Process questions

Hi guys, I’ve read the wiki & looked at some videos - ive got big holes in my knowledge & have been trying to piece together how i can run my process in voyager (which is really powerful & I’m seriously impressed). So far I’m in the trial period & want to know how i can adapt my process to achieve results using voyager.
So my normal routine using NINA is:
Connect equipment
Slew to manually selected star for focus check
Manual focus using bahtinov mask
Select imaging object
Plate solve
Sequence to capture data
Cool camera
Park scope

I’ve ran the simulators to mimick the setup etc & am happy with that, it’s the rest of it - can anyone tell me what the best way to achieve my process in voyager will be?
I’ve looked for videos in English that show it being used in realtime but can’t find any.
Any help or advice would be gratefully received

Before you try a sequence, master on the fly actions. Then add a sequence. Then after you master that use a dragscript.

But most of your actions will be here:

Also note that you can park, start and stop tracking with the status/commands widgets on the right side of the screen. You can also do manual focusing and other actions depending on your equipment. There’s a tab to switch between status and commands.

Connect equipment- Startup - Voyager Wiki >section>startup> connect (after you added all your equipment, then press connect.

Slew to manually selected star for focus check - you can click on your object in Stellarium (or setup another planetarium in Voyager) then go to the object finder: section>on the fly>screen icon to the right of “fast find” the press get selection (this will copy the coordinates here), then press use, that will populate the coordinates to the go to section. After that you can press “precise pointing target coordinates” in the on the fly tab. That will slew your scope to the selected coordinates and plate solve/sync and then keep trying that until the target is within the specifications you put in the setup window.

Manual focus using bahtinov mask - on the fly> camera shot. Setup your exposure by pressing the gear icon. View your image with the fit viewer. Make sure to enable that in setup.

Select imaging object - on the fly- 1) try searching in the target box and press fast find, or use the object finder as noted in the

Framing -for this you need to use the paid version and use the web dashboard. It’s a great and easy tool to frame.
Plate solve -a plate solve and sync is built in with the precise pointing target coordinates. You can also load a fit and plate solve that and do a goto if needed.

Sequence to capture data -use the sequence tool.
Cool camera -widget
Park scope-widget

So to recap try everything on the fly first. Then when you understand that, utilize a sequence with the sequence button and create a sequence. Within the sequence, you can have it point do a precise go to, adjust your camera temp, setup guiding, then your sequences, park . . .

Then after all that use a Dragscript! It’ll do everything for you:

Many thanks for this fabulous response.
I’ll take all your points on board & try to implement them.
Is a shame the Web viewer isn’t available on the trial as that’s a great bit of functionality I’d love to try out

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I would say one big one that will both improve images and make things easier is to fit a focus motor so that you can automate focus. Voyager will focus better and faster than the human eye and you can set it up to periodically refocus based on the characteristics of your gear. A lot of people who manually focus do so once in a sessio and leave it, which will almost certainly leave room for improvement in focus.

Hi Blue,
I have to respectfully disagree - on a variety of scopes & cameras, I’ve never once lost focus after using a bahtinov mask at the beginning of a night. As good as any software is, it does introduce added complexity & with other software introduce potential errors

I used to focus with a baht mask once per session, but now I have an EAF on both of my rigs. I’m also shooting with a mono camera and that means filters . . .

I have Voyager focus on every filter change and every time the temp changes 2 degrees. Doesn’t require any more work for me.

I’ve got a dual rig setup for winter of twin 70mm triplet apo scopes, 1 runs an Altair 26C, the other runs the Altair 26M.
I tend to only run 1 filter per night with the 26M so that doesn’t affect me in the least. The manual filter holder is really easy to swap out if i ever needed to switch during an imaging session

You can use webdashboard and webserver in trial version !!

I can’t believe i missed that setup step - many thanks

As always the YMMV caveat (Your mileage may vary) applies, but between a friend and I using 9 different scopes of various configurations (SCT, RC, Short tube refractors, longer refractors and a 10" Newt) I am yet to see one where the focus does not shift in a predictable way due to temperature changes. Some move more than others but I am yet to find one that does not. Using Voyagers auto focus you can see a clear trend in the focus position throughout each night, the subs are all sharp from the start of the night to the end, but the first plate solve of the night before the first focus run is visibly out of focus, every single night.

That friend (Who I recently converted to Voyager) didn’t think he would get much benefit out of automated focus runs but the subs he is getting, particularly late in the night, are objectively better than he was getting focusing manually by either a mask or just monitoring HRF while focusing, and that is without complications like filter changes as even parfocal filter sets really mean “Parfocal-ish”

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I’m happy to be proved wrong. My problem is my climate is shocking for AP - i live in the North West of England, so a good imaging sesion for me would be an uninterrupted 2hrs. A 3hr session would see me tattoo the date onto my body lol. This means my temp doesn’t drop that much over that time period.
It is something i will possibly look into for the future however.
Just need to get practicing & become familiar with the software

Two hours you might well get away with depending on the telescope design. My SCT in the summer (When there would be a pretty steep temperature gradient early in the night) would go from sharp stars to doughnuts in 20 minutes. I accepted a lot of lost image time with that scope by having it refocus every half an hour in the summer, trading more subs for better ones. My refractor hardly shifts in a couple of hours and the Newtonian has a carbon fibre tube so it is relatively stable too.

Ive in the past had imaging newts, RC 8, an sct & now just run apos.
I’ve got 2x 70mm triplet apos & a 125mm apo