Date   

Re: Lost communications with mount

Howard Hedlund
 

We have anecdotal reports of similar issues with virtual Windows machines running on Macs.  I have not yet had the chance to really pursue this, but my understanding is that it is really more of a hardware issue between the virtual Windows and the physical USB-C ports on the Mac.
Is there a reason that you are not trying with Ethernet or WiFi?


Re: Lost communications with mount

George
 

If you have Windows PC, why are you using a Mac?    Fusion and Parallels are not as good as native Windows in Bootcamp.    You will likely have issues.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of deonb
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

 

I'll go out in a little while and see if I if I have any problems with the mount from Parallels and will let you know.

Caveat - I have Windows 10 and not 7.


Re: Lost communications with mount

deonb
 

I'll go out in a little while and see if I if I have any problems with the mount from Parallels and will let you know.

Caveat - I have Windows 10 and not 7.


Re: Lost communications with mount

weihaowang
 

Hi Deonb,

Thank you.  Unfortunately I don't have a Mac with bootcamp enabled.  About 8, or 9 years ago, I started with
bootcamp for telescope control.  Then I found it very unstable.  Surprisingly, with the same Windows installation,
once the bootcamp partition was converted to Parallels VM, it worked very nicely.  Since then, I just stick to
Parallels for telescope control.  So far, it works quite well for controlling various cameras and iOptron and TAK 
mounts.  So I doubt it is a VM related issue, but this is nevertheless a possibility.  I just don't know how to 
verify this.





--

Homepage:

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

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


Re: Lost communications with mount

deonb
 

George, he's running a Windows 7 virtual machine on the MAC (so I assume he's running Windows 7 in something like Parallels).

So it will still use an ASCOM driver, but using an emulated USB port from the VM.

Wei-Hao do you have an option to do a test inside bootcamp?


Re: Lost communications with mount

George
 

Wei-Hao,

 

If you are using a Mac, then you are not connecting to ASCOM (ASCOM is Windows only).    You are using Sky native drivers.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of weihaowang
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 12:57 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

 

Hi,

I am doing table-top testing of our Mach2 (before we can put it on a proper tripod).  I use TheSky6 in a Windows 7 virtual machine on my Mac.  GTOCPS5 is connected to the computer with a short USB2.0 cable and converted to USB-C to the Mac.  Under TheSky6, I connect to Mach2 with ASCOM V2 Driver.  The ASCOM driver sometimes connects to Mach2 by itself, sometimes through a virtual port under APCC Pro.  Either way, the behavior doesn't change.  Using different cables doesn't solve the problem either.

What I do is just do a very small slew near north pole under TheSky, and let the mount track.  Almost always, within just a few minutes, TheSky shows an error message saying "Lost communications with mount."  At almost the same time, the mount makes a very tiny sound, which sounds like it parks itself.  I suppose this is not something I want to see during a real observation/imaging session.

This is my first time using an Astro-Physics mount.  So I may have done something wrong.  Please let me know what I can do to solve this, or what I can provide for diagnosis.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


 

--

Homepage:

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

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


Re: Connecting to ASCOM generates new ASCOM window. #ASCOM_V2_Driver

George
 

Michael,

 

Contact me and I can check over your settings.   Have your astro computer with you.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Micheal Fields Jr via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2020 11:49 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Connecting to ASCOM generates new ASCOM window. #ASCOM_V2_Driver

 

I was using the most recent release of APCC Pro and the same thing was happening.  I updated to .11 today and the same thing remains.

Not sure if there is a new ASCOM V2 driver but I'll go look.

Anyways, I connect to the mount via ASCOM and it pops up the ASCOM window for each connection.
N.I.N.A generates one, PHD2 guiding generates another.  

Not 100% sure what I am doing wrong but I am sure it is just a setting somewhere.   What am I doing wrong?


Re: Should Mach1 users follow the APCC Pro upgrades? #APCC

Ron Kramer
 

Uninstall sgp. Install Nina.   Be done with being wary. Seriously.  And it’s free and will reside alongside sgp for a while as you test it. If sgp was good there would have been no reason for Nina.  I used sgp for two years not because it was good but because it usually worked.   Now Nina works and is 👍 

On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 8:05 PM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
> The only problems I have with my current versions is that sometimes the WiFi stops working (a known problem I
> believe) and sometimes, at random, APCC loses it's USB connection to the mount and the mount stops tracking. Are
> either of these problems addressed in the upgrades?

