Target List and Settings
The Target List shows all targets for the current sequence (it will scroll when you have more than 5).
Each target is presented in its own row. The checkbox at the far left indicates whether a target is active and, as such, if it will be considered when a sequence is running. Note that a target can have an active status, but still have no target events that are active. Conversely, a target event can be active, but will not be considered if the target is inactive.
Left Icon Key (to the right of the checkbox)
- Pause Icon: The target is not currently running, but has uncompleted work.
- Play Icon: The target is currently running.
- Check Icon: The target is complete.
Target Status Icons (displayed below each target)
From left to right, a color icon will tell you at a glance if:
- Telescope Icon: Slew on start is active (see below)
- Target Reticle Icon: Center on start is active (see below)
- Rotation Icon: Rotation will occur at target start
- Clock Icon (and text): The target has an active end time at the time indicated
If more detail about a target is required, open target options or hover the mouse to present a target tooltip.
Target Calculations are Queued
Certain configurations of targets can result in a condition where SGPro needs to perform a series of time intensive calculations in order to proceed. In these cases, a target that is awaiting its turn to make these calculations, you will see a "dot" image preceding the target name:
Nothing to worry about if the waiting dot is present, it only means that properties like start and end time may not be accurate yet.
Target Calculations Failed
With respect to the calculations above, many of them are performed in the background. As such, the success or failure of these calculations is not known when the sequence loads. If you see a "dot" indicating the target is awaiting calculations and then that dot turns red in color, it indicates that SGPro was unable to complete certain calculations that will affect the way in which the sequence runs. These specific issues will be presented upon attempting to run the sequence (or the log file):
The target tooltip is designed to give you rapid access to most of a target's settings without needing to actually open the settings dialog. This can be convenient especially if you just want to check or verify target state prior to starting the sequence. To open a target tooltip, simply hover over the target.
Action Buttons (displayed below the target list)
- Adding a New Target: To add a new target simply click the "+" button and a new target will appear.
- Moving a Target: To Move a target, first select it and then click the up or down arrow.
- Current Target: Click the clock icon to select the target the sequence is currently running
- Deleting a Target: To delete a target, click on a target, then click the "x" button.
- Settings: To get to the target's settings, click the gear icon to the right of each target name.
The Number of Targets Displayed
Or rather... the number of targets displayed without scrolling the target list can be altered. This is useful for sequences with large numbers of targets as it will limit the amount of scrolling needed to find particular targets. In he sequencing window, you will see a small button in the lower left side of the window. Clicking it will toggle a view where the target list is in its default location (as pictured above) or if the target list should be rendered along the entirety of the left side.
When the extended target view is toggled on:
Click the button again to return to the default target view.
Note: The view setting is unique to a sequence. This means that a sequence with only a few targets can be saved such that it opens with the shorter, default target list view and a sequence with many targets can be saved such that, whenever it is opened, will automatically open the extended target list view.
There are several actions that can be performed on targets by right clicking on them.
- Select All Targets: Checks (selects) all targets in the list. This marks all targets in the list as active.
- Deselect All Targets: Unchecks (deselects) all targets in the list. This marks all targets in the list as inactive and none will run during the sequence.
- Move Up / Down: These actions are identical to the arrow buttons (Moving a Target) described above (they alter the target order).
- Duplicate Target: Create another target with settings and events identical to the selected target.
- Delete Target: This action is identical to the "X" button (Deleting a target) described above.
- Reset Progress: This will reset the progress of all events in the target and mark the target as incomplete (if it was previously complete).
- Clear Completed Status: When a target stops (for any reason) and moves onto the next target, it is considered "done". If you want to add more events to a "done" target and then make it eligible for execution again, you will need to clear its "done" status. See sequencing for more information.
- Center on Target: This will perform a precision centering of the telescope on the target's location (see below). For more information on centering, click here.
- Slew to Target: This will perform a low precision, standard telescope slew to the position defined in the location section.
- Rotate camera: This will rotate the camera to the angle specified in the "On start, rotate to" field (see below)
- Center Target & Rotate Camera: This will simultaneously perform these two operations (see above)
- Copy Target Settings and Events to: This will allow you to copy a target's settings and all of its events to another target.
- Copy Target Events To: This will allow you to all of the events from this target to many other targets while allowing the the destination target to retain its own settings. This is very useful in situations where many targets have the same general composition of events (like when the mosaic wizard creates a sequence)
- Copy Target Settings: This will allow you to copy a target's settings to another target while allowing the destination target to retain its events.
- Copy Events From: This will allow you to copy all of the events from another target to this target.
Settings can be accessed by clicking the gear icon or by right clicking a target and then clicking "Target Settings" or double clicking the target. Note that the gear icon does not appear until you mouse over the targets list.
Each target has settings that will alter the behavior of the sequence. In addition, you will find several manual actions here (like slewing and centering).
- Name: This is the name of the target and is what will be displayed in the Target List. This is also the name that will be used when %tn is defined as part of the target name. Note that, within a sequence, target names must be unique.
- Location: This is the exact location of the target's center. It is required if "Center On" or "Slew To" is checked. You can use the "Solver" tools to help populate this data (plate solving images, getting location data from the Internet, etc.). These fields are "free text" and will accept quite a large variety of formats (e.g. "20h58m54s +43°51'46" or "20:58:54 -43:51:46" or even decimal forms like 20.92). You can also paste text containing both RA and DEC into the RA field and it will properly populate both fields (most of the time... currently copying and pasting target data from Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium are known to be working, just copy the buffer into the "RA" field and SGPro will try to sort it out for you).
- Populate from web link: Click this to auto populate the location fields with data from Astrobin or Flickr.
- Slew Now: This will perform a low precision, standard telescope slew to the position defined in the location section.
