Because the SBIG driver architecture only allows for one application to have control of the camera, we have a created a special ASCOM driver that will allow any other guiding application that connects to an ASCOM driver to use the SBIG onboard guiding CCD while SGPro is using the main CCD.

This special ASCOM driver utilizes the SGPro API (Application Programming Interface... you don't need to be a developer to use this).  It is made to be used in conjunction with cameras that provide an internal or external guider (most notably SBIG cameras). The main camera is connected to Sequence Generator Pro, then through the SGP API, a connection can be made to access the guide camera using the SGP API Guider ASCOM Camera.

To setup the communication you must follow these steps:

  • In Sequence Generator Pro
    • Select the SBIG Camera form the camera list and click the "Settings" button
    • Select your guider connection method (Internal or Remote Guide Head)
    • Exit the settings dialog and connect to the camera
  • In your guiding application (PHD2 will be used as an example)
    • Choose the "SGP API Guider" camera and click connect.
    • If all goes well you should be able to loop exposures.

You can turn on logging by going to the SGP API Guider ASCOM settings in your guiding application. The log is somewhat verbose and will grow fairly quickly. It is only recommended to be on for troubleshooting issues.

You may guide through Pulse Guiding by using an ASCOM connected mount in your guiding application, or by using a ST4 connection and choosing the "On Camera" option.

It should be noted that using the SGPro API Guider will result in some additional latency in guide corrections because of the round trip time from the camera to the autoguiding application. An additional time penalty will also be incurred if the correction is through ST4 as the correction will have to go back through the API. We highly recommend using subframes when guiding with the SGP Api Guider to decrease this latency as much as possible. This latency has been roughly measured at 0.6 second when using full frame images for guiding.