Date   

AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

Jack Huerkamp
 

I use SkyTools 3 and SkyTools 4 to control my AP1600 mount using the ASCOM driver.  But every 6 months, I was having to switch the AP keypad from standard time to daylight savings time and then back again 6 months later.  It was suggested to me to set the AP keypad to UT and also setting the computer to UT to avoid have to mess with keypad settings every 6 months.  I did so and can control the mount using the keypad.  

I then tried configuring my observatory location, but when I connected the mount to SkyTools and did a slew to the Sun this afternoon, the scope tried to aim into the ground on the southwest side of the pier.  I need to know how to set my location in SkyTools now that the mount and computer are set to UT.  I am in the Central US time zone.

I would appreciate feedback on this as I would hate to have to go back to setting the computer and AP keypad to the current local time.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


Re: AP1100 past the meridian question

Eric Claeys
 

There’s a declination where my C11 can do a 360, and other declinations where it only goes an hour past the meridian.  One of the great things about APCC is that it has per-declination meridian limits.  It’s actually fairly easy to set them up, and can be done inside as long as the scope/mount/tripod is set up as it will be in the field, which is easy to do.

And unless you change something, the limits don’t need to be redone.

 

Eric


Re: APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Luca Marinelli
 

It may be as Eric mentioned that the latest beta had some issues or the new QHY ASCOM driver. I was running APPM with SGP 64bit v4.657 on the other system (Mach2) without any problems. I’ll do more testing and see if v4.657 works with the QHY camera. 

Thanks,

Luca

On Mar 15, 2021, at 11:01 PM, Brian Valente via groups.io <bvalente@...> wrote:


I connect to camera via SGP all the time, i have not noticed any problems with port number changes

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 6:38 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Hi Luca,

I've not heard of any connect problems. Maybe the TCP port number has changed?

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Luca Marinelli
> Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 4:48 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP
>
> Hi Ray,
>
> I was trying to build a new model for my AP1100 tonight with APCC Pro v1.8.8.17 via SGP v4.661 and a QHY 268M
> camera and APPM was giving an error message "Failed to connect to Camera: cannot Connect: Please make sure
> the camera is connected in Sequence Generator Pro". The camera is connected in SGP, as you can see in the
> screenshot via the QHY ASCOM driver (ASCOM v6.5 SP1). Incidentally on the screen on the left you can see
> APPM running on the other system (Mach2 with ZWO ASI6200MM camera) without any problems. Do you know
> what might be the issue or how to troubleshoot it further?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Luca
>








--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

 

I connect to camera via SGP all the time, i have not noticed any problems with port number changes


On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 6:38 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Hi Luca,

I've not heard of any connect problems. Maybe the TCP port number has changed?

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Luca Marinelli
> Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 4:48 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP
>
> Hi Ray,
>
> I was trying to build a new model for my AP1100 tonight with APCC Pro v1.8.8.17 via SGP v4.661 and a QHY 268M
> camera and APPM was giving an error message "Failed to connect to Camera: cannot Connect: Please make sure
> the camera is connected in Sequence Generator Pro". The camera is connected in SGP, as you can see in the
> screenshot via the QHY ASCOM driver (ASCOM v6.5 SP1). Incidentally on the screen on the left you can see
> APPM running on the other system (Mach2 with ZWO ASI6200MM camera) without any problems. Do you know
> what might be the issue or how to troubleshoot it further?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Luca
>








--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: AP1100 past the meridian question

Peter Nagy
 

Depends on Declination of your target. In my case I can image anywhere where Declination is below or smaller than my latitude (at or south of Zenith) from East to West without Meridian flipping. The shorter the scope the better.

Peter 


AP1100 past the meridian question

Shailesh Trivedi
 

If the pier or tripod clears the scope and imaging train, approximately how many minutes/hours would an AP1100 go past the meridian?

Shailesh


Re: Tracking ISS with Horizons #APCC #Mach2GTO

Ray Gralak
 

Hi David,

1-minute intervals are not accurate enough.

