Date   

Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Donald Rudny
 

Hi Ray,

I think any imaging program would work. From my understanding the images just need to be saved in a folder that is watched by Atrack. It coordinates Pinpoint to plate solve the images and then adjusts the tracking rate accordingly. I haven’t used it yet, but have been reviewing the user guide. I assume that any image file format could be used similar to astrometry.net. I use Starlight Live, and it can save each exposure to a selected folder as a fits file. I think that will work. Unfortunately it doesn’t solve my Mac issue. Starlight Live does have a native Windows version, too, but I prefer Mac.

I have the APCC standard version. I do have a Windows 10 machine strictly used for Astro stuff. I use it to initialize my mount and park it for my home observatory. After initializing, I connect to my iPad and use SkySafari the rest of the night. My home observatory uses a P3 park position, so that’s why I use APCC. I understand SkySafari was suppose to add other park positions, but I don’t think that happened yet. They only use P4 which works well in the field. There I don’t even bring my PC with Windows.

I’ve been a Mac guy since 1984. I cringe every time I even hear the word Windows. I see all the issues everyone has with it. The idea of having APCC on a Mac or iPad sounds appealing. I just hope I don’t have to pay for it again. I was a little surprise to have to shell out what I did for APCC after spending over eight large on the mount. One would think that software to run it would have been included. I love the mount, but sorry to say, was disappointed in the control software.

Don

Don Rudny

On May 30, 2020, at 7:57 AM, Ray Gralak <groups3@gralak.com> wrote:

Hi Donald,

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other. I’m just trying to understand what is
available and what options users may have. Cost is important as well. I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint
runs about $150. They have a 60 day trial period. Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this,
too.
Wouldn't you also need an imaging program, like MaximDL Pro or SkyXPro?

I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price. No
catalogue of objects. No Mac version. Not very intuitive. About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the
mount at my home observatory. Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.
I take it you have APCC Standard? If you are not using Windows you are missing out then on some safety and convenience features, like auto-park, and meridian and horizon limits.

So, what if there was an iPad version of APCC with a full planetarium view? One of the plans for the next full version of APCC is to make it cross platform. I've already started designing it and IOS is one of the possible target platforms.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Donald Rudny
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 10:04 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

If you’re interested, here’s my mobile setup.




Don Rudny



On May 30, 2020, at 6:59 AM, Donald Rudny via groups.io <mkea13800=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:




Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.

http://pinpoint.dc3.com/

There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other. I’m just trying to understand what is
available and what options users may have. Cost is important as well. I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint
runs about $150. They have a 60 day trial period. Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this,
too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge
at f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar. Sometimes I will do f/10. It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in
the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck. It takes about 20 minutes.
It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor. I run the cables
through the rear window. When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors
with the equipment there. It was a big hit. I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the
visitors iPhones. Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them. That’s when I first experienced
your excellent mounts and keypad. They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA. I didn’t purchase a keypad
with my AP1100 because of the expense. I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari. I have Luminos too.
Both work very well and are very inexpensive. I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price. No
catalogue of objects. No Mac version. Not very intuitive. About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the
mount at my home observatory. Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me. I think it would
work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with
crosshairs. How accurate will that be? It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the
C11 than at f/2. At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA. It’s
f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma. I’m
willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don


Don Rudny



On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com> via groups.io
<chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:






How accurate is centering a star by eye.

I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the
guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3 - 5 minutes I press
the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the
centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over
to imaging and take my exposures.


I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that
there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the
position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to
use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it.
My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe
just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.


Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@gmail.com>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues


Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program
continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images. They are saved in a file that is watched by the
program and plate solved through Pinpoint. I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be
saved as long as the setup remains the same. As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth
taking a look at.

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy. How accurate is centering a star by
eye. I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy. If I have a fairly
decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement. A longer focal length would also help.

Don


Don Rudny



On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com> via groups.io
<chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:




Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift
rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will
have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or
so along the path that the object takes.


That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an
hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5
will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I
can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter
and an H-a filter. Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight
ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In
fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the
model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two
Dec lines.



Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the
tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.



