Date   

Re: Using the Exos-2 PMC Eight with Mac.

AnonAstron
 

Michael, I'm totally new to both the mount (iExos-100 in my case) and to astrophotography but a Mac user.  I've been playing with Kstars/Ekos (at https://edu.kde.org/kstars/#features) as a method of mount/camera control and found this (free) software to work a treat with the iExos-100 over both wired and wifi connections.  It also has the relevant drivers for the Exos-2.

Still exploring the more advanced (for me) functionality including the ASTAP plate solving interface within Kstars.  One additional option is to download the (free) CloudMakers Indigo Server (http://www.cloudmakers.eu/indigoserver/) to act as an alternative to the built-in Indi server in Kstars.  This stand-alone program also lets you have a play at controlling the mount and camera as a first step.

I'm running this software on a MacBook Air.

For me at least, once I got to grips with swapping between WiFi and USB mount control, Kstars/Ekos has been relatively intuitive to use, albeit indoors due to poor weather.

Hope this helps.
--
Experienced hobby photographer and total newbie to anything Astro.  iexos100 with ES80ED and Canon DSLRs


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Bill Kinnair <kinnawill@...>
 

I bet you will and thanks, yeah two heads are better than one with both ideas I'm sure we can sort this. 
--
Bill Kinnair
West Midlands UK
MountsEXOS-2 PMC-8 GOTO
Scopes: Skywatcher 200PDS + Skywatcher Skyliner 200p
CamerasZWO ASI120MC + Canon EOS 1300D
Software: ExplorerStars, Backyard ESO, ASIStudio, AutoStakkert, PIPP, RegiStax 6, PolarAlignment PRO


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

 

Hi Bill. 
  If you get stuck whilst trying just message me and I’ll try and help. Maybe between us we can crack the code.  I’ll be pretty apprehensive when I get my mount back. Especially if I can get 30+sec exposures and no star trails like I was getting before. Here’s hoping, mick. 


On 4 Sep 2020, at 12:45, Bill Kinnair via groups.io <kinnawill@...> wrote:

Thanks for the info I'm going to try your way and not use the crosshair, I hope your mount comes back with no problems. If I manage to figure anything out in the meantime I'll let you know. 
--
Bill Kinnair
West Midlands UK
MountsEXOS-2 PMC-8 GOTO
Scopes: Skywatcher 200PDS + Skywatcher Skyliner 200p
CamerasZWO ASI120MC + Canon EOS 1300D
Software: ExplorerStars, Backyard ESO, ASIStudio, AutoStakkert, PIPP, RegiStax 6, PolarAlignment PRO

--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Not Applicable. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment. 


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Bill Kinnair <kinnawill@...>
 

Thanks for the info I'm going to try your way and not use the crosshair, I hope your mount comes back with no problems. If I manage to figure anything out in the meantime I'll let you know. 
--
Bill Kinnair
West Midlands UK
MountsEXOS-2 PMC-8 GOTO
Scopes: Skywatcher 200PDS + Skywatcher Skyliner 200p
CamerasZWO ASI120MC + Canon EOS 1300D
Software: ExplorerStars, Backyard ESO, ASIStudio, AutoStakkert, PIPP, RegiStax 6, PolarAlignment PRO


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

 

Hi Bill. 
    What I do normally is get my level and point the mount north. I use a laser pointer to make sure I’m pointing the mount at Polaris, I do this by shining the laser through the polar scope. Then I look to how I need to rotate the Ra to mirror the image on the App (ps align pro), then using the four adjusters on the mount get Polaris where it says it needs to be on the app.I then perform a 2 or 3 star align in ExploreStars. The last time I did this the accuracy was very good and I hardly needed to centre anything. I then slewed to other objects and they were in my field of view every time. My frustration is that I do the same procedure on other nights and I can be way off. I am imaging by using ExploreStars and in the past have had great results, but of late I have been running into problems with badly elongated stars all through the field, even when the mount slews straight to the target. I decided to send my mount off to Rother Valley Optics who have kindly agreed to check the mount over and make sure the polar scope is properly aligned as well as checking the pulleys and belt and any electrics for me. It is still with them so I won’t be able to try again until I get it back. Don’t return your mount, I have had great results in the past with it and when it works it works brilliantly. I just need to emulate those nights when it as worked. 


