Date   

Re: Dec axis won't even budge

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Dhaval,
 
    When my AP-900 clutch (nylon) plugs “MUSHROOMED” out into the channel space between the axle and the head/knobs – because I didn’t fully appreciate the warning in the manual, about the  harm of tightening the clutch plugs down hard,  (even once),  with a hex wrench would cause.   I bought the AP special plug extraction tool to extract the flattened plugs. The AP screwdriver tool was a total waste of money, time and effort – as even AP warned me about. Perhaps it might work for those you NEVER used the hex wrench on the plugs, and  were oiled regularly, rather than locked in permanently.
 
    But I thought it was worth a shot. The AP tool -   or your own “ground off and file shaped” screwdriver blade tip, just “bites” into the plastic, chipping it into grain-like particles, and never gets a foothold into the plug. Even if it would, it would require super human strength to unscrew, since the inside portion is now much fatter than the part still in the plug hole – so will never squeeze back to its original diameter to come back out. Like child birth – one way out only :-)
 
    The only option is sending the mount in,  for AP to work on it - or much quicker – dismantle the axis “head cap” by trying to crank it off and free from the 4 plugs death grip. I tried to  do that manually after removing the 5 or 6 head screws from the axle top, then planting my feet on the mount and risking back pain while pulling upward - it didn’t budge. I even attached a long D-Plate to the head, “for leverage”, and tried to gradually twist off the axle head cap with all my arm strength. It turned a bit, but just would not twist up and off, but maybe you will be lucky, if your swollen plugs are still gripping the  shaft center more lightly than mine did.
Hopefully, the following procedure won’t be required.
 
    If they are really stuck - the far easier way,  expecting to spend a couple or  a few hours for this job -  is to use the two totally “UNDOCUMENTED PURPOSE”,  1/4-20 tapped open holes, in the end of the head cap. These are tapped holes for two “PUSH SCREWS”.
I had to insert a “bottoming tap” since AP failed to tap the holes all the way through, so the screws would be blocked near the end anyway.
 
    Place the  “separated”  DEC or RA mount base section in a “large but shallow cardboard box” – I used the lid from a XEROX PC Paper carton, since the cardboard won’t let any fallen out bearing race plugs bounce out onto the floor, and be lost. You will need to buy a KIT package, of at least a dozen plugs, to replace the 8 clutches on both axes, and the spares to replace any lost ones from the bearing race.  More plugs might be better, in case even the new plug diameters differ, depending which manufacturing batch they came from, and still won’t slide in easily into the clutch knob channel. So, test each one in the kit in each clutch hole, to find the ones which are slim and thus loosest, so they won’t swell out in later years. Do this BEFORE you re-assemble and bolt the axle top cap back on, later.
 
********
 
Here’s AP-900/1200 mount axle disassembly, clutch plug replacement job ...
 
    Insert a couple of very long (3”-4”) hex head machine screws, and torque each one “alternately” a few degrees at a time, with a socket wrench. These screw tips push with tremendous force against the axle surface, just under the cap. I would suggest filing these screw tips “round”, so their tip slips as it pushes down,  or scratches against the inside mating axle top (invisibly, doesn’t affect anything). Eventually, the head will “walk itself up” and away from the axle top, exposing a couple of dozen “identical” nylon plugs, used as RA or DEC “roller bearings” around the axle. Note, there will be ONE LESS plug cylinder in the track, so don’t think it was lost on the floor – the obvious gap provides  space between the race train plug/bearing rollers,  so they don’t rub against each other.
 
    Final step is to force each clutch plug through the hole, out into the now “empty center” with that head cap removed. You can try to “screw-in” the old plug using that AP screwdriver tool, since the old originally smooth surface plugs have now gotten the channel threads pressed permanently into them. Mine still refused to screw in, so had to be drilled in with a slightly smaller diameter drill bit – which grabbed into the nylon, and easily “spun it” inward, quite quickly – as the drill bit into the plastic and grabbed it tightly. If you must, do so with a VERY slow drill speed,. making sure to keep it perpendicular to the surface, drilling straight into the old plug. If it still doesn’t budge by spinning, you will end up drilling a hole through,  into the nylon, which you can then carefully chip its wall out, at one point, and the rest will loosen enough to  be pushed or screwed through to the empty center.
 
    Just be very careful not to gouge the clutch knob channel threaded through hole, or you may need to repair it using a threading tap to “rework” it.
Finally – BEFORE replacing the axle head cap - test fit each new nylon clutch plug to select the best,  4 or 8 loosest ones. Otherwise, you may have to push/hammer  through, even these new ones, if they bind and also won’t slide smoothly into the threaded hole.
 
    It still requires a “FAIR amount” of work, hope to never do this again – Lesson learned about not using hex wrench for plugs, finger tight only - but eventually the task was not that difficult with this method. Your other choice is to send your mount in to AP, lose the use of your mount for perhaps months, and the hassle and costs of shipping. After having done the job myself, I can really appreciate the  hard work and time, someone at AP tech support would have to put in,  to do this repair. Not easy, but doable.
 
    Makes upgrading to a modern AP-1100/1600, with no clutches to eventually jamb,  such an appealing idea,
 
Hope this outline helps.
Joe Z.


Re: Dec axis won't even budge

Roland Christen
 

If you don't need to change the telescope setup, then don't do anything. The mount will work just fine.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: dhavalbrahmbhatt@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Mon, Sep 10, 2018 12:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Dec axis won't even budge



Hello all,
I am not sure if this is a problem or not - but I was at the observatory this weekend and noticed that the Dec axis won't even budge after I loosened the clutches. It works just fine with a hand controller or using APCC as I ask it park and such (I could not test it under skies because it was cloudy both nights) - but should I be concerned?

I have an AP1200 GTO CP3 mount. 

Thanks,
Dhaval



Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

Don Anderson
 

Thanks George
Don


Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

George
 

Don,

 

Please see the Quick Start Guide for connection settings:

http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/Quick_Start_&_Workflow_Guide.pdf

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-282-1513

Email:  george@...

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2018 3:02 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

 

 

Hello Bob
I did as you suggested and reinstalled the TeliAPI plugin. Afterwards, I was able to connect to the mount through the APV2 driver and operate it with the Sky6 fine just like I do with my Win 7 Pro laptop. However, now when I start Maxim DL, and try to connect concurrently to the mount through the AP V2 driver, I get an error message saying the com port is in use by another application. When I bring up the driver window, I see there is only one client (The Sky) connected. I then tried disconnecting The Sky and connecting to the mount with Maxim, the connection is successful and everything works as it should. When I then try connecting The Sky6 I get the same come port error message as above. The APV 2 driver is not acting as a hub. It looks like both applications are trying to use the same com port(port4) natively which of course Windows doesn't allow.
I tried reinstalling TeleAPI and configuring it and the driver as administrator but had the same result. I am running the latest build of Win 10 and the latest full release of the AP driver. I tried selecting a different com port foreach application but couldn't find the mount on anything but Com4.
Any Ideas? George or Ray do you have any suggestions?
Don


Re: Dec axis won't even budge

Robert Berta
 

That oil leak has nothing to do with the light machine oil that you would use on the clutch plugs....that is only a couple of drops on each plug. I doubt if any oil leaking from the gear box would have any baring on your issue.


Re: Dec axis won't even budge

Dhaval
 

Thanks! It does look like there was some form of leak of oil from the Dec gear box. I will do that when I am out the next time. It is good to know that this will work under power. 

Thanks,
Dhaval


Re: Dec axis won't even budge

Robert Berta
 

The clutch plugs probably dried out. It won't make any difference when moving the DEC axis under power....but you can't loosen to balance the mount by loosening the clutches because the plugs are jammed tight and need to either be lubed or replaced. First try a drop of oil in each plug hole after removing the clutch knobs. Let it soak for a while. This probably won't work though so you need to replace the plugs. You can get these from AP and do it yourself although you need to modify an old screw driver slightly to remove the plugs. Instructions are on the AP web site. 
Usually the reason these are locked up is because you over tightened the clutch knobs....or left them tightened for a long time and the oil dried out on the plugs. If you don't use the clutch knobs but instead use Allen keys....you can put too much tension on them with the long handles of the Allen keys.

By the way on the older plugs like you have....it may still get a bit tight from stiction. Roland told me to use a fish scale to balance the mount in each axis....hook the scale over the counterweight shaft for RA or scope for DEC. 

By the way....that is one of the improvements on the new mounts with one lever on each axis that completely disconnects the gear/axis for balancing and manual moving....yet it doesn't make any difference to the PEC so you don't have to redo it.



Re: Guiding does not run in RA axis

mike.hambrick@...
 

 The guide rate options are limited on the GTO Keypad Controller (assuming that you have one), but it is worth checking to see it it has changed.

I am dating myself here, but I fought a similar problem as you describe for several months with my old 800 mount with the 8010 hand held controller, relay adapter box, etc. I was convinced that the RA clutches on the mount were slipping and tried everything to "fix" them until I discovered that the guide rate switch on the hand controller had been switched from 2X to 8X.


Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...




From:        "Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...>
To:        ap-gto@...
Date:        2018-09-09 07:03 PM
Subject:        Re: [ap-gto] Guiding does not run in RA axis
Sent by:        ap-gto@...




 

There is a similar box in TSX in case he’s using that. 


Stuart

On Sun, Sep 9, 2018 at 7:20 PM chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hello Wolfgang,

If you are using MaximDL you may have the little "Pier Flip" box in the guider window checked, that causes the guider to invert the correction signal. This will cause the guide star to make the wrong direction move and the star will quickly leave the guider box in RA.

It is NOT a defect in the mount. It is a wrong setting in your guider software.

I know this because it happens to me occasionally also.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From:
vergoldermeister@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <
ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sun, Sep 9, 2018 3:20 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Guiding does not run in RA axis



Hi everybody,

i use a AP1200 with CP3 system. A few nights ago , i got troubles with the guiding in the RA axis. The guider detects the star and even the calibration works perfect. But when i start guiding, it works for a about 10 sec. and then it seems that the RA axis is not working anymore, the star gets lost.
I also checked the gear adjustment, like it is described in the manual, everything is fine there.
I can move the mount via the GTO keybad, it also works without any problems, with every kind of moving rate (1200-0,5). The cables are free....
The Mount, Guider and CCD is controlled via TheSky X and Camera Add On..

Any idea?

Regards,

Wolfgang





--
Stuart Heggie
http://www.stuartheggie.com/featured.html




Re: Guiding does not run in RA axis

Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

There is a similar box in TSX in case he’s using that. 

Stuart

On Sun, Sep 9, 2018 at 7:20 PM chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hello Wolfgang,

If you are using MaximDL you may have the little "Pier Flip" box in the guider window checked, that causes the guider to invert the correction signal. This will cause the guide star to make the wrong direction move and the star will quickly leave the guider box in RA.

It is NOT a defect in the mount. It is a wrong setting in your guider software.

I know this because it happens to me occasionally also.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: vergoldermeister@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sun, Sep 9, 2018 3:20 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Guiding does not run in RA axis



Hi everybody,

i use a AP1200 with CP3 system. A few nights ago , i got troubles with the guiding in the RA axis. The guider detects the star and even the calibration works perfect. But when i start guiding, it works for a about 10 sec. and then it seems that the RA axis is not working anymore, the star gets lost.
I also checked the gear adjustment, like it is described in the manual, everything is fine there.
I can move the mount via the GTO keybad, it also works without any problems, with every kind of moving rate (1200-0,5). The cables are free....
The Mount, Guider and CCD is controlled via TheSky X and Camera Add On.

Any idea?

Regards,

Wolfgang







Dec axis won't even budge

Dhaval
 

Hello all,

I am not sure if this is a problem or not - but I was at the observatory this weekend and noticed that the Dec axis won't even budge after I loosened the clutches. It works just fine with a hand controller or using APCC as I ask it park and such (I could not test it under skies because it was cloudy both nights) - but should I be concerned?


I have an AP1200 GTO CP3 mount. 


Thanks,

Dhaval


Re: Guiding does not run in RA axis

Mike Dodd
 

On 9/9/2018 4:20 PM, vergoldermeister@... [ap-gto] wrote:

i use a AP1200 with CP3 system. A few nights ago , i got troubles with
the guiding in the RA axis. The guider detects the star and even the
calibration works perfect. But when i start guiding, it works for a
about 10 sec. and then it seems that the RA axis is not working anymore,
the star gets lost.
I guide my AP1200 CP3 with SkyX with no problems using the ASCOM interface and a separate ST-402 guide camera.

Some questions:

1. Is your mount tracking across the sky without guiding? I.e., after you center a target, does it remain roughly centered, or does it glide away on the RA axis? RA guiding usually corrects at 1/2 sidereal rate, so if the mount isn't tracking on its own, even a continuous westward correction won't keep up with the Earth's rotation.

2. What is the aggressiveness set to on the RA axis? Maybe it's too low for effective corrections.

3. What are the minimum and maximum relay movement settings? If maximum is 0 or too short, you won't get any corrections on that axis.

4. Have you logged autoguiding in SkyX? The header should report the aggressiveness settings and min/max movement settings. Below that you should see individual corrections with entries including CurCentroidX (and Y), GuideErrX (and Y), and plus/minus relay activations.

The line-by-line corrections in the log should reveal what the autoguider is trying to do.

If it's issuing corrections, but the mount never corrects, more detective work is in order.

--- Mike


Re: Guiding does not run in RA axis

vergolder
 

Hi Rolando,


thanks for responding!!!

I use theSky X with the Camera Add On but there is a "Reverse X" box in the guider window. It was checked, i unchecked it and now everything runs like it should.

I do not know, why this box was checked....sometimes it is better to check and read the manual first...


Many thanks for your help!


Regards,


Wolfgang


Re: Guiding does not run in RA axis

Roland Christen
 

Hello Wolfgang,

If you are using MaximDL you may have the little "Pier Flip" box in the guider window checked, that causes the guider to invert the correction signal. This will cause the guide star to make the wrong direction move and the star will quickly leave the guider box in RA.

It is NOT a defect in the mount. It is a wrong setting in your guider software.

I know this because it happens to me occasionally also.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: vergoldermeister@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sun, Sep 9, 2018 3:20 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Guiding does not run in RA axis



Hi everybody,

i use a AP1200 with CP3 system. A few nights ago , i got troubles with the guiding in the RA axis. The guider detects the star and even the calibration works perfect. But when i start guiding, it works for a about 10 sec. and then it seems that the RA axis is not working anymore, the star gets lost.
I also checked the gear adjustment, like it is described in the manual, everything is fine there.
I can move the mount via the GTO keybad, it also works without any problems, with every kind of moving rate (1200-0,5). The cables are free....
The Mount, Guider and CCD is controlled via TheSky X and Camera Add On.

Any idea?

Regards,

Wolfgang







Guiding does not run in RA axis

vergolder
 

Hi everybody,


i use a AP1200 with CP3 system. A few nights ago , i got troubles with the guiding in the RA axis. The guider detects the star and even the calibration works perfect. But when i start guiding, it works for a about 10 sec. and then it seems that the RA axis is not working anymore, the star gets lost.

I also checked the gear adjustment, like it is described in the manual, everything is fine there.

I can move the mount via the GTO keybad, it also works without any problems, with every kind of moving rate (1200-0,5). The cables are free....

The Mount, Guider and CCD is controlled via TheSky X and Camera Add On.


Any idea?


Regards,


Wolfgang






Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Don,

However, the old problem persists if I open The Sky by double clicking
on the sky desktop Icon.
If you *have* to run TheSky as administrator, then just run your other apps (e.g. MaximDL) as administrator as well. Some people do this even though the preferred way is to run under normal privileges.

That said, you might want to try checking if TheSky EXE file (in Program Files) is set to run as administrator. If it is, then you should be able to disable that by changing the properties of the EXE file.

Another option is to try creating a new desktop icon directly from TheSky EXE file. That should setup the default settings that allow it to run normally.

