I’m nearing initial completion of my direct-to-motor ASCOM driver for equatorial mounted NexStars. This driver completely eliminates the need for NexRemote or a hand controller and automatically “hibernates” and restores on shut down and restart of the driver. It also supports direct setting of the RA/DEC position from a plate solve result, so no more searching for a target in a database! Just point at the sky, plate solve, enter the value. Done! The plan of course is for the ASCOM Sync function will allow programs like SGP to do that automatically, and it’s ALMOST working.
Over the past couple of nights I’ve been debugging my targeting algorithm to get the scope to hit the target exactly, and as of last night I have it incredibly repeatable, where before it would oscillate (primarily DEC) on repeat attempts in the plate solver. However, now that it’s repeatable, the scope would never sync to the center position (5 tries per event), so I figured there was something off on my driver. I noticed that SGP has several options for the Sync function and tried those, and while on one setting it eventually centered on the Ring Nebula after a repeat start of the solver dialog, as soon as I changed target and tried again, no such luck. I would have expected that an option that didn’t use my driver’s sync function should have worked fine. This morning I noticed that this function is apparently “new” as it’s not in the 2.5x release I had on my local desktop, and even after updating it doesn’t appear to be in the documentation to figure out the difference in the two alternate approaches. Any enlightenment?