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Everything You Need to Know about DWARF IIUpdated 8 days ago

This manual introduces the DWARFLAB application and serves as a user guide for DWARF II.

Check How to Download Tutorials to download this tutorial.

1. Application Interface Introduction

1.1 Home


1.1.1 Device 

Your Device Model 

1.1.2 Help Center

Click to browse tutorials in the help center (like this one you are looking at). Bestseller for the toilet, but not recommended before bedtime as it might inspire a sudden urge to stargaze. Note that a network connection is required to browse the help center.

1.1.3 Battery Level 

Indicates remaining battery life. One useless fact : when fast charging, the battery icon shows double lightning. Always remember to fully charge your device for your stargazing plans.

1.1.4 Remaining Storage

For your convenience, this is displayed similarly to the battery level, showing "remaining space".

1.1.5 Host/Node

The first device connected to DWARF II is the Host, and the second is the Node. The Host can observe and control DWARF II, while the Node can only observe

*Currently, one DWARF II can simultaneously connect to one host and two nodes.

*The Node might seize the control authority and become the new host if the host backgrounds the app and loses connection to it.

1.1.6 Connection Status Indicator

Helps you tell whether you are in good connection with DWARF II.

1.1.7 Connect

Before connecting, it displays "Connect". Click on "Connect" and follow the prompts to connect to DWARF II. After connecting, it will display "Photo".

*Note: Currently when connected, iOS devices support using cellular data and getting internet access( need to enable mobile data), while Android devices will have this feature available soon.

1.1.8 Light Setting

Turning off the lights can reduce disturbances while you take astro photographs.

1.2 Album

The photos in the album are categorized and displayed in chronological order, with the date and time of the photo indicated. For photos taken in different /modes, different icons are displayed in the corners.


1.2.1 Categorization

This is where all album categories are listed. Click to access photo libraries in different modes, including: Photos, Videos, Bursts, Panoramas and Astro photos.

*Notes:

  • Bursts & Panoramas: The Album will only display the first image and the number of shots taken (for burst), but these cannot be downloaded to your phone. 
  • Astro Photos: For astronomical targets, in addition to the date and time, the name of the target is also displayed.
  • Videos include content you create in Video Mode and Time Lapse.

1.2.2 Edit Album

Tap to select photos then you can save or delete photos in batches.

*Notes: 

  • In case of poor network conditions, loading photos might take a few seconds, and videos may also require some time to be refreshed. 
  • When you delete your photos in Album, the files in your memory card are also wiped. 
  • Deleting a certain Astro/Panorama/Burst photo will result in deleting the whole package under it. As saying, all the single frames of the stacked Astro photo or all panorama puzzles.

1.3 Settings

Clear Cache: Allows you to clear the album cache and half-downloaded firmware (useful for rescuing you from stuck mid-upgrade).

1.3.1 My Device


1. Device: Displays your DWARF's model(Yes there will be more).

2. Mac Address

3. Storage: Displayed as used/total memory, following standard convention.


4. Device Name: Here get your DWARF a great new name. (Default name is the last six digits of the Mac number showing on the bottom base). I call m-*ine Webb. Changes take effect after a restart.
5. Device Password: Change the password here;  changes take effect after a restart. The default password is DWARF_12345678.


6. Reset Device Name and Password: In case you forget your password, reset it at any time. After confirming the reset, press the power button briefly within 30 seconds—just once! The reset takes effect after a restart.


7. IP Address

8. Firmware Version: The firmware version of DWARF II. What is Firmware you might ask, Firmware is the built-in system of the DWARF Telescope, requiring regular updates like your app, adding new features.

9. Firmware Upgrade: Access the firmware upgrade process here. Follow the prompts to complete the upgrade. When connected to the internet, a red dot will indicate if an update is needed. See the help center for detailed upgrade instructions.

