Date   

Re: ExploreStars iOS

w3gp@...
 

Steve
 
While I agree that the app needs work you can stop the slew by hitting the CAT button. As I mentioned to Jerry last week (see below), however, that involves an addition quirk.

FYI there is quirk in the iOS version when choosing other alignment stars. As you suggested if you do not wish to use the first alignment star offered you can click CAT and then Alignment and choose another star. However, when you click slew to target it begins slewing to the star originally offered and not the one just selected BUT if you then tap GoTo it’s switches to the newly selected star. 
 
Regards, George


Re: ExploreStars iOS

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Hi Steve,

Dan and Stephen are working on the iOS app as there are a couple of other issues also. I am sure that the updated app will be released soon.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home




Re: ExploreStars iOS

G-man
 

I agree.

I posted the same observation on another thread. IMO the App should not slew the mount unless you specifically push a button to do so.

G.


Re: ExploreStars iOS

Steve Mallia
 

I've been able to connect to my iEXOS mount with no issue using the iOS Explore Stars.   

What I'm not a fan of is when I goto align the software picks a star and starts moving the mount.  I want to be able to select my own alignment star and then tell the mount to go.  I want to ahve full control.  A selected star that the app selects and start going to might not be visible.   

Any chances of this being changed?

Thanks

steve,


Re: INDI Server for Mac

Michael Fulbright
 

You would need to get a version of libindi built for MacOS and then also a version of kstars/ekos built for MacOS.

I am not familiar with astrotelescope or astroimager - are these applications written to use libindi?

Michael Fulbright

On 12/31/18 4:28 PM, lucasmvigil@... wrote:
Hi all, I recently upgraded my G-11 to the PMC system and I'm still getting everything all set up. Does anyone have experience running their setup through the INDI server for Mac and its companion applications astrotelescope and astroimager? 

I'm not entirely sure how to load the PMC driver onto the application on a Mac. I'd greatly appreciate it if somebody could provide some clarity.

Happy New Year,
Lucas Vigil


INDI Server for Mac

Gmail
 

Hi all, I recently upgraded my G-11 to the PMC system and I'm still getting everything all set up. Does anyone have experience running their setup through the INDI server for Mac and its companion applications astrotelescope and astroimager? 

I'm not entirely sure how to load the PMC driver onto the application on a Mac. I'd greatly appreciate it if somebody could provide some clarity.

Happy New Year,
Lucas Vigil


Open Source Results

AstroObsessed
 

Since the program is open source I've been wondering if anyone has made any modifications or additions?

 

I haven't seen anything as of yet.

 

This is mostly curiosity driven as I haven't a clue what someone would want to modify or add on.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

Robert Parks
 

Hey Jerry: 

I'm really thankful you shared the cone-error correction on the dovetail. I need to do this.  

Next clear night I'll test the alignment routine. Did my steps above look right?

Understand - once the alignment routine "settles" I get great results. It just seems to take a bit.

I believe I'll start firing up my Samsung tab inside the house to let it poll the network to get date/time update prior to going outside and connecting to pmc-8.

On Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 12:08 PM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific <jrh@... wrote:
Hi Robert,

Yes, the telescope should be coincident with the polar scope. The cone angle adjustment is a set of 3 screws on each end of the dovetail bar that allows you to tilt the scope up or down in relation to the mount. This drawing if from my first book illustrated by my daughter. The second image shows the screws used to adjust the cone angle.



--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home




Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

G-man
 

The Explore Scientific ED80 APO has those three screws, but it only has one holding place. Is there any special procedure for the ED80 to get the cone error out on the PMC-8 mount?

Thanks Jerry.

G.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Hi Guillermo,

Yes, the telescope should be coincident with the polar scope. The cone angle adjustment is a set of 3 screws on each end of the dovetail bar that allows you to tilt the scope up or down in relation to the mount. This drawing is from my first book illustrated by my daughter. The second image shows the screws used to adjust the cone angle.



--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home




Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

G-man
 

Robert Parks: Did you get it to work? 

Jerry, can you please explain this cone adjustment in the dovetail of the telescope? Thanks. I guess the polar finderscope and the telescope should match view, at least in theory.