Rolando




<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@hotmail.com>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues


That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's
wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature
on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple.
The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉

S






Re: [ap-ug] We're back in Space!

Pete Lardizabal
 

👍🏻🇺🇸

WOW!

😎

Pete

On May 30, 2020, at 3:29 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Just watched the launch - SUPER COOL! SmileHeart EyesStuck out tongue closed eyes

Rolando


Re: What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Leon
 

Stellarvue 80mm with star shoot guide camera sitting on a tmb6” refractor and asi071 camera


On May 30, 2020, at 2:32 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Are you using an off-axis guider or separate guide scope? What is the main scope you are imaging with?

Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:53 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Hi guys,
   Hopefully my question is not off topic. But here goes:

   I imaged M101 last night (alt at 76 deg and close to the meridian) with my Mach1GTO and I had to throw away 1/2 my subframes. I examined the bad subframes and there's no consistent direction for the eggy stars from each subframe. Some subframe's eggy stars were in RA direction, some were in DEC direction and some were angled w.r.t. RA and DEC. I looked at the meteoblue seeing map (attached) and it says that the jet stream was at around 31 m/s last night. PHD2 guide graph was about 0.5 arcsec rms error for the entire night which wasn't too bad for the entire session because my image scale is 2.1 arcsec/pixel.

Is the above something that I'd expect imaging through the jet stream? Or I should be looking for something else to blame like flexure?

Thanks (before I start tearing everything apart :) )

cytan


Re: [ap-ug] We're back in Space!

Greg Hartke
 

Lordy, mama! I was in tears!!!

 

Greg

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 3:30 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io; main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: [ap-ug] We're back in Space!

 

Just watched the launch - SUPER COOL! SmileHeart EyesStuck out tongue closed eyes

 

Rolando


Re: What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Rolando,
   I used a guide scope that is 4.59 arcsec/pixel (focal length 168 mm). Scope is a FSQ106. I plan to image again tonight. Again, the jet stream seems to be quite bad: 45 m/s. So if there's anything else to check, I'm open to suggestions.

cytan

P.S. I will be upgrading to OAG next week after my SBIG Starchaser SC-2 arrives. This is in preparation for an Adaptive Optics AO-8A in the future.


On Saturday, May 30, 2020, 02:32:25 PM CDT, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Are you using an off-axis guider or separate guide scope? What is the main scope you are imaging with?

Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:53 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Hi guys,
   Hopefully my question is not off topic. But here goes:

   I imaged M101 last night (alt at 76 deg and close to the meridian) with my Mach1GTO and I had to throw away 1/2 my subframes. I examined the bad subframes and there's no consistent direction for the eggy stars from each subframe. Some subframe's eggy stars were in RA direction, some were in DEC direction and some were angled w.r.t. RA and DEC. I looked at the meteoblue seeing map (attached) and it says that the jet stream was at around 31 m/s last night. PHD2 guide graph was about 0.5 arcsec rms error for the entire night which wasn't too bad for the entire session because my image scale is 2.1 arcsec/pixel.

Is the above something that I'd expect imaging through the jet stream? Or I should be looking for something else to blame like flexure?

Thanks (before I start tearing everything apart :) )

cytan


Re: What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Roland Christen
 

Are you using an off-axis guider or separate guide scope? What is the main scope you are imaging with?

Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:53 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Hi guys,
   Hopefully my question is not off topic. But here goes:

   I imaged M101 last night (alt at 76 deg and close to the meridian) with my Mach1GTO and I had to throw away 1/2 my subframes. I examined the bad subframes and there's no consistent direction for the eggy stars from each subframe. Some subframe's eggy stars were in RA direction, some were in DEC direction and some were angled w.r.t. RA and DEC. I looked at the meteoblue seeing map (attached) and it says that the jet stream was at around 31 m/s last night. PHD2 guide graph was about 0.5 arcsec rms error for the entire night which wasn't too bad for the entire session because my image scale is 2.1 arcsec/pixel.

Is the above something that I'd expect imaging through the jet stream? Or I should be looking for something else to blame like flexure?

Thanks (before I start tearing everything apart :) )

cytan


We're back in Space!

Roland Christen
 

Just watched the launch - SUPER COOL! SmileHeart EyesStuck out tongue closed eyes

Rolando


Re: What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Leon
 

Sorry to lunch on here, but, was wondering if anyone could tell me on phd2 how agressive should the setting be when using an AP1100? I noticed My settings are around 65 and55. Is there a recommendation for that for the 1100?  Thanks


On May 30, 2020, at 1:08 PM, Mike Shade <mshade@q.com> wrote:



Consistent problems suggest hardware problems, polar alignment, PEC curve issues, flexure, poor guiding parameters, this sort of thing in that they impact everything consistently.  Unusual or rare problems like you are sharing suggest transient issues the most likely being seeing.  I work with a 17" telescope at .63"/pixel, I know how seeing can ruin things.  If the system returns consistent results and then all of a sudden doesn't, first thought is seeing.  The fact that your stars were not messed up in one consistent direction is a clue.  I did have a time where my images were horrible all of a sudden and then get good.  Finally went out and found a rather large owl sitting on the edge of the telescope upper ring.  Luckily there was no deposit on the primary mirror.

 

There are numerous reference on the impact of seeing and how professionals monitor and search for sites with good seeing.

 

Mike J. Shade

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

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 10:53 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

 

Hi guys,
   Hopefully my question is not off topic. But here goes:

   I imaged M101 last night (alt at 76 deg and close to the meridian) with my Mach1GTO and I had to throw away 1/2 my subframes. I examined the bad subframes and there's no consistent direction for the eggy stars from each subframe. Some subframe's eggy stars were in RA direction, some were in DEC direction and some were angled w.r.t. RA and DEC. I looked at the meteoblue seeing map (attached) and it says that the jet stream was at around 31 m/s last night. PHD2 guide graph was about 0.5 arcsec rms error for the entire night which wasn't too bad for the entire session because my image scale is 2.1 arcsec/pixel.

Is the above something that I'd expect imaging through the jet stream? Or I should be looking for something else to blame like flexure?

Thanks (before I start tearing everything apart :) )

cytan


Re: What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Mike Shade
 

Consistent problems suggest hardware problems, polar alignment, PEC curve issues, flexure, poor guiding parameters, this sort of thing in that they impact everything consistently.  Unusual or rare problems like you are sharing suggest transient issues the most likely being seeing.  I work with a 17" telescope at .63"/pixel, I know how seeing can ruin things.  If the system returns consistent results and then all of a sudden doesn't, first thought is seeing.  The fact that your stars were not messed up in one consistent direction is a clue.  I did have a time where my images were horrible all of a sudden and then get good.  Finally went out and found a rather large owl sitting on the edge of the telescope upper ring.  Luckily there was no deposit on the primary mirror.

 

There are numerous reference on the impact of seeing and how professionals monitor and search for sites with good seeing.

 

Mike J. Shade

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

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 10:53 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

 

Hi guys,
   Hopefully my question is not off topic. But here goes:

   I imaged M101 last night (alt at 76 deg and close to the meridian) with my Mach1GTO and I had to throw away 1/2 my subframes. I examined the bad subframes and there's no consistent direction for the eggy stars from each subframe. Some subframe's eggy stars were in RA direction, some were in DEC direction and some were angled w.r.t. RA and DEC. I looked at the meteoblue seeing map (attached) and it says that the jet stream was at around 31 m/s last night. PHD2 guide graph was about 0.5 arcsec rms error for the entire night which wasn't too bad for the entire session because my image scale is 2.1 arcsec/pixel.

Is the above something that I'd expect imaging through the jet stream? Or I should be looking for something else to blame like flexure?

Thanks (before I start tearing everything apart :) )

cytan


Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Donald,

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other. I’m just trying to understand what is
available and what options users may have. Cost is important as well. I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint
runs about $150. They have a 60 day trial period. Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this,
too.
Wouldn't you also need an imaging program, like MaximDL Pro or SkyXPro?

I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price. No
catalogue of objects. No Mac version. Not very intuitive. About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the
mount at my home observatory. Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.
I take it you have APCC Standard? If you are not using Windows you are missing out then on some safety and convenience features, like auto-park, and meridian and horizon limits.

So, what if there was an iPad version of APCC with a full planetarium view? One of the plans for the next full version of APCC is to make it cross platform. I've already started designing it and IOS is one of the possible target platforms.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Donald Rudny
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 10:04 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

If you’re interested, here’s my mobile setup.




Don Rudny



On May 30, 2020, at 6:59 AM, Donald Rudny via groups.io <mkea13800=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:




Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.

http://pinpoint.dc3.com/

There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other. I’m just trying to understand what is
available and what options users may have. Cost is important as well. I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint
runs about $150. They have a 60 day trial period. Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this,
too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge
at f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar. Sometimes I will do f/10. It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in
the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck. It takes about 20 minutes.
It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor. I run the cables
through the rear window. When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors
with the equipment there. It was a big hit. I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the
visitors iPhones. Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them. That’s when I first experienced
your excellent mounts and keypad. They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA. I didn’t purchase a keypad
with my AP1100 because of the expense. I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari. I have Luminos too.
Both work very well and are very inexpensive. I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price. No
catalogue of objects. No Mac version. Not very intuitive. About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the
mount at my home observatory. Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me. I think it would
work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with
crosshairs. How accurate will that be? It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the
C11 than at f/2. At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA. It’s
f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma. I’m
willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don


Don Rudny



On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com> via groups.io
<chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:






How accurate is centering a star by eye.

I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the
guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3 - 5 minutes I press
the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the
centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over
to imaging and take my exposures.


I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that
there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the
position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to
use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it.
My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe
just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.


Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@gmail.com>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues


Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program
continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images. They are saved in a file that is watched by the
program and plate solved through Pinpoint. I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be
saved as long as the setup remains the same. As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth
taking a look at.

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy. How accurate is centering a star by
eye. I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy. If I have a fairly
decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement. A longer focal length would also help.

Don


Don Rudny



On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com> via groups.io
<chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:




Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift
rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will
have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or
so along the path that the object takes.


That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an
hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5
will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I
can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter
and an H-a filter. Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight
ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In
fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the
model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two
Dec lines.



Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the
tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.



Rolando




<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@hotmail.com>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues


That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's
wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature
on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple.
The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉

S




What's the effect of imaging through jet stream?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi guys,
   Hopefully my question is not off topic. But here goes:

   I imaged M101 last night (alt at 76 deg and close to the meridian) with my Mach1GTO and I had to throw away 1/2 my subframes. I examined the bad subframes and there's no consistent direction for the eggy stars from each subframe. Some subframe's eggy stars were in RA direction, some were in DEC direction and some were angled w.r.t. RA and DEC. I looked at the meteoblue seeing map (attached) and it says that the jet stream was at around 31 m/s last night. PHD2 guide graph was about 0.5 arcsec rms error for the entire night which wasn't too bad for the entire session because my image scale is 2.1 arcsec/pixel.

Is the above something that I'd expect imaging through the jet stream? Or I should be looking for something else to blame like flexure?

Thanks (before I start tearing everything apart :) )

cytan


Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Donald Rudny
 

I use Starlight Live.  I have PHD on my Mac also, so I could switch over to that for the calibration.  That would require going through the PHD calibration on a selected star for each object and maybe each calibration point.  It would be simpler to just use the keypad and the crosshairs by eye in the imaging program.  If the drift is significant in say, one or two minutes, I think it would be pretty accurate, especially at the longer focal lengths where I need it.  Like you wrote earlier, keep it simple and have more time for imaging fun.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 30, 2020, at 7:13 AM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


What program do you use to image? I use MaximDL which has both imaging and guide capability from the same chip. So for taking centering data I use the guide program, then for imaging I simply switch over to the imaging portion. I believe that PHD2 also has both capabilities. No separate guide camera needed, one camera does both data gathering during twilight and imaging after dusk.

Does that make sense or am I not explaining it well?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 11:59 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.


There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other.  I’m just trying to understand what is available and what options users may have.  Cost is important as well.  I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint runs about $150.  They have a 60 day trial period.  Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this, too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge at  f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar.  Sometimes I will do f/10.  It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck.  It takes about 20 minutes.  It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor.  I run the cables through the rear window.  When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors with the equipment there.  It was a big hit.  I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the visitors iPhones.  Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them.  That’s when I first experienced your excellent mounts and keypad.  They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA.  I didn’t purchase a keypad with my AP1100 because of the expense.  I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari.  I have Luminos too.  Both work very well and are very inexpensive.  I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price.  No catalogue of objects.  No Mac version.  Not very intuitive.  About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the mount at my home observatory.  Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me.  I think it would work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with crosshairs.  How accurate will that be?  It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the C11 than at f/2.  At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA.  It’s f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.  

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma.  I’m willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



How accurate is centering a star by eye.
I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3  - 5 minutes I press the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over to imaging and take my exposures.

I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it. My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S



Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Roland Christen
 

What program do you use to image? I use MaximDL which has both imaging and guide capability from the same chip. So for taking centering data I use the guide program, then for imaging I simply switch over to the imaging portion. I believe that PHD2 also has both capabilities. No separate guide camera needed, one camera does both data gathering during twilight and imaging after dusk.

Does that make sense or am I not explaining it well?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 11:59 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.


There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other.  I’m just trying to understand what is available and what options users may have.  Cost is important as well.  I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint runs about $150.  They have a 60 day trial period.  Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this, too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge at  f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar.  Sometimes I will do f/10.  It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck.  It takes about 20 minutes.  It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor.  I run the cables through the rear window.  When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors with the equipment there.  It was a big hit.  I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the visitors iPhones.  Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them.  That’s when I first experienced your excellent mounts and keypad.  They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA.  I didn’t purchase a keypad with my AP1100 because of the expense.  I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari.  I have Luminos too.  Both work very well and are very inexpensive.  I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price.  No catalogue of objects.  No Mac version.  Not very intuitive.  About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the mount at my home observatory.  Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me.  I think it would work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with crosshairs.  How accurate will that be?  It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the C11 than at f/2.  At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA.  It’s f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.  

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma.  I’m willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



How accurate is centering a star by eye.
I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3  - 5 minutes I press the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over to imaging and take my exposures.

I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it. My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S



Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Bill Long
 

Reading the site, it seems PinPoint uses ANSVR for offline (non-internet based) plate solving and uses Astrometry.net for online plate solving. Not really sure that is worth $150 considering other applications can use these same tools and methods for free.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2020 9:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues
 
Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.


There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other.  I’m just trying to understand what is available and what options users may have.  Cost is important as well.  I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint runs about $150.  They have a 60 day trial period.  Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this, too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge at  f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar.  Sometimes I will do f/10.  It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck.  It takes about 20 minutes.  It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor.  I run the cables through the rear window.  When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors with the equipment there.  It was a big hit.  I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the visitors iPhones.  Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them.  That’s when I first experienced your excellent mounts and keypad.  They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA.  I didn’t purchase a keypad with my AP1100 because of the expense.  I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari.  I have Luminos too.  Both work very well and are very inexpensive.  I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price.  No catalogue of objects.  No Mac version.  Not very intuitive.  About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the mount at my home observatory.  Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me.  I think it would work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with crosshairs.  How accurate will that be?  It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the C11 than at f/2.  At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA.  It’s f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.  

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma.  I’m willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



How accurate is centering a star by eye.
I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3  - 5 minutes I press the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over to imaging and take my exposures.

I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it. My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S



Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Donald Rudny
 

Rolando,

If you’re interested, here’s my mobile setup.



Don Rudny


On May 30, 2020, at 6:59 AM, Donald Rudny via groups.io <mkea13800@...> wrote:

Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.


There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other.  I’m just trying to understand what is available and what options users may have.  Cost is important as well.  I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint runs about $150.  They have a 60 day trial period.  Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this, too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge at  f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar.  Sometimes I will do f/10.  It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck.  It takes about 20 minutes.  It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor.  I run the cables through the rear window.  When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors with the equipment there.  It was a big hit.  I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the visitors iPhones.  Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them.  That’s when I first experienced your excellent mounts and keypad.  They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA.  I didn’t purchase a keypad with my AP1100 because of the expense.  I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari.  I have Luminos too.  Both work very well and are very inexpensive.  I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price.  No catalogue of objects.  No Mac version.  Not very intuitive.  About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the mount at my home observatory.  Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me.  I think it would work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with crosshairs.  How accurate will that be?  It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the C11 than at f/2.  At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA.  It’s f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.  

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma.  I’m willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



How accurate is centering a star by eye.
I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3  - 5 minutes I press the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over to imaging and take my exposures.

I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it. My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S



Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Donald Rudny
 

Hi Rolando,

Here is the link to the Pinpoint site.


There is a section on accuracy that suggests that it is very accurate.

I’m not trying to say that any system is better than any other.  I’m just trying to understand what is available and what options users may have.  Cost is important as well.  I believe Atrack is free, but Pinpoint runs about $150.  They have a 60 day trial period.  Some users out there with CP3’s might be interested in this, too.

I like your keypad method for what I do, which is usually a portable setup with my AP1100 and C11 Edge at  f/6 or f/2 with Hyperstar.  Sometimes I will do f/10.  It might not sound very portable, but I put everything in the back of my pickup and drive up to Maunakea to set up off the back of the truck.  It takes about 20 minutes.  It gets pretty cold, so we sit in the pickup and view the object images on an extended monitor.  I run the cables through the rear window.  When the VIS was open, we did something similar and put on shows for the visitors with the equipment there.  It was a big hit.  I use a Mac, so I was able to download our captured images to the visitors iPhones.  Some people stayed the whole night just to get all of them.  That’s when I first experienced your excellent mounts and keypad.  They had an AP1100 set up with an 11” RASA.  I didn’t purchase a keypad with my AP1100 because of the expense.  I decided to go with my iPad and SkySafari.  I have Luminos too.  Both work very well and are very inexpensive.  I did purchase APCC, but I find it lacking for the price.  No catalogue of objects.  No Mac version.  Not very intuitive.  About the only thing I use it for is to initialize the mount at my home observatory.  Then I switch to my iPad and SkySafari for control.

I really don’t like to set up the auto guiding stuff, so your keypad system interests me.  I think it would work best for what I need, but I would need to center the star by eye on my Mac computer screen with crosshairs.  How accurate will that be?  It will probably be more valuable for me running at f/6 or f/10 with the C11 than at f/2.  At f/2, I can already get a couple of minutes unguided just with using the RAPAS for PA.  It’s f/6 and especially f/10 that drift some.  

I do have the CP4, but I would need to invest another $900 for a keypad, so you see my dilemma.  I’m willing to invest, but I need to know that it will really work for me.

Thanks,

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 7:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



How accurate is centering a star by eye.
I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3  - 5 minutes I press the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over to imaging and take my exposures.

I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it. My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S



Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Ken Browne
 

The hand controller method sounds fantastic and fits how I would like to image moving forward.  Just to be certain, the new hand controller drift capability is already provisioned in the CP4 controller?  I have been agonizing over upgrading from my CP3 to a CP4 over the past year - If this functionality is ready in the CP4, I'm buying a new CP4 immediately.

Roland, Ray, George, thank you for all you do!

Ken


Re: USB / Serial and WIFI connection #Mach2GTO

Dominique Durand
 

On Sat, May 30, 2020 at 03:54 AM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
Excellent!
 
