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TPAS sampling Modes for Argo Navis RSS feed
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Joined: 15/01/2021
Messages: 2
I have used TPAS for years on my 30" dob and am very satisfied with it's pointing accuracy enhancement. I have sampled stars through the MODE ITENTIFY, MODE TOUR, MODE CATALOG/BRIGHT STARS modes with success. However, I control the scope with SkyTools3 planetrium through a wireless serial port connection for flawless telescope direction control for slewing, and want to sample stars using SkyTools3 planetarium controlling the star selection AND sampling. When trying this Argo Navis MODE CATALOG/PLANETARIUM method for star sampling, I can get the Argo Navis into SAMPLE MOUNT ERROR mode and push ENTER to take the sample and the Argo Navis display indicates it has taken the sample data by reverting back to the GUIDE MODE. When I check the REVIEW DATA list in SAMPLE MOUNT ERROR mode, I can see it takes the first sample (with no name attached to the sample identity), but doesn't record any other samples regardless of how many samples I take. I attribute this to the form of data sent to Argo Navis by the SkyTools3 planetarium connection which includes the object's coordinates but not it's name (the pseudo name sent is FROM PLANETARIUM), so apparently the Argo Navis thinks I'm sending it the same star sample each time and therefore doesn't record more than one sample while using this method. My question is, is there any way that the MODE CATALOG/PLANETARIUM mode can be used for star sampling? Thanks in advance for any responses.



Joined: 17/10/2019
Messages: 122
Location: Mount Kuring-Gai NSW Australia
Hi Jerry,

Indeed the ability to sample multiple TPAS coordinates through the FROM PLANETARIUM interface is not supported.

In theory, one could sample the same object multiple times as its apparent position changed due to Earth rotation and this would make for valid TPAS data.
We rolled a one-off custom special version of the firmware for a solar observatory research institution in Hong Kong a few years back that provided for that.
This particular observatory just operated during the day and just looked at the Sun, so that was the only object they could sample.

However, in the design of TPAS we had a couple of major requirements. One was that it be able to help provide improved pointing via a pointing model and the second
was that it could be easily operated via an interface using just one thumb.

When the user is sampling an object, we made the design decision that should they re-sample the same object it was most likely because they weren't entirely happy
with the object being centred or possibly because they had originally misidentified it. This behaviour was also consistent with that of MODE ALIGN STAR and MODE ALIGN.
If you align on an object you already had aligned on, it simply updated that alignment point rather than create a second one.

So we purposely designed the behaviour to be that the system would only hold a single sample associated with a single unique internally referenced name.

By doing that we also thought it made the REVIEW DATA menu easier to use, You could see the name of the object you had sampled and if there was only one instance of it, there
would be no ambiguity as to which entry you might want to keep and which you might have wanted to delete.

Since the FROM PLANETARIUM pseudo catalog entry only provides a single internal reference (that is it is the "FROM PLANETARIUM" object) with no name,
the behavior is that when a new set of coordinates are sent to it, it still internally is regarded as the same object as far as TPAS is concerned.

So that provides the historical design decision background as to why the ability to use the FROM PLANETARIUM catalog entry for sampling multiple TPAS objects is not supported.

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
[Email] [WWW]

Joined: 15/01/2021
Messages: 2
Thanks Gary

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