- Center Now: This will perform a precision centering of the telescope on the target's location. For more information on centering, click here.
- SLEW to and then CENTER on location: If this option is checked, the sequence will automatically attempt to center the image on the defined location. In order to use this feature, you must have a plate solver and telescope connected. If you are guiding with PHD2, the sequence will attempt to stop and restart guiding automatically (on the new target). For more information on auto centering, click here.
- SLEW to location: It is possible to simply slew to the target's location without going through a centering routine. Due to imprecise polar alignment, bad modeling data or mechanical imprecision, this will likely not get you pointing to where you want to be at for imaging. Using this can very easily yield a series of frames unsuitable for stacking.
Automatic camera rotation: This option will force the sequence to alter the angle of the camera prior to starting the target. More information on this cam be found here.
The dropdown menu immediately to the right of the angle field defines the permissiveness of the target's angle requirement.
- The default is "+- 180 degrees". This means that if you enter 15 degrees for the target, either 15 or 195 degrees is OK. Switching sides of the meridian will also experience no change in camera rotation. This is just fine for most folks as processing software will take of the stacking and, even better, you will only need one set of flats.
- The other option is "Always". This means that the sequence will keep the camera angle at the angle you entered no matter what. So, if you flip, the camera will actually rotate 180 degrees to maintain that exact angle. This can be useful to keep the same guide star (OAG) in the CCD's FoV, but will require 2 sets of flats.
The angle field can describe of one of 2 different properties. In the last drop down menu in the section, you can select either:
- Sky: Indicates that the angle describes rotation with respect to the target. The angle field is not to be interpreted as the actual positional angle of the rotator.
- Mechanical: Indicates that the angle describes rotation with respect to the rotator. The angle field is not to be interpreted as the target angle. Note that a mechanical rotation does not support "+- 180 degrees" and will always move to the specified position
Time and Altitude Constraints
A target's start and end times can be constrained by either the time of day or by its altitude (a user profile must be assigned to the sequence in order to reference a target's altitude). The check box to the left will indicate if a target should use start and end times or altitudes. A start or end time will need to identify either time or altitude as the locked value. That is to say: as time carries on, the locked parameter will remain constant and the other will vary in order to sync with the locked value. If an end time is "time locked" (default), the altitude will vary day to day. Conversely, if the altitude is locked, then the time at which the target is at the specified altitude will vary day to day. The "locked" parameter is outlined and shaded in orange and the other unlocked property in gray. For every target, it is possible to enter an altitude that, for your geographical position, the target will never attain. In this case, the "linked chain" icon between altitude and times will appear as broken. In this state, only the time will be considered.
- Start at: When this is checked, the target will not commence capture until the time / altitude constraint is met. This means that the sequence may sit idle for a bit (mount will still track). No date is required for the start time. This means that you are not required to update the date when using the sequence over multiple nights. This also means that SGPro must infer a date based on the time you entered. The inference system is fairly simply... sequences run in what is referred to as a "sequence day"... a period of 24 hours that spans from 0900 to 0900. The dates attached to those time will either be yesterday and today or today and tomorrow. This decision is made based on when you click the "Run Sequence" button. The start time also has a helpful indicator after that time that will read either "yesterday, today or tomorrow". This is to be interpreted as: The target start time will be at 07:24 today if you click the "Run Sequence" button right now. See the end sequence docs below for a couple examples of how time works within the bounds of a "sequence day".
- End at: When this is checked, the sequence will quit capturing frames for this target at the specified time (regardless of work remaining). At this point the next target in the sequence will run. No date is required for the end time. This means that you are not required to update the date when using the sequence over multiple nights. This also means that SGPro must infer a date based on the time you entered. The inference system is fairly simply... sequences run in what is referred to as a "sequence day"... a period of 24 hours that spans from 0900 to 0900. The dates attached to those time will either be yesterday and today or today and tomorrow. This decision is made based on when you click the "Run Sequence" button. The end time also has a helpful indicator after that time that will read either "yesterday, today or tomorrow". This is to be interpreted as: The target end time will be at 23:46 today if you click the "Run Sequence" button right now. Examples:
- For a target that ends at 22:00, starting the sequence at 22:15 will skip this target, the sequence day will be 10:00 today through 10:00 tomorrow and the end time at 22:00 will be in the past. Conversely, starting at 21:45 would place the 22:00 end time in the future. Starting the sequence at this time will produce the same "sequence day".
- For a target with an end time at 05:00, starting the sequence at 16:45 (more than 12 hours before the intended end time), the sequence day will be 10:00 today to 10:00 tomorrow and the end time of 05:00 will be in the future (this is the same example as above really... just illustrating that it still works when you are more than 12 hours away from the intended end time.
- For a target with an and time at 22:00, starting the sequence at 01:00 will create a "sequence day" from 10:00 yesterday to 10:00 today. The end time of 22:00 will be assigned to the only 22:00 that occurs in this sequence day (yesterday), and will be skipped.
- Altitude for start and end times: Both start at and end at times have corresponding altitudes. The time and altitude, when possible, will always be in sync (meaning that if the target reaches the requested altitude, it will automatically fill in the time field). When they are in sync, they will contain a solid chain link icon between the altitude and time. When the time and altitude fields are not in sync, the chain icon will appear broken.
- Planning tools: Click the Planning tools link to open a visual planner for this target.
Reset a Target's Completed Status
Once the sequence has moved on from a target, that target will no longer be eligible for starting (during this sequence). When a target has been marked complete, a link reading "Clear completed status" will appear below the target name. Clicking this and clearing the completed status means that the target becomes eligible for selection when the current target is done.
Note: You can also clear a target's status by right clicking on it and clicking "Clear completed status".