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AstroTortilla - how does it work?

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#51 Raginar

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:31 PM

You can insert a delay via your scripting. I have very similar problems with my mi250. I'm finding that scripting around it is much easier than dealing with the meridian flip. If they'd add a delay it'd be a ton easier.

#52 Gary BEAL

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:29 PM

I am wondering if there is a Yahoo user group, or do I ask a question here?
I am looking to try this, but use a PC which is not/never connected to the internet.
Does this pose issues, and assuming I can download on one computer (a Mac by the way), and then install on the PC, at a distance, how then do I grab the index files. Is there a selection of the more popular ones, or do I simply have to download each and every one I need, (4004 - 4019 I believe).
Gary

#53 fmhill

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:08 PM

Your in the right place for your question...

I believe you can download the whole AT system and install it by copying it to the PC... However, it would be much easier to take the PC to where it can be connected to the internet to do the install... I don't know if you can use a Mac as the AT installer is a PC application and needs access to the internet to function. Maybe using a Parallels equipped Mac and installing AT in Windows on the Mac might work but I have no way of knowing...

I have transferred AT and CYGWIN and Indexes from a PC desktop to a PC Windows laptop without any trouble, I just don't know if it will work using a Mac for the transfer...

It might be worth your while to go to the SourceForge Astrotortilla web page, got to the support area, to the discussion (forum)and ask if its possible to install using a Mac or if the install package as a complete self contained so internet access is not required... You might find someone there who has done this...

#54 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:46 AM

Thank you Mitch.
I have actually managed to make the installer function (I think), and have the AT interface operational.
Of course a solve is not going to work, it needs the indexes.
And the interface does not look like it talks to BYE either, another reason to want to try AT.
I'll keep digging.
Gary

#55 fmhill

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:21 AM

Gary,
If you have the installer functional, on which machine is this? PC or Mac? If the installer is functional, it should have created C:\CYGWIN and all its sub-directories including \cygwin\usr\share\astrometry\data and this data directory should have all the indexes in it...

Please confirm which machine you are referring to,and that the data directory exists on that machine...

Sounds to me like you are close to having it working...

#56 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:06 PM

Better go check this Mitch. I downloaded onto the Mac, and then transferred to the PC. I have the "Interface" running on the PC. I didn't download any indexes though. I (sheer laziness here) wanted to download the indexes as a block, rather than as a single laborious exercise.
Back soon.
Gary

#57 Raginar

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:16 PM

I haven't tried this, but if you can compile the program, my guess is the index files won't matter where they're opened. They're not specific to a file system. Just extract them on windows and transfer it to a Mac.

#58 fmhill

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:40 PM

Better go check this Mitch. I downloaded onto the Mac, and then transferred to the PC. I have the "Interface" running on the PC. I didn't download any indexes though. I (sheer laziness here) wanted to download the indexes as a block, rather than as a single laborious exercise.
Back soon.
Gary


Gary,
That is the point of having the AT installer manage the downloading of the indexes, it is painless and complete. Once you have the indexes downloaded, you can do a folder copy to a portable media and transfer it to the correct folder on the PC... Its about 3Gb of data and approximately 100 files or so, you do not want to do it in any method other than a bulk or folder move/copy, definitely not as a individual file move...

#59 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:10 PM

Hmmmm, all pointing to me having to roll the pier and PC (they are connected), down the driveway to where I can get internet, and do it like you say. The installer won't open on a Mac, just tried.
Before I do this. The index files, I read somewhere that if I image (and therefore want to solve) under about 1000mm I need files 4004 - 4019, is that correct? No sense in downloading any more than I need.
Thank you again.
Gary

#60 fmhill

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:33 PM

Hmmmm, all pointing to me having to roll the pier and PC (they are connected), down the driveway to where I can get internet, and do it like you say. The installer won't open on a Mac, just tried.
Before I do this. The index files, I read somewhere that if I image (and therefore want to solve) under about 1000mm I need files 4004 - 4019, is that correct? No sense in downloading any more than I need.
Thank you again.
Gary


Gary,
Its been my experience that indexes 4219 to 4205 is all you will need for the FOV provided with 1000mm fl scope and a DSLR camera.

I would avoid Index 4004 as its huge, 48 files about 950Mb total and really slows processing down. However if you use a CCD camera with a smaller sensor (smaller FOV) than a DSLR, then yes, download 4004 but do not put 4004 in the data directory unless you find you really need it due to failure to solve small FOV images... What I do is create a sub folder to the data directory to park indexes not being used as the more of the large indexes in the data directory, the slower the time to resolve an image. High order indexes 4212 and above to 4219 are small and have little effect but a large index like 4004 will be scanned each time and can triple the time to solve...

If you use the log viewer to monitor solves, you will see in which indexes solves are made with your OTA/camera FOV and you can "store" indexes not being used to make the process more efficient...

#61 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:39 PM

Mitch,
you are a legend, thank you. I have rolled it down the drive and am about to connect it up, hopefully.
So, confirming, 4219 - 4205, correct? Yes, scopes below 1000mm, and (at this stage anyway) DSLR.
I'll get started, but come back and check. Very much appreciated.
Gary

#62 fmhill

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:45 PM

Mitch,
you are a legend, thank you. I have rolled it down the drive and am about to connect it up, hopefully.
So, confirming, 4219 - 4205, correct? Yes, scopes below 1000mm, and (at this stage anyway) DSLR.
I'll get started, but come back and check. Very much appreciated.
Gary


Yes, 4219-4205 is all you need...

Let me know how it works out... I'll be monitoring for a few hours yet tonight...

#63 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:59 PM

It's happening, the first few whooshed through, but the rest are slow, another half hour at this stage. I'll keen you posted. Great job for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Raining too.
Gary

#64 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:58 PM

OK, got it all loaded etc. It even did the CygWin bit, which threw me for a while.
Tried a couple of solves with "Preview" images I happened to have from a recent BYE capture. No luck with them, but maybe that is just a setting thing, something I haven't "adjusted".
Need to try a few more, and change a setting or three perhaps.
Gary

#65 fmhill

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:10 AM

OK, got it all loaded etc. It even did the CygWin bit, which threw me for a while.
Tried a couple of solves with "Preview" images I happened to have from a recent BYE capture. No luck with them, but maybe that is just a setting thing, something I haven't "adjusted".
Need to try a few more, and change a setting or three perhaps.
Gary


My guess it is settings in AT... This is normal for a first start up...

Thing to do is to first start the Log Viewer first, set Sigma to 100, then try to solve a preview image. Watch the log file for a line "simplexy - Sources found" and this number should be in the range of 24 to 65, if it not, abort the capture, change sigma to adjust this sources found number... Its a trial and error adjustment...

I'll be here waiting to hear what happens...

#66 Gary BEAL

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:46 AM

YESSSSS. Success, thank you.
Ended up with a sigma of 130. Solved, not the fastest, but solved.
That excited I don't recall how long. Then ticked the "Synch scope" and "Slew to" boxes, thinking I was clever.
Solved again (guess a minute or two) then the mount slewed on it's own (testing indoors, but in sort of real-like situation).
Can't wait to try this for real. Oh, and I'll read the manual as well, something us males are not noted for.
Thanks again,
Gary

#67 fmhill

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:10 AM

Great... AT is pretty simple once you become familiar with it and learn a few of the shortcuts...

One other suggestion, Try setting "Scale Maximum" to 2 and scale minimum to .5 and it should speed up the processing a bit... Scale Minimum and Scale Maximum should bracket the FOV of the camera/OTA... A little larger is OK, smaller and AT may not solve all images...

Glad to hear its working, Think I'll go to bed now, 2:10 AM local time here now...

Clear Skies, hope the rain stops soon for you...
Mitch...

#68 pfile

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:10 PM

I haven't tried this, but if you can compile the program, my guess is the index files won't matter where they're opened. They're not specific to a file system. Just extract them on windows and transfer it to a Mac.


you don't even have to compile it - there's a "backend" configuration file for solve-field (astrometry.net, which AT is based on) in which you can point the solver at the directory where the index files live.

in fact, i run AT in a VMWare virtual machine on my mac. the index files are on the mac filesystem and VMWare is configured with a shared folder pointing to the directory where the indices are. the backend config then calls out that drive letter.

works great.

#69 g__day

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 09:42 PM

I tried this the latest 64bit version of this software (after an imaging run last night) and was very impressed with software!

I would love to know how to speed it up by optimal parameter setting. I image from a C9.25 SCT into a Canon 40D at prime focus, so my imaging scale is around 0.44 arc seconds per pixel. My mount is an Atlux + SS2K-PC using Tpoint and the Sky6 PE, it regular points within 30 - 180 arc seconds of target - on a best night!

The full data base is downloaded onto a SSD and I'm only running a Core2 2.2 GHz CPU and a PC with 8GB RAM.

Image of AT settings attached:

http://www.iceinspac...d=140220&d=1...

on 15 second shot of M20

http://www.iceinspac...se.php?a=140221

PS

Given my pointing is pretty solid - should I use the -3 and -4 parameters to receive RA and DEC parameters from the mount to speed things up on a real imaging run?

Cheers all, Matt

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5884783-Plate Solve M20 v02.jpg


#70 LoveChina61

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 11:56 PM

Can I ask what the latter "Custom options" settings are and what they achieve? I would like to see if they can help me get faster results.

For example, beginning after "--sigma 70 --no-plots -N none" what do you have written there? It is hard to make out the individual keystroke characters. Can you please post it in a reply message to this board?

Mike

#71 g__day

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:02 AM

Hi - being a few hours into this I can inform you from http://sourceforge.n.../Configuration/

Recommended options to experiment with:
--sigma N Set the noise level to N
--no-plots Do not plot the annotated image
--N none Do not create a new FITS file with integrated WCS headers
-q N.N Minimum quad size fraction
-Q N.N Maximum quad size fraction
--odds-* See astrometry.net documentation
--parity neg|pos Try only negative/positive parity
--objs N Limit source list to N objects
--resort Sort stars by background calibrated flux
--no-fits2fits Don't sanitize FITS files
--no-background-subtraction Don't estimate background fluctuations
--guess-scale Try to estimate field size from FITS headers

The --sigma option can be used in conjuction with the exposure time to improve the detected stars SNR and limit the number of items interpreted as stars. Depending on your camera and telescope aperture the known good values are known to vary between 2-5 seconds of exposure and 5-200 units for --sigma

* * * *

I guess the -r is resort (in short form) - i.e. sort by brightest stars.

Sigma I expect is a noise reject to ensure you are searching on real stars not hot pixels.

No plots mean solutions aren't stored to your hard drive.

* * * * *

What has worked best for me is:

1. Have a shot that includes 30 - 100 stars, do this by maybe taking a 5 - 15 second shot and setting the Sigma parameter to around 70
2. Calculate your imaging scale and set your units accordingly and provide upper and lower bounds; for me that is arcsecperix as unit with a 0.2 - 0.8 range (mine is just under 0.44 arc sec / pixel, mind you I just found 0.43 - 0.44 is faster, as it excludes unwanted search files without having to remove them from their default directory)
3. I use the parameters other have suggested -H and -L and -r -c 0.02 - seem to work okay
4. I searched originally 180 degrees of sky - will try 30 degree, given my pointing that is still vast versus my current pointing (answer - Yes it at least halves the time).


#72 fmhill

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:27 AM

I'm typing this on my Laptop and do not have the explanation of the terms available. You can find on the sourceforge Astrotortilla website under confguration...

On my system, after the "N None" is: -r -c 0.02

#73 LoveChina61

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 04:53 AM

Thanks much for the information!

#74 g__day

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 10:28 AM


Funny one tonight - tried both x86 and x64 bit versions tonight at the scope. The 64 bit version connects to the Sky6 Telescope via MaxPoint, as this is the only 64 bit driver in the list that will work with 32 bit drivers. The 32 bit version connects direct to The SKy 6 controlled telescope driver.

With correct imaging I got plenty of plate solves - generally about 2 arc minutes off in DEC, however I had the check boxes Sync and re-point ticked and nothing! It said centering but I could detect no movement. I checked the SS2K-PC handcontroller and it still had the three original stars sync-ed - not the new one that had just been plate solved.

Is this most likely a bug in the sync and goto command?

Later I also opened a previous night's image of M20 and issued a solve and goto - it slew the scope considerably and got fair close but not perfect - about 10 arc minutes off I'd guess.

Anyone know what is likely happening or who to ask?

Many thanks,

Matthew

#75 g__day

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:59 PM


Folks - just seen on the Astro Tortilla Discussion boards someone else with the same issue since upgrading from version 0.51 to 0.52 https://sourceforge....hread/b5546e48/

May be an known issue that gets corrected shortly. Pondering whether to try version 0.51 when the clouds clear!


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