Date   

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

Stephen Winston
 

Hi Peter,

Sounds a bit extreme :) but I guess that would work.  

There is just enough gap at the edge of the motor to apply new grease to the wheel as it turns, and that in turn would apply it to the worm.  Obviously it wouldn't allow me to clean the existing wheel or worm, but I'm not seeing any isolated erratic spikes in RA or DEC, so I don't think there are any obvious dirt particles present.

Steve


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

topboxman
 

Hi Rolando,

I remember a while ago you gave us a cool procedure about conditioning the worm gears by connecting the string, wire or rope from counterweight shaft to a pier or stationary object (to prevent R/A axis from moving), disconnected R/A clutches, run the motor at high speed so that the worm gear is not only running (or exercising) the worm wheel but also re-distributing the grease.

Likewise for Dec axis as well.

Would this be a good alternative way to exercise the worm gears?

Peter


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

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] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <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: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN

Bill Long
 

Then why on earth are you adverse to increasing the MinMo in PHD???? 




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 6:46 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN
 
 

Hi Keith,


I actually just reprogrammed the PEC curve as I had recently upgraded from L to the V2 chip.  Per PEMPro it went from about 7.8 arc-seconds peek-2-peek to a reported 0.5 arc-second peek-to-peek.  So I'm a bit hesitant to mess with RA ;).

Tearing down DEC is definitely something I will do.  I'll have to think a bit more about messing with RA :)

Steve


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

Bill Long
 

AP has a wonderful tutorial on how to use PEMPro to generate a new curve. I have personally walked a good dozen imagers through it. Well worth the effort. Just know that you need to increase your RA MinMo 😉  




From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of mogollonobs@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 6:36 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Things that customers do that drive me nuts on CN
 
 

Steve, 


It's a 12-year old mount that's probably never been serviced or adjusted as far as you know. How old is the PEC curve? What was it if it's recent? I apologize if you've posted this somewhere else, I'm not chasing it down. Personally, if this is the case I would tear it apart, check the gears, re-grease it, reset the mesh, and run a new curve before I blamed stiction or PHd2. If you don't want to do this then send it back and let AP do it.

Keith


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

Stephen Winston
 

Hi Keith,

I actually just reprogrammed the PEC curve as I had recently upgraded from L to the V2 chip.  Per PEMPro it went from about 7.8 arc-seconds peek-2-peek to a reported 0.5 arc-second peek-to-peek.  So I'm a bit hesitant to mess with RA ;).

Tearing down DEC is definitely something I will do.  I'll have to think a bit more about messing with RA :)

Steve


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

mogollonobs
 

Steve, 

It's a 12-year old mount that's probably never been serviced or adjusted as far as you know. How old is the PEC curve? What was it if it's recent? I apologize if you've posted this somewhere else, I'm not chasing it down. Personally, if this is the case I would tear it apart, check the gears, re-grease it, reset the mesh, and run a new curve before I blamed stiction or PHd2. If you don't want to do this then send it back and let AP do it.

Keith


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

Bill Long
 

And in AP's defense they have been making and using these mounts, for quite literally decades. Its awfully nice of Roland to come on here and tell us mortals how to guide their mounts. They even went as far as to take the time to learn PHD2 (since he uses MaximDL) so they could provide even better advice. Strongly suggest you heed it. :)




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of stephenjwinston@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 2:02 PM
To: ap-gto@...
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

Ray Gralak
 

Not to mention that Norton thinks the Prism forum web site is dangerous:

https://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=http:%2F%2Fwww.prism-astro.com%2Fforum_us%2Findex.php

-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: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 2:16 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Software



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@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of Ron Kramer
ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] <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@... <mailto:bill@...> [ap-gto] <ap-
gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com> > wrote:







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




Thus my APPM journey!



________________________________

From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@...> <ap-gto@...> on
behalf of 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... <mailto:groups3@...> [ap-gto] <ap-
gto@...>
Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 6:57 PM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto: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
<https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.astro-
physics.com%2Findex.htm%3Fproducts%2Faccessories%2Fsoftware%2Fapcc%2Fapcc&data=02%7C01%7C%
7C2acc8a2d3c684463567108d5e67c9caf%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C6366683452
29634902&sdata=yBpQ785Pci6EUcV3yTYcY%2BWOO13LDR5zcTHBvVUBU50%3D&reserved=0>
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
<https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ccdware.com&data=02%7C01%7C
%7C2acc8a2d3c684463567108d5e67c9caf%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C63666834
5229634902&sdata=T%2FHGcKgSkpYZr6SFi2rpDHrtmEvAAKzS4hOAZtyb9Ys%3D&reserved=0>
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver
<https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.siriusimaging.com%2Fapdriver&dat
a=02%7C01%7C%7C2acc8a2d3c684463567108d5e67c9caf%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7
C0%7C636668345229634902&sdata=XzP%2FOwrTsKTlQIkEVNElk5Gc6lFz6c3TMWX2f76a3kQ%3D&reserved=
0>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@...> [mailto:ap-
gto@...]
> Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 8:29 AM
> To: ap-gto@... <mailto: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@... <mailto: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
 

Hi Roland,

Thanks for the suggestions.

I have already being doing a variant of re-positioning the DEC wheel.  At the end of each imaging run I have SGP park the scope in position #3.  For the next evening's imaging session I loosen the clutches and manually move the mount to park #1, re-tighten the clutches, power up and do a star sync to get going.  I would say over the last couple of weeks that I have moved both the DEC and RA worm positions through a wide range of different starting positions.

I have also already removed the DEC motor cover and verified I can move the cogs easily by hand. In fact I actually stopped tracking at a point where I was seeing the oscillation, disconnected the motors cable, and verified I could move the gears, and I couldn't detect and tight spot.

I will do as you suggest and do a full "overhaul" on the DEC worm/wheel.  I've never actually re-greased the worm or wheel (I bought the mount second hand several years back and it's originally from 2006). And I will do a re-mesh.

I'll report back later on whether that helps.

thanks!

Steve
 


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