Date   

Re: APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Ray Gralak
 

Andrea,

The logs did not make it. You'll need to create a public download link to the zip file via Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc.

And APCC is compatible with SkyX. Lots of people use APCC with SkyX. If you are using APPM with SkyX for plate solving make sure to follow all of the steps in the help file in APPM's plate-solving section.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Andrea Lucchetti
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2021 9:45 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Hi Ray, thank you
I am attaching the zip but I see a number of files.
I see it is a big file, please let me know how to send it if attachment doesn't work.

Yesterday I had a " panic moment" and started doing many things.
I couldn't use Skyx and I had to find an alternative for the night.
I run the model initially just to do some trial and not loose the night
It was one of the thing that worked last night , so I am happy.
in this case It would be helpful just to have an helping hand to interpret the model results.
I run the model after the Skyx x issue and just before starting with NINA.
There are no tpoint models in skyx.
Unfortunately I got used to skyx and its Camera add on, so I was really lost at the beginning of the night.

I think the answer to my others post could be in the logs for the night but I think it would be difficult to decode
what I did in the first two panic hours:-)
In any case , Thank you very much in advance
Andrea


Re: Guiding a Mach 2 in PHD2 ( and NINA)

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Thanks Linwood,
very helpful.

Yesterday I was in hurry and very lucky to understand the basics for saving the night, the calibration happened almost by chance as I couldn't find a calibrate button :-)
will try the assistant.
I was lucky with some setting, flip worked nicely and I used the same setting you have for "reverse DEC after meridian".
If I got it, I can run the calibration before the sequence in PHD and NINA will recognize it and use it, or clear calibration before the sequence and NINA will take care of this in the sequence but at the target DEC.

I would be grateful if you can point me to the advanced sequencer that I couldn't find.

The direct guide setting I am referring to is in NINA Options- equipment- guider setting section. I think it is related with dithering only but I don't understand it.

Thank you
Andrea


Re: tracking with APCC 1.9 doesn't work with skyx

Andrea Lucchetti
 

hi Ray,
I sent you the logs in the other thread.
The tracking issue started before the modeling.
I don't use skyx as planetarium only, but I use skyx camera add on for about everything:

-I connect CCDAP and focus max to camera add on (CCD is controlled from skyx)
-I use skyx solver, which by the way seems to work well when used by APPM.

yesterday I later thought that I could avoid completely skyx with NINA:
-NINA interface with the camera directly
-NINA has its focusing routine
and it worked immediately (just need to tune PHD guiding I think)

Thank you
Andrea


Re: APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hi Ray, thank you
I am attaching the zip but I see a number of files.
I see it is a big file, please let me know how to send it if attachment doesn't work.

Yesterday I had  a " panic moment" and started doing many things.
I couldn't use Skyx and I had to find an alternative for the night.
I run the model initially just to do some trial and not loose  the night
It was one of the thing that worked last night , so I am happy.
in this case It would be helpful just to have an helping hand to interpret the model results.
I run the model after the Skyx x issue and just before starting with NINA.
There are no tpoint models in skyx.
Unfortunately I got used to skyx and its Camera add on, so I was really lost at the beginning of the night.

I think the answer to my others post could be in the logs for the night but I think it would be difficult to decode what I did in the first two panic hours:-)
In any case , Thank you very much in advance
Andrea


Re: The perfect telescope mount

jimwc@...
 

brings to mind a old saying " a picture is worth a thousand words"
Jim


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

Jerome A Yesavage
 

Hi,

I also have been using ACP with a PierTech ROR but Bob cautioned me at the start to always have the scope below the level of the roof to prevent any disasters (what could go wrong?).  This is fail safe BUT limits my horizon to a minimum of 40 DEG.  To get lower targets I have moved the pier up BUT I disengaged the roof on ACP and do all this by checklist manually. Just cannot trust electronics/software etc etc... I watch it open and close by camera... AND make sure the mount is powered off when the roof is closed.... a lot of stuff to watch... but even with ACP as you say you have a lot of manual operations.... as a pilot in a previous life I am used to checklists but I know pilots and others skip items... so you gotta be careful.

I live in California and it never rains in the summer... but winter is coming and I may lower the pier and start reusing the roof cloud sensor etc just in case of a crazy weather event.  In this case the mount will be in a fail safe position under the roof line.

Nothing is simple....

JY


Smart Meridian Flip with NINA #APCC

Joseph Beyer
 

Was imaging last night with my Mach1/CP4/APCC Pro mount and when it came time for a meridian flip, the flip didn't occur at the time indicated in the NINA sequencer and several minutes later the mount stopped tracking - which was the correct action as indicated in the Meridian Tracking Limits Operation box).  I parked and unparked the mount and immediately NINA flipped the mount and I was off and running again.  I've got everything setup in NINA as per Dale's instructions so I suspect I haven't selected the correct parameter(s) in the Meridian tab in APCC Pro.  I thought I'd start addressing potential conflicts in APCC then check in with the NINA development team once I knew the APCC parameters were correct.

I watched Dale's video this morning and the differences in parameters in his APCC and mine are the following:

1) In the "Operation" box I have Counterweight UP Slews within: East limits and West limits boxes checked.  Maybe this is the problem?

2) In the "Meridian Delay" box, Dale's video shows the Override ASCOM box checked whereas mine is not.

Everything else operated very smoothly all night.

Joe



 


Re: The perfect telescope mount

Thomas Giannaccini
 

I’m going to chime in on this one…

I know it’s just a joke and honestly I chuckled, but…

It’s a proven fact that there are different methods by which people learn the best. Undiagnosed learning disorders are very common. We probably know this; so what?

Videos. Especially the basics and common issues. Does NOT have to be cinematic quality. A GoPro and a mic. Covers visual and auditory learners. Quick verbal references to page numbers in the manual covers the readers in the group.

I see how much time is being spent on trouble shooting and I wonder if some of that might be addressed by simply being able to watch a video. It’s one thing to read it, it’s a whole different universe to watch it. Also, it’s much easier to verbally mention extra information and corollaries rather than type out all that text.

Just some food for thought for the group; something I’ve been wanting to suggest and this seemed like a decent opportunity. I’m sure there’s an AV student somewhere who would love the experience.

Best,

Tom




On Sun, Sep 12, 2021 at 7:56 AM Christopher M <mirfak@...> wrote:
Even with all of that technology, there would still be many people who wouldn't open the manual to figure out how to unpack it (such as my brother).  


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Guiding a Mach 2 in PHD2 ( and NINA)

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Andrea Lucchetti wrote:

 

  • I'll be very grateful if you can share PHD2 settings for AP mounts and Mach2 in particular (algorithm, settings, etc).
    Also, For NINA Users:
    -(Dale, if you see the message), in NINA there is a parameter called "direct guide duration" that was preset at 2 and I don't know if it must be changed and how.
    -the calibration in PHD must be done before the sequnce start or NINA wait for PHD calibrating, so Idon't do anything in PHD?

 

I’m not Dale, but I would suggest a couple things.

 

In PHD2, if  you didn’t, it is useful to run the wizard to create the profile, then slew high and near DEC 0 and calibrate, then run the guiding assistant and consider its recommendations.  It may not recommend algorithms however, if you go to the that tab I’ve found that the less aggressive algorithms work best since the AP mounts track very well; I use lowpass2 for both RA and DEC.

 

Guiding assistant will also check backlash in DEC, which I would assume is near zero, and on that same tab you probably want backlash compensation off (if it doesn’t say it is near zero, on a mount with encoders, something else is going on).

 

I have found it does not matter much if I use short (say 2s) or long (7s) guide period/exposures, it just works, but generally if you can long is better especially if seeing degrades since otherwise you can chase seeing.  Experimentation is needed there.  I do set it to 1s for calibration just so it is faster to calibrate, then reset for later.  On the AP1100 you do not want “Reverse DEC after meridian”, I assume the same on the Mach 2.

 

Calibration in NINA is a bit clunky if you want to calibrate somewhere other than your target, and you might want that if the target is too low at the start of the evening, or is at too high of a DEC angle.   It’s always best to calibrate at low DEC and high altitude, provided the low DEC is not too low in altitude for your latitude.  So rarely am I calibrating on my actual target, which is why I say it is a bit clunky in NINA.

