Date   

Re: Losing Communications with the Mount

Alex
 

I had already upped the timeout to 200ms, so I’ll try 400ms.  The mount is directly connected to a switch in my observatory.  The only other thing plugged into that switch is my UniFi WiFi access point, which is mounted in the observatory.  My computer (a piggy backed eagle 2) is the only thing using that access point, so communications is Eagle2 -> AP -> Switch -> Mount.  Said switch is backhauled to my house’s main switch, and the only traffic between the house and the observatory is my Mac connecting to the Eagle2 using Microsoft Remote Desktop. The Remote Desktop connection to the eagle has been rock solid.
 
I had pings repeating from my wired Mac in the house, and when the problem happens, the pings start failing and stay failing until the mount is power cycled, at which point the pings start working again. APCC re-establishes communications once the mount is power cycled with no other intervention on my part.
 
Also, the mount stops tracking when communications starts failing.  If it was just a communications failure between the computer and the mount, wouldn’t the mount continue to track?  When the mount is in this mode, the GTOCP4’s power light is on and the ethernet activity lights continue to flicker.
 
Communications failed again as I was writing this response.  The mount was parked at the time.  I had bumped the timeout to 400ms and switched to UDP before hand.  Pings to the mount’s hard wired ethernet IP address is failing, but curiously I can ping the mount’s WiFi IP address, though if I disconnect from the mount in APCC and try connecting it via that WiFi address, it still get’s no response from the mount.  Again, a few seconds after power cycling the GTOCP4, everything is working again.
 
I’ll try snaking a USB cable down from the Eagle 2 to the mount and try that as backup or perhaps the primary.  If that also fails, then I’ll pop open the GTOCP4 and check the daughter board seating.
 
Alex
 


Re: MGBox V2 Driver

Keith Olsen
 

You are correct Brian.  I got a response from Matt at Astromi and he said the ASCOM driver is the same for all MGBox models.   

I did find my problem.  I had somehow downloaded an old version of the MGBox Windows Application so I could not change from Serial to ASCOM connection.  Once I downloaded the correct version I was able to change to an ASCOM connection and all works great now.

FYI, I can have both the MGBox Windows Application running and APCC at the same time with no problem.  I can start either one first it doesn't matter.


Re: Connecting ASIAIR Pro to a CP4 - Mach1

Arvind
 

I have successfully used the CP4 with ASIAIR Pro a few nights in the past, and have gone through polar alignment, GoTo, guiding, etc without any issues.

Use the USB port from ASIAIR Pro <-> CP4.

I don't know if the laptop/iPad makes any difference since the software is eventually running on the raspberry pi. The client software is purely for display.


On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 7:29 AM Lee Decovnick <ursa@...> wrote:
Hi all,

This is my first post, though I’ve been a long time Mach 1 (CP3) owner and I just bought a second used Mach 1 (CP4) for my wife. We shoot astrophotography two weeks a year on the Modoc Plateau, 50 miles east of Mt. Shasta.

The ASI Air Pro mount interfaces is pretty basic, which is fine as she moves up from shooting the Milky Way with a DSLR into using the ASI CMOS cameras.
So far I have had tried Ethernet and USB and Wi-Fi to talk to the ASI Air Pro, nothing.  I can see the GTO WiFi network ,but no handshake with the ASI.  But I loaded the FIDI driver and at 9600 baud, the RS232 serial port does connect, but drops out often.

I’m running the ASIAIR Pro App on a Windows 10 machine ( larger screen) - rather than an iPad - using Blue Stacks emulation..a pretty nifty set up. I do not have APCC loaded on my Window machine, do I need to do so?

Am I aiming for a bridge too far? I’m accustomed to simply shooting  astrophotography just using my hand controller for the GOTO’s and I have no tracking problems with 2-3 minutes subs without PremPro. I polar align in the field with a RAPAS. Easy-peasy.

Suggestions and comments welcome.

Lee
Walnut Creek,Ca





Re: MGBox V2 Driver

 

I am fairly certain it is the same driver and app



On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:49 AM Keith Olsen <keitholsen@...> wrote:
Hi Brian thanks for responding,

I see the V2 Firmware but I don't see the V2 ASCOM driver, I only see what appears to be the MGBox Ascom Driver(not V2).  I did download and install it but it does not work with the V2 box.   In the selection box for the driver in APCC it only shows the MGBox driver(not V2) and pressing the Test button shows bad data.

Keith



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Connecting ASIAIR Pro to a CP4 - Mach1

Kenneth Tan
 

You can testflight the latest asi air pro firmware with phd multi star guiding. Just installed mine. Yet to try it though 🤣

Kenneth

On Thu, 6 May 2021 at 02:03, Kevin Cook <kvc3509@...> wrote:
Hi Lee - I was always "old school" with my Mach 1 (CP3), using the RAPAS to polar align, the hand controller to find targets, and then a variety of software programs to manage the image capture.  Some of us are slow to catch on to new technology, but the ASIAIR Pro is getting me there.  I am successful getting it to talk to the mount, control slews to targets, do the plate solving, etc.  For me, since my mount does not have integral wi-fi, I simply do a wired connection from the mount's RS232 port into one of the ASIAIR's USB's ports.  That has been a reliable connection method for me.  I then have the ASIAIR communicating wirelessly to my Samsung 10-inch Android tablet.  My only real remaining frustration with this setup is with the guiding - the simplified version of PhD on the ASIAIR does not have many means of fine-tuning your guiding, and I am pretty sure I did better using the real PhD2 with a laptop.  But with moderate focal lengths (AP130 f/6 and shorter), the ASIAIR guiding has been good enough.    Kevin (Tucson AZ)


Re: MGBox V2 Driver

Keith Olsen
 

Hi Brian thanks for responding,

I see the V2 Firmware but I don't see the V2 ASCOM driver, I only see what appears to be the MGBox Ascom Driver(not V2).  I did download and install it but it does not work with the V2 box.   In the selection box for the driver in APCC it only shows the MGBox driver(not V2) and pressing the Test button shows bad data.

Keith


Re: Connecting ASIAIR Pro to a CP4 - Mach1

Kenneth Tan
 

Best to use  the usb 2 cable from the gtocp4 to the usb port of the asi air pro. The wifi of the ASI air pro (Rasberrypi4) is weak and directional. They do sell a wifi repeater that works well. 
If you are using the serial to USB converter, this can be rather fussy. Has to be a FTDI chip. 
I use an iPad and it works fine.

Kenneth

On Wed, 5 May 2021 at 22:29, Lee Decovnick <ursa@...> wrote:
Hi all,

This is my first post, though I’ve been a long time Mach 1 (CP3) owner and I just bought a second used Mach 1 (CP4) for my wife. We shoot astrophotography two weeks a year on the Modoc Plateau, 50 miles east of Mt. Shasta.

The ASI Air Pro mount interfaces is pretty basic, which is fine as she moves up from shooting the Milky Way with a DSLR into using the ASI CMOS cameras.
So far I have had tried Ethernet and USB and Wi-Fi to talk to the ASI Air Pro, nothing.  I can see the GTO WiFi network ,but no handshake with the ASI.  But I loaded the FIDI driver and at 9600 baud, the RS232 serial port does connect, but drops out often.

I’m running the ASIAIR Pro App on a Windows 10 machine ( larger screen) - rather than an iPad - using Blue Stacks emulation..a pretty nifty set up. I do not have APCC loaded on my Window machine, do I need to do so?

Am I aiming for a bridge too far? I’m accustomed to simply shooting  astrophotography just using my hand controller for the GOTO’s and I have no tracking problems with 2-3 minutes subs without PremPro. I polar align in the field with a RAPAS. Easy-peasy.

Suggestions and comments welcome.

Lee
Walnut Creek,Ca





Re: MGBox V2 Driver

 

https://www.astromi.ch/downloads/

it's listed on the left

On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:36 AM Keith Olsen <keitholsen@...> wrote:
Does anybody know where I can find the driver for the MGBox V2.   Their web site only has the MGBox driver and not the V2 driver.

I tried contacting them and no response yet.

Thanks,

Keith



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


MGBox V2 Driver

Keith Olsen
 

Does anybody know where I can find the driver for the MGBox V2.   Their web site only has the MGBox driver and not the V2 driver.

I tried contacting them and no response yet.

Thanks,

Keith


Re: Spikes in DEC #guiding #Guiding

Seb@stro
 

So, were you imaging with the dewshield off and unbalanced?

For some time, yes. 

I put it back at some point when winds went away (maybe an hour or two after I started), which should have restored balance, but possibly sent PA farther off at the same time.

Target (M106) was also pretty high (75degrees altitude) at the beginning of session and for a while (had just crossed the meridian when I started imaging), so at first, unbalance was possibly less an issue (OTA being mostly vertical) but worsen with time, as RA tracked into West, increasing horizontal component of the OTA. That degradation over time is also consistent with what I recall I experienced. 

Sébastien


Re: AP1600 w/AE manual #Absolute_Encoders

George
 

Dhaval,

 

The 1600 AE mount sets up and runs just like the 1600 mount without the encoders.   Once you turn on the encoders in APCC they are on…you never have to think about them again.   Set up remotely as often as you like…the encoders will always be quietly doing their thing invisibly without you having too think about them.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dhaval via groups.io
Sent: Monday, May 3, 2021 2:37 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1600 w/AE manual #Absolute_Encoders

 

Hello all,
I was looking for the manual for AP1600 with AE on A-P's website, but could not find one. Does anyone know how I can lay my hands on the manual?

I am getting a used AP1600 w/AE and want to ensure that I set it up appropriately. I have an AP1200 right now, but that does not have encoders, obviously, so that is the piece that is bugging me - how to set up an AP mount with encoders.

Thanks,
Dhaval


Re: Motor Box Removal — AP1100 AE-L

John Stiner
 

Thanks for the quick response!


Re: Motor Box Removal — AP1100 AE-L

George
 

John,

 

Unscrew and detach the connectors before removing the box.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of John Stiner
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 12:50 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Motor Box Removal — AP1100 AE-L

 

My grease kit arrived from AP and I have been reviewing the instructions. With regard to removal of the motor boxes, my encoder mount has a small attachment (aluminum cover) on the bottom of each motor box that has a cable running to the read head for the encoders. I am not above screwing things up so before I engage in my usual damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead routine, I wanted to pause and see if this aluminum attachment may safely be removed by removing the screws that attach it to the motor box. Otherwise, after removal of the motor box, it would still be attached to the mount via the cable that runs to the read head. If not, is there another way to remove the motor box? My apologies if this has been covered in a previous post but I couldn’t locate one.


Re: Connecting ASIAIR Pro to a CP4 - Mach1

Kevin Cook
 

Hi Lee - I was always "old school" with my Mach 1 (CP3), using the RAPAS to polar align, the hand controller to find targets, and then a variety of software programs to manage the image capture.  Some of us are slow to catch on to new technology, but the ASIAIR Pro is getting me there.  I am successful getting it to talk to the mount, control slews to targets, do the plate solving, etc.  For me, since my mount does not have integral wi-fi, I simply do a wired connection from the mount's RS232 port into one of the ASIAIR's USB's ports.  That has been a reliable connection method for me.  I then have the ASIAIR communicating wirelessly to my Samsung 10-inch Android tablet.  My only real remaining frustration with this setup is with the guiding - the simplified version of PhD on the ASIAIR does not have many means of fine-tuning your guiding, and I am pretty sure I did better using the real PhD2 with a laptop.  But with moderate focal lengths (AP130 f/6 and shorter), the ASIAIR guiding has been good enough.    Kevin (Tucson AZ)


Re: Motor Box Removal — AP1100 AE-L

Roland Christen
 

Yes, go ahead and detach the cable. Nothing bad will happen.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: John Stiner <stinerjohn@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, May 5, 2021 12:49 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Motor Box Removal — AP1100 AE-L

My grease kit arrived from AP and I have been reviewing the instructions. With regard to removal of the motor boxes, my encoder mount has a small attachment (aluminum cover) on the bottom of each motor box that has a cable running to the read head for the encoders. I am not above screwing things up so before I engage in my usual damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead routine, I wanted to pause and see if this aluminum attachment may safely be removed by removing the screws that attach it to the motor box. Otherwise, after removal of the motor box, it would still be attached to the mount via the cable that runs to the read head. If not, is there another way to remove the motor box? My apologies if this has been covered in a previous post but I couldn’t locate one.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Motor Box Removal — AP1100 AE-L

John Stiner
 

My grease kit arrived from AP and I have been reviewing the instructions. With regard to removal of the motor boxes, my encoder mount has a small attachment (aluminum cover) on the bottom of each motor box that has a cable running to the read head for the encoders. I am not above screwing things up so before I engage in my usual damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead routine, I wanted to pause and see if this aluminum attachment may safely be removed by removing the screws that attach it to the motor box. Otherwise, after removal of the motor box, it would still be attached to the mount via the cable that runs to the read head. If not, is there another way to remove the motor box? My apologies if this has been covered in a previous post but I couldn’t locate one.


Re: Spikes in DEC #guiding #Guiding

Roland Christen
 

So, were you imaging with the dewshield off and unbalanced?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, May 5, 2021 11:31 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding

Hi,

For reference, I did calibrate near M3 which was the nearest I could get from the celestial equator/meridian at the time, given high trees that obstruct my sight in the south. 

But guess what, it seems Brian, Howard and Roland were right from the very beginning. (Who would have thought? Silly me...)

It seems my DEC axis was indeed in severe imbalance and my PA was off after all... Moreover, it was entirely human mistake (as it usually is in these kind of situation).

Curious to know how I found out ? Here it goes. Given all hypothesis were pointing in the same direction (DEC imbalance, PA off), one can only admit the simplest explanation is that indeed these are right somehow. That was difficult to admit for me, since I was convinced I had done everything right from the beginning (and I had, as a matter of fact). But at the end of the night (that's one clue), even PHD2 figures were shouting at me : PA was 20 arc-min off and DEC corrections were in only one direction.

So I mentally replayed the night, trying to remember the smallest and finest details. And it struck me. Remember the wind ? And me saying I had to remove the dew shield to help with that ? And there you have it ! That simple: I had REMOVED the DEW SHIELD ! That explains how my 2.3' PA went to 20.1', (even if I removed it carefully it seems - it was tightly put as it only holds with friction so I had to pull it out with some force). One down. That could also explain the imbalance but at that point, I was still skeptical it could have been "severe" because that thing is made of thin plastic and pretty lightweight (< 13oz) compared to the rest of the load. That and the fact that when I work on the setup inside, the dewshield is also OFF (but dustcap is ON and only slightly lighter). Anyway, simple experiment would confirm: scope in park 5, dewshield ON, DEC balanced, unlock the clutches, remove dew shield. See result in attached JPG. Definitely a severe imbalance...

Mystery solved (for me at least, it was a mystery) and lesson learned: once set up, don't touch the dew shield (basic, I should have known).

Thanks to Brian and all the folks at AP, you guys did challenge me enough to bring me back on the right track. BTW, I haven't said it publicly yet but as others have already said, that Mach2 is a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship. Thanks AP for making this piece of art real. That mount and the customer service that comes with it is definitely worth every penny.

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Envoyé : 4 mai 2021 11:21
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding
 
The fact that both RA and Dec are drifting so fast in just a few minute's time indicates either that your polar alignment is way off, or that the object that you are calibrating on is not near the celestial equator and meridian.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 3, 2021 10:42 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding

Well, I'm not the one who will contest your analysis, Brian. As Howard said earlier, your advice is to be taken seriously, and I agree! 🙂 And I also agree with your argument about the guiding pulse being in only one direction and being compatible with bad PA.

The reason why I said it was good in the first place is only because PHD told me so (see attached). It wasn't based on anything other data. Hence my hypothesis about it struggling to show me the real NCP when I did the Polar Drift Align in the gusty conditions...

Anyway, AP is also working with me behind the scenes to help figure out what could have happened. So, we'll see if they can shed some light on this from their perspective.

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Brian Valente <bvalente@...>
Envoyé : 3 mai 2021 22:55
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding
 
Seb

When i first reviewed your PHD logs, it appeared to me your polar alignment was quite off. All your corrections were in one direction

You said you thought it was the wind, but i have my doubts about that

so it's possible your polar alignment may be misaligned for whatever reason


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Spikes in DEC #guiding #Guiding

Seb@stro
 

Hi,

For reference, I did calibrate near M3 which was the nearest I could get from the celestial equator/meridian at the time, given high trees that obstruct my sight in the south. 

But guess what, it seems Brian, Howard and Roland were right from the very beginning. (Who would have thought? Silly me...)

It seems my DEC axis was indeed in severe imbalance and my PA was off after all... Moreover, it was entirely human mistake (as it usually is in these kind of situation).

Curious to know how I found out ? Here it goes. Given all hypothesis were pointing in the same direction (DEC imbalance, PA off), one can only admit the simplest explanation is that indeed these are right somehow. That was difficult to admit for me, since I was convinced I had done everything right from the beginning (and I had, as a matter of fact). But at the end of the night (that's one clue), even PHD2 figures were shouting at me : PA was 20 arc-min off and DEC corrections were in only one direction.

So I mentally replayed the night, trying to remember the smallest and finest details. And it struck me. Remember the wind ? And me saying I had to remove the dew shield to help with that ? And there you have it ! That simple: I had REMOVED the DEW SHIELD ! That explains how my 2.3' PA went to 20.1', (even if I removed it carefully it seems - it was tightly put as it only holds with friction so I had to pull it out with some force). One down. That could also explain the imbalance but at that point, I was still skeptical it could have been "severe" because that thing is made of thin plastic and pretty lightweight (< 13oz) compared to the rest of the load. That and the fact that when I work on the setup inside, the dewshield is also OFF (but dustcap is ON and only slightly lighter). Anyway, simple experiment would confirm: scope in park 5, dewshield ON, DEC balanced, unlock the clutches, remove dew shield. See result in attached JPG. Definitely a severe imbalance...

Mystery solved (for me at least, it was a mystery) and lesson learned: once set up, don't touch the dew shield (basic, I should have known).

Thanks to Brian and all the folks at AP, you guys did challenge me enough to bring me back on the right track. BTW, I haven't said it publicly yet but as others have already said, that Mach2 is a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship. Thanks AP for making this piece of art real. That mount and the customer service that comes with it is definitely worth every penny.

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Envoyé : 4 mai 2021 11:21
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding
 
The fact that both RA and Dec are drifting so fast in just a few minute's time indicates either that your polar alignment is way off, or that the object that you are calibrating on is not near the celestial equator and meridian.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, May 3, 2021 10:42 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding

Well, I'm not the one who will contest your analysis, Brian. As Howard said earlier, your advice is to be taken seriously, and I agree! 🙂 And I also agree with your argument about the guiding pulse being in only one direction and being compatible with bad PA.

The reason why I said it was good in the first place is only because PHD told me so (see attached). It wasn't based on anything other data. Hence my hypothesis about it struggling to show me the real NCP when I did the Polar Drift Align in the gusty conditions...

Anyway, AP is also working with me behind the scenes to help figure out what could have happened. So, we'll see if they can shed some light on this from their perspective.

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Brian Valente <bvalente@...>
Envoyé : 3 mai 2021 22:55
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Spikes in DEC #guiding #guiding
 
Seb

When i first reviewed your PHD logs, it appeared to me your polar alignment was quite off. All your corrections were in one direction

You said you thought it was the wind, but i have my doubts about that

so it's possible your polar alignment may be misaligned for whatever reason


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Losing Communications with the Mount

 

Marty are you using UDP or TCP?


On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 9:03 AM mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
I had similar problems.  My Mach2 was connected via a wired Ethernet connection but ultimately needed to pass through a series of managed LAN switches. My hypothesis is that, when the switches are heavy with traffic, the time it takes to get the signal through all of the switches exceeds the response time the CP4 or CP5 is looking for. My setup was CP5->Switch1->Switch2->Switch-3->MainSwitch->Router. Most of the switch connections are fiber; only one is Cat6.

I simplified the LAN setup
- Removed one switch from the daisy chain
- Reduced the security-camera traffic going through those switches

At some point I will investigate setting switch port priorities that favor the CP4/5 links but I need to read up on that first since I am currently using jumbo frames and my switches (TrendNet TPE series) won't let you do that with jumbo frames.

Since then I haven't seen the issue nearly as much, if at all. I also added a USB backup connection which seems to work well.

Marty



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Losing Communications with the Mount

mjb87@...
 

I had similar problems.  My Mach2 was connected via a wired Ethernet connection but ultimately needed to pass through a series of managed LAN switches. My hypothesis is that, when the switches are heavy with traffic, the time it takes to get the signal through all of the switches exceeds the response time the CP4 or CP5 is looking for. My setup was CP5->Switch1->Switch2->Switch-3->MainSwitch->Router. Most of the switch connections are fiber; only one is Cat6.

I simplified the LAN setup
- Removed one switch from the daisy chain
- Reduced the security-camera traffic going through those switches

At some point I will investigate setting switch port priorities that favor the CP4/5 links but I need to read up on that first since I am currently using jumbo frames and my switches (TrendNet TPE series) won't let you do that with jumbo frames.

Since then I haven't seen the issue nearly as much, if at all. I also added a USB backup connection which seems to work well.

Marty

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