Date   

Re: Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

Christopher Erickson
 

In my mind, how many columns are used or the lifting capacity of individual columns isn't as important as the overall rigidity of the assembly. As long as the combined lifting capacity of the columns is at least, say, 4 times the expected maximum load on the columns. That is not a scientific conclusion. It is just a subjective one based on experience.

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

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022, 5:59 PM Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Christopher,

 

Linak makes columns with different thrust capacities – 1000, 1500 and 2500 Newtons.  For my system with AP1600 mount, 16” RC and Lunt 152, I fabricated a lifting column using two of the 2500 Newton Linak units.  The total lift capacity is 1124# and I have about 550# of mount, counterweights and scopes riding on them.

 

When you mentioned using 3 or 4 columns, were you considering using the 1000 Newton units instead of the 2500 Newton Linak columns?

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Christopher Erickson
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 9:28 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

 

Piet Tech/Linak columns are great devices when implemented properly.

 

A simple limit switch interconnected directly with the roof motor can make sure the roof can't close if the pier isn't fully lowered.

 

However the increased robotic Observatory complexity does come with some risks. Switches can fail, mount power supplies can fail. Robotic columns can fail. Etc.

 

Personally I would suggest NEVER have a robotic or remote Observatory design that requires a mount and/or robotic column to be in a specific position before a roof/shutter can be safely closed. Inevitably there WILL be an eventual malfunction someplace. And either your roof can't close and everything gets wet, or a scope gets seriously damaged by the roof.

For a Mach1/2, one Linak column is probably good enough. For a 900/1100 I would probably use two columns. For a 1200/1600 I would probably use 3 or 4 columns.


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

 

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022, 7:09 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


I think Bob's point is more along the lines of don't trust *only* software to keep the unwanted from happening. If you're going to automate roof closures, make sure that your roof control system has the appropriate *hardware* safety interlocks installed to prevent the unintentional guillotining of your telescope. This would mean things like making it physically impossible for the roof motor to run if the mount isn't in the correct orientation.


> On Jan 10, 2022, at 12:03, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
>
> >>> Bob Denny put the fear of God in me to not use ACP automation to park and then close the roof.
>
> I'm not sure what to make of advice not to fully use automation software from an automation software supplier 🤔
>
> On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 8:43 AM Jerome A Yesavage <yesavage@...> wrote:
> Yes, I have the Pier and I get fine images in all positions. 
>
> I park at P5, but Bob Denny put the fear of God in me to not use ACP automation to park and then close the roof.  If I use automation, I have to have the pier lower so the roof always clears the scope no matter what the mount position.  Now Vito, says you can put a park position sensor on the controller, but I have never gotten this to work.  I have the proximity sensor and an extra toggle for showing the pier down, but I cannot get the roof controller to take these inputs reliably.  It will open and then raise the pier, but it closes before the pier is down (notta so good). 
>
> This is the proximity sensor:
>
> https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CWT7KW6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
>
> The toggle sensor is the same Honeywell that is used on my roof.  Rock solid. 
>
> If any of you have this working reliably, please show me your wiring and settings on the roof controller.  I fear I am doing something dumb (again).
>
>
>
>
> --
> Brian
>
>
>
> Brian Valente
> portfolio brianvalentephotography.com
>






Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

Jerome A Yesavage
 

I agree.   I had certain structural constraints and my observatory is on my roof with the pier linked to the main roof support to ensure stability.  To get in under codes I used a 6x6 design and it works, but as Bob Denny pointed out, make sure the ROR cannot hit the scope no matter where it is. 

Operationally, what this means is that the scope is lowered to where it cannot see above 45 DEG over the edge of the roof... then it is fail safe to a weather-related closure.  This really is not much of a constraint since my site is light polluted and low targets are in the worst milk. 

If I have a must-do lower target, I can raise the pier and disable the roof (only to be done in for sure good weather).  This can be controlled remotely using the Pier Tech controller software.  Too bad I could not put a dome on...

For the person considering a 5x5... do the geometry carefully... at best you get a 2.5' radius circle... my Stellarvue 130 barely gets in and you have to be very careful about all orientations... dew shield cannot go full out... but a lot of heat keeping dry.


