Date   

Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Eric Dreher
 

I use Ethernet for my Mach1GTO, CP4.  Through the mount cabling includes POE for my Optec focuser, a single USB3 for the three ASCOM devices, and a 12VDC for the cooler.  These go to a homemade, personally designed distribution box, then to my laptop.  Never a failure of any kind.


Re: Quick Release Gearbox Modification for Older AP1600

Jack Huerkamp
 

George,

I read through the Balancing Side-by-Side procedures you provided a link to and understood everything until I got to Steps 6 through 9.  Photos would sure help me visualize what is going on.

Is the Primary Saddle Plate removed from the mount when doing these steps?

I have the DOVELM162 mounted onto the AP1600 and I think there was only one position I could place it in to allow me to use all the bolt holes tapped in the top of the mount.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

 


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Roger Howard
 

I should have put keypad as a choice in the poll.


Daylight savings and APCC pro

steven ho
 

APCC pro and PHD2 are used to control all mount movements during my sessions. I was imaging Saturday March 13th into Sunday March 14th, in the eastern time zone. My session continued through 2AM and the time change. At the end of the night the AP-1600AE was parked at position 4. the attached image shows it did not properly park and the RA axis settled an hour East of where it should have. This has happened to me in the past and I would loosen the clutches use a level to reset the RA axis and then tell the mount is was in Park position 4. 
 
Do I have some configuration setting incorrect? Or is the normal behavior that's expected?
 
Also is there a trick for recovering without loosening the clutches?
 
Thank you!!
Steve Hoffman



Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Ben Lutch
 


Question for Roland - if you are imaging with both cameras simultaneously, how do you coordinate dithers?
thanks,
b

On Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 8:09 PM Terry Martin <terry@...> wrote:
I use USB to the CP5. I have an Eagle 3 mounted on top of my scope.  Its 12 volt power comes from the through the mount power connection, which it then powers all the devices.  The USB from the CP5 feeds into the Eagle through the mount. I use a tiny portable router which just sits on the Eagle using Velcro. The Eagle connects to the router via ethernet cable and I remote into the router via Microsoft Remote Desktop (the Eagle WIFI is not very reliable). It all works really well. 

I run NINA via ASCOM and TheSkyX via ASCOM.

Terry


Re: Imaging during EST to DST change over

Dale Ghent
 

Internally, mounts operate on UTC time only and don't care about/know about silly constructs such as DST and time zones. I would pull the session's logs from whatever imaging or sequencing program you're using and APCC, if you're using that.

I've seen funny things with lots of programs over the years regarding their reaction to DST changes, the start of DST in particular. A typical scenario is a program monitors IO for timeouts based on local wall clock time, and not seconds elapsed. Suddenly time jumps forward 1 hour and the program is convinced that it hadn't heard anything for an hour, and reacts in an improper way.

On Mar 15, 2021, at 00:25, Jim Fakatselis <pashasdad@gmail.com> wrote:

Last night I was imaging with my QSI683 camera through the AP 130EDF on my Mach1GTO and had an unusual thing happen. I was on my last subframe of the evening, at around 2am and suddenly I noticed that the guiding errors grew tremendously.

I noticed the guide star was out of the field so I grabbed an additional full frame exposure through the guide camera to see what had happened. A 5 sec exposure showed stars streaking in the field of view, like the tracking was incorrect or even off.

After closer inspection I noticed that the mount parked itself at exactly 2:00am when the PC's clock automatically advanced from 2:00am to 3:00am during the EST to DST transition. It wasn't too much of a problem since I was closing down for the night anyway, so I lost the 10 min subframe.
I was wondering why/how the mount automatically parked due to that sudden time shift Any ideas? Anyone else had this happen to them?

Jim Fakatselis
Peppermill Skies Observatory
Huntington, NY


Imaging during EST to DST change over

Jim Fakatselis
 

Last night I was imaging with my QSI683 camera through the AP 130EDF on my Mach1GTO and had an unusual thing happen. I was on my last subframe of the evening, at around 2am and suddenly I noticed that the guiding errors grew tremendously.

I noticed the guide star was out of the field so I grabbed an additional full frame exposure through the guide camera to see what had happened. A 5 sec exposure showed stars streaking in the field of view, like the tracking was incorrect or even off.

After closer inspection I noticed that the mount parked itself at exactly 2:00am when the PC's clock automatically advanced from 2:00am to 3:00am during the EST to DST transition. It wasn't too much of a problem since I was closing down for the night anyway, so I lost the 10 min subframe.
I was wondering why/how the mount automatically parked due to that sudden time shift Any ideas? Anyone else had this happen to them?

Jim Fakatselis
Peppermill Skies Observatory
Huntington, NY


Re: Counter weight up slew vs. continuing past the meridian, any real differences?

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Luca,

My observation was that in theory starting from a CW up position saves imaging time, in practice I have found the
opposite because safety slews take longer.
First, the primary purpose of starting or ending in a counterweight-up position is not necessarily to save time but to be able to use the same guide star across the meridian. If you are using an off-axis autoguider without a camera rotator you may not get a good guide star (or any guide star) after a pier flip. But, if you have a camera rotator, using a separate guide scope, or unguided, there is not much advantage to counterweight-up imaging.

The precision I
require for the centering process is 30 points maximum error, which translates to roughly 20 arc-sec. If I am not
running a model on the Mach2 or the AP1100, the "closed loop slew" (to use TSX terminology) to the target will
usually take 2-3 slews. the first gets you with a degree, usually, and the second one gets you perfectly there or
If you are using an APCC pointing model, the declination pointing error should not be much less than the +/- 1/2 degree declination tolerance before a safety slew. If it is, then you probably should redo the pointing model, including adding more counterweight-up points.

If I allow APCC to run counterweight up slews within East limits and if the target is within East limits, when SGP
issues the first slew command to center the target, the mount will go in a CW up position with the scope on the East
side pointing East. When I have been next to the mount I have observed that the next slew or two to refine the
position of the mount and meet the required precision for centering the frame will be safety slews.
Again, a better pointing model should prevent safety slews, as exceeding the +/- 1/2 degree declination tolerance is unlikely unless SGPro is purposely moving the mount away from the target.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Luca Marinelli
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2021 3:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Counter weight up slew vs. continuing past the meridian, any real differences?

On Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 10:07 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:


Hi Luca,



It's not a big deal either way; we are only talking about two or three slews per target. But then again,
neither is a
Meridian flip, which also take a couple of slews per target for plate solving. That was my original point.

Can you clarify? Are you saying that SGPro needs to slew two or three times in the course of platesolving a
new target, and in the process of doing this APCC is doing a pier flip and multiple safe slews for the *same* target?

-Ray


When I set up a target in SGP, I'll enter RA and DEC coordinates for the center of the image, as well as rotation
angle of the frame. I start the evening with a "closed loop slew" to use TSX terminology to the target. The precision I
require for the centering process is 30 points maximum error, which translates to roughly 20 arc-sec. If I am not
running a model on the Mach2 or the AP1100, the "closed loop slew" (to use TSX terminology) to the target will
usually take 2-3 slews. the first gets you with a degree, usually, and the second one gets you perfectly there or
almost. If I am using a model, depending on where the target is in the sky, it will take 1-2 slews to get there.

If I allow APCC to run counterweight up slews within East limits and if the target is within East limits, when SGP
issues the first slew command to center the target, the mount will go in a CW up position with the scope on the East
side pointing East. When I have been next to the mount I have observed that the next slew or two to refine the
position of the mount and meet the required precision for centering the frame will be safety slews.

The same holds for meridian flips. After issuing the slew command that triggers the meridian flip, SGP will run a
platosolve task to confirm the correct position of the target. Typically, it will then issue a second and rarely a third
slew to center the target with 20 arc-sec precision. The slews after a meridan flip will not be safety slews because
they are CW down.

My observation was that in theory starting from a CW up position saves imaging time, in practice I have found the
opposite because safety slews take longer. That's all I was saying. Again, this is an entirely minor difference and
overall minute contribution to overhead compared to time spent focusing, dithering, saving files, etc. If you relax the
precision requirement, obviously it will take fewer slew to get the frame centered. I image targets over the course of
several months and require this precision so I don't have to trim the edge of the frames excessively.

If there is a better way to set up APCC to reduce this time overhead, I am always looking for ways to improve how
the software works together.

Luca


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Terry Martin
 

I use USB to the CP5. I have an Eagle 3 mounted on top of my scope.  Its 12 volt power comes from the through the mount power connection, which it then powers all the devices.  The USB from the CP5 feeds into the Eagle through the mount. I use a tiny portable router which just sits on the Eagle using Velcro. The Eagle connects to the router via ethernet cable and I remote into the router via Microsoft Remote Desktop (the Eagle WIFI is not very reliable). It all works really well. 

I run NINA via ASCOM and TheSkyX via ASCOM.

Terry


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Frank Widmann
 

I have an industrial mini computer near the mount that has RS 232 ports that I use to connect to the mount.

Frank


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Roland Christen
 

I use USB directly to the Cp4 and CP5 controllers in my observatory.
For camera connections I use whatever the camera came with - USB2, USB3 and even serial Stuck out tongue winking eye


My workflow to the Mach 2, using a powered hub is the following:

Connect MaximDL via ASCOM
Connect SkyX via ASCOM
Connect QSI683 WSG camera (160 EDF refractor) plus Lodestar guider
Connect Lodestar and Trius Pro 36 (130 EDF with Quad TCC)

Select object in SkyX and press GoTo. Stand back and let Maxim DL take images.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: cargostick@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Mar 14, 2021 8:28 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

A new poll has been created:
I am toying with connecting via ethernet to save a USB space on my control computer.  I have also ordered an FTDI serial adapter to try that out.  Therefore I should only need 1 USB cable to my entire imaging rig.  What are your connections and why?
1. USB
2. Ethernet
3. WiFi
4. RS-232
Do not reply to this message to vote in the poll. You can vote in polls only through the group's website.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Elenillor
 

None of the above.

I use the "Keypad" as my control computer as a visual observer.
For connecting another computer I have successfully used all the other options.


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

KHursh
 

USB to RS-232 on a Mach2 (CP5) because I'm a creature of habit. I am in the backyard, but I don't need anything else. I don't trust WiFi in general and I have read that in particular the CP4/CP5 has drop outs. I have no need to run a cable (ethernet) all the way to the house. I DO connect to the PC via wifi so that I can control it via Remote Desktop.


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Roger Howard
 

I have an ATS pier as well, and that is truly a lot of metal near a WiFi antenna. Today I used google Remote Desktop for the first time, so I plan to have my laptop on the home WiFi and remote into that laptop from inside the air conditioned house. Alabama summers are brutal, 90+ degrees and 80% humidity is horrible. 


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Dale Ghent
 

GTOCP3 here, so USB direct from my NUC-like miniPC to a 14 year old Prolific-based USB to serial adaptor that plugs into the CP3. Somehow, this old adaptor has managed to survive winters and summers outdoors under nothing more than a Telegizmos 365 cover and it still manages to do its job just fine. The only thing I've have do to in terms of maintenance is to take some pliers and pinch in the D-sub housing a bit so that it maintains a good grip on the CP3's female DB9 port.

When the 1100GTO that is on order arrives, I'll likely do direct USB. Same if I decide to upgrade the CP3 on my Mach1 to a CP4, but that's unlikely at this point in light of the pending arrival of the 1100. Ethernet's cool and all, but it's not needed for range (it's 1 wire-meter max. between miniPC and the CP's location) and USB will probably do just fine given my insistence on using non-trash cables and securing them such that the connectors never take any mechanical strain.

As for Wifi, there's more room for failure and there are a few special considerations, at least in my case. My miniPC's wifi is already on my home wifi network, so the CP's wifi radio would need also need be on the same SSID, thus putting all communication between my miniPC and the CP through one of my 2 meshed access points back inside the house. Additionally, the CP would be mounted on the south side of my pier and its transmission and reception would be blocked by the pier and mount as my house and the access points are to the north of my pier. ATS piers excel at many aspects of doing the job of a telescope pier, and I'm sure attenuating 2.4/5GHz wifi is also something that it's adept at doing. So I'm not going to go there. It just doesn't offer me any advantages over a ~1m direct USB connection.

On Mar 14, 2021, at 21:28, cargostick@gmail.com wrote:

A new poll has been created:

I am toying with connecting via ethernet to save a USB space on my control computer. I have also ordered an FTDI serial adapter to try that out. Therefore I should only need 1 USB cable to my entire imaging rig. What are your connections and why?

