Date   

Re: Strange behavior with Mach 2 and MaximDL auto pier flip #ASCOM_V2_Driver #Mach2GTO #Guiding

Roland Christen
 

The Mach2 doesn't drift after pier flip, however it would not hurt to try this.

My version of Maxim6 is buggy in several ways also and at times it won't automatically change the pier side (sometimes it does, sometimes not). It also won't always connect to the mount properly if another application like SkyX connected first. Sometimes the only way I can get it to work is to shut it down and re-open. The bug file is useless, doesn't tell what the error is. I should probably get a new version and quit screwing around with this one.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: jaddbd <jad@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Apr 21, 2021 3:09 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Strange behavior with Mach 2 and MaximDL auto pier flip #ASCOM_V2_Driver #Mach2GTO #Guiding

Try the adaptive check box under the guiding/advanced, pier flip.  This fixed it for me.  When it flips, it will sometimes drift out for 20 arcsecs or so, then figures out that it is going the wrong way and corrects back.  It's then good to go for the rest of session on that side of the pier.

John D 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

W Hilmo
 

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

 

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value.  At this time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior.  They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

 

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software, and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro.  I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory.  I forgot to note yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame.  The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip.  That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

 

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC.  I played with setting and clearing different terms to see the effect on the model.  When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared.  When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.

 

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being aligned with one of the axes.  If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon.  I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.

 

Thanks,

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Thanks for the response.

 

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue.  I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy.  I should be able to give that a try tonight.

 

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday.  I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better.  I really like to flexibility.  I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2.  It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Hi Wade,

 

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

 

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit. 

 

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

 

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported. 

 

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely. 

 

On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Re: Strange behavior with Mach 2 and MaximDL auto pier flip #ASCOM_V2_Driver #Mach2GTO #Guiding

jaddbd
 

Try the adaptive check box under the guiding/advanced, pier flip.  This fixed it for me.  When it flips, it will sometimes drift out for 20 arcsecs or so, then figures out that it is going the wrong way and corrects back.  It's then good to go for the rest of session on that side of the pier.

John D 


Strange behavior with Mach 2 and MaximDL auto pier flip #ASCOM_V2_Driver #Mach2GTO #Guiding

Bradley Rode
 

I'm experiencing a strange problem that's driving me bonkers.

Just for background, and to assure folks that I'm not a complete novice with these issues, please note that I use the same setup on several different rigs: AP175 on AP1100 mount, FSQ85 on RST-135, Officina Stellare RiFAST 400 on Planewave A200, all using MaximDL for capture and auto guiding.

I've just upgraded my Mach1 to a Mach2 with an AP130. I used the same setup on my Mach1 with MaximDL, and auto pier flips worked flawlessly, as they do on the three other systems listed above.
However, with my Mach2, suddenly MaximDL seems to be ignoring the pier flip, resulting in runaway guiding after the flip.

I do have Auto Pier Flip checked in the Guiding panel.
I calibrate in the eastern sky.
I have confirmed it guides fine in the east.
When it flips, it goes crazy.

HOWEVER, if I flip, and check the manual Pier Flip box, it guides fine. Somehow, MaximDL is not seeing the pier flip. This suggests that either the ASCOM AP V2 driver is mis-reporting the pier side after the flip, or MaximDL has a bug that is triggered by this particular configuration. I'm checking both places, AP and Diffraction Limited, to see if anyone can help shed some light on this.

Thanks!
Brad


Re: Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

it's an internal drive. 

I forget exactly how we configured it, but OnLogic has people you can email/call and they are really helpful. I think we just told them what we wanted and they made recommendations. 



On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 11:37 AM Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:

Thanks Brian,

 

Is your 2nd drive internal or external? That’s what was confusing me at 1st, where is the data drive located because not all of their systems have a 2nd drive option.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

My setup is a 256gb M2 for boot drive, and 1tb SSD for imaging drive. 

 

I use Dropbox to automagically send my lights to me as they are saved, and the next morning i move them out of dropbox. 

 

So far so good

 

I might consider an M2 drive for secondary, it's basically an SSD anyways. The price on M2 seems to be dropping pretty quickly, so whatever is the least expensive...

 

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 11:15 AM Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:

So now that I’m really looking at these I see that some models have secondary HD capability via M.2 which others don’t. So how are you handling image storage on these, external drives? When I called I was gently nudge at the HX500 which has up to the i9 CPU as the ML340G-51 is soon to be discontinued, I think they said end of life cycle. I do think this is the way to remote image and the fact that the AP mounts are so reliable and these units have 2 LAN ports makes it far easier to run the system without the dirty issues of a desktop. The attached is the before image and after is so much better…….

 

-Steve

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 11:44 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

+1 for OnLogic 

 

we have had zero problems so far with it at remote obs, can't report the same for many other components ;)

 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 5:30 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


Hi Steve,

I use units from OnLogic, specifically the ML100G-51 model. They have a variety of system in industrial and rugged designs. I would keep to i3 or better systems. Celerons, especially N-series Celeron CPUs, don't really have the core count or clock speed when it comes to Windows. OnLogic systems are made in the US, and support is out of the US as well.

In the US and UK, there is SimplyNUC and their Porcoolpine line of passively-cooled units, but a recent update saw an emphasis on Thunderbolt instead of classic USB ports. They're still fine if you need only 1 or 2 USB connections to the box (ie, you have a USB hub).

There are of course a lot of options on Amazon and AliExpress, such as the Kingdel units that Luca mentions, as well as ones from Topton.


> On Apr 18, 2021, at 11:19, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the reply Dale. I probably should replace at least the SRO computer. Any particular brand or vendor you can recommend for getting these? Hopefully they can be well configured which is what I think kept me from using these early on.
>
> -Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:08 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems
>
>
> I wouldn't worry about computers needing a "rest" unless you have power availability considerations that would necessitate a complete shutdown of everything during idle periods. Computers are pretty resilient things. You can get fanless systems with SSDs and be completely free of any moving parts that could wear out from long periods of running. It's far better to have a fanless system that is designed to be fanless, than one that relies on a fan for cooling and is in trouble if that fan breaks or gets clogged up with the kind of dust and gunk that often floats around inside observatories.
>
> I don't know what your current in-observatory system is, but I would just opt for a low power system instead of trying to come up with some power management/synchronization machination for a single remote PC. Something NUC-ish is suitable for almost any observatory's control and acquisition system. You can find small systems with 15W TDP Intel i3 or i5 CPUs that sip power are completely adequate for the task.
>
> You can have it do stuff during the daytime, too. Run a weather station, monitor inside temperature/humidity sensors, or an all-sky or security cameras, for example.
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2021, at 08:17, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>>
>> 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?
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>





 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente


 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Powering Remote Imaging Systems

Steve Reilly
 

Thanks Brian,

 

Is your 2nd drive internal or external? That’s what was confusing me at 1st, where is the data drive located because not all of their systems have a 2nd drive option.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

My setup is a 256gb M2 for boot drive, and 1tb SSD for imaging drive. 

 

I use Dropbox to automagically send my lights to me as they are saved, and the next morning i move them out of dropbox. 

 

So far so good

 

I might consider an M2 drive for secondary, it's basically an SSD anyways. The price on M2 seems to be dropping pretty quickly, so whatever is the least expensive...

 

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 11:15 AM Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:

So now that I’m really looking at these I see that some models have secondary HD capability via M.2 which others don’t. So how are you handling image storage on these, external drives? When I called I was gently nudge at the HX500 which has up to the i9 CPU as the ML340G-51 is soon to be discontinued, I think they said end of life cycle. I do think this is the way to remote image and the fact that the AP mounts are so reliable and these units have 2 LAN ports makes it far easier to run the system without the dirty issues of a desktop. The attached is the before image and after is so much better…….

 

-Steve

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 11:44 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

+1 for OnLogic 

 

we have had zero problems so far with it at remote obs, can't report the same for many other components ;)

 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 5:30 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


Hi Steve,

I use units from OnLogic, specifically the ML100G-51 model. They have a variety of system in industrial and rugged designs. I would keep to i3 or better systems. Celerons, especially N-series Celeron CPUs, don't really have the core count or clock speed when it comes to Windows. OnLogic systems are made in the US, and support is out of the US as well.

In the US and UK, there is SimplyNUC and their Porcoolpine line of passively-cooled units, but a recent update saw an emphasis on Thunderbolt instead of classic USB ports. They're still fine if you need only 1 or 2 USB connections to the box (ie, you have a USB hub).

There are of course a lot of options on Amazon and AliExpress, such as the Kingdel units that Luca mentions, as well as ones from Topton.


> On Apr 18, 2021, at 11:19, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the reply Dale. I probably should replace at least the SRO computer. Any particular brand or vendor you can recommend for getting these? Hopefully they can be well configured which is what I think kept me from using these early on.
>
> -Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:08 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems
>
>
> I wouldn't worry about computers needing a "rest" unless you have power availability considerations that would necessitate a complete shutdown of everything during idle periods. Computers are pretty resilient things. You can get fanless systems with SSDs and be completely free of any moving parts that could wear out from long periods of running. It's far better to have a fanless system that is designed to be fanless, than one that relies on a fan for cooling and is in trouble if that fan breaks or gets clogged up with the kind of dust and gunk that often floats around inside observatories.
>
> I don't know what your current in-observatory system is, but I would just opt for a low power system instead of trying to come up with some power management/synchronization machination for a single remote PC. Something NUC-ish is suitable for almost any observatory's control and acquisition system. You can find small systems with 15W TDP Intel i3 or i5 CPUs that sip power are completely adequate for the task.
>
> You can have it do stuff during the daytime, too. Run a weather station, monitor inside temperature/humidity sensors, or an all-sky or security cameras, for example.
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2021, at 08:17, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>>
>> 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?
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>





 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente


 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente


Re: Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

My setup is a 256gb M2 for boot drive, and 1tb SSD for imaging drive. 

I use Dropbox to automagically send my lights to me as they are saved, and the next morning i move them out of dropbox. 

So far so good

I might consider an M2 drive for secondary, it's basically an SSD anyways. The price on M2 seems to be dropping pretty quickly, so whatever is the least expensive...

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 11:15 AM Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:

So now that I’m really looking at these I see that some models have secondary HD capability via M.2 which others don’t. So how are you handling image storage on these, external drives? When I called I was gently nudge at the HX500 which has up to the i9 CPU as the ML340G-51 is soon to be discontinued, I think they said end of life cycle. I do think this is the way to remote image and the fact that the AP mounts are so reliable and these units have 2 LAN ports makes it far easier to run the system without the dirty issues of a desktop. The attached is the before image and after is so much better…….

 

-Steve

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 11:44 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

+1 for OnLogic 

 

we have had zero problems so far with it at remote obs, can't report the same for many other components ;)

 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 5:30 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


Hi Steve,

I use units from OnLogic, specifically the ML100G-51 model. They have a variety of system in industrial and rugged designs. I would keep to i3 or better systems. Celerons, especially N-series Celeron CPUs, don't really have the core count or clock speed when it comes to Windows. OnLogic systems are made in the US, and support is out of the US as well.

In the US and UK, there is SimplyNUC and their Porcoolpine line of passively-cooled units, but a recent update saw an emphasis on Thunderbolt instead of classic USB ports. They're still fine if you need only 1 or 2 USB connections to the box (ie, you have a USB hub).

There are of course a lot of options on Amazon and AliExpress, such as the Kingdel units that Luca mentions, as well as ones from Topton.


> On Apr 18, 2021, at 11:19, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the reply Dale. I probably should replace at least the SRO computer. Any particular brand or vendor you can recommend for getting these? Hopefully they can be well configured which is what I think kept me from using these early on.
>
> -Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:08 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems
>
>
> I wouldn't worry about computers needing a "rest" unless you have power availability considerations that would necessitate a complete shutdown of everything during idle periods. Computers are pretty resilient things. You can get fanless systems with SSDs and be completely free of any moving parts that could wear out from long periods of running. It's far better to have a fanless system that is designed to be fanless, than one that relies on a fan for cooling and is in trouble if that fan breaks or gets clogged up with the kind of dust and gunk that often floats around inside observatories.
>
> I don't know what your current in-observatory system is, but I would just opt for a low power system instead of trying to come up with some power management/synchronization machination for a single remote PC. Something NUC-ish is suitable for almost any observatory's control and acquisition system. You can find small systems with 15W TDP Intel i3 or i5 CPUs that sip power are completely adequate for the task.
>
> You can have it do stuff during the daytime, too. Run a weather station, monitor inside temperature/humidity sensors, or an all-sky or security cameras, for example.
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2021, at 08:17, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>>
>> 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?
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>






 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Powering Remote Imaging Systems

Steve Reilly
 

So now that I’m really looking at these I see that some models have secondary HD capability via M.2 which others don’t. So how are you handling image storage on these, external drives? When I called I was gently nudge at the HX500 which has up to the i9 CPU as the ML340G-51 is soon to be discontinued, I think they said end of life cycle. I do think this is the way to remote image and the fact that the AP mounts are so reliable and these units have 2 LAN ports makes it far easier to run the system without the dirty issues of a desktop. The attached is the before image and after is so much better…….

 

-Steve

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 11:44 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

+1 for OnLogic 

 

we have had zero problems so far with it at remote obs, can't report the same for many other components ;)

 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 5:30 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


Hi Steve,

I use units from OnLogic, specifically the ML100G-51 model. They have a variety of system in industrial and rugged designs. I would keep to i3 or better systems. Celerons, especially N-series Celeron CPUs, don't really have the core count or clock speed when it comes to Windows. OnLogic systems are made in the US, and support is out of the US as well.

In the US and UK, there is SimplyNUC and their Porcoolpine line of passively-cooled units, but a recent update saw an emphasis on Thunderbolt instead of classic USB ports. They're still fine if you need only 1 or 2 USB connections to the box (ie, you have a USB hub).

There are of course a lot of options on Amazon and AliExpress, such as the Kingdel units that Luca mentions, as well as ones from Topton.


> On Apr 18, 2021, at 11:19, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the reply Dale. I probably should replace at least the SRO computer. Any particular brand or vendor you can recommend for getting these? Hopefully they can be well configured which is what I think kept me from using these early on.
>
> -Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:08 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems
>
>
> I wouldn't worry about computers needing a "rest" unless you have power availability considerations that would necessitate a complete shutdown of everything during idle periods. Computers are pretty resilient things. You can get fanless systems with SSDs and be completely free of any moving parts that could wear out from long periods of running. It's far better to have a fanless system that is designed to be fanless, than one that relies on a fan for cooling and is in trouble if that fan breaks or gets clogged up with the kind of dust and gunk that often floats around inside observatories.
>
> I don't know what your current in-observatory system is, but I would just opt for a low power system instead of trying to come up with some power management/synchronization machination for a single remote PC. Something NUC-ish is suitable for almost any observatory's control and acquisition system. You can find small systems with 15W TDP Intel i3 or i5 CPUs that sip power are completely adequate for the task.
>
> You can have it do stuff during the daytime, too. Run a weather station, monitor inside temperature/humidity sensors, or an all-sky or security cameras, for example.
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2021, at 08:17, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>>
>> 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?
>>
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--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente


Re: Thanks to AP stuff

Roland Christen
 

Did you use the new Y cable for your test?

Here is a short test you can do:

1) using the new Y cable, plug the short RA cable into the Dec motor box.
2) turn on the power
3) press E-W buttons (do not press N-S)

If the Dec Motor does not function properly when pressing the E-W buttons, or if the yellow light comes on in the CP4, then there is something wrong with the Dec motor.

If the motor works ok with the RA cable connection, then something is wrong with the Y cable on the Declination side of the cable. However, a new cable should not have a problem.

You can remove the motor and send it in for checking and service.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Soldan <astrosoft@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Apr 21, 2021 7:46 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Thanks to AP stuff

Roland,
I sent a short video to support@... showing how my DEC motor badly works. I tried a new CP4 and it works a bit differently than CP3. Now, RA motor moves as expected, no problems with W-E buttons, no yellow light even if DEC motor is connected.
But when I press S or N button and even hold it, DEC motor starts moving in proper direction but only for 1-2 seconds, then stops and yellow light is seen, RA is still OK, can rotate around polar axis, but DEC works only for 1-2 sec. It is always repeatable this way.
So, you was right that probably DEC motor/encoder is bad. I do not know if only encoder should be replaced with a new one and/or also motor needs to be exchanged.
Please advice,
Thank you,
Jan
 
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: GTOCP4 Caps

M Hambrick
 

Thanks  Howard

I believe that the RM12BR-C-71 cover is the one that fits the bayonet connectors for the keypad and 12V DC on the GTOCP4. Can you tell me what the threaded connectors on the RA and Declination gearboxes would use ? I have the plastic slip-on caps, but would like to get some nice metal ones that screw on.

Mike


Re: GTOCP4 Caps

David Albers
 

If you want to cover the RJ11, RJ45, and USB connections I used these guys...in addition to Digi-key for the other Hirose connectors.

https://www.vpi.us/c/connector-covers-137

RJ11 Female Connector Covers - Items in Pack : 10  CVR-RJ11JCKx  $2.50
USB Type B Female Connector Covers - Items in Pack : 10  CVR-USBBFx  $2.50
RJ45 Female Connector Covers, Black - Items in Pack : 10  CVR-RJ45JCK-Kxx $3.00

Dave


Re: GTOCP4 Caps

Howard Hedlund
 


Re: AP1100 park position question

Jack Huerkamp
 

Don,

 

When I purchased the original pair of lifting columns from Linak, I was over the engineering department of the local public works department in New Orleans and we did a lot of custom fabrications for all of our facilities.  As such, I was able to have them sell me two 1000 Newton columns and the associated controls.   Since I was already an established customer, I was able to get an upgraded set of 2500 Newton columns and associated controls last year.

 

I do not think Linak sells to the general public.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Don Anderson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 11:47 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 park position question

 

Jack

Did Linak sell direct to you?

 

Don Anderson

 

 

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 09:36:40 p.m. MDT, Jack Huerkamp <mallincamusa@...> wrote:

 

 

Christopher,

 

The company is Linak out of Kentucky and the columns I used were the DL2 2500 Newton rated.  My original ones were rated at 1000 Newtons each when used with a non AP mount.  With the AP1600 and 150# of equipment on the dual column setup, I changed to the 2500 Newton thrust each – 5000 Newton total thrust.

 

DL2: Robust lifting column for desks, workstations and kitchens (linak-us.com)

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Christopher Erickson
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 10:09 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 park position question

 

Lymax columns. A lot cheaper to buy Lymax off of Ebay or wherever and make your own telescoping pier.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 9:27 AM Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Shailesh

I have used Park 4 for several years for exactly the roof height issues that you are evaluating.  This is for a 1100 mount with a 14 CDK scope.  There have been no problems.

I have a PierTech height adjustable pier (http://piertechinc.com/telescope-piers/).  When I need to tinker with equipment, I lower the mount and move it to P3, where it clears the roof. To remove equipment, I loosen the clutches (older style 1100) and rotate/lower the OTA to a separate support table before loosening the dovetail.  I normally leave the pier at almost max height, in order for the roof to clear on opening.

The adjustable piers are actually from another company, but I have forgotten the name.  I think Chris Erickson has these.

Bryan

 

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: AP1100 park position question

Howard Hedlund
 

PLEASE!  PLEASE!   PLEASE!  Do NOT make your roll-off walls so low that you only barely clear the scope.  Allow for the largest diameter scope that you ever plan to own, and then allow a bit of cushion.  Unless you are on the highest point on a small desert island, you won't be imaging right at the horizon, so slightly taller walls won't hurt you.  

As for stability, a balanced system is inherently stable in any AP park position.  Moving around the scope/mount/CW shaft is much easier in Park 2 or Park 3.  This is an especially important consideration if the square footage of the floorplan is also being minimized,  Running into a horizontal CW shaft can be a real headache - literally!  Bumping the scope is also never a good thing, and if you park in P1, P4 or P5 in a tight observatory, you WILL bump the system at some time.

Consider Park 2 as a good compromise position.  It isn't too much taller than P1, P4 or P5.  And again, allow yourself a bit of cushion.  


Re: GTOCP4 Caps

M Hambrick
 

Those caps can be purchased from Mouser, but the last time I checked they were out of stock for one of them, I can't remember which.

What about the threaded connectors on the mount gearboxes ? Does anyone know what size and type those are ?

Mike


Re: More APPM Results -- Can Someone Help Me Understand This?

mjb87@...
 

Thanks, Ray. I'll look into UCAC4. I will also reconfirm that the mount is well balanced, check orthogonality and reconfirm clutches are tight. (They appeared to be tight last night.)  I'm also getting a mono camera with larger pixels (5.86 vs. 3.8) which should make things slightly easier and more straightforward when setting pixel size. Next clear night I'll run some tests, if I can get solutions, on 1x1 binning to see what APPM reports as image scale.

BTW, one of the great features of APPM is the ability to a file of saved failed images from the comfort of home the next day. It allows me to tweak settings for maximum probability of getting solutions. Very nice.

Marty


Re: Thanks to AP stuff

Jan Soldan
 

George,
I just sent answer to Roland's answer, so if you have and advice what I could check/test/etc., please let me know. My short video should be at support@....
Thank you,
Jan


Re: Thanks to AP stuff

Jan Soldan
 

Roland,
I sent a short video to support@... showing how my DEC motor badly works. I tried a new CP4 and it works a bit differently than CP3. Now, RA motor moves as expected, no problems with W-E buttons, no yellow light even if DEC motor is connected.
But when I press S or N button and even hold it, DEC motor starts moving in proper direction but only for 1-2 seconds, then stops and yellow light is seen, RA is still OK, can rotate around polar axis, but DEC works only for 1-2 sec. It is always repeatable this way.
So, you was right that probably DEC motor/encoder is bad. I do not know if only encoder should be replaced with a new one and/or also motor needs to be exchanged.
Please advice,
Thank you,
Jan
 
 


Re: GTOCP4 Caps

Roger Howard
 

Perfect, thanks.


Re: GTOCP4 Caps

Harley Davidson
 

On 4/20/2021 7:52 PM, Roger Howard wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

I’m curious if anyone knows the sizes or if any AP personnel would post the sizes of the connectors used on the control box.  We use these in aviation to cover unused connectors, and I think I would like to try a few since the plastic ones don’t really stay in place.  The sizes listed on shopping sites are gibberish and mean nothing that I can discern.  Or does anyone have a good cap, or covers, they have found that work well.  I move my mount each time I set up and they tend to pop off.

CS

Roger


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