Date   

Re: loud noise

Brent Phillips
 

that was the fix thank you 


Re: loud noise

Brent Phillips
 

thank you for the reply I will look at the adjustment


Re: loud noise

W. Christopher Moses
 

I would try it without any gear or counterweight on it. Is it still moving?



On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 11:26 AM, brent.phillips79@... [ESPMC-Eight]
wrote:
 

I have noticed a loud noise coming from the motors on the right ascension.  it only happens when the top of the mount is moving to the west.  when it moves to the East it is quiet.  I have checked the balance and everything is balanced good.  Any ideas on what this might be?


Re: loud noise

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Brent,

Is the noise you hear kind of a ratcheting sound?  If so it sounds like the torque required to move the mount is exceeding the torque applied by the motor. The stepper motors will do this if the mount is out of balance (which is not your issue) or if the gear mesh is tight in a certain location where the worm interfaces with the wheel (sometimes called the ring gear). In this case your mount needs to be adjusted. There are instructions on the Losmandy website on how to adjust the worm mesh for the mount here:


I suggest that you disconnect the motor coupler prior to adjusting the worm and then after it looks and feels good when rotating the worm by hand, then reconnect the motor. I know others on the forum can give you additional advice on how to do this. You can also search the G11 forum for additional information.

If you are not sure about doing this, or want to have Explore Scientific adjust your mount, then you should call Customer Service at 866-252-3811 or write service@...

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


loud noise

Brent Phillips
 

I have noticed a loud noise coming from the motors on the right ascension.  it only happens when the top of the mount is moving to the west.  when it moves to the East it is quiet.  I have checked the balance and everything is balanced good.  Any ideas on what this might be?


Sky Safari Interface for Explore Scientific PMC-8 Mounts

Steve Siedentop
 

All -


If you have any interest in using SkySafari to control the PMC-8 (without a workaround like Wifi Scope), speak your mind on their support forums...


Even if you don't have any interest, speak your mind.  SkySafari support will go a long way to increase the popularity and visibility of the product, which is good for everyone that uses a PMC-8 product.


https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360009291573-Sky-Safari-Interface-for-Explore-Scientific-PMC-8-Mounts


-Steve




Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

hubbell_jerry@...
 

I have created an Explore Scientific Knowledge Base article from this message here:


Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.



---In ESPMC-Eight@..., <hubbell_jerry@...> wrote :

Hi Mark,

There is nothing in the firmware which forces it to select back to WiFi when the PMC-Eight powers up. Unless the ESX! command is sent it will stay at its current value. As has been stated earlier, just powering down the PMC-Eight and powering it back up will not switch the communications port back to WiFi. 

Having said that, you may be seeing that the SSID for the PMC-Eight is still available for connection and you can in fact connect to it as the WiFi module always powers up when booting up the PMC-Eight. The firmware switch selecting the communications channel is stored in the EEPROM memory (permanent) and can only be changed with the ESX! command.

If you cannot make the serial connection work then there is something else going on with your connection. To verify that your serial cable works fine, you can do the following procedure:

1. Connect your serial cable to your computer
2. Determine the com port assigned to your cable.
3. Start the Parallax Serial Terminal Program


4. Select the proper com port and set the BAUD rate to 115200
5. Power up the PMC-Eight
6. The splash screen for the PMC-Eight should show up in the terminal verifying that you have proper communications with the controller.
7. OPTIONAL - You can send a command via the terminal to see the controller respond, %%% (Diagnostics Mode OFF), or ESB! (reboot), 

If you do not see the splash screen, then verify that the controller is actually selected to the WiFi channel by connecting ExploreStars to the PMC-Eight and making sure it works. If that works fine, then do the following:

1. Go through the procedure again to switch from WiFi to Serial.


2. Try and connect to ExploreStars again to make sure you have actually switched to the serial connection.
3. Follow the procedure above to see if you get the splash screen.

Remember, when switching from WiFi to serial using the ESX! command, you should see ESX0! as a response verifying that it is selected to the serial channel. If you do not see a response then it did not switch.

Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
 


Re: Newbi in need of help.

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi,
   Welcome to the group.
    For polar aligning, don't forget to do a basic level.  No need to get it exact, but it makes adjusting the ra and dec easier as they will move the mount at 90-degree angles.


Re: Newbi in need of help.

Amy Jones
 

thanks steven,  much appreciated.  


Re: Newbi in need of help.

Steve Siedentop
 

Hi Amy -

To answer your questions...

Can I Polar align only?  Or do I also have to go through a 2 or 3 star alignment?
If you're using ExploreStars, you'll need to do both.  It seems to be a well kept secret that if you're not taking pictures, centering the north star (Polaris) in an eyepiece will get you polar aligned close enough so that a 2 or three star alignment will put objects in or near the center of the eyepiece.
If you're using your computer and a program like Cartes du Ciel, polar alignment is much more important as the computer program is relying solely on the physical alignment of the mount to find objects.

