Date   

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

Wes Mcdonald
 

You have to have the location of your site set both in the Es ascom driver and in stellarium.  You also have to make sure the time is set in your computer and the stellarium time is “now”.

Also remember in stellarium the longitude is “west” and in ascom driver it is -  ( negative)

--
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

Wes Mcdonald
 

Don’t point your scope to the sun!!!!

--
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

 

Never mind, just found it in Stellarium.  The location must be off, as I tried slewing to the sun and it’s pointing towards the ground almost 180 deg opposite to where the sun is...
--
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: One beginner's guide to getting EXOS2/PMC8 fully operational with ASCOM, Stellarium, SharpCap, ASPS, and ASCOMPAD

Wes Mcdonald
 

So select an object on stellarium and press , I think, the control key at the same time a the number 1.    The mount will slew I think.  

--
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

 

I had not. Now that I have  I see it is “connected”👍🏽

At this point how do I invoke the slew function  - is it from within Stellarium or from Poth hub ?
--
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: 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
 

David

💩🔥👍

--
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: Upgrading my equipment #ASCOM #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

Jeff Snell
 

😆😆😆👍🏼


On Jul 17, 2020, at 6:29 PM, desert frag via groups.io <desertfrag@...> wrote:


Ha Trevor's pronunciation of the word 'out' is a dead giveaway.
On Jul 17, 2020, at 8:09 PM, Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:
On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 07:47 PM, Jeff Snell wrote:
I heard about the ED80 from Trevor Jones (Youtube channel: Astrobackyard) who recommended it.  By the way, if you haven't discovered him yet, Mr. Jones speaks our language too with a slight Canadian accent :-). 
Weird...  Pretty sure that Trevor's from Ontario, and we don't have accents. :-))

 
--
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: Upgrading my equipment #ASCOM #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

Brad Becker
 

Ha Trevor's pronunciation of the word 'out' is a dead giveaway.

On Jul 17, 2020, at 8:09 PM, Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:
On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 07:47 PM, Jeff Snell wrote:
I heard about the ED80 from Trevor Jones (Youtube channel: Astrobackyard) who recommended it.  By the way, if you haven't discovered him yet, Mr. Jones speaks our language too with a slight Canadian accent :-). 
Weird...  Pretty sure that Trevor's from Ontario, and we don't have accents. :-))

 
--
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: 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
 

Thanks Jeff, still going nicely...
--
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: Upgrading my equipment #ASCOM #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

 

On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 07:47 PM, Jeff Snell wrote:
I heard about the ED80 from Trevor Jones (Youtube channel: Astrobackyard) who recommended it.  By the way, if you haven't discovered him yet, Mr. Jones speaks our language too with a slight Canadian accent :-). 
Weird...  Pretty sure that Trevor's from Ontario, and we don't have accents. :-))

 
--
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: 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

Jeff Snell
 

Sweet Dave! 

Jeff

PMC-Eight w/Explore Stars
ES ED80mm APO
Celestron 8" Edge HD
Canon Ti-5 w/ Spencer Camera Astro-mod


On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 5:46 PM Dave Cherry <andromedacity@...> wrote:
Having a go at the Wizard Neb right now. As you can see guys,  mount is working v well :)
--
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: Upgrading my equipment #ASCOM #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

Jeff Snell
 

Hi Koen,
I'll jump first I guess. Disclaimer up front:  First forgive me if I am covering anything you already know, and know I'm in my rookie season.  But I'm confident the seasoned vets will jump in should I say something stupid or inaccurate.  I'm probably one of the closest to your skill level having only been doing astrophotography since last Sept.  Like you, I'm not technically savvy.  I'm from Alabama (note the southern accent), an old USAF fighter pilot (think knuckle dragger) and I need pictures (preferably with crayons) with things dumbed down to the lowest level possible. There are quite a few VERY savvy folks on this forum who can speak to our level (as well as a much higher dialect if needed) that will help you get the most out of the mount.

So first, here's a picture of my setup.  
image.png

This is my EXOS2 GT PMC Eight Mount.  The scope is an Explore Scientific ED 80mm Apochromatic (APO) Telescope (~$699 when I bought it).  Great for wide-field shots (Nebulas, starfields, clusters and galaxies).  For planetary, I think you will want something bigger but I'm not there yet having a preference for the wide-field shots.  I have a Celestron 8" SCT thought that I am going to bring on soon.  I heard about the ED80 from Trevor Jones (Youtube channel: Astrobackyard) who recommended it.  By the way, if you haven't discovered him yet, Mr. Jones speaks our language too with a slight Canadian accent :-).  I watch his videos religiously and have learned quite a bit from his tutorials.  Also take a look at Dillon O'Donnell from down under (Youtube channel: Starstuff).  He's easy to understand as well (also accented :-)).  The smaller scope on top is an Orion Starshoot Autoguider and 50mm guide scope combo (~$250ish).  The camera is an astro modified Canon T5i.  I bought it used ($300) and then had it modified by Spencer Camera (~$275) to remove the IR cut filter (that helps bring in the reds of the Nebula/night sky).  You can do the mod yourself (think youtube videos) but I'm unlucky at that kinda thing and didn't wanna ruin my $300 camera investment.  Spencer Camera does mods for NASA so there ya go. Here's the link: (https://www.spencerscamera.com/index.cfm).  Attached to the front end of the T5i is a Field Flattener to round out the stars at the edges of the image field (~$250ish), and there are three extra extensions (maybe ~$15 each) along the image train to get the right focusing length for the ED80.  Also on the mount itself you might notice a rose colored ring (NE corner above the counterweight).  That's an adapter that is holding a QHY Polemaster Polar Alignment Camera (again,  I think around ~$275ish).  Of all the additional/optional things I bought, I found that item to be most useful for me, and the guidescope combo to be indispensable to increasing exposure time and eliminating any elongation of stars in my photos.

Here are a couple more closeup photos for you.
image.png
Autoguider and scope.
image.png
Starshoot Autoguider.
image.png
Polemaster Camera and adapter ring for the EXOS2GT.

Below is my ad hoc cable setup using a USB Hub velcroed to the PMC eight.  Works like a champ.  The USB hub is connected to a Lenovo Thinkpad (again recommended by Trevor from Amazon for ~$300).  This is where my serial connection (the left most gray/blue USB) from the Thinkpad flows to the PMC eight (big blue connector on the right).  You will be advised to switch to a serial connection from wi-fi to control the scope at some point.  The middle black USB is to my T5i, the gray plug to its right is to my guide scope connection and the other gray USB sticking out the right side is my Polemaster camera setup (long story as to why thenUSB is connected there.  I won't bore you with it).
image.png
Cable Management via a USB Hub.
image.png
Above are the programs I currently run on my laptop.  Cartes du Ciel is my planetarium program, APT controls my camera (and can do quite a lot of other things that I am still learning or will eventually learn, including plate solving), the Polemaster program for polar alignment, PHD2 (which literally stands for Push Here Dummy) for sending minute pulses to the mount to keep the stars from trailing, and ASCOM POTH which in my layman's brain means a translator enabling all the other programs, and parts and pieces talk to each other.  All of these programs, with the exception of the Polemaster Program were free downloads.  BTW, the plate solving available via APT (or whatever program you choose) essentially eliminates the need for having to sync the PMC eight to any stars for slewing.  Again, the way my Alabama brain thinks about it is that you tell the PMC where you are and what the date/time is via your selected planetarium program, then the camera takes a picture through APT, compares what it sees then solves the puzzle.  It then knows precisely where it's at in time and space and where it's pointing and can now be slewed to a target easily.  No syncing required.  I have yet to use plate solving because I'm inherently lazy, have some additional things to download and configure, and have a way around it via a single star sync after a good Polar alignment via Polemaster.  Since getting good at that method, I have yet to have the target not be centered when I slew to it. Of course I am using a widefield telescope so a little error is OK.

All the above said, There are a thousand little nuances/issues I've had to learn/overcome but everyone here is very generous with their time and expertise.  Have fun, be patient, dive in, and let the good folks on this forum help you get it all up and running.  It wasn't all that tough.  The toughest part to me was and still is the tweaking you need to do to get a good/great finished product.

Good luck!

Jeff

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


On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 2:06 PM Koen M. <koen.molemans@...> wrote:

Allright, so it seems i am going to have to start guiding...
My current setup is the iEXOS100 PCM8 with my camera mounted on top of it. and thats it.

I am planning to get a telescope to mount my DSLR on, but that wont be the biggest issue.

I want to go deep space, i want nebula's i want planets i want the whole "shabang"
But i have been told that that is impossible with what i have unless i go and start guiding.

Now technically i am as dumb as fu...
So, is there somebody that can explain me in baby language and baby steps what items i will need (guiding scopes, extra cables, ....)

