Date   

Re: Problem with PEMPRO polar alignment

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dave,

I am not sure why this is not obvious, but a bright round star is not a good choice because it is almost certainly saturated, which will cause centroiding to be inaccurate. PEMPro will reject stars that are too large.

You need to adjust the minimum/maximum brightness values to be reasonable for your camera. For a 16-bit camera you want to set the maximum brightness to about 1/2 the range, or about 30,000. Minimum should be set maybe at 5,000.

Also, people, please post your PEMPro questions to the CCDWare PEMPro forum. This forum is for Astro-Physics mounts!!

-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 DaveB
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:37 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PEMPRO polar alignment

I'm seeing the same issue, struggling tonight to get my new setup going. I'm using SGP as the camera (QSI583 is
the real camera), and I can see a nice, bright, round star on SGP (it shows each image), but PemPRO will most
often switch back to "finding star". I rarely am getting more than four or five data points plotted at a time before it
switches back to "finding star" even though the star is visible on SGP.

Let me know if I can provide any data for debugging.


Re: Does APCC think I'm in the southern hemisphere? #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Does APCC think I'm in the southern hemisphere?
No, but APCC and the driver think the mount is pointing below the horizon. Maybe the mount was initialized incorrectly?

-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 DaveB
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:56 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Does APCC think I'm in the southern hemisphere? #APCC

I'm getting my setup going in my new house, in a new backyard ROR observatory. I booted everything up from my
previous setup, and I *think* that everything looked ok. Then I switched my location, and during that time, I
upgraded APCC and the AP ASCOM driver to the latest versions. I'm running ASCOM 6.4 SP1.

Somewhere along the way, the image of the globe in the Telescope Position window swapped North and South (see
attached screenshot1). Also, my North and South movements are reversed when I try to slew with the virtual NSEW
buttons on the GUI. East and West seen fine.

A second thing that I noticed is that my Longitude readings are showing a +76 degrees rather than a -76 degrees.
You can see in the screenshot2 attached that the driver correctly shows it as 76 degrees W, but the APCC control
panel shows it as +76 degrees rather than -76 degrees. Is this a non-issue other than a mistake on the display, or is
it possible affecting something, perhaps the first issue that I'm seeing?

Let me know if there is something that I'm doing wrong, or something that I can do to debug things if there is an
issue. Goto seems to be going to the correct locations, at least roughly where it should be pointed (i.e. not going to
the wrong hemisphere or the wrong direction from the meridian). Or, let me know if nothing is wrong in both cases.

Thanks,
Dave


Does APCC think I'm in the southern hemisphere? #APCC

DaveB
 

I'm getting my setup going in my new house, in a new backyard ROR observatory. I booted everything up from my previous setup, and I *think* that everything looked ok. Then I switched my location, and during that time, I upgraded APCC and the AP ASCOM driver to the latest versions. I'm running ASCOM 6.4 SP1.

Somewhere along the way, the image of the globe in the Telescope Position window swapped North and South (see attached screenshot1). Also, my North and South movements are reversed when I try to slew with the virtual NSEW buttons on the GUI. East and West seen fine.

A second thing that I noticed is that my Longitude readings are showing a +76 degrees rather than a -76 degrees. You can see in the screenshot2 attached that the driver correctly shows it as 76 degrees W, but the APCC control panel shows it as +76 degrees rather than -76 degrees. Is this a non-issue other than a mistake on the display, or is it possible affecting something, perhaps the first issue that I'm seeing?

Let me know if there is something that I'm doing wrong, or something that I can do to debug things if there is an issue. Goto seems to be going to the correct locations, at least roughly where it should be pointed (i.e. not going to the wrong hemisphere or the wrong direction from the meridian). Or, let me know if nothing is wrong in both cases.

Thanks,
Dave


Re: Problem with PEMPRO polar alignment

DaveB
 

I'm seeing the same issue, struggling tonight to get my new setup going. I'm using SGP as the camera (QSI583 is the real camera), and I can see a nice, bright, round star on SGP (it shows each image), but PemPRO will most often switch back to "finding star". I rarely am getting more than four or five data points plotted at a time before it switches back to "finding star" even though the star is visible on SGP.

