Coordinated Dithering

Questions and answers about the best way to get started with Prism including: est hardware to use, software settings, etc..
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Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:45 am

Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:45 am


I am new to the software application and am on the trial period. So far everything has gone well. Very comprehensive piece of software to say the least. I have been able to successfully connect everything and guide. I am now transitioning to focusing and fault tolerance and stability for an array of cameras. So far I understand most everything I have done.

I have two important related questions that are associated with my specific needs. I have checked the forums and could not find the consistent answer. I understand that without dithering, the program can handle two cameras simultaneiously taking images while a third one is guiding. I wanted to know if this is a feature of just the advanced version or is this also a feature of the pro version. There is some historical reference in some of the postings indicating that the two camera and one guider application is associted with the advanced software. When I read the advanced feature list, the application is not listed, so this may work with the pro version. Can you please clarify.

The second and critical question for me is as follows. When using two imaging cameras and one guider camera, is coordinated dithering available where cameras wait for the dithering to be completed from any camera on the system before they open their shutters. Conversely is there a feature where dithering will not occur when another camera shutter is open?

Thanks in advanced for any information regarding this capability.
Hamza Touhami
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Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ

Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:56 am

Welcome to the forum.

You are correct, the advanced version is the only one capable of imaging with two cameras and guiding with a third. There is a special version of PRISM that can actually image with up to eight (8) different cameras but this is for special application. If this is of interest, we can discuss further.

The included PGM language allows you code anything you wish to have, you can even build your own automation script just like this post : viewtopic.php?f=24&t=298
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:45 am

Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:43 pm

Thank you for the response.

I have everythig working. If I use only two cameras and one guide camera as I did last night, I see that the cameras take turns. Is that the functionality of the camera array use? Can I include dithering as part of the process? Since the cameras wait for each other, I am thinking the answer is yet.

A follow up to that question is can you actually have one camera shooting in parallel to the other with dithering?

For instance Camera 1 shoots 10 min. Camera 2 shoots 5 minutes. Can the program dither, start camera one and two at the same time, shoot at the same time, allow camera two to shoot again and then dither when Camera one finishes and repeats this?

Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:45 am

Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:55 am


I had the same questions a the beginning and here are my two cents from my usage over the last year.

First the software didn't syncronize the cameras. The software is able to handle more than one camera but in an unexpected way from the point of view of an user with a parallel telescope setup.
My setup is as follows. Two telescopes in parallel with a CCD-cam (G2-4000 and G2-8300) and autofocuser on ech and a seperate guiding cam (ASI290Mini).
In Prism there are two ways of imaging, the full automatic (handsfree) and the manual (pointing, focusing and setting up the imaging sequence).
If you want to use the autmatic feature the first two camera slots are used for imaging (slot 1) and guiding (slot2). The third slot is not in use. But the third slot didn't handle an autofcuser and (probably a problem with my Moravian cam) neither a filterwheel, only the first two do so. The third slot is for that reason useless forr any other cam then an autoguider. In short parallel imaging is not possible in automatic imaging. You have to change the camera setup for each session you wan't to use the other scope.
In the manual way you may use the first two slots for the main cams and the third one for the guiding cam. With this setup parallel imaging is possible but with no synchronization! Dithering must be switched of. And after all you are not able to use the automatic feature if you have to use a guiding cam.
Regarding the scripting features I have no scripting skills so I didn't tried to write my own scripts.

Nevertheless Prism is a great piece of software and its now my one and only imaging software (I decided to use the first two slots for the imaging cams, so I don't use the automatic feature anymore)..

Hopefully parallel telescope setups will be adressed in the next Prism version.

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:45 am

Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:58 pm

Thank you Airwolf,

You have confirmed what I have concluded.

Appreciate the time you took to answer my question.
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