Date   

Re: One beginner's guide to getting EXOS2/PMC8 fully operational with ASCOM, Stellarium, SharpCap, ASPS, and ASCOMPAD

Wes Mcdonald
 

Peter

The UPLR buttons on PHD only move the mount at the guide rate set in the driver.  They are not meant to skew the mount, they are for manual guiding.   

Here is a short list of thoughts to get you organized 

1.  Get poth up and select the Es pmc8 driver in its setup...you did this
2.  Open stellarium and set it up for telescope control.  This is something you have to read about .  Alex wrote a nice doc on all of this



3.  Stellarium will allow you goto targets and get close 

4.  Once the mount is under your control via stellarium you will have to learn how to polar align it.  This will improve your goto accuracy.

5.  You will have to learn how to level the mount.

6.  You will need to determine the home position to a high degree of accuracy.  You can find a paper on this in the files section of the Mounts subgroup


7.  You may wish to adjust cone error.  A document for that is also in the same directory.

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


Re: One beginner's guide to getting EXOS2/PMC8 fully operational with ASCOM, Stellarium, SharpCap, ASPS, and ASCOMPAD

 
Edited

Thanks to Kent, my Parallax cable arrived and I appear to be making progress along the path to serial communications and control.

Here is where I am at:
1. Started PMC-Eight Config Manager 
2. Connect edvia COM3
3. Advanced Tab sent messages to PMC-8 as shown:
5       Mount appears to be connected on Serial
4       Received: ESGvES6B09T15EXOS2!
3       Sending via Serial: ESGv!
2       Received: ESGp0000000!
1       Sending via Serial: ESGp0!
0       Com Port: COM3
 
4. Ran ASCOM Diagnostics DeviceConnection Tester:
Create              Creating device
Connected           Connecting to device
                   
Name                Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver
Description         ES_PMC8 Telescope
DriverInfo          Explore Scientific PMC-Eight Mount Controller ASCOM Driver. Developed by GRHubbell. Contact Explore Scientific at www.explorescientificusa.com . Version: 6.0
DriverVersion       6.0
InterfaceVersion    3
RA, Dec             17:18:07.870 90:00:00.000
Latitude, Longitude 37:55:00.000 -120:38:00.000
Tracking            False
                   
Connected           Disconnecting from device
Dispose             Disposing of device
Dispose             Completed disposal
ReleaseComObject    Releasing COM instance
GC Collect          Starting garbage collection
GC Collect          Completed garbage collection
 
5. Unable to get any response from the mount using UDLF from PHD2.

6. Now that I am connected via serial, l
ooking for the next steps to do the following - i.e what am I missing ?:
A. Use Stellarium for GOTO Slew functions (also have Stellarium is running as a web server)
B. Tracking and short exposure imaging < 20 secs
C. Future: PHD2 for auto guiding in the future for longer exposure imaging
 
One of the challenges of such a flexible setup is understanding which components one needs to to succeed. If there is documentation for the next steps, would appreciate the links.
 
Thanks,
Peter
--
Mount: EXOS2-GT, Orion SkyView EQ
Scope: ESED80-FCD100, Orion 8” Newt
Guide system: Starfield 50mm, Altair GPCAM2 130M
DSLR: Canon 6D, T3i
Software: ExploreStars W10, iOS; Sharpcap, Altair ImageCapture, PMC 8 Manager, Stellarium 
Location: Sierra Foothills, CA


Re: What Topics Do You Most Enjoy On the Explore Alliance OpenGOTO Community Live Broadcast? #ExploreScientific #OpenGOTOLive #poll

Nemesis2a
 

As a newbie to the whole astronomy/astrophotography hobby, I would like to see topics/videos on setup right from unboxing product, right to polar align to operating ExploreStars. Manuals are fine, but in my case visual learning makes it easier and less frustrating. There is one hell of a steep learning curve to all of this, so any help would be appreciated by all. I do like that there is help here and on the Facebook group. Everyone has been fantastic! Kent Marts was extremely helpful as well.
Cheers!
Terry Laraman


Re: Help can not get pith to connect to PMC-8

Tim Huseby
 

Wes,

     I uninstalled and reinstalled 3 times it always had 2 failures, after the third time I tried poth hub again and it worked. Now I just have to follow Jerry’s set up wit Stellarium video. Thank you
--
Tim
Las Vegas
Just starting in this Hobby, I have been doing wildlife and landscape photography. 
Mounts
Exos2-gt  PMC-8, Celestron Alt/Azimuth 

Scopes/Lenses:
Celestron SLT 130, Olympus 7-14,12-40,40-150 Pro and a Canon FD 500L

Cameras: 
Olymous om-d E-M1 Mkii,


Re: New Purchaser of the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight

 

Welcome!
 
Yes, these are good mounts.  We have folks here using PMC8 mounts for everything from Visual, to DSLR AP, as well as AP with everything from small scopes to  Newt's, SCT's, etc..  People control their PMC8's with everything from tablets to laptops to Raspberry Pi's.  Those run everything from ES's 'Explorestars', through ASCOM and INDI in their various permutations.
 
So... the good news is that the mount is flexible and can handle payload, but the flip side of that is that you WILL have some things that you'll have to figure out.  And that's what this forum is for.
 
If it helps you, there are broadly two 'lanes' to consider when planning out how you will control your new mount:
 
1. Visual + short-exposure DSLR AP.  Someone in this lane would typically use a tablet with ES's 'Explorestars' control program to manage the scope via wifi.  They'd probably run the camera with an intervalometer.  They probably will not try to guide.  They might use the polar scope for PA, but people use phone apps and other techniques as well.
 
2. Longer-Exposure AP + occasional Visual.  Someone in this lane might use a Laptop or Raspberry Pi or equivalent appliance as a mount computer, running ASCOM or an INDI-based solution, and compatible planetarium, guiding, and camera-control software.  They'll likely guide, and will likely use a serial-USB connection from the mount computer to the PMC8.  They may access that mount computer remotely.  They'll likely NOT use the polar scope for PA, and will instead use Sharpcap, Polemaster, drift, etc., for the additional precision. 
 
So, you have lots of room to stretch out. :-)
 
Typical exposure times and focal lengths are pretty varied here, as you can see from the posts, and they do depend on whether you guide or not. I'd be lucky to get 30s out of my mount at 621mm unguided, but 180s, 300s, 600s and better are not a problem when I guide.  That took some time, skill-building, and advice-taking, but that's where I ended up, and I have lots of company.  
 
HTH...
 
- Bob
--
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


Re: Help can not get pith to connect to PMC-8

Wes Mcdonald
 

Tim

What version of ASCOM are you using, and did it pass the ASCOM test?  After installation you should run the ASCOM diagnostic, it needs to pass every test.  sometimes it doesnt.  If it fails uninstall and reinstall ASCOM.  for now use PLatform 6.4, the old one if you can.

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


Re: New Purchaser of the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight

Jeff Snell <Jeffery.snell1@...>
 

My thoughts only...I bought the PMC-eight (plus an ES ED80MM APO telescope) back around April last year as my first EQ mount/tele combo with the intention to use it for astrophotography.  I am not tech savvy at all and certainly not in the astronomy world, having only owned a celestron Alt Az go to for visual observing.  I am mobile and the PMC-eight/ED80 combo is working awesome for me (although my battery setup is a heavy booger).  Lot's of good advice and tech support on this forum and at ExploreScientific to aid me on this trip.  The first thing I bought after initially using an unmodified Nikon, was a used canon DSLR T5i and had it astro modified for the photography piece (IR cut removed).  Second most important thing (I should have bought sooner) was a QHY Polemaster polar alignment camera/adapter with the associated program/software.  Extremely easy to polar align now.  The scope that comes with the mount is good too but a lot more work to get close enough for good astro photos and to figure out what the display means and how to use it properly.  I guess I'm just too lazy and the Polemaster only reinforces that behavior :-). That single ~$250 investment was soooooo worth it.  I get very precise PA now and as long as I have all my parameters entered correctly in my planetarium program (CdC), and then sync on a single star, the subsequent slews nail the targets every time.  Next was an autoguider utilizing PHD2 for tracking and a Bahtinov mask for focus improvement.  In between all that, I left the wifi and went to a serial connection from laptop to mount, bought a few misc parts and pieces (filters, extension tubes, a field flattener) for the imaging train as well as the previously mentioned planetarium program (CdC - Cartes du Ciel), downloaded Astro-Photograpy Tool (APT) and used ASCOM POTH Hub for integration.  

It's that simple :-).  OK, not really simple but well worth it.  I am now taking "decent" photos and trying to figure out the processing piece using photoshop.

Not really a "checklist for perfection" some of the professionals on this site will pass but that's my take.  Use the checklist they proffer, ask and follow their advice/guidance, and you will do great with this mount!
  
Jeff

PMC-Eight w/Explore Stars
ES ED80mm APO
Celestron 8" Edge HD
Canon Ti-5 w/ Spencer Camera Astro-mod
Orion 50mm Scope/Autoguider
CdC, APT, Polemaster, PHD2, ASCOM POTH Hub


On Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 11:24 AM desert frag via groups.io <desertfrag=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi everyone,

Guess I'm looking for a bit of assurance on my purchase of the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight yesterday.  It's being discounted anywhere from $100 - $200 and have a few days cancellation window.

My desire is to start with nothing more than a DSLR and lenses ranging from 20mm - 300mm to reduce ISO and extend exposure for AP but future proofed to eventually slap on a modest scope for visual and AP work as my knowledge grows. 

I've been out the picture for decades and parsing through the discussions the digital world of astrophotography is both stunning and frankly a bit intimidating in the myriad choices, a far cry from the film days when I was gas hypersensitizing Kodak Tech Pan 2415 on a LX5 eyeballing 30 minute exposures with an off axis eyepiece!

I'm looking through the discussions and it's not sinking in yet but hopefully you can jump start me.

Is this mount a good first start for my intentions?

What would be the first accessories to consider hardware/software for a newer user related to making PA easier, improve ongoing guiding accuracy, and image enhancement?

Will the included polar finder scope be sufficient?

I plan to go mobile with the equipment.

Thanks!




Help can not get pith to connect to PMC-8

Tim Huseby
 

All,

     I am trying to set up my first exos2- gt omg-8 I keep getting g this message when trying to connect POTH.

--
Tim
Las Vegas
Just starting in this Hobby, I have been doing wildlife and landscape photography. 
Mounts
Exos2-gt  PMC-8, Celestron Alt/Azimuth 

Scopes/Lenses:
Celestron SLT 130, Olympus 7-14,12-40,40-150 Pro and a Canon FD 500L

Cameras: 
Olymous om-d E-M1 Mkii,


New Purchaser of the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight

Brad Becker
 

Hi everyone,

Guess I'm looking for a bit of assurance on my purchase of the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight yesterday.  It's being discounted anywhere from $100 - $200 and have a few days cancellation window.

My desire is to start with nothing more than a DSLR and lenses ranging from 20mm - 300mm to reduce ISO and extend exposure for AP but future proofed to eventually slap on a modest scope for visual and AP work as my knowledge grows. 

I've been out the picture for decades and parsing through the discussions the digital world of astrophotography is both stunning and frankly a bit intimidating in the myriad choices, a far cry from the film days when I was gas hypersensitizing Kodak Tech Pan 2415 on a LX5 eyeballing 30 minute exposures with an off axis eyepiece!

I'm looking through the discussions and it's not sinking in yet but hopefully you can jump start me.

Is this mount a good first start for my intentions?

What would be the first accessories to consider hardware/software for a newer user related to making PA easier, improve ongoing guiding accuracy, and image enhancement?

Will the included polar finder scope be sufficient?

I plan to go mobile with the equipment.

Thanks!




Re: UPDATED FIRMWARE NOW AVAILABLE #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE

brian skinner
 

Hi Jerry, I believe I have I just successfully loaded the latest firmware onto my iEXOS100. I have tested the mount controls and all worked OK. Is there anyway of actually confirming the latest firmware is now installed please.
Many thanks, Brian
--
Brian Skinner
iEXOS100
Canon 1300d dslr
Various lenses
ES Polar scope
Sequator image stacker
PIXR image editor


What Topics Do You Most Enjoy On the Explore Alliance OpenGOTO Community Live Broadcast? #ExploreScientific #OpenGOTOLive #poll

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

What topics most interest you and that we talk about on the Explore Alliance OpenGOTO Community Live! broadcast?
Are there any new topics that you may want us to discuss?

Results

See Who Responded


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
 

Omar, that's a great shot, would love to have a go at it myself but a little too low for me where I am in the UK
Good work man
Dave.

--
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: 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

Omar Rahman
 

Hi Wes,

Thanks! Yes, it's the Eagle Nebula with the pillars in the middle. At some point I would like to get closer with my SCT. And yes, I used the ES 2 inch field flattener. It makes a clear difference.

I used the ZWO 31mm narrowband filters (SHO). They're 7nm wide. Guiding was pretty good for the most part. I did throw out about 20% of the frames. 

Omar
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


ALPO Podcast - Jerry Hubbell Talks About Exoplanets #NEWS #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Tim Robertson of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers interviewed me a couple of months ago.

Here is the ALPO Observer's Notebook Podcast

https://soundcloud.com/observersnotebook/the-observers-notebook-observing-exoplanets-with-jerry-hubbell
--
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: UPDATED FIRMWARE NOW AVAILABLE #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE

Bill Gilpin
 

iEXOS 100

I think I got it done, via USB, though I am not sure!


On Wed, 15 Jul 2020 at 15:47, Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:
Hi Bill,

What mount do you have?
--
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: UPDATED FIRMWARE NOW AVAILABLE #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Bill,

What mount do you have?
--
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: UPDATED FIRMWARE NOW AVAILABLE #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE

Wes Mcdonald
 

Bill

You load the configuration manager on your PC.  You need a usb to serial interface cable with FTDI chip.  And you will need the driver for the FTDI usb to serial adapter cable.

This will enable you to use the configuration manager to update the firmware.  The pmc8 can remain in wireless mode during this operation.  No need to change anything in that regard.

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


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
 

Omar, one other thing.  Do you have a field flattner?  There is no visible coma that I can see in my phone at least.  That ES 102 seems to rock!  
We’d


--
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


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 Omar.   Towers of creation?

What filters you use?  Guiding looks fine, nice stars.



--
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


Re: UPDATED FIRMWARE NOW AVAILABLE #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE

Bill Gilpin
 

I'm another iPad user, but have a PC I could use to do the firmware update.

What programme do I install to get this "PMC-Eight Configuration Manager Firmware Update tab"?

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