Date   

#APCC #Mach2 - 3D viewer weird scope position while it is parked (or even while slewing sometimes) #apcc #APCC

Sébastien Doré
 

Hi,

When I use the 3D viewer in APPC (which is a great feature), it seems to get de-synchronized from the mount position sometimes. Like in the example  below where the mount was parked at park 2 at around 9:30 AM (time of the screenshot is 12:30). 

One thing that might explains this is I do not quite fully understand what "correctly calibrated with the night sky" means in the warning window when the 3D viewer is launched. 

I would have thought "Find Home" (encoder tab) would be a valid calibration process for encoder mount in this regards. Or maybe the sync at the beginning of an APPM run, or from a third party software, but it doesn't seem to prevent that from happening, so obviously I'm missing something. My prerogative was that since the mount (with encoders) always knows where it is at, the 3D viewer should too, but it seems that at least in my case, it does not. 

From the manual, I understand this warning/pre-requisite is probably there for non-encoder mount when clutches are loosen but I couldn't find any information relative to this for encoder mounts or more specifically for the Mach2 (which is one of a kind species in itself, I know). But I might have missed it too. 



Hitting Sync -> Re-sync 3D view does fix it but it would be nice (and less scary, especially when slewing at 1800X) if it were always showing the correct orientation. 

Still, it works 95% of the time. Just trying to understand how I can get the last 5%... I can provide logs if required, but I feel it's just me not doing something I should. Anybody can pinpoint where I need to correctly "calibrate on the night sky", if that is indeed my issue ?

Thanks,

Sébastien




Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

W Hilmo wrote:

 

  • If you want to sync the computer time from GPS, you will need software specifically to do that.  I use NMEATime2, which installs as a service and keeps the computer time in sync.  Note that NMEATime2 cannot connect to the GPS at the same time as any other software, so I have two different GPS receivers.  One of them is in my MGBoxV2, with APCC Pro connected.  The second one is a cheap USB receiver, with NMEATime2 connected.

There is another option with potentially more accuracy (relevant possibly if you chase satellites), and that is build a small time server, easiest with a raspberry pi.  All the software is native to it, you wire up (not plug in) a GPS capable of 1PPS signals (most of the PC board versions are), and  you have a VERY accurate time source.  Then run NTP on the rPi, and run a NTP client on the computer running APCC, probably the best known (and free) is the Meinberg one.

A nice aspect of this is no COM ports and all their flakiness involved, no running-with-privilege, it just sits and works, and updates the clock in a service.  You can also set the Meinberg to use a fallback of internet time so if the time server (perhaps on your mount) is not available, it still maintains good time.  APCC gets the system clock, APCC sets the mount, all are in sync.

This (+/- your network) is going to be more accurate than a GPS USB connected to the PC. But again, almost anything is plenty accurate for anything but fast moving satellites – DSO objects do not need sub-millisecond time, except for bragging rights.

The whole time server can be built for probably $50-75 depending on what kind of casing you want for it, and requires a few solder joints for the 4 (if I recall) module pins to the GPIO pins, and some configuration (lots of tutorials online to do it). PPS or 1PPS or stratum 1.  PPS is Pulse Per Second (sometimes prefaced with 1) which allows a more accurate determination of the 1-per-second NMEA messages, since those are serial encoded and so irregular in timing.  USB cannot do PPS.   Here’s my GPS module in a project box (rPi is elsewhere).  The white gunk is adhesive from trying different positions, the thing on the left wall is the separate antenna.  No jokes on my soldering, it’s not something I am good at, so you also can definitely do it.  For size scale that’s cat 5e cable.

Below is an example from my telescope’s NUC.  At present the time server is off line, the mount in the house, so it’s getting time from my router.  The .234 address would be a wired ethernet connection to the time server, the .3 is a wifi connection to the time server.  All else fails it uses the PC’s real time clock. So lots of failover possibilities because it’s real NTP.

But again – no reason to obsess if you do planetary or DSO – a sundial is almost accurate enough for that, certainly a USB GPS, but even a cell phone time set on the PC.  And a lot of the USB tools do some long term averaging of the delays to get better accuracy than the actual connection gives with each pulse, so they are probably good enough for satellites also.  


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Konstantin v. Poschinger
 

Hi Howard,

I use the MGBOX2 and I do not shut it down, cause I use the temperature humidity and pressure information in APCC!

Konstantin


Konstantin v. Poschinger

Hammerichstr. 5
22605 Hamburg
040/8805747
0171 1983476

Am 06.10.2021 um 17:24 schrieb Howard Hedlund <howard@...>:

The MGBOX2 has its own software app.  I am not positive of this, but I believe that this software cannot run simultaneously with a program like APCC.  However, The MGBOX2 could be used at the start of a session to calibrate the computer system clock.  Then, shut down the MGBOX2 software and start APCC.  APCC will then be getting the same time source that was used for the PC.


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

W Hilmo
 

Neither the MGBox app, nor APCC, update the computer clock.

I'm not sure what you mean by "they are both timed exactly".  APCC does (by default) update the mount's time from the computer clock, so they will always be in sync.  Of course, if the computer clock is off, they'll both be in sync to whatever time the computer thinks it is.  Also, if the computer running APCC is internet connected, it is likely syncing to a time service independent of APCC or any GPS receiver, so in that case, the computer clock may be very accurate.

If you want to sync the computer time from GPS, you will need software specifically to do that.  I use NMEATime2, which installs as a service and keeps the computer time in sync.  Note that NMEATime2 cannot connect to the GPS at the same time as any other software, so I have two different GPS receivers.  One of them is in my MGBoxV2, with APCC Pro connected.  The second one is a cheap USB receiver, with NMEATime2 connected.

On 10/6/21 9:01 AM, Keith Olsen wrote:
I also have the MGBOX2 and APPC Pro does show the UTC time from the box.  What I don't know for sure if APPC uses that time to update the computer system clock.  It looks to me like it does because they are both timed exactly when I run APPC Pro.  But I could be wrong about this.


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Dale Ghent
 

Yes, COM port access is exclusive to one application at a time.

There are systems such as the free com0com and commercial Eltima (which is what APCC uses) that can sit on top of a COM port and replicate it however many times. At least in the com0com case, this works best for apps that only read from the COM port, which is what an app that can read NMEA sentences from a GPS does. So at the expense of some additional latency, a GPS' COM port can be replicated such that APCC and another app can read the NMEA sentences coming off the receiver. I've used this kind of setup with the NMEATime2 app to keep my PC's clock properly sync'd and let APCC read from the GPS at the same time.

On Oct 6, 2021, at 12:33, Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...> wrote:

MGBOX is a cool little piece of hardware.
The only issue for me is a tendency to "steal" USB ports (COM ports).
I need to remember to add it at the end otherwise I run into issues with APCC.
Probably it is my fault in setting some of the parameters.
Andrea

Il giorno mer 6 ott 2021 alle ore 18:08 Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion@...> ha scritto:
Besides GPS coords., MGBOX also provides T, P, and RH. APPC Pro uses this data for adjusting the APPM generated model

Bryan



Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Andrea Lucchetti
 

MGBOX is a cool little piece of hardware.
The only issue for me is a tendency to "steal" USB ports (COM ports).
I need to remember to add it at the end otherwise I run into issues with APCC.
Probably it is my fault in setting some of the parameters.
Andrea

Il giorno mer 6 ott 2021 alle ore 18:08 Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
Besides GPS coords., MGBOX also provides T, P, and RH.  APPC Pro uses this data for adjusting the APPM generated model

Bryan


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Worsel
 

Besides GPS coords., MGBOX also provides T, P, and RH.  APPC Pro uses this data for adjusting the APPM generated model

Bryan


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Keith Olsen
 

I also have the MGBOX2 and APPC Pro does show the UTC time from the box.  What I don't know for sure if APPC uses that time to update the computer system clock.  It looks to me like it does because they are both timed exactly when I run APPC Pro.  But I could be wrong about this.


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

 

MGBox V2 has ascom drivers for connecting to the device, including GPS

the OP was talking about a need for getting PC time accurate, and while i love my MGBox v2, it's a lot more than a $18 GPS for the PC

On Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 8:35 AM Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
FYI

I have an MGBOX2.  APCC Pro accesses it directly, not through the MGBOX2 app, AND automatically.  See GPS Tab, Connection section. 

Bryan



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: APCC: RA limit reached while in Park 3? #APCC

Glenn
 

Thank you, Howard, I’ll talk to you soon.

Kind regards,

Glenn


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Konstantin von Poschinger
 

I forgot to mention, that you should use the MGbox V2 ASCOM Local Server!




Konstantin


Konstantin v. Poschinger

Hammerichstr. 5
22605 Hamburg
040/8805747
0171 1983476

Am 06.10.2021 um 17:35 schrieb Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion@...>:

FYI

I have an MGBOX2.  APCC Pro accesses it directly, not through the MGBOX2 app, AND automatically.  See GPS Tab, Connection section. 

Bryan


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Worsel
 

FYI

I have an MGBOX2.  APCC Pro accesses it directly, not through the MGBOX2 app, AND automatically.  See GPS Tab, Connection section. 

Bryan


Re: APCC: RA limit reached while in Park 3? #APCC

Howard Hedlund
 

I'm sure this can be fixed quickly.  Give me a call at AP and we'll get it figured out.


APCC: RA limit reached while in Park 3? #APCC

Glenn
 

Greetings A-P family,

I am trying to use APCC pro with my automated imaging system after using the V2 driver successfully for a few years.

I get the Warning: RA limit reached error when connecting to the mount in APCC. I have confirmed that meridian and horizon limits are NOT enabled. I get the error in Park 3 and when the mount is unparked/tracking. I have tried slewing east and west. The driver has been configured for use with APCC. I am using APCC v1.9x (current), the latest V2 driver, and the current CP4 firmware. 

Does anyone have an idea what might be going on? I’m sure it is a simple setting I have overlooked.

Kind regards,

Glenn Diekmann


Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

Howard Hedlund
 

The MGBOX2 has its own software app.  I am not positive of this, but I believe that this software cannot run simultaneously with a program like APCC.  However, The MGBOX2 could be used at the start of a session to calibrate the computer system clock.  Then, shut down the MGBOX2 software and start APCC.  APCC will then be getting the same time source that was used for the PC.


Re: Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test

Bill Long
 

AG Optical 12.5" Truss iDK. Camera was a FLI PL16803, CFW5-7, NiteCrawler, etc.

All in all about 70lbs fully loaded OTA. 17" tall, 45" in length at critical focus.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ram <ramviswanathan@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 11:34 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test
 
Bill, what scope did you put on the mount?
Thanks for your report. 
-Ram


On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:43 PM, Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:


Hello again friends,

Quick update -- 10 Micron said no go on this load on the 1000 mount of theirs. While I will not copy and paste their entire response here (as some people seem to think that is poor form) they cited the mount would not be able to perform well under that load, would be beyond its limit, and would overall suffer - especially unguided. 

So, there you have it folks. AP not only stood by me in the load I wanted to try out -- but they are also one upping me with the 12" Mak system on the Mach 2. 

Make of that, what you wish.

-Bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 2, 2021 8:50 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test
 

[Edited Message Follows]

Hello friends,
 
It was finally time to bring the mount and telescope inside. The weather has been very poor. Rainy and very high humidity as of late. I finally pulled in the gear. It sat outside from July 25 - October 2, with 104 pounds of counterweights, 70 pounds of scope and accessories, with an OTA 17" in height, and 45" in length at critical focus. On the AP Mach 2 graph this is 5 pounds into the RED. 
 
The rig operated at seeing limited tracking and guiding at all times during the 60 day onslaught. Not once was there ever a problem with the mount in terms of the load, or in terms of its inability to meet the demands I placed on it. I want everyone reading this to be mindful that the mount sat for 2 months on a set of 2x4 piece of wood suspended 2 stories in the air (aka my deck).  The deck is old, the wood is worn, and in some places there are holes in the deck. (I do plan to get it replaced next week with some better material). I would not be wrong if I assumed other people are imaging in much better environments than I. Still, even in this environment the mount did exactly what it was asked to do. Be invisible. 
 
