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Re: Deep Sky Object Database for Non-Keypad Users

Worsel
 

Mike

I have used Cartes du Ciel (CDC - https://ap-i.net/skychart//en/start) for several years now and really like it.  It integrates well with ASCOM, including the A-P V2 driver.  There are Windows, LINUX (a couple distros), MacOS, RPI, FreeBSD versions.  All are free.

While I have used UCAC, NOMAD, and GAIA star catalogs at times, the default catalogs cover all the obvious objects.  There are many other catalogs available from the above website.  One thing to watch for is where the catalogs are installed.  If you choose to install catalogs in a different folder than the default, then you have to point CdC at that folder on the SETUP -> Catalog configuration window.

CdC has a group.io forum... https://groups.io/g/skychart/topics

I also use Astrotortilla (a GUI for offline astrometry.net) and ASTAP for plate-solving.  Both work well; although I am more familiar with the former.  ASTAP is a bit faster, but not enough (seconds, not minutes) to make me use it exclusively. 

P.S.  1100 GT (non-AE), CP4.  I have never owned a hand controller and do not miss it.

Bryan


Re: Deep Sky Object Database for Non-Keypad Users

Roland Christen
 

You can use any planetarium program along with your keypad. I use SkyX to select objects I want to see, and use the keypad for centering, slewing and tracking functions, as well as parking, unparking, etc.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Sep 6, 2021 1:01 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Deep Sky Object Database for Non-Keypad Users

I have another "newbie" question related to APCC: I have been using the GOTO functionality of my keypad to slew to whatever object I want to look at. For those APCC users who do not have or use keypads what are you using ? I assume that you are using some sort of observatory control software (e.g. MaxIm DL or PinPoint) with some sort of object catalog, but there are many options.

Since I have the keypad I will continue to use it, but are there any particular advantages to going with observatory control software over the keypad ? If I did so it would most likely be via MaxIm DL since I already use that platform for guiding and imaging.

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Deep Sky Object Database for Non-Keypad Users

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

M Hambrick wrote:

 

  • I have another "newbie" question related to APCC: I have been using the GOTO functionality of my keypad to slew to whatever object I want to look at. For those APCC users who do not have or use keypads what are you using ? I assume that you are using some sort of observatory control software (e.g. MaxIm DL or PinPoint) with some sort of object catalog, but there are many options.

 

  • Since I have the keypad I will continue to use it, but are there any particular advantages to going with observatory control software over the keypad ? If I did so it would most likely be via MaxIm DL since I already use that platform for guiding and imaging.

 

So I have been wondering the reverse a bit, whether I will eventually miss not having a keypad.  😊

 

I use Stellarium, which is free and pretty good.  I wanted to try Cartes du Ciel but despite trying twice could not get the additional databases loaded so it lacked a lot of details and images.


Stellarium though is pretty good.  It also will control the mount directly (via a telescope control plugin) or integrated with a session manager like NINA.  I image so my normal approach is to find targets in Stellarium, then pull the coordinates into the framing assistant in NINA, tweak framing and rotation, and then build a sequence to image it.  Stellarium will also show the current telescope location on its display, though I rarely use that aspect (i.e. I rarely actually connect the telescope directly to stellarium).

 

The biggest lack I would anticipate if I were doing visual observing is a convenient joystick type adjustment.  APCC and NINA both have buttons, but buttons on a windows display are awkward compared to a keypad to fine tune your pointing if visually looking through an eyepiece.  I say that theoretically, as one day I will find my eyepieces and try it.  😊

 

Linwood

 


Re: Deep Sky Object Database for Non-Keypad Users

Eduardo Oliveira
 

Hi there,

With PC software you can use plate solve functionality which for me was a game changer in my Astrophotography workflow. I use Astrophotography Tool which in my opinion is one of the best value for money acquisition softwares available. With APT you have access to Point Craft, a very capable suite of plate solve functions that automates centering of targets, meridian flips and much more. Of course there are many other programs that are even more complete than APT with Observatory control functions and automation. 

Regards 

Eduardo Oliveira



Em seg., 6 de set. de 2021 às 15:02, M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> escreveu:

I have another "newbie" question related to APCC: I have been using the GOTO functionality of my keypad to slew to whatever object I want to look at. For those APCC users who do not have or use keypads what are you using ? I assume that you are using some sort of observatory control software (e.g. MaxIm DL or PinPoint) with some sort of object catalog, but there are many options.

Since I have the keypad I will continue to use it, but are there any particular advantages to going with observatory control software over the keypad ? If I did so it would most likely be via MaxIm DL since I already use that platform for guiding and imaging.

Mike


Re: Rookie Question

Mike Dodd
 

On 9/6/2021 1:50 PM, M Hambrick wrote:
Thanks for the tips on USB hubs. I assume that the Icron is a good
option. I will have to investigate my options for mounting it on my
dovetail plate since it is common to my three different imaging trains.
The Icron Raven _is_ a good USB 3 option, but the REX remote unit is large (5.4"x9.1"x1.3") and heavy (2.1 lbs). Plus, it has an external power supply with an AC power cord and a 24VDC cable to the REX. I don't think the REX is suitable for mounting on dovetail plate.

I mounted mine on a wood panel on the south side of my pier: <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html#SouthPanel> For scale, the concrete pier is 12" in diameter.

I loop USB cables from the REX to equipment on the mount. <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html#CableManagement>

--- Mike


Deep Sky Object Database for Non-Keypad Users

M Hambrick
 

I have another "newbie" question related to APCC: I have been using the GOTO functionality of my keypad to slew to whatever object I want to look at. For those APCC users who do not have or use keypads what are you using ? I assume that you are using some sort of observatory control software (e.g. MaxIm DL or PinPoint) with some sort of object catalog, but there are many options.

Since I have the keypad I will continue to use it, but are there any particular advantages to going with observatory control software over the keypad ? If I did so it would most likely be via MaxIm DL since I already use that platform for guiding and imaging.

Mike


Re: Rookie Question

M Hambrick
 

Thanks for the tips on USB hubs. I assume that the Icron is a good option. I will have to investigate my options for mounting it on my dovetail plate since it is common to my three different imaging trains.

Mike


Re: Looking for a CP3

fernandorivera3
 

You can also put a wanted ad for a used CP3 box on Astromart or Cloudy Nights. They come up for sale over there often, around 300 bucks or so.

Fernando


Re: Changing the mount motion rate... #Guiding

Roland Christen
 

There is not a way to do it with the CP3.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: robert.saint.jean@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 4, 2021 8:52 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Changing the mount motion rate... #Guiding

Hi,
I am using a AP 900 GTO mount, CP3 and keypad. The project I am involved in ask that I do a scan of the Sun with a spectrograph at various speed. Using the keypad or the ASCOM interface, I currently scan the Sun at 1X and 12X. Is there a way to get the mount to scan the Sun at 6X or 4X ?

Thanks !

Robert

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Keypad not beeping

fernandorivera3
 

I think the only time I hear mine beep is when I confirm a RCAL aka "recalibrate" on an object. 

Fernando


Re: CP4 not creating a COM port...

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Khushrow

   The main board may have come loose from its socket. See this topic:

On Monday, September 6, 2021, 1:26 AM, Khushrow Machhi via groups.io <kmachhi@...> wrote:

I have had my CP4 box for about a year, and have been using it with my 1100GTO with AE.  Tonight for the first time I am not able to connect to my CP4, when I plug it into a USB port there is no indication of a connection being made and when I check device manager there is no COM port being generated.  I have tried multiple cables and also tried to make a connection with two other laptops.  No success and no com port being generated when I check in device manager.  Is there something else I can check or could the COM port have become defective?
Thanks,
Khushrow


CP4 not creating a COM port...

Khushrow Machhi
 

I have had my CP4 box for about a year, and have been using it with my 1100GTO with AE.  Tonight for the first time I am not able to connect to my CP4, when I plug it into a USB port there is no indication of a connection being made and when I check device manager there is no COM port being generated.  I have tried multiple cables and also tried to make a connection with two other laptops.  No success and no com port being generated when I check in device manager.  Is there something else I can check or could the COM port have become defective?
Thanks,
Khushrow


Re: Rookie Question

Chris White
 

I'm a big fan of the Pegasus distribution hubs. I have the advance and Mount it on the OTA. Imaging camera, guidecamera, focuser, filter wheel and dew strap are all powered and/or USB connected for data transfer. I have a single power line running up to the OTA and a single USB cable running down to the PC. My mount is plugged into a second USB port on the PC. really simplifies cable management. 


Re: Keypad not beeping

Geoff Smith
 

If I remember correctly it stopped after a battery change and subsequent necessary reload. Maybe I somehow disconnected the audio bit while I was fiddling around inside it.


Re: Rookie Question

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Jeffc wrote:

 

> I would consider getting something like a UPBV2 (or other powered USB hub) and put it on the OTA. 

 

If you swap OTA's frequently, another option is to fasten such a hub to the saddle.  Here is the 16” saddle with a pegasys pocket powerbox advance fastened underneath.  Here only the thru mount cables are attached, and the humidity sensor is taped to the saddle just out of view 9that flat wire).  This stays with the saddle all the time, and then the spiderweb of USB and dew heater and power cables plug in after the OTA is attached.

 

This also keeps the wires (except the dew heater to the front) really short, and they do not need to twist or flex like thru mounts do during slews.

 

There’s room for a LOT of wires thru-mount, but reducing it to just these two makes it more convenient if you want to separate the axes.

 

Linwood

 

 


Re: Rookie Question

Jeffc
 

On Sep 4, 2021, at 10:33 AM, M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> wrote:

The three USB ports on the laptop are all being used for the mouse, main imaging camera, and guide camera.
I would consider getting something like a UPBV2 (or other powered USB hub) and put it on the OTA.

Then plug the imaging camera and guide camera into that hub. This will save one port on the laptop.

The focuser could also be plugged into the hub. Save another port there.

Fwiw this is the way I’m setup — there is one USB cable for everything “on the OTA”.
I have 4 ports for the “mount computer”:
- OTA devices: focuser , camera via UPBV2
- AP control box
- Astromi.ch environment / GPS box
- Polemaster camera

The UPBV2 is a bit overkill, but it’s nice for monitoring power, and I now use it for dew control also.

-jeff


Re: Rookie Question

Worsel
 

Two other comments in addition to those who recommend a USB hub to provide more ports. 

Get a powered hub so the length of the cables is less an issue.
Get a hub with more ports that you need...you will likely need them eventually. 

Bryan


Re: Rookie Question

George LaBelle
 

Use a USB hub to expand ports. Suggest a USB 3.0 type even for USB 2.0.

I've used this for years on 2 different setups:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNGIL32/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title

--
George
Prineville, Oregon


Re: Keypad not beeping

CaptMax
 

My keypad is a very early edition, one of the first couple hundred built. It developed a constant beep awhile back so I decided to send it in for a software update, cleaning, new battery, and hopefully a repair for the constant beep tone it developed. Short of disconnecting the speaker I am left with the noise. Having hearing aids but not always wearing them that constant noise seems to be less annoying. Lol 
I wish I could determine what is causing it regardless. Otherwise it is as good as the day it was built.


Re: Building a custom powerwerx extension cable for CP4 power supply. Question?

Christopher M
 

Whenever I'm going to make a custom DC power cable, I usually use one of the online wire guage calculators.  Enter parameters such as total wire length (there and back), estimated maximum current, that it is DC and not AC, and allowable voltage drop at the usage end.  The calculator then returns a minimum recommended wire gauge to use.  Selecting a heavier gauge wire will reduce your voltage drop at the usage end but at the expense of added weight and $.  Once you know the wire guage then you will know what Powerpole pins to select.
Other things to consider when building a cable are the expected temperature range, permanent or portable installation, and rodent resistance.
If you will be using the cable in temperatures above freezing, then most insulations are likely fine.  If you will use it in the winter well below freezing, then most insulations will NOT be fine, either getting too stiff or possibly cracking when flexed.  For cold weather fexible cable I have been using high conductor count silicone insulated wire found in the hobby industry (HobbyKing, local hobby shop, etc).  Very flexible, but the downside is the silicone insulation is also soft and easily damaged, so I then put the nearly finished cable in braided wire loom (many RV trailer shops, electrical suppliers).  This also helps keep the wires together and from snagging.  Some heat shrink at both ends keeps the braiding from unravelling.
If your target installation is permanent, you can get away with lower conductor count wire (I think standard is 7), but also keep an eye on the insulation as many modern insulations are vegetable based, and RODENTS love to chew on it.  Mmmmm!
-Chris

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