Date   

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

Steve
 

Fantastic pictures, thanks for sharing!


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

jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

Thank you Jeff,


In an hour or two, I plan on picking up some coffee cakes.


I hadn't done sweets in a while.


JR




-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Astrophotography done with the iEXOS-100 and EXOS 2 post your picture and details lets show what this mount can do. #iexos-100 #EXOS2 #astrophotography
From: Jeff Snell
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io
CC:

Fantastic images JR.  Wish I could make “coffee cake” that looked that good!

Jeff


On Sep 6, 2020, at 7:26 AM, jrichard333 <jrichard333@...> <jrichard333@...> wrote:



Good day all,

 

I am closing out the trilogy for planetary season 2020.  I will spend the remainder of the

season attempting to capture Venus, Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus.

 

Targets:  Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. 

Camera:  Canon 70D

Mount:  iEXOS-100/ ST3

Dates:  July through August of 2020

Scope:  Sky-Watcher 180mm Maksutov

Focal length:   5400mm

Focal Ratio:  30

Video captures:  2 to7-minutes

Software:  PIPP, AutoStakkr 3.0, Registax, FastStone,

                  TOPAZ Denoise AI, GIMP, and a lot of

                   prayer

 

Mars:  Looks like a coffee cake.  Every time I look at this image

I get hungry.

<image001.jpg>

 

Saturn

<image002.jpg>

 

Jupiter

<image003.jpg>

 

JR

 


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
 

Fantastic images JR.  Wish I could make “coffee cake” that looked that good!

Jeff


On Sep 6, 2020, at 7:26 AM, jrichard333 <jrichard333@...> <jrichard333@...> wrote:



Good day all,

 

I am closing out the trilogy for planetary season 2020.  I will spend the remainder of the

season attempting to capture Venus, Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus.

 

Targets:  Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. 

Camera:  Canon 70D

Mount:  iEXOS-100/ ST3

Dates:  July through August of 2020

Scope:  Sky-Watcher 180mm Maksutov

Focal length:   5400mm

Focal Ratio:  30

Video captures:  2 to7-minutes

Software:  PIPP, AutoStakkr 3.0, Registax, FastStone,

                  TOPAZ Denoise AI, GIMP, and a lot of

                   prayer

 

Mars:  Looks like a coffee cake.  Every time I look at this image

I get hungry.

<image001.jpg>

 

Saturn

<image002.jpg>

 

Jupiter

<image003.jpg>

 

JR

 


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

jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

Good day all,

 

I am closing out the trilogy for planetary season 2020.  I will spend the remainder of the

season attempting to capture Venus, Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus.

 

Targets:  Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. 

Camera:  Canon 70D

Mount:  iEXOS-100/ ST3

Dates:  July through August of 2020

Scope:  Sky-Watcher 180mm Maksutov

Focal length:   5400mm

Focal Ratio:  30

Video captures:  2 to7-minutes

Software:  PIPP, AutoStakkr 3.0, Registax, FastStone,

                  TOPAZ Denoise AI, GIMP, and a lot of

                   prayer

 

Mars:  Looks like a coffee cake.  Every time I look at this image

I get hungry.

 

Saturn

 

Jupiter

 

JR

 


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

W.F.
 

Hello i have also a cent to give.
APT (Astro Photography Tool) has a Driftalignment Tool.
When you start ATP then click on the right side the button Tools,
Then chose at the list the button DARV and a new window pops up.
follow the advices there to set your altutute and azimuth.
The Tool will took a picture and move your mount in one direktion faster and then back.
At the picture you will see the star made a V-line. This you have to correct till the tool shows a picture with an straigt line.

If you bring your laptop out to use PHD2 so you can also use the APT.
For me i dont can bring my laptop out because i need the power from the wire.
So i use for guiding the MGEN2 that is a standalone guider what i can use without an pc.
But i have not jet figure out how to do a polalignment with it.
But i guess with my new azimut adapter for my iEXOS 100 it will work better when i correct the azimuth.
Greetings Wolfgang.


Twilight Heavy Duty Tripod (Black)

W.F.
 

Hello everybody,
yesterday I got my Twilight Heavy Duty Tripod (Black).
Now I have a question.
Is there always a counterweight bar for counterweights?
But it doesn't fit my iEXOS 100.
Or was it just packed in the wrong box?
The tripod is very well made and is also very stable, so old man I can hold on to it when I want to get up from the camping stool.
Together with the iEXOS 100, the whole thing makes a very good overall impression. I am very satisfied, thanks for the great product.
Greetings from Germany, Wolfgang.

(translated by google)


Re: G11 slewing past meridian pointing to the ground...

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 07:51 PM, Steve Lang wrote:
I've had no problems like this in the past at all that I can remember.

Any idea what might have gone wrong? Could it be a bug/condition that I
triggered (because I'm in southern hemisphere)?
Wes emailed about this, here is how I responded:
 
"The problem is not the meridian flip done at zenith. All the mount cares about is what side of the meridian it is on, it doesn’t give a hoot about where DEC is. The problem here is related to the plate solve when near the meridian.

I have talked about this at least 2 times in the forum when people run into it. What happens is that if you are near the meridian and the mount is slewed to an object which the mount thinks is currently on the east of the meridian (which it is). You take an image of the sky, and the pointing is off enough where the current position is west of the meridian. The pointing was off enough from where the mount thought it was. In this case, as soon as you do a plate solve and a SYNC, you now tell the mount, “hey, you are actually west of the meridian!” and calculates the motor counts according to that position. The problem is created at that point.

The calculation of the motor counts depends on which side of the meridian you are on of course for both RA and DEC. So now the mount is 180-deg out of phase (the motor counts) so when you go to slew to the object again, it will point the mount to the ground.  My advise on the forum is to never do an initial plate solve on an object within 10 arc-minutes of the Meridian.

You must make sure that any object you are pointed at in the sky and you have photographed is actually on the side of the Meridian that the telescope is pointed at before doing a SYNC."

--
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!


G11 slewing past meridian pointing to the ground...

Steve Lang
 

Hey Tyler.


I experienced something very very very similar to Bob's problem from the
message with the subject "Slew Errors #EXOS2 #ExploreStars" but with my
PMC-8 G11 a few nights ago.

- I have Lat/Long set right, been using the current setup for over a
year now (I am in Southern Hemisphere)
- Haven't yet tried an automated meridian flip, but slewing to targets
either side of the meridian has been working fine so far
- I use NINA (1.10, with hot fix #1), PHD2, Ascom 6.4SP1, latest release
Ascom driver and latest mount firmware
- PA was good enough - G11 on tripod but in observatory so haven't had
to revisit that in a long time

I was locating Cat's Paw Neb (RA 17:20:50.89, -36d 06'54.0", which at
that time was very high (Az/Alt: +288d 44'53.9" /+87d 48'36.7"). Used
NINA to platesolve, sync, move etc. Usual stuff that has been working
well for me, and the same as what I used to do with APT (which Bob used).

What seemed to happen is that the mount didn't get close enough first
time (not surprising, I had re-balanced and loosened clutches etc.),
platesolved, sync'd with mount driver, then tried to make a slight
adjustment then slew to a better place.

It seems that the scope was originally on the wrong side of the
meridian, and needed to re-slew was across the meridian. It started this
process by rotating the scope around DEC towards the ground! Luckily I
was in the obs, and hit the panic (power) switch before the cables were
tangled around the mount. It was a close thing, quite disconcerting.
Very much so, has dented my trust.


The reason I mention the link to Bob's message ("Slew Errors #EXOS2
#ExploreStars") as it seems very similar. Close to meridian (in my case
zenith), platesove (which would normally send a sync to the mount), then
an instruction to move to a new place. In both our cases, it seems like
the mount rotated (DEC)

Now I haven't yet managed to get any debug logs from ascom or NINA that
relate to this (not sure I can...) and I'm not keen to repeat the
exercise. Unlike in Bob's case, I'm sure all my software settings are
fine, but the solve/sync near zenith, followed by a move to a new
absolute co-ordinate seems to have been problematic at this time.