10. Reboot: Restart DWARF II, and you'll find it shows "No available device" in "My Device" after a reboot.

11. Shut Down/Reboot: Allows you to remotely shut down/reboot DWARF II when it is not at hand.


1.3.2 Connection Settings 

1. Active Wi-Fi at Startup: For direct connection, the phone connects to the DWARF II hotspot and controls via this Wi-Fi signal. When DWARF II is powered on, it automatically sends a Bluetooth signal for password pairing and commands to activate its Wi-Fi hotspot. Enabling this option bypasses the Bluetooth step, allowing the DWARF II to start its hotspot signal upon powering on. 

*Note: This feature must be set while connecting to DWARF II and requires a restart to take effect.

2. STA Mode: Besides the direct connection, STA mode uses your home router as a relay for signal transmission and control, providing internet access for your phone while operating DWARF II. 

Don't forget to hit connect from the homepage after configuring your home Wi-Fi for DWARF II. 
*Notes: 

  • In this mode, both DWARF II and your phone will connect to your home Wi-Fi, so DWARF II's Wi-Fi won't activate. For those who frequently use STA mode, it's advisable not to enable Active Wi-Fi at Startup and vice versa. If you feeling messed up with all the signal explanations, just remember this one line.
  • For networks that have been previously configured, DWARF II will remember the password, so you won't need to re-enter it. Also, remember to turn off STA mode if you take DWARF II to a new place.
  • Remember to use this mode occasionally, as DWARF II will only in this mode get a connection to the Internet. If there are any updates, you'll receive a red dot notification for updates in the 'Firmware Update' and 'About' sections.
  • STA mode allows for a longer control distance, approximately 10 meters.
  • If you're using a LAN-Node setup over a large spatial range, you can still use DWARF II. 

    First, initiate the STA connection process, and ensure that both DWARF II and your mobile device connect to the same SSID that covers DWARF II's sitting location (if using a mesh network, connect to the same node). Then, when moving to a different SSID's coverage area, manually switch your mobile device's network in the phone settings to another preferred SSID. 

    *The system will prompt you to switch back to the previous network; simply ignore this prompt. 

    Remember, as long as DWARF II and your mobile device are connected to the same LAN network, you can use them normally.

3. Enable 2.4 GHz: Normally, DWARF II defaults to send out a 5GHz hotspot signal. This setting allows DWARF II to emit a 2.4 GHz signal, supporting connections with not very up to date devices (struggling to find a neutral word 😣 ). Note that 2.4GHz transmission will cause certain lag.

4. Wi-Fi Compatible Mode: In regions where Bluetooth can't activate DWARF II's hotspot, this mode can be a solution, try it out, no harm.

5. Region: To comply with network communication standards, please select your current locating country/region.

1.3.3 Advanced Settings


1. CPU Mode: Activating this increases chip performance and generates heat! Some use it for defogging.

2. MTP Mode: Enable this to connect DWARF II to a Windows PC with a USB-C cable for easy access and editing to photos on the memory card.
*Notes:

  • You must connect to DWARF II via the app before enabling this feature for it to be activated.
  • This method is NOT applicable to Mac computers. For file browsing methods compatible with Mac, refer to another tutorial "DWARF II SD Card File Browsing and Editing".

1.3.4 Location

1. Set Location Automatically

Automatically retrieves your geographical location. Ensure your phone’s GPS is on and DWARF II has permission to access your location.

2. Set Location Manually

 In areas without GPS signal, like deep mountains, turn off automatic location and enter coordinates manually.

*Note: Correct coordinates are crucial for accurate star observation calibration and locating.

1.3.5 General


1. Language: Currently offers English and Chinese, more languages are to be added.

2. Appearance: Choose between Dark/Light mode or follow system settings.


1.3.6 Support

In this part, you can upload the log for DWARF II if there is any problem.

Log Upload: DWARFLAB app automatically records DWARF II logs while you are using it. Repeat the process causing the error or identify the time it occurred and upload the relevant log.


1.  Problem Type: Select the type of issue encountered.

2. Log: Logs are overwritten after reaching 1MB. Report errors promptly if you can.

3. Email Address: Provide your email for contact.

4. Date of Problem: Select the log from when the bug occurred.
5. Description: Provide as detailed a description of the problem to help us better understand and solve it!

