Date   

Re: Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been received!" errors? #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Rodolphe,

The ASCOM COM port is set to -1 according to the logs, which, of course, does not exist!

The problem is that your ap.ini file is blank. Any idea how that might have happened? Uninstalling the driver and APCC will not touch the settings files, so either someone deleted the file, or there is a file permissions issue.

I suggest you find and delete the ap.ini file, start APCC, and click the tiny "Now" button in APCC's connection settings, which will setup and configure the driver to properly use APCC and its virtual ports.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Rodolphe
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2021 10:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been
received!" errors? #APCC

Hi Ray,
Firstly, I appreciate your answers coming in on a Sunday :)

Unfortunately, I could have told you that was going to be a waste of time. :-(


--> No worries. I'll update the firmware tomorrow, I have a session running right now (Switzerland, CET).

You will also find the logs here <https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvO2KZoP803hossFTkwNObsg_sttqw?e=ZT9XTJ> - just
took today's, there are many failed attempts in there.
Many thanks for your investigation, and honestly don't rush it, this is not urgent, I can still survive ;)
Kind regards,
Rodolphe


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Joe Zeglinski
 

Jeff,
 
    Have you taken into account “wind gust temperatures”, on the worst winter days, where you plan on moving to a colder location?
Perhaps, the mount & encoders will be at reasonable temperatures – inside an observatory, as Rolando’s test systems are housed. Otherwise, check the Weather Bureau history log for the past year(s). If the two kinds of encoders are equally available, i.e. within a reasonable time frame, it might not be that much of a bottom line, ultimate savings, in the long run.
 
Joe Z
 


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Jeffrey Wolff
 

Well now I am doubting my need for absolute encoders. I live in Reno and probably will not be moving to a colder location. I use the mount quite a bit in the +10 - 32 F and warmer range so that is why I chose the absolute. It as seldom actually been below zero in the 35 years I have been here. Since the -4 F storage limit doesn't seem to be a problem, I don't need to worry about using the absolute version. 

I put down my deposit on Friday. I will call on Monday and see if I can change to the standard range encoders.


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Roland Christen
 

I have had the 1600 mount in my observatory for a decade. It has standard encoders that have seen at least 10 Midwest winters, so the -4F storage spec from Renishaw is probably very conservative.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Wolff <jmw2800@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 12:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

I have the 1100 with extended range on order. Looks like i probably would be fine with the standard range but didn't want to feel limited so I chose the extended range.  42 degrees below specs is pretty impressive. I was more worried about the -4 F storage limit.

At the price of the mount with encoders I didn't want to take the risk that some future location would have too low of temperatures to use the mount with encoders. The price difference isn't that great so I don't mind paying the extra.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Jeffrey Wolff
 

I have the 1100 with extended range on order. Looks like i probably would be fine with the standard range but didn't want to feel limited so I chose the extended range.  42 degrees below specs is pretty impressive. I was more worried about the -4 F storage limit.

At the price of the mount with encoders I didn't want to take the risk that some future location would have too low of temperatures to use the mount with encoders. The price difference isn't that great so I don't mind paying the extra.


Re: Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been received!" errors? #APCC

Rodolphe
 

Hi Ray,
Firstly, I appreciate your answers coming in on a Sunday :)
Unfortunately, I could have told you that was going to be a waste of time. :-(
--> No worries. I'll update the firmware tomorrow, I have a session running right now (Switzerland, CET).

You will also find the logs here - just took today's, there are many failed attempts in there.
Many thanks for your investigation, and honestly don't rush it, this is not urgent, I can still survive ;)
Kind regards,
Rodolphe


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Roland Christen
 

One is a Mach2, the other is a 1600 mount, which has the same encoders as the 1100. The readheads are all the same on all these mounts. The readheads have a laser diode that is used to read the scribe marks on the stainless steel ring. I'm guessing that at some low temperature the laser stops producing light and the readhead can't read the engravings. When that happens the signal light on the readhead turns red which indicates a fault.

For the 1100 and 1600 mounts, when this happens the mounts revert back to non-encoder operation. The mounts will operate normally like any non-encoder mount because the servo motors have their own shaft encoders that are used for tracking and positioning. You will lose the perfect tracking accuracy of the two axes along with the instant reversal capability in the Dec axis.

