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GoQat

GoQat is best known for enabling the support of QSI cameras on Linux-based OS, but it embeds a lot of other features and supports lots of devices as seen below. It's a free software, well maintained and powerful enough to be a one-that-does-it-all acquisition software, except slewing from a map. Version 2.0, to be released soon, will include an INDI client, which will make it compatible with even more devices.

Features

A hardware compatibility list is directly available on GoQat's website. Here is a basic list of features:

  • Autoguiding using QSI cameras, V4L compatible devices (like USB webcams or USB video grabbers), and in versions below 2.0, unicap compatible cameras and composite cameras using the video-to-firewire grabber from The Imaging Source.
  • Autofocus (with Robofocus)
  • Video capture, playback and analysis
  • Script engine
  • FITS image analysis and imaging area selection using DS9


Full list of features from their website:

  • Set the CCD temperature and filter for your CCD exposures, capture sub-frames and use binning.
  • Display real-time scrolling graphs of your CCD camera cooler power and temperature.
  • Calibrate the autoguider with the camera at any angle with a single mouse-click.
  • Autoguide your exposures using the fully integrated autoguiding functions: CCD exposures automatically wait until the autoguider is ready.
  • Show real-time scrolling strip charts of star positions for periodic error analysis.
  • Focus your telescope automatically, including 'V-curve' calibration for point sources (stars), temperature compensated focusing and the ability to adjust focus according to defined offsets for each filter change.
  • Record real-time or time-lapse video from any of the supported video cameras.
  • Play back recorded video and automatically perform photometry and astrometry on each frame - ideal for asteroid occultations and other transient events.
  • Use task lists to control the operation of your telescope, CCD camera, autoguider and focuser completely unattended.
  • Execute arbitrary scripts in the language of your choice, to perform any external operations that you can do with a script (e.g. live upload of images to a website) and to interact with and control GoQat.
  • Load and save Losmandy Gemini pointing model parameters and PEC data, and more.

Compilation

The QSIAPI is available as (stable or beta) releases.

For Arch Linux users, a GoQat package has been made on AUR. A QSIAPI AUR package is available too.

Most dependencies are optional. If you have them at compilation-time, you will be able to use more devices (for example firewire or unicap cameras).

In versions up to 1.0.3, GTK+ version 2 is used, along with goocanvas1. Soon, GTK+ version 3 and goocanvas 2 will be used, you can already uncomment them in the configure.ac if you don't want to use the old versions.

Installation/Setup

In modern distributions, if you want to launch GoQat with a non-root user, you'll need to add a file in /etc/udev/rules.d, for example named 99-qsi.rules, containing:

ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0403", ATTR{idProduct}=="eb48", MODE="0666"
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0403", ATTR{idProduct}=="eb49", MODE="0666"