Date   

Re: New ASCOM Platform 6.5 Testing

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 11:22 AM, Steve Siedentop wrote:
No idea on how it will handle profiles from previous versions.  I would expect to see that the data structures storing profile metadata have changed and would also expect to have to re-enter everything for this new version. There may be a migration process, but don’t count on that.
 
HI Steve,

After testing it on my development system at home, I found that the telescope driver profile was not disturbed in the Profile Explorer. I also just went for broke on the MSRO observatory and did the upgrade to the platform and just used it with POTH and everything worked fine. That's not to say that other's might not have any problems. 

Thanks for you sage advice as always!
 
--
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!


locked Re: #EXOS2 #EXOS2

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi  xaero1982@...

I understand your frustration.  This is a trying hobby when you are first getting started.  It always seems like something isn't working the way it seems like it should.

A few questions and comments:
1. I assume you are doing astophotography?  If not, there is really no reason to autoguide at all.
2.  You are correct that ExploreStars does not do autoguiding.  It is primarily an app for visual use.  I'm sure they have never said that it did autoguiding.  That would be a major feature that they would tout heavily.
3. What are you trying to shoot?  Some targets, planets, rely on "lucky imaging" and don't need autoguiding.
4.  I ran into the same problem you are having when I first started with the PMC-8 system.  Jerry was nice enough to help me get my firmware calibrated for the camera.  I was up and running in a few minutes.  It's a pretty painless process.
5.  Given that ExploreStars does not do autoguiding, there is really no reason to use the ST-4 port.  You will be much, much better off using pulse-guiding.
6. I've dealt with ES customer service before.  They are very nice. I'm sure they will refund your purchase price if you got it directly from them.  Most dealers will do the same.

I hope that helps a little bit.  Feel free to ask questions here, or you can DM or email me if you prefer. Or, email me (Chris_Moses at yahoo dot com) and we can chat over the phone.

Once you get over the initial humps, and concomitant frustration, I'm sure you will enjoy both the hobby and the mount.

Clear Skys,
Chris
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


Re: New ASCOM Platform 6.5 Testing

Steve Siedentop
 

Proceed carefully and at your own risk.  This is a release candidate, which means it’s generally stable but not without issues.  It’s likely close to its final form, but expect changes.

I wouldn’t install this on your primary imaging rig unless you’re confident you can dig yourself out of any hole you get yourself into.

That being said, it’s definitely fun and exciting to test out new stuff like this.

No idea on how it will handle profiles from previous versions.  I would expect to see that the data structures storing profile metadata have changed and would also expect to have to re-enter everything for this new version. There may be a migration process, but don’t count on that.

We have a week of rain coming, so I’ll have some time to tinker next week.

-Steve

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 5:25 PM Robert Parks <dionyxian@...> wrote:
Say I want to install this and am currently running the latest iteration of ASCOM 6.4 - will the 6.5 installer pull my settings and whatnot, or would it be best to uninstall the older version and do a clean 6.5 install? Option three - if this question exposes me as a rank noob feel free to advise me "wait for the update you'll hurt yourself" and I shall comply!  

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 2:33 PM Steve Siedentop <sdsiedentop@...> wrote:
Looks very interesting...all the details here:

https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases

-Steve
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


--
Robert Scott Parks - Northwest Arkansas, USA

Mount: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
Polar Finder: EXOS II integrated with illuminated reticle
Telescope: Explore Scientific 127mm f/7.5 FCD1 Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO Refractor
Finder: Telrad
Hardware: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7", Dell Venue 10 Pro 32bit OS, Samsung Galaxy S20+
Steering Software: ExploreStars App, ASCOM/POTH + StellariumScope/Stellarium + Wifi Scope + SkySafari Pro


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


locked Re: #EXOS2 #EXOS2

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

xaero1982:

The person who developed this system has offered to provide the necessary support to get you up and running. That will require you to follow the procedure outlined in a previous post.

Regarding a refund: You have not asked for a refund, as far as I know. Nowhere did we said you cannot get a refund, and there's really no need to threaten to get a lawyer involved. If you do not want the system, I encourage you contact the dealer and inquire about their return policy.

