I wanted to use NINA to replace my aging software suite (MAXIM, CCDCommander) and I am a dedicated variable star observer with a remote site in Chile (but also at home in Belgium).
I would like to see anadvanced sequence in NINA where three stars are observed in snapshot mode (2 images in three (BVI) filters), then 4h of three stars in a series in one filter where every 1h a plate solving is done, then again 3 stars in snapshots, then again 4h of three stars in one filter with every hour a plate solving. At the end again three stars with snapshot mode.
I hope anyone in this forum is able to help on this request, which I presently run with CCDCommander and MAXIM.
I just started using NINA a few weeks ago and it is a great program. So far I have only done a few targets a night but you can easily do multiple targets with the advanced sequence scheduler but I have not tackled that yet.
Indeed I know that the advanced sequencer can do it. Unfortunately it is not that straight forward like in CCDCommander (unfortunately not really supported anymore).
I have tried to run it with two stars in series and it worked. Then I copied to run two times two stars with each 1h plate solve as my mounts polar alignment was not too good and that did not work out. Unfortunately no information on why not was given in NINA, it just did not run at all.
I gave up but used NINAs plugin for polar alignment to get a better alignment and that worked flawlessly.
I just need a template to be able to adapt it to my targets. In CCDCommander it is very easy to program and does not need much space on the screen. In NINA the advanced seqeuner doe eat up a llot of space for no further information and gets very clumbsy after a while. That is a pitty.
I have a fast mount both on my remote site and at home and can do several stars (even upt to 5) in a series. That is 10 lines in CCDC and several pages in NINA unfortunately.
A working example for NINA would be best.
Forgot to mention, I like very much the ASTAP plate solving program, very fast and reliable even if the mount is pointing far off the target. Much more reliable and faster than Pinpoint, which I use presently.
Perhaps if you join N.I.N.A.'s Discord forum (https://discord.gg/rWRbVbw) you could get input from Stefan Berg, N.I.N.A.'s creator, or some experienced N.I.N.A. user.
I just attended an AAVSO How-To Hour webinar a few hours ago in which Stefan was one of the speakers. He seems very interested in helping N.I.N.A.'s users.
I also attended the How to hour especially since the developer of NINA was part of the team. I posted the same question but did not get an answer. I hope the AAVSO will do an advanced how to hour for NINA, where specific issues could be asked. The present one was too broad and too short.
I like very much CCDCommander as it is very easy to program the automation I do on my remote site every night. Very simple and short in terms of space on the desktop. Unfortunately Matt has stopped further developments although it works perfectly for me. My main concern are the plate solving using Pinpoint. If I could use e.g. ASTAP as in NINA I would be more than happy with using CCDC in the future as long as it can be run using new Windows environments (it runs under WIn11).
I don't know if this will help: I have a sequence for one of my scopes that does RRLs in groups of 2 or 3. The sequence starts with some equipment setup then shoots 4 or 5 groups of RRLs through the night. Each group starts with an autofocus run followed by defocus of 50 steps to get a broader PSF as this scope will yield FWHM below 2px. Within each group the scope slews to each target in turn and takes 1 to several exposures possibly in different filters, cycling through the 2-3 stars for 2-3 hours. The first target of each group gets a slew and center. I have a bit of remaining polar misalignment which gradually walks the target in the field over several hours - the slew and center should probably be a slew, then a solve and sync, then another slew to the target.
There are a couple of oddities - my Losmandy Titan/Gemini I doesn't respond to park or stop tracking commands so at the end of the night I slew to the SE so the mount won't cross the meridian before I get out of bed, then I try slewing to the park position and stopping (which never works), then a park and stop which also doesn't work. You will notice that I hard code the times to switch between groups of targets. This should be done by target hour angle using the Orbuculum plugin but it hasn't worked for me and I haven't had time to debug it yet.
I'm a relative beginner at NINA so I don't present this sequence as any sort of ideal, just what I've come up with so far for my observing program. I'm sure it will continue to evolve and hopefully improve. This is essentially the same type of observing that I was doing with CCD Commander but, like you, I'm no longer happy with the level of maintenance on CCDC and am very unhappy with PinPoint through CCDC which rarely solves my images even when I'm within a couple of arcmin and even when the same image solves with PinPoint in Maxim.
I've emailed the sequence to what I have as your email address. If you don't get it contact me directly with a correct email.
it was a good How to hour, but too broad to discuss such issues of mine during the 1h of discussion. I hope a more in depth follow up only about NINA will be envisaged by AAVSO. I had put the same question into the Q&A box, but of course did not get any feedback.
I love very much CCDCommander since it is so simple to handle my way of observing (which is special due to the fast mount I have) but the development has stopped and unfortunately in my case the problem is the plate solving with PinPoint which many times fails and there in NINA so far ASTAP did the job in just a few seconds.
Thanks Richard for the sequence.
I have answered your e-mail and had a quick look to your NINA sequence and already removed most part in the startup and shutdown parts of the sequence.
I will work on it to see how I can get to what I have in CCDC for the moment. Also in my case Pinpoint is the issue and ASTAP is way quicker and much more reliable.
I wonder if somebody out there has or could program an external routine to be called in CCDC to invoke ASTAP instead of Pinpoint using CCDC. It is still the best and easiest automation program for my type of work.