Date   

Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Ray,
I just want to second all your points. USB is very convenient, but
Ethernet is much more robust. I also find that serial is very robust.
Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <rgr@...> wrote:

Hi John,

There are many examples of USB unreliability if you search the net
(as with
almost any other hardware interface). I've personally seen USB
errors happen
hundreds of times in my day job. And they *absolutely* do happen
to USB
storage systems. I think for storage systems to be reliable the
firmware/software app needs to confirm the writes and repeat if
necessary.

In any case I think USB is a bad choice for telescopes/cameras in
general.
Ethernet is far more robust and works on every system available
without
having to create a driver. Also, USB plugs can come out too
easily. Ethernet
connectors have a more reliable plug, and even if it does get
unplugged
won't bring your mount link down if you use a connectionless
network
protocol (i.e., UDP).

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
On Behalf Of John Winfield
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:48 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct
one) ... (Happy) end...

Hmm, I'm not sure I'd agree - my day job is developing USB based
storage systems and if it's good enough for reliably
transferring tens
of megabytes of data per second, it can probably cope with a few
ASCII
characters.

Presumably he's aware of the (lack of) robust error checking on
an
RS232 serial line?
The single parity bit on RS232 isn't very reliable - the USB
datagrams
are CRC32 protected.
I think the AP mount uses 8-N-1, so there's not even parity
checking
being performed on the RS232 comms currently.

John

--- In ap-gto@...
<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> , chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 12/12/2007 10:01:20 PM Central Standard
Time,
rdcrisp@ writes:


another suggestion is to abandon serial ports entirely,
as has the pc
industry across the board largely, and just adopt USB or
USB2.0 etc.
USB is not robust, according to our software engineer. It
can result in
dropped bits that can cause problems.

Rolando


**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop000300000000
04 <http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?
NCID=aoltop00030000000004> )







Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ben Ritchie" <count.zero@...> wrote:

P.S. in an attempt to keep this slightly on-topic, i'd just like to
say that my 1200GTO is undoubtedly the best Astronomy purchase I ever
made. It's just an absolute pleasure to use... :)
Ben,

I am so impressed with my AP1200GTO, I will be looking to pick up
another one during 2008. In fact, I have a little dilemma ... one
AP3600 or two AP1200???? I suspect the latter so as to have multiple
scopes imaging at each opportunity. YES!!!

Anthony.


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

Ben Ritchie <count.zero@...>
 


I *think* it should be fixable by modifying the ST7-RC adapter to swap
X- and Y- (in fact, the adapter may be the cause of the problem).
Yes, good point. I forgot about the ST7-RC adapter.


Sorry, i'll stop cluttering up the list with SBIG-speak!
No problem with me since we all use one of the two to three programs
out there for image acquisition. Also, seeing such problems is
educational for all of us. Case in point is your experience right now
and which is something I have never encountered personally or in any
of the groups I follow.

Anthony.
I've just taken the ST7-RC to pieces (hope I can get it back together
again ;) and i'm fairly sure X+ and Y+ are swapped in the adapter.
Looking at SBIG's wiring diagram, pin 3 of the 9-pin plug (X+) is
connected to pin 2 of the RJ11 socket (Y+), so when the camera issues
an X+ slew it's going to go to Y+ on the mount - and vice versa (pin 4
-> pin 1). I'll check with SBIG before rewiring it, but I think that's
it. Chalk up another one to the list of "weird things that can go
wrong while imaging".

At least it's the cheapest bit to replace ;)

Ben.

P.S. in an attempt to keep this slightly on-topic, i'd just like to
say that my 1200GTO is undoubtedly the best Astronomy purchase I ever
made. It's just an absolute pleasure to use... :)


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ben Ritchie" <count.zero@...> wrote:

--- In ap-gto@..., "ayiomamitis" <ayiomami@> wrote:
I am also a dedicated CCDSoft user and I have NEVER seen such
behaviour. I am almost convinced it is the camera.

As an aside, a better means to assess how parallel the camera is with
the axes of the mount is to look at the calibration result tab which
gives a very nice graphic of the +X, -X, +Y and -Y movements and the
associated calibrated results/values for each second of pulse.
Hi Anthony
Hi Ben,


The calibration graphic is clearly wrong.
My comment in relation to the graphic was in response to your comment
that you use the slews with the hand controller to see how close you
are to having the two sets of axes (camera and mount) parallel. A
really neat way is to look at the graphic following a calibration and
which will show you precisely how well they match.

Sadly I can't attach a
screen grab on these forums (I think?) but the values I get (pixels/s
and angle) are

X+ 9.2436 1.8809
X- 6.8117 91.0365
Y+ 6.8739 271.3662
Y- 9.2714 181.4919
The good thing about these numbers is that they show a very good
calibration (ignoring the problem of the mixed up X+/Y- and X-/Y+).

so X+ and Y- are pretty much perfectly matched, as are X- and Y+. The
graph looks almost perfect ... until you realise that the labels are
wrong.
Yes, I agree.


I *think* it should be fixable by modifying the ST7-RC adapter to swap
X- and Y- (in fact, the adapter may be the cause of the problem).
Yes, good point. I forgot about the ST7-RC adapter.


