Date   

Re: New beta version AP V2 driver with connection via Ethernet/WiFi capability

Ray Gralak
 

Not sure if the new BETA is going to implement a fix for the existing CP4 wireless not staying connected. Is that a
software related issue or hardware?
The ASCOM driver has nothing to do with the CP4 hardware. This version of the driver adds TCP/IP connectivity. In fact the driver doesn't even distinguish between WiFi and Ethernet. You must pick the IP address to use but connecting via (wired) Ethernet is usually going to be much more reliable than using a WiFi connection, including via your SkyFi.

-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@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:42 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: New beta version AP V2 driver with connection via Ethernet/WiFi capability



Ray,
Not sure if the new BETA is going to implement a fix for the existing CP4 wireless not staying connected. Is that a
software related issue or hardware? I know some others have the same issue. In short.....i can connect wireless and
through Sky Safari control the scope fine....but it tends to drop the connection. Alternately I use the SKY FI wireless
module and it is very robust and works fine.....same software, tablet, mount, etc.

I heard that this is a known issue and may be the result of the hardware used with a known bug....but thus far I haven't
heard anyone is actively addressing the issue.


Re: New beta version AP V2 driver with connection via Ethernet/WiFi capability

Robert Berta
 

Ray,
Not sure if the new BETA is going to implement a fix for the existing CP4 wireless not staying connected. Is that a software related issue or hardware? I know some others have the same issue. In short.....i can connect wireless and through Sky Safari control the scope fine....but it tends to drop the connection. Alternately I use the SKY FI wireless module and it is very robust and works fine.....same software, tablet, mount, etc. 

I heard that this is a known issue and may be the result of the hardware used with a known bug....but thus far I haven't heard anyone is actively addressing the issue.


Re: Praises for high-quality AP products!

appleman07
 

Christopher you have adroitly summarized the mount products produced by AP.  I learned a lot and there is still a lot that I don't understand-my lack of understanding is not your fault.  I currently have an older AP 1200 mount in a permanent set up and will probably upgrade shortly to the new 1100.  Thanks Chris for expounding on the reasons to stay with the AP products.

Burton 


Re: Praises for high-quality AP products!

Robert Berta
 

Chris,
You are "preaching to the choir"...when you have the best.....you know it   ;-)


Re: Astro-Physics now accepting 1100GTO orders again

Roland Christen
 

Hi,

Glad your 1100 is working out for you. Post some images when you get a chance.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: djhanson100@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, Sep 19, 2018 12:02 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Astro-Physics now accepting 1100GTO orders again



Hi Roland, that's great to hear for the new 1100GTO owners.
 
For those pondering or waiting on an 1100GTO, I can say that I've set mine up 100+ times now with absolutely no issues.  My total setup weight is 220 lbs. (14" CFF f/17 classical cass, imaging equipment, counterweights, 10x30 ATS pier)  Yes, that weight sounds gi-normous, yet I've never gotten tired of setup due to the ease of portability.  If it weren't that easy I would have given up many moons ago.  That being said, the mount can serve many uses.  I use mine for portability and quick polar alignment post sunset with RAPAS. (usually best seeing for planetary imaging for me)  It handles my CFF350 with ease.  I'm a recent convert to the AP keypad and with it I'm finding first Mars alignments much quicker!  That's because I can do rough planetary alignment along with secondary focusing as I look at the laptop screen with keypad in-hand.  Again, there are many ways to control the mount, even without a keypad, so it fits many users' needs this way.

One other design kudos is that fact that you still build a modular controller. (e.g. CP4)  This legacy design is superior to integrated controller designs, whose electronics are housed within the head assembly, and can't be understated.  Your cables look like they came off an old indestructable B17 bomber, military grade like connectors!  Woop!  Thanks for keeping mount designs simple and robust.  I do think AP is keeping the cost of ownership down by building the mounts we need for many decades of service.  (unlike the Chinese made patio umbrellas I keep having to replace on a yearly basis...snap, snap, don't get me started)

I appreciate you and your staff's experiences here!

