MaximDL Utilities

John Winfield’s MaximDL Plugins

I have been using MaximDL since early 2005, and starting in early 2006 I have been investigating using VB to create utilities and plugins to perform helpful tasks related to image acquisition or image processing.

Below is the list of currently available utilities.


Seeing Monitor: New!

This DIMM seeing monitor provides an easy way to quantitatively measure the atmospheric seeing at a location, using a simple Hartmann mask.

Seeing Monitor



SkySolve is an application which performs All Sky plate solutions.
It can locate the precise location of an image on the sky with no initial hint at to its location.


Pinpoint Guider Calibration plugin:  

This plugin allows fast and accurate guider calibration by using a Pinpoint solved guider image.

Pinpoint Guider Calibration plugin


Advanced one-shot colour conversion (DeBayer) plugins:

These alternative algorithms for converting RAW images to colour should produce finer results.

Bilinear Interpolation Debayer plugin

Smooth Hue Transition Debayer plugin


Here is a simple FITs file I used to evaluate the various debayer algorithms (zoom right in to see the effects):

Test FITs image


Multi-star guiding plugin:

Uses the average error from multiple stars to guide on, allowing the use of fainter stars.

Multi-star Guiding plugin


Drizzle sub-exposure stacking plugin:

An algorithm for stacking dithered sub-exposures to gain a higher resolution output image.

NB. This is in beta at the moment – there are some outstanding issues related to alignment in some cases.

Drizzle stacking plugin


Manual guider calibration plugin:

Allows the operator to manually select the guide star position during guider calibration.

Manual Guider calibration plugin


DSS image blink comparator plugin:

Automatically downloads a reference image from DSS and performs a blink comparison with the specified user image.

DSS blink comparator plugin


Sky background magnitude measurement plugin:

Calculates the sky background brightness based on a reference star of known magnitude.

Sky magnitude measurement plugin


Guider settling script:

Ensures the guider error drops below specified threshold between exposures.

Guider settle Script


Sky Flats Assistant plugin:

Creates a series of sky flats while automatically compensating for the darkening sky.

Sky Flats Assistant plugin


Meteor Scan plugin:

This plugin for MaximDL takes a continual series of sky images and automatically scans them looking for meteor trails.

Meteor Scan plugin


Maxpoint Observation addition plugin:

This plugin for MaximDL allows additional observations to be added to your Maxpoint model using plate solved images.

Add Maxpoint Observation plugin


LRGB in the H.S.L. color space plugins:

This plugin for MaximDL allows LRGB images to be constructed in the H.S.L color space resulting in true color retention.

NB. This has been integrated into MaximDL's color combine function from version 4.58 onwards.

LRGB-HSL plugins


Fat-tail Deconvolution plugin: (courtesy of Robert Vanderbei)

This plugin for MaximDL performs Fat-tail Lucy-Richardson Deconvolution on the selected image.

Fat-tail deconv plugin


Undistortion plugin:

This plugin for MaximDL uses the Pinpoint distortion map to remove distortion from an image.

Undistortion plugin


CopyStack Script:

This script simplifies gathering images shot over multiple nights into a single directory for processing and stacking in MaximDL.

CopyStack Script


SmartTrack MaxPoint addon:

This application uses the MaxPoint mount pointing model to enhance unguided image tracking.