Date   

Re: SmartGuide error

Gregg Ruppel <ruppelgl@...>
 

SmartGuide in the Keypad.

Clear Skies,
Gregg

Visit my astronomy site:
http://www.ruppel.darkhorizons.org



From: chris1011@...
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2010 4:29 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] SmartGuide error



In a message dated 10/5/2010 1:19:23 PM Central Daylight Time,
ruppelgl@... writes:

Last evening I once again tried to use SmartGuide on my AP900GTO CP3
mount
to track Comet Hartley. I trained the mount over about a 30 minute
interval, but when I hit "1" to activate SmartGuide, I got a somewhat
cryptic message about "tracking rate not recognized - please re-set and
try
again"
What "SmartGuide" program are you using? Is it the one in the keypad or one
you have loaded on your computer?

Rolando


Re: tons of problems and a possible solution

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi gang,



I was going to suggest this, but I must confess that I have not really
tried it in this exact application. It is such a wonder-worker inside
the keypads though, that I would certainly give it a shot. They also
make a product called DeoxIT Shield that can be used on connections that
have already been cleaned with the D5. It is supposed to seal the
connection and inhibit further corrosion.



As Ray said in a later post, if you have a desktop PC in the
observatory, you will always be better off with direct PCI serial cards
for your serial devices and direct USB cables into the PC for the USB
devices.



Mag. 7 skies!



Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

815-282-1513

________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of Brian Coote
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2010 5:49 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] tons of problems and a possible solution





I find there is a constant tendency to having comm problems with USB
connections. Not every week by any means but fairly regularly. I use
the best quality gold plated USB cables I can get and correction
generally only requires pushing the plugs in and out several times at
both ends. I lost connection with my STL camera last night after 90 mins

or so imaging and the connection failure proved to be at the PC in the
warm room not out where expected at the camera which often gets
saturated in dew.
I have experienced problems too with RJ6 and RJ12 connections often
enough over the years.

Perhaps the AP recommended De-oxit spray would be the best solution on
all these connections?
Do you think this would be worth trying Howard?

Brian Coote

On 05/10/10 17:58, tmb_mike wrote:

Observatory productivity has dropped to a fraction of previous years.

Tons of problems... the guiding issues from a couple weeks ago...
reappearing communications errors with the new APV2 driver... camera
comm issues with my DSLR. I had a brainfart realization today that
there is one piece of gear common to all of these systems, a powered
USB hub hanging out on the pier.

I wonder if a couple years of outdoor humidity has been too much for
it. Is there some kind of electronics connector spray which I can
blast my connectors with, make sure flaky connections aren't causing
my woes? Lubatrol? Blue Shower? etc?

I have a lot of USB stuff out there.

Perhaps I'd be better off ditching the two USB->serial adapters and
putting a PCI serial comm card in the computer and running two real
serial lines out there.

Mike Clemens


Re: east-west confusion

PeterN
 

Hi Ray,
Thanks for the thorough explanation.
Peter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <groups@...> wrote:

Peter,

Hi Ray,
What is the rationale for the quadrant polling? My simple mind wants to believe that when the scope is on the west
half of the mount it
shoud be polled as west. Similarly for the east. Is this an ASCOM requirement? Is there a reference for the
explanation?
Thanks for your help,
Peter
The best explanation I have seen is that from the ASCOM programmers reference manual which I posted a couple days ago.
I'll post it here again:

From ASCOM's Telescope 2.0 Programmer's Reference (SideOfPier Property):

For historical reasons, this property's name does not reflect its true meaning. The name will not be changed (so as to
preserve compatibility), but the meaning has since become clear. In a future version of the standard, a synonym for this
property will be added which better describes its meaning.

