moderated Newbie question re: APPM


dcraft34@comcast.net
 

I don’t yet have my AP1100 (comes soon). I’ve never used a german equatorial mount, so I’m clearly getting ahead of myself. I hope to use the APPM tracking model with APCC for photometry with a Meade 14 inch with mirror lock, and F5 giving 1.17 arcSec / pixel, and weighing roughly 90# plus counterweights.

I hope to start all of my photometry runs counterweight up and track well past the meridian.

If I correctly understand the APPM point mapping process, most of the mapping points will be derived with the mount in the more normal, counterweight down, configuration. Is it reasonable for me to expect the tracking model to perform acceptably (no guiding needed) if the system in actual use is counterweight up but the APPM points were established using the counterweight down configuration? I’m assuming some mechanical aspects of this OTA are imperfect and this question cannot be answered with certainty but I hope to deterine if my expectations are highly unlikely to be realized, or alternatively, that I have some reasonable probability of success if the mechanicals are stable.

Or has my mind made a pretzel shape of a simple situation? (I’m not visualizing these mount operations with clarity yet- my first few hours of mount operation will teach me much.)

Thanks, Dave


Roland Christen
 

You would be making a mapping run all the way from the "correct" side thru the meridian to the "upside down" side. And you would do this on both sides of the meridian. Then the model will work when you are upside down on either side.

Best practices would be to start your scope pointing east with counterweight up and let your scope track all night thru the meridian. That is the best way to avoid any pier crashes because you will see any potential obstruction issues at the very start of the session. If there are none at the beginning, there will never be any afterwards.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: dcraft34@... <dcraft34@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Apr 30, 2021 4:37 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM


I don’t yet have my AP1100 (comes soon).  I’ve never used a german equatorial mount, so I’m clearly getting ahead of myself.  I hope to use the APPM tracking model with APCC for photometry with a Meade 14 inch with mirror lock, and F5 giving 1.17 arcSec / pixel, and weighing roughly 90# plus counterweights.

I hope to start all of my photometry runs counterweight up and track well past the meridian.

If I correctly understand the APPM point mapping process, most of the mapping points will be derived with the mount in the more normal, counterweight down, configuration.  Is it reasonable for me to expect the tracking model to perform acceptably (no guiding needed) if the system in actual use is counterweight up but the APPM points were established using the counterweight down configuration?  I’m assuming some mechanical aspects of this OTA are imperfect and this question cannot be answered with certainty but I hope to deterine if my expectations are highly unlikely to be realized, or alternatively, that I have some reasonable probability of success if the mechanicals are stable.

Or has my mind made a pretzel shape of a simple situation?  (I’m not visualizing these mount operations with clarity yet- my first few hours of mount operation will teach me much.)

Thanks,  Dave





--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Eric Weiner
 

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 09:36 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
Best practices would be to start your scope pointing east with counterweight up and let your scope track all night thru the meridian.
Unless you're using automation software like SGP.  I just had a back and forth with Ray and Jared (SGP), Ray here in the ap-gto forum, and Jared on the SGP forum.  Neither would commit to saying APCC and SGP would play nice together with the CW up East option enabled. As a matter of fact, APCC gives a very stern warning to NOT have CW up in East Limits option checked if using automation software.  Ray says he would need to discuss it with the SGP developers, but Jared simply stopped replying to my thread on the SGP boards after a short back and forth with him to explain what I meant.  Very much a shame since it doesn't allow folks to use a very powerful aspect of A-P mount design.

Regards,
Eric


Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

 

I don’t think that any of the automation software work well with the AP counterweight up and the delayed meridian flip functionality.   I always set a separate item in the automation softare for the meridian flip.  SGP is supposed to be the most coordinated of the automation applications.   I am interested in more dialogue regarding this issue since I am having trouble using the native functionality of flipping after passing the meridian with automation software.  Slews to a counterweight up position seem to be no issue.  It is the meridian delay that seems to be an issue.


