Re: Ap900gto parking issue at end of the session

Dale Ghent

On Jan 20, 2023, at 00:29, palamrinder via <palamrinder@...> wrote:

If I don’t manually park and tell the position to the mount it doesn’t go to right location. I ended up with telescope upside down few times and had one wire broken so don’t take any more chance without manual adjustment. In NINA sequencer I have option selected to park. Seems like som disconnect between NINA and ASCOM in deciding where the right parking position is.
I think your hands-on approach, pardon the pun, might be getting in the way of things.

NINA (or any app) has no advanced knowledge of what the park position of any given mount is. When the app tells the mount, via its ASCOM driver, to park, it commands just that - Park! It's up to the mount to figure out what that means and how to get there. In this case, if the mount is configured to park at position 3 and it's not landing there, the mount's notion of how its axes are oriented in relation to the sky and what it knows as the time of day is wrong. This is why I asked if the mount actually points accurately whenever you, via a sequence in NINA, tell it to slew to the target's coordinates.

First, let's make sure you have a sane ASCOM driver configuration. In the ASCOM driver's setup, flip open the Advanced area and make at least the following two items are checked:

* Keep mount time synced to PC time
* Convert SYNCs to RCALs

Second, let's make sure you have a sane NINA configuration:

* Under Options > Equipment > Telescope, ensure that "Do not Sync" is OFF. The language of this option was fixed recently to not be a double negative. We want syncs, not to block them.

* Under Options > General > Astrometry, make sure that your longitude is negative signed. A common mistake for people in the western hemisphere when they enter values by hand here is to not make their longitude a negative number, which then makes NINA think that you're in central Asia or the Indian Ocean rather than North or South America. If you imported your coordinates from the mount, it'll be correct - assuming the mount is configured with the correct lat/long which yours *appears* to be.

Third, let's review your methodologies.

* If a mount - any mount - has pointing problems (which this parking issue essentially is) then the first thing you need to do is true up the mount's notion of how its axes are oriented to the sky and time. First make sure that your computer's clock is accurate. Then, on the next night you set up, manually slew the telescope to somewhere nice in the eastern or western sky and, from NINA, do a manual plate solve using the Imaging > Plate Solve window. Ensure that the Sync slider in that window is On. This will take take an image, solve it, and send the coordinates it finds to the mount. This single action will true up your mount with its orientation with the sky, assuming its notion of time is correct.

* In your sequences, assuming you're using the Simple Sequencer, ensure you have "Slew to Target" and "Center Target" checked in the "Target Optoions" area. Ensure that "Unpark mount" is checked in the "Target Set Start Options" area. When you start the sequence, it NINA will unpark the mount (if needed) and tell the mount to slew to the coordinates you defined for the target, then go through a centering process that involves plate solves. Your mount will be updated via syncs during this process.

Unless you have cables purposefully wrapped around things (they should have free sway on the east, south, and west side of your mount) you should never need to get involved manually to point things. This assumes, that your both your location on earth and the time of day is correct.


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