Autoguiding Software

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The follow software can be used to autoguide your telescope for astrophotography:

Contents


AstroArt

A complete software for image processing, photometry, astrometry, CCD control and image stacking for CCD and film images. All major CCD cameras, webcams and DSLRs are supported by Astroart. Focusing, autoguiding, imaging and scripting become easy and quick.

Compatible cameras:

Website: http://www.msb-astroart.com/ Cost: $179

CCDSoft

CCDSoft™ Image Processing and Camera Control Software provides control for CCD cameras, and performs image processing, data reduction, and scripted data acquisition. Think of it as “mission control center? for your observatory. With built-in support for the complete line of SBIG cameras, and optional support for many other popular camera models, CCDSoft is the tool most used when capturing your favorite deep-space objects or hunting for undiscovered celestial treasures. CCDSoft's comprehensive manual and detailed help will guide you each step of your journey.

Compatible cameras:

Website: http://www.bisque.com/Products/CCDSoft/ Cost: $349.00


GuideDog

Guidedog allows you to use your webcam to autoguide any ASCOM supported telescope mount. In addition, mounts with a CCD Guide Port can be guided through a parallel port based relay box.

Compatible cameras:

Website: [1] Cost: Free


Guidemaster

Guidemaster: a universal Webcam Autoguiding tool for fine astrophotographs.

Since long time I tried to take simply good astronomical pictures. To me, one of the most important characteristics of a good astronomical picture is sharp stars.

I have one SC-1 modified Webcam, which I use for Guiding my telescope. Unfortunately I could not find any software which is fulfilling my requirements on accuracy and easy-to-use. At the Nuernberger observatory there is a SBIG CCD camera and related software, with which you can guide simply and well.

Unfortunately I didn´t find software with similar perfomances for my Webcam, therefore I wrote this program. After so many programming hours I was satisfied with the software, though I would like to make this software accessible also for other star friends.

Website: http://www.guidemaster.de/index_en.asp Cost: Freeware


K3CCDTools

K3CCDTools is a Windows application dedicated for astro-imaging. It includes video-capturing, frame aligning and stacking / summing. It also provides simple image post-processing. However, K3CCDTools is not limited to astro-imaging domain, it offers to be used in various fields of video / image processing (digital photography, video pre-processing). It also valuable software for processing of microscopical photos.

Compatible cameras:

Website: http://www.pk3.org/Astro/ Cost: Free


MaxIm

MaxIm DL/CCD

Complete observatory integration — control your CCD camera, filter wheel, autoguider, telescope, focuser, and dome. Includes auto-center, auto-focus, and link to planetarium program.Now Version 4.5 adds AVI processing, memory management for large images, and optional DSLR raw file support. Popular features include Batch image processing, bloom removal, calibration groups, full image preview, graphical guide logs, alarms, Lucy-Richardson deconvolution, and much, much more. Click here for a complete list.

Compatible cameras:

Website: http://www.cyanogen.com/ Cost: $399


MaxDSLR

DSLRs are not able to take single long exposures like CCDs, but software can be used to extend the exposure time and to stack multiple images. The trick to getting great images with DSLRs is to use the right software – MaxDSLR.

Compatible cameras: Support for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, webcams, DSI, LPI, and Lumenera cameras

Website: http://www.cyanogen.com/ Cost: $249


MaxIm DL Essentials

A subset of the MaxIm DL software that is provided for free with the Orion StarShoot Deep Space Color camera,

Compatible cameras:

Website: http://www.cyanogen.com/ Cost: free with the purchase of the Orion StarShoot Deep Space imager


Meade Autostar Suite/Envisage Software

Only available with the purchase of a Meade Imager.

Compatible cameras: Meade Deep Sky Imager (DSI), Deep Sky Imager II, Lunar and Planetary Imager (LPI), Pictor

Website: http://www.meade.com Cost: depends on camera purchased


MetaGuide

Guiding is only one of the things it does. Its main goal is to use live video processing to provide a realtime, nearly diffraction limited view of a star. This serves as a collimation aid, and is also used to reduce the effect of seeing in the guide signal.

MetaGuide has a novel proactive guiding feature that allows it to phase lock onto a specified error signal in the drive and anticipate the coming corrections. This is intended to aid in the reduction of fast (5-20s) terms in the PE that are hard to remove with PEC.

Since MetaGuide requires streaming video, it does not work with long exposure web cams - which would defeat its purpose anyway.

MetaGuide requires no guider connection for its core collimation and diffraction analysis features, but as a guider or metaguider, it requires a Shoestring parallel or GPUSB connection.

Compatible cameras: Currently the only web-cams supported are Toucam Pro and NexImage, but any web-cam that can output 640x480 in I420 format should work. Modified web-cams are not supported; MetaGuide relies on high speed streaming video to correct for seeing.

Website: http://www.astrogeeks.com/Bliss/MetaGuide/ Cost: Free


PHD Guiding

PHD Guiding is designed to be "Push Here Dummy" simple, yet provide powerful, intelligent auto-guiding of your telescope. Connect your mount, your camera, select a star, and start guiding. That's it!

Despite actually having a Ph.D., I've always had a tough time figuring out which way North is in the guide frame, whether an axis is mirrored (and if so, which one), how that's affected by camera rotation, how many arcseconds per pixel I'm actually running at (especially since a "2x" barlow isn't always 2x), etc. This is especially tough when standing out in a cold field late at night when all you really want to do is stay warm and collect good images of your DSO.

In PHD Guiding, all calibration is taken care of automatically. You do not need to tell it anything about the orientation of your camera, nor do you need to tell it anything about the image scale. The automatic calibration routine takes care of this for you. Odds are you won't ever need to set a single parameter. Just select your star and hit "PHD Guide" and let the software take care of it.

Website: http://www.stark-labs.com/phdguiding.html Cost: Basic version is Freeware; commercial version in development, price unknown


Star 2000

Star 2000 is a novel approach to the problems of CCD autoguiding of a telescope mount. Instead of using a separate CCD chip, Star 2000 uses software to make adjustments to a telescope's mount. Unfortunately there is very little official documentation on how best to use Star 2000 so this web site was established to help spread real world user experiences and tips with S2K.

Compatible cameras:

Website: Cost:

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