Session Running

Once the Run Session button is hit on the Run page, the session window opens and the session begins.  Changes can be made to a running session for nearly every setting in the CCDAutoPilot window, except the current exposure of course.  It is always best to use the Pause Session button to make changes while the session is paused.

  • On Top: When checked, the Session window is made the topmost window on the desktop. This prevents other windows from hiding crucial session information.  When it is not checked, the status window's behavior is normal, i.e. it can be hidden by other windows. 

  • PauseSession: The Pause button allows the session to be paused at an appropriate point, usually the completion of the exposure in process.  Once paused, the title of this button changes to Resume and hitting it again will resume the session.  This is convenient if you have to go out to the telescope, put a light on and adjust something.  This is also a good time to make any changes to the session via the Main CCDAutoPilot window.  When you are done, you can resume the run session where you paused.

    Session Window Controls

    The state of the Session Window Controls located in the upper right corner of the Session window and shown below are used to indicate session activity.


             Session Running                              Session Not Running
  • Abort Session: This is used to totally abort the running session. When a session is running the Session Window Controls (close, minimize, etc.) are removed.  When Abort Session is hit, the session abort routines will be initiated and the Abort Session button will be grayed out. When the Session Window Controls are restored and the last line in the Session Window is "Session completed" the Abort Session routines have completed in an orderly fashion..  Be sure to wait until CCDAutoPilot has completely aborted the session in progress and is in the proper state to restart a run.  If there is any doubt, close and restart CCDAutoPilot.  The status window can either be left open or closed as desired. Closing the underlying server applications, such as FocusMax or Maxim, while CCDAutoPilot is open will leave the system in an unstable state. If this is done be accident, you should reboot your computer. Once CCDAutoPilot is closed, next close FocusMax and finally CCDSoft or Maxim. 

    Session Info Tab

    Session Events
  • Session Start: indicates the session start time.
  • Imaging Start: indicates the time the light frames will begin.  If the user has specified a delayed start for the first target on the Session page, this will indicate that time.  Otherwise, it will indicate ASAP.
  • Imaging End: indicates the expected ending time of the run, not including any dawn flats
  • Next Focus: indicates when the next automatic focusing activity will take place.  
  • Meridian Flip: If the target is east of the meridian, this indicates the expected time of the meridian flip.  If the target is west of the meridian, this field will so indicate.  If a fork mount is being used, n/a will be indicated since there is no meridian flip with a fork mount.
  • Sunrise: indicates the time of local sunrise

  • Target: indicates the target name, as defined on the Session page. If the Loop Targets is set greater than 1, the current loop index will be displayed in parentheses next to the target name
  • Altitude: indicates the altitude of the target.
  • Transit: indicates the time the target will transit (cross) the meridian.
  • End: Indicates the end imaging time for this target.

    If no focus program is used, all these entries will indicate "n/a".  Otherwise:
  • HFD: indicates the Half-Flux Density of the focused star, as reported by FocusMax.  This is not necessarily the same as FWHM (Full Width Half Maximum) as normally used for stellar profile measurements.  HFD is a good relative indicator of focus however.
  • Position: indicates the focuser position, as reported by FocusMax, for your focused position.
  • Temp: Reports the ambient temperature in whatever units (F, C, counts, etc.) the focuser in use reports temperature.  If the focuser doesn't report temperature, then "n/a" is indicated.

    Status Bar
    A status bar is provided at the bottom of the status window to indicate various activities including exposure progress.

    Programmable Option
    If CloseRunWdw.txt is present in Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\, the Session window will be closed at the end of a session or a weather abort takes place. To have the session window remain open at the end of the session, delete the CloseRunWdw.txt file.