Focuser Notes

If a focuser works properly through the focus program, it should work fine through CCDAutoPilot.  If you are using temperature to determine when to focus, make sure you select the proper temperature source on the Focusing page.

Specific Hardware Notes

Optec Focuser: Be sure to turn off the Optec's temperature compensation.  The focuser can not be remotely commanded if it is turned on.  If temperature compensation is desirable, use CCDAutoPilot's internal temperature compensation routine.  

Advanced Customization

@Focus2 and SkyStar focusing use queries to TheSky to determine suitable focus stars.These queries are contained in small files located in the Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\Focusing\ folder. af2.dbq is used with @Focus2 focusing and 4stars.dbq through 7stars.dbq are used for Focusing Magnitude Range "4 to 7" trough "7 to 10" respectively.

Any of these files can be opened in TheSky and customized. See Advanced Database Query in TheSky for documentation and settings. The most likely change to make is in the magnitude range. For example, assuming you are using TheSkyX and @Focus2. In TheSkyX menu, select Tools/Manage Observing List. Then select the Advanced Query tab and the Open/Save Query sub-tab.Hit the Open button and navigate to Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\Focusing\af2.dbq. The Object Types and Databases sub-tab will show the catalogs used. For this query, the default is Hipparcos-Tycho Catalog. You can select other catalogs if you wish but be sure to select one that gives suitable magnitude stars. Select the Filters sub-tab and you will see the default Magnitude ranges as shown below:

Let's change the bright star magnitude of 3.5 to 4.5. Highlight the "(Magnitude >= 3.5) and" entry and hit Edit. This brings up this window:

change "this value" from 3.5 to 4.5 and hit OK. Return to the Open/Save Query sub-tab and hit the Save As button. Be sure to save it to the same file name in the same location: Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\Focusing\af2.dbq.CCDAutoPilot5 will use the edited query file to select focus stars in the range of 4.5 to 6.5.

In case you make a mistake, reference copies of all these files are available in the program folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\ and can be copied back to the Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\Focusing\ folder if necessary.

Again, note that CCDAutoPilot5 will use only the query files as named in the Documents\CCDWare\CCDAutoPilot5\Focusing\ folder. Do not rename them and expect them to be used. Also, if you change a magnitude range, it will not be reflected in the SkyStar magnitude range of the drop down. The range 4 - 7 corresponds to 4stars.dbq, 5 - 8 corresponds to 5stars.dbq, etc. If you change 4stars.dbq to 3.5 to 6.5 for example, the drop down will still be 4 - 7. Sorry for the confusion but there is no way around this since the dbq format is proprietary to Software Bisque and I have no way of knowing what the specific query is.

Any customized dbq files will be overwritten by the default files during a CCDAutoPilot update so be sure to back up your customized files elsewhere so you can put them back after an update.