Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?


Arvind
 

Hi, A-P team (and forum members),

It's been bad weather and extremely busy work the last couple of weeks, so I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like with my new 1100. Even the nights I'm able to bring out the scope, I find myself mostly experimenting with Windows PC more than anything else, unfortunately. The tips and tricks from this group helped me in the past, so thanks to this group for those tips! wired vs wireless ethernet, random disconnects (like tonight in the middle of an APPM run, the mount apparently lost connection.. so I had to power cycle everything reconnect and unpark again from Park 3).

I have gotten a good hang of APCC & the V2 driver (started by NINA), though, so the issues are definitely thanks to Microsoft. 

All that said, my Windows frustrations are having me at a tipping point of giving up (I almost gave up a few weeks ago, and then I had a single night of a good run.. but it's been sour since then). In the interest of enjoying the hobby, I'm going to go back to ASIAIR + Sky Safari combo and reduce my stress/anxiety. When using ASIAIR I've not had a single night wasted in the last 2+ years and my focus would be on target acquisition and reading about objects.. not researching IT issues :-)

That brings me to my question -- sort of related to what I had going here a few weeks ago but very pointed: Does anyone know if there is a CP4 firmware hack or 1-time setting, where I can have my CP4 blindly assume that anytime it powers up, it's getting unparked from Park-3? I don't have a reason to "Park" or "Unpark" anything really (power on=unparked & tracking, power down=parked works for me), so this is just to get the mount not get completely disoriented upon startup. Right now I am able to use Sky Safari and connect it to the mount and unpark the mount -- so this question is to see if I can remove that dependency for that single operation in the interest of reducing sources of error further.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting this be done for every mount --- just if it can be done on MY mount by performing a CP4 setting change :-)

Thanks, and best regards,
Arvind


 

Hi Arvind

have you looked at the initialize mount settings for "unpark from" setting? will this meet your need?

image.png



On Sun, Dec 18, 2022 at 9:18 PM Arvind <base16@...> wrote:
Hi, A-P team (and forum members),

It's been bad weather and extremely busy work the last couple of weeks, so I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like with my new 1100. Even the nights I'm able to bring out the scope, I find myself mostly experimenting with Windows PC more than anything else, unfortunately. The tips and tricks from this group helped me in the past, so thanks to this group for those tips! wired vs wireless ethernet, random disconnects (like tonight in the middle of an APPM run, the mount apparently lost connection.. so I had to power cycle everything reconnect and unpark again from Park 3).

I have gotten a good hang of APCC & the V2 driver (started by NINA), though, so the issues are definitely thanks to Microsoft. 

All that said, my Windows frustrations are having me at a tipping point of giving up (I almost gave up a few weeks ago, and then I had a single night of a good run.. but it's been sour since then). In the interest of enjoying the hobby, I'm going to go back to ASIAIR + Sky Safari combo and reduce my stress/anxiety. When using ASIAIR I've not had a single night wasted in the last 2+ years and my focus would be on target acquisition and reading about objects.. not researching IT issues :-)

That brings me to my question -- sort of related to what I had going here a few weeks ago but very pointed: Does anyone know if there is a CP4 firmware hack or 1-time setting, where I can have my CP4 blindly assume that anytime it powers up, it's getting unparked from Park-3? I don't have a reason to "Park" or "Unpark" anything really (power on=unparked & tracking, power down=parked works for me), so this is just to get the mount not get completely disoriented upon startup. Right now I am able to use Sky Safari and connect it to the mount and unpark the mount -- so this question is to see if I can remove that dependency for that single operation in the interest of reducing sources of error further.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting this be done for every mount --- just if it can be done on MY mount by performing a CP4 setting change :-)

Thanks, and best regards,
Arvind




 

HI again Arvind

I should also point out that the "unpark from" option I mentioned only works once, and then it resets to 'last parked' 

Probably the safest and easiest is just to ensure you park to Park 3 every time. then 'unpark from last park position' will work as I think you desire?



image.png


On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 6:01 AM Brian Valente via groups.io <bvalente=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Arvind

have you looked at the initialize mount settings for "unpark from" setting? will this meet your need?

image.png



On Sun, Dec 18, 2022 at 9:18 PM Arvind <base16@...> wrote:
Hi, A-P team (and forum members),

It's been bad weather and extremely busy work the last couple of weeks, so I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like with my new 1100. Even the nights I'm able to bring out the scope, I find myself mostly experimenting with Windows PC more than anything else, unfortunately. The tips and tricks from this group helped me in the past, so thanks to this group for those tips! wired vs wireless ethernet, random disconnects (like tonight in the middle of an APPM run, the mount apparently lost connection.. so I had to power cycle everything reconnect and unpark again from Park 3).

I have gotten a good hang of APCC & the V2 driver (started by NINA), though, so the issues are definitely thanks to Microsoft. 

All that said, my Windows frustrations are having me at a tipping point of giving up (I almost gave up a few weeks ago, and then I had a single night of a good run.. but it's been sour since then). In the interest of enjoying the hobby, I'm going to go back to ASIAIR + Sky Safari combo and reduce my stress/anxiety. When using ASIAIR I've not had a single night wasted in the last 2+ years and my focus would be on target acquisition and reading about objects.. not researching IT issues :-)

That brings me to my question -- sort of related to what I had going here a few weeks ago but very pointed: Does anyone know if there is a CP4 firmware hack or 1-time setting, where I can have my CP4 blindly assume that anytime it powers up, it's getting unparked from Park-3? I don't have a reason to "Park" or "Unpark" anything really (power on=unparked & tracking, power down=parked works for me), so this is just to get the mount not get completely disoriented upon startup. Right now I am able to use Sky Safari and connect it to the mount and unpark the mount -- so this question is to see if I can remove that dependency for that single operation in the interest of reducing sources of error further.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting this be done for every mount --- just if it can be done on MY mount by performing a CP4 setting change :-)

Thanks, and best regards,
Arvind



--




Linwood Ferguson
 

On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 09:23 AM, Brian Valente wrote:
Probably the safest and easiest is just to ensure you park to Park 3 every time. then 'unpark from last park position' will work as I think you desire?

Arvind, just to take a slightly different slant on this (as I think Brian got as close as the current APCC can get), I wonder if you can help us understand why unparking from park 3 is beneficial to you, as opposed to unparking from last parked? 

At first glance, the only way I see that being different is if  you are parking in some other unknown position, then manually moving the axes with the clutches (or unlocked gears though that has other implications if you have encoders) to Park 3 every time before you start up. 

The AP1100 is going to remember where it last parked regardless of why it parked there, due to a disconnect from the computer or an explicit park, or safety park, or APCC manual park... the only time unparking from a different place is merited is if the mount's actual physical position has changed between then and when you unpark, e.g. moving it by hand. 

What I typically do is have my sequence end with a park 2 (it's a safer position if it rains).  I got out and do flats just moving the OTA with the clutches, and put it back (again, by hand) in park 2 before I disassemble. Next night it's still sitting in park 2 and unpark from last-parked works fine. Unparking from park 2 would be equivalent but require a manual change. 

I realize each gets to figure out their own workflow and not suggesting yours is bad, just... it might help to understand why? 

Linwood

PS. If you have encoders, moving the axis by unlocking the gears and locking into a different position will affect RA encoder based location, e.g. home position and axis limits, even if the mounts unpark position is right.


Arvind
 

Thanks for your inputs. I think I ended up diluting the essence of my question :-)

My question was to check if there's a way to hardcode/set a default/override the CP4 behavior, such that, anytime I power up, it blindly assumes it's powering up from Park 3. Irrespective of what the computer sends or fails to send. I'm looking for a way to do this without requiring a Windows PC to be connected to the mount for every session.

Before I order the $1000 keypad just to park/unpark the mount, I am hoping to check if there's a way to do this using the A-P utilities as a 1-time setting change :-)

Why: Due to my lack of familiarity with the MS Windows ecosystem I have a hard time getting MS Windows to work reliably on consecutive nights. "Last parked" is not useful, I think, because at times I've seen the mount just lose connection and not respond.. so unclear if it was "parked" there or got lost. I'd rather just force it to a well-known-default than a possibly-undefined vague setting.





On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 6:33 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:
On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 09:23 AM, Brian Valente wrote:
Probably the safest and easiest is just to ensure you park to Park 3 every time. then 'unpark from last park position' will work as I think you desire?

Arvind, just to take a slightly different slant on this (as I think Brian got as close as the current APCC can get), I wonder if you can help us understand why unparking from park 3 is beneficial to you, as opposed to unparking from last parked? 

At first glance, the only way I see that being different is if  you are parking in some other unknown position, then manually moving the axes with the clutches (or unlocked gears though that has other implications if you have encoders) to Park 3 every time before you start up. 

The AP1100 is going to remember where it last parked regardless of why it parked there, due to a disconnect from the computer or an explicit park, or safety park, or APCC manual park... the only time unparking from a different place is merited is if the mount's actual physical position has changed between then and when you unpark, e.g. moving it by hand. 

What I typically do is have my sequence end with a park 2 (it's a safer position if it rains).  I got out and do flats just moving the OTA with the clutches, and put it back (again, by hand) in park 2 before I disassemble. Next night it's still sitting in park 2 and unpark from last-parked works fine. Unparking from park 2 would be equivalent but require a manual change. 

I realize each gets to figure out their own workflow and not suggesting yours is bad, just... it might help to understand why? 

Linwood

PS. If you have encoders, moving the axis by unlocking the gears and locking into a different position will affect RA encoder based location, e.g. home position and axis limits, even if the mounts unpark position is right.


Linwood Ferguson
 

On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 12:51 PM, Arvind wrote:
Why: Due to my lack of familiarity with the MS Windows ecosystem I have a hard time getting MS Windows to work reliably on consecutive nights. "Last parked" is not useful, I think, because at times I've seen the mount just lose connection and not respond.. so unclear if it was "parked" there or got lost. I'd rather just force it to a well-known-default than a possibly-undefined vague setting.

Let's say Windows crashes.

The CP4 notices the lack of feedback and parks the mount at that position, whatever that is.

If you then bring up the misbehaving windows PC, APCC connects and (if asked) unparks from that location.  All good. It's in the right place, it knows where it is. 

I think what we are trying to say is I think you are potentially creating a problem.  In my scenario if you reconnect and it unparks from Park 3 then the mount (and APCC and everything else) thinks the mount is pointing differently than it actually is. That's bad, your next goto will be way off. 

To unpark from park 3 in my scenario, someone has to physically go over to the mount, loosen the clutches, move them to Park 3 manually, THEN start APCC and unpark from Park 3. 

This unpark-from-last is pretty darn bullet proof. 

Linwood


Mike Dodd
 

On 12/19/2022 12:51 PM, Arvind wrote:
Thanks for your inputs. I think I ended up diluting the essence of my question :-)
My question was to check if there's a way to hardcode/set a default/override the CP4 behavior, such that, anytime I power up, it blindly assumes it's powering up from Park 3.
Once parked, the mount REMAINS parked the next time it's powered-up. That's what my 1200 does. It assumes nothing when powering-up.

Now, if you mean, it's in Park 3 the first time something CONNECTS to it (e.g., the PC), you can easily do that in the ASCOM driver (and probably with the hand box as well).

Let's talk about the ASCOM driver, since I rarely use my hand box. Connect to the mount with any application like SkyX or A-P's Jog Utility. Open the ASCOM driver and expand it one screen. Look for the Park controls, and command it to park to Park 3. Now look for the Unpark option, and select Last Parked. This will unpark the mount from Park 3.

Of course, this means you need to PARK the mount in Park 3 when you're done using it, before powering off. You can't leave it pointing to some random place and then want it to "blindly assume it's powering up from Park 3" next time. You need to park it first.

Does this help?

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Arvind
 



On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 11:36 AM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote: You can't leave it pointing to some 
random place and then want it to "blindly assume it's powering up from
Park 3" next time. You need to park it first.


Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to unpark from the correct Park 3.

I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 without MS Windows involved


 

>>>I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 without MS Windows involved.

what are you wanting to use that isn't windows?

I mean, *something* has to unpark the mount, right?

 


On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 12:25 PM Arvind <base16@...> wrote:


On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 11:36 AM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote: You can't leave it pointing to some 
random place and then want it to "blindly assume it's powering up from
Park 3" next time. You need to park it first.


Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to unpark from the correct Park 3.

