Date   

Re: Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

W Hilmo
 

Thanks!

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 10:13 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

So if I want to respond back to the thread, that it's possible to use
a mobile app over wifi to initialize the mount, but that you must
unpark it from the last parked position, correct? Also, does that imply that they need to use Luminos, since SkySafari does not yet have the capability to unpark from "last parked"?
Yes, unparking from last-park-position should work. Also, if the Mach2 was actually in the Park 4 position, unparking using SkySafari *should* work, but I don't know if anyone has tried that.

However, after unparking there are other commands that are different, or have been added, such as the button and slew rates, etc.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 9:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Thanks.

So if I want to respond back to the thread, that it's possible to use
a mobile app over wifi to initialize the mount, but that you must
unpark it from the last parked position, correct? Also, does that imply that they need to use Luminos, since SkySafari does not yet have the capability to unpark from "last parked"?

-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray
Gralak
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:36 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Hi Wade,

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with
either SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?
There is a difference, but it is not because of the CP5.

Unparking from one of the park positions is something many users will
do with a mobile setup. Because the Mach 2's encoders always know
where the mount is pointing, you must always unpark the Mach 2 from the last-parked position, and not from one of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver:
https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

I was reading a topic on Cloudy Nights where there is a user with no
keypad. They're asking about initializing the
Mach2 with a phone app and someone else made the claim that APCC is
required before a phone app can be used
<https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/694300-mach2-waiting-
list/?p=10726868> .

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with
either SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?

Thanks,
-Wade










Re: Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Roland Christen
 

There are two things that are different in the Mach2. One is that the initialization simply needs to send the Unpark command. The mount knows where it is at all times, even when powered off. In fact, you don't even need to park the mount at the end of the session. Just turn power off and store the mount in any orientation you want. Next session simply put the mount into any position that is suitable to attach a scope and turn power on. The mount will know exactly where it is pointing, whether previously parked or not, no muss no fuss.

The second thing is that we have a Home position which can be used to re-establish the position of the mount after a wrong sync or other user error.

Both of those commands are very simple but very useful, and our software person is working with SkySafari to add them to control the Mach2. They should have the new version of Sky Safari shortly.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Dec 14, 2020 11:58 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Thanks.

So if I want to respond back to the thread, that it's possible to use a mobile app over wifi to initialize the mount, but that you must unpark it from the last parked position, correct?  Also, does that imply that they need to use Luminos, since SkySafari does not yet have the capability to unpark from "last parked"?

-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:36 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Hi Wade,

> On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either
> SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position).  Does the CP5 work differently?

There is a difference, but it is not because of the CP5.

Unparking from one of the park positions is something many users will do with a mobile setup. Because the Mach 2's encoders always know where the mount is pointing, you must always unpark the Mach 2 from the last-parked position, and not from one of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
> Of W Hilmo
> Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:02 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer
>
> I was reading a topic on Cloudy Nights where there is a user with no
> keypad.  They're asking about initializing the
> Mach2 with a phone app and someone else made the claim that APCC is
> required before a phone app can be used <https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/694300-mach2-waiting-list/?p=10726868> .
>
> On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either
> SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position).  Does the CP5 work differently?
>
> Thanks,
> -Wade
>













--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Ray Gralak
 

So if I want to respond back to the thread, that it's possible to use a mobile app over wifi to initialize the mount, but that
you must unpark it from the last parked position, correct? Also, does that imply that they need to use Luminos, since
SkySafari does not yet have the capability to unpark from "last parked"?
Yes, unparking from last-park-position should work. Also, if the Mach2 was actually in the Park 4 position, unparking using SkySafari *should* work, but I don't know if anyone has tried that.

However, after unparking there are other commands that are different, or have been added, such as the button and slew rates, etc.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 9:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Thanks.

So if I want to respond back to the thread, that it's possible to use a mobile app over wifi to initialize the mount, but that
you must unpark it from the last parked position, correct? Also, does that imply that they need to use Luminos, since
SkySafari does not yet have the capability to unpark from "last parked"?

-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:36 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Hi Wade,

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either
SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?
There is a difference, but it is not because of the CP5.

Unparking from one of the park positions is something many users will do with a mobile setup. Because the Mach 2's
encoders always know where the mount is pointing, you must always unpark the Mach 2 from the last-parked position,
and not from one of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

I was reading a topic on Cloudy Nights where there is a user with no
keypad. They're asking about initializing the
Mach2 with a phone app and someone else made the claim that APCC is
required before a phone app can be used <https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/694300-mach2-waiting-
list/?p=10726868> .

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either
SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?

Thanks,
-Wade










Re: Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

W Hilmo
 

Thanks.

So if I want to respond back to the thread, that it's possible to use a mobile app over wifi to initialize the mount, but that you must unpark it from the last parked position, correct? Also, does that imply that they need to use Luminos, since SkySafari does not yet have the capability to unpark from "last parked"?

-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:36 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Hi Wade,

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either
SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?
There is a difference, but it is not because of the CP5.

Unparking from one of the park positions is something many users will do with a mobile setup. Because the Mach 2's encoders always know where the mount is pointing, you must always unpark the Mach 2 from the last-parked position, and not from one of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

I was reading a topic on Cloudy Nights where there is a user with no
keypad. They're asking about initializing the
Mach2 with a phone app and someone else made the claim that APCC is
required before a phone app can be used <https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/694300-mach2-waiting-list/?p=10726868> .

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either
SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?

Thanks,
-Wade


Re: Tip for creating horizon limits

Manusfisch
 

Brilliant Brian, thanks for sharing

TJF Mobile

On Dec 14, 2020, at 11:34, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:


that is super clever, well done! i will have to try this too



On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 8:09 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:

I'm experimenting with defining horizon limits in APCC in conjunction with another project, and I was trying to figure a good way to get an accurate representation of my site's horizon lines into APCC without using the drawing tool. I suck at drawing, especially with a mouse, and the flattened, linear projection of the horizon tool in APCC adds additional challenge in terms of transcribing what you see.

You can also use the alt+az tools in the horizon tracking limits editor to "trace" the horizon using your telescope and camera/eyepiece, manually dropping points to form your horizon, but this seemed a little time consuming to me and I didn't quite want to set up my gear in the daytime to do this when there was also no nights in the forecast that had weather that was conducive to imaging (I've reached the stage of things where if I set up, I'm setting up to image. Damnit. :D )

So this led me to look into how APCC stores its horizon limit table and alternate ways of creating horizon lines with accuracy.  This led me to 2 findings:

1. APCC stores horizon limits in a flat text file with a simple format: 
<azimuth> <altitude>

A pair of space-separated numbers, one pair per line. Azimuth is a whole number from 0 to 359. Altitude is a floating point number, 0 to 90, and represents the lowest altitude that has clear sky at the corresponding azimuth. Obviously, there are 360 lines of this data in the file. The file is saved with the .hrz file extension, but it is otherwise a plain text file that can be edited in any text editor. 

2. Smart phones and tablets are brimming with inclinometers, and there are a few apps for both iOS and Android which can read these and, ultimately, log their values. Since I have an iPhone, I used an app called Theodolite which, if you're familiar with the instrument, puts a crosshair on the middle of your phone's video feed along with angle and rotation information. A similar app on Android is Dioptra.

In these apps, one turns on logging and traces the horizon with the phone as the app logs altitude and azimuth it is pointing at, usually in 1 degree increments. Once you trace a full 360 degrees, you can turn off logging and save the data. In the case of Theodolite on my iPhone, it saved it to my iCloud drive as a CSV file. I then opened it up on my Mac, extracted the Azimuth and Altitude columns, edited them to remove any duplicate azimuth entries or gaps (sometimes if you turn too fast, there is a gap in azimuth numbers). In the end I had 360 lines of accurate horizon altitude limits. I saved the file as a space-separated file with a .hrz extension and loaded it into APCC's horizon limits editor. The result is in the attached screenshot.

This took me about 10 minutes to do and required no setup of equipment or drawing with a mouse.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: 130 EDF Starfire Field Flatteners

Roland Christen
 

Yes, they will be produced.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Max Mirot via groups.io <titansmoons@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Dec 13, 2020 6:58 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 130 EDF Starfire Field Flatteners

Please let me know if these are going to be produced.

I made the mistake of selling my old flattner.
I was thinking the Quad TCC was going to work.
Then I found out it is not compatible with the older F6.
Now my scope is doing visual only duty since I have to find another one.

Max

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Roland Christen
 

It doesn't show what I was requesting. Yes it shows several places where the star went off in both RA and Dec but also shows that the mount then responded correctly to bring it back. So we don't know if the star faded and the centroid was calculated in the wrong place, or what was the reason for the apparent motion. In the attachments that I sent there is vital information in the first image that is missing in your attachment. This information allows analysis of the health of the mount versus the health of the guiding software. They are two different things that have to be untangled.

Some things I look for are motions in Dec guided and unguided. When a mount is unguided, the DEC axis stays perfectly still and any excursions of the guide star cannot be attributed to a mount problem. When guided, I look for actions that are opposite to the commanded positions. If the mount gets a command to move north, but goes south momentarily, then we have a static friction problem that can be fixed or addressed a number of ways. Sudden random motions of the Dec axis with no apparent command are an indication that something external is disturbing the mount (perhaps a pulling wire on the guide camera or other external mechanical disturbance). These are just a few of a whole host of issues that I have seen and dealt with on customer mounts.

It helps me if the user can take a couple of screen shots, rather than having me spend hours examining their log files.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: steve.winston@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Dec 13, 2020 2:22 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Here's the same screen grab as an attachment (rather than an image)

Roland - might be time to download the PHD2 log viewer - simple to use and will let you see all of the guiding data: https://openphdguiding.org/phd2-log-viewer/

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wade,

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from
any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?
There is a difference, but it is not because of the CP5.

Unparking from one of the park positions is something many users will do with a mobile setup. Because the Mach 2's encoders always know where the mount is pointing, you must always unpark the Mach 2 from the last-parked position, and not from one of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

I was reading a topic on Cloudy Nights where there is a user with no keypad. They're asking about initializing the
Mach2 with a phone app and someone else made the claim that APCC is required before a phone app can be used
<https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/694300-mach2-waiting-list/?p=10726868> .

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from
any park position). Does the CP5 work differently?

Thanks,
-Wade


Re: Tip for creating horizon limits

 

that is super clever, well done! i will have to try this too



On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 8:09 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:

I'm experimenting with defining horizon limits in APCC in conjunction with another project, and I was trying to figure a good way to get an accurate representation of my site's horizon lines into APCC without using the drawing tool. I suck at drawing, especially with a mouse, and the flattened, linear projection of the horizon tool in APCC adds additional challenge in terms of transcribing what you see.

You can also use the alt+az tools in the horizon tracking limits editor to "trace" the horizon using your telescope and camera/eyepiece, manually dropping points to form your horizon, but this seemed a little time consuming to me and I didn't quite want to set up my gear in the daytime to do this when there was also no nights in the forecast that had weather that was conducive to imaging (I've reached the stage of things where if I set up, I'm setting up to image. Damnit. :D )

So this led me to look into how APCC stores its horizon limit table and alternate ways of creating horizon lines with accuracy.  This led me to 2 findings:

1. APCC stores horizon limits in a flat text file with a simple format: 
<azimuth> <altitude>

A pair of space-separated numbers, one pair per line. Azimuth is a whole number from 0 to 359. Altitude is a floating point number, 0 to 90, and represents the lowest altitude that has clear sky at the corresponding azimuth. Obviously, there are 360 lines of this data in the file. The file is saved with the .hrz file extension, but it is otherwise a plain text file that can be edited in any text editor. 

2. Smart phones and tablets are brimming with inclinometers, and there are a few apps for both iOS and Android which can read these and, ultimately, log their values. Since I have an iPhone, I used an app called Theodolite which, if you're familiar with the instrument, puts a crosshair on the middle of your phone's video feed along with angle and rotation information. A similar app on Android is Dioptra.

In these apps, one turns on logging and traces the horizon with the phone as the app logs altitude and azimuth it is pointing at, usually in 1 degree increments. Once you trace a full 360 degrees, you can turn off logging and save the data. In the case of Theodolite on my iPhone, it saved it to my iCloud drive as a CSV file. I then opened it up on my Mac, extracted the Azimuth and Altitude columns, edited them to remove any duplicate azimuth entries or gaps (sometimes if you turn too fast, there is a gap in azimuth numbers). In the end I had 360 lines of accurate horizon altitude limits. I saved the file as a space-separated file with a .hrz extension and loaded it into APCC's horizon limits editor. The result is in the attached screenshot.

This took me about 10 minutes to do and required no setup of equipment or drawing with a mouse.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Tip for creating horizon limits

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dale,

Since I have an iPhone, I used an app called Theodolite which,
if you're familiar with the instrument, puts a crosshair on the middle
of your phone's video feed along with angle and
rotation information. A similar app on Android is Dioptra.
This took me about 10 minutes to do and required no setup of equipment or drawing with a mouse.
That's a great tip. I will have to try it.

Thanks for posting this!

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 8:09 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Tip for creating horizon limits


I'm experimenting with defining horizon limits in APCC in conjunction with another project, and I was trying to figure a
good way to get an accurate representation of my site's horizon lines into APCC without using the drawing tool. I suck
at drawing, especially with a mouse, and the flattened, linear projection of the horizon tool in APCC adds additional
challenge in terms of transcribing what you see.

You can also use the alt+az tools in the horizon tracking limits editor to "trace" the horizon using your telescope and
camera/eyepiece, manually dropping points to form your horizon, but this seemed a little time consuming to me and I
didn't quite want to set up my gear in the daytime to do this when there was also no nights in the forecast that had
weather that was conducive to imaging (I've reached the stage of things where if I set up, I'm setting up to image.
Damnit. :D )

So this led me to look into how APCC stores its horizon limit table and alternate ways of creating horizon lines with
accuracy. This led me to 2 findings:

1. APCC stores horizon limits in a flat text file with a simple format:
<azimuth> <altitude>

A pair of space-separated numbers, one pair per line. Azimuth is a whole number from 0 to 359. Altitude is a floating
point number, 0 to 90, and represents the lowest altitude that has clear sky at the corresponding azimuth. Obviously,
there are 360 lines of this data in the file. The file is saved with the .hrz file extension, but it is otherwise a plain text
file
that can be edited in any text editor.

2. Smart phones and tablets are brimming with inclinometers, and there are a few apps for both iOS and Android
which can read these and, ultimately, log their values. Since I have an iPhone, I used an app called Theodolite which,
if you're familiar with the instrument, puts a crosshair on the middle of your phone's video feed along with angle and
rotation information. A similar app on Android is Dioptra.

In these apps, one turns on logging and traces the horizon with the phone as the app logs altitude and azimuth it is
pointing at, usually in 1 degree increments. Once you trace a full 360 degrees, you can turn off logging and save the
data. In the case of Theodolite on my iPhone, it saved it to my iCloud drive as a CSV file. I then opened it up on my
Mac, extracted the Azimuth and Altitude columns, edited them to remove any duplicate azimuth entries or gaps
(sometimes if you turn too fast, there is a gap in azimuth numbers). In the end I had 360 lines of accurate horizon
altitude limits. I saved the file as a space-separated file with a .hrz extension and loaded it into APCC's horizon limits
editor. The result is in the attached screenshot.

This took me about 10 minutes to do and required no setup of equipment or drawing with a mouse.



Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Seb@stro
 

So the first place they end up seeking help is our forum and, for some reason, the user will often think that we can somehow render better support than the vendor they purchased the gear from or the producers of the other application. It's a real distraction. PHD2 has its own support venue for a purpose and their developers pay close attention to it, thus PHD2 mysteries can best be resolved, or at least triaged, there.
Let's not forget that someone seeking for support often doesn't know the exact cause of the problem. It's rarely (never?) black or white... Ron is asking for help to assess if his Mach1 could have an issue causing his bad guiding results. He's not affiming the problem comes from PHD2 neither from his mount.

As he mentionned in is initial post, he has got good results at times and did a fair amount of troubleshooting to rule out other possibilities. It seems his best guess was that the mount itself had a problem at this point and that's probably why he posted his question/results/logs on this forum. Brian's input may have pinpointed some optimization could be done with some PHD2 settings (very interesting analysis BTW), but I don't think Ron was wrong at all posting here first...

IMO, supporting a system will always require multidisciplinary effort from both software producer and hardware manufacturer. And it can only help, if both parties can understand / use each other's languages / tools to support their common customer...

CS!
Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
Envoyé : 14 décembre 2020 03:03
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE
 


> On Dec 13, 2020, at 22:54, steve.winston@... wrote:
>
> Well I'll be the contrarian :)

Please don't be. I understand quite well where Ray is coming from on this. I often have to play support agent for other apps and hardware, both free and commercial, because the first place the user sees an error or issue that stems from such underlying systems is presented in the app I work on. So the first place they end up seeking help is our forum and, for some reason, the user will often think that we can somehow render better support than the vendor they purchased the gear from or the producers of the other application. It's a real distraction. PHD2 has its own support venue for a purpose and their developers pay close attention to it, thus PHD2 mysteries can best be resolved, or at least triaged, there.





Tip for creating horizon limits

Dale Ghent
 


I'm experimenting with defining horizon limits in APCC in conjunction with another project, and I was trying to figure a good way to get an accurate representation of my site's horizon lines into APCC without using the drawing tool. I suck at drawing, especially with a mouse, and the flattened, linear projection of the horizon tool in APCC adds additional challenge in terms of transcribing what you see.

You can also use the alt+az tools in the horizon tracking limits editor to "trace" the horizon using your telescope and camera/eyepiece, manually dropping points to form your horizon, but this seemed a little time consuming to me and I didn't quite want to set up my gear in the daytime to do this when there was also no nights in the forecast that had weather that was conducive to imaging (I've reached the stage of things where if I set up, I'm setting up to image. Damnit. :D )

So this led me to look into how APCC stores its horizon limit table and alternate ways of creating horizon lines with accuracy.  This led me to 2 findings:

1. APCC stores horizon limits in a flat text file with a simple format: 
<azimuth> <altitude>

A pair of space-separated numbers, one pair per line. Azimuth is a whole number from 0 to 359. Altitude is a floating point number, 0 to 90, and represents the lowest altitude that has clear sky at the corresponding azimuth. Obviously, there are 360 lines of this data in the file. The file is saved with the .hrz file extension, but it is otherwise a plain text file that can be edited in any text editor. 

2. Smart phones and tablets are brimming with inclinometers, and there are a few apps for both iOS and Android which can read these and, ultimately, log their values. Since I have an iPhone, I used an app called Theodolite which, if you're familiar with the instrument, puts a crosshair on the middle of your phone's video feed along with angle and rotation information. A similar app on Android is Dioptra.

In these apps, one turns on logging and traces the horizon with the phone as the app logs altitude and azimuth it is pointing at, usually in 1 degree increments. Once you trace a full 360 degrees, you can turn off logging and save the data. In the case of Theodolite on my iPhone, it saved it to my iCloud drive as a CSV file. I then opened it up on my Mac, extracted the Azimuth and Altitude columns, edited them to remove any duplicate azimuth entries or gaps (sometimes if you turn too fast, there is a gap in azimuth numbers). In the end I had 360 lines of accurate horizon altitude limits. I saved the file as a space-separated file with a .hrz extension and loaded it into APCC's horizon limits editor. The result is in the attached screenshot.

This took me about 10 minutes to do and required no setup of equipment or drawing with a mouse.


Mach2 with no keypad and no computer

W Hilmo
 

I was reading a topic on Cloudy Nights where there is a user with no keypad.  They're asking about initializing the Mach2 with a phone app and someone else made the claim that APCC is required before a phone app can be used.

On my two mounts with CP4 I can fully initialize the mount with either SkySafari (from Park 4 only) or Luminos (from any park position).  Does the CP5 work differently?

Thanks,
-Wade


Re: 130 EDF Starfire Field Flatteners

Karen Christen
 

Yes, we are working on producing a Field Flattener for the 130 EDF.  We’re sourcing glass now. 

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Max Mirot via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2020 6:59 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 130 EDF Starfire Field Flatteners

 

Please let me know if these are going to be produced.

I made the mistake of selling my old flattner.
I was thinking the Quad TCC was going to work.
Then I found out it is not compatible with the older F6.
Now my scope is doing visual only duty since I have to find another one.

Max


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Dale Ghent
 

On Dec 13, 2020, at 22:54, steve.winston@gmail.com wrote:

Well I'll be the contrarian :)
Please don't be. I understand quite well where Ray is coming from on this. I often have to play support agent for other apps and hardware, both free and commercial, because the first place the user sees an error or issue that stems from such underlying systems is presented in the app I work on. So the first place they end up seeking help is our forum and, for some reason, the user will often think that we can somehow render better support than the vendor they purchased the gear from or the producers of the other application. It's a real distraction. PHD2 has its own support venue for a purpose and their developers pay close attention to it, thus PHD2 mysteries can best be resolved, or at least triaged, there.


Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

 

fwiw I'm happy to offer my input on any logs or questions regarding PHD. 

I have been a regular contributor on the PHD forums for the past few years, and keep in contact with the developers. I am fairly confident in my PHD knowledge, and analyze about 5-10 logs per day across many different mounts. 

and I'm an AP owner to boot :) Not yet as familiar with my AP yet as I am with PHD. 

Brian


On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 7:54 PM <steve.winston@...> wrote:
Well I'll be the contrarian :)

No one knows these mounts better than Roland.  Empowering him with tools like PHD2 log viewer so he can see the issues people are reporting seems like it can only help the broader community and make his job easier.  Being dependent on people posting the "right" screen grab and only being able to see a tiny subset of the information cannot be very productive.

Of course, Roland will decide whether and how much time he can spend analyzing any such requests for help.    And yes, any apparent issues involving PHD2 should absolutely be reported on the PHD2 forum, but often after initial analysis over there the recommendation can be to go back to the mount manufacturer and seek support there...



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

steve.winston@...
 

Well I'll be the contrarian :)

No one knows these mounts better than Roland.  Empowering him with tools like PHD2 log viewer so he can see the issues people are reporting seems like it can only help the broader community and make his job easier.  Being dependent on people posting the "right" screen grab and only being able to see a tiny subset of the information cannot be very productive.

Of course, Roland will decide whether and how much time he can spend analyzing any such requests for help.    And yes, any apparent issues involving PHD2 should absolutely be reported on the PHD2 forum, but often after initial analysis over there the recommendation can be to go back to the mount manufacturer and seek support there...


Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Eric Dreher
 

I agree.  The iterations of at least three image acquisition programs, and multiple guiding programs available among the list, make it a daunting task to keep up with all of them.

SGP can use Metaguide and PHD2, NINA can use at least PHD2 and maybe others, and Voyager can utilize PHD2 and MaximDL.

Roland's responsibility is to his mounts and the native drivers and software offered by his company.  I cannot imagine asking him to do more than he is currently offering.


Re: 130 EDF Starfire Field Flatteners

Max Mirot
 

Please let me know if these are going to be produced.

I made the mistake of selling my old flattner.
I was thinking the Quad TCC was going to work.
Then I found out it is not compatible with the older F6.
Now my scope is doing visual only duty since I have to find another one.

Max


Re: Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Steve,

I understand that Roland asked for more information. He wants to help! :-)

My point was this - the subtleties and growing complexity of PHD2 has made the analysis of PHD2 log files better suited to the folks on the PHD2 forum. 99.9% of the time the autoguiding "issue" is simply a settings or calibration issue, so I think the people on the PHD2 forum should have a first crack at looking at the issue. :-)

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of steve.winston@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2020 2:30 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Guiding on my plate again - NEED TO IMPROVE

Hey Ray,

Roland asked for screenshots, which imho, is an inefficient way to share data. As a lot of people post their actual
PHD2 logs whenever they are having problems, having access to the PHD2 log viewer and so not having to ask for
screenshots seems like a step up, no? Roland will of course decide for himself how much time he wants to spend
debugging issues like this. And yes, fully agree that cross posting on the PHD2 forum and seeking help there would
be a good idea.

Steve



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