CCD Module

The CCD Module is your primary image acquisition module in Ekos. It enables you to capture single (Preview) or multiple images (Sequence Queue) along with selection of filter wheel, if available.

 CCD Group

  • CCD: Select the active CCD camera. If your camera has a guide head, you can select it from here as well.
  • Exposure: Specify exposure in seconds.
  • Binning: Specify horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) binning.
  • Frame: Specify the left (X), top (Y), width (W), and height (H) of the desired CCD frame.
  • Type: Specify the type of desired CCD frame. Options are Light, Dark, Bias, and Flat frames.
  • Prefix: Specify prefix to append to the generated filename. You may also append the frame type, filter, and expose duration. For example, if you specify Prefix as "M45" and checked the Type and Filter checkboxes, and assuming your filter was set to "Red" and your frame type is "Light", the generated file names will be as following:
    • M45_Light_Red_01.fits
    • M45_Light_Red_02.fits
    If Add ISO 8601 Timestap was checked, a timestamp will be appended to the filename, e.g.
    • M45_Light_Red_01_2013-11-09T23:47:46.fits
    • M45_Light_Red_02_2013-11-09T23:48:34.fits
  • Count: Number of images to capture
  • Delay: Delay in seconds between image captures
  • Directory: Directory to save the sequence images to.

 Filter Wheel Group

  • Device: Select the filter wheel device.
  • Filter: Specify desired filter.

 Sequence Queue

Sequence Queue is powerful feature of the Ekos CCD Module. You can plan and execute jobs using the sequence queue. To add a job, simply select all the parameters from the CCD and Filter Wheel groups as indicated above. Furthermore, you may also select options such as Add ISO 8601 Timestap and Display in FITS Viewer as well. Once you selected your desired parameters, click on the add button in the sequence queue to add it to the queue.

You can add as many jobs as desired. Once you are done adding jobs, simple click Start Sequence to begin executing the jobs. A job state changes from Idle to In Progress and finally to Complete once it is done. The Sequence Queue automatically starts the next job. If a job is aborted, it may be resumed again. To reset the status of all the jobs, simply click the reset button . Please beware that all image progress counts are reset as well. To preview an image in KStars FITS Viewer, click the Preview button. Make sure the Display in FITS Viewer checkbox is checked, otherwise, the Preview button is disabled.

Sequence queues can be saved as an XML file with extension .esq (Ekos Sequence Queue). To load a sequence queue, click the open document button . Please note that it will replace any current sequence queues in Ekos.

To edit a job, double click it. You will notice the add button now changed to commit changes button . Make your changes on the left hand side of the CCD module and once done, click on the commit changes button. To cancel a job edit, click anywhere empty within the sequence queue table.

 Options

  • Auto Dark Subtract: You can capture an image and auto dark subtract it by checking this option. Note that this option is only applicable when using Preview, you cannot use it in batch mode sequence queue.
  • Add ISO 8601 Time Stamp: Appends a time time to the file name in the format YYYYMMDDTHH:MM:SS
  • Display in FITS Viewer: If checked, it automatically displays the captured image in KStars FITS Viewer. It is recommend to turn this option off in batch mode.
  • Maximum Guiding Deviation: If checked, it enforces a limit of maximum allowable guiding deviation for the exposure, if autoguiding is used. If the guiding deviation exceeds this limit in arcseconds, it aborts the exposure sequence. It will automatically resume the exposure sequence again once the guiding deviation goes below this limit.
  • Autofocus if HFR exceeds a value: If autofocus is enabled in the focus module and at least one autofocus operation was completed successfully, you can set the maximum acceptable HFR value. If this option is enabled then between consequtive exposures, the HFR value is recalculated, and if found to exceed the maximum acceptable HFR value, then an autofocus operation is automatically triggered. If the autofocus operation is completed successfully, the sequence queue resumes, otherwise the job is aborted.
  • Park when complete: Automatically park the mount once all the jobs in the sequence queue are completed successfully.

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