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SkyTools 3 and Real Time

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#1 Madratter

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Just this week, I got the cables I needed to run my C6-RGT from the telescope.

I have (and love) Sky Tools 3, so I was very interested to see how well (or not) the Real Time add on worked. Fortunately, you can get a free 30 day trial of the add-on if you own Sky Tools 3.

I downloaded the ASCOM drivers for my scope and gave it a whirl last night.

I have to say it worked really well. I did my initial alignment and calibration stars, plugged in the cable, and away I went.

It forms one really nice integrated package. The one thing I REALLY wish I had done is to define my horizon that is blocked. That capability exists in the program, but it really hasn't mattered much. But I can see with Real Time just how much an improvement that would have made.

#2 Cames

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:38 PM

Congrats on a successful telescope control hookup.

You may have an opportunity to challenge your new system on February 15th. Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be sailing through Ursa Minor early that evening EST at about magnitude 12+. Greg Crinklaw will ensure that he integrates the asteroid's updated orbital elements into the Skytools database (apparently the asteroid is so close that gravity perturbs its predicted orbit). Once you click the Skytools command to update current object lists, you'll have the means to execute a simple 'go-to' and zero in on that rare event. We'd be interested to hear about your experience if you have clear skies and wish to describe the observation. Good luck.

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C

#3 simpleisbetter

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:25 PM

Yes, congrats on the connection and success. As for hooking things up, I keep my PC cable and USB-Serial adapter connected to the hand controller all the time, even when not using the laptop. I make the physical connection of the scope and laptop before dark or turning on power. It doesn't bother the hand controller at all. Once alignment is done, then simply hit "Connect to Telescope" from SkyTools. This way you're not fumbling around with cables in the dark.

One more tip that threw me the first time out (though you already might know this). If you're using a laptop and USB-Serial adapter, make sure you always plug the adapter into the same USB port each time so that you obtain the same COM port address, and don't have to mess with reconfiguring the COM port settings in the ASCOM panel.

#4 Madratter

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:04 AM

Congrats on a successful telescope control hookup.

You may have an opportunity to challenge your new system on February 15th. Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be sailing through Ursa Minor early that evening EST at about magnitude 12+. Greg Crinklaw will ensure that he integrates the asteroid's updated orbital elements into the Skytools database (apparently the asteroid is so close that gravity perturbs its predicted orbit). Once you click the Skytools command to update current object lists, you'll have the means to execute a simple 'go-to' and zero in on that rare event. We'd be interested to hear about your experience if you have clear skies and wish to describe the observation. Good luck.

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C


Thanks for the tip. That would be a great test/interesting object to see. Unfortunately, the weather report currently is not looking promising. But it is far enough out that could change.

#5 Madratter

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:06 AM

Yes, congrats on the connection and success. As for hooking things up, I keep my PC cable and USB-Serial adapter connected to the hand controller all the time, even when not using the laptop. I make the physical connection of the scope and laptop before dark or turning on power. It doesn't bother the hand controller at all. Once alignment is done, then simply hit "Connect to Telescope" from SkyTools. This way you're not fumbling around with cables in the dark.

One more tip that threw me the first time out (though you already might know this). If you're using a laptop and USB-Serial adapter, make sure you always plug the adapter into the same USB port each time so that you obtain the same COM port address, and don't have to mess with reconfiguring the COM port settings in the ASCOM panel.


Thanks for the tip about using the same port each time. I had been doing that, but only because of convenience. Now I know to be more rigorous about it.

I had the system working again last night, and it is just so convenient. I thought goto was convenient but this is just a big step up even from that.

#6 Cames

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:28 AM

FYI...Updated orbital elements for Asteroid 2012 DA14 have been processed by Greg and are ready for download by clicking the Update Current Objects command.

Greg has posted instructions and tips that you may find helpful for spotting the asteroid on the SkyTools Yahoo! user group site. Abbreviated instruction will appear if you hover your mouse cursor over the List drop down menu when Minor Planets Observing List is selected. Happy hunting.
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C






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