ASCOM Simulator

ASCOM Multi-function Camera Simulator:

This is test build for a multi-function camera simulator.   It simulates telescope movement under the stars by using Cartes du Ciel (CDC) connected to an ASCOM Mount simulator.   Image acquisition is accomplished by screen captures of CDC.  The FOV can be set to match any imaging chip by changing the CDC FOV and the Camera simulator image size.   Focus simulation is also accomplished by connecting the camera simulator to an ASCOM focus driver.  The image (screen capture or selected) is blurred depending on the focuser position relative to a pre-defined focus point.   

How to use: 

Install the driver

Open Image acquisition software 

Select SimCDC Camera

Click Properties

Select Focuser

Click OK

In the Simulator Setup window, set the Focus point 

Set the Step Size (amount of focus movement that causes incremental image blur)

For image from file (not screen capture): 

Click Image file and select image to use, then click ok x2

(Note: default size is 600x800)

For CDC screen capture:

Open CDC and have maximized on main monitor

Click Set Area, Left click mouse and drag over CDC to match your image chip FOV then double click

Click Capture to save an image and set as the simulator image.   

(The image can be viewed in c:\users\(user name)\AppData\Local\ASCOM_SimCDC_Camera)

Click OK x 2

The CDC window can now be moved to a secondary monitor if desired.  

With CDC connected to an ASCOM Mount simulator and "Track Mount" selected, automation software can be used to simulate capture sequences and autofocus routines.  If the FOV is accurately set to match your imaging chip these screen shots can be plate-solved.   

Focus simulation using Sequence Generator Pro (trial version):

This demonstrates using a fixed image (not CDC screen capture) and focus changes that result in simulator image blur.

Watch the focus position changes (course in button clicked) and resultant blurring, then manually enter focus point position and return to sharp focus

Sample Images: 

CDC Screen Capture of M81/M82 in focus (top) Out of focus (middle) and plate solve of the CDC screen capture (bottom)

Change Log: 

Ver 1003

 - fixed so in-focus is centered on focus position 

Ver 1002

 - resize image from file prior to blur, much faster

Ver 1001

 - fixed image from file blur

ver 1000

 - first build