Date   

Re: Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

Roland Christen
 

I have exactly the same problem with MaximDL. It started doing this about 3 - 4 months ago and now I cannot get it to recognize the tracking mode after the first slew. Before this, I never had any problem with MaximDL slewing or centering a star on the crosshairs.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 8, 2021 11:07 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

I am not sure if this is an APCC or MaxIm DL problem so I am putting this in both forums.
 
I have just started running my Astro-Physics 1100 GTO mount through Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC Pro Version 1.9.0.11) and the Observatory control window in MaxIm DL Pro (currently on V 6.29), and until tonight there have been no issues other than the normal learning curve.
 
I am using the AP ASCOM V2 Telescope Driver (version 5.30.10)
 
Tonight, after connecting my cameras and mount to MaxIm I gave the first GoTo command to the mount from MaxIm and it executed it correctly, but afterwards the mount would accept no more GoTo or any other commands through the MaxIm observatory control window. Note that when I gave the mount commands through APCC it behaved normally.
 
What I have observed is that after the mount finished slewing to the GoTo object, The mount status in MaxIm thought the mount was still slewing. Clicking the Abort button made no difference.
 
I shut down and restarted the mount, MaxIm, and APCC several times but always got the same result after the first GoTo command was executed.
 
Until tonight I had been using a Cat 5e .ethernet cable to connect from the mount controller to my computer. Tonight I started out with a new Cat 6a cable, but switching back to the original Cat 5e cable made no difference.
 
Mike


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Mach2 with CP five jiggling while tracking

Roland Christen
 

Please send me any information about your mount to chris1011@.... That way it won't get lost on this user group. Also include George@...

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 8, 2021 10:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with CP five jiggling while tracking

Roland - Earlier (about a month ago) I replied with some output from mount commands you asked for.   I’m guessing that thread may have been lost in the noise or spam.  

In any event here’s the data I extracted for those terminal commands… let me know if you need additional info.   

Thx

Here's the output of the terminal commands:

$RS#  =  10#
$RA#  =  40#
$RN#  =  8#
$RZ#  =  0#

Also copied as a screenshot attached.


-jeff

image.png

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: east/west Plate solving with an SCT

Howard Hedlund
 

Remember that we have a very quick and easy method for measuring orthogonality - the first step in correcting it.
https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad/keypad-manual.pdf   
Go to page 52.   These instructions, of course, are for the keypad, but the concept applies easily to computers and plate solves as well.  By doing a little high-school trigonometry (remember to cut the measured error in half), you can get a precise measurement for shim thickness.  Trial and error is trivial on a 130, and usually unnecessary anyway.  On a big Cassegrain, trial and error is a major pain in the butt, so getting it real close to begin with is a good plan.  Understand as well that the error you measure will probably include some portion from shift/flop/movement.  Still, I think that fixing the orthogonality with this method will help, and it will mechanically reduce one important error source.  HH


Re: Clean out your old APCC Logs

 

For this kind of thing, I use Tree Size - a simple free utility that does a great job of showing your usage by directory, so I can easily find and delete unneeded logs, etc.

https://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free

It's not just APCC that generates tons of logs: ASCOM can do this, and Windows has its fair share of disk clogging files as well. 

This utility starts by listing the directories by storage used, and you can drill down from there. One time we found 250 gigs of Windows search index files 


Brian


Brian


Re: Clean out your old APCC Logs

Ben Koltenbah
 

I would prefer that these log files not be deleted as they serve as excellent diagnostics for when things go wrong, and I may not be able to get to them for quite some time, often more than 30 days later.  I try to make it a point to move the log files to the folders associated with their respective imaging sessions.  If after some time I decide I don't need them after all, then I delete them.  I also save my guiding logs and other log files in the same spot.

Ben


Re: Clean out your old APCC Logs

Worsel
 

Mike

C:/ProgramData is, by Windows default, a hidden folder.  It will appear in Windows Explorer, if you check the Hidden Folders box in the View tab

Bryan


Re: Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

M Hambrick
 

Actually Ray, I think that maybe these are the logs you are looking for: There are three different instances because I started and stopped APCC several times trying to figure out what was going on.

