Defork a RCX400
Posted 05 October 2007 - 08:11 PM
What software are you using to control your RCX focuser? And secondarily, would it be immoral to use a secondary focuser, one that was Ascom compatible with Maxim or CCDSoft and Nebulosity, etc. etc.?
Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:31 AM
I have experimented using CCDSoft and the ASCOM drivers for controlling the RCX focus motors for automated focusing, but so far haven't really had much success. However, to be honest I find it simpler to select a star in CCDSoft and focus it using the graphs and Mk1 eyeball to see the faint stars suddenly appear in the capture frame. I've always found that the RCX is excellent at holding focus - so usually I haven't needed to refocus again during a imaging session.
Immoral only if you find yourself enjoying the vibration of the focus motors I guess - but then hey, it's a free world!
Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:49 AM
At the recent star party in Cherry Springs,Pennsylvania, all the big celebrity astrophotographers used ACP, Max Point, Max Focus, Nebulosity and CCDSoft. They turned their laptops on then went to sleep...that is until their alarms went off to notify them that their mounts were correcting for a half pixel. (I was the interloper in the designated astrophotography area). Everyone of them had the most skillful laptops. You could tell because in the morning they were well rested and stood in front of each other's screen saying, "ummmhmmmm...ummmhmmm."
I want to be just like them.
Posted 06 October 2007 - 07:23 AM
I just remembered I use the TheSky as the focuser option in CCDSoft (to select the Ascom focus drivers for the RCX). I think that's the only way to get it to work currently?
For image processing I use ImagesPlus - a great program.
Posted 06 October 2007 - 08:25 AM
Posted 06 October 2007 - 08:38 AM
Posted 06 October 2007 - 08:50 AM
Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:25 AM
"Hang on" is Philadelphian for not OEM equipment. Something added later. A focuser like an OPTEC TCF or an FLI PDF would attach right to the visual back of the OTA just like the focuser on the LXGPS.
Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:36 AM
Posted 06 October 2007 - 10:06 AM
Look at it this way. Your greatest gift to America is the English language. Our greatest gift to you is the Philadelphia improvements on it.
Posted 06 October 2007 - 12:04 PM
I hadn't thought of the Moonlite focusers. That would be a great option although on the standard RCX fork mount, they might be issues of clearance with that and a SBig STL11000M attached as well. Of course for those of you lucky enough to have a Max Mount...
I've been looking a bit more into the RCX FocusMax issue and there may be a way around it to make it work properly. From I've read (and I think this was the issue I had with @focus), the program sends the motors whizzing out to their limit and then tries to bring it back unsuccessfully to the focus position.
I believe the solution is to manually take the focus all the way out. Then start up FocusMax, then select FocusMax Focus tab and a double click will zero the position numbers. Then go to the Focus Start Position and enter the appropriate numbers for the RCX (I'm guessing here you manually focus and make a note of the value). Then start the focus routine.
Once my camera comes back from it's repair, I'll ket you know if it works. Having said that the ease of use and saving wear and tear on the main focus motors sounds very appealing with a Moonlite!
Posted 06 October 2007 - 03:37 PM
The FLI type flat focusers have no issue with fork clearance.
I believe that you might have hit upon the problem with focusing the RCX using ASCOM. It seems to want to find out where it is, but if you elect "relative" position rather than "absolute" when the RCX box opens up, it may cure the problem. I do recall reading about this somewhere and the process is among the several I plan to experiment with in the coming week. But check out the FLI style focusers.
Posted 07 October 2007 - 03:32 AM
Seriously thanks for pointing me in the direction of the FLI focuser. The idea of reliable automatic focusing is just so appealing. I'll be placing an order tomorrow.
Apologies to Joad to dragging this thread so far off topic.
Posted 07 October 2007 - 05:38 AM
Posted 07 October 2007 - 05:42 AM
The idea of reliable automatic focusing is just so appealing. I'll be placing an order tomorrow.
The reality is even better
I'm using Robofocus with my 'scopes rather than the FLI, but same principle. It's great to be able to do a filter change and refocus via VNC without having to leave the house. Lazy, moi?
Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:54 AM
Erm.. an off-topic question, Philadelphia is a state of US?
It is a city in the state of Pennsylvania.
Technically anyway. I've very close friends there that obviously do not hail from this planet.