Reviewing Prism for use in my OBS

CCD cameras (CMOS/CCD), DSLRs, telescope mounts, focusers, autoguiders, domes, Roll off roofs, etc..
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rodror
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:37 am

Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:49 pm

Good Morning,

My apologies for posting this twice. I posted in the wrong Forum and cannot delete the post in FAQ's. Maybe the admin can delete the FAQ's post.


From the reviews I have read, and the comments about one application to automate OBS control, I am reviewing Prism as a replacement for CCDAutoPilot. After reading the user manual, FAQ's and the topics here, I still have a few questions that remain to be answered. If anyone has any experience or direct knowledge of the hardware listed and the compatibility, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Equipment:

Paramount MX+
TSX Pro with T-Point and Camera add-ons
SBIG STXL-16200 camera
FW8G-STXL Color Filter Wheel
AO-X Adaptive Optics
Optec Inc Gemini Focuser / Rotator
Optec Inc Alnitak FlatMan XL
Interactive Astronomy SkyAlert weather station (Produces Boltwood compatible Single Line Data File)
Interactive Astronomy SkyRoof RoR controller

Please comment or correct my notes below regarding hardware compatibility.

Paramount MX+ (Use requires "ASCOM to X mount adaptor" is installed)

SBIG STXL-16200 camera (Has native Driver support)

FW8G-STXL Color Filter Wheel (Not sure if this is supported, but should be since it is connected to the camera. This CFW has an internal LAI-0304 CCD Guide chip. Is it supported? It is connected to the main camera head via HDMI)

AO-X Adaptive Optics (Reading the forum, it seems that the AO-X is supported. From the forum: "The guider settings that made this work were utilizing full frame guiding and Global Image for shift computation method", but a search on the term "Global Image for shift computation method" produced no results. Can someone please post a screen shot of this setting?

Optec Inc Gemini Focuser / Rotator - Should be supported as it has an ASCOM driver

Optec Inc Alnitak FlatMan XL - I do not see any option in the FLATS RECORDING tab to utilize a flat panel. In other programs you have an automated FLATS routine that allows you to use SKY-FLATS or PANEL-FLATS. The flats are taken with a desired ADU in mind, and a starting point for the Exposure and Panel Brightness. The FlatMan includes a command line program that allows the user to turn on and control the panel brightness in such a way that I can set the Exposure time to say 3 seconds and the panel brightness to 20 and take a flat that is 33,000 ADU. Since automation is the goal and this is not a current feature, how long would this take to be added to the product and what is the process to request a feature update?

Interactive Astronomy SkyAlert weather station (Produces Boltwood compatible Single Line Data File). This is still a grey area. From the posts here, it looks like the data from the SLD file is read and the values populated, but the confusion is cause by a separation "cloud sensor" and "weather station" in the documents. The SkyAlert is both. It monitors the weather and cloud condition.

This leads to another related topic.
Does Prism monitor the weather for RAIN, and in the event of RAIN, abort the session, park the scope, and close the roof?
If so, does Prism continue to monitor the weather and restart the session upon the weather clearing?
What are the actions if Light Clouds roll in?
Does Prism pause the session until the clouds pass?
What are the actions if a sky condition of very cloudy is reported?
Does Prism pause the session, abort the session and close the OBS as if a rain event happened? Does Prism continue to monitor the weather and restart the session upon the weather clearing?


Interactive Astronomy SkyRoof RoR controller - This should be supported as it is ASCOM compliant. Does anyone have this RoR controller and have successfully used it with Prism?

I think I have covered most of my questions at this point in my research. Thanks in advance for your response...

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

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:57 pm

Welcome to the Family Randy. Everything you have there is supported through ascom or directly into PRISM. We are working on fine tuning the AOX however, this in progress.
Global Image for shift computation method =full image guiding using FFT Intercorrelation, quite practical.
- As for flats, PRISM was designed around sky flats. However, there is also a way to execute scripts before and after the flat session and the option to park in any position. There is no direct implementation of any flat panels yet. The first two candidates will be the Artesky Flat panel and OPTEC flip-flat and Flatman.