I've had no problems like this in the past at all that I can remember.

Any idea what might have gone wrong? Could it be a bug/condition that I
triggered (because I'm in southern hemisphere)?


Cheers -




______________________________________________________________________________

This email has been filtered by SMX.
For more information visit http://smxemail.com
______________________________________________________________________________



--
*Mounts:* ES PMC-8 G11, Orion Atlas
*Scopes:* ES FCD100-80, GSO RC8, Orion XT10i
*Cameras:* QHY 8L, QHY163m, QHY5L-II, Polemaster
*Misc:* QHY FW, OAG
*Software:* NINA, PixInsight


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

Henry Staub
 

WOW:

Great job Mario. You did above and beyond.

Here is what I have going on:   I reprogrammed the FTDI chip to set DTR = 0; I plug it in to the ASIAir controller and bring up ASI's application.  I have it the set to my home network and 115200 baud. .I then move the radio button. Nuttin!@#$  Like it still will not connect.  Grrrr.

Question where is mini usb port on EXOS2? I guess I am missing it.  I see from images of the EXOS-100 that there is one. But I am not sure about the EXOS2 as all the connections AFAIK are on the silver box.  So, another thread to pull.

We will get there.  My most humble thanks.

Hank


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

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 10:42 AM, Henry Staub wrote:
Would you please help me or suggest someone who can.  I need to figure out how to connect my EXOS2 to ASIAir Pro.I can get the camera to work but no connection to mount.  It is connected to the ASIAir Pro using the FTDI cable that links back to the ASIAIR unit.

Your kind help would be appreciated.

Henry Staub
Hi Henry,

You already started another message thread about this, this message is off topic for this thread. 
I would remind members to refrain from hijacking a message thread with unrelated content.

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: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

 

Thank you Wes. 


On 5 Sep 2020, at 15:43, Jason Colbeck <jasonacolbeck@...> wrote:


Nice write up.  I allways got perfect alignment with my CG4 & polar scope,,regularly got 3 to 5 mins exposure just tracking in RA at 420mm focal length. 20 mins when guiding, the clock face reticle makes it so easy to align,,The reticle in the exos-2 , is unfamiliar ,I'm going to replace it with a eq5 train track/ clockface one if it fits. I would like to try polar alignment using my guide scope & sharpcap but I haven't made the plunge yet. The exos-2 is new to me & I'm still learning my way around it,  But It has great potential & I love it so far. Hopefully its dark tonight so I can try aligning with the guide cam. 
It's all good 😃

On Fri, 4 Sep 2020, 21:57 Wes Mcdonald, <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
So I want to just make a point or two that might help.  

I cannot advise you on using the polar scope except to say don’t bother.  Get something else  which I will recommend below.  Life is too short to be messing with that danged little scope on your hands and knees.  If you are bound and determined to use it for heavens sake watch some you tube videos about it. There are
Many out there. And don’t forget to get the thing collimated to the ra axis per internet videos.  Bill, any mount that has a polar scope has the same issue for a user.  If you want to use a polar scope you just have to figure it out.  But you can buy your way out as I will show below.

If/when you get your RA axis polar aligned, which in the end you do using your altitude and azimuth adjustment bolts, you must return the mount to ra and dec polar home position before turning on the pmc8. You find out where polar home is for your mount by executing the procedure I documented in a document that is found in the files section of the mounts sub group.  

If you are going to not use a virtual alignment in explorestars, your mount must be level for your gotos to be correct even after you get a good mechanical polar alignment.

PSAlign pro has been mentioned.  It works wonders in an iPhone.  Yes you have to make sure the compass calibration is correct.  Be sure your phone compass is set for true north not magnetic.  This is also true if you are finding north with a regular compass.  You must remove the magnetic declination for your area to point the compass to true north.

