Author Topic: Timing Offset and Alignment Buttons  (Read 3710 times)

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Offline John Eccles

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Timing Offset and Alignment Buttons
« on: April 21, 2014, 06:02:21 PM »
Here is an excerpt from Nick (aka Oz in the forums):

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Hi John,

I have many years doing remote control (RC) cars, planes, gliders and now quad-copters. This really helped me with ST, for example, when a RC car is coming at you one of the controls is backward (steering), but not throttle. So with ST to dial a satellite into the center of the eyepiece you have to know the direction you want to move the scope using the timing offset and alignment buttons. Most scopes use a diagonal and most rotate, so in the eyepiece the sat can be going any direction, this throws off a lot of people of making the right adjustments the first time. The hardest part is to center the satellite and the poorly laid out buttons in the gui does not help.

I would like a more logical laid out (and labeled) timing offset and alignment buttons in the gui and have them map-able to the keyboard and an external 10 keypad (the 10 key would be at the scope for instant input). I will draw a few layouts and send to you to see what you think.

My opinion on what input works best; I have tried the clicking on the GUI, mouse and joystick, for me hands down the GUI click as you can input a known step, the down side is you need to look at the notebook, if we had a 10 keypad at the scope that would be optimum.

The joystick is wrong, you have to turn it 90 degrees to give correct input, so some just modify the joystick.

The mouse input is pretty bad, maybe use the scroll wheel to make incremental changes.

Thanks,
Nick (aka Oz in the forums)

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I will look into this further. If Nick or anyone else interested in this area would supply me a sample layout it would be appreciated.
Regards, John Eccles, Owner of Satellite Tracker Application, the Satellite Tracker Forum, and the Yahoo Groups called Satellite Tracker

Offline Barry Brown

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Re: Timing Offset and Alignment Buttons
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 07:51:06 PM »
I like the idea of having a 10-key keypad to adjust the delay/advance/up/down tracking. Other keys could be assigned to miscellaneous tasks, such as start/stop, though I wouldn't want it to be too easy to accidentally press those keys.

Offline Barry Brown

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Re: Timing Offset and Alignment Buttons
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2014, 01:37:59 PM »
I tried out the software with a joystick a few days ago. It was just an inexpensive PlayStation-like game pad. For the most part, the interface worked well. The biggest problems were:

  • At first, it was not obvious whether it was the directional controls or one of the joysticks that controlled the offset. This is more of a documentation issue than interface.
  • On my SCT with diagonal, the joystick directions are "reversed." It's not a hard problem to mentally overcome. I think "I want to make the dot move to the right," but the software is looking at the problem from the scope's perspective, which is "I need to move the scope to the left." Inevitably, I push the controller in the wrong direction at first, but it takes just a moment to realize I need to go the other way. Not a huge problem, but I can see how it would flummox some users.
  • It's easy to lose sight of the satellite if you're not looking through the eyepiece continually. Take your eyes away for a moment (perhaps to look at the laptop's screen) and the satellite can drift out of view.

I'd like to see more keystroke shortcuts for the interface. We could map gamepad buttons to those keystrokes to give us fingertip control over much of the software.

To address the third point above, I'd love to see a UI button/keystroke to zero out all of the offsets. If the satellite has drifted out of view, setting the offsets to zero might let it zip across the field of view and give me a chance to center it again.

Offline John Eccles

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Re: Timing Offset and Alignment Buttons
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 09:20:56 AM »
Thank you for all of your insights. I will see what I can do to implement those changes. Right now I have not been working on the software since I am moving once again. This is going to take a couple of months of my time and has really messed up my plans for Satellite Tracker. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

John
Regards, John Eccles, Owner of Satellite Tracker Application, the Satellite Tracker Forum, and the Yahoo Groups called Satellite Tracker