For the Mach2, with the present CP5 software a loss of encoder function will prevent the mount from being Homed and prevent it from being parked at the 5 park positions. The mount will still track and guide (at reduced accuracy) and can be slewed to objects and moved via the buttons, again at reduced accuracies. The home and park functions will fail since they are set points on the encoder rings. I am testing new CP5 software that will allow it to be parked at or very near the 5 park positions. Also the CP5 will indicate encoder non-operation with the indicator on the CP5 turning to amber. Basically the Mach2 will operate open loop as a non-encoder mount. We will release that software when it is fully tested.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 11:46 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

That’s great to hear, thanks. It sounds like the zero Celsius rating is very conservative.
 
Were both mounts in your observatory Mach 2s, and if so, would there be any reason to expect different performance from the encoders used in the 1100GTO-AE?
 
Patrick Spencer
 
 
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2021 10:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights
 
The mounts in my observatory performed normally at -10F. I monitored the encoders during that time and they worked fine. I don't know what the lowest temperature might be where they would stop working. I have two mounts in the observatory and both of them worked normally. No issues with the encoders on either mount.
 
Rolando
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 9:53 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights
Hi Roland, 

Did you have any issues with the encoder performance during any of the recent very cold nights? I know you use the standard temperature encoders, and it seems the recent arctic blast would have provided a good acid test for their limits.

Thanks,

Patrick Spencer

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Patrick Spencer
 

That’s great to hear, thanks. It sounds like the zero Celsius rating is very conservative.

 

Were both mounts in your observatory Mach 2s, and if so, would there be any reason to expect different performance from the encoders used in the 1100GTO-AE?

 

Patrick Spencer

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2021 10:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

 

The mounts in my observatory performed normally at -10F. I monitored the encoders during that time and they worked fine. I don't know what the lowest temperature might be where they would stop working. I have two mounts in the observatory and both of them worked normally. No issues with the encoders on either mount.

 

Rolando

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 9:53 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Hi Roland, 

Did you have any issues with the encoder performance during any of the recent very cold nights? I know you use the standard temperature encoders, and it seems the recent arctic blast would have provided a good acid test for their limits.

Thanks,

Patrick Spencer


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Roland Christen
 

The mounts in my observatory performed normally at -10F. I monitored the encoders during that time and they worked fine. I don't know what the lowest temperature might be where they would stop working. I have two mounts in the observatory and both of them worked normally. No issues with the encoders on either mount.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 9:53 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Hi Roland, 

Did you have any issues with the encoder performance during any of the recent very cold nights? I know you use the standard temperature encoders, and it seems the recent arctic blast would have provided a good acid test for their limits.

Thanks,

Patrick Spencer

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1100 clockwise question

Jeff B
 

I use T point as well to do my polar alignments and it works well for me.  When it tells me to go a certain direction in azimuth, I first adjust the mounts, azimuth knobs so that both just barely contact the stud/peg on my 900 and 1200 mounts.  I too can get a bit confused so I back off each of the knobs by the amount to give me the shift recommended by T point, then rotate the mount by hand clockwise or counterclockwise, until it contacts the peg.  I then turn the other knob until it contacts the peg.

I typically do 7 to eights widely spaced stars on each side of the mount the old fashioned way with a X-hair eyepiece.  A bit slow but very accurate.

Jeff 

On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 11:06 AM Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...> wrote:
One of the methods to polar align a mount I have been using is to run a Tpoint model using The SkyX. For my AP1100 GTO. I have dialed down the elevation or Alt but not AZ yet. Tpoint's polar align hint asks to rotate the mount clockwise as seen from above. The question is whether to use the right azimuth knob or not. Intuitively, rotating the right AZ knob will push on an internal mechanism to turn the mount left, which is clockwise looking from above. 
Is this accurate?

Shailesh


Re: AP1100 clockwise question

jimmyjujames
 

 
The following is similar to marking your Dec and RA axis with tape.
 
Put a piece of tape across a convenient location where the mount base and pier move in azimuth.
Draw line across junction.
Cut tape along junction between the mount side from the pier side
Put a thin piece of tape on both azimuth knobs.
Loosen one azimuth knob 2 turns
Tighten the other azimuth knob 2 turns.
Which way did the line on mount base piece of tape move in azimuth as seen from overhead.
 
Reverse the 2 turns to move mount back to original position.
 
Jimmy
 


Re: Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been received!" errors? #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Rodolphe,

I went ahead and uninstalled APCC, the V2 driver. I "repaired" ASCOM. Reinstalled the driver then APCC.
The unininstall does not seem to remove everything though: all my previous parameters were reloaded - maybe
not a concern.
Unfortunately, I could have told you that was going to be a waste of time. :-(

I see you are using the old firmware. Please update your firmware to the latest version, VCP4-P02-08.

I can't tell from just your screenshots what's going on, so you can you use APCC's log zipper (not the same as the AP V2 ASCOM driver's log zipper!) to zip just the last couple days of APCC and ASCOM logs. Please post a dropbox (or other) link to the logs.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Rodolphe
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2021 8:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been received!"
errors? #APCC

Update:
I went ahead and uninstalled APCC, the V2 driver. I "repaired" ASCOM. Reinstalled the driver then APCC.
The unininstall does not seem to remove everything though: all my previous parameters were reloaded - maybe
not a concern.
Anyways, the driver keeps failing to connect to the mount through the virtual ports :(
I'm out of ideas at this point.


Re: Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been received!" errors? #APCC

Rodolphe
 

Update:
I went ahead and uninstalled APCC, the V2 driver. I "repaired" ASCOM. Reinstalled the driver then APCC.
The unininstall does not seem to remove everything though: all my previous parameters were reloaded - maybe not a concern.
Anyways, the driver keeps failing to connect to the mount through the virtual ports :(
I'm out of ideas at this point.


AP1100 clockwise question

Shailesh Trivedi
 

One of the methods to polar align a mount I have been using is to run a Tpoint model using The SkyX. For my AP1100 GTO. I have dialed down the elevation or Alt but not AZ yet. Tpoint's polar align hint asks to rotate the mount clockwise as seen from above. The question is whether to use the right azimuth knob or not. Intuitively, rotating the right AZ knob will push on an internal mechanism to turn the mount left, which is clockwise looking from above. 
Is this accurate?

Shailesh


Encoder performance during recent sub-zero nights

Patrick Spencer
 

Hi Roland, 

Did you have any issues with the encoder performance during any of the recent very cold nights? I know you use the standard temperature encoders, and it seems the recent arctic blast would have provided a good acid test for their limits.

Thanks,

Patrick Spencer


Re: Help with "VPort2 / Fault / Sync Target: Valid Alt/Az, RA/Dec, HA/Dec has not been received!" errors? #APCC

Rodolphe
 

Hi Ray
Confirmed. This is my standard setting in APCC, which has not changed for months:


Additionally, the virtual ports seem created and ready, from the APCC status bar.

However, the ASCOM driver fails connecting to either (COM20 or 21)

Indeed, a direct connection to the mount succeeds:


The com port issue is obviously confirmed by APJog, for instance:

I can't think of anything blocking access to the COM20/21 ports.
I'm puzzled!
Many thanks in advance,
KR
Rodolphe


Re: Pre-owned 900GTO Questions

Elenillor
 

S. Roberts,

If you look at the Keypad_Maintenance Instructions PDF on the AP website is shows how to replace the battery. In my version of the Keypad (pg 10) the display is relayed through a bunch of fiber optic cables that run over where the battery is. The instructions are very clear on how to avoid problems with them. Just need to be careful.


Hello John,
What exactly did you mean by:: 
 
... "decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables." 
 
exactly? What optical cables are you referring to here? 
 
Thanks!


Re: Pre-owned 900GTO Questions

Jeffrey Wolff
 

Plastic fiber optics is used to backlight the keypad. If you have your keypad handy and call Astro-Physics they will sell you the correct replacement battery kit with instructions.


Re: [ap-ug] Reflections Nightmare - I'm ready to give up the hobby!

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Ron
  Which OSC do you use? And do you use a light pollution filter? And what’s your typical subframe integration time? Sorry for so many questions but I really like your results!

On Saturday, February 20, 2021, 4:35 PM, Ron Kramer <ronkramer1957@...> wrote:

I am in Bortle 7 on the edge of the 2nd largest city in Michigan (2nd to Detroit). On a good night I can see the 5th star of Cassiopeia. But it's often washed out.
I'm also often under the jet stream here in West Michigan.  I have tones of 100ft tree's so I have a short window UP and I wait for things to pass over. 
Setup for MOST of my work is RASA 11 with OSC camera. Some work is 1600mm with NB filters. Some older shots are a 152mm tripet. (but I used flats back then).
Nexdome so it's all automated from in the house. The dome is 100 yards from where I work (Sitting at this desk in the house). 



On Fri, Feb 19, 2021 at 1:42 PM Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Wow! That's great processing. What's your setup and site?

cytan

On Friday, February 19, 2021, 11:44:28 AM CST, Ron Kramer <ronkramer1957@...> wrote:


WOW that's really irritating. At first I read your text and thought oh brother.  Then I went to your subs and I'd be ready to quit too.  I've been at this heavily for only 4 years and I've never had such a reflection.
I don't do darks or flats either.  My rule..  KEEP IT SIMPLE.  I just push buttons in the house, I don't even go outside. My scope doesn't even have a lens cap. 
I'm a retired studio photographer and yet I still have no clue what to suggest.  = (

https://www.flickr.com/photos/portranet/albums/72157717959454497

On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 10:47 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello,

I cannot be sure about our QuadTCC working with your scope to produce no reflections. However, i do know that our 130 field flattener will work and produce zero reflections. It has been designed with convex radii so that any light reflected from the filters will be dispersed toward the outside of the focal plane and not towards the middle.

here is a simple test that you can do to determine where the reflections originate. Take an image with your filters and no field flattener or telecompressor in the optical path. If you still see reflections, then it is caused by your filters. Filters like the Astrodon series, have a sharp cutoff of each color, so they will pass the principal color and reflect the ones outside their passband. The colors that are reflected back up toward the telecompressor will then be rejected if they are reflected back from the telecompressor down to the chip. They will not be able to pass thru the filter again. Other filters may have less steep cutoff, and thereby allow some of the reflected light to pass again thru the filter and produce halos or reflection artifacts.

I have used Astrodon filters in all of my cameras since many years now and have never seen reflections like the ones in your images. However, I know about your reflections because I did have multiple reflections from a set of less expensive filters.

As far as using our 130 Field Flattener, I can assure you that this will not produce reflections, even if your filters do not have a sharp cutoff. If you have been watching our group for some time, you may have seen images taken by Ignacio, a lot of them became APOD images, and you will see the contrast and zero reflections in all of his images. I worked with him years ago to produce just the right Flattener design geometry to eliminate even the slightest hint of reflections - Ignacio was extremely demanding that this optic works perfectly.

So, the solution might require both testing a different filter and a different field flattener. The problem is not coming from the main objective for sure. So try my suggestion of removing the field flattener first and see if the reflections go away. Then the solution might be either change the filters or change the field flattener or both for best results.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Jon <jonkelly999@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 6:08 am
Subject: [ap-ug] Reflections Nightmare - I'm ready to give up the hobby!

I have posted previously about reflections with a Riccardi reducer but now have the same issue with a native flattener and I have tried everything I can think off. 

My objective is to purchase a QUADTCC to replace the Riccardi but I cant do this until I sort out the existing reflections which I now suspect are coming from the sensor/filters.

I have now spent over 20 imaging sessions since October trying to sort out the issue and it has become such a chore that I'm ready to give up the hobby - can anyone help? 

Equipment - CFF 135/926mm, QHY600L, Chroma LRGB and 3nm Ha/OIII/SII. 

I have tried reversing filters individually in all permutations, moved spacing from between Objective and Filters to between Filters and Sensor and its just balloon squeezing. One filter works, then another one doesn't. Lights work but flats don't or vice versa. Nothing I do seems to help.

I can take images with no bright stars ok but as soon as I try something like the Pleiades I have issues. 

These are the latest test images on Pleiades, one for each filter - all 120s subs. All have reflections.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gn2x15vu8hs1whn/AADquWhGxYyE_SvfevDrYyzKa?dl=0

Can these reflections be resolved or am I wasting my time?

I would be very grateful if anyone could help or work with me to try and sort this out.

Thanks
Jon

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics



--



--


Re: Pre-owned 900GTO Questions

sroberts84
 

Hello John,
What exactly did you mean by:: 

... "decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables." 

exactly? What optical cables are you referring to here? 

Thanks! 

S Roberts 

---
We've got fifteen minutes, Freddo, it's worse than I thought!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: 20 February 2021 13:21
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pre-owned 900GTO Questions
 
I got my keypad in 2007 with a Mach 1 and decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables. A year ago purchased a CP4 because the new keypad software was going to be coming out soon. While I can use Sky Safari with the CP4 I would am looking forward to the new features in the keypad.

John


On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 07:51 AM, W Hilmo wrote:

My keypad is vintage 2012, and I have never replaced the battery, so I am sure that it’s nearly ready to give up.  My plan is to hold off on doing anything to it until I can send it back to Astro-Physics to update it to the latest keypad, with the correct labels.  I’ll have them replace the battery at the same time.

 

-Wade

 

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