Date   

Re: Polar alignment problems. Picking new alignment group? #ExploreStars

 
Edited

Chris,

I am using a laptop for right now, but I have downloaded APT just to try it out anyways. I'll be getting an Amazon Fire 8HD during the black Friday sales.

Wes,

I'm hoping with the combo of APT, a compass, and some better knowledge I will be able to get a better polar alignment. I am also waiting on black Friday sales to maybe pickup a guide scope and adapt my webcam (I've used it to take some pretty decent video of the moon) so that I can use that to help guide/alignment issues. I might grab one of those illuminated crosshair eyepieces if I continue to have trouble, but I'll wait as those seem to have only one job and one job only. I wouldn't mind being able to polar align and guide with the same setup. Maybe, if they are on sale, I might even grab a 120MM camera to use as a guide camera (or even imaging?) as well. Who knows. Just got a really nice bonus from work so....that helps!


Re: Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Bill Black
 

TDM sounds cool.
I've thought about designing a mount using shaft encoders. Seems like you should be able to essentially eliminate periodic error, backlash, plus other benefits over counting motor pulses.
--

Bill
Location: Dallas, GA
Scopes:
 Celestron C8, AstroTech 80mm APO

Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75

Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385


Re: EXOS-2 PMC Eight, displacement planets and the moon #ExploreStars #alignment #OpenGOTO #TECHNICAL #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

Rodrigo

I have been modeling the alignment procedure and have arrived at several conclusions.  

1.  Irregularities can occur in go-to based upon errors in your Dec home position.  Similarly errors in cone angle will persist even after three star alignments.  Thus you need to assure these are minimized before you perform the alignment.  I note the cone angle is correctly compensated for in the three stars used in the alignment but not across the sky.

2.  Your precision of centering during the alignment can affect your result.  So use a cross hair eyepiece and get close during alignment.

3.  When you sync on an object you bake in the Az El rotational error imposed by home error and measurement error.  These errors get rotated around the sky and affect other objects.

4.  The residual errors discussed above affect some objects more than others depending upon where they are in the celestrial sphere.  Thus you can have good results in one object and poor in another.  

My simulations suggest that the cone error and Dec home.error are to blame for the things you are seeing.  It suggests you have Dec home error likely on the order of 1 or 2 degrees.  You can eliminate Dec home error using the procedure I posted in the mounts subgroup in the files section.  Do this before you start after you have.set up and leveled the mount .  It only takes a a few minutes.   As for cone error you should eliminate it using the method posted by Jerry with a link to the Astronomy Shed YouTube channel.  

I don't believe there is anything incorrect with the planet vs DSO pointing.  While possible, the results you are seeing are far more likely due to one or both of Dec home or  cone angle.

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


Re: Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Jim McKee
 

Jerry,
Two questions about TDM.
1) How does it deal with backlash in a less precise mount such as the EXOS2.   Being as it is an encoder, if the RA needs to reverse directions, does it reverse to a known absolute position to bypass backlash?

2) is the TDM adapter for the LX75 compatible with the ExoS2-GT?

--
Scope:        Orion EON 115mm APO
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-GT w/ PMC-8
Cameras:   Canon 6D Mk 2, Canon 7D2, 1D Mk 2, EOS 60D Asto Modified
Lens:
          Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Misc:          TELRAD, ZWO ASI120MM Guide Camera, Astromania 60mm Guidescope, Senso Sesto Focus Motor
Software:   EXPLORESTARS IOS & WIN, Stellarium. NINA,  APT, DSS, PixInsight, Photoshop CC
Computer:  Dell Latitude E5450, Windows 10


Re: PMC-Eight Startup Sequence Diagram #FIRMWARE #ExploreScientific

Wes Mcdonald
 

Thanks Jerry that explains things .  In a nutshell we can load firmware without changing the communication mode employed by the PMC8 with Explorestars.  Neat.

Wes



On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 3:04 PM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:
Here is an excerpt from the Parallax Propeller datasheet about the boot process:

Boot Up Procedure
Upon power-up (+ 100 ms), RESn low-to-high, or software reset:

1. The Propeller chip starts its internal clock in slow mode (≈ 20 kHz), delays for 50 ms (reset delay), switches the internal clock to fast mode (≈ 12 MHz), and then loads and runs the built-in Boot Loader program in the first processor (Cog 0).

2. The Boot Loader performs one or more of the following tasks, in order:

    a. Detects communication from a host, such as a PC, on pins P30 and P31. If communication from a host is detected, the Boot Loader converses with the host to identify the Propeller chip and possibly download a program into Main RAM and optionally into an external 32 KB EEPROM.
    b. If no host communication was detected, the Boot Loader looks for an external 32 KB EEPROM (24LC256) on pins P28 and P29. If an EEPROM is detected, the entire 32 KB data image is loaded into the Propeller chip’s Main RAM.
    c. If no EEPROM was detected, the boot loader stops, Cog 0 is terminated, the Propeller chip goes into shutdown mode, and all I/O pins are set to inputs.

3. If either step 2a or 2b was successful in loading a program into the Main RAM, and a suspend command was not given by the host, then Cog 0 is reloaded with the built-in Spin Interpreter and the user code is run from Main RAM.


--
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!


--
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: Picture PMC-8 antenna port #TECHNICAL

Scott - Moron Astronomer
 

Thanks Kent! Helping me twice in one day.

Great pic. Good news, it doesn't look like I busted the pin inside.

Scott
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 Exos II
Scopes: ES 127ED
Cameras:  ZWO ASI224MC, Canon Ti7
Controller: Dell Laptop with WIndows 10
Software: Explorestars


EXOS-2 PMC Eight, displacement planets and the moon #OpenGOTO #TECHNICAL #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Rodrigo Zelada
 

 
Hello, I am writing about a deviation that I observe when using the EXOS-2 with Explore Star APP for Android from the southern hemisphere.
 
I set up the station with polar finder with Sigma Octantis, and then aligned the mount with three stars.

Then I select a planet or the Moon from the catalog, the mount arrives with a displacement of approximately 1.5 degrees, displaced to the north with respect to the location of the solar system object, but when I select objects from deep sky and stars the mount arrives relatively Very close to the center of the visual field.

On the other hand I did a test synchronizing Jupiter, then I select Saturn and The Moon and they arrive very close to the center of the visual field, but when I select stars and deep sky objects the mount arrives with the same displacement that I observed on the planets When line up with three stars.

I think there is a problem with solar system objects. 

From the northern hemisphere you can do the same test to know if something similar happens?

Regars

Rodrigo


Re: Picture PMC-8 antenna port #TECHNICAL

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Here you go.

 

Kent

 

 

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Scott - Moron Astronomer via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Picture PMC-8 antenna port #TECHNICAL

 

Quick favor if anybody has time...

I busted my antenna moving my mount. Kent at ES told me where I can order on Amazon. I got to thinking though, what if I busted the pin. Can anybody provide a close up picture of the antenna port on the PMC-8 box so I can get an idea if my pin is the correct size, or if that's busted too? I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,

Scott
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 Exos II
Scopes: ES 127ED
Cameras:  ZWO ASI224MC, Canon Ti7
Controller: Dell Laptop with WIndows 10
Software: Explorestars


--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Re: PMC-Eight Startup Sequence Diagram #FIRMWARE #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Here is an excerpt from the Parallax Propeller datasheet about the boot process:

Boot Up Procedure
Upon power-up (+ 100 ms), RESn low-to-high, or software reset:

1. The Propeller chip starts its internal clock in slow mode (≈ 20 kHz), delays for 50 ms (reset delay), switches the internal clock to fast mode (≈ 12 MHz), and then loads and runs the built-in Boot Loader program in the first processor (Cog 0).

2. The Boot Loader performs one or more of the following tasks, in order:

    a. Detects communication from a host, such as a PC, on pins P30 and P31. If communication from a host is detected, the Boot Loader converses with the host to identify the Propeller chip and possibly download a program into Main RAM and optionally into an external 32 KB EEPROM.
    b. If no host communication was detected, the Boot Loader looks for an external 32 KB EEPROM (24LC256) on pins P28 and P29. If an EEPROM is detected, the entire 32 KB data image is loaded into the Propeller chip’s Main RAM.
    c. If no EEPROM was detected, the boot loader stops, Cog 0 is terminated, the Propeller chip goes into shutdown mode, and all I/O pins are set to inputs.

3. If either step 2a or 2b was successful in loading a program into the Main RAM, and a suspend command was not given by the host, then Cog 0 is reloaded with the built-in Spin Interpreter and the user code is run from Main RAM.


--
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!


Picture PMC-8 antenna port #TECHNICAL

Scott - Moron Astronomer
 

Quick favor if anybody has time...

I busted my antenna moving my mount. Kent at ES told me where I can order on Amazon. I got to thinking though, what if I busted the pin. Can anybody provide a close up picture of the antenna port on the PMC-8 box so I can get an idea if my pin is the correct size, or if that's busted too? I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,

Scott
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 Exos II
Scopes: ES 127ED
Cameras:  ZWO ASI224MC, Canon Ti7
Controller: Dell Laptop with WIndows 10
Software: Explorestars


Re: PMC-Eight Startup Sequence Diagram #FIRMWARE #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I forgot to add, the PMC-Eight Configuration Manager (CM) Firmware Loader uses the Parallax propellent.exe program to load the firmware from the host (pc). This is a totally separate communications configuration not related to the PMC-Eight firmware communications configuration. So if you were not already aware, you do not need to switch the PMC-Eight over to the serial port connection to upload the firmware.

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!


PMC-Eight Startup Sequence Diagram #FIRMWARE #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Here is a diagram showing how the PMC-Eight boots up and determines what to do. This is based on a discussion I had with Wes.


--
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: Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 09:18 AM, <wcblack1020@...> wrote:
Was this with or without guiding?
Hi Bill,

Thanks for your kind words about my image.

We don't auto-guide at the MSRO, we use the Telescope Drive Master (TDM) drive correction system which is a high-resolution (0.125 arc-seconds/count) incremental encoder on the RA axis that sends corrections to the auto-guider port on the G11 PMC-Eight 5 times per second. The tracking error is around 0.3 arc-seconds RMS. I have been using the TDM for about 9 years now, I was Explore Scientific's first customer for the system in 2010. Before I was hired by ES in 2013, I did some work on the system for them, and  created some software to record data from the system that is available from our website. Here is a paper I wrote about the performance of the system.

http://www.mda-telescoop.com/images/stories/downloads/tdm_control_investigation.pdf

The best thing about the TDM is that you can turn it on and forget it, no messing with an auto-guiding system which in my opinion is a pain in the ass. I found out early on when doing astrophotography that my time is worth more than the amount of money paid for the TDM. I am considered the expert on the system other than the guys in Hungary who developed it.

There is a big, long thread on CloudyNIghts from 2011. It was a pretty long and comprehensive discussion. I don't know if all the links in the messages work anymore.

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/348458-telescope-drive-master-the-truth-of-the-matter/?p=4471194

Thanks for the question.
 
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: Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Bill Black
 

Just Wow! -- look at all that smokey detail!
Was this with or without guiding?
 Bill


Re: Recent image with G-11 PMC-8 & ES 127 FCD-100 #astrophotography #G11

Bill Black
 

Awesome picture. Great, crisp detail in there.
I second the 55 mm back focus to the focal plane. I believe that is a camera industry standard.

 Bill


Re: Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 05:58 AM, Taro wrote:
(1)You take this M42 only one sub 68min or  stacked some shots?
Hi Taro,

This is a stack of 68 x 1 min images stacked and processed with MaxIm DL and Photoshop.
 
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: Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Taro
 

Jerry

Very exciting shot this.

I have a question
(1)You take this M42 only one sub 68min or  stacked some shots?


Now Thailand has little bit clear sky.
So I try to take some pics with IExos-100.
If I can get nice one, then I up here.

--
Living in  Pattaya Thailand
Scope: Celestron 6SE,WO Z61,WO RedCat51, SVBONY SV48
CCD: SONY Alfa7Sii,SONY QX1, PENTAX KP,ASI 178MC,ASI 120MC-S
          SAMSUNG SCB2000N
MOUNT: Celestorn SE+Wedge,iEXOS-100,SW Star Adventure
FILTER: HA,Oiii,OPTLONG L-PRO,OPTLONG L-eNhance Duo Band, Etc
SubLens: 2" Flattener, 2" 2XBarlow, 2" F/0.5 Reducer, SCT F/0.63 Reducer
ETC: GPS,StarSence,iPolar


Orion Nebula M42 at the MSRO #G11 #astrophotography #TDM

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Here is an image I took this past Tuesday but didn't have time to process until today. I typically try and image the Orion Nebula once or twice a year. I was up late and decided to take about an hours worth of data. This is a stack totaling 68 minutes of exposure. I have posted the full-size image here in the files section.  Download it from there and you can see all the detail.
https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/photo/112946/0?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0



--
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: External Power #EXOS2 #starparty #TECHNICAL

Mike Leemhuis
 

I have been reading everyone's battery suggestions and I thought I would add a bit of data to the mix.

I installed a power meter on my PMC-8 Exos2 so that I could see my total current draw from 12 volts.  I am powering 2 heater strips, the PMC-8 box, my TEC camera (QHY163c) and a guide camera (QHY5L-ii).  The current draw is 3.5 amps maximum with 100% TEC power applied.  When I turn off TEC cooling my current draw is 1.6A.  Obviously, TEC cooling takes a lot of power!  The two heater strips are using 0.7A.  So to power my rig for say 6 hours it would take a 6*3.5 = 21 A hr.  Without TEC it would be 6*1.6 or 10A hr.  Hopefully this will give you some ballpark numbers to use when choosing a battery size.

Hope this helps,
Mike


--
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF
Camera: QHY163C
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2" for nebula pictures
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Sharpcap Pro
Computer:  Dell desktop XPS
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed to improve usability


Re: External Power #EXOS2 #starparty #TECHNICAL

Scott - Moron Astronomer
 

This has been a fun discussion to follow. I appreciate all the input.

For my personal situation, I think I am leaning towards Lloyd's suggestion. I am not at the point I want to build something. I am also fortunate enough to not have to worry about dew. Maybe if I were more hard core in the winter, but I definitely don't have to worry in the warmer months. That's not to say in the future I won't hit you all up on building something, but for now I just want something easy.

Thanks again,

Scott
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 Exos II
Scopes: ES 127ED
Cameras:  ZWO ASI224MC, Canon Ti7
Controller: Dell Laptop with WIndows 10
Software: Explorestars