cheers, DJ Hanson



Re: NGC 1360 - The Robins Egg Nebula

Roland Christen
 

That is gorgeous, and those RC Optical scopes really perform.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: terry.robison@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Sep 18, 2018 12:00 am
Subject: [ap-gto] NGC 1360 - The Robins Egg Nebula



This large beautiful planetary nebula can be found in the constellation Fornax. Its common name, “The Robin’s Egg Nebula” describes the object perfectly. It looks like a Robins egg floating in space. NGC 1360 is a typical evolved planetary nebula. The term evolved means “aging”, and that the planetary nebula does not contain any obvious shell morphology. Contrasting this, if you compare this with another planetary nebula, i.e., "The Skull Nebula" https://www.astrobin.com/full/365896/0/ you will find defined well-marked boundaries and symmetry present in younger Planetary Nebula (PN). NGC 1360 is fairly diffuse and showing areas interacting with the interstellar medium.
The interesting colour is caused by the excitation of oxygen from its hot central star. In fact, the central star is known to be a binary star system consisting of two evolved white dwarf stars.
Reddish jet like glows located along the longer axis are believed to have been ejected from the original star before its final collapse. In time, everything will fade, with just the white dwarf in the centre remaining. It will take several billion years to finally cool off.
The image was constructed using five filters, Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, and Hydrogen-Alpha (Ha). The total imaging time is 65.75 hours.  

Flickr Version

Astrobin Version

Thanks for looking




Re: APPM and Astrometry.Net

Karsten Schindler
 

Stephane,

Unless you change the default ansvr setup, try these settings:
Domain: 127.0.0.1:8000
API Key: This field must contain a valid API key; if you do not have one, the easiest is to login at nova.astrometry.net, click on "API" and copy/paste the key from there (that is your personal API key - does not matter much to use ansvr, but this string will have the right format to make it work).
I also prefer to activate "Use Image", so astrometry.net does the source extraction rather than PinPoint.

@ Ray: It would be awesome if future versions of APPM would allow usage of ansvr as a plate solve application directly, without PinPoint in the middle. PinPoint is great, but it let me down on my narrow field setup, providing false positives on a regular basis (like 3 to 5 images in a 171 point model), throwing off my models. I would very much prefer to solve APPM pictures solely in astrometry.net at this point, and not to be forced to do a two step solve (i.e. only solve with ansvr if PinPoint fails). This would also enable users to use a freeware plate solver instead of forcing them to buy another commercial software product with additional license cost. AstroImageJ and SGP can communicate directly to ansvr, it seems to be relatively straight forward. Would be really great if you could consider that for future versions. It's accuracy is certainly sufficient to make great pointing models.

Best,
Karsten


Re: Astro-Physics now accepting 1100GTO orders again

Eric Dreher
 

Roland,

After realizing the limitations of my Meade 8" fork-mounted SCT back in the mid-'80s, In 1985 I purchased a 10"Byers gear Schaefer directly from Bill, who was a member of the OCA at that time.  I visited frequently to watch the steps involved.  The mount with my 32cm Newtonian was a beast, but I did take some fairly good hand-guided pictures on hypered Fuji 400 film.

I sold this mount in 2013.  The Imron paint held up well over the years.  I thought you'd like to see a couple of photos.  I'm now the proud owner of a Mach1GTO, purchased last year.

Enjoy,

Eric


Praises for high-quality AP products!

Christopher Erickson
 

(Maybe a bit long but I hope you will find it entertaining!)
 
As part of my day job as a consulting observatory engineer here in Hawaii, I work on a lot of upper-end commercial mounts, optics, instruments and electronics for professional astronomers running small-to-large projects. By far and away my favorite gear to work with is Astro-Physics. Having the electronics in an ESD-hardened enclosure on the outside of the mount is brilliant. Makes it so easy to perform testing, troubleshooting and upgrades. So unlike what is being shipped by everybody else. And yes, Roland has always been quite open about the fact that he really likes the quality and ruggedness of military avionics and he always uses available mil-spec avionic technology ($$$) for AP products when he can.
 
