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
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.