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ACP vs CCDautopilot


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#1 astrodoc71

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:30 PM

Well wasn't sure where to post this but since I am gradually "phasing in" to automation I was wondering if anyone here has enough experience to make any comments regarding these 2 options. I believe there are more out there but these are the ones I have seen used most often. Currently I am using CCDSoft, Focusmax, the Sky 6 as my capture and focus programs. ACP I believe only works with MaximDL but can also integrate with focusmax so perhaps I can still use that. Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

 

Also in conjunction with this I would ask what the members thoughts are for creating a section in the Forum on imaging automation and general issues using the ASCOM platform etc? Perhaps we are not big enough yet for this to be very useful?

Regards and Happy Holidays!

Dave


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#2 WarriorsDrink

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:02 PM

cant help regarding which ones to use but i did download the demo for sequence generator pro and it looked very good, so that might be worth a look http://www.mainseque.../Products/SGPro



#3 astrodoc71

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:31 PM

Yes. Thank you! I have been hearing about this as well but don't know much about it. Here in the US I see mostly ACP and CCDAP. I will look at that one as well. Keep us posted on it!

Dave


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#4 RickS

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:25 PM

I evaluated CCDCommander, CCDAP and ACP around a year ago.  I went as far as setting them up and imaging with each of them.  I also looked at SGP which, at the time, was less capable than it is now.  I ended up choosing ACP.

 

CCDCommander is basic and simple to use.  A couple of friends are using it quite successfully.  It worked OK for me.

 

CCDAP was a bit more feature rich but it crashed on me a few times.  I also didn't like the way parts of the GUI worked (e.g. unless you remember to click update you can lose edits to your target list).

 

ACP is quite sophisticated, worked well with the software I was already using (MaximDL and FocusMax) and, once configured, just worked reliably.  It is also very well supported by Bob Denny and a bunch of enthusiasts on the DC3 Dreams support forum.  It is the most expensive  :)  It also has the option of the very cool ACP Scheduler which would be great for permanent observatories (give it a list of targets and it will do the rest.)

 

SGP has been acquiring new features at a rapid rate and looks like it is probably worth considering now.

 

Cheers,

Rick.


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#5 astrodoc71

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:29 PM

Outstanding Rick! Thanks very much. I guess the thing to do would be to test all of them as you did and see for myself :)

Regards

Dave


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#6 astrodoc71

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 06:31 AM

Well I just witnessed a fully automated meridian flip, re-focus and re-acquisition of a guide star, then resumption of my luminance images of M1 on the west side of the meridian! This stuff is really remarkable! I am trying out CCD autopilot and I have to say it's going a LOT easier than I expected. Basically once you can confirm the program can control your plate solve, rotator, focus and mount independently, then it's pretty simple to go from there. Luckily I don't have a dome right now so that does simplify things! I could really get used to this :D

Regards

Dave


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#7 RickS

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:10 PM

It's good stuff isn't it, Dave!  I love being able to get a few hours sleep knowing that the scope will keep going.


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#8 astrodoc71

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:09 PM

Yes no question, although the first night I was all amped up watching the thing since I couldn't believe it was actually working so I didn't get much sleep :D


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#9 Neil

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:51 PM

It's good stuff isn't it, Dave!  I love being able to get a few hours sleep knowing that the scope will keep going.

I do that anyway... take cat naps during my imaging sessions, I didn't realise I needed a program to keep everything running. So far I have just been lucky! Well actually, I'lll manual target my objects using the RA&DEC, forcing my mount to the east side of the maridian to avoid having to flip it during the session etc...It seems like we should keep an eye on SGP in the future, right?



#10 RickS

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:17 AM

Yes, SGP is being developed very actively.


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