AP1100AE No response from DEC Encoder


Roland Christen
 

Don't adjust the encoder readheads. You probably have a bit of dirt on the encoder ring. Remove the end cap on the Dec axis to get access to the inside of the axis. Take a Kleenex and gently wipe the encoder ring all the way around. You can use alcohol on the kleenex to remove any dirt buildup. Once you have done that run the axis around and watch the light color.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: ap@... <ap@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jan 24, 2022 8:29 am
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1100AE No response from DEC Encoder

Last night I imaged, everything worked fine, the mount parked (2) about 3am, at 8am or so I woke up, did a slew-to-zenith to do my flats.  

Two errors popped up: Error reading from DEC encoder and No Response from DEC Encoder.

But it slewed, all good there, did my flats, and experimented a bit, going to various Park positions and then a find home.  Got the errors four more times (but everything still seemed to work). 

Disassembled, brought it inside (I do it every morning) and set up in the house, I did various parks and find-home, did not get more errors, but standing and staring at the mount I saw both DEC and RA encoders change color occasionally.  98% of the time they are bright blue, but at spots as they slew the RA became orange, but the DEC because red - only for about a second as it slewed (at 1200x).  Seemed to be about the same spot as I went back and forth, and both are solid blue until right at those spots. 

I know from a recent thread that RED is bad. :) 

Interestingly in testing this indoors, it did not give an error in APCC.  If I wasn't staring at the light I would not notice.  Inside I only ran APCC, not ASCOM or NINA, but I assume this is an APCC thing only so that should not matter. 

Indoors is warm, outdoors was awfully cold -- for S.Florida.  Maybe 38f.  So I don't think it was temperature per se.  But probably 10F colder than this mount has been in so far, here.   I actually put on a long sleeved shirt to disassemble (fortunately I still had one, thankfully it was not cold enough for real shoes or long pants, I have no idea where they are). 

However, outdoors was also heavily saturated with dew, if that matters.  But that is also typical, I doubt I have ever imaged here without hitting 100% RH by morning.  I dry things off with a towel, bring it inside and let a ceiling fan blow over everything to dry them out.  So nothing unusual there. 

I have not tried adjusting or taking anything apart, pending advice. 

Any advice?   Or is this the kind of thing i should be calling the office for, not posting?   (I'm still a bit vague on preferred support paths with AP). 

Linwood

PS. New-ish 1100AE, got it late summer.  Outside it was carrying a very light Np101is, so probably 25# or so. Inside it was carrying nothing.


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Mon, Jan 24, 2022 at 10:42 AM, Mike Hanson wrote:
Make sure you are using the latest version of APCC (are you?).  The latest version requires the condition to persist for multiple encoders readings before annunciating anything.  If the warnings continue to annoy you, contact us privately.

I am (1.9.3.3).  And I guess my main concern is knowing when to be annoyed.  I assume if it can't read the encoder it just goes by dead reckoning, until it can?  I.e. it does not interrupt any operation?

I also did some testing now, after breakfast.  Slewing fast (to first reproduce the problem) from Park 2 to Park 4, occasional find home (which is basically Park 2), then to park 3 -- solid, completely steady blue, not even a hint of green.  Went multiple times through the same spots. 

The only difference is 30F warmer and a chance for the dew to evaporate.   Same everything else, did not power cycle. 

Can dew cause this?  Because 30F warmer still means it only went from about 38F to 70F or so, it was never cold by Chicago standards.  

But yes, if it starts happening more and especially if it seems to cause any other issue, will reach out by phone.

Thank you. 

Linwood


Mike Hanson
 

Hi Linwood,

Your observations of the encoder LED color and the APCC warnings are likely related.  The encoders aren't doing much in the middle of a slew - your slew accuracy is not affected as long as the LED does not remain red after a slew.

Suggest moving the axis' through the relevant spots on the encoders at a much slower rate and observe the LED's.  In RA, track through the "orange spot".  In DEC, use the N-S buttons to "hover" over the "red spot".  If the encoders remain blue or green at tracking speeds and at rest, there will not be any adverse affects.  Otherwise we may need to investigate further, contact us privately.

Make sure you are using the latest version of APCC (are you?).  The latest version requires the condition to persist for multiple encoders readings before annunciating anything.  If the warnings continue to annoy you, contact us privately.

Regards,
Mike Hanson


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Last night I imaged, everything worked fine, the mount parked (2) about 3am, at 8am or so I woke up, did a slew-to-zenith to do my flats.  

Two errors popped up: Error reading from DEC encoder and No Response from DEC Encoder.

But it slewed, all good there, did my flats, and experimented a bit, going to various Park positions and then a find home.  Got the errors four more times (but everything still seemed to work). 

Disassembled, brought it inside (I do it every morning) and set up in the house, I did various parks and find-home, did not get more errors, but standing and staring at the mount I saw both DEC and RA encoders change color occasionally.  98% of the time they are bright blue, but at spots as they slew the RA became orange, but the DEC because red - only for about a second as it slewed (at 1200x).  Seemed to be about the same spot as I went back and forth, and both are solid blue until right at those spots. 

I know from a recent thread that RED is bad. :) 

Interestingly in testing this indoors, it did not give an error in APCC.  If I wasn't staring at the light I would not notice.  Inside I only ran APCC, not ASCOM or NINA, but I assume this is an APCC thing only so that should not matter. 

Indoors is warm, outdoors was awfully cold -- for S.Florida.  Maybe 38f.  So I don't think it was temperature per se.  But probably 10F colder than this mount has been in so far, here.   I actually put on a long sleeved shirt to disassemble (fortunately I still had one, thankfully it was not cold enough for real shoes or long pants, I have no idea where they are). 

However, outdoors was also heavily saturated with dew, if that matters.  But that is also typical, I doubt I have ever imaged here without hitting 100% RH by morning.  I dry things off with a towel, bring it inside and let a ceiling fan blow over everything to dry them out.  So nothing unusual there. 

I have not tried adjusting or taking anything apart, pending advice. 

Any advice?   Or is this the kind of thing i should be calling the office for, not posting?   (I'm still a bit vague on preferred support paths with AP). 

Linwood

PS. New-ish 1100AE, got it late summer.  Outside it was carrying a very light Np101is, so probably 25# or so. Inside it was carrying nothing.