Date   

Pier Crash - need help diagnosing #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Joel Short
 

I have an AP1100GTO CP4 and use the ASCOM driver for mount control, with SGP and PHD2.  Last night I had a pier crash and it is really puzzling as to what happened and I could use some help figuring it out.  The guide star was lost around 11:10pm and for some reason SGP recovery didn’t work properly. The really strange thing is that the scope was on the EAST side of the pier pointing down at the ground, but pointing on the west side of the pier. If the scope was tracking properly it would have just continued moving west, so something strange happened to to cause the scope to crash into the EAST side of the pier. Another strange thing is that the AP1100 ASCOM driver reported that the scope was parked this morning.
 
I also have Mount Watcher activated to shut down the mount if it gets too far past the meridian or too far CW up. That failed as well. I really have no clue what caused this.  Here is a link to the ASCOM_V2_Driver log.  Any ideas as to what happened would be appreciated.  
joel


Re: APPM Questions

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Shane,

How does APPM send the telescope's destination coordinates to the Dome
driver? Does it do that though ASCOM?
Yes, through ASCOM, but as I alluded to, the API is lacking. It does not provide the dome with enough information to calculate position.

In Active mode, APPM first checks if the driver can accept SendToAzimuth and/or SendToAltitude. Assuming it can APPM will convert the telescope's destination RA/Dec to Azimuth/Altitude and issue the dome driver's SlewToAzimuth() and SlewToAltitude() methods.

In Passive mode, APPM does not issue any moves directly to the dome driver. However, APPM monitors the "Slewing" property to determine when the dome has completed movement. APPM also does this in it's Active mode as well.

The problem with the ASCOM Dome interface is that it doesn't provide enough information to the dome driver. What the dome driver needs are:

1) The telescope's destination RA/Dec.
2) The mount's destination pier side.
3) In case of a multiple scope setup, which telescope (or telescopes) to center the dome opening.

-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 Shane Ramotowski
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 5:37 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Hi Ray,

I'm currently working on motorizing my dome and am in the middle of
testing my newly written ASCOM driver and want to make sure that I can
support APPM.

How does APPM send the telescope's destination coordinates to the Dome
driver? Does it do that though ASCOM?

This is my first ASCOM driver, so I'm likely missing something or
misunderstanding something, but I don't see any ASCOM methods that would
work for sending telescope coordinates. Is it done though a custom
command in Action(), CommandBlind(), CommandBool(), or CommandString()?
I know about the CanSlave property, but as I understand it, that is for
a hardware (external to DOME driver) solution.

Thanks - Shane

On 10/5/2020 8:56 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
Tony,

APPM sends the telescope's destination coordinates to the Dome driver that to which APPM is configured. IMO
the Dome driver should be intelligent enough to figure out where the telescope is heading and move the dome
there. I would say it is up to the Dome driver developer to make this work. I would say you should talk to the
NexDome manufacturer to see what suggestions they have.

Also, I have been on and off working on a generic cross-platform dome driver. At the rate it's been going, it may
be months away from when I can complete it, but the intent is to fix some of the bad decisions (in hindsight) made
by ASCOM in the API design. (Then I would have to convince application developers to implement what is
essentially a superset of ASCOM.)

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 7:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Ray,

Is my understanding on this whole process more or less correct?:



* as soon as I hit "Start" for the APPM run that first RA/Dec (Zenith) is sent to SGP (assuming I'm using SGP
for dome movement);
* SGP does the math required to figure out what Azimuth to send the dome to (should take like a Nano
second - it is a computer after all); and
* that Azimuth position is then sent to the Nexdome driver which then actually has the dome move?

Is that the way things should work? If so, then I would be guessing that the Nexdome driver may be the real
issue
in all this?





--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@cotse.net
https://www.kor-astro.net




Re: APPM Questions

Shane Ramotowski
 

Hi Ray,

I'm currently working on motorizing my dome and am in the middle of testing my newly written ASCOM driver and want to make sure that I can support APPM.

How does APPM send the telescope's destination coordinates to the Dome driver?  Does it do that though ASCOM?

