Rookie Question


markbruner@...
 

Been using the AP 1100 (GTOCP4) for visual with keypad and now jumping to imaging and would like to guide. What is the best way to connect my laptop (2 years old) to Servo control box (using PhD and APT) as there seem to be so many options . 


Cheng-Yang Tan
 

I use a usb2 cable to directly connect the CP4 to my laptop. Never had a problem in this configuration.

On Saturday, September 4, 2021, 9:45 AM, markbruner@... wrote:

Been using the AP 1100 (GTOCP4) for visual with keypad and now jumping to imaging and would like to guide. What is the best way to connect my laptop (2 years old) to Servo control box (using PhD and APT) as there seem to be so many options . 


Roland Christen
 

You only need one single USB cable from your laptop to the CP4.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: markbruner@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 3, 2021 9:04 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Rookie Question

Been using the AP 1100 (GTOCP4) for visual with keypad and now jumping to imaging and would like to guide. What is the best way to connect my laptop (2 years old) to Servo control box (using PhD and APT) as there seem to be so many options . 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


M Hambrick
 

I hope it's OK for me to jump into this conversation because my situation is very similar to Mark's in that I have until now been running my 1100 mount with the keypad, but I would like to start using APCC.

The problem is that I am running out of connections on my laptop:
  • The three USB ports on the laptop are all being used for the mouse, main imaging camera, and guide camera.
  • My laptop does not have a serial port with the DB9 connector.
  • The ethernet connector is used for an Icron Ranger 2304 to provide an extra USB port for a Focuser Boss controller. I suppose that I could use one of the other USB ports in the Icron to connect to the mount. Is this recommended ? I ask because SBIG recommends against plugging their cameras into USB hubs - even powered ones.
  • There is also a HDMI port on my laptop that is not being used.
How about the wireless connection to the mount ? Is this pretty reliable ? The manuals recommend the USB or ethernet connections as being the best.

Mike


Robert Chozick
 

I use a USB 3 hub at my mount and plug in cameras, focuser, serial to USB converter for the CP3.  I also use a GPUSB for guiding since I have a Mac.  I know this is old school but I still want to use my Mac.  I just bring one USB plug into my computer.

Robert

On Sep 4, 2021, at 12:33 PM, M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> wrote:

I hope it's OK for me to jump into this conversation because my situation is very similar to Mark's in that I have until now been running my 1100 mount with the keypad, but I would like to start using APCC.

The problem is that I am running out of connections on my laptop:
  • The three USB ports on the laptop are all being used for the mouse, main imaging camera, and guide camera.
  • My laptop does not have a serial port with the DB9 connector.
  • The ethernet connector is used for an Icron Ranger 2304 to provide an extra USB port for a Focuser Boss controller. I suppose that I could use one of the other USB ports in the Icron to connect to the mount. Is this recommended ? I ask because SBIG recommends against plugging their cameras into USB hubs - even powered ones.
  • There is also a HDMI port on my laptop that is not being used.
How about the wireless connection to the mount ? Is this pretty reliable ? The manuals recommend the USB or ethernet connections as being the best.

Mike


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/4/2021 1:33 PM, M Hambrick wrote:
* The ethernet connector is used for an Icron Ranger 2304 to provide
an extra USB port for a Focuser Boss controller.
I don't understand this. I had an Icron Ranger 2304, and the local unit (LEX) plugs into a _USB_ port, not an Ethernet port. Also, the REX remote unit has _four_ ports. Why so you imply just one ("an") extra port? I'm confused.

True, the LEX and the REX connect with a CAT5 cable, but that does not use an Ethernet port on the PC.

I now have an Icron Raven USB 3.0 extender that connects similarly --
USB3 port on the PC, LEX-REX via a CAT6/7 shielded cable.

I suppose that I
could use one of the other USB ports in the Icron to connect to the
mount. Is this recommended ? I ask because SBIG recommends against
plugging their cameras into USB hubs - even powered ones.
The Icron USB extenders are more than powered hubs. They provide full-spec USB2 ports on the REX -- the Ranger can supply up to 600 mA of +5V on each port concurrently.

I connect to my 1200 mount via RS-232 serial, but I have no doubt the Icron Ranger would provide a solid reliable USB2 connection.

--- Mike


M Hambrick
 

Thanks Mike

My mistake. I haven't used the Icron in a while and forgot the cabling arrangement. However, when I am using the Icron, the USB cable from the Icron plugs into the USB port on the laptop where I normally plug in my wireless mouse. The mouse then plugs into one of the four ports in the Icron.  If I am using my motorized focuser, the USB cable from the Focuser Boss plugs into one of the other USB ports in the Icron. My cameras are always connected to the other two USB ports on the laptop.

So it sounds like I would have two options for connecting the mount via ethernet cable or one of the USB ports on the Icron.

Mike


George LaBelle
 

Use a USB hub to expand ports. Suggest a USB 3.0 type even for USB 2.0.

I've used this for years on 2 different setups:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNGIL32/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title

--
George
Prineville, Oregon


Worsel
 

Two other comments in addition to those who recommend a USB hub to provide more ports. 

Get a powered hub so the length of the cables is less an issue.
Get a hub with more ports that you need...you will likely need them eventually. 

Bryan


Jeffc
 

On Sep 4, 2021, at 10:33 AM, M Hambrick <mhambrick563@gmail.com> wrote:

The three USB ports on the laptop are all being used for the mouse, main imaging camera, and guide camera.
I would consider getting something like a UPBV2 (or other powered USB hub) and put it on the OTA.

