Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2


W Hilmo
 

For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10 years, now. Having to be at the mount to start APPM, and then again to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step backwards. I know that I could set the automation to start later in the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the mount.

If this isn't something that neither you, nor Astro-Physics, wants to pursue, that's fine. I'll find a workflow that does what I need. I did want to get my request out there, though.

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 6:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

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


Ray Gralak
 

Wade,

For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10 years, now. Having to be at the mount to
start APPM, and then again to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step backwards. I know that
I could set the automation to start later in the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few
plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the
mount.
As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to pursue, that's fine. I'll find a workflow that
does what I need. I did want to get my request out there, though.
Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray


Bill Long
 

Wade,

Voyager's Drag Script interface can be used to automate this and your imaging session, flats session, and ending processes in one script.

Ray added the ability to call and start APPM from the command line, which would be used in this case by Drag Script.

Bill


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2
 
Wade,

> For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10 years, now.  Having to be at the mount to
> start APPM, and then again to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step backwards.  I know that
> I could set the automation to start later in the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few
> plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the
> mount.

As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

> If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to pursue, that's fine.  I'll find a workflow that
> does what I need.  I did want to get my request out there, though.

Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray







W Hilmo
 

I've been running automated long enough now, that I have a pretty reliable system. The other day, I set up the automation and started it during the day, and then left for the weekend, leaving it to go on its own (the forecast was for "severe clear" well past the weekend). I pulled the data from it when I got home. That's not to say that I don't get periodic errors, but usually it just means that I don't get the data that I want. I've been doing this long enough that I just shrug it off, even if it happens at a dark sky site.

At star parties. I do check on things periodically when I'm nearby, but I am busiest with social activities in the early darkness hours. If I am working with the imaging rig early in the evening, it takes me much longer to get stuff done, because I am frequently interrupted. I also enjoy outreach, and frequently invite astronomy newbies, or people without scopes, to come to our site for some visual observing (I have multiple setups going, with a few visual scopes in addition to my imaging rig). I usually ask them to arrive just before dark so that I can show them the scopes, etc.

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Wade,

For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10
years, now. Having to be at the mount to start APPM, and then again
to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step
backwards. I know that I could set the automation to start later in
the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the mount.
As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to
pursue, that's fine. I'll find a workflow that does what I need. I did want to get my request out there, though.
Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray


W Hilmo
 

Hey, that’s interesting.

 

If APPM can run and start from the command line, that is probably sufficient to make it work with NINA as well.  If I can define the sample points and configuration ahead of time, and then kick it off from the command line, that would be fine.  The ability to specific sample points from a script would be a “nice to have”, but this looks like all that is really needed.

 

Thanks,

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 12:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Wade,

 

Voyager's Drag Script interface can be used to automate this and your imaging session, flats session, and ending processes in one script.

 

Ray added the ability to call and start APPM from the command line, which would be used in this case by Drag Script.

 

Bill

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Wade,

> For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10 years, now.  Having to be at the mount to
> start APPM, and then again to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step backwards.  I know that
> I could set the automation to start later in the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few
> plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the
> mount.

As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

> If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to pursue, that's fine.  I'll find a workflow that
> does what I need.  I did want to get my request out there, though.

Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray