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Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

 

>>> Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.

maybe get in contact with that user and see what are the working settings?

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:30 AM <sgbonnell@...> wrote:
No, I'm using a USB to RS232 serial converter cable (Keyspan is the make) that is plugged into the AP900 controller serial port.
(I also tried the simple RS232-USB cable that came with the ASIAir...same results)

Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

sgbonnell@...
 

No, I'm using a USB to RS232 serial converter cable (Keyspan is the make) that is plugged into the AP900 controller serial port.
(I also tried the simple RS232-USB cable that came with the ASIAir...same results)

Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Roland Christen
 

Well, then start without ASIAir. Just connect PHD2 directly to the mount. make sure you set up the ASCOM driver in PHD2. Make sure also that your mount and guide scope entries are correct and you have entered the correct focal length of the guide scope. Remember, PHD2 doesn't care about your imaging scope, it needs to know the guide scope data. Once you have the system running properly in this basic mode, then you can start adding other software.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 15, 2020 1:14 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Yes, found the Cal file - I've attached.   The guide star is lost at the start of Cal, so Cal does not get completed.

When using PHD2  for guiding, I have the mount connected directly to my PC via the RS232 to USB cable.
Same set up when using ASIAir...USB end of the cable is plugged into the USB port on the ASIAir.
I just recently downloaded the latest A-P ASCOM driver from Ray G....my mount was a GTO2, but has been upgraded to GTO4.

I have been using this same set up until recently on my Celestron CGX-L with no issues...it was only when I started using ASIAir or PHD2 on the AP900 that I have had this issue..


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:14 AM, <sgbonnell@...> wrote:
When using PHD2  for guiding, I have the mount connected directly to my PC via the RS232 to USB cable.
The same one that is included with the ASIair?

I don't think that will work for the Windows machine.  I use a USB to serial converter and the serial cable is then connected to the controller box.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
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Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

sgbonnell@...
 

Yes, found the Cal file - I've attached.   The guide star is lost at the start of Cal, so Cal does not get completed.

When using PHD2  for guiding, I have the mount connected directly to my PC via the RS232 to USB cable.
Same set up when using ASIAir...USB end of the cable is plugged into the USB port on the ASIAir.
I just recently downloaded the latest A-P ASCOM driver from Ray G....my mount was a GTO2, but has been upgraded to GTO4.

I have been using this same set up until recently on my Celestron CGX-L with no issues...it was only when I started using ASIAir or PHD2 on the AP900 that I have had this issue..


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Roland Christen
 


I can't seem to get any PHD2 logs files,  as I loose the guide star as soon as it initiates guiding.  All I see are the guide pulses in DEC and RA trying desperately to pull the star back in. 
This indicates clearly that the guide pulses are being sent, except they are being sent backwards. So instead of correcting, they are adding to the error. Every guide pulse is then sending the mount further away. The guide directions are backwards. It may be because the calibration was done wrong.

The software commands to the CP controller are very specific and standard. If you have any kind of log, take a look to see what your guiding software is actually sending to the mount. If your error is 1 arc sec N then your software must send a 1 arc sec S move command. If it sends a 1 arc sec N move command the star will move further away. If it sends a 10 arc sec N command, the star will move away very rapidly.

In every case like this it came down to a faulty calibration run. programs like PHD2 and MaximDL show specifically on a graph what the calibration looks like, and what a faulty calibration looks like. You must have a graph of the calibration to examine, otherwise you are flying completely blind into a fog at the bottom of the sea on IO.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 15, 2020 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

thanks Dean and Bryan..
- guide camera (ASI290 on a WOGS61 guide scope) is connected via USB to the ASIAir (or to my laptop when trying PHD2 directly)
- mount is also connected to the ASIAir USB port via an RS232 to USB cable.  RS232 end is plugged into AP900 Comm port.

It would seem that there is some conflict between the AP900 controller and commands from the ASIAir or PHD2.

Yes, the mount responds to all the other functions on the ASIAir...I can slew, Polar Align, Plate solve, gotos are very accurate after 1 or 2 plate solves...so everything works as it is supposed to from the ASIAir, except for Guiding.   Previously I had the ASIAir on a CGX-L mount, and had no issues at all.  Guiding was fine.