6. Media: Uploading screenshots or screen recordings is a very helpful and necessary step, as it greatly increases the chance of reproducing the issue you're experiencing for us.

*You can leave this page at any time to take a screenshot/recording, then return. The system will record your input and provide a recovery option.

7. Submit: Submit and we will contact you within the next 48 hours.

Note: If you encounter connection issues, you can also upload logs. 


After clicking "cancel," fill in the required information as usual. 

When connected to the DWARF II, logs from both the telescope and the mobile app will be uploaded. If not connected, only logs from the app will be uploaded.

*Notes:  

  • We will soon add a feature for image/video uploading. 
  • Submitting logs does not require disconnecting Dwarf II from the phone; but turning on the cellular network switch is needed.
  • To help us gather more information, please provide as much detail as possible.
  • Or contact our official after-sales support email at [email protected] for expert advice.

1.3.7 About

1. Terms of Service: View the service agreement.

2. Privacy Policy: View the privacy policy.

3. App Update: View the app version.

*Note: When a new version is available, a red spot will show up here. iOS app update is hidden and appears only when an update is needed, that iOS coder has a weird fascination with easter eggs. Find more if you can, no prize is waiting. In the case of a network connection, a red dot update notification will be displayed.


2. Shooting Interface Introduction

2.1 Exit

Click to exit the shooting interface and return to the homepage.

2.2 Dual Lenses Switch

❗️The dual-lens system helps in quickly locating targets. Please read the following tutorial with devotion❗️

Open/Close Dual View: Click to open/close the dual views.

Switch View: Click to switch between views.

View Indication: The telephoto view shows the content within the green frame in the wide-angle view.

Double-clicking on the telephoto view enables auto-focus.

*Note: The wide-angle lens cannot focus and can only be used in taking photos in photo mode.

Dual Lenses Locating: Switch to and double-click the wide-angle view moves the green frame indicator (telephoto view). This feature allows you to locate and quickly focus on objects in the wide-angle lens, like birds in the backyard, pedestrians on the street, or celestial bodies in deep space.

*Notes: 

  • The dual-lens system may occasionally be out of sync when switching targets at different distances. Performing auto-focus restores it.
  • In the dual-lens system, the wide-angle lens can only take photos in Photo/ Burst/Time Lapse mode and acts as a wide view indicator in other modes.

2.3 Guide

Guide, helping you quickly understand the shooting process. We have prepared corresponding tutorials for different modes. Any time you forget what to do next, click here to get some hint.

2.4 Joystick & Speed Control

1. Move the joystick to navigate your lenses, and use the speed wheel to adjust its movement speed.

2. Click to switch to the arrow panel for more precise control.

Tips: You can quickly and precisely locate your target by combining the following three methods:

  • Manually rotate the lenses to roughly align with the target.
  • Use dual-lenses locating to align the target.
  • Adjust the lens position finely with the joystick/arrow panel.

2.5 Battery and Storage

Displays the remaining battery and memory. 

*Note: It's important to maintain sufficient battery power. Firmware updates cannot be performed below 20% battery, and astronomical shooting automatically stops below 8%.

2.6 Status Indicator

Helps you tell whether you have control and are in good connection with DWARF II. 

2.7 Album

Click to enter the album.

2.8 Select Mode

Click here to choose different shooting modes. Tutorials for each mode are in the next section.

2.9 Shoot

The shooting button, click to start shooting.

2.10 Focus

Click 'Auto' for auto-focus, or use the  +/- to manually focus. In case you don't know, you can long press +/- and get a proper focus quicker. DWARF II is suitable for focusing on targets at a distance of 3 meters or more. Focusing on targets less than this away may result in autofocus failure.*Note: The Auto button turns green during focusing and reverts to white once focus is achieved.

2.11 Function

Includes Feature (Box Symbol)and Parameter Setting(Adjuster Symbol).


2.11.1 Feature

Each shooting mode has unique features to choose from, like in Photo mode, there are object tracking, sun tracking, and moon tracking.