I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 without MS Windows involved




Bill Long
 

The 1100 should be initiated properly. If it was just turned off and back on and nothing else was moved, the servo will know where it is so unparking from last parked works fine. 

I am not clear on the desire to not initiate the mount via Windows. If you want that, get a hand controller.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Brian Valente <bvalente@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 12:26 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
>>>I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 without MS Windows involved.

what are you wanting to use that isn't windows?

I mean, *something* has to unpark the mount, right?

 

On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 12:25 PM Arvind <base16@...> wrote:


On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 11:36 AM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote: You can't leave it pointing to some 
random place and then want it to "blindly assume it's powering up from
Park 3" next time. You need to park it first.


Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to unpark from the correct Park 3.

I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 without MS Windows involved



--


Mike Dodd
 

On 12/19/2022 3:25 PM, Arvind wrote:
Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to unpark from the correct Park 3.
I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 *_without MS Windows involved_*.
Then you want to use the hand box to control the mount? That will do what you want.

If you want to use a PC without Windows, that leaves a Mac or Linux, and i don't know what apps those offer to connect to the mount.

--- Mike


Bill Long
 

INDI is available and can be told a static unpark from position that the user can change in the configuration.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 1:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
On 12/19/2022 3:25 PM, Arvind wrote:
> Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using
> arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to
> unpark from the correct Park 3.
>
> I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 *_without MS
> Windows involved_*.

Then you want to use the hand box to control the mount? That will do
what you want.

If you want to use a PC without Windows, that leaves a Mac or Linux, and
i don't know what apps those offer to connect to the mount.

--- Mike








Arvind
 

Everyone -- really thank you all for the inputs.

Even though the suggestions so far are what I clarified as something I've already considered, I thank you for sharing your inputs on this from your perspective.

To summarize what I've mentioned earlier along with what you've all confirmed:
1) Unpark from APCC & v2 driver - works. Assuming I can get to the Windows PC & get the PC to talk to the mount reliability.
2) Unpark from Sky Safari pro also works. In fact works reliably so far (fingers crossed.. hope it stays that way).
3) Unpark from keypad also would obviously work as well.


To also summarize why I'm looking for an alternative (ie, shortcoming for me, against each of above):
#1 APCC+APPM is itself ok, but I have inconsistent results due to my lack of Windows experience to even get to the Windows PC & having it talk to the mount. I have had a humbling experience using Windows to put it mildly for the last few weeks.
#2 This is actually my fallback -- so no issues beyond needing one extra thing just for initialization before switching to ASIAIR for mount control :-) I've also filed a support request with ASIAIR to see if they can fix the mount initialization issue on their side, so this email thread on this list is to see if I can find a workaround from the CP4 side.
#3 This is my second fallback if in future Sky Safari starts acting up. Basically, trying to avoid a Thousand Dollar Unpark Device right now.

Actual use of the mount will be through my ASIAIR. Nothing else comes close in terms of simplicity and reliability. What A-P is mechanically, ASIAIR is in terms of software.

The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option.

Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this.

Thanks to everyone for your valuable time and inputs. If anything it reinforced my learnings in the last few weeks atleast in the Windows side of things :-) (when it worked).





On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 1:31 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
INDI is available and can be told a static unpark from position that the user can change in the configuration.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 1:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
On 12/19/2022 3:25 PM, Arvind wrote:
> Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using
> arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to
> unpark from the correct Park 3.
>
> I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 *_without MS
> Windows involved_*.

Then you want to use the hand box to control the mount? That will do
what you want.

If you want to use a PC without Windows, that leaves a Mac or Linux, and
i don't know what apps those offer to connect to the mount.

--- Mike








Roland Christen
 

Unlike other mounts out there, the AP mounts do not need to be parked for them to remember where they are pointed after power-down.

The mount always knows where it is, whether you park it at the end of the session or just turn off power wherever it happens to be pointing. The park positions were initially designed to allow the user to re-create a known position that can be re-created easily after the whole shebang was torn down and later set up again in some other place. It is not really all that useful for permanent setups.

For my observatory mounts, many times I simply turn off power without parking the mount. The mount has the position in memory at the moment you turn off power, regardless of where it points at that moment. Then next time I turn power on I simply re-initialize the mount (send time, date, location), and resume operating as if nothing has changed. Parking and un-parking is not even in the loop.

Parking does only one thing, really - it de-energizes the motors so the mount does not track while the power is still on. I have done this occasionally by accident, parked the mount and closed up the observatory for the night. Then I came back a few days later and found the power still on to the mount controller, and the mount patiently waiting at the park position for me to send the unpark command, :Q# . Other than that, it was very simple to continue without having to send the initialization of time, date, location. I would not recommend leaving the mount powered in park position because you may get power surges in the AC house power that may cause things to go haywire. Best to shut power off, whether parked or not.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Arvind <base16@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Mon, Dec 19, 2022 8:36 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?

Everyone -- really thank you all for the inputs.

Even though the suggestions so far are what I clarified as something I've already considered, I thank you for sharing your inputs on this from your perspective.

To summarize what I've mentioned earlier along with what you've all confirmed:
1) Unpark from APCC & v2 driver - works. Assuming I can get to the Windows PC & get the PC to talk to the mount reliability.
2) Unpark from Sky Safari pro also works. In fact works reliably so far (fingers crossed.. hope it stays that way).
3) Unpark from keypad also would obviously work as well.


To also summarize why I'm looking for an alternative (ie, shortcoming for me, against each of above):
#1 APCC+APPM is itself ok, but I have inconsistent results due to my lack of Windows experience to even get to the Windows PC & having it talk to the mount. I have had a humbling experience using Windows to put it mildly for the last few weeks.
#2 This is actually my fallback -- so no issues beyond needing one extra thing just for initialization before switching to ASIAIR for mount control :-) I've also filed a support request with ASIAIR to see if they can fix the mount initialization issue on their side, so this email thread on this list is to see if I can find a workaround from the CP4 side.
#3 This is my second fallback if in future Sky Safari starts acting up. Basically, trying to avoid a Thousand Dollar Unpark Device right now.

Actual use of the mount will be through my ASIAIR. Nothing else comes close in terms of simplicity and reliability. What A-P is mechanically, ASIAIR is in terms of software.

The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option.

Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this.

Thanks to everyone for your valuable time and inputs. If anything it reinforced my learnings in the last few weeks atleast in the Windows side of things :-) (when it worked).





On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 1:31 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
INDI is available and can be told a static unpark from position that the user can change in the configuration.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 1:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
On 12/19/2022 3:25 PM, Arvind wrote:
> Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using
> arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to
> unpark from the correct Park 3.
>
> I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 *_without MS
> Windows involved_*.

Then you want to use the hand box to control the mount? That will do
what you want.

If you want to use a PC without Windows, that leaves a Mac or Linux, and
i don't know what apps those offer to connect to the mount.

--- Mike








--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

Why are you not able to get to the Windows PC? Remote Desktop clients are available on just about every platform on the planet. Just make sure the Windows PC is accepting RD connections. This should be a simple fix.

I disagree about the other product you've mentioned. But that's off topic here. You can get the setup you have to work just fine. I've used the same for almost 10 years now. 

Bill



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Arvind <base16@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 6:36 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Cc: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
Everyone -- really thank you all for the inputs.

Even though the suggestions so far are what I clarified as something I've already considered, I thank you for sharing your inputs on this from your perspective.

To summarize what I've mentioned earlier along with what you've all confirmed:
1) Unpark from APCC & v2 driver - works. Assuming I can get to the Windows PC & get the PC to talk to the mount reliability.
2) Unpark from Sky Safari pro also works. In fact works reliably so far (fingers crossed.. hope it stays that way).
3) Unpark from keypad also would obviously work as well.


To also summarize why I'm looking for an alternative (ie, shortcoming for me, against each of above):
#1 APCC+APPM is itself ok, but I have inconsistent results due to my lack of Windows experience to even get to the Windows PC & having it talk to the mount. I have had a humbling experience using Windows to put it mildly for the last few weeks.
#2 This is actually my fallback -- so no issues beyond needing one extra thing just for initialization before switching to ASIAIR for mount control :-) I've also filed a support request with ASIAIR to see if they can fix the mount initialization issue on their side, so this email thread on this list is to see if I can find a workaround from the CP4 side.
#3 This is my second fallback if in future Sky Safari starts acting up. Basically, trying to avoid a Thousand Dollar Unpark Device right now.

Actual use of the mount will be through my ASIAIR. Nothing else comes close in terms of simplicity and reliability. What A-P is mechanically, ASIAIR is in terms of software.

The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option.

Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this.

Thanks to everyone for your valuable time and inputs. If anything it reinforced my learnings in the last few weeks atleast in the Windows side of things :-) (when it worked).





On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 1:31 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
INDI is available and can be told a static unpark from position that the user can change in the configuration.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 1:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
On 12/19/2022 3:25 PM, Arvind wrote:
> Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using
> arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to
> unpark from the correct Park 3.
>
> I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 *_without MS
> Windows involved_*.

Then you want to use the hand box to control the mount? That will do
what you want.

If you want to use a PC without Windows, that leaves a Mac or Linux, and
i don't know what apps those offer to connect to the mount.

--- Mike








prestoncheatham
 

Actually, I find the park position very useful for my roll off roof.  I never have to wonder if everything is clear before closing.

 

Preston Cheatham

 

-----Original Message-----
From: <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Dec 19, 2022 9:13 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?

 

Unlike other mounts out there, the AP mounts do not need to be parked for them to remember where they are pointed after power-down.
 
The mount always knows where it is, whether you park it at the end of the session or just turn off power wherever it happens to be pointing. The park positions were initially designed to allow the user to re-create a known position that can be re-created easily after the whole shebang was torn down and later set up again in some other place. It is not really all that useful for permanent setups.
 
For my observatory mounts, many times I simply turn off power without parking the mount. The mount has the position in memory at the moment you turn off power, regardless of where it points at that moment. Then next time I turn power on I simply re-initialize the mount (send time, date, location), and resume operating as if nothing has changed. Parking and un-parking is not even in the loop.
 
Parking does only one thing, really - it de-energizes the motors so the mount does not track while the power is still on. I have done this occasionally by accident, parked the mount and closed up the observatory for the night. Then I came back a few days later and found the power still on to the mount controller, and the mount patiently waiting at the park position for me to send the unpark command, :Q# . Other than that, it was very simple to continue without having to send the initialization of time, date, location. I would not recommend leaving the mount powered in park position because you may get power surges in the AC house power that may cause things to go haywire. Best to shut power off, whether parked or not.
 
Rolando
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Arvind <base16@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Mon, Dec 19, 2022 8:36 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?

Everyone -- really thank you all for the inputs.
 
Even though the suggestions so far are what I clarified as something I've already considered, I thank you for sharing your inputs on this from your perspective.
 
To summarize what I've mentioned earlier along with what you've all confirmed:
1) Unpark from APCC & v2 driver - works. Assuming I can get to the Windows PC & get the PC to talk to the mount reliability.
2) Unpark from Sky Safari pro also works. In fact works reliably so far (fingers crossed.. hope it stays that way).
3) Unpark from keypad also would obviously work as well.
 
 
To also summarize why I'm looking for an alternative (ie, shortcoming for me, against each of above):
#1 APCC+APPM is itself ok, but I have inconsistent results due to my lack of Windows experience to even get to the Windows PC & having it talk to the mount. I have had a humbling experience using Windows to put it mildly for the last few weeks.
#2 This is actually my fallback -- so no issues beyond needing one extra thing just for initialization before switching to ASIAIR for mount control :-) I've also filed a support request with ASIAIR to see if they can fix the mount initialization issue on their side, so this email thread on this list is to see if I can find a workaround from the CP4 side.
#3 This is my second fallback if in future Sky Safari starts acting up. Basically, trying to avoid a Thousand Dollar Unpark Device right now.
 
Actual use of the mount will be through my ASIAIR. Nothing else comes close in terms of simplicity and reliability. What A-P is mechanically, ASIAIR is in terms of software.
 
The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option.
 
Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this.
 
Thanks to everyone for your valuable time and inputs. If anything it reinforced my learnings in the last few weeks atleast in the Windows side of things :-) (when it worked).
 
 
 
 

On Mon, Dec 19, 2022 at 1:31 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
INDI is available and can be told a static unpark from position that the user can change in the configuration.

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mike Dodd <mike@...>
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2022 1:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
On 12/19/2022 3:25 PM, Arvind wrote:
> Thanks Mike, and Linwood, I don't mind moving it physically or using
> arrow keys to bring it to Park 3 and then power cycling the mount to
> unpark from the correct Park 3.
>
> I'm basically trying to find a way to unpark from Park 3 *_without MS
> Windows involved_*.

