Date   

Re: RA Stiction

W. Christopher Moses
 

I haven't heard of anyone using it in DEC.  Have you?  It sounds like a good idea to me.
Maybe I'll take it out of the RA just to see how much it helps DEC.
Keep us posted


Re: Assistance...

W. Christopher Moses
 

I don't recall if the default state is wired or wireless, but it sounds like it is now in wired mode. Do you have a cable handy?


Assistance...

Steve Siedentop
 

Translated...I need someone to bail me out.


Through the course of attempting to get WiFi scope to work by connecting to the PMC8's serial port, I have somehow managed to brick my controller, or so it seems.


I abandoned my WiFi Scope Efforts as I ran into too many obstacles with ASCOM, although I was never able to successfully connect via the serial port so ASCOM is not the only suspect.  


So, after sending the "factory RESET" command on page 2 of _ESAN002_rev02.pdf, my PuTTY session froze up.  I stepped away for a few minutes to handle something, came back, cycled the power, and viola, no PMC8 WiFi network to connect to.


When powered on, the indicator lights are as follows:


1)  WiFi Data Transmission - OFF

2)  +5 WiFi Module Power - Steady Green

3)  Main Processor Watchdog Active - OFF

4)  WiFi Connection - Blinking Green

5)  WiFi Association - Blinking Red

6)  Main Processor Power - Stead Red


Any thoughts on how to proceed?  Thanks in advance for your help.


-Steve


Re: RA Stiction

Steve Siedentop
 

I just got mine today and it definitely makes a difference.

I noticed that the DEC axis also has the indents to allow for this spring washer and it looks to be the same size.  It's cheap enough that I may just get another one for the DEC axis if for no other reason than to make balancing in DEC easier.

-Steve


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

If when you press the ASCOMPAD NSEW buttons the mount does not move make sure the ASCOMPAD is connected to POTH. It should be no different than pressing the POTH buttons on the screen. It sounds like the gamepad is connected to the ASCOMPAD program as it responds and maps the buttons as you said. The problem appears to be the connection between ASCOMPAD and POTH. When you use the chooser in ASCOMPAD make sure you choose POTH, not the PMC8.Telescope driver.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: RE-POST: Request for Customer PMC-Eight Information

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Jerry,

Sorry for the delay, here's my info:

PMC-Eight System Customer or Prospective Customer? Owner

PMC-Eight System Owned? G11

Date PMC-Eight System Purchased: February/2018

PMC-Eight System Serial Number: ESOGT01B000000039

Did you register your PMC-Eight System on our website?  Not yet

Have you talked directly to me on the phone? Yes

Have I connected to your computer via TeamViewer? Yes

Have you contacted Explore Scientific Customer Service? Yes

Describe in one sentence the issue you had when you contacted me for help
Initially, I had issues with RA drift and excessive periodic error, as well as needing assistance in connecting in wired serial mode to POTH/CDC.

Regards,
Jeremy


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Chris,

I was planning on putting something together like this, time-permitting, but in some ways I'm still working on the solution! I'd say my RA error is manageable by the installation of the Ruland coupler, careful adjustment of the worm block, and predictive PEC in PHD2. The RA axis friction (and ability to balance) is fixed by the wavy washer, as you've also confirmed. My DEC axis backlash oscillations in guiding is somewhat managed by reducing DEC aggressiveness. But the ultimate overall solution to perhaps both RA periodic error AND DEC backlash will be the spring-loaded one-piece worm block design that I'm hoping to start work on fairly soon, if Losmandy doesn't happen to come out with it sooner. I'll post something more on that when I have a decent drawing to share.

On the software/communications side of things, the main lesson is to make sure that your RA rate is set to 53.33, and not some other number, when using the G11. I haven't mentioned this next discovery on the forums yet, but early on I did notice another issue that may or may not be related to some intermittent communications issues on the wired-serial connection to the PMC-Eight. I had my hand on the counterweight shaft and felt an AC voltage 'tingling'. It’s the first time I guess I noticed that, so I measured the PMC eight chassis ground compared to earth ground. Sure enough there was 59VAC rms on my meter. Since none of the power supplies in my setup (laptop, camera, PMC, usb-hub) are IEC class I, there is no earth ground anywhere in the system. And these universal switching AC-to-DC supplies, like the one for the PMC-Eight, have higher leakage current to neutral than the older style linear power supplies (transformer-based). So these systems can float at some relatively high AC voltages, which is what I measured for the PMC-Eight by itself (no other equipment hooked up). So then when you’re sitting outside, and you go to touch your laptop or anything else semi-conductive connected to the 'system ground', you could provide somewhat of a short to earth ground. This can cause the system ground to ‘bounce’, and I now wonder if this could explain the weird intermittent communication dropouts/errors with my system. So I added a earth ground jumper between the power strip and one of the serial cable housings, and I haven't really had any issues since then.

I do agree that a concise summary of my problems / solutions would be helpful.

Regards,
Jeremy
 


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

I have installed ASCOMPAD v209 and have used the settings that Jerry used for the mount in another post (though mount Slew rate 8 of 0 gives Undefined, and Rate9&10 left at default 1). I also used Jerry’s Gamepad buttons settings, with the addition of having D-pad’s N/S/E/W assigned to identical N/S/E/W, and Emergency Stop mapped to Button_5.


My laptop/tablet is communicating to the Xbox controller, as pushing the buttons made the changes to the driver’s button mapping.


However, when I used the Xbox controller, with Poth and CdC running, it (either D-Pad or left joystick) does NOT rotated the mount’s axis; it does nothing.  When I push the Poth’s N/S/E/W buttons (either touchscreen or mouse-click) the mount moves.


What do I need to do to have Poth/PMC-8 react to the Xbox controller?


Re: RA Stiction

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Chris,

Sorry for the delay. I used a bicycle chain lubricant called 'White Lightning Clean Ride' which is basically a wax type of lubricant that is in suspension and dries after being applied. Rubbing a bar of paraffin wax on the washer may work just as well.

Regards,
Jeremy


WiFi Scope and PMC8

Steve Siedentop
 

Hi All -


I spent some time today trying to run WiFi Scope to act as an interface to the ASCOM Driver to allow control of the PMC8 via SkySafari.  WiFi Scope is a free program created by the Sequence Generator Pro folks at Main Sequence Software.  I've posted this in their forums as well.


I'm running Windows 10 on an Intel Compute Stick (CS-125) and an Explore Scientific G-11 PMC-8 with the PMC8 ASCOM driver in serial mode (connecting via the serial port rather than over Wifi).  I tested on a Surface Pro with the same issue.


I'm running into problems and I think I've eliminated WiFi scope as the culprit.  I can successfully connect to the ASCOM Telescope Simulator as well as the Celestron ASCOM driver without issue, but the application crashes when trying to connect to the PMC8 ASCOM driver.  


I dug through the event log and found the the entries listed at the end of this post.


As a side note, I was also unable to connect to the PMC8 using Sequence Generator Pro, but can successfully connect to the simulator as well as my Celestron mount.


Thoughts?  Hopefully something in the event log will jump out at someone.


-Steve


Application: WiFiScope.exe

Framework Version: v4.0.30319

Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

Exception Info: ASCOM.Utilities.Exceptions.InvalidValueException

   at ASCOM.Utilities.Serial.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope.set_Connected(Boolean)


Exception Info: ASCOM.DriverException

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CheckDotNetExceptions(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.SetTargetInvocationExceptionHandler(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CallMember(Int32, System.String, System.Type[], System.Object[])

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.AscomDriver.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at WiFiScope.Form1.ConnectTel()

   at WiFiScope.Form1.listen(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart_Context(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart(System.Object)



Log Name:      Application

Source:        .NET Runtime

Date:          5/17/2018 1:04:44 PM

Event ID:      1026

Task Category: None

Level:         Error

Keywords:      Classic

User:          N/A

Computer:      ASTROSTICK

Description:

Application: WiFiScope.exe

Framework Version: v4.0.30319

Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

Exception Info: ASCOM.Utilities.Exceptions.InvalidValueException

   at ASCOM.Utilities.Serial.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope.set_Connected(Boolean)


Exception Info: ASCOM.DriverException

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CheckDotNetExceptions(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.SetTargetInvocationExceptionHandler(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CallMember(Int32, System.String, System.Type[], System.Object[])

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.AscomDriver.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at WiFiScope.Form1.ConnectTel()

   at WiFiScope.Form1.listen(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart_Context(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart(System.Object)



Event Xml:

<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">

  <System>

    <Provider Name=".NET Runtime" />

    <EventID Qualifiers="0">1026</EventID>

    <Level>2</Level>

    <Task>0</Task>

    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>

    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2018-05-17T17:04:44.606354300Z" />

    <EventRecordID>15873</EventRecordID>

    <Channel>Application</Channel>

    <Computer>ASTROSTICK</Computer>

    <Security />

  </System>

  <EventData>

    <Data>Application: WiFiScope.exe

Framework Version: v4.0.30319

Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

Exception Info: ASCOM.Utilities.Exceptions.InvalidValueException

   at ASCOM.Utilities.Serial.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope.set_Connected(Boolean)


Exception Info: ASCOM.DriverException

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CheckDotNetExceptions(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.SetTargetInvocationExceptionHandler(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CallMember(Int32, System.String, System.Type[], System.Object[])

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.AscomDriver.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at WiFiScope.Form1.ConnectTel()

   at WiFiScope.Form1.listen(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart_Context(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart(System.Object)


</Data>

  </EventData>

</Event>







Re: Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

Steve Siedentop
 

I was actually in the beginning stages of designing this very thing.  I'd definitely be interested in checking it out.

-Steve


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

I think you have confused ASCOMPAD with the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver. ASCOMPAD was developed as part of the EQMOD open-source driver and is an independent client program like Cartes du Ciel, or Maxim DL which is only used to connect a gamepad controller to any ASCOM Telescope driver.

The directory and filename I was talking about is the PMC-Eight ASCOM Telescope driver file (.dll) that is not related to the ASCOMPAD program.

You should be able to install the ASCOMPAD client program  and connect it to POTH as with any other ASCOM client program.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Thanks Chris,  whatever you wish to write up is fine, I can add it as a technical article. I will attribute it to you of course. Your program sounds good also. We can create an article for that also which will include the link.

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

I have not been able to get ASCOMPAD V209 to work.

When I installed it, it was NOT put in ... \Program Files (x86)\Common Files\ASCOM\Telescope
but it is in  \Program Files (x86)\EQMOD\ASCOMPAD

the file being: ascompad.exe

I did NOT find:  ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope_dll.zip


 


Re: Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

W. Christopher Moses
 

Sounds great.
    If you want me to write-up some stuff on some of the issues we went over a while ago I'll be happy to.  Maybe:
1. Doing a star-cross test / Testing your guide camera
2. Switching from wired to wireless and when to use each
3. Relationship between explore stars and ASCOM.


BTW - I wrote a simple terminal program, especially for the PMC-8.  It has buttons for common PMC-8 commands. I wrote it mainly to speed up interactions with the PMC-8 in the field.  I.e.  I don't want to have to look up commands in the dark.   Right now it only works for wired, but I'm planning on adding wireless tonight or tomorrow. 
I'll put it on Git.  If anybody wants any more functionality, just let me know.


Re: Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

Robert Hoskin <r_hoskin@...>
 

Jerry,

IMO, a good start. I took a quick look in general, and watched the video "how do I install Explorestars and the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver".  Hit a couple of bumps with that:

- A bit confusing that they're back-to-back in the same video, as they're mutually exclusive and have different use cases.  Might want to re-edit into two videos.
- The current downloads web page doesn't have the ASCOM platform link that the video talks about, anymore.  Probably should put that back.
- The PMC-8 driver file named on the page doesn't match the one that's physically linked.  
- The file that's physically linked is just ES_PMC8_Setup.exe.  No version in the name, and when you click on it, a security warning is thrown (win 7) "publisher could not be verified", "no valid digital signature".  Norton warns as well, as it's only seen the file a very few times before.

The antivirus thing, at least, appears to be easy enough to get past.  I had Webroot give a false positive on my astro laptop, over the new version of DSS.  Posted a note on the new DSS forum, the developers uploaded a copy (somewhere... :-) on the Webroot site for them to check, and poof, it was moved to the whitelist.  I expect the same holds for Norton.

Hope this helps...

- Bob


From: "hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2018 12:12 PM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

 
I have reorganized the knowledge base articles for the PMC-Eight to make it easier to find what you are looking for. I have revised them to have the question as the title of the article and updated the content of the answers. I will continue to add articles (mostly on the technical side) as time goes on based on all the questions I have received and answered over the past year and a half about the PMC-Eight system. Please let me know what you think about the new structure. I probably will add a section for the Application Notes as I create additional ones.

Here is the link:

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC

 



Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

hubbell_jerry@...
 

I have reorganized the knowledge base articles for the PMC-Eight to make it easier to find what you are looking for. I have revised them to have the question as the title of the article and updated the content of the answers. I will continue to add articles (mostly on the technical side) as time goes on based on all the questions I have received and answered over the past year and a half about the PMC-Eight system. Please let me know what you think about the new structure. I probably will add a section for the Application Notes as I create additional ones.


Here is the link:

http://hosted.comm100.com/knowledgebase/Category.aspx?id=5000000&siteid=56501


Jerry Hubbell

Director Electrical Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC


 


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

Steve,

Thanks!

I have NOT been using StellariumScope.

I like the idea of Stellarium FoV with scope/sensor for composition, but I noticed that it seems that most folks use CdC.  I had NO PROBLEM getting CdC to work, and will keep using CdC as I have too many bugs (mainly my inexperience) to work out.

I have not tried serial cable, though I have bought one, as I want to try to get one thing working at a time.

 


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

Chris,

Thanks!

My tablet/laptop is NOT going to sleep.  I have set the power management to keep the pc awake and display alive for 5 hours after interaction, when on AC power.

I know how to do PoleMaster align, my question was since I have not been able to get XBox controller to interact with the mount, do I have to use ExploreStars to rotate and after PM alignment, then switch to ASCOM?  (I expect that since the Poth buttons seem to work, I can use them, but I really would like the controller to work.)

I have been running Poth/CdC for 5 hours since the Error, and it has worked without any problem.  I also think that was the same error I got in my basement testing with the laptop several days ago, but it only occurred once.

Outside, my tablet has been on the same small table as the PMC-8 box, ~ 1 foot away, with the power supply on the ground.  In my basement testing, the tablet/laptop has been  about 4 ft away from the PMC-8.  Without a controller, the tablet HAS to be close to the mount to make position tweeks (touch screen positioning while observing in an EP is a PITA, but using a Non-touchscreen is even more of a problem).


Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Steve Siedentop
 

Hi Mark -

I can answer some of these...

Chrome...
It's unlikely that Chrome is generating outbound traffic significant enough to disrupt coms.  However, it's worth testing.  If you need these tabs retained, try adding them as "startup pages" (I think that's what it's called) in Settings.

WiFi...
Windows 10 is Power Management is integrated fairly tightly with WiFi connectivity.  Check this out for some guidance on setting:
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/wifi-gets-disconnected-after-sleep
Have you considered connecting directly via the serial port?  While it's primitive and adds "one more cable," it seems to be quite stable.  I'm going to test WifiScope from Main Sequence Software to see if I can get the PMC8 working with SkySafari with the PMC8 connected to a laptop/compute stick via a serial cable.

Polemaster...
In spite of what the manual says, I move the mount manually by loosening the clutches.   I've never had a problem doing this on my CGEM DX, NEQ6 Pro, or the ES G-11.
I haven't checked it out yet, but I've been told that the latest PHD2 update includes some changes to the Polar Alignment routine that may be worth checking out.

Stellarium...
I believe you need StellariumScope installed to use Stellarim with ASCOM.  Stellarium connects to StellariumScope which connects to the POTH which connects to the PMC8.  I used this with EQMOD and found it all to be more trouble than it was worth.  I settled on CdC.
http://welshdragoncomputing.ca/x/index.php/home/stellariumscope/download-stellariumscope
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX6TTxYBxCs

Stellarium vs. Cartes du Ciel
Stellarium has a much nicer UI, but CdC seems to have quite a bit less overhead.  CdC also is a bit more simple to connect.  Connect the PMC8 to the POTH, connect CdC to the POTH.

-Steve


On Wed, May 16, 2018 at 3:12 PM, lamb_mark@... [ESPMC-Eight] <ESPMC-Eight@...> wrote:
 

I have had my G11/PMC-8 for more than 2 weeks, and it is my 1st mount, so I am playing in the dark.


I have had issues with wifi dropping while using it outside, but it seems to work fine (for 5+ hours) in my basement in my dummy testing, most of the time.  I have had ExploreStars shut down on its own, but the laptop still being connected to the PMC-8 wifi (this has happened with 2 separate computers), and I have had ExploreStars stay open, but the laptop disconnect from wifi (and stop tracking).  I have Chrome browser with many tabs open in the background (though they are NOT connected to the internet, as tablet is connected to the PMC-8).  Could unconnected Chrome generate interrupts that cause the tablet to disconnect from the PMC-8?


I have gotten ASCOM Poth to work (wifi, have not tried physical serial) and slew/track with CdC for very long periods of time (unattended) in my basement sessions as well.


Today, I had Poth disconnect on its own and seen the following error with my basement wifi testing:

Error.  Addittional non-parsable characters are at the end of the string.

And with this, I noticed that the wifi network was switched from PMC-8 to my home wifi.  (I was away when this happened.)


I have installed ASCOMPAD v209 and have used the settings that Jerry used for the mount (though mount Slew rate 8 of 0 gives Undefined, and Rate9&10 left at default 1). I also used Jerry’s Gamepad buttons settings, with the addition of having D-pad’s N/S/E/W assigned to identical N/S/E/W, and Emergency Stop mapped to Button_5.


My laptop/tablet is communicating to the Xbox controller, as pushing the buttons made the changes to the driver’s button mapping.


However, when I used the Xbox controller, with Poth and CdC running, it (either D-Pad or left joystick) does NOT rotated the mount’s axis; it does nothing.  When I push the Poth’s N/S/E/W buttons (either touchscreen or mouse-click) the mount moves.


What do I need to do to have Poth/PMC-8 react to the Xbox controller?


For those who use PoleMaster and use ASCOM, how do you get the mount to do the rotations required?  (Do you start with ExploreStars to get alignment, and then switch to ASCOM/Poth?)


I also have Stellarium installed, but it does NOT seem to have a button to connect to mount.


How do I connect Stellarium to Poth/PMC-8?


Is CdC preferable to Stellarium?


Thanks!



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