Date   

Re: Open Source Results

Thomas Olson
 

I was thinking compiling ExploreStars for Linux Laptop.

As far as tablets, I assumed the open source code for Android APK would be available too. But I don't know where that is. At first I wanted to look at the code to see why it is cropped on the Android Nexus 7(2013) which has more pixel resolutions that the others that are not cropped.


Re: Open Source Results

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Thomas,

Porting ExploreStars to Linux using INDI is an interesting idea. Currently ExploreStars talks directly to the PMC-Eight controller through its command language and does not use ASCOM. I would like to convert ExploreStars to use the ASCOM API which would make it more portable and probably easier to port over to using INDI also. ExploreStars is really only a tablet based hand-paddle and so I am curious if you goal is to run it on a Linux Tablet (if there is such a thing). Is there a way to use INDI on an Android Tablet? 

Thanks
--
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: Open Source Results

Thomas Olson
 

Yes, I am already working with the source code for INDI drivers. The INDI driver for PMC8 is hardcoded to the G11. I made changes to the constants to work with the EXOS2.

But I was hoping to compile ExploreStars for Linux, but it is also in C#. Thus my frustration. I know there are some attempts in Linux to use Mono to work with C# and the .NET stuff, but that is not  in the cards for me.

So I am currently committed to INDI and EKOS.

Tom


Re: Open Source Results

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 11:54 AM, Stephen Vickers - Explore Scientific Developer wrote:
Thomas,
The ASCOM standard is only in C#/VB.net. If you need a C/C++ driver the INDI driver is written in C/C++
The INDI driver is a completely different API from the ASCOM driver and probably not as "fleshed out" as the ASCOM driver. I would suggest that Thomas contact Michael Fulbright via the forum if he has any questions about how the INDI version was coded and the extent of the API as compared to ASCOM.
 
--
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: Setting Your Signature Line / Equipment Info #ExploreScientific

Robert Parks
 

Well this is a fine idea.  Testing.
--
Robert Scott Parks - Northwest Arkansas, USA

Mount: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
Polar Finder: EXOS II integrated with illuminated reticle
Telescope: Explore Scientific 127mm f/7.5 FCD1 Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO Refractor
Finder: Telrad
Hardware: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7"
Steering Software: ExploreStars App


Re: Open Source Results

Stephen Vickers - Explore Scientific Developer <stephen.vickers@...>
 

Thomas,
The ASCOM standard is only in C#/VB.net. If you need a C/C++ driver the INDI driver is written in C/C++

Thanks,
Stephen Vickers

Explore Scientific
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762

o. 866.252.3811
m. 870.654.6995
stephen.vickers@...

On Jan 11, 2019, at 10:47 AM, Thomas Olson <tolson@...> wrote:

Hi,

Can you port to standard C or C++. I do not want to learn C# or any other M$ *.net stuff.

I wonder, and haven't looked into, if there is a program that can do a good job of converting.

I bet M$ has a in-house converters that ports C/C++ to C# and VB and whatever else they want to make something their own way of doing things.


Re: Open Source Results

Thomas Olson
 

Hi,

Can you port to standard C or C++. I do not want to learn C# or any other M$ *.net stuff.

I wonder, and haven't looked into, if there is a program that can do a good job of converting.

I bet M$ has a in-house converters that ports C/C++ to C# and VB and whatever else they want to make something their own way of doing things.


Re: Polar Alignment with Cone Angle

G-man
 

At the end of the day wherever your telescope is pointing its what matters, not what the mount thinks...  There is a procedure on YT that explains in detail how to do a cone alignment of the telescope, but the idea is that wherever the polar finder scope in the mount points at (the center crosshair) the telescope with a reticule eyepiece should look at exactly the same point. I usually do this with Polaris, before polar aligning it) Then rotate in the RA axis 90 degrees in both directions from 0 degrees, the star you're looking should be in the dead center of the eyepiece. If its not, you need to adjust (shim) the telescope so whatever target you have it always keeps in the same spot and looking exactly where the polar finder is looking at. You also need to align that one too, the polar finder crosshair needs to not move when you rotate around the RA Axis the mount.

What I've found is that even with a laser, and crosshair eyepieces, without digital readouts telling you the exact values, there will always be some error, but at least you won't have to fight the thing by doing non-manual alignments, which require software, and software may, or may not be buggy and introduce additional headaches.

After initial polar alignment I usually slew to a few stars and adjust the mount accordingly to minimize errors. I really think a HUD on the telescope with RA, DEC data, and other stuff would be great to have... but... thats probably a lot of $$$$$$

G.


On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 7:51 AM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
G-Man:

In one recent post you mentioned doing a good polar alignment with cone angle.  How do you account for cone angle in your PA?  I use a polemaster to achieve PA...but it does not use the OTA.  

Regards,
Wes.


PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver RELEASE 1.14 2019-01-07 Any CPU for 32-bit and 64-bit ASCOM Clients #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

I just put a version of the PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver RELEASE 1.14 2019-01-07 Any CPU in the files section for use with both 32-bit and 64-bit ASCOM clients. Please give this a try if you have 64-bit ASCOM client programs that you want to connect directly to the driver versus using the POTH as a go between. THIS IS NOT A SERVER VERSION OF THE DRIVER, only a version that should be compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit ASCOM clients. I have tested this version with the 32-bit version of Cartes du Ciel and the 64-bit Beta version of Cartes du Ciel with no issues noticed. I did not do an exhaustive test, but only made sure that it would connect to the driver and move the mount by navigating with the star chart. The previous issue was with making the connection using the driver with the 64-bit version of the driver.

