Topics

Using Cartes Du Ciel for GoTo. #iEXOS-100


asanmax@...
 

Hi everyone,

I hope I'm not missing anything here.
I've never used the goto functionality of the iExos-100 mount without the ExploreStars application.
My setup is as follows:
The mount connected to the laptop via serial (USB).
I have no issues connecting to the mount in Cartes du Ciel.
The POTH hub slew buttons are a mess and do not work properly.
If I slew to an object in Cartes du Ciel and need to center it in the middle of the cross-hair, how do I go about it?

Obviously the POTH hub virtual hand controller does not work and I don't see any other way of making small adjustments.

Any help would be much appreciated!


Jordan Lowry <jalowry0328@...>
 

I use Cartes Du Ciel with my iExos. I recommend using astrotortilla to do plate solving. It connects to POTH the same as any other program and it will center a target and sync it automatically. I never slew manually anymore, even if my scope is pointing the complete opposite direction of my target, it’ll figure out where it needs to go. 

Hope this helps,

Jordan

--
Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight
Main Scope: Orion ST80
Imaging Camera: Canon 1000D Modified
Guide Scope: MEOPTEX 50mm guide scope
Guide Camera: QHY5R-II-C Guide Camera


asanmax@...
 

Thanks Jordan for the quick response and recommendation, I'm already reading about Astrotortilla. Looks like a nice tool to have, I've heard of it and I guess just didn't pay much attention to it.
I would appreciate any other suggestions.
Just want to find a perfect solutions I guess... :)


asanmax@...
 

It looks like I'll give Astrotortilla a try. Actually I like the idea behind its functionality.
Jordan, would you mind sharing your settings in the app please?

Thanks,
Max


Jordan Lowry <jalowry0328@...>
 

I am using the default settings in astrotortilla. I use backyard EOS to connect my DSLR for the plate solving and it connects to POTH the same way CDC does. Just make sure you have all three of the check boxes checked under the “after solve” section 

For an in depth walkthrough for the setup you can read through this tutorial, but i haven’t touched any of the settings and it works flawlessly.


--
Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight
Main Scope: Orion ST80
Imaging Camera: Canon 1000D Modified
Guide Scope: MEOPTEX 50mm guide scope
Guide Camera: QHY5R-II-C Guide Camera


asanmax@...
 

Thanks for the info! I have just completed reading exactly that article, very informative and easy to read.
The app is now installed and configured to work with the C5 scope. Unfortunately have to wait for a clear night now...
If it works, it would save me from sticking around the mount outside, so I can actually do everything remotely.


Jordan Lowry <jalowry0328@...>
 

That’s exactly what i’ve been doing. I control everything from my desktop PC inside so i can get some sleep while i image. It also speeds up the setup significantly, ive gotten it down to about half an hour depending on how nice sharp cap wants to be. I couldn’t imagine not using some sort of plate solving after i stated using it. 

I wish you luck

Clear skies

--
Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight
Main Scope: Orion ST80
Imaging Camera: Canon 1000D Modified
Guide Scope: MEOPTEX 50mm guide scope
Guide Camera: QHY5R-II-C Guide Camera


Wes Mcdonald
 

asanmax:

You can load ascompad and use it to control the mount.  It has a keypad that actually works.  You are correct in noting the POTH pad is goofy.  Ascompad also lets you use a game controller to move the mount around.

Another option which I like for visual is to use SkySafari on my phone, combined with wifiscope on the PC.  The SkySafari Telescope control has a dandy set of LRUD arrows that you can use while looking through the eyepiece.  The way the setup works is this:

1.  Iphone or android to home LAN wifi
2.  PC to home lan wifi
3.  PC to mount via wired serial ASCOM
4.  WiFiScope on PC connected to ASCOM POTH
5.  SkySafari Pro on iPhone (or Android I believe)

SkySafari sends Meade Classic commands to wifiScope.  WiFiScope translates these to ASCOM commands that are sent on to POTH and on to the mount.  Mount movement requested by CdC or anyone else shows up pn the SkySafari screen as mount movement.  You can also control the mount totally from your SkySafari app, which is a beautiful planetarium program.  Its a beautiful thing.

Once you get the SkySafari on your phone and get used to using it, load WiFiScope and follow its instructions on setting up SkySafari.  It's easy.

I suggest you use the POTH mount simulator to get it all working before connecting to your mount.  That will speed things up.

The problem with Ascompad is that its keypad is on the PC.  If you have a camera, this it fine, I use it then sometimes, but if you are doing visual this will not work. So the SkySafari solution is so nice.

If you have a camera, then plate solving is the way to go.  It is pure magic.  Takes the worry out of GOTO accuracy.

