Another new potential user

Questions and answers about the best way to get started with Prism including: est hardware to use, software settings, etc..
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keving
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 am

Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:13 pm

Hi all,

Just trying things out - very impressed with planetarium and raft of focussing routines but, coming from SGP, I guess I might need to consider new ways of doing things...

So, for example, taking flats. I see in Prism, its very sky-flat oriented. I use an electro-luminescent panel and am used to setting up flats with pre-defined (stored) exposures at the end of a run, and taking them as just another set of images. Is it possible to preset them in this way in Prism?

Another point: Is it possible to connect to individual items to test them out separately? I can't seem to use the simulated camera and my real Atik filter wheel; it wants me to connect to all the hardware in one go and therefore throws errors (as I am indoors and trying things out on my desk).

Finally, although I havent managed to try this out yet, is it possible to pause a sequence and restart again (possibley afer making some adjustments down the line, as it were)?

Many thanks
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
Contact:

Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:10 pm

Hi and welcome to Prism

1. Flats are automatically take in Prism and do not just use the sky for a source. I personally use an Alnitak panel and take my flats myself. It is really simply and automatic, PRISM can take the best flats for your system since it knows the characteristics of of your camera. Point at your light source, go to Observatory > capture calibration images > Flats. Choose your settings and fire away. If you know what your exact flat times are, you can just shoot a manual sequence and input your times manually, super simple.

2. Yes it, cameras connect separately from the rest of the equipment. the only requirement that is that a mount needs to be present. So, set the mount as simulator and everything will work as you wish,

3. Yes, You can stop the sequence ( as of now) and restart it over again, It is rather simple to do.

Coming from any other software packages presents its own inherent challenges, Prism is deigned to be very powerful and easy to use at the same time. Before learning any other software, one has to go through the same steps of learning.

I hope I have answered your questions and welcome any others you might have.

Thanks
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
keving
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 am

Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:30 am

Thanks Hamza

On the flats... Would it also be possible to take them through the 'Auto observations' panel as follows: set a sun elevation range of -90 to 0, load your sequence file, check 'flat recording', and press 'go' under the 'execute' panel? You would have to delete any object list if already there (after saving). Also, I assume the 'morning' and evening' labels simply refer to before and after midnight so just check which is applicable..?

Inspite of sub-zero temperatures last night here, I managed to give Prism a field trial...
I managed to get autofocs in a repeatable way (hurragh! - not doable in my previous package) I like the ploynomial fitting method and suggested paramters for the rig. I also managed to set up autoguiding ... (BTW, I think the sound is not working on the YouTube video?) and get to know about, framing, plate solving, slewing etc in the Sky Chart.

All seems good so far but one final question (for now :). I can't seem to find how to save the equipment configuration you have specified in 'hardware settings'... So, if I change anything there, presuambley Prism will power up again with the new settings and I will lose the old ones..?

Many thanks
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
Contact:

Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:29 am

Hi Kevin

I will answer below each question:

On the flats... Would it also be possible to take them through the 'Auto observations' panel as follows: set a sun elevation range of -90 to 0, load your sequence file, check 'flat recording', and press 'go' under the 'execute' panel? You would have to delete any object list if already there (after saving). Also, I assume the 'morning' and evening' labels simply refer to before and after midnight so just check which is applicable..?

Answer : We have an awesome to-do list and no I cannot tell you what's on it :lol: ( we have a lot of enhancements yet to come). As we have discussed, Prism is built around power and simplicity. For this reason, the Calibration frame acquisition tool is in place. You can choose which filter to get flats for and Prism will take care of everything for you. The automatic observation is set for skyflats as of today, putting targets that are non-celestial in the target tab might pose problems since it requires Ra and Dec coordinates ( not ALT-AZ for a flat panel for example). This is why it is simpler to take them with the tool under observatory > Capture calibration frames > Flats. Please remember, we will be enhancing things progressively.

Inspite of sub-zero temperatures last night here, I managed to give Prism a field trial...
I managed to get autofocs in a repeatable way (hurragh! - not doable in my previous package) I like the ploynomial fitting method and suggested paramters for the rig. I also managed to set up autoguiding ... (BTW, I think the sound is not working on the YouTube video?) and get to know about, framing, plate solving, slewing etc in the Sky Chart.

Answers: I have 3 or 4 people audit my videos before publishing and non of us have noticed any problems with the audio volume or quality. Can you please describe what is happening so I can investigate? I believe my videos are a huge asset and want them to be flawless for my actual and prospecting customers.

All seems good so far but one final question (for now :). I can't seem to find how to save the equipment configuration you have specified in 'hardware settings'... So, if I change anything there, presuambley Prism will power up again with the new settings and I will lose the old ones..?

Answer: Prism can save the current configuration with all the settings when you go to Settings > software setup management > Save software setup to database registry. Now, if you have multiple setups and you want to save them separately, you can start Prism as Administrator and go to Settings > software setup management > Save software setup to file. This way, you can have multiple setups saved and easily switch between them.

Many thanks

I hope this helps and I welcome more questions.
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
keving
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 am

Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:38 pm

Hi Hamza - many thanks

On the video - the one without the sound is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6jLG1jTgx8&t=25s

The proper one on autoguiding at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrCw76VwctM
seems fine...

I'll have a go with the flats and the config saving soon, hopefully (although Xmas looms.... :) )

all the best
Kevin
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
Contact:

Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:44 pm

Kevin

Thanks so much for the heads up , I will remedy that.

Regards,
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
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