Then you want to use the hand box to control the mount? That will do
what you want.

If you want to use a PC without Windows, that leaves a Mac or Linux, and
i don't know what apps those offer to connect to the mount.

--- Mike







 
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

 


 

Hi Arvind

I'm not sure your questions/comments were fully answered, but just in case:

>>>The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option

Yes, this is correct. The mount needs to be initialized prior to use and using just ASIAir will not have the mount initialized. 



>>>Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this. 

I agree and think this is your best bet for now until ASI can add this capability (or you opt for a keypad). You must have the mount initialized and Sky Safari has this capability. And it's something you are already familiar with/no additional cost



Brian



Brian


Arvind
 



On Tue, Dec 20, 2022 at 3:00 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
Hi Arvind

I'm not sure your questions/comments were fully answered, but just in case:

>>>The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option

Yes, this is correct. The mount needs to be initialized prior to use and using just ASIAir will not have the mount initialized. 



>>>Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this. 

I agree and think this is your best bet for now until ASI can add this capability (or you opt for a keypad). You must have the mount initialized and Sky Safari has this capability. And it's something you are already familiar with/no additional cost



Brian


Thanks, Brian. Yes, last night I had a session with Sky Safari & ASIAIR. This is my second night with this kind of workflow; so far so good :-) This will continue to be my backup plan going fwd. The ease of use for the backup plan (even though it is severely limiting compared to APCC+APPM) ensures I have a higher chance of using the mount if I encounter issues while I learn the ropes with a Windows setup.

Time off from work helps this time of year :-)  So this morning, I changed how the Windows PC communicates with the mount: I went from using a wired ethernet (connected through a travel router -- a setup I use with ASIAIR) to a direct USB connection from CP4. The USB connection from CP4 to windows PC adds a variable now (which COM port to use), but I kept the Device Manager open when I plugged in the CP4 USB cable to see what COM port got assigned. Unclear if the COM port assigned is a sticky assignment for CP4s, but I'll keep the Device Manager open going fwd until I learn more about this; some googling says it _should_ remain the same.

I then went into APCC and switched from TCP/IP to Serial USB, and everything worked. 

For APCC <-> CP4: I will stick with USB going forward.
For APCC <-> V2 driver: REST API seems to work without any issues since day 1 reliably, so not changing this one too.

For Windows PC, I'm going to stick to a Windows laptop (purchased just for astronomy) to avoid any networking- or monitor-related issues predictably. I have it set to disable all power saving options -- for both hard disk and USB ports; I have a dedicated Jackery power to keep the laptop effectively plugged in through the night too. I'll save the mini PC experiments for later.

Real tests will need to wait a while because of clouds and rain for the foreseeable future here, but I will continue to repeat indoor tests to get myself more and more comfortable with this setup :-) 

Thanks for all the help in this and other posts Brian, and others.


Bill Long
 

The USB com port should remain the same. Unless of course you change the windows PC for another one. As for the Ethernet connection, just wanted to call out that a router isn't required. You can directly connect a standard Ethernet cable from the PC to the CP4. Which will obtain an IP automatically and will be searchable using the CP4 finder in APCC. That iP shouldn't ever change.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Arvind <base16@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 11:09 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 


On Tue, Dec 20, 2022 at 3:00 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
Hi Arvind

I'm not sure your questions/comments were fully answered, but just in case:

>>>The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option

Yes, this is correct. The mount needs to be initialized prior to use and using just ASIAir will not have the mount initialized. 



>>>Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this. 

I agree and think this is your best bet for now until ASI can add this capability (or you opt for a keypad). You must have the mount initialized and Sky Safari has this capability. And it's something you are already familiar with/no additional cost



Brian


Thanks, Brian. Yes, last night I had a session with Sky Safari & ASIAIR. This is my second night with this kind of workflow; so far so good :-) This will continue to be my backup plan going fwd. The ease of use for the backup plan (even though it is severely limiting compared to APCC+APPM) ensures I have a higher chance of using the mount if I encounter issues while I learn the ropes with a Windows setup.

