Date   

AP 105Traveler and a Daystar ATM H-Alpha filter troubles

CaptMax
 

I am struggling to get a Daystar H-Alpha filter working with my 105 Traveler. The problem is bringing it in focus. I am using the ERF red glass filter with this as well. Pretty sure it is due to incorrect focal length or the fact that it needs to be operated at an f30. Has anyone had experience playing with one of these on a Traveler? Any insight is greatly appreciated, thank-you for any and all replies. 
CaptMax 


Re: Imaging in the Wind

Joseph Beyer
 

Thinking about the sailing on SF Bay in a stiff wind, I’m wondering if the cables on the pier are a big part of the problem.  Given a high enough wind velocity they would likely vibrate as the mast stay cables do on a sailboat. In that case blocking the wind as you’re already attempting to do should help the problem.  


Re: Imaging in the Wind

W Hilmo
 

I think so, too.

 

The problem is that my wife would prefer if I not sink fence posts into concrete for a temporary solution.  My fear is that without a really solid anchor, our wind would simply blow it away.  We’ve been seeing 30ish mph for the last couple of weeks, but it can get significantly higher than that with little warning.

 

Also, if the fence were upwind, which is would need to be to function, any wind strong enough to move it, would blow it right into the scope.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert Chozick via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2021 11:25 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

A simple fence enclosure model would help greatly. 

Robert 

 



On Jul 22, 2021, at 1:04 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:



I just wanted to follow up and say that using the motorhome as a wind block made a huge difference.

 

Based on the below results with the 175 refractor, I assume at this point that the mount itself is probably not the issue.  I have the rig set up on ground that is quite solid, and am using the 10” diameter portable field pier.  The pier height is 32” from the ground.

 

I’m wondering if the issue is that I leave the mount set up on the pier all the time.  In the last couple of weeks, our temperature has varied between 45F and 115F.  I suspect that the thermal cycling may affect the turn buckles.  It seems like they could be tighter than they are (although I find that if I tighten too much, it bends the hooks at the end of the turn buckles so that they open up).  I don’t adjust them often because I have a really good APPM model, and would need to recreate it each time.

 

I have plans for an observatory with a proper pier with a deep underground footing, but that won’t be until sometime next year at the earliest.  I’m going to need to find a temporary solution for between now and then. 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:44 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

Interesting.  If I can get tracking like you are seeing, that would be great.  If I unplug the encoders, I’ll either need to set up guiding or program a PEM curve.

 

Out of curiosity, what you are using for a pier?  I am using the portable field pier, and if the whole thing is shaking, perhaps I could tighten the turnbuckles a bit.


Oh, and one other thing that may be interesting, or may be nothing, I never get tight stars that are elongated.  I either get tight, round stars, or I get big elongated blobs.  I also get satellite lots and lots of satellite trails, and they are generally straight lines.  I was thinking that these satellites just happened to coincide with some strong gusts.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

You can unplug the encoders and see what you get.

 

I got 30mph wind gusts here last couple of days with my 175 refractor on a 1600 encoder mount. Got round stars. Was watching the autoguider graph and saw only 1 arc sec or so deviations during a gust.

 

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 20, 2021 1:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

I've been doing a bunch of experimenting to transition from guided imaging with an SCT, to unguided imaging with a first class refractor.  Coincident to this, I'm imaging in a particularly windy area, which I moved to a few months before I received my AP130GTX.  Previously, I lived in an area with lots of overcast, but little wind.  It was also sheltered by being completely surrounded by forest.  My current location is wide open and completely unsheltered from the wind.

As mentioned, the scope is an AP130GTX.  The mount is an AP1600 with Absolute Encoders.  I'm finding that on calm nights (which are rare this time of year), I get nice, round stars at 10 minutes unguided.  With our typical winds, which are around 30mph over night, I get blobby and elongated stars.  Last night was windy, so the subs were all soft, with poor eccentricity.  I'm trying to determine how much of my soft stars are the the result of turbulence higher up, versus the mount and scope getting buffeted by the wind.

