Date   

M77 and NGC 1055

Geoff Smith
 

It's been a while since I've posted an image (weather, covid, other).
This is one I took way back in 2018. It had a bad flare from a star just out of the field and after many on and off attempts through the years I finally figured out how to get rid of it.


The image is here: https://www.astrobin.com/ms7smm/E/


Mount: AP 900
Camera: FLI Proline 16803
Telescope: 12.5" PlaneWave CDK
FOV: 49' x 45' (approx)
Processing: PixInsight


Re: New Email Address for Brad Perry

fernandorivera3
 

Perhaps someone on the group got their info hijacked or their account spoofed...

Fernando


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

fernandorivera3
 

In regards to having an auto guider turned on so an AP mount can track a star for 7 to 8 minutes, for creating a new PE curve for loading- it does matter what part of the sky you choose to do this process, right <some regions of the sky should be avoided like near the pole or low to the horizon>??

Fernando


Re: Pointing Accuracy

weems@...
 

How far off is it? Are you using the hand controller or something else to do the pointing? Are the time and daylight savings settings correct? 

Chip


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Penkala
 

Thanks Roland, you know maybe thats what I remember about the PEC part. 
I’ll give George a call on Monday and see about ordering the new V3 chip for my mount.

Thanks!
Dale


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Roland Christen
 

The keypad has a PE measuring method which will record one cycle and store it in the CP3 memory. You will need to have an autoguider running.
First start the mount tracking a star and turn on your autoguider. Choose a steady night so you get a nice clean guide graph. Now go to the keypad PE menu and start Record. Wait 7 - 8 minutes until the keypad beeps. You have now recorded a PE curve, it's that simple. You can play it back by turning on the PE in the keypad. Just be careful that you never turn on Record again, or you will simply overwrite the curve that you have stored.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 12, 2022 7:03 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

APCC doesn’t do PEM, so you’ll have to get PEMPro for creating a new curve in any case. As for instructions, I have not seen them online but you can always try asking for them. 

On Feb 12, 2022, at 19:49, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Sorry about the goof on the last reply,

Thank you so much Dale, I don’t really need the CP4 so the chip seems to be the logical choice especially for $80. I would need to purchase APCC in order to do a new pec training. That would have to be the Pro version of APCC I believe. Short of buying PemPro outright anyway.
I know there is a procedure for using it but is there PDF somewhere that I could read to familiarize myself on the process?

Dale

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Penkala
 

Ok thanks Dale, much appreciated for that info! Boy I thought the AAPC software come with it but maybe I misunderstood when reading the information between the 2 version.
I’ll have to do some more research on this. I think I’ll be calling George on Monday!

Thanks!
Dale


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Ghent
 

APCC doesn’t do PEM, so you’ll have to get PEMPro for creating a new curve in any case. As for instructions, I have not seen them online but you can always try asking for them. 

On Feb 12, 2022, at 19:49, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Sorry about the goof on the last reply,

Thank you so much Dale, I don’t really need the CP4 so the chip seems to be the logical choice especially for $80. I would need to purchase APCC in order to do a new pec training. That would have to be the Pro version of APCC I believe. Short of buying PemPro outright anyway.
I know there is a procedure for using it but is there PDF somewhere that I could read to familiarize myself on the process?

Dale


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Penkala
 

Sorry about the goof on the last reply,

Thank you so much Dale, I don’t really need the CP4 so the chip seems to be the logical choice especially for $80. I would need to purchase APCC in order to do a new pec training. That would have to be the Pro version of APCC I believe. Short of buying PemPro outright anyway.
I know there is a procedure for using it but is there PDF somewhere that I could read to familiarize myself on the process?

Dale


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Penkala
 

On Sat, Feb 12, 2022 at 07:35 PM, Dale Ghent wrote:
You could upgrade to a CP4, but you don't have to just for 999x slew speeds. The firmware of the CP3 is implemented as a ROM chip that you can pluck out and replace with a newer chip. The versions of these chips are alphabetical, F through V2. According to the screenshot you included, your CP3 has version L. The 999x rate was added with the V1 version of the ROM.

You can buy the latest and last-ever version of CP3 ROM, the V2, from Astro-Physics for $80. Minor aptitude when it comes to manipulating computer hardware is required to do the chip swap. You open the top panel of the CP3, use the provided extractor to remove the old ROM from its socket, insert and press in the new ROM, and replace the cover. You will then need to create a new PEC for your mount. Turn off PEM in the ASCOM driver until you are able to do that. Running the V2 chip will also allow you to run APCC, should you ever wish to run with tracking/pointing models.

/dale


On Feb 12, 2022, at 18:06, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Thanks for this information Ray. So I have to upgrade from CP3 to the CP4 chip in order for SC to follow thru to the AP Ascom driver settings then?