On 4 Sep 2020, at 09:18, Bill Kinnair via groups.io <kinnawill@...> wrote:

I'm going to try this it's the only option I have left before I decide to return the mount thanks,
--
Bill Kinnair
West Midlands UK
MountsEXOS-2 PMC-8 GOTO
Scopes: Skywatcher 200PDS + Skywatcher Skyliner 200p
CamerasZWO ASI120MC + Canon EOS 1300D
Software: ExplorerStars, Backyard ESO, ASIStudio, AutoStakkert, PIPP, RegiStax 6, PolarAlignment PRO

--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Not Applicable. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment. 


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Bill Kinnair <kinnawill@...>
 

I'm going to try this it's the only option I have left before I decide to return the mount thanks,
--
Bill Kinnair
West Midlands UK
MountsEXOS-2 PMC-8 GOTO
Scopes: Skywatcher 200PDS + Skywatcher Skyliner 200p
CamerasZWO ASI120MC + Canon EOS 1300D
Software: ExplorerStars, Backyard ESO, ASIStudio, AutoStakkert, PIPP, RegiStax 6, PolarAlignment PRO


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Bill Kinnair <kinnawill@...>
 

Hi Michael.

I tried again last night to see if I can Polar align and I seem to be getting closer but not as close as I like. I used the method as before by placing Polaris into the crosshair then aligning the vertical line to Polaris clock and adjusting so Polaris is on the circle. I seem to be a few degrees off target. I checked to see if I had Polaris in my field of view using a 40mm eyepiece, Polaris was there but centred at the bottom, so the only thing I can think of is my compass as I'm using one that is built into my phone

The only thing I have left to try is buying a real compass to see if that works but if it doesn't then I think I will be returning the mount.

If you don't mind can you explain your full procedure of how you align please?         
--
Bill Kinnair
West Midlands UK
MountsEXOS-2 PMC-8 GOTO
Scopes: Skywatcher 200PDS + Skywatcher Skyliner 200p
CamerasZWO ASI120MC + Canon EOS 1300D
Software: ExplorerStars, Backyard ESO, ASIStudio, AutoStakkert, PIPP, RegiStax 6, PolarAlignment PRO


Re: #EXOS2 #pmc-eight Unable to get my new mount to work #EXOS2 #pmc-eight

Tim Huseby
 
Edited

What platform are you using for explore stars app. Here is a how to install it for windows. I had this same issue and it was the fact I wasn’t putting the correct file in my photos folder.


--
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, William Optics Star 71 app, Olympus 7-14,12-40,40-150 Pro 

Cameras: 
Olymous om-d E-M5 Mkii, SBIG STF8300M


Re: #iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked #iEXOS-100

Wes Mcdonald
 

Deonb

One other thing

Stellarium is a great planetarium program and a not so hot telescope control program.  As far as I can see it never had any ability to unpark an ASCOM mount.  In fact it couldn’t do anything with a mount prior to version 19.3– one had to use a helper app called stellarium scope.

POTH has a park/unpark button.  If you don’t run NINA or APT or some other program that incorporates the ability to demand an ASCOM unpark when you are using Stellarium, then you are going to have to use POTH.  Perhaps the new 6.5 has that feature somewhere.  

There is no reason not to run NINA or APT with stellarium and the pmc8 and in fact they make great playmates.  Personally I moved from APT to NINA for its total automation and will never go back.  It is the next best thing.  As for Stellarium I use it with NINA as a planetarium and import it’s position into NINA.  But NINA catalog is danged nice all by itself.  And the ES ASCOM compliant driver just keeps percolating along with all of this stuff.

One thing the ES has that is different than most companies (if not all) is that their designer owns and runs their equipment in a research observatory he operates all the time to perform work with exoplanets.  He is well aware of all of the firmware and software as he has written much of it, uses it, and supports all of it.  And that same guy is available to everyone in the forum all the time.  

Recently a user discovers an obscure characteristic that lead, under specific circumstance, to a pointing error.  This was so obscure that most users never encountered it and in fact non had ever reported it in years of operation.  I had never encountered it to where I noticed it.  When that was reported ES took to researching and correcting the issue— I know of the effort expended first hand as I was part of that effort (voluntary user helping out). Fixed and distributed essentially as fast as could be done.  

So yes,ES supports their mounts.

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: #iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked #iEXOS-100

Wes Mcdonald
 

Deonb

“Is explore Scientific not supporting these mounts anymore?”

Don’t be silly.  The pmc8 based mounts are their main line.  Of course they are supporting them.   The ways they do are to numerous to mention in my hunt and peck cell phone.

ASCOM has no affiliation with Explore Scientific.  What ever ascom does they do.  6.4 was the mainstay program for many years.  They just released 6.5 a while ago.  There are numerous complaints and issues that arise with it, among them issues with stellarium.  

ES tests their firmware to the ASCOM compliance test and passes all tests.   

Your inability to unpark has nothing to do with the ES product.  Unparking is an ASCOM thing. ES knows where park is but it does not stop responding once parked.   That is an ASCOM thing.   I imagine the driver might actually respond with a parked status to an ASCOM query tho, and probably won’t move u til an ASCOM method call demands an unpark.  

POTH hub was deprecated and replaced in release 6.5 but POTH is retained but not installed automatically.   If you want to stick with 6.5 go ahead.  But be aware there are issues  You can still load up and run POTH.

NINA unparks mounts in ASCOM 6.4 just fine.  Personally I have not gone to 6.5 because of the reported issues with it.  6.4 works fine, and unless you specifically need what 6.5 added you don’t want 6.5.  

In summary you won’t find anyone who supports their gear to the level of ES, to include the design engineer being in the forum everyday to answer questions.  Furthermore ES has a daily hour long video chat where topics specific to their equipment are discussed.  Furthermore the website has links to pertinent sections of every broadcast for your viewing and learning pleasure.  

I haven’t seen your name around so I take it you are new here.  Welcome to the group.  This place has a lot of people willing to help.  And there are a lot of resources available to you within ES web resources if you take the time and bother to look and learn.

Again, welcome aboard.

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: #iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked #iEXOS-100

Wade Prunty
 

I actually think Explore Scientific supports their mounts a bit more than most other vendors. Their responsiveness in this forum is proof of that.
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100
William Optics SpaceCat 51 APO
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro, ASI533MC Pro
Canon 5D, T3i (Both Astro Mods)
William Optics UniGuide
ZWO ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASIAIR Pro


Re: #iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked #iEXOS-100

deonb
 

Ok, yeah, that works. But wow, this really feels like an obsolete slapped-together thing. Is Explore Scientific not really supporting these mounts anymore?


Re: iEXOS-100 slow slew rate in SharpCap

deonb
 

No, you have to rotate the mount yourself in SharpCap.

I like using the slew buttons because if you disengage the RA clutch you're likely to also knock the DEC axis a few degrees in the process - especially on a mount as small as this, and it will invalidate your polar alignment.

Anyway, rotating for polar alignment is not the only reason I don't want to spend an hour to move the scope from one side of the mount to the other.


