ARAP connects to the Earth Centered Universe (ECU) planetarium and telescope control software via its COM interface. All ECU-related commands are accessed using the single ARAP command 'ecu' with one or more parameters added. All commands set the boolean variable ECUERROR to "true" if an error occurs or "false" if no error occurs.

Syntax: ecu command <option1> <option2> .. <option6>

Before using any other ECU commands, ecu on must be used, otherwise ECU commands are skipped.

The available ECU commands are below. More information is available in ECU's User's Manual (Automation Interface section).


on

Syntax: ecu on

This command initiates the COM connection with ECU. If this operation is successful, the variable ECUCONNECTED is set to "true". All commands in this section must be preceded by this command.

off

Syntax: ecu off

This command terminates the COM connection with ECU and sets the variable ECUCONNECTED to "false".

hide

Syntax: ecu hide

This command causes ECU's main window to the hidden to the system tray.

show

Syntax: ecu show

This command causes ECU's main window to the restored from the system tray.

size

Syntax: ecu size x y

This command causes ECU's main window size to set to a width if "x" and a height of "y" pixels.

position

Syntax: ecu position x y

This command causes ECU's main window position to set to so that the left edge is "x" pixels from left of the screen and the top edge is "y" pixels from the top of the screen.

load

Syntax: ecu load filename

This command causes ECU to load a configuration file named "filename", which must be fully-qualified.

save

Syntax: ecu save filename

This command causes ECU to save its current configuration to the file named "filename", which must be fully-qualified.

fieldsize

Syntax: ecu fieldsize size

This command causes ECU to set its vertical chart size to "size" degrees.

centerradec

Syntax: ecu centerradec ra dec

This command causes ECU to center its chart position at right ascension "ra" and declination "dec".

centerazalt

Syntax: ecu centerazalt az alt

This command causes ECU to center its chart position at azimuth "az" and altitude "alt".

search

Syntax: ecu search object

This command causes ECU to search all of its object databases for "object". If variable ECUERROR is false the object was found and the following variables are set:

  • ECUMOVINGOBJECT - "true" if the object is a planet, sun, moon, comet or asteroid
  • ECUMAGNITUDE - the object's brightness in magnitude units, -20 if unknown
  • ECUOBJECTYPE - an integer indicating the object's type - see ECU's User's Manual for details
  • ECUCATALOG - the name of the source catalog for the object
  • RA - the object's right ascension
  • DEC - the object's declination

timetonow

Syntax: ecu timetonow

This command sets ECU's date and time to the current time (from the PC's clock). It does not enable auto-updates.

timetoclock

Syntax: ecu timetoclock

This command sets ECU's date and time to the current time (from the PC's clock) and enables auto-updates each minute.

timetojd

Syntax: ecu timetojd jd

This command sets ECU's date and time to the julian date "jd".

setlocaltime

Syntax: ecu setlocaltime year month date hour minute second

This command sets ECU's date and time to the specified local time (24-hour time format).

setutctime

Syntax: ecu setutctime year month date hour minute second

This command sets ECU's date and time to the specified UTC time.

setanimstep

Syntax: ecu setanimstep hours

This command sets ECU's animation time step to "hours" hours (integer or floating point format).

reverseonestep

Syntax: ecu reverseonestep

This command causes ECU's date and time to step backwards by one animation time step.

forwardonestep

Syntax: ecu forwardonestep

This command causes ECU's date and time to step forwards by one animation time step.

telescopeon

Syntax: ecu telescopeon

This command causes ECU's telescope interface to be enabled.

telescopeoff

Syntax: ecu telescopeoff

This command causes ECU's telescope interface to be disabled.

tracktelescope

Syntax: ecu tracktelescope flag

This command causes ECU's Track Telescope feature to be enabled if "flag" is true.

centertelescope

Syntax: ecu centertelescope

This command causes ECU to move the telescope to the current chart center.

loadusers

Syntax: ecu loadusers

This command causes ECU to re-load its current User Object files.

getconnections

Syntax: ecu getconnections

This command sets the variable ECUCONNECTIONS to the number of automation clients currently connected.

getlocked

Syntax: ecu getlocked

This command sets the variable ECULOCKED. When "true" another automation client has locked access to ECU and the current client should wait until ECULOCKED equals "false" before requesting access with setlocked.

setlocked

Syntax: ecu setlocked flag

This command sets ECU's locked state to "flag". If "flag" is "true", exclusive access to ECU is requested. If it was already "true", the variable ECUERROR is set to "true" indicating that another client already has exclusive access. Be sure to set the locked state to "false" when exclusive access is no longer needed.

appendneworbits

Syntax: ecu appendneworbits flag

This command sets ECU's appendneworbits state to "flag". When true, this causes the loadorbits command to add new orbits, otherwise the orbit database is cleared before new orbits are loaded.

loadorbits

Syntax: ecu loadorbits filename

This command causes ECU to load an orbit file named "filename", which must be fully-qualified. The state of the appendneworbits flag is observed.

saveorbits

Syntax: ecu saveorbits filename

This command causes ECU to save its current orbit database to the file named "filename", which must be fully-qualified.

clearorbits

Syntax: ecu clearorbits

This command causes ECU to clear its current orbit database.