Then plug the imaging camera and guide camera into that hub. This will save one port on the laptop.

The focuser could also be plugged into the hub. Save another port there.

Fwiw this is the way I’m setup — there is one USB cable for everything “on the OTA”.
I have 4 ports for the “mount computer”:
- OTA devices: focuser , camera via UPBV2
- AP control box
- Astromi.ch environment / GPS box
- Polemaster camera

The UPBV2 is a bit overkill, but it’s nice for monitoring power, and I now use it for dew control also.

-jeff


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Jeffc wrote:

 

> I would consider getting something like a UPBV2 (or other powered USB hub) and put it on the OTA. 

 

If you swap OTA's frequently, another option is to fasten such a hub to the saddle.  Here is the 16” saddle with a pegasys pocket powerbox advance fastened underneath.  Here only the thru mount cables are attached, and the humidity sensor is taped to the saddle just out of view 9that flat wire).  This stays with the saddle all the time, and then the spiderweb of USB and dew heater and power cables plug in after the OTA is attached.

 

This also keeps the wires (except the dew heater to the front) really short, and they do not need to twist or flex like thru mounts do during slews.

 

There’s room for a LOT of wires thru-mount, but reducing it to just these two makes it more convenient if you want to separate the axes.

 

Linwood

 

 


Chris White
 

I'm a big fan of the Pegasus distribution hubs. I have the advance and Mount it on the OTA. Imaging camera, guidecamera, focuser, filter wheel and dew strap are all powered and/or USB connected for data transfer. I have a single power line running up to the OTA and a single USB cable running down to the PC. My mount is plugged into a second USB port on the PC. really simplifies cable management. 


M Hambrick
 

Thanks for the tips on USB hubs. I assume that the Icron is a good option. I will have to investigate my options for mounting it on my dovetail plate since it is common to my three different imaging trains.

Mike


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/6/2021 1:50 PM, M Hambrick wrote:
Thanks for the tips on USB hubs. I assume that the Icron is a good
option. I will have to investigate my options for mounting it on my
dovetail plate since it is common to my three different imaging trains.
The Icron Raven _is_ a good USB 3 option, but the REX remote unit is large (5.4"x9.1"x1.3") and heavy (2.1 lbs). Plus, it has an external power supply with an AC power cord and a 24VDC cable to the REX. I don't think the REX is suitable for mounting on dovetail plate.

I mounted mine on a wood panel on the south side of my pier: <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html#SouthPanel> For scale, the concrete pier is 12" in diameter.

I loop USB cables from the REX to equipment on the mount. <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html#CableManagement>

--- Mike


jimwc@...
 

Mike
I know this is a AP forum, I am using a Celestron CVX mount right now, but I am on the waiting list for a Mach2. 
I also use a Icron Raven 3104. I mounted it to the dove tail plate with a piece of  0.125" aluminum plate just big enough to hold the Raven and a powerpole block
it mounts under the focuser of my stellarvue SVX 70T very nicely. I run one 12v cable to a powerpole connector block to power my Focuser controller, Imaging camera, and Guide Camera.
I have the power for the Raven 3104 running directly from a AC block on the pier. I have one USB running down to the Mount hand controller from the Raven, I also have a 50 foot Ethernet cable to the kitchen table in the house. I run the  USB cables from the Focuser controller, Imaging camera, and Guide camera on top on my aluminum plate to the Raven. so I only have 4 cables swinging around as the mount moves, when I get my Mach2  it will be even less because I wont have the USB from the mount or the 12v to the powerpole block they run internal to the mount.
Jim


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/6/2021 5:00 PM, jimwc@frontiernet.net wrote:
I also use a Icron Raven 3104. I mounted it to the dove tail plate with
a piece of 0.125" aluminum plate just big enough to hold the Raven and
a powerpole block
it mounts under the focuser of my stellarvue SVX 70T very nicely. I run
one 12v cable to a powerpole connector block to power my Focuser
controller, Imaging camera, and Guide Camera.
I certainly won't argue with success. Your description will make me consider that option if ever I need to re-do my setup.

Thanks for your information.

--- Mike


Derek S
 

Linwoord,

How did you attach the powerbox?  I was thinking 1 screw and velcro?

Sincerely,

Derek


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Derek S wrote:

 

  • How did you attach the powerbox?  I was thinking 1 screw and velcro?

It’s the pocket powerbox, I’m not sure if the larger ones would fit as the RA axis rotates.

 

I used two 1/4x20 screws, and one of the two brackets it came with (or maybe it was extra I do not know, but from Pegasus).  The bracket does not quite fit a 1/4x20 screw, so I reamed it out (it only takes a very little bit and plenty of metal).

 

I found two 1/4x20 holes, one was for a socket head, one for the countersunk angled head, and these happen to line up (I think there’s only two that do on one end only of the 16” saddle).  It is not quite straight but pretty close.  You have to slide the saddle back a step also.

 

With nuts on the bottom tight it holds the PPBadv straight enough I did not need anything else; I had planned thick double sided tape near the end, but didn’t use it.  If I recall you need a specific length for one bolt or it sticks up and blocks the temp probe connector.

 

It’s outside working for a living right now (and not doing well, it’s attracting clouds!) or I’d send a photo, but can tomorrow if that doesn’t make sense.

 


Derek S
 

Thank you, that explains it.


Jeffc
 

Fwiw this person makes pretty nice 3D-printed brackets for the power box and other devices.  

On Oct 1, 2021, at 7:32 PM, Derek S <derek.st@...> wrote:

Thank you, that explains it.