Triggering n-star alignment using ASCOM driver only #ascom


Lucas Socha
 

Together with my friend, we are building a large friction drive mount, and we decided to use the OnStep solution to control it (thanks for sharing and developing such a project!). I ordered MaxPCBv2 board and assembled it with Teensy 3.5 and WEMOS D1 mini. All worked like a charm, OnStep communicates with Maxim DL (via ASCOM driver), with Android App and also web interface. 

The one thing we would love to see is the possibility to make n-star alignment using ASCOM driver only. We want to achieve good alignment, so we use plate solving in Maxim to add align points. The alignment procedure now looks like this:
  1. connect both Maxim and SP to OnStep with ASCOM drivers
  2. start n-star alignment procedure in SP telescope control panel
  3. plate solve and sync n points from the Maxim
  4. then alignment is automatically completed (and saved on park / restored on unpark I suppose?)
I just think if there would be an option in the ASCOM driver panel to start the alignment process, then connection to SP would not be necessary for this scenario. 

Do you know if there is n-star alignment process workflow that does not require SP or Android App to trigger that process? Maybe triggering the alignment could be implemented in the ASCOM driver with low effort? 


Khalid Baheyeldin
 

You already have a Wemos D1 Mini.

Since it is a large telescope, in an observatory, and you said that you will park/unpark, then why not just use the Android app to initiate the n-star align, once only? Then get Maxim DL to do plate solving on the align points.

If you the park the telescope after that first session, and remember to always unpark in future sessions, you don't have to use the app ever again.

If that is not feasible, then don't use ASCOM at all, and use any serial interface to tell the telescope how many alignment points you want, e.g.:

:A9#

Arduino serial monitor is one such interface.


Lucas Socha
 

Thank you for the confirmation, I am aware of all these possibilities. Nevertheless, when I want to control the mount using the ASCOM driver, I still need another tool (android app, SP software, web UI, or serial monitor) to make the alignment. Not a big deal for a stationary mount, a little bit more adventure for a portable setup.

Clear skies,
Lucas


Khalid Baheyeldin
 

On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 10:14 AM, Lucas Socha wrote:
Nevertheless, when I want to control the mount using the ASCOM driver, I still need another tool (android app, SP software, web UI, or serial monitor) to make the alignment. Not a big deal for a stationary mount, a little bit more adventure for a portable setup.
I can't speak for ASCOM since I don't use Windows.

What I was saying is that you only have to do this only once ever for a stationary mount.
You don't even need the Android app.
You just need a laptop that can connect to the WiFi access point that is on Onstep (called ONSTEP).
Once you connect, then go to http://192.168.0.1/
You will get the OnStep web interface.
From there, you can select the number of stars, and issue the start align command.
Then from CdC or any other ASCOM application, you can do the slew and plate solve to align.

Or as I pointed before, the :A6# command over USB.
It can be done also by writing a small program that only does that.