Hi Tim
 
I will be attending the SPSP this weekend. There will be a number of telescopes there using the ServoCat system on their SDM telescopes. These all use the Argo Navis setting circles.
 
Also attending will be Gary from Wildcard-Innovations who makes the Argo Navis and I will be talking to him.
 
Is there any specific information that I can ask for.

Barry Gerdes
Beaumont Hills Observatory
S 33' 41' 44"    E 150' 56' 32"



 

Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 19:31:35 -0400
From: treaves@silverfieldstech.com
To: stellarium-pubdevel@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [Stellarium-pubdevel] Fwd: Stellarium Telescope Support

I'm forwarding this to the stellrium list; one of the members there is the one who wrote the code, so lets see if we can get him involved.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: StellarCAT <RXDesign@ssvecnet.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: Stellarium Telescope Support
To: "Reaves, Timothy" <treaves@silverfieldstech.com>


Ok...
 
looks very close!
 
first off I see no indication of where the scope is pointing - this is probably my lack of understanding how to use it - but I would think wherever the CAT is saying its pointed at - your program should immediately go there with that point at the center of the screen (I do have the item to show the marker turned on)... I do see you are correctly sending out a CR and the CAT/AN is correctly sending back the actual position. But the program is not responding. [Just for verification I am pulling up Megastar to confirm all is correct - and it is ... and of course it is not up when Stellarium is up).
 
As for the GOTO... the string is correct - the checksum is incorrect.
 
I set the "move" to 01 00 00 and 20 00 00... this is what you sent:
 
g01.000_+20.000 and the check sum is a 1C... it should be a 08.
 
g.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: StellarCAT
To: Reaves, Timothy
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 2:37 PM
Subject: Re: Stellarium Telescope Support

ok - managed to get the mouse cursor working - i had to go to "less than" full screen to see it.
 
will let you know.
 
g.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: StellarCAT
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: Stellarium Telescope Support

Hi Tim,
 
Sorry for the length of time between then and now - I've had several requests for support for Stellarium - more of late so obviously its picking up speed fast... I tried to run it again today but I can't even get the mouse cursor to show to get it going! I move the mouse around and if it happens to get to the bottom corner it pops up the little icons - but other than that I can't configure it. I can't even hit the "WINDOWS" key to get the desktop back - it ignores that AND, I've got dual monitors here, if I double click on your email (to write this) normally the email would appear on the same monitor as the program runs on (Monitor 1 vs. Monitor 2 where the email app runs)... nothing shows!
 
SO I've got it all set up but can't go any further to see what is being sent through the serial link. Can you help me out here please? Why can I not see the mouse at all?!
 
g.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2010 6:21 AM
Subject: Re: Stellarium Telescope Support

There is a Windows build for this now located at https://launchpad.net/stellarium/+download named stellarium-bzr4848+servocat1-win32.exe .  The source is at the same site.  It will be part of the next release, and available then on Linux & Mac too (it will run there now, but someone would have to build it is all).

It really needs to be tested.


On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 7:39 PM, StellarCAT <RXDesign@ssvecnet.com> wrote:
Here's the protocol... as you can see very simple! The one thing that got a few guys implementing it to fall down was the check sum with the g command. It's pretty straight forward and when I told them it was incorrect they all fixed it on the first try... so I don't think you'd need equipment to test it - if you want to give it a shot I have a beta tester lined up to test it out. Let me know what you think.
 
My most sincere gratitude for doing this!
 
Gary Myers
StellarCAT
  

Position Read-back to the Planetarium program from the system:
 
 
Master:  External Program (external to DSC/CAT system)
 Direction: command from master to slave
 Command:     "0x0D"
 Interpretation:   Current Position command
 Characters:  16 all inclusive
 Checksum:  NONE (this is a legacy command from the Sky Commander - if you have it already, Sky Commander support, then you have it!)
 :: Return response: the response string
 
Whenever the program needs updated coordinates it sends a [CR] character ($0D) to the ServoCAT. The program should immediately prepare to receive a
16 character ASCII string. Polling should be limited in frequency to twice per second maximum. 
 
