Date   

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. 


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

Steve
 

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: Polar alignment

alandebrut
 

Hi Ken,

Did you get around to writing the collimating procedure for the polar scope?
Regards

Alan

--
Explore Scientific:
Telscope AR102, F6.5
Exos 2, PMC8 (awaiting delivery)

Celestron
SE8 plus mount
Starsense

Canon 80D


Re: Slew Errors #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Bob
 

Well good news everyone, I think I have it.  There were indeed two problems.

1/ Although it worked fine when I mounted my camera, ATP seems to have changed Long from West to East.  I put it back.  
2/ I avoided doing a plate solve at the NCP.  I did one at Navi about 30 degrees away.  Then I slewed to M31, had to plate solve again and re slewed, Andromeda was in the tracking scope and in the main scope.  Just fined tuned it and was dead on. 

Finally have it working and was able to enjoy an evening of observing thanks to all of you.  Here is the result of 30 stacked and cleaned 60 second exposures...  Now I can fine tune my photoshop skills without struggling with the mount!


--
Bob T
Mt. Pleasant, MI

Orion EON 110//Exos2-PMC8
Meade LX 10" SCT (Pride of the 90's) with LX Drive/Alt-Az Push To
25 x 100 Astronomy Binoculars with Stand
ZWO 110 and 294

APT
Sharpcap
Stellarium


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

Mario
 

Hi Henry, we created a guide to help with this.
You'll need to join the group to access the link.

Regards,

Mario

On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 10:42 AM Henry Staub <hkstaub@...> 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


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


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
 

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


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

alandebrut
 

Hi,

I cant get my new mount working either, no noise or anything.

Just wondered, in the Explorestars app when you opened it did you get the 4 star compass in the left hand windowI I dont and I dont know why, but I can see the objects/database etc

But it just does not connect to the PMC8 so no movement from the mount whatsoever!

Thanks
Alan

On 4 Sep 2020, at 14:20, Joe Rigby via groups.io <p17mohitm@...> wrote:

Hi Tim, I am on Windows 10, and had put the database in the pictures folder. 

I restarted my computer, reset the wi-fi connection, then connected to the wi-fi of the PMC-Eight and then opened the ExploreStars app. The mount is now responding!
The problem it seems is that the PMC-Eight wi-fi needs to be connected before launching the ExploreStars app. If I launch the app first, and then connect to the PMC-Eight wi-fi, then it doesn't work

Thanks for the help! All good now.


--
Explore Scientific:
Telscope AR102, F6.5
Exos 2, PMC8 (awaiting delivery)

Celestron
SE8 plus mount
Starsense

Canon 80D


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

Joe Rigby
 

Hi Tim, I am on Windows 10, and had put the database in the pictures folder. 

I restarted my computer, reset the wi-fi connection, then connected to the wi-fi of the PMC-Eight and then opened the ExploreStars app. The mount is now responding!
The problem it seems is that the PMC-Eight wi-fi needs to be connected before launching the ExploreStars app. If I launch the app first, and then connect to the PMC-Eight wi-fi, then it doesn't work

Thanks for the help! All good now.


Re: EXOS2 PMC-Eight Polar Alignment issue.

Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Hey Bill,

I struggled for awhile to get the polar alignment routine down and it still beats me some of the time.

The key is not to get discouraged were all here to help you in any way we can. 

If your still having trouble you can send me a email at Tyler@...

I want you to succeed at this amazing journey. 


Re: Slew Errors #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Mike Leemhuis
 

Hi Bob,

I was reading that your scope goes in the wrong direction and I have to ask the obvious question:  Do you have your longitude set correctly?  I am at about the same longitude as you here in Kentucky and I have mine set to 84 degrees WEST longitude.  Is it possible that you have yours set to EAST?  Just want to rule out the easy things first.

Mike

--
Location: Nicholasville, KY
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF, Orion 60mm guidescope
Camera: QHY163C and QHY5L-ii
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Stellarium, Sharpcap Pro, NINA, Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom
Computer:  ASRock X570 Steel Legend, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3600Mhz
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed for improved usability


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

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