Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2


W Hilmo
 

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Bill Long
 

IIRC temperature is probably the most important of all the variables used by the model. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2021 9:35 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2
 
I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Dale Ghent
 

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit. 

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported. 

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely. 

On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


W Hilmo
 

Thanks for the response.

 

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue.  I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy.  I should be able to give that a try tonight.

 

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday.  I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better.  I really like to flexibility.  I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2.  It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Hi Wade,

 

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

 

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit. 

 

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

 

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported. 

 

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely. 



On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


johnrogerjennings@...
 

Yes Yes Yes Yes!!!!!!!!!

I've been diagnosing a "mount problem" for 2 weeks. Mach1, APPC Pro, AP155.+Flattener. Perfect round stars on 8 minute unguided exposures repeated one night after a new model. Next week, bad bad bad carrot!!!!!  Tore the mount apart, cleaned all gears,  re-greased, re-meshed, reset backlash on RA  axis and set perfect balance with pinion disengaged (remove gear), generally spent 2 days on mount mechanics.  It absolutely looked like the tracking rate was incorrect.... New medium model, no dice! 

Same Pegasus UPBV2 with latest software.... Did not have this behavior for quite sometime. Not to complain, but Pegaus has had a lot of bugs in their software. I've updated my system 3 times for bugs introduced in new versions. Twice in 24 hours. 

Saw this post and checked the temp in APPC Pro window. Sure enough, 65 degrees C reported. Pegasus reports 65 degrees F in its box.  I would have been searching for another month without this post. Gonna try it tonight with manual temp input. I was so careful about entering the station pressure too. It's always something.

John


W Hilmo
 

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

 

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value.  At this time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior.  They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

 

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software, and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro.  I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory.  I forgot to note yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame.  The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip.  That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

 

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC.  I played with setting and clearing different terms to see the effect on the model.  When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared.  When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.

 

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being aligned with one of the axes.  If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon.  I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.

 

Thanks,

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Thanks for the response.

 

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue.  I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy.  I should be able to give that a try tonight.

 

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday.  I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better.  I really like to flexibility.  I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2.  It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Hi Wade,

 

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

 

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit. 

 

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

 

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported. 

 

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely. 

 

On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Roland Christen
 


In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon,
Yes, drift in the sky is perpendicular to the horizon, but depending on your object's Dec and your location on Earth, the drift can easily be equal in both axes, so resulting in a diagonal drift. Only on the equator and at Dec zero would the drift be in RA only.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Apr 21, 2021 3:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.
 
I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value.  At this time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior.  They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.
 
Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software, and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro.  I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory.  I forgot to note yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame.  The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip.  That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.
 
So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC.  I played with setting and clearing different terms to see the effect on the model.  When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared.  When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.
 
In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being aligned with one of the axes.  If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon.  I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.
 
Thanks,
-Wade
 
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2
 
Thanks for the response.
 
I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue.  I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy.  I should be able to give that a try tonight.
 
As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday.  I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better.  I really like to flexibility.  I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2.  It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.
 
-Wade
 
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2
 
Hi Wade,
 
You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.
 
Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit. 
 
The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.
 
This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported. 
 
Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely. 
 
On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Dale Ghent
 

Thanks for the update on this.

Wow, so I thought they had fixed this in the past because it was reported by some NINA users, then I was informed that Pegasus fixed it. I guess not. I run my own gear in metric all the time so I never noticed that it actually hadn't been fixed. I just tested on my UPBv2 and, yeah, the fahrenheit value does make its way through the ASCOM driver.

Ugh. The hold-up for a fix really validates me putting my foot down and saying "no, get them to fix their bug" whenever a user asks us to implement a workaround a vendor's bug. Downstack defects should be addressed directly where they are, and here's a rather perfect illustration as to why. Getting it fixed might take longer, but everyone upstream wins in the end. IMO Pegasus should just press on and issue a fix because it's critical data that is impacting other apps in an operational way.

I will be very interested to see your refraction-compensated results. I'm now trying to convince my club to spring for APCC Pro so we can do unguided imaging on the serviced 1200GTO. Brian's image was a fantastic example of this, and you A/B'ing with refraction comp. might help drive home the point if it is indeed the source of your slight tracking imperfection.

On Apr 21, 2021, at 16:12, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value. At this time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior. They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software, and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot to note yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip. That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I played with setting and clearing different terms to see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared. When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.

Thanks,
-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Thanks for the response.

