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I THINK Celestron's Focus Motor is now working with SharpCap...

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#1 EmeraldHills

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 12:35 AM

We'll confirm Saturday night (my next observing night). I had everything sprawled out in the family room tonight, trying to sort out the problem I experienced observing last night. I could run the Celestron Focus motor on my RASA 8 if I used the Celestron focus utility with it directly - but SharpCap refused to "see" it. Tonight, all I did was switch up the loading order. When I powered on the gear, I opened SharpCap, used the menu to power up the Camera, then Went to SharpCap's "Preferences" menu, under hardware, and chose Celestron Focus Motor then hit "apply." Nothing happened. Hit the configure button on that same ShapCap hardward dialogue and it automatically launched the Celestron focus utility screen, prompting me to "Connect" then "Calibrate." Once it calibrated, I "OK'd" the Celestron menu, and THEN (and only then) did SharpCap "see" that my focuser was 'live.' Seems like, sequence-wise, it makes all the difference in the world if SharpCap is the prompt to launch Celestron's utility. Launching the utility first, apart from SharpCap did allow the utility to manually focus, but left out SharpCap. I'll confirm this Saturday night. Just sharing this in case someone else has had a problem like this..

 

Doug


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#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:15 PM

By "configure" do you mean "properties"?  Do you have "automatically connect hardware when camera is connected" on or off?

 

I've tried every order here, can't get Sharpcap to recognize the Celestron USB focuser.


Edited by bobzeq25, 03 March 2021 - 01:16 PM.


#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:59 PM

OK, got farther.  I had to connect to the Celestron focuser by checking the "connected" box in the Scope Controls window.  That worked, I can now control the focuser from within Sharpcap.

 

Next problem.  The graph tab is not showing up in the focus widow, only history.  Even though there's an ASCOM focuser  connected.  Ideas?


Edited by bobzeq25, 03 March 2021 - 02:00 PM.


#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 02:31 AM

The graph tab now shows up.  I think it was a fairly simple deal where you just had to start everything over from scratch.



#5 EmeraldHills

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 08:34 AM

The graph tab now shows up.  I think it was a fairly simple deal where you just had to start everything over from scratch.

Hi Bobzeq25. Yes, last night was the first time I could test this "in the wild" during an actual observing session. Sure enough, it works within Sharpcap IF we allow Sharpcap to call it for the first time. 

 

I'll be honest though - I had this impression that ShapCap just ran the focuser by itself. (What was I thinking? : ) ) I'm still not very good at the procedure. But I'm assuming this is the kind of thing that will come with time/practice? Took me forever to find the EXACT focus sweet-spot.



#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 11:55 PM

Hi Bobzeq25. Yes, last night was the first time I could test this "in the wild" during an actual observing session. Sure enough, it works within Sharpcap IF we allow Sharpcap to call it for the first time. 

 

I'll be honest though - I had this impression that ShapCap just ran the focuser by itself. (What was I thinking? : ) ) I'm still not very good at the procedure. But I'm assuming this is the kind of thing that will come with time/practice? Took me forever to find the EXACT focus sweet-spot.

Here's what I did.  Approximate, per memory, I'm not connected to the observatory computer.

 

Located a focus point approximately.   Set focus assist to "multiple star FWHM".

 

Got the graph tab working.  Went "out" about 5 steps.   Got the scan working going "in".

 

The graph went down for a while, then went up.  Sharpcap drew a curve.

 

Stopped the scan, sent it the opposite direction, "out", to check for backlash.  There wasn't much.

 

Figured that "in" was the right direction to minimize backlash, working against the load.  Went back "in" to the bottom of the curve.

 

It was a pretty slow process, but I was satisfied with the result.  Impressed with the smooth curve Sharpcap generated.  Complete with error bars on each graph point (I used the default 3 samples setting).


Edited by bobzeq25, 07 March 2021 - 11:56 PM.



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