Date   

Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Yves Laroche
 

A note from Practical Design Group: Readings can not be taken from the THUM faster than one reading every 3 seconds. Taking readings faster than this could raise the internal temperature of the sensor. This could skew the temperature and RH readings returned from the THUM.

 

 


De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 31 décembre 2015 11:17
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : RE: [ap-gto] Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

 

 

Hi Ray and others,

 

As you wrote earlier and with many experimentations from my side, the THUM data is corrupted when more than one client is reading the THUM device at the same time.  The THUM service from Practical Design Group should not be running when reading THUM data with APCC else data will be corrupted.

 

Just take a look at the Practical Design Group web site (THUM DLL section) and found something that could be interesting to try to bypass this king of behaviour.

 

In the Functions listing within THUM.DLL, maybe the Reset function could help in some way just before reading data values from the sensor.  Having to reset the THUM sensor just before reading data from it could prevent corrupted data...who knows?

 

Best wishes to you all !!!

 

 

My two cents,

Yves

 


De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 31 décembre 2015 08:05
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : RE: [ap-gto] Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

 

 

Hi Barry,

> But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise
> trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few
> seconds. Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't
> running.

The easiest way is to check if the APCC process is running. Here is an example VBScript code snippet that would do that:

set service = GetObject ("winmgmts:")

for each Process in Service.InstancesOf ("Win32_Process")
If Process.Name = "AstroPhysicsCommandCenter.exe" then
wscript.echo "APCC Running"
wscript.quit
End If
next
wscript.echo "APCC is not running"

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 11:50 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: [ap-gto] Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device
>
>
>
> Works great. Thanks.
>
> But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise
> trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few
> seconds. Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't
> running.
>
> - Barry
>
>


Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Yves Laroche
 

Hi Ray and others,

 

As you wrote earlier and with many experimentations from my side, the THUM data is corrupted when more than one client is reading the THUM device at the same time.  The THUM service from Practical Design Group should not be running when reading THUM data with APCC else data will be corrupted.

 

Just take a look at the Practical Design Group web site (THUM DLL section) and found something that could be interesting to try to bypass this king of behaviour.

 

In the Functions listing within THUM.DLL, maybe the Reset function could help in some way just before reading data values from the sensor.  Having to reset the THUM sensor just before reading data from it could prevent corrupted data...who knows?

 

Best wishes to you all !!!

 

 

My two cents,

Yves

 


De : ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Envoyé : jeudi 31 décembre 2015 08:05
À : ap-gto@...
Objet : RE: [ap-gto] Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

 

 

Hi Barry,

> But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise
> trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few
> seconds. Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't
> running.

The easiest way is to check if the APCC process is running. Here is an example VBScript code snippet that would do that:

set service = GetObject ("winmgmts:")

for each Process in Service.InstancesOf ("Win32_Process")
If Process.Name = "AstroPhysicsCommandCenter.exe" then
wscript.echo "APCC Running"
wscript.quit
End If
next
wscript.echo "APCC is not running"

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 11:50 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: [ap-gto] Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device
>
>
>
> Works great. Thanks.
>
> But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise
> trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few
> seconds. Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't
> running.
>
> - Barry
>
>


Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Barry,

But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise
trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few
seconds. Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't
running.
The easiest way is to check if the APCC process is running. Here is an example VBScript code snippet that would do that:

set service = GetObject ("winmgmts:")

for each Process in Service.InstancesOf ("Win32_Process")
If Process.Name = "AstroPhysicsCommandCenter.exe" then
wscript.echo "APCC Running"
wscript.quit
End If
next
wscript.echo "APCC is not running"

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 11:50 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device



Works great. Thanks.

But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise
trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few
seconds. Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't
running.

- Barry


Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Barry Megdal
 

Works great.  Thanks.

But I do need to add a test to check whether APCC is running or not, as otherwise trying to get the temperature this way starts APCC, which then exits after a few seconds.  Better behavior is to just use the THUM directly when APCC isn't running.

- Barry


Re: First images with Mach 1

Michael Hayford <mjhayford74@...>
 

Thanks!

On Dec 30, 2015, at 3:17 PM, Suresh Mohan drsureshmohan@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

You can easily manage 5 minute subs for m42  at your focal length unguided after careful PA
Suresh 


On Dec 31, 2015, at 3:54 AM, Michael Hayford mjhayford74@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

Subs were 20 seconds, unguided. 18 for M42, 13 for Perseus double cluster. 5 darks each.

One of the next things I'll try is progressively longer exposures to see how things hold up, understanding that is dependent on polar alignment.

Regards

Mike


Re: Park 4??

Cal Sandfort
 

Rolando,

The imagers use a flat panel and TheSky. Could they setup a Set Park Position in TheSky pointing towards the flat panel (in a somewhat Park 4 position) and issue a Park telescope from TheSky when they need flats? After they disconnect from TheSky and power down the mount will the keypad know where the scope is pointing or will the two goof each other up? If not the visual guys could power the mount and be good to go??

Just thinking which is usually a bad thing, Cal


Re: Park 4??

Roland Christen
 

Nothing prevents you from parking there manually using the direction buttons. Once you get there, just turn off the power. Same as parking. Next session turn power back on and continue observing, could not be easier. There really is nothing else you have to do.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto] To: AstroPhysics E-group
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2015 8:12 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??




HI Rolando
  have a C-14 with a NP101 piggybacked on it- long story, but that is how it is -. Use a ST-9 + reducer on the C-14 and a canon T3i on the NP101, I'm sure the mount is not real well balanced by the visual people, the photographers (me that is)are more careful. Some of the visual guys use a bino viewer, some don't, all I know is the mount works as advertised :-)) The computers on the other hand are more problematic. The only reason Park 4 position discussion came up, better for the imagers as we can leave a flat panel mounted on the South Wall and still be a Park position, since there is no good location on the North wall. Real pain having to open and close roof to change position of the scopes. Actually takes all of 2 minutes and the roof is motorized so it is not a real problem unless it is raining, in which case we usually are not imaging.  Will wait for the firmware update for the hand paddle to convert.

Daniel Marcus

To: ap-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:23:27 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

Normally rebalancing between camera and visual accessories is not needed with a 1200 mount. There is enough torque to drive an unbalanced setup. However, it depends on the weight of the camera and the length of the scope. If it's less than about 5 lb. and the scope is a short one, like an SCT, then you can get away with no rebalancing. Just balance once for imaging, and don't worry too much when using a lighter weight visual accessory.
 
Rolando
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: AstroPhysics E-group <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2015 1:40 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??



HI Rolando
  the cameras get taken off at the end of the night, so if a visual user comes in next they do not have to mess with all the camera equipment. So the scope gets re-balanced depending on who is using it next and what they are hanging on it eyepiece wise or camera wise.
Dan


 




Re: Park 4??

Daniel Marcus
 


HI Rolando
  have a C-14 with a NP101 piggybacked on it- long story, but that is how it is -. Use a ST-9 + reducer on the C-14 and a canon T3i on the NP101, I'm sure the mount is not real well balanced by the visual people, the photographers (me that is)are more careful. Some of the visual guys use a bino viewer, some don't, all I know is the mount works as advertised :-)) The computers on the other hand are more problematic. The only reason Park 4 position discussion came up, better for the imagers as we can leave a flat panel mounted on the South Wall and still be a Park position, since there is no good location on the North wall. Real pain having to open and close roof to change position of the scopes. Actually takes all of 2 minutes and the roof is motorized so it is not a real problem unless it is raining, in which case we usually are not imaging.  Will wait for the firmware update for the hand paddle to convert.

Daniel Marcus

To: ap-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:23:27 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

Normally rebalancing between camera and visual accessories is not needed with a 1200 mount. There is enough torque to drive an unbalanced setup. However, it depends on the weight of the camera and the length of the scope. If it's less than about 5 lb. and the scope is a short one, like an SCT, then you can get away with no rebalancing. Just balance once for imaging, and don't worry too much when using a lighter weight visual accessory.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto]
To: AstroPhysics E-group
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2015 1:40 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??



HI Rolando
  the cameras get taken off at the end of the night, so if a visual user comes in next they do not have to mess with all the camera equipment. So the scope gets re-balanced depending on who is using it next and what they are hanging on it eyepiece wise or camera wise.
Dan


 


Re: First images with Mach 1

Suresh Mohan
 

You can easily manage 5 minute subs for m42  at your focal length unguided after careful PA
Suresh 


On Dec 31, 2015, at 3:54 AM, Michael Hayford mjhayford74@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Subs were 20 seconds, unguided. 18 for M42, 13 for Perseus double cluster. 5 darks each.

One of the next things I'll try is progressively longer exposures to see how things hold up, understanding that is dependent on polar alignment.

Regards

Mike


On Dec 30, 2015, at 11:05 AM, don123donxyz@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

How long were your subs and were they unguided?


Re: First images with Mach 1

Michael Hayford <mjhayford74@...>
 

Subs were 20 seconds, unguided. 18 for M42, 13 for Perseus double cluster. 5 darks each.

One of the next things I'll try is progressively longer exposures to see how things hold up, understanding that is dependent on polar alignment.

Regards

Mike


On Dec 30, 2015, at 11:05 AM, don123donxyz@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

How long were your subs and were they unguided?


Re: Park 4??

Roland Christen
 

Normally rebalancing between camera and visual accessories is not needed with a 1200 mount. There is enough torque to drive an unbalanced setup. However, it depends on the weight of the camera and the length of the scope. If it's less than about 5 lb. and the scope is a short one, like an SCT, then you can get away with no rebalancing. Just balance once for imaging, and don't worry too much when using a lighter weight visual accessory.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto]
To: AstroPhysics E-group
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2015 1:40 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??



HI Rolando
  the cameras get taken off at the end of the night, so if a visual user comes in next they do not have to mess with all the camera equipment. So the scope gets re-balanced depending on who is using it next and what they are hanging on it eyepiece wise or camera wise.
Dan


 


Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Barry,

I don't think it is documented but the command is simple ("ZZ04"). Here is a short VBScript example:

Set t = CreateObject("AstroPhysicsV2.Telescope")
t.Connected = True
responseString = t.CommandString("ZZ04")
WScript.Echo responseString

The response is a comma separated string with 4 values. The command will work with whatever device (THUM or other) that APCC is using now or in the future. The 4 values returned are:

Temp (C), Pressure(Mb), Relative Humidity(%), Dew Point (C)

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 10:40 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] APCC -- conflict using THUM device



Ray:

Sorry. I meant to say that APCC says not to have the THUM Service running. I
have not looked into it, but I assumed that the service would allow access by
multiple processes.

ACP does not natively support the THUM but i have added code to extend the
APC web interface and use the THUM data for various purposes such as
controlling a dew heater and a dehumidifier.

I would be happy to get that data from APCC instead. I don't have access to the
manuals now -- is that interface to APCC in the documentation?

Thanks

Barry


Re: Park 4??

Daniel Marcus
 

HI Rolando
  the cameras get taken off at the end of the night, so if a visual user comes in next they do not have to mess with all the camera equipment. So the scope gets re-balanced depending on who is using it next and what they are hanging on it eyepiece wise or camera wise.
Dan



To: ap-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 11:57:57 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

What is the reason to check the balance? Why do you need to level the scope? Are you removing the scope after each session?
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto]
To: AstroPhysics E-group
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2015 10:26 am
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??




Hi Rolando
hummmm. It currently is set to autoconnect =yes. Understand what you are saying, will consult the rest of the visual users and get their input. They currently find the scope in the park 1 position, and know how to check the balance, level the scope, turn on the power and are up and running quickly. Problem is most seldom use the scope, are not familiar with go-to mounts and get frustrated easily. I see the advantage of the Park 4 thus the inquiry. Any chance of an upcoming firmware upgrade to give us park 4 on the hand paddle?
Next non-raining night I'll try out the  Park 4 routine. Seems like once I set it up if I read right, when we "park" it manually to the Park4 position using a level and turn of the power, when we wish to use the mount, we can balance, level it in park 4 position and turn on the mount on, send it to an object, and recalibrate on the object and be good to go?

Daniel Marcus

To: a p-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 22:49:23 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

If you have it set to Autoconnect = Yes, then you have it on Autostart (it will start the CP3 servo automatically). You need do nothing except turn on power. The mount starts itself, you don't do anything or enter anything. You do not Resume from Park 1, nor do you do a Resume from Park4, nor do you do any Resume from Park. You do absolutely nothing except turn on power, the mount does the rest. This is assuming that you have the keypad (hand paddle) set to Autoconnect = Yes.
 
You can check whether you really do have the mount set to start automatically. If it is set this way, then right after power-up the keypad screen will show the Main menu. If it shows anything else, you may have it set to manual start, which is a waste of time for a permanent mount. 
 
In order to set the keypad to automatically start at power-on, go to the keypad Main Menu. Next press 2 = SETUP. In the Setup Menu press 3 = KEYPAD OPTIONS. The first line will say 1 = Autoconnect: YES, NO, or EXT. You can scroll thru the 3 options by pressing 1 each time. Set your keypad to Autoconnect: YES.
 
You can use this startup procedure even if you loosen the clutches and change or rebalance the scope. When you are done fussing with the scope, send your mount to Park3 with clutches loose. Let it finish slewing, then simple move the scope manually to Park3 and tighten the clutches. You can check you alignment by sending the scope to Park1 and use a Bubble level to do a fine adjustment of the scope position by moving the scope manually via the clutches. Then tighten the clutches and go to some known object. Center it in the eyepiece, press Rcal (bottom right menu button brings up the Rcal function) and you are set to go anywhere accurately.
 
When you are done observing, simply move the scope to somewhere around the Park 4 position, or anywhere that is convenient - does not matter where exactly. Now turn off power. Next time you turn on power, the keypad will go to main menu automatically, and you can go to Objects Menu, enter a star or object and let the mount slew to that object. It will go to the object, which you can center and do a Rcal if you wish (bottom right menu button brings up the Rcal function).
 
Let me know if this makes sense to you.
 
Rolando
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: AstroPhysics E-group <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 9:01 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??




Hi Rolando
have it set for Autoconnect yes, can't find autostart. Problem is we take the cameras off and rebalance the mount for the visual people who are more novice users.  Our roof once closed will not allow us to move the mount from park 4 to Park 1 or vise versa. My visual users are usually not real familiar with go-to mounts, and are used to resuming from park 1, so unless there is a way to start from park 4 from the hand paddle, I can see problems with my users - hard to teach old dogs new tricks. :-)
Dan

To: ap-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:25:43 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

Park 4 is not yet in the keypad. You can manually send the mount to that position using the direction buttons (Southern horizon just past the meridian, scope on East side). Then simply turn off the power. When starting up, simply turn on the power and the keypad will start the mount from that position, assuming that you have it set on Autostart = YES. I assume that you are not setting the keypad to Autostart = No or Autostart = EXT, yes?
 
Rolando
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: AstroPhysics E-group <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 7:45 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Park 4??



Hi
  Our club has a AP1200 with 4.17 firmware on the hand paddle. Our visual users use the hand paddle when parking the scope. There is no park 4 on the hand paddle. We use The Sky6, and pulseguide to control it for photography. Would like to use park 4 as the primary park position (currently are using Park 1) but do not want to confuse the visual users, also do not see park 4 in pulseguide.
Cheap Suggestions anyone?

Daniel Marcus










Re: First images with Mach 1

Don Curry
 

How long were your subs and were they unguided?


Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Barry Megdal
 

Ray:

Sorry. I meant to say that APCC says not to have the THUM Service running. I have not looked into it, but I assumed that the service would allow access by multiple processes.

ACP does not natively support the THUM but i have added code to extend the APC web interface and use the THUM data for various purposes such as controlling a dew heater and a dehumidifier.

I would be happy to get that data from APCC instead. I don't have access to the manuals now -- is that interface to APCC in the documentation?

Thanks

Barry


Re: APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Barry,

APCC absolutely uses the driver from the THUM manufacturer. I know because I
paid for the license years ago. That said, as far as I know only one device
can talk to the THUM at a time, which seems to cause a conflict in your
setup. When did ACP add support for the THUM?

As an alternative APCC can be queried for temperature, pressure, and
humidity directly or through the AP V2 driver, so maybe a script change to
ACP can be made for ACP to read the temp/pressure/humidity from APCC?

In the near future APCC will have several additional options for collecting
temperature.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 9:34 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC -- conflict using THUM device



Even before beginning to use APCC I had a THUM device in my observatory to
measure temperature and humidity. I added code to the web interface of
ACP to
display this information, and more importantly, my ACP code uses the dew
point
calculation to decide when the dew heater should be automatically turned
on.



The THUM is only read by ACP once per minute, but now there is an
occasional
conflict where apparently APCC and ACP try to read the THUM at the same
time.
This causes ACP to temporarily get garbage data, which I can deal with.
But
APCC eventually begins to show temperatures which are 10 degrees or more
too
low, and this only gets fixed if APCC is restarted.



I want APCC to have the correct data for its pointing model, but I am not
sure how
to fix this. APCC wants to talk directly to the THUM rather than through
the driver
provided by the manufacturer, and it seems there is no way to have two
THUM
devices - one for APCC and one for other uses such as ACP.



I welcome suggestions, and wish everyone a Happy New Year.



- Barry





Dr. Barry Megdal



60" and 100" Session Director

Tour Docent

Special Tour Docent

Mt. Wilson Observatory



Faculty

Dept. of Electrical Engineering

California Institute of Techno logy

Pasadena, CA

bmegdal@caltech.edu <mailto:bmegdal@caltech.edu>




Re: Improving numbers in the APCC Pointing Model

Rob Hawley
 

The plate solves are probably timing out because the pointing position is too far from the expected RA/Dec. This is usually caused by a mechanical issue. 

RCAL done on an east point (the default in APPM) the numbers were low until the high decl was reached.  There they increased to about 60 arcmin. On the west side they were about 120 arcmin, but most timed out.

Last night I did the RCAL on the west side (how the mount is usually used).  The east numbers were now 60-120 but all but 2 completed.  All of the west points completed and were generally low.

Since I rely on APCC for tracking and I clearly made the errors worse I was going to take the scope down tomorrow and start on the alternative solution.  If these numbers are useful to you I can do a pointing test first.  I also have the logs from last night.


Have you tried an all-sky plate solve on one of the failed to plate-solve images? It would be nice to know how far off the scope was from actual pointing position.

I did not specifically retry the failed points with All Sky, but RCAL required all sky and it provided a solution quickly.


APCC -- conflict using THUM device

Barry Megdal
 

Even before beginning to use APCC I had a THUM device in my observatory to measure temperature and humidity.  I added code to the web interface of ACP to display this information, and more importantly, my ACP code uses the dew point calculation to decide when the dew heater should be automatically turned on.

 

The THUM is only read by ACP once per minute, but now there is an occasional conflict where apparently APCC and ACP try to read the THUM at the same time.  This causes ACP to temporarily get garbage data, which I can deal with.  But APCC eventually begins to show temperatures which are 10 degrees or more too low, and this only gets fixed if APCC is restarted.

 

I want APCC to have the correct data for its pointing model, but I am not sure how to fix this.  APCC wants to talk directly to the THUM rather than through the driver provided by the manufacturer, and it seems there is no way to have two THUM devices – one for APCC and one for other uses such as ACP.

 

I welcome suggestions, and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

 

-          Barry

 

 

Dr. Barry Megdal

 

60” and 100” Session Director

Tour Docent

Special Tour Docent

Mt. Wilson Observatory

 

Faculty

Dept. of Electrical Engineering

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

bmegdal@...

 


Re: Improving numbers in the APCC Pointing Model

Ray Gralak
 

I don’t know yet if the model is working well or not. My problem with APPM was
timeouts (addressed separately). I did not have enough time last night to run a
pointing test before I lost the sky to the moon.
The plate solves are probably timing out because the pointing position is too far from the expected RA/Dec. This is usually caused by a mechanical issue.

Have you tried an all-sky plate solve on one of the failed to plate-solve images? It would be nice to know how far off the scope was from actual pointing position.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 8:28 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Improving numbers in the APCC Pointing Model




All of the terms except RA and Dec Index use equations which vary by
telescope pointing position. If a model isn't working well that's usually an
indication that there is some mechanical randomness in the setup (i.e.
something is shifting).



I don’t know yet if the model is working well or not. My problem with APPM was
timeouts (addressed separately). I did not have enough time last night to run a
pointing test before I lost the sky to the moon.

Since this design now requires larger corrections than the unmodified system I
suspect the answer will be that I violated “First, do no harm”. In that case, I have an
alternative design.

Thanks for confirming the problem.

Rob Hawley
www.robhawley.net




Re: Park 4??

Roland Christen
 

What is the reason to check the balance? Why do you need to level the scope? Are you removing the scope after each session?
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto]
To: AstroPhysics E-group
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2015 10:26 am
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??




Hi Rolando
hummmm. It currently is set to autoconnect =yes. Understand what you are saying, will consult the rest of the visual users and get their input. They currently find the scope in the park 1 position, and know how to check the balance, level the scope, turn on the power and are up and running quickly. Problem is most seldom use the scope, are not familiar with go-to mounts and get frustrated easily. I see the advantage of the Park 4 thus the inquiry. Any chance of an upcoming firmware upgrade to give us park 4 on the hand paddle?
Next non-raining night I'll try out the  Park 4 routine. Seems like once I set it up if I read right, when we "park" it manually to the Park4 position using a level and turn of the power, when we wish to use the mount, we can balance, level it in park 4 position and turn on the mount on, send it to an object, and recalibrate on the object and be good to go?

Daniel Marcus

To: a p-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 22:49:23 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

If you have it set to Autoconnect = Yes, then you have it on Autostart (it will start the CP3 servo automatically). You need do nothing except turn on power. The mount starts itself, you don't do anything or enter anything. You do not Resume from Park 1, nor do you do a Resume from Park4, nor do you do any Resume from Park. You do absolutely nothing except turn on power, the mount does the rest. This is assuming that you have the keypad (hand paddle) set to Autoconnect = Yes.
 
You can check whether you really do have the mount set to start automatically. If it is set this way, then right after power-up the keypad screen will show the Main menu. If it shows anything else, you may have it set to manual start, which is a waste of time for a permanent mount. 
 
In order to set the keypad to automatically start at power-on, go to the keypad Main Menu. Next press 2 = SETUP. In the Setup Menu press 3 = KEYPAD OPTIONS. The first line will say 1 = Autoconnect: YES, NO, or EXT. You can scroll thru the 3 options by pressing 1 each time. Set your keypad to Autoconnect: YES.
 
You can use this startup procedure even if you loosen the clutches and change or rebalance the scope. When you are done fussing with the scope, send your mount to Park3 with clutches loose. Let it finish slewing, then simple move the scope manually to Park3 and tighten the clutches. You can check you alignment by sending the scope to Park1 and use a Bubble level to do a fine adjustment of the scope position by moving the scope manually via the clutches. Then tighten the clutches and go to some known object. Center it in the eyepiece, press Rcal (bottom right menu button brings up the Rcal function) and you are set to go anywhere accurately.
 
When you are done observing, simply move the scope to somewhere around the Park 4 position, or anywhere that is convenient - does not matter where exactly. Now turn off power. Next time you turn on power, the keypad will go to main menu automatically, and you can go to Objects Menu, enter a star or object and let the mount slew to that object. It will go to the object, which you can center and do a Rcal if you wish (bottom right menu button brings up the Rcal function).
 
Let me know if this makes sense to you.
 
Rolando
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: AstroPhysics E-group <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 9:01 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 4??




Hi Rolando
have it set for Autoconnect yes, can't find autostart. Problem is we take the cameras off and rebalance the mount for the visual people who are more novice users.  Our roof once closed will not allow us to move the mount from park 4 to Park 1 or vise versa. My visual users are usually not real familiar with go-to mounts, and are used to resuming from park 1, so unless there is a way to start from park 4 from the hand paddle, I can see problems with my users - hard to teach old dogs new tricks. :-)
Dan

To: ap-gto@...
From: ap-gto@...
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:25:43 -0500
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4??

 

Park 4 is not yet in the keypad. You can manually send the mount to that position using the direction buttons (Southern horizon just past the meridian, scope on East side). Then simply turn off the power. When starting up, simply turn on the power and the keypad will start the mount from that position, assuming that you have it set on Autostart = YES. I assume that you are not setting the keypad to Autostart = No or Autostart = EXT, yes?
 
Rolando
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Marcus DMa3141551@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: AstroPhysics E-group <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 7:45 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Park 4??



Hi
  Our club has a AP1200 with 4.17 firmware on the hand paddle. Our visual users use the hand paddle when parking the scope. There is no park 4 on the hand paddle. We use The Sky6, and pulseguide to control it for photography. Would like to use park 4 as the primary park position (currently are using Park 1) but do not want to confuse the visual users, also do not see park 4 in pulseguide.
Cheap Suggestions anyone?

Daniel Marcus