Sorry, i'll stop cluttering up the list with SBIG-speak!
No problem with me since we all use one of the two to three programs
out there for image acquisition. Also, seeing such problems is
educational for all of us. Case in point is your experience right now
and which is something I have never encountered personally or in any
of the groups I follow.

Anthony.


Ben.


Re: what's the best software package to automate a remote observatory with a dome?

William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

Richard Crisp wrote:
the headline says it all

I want to use an APGTO CP3 (1200 mount)

Currently I use Maxim DL 3.21 and The Sky along with FocusMax
Is ASCOM the best way to go or is something else better?

What are people in this group using?



Hi Richard,

I have and use ACP but it requires Maxim v4.xx. And yes it uses ASCOM.


Regards

Bill

--

William R. Mattil : http://www.celestial-images.com


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

Ben Ritchie <count.zero@...>
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "ayiomamitis" <ayiomami@...> wrote:
I am also a dedicated CCDSoft user and I have NEVER seen such
behaviour. I am almost convinced it is the camera.

As an aside, a better means to assess how parallel the camera is with
the axes of the mount is to look at the calibration result tab which
gives a very nice graphic of the +X, -X, +Y and -Y movements and the
associated calibrated results/values for each second of pulse.
Hi Anthony

The calibration graphic is clearly wrong. Sadly I can't attach a
screen grab on these forums (I think?) but the values I get (pixels/s
and angle) are

X+ 9.2436 1.8809
X- 6.8117 91.0365
Y+ 6.8739 271.3662
Y- 9.2714 181.4919

so X+ and Y- are pretty much perfectly matched, as are X- and Y+. The
graph looks almost perfect ... until you realise that the labels are
wrong.

I *think* it should be fixable by modifying the ST7-RC adapter to swap
X- and Y- (in fact, the adapter may be the cause of the problem).

Sorry, i'll stop cluttering up the list with SBIG-speak!

Ben.


what's the best software package to automate a remote observatory with a dome?

Richard Crisp
 

the headline says it all

I want to use an APGTO CP3 (1200 mount)

Currently I use Maxim DL 3.21 and The Sky along with FocusMax

Is ASCOM the best way to go or is something else better?

What are people in this group using?


Re: Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

Wade --

The standard pier adapter already has holes drilled and countersunk for
mounting to a flat surface. See:

http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/12pierad.htm

for details. You'd need to drill and tap your existing pier top to
match, or if it already has threaded holes that don't match, you could
drill and countersink additional holes in the standard pier adapter.

It won't give quite as much of a "dressed finish" look at the flat
surface adapter (since the shoulder and outside threaded holes will be
exposed), but it works fine.

-- Jeff.


________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On
Behalf Of Dean S
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 1:43 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO



Hi Wade,

If I understand it correctly, you can drill and counter sink
holes in the
standard pier adapter so you can bolt it down to your plate.

In my case I bought the new Rotating pier adapter so I had to
have the Flat
Surface Adapter to mount first on my flat plate.

So save the money and get only the standard pier adapter and
mount it
directly to your plate.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wade Van Arsdale" <uwpf23@...
<mailto:uwpf23%40yahoo.com> >
To: <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 2:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO

> Hello Roland and group,
> I am purchasing a used 2002 AP-1200GTO mount. It has had some
> hardware upgrading done on it (just in case any of this is
relevant
> to my question below):
> 1) AZM Adjustor Kit "12AZKIT"
> 2) Polar Fork Assembly "S1200PF-B"
> 3) Spring-loaded motor mounts both axes
> 4) CP3 Keypad and firmware
>
> I need to adapt it to a Paramount ME pier top with their
flat-plate
> on top. The 1200 did not have an included AP Pier adapter. Do
I need
> BOTH these parts to adapt the 1200GTO to a flat surface?
> 1) Standard Pier Adapter: "1200SPA"
> 2) Flat surface Pier Adapter: "1200FSA"
>
>
> Thanks,
> Wade Van Arsdale
> Little Rock, AR., USA
>
>
>
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>


Re: Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO

Dean S
 

Hi Wade,

If I understand it correctly, you can drill and counter sink holes in the
standard pier adapter so you can bolt it down to your plate.

In my case I bought the new Rotating pier adapter so I had to have the Flat
Surface Adapter to mount first on my flat plate.

So save the money and get only the standard pier adapter and mount it
directly to your plate.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wade Van Arsdale" <uwpf23@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 2:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO


Hello Roland and group,
I am purchasing a used 2002 AP-1200GTO mount. It has had some
hardware upgrading done on it (just in case any of this is relevant
to my question below):
1) AZM Adjustor Kit "12AZKIT"
2) Polar Fork Assembly "S1200PF-B"
3) Spring-loaded motor mounts both axes
4) CP3 Keypad and firmware

I need to adapt it to a Paramount ME pier top with their flat-plate
on top. The 1200 did not have an included AP Pier adapter. Do I need
BOTH these parts to adapt the 1200GTO to a flat surface?
1) Standard Pier Adapter: "1200SPA"
2) Flat surface Pier Adapter: "1200FSA"


Thanks,
Wade Van Arsdale
Little Rock, AR., USA



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ben Ritchie" <count.zero@...> wrote:

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:


Unless there is something wrong with the software (which I doubt)
then you
might have an incorrect connection in your camera's guider port. The
AP guider
port has the correct connection for standard SBIG cameras (the
connector is
directly soldered to the circuit board, so the channels can never be
mixed up).
If the SBIG camera has wires connected to the guider port, then they
might be
soldered on wrong, thus giving you this mixed up command sequence.
If you had
the wrong guider cable wiring with the wires flipped end for end,
the system
would not work at all.

Rolando

Thanks Roland. I get the same effect in CCDOps and CCDSoft, so I don't
think it's the software. We clouded over pretty quickly last night so
I didn't get more time to troubleshoot, but I have a ST-402ME too that
I can use - I think if that calibrates correctly then it's pointing to
a problem with the ST-4000XCM.
I am also a dedicated CCDSoft user and I have NEVER seen such
behaviour. I am almost convinced it is the camera.

As an aside, a better means to assess how parallel the camera is with
the axes of the mount is to look at the calibration result tab which
gives a very nice graphic of the +X, -X, +Y and -Y movements and the
associated calibrated results/values for each second of pulse.

Also, something which I never have been able to get to work within
CCDSoft is the maximum correction that the autoguider is allowed to make.

Anthony.


Ben.


Re: USB v's Ethernet v's RS232 (was Re: Desperately trying...)

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/13/2007 8:35:43 PM Central Standard Time,
winfij@... writes:


Fair enough. I've never tried running multiple commands simultaneously
even when I have the handset and PC connected together - I've either
used one other other but not both at exactly the same time with
conflicting commands (e.g. two gotos).
No problem. The mount will respond to your commands no matter where they come
from. It goes (logically) to the last command issued, regardless where the
command came from. It is happy to slew all day long as fast as you can command a
new slew, and it will never get confused in this situation.

Rolando


**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

Ben Ritchie <count.zero@...>
 

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:


Unless there is something wrong with the software (which I doubt)
then you
might have an incorrect connection in your camera's guider port. The
AP guider
port has the correct connection for standard SBIG cameras (the
connector is
directly soldered to the circuit board, so the channels can never be
mixed up).
If the SBIG camera has wires connected to the guider port, then they
might be
soldered on wrong, thus giving you this mixed up command sequence.
If you had
the wrong guider cable wiring with the wires flipped end for end,
the system
would not work at all.

Rolando

Thanks Roland. I get the same effect in CCDOps and CCDSoft, so I don't
think it's the software. We clouded over pretty quickly last night so
I didn't get more time to troubleshoot, but I have a ST-402ME too that
I can use - I think if that calibrates correctly then it's pointing to
a problem with the ST-4000XCM.

Ben.


Re: USB v's Ethernet v's RS232 (was Re: Desperately trying...)

Richard Crisp
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Ray Gralak
...
It's only new to the AP mount. Ethernet of course is not a new technology.
Ethernet is a very old and mature technology. I think it is the best choice
for now.


---I'm in complete agreement. USB is fine too from my perspective, but I'd prefer Ethernet. Lose the serial port, it is a dinosaur and is being phased out across the board in the PC industry.
rdc


Re: USB v's Ethernet v's RS232 (was Re: Desperately trying...)

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hi John,

Cable length is the issue. If you try to use USB over a 100
ft cable,
without repeaters, which do you think would be more
reliable, a serial
connection, or a USB connection?
I wouldn't do either - running cables to the mount, cameras, focuser
etc wouldn't be practical - I'd install a controller locally
to the mount.
I have 100ft serial cables to my 1200GTO from indoors. I also have 100ft
Ethernet cables outside. I originally ran these cables back in 1999! I had
to (later) resort to the Icron USB extender to get the USB 100ft. The serial
and Ethernet connections have last me 8 years with no problems. However,
I've had to replace no less than 4 USB extenders in the last 3 years.

Fair enough. I've never tried running multiple commands simultaneously
even when I have the handset and PC connected together - I've either
used one other other but not both at exactly the same time with
conflicting commands (e.g. two gotos).
You wouldn't want to slew simultaneously but you probably would want to read
RA/Dec from different systems. An example might be to have PulseGuide on one
port and TheSky on the other port.

That said the AP Command Center that I am building uses a Singleton design
pattern which is a good basis for a "hub". You will be able to connect to
the mount from any other system using an open command protocol. The APCC
will also provide virtual ports through which you can connect standard
serial port applications (like TheSky and even PulseGuide). The architecture
of APCC allows client apps to poll RA/Dec as fast as they want but the APCC
throttles RA/Dec requests to the mount at regular intervals. Also, I am
building in a high level of robustness that will allow occasional
communications errors to go unnoticed to high level applications. This will
help apps like ACP, which don't seem to be particularly robust when it comes
to telescope errors (I wish I could change Bob Denny's thoughts on that
issue).

Come on... it's not THAT hard to setup communications. I
think almost
everyone is familiar with the internet and how to set up access. If
you are
not technical enough to do this or learn then maybe you should think
twice
about operating a telescope/CCD camera, etc. remotely. :-)
It is quite hard, if you've never done it before.
Actually it is almost plug and play. Here's how it would work:

1. The mount boots up and sends out a DHCP request for an IP address. If
necessary the mount can "snoop" LAN traffic to obtain the subnet and
ultimately an IP address. Alternatively the hand controller could be used to
define a custom IP address and subnet, and change the default UDP listening
port.
2. Then, the new AP Command Center (APCC) will broadcast out HELLO packets
to a pre-defined port. Each mount, which will be listening on that port for
the HELLO message, will respond, which will provide the mount's IP to the
APCC. From then on the AP Command center can communicate with the mount.

This "plug and find" technique has been proven in the field many times over
(e.g. some network cameras have "camera finder" apps).

The postings from some people on this group and the Maxim group -
demonstrate that not every astronomer is technically elite, there's a
range of experience levels.
Bear in mind we're not talking about just remote access here, we're
talking about replacing RS232 a new connection type, so even local
users will have to use it. I don't think there's any point leaving
RS232 as well, given PCs don't have serial ports any more.

The difference is that AP won't have to do the driver(s).
True.

Personally, Ethernet would be fine for me - I've written complete
TCP/IP stacks from scratch in the past so wouldn't have any trouble,
FWIW, writing a protocol stack is FAR different from writing a robust
networking application. I happen to have lots of experience in this area,
having written real-time firmware and applications for satellite routers.
Satellite networking is one of the most unreliable and problematic (e.g.
huge latencies) network architectures you can find. Controlling a telescope
is a relatively easy "problem" (Hey, I was able to write PulseGuide 4-5
years ago, and it has been fairly reliable).

I'm mainly playing the devil's advocate on this to stimulate a
thorough evaluation of the options ;)
Oh, I am not too worried you will find many holes. I've been mulling over
this architecture for at least 5 years. 4 years ago PulseGuide even had
large portions of the networking code implemented for this very
architecture. I never finished that code because I became very busy.

Networked device discovery isn't a trivial concern, neither is the
problem introduced by pre-installed firewalls on home PCs.
Using a transport like UDP means you're moving the retry code up into
the host apps or protocol driver.
So??? How is that any worse than today? As far as I know there is no retry
code today in any of the ASCOM drivers (so far... the new AP driver will.
:-).

I'm just trying to highlight the potential concerns one should be
aware of before introducing a new technology.
It's only new to the AP mount. Ethernet of course is not a new technology.
Ethernet is a very old and mature technology. I think it is the best choice
for now.

-Ray


USB v's Ethernet v's RS232 (was Re: Desperately trying...)

John Winfield
 

Cable length is the issue. If you try to use USB over a 100 ft cable,
without repeaters, which do you think would be more reliable, a serial
connection, or a USB connection?
I wouldn't do either - running cables to the mount, cameras, focuser
etc wouldn't be practical - I'd install a controller locally to the mount.


Have you looked at your AP mount lately? There are _three_ serial
ports -
two available to the user and one for the keypad. They all can be used
simultaneously. That "long-term goal" has already been accomplished!
Fair enough. I've never tried running multiple commands simultaneously
even when I have the handset and PC connected together - I've either
used one other other but not both at exactly the same time with
conflicting commands (e.g. two gotos).


Come on... it's not THAT hard to setup communications. I think almost
everyone is familiar with the internet and how to set up access. If
you are
not technical enough to do this or learn then maybe you should think
twice
about operating a telescope/CCD camera, etc. remotely. :-)
It is quite hard, if you've never done it before.
The postings from some people on this group and the Maxim group -
demonstrate that not every astronomer is technically elite, there's a
range of experience levels.
Bear in mind we're not talking about just remote access here, we're
talking about replacing RS232 a new connection type, so even local
users will have to use it. I don't think there's any point leaving
RS232 as well, given PCs don't have serial ports any more.


The difference is that AP won't have to do the driver(s).
True.


Personally, Ethernet would be fine for me - I've written complete
TCP/IP stacks from scratch in the past so wouldn't have any trouble,
but I'm thinking of the astronomers who don't work with computers on a
daily basis.
I'm mainly playing the devil's advocate on this to stimulate a
thorough evaluation of the options ;)

Networked device discovery isn't a trivial concern, neither is the
problem introduced by pre-installed firewalls on home PCs.
Using a transport like UDP means you're moving the retry code up into
the host apps or protocol driver.

I'm just trying to highlight the potential concerns one should be
aware of before introducing a new technology.
I wonder how Apogee got on - anyone have experience of their Ethernet
based cameras?

John


Re: Takahasi New FSQ 106

Joe <joes_ap@...>
 

I'm using the SocalAstro 125mm rings and am generally happy with
them. The rings are attached to a 13.5" Losmandy Universal Plate
(DUP) and the plate is attached to the mount using an AP Dovetail
Mounting Plate (DOVELM2) made for the Losmandy D Series dovetails.

It is true that the focuser and dew shield will clear the dovetail
plate with the SA 125mm rings, but the focus knobs WILL hit the
plate if you use the New Q camera angle adjuster to rotate your
camera more than about 20 degrees. So, depending on how much you
need to rotate your camera, you may have problems. I currently have
my FSQ 106ED mounted far back on the dovetail plate so I can rotate
the camera without having the focuser knobs hit the dovetail plate.
With a heavy camera, this can be a problem. I think rings with
about 3/4" more height would work better.