Calibrate the phone compass by using the figure eight rotation method.  My app tells me when the compass calibration is poor.

PSAlign pro is used with the phone sitting in the  telescope saddle bottom down, face to the sky.  You need to make a jig to achieve this.  Mike lemhious has made 3D printed design for achieving this which you can download and send off for fabrication to a place like 3D hubs or a friend with a 3D printer.  He has. Aeolus posts about it with links.   But it’s easy to make up something out of some wood.  Just be sure the axes of the tray you make is square to the saddle etc so the phone is pointing dead along the line of sight.

When you use PSAlign pro do not have the motors on the mount turned on.  They generate a terrific magnetic field that will ruin you.

With the phone in your cradle and PSAlign pro running make sure you have you mount in polar home.  Then you adjust the az and alt bolts until the cross hair is centered.  When it is you are pretty good polar aligned.

So the above is one way that costs little and works pretty good   If you don’t mind spending some money you can get almost perfectly polar aligned using an electronic device that fastens onto your scope ra axis.  There are two out there, ipolar from ioptron or a polemaster.  You can look them up.   I use a polemaster because I had it to polar align my Meade lx200gps on wedge mount.  It works
Very well and you will be polar aligned to a high degree.  If your mount is level and your polar home positions are good you will get excellent gotos after your first sync.  No need for virtual alignment with the explorestars app.  These devices cost about the same as a great eyepiece.  For me it is an easy decision to spend the cash to facilitate all the rest.  And since you polar align every time you go out you amortize that cost over many uses.  And that is cost against all the lost time and the aggravation of trying to use the polar scope each time.  There isn’t enough dark sky
Time to waste fooling around with polar alignment.   With polemaster or ipolar you will be polar aligned in a few minutes.  And never be on your hands and knees.  Sound good?


If you are going to use exorestars by all means use the 2-3 star alignment for visual use.  It will correct for polar alignment errors, level errors and ra home errors.  I suggest you get your polar home correct tho and this will make your gotos better.

If you are imaging with explorestars you better be at very short focal length.  The virtual polar alignment only keeps the pointing in track during P mode (point mode).    It this mode basically points the scope 5 times a second so there will be jitters noticeable if the fl is much longer than a couple of hundred mm.

If you run explorestars in T mode (track) the mount only goes along in ra.  So basically the 2-3 star alignment is not used.  So you are probably stuck with PMode unless you guide.

So that is my two cents.  If you have the money and insist on great polar alignment get an ipolar or a polemaster.   If not try to get yourself set up with PSAlign pro. Baring that do short focal length exposures with explorestars in P mode.  Or some mix with guiding.

Or you can fight through figuring out polar alignment with a polar scope.  People do get good at it.   

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


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


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
 

Jeff:

You have got it going on brother!

wes


On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 8:32 PM Jeff Snell <Jeffery.snell1@...> wrote:
Folks,
This is some cool scheisse! I love this hobby and this gear!!!  For those having issues, plow through them.  I had the exact same issues and Explore Scientific was there every step of the way as were many other on this forum!  I've been doing this for about a year now and am just finally feeling somewhat comfortable with the outcome with still a long way to go.  Stay patient.  The rewards are truly amazing!  

Attached is the Western Veil Nebula and Pickering's Triangle.  Taken last night in North Ogden, Utah.  Bortles 5-6, 90% moon illumination.  Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker.  Processed in Photoshop following step by step Trevor Jones' Astrobackyard Photoshop tutorial on Youtube.  

30 Lights (3200 ISO, 240s Exposure)
20 Darks
20 Lights
20 Bias

Gear:
EXOS 2GT/PMC-Eight (serial)
ES ED 80MM APO Refractor
Canon T5i (astro modified)
Optolong L-Enhance Dual Narrowband Filter
Field Flattener

Programs:
ASCOM POTH Hub, Polemaster, CdC, APT, PHD2, Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop w/Astrophoto plug ins

Clear skies everybody!
Jeff

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


On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 8:11 PM Jeff snell <jeffery.snell1@...> wrote:
Veil Nebula processed in Photoshop.  Bortles 5-6.  Mount tracked nicely the entire time.  PHD2 total error no more than about .4 for 2 hours of shoot time.

60 Lights (ISO 3200, 120s)
20 Darks
20 Flats
20 Bias

Jeff

PMC-Eight w/Explore Stars
ES ED80mm APO
Celestron 8" Edge HD
Canon Ti-5 w/ Spencer Camera Astro-mod
Optolong L-Enhance Dual Narrowband Filter


On Sun, Aug 9, 2020 at 4:45 PM Jennifer Shelly via groups.io <drunkendogg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here is my North American & Pelican Nebulas from last night (08/08/2020).

NGC 7000 ~ North America & Pelican Nebulas
08/08/2020 @ AstroPorch, VA

QHY 128C @ -10C
Gain: 3200
Offset: 80

10 Lights @ 300s
5 Darks @ 300s
50 Bias @ 0s
10 Flats @ 0.68s
10 Dark Flats @ 0.68s

ES 127 FCD-100
ES 3" FF/0.7x FR
ML CFL Focuser with Hi-Res Stepper
Optolong 2' L-enHance Filter
ES PMC-8 G-11

NINA Nightly
PHD2 Guiding
PixInsight 1.8.8-5 / PCL 2.1.20


--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, QHY Mini Guide Scope, Solomark F60 Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY600M, QHY128C, QHY168C
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance, QHY CFW3-L, Baader 2” LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


--
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: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Jason Colbeck
 

Nice write up.  I allways got perfect alignment with my CG4 & polar scope,,regularly got 3 to 5 mins exposure just tracking in RA at 420mm focal length. 20 mins when guiding, the clock face reticle makes it so easy to align,,The reticle in the exos-2 , is unfamiliar ,I'm going to replace it with a eq5 train track/ clockface one if it fits. I would like to try polar alignment using my guide scope & sharpcap but I haven't made the plunge yet. The exos-2 is new to me & I'm still learning my way around it,  But It has great potential & I love it so far. Hopefully its dark tonight so I can try aligning with the guide cam. 
It's all good 😃

On Fri, 4 Sep 2020, 21:57 Wes Mcdonald, <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
So I want to just make a point or two that might help.  

I cannot advise you on using the polar scope except to say don’t bother.  Get something else  which I will recommend below.  Life is too short to be messing with that danged little scope on your hands and knees.  If you are bound and determined to use it for heavens sake watch some you tube videos about it. There are
Many out there. And don’t forget to get the thing collimated to the ra axis per internet videos.  Bill, any mount that has a polar scope has the same issue for a user.  If you want to use a polar scope you just have to figure it out.  But you can buy your way out as I will show below.

If/when you get your RA axis polar aligned, which in the end you do using your altitude and azimuth adjustment bolts, you must return the mount to ra and dec polar home position before turning on the pmc8. You find out where polar home is for your mount by executing the procedure I documented in a document that is found in the files section of the mounts sub group.  

If you are going to not use a virtual alignment in explorestars, your mount must be level for your gotos to be correct even after you get a good mechanical polar alignment.

PSAlign pro has been mentioned.  It works wonders in an iPhone.  Yes you have to make sure the compass calibration is correct.  Be sure your phone compass is set for true north not magnetic.  This is also true if you are finding north with a regular compass.  You must remove the magnetic declination for your area to point the compass to true north.

Calibrate the phone compass by using the figure eight rotation method.  My app tells me when the compass calibration is poor.

PSAlign pro is used with the phone sitting in the  telescope saddle bottom down, face to the sky.  You need to make a jig to achieve this.  Mike lemhious has made 3D printed design for achieving this which you can download and send off for fabrication to a place like 3D hubs or a friend with a 3D printer.  He has. Aeolus posts about it with links.   But it’s easy to make up something out of some wood.  Just be sure the axes of the tray you make is square to the saddle etc so the phone is pointing dead along the line of sight.