G.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Harry, 

Thanks for you purchase, you are the first iEXOS 100 customer I have talked with. Generally, the 2 and 3-star alignment will improve the pointing of your scope even with the physical polar alignment off by a few degrees. It is always better to do a physical polar alignment within 1 degree of the pole, this can be accomplished by aligning on Polaris. Once that is done, a 3-star alignment is better in that it not only corrects for the misalignment between the celestial coordinate system and mount coordinate system, but also corrects for cone angle. Cone angle is the offset between your telescope and the mount. There are typically cone angle adjustments on the dovetail on the telescope. 

We are aware of a couple of problems with the iOS version of ExploreStars and are working to correct those and get the new version out on the Apple App Store as soon as we can. I will let everyone know when the updated version is available. Having said that, I am not sure why the scope would be "all over the sky" as you say. We have other customers using the iOS version with no mention of this problem. Perhaps someone that has had success with the iOS version of ExploreStars can chime in here. Unfortunately, I have not been able to test the iOS version of the app as I do not currently have an iPAD.

When you choose an object from the catalog the goal is to GOTO that object, so the primary purpose for that page is to slew to the object. You would only utilize the SYNC when you know you have the object centered in your eyepiece. You do not want to hit the SYNC button before slewing to the object because it would then tell your mount to reset the coordinates to the object when in fact you may be far off that object. Subsequent slews to objects would be way off and may be the cause of your scope being "all over the sky", I am not sure. Again, I cannot test this for myself.

I hope that answers your questions. Please review the PMC-Eight Knowledge Base on the Explore Scientific website and utilize the search tool to narrow down your topic to specific articles.

Thanks again Harry for your purchase, I look forward to hearing more about your experience with the new iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight mount and your AR102.

Clear Skies!

Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home




Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

Harry
 

Hi Jerry, I recently purchased an iExos 100 PMC Eight Mount, and use the iPAD version of ExploreStars. I have been closely following the accuracy and alignment discussions, and basically have the same issues. I have 2 points I would like your input.

First is alignment. I use a physical/visual polar alignment with my AR102 and ES 82’ 20mm eyepiece. Time, date, GPS coordinates all checked. Polaris centered in eyepiece, and mount adjusted as necessary. Home position done. I then attempted a 2 or 3 star alignment, which is very difficult with my location and seeing conditions. Go To accuracy was terrible. Scope all over the sky. Last night I used the same Polar alignment technique, but NO further 2 or 3 star alignment. 
This was based on the following quote from the iExos instruction manual:

NOTE: The 2 and 3 Star Alignment process provides a “virtual” polar alignment versus doing a “physical” polar alignment. It is important to understand the difference.

Well, my go to accuracy was much, much improved! Slewed to several objects. They generally were just outside my FOV of my eyepiece, but were then tweaked and then synced. M42 remained centered. What is the difference, and for visual use, is a 2/3 star alignment necessary?

Secondly, when I choose an object from any catalog, and select “slew to object”, it responds normally. I then 
“sync”. Also available on the screen is the option “Go To” for the same object. What’s the fifference? When do you 
use “Go To”?

Thank you, HarryB


Re: Scope Recommendations for EXOS2

Karl
 

Thanks everyone for the feedback!  Clearly an ES 8" Newt should be fine, so looks like that'll be my next purchase.  Though James' picture had me wondering for a second if I should dare to go even bigger.  (Only for a second.  Or maybe a few minutes).  :)

Karl


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

Robert Parks
 

G.

Thanks for the detailed instructions on installing and configuring Stellariam!

On Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 3:09 AM <garciasampedrogj@... wrote:
That is awesome!! Thanks man! Greatly appreciated. Lol, clear sky... not much of that during winter in Cloudsconsin... LOL. I have Nikon DSLR and all the gear to get into astrophotography, but there something about seeing things with my naked eye or Gen3 night vision, real time, that cameras just don't have, for me at least,.. but who knows, maybe I'll jump into astrophotography at some point. :)

G.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

G-man
 

That is awesome!! Thanks man! Greatly appreciated. Lol, clear sky... not much of that during winter in Cloudsconsin... LOL. I have Nikon DSLR and all the gear to get into astrophotography, but there something about seeing things with my naked eye or Gen3 night vision, real time, that cameras just don't have, for me at least,.. but who knows, maybe I'll jump into astrophotography at some point. :)

G.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

AstroObsessed
 

G,
I have found Stellarium with Stellarium Scope to work very well with the PMC-8. 

