Date   

Re: Starting over with my AP1600

astrotrf2002
 

Thanks for the reply, Ray.

Good to know that the encoder functionality is transparent to external control software.

I think the only other things that would be necessary for, say, TheSkyX, would be to detect whether the encoders were enabled and enable them if not, and to be able to synchronize the mount position with the encoders given possible movement of the mount via the clutches.  Limits might be nice, too.

I think this amounts to what the mini utility does, right?

Thanks again.

Terry




Re: Park 5, AP driver vs. APCC

Ray Gralak
 

One correction:

APPM - AE (encoder) tab added. Features include define and find Home, define fixed and variable RA limits,
define fixed Dec Limits, enable/disable encoders.
This should read "APCC", not "APPM". AE settings are available in both APCC Pro and Standard. The AE tab will become visible when you connect APCC to your encoder-equipped mount (otherwise you will see the "Homing/Limits" tab after connecting).

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2018 9:40 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 5, AP driver vs. APCC



Hi Lee,

There was a beta 1.7 version announced a while back which contains Park 5. It has been pretty stable so I think
it is safe to use. But if you do, make sure you also update the ASCOM driver to 5.20.08, which is the latest
available at this time.

APCC Pro v1.7.0.1 (Beta)
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_Setup_1.7.0.1.exe

APCC Standard v1.7.0.0 (Beta)
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Standard_Setup_1.7.0.0.exe

Changes in APCC Pro
APPM - Added Environment group box for ASCOM ObservingConditions Driver
APPM - Keep appropriate camera and plate solve settings enabled during plate solving so they can be adjusted
while running.
APPM - Add new option to use last plate solve error offset to the next plate solve's hint. This usually speeds up
plate solves.
APPM - Add robustness to PinPoint Remote Server setup.
APPM - Various other bug fixes.
APPM - Add "Declination (Graduated RA Density)" point ordering strategy.
APPM - Add quick "Map Type" selection.
APPM - GTOCP4 counterweight-up slews no longer slew to meridian and back to destination ("safe slews").

Changes in Pro and Standard version:
APCC - Add new Environmental Settings to select ASCOM ObservingConditions driver or THUM device.
APCC - Meridian Limits - Added Flip Offset and Limit to Meridian controls. The Flip Offset value allows the mount
to flip during a
period of time before the meridian limit is reached (useful for Sequence Generator Pro).
APCC - Meridian Limits - Allow a negative meridian flip point to be passed to Sequence Generator Pro.
APCC - Meridian Limit Editor - Automatically disable Meridian Limits when in the editor. This can cause
unintentional meridian flips.
APCC - Site Information tab now includes the site's Time Offset from UTC, including any offset from Daylight
Savings Time when
APCC - Added Park 5
APPM - AE (encoder) tab added. Features include define and find Home, define fixed and variable RA limits,
define fixed Dec Limits, enable/disable encoders.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2018 9:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Park 5, AP driver vs. APCC



hi ray -- just took a look at park 5 for the first time. using AP driver 5.20.08 with APCC Pro 1.6.0.3




i don't see Park 5 as an option in APCC. i do see the option in the driver control but nothing happens when i try
to use it to park.




do i need to update APCC? when i use the menu option to check for updates it says there are none.




thanks




Lee




Re: Park 5, AP driver vs. APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Lee,

There was a beta 1.7 version announced a while back which contains Park 5. It has been pretty stable so I think it is safe to use. But if you do, make sure you also update the ASCOM driver to 5.20.08, which is the latest available at this time.

APCC Pro v1.7.0.1 (Beta)
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_Setup_1.7.0.1.exe

APCC Standard v1.7.0.0 (Beta)
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Standard_Setup_1.7.0.0.exe

Changes in APCC Pro
APPM - Added Environment group box for ASCOM ObservingConditions Driver
APPM - Keep appropriate camera and plate solve settings enabled during plate solving so they can be adjusted while running.
APPM - Add new option to use last plate solve error offset to the next plate solve's hint. This usually speeds up plate solves.
APPM - Add robustness to PinPoint Remote Server setup.
APPM - Various other bug fixes.
APPM - Add "Declination (Graduated RA Density)" point ordering strategy.
APPM - Add quick "Map Type" selection.
APPM - GTOCP4 counterweight-up slews no longer slew to meridian and back to destination ("safe slews").

