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Camera Tab (CCD/CMOS mode)

 
This is how Camera Tab looks like when APT is in CCD/CMOS mode (when connected is ASCOM, QSI or SBIG camera). If you want to change the camera type use Shift + Click on Connect button to open the Select Camera Type dialog box.
 
Camera Tab (CCD/CMOS mode)
 
1

Connect / Disconnect

1. Connect / Disconnect
 
Connect or disconnects the camera. Shift + Click on Connect button opens the Select Camera Type dialog box where you can change the default camera type or to change ASCOM Driver or QSI/SBIG connection parameters.
 
2

Start / Pause / Resume

2. Start / Pause / Resume
 
Starts execution of the selected imaging plan. Once it is started the button is replaced with Pause button that will pause the plan after the current exposure is finished. If a plan is paused it can be resumed by pressing the Resume button that will become visible.
 
Shift + Click on Start button opens the Start options dialog box.
 
 
You can loop a plan to be executed several times (or unlimited times if you enter 0 in "# of execution) or the schedule the plan execution for a defined time or event.
 
The following scheduling options work in combination with Darkness Clock:
- Deep Sky Darkness (DSD) - the moment when full darkness starts
- Astro Night - the moment when astro twilight finished
- Night - the moment when Sun sets
 
If the starting event has already passed for the current night you will be asked if you want to start the plan immediately or you want to wait for the event in the next night.
 
If you combine Loop and one of the options DSD, Astro Night or Night, APT will stop the next iteration of the plan if the scheduling event is no longer valid - for example no more full darkness.
 
If you set Loop to 0 and one of the options DSD, Astro Night or Night, APT will pause the next iteration of the plan till the scheduling event becomes valid again on the next night. It is useful for unattended operation for all sky cameras or meteor hunting. Scripts and Commands feature can be used for advanced functionality like remote images uploading.
 
See Plan Editor section.
 
3

Stop

3. Stop
 
Stops the execution of the running plan.
 
4

Plans List

4. Plans List
 
List of the saved imaging plans. There are different type of plans that has specific features. See Plan Editor for information about the plans, how to create and manage them.
 
When a plan is selected the expected execution duration will be printed in the Log panel. If the plan is from Light type also will be calculated the actual total light exposure.
 
 
5

Plan Editor

5. Plan Editor
 
Opens the Plan Editor. Double click in the plan table does the same.
 
6

Ringy Thingy

6. Ringy Thingy
 
Ringy Thingy is an innovative way to edit numeric values using only mouse or touch pad. See details and animation how to use it in the Application Interface notes.
 
7

Current Plan

7.  Current Plan
 
Shows the lines of the selected imaging plan.
 
The columns are:
  • Order
  • Exposure duration
  • Binning
  • Pause duration
  • Count of the exposures
  • Filter
     
During the execution the current line is selected and under it there is a small progress bar to show the line execution percentage.
 
 
Double click in the table opens the Plan Editor for the selected plan.
 
8

Object Name

8. Object Name
 
Defines a name part that to be added to the image file names stored on PC. For example if you enter “M78” the image name stored will be:“M78_ IMG_5034.JPG”. In order to use this feature select "Object Name" as "Name Part" in Main Settings Tab. In Advanced Settings Tab you can define if  APT have to remember the entered name between the sessions.
 
The entered value will be stored in the FITS keywords header.
 
The name is automatically populated when an object is selected from Object Browser.
 
9

Exposure

9. Exposure
 
Contains the list of the predefined exposure durations to be used for making single images by Shoot button or for LiveView. If you want to make exposures longer than 30s or shorter than 1s select the “Bulb” option and enter the desired duration "Bulb exposure duration".
 
It doesn't affect the settings of the selected imaging plan.
 
10

Bulb Exposure Duration

10. Bulb Exposure Duration
 
Defines how long the bulb exposure to be when "Bulb" is selected from "Exp." list and when Shoot button is used.
 
11

Gain

11. Gain
 
Defines what gain value to use for LiveView or Shoot image. Empty value leaves the gain control to the camera driver and driver settings. If Remember Gain is enabled this value will be saved between the session and will be automatically set on camera connection.
 
If there are no gain values defined per filter in Filter Wheel settings tab the value in this field will be used during imaging plan.
 
Note: If Manage Gain is disabled, all gain values entered in APT are ignored and the gain control is left to the camera driver and driver settings.
 
12

Binning

12. Binning
 
Defines the Binning to be used when Shoot button is used. It doesn't affect the settings of the selected imaging plan.
 
13

Image Preview

13. Image Preview
 
Controls the preview of the last taken or loaded image in the "LiveView / Image Preview" panel.
 
On (Fit)
Shows the image in the preview area after every exposure. The image will be scaled to fit in the area
Off
No preview
On (1:1)
Shows un-scaled part from the loaded image that fits in the preview area
On (1:1) Scroll
Shows scrolling buttons to select the image area that you want to see in mode “On (1:1)”. Use the central rectangle to view the center of the image
 
To scroll the image smoothly in “On (1:1)” or “On (1:1) Scroll” modes, hold the Shift key and drag with the mouse. You can also use the right mouse button to drag the image.
 
To switch quickly between “On (Fit)” and “On (1:1)” modes double click on the image. This allows to center the part of the image without scrolling.
 
If you double click on a scroll arrow, position will be moved to the corresponding border.
 
14

Region Of Interest

14. Region Of Interest
 
Allows speeding up the image download, by selecting just small part of the image. Provided are several options that are fraction of the sensor size for easier selection. If Center ROI is is active (high-lighted), APT automatically uses the center of the sensor where usually is the focusing star. If Center ROI is not is active (high-lighted) then the area of ROI can be selected by left clicking in the "LiveView / Image Preview" panel which in this case contains a thin frame that represents the CCD/CMOS sensor. Note that in order to see the data for the new ROI there is need to download a new image from the camera.
 
15

Center ROI

15. Center ROI
 
Enables/Disables the ROI centering.
 
16

Cooler

16. Cooler
 
Turns ON/OFF the camera cooler.
 
17

Cooling Aid

17. Cooling Aid
 
Allows controlling the camera cooling to a "Target CCD T" in small "Cooling Steps" making "Pause" between every step. This way the cooling is smoother and prevents thermal shock.
 
If the "Cooling Step" is set to 0 (zero), APT sends one command to the camera with the desired temperature and leaves the camera driver to manage cooling process. It is an option set the wanted temperature in one step.
 
Cooling Aid turns the cooler on automatically.
 
 
Required is camera with temperature control.
 
18

Warming Aid

18. Warming Aid
 
Allows controlling the camera warming to a "Target CCD T" in small "Warming Steps" making "Pause" between every step. This way the warming is smoother and prevents thermal shock.
 
If there is available external Temperature sensor, the Warming Aid will use it to suggest the end point of the warming.
 
If the "Warming Step" is set to 0 (zero), APT sends one command to the camera with the desired temperature and leaves the camera driver to manage warming process. It is an option set the wanted temperature in one step.
 
 
Required is camera with temperature control.
 
19

Settings

19. Settings
 
Opens the Settings dialog box of the CCD/CMOS driver (if such is available).
 
20

Camera Info

20. Camera Info
 
Shows information about the connected camera like name and if the sensor is mono or color. The information is provided by the camera driver.