--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


locked Re: #EXOS2 #EXOS2

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 02:35 PM, <xaero1982@...> wrote:
Sorry, but your products are advertised with ST-4 Autoguider interfaces and now I'm told that you can't use them at all and you need a special firmware for that?


 Hi xaero1982,

You are jumping to conclusions that are not true. The fact of the matter is that some camera manufacturers choose to use inferior MOSFET transistors to provide a "virtual" contact closure input that does not conform to the ST4 standard input. The ST4 port standard is designed to respond to a relay contact closure input, that is the requirement. That is how we designed and test the PMC-Eight auto-guider ST4 port. The input is calibrated  using a switch box which provides contact closures into the PMC-Eight. There are plenty of camera manufacturers that build their cameras to provide a true contact closure "equivalent" using quality MOSFET's, but some do not. My firmware is flexible enough to accommodate those cameras that do not provide a good contact closure input and can be adjusted. I offer to provide custom calibrations to those customers who regardless of the reason, want to continue to use the legacy ST4 port which we provide, with an extra cable even when it is not needed.

Please let me help you to determine your particular camera's input values so that I can provide you an operational ST4 port.

--
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!


Fix for broken antenna pins

Bob Ryan
 

A new owner of a G11 PMC-Eight here. I've been focused on getting a pier installed and the pier plates aligned. But, tonight I noticed that the antenna for the wifi didn't look quite right.

Further inspection revealed that the pins that allowed the antenna to pivot were indeed broken.

I was able to remove the remnants of the plastic pins using a pick. I went through my stash and found that tiny screws, that are in eyeglass repair kits, fit perfectly. I was able to screw a couple of them in the existing holes without issue.

-Bob
--
Mounts: ES G11 PMC-Eight, Desert Sky DSV-1, Hypertuned Celestron CG5-ASGT
Scopes: William Optics GT71, Stellarvue SV102-Access (CF), Celestron C-8 (XLT)
Cameras: Olympus E-520, QHY5-III 290C
Software: Don't know yet


Re: New ASCOM Platform 6.5 Testing

Robert Parks
 

Say I want to install this and am currently running the latest iteration of ASCOM 6.4 - will the 6.5 installer pull my settings and whatnot, or would it be best to uninstall the older version and do a clean 6.5 install? Option three - if this question exposes me as a rank noob feel free to advise me "wait for the update you'll hurt yourself" and I shall comply!  


On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 2:33 PM Steve Siedentop <sdsiedentop@...> wrote:
Looks very interesting...all the details here:

https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases

-Steve
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


--
Robert Scott Parks - Northwest Arkansas, USA

Mount: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
Polar Finder: EXOS II integrated with illuminated reticle
Telescope: Explore Scientific 127mm f/7.5 FCD1 Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO Refractor
Finder: Telrad
Hardware: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7", Dell Venue 10 Pro 32bit OS, Samsung Galaxy S20+
Steering Software: ExploreStars App, ASCOM/POTH + StellariumScope/Stellarium + Wifi Scope + SkySafari Pro


Re: New ASCOM Platform 6.5 Testing

Steve Siedentop
 

Looks very interesting...all the details here:

https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases

-Steve
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


locked Re: #EXOS2 #EXOS2

duker@...
 

I recognize and can appreciate the concern regarding ST4 legacy guiding, but really the direction is ASCOM (Pulse) guiding. The benefits with this strategy has been discussed all over.


Re: New ASCOM Platform 6.5 Testing

Darryl Ellis
 

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for testing the new ASCOM 6.5 and letting us know how it works.  I use ASCOM POTH almost exclusively with my EXOS2PMC8, and now will make the switch to 6.5.

Can you share what improvements you saw?  I'm hoping that ASCOMPAD works a little more seamlessly e.g., functional right thumb stick, no requirement to be on top to work, etc. Just wondering if you noticed any of these?

