Date   

Re: Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

Tom Blahovici
 

So, is the harmonic at 3x perhaps due to drift?  It seems to have shifted a bit.  I did not check the boxes for drift adjustment.


Re: Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

Roland Christen
 


So how do you do that?  My curves usually wander slowly up the graph. 
Perhaps I didn't make things clear. Yes, the individual graphs may wander slowly, but that's simply because of drift. You check the little box for the X or Y that brings the curves down on top of each other. Checking the box essentially compensates for drift and allows just the periodic part of the error to be shown for each of the worm periods. They will lay on top of each other.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: CurtisC via groups.io <calypte@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 12, 2020 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 03:40 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
The absolute main thing that makes PEM work is that the various curves lie close on top of one another, which in your case they do.
So how do you do that?  My curves usually wander slowly up the graph.  My polar alignment is as good as I can get it with PEMPro's Polar Alignment Wizard, and I can take 30 min subs with no noticeable field rotation.


Re: Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

eckhard.voelcker@...
 

Ray,

I did not try park 1 and 2. Park 4 and 5 worked, I noticed only in park 3 the problem with the telescope pointing at my lawn. 


Eckhard


Re: Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

 

Hello Eckhard,

 

I also sent a link to the new version that will solve your problem. Please download and update your GTOCP5. Thank you.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of eckhard.voelcker via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 3:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

 

Marcelo,

> but DEC insists on trying to point it towards the center of the Earth when starting a park 3.

My Mach2 (also in the Southern Hemisphere) does the same. This seems to be a bug and I have reported this already to George at A-P. I use the Find Home button in the AE  Tab from APCC instead of Park 3.

I use "Find Home" before polar alignment. I send the mount back "Home" before quitting APCC and and use "wake up from last park" when I start APCC. This works perfectly.  

Eckhard


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

CurtisC <calypte@...>
 

On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 02:21 PM, Joe Zeglinski wrote:
I quickly realized that I should do the opposite, 
Yes.  When it says to point the mount further west, it really means further east, and vice versa.


Re: Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

 

Hello Marcello,

 

I have sent a link to new version for your GTOCP5 that will solve your problem. Please ignore the first email that I sent. Look for the one that says it is the second email.  Thank you.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Marcelo Figueroa via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 9:39 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

 

Ok thanks. I will try that tonight

 


Re: Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

CurtisC <calypte@...>
 

On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 03:40 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
The absolute main thing that makes PEM work is that the various curves lie close on top of one another, which in your case they do.
So how do you do that?  My curves usually wander slowly up the graph.  My polar alignment is as good as I can get it with PEMPro's Polar Alignment Wizard, and I can take 30 min subs with no noticeable field rotation.


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Ray,
 
    It was a very long night, so I must have redone PEMPRO about 5 or 6 times.  I could have made the same mistake in the lead up to the drift graph,  every time, but I doubt it. I’m not new to PEMPRO use, but it is infrequent. Luckily, the instructions are simple.
 
    As Tom mentioned earlier, after a few tries following screen hints, it was obvious that doing so made the drift error progressively worse, so I reversed the logic, and turned the AZ “knobs” to rotate the mount towards the other direction. This made it settle down, and using the reverse direction was then consistently better.
By reversal, I mean that the entire run was giving contrary directions, as did the reruns after that. It wasn’t a logic reversal DURING a run.
 
    At each correction, I looked down at the mount baseplate, and considered which knob would “push it towards or away from the AZ post” in the direction for the mount to rotate, (horizontally in AZ), per the given instruction. I still “suspect” that this reversal of procedure may have to do with choosing one side of the meridian, while the camera is either straight up, or inverted. But, that should have been determined automatically,  during the calibration steps of clicking on the star trail, and the three star image targets.
 
    PEMPRO worked fine for me a couple of years ago, using an earlier revision, but has also happened the weird way, at other times in the past. I have used several versions over more than a decade. I’ll continue to investigate its problem, or possibly mine. Perhaps I will discover a unique set of conditions that causes the logic  reversal.
 
    Please stay safe out there Ray. We need you healthy at all times.
Best regards,
Joe Z.
 
 
 

From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 4:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
 
Hi Joe,

I have used PEMPro a number of times in the last few months on my 1100AE and 1200 mounts, and haven't seen any direction reversals, but I can double check the next year (lol) that my California skies are clear enough. Assuming you went through the calibration steps correctly, is it possible you could have adjusted the wrong Azimuth knob?

Also, being above or below the pole will not affect the Az direction at all.

>     I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable
> ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The
> website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT
> seem to be the case. It has to be started  in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO,   every time.

CCDSoft (and any other ActiveX control) should register itself when it is installed, which it doesn't. If it can't register itself even when running as Administrator, then maybe there is reason. You might try changing the compatibility mode of CCDSoft to Windows 7.

-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 Joe Zeglinski
> Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:19 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
>
> Hi Tom,
>
>     Funny that you should mention the odd “adjustment direction” misbehaviour running PEMPRO.
>
>     Like you, I have years of familiarity with PEMPRO, and it is actually fun to use. However, I spent hours last
> night,  trying to get it to behave with my AP-1200/CP4. I quickly realized that I should do the opposite,  to the
> direction it was asking me to adjust the AZ. Every time it said Clockwise rotation, I rotated the AZ COUNTER
> clockwise, and that worked fine. Otherwise, as in your experience, following its suggestion, the gap just widened
> with every suggested direction adjustment.
>
>     I think the initial setup calibration  pointing to either your East side or West of the meridian, should automatically
> determine if the camera ‘s vertical direction, Mine was upside down, during the run, pointing to   West of the PM.
> Next time out, I will rerun PEMPRO, but with the scope pointing to the East side of the PM, and see if the direction
> to turn then becomes correct. As I recall, the older versions had “hockey sticks” on the drift graph, for us to help
> specify the camera orientation. Now it is supposed to be automatic.
>
>     Ray, is it possible that without doing the DEC adjustment, the scope axis is pointing below or above Polaris, and
> this makes it offer the contrary direction suggestions?
>
>     I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable
> ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The
> website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT
> seem to be the case. It has to be started  in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO,   every time.
>
>     It is a great program, but seems to have some “direction prompting” quirks, as we have both witnessed, and
> which I will investigate further to double check my observations.
>
> Joe Z.
>
>
> From: Tom Blahovici
> Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 2:08 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
>
>
> Hi,
> I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.
>
> I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not
> apparent in my case.  I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
> I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute  I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree
> off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the
> place.
> It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it was
> even higher.  Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only to then
> start slanting again.
> It should not be this unstable.
> A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that is 6 feet
> long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all.  Rock
> solid.  Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters.  The drive has a very smooth 3 arc
> second peak to peak tracking.  With PEM, +-2.8.
> I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
> Any hints please?
> Thanks, Tom
>
>
>
>




Re: Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

Roland Christen
 

hello Marcelo,

We will send you information that will fix your issue with parking with APCC. Please ignore the first e-mail that Marj sent, she will send you another one soon.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Marcelo Figueroa via groups.io <marfig1970@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 11, 2020 10:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Help, my Mach2 seems to be lost #APCC #Mach2GTO

[Edited Message Follows]
(Just in case, I am located in the southern hemisphere)

Tonight I finally had the opportunity to test my Mach2. First during the day I installed my equipment and balanced the mount, then I manually left it in Park3.

Later during the night I performed the polar alignment and then a couple of slew using APCC Pro, then when trying to send the mount back to Park 3 it started to turn in the opposite direction, pointing towards the center of the Earth.
 
Then I disconnected everything and put the mount manually  back in park 3 and performed a unpark from the last position. The RA axis seems to work well, but DEC insists on trying to point it towards the center of the Earth when starting a park 3.
 
My question is, is there any way to perform an unpark from park 3?, basically I want to tell the mount: at this moment you are in the park 3 position (I remember that in the case of Mach1 one of the menus allowed that). 

Thanks


Re: Q. for Ray Gralak about PEMPro

CurtisC <calypte@...>
 
Edited

I've just spent some time in the observatory playing with last night's "best" run, the one that I loaded into the mount.  Unchecking 3 and checking 4 does make a difference, not so much on the graph (although there is a small change), but in the reported p-to-p.  With 3 on and 4 off the p-to-p is 18.26.  With 3 off and 4 on it drops to 17.47.  That's the one I sent to the mount last night.  I also tried using only fundamental 1.  I forget the resulting p-to-p, but it didn't change 17-18 to 3 or 4.  The smoky sky reduces me to worrying about periodic error instead of imaging.  I can image stars well enough to do PEMPro runs.  It's a shame, because seeing is very good.


