Suggest features for V11

Questions and answers about the best way to get started with Prism including: est hardware to use, software settings, etc..
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Hamza Touhami
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Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:03 pm

Dear users

We would love to take your suggestions for features you would like to see in version 11 of PRISM, we are improving things constantly and are curious about what your thoughts are, please share your input with us. There will be no promises of what will be included in the future of PRISM, gotta keep the suspense up :D
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
daniel_nicholas
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:43 pm

Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 pm

Hi Hamza,
Here are my suggestions for next version of Prism. Excuse my writing mistkes, the English isn't my native language:
- better auto stretch function for visualise an image. I find the present autostretch function a little bit cumbersome when I open images with different signal levels. SGP and Pixinsight have better autostrech function.
- a mosaic and framing wizard to help centering the objects in the frame and rotate the camera accordingly. SGP and APT has a wonderful tool for this.
- I have a cmos sensor and for this kind of camera is better to calibrate the images only with darks, flats and darkflats, without bias. In present version I can't calibrate the frames without bias.
- in the skychart it would be nice to have a button for drawing celestial equator. Now the celestial equator can be visualize togheter with all eq coordinates and in this case the skychart is full with lines.
- better compatibility between the images saved in Prism and another software. When I process and save an image in Prism and next I open the same image in Pixinsight for postprocessing, I found that in PI the image is weird (whitish). The same thing for images captured in Prism directly. When I try to open them in Pixinsight or SGP the images are whitish.
- better explanation of the functions and buttons in the manual. More tutorials. I am interested in spectroscopy and until now I don't now how to process the image to obtain a spectrum profile. I use a star analyser spectrograph.
- when I check the blink images to find asteroids, I found that I have to stretch each image manually to match a desired luminosity. Or maybe I don't know how tu use this function. A button to autostrech all images in the blink it will be nice to have.
- a function to show the names of the stars and NGC/IC objects in the image after doing a plate solve and without merge the image with skychart. Or after doing the platesolve, simply click an object from the image and opening a window to Simbad or Aladin internet database.

All in all, Prism is an amazing and very powerfull software and after 2 years of using it worth the investment!

Clear sky!
Daniel Bertesteanu
Hamza Touhami
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Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:31 pm

thanks Daniel, great great feedback and suggestions, I will add them to the list for consideration. Anybody else?
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
airwolf599
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:45 am

Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:35 am

Hi,

here are my two cents.

1. More flexibility in setting up camera role for parallel setup users in automatic observations. That means, to have an option to choose if camera 1 is making pictures or camera 2, or both in parallel. Additional the option to set the guiding cam to slot 3.
2. Coordinating dither between the cameras when making pictures with camera 1 and camera 2 simultaniously in automatic observation or via the manual way.
3. More compability with pixinsight handling the results.
4. Implementing the GNS (good night system).

Best regards

Wolf
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Vkagnihotri
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:49 am

Hello Friends

I have few points:

1. Direct object search (online) using simbad, some object like blazar S5 0716+714, prism does not find online.
2. Of course, facility to use GAIA Dr2 data and implementation of new MPC ADES report.
3. Implementation of ESO spectroscopy data library and more lucid way to calibrate spectra and instrument response correction for CCD.

Regards
Vikrant
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Observatory Grömme
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:38 am

Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:04 pm

Dear,

I'm only just starting to use PrismV10, so i don't have much to add but definitely like said before:

- Substract MasterBias, MasterDark, MasterFlat, MasterDarkFlat should be user selectable. I want to chose to substract these masters from this image etc....

- Auto-stretch all loaded / open images when blinking a set of images. Astrometrica has this function when i adjust the screen levels for one image, i can select to screen stretch all the rest of the loaded images.

- Automatic Update of Object Coördinates: Like said before: Would really love to see the function that when i'm doing an automatic observation run, that just before slewing to the object ( in my case Comets ), the program will update the coordinates according to the actual time. CCDC has this option, and this is absolutly critical for me. Without it, i can not automate my comet observations.
shefrobotham
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 11:33 am

Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:33 am

Hamza,, As we discussed before, PRiSM's guiding needs a bit of a tweak,,,

- convert the guide error graphs from pixels to arc-seconds
- scale the graphs showing the RA and Dec Error and Corrections to have the same units, This will help setting the guide 'gains'.
- a link to PHD running within PRiSM or incorporating some of PHD's algorithms.

To date, I have switched to PRiSM for data acquisition from AstroArt. The only real problem is the guiding module/function crashes. Another club member also has had the same thing. To resolve, an "Exit PRiSM" had to be done..

The overall interface the real selling point!. See you at NEAF?

Later,

Shef
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Observatory Grömme
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:38 am

Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:33 pm

A new hint / tip, question:

is it possible to update the observatory dome shutter window when opening and closing.
Now it looks like the dome is alway opend.

I had some idea like this:
dome.jpg
When opened, it is black, looks open. when closed it is white. . this is more handy for directly seeing if the dome is open or not...
cioc.adrian.dan
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:03 pm

Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:48 am

It would be nice to be able to automatic image with 2 cameras at the same time for us that are using 2 scopes on one mount ;)
daniel_nicholas
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:43 pm

Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:42 pm

Hello Hamza,
For the next Prism version, is it possible to have this functions?
- in the skychart when searching for an object, Prism can find automatically a certain star only from HD, SAO, HIP and other catalogs but not for GSC, UCAC4 and TYC catalogs. Now, for these stars I make a manual search in Aladin to find if a star has another name (HD/SAO or HIP) and after that I search for it in skychart.
- when I make photometry analysis and I obtain a light curve, I can’t edit the OX axis for time or phase (or maybe I don’t know how) for inserting the start and the end time of a session or the time of minimum/maximum. Also, is it possible to include the comparation stars (with name and maybe RA/Dec) in the main graph like in AstroImage J?
- is it possible that Prism gives us some suggestions about proper annulus of a star and backround for making photometry lightcurve even better?
Thank you!
Best regards,
Daniel
Hamza Touhami
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Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:59 pm

Excellent suggestions genlemen
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
Fellside
Posts: 11
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Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:58 pm

Hi

I would like better multi monitor/screen support.

Control modules move back to the main screen on restart sometime they stay where they were placed. Both CCD modules always start on the main screen and then have to be dragged to screen two. Skychart cannot be dragged to screen two.

Many thanks

Graham
Hamza Touhami
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Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:52 pm

noted ;)
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
umasscrew39
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:30 am

Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:56 am

Hello Hazma

LIVE STACKING....PLEASE!!!

Folks like me who do outreaches doing live stacking are in desperate need of better programs to do so. SharpCap is an example but only works on ZWO CMOS cameras. ASCOM drivers on it do not work and the program is very finicky. If you added this feature, PRISM would be the only program that does it all.

I hope you can develop this feature sooner than later. I am just learning AP using PRISM and adding live stacking would give me and others virtually one place to do everything.

Thank you,
Bruce
amstpils
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:53 pm

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:29 am

How about "Views" like PHD 2, especially the spectrograph slit and the ability to change the position of the slit. Or at least the ability to re position the current cross hair.
Thanks,
Al Stiewing
amstpils
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:53 pm

Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:47 am

I guide on the the target.with my Lhires iii which is limited to bright targets. and very short guide exposures which of course would chase seeing. I would to see Prism add a feature like PHD's advanced setup under the camera tab which allows the user to set a "Time Lapse" in ms to keep from chasing the seeing. So while the camera is capturing data every ten of a second the the guider only reacts every (n) milliseconds. In my case every 5000 ms.
Thanks
Al Stiewing
amstpils
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:53 pm

Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:08 pm

Under Automation, add A tab for Spectroscopy.
Shelyak Instruments, maker of the Lhires, Alpy and Lisa spectroscopes has come out with a device called the SPOX which can be controlled by script to operate the Calibration and Flat lamp.
I take calibration images before and after each target and a flat series each session. Also by turning on both switches the flap blocks the light path to allow taking dark and bias frames.
This would go a long way to automating my setup.
Thanks for the consideration..
Al Stiewing
edstuckey
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:54 pm

Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:28 am

Currently I use SGP’s flats wizard. I know you probably cannot copy it but something similar when using an electronic flat panel such as flip flat would be nice.
Filter offset automatic wizard. After calculating the offsets for each filter, it would then populate the results in the appropriate location.
rottielover
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:47 pm

Wow, how late am I to this party? If it's not completely to late... I love all the above suggestions. My comment would be around an overall polish on the hardware connection experience. I know of a few of us that have had some difficulties that turned out to be our camera drivers etc, but the error messages I recall getting didn't really point me in that direction, hence frustration sets in while you "fiddle with settings" trying to find the magic combination to make everything work, and in reality you just are making it harder on yourself because you're looking in the wrong place (IE should be in the Driver setup, or using a different driver etc). Maybe a popup window that has some tips/tricks listed on there when errors are triggered that might help folks avoid some of it.

If not that, please look into possible adding dithering while guiding for manual observations (IE I'm slewing to my targets etc and not using the automatic observations). I find that while automatic observations are great there are times where you just want some manual control. I think of it like having an aircraft with only an autopilot option. Now and again (especially outreach events if the LiveStacking makes it), I'd like to randomly pick a target based on what is on the sky map and start doing some manual observations, if I then decide to setup a quick sequence it would be nice to go ahead and have the option to dither while guiding right then. As I understand it the only way to dither while guiding right now with v10 is to either use automatic observation or to write your own script.
rottielover
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:14 pm

Not sure why I just thought about this: Type of Observatory setting which filters down to a few things...

Right now Prism assumes a fixed observatory site with dome, allsky camera, weather monitoring etc. As a "portable observatory" I need to be able to adjust the software for this.

