Topics

Erratic parking of the mount


Bruce Donzanti
 

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Bruce,

Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e.,
the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as
it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I
need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?
A couple things come to mind:

1. Are you sure the clutches are not slipping?
2. Were any RECALs performed, either manually or via plate solves? They can slightly change the effective mechanical position of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup, I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues
(connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232). It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues. I also use PHD2 for
guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which
are connected to mount via USB with no issues. However, I have had random problems with shutting down the
system. I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.
Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e.,
the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as
it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I
need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce


Bruce Donzanti
 

Hi Ray

Almost 100% no slippage.  Everything tight and well balanced before beginning a session.

I do manually realign to center some objects at times but that is it.  Could that be the cause?  However, I have not noticed any consistent pattern or trend.


On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:09 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
Hi Bruce,

> Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e.,
> the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as
> it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I
> need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

A couple things come to mind:

1. Are you sure the clutches are not slipping?
2. Were any RECALs performed, either manually or via plate solves? They can slightly change the effective mechanical position of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3:  https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
> Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:42 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount
>
> In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues
> (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for
> guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which
> are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the
> system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.
> Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e.,
> the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as
> it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I
> need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?
>
> Bruce
>





Ray Gralak
 

Hi Bruce,

If you mean that you manually un-clutch and center a target, then yes, that can cause the park position to be offset a little. This is nothing to worry about though. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your mount or setup. A pointing offset can be caused by a number things including polar alignment error, non-perpendicularity of the optical axis, flexure, refraction, etc.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:25 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Ray

Almost 100% no slippage. Everything tight and well balanced before beginning a session.

I do manually realign to center some objects at times but that is it. Could that be the cause? However, I have not
noticed any consistent pattern or trend.


On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:09 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:


Hi Bruce,

> Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it
should (i.e.,
> the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but
annoying as
> it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost
and I
> need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

A couple things come to mind:

1. Are you sure the clutches are not slipping?
2. Were any RECALs performed, either manually or via plate solves? They can slightly change the effective
mechanical position of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
> Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:42 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount
>
> In my permanent setup, I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no
issues
> (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232). It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues. I also use
PHD2 for
> guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap)
which
> are connected to mount via USB with no issues. However, I have had random problems with shutting down
the
> system. I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture
software.
> Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it
should (i.e.,
> the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but
annoying as
> it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost
and I
> need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?
>
> Bruce
>







Bruce Donzanti
 

Hi Ray

Sorry- what I meant by manual was re-aligning using SkySafari and not un-clutch it. Thanks for the follow-up and the other possible reasons for this. I just wanted to confirm that I was not doing anything obviously wrong.

Bruce

On Feb 13, 2020, at 9:47 AM, Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:

Hi Bruce,

If you mean that you manually un-clutch and center a target, then yes, that can cause the park position to be offset a little. This is nothing to worry about though. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your mount or setup. A pointing offset can be caused by a number things including polar alignment error, non-perpendicularity of the optical axis, flexure, refraction, etc.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:25 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Ray

Almost 100% no slippage. Everything tight and well balanced before beginning a session.

I do manually realign to center some objects at times but that is it. Could that be the cause? However, I have not
noticed any consistent pattern or trend.


On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:09 AM Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:


Hi Bruce,

> Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it
should (i.e.,
> the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but
annoying as
> it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost
and I
> need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

A couple things come to mind:

1. Are you sure the clutches are not slipping?
2. Were any RECALs performed, either manually or via plate solves? They can slightly change the effective
mechanical position of the park positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
> Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:42 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount
>
> In my permanent setup, I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no
issues
> (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232). It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues. I also use
PHD2 for
> guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap)
which
> are connected to mount via USB with no issues. However, I have had random problems with shutting down
the
> system. I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture
software.
> Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it
should (i.e.,
> the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but
annoying as
> it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost
and I
> need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?
>
> Bruce
>









uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 


Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


Bruce Donzanti
 

Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011@...> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


Donald Rudny
 

Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky.  I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate.  When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off.  What I needed to pick was “last parked”.  I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little.  Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.  You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one.  One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down.  That would be low in the southern sky.  That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:

Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011@...> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


Christopher Erickson
 

One of my personal rules is that I never recalibrate or sync any GOTO mount on solar system objects. The orbital calcs are always complex and positional errors are the rule, not the exception.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020, 8:20 AM Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...> wrote:
Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky.  I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate.  When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off.  What I needed to pick was “last parked”.  I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little.  Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.  You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one.  One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down.  That would be low in the southern sky.  That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:

Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


Dale Ghent
 

Bruce, one other thing to check is the clock on your computer to ensure it is accurate. In the Astro-Physics ASCOM driver, make sure that "Sync PC clock to mount" (I think that's the name of the option, from off the top of my head) is selected.

Pointing errors like this can be caused by an inaccurate clock setting in the mount controller. By ensuring that your computer's clock is accurate and enabling the option to sync your PC's time to the mount in the ASCOM driver, you will get an accurate clock in the mount's controller each time you operate it.

Since you mention guiding and so-on, I presume you are imaging and not using this for visual. Once you make sure all that is in order, I would slew the telescope to a nice spot of the sky, plate solve that spot in the sky, and sync the solved coordinates to your mount. You should honestly be good to go from there on out including later sessions.

So, in summary, the absent any mechanical issues (inaccurate polar alignment, clutch slippage, etc) an:

1. Accurate PC and mount clock
2. An accurate notion in the mount computer of where it is pointing
3. An accurate-enough lat/long configured

...will return you to a perfect park position each time, and prevent you from having to manually recenter or nudge your telescope because it's grossly off the selected coordinates. Your mount knows where it is, what time it is, and where it is pointing. The 3 key ingredients.

/dale

On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:54 PM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:

Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.

Thank you


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup, I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232). It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues. I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues. However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system. I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software. Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce


uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 


SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.
They are actually working to change that and will have other park and resume options soon.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 12:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky.  I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate.  When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off.  What I needed to pick was “last parked”.  I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little.  Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.  You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one.  One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down.  That would be low in the southern sky.  That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:


Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011@...> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


Bruce Donzanti
 

Thanks all for the advice and tips.  I know my PA is very good and clutches are not slipping, so it sounds like it limits it to a re-alignment issue and possibly a clock issue.  I need to confirm that as well.   

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.
They are actually working to change that and will have other park and resume options soon.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 12:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky.  I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate.  When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off.  What I needed to pick was “last parked”.  I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little.  Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.  You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one.  One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down.  That would be low in the southern sky.  That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:


Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 

Computer clocks by themselves are not accurate. You will need to update the time on your computer via one of the national time services.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 1:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Thanks all for the advice and tips.  I know my PA is very good and clutches are not slipping, so it sounds like it limits it to a re-alignment issue and possibly a clock issue.  I need to confirm that as well.   

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.
They are actually working to change that and will have other park and resume options soon.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 12:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky.  I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate.  When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off.  What I needed to pick was “last parked”.  I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little.  Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.  You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one.  One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down.  That would be low in the southern sky.  That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:


Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   


 

We use Dimension 4 free/donationware to keep our computer clocks accurate


it's easy to use, runs in background, and is free (though a donation would be nice)

I think Ray Graylak originally turned me on to this

clocks have been sub-second accurate since installing

Brian 


On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 1:25 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Computer clocks by themselves are not accurate. You will need to update the time on your computer via one of the national time services.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 1:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Thanks all for the advice and tips.  I know my PA is very good and clutches are not slipping, so it sounds like it limits it to a re-alignment issue and possibly a clock issue.  I need to confirm that as well.   

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.
They are actually working to change that and will have other park and resume options soon.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 12:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky.  I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate.  When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off.  What I needed to pick was “last parked”.  I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little.  Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.  You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one.  One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down.  That would be low in the southern sky.  That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:


Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.  

Thank you 


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup,  I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232).  It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues.  I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues.  However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system.  I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software.  Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).  I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign).  Any thoughts as to what is going on?  Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce   



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Dale Ghent
 

The built-in NTP client and their respective default servers in Windows and macOS (and any other modern OS for that matter) is more than sufficient for most needs, including practical and pedestrian astronomy needs. The Dimension 4 client I think is from a time when Windows didn't include a time client, and then later did but it was off by default.

The only reason to use alternative time servers is mainly for security reasons, where you have to trust the time source because it's utilized in part by security (authentication) systems or where transactional control must have a consistent, singular time references (many of the popular NTP servers aren't single servers; but pools of multiple servers, each with their own delay and jitter characteristics) and even then most systems use a completely different protocol called PTP (Precision Time Protocol) when synchronized resolution down to the picosecond is desired... but those usually employ local rubidium clock sources.

If you want good resolution and without the reliance on external time services/network availability, stick a cheap GPS/GNSS receiver on your computer and use a NMEA 0183 client to synchronize the time from it to your computer's clock. Doing this on non-Windows is simple but, on Windows, one must use a 3rd party tool such as NMEATime2 from VisualGPS. I do this with a $15 USB GNSS dongle from Amazon (DIYmall VK-172).

/dale

On Feb 13, 2020, at 4:49 PM, Brian Valente <@bvalente> wrote:

We use Dimension 4 free/donationware to keep our computer clocks accurate

http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/

it's easy to use, runs in background, and is free (though a donation would be nice)

I think Ray Graylak originally turned me on to this

clocks have been sub-second accurate since installing

Brian

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 1:25 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Computer clocks by themselves are not accurate. You will need to update the time on your computer via one of the national time services.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 1:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Thanks all for the advice and tips. I know my PA is very good and clutches are not slipping, so it sounds like it limits it to a re-alignment issue and possibly a clock issue. I need to confirm that as well.

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking.
They are actually working to change that and will have other park and resume options soon.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny <mkea13800@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 12:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

Hi Bruce,

Just saw this and agree that it’s probably your re-aligning or recal when you are in different parts of the sky. I noticed that even when I use APCC to initiate. When I would start another session and pick start from position 3, alignment was off. What I needed to pick was “last parked”. I could see from the marks on the axes that the park 3 position was off a little. Once I used last park, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, SkySafari has limited choices for initiating and unparking. You would need to reset your park 4 position each new session unless you didn’t re-align during the prior one. One thing you could try is to realign on a star near the park 4 position before you shut down. That would be low in the southern sky. That should at least get the next startup closer.

Don Rudny

On Feb 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM, Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...> wrote:


Great- good to understand what is probably causing this and that a solution is forthcoming.

Thank you


On Feb 13, 2020, at 12:05 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:



Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level).
All sky positions are calculated from the previous object that you did a Recal on. That includes park positions. If the last object that you Recal on is off by 1 degree when you pressed Recal, then every object that you go to including all park positions will also have that 1 degree error.

Your errant Recal could be the result of an error on your part or deliberate if you wanted to center a nebulous object and then did a recal on it. What you might think was the center might not be the center as defined in the database, so that throws off everything else following that move.

We are working on changing the way parks are generated so that they are not affected by errant recals or syncs. The software will be available for the CP4 and will be standard in the Mach2 CP5 controllers.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Donzanti <donza2735@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Erratic parking of the mount

In my permanent setup, I use SkySafari 6 Pro as my planetarium program to slew my AP1100 with no issues (connected to the GTOCP4 via RS232). It parks and unparks from position 4 with no issues. I also use PHD2 for guiding by linking it as required to the mount to my capture and live viewing software (SGPro or SharpCap) which are connected to mount via USB with no issues. However, I have had random problems with shutting down the system. I first park the scope using SkySafari 6 Pro and then close PHD2 followed by the capture software. Usually, this is fine but every now and then I noticed the scope does not park in position 4 exactly as it should (i.e., the RA axis is slightly off level). I can't seem to figure out what is the cause as it is very infrequent but annoying as it misaligns the scope for the next time I startup Skysafari 6 Pro to slew to an object (i.e., the mount is lost and I need to realign). Any thoughts as to what is going on? Is my shutdown sequence wrong?

Bruce



--
Brian



Brian Valente
portfolio brianvalentephotography.com