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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern Sweden
    Posts
    30

    Default New ACP web item: "Live" SkyChart with telescope position for ACP Web UI

    Hi guys!


    SkyChart is now replaced with 1.1 version, read new instructions below
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Updates:

    * Easier to modify the .asp to customize your own interface:
    * User-selectable chartsize
    * Adjustable transparency for both sky-gradient and alt-az grids
    * Improved accuracy over the whole chart
    * Improved scope-status, now including Slewing, Tracking, Stopped, Parked
    * Choose between 6 reticles (below)


    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    In these days of endless bad weather, I've had some time to play around with programming & learning some new things (started from zero when I got ACP last year). I've never done jscript before, & had a peek at different parts of ACP to figure out how to use it.
    Since I'm often checking my imaging-progress from my phone, I often wonder where my scope is pointing, & how far from the meridian I am... Sure, the alt / az info is all there, but since I'm pretty new in astronomy, I prefer to have it all on a nice sky-map in front of me. That's not a problem when using a computer, but when I'm on my phone, I often wish for more.


    So I decided to try & make a new tiddler for the ACP Web UI, namely a chart of the current sky above my observatory, & also a reticle where my scope is pointint. After countless of hours, the "beta" is available if you want to try it out.



    Here's an example from today, when tracking Castor, and scope-reticle showed correct position by using alt/az from the scope.
    (Click image for bigger version)



    First off, I went to http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Yoursky to generate a reusable image-url for my location, to be used inside the tiddler.
    Then I googled around for hours, figuring out how to convert the scope alt/az into coordinates for a reticle on top of the sky-chart image. After a while I found the formula for Polar to Cartesian conversion, & how to implement them in Jscript. It took me a while to realize jscript uses radians instead of degrees when using the sin/cos functions, but I finally figured out how to overcome that too... I dissected a few ACP .asp to figure out how to create my own first .asp. I had great fun learning tons of new stuff about programming, especially since it's my first go at jscript.


    The chart generated online have some weird non-linear geometry I haven't figured out yet, the distance between altitude-circles (let's say 10°. 20°, 30°) isn't constant in the image like I would've thought, it missed the target with up to 10 degrees in the beginning, so I had to throw in a compensating formula (which isn't anywhere exact since I never put time into understanding the geometric "distortion" in the generated image... But I think my hipshot-formula does a pretty ok job now, the target stars always ends up close to the center of the reticle every time, so that's good enough for me.

    I've also created two transparent overlays that goes on top of the chart, giving the sky-chart altitude-circles/azimuth-lines & also a horizon-gradient that looks nice when the chart is black.

    Here's the installation-instructions:

    * Step1
    Place all the included files inside the "Users/Shared/Shared Documents/ACP Web Data/Doc Root/ac/"-Folder


    * Step 2
    Generate your chart: Create your star chart using the online generator at http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Yoursky
    You can decide for your self how many stars and dso's that'll be visible, how many / what names and so on. There are 2 settings that you must set in a specific way, those are listed here:
    Date and Time : Now (MUST)
    Observing site: Coordinates for your observatory/site, be as specific as possible, fields accept ° ' " symbols (MUST)
    Remember the image-size you entered, it must be inserted in the user input section inside the skychart.asp


    The rest can be altered any way you want, including the size, I prefer to keep the chart relatively simple, since I'm occasionally uses the chart from my phone. Here's the settings I use:

    Display Options
    ( ) Ecliptic and equator
    (X) Moon and planets
    (X) Deep sky objects of magnitude "2.5" and brighter



    Constellations:
    (X) Outlines
    ( ) Names ( )aligned with horizon? ( ) abbreviate?
    ( ) Boundaries


    Stars:
    Show stars brighter than magnitude "5.1"
    (X) Names for magnitude "2.5" and brighter
    ( ) Bayer/Flamsteed codes for mag. " " and brighter


    Font scale: 0.5 (to avoid cluttered chart)
    Colour scheme: Color (background is blue during daytime, black during nigh
    When you're done, click the "update" button below the generated chart. Copy the URL of the generated image (different ways depending on your browser).

