Date   

Re: CP4 & Potential Clashing with Observatory networks;

Eric Dreher
 

Er...what reply?


CP4 & Potential Clashing with Observatory networks;

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,
 
    This is NOT an ad, but I was very impressed trying out this WiFi tool. Nor do I want to suggest that a CP4 might be overly affected to any great extent. but if WiFi  “stuff happens”, you might want to give this free tool a look-see :-)
 
    Occasionally I see posts about a CP4 having network connection issues, beyond the usual APCC configuration issues that sometimes crop up,  and thought I would investigate the possibilities of our high tech accessories causing THEMSELVES some mutual confusion – or even by a neighbour’s 2G or (less likely 5G) network AP’s - (that’s ...  “ACCESS POINTS”,  such as modems and routers).
 
    I posed the question as to how close could AP network devices be to each other.
For example, if you use a Router in your observatory ... and also have something like a CP4 (another network access point), can there be a signal mix-up or even failure to connect.
 
    Mr.  Casey Cathey (MetaGeek Support), representing a company designing Network Analysis & Display software (Windows, Mac OS, and Android) emailed me back the following reply:
***************************************************************************************

how close can two access points be before cross talk becomes a problem?

While there isn't a universal rule for this, we typically want to see APs at least 15 feet apart, and ensure that the channels they are broadcasting are as far apart from each other as possible. For example, channel 1 and 11 in the 2.4 Ghz band. This article contains some great information on this:

Designing a Dual-Band Wireless Network

https://support.metageek.com/hc/en-us/articles/200970984-Designing-a-Dual-Band-Wireless-Network

 

about having AP’s – of any kind, including Nanny Cams in the same room as a family’s mode/router, etc. - which can be far too close to each other in a room.

Client devices that connect to an AP can be close to it without any issues. Only if the device broadcasts its own network in the 2.4 or 5 Ghz band will it become an issue if it's too close to another AP.

****************************************************************************************************

    Based on this advice, it would seem prudent not to put Routers in most dome or roll-off observatories under 30 feet in diameter, since things could deteriorate with the Router against a far wall, and a CP4 (an AP device itself) on the mount in the centre of the building. However, perhaps that is a marginal situation since many have such amateur observatories,  and yet there aren’t problems with network connection to the CP4. But, that is something to consider.

    MetaGeeks has some interesting network mapping programs, (originally “Shareware”), but recent versions are priced for Commercial use by “Network Analysts” who can write them off as a business expense. They even have a USB-attached antenna dongle to perform “Spectral Analysis and Display” of interfering radio waves overlapping normal 2.4 GHZ and 5.8 GHZ WiFi bands. You can see the grass noise from a microwave oven overlap your PC WiFi channel. In such case, move to a far lower frequency (channel #1 or #11 ... or leave 2G and go 5G).

    I downloaded the (final free 3.1 version) of “InSSIDer HOME” which graphically displays all 11 Channels in use by neighbours around the block. (The product is an acronym for In-SSID-er), for the network term SSID.   
Version 4.1 is a paid version,  and their OFFICE version extends the capabilities of the (shareware) HOME version.

    Most WiFi are weak signals, but you never know about those sporadic spikes I sometimes see shooting out from a standard BELL or ROGERS (HiTRON model) modem/router. One neighbour’s signal jumped to –5 DBM strength for a few minutes, luckily not on MY Channel. That was a shocker. So, this software is useful to us, in assigning our Router 2.4 GHZ channel to avoid “Co-channels, and Overlap channels). Ideally use Channel (1, 6, or 11), which do NOT overlap each other. MegaGeeks website has some excellent Educational article pages on this matter.

    I really like using InSSIDer.exe HOME ver. 3.1 (for Win-XP/7/8/10,  or MAC OS) on my laptop, walking around with it to spot peaks & its signal strength values of 2G networks in the area around the scope, or around the house. That was not only an education in the pitfalls or choosing a 2.4 GHZ channel, but also an eye-opener of what is going on in the invisible wireless world.

Besides it is loads of fun to use, a real hoot !

    If you want to try it free,  and learn something about your wireless environment at home,  or the observatory, get a shareware download of any of the 2016 (last free release year) programs – Choose from (Win, MacOS, or ANDROID phone) in their pull-down list. I enjoyed using both the Windows,  and the ANDROID smartphone versions.
I’m thinking of buying their  “InSSIDer OFFICE” version, or even possibly the (gulp, gasp, ouch !!!) expensive ESSENTIALS version with its Wi-SPY “spectral sensing  antenna” USB plug-in device.

InSSIDer 3.1  https://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html

    Sorry, no I-PHONE version, and the ANDROID app was (unfortunately) discontinued by MetaGeeks in 2017. Only the “original free” ANDROID download is still (tenuously) available, if you visit the link above.
That is too bad, since it is the easiest and most convenient to use when roaming around the observatory with your Smartphone graphic display, looking for dead spots, and (potential) CP4 conflicts, as well as from 2.4 GHZ noise sources.

