Date   

Re: Questions.....does wireless now work correctly with latest updates AND does your Sky Safari 6 Pro allow multiple Park positions now.

midmoastro
 

Robert, I'd be happy to try this but can you confirm a couple things first?
Is the CP4 connected to home wireless and in SF you are just specifying the IP and port of the CP4 to connect? If so, whats port should be used?
Lastly, what do I need to do to confirm the other park positions? Last night I was connected via USB to my Mac and I am pretty sure I parked it in position 3 but unsure if that has always been there. I can confirm again today.
Todd


Powering Remote Imaging Systems

Steve Reilly
 

While not directly mount related it does concern powering systems. For a system I run at SRO and one at home I have Web Power switches for the scripting the powering of equipment on/off through ACP Expert which works great but now years after just leaving the computers on 24/7 forever I wonder about the intelligence of that practice. I do have the computer’s BIOS set to restore to previous state should there be a power loss so that it turns back on and in turn opens the programs I have in the Start Menu which is fine for emergencies but I suspect I wouldn’t want to force stop/start it like that on a regular basis if not necessary. I’ve read a bit about Wake On LAN but that requires a computer that is on that network to access the computer you want woken which in this case is doable even with SRO as they have a VPN that sets the remote computer as part of your local network. I can Remote Desktop into that system using the IP address from home when the VPN is connected.

 

But of course I’m looking for more fool proofing such as not relaying on memory to connect and turn on each system every day  as that will most certainly be forgotten from time to time and likely on the very best of nights. So the real question hidden deep in this post is if anyone knows of a mostly foolproof method to have remote computers turn on and off at predetermined times. I would expect you’d want to calculate the earliest time for On in your area considering DST and off by the latest morning time. Say you may want 4PM start for the winter when you could be imaging by 5:30pm in some areas and off at 9am in the morning which would/should allow time for sky flats should you take them both evening and morning. This at least gives the computer a rest of 15+ hours a day and in my case where I use a Starlight Xpress UltraStar guider t to would be powered down as it’s always on when connected to the computer’s USB.

 

Just think there should be a more reasonable way to run these system that would be easier on the computers as well as being more efficient. Anything obvious I’m missing? Suggestions?


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

mjb87@...
 
Edited

Thanks. I appreciate the assistance. Here is what I'm taking away so far

1. With a color camera the appropriate x-scale and y-scale factors to enter are twice the individual pixel dimensions. In my case I should enter 0.52 rather than 0.26 for each X and Y scale. Is that correct?  (Not sure I understand why it would be.)

2. When you later attempt to redo a platesolve on a saved image, and when it reports its estimated actual image scale, it is reporting the binned scale. In other words, the reason my reported scale was 1.04 is that the actual unbinned image scale was 0.52 and I was using 2x2 binning. Is that correct?  (If so, it might be helpful to modify that window to emphasize that the reported scale is binned scale.)

3. I may just be asking too much to get good solutions using an f/15 telescope and a camera with small pixels, given my Bortle 5 skies and with the moon out. One option is to use a camera with a larger pixel size. As evidence of this, in using a similar camera on my 130mm GTX I still had to do 2x2 binning to get easy solutions. I use a Lodestar X2 as a guide camera on my other setup. It has 8.2x8.4 pixels. I can try that instead of the ASI1600MC-Cool.

4. Other things to try: more tolerance around image scale, less sigma above mean, longer exposures.

Make sense?


AP 600 E Goto

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Hello All,
I just purchased a near new AP Mach1 which leaves me with an AP 600 E GOTO I am willing to sell. If interested please email me directly for details.

Thefamily90@....

Best,

Jim


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

Marcelo Figueroa
 

On Sat, Apr 17, 2021 at 05:31 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
2x2 binning of 0.26 arc-secs/pixel should be 0.52 arc-secs/pixel, not 1.0 arc-secs/pixel.

However, since this is a color camera, if each group of 4-pixels is considered 1 pixel, then you should enter 0.52 arc-secs/pixel in APPM for the X and Y image scale values.
I assume that the same principles apply for the ASI294MM camera, whose default mode is 2x2 binning, right?
 


M 81

KHursh
 

I know this is an oft-imaged galaxy, but it is one of the first images I am proud of.
Image processing is challenging, but capture is a breeze with the Mach2.
Sky-watcher 120 with ASI294MM,

https://astrob.in/kxm7yk/0/

Kevin


NGC 3347 and NGC 3358

Geoff Smith
 

NGC 3347 is an elongated spiral galaxy, while NGC 3358 is a face-on lenticular galaxy There is a barely visible faint tidal stream between NGC 3347 and the smaller round spiral NGC 3354. Both NGC 3347 and NGC 3354 have similar red-shifts, suggesting that this is a genuine association and not merely a line-of-sight coincidence.

Plane Wave 12.5" CDK on AP900 with FLI Proline 16803

Technical details here https://www.astrobin.com/qlym15/

Higher resolution here https://www.astrobin.com/full/qlym15/0/

Geoff


Questions.....does wireless now work correctly with latest updates AND does your Sky Safari 6 Pro allow multiple Park positions now.

Robert Berta
 

Background....since I got my 1100 mount (early model) with CP4 I tried to get it to work reliably with Sky Safari 6 Pro wireless via the AP built in wireless module. This is with Android cell phone and also Samsung Galaxy tablets.

In addition I and other AP owners were hoping that Sky Safari 6 Pro would support the multiple choices of Park positions. After updating my CP4 to the latest version firmware I noted that one fix in the update log was an improvement to wireless. Keeping my finger crossed I gave it a try.

I am also a BETA tester for Sky Safari and the version I have now has multiple Park positions including a user selectable position...just like the mount hand controller with latest AP firmware hand controller updates.

I fired up my AP wireless and FINALLY it seemed to work correctly and doesn't drop the connection as both Android and Apple products had issues staying connected before.

Could some other owners test both the wireless with Sky Safari 6Pro and also whether their non-BETA version has the additional Park positions feature now? I am hoping that finally both issues have been put to bed. I will do some more testing myself soon.


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

Mike Dodd
 

On 4/17/2021 8:23 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
What am I missing?
Marty said 2x2 binning was producing images with 1 arc-sec/pixel
scale. What other reason would there be for 2x2 binning to produce 1
arc/sec pixel when each pixel is 0.26 arc-seconds? It *should*
produce 0.52 arc-sec/pixel image, right?
Yes. Something didn't "click." Sorry for my confusion.

--- Mike


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

Ray Gralak
 

What am I missing?
Marty said 2x2 binning was producing images with 1 arc-sec/pixel scale. What other reason would there be for 2x2 binning to produce 1 arc/sec pixel when each pixel is 0.26 arc-seconds? It *should* produce 0.52 arc-sec/pixel image, right?

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mike Dodd
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2021 3:43 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

On 4/17/2021 6:31 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:

However, since this is a color camera, if each group of 4-pixels is
considered 1 pixel, then you should enter 0.52 arc-secs/pixel in APPM
for the X and Y image scale values.
I don't understand that, Ray. A pixel is a pixel regardless of the color
filter over it.

When an image is debayered, the debayering algorithm gets light values
from every pixel, and assigns RGB values to the same pixels in the color
image.

the resulting color image has the same number of pixels as the
non-debayered image. The image size is unchanged.

What am I missing?

--- Mike







Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

John Jennings
 

Mike,

I also have a 130GTX with Quad reducer/flattener on a APMach1. With a full frame QHY410C or my QHY268C (APS-C) it literally screams through the sky plate solving instantly like a maniac in the same Bortle 8 skies.

John


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

John Jennings
 

Mike,

You didn't mention if you are in a light polluted area or have dark skies. I live in a Bortle 8 sky. I had a lot of trouble Plate Solving with my Mewlon 300 reduced to f10 with the small pixels (4.63micron) of the QHY294C. I see your using USNO A2.0 for the narrow field of view. That helps a lot, but sometimes the GSC would work better in a specific area. For me in the city, it depended on what area of the sky I was solving for and how many stars were available. When I was doing a mapping run with APPC Pro with my AP900, if the Milky Way was overhead, it was a easy. At other times when the sky was star sparse, it was erratic.  I tried all types of binning with inconsistent results.  In the end, I switched  for a test to an old big pixel camera QHY8 (7.8micron) and binned x 2 and never had a problem. Almost 100% solves. I created a perfect mapping run and switched back to the 294C for imaging. When I finally switched to a full frame camera, it became easy too with the small pixels.  It's just tough with a narrow field of view, small pixels, small chip,  slow f ratio and bright skies.


bugs in my 1200!

Steven Panish
 

I think this is a George or Howard question, but any knowlegable input is welcome. 

After removing the saddle from my 1200, I saw that the unused perimeter screw holes in th dec head had been stuffed with mud, likely by a mud dauber or similar wasp enthralled by such a nice nursery site.  I used a small screwdriver to break out the dried mud, and then vacuumed the holes, but for sure some of the dirt went inside the head, and the threads are still clogged and more dirt will be broken loose when I use those holes.  Is that area inside the head sensitive to the dirt?  Should I remove the cap screws and pull the housing to clean it, or is further cleaning unnecessary?

I guess the bird poop question can go to another group....

thanks,

Steve


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

Mike Dodd
 

On 4/17/2021 6:31 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:

However, since this is a color camera, if each group of 4-pixels is
considered 1 pixel, then you should enter 0.52 arc-secs/pixel in APPM
for the X and Y image scale values.
I don't understand that, Ray. A pixel is a pixel regardless of the color filter over it.

When an image is debayered, the debayering algorithm gets light values from every pixel, and assigns RGB values to the same pixels in the color image.

the resulting color image has the same number of pixels as the non-debayered image. The image size is unchanged.

What am I missing?

--- Mike


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Marty,

2x2 binning of 0.26 arc-secs/pixel should be 0.52 arc-secs/pixel, not 1.0 arc-secs/pixel.

However, since this is a color camera, if each group of 4-pixels is considered 1 pixel, then you should enter 0.52 arc-secs/pixel in APPM for the X and Y image scale values.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of mjb87 via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2021 9:12 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

Hi everyone.

I have used APPM successfully with my Mach2 and 130mm Starfire GTX. I am now trying to build a model for my
1100 with a CFF 300 on it. I have some specific questions about image scale. I'm using USNO A2.0.

The camera is a ASI1600MC-Cool with a 0.67 focal reducer on a 300mm f/15 Cassegrain. I calculate unbinned
image scale at just under 0.26, which is of course pretty small. I binned 2x2. My initial run was not successful --
many failures, often reported as due to potential image scale issues. Later, using the image-link-test solve
capabilities, I was able to get a couple of the earlier images to solve, but the estimated image scale in those
calculations was reported just over 1.0. When I re-ran the image-link-test solving with that 1.0 entered for image
scale I got about half the images to solve easily.

Question #1: Is this inconsistency because of the 2x2 binning? Does the plate-solve results in the Image-Link-Test
display estimated unbinned or binned image scale? The math works: 4 x 0.26 is about what was reported.

Question #2: Just to confirm, then, that when I enter X-scale and Y-scale factors in the platesolve setup, I should
enter the unbinned values, right (0.26)? The software will then adjust, I assume, for the binning.

Question #3: What options should I play with to reduce the potential for failed solutions due to image scale issues.
How high can I set (realistically) the Image Scale Tolerance? Is 50% too high? 100%? I also assume it would be
helpful to set Catalog Expansion to a higher value, maybe to the max at 0.8. I'n not trying to get fast solutions, just
more solutions.

Question #4: Any other suggestions for running APPM with such a small image scale? I was worried about getting
enough stars so I increased the exposure time on the camera (from 5 to 15) and reduced the sigma above mean
(from 4 to 3). Anything else?

Thanks.

Marty


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

mjb87@...
 
Edited

Hi Brian,

I did exactly that. Entered 0.26 for both X and Y and then 2x2 binning. I only raise it because when you look at the results *(when I retested some images the next day) of image-link testing when it reports the image's estimated scale it reported 1.04. So I suspect the latter is binned results. 

Marty


Re: #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders

John Upton
 

Rolando & Ray,

   Thank you both for the details and deep dive into how this works. I appreciated the depth of the information.

   Now that Rolando mentions that the tracking is not turned off when Home Position is found, I recall that I also observed that and had left out a step in my procedure in the initial post here. Immediately after the Home Position had been found, I had to Toggle Tracking off before querying the mount's position. I had not considered the slight offset that happens when the motors are de-energized following a Park command compared to just stopping the tracking after finding Home.

   Your explanations tied all of that together nicely.

John


Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

 

Hi Marty

Just to confirm, you should enter the unbinned image scale, and then choose your binning in APPM

I'm not sure what you did in this regard

Brian


On Sat, Apr 17, 2021 at 9:12 AM mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Hi everyone.

I have used APPM successfully with my Mach2 and 130mm Starfire GTX. I am now trying to build a model for my 1100 with a CFF 300 on it.  I have some specific questions about image scale. I'm using USNO A2.0.

The camera is a ASI1600MC-Cool with a 0.67 focal reducer on a 300mm f/15 Cassegrain. I calculate unbinned image scale at just under 0.26, which is of course pretty small. I binned 2x2. My initial run was not successful -- many failures, often reported as due to potential image scale issues. Later, using the image-link-test solve capabilities, I was able to get a couple of the earlier images to solve, but the estimated image scale in those calculations was reported just over 1.0. When I re-ran the image-link-test solving with that 1.0 entered for image scale I got about half the images to solve easily.

Question #1: Is this inconsistency because of the 2x2 binning? Does the plate-solve results in the Image-Link-Test display estimated unbinned or binned image scale?  The math works: 4 x 0.26 is about what was reported. 

Question #2: Just to confirm, then, that when I enter X-scale and Y-scale factors in the platesolve setup, I should enter the unbinned values, right (0.26)? The software will then adjust, I assume, for the binning.

Question #3:  What options should I play with to reduce the potential for failed solutions due to image scale issues.  How high can I set (realistically) the Image Scale Tolerance?  Is 50% too high?  100%?  I also assume it would be helpful to set Catalog Expansion to a higher value, maybe to the max at 0.8.  I'n not trying to get fast solutions, just more solutions.

Question #4: Any other suggestions for running APPM with such a small image scale?  I was worried about getting enough stars so I increased the exposure time on the camera (from 5 to 15) and reduced the sigma above mean (from 4 to 3). Anything else?

Thanks.

 Marty



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

mjb87@...
 

Hi everyone.

I have used APPM successfully with my Mach2 and 130mm Starfire GTX. I am now trying to build a model for my 1100 with a CFF 300 on it.  I have some specific questions about image scale. I'm using USNO A2.0.

The camera is a ASI1600MC-Cool with a 0.67 focal reducer on a 300mm f/15 Cassegrain. I calculate unbinned image scale at just under 0.26, which is of course pretty small. I binned 2x2. My initial run was not successful -- many failures, often reported as due to potential image scale issues. Later, using the image-link-test solve capabilities, I was able to get a couple of the earlier images to solve, but the estimated image scale in those calculations was reported just over 1.0. When I re-ran the image-link-test solving with that 1.0 entered for image scale I got about half the images to solve easily.

Question #1: Is this inconsistency because of the 2x2 binning? Does the plate-solve results in the Image-Link-Test display estimated unbinned or binned image scale?  The math works: 4 x 0.26 is about what was reported. 

Question #2: Just to confirm, then, that when I enter X-scale and Y-scale factors in the platesolve setup, I should enter the unbinned values, right (0.26)? The software will then adjust, I assume, for the binning.

Question #3:  What options should I play with to reduce the potential for failed solutions due to image scale issues.  How high can I set (realistically) the Image Scale Tolerance?  Is 50% too high?  100%?  I also assume it would be helpful to set Catalog Expansion to a higher value, maybe to the max at 0.8.  I'n not trying to get fast solutions, just more solutions.

Question #4: Any other suggestions for running APPM with such a small image scale?  I was worried about getting enough stars so I increased the exposure time on the camera (from 5 to 15) and reduced the sigma above mean (from 4 to 3). Anything else?

Thanks.

 Marty


Re: #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders

Roland Christen
 

Find home sends the mount to the Park 3 position but does not park the mount. It also re-calibrates the mount to this position so that you can recover from mount being lost due to an errant sync or recal. The mount will also resume tracking at the sidereal rate. Therefore the RA position will not change (mount continues to track the RA) but the Altitude/Azimuth will slowly change as the mount tracks the earth's rotation.

Park3 sends the mount to the same position but does not recalibrate the mount. It also shuts off power to the motors which stops tracking in RA. The RA position changes as the earth turns on its axis, but the Altitude/Azimuth position will remain the same. The exact Alt/Az position will change very slightly as the motors are de-energized because being steppers, they will drop into the nearest null position of the rotor/stator alignment. This amounts to +- 7.2 arc seconds of precise position change when the holding current is removed. However, this means nothing since the absolute encoders keep track of the precise shaft position at all times when the mount is de-energized in Park or even when power is removed. Therefore, to be absolutely accurate when turning power back on, simply start the mount from present position instead of forcing it to start from Park3 or other park positions.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: John Upton <upton@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Apr 16, 2021 10:31 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders

Hi Everyone,

   Being new to Astro-Physics mounts and hampered by cloudy skies since getting my Mach2 a couple of weeks ago, I have a bunch of small questions. I'll be asking these over the next few days.

Here is Question #1:
What is the difference between the Mach2 Home and Park-3 positions?

   I have noticed that if I tell APCC to Find home (from the AE Tab) and then query its position (from the GoTo/Recal Tab) it gives me position almost exactly as I expected -- Alt/Az is equal to my Latitude and Azimuth of 0. The mount is not parked after this Find Home operation but tracking is turned off.

   Now, If I Park the mount to Park-3 using the Park Tab of APCC, the mount will slew ever so slightly -- practically invisible to the eye. However after this miniscule slew, if I again query the mount's position as before, I see that the reported position is ever so slightly different from that reported after the Homing. The reported Alt/Az now shows the altitude a little off a tiny amount from my Latitude and the Azimuth is now up to 10 arc-seconds from 0 and seems to vary from one Park to the next.

   What I have read in the manuals, says the Find Home is highly accurate and is set via the encoders at the factory. That is easy to understand. However, why is this not consider to be the same physical position as Park-3?

   It's not like this is terribly important because the difference in positions is tiny but why is there a difference at all?

John

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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