All conventional mounts have two pointing states for a given equatorial (sky) position. Mechanical limitations often
make it impossible for the mount to position the optics at given HA/Dec in one of the two pointing states, but there are
places where the same point can be reached in both pointing states (e.g., near the pole). In order to understand these
pointing states, consider the following (thanks to Patrick Wallace for this info):

All conventional telescope mounts have two axes nominally at right angles. For an equatorial, the longitude axis is
mechanical hour angle and the latitude axis is mechanical declination.
Sky coordinates and mechanical coordinates are two completely separate arenas. This becomes rather more obvious if your
mount is an altaz, but it's still true for an equatorial.
Both mount axes can in principle move over a range of 360 deg. This is distinct from sky HA/Dec, where Dec is limited to
a 180 deg range (+90 to -90).
Apart from practical limitations, any point in the sky can be seen in two mechanical orientations. To get from one to
the other the HA axis is moved 180 deg and the Dec axis is moved through the pole a distance twice the sky codeclination
(90 - sky declination).
Mechanical zero HA/Dec is one of the two ways of pointing at the intersection of the celestial equator and the local
meridian. Choose one, and once you're there, consider the two mechanical encoders zeroed.
The two states are, then, (a) "normal", where the mechanical Dec is in the range ± 90 deg, and (b) "beyond the pole",
where the mechanical Dec is outside that range.
"Side of pier" is a *consequence* of the former definition, not something fundamental. Apart from mechanical
interference, the telescope can move from one side of the pier to the other without the mechanical Dec having changed:
you could track Polaris forever with the telescope moving from west of pier to east of pier or vice versa every 12h.
Thus, SideOfPier is, in general, not a useful term (except perhaps in a loose, descriptive, explanatory sense).
All this applies to a fork mount just as much as to a GEM, and it would be wrong to make the "beyond pole" state illegal
for the former. You may not be able to get there if your camera hits the fork, but it's possible on some mounts. Whether
this is useful depends on whether you're in Hawaii or Finland.
To first order, the relationship between sky and mechanical HA/Dec is as follows:

Normal state:
HA_sky = HA_mech
Dec_sky = Dec_mech
Beyond the pole
HA_sky = HA_mech + 12h, expressed in range ± 12h Dec_sky = 180d - Dec_mech, expressed in range ± 90d

Astronomy software often needs to know which "side of the pier" (which pointing state) the mount is in. Examples include
setting guiding polarities and calculating dome opening azimuth/altitude.

The meaning of SideOfPier, then is:

pierEast - Normal pointing state
pierWest - Beyond the pole pointing state If the mount hardware reports neither the true pointing state (or equivalent)
nor the mechanical declination axis position (which varies from -180 to +180), a driver cannot calculate the pointing
state, and *must not* implement SideOfPier.

If the mount hardware reports only the mechanical declination axis position (-180 to +180) then a driver can calculate
SideOfPier as follows:

pierEast = abs(mechanical dec) <= 90 deg pierWest = abs(mechanical Dec) > 90 deg It is allowed (though not required)
that this property may be written to force the mount to flip. Doing so, however, may change the right ascension of the
telescope. During flipping, Telescope.Slewing must return True.


-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of PeterN
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 4:01 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: east-west confusion



Hi Ray,
What is the rationale for the quadrant polling? My simple mind wants to believe that when the scope is on the west
half of the mount it
shoud be polled as west. Similarly for the east. Is this an ASCOM requirement? Is there a reference for the
explanation?
Thanks for your help,
Peter

--- In ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> , "Ray Gralak" <groups@> wrote:

Peter,

Take a look at this:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/files/mount-sides.pdf

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of PeterN
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 5:29 AM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [ap-gto] east-west confusion



I have an AP1200 mount and the latest ASCOM driver. I slew the scope to an object in the east such that the scope
is
on the west side
of the mount. I then do a sync on the hand paddle. The ascom driver says the scope is on the west side, which is
correct. If I then slew
the scope so that it is on the east of the mount, the ascom driver panel still says the scope is on the west side.
I
can't understand what
is happening.
Thanks
Peter






Re: iOptron = AP wannabee

Hartwig Luethen
 

Anthony, I would guess that Ioptron is made in China. I think the similarity between the designs of the AP mounts and the Ioptron is obvious. But as J. Fraunhofer once put it: Telescopes are not made for looking at them, but for looking through. AP promises a tracking error of about 5 arc seconds (without PEC) and normally this claim is quite conservative. Can't your excited friend provide us with a periodic error plot of the mount ?
Cheers

Hartwig


Am 05.11.2010 19:06, schrieb Anthony Ayiomamitis:

Gents,

Someone locally is very excited about the iOptron mount he purchased.
After seeing the sample photos of the mount he circulated, I could not
believe my eyes. They have copied the general look of the AP mounts ....
all the way from the clutches on the two axes and connectors of the head
assembly to the pier adapter, the rib cage, the azimuth adjustment knob,
the altitude bar and the counterweight bar ring which connects the shaft
to the mount.

This begs the question ... is iOptron made in China?

Anthony.


------------------------------------

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links




SmartGuide error

Gregg Ruppel <ruppelgl@...>
 

Hi folks:

Last evening I once again tried to use SmartGuide on my AP900GTO CP3 mount
to track Comet Hartley. I trained the mount over about a 30 minute
interval, but when I hit "1" to activate SmartGuide, I got a somewhat
cryptic message about "tracking rate not recognized - please re-set and try
again" (not the exact message but something like that). So I tried again
and got the same message. Anyone seen this previously? The comet was
moving almost due east so there was very little DEC offset, but it had
worked the night before with similar movements.





Clear skies,

Gregg



Visit my astronomy site:

www.ruppel.darkhorizons.org


Re: iOptron = AP wannabee

Stanley Watson
 

Yup it is. Generally the company is a super top-down power structure
judging by their response rate and their tech problems.The early ones
were highly problematic. I am not sure how they have done in the last
year. I sold mine and bought a solid AP portable system--(Mach1GTO on an
Eagle tripod) much more stable and reliable, MUCH more expensive. I like
the AstroTrak on their EQ mount and pier. I weighs only 33lbs and fits
in an overhead storage on airplanes. Much cheaper than AP but a fine
piece of engineering .

Stan

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of Anthony Ayiomamitis
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 3:07 PM
To: ap-ug@...; ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] iOptron = AP wannabee

Gents,

Someone locally is very excited about the iOptron mount he purchased.
After seeing the sample photos of the mount he circulated, I could not
believe my eyes. They have copied the general look of the AP mounts ....

all the way from the clutches on the two axes and connectors of the head

assembly to the pier adapter, the rib cage, the azimuth adjustment knob,

the altitude bar and the counterweight bar ring which connects the shaft

to the mount.

This begs the question ... is iOptron made in China?

Anthony.


------------------------------------

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links


Re: SmartGuide error

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 10/5/2010 1:19:23 PM Central Daylight Time,
ruppelgl@... writes:


Last evening I once again tried to use SmartGuide on my AP900GTO CP3
mount
to track Comet Hartley. I trained the mount over about a 30 minute
interval, but when I hit "1" to activate SmartGuide, I got a somewhat
cryptic message about "tracking rate not recognized - please re-set and
try
again"
What "SmartGuide" program are you using? Is it the one in the keypad or one
you have loaded on your computer?

Rolando


Re: tons of problems and a possible solution

Jeff Crilly <jlc@...>
 

Second that on the dedicated USB for the cameras.
Here we have the guider and imager using two dedicated ports.
The mount and focuser are on a two-port USB PCMCIA card with cheap USB-serial adapters.

Fwiw I tried out wireless Bluetooth serial a while ago for the mount. Pain in the neck.

jeff

On Oct 5, 2010, at 6:22 AM, "Ray Gralak" <groups@...> wrote:

Hi Mike,

Perhaps I'd be better off ditching the two USB->serial adapters and putting a PCI serial comm card in the computer and
running two real
serial lines out there.
If you are using a desktop PC to control your scope that makes a lot of sense. Serial port cards are relatively cheap.
$25 will buy you a nice two port card. Two USB/Serial Keyspan adapters might run you $60.

The one I've used on several PC's (Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7) is this one from Startech:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006B8C0

Also I would recommend you run your camera on its own USB connection (not through a hub) anyway so that there are not
any bandwidth conflicts between devices.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma



Re: east-west confusion

Ray Gralak <groups@...>
 

Peter,

Hi Ray,
What is the rationale for the quadrant polling? My simple mind wants to believe that when the scope is on the west
half of the mount it
shoud be polled as west. Similarly for the east. Is this an ASCOM requirement? Is there a reference for the
explanation?
Thanks for your help,
Peter
The best explanation I have seen is that from the ASCOM programmers reference manual which I posted a couple days ago.
I'll post it here again:

From ASCOM's Telescope 2.0 Programmer's Reference (SideOfPier Property):

For historical reasons, this property's name does not reflect its true meaning. The name will not be changed (so as to
preserve compatibility), but the meaning has since become clear. In a future version of the standard, a synonym for this
property will be added which better describes its meaning.

All conventional mounts have two pointing states for a given equatorial (sky) position. Mechanical limitations often
make it impossible for the mount to position the optics at given HA/Dec in one of the two pointing states, but there are
places where the same point can be reached in both pointing states (e.g., near the pole). In order to understand these
pointing states, consider the following (thanks to Patrick Wallace for this info):

All conventional telescope mounts have two axes nominally at right angles. For an equatorial, the longitude axis is
mechanical hour angle and the latitude axis is mechanical declination.
Sky coordinates and mechanical coordinates are two completely separate arenas. This becomes rather more obvious if your
mount is an altaz, but it's still true for an equatorial.
Both mount axes can in principle move over a range of 360 deg. This is distinct from sky HA/Dec, where Dec is limited to
a 180 deg range (+90 to -90).
Apart from practical limitations, any point in the sky can be seen in two mechanical orientations. To get from one to
the other the HA axis is moved 180 deg and the Dec axis is moved through the pole a distance twice the sky codeclination
(90 - sky declination).
Mechanical zero HA/Dec is one of the two ways of pointing at the intersection of the celestial equator and the local
meridian. Choose one, and once you're there, consider the two mechanical encoders zeroed.
The two states are, then, (a) "normal", where the mechanical Dec is in the range ± 90 deg, and (b) "beyond the pole",
where the mechanical Dec is outside that range.
"Side of pier" is a *consequence* of the former definition, not something fundamental. Apart from mechanical
interference, the telescope can move from one side of the pier to the other without the mechanical Dec having changed:
you could track Polaris forever with the telescope moving from west of pier to east of pier or vice versa every 12h.
Thus, SideOfPier is, in general, not a useful term (except perhaps in a loose, descriptive, explanatory sense).
All this applies to a fork mount just as much as to a GEM, and it would be wrong to make the "beyond pole" state illegal
for the former. You may not be able to get there if your camera hits the fork, but it's possible on some mounts. Whether
this is useful depends on whether you're in Hawaii or Finland.
To first order, the relationship between sky and mechanical HA/Dec is as follows:

Normal state:
HA_sky = HA_mech
Dec_sky = Dec_mech
Beyond the pole
HA_sky = HA_mech + 12h, expressed in range ± 12h Dec_sky = 180d - Dec_mech, expressed in range ± 90d

Astronomy software often needs to know which "side of the pier" (which pointing state) the mount is in. Examples include
setting guiding polarities and calculating dome opening azimuth/altitude.

The meaning of SideOfPier, then is:

pierEast - Normal pointing state
pierWest - Beyond the pole pointing state If the mount hardware reports neither the true pointing state (or equivalent)
nor the mechanical declination axis position (which varies from -180 to +180), a driver cannot calculate the pointing
state, and *must not* implement SideOfPier.

If the mount hardware reports only the mechanical declination axis position (-180 to +180) then a driver can calculate
SideOfPier as follows:

pierEast = abs(mechanical dec) <= 90 deg pierWest = abs(mechanical Dec) > 90 deg It is allowed (though not required)
that this property may be written to force the mount to flip. Doing so, however, may change the right ascension of the
telescope. During flipping, Telescope.Slewing must return True.


-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of PeterN
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 4:01 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: east-west confusion



Hi Ray,
What is the rationale for the quadrant polling? My simple mind wants to believe that when the scope is on the west
half of the mount it
shoud be polled as west. Similarly for the east. Is this an ASCOM requirement? Is there a reference for the
explanation?
Thanks for your help,
Peter

--- In ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> , "Ray Gralak" <groups@...> wrote:

Peter,

Take a look at this:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/files/mount-sides.pdf

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of PeterN
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 5:29 AM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [ap-gto] east-west confusion



I have an AP1200 mount and the latest ASCOM driver. I slew the scope to an object in the east such that the scope
is
on the west side
of the mount. I then do a sync on the hand paddle. The ascom driver says the scope is on the west side, which is
correct. If I then slew
the scope so that it is on the east of the mount, the ascom driver panel still says the scope is on the west side.
I
can't understand what
is happening.
Thanks
Peter






Re: east-west confusion

Stephane Charbonnel
 

Hi Peter,

I have discussed about this with Ray (See messages on ap-gto list of
last week-end).
My simple mind was to believe as you but Ray has just respected the
property of ASCOM telescope v2 (look on the ASCOM initiative the
standard of telescope v2). The GTOCP3 respects this property too.
As I can read in the standard telescope v2, it will exist (in the
future) a new command which better describes "the reality".
(Note the ASCOM telescope simulator doesn't respect this property ...)

Stephane

Le 05/10/2010 01:00, PeterN a écrit :

Hi Ray,
What is the rationale for the quadrant polling? My simple mind wants
to believe that when the scope is on the west half of the mount it
shoud be polled as west. Similarly for the east. Is this an ASCOM
requirement? Is there a reference for the explanation?
Thanks for your help,
Peter

--- In ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>, "Ray
Gralak" <groups@...> wrote:

Peter,

Take a look at this:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/files/mount-sides.pdf

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>] On
Behalf Of PeterN
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 5:29 AM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [ap-gto] east-west confusion



I have an AP1200 mount and the latest ASCOM driver. I slew the
scope to an object in the east such that the scope is
on the west side
of the mount. I then do a sync on the hand paddle. The ascom
driver says the scope is on the west side, which is
correct. If I then slew
the scope so that it is on the east of the mount, the ascom driver
panel still says the scope is on the west side. I
can't understand what
is happening.
Thanks
Peter





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


Re: tons of problems and a possible solution

Ray Gralak <groups@...>
 

Hi Mike,

Perhaps I'd be better off ditching the two USB->serial adapters and putting a PCI serial comm card in the computer and
running two real
serial lines out there.
If you are using a desktop PC to control your scope that makes a lot of sense. Serial port cards are relatively cheap.
$25 will buy you a nice two port card. Two USB/Serial Keyspan adapters might run you $60.

The one I've used on several PC's (Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7) is this one from Startech:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006B8C0

Also I would recommend you run your camera on its own USB connection (not through a hub) anyway so that there are not
any bandwidth conflicts between devices.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma





Re: tons of problems and a possible solution

Jeffrey A. Steinberg
 

The PCI card is a good idea. Always nice to have hardware UARTS.

-----------------
Jeffrey Steinberg
914-374-7503

On Oct 5, 2010, at 2:58 AM, "tmb_mike" <mike@...> wrote:

Observatory productivity has dropped to a fraction of previous years.

Tons of problems... the guiding issues from a couple weeks ago... reappearing communications errors with the new APV2 driver... camera comm issues with my DSLR. I had a brainfart realization today that there is one piece of gear common to all of these systems, a powered USB hub hanging out on the pier.

I wonder if a couple years of outdoor humidity has been too much for it. Is there some kind of electronics connector spray which I can blast my connectors with, make sure flaky connections aren't causing my woes? Lubatrol? Blue Shower? etc?

I have a lot of USB stuff out there.

Perhaps I'd be better off ditching the two USB->serial adapters and putting a PCI serial comm card in the computer and running two real serial lines out there.

Mike Clemens


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


Re: tons of problems and a possible solution

bcoote37
 

I find there is a constant tendency to having comm problems with USB
connections. Not every week by any means but fairly regularly. I use
the best quality gold plated USB cables I can get and correction
generally only requires pushing the plugs in and out several times at
both ends. I lost connection with my STL camera last night after 90 mins
or so imaging and the connection failure proved to be at the PC in the
warm room not out where expected at the camera which often gets
saturated in dew.
I have experienced problems too with RJ6 and RJ12 connections often
enough over the years.

Perhaps the AP recommended De-oxit spray would be the best solution on
all these connections?
Do you think this would be worth trying Howard?

Brian Coote

On 05/10/10 17:58, tmb_mike wrote:

Observatory productivity has dropped to a fraction of previous years.

Tons of problems... the guiding issues from a couple weeks ago...
reappearing communications errors with the new APV2 driver... camera
comm issues with my DSLR. I had a brainfart realization today that
there is one piece of gear common to all of these systems, a powered
USB hub hanging out on the pier.

I wonder if a couple years of outdoor humidity has been too much for
it. Is there some kind of electronics connector spray which I can
blast my connectors with, make sure flaky connections aren't causing
my woes? Lubatrol? Blue Shower? etc?

I have a lot of USB stuff out there.

Perhaps I'd be better off ditching the two USB->serial adapters and
putting a PCI serial comm card in the computer and running two real
serial lines out there.

Mike Clemens


tons of problems and a possible solution

Mike C
 

Observatory productivity has dropped to a fraction of previous years.

Tons of problems... the guiding issues from a couple weeks ago... reappearing communications errors with the new APV2 driver... camera comm issues with my DSLR. I had a brainfart realization today that there is one piece of gear common to all of these systems, a powered USB hub hanging out on the pier.

I wonder if a couple years of outdoor humidity has been too much for it. Is there some kind of electronics connector spray which I can blast my connectors with, make sure flaky connections aren't causing my woes? Lubatrol? Blue Shower? etc?

I have a lot of USB stuff out there.

Perhaps I'd be better off ditching the two USB->serial adapters and putting a PCI serial comm card in the computer and running two real serial lines out there.

Mike Clemens


Re: ap1200 on wrong side of mount

Mike C
 

Your problem was that you selected location 0. That location is hard coded
for Astro-Physics in Illinois. You cannot use location 0, neither can you
modify it. Use location 1 for your home location. After you have your mount
operating properly, start using Autoconnect "YES" so that you start
automatically from where you left off the last time. That way you will not run into
weird things due to entry errors.

Rolando

That has to be it. Thanks Roland.


Re: Custom tracking rates

Ray Gralak <groups@...>
 

Hi Jeff,

Will this app be available for sale or is it a plug in to the driver? Not sure how you are implementing it.
The tool I am working on is for use with APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center).

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of Jeffrey A. Steinberg
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 4:35 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Custom tracking rates



Ray,

Will this app be available for sale or is it a plug in to the driver? Not sure how you are implementing it.

-----------------
Jeffrey Steinberg
914-374-7503

On Oct 3, 2010, at 2:30 PM, "Ray Gralak" <groups@... <mailto:groups%40gralak.com> > wrote:

Hi Geert,

Unfortunately ASCOM decided on different units than what PulseGuide uses. It seemed right to make the driver's values
reflect the same units as the ASCOM's RightAscensionRate and DeclinationRate properties.

