Other elements of the automated observatory equation include
focusing and plate solving. Focusmax
does a great job of the focusing.
Even to the point of finding close bright stars to focus
on. Slewing the scope
to them, focusing, then returning. Pinpoint does a equally great
job of plate solving images.
It feels a slightly more mature piece of software compared to
ACP. ACP has the very difficult job of bringing different pieces
of hardware together and dealing with situations that might of
been unforeseen at the start of the observing run. However
the author Bob Denny provides great support for the product and is
very much prepared to listen to owners suggestions for new
features. Over the last few months filter handling has
been improved for non par focal filters and the ability to check
for dome status during ACP sessions has been added. Also third party scripts are available for
ACP from a growing user base.
A particular mention goes to Michael Marcus acquire image
script which is a enhanced version of those supplied with ACP.
I believe, was written to automate observation runs but not really
for unattended observation which is the way I am attempting to use
it. However the software is improving all the time in this
area and I hope one day to be able to link my sky
survey program to the LX200. The aim would be to
identify interesting observation from the sky survey and get the
lx200 to take follow up measurements the next night if the scope
was not in use. As a amateur astronomer, just being
able to contemplate such a system is an indication of the potential
that automated observing has.
'Observatory' Control Software DC3
- Has enhanced scripts
Observatory - Running ACP and working well!