Date   

Re: FTDI Cable Recommendations

 

Jeff,
 
The Parallax adapter (link below) was the one Jerry originally recommended and I have found it to be reliable. 
Its packaging was too bare-bones for me though, and I had to make a housing w/screw posts for it, to relieve my stress. :-)   
 
FWIW...
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2


Re: Cannot Connect VIA ASCOM

W. Christopher Moses
 

Are you still using wireless, or did you switch to wired?  Did you connect to the PMC network?  Will ExploreStars connect?
--
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


Top mounted PMC-8

W. Christopher Moses
 

I have some extra space next to my mini-pc on top of the mount.  I am considering moving the PMC-8 there.  It would make at least one cable much shorter.
Anyone tried this?  Thoughts?
--
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: FTDI Cable Recommendations

W. Christopher Moses
 

I've used startech with good results.  Not cheap, but very good.
--
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


FTDI Cable Recommendations

Jeffrey SpyV
 

I am wondering if the group has any recommendations for FTDI RS232 cables they have had good success with and which ones to stay away from.  I have not been successful using the Android version of the ES app on my 7 inch Kindle Fire, and am looking to try the Raspberry Pi 3/Astroberry/INDI/Stellarium route. 

-Jeff


Cannot Connect VIA ASCOM

AstroObsessed
 

Hi all,

Finally a clear night! Of course I’ve hit a snag though. My mount which has always connected perfectly fine over WiFi and ASCOM is now giving me the following error message “Error connecting to telescope”.

any ideas as to why?

thanks,
--
Samuel

Newmarket, ON, Canada

Mount: ES EXOS2 W/ PMC8

Scope: Orion 8" Astrograph

Cameras: Canon T3i, ZWO ASI120MM Mini, RisingCam IMX224

 


Re: Crude alignment without using 2-3 star app alignment?

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Hi Mark,

You can use the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver and an ASCOM client such as Cartes du Ciel or MaxIm DL to slew to an object, manually using the virtual hand-paddle in these clients to center the object, and then do a SYNC on the object. This SYNC is also sometimes called a 1-star alignment, although it is not an alignment per say but just a synchronize function similar to setting your watch in 2 dimensions. It is assumed that when you use the ASCOM driver and clients that you have previously performed a "physical" polar alignment. 

I would not call this a "crude" alignment unless you have not done a proper "physical" polar alignment before hand. If you haven't done that, then the coordinates will not stay synchronized with the object and the scope will not follow the object. It will eventually drift away from the center of your eyepiece, or camera field.

There is also a SYNC button in the ExploreStars application which is designed to accomplish the same thing, although there has been questions about how this is implemented and the purpose of this. You can find other message threads about this if you search for "SYNC". The "SYNC" function in both the ASCOM driver and the ExploreStars application calculates and  adjusts the motor counts to the current RADEC coordinates when you hit the SYNC button. 

You can slew to any object, center it using the hand-paddle controls and hit SYNC and it will align the coordinates displayed either on a chart via a cursor position, or on a RADEC numeric display.
--
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


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Crude alignment without using 2-3 star app alignment?

markm3685@...
 
Edited

Is it possible to do an alignment with the EXOS2 GT PMC by manually slewing to a known star, planet or even the moon then entering said object into the search function then syncing on it?


Re: Getting There, finally

Jirair Afarian
 
Edited

Hi Larry
 
You mentioned that you downloaded 32 bit versions of Stellarium and CdC and everything worked. Are you operating a 32 bit system to begin with? Im assuming that you are and hence the 64 bit didnt work for you.
 
Jirair

On Mon, Feb 4, 2019, 1:37 PM Larry Young, <Larryyoung@...> wrote:
Hi Everyone,
    I just want to report success connecting PMC-8 to ASCOM and to CdC, Stellarium, and now configuring the Serial Port for wired use.  My best advice to avoid three frustrating days like me is to read the knowledge base and this forum for whatever setup you are attempting to achieve.  I made some wrong assumptions when I started and paid the price.  A couple of issues I encountered was not understanding that the Serial port isn't plug and play so I got error messages trying to connect.  Connecting ASCOM with the stock PMC-8 works with wifi.  Once I figured that out and unplugged the serial cable, ASCOM Diagnostic connected via POTH without issue.  The next problem I had was using the wrong download of CdC, search and find the 32bit version.  Same with Stellarium find the 32bit version.  Once I did this everything works!  It just wasn't obvious to me three days ago so I hope this helps another newbie.
    Next, I plan to setup Wifiscope to run Skysafari through a PC through the wired serial port.