Re: ASCOM Driver "freezing"?

wbelhaven
 

Thanks guys ...

@midmoastro -- not sure what to look for. I'd think that the driver has to be installed, otherwise it wouldn't connect at all. What specifically am I looking for?

@Ray -- previously had everything star-connected to a Pegasus Ultimate Powerbox v2, then into a USB 3.1 hub (as an extender) and into the laptop from there. Changed that to go direct from the aforementioned hub to the mount (instead of through the Pegasus) but that didn't prove to be reliable either. I'll try bypassing the hub and connect a cable direct from mount to laptop if I can find one long enough. Is there a way to determine with certainty if the virtual COM port is locking up, and if so, what can be done about it?

@Steve -- Power Options already showed that setting on "Disabled". I went through Device Manager and disabled power management on anything in the USB tree, per your first attachment.

Still no success. Woke up to find the driver "not responding". Other than re-cabling per my comment above, any other suggestions? Is there a log file, or anything else I can gather next time it happens, that will help?  BIOS settings?

Here's a screen shot of the ASCOM driver panel. Number of errors looks high (or is that normal)? I think the mount itself is ok, because killing that process and restarting it fixes the problem. Is it possible that the driver is getting something it's not expecting and freezing?


Re: Separate power for mount - why?

M Hambrick
 

If you follow the manufacturers' recommendations explicitly, we should be running three separate power supplies like Emilio is doing: one for the mount, one for the camera(s), and one for everything else.

I have been running everything (1100 mount, STXL16200 camera, dew heaters, laptop) off of a single Powerwerx 25-amp variable voltage power supply for several years. When everything listed above is running off of the single power supply and the voltage set at about 14V, the total current draw is about 3.8 amps at steady state.

The biggest current load occurs when the STXL16200 camera is in the cooldown phase. During the time when the cooler output is at 100%, the camera draws about 8.0 amps. Once cooled down, the current draw is dependent on the cooler output. At 40% output it draws about 2.6 amps. At 58% it draws 4.0 amps. During one experiment with the cooler output running at 74%, the current load was 5.2 amps. The amps jumped up to 5.8 amps when switching filters, and they jumped to 5.6 amps when downloading an image. I try to avoid running the camera with a cooler output over 70% because at about 78% output the fan kicks into high speed, and there is a lot of vibration when this happens.

By itself, the 1100 mount draws about 0.8 amps during normal tracking and about 2.5 amps when both axes are slewing at 600X. This is with a 180 EDT and guide scope set up for imaging. 

With my old Kendrick dew heater controller, the power cycled on and off. With four dew heaters (8", 4", 3", and 2") and on the medium setting, the current cycled from 0 to 3.05 amps. When running just two of the heaters (8" & 3"), the current cycled from 0 to 2.34 amps. I have since changed to one of the new DigiFire FX-Pro controllers, but I have not checked to see if this same cyclic behavior is occurring with the DigiFire controller.

I run my Asus laptop using a 12V DC power adapter (output 19V DC @ 3.42 A) that I modified to use Anderson Powerpole connectors instead of the cigarette lighter plug. I have noticed that when I plug this power cord into the laptop that there is a momentary spike in the current ranging from 3 to 4 amps. At steady state the laptop draws less than 1 amp. 

Like Jim, I have also purchased a second 25-amp variable voltage power supply. My plan is to run the mount and camera off of one supply, and everything else (dew heaters, laptop, and eventually an Icron Ranger and motorized focuser) off of the other.

Mike


Re: Separate power for mount - why?

michael mccann
 

Aside and you’ll probably laugh. After removing the oversized concrete pier and modding my AST tripod so my OTA wouldn’t top out in the ROR. I was setting up my AP1600. I plugged my extension electric strip and the powerworx power supply into my Goal Zero Yeti 1500. Then plugged my yeti in. It was cloudy that night, so other than updating computer no usage. Next morning my yeti was at 40% power. I saw that I accidentally plugged the yeti’s charging power into the power strip plugged into the Yeti. I had a good laugh at myself.

Cheers


Re: Separate power for mount - why?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 09:47 AM, Andrew J wrote:
I have heard from different sources that 14.1 volts maybe too much for most cameras and other imaging accessories. While dew heaters and the mount are OK and probably function better with 14.1 volts, it was recommended that I run the camera and other devices at around 12.8 volts.
On my ASI6200MM, at least per the specs, the camera portion runs off the 5V USB, and the camera cooler (and I presume dew heater) runs off the 12V feed.  So there is some segregation already.  Downstream devices off the camera's USB hub would also be 5V from the USB.

That's not to say that 14.1 is within spec for it, I cannot find any spec but "12v" which we all know never means really 12.00V. 

But it illustrates why this is less than simple -- part of my camera would be running off the power supply that powers whatever USB hub it is plugged into (could be a computer, could be a powered hub), while part of it would be running from the 12V lead plugged into it.

Linwood

PS. Beware that Pyramid, if it's the linear/regulated one I have, the ones shipping now are advertised as having a cooling fan, but mine did not; still air and hot night it overheated despite only drawing about 20% of its rating and started bouncing on and off line.


Re: Separate power for mount - why?

Andrew J
 

I have heard from different sources that 14.1 volts maybe too much for most cameras and other imaging accessories. While dew heaters and the mount are OK and probably function better with 14.1 volts, it was recommended that I run the camera and other devices at around 12.8 volts. This could be one reason to have at least two power supplies. I currently use three. One is for the mount (as that is what AP recommends) fixed at 14.1 volts. One for the dew heaters fixed at 14.1 volts, just because I don't want them on the same circuit as the mount. One variable PS for all the imaging gear set at 12.8 volts. I use the Powerwerks PS for the mount and the camera gear. The other PS is the Pyramid PS I originally got from AP when I purchased my Mach1 back in 2016, which I am currently using to run my dew heaters. This is probably overkill, but I didn't see any downside to keeping them seperate. Just my two cents...

Andrew


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

Geof Lewis
 

Hi John,
Thanks for your reply and I must say that I agree 100% about the CdC interface. Stellarium, is my preferred planetarium on all my devices (iPhone, iPad, iMac and several Windows devices) and I only started using CdC, as I needed something to control my former portable rig for initial set up, i.e. 2 or 3 star alignment, initial calibration, target acquisition, etc. and for some reason I could not get Stellarium to connect, whereas CdC just connected from the get go. So much as I too dislike the CdC interface, I've continued to use it when I've needed a planetarium to control my mount.
It seems that your use of a planetarium for mount control is very much along similar lines to me, so I'll wish you luck trying to identify and solve the Stellarium / PHD2 problem interface problem; that sort of diagnosis is way above my capabilities.
Best regards,

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of John Davis <johncdavis200@...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 1:47 am
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin
 

Hi Geof,

  Yes – as the joke goes –

Me: “Doctor, it hurts when I do that…”

Doctor: “Well don’t DO that…”

 

I understand that might be the “fix” – if only for now – and I’m prepared to do that.  Right now, the only thing I actively use Stellarium for (with the mount control) is to have the mount slew to the location that I want to use to calibrate PHD2 against.  It’s also nice to be able to easily see where the mount is pointing during an imaging session, but that is really not necessary.

 

I also use SGP to manage my imaging sessions, and I’ve gotten it working to the point that it handles slewing and centering of the targets, so I don’t need Stellarium for that process.

 

I’ve used Cartes du Ceil before – but frankly – I dislike the user interface a LOT.  Compared to Stellarium it is a very poor substitute (in my opinion). 

 

I’ve used Stellarium (with the Stellarium Scope software) for years without any of these problems.  But now that I switched to communicating with the mount directly from Stellarium (via the ASCOM driver), the problems began to happen.

 

BUT – at the same time I upgraded Stellarium and started using direct communication via ASCOM to the mount – I upgraded PHD2 to the new version that supported multi-star guiding.  So both packages changed a lot… which is why I’m not 100% ready to blame Stellarium.  Could be some condition that PHD2 is not expecting – but is perfectly legitimate – occurring when Stellarium is present… hence triggered by the presence of Stellarium – but caused by PHD2’s inability to handle the condition.  Might be a longshot – but I’ve seen that before in my nearly 25 years of software testing experience… 

 

So I will probably just try to figure out how to do w/o using the Stellarium connection to the mount.