2.11.2 Parameter Settings

Tele and Wide angle lenses parameter adjustment..

Exposure/Shutter: Adjust shutter time. Automatic shutter setting is always recommended for daytime. More to be introduced for astrophotography exposure in the next section tutorial.
Gain: Adjust the gain setting. Keep between 0-30 for daytime normally. More to be introduced for astrophotography gain in the next section tutorial.IR Filter: Infrared filter toggler. Recommended pass for deep space object (excluding the sun or moon) , for other targets, turn it to cut to avoid red tint.
Tone

White Balance: Usually set to automatic; adjust to warmer temp. when you feel like getting a yellow or orange sun/moon.Other Settings: Feel free to experiment with different parameter adjustments.
 *Very Important Notes About Parameter (stop being mad at brightness changes and learn about the rules): 

  • In Astro Mode, when you click 'auto-focus', 'calibration', or 'Go Live' after a shooting session, the settings will automatically adjust to a shutter speed of 1s and a gain of 80. This helps DWARF II maintain the proper brightness for calculating the position of celestial bodies, also known as 'plate solving' .
  • The scope automatically detects the sun/moon and adjusts the appropriate shutter and gain values on hitting auto-focus.
  • Due to those auto acts above, it's advised to adjust settings right before pressing shoot button to avoid having to re-adjust after automatic changes.

3. Tutorial For Different Modes

3.1 Photo Mode

3.1.1 Wide-Angle Photography

Adjust settings to take normal photos with the wide-angle lens, which cannot focus.


3.1.2 Telephoto Photography

Target Locating: Move the joystick or use dual-lenses locating to move the target to the center of the wide-angle view. 

Focus, adjust settings, and shoot.


3.1.3 Object Tracking

Move the joystick or use dual-lenses locating to move the target to the center of the wide angle view. 

Switch to the telephoto lens and focus (auto/manual).

Activate 'Function-Feature-Object Tracking' and track the target by dragging a box over it.

Click 'Stop' to end tracking and Exit to leave the mode.

*Note: 

Object Tracking, where you tap and select to track a moving object, is different from Sun/Moon Tracking, which will set DWARF II to track the trails of the Sun/Moon(Moving very slowly to the extent you don't even notice).

An Advanced Object Tracking Tip for FUN! 

3.1.4 Sun Tracking & Shooting

Position DWARF II as level as possible.

Wear 2 ND filters now to protect the sensor from blinding by sunlight. Do not look directly at the sun for we will not take any responsibility for any harm this may cause.

Face the lenses approximately towards the sun, then use dual-lens locating or the joystick to center the sun in the tele photo view.

Switch to the telephoto lens and click auto-focus. Dwarf II will automatically detect the sun and apply the best settings.

Activate 'Function-Feature-Sun Track'. The camera will calibrate (move itself once, don't panic) and then track the sun.
In tracking mode, the sun remains centered, allowing continuous observation or shooting videos/time-lapses.

During auto-focus, the camera auto-adjusts parameters, if you may know, typically at 1/250s-1/200s exposure, gain at 0, and IR Cut. Do adjust hue and WB as preferred.

Press 'shoot' to take your first sun photo! Refer to this tutorial for Sun Shooting.

3.1.5 Moon Tracking & Shooting

Moon photography is similar to that of the sun except for the need of ND filters, and is best done at night, when it is more visible apparently. 

Level DWARF II and aim the lenses approximately at the moon. Use dual-lens locating or the joystick to center the moon in the wide-angle view.
Switch to telephoto lens, click auto-focus, and Dwarf II will automatically detect and adjust for the moon.
Activate 'Function-Feature-Moon Track' for continuous moon tracking.

During auto-focus, parameters are automatically set, if you may know, typically at 1/400s-1/250s exposure, gain 0, and IR Cut

Adjust Hue and WB as preferred.

 Press shoot to take your first moon photo! Also, check this tutorial for Moon shooting.

3.2 Video Mode

Video mode functions are exactly the same as those of Photo Mode but for shooting videos.

