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Main Screen Layout


Initial Setup

Eclipse Preparation

Script File Format

Camera Configuration



Shortcuts and Tips

Credits & Acknowledgments

If the application acts weird or unpredictably please quit and relaunch before proceeding again.

You can find some debugging information in the console window.
Exposures and a few other actions are logged and can be check to help understand a potential problem.
In the event the application is crashing, please provide me with a crash log and the precise circumstances that lead to the crash occurrence. The aim is to be able to reproduce the bug in order to correct it. If you find any workaround, then please let me know.

Free technical support is provided at

  1. To view the debugging information, launch the Console application located in your Utilities folder.
  2. In LOG FILES > ~/Library/Logs look for a line named SolarEclipseMaestro.log.
    Console Application Log
  3. Check the information in the log.
  4. For a crash, you need to look under the CrashReporter item where you’ll most likely see another Solar Eclipse Maestro_YYYY-MM-DD-xxxxxx_ComputerName.crash file where YYYY-MM-DD is the date of the crash, xxxxxx an integer number and ComputerName the name of your Mac. You will then need to send me that file content with a precise description of the circumstances of the crash, so I can try to reproduce it.
    If a script was running at the time of the crash, then please provide this script also.

Frequently asked questions

Q: My camera skips exposures!
A: You are likely trying to take too many exposures too fast. To solve the problem you need to:
  • Space it out more. For the slowest cameras, three seconds or more may be needed. With faster cameras, namely the ones using XQD or CFast memory cards, half a second can be sufficient.
  • Use the fastest memory card supported by your camera.
  • Enable the Incremental checkbox in the script editor for most of your exposures, so that only changes in exposure settings are transmitted to the camera.

Q: I told the camera to take a photo of exposure time X but it took one of length Y?
A: This is almost always caused by too short of a time between exposures (see previous question). This can especially happen when Incremental is enabled and an important setting was missed because of short spacing. Sprinkling non-incremental exposures throughout your script is recommended to recover from such problems during the eclipse.

Q: What do I do when the battery goes dead on a camera?
A: Solar Eclipse Maestro continues to run. If you have another battery, then put it in the camera and power it up. Then the next actions will automatically complete normally.

Q: My camera is not recognized!
A: There could be multiple causes and you should try the following:
  • Make sure you are using the latest Solar Eclipse Maestro release, and check whether the camera is officially supported.
  • Try to connect and turn off/on the camera.
  • Check that no other software is trying to access the camera.
  • If it’s a Nikon, check that the camera is set for MTP/PTP, not MSC.
  • If it’s a Canon 5D, 20D or 350D, verify first that the camera is set for PC Connect, not PTP. Then make sure that you’re using the Universal Binary version of the application, because for Canon legacy cameras the Intel version will not work.
  • Check that the USB cable is firmly connected at both ends and if the camera works with any other software.

Q: The camera is recognized, but won’t take any photo!
A: Perform the following checks:
  • Is there enough free space on the memory card to write one or more pictures?
  • Is there a busy light on the camera? It may be flushing exposures out to the memory card or reading the directory information of the photos already on the memory card.
  • Are the camera and attached lens set to use autofocus? When unable to focus the exposure isn’t taken.
  • Select Camera > Press Shutter Release > (camera name). This confirms whether basic shutter control is possible.
  • Select Camera > Single Exposure with Settings… > (camera name). This confirms whether exposure control is possible. If this works, then the problem is with your script.
  • After selecting Camera > Properties Analysis… > (camera name) you can send me the camera’s complete technical characteristics so that I can look into the problem.

Q: It worked before, now it’s not working anymore, why?
A: Try these:
  • Check that a camera battery hasn’t gone dead or has enough juice left.
  • Make sure that your Mac has enough power.
  • Check if the camera is recognized in the Hardware Configuration dialog from Setup > Hardware Configuration….

Q: My GPS doesn’t work!
A: Only Garmin models supporting the PVT protocol over USB are supported.
First make sure the GPS receiver’s interface is set to GARMIN for older units and Garmin Spanner for newer ones. Then make sure the unit is not in mass storage mode. After that check if the GPS unit is identified in the Hardware Configuration dialog. If it doesn’t show up there, then there is no chance it will work.

Q: I can’t locate the SolarEclipseMaestro.log file.
A: You are likely running under Lion (MacOS X 10.7) or newer, where the Library folder is hidden by default.
To reveal the folder you have a couple of options:
  • The simplest option: if you’re in the Finder, hold down Option (alt) and hit the Go menu in the menubar. As long as you’re holding down the Option key, the Library folder will appear in the list of locations in the drop-down. Select it and a Finder window will open up on your Library folder.
  • Use Go To Folder… and open ~/Library/ directly: all you need to do is hit Command+Shift+G from the Mac desktop (or Finder > Go > Go To Folder…) and type in ~/Library/Logs/ to temporarily access the Logs directory in the Finder. When you are done, close this window and it will no longer be visible.
  • From the Terminal: the Library folder isn’t hidden from the Terminal; you can see it and access it just like normal. It’s worth remembering, though, the OS X open command, which will open applications, files and Finder windows on folders. So, if you’re in the Terminal and want a Finder window on your Library folder, all you need to type is open ~/Library/.
Or else you can simply go to the Window menu and then select Solar Eclipse Maestro Log.