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Robofocus and BYE



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Still, computerized manual focusing is much more accurate and convenient than hand focusing.


There are applications that do semi-automatic, or fully automatic, focusing. One of the semi-automatic solutions is FocusMax. But FocusMax cannot control BYE directly. FocusMax does interface with The Sky X and TSX does interface with BYE, so that route may be possible. I have never tried it.


To my mind fully automatic focusing would be done within the imaging workflow and would automatically suspend imaging and initiate refocusing, as necessary, throughout an imaging run. Semi-automatic focusing would require you to intervene, when necessary, to initiate refocusing. For example, with FocusMax you would have to suspend your capture plan, initiate refocusing, wait until refocusing is complete, and finally resume your capture plan.


Personally, I am OK with computerized manual focusing and re-adjusting focus every hour or so.

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i thank you for the guidance. I am using a f4 set up that is very sensitive to focus and my current workflow is to suspend imagiging every hour or so; go to "frame & Focus" in BYE, take a snap image then select a star (the brightest in the  frame). Then using the snap image in loop mode to try perfect focus by manually focusing by hand and optimising FWHM with each successive snap image. I generally try avoid slewing to a bright star and optimise focus in frame & Focus using a live view as this requires all the need to reframe the image.

Whilst in theory this is simple enough I am finding that the combination of less than perfect seeing (fluctuation FWHM); backlash of the focuser; and clumsy fingers results in less that optimum results.

Based on your comments I am going to  invest in a RoboFocus for computerised manual focusing (via BYE and the ASCOM drivers) and the methodology described above. At a later date (and if necessary) I can look into FocusMax to optimise the focus position


Again my thanks.

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I understand why you would want to focus "in place". If you need to move to a bright star for LiveView focusing you could use a pointing tool like AstroTortilla to position you right back onto your target. AT only takes a minute or 2 if your position is close to the target and you have bookmarked the target's position.


If the FWHM jumps around in LiveView, you can increase the number of frames that are averaged to settle it down. If you get inconsistent values when measuring a star from a snap image, then you might try increasing the exposure some.


You should also work to eliminate backlash in your focuser before investing in the RoboFocus since I believe that it attaches to the existing focuser shaft.

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