1. USB
2. Ethernet
3. WiFi
4. RS-232

Vote Now

Do not reply to this message to vote in the poll. You can vote in polls only through the group's website.


Re: Slide Rules and Slipsticks - in the 1960's B.C. - i.e. (Before Computers)

Richard O'Neill <syzygy42@earthlink.net> <syzygy42@...>
 

I still have my Pickett rules, A pocket size 6" and two 12", all in leather cases. Surprisingly, after more than fifty years I still remember how to use most of the scales!

Richard


Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Roger Howard
 

I am toying with connecting via ethernet to save a USB space on my control computer.  I have also ordered an FTDI serial adapter to try that out.  Therefore I should only need 1 USB cable to my entire imaging rig.  What are your connections and why?

Results

See Who Responded


Re: Counter weight up slew vs. continuing past the meridian, any real differences?

Luca Marinelli
 
Edited

On Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 10:07 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:
Hi Luca,

It's not a big deal either way; we are only talking about two or three slews per target. But then again, neither is a
Meridian flip, which also take a couple of slews per target for plate solving. That was my original point.
Can you clarify? Are you saying that SGPro needs to slew two or three times in the course of platesolving a new target, and in the process of doing this APCC is doing a pier flip and multiple safe slews for the *same* target?

-Ray

When I set up a target in SGP, I'll enter RA and DEC coordinates for the center of the image, as well as rotation angle of the frame. I start the evening with a "closed loop slew" to use TSX terminology to the target. The precision I require for the centering process is 30 points maximum error, which translates to roughly 20 arc-sec. If I am not running a model on the Mach2 or the AP1100, the "closed loop slew"  to the target will usually take 2-3 slews. The first gets you within half a degree to a degree of the target, depending on its position in the sky, and the second one gets you perfectly there or almost. If I am using a model, depending on where the target is in the sky, it will take 1-2 slews to get there.

If I allow APCC to run counterweight up slews within East limits and if the target is within East limits, when SGP issues the first slew command to center the target, the mount will go in a CW up position with the scope on the East side pointing East. When I have been next to the mount I have observed that the next slew or two to refine the position of the mount and meet the required precision for centering the frame will be safety slews.

The same holds for meridian flips. After issuing the slew command that triggers the meridian flip, SGP will run a platosolve task to confirm the correct position of the target. Typically, it will then issue a second and rarely a third slew to center the target with 20 arc-sec precision. The slews after a meridan flip will not be safety slews because they are CW down.

My observation was that in theory starting from a CW up position saves imaging time, in practice I have found the opposite because safety slews take longer. That's all I was saying. Again, this is an entirely minor difference and overall minute contribution to overhead compared to time spent focusing, dithering, saving files, etc. If you relax the precision requirement, obviously it will take fewer slew to get the frame centered. I image targets over the course of several months and require this precision so I don't have to trim the edge of the frames excessively.

If there is a better way to set up APCC to reduce this time overhead, I am always looking for ways to improve how the software works together.

Luca


Re: Backlash

Mike Dodd
 

On 3/14/2021 5:28 PM, Tom Blahovici wrote:
I have this mount and use it for imaging.
Which mount would that be?

I have backlash of 2 seconds in Dec....
My mount had a 2.8 arc second peak to peak periodic error without PEC.
Periodic error has nothing to do with Dec, only RA. If your mount requires Dec corrections, that indicates your polar alignment should be adjusted.

Dec adjustments should be infrequent. Do your Dec corrections need the same 2-second backlash in both directions, or only one? IOW, is the correction with the backlash the same in both directions?

If so, it sounds to me like your work-to-worm-wheel mating is too loose, and needs adjusting. If not, that sounds like a balance issue, which would manifest itself only while pointing to certain areas of the sky.

--- Mike


Re: Backlash

Tom Blahovici
 

I have this mount and use it for imaging. Balance seems to be really important but a bit difficult to do.
I have backlash of 2 seconds in Dec and when I image with Voyager, it takes a couple of starts to get rid of it. Once gone there is no issue.
It is actually a really nice mount and is rock solid for my FSQ106 with Moonlite Nitecrawler and camera setup.  Certainly better than a Losmandy G11 I used to have.
In any case, it is not difficult to adjust the backlash but does take a while. There's a manual on this on the AP website.
My mount had a 2.8 arc second peak to peak periodic error without PEC.
Tom

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