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Observing lists
Hello. Can anyone suggest a way to export an observing list created in SkyTools into Nina? I would like to use the Sky tour function in ST4, but would like to use Ninas slew and center using the platesolver to ensure the objects are centred. Is there a way to convert the text file or Stx files from SkyTools to csv that Nina uses. I use Nina not only for the slew and center, but also the dome and shutter control. Dave.

So to be clear, you are observing visually but want to use NINA to point your telescope? If so, that's not something I have thought about before. I have direct support coming soon for NINA in SkyTools Imaging, but that is an entirely different beast. I just want to clarify that you are observing visually rather than imaging?
Clear skies,
Head Dude at Skyhound
Hello Greg, thanks for the reply,I’ll try to explain. Getting on a bit now and finding it harder to motivate myself to go to the top of garden to the observatory, so I’m trying out remote observing for such times, not so bad in the summer. I have the visual and imaging bundle, so I will be trying imaging too. I love the SkyTools tour function, the ‘scope slewing to each target in turn. At present, the observatory is not completely isolated from the telescope (work in progress) and with dome movement and ground shifting, the telescope is not always spot on with slews, my old eyes may miss the object if it’s slightly off and if viewing from the house, the target could be anywhere, especially with the narrow camera view. With the slew and centre on Nina, the target is centred wether visually or via a camera. I know you can’t cater for everyone’s needs and I would lose the tour function of SkyTools, but it would be very tedious copying each target individually to Nina. There is the option of doing a separate platesolve on each target, but that would involve running another program, whereas in Nina, it’s all done automatically. APT would do the same thing with goto++, but doesn’t have dome and shutter support, unless you do a script or something to run another program. Dave.
Thanks Dave! I really appreciate hearing how you observe. Would you describe what you are doing as a sort of EAA (Electronic Assisted Observing)? With NINA becoming so prevalent, I wonder if others are going to use it in a similar way, perhaps for EAA, or even direct visual observing. Maybe some already are. If anyone reading this would like to use NINA for pointing their telescope for EAA or visual observing please chime in.

In the V4.1 Visual update I will be adding features to support EAA, and I will look into support NINA as well via some sort of list export, or even directly from within SkyTools if possible. Now that I am familiar with NINA, it should be easier to see the possibilities.
Clear skies,
Head Dude at Skyhound
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  • DaveV
Thanks for the reply Greg and look forward to the 4.1 upgrade, I had noted the upgrade planned with Nina support for SkyTools imaging, I’m looking forward to that. Yes, I would describe what I’m trying to do is EAA and to be able to plan ahead with a list of targets to go for, rather than randomly looking around, especially from the comfort of my living room is ideal. Look forward to the upgrades,Thank you, Dave.
Hi Greg, I’ve had chance to use SkyTools and NINA together, it wasn’t too bad entering an object from the tour list into NINA for slewing, as long as I had a common name that I could enter, such as M 13, M 92 etc. Then it was easy to find the object in NINAs framing assistant and slew from there, sometimes the object was identified with its NGC number and had to find its M number and so forth. When using the framing assistant in NINA, there are a couple of buttons, one gets the coordinates from the current position of the telescope, the other from an object selected in the planetarium program which happens to be selected in NINA. There is a list of these that can be selected during setup, such as Stellarium, HNSky, CDC for example. Maybe SkyTools could be added to the list then the coordinates of an object in the tour could be sent directly to NINA. Or if it was possible to copy the coordinates from SkyTools and paste them into the boxes of the framing assistant. Just a thought. Dave.
I'm late to this thread but would like to add my support for DaveV's request. My use case is somewhat similar to his. I want to conduct public outreach sessions using a Mallincam camera on my telescope in my roll-off roof observatory and display the images on a monitor screen to multiple guests in the comfort of my living room. I use SkyTools Visual to develop an observing list for these events. But, as DaveV mentioned, with a small chip in the camera, sometimes the slews aren't always spot on and then I waste time (and the guests' patience) searching for it. Tapping into NINA's abillity to platesolve and center the object of interest would be real boon. I haven't yet tried DaveV's approach will do soon. But I support his suggestion of adding SkyTools Visual to the list of planetarium programs that are supported by NINA.


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