So for example auto-observations - I need to be able to polar align each time I setup, so the workflow is a little different than just "start up and go" like with a fixed site. I'm also more likely to be doing flat panel type flats, either by slewing the scope to the zenith and then using my ipad, or maybe I have a flip-flap type device, but most of us portable types (at least in this area) are ipad guys (I'm one), where we stretch a t-shirt over the scope and I use an app called "ScreenLight" to set the screen to white while I take flats. The polar alignment before auto-observing thing would be a huge boon though. Heck one idea might be to have it build a mini-pointing model (like a 3 star alignment or something) instead of having to physically move any settings on the mount (might not be possible with all mounts).

This ties well into a prior suggestion I made about being able to add your site via a connected GPS device (please fix GPS!)

Also if prism were set to "portable mode" (name pending ;) ) it should prompt at startup to ask if you are within X distance from your prior site and need to update the location for the skymap if so.
cioc.adrian.dan
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:03 pm

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:50 am

After experimenting with SKYGUARD software from mr Gaston B. regarding full frame guiding and real time focusing it would be a fantastic addition/integration wih Prism v11. As a begginer I had some trouble setting everything corectly, but once done it is great. The support from mr Gaston B. Was great
cioc.adrian.dan
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:03 pm

Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:52 am

A little comeback on my previous post. If Skyguard implementation in Prism would be problematic at least Optec's FocusLock should be easier since it's an updated version of SharpLock wich was integrated in Prism but then removed. I find it extremely usefull to be able to realtime focus. I still have some user error issues with Skygiard, but last night I had a 3 hours session with Prism FocusLock and phd2. I will post my first image with prism soon
keving
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 am

Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:11 am

Re: guiding.
Is it possible to have an option to show the entire filed of view of the guide camera instead of just the region of interest around the guide star? This would be useful, for instance, in guiding in spectroscopy if you arent using slit guiding (which doesnt seem as robust...)

Thanks

Kevin
jason
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:44 pm

manual filter wheels for hyperstar/rasa.

I may work around this with a manual ascom driver or something... but probably better handled within prism.
jason
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:58 pm

everywhere where prism tries to do a platesolve should be astrometry.net method aware. There seems to be places here and there where V10 does not seem astrometry.net aware - auto plate solves if memory serves were one.

I will be looking at optimizing astrometry.net performance for very fast turn arounds and streamlining a local implementation for local setups using the same servers interface - maybe even towards canned setups in the long term so this method really shines in prism / elsewhere.

I may also start experimenting with some sort of computer assisted drift-alignment depending on how well upcoming general king methods work, I don't have a view of the north sky or zenith from my living spaces and I'm trying to get a semi-permanent setup going while allowing bi-monthly travel while recreating a good polar alignment with low effort. Depending on prisms scripting capabilities I may try this kind of stuff within prism.. or go python+ascom. This blurb is kind of extraneous but it explains part of why I want to make the platesolves faster and that I really want a polar alignment I can use in my situation, which is itself kind of a feature request that might not be met in addition to a project I'm thinking about.
daniel_nicholas
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:43 pm

Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:40 am

Hi Hamza,

For the next Prism version I have these recomandations:
For photometry:
- generate a photometry report in AAVSO and ALCDEF format; now I can't send directly the reports to AAVSO because the prism report isn't compatible.
- better compatibility of Prism photometry report with other software for further analysis; in actual version, the reports contains many rows and columns full of numbers and I don't know what they are, what column/rows is for target, comparison stars and errors. When I copy-paste the numbers/report to sent in Peranso for period analysis or other software I cant because the reports isn't compatible with “standard format”.
- further analyse function for period, minim, maximum and detrend a light curve. In current version, I can get the light curve and that's all, I can't find the min/max or correct for air mass.
- after doing the photometry, add a graph with variation of airmass and FWHM of that session.
- edit and insert in the final lightcurve image the name of comps stars, their magnitude, JD or actual date etc; so light curve image more editable.
- posibility to do photometry in a manual mode: now all the photometry reduction is entire automatic and is very good to be so. But Prism analyse all the stars in the field and this process is taking very long time if there are many stars in the frame (big camera sensors, lens or Milky Way fields). I wolud like to manualy select the target star and the comps and that all, Prism analyse only these stars and perform photometry. Sometimes Prism fail to find a asteroid in session frames although the asteroid is there and must I reduce that sesion in Canopus. I think, sometimes, manual reduction- click on the target, click on the comps stars- is safe than automatic.

For guiding:
- more simple window to calibrate the guider and to manage the guiding; in actual version there are to many variables in the guiding window; or maybe possibility to link directly to PhD Guiding because it has a more simple and intuitive way to control the guiding. I have never manage to guide in Prism because it fail to calibrate. But in PhDG, the guiding works flawlessly for me.

Session control:
- in present version, only place when I can input a delay between frames is in the camera window. But if I use this camera window to expose entire session I lost the capabilities for automation: meridian flip, control the dome, refocus etc. Please insert a button with delay between the frames in automation panel.
- in the interface of the automatic session add “a button” for taking darks, flats and bias; now here are only the buttons for lights and to take calibration frames I write the title of calibration frames in the camera window.

Best regards!
Daniel
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