Date   

Re: AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

M Hambrick
 

Hi Shailesh

I live at 30 Deg North latitude and can confirm that there is no risk of the scope rolling out of the rings when I set it into the open rings in Park 2. I expect that this is also the case at even lower latitudes. Next time I set up my mount I may try some different latitude settings to see what the limit really is. 

FYI I have a 180 EDT with an 1100 mount on a 54" Astro-Physics portable pier. My setup is portable and I set it up and take it down every time. I agree that using a step ladder to get the scope up to the rings is a pretty dicey operation. I bought the folding step stool with hand rails shown below from McMaster (Model 9754T77) that has made this operation much easier. 

If you don't mount and dismount your scope very often, Len's method sounds pretty good too.

Do you have a permanent observatory ? If so, I wonder if it is possible to install some kind of lifting apparatus in the roof. 

Mike


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

 

Hi Eric

I use APCC and APPM extensively for unguided exposures on my AP1600

I use SGP exclusively for imaging (I keep saying i'll switch but it's been over a year)

I use just the defaults and enable meridian flip in SGP. it has worked without fail every night

Maybe you have requirements that are unique? I've been following this discussion but i'm at a bit of a loss regarding why it seems to be such a deep and detailed topic when for me it just works. of all the stuff i worry about on a regular basis (accumulation of dust on the telescope for some reason, where is the moon etc.) Meridian flip is the least of my concerns i'd be happy to share my screens and setup with you if you like, just drop me a line

Brian





On Sat, May 1, 2021 at 2:25 AM Eric Weiner <weinere@...> wrote:

This is a continuation of a pair of other ap-gto-groups chats regarding using APCC CW up within the East Limits slews with SGPro.

Please, ANYONE with experience with APCC and SGP chime in here.  I didn't intend this to be just between Ray and I.  The question is, which meridian limits settings do you use in SGP when the "CW up in East Limits" is turned on in APCC.  And, which SGP Park Scope and/or Stop Tracking options do you have on/off when APCC horizon and meridian limits are set, turned on, and have "action to take at meridian" set to anything other than "just warn."  The goal is to take advantage of CW up slews in the eastern limits such that no meridian flip is needed for such targets; a hallmark of A-P mounts.

Like I've said in previous posts, I plan to perform a thorough set of supervised experiments with APCC and SGPro using my Mach2 as soon as I can.  I travel for work quite often, so don't have the luxury of being able to get my hands on said pieces of hardware and software as often as I'd like.  I'll post my finding.  Surely other folks have the same questions and concerns.

Instrumentation and automation of scientific and engineering equipment is a daily event for me at work.  I haven't delved into mount control commands, nor have I delved into the inner working of SGP.  Those two aspects of the hobby don't interest me.  A plug and play experience is more enjoyable.  But, I heard about the CW up in the East Limits option in APCC and went down that rabbit hole.  I have seen a number of folks ask similar questions here, over at the SGP forum, and on CN.  I've also read conflicting opinions of its safety when used with SGP or any other automation software.  So it sounds like I'll need to familiarize myself with how the APCC flip point influences SGP in more detail.

I'm numbering these points for ease of reference.  Some folks may have insight on some points and not on others.  In my layman's view, here is why I asked my original question several weeks ago in a different thread:

1a.  We all agree that if you have APCC meridian limits set correctly you are able to start with CW up with scope pointing East, and end CW up with scope pointing West without a risk of a pier collision.  Slews outside the limits will behave in a typical manner w.r.t. CW position and mount side.

2a.  In Ray's video instructions he states the "action when meridian limit reached" must be set to "just warn" for CW up slews in the East limits to work correctly.  So there is no option to have APCC perform a flip in instances where the slew did not land in the limits?  Is this why it must be setup in SGP, so SGP can handle the flip instead of APCC?

3a.   APCC Horizon limits have their own "action when limit reached," so I have set this to "stop tracking" for safety.  If I have the "stop tracking" AND "park" commands turned off (unchecked) in SGP, will APCC simply use the horizon "action when limit reached" command to stop tracking or park when the horizon is reached?  This is just a hypothetical.  I see no reason NOT to use SGP to park the scope once a sequence completes.

4a.  We all agree that in standalone mode (no external software besides APCC) that a slew command within the East Limits (with both limits set IAW Ray's instructions) that the mount will slew with CW up on the west side and scope pointing East.  Then, without any outside influence it will simply track in RA until it reaches the West Horizon Limit, then perform whichever action is set for the horizon limit.

If I'm wrong on any of these points please say so.

Assuming the above is correct, now let's add SGPro into the mix:

1b.  The equipment settings in SGP have the following options with respect to the meridian actions and scope parking / tracking (red arrows):



2b.  The first two red arrows above have to do with actions taken when the SGP sequence completes.  It seems safe to keep this checked and adds an additional safety command in addition to the APCC horizon limit action (assuming it is set to anything other than "just warn").

3b.  The next arrow is the crux of the matter here.  Here are the setting involved with that check box (red arrow):



4b.  So, simply turning these off in SGP and letting APCC handle the limits does not seem like a good option since not all targets in the night's sky will end up with slews within the east limits (and therefore a flip will be necessary).  In other words, slews that DON'T fall within the limits may require a meridian flip to be handled by SGP if imaging starts East of the meridian (other cases exist too).  I'm I off base with this statement?

5b. SGP can handle flip delays past the meridian (red arrow above), but so can APCC (see below).  Which one takes precedence? APCC or SGP?  Do they need to match? Does the "Send limits with offsets to SGPro" make the SGP "Minutes past the meridian to flip" command OBE?  This assumes the box is checked in APCC, I realize it is not in my screenshot below.



6b.  Ray said in a related thread, "All APCC does is send the meridian flip point to SGPro. This value is always displayed in APCC, and I am sure it is working correctly in the latest public APCC builds. I believe the meridian flip point value can be viewed somewhere in SGPro as well, so there should be a way to confirm the value matches what APCC has set."

I understand this, and can definitely see the flip point (or meridian limit) in APCC. I don't know if SGP provides this info. If it does, it's hidden in a log file. Does anyone know if and where to look to see if it matches APCC? What isn't so obvious in my head is how SGP interprets a CW slew when the target falls within the East limits. Any clarification on this would be most appreciated. Else, when I have a chance to play with it myself it will probably become obvious.

7b. Roland said in a previous related thread, "
I would never recommend setting up an automatic remote system with scope starting or ending up in the counterweight up position. Unattended remote operation should always be done with cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian."

No offense intended here, sincerely, but this seems like mixed messages between Ray who (correct me if I'm wrong ) says it's safe to use (conditionally), and Roland who has trepidations.  I'm hoping to hear what Roland's trepidations are.  Sure, glitches can occur with any software, and the standard cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian is a much more vetted operation with little chance of a collision if something fails.  Is that simply the concern?  

Thanks all,
Eric



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


moderated Re: Newbie question re: APPM

Eric Weiner
 

Ray,

I don't actually have an opinion on the matter.  I was just trying to get clarity.  Before I continue, I want to thank you for being as attentive as you A-P guys and gals are here at these group.io chats.  Let me also apologize for hijacking the original thread.  That wasn't my intent.  I'm going to start a different thread going forward.  Please, ANYONE with experience with APCC and SGP chime in there.  I didn't intend this to be just between Ray and I. 


moderated Re: Newbie question re: APPM

Greg McCall
 

RAy,
Re "I'm sure that is possible, but A-P must first approve new features and functionality"

I'm really surprised that A-P has not asked for this functionality.
How do we make this happen?

NINA and ASTAP seem to be the latest must-have in the astro community that don't have a time investment in older, traditional software.
I'm a big fan of SGPro but not plate-solving via SGPro. I know about the ASTAP functionality future for the next version but what about the capture side.
SGPro has a snail's pace development cycle. I subscribe but I suspect that subscription might be short-lived as nothing is happening with SGPro. They can't even finish a 64bit version and they don't want to entertain native drivers.
I suspect that is a cause of SGP having issues with the latest full-frame cameras. SGP seems to me software that is not reacting to other software nipping at their heals.
NINA and Sharpcap v4 (currently in beta) are examples that come to mind.

Sometimes, people want choice and the ability to use say QHY native drivers which SGPro has expressly said it will not longer support
(staying with ASCOM. I can understand the argument but not when others have managed to figure out how to keep up with native drivers for key vendors)
NINA is providing stiff competition to SGPro and gaining wide usage and seems to be more modern with its updates and features.
Surely A-P should be asking that it also be an option in gathering images for APPM?



Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Geof Lewis
 

Thanks Eric,
I'm something of a klutz when it comes to configuring software, etc., so that really puts me off. I believe that once I've installed the new chip in the CP3, I then have to update the firmware, plus also create a new PEC curve (not that I currently use one). That's all before I even get started with APCC/APPM, though at least I believe that I'd also get PemPro with APCC Pro. I'd hate to end up trashing the mount by doing it wrong, but that's a genuine fear for me, so sometimes it's a case of if it ain't broke don't fix it....
Cheers,

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
Sent: 01 May 2021 14:10
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC
 
Geof,

I imagine you're right.  It must be that APCC analyzes the meridian limit data recorded by the user, then somehow sets the delay +/- as you indicated in your examples.  It just isn't obvious to me how that works.  I sure would like to understand that.

PS As an aside, this is a very interesting topic for me as I have been thinking about upgrading the chip in my very old AP1200 CP3, so that it will work with APCC. I'd really like to have the features in APCC Pro, especially APPM,

Being able to set, record, and recall the meridian and horizon limits for each imaging setup I have, and each imaging site I go to is a very nice feature of APCC.  APPM is very useful.  It alone may be worth the upgrade costs if you have a permanent setup, imho.  I was fortunate and APCC/APPM were included with my Mach2.