 

JD

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Geof Lewis
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 11:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

John,

I've followed your thread both here and over on the OpenPHD forum. I have to agree with Joel; the below extract of the steps you took to diagnose the problem and get a successful guiding session state....

'......then took Stellarium out of the picture – restarted – recalibrated – then successfully guided for 1 hour 30 minutes...'

It seems that the only thing you need to do to fix the problem was stop using Stellarium. I don't use Stellarium as a planetarium for telescope control, as I use SGP to run my observatory and capture images, but I do use Cartes du Ceil (CdC) when I just want to quickly use a planetarium to select targets and control the mount, which works almost flawlessly. CdC is what I used to use regularly several years ago when I too had a mobile rig and need to set up afresh each session, so maybe that's an alternative solution for you.

Regards,

 

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Joel Short <buckeyestargazer@...>
Sent: 10 January 2022 14:50
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

John,
Doesn't it seem as if the issue lies with Stellarium, not PHD2?  I have no evidence for this statement but I suspect that Stellarium is the problem.  The internal telescope control is a relatively new feature (vs the old Stellarium Scope) and I've only been using it for a few months.  I haven't noticed this issue with my AP1100 at home, but I've noticed it with a CEM120EC at my remote location.  Next clear night I'm hoping to do some more testing.
joel


Flexible all-weather USB3 cable?

Woody Schlom
 

A Canadian on another Groups.io forum brought up the question of USB3 cables in sub-freezing temperatures.  Many of us are using CMOS cameras that only work on USB3.  And most USB3 cables get very stiff in the cold.

 

There are several soft and flexible “all-weather” cables made for other uses (audio, AC, etc.).  In my experience, these are usually made with soft Silicone jackets with braided shields and fine stranded wires.  But so far I haven’t found any high-grade USB3 cables that are flexible in extreme cold.

 

My current favorite USB3 camera cables are made by L-com.  I found what L-com calls their “Super-Speed 3.0 High Flex Drag Chain” cable, but so far as I could see – it’s only available in bulk.  The cable specs are wire gauges of 28/26/22, braided outer shield, foil inner shield, and two of the twisted pairs are also individually foil shielded.  The cable jacket is PVC (which I generally consider stiff and bad in cold weather).  L-com’s environmental specs. are -15 C° - +40 C° for cable that flexes or moves (which is what I need).  That low temp. spec. is fine for me, but not nearly low enough for folks up North.  AND if this cable is only available in bulk – is it realistic to make your own USB3 connections?  I see that L-com has solder-on USB2 connectors, but I didn’t see similar USB3 connectors.

 

Any recommendations?  How hard is it to make your own USB3 cables?

 

Woody


Re: Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

Jerome A Yesavage
 

Exactly.  With Bob's software it always parks first but you are not sure if it really is parked.  Piertech has the option for a proximity sensort to be used to determine that yes indeed the mount is parked, but I habe nver gotten it to work, so I look through a camera.... btw my ROR is 6x6 and it is tight... could not imaging 5x5.


Re: Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

Jack Huerkamp
 

Christopher,

 

Linak makes columns with different thrust capacities – 1000, 1500 and 2500 Newtons.  For my system with AP1600 mount, 16” RC and Lunt 152, I fabricated a lifting column using two of the 2500 Newton Linak units.  The total lift capacity is 1124# and I have about 550# of mount, counterweights and scopes riding on them.

 

When you mentioned using 3 or 4 columns, were you considering using the 1000 Newton units instead of the 2500 Newton Linak columns?

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Christopher Erickson
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 9:28 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

 

Piet Tech/Linak columns are great devices when implemented properly.

 

A simple limit switch interconnected directly with the roof motor can make sure the roof can't close if the pier isn't fully lowered.

 

However the increased robotic Observatory complexity does come with some risks. Switches can fail, mount power supplies can fail. Robotic columns can fail. Etc.

 

Personally I would suggest NEVER have a robotic or remote Observatory design that requires a mount and/or robotic column to be in a specific position before a roof/shutter can be safely closed. Inevitably there WILL be an eventual malfunction someplace. And either your roof can't close and everything gets wet, or a scope gets seriously damaged by the roof.

For a Mach1/2, one Linak column is probably good enough. For a 900/1100 I would probably use two columns. For a 1200/1600 I would probably use 3 or 4 columns.


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

 

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022, 7:09 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


I think Bob's point is more along the lines of don't trust *only* software to keep the unwanted from happening. If you're going to automate roof closures, make sure that your roof control system has the appropriate *hardware* safety interlocks installed to prevent the unintentional guillotining of your telescope. This would mean things like making it physically impossible for the roof motor to run if the mount isn't in the correct orientation.


> On Jan 10, 2022, at 12:03, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
>
> >>> Bob Denny put the fear of God in me to not use ACP automation to park and then close the roof.
>
> I'm not sure what to make of advice not to fully use automation software from an automation software supplier 🤔
>
> On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 8:43 AM Jerome A Yesavage <yesavage@...> wrote:
> Yes, I have the Pier and I get fine images in all positions. 
>
> I park at P5, but Bob Denny put the fear of God in me to not use ACP automation to park and then close the roof.  If I use automation, I have to have the pier lower so the roof always clears the scope no matter what the mount position.  Now Vito, says you can put a park position sensor on the controller, but I have never gotten this to work.  I have the proximity sensor and an extra toggle for showing the pier down, but I cannot get the roof controller to take these inputs reliably.  It will open and then raise the pier, but it closes before the pier is down (notta so good). 
>
> This is the proximity sensor:
>
> https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CWT7KW6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
>
> The toggle sensor is the same Honeywell that is used on my roof.  Rock solid. 
>
> If any of you have this working reliably, please show me your wiring and settings on the roof controller.  I fear I am doing something dumb (again).
>
>
>
>
> --
> Brian
>
>
>
> Brian Valente
> portfolio brianvalentephotography.com
>






Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

Christopher Erickson
 

Piet Tech/Linak columns are great devices when implemented properly.

A simple limit switch interconnected directly with the roof motor can make sure the roof can't close if the pier isn't fully lowered.

However the increased robotic Observatory complexity does come with some risks. Switches can fail, mount power supplies can fail. Robotic columns can fail. Etc.

Personally I would suggest NEVER have a robotic or remote Observatory design that requires a mount and/or robotic column to be in a specific position before a roof/shutter can be safely closed. Inevitably there WILL be an eventual malfunction someplace. And either your roof can't close and everything gets wet, or a scope gets seriously damaged by the roof.

For a Mach1/2, one Linak column is probably good enough. For a 900/1100 I would probably use two columns. For a 1200/1600 I would probably use 3 or 4 columns.

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

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022, 7:09 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:

I think Bob's point is more along the lines of don't trust *only* software to keep the unwanted from happening. If you're going to automate roof closures, make sure that your roof control system has the appropriate *hardware* safety interlocks installed to prevent the unintentional guillotining of your telescope. This would mean things like making it physically impossible for the roof motor to run if the mount isn't in the correct orientation.


> On Jan 10, 2022, at 12:03, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
>
> >>> Bob Denny put the fear of God in me to not use ACP automation to park and then close the roof.
>
> I'm not sure what to make of advice not to fully use automation software from an automation software supplier 🤔
>
> On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 8:43 AM Jerome A Yesavage <yesavage@...> wrote:
> Yes, I have the Pier and I get fine images in all positions. 
>
> I park at P5, but Bob Denny put the fear of God in me to not use ACP automation to park and then close the roof.  If I use automation, I have to have the pier lower so the roof always clears the scope no matter what the mount position.  Now Vito, says you can put a park position sensor on the controller, but I have never gotten this to work.  I have the proximity sensor and an extra toggle for showing the pier down, but I cannot get the roof controller to take these inputs reliably.  It will open and then raise the pier, but it closes before the pier is down (notta so good). 
>
> This is the proximity sensor:
>
> https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CWT7KW6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
>
> The toggle sensor is the same Honeywell that is used on my roof.  Rock solid. 
>
> If any of you have this working reliably, please show me your wiring and settings on the roof controller.  I fear I am doing something dumb (again).
>
>
>
>
> --
> Brian
>
>
>
> Brian Valente
> portfolio brianvalentephotography.com
>







Re: Separate power for mount - why?

Woody Schlom
 

Joseph,

 

And the non-adjustable Powerwerx is actually slightly variable inside the case.  I believe they ship set to 14.1v.  But I followed their instructions and went inside mine and lowered it to 12.88v – as low as it would go.  I also have and use one of their variable units which has a lot more range.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Joseph Beyer
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 5:19 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Separate power for mount - why?

 

Jim,

 

I was referring to the Powerwerx 25 amp variable voltage supply that is also available from Astro-Physics - https://www.astro-physics.com/psvpw25a

 

Joe

On Jan 10, 2022, at 5:11 PM, jimwc@... wrote:

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 10:55 AM, ap@... wrote:

Linwood & all

you guys are talking about (A, and the power supply) no ware was there a mention of a model number for the power supply you are talking about. I am assuming the power supply you are talking about is the 13.8V nonadjustable voltage model. Am I correct?
Jim  


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

John Davis
 

Ah – very interesting.  Yes – that sounds like a good idea!

Thanks,
JD

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Joel Short
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 8:42 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

John,
Another data point.  I mentioned that I did not see this behavior with my AP1100 at my home, but I did see it with my remote observatory mount.  I have Stellarium 0.20.2 installed at home, but 0.20.3 installed on my remote computer.  Maybe try rolling back to 20.2 and see how it goes?
joel


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

John Davis
 

Yep – that is very good advice.  I think I shall probably follow that!

Thanks,
JD

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 8:53 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 08:47 PM, John Davis wrote:

I understand that might be the “fix” – if only for now – and I’m prepared to do that.  Right now, the only thing I actively use Stellarium for (with the mount control) is to have the mount slew to the location that I want to use to calibrate PHD2 against.  It’s also nice to be able to easily see where the mount is pointing during an imaging session, but that is really not necessary.

Admittedly in NINA not SGP, but I just slew to the same alt/az location every night, I do not bother to look if there are stars there (there are stars everywhere :) ).  I have a script that I run that slews, calibrates, guides for 2 minutes (just so I can see how it looks) and then is done.

Not trying to say "don't figure out the problem" just you might find that easier than having the human involved at all, much less Stellarium, if that's the only need.

Linwood


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

John Davis
 

Hi Joel,

  Yes I do agree that the preponderance of evidence would point to some issue with Stellarium being the culprit.  But there is the possibility that Stellarium is doing something perfectly legitimate – that PHD2 has never encountered, and PHD2’s code is not handling it correctly.  I don’t know what the breakdown would be when estimating the probability it is one piece of software vs the other.

 

The way that I’m looking at it:  PHD2 is the software that is misbehaving – it is failing to work correctly.  So to some degree, they should have at least a little  skin in the game of trying to figure out what is happening.  That’s my only frustration with those guys. 

 

So – if I go to the Stellarium guys and present this scenario – what are THEY going to do… probably say – well our software is communicating fine with the ASCOM driver, PHD2 is the one that is going crazy – you need to get THEM to look at THEIR problem.

 

Makes me think of that song from my High School Years  “Stuck in the middle with you…”  a One-Hit-Wonder from Stealers Wheel in 1972.

 

I’m glad that you have seem something similar – hope you can find out more next time you are out.  I plan to do some things tomorrow night (hopefully)… my problem is that I have so few chances to image – I hate to waste a night doing testing…

 

Thanks!

