Date   

Re: going for advanced RC6 setup #astrophotography #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

Polynomial 

Well heck.  Why not.  But do yourself a favor and use a guide scope.  Exos2 pmc8 will guide to about 1”, some get better.  It also works better in some areas of the sky.  Exposures of 3 minutes and longer have round stars at focal lengths of 900-1000.  Understand, seeing conditions usually limit your resolution and thus a long focal length is not going to get you much for DSO.  Lucky imaging for planetary will be nice.  At long focal lengths your astrocamera is going to oversample like crazy, and you will likely want to bin the images (DSO).

Can’t wait to see what you come up with.  I have an SCT with pretty good collimation.  It isn’t hard to do with out of focus star images, visually.  Maybe your algorithm will be an advantage.  

How much does that RC weigh?

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


locked Re: Raspberry Pi

Vince White
 

Mirko,

I have been using a RPI4 to control a PMC-Eight for a while now.  You can do both serial or Wifi, however, I had issues with the RPI4 onboard Wifi not reliably connecting to the PMC-Eight, which was resolved when I used a Panda mini wireless N USB adapter (which is supported on the RPI4 Raspberry PI OS, so its truly plug-and-play).  To use the RPI4 to control the PMC-Eight via USB-Serial adapter, you'll need to buy and FTDI chip-set adapter cable and use the invert the DTR signal as described here.  To upgrade the PMC-Eight firmware, you'll need to use Windows and the PMC8Configuration Manager utility and you can also use this utility to easily switch between Serial and Wifi - I wouldn't recommend trying to do it by the command line.

Regarding whether to use VNC or not, the RPI4 is powerful enough to run KStars, INDI, EKOS locally, which is a benefit as you can do everything locally near the telescope and not need a computer tethered nearby.  Then you can VNC using a laptop or a VNC app on you cellphone.  I typically use the VNC app when initially adjusting my system and it is very convenient.  Check out the Astroberry project if you haven't yet, as it bundles everything nicely and is a good starting point.

One other comment is that RPI4 SD card interface is still fairly slow.  It takes a bit of effort to do, but I don't use the SD card at all on the RPI4 and instead boot/run off of an older Samsung EVO MSATA SSD with a USB 3.0 adapter - which is MUCH faster than using the SD card.  Only certain USB to SATA adapters work well with the RPI4, I'm currently using this one.  I'm also using this USB AC1200 wifi adapter with external antenna to get better Wifi reception since I have my RPI4 in a metal case, however, to use that adapter, you have to compile and install the kernel drivers yourself, which is complicated.  However, having both the external AC1200 Wifi and the SATA SSD lets me quicly transfer astro-photos to my main computer for post-processing at 15 - 20MB/s.  This also gives me a reliable connection to VNC to the RPI4, again, I was also having Wifi reception issues with the RPI4 in a metal case.

Regards,
Vince



--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon EOS RP, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong L-eNhance filter, 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom, Photoshop, SIRIL


Re: going for advanced RC6 setup #astrophotography #EXOS2

Bill Black
 

Hi Mr. Polynomial,
That's an interesting article. Do you think something along the lines of procedure 2 (balancing the image) would work for collimating an SCT?

This sounds like a neat project. I've never used an RC. I understand they can be excellent for astrophotography, but the collimation can be difficult. So something definitely worthwhile in your project, I think.

I'm guessing that one of the biggest hurdles you might face is getting a good guide star image with your off-axis guide camera. Long focal lengths can be difficult to use for getting a good tight guide star image. So you may want to think about putting a focal reducer on your guide camera, if possible (maybe 50%).

From the article, it sounds like you will be shooting 5 sec to 30 sec exposures through the main camera to try to smooth out the seeing conditions. I'm guessing the longer the exposure the better for that purpose. Your guiding exposures will probably be in the 1 sec to 2 sec range. So you won't have the same opportunity with the guider to smooth out the seeing conditions. Using a star field close to the Zenith would help with the seeing. I would stay away from anything below 50 degrees alt.
--

Bill
Location: Dallas, GA
Scopes:
 Celestron C8, AstroTech 80mm APO

Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75

Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385


locked Re: Raspberry Pi

Mirko Gude
 

Hi Bogdan,

that’s very interesting, maybe you can describe some details? After some attempts with "Mac OS only“ I’ve bought a Raspberry Pi (Model 4) and it looks very promising.

How do you connect the Raspberry with the PMC8? Wifi or serial? If serial, how do you switch the PMC8 to serial with the Raspberry Pi via command line?

And it is better to connect the Raspberry Pi via VNC and control KStars/Ekos over VNC? Or do you use a second KStar/Ekos installation which is connect with the Raspberry pi? (As I understood it, this is also possible)

If you could say something about this, that would be nice!

Best regards, 
Mirko



Am 08.07.2020 um 07:46 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel





Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount hypertune document..

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Thank you..


going for advanced RC6 setup #astrophotography #EXOS2

zernikepolynomial
 

After a lot of thought, I am going to go for a more difficult setup to do mid-narrow field astrophotography and possibly some other experimentation. I'll be trying out the exos2-gt with the PMC-eight system with an RC6 and off-axis guider. I am not an astronomer, but I have enough optics experience that I should be able to handle collimation just fine. I think I would be a little embarrassed if I could not figure it out with my background. So its going to come down to how well this thing can guide at higher focal lengths, and I am super motivated to try it out.

