Sequence Configuration

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A Sequence is a set of exposures of a single target. It can include repeated exposures using multiple filters and exposure lengths.

In addition to specifying the number and type of exposures to take, you can specify many additional actions and settings, including

  • Sequence start delays
  • Cooling settings
  • Pointing retries
  • Plate solving on or off
  • Tracking stops and starts
  • Meridian flip management
  • Guiding and dithering settings
  • Exposure delays and subframe size
  • Autofocus actions
  • Error and sequence end actions

One or more sequences can be included in a DragScript to completely automate an imaging session.

Sequences are stored by default in the ConfigSequence folder of your Voyager directory, but you are free to store them anywhere.

As of Voyager 2.0.14e (daily build) and 2.1.0 (stable), you can edit sequences while actions are running. You can invoke the sequence and flat sequence editor from the Tools and Editor menu to do this.

A running sequence will use the sequence that was defined at the time it started running. You can edit a sequence while it is running, but the changes will not take effect until you stop and restart the sequence.

Important Note! You must have a profile defined and loaded to configure a sequence. As of Voyager 2.0.14e, you no longer need to have equipment connected, just a profile defined and active. If you are using a Voyager version earlier than 2.0.14e, create a profile using ASCOM simulators if you would like to create and edit sequences without connecting to your equipment. The simulators are bundled with the ASCOM platform and all the settings relevant to a sequence can be set in the simulators


Defining a Sequence

Sequences are defined by clicking the gear Gear-icon.jpg icon next to the Sequence button in the Session panel of the OnTheFly workspace:

Session-onthefly.jpg


Sequences are run by clicking the Sequence button with the green triangle next to it. Sequence-green-triangle.png

Sequences start-up options can be specified by clicking the button with two blue triangles Double-blue-arrow.jpg


Sequence Configuration Dialog

The sequence configuration dialog comes up after you click the gear Gear-icon.jpg icon next to the Sequence button:

Sequence-config-window-2.11f.jpg

  • Target Name: Enter the name of the object you want to image and click Fast Find. Voyager will look up the J2000 coordinates in the connected Planetarium software and if found, enter them in the RA and DEC fields at the top right of this dialog window.
  • Fast Find: Click the Fast Find button to do a quick lookup of the target name entered in the Target Name field
  • Object-finder.jpg: Click this icon to bring up the Object Finder. The Object Finder is documented in the Target Coordinates J2000 section. Coordinates found with the Object Finder can be entered into the RA and DEC fields for the Sequence
  • SIMBAD: Enter a target in the Target Name field and click this button to do a SIMBAD search for the object. If found, a pop-up window displays object information returned from SIMBAD
  • RA and DEC: The Right Ascension and Declination coordinates for the sequence target. Populated automatically by the Fast Find / Object Finder / SIMBAD controls, or entered manually.
  • Profile: The equipment profile associated with this sequence. A new sequence will default to using the currently active profile. You can create and edit sequences for non-active profiles by clicking the Change Profile to This Sequence button in the title bar of this window
  • Change-profile-sequence.png Change Profile To This Sequence: Brings up a dialog window from which you can associate sequences with a profile. See Change Sequence Profile section below for discussion of this process
  • Reset-sequence-data.png Reset Sequence Data: Caution! Clicking this button resets all information in the sequence. If you have not saved it, your sequence data will be lost and you will have to start over
  • Load-file.png Open Sequence File: Click this file to load the data from a saved sequence into the Sequence Configuration window
  • Save-file.png Save Sequence File: Click this file to save the data from the Sequence Configuration window to the file of your choice
  • Cancel-config.png Cancel and Discard Changes: Click this button to close the Sequence Configuration window and discard any changes made since it was opened
  • Refresh Filter Synoptic: Refresh the visual representation of the filters used in order by this sequence - this information appears in the space below the sequence elements and above the sequence configuration tabbed windows
  • OK: Click the OK button to save your changes and close the Sequence Configuration window


Important Note! If you wish to set the Position Angle of your sequence target, you need use either the MoveTo command button in the Rotator widget or the RotatorMoveTo command in a DragScript


Change Sequence Profile

As of Voyager 2.0.14e (daily build) or 2.1.0 (stable build), you can create and edit sequences with the profile of your choice.