If possible with pictures :p (like i said i am a dumb fu..., so half of what is being typed is not comming in :p (and english is not my native language :D )

Thx guys 


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
 

Having a go at the Wizard Neb right now. As you can see guys,  mount is working v well :)
--
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: One beginner's guide to getting EXOS2/PMC8 fully operational with ASCOM, Stellarium, SharpCap, ASPS, and ASCOMPAD

Wes Mcdonald
 

Did you pick poth hub in stellarium?

--
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

 

Hi Wes, 
Making progress, but few questions:
Step 7 in the linked document, when I try to connect the scope through Stellarium via the Telescope control plugin, I just get a “Connecting” status. Is there something I need to do on Poth. Poth Hub is running and I can manually slew the mount using the on-screen  buttons.

Also, do I need ASCOMPAD without a game controller ?

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: Upgrading my equipment #ASCOM #astrophotography #iEXOS-100 #TECHNICAL

 

Koen,
 
Perhaps it will help you figure out what to do, if we spend a moment on the "why's".
 
You've been told that you need to guide, because the mount's natural periodic error will cause your image to bump around a bit over time, and nobody likes streaky, lumpy stars.  The fix for this is, indeed guiding.  Basically, the guidescope + guide camera + guide software use a guide star as a proxy for the target that your imaging camera is trying to shoot, and in a perfect world, the guiding system sees a change and corrects for it, before the imaging camera notices (and messes up your stars).  
 
As to what guidescope and guide camera are right for you, well, that gets into a longish post.  The right answer will probably depend on the scope and camera you choose for DSO imaging.  More on that if you want it.
 
You will need a mount computer, if you want to guide.  Perhaps a laptop, or a Raspberry Pi, or one of the 'appliance' devices.  You'll run either ASCOM or INDI as platforms, and some mix of client astro-software on it.  Things to ask about and decide on.  Your PMC8 mount is flexible and it is unlikely to pose a limitation.  
 
You probably don't need to guide, if you want to image planets, but you probably will want different scopes for planetary vs Deep Space Objects's.  And perhaps a different camera as well.  The reason for this is that DSO's are usually wide, dim targets usually shot with longer exposures, and planets are tiny, bright targets usually shot with video (lucky imaging).
 
This leads people to use different scopes for DSO vs planetary, as well as different cameras.  Kinda like screwdrivers - one needs to pick the tool that suits the job.  
 
So you probably will want a scope with a wider field of view for your DSO's (and guiding), and something with a much longer focal length (and narrower field-of-view) for planets. 
 
We do have people her that do both here - on iExos100's, and I hope they chip in - but it will probably simplify things if you think of DSO's vs planets as two different problems that likely require different solutions.
 
Coming back to guiding, do figure out what scope you'd want to use for DSO imaging.  Small refractors are popular, but there are other options.  Once you have that sorted out,  this site can help you work out a guide ratio that meets your needs:
 
 
Some say a guide ratio of 1:3 is fine, but I was happier close to 1:2. YMMV.
 
No, none of this has to do with cables - those are things that come after deciding your imaging resolution vs guiding resolution, the software you will guide with, and the device you will run that software on.  Only after that, do you know what your cable needs are, because those things are what you connect your cables to.  :-)
 
Hope this helps...
 
- 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: EXOS 2 GT Payload Capacity

Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Kevin,

If you are standing with the tripod facing north, so the telescope eyepiece is at your belly button and the objective end of the telescope is pointing at at Polaris, the east is on your right, west is on your left.

Regarding the legs, the lower the legs the more solid the tripod. And that solid tripod will help reduce vibration, which will improve the photography.
--
Kent Marts
Customer Service Manager
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Re: EXOS 2 GT Payload Capacity

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

Hi Jerry..
Does it matter on guiding if the tripod legs are fully extended or not? I have been running my mount with the C8 on top and an Orion 80 mm guide scope with the legs fully extended, do you think I would get better guiding results if I shorten the legs?


Re: EXOS 2 GT Payload Capacity

Kevin Rea <reakevinscott@...>
 

If you are let's say facing the end of the scope, on its mount, which way is east and which way is west?


Koen M.
 

Allright, so it seems i am going to have to start guiding...
My current setup is the iEXOS100 PCM8 with my camera mounted on top of it. and thats it.

I am planning to get a telescope to mount my DSLR on, but that wont be the biggest issue.

I want to go deep space, i want nebula's i want planets i want the whole "shabang"
But i have been told that that is impossible with what i have unless i go and start guiding.

Now technically i am as dumb as fu...
So, is there somebody that can explain me in baby language and baby steps what items i will need (guiding scopes, extra cables, ....)

If possible with pictures :p (like i said i am a dumb fu..., so half of what is being typed is not comming in :p (and english is not my native language :D )

Thx guys 

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