Automated observation - working! (But some Qns)

CCD cameras (CMOS/CCD), DSLRs, telescope mounts, focusers, autoguiders, domes, Roll off roofs, etc..
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Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 am

Sat May 12, 2018 5:50 am

So, inspired by the video tutorial, I managed to get 'Automated observation' working a couple of days ago!
The main things that took a while were the auto-meridian flip and changing the guiding sense as you cross the meridian after calibration.

For the latter, I guess its mount dependent to some extent but, for the Mesu200 and Sitech controller, I can say the following works. In Sitech/config, be sure to *uncheck* the 'reverse RA/DEC when on East' boxes, and allow merdian flip (check this box). In Prism, in guiding, check the box labelled ‘Do not ues mount info (Paramount)’ - I guess it just ignores the mount info - Paramount or otherwise.

For auto-flipping, in the merdian limits in Sitech, set everything to 0 or 180 deg (so there is no 'deadzone' in Sitech).
Set the 'deadzone' to whatever you like in Prism, but I used 1min either side of meridian.

I found for plate solving, with my RC10in scope, and 0.67 focal reducer, that 10s with 2x2 worked well on mag 10 stars (+ - 1mag).

It was liking watching a ballet when the mount paused, flipped, reframed using a plate solve, and then re-focussed (using direct focus), and starting imaging again.
[I hope this isnt tempting fate!]

Anyway - a few Qns
1) There is a checkbox 'stop sidereal tracking between targets’. I had this unchecked as the targets were simply different flters wih no accompanying slew. I presume it only makes sense to stop tracking of you are slewing to another target?

2) The guide exposure defaulted to 2s and I had to change this manually to my preferred 6s. Is there a way of setting this default?

3) In guiding, when not in automated mode, there is a checkbox to set if there has been a merdian flip since calibration. But the software seems to detect this (it supplies a message just above the box to say so!) and it certainly isnt necessary to check any boxes when using full automation. So, my question is, is checking this box redundant and Prism automatically sets calibration reverse using its knowldege about merdidan flip?

Many thanks
Hamza Touhami
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ

Tue May 15, 2018 11:26 am

Awesome report Kevin, kepp them coming. To your questions:

1. That only applied to actual targets. SAy you pick on that sets before another one rises, PRISM is asking what you want to do here. Stopping tracking is the best avenue.
2. The guide exposure is decided when you choose your targets, there really no default value per se ( for now !). You can just build a luminance sequence and just press the LRGB button and this will duplicate the targets with all the same info so you don't have to repeatedly enter it.
3. This is an interesting question, I will have to ask the developer about the logic behind this question.

Stay tuned
Hamza Touhami | Site Administrator
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 12:31 pm

Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:30 pm


I have an identical setup to you with a Mesu and the RC10. I am just at the setup stage in small ROR observatory that I have just completed. I have it polar aligned and the OAG is now par focal with the imaging CCD. With the very short nights at the moment there is not a lot of time to get things done and move on to the next stage.
I have a Lodestar 2 guide camera and Atik OAG. The setup guides well at 2meters when testing using PHD. I would like to now setup to us Prism for guiding. Would it be possible to post the guide settings you are using or even some screenshots?

You are a bit ahead of me at the moment but hopefully I will be fully automated by the end of the year :)

Many thanks

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