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Autoguiding is a sophisticated
method for precisely controlling the tracking of your telescope mount
by means of a companion telescope, astro-camera and guiding
software. This tracking method is, by far, the most
precise and an absolute must for those seeking the greatest mount
tracking precision for astrophotography. Many computer
controlled telescope mounts have a port especially configured to accept
autoguiding signals. The software below is capable of
providing the tracking for you.
One of the most widely
used webcam autoguiding freeware packages available!
been trying my hand at film-based astrophotography for a couple of
years now. Like most people I started off doing widefield
imaging and had some early successes. But once I moved in to
prime-focus photography, I quickly realized that I needed an
autoguiding setup. Spending hours hunched over a reticle
eyepiece in the cold did not appeal to me. Since I had a
long-exposure modified webcam, I started searching the web for some
suitable guiding software. What I found was either no support
for the LX modification, support for a very specific mount, or
integration into a complete and sometimes complicated webcam imaging
platform. What I really wanted was a standalone program,
dedicated to autoguding, useful for film photography, and something
that was easy to use.
I started writing some code! I wrote the software to control
my 10" LX200, but made a conscious decision to try and make the
software as generic as possible. By writing the code to use
the ASCOM standard for telescopes, I didn't lock myself into a
particular mount or telescope. I also used the Video for
Windows interface for camera control. So any camera that has
a VFW driver, and can get a star to display on the screen, should be
able to guide a scope.
that the code is working well for me, I've decided to release it to the
astronomical community in hopes that others will find it useful as
well. Theoretically the software should work with any mount
which supports the ASCOM PulseGuide() method. This should
include any of the the Meade LX series, Meade Autostar based scopes,
Celestron GPS and Nexstar i models, and many other scopes/mounts."
Guiding is designed to be "Push Here Dummy" simple, yet provide
powerful, intelligent auto-guiding of your telescope for both PCs and
Macs. Connect your mount, your camera, select a star, and start
guiding. That's it!
Despite actually having a Ph.D., I've always had a tough time figuring
out which way North is in the guide frame, whether an axis is mirrored
(and if so, which one), how that's affected by camera rotation, how
many arcseconds per pixel I'm actually running at (especially since a
"2x" barlow isn't always 2x), etc. This is especially tough when
standing out in a cold field late at night when all you really want to
do is stay warm and collect good images of your DSO.
In PHD Guiding, all calibration is taken care of automatically. You do
not need to tell it anything about the orientation of your camera, nor
do you need to tell it anything about the image scale. The automatic
calibration routine takes care of this for you. Odds are you won't ever
need to set a single parameter. Just select your star and hit "PHD
Guide" and let the software take care of it."
HOMEPAGE AND DOWNLOAD
long time I tried to take simply good astronomical pictures. To me, one
of the most important characteristics of a good astronomical picture is
have one SC-1 modified Webcam, which I use for Guiding my telescope.
Unfortunately I could not find any software which is fulfilling my
requirements on accuracy and easy-to-use. At the Nuernberger
observatory there is a SBIG CCD camera and related software, with which
you can guide simply and well.
I didnīt find software with similar perfomances for my Webcam,
therefore I wrote this program.
so many programming hours I was satisfied with the software, though I
would like to make this software accessible also for other star friends.
would be very pleased for any feedback about what works fine and, above
all, what can still be improved.
fun with the software and I hope you can take many beautiful
astro-pictures with GUIDEMASTER."
VISIT HOMEPAGE AND