New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Excited my AP1100 due Wednesday, trying to read through all the documentation.  It's a little hard to sort through old vs new vs no longer true, I wonder if I could ask for a sanity check.  This is for imaging, no keypad, and a portable setup. 

The CP4 will connect first via USB via the FTDI driver, from where I can configure ethernet (or Wifi, in my case to turn off). 

Afterwards the application connection will go (Ascom 6.5SP1 assumed): 

CP4 -> APCC -> (Virtual ports) -> Ascom V2 -> third party software as needed

APCC Pro now contains the AE stuff so the variously mentioned standalone utility is not needed. 

The manual indicates APCC is not needed you can go from the Ascom driver to the mount, but it doesn't really explain why one would do that (or not).  I'm assuming since 99% of what I read mentions APCC that one should use that in the middle. 

Where I am struggling a bit is finding where exceptions are for AE use.  My GUESS is:

- Manually placing in a park position to register a location during initialization is not needed?  It should just know?

- No PE curve is needed, and PE correction should be turned off?   Or is that magic when it sees encoders?

- Is there any special precautions to protect them, e.g. do all the clutch/gear mesh instructions related to balance apply equally? 

- Is there any check/sync/calibration needed?

Maybe there's an AE document, but I could not find one on the Technical Support page. 

Finally, there's mention of several Apple cell phone programs one can use, but I did not find any Android ones (for mount control, I found the polar align). I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?

Some of this may become obvious when I actually start setting it up, but especially the Encoder aspect worries me, since I found so little guidance in what I have read so far. 

Corrections and pointers welcomed.

Oh... and is there an estimate of how long the weather stays bad after one receives a new mount?  :) 

Linwood



Jeffc
 

On Jul 26, 2021, at 8:37 AM, ap@captivephotons.com wrote:

. I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?
I run the Remote Desktop client on my phone when I need to do something with the mount outside away from the computer. For example polar alignment — I use sharpcap and need to see the “off by” numbers outside at the mount. So I just use RDClient and zoom in on that portion of the UI.

Fwiw, I don’t have too much experience with the apps over WiFi - I’ve used SkySafari, but it just allows for pointing the mount. I’m not sure if the separate controlling app would confuse other apps (eg APCC) controlling the mount.

-jeff


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Jeff wrote:

. I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?
I run the Remote Desktop client on my phone when I need to do something with the mount outside away from the computer. For example polar alignment — I use sharpcap and need to see the “off by” numbers outside at the mount. So I just use RDClient and zoom in on that portion of the UI.
I've used that, as well as the Real VNC app on my cell, but the APCC screen as well as programs like NINA are not very optimized for tiny screens. If Covid ever wanes fully, I expect at some point to do some visual work with guests to view, and having a good cell phone app for manual control might be handy. Though that will always be a tiny part of what I do. Maybe I should just order a handheld if that becomes an issue. But if there was a good hand control app, I thought I would try it.

Thanks.

Linwood


Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

I do the same, but I use an iPad as the iPhone screen is just too small. However, I have noticed that trying to slew the mount in this way can be tricky as the buttons sometimes don't respond unless you click and then drag the mouse pointer a bit.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@CaptivePhotons.com
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 12:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

Jeff wrote:

. I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?
I run the Remote Desktop client on my phone when I need to do something with the mount outside away from the computer. For example polar alignment — I use sharpcap and need to see the “off by” numbers outside at the mount. So I just use RDClient and zoom in on that portion of the UI.
I've used that, as well as the Real VNC app on my cell, but the APCC screen as well as programs like NINA are not very optimized for tiny screens. If Covid ever wanes fully, I expect at some point to do some visual work with guests to view, and having a good cell phone app for manual control might be handy. Though that will always be a tiny part of what I do. Maybe I should just order a handheld if that becomes an issue. But if there was a good hand control app, I thought I would try it.

Thanks.

Linwood


Eric Weiner
 

Howdy Linwood,

Congrats.  Getting a new mount is better than Christmas.  I'm a Mach2 owner so I'll allows others to address some of your 1100 specific questions

The CP4 will connect first via USB via the FTDI driver, from where I can configure ethernet (or Wifi, in my case to turn off). 
That will work, as will several other connection methods.  I prefer serial over USB.  You can run two cables for seamless backup.

CP4 -> APCC -> (Virtual ports) -> Ascom V2 -> third party software as needed
This is the order of operations for the CP5, so yes.

SkySafari is available on Android.  It works very well with the CP5, so it will be great with the CP4 as well.


Bill Long
 

The encoders just work. You don't need to do anything special for them. You do want to initialize the 1100 from a known park position when you first set it up. But other than that just connect the mount up and use it. APCC is great, spend some time with the modeling software in it. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 8:37 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please
 

Excited my AP1100 due Wednesday, trying to read through all the documentation.  It's a little hard to sort through old vs new vs no longer true, I wonder if I could ask for a sanity check.  This is for imaging, no keypad, and a portable setup. 

The CP4 will connect first via USB via the FTDI driver, from where I can configure ethernet (or Wifi, in my case to turn off). 

Afterwards the application connection will go (Ascom 6.5SP1 assumed): 

CP4 -> APCC -> (Virtual ports) -> Ascom V2 -> third party software as needed

APCC Pro now contains the AE stuff so the variously mentioned standalone utility is not needed. 

The manual indicates APCC is not needed you can go from the Ascom driver to the mount, but it doesn't really explain why one would do that (or not).  I'm assuming since 99% of what I read mentions APCC that one should use that in the middle. 

Where I am struggling a bit is finding where exceptions are for AE use.  My GUESS is:

- Manually placing in a park position to register a location during initialization is not needed?  It should just know?

- No PE curve is needed, and PE correction should be turned off?   Or is that magic when it sees encoders?

- Is there any special precautions to protect them, e.g. do all the clutch/gear mesh instructions related to balance apply equally? 

- Is there any check/sync/calibration needed?

Maybe there's an AE document, but I could not find one on the Technical Support page. 

Finally, there's mention of several Apple cell phone programs one can use, but I did not find any Android ones (for mount control, I found the polar align). I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?

Some of this may become obvious when I actually start setting it up, but especially the Encoder aspect worries me, since I found so little guidance in what I have read so far. 

Corrections and pointers welcomed.

Oh... and is there an estimate of how long the weather stays bad after one receives a new mount?  :) 

Linwood