Neither of these two issues is an issue with APCC. If you are having USB problems, it is likely being caused by a bad cable, a problematic USB hub, if you are using one, or the USB driver or USB device on your computer.

That being said, you should always update to the latest version (currently APCC Pro v1.8.8.9, or APCC Standard v1.8.8.0). If there are any issues you can always reinstall the version you had installed previously. You can even recover previous settings from APCC's  Backups folder.

-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 Nick Iversen
> Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 3:25 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Should Mach1 users follow the APCC Pro upgrades? #APCC
>
> I'm a bit wary of all these updates to mount firmware and APCC Pro because I see them as mainly for Mach2 users.
> I'm on P01 firmware and APCC Pro 1.7.1.5 and WiFi 04 and I'm scared of going to P02 and 1.8 in case I lose, say, the
> ability for Sequence Generator Pro to do a meridian flip.
>
> Essentially - what is new and what are the advantages of the upgrades?
>
> The only problems I have with my current versions is that sometimes the WiFi stops working (a known problem I
> believe) and sometimes, at random, APCC loses it's USB connection to the mount and the mount stops tracking. Are
> either of these problems addressed in the upgrades?
>







Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

deonb
 

+1 for the advice on Pier Engineering. It worked out well, I can kick/pound my pier as hard as I can and at 2800mm FL have no visible vibrations transfer onto the scope.

I don't even have that big of a pier - I wanted to make sure it's not too heavy to lift back out again with my tractor. It's 18" wide below ground (3.5' deep)  and 8" wide above ground so comes in just around 1070lbs (920 lbs below ground, 150 lbs above). But because the concrete pour has been allowed to follow the contour of the compacted soil (Pier Engineering thread), it's held firmly in place. It's a good principle.

I built it in 2 stages with the below ground stage poured first and rebar sticking up out of it. I then embedded a piece of wooden "dovetail" across the top of the wet concrete, waited 2 weeks, chiseled out the wooden dovetail again, then poured the narrow sonotube part around the rebar and into the dovetail slot. Just make sure your rebar placement doesn't interfere with where you want the L-bolts of the pier plate to go (North aligned generally).

It's been rock solid since I poured it, until this week. It would hold polar alignment perfectly for weeks, and then suddenly the next day it's off by 15'. Fix it, then again, next day off by 15' again. Couldn't figure it out until my wife mentioned that the news was reporting earthquakes this week, and the days lined up perfectly. Was concerned there since the timing also aligned with when I put on the Mach2GTO, so I was quite thankful to hear about the quakes!

Oh well, that's why it's important to have a bolted design like Dan's Pier Plates that you can just re-level. Couple of turns with the wrench and the top plate is back to level.


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

Phillip H Coker <pcoker36@...>
 

I drilled three 1" holes 15 Inches into the base spaced to match the slots in the flange at the bottom of the 10" diameter steel pier. I epoxied three threaded 1" x 18" steel bars into the holes which left about three inches protruding above the base. With nuts and washers on the bars beneath and above the flange, it was very easy to adjust the pier to be perfectly vertical and it never moved in the five years I used it. The base was not concrete however. I lived on the side of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs at the time and had my observatory sitting over a megaton boulder.
Phil

On Dec 30, 2020, at 00:30, Dale Ghent <daleg@elemental.org> wrote:


Ouch. If you really want to know if it's your pier then you can get a digital inclinometer and periodically measure the pier on two axes to get an idea as to what's going on.

I'm going to auger out and pour a pier footer in the upcoming spring and I've been taking heavy notes from a good thread on the CN observatory forum called "Pier Engineering":

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/652025-pier-engineering/

The basic takeaways are from the author's experiences are:

1. Auger, don't dig out, the hole for the pier, and remove all loose material from the side wall and bottom
2. Pour the footer into the hole, using the hole itself as the form. You can use a sonotube form or whatever for the top several inches to give it a finished aesthetic above ground, but for the majority of it you want direct contact with the surrounding compacted soil.
3. Mind your frostline
4. A bunch of other things that should be considered aside from basic hole digging and concrete pouring

The reasoning is that you'll have concrete directly in contact with the existing undisturbed and compacted soil instead of loose fill. There is also no sonotube that will ultimately decay and leave voids between the footer and the surrounding soil. These voids invite shifting, and the lack of loose fill surrounding the pier means that it will be better supported and more stable.

I'm no soil engineer but it makes sense and, in my case, I really have to nail it on the first try because the place where I want to put a pier is the only location in my yard that I get the most sky... so a do-over would mean a less ideal location, even if it's just a few feet to the side.

Hope the cause of your tilting has an easy solution.
/dale

On Dec 29, 2020, at 22:04, Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@videotron.ca> wrote:

Hi
I thought I would ask the experts here about my shifting polar alignment.
5 years ago I rented a backhoe, and dug a hole 7 feet deep in my backyard. I then poured a concrete pillar in a form 3'x3' by 6 feet deep. On this I have a paramount pier.
All the earth was filled in and I have used this mostly over the winter. Last year all was fine. This year I had about 1 minute of arc drift in each axis using pempro.
Recently I started noticing that my stars appeared trailed during long exposures and autoguiding was acting up. PHD 2 told me my polar alignment was off by 4 degrees. . So today I checked my polar alignment with pempro and sure enough, 4-6 degrees off in drift. I have put it back to within 1 minute.
I thought I was golden with such a pier. Recently we had a lot of rain and then the temperatures have been going between + 12C and -12C. Could this be a factor? How often do you check your alignment?
Thanks


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

Dale Ghent
 

Ouch. If you really want to know if it's your pier then you can get a digital inclinometer and periodically measure the pier on two axes to get an idea as to what's going on.

I'm going to auger out and pour a pier footer in the upcoming spring and I've been taking heavy notes from a good thread on the CN observatory forum called "Pier Engineering":

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/652025-pier-engineering/

The basic takeaways are from the author's experiences are:

1. Auger, don't dig out, the hole for the pier, and remove all loose material from the side wall and bottom
2. Pour the footer into the hole, using the hole itself as the form. You can use a sonotube form or whatever for the top several inches to give it a finished aesthetic above ground, but for the majority of it you want direct contact with the surrounding compacted soil.
3. Mind your frostline
4. A bunch of other things that should be considered aside from basic hole digging and concrete pouring

The reasoning is that you'll have concrete directly in contact with the existing undisturbed and compacted soil instead of loose fill. There is also no sonotube that will ultimately decay and leave voids between the footer and the surrounding soil. These voids invite shifting, and the lack of loose fill surrounding the pier means that it will be better supported and more stable.

I'm no soil engineer but it makes sense and, in my case, I really have to nail it on the first try because the place where I want to put a pier is the only location in my yard that I get the most sky... so a do-over would mean a less ideal location, even if it's just a few feet to the side.

Hope the cause of your tilting has an easy solution.
/dale

On Dec 29, 2020, at 22:04, Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@videotron.ca> wrote:

Hi
I thought I would ask the experts here about my shifting polar alignment.
5 years ago I rented a backhoe, and dug a hole 7 feet deep in my backyard. I then poured a concrete pillar in a form 3'x3' by 6 feet deep. On this I have a paramount pier.
All the earth was filled in and I have used this mostly over the winter. Last year all was fine. This year I had about 1 minute of arc drift in each axis using pempro.
Recently I started noticing that my stars appeared trailed during long exposures and autoguiding was acting up. PHD 2 told me my polar alignment was off by 4 degrees. . So today I checked my polar alignment with pempro and sure enough, 4-6 degrees off in drift. I have put it back to within 1 minute.
I thought I was golden with such a pier. Recently we had a lot of rain and then the temperatures have been going between + 12C and -12C. Could this be a factor? How often do you check your alignment?
Thanks


Lost communications with mount

weihaowang
 

Hi,

I am doing table-top testing of our Mach2 (before we can put it on a proper tripod).  I use TheSky6 in a Windows 7 virtual machine on my Mac.  GTOCPS5 is connected to the computer with a short USB2.0 cable and converted to USB-C to the Mac.  Under TheSky6, I connect to Mach2 with ASCOM V2 Driver.  The ASCOM driver sometimes connects to Mach2 by itself, sometimes through a virtual port under APCC Pro.  Either way, the behavior doesn't change.  Using different cables doesn't solve the problem either.

What I do is just do a very small slew near north pole under TheSky, and let the mount track.  Almost always, within just a few minutes, TheSky shows an error message saying "Lost communications with mount."  At almost the same time, the mount makes a very tiny sound, which sounds like it parks itself.  I suppose this is not something I want to see during a real observation/imaging session.

This is my first time using an Astro-Physics mount.  So I may have done something wrong.  Please let me know what I can do to solve this, or what I can provide for diagnosis.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


 

--

Homepage:

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

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


Connecting to ASCOM generates new ASCOM window. #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Micheal Fields Jr
 
Edited

I was using the most recent release of APCC Pro and the same thing was happening.  I updated to .11 today and the same thing remains.

Not sure if there is a new ASCOM V2 driver but I'll go look.

Anyways, I connect to the mount via ASCOM and it pops up the ASCOM window for each connection.
N.I.N.A generates one, PHD2 guiding generates another.  

Not 100% sure what I am doing wrong but I am sure it is just a setting somewhere.   What am I doing wrong?

Ok I deleted all virtual com ports and removed the traces and then unchecked auto start and auto config.  This seems to be working fine now.  Only one ascom interface popped up.


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

Woody Schlom
 

Tom,

 

There are places where the ground swells and shrinks over the year depending on moisture content and/or freezing.

 

Freezing ground with lots of moisture in it causes swelling.  I think it’s called frost swell – or something like that.

 

Another ground condition that causes seasonal rising and falling is a high clay content.  Apparently clay swells when it’s wet and shrinks when it dries.

 

Huston, TX is famous for seasonal ground rising and falling due to moisture content.  I understand the ground in Huston can rise and then fall at least a FOOT depending on moisture content.  And this goes for buildings, parking lots, and single-dwelling houses.  And weight means nothing.  If the ground wants to swell and rise – 100,000 lbs. of concrete is nothing.

 

And here in Southern California we have earth quakes – which moves the ground up, down, and even sideways.  After a really big quake, some of the guys in my club with permanent piers have to re-adjust P.A.

 

So there are several possible causes of PA changing.

Woody


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

deonb
 

I think he might be from Anacortes (if he's the same Tom as from Astromart).

If so, Tom, you had an earthquake the day before yesterday:
https://pnsn.org/event/61707166#overview


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

M Hambrick
 

Do you live in an area where the water table is close to the surface, or where the bedrock is far below (e.g. Texas Gulf coast) ?


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

Mike Dodd
 

On 12/29/2020 10:10 PM, deonb wrote:
4-6 */degrees/* of drift? (Not minutes?).
That's what I was going to ask. If it's off by that much, you should be able to put a level up against the pier (or just look at it) to check if it is still plumb.

It seems unlikely that rain could have shifted a 3x3x6 concrete block that much. That's 8,100 pounds of concrete -- a huge mass!

Was there an earthquake in your area by chance?
That would be the only thing that would move such a mass. Where are you located?

I've built two concrete piers without any super-duper footers. The most recent is 12" in diameter, rising about 66" above the ground, and sunk about 40" in the ground with a 24" "blob" of concrete at the bottom for a footer. I used a power earth auger to dig the hole, then hollowed-out the bottom for the "blob" footer. Definitely nothing special about this pier, but it hasn't moved in four years. It DOES have an observatory around it, so it's sheltered from rain.

Tell us more, please!

--- Mike


Re: Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

deonb
 

4-6 degrees of drift? (Not minutes?).  

Was there an earthquake in your area by chance? We had a few over the last week, and my polar alignment has been all over the place.


Changing polar alignment...Ground shifting?

Tom Blahovici
 

Hi
I thought I would ask the experts here about my shifting polar alignment.
5 years ago I rented a backhoe, and dug a hole 7 feet deep in my backyard.  I then poured a concrete pillar in a form 3'x3' by 6 feet deep.  On this I have a paramount pier.
All the earth was filled in and I have used this mostly over the winter. Last year all was fine.  This year I had about 1 minute of arc drift in each axis using pempro.
Recently I started noticing that my stars appeared trailed during long exposures and autoguiding was acting up.  PHD 2 told me my polar alignment was off by 4 degrees. . So today I checked my polar alignment with pempro and sure enough, 4-6 degrees off in drift.  I have put it back to within 1 minute.
I thought I was golden with such a pier. Recently we had a lot of rain and then the temperatures have been going between + 12C and -12C.  Could this be a factor?  How often do you check your alignment?
Thanks


Re: Continued: (Field curvature with Flatteners and compressors)

lmbrabec@...
 

Really cool information Roland!  Would you by chance have any data to share with TEC140FL with the QTCC?  I'm early on trying to fine tune my new TEC140FL with a QTCC and ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera to minimize star elongations in the corners of the image.  I'm curious how sensitive it might be to minor changes in the back focus versus the spec. of 80.8 mm +/- 1.0 mm (I also have the 18.3 mm spacer for use with the TEC140).  All the best, Scott

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