Date   

PMC-8 Helper Program

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi Everyone,

I have uploaded a program to the files section.  It is a program that allows you to switch the PMC-8 controller between wifi and serial, and to send commands to the PMC-8.


It allows you to switch between serial and wifi without using any terminal programs. It has built in buttons for the most common mount commands and allows you to send your own commands.


This should be considered an early BETA. Hence, it will probably have some bugs.  I'm pretty confident of all the major functionality, but there may be small gui issues.


A few notes - 

0. I created a new folder in the files section entitled "User Contributions" to make it extra clear that this is not an official ES product.

1. This is a BETA. Please post any bugs you encounter.

2. This version does not automatically switch to the PMC-8 network.  You still need to manually connect to it in windows.  (Developers - see Note 1)

3. Please let me know what other functionality you would like to see in it.

4. I STRONGLY recommend that you play with it indoors.  There is no need to waste valuable observing/imaging time testing beta software.  Once you are convinced it works, I would use it in the field.


I'm also working on a version that will automatically switch to the PMC-8 wifi network.  The limitation, however, is that it will require windows 10.


I have a couple of remaining items on my todo list, mainly sprucing up the gui, adding links to the knowledge base, etc... 


Note 1 -

It appears that connecting to a new network is a real pain under .NET Standard, i.e. WinForms.  If you have any code for this please let me know and I'll add it.


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 : /User Contributions/PMC8Helper2.exe
Uploaded by : Chris_Moses <chris_moses@yahoo.com>
Description : First BETA of program to help switching between serial/wifi and sending commands to the PMC-8 controller. By Chris Moses

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ESPMC-Eight/files/User%20Contributions/PMC8Helper2.exe

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: Sky Safari Interface for Explore Scientific PMC-8 Mounts

Michael Fulbright
 

The INDI driver I announced in November 2017 is part of the current INDI distribution.  I still consider it in a testing phase but I've used it for astroimaging successfully.

Michael Fulbright

On 6/21/2018 2:26 AM, chris_moses@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:
 

If I were you, I would prod them to add INDI support.



Re: Sky Safari Interface for Explore Scientific PMC-8 Mounts

W. Christopher Moses
 

If I were you, I would prod them to add INDI support.


Re: Sky Safari Interface for Explore Scientific PMC-8 Mounts

W. Christopher Moses
 

Ahhh...it's Mac based.
Sorry, I can't help.


Re: Sky Safari Interface for Explore Scientific PMC-8 Mounts

W. Christopher Moses
 

I've never used sky safari but I might be able to work on the issue.  A few questions:

1. Is it open source?  If so, what language, if you happen to know?
2. Does it not support ascom drivers or is there some problem with the existing driver?


Re: Recent Planetary Images from the MSRO

W. Christopher Moses
 

Nice images!


Re: PMC-Eight Rate Offset Value in ASCOM driver setup is probably not correct for your mount

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi,
Thank you both for the info.
One question, can the rate be adjusted while the driver is actively in use or should we change it and then restart everything?


Re: M106 from Guadeloupe State Park

W. Christopher Moses
 

Nice!!!


Re: M106 from Guadeloupe State Park

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Very Nice Sunil!! It looks like everything is working for you based on those awesome images!

Thanks for sharing

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


M106 from Guadeloupe State Park

Sunil Bhaskar Bhaskaran
 

Managed to do a couple of targets on my trip to Guadalupe river state park. Managed to image M106, M8(Lagoon), M27(Dumbell Nebula).


M106 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/151726701@N04/42172304054/in/dateposted-public/


Telescope : C11 Edge hd

Imaging Camera : Zwo 16000mm-c Pro with Astrodon Filters.

Guiding camera : Lodestar X2 OAG

Exposure time : 8 Hrs.


Luminance : 2 min * 90 ( Gain 76)

Red : 3 min* 30 ( Gain 76)

Green: 3 min *30 ( Gain 76)

Blue : 3 min * 30 ( Gain 76)

 

M27 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/151726701@N04/42172304564/in/dateposted-public/


 Telescope : C11 Edge hd

Imaging Camera : Zwo 16000mm-c Pro with Astrodon Filters.

Guiding camera : Lodestar X2 OAG

Exposure time : 9 Hrs.


Ha : 5 min * 36 ( Gain 200)

O3 : 5 min * 36( Gain 200)

S2: 5 min * 36( Gain 200)


M42 : Narrowband version with dust : Older data.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/151726701@N04/42890860021/in/dateposted-public/


 Telescope : Explore Scientific 80mm Apo

Imaging Camera : Zwo 16000mm-c Pro with Astrodon Filters.

Guiding camera : Qhy 5llM

Exposure time : 6 Hrs.

Ha : 5 min * 24 ( Gain 200)

O3 : 5 min * 24 ( Gain 200)

S2: 5 min * 24 ( Gain 200)


Sunil

 


Recent Planetary Images from the MSRO

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Here are a couple of images from the latest observing sessions using the Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) which houses an Explore Scientific 165 FPL-53 APO Carbon Fiber refractor on an ES/Losmandy G11 PMC-Eight mount with the Telescope Drive Master (TDM). These images were taken with a Point Grey Flea3 GigE high-speed video camera. 


Please share any images you wish taken with your PMC-Eight mount system, we would love to see them.


Thanks


Jerry Hubbell

Director Electrical Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Exos-2 PMC-8 - pier extension & axes stabilty

r_hoskin@...
 

Jennifer,

You didn't waste any time :-)   You're most welcome.  Glad it worked out for you, and happy to help. 

Do keep an eye on whether the adjustment lasts, though.  That was the issue that sent mine back to the shop... 

- Bob


Re: Exos-2 PMC-8 - pier extension & axes stabilty

Jennifer Shelly
 

Bob -

First and foremost...Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That is just what I needed.
I have performed the adjustment and it made a huge difference.

I did not get a chance to call ES before the weekend.  I did not want to call without being in front of my mount in case they wanted to do some troubleshooting. 

I found this website helpful to visualize what I was going to do.


Thanks again.

Jennifer



Re: Exos-2 PMC-8 - pier extension & axes stabilty

Robert Hoskin <r_hoskin@...>
 

Ok.  I'll send you a note separately - but I'm surprised.  You didn't get helped?




From: "drunkendogg@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2018 3:00 PM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Re: Exos-2 PMC-8 - pier extension & axes stabilty

 
Bob - Could you send me the instructions ES sent you to adjust your worm and ring gears?



Re: Exos-2 PMC-8 - pier extension & axes stabilty

Jennifer Shelly
 

Bob - Could you send me the instructions ES sent you to adjust your worm and ring gears?


Re: Newbi in need of help.

Jeny@
 

I do some backyard visual observations with my pmc-8/150 Mak setup and seems that goto work fine with just polar alignment.
Targets got put in eyepiece fov and needs just slight adjustment to put em in the middle.


On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 6:23:39 PM EDT, chris_moses@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


 

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: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

Good to hear you had positive results with your auto-guiding even with the deteriorating conditions. You should calibrate the guide system near where your target is for best results. You definitely DO NOT want to calibrate near the horizon. You can also get a good calibration near the position 0 deg declination. perhaps 1 hour before or 1 hour past the meridian depending what side of the meridian your target is on.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

I got outside last night for a few hours before clouds, and PHD2 worked with my QHY5L-II-M, using QHY Camera", though tracking was not very good, ~1.9" error.   I was tracking M13 near the Zenith.  Looking at 60s exposures before and after engaging PHD2 showed a noticeable improvement, however.  

I wanted to get 1,2,3,4,5 min exposures to see how they compared, but it was clouding up noticeable during the exercise, with many PHD2 warnings during the 4 min exposure (loosing stars), so I only have 1-4 min to compare.  Although the conditions were rapidly deteriorating, and background sky color changing significantly, the star shapes of 4 min was close to that of the 1 min, upon casual inspection.

Having used PoleMaster for alignment, is PHD2 drift alignment needed?  (I did NOT.)

I only did the PHD2 calibration at my M13 target, near Zenith.  I recall that it is recommended to calibrate on stars near the horizon at meridian, which I definitely did NOT do.  Is this a problem?


Re: PMC-Eight Rate Offset Value in ASCOM driver setup is probably not correct for your mount

ji.theriot@...
 

So my mount , as Jerry mentioned, was having some PE issues.  And again as Jerry mentioned we noticed that my mount was showing a tracking rate error.  This is something I had kind of expected for quite some time but we were able to confirm that there was an issue after looking at some PHD logs.  After running a 30 minute Guide Assistant the RA trend line drifted up the entire time.  After some quick number crunching we realized that the offset of 0.023 should probably be -0.023 because my mount drifted at at rate of 0.046.

To find the ideal offset, I set a rate of -0.023 as per the conversation I had with Jerry.  After a rough polar alignment I ran a guide assistant and saw that the trend was now moving down on the graph, but not nearly as much as down as 0.023 was moving up, if that makes sense.  So I started tracking with the scope and activated the trend lines on PHD.  I confirmed that the RA trend was indeed trending down on the graph, so I made a change to to the offset to 0.00 as Jerry had recommended as a starting point.  I began guiding again and watched the trend line again, observing an upward trend.  I continued this adjustment process until the trend line was flat, arriving at an offset number of -0.0135.

The results show that the tracking rate adjustment has definitely improved my mount's guiding performance.  Prior to getting the tracking rate dialed in my mount would typically guide with an RA RMS error of 0.95"-1.00".  This was with an average PA error of <0.5'.  The night that I got it dialed my mount guided at 0.7" RMS in the RA axis even with a 6.92' PA error.  I also had 5 huge RA spikes (one that was > 40") that skewed that number.  Obviously that would tighten up significantly with a better PA and eliminating those spikes.  I hope to get some more time testing soon...if only the weather would cooperate.

Here is the image I did post adjustment: https://www.astrobin.com/297911/B/?nc=user
The stars were nice and round with no bloating.

Ji

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