Some people (rarely AP mount owners) try to refer to AP mounts as "simple" and/or "old-school" or "basic clock drive mounts." If "simple" is meant to mean "manufactured, polished, honed and tested by master-machinists to extreme standards", then I will buy that. So many people are being seduced by the myth that the more complicated the electronics, the better the mount must be. In all of those cases, the extra layers of complicated electronics being added by competitors are intended to compensate for hardware deficiencies coming from "highly cost effective" (a.k.a. cheap) manufacturing processes. Not to mention, if a product is totally dependent on embedded, irreplaceable electronics to function, when it is no longer a current product, all support for that product quietly stops, and it becomes effectively unrepairable. Then you are forced to buy a new mount. Which is exactly what those mount manufacturers want. It would be unusual for someone with a 15-to-20 year-old AP mount to not get it fixed starting with a phone call to AP. NOBODY else can claim to have better customer service or technical support than AP.
 
As for the "basic clock drive" comment I hear once in a while. There are only a few ways to drive a sky tracking mount and IMHO, AP is using the best method currently available.  Those methods are:
 
1 - Mechanical coil spring or pendulum "clock drive" mechanism - This was popular about 100-200 years ago. Almost nobody uses it today. There are a couple of ultra-cool, custom  "steampunk" telescopes out there that use this technology. Very quiet but not capable of slewing. Old but beautiful. Sometimes capable of custom tracking rates. Not suitable in GOTO mounts. Open loop control with no feedback.
 
2 - Synchronous AC "clock drive" mechanism - This was a popular method about 50-80 years ago. Almost nobody uses it today. Mostly some simple DIY barn door tracker designs. Very quiet but not capable of slewing or custom tracking rates. Not suitable in GOTO mounts. Open loop control with no feedback. Many old synchronous drive mounts can be (and many have been) upgraded with stepper motors and some generic support electronics. Usually Arduino. Stepper upgrade can add custom tracking rates and also operation from modest battery packs.
 
3. Stepper motor mechanism using full steps and gear reduction -  This was a popular method maybe 30 years ago. Used in the earliest custom, prototype and commercial GOTO mounts. Not suitable for high magnifications and not capable of fast slewing without risk of loosing steps and sky alignment. Open loop control with no feedback.
 
4. Stepper motor mechanism using microsteps and minimal gear reduction - Common choice today in some low, medium and high-end mounts. Usually very quiet operation. Simpler hardware to manufacture, meaning lower manufacturing costs. Not as much dynamic slewing speed range as servos and require considerably more current to maintain microstep positions. More electrical current means faster battery drain and more heat generated. Energy can be converted, but cannot be created or destroyed. While a micro-stepping motor is using a lot of electrical current to maintain its position, it is generating the exact same amount of heat. A device using 100 watts of electrical energy will radiate about 99.999 watts of heat. Mounts using micro-steppers will often consume four to ten times the electrical power of a similar-capacity mount driven by servos. Usually implemented as open loop control with no feedback, however some manufacturers are combining them with medium-resolution, absolute encoders and by using interpolation, claiming to deliver high-resolution control. Interpolation is absolutely not the same as having a real, high-precision absolute encoder.  But it is a lot cheaper and if you carefully wordsmith your claimed specifications, you can avoid talking about the shortcomings and problems that come with interpolation.
 
5. Servo motors - Currently the most popular way to drive telescope mounts and has been so for about the past 25-30 years. Quadrature relative axis feedback encoder on the back of a reversible DC gearhead motor. High dynamic range and capable of sub-arcsecond resolution. Spur gear backlash can sometimes be an issue.  Usually not as quiet as steppers. Quality of servo manufacturing can vary widely. Most are made in China and some of the better ones are made in Japan. IMHO, the best ones are made in Switzerland by Maxon. You can easily-guess who's servos AP uses.
 
6. Direct drive motors - Very fast and very quiet. Need a lot of electrical power. And very expensive. Great for tracking incoming missiles and stuff. However if power is lost while it is slewing around at high speed, it WILL crash into itself with potentially-destructive force. Often affectionately referred to as a "dynamic event" or "spontaneous field disassembly" Basically they are large "pancake" stepper motors with no gear reduction.
 
