Using Voyager with ONAG and FocusLock

Hi, I’ve just recently come across the Voyager software and have been reading as much as I can about its capabilities – it seems very impressive.

I currently use TSX for mount, dome and camera control, CCDAP for targeting and scheduling and FocusMax for initial focus. I have a few issues with CCDAP and am also attracted by the Web Dashboard and DragScript features of Voyager. I will be downloading a copy over the next few days for evaluation.

My question concerns the fact that in my current setup I use an ONAG from Innovations Foresight as this enables me to guide on the imaging field of view and also use Optecs FocusLock software for real time focusing during exposures using the autoguiding image.

Does anyone have any experience of Voyager with ONAG and FocusLock?

I think the guiding through the ONAG should be fine as this will still be accomplished in TSX.

With FocusLock I find I sometimes get an image disturbance when it focuses during the exposure, so I tend to only let it adjust focus between exposures during which time I also dither. SO, after the dither when the guider has re-acquired the guide star I need another six or so autoguider exposures to allow for any focus adjustment due to filter change or drift before starting the next target image.

I suspect this should be covered but using either the “Minimum Settle Time” in the Guiding Settings or Dither settings box. Two questions, what is the difference between these two settings? and as FocusLock also needs to be connected to both cameras in TSX camera control would this cause any issues?

Many thanks

Allan

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Welcome,

we dont support ONAG and FocusLock, if you are able to let working it out of Voyager (with TSX) you can use the wait between shot parametr in sequence configuration to wait the time you need.

The two parameters you mention work one for guide and one for dithering and is the minimum time interval needed for voyager with the error value under what choosed to allow continue with operations, this declaring guide stable or dithering finished.

All the best
LO

Thanks for the response.
I’ve downloaded a trail of Voyager anyway. I will see how it behaves with FocusLock when I get a clear night…
If I have any success I will report back.
Regards
Allan.

Thanks Allan,

All the best
LO

Had a few hours to have a look into this last night.

Quite good news – TSX, Voyager, FocusMax and FocusLock all connect to mount, cameras, filter wheel and focuser together and seem to work as expected without interfering with each other.

I only tried a short sequence of nine images but FocusLock seems to take its lead from TSX and still only operates between exposures and with an autoguiding stabilising delay of 15 seconds set in Voyager this seems to be enough for FocusLock to go through any focus adjustments before the next exposure. The only slight downside was that when changing filters, the FocusLock adjustments are only carried out after the first exposure but this could be mitigated by using a very short initial exposure for the first image after filter change.

So far so good - will now try and set up a full automation run (need to read a lot about dragscript first!) and see how we go.

Regards

Allan.

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Just an info, Voyager have inside an internal system for focus , FocusMax isn’t needed.

All the best
LO

Hi Leo,

I’m also a user of ONAG and FocusLock. I think you would like to know, it’s very different from FocusMax or RoboFire. The ONAG is a device that is used to split the incoming light into visual and near infrared. The visual spectrum goes to your filter wheel & imaging camera while the near infrared goes to your guide camera and is used by PHD2. The near infrared guide images are less susceptible to seeing which improves guiding accuracy. The 2 cameras are adjusted to be parfocal. When the imaging camera is in critical focus, the guide camera has round stars. When the imaging camera is inside or outside of focus, the image from the guide camera is out of round in a predicable way due to astigmatism that is introduced by the ONAG. The shape of the guide star causes the FocusLock software to adjust focus either in or out which makes the guide star image more round and concurrently brings the imaging camera back to critical focus. Most users of FocusLock are having this done continuously as opposed to between exposures. If your filters are parfocal then FocusLock makes tiny adjustments that keep you constantly in the CFZ. If your filters are not parfocal, FocusLock can use roundness offsets to get close to critical focus as soon as the filter is changed. By using FocusLock, all of the time that is used for traditional focusing runs is instead used for acquiring images. This can make a big difference in efficiency, especially when using narrowband filters. FocusLock is made by Optec Inc. The ONAG is made by Innovations Foresight. Innovations Foresight also has a newer more modern product as an alternative to FocusLock called SkyGuard. SkyGuard also has the ability to not only do continuous focus, but also does full frame guiding which can also improve guiding accuracy. I believe both products have APIs and simulators for development. I understand that this makes it very straightforward to add support for these products into a package such as Voyager even if you don’t own an ONAG. SGP currently has direct support of FocusLock and SkyGuard. I’d love to see Voyager have direct support for these products too, particularly SkyGuard. Dr. Gaston Baudet is the head of Innovations Foresight and I’m sure he would love to help integrate his products into Voyager. I’ve been using Voyager for about a couple of weeks now and I’m really enjoying your product. Unlike BigAl, I’ve had some difficulty getting FocusLock and Voyager to play nice together. I know others that would also like to see ONAG integration. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

Thanks,

Bruce

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Sorry Bruce,

but SGP and SkyGuard are really powerful software, Voyager is only a little thing compared to them with just few users around the world. We dont have knowhow and budget to manage a really advanced system like the ones you talk about.

Thank you so much for your explanation.
Leonardo

+1 I world love to get that option too :slight_smile: