Date   

Re: M31 from Paducah Skies Observatory

Robert Chozick <rchozick@...>
 

Thanks Tom 

Robert 


On Nov 7, 2021, at 9:01 PM, Tom Zepf <tjzcos@...> wrote:

Wow, that looks great! Rich colors and a nice sense of depth.


Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tom,

I tried the latest Beta and I still had the same race condition issues, but there's a good chance I just didn't
configure things. correctly.
Exactly, what configuration settings did you use? I can't correct or promote the software to a release version without logs and settings information. Just saying it didn't work is not going to help! :-)

Thanks,

-Ray


Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Peter Bresler
 

Thanks for the info.....I will  try to set it up.


Re: Time change today...

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tom,

Was "Keep mount time synced to PC Time" enabled in APCC's Advanced settings? If so, can you post a link to your APCC log that covers the time change? APC should have changed both Time and Time Zone during a time change.

That said, there is an easy way to fix this in APCC without requiring moving the mount by hand.

BTW, you can do this in daylight:

1. Start APCC and park to Park 3 (the mount will be 15 degrees off).
2. Unpark and enable tracking.
3. On APCC's "Goto/ReCal" tab, click the "Load Mount RA/Dec" button.
4. In the RA Hours field, increment the RA by 1. For example, if RA=3, change it to 4 (if RA=23, change RA to 0).
5. Click the "ReCal" button and click "OK" in the popup window.
6. Park the mount to Park 3. The mount should now park to the correct position.

If I have the sign correct, you want to add one hour to RA when time changes from Daylight savings to Standard time. Going from Standard to Daylight Savings in the spring will require subtracting one hour from RA.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Sunday, November 7, 2021 1:21 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Time change today...

I was imaging until 3 am this morning and if course the time changed back to Eastern standard Time. I then
did a Park 3 and the mount is clearly one hour off.
So how does one correct for this?
Do I just change time in apcc and do a sync?
Tom


Re: APPM Model sanity check (suggestion)

Dale Ghent
 


Thanks, Tom! Glad you find the plugins useful.

APPM's actions at the end of a modeling run can be configured. When used from within NINA, it's suggested to set it to "No action" if your next move in the sequence is to slew to a target and begin imaging it.



On Nov 7, 2021, at 11:49, Tom Zepf <tjzcos@...> wrote:

That is an interesting addition to the NINA Plugin. The Ground Control plugin with PushOver support is great too. Thanks Dale!

If I have a "single target night", I might use that instead of generating a whole model. I was experimenting last night and found that I could build my 52 point model (20° increments with my wonky horizon)  easily in the time between nautical and astronomical twilight, so I may just stick with that. One thing that did take me by surprise is that it looks like APPM parks the scope when finished so I had to add another instruction to unpack the scope later on so imaging would succeed.

   Tom


Re: Time change today...

Dale Ghent
 



On Nov 7, 2021, at 03:21, Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...> wrote:

I was imaging until 3 am this morning and if course the time changed back to Eastern standard Time. I then did a Park 3 and the mount is clearly one hour off.
So how does one correct for this?
Do I just change time in apcc and do a sync?
Tom


Re: M31 from Paducah Skies Observatory

Tom Zepf
 

Wow, that looks great! Rich colors and a nice sense of depth.


M31 from Paducah Skies Observatory

Robert Chozick <rchozick@...>
 

I got a lot of data for this M31 shot.  I took 4 hours of OSC, 20 min of OSC 30 second for the core, 3 hours of RGB, 5.5 hours of Luminosity and 2 hours of Ha.  I used my ASI2600MC for OSC and ASI2600MM for the others.  I played with different combinations and did find the RGB does look better than fhe OSC but not by a whole lot.  The main difference was that the RGB had more varied and deeper color.  I need to learn some new process for combining all this but I think it came out ok.  I really want to learn how to better combine the Ha into this.  For this I just put about 25% of the Ha into the Luminosity.  I know Pixinsight has a process but I do not know how to use Pixel Math.

Robert


Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Tom Zepf
 
Edited

On Sun, Nov 7, 2021 at 12:02 PM, Marcelo Figueroa wrote:
The latest beta version of APCC allows to set a time window for the flip so that SGP can run it without conflict between the two. Personally I have not tested it, I am waiting for the final version (not beta).
 
In the meantime I simply disable the meridian limits option in APCC and let SGP do it all on its own, it works perfect.
I tried the latest Beta and I still had the same race condition issues, but there's a good chance I just didn't configure things correctly.

I didn't want to run without a fail-safe tracking stop enforced by the mount (APCC) - I like to have two sets of controls for things that can damage my equipment, so I've gone this route. I setup my iOptron mount the same way - the mount fail-safe stopped at 2 degrees, but I had SGP flip at 1 degree past the meridian. I'm probably just paranoid, that's all!


Re: Mach2 with CP five jiggling while tracking

Brent Boshart
 

I had/have the same issue with my Mach2.  Roland sent me some APCC commands to help dampen the encoders.  It affected both axes for me.  I thought it was totally solved but have since seen some remaining "judder" after a fast slew - I need to make further adjustments with commands. It takes up to 30 seconds to settle.  This is with a C8 mounted so no where near the limit of the Mach2. Before the APCC commands,  it took a while to even settle after a dither while tracking.  


Re: Mach2 with CP five jiggling while tracking

Jeffc
 



Here’s the video of the oscillation in RA.  It’s kinda short.  I’d like to acquire more data/info for troubleshooting.  


Btw… this Mach2 is unguided.   In this case it is almost like the goto for the moon overshoots a bit.. then corrects and the correction overshoots, and it continues. 

Back in September I had a similar problem when doing the gotos while building the model.   The image would have short lines for the stars.  Not all points in the model had this problem , but I didn’t see any pattern such as close the horizon , specific part of the sky, etc. 

I’m not using any auto guiding with the Mach2.  (Been thinking about it for longer exposures tho.)

At the time, I was using the latest APPC etc. (I don’t have the version handy — it’s on the other computer, but can get it if needed.)

-jeff 

On Nov 7, 2021, at 11:27 AM, Jeffc via groups.io <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:

I have the same issue.   

I found if I slightly imbalance the RA (move counterweights down) the problem is mitigated.   Also fwiw I’m using a 12” SCT which I think is just at the limit of the Mach2. 

However, I discovered this back in late September and have only had the mount out for a short session in October.  

During the October session I was trying to image the moon.  I did a goto to the moon, then noticed on the live video the moon flopping back and forth.   I had the patio lights on and could see the RA oscillating a few degrees.   I tried to capture this on a smartphone video but it’s not noticeable. 

I’ll upload a video of the moon flopping when I find it.  

(I had some conversation with Roland on this but I haven’t followed up on my part as I wanted to gather more info.)

-jeff


On Nov 7, 2021, at 9:44 AM, Allen Ruckle <aruckle@...> wrote:



Last night while setting up my telescope for Astro photography I noticed, while trying to calibrate PhD 2,  I noticed the stars were short dashes in the east west axis. I had started the telescope up using the V2 ASCOM driver and I had started PhD, as I started PhD2 looping I noticed all the stars in the frame were dashes which I then tried to calibrate to see if that would alleviate the problem, however it would calibrate on the dashes as if they were stars.
      I then checked the image  from the main camera, the stars seem to be jumping back-and-forth. I then connected the hand controller to see if that would calm anything down, no luck, so all I could do to proceed by turning off the APV 2 ASCOM driver and PhD 2 and run the telescope unguided, under only the control of the hand pad.

it was as if the tracking was the result of two systems fighting for control.

has anyone seen this issue before with the Mach2 p, and corrected the problem.

thank you for any help you can provide
aruckle


Re: Mach2 with CP five jiggling while tracking

Jeffc
 

I have the same issue.   

I found if I slightly imbalance the RA (move counterweights down) the problem is mitigated.   Also fwiw I’m using a 12” SCT which I think is just at the limit of the Mach2. 

However, I discovered this back in late September and have only had the mount out for a short session in October.  

During the October session I was trying to image the moon.  I did a goto to the moon, then noticed on the live video the moon flopping back and forth.   I had the patio lights on and could see the RA oscillating a few degrees.   I tried to capture this on a smartphone video but it’s not noticeable. 

