AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0


Dale Penkala
 
Edited

Hello Everyone,
I’ve been a member for a little while and I finally got the mount I’ve been wanting for a long time. Its my AP1200 GTO CP3. (As a 32+ yr tool and die maker I appreciate the quality of machining that goes into AP mounts!) I just got the pier cut down repainted assembled (picture is attached) and I’m getting it ready to go into service in my observatory. (Penmitlaw Observatory) 
So far I have everything software wise right now working with the exception of the scope control in SharpCap. I’m using the latest AP Ascom driver and SharpCap does connect and I can actually move the mount in SC but it moves substantially slower in SC even with the settings set to 4º ps. 
I’ve configured the AP Ascom driver to slew to the 1200 speed setting saved the setting, closed SC and restarted and it still moves very slow thru the SC telescope control. I can use the AP driver just fine, but it would be nice to control the mount right in SC so that I don’t have to switch back and forth from the AP driver and SC to control the mount.
I’ve attached a couple pix for you too look at. My mount that I’m so very proud to own and a screenshot of my AP Ascom driver configuration and the SharpCap Configuration for you to look at. SharpCap is bottom right hand side of the screenshot.
I’m wondering if this is working normally here or do I have setting wrong in either driver? I’ve used SC v3.2 and now the latest version of 4.0.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Dale


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dale,

The older firmware you have limits the maximum speed the mount can move. The version you have is limited to 99.999x. The latest firmware allows for 999.999x sidereal. You need to contact A-P to purchase a new firmware chip if you want the faster speed.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dale Penkala
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2022 9:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

Hello Everyone,
I’ve been a member for a little while and I finally got the mount I’ve been wanting for a long time. Its my
AP1200 GTO CP3. I just got the pier cut down repainted assembled (picture is attached) and I’m getting it
ready to go into service in my observatory. (Penmitlaw Observatory)
So far I have everything software wise right now working with the exception of the scope control in SharpCap.
I’m using the latest AP Ascom driver and SharpCap does connect and I can actually move the mount in SC
but it moves substantially slower in SC even with the settings set to 4º ps.
I’ve configured the AP Ascom driver to slew to the 1200 speed setting saved the setting, closed SC and
restarted and it still moves very slow thru the SC telescope control. I can use the AP driver just fine, but it
would be nice to control the mount right in SC so that I don’t have to switch back and forth from the AP driver
and SC to control the mount.
I’ve attached a couple pix for you too look at. My mount that I’m so very proud to own and a screenshot of
my AP Ascom driver configuration and the SharpCap Configuration for you to look at. SharpCap is bottom
right hand side of the screenshot.
I’m wondering if this is working normally here or do I have setting wrong in either driver? I’ve used SC v3.2 and
now the latest version of 4.0.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Dale


Dale Penkala
 

Thanks for this information Ray. So I have to upgrade from CP3 to the CP4 chip in order for SC to follow thru to the AP Ascom driver settings then?

Dale


Dale Ghent
 

You could upgrade to a CP4, but you don't have to just for 999x slew speeds. The firmware of the CP3 is implemented as a ROM chip that you can pluck out and replace with a newer chip. The versions of these chips are alphabetical, F through V2. According to the screenshot you included, your CP3 has version L. The 999x rate was added with the V1 version of the ROM.

You can buy the latest and last-ever version of CP3 ROM, the V2, from Astro-Physics for $80. Minor aptitude when it comes to manipulating computer hardware is required to do the chip swap. You open the top panel of the CP3, use the provided extractor to remove the old ROM from its socket, insert and press in the new ROM, and replace the cover. You will then need to create a new PEC for your mount. Turn off PEM in the ASCOM driver until you are able to do that. Running the V2 chip will also allow you to run APCC, should you ever wish to run with tracking/pointing models.

/dale

On Feb 12, 2022, at 18:06, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Thanks for this information Ray. So I have to upgrade from CP3 to the CP4 chip in order for SC to follow thru to the AP Ascom driver settings then?

Dale


Dale Penkala
 

On Sat, Feb 12, 2022 at 07:35 PM, Dale Ghent wrote:
You could upgrade to a CP4, but you don't have to just for 999x slew speeds. The firmware of the CP3 is implemented as a ROM chip that you can pluck out and replace with a newer chip. The versions of these chips are alphabetical, F through V2. According to the screenshot you included, your CP3 has version L. The 999x rate was added with the V1 version of the ROM.

You can buy the latest and last-ever version of CP3 ROM, the V2, from Astro-Physics for $80. Minor aptitude when it comes to manipulating computer hardware is required to do the chip swap. You open the top panel of the CP3, use the provided extractor to remove the old ROM from its socket, insert and press in the new ROM, and replace the cover. You will then need to create a new PEC for your mount. Turn off PEM in the ASCOM driver until you are able to do that. Running the V2 chip will also allow you to run APCC, should you ever wish to run with tracking/pointing models.

/dale


On Feb 12, 2022, at 18:06, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Thanks for this information Ray. So I have to upgrade from CP3 to the CP4 chip in order for SC to follow thru to the AP Ascom driver settings then?

Dale


Dale Penkala
 

Sorry about the goof on the last reply,

Thank you so much Dale, I don’t really need the CP4 so the chip seems to be the logical choice especially for $80. I would need to purchase APCC in order to do a new pec training. That would have to be the Pro version of APCC I believe. Short of buying PemPro outright anyway.
I know there is a procedure for using it but is there PDF somewhere that I could read to familiarize myself on the process?

Dale


Dale Ghent
 

APCC doesn’t do PEM, so you’ll have to get PEMPro for creating a new curve in any case. As for instructions, I have not seen them online but you can always try asking for them. 

On Feb 12, 2022, at 19:49, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Sorry about the goof on the last reply,

Thank you so much Dale, I don’t really need the CP4 so the chip seems to be the logical choice especially for $80. I would need to purchase APCC in order to do a new pec training. That would have to be the Pro version of APCC I believe. Short of buying PemPro outright anyway.
I know there is a procedure for using it but is there PDF somewhere that I could read to familiarize myself on the process?

Dale


Dale Penkala
 

Ok thanks Dale, much appreciated for that info! Boy I thought the AAPC software come with it but maybe I misunderstood when reading the information between the 2 version.
I’ll have to do some more research on this. I think I’ll be calling George on Monday!

Thanks!
Dale


Roland Christen
 

The keypad has a PE measuring method which will record one cycle and store it in the CP3 memory. You will need to have an autoguider running.
First start the mount tracking a star and turn on your autoguider. Choose a steady night so you get a nice clean guide graph. Now go to the keypad PE menu and start Record. Wait 7 - 8 minutes until the keypad beeps. You have now recorded a PE curve, it's that simple. You can play it back by turning on the PE in the keypad. Just be careful that you never turn on Record again, or you will simply overwrite the curve that you have stored.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 12, 2022 7:03 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

APCC doesn’t do PEM, so you’ll have to get PEMPro for creating a new curve in any case. As for instructions, I have not seen them online but you can always try asking for them. 

On Feb 12, 2022, at 19:49, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Sorry about the goof on the last reply,

Thank you so much Dale, I don’t really need the CP4 so the chip seems to be the logical choice especially for $80. I would need to purchase APCC in order to do a new pec training. That would have to be the Pro version of APCC I believe. Short of buying PemPro outright anyway.
I know there is a procedure for using it but is there PDF somewhere that I could read to familiarize myself on the process?

Dale

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Dale Penkala
 

Thanks Roland, you know maybe thats what I remember about the PEC part. 
I’ll give George a call on Monday and see about ordering the new V3 chip for my mount.

Thanks!
Dale


fernandorivera3
 

In regards to having an auto guider turned on so an AP mount can track a star for 7 to 8 minutes, for creating a new PE curve for loading- it does matter what part of the sky you choose to do this process, right <some regions of the sky should be avoided like near the pole or low to the horizon>??

Fernando


Jeffc
 

I'm going through this process at the moment.   (As I type this, I'm waiting on PemPro to acquire PE data.)
I haven't used PemPro in a while.. It turns out I had a PemPro v2 license some time ago, so I just went for the PemPro v2->v3 upgrade option.

(Chip extraction and install went ok.  It is a little nerve racking getting the old chip out.  The kit comes with an extraction tool, and it seems one needs to read and closely follow the included instructions.) 

IMG_1633.png

On Sat, Feb 12, 2022 at 5:46 PM Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:
Thanks Roland, you know maybe thats what I remember about the PEC part. 
I’ll give George a call on Monday and see about ordering the new V3 chip for my mount.

Thanks!
Dale


Dale Penkala
 

Thank for sharing this Jeff! I’m planning on calling George tomorrow and get the updated chip for my CP3. I was wondering if the extraction tool come with the kit and you answered my question with your post! Again thanks!

I have used 2 PEC training process’s so I’ll be intersected in how well the training will work in the hand controller that Roland talked about a few posts ago.

He states that it uses 1 full cycle the worm/gear, this is what the common CPWI software does as well. The one that I have used for my main rig before getting my AP1200 mount is the OnStep PEC training routine. In this case they say you can training it as many times as you want because it adds and calculates an overall average of all training sessions. That said most say just train it 3 times and go with what you get there. In my experience with OnStep thats what I did and I have been quite happy with it.

I’ll have to look into PemPro a bit more down the road. I know many say its the only way to properly train ones mount. Good luck with your training and I’d love to hear what your differences are when you get your mount trained!

Dale


Dale Penkala
 

I’ve always used a star that is within +/- 5º declination and within 30-60 minutes of the meridian, but I don’t know what the recommendations are for AP mounts. As of right now I would use the same rules unless Roland or someone else advises otherwise.

I know that I will be training my drive once I change out the chip in my CP3 box.

Dale


Roland Christen
 

Choose a star near the celestial equator.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: fernandorivera3 via groups.io <fernandorivera3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Feb 13, 2022 2:27 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

In regards to having an auto guider turned on so an AP mount can track a star for 7 to 8 minutes, for creating a new PE curve for loading- it does matter what part of the sky you choose to do this process, right <some regions of the sky should be avoided like near the pole or low to the horizon>??

Fernando


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Jeffc
 

I’m not an expert on PemPro PEC curve generation .. however… 

I let it acquire data for 11 cycles.  (With PEC off).   PemPro does some curve smoothing etc.  

Then created the curve.  

Then turned PEC ON and acquired another 3 cycles (it was getting late).   Note Tthis is with PEC ON. 

Then did the analyze and created another curve with the PEC ON data (but didn’t send it to the mount)….   

This second curve was literally flat.  (Attached a screenshot) 

It was late and I was a bit brain fogged so I’ll need to review all this earlier in the night.  (Now that the moon is big, now is the time to do this.)

PE-with-PEC-on-after-programming.jpg


On Feb 13, 2022, at 7:16 AM, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

Thank for sharing this Jeff! I’m planning on calling George tomorrow and get the updated chip for my CP3. I was wondering if the extraction tool come with the kit and you answered my question with your post! Again thanks!

I have used 2 PEC training process’s so I’ll be intersected in how well the training will work in the hand controller that Roland talked about a few posts ago.

He states that it uses 1 full cycle the worm/gear, this is what the common CPWI software does as well. The one that I have used for my main rig before getting my AP1200 mount is the OnStep PEC training routine. In this case they say you can training it as many times as you want because it adds and calculates an overall average of all training sessions. That said most say just train it 3 times and go with what you get there. In my experience with OnStep thats what I did and I have been quite happy with it.

I’ll have to look into PemPro a bit more down the road. I know many say its the only way to properly train ones mount. Good luck with your training and I’d love to hear what your differences are when you get your mount trained!

