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Mach2 Command Language

Brent Boshart
 

I received my Mach2 mount the end of last week and started working on some software development for it.  Unfortunately, the AP ASCOM driver does not suit my purposes as it does not give real time mount positions.  The driver appears to poll the mount for its position about once every second. The problem I have with that is if the mount is currently slewing at say 3 degrees per second, then the position I get when querying the ASCOM driver could be off by up to 3 degrees.  Not sure if there is a workaround for that?  I don't have my license yet but will using the command language through APCC give real time position data?  Using the command language straight to the mount gives real time mount positions at the moment of the query - it works very well.  I have a few questions about the command language:

  1. Is there updated documentation or is this most recent https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/protocol-cp3-cp4.pdf  ?  For example, I found that ":RC3#" seems to set the centering rate at 600x instead of the documented 1200X.  
  2. Is there a command to query the park status?  The documentation says that if you issue an unpark command when the mount is not parked then calibration is lost. I found that the mount after the initial power-up does not seem to return proper position coordinates until an unpark command is issued. 
Thanks,
Brent


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

Robert Berta
 

My wife and 3 kids are grads or almost grads (one to go) at University of Michigan For years UofM  alumni would take photos of them wearing school clothing and hats in interesting places and they would be printed in the Alumni magazine. So a folder of AP owners with their cap in interesting places and at star parties would be a neat idea. I don't have an AP ball cap...instead I have the night watch type hat Roland gave me a few years back. Here in Michigan that warm cap is more useful than a ball cap when it gets cold ;-) 


Sky Safari Pro 6 (and possibly other versions) time issue

Robert Berta
 

I am a BETA tester for Sky Safari. I recently noted that after a recent update the time is incorrect and an hour off. You can verify if you have this problem by opening the app and looking at the time shown in the upper right corner. Of course you should first verify in the settings that you have the correct location and time set.....even if it is the time shown will be wrong. I notified Sky Safari and they immediately issued an update that also includes some other bug fixes and features. The time is now correct. They also now have the various Park positions that AP uses shown when you exit the program. I did verify Park 3 works as described but haven't tested the other Park positions due to rain and clouds. 
I use the Android version which can be updated at the Play Store. Apple folks will have to look for it at their appropriate update site. 
The app now works quite well with Sky Safari and the wireless ability of the CP4 and CP5 control boxes. As Roland suggested.....keep the little antennae folded flat and it helps to not drop the connection...something that was an issue before.


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

Robert Berta
 

I notified Sky Safari folks about the time issue AND the incorrect time (I am a BETA tester for Sky Safari). They confirmed it and issued an update to correct it. So if you use Sky Safari Pro 6 update to latest version and the time issue is fixed. Haven't had a chance (due to rain and clouds) to verify if the park positions all work correctly...at least on the Android version. 


Re: Lost AP1100AE

Rick Darden
 

Hi Ray,

Your procedure worked. Thank you very much.

Rick Darden.


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Clayton Yendrey
 
Edited

This is what I just ordered; as set of 3 each (male/female) XT60 pigtails.

Amazon.com: Upgrades XT60 Connectors 12awg 5.9inch Wire with Solder Point Cover (3 Female + 3 Male) 3D Printer Power Supply Extension: Electronics

All that is needed is to crimp the respective Anderson Powerpole connectors to them.


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Dale Ghent
 

Yes however XT60 to PowerPole remains a bit of a unicorn out there in the land of ready-made PowerPole adapters. I don’t know why since both are popular, but that’s the case.

The last time I looked for a commercially-available XT60 adapter was a few months ago (for a friend in the same Pegasus UPBv2 predicament) and the only one I found was a seller on Amazon, with weeks of lead time and a not so great price. 

On May 9, 2021, at 16:55, mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87@...> wrote:

I have concluded that being a serious amateur astronomer means learning how to crimp connectors.  So I've down Anderson powerpole connectors to accommodate the Mach2, Molex connectors for the ExploraDome and JST-PH connectors for the fan in my ZWO camera. It's not hard. Just takes some practice.

If you want to buy off-the-shelf you can often find what you need on Amazon. For example this:

https://www.amazon.com/Valley-Enterprises-Straight-Anderson-Powerpole/dp/B07GHB6X64/


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

mjb87@...
 
Edited

I have concluded that being a serious amateur astronomer means learning how to crimp connectors.  So I've done Anderson powerpole connectors to accommodate the Mach2, Molex connectors for the ExploraDome and JST-PH connectors for the fan in my ZWO camera. It's not hard. Just takes some practice.

If you want to buy off-the-shelf you can often find what you need on Amazon. For example this (for the PPADV):

https://www.amazon.com/Valley-Enterprises-Straight-Anderson-Powerpole/dp/B07GHB6X64/


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Dale Ghent
 

I could consider crimping up a bunch of XT60 to PowerPole adapters and making them available to the group. 

On May 9, 2021, at 15:59, Dominique <d.h.durand@...> wrote:



I have AP Mach2 and Pegasus Powerbox V2 and as it was difficult for me to find an XT60 cable (Powerbox) to Anderson Powerpoles (Mach2) I bought XT60, Anderson power poles and cable and I made myself the cable which is fine.

Dominique


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Marcelo Figueroa
 

I use these two cables (male and female), one for the power supply and one for the Pegasus Powerbox (Advance version).

Note that the connectors are not mounted the right way for the Mach2, but it is very easy to correct that.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X3ZDLT8/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s01?ie=UTF8&th=1


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Dominique
 

I have AP Mach2 and Pegasus Powerbox V2 and as it was difficult for me to find an XT60 cable (Powerbox) to Anderson Powerpoles (Mach2) I bought XT60, Anderson power poles and cable and I made myself the cable which is fine.

Dominique


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Clayton Yendrey
 
Edited

It sounds like the Mach2 has what I need - I have a Pegasus UPBv2 on the OTA that handles all the on OTA distribution.  I use / need the internal routing to get a USB3 'backbone' to the UPBv2.  The problem is/may be the fact that the UPBv2 uses a proprietary power plug from its power supply.  I"d have to look up the specs and also determine what/where the plug itself is available from or get another cable/power supply from Pegasus as a sacrificial parts source.  Do you know if anyone else is using a UPBv2 through a Mach2?  I believe the UPBv2 is rated/can distribure up to 20 amps total which is likely why the non standard power supply/plug assembly.


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

mjb87@...
 

I run my own cables through my 1100.  I was worried about the more limited through the mount cabling ability of the Mach2. In the end, it has been a non-issue with the Mach2. With a Pegasus PB Advanced, I can handle all of my "above the mount" power and data needs while using the single 12v and USB3 through-mount capabilities. This includes main camera, guide camera, camera rotator, Flip-Flat, dew heaters, etc.  However, I run the mount itself with a dedicated power supply but since that is "below the mount" it doesn't require through-mount access.

Bottom line: you can live with the Mach2 capabilities quite easily these days given the advanced hubs available.  Of course, YMMV.


Re: Connecting ASIAIR Pro to a CP4 - Mach1

Lee Decovnick
 

Hi all,

Real progress and some more questions using the ASI AIR PRO. First the good news,  I used a FIDI USB cable and it connected the USB port to the ASI Air Pro first time. Now I can also use my iPad and my Win 10 Blue Stack emulation at the same and the speed is pretty decent. I used the ASI AIR Pro app to plate solve the Polar Alignment on the Mach 1  ... a nice peice of software. Dec took one minute to get to 02",  but when I tightened the RA lever there was significant shift.  got it on the sixth attempt.  

These CMOS cameras are really nice, except I ended up adding 2 inches to my focuser tube to come to focus, I guess I could also use a diagonal perhaps less flexion, suggestions welcome.. Oh, I shoot with Stellarvue 115mm f/7  scope. 800mm focal length.

The  first Mach 1 question I have for the group is:   Do folks use the hand controller to set up park and reset the R/A and Dec THEN sync to the ASIAIR Pro? 

How exactly do integrate Sky Safari with the Mach 1 and ASI AIR RPO date loop? 

Thanks again for the positive suggestions....   

Lee


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

KHursh
 

There is a single power connector and a single USB3 connector for through-the-mount cabling. My PC and power supply plug into the back of the RA axis, then I connect a PowerBox to the power and USB on the top of the DEC axis which distributes power and data to the rest of the rig.


Re: Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Roland Christen
 

There are two cables in the Mach2, one USB3 and one 12 volt power cable. If you want to run your own cables, then the Mach2 is not for you. The 1100 mount has huge hollow axes in which you can run any amount of cabling you wish.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Clayton Yendrey <cyendrey@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, May 9, 2021 10:58 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

For some reason I just noticed that there is no mention of internal cable routing option for the Mach2 on the AP website.  Please clarify - does the Mach2 have this capability or not?
I'd be really disappointed if it did not, since even mounts a quarter of this price point have this feature now...  
 
Thanks in advance!

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Mach2GTO - No Internal cable routing?

Clayton Yendrey
 

For some reason I just noticed that there is no mention of internal cable routing option for the Mach2 on the AP website.  Please clarify - does the Mach2 have this capability or not?

I'd be really disappointed if it did not, since even mounts a quarter of this price point have this feature now...  

 

Thanks in advance!


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

Jeff B
 

👍👌

On Sun, May 9, 2021 at 9:58 AM David Johnson <dajohns37@...> wrote:
We bought that property partly because of the dark skies, but I learned from this that dark skies are just part of the equation.  It’s pretty hilly down there, at least for Ohio, and it’s hard to find a good clear spot for a setup without dragging a bunch of equipment up a ridge by hand.  Even on top of the ridges, there are a lot of trees.  However, the good news is that our new residence has reasonably dark skies and we enjoy that property for a lot of other activities, so it worked out fine.  I do some limited imaging with my more portable equipment down there, and I’ll probably do more when I retire, which will happen very soon.

Beautiful country, though.  In mid-April, the redbuds and the wildflowers are spectacular.


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

David Johnson
 

We bought that property partly because of the dark skies, but I learned from this that dark skies are just part of the equation.  It’s pretty hilly down there, at least for Ohio, and it’s hard to find a good clear spot for a setup without dragging a bunch of equipment up a ridge by hand.  Even on top of the ridges, there are a lot of trees.  However, the good news is that our new residence has reasonably dark skies and we enjoy that property for a lot of other activities, so it worked out fine.  I do some limited imaging with my more portable equipment down there, and I’ll probably do more when I retire, which will happen very soon.

Beautiful country, though.  In mid-April, the redbuds and the wildflowers are spectacular.


Re: Astro-Physics Cap

mjb87@...
 

My old firm had an informal competition for the most exotic location where a cap with our logo was photographed. We had photos from remote islands in the Pacific, tops of mountains, etc.  One of my European colleagues however took the prize -- he had a friend who was an astronaut who took a photo of the cap on his head in the International Space Station.

(For the record, NASA and ESA does not endorse this and we were not allowed to have a permanent copy of the photo.)

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