Date   

Re: Very frustrated with my model. Errors seem very large. #Polar_Alignment #Mach2GTO

Andrea Lucchetti
 

I can confirm this, polemaster works.
I had issues at the beginning but later I’ve found out that I need to tight the ADATRI TRIPOD KNOBS with an hex key.

But I don’t think it is the case here if you had success with tpoint


Re: Very frustrated with my model. Errors seem very large. #Polar_Alignment #Mach2GTO

Peter Nagy
 

SharpCap Pro works very well with PoleMaster (not PoleMax??).

Peter 


Keypad Longitude/Latitude Entry

Haydon Burns
 

Hi, I am just wanting to confirm that I am entering the information into the keypad correctly.

Longitude: 30.2317568
Latitude:   -81.395712

My Keypad Entry
N   30:13:54.3
W  081:23:44.6

Thanks


Re: Very frustrated with my model. Errors seem very large. #Polar_Alignment #Mach2GTO

Peter Bresler
 

I had a HD1100 which I unloaded because of limited back focus. My first advice would be to use a guide scope and Sharpcap Pro to polar align the mount. Polemax is a waste of money. My polar alignment on my 1200 is right on, and easily checked and corrected. You can use an OAG on the HD1100 without either a focuser OR an EFW. SGP will give highly accurate gotos and centering. Be sure the scale settings and pixel settings for the camera you are using are correct.


Re: Very frustrated with my model. Errors seem very large. #Polar_Alignment #Mach2GTO

Seb@stro
 

Hello Michael,

Have you checked that the time zones and DST settings are correct (i.e. all the same or all set to UTC) in your PC clock, softwares, mount/keypad ?

I have the software choose to update time from PC as "recommended".
I personally don’t use SGP, SkyX, MGBox nor APPC (yet) so can’t really help specifically about those but my general recommendation regarding time settings of whatever systems would be to use only ONE source be it a NTP server (internet), gps, precision oscillator (local clock), etc. for all the components that need to interact together. Because two time sources (no matter how accurate they are) will always have some drift to one another to some degree.

So assuming your time settings are harmonized (TZ, DST or UTC) maybe try setting only the internet time source for everything (if that’s possible) so you can rule-out that possibility.

Might seems obvious but if you haven’t already also make sure that the gps is correctly reporting time to your softwares to rule out any communication or configuration (message format) issue and assess it has acquired enough satellites of sufficient signal strength for the duration of the modelling run.

Hope that helps.

Clear skies!
Sébastien


Re: Lost communications with mount

weihaowang
 

A followup.  It's indeed a power related issue.  After changing to two different power supplies, the
Mach2 never drops once.

Thanks to everyone who helped.  Will show you the images I take with the new beautiful mount.
Hopefully this won't take long.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao
--

Homepage:

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

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


Very frustrated with my model. Errors seem very large. #Polar_Alignment #Mach2GTO

Micheal Fields Jr
 

Used the QHY Polemax camera and software to dial in the polar alignment which seemed pretty straight forward.  Should be right on the money.

Then I also happen to have the MGbox and that is connected providing temp, pressure, humidity and GPS.

I am running a piece of software on my computer called Dimension4 which communicates with all the atomic clocks all over the world and gets extremely precise time.  I have the software choose to update time from PC as "recommended".

So the polar alignment should be excellent, the time offset correction should be excellent, the gps coordinates excellent, the weather information pretty good.

Using SGP I did a focus run prior to doing the model.

Now some details that are going against me.
The telecope is an 11" EdgeHD.  I am using two dovetail bars. Both Losmandy D type with radius blocks. One on top of the scope and one of course on the bottom.  The bolts are very tight FYI.
I have the easy balance 16" saddle and it is also bolted very tightly to the mount.  I double checked all bolts.

Clutches are tight, the two side knobs on the mount for elevation clutch are both tight.  The three bolts from the adapter pier plate are tight as are the bolts from that plate to the top of the tripod.

But it is an SCT.  And I am focusing using the primary mirror which means it is not locked and does move around under its own weight.

The imaging train is light weight and is all threaded connections.  Nothing moves.

So I start the model and it shows me results like RA delta is -2948.643 and the dec delta is -1581.175 arc min.

When complete and I look at the "model" it shows things like 9599.37 arc-seconds East Model and 9548.46 arc-seconds in West model.  Polar axis elecation 143987.03 east and 139238.67 west.  Index Error HA 230742.67 east and -225292.62 west.