When I was blinking through the subs, I found the image that I've attached below.  It's interesting because there are crossing satellite trails at very different angles, that show signs of significant vibration.  I am guessing that what is happening here, is that the system is getting buffeted by winds, and the jaggies are due to the absolute encoders trying to quickly make corrections.  But I would be interested in other thoughts.

For tonight, I'm going to image the same field, but I've parked my motorhome up wind of the mount to act as a block.  The motorhome is parked 90 degrees to the prevailing wind, and is as close as I can get it while still keeping the roof at about 20 degrees elevation from the scope.  We are forecast for similar winds tonight, and the wind today seems consistent with yesterday.  I'll be curious to see if the results improve.  I'm not sure yet if turbulence as wind goes over and around the motorhome will be more than offset by sheltering the mount.

I am planning for an observatory, and have been thinking all along of a roll-off roof.  I suppose that if tonight's data looks good, perhaps I should be thinking about a dome.  Since I'm not planning on building the observatory until next year, I am also planning on experimenting with different wind blocks (presuming I can find something less than the motorhome, which can stand up to our winds on a regular basis).

If anyone else has dealt with this, I would be interested in how people have dealt with this.  I suppose that I could switch to only wide field imaging during the windiest times of the year, but if possible, I would like to mitigate things.

-Wade


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

Attachments:


Re: Imaging in the Wind

W Hilmo
 

I am taking 10 minute, unguided exposures at 0.88 arc seconds per pixel, so I expect that my polar alignment is good – or at least consistent with the tracking model.

 

I’ve only recently switched to unguided imaging, and I’ve only checked the polar alignment a couple of times and made a new model after adjustment.  Prior to this spring, I was using a different scope and guiding.  In that case, I checked the polar alignment periodically.  Certainly, during the winter with freeze/thaw cycles, I doubt that I could productively do unguided imaging with this setup as is.

 

On a whim, I did some guided imaging a few weeks ago, and got the exact same results as I get unguided (good results up to about 15-20mph wind, but poor results with 30+ and gusting).  I suspect that if the rig is vibrating in the wind, the frequency is far too high for the guider to deal with.

 

My soil is a combination of rock and clay, and seems to be pretty stable.  It is noticeably more stable than the ground at my previous property.

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2021 11:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

This brings up an interesting point. My setup is similar to Dale’s in the respect that I leave the gear/tripod out for a couple weeks at a time. The soil is nearly all clay and continues to move all summer long. On first setup I polar align as closely as possible with Smart Cap then run a 60 point APPM routine.  I’ve always assumed the model will always be valid as long as I polar align to a similar level of precision each night before imaging.  My results tend to support this. 


Adjusting the tension of the turn buckles on the pier before imaging should have no more effect that my yard’s clay soil.  As long as the mount is polar aligned to a level close to where it was when a model was run should have little impact on guiding, correct?


Re: Imaging in the Wind

Joseph Beyer
 

This brings up an interesting point. My setup is similar to Dale’s in the respect that I leave the gear/tripod out for a couple weeks at a time. The soil is nearly all clay and continues to move all summer long. On first setup I polar align as closely as possible with Smart Cap then run a 60 point APPM routine.  I’ve always assumed the model will always be valid as long as I polar align to a similar level of precision each night before imaging.  My results tend to support this. 


Adjusting the tension of the turn buckles on the pier before imaging should have no more effect that my yard’s clay soil.  As long as the mount is polar aligned to a level close to where it was when a model was run should have little impact on guiding, correct?


Re: Imaging in the Wind

Dale Ghent
 

How often do you PA? Do you spot check it at all?

I leave mine out for days at a time, and the tri-pier (it's an A-P Eagle) sits on pavers that are sunk into the ground. The ground swells and subsides subtly from day to day; at least the surface of it does. This means I need to touch up my PA every night before imaging as the PA can be off by several arc minutes depending on whether was a large enough rain or drying cycle since the last time I imaged. Soil type and other factors influence how much of a problem this is for any given person. This issue is noticeably worse in the winter when there's a freeze/thaw cycle going on.

On Jul 22, 2021, at 14:04, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I just wanted to follow up and say that using the motorhome as a wind block made a huge difference.

Based on the below results with the 175 refractor, I assume at this point that the mount itself is probably not the issue. I have the rig set up on ground that is quite solid, and am using the 10” diameter portable field pier. The pier height is 32” from the ground.

I’m wondering if the issue is that I leave the mount set up on the pier all the time. In the last couple of weeks, our temperature has varied between 45F and 115F. I suspect that the thermal cycling may affect the turn buckles. It seems like they could be tighter than they are (although I find that if I tighten too much, it bends the hooks at the end of the turn buckles so that they open up). I don’t adjust them often because I have a really good APPM model, and would need to recreate it each time.

I have plans for an observatory with a proper pier with a deep underground footing, but that won’t be until sometime next year at the earliest. I’m going to need to find a temporary solution for between now and then.

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:44 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

Interesting. If I can get tracking like you are seeing, that would be great. If I unplug the encoders, I’ll either need to set up guiding or program a PEM curve.

Out of curiosity, what you are using for a pier? I am using the portable field pier, and if the whole thing is shaking, perhaps I could tighten the turnbuckles a bit.

Oh, and one other thing that may be interesting, or may be nothing, I never get tight stars that are elongated. I either get tight, round stars, or I get big elongated blobs. I also get satellite lots and lots of satellite trails, and they are generally straight lines. I was thinking that these satellites just happened to coincide with some strong gusts.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

You can unplug the encoders and see what you get.

I got 30mph wind gusts here last couple of days with my 175 refractor on a 1600 encoder mount. Got round stars. Was watching the autoguider graph and saw only 1 arc sec or so deviations during a gust.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 20, 2021 1:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

I've been doing a bunch of experimenting to transition from guided imaging with an SCT, to unguided imaging with a first class refractor. Coincident to this, I'm imaging in a particularly windy area, which I moved to a few months before I received my AP130GTX. Previously, I lived in an area with lots of overcast, but little wind. It was also sheltered by being completely surrounded by forest. My current location is wide open and completely unsheltered from the wind.

As mentioned, the scope is an AP130GTX. The mount is an AP1600 with Absolute Encoders. I'm finding that on calm nights (which are rare this time of year), I get nice, round stars at 10 minutes unguided. With our typical winds, which are around 30mph over night, I get blobby and elongated stars. Last night was windy, so the subs were all soft, with poor eccentricity. I'm trying to determine how much of my soft stars are the the result of turbulence higher up, versus the mount and scope getting buffeted by the wind.

When I was blinking through the subs, I found the image that I've attached below. It's interesting because there are crossing satellite trails at very different angles, that show signs of significant vibration. I am guessing that what is happening here, is that the system is getting buffeted by winds, and the jaggies are due to the absolute encoders trying to quickly make corrections. But I would be interested in other thoughts.

For tonight, I'm going to image the same field, but I've parked my motorhome up wind of the mount to act as a block. The motorhome is parked 90 degrees to the prevailing wind, and is as close as I can get it while still keeping the roof at about 20 degrees elevation from the scope. We are forecast for similar winds tonight, and the wind today seems consistent with yesterday. I'll be curious to see if the results improve. I'm not sure yet if turbulence as wind goes over and around the motorhome will be more than offset by sheltering the mount.

I am planning for an observatory, and have been thinking all along of a roll-off roof. I suppose that if tonight's data looks good, perhaps I should be thinking about a dome. Since I'm not planning on building the observatory until next year, I am also planning on experimenting with different wind blocks (presuming I can find something less than the motorhome, which can stand up to our winds on a regular basis).

If anyone else has dealt with this, I would be interested in how people have dealt with this. I suppose that I could switch to only wide field imaging during the windiest times of the year, but if possible, I would like to mitigate things.

-Wade



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics
Attachments:

• wind_gust.jpg


Re: Imaging in the Wind

Robert Chozick
 

A simple fence enclosure model would help greatly. 

Robert 


On Jul 22, 2021, at 1:04 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:



I just wanted to follow up and say that using the motorhome as a wind block made a huge difference.

 

Based on the below results with the 175 refractor, I assume at this point that the mount itself is probably not the issue.  I have the rig set up on ground that is quite solid, and am using the 10” diameter portable field pier.  The pier height is 32” from the ground.

 

I’m wondering if the issue is that I leave the mount set up on the pier all the time.  In the last couple of weeks, our temperature has varied between 45F and 115F.  I suspect that the thermal cycling may affect the turn buckles.  It seems like they could be tighter than they are (although I find that if I tighten too much, it bends the hooks at the end of the turn buckles so that they open up).  I don’t adjust them often because I have a really good APPM model, and would need to recreate it each time.

 

I have plans for an observatory with a proper pier with a deep underground footing, but that won’t be until sometime next year at the earliest.  I’m going to need to find a temporary solution for between now and then. 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:44 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

Interesting.  If I can get tracking like you are seeing, that would be great.  If I unplug the encoders, I’ll either need to set up guiding or program a PEM curve.

 

Out of curiosity, what you are using for a pier?  I am using the portable field pier, and if the whole thing is shaking, perhaps I could tighten the turnbuckles a bit.


Oh, and one other thing that may be interesting, or may be nothing, I never get tight stars that are elongated.  I either get tight, round stars, or I get big elongated blobs.  I also get satellite lots and lots of satellite trails, and they are generally straight lines.  I was thinking that these satellites just happened to coincide with some strong gusts.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

You can unplug the encoders and see what you get.

 

I got 30mph wind gusts here last couple of days with my 175 refractor on a 1600 encoder mount. Got round stars. Was watching the autoguider graph and saw only 1 arc sec or so deviations during a gust.

 

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 20, 2021 1:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

I've been doing a bunch of experimenting to transition from guided imaging with an SCT, to unguided imaging with a first class refractor.  Coincident to this, I'm imaging in a particularly windy area, which I moved to a few months before I received my AP130GTX.  Previously, I lived in an area with lots of overcast, but little wind.  It was also sheltered by being completely surrounded by forest.  My current location is wide open and completely unsheltered from the wind.

As mentioned, the scope is an AP130GTX.  The mount is an AP1600 with Absolute Encoders.  I'm finding that on calm nights (which are rare this time of year), I get nice, round stars at 10 minutes unguided.  With our typical winds, which are around 30mph over night, I get blobby and elongated stars.  Last night was windy, so the subs were all soft, with poor eccentricity.  I'm trying to determine how much of my soft stars are the the result of turbulence higher up, versus the mount and scope getting buffeted by the wind.

When I was blinking through the subs, I found the image that I've attached below.  It's interesting because there are crossing satellite trails at very different angles, that show signs of significant vibration.  I am guessing that what is happening here, is that the system is getting buffeted by winds, and the jaggies are due to the absolute encoders trying to quickly make corrections.  But I would be interested in other thoughts.

For tonight, I'm going to image the same field, but I've parked my motorhome up wind of the mount to act as a block.  The motorhome is parked 90 degrees to the prevailing wind, and is as close as I can get it while still keeping the roof at about 20 degrees elevation from the scope.  We are forecast for similar winds tonight, and the wind today seems consistent with yesterday.  I'll be curious to see if the results improve.  I'm not sure yet if turbulence as wind goes over and around the motorhome will be more than offset by sheltering the mount.

I am planning for an observatory, and have been thinking all along of a roll-off roof.  I suppose that if tonight's data looks good, perhaps I should be thinking about a dome.  Since I'm not planning on building the observatory until next year, I am also planning on experimenting with different wind blocks (presuming I can find something less than the motorhome, which can stand up to our winds on a regular basis).

If anyone else has dealt with this, I would be interested in how people have dealt with this.  I suppose that I could switch to only wide field imaging during the windiest times of the year, but if possible, I would like to mitigate things.

-Wade


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

Attachments:


Re: Imaging in the Wind

W Hilmo
 

I just wanted to follow up and say that using the motorhome as a wind block made a huge difference.

 

Based on the below results with the 175 refractor, I assume at this point that the mount itself is probably not the issue.  I have the rig set up on ground that is quite solid, and am using the 10” diameter portable field pier.  The pier height is 32” from the ground.

 

I’m wondering if the issue is that I leave the mount set up on the pier all the time.  In the last couple of weeks, our temperature has varied between 45F and 115F.  I suspect that the thermal cycling may affect the turn buckles.  It seems like they could be tighter than they are (although I find that if I tighten too much, it bends the hooks at the end of the turn buckles so that they open up).  I don’t adjust them often because I have a really good APPM model, and would need to recreate it each time.

 

I have plans for an observatory with a proper pier with a deep underground footing, but that won’t be until sometime next year at the earliest.  I’m going to need to find a temporary solution for between now and then. 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:44 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

Interesting.  If I can get tracking like you are seeing, that would be great.  If I unplug the encoders, I’ll either need to set up guiding or program a PEM curve.

 

Out of curiosity, what you are using for a pier?  I am using the portable field pier, and if the whole thing is shaking, perhaps I could tighten the turnbuckles a bit.


Oh, and one other thing that may be interesting, or may be nothing, I never get tight stars that are elongated.  I either get tight, round stars, or I get big elongated blobs.  I also get satellite lots and lots of satellite trails, and they are generally straight lines.  I was thinking that these satellites just happened to coincide with some strong gusts.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 4:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

 

You can unplug the encoders and see what you get.

 

I got 30mph wind gusts here last couple of days with my 175 refractor on a 1600 encoder mount. Got round stars. Was watching the autoguider graph and saw only 1 arc sec or so deviations during a gust.

 

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 20, 2021 1:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Imaging in the Wind

I've been doing a bunch of experimenting to transition from guided imaging with an SCT, to unguided imaging with a first class refractor.  Coincident to this, I'm imaging in a particularly windy area, which I moved to a few months before I received my AP130GTX.  Previously, I lived in an area with lots of overcast, but little wind.  It was also sheltered by being completely surrounded by forest.  My current location is wide open and completely unsheltered from the wind.

As mentioned, the scope is an AP130GTX.  The mount is an AP1600 with Absolute Encoders.  I'm finding that on calm nights (which are rare this time of year), I get nice, round stars at 10 minutes unguided.  With our typical winds, which are around 30mph over night, I get blobby and elongated stars.  Last night was windy, so the subs were all soft, with poor eccentricity.  I'm trying to determine how much of my soft stars are the the result of turbulence higher up, versus the mount and scope getting buffeted by the wind.

When I was blinking through the subs, I found the image that I've attached below.  It's interesting because there are crossing satellite trails at very different angles, that show signs of significant vibration.  I am guessing that what is happening here, is that the system is getting buffeted by winds, and the jaggies are due to the absolute encoders trying to quickly make corrections.  But I would be interested in other thoughts.

For tonight, I'm going to image the same field, but I've parked my motorhome up wind of the mount to act as a block.  The motorhome is parked 90 degrees to the prevailing wind, and is as close as I can get it while still keeping the roof at about 20 degrees elevation from the scope.  We are forecast for similar winds tonight, and the wind today seems consistent with yesterday.  I'll be curious to see if the results improve.  I'm not sure yet if turbulence as wind goes over and around the motorhome will be more than offset by sheltering the mount.

I am planning for an observatory, and have been thinking all along of a roll-off roof.  I suppose that if tonight's data looks good, perhaps I should be thinking about a dome.  Since I'm not planning on building the observatory until next year, I am also planning on experimenting with different wind blocks (presuming I can find something less than the motorhome, which can stand up to our winds on a regular basis).

If anyone else has dealt with this, I would be interested in how people have dealt with this.  I suppose that I could switch to only wide field imaging during the windiest times of the year, but if possible, I would like to mitigate things.

-Wade


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

Attachments:


Re: AP 1200 guiding problem

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Peter,

I took a look at your logs. Your mount seems to be reacting correctly to the move commands sent to it by phd. That is, RA and Dec change when issued guider move commands. So, unless the clutches are slipping, you should probably post this issue to the phd group.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Peter Bresler via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2021 1:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP 1200 guiding problem

PHD guiding was failing after a couple of minutes on my 1200 with an OAG; first couple of minutes were OK;
message was unable to make DEC corrections. I re-calibrated a couple of times. Things got better with a guide
scope. Here are Dropbox links for the logs. Advice appreciated!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dzof5umeim4yw9o/ApccZip-Peter_Bresler-2021-07-22-003725.zip?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4whdi266po8jiso/Phd%20log.zip?dl=0


AP 1200 guiding problem

Peter Bresler
 

PHD guiding was failing after a couple of minutes on my 1200 with an OAG; first couple of minutes were OK; message was unable to make DEC corrections. I re-calibrated a couple of times. Things got better with a guide scope. Here are Dropbox links for the logs. Advice appreciated!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dzof5umeim4yw9o/ApccZip-Peter_Bresler-2021-07-22-003725.zip?dl=0
 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4whdi266po8jiso/Phd%20log.zip?dl=0


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Well, like I said before, you have a lot on your hands to get through as a first-time AP mount owner before you get to the point where you're creating models. I would not worry about it. APCC has been out for almost(?) a decade and I didn't bother with models until a year ago. I wish I hadn't waited for so long to do that, but not making them when you've got other things about the mount to learn and get down isn't going to kill you, either ;)
Hmmm... this time it may have sunk in. I used tPoint for polar align as well as models. I keep thinking I NEED to build a model.

I plan to guide. Not building a model for a while is fine. Thanks for the repetition, this time it sunk in.

Linwood


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Dale Ghent
 

On Jul 21, 2021, at 13:02, ap@CaptivePhotons.com wrote:

If you have TSX already (didn't you have a Paramount before?) then you can use TSX's ImageLink for solving. Presumably you still have that installed or can reinstall it. The only thing you'll need to do is run TSX once as Admin so it can install the ActiveX controls that APPM uses to talk to it. Then it's smooth sailing from there.
Well, depends on if I sell the MyT first. Working on it, so... trying not to count on it. But yes, if it's just a week or three, I'd just wait so as not to use something new.

But hopefully 1.9 will be out before you get your 1100 and you won't have to resort to that.
Since it's supposed to ship any moment I hesitate to hope for that as it might have the wrong implication. 😊
Well, like I said before, you have a lot on your hands to get through as a first-time AP mount owner before you get to the point where you're creating models. I would not worry about it. APCC has been out for almost(?) a decade and I didn't bother with models until a year ago. I wish I hadn't waited for so long to do that, but not making them when you've got other things about the mount to learn and get down isn't going to kill you, either ;)


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

If you have TSX already (didn't you have a Paramount before?) then you can use TSX's ImageLink for solving. Presumably you still have that installed or can reinstall it. The only thing you'll need to do is run TSX once as Admin so it can install the ActiveX controls that APPM uses to talk to it. Then it's smooth sailing from there.
Well, depends on if I sell the MyT first. Working on it, so... trying not to count on it. But yes, if it's just a week or three, I'd just wait so as not to use something new.

But hopefully 1.9 will be out before you get your 1100 and you won't have to resort to that.
Since it's supposed to ship any moment I hesitate to hope for that as it might have the wrong implication. 😊


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Dale Ghent
 

If you have TSX already (didn't you have a Paramount before?) then you can use TSX's ImageLink for solving. Presumably you still have that installed or can reinstall it. The only thing you'll need to do is run TSX once as Admin so it can install the ActiveX controls that APPM uses to talk to it. Then it's smooth sailing from there.

But hopefully 1.9 will be out before you get your 1100 and you won't have to resort to that.

On Jul 21, 2021, at 12:54, ap@CaptivePhotons.com wrote:

Just to drag this a bit back to the original question -- I'm planning to keep using NINA generally, because I'm satisfied there, but the current version does not support it.

Is there any word on when 1.9 will hit the streets?

And if not -- was there ever a consensus on the shortest, easiest path until then? Is it SGP or Pinpoint?

Linwood






Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Just to drag this a bit back to the original question -- I'm planning to keep using NINA generally, because I'm satisfied there, but the current version does not support it.

Is there any word on when 1.9 will hit the streets?

And if not -- was there ever a consensus on the shortest, easiest path until then? Is it SGP or Pinpoint?

Linwood


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Dale Ghent
 

Yeah, I've had my Mach1 since 2008 and only got APCC Standard two, maybe three years ago. I have been using Pro only for the past year or so. My reason for not jumping on the APCC Pro bandwagon much earlier was because I desired to keep my personal software ecosystem small and buying SGP just so that APPM could plate solve was rubbing me the wrong way, and I disliked the "manualness" of having to switch which software was connected to my camera to do modeling and then imaging afterwards. I had ended up with TheSkyX due to another project so, since APPM could use ASCOM to drive the camera and TSX for solving, I bit the bullet and upgraded to Pro so that I could see what models were all about, and I'm glad I did despite the remaining issue of the hardware shuffle. TSX is still a bear, though, and running it for solving purposes did impact the battery life of the laptop I used at the time quite noticeably when imaging at an unpowered site. I still wanted something better.

The pieces for that "something better" (for me, at least) fall into place with the upcoming APCC Pro 1.9 release. Ray and Astro-Physics were gracious with integrating two things in to the APPM component that are crucial to attaining this:

1. The ability to use NINA as a camera, just like how it uses SGP, MaximDL, and others as image sources
2. The ability to directly use the free, lightweight, and open source solver known as ASTAP

(1) means that I can keep the camera connected in NINA full-time, as I use the native QHY driver that I wrote in NINA to drive it. No more hardware shuffle between apps. That "manualness" I griped about is a thing of the past with this ability.

(2) means APCC Pro can now do a modeling session without having to purchase or subscribe to 3rd party software. It can get its images through the camera's own ASCOM driver (if the user desires) or NINA, and solve though freely-available ASTAP. For NINA, it means we don't need to extend the very intentionally small subset of the SGP API we implement so that APPM could solve through it. APPM can now solve directly using ASTAP, cutting out the middleware of NINA, SGP, or other interstitial apps when it comes to solving. That's great.

With those two developments, I realized that I could take things a step farther and now automate APPM modeling within NINA's own sequencer using APPM's ability to be ran via the command line in an "unattended" mode. NINA 1.11 introduces what we call the Advanced Sequencer and a plugin system that can be used to extend that sequencer's functionality. I wrote a plugin called "Utilities for Astro-Physics Mounts" (U4APM for short) that implements a sequence instruction (""Create APPM Model") that runs APPM and manages it within the sequence. You can drop this sequence item anywhere into your workflow in Advanced Sequencer to do a modeling run.

U4APM is ready to go and I've been using it for my own sessions in conjunction with APCC Pro 1.9 test releases. I don't want to jump ahead of Astro-Physics on this stuff but I've got a video that details its use when 1.9 hits the streets. Basically, I set up my sequence for the night in the afternoon and run it. It then waits for astronomical dusk where upon it unparks the mount, runs an autofocus operation, then starts APPM. It does its 73 point model in half an hour and APPM activates the results of that run. NINA then goes on to image whatever is next (or waits for the object to rise above my local horizon, if that's needed).

Regarding other aspects of APCC integration, there is the ability to use meridian and horizon limits. You can use these today as they don't depend on APCC Pro 1.9:

For horizon limits, NINA groks the .hrz file that APCC (and Stellarioum, and TSX) uses to define the local horizon, and NINA's Advanced Sequencer has a trigger that you can use to start imaging an object once it clears your trees/house, and/or stop imaging it once it descends below them. You would specify your .hrz file under Options > General > Astrometry.

For meridian limits, there's another NINA plugin authored by Francesco Meschia called Smart Meridian Flip. It can read in APCC's .mlm file format. This means that the meridian limits that you've defined for your mount will be used in the sequence, and your mount can flip accordingly. The flip (or pause) will happen 10 seconds prior to the defined limit for the current declination being reached. Got lots of room and you can image for another hour or two past the meridian before flipping at a given declination? This will let you do that.

So, with 2 plugins and the built-in horizon limit functionality, NINA 1.11's Advanced Sequencer can take full advantage of the information that you plug into APCC Pro: modeling, meridian limits, and horizon limits. The only thing that's left to do is for APCC 1.9 to be released, which I think is pretty soon given Howard's giddiness ;) It's my hope that APCC is further developed with features that can be employed by external applications and, if such functionality is made available and is suitable, I intend to expose it through U4APM.

On Jul 21, 2021, at 11:19, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@outlook.com> wrote:

When I got the Mach2 last year and was trying to learn APCC Pro and APPM, I was relieved to see that I could interface APPM with SGP using PlateSolve2 as en easy to use solution. I still use it.

Is the NINA integration at that point yet? I am one of those who adheres to the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. I would be willing to try it.
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Dean Jacobsen
 

When I got the Mach2 last year and was trying to learn APCC Pro and APPM, I was relieved to see that I could interface APPM with SGP using PlateSolve2 as en easy to use solution.  I still use it.

Is the NINA integration at that point yet?  I am one of those who adheres to the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" philosophy.  I would be willing to try it.
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

Dale Ghent
 

I don't think that anything in the astrophotography software market "intends" to compete with anything else. These various pieces of software have people that invent, maintain, and steward them, and these various pieces of software are the embodiments of how those people conceptualize astrophotography. I think that inventing something and going through the effort to create it with the intention of removing market share from another software package is the wrong way to look at it.

Users of these software packages pick the ones they use for a variety of subjective and objective reasons, including aspects of usability, capability, and cost. After a time, familiarity might contribute inertia when it comes to considering alternatives. This is why the only person who can tell you if a given software package "is superior" is only yourself. I or anyone else can give you a list of features, but we all know there are plenty of subjective or circumstantial aspects that would weigh in to your interest and decision as well.

As for NINA, the contributors to that project do it out of their free time and interest. Just like people build telescopes as a hobby, we like building software as one. It's not so much a product as much as it is a project. If other people like it, that's great. If they don't then so what. The project is driven by the people who contribute to it or its community of users, not by how many people use it, of which is an unknown number. Our goal is to create software that works well for our needs and has a tangible vision to guide its evolution.

On Jul 21, 2021, at 10:22, David Diaz <night.skywatcher@outlook.com> wrote:

“ NINA vs SGP goes without saying. ”

Please clarify what you mean by that. I have SGP and although I can’t say I absolutely love it, it has some incredible features, and is reasonably solid.

It allows me to search for an object, much like SkyTools, download an image, then use that image to platesolve centerind and creating mosaics. I despise the fact that I have to take a preliminary image to determine the camera angle, but it certainly seems to work for me. I also understand that SharpCap is coming out with some new features which intend to compete with SGP.

Please let me know if NINA can match that ‘target planning’ feature, and other reasons that it is a superior product.

Thanks!

David D


Re: AP1100 coming, least hassle plate solver?

David Diaz
 

 NINA vs SGP goes without saying. ”

Please clarify what you mean by that.  I have SGP and although I can’t say I absolutely love it, it has some incredible features, and is reasonably solid.

It allows me to search for an object, much like SkyTools, download an image, then use that image to platesolve centerind and creating mosaics.  I despise the fact that I have to take a preliminary image to determine the camera angle, but it certainly seems to work for me.  I also understand that SharpCap is coming out with some new features which intend to compete with SGP.

Please let me know if NINA can match that ‘target planning’ feature, and other reasons that it is a superior product.

Thanks!

David D


Re: Sky Safari and Southern Hemisphere park 3 bug fix

Bob
 

Thanks Nick, but the update to SS has just been released, so as soon as it stops raining (any week now hopefully) I will be able to test out the bug fix.

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