Re: Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

Tom Blahovici
 

Hi
Ok, I also uploaded one curve without the 64x.  It made no difference.  I still get +- 2.8 arc second.  All of this comes from the 3x fundamental even though it is uploaded.  Any ideas what that could be?
Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tom,

I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute.
I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth
and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the
PEMPro just passively measures declination drift without sending any move commands while measuring. PEMPro is extremely sensitive and detect movements that are just a fraction of a pixel in width. At the start of the Polar Alignment Wizard is a checklist of things to consider. Tube currents are one of the biggest impediments to getting good results. There is a way to eliminate the effects of tube currents, if you think that might be the reason. Usually this isn’t a factor with refractors, but any mirrored scope, including SCTs can have significant tube currents under certain circumstances.

BTW, when you tighten any of the knobs on the mount that can affect the polar alignment. Also, if your scope is on a tripod or temporary pier the mount can settle into the ground.

-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 Tom Blahovici
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 11:09 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi,
I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.

I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not
apparent in my case. I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute. I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree
off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the
place.
It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it was
even higher. Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only to then
start slanting again.
It should not be this unstable.
A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that is 6 feet
long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all. Rock
solid. Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters. The drive has a very smooth 3 arc
second peak to peak tracking. With PEM, +-2.8.
I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
Any hints please?
Thanks, Tom




Re: Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

Roland Christen
 

I always include all harmonics that are checked when I generate a PE curve, even if they vary from one tooth to another. I do not include anything over about the 9th harmonic, so the 64th would not be included. The absolute main thing that makes PEM work is that the various curves lie close on top of one another, which in your case they do. That is the most important thing that makes PE correction work.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 12, 2020 2:37 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

HI.  This might be a question for Howard?
Having had little success with my CP2 on getting PE working with my AP600e, I decided to purchase the CP4.  I collected 5 PE curves with PEC off and found that I had about +- 3.5 arc seconds of PE.  There was the fundamental and two others of interest.  One at 3 and one at 64.  I sent the before and after curves to Ray, and he pointed out that the PEC curve sent to the mount corrected the main source of PE but there was still the 3x and 64x.  He suggested that the 64X was in the gear box and that I should check that the gears are secure.  How are they held in? Could there be wear of the gears? Motor?
As the the 3x, it seems that this is now the major source of the remaining PE however it seems to vary in amplitude.  He suggested that I  might not be able to completely eliminate the 3X frequency as it seems to vary with time. I am not sure if there is a reduction gear involved, or if this is being caused by variations in the worm wheel teeth. Any suggestions in all of this?
Attached are the curves.  The 64x is not shown on the scale but it corresponds completely to the fast changing "sine wave" shown on the raw pe curves.
So, basically, the CP4 with PemPro got me to +- 2.8 arcsec, not much of a fix.
Thanks, Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Roland Christen
 

You should not be doing the drift align with any of the bolts loose. Tighten them and only loosen one set when you are actually changing the setting (either az when adjusting az or alt when adjusting alt). Then tighten them again and take another reading. Leaving them loose while taking a reading will cause things to drift in weird directions.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 12, 2020 2:22 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Thanks for the trick on the altitude. Makes sense.
I think one of the most difficult parts is tightening the altitude Allen bolt. It always seems to throw off everything, although it shouldn't since tightening should make the mount go snug on the altitude screw.
What about a slight misbalance in the Dec axis? Would this not be benificial? Given how the graph jumps all over the place would this not indicate that the mount is flexing in Dec?
Thanks, Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Joe,

I have used PEMPro a number of times in the last few months on my 1100AE and 1200 mounts, and haven't seen any direction reversals, but I can double check the next year (lol) that my California skies are clear enough. Assuming you went through the calibration steps correctly, is it possible you could have adjusted the wrong Azimuth knob?

Also, being above or below the pole will not affect the Az direction at all.

I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable
ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The
website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT
seem to be the case. It has to be started in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO, every time.
CCDSoft (and any other ActiveX control) should register itself when it is installed, which it doesn't. If it can't register itself even when running as Administrator, then maybe there is reason. You might try changing the compatibility mode of CCDSoft to Windows 7.

-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 Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:19 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Tom,

Funny that you should mention the odd “adjustment direction” misbehaviour running PEMPRO.

Like you, I have years of familiarity with PEMPRO, and it is actually fun to use. However, I spent hours last
night, trying to get it to behave with my AP-1200/CP4. I quickly realized that I should do the opposite, to the
direction it was asking me to adjust the AZ. Every time it said Clockwise rotation, I rotated the AZ COUNTER
clockwise, and that worked fine. Otherwise, as in your experience, following its suggestion, the gap just widened
with every suggested direction adjustment.

I think the initial setup calibration pointing to either your East side or West of the meridian, should automatically
determine if the camera ‘s vertical direction, Mine was upside down, during the run, pointing to West of the PM.
Next time out, I will rerun PEMPRO, but with the scope pointing to the East side of the PM, and see if the direction
to turn then becomes correct. As I recall, the older versions had “hockey sticks” on the drift graph, for us to help
specify the camera orientation. Now it is supposed to be automatic.

Ray, is it possible that without doing the DEC adjustment, the scope axis is pointing below or above Polaris, and
this makes it offer the contrary direction suggestions?

I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable
ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The
website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT
seem to be the case. It has to be started in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO, every time.

It is a great program, but seems to have some “direction prompting” quirks, as we have both witnessed, and
which I will investigate further to double check my observations.

Joe Z.


From: Tom Blahovici
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 2:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?


Hi,
I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.

I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not
apparent in my case. I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute. I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree
off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the
place.
It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it was
even higher. Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only to then
start slanting again.
It should not be this unstable.
A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that is 6 feet
long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all. Rock
solid. Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters. The drive has a very smooth 3 arc
second peak to peak tracking. With PEM, +-2.8.
I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
Any hints please?
Thanks, Tom




Re: Q. for Ray Gralak about PEMPro

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Curtis,

Swapping fundamental 3 for 4 didn't make any visible difference in the graph.
If the 3rd and 4th fundamentals are small, then you may not see much difference. If you want to verify the graph is changing, then try unchecking the 1x fundamental, or even all the fundamentals. Please report back if you think that the graph is still not changing for you.

-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 CurtisC via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 10:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Q. for Ray Gralak about PEMPro

Thank you for your reply. Swapping fundamental 3 for 4 didn't make any visible difference in the graph. When I
tried going only with fundamental 1 once or twice, I did get a distinctly better result. Remeshing the worm hasn't
had much effect, provided I use the same fundamentals. It's certainly possible that I've been doing the remesh
incorrectly since 2010. I wonder what fundamentals A-P used when they generated the original PEMPro curves at
the factory.

Thanks again, Ray.


Help finding source of PE fundamentals using PemPro

Tom Blahovici
 

HI.  This might be a question for Howard?
Having had little success with my CP2 on getting PE working with my AP600e, I decided to purchase the CP4.  I collected 5 PE curves with PEC off and found that I had about +- 3.5 arc seconds of PE.  There was the fundamental and two others of interest.  One at 3 and one at 64.  I sent the before and after curves to Ray, and he pointed out that the PEC curve sent to the mount corrected the main source of PE but there was still the 3x and 64x.  He suggested that the 64X was in the gear box and that I should check that the gears are secure.  How are they held in? Could there be wear of the gears? Motor?
As the the 3x, it seems that this is now the major source of the remaining PE however it seems to vary in amplitude.  He suggested that I  might not be able to completely eliminate the 3X frequency as it seems to vary with time. I am not sure if there is a reduction gear involved, or if this is being caused by variations in the worm wheel teeth. Any suggestions in all of this?
Attached are the curves.  The 64x is not shown on the scale but it corresponds completely to the fast changing "sine wave" shown on the raw pe curves.
So, basically, the CP4 with PemPro got me to +- 2.8 arcsec, not much of a fix.
Thanks, Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Tom Blahovici
 

Thanks for the trick on the altitude. Makes sense.
I think one of the most difficult parts is tightening the altitude Allen bolt. It always seems to throw off everything, although it shouldn't since tightening should make the mount go snug on the altitude screw.
What about a slight misbalance in the Dec axis? Would this not be benificial? Given how the graph jumps all over the place would this not indicate that the mount is flexing in Dec?
Thanks, Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Tom,
 
    Funny that you should mention the odd “adjustment direction” misbehaviour running PEMPRO.
 
    Like you, I have years of familiarity with PEMPRO, and it is actually fun to use. However, I spent hours last night,  trying to get it to behave with my AP-1200/CP4. I quickly realized that I should do the opposite,  to the direction it was asking me to adjust the AZ. Every time it said Clockwise rotation, I rotated the AZ COUNTER clockwise, and that worked fine. Otherwise, as in your experience, following its suggestion, the gap just widened with every suggested direction adjustment.
 
    I think the initial setup calibration  pointing to either your East side or West of the meridian, should automatically determine if the camera ‘s vertical direction, Mine was upside down, during the run, pointing to   West of the PM. Next time out, I will rerun PEMPRO, but with the scope pointing to the East side of the PM, and see if the direction to turn then becomes correct. As I recall, the older versions had “hockey sticks” on the drift graph, for us to help specify the camera orientation. Now it is supposed to be automatic.
 
    Ray, is it possible that without doing the DEC adjustment, the scope axis is pointing below or above Polaris, and this makes it offer the contrary direction suggestions?
 
    I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the “Unavailable ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as ADMIN”. The website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does NOT seem to be the case. It has to be started  in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO,   every time.
 
    It is a great program, but seems to have some “direction prompting” quirks, as we have both witnessed, and which I will investigate further to double check my observations.
 
Joe Z.
 
 

From: Tom Blahovici
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 2:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?
 

Hi,
I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.

I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not apparent in my case.  I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute.  I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the place.
It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it was even higher.  Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only to then start slanting again.
It should not be this unstable.
A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that is 6 feet long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all.  Rock solid.  Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters.  The drive has a very smooth 3 arc second peak to peak tracking.  With PEM, +-2.8.
I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
Any hints please?
Thanks, Tom


Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Roland Christen
 

When you do drift alignment, you are aligning the Dec drift in two places. The first one pointing to the celestial equator and meridian. The second one is pointing to the celestial equator above the eastern horizon.Whether or not the RA has periodic error has zero bearing on drift alignment. The fact that you brought up RA tracking means that you are not understanding the fundamental idea of drift alignment. In drift alignment the RA axis has no function and no bearing on the alignment.

When doing drift align, you are looking at only Dec drift, and since the Dec axis is stationary, the drift is 100% due to polar misalignment. There is no Dec tracking happening in either drift position.

Azimuth alignment:
The first alignment at the celestial equator involves ONLY the azimuth axis. Do not touch the altitude axis! It should take about 5 to 10 minutes to adjust the azimuth so that the star does not drift in Dec. Ignore any RA drift - it is meaningless at this point. Once that is done, the azimuth should not be adjusted again.

Altitude Alignment:
The second alignment is done pointing toward the eastern horizon. I like to be somewhere above 25 degrees altitude above the horizon. Here again you want to zero out the declination drift but this time by adjusting the altitude axis. If you don't know which way to turn the altitude knob, start your mount out with the axis pointing way below the pole (many many degrees) and watch the drift in Dec. It will be a very fast drift, so start raising the axis slowly and watch the drift decrease. Now you know which direction to turn the knob versus the direction of the drift. Nifty,eh? Eventually you will reach a point where the Dec drift has bottomed out and maybe even reversed. Then just go back a bit and move the altitude adjuster by smaller amounts. It is not absolutely necessary to reduce the Dec drift to zero, but a good 1 arc sec per 5 minutes is close enough for all intents and purposes. Again ignore any RA drift during this procedure. And do not touch the azimuth adjustment.

Once the Dec drift has been close to zeroed out in both Az and Alt, you are essentially polar aligned. Does that mean that you will have no RA drift anywhere? NO! RA will drift, and in some places by large amounts up to 2 to 3 arc seconds per minute if you are pointing to a low object in the east or West, and especially so as you go further north toward the pole. That is the penalty for living on a planet that has a breathable atmosphere. You will even get some small amount of RA drift near the zenith using this method, but it is quite manageable with guiding and a good PE curve.

Typically the RA axis will drift more than the Dec in most directions in the sky. That's because atmospheric refraction affects the RA direction far more than Dec, some places by a factor of 10x more. Just remember, you cannot stop RA drift with perfect sidereal tracking and perfect polar alignment. If you could, you would be dead within a minute because there would be no atmosphere above you.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 12, 2020 1:08 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi,
I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.
I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not apparent in my case.  I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc minute.
I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute.  I checked it yesterday, and it was a degree off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all over the place.
It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it was even higher.  Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only to then start slanting again.
It should not be this unstable.
A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that is 6 feet long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all.  Rock solid.  Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters.  The drive has a very smooth 3 arc second peak to peak tracking.  With PEM, +-2.8. 
I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
Any hints please?
Thanks, Tom

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