Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

W Hilmo

This is outstanding! I'm really looking forward to this.

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

On Jun 26, 2021, at 14:46, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

In the meantime, I’ve found that the best way for me to use APPM is with MaxIm/DL. I’ve not used it for a few years now for my automated imaging, but it’s still my favorite tool for setup and testing, etc. It is bulletproof reliable. It has a built-in light version of Pinpoint, so it can plate solve out of the box (assuming you download a catalog for free). Once synced to the sky, it’s “point telescope here” function works great. I like how it easily reports FWHM and roundness of stars just by putting the mouse over them. It’s large size report of FWHM makes manual focusing easy. And just about anything that connects to image capture software can work with it.

Most of the other packages that I’ve tried, mainly SGP and NINA are more focused on automated collection of images and don’t have as nice a workflow for ad-hoc taking, saving and analyzing single images.

So I have a Plan(TM) to improve the quality of life here.

NINA 1.11 has the new Advanced Sequencer and, with it, a new plugin system. The plugin architecture is based on MEF and anyone can write one using the exported NINA frameworks that are on nuget. The plugin system is intended to allow people to create functionality that can be used in Advanced Sequencer as a sequence instruction, trigger, condition, or any other current or future type of thingy that Advanced Sequencer implements.

This weekend, I made a plugin that runs APPM from within Advanced Sequencer. It will depend on the upcoming APCC 1.9 release. Here is an annotated screenshot of how this looks:

With APPM talking through NINA to get images, this means you can keep the camera connected in NINA even if it's being driven by a native/direct driver. Since APPM 1.9 will also be able to use ASTAP, it can now also plate solve using a freely-available app. With these two features, we can now have automated and unattended APPM model runs be done as a part of a NINA sequence. For NINA users, this completely obviates the need to run APPM under a different software stack (say, SGPro or TheSkyX) and the manual toil involved in switching things between the that and NINA.

There's still some kinks to work out and some testing to be done, but I expect this plugin to be available in the NINA 1.11 plugin repository (which is also a new thing) shortly after APCC 1.9 is released.

I'd like to extend a huge thanks to Ray for his patience and help in supporting NINA and ASTAP in APPM and I hope that automation such as this helps people consider using pointing models, or to use them more regularly.


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