Topics

Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad


 

Here is a more complete explanation of requirements for the upcoming Keypad version 5:

  • Must be used with GTOCP4 or GTOCP5 (CP5 is for Mach2GTO only). This is due to the more advanced command language and pointing precision that is only available in these control boxes. The software of the GTOCP4 itself will have to be updated, which can be done online. We will have more information regarding the downloadable upgrade when the time comes.

  • Keypad serial number.  The serial number on the back of your keypad must be 1491 or  greater (exception: keypads with earlier serial numbers that also contain the letter “R” indicating that they were upgraded during their repair).  Keypads with earlier serial numbers that do not have the letter “R” do not have sufficient memory.

  • Software can be downloaded. You will be able to download the software from our website using our new keypad loader program that uses Java. So, you can download with Windows, Mac or Linux.

  • New keypad button membrane option.  The function of the two lower right-hand buttons has changed since these functions are not commonly used in present technology: reticle brightness and focus adjustment.  They have been replaced by RECAL and ENT (see attached).  However your current keypad membrane will work just fine – you will only have to remember that the functions do not match the button label (or you can relabel them with a sticker).  If you would prefer that the buttons be labeled correctly, we will offer an upgrade to the new button membrane so that you don’t have to purchase a complete new keypad.  Your keypad will have to be returned to Astro-Physics for this installation. We do not have the information regarding this upgrade yet.  

    We are presently shipping new keypads with the new button membrane and the present version 4.19.3.  When the new program is released, customers with the new keypad will simply download the new program and be ready to go.

I hope this clarifies.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2019 9:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2

 

Your keypad can be modified to allow all the new programs to work. It will need to be sent in for that, when the time comes.

 

Rolando

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Berta <biker123@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Dec 28, 2019 10:49 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2

Sounds like a very interesting addition to the hand controller features. The question I have is whether it is a download upgrade to the existing controller or only available on a brand new hand controller. The reason I ask is because I have both a AP 900 and new AP 1100 mount. I have only one hand controller which is swapped between mounts (one is permanent setup and other mount goes to star parties). I have though about getting a second hand controller but have been holding out for a few years to see if there will be a completely new version. The one I have now has all the current updates installed.

I know that I can run the mounts from my computer when imaging and I do that....but sometimes I prefer the hand controller for fast visual observing.


Worsel
 

Are the new modelling/drift control capabilities only available via the new hand control or will they somehow be available via APPC or AP driver?  I do not have a hand control.

Bryan

1100 GT (non-AE)


 

I’m new to this but doesn’t apcc already have appm which Seems like a more robust model capability

Brian

On Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at 1:30 PM Worsel via Groups.Io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Are the new modelling/drift control capabilities only available via the new hand control or will they somehow be available via APPC or AP driver?  I do not have a hand control.

Bryan

1100 GT (non-AE)

--
Brian 



Brian Valente


uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 

This is a keypad software upgrade to make the keypad more versatile. APCC/APPM is already fully versatile, no need to upgrade it.

APCC has its own modeling capability in APPM which is more powerful for all-sky modeling. It is also faster because it is basically hands-off automatic. You set the program up, walk away and come back in 1/2 hour, 45 minutes, and you have an all-sky model which then gives you pointing, drift correction, etc.

With the keypad version we are trying to plug a gap for those who have rudimentary equipment, maybe just a digital camera and no guider, no computer, or just limited extraneous apps that show where the mount is pointing using an app on your smartphone via wifi. Yes, you can also use the keypad tracking and pointing functions with a laptop, a planetarium program and image capture (Maxim DL or PHD2).

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Worsel via Groups.Io <bryancashion@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Dec 29, 2019 3:30 pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

Are the new modelling/drift control capabilities only available via the new hand control or will they somehow be available via APPC or AP driver?  I do not have a hand control.

Bryan

1100 GT (non-AE)


Joseph Beyer
 

Lots of good information here.  It sounds like setting up and running APPM before imaging is straight forward.  Since Pinpoint is one of the listed plate solving programs used by APPM is it possible to use Voyager as the camera control program?  Looks like I'd need to go camera shopping tho... 

Joe 

On Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at 2:09 PM uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
This is a keypad software upgrade to make the keypad more versatile. APCC/APPM is already fully versatile, no need to upgrade it.

APCC has its own modeling capability in APPM which is more powerful for all-sky modeling. It is also faster because it is basically hands-off automatic. You set the program up, walk away and come back in 1/2 hour, 45 minutes, and you have an all-sky model which then gives you pointing, drift correction, etc.

With the keypad version we are trying to plug a gap for those who have rudimentary equipment, maybe just a digital camera and no guider, no computer, or just limited extraneous apps that show where the mount is pointing using an app on your smartphone via wifi. Yes, you can also use the keypad tracking and pointing functions with a laptop, a planetarium program and image capture (Maxim DL or PHD2).

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Worsel via Groups.Io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Dec 29, 2019 3:30 pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

Are the new modelling/drift control capabilities only available via the new hand control or will they somehow be available via APPC or AP driver?  I do not have a hand control.

Bryan

1100 GT (non-AE)


Worsel
 

As I understand the APCC info, APPM only works with APCC-Pro (I have Standard and it has been GREAT!).  APPM is a module that just allows APCC-Pro to talk to one of several external plate solvers.  I model and plate solve now with Cartes du Ciel and Astrotortilla, BUT I do require guiding to get tight stars.  Hence, the drift correction functionality is of most interest.

I would upgrade to APCC_Pro, IF that allows unguided imaging even without AE.

Bryan


uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 


IF that allows unguided imaging even without AE.
Unguided imaging is possible if you have a good PE curve that eliminates periodic error down to 1 arc sec. levels. When we test our mounts, typically we can get the 1100/1600 down below 1 arc sec., the mach1 is not quite that low but close. So it will depend on your scope's focal length, the exposure time, your pixel scale etc. These will determine whether you get reasonably round stars.

Unguided imaging can actually be better than guided in some instances, especially in Dec since there will not be any backlash effect. Dec will slowly move as required by the model and never reverse direction or overshoot or oscillate about the center point.

The practical exposure time will depend on pixel scale.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Worsel via Groups.Io <bryancashion@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Dec 30, 2019 10:33 am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

As I understand the APCC info, APPM only works with APCC-Pro (I have Standard and it has been GREAT!).  APPM is a module that just allows APCC-Pro to talk to one of several external plate solvers.  I model and plate solve now with Cartes du Ciel and Astrotortilla, BUT I do require guiding to get tight stars.  Hence, the drift correction functionality is of most interest.

I would upgrade to APCC_Pro, IF that allows unguided imaging even without AE.

Bryan


Worsel
 

THANKS!


Bryan


 

I talked with Ray at AIC and he informed me he has been tweaking APPM so that he can get upwards of 20 min unguided exposures, and is working towards longer unguided

of course, mileage varies depending on pixel scale, etc. but it was pretty clear to me it's an area of interest and effort for Ray


On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 8:32 AM Worsel via Groups.Io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
As I understand the APCC info, APPM only works with APCC-Pro (I have Standard and it has been GREAT!).  APPM is a module that just allows APCC-Pro to talk to one of several external plate solvers.  I model and plate solve now with Cartes du Ciel and Astrotortilla, BUT I do require guiding to get tight stars.  Hence, the drift correction functionality is of most interest.

I would upgrade to APCC_Pro, IF that allows unguided imaging even without AE.

Bryan



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Worsel
 

Brian

THANKS as well!



Bryan


Wayne Hixson
 

Any idea when the documentation for the new modeling functions will be available? Something to read ahead of time. 


wayne


Worsel
 

I downloaded trial versions of APCC-Pro and PinPoint from DC3.  In the process of testing these, it appears that PinPoint can only use FIT files for plate solving.  As I image mostly with a DSLR, this presents a barrier, since APPM links to PinPoint in order to build a sky-model.

While I can convert the Raw images to FIT manually, this obviously negates the advantages of automatic mapping.

Have I missed something?  Is PinPoint (and therefore APPM) capable of reading Raw or even JPG files?

Before I go through the process of downloading, installing, and tinkering with SGP, does it allow the use of DSLR Raw or JPG files for PlateSolve2?  SGP can capture images from a DSLR, but I cannot tell if it can use Raw images for PlateSolve2.

I use AstroTortilla now for platesolving vias ANSVR.  Is it possible for APPM to connect directly to ANSVR? rather than go through PinPpoint or PlateSolve2?

Bryan

Thanks.

Bryan


Dale Ghent
 


Which app do you normally use to drive your camera and imaging sessions? Do you not use SGP, but something else? What does your normal imaging workflow involve?

Because of the proprietary formats of DSLR cameras (Canon CR2/CR3, Nikon NEF, etc) apps typically need an ancillary program or library to convert those formats into a more common format that it can make better use of, such as converting the camera raw image a basic bitmap and then on to FITS, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and the like. Individual plate solver apps such as Platesolve2, ASTAP, and others generally do not include these libraries (which must be constantly updated to support new cameras as they are released)  so typically only accept inputs of what we call Well-Known Formats, such as the aforementioned. For this, you need a surrogate program which can manage the raw camera files, which SGP and other apps can do, but of those APPM only gets along with SGP at the moment.

I'm under the impression that SGP will just do the right thing when it comes to DSLR raw files and sending them to a configured platesolver such as Platesolve2. Under the camera options for Canon EOS or Nikon, the default option is to save the image data as FITS. It's this data that is used to send on to the configured plate solver in SGP. See the attached screenshot.


/dale

On Jan 3, 2020, at 1:45 AM, Worsel via Groups.Io <bryancashion@...> wrote:

I downloaded trial versions of APCC-Pro and PinPoint from DC3.  In the process of testing these, it appears that PinPoint can only use FIT files for plate solving.  As I image mostly with a DSLR, this presents a barrier, since APPM links to PinPoint in order to build a sky-model.

While I can convert the Raw images to FIT manually, this obviously negates the advantages of automatic mapping.

Have I missed something?  Is PinPoint (and therefore APPM) capable of reading Raw or even JPG files?

Before I go through the process of downloading, installing, and tinkering with SGP, does it allow the use of DSLR Raw or JPG files for PlateSolve2?  SGP can capture images from a DSLR, but I cannot tell if it can use Raw images for PlateSolve2.

I use AstroTortilla now for platesolving vias ANSVR.  Is it possible for APPM to connect directly to ANSVR? rather than go through PinPpoint or PlateSolve2?

Bryan

Thanks.

Bryan


Ray Gralak
 

I downloaded trial versions of APCC-Pro and PinPoint from DC3. In the process of testing these, it appears that
PinPoint can only use FIT files for plate solving. As I image mostly with a DSLR, this presents a barrier, since
APPM links to PinPoint in order to build a sky-model.
If your camera does not have an ASCOM driver then you will need an intermediary camera control application like MaximDL, SkyX Pro (with Camera add on), or Sequence Generator Pro. MaximDL and SkyX both have excellent automation interfaces and work with many different cameras including DSLRs. Sequence Generator Pro also works but its automation interface is not as rich.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Worsel via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, January 2, 2020 10:45 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

I downloaded trial versions of APCC-Pro and PinPoint from DC3. In the process of testing these, it appears that
PinPoint can only use FIT files for plate solving. As I image mostly with a DSLR, this presents a barrier, since
APPM links to PinPoint in order to build a sky-model.

While I can convert the Raw images to FIT manually, this obviously negates the advantages of automatic mapping.

Have I missed something? Is PinPoint (and therefore APPM) capable of reading Raw or even JPG files?

Before I go through the process of downloading, installing, and tinkering with SGP, does it allow the use of DSLR
Raw or JPG files for PlateSolve2? SGP can capture images from a DSLR, but I cannot tell if it can use Raw
images for PlateSolve2.

I use AstroTortilla now for platesolving vias ANSVR. Is it possible for APPM to connect directly to ANSVR? rather
than go through PinPpoint or PlateSolve2?

Bryan

Thanks.

Bryan


Worsel
 

Ray

Thanks

I will give SGP a trial test

Bryan


Worsel
 

Thanks, Dale!

I use BYEOS.  It integrates well with Astrotortilla and supports multiple EOS cameras.  In fact, the only reason I would move away from it is that it cannot do drift correction, hence my interest in APPC-Pro and APPM

I will give SGP a trial test.

Bryan


Robert Berta
 

Roland....I have both a 900 CP3 and 1100 mount with CP4. Once the keypad is updated to this new version will it still work with the CP3 box? Both CP 3 and 4 and hand controller are already updated t the latest version of firmware.


uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 

The new keypad requires a CP4, will not work with the CP3.
In order to take full advantage of all the new keypad features, the CP4 will need the latest software download which is quick and easy to do over the internet.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Berta <biker123@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2020 2:57 pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

Roland....I have both a 900 CP3 and 1100 mount with CP4. Once the keypad is updated to this new version will it still work with the CP3 box? Both CP 3 and 4 and hand controller are already updated t the latest version of firmware.


 

Just to clarify. The CP4 version that will be required for the keypad has not been released yet.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 3:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

 

The new keypad requires a CP4, will not work with the CP3.

In order to take full advantage of all the new keypad features, the CP4 will need the latest software download which is quick and easy to do over the internet.

 

Roland

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Berta <biker123@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2020 2:57 pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

Roland....I have both a 900 CP3 and 1100 mount with CP4. Once the keypad is updated to this new version will it still work with the CP3 box? Both CP 3 and 4 and hand controller are already updated t the latest version of firmware.


Greg Salyer
 

Can we hear a bit about this new keypad? Is it a firmware upgrade to the existing hardware or something totally new? Is it usable in daylight as well as night conditions? I know there’s been a lot of discussions in this forum about new keypad functions and assumed it was targeted at the CP4 but I didn’t know it was a new product.

Greg

On Jan 15, 2020, at 12:10 PM, Marj Christen <marj@...> wrote:



Just to clarify. The CP4 version that will be required for the keypad has not been released yet.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 3:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

 

The new keypad requires a CP4, will not work with the CP3.

In order to take full advantage of all the new keypad features, the CP4 will need the latest software download which is quick and easy to do over the internet.

 

Roland

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Berta <biker123@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2020 2:57 pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to new keypad version (was RE: [ap-gto] Unguided imaging with Mach2) #Keypad

Roland....I have both a 900 CP3 and 1100 mount with CP4. Once the keypad is updated to this new version will it still work with the CP3 box? Both CP 3 and 4 and hand controller are already updated t the latest version of firmware.