Let me know if I can provide any data for debugging.


Re: GTO4 wifi password

Peter Bresler
 

I was using the PW for an old box, but the PW for SN on the current one also does not work.


Re: A bunch of APCC woes...

Ray Gralak
 

Tom,

So my remaining question is still, can you have multiple use of the
ascom driver for multiple applications each of
Again, I think you are over complicating things. The AP V2 ASCOM driver supports multiple simultaneous applications from one instance. You do not need a separate COM port for each ASCOM client connection. One port will do.

The reason APCC tries to allocate two virtual COM ports is that a second instance of the driver will be invoked if an ASCOM client is run "as administrator". But, you don't need to worry about that.

-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: Sunday, September 20, 2020 9:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] A bunch of APCC woes...

Well, the keypad had the time set to -4. This obviously contributed to the issues of pointing which are now resolved.
However, the issues with the virtual ports are still there.
I deleted all the ports. Then created com16 and com17. The original ones com5 and com6 do not show up in the
device manager or in the ascom drivers. However, I still had one device that had the driver set to com5. This one
still works! Even though you cannot see it anywhere.
So my remaining question is still, can you have multiple use of the ascom driver for multiple applications each of
which is configured for a different comport? Doesn't seem to work but could be related to the still two remaining
phantom ports. And yes, I showed hidden devices and deleted them and rebooted.


Re: A bunch of APCC woes...

Tom Blahovici
 

Well, the keypad had the time set to -4.  This obviously contributed to the issues of pointing which are now resolved.  However, the issues with the virtual ports are still there.
I deleted all the ports.  Then created com16 and com17.  The original ones com5 and com6 do not show up in the device manager or in the ascom drivers.  However, I still had one device that had the driver set to com5. This one still works! Even though you cannot see it anywhere.
So my remaining question is still, can you have multiple use of the ascom driver for multiple applications each of which is configured for a different comport?  Doesn't seem to work but could be related to the still two remaining phantom ports.  And yes, I showed hidden devices and deleted them and rebooted.


Re: A bunch of APCC woes...

Ray Gralak
 

Tom,

Let's add a couple of more issues...after rebooting, the virtual ports I was using disappeared. They were replaced
with two others. These two do not show up in the Windows device manager, nor do they show up in the ASCOM
settings.
Tom, you are overthinking this. You don't have to worry about setting up the AP V2 ASCOM driver. APCC will auto-configure the AP V2 ASCOM driver if you set the options I suggested in my last post.

And BTW, the virtual ports do not stick around through a computer reboot. They are created when you run APCC.

Lastly, please take a look at the help file! Here's a link to the online version of one of the first pages you should read:

https://www.siriusimaging.com/Help/APCC/getting_started_workflow.htm

Thanks,

-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: Sunday, September 20, 2020 6:11 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] A bunch of APCC woes...

Let's add a couple of more issues...after rebooting, the virtual ports I was using disappeared. They were replaced
with two others. These two do not show up in the Windows device manager, nor do they show up in the ASCOM
settings.

Tom


Re: Low temp version of the #Mach2GTO

Terry Martin
 

Thanks Sébastien,

The reason I asked was I have ordered a Mach 2 through a dealer and the dealer had told me when I placed the order that the standard encoder was good to -20C, which would probably work for me (I guess I'm a bit of a wimp), but I did see on the Renishaw website that the Standard encoder has an operating range of 0C to +80C.  I have sent an email to my dealer asking if I could change my order to the Low Temp version.

Terry 


Re: A bunch of APCC woes...

Ray Gralak
 

Tom,

 

Here's where you went wrong:

 

> First: After a successful evening of imaging where I initially

> do a manual sync with the keypad on a star

 

If APCC does not initialize the control box then the settings will not be set because they have been already set by the keypad.

 

I suggest:

 

1) You try parking the mount to park 3 with the keypad.

2) Disconnect the keypad for now.

3) In APPC enable the following checkboxes:

            Mount - Auto-Connect

            Mount – Create Virtual Ports first

            AP V2 Driver – Auto-Config

 

See screen shot:

 

 

4) Close APCC

5) Power cycle the mount. Make sure the keypad is not connected.

