Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Stellarium direct ASCOM Support Testers wanted

  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:58 AM

Hi

 

After I've installed my Astro Imaging software on my new imaging computer, I was getting tired of the missing ASCOM support within Stellarium and looked for alternatives. Stellarium Scope always felt wrong in my opinion and it is just an additional source for errors within the already complicated software stack for image acquisition.

 

There are alternatives to Stellarium, but to be honest, Stellarium is just the most beautiful of the planetarium software, and I tend to have a crush for beautiful things :-)

 

Being a developer my-self, I decided to talk to the maintainers of Stellarium and started to develop on the necessary changes to enable direct ASCOM support within Stellarium. I now have a first sneak peek version and some enthusiastic ASCOM users could get there hands dirty. Since there are so many ASCOM scopes, I think it's crucial to collect as much feedback as possible and therefore I decided to write this post, before my changes go into the official beta Version of Stellarium.

 

If you'd like to test my Stellarium build with ASCOM support, just download the 64bit installer available here: https://drive.google...Pi7?usp=sharing

 

DISCLAIMER:

 

I've just recently started to contribute to the Open Source Software Stellarium and this build is not official yet. I've performed some substantial changes to the official version and build the code on my local machine. If you install this build of Stellarium, you need to be aware of that. 

 

Changes in a nutshell

My changes are very simple, just configure a new telescope in the telescope control plugin and select ASCOM. Within the configuration section, click the "Choose ASCOM Telescope" and the ASCOM Telescope chooser is shown which allows you to select the desired driver.

 

There are also new shortcuts available in Stellarium which more or less reflect the functionality added by StellariumScope:

<ctrl> + # = slew telescope number # to selected object (as before)

<ctrl> + <shift> + # = issue a sync of telescope # to the selected object

<ctrl> + <shift> + <alt> + # = Abort the last slew action of telescope number #

 

 

Help me to improve the quality of this change

 

There are a lot of ASCOM compatible mounts / telescopes on the market and I'd like to gather as much feedback as possible. Please report any issues you discover here in this thread. I'll then collect the feedback and feed it back into the development process.

 

 

Cheers

Gion

 

 


  • beammeup, HxPI, Xeroid and 9 others like this

#2 Xeroid

Xeroid

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1430
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2013
  • Loc: USA

Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for taking this on, l-o-n-g overdue!


  • PatrickVt and gionk like this

#3 wrnchhead

wrnchhead

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1013
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2017
  • Loc: NE Kansas

Posted 10 October 2019 - 10:11 AM

YES! This also gives me an excuse to be out in this upcoming full moon clear weather we are forecasted to have
  • gionk likes this

#4 beammeup

beammeup

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Straight of Gibraltar

Posted 10 October 2019 - 01:51 PM

Thank you, testing right away....   


Edited by beammeup, 10 October 2019 - 10:15 PM.

  • gionk likes this

#5 AnthonyExmouth

AnthonyExmouth

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2019

Posted 10 October 2019 - 02:27 PM

Looking forward to trying this next clear night



#6 beammeup

beammeup

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Straight of Gibraltar

Posted 10 October 2019 - 02:30 PM

UPDATE: so far working great with CPWI.

 

(Celestron AVX mount with Starsense, connected wirelessly with SKYQLink WiFi module)

 

Scope position gets updated in both apps in real time (Stellarium & CPWI), you can use both programs simultaneously.

 

-    <ctrl> + <shift> + <alt> + # = Abort slew  -  works but is a bit convoluted...

-    Sync works...

-    Everything works so far

 

 

Great work! thank you very much..


Edited by beammeup, 10 October 2019 - 10:15 PM.

  • gionk likes this

#7 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:02 PM

UPDATE: so far working great with CPWI.

 

(Celestron AVX mount with Starsense, connected wirelessly with SKYQLink)

 

Scope position gets updated in both apps in real time (Stellarium & CPWI), you can use both programs simultaneously.

 

-    <ctrl> + <shift> + <alt> + # = Abort slew  -  works but is a bit convoluted...

-    Sync works...

-    Everything works so far

 

Happy bunny here....!

I can now delete StellariumScope, which gave me connection problems with CPWI.

 

Great work! thank you very much.

I now have the great Stellarium Starmap (much better than CPWI IMHO), (and Sync, which CPWI does not have) and the options of Starsense align, focus control, etc with CPWI.

 

Hey man, that's super awesome! :-) So happy to get this successful report :-)

 

I know <ctrl> + <alt> + <shift> + # is kind of crazy, but there's no many other options :-/ <ctrl> + <alt> + # is already reserved for some eyepiece shortcuts I believe. One thing I though about is a panic shortcut, which will stop all configured telescopes. This could be as simple as <ctrl> + something.

 

Cheers

Gion


  • wrnchhead likes this

#8 mikenoname

mikenoname

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Death Valley Region (Bortle 2 - SQM 21.9+)

Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:22 PM

I will definitely be testing this out next available night.

 

Thanks so much Gion!!


  • gionk likes this

#9 Iver

Iver

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Monterey County,Ca.

Posted 11 October 2019 - 12:58 AM

Scope connects,slew to, sync and abort all work using my Takahashi Temma 2 with Chucks Temma ASCOM driver!

When I closed Stellarium the ASCOM driver remained open, shouldn't the driver close with Stellarium?

THANK YOU!!!


Edited by Iver, 11 October 2019 - 01:14 AM.

  • gionk likes this

#10 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:26 AM

Thanks for the Test Iver! I'll ckeck on that, not sure how ASCOM behaves when multiple hosts connected to the same device, say the Hub Telescope, and then one host attempts to close it while others still require it to be open. Will investigate this a bit.

#11 Iver

Iver

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Monterey County,Ca.

Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:45 AM

The Temma ASCOM driver is a hub. If I am connected to AstroArt, Stellarium Scope and PHD 2 I can close any one and not loose the other connections. The ASCOM driver displays how many connections it has.


  • gionk likes this

#12 mtc

mtc

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 325
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Chelmsford, MA

Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:19 AM

This is a nice development! Can the shortcuts be adjusted? I'm accustomed to use the following and would want to use the same. Is this possible?

<ctrl> + 1 = slew telescope to selected object (as before)

<ctrl> + 3 = issue a sync of to the selected object

<ctrl> + 5 = Abort the last slew action of telescope
  • PatrickVt likes this

#13 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:06 AM

Hi mtc

 

That's not possible, since the numbers correspond to individual telescopes in Stellarium. This will be the required change in users behavior when switching from Stellarium Scope to the native Stellarium ASCOM support.

 

In return you can run mutliple ASCOM telescopes in parallel, slew them sync and stop them. This was not possible with Stellarium Scope.

 

Cheers

Gion


  • beammeup and artem2 like this

#14 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:14 AM

Well, sorry I need to correct myself here :-) That's just not how we should set it up the default way. However, if you go to your settings and navigate to the keyboard shortcut section, you can certainly configure the actions for slewing, syncing and canceling telescope number 1 to the key combinations you have mentioned (Stellarium Scope style). Just give it a try.


  • mtc and beammeup like this

#15 mikenoname

mikenoname

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Death Valley Region (Bortle 2 - SQM 21.9+)

Posted 11 October 2019 - 11:22 AM

Is running multiple scopes in parallel something that is frequently requested? I have enough mental gymnastics going on just to run one, with ASCOM, SharpCap, Stellarium et al all running!



#16 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 11 October 2019 - 05:51 PM

I'm only making an assumption but I guess more than 90% of people just run 1 scope. However, having 9 slots available for scopes and shortcuts with individual telescope numbers is the way the telescope control works and I didnt want to introduce a different concept with my change. Thats why I kept this kind of interaction pattern. However, as I already said, your free to reassign your own shortcut bindings in the Stellarium configuration.

By the way, I just returned from a small imaging session and did a messier marathon using slew and sync with the new ASCOM functionality and it really works like a charm :-)
  • mikenoname likes this

#17 HxPI

HxPI

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1482
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Virginia Beach, VA

Posted 11 October 2019 - 07:31 PM

Installed and selected an ASCOM mount with no issues. I’ll test it outside tomorrow. Thank you very much!


  • gionk likes this

#18 wrnchhead

wrnchhead

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1013
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2017
  • Loc: NE Kansas

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:53 PM

Skywatcher EQ6-R connected right away, and all functions normal. Now this was a brilliant software experience, considering how everything in this hobby can be so tedious! 