Eric

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

Geof,

I imagine you're right.  It must be that APCC analyzes the meridian limit data recorded by the user, then somehow sets the delay +/- as you indicated in your examples.  It just isn't obvious to me how that works.  I sure would like to understand that.

PS As an aside, this is a very interesting topic for me as I have been thinking about upgrading the chip in my very old AP1200 CP3, so that it will work with APCC. I'd really like to have the features in APCC Pro, especially APPM,

Being able to set, record, and recall the meridian and horizon limits for each imaging setup I have, and each imaging site I go to is a very nice feature of APCC.  APPM is very useful.  It alone may be worth the upgrade costs if you have a permanent setup, imho.  I was fortunate and APCC/APPM were included with my Mach2.

Eric


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

Thank you Geof,

Your information was still valuable and provided insight into concepts I had wrong.  With APCC (versus APV2) it appears that once one set the meridian limits and activates them (see my APCC screenshot from my first post in this thread) that APCC somehow sets the "dynamic meridian delay," and that is somehow communicated to SGP.  That is literally the missing piece of this puzzle.  Hopefully someone who understands how this works will chime in.

Regards,
Eric


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Geof Lewis
 

Thanks Eric,
Both those read as I would expect them, but not having APCC I can't confirm or deny how they work with SGP. However, my bet is that they work the same way as I currently do with the APV2 driver - of course I may lose that bet.....😳
Regards,

Geof
PS As an aside, this is a very interesting topic for me as I have been thinking about upgrading the chip in my very old AP1200 CP3, so that it will work with APCC. I'd really like to have the features in APCC Pro, especially APPM, but none of it will work with the old chip in my CP3.....


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
Sent: 01 May 2021 13:44
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC
 
For completeness, here is the screenshot from the APCC instructions regarding "dynamic meridian delay:"


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Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Geof Lewis
 

Thanks Eric,
In that case I'm don't know how APCC works differently to the APV2 driver. It looks as if it might be something to do with that Override ASCOM (driver) setting in APCC, but now I'm just guessing.....
Good luck,

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
Sent: 01 May 2021 13:40
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC
 
Actually, it isn't the same as APV2.  I just re-read the APCC instructions, and this is where I found not to touch the APCC Meridian Delay Settings when the meridian limits are active (see below).  The instructions don't go into great detail.  I've read the part regarding "dynamic meridian delay" but I'm again lost regarding how this info is processed with SGP.  


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

For completeness, here is the screenshot from the APCC instructions regarding "dynamic meridian delay:"


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

Actually, it isn't the same as APV2.  I just re-read the APCC instructions, and this is where I found not to touch the APCC Meridian Delay Settings when the meridian limits are active (see below).  The instructions don't go into great detail.  I've read the part regarding "dynamic meridian delay" but I'm again lost regarding how this info is processed with SGP.  


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Geof Lewis
 

Eric,
Thanks for your reply and I'm pleased that I helped unlock the confusion. I must say that the configuration of AP's Meridian Delay with SGP was something that I struggled with initially, mainly because I kept over thinking it, when in fact it is very simple 😏.
Regarding SGPs 'Use Auto Meridian Flip' setting, my default is to have it checked, usually with 60m past meridian set, but I then play with that according to the target's declination and how far past the meridian I can track without a pier crash. I monitor the time to meridian flip display on the SGP screen to assist me with, plus I also then physically inspect where the camera/OTA is in relation to the pier, something I can only do if I'm in the observatory.
As you state, it has no significance if I'm imaging in a configuration with the scope on the east of the pier as when it tracks through the meridian it will be in a correct CWs down position, so no pier flip will be required.
Best regards,

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
Sent: 01 May 2021 13:23
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC
 
Geof,

to start imaging with CWs up on west side of the pier, with the scope on the east side pointing east. In this case I set the Meridian Delay in the APV2 driver to advance the Meridian 1, 2 or 3 hours to the east of the true meridian (N/S line). 
This was a "lightbulb" statement, and it makes perfect sense.  I incorrectly made the assumption that setting up the meridian limits in APCC would negate the need to alter the auto-populated meridian delay settings. I don't know why I thought that other than the instructions say to make sure the delay is at zero prior to starting to measure and set the meridian limits.  My error, not the APCC instructions.

After reading your post I'm not at all embarrassed to say that Ray was correct in a separate thread when he said that I didn't understand how the AP meridian delay works, but he provided no insight or instruction.  You, on the other hand, have made it very clear with your number 1 and 2 configs description. 

I see now that even prior to playing with APCC's meridian settings I was completely backwards in my thinking.  I assumed in order to take of advantage of the AP mount's ability to go CW up that one needed to push the artificial meridian west, hence delaying the flip as long as possible.  I see the error in my thinking now.  Your number 1 config makes perfect sense and completely elucidates how a APV2 driver or APCC positive delay setting can "trick" SGP.  I also understand your less often utilized number 2 config.

As I understand it, a significant advantage when using APPC is that you can map all the declination points at with a pier crash would occur with CWs up on both sides of the pier, which would be a great feature for me
Yes, it is very clear now that this is the one significant difference between using the APV2 driver versus APCC.

 but I also note Roland's guidance that he still would not recommend operating a rig remotely in these configurations, but only when the user is physically present.
Yes, his statement is disconcerting, but I suppose logically the normal CW position with a flip at or near the true meridian has much less chance for a collision if something goes wrong.

The other meridian flip delay option that I frequently use is the one you identify in SGP, where you tell SGP to perform the flip a number of minutes after the scope has tracked to the true N/S sky meridian. 
So do you uncheck "Use Auto Meridian Flip" in SGP when you're using your number 1 config, or do you just leave it enabled since SGP thinks the meridian has already been crossed?
Is there a reason you use SGP for this instead of just pushing the artificial meridian west using APV2?  I suppose it's probably just simpler to setup in SGP before a run.

A very helpful post Geof.  Thank you very much.

Eric


Re: AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

Len Fulham
 

Shailesh,

I have had the same issue. In my observatory I had a pier 68" high, 1200GTO and 7"f9 Starfire. 3 decades or so ago I was happy enough to climb a step ladder whilst cradling the scope in both arms and set it in the rings. During the last few years I had to dismount the scopes a few times and did not feel comfortable with that approach.

I prepared some aids:
An old solid stool with a ply top with screw adjustable height (I covered the ply with a thin towel, bit leery of pneumatic chair lifts, don't trust em)
A 'Y' tipped timber cut just right to fit under the CW bar to floor when bar is horizontal with an elastic strap which holds it onto the bar.

To remove scope:
a/ Start with normally balanced scope.
b/ Bring CW Bar Horizontal and put timber prop under CW bar and fix with elastic; now the bar/CW can't drop when the scope comes off.
c/ Swing telescope tube vertically so objective is pointing at ground (I have a fixed dew cap, but if you have one which retracts, it should be retracted.)
d/ Place stool under centre of objective and raise it until it starts to take the weight of the scope.

e/ CHECK EVERYTHING IS STABLE.

f/ Loosen dovetail or rings being wary of any unexpected movement.
g/ Release dovetail or open tube rings.
h/ Bear hug tube and place it on the floor (carpet or similar)
i/ Store tube in safe place.

If the tube is going back on, leave everything in place ready, or record details for next time.

If mounting a new tube (ie unsure re balance etc) put excess CW on the DEC axis first, then swing/lift DEC onto forked prop. Then reverse the general concept.

With this approach there is no need to climb anything to get the scope on the mount. (Actually I lie, with the RHA I had an intermediate very stable platform to stand on, lowered scope to that, then to floor).

Clearly this is a planned process which requires organisation but it gives a lot more control than hoping you don't lose balance on a ladder, creating a critical moment.

Regards,

Len.


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

Geof,

to start imaging with CWs up on west side of the pier, with the scope on the east side pointing east. In this case I set the Meridian Delay in the APV2 driver to advance the Meridian 1, 2 or 3 hours to the east of the true meridian (N/S line). 
This was a "lightbulb" statement, and it makes perfect sense.  I incorrectly made the assumption that setting up the meridian limits in APCC would negate the need to alter the auto-populated meridian delay settings. I don't know why I thought that other than the instructions say to make sure the delay is at zero prior to starting to measure and set the meridian limits.  My error, not the APCC instructions.

After reading your post I'm not at all embarrassed to say that Ray was correct in a separate thread when he said that I didn't understand how the AP meridian delay works, but he provided no insight or instruction.  You, on the other hand, have made it very clear with your number 1 and 2 configs description. 

I see now that even prior to playing with APCC's meridian settings I was completely backwards in my thinking.  I assumed in order to take of advantage of the AP mount's ability to go CW up that one needed to push the artificial meridian west, hence delaying the flip as long as possible.  I see the error in my thinking now.  Your number 1 config makes perfect sense and completely elucidates how a APV2 driver or APCC positive delay setting can "trick" SGP.  I also understand your less often utilized number 2 config.

As I understand it, a significant advantage when using APPC is that you can map all the declination points at with a pier crash would occur with CWs up on both sides of the pier, which would be a great feature for me
Yes, it is very clear now that this is the one significant difference between using the APV2 driver versus APCC.

 but I also note Roland's guidance that he still would not recommend operating a rig remotely in these configurations, but only when the user is physically present.
Yes, his statement is disconcerting, but I suppose logically the normal CW position with a flip at or near the true meridian has much less chance for a collision if something goes wrong.

The other meridian flip delay option that I frequently use is the one you identify in SGP, where you tell SGP to perform the flip a number of minutes after the scope has tracked to the true N/S sky meridian. 
So do you uncheck "Use Auto Meridian Flip" in SGP when you're using your number 1 config, or do you just leave it enabled since SGP thinks the meridian has already been crossed?
Is there a reason you use SGP for this instead of just pushing the artificial meridian west using APV2?  I suppose it's probably just simpler to setup in SGP before a run.

A very helpful post Geof.  Thank you very much.

Eric


Re: Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Geof Lewis
 

Hi Eric,
You did ask for 'ANYONE' with experience with APCC and SGP to chime in. Whilst I don't use APCC I do use SGP so I 'may' be able to help with your understanding of how the AP Meridian Delay feature works, as I use that manually via the APV2 driver to control CW up imaging via SGP. I feel your frustration, but if all I do is add confusion, then please ignore and accept my apologies.
There are 2 scenarios when I use the AP Meridian Delay:
1) - to start imaging with CWs up on west side of the pier, with the scope on the east side pointing east. In this case I set the Meridian Delay in the APV2 driver to advance the Meridian 1, 2 or 3 hours to the east of the true meridian (N/S line). This tells SGP where the artificial meridian is, so that when I start the sequence, SGP plates solves the target and starts tracking in a CW up position and then just tracks through the meridian without any need for a pier flip, ending with CW's down on west side, with OTA on the east pointing west, i.e. in a normal configuration. For me this is a fairly frequent configuration, but of course I need to ensure that no pier crash will occur at the sequence start.
2) - to start imaging with CW up on the east side of the pier, OTA on west, pointing west BUT delaying the meridian flip for 1, 2 or 3 hours after the true N/S meridian. I only ever use this configuration if I need to continue imaging a target which has already past the true N/S meridian at the start of sequence, but I need to image this way to use a known guide star in my OAG when there isn't a suitable guide star available after performing a flip. This is a fairly rare occurrence, but I have configured this way on a number of occasions.

I don't know, but I suspect that APCC uses a similar Meridian Delay feature to tell SGP where you want the meridian to be, different to the true N/S meridian. I believe this is what Ray means by stating that 'All APCC needs to do is send the mount's current flip point through SGPro's API. That is literally APCC's only involvement....'

As I understand it, a significant advantage when using APPC is that you can map all the declination points at with a pier crash would occur with CWs up on both sides of the pier, which would be a great feature for me, but I also note Roland's guidance that he still would not recommend operating a rig remotely in these configurations, but only when the user is physically present.

The other meridian flip delay option that I frequently use is the one you identify in SGP, where you tell SGP to perform the flip a number of minutes after the scope has tracked to the true N/S sky meridian. I use this when I want to start SGP with the mount in a normal configuration of CW down on the east of the pier, with the scope on the west pointing east, but I want to image through the meridian without any pier flip for some period, so that the session ends with the scope on the west pointing west with CWs up, still on the east side of the pier. That is when I set the SGP 'Use Meridian Pier Flip' option to, say, 30m, 60m, 90m, 120m, etc., but of course, it is then up to me to determine that there won't be any pier crash, though Dec pier mapping in APPC may mitigate this.

As I don't use APCC all my other sequence end commands are set in SGP, e.g. park scope on completion of sequence, so I don't know how those settings would work/conflict with any similar settings in APPC.

As I stated above, if this just further confuses you, then I'm sorry, but hopefully it helps a bit.
Good luck and best regards,

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
Sent: 01 May 2021 10:25
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC
 

This is a continuation of a pair of other ap-gto-groups chats regarding using APCC CW up within the East Limits slews with SGPro.

Please, ANYONE with experience with APCC and SGP chime in here.  I didn't intend this to be just between Ray and I.  The question is, which meridian limits settings do you use in SGP when the "CW up in East Limits" is turned on in APCC.  And, which SGP Park Scope and/or Stop Tracking options do you have on/off when APCC horizon and meridian limits are set, turned on, and have "action to take at meridian" set to anything other than "just warn."  The goal is to take advantage of CW up slews in the eastern limits such that no meridian flip is needed for such targets; a hallmark of A-P mounts.

Like I've said in previous posts, I plan to perform a thorough set of supervised experiments with APCC and SGPro using my Mach2 as soon as I can.  I travel for work quite often, so don't have the luxury of being able to get my hands on said pieces of hardware and software as often as I'd like.  I'll post my finding.  Surely other folks have the same questions and concerns.

Instrumentation and automation of scientific and engineering equipment is a daily event for me at work.  I haven't delved into mount control commands, nor have I delved into the inner working of SGP.  Those two aspects of the hobby don't interest me.  A plug and play experience is more enjoyable.  But, I heard about the CW up in the East Limits option in APCC and went down that rabbit hole.  I have seen a number of folks ask similar questions here, over at the SGP forum, and on CN.  I've also read conflicting opinions of its safety when used with SGP or any other automation software.  So it sounds like I'll need to familiarize myself with how the APCC flip point influences SGP in more detail.

I'm numbering these points for ease of reference.  Some folks may have insight on some points and not on others.  In my layman's view, here is why I asked my original question several weeks ago in a different thread:

1a.  We all agree that if you have APCC meridian limits set correctly you are able to start with CW up with scope pointing East, and end CW up with scope pointing West without a risk of a pier collision.  Slews outside the limits will behave in a typical manner w.r.t. CW position and mount side.

2a.  In Ray's video instructions he states the "action when meridian limit reached" must be set to "just warn" for CW up slews in the East limits to work correctly.  So there is no option to have APCC perform a flip in instances where the slew did not land in the limits?  Is this why it must be setup in SGP, so SGP can handle the flip instead of APCC?

3a.   APCC Horizon limits have their own "action when limit reached," so I have set this to "stop tracking" for safety.  If I have the "stop tracking" AND "park" commands turned off (unchecked) in SGP, will APCC simply use the horizon "action when limit reached" command to stop tracking or park when the horizon is reached?  This is just a hypothetical.  I see no reason NOT to use SGP to park the scope once a sequence completes.

4a.  We all agree that in standalone mode (no external software besides APCC) that a slew command within the East Limits (with both limits set IAW Ray's instructions) that the mount will slew with CW up on the west side and scope pointing East.  Then, without any outside influence it will simply track in RA until it reaches the West Horizon Limit, then perform whichever action is set for the horizon limit.

If I'm wrong on any of these points please say so.

Assuming the above is correct, now let's add SGPro into the mix:

1b.  The equipment settings in SGP have the following options with respect to the meridian actions and scope parking / tracking (red arrows):



2b.  The first two red arrows above have to do with actions taken when the SGP sequence completes.  It seems safe to keep this checked and adds an additional safety command in addition to the APCC horizon limit action (assuming it is set to anything other than "just warn").

3b.  The next arrow is the crux of the matter here.  Here are the setting involved with that check box (red arrow):



4b.  So, simply turning these off in SGP and letting APCC handle the limits does not seem like a good option since not all targets in the night's sky will end up with slews within the east limits (and therefore a flip will be necessary).  In other words, slews that DON'T fall within the limits may require a meridian flip to be handled by SGP if imaging starts East of the meridian (other cases exist too).  I'm I off base with this statement?

5b. SGP can handle flip delays past the meridian (red arrow above), but so can APCC (see below).  Which one takes precedence? APCC or SGP?  Do they need to match? Does the "Send limits with offsets to SGPro" make the SGP "Minutes past the meridian to flip" command OBE?  This assumes the box is checked in APCC, I realize it is not in my screenshot below.



6b.  Ray said in a related thread, "All APCC does is send the meridian flip point to SGPro. This value is always displayed in APCC, and I am sure it is working correctly in the latest public APCC builds. I believe the meridian flip point value can be viewed somewhere in SGPro as well, so there should be a way to confirm the value matches what APCC has set."

I understand this, and can definitely see the flip point (or meridian limit) in APCC. I don't know if SGP provides this info. If it does, it's hidden in a log file. Does anyone know if and where to look to see if it matches APCC? What isn't so obvious in my head is how SGP interprets a CW slew when the target falls within the East limits. Any clarification on this would be most appreciated. Else, when I have a chance to play with it myself it will probably become obvious.

7b. Roland said in a previous related thread, "
I would never recommend setting up an automatic remote system with scope starting or ending up in the counterweight up position. Unattended remote operation should always be done with cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian."

No offense intended here, sincerely, but this seems like mixed messages between Ray who (correct me if I'm wrong ) says it's safe to use (conditionally), and Roland who has trepidations.  I'm hoping to hear what Roland's trepidations are.  Sure, glitches can occur with any software, and the standard cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian is a much more vetted operation with little chance of a collision if something fails.  Is that simply the concern?  

Thanks all,
Eric


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Continuation of the discussion using APCC CW up within the East Limit slews with SGPro #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

This is a continuation of a pair of other ap-gto-groups chats regarding using APCC CW up within the East Limits slews with SGPro.

Please, ANYONE with experience with APCC and SGP chime in here.  I didn't intend this to be just between Ray and I.  The question is, which meridian limits settings do you use in SGP when the "CW up in East Limits" is turned on in APCC.  And, which SGP Park Scope and/or Stop Tracking options do you have on/off when APCC horizon and meridian limits are set, turned on, and have "action to take at meridian" set to anything other than "just warn."  The goal is to take advantage of CW up slews in the eastern limits such that no meridian flip is needed for such targets; a hallmark of A-P mounts.

Like I've said in previous posts, I plan to perform a thorough set of supervised experiments with APCC and SGPro using my Mach2 as soon as I can.  I travel for work quite often, so don't have the luxury of being able to get my hands on said pieces of hardware and software as often as I'd like.  I'll post my finding.  Surely other folks have the same questions and concerns.

Instrumentation and automation of scientific and engineering equipment is a daily event for me at work.  I haven't delved into mount control commands, nor have I delved into the inner working of SGP.  Those two aspects of the hobby don't interest me.  A plug and play experience is more enjoyable.  But, I heard about the CW up in the East Limits option in APCC and went down that rabbit hole.  I have seen a number of folks ask similar questions here, over at the SGP forum, and on CN.  I've also read conflicting opinions of its safety when used with SGP or any other automation software.  So it sounds like I'll need to familiarize myself with how the APCC flip point influences SGP in more detail.

I'm numbering these points for ease of reference.  Some folks may have insight on some points and not on others.  In my layman's view, here is why I asked my original question several weeks ago in a different thread:

1a.  We all agree that if you have APCC meridian limits set correctly you are able to start with CW up with scope pointing East, and end CW up with scope pointing West without a risk of a pier collision.  Slews outside the limits will behave in a typical manner w.r.t. CW position and mount side.

2a.  In Ray's video instructions he states the "action when meridian limit reached" must be set to "just warn" for CW up slews in the East limits to work correctly.  So there is no option to have APCC perform a flip in instances where the slew did not land in the limits?  Is this why it must be setup in SGP, so SGP can handle the flip instead of APCC?

3a.   APCC Horizon limits have their own "action when limit reached," so I have set this to "stop tracking" for safety.  If I have the "stop tracking" AND "park" commands turned off (unchecked) in SGP, will APCC simply use the horizon "action when limit reached" command to stop tracking or park when the horizon is reached?  This is just a hypothetical.  I see no reason NOT to use SGP to park the scope once a sequence completes.

4a.  We all agree that in standalone mode (no external software besides APCC) that a slew command within the East Limits (with both limits set IAW Ray's instructions) that the mount will slew with CW up on the west side and scope pointing East.  Then, without any outside influence it will simply track in RA until it reaches the West Horizon Limit, then perform whichever action is set for the horizon limit.

If I'm wrong on any of these points please say so.

Assuming the above is correct, now let's add SGPro into the mix:

1b.  The equipment settings in SGP have the following options with respect to the meridian actions and scope parking / tracking (red arrows):



2b.  The first two red arrows above have to do with actions taken when the SGP sequence completes.  It seems safe to keep this checked and adds an additional safety command in addition to the APCC horizon limit action (assuming it is set to anything other than "just warn").

3b.  The next arrow is the crux of the matter here.  Here are the setting involved with that check box (red arrow):



4b.  So, simply turning these off in SGP and letting APCC handle the limits does not seem like a good option since not all targets in the night's sky will end up with slews within the east limits (and therefore a flip will be necessary).  In other words, slews that DON'T fall within the limits may require a meridian flip to be handled by SGP if imaging starts East of the meridian (other cases exist too).  I'm I off base with this statement?

5b. SGP can handle flip delays past the meridian (red arrow above), but so can APCC (see below).  Which one takes precedence? APCC or SGP?  Do they need to match? Does the "Send limits with offsets to SGPro" make the SGP "Minutes past the meridian to flip" command OBE?  This assumes the box is checked in APCC, I realize it is not in my screenshot below.



6b.  Ray said in a related thread, "All APCC does is send the meridian flip point to SGPro. This value is always displayed in APCC, and I am sure it is working correctly in the latest public APCC builds. I believe the meridian flip point value can be viewed somewhere in SGPro as well, so there should be a way to confirm the value matches what APCC has set."

I understand this, and can definitely see the flip point (or meridian limit) in APCC. I don't know if SGP provides this info. If it does, it's hidden in a log file. Does anyone know if and where to look to see if it matches APCC? What isn't so obvious in my head is how SGP interprets a CW slew when the target falls within the East limits. Any clarification on this would be most appreciated. Else, when I have a chance to play with it myself it will probably become obvious.

7b. Roland said in a previous related thread, "
I would never recommend setting up an automatic remote system with scope starting or ending up in the counterweight up position. Unattended remote operation should always be done with cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian."

No offense intended here, sincerely, but this seems like mixed messages between Ray who (correct me if I'm wrong ) says it's safe to use (conditionally), and Roland who has trepidations.  I'm hoping to hear what Roland's trepidations are.  Sure, glitches can occur with any software, and the standard cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian is a much more vetted operation with little chance of a collision if something fails.  Is that simply the concern?  

Thanks all,
Eric


Re: AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

Worsel
 

Shailesh

I am at 38.5 N...Colorado.  I have no problem with the open rings holding the OTA in Park 2, as long as the clamps (the fixed half of the clamshell) are under the OTA. This means the hinged half of the clamshell is on top.

Bryan


Re: AP1200 regrease and maintenance

Don Anderson
 

Linton
below is a link to a good UTube video on regreasing an AP mount.