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy. I should be able to give that a try tonight.

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better. I really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2. It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported.

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely.


On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great. I was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so much. I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections. I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled. I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on. It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine. All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd. Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy. I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wade,

You might want to check the PNT file to see if the temperatures were recorded in degrees C instead of degrees F. There will be no obvious sign of the wrong scale except that the values might look unreasonable for that night.

If they were recorded in F, then you would need to convert them to C, or do another APPM run.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 1:12 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.



I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value. At this
time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior. They are reaching
out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.



Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software, and
that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight
improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot to note yesterday that I
have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90
degrees after the meridian flip. That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in
particular.



So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I played with setting and clearing different terms to
see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was
cleared. When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds,
respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.



In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being
aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m
going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.



Thanks,

-Wade



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2



Thanks for the response.



I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact
them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that
it restores the unguided accuracy. I should be able to give that a try tonight.



As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the original
sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better. I really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking ahead to
when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the
Mach2. It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s
declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.



-Wade



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2



Hi Wade,



You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.



Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit
temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in
Fahrenheit.



The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological
properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting.
Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in
a recent version.



This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display.
This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish
temperature values being reported.



Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the
tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the
Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely.



On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have
seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.
I was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so much. I am seeing elongated stars and
some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all
connections. I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled. I verified that the polar
alignment is still spot on. It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to
examine. All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds
for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider
enabled so that I can get some logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.
Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I am
using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting
the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the
Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has
effected the model such that it's lost accuracy. I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C,
and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was
getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Fisanotti, John
 

Regards,
John Fisanotti


W Hilmo
 

One more update:

tl;dr: Inconclusive.

The last couple of nights has been tough. We had a weather change and Wednesday night was a loss. Early evening was clouded over, so when NINA started the run, the centering and focusing failed. I stopped the sequence, changed the start time to 1:00am and then started the sequence again. It should have been clear at 1:00, and it probably was, but the second run of the sequence failed. Specifically, it didn't unpark the mount. This is probably my fault, for using the mount while NINA was paused waiting for time. I suspect that NINA thought that it had already unparked the mount, but I had manually parked it to avoid it tracking past the meridian, since my target transited just before midnight. Anyway, at least I learned a few things about my automation software. I'll avoid changing the state of the system while NINA is waiting.

Last night was clear, but seriously windy. I have a few subs where the stars have tails in the RA direction on both sides. I'm guessing that these were particularly strong gusts, and I'm seeing the encoder putting the mount back where it belongs. The good news is that, even though the wind was howling all night long. Only about 3, out of 48, ten minute exposures show this behavior. The system in general seems pretty resilient to wind. Once I get the observatory built, I suspect that I won't have any wind problems.

As far as unguided tracking, I have a few subs with round stars, and I have lots of them with egg shaped stars, elongated in a different direction that the RA oscillations I mentioned above. The magnitude of the elongation seems smaller than it was before I discovered that refraction correction was disabled.

At this point, it's going to be a few days before we get clear skies again. I think that I'm going to redo the model for the next run (and I did verify in the PNT files, that the temperature was correct at the time I made the current one). I'm using a portable field pier, so it's possible some settling has occurred (but it's been there for a while).

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2


Thanks for the update on this.

Wow, so I thought they had fixed this in the past because it was reported by some NINA users, then I was informed that Pegasus fixed it. I guess not. I run my own gear in metric all the time so I never noticed that it actually hadn't been fixed. I just tested on my UPBv2 and, yeah, the fahrenheit value does make its way through the ASCOM driver.

Ugh. The hold-up for a fix really validates me putting my foot down and saying "no, get them to fix their bug" whenever a user asks us to implement a workaround a vendor's bug. Downstack defects should be addressed directly where they are, and here's a rather perfect illustration as to why. Getting it fixed might take longer, but everyone upstream wins in the end. IMO Pegasus should just press on and issue a fix because it's critical data that is impacting other apps in an operational way.

I will be very interested to see your refraction-compensated results. I'm now trying to convince my club to spring for APCC Pro so we can do unguided imaging on the serviced 1200GTO. Brian's image was a fantastic example of this, and you A/B'ing with refraction comp. might help drive home the point if it is indeed the source of your slight tracking imperfection.

On Apr 21, 2021, at 16:12, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value. At this time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior. They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software, and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot to note yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip. That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I played with setting and clearing different terms to see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared. When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.

Thanks,
-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Thanks for the response.

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy. I should be able to give that a try tonight.

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better. I really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2. It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported.

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely.


On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great. I was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so much. I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections. I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled. I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on. It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine. All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd. Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy. I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wade,

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?
Remind me, which scope, image scale, and exposure duration are you using?

If you are going to do a validate, you would want to do a "Model 5x and Park", which is an option in APPM. This will repeat the points five times and then park. This provides a measure of pointing accuracy and repeatability. For instance, if something is loose or optics are moving, variations from each pass may indicate this.

After doing this, you would have to send your logs and PNT files to Howard or me for analysis.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

One more update:

tl;dr: Inconclusive.

The last couple of nights has been tough. We had a weather change and Wednesday night was a loss. Early
evening was clouded over, so when NINA started the run, the centering and focusing failed. I stopped the
sequence, changed the start time to 1:00am and then started the sequence again. It should have been clear at
1:00, and it probably was, but the second run of the sequence failed. Specifically, it didn't unpark the mount.
This is probably my fault, for using the mount while NINA was paused waiting for time. I suspect that NINA
thought that it had already unparked the mount, but I had manually parked it to avoid it tracking past the
meridian, since my target transited just before midnight. Anyway, at least I learned a few things about my
automation software. I'll avoid changing the state of the system while NINA is waiting.

Last night was clear, but seriously windy. I have a few subs where the stars have tails in the RA direction on
both sides. I'm guessing that these were particularly strong gusts, and I'm seeing the encoder putting the
mount back where it belongs. The good news is that, even though the wind was howling all night long. Only
about 3, out of 48, ten minute exposures show this behavior. The system in general seems pretty resilient to
wind. Once I get the observatory built, I suspect that I won't have any wind problems.

As far as unguided tracking, I have a few subs with round stars, and I have lots of them with egg shaped stars,
elongated in a different direction that the RA oscillations I mentioned above. The magnitude of the elongation
seems smaller than it was before I discovered that refraction correction was disabled.

At this point, it's going to be a few days before we get clear skies again. I think that I'm going to redo the model
for the next run (and I did verify in the PNT files, that the temperature was correct at the time I made the current
one). I'm using a portable field pier, so it's possible some settling has occurred (but it's been there for a while).

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2


Thanks for the update on this.

Wow, so I thought they had fixed this in the past because it was reported by some NINA users, then I was
informed that Pegasus fixed it. I guess not. I run my own gear in metric all the time so I never noticed that it
actually hadn't been fixed. I just tested on my UPBv2 and, yeah, the fahrenheit value does make its way
through the ASCOM driver.

Ugh. The hold-up for a fix really validates me putting my foot down and saying "no, get them to fix their bug"
whenever a user asks us to implement a workaround a vendor's bug. Downstack defects should be addressed
directly where they are, and here's a rather perfect illustration as to why. Getting it fixed might take longer, but
everyone upstream wins in the end. IMO Pegasus should just press on and issue a fix because it's critical data
that is impacting other apps in an operational way.

I will be very interested to see your refraction-compensated results. I'm now trying to convince my club to
spring for APCC Pro so we can do unguided imaging on the serviced 1200GTO. Brian's image was a fantastic
example of this, and you A/B'ing with refraction comp. might help drive home the point if it is indeed the source
of your slight tracking imperfection.

On Apr 21, 2021, at 16:12, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with unit in the temperature value. At this
time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the current behavior. They are reaching
out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to metric in the Pegasus Astro software,
and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran unguided again last night, and it was a slight
improvement over the previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot to note yesterday that I
have my camera oriented so that declination in up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90
degrees after the meridian flip. That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in
particular.

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I played with setting and clearing different terms
to see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was
cleared. When I checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds,
respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being
aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m
going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.

Thanks,
-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Thanks for the response.

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact
them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that
it restores the unguided accuracy. I should be able to give that a try tonight.

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the
original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better. I really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking
ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced
with the Mach2. It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the
target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging
session.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit
temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in
Fahrenheit.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various
meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC
is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve
reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for
display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some
outlandish temperature values being reported.

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the
tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the
Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely.


On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen
some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great. I
was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so much. I am seeing elongated stars and
some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.
I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled. I verified that the polar alignment is still
spot on. It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine. All I
have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for
NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled
so that I can get some logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd. Specifically, I
noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I am using the
Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the
temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the
Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has
effected the model such that it's lost accuracy. I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C,
and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was
getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade










W Hilmo
 

My mount is an AP1600GTO-CP4 with Absolute Encoders. The scope is an AP130GTX. The camera is a QSI690-wsg8 at 0.88 arc seconds per pixel. I'm doing 10 minute exposures.

On the next full, clear night, I'll do the "Model 5x and Park". Since my camera as a built-in OAG, it's just a coupe of check boxes to guide (and when I do, stars are perfectly round), but I want to see how far I can go with unguided imaging.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?
Remind me, which scope, image scale, and exposure duration are you using?

If you are going to do a validate, you would want to do a "Model 5x and Park", which is an option in APPM. This will repeat the points five times and then park. This provides a measure of pointing accuracy and repeatability. For instance, if something is loose or optics are moving, variations from each pass may indicate this.

After doing this, you would have to send your logs and PNT files to Howard or me for analysis.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

One more update:

tl;dr: Inconclusive.

The last couple of nights has been tough. We had a weather change and
Wednesday night was a loss. Early evening was clouded over, so when
NINA started the run, the centering and focusing failed. I stopped
the sequence, changed the start time to 1:00am and then started the sequence again. It should have been clear at 1:00, and it probably was, but the second run of the sequence failed. Specifically, it didn't unpark the mount.
This is probably my fault, for using the mount while NINA was paused
waiting for time. I suspect that NINA thought that it had already
unparked the mount, but I had manually parked it to avoid it tracking
past the meridian, since my target transited just before midnight. Anyway, at least I learned a few things about my automation software. I'll avoid changing the state of the system while NINA is waiting.

Last night was clear, but seriously windy. I have a few subs where
the stars have tails in the RA direction on both sides. I'm guessing
that these were particularly strong gusts, and I'm seeing the encoder
putting the mount back where it belongs. The good news is that, even
though the wind was howling all night long. Only about 3, out of 48, ten minute exposures show this behavior. The system in general seems pretty resilient to wind. Once I get the observatory built, I suspect that I won't have any wind problems.

As far as unguided tracking, I have a few subs with round stars, and I
have lots of them with egg shaped stars, elongated in a different
direction that the RA oscillations I mentioned above. The magnitude of the elongation seems smaller than it was before I discovered that refraction correction was disabled.

At this point, it's going to be a few days before we get clear skies
again. I think that I'm going to redo the model for the next run (and
I did verify in the PNT files, that the temperature was correct at the time I made the current one). I'm using a portable field pier, so it's possible some settling has occurred (but it's been there for a while).

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale
Ghent
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2


Thanks for the update on this.

Wow, so I thought they had fixed this in the past because it was
reported by some NINA users, then I was informed that Pegasus fixed
it. I guess not. I run my own gear in metric all the time so I never
noticed that it actually hadn't been fixed. I just tested on my UPBv2 and, yeah, the fahrenheit value does make its way through the ASCOM driver.

Ugh. The hold-up for a fix really validates me putting my foot down and saying "no, get them to fix their bug"
whenever a user asks us to implement a workaround a vendor's bug.
Downstack defects should be addressed directly where they are, and
here's a rather perfect illustration as to why. Getting it fixed might
take longer, but everyone upstream wins in the end. IMO Pegasus should just press on and issue a fix because it's critical data that is impacting other apps in an operational way.

I will be very interested to see your refraction-compensated results.
I'm now trying to convince my club to spring for APCC Pro so we can do
unguided imaging on the serviced 1200GTO. Brian's image was a
fantastic example of this, and you A/B'ing with refraction comp. might help drive home the point if it is indeed the source of your slight tracking imperfection.

On Apr 21, 2021, at 16:12, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with
unit in the temperature value. At this
time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the
current behavior. They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to
metric in the Pegasus Astro software,
and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran unguided
again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous
unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot to note
yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in
up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip. That means that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I played
with setting and clearing different terms
to see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed that
the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared. When I checked
that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42 and 6.32 arc seconds.

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned
perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being
aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation
might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better results with refraction correction enabled.

Thanks,
-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W
Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Thanks for the response.

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the
UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact
them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet
confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy. I should be able to give that a try tonight.

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time
yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the
original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better. I
really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking ahead to when
Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model
that they introduced with the Mach2. It would be really cool to write
a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and
ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit
temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the
console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that
the values for its various
meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it
comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus
issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to
convert the SI units too imperial for
display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to
Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported.

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction
of how much temperature can alter the
tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to
work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely.


On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute
Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen
some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of
about 180 points, everything was great. I
was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so
much. I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.
I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.
I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on. It's a bit
difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine. All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software
updates (switched to the daily builds for
NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up for
doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some
logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something
odd. Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few
days ago to change from reporting the
temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like
both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I
am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation
has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy. I have reverted
the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade










Ray Gralak
 

How many sky data points?

10-minute exposures at 0.88 arc-sec/pixel may be a challenge without Dec-Arc modeling.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:51 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

My mount is an AP1600GTO-CP4 with Absolute Encoders. The scope is an AP130GTX. The camera is a
QSI690-wsg8 at 0.88 arc seconds per pixel. I'm doing 10 minute exposures.

On the next full, clear night, I'll do the "Model 5x and Park". Since my camera as a built-in OAG, it's just a
coupe of check boxes to guide (and when I do, stars are perfectly round), but I want to see how far I can go
with unguided imaging.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?
Remind me, which scope, image scale, and exposure duration are you using?

If you are going to do a validate, you would want to do a "Model 5x and Park", which is an option in APPM. This
will repeat the points five times and then park. This provides a measure of pointing accuracy and repeatability.
For instance, if something is loose or optics are moving, variations from each pass may indicate this.

After doing this, you would have to send your logs and PNT files to Howard or me for analysis.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

One more update:

tl;dr: Inconclusive.

The last couple of nights has been tough. We had a weather change and
Wednesday night was a loss. Early evening was clouded over, so when
NINA started the run, the centering and focusing failed. I stopped
the sequence, changed the start time to 1:00am and then started the sequence again. It should have been
clear at 1:00, and it probably was, but the second run of the sequence failed. Specifically, it didn't unpark the
mount.
This is probably my fault, for using the mount while NINA was paused
waiting for time. I suspect that NINA thought that it had already
unparked the mount, but I had manually parked it to avoid it tracking
past the meridian, since my target transited just before midnight. Anyway, at least I learned a few things
about my automation software. I'll avoid changing the state of the system while NINA is waiting.

Last night was clear, but seriously windy. I have a few subs where
the stars have tails in the RA direction on both sides. I'm guessing
that these were particularly strong gusts, and I'm seeing the encoder
putting the mount back where it belongs. The good news is that, even
though the wind was howling all night long. Only about 3, out of 48, ten minute exposures show this
behavior. The system in general seems pretty resilient to wind. Once I get the observatory built, I suspect that
I won't have any wind problems.

As far as unguided tracking, I have a few subs with round stars, and I
have lots of them with egg shaped stars, elongated in a different
direction that the RA oscillations I mentioned above. The magnitude of the elongation seems smaller than it
was before I discovered that refraction correction was disabled.

At this point, it's going to be a few days before we get clear skies
again. I think that I'm going to redo the model for the next run (and
I did verify in the PNT files, that the temperature was correct at the time I made the current one). I'm using a
portable field pier, so it's possible some settling has occurred (but it's been there for a while).

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale
Ghent
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2


Thanks for the update on this.

Wow, so I thought they had fixed this in the past because it was
reported by some NINA users, then I was informed that Pegasus fixed
it. I guess not. I run my own gear in metric all the time so I never
noticed that it actually hadn't been fixed. I just tested on my UPBv2 and, yeah, the fahrenheit value does
make its way through the ASCOM driver.

Ugh. The hold-up for a fix really validates me putting my foot down and saying "no, get them to fix their bug"
whenever a user asks us to implement a workaround a vendor's bug.
Downstack defects should be addressed directly where they are, and
here's a rather perfect illustration as to why. Getting it fixed might
take longer, but everyone upstream wins in the end. IMO Pegasus should just press on and issue a fix
because it's critical data that is impacting other apps in an operational way.

I will be very interested to see your refraction-compensated results.
I'm now trying to convince my club to spring for APCC Pro so we can do
unguided imaging on the serviced 1200GTO. Brian's image was a
fantastic example of this, and you A/B'ing with refraction comp. might help drive home the point if it is indeed
the source of your slight tracking imperfection.

On Apr 21, 2021, at 16:12, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue with
unit in the temperature value. At this
time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on the
current behavior. They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back to
metric in the Pegasus Astro software,
and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran unguided
again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the previous
unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot to note
yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination in
up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90 degrees after the meridian flip. That means
that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I played
with setting and clearing different terms
to see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed that
the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared. When I checked
that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35 and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42
and 6.32 arc seconds.

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned
perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being
aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation
might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m going to give it another run tonight and see if I get better
results with refraction correction enabled.

Thanks,
-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W
Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Thanks for the response.