Follow the steps: target the object, set parameters, select features (if any), and shoot.

*Note: The wide-angle lens can only shoot photos, not videos.


3.3 Burst Mode

Burst mode in 'Function-Feature' includes a 'Count' option.
Set the number you would like to shoot. Note that there's a brief delay in saving photos after hitting stop on taking the burst.


3.4 Time-Lapse Mode

Time-Lapse in 'Function-Feature' includes a 'Settings' option. 

Settings include "Interval" (time between each shot, ranging from 1s to 60s) and "Duration" (total shooting time, default is unlimited, until your battery runs out).


You can also shoot a time-lapse video using the wide-angle lens, switch to that view and get a record!

An example calculation: a 10-second interval with a 30-minute shooting duration results in 180 frames (1800 seconds / 10 seconds), creating a 6-second video at 30 fps (frames per second). Ignore it if you hate math.

You may experience a delay when stopping the shoot as DWARF II uploads the video. A loading icon will appear on the screen.


*Recommended settings for different scenarios:

  • Clouds: 2-5 second intervals for capturing dynamic cloud movements, aiming for a 20-30 minute duration.
  • City Traffic: 1-3 second intervals to capture the hustle of city life, ideally for about an hour during peak times.
  • Blooming Flowers: Longer intervals, like 1 minute, for slower processes such as flowers blooming, extending over several hours or days.

3.5 Panorama Mode

Follow these steps to capture a professional gigapixel panorama!


3.5.1 Locating the Target

Just as above, locate your target in the wide-angle view, then switch to the telephoto view to focus.

*Note: This telephoto view will serve as the center of the final entire panorama.


3.5.2 Selecting the Shooting Range

In the panorama-Function area, you'll find a 'Range' feature. Clicking on it allows you to select the number of shots you want per row or column. The range for rows is 3-30 and for columns is 3-60, meaning you can capture panoramas consisting of 9-1800 photos.*Note: The size of a green frame is taken as one unit. We will add a range preview in future updates. For now, the best is to estimate visually.

3.5.3 Adjusting the Parameter

Both in the day-time and night-time, automatic exposure is suggested, but you can adjust it manually according to your preferences.

3.5.4 Shooting the Panorama

Click on the shoot button to start capturing your panorama arts!*Notes for Panorama photography:

  • During the panoramic shooting, after clicking the shoot button, DWARF II will perform a reset operation (AKA, rotate to its limit position) to reset the motor, then rotate back to the first photo in the top left corner of the entire panorama, shooting from left to right, row by row.
  • After clicking the shoot button, there is an approximate 3s waiting time for you, in case you want to attach any filters. 
  • After shooting is complete, the telephoto view indicator (green box) will return to the center of the panorama,as saying, the initial position.
  • In 'Album', the panorama will be displayed as the first shot thumbnail and cannot be downloaded. This means you cannot preview the full panorama on your phone. In the next updates, we will soon add automatic panorama stitching and a preview feature, stay tuned! As for now, you can check this Article: Creating Panoramic Images on a Computer

3.6 Astro Mode

*Below is a concise version of an astronomy tutorial to assist you in quickly completing an astronomical photography session. If you are a complete beginner or have a strong desire to learn, please click on this tutorial in a heartbeat

3.6.1 Taking Astro Darks

*Note: Remember, shooting Astro Dark helps prepare for Astrophotography Adventure and ensures better quality images. Taking Darks is the preparation you can do in the daytime.

Connect your phone to DWARF II with DWARFLAB App.

Turn the lenses downside and put DWARF II in a dark place, like DWARFLAB bag.

Store DWARF II in a dark environment, like a closed cabinet.

Turn off the lights in Home Page.

Enter shooting interface. Select 'Astro' mode and click "Take Dark Frames Now".

Follow the instructions and wait for about 20 minutes for the process to complete.

If needed, you can continue or retake the dark frames with the same process as before.


3.6.2 Focusing on the Stars

There are two scenarios for focusing - the first time after a firmware update, and subsequent times.