When you use PSAlign pro do not have the motors on the mount turned on.  They generate a terrific magnetic field that will ruin you.

With the phone in your cradle and PSAlign pro running make sure you have you mount in polar home.  Then you adjust the az and alt bolts until the cross hair is centered.  When it is you are pretty good polar aligned.

So the above is one way that costs little and works pretty good   If you don’t mind spending some money you can get almost perfectly polar aligned using an electronic device that fastens onto your scope ra axis.  There are two out there, ipolar from ioptron or a polemaster.  You can look them up.   I use a polemaster because I had it to polar align my Meade lx200gps on wedge mount.  It works
Very well and you will be polar aligned to a high degree.  If your mount is level and your polar home positions are good you will get excellent gotos after your first sync.  No need for virtual alignment with the explorestars app.  These devices cost about the same as a great eyepiece.  For me it is an easy decision to spend the cash to facilitate all the rest.  And since you polar align every time you go out you amortize that cost over many uses.  And that is cost against all the lost time and the aggravation of trying to use the polar scope each time.  There isn’t enough dark sky
Time to waste fooling around with polar alignment.   With polemaster or ipolar you will be polar aligned in a few minutes.  And never be on your hands and knees.  Sound good?


If you are going to use exorestars by all means use the 2-3 star alignment for visual use.  It will correct for polar alignment errors, level errors and ra home errors.  I suggest you get your polar home correct tho and this will make your gotos better.

If you are imaging with explorestars you better be at very short focal length.  The virtual polar alignment only keeps the pointing in track during P mode (point mode).    It this mode basically points the scope 5 times a second so there will be jitters noticeable if the fl is much longer than a couple of hundred mm.

If you run explorestars in T mode (track) the mount only goes along in ra.  So basically the 2-3 star alignment is not used.  So you are probably stuck with PMode unless you guide.

So that is my two cents.  If you have the money and insist on great polar alignment get an ipolar or a polemaster.   If not try to get yourself set up with PSAlign pro. Baring that do short focal length exposures with explorestars in P mode.  Or some mix with guiding.

Or you can fight through figuring out polar alignment with a polar scope.  People do get good at it.   

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

Jeff Snell
 

Folks,
This is some cool scheisse! I love this hobby and this gear!!!  For those having issues, plow through them.  I had the exact same issues and Explore Scientific was there every step of the way as were many other on this forum!  I've been doing this for about a year now and am just finally feeling somewhat comfortable with the outcome with still a long way to go.  Stay patient.  The rewards are truly amazing!  

Attached is the Western Veil Nebula and Pickering's Triangle.  Taken last night in North Ogden, Utah.  Bortles 5-6, 90% moon illumination.  Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker.  Processed in Photoshop following step by step Trevor Jones' Astrobackyard Photoshop tutorial on Youtube.  

30 Lights (3200 ISO, 240s Exposure)
20 Darks
20 Lights
20 Bias

Gear:
EXOS 2GT/PMC-Eight (serial)
ES ED 80MM APO Refractor
Canon T5i (astro modified)
Optolong L-Enhance Dual Narrowband Filter
Field Flattener

Programs:
ASCOM POTH Hub, Polemaster, CdC, APT, PHD2, Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop w/Astrophoto plug ins

Clear skies everybody!
Jeff

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


On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 8:11 PM Jeff snell <jeffery.snell1@...> wrote:
Veil Nebula processed in Photoshop.  Bortles 5-6.  Mount tracked nicely the entire time.  PHD2 total error no more than about .4 for 2 hours of shoot time.

60 Lights (ISO 3200, 120s)
20 Darks
20 Flats
20 Bias

Jeff

PMC-Eight w/Explore Stars
ES ED80mm APO
Celestron 8" Edge HD
Canon Ti-5 w/ Spencer Camera Astro-mod
Optolong L-Enhance Dual Narrowband Filter


On Sun, Aug 9, 2020 at 4:45 PM Jennifer Shelly via groups.io <drunkendogg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here is my North American & Pelican Nebulas from last night (08/08/2020).

NGC 7000 ~ North America & Pelican Nebulas
08/08/2020 @ AstroPorch, VA

QHY 128C @ -10C
Gain: 3200
Offset: 80

10 Lights @ 300s
5 Darks @ 300s
50 Bias @ 0s
10 Flats @ 0.68s
10 Dark Flats @ 0.68s

ES 127 FCD-100
ES 3" FF/0.7x FR
ML CFL Focuser with Hi-Res Stepper
Optolong 2' L-enHance Filter
ES PMC-8 G-11

NINA Nightly
PHD2 Guiding
PixInsight 1.8.8-5 / PCL 2.1.20


--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, QHY Mini Guide Scope, Solomark F60 Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY600M, QHY128C, QHY168C
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance, QHY CFW3-L, Baader 2” LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Wes Mcdonald
 

So I want to just make a point or two that might help.  

I cannot advise you on using the polar scope except to say don’t bother.  Get something else  which I will recommend below.  Life is too short to be messing with that danged little scope on your hands and knees.  If you are bound and determined to use it for heavens sake watch some you tube videos about it. There are
Many out there. And don’t forget to get the thing collimated to the ra axis per internet videos.  Bill, any mount that has a polar scope has the same issue for a user.  If you want to use a polar scope you just have to figure it out.  But you can buy your way out as I will show below.

If/when you get your RA axis polar aligned, which in the end you do using your altitude and azimuth adjustment bolts, you must return the mount to ra and dec polar home position before turning on the pmc8. You find out where polar home is for your mount by executing the procedure I documented in a document that is found in the files section of the mounts sub group.  

If you are going to not use a virtual alignment in explorestars, your mount must be level for your gotos to be correct even after you get a good mechanical polar alignment.

PSAlign pro has been mentioned.  It works wonders in an iPhone.  Yes you have to make sure the compass calibration is correct.  Be sure your phone compass is set for true north not magnetic.  This is also true if you are finding north with a regular compass.  You must remove the magnetic declination for your area to point the compass to true north.

Calibrate the phone compass by using the figure eight rotation method.  My app tells me when the compass calibration is poor.

PSAlign pro is used with the phone sitting in the  telescope saddle bottom down, face to the sky.  You need to make a jig to achieve this.  Mike lemhious has made 3D printed design for achieving this which you can download and send off for fabrication to a place like 3D hubs or a friend with a 3D printer.  He has. Aeolus posts about it with links.   But it’s easy to make up something out of some wood.  Just be sure the axes of the tray you make is square to the saddle etc so the phone is pointing dead along the line of sight.

When you use PSAlign pro do not have the motors on the mount turned on.  They generate a terrific magnetic field that will ruin you.

With the phone in your cradle and PSAlign pro running make sure you have you mount in polar home.  Then you adjust the az and alt bolts until the cross hair is centered.  When it is you are pretty good polar aligned.

So the above is one way that costs little and works pretty good   If you don’t mind spending some money you can get almost perfectly polar aligned using an electronic device that fastens onto your scope ra axis.  There are two out there, ipolar from ioptron or a polemaster.  You can look them up.   I use a polemaster because I had it to polar align my Meade lx200gps on wedge mount.  It works
Very well and you will be polar aligned to a high degree.  If your mount is level and your polar home positions are good you will get excellent gotos after your first sync.  No need for virtual alignment with the explorestars app.  These devices cost about the same as a great eyepiece.  For me it is an easy decision to spend the cash to facilitate all the rest.  And since you polar align every time you go out you amortize that cost over many uses.  And that is cost against all the lost time and the aggravation of trying to use the polar scope each time.  There isn’t enough dark sky
Time to waste fooling around with polar alignment.   With polemaster or ipolar you will be polar aligned in a few minutes.  And never be on your hands and knees.  Sound good?


If you are going to use exorestars by all means use the 2-3 star alignment for visual use.  It will correct for polar alignment errors, level errors and ra home errors.  I suggest you get your polar home correct tho and this will make your gotos better.

If you are imaging with explorestars you better be at very short focal length.  The virtual polar alignment only keeps the pointing in track during P mode (point mode).    It this mode basically points the scope 5 times a second so there will be jitters noticeable if the fl is much longer than a couple of hundred mm.

If you run explorestars in T mode (track) the mount only goes along in ra.  So basically the 2-3 star alignment is not used.  So you are probably stuck with PMode unless you guide.

So that is my two cents.  If you have the money and insist on great polar alignment get an ipolar or a polemaster.   If not try to get yourself set up with PSAlign pro. Baring that do short focal length exposures with explorestars in P mode.  Or some mix with guiding.

Or you can fight through figuring out polar alignment with a polar scope.  People do get good at it.   

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: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

 

Hi guys. Gonna be nervous when the mount arrives and I take it out. Hope all my problems are solved. Bill I really do hope it all works for you. 


On 4 Sep 2020, at 20:22, Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service <Tyler@...> wrote:


Perfect bill let me know. 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Kinnair via groups.io <kinnawill@...>
Sent: Friday, September 4, 2020 1:55 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.
 
Thank you Tyler I will definitely chuck some questions at you if I need to. Looks like I might have a gap in the sky tonight so going to test a few ideas I'll get back if I have success. 

Thanks Bill
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.

Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Perfect bill let me know. 


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Kinnair via groups.io <kinnawill@...>
Sent: Friday, September 4, 2020 1:55 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.
 
Thank you Tyler I will definitely chuck some questions at you if I need to. Looks like I might have a gap in the sky tonight so going to test a few ideas I'll get back if I have success. 

Thanks Bill
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.

 

Thank you Tyler I will definitely chuck some questions at you if I need to. Looks like I might have a gap in the sky tonight so going to test a few ideas I'll get back if I have success. 

Thanks Bill
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-GT PMC8 new user questions #EXOS2 #FIRMWARE #windows10 #iPadOS

Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

1.You only way to update the firmware is through the serial.

2. you can always update the firmware regardless wifi or what ever way you have it hooked up as long as you have it connected through Serial to the computer.

3. all you will need is the configuration manager, unless your using a MAC or Linux.

If there is anything else please let me know.


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of fxdc92 via groups.io <fxdc92@...>
Sent: Friday, September 4, 2020 1:16 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2-GT PMC8 new user questions #EXOS2 #FIRMWARE #windows10 #iPadOS
 
Hello everyone,

I should have my new EXOS2-GT PMC8 tomorrow (Saturday, 9/5/2020). While I wait for the mount i have been reviewing all available documentation and videos available. I have also joined this group and review each topic every day that I can. I have downloaded ExplorStars and have placed the database in my "Pictures" folder. I have also installed the PMC8 ASCOM drivers on my Windows10 PC. I will be using my iPad Pro with ExplorStars initially to test to ensure the system works

I have a few questions: 

1. All of the documentation and videos that i have read and viewed state that the firmware of the PMC8 controller can only be updated via a hardwired serial cable (using the FTDI chipset), is this still the case (cannot update firmware via direct WiFi connection)?
I do have the proper cable, I just want to ensure that I upgrade the firmware (when needed) the proper way. 

2. If the above question is true, I am assuming the PMC8 controller must be put into serial mode using a direct WiFi connection first using the PMC Configuration Manager program before firmware updates can be done - correct? 
2a. When the firmware updates are completed and I want to go back to using WiFi, I use the Configuration Manager (mount now connected using serial) to send the WiFi command to the controller?

3. The Configuration Manager program replaces the need for any additional terminal programs ? (Putty, etc)

Thanks for all of the support!
Steve


Re: Slew Errors #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Great news and go enjoy that mount and have fun, 

It's Exciting to hear  a successful story from another customer.