Date   

Re: Satellite Tracking

CurtisC
 

It was probably six or seven years ago, but I once tried using Horizons to track a comet with my Mach1GTO.  Yes, I could track the comet.  But the resulting images weren't tracked precisely enough for my taste.  There wasn't anything that I would want to send to S&T or Astronomy.  I wish you better success than what I experienced, Dean.


Re: Satellite Tracking

Dean Jacobsen
 

Hi Ed, the directions in the AP Horizons manual are excellent so I think I am set to go.  I am going to try and get a video of an ISS pass just to see if I can put all of the parts together correctly.  The ISS is listed in the JPL Horizons target list and I will find a time wen I get a favorable pass.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Satellite Tracking

Allen Ruckle
 

Dean,
        Do you know witch two days yet,  I realize it depends on the Weather.

Allen

On Oct 7, 2020, at 10:27 AM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:

Hey Al, I hope to be out at the observatory at least two times next week.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Satellite Tracking

Dean Jacobsen
 

Hey Al, I hope to be out at the observatory at least two times next week.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Satellite Tracking

Allen Ruckle
 

Robert,

       I hope  you and your family are doing well.  We are well and looking forward to having 4 grandchildren all next week.

This post on the Astro-Physics forum about satellite tracking 
may be of interest to you.  Dean Jacobsen has a A-P Mach 2 mount for about 4 months now.  It sounds like he his a Ham
Radio user.   He is a member of the SDAA club and has his telescope in the observatory 3 buildings to the West of ours.

       If I remember, I will ask him his call letters if you are interested in talking to him.  As it stands now, it looks like there will be
no bar B que this month.   
 



Allen Ruckle





On Oct 6, 2020, at 9:29 PM, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:

OK, I think I can figure this out.

AMSAT has a list of the TLEs of the satellites of interest.  Then with a TLE I should be able to have the JPL HORIZONS web interface calculate me an Ephemeris that I should be able to load up into the Astro-Physics Horizons program...

... theoretically.

Is this essentially correct?  I haven't figured the ins and outs of setting up user defined TLEs in JPL HORIZONS yet.

I think that I an going to try and image some comets too.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ
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Re: Satellite Tracking

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 09:13 AM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
There are programs that use the max slew rate of 1800x for pulse movement of the mount which doesn't track in a smooth manner but which keeps the object in the field in a back-forth manner. This is not controlled tracking but it does work to keep a fast moving satellite in the field, just not perfectly centered.
That would work for communicating with an amateur radio satellite if the satellite isn't faster than the 1800x rate.  I just need something that will keep the antenna array moving with the satellite.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Satellite Tracking

Dean Jacobsen
 

Understood Roland, I remember that you have said that before.  There are a lot of satellites up there and perhaps I will find something within the max tracking rate of the Mach2.

Is the Mach2 fast enough to track the ISS?  I was thinking of starting with that and just putting one of my cameras in video mode and taking a video of a pass.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Satellite Tracking

Roland Christen
 


My Mach2 may or may not be able to keep up with one of the amateur satellites
We are limited by Federal law to a maximum controlled tracking rate of 999x sidereal in order to prevent our mount from being used for missile tracking by foreign bad guys.

There are programs that use the max slew rate of 1800x for pulse movement of the mount which doesn't track in a smooth manner but which keeps the object in the field in a back-forth manner. This is not controlled tracking but it does work to keep a fast moving satellite in the field, just not perfectly centered.

I know that there are certain import mounts that do controlled tracking at higher rates, but they are basically breaking the law here in the US.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Oct 7, 2020 10:34 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Satellite Tracking

Hi Ed,

Thanks, I haven't run across that doc yet and it is very helpful.

Fortunately, AMSAT issues a bulletin once a week with TLEs of the current amateur satellites:  https://www.amsat.org/tle/current/nasa.all

So, now that I have directions on how to input user-specified TLEs, then I should be able to have JPL HORIZONS web interface calculate an Ephemeris which in turn can be loaded into the Astro-Physics Horizons program... hopefully.

My Mach2 may or may not be able to keep up with one of the amateur satellites but I don't see any harm in trying.  I can also try some of the slower spacecraft targets that JPL Horizons has in its database.

Thanks again for pointing me to that document and I will be in touch if I need further expert help.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: SkySafari on Mach2 no DEC movement on GoTo.

Roland Christen
 

Hello Allen,

We think that perhaps your app has sent a bad sync to the mount at some point, perhaps at startup. Some of these programs are not yet properly adapted to a computer mount and may be sending false info to the mount. The fact that it slews only in RA is the clue that the mount has been told that it is in an unsafe position and it is being sent away from that position, but because of the improper sync, it will go to an unspecified position.

The way to recover from any improper sync is the send $HA#, which will send the mount home and re-sync to the proper sky coordinates. this can be done in APCC, which came with your mount.

You can use APCC to start up the mount and then use other apps to move the mount. SkySafari may not work properly for starting up the mount. I don't know if they have implemented a proper startup procedure for the Mach2 where the encoder position determines the actual pointing of the mount. If SkySafari overrides the encoder positions with its own possibly bogus position, then the mount will be forced to follow an improper alignment and thus point wrong.

Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Allen Ruckle <aruckle@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Oct 7, 2020 1:52 am
Subject: [ap-gto] SkySafari on Mach2 no DEC movement on GoTo.

Hello, I have just recently received My Mach2,   I ordered it last year so while I have been waiting, I joined this group to educate myself about the A-P mounts.  
The idea of using SkySafari to slew about the Sky is appealing to me.  The delivery of the CP5 hand control has me starting out with the iPad.  The first time out I was able to do Slewing to objects all over the sky.

Tonight i was able to connect but unable to do any sort of alignment,  each effort to slew to an object the mount would Slew in RA to the east only, with no DEC movement at all. The Slew often would not stop and on several occasions I could only stop it by pulling the power cord out of the socket.

Hs anyone else had this problem and have any suggestions about how to set it right.

I tried using SkySafari on my iPad and laptop computer using Wifi,  and with the laptop using the wired serial connection.  Same results with each.

I thank you in advance for your help.

aruckle


Re: Satellite Tracking

Dean Jacobsen
 

Hi Ed,

Thanks, I haven't run across that doc yet and it is very helpful.

Fortunately, AMSAT issues a bulletin once a week with TLEs of the current amateur satellites:  https://www.amsat.org/tle/current/nasa.all

So, now that I have directions on how to input user-specified TLEs, then I should be able to have JPL HORIZONS web interface calculate an Ephemeris which in turn can be loaded into the Astro-Physics Horizons program... hopefully.

My Mach2 may or may not be able to keep up with one of the amateur satellites but I don't see any harm in trying.  I can also try some of the slower spacecraft targets that JPL Horizons has in its database.

Thanks again for pointing me to that document and I will be in touch if I need further expert help.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: AP900 PEC Curve

Wes Atchison
 

Thanks Roland.

Wes
WA5TKU


Unguided tracking with a 1200?

Peter Bresler
 

My first AP mount was a Mach1. I purchased APCC Pro with to use the pointing model. I was not successful in using that with my camera at the time and returned it, and also because SGP by itself met my need for accurate goto's with its auto centering. I am wondering now about unguided tracking with my Planewave 12.5 and AP1200? I now use only dedicated astro cameras, I still use SGP, which is the platesolve program for APPC Pro in any case. My need would be for 10 minute exposures, probably never more than 15 minutes. Should I try APPC Pro to try for unguided tracking with the 1200? I also have not yet purchased Pempro.


Re: Satellite Tracking

Edward Beshore
 

Hi Dean

I haven't used Horizons for TLE satellite tracking, but I have a fair bit of experience using it for asteroid ephemerides. 

You may have found this already in the on-line docs at https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons_doc#tle

Looks like you should be able to make this work. Not sure how the AP mounts will do for fast moving objects, however.

Feel free to reach out if you have any issues with the interface. That I can help with.

Ed Beshore

USER-SPECIFIED TWO-LINE ELEMENTS (TLEs)

Geocentric SGP4/SDP4 Two-Line Element (TLE) format data can be specified by users to define an Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. Such data is primarily available from Space-Track.org and CelesTrak.com.

Horizons maintains trajectories for only a small subset of Earth-orbiting satellites, so this user-input option allows specification of other objects not in Horizons. These add-ins can then be used as targets (to observe) and coordinate origins (observing sites from which to observe).

The standard TLE format can be cut-and-pasted into Horizons here. For example:

SC-1
1 87820U 11053A   11273.79990913  .00099611  00000-0  64461-3 0  9991
2 87820 042.7843 189.7738 0014383 039.8647 002.5266 15.74868665   196
1 87820U 11053A   11273.86983630 -.00085102 +00000-0 -55758-3 0  9998
2 87820 042.7804 189.3478 0014258 040.7498 038.5752 15.74826749000204

 *  PRESS <return> ON A BLANK LINE WHEN DONE.

 *  Type '-' alone on a line to abandon TLE input (discard)

 *  The first line can be the object's name ("SC-1"), as can every 3rd line.
     Names are a maximum of 24 characters in length.

 *  Name is optional, but if no name is provided, you will be prompted for
     an optional name after TLE data input is complete.

 *  Multiple TLE sets can be input, up to some system limit which may change
     but is nominally 600 sets (1200 data lines ... name lines are not counted)

 *  Input TLEs can be extrapolated over a limited time-span before and after
     the first and last TLE epochs. This limit may change, but is nominally
     +/- 14 days. Extrapolation errors outside the TLE epoch bounds grow at
     perhaps 1-3 km per day, but this is highly variable and could be much
     worse if there is thruster activity. If there are large gaps in the data,
     ephemeris results could be heavily degraded (i.e., worthless ... passing
     through the Earth, etc.).

 *  The data does not have to be in chronological order, though that
     would be a normal thing to do.

 *  Once a TLE object has been defined, you can go off and do other things
     in Horizons (when using it interactively via telnet), then come back
     later and select the previously input dataset as a target by typing
     "TLE" at the main Horizons prompt.

 *  An input TLE object can be also used as a coordinate origin (an observing
     point) at any time, as explained below.


Mach2 Shipment

Larry Phillips
 

I just wanted to let the folks at AP know that my Mach2 shipment arrived yesterday via UPS in fine shape here south of Tucson.  There were 3 boxes and all arrived in Phoenix.  Two came on to Tucson.  However, one box was inadvertently sent to Las Vegas.  I think it has the counterweight shaft in it and is due here tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone involved in shipping these fine mounts that ensure they are safely shipped.

Larry Phillips


Re: APCC Pro v1.8.7.1 and APCC Standard v1.8.7.0

Ray Gralak
 

Ray, I assume you just got the titles backwards and the file names correctly
indicate their function.
Good catch, Greg. I just fixed that. Thanks!

-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 Greg Salyer
Sent: Wednesday, October 7, 2020 7:06 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC Pro v1.8.7.1 and APCC Standard v1.8.7.0

Ray, I assume you just got the titles backwards and the file names correctly
indicate their function.

Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ray
Gralak
Sent: Wednesday, October 7, 2020 9:37 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC Pro v1.8.7.1 and APCC Standard v1.8.7.0

Hello all,

I am announcing the availability of a new release build of APCCPro and APCC
Standard.

These builds fix the timeout error caused by sending the ":m#" command.
Also, in APPM now does an additional check for dome slewing.


APCC Pro download:
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Standard_Setup_1.8.7.0.exe

APCC Standard download:
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_Setup_1.8.7.1.exe

Best regards,

-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











Re: Time Out Comm Errors on MACH2

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wayne,

Actually what the error says is

Sent ‘m#’, Error: The operation has timed out

Every three seconds. I’m using USB through the mount
If you update to APCC 1.8.7.x, that error will go away. That command is intended for a future firmware version.

-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 Wayne Hixson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 9:57 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Time Out Comm Errors on MACH2

Actually what the error says is

Sent ‘m#’, Error: The operation has timed out

Every three seconds. I’m using USB through the mount


<https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/?.src=iOS>



On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 9:38 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com> via groups.io
<chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Your sentence doesn't make sense. M# is not a command.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne Hixson via groups.io <wayneh9026=yahoo.com@groups.io>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Oct 6, 2020 11:11 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Time Out Comm Errors on MACH2


All of a sudden I'm getting Comm errors every three seconds - Sent M# - error -the operation has timed out.
I've tried rebooting the PC no luck

Wayne


Re: APCC Pro v1.8.7.1 and APCC Standard v1.8.7.0

Greg Salyer
 

Ray, I assume you just got the titles backwards and the file names correctly
indicate their function.

Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ray
Gralak
Sent: Wednesday, October 7, 2020 9:37 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC Pro v1.8.7.1 and APCC Standard v1.8.7.0

Hello all,

I am announcing the availability of a new release build of APCCPro and APCC
Standard.

These builds fix the timeout error caused by sending the ":m#" command.
Also, in APPM now does an additional check for dome slewing.


APCC Pro download:
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Standard_Setup_1.8.7.0.exe

APCC Standard download:
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_Setup_1.8.7.1.exe

Best regards,

-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


Re: Pier Crash - need help diagnosing #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Joel Short
 

On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 10:50 PM, Eric M wrote:
"The CP4 has the ability to have limits set without using APCC."

How is this done? I don't see anything in the CP4 manual about it.
I'm curious about this too.  I couldn't find any way to do this either.  
joel


APCC Pro v1.8.7.1 and APCC Standard v1.8.7.0

Ray Gralak
 
Edited

Hello all,

I am announcing the availability of a new release build of APCCPro and APCC Standard.

These builds fix the timeout error caused by sending the ":m#" command. Also, in APPM now does an additional check for dome slewing.


APCC Standard download:
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Standard_Setup_1.8.7.0.exe

APCC Pro download:
http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_Setup_1.8.7.1.exe

Best regards,

-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


SkySafari on Mach2 no DEC movement on GoTo.

Allen Ruckle
 

Hello, I have just recently received My Mach2,   I ordered it last year so while I have been waiting, I joined this group to educate myself about the A-P mounts.  

The idea of using SkySafari to slew about the Sky is appealing to me.  The delivery of the CP5 hand control has me starting out with the iPad.  The first time out I was able to do Slewing to objects all over the sky.

Tonight i was able to connect but unable to do any sort of alignment,  each effort to slew to an object the mount would Slew in RA to the east only, with no DEC movement at all. The Slew often would not stop and on several occasions I could only stop it by pulling the power cord out of the socket.

Hs anyone else had this problem and have any suggestions about how to set it right.

I tried using SkySafari on my iPad and laptop computer using Wifi,  and with the laptop using the wired serial connection.  Same results with each.

I thank you in advance for your help.

aruckle

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