Date   

Re: Counterweight improvising

Patrick Maher
 

I also need extra counterweights for my iEXOS-100 so I've been checking the ES website monthly since I purchased the mount (Dec, 2019) but have yet to see the black counterweights in stock.  It is possible I might have missed them being in stock for a week or two one time or another but they have yet to be in stock when I'm looking to part with my money.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I want to keep the weights tight against the counterweight shaft just like the original counterweights so I don't want larger ones but I might need to opt for an alternative or compromise.  I could paint my CG-2 counterweights black and use them, I suppose.  I rarely use that mount.  

I like my counterweights to be completely secured to the counterweight shaft...  each weight secured from all movement.  I don't like them being able to spin or even move a hair so adapting exercise weights are out of the question for me.  I do, however, use some chrome exercise counterweights for a homemade pipe mount I made but that is a manual mount and not used for astrophotography. 

I could also use an extra counterweight for my EXOS2-GT too but, at the moment, I don't want to throw any more money into that mount since it isn't the PMC-8 version so I might be significantly upgrading that mount in the next year or two to a Losmandy G11 or similar.  

Patrick
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100 and EXOS-2GT (non-PMC)
Explore Scientific ED 102mm Refractor


Re: Choosing Alignment Stars

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Darrell, see my comments below in RED.

On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 03:33 PM, darrell burke wrote:
Where pray tell did he ask you to do that?
Robert said "beginners are frustratingly ignorant about astronomy in general (guilty) but "here is how to put all your new equipment together, what all the parts are called, and how to use the handy app to move it around" sure would have flattened my learning curve" Our manuals talk about all the parts of our particular products, but not how to integrate all the different products from the different manufacturers that you need to have to pursue this hobby. I thought that statement was about building the complete Astronomical Imaging System (AIS) as I call it in my book.
Also please direct me to the online info that derails the differences between the windows  and andriod interface. I mean obviously it must be my unrealistic expectations that are the issues ... or perhaps my laziness. 
       There are always differences in the same application across platforms that are usually very minor as it is with ExploreStars. There are corresponding functions that are common on all the platforms they just might be on a different part of the screen, or they may be accessible through a different menu item. Typically those that use more than one platform are familiar with these differences and have no problem figuring out where the features reside.
There is this video for the windows version you did 2+ years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hPg4IZZlXY&t=793s

Which completely leads an android used astray and there is this:

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/32744075#4268

And that is NOT easy to find.... but again I guess its my fault I can't find this stuff and spend 75 percent of my time searching this place and the rest of the the internet and 25 confused in the dark not understanding the vargarities of the interface.
      But is is easy to find, both on our website and on the forum without having to search. The main forum front page has a link to our PMC-Eight introduction "Getting Started with your PMC-Eight" page which has links to all the manuals, downloads, and videos also including the one you specified. Here is the link on the MAIN PMC-Eight forum page: https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/getting-started-with-your-new-pmc-eight-mount-control-system

As for industy standards ... I don't know about 'paper in box' [although why that is considered unreasonable given the $$$ one forks out is completely illogical]  - but if you visit Clestron, the Manual and Software section is simple and easy to navigate. They don't ask you instead visit a forum to find out basic operating instructions by rooting around like a pig searching for truffles.
Again, you do not have to "root around like a pig..." The information is on our website under MOUNTS - PMC-EIght, or you can just read the main front page of the PMC-Eight forum and the information is there.
If I buy  car - I don't expect the the manual [and yes they still include manuals I believe] to teach me how to drive or how to drive in the snow ... but I do expect it to tell me how to change the clock on the dash, where fuses are and all the things specific to the automobile.

But I rather doubt given your response you will be moved one iota from your position.
I do have a definite position that I would tend to stick with, but that position is not as you characterized it. My goal here is to try and set expectations for beginner's when they get into this hobby and get frustrated with their equipment. We are here as always to talk them through specific issues with our products. It is incumbent upon them to seek out and learn the technology and terminology through self-study and through a mentor, either online or at their local astronomy club. Explore Scientific employees share what we know and are experienced, but in the end, we rely on beginner's to help themselves as much as they can.  I am sorry if you don't agree, but we will have to agree to disagree on this.
PS I knew about the search function and not what I asked about - no more than Robert asked you to teach him astrophotography.
Based on your statement in your previous post, it didn't sound like you had tried to search for the specific star, you just "ranted" (your words) about the stars not being in alphabetical order and you couldn't find what you were looking for. My bad for reading that wrong.

Please let us help you if you are having problems with our equipment, but also please take advantage of the things we make available at the front door. We really do not hide things to frustrate our customers. We try and put things in obvious places.
 
--
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: Counterweight improvising

Harry
 

Hello, I also have needed an additional weight for my iExos 100. Attached are 2 photos. The weights were from Walmart, and are 1 1/4 , and 5lbs. I added some pvc piping to
reduce the central hole to accommodate the 100 bar. So they don’t move, I place whichever one I’m using on the bottom of the stack, and secure it with another standard
weight on top, which has a securing bolt.

--
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: Choosing Alignment Stars

darrell burke
 

On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 10:57 AM, Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering wrote:
"Frankly, we are not here to teach astrophotography or other aspects of the hobby to our customers. In my opinion, it is up to the customer to teach themselves about the hobby..."
Where pray tell did he ask you to do that?

Also please direct me to the online info that derails the differences between the windows  and andriod interface. I mean obviously it must be my unrealistic expectations that are the issues ... or perhaps my laziness. 

There is this video for the windows version you did 2+ years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hPg4IZZlXY&t=793s

Which completely leads an android used astray and there is this:

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/32744075#4268

And that is NOT easy to find.... but again I guess its my fault I can't find this stuff and spend 75 percent of my time searching this place and the rest of the the internet and 25 confused in the dark not understanding the vargarities of the interface.

As for industy standards ... I don't know about 'paper in box' [although why that is considered unreasonable given the $$$ one forks out is completely illogical]  - but if you visit Clestron, the Manual and Software section is simple and easy to navigate. They don't ask you instead visit a forum to find out basic operating instructions by rooting around like a pig searching for truffles.

If I buy  car - I don't expect the the manual [and yes they still include manuals I believe] to teach me how to drive or how to drive in the snow ... but I do expect it to tell me how to change the clock on the dash, where fuses are and all the things specific to the automobile.

But I rather doubt given your response you will be moved one iota from your position.
PS I knew about the search function and not what I asked about - no more than Robert asked you to teach him astrophotography.




Re: Success - Guiding and Imaging with the EXOSII-PMC8 Mount #alignment #ASCOM #EXOS2

duker@...
 


--
Rob
Kitchener, Ontario
EXOSII-PMC8 Mount
Starwave 80ED
Starfield 50mm/ZWO ASI Guide Scope
Altair 224c
Meade ETX80


Re: Choosing Alignment Stars

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 11:08 AM, Robert Parks wrote:
"here is how to put all your new equipment together, what all the parts are called, and how to use the handy app to move it around" sure would have flattened my learning curve
Hi Robert,

Although I understand that putting a paper manual and the software "in the box" with our products may be a desire for some, it is not the reality of this hobby, or the industry. Practically any product you buy will require you to go to the manufacturer's website to get the latest and greatest information. This is not unreasonable. We provide one web page to get all the necessary materials and documents you should need about our equipment. We have to balance our need to provide equipment specific information with trying to teach the customer the hobby, and about the how and why of using our equipment in furtherance of their pursuit of the hobby.

Frankly, we are not here to teach astrophotography or other aspects of the hobby to our customers. In my opinion, it is up to the customer to teach themselves about the hobby, join a club and get a mentor, or do the other things necessary to meet their own goals and needs. We freely offer advice on where to go and how to do things when asked. My book, "Scientific Astrophotography" provides a single source to understand all there is to know about the equipment to get you well down the path to success. I am not sure if this meets the requirements you are talking about but this is a technical hobby regardless of your goals, there is learning involved and a certain level of self-instruction required.

I don't mean to make this sound like we do not want to do what you suggest, but we can only do so much.

