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The Minor Planet Observer
Palmer Divide Observatory

2007 Shoemaker Grant Recipient

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MPO Connections – SBScripter

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SBScripter is a special version of MPO Connections that interfaces with Software Bisque’s TheSky and CCDSoft. All telescope and camera control operations are setup and handled via the Software Bisque programs with SBScripter using the MPO Connections scripting engine to coordinate the operation of the programs for automated imaging.

You cannot run MPO Connections and SBScripter at the same time, e.g., one to control the telescope and the other to control the camera. The scripting engine cannot cross between two programs and, as with MPO Connections, only one instance can be run on any given machine at a time to avoid conflicts among cameras and telescopes.


SBScripter6 is used with TheSky version 6. Testing was done with TheSky6, Professional edition. It should work with the Serious Astronomer version as well for telescope control.
You must also be using the latest version of CCDSoft v.5.

Support for TheSky5 is no longer provided.

Available Commands

Most of the commands available in the Connections command set are available in SBScripter, the main exception involving guided images. You can use MPO Connections to perform a search for targets and save the script for use in SBScripter.

For a complete description of the commands, download the MPO Connections manual (PDF).

AutoFocus GoToRADec RunMPOScript ShiftSouth
CheckForFile GoToStar RunProgram ShiftWest
GoToAltAz GoToUserStar SendToHome ShutdownCamera
GoToAsteroid GoToVariable SetFilter SyncLastPos
GoToDSO JumpAfter SetFrameMode TakeImage
GoToGalaxy JumpAfterCount SetResolution TakeImageEx
GoToLoneos JumpAfterEvent SetTemperature WaitFor
GoToMessier NOP ShiftEast WaitUntil
GoToPlanet ResetLoop ShiftNorth WaitUntilEvent

Image File Names

SBScripter names files according to the MPO Connections convention and not the one from CCDSoft. This means that SBScripter uses the base name and directory from the Exposure Parameters or from the ARG fields in a TakeImage to determine the directory and final file name for a given image.

As a brief reminder, SBScripter takes the base name, adds the filter – if available – and then an increasing sequential number. For example, if the base name is ‘Ceres ‘ and you’re using a V filter, the files are named Ceres_V_0001.FIT, Ceres_V_0002.FIT, etc.


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This page was last updated on 01/19/11 05:14 -0700.
All contents copyright (c) 2005-2011, Brian D. Warner
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