Best Session Yet


Darryl Ellis
 

Ok, what worked was that I now have a Windows Tablet/PC.  It's a Dell Venue 10 Pro.  I bought it used off Ebay for $95.  I was referred to this awesome deal by Bernie, another forum member.  It was a great deal and exactly what I needed.

I formally was using a Galaxy Tab A.  It was only a year old, but for some reason I had problems with it and the Android app that I am not having now.  I liked the Android app and certain features of the Galaxy Tablet that are not present on the Windows tablet.  For instance, the ability to choose alignment stars that are visible without going through a predetermined list sequentially is an option on the Android version vs. the Windows version.  Also, the Galaxy tablet is just plain easier to read.  I tried adjusting the resolution settings on the Windows tablet, but though it changes in the display settings, the Windows Eplorestars app remains at the highest (smallest print) setting.  There's probably a workaround, but I have not figured it out yet, lol.

OTOH, the Windows app and tablet just plain worked.  I used it tonight for the first time outside in 32 degree weather with a pretty clear moonlit sky.  First, I tried the ASCOM based programs including ASCOM, POTH, ASCOMPAD, and CDC.  After some trial and error, I got them working.  But due to some program glitches, or more likely user error either caused by or exacerbated by the cold and cold weather clothing, they shut down on me.  

I then realized it was better to start with the simple setup and then go intricate.  So, I parked the scope, and restarted using the Windows version of Explorestars.  Of course, the first few alignment stars, Cassieopia and Schedar were behind a large tree in my backyard.  I observe from my driveway in the front where I have completely open sky in two and a half directions but north and northwest.  Fortunately, Polaris is at 38 degrees and above thee tree line from where I observe. 

I finally just assumed the mount was pointing at the right star and accepted the alignment of the selected stars.  I then selected a slew to M1, and the scope slewed and pointed in the direction it was supposed to be.  However, the 3/4 moon was not having it.  So, I acquiesced and just selected the Moon from the Solar menu, and guess what.  It slewed right to the Moon.  It literally was right at the mid to upper right section of the Meade MWA 10mm eyepiece, and stayed there!  I was pleasantly surprised, as I had only done a PA with Polaris in the little circle, but with the 4 alignment stars slightly off.  (I don't even know if they are applicable to the North pole being a little confused in that regards, lol.)

Having completely destroyed my night vision looking at an unfiltered Moon, I resigned myself to just observing it.  The Explorestars app worked perfectly in keeping it in the FOV using the direction keys.  However, due to the aforementioned resolution issue, they just are not compatible with my 3X, lithium battery powered, ski gloves.  The buttons are just too small.  This is an area, where the Android app, or Galaxy tablet, was a better fit as I could manipulate it with the same gloves on.  The Windows tablet and app are less responsive.

So after having to stop several times to rewarm my hands, I decided to give the ASCOM based programs another shot.  My reasoning was that the xbox 360 game controller would be easier to use with my Hulk Hand gloves, lol.  After parking the mount and shutting off the Explorestars app, I restarted ASCOM Diagnostics Tool, POTH, EQMOD ASCOMPad, and CDC.  Once I got everything up and working as well as plugging in the receiver for the hand controller, I slewed the scope to the Moon in CDC.  It was off by a good bit, but by using the hand controller (after adjusting the rates in ASCOMPAD) I was easily able to get the Moon in the FOV of the Meade MWA 5mm eyepiece.  The Moon did not remain in the 100 degree fov as long as with the 10mm of course, but it was easy to keep it there using the hand controller.

How good was it?  I spent the next hour plus just exploring the Moon, (and falling back in love with it as it was my first love in astronomy eight years ago when I got started in this hobby), lol.  I just kept adjusting the image in the fov with the controller as well as going from one side to the other and from top to bottom over and over.  The gloves, Walls work suit, boots, double socks and hat did their job at mitigating the effect of the cold allowing me to enjoy the great views through my scope and eyepieces.  I was able to forget all of them and just enjoy the view.  In the end, isn't that what it's all about, forgetting the equipment, and just enjoying the views of the night sky?  

So for now, I am satisfied with my investment in the PMC8 mount.  I plan on using it to explore, observe, and eventually image, my new to me nightsky.  ( I recently moved from a white/red zone in a suburb of Atlanta, GA to a brown/yellow zone on the outskirts of Dover, DE with far less trees.)  I want to extract as much performance as possible out of my scope/mount combination.  Therefore, I expect to have to overcome additional challenges.  However, with the help of this forum, Jerry, and each of you that have assisted me along the way, Wes, Bernie, G-Man, et. al, I am confident of positive outcomes.

Thanks to each of you.

Darryl

--

DHEllis59, Dover, DE
Orion ST120mm With Electronic AccuFocuser,
Explorer Scientific EXOS GT 2 With PMC Eight 
Celestron Luminous 31mm, Meade MWA 10mm, and 5mm EPs
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens" - Proverbs 3:19


Edski <Edski2000@...>
 

Thanks for your update which may have confirmed a suspition my proplem is also with my tablet.  I have as i have the same Samsung tablet as you and i too have had no luck getting to Explire Stars to work.  So my question to Jerry is, before i invest in another tablet, do we have a ETA of the revised android app?  Of should i go for a windows tablet and cut my losses with the samsung 7" tablet?  Thx Ed


Edski <Edski2000@...>
 

Pardon my typos 


Darryl Ellis
 

Seems that most people have been doing well with the Android app, but it had me thinking about going a different direction all together.
--

DHEllis59, Dover, DE
Orion ST120mm With Electronic AccuFocuser,
Explorer Scientific EXOS GT 2 With PMC Eight 
Celestron Luminous 31mm, Meade MWA 10mm, and 5mm EPs
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens" - Proverbs 3:19


Wes Mcdonald
 

Darryl:

Sounds like things are training you...haha.  I wanted to remind you that when you use the ASCOM driver there is no need to do a 2-3 star align.  None of that is use in that case.  The mount just needs to be polar aligned.  If it is, things work well for gotos.  So get good at doing a PA.

Wes.


--
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


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Ed,

I understand everyone's frustration with the inconsistent performance of the apps along with some of the implementation of certain features on the various platforms. We will release the updated ExploreStars applications for Windows, Android and iOS as soon as we can, we want to make it right so we don't have to go through another round of bug fixes based on your experience. Having said that, we have seen and customers have reported in the past, and currently about inconsistent performance of different tablets based on the quality or purchase price. 

You may want to go ahead and invest in a better tablet, whether it be Windows or Android. I can say in my experience the Android OS provides a better WiFi connection than Windows In this case I would invest in a better Android Tablet, but it is up to you as far as which one is more useful to you. You can run ASCOM on the Windows Tablet and the other apps also.
--
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!


G-man
 

All I will say is that If the app works I will give it a shot, and even consider the iEXOS100 for my youngest kids.

G.


On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:29 PM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific <jrh@...> wrote:
Hi Ed,

I understand everyone's frustration with the inconsistent performance of the apps along with some of the implementation of certain features on the various platforms. We will release the updated ExploreStars applications for Windows, Android and iOS as soon as we can, we want to make it right so we don't have to go through another round of bug fixes based on your experience. Having said that, we have seen and customers have reported in the past, and currently about inconsistent performance of different tablets based on the quality or purchase price. 

You may want to go ahead and invest in a better tablet, whether it be Windows or Android. I can say in my experience the Android OS provides a better WiFi connection than Windows In this case I would invest in a better Android Tablet, but it is up to you as far as which one is more useful to you. You can run ASCOM on the Windows Tablet and the other apps also.
--
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!


Darryl Ellis
 

I'm not sure how much better quality Android tablet you can get other than a Samsung Tablet A.  Seems to me that as far as Android is concern, Samsung is a leader in that market.  Mine worked perfectly with every other app I used it for other than Explorestars.  I could stream seamlessly and never lose a wifi connection.

In fact, as I stated above, I like the Android version of Explorestars, but there seemed to be some connection issues.  It also was a PITA to load the software.  But again that was unique to Explorestars, lol.  Just saying...
--

DHEllis59, Dover, DE
Orion ST120mm With Electronic AccuFocuser,
Explorer Scientific EXOS GT 2 With PMC Eight 
Celestron Luminous 31mm, Meade MWA 10mm, and 5mm EPs
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens" - Proverbs 3:19