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Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi David,

The ASCOMPAD program uses the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver to provide an interface for a wired or wireless (Bluetooth) gamepad. Here is the website for the project:


You can use a standard gamepad or Xbox controller. This is only for the Windows platform. You should be able to connect the game controller wirelessly to your Tablet if you enable Bluetooth and load the driver for the controller, or if you have a USB port on your tablet you can use a wired controller.

This program will allow you to do basic hand control functions such as set the rates and move the mount N,S,E, or W.  There are some more advanced functions available, you can play with those.

This interface program is for those who want a convenient way to adjust their mount position to center objects. I would suggest connecting POTH to the ES PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver and then the ASCOMPAD client program to the POTH. You can connect several ASCOM Clients to the POTH concurrently, i.e., you can use Maxim DL, Cartes du Ciel, PHD2, and ASCOMPAD all at the same time with the PMC-Eight. 

I hope that makes it clear.

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
 


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

David Pickett
 

Jerry,

exactly what device do I need to use this software? Does it plug into the Windows 10 computer, or use WIFI?

Thanks and best wishes,

David


At 22:12 24-03-18, hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:

I have fixed the issue with the ASCOMPAD Gamepad interface program (ASCOM client) not working correctly. Specifically, I corrected the issue with the direction buttons on release not stopping the motion of the mount. I have also corrected a couple of small issues that I noticed during testing.
etc.


New file uploaded to ESPMC-Eight

ESPMC-Eight@...
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ESPMC-Eight
group.

File : /Mount Related Files/ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope_dll.zip
Uploaded by : hubbell_jerry <hubbell_jerry@...>
Description : Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version 20180324_1

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ESPMC-Eight/files/Mount%20Related%20Files/ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope_dll.zip

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_GRPS&locale=en_US&id=SLN15398

Regards,

hubbell_jerry <hubbell_jerry@...>


Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi everyone,
 
I have fixed the issue with the ASCOMPAD Gamepad interface program (ASCOM client)  not working correctly. Specifically, I corrected the issue with the direction buttons on release not stopping the motion of the mount. I have also corrected a couple of small issues that I noticed during testing.
 
There are a couple of anomalies in this release that don't seem to affect the operation. Primarily, when slewing to an object, the SLEWING status update is either delayed or doesn't show. It sometimes just shows TRACKING when it is actually slewing. I will continue to troubleshoot this. When using the ASCOMPAD program, the status shows SLEWING correctly.  I am not sure why it is somewhat intermittent in its reporting, but I will track it down and post the updated Beta test file.
 
I have tweaked the timing of the slews so that the RA position should end up a little closer to the object. You may still have to do another "slew to object' after the initial slew to settle it closer to the target. YMMV.
 
In the Mount Setup dialogue, I set up the presets to the following values in Sidereal Rate multiplier:
 
Preset          Value        Equivalent rate
1                  2                30 arc-sec/sec
2                 5                 1.25 arc-min/sec
3                 10               2.5 arc-min/sec
4                 20               5.0 arc-min/sec
5                 50               12.5 arc-min/sec
6                 100             25 arc-min/sec
7                 200             50 arc-min/sec
8                 500             2 degrees/sec
9                 800             3.2 degrees/sec
10               undefined
 
I would caution you that the higher Sidereal Rate multipliers (x200, x500, x800) may cause the mount to lose counts because the buttons are mapped to the ASCOM API Move command which does not provide a ramp when setting the rate. The motors jump immediately to the rate indicated. 
 
I have mapped the following buttons on the Gamepad to the functions found under Devices/Gamepad/Assign Buttons:
 
Function                                     Button
Emergency Stop                        button_10 (Right Joystick press)
Park to User Defined                 button_3 (X button)
Unpark                                      button_4 (Y button)
Increment Preset Rate              button_1 (A button)
Decrement Preset Rate            button_2 (B button)
 
When I was testing these buttons they all worked as expected except for one. The Park to User Defined button doesn't seem to work even though when you press the PARK button on the ASCOMPAD application window on the screen it performs a Park.  That is a fault in the ASCOMPAD program that is easy to work around.
 
I have uploaded the DLL file to the files section Mount Related entitled :ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope_dll.zip
  
This file should be unzipped and copied to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\ASCOM\Telescope. First rename the old file by appending _OLD to the filename, and then copy the new version into the directory. There is no need to do anything else.
 
You must reenter all the data in the Driver Setup Dialogue box including your location information. To verify you are accessing the correct driver, you should see 20180324_1 in the lower left hand corner of the dialogue box. 
 
Please let me know if this works for you and if you see any other issues than those I spoke to above.
 
Thanks for your help in testing this.
 
Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC. 
 