 
And here are some more great and exclusive features of AP electronics that AP doesn't bother to mention in their literature or specifications:
 
A. Power-loss detection and data preservation. AP servo controllers can detect when power has been lost/cut and by using a special "brownout protection circuit" they quickly save the worm gear angle, worm wheel angle and spur gear train rotation position to NVRAM. That way the controllers know exactly where the spur and worm gears and wheels are positioned when power is restored. This is how the PEM data is kept in sync and how the controller already knows where the mount is pointed when it is powered up. Of course if a user is doing portable setups and/or the clutches are opened, the controller won't know if the OTA is pointing to stuff accurately or not. A single Calibration/Sync will fix that, when needed. This is also a great feature at star parties and outreach events. If someone kicks out your power connection, all you have to do is restore power, initialize the CP1/2/3/4 servo controller (automatic with the AP hand controller) and do another GOTO the object to get it back in the center of the eyepiece and track it.
 
B. ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) protection. All AP servo I/O ports are hardened against ESD using Transorbs/Transzorbs. Common practice with military avionics. Not so much with consumer electronics.
 
C. Socketed communication chips. Did you have an RS-232 port killed by excessive voltage or something? AP puts their RS-232 communication chips in sockets so users can easily replace them without AP's help. Nobody else does that either.
 
D. The CP4 uses an ultra-powerful Cortex ARM CPU similar to what is commonly found in smartphones and such. It has horsepower to burn. Not exactly what you would find at the heart of a "clock drive" mechanism. AP chose a CPU that would have a very long and productive product life before becoming obsolete. 
 
E. All AP electronics are manufactured to avionics mil-spec standards. They spend the extra money to do this and they don't even bother to tell us so we can brag about it!
 
F. The CP4 offers three serial ports (hand controller is serial), USB, ST-4, Ethernet and WiFi. Nobody offers more standard connectivity options. And all of them are active at the same time, allowing for primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and quinary backup communications options.
 
Go forth and slew!
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:02 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Astro-Physics now accepting 1100GTO orders again

Hi Roland, that's great to hear for the new 1100GTO owners.
 
For those pondering or waiting on an 1100GTO, I can say that I've set mine up 100+ times now with absolutely no issues.  My total setup weight is 220 lbs. (14" CFF f/17 classical cass, imaging equipment, counterweights, 10x30 ATS pier)  Yes, that weight sounds gi-normous, yet I've never gotten tired of setup due to the ease of portability.  If it weren't that easy I would have given up many moons ago.  That being said, the mount can serve many uses.  I use mine for portability and quick polar alignment post sunset with RAPAS. (usually best seeing for planetary imaging for me)  It handles my CFF350 with ease.  I'm a recent convert to the AP keypad and with it I'm finding first Mars alignments much quicker!  That's because I can do rough planetary alignment along with secondary focusing as I look at the laptop screen with keypad in-hand.  Again, there are many ways to control the mount, even without a keypad, so it fits many users' needs this way.

One other design kudos is that fact that you still build a modular controller. (e.g. CP4)  This legacy design is superior to integrated controller designs, whose electronics are housed within the head assembly, and can't be understated.  Your cables look like they came off an old indestructable B17 bomber, military grade like connectors!  Woop!  Thanks for keeping mount designs simple and robust.  I do think AP is keeping the cost of ownership down by building the mounts we need for many decades of service.  (unlike the Chinese made patio umbrellas I keep having to replace on a yearly basis...snap, snap, don't get me started)

I appreciate you and your staff's experiences here!

cheers, DJ Hanson

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: USB (or Serial) vs Ethernet: Which is better or more reliable?

Dale Ghent
 

On Sep 16, 2018, at 2:15 PM, pnagy@sbcglobal.net [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



Hi Dale,

1) My original post did mentioned 35 feet "Active" USB2 cable which is also a repeater. I am sure it's running at USB2 speed because the download speed for my QSI660wsg camera meets the QSI spec. So far, my 35 feet active USB2 cable has been working quite flawlessly.
Ah, I might have missed the "active" part of your description. Good to know you're using one and that it's working for you.

Maybe "trust" is not the right word. I was referring to reliability between USB2 and Ethernet (hardware and driver level) like which one of the two would have better chance of disconnects.

