Date   

Re: EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC - Updated version of the ANDROID ExploreStars Application! #ExploreScientific #ExploreStars

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Joe, please see my responses in RED

On Thu, May 7, 2020 at 08:55 PM, Joe Izen wrote:

I'm trying to see whether I have the latest version on my FireOS tablet I have 1.9.20051.494 installed.  How do I learn what is the latest version? Should I just assume that if GooglePlay tells me an app is already installed, it is the latest version? The version in Jerry's post seems to be dated.
Yes, the Google Play Store will correctly detect which version you have an tell you if there is an upgrade available. No need worry about that

I get a message to update my DB when I launch ExploreStars on my FireOS tablet. I find:
DB Ver: 0.0 [85643].  FW Ver:1.00 installed on my FireOD table.

       Where does it tell you to update your DB? You should go here to get the latest DB for the Android ExploreStars app: https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/android-os-download

I know these are over a year old, so I'm pretty sure they are long in the tooth, but how does one learn the latest versions?

All the information about the PMC-Eight is on our website as always, You should always go there for the latest downloads

I recently installed GooglePlay on my FireOS tablet, so I think can update through the Android store, but I recall the DB is tricky. I checked ExploreStars.com. The DB install video is hopelessly Microsoft tablet-centric, and the page doesn't render fully with my Mac's Safari browser.

The ExploreStars.com webpage is out of date, always go to our main website at www.explorescientificusa.com to get the latest  version of our downloads.  We will correct the ExploreStars.com website soon.

I recall needing to be coached through the DB initial install, and that I couldn't use my own tablet to download the DB to the SD card which is a requirement for design reasons I still can't fathom.

After switching to Chrome, I found http://02d3287.netsolhost.com/pmc-eight/Android.html

but the instructions on this page are also confusing. In particular, to install an update (not clear whether it is a DB or app update), it would have me jump to step 5 on my Android browser (so I can't just download an updated app with GooglePlay???). But Step 1 iss the DB download step, and I think I had to do the download and unzip the first time on a PC. I am very confused.

Again, please go to our main PMC-Eight downloads page on our main website, we will correct these old outdated links. Our forum Main group front page has instructions on where you should go also. You do not need to do any extensive search on the Internet to find our downloads.

I would very much appreciate blow-by-blow instructions for updating the app and the DB on FireOS. I suggest that since download and install instructions for Microsoft tablets are give on the explore stars.com home page, this would be the right location for app and DB upgrade instructions for ALL platforms, PC, Android, and iOS. For now, I'd be grateful if a clarification could  be posted to this thread. Kent is always helpful, but I hate to pester him on the phone for info that should be documented for everyone.

There are instructions on our download page for the Android ExploreStars that apply equally to the FireOS. We already have a page for all platforms on our main website.

To the extend that ExploreStars and PMC-8 mounts handshake with ASCOM drivers that need to be updates, it would be helpful if those instructions could be documented too.
The PMC-EIght ASCOM driver has nothing to do with the ExploreStars application and vice versa. The ExploreStars application is wireless only, and the ASCOM driver communicates over Serial or WiFi. The PMC-Eight ASCOM driver is only applicable to Windows since the ASCOM platform is only on the Windows Platform. ExploreStars is available for Windows, Android, and iPadOS at this time.

I am planning to update my iEXOS-100 PMC8 firmware. I think the most current upgrade instructions are in this threads:

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/35951559?p=,,,20,0,0,0::relevance,,%23FIRMWARE,20,2,0,35951559,ct=1&ct=1

Version check: https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/71858890?p=,,,20,0,0,0::relevance,,%23FIRMWARE,20,2,0,71858890,ct=1&ct=1

Is this information still current?  Can I break anything if I update the firmware and/or the ExploreStars app, but not the other? Any ASCOM gotchas?

Instructions to download and install firmware updates on on the PMC-Eight system downloads page: https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/software-and-downloads-for-pmc-eight-system

Are there any developments on an iOS version for iPhones. There are some pretty big iPhone screens these days. It would be most convenient to use my iPhone as a backup for my Fire tablet.