- Joe


--- In ap-gto@..., "ancient.sull" <ancient.sull@...>
wrote:

SoCal makes rings specfically for the New Q. They have a high
riser so
the dew shield and focuser will clear the dovetail. (The tube of
the
New Q is so short the dew shield and focuser can't clear the ends
of
the dovetail).

The SoCal dovetail has the correct hole spacing for the rings and
will
fit standard Losmandy D saddles.

I'd suggest you get a top plate too for rigidity but the riser on
the
top is much smaller so that would have to be a short dovetail on
top.
I'd suggest a long dovetail on the bottom so you can balance if
you
have a heavy camera.



--- In ap-gto@..., "c34s43" <c34s43@> wrote:

I own these extraordinary telescope from september but I don't
can
mount directely over the 1200GTO because the tube are alone
without
any
rings. I can install it over another telescope with Losmandy
secondary
sistem but if anyone know what takahashi rings are neded please
say
to
me. My adapter to the 1200GTO is a Losmandy dovetal adapter.

Thank you,

Carlos


Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...

Richard Crisp
 

a word of warning

there are sort of two pricing structures for solid state disks: the "rape and pillage" model and the new model of "its gotta be competitive to sell" model

The former we are all familar with in the astro-imaging hobby: more vendors use that policy instead of the one like AP uses of providing real value for the money but I digress....

buying from the sytstem OEMs is about the most expensive way to buy any kind of storage. I think Apple was recently featured as having extraordinarily expensive DDR2 DRAM modules. Disk drives are veyr expensive from the system houses: much cheaper to buy yourself at Frys...

the Addionics method is the least expensive way I have seen to make a bootable SSD

----- Original Message -----
From: S HEGGIE
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...


This is an interesting possibility. Let's see if my laptop makes it through
the winter - I just might need to implement this sooner than expected!

Stuart

>From: Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
>Reply-To: ap-gto@...
>To: ap-gto@...
>Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ...
>(Happy) end...
>Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 15:21:19 -0800 (PST)
>
>again, Stuart: you can also send the data wirelessly as it comes down to go
>to another computer. but NAND flash is really cheap now. It is less than
>$5.00 a gigabyte now for the lower density drives (cards). I regularly see
>8GB drives advertised for $40 or less nowadays. That little adaptor I
>posted can take two of those giving you 16GB. that's plenty for the OS and
>your observatory software. If you need more storage locally for data, you
>can also add a USB thumb drive.
>
> also you get faster response with a NAND Flash C: drive: unless you are
>cached, you are typically disk rotational and head positioning latency
>limited
>
> you also use less power so your battery lasts longer
>
> and the computer is more immune to mechanical shock: no heads to crash,
>no bearings to freeze etc: no moving parts.
>
>
>
>S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:
>
>That would be pretty neat (was going to pun and say "cool"). I guess we'd
>need a few gig to hold the OS and the data files generated. A good night,
>depending on the camera of course, could generate a couple of gig in data.
>
>Stuart
>
> >From: Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
> >Reply-To: ap-gto@...
> >To: ap-gto@...
> >Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one)
>...
> >(Happy) end...
> >Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 10:08:08 -0800 (PST)
> >
> >has anyone considered using either a diskless node or using a solid state
> >drive for the "cold" computer? the solid state drives are really coming
> >down in price and I did see an adaptor offered some time back that will
> >convert a USB FLASH thumb drive to a bootable ATA drive from the
> >perspective of the computer.
> >
> > it may be a way to avoid the problems that extreme cold can cause when
> >it comes to rotating media.
> >
> >
> >
> >S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:
> >
> >Tom, I agree that the laptop strains sometimes in the cold. Up here, 100
> >miles north of Toronto, I have had to bring the laptop into the house to
> >boot it up (on really cold days) and then return it to the observatory. I
> >don't like subjecting it to those rapid temp changes you can be sure.
>Since
> >I have a manually rolled off roof, I need to go out there anyway to start
>a
> >session so it gives me the flexibility to start things off as if I'm
> >staying
> >out and when it is all up and running I return to the house and operate
>it
> >from there.
> >
> >Stuart
> >
> > >From: Tom Carrico <tom@...>
> > >Reply-To: ap-gto@...
> > >To: ap-gto@...
> > >Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one)
> >...
> > >(Happy) end...
> > >Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:34:27 -0800
> > >
> > >Hi Stuart,
> > >I have used the wireless (and ethernet wired) route with a laptop local
> > >to the telescope. That has worked and my only real issue is that the
> > >screen updates are always slower than direct connecting a PC. I know I
> > >am whining a bit, as it is a minor quibble. Also, I do worry about
> > >wearing out the laptop at the telescope, as in the winter it often gets
> > >well below zero. I know I could put the laptop in a small box, but
>since
> > >my current solution does work, I have not gone any further on the
> > >wireless route. However, I do agree that it is a very good solution as
> > >it removes some of the extender and converter issues.
> > >
> > >Tom C
> > >
> > >S HEGGIE wrote:
> > > > Tom, for the trip between house and observatory, what about
>wireless?
> > >That
> > > > is what I do and it seems to work like a charm. I use a program
>called
> > > > UltraVNC. The old laptop in the observatory runs the server version
> >and
> > >the
> > > > house computer runs the client/viewer version. I use USB and
> >USB->Serial
> > > > converters to talk to my AP900GTO, SBIG camera and Robofocus. Seems
> > >stable
> > > > enough. The house is about 80 feet from the observatory. I'm running
> > > > CCDSoft5, TheSky6 and Focusmax on the laptop btw.
> > > >
> > > > Stuart
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >> From: Tom Carrico <tom@...>
> > > >> Reply-To: ap-gto@...
> > > >> To: ap-gto@...
> > > >> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct
> >one)
> > >...
> > > >> (Happy) end...
> > > >> Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 08:43:08 -0800
> > > >>
> > > >> There are issues with USB that have bit me in this hobby. The first
> >is
> > > >> the length limitation. I image while sitting in my house and that
>is
> > >too
> > > >> far for USB, but no problem for serial (or ethernet). I have used a
> > > >> number of USB extenders and they seem to work okay if all I have
> > > >> connected at the remote end is the SBIG camera. If I also connect a
> > >USB
> > > >> to serial convertor at the remote end I occasionally get system
>hang
> > > >> ups. I have tried numerous brands of USB extenders and USB-Serial
> > > >> converters and different computers. Every single one has at least
> >once
> > > >> caused a system hang up when using a USB-serial converter, which is
> > > >> solved by removing the USB extender. Now, I have a USB extender for
> >the
> > > >> camera only and directly attach the USB-Serial converter to a port
>on
> > > >> the laptop and run long serial cables to my mount and focuser. That
> > > >> setup has never, ever hung.
> > > >> The other thing I don't like about USB is that there is no positive
> > > >> connection at the camera, it is a friction fit. Perhaps there is a
> > > >> solution for this, but I have not run across it.
> > > >> My wish would be for the astronomy community to dump USB all
>together
> > > >> and go to an ethernet solution. I am okay with serial for now, but
> > >would
> > > >> like to see all interfaces migrate to one standard..
> > > >> Tom Carrico
> > > >> http://www.ccdargo.com
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> Salyer wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>> Since almost no computer today provides a serial interface we all
> > > >>> need to use some type of serial converter. I suspect that the
> > > >>> majority of people use a USB to serial converter. If there is a
> > > >>> problem with USB (which I've never seen) then we've got the
>problem
> > > >>>
> > > >> anyway.
> > > >>
> > > >>> Greg
> > > >>>
> > > >>> At 11:13 AM 12/13/2007, you wrote:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>> In a message dated 12/13/2007 10:06:39 AM Central Standard Time,
> > > >>>> <mailto:rdcrisp%40sbcglobal.net>rdcrisp@... writes:
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>> someone ought to tell microsoft, intel and the rest of the PC
> > >industry
> > > >>>>>
> > > >> as
> > > >>
> > > >>>>> well as all the camera and printer manufacturers that they have
> > >chosen
> > > >>>>>
> > > >> an
> > > >>
> > > >>>>> unreliable interface: that's the most commonly used interface on
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>> the planet these
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>> days for connecting peripherals to computers.
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> I am confident this will be news to them, Roland.
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>> I think they are dealing with a completely different issue than
>we
> > >are.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> Rolando
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> > > >>> see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
> > > >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> > > > see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
> > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...

S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

This is an interesting possibility. Let's see if my laptop makes it through the winter - I just might need to implement this sooner than expected!

Stuart

From: Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 15:21:19 -0800 (PST)

again, Stuart: you can also send the data wirelessly as it comes down to go to another computer. but NAND flash is really cheap now. It is less than $5.00 a gigabyte now for the lower density drives (cards). I regularly see 8GB drives advertised for $40 or less nowadays. That little adaptor I posted can take two of those giving you 16GB. that's plenty for the OS and your observatory software. If you need more storage locally for data, you can also add a USB thumb drive.

also you get faster response with a NAND Flash C: drive: unless you are cached, you are typically disk rotational and head positioning latency limited

you also use less power so your battery lasts longer

and the computer is more immune to mechanical shock: no heads to crash, no bearings to freeze etc: no moving parts.



S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:

That would be pretty neat (was going to pun and say "cool"). I guess we'd
need a few gig to hold the OS and the data files generated. A good night,
depending on the camera of course, could generate a couple of gig in data.

Stuart

From: Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one)
...
(Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 10:08:08 -0800 (PST)

has anyone considered using either a diskless node or using a solid state
drive for the "cold" computer? the solid state drives are really coming
down in price and I did see an adaptor offered some time back that will
convert a USB FLASH thumb drive to a bootable ATA drive from the
perspective of the computer.

it may be a way to avoid the problems that extreme cold can cause when
it comes to rotating media.



S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:

Tom, I agree that the laptop strains sometimes in the cold. Up here, 100
miles north of Toronto, I have had to bring the laptop into the house to
boot it up (on really cold days) and then return it to the observatory. I
don't like subjecting it to those rapid temp changes you can be sure.
Since
I have a manually rolled off roof, I need to go out there anyway to start
a
session so it gives me the flexibility to start things off as if I'm
staying
out and when it is all up and running I return to the house and operate
it
from there.

Stuart

From: Tom Carrico <tom@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one)
...
(Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:34:27 -0800

Hi Stuart,
I have used the wireless (and ethernet wired) route with a laptop local
to the telescope. That has worked and my only real issue is that the
screen updates are always slower than direct connecting a PC. I know I
am whining a bit, as it is a minor quibble. Also, I do worry about
wearing out the laptop at the telescope, as in the winter it often gets
well below zero. I know I could put the laptop in a small box, but
since
my current solution does work, I have not gone any further on the
wireless route. However, I do agree that it is a very good solution as
it removes some of the extender and converter issues.

Tom C

S HEGGIE wrote:
Tom, for the trip between house and observatory, what about
wireless?
That
is what I do and it seems to work like a charm. I use a program
called
UltraVNC. The old laptop in the observatory runs the server version
and
the
house computer runs the client/viewer version. I use USB and
USB->Serial
converters to talk to my AP900GTO, SBIG camera and Robofocus. Seems
stable
enough. The house is about 80 feet from the observatory. I'm running
CCDSoft5, TheSky6 and Focusmax on the laptop btw.

Stuart


From: Tom Carrico <tom@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct
one)
...
(Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 08:43:08 -0800

There are issues with USB that have bit me in this hobby. The first
is
the length limitation. I image while sitting in my house and that
is
too
far for USB, but no problem for serial (or ethernet). I have used a
number of USB extenders and they seem to work okay if all I have
connected at the remote end is the SBIG camera. If I also connect a
USB
to serial convertor at the remote end I occasionally get system
hang
ups. I have tried numerous brands of USB extenders and USB-Serial
converters and different computers. Every single one has at least
once
caused a system hang up when using a USB-serial converter, which is
solved by removing the USB extender. Now, I have a USB extender for
the
camera only and directly attach the USB-Serial converter to a port
on
the laptop and run long serial cables to my mount and focuser. That
setup has never, ever hung.
The other thing I don't like about USB is that there is no positive
connection at the camera, it is a friction fit. Perhaps there is a
solution for this, but I have not run across it.
My wish would be for the astronomy community to dump USB all
together
and go to an ethernet solution. I am okay with serial for now, but
would
like to see all interfaces migrate to one standard..
Tom Carrico
http://www.ccdargo.com


Salyer wrote:

Since almost no computer today provides a serial interface we all
need to use some type of serial converter. I suspect that the
majority of people use a USB to serial converter. If there is a
problem with USB (which I've never seen) then we've got the
problem
anyway.

Greg

At 11:13 AM 12/13/2007, you wrote:



In a message dated 12/13/2007 10:06:39 AM Central Standard Time,
<mailto:rdcrisp%40sbcglobal.net>rdcrisp@... writes:



someone ought to tell microsoft, intel and the rest of the PC
industry
as

well as all the camera and printer manufacturers that they have
chosen
an

unreliable interface: that's the most commonly used interface on

the planet these


days for connecting peripherals to computers.

I am confident this will be news to them, Roland.


I think they are dealing with a completely different issue than
we
are.

Rolando

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links









To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links


















Re: USB v's Ethernet v's RS232 (was Re: Desperately trying...)

Richard Crisp
 

I think we can agree on at least one point and it is the one I raised earlier: get rid of the Serial Port and use something that isn't now obsolete in the PC world. USB is easy and so is Ethernet. each has their own advantages and disadvantages. I have a slight preference for Ethernet however.

One disadvantage of Ethernet is that we are being told where I work that the Ethernet female connector is too big physically to fit into the next generation of notebook PCs. It is highly possible that a new connector will be created in the near future. It may or may not cause us problems but even the physical layer of Ethernet may be in for some changes in the not too distant future.



Ray Gralak <rgr@...> wrote:
Hi John,

Bear in mind in the previous message I was comparing USB to RS232 - I
was just trying to point out that saying USB was unreliable compared
to RS232 didn't make any sense.
Cable length is the issue. If you try to use USB over a 100 ft cable,
without repeaters, which do you think would be more reliable, a serial
connection, or a USB connection?

While I agree that Ethernet may be a better long term alternative for
the tech-savvy, it's less of a drop in replacement than going for
serial over USB.
You make the point that Ethernet will enable hub functionality, but I
doubt that any of the mounts are currently designed with concurrent
multi-client support in mind - they expect a single point-to-point
connection and thus don't need any sort of concurrency protection.

A good long-term goal, but a bigger up-front change.
Have you looked at your AP mount lately? There are _three_ serial ports -
two available to the user and one for the keypad. They all can be used
simultaneously. That "long-term goal" has already been accomplished!

Setting up a home network isn't a trivial task - think DHCP and
subnets - easy when you know how but a nightmare to the uninitiated
when compared to the relative "plug-and-play" nature of USB and RS232
point-to-point links.
Device discovery on the network is also difficult to make transparent.
PC firewalls also offer a potential minefield of support calls.
Come on... it's not THAT hard to setup communications. I think almost
everyone is familiar with the internet and how to set up access. If you are
not technical enough to do this or learn then maybe you should think twice
about operating a telescope/CCD camera, etc. remotely. :-)

Ethernet won't really be any less OS specific than USB or RS232 -
you'll still need a protocol driver which can run on that OS and
generate the mount specific protocol requests to go in those Ethernet
frames.
The difference is that AP won't have to do the driver(s).

I do concede that it would not need an additional hardware driver
though, which does remove some development overhead, although they are
often available for free from the USB chipset manufacturers and offer
up an emulated COM interface.
Still, the effort is multiplied by the number of operating systems
supported. Ethernet offers many choices with no extra overhead on AP's part.

-Ray


Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...

Richard Crisp
 

again, Stuart: you can also send the data wirelessly as it comes down to go to another computer. but NAND flash is really cheap now. It is less than $5.00 a gigabyte now for the lower density drives (cards). I regularly see 8GB drives advertised for $40 or less nowadays. That little adaptor I posted can take two of those giving you 16GB. that's plenty for the OS and your observatory software. If you need more storage locally for data, you can also add a USB thumb drive.

also you get faster response with a NAND Flash C: drive: unless you are cached, you are typically disk rotational and head positioning latency limited

you also use less power so your battery lasts longer

and the computer is more immune to mechanical shock: no heads to crash, no bearings to freeze etc: no moving parts.



S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:

That would be pretty neat (was going to pun and say "cool"). I guess we'd
need a few gig to hold the OS and the data files generated. A good night,
depending on the camera of course, could generate a couple of gig in data.

Stuart

From: Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ...
(Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 10:08:08 -0800 (PST)

has anyone considered using either a diskless node or using a solid state
drive for the "cold" computer? the solid state drives are really coming
down in price and I did see an adaptor offered some time back that will
convert a USB FLASH thumb drive to a bootable ATA drive from the
perspective of the computer.

it may be a way to avoid the problems that extreme cold can cause when
it comes to rotating media.



S HEGGIE <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:

Tom, I agree that the laptop strains sometimes in the cold. Up here, 100
miles north of Toronto, I have had to bring the laptop into the house to
boot it up (on really cold days) and then return it to the observatory. I
don't like subjecting it to those rapid temp changes you can be sure. Since
I have a manually rolled off roof, I need to go out there anyway to start a
session so it gives me the flexibility to start things off as if I'm
staying
out and when it is all up and running I return to the house and operate it
from there.

Stuart

From: Tom Carrico <tom@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one)
...
(Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:34:27 -0800

Hi Stuart,
I have used the wireless (and ethernet wired) route with a laptop local
to the telescope. That has worked and my only real issue is that the
screen updates are always slower than direct connecting a PC. I know I
am whining a bit, as it is a minor quibble. Also, I do worry about
wearing out the laptop at the telescope, as in the winter it often gets
well below zero. I know I could put the laptop in a small box, but since
my current solution does work, I have not gone any further on the
wireless route. However, I do agree that it is a very good solution as
it removes some of the extender and converter issues.

Tom C

S HEGGIE wrote:
Tom, for the trip between house and observatory, what about wireless?
That
is what I do and it seems to work like a charm. I use a program called
UltraVNC. The old laptop in the observatory runs the server version
and
the
house computer runs the client/viewer version. I use USB and
USB->Serial
converters to talk to my AP900GTO, SBIG camera and Robofocus. Seems
stable
enough. The house is about 80 feet from the observatory. I'm running
CCDSoft5, TheSky6 and Focusmax on the laptop btw.

Stuart


From: Tom Carrico <tom@...>
Reply-To: ap-gto@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct
one)
...
(Happy) end...
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 08:43:08 -0800

There are issues with USB that have bit me in this hobby. The first
is
the length limitation. I image while sitting in my house and that is
too
far for USB, but no problem for serial (or ethernet). I have used a
number of USB extenders and they seem to work okay if all I have
connected at the remote end is the SBIG camera. If I also connect a
USB
to serial convertor at the remote end I occasionally get system hang
ups. I have tried numerous brands of USB extenders and USB-Serial
converters and different computers. Every single one has at least
once
caused a system hang up when using a USB-serial converter, which is
solved by removing the USB extender. Now, I have a USB extender for
the
camera only and directly attach the USB-Serial converter to a port on
the laptop and run long serial cables to my mount and focuser. That
setup has never, ever hung.
The other thing I don't like about USB is that there is no positive
connection at the camera, it is a friction fit. Perhaps there is a
solution for this, but I have not run across it.
My wish would be for the astronomy community to dump USB all together
and go to an ethernet solution. I am okay with serial for now, but
would
like to see all interfaces migrate to one standard..
Tom Carrico
http://www.ccdargo.com


Salyer wrote:

Since almost no computer today provides a serial interface we all
need to use some type of serial converter. I suspect that the
majority of people use a USB to serial converter. If there is a
problem with USB (which I've never seen) then we've got the problem
anyway.

Greg

At 11:13 AM 12/13/2007, you wrote:



In a message dated 12/13/2007 10:06:39 AM Central Standard Time,
<mailto:rdcrisp%40sbcglobal.net>rdcrisp@... writes:



someone ought to tell microsoft, intel and the rest of the PC
industry
as

well as all the camera and printer manufacturers that they have
chosen
an

unreliable interface: that's the most commonly used interface on

the planet these


days for connecting peripherals to computers.

I am confident this will be news to them, Roland.


I think they are dealing with a completely different issue than we
are.

Rolando

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links









To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links