Date   

Re: Mach2 model building and pointing with Sequence Generator Pro

 

Hi Steve

I am using SGP with the 1600AE, so i have a similar setup

just a couple suggestions/comments:

1. Are your user profile coordinates set up correctly in SGP? that could cause that initial offset in the goto
2. the APCC logs are in C:\ProgramData\Astro-Physics\APCC\Logs (or at least my logs are :) )
3. re: mount syncing to sky, yes the first part of model building includes an option (enabled by default) to "recal near zenith at start". you can use the goto/recal tab in APCC to sync your mount to the sky 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 8:38 PM Steve Armen <st5.armen@...> wrote:

This is meant for Ray Gralak. With the new mach2 being controlled by SGP version 3.2.0.613 and APCC/APPM latest version I have had two opportunities to test.

It may well be I am doing something incorrectly in the process. Let me preface this with my old mach1 could use SGP plate solve and sync, then pointing with coordinates with very accurate pointing results. I have carefully checked any parameters set for the OTA and camera. Since plate solves are passing, I'm assuming the required parameters are correct.

With the new mach2, here is the process I've been following:
1) Starting up, doing what I consider a good polar alignment with Sharpcap (3.2), then connecting with SGP.
2) Do a solve and sync with ASTAP (also tried platesolve2 with no difference in results) which is successful.
3) Try to slew to a target, e.g. Vega. The slew ends up with the target somewhere off in a corner or not even in the field of view (~32' x 22').
4) OK, not totally unusual so then use the "center target" which is plate solve based which always worked in the past. This moves the target somewhere ~ 10 arc min to the left of center and happily reports centering success. 

Let me further explain, I have attempted this two ways.
1) No APCC/APPM run, just the steps above.
2) Use the APCC/APPM flow as I read it, I did setup horizon limit before starting.
  a) power up, connect to APCC, park the mount at park 3, which always works!
  b) try the homing under the AE tab
  c) Run APPM to generate a sky model. So far have tried the small and medium models. All points plate solve successfully.

After the model run, I make sure both items below are selected:
Enable Pointing Correction
Enable Tracking Correction

When I try with either method 1 or 2 with or without model, the slow to object still has a large offset. 

One thing I am wondering is, how does the mount ever get synchronized to the sky? The plate solve and sync in SGP does not appear to be working. Does the model making process automatically sync the mount to the sky? 

Can you also let me know where are the APPC logs stored?

thanks,
Steve



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Mach2 model building and pointing with Sequence Generator Pro

Steve Armen
 

This is meant for Ray Gralak. With the new mach2 being controlled by SGP version 3.2.0.613 and APCC/APPM latest version I have had two opportunities to test.

It may well be I am doing something incorrectly in the process. Let me preface this with my old mach1 could use SGP plate solve and sync, then pointing with coordinates with very accurate pointing results. I have carefully checked any parameters set for the OTA and camera. Since plate solves are passing, I'm assuming the required parameters are correct.

With the new mach2, here is the process I've been following:
1) Starting up, doing what I consider a good polar alignment with Sharpcap (3.2), then connecting with SGP.
2) Do a solve and sync with ASTAP (also tried platesolve2 with no difference in results) which is successful.
3) Try to slew to a target, e.g. Vega. The slew ends up with the target somewhere off in a corner or not even in the field of view (~32' x 22').
4) OK, not totally unusual so then use the "center target" which is plate solve based which always worked in the past. This moves the target somewhere ~ 10 arc min to the left of center and happily reports centering success. 

Let me further explain, I have attempted this two ways.
1) No APCC/APPM run, just the steps above.
2) Use the APCC/APPM flow as I read it, I did setup horizon limit before starting.
  a) power up, connect to APCC, park the mount at park 3, which always works!
  b) try the homing under the AE tab
  c) Run APPM to generate a sky model. So far have tried the small and medium models. All points plate solve successfully.

After the model run, I make sure both items below are selected:
Enable Pointing Correction
Enable Tracking Correction

When I try with either method 1 or 2 with or without model, the slow to object still has a large offset. 

One thing I am wondering is, how does the mount ever get synchronized to the sky? The plate solve and sync in SGP does not appear to be working. Does the model making process automatically sync the mount to the sky? 

Can you also let me know where are the APPC logs stored?

thanks,
Steve


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

John Davis
 

Roland - can you answer definitively:  does the "Reverse Dec output after meridian flip" need to be checked or not checked?

I ask that because over on the PHD2 board, I have a guy telling me " The ASCOM driver for A-P mounts knows the 'side of pier' for the mount; so there is no need to check the reverse Dec box n PHD2"

And I have Michael Fulbright - a good friend and long time Mach1 owner telling me "if you uncheck the reverse dec box it will certainly not work"... 

I'd put my money on Michael - but this is why I have come to the experts.

IF the box DOES need to be checked - are there any OTHER settings that I need in the AP ASCOM driver?

John


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

John Davis
 

Hello Renan,
  Yes - I am using SGP with PHD2 - I would greatly appreciate the information.
Thanks,
John


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

Renan
 

What are you using for capturing images?

If SGP I can send you all the settings that I am using and it works.

Regards

Renan

 

From: John Davis
Sent: lunes, 19 de octubre de 2020 20:12
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

 

I'm sure this is a configuration problem, but I have not been able to find a clear answer searching the web, so I thought I'd post here to get input from the AP experts.

I have a new-to-me Mach1 that I have had out now for 4 sessions totalling about 20 hours of imaging.  I have been working the Bubble nebula, so I start out early in the evening when it is east of the meridian, and then later it crosses to west of the meridian.

The mount guides great from starting time until it is time for meridian flip.  After the meridian flip, it guides fine for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute - until there is the first commanded correction in Dec.  Then the Dec corrections continue and get larger - driving the scope off of the guide star until PHD2 loses it.  See attached screen shot from the PHD2 log viewer (post_meridian_flip_guiding_1.png

In PHD2 I have the box checked that says "Reverse Dec output after Meridian flip"  - because I thought I read on posts here (and in the doc maybe) that it needed to be set.  But even after un-checking that box, it continues to misbehave.

I have stopped PHD2 and re-calibrated -  using a star on the same side of the meridian and near the C-equator with mixed results.  On Saturday night, I parked the scope, turned off the mount, turned it back on, then re-calibrated PHD2  on a star west of the meridian and slewed back to the Bubble nebula west of the meridian.  Then PHD2 and the mount tracked fine.  Re-initializing the mount may not be necessary - I was not as much in troubleshooting mode as I was in "get back to imaging" mode - so I didn't do a very controlled experiment.

I don't know if it is pertinent or not, but I have the AP ASCOM driver set to allow the scope to go 60 minutes (-1 hours in the field of the driver dialog) past the meridian, and I have SGP configured to delay issuing the slew causing the flip until 60 minutes after crossing the meridian.   There is plenty of clearance with the scope and tripod/mount for that, so I was delaying the flip because I have been fighting getting it to work.

I've added the PHD2 log file as well - but I have posted the same question to the PHD2 discussion group.
I wanted to make sure there was not any AP specific configuration that I was missing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
John D.

 


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

John Davis
 

Thanks Roland - I can see what is happening - just don't understand why, since I did have the check to switch the Dec calibration after meridian flip... I guess I just wanted to make sure that is what the Mach1 is built to do.  I saw some info in PHD that said some mounts handle the reversal themselves.. 
As I said - I've posted to the PHD2 discussion board and will see what they say.

John


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

 

>>> I had no reason to think the existing mesh was bad, but there wasn't much else I could think to do.  The problem disappeared, and guiding on the west side was as good as on the east side.

this is most likely coincidence. If you do a meridian flip and the guiding "goes off" just reverse that checkbox. 