 


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Jerry,

Yes, the ones that are missing are the large ones that sits in the groove on the clutch plate, one for DEC and one for RA. (The smaller ones are located down near the clutch knobs.) Without the wavy washers installed, any downward force (like gravity) tends to make the clutch plate 'grab', which makes RA balancing very difficult. The washer would tend to push back against gravity and reduce the contact with the clutch plate by the weight of the scope/counterweight. The Cloudy Nights post I referenced does a good job of summarizing the issue.

Regards,
Jeremy


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Jeremy,

Are you saying that the wavy washer that is missing is the larger one for the clutch plate area?  I need to go back and review that CloudyNights thread again so I can get it right.

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi David,

Thanks for the update, I was not aware that there are 2 wavy washers. I made the assumption that there was only one. Thanks for the correction. I will relay this information to our staff in Springdale. 

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi David,

Yes, the two washers are different sizes, according to Tanya at Losmandy, who I spoke to. The wavy washer for the clutch plate area is larger and needs to be hand machined by Scott. (I had asked if it was a standard part I could get at McMaster-Carr, for instance.)

Regards,
Jeremy


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

David Pickett
 

At 21:50 22-03-18, hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:

Hi Michael,

All you need to do is loosen up each clutch knob where you can see the washers in between the knob and the mount and look and see if you have a "wavy" spring washer. You don't need to pull it completely apart. This washer is very noticeable because it won't be flat.

Jerry Hubbell

Jerry,

the washer you refer to above is not in the same place and does not do the same thing as the one referred to in this thread:

<https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/605904-losmandy-g-11g-with-stiff-ra-axis/>https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/605904-losmandy-g-11g-with-stiff-ra-axis/

The first picture in the thread shows a wavy washer at the bottom of the shaft. The second and third pictures show a groove where a wavy washer can be placed to separate the clutch parts when not engaged.

As a SEPARATE issue, later in the thread, there is a discussion of the optimum placement of the wavy washer at the bottom of the shaft. This is also discussed here: http://www.wilmslowastro.com/tips/g11gemini.htm

It is important not to get confused between the TWO wavy washers. (I do not know whether they are actually the same size.) They have different functions.

Your reference above is to the washer at the bottom of the shaft, which I suspect we all have, whereas Jeremy was writing about the washer in the clutch housing at the top, which I take to be the subject of the poll. In his and my case this washer is missing.

Best,

David


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Michael,

Yes, that's the same article I referenced in my earlier post, and it describes my issue exactly. Since the DEC axis is already unwieghted during balancing by orienting the counterweight bar horizontally, it wasn't an issue for the initial balancing of DEC. But now that I think about it, it would be nice if the DEC turned more easily in general when I loosen the clutch. So I'd like to get the washer for the DEC as well...

Jerry,

I completed the poll you set up, and I hadn't thought to order one for the DEC axis when I spoke to Losmandy yesterday. I also didn't know they should have been included with my mount, so would I be able to get the DEC washer for no charge? Maybe a T-shirt for $18 I already spent on the RA ? :)

Regards,
Jeremy


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Michael Fulbright
 

Ah would it be like in this CN article?

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/605904-losmandy-g-11g-with-stiff-ra-axis

Michael

On 3/22/2018 4:50 PM, hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:
 
Hi Michael,

All you need to do is loosen up each clutch knob where you can see the washers in between the knob and the mount and look and see if you have a "wavy" spring washer. You don't need to pull it completely apart. This washer is very noticeable because it won't be flat.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Michael,

All you need to do is loosen up each clutch knob where you can see the washers in between the knob and the mount and look and see if you have a "wavy" spring washer. You don't need to pull it completely apart. This washer is very noticeable because it won't be flat.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Driver Update

Cyril Bonnett
 

Hi Jerry

Thanks for that

Cyril

 

From: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: 22 March 2018 15:12
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Re: Driver Update

 

 

Hi Cyril,

 

I compiled the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver as a 32-bit driver to maintain compatibility with older software systems, Some 64 bit programs work fine with it (MaximDL for example), but others do not, such as Cartes du Ciel. There are two solutions, the first one is to compile the driver as a 64-bit driver and release it as a choice. I assume this will work with the 64-bit Cartes du Ciel, but have not tested that. That may not happen for a few weeks, if there is a big need for it.

 

The solution that I know works is to just install the 32-bit version of Cartes du Ciel. I have tested that and others have tested that, and it seems to work fine with the driver. 

 

To be clear, the issue only arises when you are connecting the 64-bit version of Cartes du Ciel directly to the PMC-Eight driver. If you are going to use more than one ASCOM client at the same time, such as Cartes du Ciel, and PHD2, the n you would need to use a driver hub, or server such as POTH which I recommend and comes with the ASCOM platform.  This is the easiest solution and gives you options going forward.

 

Jerry Hubbell

Director Electrical Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Michael Fulbright
 

Do you have some pictures or instructions to help identify the different cases?

