EXOS2 GT


Cody Hudson
 

Hello all, I figured I'd post this here. I'm going to be working at remote locations for my job in a couple of weeks and wanting to sell my EXOS2GT PMC setup. Just the mount/PMC and tripod. I will not be able to use it for a very long time and want to offer it up so it doesn't set in dust collection mode. Asking $350 for it. Nothing is wrong with it. My loss, your gain. I will just not have the time for it. Price is shipped. 


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


Bob
 

I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


Dave Cherry
 

Hi Bob,
Just a quick answer... You must check your site location Co-ordinates carefully. (long/lat). Sounds like they are off.  Watch positive/negative values, easy to get wrong sometimes.

It's a very good mount Bob, don't worry, you will get there.

Cheers
Dave

Sent from my Xperia™ by Sony smartphone



---- Bob wrote ----

I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


--
Scopes: Sky Watcher 200PDS, Skywatcher 72ED
Mount: Explore Scientific PMC8 EXO2
Cameras: ASI 294MCPRO Coooled, Altair guide cam + 50mm scope
Software: Sharpcap Pro ,PH2, Stelarium Startools


Dave Cherry
 

Also, although parking the scope may not be a problem, I have never done it after an alignment like you did. The only time I would use park is when I have finished imaging or observing. I would suggest don't park, just use after alignment.

Dave.

Sent from my Xperia™ by Sony smartphone



---- Bob wrote ----

I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


--
Scopes: Sky Watcher 200PDS, Skywatcher 72ED
Mount: Explore Scientific PMC8 EXO2
Cameras: ASI 294MCPRO Coooled, Altair guide cam + 50mm scope
Software: Sharpcap Pro ,PH2, Stelarium Startools


Wes Mcdonald
 

Bob:
 
OK, we all see your frustration.  But you have to start from a place of understanding many people own this mount and it works well.  Obviously it would not point 90 degrees off unless something you did was not what the system expected.  So, I am assuming you did all the things I previously told you to do, these being mostly fundamental to using any mount.  Let's start there.
 
1.  When you do a virtual alignment, the mount computes the transformation matrix that changes apparent celestial position into actual celestial position.  This computation is critically dependent on feeding it the correct measurements.
2.  It is easy to align to a star which is different from the one the Explorestars application is expecting.  There are many stars out there, and as you noted the mount can miss the alignment star by quite a bit if your physical polar alignment is off -- this is an expected situation for people who don't want to do a great PA, but just want to get observing.  Of course even if you use the polar scope, you can mess that up or at least be pretty inaccurate.
3.  So it is critically important for you to KNOW you are on the correct star.  I do this by using a combination of a red dot finder and SkySafari on my phone.  I use sky Safari to view the sky and unambiguously locate the correct alignment star in the visual star field.  Then I use the mount LRDU buttons to put that star centered on the red dot.  At that point the star is in the widefield eyepieces.  
4.  The 127 EQ is an F/8 reflector.  That means the focal length is pretty long at about 1000mm.  That means your 25 mm eyepiece will have a field of view of about 1.3 degrees.  This means you have to get a goto with less than +-.7 degrees to have a chance of seeing it in your eyepiece.  That's a tough pull for a non-polar aligned scope...in my experience with the damned polar scopes it is not possible (my eyes and body don't allow it and also I am not patient enough to collimate the polar scope)
5.  So once the star is centered in the eyepiece, and you know it is the correct star, you can press ENTER and proceed along.  But each and every star needs to be the correct one.
6.  When you go to PARK after any pointing, the scope returns to its 0,0 motor count position, which is where you had the mount when you started it up.  So you can't tell if your alignment is any good or not by checking the alignment marks.  But you might be able to take a look at the displayed RA/DEC value for the scope when parked.  A bad alignment will bork those, at least it does in the Android and iOS versions, I can't remember much about the windows version but it will probably show the wrong place.
7.  But you can also display the alignment coefficients on the home page.  Somewhere in the windows app there will be a setting for that, probably in settings.  The coefficients must all be smallish numbers --- if you were already polar aligned perfectly they would all be zero or 1, about.  But if you choose a wrong star they will be nuts..big old numbers.  If they are, you goofed.   Reset and try again.
8.  Since your initial star move for the alignment was kind of ok (within 5 degrees) it looks like you have your location and time correct, or nearly so.  You might make sure, but these must be pretty close.  Thus after an alignment you will NOT point to insane locations UNLESS the alignment was borked.  So it sounds like you might have goofed.  Wrong star(s).  
9.  The alignment you had on your last go is saved and can be recalled and displayed.  Open the app and turn on the alignment display.  Look at the numbers.  If they are not nuts then we need to suspect some other thing that is terribly amiss, which from what you have described I would not know what that would be but likely something that is flat broken.
10.  If you think you have a WELL polar aligned scope, then just use the thing without a virtual PA.  the mount doesn't care if you do one or not.  If you have the correct reference frame by achieving a WELL done PA then the mount will point you pretty good (to the degree you have the other fundamental scope setups, common to all scopes, correct.
 
So that is the advice I have for you.  
 
One other piece of advice.  Saying ridiculous things about a system that is satisfying many, many, many users does not do any credit to yourself.  Think about it.
 
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


Jeff Snell
 

Hi Bob,
Let me start by saying I am not necessarily computer literate and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night so I am truly an AMATEUR at this.  Lot's of smart guys on this forum.  Some are engineers, others speak plain english :-) but all contributed to getting me to a journeyman level of astro-photography where I find myself.  I was just as frustrated as you were but got (mostly) easy to grasp advice here.

I bought the EXOS2GT PMC Eight combo and an ES ED80 APO Telescope combo about a year plus ago and have had good luck with it after some issues very similar to yours.  I am brand new to the hobby (relatively speaking) having only been doing visual for a little over a year and adding astro photography about September of last year.  Working with an EQ mount was very different (and hard) for me, having used a Celestron Go-To Alt/Az mount prior.  Here are some of the things I was doing wrong (in order of discovery).

1.  I didn't make sure the polar scope included with the tripod was aligned with the telescope.  There is a procedure online for doing that and I believe a video or two as well.  Sorry, I'm at work and I don't have the link handy.  I'm sure someone here will help you out.
2.  I used the built in bubble level on the tripod to level for about a year.  I saw a post about a month ago where someone pointed out it wasn't even close to accurate, so I now use a small 8" builder's level bought from home depot.  It was amazing how far off I was but to be honest, I was still getting good results.
3.  THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE:  I failed to ensure my date, time, and location were all spot on in the selected steering program (I use CdC but this is applicable to any program...I have used the PMC eight as well). For location, I did not enter the longitude as a negative (-) longitude. I discovered this very early.  I couldn't figure out why the mount was literally pointing at the ground a couple of times after a very precise Polar alignment.  Once I corrected this error, I got much better results.
4.  I was not tightening down my mount well enough.  The mount has to be very tight everywhere.  All nuts and bolts and screws tight and the "leg spreader" plate has to be flush up against all legs with the center post tightened fully.  There are multiple suggestions on this forum on ways to get this done.

These were my biggest errors.  Hope some of this helps you out.  I'm sure if any of the above is inaccurate/wrong, someone will jump in and correct.

The above being wrong or right, the best advice I can give is this:  Be patient and try not to get frustrated (I know, money spent and time invested).  However, seeing my first astro photos (as bad as they were/are) keeps me going.  This is cool stuff!  The mount is an inexpensive (by comparison) mount but performs well for me, a true caveman at this.  I am now trying to tweek it and I did not spend a thousand $$$ plus for a "better mount".  I routinely get a target perfectly centered now after a good polar alignment and sync.   

Jeff

PMC-Eight w/Explore Stars
ES ED80mm APO
Polemaster, CdC, APT, PHD2
Celestron 8" Edge HD
Canon Ti-5 w/ Spencer Camera Astro-mod


On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:58 AM Bob <drrtownsend@...> wrote:
I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


Bob
 

Yes it helps. I’ll go through it with the suggestions here. The biggest issue I’ve not already done is deal with the cone error and make sure the polar scope is collimated.

As for not reflecting well on me I can accept that but frankly all I can say is ‘good for you’ if you got it to work. I’m having an excessive amount of trouble. And yes I know how to calibrate and use a  finder scope and identify Polaris and the stars of the Big Dipper.  


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jeff Snell <Jeffery.snell1@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 9:44:49 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io <MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Hi Bob,
Let me start by saying I am not necessarily computer literate and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night so I am truly an AMATEUR at this.  Lot's of smart guys on this forum.  Some are engineers, others speak plain english :-) but all contributed to getting me to a journeyman level of astro-photography where I find myself.  I was just as frustrated as you were but got (mostly) easy to grasp advice here.

I bought the EXOS2GT PMC Eight combo and an ES ED80 APO Telescope combo about a year plus ago and have had good luck with it after some issues very similar to yours.  I am brand new to the hobby (relatively speaking) having only been doing visual for a little over a year and adding astro photography about September of last year.  Working with an EQ mount was very different (and hard) for me, having used a Celestron Go-To Alt/Az mount prior.  Here are some of the things I was doing wrong (in order of discovery).

1.  I didn't make sure the polar scope included with the tripod was aligned with the telescope.  There is a procedure online for doing that and I believe a video or two as well.  Sorry, I'm at work and I don't have the link handy.  I'm sure someone here will help you out.
2.  I used the built in bubble level on the tripod to level for about a year.  I saw a post about a month ago where someone pointed out it wasn't even close to accurate, so I now use a small 8" builder's level bought from home depot.  It was amazing how far off I was but to be honest, I was still getting good results.
3.  THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE:  I failed to ensure my date, time, and location were all spot on in the selected steering program (I use CdC but this is applicable to any program...I have used the PMC eight as well). For location, I did not enter the longitude as a negative (-) longitude. I discovered this very early.  I couldn't figure out why the mount was literally pointing at the ground a couple of times after a very precise Polar alignment.  Once I corrected this error, I got much better results.
4.  I was not tightening down my mount well enough.  The mount has to be very tight everywhere.  All nuts and bolts and screws tight and the "leg spreader" plate has to be flush up against all legs with the center post tightened fully.  There are multiple suggestions on this forum on ways to get this done.

These were my biggest errors.  Hope some of this helps you out.  I'm sure if any of the above is inaccurate/wrong, someone will jump in and correct.

The above being wrong or right, the best advice I can give is this:  Be patient and try not to get frustrated (I know, money spent and time invested).  However, seeing my first astro photos (as bad as they were/are) keeps me going.  This is cool stuff!  The mount is an inexpensive (by comparison) mount but performs well for me, a true caveman at this.  I am now trying to tweek it and I did not spend a thousand $$$ plus for a "better mount".  I routinely get a target perfectly centered now after a good polar alignment and sync.   

Jeff

PMC-Eight w/Explore Stars
ES ED80mm APO
Polemaster, CdC, APT, PHD2
Celestron 8" Edge HD
Canon Ti-5 w/ Spencer Camera Astro-mod


On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:58 AM Bob <drrtownsend@...> wrote:
I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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
 

Bob

Good advice from folks.  As for using the Big Dipper stars...one will be good but please don’t use two.  Alignment calcs need more separation, especially in Ra.  The app generally does a good job of getting things spread out but if you skip through the list and use two or three stars near one another the calcs get ill conditioned.  This can lead to poor performance.

Take a look at those alignment coefficients...you can turn on their display in the iPad in the settings area for Explorestars.  I think the button says show alignment coefficients or some such.  They appear at the bottom of the data displayed on the main screen.

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


Steven Romero
 

Hi Bob.

I've been having these types of issues as well, and yes it is frustrating. I've since accepted that amateur astronomy is a process.

A few observations:

1) I thought I was polar aligning well, but after reviewing some notes from others here and also looking online, I found out I wasn't. I'm using the Polar Scope Align app available for iPhone which helps, but read the detailed instructions or you'll still be off. Others here don't even use the polar scope but instead opt for other tools (Polemaster, Sharcap).
2) I had some cone error, but corrected this. I posted a document in the files section of the MOUNTS subgroup that explains this. There is a helpful video referenced as well
3) I found out my mount could not be leveled. One of the legs pulls out longer than the other. ExploreScientific made good on this. Check for this, and use a real level, not the bubble
4) You should be able to get Stellarium to work with this mount. Not sure what platform you have, but it works for Windows users and I just figured out over the weekend how to get it working on my MacBook Pro (if you can get Stellarium working on a Mac you can get it working on anything).

