Date   

Re: G-11 vs EXOS-2 #TECHNICAL #G11 #EXOS2

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sun, May 26, 2019 at 10:26 PM, JI THERIOT wrote:
I apparently do not have an updatable circuit board in my PMC-8.  My model is ESOGT-01B.  Anyway to get my firmware updated?
Hi Ji,

The firmware on every PMC-Eight system is updateable. I assume you are looking at the number on the label on the PMC-Eight box. That is the SKU number and part of the box serial number, it is not the model number of the circuit board assembly. We have only delivered one version of the circuit board assembly for the G11 and EXOS 2 PMC-Eight, it is Model 2A-06B.  You can find details about this in the Programmer's Reference
http://02d3287.netsolhost.com/pmc-eight/PMC_Eight_ProgrammersReferenceManual_Release2_2019_March_07.pdf

Based on your previous message, it looks like you found the instructions here:
https://hosted.comm100.com/KnowledgeBase/PMC-Eight-Application-Note--AN001--How-To-Update-the-PMC-Eight®-Control-System-Firmware_A5000037.aspx?id=5000037&siteid=56501

It's easier to use the PMC-Eight Configuration Manager to update the firmware. This is the software developed by Chris Moses located here:
https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/User%20Contributions/PMC8ConfigurationManager.zip

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!


Mount

Gord Farmer
 

If we are so sure this thing works .
How about a video using this mount with ExploreStars using the iOS version on a tablet.
Thanks
Gord


Mount

Gord Farmer
 

I have a question. Does anyone who has this exos2 pmc mount have it actually working ? I’ve been trying for months . .i am beyond frustrated.
Last night was yet another complete failure . Up until 3 AM two hours sleep before I am off to work .
Cmon there’s got to be away .


Re: Absolute and total frustration.... #EXOS2

JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

George,
I feel for you. I was in your shoes last year and finally just decided to get the G11. I agree with you that the Idea behind the Exos-2 PMC-8 is sound however for my needs I ultimately ended up with the G-11


Re: Absolute and total frustration.... #EXOS2

jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

Good day Sir,

 

I am not sure if this would be of any assistance to you, because I am a new comer to this and I am still learning how to use my iEXOS-100 mount.  At least the EXOS-2PMC has a polar scope.  My night vision is not the greatest and I can’t see Polaris through the tunnel scope or visually see Polaris with the naked eye.   Now as for Sirius, Arcturus, Antares, and several others, not a problem with the Naked Eye.

 

Have you verified the following alignments while positioning your scope North:

1.       DEC Alignment

2.       RA Alignment

3.       Azimuth Alignment

4.       Leveling the mount

 

I believe if one or more alignments are off, this would affect the accuracy of your goto capability.  The iEXOS-100 has no such markings for alignment, so I did it by sight for a while and then used tape and strips of white paper to label it, so my results would be repeatable.    I did a dry run yesterday before the clouds moved in.  I had just setup the scope up again looking for Polaris.  Then I got tired, parked the scope/mount, and did a cold slew to Saturn, the planet was underneath the crosshairs of my finderscope which has a FOV of 5 degrees.   I ran out of time, due to cloud cover.

 

I can understand your frustration.  I have been frustrated as well, more with cloud coverage and astronomy apps than anything else, but I am having fun trying to figure things out.  Since I plan on doing Messier objects, I want to fine tune the Goto functionality as much as possible.

 

Dec Alignment

 

RA Alignment:

 

Azimuth Alignment

 

JR

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of George via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, May 27, 2019 12:42 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Absolute and total frustration.... #EXOS2

 

I have had it with this mount. I don't get tons of field time and when I do I don't want to spend an hour tinkering with a mount only to find out I didn't hey a good alignment. I've done the polar alignment, it should be good. I spent several frustrating hours tonight thinking this would be the time, it was going to come together tonight. 3 star alignment,  first star a few degrees off, second star still....a few degrees off, third star.....still...a .... few.... degrees.... off! So, I sucked it up, I would redo polar alignment and do it all over again. Nope.... first alignment star wad Regulus.... the score barely leaves the area of Polaris. I reset comm link and alignment. Still the same result. Unplug PMC-EIGHT and close app, try again,  many degrees off first star. I am so tired of fighting with equipment that should just work. Look, it's a great concept, but it's not working. I've used an AVX mount, hot target everytime, the polar scope isn't ridiculous on them either. Now, Celestron has put out their CPWI software and I used it with the Nexstar I have.... hit target each time.... I wasn't equipment that works....I want to enjoy my "observation" sessions. 
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


Absolute and total frustration.... #EXOS2

George <Aquaboy16081@...>
 

I have had it with this mount. I don't get tons of field time and when I do I don't want to spend an hour tinkering with a mount only to find out I didn't hey a good alignment. I've done the polar alignment, it should be good. I spent several frustrating hours tonight thinking this would be the time, it was going to come together tonight. 3 star alignment,  first star a few degrees off, second star still....a few degrees off, third star.....still...a .... few.... degrees.... off! So, I sucked it up, I would redo polar alignment and do it all over again. Nope.... first alignment star wad Regulus.... the score barely leaves the area of Polaris. I reset comm link and alignment. Still the same result. Unplug PMC-EIGHT and close app, try again,  many degrees off first star. I am so tired of fighting with equipment that should just work. Look, it's a great concept, but it's not working. I've used an AVX mount, hot target everytime, the polar scope isn't ridiculous on them either. Now, Celestron has put out their CPWI software and I used it with the Nexstar I have.... hit target each time.... I wasn't equipment that works....I want to enjoy my "observation" sessions. 
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


Re: G-11 vs EXOS-2 #TECHNICAL #G11 #EXOS2

JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Jerry,
So I figured everything out with the exception of one thing:

I apparently do not have an updatable circuit board in my PMC-8.  My model is ESOGT-01B.  Anyway to get my firmware updated?


Re: G-11 vs EXOS-2 #TECHNICAL #G11 #EXOS2

JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Jerry,
I am trying to update my firmware but I cannot find the .exe file to get this thing to run.  

Ji


Re: G-11 vs EXOS-2 #TECHNICAL #G11 #EXOS2

JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

I had no idea that there was a firmware update for the G11. I am going to have to look into that. That may fix any of my issues that I have been having.


Re: G-11 vs EXOS-2 #TECHNICAL #G11 #EXOS2

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sun, May 26, 2019 at 12:32 PM, Jennifer Shelly wrote:
I was getting very frustrated with the EXOS-2, so I took the plunge and purchased an ES PMC-8 G-11 and the difference between the performance of these mounts is night and day.
Hi Jennifer,

First I want to thank you for sticking with the PMC-Eight system on your new G11 mount. I know you could have purchased it from Losmandy with the Gemini system, so I appreciate that. I think as you said you will find the guiding results improved as compared to your EXOS 2 PMC-Eight mount. If you are powering your mount with the AC adapter you might want to upgrade the PMC-Eight firmware for the G11 to the 9T12 version which provided more motor current boosting it from 900 mA  to 1300 mA per motor. This upgrade will provide a small improvement in tracking smoothness and improve the auto-guiding performance a bit also. When I updated the firmware for the G11 PMC-Eight in our observatory, the tracking rate improved (using the TDM, not auto-guiding) from 0.5 - 0.6 RMS to 0.35 RMS. YMMV depending on how you tune your auto-guiding system.

Thanks again, I look forward to seeing further good reports from you in the future.
 
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!


G-11 vs EXOS-2 #TECHNICAL #G11 #EXOS2

Jennifer Shelly
 

I was getting very frustrated with the EXOS-2, so I took the plunge and purchased an ES PMC-8 G-11 and the difference between the performance of these mounts is night and day.

Wow. The G-11 is a beast and it dwarfs the EXOS-2.  I am impressed with the machining and quality of the G-11.  At first I did not think I would like the modular design of the G-11,  but now I love that it can be disassembled and reassembled in a few minutes.  

The modular design was beneficial to me because a couple of months ago I was in a car accident where the other driver rear-ended me, totaled my vehicle, and required PT.  Eventually with the help of PT I was able to carry and assemble the G-11.  It would have been more difficult with the EXOS-2.

Guiding with PHD2 has significantly improved with the G-11. I am still working out think kinks, but I am confident I will achieve excellent results.

When I received my mount there was significant binding on the RA axis, so I had to adjust the mesh on the RA axis because it was making sounds that quite frankly frightened me.

The only negative feedback I have for the G-11 is the worm assembly.  It is extremely difficult to adjust the mesh with the wheel when three or four hands are required.  Trying the hold the two blocks, maintaining the correct tension, keeping everything square, using an allen wrench to mount the blocks, and preventing the blocks from rotating while tightening the allen bolts is an extremely difficult task.  

I eventually gave in an purchased an expensive OPWB from Losmandy and was able to get the RA axis meshed without binding.

All in all I am extremely pleased with the G-11 and look forward to having stress free nights with it going forward granted there are clear skies.

--
Sincerely,
Jennifer Shelly

AstroPorch, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2, Skywatcher Star Adventurer, Skywatcher AZ-GTi
Scopes: ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600, Nikon D5200, Nikon D3100
Misc: SteelDrive II, SX USB Filter Wheel, TS Flip , Astromania DC Focuser
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


All Explorestars App Request

jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

Good day,

 

Future Explorer Star request for the next app update.

 

My Request: 

Is it possible to add location positions for alignment stars and/ or Messier objects (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW)? 

 

Reason for requests:

This would greatly assist others during star alignment process.   It is my belief, the 3-star alignment  process is the way to go; to fine tune the goto function.

North Alignment:  Polaris

East Alignment;

South Alignment:

West Alignment:

 

Example from Skeye App:

This is the app I use for indoor alignment as I continue to fine tune the Goto function.  If I ever get the energy, I will attempt to correlate the app to the real world.

 

JR

_._,_._,_


Re: Equipment mounting plate

Craig Bobchin <cbobchin@...>
 
Edited

I have an ADM rail/plate on my 127 ED. I've also added ADM rails to my guide scope (Celestron 80ED) which gets mounted on top of the ES 127. 

Here's a picture of it as it was set up for the 2017 Solar Eclipse.


Re: Explorestars Windows Version Excellent Performance!!!

Darryl Ellis
 

My pleasure, Jerry.  

I recognized long before I was able to acquire a PMC8 mount that it was the future, and I appreciate ES's pioneering it. 

Darryl
--

DHEllis59, Dover, DE
Astro Tech RC 6, Orion Starshoot II Pro Imager, 
QHY 5 II Guide Camera and 30mm Guidescope,
Orion ST120mm With Electronic AccuFocuser, 
Explorer Scientific EXOS GT 2 With PMC Eight 
Celestron Luminous 31mm, Meade MWA 10mm, and 5mm EPs
Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars,
20/20 or better vision in both eyes due to recent cataract surgery!!!
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens" - Proverbs 3:19


Re: Explorestars Windows Version Excellent Performance!!!

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 02:50 AM, Darryl Ellis wrote:
However, I was very satisfied with the performance of Explorestars. 

Thanks very much Darryl for your great report.  Scott Roberts, the President and Founder of Explore Scientific has shared your comments with several people in our company. We always love to hear these types of comments as it validates the hard work everyone on the PMC-Eight team is doing to make the best products we can for our dedicated and loyal customers.

Thanks again!
 
--
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!


Explorestars Windows Version Excellent Performance!!!

Darryl Ellis
 

Hey All, 

I just wanted to give a shout out to Jerry, Kent, and their team regarding the excellent performance I experienced tonight using the Windows version of Explorestars.

I recently upgraded my astronomy/mount computer to a new HP laptop I got on a good deal from Walmart. (I cracked the screen on my tablet pc trying to upgrade the battery, SMH!)  Of course, I intended to use it primarily, (exclusively) with the ASCOM drivers and ASCOMPAD via serial connection, but I ran into an issue with ASCOMPAD.  Dumbfounded, I was at a lost as to how I was going to drive my EXOS II.

So I went back to using the wifi version of ASCOM.  I loaded the Explorestars program actually as a backup to this plan, but then I decided to give it a shot since I wanted to test out the visual capability of the RC 6 I recently acquired.  Well after a botched (my fault not the program's) 3 star alignment attempt, I wasn't expecting much, but figured I'd try a two star alignment just to see what would happen.  I'm glad I did.

I didn't take the first suggested star because I didn't recognize it, but the second made sense for my location and sky view.  It only required a 2 or 3 degree adjustment, the second one the same.  I then chose M13 out of the menu since it was high and centered in the Eastern sky and hit the slew to this object button.  I didn't immediately see the object in the eyepiece, but I knew the scope was pointed in the right direction.

I barely touched the mouse and I saw it.  Encouraged, I centered M13 in the eyepiece and enjoyed observing it while doing a couple of eyepiece swaps to get the best view and to test out the RC.  I ended with the 10mm 100 degree eyepiece and decided to slew to M51 just to see if I could see it.  I forgot to switch to my widefield eyepiece with which I did the alignment.

First of all, I wasn't sure I could see M51 with this combination, as it has a narrower fov than I have been used to.  Also, 10mm along with the larger mirror obstruction of the RC design and the f9 focal length was't throwing up the high contrast images of a refractor or dob.  So, I was very surprised when M51 was near center of my fov once the mount stopped slewing.

After viewing it for a while, I decided to try M81.  Same result, only this time, M81 was dead center of my fov.  After looking at it for a while I decided to have a look at Jupiter which was on the opposite end of the sky.  No, it wasn't right in the center of the fov, but not too far outside of it.  Again, after several eyepiece swaps back and forth, I decided to return to the Eastern sky to look at M27.  I'm not sure if it was outside of the fov, or if I just didn't see it because of the lack of contrast.

But I soon easily found it using the motion controls in the app to search.  However, this time I remembered to hit the sync to this object button.  Then for giggles, I chose M10, and then M5, both in different parts of the sky.  Both were dead centered in the fov using the 10mm.  I was impressed.

Then the clouds started encroaching upon my heavenly playground, and I decided to pack it in.  However, I was very satisfied with the performance of Explorestars.  Great product guys.

Darryl

DHEllis59, Dover, DE

Astro Tech RC 6, Orion Starshoot II Pro Imager, 
QHY 5 II Guide Camera and 30mm Guidescope,
Orion ST120mm With Electronic AccuFocuser, 
Explorer Scientific EXOS GT 2 With PMC Eight 
Celestron Luminous 31mm, Meade MWA 10mm, and 5mm EPs
Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars,
20/20 or better vision in both eyes due to recent cataract surgery!!!
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens" - Proverbs 3:19


Re: EXOS-2 backlash

 

Tony,
 
Good stuff!  The main thing about that setscrew change, is that you're less likely to end up with a tipped motor shaft and a belt that's not tracking down the middle.  Even tracking + good belt tension makes a noticeable difference on mine.
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Re: EXOS-2 backlash

Tony H <thonchar@...>
 

Bob,  

I finally changed out the center cap screw with a set screw on the RA Axis.  It appears I'm getting a little less wobble on the small pulley. Looking forward to getting it back outside to test it.  It's been a very rainy spring in Northern, Illinois.

Tony H. 
--
--------
Tony  - Northern Illinois, USA
 
Mount: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8, Celestron NexStar Evolution
Telescope: Explore Scientific 80mm Triplet ED APO Refractor, Celestron C9.25, Meade ETX-125, Celestron C90
Finder: 50 mm Orion w/ ASI290mm for Guide Camera
Hardware: Windows 10 Laptop
Software: Cartes du Ciel, PHD2, SharpCap
Imaging Cameras: Sony A6000, ASI290MC, ASI294MC 
 


Re: Equipment mounting plate

JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

I would go with a Losmandy 7” D plate if he is mounting just a mini computer. Side question though: does  he have a D plate or the standard V bar to mount to the scope? Maybe it’s just me but I do not trust the Vixen bars to hold the weight of a big scope plus accessories.


Re: Equipment mounting plate

Steve Siedentop
 

I went through a few iterations to get here, including riveting some Simpson Strong Ties together to make a platform, but there was a lot of flexure.  The D style dovetail I use has been by far the most stable.

-Steve
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Skywatcher NEQ-6, Celestron AVX
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Celestron C6, Stellarvue SV80ED, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, Canon T3i, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, Stellarmate/INDI/K-Stars/EKOS, Astro IIDC, SkySafari

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