AP1200 not parking correctly


Mike Dodd
 

Tonight my AP1200 mount displays an incorrect Az/Alt or RA/Dec when in my custom Park position. Last night everything was fine.

The ONLY thing that changed today was the port number on an Edgeport USB-serial box. Last night it was COM4, but today I changed it to COM18 to avoid problems with Win10 updates changing plug-and-play ports. Tomorrow I will connect the cable to the PC's COM1 port to see if that makes any difference. I'll be astounded if it does.

I ran the ASCOM driver setup utility, and changed the port there to COM18, and the utility reported "Mount found!" See the attached screen shot.

My custom park position is due-east -- Az=90, Alt=0. I have magnetic switches for my roof controller to verify the mount is parked in this position. I connected to the mount with the AP Jog utility , and slewed the mount to the correct physical position, confirmed visually and with the roof controller's magnetic switches.

But the driver shows Alt=-06:27, Az=80:56. and the RA/Dec are wrong, too.

I double-checked my site lat/long in the driver setup utility, and they are correct. I also clicked the "Set Lat/Long from Mount" button, and the utility still showed the correct coordinates.

In the ASCOM driver, I clicked the "Re-Sync Mount to PC Time" button. The driver displays the correct time and time zone.

What could have gone wrong? I understand how incorrect site coordinates or the wrong time would throw things off, but they all check out.

Thanks for any and all help.

--- Mike


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mike,

I doubt the alternate COM port had anything to do with this. Were you using APCC?

If you park again, do you get the same Alt/Az readbacks?

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mike Dodd
Sent: Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:38 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 not parking correctly

Tonight my AP1200 mount displays an incorrect Az/Alt or RA/Dec when in
my custom Park position. Last night everything was fine.

The ONLY thing that changed today was the port number on an Edgeport
USB-serial box. Last night it was COM4, but today I changed it to COM18
to avoid problems with Win10 updates changing plug-and-play ports.
Tomorrow I will connect the cable to the PC's COM1 port to see if that
makes any difference. I'll be astounded if it does.

I ran the ASCOM driver setup utility, and changed the port there to
COM18, and the utility reported "Mount found!" See the attached screen shot.

My custom park position is due-east -- Az=90, Alt=0. I have magnetic
switches for my roof controller to verify the mount is parked in this
position. I connected to the mount with the AP Jog utility , and slewed
the mount to the correct physical position, confirmed visually and with
the roof controller's magnetic switches.

But the driver shows Alt=-06:27, Az=80:56. and the RA/Dec are wrong, too.

I double-checked my site lat/long in the driver setup utility, and they
are correct. I also clicked the "Set Lat/Long from Mount" button, and
the utility still showed the correct coordinates.

In the ASCOM driver, I clicked the "Re-Sync Mount to PC Time" button.
The driver displays the correct time and time zone.

What could have gone wrong? I understand how incorrect site coordinates
or the wrong time would throw things off, but they all check out.

Thanks for any and all help.

--- Mike





Mike Dodd
 

On 9/10/2021 10:44 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:
Hi Mike,

I doubt the alternate COM port had anything to do with this. Were you
using APCC?
No. Just APJog and the ASCOM driver GUI.

If you park again, do you get the same Alt/Az readbacks?
Yes. But I discovered the problem -- I must have bumped the RA axis yesterday. When I connected the hand box and parked to Park1 (I know, should be Park4, but I need to re-jigger some cables to safely reach Park4) the CW shaft was noticeably not horizontal.

I put my machinist's level on the CW shaft and re-leveled it (along with re-doing the Dec level), and then did a Resume from Park1 on the hand box.

After power-off/power-on and the hand box unplugged, I connected with APJog and used the ASCOM driver buttons to slew the mount to Az=90, Alt=0, and not only did the scope look right, the roof controller detected the correct "at-park safe" position from the magnet switches.

So all looks good. Tonight I'll do a recal in SkyX, then hopefully everything will be returned to normal.

--- Mike


George
 

Mike,

The best position is Park 5...scope level on east side and pointing north. Doesn't have the cable swings.

Regards,

George

George Whitney
Astro-Physics, Inc.
Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)
Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)
Email:  george@astro-physics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Dodd
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2021 10:57 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 not parking correctly

On 9/10/2021 10:44 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:
Hi Mike,

I doubt the alternate COM port had anything to do with this. Were you
using APCC?
No. Just APJog and the ASCOM driver GUI.

If you park again, do you get the same Alt/Az readbacks?
Yes. But I discovered the problem -- I must have bumped the RA axis yesterday. When I connected the hand box and parked to Park1 (I know, should be Park4, but I need to re-jigger some cables to safely reach
Park4) the CW shaft was noticeably not horizontal.

I put my machinist's level on the CW shaft and re-leveled it (along with re-doing the Dec level), and then did a Resume from Park1 on the hand box.

After power-off/power-on and the hand box unplugged, I connected with APJog and used the ASCOM driver buttons to slew the mount to Az=90, Alt=0, and not only did the scope look right, the roof controller detected the correct "at-park safe" position from the magnet switches.

So all looks good. Tonight I'll do a recal in SkyX, then hopefully everything will be returned to normal.

--- Mike


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/10/2021 12:01 PM, George wrote:
Mike,

The best position is Park 5...scope level on east side and pointing
north. Doesn't have the cable swings.
If I do Park 5 and then loosen the clutches and re-level the axes, how do I do the equivalent as my hand box's "Resume From ref Park1" in the ASCOM driver GUI?

Should I just "Unpark from last parked" and then do a recal in SkyX? That definitely would make the process simple and straightforward. I'm confused by the "ref" in the hand box's "Resume From ref Park1" menu item.

Thanks, George.

--- Mike


George
 

Mike,

Park 5 is one of the options in the AP V2 driver and APCC. It is only available in the v5.xx firmware of the keypad. I assumed that you were using a computer.

Regards,

George

George Whitney
Astro-Physics, Inc.
Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)
Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)
Email:  george@astro-physics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Dodd
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2021 11:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 not parking correctly

On 9/10/2021 12:01 PM, George wrote:
Mike,

The best position is Park 5...scope level on east side and pointing
north. Doesn't have the cable swings.
If I do Park 5 and then loosen the clutches and re-level the axes, how do I do the equivalent as my hand box's "Resume From ref Park1" in the ASCOM driver GUI?

Should I just "Unpark from last parked" and then do a recal in SkyX?
That definitely would make the process simple and straightforward. I'm confused by the "ref" in the hand box's "Resume From ref Park1" menu item.

Thanks, George.

--- Mike


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/10/2021 12:35 PM, George wrote:
Mike,

Park 5 is one of the options in the AP V2 driver and APCC. It is
only available in the v5.xx firmware of the keypad. I assumed
that you were using a computer.
I am using a computer, but not APCC. The reason I used the keypad was because the menu includes "unpark from REF park1" and I assumed "ref" did something special to the mount's internal sky model.

If not, and if "unpark from last parked" in the driver GUI is sufficient, then I will never again use the keypad when I need to re-do the axes.

--- Mike


George
 

Mike,

If you need help setting up the software, you can reference the Quick Start Guide:
https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/quick-start-workflow-guide.pdf
You can also call me and I can assist you.

Regards,

George

George Whitney
Astro-Physics, Inc.
Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)
Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)
Email:  george@astro-physics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Dodd
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2021 11:43 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 not parking correctly

On 9/10/2021 12:35 PM, George wrote:
Mike,

Park 5 is one of the options in the AP V2 driver and APCC. It is
only available in the v5.xx firmware of the keypad. I assumed
that you were using a computer.
I am using a computer, but not APCC. The reason I used the keypad was because the menu includes "unpark from REF park1" and I assumed "ref"
did something special to the mount's internal sky model.

If not, and if "unpark from last parked" in the driver GUI is sufficient, then I will never again use the keypad when I need to re-do the axes.

--- Mike


Roland Christen
 


I assumed "ref"
did something special to the mount's internal sky model.
When we first configured the GoTo mounts we decided to use Park1 as a reference position that could be easy for the user to set up the mount using a simple carpenter's level. The other park positions were 2 and 3 and those could not be set up easily with just a level. You could eyeball them, but could not use a level to get the counterweight shaft to be vertical.

So, Park 1 was chosen as the preferred setup reference because both scope (Dec axis) and counterweight shaft (RA axis) could be fine tuned with a level. This took care of the vertical axis adjustment and left only the azimuth axis to be dialed in. That of course requires some known object in the sky, and that object could be the sun in the daytime. So a person could very easily set up his mount and get very close to polar alignment while the sun was up by simply leveling the axes in Park1 (reference park) and then sending the scope to the sun and adjusting the azimuth axis until the sun was centered. Once there you could find planets and bright stars in the daytime. That was the basis for our daytime Polar Alignment routine. Does it work? Yes indeed and I have used it at many star parties in the past to show ordinary folks that stars actually do shine during the day.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 10, 2021 11:42 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 not parking correctly

On 9/10/2021 12:35 PM, George wrote:
> Mike,
>
> Park 5 is one of the options in the AP V2 driver and APCC.    It is
> only available in the v5.xx firmware of the keypad.    I assumed
> that you were using a computer.

I am using a computer, but not APCC. The reason I used the keypad was
because the menu includes "unpark from REF park1" and I assumed "ref"
did something special to the mount's internal sky model.

If not, and if "unpark from last parked" in the driver GUI is
sufficient, then I will never again use the keypad when I need to re-do
the axes.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics