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Instructions

General#

Generic Instruction
An instruction is a single command that the application will execute. Each instruction has a different purpose and can control various types of equipment, set parameters or are utility functions to automate the imaging process.

Instruction name
Each instruction can be identified by its name and its icon.

Validations#

Instruction Validation
Instructions are capable of validating prerequisites and warn the user about potential issues. When a red exclamation mark is visible next to the instructions, not all prerequisites to run this instruction are met and when hovering over the red circle, the details which prerequisites are missing is shown.
Important: An instruction that does not meet its prerequisites will be skipped and the instruction is considered as failed.

Options#

Instruction Validation
Most instructions also come with a variety of options to adjust their behavior at runtime. For example you can adjust the exposure times, gain and offset for an instruction that should take an exposure with your camera. Each instruction has a different set of options which are explained in more detail below.

Buttons#

Generic Instruction
On the right side of the instructions are a bunch of buttons available to delete, copy, move or adjust advanced settings that exist for all instructions.

Advanced settings#

Instruction Settings

When clicking on the three dots on the right side of an instruction, an advanced section will appear where advanced settings for an instruction are revealed.

Number of attempts
This drives how many reattempts an instruction should make in case of failure

On error
When all attempts have been unsuccessful this setting will drive how to continue with the sequence.
- Continue: The sequencer will just continue with the next instruction
- Skip current instruction set: The currently running instruction set will be skipped
- Abort: The sequence will be completely stopped
- Skip to end of sequence instructions: Skip any remaining instructions from the start and target area and continue with the instructions in the sequence end area

Reset
This button will reset the state of the instruction, like progress exposures etc.

Copy
Create an exact copy of the current instruction set and add it below the current instruction

Move up
Moves the instruction one row above. If it is already the first instruction of an instruction set, it will move to the parent instruction set above the current instruction set instead. If the previous instruction is an instruction set that is not collapsed, the instruction will move to the bottom of that instruction set

Move down
Moves the instruction one row below. If it is already the last instruction of an instruction set, it will move to the parent instruction set below the current instruction set instead. If the next instruction is an instruction set that is not collapsed, the instruction will move to the top of that instruction set

Camera#

Control basic functions of a Camera. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Camera to be connected.

Cool Camera#

Cool Camera
Cool your camera to the specified temperature and the specified minimum duration. For most cameras the duration can be left at 0 as the driver will handle the cooling duration. Once the camera has reached the specified temperature the instruction is completed.
Requires a camera that is capable of set point cooling

Warm Camera#

Warm Camera
Warm your camera to ambient temperature using the specified minimum duration. For most cameras the duration can be left at 0 as the driver will handle the cooling duration. Once the camera has reached the ambient temperature the cooler is turned off and the instruction is completed.
Requires a camera that is capable of set point cooling

Dew Heater#

Dew Heater
This instruction will turn on or turn off the camera dew heater
Requires a camera that has a controllable dew heater

Set Readout Mode#

Set Readout Mode
Set your camera to a specific readout mode. The number indicates the index of the readout mode from the camera dropdown - starting with 0.
Requires a camera with settable readout modes

Take Exposure#

Take Exposure
This instruction will take an exposure using the specified exposure time, binning, gain and offset.

Take Many Exposures#

Take Many Exposures
Similar to the "Take Exposure" instruction, but with the added ability to specify a number of exposures to complete before proceeding.

Smart Exposure#

Smart Exposure
Similar to the "Take Many Exposure" instruction, but with the added ability to also specify a specific filter and to dither after a specific amount of exposures.
Keep dither after exposures to 0, to skip the dither completely.
Requires a connected filter wheel to switch filters and a connected guider to dither

Note

A fun fact - the "Take Many Exposures" and "Smart Exposures" are actually instruction sets with static content that is just displayed like a normal instruction and is bundling together most common imaging operations for convenience

Dome#

Control basic functions of a Dome. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Dome to be connected.

Close Dome Shutter#

Close Dome Shutter
Closes the dome shutter
Requires a controllable dome shutter

Enable Dome Sync#

Enable Dome Sync
Enables the automatic background synchronization of the telescope and the dome
Requires a telescope to be connected

Open Dome Shutter#

Open Dome Shutter
Opens the dome shutter
Requires a controllable dome shutter

Park Dome#

Park Dome
Parks the dome to its specified home positon
Requires a dome driver that is capable of parking

Filter Wheel#

Control basic functions of a Filter Wheel. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Filter Wheel to be connected.

Switch Filter#

Switch Filter
Switches the filter wheel filter to the specified filter. Like all filter wheel changes the focuser offset will be applied, when available.

Flat Panel#

Control basic functions of a Flat Panel. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Flat Panel to be connected.

Close Flat Panel Cover#

Close Flat Panel Cover
Closes the flat panel
Requires a flat panel that can open and close itself

Open Flat Panel Cover#

Open Flat Panel Cover
Opens the flat panel
Requires a flat panel that can open and close itself

Set Brightness#

Set Brightness
Sets the brightness of the panel to the specified value. (Does not turn on the panel automatically).

Toggle Light#

Toggle Light
Turns the flat panel light on or off depending on the setting

Trained Flat Exposure#

Trained Flat Exposure
This instruction will look up the trained flat exposures according to the specified filter, exposure time, gain and offset, close the flat panel (if available), set the flat panel brightness, turn it on, take the flat frames for the given amount, turns off the flat panel and finally opens the cover again (if available and if "keep closed" is off)
Requires a camera to be connected and trained flat values being set in the flat panel tab that match the values in the instruction

Trained Dark Flat Exposure#

Trained Dark Flat Exposure
This instruction will look up the trained flat exposures according to the specified filter, exposure time, gain and offset, close the flat panel (if available), turn it off, take the dark flat frames for the given amound and finally opens the cover again (if available and if "keep closed" is off)
Requires a camera to be connected and trained flat values being set in the flat panel tab that match the values in the instruction

Focuser#

Control basic functions of a Focuser. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Focuser to be connected.

Move Focuser#

Dither
Moves the focuser to the specified absolute position

Move Focuser By Temp.#

Dither
Moves the focuser to a position that is calculated out of the current temperature, the slope (and intercept when absolute mode is enabled).

  • Absolute mode: Calculated Position = Slope * Temperature + Intercept
  • Relative mode: Calculated Position = Current Position + Slope * Temperature

Requires a focuser with a temperature probe

Move Focuser Relative#

Dither
Moves the focuser to a target position based on the current position and a specified amount from that position

Run Autofocus#

Run Autofocus
Starts an autofocus run based on the autofocus settings

Guider#

Control basic functions of a Guider. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Guider to be connected.

Dither#

Dither
Issues the guider to dither

Start Guiding#

Start Guiding
Starts guiding if not already started. In addition a toggle to force the calibration can be enabled. Then the guider will be forced to run a calibartion, even if a valid calibration is already available. When this toggle is off, the guider will determine by itself if calibration is necessary.

Stop Guiding#

Stop Guiding
Stops active guiding when guiding is active.

Rotator#

Control basic functions of a Rotator. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Rotator to be connected.

Rotate By Mechanical Angle#

Rotate By Mechanical Angle
Rotates the rotator to the specified mechanical absolute angle

Solve and Rotate#

Solve and Rotate
Takes an image from the current position the telescope is pointing at, platesolves it and moves the rotator to the specified sky angle. It will repeat until the rotator is within the rotation tolerance.
This instruction will not move the mount, it will just sync and move the rotator to the target sky angle!

Safety Monitor#

Control basic functions of a safety monitor. Each instruction in this category requires at least a safety monitor to be connected.

Wait Until Safe#

Safety Monitor Waits until the safety monitor is reporting safe conditions again

Switch#

Control basic functions of a Switch. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Switch to be connected.

Set Switch Value#

Set Switch Value
Sets a switch to a specified value. When no switch is connected, a list of generic switches by number are available. The list will update itself to the actual switches on device connection. When a specified switch value is out of range, the instruction will show a validation error.

Telescope#

Control basic functions of a Telescope. Each instruction in this category requires at least a Telescope to be connected.

Find Home#

Find Home
Move the mount to the home position.
Requires a mount driver that is capable of finding the home position

Park Scope#

Park Scope
Moves the mount to the park position. A mount that is parked, will not accept slew commands. Requires a mount driver that is capable of parking

Set Tracking#

Park Scope
Enables mount tracking to the specified tracking rate.

Slew And Center#

Slew And Center
Stops Guiding (if it was active), slews to the specified coordinates, calls the platesolver to center to the specified coordinates and resumes guiding (if it was stopped at the start).
When this instruction is part of a "Deep Sky Object Sequence" the coordinates will be inherited and no coordinates need to be entered here
Requires a plate solver to be set up

Slew To Alt/Az#

Slew To Alt/Az
Slews to the specified coordinates.

Slew To Ra/Dec#

Slew To Ra/Dec
Stops Guiding (if it was active), slews to the specified coordinates and resumes guiding (if it was stopped at the start).
When this instruction is part of a "Deep Sky Object Sequence" the coordinates will be inherited and no coordinates need to be entered here

Slew, Center And Rotate#

Slew, Center And Rotate
Stops Guiding (if it was active), slews to the specified coordinates, calls the platesolver to center to the specified coordinates as well as considering the rotation together with a rotator and resumes guiding (if it was stopped at the start).
When this instruction is part of a "Deep Sky Object Sequence" the coordinates will be inherited and no coordinates need to be entered here
Requires a plate solver to be set up and a rotator to be connected

Solve And Sync#

Uses the current mount position to solve the position and sync it based on the plate solver result. This instruction will not center the mount, it will just sync the mount to where it is currently pointing at!
Requires a plate solver to be set up

Unpark Scope#

Unpark Scope
Unparks the mount so it is able to receive slew commands.
Requires a mount driver that is capable of parking

Utility#

The instructions in this category are utility commands that don't necessarily depend on any equipment and have useful tools and helpers to improve the sequence

Annotation#

Annotation
This instruction will not execute anything. It is purely there to have custom text annotations inside the sequence to remind you of things, or taking notes to clarify certain sequence arrangements etc.

External Script#

External Script
An instruction to start a custom executable file from your file system. Click on the three dots to browse through the file explorer and set a file path.

Message Box#

Message Box
When this instruction is starting it will spawn a message box and pauses the sequence until the user action to confirm the box is taken. The box can be used for example to stop the sequence and notify you to put a cover on to take flats etc.

Wait For Altitude#

Wait For Altitude
For the given target coordinates, this instruction will simply wait until the altitude has been reached. When this instruction is part of a "Deep Sky Object Sequence" the coordinates will be inherited and no coordinates need to be entered here

Wait For Time#

Wait For Time
Wait until a specific point in time. The time can either be set manually or automatically determined based on criteria as well as an offset specified in minutes.
Time: Manually entered time
Sunset: The time when the sun gets below 6° of the horizon
Nautical Dusk: The time when the sun gets below 12° of the horizon
Astronomical Dusk: The time when the sun gets below 18° of the horizon
Astronomical Dawn: The time when the sun gets above 18° of the horizon
Nautical Dawn: The time when the sun gets above 12° of the horizon
Sunrise: The time when the sun gets above 6° of the horizon
Meridian: When a target is set this will be the time the target will cross the meridian

Wait For Time Span#

Wait For Time Span
Wait for a specific period of time.

Wait If Moon Altitude#

Wait If Moon Altitude
This will check the altitude of the moon and wait until the moon is above or below the specified altitude.

Wait If Sun Altitude#

Wait If Sun Altitude
This will check the altitude of the sun and wait until the sun is above or below the specified altitude.

Wait Until Above Horizon#

Wait Until Above Horizon
This will wait for as long as the specified target is below the horizon. When a custom horizon is set, the custom horizon will be considered as the altitude to be above of. When no custom horizon is set, 0° of altitude will be considered. Furthermore an altitude offset can be specified.
When this instruction is part of a "Deep Sky Object Sequence" the coordinates will be inherited and no coordinates need to be entered here