I did get some series of mild winds, roughly 4-5MPH sustained, with some 10MPH gusts. The guide graph did show some response to those conditions, but the images were just as good as those without the wind. So, in mild conditions, 2 stories in the air, the system seems to work fine, even under the incredible load I put it under and some, mild winds trying to encroach. 
 
So, in the end I think this mount punches significantly higher than its class would dictate. I have no intentions of posting this same review on CN, as I think it would get drowned out by people fan-boying 10 Micron mounts. That is not really a discussion I want to have, nor want to see unfold. Rather, I would prefer this to be a tale to my friends here, of how I took AP's new hot mount and put it up against the odds I did not think were possible for it.  I would also prefer this to be the time where people sat back saying, wow -- that is a remarkable achievement for AP. Especially considering the big bet they put on selling every mount with encoders. I think that was a wise decision, and I hope others with the mount agree.
 
In closing, I am more than happy with my purchase. But more importantly, I am happy that the mount Roland really wanted to be the next big thing -- is the next big thing. There is no other mount in its class that comes close to it. I believe it to be the shining jewel of A-P engineering, and while the wait list might be long -- trust me -- it is well worth the wait.
 
-Bill
 
PS: I sent 10 micron a sales request asking if they would support the scope and stuff I used on the Mach 2, on their 1000 class mount (the Mach 2 competitor) once I hear back from them I will share it with you. I asked Roland the same question before I tested this out, and he was confident the Mach 2 could do it. And, to no surprise, he was right! 🙂


Re: Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test

Ram
 

Bill, what scope did you put on the mount?
Thanks for your report. 
-Ram


On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:43 PM, Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:


Hello again friends,

Quick update -- 10 Micron said no go on this load on the 1000 mount of theirs. While I will not copy and paste their entire response here (as some people seem to think that is poor form) they cited the mount would not be able to perform well under that load, would be beyond its limit, and would overall suffer - especially unguided. 

So, there you have it folks. AP not only stood by me in the load I wanted to try out -- but they are also one upping me with the 12" Mak system on the Mach 2. 

Make of that, what you wish.

-Bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 2, 2021 8:50 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test
 

[Edited Message Follows]

Hello friends,
 
It was finally time to bring the mount and telescope inside. The weather has been very poor. Rainy and very high humidity as of late. I finally pulled in the gear. It sat outside from July 25 - October 2, with 104 pounds of counterweights, 70 pounds of scope and accessories, with an OTA 17" in height, and 45" in length at critical focus. On the AP Mach 2 graph this is 5 pounds into the RED. 
 
The rig operated at seeing limited tracking and guiding at all times during the 60 day onslaught. Not once was there ever a problem with the mount in terms of the load, or in terms of its inability to meet the demands I placed on it. I want everyone reading this to be mindful that the mount sat for 2 months on a set of 2x4 piece of wood suspended 2 stories in the air (aka my deck).  The deck is old, the wood is worn, and in some places there are holes in the deck. (I do plan to get it replaced next week with some better material). I would not be wrong if I assumed other people are imaging in much better environments than I. Still, even in this environment the mount did exactly what it was asked to do. Be invisible. 
 
I did get some series of mild winds, roughly 4-5MPH sustained, with some 10MPH gusts. The guide graph did show some response to those conditions, but the images were just as good as those without the wind. So, in mild conditions, 2 stories in the air, the system seems to work fine, even under the incredible load I put it under and some, mild winds trying to encroach. 
 
So, in the end I think this mount punches significantly higher than its class would dictate. I have no intentions of posting this same review on CN, as I think it would get drowned out by people fan-boying 10 Micron mounts. That is not really a discussion I want to have, nor want to see unfold. Rather, I would prefer this to be a tale to my friends here, of how I took AP's new hot mount and put it up against the odds I did not think were possible for it.  I would also prefer this to be the time where people sat back saying, wow -- that is a remarkable achievement for AP. Especially considering the big bet they put on selling every mount with encoders. I think that was a wise decision, and I hope others with the mount agree.
 
In closing, I am more than happy with my purchase. But more importantly, I am happy that the mount Roland really wanted to be the next big thing -- is the next big thing. There is no other mount in its class that comes close to it. I believe it to be the shining jewel of A-P engineering, and while the wait list might be long -- trust me -- it is well worth the wait.
 
-Bill
 
PS: I sent 10 micron a sales request asking if they would support the scope and stuff I used on the Mach 2, on their 1000 class mount (the Mach 2 competitor) once I hear back from them I will share it with you. I asked Roland the same question before I tested this out, and he was confident the Mach 2 could do it. And, to no surprise, he was right! 🙂


Re: Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test

Bill Long
 

Hello again friends,

Quick update -- 10 Micron said no go on this load on the 1000 mount of theirs. While I will not copy and paste their entire response here (as some people seem to think that is poor form) they cited the mount would not be able to perform well under that load, would be beyond its limit, and would overall suffer - especially unguided. 

So, there you have it folks. AP not only stood by me in the load I wanted to try out -- but they are also one upping me with the 12" Mak system on the Mach 2. 

Make of that, what you wish.

-Bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 2, 2021 8:50 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Final Verdict: Mach 2 Torture Test
 

[Edited Message Follows]

Hello friends,
 
It was finally time to bring the mount and telescope inside. The weather has been very poor. Rainy and very high humidity as of late. I finally pulled in the gear. It sat outside from July 25 - October 2, with 104 pounds of counterweights, 70 pounds of scope and accessories, with an OTA 17" in height, and 45" in length at critical focus. On the AP Mach 2 graph this is 5 pounds into the RED. 
 
The rig operated at seeing limited tracking and guiding at all times during the 60 day onslaught. Not once was there ever a problem with the mount in terms of the load, or in terms of its inability to meet the demands I placed on it. I want everyone reading this to be mindful that the mount sat for 2 months on a set of 2x4 piece of wood suspended 2 stories in the air (aka my deck).  The deck is old, the wood is worn, and in some places there are holes in the deck. (I do plan to get it replaced next week with some better material). I would not be wrong if I assumed other people are imaging in much better environments than I. Still, even in this environment the mount did exactly what it was asked to do. Be invisible. 
 
I did get some series of mild winds, roughly 4-5MPH sustained, with some 10MPH gusts. The guide graph did show some response to those conditions, but the images were just as good as those without the wind. So, in mild conditions, 2 stories in the air, the system seems to work fine, even under the incredible load I put it under and some, mild winds trying to encroach. 
 
So, in the end I think this mount punches significantly higher than its class would dictate. I have no intentions of posting this same review on CN, as I think it would get drowned out by people fan-boying 10 Micron mounts. That is not really a discussion I want to have, nor want to see unfold. Rather, I would prefer this to be a tale to my friends here, of how I took AP's new hot mount and put it up against the odds I did not think were possible for it.  I would also prefer this to be the time where people sat back saying, wow -- that is a remarkable achievement for AP. Especially considering the big bet they put on selling every mount with encoders. I think that was a wise decision, and I hope others with the mount agree.
 
In closing, I am more than happy with my purchase. But more importantly, I am happy that the mount Roland really wanted to be the next big thing -- is the next big thing. There is no other mount in its class that comes close to it. I believe it to be the shining jewel of A-P engineering, and while the wait list might be long -- trust me -- it is well worth the wait.
 
-Bill
 
PS: I sent 10 micron a sales request asking if they would support the scope and stuff I used on the Mach 2, on their 1000 class mount (the Mach 2 competitor) once I hear back from them I will share it with you. I asked Roland the same question before I tested this out, and he was confident the Mach 2 could do it. And, to no surprise, he was right! 🙂


Re: Is this tilt in the image train?

Tom Blahovici
 

11 months. That's nuts!


Re: Is this tilt in the image train?

Joseph Beyer
 

Looks great!  Glad to see you've got it fixed and are ready to go.  I got the CTU on my telescope and adjusted fairly well.  Just like you I was surprised how little movement the camera needed to flatten the field.  Now all I'm waiting on are clear skies.  

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