Meridian flip is just a setting that can be turned on and off in autorun, you don't have to flip at all (unless there is something in the mount that forces it, I don't have an AM3). Maybe plan mode as well, I forget, but I don't think plan mode will work for daytime anyhow. However it may be difficult trying to get all the capture settings correct in ASIair autorun. You can experiment with it now and determine proper setting to get the sun, that should work all the way until the diamond ring phase, which im not sure how to determine ahead of time. I've heard totality is perhaps similar to a sliver of a crescent moon? Maybe you could get a chance to figure that out too. You'd then add your three plans in sequence, perhaps copying 1 and 2 into 4 and 5 as well if you want to catch the diamond ring on the flipside, and partial eclipse again. You'd have to figure out the timing exactly though, and kick it off at the right time (demo it against a clock and make sure it works as expected). Maybe there is an easier way, but just wanted to say that meridian flip can be unchecked in the autorun mode.
I’ve been doing a lot of testing and experimenting, and came to the conclusion that the ASIAIR is not suitable for this task, due to a number of limitations but mostly its inability to manage the rapid changes needed in exposure time to capture all the various phenomena during totality.
What I’m doing instead is using a combination of the ASI mount app and the hand controller to position the AM3 looking west in the counterweight up position, manually centered on the sun, in Solar track speed and then just letting it track without loading any plan. In this configuration I have enough clearance to start tracking the sun well prior to C1 and it will then just continue without interruption through the meridian and totality and past C4. I’m arriving on location two days prior so I’ll already have it polar aligned, and I’ll have Sunday to verify and dial in solar tracking prior to the eclipse on Monday.
For the capture sequence I’m using a MeLE Quieter 4 miniPC running SharpCap Pro. The ASIAIR will remain connected to power the mount and camera, but the USB connection from the camera is routed to the MiniPC instead of the ASIAIR. I’m using the sequencer in SharpCap to manage all of the precisely timed settings changes and image captures. That has taken quite a bit of time to learn and test, including some back-and-forth in the SharpCap forums with Dr. Glover, the author of SharpCap, but I believe I’ve got it figured out now.
For my Nikon Z6 I’m using Eclipse Orchestrator to manage the sequence, and it will produce a detailed output of the specific timing for each capture based on your location and the camera settings, so I gave it the parameters of my RedCat51 and had it produce that detailed list of timings, along with the appropriate exposure length for the RedCat's f/4.9 focal ratio and at minimal gain (ISO 50 in EO) and I ported those timings and exposure lengths into the SharpCap script syntax. It took a lot of testing to understand the capabilities and limitations of the system, and at least with indoor testing it all seems to be working. Next step is to take this outside with solar filters on and do a full end-to-end test of starting it and letting it run just as it will on eclipse day. The only thing I can’t test are the exposure values during totality, I have to go on faith that EO calculated them correctly, however in cross-referencing with other online tools to determine appropriate exposure lengths for the various Totality phenomena they seem to check out.
Edited by JethroXP, 04 February 2024 - 01:53 PM.