Thanks for reading, Dark Skies

Larry

    

 

 


Response to CloudyNights member about iEXOS 100 mount performance for AP #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I ran across this message thread and was wondering if anyone with an iEXOS 100 would be willing to respond to this specific message
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/649272-cheap-gem-go-to-mounts/?p=9125097

I think the OP on the thread would be interested in hearing about your experiences doing astrophotography with the iEXOS 100. I know that Michael Fulbright has recently reported to me his auto-guiding performance of less than 2 arc-seconds RMS total (around 1.5 arc-seconds RMS) which is more than good enough for imaging less than 300 mm. 

I would be interested in what people think about this thread on CloudyNights.

Being a vendor, I cannot respond directly to this thread.

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


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: Getting There, finally

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Larry,

Thanks for the update, I am glad things are starting to click for you. As you said, the 32-bit version of CdC requires the 32-bit ASCOM driver, but the Any CPU version of the ASCOM Driver (32-bit and 64-bit) version should work also. Once you are comfortable with your setup maybe you can give it a try. I think others are using the Any CPU version with success. I would like to hear otherwise from our members.

Thanks again, 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


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: Getting There, finally

Larry Young
 

Updated my signature line
--
EXOS II PMC-8
Celestron 6SE
Dobstuff rebuild of Coulter 17 with Nexus2


Getting There, finally

Larry Young
 

Hi Everyone,
    I just want to report success connecting PMC-8 to ASCOM and to CdC, Stellarium, and now configuring the Serial Port for wired use.  My best advice to avoid three frustrating days like me is to read the knowledge base and this forum for whatever setup you are attempting to achieve.  I made some wrong assumptions when I started and paid the price.  A couple of issues I encountered was not understanding that the Serial port isn't plug and play so I got error messages trying to connect.  Connecting ASCOM with the stock PMC-8 works with wifi.  Once I figured that out and unplugged the serial cable, ASCOM Diagnostic connected via POTH without issue.  The next problem I had was using the wrong download of CdC, search and find the 32bit version.  Same with Stellarium find the 32bit version.  Once I did this everything works!  It just wasn't obvious to me three days ago so I hope this helps another newbie.
    Next, I plan to setup Wifiscope to run Skysafari through a PC through the wired serial port.

Thanks for reading, Dark Skies

Larry

    


What Should I Keep in Mind When Using the ExploreStars App and the PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver?

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I have created a Knowledge Base Article on this topic:
http://hosted.comm100.com/KnowledgeBase/What-Should-I-Keep-in-Mind-When-Using-the-ExploreStars-App-and-the-PMC-Eight-ASCOM-Driver-_A5000045.aspx?id=5000045&siteid=56501

--
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


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: Added Features for ExploreStars IOS App

Thomas Olson
 

Also would be nice if it fit on the Google (ASUS) Nexus 7(2013) which has more pixels than the others. Just need to make sure the screen definitions is correct. The little triangle circle square should drop down, and only come up with swiped... but something is keeping it active.



Also would be nice if the database was looked for on the internal 32GB memory card instead of requiring an external SD Card.



On 2/3/19 1:00 PM, flykai1 via Groups.Io wrote:
Hi Jerry, I know you are working hard to revise the ExploreStars app. I have the iExos 100 and use the IOS iPad 
version to control it. I am enjoying it, but would like to see some additions or changes whenever possible.

Include a “day” mode for the display. Currently there is only a night (red) mode.

Include a Caldwell catalogue or database.

Search function does not operate.

Help function does not operate.

Thank you, and keep up the great work for a great product.

Harry





--
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


Windows app alignment tip

Wes Mcdonald
 

Hi:

Just wanted to post something that will help with 2 or 3 star alignment in the Windows Explorestars app, and make a remark about the Alignment Tour method of alignment

2-3 Star Alignment

When doing a 2 or 3 star alignment, the mount moves to the star after you tell it to align there.  The problem arises if when you get there you cannot see the star owing to an obstruction.  This happens to me often even though I know where I can't see, usually because I figure I have a window that I discover later I don't have, or the object can't be seen due to moon light.  The thing is, there is no "try next star" button as the routine expects a "sync" after centering. 

The solution to this is to press "APP Bar" button and press "Alignment Stars" button.  This brings up the graphical selection window of alignment stars.  You can't actually select a star from this group, but you can press ANY object.  After you do this the alignment routine returns you to the regular 2-3 star alignment but with the two buttons "align to this star" and "Try Next" buttons present.  The current object will be the one you just slewed to and couldn't see...but now you get to continue on with another star.

Before I figured this out, I was restarting alignment.  With this method you can continue on, preserving any alignment stars that were successful prior to getting blocked.  This should help somewhat in completing a 2-3 star alignment in Windows ES.

Alignment Tour Alignment

Of course the alignment tour function is another way to perform alignment, although I have only been able to get it to do a 2 star.  It moves you through a series of objects and even after slewing to the star provides you a chance to select another or align to this star.  Thus using this method you can skip to the next object should the selected one be, in the end, blocked from view. 

While the thing is slewing to the next star you can select "next" at anytime as it is slewing.  The next object will become the target and the slew will be diverted to that one...and in theory you can press "next" any number of times while slewing -- which you may need to do to get it to a target you can see/identify.  In practice I have found that sometimes pressing next several or more times sometimes causes some odd behavior.  But not always.  Be interested in hearing your experiences in this regard.

Final Thought

The EXOS II PMC-8 and ES works danged well when polar aligned, at least the Android version does for me.  I use a Polemaster and get a good polar align, and forego the 2-3 star alignment, except when I am interested in fooling around with the alignment.  I am still getting my mount tuned up to where it works well, but I have experienced, using a good PA, good GOTO performance.

Remember, none of this applies when using ASCOM.  Alignment must, in that case, be done with a good PA using the various methods one can use and which are mentioned throughout the forum (SharpCap, Polemaster, polar scope, Kochab Clock method, Drift)

Wes.



.  
--
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


Added Features for ExploreStars IOS App

Harry
 

Hi Jerry, I know you are working hard to revise the ExploreStars app. I have the iExos 100 and use the IOS iPad 
version to control it. I am enjoying it, but would like to see some additions or changes whenever possible.

Include a “day” mode for the display. Currently there is only a night (red) mode.

Include a Caldwell catalogue or database.

Search function does not operate.

Help function does not operate.

Thank you, and keep up the great work for a great product.

Harry





--
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: New User Help regarding mount and astrophotography.

Jim McKee
 

Many thanks for the clarification on "sync'
--
Mounts:     ES EXOS2-GT w/ PMC-8
Lens:         Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Cameras:  Canon 6D2, Canon 7D2, Canon 1D4
Misc:         CAMRANGER Mini
Software:  EXPLORESTARS IOS & WIN, Stellarium. Backyard EOS


Re: New User Help regarding mount and astrophotography.

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi JHM,

You should check out our Knowledge Base at 
http://hosted.comm100.com/KnowledgeBase/Category.aspx?Id=5000000&siteid=56501.

This message: 
http://hosted.comm100.com/KnowledgeBase/Getting-Started-With-Your-New-PMC-Eight-Mount-Control-System_A5000021.aspx?id=5000021&siteid=56501

Will point you to most of the information we have posted on our website. You can browse or search our knowledge base for terms like "WiFi" "alignment"  and "sync" to find out which articles talk about those terms.

To answer your question, there are 2 types of SYNC, one is probably a misnomer. When you are doing the 2 or 3 star alignment in ExploreStars, the SYNC button is used to gather the data once you have centered the star in your eyepiece or camera. The current RA/DEC motor counts, RA/DEC coordinates, and Time are stored for each star and then the alignment routine uses this data to calculate the coordinate transform coefficients. This creates a model of the mount so that the program can move the mount correcting for the physical misalignment between the mount coordinate system and the celestial coordinate system. This should not be called SYNC it should be called something else.

The other SYNC function is used during plate-solves and is truly a SYNC function. When you slew to an object and you are slightly off and center the object, you tell the program that you are centered on the object by hitting the SYNC button. What this actually does is adjust the current motor count to the count it should be based on the object's RA/DEC coordinates and current time value when the SYNC button is pressed. 

The 3 different Apps (WIndows, Android, iOS)  are being worked on as we speak to correct and make consistent the working of the SYNC buttons in both instances.
--
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


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: EXOS-2 backlash

AstroObsessed
 

G,

Thank you so much! 

Jerry,

I suspect it had to do with shipping / handling. When my mount arrived the box was open, my polar scope illuminator was missing, and the cap that goes over the polar scope was scratched. I’m assuming customs had some fun with it. Kent has already sent me out a new PS illuminator.

The mount was sent back due to a grinding noise which I had posted back in December, where the belt would skip as the mount hit certain points in RA. ES had a new RA worm block assembly installed and the DEC motor was adjusted. The DEC is amazing since getting it back, but I get a significant wobble on the RA which wasn’t there prior.

I don’t want to send it back as it costs you guys a ton in shipping so I figured I’d reach out to someone that had adjusted theirs already.

Thank you,
--
Samuel

Newmarket, ON, Canada

Mount: ES EXOS2 W/ PMC8

Scope: Orion 8" Astrograph

Cameras: Canon T3i, ZWO ASI120MM Mini, RisingCam IMX224

 

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