What does that mean?   Well I assume it means that what it wants to see and what it actually sees are very different. 

I wonder if I am not checking the correct boxes.

Then when I am done I am seeing, based upon those high numbers, a very high number for the polar alignment error.  But I know it is correctly aligned.

Then when I am all done with the bad model and I have tracking adjustments enabled and the model enabled a 5 second image is all star trails.

So obviously everything is wrong as if it thinks the time is something it isn't or the GPS coordinates are something they are not or it is just plate solving the wrong position? 

I tried it with SGP and both Platesolve2 and ASTAP.  Both yield the same issue.

Now If I just do a regular T-Point run in TSX Pro with all model stuff disabled, it seems normal and reasonable.  Since the mirror is unlocked because I focus using the primary mirror so I need to model any mirror shift/flop, The sky RMS pointing in TSX Pro after doing a 33 point run and crunching it with a "super model" is 16.6  PSD=19.15 

So my "point" hehe is that TSX T-Point doesn't seem to have any issues with dramatic errors in pointing. 

So I am stumped.   Why am I seeing such chaos?

If I am just throwing out a random guess that would make sense to me would be that it is not reading/understanding the gps coordinates and elevation correctly so when it solves an image it is drastically off from where it thinks it should be.  But with a GPS connected, the MGbox, and the time synced with my PC, AND absolute encoders, this should not ever happen.

Thoughts?


Re: Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)

Joe Zeglinski
 

    We are probably off “Telescope Topic”  on Win-10 causing serious unexpected problems, to be solved  with just a fresh re-install – but ... Sorry, that’s not quite likely in many cases.
 
     A fresh install of Win-10 won’t solve all of one’s app & driver problems. The 6 month Win-10 Major Feature updates can be costly, and not just “inconvenient”.
For example, I have a multi-language “Printed text document to Word” (OCR) converter,   that cost me more than $700 in Win-XP and Win-7,  which still worked great in Win-8 and Win-10 -  right upto a bad day in June 2020, Then the calamitous Feature Update #2004, got installed – because, as usual,  I trusted Microsoft to not do much harm. Suddenly, with no warning or expectation, the (rarely used) app would not launch when I needed it, and it would have then cost me another $700 to replace it with the latest Win-10 “new company’s, sanctioned” version. The old one ran perfect for years,  in Win-10, upto just a week before. So, what changed ?
 
    Luckily, I had an old (e.g. ACRONIS)  full system backup from LAST Christmas, in my bookshelf archives, along with the most recent one, which had the now problematic Win-10 base.
The solution was to re-install that FAR out-dated year-old backup, but then transfer my own entire “current” User Account into the old O/S base. This gave me an old  Win-10 Fall Update #2019 version base O/S,  merged with  a current day account with ALL user folders and emails, etc. intact. Then I did another (safety) temporary backup, before I risked seeing what trouble installing the latest Feature Update from this past Fall, ( #20H2 ), might cause. Otherwise, I was prepared to freeze my Win-10 system for a decade or more.
 
    Having some spare time in retirement, after about 3 man-weeks  of 16 hour days trying every test & trick I could think of, and half a dozen Full system Recoveries to get the system and the app working, back to its previous normal state, I was ecstatic to find that after installing the most recent Win-10 Update #20H2, the app was back to normal and STILL worked again ! The sandwich of the year-old Update merged with the very latest one – completely skipping over the terrible Update #2004 – fixed it ... FINALLY.
 
    So, as I stated earlier, a simple fresh install of Win-10 won’t always fix everything, You may not even find out until much later which apps were suddenly harmed,  and may still  cost you hundreds of dollars loss in personal Time & investment, unless you recheck the continuing health of all your old investments in your purchased software apps.
 
     Must say – I was “DARNED Lucky”, THIS time. Unfortunately, Microsoft will continue to feel that it is improving everyone’s lives,  so keep doing and indeed keeping  as many full system emergency backups as will fit on a drive, as insurance.
 
    And Bill L. , before you complain (again)  ... this is NOT knocking your Microsoft friends, good people most of them – just the way in which I assume their departments  force them into “Publish or Perish”  to issue Feature Updates, ready or not. Can’t miss a 6-month deadline, can we? I do appreciate the new polite  MS option, asking if I  would really like to TRY the latest Feature Update.
 
    Far fewer major Feature Updates, much longer better tested Beta periods,  could be better. Except for serious Security Updates, maybe keep, the “Toys, Gaming, and new GUI Features” in a completely  different Microsoft ...  “special” Win-10-Gaming Edition product ...  away from “real WORK machines” that don’t usually need them.
If it ain’t badly broke, etc.  .... but that’s unlikely to happen.
 
    Now back to things, Telescopic.
Joe Z.
 
 

From: jrpmsn
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 10:11 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)
 
It's the biannual updates to Win10 that are the big ones: they bring the functional and significant look-and-feel updates. The monthly ones generally are driver updates and fixes which are generally much smaller. Win10 tests the PC to see if it can handle the biannual one and only bugs you when and if it can. If the PC can take it, you still can defer the update for quite a while - though it does show up as available. If you have funky or old hardware with drivers not written (to Microsoft (evolving?) standards, updates can potentially be more problematic.

I upgraded to Win 10 from Win 7 (which I still run as a virtual machine) on my Dell as an upgrade. I ended up blowing away the whole install because of the mess the upgrade made. I freshly installed Win 10 and life became much better. Moral: If you're running Win 7, you're on an older machine. Keep it around as a spare (spares are gold!). Buy a new one with Win 10 installed (if you're happy with your Win 7 hardware, you won't need a top-end replacement PC since even a current midrange PC will be more powerful than your Win 7 PC). Then there's no disruption: you are functional on Win 7 until you have Win10 fully configured to your standards. Plus you have a fallback machine.


Re: APCC GPS Error

Ray Gralak
 

I have to plug in the GPS and wait until it starts up, then
bring up APCC. Apparently, if I bring up APCC first, it keeps the
GPS from obtaining a com port.
It might seem like that, but no. That's not what's happening.

In APCC, the GPS tab shows the ports available when APCC was initialized. If you plug in the GPS after APCC starts, APCC will not automatically know about the new virtual COM port created by the GPS.

So, even though the GPS creates a new virtual port, APCC won't show it in it's COM port list. That is, unless you click the "Refresh Ports" button in APCC's Connection group box. However, the "Refresh Ports" button can only be clicked when APCC is not connected to the mount.

-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 David Fabrizio via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 2:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC GPS Error

What I've found is that the baud rate doesn't matter. I have to plug in the GPS and wait until it starts up, then
bring up APCC. Apparently, if I bring up APCC first, it keeps the GPS from obtaining a com port.


<https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/?.src=iOS>



On Monday, January 4, 2021, 2:57 PM, David Fabrizio via groups.io <DavFab=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thank you! I'll try 4800.




On Jan 4, 2021, at 5:41 AM, Dale Ghent <daleg@elemental.org> wrote:






The standard MNEA bit rate is 4800. My own ublox7 works fine at that.

/dale


On Jan 4, 2021, at 5:15 AM, David Fabrizio via groups.io <DavFab=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:





Ray,

Thank you. I'll try a few different baud rates and see what happens.




On Jan 3, 2021, at 6:26 PM, David Fabrizio via groups.io <DavFab=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:





All,

I am trying to connect a U-Blox7 GPS to v1.8.8.0 of APCC and I get this error message:

UpdateLocation. Index and length must refer to a location within the string. Parameter name:
Length.

The gps is on com7. Any ideas?



Thank you

Dave Fabrizio


Re: Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)

jrpmsn
 

It's the biannual updates to Win10 that are the big ones: they bring the functional and significant look-and-feel updates. The monthly ones generally are driver updates and fixes which are generally much smaller. Win10 tests the PC to see if it can handle the biannual one and only bugs you when and if it can. If the PC can take it, you still can defer the update for quite a while - though it does show up as available. If you have funky or old hardware with drivers not written (to Microsoft (evolving?) standards, updates can potentially be more problematic.

I upgraded to Win 10 from Win 7 (which I still run as a virtual machine) on my Dell as an upgrade. I ended up blowing away the whole install because of the mess the upgrade made. I freshly installed Win 10 and life became much better. Moral: If you're running Win 7, you're on an older machine. Keep it around as a spare (spares are gold!). Buy a new one with Win 10 installed (if you're happy with your Win 7 hardware, you won't need a top-end replacement PC since even a current midrange PC will be more powerful than your Win 7 PC). Then there's no disruption: you are functional on Win 7 until you have Win10 fully configured to your standards. Plus you have a fallback machine.


Re: APCC GPS Error

David Fabrizio
 

 What I’ve found is that the baud rate doesn’t matter. I have to plug in the GPS and wait until it starts up, then bring up APCC. Apparently, if I bring up APCC first, it keeps the GPS from obtaining a com port.




On Monday, January 4, 2021, 2:57 PM, David Fabrizio via groups.io <DavFab@...> wrote:

Thank you! I’ll try 4800.


On Jan 4, 2021, at 5:41 AM, Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:



The standard MNEA bit rate is 4800. My own ublox7 works fine at that. 

/dale 

On Jan 4, 2021, at 5:15 AM, David Fabrizio via groups.io <DavFab@...> wrote:


Ray,

 Thank you. I’ll try a few different baud rates and see what happens.


On Jan 3, 2021, at 6:26 PM, David Fabrizio via groups.io <DavFab@...> wrote:



All,

 I am trying to connect a U-Blox7 GPS to v1.8.8.0 of APCC and I get this error message:

UpdateLocation. Index and length must refer to a location within the string. Parameter name: Length.

 The gps is on com7. Any ideas?

Thank you

Dave Fabrizio


Re: Dragonfly Device

Steve Reilly
 

As a bit more clearer explanation this is for unattended automated imaging using programs such as ACP Expert and so on……

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve Reilly
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 9:35 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dragonfly Device

 

I stand corrected, my attention to it was by means of an email related to the AAG cloud sensor which I do use. Also here’s the link to this Dragonfly . I can say I’ve had excellent support from them and they are very responsive.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve Reilly
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 9:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Dragonfly Device

 

While reading a post by a fellow AP’er I saw a discussion about a product called Dragonfly and was instantly intrigued about what I was reading and it’s capabilities. Having had a few mishaps with my AP1200 in my roll off roof observatory due to weather and the roof this product seems to have a great deal of resolve in operational safety. Is anyone here using the Dragonfly made by Lunático Astronomía, S.L. makers of the AAG Cloud sensor?

 

My biggest issue was trying to find a means to park the mount if/when the mount lost communications with the observatory computer as my mount needs to park in the Park 4 position before the roof can close. I do the confirmed park position via a continuity signal sent to the roof controller (AstroMC) via the two Microswitches (one on each axis) which are closed when the mount is parked at Park 4. Worst case scenario would be the observatory computer looses power/locks up/electrical issue/plain no longer works. It seems that the Dragonfly can send a park command to the mount and it also can control the roof. Seems I may have stumbled on a solution already available.

 

I’m communicating my needs and hopes with Lunático Astronomía, S.L. and it sounds promising so I wanted to see if any of you already use this product with your observatories.

 

-Steve


Re: Dragonfly Device

Andrea Lucchetti
 

My experience with my old observatory:
If you want the system to work even with the pc off, I think you’d need the Mount to have a programmable relay port.

I trick that I used in the past was to wire a keypad key so that a relay closed with an io board produced a “push”. 
 
But I don’t have an AP keypad and still have limited knowledge of AP mounts


Re: Dragonfly Device

Steve Reilly
 

I stand corrected, my attention to it was by means of an email related to the AAG cloud sensor which I do use. Also here’s the link to this Dragonfly . I can say I’ve had excellent support from them and they are very responsive.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve Reilly
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 9:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Dragonfly Device

 

While reading a post by a fellow AP’er I saw a discussion about a product called Dragonfly and was instantly intrigued about what I was reading and it’s capabilities. Having had a few mishaps with my AP1200 in my roll off roof observatory due to weather and the roof this product seems to have a great deal of resolve in operational safety. Is anyone here using the Dragonfly made by Lunático Astronomía, S.L. makers of the AAG Cloud sensor?

 

My biggest issue was trying to find a means to park the mount if/when the mount lost communications with the observatory computer as my mount needs to park in the Park 4 position before the roof can close. I do the confirmed park position via a continuity signal sent to the roof controller (AstroMC) via the two Microswitches (one on each axis) which are closed when the mount is parked at Park 4. Worst case scenario would be the observatory computer looses power/locks up/electrical issue/plain no longer works. It seems that the Dragonfly can send a park command to the mount and it also can control the roof. Seems I may have stumbled on a solution already available.

