Date   

Re: ASCOM guiding

Yves Laroche
 

Of course Mike but don't connect Maxim to the telescope when using ACP .  Bob Denny already mentionned this several years ago.

Yves

Le 29 juin 2019 17 h 53, "Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> a écrit :
 

On 6/29/2019 5:48 PM, Yves Laroche yves.laroche@... [ap-gto] wrote:
> You can also connect TheSkyX directly to the AP ASCOM Driver. This
> driver works the same as a hub.

Great news, thanks! I assume ACP will also connect to the mount if SkyX
and MaxIm are connected to it with this driver. Yes?

--- Mike



Re: ASCOM guiding

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/29/2019 5:48 PM, Yves Laroche yves.laroche@... [ap-gto] wrote:
You can also connect TheSkyX directly to the AP ASCOM Driver. This
driver works the same as a hub.
Great news, thanks! I assume ACP will also connect to the mount if SkyX and MaxIm are connected to it with this driver. Yes?

--- Mike


Re: ASCOM guiding

Yves Laroche
 

Mike,

You can also connect TheSkyX directly to the AP ASCOM Driver.  This driver works the same as a hub.

Yves


Le 29 juin 2019 17 h 38, "Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> a écrit :
 

On 6/29/2019 3:08 PM, Ross Salinger rgsalinger@... [ap-gto] wrote:
> Note also that there is an ACP telescope hub that you can connect the
> SKYX to. [...] That makes the SKYX a great Planetarium program while
> allowing you to have ACP controlling things as well. At least this
> works for me.

Absolutely. I had that configuration with Sky6 before 2010 when we moved
to a new house. I plan to do the same thing with SkyX soon in the new
observatory.

I only recently got everything playing happily together, so next I'll
add SkyX connecting via the ACP telescope hub. It's really nice to SEE
where ACP is imaging. :-)

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com



Re: ASCOM guiding

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/29/2019 3:08 PM, Ross Salinger rgsalinger@... [ap-gto] wrote:
Note also that there is an ACP telescope hub that you can connect the
SKYX to. [...] That makes the SKYX a great Planetarium program while
allowing you to have ACP controlling things as well. At least this
works for me.
Absolutely. I had that configuration with Sky6 before 2010 when we moved
to a new house. I plan to do the same thing with SkyX soon in the new observatory.

I only recently got everything playing happily together, so next I'll add SkyX connecting via the ACP telescope hub. It's really nice to SEE where ACP is imaging. :-)

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Re: ASCOM guiding

Mike Shade
 

Thanks for the info...I am using Sky 6, NOT SkyX...same apply?



Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com



In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west. Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east? Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights



International Dark Sky Association: <http://www.darksky.org/> www.darksky.org



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2019 12:08 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: ASCOM guiding





The AP driver is the only choice that will work. That SKYX driver is used when you are connecting something in addition to the SKYX to a Paramount.

When using ACP, the correct Guiding Via choice is Ascom Direct. When not using ACP the correct choice, when not using an ST4 cable is Telescope.

Note also that there is an ACP telescope hub that you can connect the SKYX to. I use it along with ACP on an AP1600 that I just got access to about a week ago.

That makes the SKYX a great Planetarium program while allowing you to have ACP controlling things as well. At least this works for me.

Rgrds-Ross

On 6/29/2019 11:40 AM, Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto] wrote:



On 6/29/2019 1:53 PM, Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto] wrote:
4. Choose the appropriate ASCOM driver for your mount.
I noticed after I posted my reply that you're using ACP, as do I. I did
NOT select the "ACP ASCOM telescope hub" or whatever it's called. I DID
choose "Astro Physics ASCOM driver" or something similar. I am told that
MaxIm connects to the mount, so if you want to do that without ACP
running, you can't use the ACP ASCOM hub.

Once I made my selection, MaxIm found the mount and calibrated/guided
correctly without ACP running.

And.... Even though I have TheSkyX and have connected my AP1200 mount to
it, I did NOT choose the SkyX ASCOM driver, if that even appeared in the
list. The A-P driver looked like the best choice for Maxim to connect
without other programs running, and that proved correct.