You can find the driver here:
https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/ES_PMC8%20ASCOM%20Driver%20Setup_2019_01_07_AnyCPU.zip

BTW, The Beta version of Cartes du Ciel is very nice and has a few new features including being able to turn tracking on and off which was missing before. 
Please let me know how it works for you.

Thank you
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: Workflow Alignment-PlateSolving-Photography

 

Frank,

Mine is much the same as Chris's, with some different tools.   Sorry, I don't use APT either (although I did try it) - best explanation is that I started with a DSLR as an imaging camera.  Had I started out with something else, I'd probably be torn between Sharpcap (which is getting very capable) and APT.   

I do not use wireless, on the assumption that wired will be more reliable for astrophotography.  Pretty much all communication between mount, control programs, and cameras is time-sensitive, some to the point of near-real-time (think guiding here), and to me, wifi looks more like a risk than an opportunity once you get into that world. 

All commands to the PMC-8 run through ASCOM's POTH hub, so any software I have that wants to know where the scope is pointed, or ask it to move somewhere, connects to that software hub.  This is irrespective of whether used wired or wireless as a transport layer for those commands.  ASCOM and my various bits of controlware live on a small Win7 laptop that stays with the scope and mount.  

General workflow steps:
1. Check focus on my main camera (DSLR) with Backyard Nikon (BYN), and my guidescope camera with Sharpcap
2. Polar alignment with Sharpcap, using my guidescope camera.
3. Start POTH (ASCOM), connect scope and start tracking, connect Cartes du Ciel to POTH (CdC)
4. GoTo my night's target with CdC.  CdC will get close.
5. Start AstroTortilla (AT) and connect it to POTH.  I have previously done the configuration to integrate BYN and AT, so AT can command BYN to take pictures.
6. Command AT to solve and sync. AT knows the intended scope position, commands BYN to take images for it, plate solves them and tells the mount to slew to center the target on that position.  This is effectively closed loop as well, and AT usually does a series of about 3 images before it's satisfied.  

I agree with Chris re: AstroTortilla flakiness as far as setting it up is concerned.  That was 'challenging', but once set up and configured, I've had no trouble with it.
 
Hope this helps...

- Bob
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2


Re: Setting Your Signature Line / Equipment Info #ExploreScientific

W. Christopher Moses
 

I made it sticky.
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


Re: Setting Your Signature Line / Equipment Info #ExploreScientific

 

Chris:  Excellent - Thank You!

Jerry:  Is there any way of putting this in a sticky or 'welcome to the group' message?

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2


Re: SIGNATURE LINE

Harry
 

Thanks for the instructions  on adding background info. Helpful idea.
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, (Using ExploreStars iPAD), Oberwerk 5000 Tripod
Binos: Oberwerk 15x70, 8x40


Re: SIGNATURE LINE

Wes Mcdonald
 

There you go!
--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Re: Help Needed Improving My GOTOs

danlward@...
 

Darryl,

 

I’ve not had this problem with my ES mount, but I did have similar issues with the Orion Sirius I was using a few years ago and the Celestron Evolution I used.  Various causes included my location data being wrong (not using a – when entering a western longitude, or not updating the correct time and date.   There was one occasion when I had a similar problem and neither of those were the cause, but dewing was exceptionally heavy that evening and I suspected moisture within the hand controller jack was the cause.  Hope this helps.

 

Dan

 

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Darryl Ellis via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2019 2:53 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Help Needed Improving My GOTOs

 

Unfortunately, I just experienced an extremely frustrating session with my mount tonight.  After a three star alignment with the second and third star being in or near the eyepiece fov, my first slew to M42 was well outside the eyepiece fov.  I tried to work with it between several cloud delays to no avail.  After parking and resetting the alignment and communication link, (including unplugging the mount), a couple of times the next two alignments were too far off to even try to work with.

At one point, the mount was pointing the scope below the horizon and started making grinding noises.  I immediately stopped the mount and parked it.

Though the sky was relatively un-cloudy, I just packed it in.


Polar Alignment with Cone Angle

Wes Mcdonald
 

G-Man:

In one recent post you mentioned doing a good polar alignment with cone angle.  How do you account for cone angle in your PA?  I use a polemaster to achieve PA...but it does not use the OTA.  

Regards,
Wes.


what to buy?

steverw711@...
 

i am a new telescope user with a dobsonian tabletop mount 130 mm f/5 reflector and some nice ES eyepieces.  im not in a hurry, just enjoying and learning bit by bit.  a motorized mount would be interesting.  with my eyes i dont like finder scopes much.  a camera guide scope finder that i could look at on the ipad and use to position the scope would be interesting.  astrophotography maybe someday, maybe soon, maybe later, but i like to look at things directly.  by the way, i cant see polaris from where i observe, its blocked from view, so systems that can figure out where they are by other methods would be interesting.

my question is: why would someone get an iExos mount vs exos gt vs another motor/goto mount from another company? 


Re: Help Needed Improving My GOTOs

Darryl Ellis
 

Thanks for responding, Jerry.   Honestly, nothing has changed. I use an electrical cord from the house, no batteries. My tablet is also unchanged. I checked to make sure my settings were unchanged also. 

G, I appreciate your suggestion, but I don't have a laptop available for this right now. 




On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 4:24 AM, Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific
<jrh@...> wrote:
Hi Darryl,
Sorry you are having this issue. You had success on January 5th after you corrected the problem with the parameters, what has changed? Have you updated anything between then and tonight? Is your battery fully charged? If you were getting the motor noise, then either you were out of balance, or the battery voltage was low.
--
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: Updated PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver version 1.14 2019-01-07 RELEASE #ExploreScientific

W. Christopher Moses
 

What ideas do you have?  I'm looking for another project to work on.
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


Re: SIGNATURE LINE

W. Christopher Moses
 

Viola!! 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro

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