This is my first ASCOM driver, so I'm likely missing something or misunderstanding something, but I don't see any ASCOM methods that would work for sending telescope coordinates.  Is it done though a custom command in Action(), CommandBlind(), CommandBool(), or CommandString()?  I know about the CanSlave property, but as I understand it, that is for a hardware (external to DOME driver) solution.

Thanks - Shane

On 10/5/2020 8:56 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
Tony,

APPM sends the telescope's destination coordinates to the Dome driver that to which APPM is configured. IMO the Dome driver should be intelligent enough to figure out where the telescope is heading and move the dome there. I would say it is up to the Dome driver developer to make this work. I would say you should talk to the NexDome manufacturer to see what suggestions they have.

Also, I have been on and off working on a generic cross-platform dome driver. At the rate it's been going, it may be months away from when I can complete it, but the intent is to fix some of the bad decisions (in hindsight) made by ASCOM in the API design. (Then I would have to convince application developers to implement what is essentially a superset of ASCOM.)

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 7:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Ray,

Is my understanding on this whole process more or less correct?:



* as soon as I hit "Start" for the APPM run that first RA/Dec (Zenith) is sent to SGP (assuming I'm using SGP
for dome movement);
* SGP does the math required to figure out what Azimuth to send the dome to (should take like a Nano
second - it is a computer after all); and
* that Azimuth position is then sent to the Nexdome driver which then actually has the dome move?

Is that the way things should work? If so, then I would be guessing that the Nexdome driver may be the real issue
in all this?




--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@cotse.net
https://www.kor-astro.net


Re: APPM Questions

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Thanks Ray,

I appreciate your patience in this thread. I know its a small niggly thing. Appreciate everything you've done.

Cheers


Re: APPM Questions

Ray Gralak
 

Tony,

APPM sends the telescope's destination coordinates to the Dome driver that to which APPM is configured. IMO the Dome driver should be intelligent enough to figure out where the telescope is heading and move the dome there. I would say it is up to the Dome driver developer to make this work. I would say you should talk to the NexDome manufacturer to see what suggestions they have.

Also, I have been on and off working on a generic cross-platform dome driver. At the rate it's been going, it may be months away from when I can complete it, but the intent is to fix some of the bad decisions (in hindsight) made by ASCOM in the API design. (Then I would have to convince application developers to implement what is essentially a superset of ASCOM.)

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 7:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Ray,

Is my understanding on this whole process more or less correct?:



* as soon as I hit "Start" for the APPM run that first RA/Dec (Zenith) is sent to SGP (assuming I'm using SGP
for dome movement);
* SGP does the math required to figure out what Azimuth to send the dome to (should take like a Nano
second - it is a computer after all); and
* that Azimuth position is then sent to the Nexdome driver which then actually has the dome move?

Is that the way things should work? If so, then I would be guessing that the Nexdome driver may be the real issue
in all this?


Re: regreasing old ap 900 gto

Steven Panish
 

Vincent,

The AP grease kit is not on their website, you have to call them for it, but I would think you could also get it from their European distributor.  The kit includes good instructions.  You will also need the "gear mesh" instructions available on the AP website.

The kit includes two kinds of grease, one for the worm and worm gear, and another for all the spur gears.  If you want to use commercially available grease AP could advise you.

Steve

On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 3:29 PM CurtisC via groups.io <calypte=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
You can buy a grease kit from Astro-Physics. 


Re: APPM Questions

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Think I'm slowly getting a grip on the main issue here. If I'm slewing the scope from within SGP then there is no delay - the scope and dome move together in beautiful harmony. But once an outside party (APPM) is issuing the slew command SGP has to sit idly by until that slew is complete as it doesn't know where the scope/mount is going to end up? Heres the way Jared from SGP put it:

SGP will do “pre-emptive” slews when SGP issues the slew or when the slew comes from the API. If something else is issuing the slew then SGP has to react to it since the slew is done without our notification…what’s worse is that SGP doesn’t know where the slew was commanded to go (we just see RA/Dec changing) so we have to wait until the slew is complete and then we can move the dome accordingly. I’m assuming since APPM talks directly to the mount that it is issuing the slew without SGP’s knowledge.

To enable pre-emptive dome slews without scope slews we’d need to create something on the API side that would allow external applications to send us the coordinates for the slew but not actually do the slew in SGP. Or to allow this now the application could invoke the slew through SGP which would then handle the slaving correctly.

Jared


Re: APPM Questions

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

So heres what the dome looks like now with the new APPM ver. It all works and probably won't get any fails. What I would really, really like is to find out who/how can get the dome to move in time with the mount - instead of just sitting there??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ao9ko5feII&ab_channel=TonyBenjamin


Re: Mach1 play in RA Axis - did not adjust out with Gear Mesh adjustment

John Davis
 

Hi Rowland - 
   Hope you didn't lose any sleep over this issue!  Thanks for the additional idea and detailed pictures - I just checked and all the screws there were rock-solid tight.  So that's not the source of the play.
   I have just about finished my checks of the hardware and software - got the mount talking to SGP and PHD2 - so I am hoping to get some time under the stars this week to see how the mount is working.  The only issue to solve now is that I'm used to using Polemaster to do the PA and I will need to learn another procedure to do the PA.  But I do have a RPAS so I will see how well that alone does.

  Thanks so much for all the help with debugging this problem.  Even though we haven't found it - I have learned a lot about the mount and have seen how well designed and engineered these mounts are!  

John 


Re: regreasing old ap 900 gto

CurtisC
 

You can buy a grease kit from Astro-Physics. 


regreasing old ap 900 gto

vincent.visonneau
 

Hi

I would like to re-grease my old 900 gto mount.

Is this sort of grease available, i live in France

https://www.mr-bricolage.fr/Basse-goulaine-nantes/technique-graisse-universelle-lithium-tube-150g-3-en-un.html

On AP website, i don't find the method to dissasemble the worm from the gear, is the method the same as this one  (for 1200 gto model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7s2kTzFNF4), perhaps it is a little different for the ap900 gto?

Is there a tips to put back the motor and adjusting the gear mesh?

Regards

Vincent


Re: #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

mjperron15@...
 

Disregard, found Howards comments regarding ASCOM platform 6.5. 

Thought I was losing my mind.

Mike


Re: APPM Questions

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Ray,

Is my understanding on this whole process more or less correct?:

  • as soon as I hit "Start" for the APPM run that first RA/Dec (Zenith) is sent to SGP (assuming I'm using SGP for dome movement);
  • SGP does the math required to figure out what Azimuth to send the dome to (should take like a Nano second - it is a computer after all); and
  • that Azimuth position is then sent to the Nexdome driver which then actually has the dome move?
Is that the way things should work? If so, then I would be guessing that the Nexdome driver may be the real issue in all this?


adapting Mach2GTO to TAK EM-400 Tripod

weihaowang
 

Hi,

Last month I got notified for ordering a Mach2GTO. While I am waiting for the delivery, I also started to think about how to adapt it to a tripod.

Currently I have two tripods for TAK EM-400. So I am thinking about using one of them for Mach2. The top of the tripod looks like this:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6bp7mk2fr6oolml/EM400_tripod.jpg?dl=0
Its dimensions are given in the first page of this PDF file I created:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0iw5d96ixeye1mr/Mach2GTO_EM400Tripod.pdf?dl=0
On the first page, I compared it against ADATRI for Mach1/Mach2.

So, to put Mach2GTO on the EM-400 tripod, the first natural choice would be to custom-make a second adapter, to create a flat surface that connects to the bottom of ADATRI. This is shown on the second page of the PDF file above.

However, from ADATRI's dimensions, I noticed that the diameter of Mach2's base (about 5.8 inch) is very close to the diameter of the stainless steel part of the EM-400 tripod (5.91 inch).  I wonder if it's a good idea to bypass ADATRI and let Mach2 directly sit on the EM-400 tripod. To do so, I can just custom-make a tube that fixes Mach2 on the tripod, like what's shown on the third page of the PDF file.

I am wondering what is better.  With ADATRI or without?  Will there be big problems in the second approach (bypassing ADATRI)?

Thanks.

Wei-Hao



--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


#APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

mjperron15@...
 