Don Anderson


On Friday, April 30, 2021, 10:26:29 a.m. MDT, Linton Guise <lguise@...> wrote:


Hi,
My AP1200 is a few years old now but still functions perfectly. I’m sure it’s overdue for a regrease etc. Could someone direct me to any help files on how to go about this. Had a quick search but came up blank. I’m sure there must be a good guide out there.

Many thanks,

Linton Guise (Bedford U.K.)


moderated Re: Newbie question re: APPM

Ray Gralak
 

Eric,

Thank you for your opinion, but I don't see things the way you do.

All APCC needs to do is send the mount's current flip point through SGPro's API. That is literally APCC's only involvement in this discussion. To do that, I do not need to be familiar with SGPro settings.

I know East-side counterweight-up has worked with SGPro with APCC's meridian delay because users have reported they have done this. But, does every version of SGPro work correctly? I don't know. Again you will have to ask the SGPro developers. All APCC does is send the meridian flip point to SGPro. This value is always displayed in APCC, and I am sure it is working correctly in the latest public APCC builds. I believe the meridian flip point value can be viewed somewhere in SGPro as well, so there should be a way to confirm the value matches what APCC has set.

Ray, I DID ask them. They DID NOT provide any clarification, and I DID read the instructions! There is
NOTHING in the SGP manual or help file regarding this issue or I wouldn't be spending time typing this reply to
a reply to a reply.
Eric, this is a user group. You are not guaranteed to get an "official" answer here, although you may. I couldn't answer your question about SGPro settings, so I directed you to contact the SGPro developers. I'm sorry that you are not getting a helpful response from them, but that is not my fault.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 4:12 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

Ok... If I didn't know better I would think this was double talk, but I'm sure this must be a miscommunication.
Here is the problem I'm having Ray:

1. A few weeks ago you and I had a discussion in this forum about APCC compatibility with SGP when the
"CW Up Slews within the East Limits" was enabled with SGP. You said you didn't know what the best meridian
settings were for SGP for it to work safely.

2. Today you said we should ignore the warning APCC throws when you enable the CW Up within the East
Limits option, and that it is compatible with SGP, but you provided no further insight (Roland said today he
would never use an automation program when CW start or finish up).

3. When I asked, again, what the best SGP settings are regarding meridian behavior (flip, don't flip, delays,
APCC reporting to SGP, etc) when CW Up within the East Limits in enabled you told me I must not understand
A-P meridian delay reporting (and your sycophant agreed without providing his expert insight). Ok, fine, but no
follow-on explanation was given.

4. When I asked for clarification and quoted what you said a few weeks ago you only replied by saying you
don't use SGP often and that I should ask the SGP developers or consult the SGP instructions... A CIRCULAR
ARGUMENT!

Ray, I DID ask them. They DID NOT provide any clarification, and I DID read the instructions! There is
NOTHING in the SGP manual or help file regarding this issue or I wouldn't be spending time typing this reply to
a reply to a reply.

I am NOT trying to be difficult. I am simply trying to get an answer to what I honestly thought was a simple
question. Can you please private message me with your phone number so we can discuss this over the phone
to avoid further miscommunications? Else, please explain how one sets the APCC meridian delay to play nice
with SGP when a meridian flip will not occur because we're starting with CW up and the scope pointing East.

Thanks,
Eric


moderated Re: Newbie question re: APPM

Eric Weiner
 

Ok...  If I didn't know better I would think this was double talk, but I'm sure this must be a miscommunication.  Here is the problem I'm having Ray:

1.  A few weeks ago you and I had a discussion in this forum about APCC compatibility with SGP when the "CW Up Slews within the East Limits" was enabled with SGP.  You said you didn't know what the best meridian settings were for SGP for it to work safely.

2.  Today you said we should ignore the warning APCC throws when you enable the CW Up within the East Limits option, and that it is compatible with SGP, but you provided no further insight (Roland said today he would never use an automation program when CW start or finish up).

3.  When I asked, again, what the best SGP settings are regarding meridian behavior (flip, don't flip, delays, APCC reporting to SGP, etc) when CW Up within the East Limits in enabled you told me I must not understand A-P meridian delay reporting (and your sycophant agreed without providing his expert insight).  Ok, fine, but no follow-on explanation was given.

4.  When I asked for clarification and quoted what you said a few weeks ago you only replied by saying you don't use SGP often and that I should ask the SGP developers or consult the SGP instructions... A CIRCULAR ARGUMENT!  

Ray, I DID ask them.  They DID NOT provide any clarification, and I DID read the instructions!  There is NOTHING in the SGP manual or help file regarding this issue or I wouldn't be spending time typing this reply to a reply to a reply.

I am NOT trying to be difficult.  I am simply trying to get an answer to what I honestly thought was a simple question.  Can you please private message me with your phone number so we can discuss this over the phone to avoid further miscommunications?  Else, please explain how one sets the APCC meridian delay to play nice with SGP when a meridian flip will not occur because we're starting with CW up and the scope pointing East.  

Thanks,
Eric

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