Are the knobs in the RA and DEC supposed to be loose or tight?
The RA and DEC knobs (clutch knobs) should be tight when you're sending the mount to a target.

Here's a video of how to set up an equatorial mount in general...it's not a PMC8, but there's good advice on balancing and polar aligning.  Don't get too caught up in the details of polar alignment unless you have a camera on your telescope.  Centering Polaris in the eyepiece will get you close enough to do a 2 star or 3 star alignment in ExploreStars so you can start observing.


As far as what to observe...check out some of the Astronomical League's observing programs:
*The Urban Observing Program is a good place to start...if you want to earn the certificate, you'll need to record your observations.  Details here:  https://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/urban/urbanld.html


Hope this helps...

-Steve



Re: Newbi in need of help.

Amy Jones
 

thanks Jerry,  that really helps.  I will start watching the videos and give it another try.  


Re: Newbi in need of help.

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your purchase, I know that it can be a bit intimidating for a new user to the hobby but you will find lots of folks on here to give you a hand. 

You can do either a physical polar alignment using the polar alignment scope, or you can use the 2 or 3 star alignment in ExploreStars, or both. If you want to get the most accurate goto navigation then you should do a 3 star alignment.

The clutch knobs on the RA and DEC knob need to be tight after manually positioning the telescope and balancing the scope on each axis with them loose.

To get you started Here is a link to our knowledge base article on how to get started with the PMC-Eight. 


There is a lot to learn, but you can start with these two videos



Hopefully this will get you started.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.




Newbi in need of help.

Amy Jones
 

I just bought a Exos2 pmc-eight and I feel overwhelmed.  This is my first go to mount and I am not familiar at all with the go to mounts.  I tried to follow instructions to get it to work but needless to say that all I had is a couple of frustrating nights and lots of questions.  I really want to learn how to use it but I am getting to the point where I feel intimidated by it.  I am looking for a good soul who would like to take me under his/her wing and help me through the learning process.  

if you are that soul here is the first question. 


Can I polar align only?  or do I also have to go through the 2 or 3 star alignment?  

also,  are the knobs in the RA and DEC supposed to be loose or tight?  


thanks



Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

There is nothing in the firmware which forces it to select back to WiFi when the PMC-Eight powers up. Unless the ESX! command is sent it will stay at its current value. As has been stated earlier, just powering down the PMC-Eight and powering it back up will not switch the communications port back to WiFi. 

Having said that, you may be seeing that the SSID for the PMC-Eight is still available for connection and you can in fact connect to it as the WiFi module always powers up when booting up the PMC-Eight. The firmware switch selecting the communications channel is stored in the EEPROM memory (permanent) and can only be changed with the ESX! command.

If you cannot make the serial connection work then there is something else going on with your connection. To verify that your serial cable works fine, you can do the following procedure:

1. Connect your serial cable to your computer
2. Determine the com port assigned to your cable.
3. Start the Parallax Serial Terminal Program


4. Select the proper com port and set the BAUD rate to 115200
5. Power up the PMC-Eight
6. The splash screen for the PMC-Eight should show up in the terminal verifying that you have proper communications with the controller.
7. OPTIONAL - You can send a command via the terminal to see the controller respond, %%% (Diagnostics Mode OFF), or ESB! (reboot), 

If you do not see the splash screen, then verify that the controller is actually selected to the WiFi channel by connecting ExploreStars to the PMC-Eight and making sure it works. If that works fine, then do the following:

1. Go through the procedure again to switch from WiFi to Serial.


2. Try and connect to ExploreStars again to make sure you have actually switched to the serial connection.
3. Follow the procedure above to see if you get the splash screen.

Remember, when switching from WiFi to serial using the ESX! command, you should see ESX0! as a response verifying that it is selected to the serial channel. If you do not see a response then it did not switch.

Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
 


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi,
Good.  As a programmer, I can do a lot more when people are running Win10.  Trying to support older versions is just a pain.  The Win10 version will automatically switch wifi networks for you.  With the other version you still have to switch to the pmc-8 network manually, but it will handle doing the switch in the pmc-8.


On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 11:33:16 AM EDT, lamb_mark@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


 

Chris,


I am running Win10Pro.


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

Chris,

I am running Win10Pro.


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

W. Christopher Moses
 

BTW - which OS are you using?  I ask because the utility I wrote will work on any version of windows.  I have a windows 10 specific one in the works.  It provides some additional capability.  If you would like to test it, send me an email, please. 

Actually, that goes for everyone.  Anyone who wants to test the win10 version, just let me know.


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi,
   It sounds like you are making real progress learning things!  Be sure to read the Phd2 troubleshooting guide before you go out with it.  It seems really hard when you first start, but there really isn't that much to it.  Feel free to PM me with questions.  I'm not an expert but will try to help.

   The pmc-8 should not be reverting to wifi, at least to my knowledge.  I've never seen that on mine.
    I'll be posting a utility to switch back and forth later today.  I'll consider it a beta until it has been used a bit but it seems to work well.

Yes, that sounds like field curvature to me. 


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Robert Hoskin <r_hoskin@...>
 

Mark,

I put my PMC-8 into serial mode shortly after I received it.  It's been powered on and off, many times since that, and has not reverted to wifi. 
- Bob


From: "lamb_mark@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 9:48 AM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

 
I have been away for a few days, but last night I got out again.  I had high thin clouds, but had enough visibility to setup, align, use Bahtinov mask to focus, get APT to platesolve, and to take a few shots for training (only) purposes.   I am still not trying autoguiding, as I want to take one step at a time.  With the next couple of days/nights without rain, I may attach my QHY5L-II-M and try PHD2 by Wednesday.

The PMC-8 serial connection does NOT work as I was expecting.  My impression was that after switching to serial with the PUTTY process, it would stay in the serial mode.  I had mine switched to serial in my basement last week, and when I tried it tonight it would NOT work with the serial cable, but would work with wifi.  I noticed the same thing last week, as I switched to serial and my tablet talked to the PMC-8 as expected, but the next day (after turning off the system), the PMC-8 had reverted on its own back to wifi, requiring redoing the convoluted serial switch process.  Is the PMC-8 supposed to always revert to wifi upon power down?

If the PMC-8 automatically reverts to wifi when shut down, it is even more necessary to get an easy, one-click switching method.

Since it was already dark when I went out, I left it in the wifi mode, and it worked perfectly.

Last week I had seen Jerry note on wifi issues, and one of the points was to have the PC more than 1-2 feet from the PMC-8.  I was previously having tablet ~ 1ft from the PMC-8.  Last night, I moved it ~3ft away and had no problems.

When looking at the photos, it seems that my focus is off a bit, as the stars are round but noticeably too large.  I was also trying various exposure times, from 60s to 420s, and upon viewing on my 11" tablet, all of the exposures look ~ the same, with no obvious star trailing.  If I had better fine focus, I wonder how much of a difference there would be?  The 6min and 7min exposure might have been a little ragged, but I have to get the photos on to my Z440 and view on a 27" monitor to check.  So from that experiment (which was consistent with last week), it seems that my G11 is working well and my alignment (with Polemaster) has been good.

When I viewed on my 27" monitor, the star shapes are ~ the same on exposures from 60s to 420s. While the stars in the center of the frame are very round (though slightly out of focus), those on the edges are slightly oval.  To this novice, that seems to tell me that the mount is tracking very well unguided, but I have some field curvature in my ED102CF (there is NO field flattner) and/or some slop in the compression fitting that attaches to my camera's 2"nose tube, causing the sensor to be slightly off parallel.





Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

I have been away for a few days, but last night I got out again.  I had high thin clouds, but had enough visibility to setup, align, use Bahtinov mask to focus, get APT to platesolve, and to take a few shots for training (only) purposes.   I am still not trying autoguiding, as I want to take one step at a time.  With the next couple of days/nights without rain, I may attach my QHY5L-II-M and try PHD2 by Wednesday.

The PMC-8 serial connection does NOT work as I was expecting.  My impression was that after switching to serial with the PUTTY process, it would stay in the serial mode.  I had mine switched to serial in my basement last week, and when I tried it tonight it would NOT work with the serial cable, but would work with wifi.  I noticed the same thing last week, as I switched to serial and my tablet talked to the PMC-8 as expected, but the next day (after turning off the system), the PMC-8 had reverted on its own back to wifi, requiring redoing the convoluted serial switch process.  Is the PMC-8 supposed to always revert to wifi upon power down?

If the PMC-8 automatically reverts to wifi when shut down, it is even more necessary to get an easy, one-click switching method.

Since it was already dark when I went out, I left it in the wifi mode, and it worked perfectly.

Last week I had seen Jerry note on wifi issues, and one of the points was to have the PC more than 1-2 feet from the PMC-8.  I was previously having tablet ~ 1ft from the PMC-8.  Last night, I moved it ~3ft away and had no problems.

When looking at the photos, it seems that my focus is off a bit, as the stars are round but noticeably too large.  I was also trying various exposure times, from 60s to 420s, and upon viewing on my 11" tablet, all of the exposures look ~ the same, with no obvious star trailing.  If I had better fine focus, I wonder how much of a difference there would be?  The 6min and 7min exposure might have been a little ragged, but I have to get the photos on to my Z440 and view on a 27" monitor to check.  So from that experiment (which was consistent with last week), it seems that my G11 is working well and my alignment (with Polemaster) has been good.

When I viewed on my 27" monitor, the star shapes are ~ the same on exposures from 60s to 420s. While the stars in the center of the frame are very round (though slightly out of focus), those on the edges are slightly oval.  To this novice, that seems to tell me that the mount is tracking very well unguided, but I have some field curvature in my ED102CF (there is NO field flattner) and/or some slop in the compression fitting that attaches to my camera's 2"nose tube, causing the sensor to be slightly off parallel.


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