Date   

Re: CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

Gabe Cardona
 

Cross-over cable? These have not been needed for years. All modern Ethernet chips support auto MDI-X, and for gigabit it is not needed. I'm sure the CP4 supports this unless the ethernet chip is more than 10 years old.

Gabe Cardona


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Eric,

Note that the AP control box will work in virtually all weather conditions, including frigid conditions. You might have to fashion a heater box to protect the Arduino from dew. If it fails at an inappropriate time you could miss out on collecting some images when the mount unnecessarily stops. Or if it fails to work one night that would leave the mount "unprotected".

And, BTW, with APCC the RA limits are autoconfigured for each declination and for each side of the mount, so there is no need to manually set a limit. Manually setting a limit can be error prone unless it is set very conservatively. If a number is entered wrong by mistake in the dark the Arduino-based solution could allow a crash to occur. There is an elaborate feature in APCC to help you easily find the RA limits for each declination.

Also, new features in the upcoming APCC release add home and limits functionality that will "bounce" the mount back within limits even when slewing.

-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: Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:59 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits



Wow Andy, this is exactly what I need! Thank you so much for sharing this! I've
already got an Arduino Uno and a couple open relays in the observatory, so this
couldn't be more perfect!

Eric


Re: APV2 vs the SkyX driver?

Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

Dean, I ran my AP900GTO CP2 with TSX and used the ASCOM v2 driver per advice from the gang at AP. I had NO problem using Pulseguide to guide without a cable. It all worked very well. 

Stuart

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 8:52 PM, 'Dean' dean@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hi All,

 

I have been using the APV2 driver for a while with Sky6 and am now moving over SkyX.  Have had lots of star fade issues with Maxim and my lodestar so will try the camera add on.  I use CCD Auto Pilot for my imaging sessions. 

 

My question is, what am I gaining by using the ascom AP driver vs the SkyX driver?  I am just wanting to uncomplicated things and if I can get X to give me all I need to run the mount it should do that.    I don’t use any of the APV2 features anyways since I am automated so again not sure what it does for me more than X?  Or am I but just not aware of it?   I still may need it to connect to Pempro although not sure.

 

I think the main reason I wanted to use it originally was to guide thru the mount and not use a guide cable.  Not sure if I could still do that with SkyX and pulse guide but going back to a guide cable would be ok if I need to.

 

I understand if I ever go with APCC I need it but have no plans at the moment.

 

Thanks for any comments, or suggestions on switching to SkyX from Sky6.

 

Thanks

Dean


Virus-free. www.avast.com





APV2 vs the SkyX driver?

Dean S
 

Hi All,

 

I have been using the APV2 driver for a while with Sky6 and am now moving over SkyX.  Have had lots of star fade issues with Maxim and my lodestar so will try the camera add on.  I use CCD Auto Pilot for my imaging sessions. 

 

My question is, what am I gaining by using the ascom AP driver vs the SkyX driver?  I am just wanting to uncomplicated things and if I can get X to give me all I need to run the mount it should do that.    I don’t use any of the APV2 features anyways since I am automated so again not sure what it does for me more than X?  Or am I but just not aware of it?   I still may need it to connect to Pempro although not sure.

 

I think the main reason I wanted to use it originally was to guide thru the mount and not use a guide cable.  Not sure if I could still do that with SkyX and pulse guide but going back to a guide cable would be ok if I need to.

 

I understand if I ever go with APCC I need it but have no plans at the moment.

 

Thanks for any comments, or suggestions on switching to SkyX from Sky6.

 

Thanks

Dean


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

Joel Short
 

OK mystery solved.  When I went in to look at the TCP/IPv4 properties, for some reason the IP address was set to "Use the following IP address" and was manually set.  When I changed that to "Obtain an IP address automatically" I could immediately get to the CP4 webpage at the default CP4 IP.  

Still on a quest to find a good IP to COM app until AP comes out with that capability.

joel

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 4:52 PM, 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

If you have a point-to-point Ethernet connection between the Mini-PC and the CP4 without any intervening routers, switches or hubs then I would be tempted to set static IP configurations on each device.  Also make sure that the IP network configured for that two-node setup is on a unique subnet that does not overlap with any of your other connected IP networks.  Otherwise your Mini-PC would be confused as to which network port to use to get to a particular IP address.
 
