Triggered by some threads on the MaximDL yahoo group about people having trouble using the automated guider calibration routine, I've written a plugin for MaximDL which allows manual selection of the guide star after each calibration movement. This takes advantage of the world’s most advanced pattern recognition algorithms – those built in to the human brain J
The plugin works in the same way as the automated one, moving in both directions on both axis, calculating the guide camera rotation along with the pixels per second guide speed in each axis.
An image must be open in MaximDL in order to activate the plugins menu. Once the manualcalibration plugin is launched, the user select the appropriate settings and then an exposure is taken through the guider.
The user simply clicks on the approximate center of the selected calibration star, the plugin automatically calculates the exact centroid. Then the regular +x, -x, +y, -y slews are performed, with the user clicking on the new position of the calibration star after each slew and new exposure.
Note that while the plugin is waiting for a click, it will spin using 100% of the CPU – an easy way to tell is the plugin is still running.
After the last click, the results are displayed and automatically updated in the MaximDL guide settings page. Note that the backlash settings (if selected) are not automatically updated as they are not available through the scripting interface – you must set those manually.
· Guider Exposure time = the exposure time used between each slew
· X/Y Calibration times = the time in seconds the mount is moved between images
· Declination = current mount declination is declination compensation is to be used, zero otherwise.
· Enable auto backlash calculation = the plugin will try to estimate the mount backlash
· Percentage backlash to correct = the fraction of the measured backlash the plugin will calculate corrective values for
v1.0 - Initial release: only tested with the simulator.
v1.1 – Fixed bug causing backlash values not to be displayed.
v1.2 – Fixed backlash value calculation – was not converting the input number to a percentage, thus a factor of 100 too large.
v1.3 – Fix selection box left after star selection.
If you download this to give it a go, please post feedback on the Yahoo
group, or email me directly at: winfij_AT_gmail_DOT_com
One final note - if you have any errors, please note the exact error messages and let me know!