Date   

Re: APPM different with V1.9.0.9?

Rouz
 

Ok thank you Ray.

I pops up on some slews only. 

V1.9.0.11 is working perfectly for me too.

Thanks,

Rouz


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Bill Long
 

CDC and HNSKY Planetariums do not cause any problems on my current MiniX so they should work well on this one.

SkyX works fine as well, but I do not pan around SkyX looking at the planetarium directly, I only use it for object lookup which is instant. SkyX Image Link does delay on my MiniX a few seconds longer than a normal machine would. I have moved over to ASTAP for everything though, which is also practically instant.

-Bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 6:58 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 
I can also vouch for this particular Minix model. I've been using the J50C-4 Max since last April with no issue whatsoever. I can indeed  run a powerbox advance client, Ascom OCH, APPC, NINA (Canon DSLR), PHD2 (QHY5III-174M guider), APT (ASI183MC Pro), and SharpCap Pro (Polemaster) all at once and I get a snappy user experience. 

Adding Stellarium to the mix shows the hardware's limit though (GPU is an onchip Intel UHD 605 with shared memory) and significantly impairs performance. So I just don't run it while imaging.I suspect it would be the same with other realtime planetarium software.

One thing to account for is the relatively short range of the internal WiFi patch antennas. These are perfect for indoor usage or if you have an outdoor signal booster in your backyard for example. But in my case, I just bought 2 of these (watch out for the U.Fl connector type on your wifi adapter if you go this route) : 


Monted them on a side panel and it almost quadrupled the orignial range around my house (about 70 feet radius now) with no other modifications. Enough to reliably connect to my home router from my backyard portable setup in most places.

Of course ethernet works just fine too for that matter. 

It is true the 12V input is protected and needs to be below about 13.V for it to power on but I found that to be a problem only with a freshly charged battery. My workaround is to connect and power up evey other equipment (mainly cameras through the PPBAv, heater bands and the Mach2) before hitting the power on button. Never had any issue after I started doing that routinely.

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Bill Long <bill@...>
Envoyé : 25 septembre 2021 19:43
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 
I dont think it would have any problems running all of that. I have a lot of devices on it. Powerbox, MGBoxV2, PL16803 camera, CFW5-7, Ultrastar, AG Thermal box, Nitecrawler, etc and mine is the older version with less power. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 4:40 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 

For me with APCC, ACP Expert, MaxIm, FocusMax, and the rest of the automation software/hardware and weather stuff that may be pushing it for me but then again I often over do the specs to be safe.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 6:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

I use a MiniX Mini PC that works well. The specific model I use is no longer made, but they have a newer one:

 

 

Works really good, but the one thing to keep in mind is that it really wants a 12v regulated power input. If the voltage is too high, it wont turn on.

 

I run Voyager, SkyX, APCC Pro, PHD2, and my AGO Thermal Control software on it no problem. This one has a better processor than mine as well. The Win 10 Pro they include is authentic as well, which can be a challenge from some Amazon mini-PC products. 

 

If you decide you want more RAM or storage you can upgrade it. 8GB of memory and 240GB of storage should be plenty though, IMO.

 

-Bill

 

 


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Sébastien Doré
 

I can also vouch for this particular Minix model. I've been using the J50C-4 Max since last April with no issue whatsoever. I can indeed  run a powerbox advance client, Ascom OCH, APPC, NINA (Canon DSLR), PHD2 (QHY5III-174M guider), APT (ASI183MC Pro), and SharpCap Pro (Polemaster) all at once and I get a snappy user experience. 

Adding Stellarium to the mix shows the hardware's limit though (GPU is an onchip Intel UHD 605 with shared memory) and significantly impairs performance. So I just don't run it while imaging.I suspect it would be the same with other realtime planetarium software.

One thing to account for is the relatively short range of the internal WiFi patch antennas. These are perfect for indoor usage or if you have an outdoor signal booster in your backyard for example. But in my case, I just bought 2 of these (watch out for the U.Fl connector type on your wifi adapter if you go this route) : 


Monted them on a side panel and it almost quadrupled the orignial range around my house (about 70 feet radius now) with no other modifications. Enough to reliably connect to my home router from my backyard portable setup in most places.

Of course ethernet works just fine too for that matter. 

It is true the 12V input is protected and needs to be below about 13.V for it to power on but I found that to be a problem only with a freshly charged battery. My workaround is to connect and power up evey other equipment (mainly cameras through the PPBAv, heater bands and the Mach2) before hitting the power on button. Never had any issue after I started doing that routinely.

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Bill Long <bill@...>
Envoyé : 25 septembre 2021 19:43
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 
I dont think it would have any problems running all of that. I have a lot of devices on it. Powerbox, MGBoxV2, PL16803 camera, CFW5-7, Ultrastar, AG Thermal box, Nitecrawler, etc and mine is the older version with less power. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 4:40 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 

For me with APCC, ACP Expert, MaxIm, FocusMax, and the rest of the automation software/hardware and weather stuff that may be pushing it for me but then again I often over do the specs to be safe.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 6:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

I use a MiniX Mini PC that works well. The specific model I use is no longer made, but they have a newer one:

 

 

Works really good, but the one thing to keep in mind is that it really wants a 12v regulated power input. If the voltage is too high, it wont turn on.

 

I run Voyager, SkyX, APCC Pro, PHD2, and my AGO Thermal Control software on it no problem. This one has a better processor than mine as well. The Win 10 Pro they include is authentic as well, which can be a challenge from some Amazon mini-PC products. 

 

If you decide you want more RAM or storage you can upgrade it. 8GB of memory and 240GB of storage should be plenty though, IMO.

 

-Bill

 

 


Pickering's (or Fleming's) Triangle

Glenn
 

Any part of the Cygnus loop is a treat for visual astronomers and astrophotographers alike. The many intricacies of its structure make it unique in the night sky.

I shot Pickering's Triangle through narrowband filters with the intent of producing a Hubble palette (SHO) image. However, the SII signal was largely superimposed on the Ha and didn't add anything useful, so I left out the SII and made a bicolor image with the other two filters. Here's the link:

https://astrob.in/lyde7q/B/

Thanks for looking. 

Glenn Diekmann


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Bill Long
 

I dont think it would have any problems running all of that. I have a lot of devices on it. Powerbox, MGBoxV2, PL16803 camera, CFW5-7, Ultrastar, AG Thermal box, Nitecrawler, etc and mine is the older version with less power. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 4:40 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 

For me with APCC, ACP Expert, MaxIm, FocusMax, and the rest of the automation software/hardware and weather stuff that may be pushing it for me but then again I often over do the specs to be safe.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 6:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

I use a MiniX Mini PC that works well. The specific model I use is no longer made, but they have a newer one:

 

 

Works really good, but the one thing to keep in mind is that it really wants a 12v regulated power input. If the voltage is too high, it wont turn on.

 

I run Voyager, SkyX, APCC Pro, PHD2, and my AGO Thermal Control software on it no problem. This one has a better processor than mine as well. The Win 10 Pro they include is authentic as well, which can be a challenge from some Amazon mini-PC products. 

 

If you decide you want more RAM or storage you can upgrade it. 8GB of memory and 240GB of storage should be plenty though, IMO.

 

-Bill

 

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:58 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

I’ve been using a 2021 i5 Mac Mini (headless) mounted to the pier running windows 10 for some time.   I think I paid like $250 (used price) a while back.   It’s got a built in power supply but in theory it can be converted to 12v supply.   Mainly chose this hardware cuz I had it in inventory. 

But I digress… Anyhow I’m also looking for a decent but cheap (eg $200 or so) small form factor PC likely suitable for mounting on top of the OTA for use with a second mount.   I’m just taken back by the lack of obvious choice when doing the market research such that I’ve kinda given up.
Perhaps when win11 drops there will be a glut of “not win11 compatible” hardware in clearance.   And is there even any win11 compatible “small form factor” PCs out yet?

It makes me wonder if now the right time to buy?

Anyhow feel free to share what the sweet spot is for an economical 12v powered PC with adequate CPU , memory , and SSD, suitable for mounting on the OTA — I’ve got a technical background in the stuff, but the choices are crazy confusing.

-jeff







Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Steve Reilly
 

For me with APCC, ACP Expert, MaxIm, FocusMax, and the rest of the automation software/hardware and weather stuff that may be pushing it for me but then again I often over do the specs to be safe.

 

-Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 6:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

I use a MiniX Mini PC that works well. The specific model I use is no longer made, but they have a newer one:

 

 

Works really good, but the one thing to keep in mind is that it really wants a 12v regulated power input. If the voltage is too high, it wont turn on.

 

I run Voyager, SkyX, APCC Pro, PHD2, and my AGO Thermal Control software on it no problem. This one has a better processor than mine as well. The Win 10 Pro they include is authentic as well, which can be a challenge from some Amazon mini-PC products. 

 

If you decide you want more RAM or storage you can upgrade it. 8GB of memory and 240GB of storage should be plenty though, IMO.

 

-Bill

 

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:58 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

I’ve been using a 2021 i5 Mac Mini (headless) mounted to the pier running windows 10 for some time.   I think I paid like $250 (used price) a while back.   It’s got a built in power supply but in theory it can be converted to 12v supply.   Mainly chose this hardware cuz I had it in inventory. 

But I digress… Anyhow I’m also looking for a decent but cheap (eg $200 or so) small form factor PC likely suitable for mounting on top of the OTA for use with a second mount.   I’m just taken back by the lack of obvious choice when doing the market research such that I’ve kinda given up.
Perhaps when win11 drops there will be a glut of “not win11 compatible” hardware in clearance.   And is there even any win11 compatible “small form factor” PCs out yet?

It makes me wonder if now the right time to buy?

Anyhow feel free to share what the sweet spot is for an economical 12v powered PC with adequate CPU , memory , and SSD, suitable for mounting on the OTA — I’ve got a technical background in the stuff, but the choices are crazy confusing.

-jeff







Re: Am I going to blow myself up with AC power and a surge protector?

M. Collins
 

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 03:46 PM, ap@... wrote:

Finally there’s using three different AC -> DC adapters.  I’m a proponent of grounding all of those together so there are no floating voltages against their ground, because if there are, these tend to flow over other connections not intended to carry significant current, notably USB cables. 

  In general, it's not necessary to do more than connect your AC adapters into outlets which are closely coupled, as on a power strip. All AC adapters with two-prong plugs, and most with three prong plugs provide isolation between the DC output and the contacts in an AC outlet. If you use a power strip near the telescope and plug all of the adapters into it, you should have no problems at all. Even if you run an Ethernet cable back into your house, there's little risk of problems because the connections are transformer coupled on each end (meaning that there's no direct path for current to flow from the Ethernet cable to the electronics on either end). USB is a little different since it relies upon current flow at both ends of the cable, so you may not want to run that between your office and telescope, however connections between cameras, filter wheels, computers, etc., at the telescope should not present any issues.

  The recommendation to ensure that you have GFCI protection for any line voltage used outdoors is a good one. An inexpensive ground fault detector is a worthwhile tool for any homeowner. These provide a button that allows a small current to pass between line voltage and ground, which will trip a GFCI if there is one in the circuit. If you plug the tester into an outdoor outlet and the lights on the tester don't go off as soon as the test button is pressed, either the existing GFCI has failed or there wasn't one to begin with. That's not a good thing.

  In many houses, the GFCI protecting outdoor outlets is installed in one of the bathrooms. If you have a GFCI in a bathroom, you can plug a lamp into an outdoor outlet then press the test button the GFCI. If the lamp goes off, the outdoor circuit is properly protected.


Re: Am I going to blow myself up with AC power and a surge protector?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

It’s important to understand what you want to protect.


The first thing is people – that’s not with a surge suppressor, but with a GFI protected outlet.  My GUESS is your outlet already is, unless it is an older home.  Find that out first.  Daisy chaining GFI is usually not a good idea, sometimes they then trip needlessly.  If yours is NOT protected, either replace it with a GFI outlet (easy, but get an electrician if in doubt), or get a FGI protected extension.  That makes the world safe for people.

 

The surge protector you show is to protect equipment from lightning surges on the line (or other surges of a transient nature).  While not pointless, since most of us will not set up when there are lightning storms anywhere near, this seems much less interesting.  But they are cheap and do no harm.  The surge protector offers zero protection to humans from line voltage.

 

Finally there’s using three different AC -> DC adapters.  I’m a proponent of grounding all of those together so there are no floating voltages against their ground, because if there are, these tend to flow over other connections not intended to carry significant current, notably USB cables.  This doesn’t make them smoke and is not dangerous generally to people but can cause intermittent connections.  However, especially when they are different voltages (as yours probably are) this can be more difficult to do without some custom wiring. Perhaps those more electronically inclined can comment on whether it is actually important to do.  I do know most people do not bother, at least that I have seen.

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of AaronW via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 6:35 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Am I going to blow myself up with AC power and a surge protector?

 

Question for the power experts.  I'd like to start learning how to use my rig but I don't want to fry it or my children in the process.

I have a refractor, cooled cmos camera, OAG with guide camera, electronic focusing system, dew band and a power hub all riding on a Mach2.  Plan is to use a NUC for control and remote into the NUC from my indoor desktop via my home's WiFi network.  So there are only three components that wll connect directly to my home's AC power: 1) the CP5 control unit, 2) the NUC, and 3) the Power Hub (Pegasus Powerbox Advance).  All three of these components live on the pier/scope.

The rig is in my backyard ~15 feet away from the nearest outdoor AC outlet.  I was thinking I would buy a surge protector that has a 25 ft cord and run it from my wall outlet to right under my rig, where the above three components can just plug right into it.  I'm not power savvy and was hoping someone could tell me in advance if I'm going to blow something up or if there's a better way :)

Was thinking a Tripp Lite surge protector such as this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UD3LPI/?tag=thewire06-20&linkCode=xm2&ascsubtag=AwEAAAAAAAAAAgeD

Best,
Aaron
  


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Steve Reilly wrote: 

Using the links below it seems a similar NUC built with about the same configuration is still in the original ballpark. Main difference I saw was the larger SSD choices being that the there is a spot for an additional 2.5” drive on some or an additional M2 drive. 
It's been a year, but what I got was a NUC8i5BEH kit, 500gb Samsung 860EVO, and 32gb Crucial memory.  Total cost was $595 at the time, for all name brand stuff.  I know parts shortages have changed prices a lot, but that's why I was thinking the OnLogic was twice the price.  I would definitely lean toward NVMe instead of ever putting spinning disk in a computer used outside, all sorts of benefits from power to vibration to noise.


Am I going to blow myself up with AC power and a surge protector?

AaronW
 

Question for the power experts.  I'd like to start learning how to use my rig but I don't want to fry it or my children in the process.

I have a refractor, cooled cmos camera, OAG with guide camera, electronic focusing system, dew band and a power hub all riding on a Mach2.  Plan is to use a NUC for control and remote into the NUC from my indoor desktop via my home's WiFi network.  So there are only three components that wll connect directly to my home's AC power: 1) the CP5 control unit, 2) the NUC, and 3) the Power Hub (Pegasus Powerbox Advance).  All three of these components live on the pier/scope.

The rig is in my backyard ~15 feet away from the nearest outdoor AC outlet.  I was thinking I would buy a surge protector that has a 25 ft cord and run it from my wall outlet to right under my rig, where the above three components can just plug right into it.  I'm not power savvy and was hoping someone could tell me in advance if I'm going to blow something up or if there's a better way :)

Was thinking a Tripp Lite surge protector such as this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UD3LPI/?tag=thewire06-20&linkCode=xm2&ascsubtag=AwEAAAAAAAAAAgeD

Best,
Aaron
  


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Bill Long
 

I use a MiniX Mini PC that works well. The specific model I use is no longer made, but they have a newer one:


Works really good, but the one thing to keep in mind is that it really wants a 12v regulated power input. If the voltage is too high, it wont turn on.

I run Voyager, SkyX, APCC Pro, PHD2, and my AGO Thermal Control software on it no problem. This one has a better processor than mine as well. The Win 10 Pro they include is authentic as well, which can be a challenge from some Amazon mini-PC products. 

If you decide you want more RAM or storage you can upgrade it. 8GB of memory and 240GB of storage should be plenty though, IMO.

-Bill



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:58 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer
 
I’ve been using a 2021 i5 Mac Mini (headless) mounted to the pier running windows 10 for some time.   I think I paid like $250 (used price) a while back.   It’s got a built in power supply but in theory it can be converted to 12v supply.   Mainly chose this hardware cuz I had it in inventory. 

But I digress… Anyhow I’m also looking for a decent but cheap (eg $200 or so) small form factor PC likely suitable for mounting on top of the OTA for use with a second mount.   I’m just taken back by the lack of obvious choice when doing the market research such that I’ve kinda given up.
Perhaps when win11 drops there will be a glut of “not win11 compatible” hardware in clearance.   And is there even any win11 compatible “small form factor” PCs out yet?

It makes me wonder if now the right time to buy?

Anyhow feel free to share what the sweet spot is for an economical 12v powered PC with adequate CPU , memory , and SSD, suitable for mounting on the OTA — I’ve got a technical background in the stuff, but the choices are crazy confusing.

-jeff








Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Bill Long
 

Thats easy enough to do. Once you have everything connected and the mount powered on, you can use APJog (installs with the V2 Driver package) to connect and move the mount around. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:55 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 
Thank you Bill, 
I think if I can get the mount to move via PC tonight I'll consider the day a success. Haha

Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:52 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
Backyard Nikon is super user friendly. Another good one is APT (Astrophotography Tool). I would go with the most user friendly package for now and worry about advanced features and stuff later.

As an aside, I tried PRISM and thought it was way overly complicated. I am sure its good once you get used to it, but for me it was too much.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:49 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 
Thank you Bill,
Yes, this helps. I just emailed Daleen about APCC and APPM so I'll wait to hear back. I believe Backyard Nikon allows this extra functionality you were speaking about; really the DSLR is just to limit what I have to learn right now.  An astro cam is in my near future but probably after an electronic focuser.

Thank you,

Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
You dont need that box in the first 3 photos. That is not provided with the mount anyhow and its intention is to convert physical serial devices to a USB output.  It is not necessary.

On the CP4, you see one USB and one Ethernet on the left side. That you plug into your computer. You can plug one or both of them in if you would like. Motor cable runs to the connector labeled motor. The encoder box under the RA axis has a cable that plugs into the port labeled encoder. The hand controller (if you have one) plugs into the port labeled keypad. The power plugs into the port labeled 12v DC. 

On your PC you install the following:

  1. ASCOM Platform: https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases/download/v6.5SP1Release/ASCOMPlatform65SP1.exe
  2. AP V2 ASCOM Driver: Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver and Tutorial Videos (gralak.com)
At this stage you have the basic stuff to connect your PC to the mount and software to the mount that uses ASCOM. You also have the platform installed so other ASCOM devices can work, such as focusers, cameras, filter wheels, etc.

The next step would be to install the software you want to use to control the mount and your imaging devices. That will vary, based on taste. Some common ones include:
  1. Starkeeper Voyager 
  2. NINA
  3. Sequence Generator Pro
  4. PRISM (which you said you already bought)
Since you said you will use a DSLR make sure the software package you install allows you to do that. Not all of them support DSLR cameras. Voyager for example does not, as there is no native DSLR support and I am not aware of any functional DSLR ASCOM drivers. Someone else may know better than me on that topic, as I do not use DSLR's for imaging.

You did mention you bought the mount used, so APCC Pro would require a license transfer from the previous owner to you. Depending on when the seller obtained APCC (or if they did at all) this experience will vary and you should contact Astro-Physics to sort that out. 

-Bill 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

Front.jpgBack 1.jpgBack 2.jpg


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

CP4 Picture.jpg


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Jeffc
 

I’ve been using a 2021 i5 Mac Mini (headless) mounted to the pier running windows 10 for some time. I think I paid like $250 (used price) a while back. It’s got a built in power supply but in theory it can be converted to 12v supply. Mainly chose this hardware cuz I had it in inventory.

But I digress… Anyhow I’m also looking for a decent but cheap (eg $200 or so) small form factor PC likely suitable for mounting on top of the OTA for use with a second mount. I’m just taken back by the lack of obvious choice when doing the market research such that I’ve kinda given up.
Perhaps when win11 drops there will be a glut of “not win11 compatible” hardware in clearance. And is there even any win11 compatible “small form factor” PCs out yet?

It makes me wonder if now the right time to buy?

Anyhow feel free to share what the sweet spot is for an economical 12v powered PC with adequate CPU , memory , and SSD, suitable for mounting on the OTA — I’ve got a technical background in the stuff, but the choices are crazy confusing.

-jeff


Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Thomas Giannaccini
 

Thank you Bill, 
I think if I can get the mount to move via PC tonight I'll consider the day a success. Haha

Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:52 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
Backyard Nikon is super user friendly. Another good one is APT (Astrophotography Tool). I would go with the most user friendly package for now and worry about advanced features and stuff later.

As an aside, I tried PRISM and thought it was way overly complicated. I am sure its good once you get used to it, but for me it was too much.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:49 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 
Thank you Bill,
Yes, this helps. I just emailed Daleen about APCC and APPM so I'll wait to hear back. I believe Backyard Nikon allows this extra functionality you were speaking about; really the DSLR is just to limit what I have to learn right now.  An astro cam is in my near future but probably after an electronic focuser.

Thank you,

Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
You dont need that box in the first 3 photos. That is not provided with the mount anyhow and its intention is to convert physical serial devices to a USB output.  It is not necessary.

On the CP4, you see one USB and one Ethernet on the left side. That you plug into your computer. You can plug one or both of them in if you would like. Motor cable runs to the connector labeled motor. The encoder box under the RA axis has a cable that plugs into the port labeled encoder. The hand controller (if you have one) plugs into the port labeled keypad. The power plugs into the port labeled 12v DC. 

On your PC you install the following:

  1. ASCOM Platform: https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases/download/v6.5SP1Release/ASCOMPlatform65SP1.exe
  2. AP V2 ASCOM Driver: Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver and Tutorial Videos (gralak.com)
At this stage you have the basic stuff to connect your PC to the mount and software to the mount that uses ASCOM. You also have the platform installed so other ASCOM devices can work, such as focusers, cameras, filter wheels, etc.

The next step would be to install the software you want to use to control the mount and your imaging devices. That will vary, based on taste. Some common ones include:
  1. Starkeeper Voyager 
  2. NINA
  3. Sequence Generator Pro
  4. PRISM (which you said you already bought)
Since you said you will use a DSLR make sure the software package you install allows you to do that. Not all of them support DSLR cameras. Voyager for example does not, as there is no native DSLR support and I am not aware of any functional DSLR ASCOM drivers. Someone else may know better than me on that topic, as I do not use DSLR's for imaging.

You did mention you bought the mount used, so APCC Pro would require a license transfer from the previous owner to you. Depending on when the seller obtained APCC (or if they did at all) this experience will vary and you should contact Astro-Physics to sort that out. 

-Bill 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

Front.jpgBack 1.jpgBack 2.jpg


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

CP4 Picture.jpg


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Bill Long
 

Backyard Nikon is super user friendly. Another good one is APT (Astrophotography Tool). I would go with the most user friendly package for now and worry about advanced features and stuff later.

As an aside, I tried PRISM and thought it was way overly complicated. I am sure its good once you get used to it, but for me it was too much.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:49 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 
Thank you Bill,
Yes, this helps. I just emailed Daleen about APCC and APPM so I'll wait to hear back. I believe Backyard Nikon allows this extra functionality you were speaking about; really the DSLR is just to limit what I have to learn right now.  An astro cam is in my near future but probably after an electronic focuser.

Thank you,

Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
You dont need that box in the first 3 photos. That is not provided with the mount anyhow and its intention is to convert physical serial devices to a USB output.  It is not necessary.

On the CP4, you see one USB and one Ethernet on the left side. That you plug into your computer. You can plug one or both of them in if you would like. Motor cable runs to the connector labeled motor. The encoder box under the RA axis has a cable that plugs into the port labeled encoder. The hand controller (if you have one) plugs into the port labeled keypad. The power plugs into the port labeled 12v DC. 

On your PC you install the following:

  1. ASCOM Platform: https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases/download/v6.5SP1Release/ASCOMPlatform65SP1.exe
  2. AP V2 ASCOM Driver: Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver and Tutorial Videos (gralak.com)
At this stage you have the basic stuff to connect your PC to the mount and software to the mount that uses ASCOM. You also have the platform installed so other ASCOM devices can work, such as focusers, cameras, filter wheels, etc.

The next step would be to install the software you want to use to control the mount and your imaging devices. That will vary, based on taste. Some common ones include:
  1. Starkeeper Voyager 
  2. NINA
  3. Sequence Generator Pro
  4. PRISM (which you said you already bought)
Since you said you will use a DSLR make sure the software package you install allows you to do that. Not all of them support DSLR cameras. Voyager for example does not, as there is no native DSLR support and I am not aware of any functional DSLR ASCOM drivers. Someone else may know better than me on that topic, as I do not use DSLR's for imaging.

You did mention you bought the mount used, so APCC Pro would require a license transfer from the previous owner to you. Depending on when the seller obtained APCC (or if they did at all) this experience will vary and you should contact Astro-Physics to sort that out. 

-Bill 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

Front.jpgBack 1.jpgBack 2.jpg


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

CP4 Picture.jpg


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Thomas Giannaccini
 

Thank you Bill,
Yes, this helps. I just emailed Daleen about APCC and APPM so I'll wait to hear back. I believe Backyard Nikon allows this extra functionality you were speaking about; really the DSLR is just to limit what I have to learn right now.  An astro cam is in my near future but probably after an electronic focuser.

Thank you,

Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
You dont need that box in the first 3 photos. That is not provided with the mount anyhow and its intention is to convert physical serial devices to a USB output.  It is not necessary.

On the CP4, you see one USB and one Ethernet on the left side. That you plug into your computer. You can plug one or both of them in if you would like. Motor cable runs to the connector labeled motor. The encoder box under the RA axis has a cable that plugs into the port labeled encoder. The hand controller (if you have one) plugs into the port labeled keypad. The power plugs into the port labeled 12v DC. 

On your PC you install the following:

  1. ASCOM Platform: https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases/download/v6.5SP1Release/ASCOMPlatform65SP1.exe
  2. AP V2 ASCOM Driver: Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver and Tutorial Videos (gralak.com)
At this stage you have the basic stuff to connect your PC to the mount and software to the mount that uses ASCOM. You also have the platform installed so other ASCOM devices can work, such as focusers, cameras, filter wheels, etc.

The next step would be to install the software you want to use to control the mount and your imaging devices. That will vary, based on taste. Some common ones include:
  1. Starkeeper Voyager 
  2. NINA
  3. Sequence Generator Pro
  4. PRISM (which you said you already bought)
Since you said you will use a DSLR make sure the software package you install allows you to do that. Not all of them support DSLR cameras. Voyager for example does not, as there is no native DSLR support and I am not aware of any functional DSLR ASCOM drivers. Someone else may know better than me on that topic, as I do not use DSLR's for imaging.

You did mention you bought the mount used, so APCC Pro would require a license transfer from the previous owner to you. Depending on when the seller obtained APCC (or if they did at all) this experience will vary and you should contact Astro-Physics to sort that out. 

-Bill 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

Front.jpgBack 1.jpgBack 2.jpg


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

CP4 Picture.jpg


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Thomas Giannaccini
 

Luca,
Thank you for your reply. I'll give the USB connection a try. I think getting feedback like this helps.

Best,
Tom

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:29 PM Luca Marinelli <photo@...> wrote:
Tom,

I have no idea what that Edgeport box is. My guess it’s a USB to Ethernet converter to go around the distance limitation of the USB protocol but then you would need 2 of them. One thing is for certain, it’s not part of the AP 1100 parts list and it’s not required to set up your 1100. 

Here is my recommendation: start by connecting the mount to your computer via the USB port. Eventually, feel free to explore other connection options, including wireless, but to start with make your life easy. 

I have collected several thousand hours of data with three AP mounts in temperatures from -25F to 90F. There is not a single sub I have missed because of a USB connection failure between the mount and the computer. 

I do use the Wifi capability of the CP4 and CP5 only when I connect directly to SkySafari running on my phone for visual use.

Cheers,

Luca

On Sep 25, 2021, at 5:18 PM, Thomas Giannaccini via groups.io <tgiann3=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:



Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

<Front.jpg>
<Back 1.jpg>
<Back 2.jpg>


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

<CP4 Picture.jpg>


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Bill Long
 

You dont need that box in the first 3 photos. That is not provided with the mount anyhow and its intention is to convert physical serial devices to a USB output.  It is not necessary.

On the CP4, you see one USB and one Ethernet on the left side. That you plug into your computer. You can plug one or both of them in if you would like. Motor cable runs to the connector labeled motor. The encoder box under the RA axis has a cable that plugs into the port labeled encoder. The hand controller (if you have one) plugs into the port labeled keypad. The power plugs into the port labeled 12v DC. 

On your PC you install the following:

  1. ASCOM Platform: https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases/download/v6.5SP1Release/ASCOMPlatform65SP1.exe
  2. AP V2 ASCOM Driver: Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver and Tutorial Videos (gralak.com)
At this stage you have the basic stuff to connect your PC to the mount and software to the mount that uses ASCOM. You also have the platform installed so other ASCOM devices can work, such as focusers, cameras, filter wheels, etc.