Scenario 1: First time focusing after the update, please use Autofocus. If the image is not sharp, try Autofocus multiple times until a sharp image is obtained.

Click on "Focus" in Astro mode, then select "AUTO" from the pop-up menu of options.At this time AUTO should be highlighted, and the status bar at the bottom will display "Autofocusing in progress", which takes about 1 minute.

Scenario 2: For subsequent focusing, simply tap Infinity Icon to complete focus.


3.6.3 Implementing Calibration

Place the DWARF II on an open area with the rotation axis in its original position. Point the altitude axis at 45-80 degrees towards the starry sky, avoiding any obstructions to DWARF II's view.
In Astro mode, execute the calibration function. Under normal conditions without clouds or other obstructions, wait a moment and calibration success will be indicated.*Click the "Feature" tab in the "Function" section, then find the "Calibration" function and click "Confirm".

*Please wait for the calibration process to be completed.


3.6.4 Selecting Target & Initiating Auto Tracking

Select the deep sky object you want to photograph from the star catalog. The DWARF II will automatically navigate to the target position. Take M31 Andromeda Galaxy as an example.*Click the "Feature" tab in the Function menu and locate the celestial body in the catalog.*Once you have found M31 Andromeda Galaxy, click "Confirm".

After confirming, the DWARF II will automatically begin calculating the position, point to M31, and start tracking the stars. If you get an image like the one below, congratulations! Tracking was successful! If not, please try repeating this step.


3.6.5 Configuring Shooting Settings

After successful tracking, adjust the shutter speed to 15 seconds during the parameter setting and wait for the image to update while observing if there is any trailing of the stars. If there is no trailing, you can start taking pictures. If there is trailing, wait for a minute or two until it disappears. Once the star tracking is stable, adjust the gain to ensure that the background is not overexposed.*In "Function", switch to the parameter setting tab and set the "Shutter" to 15 seconds.

*Adjust the gain to the appropriate value in the same way.

Once the parameters are set, go to the feature section and choose the preferred number of shots based on personal preference. The remaining options can be left in default settings.


3.5.6 Shooting & Waiting for Completion

Afterwards, simply click the shooting button to begin taking photos. Once two photos have been taken, the real-time stacked image will begin to appear.
During shooting, you can adjust "Curve" to enhance the colors of the RGB channels and overall brightness of deep space celestial objects. Click the 'Reset' button to return to previous channels.
*Notes for Astrophotography:

  • Ensure DWARF II's viewing area is unobstructed, with visible stars (no clouds or buildings blocking stars), as these factors may cause Calibration and GoTo failures.
  • Avoid using a filter and adaptor during calibration, as it may cause failure.
  • If acquiring location information fails during calibration, try several more times and check if location permissions are allowed.
  • Pay attention to rotation axis limits during GoTo. Hitting the limit will prevent GoTo from reaching the target. Rotate the DWARF II base by a certain angle and recalibrate/GoTo.
  • If the stacked number does not increase when capturing 15s exposures:
    a. Check if the preview background is too bright at the current gain, try lowering the gain and reshooting.

    b. At 1s, 80 gain, check if stars are in focus and minimized. Refocus if needed before reshooting.
    c. If the above are correct but stacking still fails, ensure the environment is stable - solid tripod, no/low wind, etc. Then reshoot.

Now, as an official DWARF II product expert, before you embark on the astonishing journey with your DWARF II telescope, remember

While DWARF II can take you on a cosmic voyage to distant stars and unravel the mysteries of the universe, it sadly can't locate your lost remote control or solve those perplexing love life conundrums. 

So, as you gaze into the vast night sky, don't forget that the most authentic explorations in life are often right beside you. Grasp it and embrace a more thrilling life! Use DWARF II to uncover the small joys and cosmic secrets hidden in your everyday life, making each stargazing session an unforgettable adventure. Here's to turning every glance at the stars into a journey to remember!

One more thing, if you find it helpful, don't forget to give it a thumbs up and schedule some time for your next adventure with DWARF II! 

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