--- Mike





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


Re: ASCOM guiding

Ross Salinger <rgsalinger@...>
 

The AP driver is the only choice that will work. That SKYX driver is used when you are connecting something in addition to the SKYX to a Paramount.

When using ACP, the correct Guiding Via choice is Ascom Direct. When not using ACP the correct choice, when not using an ST4 cable is Telescope.

Note also that there is an ACP telescope hub that you can connect the SKYX to. I use it along with ACP on an AP1600 that I just got access to about a week ago.

That makes the SKYX a great Planetarium program while allowing you to have ACP controlling things as well. At least this works for me.

Rgrds-Ross

On 6/29/2019 11:40 AM, Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto] wrote:
 

On 6/29/2019 1:53 PM, Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto] wrote:
> 4. Choose the appropriate ASCOM driver for your mount.

I noticed after I posted my reply that you're using ACP, as do I. I did
NOT select the "ACP ASCOM telescope hub" or whatever it's called. I DID
choose "Astro Physics ASCOM driver" or something similar. I am told that
MaxIm connects to the mount, so if you want to do that without ACP
running, you can't use the ACP ASCOM hub.

Once I made my selection, MaxIm found the mount and calibrated/guided
correctly without ACP running.

And.... Even though I have TheSkyX and have connected my AP1200 mount to
it, I did NOT choose the SkyX ASCOM driver, if that even appeared in the
list. The A-P driver looked like the best choice for Maxim to connect
without other programs running, and that proved correct.

--- Mike


Re: ASCOM guiding

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/29/2019 1:53 PM, Mike Dodd mike@... [ap-gto] wrote:
4. Choose the appropriate ASCOM driver for your mount.
I noticed after I posted my reply that you're using ACP, as do I. I did NOT select the "ACP ASCOM telescope hub" or whatever it's called. I DID choose "Astro Physics ASCOM driver" or something similar. I am told that MaxIm connects to the mount, so if you want to do that without ACP running, you can't use the ACP ASCOM hub.

Once I made my selection, MaxIm found the mount and calibrated/guided correctly without ACP running.

And.... Even though I have TheSkyX and have connected my AP1200 mount to it, I did NOT choose the SkyX ASCOM driver, if that even appeared in the list. The A-P driver looked like the best choice for Maxim to connect without other programs running, and that proved correct.

--- Mike


Re: ASCOM guiding

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/29/2019 1:34 PM, 'Mike Shade' mshade@q.com [ap-gto] wrote:


There was a thread recently about setting different guiding than a
guider cable...If anyone can comment that would be appreciated:

AP1600GTO/AP V2 driver/MaximDL ccd V51.8/SKY V6/SBIG STL 6303E/ACP/CDK 17

There are several setting in Maxim to choose from...guider relays, main
relays, telescope, micro-guide, and ASCOM direct. I have been using a
traditional guider cable for years but there was a bit here about ASCOM
guiding. I fiddled around with this some time ago but never had
successful results, likely had the wrong settings
I just did that, so I'll throw out what I learned.

1. Disconnect the ST-4 cable from your guide camera to the mount.

2. In MaxIm's Guide tab -> Settings -> Control Via, choose ASCOM Direct.

3. Below that, next to the grayed-out COM port, click the Setup button to bring up the ASCOM chooser.

4. Choose the appropriate ASCOM driver for your mount.

5. Click the Properties button to check/verify the driver's settings, then close that Dialog.

6. Click the OK button on the Chooser dialog.

7. Slew to a bright star and take a guider image to confirm it's in the FOV.

8. Enter the star's Dec in the MaxIm Guide tab.

9. Click the star's centroid and click Calibrate in MaxIm. You should get the expected L-curve.

10. Take another guider image, click the star's centroid, then click Track in MaxIm. Open the guide error graph to see how well autoguiding is working.

That's it. It worked great for me.

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


ASCOM guiding

Mike Shade
 

There was a thread recently about setting different guiding than a guider cable...If anyone can comment that would be appreciated:

 

AP1600GTO/AP V2 driver/MaximDL ccd V51.8/SKY V6/SBIG STL 6303E/ACP/CDK 17 

 

There are several setting in Maxim to choose from...guider relays, main relays, telescope, micro-guide, and ASCOM direct.  I have been using a traditional guider cable for years but there was a bit here about ASCOM guiding.  I fiddled around with this some time ago but never had successful results, likely had the wrong settings

 

Roland also offered thoughts on min-max move..

 

Thanks...

 

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 


Re: re greasing worm wheel on 1100GTO original gearbox.

Allen Gilchrist
 

I balance my AP1200 as exactly as I can, and then hang a small weight on either the counter weight bar or the back of the scope, whichever is on the east side.  That seems to work fairly well.  My mount is more than a decade old, and has not been lubricated since it left the factory.  Perhaps it's time.  I'll call next week.

Allen


Re: AP1200 autoguiding question

jimmyjujames
 

East-Heavy should track better than West-Heavy.

With East-Heavy the worm is pushing the worm wheel resulting in the best tracking

With West-Heavy the worm relies on gravity to push the worm wheel into worm.
Tracking may not be as good due to stick (worm moving away from worm-wheel) and
 slip (worm-wheel moving back into contact with the worm).

Jimmy
As always I may be wrong again.
Our Earth would become a black hole if compressed down to 1 cubic inch.


Re: AP1200 autoguiding question

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/28/2019 10:13 PM, westergren@... [ap-gto] wrote:


Hi Mike,

Your mount should guide equally east and west. You mention balancing
heavy on the east side when guiding in the east, but do you change that
when looking west?
_I_ don't change anything. Balancing heavy-east with the CW on the east side means the balance will be heavy-west when the CW is on the west side.

But I'll take Howard's advice and balance neutral, so it's the same on both sides.

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Re: AP1200 autoguiding question

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/28/2019 10:41 PM, howard@... [ap-gto] wrote:


Don is correct. The advice to make the CWs east-heavy dates back to
the time where we all were right there with our mounts through the
night. [...] With today's automated systems, it is probably the best
bet to truly be in balance.
Much appreciated, Howard. I will re balance, and I'll also move the CWs up the shaft, as A-P recommends for lowest inertial moment arm.

NOTE: With the
Auto-Adjusting Gear Box, you MUST NOT bias your balance. The more
perfect your balance, the better the performance.
How do I know if my AP1200, serial number 1200589, has such a gear box?

Thanks again, Howard.

--- Mike


Re: AP1200 autoguiding question

Howard Hedlund
 

Don is correct.  The advice to make the CWs east-heavy dates back to the time where we all were right there with our mounts through the night.  Enough imbalance to benefit one side of the mount is probably enough to be a detriment to the other.  In the old days, we were there and simply adjusted the bottom CW when the flip happened.  With today's automated systems, it is probably the best bet to truly be in balance.  The exception might be for those with light domes or other obstructions on one side that keep them permanently on the other side of the mount.
NOTE:  With the Auto-Adjusting Gear Box, you MUST NOT bias your balance.  The more perfect your balance, the better the performance.


Re: AP1200 autoguiding question

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Mike,
Try making the mount a little west-heavy rather than east-heavy with regard to the counterweights, and see if the good-side / bad-side switches from E - W to W - E.

If you lubricate the mount, you will indeed be re-meshing the gears.  It isn't something to be afraid of.

There are many things that can affect the performance on one side vs the other.
  • Dragging cables 
  • balance
  • lubrication
  • gear mesh
  • tiny variations over the worm wheel.
  • gremlins

Contact either George or me here at AP for grease kit information.  We'll also be happy to answer questions you may have from the documents.


Re: AP1200 autoguiding question

Don W
 

Hi Mike,

Your mount should guide equally east and west.  You mention balancing heavy on the east side when guiding in the east, but do you change that when looking west?  With the meridian flip, if the balance is heavy west, then that could easily be your whole problem.
Don


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

My AP1200 exhibits better autoguiding while pointing east of the
meridian than it does while pointing west. I autoguide with MaxIm and a
separate 60mm f/5 scope and ST-402 camera mounted on a dovetail next to
the OTA.

Last night I converted from ST-4 "relay" guiding to ASCOM Direct "pulse"
guiding. (Thanks to those here who suggested pulse guiding; it works fine.)

I typically see a guide error of about 0.5 arcsec RMS on both axes while
pointing east, but it's much more erratic while pointing west, and the
error is about 2 arcsec RMS.

I carefully balanced the mount on three axes (RA with CW horizontal, Dec
with OTA horizontal, and OTA+guider dovetail with OTA pointing straight
up). I believe my setup is fairly well-balanced.

Following common wisdom and A-P's instructions, I balanced the RA for a
slight east-heavy bias with the CW on the east side of the mount. Of
course, this produces a west-heavy bias after a meridian flip.

QUESTION: Should the AP1200 guide equally well on both sides of the
meridian with a a slight east-heavy RA balance while pointing east?

QUESTION: If so, what might be the cause of the worse west-side guiding?

QUESTION: Could lubricating the worm and worm wheel (with the A-P grease
kit) help or solve this problem?

QUESTION: Should I consider adjusting the worm mesh? (Shudder!)

Thanks for all information and advice.

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


AP1200 autoguiding question

Mike Dodd
 

My AP1200 exhibits better autoguiding while pointing east of the meridian than it does while pointing west. I autoguide with MaxIm and a separate 60mm f/5 scope and ST-402 camera mounted on a dovetail next to the OTA.

Last night I converted from ST-4 "relay" guiding to ASCOM Direct "pulse" guiding. (Thanks to those here who suggested pulse guiding; it works fine.)

I typically see a guide error of about 0.5 arcsec RMS on both axes while pointing east, but it's much more erratic while pointing west, and the error is about 2 arcsec RMS.

I carefully balanced the mount on three axes (RA with CW horizontal, Dec with OTA horizontal, and OTA+guider dovetail with OTA pointing straight up). I believe my setup is fairly well-balanced.

Following common wisdom and A-P's instructions, I balanced the RA for a slight east-heavy bias with the CW on the east side of the mount. Of course, this produces a west-heavy bias after a meridian flip.

QUESTION: Should the AP1200 guide equally well on both sides of the meridian with a a slight east-heavy RA balance while pointing east?

QUESTION: If so, what might be the cause of the worse west-side guiding?

QUESTION: Could lubricating the worm and worm wheel (with the A-P grease kit) help or solve this problem?

QUESTION: Should I consider adjusting the worm mesh? (Shudder!)

Thanks for all information and advice.

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Re: AP1100's is pointing off a little bit from time to time.

popkrab
 

Thank you very much Craig,

I never thought the way you told to check. I will test as you suggested. I will wait the sky until it become clear. Now here in Thailand is in rainy season.

Pornchai POP


Re: AP1100's is pointing off a little bit from time to time.

Craig Young
 

We still do not know if TPoint is the problem.  Here is a first test to find out:

1. Power on the Mount and run APCC, which will also start the V2 driver.

2. Unpark the mount and enable sidereal tracking.

3. Start SkyX, connect to camera, DO NOT connect to the mount.  We will not use SkyX to talk to the mount and let APCC only control the mount.

4. Using APCC slew to HA: -3 and DEC 0.  This is done using the GoTo/Recal tab.  Check the "Use Hour Angle" box to the right of the RA coordinates entry field. Click the GoTo button and telescope should slew to coordinates.

Using HA instead of RA insures the telescope moves to the same point in the sky each time this test is run.  The absolute encoders should always put you at the same point.  APCC will calculate the RA using the Hour Angle.  So each time this this is done you will move to a different RA but the position in the sky is the same.  We are doing this to check the accuracy of the encoders and mechanical flexure.

5. Using SkyX take an image with the camera. With the image now displayed in SkyX (Image Viewer) click on the File information tab and write down on a piece of paper the RA and DEC of the image (OBJCTRA, OBJCTDEC) values in the FITS header.  When the image was recorded the camera software recorded the current position of the scope which was retrieved from the V2 driver.

6. ImageLink the image.  From the Astrometric Solution results write down the Center RA and Center DEC coordinates.

The ImageLink coordinates are the actual coordinates the scope is pointed at.

7. Subtract the coordinates from step 5 from the coordinates in step 6 for both RA and DEC.  This is the pointing error.

The pointing error will depend on many factors but for now we don't care what this is, just that it should repeat each time this test is repeated.

8. Park the mount using APCC then close APCC and power off the mount.  Leave SkyX running.

9. After some period of time, say 10 minutes, repeat this process.  In other words, power on the mount, run APCC, slew to HA -3, DEC 0 use SkyX to take an image and plate solve.  Record both the Image coordinates from the FITS header (step 5) and from the plate solve (step 6).

10. Do this process several times, ten would be a good number.

11. Now compare the pointing error from each of the tests.  If the error is randomly moving around a mean value and has a small standard deviation then the mount (encoders) and APCC are working okay.  Post the results so we can all see what happened.

Ray or Howard, feel free to comment on the procedure above if you think changes are needed.

Craig


Re: AP1100's is pointing off a little bit from time to time.

popkrab
 

Thank you very much to all every body. I am very glad to hear your suggesttion. I would like to give you more info about my setup or setting based on your asking.

I apologize if this my post is long but I would like to give you as much as info. So, it may help to solve this issue.

More info about other mounts near by. There are other 3 mounts in the observatory. 1.)AP Mach1 with FSQ106N, 2.)Paramount MX Plus with FSQ106ED 3.)Paramount MyT with TSA120. All three mount pointing are accurate. 

Talking about AP Mach1 (first run). I did this scope almost exactly the same work flow as I did on AP1100AE. But on Mach1, it is very accurate pointing. dead on every area on the sky and on every night when I turn on its computer and imaging with it. Very impressive results.

Pier and floor : I use ATS 8" pier which is very steady on very steady concrete observatory. 

Scope : My scope is AP130 with AP's tuberings plus top and buttom of AP losmandy style plate. 

Camera : My camera is Moravian G2-8300 Mark-II with 7 position CFW, guided with LoadStar X2 using its OAG from Moravian. All connection between camera and AP's flattener is adapter with M48 screw. It is very rigid connected.

Absolute Encoder : I try both turn on or turn off of AE. There were the same symtom.

CP4 box : I bought a brand new CP4 from AP and I upgrade to the latest firmware to date.

Pointing model: I use Tpoint 260+ point using TheSkyX and disabled model on APCC Pro. I don't use any model on APCC Pro.

APCC Pro version: 1.7.0.11

APCC pointing model: at Pointing model Tab in APCC, I unchecked all. There was no any from this.

Time on computer: I use Windows 10 Pro on DELL computer and checked box at "Synchronize with an Internet time server". The time server is default from windows 10, time.nist.gov. I have checked internet time via Chrome web browser, it show exactly the same as in the windows system time in seconds.

Internet connection: At observatory, there is permanent internet connection by fibre optic. But the compyer that I use to control mount sand scope always turn off if not using it. When I use, I will remote to turn on and the compyer will automatically start and ready to use.

Step software I start in my computer:
1. start windows 10 pro
2. start Ultimate Pegasus Box (power box for controlling heater, flipflat, ccd camera, ccd guide, motor focus)
3. start APCC Pro with auto initialize with default value. I read latitude and longitude value from my mobile phone and put it as a location in APCC Pro permanently. The mount will automatically unpark from last park (park #3)
4. Start TheSkyX
- Connect camera and guider, motor focus
- connect Mount.
- open Flipflat
- turn on dew heater

** every time before I image. I will slew the scope to a star to check pointing first. It always pointing off center.

Step to end imaging session.
1. Park mount to park #3
2. set camera temp to 25 degree celceus.
3. turn off heater, close flipflat.
4. disconnect guide camera, main ccd camera
5. disconnect mount
6. disconnect Mount and Ascom V2 Driver in APCC Pro
7. Close APCC Pro
8. Shut down my PC
9. turn off power switch of my PC.

Gear Meshing and re-gressing: I did big clean of mount in RA, DEC work gear, wheel and spur gear beased on AP document. and put a new grease with no.105 grease which is recommended by Software Bisque. And then I adjust the gear (gear meshing). I did this with AP1100AE, AP1100 of my friend, AP Mach1, AP900, AP1200. All are no problem with pointing. 

The wrong pointing error was before I did regrease or did gear messing. I think it will help, but After I did it on my AP1100AE, it still has the same problem.

Thank you very much
Pornchai POP