Date   

Re: How track a comet using IEXOS-100?

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Hi Jhun,

Since most comets don't typically orbit in the same plane as the earth's equator, the RA and DEC position of the comet are continuously changing and therefore the only way to actually "track" a comet is to use an autoguider with the comet selected as the target to lock onto with PHD2. There is no way to do this in ExploreStars or in the ASCOM driver. Using PHD2 with an autoguiding system is the best and easiest way.
--
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!


How track a comet using IEXOS-100?

Jhun
 

Are there any recommended settings in IEXOS-100 for comet tracking?


Re: My best < Your worst - Why doesn't anything work?

Pavel
 

Hi,

don't worry, you are not the only desperate beginner! Actually, I ended
up with a broken mount and nobody is able to tell whether it was my
fault or not. From the two trials I had, I only managed to fit Polaris
(I hope it was the Polaris and not some neighbour of it!) into the polar
tunnel once, and it was rather by chance. Most people say I have very
sharp eyes, but it seems to belong to past times... So, congratulation
if you can actually fit a star into the tunnel!

On the other hand, I can help you with the ExploreStars database
location, since I managed to run ExploreStars on devices the authors
never had dreamt (the nightmare) of. The application tells you where it
is looking for the database and you must put it exactly there. I know -
the error message is displayed too shortly for anyone to read or even
remember. Obviously, in your case it is looking to the internal storage
and not any external SD card (that seems to happen when there is no
external card available or possible). The full path should be:
/storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com.explorescientific.explorestars/files/ExploreStars
(that is the "ExploreStars" folder you download from the website and
unpack). You can use applications such as "Total Commander" or "ES File
Explorer" to move the files around. If you cannot get into
/storage/emulated/0/, there can also be a way through /sdcard/.

Best regards,
Pavel

P.S.: Even when you fit the Polaris into the polar tunnel, you are not
done. I have also had problems to get the telescope pointed at anything
- the difference was just too big, maybe around 5 degrees. In addition,
do remember to reset the alignment after the physical setup, it seems to
remember the previous one. Well, actually I am still not sure why the
mount sometimes pointed the scope down into the ground when I selected a
planet above the horizon in ExploreStars. Other objects seemed to be
pointed at in the right direction. However, I also had some mechanical
problems at first, so that the mount was losing its alignment and I was
just testing at home during the day. Hard times for beginners if you
have no experience yet and don't know if the problem is you, the device
or just your misunderstanding of how to control it!

I've had my iExos-100 for nearly 1.5 months and I've yet to taken any
better photos than what I was doing by lying the camera on a picnic
table and aiming it. Yes, it's that bad. 

1. I decided to get a Amazon Fire 8HD so that I don't have to keep
switching programs from APT (because that is working SO well for me,
Plate solving? ERROR) and ExploreStars. Guess what? Explorestars is
useless on my tablet, works fine on my laptop. I've factory reset the
tablet, updated it, used my mother-in-laws, transferred the database to
every folder possible (zipped and unzipped, because I can), and so
forth. I can move my mount, that's it. No database. No GoTo. Nothing.
Ideas? Error is "Could not open database file:
/storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com-blahblahblah

2. I'm assuming my polar alignment is causing my inability to take more
than a 2.5 sec exposure without star trails? Even last night I had
Polaris dead center in my polar alignment hole, couldn't track worth a
crap. Set the speed from 1 to 100 going in increments of 5.
Just....yeah....I did a better job manually adjusting the mount every
couple photos. I don't expect dead nut accuracy but wow. 

3. 100+ photos last night with a Canon T3 and 75-300mm lens. This was
the best I got. Can you sense my frustration? I've read articles, I've
watched videos, I've swore more than a sailor with syphilis. Someone
pops out their iPhone and takes a photo 10x better than this, or
whatever that Chinese company is that begins with a H. 



Basically, I'm lost, frustrated, and just looking at anything related to
the sky just makes my blood boil at this point. 


Re: How Do You Rate Explore Scientific? #ExploreScientific

Glen <glenilacqua@...>
 

Just left my review. I had to respond to a link sent to my email. But once I did, it was good. Best of luck Jerry!