 

So what I do is find a target high in altitude and as low DEC as I can, slew to it, plate solve to ensure I’m at the right rotation, set exposure (in PHD2) to 1s and calibrate.  Once I’m happy with calibration I go back to NINA for everything else.  I’ve also written sequences to do all this in NINA – in Sequence 2 you can – but you have to customize the calibration script to match the rotation of your eventual target.  I find it easier to just do by hand as part of the setup, it takes much longer to describe than to actually do.   I also calibrate each night even if I do not move my imaging train because I tear down and set up each night, and “did not move” is sometimes a surprise in that process.   So in PHD2 I turn off its memory of calibration (Guiding tab, auto-restore).

 

That said, if PHD2 calibrates inside NINA then NINA should wait.  In the advanced sequencer there is even an instruction to force calibration (you might need that if you have an electronic rotator for example, as you would need to calibrate after rotation).

 

Direct Guider is something else, it’s not part of PHD2 to my knowledge. 

 

Take all with a grain of salt, despite having the mount for 2 months it’s been outside only about 5 times due to weather.

 

Linwood


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

Joe
 

I was born in the Hocking hills of southern Ohio so I may be a hillbilly, but in my book simplicity=elegance. 


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

Mike Dodd
 

I should have mentioned.... I use the APJog Utility to connect to the mount whenever I want to open and maintain a connection independently from MaxIm or any other application like SkyX. So if I wanted to confirm that the mount is powered up, I could add a manual step 4a to connect to the mount with APJog.

--- Mike
x (x)
 


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

Mike Dodd
 

" It would be easy to do an interlock relay that would turn power off to the mount if the enclosure is over the scope, but that seems somewhat brute force and it would make automation a bit more challenging from a sequencing perspective."

Frankly, I think a brute-force approach is your best bet. All ROR controllers have provisions to detect when the mount is parked before moving the roof, but that doesn't solve the problem of moving the mount when the roof is closed.

Regarding automation sequencing.... For a small local observatory like yours (and mine), some manual tasks are always needed before you can begin the automation. For mine, this involves:
1. Turn on the observatory power
2. Turn on power to the roof motor (garage door opener) and ROR controller hardware
3. Turn on power to the computer.
4. After allowing time for the computer to boot-up, turn on power to the mount, USB 3.0 extender (powers cameras), rotator, and focuser
5. Launch MaxIm and FocusMax, and connect to the camera** and focuser
6. Launch ACP automation software, and connect to the mount, cameras, and rotator
7. Begin an ACP automated imaging plan.
8. If my plan has a shutdown directive at the end, ACP will park the mount, then close the roof.

** I use ASCOM Direct guiding, so when I connect the cameras in MaxIm, it automatically connects to the mount, which launches the ASCOM driver.

When I connect the mount in ACP (step 6) , it also connects to the ROR controller, then unparks the mount and opens the roof.

As you can see, there are many manual steps prior to initiating the automation. Step 5 (**) is key. If the mount is not powered-on, the driver window closes after it can't connect, and MaxIm says it can't connect to the guide camera. So it is impossible to continue until I power-on the mount. And in your scenario, that would be impossible until the enclosure is away from the mount.

Does this help?

--- Mike
http;//astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html
x (x)
 


Re: tracking with APCC 1.9 doesn't work with skyx

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Andrea,

First, tracking quality is independent of whatever planetarium program you are using. However, you don't say that you are doing this, but since you are using SkyX this applies: you should not simultaneously use TPoint with APCC Pro's modeling.

In your last post you wrote this:
I've run a small model (20 points in two dec arcs.
Were you still using that small model?

Dec Arc tracking is only active between the two arcs, and they should not be very widely separated (a few degrees). Outside of the arcs, tracking reverts to the all-sky model, which may not be very accurate with only 20 points captured in a specific area of the sky (your two rows of points).

If you have a permanent setup, the best way to use Dec Arc tracking throughout the sky is to create a dense model in a wide range of declinations, which might end up being 200+ points per pier side.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Andrea Lucchetti
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2021 3:41 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] tracking with APCC 1.9 doesn't work with skyx

Hello,
second post this morning thanks to the good night.
I have APCC PRO 1.9.0.5 and Mach2.

When slewing or closed looping in skyx the tracking rate increase to a point that a 2 second frame is trailed.
I have only one image that show the behaviour in which seems that the trail is actually a set of pulses.

I don't know if useful but in the Rate settings panel setting king rate and pushing "set now" doesn't change
anyting.
There is a combination of clicks in "reset tracking rate and "set all" that make the tricks for king rate.
In addition to that the status bar at the bottom always say "sideral" so it is very difficult to understand for me
if it worked or not and with which sequence of tabs.
I have few chances to use the telescope so for me it is difficult to provide additional data in the short term.

I can say that Focus Max connected didn't work alone or from CCDAP. Both leverage a skyx camera add on
but never succeeded because stalled in the subframing (probably because the star moves quicly out of the
frame. I will ask some suggestios in a separate post
Thank you
ANdrea

I also tried NINA and had no trouble at all, except that I don't know PHD and guiding was bad.




Re: The perfect telescope mount

Richard O'Neill <syzygy42@earthlink.net> <syzygy42@...>
 

Hello Rolando,

   I attended Stellafane during that decade and saw something like you describe. From a stowed position for travel to fully setup, going through the motions it reminded me of a Transforming Bot. If memory serves, didn't that hydraulic actuated mount also have a telescope on it? If we're thinking of the same mount I think I might have a color slide of it, which I'll scan and post if I can locate it.

Richard


Re: The perfect telescope mount

Christopher M
 

Even with all of that technology, there would still be many people who wouldn't open the manual to figure out how to unpack it (such as my brother).  


Re: APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Andrea,

 

To answer your question, you should provide the APCC, ASCOM, and APPM logs, and PNT files.

 

You should use APCC's Log Zipper utility, available from APCC's tool menu. Here is a screenshot of the options you should select:

 

 

 

-Ray

 

> -----Original Message-----

> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Andrea Lucchetti

> Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2021 3:27 AM

> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io

> Subject: [ap-gto] APCC model files: which files to ask for help

>

> Hi, can someone remind me the files needed to "share" the model?

> I'd like to ask for help here.

> I've run a small model (20 points in two dec arcs.

> There are some large value in the est , but the values on the west side are completely out of range in my

> opinion.

>

> Thank you in advance,

> Andrea


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

George LaBelle
 

You may try this:

https://interactiveastronomy.com/skyroof.html

I've used their equipment for total roof control and it has ASCOM drivers.
--
George
Prineville, Oregon


Guiding a Mach 2 in PHD2 ( and NINA)

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hello,
I had to quickly move to NINA because my skyx doesn't cooperate well with APCC Pro after 1.9.

I almost used the standard setting in PHD2 and saved the night but guiding was bad.
I noticed the corrections were 4 times the magnitude of the reported errors.
in skyx I have values suggest by Roland in the past and they worked well:
-minimum move:0,03 sec
-maximum move:0.2 sec
-delay after correction:0.1 sec
-simultaneous corrections: off

I'll be very grateful if you can share PHD2 settings for AP mounts and Mach2 in particular (algorithm, settings, etc).
Also, For NINA Users:
-(Dale, if you see the message), in NINA there is a parameter called "direct guide duration" that was preset at 2 and I don't know if it must be changed and how.
-the calibration in PHD must be done before the sequnce start or NINA wait for PHD calibrating, so Idon't do anything in PHD?

Thank you very much,
Andrea


tracking with APCC 1.9 doesn't work with skyx

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hello,
second post this morning thanks to the good night.
I have APCC PRO 1.9.0.5 and Mach2.

When slewing or closed looping in skyx the tracking rate increase to a point that a 2 second frame is trailed.
I have only one image that show the behaviour in which seems that the trail is actually a set of pulses.

I don't know if useful but in the Rate settings panel setting king rate and pushing "set now" doesn't change anyting.
There is a combination of clicks in "reset tracking rate and "set all" that make the tricks for king rate.
In addition to that the status bar at the bottom always say "sideral" so it is very difficult to understand for me if it worked or not and with which sequence of tabs.
I have few chances to use the telescope so for me it is difficult to provide additional data in the short term.

I can say that Focus Max connected didn't work  alone or from CCDAP. Both leverage a skyx camera add on but never succeeded because stalled in the subframing  (probably because the star moves quicly out of the frame. I will ask some suggestios in a separate post
Thank you
ANdrea

I also tried NINA and had no trouble at all, except that I don't know PHD and guiding was bad.



APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hi, can someone remind me the files needed to "share" the model?
I'd like to ask for help here.
I've run a small model (20 points in two dec arcs.
There are some large value in the est , but the values on the west side are completely out of range in my opinion.

Thank you in advance,
Andrea

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