Date   

Re: [ap-ug] Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Pete Lardizabal
 

Roland,

Impressive to say the least!

Really enjoy seeing your experimentation results… not so scary versions of “watch this”!!!

😆

Pete

On May 8, 2021, at 2:23 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Last night was clear enough to do some quick imaging. Now that it's galaxy season, I changed the scope form my trusty 160EDF to the longer focal length 10" Mak-Cass. I used our CCDT67 compressor to bring the focal length down to 2500mm. The image posted below is a quick snapshot of 3 x 1200 sec with the QSI camera. The main purpose last night was not to take pretty pictures, rather it was doing ongoing testing of the Mach2 mount and the modeling software.

Two problems occur when using long focal lengths. First, is how to guide properly at 2500mm in order to capture fine galaxy detail. The best way is to use off-axis guiders. That brings up the second problem, which is the small field of these guiders. Sometimes there are not any bright stars to guide on. Therefore long guide exposures are needed, but then the mount must track very accurately between exposures. That means polar alignment must be spot on, otherwise you get drift between guide exposures. If you are setting up in the field, you don't want to spend a lot of time drift aligning to get perfect polar alignment.

I wanted to see what kind of results can be achieved with poor polar alignment. Last night I offset the azimuth axis so that I was getting about 2 arc seconds per minute drift in Dec. (RA was not drifting much). The guide star that was available needed at least 5 second exposure in order to be usable. With that much Dec drift, the guider was struggling and I achieved only 0.35 arc sec RMS tracking in Dec, while the RA was producing around 0.12 arcsec.

The solution was simple: I selected the Drift Model in the keypad, measured about 10 minutes of drift data with the guider keeping the guide star on the crosshair. Then simply turned on the Drift Compensation. The guider settled down almost instantly, I was able to dial the aggressiveness down to 60%, and the guider graph started to show Dec tracking of 0.12 arc sec RMS, same as the RA. There were periods of calm where there were no corrections being sent at all for 1 - 2 minutes at a time.

This process is fast and essentially foolproof and can be repeated every hour or so to build up a drift model for that object that can be used on subsequent nights. It can be done on the fly while you are imaging without disrupting your imaging session.

Here is the result from my heavily light polluted observing site at the AP factory (remember, it's just a quickie 1 hour snapshot):

https://www.astrobin.com/1rtlj2/0/
https://www.astrobin.com/full/1rtlj2/0/

Rolando


Re: Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Roland Christen
 

These will be added to the other mount keypads at some point.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 2:27 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Ok, I thought some new features were being added to the other keypads. 

- J

On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 12:03 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
It's a Mach2 mount.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 1:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Roland, 

Is this drift mode in the keypad updates for the 1100 and 1600 mounts?  
- J


On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 11:23 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Last night was clear enough to do some quick imaging. Now that it's galaxy season, I changed the scope form my trusty 160EDF to the longer focal length 10" Mak-Cass. I used our CCDT67 compressor to bring the focal length down to 2500mm. The image posted below is a quick snapshot of 3 x 1200 sec with the QSI camera. The main purpose last night was not to take pretty pictures, rather it was doing ongoing testing of the Mach2 mount and the modeling software.

Two problems occur when using long focal lengths. First, is how to guide properly at 2500mm in order to capture fine galaxy detail. The best way is to use off-axis guiders. That brings up the second problem, which is the small field of these guiders. Sometimes there are not any bright stars to guide on. Therefore long guide exposures are needed, but then the mount must track very accurately between exposures. That means polar alignment must be spot on, otherwise you get drift between guide exposures. If you are setting up in the field, you don't want to spend a lot of time drift aligning to get perfect polar alignment.

I wanted to see what kind of results can be achieved with poor polar alignment. Last night I offset the azimuth axis so that I was getting about 2 arc seconds per minute drift in Dec. (RA was not drifting much). The guide star that was available needed at least 5 second exposure in order to be usable. With that much Dec drift, the guider was struggling and I achieved only 0.35 arc sec RMS tracking in Dec, while the RA was producing around 0.12 arcsec.

The solution was simple: I selected the Drift Model in the keypad, measured about 10 minutes of drift data with the guider keeping the guide star on the crosshair. Then simply turned on the Drift Compensation. The guider settled down almost instantly, I was able to dial the aggressiveness down to 60%, and the guider graph started to show Dec tracking of 0.12 arc sec RMS, same as the RA. There were periods of calm where there were no corrections being sent at all for 1 - 2 minutes at a time.

This process is fast and essentially foolproof and can be repeated every hour or so to build up a drift model for that object that can be used on subsequent nights. It can be done on the fly while you are imaging without disrupting your imaging session.

Here is the result from my heavily light polluted observing site at the AP factory (remember, it's just a quickie 1 hour snapshot):


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

dvjbaja
 

Ok, I thought some new features were being added to the other keypads. 

- J

On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 12:03 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
It's a Mach2 mount.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 1:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Roland, 

Is this drift mode in the keypad updates for the 1100 and 1600 mounts?  
- J


On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 11:23 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Last night was clear enough to do some quick imaging. Now that it's galaxy season, I changed the scope form my trusty 160EDF to the longer focal length 10" Mak-Cass. I used our CCDT67 compressor to bring the focal length down to 2500mm. The image posted below is a quick snapshot of 3 x 1200 sec with the QSI camera. The main purpose last night was not to take pretty pictures, rather it was doing ongoing testing of the Mach2 mount and the modeling software.

Two problems occur when using long focal lengths. First, is how to guide properly at 2500mm in order to capture fine galaxy detail. The best way is to use off-axis guiders. That brings up the second problem, which is the small field of these guiders. Sometimes there are not any bright stars to guide on. Therefore long guide exposures are needed, but then the mount must track very accurately between exposures. That means polar alignment must be spot on, otherwise you get drift between guide exposures. If you are setting up in the field, you don't want to spend a lot of time drift aligning to get perfect polar alignment.

I wanted to see what kind of results can be achieved with poor polar alignment. Last night I offset the azimuth axis so that I was getting about 2 arc seconds per minute drift in Dec. (RA was not drifting much). The guide star that was available needed at least 5 second exposure in order to be usable. With that much Dec drift, the guider was struggling and I achieved only 0.35 arc sec RMS tracking in Dec, while the RA was producing around 0.12 arcsec.

The solution was simple: I selected the Drift Model in the keypad, measured about 10 minutes of drift data with the guider keeping the guide star on the crosshair. Then simply turned on the Drift Compensation. The guider settled down almost instantly, I was able to dial the aggressiveness down to 60%, and the guider graph started to show Dec tracking of 0.12 arc sec RMS, same as the RA. There were periods of calm where there were no corrections being sent at all for 1 - 2 minutes at a time.

This process is fast and essentially foolproof and can be repeated every hour or so to build up a drift model for that object that can be used on subsequent nights. It can be done on the fly while you are imaging without disrupting your imaging session.

Here is the result from my heavily light polluted observing site at the AP factory (remember, it's just a quickie 1 hour snapshot):


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Roland Christen
 

It's a Mach2 mount.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 1:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Roland, 

Is this drift mode in the keypad updates for the 1100 and 1600 mounts?  
- J


On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 11:23 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Last night was clear enough to do some quick imaging. Now that it's galaxy season, I changed the scope form my trusty 160EDF to the longer focal length 10" Mak-Cass. I used our CCDT67 compressor to bring the focal length down to 2500mm. The image posted below is a quick snapshot of 3 x 1200 sec with the QSI camera. The main purpose last night was not to take pretty pictures, rather it was doing ongoing testing of the Mach2 mount and the modeling software.

Two problems occur when using long focal lengths. First, is how to guide properly at 2500mm in order to capture fine galaxy detail. The best way is to use off-axis guiders. That brings up the second problem, which is the small field of these guiders. Sometimes there are not any bright stars to guide on. Therefore long guide exposures are needed, but then the mount must track very accurately between exposures. That means polar alignment must be spot on, otherwise you get drift between guide exposures. If you are setting up in the field, you don't want to spend a lot of time drift aligning to get perfect polar alignment.

I wanted to see what kind of results can be achieved with poor polar alignment. Last night I offset the azimuth axis so that I was getting about 2 arc seconds per minute drift in Dec. (RA was not drifting much). The guide star that was available needed at least 5 second exposure in order to be usable. With that much Dec drift, the guider was struggling and I achieved only 0.35 arc sec RMS tracking in Dec, while the RA was producing around 0.12 arcsec.

The solution was simple: I selected the Drift Model in the keypad, measured about 10 minutes of drift data with the guider keeping the guide star on the crosshair. Then simply turned on the Drift Compensation. The guider settled down almost instantly, I was able to dial the aggressiveness down to 60%, and the guider graph started to show Dec tracking of 0.12 arc sec RMS, same as the RA. There were periods of calm where there were no corrections being sent at all for 1 - 2 minutes at a time.