Changes in Pro and Standard version:
APCC - Add new Environmental Settings to select ASCOM ObservingConditions driver or THUM device.
APCC - Meridian Limits - Added Flip Offset and Limit to Meridian controls. The Flip Offset value allows the mount to flip during a
period of time before the meridian limit is reached (useful for Sequence Generator Pro).
APCC - Meridian Limits - Allow a negative meridian flip point to be passed to Sequence Generator Pro.
APCC - Meridian Limit Editor - Automatically disable Meridian Limits when in the editor. This can cause unintentional meridian flips.
APCC - Site Information tab now includes the site's Time Offset from UTC, including any offset from Daylight Savings Time when
APCC - Added Park 5
APPM - AE (encoder) tab added. Features include define and find Home, define fixed and variable RA limits, define fixed Dec Limits, enable/disable encoders.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2018 9:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Park 5, AP driver vs. APCC



hi ray -- just took a look at park 5 for the first time. using AP driver 5.20.08 with APCC Pro 1.6.0.3




i don't see Park 5 as an option in APCC. i do see the option in the driver control but nothing happens when i try
to use it to park.




do i need to update APCC? when i use the menu option to check for updates it says there are none.




thanks




Lee


Park 5, AP driver vs. APCC

Lee
 

hi ray -- just took a look at park 5 for the first time.  using AP driver 5.20.08 with APCC Pro 1.6.0.3


i don't see Park 5 as an option in APCC.  i do see the option in the driver control but nothing happens when i try to use it to park.


do i need to update APCC?  when i use the menu option to check for updates it says there are none.


thanks


Lee


Re: Starting over with my AP1600

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Terry,

Which brings up a question -- my control of the mount is over a LAN network using a terminal server to talk to the
serial ports. Does APCC know how to talk to TCP/IP connections, or does it only talk to COM ports?
APCC can communicate via TCP, UDP, and the COM Ports. The AP V2 ASCOM driver can communicate via TCP and the COM ports.

You can also connect via a browser to the mount and execute commands from the browser. Also, I haven't tried this but in MaOS/LINUX you should be able to send commands over Ethernet to the mount via "curl".

And another question: I can't seem to find the mini utility anywhere on the Astro-Physics web site. Is APCC now
the only way to turn on and set the encoders?
You should contact AP about the utility, but don't the encoders remain active by default after a power cycle? There shouldn't be a need to turn them on every time you start.

Which brings up question 3: assuming I borrowed someone's laptop and turn the encoders on with the utility
program, can I then use the AP1600 and its encoder functionality through TheSkyX?
If the encoders are enabled they will be in use automatically. The encoders are "transparent" to SkyX. That is the SkyX doesn't need to know that they are there.

Of course, if I move the mount via the clutches, I may need to run that utility program again. So that's not really a
good solution for the longer term.
Maybe a solution is to (on a Windows PC) create a VMWare virtual machine running LINUX. Then run your LINUX SkyX on the virtual machine. Or vice versa, use a LINUX machine to run SkyX and a Windows virtual machine to occasionally run the utilities you need. This seems like the easiest solution and is available today.

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2018 11:31 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Starting over with my AP1600



I purchased an AP1600 with absolute encoders not long after they became available. After a brief period of use
when brand-new, the mount has sat idle since then due to circumstances well beyond my control. I have a small
collection of GTOCP3 upgrade chips and some new hardware for the motor gearboxes which I'll have to deal
with. (I was installing the new chips for a while, but I've no idea if I'm up to date.)

In the interim, my last Windows machine died, and I will not be purchasing another. I know this gives me
problems because I am no longer able to run the utility that turns the encoders on and off. As well, I cannot use
the Astro-Physics command center software.

Which brings up a question -- my control of the mount is over a LAN network using a terminal server to talk to the
serial ports. Does APCC know how to talk to TCP/IP connections, or does it only talk to COM ports?

And another question: I can't seem to find the mini utility anywhere on the Astro-Physics web site. Is APCC now
the only way to turn on and set the encoders?

I do my imaging work these days on a Linux machine running TheSkyX, and TheSkyX, to my knowledge, has no
ability to control the absolute encoders.

Which brings up question 3: assuming I borrowed someone's laptop and turn the encoders on with the utility
program, can I then use the AP1600 and its encoder functionality through TheSkyX?

Of course, if I move the mount via the clutches, I may need to run that utility program again. So that's not really a
good solution for the longer term.

Finally, question 4: given all of this, should I simply sell the AP1600?


Terry



Re: Starting over with my AP1600

astrotrf2002
 

Hey, Christopher, thanks for your response.  We've talked before a time or two over on Cloudy Nights ...

> Sell your 1600?  Good heavens no!

I'll take that under advisement; I'm less than happy at the moment.

> You can run win apps on Linux when needed.

Yes, I know about Wine.  I'll try it with the utility program if I get the chance.  I suppose I should just try the trial version of APCC under Wine, but I'm not actually interested in APCC at all.

> Do you know about INDI?

Yes, but I don't see how it helps here.

> APCC knows how to talk TCP/IP.

Good news.  If the utility program knows, as well, that'd be excellent.

> I believe AP is open to the idea of Linux and supporting Linux ...

I've offered to write Linux / Mac software for them, in particular the utility program.  I've received no interest in return.

Thanks again for your help.  I've got more questions about the encoders and APCC, but I'll do some reading first.

Terry


Re: Starting over with my AP1600

Christopher Erickson
 

Sell your 1600? Good heavens no!
 
George will be able to help you get the win proggy to enable and disable your abs encoders.
 
You can run win apps on Linux when needed.
 
 
Do you know about INDI?
 
 
APCC knows how to talk TCP/IP.
 
I believe that AP is open to the idea of Linux and supporting Linux... as soon as they see enough demand to justify it. They are listening!
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2018 9:31 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Starting over with my AP1600

I purchased an AP1600 with absolute encoders not long after they became available.  After a brief period of use when brand-new, the mount has sat idle since then due to circumstances well beyond my control.  I have a small collection of GTOCP3 upgrade chips and some new hardware for the motor gearboxes which I'll have to deal with.  (I was installing the new chips for a while, but I've no idea if I'm up to date.)

In the interim, my last Windows machine died, and I will not be purchasing another.  I know this gives me problems because I am no longer able to run the utility that turns the encoders on and off.  As well, I cannot use the Astro-Physics command center software.

Which brings up a question -- my control of the mount is over a LAN network using a terminal server to talk to the serial ports.  Does APCC know how to talk to TCP/IP connections, or does it only talk to COM ports?

And another question:  I can't seem to find the mini utility anywhere on the Astro-Physics web site.  Is APCC now the only way to turn on and set the encoders?

I do my imaging work these days on a Linux machine running TheSkyX, and TheSkyX, to my knowledge, has no ability to control the absolute encoders.

Which brings up question 3:  assuming I borrowed someone's laptop and turn the encoders on with the utility program, can I then use the AP1600 and its encoder functionality through TheSkyX?

Of course, if I move the mount via the clutches, I may need to run that utility program again.  So that's not really a good solution for the longer term.

Finally, question 4:  given all of this, should I simply sell the AP1600?

Terry


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Starting over with my AP1600

astrotrf2002
 

I purchased an AP1600 with absolute encoders not long after they became available.  After a brief period of use when brand-new, the mount has sat idle since then due to circumstances well beyond my control.  I have a small collection of GTOCP3 upgrade chips and some new hardware for the motor gearboxes which I'll have to deal with.  (I was installing the new chips for a while, but I've no idea if I'm up to date.)

In the interim, my last Windows machine died, and I will not be purchasing another.  I know this gives me problems because I am no longer able to run the utility that turns the encoders on and off.  As well, I cannot use the Astro-Physics command center software.

Which brings up a question -- my control of the mount is over a LAN network using a terminal server to talk to the serial ports.  Does APCC know how to talk to TCP/IP connections, or does it only talk to COM ports?

And another question:  I can't seem to find the mini utility anywhere on the Astro-Physics web site.  Is APCC now the only way to turn on and set the encoders?

I do my imaging work these days on a Linux machine running TheSkyX, and TheSkyX, to my knowledge, has no ability to control the absolute encoders.

Which brings up question 3:  assuming I borrowed someone's laptop and turn the encoders on with the utility program, can I then use the AP1600 and its encoder functionality through TheSkyX?

Of course, if I move the mount via the clutches, I may need to run that utility program again.  So that's not really a good solution for the longer term.

Finally, question 4:  given all of this, should I simply sell the AP1600?

Terry


Re: SH2 313 / Abell 35 – Low Surface Br i ghtness Planetary Nebula with a Twist

Terry Robison
 

Thank you.


Re: SH2 313 / Abell 35 – Low Surface Bri ghtness Planetary Nebula with a Twist

Robert Berta
 

Excellent image and a real dedication to getting the image.  My hat is off to you sir.


Re: [ap-ug] New file uploaded to ap-ug

Roland Christen
 

Hello Astronuts,

I just posted an image of comet Wirtanen taken down in Chile with our remote observatory scope. The image was taken by Howard using APCC Horizons program which allows the scope to track the comet by automatically adjusting the tracking rate of RA and Dec. The image is unguided, 20 minutes each, of RGB combined in this color shot. While there is not much detail in the comet's image (no tail visible in this closeup shot), the tiny core is well resolved.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ap-ug
To: ap-ug
Sent: Thu, Dec 27, 2018 4:23 pm
Subject: [ap-ug] New file uploaded to ap-ug

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ap-ug
group.

  File        : /Las Campanas images/46P-Wirtanen-RGB2.jpg
  Uploaded by : uncarollo2 <chris1011@...>
  Description : Comet Wirtanen imaged from Chile with the AP12 inch F8 Mak-Cass Astrograph at Las Campanas using APCC Horizon program. 20 minute exposure for each color - RGB

You can access this file at the URL:

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:

Regards,

uncarollo2 <chris1011@...>


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Re: Merry Christmas to all!

David Fabrizio
 

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to the fantastic AP staff!




On Monday, December 24, 2018, 2:16 PM, Marj marj@... [ap-gto] wrote:

 

All of us at Astro-Physics send our greetings and best wishes for a wonderful holiday to all of you!

 

Our office is closed today and tomorrow, but will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will be closed again next Monday and Tuesday.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 


Re: Merry Christmas to all!

Robert Sinitiere <bobstar9@...>
 


Merry Christmas Marj., and all @ Astro-Physics.com
Bob Sinitiere. AP155 EDFS AP-900 GTO Mount.  Love it now as I did the first time I used it!  (0il-spaced triplet)

On Dec 24, 2018, at 3:16 PM, Marj marj@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

All of us at Astro-Physics send our greetings and best wishes for a wonderful holiday to all of you!

 

Our office is closed today and tomorrow, but will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will be closed again next Monday and Tuesday.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 


Re: [ap-ug] Merry Christmas to all!

Pete Lardizabal
 

Merry Christmas to All

:)

Pete

On Dec 24, 2018, at 4:16 PM, Marj marj@... [ap-ug] <ap-ug@...> wrote:

 

All of us at Astro-Physics send our greetings and best wishes for a wonderful holiday to all of you!

