I spend some time last night to test this new AF routine, using my SCT scope Celestron C8 + .63 reducer (roughly 1280mm f.l. and 64mm obstruction vs. 203mm aperture) and QSI 683 camera (5.4um pixel size) and Moonlite focuser (from 0 to 5900 steps)
On fields with a lot of stars, it does work quite well. Actually much better and further out of focus that it use to do with 2.5.0. unfortunately it is not perfect on the ‘wings’ of my Vcurves.
On fields with fewer stars, it performs poorly, apparently not recognizing stars. I even tried to push the frames to 15s, with better luck, but still it eventually went awry.
A lot of AF pack in my dropbox (one big 400Mo file, but I can break it down by packs).
I increased significantely the step size so I could test the doughnuts! ‘Disable Smart Focus’ was unticked.
From pack 157 to 173 it was manual runs. I apologize I did not save the Vcurves… A lot went well, but often the ‘wing’ points are bad. It does not recognize stars that are obvious on the field.
From 174 to 180 these were from a run (AF every 300s frame) but it did not save the pack after a few frames because the AF failed, as it wanted to go outside the 5900 steps for my focuser. (I am actually surprised it did not save any frame at all??)The focus went from the 2900 range for the first few frames to the 5400 range afterwards!
An example of a ‘doughnut’ field but stars not all recognized?
NB 1. I always trim my field by 10% for star recognition, but it seems the new routine does not take this and measures stars outside of the box.
NB 2. It would be great to have a tool that could re-run the AF pack through a different set of parameters (# of stars, nebula filtering, etc…) and produce the Vcurve. (maybe you already have that )