PHD2 is Windows based.

I can't seem to get any PHD2 logs files,  as I loose the guide star as soon as it initiates guiding.  All I see are the guide pulses in DEC and RA trying desperately to pull the star back in.  I'll see if there are any Cal files there...and/or take a screen shot of what things look like when guiding is initiated.

cheers...
Steve


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Dean Jacobsen
 

Also, I see that the mount control is through INDI.  The INDI mount compatibility page indicates that the AP controllers aren't supported across the board so it would depend on which controller you have and if you are using the correct driver.

The CP3 and CP4 controllers are apparently supposed to use the "Experimental" driver.

https://indilib.org/devices/mounts/astrophysics.html

Which driver are you using?

This page has a screenshot of the INDI connection information where you can apparently see which driver you are using.

https://www.indilib.org/devices/telescopes/astrophysics/astrophysics-experimental.html

So your guiding issues with the ASIair itself may be related to the driver.


--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Dean Jacobsen
 

Steve,

OK so I don't think that I am quite up to speed with you here.

If you are testing your guide camera out with your Windows computer running PHD2, then how are those guiding commands getting to the mount?  Are you using the "ST-4" guide port on the camera and the mount controller?
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

sgbonnell@...
 

thanks Dean and Bryan..
- guide camera (ASI290 on a WOGS61 guide scope) is connected via USB to the ASIAir (or to my laptop when trying PHD2 directly)
- mount is also connected to the ASIAir USB port via an RS232 to USB cable.  RS232 end is plugged into AP900 Comm port.

It would seem that there is some conflict between the AP900 controller and commands from the ASIAir or PHD2.

Yes, the mount responds to all the other functions on the ASIAir...I can slew, Polar Align, Plate solve, gotos are very accurate after 1 or 2 plate solves...so everything works as it is supposed to from the ASIAir, except for Guiding.   Previously I had the ASIAir on a CGX-L mount, and had no issues at all.  Guiding was fine.

PHD2 is Windows based.

I can't seem to get any PHD2 logs files,  as I loose the guide star as soon as it initiates guiding.  All I see are the guide pulses in DEC and RA trying desperately to pull the star back in.  I'll see if there are any Cal files there...and/or take a screen shot of what things look like when guiding is initiated.

cheers...
Steve


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Dean Jacobsen
 

Yes, how is the guide camera communicating with the mount?  Are you plugged into the guide port or are you relying on the RS232 connection that the ASIAir is using to slew the mount?

The ASIAir looks to be a RaspberryPi which means it is running Raspbian or maybe a custom distro so ASCOM doesn't come into play.  Unless ASCOM has been ported to Linux.

Are you able to slew using the ASIAir or are you using the hand paddle.  If you are able to slew the mount to selected objects through the ASIAir, then at least the the ASIAir is connected to the mount and sending the correct commands..

And you are using the special Linux version of PHD2?
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: Sky Safari with Mach2

Dominique Durand
 

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 03:27 PM, Terri Zittritsch wrote:
Thanks Dominique, have you gotten any feedback from A-P or Simulation Curriculum?    I was wondering if it's normal, per past correspondence I've read about needing some initialization.  I know Sky Safari has a switch to pass time/location, but not sure that this does the trick.  I guess I'll wait to hear.  
I am an early adopter of Sky Safari and had every version since the beginning..  it is my favorite sky mapping program so hope that it'll be usable on the Mach2.    Maybe after getting the hand control sw.
Hi Terri,
I still have a doubt about this case that I had detected, because with my mach1 GTOCP4 that I had before I always had the keypad plugged in and I think that (Like the PC) was enough for Skysafari to synchronize, with my Mach1 GTOCP3 which I still have I pass for the WIFI by SkyFi3, that works for skysafari but there also I have a connected keypad.
My biggest concern and that I did not have with my GTOCP4 is that the WIFI network of the GTOCP5 disappears when the GTOCP5 is plugged into the PC, a problem linked to the USB3 sockets of my PC, because I plug into a USB2 socket it works .


Re: Mach1 slewing and position issues

Roland Christen
 

Place the mount manually (clutches loose) to Park3 position. Cycle power. Then resume from Park3 and you should be ok. Slew to a known bright star and the scope should be pointing close. Use the buttons to center the star and do a Recal.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Eric M <eric.marlatt@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 15, 2020 10:41 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach1 slewing and position issues

Set up my new-to-me Mach1 CP4 last night and thought I was off to the races, but I seem to be hitting some kind of "limit" that prevents me from slewing west. The mount is also reporting CW up when it's nearly straight down. I'm guessing the two are related, but I can't say for sure.

I don't think this matters but I'll note it here, when I received the mount I rotated the worm wheels 45 degrees per AP's maintenance notes to prevent worm wheel wear. 

I released the clutches and put the mount in the Park 2 position, manually slewed to the sky and did a blind solve with SGP which was successful. I then tried manually slewing west to start my drift align routine and the mount didn't seem to get very far before the button stopped responding. I could slew N, S, E no problem, and was able to slew back W until I hit that same point. I noticed the light on the CP4 turned yellow when I reached this point. I also noticed the AP driver was stating "CW Up" when it was almost straight down. Looking at the driver again I verified my lat/long, my time zone being correct, that the mount was getting a time sync from the PC which it was, and that there were no motor stall errors. I did another blind solving thinking some kind of limit was set up on the mount by the previous owner and maybe my first solve was incorrect, the 2nd solve was successful but the issue remains. I verified the RA/Dec were roughly correct from the solve.

I tried powering everything off and going through the same process, I tried connecting the keypad to see if I got a different result, no change. Made sure the AP driver and CP4 firmware was on the latest versions. 

I don't see anything in the driver that would enable a limit and prevent manual slewing. I checked the mount to see if there was some kind of physical obstruction, all my cables are going through the mount so the outside looked clear. I thought worst case the worm wheel had an obstruction so I disengaged the worm and put the mount on a different section of the wheel, but the limit seems to have moved with it. That seems to rule out any physical obstruction on the wheel which I'm relieved about, but I still can't figure this out. Any advice?


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Worsel
 

I wonder if there is conflict between tracking and PHD2 over COM ports.

How do you have everything connected?  Be specific...it's hard to diagnose without detailed info

Guide camera to ASIAir...best way is via ASCOM with the guide camera USB to ASIAir USB, assuming your guide camera is not ancient (sorry).

Mount to ASIAir - already stated that you use USB-RS232 and the keypad.

Finally, if you upload your PHD2 logs to the PHD forum, then you can get another set of eyes (sharper than mine!).  This is very easy in PHD2...Click Help -> Upload log files.  You do not need to be connected to send files from previous nights.  See https://openphdguiding.org/manual/?section=Tools.htm#Logging_and_Debug_Output



Bryan


Mach1 slewing and position issues

Eric M
 

Set up my new-to-me Mach1 CP4 last night and thought I was off to the races, but I seem to be hitting some kind of "limit" that prevents me from slewing west. The mount is also reporting CW up when it's nearly straight down. I'm guessing the two are related, but I can't say for sure.

I don't think this matters but I'll note it here, when I received the mount I rotated the worm wheels 45 degrees per AP's maintenance notes to prevent worm wheel wear. 

I released the clutches and put the mount in the Park 2 position, manually slewed to the sky and did a blind solve with SGP which was successful. I then tried manually slewing west to start my drift align routine and the mount didn't seem to get very far before the button stopped responding. I could slew N, S, E no problem, and was able to slew back W until I hit that same point. I noticed the light on the CP4 turned yellow when I reached this point. I also noticed the AP driver was stating "CW Up" when it was almost straight down. Looking at the driver again I verified my lat/long, my time zone being correct, that the mount was getting a time sync from the PC which it was, and that there were no motor stall errors. I did another blind solving thinking some kind of limit was set up on the mount by the previous owner and maybe my first solve was incorrect, the 2nd solve was successful but the issue remains. I verified the RA/Dec were roughly correct from the solve.

I tried powering everything off and going through the same process, I tried connecting the keypad to see if I got a different result, no change. Made sure the AP driver and CP4 firmware was on the latest versions. 

I don't see anything in the driver that would enable a limit and prevent manual slewing. I checked the mount to see if there was some kind of physical obstruction, all my cables are going through the mount so the outside looked clear. I thought worst case the worm wheel had an obstruction so I disengaged the worm and put the mount on a different section of the wheel, but the limit seems to have moved with it. That seems to rule out any physical obstruction on the wheel which I'm relieved about, but I still can't figure this out. Any advice?


Re: help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

sgbonnell@...
 

I tried using PHD2 natively to guide the AP900 and I get the same result:  the AP900 is tracking fine until I initiate PHD2 calibration or guiding.   Within 2-3 seconds of initiating PHD2, the tracking on the AP900 ceases.
After halting PHD2, I can re-initiate tracking on the AP900 handset, but every time I try to get PHD2 guiding  started, it stops the AP900 tracking function.

Is there some setting or other that I'm not getting correct?

thanks!


mach 2 sky model relative offsets #Mach2GTO

Steve Armen
 

Maybe this is possible already with APCC?

For those of us without a permanent mounting or observatory, we setup and break down our mount (hoping a mach 2 before too long) each time out under dark skies. How difficult would it be to setup one time, do a good polar alignment, then build a fairly detailed sky model and store it off. Then setting up in a similar place on another night, after polar align, repeat a reduced set of points for the same model previously built and compute relative offsets or corrections for the completed model done earlier based on the reduced set. The object would be to quickly calibrate the old model to the new relative position and be able to use it. The reduced set up points would cover parts of the sky from the larger model. Maybe this is wishful thinking that interpolated offsets or corrections could be constructed from a reduced model. Just a thought.

Please skewer this idea if it deserves it!

thanks


Re: Point Mapping Strategies for the Mobile Imager

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 09:16 AM, Worsel wrote:
Terri

Which of the plate-solving options within SGP are you using?  I know the APPC Pro manual suggests PlatSolve2 form Planewave, but ASTAP is much faster.  A local install of astrometry.net is nearly as fast.  Obviously there is a learning curve with both, but once configured, they are good to go.

Bryan
Hy Bryan, thanks for your response.     I use platesolve2 as my base, but have a local copy of astrometry.net for blind solving as well.     I have not tried Astrometry.net outside of using it with SGPro and blind solving.     I've not tried ASTAP either but I'll look into it, thank you for the pointer!

Terri


Re: Point Mapping Strategies for the Mobile Imager

Dean Jacobsen
 

Konstantin:  That is good to know.

Terri:  I have use of a permanent pier at a roll-of-roof observatory 100 miles away at the club's dark sky site but I tear down the mount and bring everything home.  I don't leave my gear out there.

Yes, I am using the ASI1600.  It took me about 30 minutes to do a 68 point all sky mapping run the other night with Sequence Generator Pro and using PlateSolve2.  The imaging and the plate solving ran pretty quick.  4 seconds for the exposure and plate solves were usually done within another 4 or 5 seconds.  So it looks like I am averaging less than 30 seconds for each point, including slewing.

So, I was very happy with the tracking I got using a 68 point all sky map.  However, I am wondering if I can get even tighter tracking accuracy if I run a more dense map that is focused on the specific path my object for that night will take.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
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Re: Sky Safari with Mach2

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Sun, Jun 14, 2020 at 10:29 AM, Dominique Durand wrote:
Hi Terri,
I noticed the same thing and I have already reported it, without the Mach2 connected to the PC (APCC and / or driver), with skysafari connected to the CP5 you can only move the mount with the arrows, synchronization does not happen not and the Goto of course either.
Thanks Dominique, have you gotten any feedback from A-P or Simulation Curriculum?    I was wondering if it's normal, per past correspondence I've read about needing some initialization.  I know Sky Safari has a switch to pass time/location, but not sure that this does the trick.  I guess I'll wait to hear.  
I am an early adopter of Sky Safari and had every version since the beginning..  it is my favorite sky mapping program so hope that it'll be usable on the Mach2.    Maybe after getting the hand control sw.

T


Re: Point Mapping Strategies for the Mobile Imager

Worsel
 

Terri

Which of the plate-solving options within SGP are you using?  I know the APPC Pro manual suggests PlatSolve2 form Planewave, but ASTAP is much faster.  A local install of astrometry.net is nearly as fast.  Obviously there is a learning curve with both, but once configured, they are good to go.

Bryan

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