Hope it helps.

Steve


On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 1:58 AM Bob <drrtownsend@...> wrote:
I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


Wes Mcdonald
 

Bob 

Stellarium will not natively operate the mount.  You must go through ascom or indi.  Ascom is for pc only.  

Stellarium 19.3 will connect through ascom ok it seems.  Earlier versions needed a piece of bridge software call stellarium scope.  It was mostly ok.  

We’d

--
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


Bill Black
 

On Sun, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:58 PM, Bob wrote:
1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.
 
I park the scope again, checking the marks.
Hi Bob, 
That last part "I park the scope again..." is an unnecessary step and I suspect may be where your problem arises.
If you loosened the clutches at that point (or any point) after the alignment routine, then the alignment will be lost.
Try just slewing directly to Jupiter after you finish the alignment and hopefully it will hit it :)

--

Bill
Location: Dallas, GA
Scopes:
 Celestron C8, AstroTech 80mm APO
Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75
Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385


Bob
 

I use a MacBook pro and no problem with stellarium. Let me know how you managed it. .


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Steven Romero <steven.romero@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 11:25:32 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io <MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Hi Bob.

I've been having these types of issues as well, and yes it is frustrating. I've since accepted that amateur astronomy is a process.

A few observations:

1) I thought I was polar aligning well, but after reviewing some notes from others here and also looking online, I found out I wasn't. I'm using the Polar Scope Align app available for iPhone which helps, but read the detailed instructions or you'll still be off. Others here don't even use the polar scope but instead opt for other tools (Polemaster, Sharcap).
2) I had some cone error, but corrected this. I posted a document in the files section of the MOUNTS subgroup that explains this. There is a helpful video referenced as well
3) I found out my mount could not be leveled. One of the legs pulls out longer than the other. ExploreScientific made good on this. Check for this, and use a real level, not the bubble
4) You should be able to get Stellarium to work with this mount. Not sure what platform you have, but it works for Windows users and I just figured out over the weekend how to get it working on my MacBook Pro (if you can get Stellarium working on a Mac you can get it working on anything).

Hope it helps.

Steve


On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 1:58 AM Bob <drrtownsend@...> wrote:
I have to say I am frustrated with the exos2-gt mount. While it tracks well once you have the target in the viewfinder, I have to say up to that point it is a manual mount.

To start the alignment I level the scope, do a polar alignment, hit park (and check to see it is lined up with the marks when it stops moving), the hit 'reset alignment'.

1/ After polar aligning WELL on a level mount with good freedom of movement I attempted to do an alignment.
2/ Picking a clear, bright star from the list I hit 'goto' when prompted to use it as the first star.  
3/ I locate and center it (the mount gets me within 5 degrees or so) with a 24 mm eyepiece. THEN I Switch to a crosshair eyepiece and line it up perfectly.  Then I hit enter (I tried sync then enter upon the suggestion of E.S. earlier)
4/ I repeat the process for star 2, or star 2 and 3 as appropriate.

I park the scope again, checking the marks.

Then I ask it to slew to Jupiter, which is clearly visible.  The magic of the mount occurs, and when it stops slewing, it is 90 degrees to the west of Jupiter and angled toward the ground.  I carefully check the clutches to make sure they were tight, and watched the scope move to make sure no cables were caught.

I park the scope, hit reset alignment, and repeat a full 2 and 3 star alignment as above.

Once again, I ask it to slew to Jupiter.  When the scope stops moving, it is pointing to Mars, nearly 90 degrees off Jupiter to the EAST.

Seriously, I'm new to astronomy, am computer literate, and I just want the target in the low power eyepiece after spending twenty min aligning the damn telescope.  What is the problem and why do I have to fight this 700 dollar mount to find the MOON????

I'll keep working with it, but this is ridiculous when you look at it.  I should be able to 

a/ Expect to see my target in the low power scope when I ask the mount to go to it.
b/ I should be able to control the scope with Stellarium without an act of Congress and a visit from the geek squad.