I’ll upload a video of the moon flopping when I find it.  

(I had some conversation with Roland on this but I haven’t followed up on my part as I wanted to gather more info.)

-jeff


On Nov 7, 2021, at 9:44 AM, Allen Ruckle <aruckle@...> wrote:



Last night while setting up my telescope for Astro photography I noticed, while trying to calibrate PhD 2,  I noticed the stars were short dashes in the east west axis. I had started the telescope up using the V2 ASCOM driver and I had started PhD, as I started PhD2 looping I noticed all the stars in the frame were dashes which I then tried to calibrate to see if that would alleviate the problem, however it would calibrate on the dashes as if they were stars.
      I then checked the image  from the main camera, the stars seem to be jumping back-and-forth. I then connected the hand controller to see if that would calm anything down, no luck, so all I could do to proceed by turning off the APV 2 ASCOM driver and PhD 2 and run the telescope unguided, under only the control of the hand pad.

it was as if the tracking was the result of two systems fighting for control.

has anyone seen this issue before with the Mach2 p, and corrected the problem.

thank you for any help you can provide
aruckle


Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Marcelo Figueroa
 

The latest beta version of APCC allows to set a time window for the flip so that SGP can run it without conflict between the two. Personally I have not tested it, I am waiting for the final version (not beta).
 
In the meantime I simply disable the meridian limits option in APCC and let SGP do it all on its own, it works perfect.


Mach2 with CP five jiggling while tracking

Allen Ruckle
 

Last night while setting up my telescope for Astro photography I noticed, while trying to calibrate PhD 2,  I noticed the stars were short dashes in the east west axis. I had started the telescope up using the V2 ASCOM driver and I had started PhD, as I started PhD2 looping I noticed all the stars in the frame were dashes which I then tried to calibrate to see if that would alleviate the problem, however it would calibrate on the dashes as if they were stars.
      I then checked the image  from the main camera, the stars seem to be jumping back-and-forth. I then connected the hand controller to see if that would calm anything down, no luck, so all I could do to proceed by turning off the APV 2 ASCOM driver and PhD 2 and run the telescope unguided, under only the control of the hand pad.

it was as if the tracking was the result of two systems fighting for control.

has anyone seen this issue before with the Mach2 p, and corrected the problem.

thank you for any help you can provide
aruckle


Re: APPM Model sanity check (suggestion)

Tom Zepf
 

That is an interesting addition to the NINA Plugin. The Ground Control plugin with PushOver support is great too. Thanks Dale!

If I have a "single target night", I might use that instead of generating a whole model. I was experimenting last night and found that I could build my 52 point model (20° increments with my wonky horizon)  easily in the time between nautical and astronomical twilight, so I may just stick with that. One thing that did take me by surprise is that it looks like APPM parks the scope when finished so I had to add another instruction to unpack the scope later on so imaging would succeed.

   Tom


Re: APPM Model sanity check (suggestion)

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Dale Ghent wrote:

So I created a new sequencer instruction for my AP mount plugin for NINA called "Create Dec Arc Model". It will get the RA and dec of the current target and have APPM create a model plan based on that info. You would place this instruction at the start of a target's run so that a dec-arc model is created and put in place prior to getting down to business.
Now that's intriguing. Your prior one, to build a whole sky model automates a function I would do infrequently enough building manually was no real task. But this sounds short enough to include, especially in the early part of the evening before full dark, and build a target specific one and just do it routinely.

This cooperative effort between NINA and APPM is starting to look even better.

On a related note, last night I ran about 9 points of the verify with pointing/tracking on and off against an old model. It was a bit of a mixed bag... most points were substantially further off in the "off" mode (like 0.9" vs 0.3" as kind of an eyeball estimate), but a few were slightly worse with the model on. Bear in mind the model was made weeks ago on a portable rig, so the whole idea was to see if it remained valid, so the answer may be a definite "sort of maybe" and "needs a better test run". I was in a hurry last night.

