Topics

First Attempts at APPM - Long Story

Wayne Hixson
 

Hi Ray, Decided to use the time last night to try my hand at modeling! Just using a simple 11 point model of my sky. Spent a great deal of time trying to get plate solving to work. I have a QHY 268C OSC camera and connected to it from APPM via its ASCOM driver. Using Pinpoint to PS. That would just not work. Even All Sky gave up. However I could easily plate solve and sync outside APPM via Pinpoint. Tried different bins too. Took a long time to download the image, and then the camera window turned white for a few seconds before showing the image, which looked good.

Then I tried using the Sky X as camera with ASCOM - didn't work. It did work better with the QHY native drivers - this worked, however I'm having trouble with TSX crashing. Finally used old tried and true MaximDL as camera, with ASCOM and Pinpoint. Voila!! Ran a perfect model first time. 

Ray, I think I've figured out how to model with my strange situation. I set the West limits to the East and it created a model with all east points outside that zone, and a set of West points at the meridian so the scope flips to the east side for those! I hadn't figured out how to map the points in that West limits zone with the CW up, but I think that's because I haven't mapped my Eastern meridian limits. So will try to do that today. 

I did end up using the model and testing some guiding - seems significantly better depending on where I was in the sky. I was getting under 0.35" for several minutes at a time, and rarely bumped over 0.5". I'm going to wait for my MGBox V2 before I try a more complete model.

PS for those of you using the Eagle pier - be sure to tighten down the thumb screws attaching the pier extensions if you use that to rotate the mount to make large adjustments to your PA azimuth. Moving the scope around caused me to rotate the mount too without knowing it and I was WAY off the pole when I started :-)

Tony Benjamin
 

FWIW. I’ve always used plate solve with the camera connected in SGP when using APPM and never a hitch (as long as you have the correct image scale in APPM).

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io
Sent: March 22, 2020 10:00 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] First Attempts at APPM - Long Story

 

Hi Ray, Decided to use the time last night to try my hand at modeling! Just using a simple 11 point model of my sky. Spent a great deal of time trying to get plate solving to work. I have a QHY 268C OSC camera and connected to it from APPM via its ASCOM driver. Using Pinpoint to PS. That would just not work. Even All Sky gave up. However I could easily plate solve and sync outside APPM via Pinpoint. Tried different bins too. Took a long time to download the image, and then the camera window turned white for a few seconds before showing the image, which looked good.

Then I tried using the Sky X as camera with ASCOM - didn't work. It did work better with the QHY native drivers - this worked, however I'm having trouble with TSX crashing. Finally used old tried and true MaximDL as camera, with ASCOM and Pinpoint. Voila!! Ran a perfect model first time. 

Ray, I think I've figured out how to model with my strange situation. I set the West limits to the East and it created a model with all east points outside that zone, and a set of West points at the meridian so the scope flips to the east side for those! I hadn't figured out how to map the points in that West limits zone with the CW up, but I think that's because I haven't mapped my Eastern meridian limits. So will try to do that today. 

I did end up using the model and testing some guiding - seems significantly better depending on where I was in the sky. I was getting under 0.35" for several minutes at a time, and rarely bumped over 0.5". I'm going to wait for my MGBox V2 before I try a more complete model.

PS for those of you using the Eagle pier - be sure to tighten down the thumb screws attaching the pier extensions if you use that to rotate the mount to make large adjustments to your PA azimuth. Moving the scope around caused me to rotate the mount too without knowing it and I was WAY off the pole when I started :-)

Wayne Hixson
 

Right that is another option! So the settings in APPM  - such as scale and binning - inform SGP and override its settings?

Tony Benjamin
 

I believe so…but I do know that if you don’t have the right scale set in APPM the Plate Solve will fail…even if the right image scale is set in SGP.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io
Sent: March 22, 2020 10:22 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] First Attempts at APPM - Long Story

 

Right that is another option! So the settings in APPM  - such as scale and binning - inform SGP and override its settings?

Ray Gralak
 

Right that is another option! So the settings in APPM - such as scale and binning - inform SGP and override its
settings?
APPM can send a command for SGPro to take an image with SGPro's camera. Things like binning, full or subframe dimensions, and duration are passed to SGPro. Later, after the image has successfully created, APPM passes the image back to SGPro for plate solving. SGPro doesn't have to know the image was created previously by itself or by another application so APPM needs to send the image scale for that image. This does not override SGPro's image scale setting.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2020 10:22 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] First Attempts at APPM - Long Story

Right that is another option! So the settings in APPM - such as scale and binning - inform SGP and override its
settings?

Ray Gralak
 

Wayne,

I can't help you with SkyX Pro crashing but you might want to make sure you have the latest daily update installed.

Also, you may have done this but as it says in the help file:

"TheSkyX Pro Image Link. Note: To use image linking with TheSkyXPro, you must have TheSkyX connected to the mount through the AP V2 ASCOM driver."

Also, there is a secondary configuration for using SkyX as an external plate solver. For plate solving to work this must be a close match to APPM's configuration.

Here are more detailed instructions. I'll put these in the help file for the next APCC Pro build.

In SkyX (see attached screen shots also):
1. Click menu item Tools->Image Link.
2. On the Search tab, make sure Image scale matches the image scale in APPM and that "Known Image scale" is selected.
3. Click the Setup tab.
4. On the setup tab setup an appropriate image scale tolerance. I have been using:
* Search radius: 4 fields of view
* Image scale tolerance: 0.135 arcseconds/pixel
5. Click "Automated Image Link Settings..."
6. In Automated ImageLink Settings make sure:
a) Image scale matches APPM
b) Binning matches APPM
c) Enable "Use all Sky Image Link for automated pointing runs"
7. Click OK and close the Image Link window.

Back in APPM then, using NASA Sky View as the camera you should be able to plate solve using SkyX. To test this:

1. On APPM's run tab, connect to the scope and Nasa SkyView camera.
2. Click the "Plate Solve" button on APPM's run tab. It will get an image from Nasa SkyView and platesolve via SkyX.

If the plate solve fails, check that the image scale and binning match what you configured in SkyX. Also, make sure you are using the latest SkyX daily update. I am using SkyX version 10.5.0 (Build 12304) but there is probably a later version available now.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2020 10:00 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] First Attempts at APPM - Long Story

Hi Ray, Decided to use the time last night to try my hand at modeling! Just using a simple 11 point model of my
sky. Spent a great deal of time trying to get plate solving to work. I have a QHY 268C OSC camera and connected
to it from APPM via its ASCOM driver. Using Pinpoint to PS. That would just not work. Even All Sky gave up.
However I could easily plate solve and sync outside APPM via Pinpoint. Tried different bins too. Took a long time
to download the image, and then the camera window turned white for a few seconds before showing the image,
which looked good.

Then I tried using the Sky X as camera with ASCOM - didn't work. It did work better with the QHY native drivers -
this worked, however I'm having trouble with TSX crashing. Finally used old tried and true MaximDL as camera,
with ASCOM and Pinpoint. Voila!! Ran a perfect model first time.

Ray, I think I've figured out how to model with my strange situation. I set the West limits to the East and it created a
model with all east points outside that zone, and a set of West points at the meridian so the scope flips to the east
side for those! I hadn't figured out how to map the points in that West limits zone with the CW up, but I think that's
because I haven't mapped my Eastern meridian limits. So will try to do that today.

I did end up using the model and testing some guiding - seems significantly better depending on where I was in
the sky. I was getting under 0.35" for several minutes at a time, and rarely bumped over 0.5". I'm going to wait for
my MGBox V2 before I try a more complete model.

PS for those of you using the Eagle pier - be sure to tighten down the thumb screws attaching the pier extensions
if you use that to rotate the mount to make large adjustments to your PA azimuth. Moving the scope around
caused me to rotate the mount too without knowing it and I was WAY off the pole when I started :-)