I'm going to add a camera and a guide scope and see if they will make this thing work.

But I have to ask, it is supposed to be this absurd, is this what I can expect from a high quality mount like an exos2-gt?  Is this just pilot error?  Is there a secret handshake to make this thing work?  If so, why isn't it in the manual?  Why does the manual seem to be written for another version of the software (windows and a couple of releases ago).  Why, when I follow the instructions, does it simply not work?

If I can't figure it out in a week, I'm just going to send it back and buy a different model that works with stellarium and doesn't have me up half the night trying to align it when I should be using it to explore the universe.

Bob



From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:50 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Thanks Cody for posting this for our members. You will always be considered a member of the forum and are welcome anytime. 

Good luck in the future.
--
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!


--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


Steven Romero
 

Bob,

I'm doing a write up but you probably don't want to wait.

This is a quick and dirty version of what I did (and assumes you've installed and added your geo, time, telescope, eyepiece parameters, etc.):

1) Installed Kstars - I don't like this program, but it includes the INDI pmc-8 driver you need for your Mac to talk to Stellarium. I don't recommend installing INDI drivers any other way on the Mac, but you can try if you want to remain frustrated
2) Start up the INDI control panel in Kstars and select your mount (EXOS2-GT), then run a local service on port 7624 (this is automatic after you Run the service)
3) Connect to the pmc-8 wifi
4) Connect the INDI control panel in Kstars to the pmc-8 - you have to set up the connection controls from the Configuration menu first (select Ethernet, TCP - the port that is listed is the default - leave it alone)
5) Start up Stellarium
6) Activate the Telescope Plugin in Stellarium and select the Telescopes tab
7) Configure the Telescope Plugin - select Telescope controlled by - INDI/INDIGO radio button
8) Scroll down to INDI settings - you should see localhost 7624 in the Host settings, click Refresh Devices - you should see "ES EXOS2-GT PMC-8" appear in the devices window
9) Click OK and go back to the main Telescope Control window
10) Click Connect - you should now see "Connected" status under "Telescopes Controlled" window for your scope

You're now connected to the PMC-8 with Stellarium on your Mac.

One disclaimer - Stellarium won't solve your alignment issues, but it does help me find things in the sky. Stellarium has a virtual hand controller that you can use to slew your scope to look for things you want to see until you get polar alignment issues sorted. It also has the usual goto features.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


Bob
 

Very helpful. Thank you. I’ll look at it tonight. Perhaps explore scientific can produce a plug in to do this.

Bob


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Steven Romero <steven.romero@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 2:11:18 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Bob,

I'm doing a write up but you probably don't want to wait.

This is a quick and dirty version of what I did (and assumes you've installed and added your geo, time, telescope, eyepiece parameters, etc.):

1) Installed Kstars - I don't like this program, but it includes the INDI pmc-8 driver you need for your Mac to talk to Stellarium. I don't recommend installing INDI drivers any other way on the Mac, but you can try if you want to remain frustrated
2) Start up the INDI control panel in Kstars and select your mount (EXOS2-GT), then run a local service on port 7624 (this is automatic after you Run the service)
3) Connect to the pmc-8 wifi
4) Connect the INDI control panel in Kstars to the pmc-8 - you have to set up the connection controls from the Configuration menu first (select Ethernet, TCP - the port that is listed is the default - leave it alone)
5) Start up Stellarium
6) Activate the Telescope Plugin in Stellarium and select the Telescopes tab
7) Configure the Telescope Plugin - select Telescope controlled by - INDI/INDIGO radio button
8) Scroll down to INDI settings - you should see localhost 7624 in the Host settings, click Refresh Devices - you should see "ES EXOS2-GT PMC-8" appear in the devices window
9) Click OK and go back to the main Telescope Control window
10) Click Connect - you should now see "Connected" status under "Telescopes Controlled" window for your scope

You're now connected to the PMC-8 with Stellarium on your Mac.

One disclaimer - Stellarium won't solve your alignment issues, but it does help me find things in the sky. Stellarium has a virtual hand controller that you can use to slew your scope to look for things you want to see until you get polar alignment issues sorted. It also has the usual goto features.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


Bob
 

Indeed and thank you. And yes I know the stars need to be separated. My first effort was cass and Scorpio I’ll keep working on it.


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 10:51:13 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io <MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Bob

Good advice from folks.  As for using the Big Dipper stars...one will be good but please don’t use two.  Alignment calcs need more separation, especially in Ra.  The app generally does a good job of getting things spread out but if you skip through the list and use two or three stars near one another the calcs get ill conditioned.  This can lead to poor performance.

Take a look at those alignment coefficients...you can turn on their display in the iPad in the settings area for Explorestars.  I think the button says show alignment coefficients or some such.  They appear at the bottom of the data displayed on the main screen.

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


Wes Mcdonald
 

Bob

Explore Scientific takes the position that third party software is not something they support.  In the case of ascom they made and support their driver to enable use of the broad spectrum of ascom compliant clients.  Most users in the forum doing astrophotography use this capability and it works very well.  Notably PHD2 for guiding.  Astrophotography programs     from many sources are used to manage imaging and indeed overall site and process automation.

I am unclear where the indi driver came from.  Multiple users employ it, Steven being one.  There are sufficient now on the forum who are willing to assist Mac users.  

I am a Mac person but I threw in the towel for my mount computer and employ windows on a boot camped Mac mini.  My experience with windows on macs is they run Windows better than windows boxes...:). 

In the windows world there are just so many applications, and the ascom group is well developed and the platform very stable.  

One thing I do to make my life better is run the Mac mini from my iMac over RDP.  Works like a charm and the screen resolution is great, plus I can hang out inside while the mount does the freezing.  Mini takes some power though.  For star party use I still have my Dell laptop.  Not sure it is less power tho.

Anyhow that’s kind of the big picture.  Maybe Jerry or others can clarify the ES position on indi.

If you asked me what operating system to start with I would probably recommend you start using the PMC8 systems with ascom on a pc.  This is partly because the huge preponderance  of people seem to use the PC and can help.  But I surely understand the desire to use macs. 

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


Bob
 

Steven hooked up like a charm. I am not sure about the alignment but at least it moves the scope. Waiting for weather to clear.


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Bob <drrtownsend@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 2:14:13 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Very helpful. Thank you. I’ll look at it tonight. Perhaps explore scientific can produce a plug in to do this.

Bob


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Steven Romero <steven.romero@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 2:11:18 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Bob,

I'm doing a write up but you probably don't want to wait.

This is a quick and dirty version of what I did (and assumes you've installed and added your geo, time, telescope, eyepiece parameters, etc.):

1) Installed Kstars - I don't like this program, but it includes the INDI pmc-8 driver you need for your Mac to talk to Stellarium. I don't recommend installing INDI drivers any other way on the Mac, but you can try if you want to remain frustrated
2) Start up the INDI control panel in Kstars and select your mount (EXOS2-GT), then run a local service on port 7624 (this is automatic after you Run the service)
3) Connect to the pmc-8 wifi
4) Connect the INDI control panel in Kstars to the pmc-8 - you have to set up the connection controls from the Configuration menu first (select Ethernet, TCP - the port that is listed is the default - leave it alone)
5) Start up Stellarium
6) Activate the Telescope Plugin in Stellarium and select the Telescopes tab
7) Configure the Telescope Plugin - select Telescope controlled by - INDI/INDIGO radio button
8) Scroll down to INDI settings - you should see localhost 7624 in the Host settings, click Refresh Devices - you should see "ES EXOS2-GT PMC-8" appear in the devices window
9) Click OK and go back to the main Telescope Control window
10) Click Connect - you should now see "Connected" status under "Telescopes Controlled" window for your scope

You're now connected to the PMC-8 with Stellarium on your Mac.

One disclaimer - Stellarium won't solve your alignment issues, but it does help me find things in the sky. Stellarium has a virtual hand controller that you can use to slew your scope to look for things you want to see until you get polar alignment issues sorted. It also has the usual goto features.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


Steven Romero
 

Good deal Bob.

Glad I could help.

Steve

On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 6:19 PM Bob <drrtownsend@...> wrote:
Steven hooked up like a charm. I am not sure about the alignment but at least it moves the scope. Waiting for weather to clear.


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Bob <drrtownsend@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 2:14:13 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Very helpful. Thank you. I’ll look at it tonight. Perhaps explore scientific can produce a plug in to do this.

Bob


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Steven Romero <steven.romero@...>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 2:11:18 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] EXOS2 GT
 
Bob,

I'm doing a write up but you probably don't want to wait.

This is a quick and dirty version of what I did (and assumes you've installed and added your geo, time, telescope, eyepiece parameters, etc.):

1) Installed Kstars - I don't like this program, but it includes the INDI pmc-8 driver you need for your Mac to talk to Stellarium. I don't recommend installing INDI drivers any other way on the Mac, but you can try if you want to remain frustrated
2) Start up the INDI control panel in Kstars and select your mount (EXOS2-GT), then run a local service on port 7624 (this is automatic after you Run the service)
3) Connect to the pmc-8 wifi
4) Connect the INDI control panel in Kstars to the pmc-8 - you have to set up the connection controls from the Configuration menu first (select Ethernet, TCP - the port that is listed is the default - leave it alone)
5) Start up Stellarium
6) Activate the Telescope Plugin in Stellarium and select the Telescopes tab
7) Configure the Telescope Plugin - select Telescope controlled by - INDI/INDIGO radio button
8) Scroll down to INDI settings - you should see localhost 7624 in the Host settings, click Refresh Devices - you should see "ES EXOS2-GT PMC-8" appear in the devices window
9) Click OK and go back to the main Telescope Control window
10) Click Connect - you should now see "Connected" status under "Telescopes Controlled" window for your scope

You're now connected to the PMC-8 with Stellarium on your Mac.

One disclaimer - Stellarium won't solve your alignment issues, but it does help me find things in the sky. Stellarium has a virtual hand controller that you can use to slew your scope to look for things you want to see until you get polar alignment issues sorted. It also has the usual goto features.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars, Stellarium (OS X)


Vince White
 

Hey Steve,

What is it you don't like about KStars?  I've found it works fairly well and I use the DSS sky survey image to see what I'm looking at with the FOV of my current setup.

Regards,
Vince


On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 1:11 PM Steven Romero <steven.romero@...> wrote:
Bob,

I'm doing a write up but you probably don't want to wait.

This is a quick and dirty version of what I did (and assumes you've installed and added your geo, time, telescope, eyepiece parameters, etc.):

1) Installed Kstars - I don't like this program, but it includes the INDI pmc-8 driver you need for your Mac to talk to Stellarium. I don't recommend installing INDI drivers any other way on the Mac, but you can try if you want to remain frustrated
2) Start up the INDI control panel in Kstars and select your mount (EXOS2-GT), then run a local service on port 7624 (this is automatic after you Run the service)
3) Connect to the pmc-8 wifi
4) Connect the INDI control panel in Kstars to the pmc-8 - you have to set up the connection controls from the Configuration menu first (select Ethernet, TCP - the port that is listed is the default - leave it alone)
5) Start up Stellarium
6) Activate the Telescope Plugin in Stellarium and select the Telescopes tab
7) Configure the Telescope Plugin - select Telescope controlled by - INDI/INDIGO radio button
8) Scroll down to INDI settings - you should see localhost 7624 in the Host settings, click Refresh Devices - you should see "ES EXOS2-GT PMC-8" appear in the devices window
9) Click OK and go back to the main Telescope Control window
10) Click Connect - you should now see "Connected" status under "Telescopes Controlled" window for your scope

You're now connected to the PMC-8 with Stellarium on your Mac.

One disclaimer - Stellarium won't solve your alignment issues, but it does help me find things in the sky. Stellarium has a virtual hand controller that you can use to slew your scope to look for things you want to see until you get polar alignment issues sorted. It also has the usual goto features.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
--
Steven Romero
Location: Houston, TX and surrounding environs (50%) Midland,TX and a large swath of West, TX (50%)
Mount: EXOS2-GT PMC-8
Scope: ED102 APO
Eyepieces: 24mm, 11mm, 6.5mm (82 deg)
Software: Kstars (OS X)


--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon 5DmkII, Canon EOSm, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom