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PointCraft

The PointCraft is accessible from Gear tab
 or with Alt+P shortcut.
 
PointCraft is set of APT features powered by the plate-solving technology. Before the detailed information lets give some usage scenarios in order to show what it is possible to do. Aim mode and GoTo++ are described better in dedicated section - Aim and GoTo++
 
1. Telescope alignment (Near solving)
 
2. Telescope alignment (Blind solving)
 
3. Frame an object
4. Go to saved position
 
5. Use an old image
 
The scenario possibilities for framing and GoTo++ can be extended by the Planetarium applications integration. The Planetarium gives you way to see what is the image context and to change your framing in order to include nearby objects that currently are out of the image borders.
 
The PointCraft dialog box is separated in three sections described in details by the text below:
 
PointCraft
 
Here is how looks a solved image. The center and north position are marked in the image. The coordinates and the other data are populated in the Results section.
 
 
1

Approx RA/Dec

1. Approx RA/Dec
 
Contains the approximate coordinates of the current image. They are needed when Solve button is used. If Blind is used you can leave them empty.
 
Accepted is any RA/Dec format. You can use the Objects and Scope Pos buttons to populate them.
 
2

Objects

2. Objects
 
Opens the Object Browser in order to populate the Approx Ra/Dec by selecting an object.
 
Shift+Click takes the current FOV coordinates from the Planetarium application.
 
3

Scope Position

3.  Scope Position
 
Populates Approx Ra/Dec with the coordinates of the connected telescope.
 
4

Solve

4.  Solve
 
Makes near solving by using PlateSolve2 (PS2).
 
This feature needs populated Approx Ra/Dec. The Object Calculator section also has to be populated in order the pass correct the FOV (Field-Of-View) size to PS2. Note that if you are using Canon lens, APT will read the current lens focal length after each exposure and will update the focal length field in Object Calculator providing the value for usage in PointCraft.
 
If you want to use custom FOV use Shift+Click to on Solve button, enter the size in arc-minutes and click Go to start the solving.
 
 
In case of problems with near solving check the following topic in the APT forum. It contains discussion on the PS2 settings that have effect on the solving.
 
5

Blind

5.  Blind
 
Makes blind solving by using All Sky Plate Solver (ASPS). The Object Calculator section has to be populated in order the pass correct focal length and pixel size to ASPS.
 
In case of problems with blind solving check the following topic in the APT forum. It contains discussion on the ASPS settings that have effect on the solving.
 
6

Auto

6. Auto
 
Makes the following sequence of actions: Shoot -> Get Scope Pos -> Solve -> Sync
 
If there is no defined exposure duration in PointCraft Settings, then is used the one in Camera tab.
 
If only PS2 or ASPS are installed it will use the available application. If both are installed, solving method is defined by the selected method in the setting, PointCraft can use PS2, ASPS or to ask which to use on every Auto usage.
 
You can use Ctrl+Click on Auto button to force Near solving and Shift+Click for Blind solving overriding the selected method in the setting for the current execution of the procedure.
 
7

Status

7.  Status
 
Shows the status of the current solving process.
 
8

Results

8.  Results
 
Shows the results from the last solving:
  • RA/Dec of the image center (marked in the image with two small circles)
  • Image resolution - in arc-seconds per image pixel
  • Angle - the frame rotation from celestial North
 
9

Sync

9.  Sync
 
Synchronizes the connected telescope with the solved coordinates of the image center. This is the equivalent of "One star GoTo alignment" provided by most telescope handsets.
 
A message will be printed in the Log panel when command is completed.
 
10

Store

10.  Store
 
Opens the Custom tab of Object Browser in "Add new" mode then populates the found RA, Dec and angle from the last solving. You can enter additional data like name, type, etc. and save the position for future use - after meridian flip or in other imaging session.
 
11

Show

11.  Show
 
Shows the FOV detected by the last solving into your Planetarium application. Gives a view to the celestial context of the displayed image.
 
12

GoTo++ RA/Dec

12.  GoTo++ RA/Dec
 
Defines the coordinates to be used for GoTo++. This is GoTo with image confirmation of the position.
 
Works nice in combination with Aim mode. Both described in Aim and GoTo++ section.
 
13

Objects

13.  Objects
 
Opens the Object Browser in order to load the GoTo++ Ra/Dec coordinates with an object -  for example saved by Store button position of previous framing.
 
Shift+Click takes the current FOV coordinates from the Planetarium application.
 
14

Solved

14.  Solved
 
Populates the GoTo++ Ra/Dec and Ra/Dec in Gear Tab with the coordinates from the last solved image. Useful when you have solved an old image loaded with the Image Browser - Img Tab.
 
15

Aim

15. Aim
 
When enabled allows finding the celestial coordinates of any point in the solved image. Click with the left mouse button in the image visible in the LiveView / Preview panel and the coordinates will be populated into both GoTo++ RA/Dec and regular GoTo Ra/Dec in Gear tab.
 
Works nice in combination with GoTo++. Both described in Aim and GoTo++ section.
 
16

GoTo++

16. GoTo++
 
Starts a GoTo++ sequence. This is a GoTo with image confirmation of the position.
 
For the confirmation images, if there is no defined exposure duration in PointCraft Settings, is used the one in Camera tab.
 
See Aim and GoTo++ section.
 
17

Settings

17. Settings
 
Opens the settings related it PointCraft.
 
See the PointCraft Settings section.