Date   

Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Bill Long
 

The camera has pretty severe tilt challenges. I have one as well and getting the field flat is a chore with a CTU.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
 

I am now using an ASI6200 with a separate off axis guider. The stars do look comatic.
They should not look comatic unless you are not using a field flattener.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 1:40 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

// One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.
 
I never had issues in the past with a STL11000. I would use the main chip in this camera.  I have the exact same location of the scope, on the same pier. I am now using an ASI6200 with a separate off axis guider. The stars do look comatic. Unfortunately I cannot use the ASI6200.  PemPro reports insufficient memory.  It really should allow sub frames to be used for the polar alignment. It doesn't.  It would seem if this is the root cause, then I am up a creek without a paddle!


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Roland Christen
 


I am now using an ASI6200 with a separate off axis guider. The stars do look comatic.
They should not look comatic unless you are not using a field flattener.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 1:40 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

// One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.
 
I never had issues in the past with a STL11000. I would use the main chip in this camera.  I have the exact same location of the scope, on the same pier. I am now using an ASI6200 with a separate off axis guider. The stars do look comatic. Unfortunately I cannot use the ASI6200.  PemPro reports insufficient memory.  It really should allow sub frames to be used for the polar alignment. It doesn't.  It would seem if this is the root cause, then I am up a creek without a paddle!


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tom,

comatic. Unfortunately I cannot use the ASI6200. PemPro reports insufficient memory. It really should allow sub
frames to be used for the polar alignment. It doesn't. It would seem if this is the root cause, then I am up a creek
without a paddle!
PEMPro allows subframes and binning in Polar Alignment Wizard.

Make sure you are using the latest build, currently v3.00.33.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Tom Blahovici
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:41 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

// One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic
tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.

I never had issues in the past with a STL11000. I would use the main chip in this camera. I have the exact same
location of the scope, on the same pier. I am now using an ASI6200 with a separate off axis guider. The stars do look
comatic. Unfortunately I cannot use the ASI6200. PemPro reports insufficient memory. It really should allow sub
frames to be used for the polar alignment. It doesn't. It would seem if this is the root cause, then I am up a creek
without a paddle!



Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Tom Blahovici
 

// One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.
 
I never had issues in the past with a STL11000. I would use the main chip in this camera.  I have the exact same location of the scope, on the same pier. I am now using an ASI6200 with a separate off axis guider. The stars do look comatic. Unfortunately I cannot use the ASI6200.  PemPro reports insufficient memory.  It really should allow sub frames to be used for the polar alignment. It doesn't.  It would seem if this is the root cause, then I am up a creek without a paddle!


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Roland Christen
 

Whether you have PE on or not, there won't be much difference if you guide. I would not fret over a few arc seconds. There are actually people imaging with mounts that have 40+ arc second PE and don't even know it. Once you are down to +- 2 arc seconds for a 6.4 minute worm cycle, it is lost in the noise of seeing and scintillation.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 10:47 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Rolando,
  I'll keep and eyeball on that. There's not much to do on a Moonless, hazy night but to do PEC measurements. Another reason, I'm looking forward to my Mach2 so that I don't need to do this exercise.

cytan

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 10:35:18 AM CDT, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 10:07 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 08:52 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
there is heat wafting up off of nearby buildings, pavement, etc
That could be a possibility.  I doubt there are tube currents., The scope is always outdoors at the same ambient temperature.
Could this be related to using an off-axis guider? The stars are certainly not perfectly round. I cannot use my main imager since I receive an out of memory from PemPro.  This is an ASI6200, 62 mp camera.
You really should allow subframes in the polar axis to avoid that.  You have it for the PEC section.  Why not here as well? 
Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

I should really read the title and the body of the message ... :) For whatever reason, my brain froze and I was thinking Rolando was following up on my PEC measurement query.



On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 10:47:16 AM CDT, Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...> wrote:


Hi Rolando,
  I'll keep and eyeball on that. There's not much to do on a Moonless, hazy night but to do PEC measurements. Another reason, I'm looking forward to my Mach2 so that I don't need to do this exercise.

cytan

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 10:35:18 AM CDT, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 10:07 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 08:52 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
there is heat wafting up off of nearby buildings, pavement, etc
That could be a possibility.  I doubt there are tube currents., The scope is always outdoors at the same ambient temperature.
Could this be related to using an off-axis guider? The stars are certainly not perfectly round. I cannot use my main imager since I receive an out of memory from PemPro.  This is an ASI6200, 62 mp camera.
You really should allow subframes in the polar axis to avoid that.  You have it for the PEC section.  Why not here as well? 
Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Rolando,
  I'll keep and eyeball on that. There's not much to do on a Moonless, hazy night but to do PEC measurements. Another reason, I'm looking forward to my Mach2 so that I don't need to do this exercise.

cytan

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 10:35:18 AM CDT, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 10:07 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 08:52 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
there is heat wafting up off of nearby buildings, pavement, etc
That could be a possibility.  I doubt there are tube currents., The scope is always outdoors at the same ambient temperature.
Could this be related to using an off-axis guider? The stars are certainly not perfectly round. I cannot use my main imager since I receive an out of memory from PemPro.  This is an ASI6200, 62 mp camera.
You really should allow subframes in the polar axis to avoid that.  You have it for the PEC section.  Why not here as well? 
Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Roland Christen
 

One thing that can cause a problem with the centroid measurement is an out-of-focus star. If the star has a comatic tail or is somewhat oval then the centroid will wander around with poor seeing. I have seen this many times.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 10:07 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 08:52 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
there is heat wafting up off of nearby buildings, pavement, etc
That could be a possibility.  I doubt there are tube currents., The scope is always outdoors at the same ambient temperature.
Could this be related to using an off-axis guider? The stars are certainly not perfectly round. I cannot use my main imager since I receive an out of memory from PemPro.  This is an ASI6200, 62 mp camera.
You really should allow subframes in the polar axis to avoid that.  You have it for the PEC section.  Why not here as well? 
Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Joe Zeglinski
 

Thanks Ray –
 
    As usual, an excellent response to my recent PEMPRO concerns.  I have filed this gem away on my hard drive,  for future relearning, or if I  have another senior moment. Wish you would had written a book about the amazing things your PEMPRO already takes into account – but then you risk giving away too many valuable design details. Obviously, you have thought out almost everything that could go wrong during polar alignment. That is why I feel PEMPRO is an exceptional program which should be in everybody’s telescope software toolkit.
   
    As for MIN-MAX star brightness settings, I have never looked at them, and just trusted your defaults would be fine, left as-is. But, I will consider them further,  on another hazy night.
Learned a lot from this mini-lesson.
 
Joe Z.


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Tom Blahovici
 

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 08:52 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
there is heat wafting up off of nearby buildings, pavement, etc
That could be a possibility.  I doubt there are tube currents., The scope is always outdoors at the same ambient temperature.
Could this be related to using an off-axis guider? The stars are certainly not perfectly round. I cannot use my main imager since I receive an out of memory from PemPro.  This is an ASI6200, 62 mp camera.
You really should allow subframes in the polar axis to avoid that.  You have it for the PEC section.  Why not here as well? 
Tom


Re: Is it worth doing PEMPro PEC measurement when it is hazy?

Roland Christen
 

You can certainly do a PE measurement if it's clear, regardless of smoke. As long as the camera can capture any stars it will work.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 15, 2020 7:29 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Is it worth doing PEMPro PEC measurement when it is hazy?

Hi Ray or Rolando,
   It looks like it will be "clear" over the weekend but it'll be hazy from the smoke. Is it worth doing a PEC measurement for my Mach1GTO or not?

cytan


Is it worth doing PEMPro PEC measurement when it is hazy?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Ray or Rolando,
   It looks like it will be "clear" over the weekend but it'll be hazy from the smoke. Is it worth doing a PEC measurement for my Mach1GTO or not?

cytan


locked Re: #APCC APCC/APPM blocking issue with AP1100GTOAE #APCC

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

Well I tried to test out APMM with ASCOM 6.4 last night.  Radar indicated wonderfully clear skies.  Except, no stars!  Yikes, overcast due to the smoke from the western fires! 

