Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

Hank Sielski


While I and others are looking forward to the new version (4.20) of the
keypad software, as well as the new AP Control Center, for now, I want to
second Eric's recommendation of AstroPlanner. In its current form, it has
tremendous capabilities. In addition to the pre-planned observing list, it
has more than 125 catalogues that you can download and use with your
studies, so you may not have to id your targets with just RA and Dec. You
can download a free trial version of 1.6.1 (no telescope control in the free
version, I think, though), but if you decide to buy and test out the
telescope control, it doesn't cost much ($35, I think). And if you register
now, I think you'll get a free upgrade to the forthcoming V2 (almost in beta
now), which promises to be even better...and as Eric says, Paul Rodman's
support is right up there with AP's...

Good luck,


On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 9:48 AM, Eric Baumgartner <malkasten@...>wrote:

Hi, Phil:

You might want to acquaint yourself with Paul Rodman's AstroPlanner (see
<>). It is an observing planning and
logging application with lots of functionality, including the capacity to
send goto commands to A-P GTO mounts.

You could easily compile an observing plan for your variable star targets
a given night, sort them by virtually any criterion (culmination time, RA,
constellation, etc.), and then slew to each object from within the

Paul Rodman is the Roland Christen of observing software, in that he
constantly monitors the AstroPlanner users group and responds to questions,
problems, or concerns nearly instantly and with great patience. I can't
recommend the application more highly. (Oh, yes, it also runs on both Mac
and Windows computers!)

Hope this helps,

Eric Baumgartner
Redding, CT

On 9/17/08 10:53 AM, "chris1011@... <>" <
chris1011@... <>> wrote:

In a message dated 9/17/2008 6:47:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
phil.dombrowski@... <> writes:

Dear Howard, Roland & any group member that knows the answer to my
If I am doing a nightly sequence of variable star observations is
there a way to have a preplanned (pre-programmed) sequence of targets
so that I can simply go from one star to the next without having to
enter the RA & DEC of each target star? On any given night I may want
to do 15 variable stars and it would be most desirable to go from one
star to the next without the re entering of coordinates. Earlier
Vstar observers would likely tell me that a "good" observer would just
know how to get from one star to the next from my knowledge of the
night sky! However, I would like to take advantage of the AP1200's
full capabilities. Many of my target stars are in fields were I am
looking for a target that my only be 12th mag or fainter. A feature
that may already be on the AP1200 that I am unaware of would be rather
I very much appreciate your response.
Phil Dombrowski
Glastonbury, CT
There is no function like that in the AP servo or keypad. However, what
are describing is a scripting program. I know Bob Denny sells one. You
need a laptop to run a scripting program. Anyone out there have any other
software recommendations?


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