Date   

Re: APPM Basic questions

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Ray wrote:

 

  • Have you already read the APCC help section for APPM? There's lots of information in there that can get you started.

 

I read the manual (twice), but probably not the help file, I take it that’s different than the manual.  Tomorrow...

 

My main question, as related to this night, was I could only model 2/3rds of the sky, and was wondering if using that model was helpful, or pointless.  I’ll hopefully find guidance in the help file tomorrow.  Pulled it all in tonight, it got “clear” but so hazy there was no point in imaging.

 

  • If you don’t tear down or significantly change your setup, you can usually use the same model for many nights. However, if the model starts to become inaccurate, then you may need to redo it. For example, if the polar alignment changes because of mount settling, or the temperature change is significant enough to measurably change equipment flexure.

 

I do tear down completely.  I try to reproduce the same setup by setting the tripod legs into drilled holes, but there’s always some slop from wheeling it in and out, removing and reinstalling the OTA, etc.   I have no faith a prior model would be valid.  Maybe I can do some on consecutive nights and see how they vary.

 

  • BTW, if it is just shifting polar alignment causing an issue, you might try tweaking polar alignment outside of APCC (e.g. via PEMPro, SharpCap, PHD2, polar alignment scope, etc.). Then do a RECAL in APPM, and the model should work well again.

 

I do a polar alignment first thing, either Sharpcap or NINA (they do agree).

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Linwood

 


Re: APPM Basic questions

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Linwood,

Have you already read the APCC help section for APPM? There's lots of information in there that can get you started.

If you don’t tear down or significantly change your setup, you can usually use the same model for many nights. However, if the model starts to become inaccurate, then you may need to redo it. For example, if the polar alignment changes because of mount settling, or the temperature change is significant enough to measurably change equipment flexure.

BTW, if it is just shifting polar alignment causing an issue, you might try tweaking polar alignment outside of APCC (e.g. via PEMPro, SharpCap, PHD2, polar alignment scope, etc.). Then do a RECAL in APPM, and the model should work well again.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ap@CaptivePhotons.com
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 6:29 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: Automation software sent Rcal while parking...mount stopped.

Ray Gralak
 

Russ,

There are safeguards in the AP V2 driver and APCC that prevent RECALs at inappropriate times, but it sounds like the ASCOM client application (Volager) may have stopped tracking in the middle of the park operation. Unchecking "prevent errant recalls" would not have helped.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Russ Durkee
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 5:27 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Automation software sent Rcal while parking...mount stopped.

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: Preventing Pier Crashes

Ray Gralak
 

Mike,

Was the pier collision you mention in a counterweight-down, or counterweight-up position? If it was counterweight-down, do you recall the circumstances?

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 12:53 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Preventing Pier Crashes

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: Model problems with APPM #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Brad,

The August 7th model looks fine. I don't see anything wrong with the pointing terms. It's possible to have +/- thousands of arc-secs in the HA term, depending on the flexure, scope orthogonality, etc., of your setup.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bradley Rode
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 2:27 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Model problems with APPM #APCC

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: Mach 2 Torture Data

Bill Long
 

Thanks Chris.

I am totally on board with Team Two Mounts. If AP ever makes that AP400AE mount, I will upgrade to Team Three Mounts. 😄 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 5:56 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Torture Data
 
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. 


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

Bill Long
 

Good call-out. 

Also, if you own mounts that auto-mesh and your friends are having issues, be mindful of this. I completely forgot all about meshing needs for some of the older mounts. 😳


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 5:56 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)
 
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: Automation software sent Rcal while parking...mount stopped.

Bill Long
 

This is probably something worth mentioning to Leo via a support request. 

Regardless of that, you can disable sync/rcal in Voyager entirely:



Just check the box for "Not Sync Mount on solved point...." 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Russ Durkee <russdurkee1@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 7, 2021 5:26 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Automation software sent Rcal while parking...mount stopped.
 
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: 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

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