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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0002171CCdcielGeneralpublic19-08-28 09:25
ReporterCedric Raguenaud Assigned ToPatrick Chevalley  
PrioritynormalSeverityminorReproducibilityhave not tried
Status resolvedResolutionfixed 
Target Version1.0 
Summary0002171: Suggestion: ability to autofocus based on time
DescriptionIt would be good to add an option to autofocus every n minutes (similar to the every n image one, but based on time) . It's useful for example in case of multiple targets with the same filter : no need to refocus every time we change target.
Additional InformationNote: I submitted this last night but I don't see it in the list.
TagsNo tags attached.


Patrick Chevalley

19-08-24 10:12

administrator   ~0005869

Yes, this can be a good option. More similar to the option to refocus after a change in temperature.

About the lost entries in Mantis, I not have a lot of log about that on the server to search for an error. What I can do is update Mantis to a new version.

Patrick Chevalley

19-08-25 11:04

administrator   ~0005873

This function is not difficult to implement but I have a problem with the configuration interface.

Because this setting is independent of the plan step there is no reason to have a setting there. It must be in the global Focus setting with the "'Auto-focus if temp. change by more than.."
Now I think there is also no reason for the option "Autofocus when temperature change" in the plan step because it is defined globally. I must remove this checkbox from the plan editor.
But "Autofocus before start" has it's place in the plan editor, for me it give more flexibility than a global option "autofocus when filter change"
Also "Autofocus every" can be useful for very long step.

To summarize:
- add an option "refocus every n minutes" in Preference/Focus
- remove "Autofocus when temperature change" in the plan step editor, assuming "yes" if this is configured in the preference.

Is this OK?

Cedric Raguenaud

19-08-25 11:26

reporter   ~0005875

Yes, that sounds pefectly reasonable.


19-08-25 14:00

reporter   ~0005880

Last edited: 19-08-25 14:25

View 3 revisions

Hello Patric, Hello Cedric,

Yes that makes sense. You could also argue that "auto focus every n minutes" should also move to Preference/Focus. It is less related to the sequence except in should be executed only if the sequence is active. Once set by the user he would use it for all sequences old and new, so a global setting "auto focus every n minutes" at Preference/Focus would make sense to me.

The time measurement should should start at first exposure and reset at an "autofocus at start".

Maybe it is good to indicate that these global settings "auto focus every n minutes" & "auto focus every delta t degrees" are active/on. Something like "autofocus active"


19-08-26 09:04

reporter   ~0005882

Last edited: 19-08-26 10:06

View 2 revisions

If the auto focus triggered by time or temperature change is made global, I would suggest to indicate it by a log message at the end of an exposure. E.g.

Exposure finished, auto focus due in 4 minutes.


Exposure finished, auto focus due in 0.7 °C.

Focusing using a refractor is very important and this log message will help to understand what is and will happening.

Patrick Chevalley

19-08-26 17:25

administrator   ~0005883

I implemented this function and this is now available in the source code. Please test if this is OK.

As all this automatic autofocus action are cumulative the message when autofocus is next due show all the active options:
"Autofocus due in 3 image, or 10 minutes, or 3.5 C"


19-08-26 20:12

reporter   ~0005884

Compiled and works good! Understand that messages come only after first focus. Trigger values are reset after second "Autofocus before start" Yes I'm happy with it. Less risk of forgetting to autofocus. ( I forgot to autofocus last night by recalling an old sequence)

Found two spelling mistakes. See attached image.

19:58:47 AutoFocus successful
19:58:47 End preview
19:58:49 Autofocus due in 15 image, or 2 minutes, or 2.0 C
19:58:49 Set Binning 2x2
19:58:49 ASCOM.Simulator.Camera: Set binning 2x2
19:58:50 Camera frame x=0 y=0 width=2178 height=1760
19:58:51 Starting Light exposure 1/3 for 10 seconds
19:59:03 Saved file d:\temp\M42_NGC1976-step-2_20190826_175903.fits
19:59:03 Autofocus due in 14 image, or 2 minutes, or 1.7 C
19:59:03 Starting Light exposure 2/3 for 10 seconds
19:59:16 Saved file d:\temp\M42_NGC1976-step-2_20190826_175916.fits
19:59:16 Autofocus due in 13 image, or 1 minutes, or 1.7 C
19:59:16 Starting Light exposure 3/3 for 10 seconds
19:59:28 Saved file d:\temp\M42_NGC1976-step-2_20190826_175928.fits
19:59:28 Stop capture
19:59:34 Start step Step2
19:59:34 Start capture
spelling error.png (20,786 bytes)   
spelling error.png (20,786 bytes)   

Patrick Chevalley

19-08-26 20:34

administrator   ~0005885

Thank you Han, I fixed the spelling error.

Yes, I make the periodic autofocus to be active only after a first autofocus is run in the session.
You can try to have this option to systematically start an autofocus at the start of a sequence by setting "AutoFocusLastTime:=0;" in pu_main line 1095.
This was my first option but I was irritated by the autofocus running every time I restart the program.

Maybe I can save the last focus time in the config file, the same we do for the focus temperature. This way the periodic autofocus work without a manual initialization but it is not done every time if you just quickly stop and restart ccdciel.


19-08-26 21:58

reporter   ~0005886

The current setup is good! No need to change. You have autofocus anyhow at the beginning of the night.

The last compiled version is from 2019-6-29. I'm sure Cedric and two local club members here are eager to test his version.

Cedric Raguenaud

19-08-26 22:09

reporter   ~0005887

It all sounds good. I'll get the last source and get next clear night.

Patrick Chevalley

19-08-28 09:25

administrator   ~0005890

I make a new version now

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
19-08-23 18:44 Cedric Raguenaud New Issue
19-08-24 10:12 Patrick Chevalley Assigned To => Patrick Chevalley
19-08-24 10:12 Patrick Chevalley Status new => assigned
19-08-24 10:12 Patrick Chevalley Target Version => 1.0
19-08-24 10:12 Patrick Chevalley Note Added: 0005869
19-08-25 11:04 Patrick Chevalley Status assigned => feedback
19-08-25 11:04 Patrick Chevalley Note Added: 0005873
19-08-25 11:26 Cedric Raguenaud Note Added: 0005875
19-08-25 11:26 Cedric Raguenaud Status feedback => assigned
19-08-25 14:00 han Note Added: 0005880
19-08-25 14:02 han Note Edited: 0005880 View Revisions
19-08-25 14:25 han Note Edited: 0005880 View Revisions
19-08-26 09:04 han Note Added: 0005882
19-08-26 10:06 han Note Edited: 0005882 View Revisions
19-08-26 17:25 Patrick Chevalley Note Added: 0005883
19-08-26 20:12 han File Added: spelling error.png
19-08-26 20:12 han Note Added: 0005884
19-08-26 20:34 Patrick Chevalley Note Added: 0005885
19-08-26 21:58 han Note Added: 0005886
19-08-26 22:09 Cedric Raguenaud Note Added: 0005887
19-08-28 09:25 Patrick Chevalley Status assigned => resolved
19-08-28 09:25 Patrick Chevalley Resolution open => fixed
19-08-28 09:25 Patrick Chevalley Note Added: 0005890