JD

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Joel Short
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 9:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

John,
Doesn't it seem as if the issue lies with Stellarium, not PHD2?  I have no evidence for this statement but I suspect that Stellarium is the problem.  The internal telescope control is a relatively new feature (vs the old Stellarium Scope) and I've only been using it for a few months.  I haven't noticed this issue with my AP1100 at home, but I've noticed it with a CEM120EC at my remote location.  Next clear night I'm hoping to do some more testing.
joel


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 08:47 PM, John Davis wrote:
I understand that might be the “fix” – if only for now – and I’m prepared to do that.  Right now, the only thing I actively use Stellarium for (with the mount control) is to have the mount slew to the location that I want to use to calibrate PHD2 against.  It’s also nice to be able to easily see where the mount is pointing during an imaging session, but that is really not necessary.
Admittedly in NINA not SGP, but I just slew to the same alt/az location every night, I do not bother to look if there are stars there (there are stars everywhere :) ).  I have a script that I run that slews, calibrates, guides for 2 minutes (just so I can see how it looks) and then is done.

Not trying to say "don't figure out the problem" just you might find that easier than having the human involved at all, much less Stellarium, if that's the only need.

Linwood


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

John Davis
 

Hi Geof,

  Yes – as the joke goes –

Me: “Doctor, it hurts when I do that…”

Doctor: “Well don’t DO that…”

 

I understand that might be the “fix” – if only for now – and I’m prepared to do that.  Right now, the only thing I actively use Stellarium for (with the mount control) is to have the mount slew to the location that I want to use to calibrate PHD2 against.  It’s also nice to be able to easily see where the mount is pointing during an imaging session, but that is really not necessary.

 

I also use SGP to manage my imaging sessions, and I’ve gotten it working to the point that it handles slewing and centering of the targets, so I don’t need Stellarium for that process.

 

I’ve used Cartes du Ceil before – but frankly – I dislike the user interface a LOT.  Compared to Stellarium it is a very poor substitute (in my opinion). 

 

I’ve used Stellarium (with the Stellarium Scope software) for years without any of these problems.  But now that I switched to communicating with the mount directly from Stellarium (via the ASCOM driver), the problems began to happen.

 

BUT – at the same time I upgraded Stellarium and started using direct communication via ASCOM to the mount – I upgraded PHD2 to the new version that supported multi-star guiding.  So both packages changed a lot… which is why I’m not 100% ready to blame Stellarium.  Could be some condition that PHD2 is not expecting – but is perfectly legitimate – occurring when Stellarium is present… hence triggered by the presence of Stellarium – but caused by PHD2’s inability to handle the condition.  Might be a longshot – but I’ve seen that before in my nearly 25 years of software testing experience… 

 

So I will probably just try to figure out how to do w/o using the Stellarium connection to the mount.

 

JD

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Geof Lewis
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2022 11:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

John,

I've followed your thread both here and over on the OpenPHD forum. I have to agree with Joel; the below extract of the steps you took to diagnose the problem and get a successful guiding session state....

'......then took Stellarium out of the picture – restarted – recalibrated – then successfully guided for 1 hour 30 minutes...'

It seems that the only thing you need to do to fix the problem was stop using Stellarium. I don't use Stellarium as a planetarium for telescope control, as I use SGP to run my observatory and capture images, but I do use Cartes du Ceil (CdC) when I just want to quickly use a planetarium to select targets and control the mount, which works almost flawlessly. CdC is what I used to use regularly several years ago when I too had a mobile rig and need to set up afresh each session, so maybe that's an alternative solution for you.

Regards,

 

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Joel Short <buckeyestargazer@...>
Sent: 10 January 2022 14:50
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

 

John,
Doesn't it seem as if the issue lies with Stellarium, not PHD2?  I have no evidence for this statement but I suspect that Stellarium is the problem.  The internal telescope control is a relatively new feature (vs the old Stellarium Scope) and I've only been using it for a few months.  I haven't noticed this issue with my AP1100 at home, but I've noticed it with a CEM120EC at my remote location.  Next clear night I'm hoping to do some more testing.
joel


Re: Separate power for mount - why?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 08:29 PM, <jimwc@...> wrote:
One person is using a variable voltage and one using a non-variable voltage model they both work equally well as a separate power supply. 
I use the variable one also, though I use it at the fixed 14.1 voltage.   I think the other one is a similar technology just with powerpoles and fixed voltage; I do not know if it existed when I ordered. 


Re: Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin

Joel Short
 

Scratch that. I just saw that you are already on 21.2.
joel

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