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: Saturday, September 8, 2018 7:40 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop



Ray
You were absolutely right! I had run the Sky 6 as admin in order to get TeleAPI to register properly. I right clicked on
The Sky desktop icon went to properties/compatibility but found the run as administrator check box was unchecked. I
then started The Sky by right clicking and selecting open. The program opened and all worked well. However, the old
problem persists if I open The Sky by double clicking on the sky desktop Icon. I tried running the compatibility checker
and accepted the suggested fix but it still won't work by a double click on the desktop icon. It only works properly if I
select open after a right click on the Icon.
I will look into APCC. I have the V chip in my GOTO CP3. Will that give me full APCC functionality or do I need the V1
chip?
Thanks a bunch for your help
Regards
Don


Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Don,

However, the old problem persists if I open The Sky by double clicking
on the sky desktop Icon.
If you *have* to run TheSky as administrator, then just run your other apps (e.g. MaximDL) as administrator as well. Some people do this even though the preferred way is to run under normal privileges.

That said, you might want to try checking if TheSky EXE file (in Program Files) is set to run as administrator. If it is, then you should be able to disable that by changing the properties of the EXE file.

Another option is to try creating a new desktop icon directly from TheSky EXE file. That should setup the default settings that allow it to run normally.

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: Saturday, September 8, 2018 7:40 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop



Ray
You were absolutely right! I had run the Sky 6 as admin in order to get TeleAPI to register properly. I right clicked on
The Sky desktop icon went to properties/compatibility but found the run as administrator check box was unchecked. I
then started The Sky by right clicking and selecting open. The program opened and all worked well. However, the old
problem persists if I open The Sky by double clicking on the sky desktop Icon. I tried running the compatibility checker
and accepted the suggested fix but it still won't work by a double click on the desktop icon. It only works properly if I
select open after a right click on the Icon.
I will look into APCC. I have the V chip in my GOTO CP3. Will that give me full APCC functionality or do I need the V1
chip?
Thanks a bunch for your help
Regards
Don


Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

Don Anderson
 

Ray
You were absolutely right! I had run the Sky 6 as admin in order to get TeleAPI to register properly. I right clicked on The Sky desktop icon went to properties/compatibility but found the run as administrator check box was unchecked. I then started The Sky by right clicking and selecting open. The program opened and all worked well. However, the old problem persists if I open The Sky by double clicking on the sky desktop Icon. I tried running the compatibility checker and accepted the suggested fix but it still won't work by a double click on the desktop icon. It only works properly if I select open after a right click on the Icon. 
I will look into APCC. I have the V chip in my GOTO CP3. Will that give me full APCC functionality or do I need the V1 chip?
Thanks a bunch for your help
Regards
Don


Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Don,

The AP V2 ASCOM driver is a hub, but I think you were trying to run one of the applications as a regular user and another "as Administrator". This will cause *two* instances of the ASCOM driver both trying to use the same COM port, because COM-interop works on a per-user basis. To fix the problem you must run both TheSky6 and MaximDL under your regular user account (preferred), or run both "As administrator".

FWIW, if you throw APCC into the mix, then you can actually run both instances of the ASCOM driver as APCC allocates a separate virtual COM ports for the regular user account and the administrator account. It can do that because APCC is a 4-port "virtual com port router". Each ASCOM driver has its own virtual COM port created by APCC. APCC keeps track of the origin of each request and makes sure the replies are sent back to the originating virtual port. APCC of course would be using the single COM port to the mount (or Ethernet/Wifi to the mount).

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: Saturday, September 8, 2018 1:02 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop



Hello Bob
I did as you suggested and reinstalled the TeliAPI plugin. Afterwards, I was able to connect to the mount through the
APV2 driver and operate it with the Sky6 fine just like I do with my Win 7 Pro laptop. However, now when I start Maxim
DL, and try to connect concurrently to the mount through the AP V2 driver, I get an error message saying the com port
is in use by another application. When I bring up the driver window, I see there is only one client (The Sky) connected.
I then tried disconnecting The Sky and connecting to the mount with Maxim, the connection is successful and
everything works as it should. When I then try connecting The Sky6 I get the same come port error message as above.
The APV 2 driver is not acting as a hub. It looks like both applications are trying to use the same com port(port4)
natively which of course Windows doesn't allow.
I tried reinstalling TeleAPI and configuring it and the driver as administrator but had the same result. I am running the
latest build of Win 10 and the latest full release of the AP driver. I tried selecting a different com port foreach
application but couldn't find the mount on anything but Com4.
Any Ideas? George or Ray do you have any suggestions?
Don



