Date   

Re: APPM Basic questions

Bill Long
 

I always use a model if I'll have the gear out for more than one night. When I'm doing a single night only, that's usually me testing some gear out working out some kinks and the model wouldn't be useful anyhow. They don't take long to make though and I can usually get them done before it's dark enough to start getting data anyhow.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 6:30 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Basic questions
 

Apologies, there’s a misleading sentence my fingers failed to translate right from my brain:

 

>> Last time out I built a model.  I think I'm not supposed to use that model tonight when not in a permanent setup, right?   

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@... via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 9:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM Basic questions

 

Could someone give me a sanity check.

I image with a tear down and set up nightly.  I do it from fixed pavers that gives me a fairly good polar alignment but not precise (tonight I was unusually close about 6' off in each direction once assembled).  I then do a polar alignment with other software to get it good. 

Last time out I built a model.  I think I'm not supposed to do that when not in a permanent setup, right?   And unliked tPoint there's no "recalibrate" model run, you build from scratch. So if I cannot (or do not want) to build a model tonight, I should turn off the model corrections, right?   (If they don't default to off). 

Now tonight it's partly cloudy.  I'm building a model but I think probably 1/3 or more of the sky I will get failures.  It's still running.  

Let's assume I have a good polar alignment and have done a plate solve and recal from another program (probably a sync that became a recal). 

At what point is it better to use the model as opposed to dispose of it entirely, if clouds are the issue (i.e. and I am not going to get a better one)?  Am I better with nothing, or pretty much anything I can get?

OK... while writing this it finished.  12 failed, 28 good solves, most of the failures in the SE.  So... I'm going to load it just because, but... should I?  How good or bad (relative to how much of the sky) is needed before the model does more good than harm?  Or is the answer it ALWAYS does more good than harm to pointing and tracking accuracy? 

Linwood

PS. I image, I guide, I realize that the model is less relevant to me, but I'm trying to learn good practices for using it, who knows, might do some unguided imaging at some point.


Re: APPM Basic questions

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Apologies, there’s a misleading sentence my fingers failed to translate right from my brain:

 

>> Last time out I built a model.  I think I'm not supposed to use that model tonight when not in a permanent setup, right?   

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@... via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 9:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM Basic questions

 

Could someone give me a sanity check.

I image with a tear down and set up nightly.  I do it from fixed pavers that gives me a fairly good polar alignment but not precise (tonight I was unusually close about 6' off in each direction once assembled).  I then do a polar alignment with other software to get it good. 

Last time out I built a model.  I think I'm not supposed to do that when not in a permanent setup, right?   And unliked tPoint there's no "recalibrate" model run, you build from scratch. So if I cannot (or do not want) to build a model tonight, I should turn off the model corrections, right?   (If they don't default to off). 

Now tonight it's partly cloudy.  I'm building a model but I think probably 1/3 or more of the sky I will get failures.  It's still running.  

Let's assume I have a good polar alignment and have done a plate solve and recal from another program (probably a sync that became a recal). 

At what point is it better to use the model as opposed to dispose of it entirely, if clouds are the issue (i.e. and I am not going to get a better one)?  Am I better with nothing, or pretty much anything I can get?

OK... while writing this it finished.  12 failed, 28 good solves, most of the failures in the SE.  So... I'm going to load it just because, but... should I?  How good or bad (relative to how much of the sky) is needed before the model does more good than harm?  Or is the answer it ALWAYS does more good than harm to pointing and tracking accuracy? 

Linwood

PS. I image, I guide, I realize that the model is less relevant to me, but I'm trying to learn good practices for using it, who knows, might do some unguided imaging at some point.


APPM Basic questions

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Could someone give me a sanity check.

I image with a tear down and set up nightly.  I do it from fixed pavers that gives me a fairly good polar alignment but not precise (tonight I was unusually close about 6' off in each direction once assembled).  I then do a polar alignment with other software to get it good. 

Last time out I built a model.  I think I'm not supposed to do that when not in a permanent setup, right?   And unliked tPoint there's no "recalibrate" model run, you build from scratch. So if I cannot (or do not want) to build a model tonight, I should turn off the model corrections, right?   (If they don't default to off). 

Now tonight it's partly cloudy.  I'm building a model but I think probably 1/3 or more of the sky I will get failures.  It's still running.  

Let's assume I have a good polar alignment and have done a plate solve and recal from another program (probably a sync that became a recal). 

At what point is it better to use the model as opposed to dispose of it entirely, if clouds are the issue (i.e. and I am not going to get a better one)?  Am I better with nothing, or pretty much anything I can get?

OK... while writing this it finished.  12 failed, 28 good solves, most of the failures in the SE.  So... I'm going to load it just because, but... should I?  How good or bad (relative to how much of the sky) is needed before the model does more good than harm?  Or is the answer it ALWAYS does more good than harm to pointing and tracking accuracy? 

Linwood

PS. I image, I guide, I realize that the model is less relevant to me, but I'm trying to learn good practices for using it, who knows, might do some unguided imaging at some point.


Re: Automation software sent Rcal while parking...mount stopped.

Tom Blahovici
 

It would seem to me that Voyager is instructing the mount to go to the park position as you have observed. It has not issued an abort to the plate solving routine first.
Normally when you want to stop an action in Voyager, you press the halt button and then Voyager attempts to abort the current operation. This appears to not happen.
Did you contact Voyager support about this? Perhaps a dragstrip would be the best way to handle this. So when clouds roll in, you first issue and abort and then a park. Looks like the abort action if there is one is missing.
Tom


Re: Mach 2 Torture Data

Chris White
 

Data looks great Bill.  Pinpoint stars to the corners!  I've got my name on the M2 list.  Seeing the mount perform like this with twice the load I'll probably ever put on is pretty dang impressive.  I love my 900GTO though, so I guess I'd end up with two mounts... lol. 


Automation software sent Rcal while parking...mount stopped.

Russ Durkee
 

All,
Running APCC on an AP1600 with CP4.  While running Voyager last night I observed something interesting.  I was testing my shutdown procedure for cloudy weather to verify it works properly.  So the weather station sees clouds and my software (Voyager) notices and issues a park command.  But it happens when an image is being plate solved.  As the mount is parking the plate is solved and the software sends what I assume is an Rcal to the mount.  The mount reports the Rcal is too far from the reported position.  The mount stops and parks in position...half way from where it was and its intended park position.   If I issue another park command manually at that point the mount parks fine.

These sort of things are always hard to diagnose as 

So...  I would think once the mount gets a park command it would no longer accept Rcals.  Is this what is happening?  Is there a setting I missed in either the driver or APCC to prevent this?  For example, if I uncheck prevent errant ReCals will i create more problems for myself or will the mount park correctly.?  I assume if I do uncheck "prevent errant ReCals" the next time the mount starts it may be lost.   

Thanks for your help!

Regards,

Russ

  


Re: Model problems with APPM #APCC

Marcelo Figueroa
 

How old is the modeling you are using? (you mention 1 year). It may be necessary to have to redo the model every so often, especially if there are drastic temperature changes, like if you did the modeling on a cold night and now it's a very hot one.
 
It is also important to have a device that incorporates up to the minute weather information into the model. I have found that for a modeling to work properly it is vital to be able to incorporate such information.
 


Re: PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Steven Panish
 

It's kind of expensive to just keep as a spare, but with price no object, I agree in principle!  But my mount sits in the observatory and never goes anywhere and the cable never gets exposed to light, never (in my experience) snags.  
Steve

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021 at 2:08 PM Chris White <chris.white@...> wrote:
I dont doubt you Chris, but curious what goes wrong with the y cables?


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Roland Christen
 

The manual might be a bit out of date - something we will have to fix. Balance the axes for best performance.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Iversen <inoddy@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Aug 7, 2021 5:57 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

But doesn't the manual (for the Mach1) say to balance slightly counterweight heavy?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Nick Iversen
 

But doesn't the manual (for the Mach1) say to balance slightly counterweight heavy?