One thing I want to do is write an algorithm to tell the mount to automatically shift through steps using the DSI collimation method when using an artificial star.

http://www.deepskyinstruments.com/truerc/docs/DSI_Collimation_Procedure_Ver_1.0.pdf

Then write another algorithm to compute the deviation from an ideal diffraction pattern outside of focus like in the DSI method.

I could probably write this in labview, but labview can be more of a pain despite it already having a lot of libraries for imaging.

I wish I could go bigger, but I am not "well to do" to say at least.


Re: Exos-2gt pmc8 mount hypertune document..

 

Kevin,

You might be speaking of this:

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

It's a bit short of Hypertune.  No polish-stuff-to-a-mirror, or change bearings to exotics.  Just trying to make the factory-spec mount work a little better.  :-)

Just things like power train adjustments, balance, maybe a tripod tweak.  Enjoy!

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Exos-2gt pmc8 mount hypertune document..

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Hi guys,
I heard there might be a document around somewhere that tells how to hypertune our new mounts?

Kevin Rea
Lancaster California USA


Re: Connect to laptop and Explore Stars

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

And, you can hook up wired to the laptop.

You will need an FTDI chipset serial cable, like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07589V742

Once you have that, use the configuration manager to switch from the wireless connection to the wired connection. The configuration manager contains a tab with directions on how to do it.
--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Re: Connect to laptop and Explore Stars

brian skinner
 

Hi there, not sure how you run wirelessly without wifi. Presumably your thinking bluetooth? Don't think this is an option.
Regarding the data files, on the opening page of the Explore Stars app you will see the search path the app needs you to set up before it can access the database. Make sure you have set this up correctly. Another problem can be that there may be a file type called sqlite missing from your download, particularly if you are trying to load directly onto an Android device, I don't know why this is a problem but the advice is to first load into a windows device and, having confirmed the sqlite file is present, transfer all datafiles onto your android device. Presumably when you say laptop you are windows based so it maybe you haven't set the search path correctly,


Re: Connect to laptop and Explore Stars

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

I've tackled this on a Facebook post, but I'm going to answer here, too.

You are using a Windows machine.

Options are:

1) the database files are not in the Pictures folder on the computer

2) you changed the name of the folder.

3) you did not extract them properly.

4) you downloaded the Android database.

5) other very other improbably things

Go to the downloads page on the ES website. Download and install the configuration manager. It’s just below the video on that page.

Use the configuration manager to install the database.



--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


locked Re: Raspberry Pi

Irimie Bogdan
 

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel




Connect to laptop and Explore Stars

Nemesis2a
 

Hi everyone!
 I just purchased the Explorer Scientific EXOS2. I am just waiting on a dovetail to mount my scope. I am new to astronomy and astrophotography and have numerous questions to ask. First I would like to know if you can hookup the PMC8 to my laptop wirelessly without wifi? I'm also having a hard time finding a DB9 cable locally. The other question I have is concerning Explorer Stars program. I have followed all the download instructions, but when I open the program, I t says "data files missing". What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance!


locked Re: Raspberry Pi

Pavel
 

Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel


Re: New owner #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

Brian:

This is from Groups .io  HaHa.  When you hit subscriptions for that group divert your eyes to the right and read all the stuff there in the panel.  It includes where you set your signature.

You have to set your signature in each  subgroup you subscribe to.  Bummer.

Wes.


How Do I Set Up A Signature For My Account?

To set a signature for your account, go to the Subscription page for your group (it's the 'Subscription' tab in the left hand sidebar when viewing your group). On the subscription page, look for the 'Use Signature For Web Posting' checkbox and check that. Then you will be able to add a signature. Once complete, click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.


--
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: New owner #EXOS2

brian skinner
 

Hi Wes, I don't remember adding my profile into the forum. Sorry about this but how do I do this please. It isn't obvious, at least to me!!!

Many thanks, Brian


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

Wes Mcdonald
 

Nice!

--
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: 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

Vince White
 
Edited

All,

I was doing some mount RA & DEC axis testing on my EXOS-2 GT and since seeing and transparency were around 3/5, there was a full moon out and in general with Houston's Bortle ~9 skies, I wasn't expecting much, but I ended up a bit surprised on how well it turned out.  I used the Western Veil nebula as a test target and grabbed about 3.5hrs of total exposure (180sec individual lights) over two nights on my unmodified Canon RP and using the Optolong L-eNhance filter, where the average guiding error was ~1 arc-second.

I wasn't planing on doing any AP work with full moon and average seeing, so I guess the moral of the story is that if you don't try, you won't know how good or bad something will turn out.

Regards,

Vince
--

Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon EOS RP, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong L-eNhance filter, 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom, Photoshop, SIRIL


Re: Question about the communications watchdog disabled "a" version of the firmware #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE

Harry
 

Thank you so much Jerry. That explains things perfectly.
Harry
--
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


locked Do you need/want/use the additional safety of the communications watchdog in the PMC-Eight system? #poll-notice #poll

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

The PMC-Eight system delivered with the G11 and EXOS 2 includes a safety feature from the factory that stops the mount motion when the communications loop is broken between the host program (ExploreStars, or ASCOM driver) and the PMC-Eight controller. Do you need, want, or use this feature. It is currently not included on the iEXOS 100 mount from the factory.

Thanks

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