John I see you already posted to PHD forums and I responded there as well

Brian


On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 6:31 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
That is definitely a wrong approach. If the mount runs away in Dec it's because the guide pulses are in the wrong direction and need to be reversed. It's fundamental Of course it will guide ok for a few seconds or even longer as long as no pulses are sent to Dec, but as soon as Dec receives any correction pulses, it will send the mount in the wrong direction and every pulse after that just adds to the error until it goes completely off the guide window. This is fundamental, guys!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: CurtisC via groups.io <calypte=verizon.net@groups.io>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Oct 19, 2020 7:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 06:12 PM, John Davis wrote:
The mount guides great from starting time until it is time for meridian flip.  After the meridian flip, it guides fine for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute - until there is the first commanded correction in Dec.  Then the Dec corrections continue and get larger - driving the scope off of the guide star until PHD2 loses it.  See attached screen shot from the PHD2 log viewer (post_meridian_flip_guiding_1.png
What a coincidence!  I don't use PHD2.  I use MaxImDL.  But I had a recent experience of something very similar.  East of the meridian, everything was fine.  After the flip, it'd guide fabulously for several cycles, and then suddenly the guiding looked like the guider was chasing a squirrel.  I don't have an explanation.  But two nights ago it happened, and all I did was put my Mach1 into Park 3, and I remeshed the worm.  I had no reason to think the existing mesh was bad, but there wasn't much else I could think to do.  The problem disappeared, and guiding on the west side was as good as on the east side.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

Roland Christen
 

That is definitely a wrong approach. If the mount runs away in Dec it's because the guide pulses are in the wrong direction and need to be reversed. It's fundamental Of course it will guide ok for a few seconds or even longer as long as no pulses are sent to Dec, but as soon as Dec receives any correction pulses, it will send the mount in the wrong direction and every pulse after that just adds to the error until it goes completely off the guide window. This is fundamental, guys!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: CurtisC via groups.io <calypte@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Oct 19, 2020 7:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 06:12 PM, John Davis wrote:
The mount guides great from starting time until it is time for meridian flip.  After the meridian flip, it guides fine for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute - until there is the first commanded correction in Dec.  Then the Dec corrections continue and get larger - driving the scope off of the guide star until PHD2 loses it.  See attached screen shot from the PHD2 log viewer (post_meridian_flip_guiding_1.png
What a coincidence!  I don't use PHD2.  I use MaxImDL.  But I had a recent experience of something very similar.  East of the meridian, everything was fine.  After the flip, it'd guide fabulously for several cycles, and then suddenly the guiding looked like the guider was chasing a squirrel.  I don't have an explanation.  But two nights ago it happened, and all I did was put my Mach1 into Park 3, and I remeshed the worm.  I had no reason to think the existing mesh was bad, but there wasn't much else I could think to do.  The problem disappeared, and guiding on the west side was as good as on the east side.


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

CurtisC
 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 06:12 PM, John Davis wrote:
The mount guides great from starting time until it is time for meridian flip.  After the meridian flip, it guides fine for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute - until there is the first commanded correction in Dec.  Then the Dec corrections continue and get larger - driving the scope off of the guide star until PHD2 loses it.  See attached screen shot from the PHD2 log viewer (post_meridian_flip_guiding_1.png
What a coincidence!  I don't use PHD2.  I use MaxImDL.  But I had a recent experience of something very similar.  East of the meridian, everything was fine.  After the flip, it'd guide fabulously for several cycles, and then suddenly the guiding looked like the guider was chasing a squirrel.  I don't have an explanation.  But two nights ago it happened, and all I did was put my Mach1 into Park 3, and I remeshed the worm.  I had no reason to think the existing mesh was bad, but there wasn't much else I could think to do.  The problem disappeared, and guiding on the west side was as good as on the east side.


Re: PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

Roland Christen
 

The PHD group would be the best at figuring out why your guide software does not reverse the guiding parameters after a meridian flip.

The mount itself cannot automatically change the way it interprets the guide command. That has to come from the guide software 9in this case PHD2).

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: John Davis <johncdavis200@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Oct 19, 2020 6:12 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

I'm sure this is a configuration problem, but I have not been able to find a clear answer searching the web, so I thought I'd post here to get input from the AP experts.

I have a new-to-me Mach1 that I have had out now for 4 sessions totalling about 20 hours of imaging.  I have been working the Bubble nebula, so I start out early in the evening when it is east of the meridian, and then later it crosses to west of the meridian.

The mount guides great from starting time until it is time for meridian flip.  After the meridian flip, it guides fine for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute - until there is the first commanded correction in Dec.  Then the Dec corrections continue and get larger - driving the scope off of the guide star until PHD2 loses it.  See attached screen shot from the PHD2 log viewer (post_meridian_flip_guiding_1.png

In PHD2 I have the box checked that says "Reverse Dec output after Meridian flip"  - because I thought I read on posts here (and in the doc maybe) that it needed to be set.  But even after un-checking that box, it continues to misbehave.

I have stopped PHD2 and re-calibrated -  using a star on the same side of the meridian and near the C-equator with mixed results.  On Saturday night, I parked the scope, turned off the mount, turned it back on, then re-calibrated PHD2  on a star west of the meridian and slewed back to the Bubble nebula west of the meridian.  Then PHD2 and the mount tracked fine.  Re-initializing the mount may not be necessary - I was not as much in troubleshooting mode as I was in "get back to imaging" mode - so I didn't do a very controlled experiment.

I don't know if it is pertinent or not, but I have the AP ASCOM driver set to allow the scope to go 60 minutes (-1 hours in the field of the driver dialog) past the meridian, and I have SGP configured to delay issuing the slew causing the flip until 60 minutes after crossing the meridian.   There is plenty of clearance with the scope and tripod/mount for that, so I was delaying the flip because I have been fighting getting it to work.

I've added the PHD2 log file as well - but I have posted the same question to the PHD2 discussion group.
I wanted to make sure there was not any AP specific configuration that I was missing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
John D.


PHD2 Dec tracking goes runaway after Meridian Flip with Mach1

John Davis
 

I'm sure this is a configuration problem, but I have not been able to find a clear answer searching the web, so I thought I'd post here to get input from the AP experts.

I have a new-to-me Mach1 that I have had out now for 4 sessions totalling about 20 hours of imaging.  I have been working the Bubble nebula, so I start out early in the evening when it is east of the meridian, and then later it crosses to west of the meridian.

The mount guides great from starting time until it is time for meridian flip.  After the meridian flip, it guides fine for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute - until there is the first commanded correction in Dec.  Then the Dec corrections continue and get larger - driving the scope off of the guide star until PHD2 loses it.  See attached screen shot from the PHD2 log viewer (post_meridian_flip_guiding_1.png

In PHD2 I have the box checked that says "Reverse Dec output after Meridian flip"  - because I thought I read on posts here (and in the doc maybe) that it needed to be set.  But even after un-checking that box, it continues to misbehave.

I have stopped PHD2 and re-calibrated -  using a star on the same side of the meridian and near the C-equator with mixed results.  On Saturday night, I parked the scope, turned off the mount, turned it back on, then re-calibrated PHD2  on a star west of the meridian and slewed back to the Bubble nebula west of the meridian.  Then PHD2 and the mount tracked fine.  Re-initializing the mount may not be necessary - I was not as much in troubleshooting mode as I was in "get back to imaging" mode - so I didn't do a very controlled experiment.

I don't know if it is pertinent or not, but I have the AP ASCOM driver set to allow the scope to go 60 minutes (-1 hours in the field of the driver dialog) past the meridian, and I have SGP configured to delay issuing the slew causing the flip until 60 minutes after crossing the meridian.   There is plenty of clearance with the scope and tripod/mount for that, so I was delaying the flip because I have been fighting getting it to work.

I've added the PHD2 log file as well - but I have posted the same question to the PHD2 discussion group.
I wanted to make sure there was not any AP specific configuration that I was missing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
John D.


Re: Yellow light with mount connect

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Peter,

The mount suddenly stopped working. I power cycled, reloaded APCC,
light turns yellow with connect.
I looked at your logs, but I only found one fault, a low power fault.

The usual reasons for a yellow light are:

1. Low power
2. Motor stall
3. Servo fault

If it happens again, keep a note of the time when you first noticed it. The logs can easily span hundreds of megabytes, so it's helpful to have an accurate time to start looking for an issue.

-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 Peter Bresler via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:57 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Yellow light with mount connect

The mount suddenly stopped working. I power cycled, reloaded APCC, light turns yellow with connect.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/jzffvbbyw6smy0s/ApccZip-Peter_Bresler-2020-10-17-234703.zip?dl=0


Re: Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Roland Christen
 

I'm always lurkin' ,  muhahahaha!  Smiling face with horns

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 12:30 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Info noted. Thank you for the prompt response and great service. Rick.



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 10/18/20 1:04 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Use APCC to turn the encoders on. You can check if the encoders are active by removing one of the gearbox covers to expose the spur gears and servo motor shaft. Then wiggle the axis back and forth and the servo motor will respond with an opposing motion. If the motor does not respond, then the encoders are not active.

If you need further assistance, call George in the morning. He can help you navigate APCC and check your settings.

Guiding:
The encoders eliminate PE on the RA axis and eliminate backlash on the Dec axis. So, they should improve guiding by a fair amount. Best way to guide with encoders is to do as little as possible, which means take longer guide exposures to minimize seeing motions of the guide star. Don't guide at a fast cadence, rather add a few seconds between guide exposures to allow the encoder loop time to center the star. Use a bit lower aggressiveness than you are used to. I normally use 50% on normal seeing nights and rarely 70% on perfect seeing nights. My guide exposures are typically 3 to 5 seconds, and sometimes as much as 20 seconds for faint guide stars.

Be sure that you don't have differential flexure between guide and imaging cameras. This is probably the most important variable.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:42 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hi Rolando,

Thanks for the clarification. Tonight, I'll check out the pec curve. So it could be working even if the ae tab in apcc says the encoders are disabled?

Anything else you think I should do to troubleshoot this evening?




Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 10/18/20 12:34 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100


It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.
The encoders eliminate periodic error in tracking. The sidereal rate is very accurate with encoders as the axis is moving slowly from east to west. Of course polar alignment determines whether the stars stay on the crosshairs. Also, atmospheric refraction causes stars to move slower at lower altitudes than they do at the zenith.

Guiding is another whole ball of wax, which is partially defined by good tracking, but is much more defined by setting up the guide parameters. These depend on the sky conditions, primarily the seeing, but also how sturdy your setup is (mirror flop, dragging cables, differential flexure between guide scope and main scope, use of off-axis guiders and a whole host of other things).

So, is it "guiding" or is it "tracking" that is no different?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:07 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hello,

The physical install went well as well as installing the CP4 patch.

But in APCC, in the AE tab, it says the encoders are disabled and in the setup tab it says the encoder current state is enabled.

It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.

One point. I use 2 separate stand alone computers on my rig. Once to control the main scope and another to control the piggyback system. I do this because I use SX cameras on both and I had driver errors trying to control both imaging cameras with one computer. I have APCC Pro set up exactly the same on both and it has worked well. When I installed the patch, I did it via the main scope computer and them went into the piggyback camera to make sure APCC and the V2 driver were connecting. Both computers show the same encoder in APCC as stated above.

I'm not sure if having APCC on 2 computers and just installing the patch through one computer is relevant here, but I want to mention it in case it is.

Thanks for any assistance.


Re: Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Rick Darden
 

Info noted. Thank you for the prompt response and great service. Rick.



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 10/18/20 1:04 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Use APCC to turn the encoders on. You can check if the encoders are active by removing one of the gearbox covers to expose the spur gears and servo motor shaft. Then wiggle the axis back and forth and the servo motor will respond with an opposing motion. If the motor does not respond, then the encoders are not active.

If you need further assistance, call George in the morning. He can help you navigate APCC and check your settings.

Guiding:
The encoders eliminate PE on the RA axis and eliminate backlash on the Dec axis. So, they should improve guiding by a fair amount. Best way to guide with encoders is to do as little as possible, which means take longer guide exposures to minimize seeing motions of the guide star. Don't guide at a fast cadence, rather add a few seconds between guide exposures to allow the encoder loop time to center the star. Use a bit lower aggressiveness than you are used to. I normally use 50% on normal seeing nights and rarely 70% on perfect seeing nights. My guide exposures are typically 3 to 5 seconds, and sometimes as much as 20 seconds for faint guide stars.

Be sure that you don't have differential flexure between guide and imaging cameras. This is probably the most important variable.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:42 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hi Rolando,

Thanks for the clarification. Tonight, I'll check out the pec curve. So it could be working even if the ae tab in apcc says the encoders are disabled?

Anything else you think I should do to troubleshoot this evening?




Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 10/18/20 12:34 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100


It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.
The encoders eliminate periodic error in tracking. The sidereal rate is very accurate with encoders as the axis is moving slowly from east to west. Of course polar alignment determines whether the stars stay on the crosshairs. Also, atmospheric refraction causes stars to move slower at lower altitudes than they do at the zenith.

Guiding is another whole ball of wax, which is partially defined by good tracking, but is much more defined by setting up the guide parameters. These depend on the sky conditions, primarily the seeing, but also how sturdy your setup is (mirror flop, dragging cables, differential flexure between guide scope and main scope, use of off-axis guiders and a whole host of other things).

So, is it "guiding" or is it "tracking" that is no different?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:07 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hello,

The physical install went well as well as installing the CP4 patch.

But in APCC, in the AE tab, it says the encoders are disabled and in the setup tab it says the encoder current state is enabled.

It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.

One point. I use 2 separate stand alone computers on my rig. Once to control the main scope and another to control the piggyback system. I do this because I use SX cameras on both and I had driver errors trying to control both imaging cameras with one computer. I have APCC Pro set up exactly the same on both and it has worked well. When I installed the patch, I did it via the main scope computer and them went into the piggyback camera to make sure APCC and the V2 driver were connecting. Both computers show the same encoder in APCC as stated above.

I'm not sure if having APCC on 2 computers and just installing the patch through one computer is relevant here, but I want to mention it in case it is.

Thanks for any assistance.


Re: Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Roland Christen
 

Use APCC to turn the encoders on. You can check if the encoders are active by removing one of the gearbox covers to expose the spur gears and servo motor shaft. Then wiggle the axis back and forth and the servo motor will respond with an opposing motion. If the motor does not respond, then the encoders are not active.

If you need further assistance, call George in the morning. He can help you navigate APCC and check your settings.

Guiding:
The encoders eliminate PE on the RA axis and eliminate backlash on the Dec axis. So, they should improve guiding by a fair amount. Best way to guide with encoders is to do as little as possible, which means take longer guide exposures to minimize seeing motions of the guide star. Don't guide at a fast cadence, rather add a few seconds between guide exposures to allow the encoder loop time to center the star. Use a bit lower aggressiveness than you are used to. I normally use 50% on normal seeing nights and rarely 70% on perfect seeing nights. My guide exposures are typically 3 to 5 seconds, and sometimes as much as 20 seconds for faint guide stars.

Be sure that you don't have differential flexure between guide and imaging cameras. This is probably the most important variable.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:42 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hi Rolando,

Thanks for the clarification. Tonight, I'll check out the pec curve. So it could be working even if the ae tab in apcc says the encoders are disabled?