Mike


Re: Clean out your old APCC Logs

M Hambrick
 

That's a great question Chris. As a follow-up how do you find these logs using Windows Explorer ? I can't seem to find the APCC folder anywhere unless I open the Log Directory from APCC. When I do this it takes me to the logs via the following path:



However, the folder ProgramData does not show up in my Windows Exlporer.

Mike


Clean out your old APCC Logs

Chris White
 

I use a minix computer from a few years ago and it's got a small hard drive on it with an M2 add on for my image download.  The main hard drive has been getting closer and closer to full and I couldnt figure out why.  A couple of nights ago I lost an imaging session because it finally got too full.  All the normal tricks with disk cleanup and windows search deletion couldnt get me more than a couple hundred megabytes.  I was blaming it on Windows update and was basically ready to toss the thing out and get a new PC. 

Bill Long told me to take a look at my APCC Pro Log folder and I was shocked to find that I had almost a year of logs totaling 5GB!  I deleted these and it's like my PC has a new lease on life 

To Ray:  Would it be possible to have these auto-delete after say 30 days?  I assume that there is not much use for logs unless you encounter a current issue and need to access.  Something that was working fine 30 days ago shouldn't be much use, no?


Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Tom Zepf
 

On Tue, Nov 9, 2021 at 07:51 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:

Hi Tom,

 

Of course, APCC will do that using the settings shown in your screenshots. You have not set non-zero values for "Flip Offset" and "Flip Offset Padding".

OK, I misunderstood the UI. I saw the checkbox for "Limit to Meridian" above the "Flip Offset" and "Flip Offset Padding" and assumed it needed to be checked for those values to take effect. But then it would not have achieved what I wanted, so I didn't adjust the values. I now see they are disconnected and just happen to be (nearly) lined up vertically. Good grief, sorry!

 Flip Offset essentially moves the flip point sent to SGPro, so that SGPro has time to complete an image before the mount reaches the actual meridian limit. Typically you want to set the Flip Offset to the maximum duration of the image, plus a couple of extra minutes.


Ah, this language would be very helpful in the help file! I read the help file a dozen times, but had a hard time understanding what it was trying to say for "Flip Offset" and "Send Limit to SGPro".

Perhaps also something to the effect of "Minutes Past Meridian to Flip will be adjusted in SGPro Meridian Flip Options" might also help in the wording for "Send Limits to SGPro". After I finally figured out that was the value being adjusted, it all made much more sense.
 
 

 Maybe it would help if you took a look at the help page for Meridian Limits. You can click the "?" icon in the upper right corner of the "Operations" group box, as shown in this screenshot (info has not been added for “Flip Padding” yet):


Believe me, I did, but somehow it did not make sense to me. Probably something to do with "The Fog of Astrophotography" and not enough sleep and a frozen brain. It makes sense to me now, thanks for the help!

    Tom


Re: Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

M Hambrick
 

HI Ray

Is this what you are looking for ?? These are the zipped files from the last 5 days. Everything prior to November 8 worked fine.

Mike


Re: Error in APCC pro reading RA encoder on Mach2 #appc #Mach2GTO

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Terri,

Do you recall if APCC was minimized when this happens?

If so, try :

1. Close the Errror Log window from the Windows taskbar
2. Unminimize APCC
3. Reopen the Error Log window via APCC's Tools menu.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Terri Zittritsch
Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 11:26 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Error in APCC pro reading RA encoder on Mach2 #appc #Mach2GTO

Guys, thanks for the response on the error window. I click on the task bar and see a second window, but
when I click on that second window it does not come to the front. At least for me, it seems there is no way to
make the window active and viewable.




Terri


Re: Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

Ray Gralak
 

Tonight, after connecting my cameras and mount to MaxIm I gave the first GoTo command to the mount from
MaxIm and it executed it correctly, but afterwards the mount would accept no more GoTo or any other
commands through the MaxIm observatory control window. Note that when I gave the mount commands
through APCC it behaved normally.
We're going to need to see your APCC logs to understand what happened.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 9:07 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

I am not sure if this is an APCC or MaxIm DL problem so I am putting this in both forums.

I have just started running my Astro-Physics 1100 GTO mount through Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC
Pro Version 1.9.0.11) and the Observatory control window in MaxIm DL Pro (currently on V 6.29), and until
tonight there have been no issues other than the normal learning curve.

I am using the AP ASCOM V2 Telescope Driver (version 5.30.10)

Tonight, after connecting my cameras and mount to MaxIm I gave the first GoTo command to the mount from
MaxIm and it executed it correctly, but afterwards the mount would accept no more GoTo or any other
commands through the MaxIm observatory control window. Note that when I gave the mount commands
through APCC it behaved normally.

What I have observed is that after the mount finished slewing to the GoTo object, The mount status in MaxIm
thought the mount was still slewing. Clicking the Abort button made no difference.

I shut down and restarted the mount, MaxIm, and APCC several times but always got the same result after the
first GoTo command was executed.

Until tonight I had been using a Cat 5e .ethernet cable to connect from the mount controller to my computer.
Tonight I started out with a new Cat 6a cable, but switching back to the original Cat 5e cable made no
difference.

Mike



Re: Auto meridian flips with SGP

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tom,

 

You wrote:

> 1.      APCC adjusts the Meridian Flip settings in SGPRo erasing any delay or fudge factor that might have

> been in the SGPro settings before. See Showing-SGPro-Adjusted-Meridian-Flip-Options.png for details.

> 2.      If Guiding is still going on, APCC halts Tracking before SGPro gets a chance to flip, so PHD2 throws

> an error, the sequence stops, and end of sequence steps are initiated before SGPro gets a chance to flip.

 

Of course, APCC will do that using the settings shown in your screenshots. You have not set non-zero values for "Flip Offset" and "Flip Offset Padding".

 

Flip Offset essentially moves the flip point sent to SGPro, so that SGPro has time to complete an image before the mount reaches the actual meridian limit. Typically you want to set the Flip Offset to the maximum duration of the image, plus a couple of extra minutes.

 

Flip Offset Padding is a new control added in the beta. It adds or subtracts a little extra time to account for any time discrepancy between SGPro and the mount. Note the value is in minutes and can be positive or negative.

 

> Ray, have you tried this with the latest Beta and SGPro and gotten it to work? If so, I'd love to see your

> settings so I could give it a try. :-)

 

Maybe it would help if you took a look at the help page for Meridian Limits. You can click the "?" icon in the upper right corner of the "Operations" group box, as shown in this screenshot (info has not been added for “Flip Padding” yet):

 

 

-Ray

 

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

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

> Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 7:53 PM

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

> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Auto meridian flips with SGP

>

> On Mon, Nov 8, 2021 at 08:46 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:

>

>

>          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

>

> I've zipped up log files and screen shots showing the configuration settings. You can find them here:

> https://drive.google.com/file/d/11LqdWemaDSeLpSZoXX9wO3QtOzNQLTcY/view?usp=sharing

>

> From what I can tell, if you have APCC send the limits to SGPro, it basically runs things right up to the wire,

> and SGPro shows a flip time that is within seconds of what APCC thinks is the limit where it will stop tracking.

> I made these logs with Simulation gear (bad weather for a few days ahead), but with real gear, what seems to

> happen is something like this:

>

>

> 1.      APCC adjusts the Meridian Flip settings in SGPRo erasing any delay or fudge factor that might have

> been in the SGPro settings before. See Showing-SGPro-Adjusted-Meridian-Flip-Options.png for details.

> 2.      If Guiding is still going on, APCC halts Tracking before SGPro gets a chance to flip, so PHD2 throws

> an error, the sequence stops, and end of sequence steps are initiated before SGPro gets a chance to flip.

>

> What I have, is a way to make this work with "shallow" hard-wired "flip within a degree or two of the meridian at

> all declinations". See the settings earlier in the thread for that. But I don't get the "deep" counterweight up flips

> that would be nice.

>

> What I think I need, is a configuration that allows for the travel into the counterweight up position if declination

> and meridian limits allow it, but I cannot figure out how to do that with the knobs I've tried turning.

>

> Ray, have you tried this with the latest Beta and SGPro and gotten it to work? If so, I'd love to see your

> settings so I could give it a try. :-)

>

> Thanks,

>

>     Tom


Re: Time change today...

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tom,

However, the night it happened, I did manually move the mount with the clutches lose to park 3. Today I did a
resume from park, pointed the scope and attempted a plate solve. After failing several times, I did a park 3
and it went right back to being 15 degrees off.
There has to be something for which you didn't account. If you parked to Park 3 and adjusted the mount to that position, it won't be off by one hour when you resume from park. That assumes time and timezone didn't change.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 4:33 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Time change today...

Hi
Yes it was and is checked. The log is huge....100mb. Not even sure which one it is.
However, the night it happened, I did manually move the mount with the clutches lose to park 3. Today I did a
resume from park, pointed the scope and attempted a plate solve. After failing several times, I did a park 3
and it went right back to being 15 degrees off.
I reset it again and now all is well.
All the software and the mount is correct in its times.
Thanks, Tom


Re: east/west Plate solving with an SCT

mjb87@...
 

I tried plate-solving for a pointing model with my 300mm f/15 Cassegrain.  The model to the east worked fine.  The model to the west was a disaster and only about 10% of the attempted solutions would "solve." The partial results suggested I had a 7-degree orthogonality error.  For the life of me I couldn't see how that resulted given the setup. Everything is tight, mirrors are fixed, setup is balanced, the 1100GTO is barely working up a sweat given the load, etc. 

I then ran a careful assessment with ConeSharp which indicated I had a 10 arc-minute orthogonality issue -- not 7 degrees. Just last week I ran a manual TPoint model in TSX which suggested I had a 11 arc-minute orthogonality error.

I have never been able to explain the original APPM result and can only conclude it was the result of erroneous plate solutions caused by magnification beyond what the local seeing at the time could support, exacerbated by a moon on the western side of the meridian.


Re: Mach 1 awesomeness!

Howard Ritter
 

Well done, Michael! And if your Mach 1 is handling that size scope and the massive counterweight, it’s definitely The Little Mount That Could!

Nice to see another AP user with his mount on a Berlebach Planet tripod. I have my 155 EDF/600E on one of them and my APM 100mm binoculars on another. I’ll need something a bit more robust, though for the 1600GTO that’s arriving this winter...

—howard

On Nov 8, 2021, at 6:49 PM, Michael Kelly <Michael@...> wrote:

Hello all, 

I recently purchase a second hand Mach1 from a member here who assured me was in perfect condition….well let me tell you, that was an understatement!  

I’ve been waiting patiently for a PlaneWave CDK 12.5 and on the prowl for an appropriate horse for it to ride. After speaking with George, he said the Mach1 should be up for it.  He told me precisely all the appropriate goodies I needed since it was just the mount.  Well my new chunk of American made awesomeness arrived on Thursday and I made a beeline to Cherry Springs Pa for the weekend with some friends.  In similar fashion to AP thoroughness, the PW came with every single detail attended to, including all the adapters for my specific camera. 

Well after reading the daily Mach2 torture test emails, I can attest that this 10year old mount is still a straight up rockstar!  60lbs of ‘scope and stuff’ she was a tracking machine!!   Fortunately a friend had an extra weight since apparently I didn’t have quite enough, and this was still a tiny bit ‘scope heavy’. 

Roland, George, Team AP all around….positively amazing piece of gear. I am proud to be an owner of an AP mount for sure!!  

Best,

Michael Kelly

PS, thank you Patrick Spencer!