We are currently working on new versions of ExploreStars that we will announce at the appropriate 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: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Pavel
 

Yes, that is obviously the meaning of the nuts. Otherwise I would probably strip the threads. The screws are just too long.

Is there no explanation for the marking in the reticle available? The marking for the Southern Hemisphere is quite self-explanatory - there are clearly marked crosses for "σ Oct" and "χ Oct". But for the Northern Hemisphere, there are just three lines with gaps for both "δ Umi" and "51 Cep" (probably "OV Ceph"), no crosses. (Actually, no full cross for Polaris either.) See the first attached picture.

I also wonder about the role of the rubber washer/gasket that came with the polar scope. The only place I can imagine it could meaningfully fit would be to fill the gap between the bracket and the pivot collar for collimation (see the second attached picture). Is it possible that someone "forgot" to pull it there while assembling the scope? Considering the fact that the scope came mounted "backwards" to the mount adapter, I am not sure if the person assembling the whole thing was well conscious about the proper state of things. Of course, I may just as well ask Bresser, as you suggest, but I was hoping to get some explanation faster from someone here, as the subject has just been opened.

 


Re: EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC - Updated version of the ANDROID ExploreStars Application! #ExploreScientific #ExploreStars

Joe Izen
 

I'm trying to see whether I have the latest version on my FireOS tablet I have 1.9.20051.494 installed.  How do I learn what is the latest version? Should I just assume that if GooglePlay tells me an app is already installed, it is the latest version? The version in Jerry's post seems to be dated.

I get a message to update my DB when I launch ExploreStars on my FireOS tablet. I find:
DB Ver: 0.0 [85643].  FW Ver:1.00 installed on my FireOD table.

I know these are over a year old, so I'm pretty sure they are long in the tooth, but how does one learn the latest versions?


I recently installed GooglePlay on my FireOS tablet, so I think can update through the Android store, but I recall the DB is tricky. I checked ExploreStars.com. The DB install video is hopelessly Microsoft tablet-centric, and the page doesn't render fully with my Mac's Safari browser.

I recall needing to be coached through the DB initial install, and that I couldn't use my own tablet to download the DB to the SD card which is a requirement for design reasons I still can't fathom.

After switching to Chrome, I found http://02d3287.netsolhost.com/pmc-eight/Android.html

but the instructions on this page are also confusing. In particular, to install an update (not clear whether it is a DB or app update), it would have me jump to step 5 on my Android browser (so I can't just download an updated app with GooglePlay???). But Step 1 iss the DB download step, and I think I had to do the download and unzip the first time on a PC. I am very confused.

I would very much appreciate blow-by-blow instructions for updating the app and the DB on FireOS. I suggest that since download and install instructions for Microsoft tablets are give on the explore stars.com home page, this would be the right location for app and DB upgrade instructions for ALL platforms, PC, Android, and iOS. For now, I'd be grateful if a clarification could  be posted to this thread. Kent is always helpful, but I hate to pester him on the phone for info that should be documented for everyone.

To the extend that ExploreStars and PMC-8 mounts handshake with ASCOM drivers that need to be updates, it would be helpful if those instructions could be documented too.

I am planning to update my iEXOS-100 PMC8 firmware. I think the most current upgrade instructions are in this threads:

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/35951559?p=,,,20,0,0,0::relevance,,%23FIRMWARE,20,2,0,35951559,ct=1&ct=1

Version check: https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/71858890?p=,,,20,0,0,0::relevance,,%23FIRMWARE,20,2,0,71858890,ct=1&ct=1

Is this information still current?  Can I break anything if I update the firmware and/or the ExploreStars app, but not the other? Any ASCOM gotchas?

Are there any developments on an iOS version for iPhones. There are some pretty big iPhone screens these days. It would be most convenient to use my iPhone as a backup for my Fire tablet.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 


Re: Faulty iEXOS 100?

