Date   

Re: Simple Hand Controller for Astro-Physics Mounts (Open Source)

Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...>
 

Very nice - I'd prefer option to just use a gamepad with the ASCOM driver like I do with EQMOD on my more modest Sirius EQ-G, but hardware projects are always fun for cloudy nights.

It seems the "arduino/handcontroller" directory is inaccessible to me.  I could see the rest of the files just fine.  Would you mind checking permissions?

Michael Fulbright

On 7/29/2018 5:56 PM, cytan299@... [ap-gto] wrote:

 
Hi guys,
  
   I have just received my Mach1GTO after waiting for 7 months. During the wait, I have designed and built a simple hand controller for it. One reason why I built it was because I couldn't justify the cost of the AP keypad which I will only use for a few minutes at the beginning of my imaging session. I know that the mount can be controlled with a phone, but I really wanted to have real buttons and joystick, rather than with virtual buttons. Thus the simple hand controller.

My specifications for the simple hand controller is to only move the mount. It does **not** initialize the mount, sync the mount, have star maps or goto capability. This means a computer is still necessary to be connected to the mount. 

My other requirements for the hand controller are:

  1. The hand controller connects to the keypad port on the CP4.
  2. Uses a joystick to move the mount.
  3. Be as cheap as possible :)
I think I have achieved my goals, especially the cost. The cost for one controller is between $150 to $200 :)

 
I have uploaded my hardware and software to:


Both hardware and software are open source. 

  Since I have just received my mount, I haven't had the chance to even test it out in the field yet. But I have checked that it works in my living room. After I have tested it in the field. I'm sure there'll be updates to make it better.


cytan


 


Finally an image to share

Bill Long
 

Hello all,


Wanted to share a project I finally have in flight. I swear troubleshooting (things unrelated to my mount) this summer has been such a time sink for me. Anyhow, here is the current state of the data:


https://www.astrobin.com/full/358717/0/


Only 2 hours of HA data at this point. This was taken with a Tak TOA130 with its 0.7x reducer on it and a KAF16200-based QHY16200A camera. The lady is a fan of butterflies so, I figured I would get to working on this. Individual subs came out  very good at about 1.5px or roughly 2.5". Stars were about 0.4 eccentricity. the mount I used for this was the AP1100 using APCC Pro, but no pointing model (as APPM continually failed to solve even at the Zenith via Image Link, for some reason, and ANSVR/SGP takes way too long). I did use PEMPro to dial in the polar alignment though. Guiding in PHD2 was good at about 0.5" most of the night with some fluctuations. I used 3 second guide exposures and the minmo on the two axis was roughly set to about .45".  SGP was the capture software, and as always worked wonderfully (other than focus taking way too long).


Feel free to have a look. Hopefully the weather continues to stay nice so I can hammer away at the rest of the data. In the end it should be a SHO integration, which will look lovely. Maybe tonight I can get Image Link and APPM to play nicely. 😊


Take care and clear skies!


Bill


Simple Hand Controller for Astro-Physics Mounts (Open Source)

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi guys,
  
   I have just received my Mach1GTO after waiting for 7 months. During the wait, I have designed and built a simple hand controller for it. One reason why I built it was because I couldn't justify the cost of the AP keypad which I will only use for a few minutes at the beginning of my imaging session. I know that the mount can be controlled with a phone, but I really wanted to have real buttons and joystick, rather than with virtual buttons. Thus the simple hand controller.

My specifications for the simple hand controller is to only move the mount. It does **not** initialize the mount, sync the mount, have star maps or goto capability. This means a computer is still necessary to be connected to the mount. 

My other requirements for the hand controller are:

  1. The hand controller connects to the keypad port on the CP4.
  2. Uses a joystick to move the mount.
  3. Be as cheap as possible :)
I think I have achieved my goals, especially the cost. The cost for one controller is between $150 to $200 :)

 
I have uploaded my hardware and software to:


Both hardware and software are open source. 

  Since I have just received my mount, I haven't had the chance to even test it out in the field yet. But I have checked that it works in my living room. After I have tested it in the field. I'm sure there'll be updates to make it better.


cytan


 


Re: Comm errors when wireless to CP4

John Robbins
 

I don't know what an error would look like; maybe a command from PHD to move the mount? So far everything seems to work fine, and the mount guiding is impressive. But I get about 25 Comm Errors every time I use the mount. I've tried a new Ethernet cable, etc. I've tried UDT and it obviously works fine as it doesn't require a response from the mount.
So I should just live with the Comm Errors?
John


On Saturday, July 28, 2018 2:34 PM, "'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto]" wrote:


 
> I was hoping for an answer, but not getting one, am hoping someone here might have
> a suggestion to cure this annoyance?

Although Ethernet is usually reliable, it is not 100% reliable. As long as you don't see consistent errors, then you shouldn't worry about an occasional non-response.

-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: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 11:56 AM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Comm errors when wireless to CP4
>
>
>
> I have an Ethernet cable to my new 1100, CP4, and continuously get the same Comm errors. I talked to AP about a
> month ago, and sent the logs they asked for, but never heard back....
> A friend has a one year old 1100GTO CP4 mount, and gets the same Comm errors, so evidently this is nothing new.
> I was hoping for an answer, but not getting one, am hoping someone here might have a suggestion to cure this
> annoyance?
>
> Thanks, John
>
>




Re: Question for SkySafari users

Stuart
 

Woody, thanks! That is a great endorsement!

Stuart

On Sun, 29 Jul 2018 at 16:34, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Stuart,

Glad you figured that part out.

I’ve been using SkySafari Pro and various Android tablets and phones to control my Mach1 for years. Using Android, I used the wireless Bluetooth to serial adapter. When they came out with the SkyFi-III device which contains a built-in battery and works with both iOS and Android, I got one of those. But I still mostly use my old RN-270 Bluetooth to serial adapter.. Love it for visual and my live astro-video public outreach events. Kids love seeing the mount and scope being controlled by a cell phone or tablet too. They relate to those devices much more than computers or hand-controls.

Woody

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2018 1:23 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Question for SkySafari users

Ooops! Like always, the moment I ASK the question I figure it out. I needed Skysafari PLUS. Sorry for the noise.

Stuart

On Sun, 29 Jul 2018 at 16:21, Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@... stuart.j.heggie@...> > wrote:

I just downloaded it to my iPhone expecting to be able to control my AP900GTO / CP4 with my phone. I don't see anything remotely related to connecting to a telescope. Their website says it does it but then mentions two other products, SkyFi and Skywire that are not in the App store (Apple). Nice program for being outside I guess but the point was to control the scope. Help?

--

Stuart Heggie

http://www.stuartheggie.com/featured.html

--

Stuart Heggie

http://www.stuartheggie.com/featured.html <http://www.stuartheggie.com>

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




Re: Question for SkySafari users

Woody Schlom <woody@...>
 

Stuart,



Glad you figured that part out.



I’ve been using SkySafari Pro and various Android tablets and phones to control my Mach1 for years. Using Android, I used the wireless Bluetooth to serial adapter. When they came out with the SkyFi-III device which contains a built-in battery and works with both iOS and Android, I got one of those. But I still mostly use my old RN-270 Bluetooth to serial adapter. Love it for visual and my live astro-video public outreach events. Kids love seeing the mount and scope being controlled by a cell phone or tablet too. They relate to those devices much more than computers or hand-controls.



Woody



From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2018 1:23 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Question for SkySafari users





Ooops! Like always, the moment I ASK the question I figure it out. I needed Skysafari PLUS. Sorry for the noise.



Stuart



On Sun, 29 Jul 2018 at 16:21, Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@... <mailto:stuart.j.heggie@...> > wrote:

I just downloaded it to my iPhone expecting to be able to control my AP900GTO / CP4 with my phone. I don't see anything remotely related to connecting to a telescope. Their website says it does it but then mentions two other products, SkyFi and Skywire that are not in the App store (Apple). Nice program for being outside I guess but the point was to control the scope. Help?




--

Stuart Heggie

http://www.stuartheggie.com/featured.html






--

Stuart Heggie

http://www.stuartheggie.com/featured.html <http://www.stuartheggie.com>





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


Re: Question for SkySafari users

Stuart
 

Ooops! Like always, the moment I ASK the question I figure it out. I needed Skysafari PLUS. Sorry for the noise.

Stuart

On Sun, 29 Jul 2018 at 16:21, Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...> wrote:
I just downloaded it to my iPhone expecting to be able to control my AP900GTO / CP4 with my phone. I don't see anything remotely related to connecting to a telescope. Their website says it does it but then mentions two other products, SkyFi and Skywire that are not in the App store (Apple). Nice program for being outside I guess but the point was to control the scope. Help?

--



Question for SkySafari users

Stuart
 

I just downloaded it to my iPhone expecting to be able to control my AP900GTO / CP4 with my phone. I don't see anything remotely related to connecting to a telescope. Their website says it does it but then mentions two other products, SkyFi and Skywire that are not in the App store (Apple). Nice program for being outside I guess but the point was to control the scope. Help?

--


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

Christopher Erickson
 

In my experience you have to set the hand controller to AutoConnect:NO then cold boot the servo controller and then Resume from any Park Position (pick one) in order for time/TZ/DST changes to be correctly implemented after configuration changes.

I hope this helps.


On Sun, Jul 29, 2018 at 6:49 AM kd.finke@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


yes, I checked that of course; local time and GMT (two hours difference due to summertime) is properly displayed. Siderial time is also ok...


Uniform wear of worm

Eduardo Oliveira
 

I read somewhere in an Astrophysics document about a maintainance procedure to guarantee the uniform wear of the worm, since on normal use only the same half of the gear is used. I cant find where this procedure is described anymore. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks

Eduardo.


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

starwatcher
 

yes, I checked that of course; local time and GMT (two hours difference due to summertime) is properly displayed. Siderial time is also ok...


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

Roland Christen
 

Park position 1 and 4 are determined from your local time and time zone. For some reason Europe has a special situation. Most users in Europe use Universal time rather than local time to avoid this problem. In the Main menu there is a window that you can press that shows you GMT (Universal time) and your local time and the Sidereal time. If these are not correct then the park positions will also not be correct.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: kd.finke@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sun, Jul 29, 2018 11:39 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 1100GTO First Setup and a question



forgot to mention: this morning I forgot to activate the summertime. The mount slew a little bit further but I would assume that the scope is parallel to the ground in PP 1 and PP 2, independent from time zone or summer/wintertime. Is that assumption correct? Currently in these positions the scope "hangs somewhere in the air"...


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

starwatcher
 

done, doesn't work...


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

Roland Christen
 

Then try setting time +1 hour advanced.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: kd.finke@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sun, Jul 29, 2018 11:34 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 1100GTO First Setup and a question



the timezone is set to +1; I also enabled summertime. Right from the beginning... that should be ok...


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

starwatcher
 

forgot to mention: this morning I forgot to activate the summertime. The mount slew a little bit further but I would assume that the scope is parallel to the ground in PP 1 and PP 2, independent from time zone or summer/wintertime. Is that assumption correct? Currently in these positions the scope "hangs somewhere in the air"...


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

starwatcher
 

the timezone is set to +1; I also enabled summertime. Right from the beginning... that should be ok...


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

Roland Christen
 

I just read your previous post again and I have an idea that something is wrong with your time zone setting. There is something unique about Europe's time and zone designation since they are on either side of the international date line that runs thru Greenwich. I suspect you are on the east side of the line and you are actually in time zone +1. Try changing your time zone from zero to +1 and see where Park1 goes, starting from Park3.

If there are any other users from Europe on this group, can you help him determine the proper setting for longitude?

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: kd.finke@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sun, Jul 29, 2018 10:46 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 1100GTO First Setup and a question



Thanks Roland, will do, enjoy your weekend!

best - Klaus



Re: PHD "freezes" trying to settle after dither : PHD Dev believes issue may be in AP ASCOM

Steve Reilly
 

It could be worse……lava or fire or smoke……..

 

-Steve in Rain soaked VA

 

From: ap-gto@...
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2018 11:45 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: PHD "freezes" trying to settle after dither : PHD Dev believes issue may be in AP ASCOM

 

 

Ok, the error message typo makes sense :)

 

FWIW, I did indeed to a complete check of things.  ASCOM is 6.4 now, PemPRO, SGP, PHD all latest versions.  Doublechecked .NET, it's as current as it can get.

 

Now to beat on things for a while.  Oh well, at least it gives me something to do for the next eon or so of forecasted overcast.


Re: PHD "freezes" trying to settle after dither : PHD Dev believes issue may be in AP ASCOM

Ray Gralak
 

Ok, let me know if you find anything. If I can reproduce the behavior and it is a driver bug I can likely fix it! :-)

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: Sunday, July 29, 2018 8:45 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: PHD "freezes" trying to settle after dither : PHD Dev believes issue may be in AP ASCOM



Ok, the error message typo makes sense :)

FWIW, I did indeed to a complete check of things. ASCOM is 6.4 now, PemPRO, SGP, PHD all latest versions.
Doublechecked .NET, it's as current as it can get.

Now to beat on things for a while. Oh well, at least it gives me something to do for the next eon or so of forecasted
overcast.


Re: 1100GTO First Setup and a question

starwatcher
 

Thanks Roland, will do, enjoy your weekend!

best - Klaus