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GOTO using CCD reference?

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#1 DFEmery

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:07 PM

Hard to know exactly where to post this question... but is anyone aware of a GOTO mount, with appropriate software, that uses CCD images to improve pointing and tracking accuracy? What I mean is... if a CCD image is captured through a telescope and that image is compared to an existing image database, it would seem logical that it would be a fairly straightforward matter to correct pointing and tracking errors and fix the exact scope coordinates with great accuracy. Is there some system available to amateurs that will do this?

--Dave

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:15 PM

TheSky6 plus either CCDSoft or Maxim/DL and a CCD camera provides that functionality with nearly all goto mounts.

#3 Miguel Lopes

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:21 PM

Yes there is, but it takes some €€€ and a lot of patience.
You need something like:
#1 - Pinpoint for astrometric measures. That will read your CCD images and calculate the location, sampling and rotation
#2 - A CCD controlling application like Maxim or CCDSoft that supports automation
#3 - An application to orchestrate all that, like CCDAutopilot or ACP
#4 - A mount that accepts sync commands(?). Or a TPoint model for TheSky6 (?)

I'm still trying to do that myself, so a lot of question marks...

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:29 PM

Yes there is, but it takes some €€€ and a lot of patience.
You need something like:
#1 - Pinpoint for astrometric measures. That will read your CCD images and calculate the location, sampling and rotation
#2 - A CCD controlling application like Maxim or CCDSoft that supports automation
#3 - An application to orchestrate all that, like CCDAutopilot or ACP
#4 - A mount that accepts sync commands(?). Or a TPoint model for TheSky6 (?)

I'm still trying to do that myself, so a lot of question marks...


I've done it without Pinpoint (though, when using Maxim, I do use the included PinPoint Lite) or a separate control application (though I intend to incorporate one later for greater automation). No TPoint model is required and Synch can be used or not used. TheSky6 Pro plus either CCDSoft or Maxim/DL suffices.

Setup is, as you mention, fairly involved.

#5 hersey0308

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:54 PM

hi dave - maxpoint is a fairly low cost addition to maxim dl that will use a ccd camera to automatically improve pointing. a few caveats: i still like to do this manually or at least nearby because on automode the scope is slewing all over the place (as it should), but i get nervous about a cable getting caught up.
screenshot attached.
nice interface and pretty easy to use as well. the modeling file .clb will interface with Astronomer Control Panel and probably a few other programs.
best,
david

Attached Files



#6 JAT Observatory

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:00 PM

Once you begin use plate solving to accurately point your mount you'll find it very hard to go back to not using it. I currently use Pinpoint with CCDSoft under control of CCD Autopilot.

As John mentioned TPoint is not required, but I since I use TheSky to control my mount I also use TPoint in order to get the initial pointing as close as possible. That results in no plate solve corrections in some areas of the sky for my setup.

I used a program called AAG Automapper to build my TPoint models. The AAG software uses plate solving to build very accurate TPoint models.

#7 InterStellarGuy

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 08:10 PM

the Meade ETX-LS coming out soon is said to use its CCD Eclipse imager for that very function, for alignment.


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