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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Planalyzer - Program to analyze ACP plan timing

    I just finished a little program that analyzes an ACP observing plan and displays information about the plan timing. After manually editing several plans, I grew frustrated not knowing how long the edited plan would run, and if it would finish before the dawn flat starting time.

    Planalyzer reads ACP Planner properties and an ACP plan, then calculates the duration of each step and shows that step's ending time on a little clock. The total plan duration and ending time also are shown.

    The plan may be edited (a'la Notepad) and the timing recalculated instantly. If satisfactory, the modified plan may be saved to disk.

    I've attached a screen shot showing Planalyzer in operation.

    Anyone wanting to play with Planalyzer may download it here:
    http://astronomy.mdodd.com/files/Planalyzer.zip
    There is no installation program -- just unzip all the files into a directory on your hard drive.

    Comments and suggestions are welcome.

    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
    Posts
    4,556

    Default

    Hi Mike,

    This is really nifty!! I have to look at it more, but I like it.

    I did notice two things that you may need some changes to correct:

    1. I loaded a plan that started at 7:45 pm and ended at 2:30 am, and the total time presented at the bottom of your screen said "Total time: -17:14:32"

    2. I have names for targets like "EQ Tau" (followed by RA and Decs as usual). The names shown in your form have only the first characters, such as, "EQ". This is probably not a big problem, but did you mean to parse the name field just up to the first space, or was it supposed to parse up to the tab?

    Good work. I'll put in my Reference Guide, when you tell me it's ready.
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Berg View Post
    Hi Mike,

    This is really nifty!! I have to look at it more, but I like it.

    I did notice two things that you may need some changes to correct:

    1. I loaded a plan that started at 7:45 pm and ended at 2:30 am, and the total time presented at the bottom of your screen said "Total time: -17:14:32"
    That's very strange. Would you care to e-mail me the plan (mike@mdodd.com) so I can take a look at it? I can't duplicate the problem by jiggering a sample plan (see attached screen shot). Is it possible your plan includes a #WAITUNTIL with a date? Is so, as the help file explains, Planalyzer handles only "reusable" plans without dates. Hopefully that's a future enhancement.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Berg View Post
    2. I have names for targets like "EQ Tau" (followed by RA and Decs as usual). The names shown in your form have only the first characters, such as, "EQ". This is probably not a big problem, but did you mean to parse the name field just up to the first space, or was it supposed to parse up to the tab?
    I'll have to refine the target name parsing routine. The simplistic code breaks the target line into tokens interpreted as text separated by whitespace. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
    Posts
    4,556

    Default

    Hi, Mike,

    What? Read the instructions???!!!

    Yes, my plan contains dated #waituntils - it's the way it comes out of the Planner for me. I know I can toggle a switch in Planner to change that, but I just leave it the way it is. Most of my plans for eclipsers are one-off anyway. I've attached it.

    My plan takes 6hours 45minutes to run, and 6:45 - 24:00 is -17:15, so I thought maybe you had a MOD (modulus) issue.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Dodd View Post
    I just finished a little program that analyzes an ACP observing plan and displays information about the plan timing.

    Anyone wanting to play with Planalyzer may download it here:
    http://astronomy.mdodd.com/files/Planalyzer.zip
    There is no installation program -- just unzip all the files into a directory on your hard drive.
    I added a few enhancements to Planalyzer. It now recognizes full dates as well as times following a #WAITUNTIL directive. It also incorporates meridian flip time in the time span calculations (including user-entered values for the ACP safety margins).

    Even more cool is a "log analysis" window that will load an ACP log and calculate the time span between two log entries. I found this very helpful in revealing the fact that I had specified my image download times in Planner much shorter than they actually are. The log analysis window makes it easy to check Planner properties against actual performance.

    Again, comments and suggestions are welcome.

    Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    25,833

    Default

    This is entirely too awesome, Mike!!! Dick Berg was here this evening for dinner and we were talking about you and Planalyzer.
    -- Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denny View Post
    This is entirely too awesome, Mike!!! Dick Berg was here this evening for dinner and we were talking about you and Planalyzer.
    Thanks, Bob. Be sure to grab the latest version from the link on this page http://astronomy.mdodd.com/planalyzer.html . I tweaked the Log Analyzer to automatically calculate the time span between two log entries without the user having to click a button.

    I'm finding Planalyzer to be very useful even with only a couple of days' use.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Mike,

    This is a great utility - thank you for sharing it!

    -Chris.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Cappelli View Post
    Mike,

    This is a great utility - thank you for sharing it!

    -Chris.
    You're welcome.

    I've added a time-fitting routine to Planalyzer that will adjust the count of multiple exposures so they complete by a specified time. Like Jim MacMillan, I often find myself wishing for an #IMAGEUNTIL directive. In lieu of this, now I can easily adjust the plan in Planalyzer to achieve the same result. See the attached screen shots.

    Again, the link to the Planalyzer page on my Web site is http://astronomy.mdodd.com/planalyzer.html
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
    Posts
    4,556

    Default

    Hi Mike,

    This keeps getting better and better! I have a question...

    Where is focusing time accommodated? It is part of the Planner setup.

    I have already made a pointer to this tool in the Reference Guide gold copy, but I'm out on travel and I forgot the server password (duh) so I can't upload the change until I get home on Sunday. Although I could put a copy of your Planalyzer on the ACP server, my pointer points to your web page instead. I think this is better so long as you're still incrementally improving the tool.
    Last edited by Dick Berg; Dec 11, 2008 at 12:37.
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

 

 

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