Also using Astrophotography Tool (APT) with plate solving to be very good as well.

You will find success using either under a clear sky.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

G-man
 

Well, I'll be darned, forget fighting the ExploreStars app... I just got the ASCOM driver and Stellarium to work, simply put, there is no comparison. I've been using Stellarium for years now... but didn't know it was this awesome with a telescope.... just click on a star, hit CTRL-1 and off it goes. You even get to see where the telescope is looking at, in real time, while its slewing... hot dang! it almost feels like aiming a SAM missile battery control station. Not bad.
I assume this will require a good alignment with multiple stars once its under the actual sky, but I'll figure that part out soon enough. At least this setup does what the app couldn't do, which is produce consistent results that don't vary every time you restart the controller, or some random dropout. With Stellarium, after slewing across the entire skydome it always returns to the exact same Polaris position (the parked position), it has never pointed the telescope to the ground a single time like the app did, never got confused when changing slews while on the fly, and I've already tested over 300 different stars, all kinds of agility tests, go from A to B, but half way back to Polaris, back to that, etc... the thing seems rock solid (as expected), so I guess my grips really are with the ExploreStars app, it just pales in comparison to the real deal, so forget the app and here is what you need to do to to get Stellarium up and running.
-Follow the PMC-Eight instructions to get the ASCOM driver installed. As of the writing of this post the instructions DO work, I just followed them and got the ASCOM driver operational. 
-Download Stellarium and StellariumScope, yes you'll need the later too, Stellarium won't work without it, I've tried, it just sits there forever connecting.
So, download StellariumScope and Stellarium.
Install Stellarium and run it to ensure it works.
In the Configuration window there is a Plug-ins tab, find the Telescope Control, its at the end, and there is a checkbox that says, load at startup, enable it.
Close Stellarium.
Now Install StellariumScope, you'll be greeted by an error window, dismiss it.
Set the mount to ASCOM_ES_PMC8_whatevername but don't check the connect just yet.
Select use J2000, leave Host as LOCALHOST
Telescope label I set it to EXOS2
Leave all the other stuff default, 
Then hit Update Stellarium Configuration.
And now select the Connect checkbox.
Then click the Start Stellarium button.
Once its up and running you'll see the yellowish/orangeish LED on the PMC-8 controller start to blink, that means its talking to the laptop. 
As soon as the orangeish LED blinks on the PMC controller you'll see a large dark orange crosshair in Stellarium, that is where your telescope is currently pointed at.
Select a star and hit CTRL-1, the telescope will now slew towards the star you've selected.
Repeat this in awe as many times while watching the thing slew like a missile launcher ready to fire!!

I haven't used this under the sky yet, but if this is as repeatable and as consistent as it has shown on my tests, I don't think alignment will be a problem, so long the scope always slews to the same place when you click on the same star.

Cheers.
G.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

G-man
 

Unfortunately I won't be able to use the mount again until Wed, most likely.

I don't understand, (well I actually do, but whatever) why the different versions of the app have different interfaces...  maybe the Android version was the lame duck... and I don't have a Windows tablet. So looks like it is ASCOM for me at this time, why bother with the ES app. 

The mount hardware seems to be very well designed, I have zero complains on the actual mount, but since the brains of the system are in the app, I guess the app is whats lacking... and once again I should move to the ASCOM to save myself from all these annoyances.

As for the accuracy issue, I've read something about it on other threads, so it seems I am not alone on that respect. Perhaps it requires a perfect polar alignment to work, or perhaps it doesn't work at 20F b/c the friction, perhaps the app is just lacking... I am not sure... but what I can tell you is what I've done, and so far, with a decent polar alignment + two star alignment the thing is off when slewing to the Orion nebula.

Now, since so many customers have managed to get this to work pinpoint accurate, I would love to hear the magic sauce to get this working.

Thanks.

G.


Re: 2 star alignment doesn't work

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I can assure you the system does work accurately as designed and as demonstrated by dozens of our customers every day. There can be issues with the wireless connection if you are in a crowded WiFi traffic area, that is why we provide the WiFi channel change dongle. The Windows ExploreStars user interface may be more to your liking as all the menu items are available on the main display with the touch of a button, not as in the Android version of the program. I am sorry you are having these issues, but I am sure you will get them resolved.
 
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home



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