On 09/14/2020 8:46 AM Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri <mjmangieri@...> wrote:
 
 
That’s great. I’ll be trying it out again this evening. Hoping for a similar result. 

 

On Sep 14, 2020, at 4:25 AM, oros.philippe@... wrote:

Hey Mikey
Ray's suggestion worked for me, my problems disappear with Ascom 6.4SP1 !!
Philippe


Re: Do NOT use ASCOM Platform v. 6.5 with APCC Pro #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 09:32 AM, Howard Hedlund wrote:
here is a problem with the latest ASCOM Platform - v. 6.5 that prevents correct plate solutions in APPM.  We hope for a resolution to this problem soon.  In the meantime, please use v.6.4 SP1.https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases/tag/Build_2695
Howard, do you know if this is just with APPM?    I noticed this past weekend when I was doing plate solving that platesolve2 in sgpro was having issues (I have ASCOM 6.5 installed).  I thought it was the normal due to the dense star field I was in.   I moved to ASTAP solver based on recommendations from another member and it worked fine, in fact, about 10X faster than Platesolve2.    But I was NOT using APPM.     


Terri


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Ray Gralak
 
Edited

Hi Joe,

Unfortunately, you have some misconceptions, which I hope I can clear up.

I ran a few more hours of PEMPRO tonight, and surprisingly, the rotation suggestions were now in line with
reality. No more doing the opposite clockwise versus counter clockwise conflict.
Thanks for reporting this.

One difficulty with running PEMPRO is that it seems to “purposely” ... not take advantage of DARKS.
Joe, PEMPro doesn't need dark frames if the Min/Max brightness range is set appropriately. PEMPro takes into account the background values around the star, but the star itself should be much brighter than dark/bias pixels, so the centroid calculation is not impacted by background level, and warm/hot pixels. Stellar scintillation affects the centroid calculation far more.

then it wouldn’t get confused with sky glow, and bad columns of camera hot pixels.
PEMPro does not get confused by skyglow as it samples the immediate background around the star. PEMPro should also reject hot pixels and bad columns. It won't even consider them if the Min/Max brightness range is set to reject them.

However, if you believe PEMPro is latching onto a hot pixel or dark column, etc. then send me a log and a full-frame image captured at the same exposure duration. I can't recall a legitimate case of this happening since PEMPro V1.

It is a chicken & egg situation – which axis drift should really be done first – AZ or Elevation adjustment. One affects
the other, and it is a recursive process anyway. Perhaps PEMPRO could do a quick test during initialization, to
That is not necessary. Polar altitude misalignment, unless dramatically large, has very little effect near the meridian, which is where Az dec drift measurements occur.

However, it is VERY important to complete the Azimuth alignment first, unless you start measuring Altitude misalignment around 90 degrees from the meridian.

Finally, I was wondering WHY ... PEMPRO does not allow positioning the scope closer than 30 degrees away
from the meridian.
Declination drift from Altitude polar is near zero near the meridian and maximum at 90 degrees from the meridian. The *only* reason PEMPro can do Altitude polar alignment measurements just 30 degrees from the meridian is that it should have already eliminated most of the Azimuth polar alignment error in an earlier step in PEMPro's Polar Alignment Wizard. Near the meridian, there is practically no contribution from Altitude misalignment, so PEMPro cannot measure it there!

BTW, the exact contribution factor of Altitude misalignment is the trigonometric sine of the angle from the meridian, which is 0.0 at the meridian, and 1.0 at 90 degrees from the meridian. Again, that means at the meridian there is no contribution to dec drift from Polar Altitude misalignment, yet full contribution 90-degrees from the meridian.

The contribution factor of Azimuth misalignment to declination drift is the trigonometric cosine of the angle from the meridian, which is 1.0 at the meridian, and 0.0 at 90 degrees from the meridian.

Anyway, I hope this clears up why things work the way they do in PEMPro.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 1:07 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Ray, ... and TOM – I too commiserate with your frustration with polar alignment, when trying to get it perfect and
permanent ...

I ran a few more hours of PEMPRO tonight, and surprisingly, the rotation suggestions were now in line with
reality. No more doing the opposite clockwise versus counter clockwise conflict.

The way I see it – and Tom, it might help you as well – these nights have had exceptionally milky, hazy skies,
and Ontario Canada, even by the Lake, which is a long way from the fires on the west coast. But, the upper
atmosphere winds may have already carried the smoke this far, and will likely, in time, encircle the globe.

So, PEMPRO was struggling with stars that were barely visible – i.e. sky quality tonight, at about 16.7 on the
SQM’s meter scale – even on these cloudless nights with no winds.

One difficulty with running PEMPRO is that it seems to “purposely” ... not take advantage of DARKS.
I use an IDAS filter on the STL-11000, here in the suburbs, just to get some contrast away from the city lights
reflecting of the fog or smoke. If PEMPRO would let the user’s camera software (mine is CCDSOFT), take Darks
with every sample, then it wouldn’t get confused with sky glow, and bad columns of camera hot pixels. DARKS and
a good pollution filter like an IDAS, would really make it easier and quicker.

I tried to force my CCDSOFT camera software to take “AUTO DARKS”, but something, likely PEMPRO, kept
resetting the option to “NONE” for sample image post processing, with every 10 second sample it took. So, this
problem can only be remedied in the program, rather than trying to override it myself.

The second possible cause of the “so-called rotation clues reversal” may be because the polar alignment has
now perhaps changed quite a bit – after 2 years of not using the scope – and in particular, the error in
DECLINATION drift was compounding the problem, with doing the AZIMUTH drift alignment first.
It is a chicken & egg situation – which axis drift should really be done first – AZ or Elevation adjustment. One affects
the other, and it is a recursive process anyway. Perhaps PEMPRO could do a quick test during initialization, to
determine which axis, requiring adjustment (AZ or EL), has the slightly greater drift, and jump into that phase first,
rather than always adjusting AZ first. Then there may not be such wild excursions in rotation directions, to the point
that the opposite of the PEMPRO suggested one, “occasionally” worked better. Just a guess.

Anyway, after getting the AZ drift close to reasonable the other night, I tried to optimize the Elevation drift. Then
tonight, with both axis drifts closer to optimal, I went back to refine the AZ drift, and by golly, following the suggested
turn directions, PEMPRO behave as advertised.

It still took many hours to refine, but I’ll blame that on our “unusually”smoky suburban skies, possibly
accompanied by a large polar axis tripod shift since the last time I ran PEMPRO, or even used the Losmandy
tripod and AP-1200 mounted scope. Unlike Tom’s concrete pier, my Losmandy has its feet solidly planted on
cinder blocks buried in the ground, for the past 15 years or so. Two years of seasonal change resulting in
imperceptible seasonal ground shift could have put the polar axis considerably out of line in both AZ and EL.

*****
Finally, I was wondering WHY ... PEMPRO does not allow positioning the scope closer than 30 degrees away
from the meridian.
That angle put my scope view nearly at my rooftop. So, I had to switch to the 30 degree position on the Eastern sky,
which I don;t like to do since, as has been written, the scope could eventually get too close to the meridian if the
PEMPRO (and the user), takes a long time to get it right. Is there something magic about that 30 degree distance
limitation, for Elevation drift cancellation. or just a suitable sky angle to point toward the east or west horizon?

I don’t know if I am screwing things up in the run, but, I use a long run of 22 minutes graphing period to get the
drift to settle down. Then I redo the run by stopping the sampling, backing up to the previous step to reposition the
scope back to its original 5 degree from meridian staring point. Then I do another run of axis tweaks.

Perhaps there should be an option box, where the user to chooses for PEMPRO to return to the starting point
after clickin on its MANUAL STOP sampling. Otherwise, over time, the scope will drift too far towards the east or
west horizon, instead of staying close to the user chosen or the ideal default 5 degree from meridian, start point.
That would gradually lose the accuracy of the measurements and axis tweaks, all gone to waste of time and effort –
user tedium and frustration!.
Perhaps PEMPRO should cycle back to the starting angle, until the user is happy with the drift, and moves onto the
next stage.