If you only edit or create sequences for the active profile, there is no need to use this dialog window. The active profile is used, and the filename of the active profile will be stored with the sequence when you save it.

By default, a new sequence will be created using the currently active profile, which is displayed on the right at the top of the Voyager main window.

References to the "Actual" profile mean the currently active profile in Voyager.


If you want to create or edit a sequence using a different profile from the currently active one, click the Change Profile to This Sequence button in the Sequence Configuration title bar to bring up this dialog:

Sequence-profile-migration-tool.png


Important Note! If you are editing a sequence created with Voyager prior to version 2.0.14e, the profile is not stored with the sequence so Voyager doesn't know which profile was used to create it. If you want to use the active profile, you can just cancel from the dialog and continue editing the sequence. The profile name will be stored in the sequence the next time you save it to disk.


  • Data:
    • Sequence: The sequence file currently being worked on. If you have created a new sequence and it has not yet been saved, this field will be blank
    • Original Profile: The profile stored with the sequence file
    • Actual Profile: The profile currently loaded and active in Voyager
  • APPLY Actual Profile: Ignore the profile stored in the sequence file and use the currently active profile in Voyager. If settings such as filters are different between the two profiles, carefully review your sequence elements and make sure you are using the desired filters, speed and readout mode
  • USE Original Profile: Use the profile stored in the sequence file for things like filters, camera gain and readout. This is useful if you want to edit a sequence for a different profile than the currently active one.
  • SELECT MANUALLY Profile: Opens a file browsing dialog and you can select any profile. The selected profile will be used to supply information such as filters, camera readout and gain settings when editing this sequence, and the selected profile will be stored in the sequence file when you save it
  • CANCEL: Abort and close this window without saving changes


Sequence Elements

The Sequence Elements panel of the Sequence Configuration dialog tells Voyager about the exposures you want to take of your target:

Sequence-elements-gain-offset.jpg

  • Slot: Click the gray buttons in the Slot column and they turn green indicating that slot is active - the information in that row (slot) of the Sequence Elements table will be used when you run the sequence
  • Type: Exposure type: Light, Bias or Dark
  • Filter: Filter for this exposure. Available filters come from the connected profile in the Camera Setup area
  • Suffix: Enter any text you would like to include in the image filename.
  • Exposure: Length of the exposure in seconds
  • Bin: Binning level for this exposure. Available binning levels come from the connected profile in the Camera Setup area
  • Speed: ISO for DSLR's
  • Readout Mode: Select a Readout Mode from the drop-down list. Readout Modes are retrieved from your camera if your camera driver provides them. The Readout Mode section of the Camera Setup page explains how to retrieve them
  • Gain: If you are using the ASI Camera native driver supplied by Voyager (not the ASI ASCOM driver), you can enter the Gain for this sequence element. This will be grayed out if you are not using Voyager's ASI Camera native driver.
  • Offset: If you are using the ASI Camera native driver supplied by Voyager (not the ASI ASCOM driver), you can enter the Offset for this sequence element. This will be grayed out if you are not using Voyager's ASI Camera native driver.
  • Important Note! If you are using a sequence with the ASI Camera native driver that was first defined with a different camera, all Gain and Offset values will be initially set to 0/0. Make sure you change these to the desired settings and save the sequence before running.

  • Lens.jpg: Click the magnifying glass icon to select the Gain and Offset from the presets defined in the ASI Camera native driver setup.
  • Repeat: Number of exposures to take
  • Sequence-element-copy-paste.jpg:
    • Up arrow moves this row up one position; Down arrow moves this row down one position; X clears the information from this row
    • Copy Button: Click Copy to copy the sequence element information from the row containing the Copy button
    • Paste Button: After clicking Copy on a row, click Paste on a new row to paste the sequence element information to the row containing the Paste button
    • Use copy and paste to quickly set up the sequence elements for a number of rows that only differ in a couple of values, such as the filter choice
  • The scroll bars on the right can be used to scroll the window up and down if you have more rows than show in the main window

The colored bar under the Sequence Elements is called the Filter Synoptic. It represents the filters used when the sequence runs, in the order they will be used. The length of each color bar is proportional to the length of exposures taken with that filter.

Filter-synoptic.png

In this example, we take five 30 second images with the L filter - which corresponds to the white part of the bar. Then five each of red, green and blue, 60 seconds each. This is how our sequence will use filters when the "Group By Slot" option is chosen as the Sequence Mode in the Sequence Tab. If we chose "cyclic Round" instead, the sequence will take one image with each filter and then move on to the next, like this:

Filter-synoptic-cycle.png


Important Note! Image filenames by default include: Target Name, Type, Exposure, Binning, Sensor Temperature (cooling), sequence number, filter, date and time, position angle, and pier side. If using a driver that supports Gain and Offset, they are also included in the file name. Use the Suffix field in the Sequence Elements to add other information


Important Note! You cannot set any values in a row unless you click the gray Slot number at the start of the row first. It turns green indicating the slot is active, and then you can enter values in that row


Once you have set up your Target Name and Sequence Elements, click through the tabs at the bottom of the dialog to specify the way Voyager should handle other elements such as Cooling, Guiding, etc. during the execution of this sequence.

Sequence Image Filenames

The image filenames are generated automatically by Voyager. The number of fields can vary depending on your connected equipment - e.g. if you don't have a rotator configured, you won't have the Position Angle field.

Here's an example filename with a description of the fields.

Filename-spec-216c.jpg

  1. Target name
  2. Type of exposure: Light, Dark, or Bias
  3. Filter Name: Filter Name for cameras with filter wheels - blank if the contents of the Suffix field equals one of your filter names
  4. Suffix: Whatever you type in the suffix field of the Sequence element; example here is G139 to represent Gain of 139
  5. Exposure length
  6. Binning level
  7. Sensor temperature or "No_Cooling" if Voyager is not managing cooling during the Sequence
  8. Sequence number: a sequential number generated automatically when Voyager takes a new image
  9. Date: YYYYMMDD
  10. Time: HHMMSS
  11. MS: millisecond portion of the time the image was taken
  12. Gain: Gain value if you are using Voyager's ASI Camera native driver
  13. Offset: Offset value if you are using Voyager's ASI Camera native driver
  14. Position Angle if a rotator is defined in Setup
  15. Position relative to Meridian: E = East or W = West
  16. File type: FIT for a FITS file

Sequence Tab

The Sequence tab of the Sequence Configuration window tells Voyager how to cycle through your exposures, where to store images, and other sequence constraints:

Sequence-definition-tab-2.1.7s.jpg

  • Sequence Mode: Choose Cyclic Round or Group By Slot from the drop-down list
    • Cyclic Round: Voyager will take one exposure using the parameters of a slot, then move to the next slot and take one exposure, etc. E.g. if you have one slot for each filter of L, R, G and B, Voyager would take one L exposure, then one R, then G, then B, then cycle back around to L and repeat until the total number of exposures specified in the Repeat box are taken.
    • Group By Slot: Voyager will take the number of exposures specified in the Repeat column for each slot before moving on to the next slot
    • Repeat: If checked, Voyager will loop back and run the sequence again. It will be run the number of times specified in the Repeat counter field
  • Sequence Directory: Where to save images taken during this sequence
    • Auto / Manual: Choose Auto and Voyager will automatically create a sequence directory using the base folder specified in Voyager Setup and the Target Name. Choose Manual and you can type in any folder for your images, or click the Select button and browse to a directory to choose that one
    • Create Logical Data Subfolder Inside Sequence Directory (all between 00:00 to 08:00 AM are from yesterday): Check this box to create a subfolder, named with the date of the start of the sequence. All images from this sequence are stored in the subfolder, including any taken after midnight until 8AM local time
    • Create Data SubFolder for Filter Name: Check this box to create subfolders named with the filters used for this sequence. Images taken by this sequence are stored in the subfolder with the name matching the filter used for the image. New as of Voyager 2.1.2e
  • Sequence Constraints:
    • Exit sequence if Target is below this Altitude: If checked, automatically end the sequence if target drops below the given altitude in degrees. If the sequence is running in a DragScript, return to DragScript with an OK result (no error, successful sequence termination)
    • Exit sequence if Target is above this Altitude: If checked, automatically end the sequence if target rises above the given altitude in degrees. If the sequence is running in a DragScript, return to DragScript with an OK result (no error, successful sequence termination)
    • Exit sequence if Target is before this HourAngle: If checked, automatically end the sequence if target is before the hour angle (hours from the meridian) specified in the spinner control. If the sequence is running in a DragScript, return to DragScript with an OK result (no error, successful sequence termination)
    • Exit sequence if Target is above this Altitude: If checked, automatically end the sequence if target is after the hour angle (hours from the meridian) specified in the spinner control. If the sequence is running in a DragScript, return to DragScript with an OK result (no error, successful sequence termination)
Important Note! The hour angles can be negative or positive. The ending hour angle must be greater than the starting hour angle.


