help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro


sgbonnell@...
 

Hi,
I recently purchased a used AP900 (Goto2 panel, with upgraded Goto4 handset chip) and have it up and running and  linked to an ASIAir Pro.   Everything is functioning well (Polar Align, Plate solving, slewing, gotos are accurate..) EXCEPT for guiding..

I can't seem to get the mount to respond to the guide commands...you can see the pulses being sent to the mount but no guide corrections are being seen and the DEC and RA run away quickly.  Actually it seems that turning on the guiding routine from the ASIAir turns off the AP900 tracking altogether and I have to reset the tracking from the AP900 handset after stopping the ASIAir guiding function.  Therefore the guiding graph shows DEC and RA just running away off the guide chart.

Very strange..

I have the ASIAir connected to the COMM port on the AP900 via a USB - RS232 cable.  Just a dumb cable; doesn't have the active USB-RS232 module in it...does that matter?
The hand controller is set to "EXT" computer control.  Not sure if there are any other AP900 config settings that I should be employing...

 

Any thoughts or hints?

 

thanks...


Roland Christen
 


Therefore the guiding graph shows DEC and RA just running away off the guide chart.
My first thought is that the guide directions that the mount is receiving are opposite to what is needed. The calibration is backwards. In other words, when the mount is slowly drifting North, it should receive a South move command. Instead it is receiving a North move command, which causes the drift to increase rather than decrease. I'm unfamiliar with ASIAir, but in any other guider program you can reverse the move commands if they are going in the wrong direction.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jun 12, 2020 9:35 am
Subject: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Hi,
I recently purchased a used AP900 (Goto2 panel, with upgraded Goto4 handset chip) and have it up and running and  linked to an ASIAir Pro.   Everything is functioning well (Polar Align, Plate solving, slewing, gotos are accurate..) EXCEPT for guiding..
I can't seem to get the mount to respond to the guide commands...you can see the pulses being sent to the mount but no guide corrections are being seen and the DEC and RA run away quickly.  Actually it seems that turning on the guiding routine from the ASIAir turns off the AP900 tracking altogether and I have to reset the tracking from the AP900 handset after stopping the ASIAir guiding function.  Therefore the guiding graph shows DEC and RA just running away off the guide chart.
Very strange..
I have the ASIAir connected to the COMM port on the AP900 via a USB - RS232 cable.  Just a dumb cable; doesn't have the active USB-RS232 module in it...does that matter?
The hand controller is set to "EXT" computer control.  Not sure if there are any other AP900 config settings that I should be employing...
 
Any thoughts or hints?
 
thanks...


sgbonnell@...
 

thanks Rolando...I'm going to have a closer look at the guide logs to see if that is what was happening.  There does not appear to be a function in ASIAir to reverse the move commands as far as I know.  I'll be trying a new USB-RS232 active cable in hopes that it is a cable connection issue (maybe reversed pins?)
I also tried to get PHD2 going instead of the ASIAir, but having trouble connecting to the mount.  I'll try that again as well.


Roland Christen
 


maybe reversed pins?)
Reversed pins are not going to reverse the commands to move. I assume that you are using ASCOM to control the mount via the USB connection. The move commands are software commands so they are not hardware related. If the mount is getting the commands, then it will move. I would try PHD2 for guiding, and once you see that the mount does what it's supposed to do, then you can try your other guide software.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jun 12, 2020 6:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

thanks Rolando...I'm going to have a closer look at the guide logs to see if that is what was happening.  There does not appear to be a function in ASIAir to reverse the move commands as far as I know.  I'll be trying a new USB-RS232 active cable in hopes that it is a cable connection issue (maybe reversed pins?)
I also tried to get PHD2 going instead of the ASIAir, but having trouble connecting to the mount.  I'll try that again as well.


Worsel
 

The guiding software in the ASIAir is based on PHD2, which is open source, but not all of the functions in PHD2 are available in the ZWO version.  If you switch to PHD2, then you seek support on the PHD2 forum, which cannot support the ZWO version.

Bryan


sgbonnell@...
 

I tried using PHD2 natively to guide the AP900 and I get the same result:  the AP900 is tracking fine until I initiate PHD2 calibration or guiding.   Within 2-3 seconds of initiating PHD2, the tracking on the AP900 ceases.
After halting PHD2, I can re-initiate tracking on the AP900 handset, but every time I try to get PHD2 guiding  started, it stops the AP900 tracking function.

Is there some setting or other that I'm not getting correct?

thanks!


Worsel
 

I wonder if there is conflict between tracking and PHD2 over COM ports.

How do you have everything connected?  Be specific...it's hard to diagnose without detailed info

Guide camera to ASIAir...best way is via ASCOM with the guide camera USB to ASIAir USB, assuming your guide camera is not ancient (sorry).

Mount to ASIAir - already stated that you use USB-RS232 and the keypad.

Finally, if you upload your PHD2 logs to the PHD forum, then you can get another set of eyes (sharper than mine!).  This is very easy in PHD2...Click Help -> Upload log files.  You do not need to be connected to send files from previous nights.  See https://openphdguiding.org/manual/?section=Tools.htm#Logging_and_Debug_Output



Bryan


Dean Jacobsen
 

Yes, how is the guide camera communicating with the mount?  Are you plugged into the guide port or are you relying on the RS232 connection that the ASIAir is using to slew the mount?

The ASIAir looks to be a RaspberryPi which means it is running Raspbian or maybe a custom distro so ASCOM doesn't come into play.  Unless ASCOM has been ported to Linux.

Are you able to slew using the ASIAir or are you using the hand paddle.  If you are able to slew the mount to selected objects through the ASIAir, then at least the the ASIAir is connected to the mount and sending the correct commands..

And you are using the special Linux version of PHD2?
--
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http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
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sgbonnell@...
 

thanks Dean and Bryan..
- guide camera (ASI290 on a WOGS61 guide scope) is connected via USB to the ASIAir (or to my laptop when trying PHD2 directly)
- mount is also connected to the ASIAir USB port via an RS232 to USB cable.  RS232 end is plugged into AP900 Comm port.

It would seem that there is some conflict between the AP900 controller and commands from the ASIAir or PHD2.

Yes, the mount responds to all the other functions on the ASIAir...I can slew, Polar Align, Plate solve, gotos are very accurate after 1 or 2 plate solves...so everything works as it is supposed to from the ASIAir, except for Guiding.   Previously I had the ASIAir on a CGX-L mount, and had no issues at all.  Guiding was fine.

PHD2 is Windows based.

I can't seem to get any PHD2 logs files,  as I loose the guide star as soon as it initiates guiding.  All I see are the guide pulses in DEC and RA trying desperately to pull the star back in.  I'll see if there are any Cal files there...and/or take a screen shot of what things look like when guiding is initiated.

cheers...
Steve


Dean Jacobsen
 

Steve,

OK so I don't think that I am quite up to speed with you here.

If you are testing your guide camera out with your Windows computer running PHD2, then how are those guiding commands getting to the mount?  Are you using the "ST-4" guide port on the camera and the mount controller?
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Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Dean Jacobsen
 

Also, I see that the mount control is through INDI.  The INDI mount compatibility page indicates that the AP controllers aren't supported across the board so it would depend on which controller you have and if you are using the correct driver.

The CP3 and CP4 controllers are apparently supposed to use the "Experimental" driver.

https://indilib.org/devices/mounts/astrophysics.html

Which driver are you using?

This page has a screenshot of the INDI connection information where you can apparently see which driver you are using.

https://www.indilib.org/devices/telescopes/astrophysics/astrophysics-experimental.html

So your guiding issues with the ASIair itself may be related to the driver.


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Dean Jacobsen
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Roland Christen
 


I can't seem to get any PHD2 logs files,  as I loose the guide star as soon as it initiates guiding.  All I see are the guide pulses in DEC and RA trying desperately to pull the star back in. 
This indicates clearly that the guide pulses are being sent, except they are being sent backwards. So instead of correcting, they are adding to the error. Every guide pulse is then sending the mount further away. The guide directions are backwards. It may be because the calibration was done wrong.

The software commands to the CP controller are very specific and standard. If you have any kind of log, take a look to see what your guiding software is actually sending to the mount. If your error is 1 arc sec N then your software must send a 1 arc sec S move command. If it sends a 1 arc sec N move command the star will move further away. If it sends a 10 arc sec N command, the star will move away very rapidly.

In every case like this it came down to a faulty calibration run. programs like PHD2 and MaximDL show specifically on a graph what the calibration looks like, and what a faulty calibration looks like. You must have a graph of the calibration to examine, otherwise you are flying completely blind into a fog at the bottom of the sea on IO.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 15, 2020 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

thanks Dean and Bryan..
- guide camera (ASI290 on a WOGS61 guide scope) is connected via USB to the ASIAir (or to my laptop when trying PHD2 directly)
- mount is also connected to the ASIAir USB port via an RS232 to USB cable.  RS232 end is plugged into AP900 Comm port.

It would seem that there is some conflict between the AP900 controller and commands from the ASIAir or PHD2.

Yes, the mount responds to all the other functions on the ASIAir...I can slew, Polar Align, Plate solve, gotos are very accurate after 1 or 2 plate solves...so everything works as it is supposed to from the ASIAir, except for Guiding.   Previously I had the ASIAir on a CGX-L mount, and had no issues at all.  Guiding was fine.

PHD2 is Windows based.

I can't seem to get any PHD2 logs files,  as I loose the guide star as soon as it initiates guiding.  All I see are the guide pulses in DEC and RA trying desperately to pull the star back in.  I'll see if there are any Cal files there...and/or take a screen shot of what things look like when guiding is initiated.

cheers...
Steve


sgbonnell@...
 

Yes, found the Cal file - I've attached.   The guide star is lost at the start of Cal, so Cal does not get completed.

When using PHD2  for guiding, I have the mount connected directly to my PC via the RS232 to USB cable.
Same set up when using ASIAir...USB end of the cable is plugged into the USB port on the ASIAir.
I just recently downloaded the latest A-P ASCOM driver from Ray G....my mount was a GTO2, but has been upgraded to GTO4.

I have been using this same set up until recently on my Celestron CGX-L with no issues...it was only when I started using ASIAir or PHD2 on the AP900 that I have had this issue..


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:14 AM, <sgbonnell@...> wrote:
When using PHD2  for guiding, I have the mount connected directly to my PC via the RS232 to USB cable.
The same one that is included with the ASIair?

I don't think that will work for the Windows machine.  I use a USB to serial converter and the serial cable is then connected to the controller box.
 
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Dean Jacobsen
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Roland Christen
 

Well, then start without ASIAir. Just connect PHD2 directly to the mount. make sure you set up the ASCOM driver in PHD2. Make sure also that your mount and guide scope entries are correct and you have entered the correct focal length of the guide scope. Remember, PHD2 doesn't care about your imaging scope, it needs to know the guide scope data. Once you have the system running properly in this basic mode, then you can start adding other software.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 15, 2020 1:14 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

Yes, found the Cal file - I've attached.   The guide star is lost at the start of Cal, so Cal does not get completed.

When using PHD2  for guiding, I have the mount connected directly to my PC via the RS232 to USB cable.
Same set up when using ASIAir...USB end of the cable is plugged into the USB port on the ASIAir.
I just recently downloaded the latest A-P ASCOM driver from Ray G....my mount was a GTO2, but has been upgraded to GTO4.

I have been using this same set up until recently on my Celestron CGX-L with no issues...it was only when I started using ASIAir or PHD2 on the AP900 that I have had this issue..


sgbonnell@...
 

No, I'm using a USB to RS232 serial converter cable (Keyspan is the make) that is plugged into the AP900 controller serial port.
(I also tried the simple RS232-USB cable that came with the ASIAir...same results)

Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.


 

>>> Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.

maybe get in contact with that user and see what are the working settings?

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:30 AM <sgbonnell@...> wrote:
No, I'm using a USB to RS232 serial converter cable (Keyspan is the make) that is plugged into the AP900 controller serial port.
(I also tried the simple RS232-USB cable that came with the ASIAir...same results)

Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Dean Jacobsen
 

Which of the INDI drivers is he using and which controller?
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
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Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Roland Christen
 

So you're not willing to try going direct without ASIAir? At least try it to rule out another variable. I always start with simplest setup and add complexity later.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 15, 2020 1:30 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] help with AP900 guiding via ASIAir Pro

No, I'm using a USB to RS232 serial converter cable (Keyspan is the make) that is plugged into the AP900 controller serial port.
(I also tried the simple RS232-USB cable that came with the ASIAir...same results)

Another AP900 user in Europe has been using the ASIAir for guiding without any problem...so it seems it can be done.


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:30 AM, <sgbonnell@...> wrote:
No, I'm using a USB to RS232 serial converter cable (Keyspan is the make) that is plugged into the AP900 controller serial port.
That should work for you then if you get the AP ASCOM driver setup and then set up PHD2 to connect through ASCOM.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
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Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/