Help! Part 1: Everything always goes wrong!


Tom Blahovici
 

It's been over 3 weeks since it's been clear.  Tonight I went out and tried to use my scope.  The same thing that has happened every time I have used it happened again.  I can't figure out what is happening.

Scope: FSQ106ED

Mount AP600Goto

Camera STL11000

CCDSoft

AP Ascom driver

The SkyX

FocusMax

Guide Rate set at 1 using the AP hand controller.


So I start up the scope, sync everything and all is well.  I do a FocusMx focus and again all is well.

Next I try to do a autoguider calibrate in CCDSoft, set at 15 second moves in the calibration directions. The first thing that happens is that on it's first move, when it takes the photo at the destination position, the telescope is still moving during the exposure!  All other moves are OK and at the end of the calibration, the star is back where it should be but of course the calibration fails.  So to trouble shoot I take a photo and then move the mount in the N direction with CCDSoft, and it is clear that the star is way out of the field of view.

Now this has happened previously and by fiddling with the RJ11 connectors and trying a few times it eventually works.

I have made these cables 4 times.  And I always have the same issue.

This time fiddling with the connectors did nothing.  So I looked at the AP driver control, and clicked on the Set button for the guide rate (was set at 1) and then tried again.  Everything was now fine.  Perfect calibration and excellent tracking.

So what gives????  I have limited days of imaging given the weather so what can I do to troubleshoot this?  Are there any tools I can use?

I'm at wits end here!

The last month I did get 8 subs of 30 minutes and they were exceedingly perfect so I know it can work.  

Help!

That's only one part of the issue today, when I did get it working all my subs are useless for another reason.

Please see Part II




Don Anderson
 

Tom
The intermittent tracking could be caused by a bad connection on one of the plugs on the cable or the plug in the mount. The fact that you said you "fiddled with the plug and it worked" suggests the one of these connectors is intermittent. Check for a bent or out of place wire in the plug mount.
Just a thought
 
Don Anderson



From: "tom_b@... [ap-gto]"
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Sunday, December 4, 2016 9:48 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Help! Part 1: Everything always goes wrong!

 
It's been over 3 weeks since it's been clear.  Tonight I went out and tried to use my scope.  The same thing that has happened every time I have used it happened again.  I can't figure out what is happening.
Scope: FSQ106ED
Mount AP600Goto
Camera STL11000
CCDSoft
AP Ascom driver
The SkyX
FocusMax
Guide Rate set at 1 using the AP hand controller.

So I start up the scope, sync everything and all is well.  I do a FocusMx focus and again all is well.
Next I try to do a autoguider calibrate in CCDSoft, set at 15 second moves in the calibration directions. The first thing that happens is that on it's first move, when it takes the photo at the destination position, the telescope is still moving during the exposure!  All other moves are OK and at the end of the calibration, the star is back where it should be but of course the calibration fails.  So to trouble shoot I take a photo and then move the mount in the N direction with CCDSoft, and it is clear that the star is way out of the field of view.
Now this has happened previously and by fiddling with the RJ11 connectors and trying a few times it eventually works.
I have made these cables 4 times.  And I always have the same issue.
This time fiddling with the connectors did nothing.  So I looked at the AP driver control, and clicked on the Set button for the guide rate (was set at 1) and then tried again.  Everything was now fine.  Perfect calibration and excellent tracking.
So what gives????  I have limited days of imaging given the weather so what can I do to troubleshoot this?  Are there any tools I can use?
I'm at wits end here!
The last month I did get 8 subs of 30 minutes and they were exceedingly perfect so I know it can work.  
Help!
That's only one part of the issue today, when I did get it working all my subs are useless for another reason.
Please see Part II





Tom Blahovici
 

Hi,
Yes but fiddling today, did nothing.  But pressing the Set button in the driver (which was set for 1) for tracking seemed to fix it.
This doesn't make sense since it must read the value from the controller.  It might be coincidence.