6) Start APCC and let it initialize the mount. Make sure it initializes the mount from Last Parked position, which it should by default.

 

> I hope not to waste another evening of clear skys.

 

Hint: It is best to try setting up new software and/or hardware well in advance in the daytime so that you will have enough time to setup and test things.

 

-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: Sunday, September 20, 2020 6:02 PM

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

> Subject: [ap-gto] A bunch of APCC woes...

>

> First: After a successful evening of imaging where I initially do a manual sync with the keypad on a star, I send

> the mount to Park 3. I then power everything down.

> Next night, I open the sky, slew to Deneb for example and attempt to plate solve the location using Image link in

> TheSky.  Always fails.  The only way I can get things working is if I first manually position the scope with a finder,

> after telling it to go to a star and then doing a recal.  When I had the advanced option in APCC to reject recals that

> were off selected I would just get errors.

> Second:  And this is probably where this issue come from: If I look at the site data in APCC, and select Manage

> sites, I set the time to Eastern time -5.  However, the program then sets it to -4 when I press save.  On that same

> screen "Mount Location" Ihe time offset is displayed as -3.  What???

> Isn't the mount supposed to get things from the PC?  If APCC cannot do this right, the PC can.

>

> Second: I have created two virtual ports, com5 and com6.  Using the Ascom driver in the sky for the mount, it

> connects correctly using com6.  I then try to connect another program, FocusMax to com6 using the AP driver

> and it fails.  It attempts to connect to com6 again even though it was told com5. What am I doing wrong?  Do I

> need to load another instance of the ASCOM driver, if that can be done?

> I hope not to waste another evening of clear skys.

> Tom


Re: Low temp version of the #Mach2GTO

Sébastien Doré
 

Hi Terry,

I think Rolando has often stated (in other threads) that the standard encoder version can perform well in the cold winter of Illinois (if it means something to you,.. it didn't to me) but the point, I think, is rather that the low temp version is rated (hence garanteed by design / sampling) by the manufacturer (Renishaw) to work accurately through their specified operating temperature range (-40 to +80C)...

Clear skies!

Sébastien


Re: Low temp version of the #Mach2GTO

Sébastien Doré
 

Thanks Rolando ! A few more questions if you will:

I have run the mount in a deep freezer at -29C (mount was covered in ice after several days)

Would you say the ice/frost meltdown is a possible hazard to the mount when temp rises or are the housings waterproof enough not to worry about it ?

The mount worked fine and slewed easily at 1800x. You can set the slew rate to a lower level for really cold conditions.

In the long run (several years of chilly winters), besides reducing slew rate and regreasing the worm when applicable (and obviously keeping obs roof shut during snowstorm 😉), are there any other precautions needed to keep the mount operation optimal ?  Should the CP5 be kept inside (at room temperature) between imaging sessions, for example ?

Sébastien


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Re: A bunch of APCC woes...

Tom Blahovici
 

Let's add a couple of more issues...after rebooting, the virtual ports I was using disappeared.  They were replaced with two others.  These two do not show up in the Windows device manager, nor do they show up in the ASCOM settings.

Tom


A bunch of APCC woes...

Tom Blahovici
 

First: After a successful evening of imaging where I initially do a manual sync with the keypad on a star, I send the mount to Park 3. I then power everything down.
Next night, I open the sky, slew to Deneb for example and attempt to plate solve the location using Image link in TheSky.  Always fails.  The only way I can get things working is if I first manually position the scope with a finder, after telling it to go to a star and then doing a recal.  When I had the advanced option in APCC to reject recals that were off selected I would just get errors.
Second:  And this is probably where this issue come from: If I look at the site data in APCC, and select Manage sites, I set the time to Eastern time -5.  However, the program then sets it to -4 when I press save.  On that same screen "Mount Location" Ihe time offset is displayed as -3.  What???
Isn't the mount supposed to get things from the PC?  If APCC cannot do this right, the PC can.