  • gionk likes this

#19 artem2

artem2

    Ranger 4

  • ****-
  • Posts: 323
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Österreich (no kangaroos in Austria)

Posted 12 October 2019 - 02:42 AM

I will try with "Astro-Physics ASCOM V2 Driver" and send soon feedback..

 

Thank you

 

Martin


  • gionk likes this

#20 artem2

artem2

    Ranger 4

  • ****-
  • Posts: 323
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Österreich (no kangaroos in Austria)

Posted 12 October 2019 - 02:35 PM

Hello, my feedback with "Astro-Physics ASCOM V2 Driver", connection via ASCOM and slew to and  the sync did work..waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif

 

Thank you

 

Martin


  • gionk likes this

#21 montejw360

montejw360

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2019

Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:46 PM

Another successful test so far. Celestron CGX with the latest CPWI 2.2.3

 

Both RA and DEC readouts are really close. DEC is about 13" off between them. RA within 2". Not sure if that means anything.

 

Monte


  • gionk likes this

#22 Szumi

Szumi

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 353
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2016
  • Loc: NLP, Michigan

Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:49 PM

Thank you for doing this.  My viewing opportunities are too limited to help test but good on you!



#23 Bob Denny

Bob Denny

    Vendor (DC-3 Dreams)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 123
  • Joined: 17 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Mesa AZ USA

Posted 12 October 2019 - 07:27 PM

 

By the way, I just returned from a small imaging session and did a messier marathon using slew and sync with the new ASCOM functionality and it really works like a charm :-)

 

@gionk I just saw this... in just two days? Spectacular!! The (above) reports coming back are very good, well done!. The ASCOM Core Team meets tomorrow. I will pass this along to them, and I am sure they will be gratified. Another application gets onto the Windows common platform! Bravo!! But wait... there's more grin.gif grin.gif

 

I'd like to point you to the developer info on ASCOM Alpaca, the future of ASCOM beyond Windows. Patrick Chevalley (Cartes du Ciel) and Han Kleijn (HNSky) have already added support for this into their planetarium apps. At least one device supplier (Optec) has built it into some of their devices, a high-end university observatory just came online and it uses Alpaca for dome control combined with industrial controls. And more are on the way. No libraries, no servers, self-contained devices with ethernet/WiFi connectivity. And yes, it is a long term evolution. But then it took ASCOM via COM/LPC seven years to take hold. 

 

Anyway, well done. I'm nothing but a flag-waver for ASCOM now but it does warm my heart. And again I'll pass this along tomorrow to the guys doing all the work now.


  • gionk likes this

#24 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 13 October 2019 - 07:38 AM

@gionk I just saw this... in just two days? Spectacular!!

Well, messier marathon is too much :-) I usually crank up my ASI1600MM gain to 200, switch to my Optolong L-Pro filter and make a live stack in sharp cap of 10 x 30 seconds of all Messier Objects within reach :-P

 

First of all, thanks for your kind words! I think you and the people that have gathered around the ASCOM project, have done a tremendous job in terms of accessibility and simplification in the astronomy software world. Without ASCOM, thousands of hobby astronomers would probably pull their hair out, just to get those proprietary drivers work with all their software. So, thanks for that Bob!

 

I was researching ASCOM Alpaca before I started development of the driver adapter within Stellarium. I really like the idea of a system independent API using HTTP server / client architecture. Maybe in a second step, we could add support for that into Stellarium. This would even make ASCOM remote available to Stellarium where someone could control a remote telescope running with an Alpaca API or ASCOM Remote server. What was still unclear to me was that all API's seem to expect that I already know the device no on the server. Isn't there a call similar to the ASCOM Chooser, in order to list all available devices on a server first?

 

Anyway, thanks again for your kind words and I will definitely keep an eye on ASCOM Alpaca.

 

Cheers

Gion


  • Bob Denny likes this

#25 gionk

gionk

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 13 October 2019 - 07:42 AM

Another successful test so far. Celestron CGX with the latest CPWI 2.2.3

 

Both RA and DEC readouts are really close. DEC is about 13" off between them. RA within 2". Not sure if that means anything.

 

Monte

Hi @montejw360

 

Thanks for taking the time to run a test! What do you mean by readout? Did you compare RA / DEC from your mount with the coordinates seen in Stellarium? Or did you platesolve and got the numbers from there? Could that be also just a pointing accuracy thing of the mount itself and if you did a second slew, it was better?

 

Cheers

Gion




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics