Getting Started

CCD Commander is a robust executive program.  In order to work correctly, the other software CCD Commander manages must be first configured.  Before you use CCD Commander for the first time, setup your software as described below.

 

  1. If you want to use CCDSoft:

    1. Enable Events in CCDSoft.  

      1. Run CCDSoft.

      2. In the Camera Control window, on the Setup check to see if there is a button called "Event Plug Ins..."


         

      3. If not, you need to create a folder in your CCDSoft program directory.

        1. Using Windows Explorer, go to this directory on your PC.  
          ex: "C:\Program Files\Software Bisque\CCDSoft Version 5"

        2. Create a folder named "Camera Event Plug Ins".

      4. Restart CCDSoft and check that the "Event Plug Ins..." button now shows.
         

  2. If you want to use TheSky6:

    1. Setup the "Server Settings" in TheSky6.

      1. Run TheSky6.

      2. Go to the Telescope->Server Settings menu.

      3. Enable "Allow sync", "Allow goto", and "Allow park".  Make sure these three items have check marks next to them.  


         

      4. Click Ok.
         

    2. Setup your telescope's Park position in TheSky6.
      CCD Commander will use the Park function when a major problem has occurred.  This should prevent damage from the mount colliding with something.  If your mount does not support the Park function in TheSky6, please let me know.

      1. First test the park function - you might not need to do anything.  If you need to setup the Park function, TheSky6 will tell you.  

      2. Slew your telescope to the desired "Home" position.

      3. Click the Telescope->Options->SetParkPosition menu item.
         

  3. Start CCD Commander!
    (All other software tools, e.g. MaxIm/DL, TheSkyX, FocusMax, etc., do not require any additional setup with CCD Commander.)

 

Now you can setup CCD Commander for use with your system.
 

  1. Setup the program settings in CCD Commander.

    1. Click the Setup menu.

    2. Click on the Control/Device tab.  For help with these values click here.

    3. Select your Camera Control program from the drop-down list.

    4. Click the "Get Filters From..." button to pull in your filter descriptions from the camera control program.

    5. Select your Mount Control program from the drop-down list.  Be sure to push the Configure button for the ASCOM Driver.

    6. Select any other programs you wish to use.
       

  2. Setup your mount parameters in CCD Commander.

    1. Click the Setup menu.

    2. Click on the Mount Parameters tab.  For help with these values click here.

    3. Select your mount type.

    4. German Equatorial Mounts have additional setup values required in the "GEM Setup" box.

      1. The "Eastern Limit" and "Western Limit" values are very important and tell CCD Commander when a slew will send the mount to the eastern or western side.  The easiest way to set these parameters is to manually slew your mount to its limits and read the RA position it is pointing to.  Then compute the difference from the current sidereal time.  I was able to do this in The Sky using the Motion Controls window.  Force the mount to one side of the meridian, slew to the limit, and find out how far from the meridian the mount is.  Do this for both the eastern and western limits.

      2. Next tell CCD Commander which side of the meridian you calibrated the autoguider on.
         

  3. Setup the Plate Solve parameters in CCD Commander.

    1. Click the Setup menu.

    2. Click on the Plate Solve tab.  For help with these values click here.

    3. Select your Plate Solve program from the drop-down list.

    4. Enter the appropriate values for the "Pixel Scale" and "North Angle".

      1. CCDSoft users can pull these values from a previously solved image still open in CCDSoft.

    5. PinPoint users need to select the location of the star catalog to use.

    6. MaxIm/PinPoint LE users need to specify a time-out value.
       

  4. Setup any of the other parameters you need to use in the Setup window.

 

CCD Commander is now setup and ready to use!  Click here to learn more about CCD Commander's functionality.

 

NOTE: With the release of v1.2, some users experienced an error when running an Action List in CCD Commander.  The error is reported as, "Error Number: 70" and "Permission Denied".  This error is the result of a Windows permission setting.  Look here in the Troubleshooting section to see how to correct the setting and the error.