Some night with a lot of moon or other reason not to image, I may build a much larger model to test against, but really for how I image, Dale's automation and Ray's Dec Arc may be a much more elegant solution. Generally I do not need to know about the whole sky, just a tiny portion of it.

(Skeptic in me has to add: if I even need that, guided accuracy is so good, this all may be moot; those that do not guide YMMV).

Linwood


Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Tom Zepf
 
Edited

I have struggled with this a great deal as well. This may not the best configuration for your circumstance, but the following screenshots of APCC and SGPro settings work reliably for me now.

I could be off-base, but I believe *not* checking the box to send updates to SGPro and allowing counterweight up slews were what finally got this working. There seems to be some sort of race condition I could never work around.

In my case, I am using a meridian limits file I tweaked in an editor to just be a simple 2 degree limit east and west, but this should work with any set of limits. Be aware, if you aren't, that SGPro cannot do a meridian flip "underneath" the pole. But this configuration is rare and will cause the scope to stop tracking in that case, so it should fail safe.

I did spend a great deal of time using the very useful ASCOM Sky Simulator to debug this in daylight hours. https://sourceforge.net/projects/sky-simulator/

Now, because I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm working on replicating my workflow in N.I.N.A. which seems much more flexible, speedy, and has developers actively working on it.

Good luck and clear skies!

   Tom











Re: Concrete pier

Howard Ritter
 

Thanks for the report of your experience, Clif. It certainly supports Nick Iversen’s suggestion of a wooden pier, and would greatly simplify things as well as drastically lower the cost. A wooden pier in concrete would also make the un-doing of it easier if we ever decide to sell the house.

How did you secure the mount to the posts?

—howard

On Nov 7, 2021, at 9:33 AM, Arnold C. Ashcraft <wa2guf@...> wrote:

I have a pier in my observatory that was installed in 2001. It consists of four 6 ft long 4x4’s of pressure treated yellow pine posts fastened together with timber-lock screws and liquid nails to make a composite pier that is 7 inches square. I dug a hole about 18 inches in diameter and 3-1/2 ft deep, put about 4” of gravel in the bottom and placed the wooden pier on top of the gravel. I then filled the hole up to ground level with concrete and built my observatory around it. The observatory is a simple 6’x8’ structure with a fold off roof and the raised floor not touching the pier at any point. There is no appreciable vibration of the pier and it has remained solid without any problem for 20 years, supporting my 10” Meade fork mount and the C11 fork mount reliably over the years.

Note that when I bought the 4x4 posts back in 2001, the chromated copper arsenical pressure impregnant (CCA) was still legal. It was banned in 2003 for uses involving human contact and has been replaced by alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA) or micronized copper azole (MCA). The posts you buy in Home Depot are treated with one of these safer impregnants. They are supposed to last a long time in contact with the soil, but I don’t know if they last as long as the CCA treated wood.

Clif Ashcraft, NJ, USA




Re: APCC Pro Error FindFreeQacindex: no free entries!

David Johnson
 

Thanks


Re: Concrete pier

Arnold C. Ashcraft
 

I have a pier in my observatory that was installed in 2001. It consists of four 6 ft long 4x4’s of pressure treated yellow pine posts fastened together with timber-lock screws and liquid nails to make a composite pier that is 7 inches square. I dug a hole about 18 inches in diameter and 3-1/2 ft deep, put about 4” of gravel in the bottom and placed the wooden pier on top of the gravel. I then filled the hole up to ground level with concrete and built my observatory around it. The observatory is a simple 6’x8’ structure with a fold off roof and the raised floor not touching the pier at any point. There is no appreciable vibration of the pier and it has remained solid without any problem for 20 years, supporting my 10” Meade fork mount and the C11 fork mount reliably over the years.

Note that when I bought the 4x4 posts back in 2001, the chromated copper arsenical pressure impregnant (CCA) was still legal. It was banned in 2003 for uses involving human contact and has been replaced by alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA) or micronized copper azole (MCA). The posts you buy in Home Depot are treated with one of these safer impregnants. They are supposed to last a long time in contact with the soil, but I don’t know if they last as long as the CCA treated wood.

Clif Ashcraft, NJ, USA

5341 - 5360 of 88034