*******
However, I am confident, that in properly clear and cloudless skies, the program will work like a charm, as it has
for me in past years.
Looking forward to zoning-in on the perfect polar alignment on both axes, soon.
... and of coarse, a fresh PEM curve for the returned CP4. All of these heavily rely on clear high contrast image
samples.

HTH,
Joe Z.


Re: Mach2 Wifi problems #Mach2GTO #WiFi

Dominique Durand
 

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 04:29 PM, Liam Plybon wrote:
Dominique,

When you say you connected the PC to the mount with USB3, are you saying you connected the PC to the through-mount cable? The CP5 can only use a USB2 cable, since USB3 will not fit in the receptacle.

I am interested in trying to replicate as close to how you experience it as I can. If you are willing to spend some time with me working on the issue, I would really appreciate it. I want to find a solution to the issue.
Hi Liam,
Great. Lately I have been focusing on modeling and photos, because the WIFi was not essential, but in July I did a lot of tests to see under what conditions the WIFI worked and when it didn't. not. I can repeat his tests of course. I had also solved the problem it seems to me by moving the CP5 away from the stand which has 3 stainless steel threaded rods for the support of the frame. I put a diagram of my installation which beyond the WIFi works perfectly with speeds of 200 to 300mo / s for the USB3.

Dominique


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Joe Zeglinski
 

Ray,  ... and TOM – I too commiserate with your frustration with polar alignment, when trying to get it perfect and permanent ...
 
    I ran a few more hours of PEMPRO tonight, and surprisingly, the rotation suggestions were now in line with reality. No more doing the opposite clockwise versus counter clockwise conflict.
 
    The way I see it – and Tom, it might help you as well – these nights have had exceptionally milky,  hazy skies, and Ontario Canada, even by the Lake,  which is a long way from the fires on the west coast. But, the upper atmosphere winds may have already carried the smoke this far, and will likely, in time,  encircle the globe.
 
    So, PEMPRO was struggling with stars that were barely visible – i.e. sky quality tonight, at about 16.7 on the SQM’s meter scale – even on these  cloudless nights with no winds. 
 
    One difficulty with running PEMPRO  is that it seems to “purposely” ... not take advantage of DARKS. 
I use an IDAS filter on the STL-11000, here in the suburbs, just to get some contrast away from the city lights reflecting of the fog or smoke. If PEMPRO would let the user’s camera software (mine is CCDSOFT), take Darks with every sample, then it wouldn’t get confused with sky glow, and bad columns of camera hot pixels. DARKS and a good pollution filter like an IDAS, would really make it easier and quicker.
 
    I tried to force my CCDSOFT camera software to take “AUTO DARKS”, but something, likely PEMPRO, kept resetting the option to “NONE” for sample image post processing,  with every 10 second sample it took. So, this problem can only be remedied in the program, rather than trying to override it myself.
 
    The second possible cause of the “so-called rotation clues reversal” may be because the polar alignment has now perhaps changed quite a bit – after 2 years of not using the scope – and in particular, the error in DECLINATION drift was compounding the problem,  with doing the AZIMUTH drift alignment first.
It is a chicken & egg situation – which axis drift should really be done first – AZ or Elevation adjustment. One affects the other, and it is a recursive process anyway. Perhaps PEMPRO could do a quick test during initialization, to determine which axis,  requiring adjustment (AZ or EL),  has the slightly greater drift, and jump into that phase first, rather than always  adjusting AZ first. Then there may not be such wild excursions in rotation directions, to the point that the opposite of  the PEMPRO suggested one, “occasionally” worked better. Just a guess.
 
    Anyway, after getting the AZ drift close to reasonable the other night, I tried to optimize the Elevation drift. Then tonight, with both axis drifts closer to optimal, I went back to refine the AZ drift, and by golly, following the suggested turn directions, PEMPRO behave as advertised.
 