This process is fast and essentially foolproof and can be repeated every hour or so to build up a drift model for that object that can be used on subsequent nights. It can be done on the fly while you are imaging without disrupting your imaging session.

Here is the result from my heavily light polluted observing site at the AP factory (remember, it's just a quickie 1 hour snapshot):


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Ted Mickle
 

problem = program 



On May 8, 2021, at 13:54, Ted Mickle via groups.io <tedmickle@...> wrote:

Rolando,

I’ve tried setting both mount and computer to UTC, but that seemed to interfere with the planetarium problem I was running - is there a work around?

Ted



On May 8, 2021, at 12:43, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?
Quite possible. Best way to avoid the daylight savings hassle is to use Universal time.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost AP1100AE

Hi Ray,

Yes I can see the mount and I am going to give that a shot tonight. 

The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Ted Mickle
 

Rolando,

I’ve tried setting both mount and computer to UTC, but that seemed to interfere with the planetarium problem I was running - is there a work around?

Ted



On May 8, 2021, at 12:43, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?
Quite possible. Best way to avoid the daylight savings hassle is to use Universal time.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost AP1100AE

Hi Ray,

Yes I can see the mount and I am going to give that a shot tonight. 

The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

dvjbaja
 

Roland, 

Is this drift mode in the keypad updates for the 1100 and 1600 mounts?  
- J


On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 11:23 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Last night was clear enough to do some quick imaging. Now that it's galaxy season, I changed the scope form my trusty 160EDF to the longer focal length 10" Mak-Cass. I used our CCDT67 compressor to bring the focal length down to 2500mm. The image posted below is a quick snapshot of 3 x 1200 sec with the QSI camera. The main purpose last night was not to take pretty pictures, rather it was doing ongoing testing of the Mach2 mount and the modeling software.

Two problems occur when using long focal lengths. First, is how to guide properly at 2500mm in order to capture fine galaxy detail. The best way is to use off-axis guiders. That brings up the second problem, which is the small field of these guiders. Sometimes there are not any bright stars to guide on. Therefore long guide exposures are needed, but then the mount must track very accurately between exposures. That means polar alignment must be spot on, otherwise you get drift between guide exposures. If you are setting up in the field, you don't want to spend a lot of time drift aligning to get perfect polar alignment.

I wanted to see what kind of results can be achieved with poor polar alignment. Last night I offset the azimuth axis so that I was getting about 2 arc seconds per minute drift in Dec. (RA was not drifting much). The guide star that was available needed at least 5 second exposure in order to be usable. With that much Dec drift, the guider was struggling and I achieved only 0.35 arc sec RMS tracking in Dec, while the RA was producing around 0.12 arcsec.

The solution was simple: I selected the Drift Model in the keypad, measured about 10 minutes of drift data with the guider keeping the guide star on the crosshair. Then simply turned on the Drift Compensation. The guider settled down almost instantly, I was able to dial the aggressiveness down to 60%, and the guider graph started to show Dec tracking of 0.12 arc sec RMS, same as the RA. There were periods of calm where there were no corrections being sent at all for 1 - 2 minutes at a time.

This process is fast and essentially foolproof and can be repeated every hour or so to build up a drift model for that object that can be used on subsequent nights. It can be done on the fly while you are imaging without disrupting your imaging session.

Here is the result from my heavily light polluted observing site at the AP factory (remember, it's just a quickie 1 hour snapshot):


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Shooting with AP 10" Mak on Mach2 mount

Roland Christen
 

Last night was clear enough to do some quick imaging. Now that it's galaxy season, I changed the scope form my trusty 160EDF to the longer focal length 10" Mak-Cass. I used our CCDT67 compressor to bring the focal length down to 2500mm. The image posted below is a quick snapshot of 3 x 1200 sec with the QSI camera. The main purpose last night was not to take pretty pictures, rather it was doing ongoing testing of the Mach2 mount and the modeling software.

Two problems occur when using long focal lengths. First, is how to guide properly at 2500mm in order to capture fine galaxy detail. The best way is to use off-axis guiders. That brings up the second problem, which is the small field of these guiders. Sometimes there are not any bright stars to guide on. Therefore long guide exposures are needed, but then the mount must track very accurately between exposures. That means polar alignment must be spot on, otherwise you get drift between guide exposures. If you are setting up in the field, you don't want to spend a lot of time drift aligning to get perfect polar alignment.

I wanted to see what kind of results can be achieved with poor polar alignment. Last night I offset the azimuth axis so that I was getting about 2 arc seconds per minute drift in Dec. (RA was not drifting much). The guide star that was available needed at least 5 second exposure in order to be usable. With that much Dec drift, the guider was struggling and I achieved only 0.35 arc sec RMS tracking in Dec, while the RA was producing around 0.12 arcsec.

