Date   

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

Harry
 

Thank you so much Jerry. That explains things perfectly.
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500


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

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

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

Thanks

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

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 04:07 PM, Harry wrote:
Last time I upgraded my iExos 100 firmware, I believe there is no B version. That B only applies to other PMC 8 mounts. Is this correct, and therefore the B version “fix” is not necessary for the 100? 
HI Harry,

The original 9TX version of the firmware delivered only applies to the G11 and EXOS2 (Model 2A circuit assembly - "big board") have the communications watchdog enabled. The 9TXa version has the communications watchdog disabled. When we released the iEXOS 100 I only offered the firmware with the communications watchdog disabled, as most people who owned the model 2A G11/EXOS2 weighed in on it and did not like it. 

It is important to note that the communications watchdog was designed to be an additional safety feature for the PMC-Eight system when using ExploreStars in case the tablet was shutdown, or if the user walked away from the mount with their tablet. When using ExploreStars, the system will pick right back up where it left off when reestablishing communications - it will slew to the current position of the target object even if the mount has been stopped for a while. Everyone needs to understand that this feature was in the context of the primary use-case for ExploreStars was for visual use at the mount, not for astrophotography.

The system will stop also when using the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver if the computer driving the mount goes into "screen saver" mode, or if it is disconnected (serial, or wifi). Most people using a computer to control the mount for astrophotography have their systems set to NOT sleep and any astrophotography session is an active process which maintains communication with the mount to query and obtain real-time position data with the mount via ASCOM. In this case, the communications watchdog being enabled is not an issue typically, and has not been an issue for those using it this way.

So bottom line, since we deliver the iEXOS 100 with the communications watchdog disabled, there has been no request to provide a version with it enabled, as everyone just expects it to keep tracking regardless. It is up to the user to decide how they want to use their mount. The additional detail here is that, as we taut in our literature, the system uses a safe stepper motor drive system that even if the equipment runs into an obstacle there will be no damage to the mount or equipment, it is still a safe system.

I think I will create a poll to see if anyone wants to have the additional safety of the communications watchdog for the iEXOS 100 mount and our mounts going forward.

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: New owner #EXOS2

Tim Huseby
 

I finally figured out how to add a signature.😁
--
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 owner #EXOS2

Tim Huseby
 
Edited

Thanks for the info Wes, I appreciate the welcome and advice.

Tim


Re: New owner #EXOS2

Wes Mcdonald
 

Welcome aboard TJH!

So we sort of like to know a bit about you, like a name.  If you add a signature section to your profile in groups.io that would help, as we would know what gear you have going forward.

I think you will find the folks here helpful and kind.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions as they come up.  

The search tool will help you research questions.  Most pmc8 questions you will have are not unique to you and will have been covered.  You might just be able to find the answer.  But if you can’t, please ask.  

The mount you bought can do an amazingly good job.  It just requires some patience and effort from you as you begin your journey in this great hobby.

Wes

On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 8:42 PM TJH Photography <Photographybytjh@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Hello all,

    I have ave searched for a new owner topic and could not find one so my apologies if this is a duplicate. After much research and thought I bought my first mount exos2gt pmc-8 new from explorer scientific. I am excited to try this mount I really like the load capacity of the mount to give me some growing room. I have been using a Celestron Newtonian and alt/az mount to view. I love the idea of wireless connection and being able to use Stellarium for GoTo, I will do unguided at first with an Olympus em1mkii and lenses up to 500mm until I can purchase a guide camera/scope and ultimately a camera for polar alignment/plate solving. 

Tim


--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


New owner #EXOS2

Tim Huseby
 
Edited

Hello all,

    I have ave searched for a new owner topic and could not find one so my apologies if this is a duplicate. After much research and thought I bought my first mount exos2gt pmc-8 new from explorer scientific. I am excited to try this mount I really like the load capacity of the mount to give me some growing room. I have been using a Celestron Newtonian and alt/az mount to view. I love the idea of wireless connection and being able to use Stellarium for GoTo, I will do unguided at first with an Olympus em1mkii and lenses up to 500mm until I can purchase a guide camera/scope and ultimately a camera for polar alignment/plate solving. 

Tim


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

Harry
 

Clarification Previous Question

Jerry, I believe what I, and others have called the “B” version, is actually the “Watchdog Disabled” version of the firmware update. Thanks,
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500


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

Harry
 

This is a question for Jerry regarding “B” firmware.

Jerry, I see people changing to the B firmware version to keep their mounts tracking if somehow ExploreStars were to enter a sleep mode. Example,  this conversation in using ASIair.  Last time I upgraded my iExos 100 firmware, I believe there is no B version. That B only applies to other PMC 8 mounts. Is this correct, and therefore the B version “fix” is not necessary for the 100? 
Thank you ,
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500


Re: ASIAIR PRO with PMC8-G11 review / first light...or night that is...

Omar Rahman
 

The iExos is listed in the drop down menu in the Asiair, along with the Exos2-PMC8 and the he G11. I’m assuming it will work fine. 


Wes, most nights I’m imaging in about 20 minutes. Everything fires up and works quickly and I can sit inside and control everything from a tablet. I was able to get Ascom, POTH, etc., set up when I first got the mount but haven’t bothered with any of that since. There is a limitation: only ZWO cameras and DSLRs. If you want to use other stuff, Stellarmate  works well. Same idea but more fiddling around and slightly less reliable. But Stellarmate also connects Exos with SkySafari and that is really cool when doing visual. Point your phone to a part of the sky and it just skews there with one touch. 

--

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


Re: ASIAIR PRO with PMC8-G11 review / first light...or night that is...

Luke
 

Hi James, I do not own one either, but I can confirm  that EXOS 100 is in the list of supported mounts of the ASIAIR Pro, so is the EXOS 2 GT  PMC-8. Since the 100 does not use a FTDI cable, it might be easier to connect I would say as you do not need any programming of cable.
Luke


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Matthew Krauft <mckrauft@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:53:20 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] ASIAIR PRO with PMC8-G11 review / first light...or night that is...
 
I believe so, although I don’t own an exos100. 

--
Mounts:       ES PMC-Eight G11 - upgraded with OPWB on both RA and DEC
                     EXOS-2 GT PMC-EIGHT
Scopes:       Televue NP127IS with HSM20 and focuser boss II - Questar field model 3.5 - Takahashi FC76 classic MC Starbase Tokyo edition - Takahashi FOA60Q - Zeiss telementor - Lomo Astele 150mm
Cameras:     ZWO ASI071 PRO
                     ZWO ASI 290
Misc:            Televue 0.8 X  Focal Reducer - ZWO ASIAIR-PRO
Eyepieces:  Pentax - Masuyama - Televue - Takahashi - Vixen
Software:     Starry night PRO 8  - Nebulosity - Topaz studio - Sharp cap


Re: ASIAIR PRO with PMC8-G11 review / first light...or night that is...

Wes Mcdonald
 

The iexos is pretty much identical firmware to the exos2. Should be fine.  Maybe there is an asiair person out there with an iexos to weigh in

You asiair people are starting to make me think maybe that is how to go!  Cool

We’d

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Re: ASIAIR PRO with PMC8-G11 review / first light...or night that is...

Matthew Krauft
 

I believe so, although I don’t own an exos100. 


Re: ASIAIR PRO with PMC8-G11 review / first light...or night that is...

James Ball
 

This sounds very interesting, does the ASIAIR Pro work well with the iEXOS-100 also? 
--
James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.


Re: How Do I Recover From a RN-131 FACTORY RESET? #EXOS2 #G11 #TECHNICAL

zeccax@...
 

Hi Wes, 
1) thanks for that, I hope it will fix when my pmc8 wifi unit get fixed. 
2) that's what me and Jerry were talking about. settings can bet set in command mode, but as Jerry stated you can't go in command mode with the serial cable cause it's a rn131 thing and I don't have access to it.

I'm waiting for an answer about hardware reset so maybe the rn131 can start again and I can set it.

Filippo 


Re: Switching wifi/serial on android

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 05:26 PM, Omar Rahman wrote:
thanks for suggesting the procedure for switching wifi/serial in the field without a computer
HI Omar,  I am glad you were able to make use of that tip. Anything to help everyone use the PMC-Eight as they like! (within reason, LOL!)
 
--
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: Switching wifi/serial on android

Omar Rahman
 
Edited

Hi Luke,
The problem I was having was before autorun. The mount would stop tracking during preview etc. Since I switched to b firmware it has worked flawlessly. Both the original Asiair and the Pro. 


Thanks for the tip!

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


Re: Comments about the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight on CloudyNights #EXOS2

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 09:48 AM, Patrick Maher wrote:
f you are going to need to name another new mount in the future, please do not use the name of a previous mount in the naming nomenclature.  Using the EXOS2-GT naming nomenclature in the PMC-8 version's name has seriously confused everyone who knows to avoid the original EXOS2-GT. 
Hi Patrick,

Thank you for your thoughts on this. Just to let everyone know, I have been chastised in the past for notifying the moderators about certain comments from other vendors basically bad mouthing our equipment, but these comments in this instance did not rise to that level in my opinion. I very much appreciate and have seen where our customers respond on CloudyNights to share their experiences with our equipment, just as on this forum. The prohibition against vendors replying on threads that are not on the Vendor forum on CN is basically about not "promoting" your equipment. The moderators on CN have interpreted that to also mean "defending" against misinformation. I have been dinged for this a couple of times, so now I tend to not respond at all.