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the
UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact
them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet
confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy. I should be able to
give that a try tonight.

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time
yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the
original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better. I
really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking ahead to when
Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model
that they introduced with the Mach2. It would be really cool to write
a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then
have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and
ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit
temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the
console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that
the values for its various
meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it
comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus
issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a
recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to
convert the SI units too imperial for
display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to
Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported.

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction
of how much temperature can alter the
tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to
work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s
maturing nicely.


On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute
Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen
some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of
about 180 points, everything was great. I
was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so
much. I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all
connections.
I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.
I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on. It's a bit
difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine. All I have are the
subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software
updates (switched to the daily builds for
NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up for
doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some
logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something
odd. Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I
am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few
days ago to change from reporting the
temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like
both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I
am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation
has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy. I have reverted
the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to
see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade




















W Hilmo
 

189 points.

Can I do dec-arc modeling with the current APPM version? Is it as simple as making a model with just a bunch of points on my target's declination? Or do I need to wait for the next CP4 firmware and accompanying APCC release to use it?

Also, are you and the AP folks thinking about automating the modeling process? It would be very cool to have automation run a script at the start of the sequence to build the dec-arc model specifically for that target.

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 7:15 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

How many sky data points?

10-minute exposures at 0.88 arc-sec/pixel may be a challenge without Dec-Arc modeling.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:51 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

My mount is an AP1600GTO-CP4 with Absolute Encoders. The scope is an
AP130GTX. The camera is a
QSI690-wsg8 at 0.88 arc seconds per pixel. I'm doing 10 minute exposures.

On the next full, clear night, I'll do the "Model 5x and Park". Since
my camera as a built-in OAG, it's just a coupe of check boxes to guide
(and when I do, stars are perfectly round), but I want to see how far I can go with unguided imaging.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray
Gralak
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:35 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?
Remind me, which scope, image scale, and exposure duration are you using?

If you are going to do a validate, you would want to do a "Model 5x
and Park", which is an option in APPM. This will repeat the points five times and then park. This provides a measure of pointing accuracy and repeatability.
For instance, if something is loose or optics are moving, variations from each pass may indicate this.

After doing this, you would have to send your logs and PNT files to Howard or me for analysis.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 6:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

One more update:

tl;dr: Inconclusive.

The last couple of nights has been tough. We had a weather change
and Wednesday night was a loss. Early evening was clouded over, so
when NINA started the run, the centering and focusing failed. I
stopped the sequence, changed the start time to 1:00am and then
started the sequence again. It should have been
clear at 1:00, and it probably was, but the second run of the sequence
failed. Specifically, it didn't unpark the mount.
This is probably my fault, for using the mount while NINA was paused
waiting for time. I suspect that NINA thought that it had already
unparked the mount, but I had manually parked it to avoid it
tracking past the meridian, since my target transited just before
midnight. Anyway, at least I learned a few things
about my automation software. I'll avoid changing the state of the system while NINA is waiting.

Last night was clear, but seriously windy. I have a few subs where
the stars have tails in the RA direction on both sides. I'm
guessing that these were particularly strong gusts, and I'm seeing
the encoder putting the mount back where it belongs. The good news
is that, even though the wind was howling all night long. Only
about 3, out of 48, ten minute exposures show this
behavior. The system in general seems pretty resilient to wind. Once
I get the observatory built, I suspect that I won't have any wind problems.

As far as unguided tracking, I have a few subs with round stars, and
I have lots of them with egg shaped stars, elongated in a different
direction that the RA oscillations I mentioned above. The magnitude
of the elongation seems smaller than it
was before I discovered that refraction correction was disabled.

At this point, it's going to be a few days before we get clear skies
again. I think that I'm going to redo the model for the next run
(and I did verify in the PNT files, that the temperature was correct
at the time I made the current one). I'm using a
portable field pier, so it's possible some settling has occurred (but it's been there for a while).

Question for Ray: Would it be interesting to validate the current model before making a new one?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Dale Ghent
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2


Thanks for the update on this.

Wow, so I thought they had fixed this in the past because it was
reported by some NINA users, then I was informed that Pegasus fixed
it. I guess not. I run my own gear in metric all the time so I never
noticed that it actually hadn't been fixed. I just tested on my
UPBv2 and, yeah, the fahrenheit value does
make its way through the ASCOM driver.

Ugh. The hold-up for a fix really validates me putting my foot down and saying "no, get them to fix their bug"
whenever a user asks us to implement a workaround a vendor's bug.
Downstack defects should be addressed directly where they are, and
here's a rather perfect illustration as to why. Getting it fixed
might take longer, but everyone upstream wins in the end. IMO
Pegasus should just press on and issue a fix
because it's critical data that is impacting other apps in an operational way.

I will be very interested to see your refraction-compensated results.
I'm now trying to convince my club to spring for APCC Pro so we can
do unguided imaging on the serviced 1200GTO. Brian's image was a
fantastic example of this, and you A/B'ing with refraction comp.
might help drive home the point if it is indeed
the source of your slight tracking imperfection.

On Apr 21, 2021, at 16:12, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I wanted to revisit this topic with an update.

I reached out to Pegasus Astro, and they are aware of the issue
with unit in the temperature value. At this
time, they can’t fix it because SGP apparently has a dependency on
the current behavior. They are reaching out to the SGP folks to see if they can coordinate a proper fix.

Regarding my unguided imaging results, I switched the units back
to metric in the Pegasus Astro software,
and that fixed the incorrect temperature in APCC Pro. I ran
unguided again last night, and it was a slight improvement over the
previous unguided session, but still wasn’t satisfactory. I forgot
to note yesterday that I have my camera oriented so that declination
in up/down in the frame. The elongation is diagonal, and flips 90
degrees after the meridian flip. That means
that the components of drift are not isolated to either axis in particular.

So I went back to take a closer look at the model in APCC. I
played with setting and clearing different terms
to see the effect on the model. When I was doing this, I noticed
that the “Correct for Refraction” checkbox was cleared. When I
checked that box, the east and west scatter plots dropped from 53.35
and 50.20 arc seconds, respectively, to 9.42
and 6.32 arc seconds.

In my head, I assume that drift due to refraction will be aligned
perpendicular to the horizon, instead of being
aligned with one of the axes. If that’s true, then my elongation
might be up/down, relative to the horizon. I’m going to give it
another run tonight and see if I get better
results with refraction correction enabled.

Thanks,
-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of W
Hilmo
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and
Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Thanks for the response.

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the
UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact
them regarding the temperature reporting issue. I’ve not yet
confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the
unguided accuracy. I should be able to
give that a try tonight.

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time
yesterday. I was expecting a UI similar to the
original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better.
I really like to flexibility. I’m already thinking ahead to when
Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking
model that they introduced with the Mach2. It would be really cool
to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the
target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then
have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

-Wade

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and
Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and
ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit
temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the
console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit.

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies
that the values for its various
meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it
comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus
issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update
unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a
recent version.

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to
convert the SI units too imperial for
display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to
Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported.

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting
depiction of how much temperature can alter the
tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to
work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is
of course a work in progress but it’s
maturing nicely.


On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute
Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen
some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of
about 180 points, everything was great. I
was blown away by how well it worked. The last few nights, not so
much. I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure. I'm imaging with my
AP130GTX, and I've double checked all
connections.
I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.
I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on. It's a bit
difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any
log files to examine. All I have are the
subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software
updates (switched to the daily builds for
NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler). I've also set up
for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get
some logs. As I was watching the session get started, I noticed
something odd. Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the
temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong. I
am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a
few days ago to change from reporting the
temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F. It looks like
both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius. I
am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature
interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.
I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and
after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to
see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade




















Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wade,

Can I do dec-arc modeling with the current APPM version? Is it as simple as making a model with just a bunch
of points on my target's declination? Or do I need to wait for the next CP4 firmware and accompanying APCC
release to use it?
The Dec-Arc modeling feature has been well tested for over a year and a half. As mentioned previously, it will be in APCC Pro version 1.9, which will be available soon.

The Dec-Arc modeling does not require a change to the way APPM operates. By default APPM can collect data points along declination arc paths. It is APCC Pro that implements the Dec-Arc tracking feature, which can be turned on and off at run-time with a single checkbox.

-Ray


W Hilmo
 

Great. I'm looking forward to it.

On the subject of automation, does APPM have any kind of an API that would make it possible to invoke it from a script with the sample points for the target? Alternately, is the definition of the PNT file format defined so that I could write my own routine to solve a bunch of points on the declination arc?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 11:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

Can I do dec-arc modeling with the current APPM version? Is it as
simple as making a model with just a bunch of points on my target's
declination? Or do I need to wait for the next CP4 firmware and accompanying APCC release to use it?
The Dec-Arc modeling feature has been well tested for over a year and a half. As mentioned previously, it will be in APCC Pro version 1.9, which will be available soon.