Dale


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Ghent
 

You could upgrade to a CP4, but you don't have to just for 999x slew speeds. The firmware of the CP3 is implemented as a ROM chip that you can pluck out and replace with a newer chip. The versions of these chips are alphabetical, F through V2. According to the screenshot you included, your CP3 has version L. The 999x rate was added with the V1 version of the ROM.

You can buy the latest and last-ever version of CP3 ROM, the V2, from Astro-Physics for $80. Minor aptitude when it comes to manipulating computer hardware is required to do the chip swap. You open the top panel of the CP3, use the provided extractor to remove the old ROM from its socket, insert and press in the new ROM, and replace the cover. You will then need to create a new PEC for your mount. Turn off PEM in the ASCOM driver until you are able to do that. Running the V2 chip will also allow you to run APCC, should you ever wish to run with tracking/pointing models.

/dale

On Feb 12, 2022, at 18:06, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Thanks for this information Ray. So I have to upgrade from CP3 to the CP4 chip in order for SC to follow thru to the AP Ascom driver settings then?

Dale


New Email Address for Brad Perry

Brad Perry
 

Hello,
I have a new email address. Please make a note of the change from skywatchers@... to rbradperry@...

Thank you,
Brad Perry


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Dale Penkala
 

Thanks for this information Ray. So I have to upgrade from CP3 to the CP4 chip in order for SC to follow thru to the AP Ascom driver settings then?

Dale


Re: ASCOM questions - MoveAxis() on Mach2

Ray Gralak
 

Shane/Mike,

The SlewSettleTime does not apply to MoveAxis() commands. It only applies to slews. MoveAxis uses the mounts RD and RR commands to set the move rate.

Shane, if you want to be sure the mount is no longer moving after a MoveAxis, try polling RA/Dec a few times per second until they no longer change.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Shane Ramotowski
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2022 2:09 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] ASCOM questions - MoveAxis() on Mach2

Mike,

I apologize. I should have looked at your email and realized that!

Thanks for the pointer to the SlewSettleTime property. I'll try that
tonight.

- Shane

On 2022-02-12 2:12 PM, Mike Hanson wrote:
Shane,

It was my response that Roland was asking you to wait for. Ray can
also provide good insight into the inner workings of the V2 driver.

One way to accommodate the side effects of the MoveAxis() method, is
to assert delay via the SlewSettleTime() property.
https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Developer/html/P_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_SlewSettleTime.htm
<https://ascom-
standards.org/Help/Developer/html/P_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_SlewSettleTime.htm>
Even using coordinate slews, there should be non-zero settling time.
This property allows you to not need to create your own programmatic
delays.

Regards,
Mike Hanson
--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@...
https://www.kor-astro.net




Re: ASCOM questions - MoveAxis() on Mach2

Shane Ramotowski
 

Thanks Roland.  I think I understand.  I was guess I didn't realize that I had a desired location using MoveAxis(); I just wanted the motor to run for 6 seconds and stop--didn't really matter where it ended up as long as it wasn't where it started.  So I guess there is an implied desired location based on the timing of the MoveAxis() with the 0 rate.  Anyway, I think I'm good; Mike's suggestion of SlewSettleTime should resolve my issue.

Thanks again - Shane

On 2022-02-12 1:44 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io wrote:
Move Axis will work - it will get you to the desired destination exactly as you request. It will accelerate quickly at the beginning of the slew as you noticed, and at the end it will make a small correction move where the desired co-ordinate is compared to the encoder coordinate until there is zero error. It may look funny to you, but looks are not important.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Shane Ramotowski <kor@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 12, 2022 2:32 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] ASCOM questions - MoveAxis() on Mach2

Thanks for the reply, Mike.

As Roland asked, I will wait for AP's response as to what is going on
with the MoveAxis() functionality.

Your points are well taken and understood.  I originally chose
MoveAxis() because according to ASCOM
(<https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Developer/html/M_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_MoveAxis.htm <https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Developer/html/M_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_MoveAxis.htm>>)
it behaves exactly as what I want to happen.  the Tracking and Slewing
properties should work as I would expect and I can start and stop
movement easily.  I do have the option of calculating RA/DEC and will
change to use a SlewToCoordinates() if it turns out that MoveAxis() will
not end up meeting my needs.

- Shane

On 2022-02-12 10:51 AM, Mike Hanson wrote:
Hi Shane,

The API you are using is modulating the tracking rate, not really
"slewing".  When a custom track rate is commanded it takes effect
immediately.  Yet, the mount cannot support infinite acceleration.
So, the speed will "overshoot" to "catch up" to the position
represented by "rate times time".  This is helpful when synchronizing
to a satellite to avoid the need to account for mount acceleration.
One challenge in synchronizing to a satellite is knowing the exact
instant to apply the new rate.  The acceleration is different for
different vintage of products (CP1, CP2, CP3, CP4) and can vary across
software versions - "it takes too long to speed up and slow down,
let's improve the acceleration on the next software version".
Seemingly innocuous design decisions like these can have unintended
consequences to those trying to chase satellites. The best way to
solve this problem is to not require the programmer to account for, or
overcome, mount acceleration.  However, this means that there will be
speed overshoots every time the track rate is changed by a large
amount, so the mount can catch up to the new "rate times time".  There
are other algorithm-intensive ways programmers can and do solve this
problem, but we try to make it as easy as possible.

It sounds like you are not using the API to track non-sidereal
objects.  In that case, you might be better off using an API that
simulates the N-S-E-W buttons.  Or, provide coordinate slews.  In
these cases, the slew status will more accurately affect true slew
state. If you experiment with the N-S-E-W buttons in any of the
programs that provide them (NINA, APCC, MaximDL, SkyX, etc), you will
find behavior more like you expect. I cannot say what ASCOM API calls
are being used to do this since I've not used them directly myself.  I
need to defer that to others.  However, your work with Python may
inspire me to give it a try myself.

Lastly, any system, no matter how rigid it may feel, will have
mechanical settling time, and will "wobble" a little at the arc-second
level following a slew.  The Mach 2 encoders can help with the
settling of the respective axis position, but not with the settling of
the optical train, or wobbling orthogonal to an axis of rotation.  So,
you'll probably want to wait a couple of seconds after any slew has
completed to begin an image.  Even if the system has "logically" and
"electrically" settled, it may not be mechanically or optically settled.

Regards,
Mike Hanson
--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@... <mailto:kor@...>
https://www.kor-astro.net <https://www.kor-astro.net/>







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics
--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@...
https://www.kor-astro.net


Re: ASCOM questions - MoveAxis() on Mach2

Shane Ramotowski
 

Mike,

I apologize.  I should have looked at your email and realized that!

Thanks for the pointer to the SlewSettleTime property.  I'll try that tonight.

- Shane

On 2022-02-12 2:12 PM, Mike Hanson wrote:
Shane,

It was my response that Roland was asking you to wait for.  Ray can also provide good insight into the inner workings of the V2 driver.

One way to accommodate the side effects of the MoveAxis() method, is to assert delay via the SlewSettleTime() property.
https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Developer/html/P_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_SlewSettleTime.htm <https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Developer/html/P_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_SlewSettleTime.htm>
Even using coordinate slews, there should be non-zero settling time.  This property allows you to not need to create your own programmatic delays.

Regards,
Mike Hanson
--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@...
https://www.kor-astro.net


Re: AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dale,

The older firmware you have limits the maximum speed the mount can move. The version you have is limited to 99.999x. The latest firmware allows for 999.999x sidereal. You need to contact A-P to purchase a new firmware chip if you want the faster speed.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dale Penkala
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2022 9:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Hello Everyone,
I’ve been a member for a little while and I finally got the mount I’ve been wanting for a long time. Its my
AP1200 GTO CP3. I just got the pier cut down repainted assembled (picture is attached) and I’m getting it
ready to go into service in my observatory. (Penmitlaw Observatory)
So far I have everything software wise right now working with the exception of the scope control in SharpCap.
I’m using the latest AP Ascom driver and SharpCap does connect and I can actually move the mount in SC
but it moves substantially slower in SC even with the settings set to 4º ps.
I’ve configured the AP Ascom driver to slew to the 1200 speed setting saved the setting, closed SC and
restarted and it still moves very slow thru the SC telescope control. I can use the AP driver just fine, but it
would be nice to control the mount right in SC so that I don’t have to switch back and forth from the AP driver
and SC to control the mount.
I’ve attached a couple pix for you too look at. My mount that I’m so very proud to own and a screenshot of
my AP Ascom driver configuration and the SharpCap Configuration for you to look at. SharpCap is bottom
right hand side of the screenshot.
I’m wondering if this is working normally here or do I have setting wrong in either driver? I’ve used SC v3.2 and
now the latest version of 4.0.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Dale


Re: Pointing Accuracy

Dale Ghent
 

On Feb 12, 2022, at 15:54, alain.prette@... wrote:

hi all

After using NINA to refine the polar alignement .. no problem for tracking
But the target is not in the finder ??
When you say "the finder", are you referring to the RAPAS?


Re: ASCOM questions - MoveAxis() on Mach2

Mike Hanson
 

Shane,

It was my response that Roland was asking you to wait for.  Ray can also provide good insight into the inner workings of the V2 driver.

One way to accommodate the side effects of the MoveAxis() method, is to assert delay via the SlewSettleTime() property.
https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Developer/html/P_ASCOM_DriverAccess_Telescope_SlewSettleTime.htm
Even using coordinate slews, there should be non-zero settling time.  This property allows you to not need to create your own programmatic delays.

Regards,
Mike Hanson


Pointing Accuracy

alain.prette@...
 

hi all

After using NINA to refine the polar alignement .. no problem  for tracking 
But the target is not in the finder ??

Best Regards,

Alain

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