Hello,

I am experiencing an issue with plate solving in the APCC APPM tool that I can't seem to track down. 

As an example. If I slew the scope to Sculptor galaxy and take an image, the galaxy is very clearly centered. APCC displays the correct RA/DEC for the object. If I then use APPM to plate solve and recal on the object, the image appears to solve correctly but I get an error saying that recal has failed because it is too far from the current RA/DEC. Everything that I look at says the RA/DEC are as expected for Sculptor galaxy. Image scale and orientation are correct. I appear to have significant error in the previous coordinates for some reason.

I've been trying to track this down for hours and am at a complete loss. I have been using APPM for years and have never had an issue. If a log would be useful please let me know which one you would like.

Any help would be appreciated.

Mike


Re: APPM Questions

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Thanks Ray,

I put it in Passive Mode and it does work fine. The only thing being that the scope will finish its slew before the dome moves at all...but at least it moves in the right direction when it does move :)

I'll ask the Nexdome driver developer about what it does with the RA/Dec coords it receives from the mount and why it cannot seem to predict which side it should be rotating to. Maybe there is something he can do to use that RA/Dec to keep the dome going properly.


Re: APPM Questions

Ray Gralak
 

Also, APPM sends the telescope's destination RA/Dec to the dome *once*.

It is important that your dome driver can translate that into the correct Azimuth coordinate to which to move. If it cannot do that then you probably will need to go back to passive mode. From what you are saying (dome going back and forth) the dome driver doesn't correctly predict which pier side to move to based on the RA/Dec coordinates given to it.

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 5:42 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Okay, so heres whats happening.

When the Dark Frame was enabled it froze. So I disabled that feature.

Now, when I run APPM the scope goes to Zenith as per normal and the status remains "Settling" but then it
doesn't take an image. The scope stays at Zenith (with the "Current Status" oscillating between
Settle/Wait/Slewing) while the dome makes its way over to be aligned (at about 270 degrees) but then no image is
taken and the dome slews back around180 degrees (to about 090 degrees) and then comes back around to where
it should be and then an image is taken. Basically the dome ends up move twice what it needs to before an image
is taken, Seems to be doing this for each point??


Re: APPM Questions

Ray Gralak
 

Tony,

The only change I made was to check if the Dome is slewing according to the driver to which APPM is connected.

APPM will wait until the driver says the Dome is done slewing.

If the driver says the dome is slewing then APPM can not move to imaging. Maybe this is happening because your dome is always slewing (slowly) to keep the mount centered while tracking?

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 5:42 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Okay, so heres whats happening.

When the Dark Frame was enabled it froze. So I disabled that feature.

Now, when I run APPM the scope goes to Zenith as per normal and the status remains "Settling" but then it
doesn't take an image. The scope stays at Zenith (with the "Current Status" oscillating between
Settle/Wait/Slewing) while the dome makes its way over to be aligned (at about 270 degrees) but then no image is
taken and the dome slews back around180 degrees (to about 090 degrees) and then comes back around to where
it should be and then an image is taken. Basically the dome ends up move twice what it needs to before an image
is taken, Seems to be doing this for each point??


Re: APPM Questions

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Okay, so heres whats happening.

When the Dark Frame was enabled it froze. So I disabled that feature.

Now, when I run APPM the scope goes to Zenith as per normal and the status remains "Settling" but then it doesn't take an image. The scope stays at Zenith (with the "Current Status" oscillating between Settle/Wait/Slewing) while the dome makes its way over to be aligned (at about 270 degrees) but then no image is taken and the dome slews back around180 degrees (to about 090 degrees) and then comes back around to where it should be and then an image is taken. Basically the dome ends up move twice what it needs to before an image is taken, Seems to be doing this for each point??


Re: APPM Questions

Ray Gralak
 

Gave it a go but it basically failed when it started to take the dark frame. I will try it without the dark frame
enabled.
Don't worry about APPM taking a dark frame. The scope could be slewing while taking the dark frame. It is done this way to save time.

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 5:25 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Hi Ray,

Gave it a go but it basically failed when it started to take the dark frame. I will try it without the dark frame
enabled.

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