    It still took many hours to refine, but I’ll blame that on our “unusually”smoky suburban skies,  possibly accompanied by  a large polar axis tripod  shift since the last time I ran PEMPRO, or even used the Losmandy tripod and  AP-1200 mounted scope. Unlike Tom’s concrete  pier, my Losmandy has its feet solidly planted on cinder blocks buried in the ground, for the past 15 years or so. Two years of seasonal change  resulting in imperceptible seasonal  ground shift could have put the polar axis considerably  out of line in both AZ and EL.
 
*****
    Finally, I was wondering WHY ...  PEMPRO does not allow positioning the scope closer than 30 degrees away from the meridian.
That angle put my scope view nearly at my rooftop. So, I had to switch to the 30 degree position on the Eastern sky, which I don;t like to do since, as has been written, the scope could eventually get too close to the meridian if the PEMPRO (and the user),  takes a long time to get it right. Is there something magic about that 30 degree distance limitation, for Elevation drift cancellation. or just a suitable sky angle to point toward the east or west horizon?
 
    I don’t know if I am screwing things up in the run, but, I use a long run of 22 minutes graphing  period to get the drift to settle down. Then I redo the run by stopping the sampling, backing up to the previous step to reposition the scope back to its original  5 degree from meridian staring point. Then I do another run of axis  tweaks.
 
    Perhaps there should be an option box, where the user to chooses for PEMPRO to return to the starting point after clickin on its MANUAL STOP sampling. Otherwise, over time, the scope will drift too far towards the east or west horizon, instead of staying close to the  user chosen or the ideal default  5 degree from meridian, start point. That would gradually lose the accuracy of the measurements and axis tweaks, all gone to waste of time and effort – user tedium and frustration!.
Perhaps  PEMPRO should cycle back to the starting angle, until the user is happy with the drift, and moves onto the next stage.
 
*******
    However, I am confident, that in properly clear and cloudless skies, the program will work like a charm, as it has for me in past years.
Looking forward to zoning-in on the perfect polar alignment on both axes, soon.
... and of coarse, a fresh PEM curve for the returned CP4. All of these heavily rely on clear high contrast image samples.
 
HTH,
Joe Z.


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Ray Gralak
 

Tom,

That kind of drift has nothing to do with the mount or the CP4. Random slow drift like that can occur if there are tube currents, or if there is heat wafting up off of nearby buildings, pavement, etc.

Have you tried waiting until early morning to do alignment? Usually by that time, the scope and surroundings should have cooled down to near equilibrium.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Tom Blahovici
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2020 8:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Well, here we go. Another 2 hours trying to align with pempro. How in the world can anyone do anything with a
trend line like this???? I adjust, then it seems to do what every it wants.I'm at the point where I am going to throw
the whole money sucking hobby away. I just can';t take it any more.
How can you do anything with a curve like this??? I move the azimuth screws a 1/16 of a turn and then the same
garbage shows again. I move it a 1/4 of a turn and then the garbage is in the other direction.
I'm at the point of tears, sticking money on a CP4, getting 1 arc second improvement, and then buying a moonlight
NiteCra$$ler to be sure all is stable and this is what I get.
I rented a backhoe, dug a 6 foot deep hole filled with concrete. I can hit my scope with a hammer when imaging and
it doesn't budge. What more can I do???????


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Tom Blahovici
 

Well, here we go.  Another 2 hours trying to align with pempro. How in the world can anyone do anything with a trend line like this???? I adjust, then it seems to do what every it wants.I'm at the point where I am going to throw the whole money sucking hobby away.  I just can';t take it any more.
How can you do anything with a curve like this???  I move the azimuth screws a 1/16 of a turn and then the same garbage shows again.  I move it a 1/4 of a turn and then the garbage is in the other direction.
I'm at the point of tears, sticking money on a CP4, getting 1 arc second improvement, and then buying a moonlight NiteCra$$ler to be sure all is stable and this is what I get.
I rented a backhoe, dug a 6 foot deep hole filled with concrete. I can hit my scope with a hammer when imaging and it doesn't budge.  What more can I do???????


Re: Q. for Ray Gralak about PEMPro

CurtisC
 

Thank you for the clarification.

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