Date   

Re: Mach 1 connection

Michael Kelly
 

Peter,

You’re a genius!   The FTDI adapter did the trick. Showed right up and easy to ID by unplugging. Officially down to one cable connecting all the gear to my laptop!

Thanks all for the help!

Now for the clouds…..

Best,

On Saturday, November 20, 2021, 10:03 PM, Peter Nagy <topboxman@...> wrote:

Michael, 


You need to find out which COM port number your computer assigned to your USB-to-Serial adapter by going to your computer's Device Manager under "COM & LPT". Once you get that, then fill in the COM port number in A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver.

Peter


Re: Mach 1 connection

Peter Nagy
 

The advantage of using FTDI USB-to-Serial adapter is it retains COM port retention so if you plug into different USB port, your COM port should retain same port number and you don't have to look up in Device Manager anymore. If you're not using FTDI chipset, then adding USB hub will likely change COM port number.

Peter


Re: Mach 1 connection

Patrick Spencer
 

Yeah, USB can be flaky for sure.

You mentioned you hear the "ga-dunk, ga-dunk" sound when you connect the mount to the Pegasus, so is it possible the COM port is being created but you're just not able to determine which port it is?  I don't want to waste your time with suggestions you've already tried, but you might try this: Open the Device Manger with the Pegasus connected to the PC but the mount NOT plugged into the Pegasus, and expand the "Ports (COM & LPT)" entry to see which COM ports are listed. Then leave Device Manager open and connect the mount to the Pegasus to see if another COM port appears in the list. If so, you can open the AP V2 ASCOM driver and select that port in the COM Port dropdown list (this is what Peter was referring to in his post earlier).

Patrick


Re: Mach 1 connection

Michael Kelly
 

Patrick,

Thanks, I’ve been using the two-cable set up. My Dell XPS only has usb-c inputs so I have been using a usb c to 3-3.0 usb a adapter.  The serial to USB adapter and the usb cable from the Powerbox advance go into the adapter. The computer instantly found everything on ‘CommPort 5’ the first time without having to change anything. I was psyched it was soo painless. I did get the FTDI adapter under George’s advice but haven’t used it since the one-maneuver-adapting cable worked out of the gate. 

My set up is about 30’ from my back door so I was hoping to just add a powered hub to connect the mount and the output of the scope hub and one long usb cable into the house. I find it strange the mount can go into a cheesy usb-c to usb a adapter and be found, but not thru the hub.  Perhaps there is some configuration in the usb hub to identify the port that the mount is plugged in so it can be found…..

Sent from Smallbiz Yahoo Mail for iPhone

On Sunday, November 21, 2021, 8:14 AM, Patrick Spencer <patrickspencer2@...> wrote:

Hi Michael,

The configuration that worked for me was a 2-cable setup. I plugged the USB-to-Serial adapter into a USB port on my imaging PC and connected a serial cable from the adapter directly to the CP3. Then I ran a separate USB cable from the PC to the Pegasus, to which I connected everything else.

You could try the FTDI USB-to-Serial adapter that AP sells. It's more expensive than the Tripp-Lite, but it always worked flawlessly for me. However, I never tried to connect it through a hub, so can't vouch for whether it will work any better than the Tripp-Lite in that regard.

How long is the cable run from your house to the location where the mount is set up, and what type of cable(s) are you using for that connection? Is your imaging PC outside near the mount?

Patrick Spencer


Re: Mach 1 connection

Patrick Spencer
 

Hi Michael,

The configuration that worked for me was a 2-cable setup. I plugged the USB-to-Serial adapter into a USB port on my imaging PC and connected a serial cable from the adapter directly to the CP3. Then I ran a separate USB cable from the PC to the Pegasus, to which I connected everything else.

You could try the FTDI USB-to-Serial adapter that AP sells. It's more expensive than the Tripp-Lite, but it always worked flawlessly for me. However, I never tried to connect it through a hub, so can't vouch for whether it will work any better than the Tripp-Lite in that regard.

How long is the cable run from your house to the location where the mount is set up, and what type of cable(s) are you using for that connection? Is your imaging PC outside near the mount?

Patrick Spencer


Re: Mach 1 connection

Michael Kelly
 

I have the Pocket Powerbox Advance on the telescope with main camera, guide camera, focuser and Heater controller attached. I then HAD one cable from that and the mount attached to my computer. No problems!  I have added the USB hub and now have the PPB and the mount plugged into the USB hub and everything from the scope manages to pass thru just fine but the mount ‘can’t be found’ whole unplugging and plugging I get a the requisite windows ‘ga-dunk, ga-dunk’ when plugging/unplugging. 


Sent from Smallbiz Yahoo Mail for iPhone

On Saturday, November 20, 2021, 10:05 PM, ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

Michael Kelly wrote:

  • In an effort to not freeze my you-know-what off this winter, I added a Pegasus USB hub so I can attach everything and run one cable into my downstairs. While I love being outside with the gear, being warm wouldn’t really suck……

 

Besides the com port mentioned, the Pegasus Pocket Powerbox Advanced (is that the one?), in the first generation, has an oddball port 1, it is USB3 only, and even many USB3 devices will not work due to how they negotiate.   If you have the original of this, make sure you avoid port 1 until you test and make sure things work.  I just have mine covered up.

 

They changed this in the second generation recently released.

 

Linwood

 


Re: Mach 1 connection

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Michael Kelly wrote:

  • In an effort to not freeze my you-know-what off this winter, I added a Pegasus USB hub so I can attach everything and run one cable into my downstairs. While I love being outside with the gear, being warm wouldn’t really suck……

 

Besides the com port mentioned, the Pegasus Pocket Powerbox Advanced (is that the one?), in the first generation, has an oddball port 1, it is USB3 only, and even many USB3 devices will not work due to how they negotiate.   If you have the original of this, make sure you avoid port 1 until you test and make sure things work.  I just have mine covered up.

 

They changed this in the second generation recently released.

 

Linwood

 


Re: Mach 1 connection

Peter Nagy
 

Michael, 

You need to find out which COM port number your computer assigned to your USB-to-Serial adapter by going to your computer's Device Manager under "COM & LPT". Once you get that, then fill in the COM port number in A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver.

Peter


Mach 1 connection

Michael Kelly
 

Reaching out here….

In an effort to not freeze my you-know-what off this winter, I added a Pegasus USB hub so I can attach everything and run one cable into my downstairs. While I love being outside with the gear, being warm wouldn’t really suck……

I’m using a CP3 and when hooked thru the new powered usb hub, SGP can’t connect to the mount but managed to find my main camera, guide camera and Planewave focuser just fine. 

I’m using the serial to USB adapter by Tripp Lite from the mount to the hub.  This configuration seems to work fine when hooked directly to my laptop….I’m probably making some goofy rookie mistake here and would gladly laugh at myself for some excellent guidance!

Best and Clear Skies!


Re: Cartes du Ciel Loses Mount Connection When APPM Launches #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Ray Gralak
 

Hi John,

Thanks for the suggestions. I will try increasing the AP-V2 driver timeout first to see if that solves it. I can
look into using the ASCOM Device Hub later as a potential fall-back solution.
I do not recommend using the ASCOM Device Hub with the AP V2 driver as the ASCOM device hub may not pass through some of the APCC-specific commands from APPM to APCC.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of John Upton
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:09 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Cartes du Ciel Loses Mount Connection When APPM Launches #APCC
#ASCOM_V2_Driver

Ray, Peter,

Thanks for the suggestions. I will try increasing the AP-V2 driver timeout first to see if that solves it. I can
look into using the ASCOM Device Hub later as a potential fall-back solution. I suspect the timeout change will
fix the issue, though. I will need to try an indoor check since it will be cloudy and rainy for the next week
according to predictions.


John


Re: Cartes du Ciel Loses Mount Connection When APPM Launches #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

John Upton
 

Ray, Peter,

   Thanks for the suggestions. I will try increasing the AP-V2 driver timeout first to see if that solves it. I can look into using the ASCOM Device Hub later as a potential fall-back solution. I suspect the timeout change will fix the issue, though. I will need to try an indoor check since it will be cloudy and rainy for the next week according to predictions.


John


Re: Cartes du Ciel Loses Mount Connection When APPM Launches #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Ray Gralak
 

Hi John,

Have you tried increasing the timeout in the AP V2 driver setup window?

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of John Upton
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2021 6:23 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Cartes du Ciel Loses Mount Connection When APPM Launches #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Hi Astro Nuts,

This is probably a setting issue but I have noticed the past few outings that my Cartes du Ciel planetarium
program (version 4.2.1) loses its connection to the AP-V2 mount driver whenever I first launch APPM from
APCC (version 1.9.0.11). (The mount in the AP Mach2.)

I usually launch application is the following order:


* APCC
* Cartes du Ciel
* PHD2
* NINA

I then make the following connections in this order:


* APCC to Scope via TCP and USB COM3 backup
* AP-V2 ASCOM Driver via APCC
* Cartes du Ciel to AP-V2 driver
* PHD2 to AP-V2 Driver and guide camera
* NINA to Imaging camera (ASI2600Mx)
* NINA to AP-V2 driver
* NINA to other equipment (MoonLight Focuser, PHD2)

Under this ordering everything works well until I launch APPM from APPC. As soon as that happens Cartes
due Ciel throws multiple errors saying that it has lost its connection to the AP-V2 driver and that no mount is
connected. I can connect APPM to the mount driver and NINA and then reconnect Cartes du Ciel and all are
happy and play well together.

Has anyone else observed something similar? Is this a known issue? Could it be something that I have set
up incorrectly in APPM, APCC, or Cartes du Ciel itself? It is not a catastrophic error and seems to cause no
harm but if I can avoid it, so much the better.


John

.


Re: Fine tuning PHD2 settings for 1100 with Encoders #Guiding

Andrew J
 

Just a quick follow up. Roland was nice enough to annotate one of my unguided PHD2 graphs to illustrate how he measures Seeing. He explained that he uses this measurement to help determine the initial MinMo settings in PHD2. In my case, the maximum Peak-to-Peak values between two consecutive points on the graph were around 1.5 arc seconds, My guide camera has a resolution of around 2 arc seconds per pixel. This translates into an initial MinMo setting of around 0.8 - 0.9 pixels if you add a small buffer to the 0.75 pixel variation for Seeing. Initially I thought he was looking at the variation over the entire time period of the graph. It was a "light bulb moment" when he demonstrated he was just looking at 2 (maybe 3) consecutive points on the graph. 

Note that this was on a night with particularly bad Seeing. Normally, you would expect the variation between consecutive points to be much smaller.


Another interesting point came up during our discussion related to the MinMo for RA vs. DEC. I never really understood why PHD2 Guiding Assistant (GA) always recommended a more aggressive (smaller) MinMo for RA vs. DEC. Brian provided the following quote from Bruce (author of PHD2) to help explain why these numbers are different.

Initially, the GA used the high-frequency statistics you are talking about but we weren't happy with that. Those statistics rely on a high-pass filter implementation and it's hard to know how to tune that for a broad range of image scales. So a replacement algorithm was developed using the standard deviation of the drift-corrected Dec movement as the statistical basis.  Using Dec motion in this way makes sense because the Dec motor isn't running - the movement should arise from polar mis-alignment and seeing.  Once the standard deviation value is calculated, a scalar term is applied that should produce a guiding activity level of only 10-20% for Dec.  A different, smaller scalar value is used for RA because there are no potential direction-reversal/backlash problems present in RA and a higher level of guiding activity is often needed because of tracking errors in the RA drive system.

The last sentence is key. The reason GA recommends a more aggressive MinMo for RA is because "a higher level of guiding activity is often needed because of tracking errors in the RA drive system". Roland indicated that this is not the case for mounts with encoders as the tracking errors should be miminal and recommended using the same MinMo setting for both RA and DEC axis. 

I found both of these points enlightening and wanted to pass them along here for anyone else who might benefit from these explainations.

I want to thank both Roland and Brian for patiently taking the time to explain these points. 

Andrew

Edit: Sorry for the multiple post. Stupid groups.io deleted the image when i tried to edit for typos. 


Re: Cartes du Ciel Loses Mount Connection When APPM Launches #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Peter Nagy
 

Hi John,

You shouldn't have to do this but have you tried using ASCOM Device Hub? It's pretty easy. It's already part of ASCOM. When you select ASCOM mount driver, instead of choosing A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver, choose ASCOM Device Hub (or something like that), it will open another window and you can choose A-P mount, your planetarium software and anything related to controlling the mount there. I'm writing this with a tablet so I'm writing from memory. 

https://ascom-standards.org/FAQs/DevHub.htm

Peter


Re: New JPL Format for Horizons Ephemeris #APCC - Format Causes Issue #APCC

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

Thanks for the insight. I had verified both and they are OK. What I did find is that the problem is with Stellarium. A photo of where Ceres should be according to Stellarium didn’t show the dwarf planet. When I slewed to the coordinates given by JPL she was in the field; not perfect but well within the FOV. So now I guess it’s time to contact the Stellarium folks. Maybe the Solar System plug-in isn’t all that accurate for asteroids and comets. 


On Nov 20, 2021, at 1:27 AM, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:


Two things come to mind

First is to make sure you solve and recal ahead of time so your pointing is is as accurate as possible

Second is Comet/satellite tracking is very sensitive to accurate time, many people (myself included) invest in a gps system with realtime clock updates using something like NMEATime



On Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 8:25 PM Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri <mjmangieri@...> wrote:
Well, after some trial and error I finally got Horizons to work using the beta release of APCC and the instructions given by Ray to change the header text.  But now I have an interesting question ...
In testing out this feature I decided to target Ceres since it was placed high in the sky during the early evening hours. I wanted to test out the horizons tracking for comet Leonard but it doesn't rise above my tree line until 2:30-3:00 in the morning.  I ran the JPL ephemeris for Ceres and loaded it into APCC.  All went well. I then set my mount (AP1100) to track Ceres starting at 10:30pm.  When the mount slewed to Ceres it was not at the correct location according to Stelarium which I use to target objects and control the mount's initial slew. The location given by Stellarium is RA:  04h 23m 37.6s;  DEC:  +16d 45m 16.2s.  But the JPL data is giving  RA: 04h 22m 57.7s;  DEC:  +16d 39m 30.4s.  This is a considerable discrepancy. APCC Horizons thus points the telescope to a location well out of the FOV of the camera.  
Not sure this is the proper place to discuss this, but has anyone experienced this issue?  This makes setting up a planned tracking impossible since the coordinates are not correct.  I've checked my location (Lat/Lon), and the settings on all the software and they are correct. J2000 vs 'on date' may contribute some of the error, but not nearly the amount I'm seeing.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: One spot config for portable setup #APCC #Mach2GTO

DFisch
 

Greg, brilliant proposal!, thank you

On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 02:12 Greg McCall <emailgregnow@...> wrote:
I've been waiting for the upcoming suggestions for enhancements but as it has not yet appeared, I'm going to suggest something now, particularly when I notice some upgrades are being built (between APCC and NINA)
I'm always portable and I have a mixture of OTAs and cameras.
I'm suggesting that we should have a one spot configuration for all AP software config (APCC & APPM) and that it be single profile based.

I'd like site specific stuff (GPS/location and horison) in a single screen (select something and it's all there for a site and I should not have to go anywhere else)
Close by, an OTA and camera combination setup screen all in one screen with the ability to save as a single file profile.

(a bit like SGPro config screen(s) in one spot and being saved as a single profile file.

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Testing SkyTrack continuous tracking with the Mach2 #Mach2GTO

David Johnson
 

APCC 1.9.0.11

I’m also using an APPM model, although in this case I was using an older all-sky model since I didn’t have time to do a new model prior to the ISS pass.  It was for the same setup, although I had taken it down and put it back up.  The model was probably pretty good but not perfect. 


One spot config for portable setup #APCC #Mach2GTO

Greg McCall
 

I've been waiting for the upcoming suggestions for enhancements but as it has not yet appeared, I'm going to suggest something now, particularly when I notice some upgrades are being built (between APCC and NINA)
I'm always portable and I have a mixture of OTAs and cameras.
I'm suggesting that we should have a one spot configuration for all AP software config (APCC & APPM) and that it be single profile based.

I'd like site specific stuff (GPS/location and horison) in a single screen (select something and it's all there for a site and I should not have to go anywhere else)
Close by, an OTA and camera combination setup screen all in one screen with the ability to save as a single file profile.

(a bit like SGPro config screen(s) in one spot and being saved as a single profile file.


Re: New JPL Format for Horizons Ephemeris #APCC - Format Causes Issue #APCC

 

Two things come to mind

First is to make sure you solve and recal ahead of time so your pointing is is as accurate as possible

Second is Comet/satellite tracking is very sensitive to accurate time, many people (myself included) invest in a gps system with realtime clock updates using something like NMEATime



On Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 8:25 PM Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri <mjmangieri@...> wrote:
Well, after some trial and error I finally got Horizons to work using the beta release of APCC and the instructions given by Ray to change the header text.  But now I have an interesting question ...
In testing out this feature I decided to target Ceres since it was placed high in the sky during the early evening hours. I wanted to test out the horizons tracking for comet Leonard but it doesn't rise above my tree line until 2:30-3:00 in the morning.  I ran the JPL ephemeris for Ceres and loaded it into APCC.  All went well. I then set my mount (AP1100) to track Ceres starting at 10:30pm.  When the mount slewed to Ceres it was not at the correct location according to Stelarium which I use to target objects and control the mount's initial slew. The location given by Stellarium is RA:  04h 23m 37.6s;  DEC:  +16d 45m 16.2s.  But the JPL data is giving  RA: 04h 22m 57.7s;  DEC:  +16d 39m 30.4s.  This is a considerable discrepancy. APCC Horizons thus points the telescope to a location well out of the FOV of the camera.  
Not sure this is the proper place to discuss this, but has anyone experienced this issue?  This makes setting up a planned tracking impossible since the coordinates are not correct.  I've checked my location (Lat/Lon), and the settings on all the software and they are correct. J2000 vs 'on date' may contribute some of the error, but not nearly the amount I'm seeing.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: New JPL Format for Horizons Ephemeris #APCC - Format Causes Issue #APCC

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

Well, after some trial and error I finally got Horizons to work using the beta release of APCC and the instructions given by Ray to change the header text.  But now I have an interesting question ...
In testing out this feature I decided to target Ceres since it was placed high in the sky during the early evening hours. I wanted to test out the horizons tracking for comet Leonard but it doesn't rise above my tree line until 2:30-3:00 in the morning.  I ran the JPL ephemeris for Ceres and loaded it into APCC.  All went well. I then set my mount (AP1100) to track Ceres starting at 10:30pm.  When the mount slewed to Ceres it was not at the correct location according to Stelarium which I use to target objects and control the mount's initial slew. The location given by Stellarium is RA:  04h 23m 37.6s;  DEC:  +16d 45m 16.2s.  But the JPL data is giving  RA: 04h 22m 57.7s;  DEC:  +16d 39m 30.4s.  This is a considerable discrepancy. APCC Horizons thus points the telescope to a location well out of the FOV of the camera.  
Not sure this is the proper place to discuss this, but has anyone experienced this issue?  This makes setting up a planned tracking impossible since the coordinates are not correct.  I've checked my location (Lat/Lon), and the settings on all the software and they are correct. J2000 vs 'on date' may contribute some of the error, but not nearly the amount I'm seeing.

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