#ASI_AIR_PLUS What should my expectations be with AP? #asi_air_plus


Wes
 

Hello, I have been using the ASI Air Pro and Plus now for the last 2 years and it has really made my imaging experience a very reliable, repeatable, and failsafe process. Eliminating a PC from my workflow has revolutionized my imaging experience and made imaging alot more comfortable.  I primarily image remotely at darksites and from home on my back porch.
My 2 current mounts are a Celestron CGE classic and a iOptron Cem25. I have full control over these 2 mounts when using AA+ and AAP.  Plate solving, homing, guiding, polar alignment, automated meridian flips, parking the mount after the image session is complete, every feature in the zwo ap which automates the mount through AA+ works perfectly. 

I have been wanting to replace the CGE with a larger mount that can better handle the moment arm of my 12" Newtonian and effectively guide the Newtonian when I use a 2.7x barlow.  For this reason I have taken interest in AP 900, 1200, Mach 2, and 1100.  In my research regarding compatibility with the AA+ however, I keep seeing things that really make me uncomfortable investing in such an expensive mount only to have it not cooperate the way the low end mounts do. 
So far I have read that the AP mounts can have issues parking and doing merdian flips.  I am unclear if this is an HC issue or a CP version issue. Maybe it could be an indi driver issue, which is what ZWO is using to run the AP mounts.

Can anyone offer feedback on their experiences with either AAP or AA+?  I am really hoping someone has figured out a way to achieve full automation from start to finish.  Being able to do this successfully would help me re gain confidence in using an AP as what I would hope to consider my forever mount. 
  


Arvind
 

Hi Wes, I've used ASIAIR Pro with CP4. 

Modeling is not supported but regular mount use including parking (default park position), GoTo, sync etc were working reliably. 

On Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 10:55 Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:
Hello, I have been using the ASI Air Pro and Plus now for the last 2 years and it has really made my imaging experience a very reliable, repeatable, and failsafe process. Eliminating a PC from my workflow has revolutionized my imaging experience and made imaging alot more comfortable.  I primarily image remotely at darksites and from home on my back porch.
My 2 current mounts are a Celestron CGE classic and a iOptron Cem25. I have full control over these 2 mounts when using AA+ and AAP.  Plate solving, homing, guiding, polar alignment, automated meridian flips, parking the mount after the image session is complete, every feature in the zwo ap which automates the mount through AA+ works perfectly. 

I have been wanting to replace the CGE with a larger mount that can better handle the moment arm of my 12" Newtonian and effectively guide the Newtonian when I use a 2.7x barlow.  For this reason I have taken interest in AP 900, 1200, Mach 2, and 1100.  In my research regarding compatibility with the AA+ however, I keep seeing things that really make me uncomfortable investing in such an expensive mount only to have it not cooperate the way the low end mounts do. 
So far I have read that the AP mounts can have issues parking and doing merdian flips.  I am unclear if this is an HC issue or a CP version issue. Maybe it could be an indi driver issue, which is what ZWO is using to run the AP mounts.

Can anyone offer feedback on their experiences with either AAP or AA+?  I am really hoping someone has figured out a way to achieve full automation from start to finish.  Being able to do this successfully would help me re gain confidence in using an AP as what I would hope to consider my forever mount. 
  


Michael Kelly
 

Wes,

I can also confirm AAP works while not the greatest marriage. Took me a little fussing to get the guiding correct as those have to be set in the hand controller, but once set it works just fine as Arvind pointed out. I have a CP3 controller and had it working off a TrippLite USB to Serial cable before I migrated to using SGP. I still have 2 AAP's and use them on my other mounts, love the grab and go portability. 

Maurice Toet was a great help to me and believe is on this thread. 

Best,

Michael 

On Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 02:20:49 PM EST, Arvind <base16@...> wrote:


Hi Wes, I've used ASIAIR Pro with CP4. 

Modeling is not supported but regular mount use including parking (default park position), GoTo, sync etc were working reliably. 

On Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 10:55 Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:
Hello, I have been using the ASI Air Pro and Plus now for the last 2 years and it has really made my imaging experience a very reliable, repeatable, and failsafe process. Eliminating a PC from my workflow has revolutionized my imaging experience and made imaging alot more comfortable.  I primarily image remotely at darksites and from home on my back porch.
My 2 current mounts are a Celestron CGE classic and a iOptron Cem25. I have full control over these 2 mounts when using AA+ and AAP.  Plate solving, homing, guiding, polar alignment, automated meridian flips, parking the mount after the image session is complete, every feature in the zwo ap which automates the mount through AA+ works perfectly. 

I have been wanting to replace the CGE with a larger mount that can better handle the moment arm of my 12" Newtonian and effectively guide the Newtonian when I use a 2.7x barlow.  For this reason I have taken interest in AP 900, 1200, Mach 2, and 1100.  In my research regarding compatibility with the AA+ however, I keep seeing things that really make me uncomfortable investing in such an expensive mount only to have it not cooperate the way the low end mounts do. 
So far I have read that the AP mounts can have issues parking and doing merdian flips.  I am unclear if this is an HC issue or a CP version issue. Maybe it could be an indi driver issue, which is what ZWO is using to run the AP mounts.

Can anyone offer feedback on their experiences with either AAP or AA+?  I am really hoping someone has figured out a way to achieve full automation from start to finish.  Being able to do this successfully would help me re gain confidence in using an AP as what I would hope to consider my forever mount. 
  


Wes
 

Thanks Arvind, good to know that cp4 is working. The mount modeling is mainly beneficial if you want to avoid guiding correct?

Also Im wondering, do hou need the astrophysics hc at all to automate your image session with AAP?


Wes
 

Thanks, Im a long time fan of Maurice’s imaging.
So you had issues on cp3, Im wondering if all cp versions are dependent on an hc now.


Arvind
 

Wes,

For my more beginner use cases (FL<1000mm) i was just guiding without any modeling and my Mach1 worked just fine for EAA using the ASIAIR. If you have an encoder mount then modeling can be an important consideration; but even then you could technically just guide the mount without building a model. I'll let others on this group clarify if/how modeling helps. 

I was a pure Mac user until recently, so the HC was useful to perform any (typically one time) settings changes needed on the mount. But during everyday operation I only had to use the CP4 and control it using the ASIAIR. No HC was needed during imaging. 


On Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 12:03 Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:
Thanks Arvind, good to know that cp4 is working. The mount modeling is mainly beneficial if you want to avoid guiding correct?

Also Im wondering, do hou need the astrophysics hc at all to automate your image session with AAP?


Jeffc
 

I'm not an ASIAir user... however when I first got my Mach2 i would image without guiding.   It seemed to work fine with the AP130GT.
I don't have an observatory, so I need to setup (nearly) nightly, and building a big model doesn't seem practical.
After a couple months I figured out how to do a 50 point model at the start of the session which (I think) takes about 30 minutes.
(I run the model building while doing other things like eating dinner.)

I presume by "HC" you are referring to the "hand controller"... the GTO Keypad.   
With the Mach2, I only use the Keypad when setting up for visual.     When imaging I don't bother attaching the Keypad.   
I'm guessing the ASIAir doesn't know how to unpark and initialize the mount, which then requires the Keypad to initialize.
Possibly related -- prior to the Mach2 I was using an AP1200 for imaging -- in that case I would use a computer for plate solves and image capture, but use the keypad for initialize, unpark, GOTOs, and nudging the mount to frame objects.   Everything worked fine.

As for data points:  CP5 on the Mach2 and CP3 (non-V2) on the 1200 here.
I've not had problems with meridian flips.    I do recall a few (rare) initialization problems, but I think these were related to operator headspace (like unparking from a wrong park position on the 1200.)

-jeff

On Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 1:04 PM Arvind <base16@...> wrote:
Wes,

For my more beginner use cases (FL<1000mm) i was just guiding without any modeling and my Mach1 worked just fine for EAA using the ASIAIR. If you have an encoder mount then modeling can be an important consideration; but even then you could technically just guide the mount without building a model. I'll let others on this group clarify if/how modeling helps. 

I was a pure Mac user until recently, so the HC was useful to perform any (typically one time) settings changes needed on the mount. But during everyday operation I only had to use the CP4 and control it using the ASIAIR. No HC was needed during imaging. 


On Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 12:03 Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:
Thanks Arvind, good to know that cp4 is working. The mount modeling is mainly beneficial if you want to avoid guiding correct?

Also Im wondering, do hou need the astrophysics hc at all to automate your image session with AAP?


Michael Kelly
 

When AAP would start guiding it would nudge the mount, then nudge the mount, and nudge mount until it lost the guide star. I learned that in the hand controller to set;

Button rate 1x
Guide rate 0.5x
Sidereal 1x

I guess however it was set up prior to me had different settings.  AAP needs that configuration to guide properly. I guess when using a laptop, the ASCOM driver takes over this function without user input. (That said, I could be waaaay off in that assumption, lol), but those settings got Asi to guide a Mach1 Cp3 perfectly.  In the few sessions it took to figure this out, I would get frustrated but the mount is soo good, 5 min unguided exposures with a small refractor gave pretty excellent results anyway. 

They are great devices that takes some of the pain out of the learning curve for sure!  

On Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 3:06 PM, Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:

Thanks, Im a long time fan of Maurice’s imaging.
So you had issues on cp3, Im wondering if all cp versions are dependent on an hc now.


Kenneth Tan
 

I have used the ASI pro with the Mach2 . It works but not perfectly. The home position does not bring it home. There is also no CP5 tab in the software. It works using cp2. 

On Wed, 29 Dec 2021 at 02:55, Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:
Hello, I have been using the ASI Air Pro and Plus now for the last 2 years and it has really made my imaging experience a very reliable, repeatable, and failsafe process. Eliminating a PC from my workflow has revolutionized my imaging experience and made imaging alot more comfortable.  I primarily image remotely at darksites and from home on my back porch.
My 2 current mounts are a Celestron CGE classic and a iOptron Cem25. I have full control over these 2 mounts when using AA+ and AAP.  Plate solving, homing, guiding, polar alignment, automated meridian flips, parking the mount after the image session is complete, every feature in the zwo ap which automates the mount through AA+ works perfectly. 

I have been wanting to replace the CGE with a larger mount that can better handle the moment arm of my 12" Newtonian and effectively guide the Newtonian when I use a 2.7x barlow.  For this reason I have taken interest in AP 900, 1200, Mach 2, and 1100.  In my research regarding compatibility with the AA+ however, I keep seeing things that really make me uncomfortable investing in such an expensive mount only to have it not cooperate the way the low end mounts do. 
So far I have read that the AP mounts can have issues parking and doing merdian flips.  I am unclear if this is an HC issue or a CP version issue. Maybe it could be an indi driver issue, which is what ZWO is using to run the AP mounts.

Can anyone offer feedback on their experiences with either AAP or AA+?  I am really hoping someone has figured out a way to achieve full automation from start to finish.  Being able to do this successfully would help me re gain confidence in using an AP as what I would hope to consider my forever mount. 
  


Wes
 

Im still on the wait list for an AP1100, not sure when my name will be drawn.  I have a few more questions.  

Do I need the Handcontroller to turn on and off PEC?  Could I use a PC to turn on PEC and just have it on indefinitely ?

Also the 1100 has that feature that allow sit to track way past meridian. Do you need the HC to store the filters or complete this procedure? 

If I can activate the features with a PC and somehow store them without the HC that would be great.  If not I guess I will budget in the HC if I need it 


Wes
 

thanks, yes Im referring to the AP Hand controller.  It sounds like I should probably just get one in case I have issues. 


Wes
 

Glad I re read your post. It sounds like the HC is critical 


Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

Hopefully I am not missing something.  The hand controller is not necessary.  I run my 1600 with a mount server computer.  The computer can be a laptop or NUC, or most anything.  For me it is a Dell Outlet Refurb i3 6500 that I purchased for about $275 and packed it with a bunch of memory.  There is no need for the hand controller if you have APCC.   I may be missing something in the criteria for your use, but I don't have a hand controller and don't miss it at all.  Same is true with my focus boss controllers.   Everything is run from my computer.   


W Hilmo
 

If I understand correctly, he is using an ASIAIR.

The ASIAIR is a mini computer running a proprietary software stack from ZWO.  It replaces a generic computer.  As a proprietary solution, it does not work with APCC, so he'll be limited in workflow options.

The benefit of an ASIAIR is that it's a vertically integrated solution that attempts to make everything plug-and-play.  This is also its biggest disadvantage.



On 1/25/22 7:47 AM, Emilio J. Robau, P.E. wrote:
Hopefully I am not missing something.  The hand controller is not necessary.  I run my 1600 with a mount server computer.  The computer can be a laptop or NUC, or most anything.  For me it is a Dell Outlet Refurb i3 6500 that I purchased for about $275 and packed it with a bunch of memory.  There is no need for the hand controller if you have APCC.   I may be missing something in the criteria for your use, but I don't have a hand controller and don't miss it at all.  Same is true with my focus boss controllers.   Everything is run from my computer.   


Wes
 

Im using asi air Which runs Indy drivers instead of ASCOM. That is where my concern comes in to play. With a PC you can change almost any parameter with the drivers. Since I have a PC I wonder if I could just change them and then go to asi air and not have to worry about it


 

>> Since I have a PC I wonder if I could just change them and then go to asi air and not have to worry about it

The "PC Driver" is the ascom driver. when you use ASIAir, there is a completely separate Indi driver, so it won't pick up those values 

I have the ASIAir Pro and various other computers. IMO the ASIAir is a great starter kit, but i would feel very limited using it as my imaging control device for my AP mount. 


Brian


On Tue, Jan 25, 2022 at 12:15 PM Wes <wschwarz1985@...> wrote:
Im using asi air Which runs Indy drivers instead of ASCOM. That is where my concern comes in to play. With a PC you can change almost any parameter with the drivers. Since I have a PC I wonder if I could just change them and then go to asi air and not have to worry about it



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Wes
 

Correct im using asi air but I am asking if a pc can activate features like PEC before I use asi air

Zwo made an ios/android ap interface that hosts indi drivers for most mounts and zwo proprietary cameras, focusers, filterwheels. This runs on asi air. Because it does not use ascom you have limited functionality with an AP mount.


Wes
 

So if you turn on periodic error correction using ascom, does it turn off as soon as you deactivate Ascom?

I realize the mount will be limited in function but the convenience of asi air especially setting up at a darksite makes it well worth the loss of certain capabilities. If I had a remote observatory on the other hand I would likely completely switch over to a PC, But that is not what I am trying to accomplish here


Jeffc
 

I have the HC (actually one for each mount - 1200,1100,Mach2)

With the Mach2 which I use mostly for imaging with a computer and APCC (and TheSky) I have no need for the HC and have not used it much.

When doing visual, I use the HC. A lot. (I’d rather not use sky safari - I’ve tried it out but the HC imo is more convenient. )

Also, if I’m doing simple DSLR photography, I don’t bother with computers and just use the HC.

Prior to APCC I would use the HC while imaging… for things like nudging the FOV and goto etc. But now I pretty much do all that in software.

-jeff


Roland Christen
 

The mount controller (CP4) retains whatever it was sent from any source. It retains that setting in its memory until you send another instruction to turn that function off.
PE On/Off setting is retained forever until you modify it via an outside source.
Same with the PE curve and lots of other settings and data (slew rates, button rates, tracking rates, guide rates, encoder settings, etc.)

Roland Christen

-----Original Message-----
From: Wes <wschwarz1985@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jan 25, 2022 2:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #ASI_AIR_PLUS What should my expectations be with AP? #asi_air_plus

So if you turn on periodic error correction using ascom, does it turn off as soon as you deactivate Ascom?

I realize the mount will be limited in function but the convenience of asi air especially setting up at a darksite makes it well worth the loss of certain capabilities. If I had a remote observatory on the other hand I would likely completely switch over to a PC, But that is not what I am trying to accomplish here

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics