Date   

Re: Important Update from the ASCOM Initiative #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

 

>>> Is there a compelling reason why I should upgrade?  I am in the "if it isn't broken, then don't fix it" camp.

no, not in my opinion

On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 9:52 AM Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
My setup runs fine now with ASCOM 6.4 SP1 so I am reluctant to be an early adopter and lose imaging time if I can't get APPM/SGPro/PlateSolve2 to work.

Is there a compelling reason why I should upgrade?  I am in the "if it isn't broken, then don't fix it" camp.
--
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: Important Update from the ASCOM Initiative #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Dean Jacobsen
 

My setup runs fine now with ASCOM 6.4 SP1 so I am reluctant to be an early adopter and lose imaging time if I can't get APPM/SGPro/PlateSolve2 to work.

Is there a compelling reason why I should upgrade?  I am in the "if it isn't broken, then don't fix it" camp.
--
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


Important Update from the ASCOM Initiative #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

 

Good news, everyone! 

There is a new update from the ASCOM Initiative! Looks like the latest version fixes some of the bugs introduced with 6.5 that affect plate solving in APCC. Here are the details, straight from the source. 

Hi all,

We have just posted a release candidate for ASCOM Platform 6.5 Service Pack 1: https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases. This addresses a serious bug in the Transform component that was introduced in the initial Platform 6.5 release and which is known to have manifested in the Astro-Physics driver and in the AstroTortilla application. Other drivers and applications may also have been impacted.

If you have installed the initial Platform 6.5 release, we strongly advise you to update to the service pack 1 release candidate.

If you have already installed an early beta version of the service pack 1 release, we also advise you to update to the release candidate because it includes further fixes and supports clean reversion to Platform 6.4 SP1 if required.

In addition to fixing the Transform bug, service pack 1 includes several Device Hub and installer fixes. The Platform releases link above contains a full list of changes.

The Platform and Developer Components installers have been submitted to VirusTotal and are passed by all major anti-virus scanners. SHA1 and SHA256 checksums are listed immediately above the installer executables in the releases link above.

Best wishes, Peter 

 

--
Liam Plybon
Astro-Physics


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Ron Kramer
 

I buy the large Celestron plate off Amazon.  Best price/value I've found. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KMFO14/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1


On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 11:03 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


> On Nov 6, 2020, at 10:52 AM, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
>
> Dale
>
> Just to clarify, you *did* switch to their stepper motor driver from the Optec?
>
> I have the UPBv2 but i haven't used that part of it. i haven't even considered switching to that because - like you - i really like the Optec driver and it's been error-free performance for years

Yep, I did the switch. The FocusBoss controller, as nice as it is, is no longer used. The UPBv2 drives the HSM35 motor now using a cable I made based on the pinouts provided by Pegasus. It works like a champ. I did not use the thermal compensation feature of the FocsusBoss controller and its ASCOM driver. If you do, you would have to give that up to use the UPBv2 to drive the motor. Since I have NINA trigger an automatic autofocus operation if the HFR has trended more than 10% from the previous AF operation, I never had a use for the temperature compensation feature of the FocusBoss anyway.

/dale







Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Dale Ghent
 

On Nov 6, 2020, at 10:52 AM, Brian Valente <bvalente@gmail.com> wrote:

Dale

Just to clarify, you *did* switch to their stepper motor driver from the Optec?

I have the UPBv2 but i haven't used that part of it. i haven't even considered switching to that because - like you - i really like the Optec driver and it's been error-free performance for years
Yep, I did the switch. The FocusBoss controller, as nice as it is, is no longer used. The UPBv2 drives the HSM35 motor now using a cable I made based on the pinouts provided by Pegasus. It works like a champ. I did not use the thermal compensation feature of the FocsusBoss controller and its ASCOM driver. If you do, you would have to give that up to use the UPBv2 to drive the motor. Since I have NINA trigger an automatic autofocus operation if the HFR has trended more than 10% from the previous AF operation, I never had a use for the temperature compensation feature of the FocusBoss anyway.

/dale


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

 

Dale

Just to clarify, you *did* switch to their stepper motor driver from the Optec?

I have the UPBv2 but i haven't used that part of it. i haven't even considered switching to that because - like you - i really like the Optec driver and it's been error-free performance for years



On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 7:49 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:

> On Nov 6, 2020, at 8:12 AM, Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...> wrote:
>
> Hi Dale, do you feel you've lost any functionality with the Pegasus?  I am forever looking for a better solution.   

When I decided to go for the UPBv2, the one thing I was ultra hesitant about was using its built-in stepper motor controller to drive the Starlight/Optec HSM35 motor instead of the rather substantial FocusBoss controller, and I also just really like the Optec ASCOM driver for their focusers and moving things to the UPBv2 would mean not using those anymore. All the other changes - going from a 8x  powerpole hub to the 4x coaxial power connectors, a fantastic Starlink USB3 hub to the one built into the UPBv2 when I have a QHY600 spewing 120MB frames over the wire... those things worked and adapting my powerpole cables would be simple. But it was that focuser controller that I was wary about.

The focuser controller on the UPBv2 can drive any number of stepper-based systems and the setup of it in the app has presets for some popular ones, including the HSM and PosiDrive series from Starlight/Optec. The only thing is that you need a cable to convert from the UPBv2's pinouts in its 8-pin modular jack (aka RJ45) to the pinouts of the RJ45 connector on the HSM motor. You can buy a ready-made cable from Pegasus, or make your own with the pinout diagrams provided by Pegasus. Since I wired my house with cat6 ethernet a few years ago and I still have an ungodly amount of cable left over from that project, I opted to make my own and it works fine and the Pegsus ASCOM driver for focusers implements what I need, so I'm not missing the Optec one either.

When I set up now, I just slide the 130GTX into the DOVEV10 on my Mach1, connect single USB and power cables to the UPBv2, remote desktop in to my mount-side miniPC and turn on the auto-dew feature of the UPBv2. It will monitor the dewpoint and start ramping up the heater straps as ambient temperature and dewpoint converge. When it's dark enough I tweak my polar alignment in SharpCap and get on with my imaging once it turns astro-dark. Breakdown in the morning is just as simple.

All in all, I'm very happy with it. I subsequently bought a Pocket Powerbox Advanced from Pegasus, which is basically a mini version of the UPBv2, to go on my airline-portable setup (CFF 92 f/6, RST-135 mount) so that I can elide the separate USB and powerpole hubs from that rig and add a dewpoint-controlled dew heater in the same motion.

/dale






--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Dale Ghent
 

On Nov 6, 2020, at 8:12 AM, Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Dale, do you feel you've lost any functionality with the Pegasus? I am forever looking for a better solution.
When I decided to go for the UPBv2, the one thing I was ultra hesitant about was using its built-in stepper motor controller to drive the Starlight/Optec HSM35 motor instead of the rather substantial FocusBoss controller, and I also just really like the Optec ASCOM driver for their focusers and moving things to the UPBv2 would mean not using those anymore. All the other changes - going from a 8x powerpole hub to the 4x coaxial power connectors, a fantastic Starlink USB3 hub to the one built into the UPBv2 when I have a QHY600 spewing 120MB frames over the wire... those things worked and adapting my powerpole cables would be simple. But it was that focuser controller that I was wary about.

The focuser controller on the UPBv2 can drive any number of stepper-based systems and the setup of it in the app has presets for some popular ones, including the HSM and PosiDrive series from Starlight/Optec. The only thing is that you need a cable to convert from the UPBv2's pinouts in its 8-pin modular jack (aka RJ45) to the pinouts of the RJ45 connector on the HSM motor. You can buy a ready-made cable from Pegasus, or make your own with the pinout diagrams provided by Pegasus. Since I wired my house with cat6 ethernet a few years ago and I still have an ungodly amount of cable left over from that project, I opted to make my own and it works fine and the Pegsus ASCOM driver for focusers implements what I need, so I'm not missing the Optec one either.

When I set up now, I just slide the 130GTX into the DOVEV10 on my Mach1, connect single USB and power cables to the UPBv2, remote desktop in to my mount-side miniPC and turn on the auto-dew feature of the UPBv2. It will monitor the dewpoint and start ramping up the heater straps as ambient temperature and dewpoint converge. When it's dark enough I tweak my polar alignment in SharpCap and get on with my imaging once it turns astro-dark. Breakdown in the morning is just as simple.