Re: iEXOS-100 slow slew rate in SharpCap

Wade Prunty
 

Can sharpcap not control the mount to rotate it itself? I use the ASIAIR Pro polar alignment tool, which is extremely similar to sharpcap’s, and it rotates the RA dec itself during the polar alignment process.
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100
William Optics SpaceCat 51 APO
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro, ASI533MC Pro
Canon 5D, T3i (Both Astro Mods)
William Optics UniGuide
ZWO ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASIAIR Pro


Re: iEXOS-100 slow slew rate in SharpCap

Lloyd Simons <simonsl23@...>
 

Deonb,

I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish. If you are rotating the ra axis to do a sharpcap polar alignment you have to disengage the clutches and rotate manually. It's best to do this before you power the mount. You only need the camera connected to sharpcap. I use my guidecam.
--
Lloyd Simons
Mattawan, MI
Telescopes: Astrotech AT72ED II, Orion 8" Dobsonian, Tectron 15" Dobsonian, Celestron Super Polaris C8
Imaging Camera: Canon T3i
Guide Camera: QHY5L-IIM on a 60mm F4 Guidescope
Mounts: iExos-100 PMC-8, Vixen Super Polaris
Mount Control: KODLIX gn41 mini PC, Explorestars on a Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70F Android 6.0
Software: N.I.N.A. for imaging, PHD2 for guiding, Sharpcap for PA, Cartes du Ciel, PixInsight


Re: #iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked #iEXOS-100

Bob Trepiccione
 

Ascom 6.5 did away with the POTH Hub and replaced it with the device hub. That lets you connect multiple devices to the mount.

You can reinstall 6.5 and choose to install the POTH Hub, but you might be better off just uninstalling 6.5 a d going with 6.4.

That solved issues I was having...



Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device


-------- Original message --------
From: deonb <deonb@...>
Date: 9/3/20 7:00 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] #iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked

How do I "unpark" the mount to use it in Stellarium?

NINA also gives me a message that the mount is parked, but it unparks it itself. However, Stellarium doesn't.

I tried unparking it in SharpCap, but it doesn't make Stellarium happy.

This is using the Stellarium Telescope Control plugin. I see there is some old comments on this thread using POTH instead, but it seems like POTH is no longer installed with the ASCOM Platform.


#iEXOS-100 in Stellarium always complaining about the mount being parked #iEXOS-100

deonb
 

How do I "unpark" the mount to use it in Stellarium?

NINA also gives me a message that the mount is parked, but it unparks it itself. However, Stellarium doesn't.

I tried unparking it in SharpCap, but it doesn't make Stellarium happy.

This is using the Stellarium Telescope Control plugin. I see there is some old comments on this thread using POTH instead, but it seems like POTH is no longer installed with the ASCOM Platform.


Re: Slew Errors #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Bob Trepiccione
 

I would try uninstalling ascom 6.5 and installing v6.4 instead.

I had issues with 6.5 that were resolved when I went to 6.4.

My issues were unrelated to yours, as they were device hub related,  but ya never know...



Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device


-------- Original message --------
From: Bob <drrtownsend@...>
Date: 9/3/20 5:07 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Slew Errors #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Of course, and it isn't battery powered, it is line powered to a 110 outlet.
--
Bob T
Mt. Pleasant, MI

EON 110
Meade LX 10
Exos2-PMC


Using the Exos-2 PMC Eight with Mac.

 

Hi everyone. I am using my Exos -2 with ExploreStars on my IPad which is great but I want to take it further especially for astrophotography. Can anybody help me with what I need to do to get started so I can use my Mac mini to run the mount and maybe do guiding. Jerry as mentioned that Ascom is not available for Mac but there is INDI and/or Ascom alpaca. I would love to use my Mac  from the house to power everything outside, that’s the dream. Wether WiFi or cable. Any help on how to get started would be gratefully received.  
--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Canon M50. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment.


iEXOS-100 slow slew rate in SharpCap

deonb
 
Edited

Having problems with SharpCap - the maximum rate I can set it to is 50x.

However, at 50x it moves at a rate of about 3 arcmins per second. So it will take 30 mins to rotate the head 90 degrees.

How can I get it to slew faster?

I can do a positional slew using NINA, and that works, but I can't do polar alignment in NINA.

#iEXOS-100

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