<IMG_4342.PNG>

<IMG_4321.jpeg>




Sent from Smallbiz Yahoo Mail for iPhone
<IMG_4342.PNG><IMG_4321.jpeg>


Re: east/west Plate solving with an SCT

Christopher Erickson
 

Mirror flop. Orthogonality. Loose dovetail bracket. Loose mount DEC axis dovetail locks. Loose auxiliary focuser. Loose camera bits. Loose secondary mirror. Flexing tripod/pier. Loose tripod/pier bits...


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Mon, Nov 8, 2021, 7:05 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:
I have a Meade 12” OTA .. I don’t recall the year it was made but I think it is from 2005.  
It is an early “ACF” version… in fact it is the version with the RC designation. 

My OTA has the twist-knob-collar-lock.   I have an external focuser so I set the external focuser to a midpoint, the focus with the moving mirror focuser to get the camera mostly in focus then lock the main-mirror focuser.   All auto focusing I do is with the external focuser.  

I’ve not noticed severe pointing issues from east to west etc, and frankly I’m a bit surprised it doesn’t have more mirror flop.  

I wasn’t aware of the “shipping range” for the mirror lock.  

I also use this OTA with an AP1200 for visual use.    Gotos from one side of the mount to another is pretty good.  

Now .. it occurs to me objects at the zenith may exhibit less “mirror slop” than objects closer to the horizon. 

This probably doesn’t help much , but at least maybe this is another data point. 

-jeff

On Nov 8, 2021, at 12:35 PM, david w pearson via groups.io <p.davidw=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Does any one have any experience plate solving with a SCT?   In my case a 12" Meade.
If i plate solve east of the meridian, then pointing east of the meridian is good, but not west of the meridian.
If i then plate solve west of the meridian, plate solve takes 5-10 minutes,  and then west pointing is good and east pointing is bad.
Seems like mirror flop?    However, mirror lock is turned and locked.
I found an old Meade forum called "MAPUG" from 2006 that discusses mirror flop and how to improve the mirror lock mechanism.
Also i found a discussion that mirror lock really only locks the mirror if the mirror is within the shipping position zone. 
If while focusing during use, the mirror is moved beyond the mirror lock "shipping" zone, then the mirror lock doesn't work.
this would explain my issue.....but is it true?

Any hints or experience would be appreciated.

dave


Re: Guider Settings

M Hambrick
 

Thanks Roland

So, was your original recommendation to never use less than 0.3 seconds intended to be arc-seconds and not time as is given in the MaxIm settings ?

If you intended the minimum move to be in arc seconds that would mean that I should change the Minimum move setting in MaxIm to 0.02 seconds of time.

When I tried using a 0.3 seconds of time (equivalent to 4.5 arc seconds ??), the guider essentially quit making any corrections.

Mike


Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

M Hambrick
 

I am not sure if this is an APCC or MaxIm DL problem so I am putting this in both forums.
 
I have just started running my Astro-Physics 1100 GTO mount through Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC Pro Version 1.9.0.11) and the Observatory control window in MaxIm DL Pro (currently on V 6.29), and until tonight there have been no issues other than the normal learning curve.
 
I am using the AP ASCOM V2 Telescope Driver (version 5.30.10)
 
Tonight, after connecting my cameras and mount to MaxIm I gave the first GoTo command to the mount from MaxIm and it executed it correctly, but afterwards the mount would accept no more GoTo or any other commands through the MaxIm observatory control window. Note that when I gave the mount commands through APCC it behaved normally.
 
What I have observed is that after the mount finished slewing to the GoTo object, The mount status in MaxIm thought the mount was still slewing. Clicking the Abort button made no difference.
 
I shut down and restarted the mount, MaxIm, and APCC several times but always got the same result after the first GoTo command was executed.
 
Until tonight I had been using a Cat 5e .ethernet cable to connect from the mount controller to my computer. Tonight I started out with a new Cat 6a cable, but switching back to the original Cat 5e cable made no difference.
 
Mike

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