So now I've been using ACP and ACP expert for a number of years. The software just gets better and better. Look at this log from last night. Geeez were their a few interruptions or what? In NC the clouds giveth and taketh away! The weather was very unstable but dry. I count four or five interruptions from the weather. Yet I still brought down as you can see quite a bit of data. The quality of the data was quite good. The process failures you see these are all autoguider failures due to CLOUDS, tough night. Without ACP and ACP Expert there is simply no way to get this much stuff out of one really poor night of weather, just no way. I am NOT going to stay up all night fiddling with this stuff, I, like you have to WORK to support my passions. So, the monies invested in ACP and ACP Expert make the HUGE investment in equipment now much more reasonable. What's the sense of having a telescope statue? I insist this equipment DELIVER and with ACP and ACP Expert I now get my monies worth out of my investment and equipment. I have several hundred plans running at the same time. ACP Expert chooses the ones on any particular night, that are going to give the best imaging results. Lets face it, tracking an object for 6 hours from horizon to horizon is a WASTE of equipment and time. You don't want a bunch of low angle pictures messed up by refraction, do you? So, ACP Expert over a series of nights gets me what I want, pictures at as high an elevation as possible with the least amount of refraction and air mass interfering with resolution. Now THAT"s what I need! I want REALLY good pictures, not just, ummm well, your wife is impressed. I want my peers to look at them and really be impressed with the quality. Further, I like making jumbo prints and I'm not going to the trouble of framing and hanging pictures that are, well, "nice" I want AWESOME!!! THAT'S what I demand of ACP and ACP Expert and that is exactly what I get. Given the miserable weather we're having in NC this year...and every year...their is NO WAY I can get the volumes of data I need without the inherent intelligence baked into ACP Expert.
ACP Expert is in charge of turning everything on in the correct order, opening the roof of the building, raising the Pier so the scope can see out, choosing the appropriate targets at the appropriate time, CONSTANTLY monitoring the weather to PROTECT my gear and the quality of the pictures I'm asking to be had and finally ORGANIZING all the data for me so I can actually FIND last nights triumphs!!! My data is neatly placed in easy to find folders sorted by object and date. These photo's have been solved in Pinpoint so I have a wealth of data on each FITTS header. Now with MaximDL V6 I even get ALL MY WEATHER DATA baked into the FITTS header!!! I can see what the wind was, humidity, dew point and so on. Very helpful in understanding what's going on in these pictures.
Simply put, if your like me, have a ton of money tied up in your observatory, want to go to work the next day rested, want your equipment protected, want the MOST out of cruddy skies, want your data to be obtained at the MOST EFFECTIVE TIMES, want it organized for you, then you should consider using ACP and ACP Expert!!!!!!!!
Just a note, Bob Denny did NOT ASK ME TO WRITE THIS!!! I'm writing it because its impossible not to want to share my experience with a terrific product with others and save YOU the aggravation of figuring out which software you need to run your observatory. I tried other's software, none had the innate intelligence to over come the weather and take advantage of the "seeing" conditions here in NC.
Hey Bob offers a demo period, try it, if I'm full of bologne you'll know in ONE night!!! Betcha I'm NOT full of bologne!!!!