Date   

Re: APPM Model when changing camera

S Berrada
 

Mr Gralak, 

I would appreciate any experience or thoughts about using the same pointing model when the camera is changed on the same scope .
I realize that ideally one would want to redo the pointing model, but I wonder what the theory would say if the only thing that changes is sensor size and pixel size (assume camera - scope connections are equally rigid).

thank you 
Sam 


Re: Mount Status in AP V2 ASCOM Driver Does Not Match APCC

M Hambrick
 

Hi Ray

As for memory, when all of my applications are running, I am using 4.99 GB out of 12 GB of my computer's RAM capacity, and 260 GB of the 1 TB storage capacity If this were a problem, I would expect that you would have a lot more people with the same issue.

While switching to a SSD might not be a bad idea, I would put it in the category of just swapping out hardware hoping that it might solve a problem. I am not sure that I have the skills to do that anyway. That's why I said that it might be a better idea to replace the laptop.

If you have any other suggestions for troubleshooting this issue, I would be interested in hearing them.

Mike


Re: OT: Solar Eclipse Video From Mars

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Truly amazing, thanks for sharing
 


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Christopher Erickson
 

There is only one way I have found to be able to run unguided SCT's on any mount, and that is by adding a Hyperstar. At f2.2, exposures are rather short.
Floating/flopping mirrors cause much less problems with shorter exposures. The super-wide-field is great for many objects but not so great for others. For planets, I go with video modes and short exposures so guiding isn't very critical there either.

When I'm not using a Hyperstar or shooting planets, I always use an off-axis guider. I would like to play with an on-axis guider someday but I haven't yet made the investment.

Piggyback guiders on SCT's and most other compound scopes just leads to tears.

"Always take the high road. There's less traffic."

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Wed, Apr 20, 2022 at 1:06 PM Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:
I just found out that InnovationsForesight is working with NINA on a native integration


OT: Solar Eclipse Video From Mars

Dean Jacobsen
 

Not exactly on topic but this video is amazing.  Never thought I would see something like this:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/04/nasa-rover-captures-an-amazing-view-of-a-solar-eclipse-on-mars/

--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Re: Mount Status in AP V2 ASCOM Driver Does Not Match APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Mike,

If there is in fact a problem with this computer, it should be possible to at least identify what the problem. Just
saying that it is old is not an answer.
Are you asking me to find a hardware problem on your computer? I've given you a couple of suggestions on what you should do (replace hard drive with an SSD and add more memory). You could at least try those things first, as your computer definitely has some issues! :-)

-Ray


Re: Mount Status in AP V2 ASCOM Driver Does Not Match APCC

M Hambrick
 

Hi Ray

That (laptop replacement) is not likely to happen any time soon. And as for other issues, other than this one communication issue with these particular applications this laptop behaves perfectly.

If there is in fact a problem with this computer, it should be possible to at least identify what the problem. Just saying that it is old is not an answer.

When I read some of the suggestions from other users about what kind of laptop to look for, I was surprised at how many of the computers that were being suggested were using older generation processors than this one has.

Mike


Re: Mount Status in AP V2 ASCOM Driver Does Not Match APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mike,

If this is the same computer with the other issues then I would rather wait until you have a replacement computer.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 3:36 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mount Status in AP V2 ASCOM Driver Does Not Match APCC

Hi Ray

Here is another weird occurrence from the other night. I was trying to connect the AP V2 Driver to the mount
through the virtual COM port in APCC. After some difficulty in getting connected I finally had APCC and the AP
V2 Driver connected. After several minutes I gave the command to park the mount from APCC. The screen shots
below shows what happened next:

In the first screen shot you can see from the APCC screen that both APCC and the AP V2 Driver show to be
connected, but if you look at the mount info windows in both it appears that the AP V2 Driver is totally locked up
and had been for some time.

In the second screen shot I have the window arranged so that you can see the comparison of the computer time
with the time shown in the AP V2 Driver. There is a 12 minute difference !

I have downloaded all the logs from this session, but I stopped and restarted the AP V2 driver many times, so I
need to try to look through them and give you the time stamp of the ones that might show this event.





Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Bruce Donzanti
 

I just found out that InnovationsForesight is working with NINA on a native integration


Re: Mount Status in AP V2 ASCOM Driver Does Not Match APCC

M Hambrick
 

Hi Ray

Here is another weird occurrence from the other night. I was trying to connect the AP V2 Driver to the mount through the virtual COM port in APCC. After some difficulty in getting connected I finally had APCC and the AP V2 Driver connected. After several minutes I gave the command to park the mount from APCC. The screen shots below shows what happened next:

In the first screen shot you can see from the APCC screen that both APCC and the AP V2 Driver show to be connected, but if you look at the mount info windows in both it appears that the AP V2 Driver is totally locked up and had been for some time. 

In the second screen shot I have the window arranged so that you can see the comparison of the computer time with the time shown in the AP V2 Driver. There is a 12 minute difference !

I have downloaded all the logs from this session, but I stopped and restarted the AP V2 driver many times, so I need to try to look through them and give you the time stamp of the ones that might show this event.




Re: Help Needed with AP V2 Driver COM Port Settings

M Hambrick
 

Hi Brian

I usually click the "Now" button in the AP V2 window, which as I understand it does something similar to the Auto-Config, except as a discreet one-time command.

My setup routine is as follows:
  1. Power up the mount (Keypad is set to "external Connection"
  2. Launch APCC
  3. Connect the mount to APCC via the ethernet / IP address.  This is usually very quick.
  4. Click the "Now" button in the AP V2 Driver window. This will usually restart the driver
  5. Connect the AP V2 Driver through the Virtual COM Port
  6. After the AP-V2 Driver is connected I usually open up the Setup Telescope window and click on the Check Port button to make sure that the mount is there.
  7. Power up the cameras
  8. Launch MaxIm DL and connect the cameras
  9. While the cameras are cooling I will open the observatory control window in MaxIm and connect to the mount.

The other night I wanted to try connecting the AP V2 Driver dirrectly to the mount through the ethernet cable instead of through the virtual COM port in APCC. I changed the COM setting in the AP V2 Driver to use the IP address and it worked fine. Now I want to go back to the normal setup described above, but for some reason the AP V2 driver COM settings are "stuck" on the IP address mode and every time I change them back to the APCC virtual COM port they revert back.

Mike


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Worsel
 

Bruce

I have a 14.5" corrected Dall-Kirkham (f.l. 2470 mm) on a non-AE 1100 in a permanent observatory.  Typical setup is an image scale of 0.4 "/pxl!

With a 200 or more point APPM model, I can go unguided for up to 15 minutes at times.  It is likely related to the Dec of the target, but I can't quantify that theory.  I have not tried Dec arc modelling yet.

Attached is a comparison of three images with the above setup.  "Corrected tracking" = using the APPM derived model.

My conclusion is that, while unguided at this focal length is achievable, the real goal is good images.  Hence, I tinker with unguided, but I usually guide.  OAG and PHD2.

With a 910 mm focal length refractor (image scale 1.5), I image unguided all the time.  PHD2 is fine when needed, but it adds a layer of potential 'disruption.'  Its all a tradeoff!

Bryan


Re: Mount slewing acceleration/deceleration profile

Craig Young
 

Hi Roland,
I have a 10A 13.8V Laboratory Bench Supply powering the mount.  It is located at the base of the pier and uses the same power cable that came with the mount.

I had a productive video call with Mike and Dave this morning and we were able to resolve all of the issues.  Most importantly, Mike was able to make a couple of CP4 tweaks which greatly improved the stopping performance of the mount with this heavy load.  We also confirmed that slew ramping is indeed working but it is much faster than other mounts.  It is also slew rate dependent so at 240X you cannot hear it, but at 600X it is definitely there.  I asked Mike if he would bring up the subject of adding a user configurable ramping time for the mount given its heavy payload, or at least be able to have AP tweak it.  Maybe specifying the load on the mount would automatically calculate the best ramp speed.

A big thank you to Mike and Dave for their excellent support.  At this point it appears everything is working okay now.

Craig


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Cal Sandfort
 

The particular focusing software mentioned when using the InnovationsForesight's ONAG is not really required unless you want to have continuous focusing as you expose images. Otherwise, you can use your existing methods. The only difference will be that the guide stars will be more or less in and out of focus because of offsets from different filters but guiding algorithms typically handle this very well.


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Bruce Donzanti
 

Without in a permanent setup.


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Bruce Donzanti
 

Thanks, Wade.  I understand perfectly how the so-called "locks" (not really locking) work and have been using the Celestron OAG for several years.  It works well and I get excellent star shapes.  That is not the problem.  Now that I run through the entire night, there is the occasion when on meridian flip, there are no good guide stars for PHD2 as very few are present in the OAG FOV.  The Optec SMFFS is the best accessory I have ever bought for the Edge and the Optec locking knobs really tighten down the primary.  I've gone months with great success imaging throughout the night with the exception I mentioned above.  


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Roland Christen
 

AP1100 with or without encoders?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Apr 20, 2022 4:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Unguided Imaging with a SCT

AP1100

I saw the ONAG by InnovationsForesight - not sure if there are others.  While they seem helpful in explaining what I need, it seems to use a particular focusing software that may not work well with N.I.N.A., the acquisition software I use.  Maybe I am wrong and need to investigate further.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

Bruce Donzanti
 

AP1100

I saw the ONAG by InnovationsForesight - not sure if there are others.  While they seem helpful in explaining what I need, it seems to use a particular focusing software that may not work well with N.I.N.A., the acquisition software I use.  Maybe I am wrong and need to investigate further.


Re: Unguided Imaging with a SCT

W Hilmo
 

I have imaged quite a bit with an 8" EdgeHD.

In my opinion, an OAG (or ONAG) is required with these scopes.  I did my testing on an AP1600 with Absolute Encoders and a tracking model through APCC.  With that configuration, I had pretty noticeable elongation of stars with 2 minute exposures on an ASI1600 at F/7.

The mirror "locks" on an EdgeHD are not locks at all.  The mechanism consists of two flexible rods that run from the back of the scope, to the back of the primary mirror carrier.  They are placed at 120 degrees in each direction from the focus knob.  When you tighten the two knobs on the scope, you are preventing the rods from moving forward and backward.  Since they are connected to the mirror carrier, this prevents the two contact points on the mirror carrier from moving forward and backward.  This should be reasonably effective for preventing mirror tilt, but only if you finish focus using the primary mirror focus knob with a counter-clockwise turn.  Finishing with a clockwise turn may allow for some tilt due to backlash on the threaded focus rod.

The bigger issue is that there needs to be sufficient "looseness" between the primary mirror carrier and the baffle tube, so that it can smoothly move to focus.  The mechanism that I described above cannot do anything to prevent lateral movement of the mirror in that case.

Back when I was just getting started with the scope, I noticed the problem.  I spent a considerable amount of time investigating and testing with the scope in various orientations.  I tested unguided (with the very capable mount and model described above), guided with a guide scope, and guided with an OAG.

Both the unguided and guide scope tests gave essentially identical results.  Interestingly, I got the exact same results with the mirror "locks" both loose and tight.  I suspect that this means that I have very little tilt, but some lateral movement.

When I tested with an OAG, I got perfectly round stars, regardless of the duration of the exposure.  I tested up to 30 minutes.

I have heard some people say that they are satisfied with the results that the get with a guide scope on an EdgeHD.  I don't know if that means that there is significant variability in the tolerances, or whether other folks are just less picky than I am (although the problem seems very obvious to me).

I would definitely recommend guiding with these OTA's, specifically using something that uses the same light path as the main camera.

I hope that this helps,
-Wade

On 4/20/22 11:51 AM, Bruce Donzanti wrote:
I am guiding with an OAG on a C11" EdgeHD @ f/10 with a ZWO ASI6200mm Pro but finding guide stars all night long can sometimes be a challenge.  My primary mirror is locked down and focus is performed with the Optec Secondary Mirror FastFocus System.  So, mirror flop and shifting are non-issues.   Thus, I am curious if folks have successfully modeled and performed unguided imaging on a SCT.


Re: Help Needed with AP V2 Driver COM Port Settings

 

Hi mike

Have you tried the auto configure ASCOM driver button in apcc? 

On Wed, Apr 20, 2022 at 1:32 PM M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> wrote:
I normally run the AP V2 Driver off a virtual port from APCC, but the other night I switched it over to run the AP V2 Driver directly off the ethernet COM port without APCC. I changed the settings in the AP V2 driver as shown below. Now I want to go back to running it off the virtual port, but every time I try to connect to the AP V2 Driver from the virtual port in APCC, I get a connection error and I find that the settings in the AP V2 driver have reverted back to the IP address settings. Is there a setting somewhere that I need to change to get it to stay configured once I change it.

Here are the normal settings when I am running off the virtual port in APCC:


Here are the settings that I changed to for connecting the AP V2 Driver directly through the ethernet port.

--
Brian 



Brian Valente

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