All in all, I'm very happy with it. I subsequently bought a Pocket Powerbox Advanced from Pegasus, which is basically a mini version of the UPBv2, to go on my airline-portable setup (CFF 92 f/6, RST-135 mount) so that I can elide the separate USB and powerpole hubs from that rig and add a dewpoint-controlled dew heater in the same motion.

/dale


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Bruce Donzanti
 

Hi Alex

Glad the pictures helped.  I forgot to include the most important picture - that of the Linx Power Panel.  Without this nothing works.  

Bruce


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 01:37 AM, Dale Ghent wrote:

This arrangement worked well, but I didn't particularly care for the mess and weight and cables between all those little boxes and wanted an even cleaner solution. So I got a Pegasus Ultimate Power Box v2 and collapsed all 5 of those boxes into a single box that's a quarter of the weight and far fewer cables. The USB3 data and 12V power go to it. It opened enough space on the top so that I could mount a 2nd OSC camera+lens for widefield shots of what the 130GTX is imaging.
Hi Dale, do you feel you've lost any functionality with the Pegasus?  I am forever looking for a better solution.   

Hi Alex, I built up a aluminum plate with MDS dovetail connectors that I move from scope to scope, it's clean and contains power distribution, USB hub, dew control (dew buster) and focuser control(feathertouch) .. in all it weighs around 3 pounds.  I use the MDS because it's light and fits on the smallest scopes and what I use for my guide scope.    It's really not a lot of weight but I've put it to one side of the dovetail and it causes a bit of imbalance.  The mach2 handles this easily.       Thanks to Dale for pointer to printed stuff.    Can share a pic if interested.    

Terri


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Dale Ghent
 

I use a 14" Losmandy D plate on top of the rings, mounted inverted (keystone up), on top of my 130GTX. I did the same thing as you plan to - powerpole and USB hub, dew controller, a homemake temperhum-like device, and focuser controller mounted on that plate and everything wired to it, with only a single power and USB3 data cable coming off the scope and down through my mount (a Mach1GTO). I affixed those individual boxes to the D plate using 3M Dual-Lock that I trimmed to size for each component. I prefer Dual-Lock over Velcro because it's a tighter fit, doesn't collect garbage like the hook side of velcro does, and it's the same on both sides - you don't need to decide which side gets hook and which side gets loop.

This arrangement worked well, but I didn't particularly care for the mess and weight and cables between all those little boxes and wanted an even cleaner solution. So I got a Pegasus Ultimate Power Box v2 and collapsed all 5 of those boxes into a single box that's a quarter of the weight and far fewer cables. The USB3 data and 12V power go to it. It opened enough space on the top so that I could mount a 2nd OSC camera+lens for widefield shots of what the 130GTX is imaging.

Before:
https://imgur.com/TIhi45v

After:
https://imgur.com/IMmjlLO

After, with 2nd cam:
https://imgur.com/FLtLRo3

The UPBv2 handles the traffic from the QHY600M, QHY294C, and ASI290MM-Mini guide cam all running concurrently just fine.

If you don't need/want the weight of an aluminum plate on the top and just want a simple mounting surface for lightweight components, check out Joel's 3D printed stuff at https://buckeyestargazer.net/Shop.php

/dale

On Nov 5, 2020, at 3:09 PM, alex@mlcompute.com wrote:

Hello,

I'm waiting to receive my 130GTX scope (Several weeks) and I currently own a 1100GTO mount. Once I receive my scope, my goal is to mount all of my hardware for connections on top of the OTA. Basically, run two wires (One power, one USB) up through the mount and then have all of my connections to cameras, focus controller, Kendrick dew heater, etc. managed through a powered USB hub and a RigRunner mounted on top of my OTA. My question to others who have setup their systems in such a fashion is; what plate did you use on top of your OTA to mount the hardware too? As a side note, I own a small Tormach CNC milling machine I can use to tap holes in the plate for mounting purposes. My thoughts were to use threaded connectors to attach the hardware to the plate if applicable?

Thanks in advance for your advice,
Alex


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

 

Alex if you are doing a  telescope-top plate with all your accessories, you might consider something like a pegsus astro Ultimate powerbox, which includes port-managed USB, power outputs, etc. very handy and compact box


Brian

On Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 2:24 PM <alex@...> wrote:
Hi Bruce,

Yes, this is very close to what I had envisioned. I could mount the Losmandy plate on top of the scope rings and then mount my hardware to it.

Also, thanks for the pictures. They are very helpful. Looks like a 7 port USB hub? I'm trying to manage with 5 ports but not sure yet.

I like your observatory system. Someday, I plan on doing the same.

Best,
Alex



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Alex
 

Hi Bruce,

Yes, this is very close to what I had envisioned. I could mount the Losmandy plate on top of the scope rings and then mount my hardware to it.

Also, thanks for the pictures. They are very helpful. Looks like a 7 port USB hub? I'm trying to manage with 5 ports but not sure yet.

I like your observatory system. Someday, I plan on doing the same.

Best,
Alex


Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Bruce Donzanti
 

Hi Alex

I attached a Losmandy plate on top of my C11" where all of the equipment is on.  I have one cable running from the main power supply up through the 1100GTO to the OTA where a LINX Power Panel is attached that allows power to be made available for all of the accessories like my Kendrick dew heater, including to a USB hub.   The USB hub cable then runs back down the mount to my laptop.  So, complete cable management through the mount.  The scope is on a pier 8ft above the observatory floor and this setup has worked fine for 2 years.  I think this is what you are talking about.

Bruce

On Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 3:36 PM <alex@...> wrote:
Hello,

I'm waiting to receive my 130GTX scope (Several weeks) and I currently own a 1100GTO mount. Once I receive my scope, my goal is to mount all of my hardware for connections on top of the OTA. Basically, run two wires (One power, one USB) up through the mount and then have all of my connections to cameras, focus controller, Kendrick dew heater, etc. managed through a powered USB hub and a RigRunner mounted on top of my OTA. My question to others who have setup their systems in such a fashion is; what plate did you use on top of your OTA to mount the hardware too? As a side note, I own a small Tormach CNC milling machine I can use to tap holes in the plate for mounting purposes. My thoughts were to use threaded connectors to attach the hardware to the plate if applicable? 

Thanks in advance for your advice,
Alex


Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Alex
 

Hello,

I'm waiting to receive my 130GTX scope (Several weeks) and I currently own a 1100GTO mount. Once I receive my scope, my goal is to mount all of my hardware for connections on top of the OTA. Basically, run two wires (One power, one USB) up through the mount and then have all of my connections to cameras, focus controller, Kendrick dew heater, etc. managed through a powered USB hub and a RigRunner mounted on top of my OTA. My question to others who have setup their systems in such a fashion is; what plate did you use on top of your OTA to mount the hardware too? As a side note, I own a small Tormach CNC milling machine I can use to tap holes in the plate for mounting purposes. My thoughts were to use threaded connectors to attach the hardware to the plate if applicable? 

Thanks in advance for your advice,
Alex


Re: How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

Ron Kramer
 

I have a losmandy 3 legged stand in my dome with Mach1 on it. I might check PA maybe once a year. 

31919572_10213929061573497_129996823120052224_o - Copy.jpg

On Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 8:36 AM Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:
I have a permanent setup in my Florida observatory- lots of sand base.  Cement pier goes from 4 feet below ground up 10 ft above ground where an adjustable steel pier is on top of it.  Then my AP1100 mount where my C11" EdgeHD sits.  Checking my polar alignment over the past 2 years, I've only had to adjust it 4 times using SharpCap.  Even at that, it has never been way off. 




Re: How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

George
 

To stabilize a concrete pier you need to run the concrete pier down below the worst case frost line and attach it to a footing. The pier is not a footing, it is a pier and it will move all around. A footing is an enlarged slab of concrete with rebar running into the pier. It is the only thing that stabilizes a pier.

My concrete pier runs down 5' to a 4' x 4' footing that is 10" thick (with rebar). There are some single pour pier footings that are heavy gauge plastic to which you add a sonotube.

