Date   

Re: software

Christopher Erickson
 

Not likely, but could be a serial connection or serial converter or a "mechanical" problem with a serial connector pin.
 
 
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 4:57 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software

Same configuration, didn’t work except on some occasions. Tried 3 different PCs.

Tried the sky 6 last version, the sky X which was on one of the PCs (from 2012), then the last version of the sky X, and it was still doing its things.

What do you want me to tell you…
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 21:54
À : ap-gto@...
Objet 
: Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Ap1600, Win7 64 bit, Sky 6 and Maxim.  All integrated with the AP Ascom Driver.  Works perfectly, never gets lost, never goes anywhere except where it's sent.  All in a remote observatory automated with CCD Commander.  I sleep thru most sessions and the 1600 always works perfectly.

Jim

On 5/22/2014 5:03 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:

The first mount, the AP1200 (which works) is under XP (since it has been there since 2009), and under the sky 6,  under “telescope setup” it works with “Astro-Physics GTO German Equatorial Mount” which is a driver they have been using since then. With the AP1600, with a PC under windows 7 64 bits, the sky 6 and Ray Gralak’s ASCOM driver, we had a lot of very weird behavior, with the sky 6 not reading coordinates, and considering them as 0, +90°, or with the coordinates wandering around (while the coordinates on the ascom driver windows were stable and correct. This is the only thing I can tell. With the sky X we still had problems (same mount, same ascom driver,) with prism, it now works correctly. And mine (without encoders) does work like a charm with prism too. I agree the encoders are not the problem, but there is clearly some software issues between the current driver and “the sky” whatever version, here at least.

Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 17:02
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Hello Maury,

I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.

 

There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 

 

Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.

 

The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.

 

The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.

 

I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.

 

Roland

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.

If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,

 

    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.

 

    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.

 

    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.

 

I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.

 

Joe

 

 



-- 
True weapons safety is between the ears.


Re: software

Alain Maury <amaury@...>
 

Same configuration, didn’t work except on some occasions. Tried 3 different PCs.

Tried the sky 6 last version, the sky X which was on one of the PCs (from 2012), then the last version of the sky X, and it was still doing its things.

What do you want me to tell you…
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 21:54
À : ap-gto@...
Objet 
: Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Ap1600, Win7 64 bit, Sky 6 and Maxim.  All integrated with the AP Ascom Driver.  Works perfectly, never gets lost, never goes anywhere except where it's sent.  All in a remote observatory automated with CCD Commander.  I sleep thru most sessions and the 1600 always works perfectly.

Jim

On 5/22/2014 5:03 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:

The first mount, the AP1200 (which works) is under XP (since it has been there since 2009), and under the sky 6,  under “telescope setup” it works with “Astro-Physics GTO German Equatorial Mount” which is a driver they have been using since then. With the AP1600, with a PC under windows 7 64 bits, the sky 6 and Ray Gralak’s ASCOM driver, we had a lot of very weird behavior, with the sky 6 not reading coordinates, and considering them as 0, +90°, or with the coordinates wandering around (while the coordinates on the ascom driver windows were stable and correct. This is the only thing I can tell. With the sky X we still had problems (same mount, same ascom driver,) with prism, it now works correctly. And mine (without encoders) does work like a charm with prism too. I agree the encoders are not the problem, but there is clearly some software issues between the current driver and “the sky” whatever version, here at least.

Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 17:02
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Hello Maury,

I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.

 

There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 

 

Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.

 

The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.

 

The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.

 

I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.

 

Roland

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.

If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,

 

    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.

 

    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.

 

    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.

 

I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.

 

Joe

 

 



-- 
True weapons safety is between the ears.


Re: software

James Janusz <jjanusz@...>
 

Ap1600, Win7 64 bit, Sky 6 and Maxim.  All integrated with the AP Ascom Driver.  Works perfectly, never gets lost, never goes anywhere except where it's sent.  All in a remote observatory automated with CCD Commander.  I sleep thru most sessions and the 1600 always works perfectly.

Jim

On 5/22/2014 5:03 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:

The first mount, the AP1200 (which works) is under XP (since it has been there since 2009), and under the sky 6,  under “telescope setup” it works with “Astro-Physics GTO German Equatorial Mount” which is a driver they have been using since then. With the AP1600, with a PC under windows 7 64 bits, the sky 6 and Ray Gralak’s ASCOM driver, we had a lot of very weird behavior, with the sky 6 not reading coordinates, and considering them as 0, +90°, or with the coordinates wandering around (while the coordinates on the ascom driver windows were stable and correct. This is the only thing I can tell. With the sky X we still had problems (same mount, same ascom driver,) with prism, it now works correctly. And mine (without encoders) does work like a charm with prism too. I agree the encoders are not the problem, but there is clearly some software issues between the current driver and “the sky” whatever version, here at least.

Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 17:02
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Hello Maury,

I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.

 

There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 

 

Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.

 

The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.

 

The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.

 

I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.

 

Roland

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.

If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,

 

    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.

 

    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.

 

    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.

 

I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.

 

Joe

 

 


-- 
True weapons safety is between the ears.


Re: software

Mlooker
 

Hmm, might be as simple as 'run as admin' on that win 7 machine.

Tom

On 5/22/2014 5:03 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:

 

The first mount, the AP1200 (which works) is under XP (since it has been there since 2009), and under the sky 6,  under “telescope setup” it works with “Astro-Physics GTO German Equatorial Mount” which is a driver they have been using since then. With the AP1600, with a PC under windows 7 64 bits, the sky 6 and Ray Gralak’s ASCOM driver, we had a lot of very weird behavior, with the sky 6 not reading coordinates, and considering them as 0, +90°, or with the coordinates wandering around (while the coordinates on the ascom driver windows were stable and correct. This is the only thing I can tell. With the sky X we still had problems (same mount, same ascom driver,) with prism, it now works correctly. And mine (without encoders) does work like a charm with prism too. I agree the encoders are not the problem, but there is clearly some software issues between the current driver and “the sky” whatever version, here at least.

Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 17:02
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Hello Maury,

I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.

 

There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 

 

Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.

 

The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.

 

The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.

 

I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.

 

Roland

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.

If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,

 

    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.

 

    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.

 

    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.

 

I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.

 

Joe

 

 



Re: software

Roland Christen
 

 
Ok, so problems with the Sky ASCOM communicating with the AP driver. Prism also uses ASCOM, and no problems with that, so the AP ASCOM driver is ok then. In Europe you are highly respected, and your posts and e-mails to people have Europeans convinced that AP mounts do not work. We get the feedback from our European customers, who cannot understand your logic. Our competitors are of course delighted and thank you for your thoughts.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 7:03 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software



The first mount, the AP1200 (which works) is under XP (since it has been there since 2009), and under the sky 6,  under “telescope setup” it works with “Astro-Physics GTO German Equatorial Mount” which is a driver they have been using since then. With the AP1600, with a PC under windows 7 64 bits, the sky 6 and Ray Gralak’s ASCOM driver, we had a lot of very weird behavior, with the sky 6 not reading coordinates, and considering them as 0, +90°, or with the coordinates wandering around (while the coordinates on the ascom driver windows were stable and correct. This is the only thing I can tell. With the sky X we still had problems (same mount, same ascom driver,) with prism, it now works correctly. And mine (without encoders) does work like a charm with prism too. I agree the encoders are not the problem, but there is clearly some software issues between the current driver and “the sky” whatever version, here at least.
Alain
 
De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 17:02
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software
 
 
Hello Maury,
I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.
 
There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 
 
Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.
 
The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.
 
The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.
 
I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.
 
Roland
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software
 
Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.
If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain
 
De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software
 
 
Thanks for the offer, Alain,
 
    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.
 
    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.
 
    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.
 
I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.
 
Joe
 
 



Re: AP encoders, PE measurements

Dave Goodyear <dave@...>
 

Shrug



Dave Goodyear









From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 11:26 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP encoders, PE measurements





I was thinking it would be a great way to test native PE and also use it as a test if it's time to remesh the gears.



Can you release the info for testing the PE with the encoders? Or is your test software proprietary? Maybe something Ray can add on to APCC?

Dave Goodyear

3109332436
On May 19, 2014, at 10:50 AM, "chris1011@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> wrote:



We use the absolute encoders to measure the PE here in production. It is a valid way to do this and results in an accurate measure of the worm. With the encoder mounts there really is no reason to worry about PE since the encoders eliminate it entirely.



Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Goodyear dave@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, May 19, 2014 12:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] AP encoders, PE measurements

Hey All

Is it possible to measure PE in an AP mount with encoders without using a star?
Daylight testing?

With an add on encoder (TDM) and a Celestron mount, you can measure PE with
Celestron's pectool. Per Celestron, this shows the true mount PE without seeing
or drift in the data. Plus you can measure PE at anytime.

Is this possible with encoded AP mounts or are the encoders "different" and
won't allow it?

Thanks

Dave Goodyear
3109332436
------------------------------------

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








[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: software

Alain Maury <amaury@...>
 

The first mount, the AP1200 (which works) is under XP (since it has been there since 2009), and under the sky 6,  under “telescope setup” it works with “Astro-Physics GTO German Equatorial Mount” which is a driver they have been using since then. With the AP1600, with a PC under windows 7 64 bits, the sky 6 and Ray Gralak’s ASCOM driver, we had a lot of very weird behavior, with the sky 6 not reading coordinates, and considering them as 0, +90°, or with the coordinates wandering around (while the coordinates on the ascom driver windows were stable and correct. This is the only thing I can tell. With the sky X we still had problems (same mount, same ascom driver,) with prism, it now works correctly. And mine (without encoders) does work like a charm with prism too. I agree the encoders are not the problem, but there is clearly some software issues between the current driver and “the sky” whatever version, here at least.

Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 17:02
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Hello Maury,

I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.

 

There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 

 

Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.

 

The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.

 

The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.

 

I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.

 

Roland

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.

If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,

 

    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.

 

    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.

 

    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.

 

I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.

 

Joe

 

 


Re: software

Roland Christen
 

Hello Maury,
I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it.
 
There is zero difference between 1200 and 1600 mount. They both use the same exact electronics. There is no reason why the Sky6 should work any differently with either mount. In the recent case of the mount pointing straight down, the mount was GIVEN these co-ordinates and followed them to this position, as it must do when commanded by outside software. The mount was not lost at that point, and would easily have gone to any other commanded position, if told to do so. 
 
Please note: The absolute encoders are NOT used to control the slewing functions. They are always in the background to adjust the accuracy of the main motor encoders and play no part whatsoever during slewing. They act only on the arc second level to adjust the sidereal tracking rates or the custom tracking rates on the two axes. They also establish the home positions and the limits for the telescope - if the operator chooses to set them and use them.
 
The absolute encoders immediately step out of the way when the mount gets a signal to move from a guide software, or a signal to move from centering or slewing to another part of the sky. As soon as the mount axes have finished moving, then the encoder electronics compares this new position to the exact commanded position from the external command, and adjusts it on a microscopic arc second level. NEVER does the absolute encoder circuit take over any move or slew command, it is basically in the background 99.9% of the time. It's only in the last few arc seconds that the absolute encoder commands any movement of the servos.
 
The reason we did this is to provide a double layer of safety to the system, so that if anything should go wrong with the electronics of the encoder, or the encoder should fail, then it is simply disregarded by the servo, and the mount is still fully functional. Never would a failure of the encoder cause any strange slewing. You can prove this to yourself by slewing the mount across the sky and while the motors are moving, simply remove power from the encoder box. You will see that nothing whatsoever will change in the slewing response of the mount.
 
I hope that you will take the time to understand what I have written above. I hope that this will allow you to better track down any software problems, instead of simply thinking that the AP encoders (or the new mounts) do not work with various software. I know full well when trying to troubleshoot a problem, it is tempting to always look at the biggest most central part and assign cause and effect, however, that is very much like chasing red herrings down blind alleys. It does not lead to a proper answer.
 
Roland
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, May 22, 2014 12:42 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software



Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.
If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain
 
De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software
 
 
Thanks for the offer, Alain,
 
    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.
 
    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.
 
    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.
 
I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.
 
Joe
 



Re: software

Alain Maury <amaury@...>
 

Well I guess if you want to know where you images have been taken, you will have to invest a bit in software. CCDOps clearly does not have any means of knowing where the telescope is pointed. It can “move the mount” for guiding, but does not really interface with the mount’s driver to know where it is in the sky. Same for Carte du Ciel, it can also move the mount, but does not interface with the image acquisition software. These are very basic software if you intend to use your mount with them, you are bound to get into this type of problems.

If you bought a sbig camera, you should have a demo version of the sky 5. Which I believe with some luck you could upgrade to the sky 6. I have an AP1200 mount which works with the sky 6, but with the AP1600, we had quite a lot of problems with it. Then CCDsoft (also free with a SBIG camera) and the sky 6, if it works with your mount, should get you the coordinates of the images in the header. Both software are not supported by Bisque since quite a long time. Other than that, it’s not shocking, if you paid a mount thousands of dollars to spend hundreds of dollars into some software allowing you to use the mount… (my point of view anyway, the light version of prism, allowing to take image, autoguide, focus, point the telescope, get the coordinates in the image header is 99 dollars…).
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 10:23
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,

 

    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.

 

    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.

 

    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.

 

I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.

 

Joe

 


Re: Question about AP tray system w/ Rob Miller TRI36 tripod

blave
 

thanks for your replies. I ordered the shorty support bar and a 10" EP tray yesterday.

cheers,

Dave.


Re: software

Bruno Bodin
 

FYI, there is also astrotortilla that leverages a local installation of astrometry.net and interact smoothly with ascom driver


Hope this helps

Bruno


On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 4:23 PM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


Thanks for the offer, Alain,
 
    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.
 
    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.
 
    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.
 
I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.
 
Joe
 




Re: software

Joe Zeglinski
 

Thanks for the offer, Alain,
 
    But, I’m OK. Just wanted to see if I could get the Elbrus plate solver integrated and working. The AP ASCOM driver talks to Cartes, and to the STL-11000. CCDSoft and CCDOPs get images, and can control the AP-900 with the relay port and I assume the SBIG’s USB port as well, using the standard Meade Command protocol. Never had any problems, except power fail recovery, with this config.
 
    I will do a bit more testing to see which of these three is not passing coordinates to the FITS header. Seems that although CCDOPs & CCDSoft can control the AP mount by operator manual slew commands to the mount’s  guiding port, and I assume the SBIG USB port as well, they may not be “ASKING” the ASCOM driver for where it is positioned (one one-way communication only ?) – Thus coordinates are missing in the CCDOps/Soft saved file header, so Elbrus can’t work “automatically”  as a Plate Solver with this particular setup.
 
    It just seemed very odd that SBIG software, jointly with Software Bisque, did not (always), automatically get coordinates. Maybe Cartes Du Ciel is the weak link – it is ONLY a planetarium program, with no CCD command linkage. Really, of the three components – CCD, Mount, and the Astro Application – the app should be the “central control authority”, and should be passing the “common set” of coordinates to everything that needs it.
 
I will try The Sky, and other planetarium programs to see if my suspicion is correct.
 
Joe
 


Re: software

Alain Maury <amaury@...>
 

Just to see and if not too big, can you send me your image in private email (amaury at spaceobs dot com)

If you have at least an idea of the constellation in which the image  was taken, it would be helpful (the closer you start, the faster it finds the field).

Normally, any ascom compliant software (I mean really compliant, not apparently like some well known software which is “almost” compliant) sends coordinates to the driver (when it wants the telescope to go some place) and reads the coordinates when the mount is moving. Then the camera control software either need to talk to the mount ascom driver directly, or through a planetarium program to put the coordinates in the fits header, but then you can perfectly use maxim, ccdsoft, prism or ccdops and decide not connect to the mount, and you won’t have any coordinates in the fits header. In maxim I know you have the observatory control panel, and then you have to connect to the mount. PRISM also has a telescope menu and you can decide not to connect to the telescope, and move it manually (it would be a bit stupid not to do it, but you can). I have used CCDsoft only with the sky controlled mount, and then being from the same company they talk to each other. The sky X controls cameras, but I would not recommend it after the troubles we have had here with it (and an AP mount, we switched to prism and the problems have disappeared). Plus it is really very basic as far as the cameras. One can expect they will improve on that aspect, because there is a lot of room to improve.  I have never used CCDops to actually observe, and I don’t believe it is really made to do so J (I mean it does not talk to the telescope and does not talk ascom at all, so it’s a good software to test SBIG cameras on a table). The only virtue is that it is free and you get what you paid for. Then having an AP mount and using carte du ciel… come on.. it works, but I assume no camera control program can talk to it, therefore your problems. See the phrase a short while before (starting by “the only virtue….”).

Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 22 mai 2014 01:33
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

No Problem, Alain.

 

    On my first run of this Elbrus, using an old .FIT test image, I was surprised that I didn’t get very far. It needed RA & DEC from the image header, or for me to tell it. If I knew exactly, I wouldn’t need Elbrus, would I? I thought it was going to find it itself, just like Astrometry.com did. I was also surprised that the coordinates are not even recorded in the FIT Header, using CCDSoft or CCDOps.

 

    So, does anybody know what parameter needs to be set in these two CCD programs for them to record RA & DEC – either from the mount ( e.g. AP-900), or the planetarium program – Cartes Du Ciel, The Sky-6 or X ?

Since both the SBIG software and the mount are ASCOM driven, I thought they would (somehow) communicate the image coordinates with each  other.

 

    Otherwise, “Plate Solve” can’t be done just using Elbrus this way – more is needed.

It is amazing that CCDSoft provides so much Metadata in the FITS header about the image, time, filter, etc., but not where it was pointed at.

 

Looking for that missing “software” link,

Joe

 


Re: software

Joe Zeglinski
 

No Problem, Alain.
 
    On my first run of this Elbrus, using an old .FIT test image, I was surprised that I didn’t get very far. It needed RA & DEC from the image header, or for me to tell it. If I knew exactly, I wouldn’t need Elbrus, would I? I thought it was going to find it itself, just like Astrometry.com did. I was also surprised that the coordinates are not even recorded in the FIT Header, using CCDSoft or CCDOps.
 
    So, does anybody know what parameter needs to be set in these two CCD programs for them to record RA & DEC – either from the mount ( e.g. AP-900), or the planetarium program – Cartes Du Ciel, The Sky-6 or X ?
Since both the SBIG software and the mount are ASCOM driven, I thought they would (somehow) communicate the image coordinates with each  other.
 
    Otherwise, “Plate Solve” can’t be done just using Elbrus this way – more is needed.
It is amazing that CCDSoft provides so much Metadata in the FITS header about the image, time, filter, etc., but not where it was pointed at.
 
Looking for that missing “software” link,
Joe
 


Re: software

Alain Maury <amaury@...>
 

Sorry,

When I wrote the email, I just looked for a link about Elbrus which one person uses here. I never used it, just knew about it and skysolve, and also about the astrometry.net site which I didn’t put, because the other programs are direct and do not use internet therefore are way faster. I have a 4K camera, therefore each image is 32 megabytes, so sending this by internet is really a poor idea. Personally I use the one in PRISM, if the field is not too far, if the field is not too crowded takes like seconds to find the field. It can take as much as one minute if the field is far, or if there are too many stars. I assume all these software work the same way.
Alain

 

De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : mercredi 21 mai 2014 23:13
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

 

 

Thanks Tom,

 

    I followed your advice, and went to Sequence Generator Pro’s website, and “FINALLY” found the direct link to download the ELBRUS “installer” program.

 

 

    That was a heck of a lot easier than following Alain’s link, which gets you to the Elbrus web page – which then directs you to the Elbrus Yahoo Group – which you then have to join in order to download the free program from the Files section – unless you get unceremoniously rejected by the moderator, for no good reason.   Whew !!!!

 

Really appreciated your help on this.

 

Joe

 

 

Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 8:34 PM

Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: software

Maybe your post prompted the Elbrus Moderator to approve my membership today, or maybe it was just a coincidence...but....I downloaded “Elbrus”software from Sequence Generator Pro website. Just follow the link.

I have no connection to either of these besides being a new user.

Tom

Tucson, AZ


Re: software

Joe Zeglinski
 

Thanks Tom,
 
    I followed your advice, and went to Sequence Generator Pro’s website, and “FINALLY” found the direct link to download the ELBRUS “installer” program.
 
 
    That was a heck of a lot easier than following Alain’s link, which gets you to the Elbrus web page – which then directs you to the Elbrus Yahoo Group – which you then have to join in order to download the free program from the Files section – unless you get unceremoniously rejected by the moderator, for no good reason.   Whew !!!!
 
Really appreciated your help on this.
 
Joe
 
 
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 8:34 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: software
Maybe your post prompted the Elbrus Moderator to approve my membership today, or maybe it was just a coincidence...but....I downloaded “Elbrus”software from Sequence Generator Pro website. Just follow the link.

I have no connection to either of these besides being a new user.

Tom

Tucson, AZ


Re: software

tucstargzr
 

Maybe your post prompted the Elbrus Moderator to approve my membership today, or maybe it was just a coincidence...but....


I downloaded “Elbrus”software from Sequence Generator Pro website. Just follow the link.


I have no connection to either of these besides being a new user.


Tom

Tucson, AZ


Re: All Sky Solve software Was: software

Roland Christen
 

Yes, you can do either one. You can close it and never in your life ever have to open it again, or you can keep it open and make changes to limits, homing etc. as you need. Both are the extreme alternatives, and both are valid.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Goodyear dave@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, May 21, 2014 12:29 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] All Sky Solve software Was: software



I thought you set home and your limits and could close the utility. You have to keep the Encoder utility open?

Dave Goodyear
3109332436


On May 21, 2014, at 10:19 AM, "chris1011@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
Hello Jim,
 
Thank you for your post.
 
I do want to emphasize something about our mounts. For remote imaging, if you are using one of our mounts with encoders, you will always be able to recover from a lost mount using the extremely simple Encoder Utility, where you merely press the button labled " I GOT LOST - Find Home". This utility was provided with every encoder mount. It is extremely simple to operate. The "Lost" button is right in the middle of the screen, and is BIG!, so there is no way you could miss it. What happens when you press this button is that the scope immediately goes to the home position and recalibrates the servo to that sky position. So now the servo is back to knowing exactly where it is, even if before that it was pointing erroneaously due to user error or 3rd party software glitch.
 
This utility does several other important things - it sets up slew and tracking limits to prevent crashes, and it sets the home position. It also allows you to turn off those limits if you wish to track past the limit for all-night imaging from a position underneath the mount.
 
