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August 23, 2005 at 2:00 pm #88291
Software Bisque Knowledge Base Article – 1152
HOW CAN I SETUP A VIRTUAL OBSERVATORY USING CCDSOFT, THESKY6, and THE DIGITIZED SKY SURVEY DATA?
I want to be able to simulate using a telescope to slew to an object, then use CCDSoft to acquire a “virtual image” of the object using the Digitized Sky Survey data (RealSky or the 102 DSS data).
TheSky6 and CCDSoft can be used to create a virtual observatory to simulate telescope control, image acquisition, automated mapping, scripted control, and more.
From TheSky6, click Telescope | Setup and then select the Simulator Telescope.
On the Telescope Setup dialog box, click the Settings button, and then enter 12 for velocity and 5 for acceleration (we want to simulate a fast-slewing telescope!). Click OK.
From TheSky6, click Telescope | Link | Establish. You are now connected to a simulated telescope. Click on any star above the horizon, and then click the Sync button on the Telescope tab of the Large Object Information dialog box.
For the best experience, copy the contents of the RealSky or 102 DSS CD-ROMs to your hard drive. That way, there’s no need to “swap” CD-ROMs when “acquiring” virtual images with CCDSoft. See Article 1044 for details about copying the RealSky or DSS data to your hard drive.
Before running CCDSoft, you need to edit the Registry so that CCDSoft’s Camera Simulator retrieves images from the DSS based on where TheSky6’s simulated telescope is pointing. See Article 1059 for details about backing up the Windows Registry first.
Click Start | Run.
Enter Regedit and then click OK.
a. Navigate to:
b. Click File | New | DWORD Value.
c. Enter m_bDSSSim for the DWORD value name.
d. Enter 1 for the DWORD Value. Verify that the value gets set to 1 on the Registry Editor window before proceeding!
e. Click Registry | Close.
b. Create a text file named “DSS.vbs” containing the following text between the << characters: <
Set Cam = CreateObject(“CCDSoft.Camera”)
Cam.PropLng(“m_bDSSSim”) = 1
< c. Double-click this file from Windows Explorer. This sets the required Registry entry without having to edit the Registry.
Verify that you can retrieve images from the Digitized Sky Survey by clicking Research | Digitized Sky Survey | Target List, and then retrieve an image.
From CCDSoft, click Camera | Setup.
Select Simulator from the camera list.
Click the Take Image tab.
On the Take Image tab, use a short exposure (0.10 seconds), and then click Take Image. You may want to turn off the image reduction options (such as autodark subtraction); they’re not required in simulation mode.
CCDSoft will now retrieve a DSS image from the equatorial coordinates that TheSky6’s simulated telescope is pointing. Use this to test you scripts, automated mapping, or just familiarize yourself with the telescope control/camera acquisition procedure, during the daytime!
TheSky6, CCDSoft Version 5, 102 Digitized Sky Survey, RealSky
Last Reviewed: 11/24/2004
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