Problem with Mach2 #APCC #Absolute_Encoders #Mach2GTO


David Johnson
 

Talked to Mike.  We’re working on it.


michaeljhanson@...
 

Hi Dave,

Thanks for proactively posting the APCC log files.  I have studied them, and would like to discuss.  Please give us a call when convenient, you may ask for me.

Regards,
Mike Hanson


Bill Long
 

Lets be clear about how well this, and other AP mounts work. I have been a long time user of their products. I was using APCC to do unguided imaging before I got encoders, and after. I was doing it before it became a fad, and I still do it now.


Five minutes, unguided frame. APCC. Witha 1720mm Mirror based Imaging Dall Kirkham telescope. Sorry to hear you are having an issue with your Mach 2, I am VERY sure AP can fix that for you.

Meanwhile. Heres the frame.






From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 3:52 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 
Okay, I’ll contact A-P via phone.  Meanwhile, the mount ran fine until about 4:30 this morning, then it had a motor stall.  Here is the link to the log file, so George can access it.


annaski
 

Hey Dave, A lot of us have had problems with the AC power unit. I highly recommend you swap that out.


David Johnson
 

Okay, I’ll contact A-P via phone.  Meanwhile, the mount ran fine until about 4:30 this morning, then it had a motor stall.  Here is the link to the log file, so George can access it.


Kenneth Tan
 

I have not had any issues with random halts. I use it with a battery setup with a dcdc converter to 24 v

What I encountered is there seemed to be a hard stop at the extremes of movement


On Tue, 6 Apr 2021 at 15:02, Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
I have had zero issue with my Mach 2, but I do not use the supplied power brick, instead I use a Bioenno 70AH battery. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 10:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 

Hi David, 

Have you tried using another power source (12V battery or power supply) known to work fine ?

When many things go wrong without any obvious reason, it is often related to power issues...

Sébastien


Roland Christen
 

Have you contacted our customer service person, George? Our service reps do not customarily monitor this user group, and I usually do but am away right now on an extended trip.

The user group is not going to be able help much with your intermittent issue. It will be easier for us to work with you directly. We can ask you to send some simple commands to the mount to determine the health of the mount electronics. We can even patch into the mount and run some tests on the various parts. In the case that you describe below, it is definitely not a power supply issue.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Apr 5, 2021 10:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders

I continue to have intermittent problems with my mount.  I realize these types of problems are hard to diagnose, but it's really making using the mount kind of a pain.  It's definitely not "disappearing into the background".  For no apparent reason, without me even touching the mount, it gets into the mode described above, where it does not move when I ask it to park, but it acts like it's parking.  The AE homing will fail.  I can slew manually, but it appears that the encoders are not working.  I generally fiddle with the motor cable, but I'm no longer convinced that it the issue, although it's possible it is.  I really wonder if it's not some kind of power issue, even though the obvious symptoms are comm errors, which is shown by APCC.  I am using the 24V adapter supplied with the mount, plugged directly into a 120V mains line.  Just now, right in the middle of a data acquisition in SGP, the mount just parked itself.  Fortunately, I noticed this, but it could have cost me an entire night's imaging.  I just did a disconnect/reconnect from inside via Remote Desktop, and the problem seems to have gone away, at least for now.  At least I didn't have to go outside like I did the other night when this happened.

It appears to be working now, but I'm naturally losing confidence in the mount.

Another thing that happened tonight which may or may not be related, was during an APPM run.   I was getting a "Slew Warning" during many of the slews.  I don't remember seeing this before.  It went ahead and did the slew and the imaging, but I don't remember seeing this before.  I tried decreasing the slew rate to 1000X, but it didn't seem to matter.

I would appreciate some help from A-P on this.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

I have had zero issue with my Mach 2, but I do not use the supplied power brick, instead I use a Bioenno 70AH battery. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 10:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 

Hi David, 

Have you tried using another power source (12V battery or power supply) known to work fine ?

When many things go wrong without any obvious reason, it is often related to power issues...

Sébastien


Seb@stro
 

Hi David, 

Have you tried using another power source (12V battery or power supply) known to work fine ?

When many things go wrong without any obvious reason, it is often related to power issues...

Sébastien


David Johnson
 

I continue to have intermittent problems with my mount.  I realize these types of problems are hard to diagnose, but it's really making using the mount kind of a pain.  It's definitely not "disappearing into the background".  For no apparent reason, without me even touching the mount, it gets into the mode described above, where it does not move when I ask it to park, but it acts like it's parking.  The AE homing will fail.  I can slew manually, but it appears that the encoders are not working.  I generally fiddle with the motor cable, but I'm no longer convinced that it the issue, although it's possible it is.  I really wonder if it's not some kind of power issue, even though the obvious symptoms are comm errors, which is shown by APCC.  I am using the 24V adapter supplied with the mount, plugged directly into a 120V mains line.  Just now, right in the middle of a data acquisition in SGP, the mount just parked itself.  Fortunately, I noticed this, but it could have cost me an entire night's imaging.  I just did a disconnect/reconnect from inside via Remote Desktop, and the problem seems to have gone away, at least for now.  At least I didn't have to go outside like I did the other night when this happened.

It appears to be working now, but I'm naturally losing confidence in the mount.

Another thing that happened tonight which may or may not be related, was during an APPM run.   I was getting a "Slew Warning" during many of the slews.  I don't remember seeing this before.  It went ahead and did the slew and the imaging, but I don't remember seeing this before.  I tried decreasing the slew rate to 1000X, but it didn't seem to matter.

I would appreciate some help from A-P on this.


Bill Long
 

Yeah the motor cables are the only thing connecting the encoders to the control box as well. That's why I suspected that connection. Especially after you said the LED was blue. On the 1100 there's an extra box things connect through, which the design of the Mach 2 eliminates the need for.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2021 7:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 
In hindsight, I should have worked on the motor cable issue more first.  I spent a lot of time trying different USB setups because it was showing a communications problem, but since the keypad functionality was also affected, I should have realized it wasn’t a computer-to-mount problem earlier than I did.  Anyway, I just hope it might allow other folks to avoid the wasted time I spent.  Make sure your motor cables are connected snugly every time!


David Johnson
 

In hindsight, I should have worked on the motor cable issue more first.  I spent a lot of time trying different USB setups because it was showing a communications problem, but since the keypad functionality was also affected, I should have realized it wasn’t a computer-to-mount problem earlier than I did.  Anyway, I just hope it might allow other folks to avoid the wasted time I spent.  Make sure your motor cables are connected snugly every time!


Bill Long
 

Yeah, I would expect you to now have DEC axis problems if the cable was bad. I have used those motor cables on mounts for years and years. Never a single issue with any of them, except for one time where my DEC axis was stalling and it was because the motor cable was not completely snug. Easy fix.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 8:34 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 
I had, when I brought it in from outside.  That’s another puzzling aspect to it. Maybe one of them is tweaky.  I’ll keep an eye on them. 


David Johnson
 

I had, when I brought it in from outside.  That’s another puzzling aspect to it. Maybe one of them is tweaky.  I’ll keep an eye on them. 


Bill Long
 

I thought you said you already pulled and reconnected them? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 8:26 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 
Well, good news.  I switched about every cable imaginable and tried various power sources, turned everything off numerous times,  - in short, did just about everything short of incantations, which I was just preparing to do - , and when I switched the Dec and RA cables, it seems to have fixed the problem.  Don't know if one was loose or what.  It's weird that it would start having problems after a long night of imaging without me touching it, but I'm just happy it works, especially since the next couple of nights are supposed to be clear.  Thanks for all the help.


David Johnson
 

Well, good news.  I switched about every cable imaginable and tried various power sources, turned everything off numerous times,  - in short, did just about everything short of incantations, which I was just preparing to do - , and when I switched the Dec and RA cables, it seems to have fixed the problem.  Don't know if one was loose or what.  It's weird that it would start having problems after a long night of imaging without me touching it, but I'm just happy it works, especially since the next couple of nights are supposed to be clear.  Thanks for all the help.


Bill Long
 

If you manually slew to an object and issue a RECAL on that object -- what happens? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 8:22 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 
Definitely some weirdness with the RA.  When I slew N or S, the Dec changes as you'd expect.  When I slew W or E, the mount moves appropriately, but the RA value is not affected.  What I mean by that is that it does slowly increase, as you'd expect if it were stationary at a point, but the movement in W or E has no effect on this slow increase.  Also, when it says it's tracking, the RA value is still slowly changing, so it doesn't appear to be tracking correctly either.  Bottom line is the you can slew all you want and even supposedly start tracking, and APCC acts like the HA value doesn't change.  In fact, in the status window, HA doesn't change unless you go past the pole in Dec.  Also, as mentioned before, doing any of the park positions just results in the mount parking in place. Oh, and it also says it's counterweight up, even though this is contradicted by the Alt and Az values.  AE fails homing every time.


David Johnson
 

Definitely some weirdness with the RA.  When I slew N or S, the Dec changes as you'd expect.  When I slew W or E, the mount moves appropriately, but the RA value is not affected.  What I mean by that is that it does slowly increase, as you'd expect if it were stationary at a point, but the movement in W or E has no effect on this slow increase.  Also, when it says it's tracking, the RA value is still slowly changing, so it doesn't appear to be tracking correctly either.  Bottom line is the you can slew all you want and even supposedly start tracking, and APCC acts like the HA value doesn't change.  In fact, in the status window, HA doesn't change unless you go past the pole in Dec.  Also, as mentioned before, doing any of the park positions just results in the mount parking in place. Oh, and it also says it's counterweight up, even though this is contradicted by the Alt and Az values.  AE fails homing every time.


Bill Long
 

Then the encoder is fine. Something else is the problem.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of David Johnson <dajohns37@...>
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 7:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Problem with Mach2 #Mach2GTO #APCC #Absolute_Encoders
 
Looks kind of bluish green.


David Johnson
 

Looks kind of bluish green.