Workflow for my equipment and software

I’ve had SGP for about 2 years and have not really used it. I’ve tinkered with it but I don’t know a starting point.
Here is my equipment and software:
Paramount MX+
Exploradome 8’ dome with Foster System rotation and shutter control - running AstroMC 2.8.4beta
Optec FocusLynx Commander
The Sky X Pro - @focus3 & @focus2 for autofocus
PHD2 - I am not using because I am taking up to 15 minute subs unguided but can include if needed
PlateSolve2 or Elbrus plate solve
No filter wheel or rotator.
I think that’s it.

I’ve watched tutorials and I good with setting up to run an imaging sequence but I haven’t a clue what to do for initiating the process. I’d love to find a way to simulate it.

Can someone with this set up take me through startup.
(my mount needs to home on start up…how does SGP start the mount or is TheSkyX pro started and mount homed before SGP is started?

I just installed AstroMC 2.8.4beta which is the only working version that allows the dome to be controlled by SGP. It is communicating but I can’t tell if it is synced and I am confused about if I need to sync it in SGP. A bit of info about how AstroMC should be set up to be controlled by SGP would be helpful.

Help with these issues should get me started.

Last thing is I have version 2.6 Should I upgrade to 3 if I am still not sure if it’s going to work with my setup?

Does Paramount support ASCOM?
If so, you just load ASCOM and select the driver in the “Telescope” connection box.
I’m not in front of the software right now, but I think the telescope pop-out module has NSEW buttons, but I just use plate solve, but I do only AP. If I want to go somewhere without plate solving, I use Cartes du Ciel.

So if your mount supports it, just select the ASCOM driver, and use plate solve to get you dead on target. I am blown away by how good plate solving is. Hopefully it is this easy for you, but I’ve never even touched a Paramount.

I would stick with latest 2.6 version for now - it should work. I don’t have a Paramount, so can’t help you on that end. For AstroMC, just need to make sure the “ASCOM connected” box is checked:


In SGP, you will need to select the “AstroMC Dome Driver” in the Sequencer window, as well as your Paramount ASCOM driver for the Telescope:

You will need to decide whether you want AstroMC to do the slaving (and dome geometry calcs) or SGP. Recently I have been letting SGP do that. In the Control Panel window I normally set as this:

And you will need to ensure the Telescope is “Unparked”:

A good test to ensure it is all working as intended, you could set up a sequence but manually do a “Slew Now” (telescope and dome should both slew) and “Center Now” before starting the sequence.

Hope this helps.

And … 15min unguided subs … envy :=)


A lot here. I have gone through all these setting and it looks like I am on the correct track. I am starting to understand that automation with TSXPro and SGP is relative. I is apparent that I need to start equipment up, use TSXpro to connect to mount and home mount (this is a necessary action for paramount mounts), then return OTA to my home position (this is at az90 & alt45 and where my dome homes and charges shutter battery. My OTA parks pointing to the ncp for convince.), focus with TSXPro @focus3, and then hand control over to SGP. At this point I have a few question. Specifically what setting turns AstroMC over to SGP to slave dome. There are at least three places to click that say slave to telescope. Is there a specific place to click on or will any or all accomplish a slave scope to SGP? I will need to figure out the other slave options. I think that I understand how to close dome at completion of imaging run. What would be helpful is to build a very minimalistic sequence as a simulation run. Any suggestions? Thanks for the help here ! Cheers George

I have dome sync’d and everything else working. Will test shutter tonight. If that works the way I want it, I’m set. I’ll be able to dial everything in. Looking forward to trialing the autofocus routine…hoping it is good. I use TSX @focus3…which is ridiculously easy and robust. I’m totally spoiled by it.

Dave thanks for you help…

@gdunham, glad to hear things are progressing.

If you can get comfortable with SGP’s autofocus you will have the advantage of more tightly integrating the focus process within the SGP workflow (ie. update focus on filter change, temp change etc.).

For me, I usually open the dome shutter using AstroMC and then make sure “ASCOM connected” is checked in AstroMC. Then make sure “Slave to Telescope” is checked in SGP and “Mount Park closes shutter” (and “Disconnect all equipment at sequence end”) are checked.

I have had success further automating the process (ie. scheduling a sequence start for later time when I am not at console, having SGP open shutter etc.) - just need to make sure “ASCOM connected” is checked in.AstroMC. But this level of automation means more things that can go wrong so I don’t normally attempt it if I am at the console (and by “console”, I mean able to RDP into the obsy PC).