Date   

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

Alex
 

Hi Terri,

Thanks for the info! I will also take a look at the printed stuff Dale pointed out.

To answer your question, yes, please enclose a pic if it is not too much trouble?

The pics from Dale and Bruce were very helpful.

Best,
Alex


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

Alex
 

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the link to the Celestron plate on Amazon. Right now, the link leads to a Amazon page with the Celestron Universal Mounting plate but it mentions the plate is currently unavailable. Later, I will check out the Celestron store on Amazon and see if I can locate something similar that is in stock. 


Thanks,
Alex


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

Alex
 

Hi Dale,

Like Brian, I was wondering about how well the built focus controller works versus the Boss II unit. It appears to work fine, which is making me seriously consider this path to minimize clutter.

Thanks for all of the info!

Alex 


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

Alex
 

Hi Brian,

This is a impressive unit. I like the brackets for a Losmandy plate and the software interface, plus it can control my starlight focuser. My only issue is I already have some hardware I plan on using in my system like a USB hub, starlight boss II, rigrunner, etc. If I had seen this first, I might have gone for it. I might still, if I run into problems.

Thanks again,
Alex


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

Dean Jacobsen
 

Thanks for the info Liam.  I appreciate the detailed reply.
--
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: Important Update from the ASCOM Initiative #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

 

It really depends on your setup. If what you have works, there is very little compelling reason to change. Here is the change list from the release notes that users can be concerned with, from the release notes. Personally, I would update because I know what a pain it is to support software when everyone uses outdated versions. For users, there have been some quality of life improvements and some very minor updates to precession precision. Since there is a clean revision to the 6.4 platform, I don’t think there is any significant harm.

Changes for Everyone

  • Device Hub
    • Side Of Pier and Destination Side Of Pier will now be calculated by Device Hub if not available from the downstream driver.
    • The dome shutter can now be opened and closed when slaved.
    • Exceptions are now trapped and logged during dome slaving calculations.
  • All references to the Yahoo ASCOM Talk forum have been replaced with references to the new Groups.IO forum.
  • All links referencing the ascom-standards.org web site now use HTTPS instead of HTTP.
  • DeltaT predictions, good to December 2021, have been revised based on the latest IERS predictions.
  • The SOFA component has been updated to use the latest IAU 21st July 2020 - Version 16 SOFA release.
  • Chooser Properties Button - detailed failure information will now be provided if a driver does not connect correctly.

Platform Issues fixed

  • A serious bug was introduced in the Astrometry.Transform class during Platform 6.5 implementation, which prevented a single instance from being used for multiple transforms. The bug has been fixed and Transform now works as it did in Platform 6.4.
  • Clients will now see the correct type of NotImplementedException (PropertNotImplementedExceptiony or MethodNotImplementedException) when Alpaca devices report that a member is not implemented.
  • Diagnostics:
    • Now correctly reports the Windows 10 operating system version.
    • A rare exception that occurred when recursing registry keys has been fixed.
  • Corrected a typo on in the message given if a disconnect fails when using the Choose and Connect to Device form. Thanks Marco!
  • Platform installer:
    • Works properly on machines whose PC Name contains a space character.
    • Handles unregistering drivers more gracefully.
    • Checks that the Windows Task Scheduler is enabled before attempting to create the earth rotation data update scheduled task.
    • Sets the required registry Profile store ACL on every install rather than assuming that it is correctly set when upgrading from a previous Platform version. Access to the Profile store is confirmed after setting the ACL and any issues will be reported by the installer.
    • Now detects whether controlled folder access is enabled on the user's Documents folder and aborts installation in this scenario.
    • Removes simulator COM entries when uninstalled.
    • Provides clean reversion back to Platform 6.4.
  • Device Hub
    • Improved support for locales that use comma as the decimal separator.
    • Profile settings will now be preserved when upgrading.
    • SideofPier exceptions will now be forwarded to the client.
    • SlewDomeToAzimuth now responds with the correct exception if an invalid azimuth value is requested.
    • The telescope Slewing flag is now correctly maintained when the mount is pulse guiding.

Basically, update if any of this sounds important.

 

Liam

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Friday, November 6, 2020 11:53 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 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

 

>>> 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

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