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  1. #1

    Default Filter Order Settings for ACP Planner 4.2.6

    Sorry to bother with such a trivial matter, but I've had a computer replaced (at NMS) with an updated ACP (latest version) and ACP Planner installed. I was previously able to set filter order for auto flats to be used by ACP and deployable using ACP Planner. I've found the AutoFlatConfig file at C:\Public\Public Documents\ACP Config and don't see script lines with which to set the auto flat filter order. Where the heck do I set this up?

    I've been told that flats have to be manually written for each run, but I've succeeded in obtaining flats the past 4 y just clicking a box in ACP Planner for auto flats at dawn.

    Thank you folks.
    birdlandbill

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Virgil, NY
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    5,390

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    Hi Bill,

    As you remember, Planner will insert the appropriate directive, #DUSKFLAT and/or #DAWNFLAT, into the plan if you check the boxes in Planner. You still need to prepare a flat plan file to tell ACP what flats you need and the order of exposures.

    The easiest approach is to create a (Notepad) file called defaultflat.txt. Then in that file put in the various combination of count, filter, and binning for the flats you need to take. You don't necessarily need to create a new flat plan for each run, but you can if you only need some of the total possible combinations. This plan goes in the plan folder, which is typically found in ACP 8 at:

    C:\Public\Public Documents\ACP Web Data\Doc Root\plans\(user)\ (or wherever your default plan folder is to be found)

    Remember, the defaultflat.txt plan should order the exposure as if you were taking dusk flats. ACP will automatically reverse the order when you are taking dawn flats.

    As an example, here is what my my defaultflat.txt file looks like for five filters and three binnings:
    Code:
    ;
    ; ---------------------------------------------
    ; Anytime-flats Plan
    ; ---------------------------------------------
    ;
    ; For:      dick
    ; Flats:    105 images
    ;
    ; Lines are count,filter,binning (comma-separated)
    ; ---------------------------------------------------
    ;
    
    
    7,Ha,1
    7,Ha,2
    7,Ha,3
    7,V,1
    7,R,1
    7,I,1
    7,Clear,1
    7,V,2
    7,R,2
    7,I,2
    7,V,3
    7,R,3
    7,I,3
    7,Clear,2
    7,Clear,3
    ;
    Read the Help file under ACP Observatory Control Software/Standard ACP Scripts/AutoFlat.vbs for additional information.
    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
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
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    Default Filter Order Settings for ACP Planner 4.2.6

    Also, the filter order in Planner should/must be in dusk order, and its generated flat plans will be in the correct order. The ordering in AutoFlatConfig hasn't been used in many years.

    Are you running Planner on your observatory computer? You know you can run it locally and it will offer to upload your plan to the observatory? With TheSky and Planner you can set up your runs without RADMIN-ing into the Obs system...
    -- Bob

  4. #4
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    Now in the office, here is where to find info on Planner's flat planning

    -- Bob

  5. #5

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    Thank you Dick and thank you Bob.

    I must be missing something. In the recent past (last spring and fall), I checked the dawn flats box in ACP planner. At dawn, a specified number of flats were obtained at pre and post meridian position angle settings only for the filters I had used during the night. The filter sequence was preset. Has this become impossible with the current generation of ACP, ACP Planner and the Sky X? I only use ACP Planner for my runs and hope I don't have to write a new script each night for flats. The folks at NMS indicate that this is pretty much the case. Could one of you show me how this looks set up in the appropriate location. I appreciate the default plan Dick has provided above, but I don't want to have to edit the flat plan out each night and I would like the filters used in the flats constrained to the filters used with imaging on the relevant night and with the relevant pre and post meridian rotation angles. Read the manual and it contains references to things not present in the current ACP Planner version and hasn't helped me sort out the flat filter order matter.

    Thank you

    Thank you
    birdlandbill

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    In the recent past (last spring and fall), I checked the dawn flats box in ACP planner. At dawn, a specified number of flats were obtained at pre and post meridian position angle settings only for the filters I had used during the night. The filter sequence was preset. Has this become impossible with the current generation of ACP, ACP Planner and the Sky X?
    No, that's how it is supposed to work.

    I only use ACP Planner for my runs and hope I don't have to write a new script each night for flats. The folks at NMS indicate that this is pretty much the case

    I guess I need to talk with them, but...

    Could one of you show me how this looks set up in the appropriate location.

    I'm sorry I don't understand. Do you want a demo of Planner? Do you want me to log in with you and work through a night's planning?

    Read the manual and it contains references to things not present in the current ACP Planner version and hasn't helped me sort out the flat filter order matter.
    What manual? I am unaware of things in the Planner manual that are not in Planner itself.
    -- Bob

  7. #7

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    Hi Bob,

    I apologize for the comment re: out of date elements in the online ACP Planner user guide. I had looked at it and was told that the location for the AutoFlatConfig I was using (based upon what I was reading) hadn't been true for years. In addition "You cannot set up flat plans in the web-based ACP browser, and I don't know if there's a way to do so in Planner. I do know that the documentation on flat plans in ACP should be up to date; I don't believe any of that has changed, but I do believe you have to write flat plans 100% manually."

    I have several questions

    1. where does the filter order file for flat fields go in the folders? I don't remember it being in the Plans folder.
    2. what should its name be?
    3. does it need to specify the number of flats as Dick indicated above? In the past I edited this up or down after the ACP flat plan was generated and then saved it.
    4. I'm using Luminance, Blue, and GRIZ, Halpha and OIII. I know where all but the GRIZ filters should be in flat filter order

    Thank you,

    Bill
    birdlandbill

  8. #8
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    You cannot set up flat plans in the web-based ACP browser, and I don't know if there's a way to do so in Planner. I do know that the documentation on flat plans in ACP should be up to date; I don't believe any of that has changed, but I do believe you have to write flat plans 100% manually.
    Hmm... not sure where this came from (standard flat fields is a more or less "permanent" flat plan for morn/eve/both as selected). All of the forms generate flat plans (see below).



    Planner can automagically upload a Plan and its corresponding Flat Plan to a remote ACP, or if you are using Planner via RADMIN (ugh!?!?!?) it saves both to the standard Plans folder for the Observatory Operator (local user). Note to change filters you must remove the presets which depend on the existing filter list. Then the balloon shows and note the pointer to Planner Help topic on this. I don't expect people to read all of the help, that's why I put in these pointers.



    1. where does the filter order file for flat fields go in the folders? I don't remember it being in the Plans folder.
    2. what should its name be?
    3. does it need to specify the number of flats as Dick indicated above? In the past I edited this up or down after the ACP flat plan was generated and then saved it.
    I may not understand your question. Are you asking where the ordering of the filters comes from when a flat plan is generated by Planner? Or how you write a flat plan manually? If from Planner, the order is in the list of filters in Planner's Preferences. Help me understand what you are looking for. I think you are racing in circles at the moment, and it is much simpler than you think. Again I am happy to jump on with you via Remote Assistance and walk through it.
    -- Bob

  9. #9

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    Hi,

    Thank you for the kind offer of help. May I take you up on this tomorrow at your convenience?

    Thank you.

    Bill
    birdlandbill

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I won't be here tomorrow, sorry. And Thursday I am already tied up from 3PM (MST/PDT, UTC-7) onward. I can do it in the morning Thursday, or any time (so far ha ha) Friday.
    -- Bob

 

 

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