Re: Can no longer connect to mount in The Sky 6 on my newer Win 10 laptop

Don Anderson
 

Hello Bob
I did as you suggested and reinstalled the TeliAPI plugin. Afterwards, I was able to connect to the mount through the APV2 driver and operate it with the Sky6 fine just like I do with my Win 7 Pro laptop. However, now when I start Maxim DL, and try to connect concurrently to the mount through the AP V2 driver, I get an error message saying the com port is in use by another application. When I bring up the driver window, I see there is only one client (The Sky) connected. I then tried disconnecting The Sky and connecting to the mount with Maxim, the connection is successful and everything works as it should. When I then try connecting The Sky6 I get the same come port error message as above. The APV 2 driver is not acting as a hub. It looks like both applications are trying to use the same com port(port4) natively which of course Windows doesn't allow.
I tried reinstalling TeleAPI and configuring it and the driver as administrator but had the same result. I am running the latest build of Win 10 and the latest full release of the AP driver. I tried selecting a different com port foreach application but couldn't find the mount on anything but Com4.
Any Ideas? George or Ray do you have any suggestions?
Don


Re: Trying the SkyX (how to connect to mount?)

Ron Kramer
 

Refunded SkyX - lacked the rotator support I was looking for.  I found SGP framing and mosaic wizard allows me to do what I want.  I wasn't impressed with theSkyX enough to keep it. (lots of free programs do the same or better).  WWT is still top choice for me. - but thanks to all who commented.


On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 10:46 AM chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hi Dale,

Thanks for your post.
2. TSX can also act as an ASCOM client. In this case, it's the Astro-Physics ASCOM driver which connects to the mount and all communications flows through it. Nothing else is supposed to (or even can) connect to the mount directly - ASCOM is the captain here. You then configure TSX to be an ASCOM client and to talk to the mount via the Astro-Physics ASCOM driver. When you connect to the mount in TSX, you then get the A-P driver window pop-up.
This is the way my laptop is set up. I simply open up SkyX and connect telescope and unpark.  Everything else flows automatically. The driver pops up to show that the mount is active and tracking, I simply minimize the driver and proceed with doing GoTos.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent daleg@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 7, 2018 1:24 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Trying the SkyX (how to connect to mount?)



> On Sep 5, 2018, at 4:50 PM, Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] gto@...> wrote:
>
> I did just manage to connect ASCOM mount and then selecting AP GTO V2 mount.
> Is this the right way? I found it odd that the direct MACH1 link didn't work... but
> no worries if this is ok. (ascom).

You're obviously using a serial/usb connection to your Mach1's CP4.

TSX has two methods of connecting to an Astro-Physics mount:

1. There as a native Astro-Physics driver within TSX. This is separate from ASCOM or anything else, and doesn't interact with anything externally. When you use this method to talk to your Mach1's CP4, it directly accesses the COM port that's assigned to the CP4 by the operating system. It's just TSX talking directly to your mount, and nothing else.

2. TSX can also act as an ASCOM client. In this case, it's the Astro-Physics ASCOM driver which connects to the mount and all communications flows through it. Nothing else is supposed to (or even can) connect to the mount directly - ASCOM is the captain here. You then configure TSX to be an ASCOM client and to talk to the mount via the Astro-Physics ASCOM driver. When you connect to the mount in TSX, you then get the A-P driver window pop-up.

Going through the ASCOM driver allows multiple applications to have concurrent access to the mount - for example, I use TSX as my planetarium software to drive the mount around to objects, and SharpCap to run my camera and focuser to do image acquisition. SharpCap also talks to the mount via ASCOM so that I may use its jog buttons to fine-tune where the mount is pointing.

The important thing to remember here is that *if* you're using the _native_ driver in TSX, *Nothing else* can talk to the mount, because only one thing can have the COM port for the mount open. If TSX is driving the mount through its native driver, it's going to own that COM port and ASCOM is going to be unable to use that COM port, and vice versa. Raally, You need to have everything on ASCOM - the ASCOM driver is the interface to the hardware and all else flows through it. The COM port thing is not an ASCOM or TSX limitation; it's just that the operating system (Windows) grants only exclusive access to the serial port hardware, and for good reason.

/dale

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Posted by: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
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