The solution was simple: I selected the Drift Model in the keypad, measured about 10 minutes of drift data with the guider keeping the guide star on the crosshair. Then simply turned on the Drift Compensation. The guider settled down almost instantly, I was able to dial the aggressiveness down to 60%, and the guider graph started to show Dec tracking of 0.12 arc sec RMS, same as the RA. There were periods of calm where there were no corrections being sent at all for 1 - 2 minutes at a time.

This process is fast and essentially foolproof and can be repeated every hour or so to build up a drift model for that object that can be used on subsequent nights. It can be done on the fly while you are imaging without disrupting your imaging session.

Here is the result from my heavily light polluted observing site at the AP factory (remember, it's just a quickie 1 hour snapshot):

https://www.astrobin.com/1rtlj2/0/
https://www.astrobin.com/full/1rtlj2/0/

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Roland Christen
 


The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?
Quite possible. Best way to avoid the daylight savings hassle is to use Universal time.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost AP1100AE

Hi Ray,

Yes I can see the mount and I am going to give that a shot tonight. 

The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Rick Darden
 

Hi Ray,

Yes I can see the mount and I am going to give that a shot tonight. 

The home position was originally set during standard time. Is it possible when I homed it, it still thought it was standard time instead of Daylight Savings Time?


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Rick,

I assume you can see the mount remotely via a camera?

If so, using APCC:

1) Park the mount to the Park 3 position.
2) In APCC's Move Scope group box, move the RA axis East or West until the scope is as close as you can to the Park 3 position.
3) Park the mount at the current position.
4) Unpark the mount from "Park 3" in APCC's Unpark group box. Click "OK" to the warning dialog.

The mount should now be close enough to allow you to later do a plate solve and recal.

Then set the Home position again. Something must have changed or was reset not to have homing work correctly.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Rick Darden
Sent: Saturday, May 8, 2021 8:49 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost AP1100AE

Hi Rolando,

Just checked and the time is correct in APCC


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Rick Darden
 

Hi Rolando,

Just checked and the time is correct in APCC


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Roland Christen
 

Time is probably off by 1 hour. That would cause park positions to shift in RA by 15 degrees. Dec is not affected by a time error. No need to reposition the mount, simply change the time and send it back to a park position. Park 3 is probably the safest since any error in time won't cause a telescope crash.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Darden <rick@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 8:51 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Lost AP1100AE

Hi All,

Last night I was troubleshooting plate solving and ended up getting the mount lost. I homed the mount and thought that would get me squared up but when I parked (position 5) the mount, it is counterweight up approx 10 degrees and dec is in the right position.

It is at a remote observatory so I can't loosen the clutches and reposition the mount. 

Any thoughts to get me out of this?

Much appreciated.

Rick





--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

Roland Christen
 

Sweet photo!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 8, 2021 6:38 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Astro-Physics Cap

I got a cap for my wife for her birthday (no, it wasn’t the only gift, if you’re wondering) as more of a joke than anything.  It was kind of a “my husband got a $12,000 mount, and all I got was this cap” idea, but she seems to enjoy wearing it.  They are nice caps.  Here she is on our property down in southern Ohio, not too far from the river.  In fact, if you look closely at the upper right behind the pylon, you can see a stack that’s part of the (now-closed) Stuart power plant on the Ohio River.  She’s from NH, in case her sweatshirt causes confusion.  Might be fun to have other folks showing themselves wearing an Astro-Physics cap at various places.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

Jeff B
 

Hey Dave and great gift!

The other gift was that bowling ball "she" always wanted.  😁

Jeff

On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 10:27 AM M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Great idea David !

Maybe we can set up a folder on the forum where everyone can put their pictures. My family is going to West Virginia later this month to visit my daughter. I will have several good "photo ops" while we are there.

Mike


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

M Hambrick
 
Edited

Great idea David !

Maybe we can set up a folder on the forum where everyone can put their pictures. My family is going to West Virginia later this month to visit my daughter. I will have several good "photo ops" while we are there.

Mike


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Beautiful!

JimP 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Saturday, May 8, 2021 7:38:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Astro-Physics Cap
 
I got a cap for my wife for her birthday (no, it wasn’t the only gift, if you’re wondering) as more of a joke than anything.  It was kind of a “my husband got a $12,000 mount, and all I got was this cap” idea, but she seems to enjoy wearing it.  They are nice caps.  Here she is on our property down in southern Ohio, not too far from the river.  In fact, if you look closely at the upper right behind the pylon, you can see a stack that’s part of the (now-closed) Stuart power plant on the Ohio River.  She’s from NH, in case her sweatshirt causes confusion.  Might be fun to have other folks showing themselves wearing an Astro-Physics cap at various places.


Lost AP1100AE

Rick Darden
 

Hi All,

Last night I was troubleshooting plate solving and ended up getting the mount lost. I homed the mount and thought that would get me squared up but when I parked (position 5) the mount, it is counterweight up approx 10 degrees and dec is in the right position.

It is at a remote observatory so I can't loosen the clutches and reposition the mount. 

Any thoughts to get me out of this?

Much appreciated.

Rick





Astro-Physics Cap

David Johnson
 

I got a cap for my wife for her birthday (no, it wasn’t the only gift, if you’re wondering) as more of a joke than anything.  It was kind of a “my husband got a $12,000 mount, and all I got was this cap” idea, but she seems to enjoy wearing it.  They are nice caps.  Here she is on our property down in southern Ohio, not too far from the river.  In fact, if you look closely at the upper right behind the pylon, you can see a stack that’s part of the (now-closed) Stuart power plant on the Ohio River.  She’s from NH, in case her sweatshirt causes confusion.  Might be fun to have other folks showing themselves wearing an Astro-Physics cap at various places.


Re: AP1100/CP4 and NINA

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

Sounds great 😎

On May 7, 2021, at 10:44 PM, Dale Ghent <daleg@elemental.org> wrote:


Hey Luca,

Ah yes I see. This particular mechanism is out-of-band from ASCOM. From what I gather, SGPro's own network API implements an endpoint that allows an external app (such as APCC) to inform it with the hour angle meridian limit (I think) of the mount's current declination. APCC hits this endpoint with that info and I guess SGPro takes it under consideration as a form of temporary meridian limit (or delay, if the limit is "beyond the pole.") I'm not an SGPro user or familiar with its internals so I can only guess at how it uses this information.

NINA does have an implementation of the SGPro API that is just a subset of SGPro's full API. It's there to service things like 10micron's pointing modeler and (hopefully soon, I need to catch up with Ray on this) APPM. But we NINA devs aren't interested in adopting SGPro's API as our own, and would rather keep it to the subset of functionality that is currently is. Eventually, we will invent our own design that is better suited to NINA's functions and capabilities. But that time isn't right now.

So where does this leave making NINA aware of meridian limits? In NINA 1.11, which is the current development branch and contains the new Advanced Sequencer, there's a new plugin system. A lot of internal app interfaces are available through this plugin system. One of the NINA contributors has made a plugin that uses a user-supplied file of meridian limits to dynamically adjust the flip time based on the scope's declination. Its data format is a mapping of declination to east+west hour limits in 1 degree increments. APCC's MLM file maps those limits using the Meridian Angle in 1 degree increments. I'm going to look at extending this plugin so that it can read APCC's MLM file and just derive the limits at the current declination from that. The developer of this plugin has been using it for some time to solve the same problem that APCC's meridian limits (and delay) feature solves, so extending it to grok the MLM file format is no big deal.

This will give us a solution that avoids having to further extend an API implementation in the app that we'd rather not pay anymore time to, and doesn't make us have to rush to implement our own API to service just for this one feature (and then get Ray to implement it on his end in APCC.) Instead, we'll just read the MLM file directly and include a user-adjustable setting to flip the scope at some defined number of seconds or minutes before the limit is reached to avoid APCC reacting and potentially parking the scope or stopping tracking.

We'll hack on this and I'll let the group know when there's something usable that's available.

/dale


On May 7, 2021, at 06:38, Luca Marinelli <photo@lucamarinelli.com> wrote:

Hi Dale,

A few days ago I posted an example of meridian flips and CW up imaging with APCC and SGP:

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/message/78270

The key setting that allows dynamic (declination-dependent) meridian flip setpoint and CW up or down imaging when allowed by the APCC meridian limits is the checkbox "Send Limit with offset to SGPro" in the Meridian Limit tab in APCC. Does this checkbox only work with SGPro or does it also work with NINA? Maybe Ray can comment why SGPro is special (if it is) and how it is able to take advantage of the full, dynamic meridian limit setting, instead of being limited to a static "flip 15 minutes after the meridian" kind of scenario. It would be great if all imaging applications (not just SGP) could take advantage of this powerful feature.

Cheers,

Luca




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