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James Cunningham
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AstroTortilla - how does it work? new
      #5792902 - 04/11/13 05:18 PM

I downloaded Astrotortilla but for the life of me cannot understand how it works or how I am supposed to use it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Jim


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richard7Moderator
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5792954 - 04/11/13 05:47 PM

This should help a little.
Users guide. PDF.


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: richard7]
      #5793124 - 04/11/13 07:26 PM

Richard,
Thank you for posting that link however it is already several revisions out of date.

As of 10 April, 2013, Astrotortilla Version 0.5.1 with new Index files series 4200 is out and the Installer has been modified for downloading the indexes without having to select a second server from a list as described...

There will probably be another update to Astrotortilla in several weeks as the BackYardEOS developer is presently working with the Astrotortilla development team to establish the control linking for Astrotortilla to work with BYEOS for camera control/imaging for automatic correction repositioning of the mount/OTA aim.


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: fmhill]
      #5793396 - 04/11/13 10:15 PM

For those wanting to try Astrotortilla who have a Windows 64 bit operating system, do NOT use the "Download" button on the Astrotortilla home page.

For the benefit of folks doing a first time install of Astrotortilla, if you have Windows 64 bit operating system, for the x64 version of AT, you will find it here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/astrotortilla/files/AstroTortilla-0.5/

If you use the download push button, you get the 32 bit version, you should use the above link which will give you a choice of either the x86 (32 bit) or x64 (64 bit) versions...


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Vostok
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: fmhill]
      #5793792 - 04/12/13 04:21 AM

James,

Once you get everything installed, this is how it works:

1) launch AT and connect to a camera software and your mount driver

2) use something (like Stellarium) to slew to your target

3) in AT, check all three boxes on the lower right and click "Capture and Solve"

4) magic happens

5) your target is now centered in your frame.

I'll start working on updating the user manual to discuss the newer 4200-series index files soon.

Lauri / AstroTortilla team


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James Cunningham
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: Vostok]
      #5793950 - 04/12/13 08:34 AM

Does it make any difference that in the ASCOM setup, that the latitude and longitude are wrong? Can you use AT with alt/az as well as GEMs? How do you know for sure that it is connected? Thanks
Jim


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James Cunningham
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5793996 - 04/12/13 09:16 AM

One other question, my camera is not listed. Its a Mallincam. Does the software support that camera? Thanks.
Jim


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5794095 - 04/12/13 10:18 AM

Quote:

One other question, my camera is not listed. Its a Mallincam. Does the software support that camera? Thanks.
Jim




AT works solely on an image made at the present point of aim of the telescope, AT has no knowledge of how the telescope is setup or what the AZ/El or LAT/LON are, it simply calculates where the OTA is presently aimed and what the correction values are to make the mount aim the telescope at the target...

As to what cameras are supported, its not cameras per say, but what camera control software is supported and at present, only tWO that I know of. Nebulosity, APT, (and soon BYEOS). Any camera that can be controlled by these imaging programs can be automatically controlled by AT to collect the images needed for automatic aim correction, however many different brand/type cameras can be used by either screen capture mode, or using the "file open" function of AT which works quite nicely... The only requirement is that the image file be in a compatible format with AT, the most common are FIT, TIF, and JPG.

Edited by fmhill (04/12/13 10:20 AM)


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5794108 - 04/12/13 10:25 AM

Quote:

Does it make any difference that in the ASCOM setup, that the latitude and longitude are wrong? Can you use AT with alt/az as well as GEMs? How do you know for sure that it is connected? Thanks
Jim




What the Latitude and Longitude are set to is not important.

As to the AZ/EL type mount, I believe as long as the mount is ASCOM controllable such as any Celestron NexStar mounts with GoTo capability, yes, AT should work with this mount.


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mclewis1
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5794145 - 04/12/13 10:41 AM

Quote:

One other question, my camera is not listed. Its a Mallincam. Does the software support that camera? Thanks.Jim



Jim,

3rd party software generally doesn't directly support a video Mallincam because the camera's output doesn't directly connect to a PC. You have a USB frame grabber in between. So in most software a video Mallincam is setup as a webcam.

The control side is different, there are a number of apps that can control a video Mallincam through it's unique serial control interface ... but the video still goes through the USB frame grabber.


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Aimo
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5797170 - 04/13/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

One other question, my camera is not listed. Its a Mallincam. Does the software support that camera? Thanks.Jim



3rd party software generally doesn't directly support a video Mallincam because the camera's output doesn't directly connect to a PC. You have a USB frame grabber in between. So in most software a video Mallincam is setup as a webcam.
The control side is different, there are a number of apps that can control a video Mallincam through it's unique serial control interface ... but the video still goes through the USB frame grabber.




The vast differences on how to access each camera is one of the reasons why AstroTortilla doesn't really talk directly to cameras. The other reason being, if the camera is in use by your imaging software, AT can't access it, and if it's in use by AT, your imaging sw can't access the camera. To that end AT has been written to support full automation with a few known applications (MaxImDL, Nebulosity and APT currently supported). For other applications there is a file-open-dialog that asks for a new image file when one is needed, and a screenshot grabber that tries to solve a defined rectangle of an application window (continuously updating image stream, e.g. PHD guiding or QGVideo).

AstroTortilla is open-source, so if your imaging application of choice isn't supported, you can help make it supported.

-Antti


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Charlie B
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: fmhill]
      #5799213 - 04/14/13 07:40 PM

Quote:

As of 10 April, 2013, Astrotortilla Version 0.5.1 with new Index files series 4200 is out and the Installer has been modified for downloading the indexes without having to select a second server from a list as described...