You might try to do a 1-second interval. You can do this by specifying a start and end time and specifying an "equal interval (unitless)" step size. Then, specify a count that results in 1-second intervals. For example, if the range is one hour, the count to produce 1-second intervals would be 3600, because there are 3600 seconds in one hour.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of David Johnson
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 5:35 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Tracking ISS with Horizons #APCC #Mach2GTO

Okay, I'm trying to use A-P's Horizons to track the ISS, and I have a couple of questions. I was able to get the
ephemeris data from JPL and load it into A-P's Horizons. So I have data loaded in there at 1 minute intervals.

I tried the Test Tracking, and my first question is about the following. It appears that it does the test tracking using
the data for the time period you select, but the mount does not use that time period for pointing purposes but the
current time. What I mean is, for example, if I try to track using the data on 3/16, starting at, say, 9:28 p.m., it says
that the ISS is at a certain celestial coordinate in my sky at that time. The mount goes to that coordinate, but, of
course, that coordinate is not at the same place in the sky now as it will be on 3/16 at 9:28 p.m., so the altitude and
azimuth shown in the ephemeris data will not be where the telescope points now. I noticed this because I naturally
started trying to track as the ISS was coming up over the horizon and therefore the first altitude shown was
something like 1.7 (degrees, I assume), but the telescope was obviously not pointing that low, and, indeed, APCC
says that it was not that low. If this is how Horizons works when doing Test Tracking, that's fine, but I just wanted
to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong.

The second question is on the tracking itself. I noticed that the mount was not able to keep up with the tracking
when the apparent movement of the ISS became relatively fast, even though watching it, it was obvious the tracking
was well within the slewing speed of the Mach2 on 24V, which is what I'm using. The tracking appeared to fall well
behind, as in 2H of RA for RA Delta and something equivalent (a few degrees) in Dec Delta. Maybe this has
something to do with the closed loop correction not being fast enough? I also noticed that there is no check box for
disabling the closed loop correction, as is shown in the APCC documentation.

Anyway, if I can't track the ISS with the Mach2, that's fine. I just want to make sure it's not because I'm doing
something wrong. I have a real pass of the ISS coming over at 9:21 p.m. local time tonight, so I'm going to try "real
tracking", albeit in my basement since it's raining outside.

Thanks.


Re: APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Luca,

I've not heard of any connect problems. Maybe the TCP port number has changed?

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Luca Marinelli
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Hi Ray,

I was trying to build a new model for my AP1100 tonight with APCC Pro v1.8.8.17 via SGP v4.661 and a QHY 268M
camera and APPM was giving an error message "Failed to connect to Camera: cannot Connect: Please make sure
the camera is connected in Sequence Generator Pro". The camera is connected in SGP, as you can see in the
screenshot via the QHY ASCOM driver (ASCOM v6.5 SP1). Incidentally on the screen on the left you can see
APPM running on the other system (Mach2 with ZWO ASI6200MM camera) without any problems. Do you know
what might be the issue or how to troubleshoot it further?

Thanks,

Luca


Re: Which IPad

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Met some close Amateur Astronomy friends in Palermo many years ago. A very nice time. Wonderful memories.

JimP 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Joseph Bianco <biancojoseph@...>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 6:35:47 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which IPad
 
I use an iPad mini with WIFI only and have entered the coordinates of my remote sites using the data from my iPhone and stored the data in my “User-Defined Observing Sites”. I use 10 sites stored from places in the US and Europe. It’s fun to ask SkySafari what would the sky look like from Palermo Italy

Joseph


Tracking ISS with Horizons #APCC #Mach2GTO

David Johnson
 

Okay, I'm trying to use A-P's Horizons to track the ISS, and I have a couple of questions.  I was able to get the ephemeris data from JPL and load it into A-P's Horizons.  So I have data loaded in there at 1 minute intervals.

I tried the Test Tracking, and my first question is about the following.  It appears that it does the test tracking using the data for the time period you select, but the mount does not use that time period for pointing purposes but the current time.  What I mean is, for example, if I try to track using the data on 3/16, starting at, say, 9:28 p.m., it says that the ISS is at a certain celestial coordinate in my sky at that time.  The mount goes to that coordinate, but, of course, that coordinate is not at the same place in the sky now as it will be on 3/16 at 9:28 p.m., so the altitude and azimuth shown in the ephemeris data will not be where the telescope points now.  I noticed this because I naturally started trying to track as the ISS was coming up over the horizon and therefore the first altitude shown was something like 1.7 (degrees, I assume), but the telescope was obviously not pointing that low, and, indeed, APCC says that it was not that low.  If this is how Horizons works when doing Test Tracking, that's fine, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong.

The second question is on the tracking itself.  I noticed that the mount was not able to keep up with the tracking when the apparent movement of the ISS became relatively fast, even though watching it, it was obvious the tracking was well within the slewing speed of the Mach2 on 24V, which is what I'm using.  The tracking appeared to fall well behind, as in 2H of RA for RA Delta and something equivalent (a few degrees) in Dec Delta.  Maybe this has something to do with the closed loop correction not being fast enough?  I also noticed that there is no check box for disabling the closed loop correction, as is shown in the APCC documentation.

Anyway, if I can't track the ISS with the Mach2, that's fine.  I just want to make sure it's not because I'm doing something wrong.  I have a real pass of the ISS coming over at 9:21 p.m. local time tonight, so I'm going to try "real tracking", albeit in my basement since it's raining outside.

Thanks.


Re: APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Luca Marinelli
 

Thanks, Eric! Too late to create a new model tonight but I'll give it a shot next time around.

Luca

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Weiner via groups.io
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 8:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Luca,

There have been a few bugs which have shown up in 4.661 (64 bit). Not necessarily what you’re seeing, but they have admitted other issues exist in that beta version and recommend rolling back to 4.657. For me, my equipment profiles were inaccessible. Something to do with the Pegasus UPBv2 implementation. Rolling back fixed that issue. Something to try anyways.

Eric


Re: APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Eric Weiner
 

Luca,

There have been a few bugs which have shown up in 4.661 (64 bit). Not necessarily what you’re seeing, but they have admitted other issues exist in that beta version and recommend rolling back to 4.657. For me, my equipment profiles were inaccessible. Something to do with the Pegasus UPBv2 implementation. Rolling back fixed that issue. Something to try anyways.

Eric


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Roger Howard
 

Nice Eric!


APPM cannot connect to camera via SGP

Luca Marinelli
 

Hi Ray,

I was trying to build a new model for my AP1100 tonight with APCC Pro v1.8.8.17 via SGP v4.661 and a QHY 268M camera and APPM was giving an error message "Failed to connect to Camera: cannot Connect: Please make sure the camera is connected in Sequence Generator Pro". The camera is connected in SGP, as you can see in the screenshot via the QHY ASCOM driver (ASCOM v6.5 SP1). Incidentally on the screen on the left you can see APPM running on the other system (Mach2 with ZWO ASI6200MM camera) without any problems. Do you know what might be the issue or how to troubleshoot it further?

Thanks,

Luca


Re: Which IPad

Joseph Bianco
 

I use an iPad mini with WIFI only and have entered the coordinates of my remote sites using the data from my iPhone and stored the data in my “User-Defined Observing Sites”. I use 10 sites stored from places in the US and Europe. It’s fun to ask SkySafari what would the sky look like from Palermo Italy

Joseph


Re: Which IPad

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Ok, thanks very much!

JimP


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Woody Schlom <woody_is@...>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 5:28:30 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which IPad
 

Jim,

 

I’m not an Apple guy and am not familiar with iPads.  HOWEVER – unless Apple has recently changed their packaging and marketing, you only get built-in GPS if you get an iPad with a modem.  So if you buy an iPad that doesn’t have a modem, you won’t be able to take advantage of the automatic GPS location feature in SkySafari.

 

Yes, you can still manually input your location.  And if you’re using WiFi, SkySafari will take a location from the WiFi’s signal (which can be way off depending on where the WiFi signal is getting its location from).  But without a built-in GPS, SkySafari can’t do it automatically.  I learned this when I bought an iPad for my brother with the intention of using it on his boat.  I had to buy one with a modem.

 

Many Android tablets are the same way – but not all.  I learned the hard way.  After my initial mistake I was able to find a Samsung tablet without modem, but with built-in GPS.  But that was years ago.

 

So if you want to take advantage of SkySafari’s automatic GPS location feature, make sure you buy an iPad with a built-in GPS – which probably means built-in modem too.  You don’t have to activate the iPad with its own cellular account.   But you do have to buy the more expensive version with the cellular modem.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of thefamily90 Phillips
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 1:41 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Which IPad

 

Having used sky safari pro on my iPhone  for a while I have decided I want a larger screen. Which iPad would you recommend for use with Skye safari?

 

Best,

 

JimP 


Re: Which IPad

Woody Schlom
 

Jim,

 

I’m not an Apple guy and am not familiar with iPads.  HOWEVER – unless Apple has recently changed their packaging and marketing, you only get built-in GPS if you get an iPad with a modem.  So if you buy an iPad that doesn’t have a modem, you won’t be able to take advantage of the automatic GPS location feature in SkySafari.

 

Yes, you can still manually input your location.  And if you’re using WiFi, SkySafari will take a location from the WiFi’s signal (which can be way off depending on where the WiFi signal is getting its location from).  But without a built-in GPS, SkySafari can’t do it automatically.  I learned this when I bought an iPad for my brother with the intention of using it on his boat.  I had to buy one with a modem.

 

Many Android tablets are the same way – but not all.  I learned the hard way.  After my initial mistake I was able to find a Samsung tablet without modem, but with built-in GPS.  But that was years ago.

 

So if you want to take advantage of SkySafari’s automatic GPS location feature, make sure you buy an iPad with a built-in GPS – which probably means built-in modem too.  You don’t have to activate the iPad with its own cellular account.   But you do have to buy the more expensive version with the cellular modem.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of thefamily90 Phillips
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 1:41 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Which IPad

 

Having used sky safari pro on my iPhone  for a while I have decided I want a larger screen. Which iPad would you recommend for use with Skye safari?

 

Best,

 

JimP 


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Woody Schlom
 

Yes, that’s my understanding also after communicating directly with Wayne at Starlight Instruments.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 12:56 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

 

I thought that they were all made by Optec, too.  But I was on the phone with George the other day (ordering a focus motor for my new 130 GTX), and he mentioned that Starlight Instruments makes the motors and Optec does the controllers.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Peter Nagy
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 12:36 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

 

Peter,

 

I believe Optec’s system is called Focuslynx and Starlight Instruments’ system is called Focus Boss.

 

Woody

Exactly same products, just different brandings and they are all made by Optec. Yes I got the model names backward but makes no difference. 

Peter 


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Woody Schlom
 

Peter,

 

Actually not quite.  I had a conversation with Wayne Schroeder from Starlight Instruments several months ago where he explained that each company makes their own motors now.  It was originally supposed to be a product partnership between the two companies, but something changed.  And now Optec makes their motors and Starlight Instruments makes their own motors.  They’re almost identical and are interchangeable – but each company makes their own motors.

 

On the other hand, if I understood him correctly, Optec does indeed still make all the controllers – at least the internal electronics and firmware.  Starlight Instruments might make their own metal controller housings.  I’m not clear on that part.  But the systems are interchangeable.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Peter Nagy
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 12:36 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

 

Peter,

 

I believe Optec’s system is called Focuslynx and Starlight Instruments’ system is called Focus Boss.

 

Woody

Exactly same products, just different brandings and they are all made by Optec. Yes I got the model names backward but makes no difference. 

Peter 


Which IPad

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Having used sky safari pro on my iPhone  for a while I have decided I want a larger screen. Which iPad would you recommend for use with Skye safari?

Best,

JimP 

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