Software upgraded at the Virtual Telescope: 6 Feb. 2013
Last night, we managed to properly configure our robotic telescopes, after installing the new TheSkyX software suite. Thomas Bisque, from Software Bisque (the manufacturer of the suite itself and of the venerable Paramount ME robotic mounts we use) was with us, remotely connected from his office in Colorado, US.
After finishing everything, the C14 robotic unit is now behaving just great: its pointing accuracy has now an all-sky RMS error of less than 5″ (!).
We also trained the Periodic Error correction (the error itself is already VERY small, only 2″ peak-to-peak!) and did some tests.
The image above is a test and comes from an exposure of 600 seconds (10 minutes!) without guiding, just with PEC on and ProTrack on (ProTrack handles all the pointing errors and flexure, correcting them in real time, while guiding! ). The original image scale is 0.62″/pixel. The image was only dark subtracted. Unbelievable.
Another great thing is that TSX integrates in the same software both the telescope and the CCD camera controls, making the observing experience very rewarding.
The new graphical user interface (GUI) is as below: it is incredibly powerful and highly customizable.
Now, both the PlaneWave 17 and Celestron C-14 have been updated. Even the PW17 has less than 10″ RMS all-sky pointing errors and performs equally well. The image below is a 600 sec image of the same Messier M81, unguided, at 1×1 binning, with a resulting scale of 0.63″/pixel. No processing at all was performed.
Below an image showing both the scopes, while the roof is closed.
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