Date   

Re: Polar Alignment - RA & Dec Fight

Steven Waldren
 

Thanks for the help. Was able to use the thickness of 3 aluminum can sides to fix the cone error.  Use ConeSharp application.

Best,
Steven


On Jul 25, 2017, at 7:50 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:




-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Jul 25, 2017 3:15 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Polar Alignment - RA & Dec Fight

Drift alignment:

My refined technique is to align azimuth first on a star on the celestial equator, not worrying about RA drift, Just zero out Dec drift there. Then, once that is done, i go to a star near the zenith (usually on the East side within 1/2 hour) and align the altitude axis by zeroing out the RA drift. Done this way, the two adjustments are independent and don't interfere with each other. The adjustment can be done in about 15 minutes.

Doing it this way gives me essentially zero RA and zero Dec drift over a wide area across the zenith. Of course, this does not align the pole exactly, but I'm more interested in no drift over a wide area versus best pointing. Even with my 17" F8 astrograph (3454mm FL), I can land just about every deep sky object somewhere on the STL11K chip. A simple pointing model can then align your scope to the sky further if you wish.

Orthogonality alignment:

I have also found a super easy way to get the orthogonality error down to near zero after the mount is aligned per the above drift method. It does not require any fancy flipping of the axes back and forth. It is simply this: Do a GoTo to Polaris. The star will not be in the center (eyepiece or CCD image) if you have any orthogonality error. Put the star as close to center in Dec with the N-S buttons. You will find that it will not move with RA with the E-W buttons. However, if you push a bit on the telescope tube in the RA direction, you will see the star move either toward or away from the center. Determine which way the tube must move to end up toward the center. Loosen either front or rear scope rings and slip a thin shim under the rings (.005" to .025" as needed). With the right amount of shim, you can get Polaris exactly in the middle in the RA direction while using the N-S buttons to adjust the Dec direction. 

I did this with my 17" astrograph, which needed about .020" shim under the rear rings. I can now go from one side of the meridian to the other and put every object on the chip without going to a bright star first. How long did it take me to do this? About 8 minutes, and worthwhile to do. No software compensation can eliminate this error near the pole, but this simple mechanical align can get you dead nuts on every time.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Waldren swaldren@... [ap-gto] gto@...>
To: ap-gto gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Jul 25, 2017 9:29 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Polar Alignment - RA & Dec Fight



EDIT: “... West horizon and drifted in Az.” <— Should’ve said Alt not Az.


On Jul 25, 2017, at 9:14 AM, Steven Waldren swaldren@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

Hello,

I had a interesting experience last night trying to polar align my MACH1, which is portable on a tripod. After polar aligning with my RAPS, I went to check with a drift align in PHD2. I drifted in just east of the meridian and was off by a couple of arc-minutes. I adjusted to within 1 arc-minute. I then slewed to the West horizon and drifted in Az. It was apparently off by over 10 arc-minutes. I adjusted to under an error under 1 arc-minute. When I slewed back the original star I drift aligned Alt on, PHD2 said it was off by 14 arc-minutes. I then adjusted Az to get polar error under 1 arc-minute. Then using PHD2 guiding assistant, I checked the polar alignment error, which was calculated at 4.5 arc-min. 

Any tips on what to check or what user errors I may have to cause an adjustment in Alt to effect alignment in Az (mount spirit level appeared level). During calibration of PHD2 I did not get any errors and I don’t think I deviated from my normal routine, which usually works well.

Best,
Steven







Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Roland Christen
 


When I plug the short part of the Y cable, do I leave the long part unplugged?
Yes, leave the long cable off.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Aug 8, 2017 9:03 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue




Thanks, Rolando! You're fast! :)

>>You bought this used, did the previous owner indicate that the mount was fully functional?

I bought it in late 2015, and it's been in our observatory since late 2015/early 2016. It was fully functional until the symptoms manifested this past Saturday.

I will try your suggested troubleshooting steps in the next few days. When I plug the short part of the Y cable, do I leave the long part unplugged?

>>Here is how you can test whether one of the two motors or encoders might be non-functional. Plug the short part of the Y cable into the RA motor box. Turn power on and push the E-W buttons at 600x (do not push N-S buttons). If the motor slews properly, then it is good, and your R.A. Y cable connection is also good. Now plug the short end of the Y cable into the Dec motor box. Turn power on and push the E-W buttons at 600x. Again, if the motor slews properly, then that motor circuit is also functioning correctly.

>>If the above tests pan out, then you may have a break in the Dec portion of the Y cable. If the Yellow light comes on in any of the above tests, then you may have a break in the RA portion of the Y cable.

>>Try this first and see what happens. Best to call George here during the day and he can walk you thru any further tests. In any case, the mount is modular, and we can repair any portion without you having to send the entire mount in.

Will keep you posted.
Thanks a bunch!

Eric



-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto] gto@...>
To: ap-gto gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Aug 8, 2017 8:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue




So, update. I tried the following steps. The problem still happening:

1. I unplugged the power connector from the CP2 controller and spread the connector.
2. I reseated the car-style plug into the power supply.
3. I noticed the CP2's power cable looked a little worn - there was electric tape near where the cable plugs into the controller (bought AP900 used). I swapped it out for the power cable from my AP1200 CP3.
4. I spread the power connector in the CP2 controller until it was visibly spread and the cable plugged in with a little more effort.

Through it all, I paid attention to the CP2's LED indicator light. I didn't at first, but on the first test I saw it glowing a br ight yellow. In the subsequent tests, the LED was barely visibly red at power up, then would turn yellow (didn't seem as bright as the first time I noticed it) when the issue manifests.

The power supply is the Pyramid 120VAC/13.8 VDC converter recommended by AP when I bought the AP1200.

Roland, with respect to your suggestion below, is the sequence:
1. Unplug the Pyramid power supply.
2. Switch on the power supply.
3. Plug it into the 120VAC outlet.

What else can I check?

Thanks,
Eric





Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

eja24601
 


Thanks, Rolando! You're fast! :)

>>You bought this used, did the previous owner indicate that the mount was fully functional?

I bought it in late 2015, and it's been in our observatory since late 2015/early 2016. It was fully functional until the symptoms manifested this past Saturday.

I will try your suggested troubleshooting steps in the next few days. When I plug the short part of the Y cable, do I leave the long part unplugged?

>>Here is how you can test whether one of the two motors or encoders might be non-functional. Plug the short part of the Y cable into the RA motor box. Turn power on and push the E-W buttons at 600x (do not push N-S buttons). If the motor slews properly, then it is good, and your R.A. Y cable connection is also good. Now plug the short end of the Y cable into the Dec motor box. Turn power on and push the E-W buttons at 600x. Again, if the motor slews properly, then that motor circuit is also functioning correctly.

>>If the above tests pan out, then you may have a break in the Dec portion of the Y cable. If the Yellow light comes on in any of the above tests, then you may have a break in the RA portion of the Y cable.

>>Try this first and see what happens. Best to call George here during the day and he can walk you thru any further tests. In any case, the mount is modular, and we can repair any portion without you having to send the entire mount in.

Will keep you posted.
Thanks a bunch!

Eric



-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tue, Aug 8, 2017 8:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue




So, update. I tried the following steps. The problem still happening:

1. I unplugged the power connector from the CP2 controller and spread the connector.
2. I reseated the car-style plug into the power supply.
3. I noticed the CP2's power cable looked a little worn - there was electric tape near where the cable plugs into the controller (bought AP900 used). I swapped it out for the power cable from my AP1200 CP3.
4. I spread the power connector in the CP2 controller until it was visibly spread and the cable plugged in with a little more effort.

Through it all, I paid attention to the CP2's LED indicator light. I didn't at first, but on the first test I saw it glowing a br ight yellow. In the subsequent tests, the LED was barely visibly red at power up, then would turn yellow (didn't seem as bright as the first time I noticed it) when the issue manifests.

The power supply is the Pyramid 120VAC/13.8 VDC converter recommended by AP when I bought the AP1200.

Roland, with respect to your suggestion below, is the sequence:
1. Unplug the Pyramid power supply.
2. Switch on the power supply.
3. Plug it into the 120VAC outlet.

What else can I check?

Thanks,
Eric



Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Roland Christen
 


Through it all, I paid attention to the CP2's LED indicator light. I didn't at first, but on the first test I saw it glowing a bright yellow. In the subsequent tests, the LED was barely visibly red at power up, then would turn yellow (didn't seem as bright as the first time I noticed it) when the issue manifests.
Ok, a yellow LED indicates a motor stall condition, or a motor error of some kind, which could indicate a problem with one of the encoders. It could also be a loose wire inside the Y cable. Any of these conditions will turn on the yellow LED to indicate a problem with the motor circuit. Loss of encoder feedback can cause the motor to run rapidly for a few seconds before the CP2 cuts power.

