APPM Questions


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 
Edited

I find that its a waste of time in my area to image anything below 45 degrees due to pollution/refraction. Is it okay to limit APPM to above 45 degrees or will the model be improved by modelling below 45 degrees even though I won't be imaging there?

Also, I'm at a .49arc/sec image scale - should I bin my ML16200 to 2x2? Haven't in the past with an image scale of .44.


Roland Christen
 

In my opinion you should model as low as you can. It will improve the higher points, especially if you are going to do unguided imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Oct 3, 2020 3:59 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

I find that its a waste of time in my area to image anything below 45 degrees due to pollution/refraction. Is it okay to limit APPM to above 45 degrees or will the model be improved by modelling below 45 degrees even though I won't be imaging there?


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Thanks. I'll set 30 degrees as a compromise. 


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

If a point fails during the mapping run - is there a way to redo it at that time or do you need to redo a complete new run?

Also, sometimes it seems that the dome is still slewing when the camera starts to take an image - so how is that overcome? Sucks to be taking a picture of the inside of the dome.


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tony,

Haven't you asked this question before?

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/topic/help_with_appm_and_dome/76099333

BTW: a hint to anyone asking questions. In case a question has been asked previously, please try a web search using significant keywords in your search. For example, in this case, searching for "APPM Dome Sync" might locate some pages with useful information.

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2020 8:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

If a point fails during the mapping run - is there a way to redo it at that time or do you need to redo a complete
new run?

Also, sometimes it seems that the dome is still slewing when the camera starts to take an image - so how is that
overcome? Sucks to be taking a picture of the inside of the dome.


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

No, haven't asked the question about redoing a point that has failed - can it be redone for that model or not?

I'm trying to use SGP (forgot about POTH) :). SGP does not seem to be the best wrt moving the dome in a timely fashion.


Ray Gralak
 

No, haven't asked the question about redoing a point that has failed - can it be redone for that model or not?
You missed the point I made about searching first. :-)

No you cannot redo a point.

And nor do you need to redo the point provided there are lots of other successful points (say 80% or more successful).

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2020 8:54 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

No, haven't asked the question about redoing a point that has failed - can it be redone for that model or not?

I'm trying to use SGP (forgot about POTH) :). SGP does not seem to be the best wrt moving the dome in a timely
fashion.


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Is it possible that a feature such as redoing a failed point in a new model - on the same night - can be put into APPM? Usually a failed point for me is that APPM decides to start taking an image even though the dome is still clearly moving. Your documentation says that APPM waits for the dome to stop slewing - which it clearly doesn't do all the time (see pic). Not sure why this - perhaps a bug in the program??



Anyway, I'm no astrophotography genius or programming guru, so kinda relying on the developer to give me some insight :)


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Tony,

Is it possible that a feature such as redoing a failed point in a new model - on the same night - can be put into
APPM?
Maybe in a future version, but it really isn't needed in your case. Just correctly configuring APPM should do the trick.

Usually a failed point for me is that APPM decides to start taking an image even though the dome is still
clearly moving. Your documentation says that APPM waits for the dome to stop slewing - which it clearly doesn't
do all the time (see pic).
As mentioned in the link I provided, you should configure APPM to use a passive connection where APCC polls a Dome driver. The Dome driver should indicate if the dome is slewing or not. If the dome driver says the dome is not slewing anymore APCC will proceed with taking an image.

Not sure why this - perhaps a bug in the program??
If you have APPM configured to passively monitor the dome, and the dome hadn't stopped moving yet the dome driver said it has, then the bug is probably in the dome driver.

Anyway, I'm no astrophotography genius or programming guru,
so kinda relying on the developer to give me some insight :)
I'm sorry my comments seemed blunt. Most of the free time I have to further develop astronomy software is on the weekends, and testing on a night like tonight. So, although I try my best to answer questions when I can, I hope that people will first try to find the answer themselves in case the question has been asked before. That would allow me more time to improve the software, that again I only get to do on weekend evenings, if the sky is clear enough! :-)

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2020 9:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Is it possible that a feature such as redoing a failed point in a new model - on the same night - can be put into
APPM? Usually a failed point for me is that APPM decides to start taking an image even though the dome is still
clearly moving. Your documentation says that APPM waits for the dome to stop slewing - which it clearly doesn't
do all the time (see pic). Not sure why this - perhaps a bug in the program??



Anyway, I'm no astrophotography genius or programming guru, so kinda relying on the developer to give me some
insight :)


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

I am using "Passive" mode. Here are the settings I've put into the dome because of the dome rotation issue I get. I've up the settling time to try and allow the dome to have time to finish rotating as it is sometimes still rotating as APPM reports the mount is settling or takes the image as the dome is rotating still.

But whatever, so far I've only had 2 points fail.


 

>>> But whatever, so far I've only had 2 points fail. 

 only 2 points failing is quite good


FYI i was redoing a 100+ point model and took the time to watch some of the solver images being captured

I found several of my failed points were the result of the mount not finished settling, which also leads me to believe some of the anomaly points may have been the result of a successful solve but with smeared stars

I'm increasing my settle time in hopes i can reduce or eliminate this behavior


Brian 

On Sat, Oct 3, 2020 at 9:44 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
I am using "Passive" mode. Here are the settings I've put into the dome because of the dome rotation issue I get. I've up the settling time to try and allow the dome to have time to finish rotating as it is sometimes still rotating as APPM reports the mount is settling or takes the image as the dome is rotating still.

But whatever, so far I've only had 2 points fail.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

IIRC its stated somewhere that a 2 sec settling time is ample for the AP mounts - but like you I find I need more time (especially when dithering). I've moved up to 6 sec at the moment and will see how that goes.


 

i had my 1600 set to 3 seconds, but we'll see if the added settle time makes a difference

the slew speed can also affect this, and the 1600 slews pretty fast! i may look at slowing that down as well if needed

at some point i'm going to run a 250-ish point model, and i'll probably pull out all the stops for accuracy at that point

On Sun, Oct 4, 2020 at 7:05 AM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
IIRC its stated somewhere that a 2 sec settling time is ample for the AP mounts - but like you I find I need more time (especially when dithering). I've moved up to 6 sec at the moment and will see how that goes.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

The model I ran was only a "small" one at 109 pts - but having to build in delays so that the dome has time to travel made that model take close to 2 hrs to do.

I'm not sure whats up with SGP wrt dome control - but it always waits until the scope has stopped slewing before it evens begins to think about rotating the dome. Ideally both should be moving at the same time. I think this is what happens if using the SkyX (both moving at the same time) - but I don't have the SkyX.

I'm slewing at 600x which seems comfortable. Are you in a dome?


 

>>> I'm slewing at 600x which seems comfortable. Are you in a dome?

I'm slewing at 1200x. it's fast, but i usually only get a small number of failed solves

we're not in a dome - rolloff @ obstech

On Sun, Oct 4, 2020 at 7:15 AM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
The model I ran was only a "small" one at 109 pts - but having to build in delays so that the dome has time to travel made that model take close to 2 hrs to do.

I'm not sure whats up with SGP wrt dome control - but it always waits until the scope has stopped slewing before it evens begins to think about rotating the dome. Ideally both should be moving at the same time. I think this is what happens if using the SkyX (both moving at the same time) - but I don't have the SkyX.

I'm slewing at 600x which seems comfortable. Are you in a dome?



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

One of the few times I wish I wasn't in a dome....doing a large APPM modei :)


Ray Gralak
 
Edited

Hi Tony,

 

> I'm not sure whats up with SGP wrt dome control - but it always waits until the scope has stopped slewing before

> it evens begins to think about rotating the dome. Ideally both should be moving at the same time. I think this is

> what happens if using the SkyX (both moving at the same time) - but I don't have the SkyX.

 

This could be a problem if there is a delay between when mount slewing stops and dome slewing starts. APPM, which is continuously polling the dome, might think the dome had already completed moving. Increasing settle-time should help, but it would be better if the dome movement could simultaneously occur with telescope movement.

 

> The model I ran was only a "small" one at 109 pts - but having to build in delays so that the dome has time to

> travel made that model take close to 2 hrs to do.

 

To increase efficiency when you have a dome, on APPM’s “Measurement Points” tab you can use the "Hour Angle (for Dome Setups)" point ordering strategy. This point ordering strategy tries to minimize dome movements. See the screenshot below for how APPM orders points. The path starts with the green dot and ends at the pink dot. Each arrow indicates the move APPM will initiate:

 

-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 Tony Benjamin

> Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 7:15 AM

> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io

> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

>

> The model I ran was only a "small" one at 109 pts - but having to build in delays so that the dome has time to

> travel made that model take close to 2 hrs to do.

>

> I'm not sure whats up with SGP wrt dome control - but it always waits until the scope has stopped slewing before

> it evens begins to think about rotating the dome. Ideally both should be moving at the same time. I think this is

> what happens if using the SkyX (both moving at the same time) - but I don't have the SkyX.

>

> I'm slewing at 600x which seems comfortable. Are you in a dome?

 


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Hi Ray,

I did use the Hour Angle strategy.

I think the issue is solely with SGP and the way it implements dome/scope slaving. I've brought this issue up with Jared (and the developer of the Nexdome ASCOM Driver). Jared hasn't done anything that I'm aware of and the Nexdome developer points at SGP as the issue - so what can be done? I have heard that the SkyX dome control does move both the dome/scope simultaneously - but I don't want to move over to the SkyX - yet.


Ray Gralak
 

Tony,

Nexdome developer points at SGP as the issue - so what can be done?
Have you tried using Active dome control mode? In APPM, you would instead point the dome control to the NexDome driver. APPM will then send the NexDome driver the mount's RA/Dec destination coordinates, which the NexDome driver must then calculate the appropriate Az coordinate to which to move the dome. If the NexDome driver can do that then this should work. At least I think this would circumvent SGPro's involvement, but you might need to disable SGPro's dome connection during the run.

-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 Tony Benjamin
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM Questions

Hi Ray,

I did use the Hour Angle strategy.

I think the issue is solely with SGP and the way it implements dome/scope slaving. I've brought this issue up with
Jared (and the developer of the Nexdome ASCOM Driver). Jared hasn't done anything that I'm aware of and the
Nexdome developer points at SGP as the issue - so what can be done? I have heard that the SkyX dome control
does move both the dome/scope simultaneously - but I don't want to move over to the SkyX - yet.


Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

I have tried active dome control with the same issue...the camera starts taking an image while the dome is still slewing.

I always have the Nexdome driver selected...but IOT slave the mount to the dome I need other software connected (SGP/Voyager or ASCOM Device Hub/ASCOM Control Hub). Matters not as they all react the same.

Here is a video of what my problem is...APPM starts taking a pic while the dome is slewing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZNzAFeWQRg&ab_channel=TonyBenjamin