Date   

Takahashi TOA-130 on a mach1

Linda Thomas
 

I recently bought a new-to-me but pristine TOA-130. I hadn’t planned to buy a larger telescope until I upgraded my mount from the current EQ6-r I’ve been using but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. The EQ6-r has actually done better than I expected but it’s really asking quite a lot of it for it to handle this beast of a telescope.

I’m actually on the waiting list for a Mach2 but a friend with an older Mach1 is kindly going to lend me his mount in the meantime. I have an Avalon T-Pod 110 that I was thinking of mounting it on. Is that a good option for this combination? I won’t be traveling with this setup but it will have to set up/tear down periodically. I’ve got a scope cover I can use if the weather isn’t too scary but when the bigger storms come through it has the option to stay outside for longer periods.

I know I’l need the Flat Surface Adapter to attach the mount to the tripod. I’m also guessing I’ll need a pier extension to raise the mount up for the long telescope. I’m at 39N lattitude. Would an 8 inch extension be the right choice?

I might need a bracket to attach the control box to the tripod…not sure how he currently has his attached to a wood tripod now though I have that question out to him. If his current bracket isn’t suitable, what would I need for the T-Pod 110?

Thanks in advance!

Linda


Re: APCC Not Restarting Cleanly

Ray Gralak
 

Jerry,

APCC has an auto-shutdown option in APCC's Advanced Settings. If you enable that option, APCC will automatically close itself once all clients disconnect from the driver and the driver closes down.

Please take a look here:

https://www.apastrosoftware.com/help/apcc-pro/index.html?advanced_settings.htm

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerome A Yesavage
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2021 8:52 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC Not Restarting Cleanly

Ray,
This is the line in Bob's Shutdown.js:

if(!StopProcess("AstroPhysicsCommandCenter.exe"))
Console.PrintLine("**Failed to stop AstroPhysicsCommandCenter");

Normally that closes APCC but sometimes the ASCOM driver is left running and if your restart APCC, it will
not connect to the ports. What I have noticed now is that I do not see the driver running and APCC will not
start up again without giving me an error about creating the virtual ports.

Is there a "best practices" to do this in the shutdown script?

Thanks,

JY


Re: APCC Not Restarting Cleanly

Jerome A Yesavage
 

Ray,
This is the line in Bob's Shutdown.js:

if(!StopProcess("AstroPhysicsCommandCenter.exe"))
        Console.PrintLine("**Failed to stop AstroPhysicsCommandCenter");

Normally that closes APCC but sometimes the ASCOM driver is left running and if your restart APCC, it will not connect to the ports.  What I have noticed now is that I do not see the driver running and APCC will not start up again without giving me an error about creating the virtual ports.

Is there a "best practices" to do this in the shutdown script?

Thanks,

JY


Re: APCC Not Restarting Cleanly

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Jerry,

I am using ACP and Expert Scheduler. Normally after a night's run everything shuts down including APCC but
I have never been able to get the ASCOM driver to reliably shut down.
The ASCOM driver will automatically shutdown when all clients are disconnected from it. It's as simple as that. Disconnect all clients, and the driver will close.

That said, I believe that ACP users have been told it is okay to kill applications. This is not a good thing! If you kill an application that is connected to the driver, the driver will not be able to automatically shutdown in the future. That's because the client did not disconnect before it was terminated, so the driver's client client can never count down to zero. So, keep in mind that it's not the driver's fault if you kill an application connected to it.

Now I not longer see the driver in running Tasks and APCC will not restart saying it cannot create the virtual
port... have to reboot the system.
Killing the driver and/or APCC can leave settings in an indeterminate state. If need to shut the driver down manually, double-click the client counter box in the driver's UI. You will get a confirmation prompt, which if you accept will shut down the driver cleanly.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerome A Yesavage
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2021 4:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC Not Restarting Cleanly

Hi,

I am using ACP and Expert Scheduler. Normally after a night's run everything shuts down including APCC but
I have never been able to get the ASCOM driver to reliably shut down. If it is alive APCC does not start
cleanly the following night. To prevent this I look in the Task Manager and end the task if it is still running the
following day. A minor pain but it works.

Now I not longer see the driver in running Tasks and APCC will not restart saying it cannot create the virtual
port... have to reboot the system.

Is it going under another name or is it one of the runtime brokers...?

Jerry Y

PS Proud owner of a new ZWO ASI6200M Pro.


APCC Not Restarting Cleanly

Jerome A Yesavage
 

Hi,

I am using ACP and Expert Scheduler.  Normally after a night's run everything shuts down including APCC but I have never been able to get the ASCOM driver to reliably shut down.  If it is alive APCC does not start cleanly the following night.  To prevent this I look in the Task Manager and end the task if it is still running the following day.  A minor pain but it works. 

Now I not longer see the driver in running Tasks and APCC will not restart saying it cannot create the virtual port... have to reboot the system. 

Is it going under another name or is it one of the runtime brokers...?

Jerry Y

PS  Proud owner of a new ZWO ASI6200M Pro.


Heavy piggyback considerations

eja24601
 

Hi all,

Our backyard observatory's current configuration is a TMB-152 on an AP1200GTO, with a light (Borg 90FL) piggybacked. Please see attachment as an illustration. The TMB rides on the mount via rings bolted on to a Losmandy dovetail bar.

I'd like to occasionally piggyback a heavier scope on the TMB. Specifically, a Takahashi FSQ-106 with an STL-series camera. Maybe even an AP130 Gran Turismo.

I believe I've seen a picture on this group (or perhaps the old Yahoo group) of a Mak piggybacked on a refractor (with Roland standing by), so it does appear that such a configuration is feasible (anyone know where that picture is?).

Are there any considerations or concerns about this configuration (a smaller, but heavy, refractor piggybacked on the TMB)? Specifically, should I be concerned (or not at all) about the weight of the piggybacked scope affecting (stressing) the TMB OTA? Or is the structural load actually borne by the rings and I don't have anything to be concerned with?

Thanks,
Eric


Re: Lost in space update

Astrobob
 

Thank you Roland and Mike,

 

I will try everything you’ve suggested on the next clear night and report back.

 

Thanks again,

Bob

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


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

M Hambrick
 

I ran another series of indoor experiments last night trying to duplicate the problem I experienced on November 8

I set up using my normal configuration with the 1100 mount connected to APCC via ethernet cable and to the AP-V2 Driver through a virtual port. Next I started up MaxIm DL and connected to my cameras (STXL16200 imaging and ST2000-XM guiding). This time, instead of plugging the camera USB cables directly into the USB ports on the laptop I plugged them into the REX unit of an Icron Ranger 2304. Finally, I connected MaxIm DL to the mount through the AP-V2 driver. 

Even when running the cameras through the USB hub (not recommended by Diffraction Ltd) I was not able to replicate the issue from the other night. I put the mount through a series of GoTo commands from both the Catalog tab in the MaxIm DL Observatory Control window, and from the Target Coordinates window in the Telescope tab. Each time I moved the mount I took several images after the slewing was completed. In every case the telescope status and position in MaxIm DL matched what it was in APCC and the AP-V2 driver.

Although it is not normal to try to slew the mount while guiding (except by mistake) I want to try another variation of this experiment with the guider running. But since I can not really simulate guiding indoors I will have to set up outdoors to do so. The theory is that excessive "traffic" in the USB cables may be causing MaxIm DL to lose its way.

Mike


Re: Lost in space update

Roland Christen
 


Then using the Keypad, I pointed the scope on Vega and did a recall with The Sky6.
Try not to mix 2 seperate programs when you do parks or go-to and recals, at least for the sake of troubleshooting it is much more straight forward to know what is going on if you use just one external app to control the mount. The Keypad is an external app, by the way. I'm betting that you have different time, date or location between the two programs. Remove SkyX from the equation and just get the keypad working first.

By the way, when you post your sequence below, it would help to know which program you used to send the mount to Park3. Keypad, or SkyX or ASCOM driver? Best to do everything, at least for setups or troubleshooting with one program. It's also important to have time, date, etc. correct and the same in every external app.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Astrobob <imager1940@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Nov 13, 2021 6:12 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Lost in space update

Well, I’ve loosened the clutches, told the mount to goto park 3 and when the mount stopped, I placed the axes manually
in park 3 position and tightened the clutches. Then I chose Vega from The Sky 6 pro. The mount proceeded to point
somewhere in the North West. Then using the Keypad, I pointed the scope on Vega and did a recall with The Sky6.
I then told the mount to goto Deneb and the scope took off to the east and stopped on nowhere.
As I said in a previous email, all I did prior to this was lubricate my mount.
 
AP1200 #863     The Sky 6 pro     Windows 10     Keypad External
 
Thank you for any help,
 
Bob
 
 
Sent from Mail for Windows
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost in space update

Mike Dodd
 

On 11/13/2021 7:12 PM, Astrobob wrote:
Well, I’ve loosened the clutches, told the mount to goto park 3 and
when the mount stopped, I placed the axes manually in park 3 position and tightened the clutches. Then I chose Vega from The Sky 6 pro. The mount proceeded to point somewhere in the North West.
Oops! Did you do an Unpark from Park3 first?

The entire reason for leveling the mount in Park3 (Park5 is preferred) is to then unpark from that known position, so the CP has a reference point. THEN slew to a known star and do a sync in SkyX (remember to set the ASCOM driver to use Recalibrate for Sync commands).

--- Mike


Lost in space update

Astrobob
 

Well, I’ve loosened the clutches, told the mount to goto park 3 and when the mount stopped, I placed the axes manually

in park 3 position and tightened the clutches. Then I chose Vega from The Sky 6 pro. The mount proceeded to point

somewhere in the North West. Then using the Keypad, I pointed the scope on Vega and did a recall with The Sky6.

I then told the mount to goto Deneb and the scope took off to the east and stopped on nowhere.

As I said in a previous email, all I did prior to this was lubricate my mount.

 

AP1200 #863     The Sky 6 pro     Windows 10     Keypad External

 

Thank you for any help,

 

Bob

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


Re: Lost in space

Roland Christen
 

Similar but not quite the same. Objects Menu brings up the database which allows you to enter objects and do a Goto. Main menu is for setup.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Astrobob <imager1940@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Nov 13, 2021 1:15 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost in space

Hi Roland,
 
What is meant by “Go to Objects Menu” ? Is that the same as “Find” in The Sky6 pro?
 
Thanks,
Bob
 
Sent from Mail for Windows
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost in space

Astrobob
 

Hi Roland,

 

What is meant by “Go to Objects Menu” ? Is that the same as “Find” in The Sky6 pro?

 

Thanks,

Bob

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


Re: M31 from Paducah Skies Observatory

Robert Chozick <rchozick@...>
 

Thanks Steve

Robert 


On Nov 12, 2021, at 7:27 PM, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:


Very, very nice!  Worth all the time.

Steve

On Sun, Nov 7, 2021 at 8:43 PM Robert Chozick via groups.io <rchozick=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
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: Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

Roland Christen
 

Your experience mirrors mine almost exactly. Ray thinks it might be a bandwidth problem on the laptop's USB ports, so I will try some things to see if different ports act the same or not.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Nov 12, 2021 6:06 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

Thanks Roland

I  don't use SkyX, and I have my keypad set up for external connection.

What you describe sounds similar to what happened to me earlier this week when this problem first occurred. I was able to move and park the mount through APCC (I didn't try the keypad), but MaxIm was totally unresponsive and wouldn't even let me disconnect from the mount because it thought it was still slewing. I had to use the Task Master to close out MaxIm. I didn't reboot my laptop, but I closed all the programs, powered down the mount and cameras, and then restarted from the beginning. MaxIm connected to the mount OK, but locked up after the first slew, again with the status thinking that it was still slewing.

When I did the test indoors last night I had my cameras connected last night and took several "images" during my testing, but I could not duplicate the problem. I will try again this evening and do a few more moves and slews along with the images this evening.

The ironic part about all of this is that until about 1-1/2 weeks ago I had never used APCC or MaxIm to control my mount. In just the few times I was able to do so I was amazed at how much easier some of the things I had been manually doing are with these programs. In particular I like the ability to click on an image at the spot I want the mount to point.

I hope you don't mind that I passed your comments on to Doug and Colin at Diffraction Ltd.

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: M31 from Paducah Skies Observatory

Steven Panish
 

Very, very nice!  Worth all the time.

Steve

On Sun, Nov 7, 2021 at 8:43 PM Robert Chozick via groups.io <rchozick=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
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: Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

M Hambrick
 

Thanks Roland

I  don't use SkyX, and I have my keypad set up for external connection.

What you describe sounds similar to what happened to me earlier this week when this problem first occurred. I was able to move and park the mount through APCC (I didn't try the keypad), but MaxIm was totally unresponsive and wouldn't even let me disconnect from the mount because it thought it was still slewing. I had to use the Task Master to close out MaxIm. I didn't reboot my laptop, but I closed all the programs, powered down the mount and cameras, and then restarted from the beginning. MaxIm connected to the mount OK, but locked up after the first slew, again with the status thinking that it was still slewing.

When I did the test indoors last night I had my cameras connected last night and took several "images" during my testing, but I could not duplicate the problem. I will try again this evening and do a few more moves and slews along with the images this evening.

The ironic part about all of this is that until about 1-1/2 weeks ago I had never used APCC or MaxIm to control my mount. In just the few times I was able to do so I was amazed at how much easier some of the things I had been manually doing are with these programs. In particular I like the ability to click on an image at the spot I want the mount to point.

I hope you don't mind that I passed your comments on to Doug and Colin at Diffraction Ltd.

Mike


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

Roland Christen
 

I think I may have figured out how to make it fail.

I did a series of tests to see where MaximDL fails:
1) Turned on the mount, initialized with the keypad.

2) Connected Maxim via USB. Driver came up, shows tracking and sky position. Slewed with Maxim, and everything worked.

3) Connected SkyX. Maxim still worked correctly, SkyX shows proper position and driver also.

4) Attached CMOS camera, took an image with Maxim. Tried 5 degree slew, but scope did not move. RA and DEC disappeared on the ASCOM driver window. Slewed with keypad which worked fine. Tried slewing with SkyX which failed.

5) Disconnected the camera, disconnected SkyX and shut it down, disconnected Maxim from the mount and shut it down.

6) Brought Maxim back up. Reconnected Maxim as in step 2 above. Driver came up with no RA/Dec in the ASCOM window. Maxim would not connect.

Needs re-boot of the laptop to get things to work again, but as soon as the camera takes an image, the problem with Maxim re-appears.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Nov 12, 2021 11:22 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

I may have set mine up completely incorrectly because it was still using the AP-V2 Driver in the loop. Here are the steps that I took to set up:

Device Hub:


When I clicked on the Properties in the ASCOM Telescope Chooser window it opened up the ASCOM V2 Telescope Driver. I had to change the COM Port from the APCC virtual port to the IP address (since I am using an ethernet cable). After I did this, when I clicked the check port button I got the mount found message.
 

After I did this I was able to connect to the mount using the ASCOM Device Hub.


In MaxIm I did the setup as follows:


Once this was done I was able to connect to the mount with MaxIm

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Clean out your old APCC Logs

Bill Long
 

APCC logs and the Microsoft search index database are the two things I manage to keep space free. I have search disabled and the db is deleted on my imaging system. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2021 12:44 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Clean out your old APCC Logs
 
Terri,

That's a whole lot of good performance records!

Yeah, it would be ideal to have a user setting to delete after x days... if you want to.  


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

Roland Christen
 

If by Device hub he means the ASCOM Driver, then I do get an error each time I attempt to connect, with or without APCC in the mix. Just straight MaximDL to mount thru the ASCOM driver. The driver does show proper status and position, MaximDL shows "Error". This used to always work, but now no longer. I don't know what changed in my laptop since I use it only for imaging.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Nov 12, 2021 2:57 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mount Status Not Updating in MaxIm DL Observatory Control Window

Hi Ray

Doug George at Diffraction Ltd asked me to try using the ASCOM Device Hub instead of APCC to see if the mount status and position was being consistently communicated to the different devices. When I set it up inside I could not replicate the error I was getting the other night (which was that after the first GoTo was executed, MaxIm continued to think that the mount was still slewing and would accept no further commands to the mount).

As I mentioned earlier, I am not sure I set it up the way he asked me to do. I keep wondering if there is a generic ASCOM driver that he wanted me to use instead of the AP-V2 Driver. Here is what he asked me to do. Please let me know if you think he was asking me to do something different.

Mike



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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