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ExploreStars feature request


W. Christopher Moses
 

I fully agree with the base functionality. 
As a software developer, I know what it is like to be bombarded with new feature requests. 


hubbell_jerry@...
 

I think you have a lot of good ideas that need to be discussed, but my priority right now is to make sure the base functionality, as implemented in the current design, is as bulletproof as possible. We need a stable platform to start out with before we begin to add all the desired features.

I very much appreciate your enthusiasm Chris, and feedback on improvements. We'll get there!


hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Chris,

Yes of course, I understand now. I actually do this with the ASCOM driver by setting the Explore Scientific HQ location. We could add code that would prompt them to enter it, but It may be more cost effective to include a specific note about setting the location and time information in the user manual. This also assumes that customers will read and heed the instructions given.

Bottom line is that we would need to discuss spending the time and effort to make it completely fool-proof for absolute beginners in the application assuming that the instructions are not being used.


W. Christopher Moses
 

In other words, they have to enter coordinates before they can slew for the first time.
Clearly, the program won't know if they have moved the mount*, but it will make sure it is set the first time and, just as importantly, train them as to where and how to set it.

*It could, or course check the internet, if available, but with the default ad-hoc network, it wont be.  Even if it is, it may not be accurate, especially if they are using a VPN.


W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi Jerry,
I completely agree.
I think what I was trying to say is that it should force them to enter a location at once. Otherwise the location is inherently incorrect.


hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Chris,

That's a good thought except that there is no way to validate that the coordinates are the correct ones for that location. You could still put a value in there but it would not slew to the correct location if it is not right. If the value is set correctly the first time (assuming you are not traveling too far from the initial location) then it should work okay. The user needs to be knowledgeable enough to understand the importance of the location data and keep it in mind when setting up their mount. One of the issues we have as a manufacturer is that we have to assume a certain level of knowledge and skill for the customer when creating documentation. For instance, we need to assume that the user knows how to use Windows and can install and configure programs on their Windows device.

I think your suggestion is good, but I also think that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. It's how we learn things. I always say that we don't learn anything by being successful, it's only when we fail that we learn. So I don't think it is bad to have the mount slew off in a wrong direction per se, as long as the user can figure out what is wrong. I would suggest that we put a caution in the manual that says that if the wrong coordinates or no coordinates are put in the setup preferences then the mount will point in the wrong direction. We don't explicitly state that, but again, the assumption is that the user will understand that implicitly if they understand the purpose of those values, along with the time being accurate.

Let me know what you think of that approach.

Thanks


W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi Jerry,

Just a quick thought for a simple change to ExploreStars that might help new users - Don't let them slew until their observing location coordinates are set. I forgot to set it last night and the scope took off in the wrong direction.