Last updated 23 Apr 2019

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Custom Software used at Great Shefford

Exposure management

CCD Camera Control Visual Basic program (CCDCamCtl)

This Visual Basic program connects to the CCD via Maxim DL/CCD and allows automatic sequences of exposures to be taken. The binning mode is selectable.

The program assumes that the pc internal clock is set correctly (Dimension4 achieves this) and aligns the start of each exposure to a 5 second boundary ( e.g. it would start an exposure at 15s past the minute, or 20s, 25s etc.). When the exposure has been made it is automatically downloaded and the FITS headers updated with the start time to 3 decimal places, the object name, observer and telescope details etc. The file name can be configured to include any combination of object name, date, time, binning mode, exposure length, sequence numbers etc. etc.

An invaluable 'feature' for the lone observer in the early hours of the morning is that if the program detects no user activity for a certain length of time it plays some random noises (phone rings, beeps etc) enough to jolt the observer back into consciousness. This keeps the tired observer awake until daylight comes when sleep is permitted!


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