[AstroPy] Does anyone here use The Software Bisque Orchestrate Program?

Eric Jensen ejensen1@swarthmore....
Mon Aug 9 09:15:12 CDT 2010


Hi Wayne,

I don't know the specific answer to your question, but here are some  
related items that might put you on track to an answer.

First, here's a page from someone who is using Python for telescope/ 
camera scripting on a Windows platform:

http://www.astrophotoinsight.com/content/automation-budget-part-2-software
http://www.astrophotoinsight.com/content/automation-budget-part-3-operation

There is some example Python code on those pages, and all the code is  
in a ZIP file linked at the end of the second page.

That doesn't deal with Orchestrate per se, but shows that Python can  
be used to interface with the Windows Common Object Model (COM)  
interface, so to the extent that Orchestrate exposes a COM interface,  
you should be able to talk to it via Python.


On Aug 8, 2010, at 9:56 PM, Wayne Watson wrote:

>  Further, Orchestrate is able to utilize
> programs written in Visual Basic Script, JavaScript, Perl and other  
> high
> level languages. If I'm not mistaken it does this in first three
> languages by the user providing a "compiled" version to Orchestrate.
> Using, say, VB, one is able to write "auxillary" programs with a GUI  
> as
> an aid to operation.
>
> So my follow up question is will Python work with it Python? Python  
> can
> produce exe files, as I understand it but neither the Bisque or I know
> if they work.

I don't think you need a compiled version of the script you want to  
run.  All of these are interpreted languages, so all that you need is  
a compiled *interpreter* program to translate the script into system  
calls at runtime.  In the case of JScript or VBScript, the interpreter  
is built into Windows.  In the case of Perl or Python, you just need  
to install a Windows version of the relevant interpreter (i.e. a  
Windows Python distribution).

Also, depending on what you want to do, you may or may not need to  
interface with Orchestrate directly.  If your main goal is to control  
the telescope and you are using TheSky (just guessing since you're  
using Bisque software and it sounds like maybe you've got a Paramount  
mount), you can talk to TheSky directly from Python via its ASCOM  
interface.  If you log into the Software Bisque support site and  
search there, you can find documentation of the objects and methods  
that TheSky exposes.  If you like, contact me off-list and I can send  
you an example script in VBscript that just moves the telescope to a  
particular RA and Dec.  It's not Python code, but it shows the use of  
some of the objects and methods for communicating with a telecope via  
TheSky and wouldn't be hard to translate to Python.

Finally, and more generally, any software you're running that speaks  
ASCOM can, in principle, be controlled via Python (http://ascom-standards.org/About/CompatLang.htm 
).

Hope this helps -

Eric



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