Important Note! The Cyclic Round setting is best if you have to get as many images as possible from each filter in a single Sequence run. For example, you have traveled to a dark site and just want to get as much data as possible in one night. The Group By Slot setting is the most time efficient as no time is spent changing filters between each exposure. However, if clouds move in or you run out of time, you may not get data from all filters in a single session with this setting


Important Note! Use Group By Slot with Repeat to have some of the advantages of both modes (Cyclic Round and Group By Slot). For example, set the sequence to take 5 images with each filter, select Group By Slot, and Repeat to as many times as you want. Now you will get some images with each filter, but you won't spend as much time changing filters over the course of the sequence.


On Start Tab

The On Start tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you can specify things to do before starting the sequence:

On-start-tab.png

  • Run this Program/Script BEFORE Time Wait: Click the box with "..." to bring up the Run External Program / Script window to browse to a program or script to run before the "Time Wait on Start" interval. Note: this field is used to run an external Windows program or script, not a Voyager DragScript. Run your Sequence from the DragScript, not the other way around.
  • Time Wait On Start: Specify if Voyager should delay before starting the sequence
    • NOTE: The first checkbox, the one after Time Wait On Start and before Interval, must be checked if you want Voyager to wait either an Interval OR until an Absolute time. This checkbox is linked to "Time Wait on Start" and the default is to wait for an Interval
      • Interval: Check the box before Interval and enter the amount of time to wait in HH:MM:SS in the three scrolling fields. Voyager will wait this amount of time before starting the sequence
      • Absolute: Check the box before Interval AND check the box before Absolute. Enter the actual time in HH:MM:SS at which Voyager should start running the sequence
  • Run this Program/Script AFTER Time Wait: Click the box with "..." to bring up the Run External Program / Script window to browse to a program or script to run after the "Time Wait on Start" interval. Note: this field is used to run an external Windows program or script, not a Voyager DragScript. Run your Sequence from the DragScript, not the other way around.
  • Point Target On Start: Check to perform a precision pointing operation at sequence start
  • Inject Focus on Start: Check to perform an autofocus operation at sequence start
  • Open Flat Device Cover: Check to open the flat device at sequence start
    • On Start: Open the flat device cover as soon as the sequence is executed - do not wait if there is a "Time Wait On Start" specified
    • After Time Wait on Start: Open the flat device cover after the Time Wait On Start interval has elapsed


Important Note! If the sequence is run from a DragScript, only the Point Target on Start field is used. The other fields must be specified with DragScript actions


Cooling Tab

The Cooling tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify CCD cooling (Peltier) for the sequence:

