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Guylain,

I am trying to decide if I should get a motorized focuser for my refractor to use with my Canon EOS. I would really like to perform Autofocus. I could purchase a Focusmax to perform autofocus while using BYE but I would like to automate it. I appears that I would need to stop imaging and use Focusmax to autofocus and then go back BYE for imaging. I would prefer to be hands off with Autofocus instead of stop and go. Is there any plans on providing Autofocus feature and what date can we expect it?

 

thanks,

Wayne

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Wayne,

 

BYE is not currently supported by FocusMax 4. The CCDWare web site lists the capture appiications that currently work with FocusMax.capturing images. One of those capture applications is The SKy X. The Sky X also supports integration with Backyard EOS, so that route may be possible. I would check with Software Bisque for confirmation.

 

You may also be interested in this message thread --> https://www.otelescope.com/index.php?/topic/1248-backyardeosbackyardnikon-and-theskyx/#entry8078

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Wayne

Guylain was vary admit about auto focus when I asked him about it, and it seems beyond the limits of BYE at this time.

 

But here is a workaround.

I have a starlight moterized focuser on my scope and I can controle the focuser from BYE via a ASCOM driver.

it is not "autofocus" but you are not touching the focuser at all. just watch the FWHM numbers while focusing in frame and focus mode.

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If you want to stick with BYE/N, AND have autofocus, there is another option not yet discussed. That is Innovation Foresight's On Axis Guiding solution, combined with their FOCUSLOCK software.

 

The ONAG has a dichroic  IR pass filter at 45 degrees in the optical train. Your guide camera then goes at the back, getting an IR only (full OTA image circle) signal. The light below IR gets reflected by the dichroic mirror/filter and your DSLR mounts on top of the ONAG and get's that light.

 

The FOCUSLOCK software then works with your guide camera and focuser to keep your optical train in focus 100% of the time (runs constantly). This assumes that your guide camera and DSLR are setup to be parafocal on the ONAG. PHD2 is supported.

 

https://www.innovationsforesight.com/

 

I haven't personally tried this setup (I have a challenge in that my DSLR is in a cooler bag) but it's on my wish list.

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I thought that Innovation Foresight's ONAG only worked with their software for both guiding and autofocus. I'm not saying that it won't work with PHD2, but it is my understanding that you then give up the autofocus functionality. Am I wrong?

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I thought that Innovation Foresight's ONAG only worked with their software for both guiding and autofocus. I'm not saying that it won't work with PHD2, but it is my understanding that you then give up the autofocus functionality. Am I wrong?

 

I haven't done in that deep and exploration but the focuslock page says:

 

"Support for Maxim D/L, TheSky X, PHD2, or any ASCOM compatible guide camera is supported"

 

Maybe that just references the camera support? The only software listed on the site is the focuslock, however, no guide software.

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Wayne

Guylain was vary admit about auto focus when I asked him about it, and it seems beyond the limits of BYE at this time.

 

But here is a workaround.

I have a starlight moterized focuser on my scope and I can controle the focuser from BYE via a ASCOM driver.

it is not "autofocus" but you are not touching the focuser at all. just watch the FWHM numbers while focusing in frame and focus mode.

 

If this is the case, would it be possible to implement some basic form of temperature compensation?  This way, at least I only focus once a night and it will stay in focus in most cases.   Right now, I am using a separate and slightly buggy program for this purpose.   It works most of the time, but it would be much simpler to have it baked into BackyardEOS (and I suspect less buggy).

 

thanks,

- Jason

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Most of the Temperature-Compensated Focus Control procedures are based on successful Automatic Focus Control functionality - and then triggers another round of Focus Control once the Ambient Temperature changes by the Selected Amount.

BYE lacks the Automated Focus routine, AND the Community lacks a source for a USB Device to report Ambient Temp.

 

To produce a Temperature-based Focus Compensation Routine based on Modeling rather than the simpler "Trigger Refocus Process", one still needs a successful Automated Focus Control routine in order to build the Model (because every Optics Device - Telescope - Lens will react differently to Ambient Temp Changes) upon which further Focus Control can be based.

 

But, perhaps you could start by identifying your "Buggy Program" and providing a description of How Exactly it works.  Perhaps it uses a different approach...

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Most of the Temperature-Compensated Focus Control procedures are based on successful Automatic Focus Control functionality - and then triggers another round of Focus Control once the Ambient Temperature changes by the Selected Amount.

BYE lacks the Automated Focus routine, AND the Community lacks a source for a USB Device to report Ambient Temp.

 

To produce a Temperature-based Focus Compensation Routine based on Modeling rather than the simpler "Trigger Refocus Process", one still needs a successful Automated Focus Control routine in order to build the Model (because every Optics Device - Telescope - Lens will react differently to Ambient Temp Changes) upon which further Focus Control can be based.

 

But, perhaps you could start by identifying your "Buggy Program" and providing a description of How Exactly it works.  Perhaps it uses a different approach...

 

Sorry for the late response,

 

I must admit, I do not entirely understand everything you said, but the software I have been using is called "Tcomp" ( I am not certain how it works under the hood, but from my perspective it does the following:

 

I am using a Moonlite Focuser with High Res Stepper Motor and MoonLite Mini Controller

 

1- Monitors temperature (I assume there is some sort of thermometer is within the Mini Controller, which is USB based for what its worth).

2- If temperature changes by a designated interval (my choosing), the software tells my focus to move a designated amount of steps based the temperature coefficient of my setup.

 

I wouldn't trust the process it to be accurate for large temperature swings, but it seems to do a decent job on most nights.   I focus once a night and it stays focused.  No interrupting my imaging process to focus again.

 

thanks again,

Jason

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Jason,

 

I am not sure why you are doing that. It is my understanding that the Moonlite ASCOM driver handles temperature compensation internally, if the driver configured and the functionality is enabled.

 

I emailed Ron Newman of Moonlite last year, asking him about temperature compensation via the software they provided for their hardware, and according to him:

 

 

Temp compensation is normally handled in the ASCOM program that the customer is running. It is up to the customer to decide to set it up and train the SW to make use of temp information.

 

We provide temp date through the controller from the focuser back down the ASCOM data line to the software, but if the software is not set up, then the temp data is just ignored.

 

Our non ASCOM utility programs are for basic operations-- not advanced autofocus or temp compensation, that is delegated to the Main ASCOM program used by the customer ( normally the same program running the camera and Filter wheel, and rotator ).

 

 

thanks,

Jason

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Jason,

 

Well, I believe that you misunderstand what Ron said. But then again, I sent Ron a couple of emails a couple of years ago but got no reply, so this is what I have been able to figure out.

 

I agree that it is up to the customer to set up temperature compensation. The customer must "train" the software. This means that you must determine how much the focuser needs to be adjusted, and in which direction, for each degree of temperature change. That takes software to help accomplish. The temperature coefficient (steps to adjust the focuser per degree of temperature change) information is then set into the driver, via the focuser setup dialog. The ASCOM client software must also provide a way to enable temperature compensation, because it is not enabled by default.

 

Once enabled, the focus position should be adjusted automatically with changes in temperature. This is per the design of the ASCOM focuser interface specification.

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I think I heard about what you suggest in the past and tried to test it.

 

During the attempt to have BackyardEOS connect to my focuser, the ASCOM dialog came up and I made sure to input the details of my system related to temperature compensation into it (which it did have).  However, when I watched the temperature change overnight, I never saw the focuser position change.   I think that's when I emailed Ron about the matter.

 

That being said, it's very possible that I did it wrong in some way, or it didn't work due some other reason that is different now (I have a completely new rig now).   I am very happy to try again and see if I can get it to work that way and report back.

 

thanks again,

Jason

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A question for Guylain would be...Does BYE continuously poll the focuser for the current position, while it is connected?

 

I can see where it may be possible that BYE may not periodically update the displayed position if it was assumed that only BYE was changing the position value.

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A question for Guylain would be...Does BYE continuously poll the focuser for the current position, while it is connected?

 

I can see where it may be possible that BYE may not periodically update the displayed position if it was assumed that only BYE was changing the position value.

 

Yes, BYE/BYN constantly polls the focuser for position feedback.

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I tested one of my MoonLite focusers with the Mini Controller V2, the latest ASCOM driver (Moonlite DRO Focuser Driver version 6.2.5270.20609) and BYE 3.1.8.

 

After connecting, I zeroed the focuser and then moved it to 3000 steps. Then I disconnected and then went in changed the driver Properties. I set the Temperature Coefficient to 30 steps/degC and enabled Full Temperature Compensation. Then I connected. The initial position was 3780. The difference of 780 steps was in sync with the reported temperature of 26 degC since 26 degC * 30 steps/degree is equal to 780 steps.

 

Then I grabbed the end of the temperature probe and watched the reported focuser position increase as the probe reacted to being held. After a couple of minutes I released the probe and watched the position return to where it started as the probe cooled back to ambient temperature.

 

As far as I can tell, the driver is reacting as expected to changes in ambient temperature when temperature compensation is enabled and BYE/BYN is reporting the focuser changes as expected.

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I tested one of my MoonLite focusers with the Mini Controller V2, the latest ASCOM driver (Moonlite DRO Focuser Driver version 6.2.5270.20609) and BYE 3.1.8.

 

After connecting, I zeroed the focuser and then moved it to 3000 steps. Then I disconnected and then went in changed the driver Properties. I set the Temperature Coefficient to 30 steps/degC and enabled Full Temperature Compensation. Then I connected. The initial position was 3780. The difference of 780 steps was in sync with the reported temperature of 26 degC since 26 degC * 30 steps/degree is equal to 780 steps.

 

Then I grabbed the end of the temperature probe and watched the reported focuser position increase as the probe reacted to being held. After a couple of minutes I released the probe and watched the position return to where it started as the probe cooled back to ambient temperature.

 

As far as I can tell, the driver is reacting as expected to changes in ambient temperature when temperature compensation is enabled and BYE/BYN is reporting the focuser changes as expected.

 

That's great to hear.  I haven't had a chance to check it myself since my astro computer is being monopolized for another task for the moment, but this gives me renewed confidence that my setup will work without any software changes.   I will make sure to follow your steps listed above.  Thanks for the extra effort Rick.

 

- Jason

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14 minutes ago, ilikeit said:

Just wondering if any progress has been made with adding Auto Focus feature in BYE/BYN?

Chris is actually working on creating an ASCOM driver for both BYE/BYN.  When this is done it should work with software like FocusMax and the likes.

Regards,

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Chris had to put this on the back burner last year.  The company he works for was purchased by another company and his work load almost doubled since.

All is not lost.  Take a look at this thread. Someone has created an ASCOM driver for BYE/BYN.

Regards

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