My setup is always portable. I prefer not to leave the laptop close to the telescope equipment because the weather can get quite cold in the winter and may harm the laptop. I route the 35 feet active USB2 cable through the dog door and my laptop is always indoors in the kitchen nook area so I can monitor the imaging session progress from indoors.
Part of my day job sees me working on ethernet drivers, and with that work comes experience with how they interact with the higher stacks in the OS, such the IP layers and whatnot. Ergo, I get to see how the sausage is made, and have some hand in making it. So, I'm not anti-ethernet or anti-IP by far. I'm just for using the right tool for the situation, and if there's no technical or reliability-based need to change what you're doing now, then why introduce new or additional cabling, protocols, and such into the mix. Maintaining a single data cable to your mount from inside your house sounds like what anyone would want.

From a POV based on simplicity, USB-Serial is always going to have fewer variables and moving parts to contend with compared to ethernet+TCP/IP, and certainly if wifi/802.11 is thrown into the mix. I think USB gets a bad rap sometimes because people are unaware of particulars governing cable length and/or bus power budgets, where things are pushed too far and ends up giving one the impression that USB itself is unreliable. I think there's also a propensity to grab the cheapest gear one finds, which leads to additional problems[1]. I believe that there's additional suspicion about USB-Serial in particular due to the issue of counterfeit versions of USB-Serial chips from FTDI and Prolific finding their way into the market[2]. But, as the saying goes, you tend to get what you pay for, and putting just a little time into researching powered hubs and convertors pays off with better reliability in the end.

But look at it this way: On that USB bus, you have two high-bandwidth devices in the form of a main and guide camera, plus a gaggle of low-bandwidth devices, such as your mount, focuser, and any filter wheel or communications-enabled dew heater, switches, or the like. Because of their nature, the cameras are going to always be the most sensitive to USB issues which is why some camera manufacturers let you adjust the speeds which they initiate their sessions with on the bus. With the mount, I'm assuming that you're using PDH or the like with your guidecam and are thus sending the periodic pulseguide data to the mount over its USB connection, and the A-P ASCOM driver is always talking to the mount. If all of this is already reliable for you - even in the face of data coming off your cameras in bulk every so often - then chances are it'll remain so.

Yes, you could always run an ethernet cable to the mount and talk to it over TCP or UDP, but it's another cable to run for what is probably no measurable advantage over what's working for you now, and front the looks of it, the mount would be the only user of that cable. Additionally, ethernet interfaces on consumer hardware are sometimes fraught with as much gremlins as poorly-sourced USB devices (such as no-name USB-ethernet dongles), and on top of that, you have the added complexity of a IP stack which, while largely reliable, isn't immune to configuration snafus if you're running multiple interfaces (say, wifi as your main interface and a hardwire ethernet line directly to the mount). There are also Windows' firewall and any firewalls your anti-virus software plops onto your box to contend with. You just need to be aware that there are more moving parts in that scenario and be prepared to debug them.

/dale

[1] A friend at a star party once forgot a USB A-to-micro cable that he needed for a piece of gear, so he went to the local 7-11 and got one those 99 cent USB cables that you often see up next to the cash register. Spoiler alert: it didn't work.

[2] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/10/ftdi_says_knockoff_chips_part_of_criminal_operation/


Re: Unpark Mach1

Christopher Erickson
 

Check your anti-virus software or software firewall settings. It could be blocking communications it doesn't recognize or understand. Could be security settings in your router too.
 
And NEVER use NetBIOS names to connect to your CP4.  ALWAYS use real IP addresses.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:06 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Unpark Mach1

Well, I have the mount working now.  To make sure it was not the Laptop, I installed APCC and ACSOM V2 onto my old(er) laptop.  Same issue - could not connect and Unpark.

So I changed the Connection type from UDP to TCP, and it connected, Unparked, and Tracked.  I let it run for a short while, then Parked and powered off.  I changed the Connection type back to UDP and started again and it worked.

Could it be an issue with UDP having a hiccup?  But there is communication happening - Bytes Received and Bytes Sent go up.  Would it really matter which protocol I use anyway?  There does not seem too be much difference.  I understand the difference in terms of overhead and which is more robust.  

I will run it for a few weeks and see if the issues comes up again.

Thanks
darrell


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: USB (or Serial) vs Ethernet: Which is better or more reliable?

Christopher Erickson
 

Any chain is only as good as it's weakest link.
 
The best and most solid connection would be RS-232 from the servo controller to a real serial port on a PC.
 
Second best would probably be Ethernet.
 
Third would be USB.
 
Fourth would be WiFi.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2018 8:47 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] USB (or Serial) vs Ethernet: Which is better or more reliable?

Hello,

Now that Ray Gralak has created a Beta version of A-P V2 ASCOM driver to include Ethernet connection, I am wondering whether it's more worthwhile to switch from USB2 to Ethernet?

Currently, I have a powered USB2 hub velcroed to CP4 and use 35 feet USB active extension cable between laptop and USB2 hub and the outputs of USB hub connect to the following:

1) CP4 (1 foot cable)
2) Optec Focus Boss II auto focuser hub (1 foot cable)
3) QSI 660wsg CCD camera (6 feet cable)
4) Ultrastar auto guider (6 foot cable)

This current setup has worked great and so far no issues or disconnection of any kind.

If I use Ethernet to control CP4 and Optec Focus Boss II auto focuser hub, I will have to velcro a 5 port Ethernet switch to USB hub and use another 35 feet Ethernet cable in between laptop and Ethernet switch. I have personally tested latest A-P V2 ASCOM driver with Ethernet and Ethernet switch and works very well.

My question is, do you trust Ethernet more than USB2 for controlling CP4 as well as Optec Focus Boss II auto focuser hub? I am not interested in high speed transmission because the bandwidth is very low. I have read that more people prefer or trust Ethernet than USB2? Does Ethernet have less overhead in protocol than USB2? Do you think Ethernet is more reliable than USB2? I know one advantage of Ethernet is very long cable can be used like at least a 100 feet but that will never happen to me.


Thanks,

Peter


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: APPM and Astrometry.Net

Stephane Charbonnel
 

Ray,

Indeed, I have tried "127.0.0.1:XXXX" in groupbox and I have keep the key : The test with an image has been good.
But I have also read with attention manual of Pinpoint ...

Thank you
Stephane


Re: PNT file

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Stephane,

1/ Do you confirm lines with '#' is not important for APPC in order to make model. Can I forget these lines when I make
my PNT files with my own planetarium software ?
Not all lines with a '#' are ignored. For instance, APCC looks for certain text fields when loading a PNT file. However, once you get to the data points you can ignore the lines with "#".

2/ I don't understand the hexadecimal code of 4 characters at the beginning at each lines : checksum ? but what
checksum ? Is it important for APCC or can I write any value for each line by point Number in order to conserve format
line ?
You can strip the 4-character code and space from every line and APCC will accept the file. Since the PNT files are plain text files it is easy to accidentally change the file in notepad and have it not work. This happened a few times so using the CRCs was an attempt to detect a changed file, rather than a bug in APPM/APCC.

-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@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:11 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] PNT file



Hi Ray,

Sorry to disturb you about this subject : PNT files
You purpose I write such a file with my own planetarium software. But I need two informations :
1/ Do you confirm lines with '#' is not important for APPC in order to make model. Can I forget these lines when I make
my PNT files with my own planetarium software ?
2/ I don't understand the hexadecimal code of 4 characters at the beginning at each lines : checksum ? but what
checksum ? Is it important for APCC or can I write any value for each line by point Number in order to conserve format
line ?

Thank you
Regards
Stephane



Re: New beta version AP V2 driver with connection via Ethernet/WiFi capability

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Peter,

I found one cosmetic issue and have one suggestion.
Thanks for the feedback!

1) See link for viewing the A-P V2 ASCOM driver window: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gixkwq6zcqoa0w6/A-
P_V2_ASCOM_5_20_02.jpg?dl=0

Notice at bottom left of the window, the word "PEC" overwrites "Cust DEC:"
Ok, I will fix that. Thanks for reporting it.