James Ball
 

Correct, not arrows on the iEXOS-100.  I made some using toothpicks, taping them to the separate parts so they span the silver spacer making it easier to align.  There is a procedure listed in the forum here somewhere that explains a way to use a simple bullet level to find exact polar home and works well.
--
James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.


Re: Exos2gt balancing weights

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Ok.. thanks.

Kevin


Re: Noob question #iEXOS-100 #alignment

luketsanders@...
 

Hi,

1) i’m new to the mount too, but believe I’m right in saying that once you have aligned press SYNC first and then Enter. 


2) Select an object and press ‘Slew to object’ and the screen will change to the detail page for that object, now press GOTO and you should be in business.

Someone more experienced will probably correct everything I’ve just said, but this’ll give you something to do in the meantime 😂😂


Re: #astrophotography #goto #iexos-100 #iEXOS-100 #astrophotography #goto

brian skinner
 

On Wed, May 6, 2020 at 11:08 AM, Daniel Burdziak wrote:
Hi all!

I just got my iexos-100, and will be using it with a Rebel T6, and lenses, no telescope. I currently have the 75-300mm kit, 18-55mm kit, and the 50mm 1.8 lenses. I had a few questions I was hoping some seasoned pros could answer, as I am VERY new to this. I got everything setup, and ready (supposed to be clear tonight), and will be doing a 3-Star alignment as I cannot see Polaris from my yard due to trees.

Once aligned, I know I can slew to an object. Once it slews to the object I want to photograph does it track it, or is there an extra step?
With my lenses I usually use the 75-300 at 300 set to F5.6, and 6400 with 2 second exposures, what would a good setting be? Would I be able to do 30 or more seconds?
I'm assuming I can still have my intravelometer attached to the camera for setting exposure/interval and all that.

I really just want to make sure I don't get out there tonight, and just end up frustrated, or searching for an answer.

Thank you,
Daniel
Hi Daniel, your set up is identical to mine. For starters, although I don't view unless I can see Polaris, and point to it, with a three star alignment I'm sure you are good to go as long as your mount is level and pointing as close to true North as you can manage.
My mount tracks very consistently and accurately, I find up to 2 minute exposures to be fine. With the light pollution I have to contend with I find ISO 400 is about the best with anything more than a 10 second exposure, you just need to experiment basically.
Regarding tracking I understand that Tracking is preferable to the Pointing option when two or three star aligned. When you have completed the alignment process, and you now pointing and synced to your target you will find the tracking option is selected by pressing one of the UDLR buttons momentarily if the app shows P (pointing) mode.
Hope that helps, Brian


Re: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

NEVER hard tighten screws that go into ANY kind of plastic. That is a sure recipe for stripping the threads.

I have no idea what the nuts are for. Those are not shows in the parts list included with the directions.

Again, please contact Bresser customer support.

We have a draft document for using the finder. But is has not published

In a nutshell:

1) Look in the sky and find Cassiopea and the Big Dipper (The Plough in Europe, I believe).

2) Rotate the Polar Finder Scope to match what you see in the sky.

3) Adjust the mount in azimuth and altitude to get Polaris in the location on the reticle.

The other marking are for use in the Southern Hemisphere.

The procedure outline above is done once the Polar Finder Scope is aligned with the polar axis of the mount.

Note that the only way to ensure a perfect polar alignment is to use the Drift Alignment method.

Camera alignment programs like Pole Master, Sharp Cap, etc., provide extremely close polar alignment. The Drift Method makes it absolute.

--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Re: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Pavel
 

No printed directions. I just found the manual online on your website.
Is there anything else available in printed form?

Those slightly oversized nuts were placed in a small plastic bag
together with the screws (actually pulled "demonstratively" on them!)
and a 2mm hex wrench. Without the nuts used as washers, I wasn't able to
tighten the screws on the mount (well, I probably didn't use _all_ of my
power, but it seemed to be dangerous to try any further).

Best regards,
Pavel

Pavel,

The packages from Explore Scientific do not have nuts. The box does
contain two screws referenced in my answer to Ade.

Did your package contain printed directions?

Please contact Bresser customer support regarding your issues. Bresser's
customer portal is https://www.bresser.de/c/en/support/


--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Noob question #iEXOS-100 #alignment

Daniel Burdziak
 
Edited

So I took my new iexos-100 out last night after rigging a way to mount my Rebel T6 to it, until I can get the dovetail, but I have a couple of questions.

1) I cannot see Polaris from my yard, so I went with the three-star alignment. On my kindle fire when I do the alignment it shows "previous" "enter" "next" as options for a star. First question is, when I manually move to the star and have it centered on my camera screen, do I just hit enter? Or do I have to move the dot that is on the "map" to the center of the screen also?

2) Once I did the alignment (at least I think I did), I didn't notice the tracker moving at all when I would slew to an object (It would slew to the object, I mean it wouldn't move AFTER arriving, so it wasn't tracking it). Are their other things I have to select before it begins tracking?

I appreciate all of the help i've been getting. I've literally been doing Astrophotography for like three weeks, and this is all very overwhelming.


Re: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Pavel,

The packages from Explore Scientific do not have nuts. The box does contain two screws referenced in my answer to Ade.

Did your package contain printed directions?

Please contact Bresser customer support regarding your issues. Bresser's customer portal is https://www.bresser.de/c/en/support/


--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Re: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 
Edited

Ade,

I checked email but found nothing from you on this subject.

The specifications on the replacement screws are M2.5x20, with thread M2.5x0.45mm, using a hex/Allen tool that is 2 mm.

The part in question is McMaster-Carr Part No. 91292A019

On the units I have assembled things fit perfectly.

Did you receive a set of printed directions?

--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Re: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Pavel
 

Hi,

I have just received the Polar Scope yesterday from Bresser/Germany and
also was a little bit puzzled by several things:

From the package, the scope was loosely fixed to the mount adapter
plate, but the other way around than it should be, as I found out
quickly. The people in the factory obviously do not care much and let
you solve the puzzles youselves.

The two small screws were accompanied by two oversized nuts without any
obvious purpose. I also found out that the screws are just too long, so
the nuts are obviously expected to be used as washers (underlay)? Even
so it was very tight to get fully fixed, but fortunately nothing got
broken. I guess it would be more appropriate to shorten the screws by
cutting them or just to buy shorter ones, but as a workaround it is OK.

I am also puzzled by the role of the rubber washer or gasket (or how
should it be called?) just loosely pulled around the scope...?

The reticle would also need some explanation that I have not found
anywhere. I suppose that Polaris should nowadays fit exactly into the
gap in the line between the marks "2000" and "2030" - and in the
following years maybe behind the line and closer to the mark "2030"? (As
the Earth axis slowly drifts... But it should drift slightly *pass* the
NCP, not directly *towards* it, I think.)
A similar explanation would also be useful for the triple line/gaps for
"δ Umi" and "51 Cep". Why triple?
Anyway, I have not really found "51 Ceph" in any catalog nor sky map. Is
it possibly the star marked as "OV Cep" or "HD 51802"?

I hope to actually try looking at the sky with the finder tonight. Last
night was rather cloudy.

Best,
Pavel

Hi all, has anyone else installing the iEXOS-100 EXOSPF Polar Finderscope?

The two mounting screws provided are supposed to be M2.5 x 20 according to the Instruction Manual, but appear to have a smaller nominal diameter than 2.5mm.

Thankfully, the smaller diameter means that they are tight replacements for the two smaller screws in the front of the declination drive's cover, but at 20mm they are too long to thread all the way in.

One of the longer screws was so tight that I couldn't remove it with the Allen key and had to resort to cutting the screw's head off and removing the threaded portion with pliers.

If the supplied screws are indeed M2.5 (they look no more than M2 in the accompanying image of the only good one remaining), would two 15mm-long screws be better?

Many thanks,

Ade



Re: Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Jay Sanchez
 

I had the same problem -- ES sent out (2) longer screws. Ask Kent (customer support).


--
Jay Sanchez

Home: Bortle 8, Norfolk VA
Camera: Canon t2i, ha modded
Guide Camera: ASI224MC & ASI mini guidescope
Imaging scopes/lens: Pentax 300mm f4, WO Z61 w/ FF, Vivitar 90mm; 70-200mm f/2.8, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, Nikon 50mm f1.4
Filters: HA 12nm astronomik clip in, SVBony 2"CLS, 2" L-Enhance
Mount: iEXOS-100
APT, CDC, PHD2, Sharpcap, DSS, PS


Trouble with M2.5 x 20 screws installing Mount Adapter Plate for Polar Finderscope EXOSPF #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment

Ade Ashford <macuserade@...>
 

Hi all, has anyone else installing the iEXOS-100 EXOSPF Polar Finderscope?

The two mounting screws provided are supposed to be M2.5 x 20 according to the Instruction Manual, but appear to have a smaller nominal diameter than 2.5mm.

Thankfully, the smaller diameter means that they are tight replacements for the two smaller screws in the front of the declination drive's cover, but at 20mm they are too long to thread all the way in.

One of the longer screws was so tight that I couldn't remove it with the Allen key and had to resort to cutting the screw's head off and removing the threaded portion with pliers.

If the supplied screws are indeed M2.5 (they look no more than M2 in the accompanying image of the only good one remaining), would two 15mm-long screws be better?

Many thanks,

Ade


Re: Exos2gt balancing weights

Chris Tardif
 

I believe that is correct.  The further the weight is away the more likely you are to get flexure in the counter weight rod. More weight closer to the mount will be more stable.  It's minor, but its true.
--
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: Trouble setting up Exos 2 mount #EXOS2 #ExploreStars #ASCOM

Travis
 

No dice was worth a try though. The ready light doesn’t flash with it still and this time the terminal doesn’t seem to be receiving properly.. just shows a strange ‘y’ looking character over and over. 

Thanks though was definitely worth the try, if even to learn it doesn’t help. I will wait for the ftdi adapter to arrive. I’ll just have to be patient. 

On Wed, May 6, 2020 at 9:10 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Travis

I believe it is true that if the dtr line is in the wrong state, which it had been reported by others to be, it would cause the pmc8 to reboot.  I don’t know which state it should be in though.

You could make a straight thru db9 connector that passed pins 2,3,and 5 only which would allow you to test this out without busting up the plug.  

I k is the dtr line left floating (unconnected) works fine for commanding the pmc8 via serial.

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

--
Travis Hale-Vokey

--
Mount: EXOS2-GT
Tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro
Camera: Canon sl2 dslr


Re: Setting Your Signature Line / Equipment Info #ExploreScientific

Arelius <aemytty@...>
 

Testing my signature
--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scope: SkyWatcher EvoStar 120ED
Cameras: Pentax K-30 with K-50 firmware, Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark III
Msc: SkyWatcher 0.85x reducer/corrector
Software: Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop


Re: Trouble setting up Exos 2 mount #EXOS2 #ExploreStars #ASCOM

Wes Mcdonald
 

Travis

I believe it is true that if the dtr line is in the wrong state, which it had been reported by others to be, it would cause the pmc8 to reboot.  I don’t know which state it should be in though.

You could make a straight thru db9 connector that passed pins 2,3,and 5 only which would allow you to test this out without busting up the plug.  

I k is the dtr line left floating (unconnected) works fine for commanding the pmc8 via serial.

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


Exos2gt balancing weights

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Hi guys,
I use my Celestron C8 on my exos2gt mount.
I have been using just one counter balance weight to balance the scope.
It came with two of the weights.
should I be using both of the weights so I can move them up towards the center of gravity balance of the scope ??

Thanks,
Kevin Rea
Lancaster California USA

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