a way to clearly document this prior to release.

Great, now it makes sense to me.

Need to release one tweak… so don’t get too comfortable… couple minutes.

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