That said one could make a simple ASCOM client that does the conversion. The ASCOM RA rate is 15.047 arc-secs/sec so you
need to divide the desired RA rate by 15.047 to get it into arc-secs/sec. In fact I have made an app to do that but the
skies have clouded up soon after dark the last two nights so I haven't been able to test it. :-(

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Geert Vandenbulcke (GMail)
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 11:04 AM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Custom tracking rates



Ray,

TheSky6 gives rates for comets in arc-seconds per second both in RA and DEC.

In the V2 ASCOM AP Driver custom tracking rate units for RA and DEC are
different, but in Pulseguide both RA and DEC are the same: arc-seconds per
second so the values from TheSky can be used (in theory).

How does one convert the RA arc-seconds per second to seconds per sidereal
seconds? Why not use the same units both in the Ascom driver and in
Pulseguide?

Thanks,

Geert Vdbulcke

Van: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:ap-
gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] Namens Ray
Gralak
Verzonden: vrijdag 1 oktober 2010 20:15
Aan: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Onderwerp: RE: [ap-gto] Custom tracking rates

Hi Gregg,

The right ascension tracking rate offset from sidereal (seconds per sidereal
second, default = 0.0)

The declination tracking rate (arc-seconds per second, default = 0.0).

1. Note the different units for RA Rate and Dec Rate!!

2. A Positive RA rate value means the mount will move clockwise faster than
sidereal rate in the Northern Hemisphere,
but slower than sidereal in the Southern Hemisphere.

3. A Positive Dec rate value means the dec axis is moving clockwise. When
the mount flips the driver automatically
applies an inverse factor. However, at regions near the pole where the
telescope passes through the pole the direction
may be opposite of what is expected.

4. The comet's tracking rate is against the Sky but because of refraction,
flexure and polar misalignment your
mount/scope may have its own tracking rate offset from true sidereal which
must be subtracted from the comets rate.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf
Of Gregg Ruppel
Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 10:46 AM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-
gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [ap-gto] Custom tracking rates



Hi folks:

I was trying to implement custom tracking rates on my 900GTO CP3 mount
using
the Ascom V2 driver. For Comet 103P Hartely I used a planetarium program
(SkyMap Pro) to calculate the angular displacement over an hour. I came up
with 214 arcseconds; using the position angle of 68 degrees this worked
out
to 198 arcseconds East and 80 arcseconds North. Dividing these values by
3600 to convert to arcseconds/second I came up with 0.055 for RA and 0.022
for DEC. As I understand the directional movement since my OTA is on the
west side of the mount, movement in DEC to the north would require a
negative value (counter clockwise movement of the DEC axis viewed from
above). When I plugged these values into the driver I discovered that the
RA was being driven eastward much too quickly and by trial and error
determined that a rate of about 0.013 arcsec/sec matched the comet. For
the
DEC a negative value moved that axis in the wrong direction, but switching
to a positive value of around 0.020 worked better.

I figured the above calculations would get me close enough to make some
small tweaks but the RA was off by a factor of 4 and the DEC was going the
wrong direction. Were my calculations wrong? Did I misinterpret the RA and
DEC custom rate settings? Will the new Command Center software be able to
measure these rates by tracking objects?

Gregg

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Re: "altitude" direction setting?

Ray Gralak <groups@...>
 

btw - I also used SmartTracker ACP plugin for this. SmartTracker is an added that is also available to Maxim users
that uses your model
(ACP's pointing corrector model in my case, but it is also available for MaxPoint) and makes adjustments so that it
tracks according to
the model. You see, Pointing correctors only seem to be focused on GOTO pointing, they should also adjust tracking. If
you're using
SmartTracker, you need adjust the error number to real small number or it will really mess up your images. I use 0.03
arcsecs of error.
The default is 1 arcsec... and this can be seen in your guider. I'd like to see a way to save my value as the default
value in the
configuration.
I believe SmartTracker is John Winfield's program which, if I recall correctly, does the same thing as a program I wrote
many years before called UltraTrack. I created UltraTrack to provide tracking rate corrections for mounts like ProTrack
does specifically for the Paramount.

You might be happy to know that APCC will have both a pointing corrector and a tracking rate corrector and does not
require ACP or MaxPoint (although it could use them). It has all-sky dual East/West sky modeling so it can do
pointing/tracking correction when the scope is on the wrong side of the meridian (I'm not aware of any other amateur
telescope/mount that can does this).

-Ray


Re: east-west confusion

PeterN
 

Hi Ray,
What is the rationale for the quadrant polling? My simple mind wants to believe that when the scope is on the west half of the mount it shoud be polled as west. Similarly for the east. Is this an ASCOM requirement? Is there a reference for the explanation?
Thanks for your help,
Peter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <groups@...> wrote:

Peter,

Take a look at this:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/files/mount-sides.pdf

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of PeterN
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 5:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] east-west confusion



I have an AP1200 mount and the latest ASCOM driver. I slew the scope to an object in the east such that the scope is
on the west side
of the mount. I then do a sync on the hand paddle. The ascom driver says the scope is on the west side, which is
correct. If I then slew
the scope so that it is on the east of the mount, the ascom driver panel still says the scope is on the west side. I
can't understand what
is happening.
Thanks
Peter




Re: The Sky and Mach1GTO

Stanley Watson
 

Hmm. Nice points. I need to learn my AP system more thoroughly. Thanks
for the insights.

Stan

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of chris1011@...
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 6:39 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The Sky and Mach1GTO

In a message dated 10/4/2010 4:41:34 PM Central Daylight Time,
watsons@... writes:


Rolando,
Thank you for the reply. I think, though, that I didn't make the
entire issue very clear. I certainly agree that clutch tightening is
essential (having learned that from hard experience). I was also
implying (not very clearly) that a clutch system has no 'firm" home
position. In a Paramount "Home" is a very specific place in the sky
and
is completely repatable (think of gears). So my lovely Mach1 needs for
me to establish a known point (home) before it can point accurately.
If you are set up permanently, the Mach1 and the Paramount will be equal
in
all respects. Whereas the Paramount has a "home" value that it goes to
at
each startup, the Mach1 always knows where it is pointed, so it is
always
"home" regardless of where you leave it, or park it when you turn off
power. No
need for any routines to find the first object, sync or other nonsense.
The
mount always knows where it is pointed BECAUSE you did not loosen the
clutches and thereby lose the connection between scope and worm gear
tooth
position.

Now, if you are talking about a non-permanent setup, then of course you
would loosen the clutches, point the scope to Reference Park1. This can
be
considered the Home position for the AP mounts. Reference Park1 is
extremely
easy to find, because it simply places scope and countweight shaft in
the
horizontal position. Once you have done that, tighten your clutches and
presto,
you resume from Ref Park1 (AP Home) and away you go. No need to sync
here
either or play any other games.

In either case you have done almost nothing, you don't have to hunt for
objects to sync on or do any other routines. It is almost totally
foolproof,
and I do it this way exclusively. Of course you can start up a number of
other
ways that are more complicated and can get you in trouble, but that is
your
choice. I prefer the simple easy way.

Rolando


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



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Re: Parking vs Tracking

mogulskier_groups
 

You could also point TheSky to the Telescope Simulator and Dome Simulator. Maybe that's a workaround.

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <groups@...> wrote:

Jim,

Hi Mike,Thanks for the reply.....there is a check box in the AP2 driver to "enable mount tracking on unpark." With
this checked or
not...THE SKY still restarts mount tracking when it connects. Is there still some way to keep THE SKY from starting up
mount tracking??

TheSky explicitly tells the ASCOM driver to start tracking so it's just doing what it has been asked to do.

Why don't you only connect TheSky to the mount when you want to start tracking?

-Ray