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Presenting Satellite Chaser: A free software made for tracking and guiding on satellites using ASCOM compatible equatorial mounts

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#26 Bob Denny

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:56 PM

NGC3031 - This is so cool!!! Im thrilled to see software that does this using the ASCOM Standard API. Thanks!!

I looked at the screen shot and the font is the typical Asian font used for Latin. Is it possible that the minus sign he is using is in fact not a minus at all but some other LATIN symbol? And maybe the number parser you use simply ignores it, resulting in a positive or East longitude?

[edit] just looked and as I suspected 107 E 35 N is in China.

Edited by Bob Denny, 14 July 2019 - 02:01 PM.


#27 NGC3031

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:18 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

 

Not sure about the font thing. I tried using what I think is the Asian font equivalent of the minus symbol and my software correctly gives an error that the longitude is not numeric. Even if that were the case, something else wasn't working as the result is not only incorrect but the values are impossible.



#28 Bob Denny

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

Well, it was a stab in the dark :-)

Anyway, the features in the ASCOM Telescope Standard interface that provide pointing and motions for Earth-orbiting objects are due to English astronomer Chris Rowland many years ago. It’s great to see satellite software using those standard features.

#29 NGC3031

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 10:01 AM

Adding support for non-ASCOM mounts is difficult as a sole programmer, therefore I’ve decided to open source the communication functions of my software: https://github.com/S...lliteChaserComm

If there’s someone with coding experience who wants to add support for a communication protocol, feel free to fork the Github repo. If there are no problems I will add support for that mount type in Satellite Chaser.

 

As it stands right now ASCOM is implemented and working, and Paramount is implemented but untested.


Edited by NGC3031, 27 July 2019 - 10:02 AM.


#30 Bob Denny

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 10:54 AM

 

Adding support for non-ASCOM mounts is difficult as a sole programmer

I get it! That's the purpose of ASCOM, to eliminate not only individuals but companies from needing to write separate unique and personal interpretations of how to control things like mounts. Only the mount makers truly know what is going on inside. Doing it from the outside has risks and can eat one alive with workload. It's a classic "NP-hard" problem.

 

 

As it stands right now ASCOM is implemented and working, and Paramount is implemented but untested.

I assume you know that the Paramount (via TheSky X) is ASCOM compatible? I'm unsure of its level/fidelity of support for the MoveAxis() etc. functions though. My only experience is with solar system and deep sky targets.


Edited by Bob Denny, 27 July 2019 - 10:55 AM.

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#31 NGC3031

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 11:30 AM

I assume you know that the Paramount (via TheSky X) is ASCOM compatible? I'm unsure of its level/fidelity of support for the MoveAxis() etc. functions though. My only experience is with solar system and deep sky targets.

Yes, but it doesn't support MoveAxis commands properly unfortunately.

 

Proper MoveAxis support seems quite rare. Skywatcher and Ioptron both don't support continuous speed updates via MoveAxis, only a leapfrog style where the mount has to come to a full stop before accepting a new speed.



#32 Bob Denny

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 08:49 PM

Oh, dang it! Well, it was a thought. Maybe at some point you could let Software Bisque know that this would be a good thing to do.

#33 555aaa

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:26 AM

They use the axisrate property. You get a nice satellite tracker in TheSkyX when you get a Paramount, and that satellite tracker doesn't work with ASCOM mounts.

#34 Thrifty1

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 09:56 AM

I was curious if anyone ever got this working for the LX200 GPS?  I have used Satellite Tracker successfully using their most recent version (from 2014).  



#35 NGC3031

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:28 AM

I have added support for Alt/Az mounts. Celestron Nexstar mounts might work now.

 

In case someone does try my software with an Alt/Az mount: Make sure that in the mount tab N and S correlate to Altitude movement and W and E correlate to Azimuth movement. Also do a test run as detailed in section 9.1 of the manual. In the guide and cockpit tab Ra is synonymous with Azimuth and Dec is synonymous with Altitude.

 

Please note that the Live Align feature doesn't work with Alt/Az mounts. There's some math I need to figure out here first.


Edited by NGC3031, 31 August 2019 - 09:31 AM.


#36 CharlesC

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 01:06 PM

Not sure if this is of help but looks like Satellite Tracker program will go open source soon.  That code may help you out.

http://www.heavensca...php?topic=176.0


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#37 Krzysztof z bagien

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 06:34 PM

I have added support for Alt/Az mounts.

Good to know! I'll give it a go with my AZ-EQ5 in alt-az mode next week when I'm back home.



#38 Krzysztof z bagien

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 09:43 AM

Finally had some time to test Alt-Az mode - and everything works as it should, at least below 1000arcsec/s. Above that tracking fails as expected.


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