2) My A-P1100 has absolute encoder and I see "PEM:Encoder" which is correct but the Enable and Disable buttons
below are still active. Should these buttons be active when the encoders are active? When I press Enable or Disable
buttons, it shows "PEM:Enabled" or "PEM:Disabled" respectively but I believe there is no PEM or PEC for absolute
encoders.
Actually, you can disable the encoder and run PEM. That said, I'll confirm with Howard at A-P how he thinks the encoder equipped mounts should be handled. Thanks again for the feedback.

-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@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 1:58 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: New beta version AP V2 driver with connection via Ethernet/WiFi capability



Hi Ray,

I found one cosmetic issue and have one suggestion.

1) See link for viewing the A-P V2 ASCOM driver window: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gixkwq6zcqoa0w6/A-
P_V2_ASCOM_5_20_02.jpg?dl=0

Notice at bottom left of the window, the word "PEC" overwrites "Cust DEC:"


2) My A-P1100 has absolute encoder and I see "PEM:Encoder" which is correct but the Enable and Disable buttons
below are still active. Should these buttons be active when the encoders are active? When I press Enable or Disable
buttons, it shows "PEM:Enabled" or "PEM:Disabled" respectively but I believe there is no PEM or PEC for absolute
encoders.

Everything else appears to be working. Note, this was tested indoors and I have not yet use it under dark sky.

Thanks,
Peter

---In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, <groups3@...> wrote :


Hello all,

I would like to announce that we have a new version of the AP V2 ASCOM driver which supports Ethernet/WiFi
connections (with GTOCP4 only) and has a few other improvements and bug fixes. This is beta release so please only
try the driver if you believe you are experienced with ASCOM software and the AP V2 driver.

For now, there is no "discovery" in the driver, so the you need to type in the IP address of your CP4 in the driver setup
dialog. If you have NetBios enabled on your computer network port you may be able to enter the symbolic name that
you have setup in the CP4. Also, there is no choice between UDP or TCP, like APCC has. The driver only uses TCP
for communications to the GTOCP4.

Here is the link:

https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/AstroPhysics_V2_Setup_5.20.02.exe

Here are the list of fixes and changes:

V5.20.02 - 2018-Sep-06 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- Updated the driver's icon with a higher resolution version.

V5.20.01 - 2018-Sep-05 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- BUG FIX - When using an IP Address the "Check Mount" button did not use the current value in the IP Address text
field.

V5.20.00 - 2018-Sep-03 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- NEW FEATURE - Driver can now communicate via TCP to the mount.
- BUG FIX - MoveAxis declination rate was 1/15th what it should have been (was causing an issue in the ASCOMPad
application).
- BUG FIX - Site information was not always being correctly pulled from the database, so site latitude/longitude was
not always initialized correctly.
- ENHANCEMENT - Added new option to save and restore last virtual handbox position.
- ENHANCEMENT - Added new option to disable the virtual handbox from always being on top of other windows.
- ENHANCEMENT - Updated internal links to use HTTPS: instead of HTTP: where needed.
- GTOCP1 and GTOCP2 control boxes - Removed support for ASCOM DeclinationRate and RightAscensionRate.

Please report any issues you see here in this forum, or to me or Howard via private email.

-Ray Gralak


Re: APPM and Astrometry.Net

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Stephane,

Thank you Ray, I can see it in PinPoint.
So, for all-sky via astrometry.net with Pinpoint, I don't check all-sky anywhere in APPM and it is Pinpoint which uses
astrometry.net local. Isn't it ?
You must setup Astrometry.Net to run locally and note the TCP port number it uses. Then, in APPM's PinPoint setup tab, in the Remote Server Setup group box you can enter a local IP address and TCP port number like this example: "localhost:1234" in the "Domain" field (but you must replace the "1234" with the port number that Astrometry.Net is configured to use).

-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@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:04 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] APPM and Astrometry.Net



Thank you Ray, I can see it in PinPoint.
So, for all-sky via astrometry.net with Pinpoint, I don't check all-sky anywhere in APPM and it is Pinpoint which uses
astrometry.net local. Isn't it ?

Stephane



Re: Unpark Mach1

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Darrell,

There was a bug related to the driver not always pulling the proper site information from its local database, which could cause the symptom you saw. The issue, which was reported by Dale, could occur if the driver's site information table had become out of order by adding and deleting sites. About two weeks ago I posted a link to a version of the ASCOM driver that should fix this (I have marked which bug fix pertains below).