Regards,

George

George Whitney
Astro-Physics, Inc.
Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)
Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)
Email:  george@astro-physics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Thursday, November 5, 2020 6:57 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?


I think for the typical backyard observatory, it's going to come down to local soil type, local soil hydraulic nature, and weather more than earthquakes and faults. Even if the footer extends below the frost line, the ground swells and shrinks with seasonal changes in the water table and ground saturation.

On Nov 4, 2020, at 11:14 PM, CurtisC via groups.io <calypte=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Picking up from Mr. Erickson's post -- Palomar Mountain is bounded by major faults on both the northeastern and southwestern sides of the block, and it is, of course, pretty close to the San Andreas and San Jacinto Fault Zones. The foundation of the 200-inch has adjustments for polar alignment, but -- to my knowledge -- it has never been readjusted due to effects from an earthquake. Nobody currently on staff remembers any such realignment. The mm 7.2 Cucapah Earthquake in Baja Calif. in 2010 was strong enough to slosh water in the observatory's water tanks, but it didn't affect any of the telescopes.


Re: How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

jimmyjujames
 

My 900GTO 10" Newtonian is on a permanent AP 8" portable pier on three
 14?" square stepping stones in vegetable garden with a 365 Telegizmos cover.
I attribute my changing polar alignment to moisture in soil.
If your soil has a high clay content, when dried out it will contract and leave cracks so that soil moves around.
But I'm lucky to be a maintenance man and enjoy minimizing polar alignment and orthogonality error.
Jimmy
Inside my head I have a good wolf and a bad wolf.
I was brought up to feed and nourish the good wolf.
I think everyone has a choice
 as long as they realize they have a choice.
 


Re: How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

Bruce Donzanti
 

I have a permanent setup in my Florida observatory- lots of sand base.  Cement pier goes from 4 feet below ground up 10 ft above ground where an adjustable steel pier is on top of it.  Then my AP1100 mount where my C11" EdgeHD sits.  Checking my polar alignment over the past 2 years, I've only had to adjust it 4 times using SharpCap.  Even at that, it has never been way off. 


Re: How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

Mike Shade
 

In SE Arizona at 5000' elevation, where we can have a pretty good heat cycle from day to night, I check and adjust polar alignment if needed once a year.  If there are any adjustments needed, they are small.  But remember metal can sag, fatigue, heat cycle, bolts can loosen up, fasteners can back off and so on.  I also go over all the fasteners on the OTA and make sure they are snug.  Generally in September after monsoon is over and prior to starting the new season.

 

Mike J. Shade

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of CurtisC via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2020 9:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

 

Picking up from Mr. Erickson's post -- Palomar Mountain is bounded by major faults on both the northeastern and southwestern sides of the block, and it is, of course, pretty close to the San Andreas and San Jacinto Fault Zones.  The foundation of the 200-inch has adjustments for polar alignment, but -- to my knowledge -- it has never been readjusted due to effects from an earthquake.  Nobody currently on staff remembers any such realignment.  The mm 7.2 Cucapah Earthquake in Baja Calif. in 2010 was strong enough to slosh water in the observatory's water tanks, but it didn't affect any of the telescopes.


Re: How often do you need to polar align a permanent mount?

Dale Ghent
 

I think for the typical backyard observatory, it's going to come down to local soil type, local soil hydraulic nature, and weather more than earthquakes and faults. Even if the footer extends below the frost line, the ground swells and shrinks with seasonal changes in the water table and ground saturation.

On Nov 4, 2020, at 11:14 PM, CurtisC via groups.io <calypte=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Picking up from Mr. Erickson's post -- Palomar Mountain is bounded by major faults on both the northeastern and southwestern sides of the block, and it is, of course, pretty close to the San Andreas and San Jacinto Fault Zones. The foundation of the 200-inch has adjustments for polar alignment, but -- to my knowledge -- it has never been readjusted due to effects from an earthquake. Nobody currently on staff remembers any such realignment. The mm 7.2 Cucapah Earthquake in Baja Calif. in 2010 was strong enough to slosh water in the observatory's water tanks, but it didn't affect any of the telescopes.

5621 - 5640 of 79681