You bought this used, did the previous owner indicate that the mount was fully functional?

Here is how you can test whether one of the two motors or encoders might be non-functional. Plug the short part of the Y cable into the RA motor box. Turn power on and push the E-W buttons at 600x (do not push N-S buttons). If the motor slews properly, then it is good, and your R.A. Y cable connection is also good.
Now plug the short end of the Y cable into the Dec motor box. Turn power on and push the E-W buttons at 600x. Again, if the motor slews properly, then that motor circuit is also functioning correctly.

If the above tests pan out, then you may have a break in the Dec portion of the Y cable. If the Yellow light comes on in any of the above tests, then you may have a break in the RA portion of the Y cable.

Try this first and see what happens. Best to call George here during the day and he can walk you thru any further tests. In any case, the mount is modular, and we can repair any portion without you having to send the entire mount in.

Roland Christen


-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Aug 8, 2017 8:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue




So, update. I tried the following steps. The problem still happening:

1. I unplugged the power connector from the CP2 controller and spread the connector.
2. I reseated the car-style plug into the power supply.
3. I noticed the CP2's power cable looked a little worn - there was electric tape near where the cable plugs into the controller (bought AP900 used). I swapped it out for the power cable from my AP1200 CP3.
4. I spread the power connector in the CP2 controller until it was visibly spread and the cable plugged in with a little more effort.

Through it all, I paid attention to the CP2's LED indicator light. I didn't at first, but on the first test I saw it glowing a br ight yellow. In the subsequent tests, the LED was barely visibly red at power up, then would turn yellow (didn't seem as bright as the first time I noticed it) when the issue manifests.

The power supply is the Pyramid 120VAC/13.8 VDC converter recommended by AP when I bought the AP1200.

Roland, with respect to your suggestion below, is the sequence:
1. Unplug the Pyramid power supply.
2. Switch on the power supply.
3. Plug it into the 120VAC outlet.

What else can I check?

Thanks,
Eric

---In ap-gto@...,
After you fix the connectors and it still misbehaves, the switch on your power supply may be at fault. Try turning on the switch and then plugging the power supply into the 120VAC. See if the problem occurs.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto] gto@...>
To: ap-gto gto@...>
Sent: Sat, Aug 5, 2017 7:27 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue



Thanks, Rolando! I'll check. It's a 120VAC/12VDC power supply, so I'll check the connectors.

Eric





Re: Does Skysafari only do Park-4?

steven ho
 

Thanks Howard I will reach out to them.


steve hoffman



From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Howard howard@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 9:12 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Does Skysafari only do Park-4?
 
 

They wanted to start out with just the one park position since they were hustling to get the version ready for NEAF.  They were also awaiting some feedback from customers to see if anyone wanted other positions and also the option to use a “last position” like our keypad does.  Please feel free to let them know that you would like the additional features!  Customer requests will mean a lot more than my requests!

 

Mag. 7 Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

www.astro-physics.com
Makes telescopes, mounts and accessories for observers and astrophotographers. Includes product descriptions, prices, photo gallery, and printable order form.

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 12:36 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Does Skysafari only do Park-4?

 

 

The scope comes in every night and the counter weights stay on the mount and Park3 is used. I don't suppose Sky Safari 5 pro does park-3?

 

thank you!

steve

 


Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

eja24601
 


So, update. I tried the following steps. The problem still happening:

1. I unplugged the power connector from the CP2 controller and spread the connector.
2. I reseated the car-style plug into the power supply.
3. I noticed the CP2's power cable looked a little worn - there was electric tape near where the cable plugs into the controller (bought AP900 used). I swapped it out for the power cable from my AP1200 CP3.
4. I spread the power connector in the CP2 controller until it was visibly spread and the cable plugged in with a little more effort.

Through it all, I paid attention to the CP2's LED indicator light. I didn't at first, but on the first test I saw it glowing a bright yellow. In the subsequent tests, the LED was barely visibly red at power up, then would turn yellow (didn't seem as bright as the first time I noticed it) when the issue manifests.

The power supply is the Pyramid 120VAC/13.8 VDC converter recommended by AP when I bought the AP1200.

Roland, with respect to your suggestion below, is the sequence:
1. Unplug the Pyramid power supply.
2. Switch on the power supply.
3. Plug it into the 120VAC outlet.

What else can I check?

Thanks,
Eric

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

After you fix the connectors and it still misbehaves, the switch on your power supply may be at fault. Try turning on the switch and then plugging the power supply into the 120VAC. See if the problem occurs.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sat, Aug 5, 2017 7:27 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue



Thanks, Rolando! I'll check. It's a 120VAC/12VDC power supply, so I'll check the connectors.

Eric



Re: Does Skysafari only do Park-4?

Howard Hedlund
 

They wanted to start out with just the one park position since they were hustling to get the version ready for NEAF.  They were also awaiting some feedback from customers to see if anyone wanted other positions and also the option to use a “last position” like our keypad does.  Please feel free to let them know that you would like the additional features!  Customer requests will mean a lot more than my requests!

 

Mag. 7 Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 12:36 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Does Skysafari only do Park-4?

 

 

The scope comes in every night and the counter weights stay on the mount and Park3 is used. I don't suppose Sky Safari 5 pro does park-3?

 

thank you!

steve

 


Does Skysafari only do Park-4?

steven ho
 

The scope comes in every night and the counter weights stay on the mount and Park3 is used. I don't suppose Sky Safari 5 pro does park-3?


thank you!

steve



Re: Ray: Questions about latest A-P V2 ASCOM driver

topboxman
 

Thanks Howard. I thought I was going crazy!!!! No hurry, I know how to operate fantastic A-P mounts.

Peter


---In ap-gto@..., <howard@...> wrote :

Hi Peter,

I confirmed this just now here in the office at AP.  I used TheSkyX, bub apart from that everything was almost exactly as you described it.  I created a short, concise log file that I will submit to Ray.  Be advised that he is deeply occupied with PEMPro at the moment, so it may take a while for him to get to it.

You, however, did not do anything wrong.

Howard
AP Tech. Support


Re: Ray: Questions about latest A-P V2 ASCOM driver

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Peter,

I confirmed this just now here in the office at AP.  I used TheSkyX, bub apart from that everything was almost exactly as you described it.  I created a short, concise log file that I will submit to Ray.  Be advised that he is deeply occupied with PEMPro at the moment, so it may take a while for him to get to it.

You, however, did not do anything wrong.

Howard
AP Tech. Support


Ray: Questions about latest A-P V2 ASCOM driver

topboxman
 

Hi Ray,

I have some questions about your latest ASCOM driver. I have the following:

A-P1100 GTO non-encoder mount before the motor gearbox upgrade
CP3 box using Version V firmware (not V1 or V2)
Latest Windows 10 Update as of a few days ago
A-P V2 ASCOM driver 5.10.00
ASCOM 6.3 Platform
Stellarium 0.16.0

I am very familiar with Meridian Delay. I used it for Rolando's cool polar alignment using Meridian Delay and polar alignment. In the past, if I image a DSO located in the Southern Sky relative to the horizon and south of Zenith, I never need to do Meridian Flipping and let the scope go under the mount when crossing the Meridian.

I am interested in trying out imaging with the scope under the mount using Meridian Delay. Before I try this under the dark sky, I was practicing indoors. I set the Meridian Delay to positive 4 hours in A-P V2 ASCOM driver and used Stellarium to slew to a star about 3 hours East of the Meridian. The mount slewed perfectly with the scope under the mount. Then I used A-P V2 ASCOM driver to park the mount to Park 3 position. The mount slewed very slightly in RA direction and then stopped and the Park/Unpark buttons in ASCOM driver remained dimmed so it never parked the mount. Then using Stellarium, I selected a star somewhere about 1 to 2 hours West of the Meridian, the mount finally slewed but went to Park 3 position for a short time and then eventually went to the selected star. Is this normal operation?

Also, I did another test by resetting Meridian Delay and slewed to the same star 3 hours East of Meridian and it went there perfectly with the scope above the mount. Then I clicked on and held the West button on ASCOM V2 driver to move the mount to a star at West side of the Meridian, then used A-P V2 ASCOM driver to Park the mount to Park 3 position and it did exactly the same thing as in previous paragraph: the mount slewed very slightly in RA direction and then stopped and the Park/Unpark buttons in ASCOM driver remained dimmed so it never parked the mount. Then using Stellarium, I selected the same star at West of the Meridian, the mount finally slewed but went to Park 3 position for a short time and then eventually went to the selected star. Is this normal operation?

I know in the latest above paragraph it worked perfectly with older version of A-P V2 ASCOM driver but I don't remember which version.

Did I do anything wrong?

Thanks,
Peter



Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Roland Christen
 

There is no such problem on the CP4, or on the CP3. Please guys, stop with the gasoline on a small fire.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sun, Aug 6, 2017 2:30 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue



Joe, that is worrisome for sure. So far no problems w my CP4 but we're not challenging it much.

Stuart

On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 1:31 PM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
Stuart,
 
    Unfortunately, we can’t spread the power pins on a CP4 cable :-)
 
    I suspect it even happened (once) on my CP3, back in Aug. 2013 – and its power pins were fine. Besides, the runaway problem continued even when the new CP4 was moved to my former AP-900 mount, sitting on the rec room floor, which has NOTHING mounted on its saddle except a D-Plate. The amber LED “motor stall” warning come on just as on the AP-1200, which evidently has nothing to do with an actual motor loading stall. It may just be a general purpose Fault Light.
 
– Different mount, different motors, zero load. Really looks like an internal DC loss to “some area or some component” on the circuit board, since it still has plenty of supplied DC horsepower to run away at very high speed, (repeatedly),  until I hit a EWNS keypad button in a panic to kill the previous slew. A previous CP4 software fresh reload didn’t change things.
 
    Worrisome in an emergency – old software logic handling bug?
Wouldn’t want my car’s engine computer to handle “DC fade outs”,  or isolated computer component failures,  this way ... while it is in motion.
 
Joe
 
From: Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 12:20 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


I have had this happen and in my case, AP900GTO CP2 it was the pins in the power socket needing to be gently spread back so they made proper contact. 
 
Stuart
 



--



Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Roland Christen
 


Can hardly believe what I am reading. I don’t get it – surprised to hear of this firmware logic, for the first time.
That problem was fixed in the CP3 and later editions. It was also fixed in the CP2 with the latest chip sets that we sent out many years ago.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sun, Aug 6, 2017 12:35 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue



Can hardly believe what I am reading. I don’t get it – surprised to hear of this firmware logic, for the first time.
 
    Really? The response of (possibly any) model CPx controller to an  “interruption of power”,  (for whatever cause), is to kick its slew speed setting to the Maximum (or even HIGHER than  maximum user settable speed), and take off to who knows where ?
 
    Indeed, this logic might explain its action on a current CP4 problem, possibly caused by a CP4 “internal supply”  power drop, in one of its  “DC converter’s voltage levels” due to a failing component – even when the supplied power coming in, is perfectly solid.
Does the AMBER LED warning stand for motor Stall - as well as - Marginal external/internal Power? If the latter is included and there is no actual motor stall, then it might just continue racing away, with plenty of  power to spare for both motors,  at the first loss of a DC shifted level.
Scary, indeed.
 
    Such runaway action ... doesn’t sound like a plan.. or its not a sound plan.
 
    Theoretically ... in similar scenario - a user might use the keypad, or any app and start the mount tracking – worse, slewing via GOTO – then unplug the keypad, or shutdown the PC, or indeed have a power brown-out in the power supply, and the mount merrily takes a hike in a random direction, possibly right into its pier.
 
    Wouldn’t it be prudent to change the controller firmware so it does a SAFE Park-In-Place, as though it were experiencing an actual external power fail, either when power becomes “ropey”, or also when it loses all communications with any source of command input(device, port, or software), losing all channels to cease motion, guider input contact closures included?
 
    Asimov’s first  law of robotics (just as in medicine) – if in doubt, do no harm.
There should be a “FAIL-SAFE” – a power “QUALITY” shutdown procedure in ALL the controllers, and not just for a total power outage. A mount controller “running away” in a crisis, almost sounds like robotic cowardice  :-)
 
Joe
 
 
From: chris1011@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, August 5, 2017 7:22 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


There is another possibility, the 12 volt power may not be making good connection on the CP2 power connector. The connector has a small split pin, which acts as a spring. Take a small bladed screwdriver and gently pry the tines apart on that center pin. This will insure a proper contact with the 12 volts.

A 3rd possibility is a bad power switch on your 12 volt supply. If that switch is making poor contact when you turn it on, the CP2 can enter a runaway mode.

