Date   

Dumb Meridian Flip with SGPro #APCC #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Tom Zepf
 

Hello, I've been trying to puzzle through setting up simple meridian flips with APCC, the ASCOM V2 driver, and Sequence Generator Pro. I know there is provision for Smart Meridian Flips by using the Meridian Tracking Limits Explorer, but that looks a little daunting at the moment. My old configuration with an iOptron mount was something like:

  • iOptron ASCOM driver set to halt the mount at 2° past the meridian (fail-safe)
  • Sequence Generator Pro set to initiate a flip at 1° past the meridian (wait a few minutes to be sure the mount was past the meridian)
I have had issues with the mount "bouncing back" after traveling past the meridian and before SGPro can send the flip command. Is the correct way to handle this with the Meridian Delay setting (set to -0.03° perhaps)?

Is there a setting in the ASCOM driver that also needs to be set?

Thanks for any help,

    Tom


Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Ray said:

 

  • And the reason for the log message was as I suspected. The image scale was not passed to ASTAP from APPM's user interface because the intent was to let ASTAP pull information from the FITS header. I'll fix the log message in the next build.

 

Ray,

 

So I think I finally know the answer to this by experimenting.  The documentation is not clear.

 

If you put in “-fov 0” then it appears to guess and then iterate.

 

If you leave it off entirely, i.e. no -fov parameter at all, then it calculates it from the header information.

 

I ran the same (unmodified) image both ways, and the log is very clear, as zero it iterates a few times, the one with it omitted immediately solves.

 

It appears that using -fov 0 is telling it not to use the calculated fov at all, perhaps its purpose (speculating here) is if you know your fov related info is wrong, to tell it to derive the fov not calculate.

 

Any chance it just gets omitted from your passed command line in a future version?   At least for the NINA integration, as FITS coming from NINA are going to have the right fields (and if they are wrong, the user needs to fix their parameters).

 


Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray Gralak
 

The command-line arguments are defined here:

http://www.hnsky.org/astap.htm#astap_command_line

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 11:28 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray said:



* After looking at the code, I recall what I did. APPM purposely sets "-fov 0" in some cases because that
is supposed to tell ASTAP to use the FITS header information to calculate image scale.



* Assuming the FITS images you gave me had not been modified in APPM's plate solve attempt, they
had the necessary keyword/value pairs in the FITS header for ASTAP to extract and solve. Thus, explicitly
setting a FOV value should not change anything unless the ASTAP documentation is wrong.



I did some experimenting, and in the command line version with -fov 0 ASTAP is guessing not calculating,
which causes it to loop a couple times. The GUI immediately calculates the FOV and nails it. That is a bit
odd.



I’ll see if someone knows ASTAP better to know if that’s correct, or figure out where to ask. Unless anyone
out there listening knows?




Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Ray said:

 

  • After looking at the code, I recall what I did.  APPM purposely sets "-fov 0" in some cases because that is supposed to tell ASTAP to use the FITS header information to calculate image scale.

 

  • Assuming the FITS images you gave me had not been modified in APPM's plate solve attempt, they had the necessary keyword/value pairs in the FITS header for ASTAP to extract and solve. Thus, explicitly setting a FOV value should not change anything unless the ASTAP documentation is wrong.

 

I did some experimenting, and in the command line version with -fov 0 ASTAP is guessing not calculating, which causes it to loop a couple times.  The GUI immediately calculates the FOV and nails it.  That is a bit odd.

 

I’ll see if someone knows ASTAP better to know if that’s correct, or figure out where to ask.  Unless anyone out there listening knows?

 


Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray Gralak
 

And the reason for the log message was as I suspected. The image scale was not passed to ASTAP from APPM's user interface because the intent was to let ASTAP pull information from the FITS header. I'll fix the log message in the next build.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 8:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray wrote:

Isn’t that what is in the log zip I sent?
I haven't looked at your link yet. You said you sent a log, but I didn't know it also contained a FITS image.
Your zipper is smart, it found the images also. 😊

And ideally, it should be an image right out of NINA before the FITS header has been modified by the plate
solver.

Your call in APPM to ASTAP doesn't use the "-update" parameter (a good thing IMO), so ASTAP is not
rewriting the header when it solves, so the file should be fresh from NINA.

See what you can find there, and let me know what you might need otherwise.






Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Linwood,

After looking at the code, I recall what I did. APPM purposely sets "-fov 0" in some cases because that is supposed to tell ASTAP to use the FITS header information to calculate image scale.

Assuming the FITS images you gave me had not been modified in APPM's plate solve attempt, they had the necessary keyword/value pairs in the FITS header for ASTAP to extract and solve. Thus, explicitly setting a FOV value should not change anything unless the ASTAP documentation is wrong.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 8:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray wrote:

Isn’t that what is in the log zip I sent?
I haven't looked at your link yet. You said you sent a log, but I didn't know it also contained a FITS image.
Your zipper is smart, it found the images also. 😊

And ideally, it should be an image right out of NINA before the FITS header has been modified by the plate
solver.

Your call in APPM to ASTAP doesn't use the "-update" parameter (a good thing IMO), so ASTAP is not
rewriting the header when it solves, so the file should be fresh from NINA.

See what you can find there, and let me know what you might need otherwise.






Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

M Hambrick
 

So my next question is when you expect the keypad software version 5 to be available to those with CP4 control boxes. I was thinking that it would be nice to send in my keypad to get the RA DEC REV button replaced with the new version that is compatible with the new software. Then, at the same time have the new software loaded and battery replaced.

Mike


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

Mike Dodd
 

On 10/5/2021 11:39 AM, M Hambrick wrote:
How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine
since 2017 and never replaced the battery.
I bought my 1200 used in 2008, and replaced the battery in 2018. Don't know how long the battery was in the keypad before I bought it.

--- Mike


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

George
 

Steve,

 

If the battery is changed promptly, a capacitor holds the database charge for a short bit.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve H
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 11:31 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Ok. Thanks, but it sounds like you don’t loose the database when you change the battery. Is that correct, and if so, why? 
SteveH

 

Sent from Steve's iPhone



On Oct 5, 2021, at 11:00 AM, Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:



No.  Only age can give you a guesstimate.  When it fails, it will result in immediate corruption of the database.  Stars and planets will still be OK, but M, NGC, IC etc. objects will no longer have valid data.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve H
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:57
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Are there any “tell-tale” signs of a failing battery?

SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone




On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:42 AM, George <george@...> wrote:



Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

Geert
 

The battery lasts about 5 years - can be shorter, can be longer - and you do loose the star database, so you need to go through the database upload procedure after replacing the battery.  All info on the AP website. I put a little sticker on the back of the keypad with the date of battery change, then change after about 5 years or when the database gets corrupted.

Best regards,

Geert



Op di 5 okt. 2021 om 18:30 schreef Steve H <shoff535@...>:

Ok. Thanks, but it sounds like you don’t loose the database when you change the battery. Is that correct, and if so, why? 
SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone

On Oct 5, 2021, at 11:00 AM, Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:



No.  Only age can give you a guesstimate.  When it fails, it will result in immediate corruption of the database.  Stars and planets will still be OK, but M, NGC, IC etc. objects will no longer have valid data.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve H
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:57
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Are there any “tell-tale” signs of a failing battery?

SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone



On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:42 AM, George <george@...> wrote:



Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Ok. Thanks, but it sounds like you don’t loose the database when you change the battery. Is that correct, and if so, why? 
SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone

On Oct 5, 2021, at 11:00 AM, Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:



No.  Only age can give you a guesstimate.  When it fails, it will result in immediate corruption of the database.  Stars and planets will still be OK, but M, NGC, IC etc. objects will no longer have valid data.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve H
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:57
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Are there any “tell-tale” signs of a failing battery?

SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone



On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:42 AM, George <george@...> wrote:



Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike


Re: Encoder Availability

 

Mike,

 

We anticipate offering them in late winter or spring.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:47 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Encoder Availability

 

The A-P website says that the encoder upgrades for the 1100 and 1600 mounts will be available in Fall 2021, but I have heard rumors that this will be pushed back. Are the rumors true ?

Mike


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

Howard Hedlund
 

No.  Only age can give you a guesstimate.  When it fails, it will result in immediate corruption of the database.  Stars and planets will still be OK, but M, NGC, IC etc. objects will no longer have valid data.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve H
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:57
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Are there any “tell-tale” signs of a failing battery?

SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone



On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:42 AM, George <george@...> wrote:



Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

George
 

Steve,

 

No.   It fails and you lose your database objects info.   Stars and planets remain as calculated positions.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve H
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:57 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Are there any “tell-tale” signs of a failing battery?

SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone



On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:42 AM, George <george@...> wrote:



Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike


Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Ray wrote:

Isn’t that what is in the log zip I sent?
I haven't looked at your link yet. You said you sent a log, but I didn't know it also contained a FITS image.
Your zipper is smart, it found the images also. 😊

And ideally, it should be an image right out of NINA before the FITS header has been modified by the plate solver.
Your call in APPM to ASTAP doesn't use the "-update" parameter (a good thing IMO), so ASTAP is not rewriting the header when it solves, so the file should be fresh from NINA.

See what you can find there, and let me know what you might need otherwise.


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

Are there any “tell-tale” signs of a failing battery?
SteveH

Sent from Steve's iPhone

On Oct 5, 2021, at 10:42 AM, George <george@...> wrote:



Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike


Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray Gralak
 

Isn’t that what is in the log zip I sent?
I haven't looked at your link yet. You said you sent a log, but I didn't know it also contained a FITS image.

And ideally, it should be an image right out of NINA before the FITS header has been modified by the plate solver.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 8:44 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

Ray wrote:



* The log message is slightly misleading, as APPM can generate that message even if NAXIS1 and
NAXIS2 are correctly retrieved. The other way for APPM to log that message is if the image scale for X and Y
are zero, because APPM multiplies the image scale (arc-sec/pixel) by each axis dimension. That is, the error
message is presented if the multiplication of (image scale * NAXISx) in either axis is 0.



* So, I would need an unmodified FITS image to see what the problem was.



Isn’t that what is in the log zip I sent?



If not, help me understand what you need – that’s the image fits file saved by APPM during the run (I had it
set to save all, not just failed).




Encoder Availability

M Hambrick
 

The A-P website says that the encoder upgrades for the 1100 and 1600 mounts will be available in Fall 2021, but I have heard rumors that this will be pushed back. Are the rumors true ?

Mike


Re: APPM + ASTAP - Inaccurate FOV

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Ray wrote:

 

  • The log message is slightly misleading, as APPM can generate that message even if NAXIS1 and NAXIS2 are correctly retrieved. The other way for APPM to log that message is if the image scale for X and Y are zero, because APPM multiplies the image scale (arc-sec/pixel) by each axis dimension. That is, the error message is presented if the multiplication of (image scale * NAXISx) in either axis is 0.

 

  • So, I would need an unmodified FITS image to see what the problem was.

 

Isn’t that what is in the log zip I sent?

 

If not, help me understand what you need – that’s the image fits file saved by APPM during the run (I had it set to save all, not just failed).

 


Re: Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

George
 

Mike,

 

It is probably fine, but I would recommend replacing it soon.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of M Hambrick
Sent: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Keypad : some buttons not responding too well

 

How long can we expect the keypad battery to last ? I have had mine since 2017 and never replaced the battery.

Mike

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