Now you tell me. Last night I gave up trying to use AstroTortilla because it would not solve anything. Today, I used one of my images at let it solve and it took almost 20 minutes, which is useless for telescope work. I downloaded and installed this latest version and it solved the same image in 136 seconds. Now that is useful. I previously used Elbrus, which worked OK but I wanted something that was more automatic. I will have to give this new version a field trial, but it looks good so far.

I would like a better explanation of all parameters, especially the scale parameters and their units. I first thought that it was arcsec/pixel, but the unit "degwidth" did not make sense for that.

Regards,

Charlie B


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5799418 - 04/14/13 08:55 PM

Charlie,

One of the tricks to keep Astrotortilla from bogging down and taking forever, or when it will not solve an image, is to use the "Log Viewer" (Tools) and watch for "simplexy - number of objects found"... When the number of objects found is low, usually below 23, then AT has not found enough objects (stars) to solve an image.

On the other hand, if the simplexy - objects found number is too high, typically over 60, then AT will take too long to solve an image to be practical. If the simplexy number gets to be above 300 or higher, an image can take hours to solve...

Point is, Sigma is the single most important setting in AT to keep AT solving efficiently...

One of the tricks to keep AT solving images efficiently when using AT for goto's is to use a standardized set of exposure values, setting camera ISO to 3200. and use a exposure time value of 5 seconds (maybe 10 seconds with 11" SCT? ) should produce an image of reasonably bright stars. Note that for plate solving, high ISO noise in an image is acceptable, what you are looking for is a good contrast range and even that is not very critical...

The point is, once you have settings that produce images with reasonably bright lower magnitude stars, by always using those exposure values when using AT for solving for goto's and positioning, the sigma value in AT can be set to a value that produces an object count in the range of 23 to 60 on average, and you don't have to keep messing with it...

Edited to add: With my ES127 ED/APO I use exposures 2 to 5 seconds at ISO 6400 with a Canon 60Da, and set Sigma to either 60 or 100 typically. Depending on which computer I am using, I get resolves in 5 to 9 seconds typically. That's with a i7 3.4Ghz CPU and probably 1.5X times longer with my Laptop with i3 2.6 Ghz CPU...

Hope this helps...

Edited by fmhill (04/15/13 12:13 AM)


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5799808 - 04/15/13 02:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:

As of 10 April, 2013, Astrotortilla Version 0.5.1 with new Index files series 4200 is out and the Installer has been modified for downloading the indexes without having to select a second server from a list as described...




Now you tell me. Last night I gave up trying to use AstroTortilla because it would not solve anything. Today, I used one of my images at let it solve and it took almost 20 minutes, which is useless for telescope work. I downloaded and installed this latest version and it solved the same image in 136 seconds. Now that is useful. I previously used Elbrus, which worked OK but I wanted something that was more automatic. I will have to give this new version a field trial, but it looks good so far.

I would like a better explanation of all parameters, especially the scale parameters and their units. I first thought that it was arcsec/pixel, but the unit "degwidth" did not make sense for that.

Regards,

Charlie B




Charlie,

About Astrotortilla parameters and settings, this is the best information I know of, and I'm not sure how up to date it is.

http://sourceforge.net/p/astrotortilla/home/Configuration/

A problem with a rapidly advancing high technology application is keeping all the documentation up to date...


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Charlie B
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: fmhill]
      #5799998 - 04/15/13 08:19 AM

Thanks! The link should help a lot. I did vary parameters, especially sigma, but did not get good results. I was imaging with an Orion Starshoot III through a SV115T20.

Regards,

Charlie B


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psu_13
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5828011 - 04/28/13 10:13 AM

I just got this working, except for one thing.

When I use the telescope simulator and a fake camera, the three checkboxes above "Capture and solve" are blank and never enabled. Is this just because I'm using simulated devices? The plate solving and other functions seem to work well. Thanks!


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Charlie B
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Reged: 03/22/08

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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? new [Re: psu_13]
      #5829003 - 04/28/13 07:59 PM

I've given up on AstroTortilla for now and have downloaded a trial for Sequence Generator Pro, which uses Elbrus and astrometry.net. I have been sucessful with Elbrus before. Last Saturday, I tried AstroTortilla but could not get it to open Nebulosity. It kept waiting on the camera, but the camera was working fine. I'm sure that it was my mistake, but I will wait for a more mature version.

Regards,

Charlie B


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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? [Re: Charlie B]
      #5829068 - 04/28/13 08:41 PM

Quote:

I've given up on AstroTortilla for now and have downloaded a trial for Sequence Generator Pro, which uses Elbrus and astrometry.net. I have been sucessful with Elbrus before. Last Saturday, I tried AstroTortilla but could not get it to open Nebulosity. It kept waiting on the camera, but the camera was working fine. I'm sure that it was my mistake, but I will wait for a more mature version.

Regards,

Charlie B




Charlie,

Sorry to hear you are having difficulties with Astrotortilla and Nebulosity...

While I have Nebulosity and like it for some things, using it for camera control and image capture is not what I use it for as I am presently using a Canon 60Da and BYEOS and now that the BYEOS Beta4 version and Astrotortilla are working smoothly together, plus having problems with my SBIG camera, I'm very impressed with BYEOS and Astrotortilla working together so far...

Regretfully, I have no answer to the Nebulosity with Astrotortilla issue...


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powerstroke01
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? [Re: fmhill]
      #5830276 - 04/29/13 01:56 PM

I cant get any platesolving to work reliably.

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fmhill
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Re: AstroTortilla - how does it work? [Re: powerstroke01]
      #5830449 - 04/29/13 02:57 PM

Quote:

I cant get any platesolving to work reliably.




If you will supply details, hopefully someone can help you...

No details, no help...


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