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Equipment

This is the tab where you set up all the parameters recmd-k vlated to your equipment.

Equipment Settings

Camera#

  1. Pixel Size

    • The Pixel Size of your camera sensor in micrometers. This field will be automatically populated by the camera, if it provides the information.

      This field together with the values in “Telescope” is used for Platesolving operations

  2. Bit Depth

    • Specify the bit-depth of the images outputted by the camera in use.

    For DSLRs using DCRAW set this to 16 bit. If you're using FreeImage set to match the bitdepth of the camera

    For ZWO, QHY and Atik cameras set this to 16bit since they are rescaled by the camera drivers.

    Touptek and Altair do not scale, so set to match bit depth of the camera

    For other CCD/CMOS cameras ask to your camera manufacturer.

  3. Bayer Pattern

  4. Specify the bayer pattern for DSLR/OSC cameras. Leave it to Auto for auto-selection from camera drivers.

  5. Enable bit scaling

    • Indicates if data should be shifted to 16 bits. Only relevant for Touptek, Altair and Omegon cameras
  6. Bulb Mode

    • Allows you to change the bulb mode of the camera. Native will work in most cases.

      RS232 and Mount is available as well and might be necessary for older Nikon cameras For usage of RS232 and Monunt shutter refer to Usage: Using RS232 or Mount for bulb shutter

  7. Raw Converter

    • Only for DSLR: select the RAW converter, options are DCRaw and FreeImage

      DCRaw will utilize DCRaw and stretch your images to 16bit, applying the cameras specific color bias profile.
      FreeImage will deliver the frame exactly as your camera provided it and can be slightly faster for image download on slower machines.

    Note

    Both raw converters will deliver you the raw frame of your DSLR, but they might vary in color. Saving the raw frame without adding the camera specific profile with FreeImage can deliver more faint and less colorful raw images than you are used to.

    Telescope#

  8. Telescope

    • This section lets you enter the parameters of your telescope that will be used for Platesolving.

      If you change telescope, remember to update these settings or to switch profile under Options/General.

  9. Settle time after slew

    • Time in seconds to wait after a scope slew before imaging again
  10. No Sync

    • When active it prevents sending syncs to the mount during centering. Instead an offset is calculated to center the mount.

      Can be useful when you have a permanent setup and a good mount and created a solid pointing model in order not to interfere with it.

  11. Use FilterWheel offset

    • Determines whether the focuser should move per the defined offset when the filter wheel changes filter
  12. Auto Focus Step Size

    • the number of focuser steps that the autofocus routine will move by between autofocus points
  13. Auto Focus Initial Offset Steps

    • The number of focus points that will be used on each side of perfect focus by the autofocus routine
  14. Default Auto Focus Exposure Time

    • The exposure time in seconds that will be used by autofocus, if filter times are not set
  15. AF Method

    • Method used to detect datapoints for auto focus
  16. AF disable Guiding

    • Activate to pause guiding during AF routine (recommended when guiding with OAG)
  17. AF Curve Fitting

    • Fitting that should be used to determine ideal focus position out of the measured data points
  18. Focuser Settle Time

    • The amount of time, in seconds, that should be awaited after a focuser move before starting a new exposure
  19. AF Number of Attempts

    • The number of attempts the autofocus routine should be retried in case of unsuccessful focusing
  20. AF Number of Frames per Point

    • The number of frames whose HFR or contrast will be averaged per focus points
  21. Use brightest n stars

    • The number of top brightest stars that the autofocus routine will use - 0 means there is no limit
  22. AF Inner Crop Ratio

    • Inner ratio that will determine a centered region of interest for autofocus
  23. AF Outer Crop Ratio

    • Outer ratio that will determine a centered region of interest for autofocus
  24. Backlash Compensation Method

    • This controls the backlash compensation method used. The method can only be changed when the focuser is not connected!
    • Absolute: When the focuser changes directions, an absolute value will be added to the focuser movement. Backlash IN: when the focuser changes from moving outwards to moving inwards the Backlash IN value will be added Backlash OUT: when the focuser changes from moving inwards to moving outwards the Backlash OUT value will be added
    • Overshoot: This method will compensate for Backlash by overshooting the target position by a large amount and then moving the focuser back to the initially requested position. Due to this compensation the last movement of the focuser will always be in the same direction (either always inwards or always outwards)
  25. Backlash IN/OUT

    • The focuser backlash in the IN (decreasing position) and OUT (increasing position) directions, expressed in focuser steps.

      When Overshoot is chosen, only ONE between Backlash IN and OUT must be set! When setting IN, the amount will be applied on each inward movement, so the final movement will always be outwards. For Backlash OUT, it will be the other way around

  26. Binning

    • The binning to be used for Autofocus exposures.

    Weather#

  27. Fahrenheit Temperatures

    • Switch ON to use Fahrenheit temperature scale
  28. Imperial Units
    • Switch ON to use Imperial Units
  29. OpenWeatherMap API Key

    • Input your personal OpenWeather API key.

      You can get your OpenWeather free API key here

    Filterwheel#

  30. Filterwheel

    • If a Filter Wheel is connected in Equipment this window lists the available filters and names.
    • Position: filter position
    • Name: name of the filter as imported from ASCOm driver
    • Focus Offset: offset values that are used at each filter change if "Use FilterWheel Offset" is enabled
    • Auto Focus Exposure Time: it is possible to specify an AF exposure time for each filter
  31. Filter + - Buttons
    • These buttons add and remove filters from the filterwheel list (24)
  32. Import Button

    • When clicked filters will be imported from the ascom filter wheel driver

    Filter Wheel Configuration#

    The Filters defined in the Filter Wheel list are used in various places in N.I.N.A., especially in:

    • The Sequence Tab: each sequence item can use its own filter for capture
    • The Plate Solving routine: it can be set to use a particular filter, to have lower exposure times for plate solving (e.g. using L rather than HA for example)
    • The Auto-Focus routine: like plate-solving, autofocus can be set to use a particular filter

      For the above to work well, it is necessary to define the proper filters available, if necessary their filter offsets, and any filter to be used for Auto-Focus from this view.

      The screen looks like the below:

      Filters

      Adding filters

      Typically the first step for a user when first setting up the filter wheel is to click on the Import Filters from Filterwheel button. This will take the information about the filters from the filter wheel itself (if any is available), and automatically populate the list in N.I.N.A. based on that information.

      If this doesn't work, it is possible for the user to use the + and - buttons to manually add or remove filters. Note that the Position order of the filters in this tab should match the order of the physical filters in the filter wheel.

      For example, if a filter wheel has the following filters:

    • Luminance filter at position 1

    • Red filter at position 2
    • Green filter at position 3
    • Blue filter at position 4
    • H-Alpha filter at position 5

      then the screen should be configured as per the screenshot above, starting with the L filter, and going in order until the HA filter.

      Changing filter information

      It is possible to double click within the table to change the name of the filter (used throughout N.I.N.A.), its focuser offset and its Auto Focus Exposure Time directly.

      Filter offsets

      Most filters are not exactly par focal, meaning that when changing filters, the ideal focus distance changes slightly. This will cause an imaging system that was in perfect focus with one filter to be slightly out of focus with another filter. This can be a big problem for precise imaging, requiring an additional autofocus run each time the filter is changed.

      To avoid this, it is possible to set filter offsets, which are the amount of focuser steps that the focuser should move by when switching from one filter to another.

      For example, I could run the autofocus routine on each of my filters one after the other (with hopefully very little temperature change in between), with the following results:

    • L filter achieves perfect focus at focuser position 5000

    • R filter achieves perfect focus at focuser position 4990 (10 steps fewer than L filter)
    • G filter achieves perfect focus at focuser position 5030 (30 steps more than L filter)
    • B filter achieves perfect focus at focuser position 5045 (45 steps more than L filter)
    • Ha filter achieves perfect focus at focuser position 4988 (12 steps fewer than L filter)

      If we take the L filter as the reference filter, we can set up all the filter offsets relative to the L filter, as below:

    • L filter offset 0 (reference filter)

    • R filter offset -10 (10 steps fewer than L)
    • G filter offset 30 (30 steps more than L)
    • B filter offset 45 (45 more steps than L)
    • HA filter offset -12 (12 steps fewer than L)

      This is what has been done in the above screenshot.

      Note that for this to work, the Use FilterWheel Offsets parameter under the Focuser Options needs to be set to On.

      Auto Focus Exposure Time

      The ideal auto-focus time can change per filter, particularly between broadband and narrowband filters (in the above example, the narrowband filter requires an exposure time 5 times longer than the broadband filters). This can easily be set up here.

      Finding a good exposure time for autofocus is further explained in the Auto-Focus section

      Auto Focus Filter

      From this screen, it is possible to set (or unset) an autofocus filter, which will be used by the autofocus routine (if the Use FilterWheel Offsets setting under Focuser Settings is set to On). This can be done by simply selecting a filter in the list, and clicking on the Set as Default AF Filter button. The same button can be used to unset the Auto-Focus Filter.

    Guider Settings#

  33. PHD2 Path

    • PHD2 installation path
  34. PHD2 Server URL

    • You can set the PHD2 server settings here

      Usually the defaults should work fine. You need to enable PHD2 server in PHD2.

  35. PHD2 Server URL

    • PHD server port, usually the default 4400 works fine
  36. PHD2 Dither Pixels and Dither RA Only

    • The amount of guide camera pixels to dither in PHD2. If "Dither RA only" is checked, the dither movements will only be performed in RA.

    Tip

    Refer to Dithering in Advanced documentation topics for more information about Dithering and how to set the above parameters

  37. PHD2 Settle Pixel Tolerance

    • The threshold expressed in guide camera pixels that will determine a dither settling completion after a dither move.

      A dither will be considered settled if, after the "Minimum Settle Time" and before the "PHD2 Settle Timeout", the guide movements in PHD2 will be below the "PHD2 Settle Pixel Tolerance".

  38. Minimum Settle Time

    • The minimum time N.I.N.A. should wait after a dithering process until it starts the next capture
  39. PHD2 Settle Timeout

    • The maximum time N.I.N.A. should wait after a dithering process until it starts the next capture. After this time N.I.N.A. will start a new capture regardless of dithering settling completion.
  40. Direct Guide Duration

    • Duration of guide when Direct Guide is selected.
  41. Guiding Start Retry

    • If PHD2 fails to restart NINA will send a new start guiding command again until a succesfull guiding is initiated.
  42. Guiding Start Timeout (seconds)

    • Seconds to wait before sending a new start guiding command to PHD2 (defualt = 60).

    Planetarium Settings#

    The Planetarium section contains settings for each of the 4 supported planetarium programs. Currently N.I.N.A. supports Stellarium, Cartes du Ciel, TheSkyX and HNSKY. The connection allows a one way communication of coordaintes from the planetarium software to N.I.N.A.

    If a planetarium program is configured, coordinates can be imported anywhere in the program that has the Planetarium Sync Button.

  43. Preferred Planetarium Software

    • This drop down menu selects the planetarium software to be used
  44. Host

    • This is the address the planetarium server is hosted on

      The default 'localhost' will work if you're running the planetarium software on the same machine

  45. Port

    • Each software's server operates on a different port

      It is recommended to leave this at default