Date   

First Clear Night with Mach2

Wayne Hixson
 

Halleluiah - The skies opened up enough to run the Mach2, albeit with a very bright Moon in the middle of the sky area I can see! It was one of 4 new pieces of gear I was hoping to actually try after the long cloudy period - the QHY Polemaster, Optec Saggita OAG, QHY 268C OSC camera, and the Mach2. I'll focus (pun intended) on the Mach2. Note this is based on a very limited experience, but the mount has lived up to my expectations and even surprised me with some features

Summary:
 - I got through all the testing I'd planned by 12:30 - a first!
 - The encoders' capability to keep track of the scopes position is a godsend.
 - The ability to loosen and tighten clutches and altitude by hand only is a pleasant unanticipated surprise
 - Motors are quiet and fast, even at 12v
 - Guiding seems improved

I run the system remotely (100 ft from the dining room to the deck) with a Primaluce Eagle 3S mounted atop a 130GTX. I'm using USB through-the-mount to connect to the GTOCP5. Did a rough alignment with the Polemaster - nice to have that built-in attach point. The altitude adjuster is easier to use than on my AP1100, being only two larger knobs instead of 4 smaller ones to loosen and lock the axis. No wrenches required.

I did a GOTO the Moon, but I saw from the APCC model that t was going the wrong way. I ran to the deck and found the mount stopped because the camera USB cable had impacted the top of the railing. Darn camera is really long! One pleasant finding was the USB cable on the camera was not bent or damages when it impacted  as I had set the clutches by hand only and the controller may have sensed the impact and stopped. And since the mount retains its location, I loosened the clutch and repositioned the mount and didn't have to do any manual re-park, unpark and re-sync operation.

I did some troubleshooting and found the Actual Mount Location showed 0 latitude and 0 longitude. I checked my site info and it was ok, but couldn't sync it to the mount. Probably missed something easy. Restarted CP5 and PC and all was OK again. Even after all that, a GOTO the Moon put the moon in the camera FoV. Note: I had a similar issue with the CP4 and the AP1100 in that sometimes it would show an altitude of zero when the mount was in Park 3. This always seemed to be on initial start up and was rare.

The rest of the evening was spent first in camera testing (plate solves, V- curves, focusing and live image stacking). The mount responded to all demands. My software (Voyager) does precise GOTOs for targets and focus stars. Never once did it require more than one extra plate solve to pinpoint the location and mostly it was close enough the first time. 

Finally connected to PHD2 and used default settings. I know Roland had some suggested settings but I didn't have them handy so just rolled with it. I use an Ultrastar guide camera. Did a calibration in several different locations and always got RMS of under one arcsecond. 

Finally ran Sharpcap and did some live stacking of M53. Ran about 30 minutes with guiding and even though the sky was really washed out by moonlight every frame stacked

Parked and shut everything down. Very pleased with this first admittedly limited experience. Hope to try more tonight!

Wayne


Re: PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Wayne Hixson
 

Found it – thanks! Hopefully will try again tonight

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 1:20 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

 

> I couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

 

You can find the setting here:

https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/help/additional_configuration_setti.htm

 

Because of PHD2 possibly *causing* a deadlock I do recommend making sure to uncheck "Synchronous PulseGuide calls".

 

-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: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io

> Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 12:05 PM

> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io

> Subject: [ap-gto] PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

>

> Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default

> settings, but  ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I

> couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

>

> Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide

> commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.

>

>

> We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues

> specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

>

> wayne

>

>

 

 

 

 


Re: Lunar Tracking Rate #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Mike Miller
 

A little more digging, and I think maybe my problem is that I had APCC and the ASCOM driver up at the same time. I only set it in ASCOM and not in APCC. Will the two programs fight over Tracking Rates? 


Re: PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Ray Gralak
 

I couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!
You can find the setting here:
https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/help/additional_configuration_setti.htm

Because of PHD2 possibly *causing* a deadlock I do recommend making sure to uncheck "Synchronous PulseGuide calls".

-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: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 12:05 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default
settings, but ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I
couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide
commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.


We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues
specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

wayne


Re: PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Ray Gralak
 

Wayne,

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default
settings, but ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I
couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!
Don't believe that!

One of the PHD2 devs tried to provide an example but it turned out to be a faulty test. If PHD2 or any other application is using multithreaded operations the process has to be carefully coded to send the commands on the same thread. .Net framework applications automatically do that under the hood, but non-.Net applications, like PHD2 and CDC, do not. Those applications need special synchronization logic to prevent possible deadlocks. Unless they made that change PHD2 can cause a deadlock in the driver. They don't seem to accept that explanation but neither they can they seem to create a deadlock when using Net ASCOM client applications.