Roland Christen
 

My comment about best practices are aimed at using the mount with the operator there at the mount. I would never recommend setting up an automatic remote system with scope starting or ending up in the counterweight up position. Unattended remote operation should always be done with cwt up and flipping sides at the meridian.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Apr 30, 2021 10:50 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 09:36 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
Best practices would be to start your scope pointing east with counterweight up and let your scope track all night thru the meridian.
Unless you're using automation software like SGP.  I just had a back and forth with Ray and Jared (SGP), Ray here in the ap-gto forum, and Jared on the SGP forum.  Neither would commit to saying APCC and SGP would play nice together with the CW up East option enabled. As a matter of fact, APCC gives a very stern warning to NOT have CW up in East Limits option checked if using automation software.  Ray says he would need to discuss it with the SGP developers, but Jared simply stopped replying to my thread on the SGP boards after a short back and forth with him to explain what I meant.  Very much a shame since it doesn't allow folks to use a very powerful aspect of A-P mount design.

Regards,
Eric

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Eric,

As a matter of fact, APCC gives a very stern warning to
NOT have CW up in East Limits option checked if using automation software.
That warning is for most applications *except* SGPro.

If you follow the way I said to define the an East limit for both pier sides, APCC will work as expected with SGPro.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 8:51 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 09:36 AM, Roland Christen wrote:


Best practices would be to start your scope pointing east with counterweight up and let your scope track
all night thru the meridian.

Unless you're using automation software like SGP. I just had a back and forth with Ray and Jared (SGP), Ray
here in the ap-gto forum, and Jared on the SGP forum. Neither would commit to saying APCC and SGP would
play nice together with the CW up East option enabled. As a matter of fact, APCC gives a very stern warning to
NOT have CW up in East Limits option checked if using automation software. Ray says he would need to
discuss it with the SGP developers, but Jared simply stopped replying to my thread on the SGP boards after a
short back and forth with him to explain what I meant. Very much a shame since it doesn't allow folks to use a
very powerful aspect of A-P mount design.

Regards,
Eric


Eric Weiner
 

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 11:08 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:
If you follow the way I said to define the an East limit for both pier sides, APCC will work as expected with SGPro.
Ray, 

Here is a screenshot of the warning from APCC version 1.8.8.17.  It includes SGPro.  I plan on doing some supervised testing as time allows.  I have definitely defined the limits precisely as you have stated verbally and in writing.  It works flawlessly in standalone.  I haven't had time to test it yet with SGPro (I'm OCONUS a business for a bit).  But, the question you were not able to provide (not your software), and that Jared (SGP) wouldn't provide is what are right meridian settings to use with SGPro? 

To recall a different thread in which you and I had a short back and forth, when using APCC-PRO with SGPro, what are the correct meridian settings in SGP?  It seems to me that all meridian settings should be turned off in SGPro, and that one should just let APCC handle it, but neither you nor Jared confirmed that.  Again, not a failing on your part.  SGPro isn't your software.  But, the warning clearly includes SGPro.

Regards,
Eric


Ray Gralak
 

The popup message is old and should not include SGPro. I will remove that in the next build.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 10:39 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 11:08 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:


If you follow the way I said to define the an East limit for both pier sides, APCC will work as expected
with SGPro.

Ray,

Here is a screenshot of the warning from APCC version 1.8.8.17. It includes SGPro. I plan on doing some
supervised testing as time allows. I have definitely defined the limits precisely as you have stated verbally and
in writing. It works flawlessly in standalone. I haven't had time to test it yet with SGPro (I'm OCONUS a
business for a bit). But, the question you were not able to provide (not your software), and that Jared (SGP)
wouldn't provide is what are right meridian settings to use with SGPro?

To recall a different thread in which you and I had a short back and forth, when using APCC-PRO with SGPro,
what are the correct meridian settings in SGP? It seems to me that all meridian settings should be turned off in
SGPro, and that one should just let APCC handle it, but neither you nor Jared confirmed that. Again, not a
failing on your part. SGPro isn't your software. But, the warning clearly includes SGPro.

