Plate Solve and Sync Action

 

This action will take an image (using the imaging detector) and perform a Plate Solve.  Next CCD Commander will either Sync the mount, or compute an offset of the current position.  This is extremely useful for mounts that do not have superb pointing accuracy.  Please note that the pointing accuracy must be good enough for the Plate Solve to succeed.  Finally, if selected, CCD Commander will slew to the original coordinates.

 

The Exposure Time, Delay Before Exp., Bin, and Filter define the values for the exposure that will be taken.   

 

The Full Frame, Half Frame, and Quarter Frame selections define the area of the imager detector to use.  For wide field images, the Plate Solve can fail when the image covers to large an area of sky.  In this case, Quarter Frame or Half Frame can be used.  For narrow field images, Full Frame would probably work best to give the most number of cataloged stars in the image.

 

Sync Mount tells CCD Commander to send a Sync command to your mount to correct where your mount thinks it is positioned.  This can be undesirable for T-Point users, as the Sync command can corrupt the model.

 

Offset Position tells CCD Commander to compute the offset between where the mount thinks it is pointing and the Image Link results.  Then on future slews, CCD Commander will apply this offset to correct for the mount pointing error.  This option is excellent for T-Point users as it will not affect the model.

 

Slew to Original Location after Solve will slew the mount to the coordinates it should have been at before the Plate Solve - using either the updated mount position from the Sync, or the offset computed.  This gives you optimal pointing accuracy.

 

Normally when the Plate Solve fails, CCD Commander will simply go the next action in the list.  Abort List/Sub-List if Solve Fails will abort the entire Action List or Sub-Action List that the Plate Solve action resides in.  If the Plate Solve action is in a Sub-List, execution will resume on the next action in the parent list.  This can allow you to have some shut-down actions (close dome, park mount, etc.) in the parent action that will be executed when a Plate Solve fails.

 

Retry Plate Solve on Failure will cause CCD Commander to retry the plate solve exposure and solve if the first attempt fails.

 

Slew Mount if First Solve Fails... will slew the mount prior to retrying the plate solve exposure.  The slew will move the telescope in a direction toward the zenith.  If the slew amount is large enough to move past the zenith and you are using a GEM, CCD Commander will flip the mount as part of this slew.  This function can be used in a number of different ways.  

 

One example is a rudimentary cloud monitoring system.  If the first plate solve fails (presumably due to clouds obstructing the view), the slew size can be set large enough to point toward another part of the sky.  When the second solve succeeds it implies that the entire sky is not cloudy and the Action List can continue.

 

Another use for this function is if you are plate solving on a star poor region of the sky, a small slew could help bring more stars into the field-of-view so that the second plate solve exposure can succeed.

 

There are likely other uses for this function as well.

 

Skip to Next Target if Second Solve Succeeds will cause CCD Commander to skip all the actions until the next Move To action.  This is specifically used in the rudimentary cloud monitoring system mentioned above, but there may be other uses as well.

 

Image Save Location

The Use Global Image Save Location checkbox tells CCD Commander to use the path specified in the File Options setup window.  When the checkbox is checked, the Global path is shown in the Image Save Location box.

 

When Use Global Image Save Location is not checked, the "..." button is enabled.  You can then specify a different save location for this action only.  Click the "..." button to select the folder you want to use.

 

Filename Prefix defines the start of the file name given to the downloaded images.  CCD Commander will append a counter value to uniquely identify each file name.  CCDSoft may also append further information about the target to the file name.  

 

The "..." button to the right of the Filename Prefix text box opens up the File Name Builder window which helps with creating automatic file name tokens.  Visit the File Name Builder help page for more information.