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Telescope

 
This section gives control over the telescope/mount. In this document telescope and mount will be considered as same thing - the device that points the optical tube.
 
The mount connection is used or can be used by the following APT features:
 
 
Telescope
 
1

Connect / Disconnect

1.  Connect / Disconnect
 
Connects / Disconnects telescope. When Connect button is used for the first time you will see the ASCOM telescope chooser dialog box where to select the driver for your mount. APT remembers the selection and next time will use the same driver without need to select it. If you want to change the driver or to tune its settings, hold the Shift key when you click on Connect button.
 
To control a telescope simultaneously from several programs use one of the hubs that are installed by the ASCOM platform. The mount connection is made in the hub, then all applications make connection to that hub in order to use the shared mount connection. The POTH hub is preferred choice, but sometimes the Generic hub is the only option.
 
Note: Some ASCOM drivers works better with APT when the connection is made through POTH hub. If you have mount connection or control problems try this solution.
 
2

Guide control

2. Guide control
 
Opens the Guide Settings dialog box. APT can communicate with various guiding applications and devices. See Dithering and Guiding section.
 
The text on the button varies:
 
Guide
No dithering and Auto-Cancel enabled
Guide [C]
Dithering disabled, Auto-Cancel enabled
Guide [D]
Dithering enabled, Auto-Cancel disabled
Guide [D+C]
Both Dithering and Auto-Cancel enabled
 
Dithering is making small mount movements between the imaging exposures. This technique combined with at least 10 exposures and "sigma-clip" (or equivalent) staking method gives very good control over the noise, dark / hot pixels, satellite and plane tracks.
 
Auto-Cancel is an APT feature that allows stopping a running exposure if the distance to the guiding star becomes bigger than a defined limit, in order to save imaging time or to save the already gathered data. For example - there is no need to wait 10 minutes if guiding ruined the exposure in the first minute.
 
Use Shift+Click on Guide button to close/reopen connection to the guiding application or device.
 
3

RA / Dec

3. RA / Dec
 
The Right Accession and Declination coordinates reported by mount. The values are changing in real time.
 
4

Az / Alt

4.  Az / Alt
 
The Azimuth and Altitude coordinates reported by mount. The values are changing in real time.
 
5

JNow

5.  JNow
 
The coordinates in Object Browser or these returned from PointCraft are in J2000 epoch while some mounts are working in JNow epoch. When JNow buttons is active (high-lighted) APT will convert the coordinates from J2000 to JNow before sending them to the mount. This action is made on GoTo, GoTo++, Sync and #GoTo APT command.
 
6

GoTo Ra/Dec

6.  GoTo Ra/Dec
 
The coordinates that you want to use for next GoTo. Accepted is any format and you can paste a value stored in the clipboard.
 
7

GoTo

7.  GoTo
 
Goes to the coordinates entered in the GoTo RA/Dec fields. If any of these fields are empty APT will take the current coordinate from the mount and will use it. For example if you want to make move only by Right Accession enter the new value and leave Declination empty.
 
Use Shift+Click on GoTo button or Alt+V shortcut to open the Advanced GoTo dialog box.
 
 
The first section allows making GoTo to Az/Alt coordinates.
 
The second section allows making GoTo to an offset from the current Az/Alt coordinates. Useful if you want to move the scope by few minutes without need to calculate the exact coordinates.
 
The last section allows making GoTo to an offset from the current RA/Dec coordinates. Useful if you want to move the scope by few minutes without need to calculate the exact coordinates.
 
If the mount is not supporting movements by Alt/Az coordinates APT will convert them to RA/Dec for current time and for the current Location.
 
8

Speed

8.  Speed
 
Changes the speed of the mount moves when any direction button are used. m' - will move the mount with 1 arc-minute per second, s" - with one arc-second per second.
 
9

Directions / Stop

9. Directions / Stop
 
Move the mount with the selected speed in the corresponding direction. The center button will stop the current mount slew / GoTo  action.
 
10

Ringy Thingy

10. 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.
 
11

PointCraft

11.  PointCraft
 
PointCraft is one of the most important features of APT. It uses the power of plate-solving to give way for easy and accurate object framing and centering during different nights, after meridian flipping and many other exciting possibilities.
 
Using blind solving in PointCraft you can synchronize your mount without need to center any star and to avoid the GoTo alignment procedure.
 
 
12

Object Browser

12.  Object Browser
 
Opens Object Browser to select an object and populate its coordinates in the GoTo RA/Dec.
 
If you use Shift+Click APT will get the current coordinates from the running Planetarium application rather than opening the Object Browser. See Planetarium section.
 
13

Park / Unpark

13.  Park / Unpark
 
Parks the telescope. If the mount is parked the button will become UnPark.
 
The actions park and unpark should be supported by the mount and by the driver.
 
If you use Shift+Click APT will set the current position as park position.
 
14

Sync

14.  Sync
 
Synchronize the mount with the coordinates entered in GoTo RA/Dec. This is the equivalent to make "One-Star GoTo Alignment" through your hand-controller.
 
You can use LiveView and Cross to center one of the stars listed in the Stars tab of Object Browser then using Sync button to synchronize the telescope. A message will be printed in the Log panel when command is completed.
 
Note that you can use Blind solving in PointCraft to synchronize your mount without need to center a star.
 
15

Track

15.  Track
 
Enables / Disables the mount tracking.