Anything else you think I should do to troubleshoot this evening?




Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 10/18/20 12:34 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100


It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.
The encoders eliminate periodic error in tracking. The sidereal rate is very accurate with encoders as the axis is moving slowly from east to west. Of course polar alignment determines whether the stars stay on the crosshairs. Also, atmospheric refraction causes stars to move slower at lower altitudes than they do at the zenith.

Guiding is another whole ball of wax, which is partially defined by good tracking, but is much more defined by setting up the guide parameters. These depend on the sky conditions, primarily the seeing, but also how sturdy your setup is (mirror flop, dragging cables, differential flexure between guide scope and main scope, use of off-axis guiders and a whole host of other things).

So, is it "guiding" or is it "tracking" that is no different?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:07 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hello,

The physical install went well as well as installing the CP4 patch.

But in APCC, in the AE tab, it says the encoders are disabled and in the setup tab it says the encoder current state is enabled.

It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.

One point. I use 2 separate stand alone computers on my rig. Once to control the main scope and another to control the piggyback system. I do this because I use SX cameras on both and I had driver errors trying to control both imaging cameras with one computer. I have APCC Pro set up exactly the same on both and it has worked well. When I installed the patch, I did it via the main scope computer and them went into the piggyback camera to make sure APCC and the V2 driver were connecting. Both computers show the same encoder in APCC as stated above.

I'm not sure if having APCC on 2 computers and just installing the patch through one computer is relevant here, but I want to mention it in case it is.

Thanks for any assistance.


Re: Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Rick Darden
 

Hi Rolando,

Thanks for the clarification. Tonight, I'll check out the pec curve. So it could be working even if the ae tab in apcc says the encoders are disabled?

Anything else you think I should do to troubleshoot this evening?




Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 10/18/20 12:34 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100


It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.
The encoders eliminate periodic error in tracking. The sidereal rate is very accurate with encoders as the axis is moving slowly from east to west. Of course polar alignment determines whether the stars stay on the crosshairs. Also, atmospheric refraction causes stars to move slower at lower altitudes than they do at the zenith.

Guiding is another whole ball of wax, which is partially defined by good tracking, but is much more defined by setting up the guide parameters. These depend on the sky conditions, primarily the seeing, but also how sturdy your setup is (mirror flop, dragging cables, differential flexure between guide scope and main scope, use of off-axis guiders and a whole host of other things).

So, is it "guiding" or is it "tracking" that is no different?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:07 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hello,

The physical install went well as well as installing the CP4 patch.

But in APCC, in the AE tab, it says the encoders are disabled and in the setup tab it says the encoder current state is enabled.

It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.

One point. I use 2 separate stand alone computers on my rig. Once to control the main scope and another to control the piggyback system. I do this because I use SX cameras on both and I had driver errors trying to control both imaging cameras with one computer. I have APCC Pro set up exactly the same on both and it has worked well. When I installed the patch, I did it via the main scope computer and them went into the piggyback camera to make sure APCC and the V2 driver were connecting. Both computers show the same encoder in APCC as stated above.

I'm not sure if having APCC on 2 computers and just installing the patch through one computer is relevant here, but I want to mention it in case it is.

Thanks for any assistance.


Re: Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Roland Christen
 


It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.
The encoders eliminate periodic error in tracking. The sidereal rate is very accurate with encoders as the axis is moving slowly from east to west. Of course polar alignment determines whether the stars stay on the crosshairs. Also, atmospheric refraction causes stars to move slower at lower altitudes than they do at the zenith.

Guiding is another whole ball of wax, which is partially defined by good tracking, but is much more defined by setting up the guide parameters. These depend on the sky conditions, primarily the seeing, but also how sturdy your setup is (mirror flop, dragging cables, differential flexure between guide scope and main scope, use of off-axis guiders and a whole host of other things).

So, is it "guiding" or is it "tracking" that is no different?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Oct 18, 2020 11:07 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Hello,

The physical install went well as well as installing the CP4 patch.