The next step would be to install the software you want to use to control the mount and your imaging devices. That will vary, based on taste. Some common ones include:
  1. Starkeeper Voyager 
  2. NINA
  3. Sequence Generator Pro
  4. PRISM (which you said you already bought)
Since you said you will use a DSLR make sure the software package you install allows you to do that. Not all of them support DSLR cameras. Voyager for example does not, as there is no native DSLR support and I am not aware of any functional DSLR ASCOM drivers. Someone else may know better than me on that topic, as I do not use DSLR's for imaging.

You did mention you bought the mount used, so APCC Pro would require a license transfer from the previous owner to you. Depending on when the seller obtained APCC (or if they did at all) this experience will vary and you should contact Astro-Physics to sort that out. 

-Bill 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
 

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

Front.jpgBack 1.jpgBack 2.jpg


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

CP4 Picture.jpg


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Luca Marinelli
 

Tom,

I have no idea what that Edgeport box is. My guess it’s a USB to Ethernet converter to go around the distance limitation of the USB protocol but then you would need 2 of them. One thing is for certain, it’s not part of the AP 1100 parts list and it’s not required to set up your 1100. 

Here is my recommendation: start by connecting the mount to your computer via the USB port. Eventually, feel free to explore other connection options, including wireless, but to start with make your life easy. 

I have collected several thousand hours of data with three AP mounts in temperatures from -25F to 90F. There is not a single sub I have missed because of a USB connection failure between the mount and the computer. 

I do use the Wifi capability of the CP4 and CP5 only when I connect directly to SkySafari running on my phone for visual use.

Cheers,

Luca

On Sep 25, 2021, at 5:18 PM, Thomas Giannaccini via groups.io <tgiann3@...> wrote:



Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.

 

I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:

 

<Front.jpg>
<Back 1.jpg>
<Back 2.jpg>


 

 

 

 

I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 

 

<CP4 Picture.jpg>


 

 

There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?

 

For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?

 

I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.

 

Thank you,

 

Tom

 


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Done deal.
>
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
>
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
>
> Hi all,
>
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
>
> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudynights.com%2Ftopic%2F79
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
>
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
>
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
>
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
>
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
>
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
>
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
>
> -Ray
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Steve Reilly
 

Thanks for the feedback. Using the links below it seems a similar NUC built with about the same configuration is still in the original ballpark. Main difference I saw was the larger SSD choices being that the there is a spot for an additional 2.5” drive on some or an additional M2 drive. But being a dome and automated imaging I see value in a fanless system. I’ve been in a failed sate before with the ROR and the computer there is protected with the warm room. In the 12’ Astro Haven dome there is no protection other then what I provide. Even the less expensive units aren’t that less after figuring what you’ll need to make all your connections and added storage, at least that’s what I’m seeing. At least not a huge difference in cost. You need to remember the number of components and hardware connected. From mount, focuser, rotator, dew heaters/controller, flat panel, guide camera, main imaging camera, and I’m sure I missed something….there’s a good deal going on. The tip on the drive size was a great one and added another $200. Seems Transend is one of few that make  M2.2260 drives, most others are largerM2. Footprints.

 

I do use Dropbox for the telescope at SRO but for home I should be able to use and external drive on the network. As fiber internet is all but at out location, just waiting on connections, it will be fast.

 

-Steve

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Striebeck
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:41 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

 

The best options to configure a NUC that I found are:

https://simplynuc.com/nuc-products/ (scroll down, you see some pre-configured NUC's but you can "build" them too)

NewEgg has a whole slew of barebones NUCs (e.g. https://www.newegg.com/asrock-4x4-box-4800u/p/N82E16856158069?Item=N82E16856158069) that you can customize

 

On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 10:31 AM Joel Short <buckeyestargazer@...> wrote:

I have been using a "standard" NUC for about 6 years now, both in my roll off roof OBS and while traveling to dark sites.  Three years ago before going on a 6 week trip I bought a second NUC so that I could use the first one as a backup.  The first NUC has an i3 processor the second has an i5 processor.  You won't see much if any difference in download times, but things like plate solving that require more processing power will be significantly faster with the i5.  

I maintain both units and both are still going strong despite not being "industrial strength".  
joel

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