Glen 

On Monday, November 25, 2019, 01:52:34 PM EST, Dan Kahraman <dkahra213@...> wrote:


I am a Canadian Thing too!

Dan Kahraman

On Mon, 25 Nov 2019 at 13:47, Chris Tardif <christardif@...> wrote:
The BBB kicked mine back...something about my identity...Maybe its a Canadian thing.
--
Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
CameraASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79


Re: How Do You Rate Explore Scientific? #ExploreScientific

Dan Kahraman
 

I am a Canadian Thing too!

Dan Kahraman

On Mon, 25 Nov 2019 at 13:47, Chris Tardif <christardif@...> wrote:
The BBB kicked mine back...something about my identity...Maybe its a Canadian thing.
--
Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
CameraASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79


Re: How Do You Rate Explore Scientific? #ExploreScientific

Chris Tardif
 

The BBB kicked mine back...something about my identity...Maybe its a Canadian thing.
--
Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
CameraASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79


Re: How Do You Rate Explore Scientific? #ExploreScientific

Jeff Snell
 

Done Jerry.  It was my pleasure.  You guys have been great to work with.  I guess it takes a few days but I'm sure you'll start seeing the positive feedback from everyone on the BBB website soon.

Jeff Snell

On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 7:01 PM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:
One of the frustrating things about the telescope business is that the industry has to turn on a dime and support a great influx of customers when a significant astronomical event occurs. If you can imagine ramping up a sales rate from several thousand customers to millions of customers in a few short months, then you can understand the problem. Explore Scientific ran into this issue in 2017 when early in the year we decided to support the upcoming Great American Eclipse in August 2017 by selling eclipse glasses.

We ramped up production of our eclipse glasses that were shipped to our headquarters and we enlisted a large team of local volunteers to help package the hundreds of thousands of orders up until the last day before the eclipse. We bought and sold 4 million eclipse glasses if you can imagine. As you can expect, we fell behind as our ordering system buckled under the sheer number of orders. The problem became very acute in the last 2 weeks of the sales as we couldn't keep up with our sales numbers and we basically oversold the number of glasses we had and could ship on time. 

You can imagine customers that ordered online the last couple of weeks when we thought we had glasses left to sell and we found the last week that we had actually oversold and we had no more glasses. The customers became pretty upset and there were hundreds that let us know via our customer support lines, Facebook, and our website. There were a lot of customers that contacted the Better Business Bureau in Arkansas and 19 filed reports against us. This was a low point in our business as our intention was to satisfy all our customers but it wasn't to be. What was even worse is that we had hundreds of customers cancel their order even though their order had been shipped the week before, and they received it in the days after the eclipse.

After the Better Business Bureau contacted us we explained the situation and what we were doing to try to make it right. We made a full-court press to contact all our customers who were negatively affected and spared no expense to try and correct it. After a few months, the BBB saw how we responded and posted a message from president Scott Roberts and decided that although we failed those last few customers we also made a huge effort to make it right and awarded Explore Scientific the Torch Award for Ethics. (https://astronomytechnologytoday.com/2018/09/10/16806/). This was a very pleasant surprise and helped us to shake off the experience a little easier knowing that we did our best to make things right.

Unfortunately, our reviews on the BBB website (https://www.bbb.org/us/ar/springdale/profile/scientific-instruments/explore-scientific-llc-0935-90339490#bbbseal) are very negative and we currently have 1.5 stars out of 5 as a business.  I come to you, our PMC-Eight customers to ask you a favor to go to the BBB website and submit your own opinion of our company and how we do business. The current rating is based on the experience customers had in August 2017. We would like to see more current opinions on the BBB website. You can also see Scott's message on the BBB page linked above.

If you decide to place your opinion of our company on the BBB website, we would be very grateful and thank you for your time.

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: How Do You Rate Explore Scientific? #ExploreScientific

Cybermonk
 

Done.  ô¿ô
              U


Re: Astrophotography Done with the iEXOS-100, EXOS 2, and G11 Post your Pictures and Details! Lets Show What These Mounts Can Do. #G11 #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #EXOS2

 

Excellent news :-)

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Re: Astrophotography Done with the iEXOS-100, EXOS 2, and G11 Post your Pictures and Details! Lets Show What These Mounts Can Do. #G11 #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #EXOS2

Jay Stanley
 

First pic with the Lunt LS60,  ZWO ASI174MC (Yeah I know, color cams not the best) and EXOS2 mount.
CS,
Jay

Explore Scientific EXOS2
Lunt LS60 single stack





Re: Astrophotography Done with the iEXOS-100, EXOS 2, and G11 Post your Pictures and Details! Lets Show What These Mounts Can Do. #G11 #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #EXOS2

 

Nice shot Vince. I love monochrome like that. 


Re: Questions on my new PMC-8 #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

AndreaB

I wrote details of connections SkySafari in reply to you last night .  Hopefully you received it.  It shoukd be posted on the forum.  Long story short SF does not have a Pmc8 option.  It uses Meade Classsic and connects to wifi scope.  Follow directions that come with wifi scope.

Regards.

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: ...just a small rant.... I promise.

Jim McKee
 

Instead of RDP, have you tried ULTRA VNC for windows?  It seems less temperamental and you can control remote and host computer simultaneously.   I can also remote straight from MAC computer    Includes server and client app



On Sun, Nov 24, 2019 at 10:14 AM, Chris Tardif wrote:

Wired serial.  

Everything plugs into a powered usb hub velcro'd to the side of the mount.  Cameras, mount and USB dew heaters.  The pc connects to the home network wirelessly and I just RDP into it from my comfy office.  APT connects to stellarium so that works out pretty well.  I even have APT drop the pictures into a Onedrive folder on the control PC which then find their way to my office PC without me having to do anything.   I'm inherently lazy so i like to have it set up to the point where I don't have to do much.  

chris


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
CameraASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79


 
--
Scope:        Orion EON 115mm APO
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-GT w/ PMC-8
Cameras:   ZWO ASI 071MC Pro, Canon 6D Mk 2, Canon 7D2,  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: Astrophotography Done with the iEXOS-100, EXOS 2, and G11 Post your Pictures and Details! Lets Show What These Mounts Can Do. #G11 #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #EXOS2

Jim McKee
 

That looks great Vince.  Interesting result on backlash.  One more thing to look into.  Great guide results 
--
Scope:        Orion EON 115mm APO
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-GT w/ PMC-8
Cameras:   ZWO ASI 071MC Pro, Canon 6D Mk 2, Canon 7D2,  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: Astrophotography Done with the iEXOS-100, EXOS 2, and G11 Post your Pictures and Details! Lets Show What These Mounts Can Do. #G11 #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #EXOS2

Vince White
 

I spent about 1.5 hours wet sanding the ID of my DEC ring gear to address the 0.003" out of true I measured and get the DEC axis rotating easily (thanks Bob for the suggestion of looking at the rub areas) and finally PHD2's Guiding Assistant is able to measure backlash!  Last night I wanted to test my guiding and since everybody else seems to be shooting the Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula, I thought I would give it a shot in horrible Bortle 9 Houston skies with bonus Christmas lights adding to the mix...

20x 240sec @ ISO1600 lights, 10x darks, 20x flats, 30x bias.  Shooting with the UHC filter and with the 'Blue' channel discarded.
My collimation a touch off and seeing/transparency was poor-to-average, but the good news was that my PHD2 guiding total was just at 1.00" (0.84" RA, 0.55" DEC).  Now I just need to get myself to a darksite...



Regards,
Vince
--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon 5DmkII, Canon EOSm, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom


Re: ...just a small rant.... I promise.

Chris Tardif
 

Wired serial.  

Everything plugs into a powered usb hub velcro'd to the side of the mount.  Cameras, mount and USB dew heaters.  The pc connects to the home network wirelessly and I just RDP into it from my comfy office.  APT connects to stellarium so that works out pretty well.  I even have APT drop the pictures into a Onedrive folder on the control PC which then find their way to my office PC without me having to do anything.   I'm inherently lazy so i like to have it set up to the point where I don't have to do much.  

chris


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
CameraASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79


Re: Questions on my new PMC-8 #EXOS2

AndreaB
 

Thanks you for your quick responses!  I'm going to order a counterweight today after I do a quick test trying 3 pounds.  I might need the Besser 5 lb one as I have a ZWO camera and a barlow adding a pound or two to everything.
 
I had read you could use sky safari through the wifi scope PC app with the pmc-8 connected to my PC theough a serial port.  I have version 5 pro and I did try to connect and the PMC-8:didn't show as a listed device/mount in Sky Safari.  Not a big deal, just a little coolness factor to it.  The star explorer app works great on my PC and I do have a bluetooth gamepad I'll try to use with it for manual control.  I might try that today.  
 
As for the solar tracking rate, it is almost sidreal rate, and frankly isn't a big deal.  I do notice the sun moving a hair more in sidreal rate and when I had the Advanced VX (my first mount) I didn't even know about different tracking rates.  When I got the Lunt scope, I discovered it and saw the difference.   I used to be a software developer and with things being open souce, I might put a drop down there and share it.  .I like doing solar since I live about 3 miles from downtown Atlanta and i have light pollution to deal with.  
 
Again, thanks for all your help!  The mount is super awesome and I'll share any photos I may take on here.
 
Andrea
Atlanta, GA
Data Engineer 
Mount: ES EXOS-2GT w/PMC-8
Scopes: Celestron Edge HD8,  Lunt LS60THa DS
Cameras: ZWO ASI174MM; ZWO ASI224MC


Re: My best < Your worst - Why doesn't anything work?

Bill Black
 

Hi Burks21,
IMO, getting a good polar alignment is a key starting point and once you have a process for doing it, stick with it. You will get better at it over time (It's a learned skill).
Honestly, I don't see the peep hole on the IEXOS-100 doing the job. I use an EXOSII mount and the polar scope will get me close, but not good enough.
After using the polar scope, I use SharpCap pro polar alignment tool to refine my alignment (I think the subscription is like $20/year).

On your tablet issues, I had a similar problem because my default pictures folder (where ExploreStars looks for the database) was not on my tablet.
For some reason, Windows 10 had decided my default pictures folder should be on my onedrive on the cloud -- which is a problem, if you can't connect to the mount and the internet at the same time.
I eventually figured out how to tell Windows to use my local drive for the default pictures folder, but that process was not intuitive (I think you can set this up when you first install Windows by telling it not to back-up folders to the cloud).
As I recall, I think I had to right-click one-drive icon on the taskbar, open settings, pick backup tab, unselect photos & videos. Also, went into "manage backup" -> Onedrive settings, and deselected all folders for backup.

--

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

Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75

Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385


Re: My best < Your worst - Why doesn't anything work?

jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

Good day Burks21,

 

I can’t agree with the picnic table.  I prefer a telephoto lens.  At a focal length of 300mm you will easily be able to image some popular Messier Objects:  M31, M42, and M45. 

 

Database not connected (highest priority):

I am an Android user, so I will give my ideas on locating your database. 

1.       When you unzip the file, you will see ExploreStars/ ExploreStars/images and etc.

2.       You have to copy the 2nd ExploreStars folder to the root directory of your SD card.

3.       Make sure you have storage permissions enabled for the ExploreStars app.

4.       I am Android, but you should be able to go into settings and select apps, and then select permissions

 

Polar Alignment (unguided exposures <2.6- seconds):

1.       Your eyes are much better than mine.  I can’t see Polaris or anything but reflections through that tunnel hole J.

2.       Are you using a wireless remote to engage the T3 or are you using APT to control the T3?

3.       Do you use a leveler to make sure the tripod is level; I don’t use the built-in leveler on the tripod?

4.       Once the database is connected, I am sure your tracking will improve

5.       Have you checked your power source to make sure you are powering the mount at 11 to 12 VDC?

6.       Have you checked to make sure there is no backlash/ slop in the RA and DEC gears?

7.       On the bright side, you verified the 600 Rule @150mm:

FL (mm)

600 Rule (secs)

500 Rule (secs)

400 Rule (secs)

   150

2.50

2.08

1.67

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 Photos:

1.       I tried using blind solve on your image (All Sky Plate Solver), which did not work.  The stars were not sharp enough.

2.       Your Image details:

Exposure: 10-seconds

Focal Length:  150mm.

F-Ratio:  5.0

ISO:  3200

 

My Limited experience:

1.       Drift that bad at 10-seconds is an indication that your mount is not tracking properly or your polar alignment is off; remember, the polar alignment that you are doing is a rough polar alignment.

2.       I had this issue as well in the beginning.  I overcame it by doing some things which are not recommended.

a)      I level my mount using an actual leveler, not app.

b)      I use a compass app to make sure the mount is pointed due North for my home position.

c)       I set the Altitude to my location

d)      I have a list of bright stars near objects I wish to image ie. M31 and the star would be Mirach

e)      I use ExploreStars to slew to Mirach and then I manually adjust the altitude and azimuth on the mount until the star is centered in Liveview.

f)       Once I am done, I sync the star

g)      I also use a Bahintov Mask to aid in focusing

h)      Then I slew to M31 and begin imaging.  Until I can locate Polaris in my Bottle 8.5 skies, this will be my process.

i)        I use a YouPro intervalometer with liveview. 

j)        I also enable Long Exposure Noise reduction (low setting). When I first started, I had a ton of hot pixels.

 

Software:

I am just beginning to get into software to control my iEXOS-100.  This is a list of the packages I am using:

1.       All Sky Plate Solver:  blind plate solving is a must have (setting up can be interesting, but it is worth it

2.       APT:  recommended

3.       Stellarium and Stellarium Scope- pretty easy to setup

4.       Plate solver2:  to involved to figure out.  Does not appear to have blind solving

5.       Ascom Platform/ Poth:  Still working through random crashes

6.       ASCOMPAD:  learning

 

Conclusion:

1.       A frustrated person can resolve very little.  Just slow down and tackle one problem at a time.  Paraphrasing Mr. Spock…if we find everything that it’s not, we will surely find what it is.

2.       I can take 30-second exposures with minimum star drift.  Sometimes stars are not round at the edges; nope, not investing in a field flatter when I can  easily crop.

3.       Once I master drift alignment, I hope to take unguided 3-minute exposures.

 

JR

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of Burks21
Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2019 9:45 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] My best < Your worst - Why doesn't anything work?

 

I've had my iExos-100 for nearly 1.5 months and I've yet to taken any better photos than what I was doing by lying the camera on a picnic table and aiming it. Yes, it's that bad. 

1. I decided to get a Amazon Fire 8HD so that I don't have to keep switching programs from APT (because that is working SO well for me, Plate solving? ERROR) and ExploreStars. Guess what? Explorestars is useless on my tablet, works fine on my laptop. I've factory reset the tablet, updated it, used my mother-in-laws, transferred the database to every folder possible (zipped and unzipped, because I can), and so forth. I can move my mount, that's it. No database. No GoTo. Nothing. Ideas? Error is "Could not open database file: /storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com-blahblahblah

2. I'm assuming my polar alignment is causing my inability to take more than a 2.5 sec exposure without star trails? Even last night I had Polaris dead center in my polar alignment hole, couldn't track worth a crap. Set the speed from 1 to 100 going in increments of 5. Just....yeah....I did a better job manually adjusting the mount every couple photos. I don't expect dead nut accuracy but wow. 

3. 100+ photos last night with a Canon T3 and 75-300mm lens. This was the best I got. Can you sense my frustration? I've read articles, I've watched videos, I've swore more than a sailor with syphilis. Someone pops out their iPhone and takes a photo 10x better than this, or whatever that Chinese company is that begins with a H. 



Basically, I'm lost, frustrated, and just looking at anything related to the sky just makes my blood boil at this point. 


Re: ...just a small rant.... I promise.

Bill Black
 

I agree, I've been having good, stable performance using ASCOM over a serial connection.
I'm curious do you use ASCOM over the wired serial interface or over the wifi connection?

--

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

Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75

Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385