As far as the naming of our mounts, yes, we have already done as you suggest. We will be releasing more mounts in the future.
The EXOS II (EXOS 2) PMC-Eight mount will be phased out in the future... You can expect to see the replacement by the end of the year.
 
Thanks again everyone for your support.
--
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: Comments about the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight on CloudyNights #EXOS2

 

Patrick,
 
The CN rule would have been in their Terms of Service, section #VI.  It's a tiny little link, lower right on the home page.  Not easy to spot, but it's there.
 
I did go over to Mr. Thomas's web site to investigate, and he appears to sell  fairly high end gear, plus a hypertune service for other mounts. So he did not appear to be a reseller of the other mount being discussed. 
 
Once I'd checked both of those things, I realized that while his posts were pretty annoying, they also didn't look like a clearcut TOS violation to me.
 
He was just a guy with a strongly-held opinion based on some incorrect assumptions.  But he had expertise in premium equipment, so that gave him cred.  Possibly because of that, BobZ who does a lot of recommendations on CN, stayed with the thread to the end... (check out the 'likes').  
 
That was interesting, because Mr. T., while a pretty frustrating guy, willingly changed his opinions when evidence appeared, that crossed his 'proof' threshold.
 
By the time we got to the end, a thread that started out badly had turned into a string of endorsements, not just from those of us that posted, but from Mr. T. as well.  IMO, that will probably count for something in future threads.  


- 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: Comments about the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight on CloudyNights #EXOS2

Patrick Maher
 
Edited

I'm not sure which rule of the Cloudy Nights forum Jerry is referring to about Vendors not being allowed to comment on products but, there is an obvious downside to doing so.  For example, I now have no desire to ever purchase anything from that clown in that Cloudy Nights thread.  THIS is the biggest problem with vendors running their mouths.  It could/would hurt them more than it would help anyone or themselves. 

That vendor wasn't even close in his assessment of the EXOS2-GT PMC-8 at the beginning of the thread.  Then, he just dug himself into a deeper hole in subsequent comments.  As has been mentioned, he did back off a bit and concede on a few points by the end of the thread though.  That was only thanks to those from this forum who chimed in to correct him and give the rest of the community some additional and accurate info.

Regardless of rules, Jerry was wise to keep from getting involved in that thread.  And, thank you to those who did get involved to correctly inform that particular vendor.

On a related note...  Please, please, please, to Explore Scientific...  if you are going to need to name another new mount in the future, please do not use the name of a previous mount in the naming nomenclature.  Using the EXOS2-GT naming nomenclature in the PMC-8 version's name has seriously confused everyone who knows to avoid the original EXOS2-GT.  If you happen to release a new version of the EXOS2-GT PMC-8, please drop the EXOS2 and replace it with EXOS3 or similar.  If a completely new mount that has a heavier capacity, use the iEXOS naming convention and maybe make it an iEXOS-11 or similar.  Because of the reputation of the original Bresser EXOS2-GT, the EXOS2-GT name should never have been used wholly.  Even adding an "i" prefix would have been better if there was a licensing condition stating the EXOS2 name must be included.  

On another note to Explore Scientific...  It is obvious to everyone who frequents astronomy forums (fora) that there is an abundance of bad feelings about the EXOS2-GT in the community that carries over to neverending advice to avoid this mount like the plague.  More often than not, the people recommending this are confusing the PMC-8 mount with the original Bresser EXOS2.  I would recommend producing a series of promotional videos, each highlighting a different feature of the EXOS2-GT PMC-8.    I seem to remember a nice promo video for the iEXOS-100 that was similar to most camera promotional videos.  I liked that promo.  These videos should be short and feature the mount only, no human other than an appropriate voice-over when necessary.  YouTube and the forums need to be bombarded with these promotional videos to bring new attention and interest to this mount.  Actually, if you create a number of nice short but slick promo videos and promote them effectively in YouTube, I know they will quickly find their way to just about every forum online one way or another.  Perhaps then the common perception of this poor, misunderstood mount would change in a positive way.  

Patrick
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100 and EXOS-2GT (non-PMC)
Explore Scientific ED 102mm Refractor

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