 

I’m communicating my needs and hopes with Lunático Astronomía, S.L. and it sounds promising so I wanted to see if any of you already use this product with your observatories.

 

-Steve


Dragonfly Device

Steve Reilly
 

While reading a post by a fellow AP’er I saw a discussion about a product called Dragonfly and was instantly intrigued about what I was reading and it’s capabilities. Having had a few mishaps with my AP1200 in my roll off roof observatory due to weather and the roof this product seems to have a great deal of resolve in operational safety. Is anyone here using the Dragonfly made by Lunático Astronomía, S.L. makers of the AAG Cloud sensor?

 

My biggest issue was trying to find a means to park the mount if/when the mount lost communications with the observatory computer as my mount needs to park in the Park 4 position before the roof can close. I do the confirmed park position via a continuity signal sent to the roof controller (AstroMC) via the two Microswitches (one on each axis) which are closed when the mount is parked at Park 4. Worst case scenario would be the observatory computer looses power/locks up/electrical issue/plain no longer works. It seems that the Dragonfly can send a park command to the mount and it also can control the roof. Seems I may have stumbled on a solution already available.

 

I’m communicating my needs and hopes with Lunático Astronomía, S.L. and it sounds promising so I wanted to see if any of you already use this product with your observatories.

 

-Steve


Re: Process for updating to ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC Pro

Patrick Spencer
 

Awesome, that was the answer I was hoping for! Thanks for taking the time to respond Dale. I very much value your insights.

Patrick


Re: Process for updating to ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC Pro

Roland Christen
 

You should also howl at the Moon when installing software. It helps tremendously.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ejr@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jan 5, 2021 2:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Process for updating to ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC Pro

I love the term superstitious maneuvers.   I am going to use that more frequently.  Personally, I stand on one foot facing north with my head tilted at a 45 degree angle whenever I install any astronomy software, except of course updates to APCC, Pempro and anything Ray has written.  Maybe I will throw in Software Bisque in there also.  Anything else gets the normal stance.  Plus I restart twice.  Yes, just installing the latest over what you have should work.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Process for updating to ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC Pro

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

I love the term superstitious maneuvers.   I am going to use that more frequently.  Personally, I stand on one foot facing north with my head tilted at a 45 degree angle whenever I install any astronomy software, except of course updates to APCC, Pempro and anything Ray has written.  Maybe I will throw in Software Bisque in there also.  Anything else gets the normal stance.  Plus I restart twice.  Yes, just installing the latest over what you have should work.


Re: Process for updating to ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC Pro

Dale Ghent
 

On Jan 5, 2021, at 14:04, Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@comcast.net> wrote:

Now that Ray has given the green light to use ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC, I figured I would take the plunge and update. I am currently running ASCOM 6.4.

What is the best procedure for updating ASCOM and applications such as APCC Pro, N.I.N.A., ZWO drivers, etc? Should I just install the ASCOM package on top of my existing setup (I hope)? Or should I uninstall everything and do a "clean install" from scratch (I hope not)? Something in the middle?
Just install the ASCOM 6.5sp1 package directly. The ASCOM updates are designed to be applied over any existing one and there's no need for superstitious maneuvers such as uninstalling the world in order to appease it.

The only special consideration is if you are a user of POTH. POTH was deprecated with ASCOM 6.5 in favor of its new functional replacement, Device Hub. POTH is still available in the ASCOM 6.5 installers as an optional component, however. So if you're a POTH user and not quite ready to immediately convert to Device Hub, be sure to designate POTH for installation in the installer's options so that you still have it after the upgrade. You can then convert over to Device Hub at your leisure.

/dale


Process for updating to ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC Pro

Patrick Spencer
 

Now that Ray has given the green light to use ASCOM 6.5 SP1 with APCC, I figured I would take the plunge and update. I am currently running ASCOM 6.4.

What is the best procedure for updating ASCOM and applications such as APCC Pro, N.I.N.A., ZWO drivers, etc? Should I just install the ASCOM package on top of my existing setup (I hope)? Or should I uninstall everything and do a "clean install" from scratch (I hope not)? Something in the middle?

I know this forum is specific to AP, so I certainly don't expect advice about updating every product I use. First and foremost I want to make sure the upgrade doesn't break APCC Pro, since it's a foundational element of my current setup.

Thanks for any guidance,

Patrick Spencer

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