Date   

ASUS Nexus 7 #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Timothy Myers
 

I have used my Nexus 7 for a couple years with my Celectron Scopes and SkySafari, SkyPortal. I found an app that keeps my tablet on all the time either of those two apps are running, so I do not have the issues with it shutting down.

I also loaded ExploreStars on it and I have no issues with the ExploreStars screen being cropped.

The only issue I see is that my Nexus 7 does not have an external SD card slot so I cannot load the celestial database. I have tried pitting it in the picture folder directly onto the tablet with no joy.

Has anyone worked out a way to load the database on a tablet without an SD card?
--
Tim Myers

Telescopes:     Celestron 4SE, Celestron 8SE
Mounts:           4-5 SE, 6-8SE, EXOS-2GT with PMC-Eight
Cameras:        ASI1600ME, Cooled
Tablets:           Asus Nexus 7


Re: Amazon Fire 8HD #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

Timothy

Harry makes an important point I failed to mention.  While it is true the wifi might drop, fact is it doesn't do it very often.  

A third reason I forgot to mention is cheap wifi adapters in budget tablets.  So Harry's experience with the fire tablet Isa good indication that things will be fine.

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: Amazon Fire 8HD #EXOS2

Harry
 

Timothy, I have been using the Fire HD 8 for quite some time, and have had no WiFi dropouts or other WiFi issues.  I am usually connected for over an hour and worked fine.
Probably make sure both mount and tablet are fully powered/charged. 


Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500


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

FishWithFeet <jeff.paules@...>
 

Orion and Running Man Nebulas 

Nikon D5300

31 - 30 second subs. 10 darks.  Sigma 150-600 @400mm stacked in dss, processed and cropped in Photoshop and Lightroom.  My first astrophoto on an equatorial mount.  No tracking.

ond 


Re: Amazon Fire 8HD #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

Timothy

Why does the PMC8 wifi drop?

There are two thoughts on this.  

1.  Interference.  This might be true, and certainly could be the reason sometimes.  But in.my experience it is not the only cause.  I used to drop in a wide open channel.  One issue is the PMC8 I'd shipped with the wifi channel not centered on the usual channels.  Thus would lead to sideband interference from adjacent channels.  So I would advise you to use your wifi dongle and increment the channel to one of the main ones.  Use channel 1, 6, or 11.  

2.  Hardware/firmware issue in the wifi chip that leads to it loosing the udp port number.  When this happens the mount will respond to commands from explorestars but the display of mount data in the app will not update.  This is often addressable by using the restore comms function in the settings section of the app.  In my experience this does sometimes work but you may have to shut down the mount and app and restart to get going again.

That issue is just one reason to use the mount with ascom and a wired connection.

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


iEXOS 100 Weight Distribution Question

Jed Orme <jedtorme@...>
 

Kent,

The new mount performed flawlessly last night at Joshua Tree NP (Peter couldn’t make it), but I still have to spend much more time with it in the daytime to better understand how the ExploreStars commands work to adjust the scope. I had some difficulties manually moving the right directions or amounts for different celestial objects being viewed in my 25mm eyepiece.

But with my William Optics Z61 scope & red dot finder, ZWO guiding scope/camera & a focuser motor, Fuji mirrorless camera, field flattener & T-ring adapter, the total payload is exactly 8.3lbs. The two balance weights, at another 4.4lbs, don’t quite balance this. At already 12.7lbs, I really don’t want to have to add another 2.2lbs with a third balance weight. Is there any kind of extension rod I can add to the existing one to achieve balance with less added weight? Or how far would I have to move the payload with a longer vixen dovetail bar to get it in balance? My current WO one is 110mm long (weighing just over 8oz), but they also make one that is 220mm. What would you recommend?

Jed


Re: Minimum Tablet Screen Size

Timothy Myers
 

I have the Nexus 7 as well and do not get the screen crop, meaning everything is there. My question however is where did you load the data file (pictures)?
--
Celestron 4SE
Celestron 8SE
EXOS-2GT Mount
ASI1600ME, Cooled camera


Re: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

 

Tommy,
 
Nope.  Think about what the axes of your mount are doing during tracking and it should become clear.  
 
In a perfect world, the RA axis is in line with the celestial pole. The RA's tracking rate is basically countering the Earth's rotation, and the stars ahead of it appear to stay in the same place.  The DEC axis lets you aim the scope to either side of that rotational axis.  
 
So, let's say that that you did set the altitude on your mount's RA axis reasonably well, but just plunked the tripod down without much concern for the azimuth.  In other words, you have a poor Polar Alignment.  But one way or another, you do manage to slew to a target of interest and track.
 
What happens next?  Well, the RA axis will rotate, but it will not rotate in line with the celestial pole, so your target will drift away on you.  
 
If you are doing unguided AP, you should see streaks quite quickly from a bad PA.  If you are guiding, PHD2 will try to stair-step the DEC and RA movements to keep your target centered and your stars round, but there are limits to this, and where those limits are will depend on the size of the error, guiding and imaging resolution, target location, etc.  Might be ok for a given session, might not.  It's not uncommon for AP'ers to sometimes deliberately leave a small error in their PA, just to keep the DEC gears moving slightly - but we're talking minor, not major.
 
Bottom line, a good polar alignment is a prerequisite for good tracking. You didn't say which mount you have, but I assume from the question that you have an iExos-100, which does not come with an azimuth adjuster (the EXOS2 does come with one).  
 
The Az adjuster is recent option, and some here were doing creditable AP long before that. I think nudging tripod legs and fiddling with mount head bolts were the usual techniques for doing the Az adjustment, back in the day.  Just do the best with what you have - but the Az adjuster will help you get a better PA faster.  FWIW...
 
As to Explorestars, that's mostly for visual, rather than AP.  For AP, you'd likely use something based on either ASCOM or INDI - but that's really a whole 'nother thread's discussion.
 
--
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


Amazon Fire 8HD #EXOS2

Timothy Myers
 

I have read that my Nexus 7 may not work properly with PMC-8. I should have my new mount within a week and will give it ago, but thinking about other options and saw that the Amazon Fire 8HD does work. Since these are relatively inexpensive tablets I am thinking of giving one a try. have also read that there is a problem with intermittent drop out of the wifi signal and wondered if anyone can elaborate or let me know if a solution to this has been found.


Re: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

Tommy
 

Thanks for the info. Could I just make azimuth adjustments via explore stars slewing? Or is this not possible?


Re: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

Skull HQX
 

On Sat, Feb 1, 2020 at 06:09 PM, FishWithFeet wrote:
At 150mm the Sigma is f5.6, so,if the OP's scope is of the same speed same settings should work.
Unfortunately his Astro Tech AT60ED + ZWO ASI 120MC-S combination provides far too little field of view to do PA using SharpCap. 
Alternately, if he uses his Nikon D5600 with the AT60ED the field of view would be 3.74 x 2.49 degrees, which seems too large for SharpCap to use.

But this is all getting a bit far from PMC-Eight related topics. ;)


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

Max <asanmax@...>
 

Thanks Taro!


Re: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

FishWithFeet <jeff.paules@...>
 

Yes, unguided.

I too would recommend the Azimuth adapter.

Full disclosure, I have had the iEXOS-100 roughly 1 week, and with the intermittent clear skies I have been chasing rookie mistakes and have no image to show yet.

My biggest error was leaving my lenses image stabilization on.  So, I could watch my target stay rock solid in liveview, but as soon as I would take a shot I'd get hook shaped star trails with any exposure I over 1/3rd sec.  I'd then park the scope open sharpcap and confirm excellent alignment.  

Solved my user error issue in a different discussion this past Thurs. This was proven by taking daytime photos with the same settings on the mount.  One with stabilization on one off.  Stabilization on resulted in a blurry image, off sharp image.  I get a new clearsky attempt tomorrow.

I'm pretty confident that I will get good images then, because when I would go to to BackyardNikons Drift and Align feature, I could watch my target not budge on the reticle for over 5mins trying to solve my issue.

At 150mm the Sigma is f5.6, so,if the OP's scope is of the same speed same settings should work.

On Sat, Feb 1, 2020 at 11:50 AM Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:
FishWithFeet,
 
Ahhh... A Sigma and 150-200mm, 1/3s shots!  No wonder you're getting along better.  Are you working unguided? 
 
My D5300 + scope were at 621mm and my PA exposures had to go out to about 15s with that combination (trudge, trudge).   
So I had both the slow exposure rate and the folder setup/teardown time - just didn't make sense vs the faster guidescope w/ its camera.
 
--
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: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

 

FishWithFeet,
 
Ahhh... A Sigma and 150-200mm, 1/3s shots!  No wonder you're getting along better.  Are you working unguided? 
 
My D5300 + scope were at 621mm and my PA exposures had to go out to about 15s with that combination (trudge, trudge).   
So I had both the slow exposure rate and the folder setup/teardown time - just didn't make sense vs the faster guidescope w/ its camera.
 
--
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: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

Skull HQX
 

Considering Tommy uses the iEXOS 100 I'd like to add that if he wants to use the PA method as described by Robert and FishWithFeet above, he should consider buying the optional iEXOS100 Azimuth Adjuster Adapter. Otherwise adjusting the mount will be very hit and miss and frustrating.


Re: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

FishWithFeet <jeff.paules@...>
 

Hello-

I'm frugal, and use Roberts technique.  I setup the D5300 to shoot 1/3rd second shots at iso 1600.  Pause is set to 2 seconds, 200 frames. 

Then bootup Sharpcap and use folder monitor camera.  

Since I know roughly where polaris should be in the frame now I can get a SharpCap deemed "excellent" polar alignment in roughly 70 frames, or  2 minutes. 

In short since you intend to buy SharpCap regardless you can test it yourself with your camera and know. 

I shoot through a Sigma 150 -600, and I have PA'ed at 150 & 200 mm. I never tried 600mm but not sure why I would.

On Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 11:11 AM Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:
Tommy,
 
I've done a polar alignment with my D5300, BYN and Sharpcap.  It did work, but it was slow and clumsy compared to using the guidescope and its camera.  One of those things that you do once, just to see if it you can make it work.  :-)
 
My $0.02 - simpler and faster to just use the guidescope + sharpcap.  Then once polar aligned, disconnect sharpcap and when ready for guiding, connect up PHD2.
 
HTH...
 
--
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: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

 

Tommy,
 
I've done a polar alignment with my D5300, BYN and Sharpcap.  It did work, but it was slow and clumsy compared to using the guidescope and its camera.  One of those things that you do once, just to see if it you can make it work.  :-)
 
My $0.02 - simpler and faster to just use the guidescope + sharpcap.  Then once polar aligned, disconnect sharpcap and when ready for guiding, connect up PHD2.
 
HTH...
 
--
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: Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

Skull HQX
 

Hello Tommy,

Short answer is no, it won't work.

SharpCap Pro needs an in-camera field of view of between 1 to 2.5 degrees. When plugging your ZWO ASI120MC-S and the Astro Tech AT60ED into a calculator you'll end up with an in-camera field of view of 0.76 x 0.57 degrees. So your field of view is just too tight.

The Orion 50 mm guide scope will give you an in-camera field of view of 1.63 x 1.22 degrees, which would be fine.

Regards


Polar alignment through main scope #alignment #iEXOS-100 #sharpcap

Tommy
 

Hello everyone,

I have a newbie question. I am picking up a ZWO asi120mc-s camera that I was going to use on my 50mm Orion guide scope to polar align with Sharpcap. My question is, can I just use this on my main scope to polar align and use it to image as well? Or will the polar alignment only work on my guide scope? I have the iexos-100 Mount and a Astro tech 60ed scope. I also use a Nikon d5600 for imaging. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Tommy


All A-OK Now

Jed Orme <jedtorme@...>
 

Hello Kent,

The problem was, as you suspected, that I wasn’t clearing the apps from running in the background the way you advised. As soon as I did this, everything started working like it should with ExploreStars. I’m going to try using SharpCap Pro for polar alignment which if done right may allow me to avoid doing a two or three star alignment.

I’m still try to get my head around how & when it is tracking, but suspect it will be clearer after working with the mount. Thanks again for your help.

Jed

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