 The format is as follows:
[1] space
[2,3] integer part of RA hours
[4] fixed decimal point
[5-7] fractional part of hours
[8] space
[9] + or - for declination
[10,11] integer part of declination
[12] fixed decimal point
[13-15] fractional part of declination
[16] NULL character to terminate string
Example: _12.345_+67.890 (underscore represents a space character).
The fractional part of the number is treated as a fractional part of an hour, e.g. 4.25 is 4 hours 15
minutes. The same applies to declination.
Most programming languages provide an easy means to convert the string to floating point
variables.
 
 
GOTO Command from the Planetarium program to the system:
 
Master:  External Program (external to DSC/CAT system)
 Direction: command from master to slave
 Command:     "g"
 Interpretation:   Goto command
 Characters:  16 all inclusive
 Checksum:  XOR of all characters except the command (14 characters)
 :: Return response:  "g" sent back from slave to master when move is complete  (can be ignored by Master) - I'm not sure if this is actually in there... 
 
 Structure:

 gRR.RRR_SDD.DDDx
  R = ASCII representation of the requested RA position in hours and decimal hours
  S = Sign of the Declination, -  or  +
  D = ASCII representation of the requested DEC position in degrees and decimal degrees 
  x = checksum
 "_" = space character (0x020)

 if value sent is g99.999_+99.999x
 then this will represent a controlled (decel'ed) abort of the move 

 example:    planetarium program (master) user clicks on M81 and asks for a GOTO from the planetarium program: planetarium sends to the ServoCAT -     
 
 g09.927 +69.061&
 
 [check sum for this example not calculated here - it would have to be correct however for the command to be accepted]
 -note these are J2000 RA/DEC values (do NOT precess) and no other corrections applied (no refraction etc) as both will be handled by the Argo Navis.]
 
 Note further: this is a ServoCAT command! The CAT interprets it and sends it along to the Argo. Thus the protocol that you want to have listed in your selection box would be "ServoCAT". This protocol would be an exact duplication of the usual Sky Commander command set (CR gets position)  PLUS the "g" command.
 
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: Stellarium Telescope Support

ASCOM is basically just a Windows things; INDI http://www.indilib.org/index.php?title=Main_Page is much better, and is fully cross-platform.

Go ahead and send the protocol.

On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM, ServoCAT TechSupport <techsupport@servocat.com> wrote:
Super! Thanks for getting back to me... I've not even heard of INDI! Is that a replacement for ASCOM? We have an ASCOM driver already.
 
I can send the protocol whenever you're ready - note it is VERY basic and no one has required having eqmt to implement it... the only problem has been getting a simple checksum correct which was by one vendor... all the rest had it first try. Note there are 3 commands only - 2 of which are the Sky Commander command which you might already support... the third is of my creation here - a GOTO protocol that is structured the same as the others.
 
Please keep me informed - I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend!
 
g.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: Stellarium Telescope Support

Yes, I'm familiar with your product; I've considered getting it for my sons 'scope.

As it happens, telescope control is something that is being worked on.  We are currently looking at several options, but INDI is looking to be the winner.  So at that point, an INDI driver for your product would allow it to be used with any software supporting the INDI protocol.

We are getting ready to release our next big version, and then will be making plans for our rollout of  some major upgrades.  I'll let you know when we have more details, in the next week or so.  As an aside, even when following well documented protocols, it can be very difficult to write a driver without a product.  I've written interfaces for everything from Celestron scopes, to Davis weather stations, to Bantam LiPo battery chargers; I can't imagine doing so without the product there to test it on.

Thanks for the note.

On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 9:59 AM, ServoCAT TechSupport <techsupport@servocat.com> wrote:
Hello... hopefully you can help me... or refer me to some one that can. My name is Gary Myers, of StellarCAT - we are the designers and manufacturers of the ServoCAT GOTO system for amateur (and professional) telescopes. This system normally includes the Argo Navis DTC as part of it. We have support from all the major programs and would love to have it included in Stellarium. I can supply the protocol information to you for inclusion and would be happy to test it on at least a Windows platform and possibly others (through our large customer base). There are few commands, all ASCII based and not time sensitive so it should be quite easy to implement.
 
Please let me know if you can help me or, again, if not maybe you can refer me to the right person to get this done!
 
[Note: this was generated after several requests by our customers to get support in Stellarium]
 
have a great weekend...
 
Gary Myers
StellarCAT
 
 





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