Working With TheSky X™ and TheSky 6™

Since TheSky X and TheSky 6 are themselves not 100% compatible with the ASCOM environment, we've provided some adapter components to make them fit in.

Please note: As of March 2013, Software Bisque's TheSky X includes built-in support for controlling devices through their ASCOM drivers. The description of the separate plug-ins that was here has been removed, as Software Bisque now provides access from TheSky X to all ASCOM devices. Please upgrade your copy of TheSky X to the latest version.

There are three different ways that TheSky can fit into the ASCOM environment:

  1. Both TheSky X and TheSky 6 can look like an ASCOM compatible telescope. This is mainly useful when the telescope is a Paramount, which requires TheSky (X or 6) as part of its control system.
  2. TheSky 6 can bypass its internal telescope control logic and instead use an ASCOM driver for the telescope/mount.
  3. TheSky X can use ASCOM based devices in addition to those for which it has internal interface logic. This requires no additional action or explanation.

1. TheSky Using its Internal Telescope Logic (e.g. Paramount) for an ASCOM speaking astronomy program

In this case, ASCOM astronomy software selects TheSky Controlled Telescope as its telescope type (this adapter driver is separately downloadable). This makes TheSky (X and 6), TPOINT, ProTrack, and its internal telescope control logic look like any other ASCOM telescope driver. See the text below the diagram for details.

Diagram

This requires TheSky X or TheSky 6 Professional (TheSky 5 Level IV is supported for backward compatibility). When using one of the many programs that control telescopes via ASCOM drivers, you need to have downloaded and installed the TheSky-Telescope driver and select "TheSky Controlled Telescope" as the telescope type. Of course, within TheSky itself, select your real telescope type (e.g. Paramount). This configuration (using TheSky as a telescope controller) is not limited to the Paramount; it can be used with any telescope type that can be controlled from within TheSky (including ASCOM mounts as of March 2013 with TheSky X).

One Time Setup: TheSky X Professional

All that's needed is to activate TheSky X scripting support, normally only required on Vista or Windows 7:

  1. Locate TheSkyX.exe (normally in Program Files or Program Files (x86), Software Bisque, TheSky X Professional).
  2. Right click and select Run as Administrator
  3. Answer Yes to the "are you sure" security popup
  4. Wait until TheSky X starts up completely
  5. Exit and restart TheSky normally.
One Time Setup: TheSky 6 Professional

You need to enable TheSky's external control features:

  1. Start TheSky 6 Professional.
  2. In TheSky's Telescope menu, select Server Settings...
  3. In the Server Settings window, Remote client capabilities section, turn on all of the options ("allow" checkboxes).
  4. Also turn on Remote clients use Orchestrate's "ImageThenSlewTo" command.
  5. Click OK to close the Server Settings window.
  6. Now try connecting from your ASCOM astronomy program again. It should work.

2. TheSky 6 Controlling a Telescope With an ASCOM Driver

In this case, TheSky 6 plays the role of an ASCOM astronomy program that uses ASCOM drivers like any other. See the text below the diagram for details.

Diagram

In order to use ASCOM drivers for telescope control from within TheSky, you need to install the ASCOM "TeleAPI" plug-in. Download, unzip and read 'install.txt'. This gives instructions on how to install the adapter. After you have done this:

  1. Start TheSky
  2. In the Telescope menu, select Setup... TheSky's Telescope Setup window will appear.
  3. Set the Telescope or control system name to Telescope API.
  4. Click Settings... to display the ASCOM Telescope Chooser
  5. Select your telescope type in the Chooser.
  6. Now click Properties... in the Chooser. Verify the settings for your telescope type.
  7. Click OK in the Chooser.
  8. Click Close in Telescope Setup.
  9. Now, in TheSky's Telescope menu, select Link/Establish. You should see the crosshairs indicating your telescope's current position, and you now have telescope control in TheSky.

You need to do steps 2-9 only one time (unless you change your telescope type)