But in APCC, in the AE tab, it says the encoders are disabled and in the setup tab it says the encoder current state is enabled.

It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.

One point. I use 2 separate stand alone computers on my rig. Once to control the main scope and another to control the piggyback system. I do this because I use SX cameras on both and I had driver errors trying to control both imaging cameras with one computer. I have APCC Pro set up exactly the same on both and it has worked well. When I installed the patch, I did it via the main scope computer and them went into the piggyback camera to make sure APCC and the V2 driver were connecting. Both computers show the same encoder in APCC as stated above.

I'm not sure if having APCC on 2 computers and just installing the patch through one computer is relevant here, but I want to mention it in case it is.

Thanks for any assistance.


Need some assistance with an AE install on an AP1100

Rick Darden
 

Hello,

The physical install went well as well as installing the CP4 patch.

But in APCC, in the AE tab, it says the encoders are disabled and in the setup tab it says the encoder current state is enabled.

It appears they are not active because my guiding seems to be the same as before the install.

One point. I use 2 separate stand alone computers on my rig. Once to control the main scope and another to control the piggyback system. I do this because I use SX cameras on both and I had driver errors trying to control both imaging cameras with one computer. I have APCC Pro set up exactly the same on both and it has worked well. When I installed the patch, I did it via the main scope computer and them went into the piggyback camera to make sure APCC and the V2 driver were connecting. Both computers show the same encoder in APCC as stated above.

I'm not sure if having APCC on 2 computers and just installing the patch through one computer is relevant here, but I want to mention it in case it is.

Thanks for any assistance.


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Roland Christen
 

Piggyback on rings is not recommended for such a long heavy main scope.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Oct 17, 2020 9:45 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Thanks Bryan Those are very useful formulas.

So if I plug my equipment specifications into the formulas I have:
GP = 7.4 microns (SBIG STi or ST2000-XM)
GF = 480 mm (This is my Tele-Vue Pronto that I currently use for guiding. It is piggybacked on top of the 180 EDT rings)
IP = 6 microns (SBIG STXL16200)
IF = 1166.4 mm (180 F9 EDT with 0.72X Quad TCC)

Guider focal length > 0.2*(7.4/6.0)*1166.4 = 287.7 mm

This would suggest that the 250 mm focal length of the 10 X 60 Vario-Finder is not long enough to use as a guide scope for the 180 EDT. So this raises yet another question; Which is the least bad option; The 250 mm Vario Finder mounted directly on the main imaging scope, or the 480 mm Pronto piggybacked on the rings of the 180 EDT ?


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Mike Dodd
 

On 10/18/2020 1:48 AM, CurtisC via groups.io wrote:
Rolando has definite opinions about this. As I understand it, the main
scope is (usually) mounted in rings lined with felt. As the scope
moves, it moves around a tiny bit inside the felt lining. But the guide
scope, in the setup you describe, is mounted rigidly on top of the
rings. The main scope is moving within the rings. The guide scope is
not moving. This introduces errors in the guiding.
When I was tracking down differential flexure, I considered EVERYTHING that might move, summarized here: <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/flexure.html#FlexureTable>

* Replaced the ring felt with solid styrene.

* Moved the guide scope/camera from atop the OTA rings, because a ring itself can flex with that extra weight.

* Bolted the guide camera to a dovetail clamp so it didn't hang on the guide scope focuser (in fact my guide scope no longer has a focuser).

* Machined a 1/2" aluminum "backstop" for the ST-402 guide camera because its case flexed when attached with a single 1/4"-20 bolt in its tripod socket.

Almost certainly a lightweight CMOS camera hanging on a robust focuser will have little, if any, flexure. But the only way to be sure is to test various things until the flexure disappears.

I even bought from Optec a tube to temporarily replace my Pyxis rotator, in case the rotator was flexing (it was not).

FWIW.

--- Mike

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