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New file uploaded to ESPMC-Eight

ESPMC-Eight@...
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ESPMC-Eight
group.

File : /Mount Related Files/Chris_PHD2_GuideLog_2018-05-24_234654.txt
Uploaded by : Chris_Moses <chris_moses@yahoo.com>
Description : Calibration, GA, and 3+ hours guiding

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ESPMC-Eight/files/Mount%20Related%20Files/Chris_PHD2_GuideLog_2018-05-24_234654.txt

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_GRPS&locale=en_US&id=SLN15398

Regards,

Chris_Moses <chris_moses@yahoo.com>


Re: Random Tips

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi Jerry,
    I'm glad that is a known issue.  Personally, I would give it a very low priority.  At least for me, it has zero impact now that I learned how to stop it from disabling guiding.

    Incidentally, my guiding for about 4h last night fluctuated from about 0.55" to about 0.75" Total RMS. With occational better and worse periods.  I'll post the details in a new guiding thread.  The original one is becoming a bit long. But, I was pretty happy!


Re: Random Tips

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Chris,

I have been aware of issue 1 since I released the beta test version of the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver. Currently the Slewing() property is set true in my driver code if the current rate on either RA or DEC is set > 54 micro-steps/sec or 15.1875 arc-sec/sec. This is only slightly above the nominal Sidereal Rate. So when PHD is correcting the mount, it will momentarily slew faster than Sidereal Rate when correcting to the west. I set the value for minSlewRate at 54 in the code, you can look for it. 

I would suggest doing as you said and set Phd2 to ignore this error while guiding. You can watch the status change by looking at the POTH display.

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Random Tips

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi,

These aren't really specific to the PMC-8 but I thought I would post them anyway:


1. In PhD2 I was receving sporadic "Mount is slewing" errors.  I saved the debug logs to try to figure out what was going on, but I also discovered you can set it to automatically ignore the error and keep guiding. Much better than continually wondering if your guiding has failed.


2.  I was using TSX to image and PhD2 to guide.  I forgot and left dithering on in both.  Bad idea.  As soon as I turned it off in TSX, my total RMS fell by about 0.05"


3.  If you are like me and forget to properly set the naming convention for your image files, http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Screenshots.php will be a big help.  It's my favorite renamer.


Just a few random tips...

 


Re: Assistance...

Steve Siedentop
 

An update to this....

After some troubleshooting on the phone with Jerry, we determined that the RN-131 WiFi module had failed.  A replacement module is being provided.

Thanks for getting involved at this level, Jerry.  I appreciate it.

-Steve


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Chris,

No problem, glad to help.

1. I bought it right off their website, right from that link, basically. I remember it said something like that when I added it to my cart, but it seemed to go through with no issue. Maybe try it again and see what shows up in the cart. Worst case, you could probably call them and place an order.

2. I remember studying the following links, if you haven't seen them before:
This guys also has a nice write-up/analysis of the work he did:
Here's the way I've been doing it... you remove the motor assembly (keep in mind there are two sets screws on each shaft in the stock ES coupler), so that you can turn the worm by hand. I used a 5mm drill bit inserted into the coupler, so I could really get a good feel for the adjustment and rotate it fairly quickly. 
Then you loosen both bearing blocks, and then squeeze them together while pushing the worm into the follower (or wheel). (You're basically trying to prevent any lateral slack in the worm between the bearing blocks, while getting a rough mesh adjustment.) Once the worm's making full contact with the follower gear, while still squeezing, you should tighten the bolts for both bearing blocks - but not all the way, just enough to hold their position.
Then tighten the inner bearing block (closest to the coupler) a bit more. With a straight-edge up against both bearing blocks, I used an adjustable wrench to fine-tune the angle of the inner bearing block to sit flat against the straight-edge. Then I would slightly loosen the outer bearing block to make it sit flat against the straight-edge, while still keeping axial compression on the worm.
The next step would be to turn the worm to move the follower all the way around, to find where you feel any binding. Whenever it binds, I would slightly nudge the outer bearing block away, while keeping the squeezing/compression that was established from the first couple steps. Once there is no binding, and it feels smooth with a full rotation of the axis, I would then do a final tightening of both bearing block bolts, while holding them with the adjustable wrench to keep them from rotating, checking their alignment with the straight-edge as needed. A little extra backlash in RA is no problem, but in DEC you want to minimize it. Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but hope this helps! It gets easier with practice!

Regards,
Jeremy


Re: TheSkyX move/jog section not displayed

W. Christopher Moses
 

Looks like TSX is doing something funky when it gets the CanMoveAxis.  The code clearly specifies TRUE for Primary and Secondary, but the TSX log shows it is getting FALSE.
    I can't imagine they are looking at CanMoveAxis for TERTIARY, but maybe I'll set that to TRUE just to see.


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

For the 1st time in a week, we had decent conditions last night, so I setup outside.  I only connected my Win10 tablet using ASCOM wirelessly using POTH, CdC, and ASCOMPAD.  I used XBox controller w/ ASCOMPAD to do the rotations need for PoleMaster, as well as tweeking the GoTo pointing.

Everything worked without any disconnects over the 2+ hours.  As far as connections were concerned, my only complaint was that XBox controller w/ ASCOMPAD does work unless the ASCOMPAD window is visible and the active window.  So tweeking the mount's direction required bringing ASCOMPAD up from the hidden tray before using the controller, but at least it can work though a PITA.  (I have posted my ASCOMPAD issues to the EQMOD group, and my only response so far is that it might be an XBox controller driver issue.)