Our office is closed today and tomorrow, but will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will be closed again next Monday and Tuesday.

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Rd
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
www.astro-physics.com

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Merry Christmas to all!

 

All of us at Astro-Physics send our greetings and best wishes for a wonderful holiday to all of you!

 

Our office is closed today and tomorrow, but will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will be closed again next Monday and Tuesday.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 


Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing

Thomas Swann
 

RE: "it looks like the only way to close a program externally from another Windows program (like ACP) is to call the WMI function, terminate()"

You can acquire the handle for the application's main window and send it a WM_CLOSE message using either SendMessage or CloseWindow.  That will terminate the process in the same way as pressing the "X" in the title bar.  If you're using powershell you can get at all the Win32 functions by importing user32.dll.



On 12/23/2018 6:54 PM, w4sm@... [ap-gto] wrote:
 

Hi Ray,

I seem to have things working OK, though I think I did see one time out of many tests when APCC didn't automatically close the virtual ports. That was perhaps related to me doing a series of open/close in fairly rapid order.  It looks like the only way to close a program externally from another Windows program (like ACP) is to call the WMI function, terminate().  I guess that a question for the future is if APCC can be modified to close the virtual ports when terminate() is called by another program.  Admittedly not necessary with auto-shutdown but seems like it would be cleaner.  Just my $0.02.  Thanks for all your help.


Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing

Stacey Mills
 

Got it!
Thanks!


Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing

Ray Gralak
 

Thanks, Ray.
I know that when "Exit" or "X" is clicked in a program it invokes whatever routines are associated with shutdown.
However, if terminate( ) just "pulls the plug" with no warning, there's not much that can be done unless there's
some way for the virtual ports to recognize when APCC is no longer open.
Stacey, unfortunately it doesn't work like that. The ports can't close themselves. APCC must close the ports it creates.

If APCC is terminated before it can close the ports the ports will remain open. The only graceful solution is to let APCC close the virtual ports it created and exit normally.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2018 1:34 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing



Thanks, Ray.
I know that when "Exit" or "X" is clicked in a program it invokes whatever routines are associated with shutdown.
However, if terminate( ) just "pulls the plug" with no warning, there's not much that can be done unless there's
some way for the virtual ports to recognize when APCC is no longer open.


Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing

Stacey Mills
 

Thanks, Ray.
I know that when "Exit" or "X" is clicked in a program it invokes whatever routines are associated with shutdown.  However, if terminate( ) just "pulls the plug" with no warning, there's not much that can be done unless there's some way for the virtual ports to recognize when APCC is no longer open.  


Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing

Ray Gralak
 

I seem to have things working OK, though I think I did see one time out of many tests when APCC didn't
automatically close the virtual ports. That was perhaps related to me doing a series of open/close in fairly rapid
order. It looks like the only way to close a program externally from another Windows program (like ACP) is to call
the WMI function, terminate(). I guess that a question for the future is if APCC can be modified to close the
virtual ports when terminate() is called by another program. Admittedly not necessary with auto-shutdown but
seems like it would be cleaner. Just my $0.02. Thanks for all your help.
Almost certainly the reason why a virtual port might be left open is if ACP terminated APCC before APCC could delete the virtual ports,

There is no guarantee that APCC could detect that it is being terminated so I think the only reasonable thing to do is not to let ACP terminate APCC.

However, APCC can detect a system shutdown and close itself gracefully.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2018 10:55 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: APCC Virtual port number keeps increasing



Hi Ray,
I seem to have things working OK, though I think I did see one time out of many tests when APCC didn't
automatically close the virtual ports. That was perhaps related to me doing a series of open/close in fairly rapid
order. It looks like the only way to close a program externally from another Windows program (like ACP) is to call
the WMI function, terminate(). I guess that a question for the future is if APCC can be modified to close the
virtual ports when terminate() is called by another program. Admittedly not necessary with auto-shutdown but
seems like it would be cleaner. Just my $0.02. Thanks for all your help.