Second: I have created two virtual ports, com5 and com6.  Using the Ascom driver in the sky for the mount, it connects correctly using com6.  I then try to connect another program, FocusMax to com6 using the AP driver and it fails.  It attempts to connect to com6 again even though it was told com5. What am I doing wrong?  Do I need to load another instance of the ASCOM driver, if that can be done?
I hope not to waste another evening of clear skys.
Tom


Re: Updating Cabling

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

I have had my NUC operating in -15C nights with no serious problems. During one session the display was pixelated but I’m not sure it was because of the temperature. 


On Sep 20, 2020, at 9:16 AM, Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


Honestly any small low power router that can operate at a voltage you can supply from your power source will work.  As for the operating temp it gets only to -10c here where I live at its coldest but I’ve had this operating in -8. Still far from -25 but below freezing nonetheless. It keeps itself warm.  

On Sep 19, 2020, at 23:17, sebastiendore1@... wrote:


Thanks for the reference and additional info. At first glance the model you use seems to be spec'ed for 0-50C but I'll take a look deeper into it to see if they might have an option with operating temp down to -25C or so.

Another alternative I know is RuggedScience. The have some fanless models (https://www.ruggedscience.com/industrial-computers/ultra-compact-computers/ars-2000-din-rail-compact-computer) but I think they are a bit pricey for the computing power you  get... Not sure if they have an external wifi antenna option either, though I might not require that.

Interesting idea the Airport Express as a mobile router! I might try that ! I also think I've read somewhere that the CP4 has its own hotspot function, but don't quote me on that. Someone can probably confirm...



De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
Envoyé : 19 septembre 2020 12:32
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Updating Cabling

I use an industrial fanless mini PC from OnLogic, in their ML100 series, specifically the ML100G-51 model:
https://www.onlogic.com/computers/industrial/fanless/ml100-series/

The Whiskey Lake CPUs have a 15W TDP and so are very powerful but also very kind on battry-powered setups. However, I also run the Whiskey Lake CPUs because I run a 61mp QHY600 camera, and lower-powered Celerons (J series, N series) would have a tough time with that during autofocus and other image analysis operations. But if you went with a Celeron-based model, you would see even lower-powered usage.

The body of the case is a heat sink so it keeps itself clear of dew, and it doesn't have a fan to blow humid air through the inside, either. It also has external wifi antennas (vs. an intel NUC, which is internal) so when setting up at home, it has the reach to get good speeds on my home wireless network. When in the field I use a low power wifi router (repurposed Apple Airport Express) to make a small wireless network on the spot that the unit will auto-connect to. I am starting to experiment with the reliability of Windows' Mobile Hotspot/Hotspot On Demand feature, and if that works reliably I can remove the small wifi router from the setup. It's a shame that Windows 10 discontinued wireless ad-hoc mode, which was a bit more foolproof.

The only similar alternative to the OnLogic fanless models I found were SimplyNUC's Por-cool-pine line of fanless systems:
http://simplynuc.com/nuc-products/#fanless





Re: APCC Temperature Sensor Input

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Oh thanks, Dominique.

Somehow I didn't see it, I thought those text boxes had to do with the Model / APPM buttons next to it.


Re: More unguided imaging with the Mach2 - the open cluster NGC 129 #Mach2GTO

Dean Jacobsen
 

Thanks for taking a look Brian.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: More unguided imaging with the Mach2 - the open cluster NGC 129 #Mach2GTO

 

wow looks great, really nice work


On Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 1:16 PM Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
Hi All,

The weather finally cooperated enough for me to get out and take an image this cycle.

The scope was pointed at the open cluster NGC 129 this time.  This was the second outing with the new ASI2600MC-Pro OSC CMOS camera.

Here is a 100% resolution crop centered on NGC 129:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/qzh68l/C/

... and here is the full frame at about 50% resolution:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/qzh68l/B/

The Mach2 + the software continue to work great. 

--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: More unguided imaging with the Mach2 - the open cluster NGC 129 #Mach2GTO

Dean Jacobsen
 

Thanks Dominique. 

The field is very nice with the reduced FSQ-106.

The camera was a nice surprise.  I have never had an OSC camera so I though that I was taking a risk.  However, I think that I will be keeping the camera.  :-)
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: More unguided imaging with the Mach2 - the open cluster NGC 129 #Mach2GTO

Dominique Durand
 

Super Dean,
We are very happy to have this new mount.
What a field with the 2600 !!!

Dominique

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