Automating Telescope and Camera at the same time

Discussion in 'Scripting and Programming' started by Don, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Don

    Don Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi,

    I want to pre-program an entire sequence, but I am not sure I can use the existing setups, or I need to write a script. I see some parts in MaximDL, but not the whole thing. I have a Paramount.

    What I want to do, is start a sequence of exposures (0.5sec, then 1 sec, then repeat this 10 times, for example) at a certain time, adding in dither. This looks possible with the standard Camera Autosave commands. I can also set up Scheduled Mode, so that should work.

    The next step I want, is to automatically move the telescope after that first sequence of images is completed, and then start another image sequence, without delay (only waiting a few seconds for the telescope to move). I don't know if this part is possible.

    During the 2017 eclipse, I want to automate everything, so I don't forget something and also so I can enjoy the spectacle. I want to program all the exposures and telescope pointing ahead of time, without using TheSky for the telescope on one laptop and MaximDL on a second laptop to record images, and having to manually start and stop things.

    Is this possible, with or without writing a script?

    Thanks,
    Don
     
  2. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    You can mix the autosave sequences with scripts, i.e. trigger autosave sequences from a script - that simplifies things.

    It may be better to use software like ACP to run the show.
     
  3. Don

    Don Cyanogen Customer

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    OK, I'll look at ACP, too. Starting with Paramount (600 page manual), TheSkyX (600 page manual) MaximDL (600 page manual), Pinpoint (600 page manual), and Prism (600 page manual), I guess I'm glad that I'm starting my planning a year early! I hope to choose which program to use, how to use it, then practice, practice, practice! - Thanks, Don
     
  4. Konstantin v. Poschinger

    Konstantin v. Poschinger Cyanogen Customer

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  5. Don

    Don Cyanogen Customer

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    I am learning how to use scripting, by starting with the Sequenced Image Acquisition example script. It runs OK, but when it asks for the target list, I have to use c:\Users\computername\...\targetlist.txt. It would help if I knew which directory I can place the targetlist.txt, so I don't need to enter all the directory info. Please let me know! - Thanks.
     
  6. Don

    Don Cyanogen Customer

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    Sorry for all the questions, but a lot of this is new to me. I've used MaximDL since about 1990, back when it was called HiddenImage, but every upgrade has more to learn, as well as more wonderful features.
    I am experimenting with the Sequenced Image Acquisition example, by changing the RA by 3 arcsec between exposures to simulate dithering. I'm using the Telescope Simulator. When I look at the FITS header, it appears to round off the RA to 5 arcseconds. Is this a property of the simulator, or is there some single-precision rounding. I tried to find a reference for "util.DMStodegrees" or "util.HMStoDegrees", but could not find anything, anywhere. Please help, again. - Thanks, Don
     
  7. gannonjs

    gannonjs Standard User

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    Aug 31, 2016
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    You have to install the ASCOM utilities from their website. Its a separate package from simply the telescope drivers.
     

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