Regards,
Eric



Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

Thank you for the clarification Ray. Any idea if you are going to work to better integrate the functionality with NINA? At this time counterweight slews up are no issue for sure. However, I am manually setting the delay in meridian flip to match the limits manually.


Eric Weiner
 

Ray,

Two thumbs up.  But it still begs the question what the right SGP meridian settings are.  It gives me pause to blindly trust how wells APCC "CW up in the East Limits" plays with SGP when nobody, including SGPs developers, are comfortable enough to provide clear instruction.

Regards,
Eric


Ray Gralak
 

Thank you for the clarification Ray. Any idea if you are going to work to better
integrate the functionality with NINA?
I'm sure that is possible, but A-P must first approve new features and functionality.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

Thank you for the clarification Ray. Any idea if you are going to work to better integrate the functionality with
NINA? At this time counterweight slews up are no issue for sure. However, I am manually setting the delay in
meridian flip to match the limits manually.




Ray Gralak
 

Eric,

But it still begs the question what the right SGP meridian settings are.
It gives me pause to blindly trust how wells APCC "CW up in the East Limits"
plays with SGP when nobody, including SGPs
developers, are comfortable enough to provide clear instruction.
I am not sure what there is to explain unless you don't understand how A-P's meridian delay works. APCC simply tells SGPro your mount's meridian flip point.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 10:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

Ray,

Two thumbs up. But it still begs the question what the right SGP meridian settings are. It gives me pause to
blindly trust how wells APCC "CW up in the East Limits" plays with SGP when nobody, including SGPs
developers, are comfortable enough to provide clear instruction.

Regards,
Eric


Eric Weiner
 

Ray,

This is such a bizarre conversation. Perhaps you guys are too close to the problem, perhaps I don't understand how A-P meridian delay works, or both.  Here is what you had to say on the matter in a different thread on the same subject:

Eric,

As a follow on, regarding operations with imaging software. I use SGP. It seems that once you have the horizon and
meridian limits set correctly in APCC for CW up east and west slews that all meridian tracking and pier flip features
in SGP should be turned off, and that meridian reporting from APCC to SGP should also be turned off. Would you
agree?
That's a question for the SGP developers. It may be that SGP always expects the pier side to match what it should be, but it won’t be in counterweight-up positions.

-Ray

Ray, So you're reply to my recent post indicates it's a simple matter of setting the APCC meridian delay correctly w.r.t. SGP.  What is the correct setting for a meridian delay when there is no meridian flip?????  How does meridian delay function when one starts with CW up and the scope pointing East? Isn't the whole point of the CW Up within East Limits option to avoid a meridian flip?  Enlighten me. 


Eric Weiner
 

And the sycophants out there (Dean) who troll and "like" replies are not only rude and unhelpful, but frankly disruptive.  Unbelievable.  God forbid a person who forks out $14k for a mount and accessories doesn't understand something or has a question. Wow.


Ray Gralak
 

that all meridian tracking and pier flip features in SGP should be turned off,
Eric --- I was referring to this part of your comment. It just means I don't know because I don't regularly use SGPro, so you should ask the developers questions about SGPro settings (or look in the SGPro documentation).

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 2:52 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

Ray,

This is such a bizarre conversation. Perhaps you guys are too close to the problem, perhaps I don't understand
how A-P meridian delay works, or both. Here is what you had to say on the matter in a different thread on the
same subject:

Eric,



As a follow on, regarding operations with imaging software. I use SGP. It seems that once you have the
horizon and
meridian limits set correctly in APCC for CW up east and west slews that all meridian tracking and pier
flip features
in SGP should be turned off, and that meridian reporting from APCC to SGP should also be turned off.
Would you
agree?

That's a question for the SGP developers. It may be that SGP always expects the pier side to match what it
should be, but it won’t be in counterweight-up positions.