Model problems with APPM #APCC

Bradley Rode
 

I have some strange model weirdness going on the last few nights. I am suddenly getting very large HA Offset terms in my model, with correspondingly bad results. It's the same equipment, and the only changes are camera and filter wheel orientation to improve balance, but the model is totally whacked. I've included a run from last night, as well as a model from a year ago with the same equipment. I've done many models, but this has me scratching my head. Hoping Ray or someone else can help point me in the right direction. Thanks.

Brad


Re: Preventing Pier Crashes

M Hambrick
 

Hi Alex

I am not yet using APCC to control my mount, but I will relate the behavior that I have observed on my 1100 GTO (Non-AE) with the Keypad controller. When I first got the mount I set up safe zone limits for my particular imaging train. In doing so I mistakenly thought that this would prevent any pier crashes during slewing, but this is not the case. The safe zone limits will only prevent you from selecting a catalog object to go to that is outside the safe zone. If you select an object that is inside the safe zone, the mount will slew to it according to the slewing instructions that are programmed into the keypad, and depending on the geometry of your imaging train, you can get a pier crash.

Mike


Re: PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Chris White
 

I dont doubt you Chris, but curious what goes wrong with the y cables?


Re: Mach 2 Torture Data

Bill Long
 

Thanks! I should have the color version done sometime next week.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 8:27 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Torture Data
 
Tons of detail. Great image!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: AP-GTO Groups. io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Aug 7, 2021 4:57 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Torture Data

Hello all,

Thought I would share some of the data that came from the torture test I put the Mach 2 through. For those not aware, I loaded up about ~68lbs of scope, camera, and accessories on the Mach 2 and ran it for 10 nights collecting narrowband data. 

The results are impressive.

I placed 2 subs, one normal stack of HA data, and a drizzle integrated HA stack here:


Scope: AG Optical 12.5" iDK
Camera: FLI Proline 16803 w/ CFW 5-7 wheel
Focuser: MoonLite Nitecrawler WR35
Guider: Optec Sagitta OAG + SX Ultrastar Guide Camera 
Filter: Chroma 3nm HA, 50mm square
Mount: The Amazing AP Mach 2 GTO
Software: APCC Pro, PHD2 Guiding, Starkeeper Voyager, AG Optical Thermal Control 
Exposures: 46 x 1200s (20 mins) HA
Calibration Data: 50 Bias, 19 darks, 60 flats (SkyFlats w/ Voyager)

I am still working through the SII and OIII data. I need one more night of SII which I should be able to collect on Monday night (fingers crossed). Looking forward to seeing the end image.

Nice work by AP on what is proving to be an incredibly mighty and impressive mount. To say I love my Mach 2 would be putting it lightly. :) 

-Bill



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Bill Long
 

Or two mounts. 😎


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 8:39 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)
 
I think everyone should have a spare Y-cable and power cable in their kit.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021, 4:24 AM Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:
See my post from last night!  A loose DEC worm spur-gear lockscrew gives the same symptoms, except since the mesh is still good, you won't get any shaft wiggle.  Slow rates just take forever to turn the shaft enough to get rid of the play.  Guiding corrections will fail to do anything.  Just wish I hadn't ordered the y-cable.

Steve

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021 at 8:56 AM Chris White <chris.white@...> wrote:
The other night my guiding went haywire using my 900GTO.  It's worked flawlessly for several months so I initially thought I was having a software problem.  Essentially, after about 60 seconds of guiding dec would drift a little bit and despite PHD sending corrections, it would not respond.  To compound the issue, not only was DEC calibration failing in PHD, but also RA was requiring about 25 steps to clear the backlash. 

I spend a couple of hours debugging software, trying to see if APPC model correction could have impacted it.  I also changed PHD versions, and rebooted gear several times.  I checked my balance and fine tuned... I dialed in my PA (observatory mounted) but nothing seemed to work.

My last ditch was to see if there was a backlash issue, which in hindsight based on the behavior should have been my first check.  Sure enough, there was wiggle in DEC.  RA was solid.  The locking bolts for the motor/gearbox were gorilla tight, but following the AP PDF I remeshed in about 30 seconds and all of my problems were solved!  Gotta love this user friendly design to allow a quick and easy field adjustment.  In the PDF it explained that seasonally the mesh may need to be tweaked, so I assume that my wild Vermont temperature swings led to this. 

Well, now I know!  Of course, those of you who have mounts that automesh dont need to worry about this, but thought I would tell the story as there are a TON of older mounts out there that are faithfully performing like a champ!


Re: PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Christopher Erickson
 

I think everyone should have a spare Y-cable and power cable in their kit.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021, 4:24 AM Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:
See my post from last night!  A loose DEC worm spur-gear lockscrew gives the same symptoms, except since the mesh is still good, you won't get any shaft wiggle.  Slow rates just take forever to turn the shaft enough to get rid of the play.  Guiding corrections will fail to do anything.  Just wish I hadn't ordered the y-cable.

Steve

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021 at 8:56 AM Chris White <chris.white@...> wrote:
The other night my guiding went haywire using my 900GTO.  It's worked flawlessly for several months so I initially thought I was having a software problem.  Essentially, after about 60 seconds of guiding dec would drift a little bit and despite PHD sending corrections, it would not respond.  To compound the issue, not only was DEC calibration failing in PHD, but also RA was requiring about 25 steps to clear the backlash. 

I spend a couple of hours debugging software, trying to see if APPC model correction could have impacted it.  I also changed PHD versions, and rebooted gear several times.  I checked my balance and fine tuned... I dialed in my PA (observatory mounted) but nothing seemed to work.

My last ditch was to see if there was a backlash issue, which in hindsight based on the behavior should have been my first check.  Sure enough, there was wiggle in DEC.  RA was solid.  The locking bolts for the motor/gearbox were gorilla tight, but following the AP PDF I remeshed in about 30 seconds and all of my problems were solved!  Gotta love this user friendly design to allow a quick and easy field adjustment.  In the PDF it explained that seasonally the mesh may need to be tweaked, so I assume that my wild Vermont temperature swings led to this. 

Well, now I know!  Of course, those of you who have mounts that automesh dont need to worry about this, but thought I would tell the story as there are a TON of older mounts out there that are faithfully performing like a champ!


Re: Mach 2 Torture Data

Roland Christen
 

Tons of detail. Great image!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: AP-GTO Groups. io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Aug 7, 2021 4:57 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Torture Data

Hello all,

Thought I would share some of the data that came from the torture test I put the Mach 2 through. For those not aware, I loaded up about ~68lbs of scope, camera, and accessories on the Mach 2 and ran it for 10 nights collecting narrowband data. 

The results are impressive.

I placed 2 subs, one normal stack of HA data, and a drizzle integrated HA stack here:


Scope: AG Optical 12.5" iDK
Camera: FLI Proline 16803 w/ CFW 5-7 wheel
Focuser: MoonLite Nitecrawler WR35
Guider: Optec Sagitta OAG + SX Ultrastar Guide Camera 
Filter: Chroma 3nm HA, 50mm square
Mount: The Amazing AP Mach 2 GTO
Software: APCC Pro, PHD2 Guiding, Starkeeper Voyager, AG Optical Thermal Control 
Exposures: 46 x 1200s (20 mins) HA
Calibration Data: 50 Bias, 19 darks, 60 flats (SkyFlats w/ Voyager)

I am still working through the SII and OIII data. I need one more night of SII which I should be able to collect on Monday night (fingers crossed). Looking forward to seeing the end image.

Nice work by AP on what is proving to be an incredibly mighty and impressive mount. To say I love my Mach 2 would be putting it lightly. :) 

-Bill



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Steven Panish
 

See my post from last night!  A loose DEC worm spur-gear lockscrew gives the same symptoms, except since the mesh is still good, you won't get any shaft wiggle.  Slow rates just take forever to turn the shaft enough to get rid of the play.  Guiding corrections will fail to do anything.  Just wish I hadn't ordered the y-cable.

Steve

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021 at 8:56 AM Chris White <chris.white@...> wrote:
The other night my guiding went haywire using my 900GTO.  It's worked flawlessly for several months so I initially thought I was having a software problem.  Essentially, after about 60 seconds of guiding dec would drift a little bit and despite PHD sending corrections, it would not respond.  To compound the issue, not only was DEC calibration failing in PHD, but also RA was requiring about 25 steps to clear the backlash. 

I spend a couple of hours debugging software, trying to see if APPC model correction could have impacted it.  I also changed PHD versions, and rebooted gear several times.  I checked my balance and fine tuned... I dialed in my PA (observatory mounted) but nothing seemed to work.

My last ditch was to see if there was a backlash issue, which in hindsight based on the behavior should have been my first check.  Sure enough, there was wiggle in DEC.  RA was solid.  The locking bolts for the motor/gearbox were gorilla tight, but following the AP PDF I remeshed in about 30 seconds and all of my problems were solved!  Gotta love this user friendly design to allow a quick and easy field adjustment.  In the PDF it explained that seasonally the mesh may need to be tweaked, so I assume that my wild Vermont temperature swings led to this. 

Well, now I know!  Of course, those of you who have mounts that automesh dont need to worry about this, but thought I would tell the story as there are a TON of older mounts out there that are faithfully performing like a champ!


PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Chris White
 

The other night my guiding went haywire using my 900GTO.  It's worked flawlessly for several months so I initially thought I was having a software problem.  Essentially, after about 60 seconds of guiding dec would drift a little bit and despite PHD sending corrections, it would not respond.  To compound the issue, not only was DEC calibration failing in PHD, but also RA was requiring about 25 steps to clear the backlash. 

I spend a couple of hours debugging software, trying to see if APPC model correction could have impacted it.  I also changed PHD versions, and rebooted gear several times.  I checked my balance and fine tuned... I dialed in my PA (observatory mounted) but nothing seemed to work.

My last ditch was to see if there was a backlash issue, which in hindsight based on the behavior should have been my first check.  Sure enough, there was wiggle in DEC.  RA was solid.  The locking bolts for the motor/gearbox were gorilla tight, but following the AP PDF I remeshed in about 30 seconds and all of my problems were solved!  Gotta love this user friendly design to allow a quick and easy field adjustment.  In the PDF it explained that seasonally the mesh may need to be tweaked, so I assume that my wild Vermont temperature swings led to this. 

Well, now I know!  Of course, those of you who have mounts that automesh dont need to worry about this, but thought I would tell the story as there are a TON of older mounts out there that are faithfully performing like a champ!


Mach 2 Torture Data

Bill Long
 

Hello all,

Thought I would share some of the data that came from the torture test I put the Mach 2 through. For those not aware, I loaded up about ~68lbs of scope, camera, and accessories on the Mach 2 and ran it for 10 nights collecting narrowband data. 

The results are impressive.

I placed 2 subs, one normal stack of HA data, and a drizzle integrated HA stack here:


Scope: AG Optical 12.5" iDK
Camera: FLI Proline 16803 w/ CFW 5-7 wheel
Focuser: MoonLite Nitecrawler WR35
Guider: Optec Sagitta OAG + SX Ultrastar Guide Camera 
Filter: Chroma 3nm HA, 50mm square
Mount: The Amazing AP Mach 2 GTO
Software: APCC Pro, PHD2 Guiding, Starkeeper Voyager, AG Optical Thermal Control 
Exposures: 46 x 1200s (20 mins) HA
Calibration Data: 50 Bias, 19 darks, 60 flats (SkyFlats w/ Voyager)

I am still working through the SII and OIII data. I need one more night of SII which I should be able to collect on Monday night (fingers crossed). Looking forward to seeing the end image.

Nice work by AP on what is proving to be an incredibly mighty and impressive mount. To say I love my Mach 2 would be putting it lightly. :) 

-Bill


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