Darryl
--

DHEllis59, Dover, DE
Explorer Scientific 102mm CF EDT 
Astro Tech RC 6 w Pegasus Focus Cube,
Orion ST 80 Guidescope
QHY 5 III 290c Guide Camera 
Explorer Scientific EXOS GT 2 With PMC Eight Controller,
Orion XT8 with Nexus II DSC via Sky Safari Pro,
Celestron Luminous 31mm, Meade MWA 10mm, and 5mm EPs
Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars,
20/20 or better vision in both eyes due to recent cataract surgery!!!
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens" - Proverbs 3:19


New ASCOM Platform 6.5 Testing

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I have been testing the new ASCOM platform version 6.5 over the past couple of months and recently installed it on our observatory computer and tested it successfully. I have also used the new ASCOM Device Hub in place of the ASCOM POTH hub and it works fine. There are significant improvements to this hub as compared to POTH. Here is a screenshot of our observatory computer system showing the Device Hub interface.


--
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!


locked Re: #EXOS2 #EXOS2

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

On Wed, May 13, 2020 at 10:18 PM, <xaero1982@...> wrote:

i have the same issue and I think the answer from Eric doesnt really helps.

Someone else get this combination working? Exos2 PMC8 + Mgen3?

Hi xaero1982,

The original message mentioned using ExploreStars with ASCOM and everyone must understand that ExploreStars is a standalone application that is wireless UDP/IP only. You can use the ASCOM driver wired/Serial or Wifi/TCP/IP.  Only one or the other. Search for information on the forum about using the PMC-Eight Configuration Manager to switch communications modes.

As far as using the ST4 port, we always suggest to our customers to take advantage of the ASCOM Pulse Guiding function versus using the legacy ST4 port and cable. It eliminates the ST4 cable and performs better with PHD2 If you still prefer to use the ST4 port and cable, it will require a custom camera guide port calibration which is installed in a customer version of the PMC-Eight firmware. If you can perform the procedure to acquire the calibration data, I can create a custom firmware for him to use the camera.  You can find the procedure in the PMC-Eight Programmer's Reference on page 50

http://02d3287.netsolhost.com/pmc-eight/PMC_Eight_ProgrammersReferenceManual_Release2_2019_March_07.pdf

Send the data to my email listed below.
--
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: Threaded bar securing mount to tripod )EXOS2-PMC8

duker@...
 

Ah, with a bit of help from vise grips I was able to remove it. Not so tight next time.
Thanks


Threaded bar securing mount to tripod )EXOS2-PMC8

duker@...
 

Okay, new owner of a EXOS-PMC8 mount. I have threaded he bar to secure the mount to the tripod, but I think I missed the step where it should be aligned for alignment.

In any event, I need to remove the mount again, and I just cannot seem to unthread the bar. Lefty loosy right?
The black handle on the bottom of the thread wants to come off and the bar won;t budge?

Any suggestion is really appreciated.


Re: A question on exosgt2 with qhy polemaster

Robert Parks
 

Keven there is also a little checkbox in the POTH setup for "motion controls" that I believe you must check.
--
Robert Scott Parks - Northwest Arkansas, USA

Mount: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
Polar Finder: EXOS II integrated with illuminated reticle
Telescope: Explore Scientific 127mm f/7.5 FCD1 Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO Refractor
Finder: Telrad
Hardware: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7", Dell Venue 10 Pro 32bit OS, Samsung Galaxy S20+
Steering Software: ExploreStars App, ASCOM/POTH + StellariumScope/Stellarium + Wifi Scope + SkySafari Pro


Re: A question on exosgt2 with qhy polemaster

Jeff Snell
 

Awesome Kevin!  Nice to know I can help out rather than always being helped😆


On May 12, 2020, at 7:07 PM, Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...> wrote:

Thanks Jeff, the CDC worked very nicely for moving the mount east and west.


Re: A question on exosgt2 with qhy polemaster

Chris Tardif
 


--
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: A question on exosgt2 with qhy polemaster

 

Also, 
What version of path are you using? My version does not have that little directional pad in it...
Kevin


Re: A question on exosgt2 with qhy polemaster

 

Hi Chris, if the poth direction mover for the scope you're talking about is the ascom pad, I was using that for quite a while but it quit working.

Kevin


Re: A question on exosgt2 with qhy polemaster

 

Thanks Jeff, the CDC worked very nicely for moving the mount east and west.