The utility takes up extremely small amount of memory on your laptop, and can be set up in the background and minimized.
 
For those fixed location mounts which do not have the encoder options, we are also working on a method to allow you the same homing slew so that you can always point the scope to a fixed sky position (which will most likely be pointing at the pole - north or south). The routine will send the scope to that position regardless of how badly lost you have become, and automatically re-sync the mount servo to that sky position.
 
For encoder mounts that we have shipped, there is no reason for the operators to have to resort to any other methods to try to recover their mount.
 
Rolando
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Jones albiero@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, May 21, 2014 11:57 am
Subject: [ap-gto] All Sky Solve software Was: software

Think it is time to let the "Software" thread die a natural death.

If your telescope is lost (even in a remote controlled observatory
situation) the easy way to fix it is to take an image and upload it to
Astronmetry.net at http://nova.astrometry.net/upload .  Certainly within
10 minutes and many times within 1 minute they will solve the image and
provide the center coordinates of the image.  It's dead simple to use.

Software packages like ACP and the soon to be release MaxImDL 6.0 do
this automatically when your telescope gets "lost" (in which case it
takes a lot less than 10 minutes).  But you certainly don't need any
software (except a browser) to use Astrometry.net.  Not a fly by night
organization.  Professional observatories use their service and it was
paid for in part by NASA, NSF and the Canadian counter part.  You may as
well use it.

I know, some folks don't have internet access at their observatories.
But those operating automated and/or remote observatories probably have
internet access.

Jim Jones




On 5/21/2014 9:00 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]

wrote:
> Hi Alain,
>
>      I followed one of your links, but I would suggest ignoring  the reference
to “Elbrus” software – As good as it looks described on their main page, it
seems to be impossible to get this so-called “free” software, even for a trial.
>
>      I used your link to their web page, clicked the download, which then said
it can be downloaded from the Yahoo Elbrus group. That can’t be done without
first joining the Elbrus group – I chose the English version, and followed the
usual Group joining process.
>
>      After more than a week, I received a rejection email from Elbrus Yahoo
moderator, or his automated robo-system.
> Maybe they are no longer accepting membership – or their website is a scam to
gather user information.
> The guy is more trouble than it is worth – or they only accept non-English
membership.
>
> Don’t know. Don’t trust them.
>
> Joe
>
> From: mailto:ap-gto@...
> Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2014 2:47 AM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software
> Jim,
> Another software I forgot to mention which sometimes is really a lifesaver is
a skysolve type software, i.e. a software able to find the position of the
telescope in the sky when it is lost (and you are not near the scope). Skysolve
(normally at winfij.homeip.net/development/SkySolve/index.html‎ but I just tried
and there is some DNS problems with the site) ,
>
> Elbrus (http://www.astrosurf.com/pulgar/elbrus/elbrusin.htm)
>
> , or Prism to do that. Very useful for a mount without a homing device.
>
> Alain
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Envoyé : vendredi 9 mai 2014 23:50
> À : ap-gto@...
> Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software
>
>
>
>
>
> Lets not make this any harder than it already is.
>
> MaximDL doesn't require MaxPoint. MaxPoint is a stand alone program
> that builds a pointing model (similar to T-point and similar programs).
> With your AP900, you may not need a pointing model. Mostly it will
> depend on the scope you are going to use. In addition, if you use the
> ACP/MaxIm combination, ACP has a built in pointing model . And of
> course APCC will have a pointing model. The pointing model is something
> you worry about after you see if you need one.
>
> ACP will not work with TheSky for control, it requires MaxIm. (I use
> TheSky for whatever collective software Bisque uses nowdays)
>
> FocusMax is freeware is a program that only focuses your telescope. It
> does need control of your mount and camera but acheives that through
> MaxIm or TheSky.
>
> CCDComander, ACP, CCDAutopilot are all full service observatory
> contollers. MaxIm will establish imaging sequences, keep dome and
> telescope working together, provide guiding and so on. I ran my
> observatory for years with just MaxIm but it has it's limits as far as
> automation is concerned. It can't do a meridian flip (including
> controlling your camera and guiding during the flip), address multiple
> targets, initiate focusing, and a bunch of other stuff the full service
> programs do. The observatory controller is waht lets you sleep at nights.
>
> FWIW, the essential applications that I use to automate my observatory
> are ACP and MaxIm. I do use MaxPoint but that's just personal
> preference. I also have FocusMax but never use it. I have PemPro
> (excellent program) but only use it to do a Polar Alignment every year
> or so. I'm still using the PEC table that was shipped with the AP1200.
>
> On a typical night I crank out between 300 and 1500 images on one or
> more targets. At the end, ACP parks the mount and the dome and shuts
> everything down. It would shut the shutter too if I wanted it to. All
> the time I'm in my warm, cozy bed catching some zzz's.
>
> It's a challenge but doable.
>
> I don't think you can expect APCC to take the place of programs like
> MaxIm or ACP.
>
> Jim
>
> On 5/9/2014 5:36 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:
>> If you want to automatize your telescope and camera, you need (i.e. really
required) several other software, and in the end, it becomes very costly,
without talking about the fact that one day, one day, APCC will be available…
(you never know J ).
>>
>> For the skyX, you need indeed the camera add on, you need the tpoint add on,
you need the dome add on, you don’t need, but it’s nice to have the database add
on. You also need something to calibrate your periodic error (pempro ?).
>>
>> Then the camera control is nothing fancy I find (in the sky X).
>>
>> If you take maximDL, you need maxpoint, and maybe other software (I never
tried to control a full observatory with Maxim).
>>
>> In practice, many people use both, in fact several software like focusmax, or
CCDcommander, ACP, CCDautopilot use both (the sky to control the mount and maxim
for the cameras)
>>
>> Also, yes, forgot, a sequencer to automatize the observations so that you can
take advantage of all your investment even when you sleep. Of these CCDcommander
is the less expensive and ACP the most complete. These sequencers perform also
the very important task of controlling the weather station so that you don’t
shoot while the telescope is receiving rain on the optics J
>>
>> We are talking several thousands of dollars for all this.
>>