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
 

On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 09:08 AM, Wes Mcdonald wrote:
You are correct in noting the POTH pad is goofy
The POTH keypad may seem goofy because it is not like a normal physical hand controller or like the ExploreStars hand controller in that the buttons are "JOG/MOVE" buttons where you just hit the button and it moves the amount selected.
There is no need to hold the button down to make the mount move on the POTH which would be a pain with a virtual button pad like POTH has. Once you understand that, the POTH buttons work fine.
 
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!


Wes Mcdonald
 

Jerry

Not that it matters but my danged buttons go funny directions.  For example i set the move to 30 deg.  Hit right arrow.  Mount moves and stops after awhile.  Then hit left arrow.  Mount might move back but rarely moves all the way back.  It might also move right again.  It's just another thing poth has.  I never bothered to fool with it because there are so many other ways that work the way my mind does that it just doesn't matter to me.

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


asanmax@...
 

Thanks everyone for great ideas! Such a great place to have my questions answered!
I primarily do astrophotography, so I guess I'll start with Astrotortilla and see how it goes.
I hope there is going to be a break in the clouds tonight so I can do some testing.


Steve Siedentop
 

Hi Wes -

I experience the same issue with the POTH control panel and Cartes du Ciel.  When I change the rate and change it back, it seems to work.  Not sure if it’s an issue with POTH or the ES ASCOM driver.

-Steve

On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 9:22 AM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Jerry

Not that it matters but my danged buttons go funny directions.  For example i set the move to 30 deg.  Hit right arrow.  Mount moves and stops after awhile.  Then hit left arrow.  Mount might move back but rarely moves all the way back.  It might also move right again.  It's just another thing poth has.  I never bothered to fool with it because there are so many other ways that work the way my mind does that it just doesn't matter to me.

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


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


Wes Mcdonald
 

Hey Steve

I have had the poth get all hosed up and then used ascom pad with correct motion.  No reboot.  I'll place my bet on poth being somehow bugged.

Thanks!
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


asanmax@...
 

Alright, so I downloaded Astrotortilla and also additional files to match the Celestron C5 field of view.
The app connected to the POTH Hub no problem.
I set the scope in the default position and unparked it, slewed to Vega and of course missed it.
Then I switched to Astrotortilla and hit Capture and Solve. It captured image in APT but then nothing happened.
It just displayed No solution in 0.0s. And the current and target coordinates almost match.
I've tried multiple times to slew to different stars and it kept showing the same message.

I am now asking for help as I have no clue what's going on here. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks,
Max


Jordan Lowry <jalowry0328@...>
 

Hey Max,
I’m not familiar with APT, but are you able to capture an image normally inside of APT? I’ve encountered the “No solution after 0 seconds” error when my camera lost power or disconnected from Bacyard EOS before.

Also, after doing some quick googling it appears that APT has plate solving built in under “point craft” which may be a better solution for you. 

--
Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight
Main Scope: Orion ST80
Imaging Camera: Canon 1000D Modified
Guide Scope: MEOPTEX 50mm guide scope
Guide Camera: QHY5R-II-C Guide Camera


asanmax@...
 

Thanks for the quick response! APT works fine and capture images, it's something to do with Astrotortilla.
I actually didn't know that APT has its own plate solving, I'll definitely look into it as it really seems to be a better solution. Thank you for letting me know!


 

asanmax,

I was unable to get 0.7 to work, but 0.8 alpha (!) has been fine for me (integrated with BYN).  

Parameters below, for comparison:




--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Jordan Lowry <jalowry0328@...>
 

Also, another thing that may help you troubleshoot astrotortilla if you would like to get it working, you can upload a short capture from APT to nova.astrometry.net/upload 
It is basically the web version of plate solving and it could let you see if there’s an issue with your image from apt, and you can compare the plate solving settings from the website to the settings in astrotortilla.

Hope this helps,
Jordan

--
Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight
Main Scope: Orion ST80
Imaging Camera: Canon 1000D Modified
Guide Scope: MEOPTEX 50mm guide scope
Guide Camera: QHY5R-II-C Guide Camera


asanmax@...
 

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll try the recommended settings for sure. Hopefully the sky stays clear for the weekend.

Max


Steve Siedentop
 

Hi Max -

If Astrotortilla is still an option for you, check out this tutorial...it will help you to understand what the parameters are so you can make informed choices for your setup.


-Steve


On Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 12:42 AM <asanmax@...> wrote:
Alright, so I downloaded Astrotortilla and also additional files to match the Celestron C5 field of view.
The app connected to the POTH Hub no problem.
I set the scope in the default position and unparked it, slewed to Vega and of course missed it.
Then I switched to Astrotortilla and hit Capture and Solve. It captured image in APT but then nothing happened.
It just displayed No solution in 0.0s. And the current and target coordinates almost match.
I've tried multiple times to slew to different stars and it kept showing the same message.

I am now asking for help as I have no clue what's going on here. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks,
Max


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari