Using SGP for modeling-run image captures on 10Micron mounts


#1

Hi all. For those of you with 10Micron HPS mounts, I’ve written a small command-line Python script that reads model text files saved from Per Frejvall’s Model Maker and does what Model Maker does when you hit Run, except it assumes SGP has the camera attached and is ready to shoot. It still needs PinPoint, but you can now user either SGPro or MaximDL for modeling captures.

You can get it here - http://www.lyric.com/astro/mm.py.zip. Look at the README for installation, requirements and use.

Ping me with any questions or comments.

Cheers,
John.


#2

That’s really cool John.


#4

My solution is an awful hack, but posting it here in case someone finds it useful.

Since I don’t have PinPoint, I implemented a similar solution using AutoIt to make the solves through SGP. And I really mean through SGP, as it navigates the menus and presses the “Solve and Sync” -button after each slew. One vote from here for implementing it in the API :smile:.

Anyways, with PlateSolve2 as the primary solver I’ve had great success with this. Once the syncs get going (the first one(s) might fall back to Astrometry) the solving is pretty much instant once the image has been downloaded.

Usage:

  • Install AutoIT, download my script from here and run
  • Verify from the handset that Sync Refines is set to ON
  • Select a model file created with Model Maker
  • Click the start button, select your telescope driver and go make some coffee while the mount dances around. Keep your hands off the mouse/keyboard while the script runs.
  • After you’re done remember to turn Sync Refines to OFF if you use centering in SGP

Gotchas:

  • The UI is not responsive during the modeling run. You need to use task manager if you wish to abort. You can’t get everything in 80 lines of code :smile:.
  • In SGP the keyboard shortcuts for the menus won’t work if the input focus is in the image. Click somewhere in the menus before running the script to avoid this

Best Regards,

++ Jari


#5

Hello John

that sounds promising! I have read your instructions and would like to ask one thing:

Do I understand it correctly, that in Model Maker I can prepare the modeling points, save this as a file somehow (the points with Alt/Az coordinates) and then I have to leave model maker?

So this means - when running your tool I cannot go back with the result to model maker in order to work on the model and such? Which features of Model Maker do I “loose” so to say?

I am asking that because I am currently thinking about if it is worth to buy PinPoint for this. At the moment I am using a sequence for the purpose of model creation:

Depending on sidereal time I need to choose the sequence I have previosly created. The sequence contains 20 Targets - 10 on each side of the meridian. Always using the Center function together with Astrometry as a Platesolving solution. In the end each Target just does 1 Frame in 4x Binning mode 1sec long.

This seems to work, but the sequence solves each region of the Sky 2 times this way which is a waste of time and I have no “settle” time as I would have in Model Maker. In addition Pinpoint is supposed to work faster and a change in the Points I use is currently a very very huge amount of work.

So for me at least it would be very good to know which function of Model Maker I will loose when using your tool together with SGP.

Best regards
Robse


#6

#7

I tried the script and works verywell…

However there are some troubles with narrow focal lenght… if mount is used on permanent pier is easy to use Pinpoint because initial position is known and plate solve is fast and have no problems…

Problem begin when mount is used on the field because all model needs to be created (base and refine) and the base 3 star model normally fails because mount don’t know where it is with reasonable precision…

Currently on the field my Workflow is:
Clear Mount Model
Manual Point 1st star - Blind Solve with ansvr and sync
Manual Point 2st star - Blind Solve with ansvr and sync
Manual Point 3st star - Blind Solve with ansvr and sync

Then i run automated modelmaker (or the script) with pinpoint in refine mode and compute a X number of star align…

Without initial 3star blind plate solve, Pinpoint always fails base model solving and of course refinement (star match not found etc)

Maybe could be interesting for a future release to allow with a --switch ifdesired to blind ansvr solving in base model creation (slower but necessary for initial alignment on field) and then use pinpoint for refinement model (faster as usual)…

This could be very interesting for full automation in initial on field setup


#8

Hi Andrea, thanks for feedback about the 10Micron modeling script.

I’ve been using it successfully in the field just with PinPoint, but then I’m imaging through an FSQ-106 into an 8300 sensor so the field of view is quite big >1º. I can see the issue with longer focal length scopes or smaller sensors.

I have successfully run the astrometry.net http://astrometry.net/ blind solver from my cataloging program, so it should be easy to add it as an option to the modeling script; I’ll have a go when I get the chance, soon I hope.

Cheers,
John.


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