Topics

Problems conducting pier flip with G-11 #G11


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Good afternoon,
Hopefully someone can help me figure out what is going on with my G-11 these last few nights.  I have been imaging with my G-11 using Sequence Generator Pro for about a year and a half now.  these last three consecutive nights I have experienced issues that I have seen in the past but they were somewhat rare and very random.

The last three nights when my mount attempted to conduct a pier flip while imaging is completely loses track of where it's at and slews off in a direction other than where it's supposed to go.  I have woken up these last three mornings to find my sequence has been aborted and the scope is pointing basically straight up and parked.  It is almost like it loses track of where it is somewhere in the slew and then just proceeds to slew off into a random direction. 

Keep in mind that this is my second target of the night, so it gets through the first target and pier flip just fine, repositions for the second target and than tracks until it is time to flip and then just goes crazy.  I've lost about 12 hours of valuable imaging time at this point.  I don't know if it is a driver issue or what.  Like I said I have experienced this before, but never on three consecutive nights at the same time each night.

I have the newest firmware installed and I have triple checked my SGP settings to ensure that they are correct.  I'm at a loss on this one.


Ji


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Ji,

Could it be a problem with your power supply?  Do you think the PMC-Eight is restarting somehow causing it to reassign it's current position to home at that NCP? Typically i the PMC-Eight restarts there is no real indicator unless you see the coordinates change back to the home position as the connection is remade with no indication other than the jump in coordinates..
--
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!


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Jerry,
If my power supply were the issue I'd see it in SGP and/or PHD as my cameras, filter wheel and focuser would also lose power.  Like I said, its happened before...but randomly.  This is the first time I've seen it happen consistently.  Do you think it could be an issue with the new firmware?  Maybe an ASCOM issue?

Ji


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 04:31 PM, JI THERIOT wrote:
Do you think it could be an issue with the new firmware?  Maybe an ASCOM issue?
I don't think so as I have had the new firmware installed in our observatory for a few months now with no issues like this. I assume you are still using the ASCOM driver that you have used and was released in January 2019, we have had good results with no problems in the ASCOM driver. The fact that you found your mount parked and pointing straight up not at the NCP tells me the motor counts got reset to the park position (0x000000 on the RA and DEC) which means either a reboot or restart of the USB port, or the PMC-Eight rebooted due to power dropout. If the USB port restarted for some reason, it momentarily pulses the DTR signal on the serial port rebooting the PMC-Eight processor also. Do you use a powered USB hub to connect all your camera and other equipment to your computer? We do this in our observatory and we have had a USB hub fail not providing enough power to the ports causing a restart of the PMC-Eight. That's about all it could be in my current opinion. I think Jeremy identified a ground issue that may cause intermittent restarts because the PMC-Eight is designed to run on batteries and does not have an earth ground reference, just a common. If you are using an AC power adapter to run your PMC-Eight, then it could be an issue with that.

I am interested to see what you find.

 
--
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!


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Jerry, I do use an AC power adapter. That may be the issue. My PMC 8 is plugged into a surge protector along with everything else that is physically attached to the mount. Like I said, if I would have even a momentary loss of power my SGP logs would show that, so I am confident it’s not that.

How do you fix this ground issue on AC power?


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 07:42 PM, JI THERIOT wrote:
How do you fix this ground issue on AC power?
Hi Ji,

I think Jeremy just ran a wire between the common (which is the case of the PMC-Eight) to a ground in the power strip. That should take care of it. I measured the AC voltage on my adapter between ground and the outside of the barrel connection (common) and saw 36 VAC.
 
--
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!


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Jerry,
Could I ground it to my cart? Or does it need to be to the power strip?

Ji


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Sorry, not sure why two pics posted


Wes Mcdonald
 

Ji

You need to ground it to the ground lug if the power strip.  You need to force all the reference points to the same voltage.

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


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Gotcha. Thanks for the help.

Ji


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

So I ran a wire from the case (wrapped around one of the screws) into one of the grounding pins. We will see what happens (hopefully nothing...).

Ji


Wes Mcdonald
 

Well at least you survived it👍😀

--
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


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

So it did the same thing last night.....parked itself in the same position. I don’t get it. It once again conducted the first pier flip on IC1318 with no issues, ended that target and skewed to M31 with no issues, but then once again failed when trying to pier flip on M31.  The only thing I can think of is that something is impacting the pier/tripod during the flip.  I don’t know, short of staying up all night with it I’m not sure what else I can do to troubleshoot it.

Ji


jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

I have no idea, but I am here to guess.

 

Just  a couple of thoughts:

Paraphrasing your statement:  it always does the 1st task without any hiccups.

1.       How long are tasks 1 and 2?

2.       How many programs/ apps are you running in the background on your system?

3.       When was the last time you did a system scan for hard drive errors or memory leakage?

 

You could simply be running out of resources to manage the task.  A lot of times, windows can run sluggishly slow.

 

JR

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of JI THERIOT via Groups.Io
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 7:00 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Problems conducting pier flip with G-11

 

So it did the same thing last night.....parked itself in the same position. I don’t get it. It once again conducted the first pier flip on IC1318 with no issues, ended that target and skewed to M31 with no issues, but then once again failed when trying to pier flip on M31.  The only thing I can think of is that something is impacting the pier/tripod during the flip.  I don’t know, short of staying up all night with it I’m not sure what else I can do to troubleshoot it.

Ji


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Ji,
There are a couple of things you can do to catch it. First, on the ASCOM driver setup, in the miscellaneous tab, turn on the trace log, that will record every transaction that the mount sees. You can set your system up during the day and set your system clock to the time when you do your observations and see if it will repeat for you to catch it.  Thats all I can think of at the moment.

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
 

Ji 

Can you do a daytime test with the system clock set to last night?  Perhaps you can duplicate it in daytime 

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


 

Question:  Doesn't SGP have a log?  And if so, does that tell you anything useful about how IT saw the sequence of events?

--
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


JI THERIOT <ji.theriot@...>
 

Bob, the only thing the SGP log shows is that the pier flip failed.

As far as daylight testing, I don’t think that is possible due to the fact that you need to plate solve to complete the meridian flip.  But like I said, the first flip went off with no issues, but the flip on this target has failed 4 nights in a row. I think it has to be that the scope is contacting something preventing it from moving all the way to the target.

Ji


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 02:09 PM, JI THERIOT wrote:
I think it has to be that the scope is contacting something preventing it from moving all the way to the target.
Hi Ji,

Do you think you could manually do what SGP is attempting to do by setting your times accordingly on the system and slewing to the objects manually to see if any contact is being made? If you have good weather tonight, are you going to go for number 5?  If you do, then make sure you toggle the Trace Log on in the driver setup.
 
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!


Steve Mallia
 

This really concerns me.   using a grounding pin on a power strip is a potentially dangerous idea.   You do not know if that ground pin is correctly connected to the ground pin on the plug.  I would start checking the logs in SGP to see what is happening.   Also make sure you are not effected by any windows updates.  There has been a push recently with major updates coming through.   This was a problem for me last summer.  several nights in a row ruined because of updates. 

Unless you are very familiar with electric and proper grounding methods this shouldn't be done.   You could fry something, create a ground loop (even worse than no ground), or get a serious shock.   As a licenced electrician with 20 years in the field I would advise against this.  

The better solution would be to replace your power supply with a larger model that can give you some ride through.   You can even select one with a grounded plug.  I use a 10amp power supply for my G11, and it takes a few seconds for it to power down after I unplug it.  This extra power in the capacitors would give you some ride through protection and if you have a blip it should prevent a power dip to the mount.