Konstantin von Poschinger
 

Hi,

I had the same problem. I switched to guiding over ascom, say I use the RS232 cable not the guiding relays. Then all works fine.

Konstantin


Konstantin v. Poschinger

Hammerichstr. 5
22605 Hamburg
040/8805747
0171 1983476

Am 05.12.2016 um 07:00 schrieb tom_b@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>:

Hi,

Yes but fiddling today, did nothing.  But pressing the Set button in the driver (which was set for 1) for tracking seemed to fix it.
This doesn't make sense since it must read the value from the controller.  It might be coincidence.




Steve Reilly
 

Or you could eliminate the wire altogether and just try using ASCOM Direct. Have you checked to be sure the camera and telescope are square to each other? Loose parts and maybe backlash?

 

Steve

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Monday, December 5, 2016 12:44 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help! Part 1: Everything always goes wrong!

 

 

Tom

The intermittent tracking could be caused by a bad connection on one of the plugs on the cable or the plug in the mount. The fact that you said you "fiddled with the plug and it worked" suggests the one of these connectors is intermittent. Check for a bent or out of place wire in the plug mount.

Just a thought

 

Don Anderson

 


From: "tom_b@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Sunday, December 4, 2016 9:48 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Help! Part 1: Everything always goes wrong!

 

 

It's been over 3 weeks since it's been clear.  Tonight I went out and tried to use my scope.  The same thing that has happened every time I have used it happened again.  I can't figure out what is happening.

Scope: FSQ106ED

Mount AP600Goto

Camera STL11000

CCDSoft

AP Ascom driver

The SkyX

FocusMax

Guide Rate set at 1 using the AP hand controller.

 

So I start up the scope, sync everything and all is well.  I do a FocusMx focus and again all is well.

Next I try to do a autoguider calibrate in CCDSoft, set at 15 second moves in the calibration directions. The first thing that happens is that on it's first move, when it takes the photo at the destination position, the telescope is still moving during the exposure!  All other moves are OK and at the end of the calibration, the star is back where it should be but of course the calibration fails.  So to trouble shoot I take a photo and then move the mount in the N direction with CCDSoft, and it is clear that the star is way out of the field of view.

Now this has happened previously and by fiddling with the RJ11 connectors and trying a few times it eventually works.

I have made these cables 4 times.  And I always have the same issue.

This time fiddling with the connectors did nothing.  So I looked at the AP driver control, and clicked on the Set button for the guide rate (was set at 1) and then tried again.  Everything was now fine.  Perfect calibration and excellent tracking.

So what gives????  I have limited days of imaging given the weather so what can I do to troubleshoot this?  Are there any tools I can use?

I'm at wits end here!

The last month I did get 8 subs of 30 minutes and they were exceedingly perfect so I know it can work.  

Help!

That's only one part of the issue today, when I did get it working all my subs are useless for another reason.

Please see Part II

 

 

 


Steve Reilly
 

Have you tried another program such as CCDOPs? Always good to verify with a basic program if possible. But I would try ASCOM Direct first and eliminate the cable altogether. I use this method at SRO with a side by side telescope setup on an AP3600 with two imaging systems. Only one images at any given time but they both can individually guide by doing so. Works great. BTW, which OS are you using?

 

Steve

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Monday, December 5, 2016 1:01 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help! Part 1: Everything always goes wrong!

 

 

Hi,

Yes but fiddling today, did nothing.  But pressing the Set button in the driver (which was set for 1) for tracking seemed to fix it.

This doesn't make sense since it must read the value from the controller.  It might be coincidence.

 


Stuart
 

Tom, why are you using CCDSoft5 AND TSX? TSX has all the functionality of CCSoft5. CCDSoft5 is redundant and if you're using both you're adding complexity for no benefit. I used to use CCDSoft5/TheSky6 but switched to just TSX. 

You should be using the ASCOM v2 driver not the built-in driver that you'll find in the TSX set-up for the mount (Telescope tab).

If you select Pulseguide as the mechanism for guiding, in the ASCOM driver, you will not need a guider cable at all. I'd do that if I were you.

Perhaps the extra software is causing a signal traffic jam so the mount keeps moving after the software thinks it has told it to stop?

I might be local to you. Not sure where you are. Contact me off-list if you want to chat "live" about this.

Stuart

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 11:48 PM, tom_b@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

It's been over 3 weeks since it's been clear.  Tonight I went out and tried to use my scope.  The same thing that has happened every time I have used it happened again.  I can't figure out what is happening.

Scope: FSQ106ED

Mount AP600Goto

Camera STL11000

CCDSoft

AP Ascom driver

The SkyX

FocusMax

Guide Rate set at 1 using the AP hand controller.


So I start up the scope, sync everything and all is well.  I do a FocusMx focus and again all is well.

Next I try to do a autoguider calibrate in CCDSoft, set at 15 second moves in the calibration directions. The first thing that happens is that on it's first move, when it takes the photo at the destination position, the telescope is still moving during the exposure!  All other moves are OK and at the end of the calibration, the star is back where it should be but of course the calibration fails.  So to trouble shoot I take a photo and then move the mount in the N direction with CCDSoft, and it is clear that the star is way out of the field of view.

Now this has happened previously and by fiddling with the RJ11 connectors and trying a few times it eventually works.

I have made these cables 4 times.  And I always have the same issue.

This time fiddling with the connectors did nothing.  So I looked at the AP driver control, and clicked on the Set button for the guide rate (was set at 1) and then tried again.  Everything was now fine.  Perfect calibration and excellent tracking.

So what gives????  I have limited days of imaging given the weather so what can I do to troubleshoot this?  Are there any tools I can use?

I'm at wits end here!

The last month I did get 8 subs of 30 minutes and they were exceedingly perfect so I know it can work.  

Help!

That's only one part of the issue today, when I did get it working all my subs are useless for another reason.

Please see Part II







Tom Blahovici
 

Can you use ASCOM with CCDSoft?


Tom Blahovici
 

Can you use ASCOM guiding with CCDSoft?
This is Windows 10


Tom Blahovici
 

Can you use ASCOM guiding with CCDSoft?
What do you set the interface to?
Direct Guide?
Relay API?


Tom Blahovici
 

Hi,
Only reason is money.
I am using the ASCOM driver V2.  Is there a way with CCDSoft to use PulseGuide?
Tom


Stuart
 

I thought you said you had TSX in which case you don't need CCDSoft at all. Did you mean TS6? If TS6 then you do need CCDSoft5. I "think" you can still point TS6 to the ASCOM mount connection.

In either case, you set autoguide approach in the ASCOM driver and you would choose Pulseguide there. In TS6(?) you need to tell it you're using the ASCOM driver not the built-in Bisque supplied driver. Alas, it has been quite a while since I used TS6 but I know in TSX you don't need CCDSoft5 and the above description works fine.

Stuart

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 12:12 PM, tom_b@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hi,

Only reason is money.
I am using the ASCOM driver V2.  Is there a way with CCDSoft to use PulseGuide?
Tom





Tom Blahovici
 

Can you use ASCOM guiding with CCDSoft?


Stuart
 

Tom, there may be something wrong with your ISP. I see the same message from you appearing over and over and I tried e-mailing you off-list and it bounced back to me with a permanent failure.

Stuart

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 12:27 PM, tom_b@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Can you use ASCOM guiding with CCDSoft?






Tom Blahovici
 

I bit the bullet and bought the Camera add on to the SkyX.
Now I can use Pulseguide and get rid of the cable.
Thanks all for the suggestions.  I'll check things out the next time it is clear which judging by past experience should be the day after I take down the scope in May.
Tom


Stuart
 

Good call Tom. Let us know when you've had a go at it.

Stuart


On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 2:19 PM tom_b@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

I bit the bullet and bought the Camera add on to the SkyX.

Now I can use Pulseguide and get rid of the cable.
Thanks all for the suggestions.  I'll check things out the next time it is clear which judging by past experience should be the day after I take down the scope in May.
Tom