Autoslew Menus


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This page describes the function of each of the Autoslew main screen menus and sub-menus. These descriptions relate to Autoslew which is a beta release, but most of the information provided here applies equally to the current production release.

Much of the material here is based upon ASA documentation dating from 2012 (the most recent fairly comprehensive documentation). It has been updated here with known changes but not all details may be up to date.

This page is currently under development.

File menu

Save Parameter: This saves the settings changes that have been made during the current session. Servo settings are saved to XXXServos.ini (where XXX is "El-" for mounts delivered before May 2010, "Cl-" for mounts delivered after May 2010 and "Sim" where Autoslew is running in simulator mode). Other settings are saved to Autoslew.ini. The default location for both these settings files is C:\ProgramData\ASA\Autoslew.

Save as Customer Default:  This saves the current settings (XXXServos.ini and Autoslew.ini) to the backup folder (default location is C:\ProgramData\ASA\AutoslewBackup). The file names are given a prefix which defaults to the date but you can specify a different prefix.

Restore Settings:  This restores previously saved customer settings from the backup folder, or enables a reset to factory settings.

Exit terminates the program. Make sure the motors are off and that all ASCOM connections to Autoslew have been closed before exiting. You will be asked whether you want to save any settings changes; if so then Autoslew.ini and XXXServos.ini are updated with the current settings. In addition (even if save settings is not selected) a number of other files are automatically saved to the Autoslew folder (default location C:\ProgramData\ASA\Autoslew):

  • saves the last mount position when Autoslew was shut off and the relative position of the homefind reference marks.
  • Login.fil and Logtimes.fil record  logout time and other session details.
  • Shutdownstatus.ini records whether the shut-down was normal (OK) or otherwise (crash).

If other equipment is being controlled by Autoslew then settings files for that equipment will also be saved. This may include:

  • for the dome.
  • SStepX.ini for focuser.

Pointing menu

Clear Old Configuration:  This deletes the current configuration. Use this to clear the current configuration before creating a new pointing file or calculating a configuration.

Advanced Pointing Control (expert mode):  This ...

Show Corrections (expert mode):  This ...

Control menu

Joystick Settings:  This opens a dialog box to enable a joystick or other hand controller to be configured for manual mount control.

Joystick Active:  This ...

Com-Ports:  This opens a dialog box to enable serial Com ports to be configured for communication with another PC, a dome or a GPS receiver where these are installed

Ascom ACL:  This opens a dialog box that enables ASCOM options to be specified and the computerized pointing system (CPS) protocol to be selected - either Meade LX200 or Merlin Astronomy Command Language (ACL).

Autoguider Settings:  This ...

Misc Settings:  This ...

Expertmode:  This toggles expert mode on or off. If expert mode is off then certain menu items are disabled (grayed out).

Mount menu

Type, Limits:  This menu item opens a dialog box which permits you to enter three parameters:
  • Minimum Altitude above Horizon specifies the lowest altitude (in degrees) above the horizon that Autoslew will be permitted to move the mount.
  • How far can you go through the Meridian with your German Mount specifies how far (in degrees) Autoslew will move past the meridian before performing a flip.  If you have an equatorial pier (e.g. the DDM160 or DDM85XL with "bent" pier) which avoids the need for meridian flips then enter 90 (you may need to tune this later depending upon your latitude to avoid unnecessary flips).
  • Minimum flip distance for east-side slews should specify an amount (in degrees) that lies just before your limit past the meridian. When arriving at the minimum flip distance the mount will flip and approach the object from the Western location. The point being, that you do not approach an object from the Eastern location only to be flipped to the West after only a few minutes. If you have an equatorial pier (e.g. the DDM160 or DDM85XL with "bent" pier) which avoids the need for meridian flips then this parameter is ignored.

Check Limits:  This specifies whether you want Autoslew to check if it is near the limits specified in the previous menu item. If this option is checked then Autoslew will not move the mount beyond the limits. Normally this option should always be checked.

Flip Options:  This opens a sub-menu with three options:

  • Prefer West will use the West side where possible.
  • Prefer East will use the East side where possible.
  • Stay on Side will keep the current side where possible.

If you are using an equatorial pier (e.g. the DDM160 or DDM85XL with "bent" pier) which avoids the need for meridian flips then select "Stay on Side".

Set Current Pierside:  This opens a dialog box that indicates which side Autoslew believes the mount is currently on and lets you change the side if it is wrong.


Park Positions:  This opens a sub-menu with three options:

  • Goto Park1 initiates a slew to the defined Park 1 position.
  • Goto Park2 initiates a slew to the defined Park 2 position.
  • Set new Park positions opens a dialog box that lets you specify positions for Park 1 and Park 2 as follows:

In this example Park 1 has been named "Zenith" while Park 2 has its default name of P2. Click the "enter new name" button to allocate different names to each Park position.

The park positions are specified as Azimuth/Altitude parameters and with the specified mount position (west/east). Alternatively, if the telescope has already been moved to the correct position, you can simply click the "use current telescope position ..." button.

Track on Comets:  This ...

Home Find:  This ...

Set New Homeposition:  This ...

Time-Settings (expert mode):  This ...

Location:  This ...

Up Time Info:  This ...

Telescope menu

Add/Remove Components:  This ...

Turn ON Fans:  This ...

Drive menu

Servo-Setup:  This ...

Slew Speed:  This ...

Tracking:  This ...

Objects menu

Select Object:  This ...

Object List:  This ...

Tools menu

SynchTimeToGPS:  This ...