-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: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 12:05 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default
settings, but ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I
couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide
commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.


We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues
specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

wayne


Re: Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mikko,

I have never calibrated the mount to any start or object but always used the SG Pro
and it's platesolve (with which I have had issues lately and which made me look closer to what's going on with the
If in SGPro you plate solved and synched, that is in fact recalibrating (RCAL).

-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: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mikko Viljamaa
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 8:54 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Ray,

The clutches are tight as I have manually rotated the axes to re-park it correctly. No changes there from the day 1
when I received the mount. I have never calibrated the mount to any start or object but always used the SG Pro
and it's platesolve (with which I have had issues lately and which made me look closer to what's going on with the
mount itself). So to clarify (sorry if I'm repeating myself), today when I get home, I'll adjust manually - clutches
engaged and power off - the mount so it's parked to position 3. Then turn the power on and slew the mount using
the AP V2 and then park it again and see if it returns correctly to home position. If It doesn't I'll uninstall the AP V2
and reinstall it, making sure that the time / date are correct. If you can think of something else I can try, please let
me know.


- Mikko


Re: PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Charles Thompson
 

Didn't Roland post his PhD2 settings last year after he got it working with the Mach2?  I've been looking and can't find it.



Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: "Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io" <wayneh9026@...>
Date: 3/9/20 2:12 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Ok will do - thanks!


On Mar 9, 2020, at 12:07 PM, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:


Hi Wayne

I think you may be better off posting this to the PHD group. https://openphdguiding.org/getting-help/

On Mon, Mar 9, 2020 at 12:05 PM Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io <wayneh9026=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default settings, but  ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.


We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

wayne 



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Wayne Hixson
 

Ok will do - thanks!


On Mar 9, 2020, at 12:07 PM, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:


Hi Wayne

I think you may be better off posting this to the PHD group. https://openphdguiding.org/getting-help/

On Mon, Mar 9, 2020 at 12:05 PM Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io <wayneh9026=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default settings, but  ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.


We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

wayne 



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

 

Hi Wayne

I think you may be better off posting this to the PHD group. https://openphdguiding.org/getting-help/

On Mon, Mar 9, 2020 at 12:05 PM Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io <wayneh9026=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default settings, but  ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.


We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

wayne 



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


PHD2 versus ASCOM driver

Wayne Hixson
 

Had a really good night with the Mach2 under clear but moonlit skies. PHD2 ran reasonable well with default settings, but  ran into a couple issues. First, it warned me I should disable Synchronous Pulseguide in the driver, I couldn’t find that setting and not sure I want to disable even if I could!

Second I had several times where I got a warning message that mount wasn’t responding to pulseguide commands and I had to disconnect/reconnect to resume.


We have another clear night expected tonight before the rains return. Any suggestions on these issues specifically or settings for PHD2 more generally?

wayne 


Lunar Tracking Rate #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Mike Miller
 

I was trying to do some EAA on the moon over the weekend with my Mach1, and I found that anytime I clicked the Lunar Tracking button in the ASCOM driver, it would reset back to Sidereal after a few seconds. 

Custom rate did work correctly.

My procedure this night:
1. Polar align via Sharpcap
2. Use SGP to solve and sync
3. GoTo RA/Dec of moon in APCC
4. APJog to nudge moon into center of frame
5. Press Lunar Tracking button in ASCOM driver

After a couple of seconds, the ASCOM driver would set back to Sidereal with no errors reported.


Message Recall Failure: Recall: [ap-gto] APCC Pro MGBOX GPS connection #APCC

jaddbd
 


Re: Mach2 Actual Location error - help!

Wayne Hixson
 

No more problems last night, but I’m wondering how to correct an erroneous actual mount location like this? I thought by choosing a site that would fix it. 


Another data point / this is not new entirely to me - this was similar to a previous situation with the GTOCP4 and AP1100 in which the altitude in Park 3 showed 0 in APCC, instead of 47 degrees like it should. I don’t remember if the location showed an error in that case. 


Wayne


Re: Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Mikko Viljamaa
 

Ray,

The clutches are tight as I have manually rotated the axes to re-park it correctly. No changes there from the day 1 when I received the mount. I have never calibrated the mount to any start or object but always used the SG Pro and it's platesolve (with which I have had issues lately and which made me look closer to what's going on with the mount itself). So to clarify (sorry if I'm repeating myself), today when I get home, I'll adjust manually - clutches engaged and power off - the mount so it's parked to position 3. Then turn the power on and slew the mount using the AP V2 and then park it again and see if it returns correctly to home position. If It doesn't I'll uninstall the AP V2 and reinstall it, making sure that the time / date are correct. If you can think of something else I can try, please let me know.


- Mikko


Re: Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Ray Gralak
 

Thanks Ray, this started before Saturday and I don't have a keypad. Just to confirm; what's the correct process to
manually move the axes to correct park positions?
Okay, a couple other possibilities are:

1) The clutches slipped. Check the clutches to be sure they are tight.
2) The mount was recalibrated on a wrong star/object.

One way to recover is to park to Park 3 and manually adjust the mount position to the correct Park 3 position. Later, plate solve + RCAL somewhere near the zenith.

-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: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mikko Viljamaa
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 6:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Thanks Ray, this started before Saturday and I don't have a keypad. Just to confirm; what's the correct process to
manually move the axes to correct park positions?


- Mikko


Re: Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Mikko Viljamaa
 

Thanks Ray, this started before Saturday and I don't have a keypad. Just to confirm; what's the correct process to manually move the axes to correct park positions?


- Mikko


Re: Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mikko,

I have recently started to have an issue where the mount misses it's normal park-3 position and "over slews" it in
both directions. Sometimes as much as an inch (mostly Ra) from the white line.
The time changed this weekend in some areas. If you are mixing keypad and computer use, make sure both match time and time zone offset. If the time zone is different it will cause the mount to be "off" by 1 hour in RA.

-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: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mikko Viljamaa
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 6:18 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Top of the Morning to all,

I have recently started to have an issue where the mount misses it's normal park-3 position and "over slews" it in
both directions. Sometimes as much as an inch (mostly Ra) from the white line. I've tried everything, move it back
to correct position with clutches loose, manually without loosing the clutches, with power on and off. Yesterday I
was able to make it return correctly once but after the night's session this morning it had parked itself again about
an inch off. The coordinates (90/360) and the time at AP V2 seem to be correct, the program I use is SG Pro
although I doubt it makes any difference here. The driver is the latest from AP's site.

Any ideas what to try next and as it's been a while when something like this has happened to me, what's the
correct procedure to fix this?


Thanks,

Mikko


Mach1 Unable to Find Home Position Suddenly

Mikko Viljamaa
 

Top of the Morning to all,

I have recently started to have an issue where the mount misses it's normal park-3 position and "over slews" it in both directions. Sometimes as much as an inch (mostly Ra) from the white line. I've tried everything, move it back to correct position with clutches loose, manually without loosing the clutches, with power on and off. Yesterday I was able to make it return correctly once but after the night's session this morning it had parked itself again about an inch off. The coordinates (90/360) and the time at AP V2 seem to be correct, the program I use is SG Pro although I doubt it makes any difference here. The driver is the latest from AP's site.

Any ideas what to try next and as it's been a while when something like this has happened to me, what's the correct procedure to fix this?


Thanks,

Mikko


Message Recall Failure: Recall: [ap-gto] APCC Pro MGBOX GPS connection #APCC

Rick Darden
 


Re: Keypad Upgrade for Using Mach2

Dominique Durand
 

Hi, Majr, Rolando,
Thank you for this information. So I'm not going to hope for the long-awaited package this week.
Far from my observatory with my 1st Mach1 (2011) I work with the Keypad and Skysafari by SkyFI3.
In my observatory when I still had my 2nd Mach1 (2018) (sold since November) I sometimes used only the keypad (with skysafari) for visual sessions, but also often APCC standard and driver in particular for photo sessions . I have already upgraded my keypap to pass them in version 4.19.3, that does not concern me to redo it with a new keypad and I have already installed the latest Driver (5.30.08) and the latest version of APCC -Standard while waiting to benefit from the APCC-Pro version.
So depending on the situation I could either receive the Mach2 alone, or with a new keypad (Name buttons) with the sotfware 4.19.3, or all together.
If it is a few days or a week I prefer to wait until it is Mach2 + Keypad with new software.
If there are several weeks of waiting between Mach2 and Keypad, then I think the Mach2 alone will be suitable for me and the Keypad after. I am no longer a young child and the passing nights will be difficult to catch up with.
In the meantime I translate the manuals into French .... After APCC and that of Mach1, I almost finished that of Driver version 5.30.07 ...
I wish I could start the Mach2 story to make me wait.

Regards

Dominique

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