Other than that, I think you should be good to go.
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
rodror
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:37 am

Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:05 pm

Thanks Hazma,

I have downloaded and tested initially and it seems that I have everything working. I am confused on the AO though, it seems that I have to enable the checkbox "Use CCD Cameras embedded autoguider relays" or I get an error message. I am not connecting an ST-4 type guide cable from the mount to the camera, I want to use the AO to make the corrections. Do you have any specific AO setup documents that you can provide? Also, an update on when the AO-X fine tuning will be completed. I ask because my 80 day eval is already started and until this is resolved I will not be using Prism in my OBS.

"Global Image for shift computation method =full image guiding using FFT Intercorrelation, quite practical. ". So where so I set this?

Perfect, I have a Optec Inc FlatMan in my observatory. Again, and sorry to have to ask, but when will this be released? I wont be able to use Prism until Flatman automated Flats are incorporated. I cannot use a script to do this, as each filter requires a specific Brightness setting and a specific Exposure setting to take the flats.

The following is paramount to my remote observatory operation, as living in Florida, we have frequent rain that moves in quickly and moves out quickly. I need a product that recovers from a weather event versus one that just shutdown and quits for the session...

Does Prism monitor the weather for RAIN, and in the event of RAIN, abort the session, park the scope, and close the roof?
If so, does Prism continue to monitor the weather and restart the session upon the weather clearing?
What are the actions if Light Clouds roll in?
Does Prism pause the session until the clouds pass?
What are the actions if a sky condition of very cloudy is reported?
Does Prism pause the session, abort the session and close the OBS as if a rain event happened? Does Prism continue to monitor the weather and restart the session upon the weather clearing?

Thanks for your bringing this product to the American market and all your hard work making the tutorials.

BTW, can you get a copy of the French documentation? The other AO-X user said the frech document had through instructions on AO usage. I would like to see what that is.

Randy
Darkstar Observatory
rodror
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:37 am

Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:01 pm

Hamza Touhami wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:57 pm

Global Image for shift computation method =full image guiding using FFT Intercorrelation, quite practical.
Hamza,

I did some searching for the "full image guiding using FFT Intercorrelation" that you spoke of and I can only find the following in the documentation and it is in regards to processing images, not guiding. ""The software prompts whether you want to stack them after selection (it also include registration using FFT inter-correlation method).""

I apologize for all the questions, but my 80 days are flying past and I have many unanswered question that I need answered in order to make a purchase decision.

Looking forward to you assistance,
Randy
rodror
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:37 am

Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:53 am

Hello???

Is there anyone monitoring this forum? I have questions that remain unanswered. I am thinking of becoming a paying customer, but if this is indicative of the pre-sales support, what is the post-sales support like?

I understand that folks may have day jobs, but sales depends upon pre-sales and post sales support.

Regards,
Randy
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Observatory Grömme
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:38 am

Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:40 am

Hello indeed?!!!

Where is al the support going??? There are people here that needs answers.
I'm seriously considering for going to Astroart, instead of buying Prism. It is cheaper, and there is trusted support!
Last edited by Observatory Grömme on Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
Contact:

Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:03 am

Gents

I can understand the frustration very well, but here is my answer to that:

1. We do not have multiple admins, multiple mods.. we are trying our best to support anything you come up with, even if it not just in PRISM.
2. I have had the scariest flu season on my life and it has floored me for at least two weeks. We are people before being a business.
3. We answer all of our emails as fast we can so that is ALWAYS and available avenue that is open to customers and non-customers.
4. We are not the developers of PRISM, I have been VERY clear about this. There is inherent latency to get answers to challenging questions.

My commitment is unchanged, provide as much information as fast as possible. We have thousands of happy customers between amateurs and professionals across the globe. II am available at support@hyperion-astronomy.com and +1(480)779-7740. Please reach out to me if you think that is a better approach

I remain at your disposal.
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ
Contact:

Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:04 am

rodror wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:01 pm
Hamza Touhami wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:57 pm

Global Image for shift computation method =full image guiding using FFT Intercorrelation, quite practical.
Hamza,

I did some searching for the "full image guiding using FFT Intercorrelation" that you spoke of and I can only find the following in the documentation and it is in regards to processing images, not guiding. ""The software prompts whether you want to stack them after selection (it also include registration using FFT inter-correlation method).""

I apologize for all the questions, but my 80 days are flying past and I have many unanswered question that I need answered in order to make a purchase decision.

Looking forward to you assistance,
Randy
The developer will work on updating the documentation to reflect the new FFT intercorrelation. It is using the full frame guiding to measure everything that is the image instead of just the star centroid.
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Hyperion-Astronomy.com
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