Dale


Dale Penkala
 
Edited

On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 02:19 PM, Jeffc wrote:

    Coment is in red.
I’m not an expert on PemPro PEC curve generation .. however… 
 
I let it acquire data for 11 cycles.  (With PEC off).   PemPro does some curve smoothing etc.  
 
Then created the curve.  
 
Then turned PEC ON and acquired another 3 cycles (it was getting late).   Note Tthis is with PEC ON. 
 
Then did the analyze and created another curve with the PEC ON data (but didn’t send it to the mount)….   
 
This second curve was literally flat.  (Attached a screenshot) I would have thought there should have been some sort of curve generated. Do you have to change your graph scale to see the actual curve maybe? Again I don’t know PemPro so I’m just asking a question is all here.
It was late and I was a bit brain fogged so I’ll need to review all this earlier in the night.  (Now that the moon is big, now is the time to do this.)
 

 
 


Jeffc
 



On Feb 13, 2022, at 12:52 PM, Dale Penkala <dalepenkala@...> wrote:

 I would have thought there should have been some sort of curve generated. Do you have to change your graph scale to see the actual curve maybe?

Good question.   

Two things about this.  

1) when I was acquiring data with PEC ON there was definitely some variation of the Y data point due to seeing and (I assume) DEC drift.   It’s definitely not like PemPro was just locked on to a hot pixel. (Also the star used was fairly large covering say 25 pixels square.).  Seeing was probly  “average” , I think not great.  

Point being - I am pretty sure PemPro was acquiring data during the PEC ON run.  

2) in the image I attached (PEC ON - after generating curve from raw data) I have cranked the Y scale all the way down to 0.5 arcsecs.    Normally with PEC OFF there would be at least something like +/- 2 arcsec curve.  

Hence I’m concluding the PEC acquire and generate (and store curve) was successful.  

=== ===
That said there was one additional oddity — when I went to shutdown the mount I sent it to Park 4.   It ended up about 15 degrees past park 4 in RA.  

I then did a status -> mount on the keypad and it said it was an 1100.   Maybe I messed something up on initial boot up after installing the chip.  

-jeff


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Dale,

Directions for Astro-Physics mounts can be found in the help file and also online at this link:

https://www.siriusimaging.com/Help/PEMProV3/index.html?astrophysicsgtocp3.html

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dale Penkala
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2022 12:52 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 & SharpCap 4.0

[Edited Message Follows]

On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 02:19 PM, Jeffc wrote:

Coment is in red.


I’m not an expert on PemPro PEC curve generation .. however…

I let it acquire data for 11 cycles. (With PEC off). PemPro does some curve smoothing etc.

Then created the curve.

Then turned PEC ON and acquired another 3 cycles (it was getting late). Note Tthis is with PEC ON.

Then did the analyze and created another curve with the PEC ON data (but didn’t send it to the
mount)….

This second curve was literally flat. (Attached a screenshot) I would have thought there should have
been some sort of curve generated. Do you have to change your graph scale to see the actual curve maybe?
Again I don’t know PemPro so I’m just asking a question is all here.

It was late and I was a bit brain fogged so I’ll need to review all this earlier in the night. (Now that the moon is
big, now is the time to do this.)





Dale Penkala
 

Hi Jeff,
Ok I was just wondering is all and good info for me down the road! My plan is to call Monday and order the new chip for my CP3 like I think Dale mentioned for $80. Once I install it I plan to do the Pec training that Roland had mentioned in a comment in my thread and see how that plays out. I plan to download the trail version on PemPro and see what the difference is and if its significant I will buy PemPro and then do what you an others are doing to get my mount to perform at its best.
I’m not a very techy guy honestly, much more mechanical (and software/computers I’m not fond of) but its a part of life now and I have to deal with it. Everything in this thread as well as my thread is exactly the information I’m going to need here in the very near future so I appreciate all the info!

Best of luck with your training and I’ll be watching if you post on your final results! I know I want to know what my before and after numbers are thats for sure!

Dale