Cooling-tab.png

  • Cooling: Check this box to manage cooling via this Sequence. If you don't check this box and have cooling set before running the sequence, no changes to cooling will be made
  • SetPoint: Enter the desired sensor temperature (SetPoint) for your CCD cooler
    • Use CCD Firmware Cooldown: If checked, just command the desired temperature to the CCD cooler and let the cooler's firmware decide how quickly to ramp to that temperature
    • Power ON After Time Wait On Start: If checked, send a command to turn CCD cooler power on after the Time Wait On Start interval has elapsed
    • Auto Scale SetPoint if CCD can't cooling at initial desired request: If checked, if the CCD cooler fails to reach the desired temperature within the time specified in Camera Setup, or within the power usage constraints listed below, try again with successively warmer temperatures as specified below
      • Or if Cooler Power Mobile Mean is >=: Begin the auto scaling operation if the moving average of the cooler power in use was greater than or equal to the specified percentage for the "in the last" number of seconds
      • And use in order this SetPoint in °C: Use these temperatures in the order specified for auto scaling. The temperatures should be progressively warmer (higher numbers) from left to right


Important Note! If you see "NoCooling" in the file name created by Voyager, it means the "Cooling" checkbox in the Cooling tab of the Sequence is unchecked. This means you have cooling on in the camera but the Voyager Sequence is not managing it. If an error has been returned from the camera's cooling system, you would see UNK text instead of NoCooling.



Pointing Tab

The Pointing tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for any Pointing operations performed during the sequence:

Pointing-tab.png

  • On Driver Goto Error: If the mount driver returns an error when Voyager commands a Goto (slew) operation, retry the operation up to a maximum of 3 times


Tracking Tab

The Tracking tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for your mount's tracking actions during the sequence:

Tracking-tab.png

  • Tracking Stop Watchdog: If checked, if tracking stops during the sequence, attempt to restart tracking the specified number of times
  • Tracking Start: If checked, stop tracking when the sequence is started, and start tracking only after the Time Wait On Start interval has elapsed


Plate Solving Tab

The Tracking tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for plate solving during the sequence:

Plate-solving-tab.png

  • Disable Plate Solving: If checked, do not perform plate solving during the sequence. If this is checked, precision pointing can not be done, only unverified goto's of the mount
  • Bypass DEFAULT Setting and use Actual Filter for Plate Solving: If checked, the filter in use for image exposures will be used for plate solving, regardless of the settings specified in Plate Solve setup
  • Bypass DEFAULT Setting and use this OVERRIDE Setting for Plate Solving: if checked, the filter used for plate solving will be the one in Plate Solving OVERRIDE Setting Box. Usefull when you use a 2 subset of filter narrow / broadbrand of different tichkness, this mean different focus. Remember to enlarge time or increase (or do togheter) binning in case of use of narrow band filter.
Important Note! Using a narrow band filter may cause plate solving to fail, as the resulting image may be too dim to have stars that the plate solving routine can locate in the image


Meridian Flip Tab

The Meridian Flip tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for meridian flip management during the sequence:

Sequence-meridian-flip-211j.jpg

  • Meridian Flip Mode: Choose Do Not Manage, Halt on Flip Time or Manage from the drop-down list
    • Do Not Manage: Voyager will not perform any meridian flip management during the sequence - it will not monitor mount position near the meridian while the mount is tracking
    • Halt on Flip Time: When Voyager determines it is time to flip the mount, the sequence will be halted. If you have tracking safety stop enabled in Voyager the mount will be halted. Otherwise, set a limit in your mount configuration settings to stop tracking
    • Manage: Voyager will monitor the mount position relative to the meridian and perform a meridian flip as needed, as specified in Mount Setup
  • Flip Rotator On Meridian Flip: If checked, if a rotator is attached, flip the rotator 180 degrees after a meridian flip so the image's position angle is maintained
  • Inject Focus On Meridian Flip: If checked, perform an autofocus after the meridian flip completes
  • Force Meridian Flip Procedure with Exposure Abort After Meridian Crossing: If checked, Voyager will abort any exposure in progress and force a meridian flip after the Wait Max Time number of minutes has elapsed past the meridian. This time should be greater than the "Do Flip After Mount Crossing Meridian By" number of minutes you set the GEM Meridian Flip manager in Mount Setup. This could be used as a safety value to make sure your mount never tracks further than this amount of time past the meridian.
  • ABORT Exposure if Meridian Flip occurs outside Voyager and FORCE EXECUTE Meridian Flip Operations: If checked, Voyager will notice if a meridian flip has occurred external to Voyager (not initiated by Voyager) and perform the meridian flip operations. This option only works if:


Important Note! If you choose Do Not Manage, please be sure your mount's firmware and/or driver software handles meridian flips automatically and prevents equipment damaging pier crashes
Important Note! If you choose Force Meridian Flip with Exposure Abort..., make sure your mount can track the specified Max Wait Time number of minutes past the meridian without an equipment damaging pier crash


Important Note! As of Voyager 2.1.4a, Sequences contain a new Watchdog for the control of meridian flip repetitions. After a certain number of attempts by Voyager to change the meridian, the Sequence stops. If this occurs when the Sequence is running in a DragScript, the Sequence ends with an ERROR


Guide/Dithering Tab

The Guide/Dithering tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for guiding and dithering management during the sequence. The settings in Guiding Setup are used unless these settings override them.

Sequence-config-dither-every-x.png

  • Guide Star Selection Method: Choose how the guide star should be selected
    • Voyager RoboGuide: Voyager's own RoboGuide algorithm, as specified in Guiding Setup, will be used to select a guide star. If RoboGuide cannot find a suitable guide star, Voyager will retry with the guiding software's own guide star selection process if it has one
    • Native Guide Control: Use the guiding software's own star selection method
  • Calibrate Guide: If checked, perform a Guiding Calibration step at the start of the sequence. Use the exposure time in the spinner control in seconds and binning level for the guide software's calibration routine
  • Guiding: If checked, enable Guiding for this sequence. Use the exposure time in the spinner control in seconds and binning level for the guide software's guiding exposures. Enter zero for the exposure time if you want to use your guide software's automatic mode, if it has one
    • AO Centering: Choose None, Every Exposure or Every X Exposure from the drop-down list. This setting only works if you have an AO (Adaptive Optics) guide unit connected and your AO supports mirror homing
      • None: Never perform AO Centering
      • Every Exposure: Perform AO Centering after every exposure
      • Every X Exposure: Specify X = number of exposures between AO Centering operations
  • Star Lost Detection: If checked, the maximum allowed percentage of time that the guide star can be lost without considering guiding to have failed
  • Dithering: If checked, specify the max number of pixels to move during a dithering operation. Note: this works with or without guiding enabled.
    • Every X Exposure: If Dithering is checked, dither every X exposures, where X is the value of the counter field
  • Realign to Target: If checked, perform a precision pointing operation after this number of minutes has elapsed. This is useful if you are doing unguided exposures and want to re-center your target every so often


Important Note! If the Guiding checkbox is not checked, the sequence runs without Guiding.
Important Note! Dithering will use the guiding software's routine if guiding is enabled and dithering is available from the guiding software. If guiding is not enabled, dithering will be performed by Voyager


Important Note! As of Voyager 2.1.1g, lack of calibration performed via Voyager is signaled as a Warning and does not cause the Sequence to end with an Error.

To use the previously saved guider calibration in PHD2, check the box in PHD2 settings on the Guiding tab “Auto Restore Calibration”.

For the automatic management of the guide vector at meridian change, the mount must also be connected to PHD2 and must provide Meridian Side data. Follow the instructions in PHD2. In this mode Voyager cannot guarantee the correct functioning guiding after a meridian change.

Shot Tab

The Shot tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for image exposures:

Shot-tab.png

  • Wait Between Shot: If checked, wait the specified number of seconds after each exposure before beginning the next. May be useful for some cameras that need a pause before the next command is sent to take an exposure
  • On Exposure Error: If checked, if an exposure results in an error, try to re-take the exposure up to 3 times
  • Use SubFrame: If checked, use a centered subframe of the size selected from the drop-down list: Full Frame, 1/2 size, 1/4 size, 1/8 size, 1/16 size or CUSTOM size.
    • CUSTOM Size: If you choose custom size from the drop-down, a counter appears from which you can choose any percentage value for your subframe size


Focus Tab

The Focus tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify additional parameters for autofocus operations. The settings in AutoFocus setup are used unless these settings override them.

The Focus Tab was revised in Voyager 2.1.1f to make room for additional Focus Triggers, reflected here:

Sequence-autofocus-2.11f.jpg

  • Focus Method: Choose the autofocus method to use during the sequence
    • Voyager RoboStar: Use Voyager's RoboStar method to select the star for autofocus operation. If you are using TheSkyX @Focus2, @Focus3, or FocusMax, make sure they are not configured to also move to a focus star.
    • Voyager LocalField: Use Voyager's LocalField multiple-star autofocus operation
    • Focus Star: Use the focus star specified by the Focus Star panel below and use Voyager's VCurve single-star autofocus operation
    • FocusMax AcquireStar: Use FocusMax for autofocus and request that it use its own AcquireStar method to select a star for autofocus
    • Focus On Place: Autofocus using a suitable star, if one can be found, in the current field of view
  • Use Low Precision Pointing: If checked, relax the error tolerance for precision pointing to the focus star.
    • Multiple Max Allowed Error by: If Use Low Precision Pointing is checked, multiply the error tolerance specified in Mount Setup by the number of times specified in the counter. E.g., if you specified an error tolerance of 10 arc-secs in Mount Setup, and a "5" here, the focus star precision pointing operation would stop when the error was less than 50 arc-secs.
  • Max HFD Variation Percentage Allowed: If checked, the maximum percent variation of the focus star's HFD (Half Flux Diameter) at final focus between the current and previous autofocus action. Larger values are considered an autofocus failure and will raise an ERROR. If Retry Focus for Watchdog is checked in Autofocus Setup, the autofocus will be retried the up to the number of times specified in that setup field
  • Force RoboStar on First Focus: If checked, use the RoboStar operation on first autofocus to find a suitable focus star and perform a VCurve autofocus operation
  • On LocalField Focus Error use RoboStar: If checked, if a LocalField autofocus operation fails, try RoboStar to find a suitable focus star and perform a VCurve autofocus operation
  • Focus Star Setting: Specify a star to use for autofocus before the meridian, after the meridian, or at all times.
    • If only the left column - Before Meridian - is filled out, that star is used for the entire sequence.
    • If both columns are filled out, the coordinates on the left are used before the meridian and the star on the right is used after the meridian
      • Object-finder.jpg: Click this icon to bring up the Object Finder and search for your focus star by name. The Object Finder will populate the RA, DEC and NAME fields from the search result
  • Focus Filter:
    • Use Actual Filter: Autofocus using the filter for the currently running slot of the sequence
    • Use Default Filter: Choose the default filter to use for autofocus operations. If nothing else overrides this selection, use the filter selected from the drop-down list.
  • Focus Trigger: Check one or more boxes to determine the condition(s) that trigger an autofocus
    • Focus By Slot: If checked, and if the sequence mode is Group By Slot, autofocus at the start of every new sequence slot.
    • Focus Each X Exposure: If checked, focus every X exposures, where X is the counter value.
    • Focus Each X Minutes: If checked, focus every X minutes, where X is the counter value. This can be especially useful if your sequence mixes slots with very different exposure lengths.
    • Focus Each X Delta °C or Delta ADU: If checked, focus every X degrees °C change of temperature or change of ADU value reported by the focuser chosen in Setup. Check your focuser documentation to see whether it reports temperature or a value of ADU that is related to temperature. Then choose the counter value based on how much the number returned by the focuser changes when you need to rerun autofocus.
    • Focus Each X Delta Degrees of Altitude: If checked, focus every time the target's altitude changes by the specified number of degrees

As of Voyager 2.1.1f, new Monitor Window information lines have been added at the start of each exposure explaining the autofocus criteria currently in effect along with current status of each criterion:New-autofocus-monitor-info-2.11f.jpg

Important Note! If you check more than one Focus Trigger box, autofocus will be performed whenever any of the checked criteria are met. E.g., you could focus both every 30 minutes and every filter change and every 2 degrees temperature change.


Important Note! If no Focus Trigger boxes are checked, autofocus will only be performed at times specified in other areas, such as in the On Start and Meridian Flip tabs. If none of those boxes are checked, no autofocus will be performed during the Sequence run


Important Note! Both Voyager's RoboStar and FocusMax's AcquireStar methods may move the mount to the focus star, perform the autofocus, and move back to the target. These operations can provide a better autofocus by choosing a more suitable star than any in the current field of view. However, they will spend more time to move the mount to the focus star and back compared to focusing on the best star in the field of view


Important Note! Low Precision Pointing can save considerable time during your sequence and in many cases there is no need for high precision pointing to goto a focus star


On Error Tab

The On Error tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify actions Voyager should take if an error is raised during a sequence:

On-error-tab.png

  • Do this on ERROR:
    • Nothing - if this radio button is checked, Voyager will not take any action when an error happens
    • Good Night: if this radio button is checked, Voyager will perform the following shutdown actions:
      • Run this Program/Script BEFORE: Click the "..." button to choose an external program or script to run at the start of the Good Night operation. Click the X button to clear this field. Note: this field is used to run an external Windows program or script, not a Voyager DragScript. Run your Sequence from the DragScript, not the other way around.
      • Move CCD to Filter: If checked, move the filter wheel to the filter selected from the drop-down list
      • Async Warmup: If checked, send a command to the CCD cooler to warm the sensor, and do not wait for the warmup operation to complete
      • Sync Warmup: If checked, send a command to the CCD cooler to warm the sensor, and wait for the warmup operation to complete
      • Park: If checked, park the mount
      • Run this Program/Script AFTER: Click the "..." button to choose an external program or script to run at the end of the Good Night operation. Click the X button to clear this field. Note: this field is used to run an external Windows program or script, not a Voyager DragScript. Run your Sequence from the DragScript, not the other way around.


Important Note! If the sequence is run from a DragScript, the information in the On Error tab is not used. Instead, the DragScript instructions for managing the Error condition are used


On End Tab

The On End tab of the Sequence Configuration window is where you specify actions Voyager should take at the end of a sequence:

On-end-2.11f.jpg

  • Force Sequence End Timer: If checked, end the sequence after the time Interval specified has elapsed (HH:MM:SS)
    • Absolute: If checked, end the sequence at the absolute time indicated in the counter fields (HH:MM:SS)
    • Finish Running Exposure: If checked, finish any exposure in progress when the Force Sequence End Timer is triggered
  • Do this at END:
    • Nothing: If this radio button is selected, do nothing at the end of the sequence
    • Warmup: If this radio button is selected, warmup the CCD cooler at the end of the sequence
      • Sync Warmup: If checked, wait for the warmup to finish. If not checked, send the warmup command to the cooler and don't wait
  • Good Night: if this radio button is checked, Voyager will perform the following shutdown actions at the end of the sequence:
    • Run this Program/Script BEFORE: Click the "..." button to choose an external program or script to run at the start of the Good Night operation. Click the X button to clear this field. Note: this field is used to run an external Windows program or script, not a Voyager DragScript. Run your Sequence from the DragScript, not the other way around.
    • Move CCD to Filter: If checked, move the filter wheel to the filter selected from the drop-down list
    • Async Warmup: If checked, send a command to the CCD cooler to warm the sensor, and do not wait for the warmup operation to complete
    • Sync Warmup: If checked, send a command to the CCD cooler to warm the sensor, and wait for the warmup operation to complete
    • Park: If checked, park the mount
    • Close Flat Device Cover: If checked, close the specified flat device cover
    • Run this Program/Script AFTER: Click the "..." button to choose an external program or script to run at the end of the Good Night operation. Click the X button to clear this field. Note: this field is used to run an external Windows program or script, not a Voyager DragScript. Run your Sequence from the DragScript, not the other way around.
Important Note! If the sequence is run from a DragScript, the On End tab information is not used. The DragScript instructions for end time and what to do after the sequence ends are followed instead