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Plate Solving With ASTAP in BYN


vidrazor
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Looking around online, I noticed posts made here saying that BYN and BYE now use ASTAP for plate solving, and no longer uses Astro Tortilla. However I see no information on how to go about incorporating ASTAP into BYN/BYE. I opened the the BYN manual and looked up plate solving and the only info was for incorporating Astro Tortilla.

So how do you go about using ASTAP in BYN/BYE? Do you still need to "Enable 3rd party integration"? However in ASTAP there's no setting like that listed for Astro Tortilla so that you can "select BackyardNIKON as your camera control".

Also, it it possible to use other plate solve apps like All Sky Plate Solver, or Plate Solve 2 with BYN/BYE?

Thanks for any info on this.

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Use the search feature on this site to find old posts with info on how to integrate ASTAP with BYE/BYN/

Oh, and it is not correct to say that BYE/BYN no longer works with AstroTortilla. AstroTortilla is no longer supported by the people who developed it and has become a dead product. However, if you have AT installed and working it should still work just fine with BYN.

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Thanks. You should have noted that you need to hit the ADVANCED MODE button to do this, I had no idea where to instruct BYN where to find ASTAP or perform the other processes.

So if I set to acquire RA/DEC data from TELESCOPE DIRECT, then simply wherever the mount thinks it is will be the source location data, correct? Therefore I don't need to click SLEW, I'll assume if I click CENTER, than BYN will take a shot at (say, the default) 5 seconds @ISO 1600 and feed it to ASTAP?

If I slew to a spot first and hit PREVIEW, and choose DISPLAYED IMAGE and click CENTER, then BYN will feed the displayed shot to ASTAP?

So generally, clicking CENTER is activating plate solving?

Thanks

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I just added click the advance mode to the instructions above - thanks for the recommendation.

Correct, TELESCOPE DIRECT assumes that your telescope is pointing at the target you want, and as you said you won't need to hit slew in that case.

Correct, DISPLAYED IMAGE will take the RA/DEC from that image and use it as RA/DEC for the current image plan. This is almost the same as TELESCOPE DIRECT, however, because the image will be tagged with the telescope RA/DEC.... resulting in the same coordinate being used.  You're better off using TELESCOPE DIRECT in this case.

DISPLAYED IMAGE also works if you DRAG an image from a previous BYE session into the image area. DISPLAYED IMAGE is only useful if you're resuming an imaging session from the past, and you somehow did not save your image plan with the coordinates, this gives you a quick way of grabbing them from a previous session image.

Hope this makes sense

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On 9/2/2021 at 7:47 AM, admin said:

Hope this makes sense

Thanks, yes, but just to clarify, clicking CENTER is what activates the solve, correct? Clicking CENTER is essentially saying solve location listed. I haven't had an opportunity to shoot with my new rig yet.

Thanks again.

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10 minutes ago, vidrazor said:

Thanks, yes, but just to clarify, clicking CENTER is what activates the solve, correct? Clicking CENTER is essentially saying solve location listed. I haven't had an opportunity to shoot with my new rig yet.

Thanks again.

YES, on all counts.

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Do I have to enter my focal length or field of view somewhere?  Last night, I tried using ASTAP with BackyardNIKON and got "plate solve failed" on M60.  I thought the supernova might be the problem, but ASTAP easily solved one of the raw frames by itself.

It does not seem to be possible to even open "imaging" much less "advance[d] settings" without a camera attached, so I can't explore the menus when my equipment isn't actually set up.

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Have you looked at the ASTAP documentation?

If BYN needs the focal length it should be available from the telescope via ASCOM. So you need to make sure that the telescope settings are fully and accurately entered into the telescope driver's settings dialog that is accessible from the gear button in the ASCOM Telescope panel at the top center of the main BYN window. It is also available even when not connected to the camera.

You cannot get to the Imaging screen without being BYN being connected to the camera, but with a Trial or Premium license you should be able to create and save a capture plan from the Preview screen. Also the Settings and Advanced Settings are available without a camera connected. In fact some of the settings require restarting the program in order for updates to the settings to take effect.

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No, it doesn't work that way.  I have an iOptron mount, and nowhere in its ASCOM settings is there anything about the telescope focal length.  There basically aren't any ASCOM settings -- ASCOM connects straight to iOptron Commander, which has full access to the mount settings, but telescope focal length is not one of them.

In BackyardNIKON, I see now that I can click Preview and then Advance Mode (bottom right) to make settings relevant to this.  (For some reason I thought that wasn't accessible.)  In that way I am even able to try out the Cartes du Ciel interface.  But I see no place to tell ASTAP the focal length of the telescope.

I am not sure why you are referring me to the ASTAP documentation, since I have ASTAP working fine as a standalone solver; I just wasn't able to get it to solve successfully under BackyardNIKON, and I am guessing (do not know for certain) that this is because it doesn't know the focal length or field of view.

Also, what is the "Pixels" number for, on the line where ASTAP is specified?  The pop-up says "Number of acceptable pixels from choose targets" which is not even English -- I can't tell what it means.

 

 

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As it turns out, it is permissible for an ASCOM Telescope driver to not return the FocalLength of the telescope. The vast majority if drivers either pull it from the mount, or specify it in the driver or other downstream software, perhaps like iOptronCommander.

Of course the definitive way to tell for sure is to have a program ask the telescope what its focal length is. DeviceHub is a program that is included with ASCOM 6.5 and later. You can use DeviceHub to get the focal  length. It is displayed on the Telescope's Static Properties tab, along with other important information.

I suggested researching the ASTAP documentation because it is ASTAP that would typically use the Focal Length and since I have never used ASTAP I do not know if it can get that value externally, or if it must be configured. I would say that if ASTAP is able to solve on a standalone basis that it does not need BYN to provide the focal length.

Also, the first language of the developers of BYN and BYE is Canadian French.

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I would be glad to have a complete, up to date user manual for BackyardNIKON, whether in English or French.  I do understand, though, that things like ASTAP change faster than people can keep up with.

(Admin: If there are French notes that need translating, I might be able to assist.)

I'll return to this and see if I can figure out what's going on.  Right after posting the first version of this message, I came down with norovirus and have been out of action for a week, and it's not over!

Edited by mcovington
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