Do we have to disassemble the mount?

Michael Fulbright

On 3/22/2018 3:39 PM, hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:
 


I have posted a poll for everyone that has a G11 to respond to. I appreciate the feedback. We are in contact with Losmandy to see how we are going to fix this.

---In ESPMC-Eight@..., wrote :

Hi David,

I need to talk with the folks back in Springdale to see what they have to say about it. I may have jumped to conclusions about the washer being provided on all the mounts delivered to us (Explore Scientific) since Losmandy made the change. I will find out. If others in this group could check their mounts to see if they have the washer and let me know that would be good.

Jerry Hubbell

Director Electrical Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.

www.explorescientificusa.com


 


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

hubbell_jerry@...
 


I have posted a poll for everyone that has a G11 to respond to. I appreciate the feedback. We are in contact with Losmandy to see how we are going to fix this.

---In ESPMC-Eight@..., <hubbell_jerry@...> wrote :

Hi David,

I need to talk with the folks back in Springdale to see what they have to say about it. I may have jumped to conclusions about the washer being provided on all the mounts delivered to us (Explore Scientific) since Losmandy made the change. I will find out. If others in this group could check their mounts to see if they have the washer and let me know that would be good.

Jerry Hubbell

Director Electrical Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.

www.explorescientificusa.com


 


New poll for ESPMC-Eight

ESPMC-Eight@...
 

Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the ESPMC-Eight group:
IF you are an Explore Scientific Losmandy G11 PMC-Eight customer, PLEASE INSPECT your mount's CLUTCH ASSEMBLY for the presence of a "wavy" CLUTCH SPRING WASHER. Please select your mount configuration.
Created by: hubbell_jerry
  1. BOTH the RA and DEC clutches HAVE the spring washer installed
  2. ONLY the RA clutch HAS the spring washer installed
  3. ONLY the DEC clutch HAS the spring washer installed
  4. NEITHER the RA or DEC clutches HAVE the spring washer installed


Thanks!


Re: Driver Update

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Cyril,

I compiled the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver as a 32-bit driver to maintain compatibility with older software systems, Some 64 bit programs work fine with it (MaximDL for example), but others do not, such as Cartes du Ciel. There are two solutions, the first one is to compile the driver as a 64-bit driver and release it as a choice. I assume this will work with the 64-bit Cartes du Ciel, but have not tested that. That may not happen for a few weeks, if there is a big need for it.

The solution that I know works is to just install the 32-bit version of Cartes du Ciel. I have tested that and others have tested that, and it seems to work fine with the driver. 

To be clear, the issue only arises when you are connecting the 64-bit version of Cartes du Ciel directly to the PMC-Eight driver. If you are going to use more than one ASCOM client at the same time, such as Cartes du Ciel, and PHD2, then you would need to use a driver hub, or server such as POTH which I recommend and comes with the ASCOM platform.  This is the easiest solution and gives you options going forward.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Using XBox controller with PMC8 Exos2

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi everyone, 

I spent some time getting my xBox controller set up and tested the ASCOMPAD application, and I was able to trace what was going on with the system. There are a couple of things I did in the ASCOM driver. First, I found that the ASCOMPAD uses the MoveAxis command which in turn uses the ESSr! command (Set Rate) in the firmware. I found that I had not implemented the DEC axis move axis command correctly (among other miscellaneous things) so I am correcting this. It will take me a day or two to code and test it out. It looks like the RA axis move works fine.

Once I get it working, I will probably just release the .dll file to replace the one that gets installed with the latest installation setup program. This would be a beta test version. I have made a few other changes to the driver to support some upcoming hardware that isn't applicable to your version of the PMC-Eight.

In order to test this you need to do the mount/setup in the ASCOMPAD program. You are presented with a bunch of sliders and I set them up as follows:

Slider      Value
1            5
2            10
3            20
4            100
5            200
6            500
7            800 max
8            0

You then need to map the buttons for  the following items
Increment Preset (I used A)
Decrement Preset (I used B)
Park (I used X)
Unpark (I used Y)
N, S, E, W (I used the toggle direction buttons)

You should be able to increment and decrement the rates with the assigned buttons and then see how it slews faster and slower. The RA works correctly in that when you hold down the toggle, it slews, and then when you release the toggle, it stops slewing and starts tracking. You may see it not report the status correctly though, that is one of the issues I am fixing.

Let me know if you discover anything else.

Thanks for your help on this!

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.



Driver Update

Cyril Bonnett
 

Hi Jerry

I receive this when trying to set Cartes du Ciel up


,Ascom Telescope Chooser


Incompatible driver

This 32bit only driver won't work in a 64bit application even though it is correctly registered as a 32bit driver.

Please contact driver author and request updated driver.

 

Are you there any plans to update the driver?


Cyril

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