Time off from work helps this time of year :-)  So this morning, I changed how the Windows PC communicates with the mount: I went from using a wired ethernet (connected through a travel router -- a setup I use with ASIAIR) to a direct USB connection from CP4. The USB connection from CP4 to windows PC adds a variable now (which COM port to use), but I kept the Device Manager open when I plugged in the CP4 USB cable to see what COM port got assigned. Unclear if the COM port assigned is a sticky assignment for CP4s, but I'll keep the Device Manager open going fwd until I learn more about this; some googling says it _should_ remain the same.

I then went into APCC and switched from TCP/IP to Serial USB, and everything worked. 

For APCC <-> CP4: I will stick with USB going forward.
For APCC <-> V2 driver: REST API seems to work without any issues since day 1 reliably, so not changing this one too.

For Windows PC, I'm going to stick to a Windows laptop (purchased just for astronomy) to avoid any networking- or monitor-related issues predictably. I have it set to disable all power saving options -- for both hard disk and USB ports; I have a dedicated Jackery power to keep the laptop effectively plugged in through the night too. I'll save the mini PC experiments for later.

Real tests will need to wait a while because of clouds and rain for the foreseeable future here, but I will continue to repeat indoor tests to get myself more and more comfortable with this setup :-) 

Thanks for all the help in this and other posts Brian, and others.


Bill Long
 

Oh and one more thing, you can connect both USB and Ethernet at the same time and APCC can fail back to USB in it's own in the event of a problem with the Ethernet connection.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 11:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 
The USB com port should remain the same. Unless of course you change the windows PC for another one. As for the Ethernet connection, just wanted to call out that a router isn't required. You can directly connect a standard Ethernet cable from the PC to the CP4. Which will obtain an IP automatically and will be searchable using the CP4 finder in APCC. That iP shouldn't ever change.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Arvind <base16@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 11:09 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Can I set a default "Unpark from" position?
 


On Tue, Dec 20, 2022 at 3:00 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
Hi Arvind

I'm not sure your questions/comments were fully answered, but just in case:

>>>The biggest drawback with ASIAIR right now is the lack of "Unpark from", initialization option

Yes, this is correct. The mount needs to be initialized prior to use and using just ASIAir will not have the mount initialized. 



>>>Going by this thread though, perhaps I should just stick with #2 (use Sky Safari to properly initialize the mount) until I revisit this topic a few months later if/when I have more time to devote to this. 

I agree and think this is your best bet for now until ASI can add this capability (or you opt for a keypad). You must have the mount initialized and Sky Safari has this capability. And it's something you are already familiar with/no additional cost



Brian


Thanks, Brian. Yes, last night I had a session with Sky Safari & ASIAIR. This is my second night with this kind of workflow; so far so good :-) This will continue to be my backup plan going fwd. The ease of use for the backup plan (even though it is severely limiting compared to APCC+APPM) ensures I have a higher chance of using the mount if I encounter issues while I learn the ropes with a Windows setup.

Time off from work helps this time of year :-)  So this morning, I changed how the Windows PC communicates with the mount: I went from using a wired ethernet (connected through a travel router -- a setup I use with ASIAIR) to a direct USB connection from CP4. The USB connection from CP4 to windows PC adds a variable now (which COM port to use), but I kept the Device Manager open when I plugged in the CP4 USB cable to see what COM port got assigned. Unclear if the COM port assigned is a sticky assignment for CP4s, but I'll keep the Device Manager open going fwd until I learn more about this; some googling says it _should_ remain the same.

I then went into APCC and switched from TCP/IP to Serial USB, and everything worked. 

For APCC <-> CP4: I will stick with USB going forward.
For APCC <-> V2 driver: REST API seems to work without any issues since day 1 reliably, so not changing this one too.

For Windows PC, I'm going to stick to a Windows laptop (purchased just for astronomy) to avoid any networking- or monitor-related issues predictably. I have it set to disable all power saving options -- for both hard disk and USB ports; I have a dedicated Jackery power to keep the laptop effectively plugged in through the night too. I'll save the mini PC experiments for later.

Real tests will need to wait a while because of clouds and rain for the foreseeable future here, but I will continue to repeat indoor tests to get myself more and more comfortable with this setup :-) 

Thanks for all the help in this and other posts Brian, and others.