SGP GUI oddities

Ken, Jared - It was great meeting you both at NEAF!

I’m learning SGP, trying to take my time and I’m on the end of “week one” activities, following the recommended PDF for getting started. I have all gear loaded and working, and I’ve got PHD2 working as well as auto focus (YES!!) and I have a simple sequence set up. I’ve noticed a few things that I could use assistance with.

I’m running v2.5.0.23
Windows 7 pro

  1. It seems that none of the green progress bars are working during sequence execution except the bar and the extreme bottom left of the main window. Neither the bars in the sequence window (sequence step bars) nor the green circular progress wheels in the image acquisition window are working. I can only tell what’s going on by the bar and the text in the extreme lower left.

  2. I’m experiencing some pretty severe GUI issues with SGP windows. Specifically, active windows overlaid on top of the main SGP window keep popping behind and I have to continually either use Windows task bar or resize the main SGP window to find them again. Pretty frustrating.

  3. I’ve experienced two crashes when I’ve aborted a sequence run.

Any assistance with these issues would be appreciated.


I have had a similar issue as point 2.I too am new to SGP, and as a result, often have the help window up for assistance. However, the help window keeps hiding behind the main SGP one, and it is a massive struggle to get it back so I can read it without it hiding again!

I also see the issue with the sequence window and equipment profile windows. Often when I use the task bar to pull them to the front again, they immediately pop to the back.

I’m wondering if in general the progress bar issue is related to this too.

Did a fresh install and it seemed to stabilize things. Progress bars are now working and windows are behaving. Not sure what it was but looks good so far!

Hi @Destin_Heilman

This is a new one… Can you share the sequence file (.sgf) so we can take a look. Maybe it is specific to the sequence? Not sure… SGPro has been around for a good while and we have not ever had this report.

We have had some problems, in general, with Z value ordering. There are known issues in .NET applications especially with COM (ASCOM) interoperability. We would need specific examples (with order of operations and exact windows that are misbehaving) to try and chase them down.

We can’t help without logs. Please see this and we’ll try to help out.

Put me on the list with being unable to view the Help menu. I had the issue with 2.4xx as well. Windows 7 sp1. I can click on the Windows task bar to see the Help but it disappears right away again.

Is there a list for this? I haven’t seen any other reports of this.

Looks like kingboys and Destin above both have seen this issue.

So you don’t literally mean that you can’t see the help menu, you mean to say that you can’t see the help system (file)? I’m confused… Neither of them said they could not see the help menu, but did mention focus issues with the help system itself.

Hi Ken,

What was happening (at least in my case) was that the help menu would pop in back of the others and i’d have to either move things out of the way or use the task bar to find it again. Since reinstalling though, I haven’t seen it happen again. Unfortunately I did this before I saw your request for the logs or other files.

I’m making some great progress now and have plate solving, autofocus, guiding, integration all going. I’m really liking the software! Once I get that first auto-meridian flip I’m gonna cry I’ll be so happy :wink:

One crazy thing did happen tonight - SGP reported a failure to download one of the images and then for some strange reason the time left for the current sub jumped from something like 90s left to 2000s! I thought it might be a textual glitch but it really wanted to expose that long. Had to abort and then restart. Wha??! Not sure if it’s coincidence or not but at that exact moment my guiding jumped severely. Ever seen this before? I’ll post the log at some point tomorrow.


Well the log file is apparently too big up upload (1.6Mb) so here is a dropbox link to it.

I took a look at what happened when I had that failure to download message. It looks like at time 12:57:22 the timestamp then jumps back to 12:42:14??? Could the computer have set the clock? I checked and it does periodically check the internet and adjust the time.

Also, my sequence failed around 2:30am (was supposed to go until 4am). I looked at the log after the last successful sub at time 2:12:38 and it looks as if a focus run was completed (I have it set to activate focus with a 1 degree change) and then guiding goes haywire. I highly doubt it was a passing cloud or something like that as the sky was absolutely clear and predicted to be so for the duration. I’m using OAG so is it possible that the focus cycle completed but out of focus? Is there a way to tell from the log what the focuser position was when that cycle completed? If that was off, it would have lost the guide star easily.

Please let me know if you notice anything else odd from the log.
Thanks for your support and efforts guys! Much appreciated.


Ken, the help menu pops up and as soon as I click on a choice like SEARCH or INDEX, the menu disappears behind the SGP window. I can bring it back by hitting Help Menu again on the task bar on the bottom, but as soon as I click on another help option, the help screen again disappears. Like playing cat-and-mouse with it.

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OK. So it seems like you are referring to the help system and not the Help menu. Just trying to clarify. I do not know why the help menu behaves like this for some people. Help files are part of how Windows operates. The OS expects applications to have help files and, as such, it provides methods for developers to call and launch their help file. We essentially pass it the parent window and then the location of the help file. After that, Windows is in charge of how this operates.

We will need to look into this for a bit. Right now, I can offer 2 alternatives:

Hi Ken,

Two quick follow up questions:

  1. Does the notification add-on send error messages when PhD loses a guide star or suffers a camera disconnect and then the session ends early? I have recovery mode on and I had this happen towards the end of a run last night and didn’t receive a notification. Looked in the logs and it didn’t indicate that an email was sent. Which leads to my second question…

  2. Have you ever seen a case where a log from a previous run disappears? I was looking over the log file this morning and then I hastily unplugged the PC stick instead of shutting it down. When I opened SGP later in the day to grab that log file I noted that 1) SGP had lost all of my preferences for where the tool windows were placed and 2) the log file was just gone. I also noticed that the computer had the wrong day and time so I wonder if when I restarted SGP, it started a new log file and saved over the other (the time of the new log would have been prior to the old one with the mis-set clock)?


It does. We would need logs (which it sounds like you don’t have)… but I am just about 100% sure messages are sent.

Yes, see below.

SGPro auto deletes log files more than 2 weeks old… depends on how “off” your clock was…

Your alternatives work…I chose to use the PDF option a while back to be able to look stuff up…

The issues with the help file is somewhat old. I reported it a while back ago. It is very confusing to new users which are the ones that will likely have the help file open on one screen and the software open on the other. Or, the software and the help screen open on one monitor. I don’t know if it happens in the latter, but for me when I was running the software on one screen and the help file GUI on the other, windows would hide in back of SGP and you would think that nothing was happening or the computer was frozen. I learned that I could not use the help screen and the application at the same time. Then one day I tapped on either the help file or the software and the window that was hiding came to the forefront.

I guess this is still an issue and the new users that will get turned off fast with this type of software glitch are the most vulnerable to the issue, since they don’t know which way is up with the program and are depending on the help files.

I suppose we can try opening help in an alternate way… it’s not recommended by Microsoft, but might prove to behave itself better for folks experiencing these issues.