Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Ray,
 
    It was a very long night, so I must have redone PEMPRO about 5 or 6 times.  I could have made the same mistake in the lead up to the drift graph,  every time, but I doubt it. I’m not new to PEMPRO use, but it is infrequent. Luckily, the instructions are simple.
 
    As Tom mentioned earlier, after a few tries following screen hints, it was obvious that doing so made the drift error progressively worse, so I reversed the logic, and turned the AZ “knobs” to rotate the mount towards the other direction. This made it settle down, and using the reverse direction was then consistently better.
By reversal, I mean that the entire run was giving contrary directions, as did the reruns after that. It wasn’t a logic reversal DURING a run.
 
    At each correction, I looked down at the mount baseplate, and considered which knob would “push it towards or away from the AZ post” in the direction for the mount to rotate, (horizontally in AZ), per the given instruction. I still “suspect” that this reversal of procedure may have to do with choosing one side of the meridian, while the camera is either straight up, or inverted. But, that should have been determined automatically,  during the calibration steps of clicking on the star trail, and the three star image targets.
 
    PEMPRO worked fine for me a couple of years ago, using an earlier revision, but has also happened the weird way, at other times in the past. I have used several versions over more than a decade. I’ll continue to investigate its problem, or possibly mine. Perhaps I will discover a unique set of conditions that causes the logic  reversal.
 
    Please stay safe out there Ray. We need you healthy at all times.
Best regards,
Joe Z.
 
 
 

From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 4:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
 
Hi Joe,

I have used PEMPro a number of times in the last few months on my 1100AE and 1200 mounts, and haven't seen any direction reversals, but I can double check the next year (lol) that my California skies are clear enough. Assuming you went through the calibration steps correctly, is it possible you could have adjusted the wrong Azimuth knob?

Also, being above or below the pole will not affect the Az direction at all.

>     I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable
> ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The
> website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT
> seem to be the case. It has to be started  in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO,   every time.

CCDSoft (and any other ActiveX control) should register itself when it is installed, which it doesn't. If it can't register itself even when running as Administrator, then maybe there is reason. You might try changing the compatibility mode of CCDSoft to Windows 7.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joe Zeglinski
> Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:19 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
>
> Hi Tom,
>
>     Funny that you should mention the odd “adjustment direction” misbehaviour running PEMPRO.
>
>     Like you, I have years of familiarity with PEMPRO, and it is actually fun to use. However, I spent hours last
> night,  trying to get it to behave with my AP-1200/CP4. I quickly realized that I should do the opposite,  to the
> direction it was asking me to adjust the AZ. Every time it said Clockwise rotation, I rotated the AZ COUNTER
> clockwise, and that worked fine. Otherwise, as in your experience, following its suggestion, the gap just widened
> with every suggested direction adjustment.
>
>     I think the initial setup calibration  pointing to either your East side or West of the meridian, should automatically
> determine if the camera ‘s vertical direction, Mine was upside down, during the run, pointing to   West of the PM.
> Next time out, I will rerun PEMPRO, but with the scope pointing to the East side of the PM, and see if the direction
> to turn then becomes correct. As I recall, the older versions had “hockey sticks” on the drift graph, for us to help
> specify the camera orientation. Now it is supposed to be automatic.
>
>     Ray, is it possible that without doing the DEC adjustment, the scope axis is pointing below or above Polaris, and
> this makes it offer the contrary direction suggestions?
>
>     I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable
> ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The
> website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT
> seem to be the case. It has to be started  in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO,   every time.
>
>     It is a great program, but seems to have some “direction prompting” quirks, as we have both witnessed, and
> which I will investigate further to double check my observations.
>
> Joe Z.
>
>
> From: Tom Blahovici
> Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 2:08 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
>
>
> Hi,
> I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.
>
> I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not
> apparent in my case.  I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
> I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute  I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree
> off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the
> place.
> It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it was
> even higher.  Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only to then
> start slanting again.
> It should not be this unstable.
> A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that is 6 feet
> long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all.  Rock
> solid.  Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters.  The drive has a very smooth 3 arc
> second peak to peak tracking.  With PEM, +-2.8.
> I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
> Any hints please?
> Thanks, Tom
>
>
>
>



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