Utilities for Astro-Physics mounts

Utilities for Astro-Physics Mounts is a NINA plugin that will eventually implement multiple useful Advanced Sequencer functions for users of Astro-Physics mounts. Although there is currently only one function in version 1.0 of this plugin, I expect that its functionality will grow over time as APCC features appear and new use cases are realized.

Requirements and installation

This plugin requires the following:

  • NINA 1.11 build 120 or later
  • Enable Server is turned On in NINA under Options > General
  • Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) Pro 1.9
  • An Astro-Physics GTO mount!

The plugin may be installed by going to NINA’s plugin manager, clicking on Available, selecting Utilities for Astro-Physics Mounts, and pressing the Install button. The plugin’s components will immediately be available for use inside NINA’s Advanced Sequencer under the Astro-Physics Utilities category.

Plugin Functions

Create APPM Model

Create APPM Model is a sequence instruction that does as it is named – it starts Astro-Physics Point Mapper (APPM) which then proceeds to initiate a point mapping run using either the last-used settings or settings and map points that are in saved settings files. Upon completion of its mapping run, APPM will load the model into APCC Pro and then exit. The sequence will then continue normally with a fresh pointing and tracking model in APCC.

Create APPM Model has one runtime option: Keep APPM open. This defaults to off. The purpose of this option is to prevent APPM from automatically closing at the end of its mapping run so that you may review the results or something of that sort. The only downside to this is that the sequence will be blocked from moving on until APPM closes, so it’s not good to turn this option on if you won’t be around to exit out of APPM manually.

APPM configuration

The following APPM settings are required:

  • Camera should be set to NINA
  • After Complete should be set to No Action

The After Complete option is best set to No Action if you intend to start imaging a target immediately upon finishing the modeling run. Having it set to anything else is unnecessary. Setting it to Park will require that your next instructions unpark the mount before doing anything else.

Using Create APPM Model

To use Create APPM Model, simply drag the instruction into an Instruction Set, where appropriate. I suggest making its own template for it where your system could be set up properly beforehand to execute the mapping run at an appropriate time. I’ve included an example screenshot below to give you some ideas. You may wish to run an autofocus operation before starting the run or ensure that a certain filter is rotated into place. It’s generally up to you so give it a little thought.

The following video gives a walk-through of installing and using this plugin.

Getting Support

Support for this plugin can be found in the #plugin-discussions channel on NINA’s Discord server. You can also find me on the ap-gto Groups.io forum/mailing list.

One Reply to “Utilities for Astro-Physics mounts”

  1. thanks for your work on this – I updated ASCOM, APCC, and your plug in.
    When I run it or look at APPM – I don’t see NINA in the options.
    When I run it – It says it can’t find SGP for plate solving?
    I use ASTAP in NINA for solving? I suspect maybe my old settings file is causing this?

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