Thanks
 
--
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: Success - Guiding and Imaging with the EXOSII-PMC8 Mount #alignment #ASCOM #EXOS2

Jaganath
 
Edited

Congrats on your success. Mind sharing your image?
--
Jaganath

------
Cameras: ASI 533 MC Pro, Sony A6000 Full Spectrum, Sony A7RII
Mount: ES EXOS-2 PMC-8
Telescope: Astro-Tech AT72EDII, Canon 200mm 2.8, Redcat 51, Guidescope: Astromania 50mm, Guide cam: QHY 5L-II
QHY Polemaster, Win 10 on LattePanda for acquisition and mount control (NINA)


Re: Counterweight improvising

Kim
 

I have another recommendation for those times when you need a little more weight, but don't want to add another standard weight a situation I found myself in with the iEXOS 100. I needed a little more than 3 kg, but I didn't want to push the mount too far, so I added a few stick-on wheel weights to a standard weight. They come in a number of different weights and adhere well to regular mount weights.


Re: Counterweight improvising

darrell burke
 

I've used those cast iron little cheap dumbbell weights and yes, tape!

This was for my own redneck. hockey stick, big bino homemade mount.

In my case form does not follow function - function follows function.  :0)


Re: Choosing Alignment Stars

Robert Parks
 

Mr. Burke's is a gentle, accurate constructive criticism.  Whilst one may find "the answer" to most any question by searching the forums of the main group and subgroups (although one must search each one individually), and the engineer is accessible, responsive, and thorough in a way that is unprecedented in my experience (go Jerry), paper manuals in the box for the machine, and the app, are a reasonable expectation.  I know that ES products are geared to make high-end astronomy gear economically available to even beginners, and beginners are frustratingly ignorant about astronomy in general (guilty) but "here is how to put all your new equipment together, what all the parts are called, and how to use the handy app to move it around" sure would have flattened my learning curve. 
--
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


Success - Guiding and Imaging with the EXOSII-PMC8 Mount #alignment #ASCOM #EXOS2

duker@...
 

Good Morning,

I wanted to share my excitement to have everything working together, with the great assistance from you all here.

Using my EXOSII-PMC8 mount with my Starwave 80ED scope, I was able to capture a great image of the Ring nebula, M57.
My workflow is as follows,

1. Polar Align using Sharpcap (over serial)
2. Power up PMC8
3. Start the PMC configuration tool and set connection to serial, connect.
4. Start the POTH hub (For slewing scope on first star for focus)
5. Start Stellarium and connect to POTH ascom
6. Focus and align sync on bright star

This works great, and was most enjoyable last night.
Thanks to all suggestions and valuable information found in these forums!

cheers,

--
Rob
Kitchener, Ontario
EXOSII-PMC8 Mount
Starwave 80ED
Starfield 50mm/ZWO ASI Guide Scope
Altair 224c
Meade ETX80


Re: Choosing Alignment Stars

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 08:27 PM, darrell burke wrote:
One more rant - and this may be me being thick - but why aren't the stars in some sort of order? Alphabetical, by constellation ... something. And if they actually are - please send me the magic decoder ring ... or put it in a manual!
There is a search tool. Just look for the star you are trying to find.
 
--
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: Choosing Alignment Stars

darrell burke
 

God bless you Brian!

And now the rant [not at you]
This is my first Goto ... for years I've flailed around with my telrad with rare moments of being able to find anything other than dead simple stuff.

I was so exited ... but oh my God its been so difficult to figure this all out. Far more it seems to me than it needs to be. The instructions are not even close to being detailed enough.
 
So naturally one goes to google & youtube. I watch the nice detailed video about the controls from a few years ago and the try and use my Android device and find out its different. But hey it can't be that different right?

So there I am aligning pressing sync - aligning pressing sync and absolutely devastated at how terrible this thing is at finding anything! This evening I'm rooting around and finally I stumble on the one post where "Enter" vs "Sync" is described ... then your excellent post that show me how to actually choose my stars rather than endlessly press next, next, next.


My main rant is why Explorestars doesn't have manual for Android.? And if you do I apologize  ... but if it exists it seems to buried deep in the dark web. Simple stuff - like "here what all the buttons do" I don't mind work and learning, but even in school they gave you a text book with a section on how to dissect a frog - then the frog and the scalpel. With this you get the frog and the scalpel. ... then you just ask around the school about how best to proceed.

 

One more rant - and this may be me being thick - but why aren't the stars in some sort of order? Alphabetical, by constellation ... something. And if they actually are - please send me the magic decoder ring ... or put it in a manual!

 

Rant concluded ... now I'm going to search for what the hell debug mode is - don't tell me! It will spoil all the 'fun' of endless searching.


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

Dave Cherry
 

Hi Guys,

Just a quick hour on the Dumbbel Nebula last night
Mount and software still all playing together nicely now :)


--
Scopes: Sky Watcher 200PDS, Skywatcher 72ED
Mount: Explore Scientific PMC8 EXO2
Cameras: ASI 294MCPRO Coooled, Altair guide cam + 50mm scope
Software: Sharpcap Pro ,PH2, Stelarium Startools


Re: #iexos-100 - issues with PDH2 guiding #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

esanc001@...
 

Wes,
I was able to:
Set the rate fraction to in in the RA sidereal rate fraction on the ascom driver for the mount.
Set calibration distance to .50 on the phd2 option  (.50 like period 50 not 50, I hope that is it)

I was able to do the day time test using the phd2 manual guide, I could not figure this one out "Set your guide rate in the ascom driver to 1" but I up the minimum pulse time to max, it read 500 on the ascom driver.

This are my result and observation, first I center the guide scope and ota to a street STOP somewhat far away.  When I was doing the pulse rate, I set it to 5000ms in phd2, I notice the STOP sign moving in my live view but at first it looked like when I did West, and East it move to the same side. I am not sure what you mean here " In RA the moment you stop guiding the mount will resume moving in RA in the opposite direction" I am not sure I saw this behavior?
Since the movement of the STOP sign was not like I expected, specially with going north, south.  after equal pulses of 5 seconds, the STOP sign just moved from my live view but I never came back to see the STOP sign as when I first set it.  I use the RA, DEC on the poth scope and this is the results.

I did 5 pulses for a total 25 seconds for each direction N,S,W,E
move North RA 15:20:57   -> 15:20:57  
                   DEC: 89:58:59 -> 89:56:29
Move South  RA 15:20:57  -> 15:20:57
                     DEC 89:56:29 -> 89:59:10
Move West  RA 15:20:57 -> 15:20:46
                    DEC 89:59:10 -> 89:59:10
Move East  RA 15:20:47 -> 15:20:57
                   DEC 89:59:10 -> 89:59:10
        
I was not able to do the calibration close to meridian or do the cross test as the sky did not collaborate.

Please let me know so far, what you see on the result of the live view test, to me it moved accordingly but the picture never came back to how I started.
I was not expecting that, the STOP sign ended up above to the right on the live view.

Thank you!!


--
Edwin Sanchez
Iexos-100
ed-80 triplet
canon T6i


Re: #iexos-100 - issues with PDH2 guiding #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

Wes Mcdonald
 

Edwin

Set the rate fraction to 1

On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 4:24 PM <esanc001@...> wrote:
Wes,
you said to pit tue guide rate to 1 in the ascom driver, I did it here and set it to 1000, hope thats it

Maximum Pulse time - 1000 ???

--
Edwin Sanchez
Iexos-100
ed-80 triplet
canon T6i


--
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: #iexos-100 - issues with PDH2 guiding #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

esanc001@...
 

Wes,
forgot this one, I change to 50 for calibration distance

--
Edwin Sanchez
Iexos-100
ed-80 triplet
canon T6i


Re: #iexos-100 - issues with PDH2 guiding #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

esanc001@...
 

Wes,
you said to pit tue guide rate to 1 in the ascom driver, I did it here and set it to 1000, hope thats it

Maximum Pulse time - 1000 ???

--
Edwin Sanchez
Iexos-100
ed-80 triplet
canon T6i


Re: ExploreStars Catalog

Wes Mcdonald
 

Bruce

I never saw one and my belief is there is not.  
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


#ExploreStars #iPadOS #ExploreStars #iPadOS

Bruce Bradley <landru@...>
 

Is there a way to change the order of the messier objects that are displayed in the ExploreStars catalog? I was thinking of being able to sort the objects by RA.
--
Scopes - Celestron Comet Catcher, Celestron C8, AR 127 Air-Spaced Doublet
Mount - EXOS-2GT