Rolando
 



Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Roland Christen
 

After you fix the connectors and it still misbehaves, the switch on your power supply may be at fault. Try turning on the switch and then plugging the power supply into the 120VAC. See if the problem occurs.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: eja24601@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sat, Aug 5, 2017 7:27 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue



Thanks, Rolando! I'll check. It's a 120VAC/12VDC power supply, so I'll check the connectors.

Eric



Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Joe Zeglinski
 

Sorry  Eric, and Chris.
 
    I was following up on Stuart’s comments and getting things entangled.
So, I’ll stop responding here.
 
Joe
 

From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Monday, August 7, 2017 12:38 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
I was referring to Eric's issue.  Not yours.
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 
 


Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Christopher Erickson
 

I was referring to Eric's issue.  Not yours.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 12:25 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue

Hi Chris,
 
    Well we can rule out “motor stall” and ignore THAT meaning of the Amber LED – with the 4 motors stalling all at once  and working perfectly when the CP4 is replaced with the old CP3.
 
    Low voltage “as supplied” – can be ruled out – all 4 motors run like hell, out of control, with 14 volts provided by either one of the 2 different supplies, even with one test mount carrying only about 4 lbs (a bare D-Plate).
 
    Seems to narrow it down to a 12 vdc to 5 vdc  (logic level) conversion which is weak or lost,  internally.
No worries - Howard will soon figure it out, though it was still a mystery when we ran some tests (via remote). I’ll leave it to AP to do the rest of the sleuthing, since we’re just throwing darts in the dark.
Really odd situation, however – I just have a knack of falling into them.
 
    I’m confident some weak CP4  (internal) component failed after nearly 24 hours of actual use, over the months since CP4 delivery. Good to always have a simpler, spare CP3 in one’s kit.
 
Joe
 
From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 5:32 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


I have only ever seen low voltage uncontrolled slewing with the CP2.  I have never seen it with the CP3 or CP4.
 
Both the CP3 and CP4 have low voltage detection and slew lockout features.  That's one of the things that will trigger an amber indicator LED on those controllers.  As will detecting a motor stall.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Chris,
 
    Well we can rule out “motor stall” and ignore THAT meaning of the Amber LED – with the 4 motors stalling all at once  and working perfectly when the CP4 is replaced with the old CP3.
 
    Low voltage “as supplied” – can be ruled out – all 4 motors run like hell, out of control, with 14 volts provided by either one of the 2 different supplies, even with one test mount carrying only about 4 lbs (a bare D-Plate).
 
    Seems to narrow it down to a 12 vdc to 5 vdc  (logic level) conversion which is weak or lost,  internally.
No worries - Howard will soon figure it out, though it was still a mystery when we ran some tests (via remote). I’ll leave it to AP to do the rest of the sleuthing, since we’re just throwing darts in the dark.
Really odd situation, however – I just have a knack of falling into them.
 
    I’m confident some weak CP4  (internal) component failed after nearly 24 hours of actual use, over the months since CP4 delivery. Good to always have a simpler, spare CP3 in one’s kit.
 
Joe
 

From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 5:32 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


I have only ever seen low voltage uncontrolled slewing with the CP2.  I have never seen it with the CP3 or CP4.
 
Both the CP3 and CP4 have low voltage detection and slew lockout features.  That's one of the things that will trigger an amber indicator LED on those controllers.  As will detecting a motor stall.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Christopher Erickson
 

I have only ever seen low voltage uncontrolled slewing with the CP2.  I have never seen it with the CP3 or CP4.
 
Both the CP3 and CP4 have low voltage detection and slew lockout features.  That's one of the things that will trigger an amber indicator LED on those controllers.  As will detecting a motor stall.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 6:21 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue

I have had this happen and in my case, AP900GTO CP2 it was the pins in the power socket needing to be gently spread back so they made proper contact. 

Stuart

On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 1:35 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Can hardly believe what I am reading. I don’t get it – surprised to hear of this firmware logic, for the first time.
 
    Really? The response of (possibly any) model CPx controller to an  “interruption of power”,  (for whatever cause), is to kick its slew speed setting to the Maximum (or even HIGHER than  maximum user settable speed), and take off to who knows where ?
 
    Indeed, this logic might explain its action on a current CP4 problem, possibly caused by a CP4 “internal supply”  power drop, in one of its  “DC converter’s voltage levels” due to a failing component – even when the supplied power coming in, is perfectly solid.
Does the AMBER LED warning stand for motor Stall - as well as - Marginal external/internal Power? If the latter is included and there is no actual motor stall, then it might just continue racing away, with plenty of  power to spare for both motors,  at the first loss of a DC shifted level.
Scary, indeed.
 
    Such runaway action ... doesn’t sound like a plan.. or its not a sound plan.
 
    Theoretically ... in similar scenario - a user might use the keypad, or any app and start the mount tracking – worse, slewing via GOTO – then unplug the keypad, or shutdown the PC, or indeed have a power brown-out in the power supply, and the mount merrily takes a hike in a random direction, possibly right into its pier.
 
    Wouldn’t it be prudent to change the controller firmware so it does a SAFE Park-In-Place, as though it were experiencing an actual external power fail, either when power becomes “ropey”, or also when it loses all communications with any source of command input(device, port, or software), losing all channels to cease motion, guider input contact closures included?
 
    Asimov’s first  law of robotics (just as in medicine) – if in doubt, do no harm.
There should be a “FAIL-SAFE” – a power “QUALITY” shutdown procedure in ALL the controllers, and not just for a total power outage. A mount controller “running away” in a crisis, almost sounds like robotic cowardice  :-)
 
Joe
 
 
From: chris1011@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, August 5, 2017 7:22 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


There is another possibility, the 12 volt power may not be making good connection on the CP2 power connector. The connector has a small split pin, which acts as a spring. Take a small bladed screwdriver and gently pry the tines apart on that center pin. This will insure a proper contact with the 12 volts.

A 3rd possibility is a bad power switch on your 12 volt supply. If that switch is making poor contact when you turn it on, the CP2 can enter a runaway mode.

Rolando
 




--

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

Joe, that is worrisome for sure. So far no problems w my CP4 but we're not challenging it much.

Stuart

On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 1:31 PM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Stuart,
 
    Unfortunately, we can’t spread the power pins on a CP4 cable :-)
 
    I suspect it even happened (once) on my CP3, back in Aug. 2013 – and its power pins were fine. Besides, the runaway problem continued even when the new CP4 was moved to my former AP-900 mount, sitting on the rec room floor, which has NOTHING mounted on its saddle except a D-Plate. The amber LED “motor stall” warning come on just as on the AP-1200, which evidently has nothing to do with an actual motor loading stall. It may just be a general purpose Fault Light.
 
– Different mount, different motors, zero load. Really looks like an internal DC loss to “some area or some component” on the circuit board, since it still has plenty of supplied DC horsepower to run away at very high speed, (repeatedly),  until I hit a EWNS keypad button in a panic to kill the previous slew. A previous CP4 software fresh reload didn’t change things.
 
    Worrisome in an emergency – old software logic handling bug?
Wouldn’t want my car’s engine computer to handle “DC fade outs”,  or isolated computer component failures,  this way ... while it is in motion.
 
Joe
 
From: Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 12:20 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


I have had this happen and in my case, AP900GTO CP2 it was the pins in the power socket needing to be gently spread back so they made proper contact. 
 
Stuart
 





Re: AP900 CP2 Issue

Joe Zeglinski
 

Stuart,
 
    Unfortunately, we can’t spread the power pins on a CP4 cable :-)
 
    I suspect it even happened (once) on my CP3, back in Aug. 2013 – and its power pins were fine. Besides, the runaway problem continued even when the new CP4 was moved to my former AP-900 mount, sitting on the rec room floor, which has NOTHING mounted on its saddle except a D-Plate. The amber LED “motor stall” warning come on just as on the AP-1200, which evidently has nothing to do with an actual motor loading stall. It may just be a general purpose Fault Light.
 
– Different mount, different motors, zero load. Really looks like an internal DC loss to “some area or some component” on the circuit board, since it still has plenty of supplied DC horsepower to run away at very high speed, (repeatedly),  until I hit a EWNS keypad button in a panic to kill the previous slew. A previous CP4 software fresh reload didn’t change things.
 
    Worrisome in an emergency – old software logic handling bug?
Wouldn’t want my car’s engine computer to handle “DC fade outs”,  or isolated computer component failures,  this way ... while it is in motion.
 
Joe
 

From: Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 12:20 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP900 CP2 Issue
 


I have had this happen and in my case, AP900GTO CP2 it was the pins in the power socket needing to be gently spread back so they made proper contact. 
 
Stuart