My entire session had my camera connected instead of EP, and I was trying out the trial version of APT.  APT worked, but I could not get it to platesolve.  Earlier in the day, I installed PlateSolve2 and ASPS and their respective catalogs, but APT could not find the catalogs.  I sure this is user error, as this is the 1st time I have used the software.

So progress is being made, although slowly.
 


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi Jeremey,
     Thanks again.
     Two questions:

1. Where did you buy the Ruland Coupler?  The Ruland site says they aren't available right now in that quantity.  

2. Do you have any links to good resources for adjusting the work block?  I'm finding a fair amount of contradictory information and I'm not sure how much is directly applicable to our set-ups.

Thanks,
Chris


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

As far as I know, the ASCOMPAD should be running when it is minimized and you should not lose communications with the gamepad. There may be a setting somewhere that speaks to that perhaps, but as far as I know, it should work. That may be another question to post to the EQMOD Yahoo group.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

Jerry,

I have just noticed it was in the hidden tray; I actually had several of them in there, as I was restarting extra versions.

Is there a way to keep the XBox controller to work when the ASCOMPAD is hidden?


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

Yes, I have seen the issue with the Park not seeming to work. I would need to dig into the source code for both the ASCOMPAD and POTH to really figure it out, but I don't currently have the time to troubleshoot that issue. You may want to post a message to the EQMOD Yahoo group to see if anyone there has seen this issue and may have an answer. I am not an expert in these programs and others here on the forum may have some experience with them and/or may want to tackle this issue.

The ASCOMPAD program when minimized goes to the hidden icon tray in lower right of the task bar (vertical chevron/arrow) You don't have to start another instance of it. It's kind of annoying, but I think the idea is that ASCOMPAD just runs in the background and you don't need to worry about it, but that may not always be the case.

I hope that helps

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

Jerry,

Thanks!

I did have the ASCOMPAD Mount set to the PMC-8.  When I changed it to POTH and then had Mount to Connect, the PMC-8 would then respond to the XBox controller.

There are a few issues still:

1) Pushing the XBox button "X" to Park has no response, it requires me to mouse click the "Park" button on the ASCOMPAD window.  XBox button "Y" to UnPark seems to work, however.

2) POTH and ASCOMPAD do not seem to work together all the time, when I have both apps working.  It seems like the cursor has to be on ASCOMPAD window for the XBox controller to work, when the cursor is not on the ASCOMPAD window, there is no response.

3) If I bring CdC to the front, ASCOMPAD window disappears (and not in the tray at the bottom), and the ASCOMPAD app has to be relaunched to work.  After relaunch, ASCOMPAD does NOT know where Park is.
 


Factory RESET Problem

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Steve,

Unfortunately you have reset the default PMC-Eight Wifi configuration back to the Microchip factory default values. If you read in the Application Note AN-002, you will see that the Explore Scientific default configuration from us is NOT the Microchip Factory default. 

There are commands listed in the Application Note that you need to issue to the WiFi module to get it back to communicating with the ExploreStars application and the ASCOM driver over wireless. I guess I need to update the manual to make it very clear that the command "factory RESET" is not what you want to do. 

The only commands you need to issue to the PMC-Eight to swap between the wireless and wired connection via the serial and WiFi ports is ESX!

The bottom line is you never want to issue the factory RESET command unless you are messing with configuring your WiFi to connect to your Internet and you make a mistake and you want to start over again.  See Application Note AN-002 for details


If you have a serial cable and have TeamViewer I can walk through fixing your WiFi module. Let me know.

Jerry Hubbell


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

W. Christopher Moses
 

That is a big help. Thanks a lot


Re: RA Stiction

W. Christopher Moses
 

I haven't heard of anyone using it in DEC.  Have you?  It sounds like a good idea to me.
Maybe I'll take it out of the RA just to see how much it helps DEC.
Keep us posted


Re: Assistance...

W. Christopher Moses
 

I don't recall if the default state is wired or wireless, but it sounds like it is now in wired mode. Do you have a cable handy?


Assistance...

Steve Siedentop
 

Translated...I need someone to bail me out.


Through the course of attempting to get WiFi scope to work by connecting to the PMC8's serial port, I have somehow managed to brick my controller, or so it seems.


I abandoned my WiFi Scope Efforts as I ran into too many obstacles with ASCOM, although I was never able to successfully connect via the serial port so ASCOM is not the only suspect.  


So, after sending the "factory RESET" command on page 2 of _ESAN002_rev02.pdf, my PuTTY session froze up.  I stepped away for a few minutes to handle something, came back, cycled the power, and viola, no PMC8 WiFi network to connect to.


When powered on, the indicator lights are as follows:


1)  WiFi Data Transmission - OFF

2)  +5 WiFi Module Power - Steady Green

3)  Main Processor Watchdog Active - OFF

4)  WiFi Connection - Blinking Green

5)  WiFi Association - Blinking Red

6)  Main Processor Power - Stead Red


Any thoughts on how to proceed?  Thanks in advance for your help.


-Steve


Re: RA Stiction

Steve Siedentop
 

I just got mine today and it definitely makes a difference.

I noticed that the DEC axis also has the indents to allow for this spring washer and it looks to be the same size.  It's cheap enough that I may just get another one for the DEC axis if for no other reason than to make balancing in DEC easier.

-Steve


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

If when you press the ASCOMPAD NSEW buttons the mount does not move make sure the ASCOMPAD is connected to POTH. It should be no different than pressing the POTH buttons on the screen. It sounds like the gamepad is connected to the ASCOMPAD program as it responds and maps the buttons as you said. The problem appears to be the connection between ASCOMPAD and POTH. When you use the chooser in ASCOMPAD make sure you choose POTH, not the PMC8.Telescope driver.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.

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