MaxPoint™

Welcome to MaxPoint telescope pointing correction software.  

Please see the Release Notes for information on the current version.

MaxPoint is Copyright © 2003 Diffraction Limited. Please see the License Agreement for the terms of use for this software.

This program includes routines from Astronomical Algorithms Software, Copyright © 1991-2 by Jeffrey Sax which is an option to the book Astronomical Algorithms by Jean Meeus, Copyright © 1991 by Willmann-Bell, Inc. ISBN 0-943396-35-2. Non-exclusive use has been specifically granted, in writing, by Willmann-Bell, Inc. for use in this program. Serial Number 0265923-2.

MaxPoint is a trademark of Diffraction Limited.

Introduction

Even the most carefully aligned telescope will generally not point to exactly where it is commanded. There are many sources of error, such as polar alignment, atmospheric refraction, and gravity induced tube flexure.

MaxPoint can be trained to correct for these errors. During a calibration run, the scope is successively pointed at a number of known locations in the sky. The difference is measured between the telescope's assumed pointing position and the actual position on the sky. MaxPoint uses this information to build up a model of the various telescope pointing errors. As more observations are added, MaxPoint's model becomes more accurate.

MaxPoint is ASCOM compliant. It is interposed between your ASCOM client application (e.g. planetarium or camera control program) and the ASCOM telescope driver. Since it is designed for ASCOM compatibility, it will work with a large number of application programs from different vendors.

Once an adequate model has been created, MaxPoint automatically corrects the telescope pointing position. This allows for reliable pointing anywhere in the sky.

MaxPoint also provides an effective anti-backlash feature, which dramatically improves the pointing accuracy on less expensive GOTO mounts.

MaxPoint can perform automatic calibration when linked to MaxIm DL software, using the included PinPoint LE Engine. The full version of PinPoint is available from DC3-Dreams; it can be used for automated astrometry, asteroid and supernova discovery, and much more. MaxIm DL is not required for manual calibration.

MaxPoint also includes complete ASCOM-compliant scripting support, so that it can be linked to scripts and integrated with other applications. In addition, MaxPoint can operate as an ASCOM telescope hub, allowing multiple applications to access the same telescope.