Software - Kenthurst Observatory

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Current Setup



The two main software packages used for mount control, for telescope control and for image acquisition are:

      1. Software Bisque's The SkyX Pro (with Camera, Dome and TPoint add-ons).
      2. Cyanogen's MaxImDL Pro.

The SkyX Pro controls the dome, the mount and the rotator, focuser and CCD imager for the main PlaneWave CDK 12.5 telescope. MaxImDL controls the Canon EOS 6D DSLR and the rotator and focuser on the Takehashi FSQ106EDXIII piggybacked telescope.

PlaneWave's PWI software provides additional controls, in a separate window, for the CDK 12.5's internal heaters and fans.

Clarity software from Cyanogen separately displays and controls alarms from the Boltwood temperature sensor. The Boltwood cloud sensor provides the capability to automatically close the dome in the event of adverse weather conditions or in the event of A.C. power failure to the electronic devices inside the dome.This requires that the dome be battery powered (which it is).

A Davis weather station mounted alongside the dome provides more comprehensive weather details than the Boltwood but is incapable of safely closing the dome under adverse weather conditions. It does however have the advantages of better prediction of dewpoint and a data logger which runs even when the dome computer is shut down. Dew point prediction is important when is comes to configuring the heaters in the CDK 12.5. However the best predictor of dew point is to simply run my hands over the metal rails outside the dome.

Image processing was originally done in CCDStack and in Adobe Pagemaker. I now increasingly use PixInsight post processing software. It has a richer suite of capabilities and is specifically designed for the processing of astronomical images.

CCDInspector from CCDWare is used for collimation. It is simple, accurate and effective.

I also have CCDAutopilot software for use at a later date to fully automate the observatory equipment. CCDNavigator software (both from CCDWare) is available to assist in the selection of imaging targets.

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