Help! AP1200 issues at remote observatory


Dhaval
 

Hello all,

I am not sure how to best describe what's going on, so please bear with me. 


A few nights ago, I had what I was told a catastrophic failure of my PC. Essentially, just about the time when I turned on APCC Pro, the computer somehow lost power - I am still trying to figure how why that happened - but that is besides the point right now. 


As a result of that power loss, something happened and I lost all settings in APCC and the mount, when the PC restarted, was lost. At this point, I had to call my observatory manager and ask him to put the mount in Park 3 position manually - which he did (I could confirm that because I was watching on the IP camera in the observatory). I tried to RCAL the mount, but it kept telling me that the mount was way off and I could not RCAL. As a result, I got the RA/DEC of where the mount was pointing and SYNC'd to that position (through APCC) and then parked it in Park 3 position. Everything was OK at this point. After that, I slewed the mount to M101 and it slewed there fine, I centered on M101 via plate solving and it was near perfect. I was able to image through the rest of the night on a couple of targets and it was working fine.


All this while, APCC had lost all my setting information, however, I was able to get that from a backed up version and reload it again.


Tonight, I again had M101 to image, which it started doing. At the end of the M101 sequence, I had planned on imaging NGC6960 - however, it did not slew to NGC6960 and I believe it hit the horizon limit and stopped tracking (at least I am hoping that is what happened). I am not sure if the scope hit the pier - looking through the observatory camera, everything looks OK - however, until I get a first hand report from my observatory manager tomorrow morning, I won't be sure. 


When I park the mount to Park 3 - it "seems" to park OK - although I do not think it is true Park 3 (pretty close, but not quite Park 3). 


I guess, I am at a loss, I am not sure what is going on and how to ensure I fix it. 


Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Dhaval


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dhaval,

A few nights ago, I had what I was told a catastrophic
failure of my PC.
First, I'm sorry to hear that your PC died.

All this while, APCC had lost all my setting information,
however, I was able to get that from a backed up version
and reload it again.
Unless the hard disk died you didn't lose your settings information, as APCC creates a backup of settings every time you start it.

Do you know if APCC's settings were restored from a system backup, or from APCC's settings backup directory? The latter would have the freshest settings information. If the settings were from the former you might want to see if you can get the settings off of the crashed computer's hard disk if that is possible.

I guess, I am at a loss, I am not sure what is going on and
how to ensure I fix it.
From what you said it's hard to say what's wrong. It could be that the settings you restored don't have a pointing model, or the model is not accurate. In that case maybe a new pointing model needs to be created.

I had to call my observatory manager and ask him to put the
mount in Park 3 position manually - which he did
Also, maybe have the clutches checked to make sure the scope is not slipping after having been moved manually to the Park 3 location.

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 9:25 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Help! AP1200 issues at remote observatory



Hello all,

I am not sure how to best describe what's going on, so please bear with me.




A few nights ago, I had what I was told a catastrophic failure of my PC. Essentially, just about the time when I
turned on APCC Pro, the computer somehow lost power - I am still trying to figure how why that happened - but
that is besides the point right now.




As a result of that power loss, something happened and I lost all settings in APCC and the mount, when the PC
restarted, was lost. At this point, I had to call my observatory manager and ask him to put the mount in Park 3
position manually - which he did (I could confirm that because I was watching on the IP camera in the
observatory). I tried to RCAL the mount, but it kept telling me that the mount was way off and I could not RCAL.
As a result, I got the RA/DEC of where the mount was pointing and SYNC' d to that position (through APCC) and
then parked it in Park 3 position. Everything was OK at this point. After that, I slewed the mount to M101 and it
slewed there fine, I centered on M101 via plate solving and it was near perfect. I was able to image through the
rest of the night on a couple of targets and it was working fine.




All this while, APCC had lost all my setting information, however, I was able to get that from a backed up version
and reload it again.




Tonight, I again had M101 to image, which it started doing. At the end of the M101 sequence, I had planned on
imaging NGC6960 - however, it did not slew to NGC6960 and I believe it hit the horizon limit and stopped tracking
(at least I am hoping that is what happened). I am not sure if the scope hit the pier - looking through the
observatory camera, everything looks OK - however, until I get a first hand report from my observatory manager
tomorrow morni ng, I won't be sure.




When I park the mount to Park 3 - it "seems" to park OK - although I do not think it is true Park 3 (pretty close, but
not quite Park 3).




I guess, I am at a loss, I am not sure what is going on and how to ensure I fix it.




Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Dhaval


Dhaval
 

Hi Ray - 

To answer your question about back up - APCC settings were restored from the APCC's backup directory, so I did not loose my settings - they were very much restored.

I can try re-creating a pointing model and see if things will be back to normal, however, at this point, with me being 300 miles away, I am very hesitant to do anything. Maybe, I will have to have my observatory manager be around when I run the pointing model.

I will ask the observatory manager to ensure the clutches locked, however, the fact that I was able to image one of the nights after the initial snafu tells me that everything else should be fine - but it does not hurt to recheck. 

Thanks,
Dhaval