    * Step 3
    Open the "skychart.asp" and edit the following fields as you like, paste your chart-URL inside the situation-marks showed below, and enter the image-size of your generated all-sky chart:

    Code:
    //    ******************************************************************************************************
    //    **************************************    User Options Starts   **************************************
    //    ******************************************************************************************************
    
    
    
        var ChartURL = " "        // 1. Paste your chart URL inside the citation marks to the left
    
    
        ChartSize = 500        // 2. Enter the image size of the chart you created athttp://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/ , (minimum 100)
    
    
        ReticleStyle = 3        // 3. Selects the type of reticle for indicating scope-position, (1-6) 
    
    
        LinesOpacity = 70        // 4. Sets the opacity-percentage for the Alt/Az grid-lines overlay, (0-100)
    
    
        GradientOpacity = 60    // 5. Sets the opacity-percentage for the Sky-gradient overlay, (0-100)
    
    
    
    
    
    
    //    ******************************************************************************************************
    //    **************************************    User Options Ends   ****************************************
    //    ******************************************************************************************************
    The options can be adjusted to best suit your style. Here's a list of the available reticles that can be selected at "ReticleStyle"

    Reticles:



    * Step 4
    Create a new tiddler named SkyChart and insert the following line inside the tiddler:
    Code:
    <<RemoteContent '/ac/skychart.asp'>>
    You're done!


    I've attached a zip-archive containing the following 6 files. all to be extracted inside the 'Users/Shared/Shared Documents/ACP Web Data/Doc Root/ac/' folder:
    * skychart.asp - The brains of this item. User-options in the beginning of the file
    * gradient.png
    - Sky-gradient that goes on top of the chart, select-able transparency
    * lines.png
    - Alt / Az grid-lines that goes on top of the chart, select-able transparency
    * reticle 1.png
    - Reticle-image indicating the scope position, choose between 1-6
    * reticle 2.png - (same as above)
    * reticle 3.png - (same as above)
    * reticle 4.png - (same as above)
    * reticle 5.png - (same as above)
    * reticle 6.png - (same as above)
    * ReadMeFirst.txt -The installation-instructions listed in this thread

    Look for attached file: skychart1.1.zip - containing all of the above


    Feel free to post ideas suggestions in the DC3 thread, or by sending me an email: jgrinde@hotmail.com
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Bob Denny; Jan 9, 2015 at 17:31. Reason: [rbd] Change formatting so it is readable on both dark and light styles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Alingsås, Sweden
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Nice work!

    Looking forward to test this. I had some thoughts on building something similar but but free time has been as rare as clear weather

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,857

    Default

    Fantastic!!! Would it be OK to move this into the "ACP Add-Ons and Enhancements" section? It's really nice, Jonas!
    -- Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern Sweden
    Posts
    30

    Default Sv: New ACP item: "Live" SkyChart with telescope position for ACP Web UI

    Thanks guys!

    Bob, absolutely, that sounds like a better place.

    I will continue experimenting with the numbers and hopefully come up with a version of the equation that'll accept any chart-size you throw at it (as long as you specify It's size in the .asp). I'll keep you posted!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,857

    Default

    OK!!! Moving now.
    -- Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern Sweden
    Posts
    30

    Default


    Updated to v1.1 !

    The first post is updated with the new version where the following improvements have been made:
    * Easier to modify the .asp to customize your own interface
    * User-selectable chart-size
    * Seperate transparency adjustments for sky-gradient and alt-az grids
    * Improved accuracy over the whole chart
    * Improved scope-status, now including Slewing, Tracking, Stopped, Parked
    * Choose between 6 reticles
    Last edited by Bob Denny; Aug 18, 2016 at 20:00. Reason: Yellow color invisible in Blue style. Changed to highlight.

  7. #7

    Default

    I'm sorry, but what does "Step 4" mean? I don't understand it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,857

    Default

    Andre --

    You need to be an administrator on the Observatory control system. If you are, you use the Authoring system which is in the last section "Toolbox" area of the web page.


    When this starts up, you will be in the authoring environment. You will have to learn how to add "tiddlers" (I call them "items" but they are the same thing). It is fairly well explained in the help area for the Authoring System that you see when you enter that mode.
    -- Bob

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for your help.
    Astrosib RC360,
    WS-240, SitechII,
    ScopeDome M3 v3,
    FLI (PL16803+CFW7+LRGB+Ha+OIII+SII),
    RoboFocus, Optec Gemini Focusing Rotator
    Off-axis - SX Lodestar X2

    http://astro.ioda.by

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Hi Jonas, great utility! Is there any chance to set the time with an offset comparing the computer time? If someone like me has the observatory located in a different time zone the map is displayed incorrectly since it uses the local time where the computer is, not the observatory local time..
    Just a suggestion for a possible version 1.2

    Regards
    Marco

 

 

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