-Ray

Ray, So you're reply to my recent post indicates it's a simple matter of setting the APCC meridian delay
correctly w.r.t. SGP. What is the correct setting for a meridian delay when there is no meridian flip????? How
does meridian delay function when one starts with CW up and the scope pointing East? Isn't the whole point of
the CW Up within East Limits option to avoid a meridian flip? Enlighten me.


Eric Weiner
 

Ok...  If I didn't know better I would think this was double talk, but I'm sure this must be a miscommunication.  Here is the problem I'm having Ray:

1.  A few weeks ago you and I had a discussion in this forum about APCC compatibility with SGP when the "CW Up Slews within the East Limits" was enabled with SGP.  You said you didn't know what the best meridian settings were for SGP for it to work safely.

2.  Today you said we should ignore the warning APCC throws when you enable the CW Up within the East Limits option, and that it is compatible with SGP, but you provided no further insight (Roland said today he would never use an automation program when CW start or finish up).

3.  When I asked, again, what the best SGP settings are regarding meridian behavior (flip, don't flip, delays, APCC reporting to SGP, etc) when CW Up within the East Limits in enabled you told me I must not understand A-P meridian delay reporting (and your sycophant agreed without providing his expert insight).  Ok, fine, but no follow-on explanation was given.

4.  When I asked for clarification and quoted what you said a few weeks ago you only replied by saying you don't use SGP often and that I should ask the SGP developers or consult the SGP instructions... A CIRCULAR ARGUMENT!  

Ray, I DID ask them.  They DID NOT provide any clarification, and I DID read the instructions!  There is NOTHING in the SGP manual or help file regarding this issue or I wouldn't be spending time typing this reply to a reply to a reply.

I am NOT trying to be difficult.  I am simply trying to get an answer to what I honestly thought was a simple question.  Can you please private message me with your phone number so we can discuss this over the phone to avoid further miscommunications?  Else, please explain how one sets the APCC meridian delay to play nice with SGP when a meridian flip will not occur because we're starting with CW up and the scope pointing East.  

Thanks,
Eric


Ray Gralak
 

Eric,

Thank you for your opinion, but I don't see things the way you do.

All APCC needs to do is send the mount's current flip point through SGPro's API. That is literally APCC's only involvement in this discussion. To do that, I do not need to be familiar with SGPro settings.

I know East-side counterweight-up has worked with SGPro with APCC's meridian delay because users have reported they have done this. But, does every version of SGPro work correctly? I don't know. Again you will have to ask the SGPro developers. All APCC does is send the meridian flip point to SGPro. This value is always displayed in APCC, and I am sure it is working correctly in the latest public APCC builds. I believe the meridian flip point value can be viewed somewhere in SGPro as well, so there should be a way to confirm the value matches what APCC has set.

Ray, I DID ask them. They DID NOT provide any clarification, and I DID read the instructions! There is
NOTHING in the SGP manual or help file regarding this issue or I wouldn't be spending time typing this reply to
a reply to a reply.
Eric, this is a user group. You are not guaranteed to get an "official" answer here, although you may. I couldn't answer your question about SGPro settings, so I directed you to contact the SGPro developers. I'm sorry that you are not getting a helpful response from them, but that is not my fault.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 4:12 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

Ok... If I didn't know better I would think this was double talk, but I'm sure this must be a miscommunication.
Here is the problem I'm having Ray:

1. A few weeks ago you and I had a discussion in this forum about APCC compatibility with SGP when the
"CW Up Slews within the East Limits" was enabled with SGP. You said you didn't know what the best meridian
settings were for SGP for it to work safely.

2. Today you said we should ignore the warning APCC throws when you enable the CW Up within the East
Limits option, and that it is compatible with SGP, but you provided no further insight (Roland said today he
would never use an automation program when CW start or finish up).

3. When I asked, again, what the best SGP settings are regarding meridian behavior (flip, don't flip, delays,
APCC reporting to SGP, etc) when CW Up within the East Limits in enabled you told me I must not understand
A-P meridian delay reporting (and your sycophant agreed without providing his expert insight). Ok, fine, but no
follow-on explanation was given.

