Main Screen

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This is the main screen of APT. It is divided in several areas - Status Panel, LiveView / Image Preview Panel, Log Panel and control tabs (Summary, Camera, Gear, Tools, Image Browser).
There are some differences in the appearance in DSLR and CCD/CMOS modes in order to cover the specific properties and features of the Canon/Nikon and CCD/CMOS cameras. These differences are described in details in the following sections Camera Battery / CCD Power, Storage Card space / CCD Temperature, Plan EditorHistogram Panel and Camera Tab. All other features are common for both DSLR and CCD/CMOS modes.
Main Screen

Status Panel

1. Status Panel 
This panel contains various status information.
Note: When the laptop screen is with 4:3 aspect ratio (not "wide-screen") the Status panel is placed between the "LiveView / Image Preview" and "Log" panels.
The position of the Status Panel could be manually controlled via Status Panel Position in Main Settings tab

LiveView / Image Preview Panel

2. LiveView / Image Preview Panel
In this panel you can see the image that comes from LiveView, the last taken image or a loaded image using the Image Browser.
In the top left corner there is a small rectangle which is visible for every even image displayed and is hidden for the odd images. This makes easier to see when the picture on the screen is changed when you are using LiveView or you are loading similar images when small differences like such taken without dithering.

Log Panel

3.  Log Panel
In this panel is displayed logging information for the current session since the APT start. This includes details about the camera like shutter count, imaging plan execution progress, errors, warnings and etc.

Summary Tab

4. Summary Tab
Makes active the Summary tab - it shows a summarized information from the other tabs, tools and aids, that is most needed during the imaging imaging process. See Summary tab section for details.

Camera Tab

5. Camera Tab
Makes active the Camera tab. There are two layouts of the Camera tab depending on the selected mode - DSLR mode or CCD/CMOS mode. This tab gives access to the camera control and image acquisition features. See Camera Tab (DSLR mode) or Camera Tab (CCD/CMOS mode) sections for details.
When there is asterisk symbol (*) that means that there is active connection to a camera.
When multiple cameras are used at the same time the tab name changes to "Camera [n]" where "n" is the APT instance number. See Multi-Camera Operation section for more information.

Gear Tab

6. Gear Tab
Makes active the Gear tab. It gives access to features for Telescope, Focuser, Filter Wheel and Rotator control as well as to PointCraft. See Gear tab section for details.
When there is asterisk symbol (*) that means that there is active connection to one or more devices like Telescope, Focuser, Filter Wheel and Rotator.

Tools Tab

7. Tools Tab
Makes active the Tools tab. It gives access to various additional features including the Settings dialog box. See Tools tab section for details.

Img - Image Browser Tab

8. Img - Image Browser Tab
Makes active the Img tab - this is the images browser of APT. See Img tab section for details.

Profile / Location

9. Profile / Location
Shows the current Profile name and the Location name ( if the the Show Location is enabled in Location tab)

Live View On/Off

10. Live View On/Off
Turns On/Off the LiveView feature. See the LiveView section for details.

Zoom +

11. Zoom +
Available only in DSLR mode. Increase the LiveView zoom level to 5x (or 10x of it is clicked two times).  For most EOS cameras Zoom x5 is very close to the representation "1:1" - "one pixel from the image, represents one sensor pixel". It is a valuable feature when planetary astro-photography.
The CCD/CMOS cameras have no hardware supported Zoom. In order to make a software zoom you can use Tools->Magnifier feature.

Zoom -

12. Zoom -
Available only in EOS mode. Decrease the LiveView zoom level to 5x (or disable zoom if it is clicked two times).

Target - Cross/Object Size

13. Target - Cross/Object Size
It is a tri-modes button. The modes toggle in the flow OFF -> Crosshair mode -> Object Scale mode -> OFF. These modes use the preview area and work without camera connection, during LiveView or over a previously taken image. Crosshair mode is designed to help in alignment tasks like: Drift Alignment, GoTo Alignment, Precise mode checks for Meade mounts and everything else that you can think of.
Crosshair Mode:
Hold the Shift + Left Mouse Button and move mouse to change the place of the cross center.
Hold the Control + Left Mouse Button and move the mouse horizontally to rotate the cross.
Shift or Control + Double Click with the left mouse button will restore the initial centered cross position. 
See the Crosshair section for more screenshots.
“Object scale mode” will show oval-shaped outline of defined object in exact scale for your camera and telescope/lens. See Object Calculator section.
Object scale mode:


14. Shoot
Takes one image using the exposure parameters set in Camera tab. If Image destination is set to PC, the stored file will have prefix "Single_". It is useful to take test images when you are framing an object or determining the optimal exposure.
For actual imaging use the Plan Editor to create an imaging plan.


15. Sounds
Enables/Disables the sounds


16. Tooltips
Enables/Disables the Tooltips (balloon) help. When enabled you can point a button, list, label and etc. to get a short help.


17. Help
Opens this User's Guide.


18. Minimize
Minimize the main APT windows and if it is configured shows Minimized mode.

Window / Full Screen

19. Window / Full Screen
Toggles between "Full Screen" and "Window" modes for the main APT window. "Full Screen" mode covers the whole screen and doesn't allow window resizing.