>> Alain
>>
>>
>>
>> De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
>> Envoyé : vendredi 9 mai 2014 09:18
>> À : ap-gto@...
>> Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Do you want software for mount control, camera control, or both? Sky6 is
legacy- SkyX is the current offering from SB. Great software, but you have to
purchase the camera add-on for camera control, which I can't comment on because
I haven't used it. Maxim DL is fantastic for imaging and observatory control,
but the planetarium simulator is not as good as SkyX.
>>
>>
>>
>> What kind of camera are you using? Do you have other devices to control (e.g.
filter wheel, rotator)?
>>
>>
>>
>> There are a lot of option out there-- but definitely more limited for mac
users.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>



------------------------------------
Posted by: Jim Jones <albiero@...>
------------------------------------

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see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo Groups Links

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Re: All Sky Solve software Was: software

Dave Goodyear <dave@...>
 

I thought you set home and your limits and could close the utility. You have to keep the Encoder utility open?

Dave Goodyear
3109332436


On May 21, 2014, at 10:19 AM, "chris1011@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Hello Jim,
 
Thank you for your post.
 
I do want to emphasize something about our mounts. For remote imaging, if you are using one of our mounts with encoders, you will always be able to recover from a lost mount using the extremely simple Encoder Utility, where you merely press the button labled " I GOT LOST - Find Home". This utility was provided with every encoder mount. It is extremely simple to operate. The "Lost" button is right in the middle of the screen, and is BIG!, so there is no way you could miss it. What happens when you press this button is that the scope immediately goes to the home position and recalibrates the servo to that sky position. So now the servo is back to knowing exactly where it is, even if before that it was pointing erroneaously due to user error or 3rd party software glitch.
 
This utility does several other important things - it sets up slew and tracking limits to prevent crashes, and it sets the home position. It also allows you to turn off those limits if you wish to track past the limit for all-night imaging from a position underneath the mount.
 
The utility takes up extremely small amount of memory on your laptop, and can be set up in the background and minimized.
 
For those fixed location mounts which do not have the encoder options, we are also working on a method to allow you the same homing slew so that you can always point the scope to a fixed sky position (which will most likely be pointing at the pole - north or south). The routine will send the scope to that position regardless of how badly lost you have become, and automatically re-sync the mount servo to that sky position.
 
For encoder mounts that we have shipped, there is no reason for the operators to have to resort to any other methods to try to recover their mount.
 
Rolando
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Jones albiero@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, May 21, 2014 11:57 am
Subject: [ap-gto] All Sky Solve software Was: software

Think it is time to let the "Software" thread die a natural death.

If your telescope is lost (even in a remote controlled observatory 
situation) the easy way to fix it is to take an image and upload it to 
Astronmetry.net at http://nova.astrometry.net/upload .  Certainly within 
10 minutes and many times within 1 minute they will solve the image and 
provide the center coordinates of the image.  It's dead simple to use.

Software packages like ACP and the soon to be release MaxImDL 6.0 do 
this automatically when your telescope gets "lost" (in which case it 
takes a lot less than 10 minutes).  But you certainly don't need any 
software (except a browser) to use Astrometry.net.  Not a fly by night 
organization.  Professional observatories use their service and it was 
paid for in part by NASA, NSF and the Canadian counter part.  You may as 
well use it.

I know, some folks don't have internet access at their observatories.  
But those operating automated and/or remote observatories probably have 
internet access.

Jim Jones




On 5/21/2014 9:00 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] 

wrote:
> Hi Alain,
>
>      I followed one of your links, but I would suggest ignoring  the reference 
to “Elbrus” software – As good as it looks described on their main page, it 
seems to be impossible to get this so-called “free” software, even for a trial.
>
>      I used your link to their web page, clicked the download, which then said 
it can be downloaded from the Yahoo Elbrus group. That can’t be done without 
first joining the Elbrus group – I chose the English version, and followed the 
usual Group joining process.
>
>      After more than a week, I received a rejection email from Elbrus Yahoo 
moderator, or his automated robo-system.
> Maybe they are no longer accepting membership – or their website is a scam to 
gather user information.
> The guy is more trouble than it is worth – or they only accept non-English 
membership.
>
> Don’t know. Don’t trust them.
>
> Joe
>
> From: mailto:ap-gto@...
> Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2014 2:47 AM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software
> Jim,
> Another software I forgot to mention which sometimes is really a lifesaver is 
a skysolve type software, i.e. a software able to find the position of the 
telescope in the sky when it is lost (and you are not near the scope). Skysolve 
(normally at winfij.homeip.net/development/SkySolve/index.html‎ but I just tried 
and there is some DNS problems with the site) ,
>
> Elbrus (http://www.astrosurf.com/pulgar/elbrus/elbrusin.htm)
>
> , or Prism to do that. Very useful for a mount without a homing device.
>
> Alain
>
>   
>
>   
>
>   
>
> De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Envoyé : vendredi 9 mai 2014 23:50
> À : ap-gto@...
> Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software
>
>   
>
>    
>
> Lets not make this any harder than it already is.
>
> MaximDL doesn't require MaxPoint. MaxPoint is a stand alone program
> that builds a pointing model (similar to T-point and similar programs).
> With your AP900, you may not need a pointing model. Mostly it will
> depend on the scope you are going to use. In addition, if you use the
> ACP/MaxIm combination, ACP has a built in pointing model . And of
> course APCC will have a pointing model. The pointing model is something
> you worry about after you see if you need one.
>
> ACP will not work with TheSky for control, it requires MaxIm. (I use
> TheSky for whatever collective software Bisque uses nowdays)
>
> FocusMax is freeware is a program that only focuses your telescope. It
> does need control of your mount and camera but acheives that through
> MaxIm or TheSky.
>
> CCDComander, ACP, CCDAutopilot are all full service observatory
> contollers. MaxIm will establish imaging sequences, keep dome and
> telescope working together, provide guiding and so on. I ran my
> observatory for years with just MaxIm but it has it's limits as far as
> automation is concerned. It can't do a meridian flip (including
> controlling your camera and guiding during the flip), address multiple
> targets, initiate focusing, and a bunch of other stuff the full service
> programs do. The observatory controller is waht lets you sleep at nights.
>
> FWIW, the essential applications that I use to automate my observatory
> are ACP and MaxIm. I do use MaxPoint but that's just personal
> preference. I also have FocusMax but never use it. I have PemPro
> (excellent program) but only use it to do a Polar Alignment every year
> or so. I'm still using the PEC table that was shipped with the AP1200.
>
> On a typical night I crank out between 300 and 1500 images on one or
> more targets. At the end, ACP parks the mount and the dome and shuts
> everything down. It would shut the shutter too if I wanted it to. All
> the time I'm in my warm, cozy bed catching some zzz's.
>
> It's a challenge but doable.
>
> I don't think you can expect APCC to take the place of programs like
> MaxIm or ACP.
>
> Jim
>
> On 5/9/2014 5:36 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:
>> If you want to automatize your telescope and camera, you need (i.e. really 
required) several other software, and in the end, it becomes very costly, 
without talking about the fact that one day, one day, APCC will be available… 
(you never know J ).
>>
>> For the skyX, you need indeed the camera add on, you need the tpoint add on, 
you need the dome add on, you don’t need, but it’s nice to have the database add 
on. You also need something to calibrate your periodic error (pempro ?).
>>
>> Then the camera control is nothing fancy I find (in the sky X).
>>
>> If you take maximDL, you need maxpoint, and maybe other software (I never 
tried to control a full observatory with Maxim).
>>
>> In practice, many people use both, in fact several software like focusmax, or 
CCDcommander, ACP, CCDautopilot use both (the sky to control the mount and maxim 
for the cameras)
>>
>> Also, yes, forgot, a sequencer to automatize the observations so that you can 
take advantage of all your investment even when you sleep. Of these CCDcommander 
is the less expensive and ACP the most complete. These sequencers perform also 
the very important task of controlling the weather station so that you don’t 
shoot while the telescope is receiving rain on the optics J
>>
>> We are talking several thousands of dollars for all this.
>>

>> Alain
>>
>>
>>
>> De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
>> Envoyé : vendredi 9 mai 2014 09:18
>> À : ap-gto@...
>> Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Do you want software for mount control, camera control, or both? Sky6 is 
legacy- SkyX is the current offering from SB. Great software, but you have to 
purchase the camera add-on for camera control, which I can't comment on because 
I haven't used it. Maxim DL is fantastic for imaging and observatory control, 
but the planetarium simulator is not as good as SkyX.
>>
>>
>>
>> What kind of camera are you using? Do you have other devices to control (e.g. 
filter wheel, rotator)?
>>
>>
>>
>> There are a lot of option out there-- but definitely more limited for mac 
users.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>



------------------------------------
Posted by: Jim Jones <albiero@...>
------------------------------------

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

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/

<*> Your email settings:
    Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/join
    (Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:
    ap-gto-digest@... 
    ap-gto-fullfeatured@...

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    ap-gto-unsubscribe@...

<*> Your use of Yahoo Groups is subject to:
    https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/


Re: All Sky Solve software Was: software

Roland Christen
 

Hello Jim,
 
Thank you for your post.
 
I do want to emphasize something about our mounts. For remote imaging, if you are using one of our mounts with encoders, you will always be able to recover from a lost mount using the extremely simple Encoder Utility, where you merely press the button labled " I GOT LOST - Find Home". This utility was provided with every encoder mount. It is extremely simple to operate. The "Lost" button is right in the middle of the screen, and is BIG!, so there is no way you could miss it. What happens when you press this button is that the scope immediately goes to the home position and recalibrates the servo to that sky position. So now the servo is back to knowing exactly where it is, even if before that it was pointing erroneaously due to user error or 3rd party software glitch.
 
This utility does several other important things - it sets up slew and tracking limits to prevent crashes, and it sets the home position. It also allows you to turn off those limits if you wish to track past the limit for all-night imaging from a position underneath the mount.
 
The utility takes up extremely small amount of memory on your laptop, and can be set up in the background and minimized.
 
For those fixed location mounts which do not have the encoder options, we are also working on a method to allow you the same homing slew so that you can always point the scope to a fixed sky position (which will most likely be pointing at the pole - north or south). The routine will send the scope to that position regardless of how badly lost you have become, and automatically re-sync the mount servo to that sky position.
 
For encoder mounts that we have shipped, there is no reason for the operators to have to resort to any other methods to try to recover their mount.
 
Rolando
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Jones albiero@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, May 21, 2014 11:57 am
Subject: [ap-gto] All Sky Solve software Was: software

Think it is time to let the "Software" thread die a natural death.

If your telescope is lost (even in a remote controlled observatory
situation) the easy way to fix it is to take an image and upload it to
Astronmetry.net at http://nova.astrometry.net/upload .  Certainly within
10 minutes and many times within 1 minute they will solve the image and
provide the center coordinates of the image.  It's dead simple to use.

Software packages like ACP and the soon to be release MaxImDL 6.0 do
this automatically when your telescope gets "lost" (in which case it
takes a lot less than 10 minutes).  But you certainly don't need any 
software (except a browser) to use Astrometry.net.  Not a fly by night
organization.  Professional observatories use their service and it was
paid for in part by NASA, NSF and the Canadian counter part.  You may as
well use it.

