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Martin Meredith

Jocular: a tool for astronomical observing with a camera

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Posted (edited)

Jocular: A tool for astronomical observing with a camera

I'm pleased to announce the first release of Jocular, an open-source, cross-platform application for doing EEVA-like things.

I'd like to acknowledge the sterling work done by SGL members Bill S, London_David, AKB and RobertI for testing the tool and providing some great suggestions. Thank you! 

1512968295_ScreenShot2019-04-04at22_27_41.thumb.png.d98e943cf7762857f619fc1bd054259d.png

 

Features

  • observation planning via an extensive DSO database
  • DSO/session/equipment logging
  • management of incoming observations
  • reloading of earlier observations
  • live stacking
  • many stretch functions
  • several stack combination methods
  • inverse (‘negative’) view
  • automatic black point estimation
  • gradient removal
  • bad pixel removal & mapping
  • full access to, editing and animation of the stack and its constituent subs
  • support for constructing and automatic deployment of a calibration library (darks/flats/bias)
  • annotated snapshot captures
  • save as FITS
  • interoperability with other tools through open formats
  • a recompute philosophy throughout which enables all decisions to be reversed on the spot

Important caveats 

  1. Jocular requires an external capture engine and supports mono only at present for FITS with under 2M pixels. 
  2. Jocular is a source-code distribution and requires a Python 3 system plus the installation of a few dependencies (first-time-only).

Downloading

Getting help

The best way to get help in the first instance is to PM me and I will summarise any issues of general import on this thread.

Videos

Search for 'martin meredith jocular' on youtube (the interface has changed a little since those were made but not much).

 

Edited by Martin Meredith
replace user guide with one with better resolution images
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This is very exciting news for the EAA community Martin! An amazing piece of work. ?️

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Thanks Robert! Just hope it works for anyone wanting to use it. As I mentioned in the guide, I am very open to suggestions for new features and happy to work with people trying to get it going on different systems such as Linux where it has yet to be tested.

BTW I just replaced the users guide with a new version since I noticed the screenshots were of poor quality. So anyone who has downloaded it already ought to replace it with the new version (the written content is the same).

Martin

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27 minutes ago, Martin Meredith said:

...the written content is the same

Very good it is, too.  Terrific work on the documentation, as well as the application itself!

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Just read the instructions to this and it looks a very exciting development

I look forward to trying it in the future.

Unfortunately for now all my cameras are OSC....so I won't have the ability to use it right now.

But well done on producing innovation to this field of astronomy :)

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Posted (edited)

Very nice, Martin. I looked at a couple of  the informative youtube videos and the helpful userguide you put together. Great. Can't wait until you have incorporated scripting to run Nebulosity or some other software for capture - I will definitely try it out with my mono Lodestar X2 at that point!

In the meantime, I may try seeing if I can get Nebulosity to manually control my LX2 for captures and use that to populate  the capture folder.  However, even that may have to wait for me, as I have all my astro equipment packed up at the moment.

Edited by alphatripleplus

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Thanks Errol! I'm nearly ready to return to Nebulosity scripting. I had it working for an earlier version so it shouldn't be too much effort. Just finishing off colour at present and I definitely want to have 1-shot scripted captures with the filter wheel in time for open cluster season.

Martin

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This looks great! Unfortunately I only have a color camera and it's 6MP so I can't try it out, but this looks like a fantastic piece of software! Looking forward to see where the development goes!

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Posted (edited)

Martin, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on whether utilizing NINA as the capture engine for Jocular would be a possibility. As NINA is open source and they support a lot of cameras, I thought this could have some potential benefits perhaps. However, I believe it is Windows only.

Edited by alphatripleplus

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Hi Errol

Thanks for the suggestion. I had a look but I think it would be quite hard (but probably not impossible) to do that (different language/OS). I think going down the Nebulosity scripting line will be the first step to having captures under the control of Jocular. Actually, when I first started developing Jocular, I thought lack of capture functionality would be an issue (for me), but having a separate capture engine running on a separate virtual screen and switching between that and Jocular is quite comfortable (almost like they're part of the same program!). The reason for wanting to integrate a capture engine is to handle more complex captures in a single click (auto-flats, dark library construction, RGB, LRGB, SHO etc). Hoping that will be in the next release. The internals for RGB, LRGB etc are all there now so it is just a matter of getting the time to do the Neb integration as smoothly as possible (there are a few wrinkles like the lack of scriptable abort capture to sort out first).

cheers

Martin

 

 

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