The Dec-Arc modeling does not require a change to the way APPM operates. By default APPM can collect data points along declination arc paths. It is APCC Pro that implements the Dec-Arc tracking feature, which can be turned on and off at run-time with a single checkbox.

-Ray


Ray Gralak
 

On the subject of automation, does APPM have any kind of an API that would make it possible to invoke it from
a script with the sample points for the target? Alternately, is the definition of the PNT file format defined so that
I could write my own routine to solve a bunch of points on the declination arc?
If you have a permanent setup you would just model the entire sky as you always have. The only change would be that you might want to increase the slider in APPM that controls the number of points in RA so that each arc has more points. APCC will interpolate between declination arcs.

Or, if you are in a mobile setup, just model a few declination arcs around the target that you are imaging. It won't take very long to create the arcs.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of W Hilmo
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 12:37 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Great. I'm looking forward to it.

On the subject of automation, does APPM have any kind of an API that would make it possible to invoke it from
a script with the sample points for the target? Alternately, is the definition of the PNT file format defined so that
I could write my own routine to solve a bunch of points on the declination arc?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 11:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

Can I do dec-arc modeling with the current APPM version? Is it as
simple as making a model with just a bunch of points on my target's
declination? Or do I need to wait for the next CP4 firmware and accompanying APCC release to use it?
The Dec-Arc modeling feature has been well tested for over a year and a half. As mentioned previously, it will
be in APCC Pro version 1.9, which will be available soon.

The Dec-Arc modeling does not require a change to the way APPM operates. By default APPM can collect data
points along declination arc paths. It is APCC Pro that implements the Dec-Arc tracking feature, which can be
turned on and off at run-time with a single checkbox.

-Ray











W Hilmo
 

" Or, if you are in a mobile setup, just model a few declination arcs around the target that you are imaging. It won't take very long to create the arcs."

I know that it won't take very long, but it does mean that I have to be there right at the start of the session. I go to a lot of star parties and am often helping others out with their setups. I usually set up my automation in the afternoon and then let it start up unattended while I am working with other folks. And even when I'm not helping out others, early evening is prime time with my family.

Without the ability to have completely reliable unguided imaging, I'll probably continue to go ahead and guide, since that's nearly bulletproof.

As for a permanent setup, I'm fine with doing a big, high density run once in a while. I just need to figure out what's required in order to have confidence that I'll get good data unguided. I'm not there yet, but will be playing with it for a while.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 1:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

On the subject of automation, does APPM have any kind of an API that
would make it possible to invoke it from a script with the sample
points for the target? Alternately, is the definition of the PNT file format defined so that I could write my own routine to solve a bunch of points on the declination arc?
If you have a permanent setup you would just model the entire sky as you always have. The only change would be that you might want to increase the slider in APPM that controls the number of points in RA so that each arc has more points. APCC will interpolate between declination arcs.

Or, if you are in a mobile setup, just model a few declination arcs around the target that you are imaging. It won't take very long to create the arcs.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of W Hilmo
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 12:37 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Great. I'm looking forward to it.

On the subject of automation, does APPM have any kind of an API that
would make it possible to invoke it from a script with the sample
points for the target? Alternately, is the definition of the PNT file format defined so that I could write my own routine to solve a bunch of points on the declination arc?

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray
Gralak
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 11:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus
Astro UPBv2

Hi Wade,

Can I do dec-arc modeling with the current APPM version? Is it as
simple as making a model with just a bunch of points on my target's
declination? Or do I need to wait for the next CP4 firmware and accompanying APCC release to use it?
The Dec-Arc modeling feature has been well tested for over a year and
a half. As mentioned previously, it will be in APCC Pro version 1.9, which will be available soon.

The Dec-Arc modeling does not require a change to the way APPM
operates. By default APPM can collect data points along declination
arc paths. It is APCC Pro that implements the Dec-Arc tracking feature, which can be turned on and off at run-time with a single checkbox.

-Ray











Ray Gralak
 

I know that it won't take very long, but it does mean that I have to be there right at the start of the session. I go
to a lot of star parties and am often helping others out with their setups. I usually set up my automation in the
afternoon and then let it start up unattended while I am working with other folks. And even when I'm not
helping out others, early evening is prime time with my family.
Wade, couldn't you set up your automation run to start at full darkness, say 60 minutes after dusk? Then prep APPM to be ready to run at dusk. Just after dusk you would only need to click "Start" in APPM, then get back to your family/friends. If you need more time for APPM, just set the automation run to start later.

-Ray