    Things that affect WiFi in the house (or our observing spot),  are listed in the LESSON Tab material of InSSIDer app
– I was surprised by a few of these, which I hadn’t considered before. It is probably a “short list”.

Dead Spots from Non-WiFi devices

Sometimes you may have excellent signal strength, but little to no connectivity. These dead spots can be caused by competing wireless devices that use the same frequencies as WiFi, but do not cooperate with WiFi. Here are a few common devices that cause dead spots in the home:

  • Cordless Phones
  • Wireless Audio Systems including
  •     BlueTooth devices, speakers, keyboards, mice, (game controllers ?),  etc.
    • Nanny Cams
    • Microwave Ovens
    • Wireless Security Systems
        How many times has a neighbour’s wireless analog security camera hit the observatory?
    – Even worse if the camera is on a motorized pan & tilt mount, on a periodic scan cycle.
     
        Just thought some might be interested in further investigating local WiFi interference.
    Hope this helps,
     
    Joe Z.


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Roland Christen
     

    What you might wan to try is to send the mount to Park2 and shut off power. Park 2 will send the scope pointing due east.
    Now loosen the clutches and point the scope to the Park3 position and tighten the clutches again.
    Turn power back on and Resume From Park3. When you have done that, you will in effect be on a new portion of the gearwheel, basically 90 degrees from where you were before.

    It may be that you had a high spot on one side of the gearwheel and a low spot on the other due to the way you were always using the mount only on one side. It may have worn the wheel more on one side versus the other. Moving the mount by 90 degrees this way every 3 - 4 months will even out the wear on the wheel.

    If you have a non-spring loaded gearbox, take a bit of time and re-mesh the worm gear to the worm wheel. It's easy to do, basically loosen and then tighten two screws - it's explained on our website. If you have a spring loaded gearbox, then a simple re-setting of the backstop is all you need to do.

    You might also want to check the spur gear backlash clearance by feeling the amount of motion that the motor gear moves back and forth while holding the output gear steady. Two teeth movement on the motor gear is ideal, but no more than that. The spur gears should turn freely without any lumpy spots for their full rotation.

    Rolando



    -----Original Message-----
    From: stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
    To: ap-gto
    Sent: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 4:03 pm
    Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN



    In my (partial :) defense, I have been using 0.20 MinMove on DEC literally for years while imaging on the West  side of the mount, and I had never seen this oscillation pattern and my images were just fine.  

    As I was imaging manually (sitting by the scope) I would generally go a max of one hour beyond the meridian before changing targets.

    It's only when I recently started automating via SGP and extending my imaging runs to include an automated meridian flip that I started seeing this problem.

    Anyway - I'll report back tomorrow on how M8 or M16 behave - fingers crossed :)

    Steve



    Re: Mach 1 Software

    Bill Long
     

    I tried out PRISM and it just has way too much stuff going on for me to want to use it for streamlined imaging. SkyX has been good so far, I just wish they put in some meridian flipping code. 




    From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto]
    Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 8:27 AM
    To: ap-gto@...
    Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software
     
     

    I've not gotten that deep into it. I'm still trying to work out kinks. The manual (being a translation from French is less than detailed). But the program keeps forcing me to come back and work with it again.  I run APCC in the background. I have PemPro but have not really had a chance to use it after a couple of failed attempts.   I settled for ascoms  "record PEC" and playback and I see the sine wave is gone from my guiding. I've been living with that as I've been dealing with other issues.  (Dome rotator and shutter firmware updates and working with the author on that) Finally working well. I sold a 127mm and replaced with 152mm scope and now dealing with trying to land an adapter to install a FT and EF to the new tube.  Wrong one set, new one on the way - I may be up again after months of down time next week.

    Prism is freaking amazing.  But I don't have it under control yet. I've reverted back to SGP for real imaging - until I get Prism fully working.  For many it may work out of the gate, I have a... complex? setup in that I'm fully remote and Still have some kinks (some issues with dome graphic and mount graphic displaying properly with poth, which I had to add for a dome hub).  If I use a virtual com port on APCC for the dome com port (will it hub a 2nd connection?).

    I then have issues with the lodestar X2 connection.  It works, but I get a interlaced image each star as 2 points. (others do not have this issue) and I don't have the interlaced image with this camera and driver in PHD2.  ???!!!

    What keeps me from tossing it aside is I have 60 more days of trial and the I have working is amazing.  Once the scope is setup with focuser I can delve into focusing features and Hamzat said he'd timeview into my setup and 
    check my PRism configuration.  I WANT TO USE IT.  But time will tell. 

    On the other hand I love WWT for goto's.  No other program shows actual full sky surveys.  I wanted to do some test the other day and IC5070 is just below my tree line.  Using WWT I could see other areas of interest above the tree line and did some sweet image of the outer fringes that I felt were more interesting than the Pelican itself.  Only because in WWT I could see them and click on the spot and the mach1 nailed it. (as it always does). I've found no need for a pointing model. HOWEVER I am now only at 1210 fl and that may be very different for those in the 2000+ focal length area. 

    Biggest problem with Prism is (few if anyone use it in the U.S.) so it's hard to get experienced help.  From what I've heard it's extremely popular in Europe. In use for over 10 years. 


    On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 10:09 PM Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
     

    SkyX doesnt do meridian flips. :( LTI does, but then it doesnt do guiding. 


    Thus my APPM journey!




    From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
    Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 6:57 PM
    To: ap-gto@...
    Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software
     
     

    Hi Ron,

    > PRISM it does IT ALL in one program.

    I am not so sure about that. TheSkyX software is probably a better example of an "all in one" astronomy program because TheSkyX doesn't even need an ASCOM driver for many mounts, unlike PRISM which I think requires ASCOM mount drivers. Besides, having a monolithic all in one program is not necessarily an advantage because you may be out of luck if a camera or other hardware component you want to buy in the future is not supported.

    Also, I think there may be some misleading information in its set of features. For instance, I think that Prism Pro says "PEC" is one of its features. That's "Periodic Error Correction" to most people. However, while I think Prism can measure periodic error, can it upload a PEC curve into an AP mount like PEMPro can? I diddn't see that it could. If all it does is measure PE then I think there are probably better free software applications to analyze periodic error, like my (free) PEMPro Log Analyzer that can analyze PHD2 and PEMPro logs.

    And while Prism Pro does pointing correction it doesn't seem to do tracking rate correction like APCC Pro, or TheSkyX's ProTrack.

    Ron, please feel free to correct anything above that you believe is wrong.

    Best regards,

    -Ray Gralak
    Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
    Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
    Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
    > Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 8:29 AM
    > To: ap-gto@...
    > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software
    >
    >
    >
    > Pick up a lot of extension tubes. They're cheap and will be needed to position the camera at the proper distance to
    > achieve focus. I have about 8-10 inches of them. (in various sizes).
    > Each camera uses a combination of (field flattener, extension tubes... typically adding 4-6 inches of distance in
    > addition to the focuser throw. I prefer my focuser more inside and not over extended
    > so I use more extension tubes than I really have to. Less tubes means you need to draw the focuser out more
    > which (depending on focuser) can add sag or just more stress on the focuser.
    >
    > Software: SGP with PHD2 and platesolve2 is most cost effective (lowest cost) or course APCC. another option is
    > PRISM it does IT ALL in one program. Really is the simplest as it's all in one and configuration is in menu... steps.
    > Only drawback is it's 10 years in use in Europe and not heavily used in the U.S. (yet) so getting help is much harder
    > than SGP and assorted free tools. (PHD2).
    >
    > SADDLES: I like ADM and Losmandy stuff. I have a Losmandy plate and two saddles for a side by side dual
    > setup. I'm a noob too - I started in this last May. At present I'm waiting months for a ES152mm adapter to mount a
    > 3" feather touch on the scope. After a 4 month wait for the feather touch focuser to arrive. Manual focus is NOT
    > FUN. Especially when you operate your scope setup from 300 ft away.. =)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > On Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 4:06 AM trapman66@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Hi All,
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > I will be receiving my mount soon but will be waiting on my OTA for a few months (FSQ106). So I am piecing
    > together all the parts that I will be needing in the mean time. I would like to tap the people experienced with using
    > the mounts to make sure I am efficient in my spending and am set up for minimal problems:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > 1. I am planning on a Rayox saddle. Just making sure it works well with the mount?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > 2. The software part is where I get a tad confused. George was super helpful explaining the ASCOM
    > requirement for the mount and some of the other items. But where I got a little lost was needing a separate
    > software for the camera (MaximDL?) and something to guide through the computer like SkyX. Any input on warts
    > those might have or if there is something else recommended as well as any other software. I already have PS and
    > am pretty good with using it for my bird photography. Also, what would 'synch' them all up so they work together?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > 3. I am getting the camera a little later after I get everything else set up. So I can get the fittings correct and
    > the focuser & filer wheel later in the year. I know the sensors I would prefer so I have narrowed the camera down
    > quite a bit.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Thanks for helping out a noob.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Jon Swanson
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     

    In my (partial :) defense, I have been using 0.20 MinMove on DEC literally for years while imaging on the West  side of the mount, and I had never seen this oscillation pattern and my images were just fine.  

    As I was imaging manually (sitting by the scope) I would generally go a max of one hour beyond the meridian before changing targets.

    It's only when I recently started automating via SGP and extending my imaging runs to include an automated meridian flip that I started seeing this problem.

    Anyway - I'll report back tomorrow on how M8 or M16 behave - fingers crossed :)

    Steve


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Bill Long
     

    Good to hear.


    Throughout this, it sounded like you were equating low MinMo values to better images. Not sure if you were actually intending to do that, but its most certainly not the case. Getting the correct guiding parameters set should allow you to get the best images your seeing will allow for. 




    From: ap-gto@... on behalf of stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
    Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 1:14 PM
    To: ap-gto@...
    Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN
     
     

    An update from last night's imaging run - and it's good news :)


    I gathered some more data on NGC7000, including doing an automated meridian flip using SGP.  The guide settings matched a lot of what has been recommended here: 2s exposures and MinMove of 0.40 on DEC.  The results look pretty good :)

    One caveat being that imaging NGC7000 is basically straight up from my location when it crosses the meridian, and that has been my least problematic orientation for the mount.  I'll be repeating those guide settings tonight on M16 or M8 to see if it also has the same positive result.

    Steve


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     

    An update from last night's imaging run - and it's good news :)

    I gathered some more data on NGC7000, including doing an automated meridian flip using SGP.  The guide settings matched a lot of what has been recommended here: 2s exposures and MinMove of 0.40 on DEC.  The results look pretty good :)

    One caveat being that imaging NGC7000 is basically straight up from my location when it crosses the meridian, and that has been my least problematic orientation for the mount.  I'll be repeating those guide settings tonight on M16 or M8 to see if it also has the same positive result.

    Steve


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Ron Kramer
     

    If this group was easier to use, easier to read, didn't repeat everything over and over and over and over... included attachments.  People wouldn't need places like cloudynights.
    Forums are VERY EASY to install in your website. Most are free.  Very easy to install. I believe nexdome (who are not web savvy) just installed one from wordpress. 
    With AP's reputation of being the best of the best in everything they do, I'm surprised you settle for this yahoo group crap.



    On Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 12:50 PM stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
     

    Thanks Ray - really looking forward to your interpretation of the logs.  


    Let me know if you need any additional data - I still have the ascom logs from my previous nights testing / older PHD2 logs.  I didn't include them in the zip as they are not relevant to the PHD log I gave you.

    And at the risk of beating a dead horse :), I think the problem breaks down into two parts:

    1 : What triggers the DEC excursion in the first place. 
    Based on all the great info from Roland & Co, this can likely be eliminated by using more reasonable MinMove settings.

    2 : Why the excursion spikes and then takes so long to be corrected (usually 15-30 seconds)
    My interpretation of the graph (several corrective pulses over multiple seconds with no response, followed by a sudden swing and over correction) is that it looks like stiction.  As the full swing happens over such a long time period (30+ seconds), I don't think it can be described as a "fast" oscillation.  But I could be wrong - maybe I just need to re-calibrate my definition of fast :).

    My concern is that I may be able to avoid this issue with less aggressive MinMove settings using my current short-focal length / large imaging scale set-up (which is pretty forgiving).  But when I switch to a more demanding / longer focal length set-up the issue may return.

    So, I'd really like to understand both parts of the problem - the initial trigger and the mounts (lack of) response to corrective pulses.

    Steve



    Re: Mach 1 Software

    C. E. Steuart Dewar <cesdewar@...>
     

    I installed a Rayox saddle on my mount and yes, it works beautifully and I find it a huge improvement in confidently mounting my C-11 Edge. Previously, especially in the dark, I was always concerned that I had the rail properly grabbed by the mount. It’s expensive, yes, but dropping a scope is a lot more expensive ;)



    Regards,

    CESDewar



    From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
    Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2018 3:18 PM
    To: ap-gto@...
    Subject: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software





    Hi All,



    I will be receiving my mount soon but will be waiting on my OTA for a few months (FSQ106). So I am piecing together all the parts that I will be needing in the mean time. I would like to tap the people experienced with using the mounts to make sure I am efficient in my spending and am set up for minimal problems:



    1. I am planning on a Rayox saddle. Just making sure it works well with the mount?



    2. The software part is where I get a tad confused. George was super helpful explaining the ASCOM requirement for the mount and some of the other items. But where I got a little lost was needing a separate software for the camera (MaximDL?) and something to guide through the computer like SkyX. Any input on warts those might have or if there is something else recommended as well as any other software. I already have PS and am pretty good with using it for my bird photography. Also, what would 'synch' them all up so they work together?





    3. I am getting the camera a little later after I get everything else set up. So I can get the fittings correct and the focuser & filer wheel later in the year.. I know the sensors I would prefer so I have narrowed the camera down quite a bit.



    Thanks for helping out a noob.



    Jon Swanson









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


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     

    Thanks Ray - really looking forward to your interpretation of the logs.  

    Let me know if you need any additional data - I still have the ascom logs from my previous nights testing / older PHD2 logs.  I didn't include them in the zip as they are not relevant to the PHD log I gave you.

    And at the risk of beating a dead horse :), I think the problem breaks down into two parts:

    1 : What triggers the DEC excursion in the first place. 
    Based on all the great info from Roland & Co, this can likely be eliminated by using more reasonable MinMove settings.

    2 : Why the excursion spikes and then takes so long to be corrected (usually 15-30 seconds)
    My interpretation of the graph (several corrective pulses over multiple seconds with no response, followed by a sudden swing and over correction) is that it looks like stiction.  As the full swing happens over such a long time period (30+ seconds), I don't think it can be described as a "fast" oscillation.  But I could be wrong - maybe I just need to re-calibrate my definition of fast :).

    My concern is that I may be able to avoid this issue with less aggressive MinMove settings using my current short-focal length / large imaging scale set-up (which is pretty forgiving).  But when I switch to a more demanding / longer focal length set-up the issue may return.

    So, I'd really like to understand both parts of the problem - the initial trigger and the mounts (lack of) response to corrective pulses.

    Steve



    APPM --- strange point values in a model

    Dmitri
     

    Hello,

    I ran APPM for the first time.  Over all there were 47 points and all were plate solved just fine.
    The differences between assumed RA,DEC and what plate solving showed were in  [-15,15] arc-min for all but one point. Which showed the differences -5263 arc-min in RA and 2706 arc-min in DEC.
    Looking at pairs coordinates they should be about 1 arc-min and 6 arc-min (below is part of APPM log corresponding to this point).  Such big reported differences look like an error.  I am wondering if this point will adversely affect the pointing model.

    Should I just remove the point from the model?
    Is this a bug in APPM that affects modeling or it affects only visual presentation of mapped points?


    ==========================================================================
    0000972 2018-07-09 23:03:56.922:       Info,        SlewNext, Starting Slew to Point 22
    0000973 2018-07-09 23:03:56.927:       Info,       Slew Next, East=False, Dec=45, HA=1.5084944665313, MerDelay=0.25, MerOffset=0
    0000974 2018-07-09 23:03:57.020:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=PreSlewing
    0000975 2018-07-09 23:04:02.453:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=Slewing
    0000976 2018-07-09 23:04:02.706:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=StartSettle
    0000977 2018-07-09 23:04:02.745:       Info,     StartSettle, Starting Settle wait time
    0000978 2018-07-09 23:04:02.955:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=WaitSettle
    0000979 2018-07-09 23:04:07.955:       Info,     StartSettle, Settling Time Complete
    0000980 2018-07-09 23:04:08.206:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=StartImage
    0000981 2018-07-09 23:04:08.249:       Info,   State Machine, Starting Exposure, Duration=10, LST=17.2351916666667
    0000982 2018-07-09 23:04:08.249:       Info,   State Machine, LST Mid Image=17.2367194444444
    0000983 2018-07-09 23:04:08.249:       Info,  StartTakeImage, Sequence Generator Pro: Binning=1, Duration=10, IsDarkFrame=False
    0000984 2018-07-09 23:04:18.455:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=WaitImage
    0000985 2018-07-09 23:04:18.532:       Info,   State Machine, Exposure Done. Saving to: C:\Users\Dmitri\Documents\Astro-Physics\APPM\Image-APPM-2018-07-09-222429.txt-0022-RA_15.724-DEC_45.000.fit
    0000986 2018-07-09 23:04:22.007:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=PlateSolveStart
    0000987 2018-07-09 23:04:22.070:       Info,   State Machine, Starting Platesolve via SGPro PlateSolver: Scope RA,Dec=  15h 43m 24.9s(       15.72358),     45° 00' 00"(       45.00000)
    0000988 2018-07-09 23:04:22.203:       Info,   State Machine, Entering State=PlateSolveWait
    0000989 2018-07-09 23:04:33.287:       Info,   State Machine, Solved RA,Dec=        15h 42m 49.6s(       15.71378),     45° 06' 26"(       45.10722)
    0000990 2018-07-09 23:04:33.287:       Info,   State Machine, Solved Image Scale X,Y=1.26891976731497, 1.26891976731497
    0000991 2018-07-09 23:04:33.287:       Info,   State Machine, Iteration,Measurement,HA,RA,Dec=   0,  21, 8.2862215206667, -5263.442 arc-min, 2706.433 arc-min
    0000992 2018-07-09 23:04:33.411:       Info,       ModelFile, 636B     0| 45.000000|  1.508494|0|0|  0.000000|  0.000000|1| 15.713778| 45.107217|  0.000000|  8.286222|  0001-01-01T00:00:00|  0.0|  0.0|0|       0.0|0|    0|0|    0||C:\Users\Dmitri\Documents\Astro-Physics\APPM\Image-APPM-2018-07-09-222429.txt-0022-RA_15.724-DEC_45.000.fit



    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Roland Christen
     


    And this is where the PHD's recommendation greatly differs.  It is much more aggressive.  In my case it recommended a 0.20 px (0.6 arc seconds) MinMove with a reported peak DEC error of 3.71 arc seconds.  
    That peak error may be +- error or Peak to Peak. If that's the case, divide it by 2 to get the peak error. Then multiply it by 0.6  to get 1.1 arc sec or 0.37 pixels (or multiply by 0.8 to get 0.5 pixel MinMove).

    Rolando


    -----Original Message-----
    From: stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
    To: ap-gto
    Sent: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 11:23 am
    Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN




    >That is why I recommend using a short unguided Dec graph to determine the actual atmospheric motion peak value. 

    Yep.  And that is exactly what PHD2 Guiding Assistant is doing (measuring seeing with DEC guiding disabled).

    >Then set the MinMove to between 60 and 80% of that value. 

    And this is where the PHD's recommendation greatly differs.  It is much more aggressive.  In my case it recommended a 0.20 px (0.6 arc seconds) MinMove with a reported peak DEC error of 3.71 arc seconds.  

    Using your 60% rule would put my MinMove at 60% of 3.71 arc-s, or 0.75 px, instead of the 0.20 px PHD recommended.   I would say that 0.75 px is probably too pessimistic and something in the 0.30-0.40 range is probably more reasonable.

    >I don't know how much more clear I can make this.
    What you are saying is fully understood :).

    As I previously mentioned to Bill and Wade, one of the outcomes of this will hopefully to get PHD2 to make more reasonable recommendations based on the Guiding Assistants measurements.




    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     


    >That is why I recommend using a short unguided Dec graph to determine the actual atmospheric motion peak value. 

    Yep.  And that is exactly what PHD2 Guiding Assistant is doing (measuring seeing with DEC guiding disabled).

    >Then set the MinMove to between 60 and 80% of that value. 

    And this is where the PHD's recommendation greatly differs.  It is much more aggressive.  In my case it recommended a 0.20 px (0.6 arc seconds) MinMove with a reported peak DEC error of 3.71 arc seconds.  

    Using your 60% rule would put my MinMove at 60% of 3.71 arc-s, or 0.75 px, instead of the 0.20 px PHD recommended.   I would say that 0.75 px is probably too pessimistic and something in the 0.30-0.40 range is probably more reasonable.

    >I don't know how much more clear I can make this.
    What you are saying is fully understood :).

    As I previously mentioned to Bill and Wade, one of the outcomes of this will hopefully to get PHD2 to make more reasonable recommendations based on the Guiding Assistants measurements.


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Roland Christen
     

    That is why I recommend using a short unguided Dec graph to determine the actual atmospheric motion peak value. Then set the MinMove to between 60 and 80% of that value. If the star motion is +-2 arc seconds peak to peak, then set the Min Move to 1.6 arc sec (or 0.48 pixels for a 3 arc sec per pixel scale). I don't know how much more clear I can make this.

    If you set the MinMove to less than this value, you can guarantee you will have oscillations caused by guider chasing the seeing. Remember, you are trying to re-position a mechanical gear wheel by a few nanometers even at 1.6 arc seconds.

    All we're trying to do in guiding Dec is to set a boundary within which we allow the star to bobble back and forth unimpeded. If it exceeds the boundary we want to nudge it gently back towards zero. We do NOT want to set up small rapid oscillations back and forth which can get out of hand.

    Rolando

    -----Original Message-----
    From: stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
    To: ap-gto
    Sent: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 10:25 am
    Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN




    >You say that you have seen peak Dec errors of 3.71 arc seconds. Well the fact is that this error happened in the past and the next measurement may show a different position of the star,

    Again, to try clarify:  The 3.71 arc seconds error is what PHD2 Guiding Assistant measured as the Peak Error while calibrating with DEC tracking disabled.

    Bill had suggested that users should us the Peak Error from PHD GA to set MinMo.

    I was just making the point that the GA measured Peak Error is not necessarily the right metric to set MinMo - in my case it would mean setting MinMo to 1.25 px





    Re: Mach 1 Software

    Ron Kramer
     

    I've not gotten that deep into it. I'm still trying to work out kinks. The manual (being a translation from French is less than detailed). But the program keeps forcing me to come back and work with it again.  I run APCC in the background. I have PemPro but have not really had a chance to use it after a couple of failed attempts.   I settled for ascoms  "record PEC" and playback and I see the sine wave is gone from my guiding. I've been living with that as I've been dealing with other issues.  (Dome rotator and shutter firmware updates and working with the author on that) Finally working well. I sold a 127mm and replaced with 152mm scope and now dealing with trying to land an adapter to install a FT and EF to the new tube.  Wrong one set, new one on the way - I may be up again after months of down time next week.

    Prism is freaking amazing.  But I don't have it under control yet. I've reverted back to SGP for real imaging - until I get Prism fully working.  For many it may work out of the gate, I have a... complex? setup in that I'm fully remote and Still have some kinks (some issues with dome graphic and mount graphic displaying properly with poth, which I had to add for a dome hub).  If I use a virtual com port on APCC for the dome com port (will it hub a 2nd connection?).

    I then have issues with the lodestar X2 connection.  It works, but I get a interlaced image each star as 2 points. (others do not have this issue) and I don't have the interlaced image with this camera and driver in PHD2.  ???!!!

    What keeps me from tossing it aside is I have 60 more days of trial and the I have working is amazing.  Once the scope is setup with focuser I can delve into focusing features and Hamzat said he'd timeview into my setup and 
    check my PRism configuration.  I WANT TO USE IT.  But time will tell. 

    On the other hand I love WWT for goto's.  No other program shows actual full sky surveys.  I wanted to do some test the other day and IC5070 is just below my tree line.  Using WWT I could see other areas of interest above the tree line and did some sweet image of the outer fringes that I felt were more interesting than the Pelican itself.  Only because in WWT I could see them and click on the spot and the mach1 nailed it. (as it always does). I've found no need for a pointing model. HOWEVER I am now only at 1210 fl and that may be very different for those in the 2000+ focal length area. 

    Biggest problem with Prism is (few if anyone use it in the U.S.) so it's hard to get experienced help.  From what I've heard it's extremely popular in Europe. In use for over 10 years. 


    On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 10:09 PM Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
     

    SkyX doesnt do meridian flips. :( LTI does, but then it doesnt do guiding. 


    Thus my APPM journey!




    From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
    Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 6:57 PM
    To: ap-gto@...
    Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software
     
     

    Hi Ron,

    > PRISM it does IT ALL in one program.

    I am not so sure about that. TheSkyX software is probably a better example of an "all in one" astronomy program because TheSkyX doesn't even need an ASCOM driver for many mounts, unlike PRISM which I think requires ASCOM mount drivers. Besides, having a monolithic all in one program is not necessarily an advantage because you may be out of luck if a camera or other hardware component you want to buy in the future is not supported.

    Also, I think there may be some misleading information in its set of features. For instance, I think that Prism Pro says "PEC" is one of its features. That's "Periodic Error Correction" to most people. However, while I think Prism can measure periodic error, can it upload a PEC curve into an AP mount like PEMPro can? I diddn't see that it could. If all it does is measure PE then I think there are probably better free software applications to analyze periodic error, like my (free) PEMPro Log Analyzer that can analyze PHD2 and PEMPro logs.

    And while Prism Pro does pointing correction it doesn't seem to do tracking rate correction like APCC Pro, or TheSkyX's ProTrack.

    Ron, please feel free to correct anything above that you believe is wrong.

    Best regards,

    -Ray Gralak
    Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
    Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
    Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
    > Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 8:29 AM
    > To: ap-gto@...
    > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software
    >
    >
    >
    > Pick up a lot of extension tubes. They're cheap and will be needed to position the camera at the proper distance to
    > achieve focus. I have about 8-10 inches of them. (in various sizes).
    > Each camera uses a combination of (field flattener, extension tubes... typically adding 4-6 inches of distance in
    > addition to the focuser throw. I prefer my focuser more inside and not over extended
    > so I use more extension tubes than I really have to. Less tubes means you need to draw the focuser out more
    > which (depending on focuser) can add sag or just more stress on the focuser.
    >
    > Software: SGP with PHD2 and platesolve2 is most cost effective (lowest cost) or course APCC. another option is
    > PRISM it does IT ALL in one program. Really is the simplest as it's all in one and configuration is in menu... steps.
    > Only drawback is it's 10 years in use in Europe and not heavily used in the U.S. (yet) so getting help is much harder
    > than SGP and assorted free tools. (PHD2).
    >
    > SADDLES: I like ADM and Losmandy stuff. I have a Losmandy plate and two saddles for a side by side dual
    > setup. I'm a noob too - I started in this last May. At present I'm waiting months for a ES152mm adapter to mount a
    > 3" feather touch on the scope. After a 4 month wait for the feather touch focuser to arrive. Manual focus is NOT
    > FUN. Especially when you operate your scope setup from 300 ft away.. =)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > On Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 4:06 AM trapman66@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Hi All,
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > I will be receiving my mount soon but will be waiting on my OTA for a few months (FSQ106). So I am piecing
    > together all the parts that I will be needing in the mean time. I would like to tap the people experienced with using
    > the mounts to make sure I am efficient in my spending and am set up for minimal problems:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > 1. I am planning on a Rayox saddle. Just making sure it works well with the mount?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > 2. The software part is where I get a tad confused. George was super helpful explaining the ASCOM
    > requirement for the mount and some of the other items. But where I got a little lost was needing a separate
    > software for the camera (MaximDL?) and something to guide through the computer like SkyX. Any input on warts
    > those might have or if there is something else recommended as well as any other software. I already have PS and
    > am pretty good with using it for my bird photography. Also, what would 'synch' them all up so they work together?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > 3. I am getting the camera a little later after I get everything else set up. So I can get the fittings correct and
    > the focuser & filer wheel later in the year. I know the sensors I would prefer so I have narrowed the camera down
    > quite a bit.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Thanks for helping out a noob.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Jon Swanson
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     


    >You say that you have seen peak Dec errors of 3.71 arc seconds. Well the fact is that this error happened in the past and the next measurement may show a different position of the star,

    Again, to try clarify:  The 3.71 arc seconds error is what PHD2 Guiding Assistant measured as the Peak Error while calibrating with DEC tracking disabled.

    Bill had suggested that users should us the Peak Error from PHD GA to set MinMo.

    I was just making the point that the GA measured Peak Error is not necessarily the right metric to set MinMo - in my case it would mean setting MinMo to 1.25 px



    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Roland Christen
     


    The problem with using the peak value is that is is susceptible to random worst case scenarios: sudden huge spike in seeing, piece of dirt in DEC worm, moth landing on the camera :).
    Again, you turn off Dec guiding and just look at the Dec axis peak motions of the star. You eliminate any guider commands and all motor and axis motions. You have only the pure atmospheric movements, the peak value which the star is bobbling around on your guider graph. Set the Min Move to between 60 and 80% of that peak value (minus any large outliers). Drop the aggressiveness down from 100% to between 60 and 80% for starters. Let the Dec axis guide slowly to remove the steady drift, not trying to follow every bobble of the guide star.

    RMS and Peak are not related. You can have a 20 arc second peak excursion for a short period of time and the RMS value may be the same as five excursions of 3 arc seconds in the same time period. Look up "root mean square" and how that is calculated from peak value and time period. RMS is normally used in electrical power transmission to calculate the heating value of a particular waveform.

    Rolando


    -----Original Message-----
    From: stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
    To: ap-gto
    Sent: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 10:01 am
    Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN



    Hi Roland,

    I just responded to Bill on this before seeing your post.

    RMS is a measure of error from the predicted data, which in this case is the error with respect to straight line tracking, I would have thought? So isn't the RMS primarily determined by the variation ("error") caused seeing?  But maybe I'm misunderstanding how PHD2 calculates this value.

    Anyway, the max DEC error I see with guiding turned off can vary greatly.  I just uploaded a screen grab from last night's GA calibration run.  The reported peak DEC error was 3.71 arc-s or 1.25 px.  I think using that as the DEC MinMo would be overly pessimistic.

    The problem with using the peak value is that is is susceptible to random worst case scenarios: sudden huge spike in seeing, piece of dirt in DEC worm, moth landing on the camera :).  It doesn't necessarily give a good ide a of what the average seeing or tracking will be.

    Steve





    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Roland Christen
     


    As the peak error can be affected by any number of sporadic things (sudden spike in seeing, glitch in mount tracking etc),
    The whole point of using Dec with guiding turned off is that it doesn't produce any guiding spikes because the axis is not moving and there is no guiding happening. All you see then is pure atmospheric motion which you want to avoid trying to chase.
    You say that you have seen peak Dec errors of 3.71 arc seconds. Well the fact is that this error happened in the past and the next measurement may show a different position of the star, but the guiding software will still try to move the mount by that amount of distance, even though the actual star position may now be in the opposite direction.

    Rolando


    -----Original Message-----
    From: stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
    To: ap-gto
    Sent: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 9:46 am
    Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN



    Hi Bill,

    I wanted to come back to the "right" way to use GA to determine the MinMo values, as I agree it is critical that these be set correctly.

    Specifically for setting DEC MinMo you wrote:

    >Look at Peak DEC error. It gives it to you in both pixels (which you need for PHD MinMo) and Arc-Seconds (which you need to talk to people with).
    >Set MinMo to Peak DEC error value GA gave you

    I'm not sure if you really meant "peak" here.  ; I've uploaded a screen grab of my calibration run last night.  During GA the measured peak DEC error was 1.25px or 3.71 arc-s.  As the peak error can be affected by any number of sporadic things (sudden spike in seeing, glitch in mount tracking etc), I don't think it provides the right baseline to set DEC MinMo.  

    The RMS number gives a better measure.   I have seen suggestions to set MinMo to 2x the RMS  which was 0.12 px / 0.36 arc-s for me, so that would have put my DEC MinMo at 0.24 px.  Perhaps the right multiplier needs to be bigger at 3x or even 4x the RMS.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, Bruce already agreed that the current MinMo recommendations can be too optimistic/aggressive.  Having PHD2 come up with more realistic recommendations will help (especially beginners) get off to a good start.

    Steve





    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     

    Hi Wade,

    >Let the mount run unguided for a few minutes while watching the graph.  Throw out any really big outlier values and take the peak from what is left.  

    This, ideally, is exactly what PHD2 GA should be doing, right?  And it should be what GAs recommendations are based on.  Now I haven't looked to see how PHD2 generates it's GA recommendations, but as I mentioned below I believe it's something the PHD2 team is looking at as a result of this investigation.

    >Taking the RMS seems like it would guarantee that the mount is going to chase seeing.

    To be clear, the general recommendation I have seen is to use some multiplier of the RMS value, not the RMS value as-is.

    Steve


    Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

    Stephen Winston
     

    Hi Roland,

    I just responded to Bill on this before seeing your post.

    RMS is a measure of error from the predicted data, which in this case is the error with respect to straight line tracking, I would have thought? So isn't the RMS primarily determined by the variation ("error") caused seeing?  But maybe I'm misunderstanding how PHD2 calculates this value.

    Anyway, the max DEC error I see with guiding turned off can vary greatly.  I just uploaded a screen grab from last night's GA calibration run.  The reported peak DEC error was 3.71 arc-s or 1.25 px.  I think using that as the DEC MinMo would be overly pessimistic.

    The problem with using the peak value is that is is susceptible to random worst case scenarios: sudden huge spike in seeing, piece of dirt in DEC worm, moth landing on the camera :).  It doesn't necessarily give a good idea of what the average seeing or tracking will be.

    Steve