Date   

Re: Home Position Alignment #EXOS2 #polaralignment

Luke
 

Hi Tim, the arrows are there as a way to show you where mount is squared and are fairly accurate. It is good to level the tripod and the base and then set the mount head on top. As long as you polar align properly you should be all set to go. When you do your 2 or 3 stars alignment then the computer or tablet should account for differences and be accurate thereafter. Luc


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 6, 2020 11:26:49 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Home Position Alignment #EXOS2 #polaralignment
 
I thought about painting my arrows so they would show up better in the dark, but then settled on something simpler.  I scraped the paint off them.  :-)

I've seen a couple of posts around arrow placement and home position, but I really haven't had a problem in that regard.
On those rare occasions when the sky clears, I do guided AP w/plate solving, not GoTo visual - might make a difference.

--
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: Home Position Alignment #EXOS2 #polaralignment

 

I thought about painting my arrows so they would show up better in the dark, but then settled on something simpler.  I scraped the paint off them.  :-)

I've seen a couple of posts around arrow placement and home position, but I really haven't had a problem in that regard.
On those rare occasions when the sky clears, I do guided AP w/plate solving, not GoTo visual - might make a difference.

--
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


Home Position Alignment #EXOS2 #polaralignment

Timothy Myers
 

Back again, and new to polar alignment. Watching some videos on the subject and wondered what others were doing. I know that the EXOS-2GT has alignment arrows cast into the casting and that they are painted to match the rest of the mount. I have thought about using white or gun sight orange paint pens to paint the arrows but then wondered just how accurate the arrow locations are with regard to having the mount level and plumb.

Watching some videos on the subject, have noticed some using a 9" spirit level  on the counter balance rod to adjust the declination to plumb and on the mount head to get it in a level position and then turn it 90 degrees to point at a good position.

Just wondering if any one else does this and if they have, how close has this put the alignment arrows?
--
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: ASUS Nexus 7 #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Pavel
 

Thanks, Wes, this is exactly the information, which is not explained very well in the documentation and I have been trying to find out as well! I guess it should be collected somewhere for other users, but at the moment all the different links one can find lead to different sources of information - not easy to find out what is the most up-to-date version and what is a bit obsolete.

Best regards,
Pavel

6. 2. 2020 v 16:38, Wes Mcdonald via Groups.Io <wesmcd6=gmail.com@groups.io>:

Tim

The sync button is at the bottom left of the keypad in Android. I think it shows up after you do a go-to.

The Use FW button tells the app to look to the firmware for the firmware type and set the mount type to the proper mount (iexos or exos2) automatically.

I don't have my equipment with me now so I can't comment on the capture target functions. The alignment tour as I recall simply took you to the alignment stars and was not particularly useful to me.


In my view the Android app is better and has everything and more that you need. One feature you get with Android is the P/T button is actually a mode button. This button allows you to put the mount into either track or point mode. The difference is subtile but important if you were to try imaging with explorestars. Track mode runs the RA axis at sidereal rate while leaving the Dec axis stationary. It updates the mount rapidly and provides smooth tracking. The Point mode adjusts both Ra and Dec 5 times a second which is great for visual observing where the polar alignment is not so good and you have done a 2 or 3 star alignment. It tries to keep the desired Ra/Dec in the center of the eyepiece. The jitter this mode imposes, while no problem for visual, will ruin a photograph. Note in windows this "button" is only an indicator, and one transitions between modes by doing a goto (automatically mount goes to P), and adjusting position via the keypad (mount switches to T). I might have that reversed. But you get the point I hope.

Glad you stuff is ticking away!

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: ASUS Nexus 7 #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Wes Mcdonald
 

Tim

The sync button is at the bottom left of the keypad in Android.  I think it shows up after you do a go-to.  

The Use FW button tells the app to look to the firmware for the firmware type and set the mount type to the proper mount (iexos or exos2) automatically.

I don't have my equipment with me now so I can't comment on the capture target functions.  The alignment tour as I recall simply took you to the alignment stars and was not particularly useful to me.


In my view the  Android app is better and has everything and more that you need.  One feature you get with Android is the P/T button is actually a mode button.  This button allows you to put the mount into either track or point mode.  The difference is subtile but important if you were to try imaging with explorestars.  Track mode runs the RA axis at sidereal rate while leaving the Dec axis stationary.  It updates the mount rapidly and provides smooth tracking.  The Point mode adjusts both Ra and Dec 5 times a second which is great for visual observing where the polar alignment is not so good and you have done a 2 or 3 star alignment.  It tries to keep the desired Ra/Dec in the center of the eyepiece.  The jitter this mode imposes, while no problem for visual, will ruin a photograph.  Note in windows this "button" is only an indicator, and one transitions between modes by doing a goto (automatically mount goes to P),  and adjusting position via the keypad (mount switches to T).  I might have that reversed.  But you get the point I hope.

Glad you stuff is ticking away!

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


Received my new EXOS-2GT #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Timothy Myers
 

Received my new mount last night and I have to say I am very pleased. WiFi connection with my tablet was a breeze. After a fake 2 star alignment in my Living Room I was able to slew to many objects.

Using the PA eyepiece is going to be a challenge for me as I had both knees replaced in May, so getting on my knees is not a good option. I figure if I extend the legs of the tripod I can get it high enough to bend down and look through the PA scope.

I attempted to connect my Laptop with WiFi and that was a no joy. Everything is loaded but the PMC-Eight never gets the commands from my Laptop. I haven't spent much time looking through the site yet so see if i can elicit some help, so if anyone can point me in the correct direction, feel free.

I might try to set up the ASCOM on my laptop this evening to see if that works any better.

All in all, this has been a great experience.

Thanks ES!!!!
--
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: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

 

Kevin,

It was down in the Files section of Mounts, here:

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MOUNTS/files/EXOS2PMC8_TuningNotes_v1.pdf

--
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: ASUS Nexus 7 #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Timothy Myers
 

My new mount arrived last night and my Nexus connected to it flawlessly, at least in the house. I did a fake two star alignment and slewed all over the sky (actually living room).

The main difference I see is that the Windows App uses an AppBar button while the Android App uses a Menu Button. I noticed that the Android App does not have the following, Sync on Target, Alignment Tour, and Capture Target.

I do see a button in the settings screen that says USING FW OR IGNORE FW, and I am not sure what that is.

So using a Nexus 7 with no SD card and what appears to be total control, and no drop outs, so a very happy camper.

Thanks again to Pavel, for the correct file path.
--
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: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Hi Wes..
I looked everywhere and there is no Bob's files that I can see...


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Thank you very much Wes.

Kevin


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Wes Mcdonald
 

Kevin:

Go here:   MOUNTS@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io

And look at the files section.  In it you will see Bob's paper, my paper and a sketchup by Vince for the mount mechanics.  This should help.
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: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Wes Mcdonald
 

Kevin:

Ok.  Now I know what you are up to.

1.  I advise you strongly to connect to the PMC-8 via the serial cable, not wifi.  No problems with dropped connections etc.  
2.  You will use the ASCOM platform and the ES Ascom driver for the PMC-8.
3.  APT also will connect to the mount via ASCOM hub.  With APT you will be able to run the mount, the focuser, camera, guide camera I believe.
4.  You will use the PHD2 to guide.  I also connects to the mount via the ES ASCOM driver, using pulse guiding
5.  With an OAG on your scope your ASI 120 should be fine.  You might want to figure your view per pixel and see how this relates to your camera arc secs per pixel.  You can research this on the web but in my view you only need to have guide pixels about 2 or three arc seconds in size which should guide you better than the mount can practically be guided.  But then some Exos-2 mounts can be guided better than others.  Bob Hoskins has posted a paper on how to adjust and tune the backlash and other aspects of the mount that contribute to your ultimate guiding errors.  You can find it in the file section of one of the forum sub-groups.  You might read through it and see what you want to do there.  I don't have an OAG, but with my guide scope and ASI 290MM mini I get about 2.5 arc second pixels and guide between 2 and 1 arc seconds combined RMS.  
6.  For alignment, you will need to use something that gets you physically aligned.  ES does not provide software to do this in ASCOM, but you do have a polar scope on the mount which you can use to align the mount.  IF you don't want to do it that way (I never could) you can add a Polemaster or use Sharpcap with you ASI I believe.  You should look into this, as it is easy to use, inexpensive, and accurate.  I use a polemaster because I already owned one, and it is also a breeze and very accurate -- PHD routinely tells me I am good to a few tenths of an arc sec or better.  Don't know if I believe it or not, but guided images are not disturbed by any polar drift (to the limits of my guiding sessions anyhow)
7.  If you are using APT, you can use the plate solve capability it provides to find your DSO objects, dead center.  It uses Platesolve2 software which you will need to download one time, follow APT manual instruction for this.  APT and Platesolve2 will control the mount beautifully to put objects dead center.  With plate solving, you need not worry about stuff like DEC home error like you do with open-loop gotos in explorestars, for example.  So you don't need my article.
8.  So make sure you polar align.  Then put the mount in its polar home position indicated by the little alignment arrows on the RA and DEC axes.  I colored mine with a silver sharpie to help see the danged things.  Then start the PMC-8, boot ascom, etc.
9  You may want to use a planetarium program such as Stellarium or Cartes Du Ceil (or what ever the danged thing is named).  CdC connects directly through the ASCOM POTH hub to the scope.  Stellarium requires a helper app called StellariumScope.  You can research these and see what you like.  APT at least includes integration with Stellarium that allows you to import target locations from STellarium.  That way you can pick objects graphically in Stellarium, import the object into APT and carry on from there with commanding a slew to the object etc.  All through the POTH Hub which uses the ES ASCOM driver.  It all works pretty well, except for the usual Windows related crashes.

So thats a lot.  Not sure what you have done before in this arena, but you have bought a lot of gear and it sure looks like you will have a nice rig once you get it all up and running.  

I'll send a link to Bob's paper and mine for fun in another note.  I don't trust this editor not to lose my response while I go look for them.

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: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Hi Wes,
I could not find any files uploaded by you in the files section of this board..
Maybe you could get me a URL for it?


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

Tommy
 

I just picked up the AZ adjuster for my iEXOS-100 mount and polar aligned via Sharpcap. Wow what a difference with the AZ adjuster, so much easier. Thanks for the heads up. I got an excellent my first time out in under 10 mins. It will only get easier as time goes on. Now I just need to figure out how to perfect my star alignments!
--
Cameras: Nikon D5600, ASI ZWO120
Scope: Astro-Tech 60ed, Orion 50mm
Mount: ES-iEXOS-100


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 
Edited

By the way guys this is the stuff that I purchased to upgrade my Mount and everything to go with it.

This mount, https://www.highpointscientific.com/explore-scientific-exos-2gt-goto-equatorial-mount-with-pmc-8-electronics-exos2gtpmct3-00
 
This autofocuser,
https://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-focus-motor-for-sct-and-edgehd-94155-a
 
This camera as a guide camera,
https://www.highpointscientific.com/zwo-asi120mm-mini-monochrome-astronomy-camera-asi120mini
 
This Celestron off-axis guider,
https://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-off-axis-guider-93648

And this to replace the DSLR I have been using..
https://www.highpointscientific.com/zwo-asi290mc-usb-3-color-cmos-camera-asi290mc


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Hi Wes, I wasn't really going to use explorer stars for my alignment or anything else.
I was hoping I could use Astro photography tools software.
Kevin


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Actually I'm going to be doing more deep space objects than planets. So I need a really good alignment.
Kevin


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 
Edited

Hi Wes,
When you say serial ascom, am I correct in assuming that instead of using the wireless mode to connect from the pmc-8,  to use a serial cable directly from the PMC - 8? If so, that is what I am already doing. I run it from the serial connector on the PMC - 8 into the USB powered hub, which then goes to the computer.
By the way, I am also using the 6.3 reducer on the scope.

Kevin


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount alignment

Wes Mcdonald
 

Kevin

The 2-3 star alignment routine steps you through each star.   The best way to see if it worked is to go to settings and enable show alignment.  The alignment coefficients are displayed on the main page.  These should be near about 1 and 0.  If the numbers are huge then the alignment is bogus.  It might be bogus if they are more or less correct but definitely bogus if way out.  Another indication of bogus alignment is NaN listed as telescope position.  

Btw for planets for sure just do a 2 star.  It's easier and plenty good enough for planets I believe.

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

 

Jeny,
 
Not quite sure what scenario you have in mind, but FWIW, Sharpcap does not need a separate Astrotortilla installation to perform a Polar Alignmnent.
 
If you're talking about using Sharpcap to do a plate solve on your imaging target through your guidescope and then use something else to run a different camera (say, BackyardWhatever and a DSLR...) through your imaging scope, that would not likely be a good idea.  I think you'd want to do the plate solve on what the *imaging* camera sees.
 
The whole point of plate solving is to get your target centered quickly and reliably in the field of view of your imaging camera.  Your guiding FOV and your imaging FOV are unlikely to be the same, let alone precisely aligned.  If you are using a control program of some kind for your imaging camera, the thing to do is get Astrotortilla (or equivalent) integrated with THAT.  
 
I use BackYard Nikon with mine, integrated with Astrotortilla, and plate solving really is magic. :-)  
 
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

4041 - 4060 of 9620