4. When I asked for clarification and quoted what you said a few weeks ago you only replied by saying you
don't use SGP often and that I should ask the SGP developers or consult the SGP instructions... A CIRCULAR
ARGUMENT!

Ray, I DID ask them. They DID NOT provide any clarification, and I DID read the instructions! There is
NOTHING in the SGP manual or help file regarding this issue or I wouldn't be spending time typing this reply to
a reply to a reply.

I am NOT trying to be difficult. I am simply trying to get an answer to what I honestly thought was a simple
question. Can you please private message me with your phone number so we can discuss this over the phone
to avoid further miscommunications? Else, please explain how one sets the APCC meridian delay to play nice
with SGP when a meridian flip will not occur because we're starting with CW up and the scope pointing East.

Thanks,
Eric


Greg McCall
 

RAy,
Re "I'm sure that is possible, but A-P must first approve new features and functionality"

I'm really surprised that A-P has not asked for this functionality.
How do we make this happen?

NINA and ASTAP seem to be the latest must-have in the astro community that don't have a time investment in older, traditional software.
I'm a big fan of SGPro but not plate-solving via SGPro. I know about the ASTAP functionality future for the next version but what about the capture side.
SGPro has a snail's pace development cycle. I subscribe but I suspect that subscription might be short-lived as nothing is happening with SGPro. They can't even finish a 64bit version and they don't want to entertain native drivers.
I suspect that is a cause of SGP having issues with the latest full-frame cameras. SGP seems to me software that is not reacting to other software nipping at their heals.
NINA and Sharpcap v4 (currently in beta) are examples that come to mind.

Sometimes, people want choice and the ability to use say QHY native drivers which SGPro has expressly said it will not longer support
(staying with ASCOM. I can understand the argument but not when others have managed to figure out how to keep up with native drivers for key vendors)
NINA is providing stiff competition to SGPro and gaining wide usage and seems to be more modern with its updates and features.
Surely A-P should be asking that it also be an option in gathering images for APPM?



Eric Weiner
 

Ray,

I don't actually have an opinion on the matter.  I was just trying to get clarity.  Before I continue, I want to thank you for being as attentive as you A-P guys and gals are here at these group.io chats.  Let me also apologize for hijacking the original thread.  That wasn't my intent.  I'm going to start a different thread going forward.  Please, ANYONE with experience with APCC and SGP chime in there.  I didn't intend this to be just between Ray and I. 


 

Greg,

 

Ray is about to release a major version of APCC with features that have been requested by users on this group. Shortly after that, we are going to introduce a new software tool that will allow users to suggest new features and vote on them. This will give us a good idea of what the most popular and potentially useful features that folks, like yourself, would like to see. We also have a few goals ourselves.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Greg McCall
Sent: Saturday, May 1, 2021 1:36 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Newbie question re: APPM

 

RAy,
Re "I'm sure that is possible, but A-P must first approve new features and functionality"

I'm really surprised that A-P has not asked for this functionality.
How do we make this happen?

NINA and ASTAP seem to be the latest must-have in the astro community that don't have a time investment in older, traditional software.
I'm a big fan of SGPro but not plate-solving via SGPro. I know about the ASTAP functionality future for the next version but what about the capture side.
SGPro has a snail's pace development cycle. I subscribe but I suspect that subscription might be short-lived as nothing is happening with SGPro. They can't even finish a 64bit version and they don't want to entertain native drivers.
I suspect that is a cause of SGP having issues with the latest full-frame cameras. SGP seems to me software that is not reacting to other software nipping at their heals.
NINA and Sharpcap v4 (currently in beta) are examples that come to mind.

Sometimes, people want choice and the ability to use say QHY native drivers which SGPro has expressly said it will not longer support
(staying with ASCOM. I can understand the argument but not when others have managed to figure out how to keep up with native drivers for key vendors)
NINA is providing stiff competition to SGPro and gaining wide usage and seems to be more modern with its updates and features.
Surely A-P should be asking that it also be an option in gathering images for APPM?