Thank you Rolando,
Regarding the GTOCP5 WIFI network shutdown.
Everything is connected to the electrical network (220V) by transformers in 19.6v for the PC, 24v for the mount and in 12v for the rest (Powerbox, Camera, ...).
To follow the presence or not of the WIFI network GTOCP5 I used my cell phone. I connected to it and also connected Skysafari which synchronizes well on the position of my mount. I saw that it also appeared on my PC.
1 .When I connect the USB3 plug to my PC, an MSI QE62VR 7TRF apache Pro, whether it works on battery or on the electrical network, the WIFI GTOCP5 network disappears, if I unplug the USB3 plug, the WIFI GTOCP5 network reappears.
2. When the USB3 plug is connected to the PC and therefore there is no more GTOCP5 network, if I hold the WIFI antenna of the GTOCP5 between my fingers the WIFI network reappears, Then disappears if I release the antenna. It's weird isn't it?
3. When I plug the USB3 plug into the USB2 port of my PC, there is no problem, the WIFI GTOCP5 network does not disappear.
4. When I use my wife's PC (Sony Vaio ultrabook) and I plug into one of the USB3 ports, the WIFI network does not disappear.
I conclude that in this case I have a problem with the USB3 ports of my MSI PC and for information on the USB ports I unchecked the power saving function of the power manager.

Dominique


Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Roland Christen
 


How accurate is centering a star by eye.
I actually do it automatically in MaximDL. I switch the main camera over to guide mode, let the guider program pick whatever star it wants in the image and let it autoguide. At the end of 3  - 5 minutes I press the Enter button on the keypad and let the program advance to the next calibration point. I don't do the centering manually, i let MaximDL do that. When I have gathered enough points I switch the camera back over to imaging and take my exposures.

I can see where Atrack can adjust the guide rates after each image, however that means that there is drift in the image that is being measured. I'm not 100% convinced that plate solve can determine the position to an accuracy level of sub-arc seconds, so i did not pursue this method. Besides, if you're going to use fancy software for this, then I would simply use APCC Pro and make an all-sky model, and be done with it. My program is for portable setups where the user has a mount, scope and keypad, maybe a laptop and maybe just a digital camera. No fancy software, just the basics to have some imaging fun.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 30, 2020 12:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S



Re: Mach2 Unguided testing continues

Donald Rudny
 

Rolando,

I haven’t used Atrack, but have been reviewing the manual and I believe the program continuously adjusts the drift rate as you capture images.  They are saved in a file that is watched by the program and plate solved through Pinpoint.  I believe there is also a modeling routine that I assume can be saved as long as the setup remains the same.  As I say, I’m not 100% sure of this, but it looks like it’s worth taking a look at.  

One question I have on the AP keypad system is accuracy.  How accurate is centering a star by eye.  I would think that a longer time between inputs would be necessary to improve accuracy.  If I have a fairly decent PA, I would think I might need a 10-15 minute drift measurement.  A longer focal length would also help.

Don

Don Rudny


On May 29, 2020, at 6:15 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Basically you get one data point in about 200 seconds (3 - 4 minutes) which sets the drift rate at that point int he sky. So that will work for a while, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour, after which the drift will have changed. So then you take another 3-4 minute run to establish a new drift rate. You do that every hour or so along the path that the object takes.

That's exactly what I'm doing also. 3 - 5 minute drift measurement which is good for an hour. However, if I take just 3 drift measurements along the path, spread out over a 5 - 6 hour period, the CP5 will then compute a continuously variable tracking rate for all points in between for the entire 6 hour period. I can do this measurement all at once before the sun goes down using 3 widely spaced stars of Mag4 or brighter and an H-a filter.  Takes about 15 minutes total. This path is then computed and ready to go when twilight ends. I can even do another object path at a different Dec, download it and be ready to image two objects. In fact, if the two Dec lines are widely spaced, I can image all objects in between also unguided because the model computes the variable tracking rates for the entire sky area as well as +- 10 degrees outside those two Dec lines.

Below see the tracking graphs for the imaging that I am doing tonight. They show how the tracking rates vary over approx 45 minutes.

Rolando

<dummyfile.0.part>



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Steven <steven447@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:52 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Unguided testing continues

That comment has to do with a long-time on-line chess game, not for you/forum. Sorry, it's wrong context, I've a busy day on email today.

In reply to your own query, you set up each object separately. I use the Autosave feature on Maxim and when finished with one object, move to it, train ATrack, an make the second one. It's that simple. The User Guide is a good start and will answer your queries without reference to chess moves. 😉 

S


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