20. Close
Closes APT.

Current Status Monitor

21. Current Status Monitor
Shows the current status.
No camera connection
Camera connected, but it is in idle mode, no plan in progress
D 0000”
In Delayed plan execution (See Advanced Settings)
A 0000”
In Anti-vibration pause and the count of the seconds passed
E 0000”
In Exposure and the count of the seconds passed
P 0000”
In "after exposure" Pause and the count of the seconds passed
The camera and/or APT are busy at the moment
The plan is paused
Dithering in progress (see Dithering and Guiding)
Multi-cameras synchronization is in progress (see Multi-camera Dithering / Synchronizing)
DARV in progress
Plan execution is scheduled (See DSLR Start or CCD/CMOS Start buttons in Camera Tab)
Once a plan is started the Status monitor becomes like :
On first line is the number of the image that is in progress, the total count of the images that will be taken, the current status and the seconds since the start of the current image, pause and etc.
On the second line is the estimated remaining time for the plan execution followed by the expected time for the plan completion. APT monitors the transfer and saving times, so these values can be revaluated during the plan execution.

Laptop Battery
or AC Power

22. Laptop Battery
or AC Power
Show the laptop battery percent and the remaining time to batter depletion (when not charging). It can be configured to flash when critical level is reached. See Advanced Settings.

Camera Battery
or CCD Power

In DSLR mode shows the remaining camera battery power. It can be configured to flash when critical level is reached. See Advanced Settings.
23. Camera Battery
or CCD Power
In the CCD/CMOS mode shows the cooling power load.

Storage Card space
or CCD Temperature

In DSLR mode shows the remaining free space on the camera storage card. It can be configured to flash when critical level is reached. See Advanced Settings.
24. Storage Card space 
or CCD Temperature
In CCD/CMOS mode shows the current temperature of the camera sensor.

Current Filter

25. Current Filter
Shows the name of the current filter. See Gear tab.

Guiding State

26. Guiding State
Shows the status of the guider. See Dithering and Guiding.
NC – No connection to guiding program or device.
C – Connected and distance to the star is 0.
0.00 - distance to the guiding star.
You can use Graphs to see the changes in the distance to the guiding star during the imaging sessions.

Images count

27. Images count
Shows the images count in the current folder selected in Img Tab.

Air Mass, Limit, DSD, NB

28. Air Mass, Limit, DSD, NB
This is a scrolling text control that show four values:
The current Air Mass value. This is the thickness of the atmosphere between the object and the scope. The value in Zenith is 1.00 - one atmosphere. At altitude 30 degrees above the horizon the air thickness is the equivalent of two atmospheres. Near the horizon there are 35 atmospheres between the object and the scope... The value is stored in the FITS header when CCD/CMOS camera is used.
AM Limit Starts XX / in XX / Passed / N/A / No Limit. Shows information related to the defined Air Mass Limit for the current Ra/Dec coordinates. If the scope is not raised above the limit will show Starts and the moment. If the scope is already raised  above the limit will show In and how much time is left till goes below the limit. If the scope position passed the observing window above the limit will show Passed. If object will never go above the defined limit will show N/A. If the current Ra/Dec coordinates never goes below the limit will show No Limit.
DSD T Left - Shows the Deep Sky Darkness time left for the current/ coming night. If the Deep Sky Darkness is not started yet it shows the total duration that will have. Check the Deep Sky Darkness Details to see the starting time.
NB T Left - Shows the Narrow Band time left for the current / coming night. If the astro night is not started yet it shows the total duration that will have. Check the Deep Sky Darkness Details to see the starting time.
This feature needs an active connection to telescope - See Gear Tab.

  Sky Quality
and Calculator

29.   Sky Quality
and Calculator
Shows the current sky quality value. Sky quality can be tracked by devices like SQM (Sky Quality Meters) or evaluated by the imager and manually entered. In order to see this section you have to enable it from Temperature & Sky settings tab.
Double click on this section or use the Alt+Q shortcut to open the Sky Quality calculator where you can convert value between MPSAS (magnitude per square arc-second) and NELM (naked eye limiting magnitude). Also if you have selected manual entry in the settings you can enter the measured sky quality value here.
Sky Quality value can be used as part of the image file names and to be stored in the FITS keys when CCD/CMOS camera is used. See Main Settings Tab.

Moon Phase

30. Moon Phase
Shows the current Moon Phase

Darkness Clock

31. Darkness Clock
The Darkness Clock shows various information in a compact form - Sun set/rise, Moon set/rise and Civil, Nautical, Astronomical twilights and the full darkness. See Darkness Clock
Double click on this section will open the Deep Sky Darkness calculator where can see data for various events, to see how much imaging time you have for a given night or to search for night with needed dark hours. See Deep Sky Darkness calculator.
In order for Darkness Clock and Deep Sky Darkness calculator to make accurate calculations you have to enter your site geographic location in the Location settings tab.

Meridian Flip Clock

32. Meridian Flip Clock
The Meridian Flip Clock show information related to Meridian. How much time there is till flip, or passed after the flip and the exact flip time. See Meridian Flip Clock.
This feature needs an active connection to telescope - See Gear Tab. It can be hidden from Main Settings Tab.


33. DataCraft
Opens the DataCraft window. It allows to transfer automatically or manually the image files to other computer or to other drive.

USB Monitor

34. USB Monitor
Opens the USB Monitor Aid to show the connected USB devices and the logged events of connection/disconnection.

APT Settings

35. APT Settings
Opens the Settings dialog box where you can handle most of the APT settings. Some APT features has their local settings which are described the corresponding sections.
See Settings section.