I know, some folks don't have internet access at their observatories.
But those operating automated and/or remote observatories probably have
internet access.

Jim Jones




On 5/21/2014 9:00 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]

wrote:
> Hi Alain,
>
>      I followed one of your links, but I would suggest ignoring  the reference
to “Elbrus” software – As good as it looks described on their main page, it
seems to be impossible to get this so-called “free” software, even for a trial.
>
>      I used your link to their web page, clicked the download, which then said
it can be downloaded from the Yahoo Elbrus group. That can’t be done without
first joining the Elbrus group – I chose the English version, and followed the
usual Group joining process.
>
>      After more than a week, I received a rejection email from Elbrus Yahoo
moderator, or his automated robo-system.
> Maybe they are no longer accepting membership – or their website is a scam to
gather user information.
> The guy is more trouble than it is worth – or they only accept non-English
membership.
>
> Don’t know. Don’t trust them.
>
> Joe
>
> From: mailto:ap-gto@...
> Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2014 2:47 AM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: software
> Jim,
> Another software I forgot to mention which sometimes is really a lifesaver is
a skysolve type software, i.e. a software able to find the position of the
telescope in the sky when it is lost (and you are not near the scope). Skysolve
(normally at winfij.homeip.net/development/SkySolve/index.html‎ but I just tried
and there is some DNS problems with the site) ,
>
> Elbrus (http://www.astrosurf.com/pulgar/elbrus/elbrusin.htm)
>
> , or Prism to do that. Very useful for a mount without a homing device.
>
> Alain
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Envoyé : vendredi 9 mai 2014 23:50
> À : ap-gto@...
> Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Re: software
>
>
>
>
>
> Lets not make this any harder than it already is.
>
> MaximDL doesn't require MaxPoint. MaxPoint is a stand alone program
> that builds a pointing model (similar to T-point and similar programs).
> With your AP900, you may not need a pointing model. Mostly it will
> depend on the scope you are going to use. In addition, if you use the
> ACP/MaxIm combination, ACP has a built in pointing model . And of
> course APCC will have a pointing model. The pointing model is something
> you worry about after you see if you need one.
>
> ACP will not work with TheSky for control, it requires MaxIm. (I use
> TheSky for whatever collective software Bisque uses nowdays)
>
> FocusMax is freeware is a program that only focuses your telescope. It
> does need control of your mount and camera but acheives that through
> MaxIm or TheSky.
>
> CCDComander, ACP, CCDAutopilot are all full service observatory
> contollers. MaxIm will establish imaging sequences, keep dome and
> telescope working together, provide guiding and so on. I ran my
> observatory for years with just MaxIm but it has it's limits as far as
> automation is concerned. It can't do a meridian flip (including
> controlling your camera and guiding during the flip), address multiple
> targets, initiate focusing, and a bunch of other stuff the full service
> programs do. The observatory controller is waht lets you sleep at nights.
>
> FWIW, the essential applications that I use to automate my observatory
> are ACP and MaxIm. I do use MaxPoint but that's just personal
> preference. I also have FocusMax but never use it. I have PemPro
> (excellent program) but only use it to do a Polar Alignment every year
> or so. I'm still using the PEC table that was shipped with the AP1200.
>
> On a typical night I crank out between 300 and 1500 images on one or
> more targets. At the end, ACP parks the mount and the dome and shuts
> everything down. It would shut the shutter too if I wanted it to. All
> the time I'm in my warm, cozy bed catching some zzz's.
>
> It's a challenge but doable.
>
> I don't think you can expect APCC to take the place of programs like
> MaxIm or ACP.
>
> Jim
>
> On 5/9/2014 5:36 PM, 'Alain Maury' amaury@... [ap-gto] wrote:
>> If you want to automatize your telescope and camera, you need (i.e. really
required) several other software, and in the end, it becomes very costly,
without talking about the fact that one day, one day, APCC will be available…
(you never know J ).
>>
>> For the skyX, you need indeed the camera add on, you need the tpoint add on,
you need the dome add on, you don’t need, but it’s nice to have the database add
on. You also need something to calibrate your periodic error (pempro ?).
>>
>> Then the camera control is nothing fancy I find (in the sky X).
>>
>> If you take maximDL, you need maxpoint, and maybe other software (I never
tried to control a full observatory with Maxim).
>>
>> In practice, many people use both, in fact several software like focusmax, or
CCDcommander, ACP, CCDautopilot use both (the sky to control the mount and maxim
for the cameras)
>>
>> Also, yes, forgot, a sequencer to automatize the observations so that you can
take advantage of all your investment even when you sleep. Of these CCDcommander
is the less expensive and ACP the most complete. These sequencers perform also
the very important task of controlling the weather station so that you don’t
shoot while the telescope is receiving rain on the optics J
>>
>> We are talking several thousands of dollars for all this.
>>

>> Alain
>>
>>
>>
>> De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
>> Envoyé : vendredi 9 mai 2014 09:18
>> À : ap-gto@...
>> Objet : [ap-gto] Re: software
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Do you want software for mount control, camera control, or both? Sky6 is
legacy- SkyX is the current offering from SB. Great software, but you have to
purchase the camera add-on for camera control, which I can't comment on because
I haven't used it. Maxim DL is fantastic for imaging and observatory control,
but the planetarium simulator is not as good as SkyX.
>>
>>
>>
>> What kind of camera are you using? Do you have other devices to control (e.g.
filter wheel, rotator)?
>>
>>
>>
>> There are a lot of option out there-- but definitely more limited for mac
users.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>



------------------------------------
Posted by: Jim Jones <albiero@...>
------------------------------------

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