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  1. #1
    Jimk33's Avatar
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    Default Need help with AstroTortilla



    From what I have read, Astrotortilla can perform something essentially magic. It apparently can take a photograph of a patch of sky from your telescope, compare it with indices of astronomic star benchmarks, tell you exactly where your telescope is pointed, and slew you telescope to a desired target.

    Unfortunately, I have been unable to work this magic on my scope. I have an Atlas EQ-G mount, a Canon T2i, and use Stellarium, Stellariumscope, either BYEos or Nebulosity for capture control, and PHD Guiding for guiding.

    I installed AstroTortilla, which also installeda program called CYGWIN, and downloaded 31 gigabits of indices from astrometry.net. I tried using AstroTorilla last night, and it worked without throwing an error, but it also told me that it wasn't able to find a solution. The image captured using Nebulosity seemed to have plenty of stars for a comparison, so I'm at a loss as to where to go next.

    Has anyone here successfully used Astrotortilla, and can you give me any ideas on what I'm doing wrong.?



    By the way, is there a way to test Astrotortilla using an existing image rather than letting it capture a new image? I'd like to test Astrotortilla in my living room during the day rather than find out that it doesn't work in the dark.
    Last edited by Jimk33; 10-07-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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    Scope & Mount: Orion 8" F4.9 w/Moonlite motorized focuser, Atlas mount; Astrotech 65 EQD refractor guidescope w/SSAG, Camera & Filters: Full Spectrum Canon T3, Baader Ha, Oii and Oiii 2" filters.
    Software: StellariumScope, Stellarium, EQASCOM, Astrotortilla, BYEOS; PHD2; Pixinsight, Splashtop
    Accessories: Kendrick Digifire 7 dew controller, Startech 12V 4-port USB hub,

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  3. #2
    Phil Leigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    Jim, i have almost the same gear as you and I have AT working just fine... But it was not easy to get it all working!
    Yes you can try it with any old image file, I can p robably help you through it. Unfortunately I'm stuck indoors right now and my imaging laptop is in the shed... If you can wait until tomorrow I can almost certainly get you working.
    Regards,
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimk33 View Post
    I installed AstroTortilla, which also installeda program called CYGWIN, and downloaded 31 gigabits of indices from astrometry.net.
    JimK, Hopefully this is a typo... I am interested in AstroTortilla however as I have to download it over a wireless link that is bandwidth limited, I have to ask, all total, how big are the combined downloads to get AstroTortilla up and running, and does it require any internet connection once installed to access off site data bases?

    Thanks for the information if you can help...
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    Phil,
    Thanks for whatever help you can offer. I had you in mind when I made my post, but wanted to let others know about astrotortilla, and see if anyone else had experience with it.

    As you probably did, I sent an email to code2@astrometry.net to get access to the index files. I received a response from Dustin Lang at Carnegie Mellon University that gave me a code to access their "original" indices (but it didn't work for some reason). He also sent a link to new indices based on "2MASS" (I'm guessing that's good), which I downloaded. The email also said something about choosing he indices that I needed, but I couldn't figure out what those were, so I downloaded them all.

    I don't know whether the problem is the indices, or something in my configuration.
    Scope & Mount: Orion 8" F4.9 w/Moonlite motorized focuser, Atlas mount; Astrotech 65 EQD refractor guidescope w/SSAG, Camera & Filters: Full Spectrum Canon T3, Baader Ha, Oii and Oiii 2" filters.
    Software: StellariumScope, Stellarium, EQASCOM, Astrotortilla, BYEOS; PHD2; Pixinsight, Splashtop
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    fmhill,
    I didn't check the size of the Astrotortilla files, but believe they are fairly modest. The real bulk is in the indices. As I understand, with the indices downloaded it should run without an internet connection.

    As for the size of the indices, the message I received from Dustin Lang said something about downloading the indices I "needed." Indeed, something I read said that downloading too many indices may actually slow processing. I'm guessing at this point, but I think one differences in the various index files is the size of the image in arc minutes of the sample image for which they are intended. So matching a set of indices to the specific size of image that your camera generates should reduce the size substantially.

    Here's a link to a "readme" file that explains this better. Frankly, a lot of this seems to relate to Unix or Linux programming and beyond my understanding. I downloaded all of the indices because I didn't know which ones I needed, figured more was better, and had unlimited internet access.

    README in trunk/src/astrometry

    The index sizes for large size image fields look like they are on the order of 30 to 60 mega (not giga) bytes. The smaller the image field the larger the index size. I haven't calculated the field size for my scope and camera.

    Maybe Phil can shed more light on this. Guess we'll all learn together.
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    Scope & Mount: Orion 8" F4.9 w/Moonlite motorized focuser, Atlas mount; Astrotech 65 EQD refractor guidescope w/SSAG, Camera & Filters: Full Spectrum Canon T3, Baader Ha, Oii and Oiii 2" filters.
    Software: StellariumScope, Stellarium, EQASCOM, Astrotortilla, BYEOS; PHD2; Pixinsight, Splashtop
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    Jim,
    Thanks for the reply... I read through that readme, it sounds like at the very minimum the indices would total about 25 Gb... For the moment unless I can learn otherwise, that is going to cause me to wait on AstroTortilla, I have a 5Gb per month limit without paying penalties... There are ways around this, mainly take my laptop to a business I have a minor involvement in and I can download the files to my laptop and then transfer them to my imaging computer.

    I am very interested, so, for the moment I will follow what you are doing if you'd be so kind as to share your experience with AstroTortilla... I can always find a way to download the indices when the time comes I am certain...
    Thanks, Mitch - K1FH
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    That Astrotortilla (besides having a name that for some reason makes me hungry) seems like it will do several magical things. It seems to state it will calibrate the goto of your telescope but with the way Astrotortilla can handle the Goto's and get them spot on this may not be too big a deal since I'd like let Astrotortilla do the goto's instead of the mount. One neat aspect they mention in the manual is using an image from last nights session and having your mount goto the exact same coordinates as the earlier session so your lights are perfectly aligned up. I'm really interested to see how its polar alignment and the drift alignments work out.

    I wonder if BackyardEOS would be compatible with this even though the manual doesnt mention it?


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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    Quote Originally Posted by MLaferriere View Post
    I wonder if BackyardEOS would be compatible with this even though the manual doesnt mention it?

    According to Guylain, author of BYEOS, that is in the works. You should see it soon....
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    OK folks - sorry about the delay but we are 3,500 miles or so away!
    Let me try and shed some light on this, but please bear in mind I'm NOT an expert in this stuff - but I have got it working on two Win 7 64 bit PC's. You'll have to grit your teeth for some of this...

    1) You do not NEED to download all of the indexes. In theory you only need the indexes that correspond to the native image size/resolution/field of view of your imaging camera. Having all of the indexes does slow down the solving UNLESS you give AT a hint (via its GUI) as to the index that might match your image.
    2) I haven't figured out the logical correlation between image size/FOV and index yet - I did a LOT of trial and error but I'm certain that a clever person could figure out that if you have Camera A and Scope B you will get an image FOV of C so you only need indexes D through F.
    3) For now you want to take small steps. I'm attaching an image that I took that I know solves in AT. It solves with Index 5. If you download this image (and put it anywhere on your PC) and download and extract/unpack index 5 you can use this to test the whole setup.
    4) When you fire up the AT gui (such as it is!) use Tools - Log Viewer to open the log window and drag it to a free part of the screen BEFORE doing anything else - that way you can see what AT is doing.
    5) Configure AT to use "File Open Dialog" as the "Camera"... this lets you use an existing file anywhere on your PC. When you click on Capture and Solve (bottom right) it will give you a standard file open dialogue box...
    6) As soon as you select the image file, AT will start to TRY to solve it.
    7) Before you start, make sure you have your index file in the right place... you should have the file called index-205.fits in the folder C:\cygwin\usr\share\astrometry\data
    8) see attached screenshot of this image being solved by AT...
    9) You don't need an active internet connection to RUN AT - that's the trade-off for downloading the indexes. Using local indexes is also a lot faster!
    10) Until Guylain implements an API to "take a picture" in BYE, you can just manually use the "take preview" feature to snap a jpeg into a folder then follow the above process :-)
    So hopefully that has given you enough to get started... let me know how you get on!
    regards
    Phil

    PS if you want to try on your own image files, you will need to find out which indexes you need. Also, the brightness (# of visible stars) is a somewhat critical factor - you will need to experiment!
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    Default Re: Need help with AstroTortilla

    Quote Originally Posted by MLaferriere View Post
    That Astrotortilla (besides having a name that for some reason makes me hungry) seems like it will do several magical things. It seems to state it will calibrate the goto of your telescope but with the way Astrotortilla can handle the Goto's and get them spot on this may not be too big a deal since I'd like let Astrotortilla do the goto's instead of the mount. One neat aspect they mention in the manual is using an image from last nights session and having your mount goto the exact same coordinates as the earlier session so your lights are perfectly aligned up. I'm really interested to see how its polar alignment and the drift alignments work out.

    I wonder if BackyardEOS would be compatible with this even though the manual doesnt mention it?


    http://iweb.dl.sourceforge.net/proje...user_guide.pdf
    Yes - it can "go to" an image so you can spread a session over as many nights as you like. It will also tweak your manual/planetarium-driven goto's for extreme accuracy.

    In a future release of AT it will behave as a telescope so you can just use your planetarium of choice to "slew" AT to a target and AT will intervene and auto calibrate/repair the goto for you - very neat! No alignment required :-)

    I haven't tried the drift/polar alignment features.
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