If you would like to give it a try here is the link again. It is a beta but there have been no reported issues so far:

https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/AstroPhysics_V2_Setup_5.20.02.exe

Here are the list of fixes and changes:

V5.20.02 - 2018-Sep-06 Beta - Ray Gralak
----------------------------------------------------------
- Updated the driver's icon with a higher resolution version.

V5.20.01 - 2018-Sep-05 Beta - Ray Gralak
----------------------------------------------------------
- BUG FIX - When using an IP Address the "Check Mount" button did not use the current value in the IP Address text field.

V5.20.00 - 2018-Sep-03 Beta - Ray Gralak
----------------------------------------------------------
- NEW FEATURE - Driver can now communicate via TCP to the mount.
- BUG FIX - MoveAxis declination rate was 1/15th what it should have been (was causing an issue in the ASCOMPad application).
***---> BUG FIX - Site information was not always being correctly pulled from the database, so site latitude/longitude was not always initialized correctly.
- ENHANCEMENT - Added new option to save and restore last virtual handbox position.
- ENHANCEMENT - Added new option to disable the virtual handbox from always being on top of other windows.
- ENHANCEMENT - Updated internal links to use HTTPS: instead of HTTP: where needed.
- GTOCP1 and GTOCP2 control boxes - Removed support for ASCOM DeclinationRate and RightAscensionRate.

Please report any issues you see here in this forum, or to me or Howard via private email.

-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@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 5:21 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Unpark Mach1



Hi. This issue has come up again. I have been using the mount regularly since the last post, with no issues. Nothing
has been changed , as far as I know. But tonight, I just cannot get the mount to Unpark.

The Stop Tracking After Unpark is not checked. Communication is happening between Mount and Laptop - the
Ethernet lights are blinking.

In APCC, in the Telescope Position group box, I notice there is no RED Dot indicating the position of the mount. Does
this suggest there may be an issue with APCC?

It is now 10:20pm. I have been trying to get the mount to Unpark since about 6:30pm. So it looks like I will not be
successful tonight. Can you give me a suggestion on where I might look to troubleshoot a solution?

I will post a screen shot - it might help.

Thanks
Darrell



PNT file

Stephane Charbonnel
 

Hi Ray,

Sorry to disturb you about this subject : PNT files
You purpose I write such a file with my own planetarium software. But I need two informations :
1/ Do you confirm lines with '#' is not important for APPC in order to make model. Can I forget these lines when I make my PNT files with my own planetarium software ?
2/ I don't understand the hexadecimal code of 4 characters at the beginning at each lines : checksum ? but what checksum ? Is it important for APCC or can I write any value for each line by point Number in order to conserve format line ?

Thank you
Regards
Stephane


Re: Astro-Physics now accepting 1100GTO orders again

sornborger@...
 

Nice update, thanks.  I pondered over the different mounts out there and found that for me, no other mount meets all of my requirements.  Mainly load capacity, performance, and portability.  No other mount even comes close.

I'll be replacing my G11G and amazingly, the 1100 only weighs an additional 8lbs, yet will carry 3 times the imaging load!  That's crazy.

For me, this will be my final mount.  It will carry anything that my meager pocket book can throw at it, so I'm not the least bit worried about buyers remorse.

The only negative of the AP1100 is waiting for it.

-Rich


Re: Unpark Mach1

Darrell Betts
 

Well, I have the mount working now.  To make sure it was not the Laptop, I installed APCC and ACSOM V2 onto my old(er) laptop.  Same issue - could not connect and Unpark.

So I changed the Connection type from UDP to TCP, and it connected, Unparked, and Tracked.  I let it run for a short while, then Parked and powered off.  I changed the Connection type back to UDP and started again and it worked.

Could it be an issue with UDP having a hiccup?  But there is communication happening - Bytes Received and Bytes Sent go up.  Would it really matter which protocol I use anyway?  There does not seem too be much difference.  I understand the difference in terms of overhead and which is more robust.  

I will run it for a few weeks and see if the issues comes up again.

Thanks
darrell

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