How important is THUM? #APCC


Chris White
 

I've just purchased APCC Pro to use with my 900GTO.  I've carefully configured everything including horizon and meridian limits.  Tonight it will be clear so I will test out the pointing model feature for pointing and tracking.  In the manual I read about the THUM device. 

Curious how much benefit this would give when compared to just inputting temp and pressure manually?  It's a relatively small investment to purchase so if there is a significant benefit I'm not opposed to it. 

Thank you,


Bill Long
 

Its always better to have real local data from a device, but you can get a free Open WeatherMap API key and use that. with the Observing Conditions ASCOM Driver.


The free one is more than enough for what we use it for.

-Bill 




From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
I've just purchased APCC Pro to use with my 900GTO.  I've carefully configured everything including horizon and meridian limits.  Tonight it will be clear so I will test out the pointing model feature for pointing and tracking.  In the manual I read about the THUM device. 

Curious how much benefit this would give when compared to just inputting temp and pressure manually?  It's a relatively small investment to purchase so if there is a significant benefit I'm not opposed to it. 

Thank you,


Joseph Beyer
 

I've looked at purchasing a THUM for a year or so since I started using APCC-Pro and creating a model each time I set up.  I just added in the step of manually entering the temperature and pressure from a small weather station in my yard each time I start up the system.  I routinely shoot 3-4 minute unguided subs with my Mach1/FSQ106 and have no problem getting pinpoint stars.  Unfortunately the local skies don't permit longer exposures but I've pushed it to 5 minutes on particularly good nights with the same result.  The local temperatures rarely change more than 5 degrees - at my station - during imaging sessions.  Some nights that's more than enough to change the sky above me from visibly clear to completely overcast in a matter of minutes.  Another potential source for temperature and pressure is WeatherUnderground that publishes private local weather stations on the web.  They seem to be all over the place.


Marcelo Figueroa
 

Having up-to-date climate information is vital for the model to work correctly over long periods of time, this is especially important for permanent installations, as it is not necessary to redo the model.
 
As Bill points out, it is not strictly necessary to have a device that does this, as you can obtain such information via the internet. It is also possible to combine methods and get some information locally via hardware device and other data via the internet.
 
The latter is what I do, I use the Pegasus Powerbox Advance which has sensors for temperature and humidity, but not pressure. The latter I get via openweathermap.org and combine it all using the ASCOM Observing Conditions  driver (OCH) in APCC.
 


Chris White
 

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 04:16 PM, Marcelo Figueroa wrote:
The latter is what I do, I use the Pegasus Powerbox Advance which has sensors for temperature and humidity, but not pressure. The latter I get via openweathermap.org and combine it all using the ASCOM Observing Conditions  driver (OCH) in APCC.
Great idea.  I also use a Pegasus Advance and have internet access in my BYO.  Is there a guide you can recommend to configure this with OCH?  Thanks!


Marcelo Figueroa
 

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 06:32 PM, Chris White wrote:
Great idea.  I also use a Pegasus Advance and have internet access in my BYO.  Is there a guide you can recommend to configure this with OCH?  Thanks!
It was posted right here last year:

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/message/73588


Seb@stro
 
Edited

Chris, 
 
This is quite simple actually. Bill's post gave me the exact same idea and I figured it out quite easily. Just follow along as there are several steps.
 
  • In APCC, go to Settings -> Environmental Settings
  • Check the "Enable Environmental Polling" checkbox
  • Under "Source", select "ASCOM ObservingConditions"
  • Hit "Select Driver" button
  • Under dropping list, select ASCOM Observing Conditions Hub (OCH), then hit "Properties"  button. It'll open OCH Configuration window where you can select and configure the driver on an environmental property basis:

 
 
Under pressure, select OBSCON: OpenWeatherMap ObservingConditions and click the Setup (gear) button. A window will pop and let you enter the API key you got from the link Bill provided (or you can click the Obtain Key button). It will open the OpenWeatherMap website
 
Once on the OpenWeatherMap website, you'll need to:
1- create an account and activate it (they'll send you a verification email)
2- then head over to the API section and click "Subscribe" under Current Weather Data.
3- on the next page, click "Get API key" from the Free column option. 
4- click on "API keys" and copy the key that was generated to clipboard
 
  • Paste the API key in the appropriate field from the OpenWeatherMap Setup (ASCOM) window. Click on the "Select Site" tab and populate the fields according to your location (by name or Geo Coord.) and hit "Check" button (It might take a few minutes before the API key gets activated, so be patient if it returns an error. Just try again until it works). 
  • Select the nearest location in the list and click OK.
  • Click OK again, and again
  • Back to the APCC Environmental Configuration/Status window, click the "Test" button. Fields shoud populate with the data from your sensor as well as Atmospheric Pressure from OpenWM.
  • Click OK one last time. Done!
 
Sébastien
 
 

De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Chris White <chris.white@...>
Envoyé : 13 mai 2021 19:32
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 04:16 PM, Marcelo Figueroa wrote:
The latter is what I do, I use the Pegasus Powerbox Advance which has sensors for temperature and humidity, but not pressure. The latter I get via openweathermap.org and combine it all using the ASCOM Observing Conditions  driver (OCH) in APCC.
Great idea.  I also use a Pegasus Advance and have internet access in my BYO.  Is there a guide you can recommend to configure this with OCH?  Thanks!


Chris White
 

WOW!  Thanks Sébastien!  Very kind of you to provide this. Much appreciated!!


Seb@stro
 

You're welcome Chris. Let me know if I have overlooked some crucial step. Hope this helps.
Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Chris White <chris.white@...>
Envoyé : 13 mai 2021 21:44
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
WOW!  Thanks Sébastien!  Very kind of you to provide this. Much appreciated!!


Chris White
 

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 10:14 PM, Seb@stro wrote:
You're welcome Chris. Let me know if I have overlooked some crucial step. Hope this helps.
I'm all set.  Installed the Pegasus Observing driver, and got the API for pressure... everything is installed, activated and working!  Appreciate the help.  Love not needing to get a new device.  :-)


Bill Long
 

Well whenever this starts shipping, I'll get one:


https://pegasusastro.com/products/uranus-meteo-sensor/


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2021 4:25 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 10:14 PM, Seb@stro wrote:
You're welcome Chris. Let me know if I have overlooked some crucial step. Hope this helps.
I'm all set.  Installed the Pegasus Observing driver, and got the API for pressure... everything is installed, activated and working!  Appreciate the help.  Love not needing to get a new device.  :-)


Chris White
 

That looks great Bill.  Any rumors on cost?  


Bill Long
 

Not clue yet. Its also been postponed quite a bit. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2021 7:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
That looks great Bill.  Any rumors on cost?  


Worsel
 

PegasusAstro posted this May 13 on their forum in response to a query about availability.  Nothing on cost.


"Unfortunately it will take more than 2 months due to shortage of electronic components in the market."


Bryan


John Chakel
 

PegasusAstro had also posted this today as well.
"Price range will be close to 350-400 USD and yes, we aim to provide the gps coord / temp and abs pressure to 10micron interface.
"


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

The GPS part is interesting – I am right now doing my own little Raspberry Pi weather setup primarily to get an immediate rain indication with an RG-9 sensor, not a cloud sensor.  It works, is tied to my Home Assistant automation, all good…

 

But I have the GPS coordinates as well from an attached GPS (as well as PPS/GPS time sync).

 

How, i.e. by what mechanism, could this be fed to the AP software/mount?  Does the AP ASCOM driver permit update of the lat/long (some, like the Paramount, only permit read)?

 

The weather stuff is pretty obvious through the safety or observing conditions driver, but it looks like most stuff either expects the mount to have the GPS. 

 

I can’t find an ASCOM driver template that addresses coordinates other than the mount. Some software like NINA, can search for a cooperative COM port if you have a GPS plugged into the windows USB on which it is running, but not pulled from another box, and not via ASCOM as best I can tell (other than from the ASCOM connection to the mount).  

 

(Yes, this is a sign I am bored while I wait for my AP1100 – save me from continuing to home build electronics before I solder my hands together!  Ship my mount!  😊 )

 

Linwood

 

PS. I didn’t do it for GPS, clearly keying it in occasionally is easy, I did it for the optical rain sensor.  But… once you collect data, you want to do something with it!

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of John Chakel via groups.io
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2021 3:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC

 

PegasusAstro had also posted this today as well.
"Price range will be close to 350-400 USD and yes, we aim to provide the gps coord / temp and abs pressure to 10micron interface.
"


Worsel
 

That's pricey, considering the AstroMi MGBoxV2 is about 185USD (temp, pressure, RH, dewpt, and GPS data) and works well via ASCOM ObservCond with APCC.

https://www.astromi.ch/product/mgbox-v2/

Bryan

---
PegasusAstro had also posted this today as well.
"Price range will be close to 350-400 USD and yes, we aim to provide the gps coord / temp and abs pressure to 10micron interface.


Chris White
 
Edited

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 11:37 PM, Worsel wrote:
That's pricey, considering the AstroMi MGBoxV2 is about 185USD (temp, pressure, RH, dewpt, and GPS data) and works well via ASCOM ObservCond with APCC.

https://www.astromi.ch/product/mgbox-v2/
Bryan,

Thanks for sharing this alternative.  For my case, I'll just stick with using the Pegasus Advance I already I have with temp and RH and the API for pressure.  My 900GTO already produces tight round stars without APCC Pro, so I think in the end adding another gadget will likely not get me better data.  I'm happy to be proven wrong though!  lol...