Also make sure to use a crossover Ethernet cable.  Some devices have auto-switching Ethernet ports but others do not.  It could be that Neither the CP4 or the Mini-PC have an auto-switching port.  I am pretty-sure that the CP4 does not have an auto-switching Ethernet port.
 
Also lock the MINI-PC's Ethernet mode to 100 full or half duplex.  It is possible that the two devices are not able to auto-negotiate Ethernet mode with each other when they are both normally expecting that they are talking with an Ethernet switch or hub port and not directly with another network node device.
 
Let me know if this helps.
 
 
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com


Re: CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

Christopher Erickson
 

If you have a point-to-point Ethernet connection between the Mini-PC and the CP4 without any intervening routers, switches or hubs then I would be tempted to set static IP configurations on each device.  Also make sure that the IP network configured for that two-node setup is on a unique subnet that does not overlap with any of your other connected IP networks.  Otherwise your Mini-PC would be confused as to which network port to use to get to a particular IP address.
 
Also make sure to use a crossover Ethernet cable.  Some devices have auto-switching Ethernet ports but others do not.  It could be that Neither the CP4 or the Mini-PC have an auto-switching port.  I am pretty-sure that the CP4 does not have an auto-switching Ethernet port.
 
Also lock the MINI-PC's Ethernet mode to 100 full or half duplex.  It is possible that the two devices are not able to auto-negotiate Ethernet mode with each other when they are both normally expecting that they are talking with an Ethernet switch or hub port and not directly with another network node device.
 
Let me know if this helps.
 
 
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 2:17 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

My home network consists of a Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 X4 R7500 router.  The headless MiniPC is wirelessly connected to the router with internet access.  

In addition, the MiniPC is broadcasting it's own access point using Connectify.  This is what I use to remote in to the miniPC.  

The CP4 Ethernet is set to "Server".

In the windows "Network and Sharing Center" there are 3 connections listed, (Wifi on home network, another wireless connection for Connectify, and Ethernet).  The Ethernet connection is listed as "Unidentified Network (public)."  

I wouldn't think that any of the above would matter since the CP4 is directly connected to the MiniPC via Ethernet.  Probably the next test I should do is hook up a monitor and disable all the wireless networks and just have the Ethernet connection present.  But as far as I can tell all the settings are the same across my computers (desktop, laptop, miniPC).
joel


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Eric M
 

Andy, this is exactly what I need! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! It's perfect too, I already have an Arduino Uno and a spare relay in the observatory for the hardware watchdog. You rock!

Eric


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Eric M
 

Wow Andy, this is exactly what I need! Thank you so much for sharing this! I've already got an Arduino Uno and a couple open relays in the observatory, so this couldn't be more perfect! 

Eric


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Andy Galasso
 

Eric,

Here is a simple solution that is free http://adgsoftware.com/MountWatcher/

It has none of the sophisticated features of APCC but does simply what you were asking for, including supporting a way to stop tracking if the PC freezes or crashes.

Andy


Re: Mach1 CP4, RAPAS and Keypad Case

Gabe Cardona
 

I use the Large Orion Pluck Foam Case. It's a little bigger than the Pelican 1500, and I can fit the CP4, Keypad, RAPAS, and cables. The Pelican 1500 may be a little tight for all of these.

Gabe Cardona


Re: CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

Joel Short
 

My home network consists of a Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 X4 R7500 router.  The headless MiniPC is wirelessly connected to the router with internet access.  

In addition, the MiniPC is broadcasting it's own access point using Connectify.  This is what I use to remote in to the miniPC.  

The CP4 Ethernet is set to "Server".

In the windows "Network and Sharing Center" there are 3 connections listed, (Wifi on home network, another wireless connection for Connectify, and Ethernet).  The Ethernet connection is listed as "Unidentified Network (public)."  

I wouldn't think that any of the above would matter since the CP4 is directly connected to the MiniPC via Ethernet.  Probably the next test I should do is hook up a monitor and disable all the wireless networks and just have the Ethernet connection present.  But as far as I can tell all the settings are the same across my computers (desktop, laptop, miniPC).
joel


Re: CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

Christopher Erickson
 

Tell us more about your LAN setup and devices.  DHCP server DHCP scope?  Router?  Internet access?  CP4 Ethernet settings?
 
 
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:39 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

At home in my OBS I use a desktop computer to control everything.  When I have a direct Ethernet connection between the desktop and CP4 I can access the CP4 webpage without issue.  I also have a laptop and can access the webpage via Ethernet on that too.


When I travel to a darker sky site I use a MiniPC that has an Ethernet port.  For some reason I am not able to access the CP4 webpage via Ethernet with the MiniPC.  All my computers are Windows 10.  There is no antivirus on the MiniPC. I should note that I can access the internal webpage via wifi from the MiniPC, just not by Ethernet.  But the wifi connection is a bit tenuous as sometimes it connects to the local network, and sometimes it reverts back to Access Point mode.  


Any ideas why the MiniPC is not able to access the CP4 webpage over Ethernet?  Again, this is not a big deal to me, I'm just trying to troubleshoot and get the most out of this.

joel


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Christopher Erickson
 

Adding APCC to an Astro-Physics mount is like adding a jet aircraft instrument panel.  Awesome stuff.
 
 
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 10:11 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Rolando and George, thanks for the quick replies!

I'm looking at the APCC software on the website, looks like a very robust solution. I'll definitely consider it, the $250 price tag for a single feature I'm looking for leaves me hesitant... but crashing my equipment would have a much higher price tag I'm sure. I'm curious, if the APCC software froze up for any reason, would the mount still stop tracking at the set limits? I guess what I'm asking is: Is the mount saving limits received by APCC? Or is APCC just issuing a command to stop tracking when a certain position is reached? My acquisition software should do meridian flips and stop the mount at the correct times, I just don't trust software on my laptop to be foolproof where as I can confidently expect the mount to perform the same way every time. 

The timer to cut power would definitely work for a single target (I'll be implementing that tonight! Didn't even think of that) but multiple targets would be an issue.  

George, I've used the AP Timer as a fail-safe for my acquisition software. I haven't figured out how to turn on the safety timer aspect of it to make sure the COMs functioning properly (reading the details in the ROM chip revisions, I have version T so it should have this feature). If I could get this working I may be able to forgo APCC.

Eric


CP4, Ethernet, MiniPC won't connect

Joel Short
 

At home in my OBS I use a desktop computer to control everything.  When I have a direct Ethernet connection between the desktop and CP4 I can access the CP4 webpage without issue.  I also have a laptop and can access the webpage via Ethernet on that too.


When I travel to a darker sky site I use a MiniPC that has an Ethernet port.  For some reason I am not able to access the CP4 webpage via Ethernet with the MiniPC.  All my computers are Windows 10.  There is no antivirus on the MiniPC. I should note that I can access the internal webpage via wifi from the MiniPC, just not by Ethernet.  But the wifi connection is a bit tenuous as sometimes it connects to the local network, and sometimes it reverts back to Access Point mode.  


Any ideas why the MiniPC is not able to access the CP4 webpage over Ethernet?  Again, this is not a big deal to me, I'm just trying to troubleshoot and get the most out of this.

joel


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Roland Christen
 

APCC sets a time-out in the mount servo, so if your computer locks up or you lose communication to the mount, then the mount will automatically stop tracking and park. It's one of many safety features in APCC.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: eric.marlatt@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, May 25, 2016 3:17 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits



Rolando and George, thanks for the quick replies!

I'm looking at the APCC software on the website, looks like a very robust solution. I'll definitely consider it, the $250 price tag for a single feauture I'm looking for leaves me hesitant... but crashing my equipment would have a much higher price tag I'm sure. I'm curious, if the APCC software froze up for any reason, would the mount still stop tracking at the set limits? I guess what I'm asking is: Is the mount saving limits received by APCC? Or is APCC just issueing a command to stop tracking when a certain position is reached? My acquisition software should do meridian flips and stop the mount at the correct times, I just don't trust software on my laptop to be foolproof where as I can confidently expect the mount to perform the same way every time. 

The timer to cut power would definitley work for a single target (I'll be implemen ting that tonight! Didn't even think of that) but multiple targets would be an issue.  

George, I've used the AP Timer as a fail-safe for my acquisition software. I haven't figured out how to turn on the safety timer aspect of it to make sure the COMs functioning properly (reading the details in the ROM chip revisions, I have version T so it should have this feature). If I could get this working I may be able to forgo APCC.

Eric



Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Eric M
 

Rolando and George, thanks for the quick replies!

I'm looking at the APCC software on the website, looks like a very robust solution. I'll definitely consider it, the $250 price tag for a single feauture I'm looking for leaves me hesitant... but crashing my equipment would have a much higher price tag I'm sure. I'm curious, if the APCC software froze up for any reason, would the mount still stop tracking at the set limits? I guess what I'm asking is: Is the mount saving limits received by APCC? Or is APCC just issueing a command to stop tracking when a certain position is reached? My acquisition software should do meridian flips and stop the mount at the correct times, I just don't trust software on my laptop to be foolproof where as I can confidently expect the mount to perform the same way every time. 

The timer to cut power would definitley work for a single target (I'll be implementing that tonight! Didn't even think of that) but multiple targets would be an issue.  

George, I've used the AP Timer as a fail-safe for my acquisition software. I haven't figured out how to turn on the safety timer aspect of it to make sure the COMs functioning properly (reading the details in the ROM chip revisions, I have version T so it should have this feature). If I could get this working I may be able to forgo APCC.

Eric


Re: Mach1 CP4, RAPAS and Keypad Case

andrew.jones6@...
 

I actually think I found a case that should work fine. In fact I already have one that use for my eyepieces (duh). It is the Orion Pro Pluck-Foam Waterproof Accessory Cases. Found it online for $99 which is a little cheaper than the Pelican version.


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Eric M
 

Rolando and George, thanks for the quick replies!

I'm looking at the APCC software on the website, looks like a very robust solution. I'll definitely consider it, the $250 price tag for a single feature I'm looking for leaves me hesitant... but crashing my equipment would have a much higher price tag I'm sure. I'm curious, if the APCC software froze up for any reason, would the mount still stop tracking at the set limits? I guess what I'm asking is: Is the mount saving limits received by APCC? Or is APCC just issuing a command to stop tracking when a certain position is reached? My acquisition software should do meridian flips and stop the mount at the correct times, I just don't trust software on my laptop to be foolproof where as I can confidently expect the mount to perform the same way every time. 

The timer to cut power would definitely work for a single target (I'll be implementing that tonight! Didn't even think of that) but multiple targets would be an issue.  

George, I've used the AP Timer as a fail-safe for my acquisition software. I haven't figured out how to turn on the safety timer aspect of it to make sure the COMs functioning properly (reading the details in the ROM chip revisions, I have version T so it should have this feature). If I could get this working I may be able to forgo APCC.

Eric


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

George
 

Eric,

 

You can also use the AP Timer utility that comes with the AP V2 driver.   It is simple, but it will work.   APCC is the best solution.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-282-1513

Email:  george@...

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 1:49 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Safety timer / Tracking limits

 

 

I'm starting to work towards imaging all night and can't help but worry about a pier collision while I sleep, so I end up setting an alarm for when my target approaches the meridian which is taking a toll on me. I'm reading about the "Safe Zones Limits" in the keypad manual, but it sounds like that only applies to a slew command, not standard movement at sidereal. 

 

Is there a menu on the keypad that will allow me to stop tracking when I reach the meridian? This would help prevent a crash if my software or laptop had an issue.

 

Eric


Re: Safety timer / Tracking limits

Roland Christen
 

APCC has built-in limits for tracking. You can set them to stop tracking at the meridian or anywhere that you deem necessary. The keypad does not have a built-in limit.
You can also set up a simple timer that cuts power after a number of hours. Timers are available at most hardware and home improvement stores.
 
Rolando
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: eric.marlatt@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, May 25, 2016 1:50 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Safety timer / Tracking limits



I'm starting to work towards imaging all night and can't help but worry about a pier collision while I sleep, so I end up setting an alarm for when my target approaches the meridian which is taking a toll on me. I'm reading about the "Safe Zones Limits" in the keypad manual, but it sounds like that only applies to a slew command, not standard movement at sidereal. 

Is there a menu on the keypad that will allow me to stop tracking when I reach the meridian? This would help prevent a crash if my software or laptop had an issue.

Eric