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Tracking when computer goes to sleep


Bob Schoner
 

Hi,
Quick question. Will the PMC-Eight continue to track when my controlling laptop goes to sleep? If the answer is "NO" that will explain all the star trails I got last night. After slewing to an object I would close the laptop lid (and put it to sleep) to reduce light.
Thanks,
Bob Schoner


Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

To answer this question, which ended up in a duplicate thread:

There are two versions of firmware -- one that shuts tracking down with connectivity is lost (the watchdog is enabled), and the version that maintains the tracking when connectivity is lost (watchdog is disabled).

The PMC-Eight comes with the version with watchdog ENABLED.

I refer to the version with watchdog disabled as the star-party version because I can save the battery on the tablet. 

This came in handy on New Year's Eve when I to an EXOS2 With PMC-Eight to a star part hosted by the National Parks Service at a campground along Buffalo National River in Arkansas. I unsuccessfully charged by iPad on the way -- so got there with 5% battery. 

Luckily I had the star party version installed. I got the best polar alignment I could, slewed to a target (was close, so adjusted the tripod in azimuth and altitude to get it centered), then turned off the iPad.

I got through the star party with 2% left.

--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Mike Hammer
 

Hello Kent,

Any possibility that this could be changed to a power up configuration option instead of being locked up in the firmware?

On Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:07 AM Kent Marts Explore Scientific Customer Service <kent@...> wrote:
To answer this question, which ended up in a duplicate thread:

There are two versions of firmware -- one that shuts tracking down with connectivity is lost (the watchdog is enabled), and the version that maintains the tracking when connectivity is lost (watchdog is disabled).

The PMC-Eight comes with the version with watchdog ENABLED.

I refer to the version with watchdog disabled as the star-party version because I can save the battery on the tablet. 

This came in handy on New Year's Eve when I to an EXOS2 With PMC-Eight to a star part hosted by the National Parks Service at a campground along Buffalo National River in Arkansas. I unsuccessfully charged by iPad on the way -- so got there with 5% battery. 

Luckily I had the star party version installed. I got the best polar alignment I could, slewed to a target (was close, so adjusted the tripod in azimuth and altitude to get it centered), then turned off the iPad.

I got through the star party with 2% left.

--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 11:17 AM, Mike Hammer wrote:
Any possibility that this could be changed to a power up configuration option instead of being locked up in the firmware?
Hi Mike

This will require the addition of another firmware command to the command interpreter. The addition of this command is the only change requested at this time.
To be clear, the firmware update to add this command would be optional. I would maintain the existing firmware that provides the function until such a time that it is not needed.

I am working on another issue that may or may not require a firmware update so as soon as I figure that out, I will update the firmware with this requested change and make it available. It might be a couple of weeks.
 
Thanks
--
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!


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 02:49 PM, Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering wrote:
This will require the addition of another firmware command to the command interpreter.
The command that I implement in the PMC-Eight Firmware will be "ESW!: which will toggle the state between 2 values and return either "ESW1!" (Communications Watchdog ENABLED) or "ESW0!" (Communications Watchdog DISABLED). "ESW0!" means IT WILL STOP TRACKING when communications are dropped, "ESW1" means the PMC-Eight will NOT STOP TRACKING at the last set rate when communications are dropped.

A change to the ExploreStars application will be needed to support this feature on all three platforms. This might take a while to release. In the meantime, after I make the change in all the software and release it, you will be able to use the PMC-Eight Configuration Manager to issue the "ESW!" command to switch the Communications Watchdog on and off. The state will be persistent across reboots of the PMC-Eight system.
 
--
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!