#ASCOM #ASCOM


Nihar Pattnaik
 

So, I've been using Explore stars and an intervalometer to get pretty decent 30-60 sec subs with a stock Canon DSLR on my iExos 100. I wanted to go a step further and got myself an iOptron iGuider package which ships with a 120mm guidescope and only supports pulse guiding, not ST4. 

I connect the mount via wireless ASCOM, run N.I.N.A and everything works flawlessly - from framing targets to platesolving. That is, everything except guiding. For some reason, NINA keeps waiting to begin the sequence and guiding does not begin  .
PHD2 either freezes with an unresponsive window, or gives this notification "pulse guide has failed, guiding is likely to be ineffective"
I had the exact same problem with APT which made me switch to NINA in the first place.  I know guiding with  PHD2 is meant to be a piece of cake buy so far it has resulted in countless sleepless nights and a lot of yanked hair. What am I doing wrong? 

P.S, I'm not using POTH hub or EQMOD to connect the mount , because both NINA and APT natively recognize the ESPMC eight driver . And I'm not using not using a serial cable. I don't know if either of these is mandatory to get guiding to work, of so please help. 


 

Nihar,

I can't comment on NINA/APT, as I don't use those.  However...

You should switch to cabled connections for guiding.  Basically, wireless is for convenience, and cable is for reliability.

What we do not notice, as interactive users of wireless connections, are the brief pauses due to latency, packet dropouts and re-sends, etc. that are part and parcel of wireless networks. 

But...when you are guiding, you are basically creating a near-real-time closed loop control system consisting of multiple software and hardware components having a time-sensitive conversation.  If some messages are delayed beyond that system's tolerance, or simply lost, that's a problem.

It's horses for courses.  Wireless is certainly convenient for tablet/visual work, but for guiding, cabled connections are better.

Hope this helps you...

- Bob


On Tue, May 11, 2021, at 04:22, Nihar Pattnaik wrote:
So, I've been using Explore stars and an intervalometer to get pretty decent 30-60 sec subs with a stock Canon DSLR on my iExos 100. I wanted to go a step further and got myself an iOptron iGuider package which ships with a 120mm guidescope and only supports pulse guiding, not ST4. 

I connect the mount via wireless ASCOM, run N.I.N.A and everything works flawlessly - from framing targets to platesolving. That is, everything except guiding. For some reason, NINA keeps waiting to begin the sequence and guiding does not begin  .
PHD2 either freezes with an unresponsive window, or gives this notification "pulse guide has failed, guiding is likely to be ineffective"
I had the exact same problem with APT which made me switch to NINA in the first place.  I know guiding with  PHD2 is meant to be a piece of cake buy so far it has resulted in countless sleepless nights and a lot of yanked hair. What am I doing wrong? 

P.S, I'm not using POTH hub or EQMOD to connect the mount , because both NINA and APT natively recognize the ESPMC eight driver . And I'm not using not using a serial cable. I don't know if either of these is mandatory to get guiding to work, of so please help. 


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2, Serial
Scopes: SW 130P-DS, SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM 6.3, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Wes Mcdonald
 

Nihar:

You MUST use POTH.  Only one application can connect to the pmc8 driver, it is not a server.  So connect POTH to the pmc8 driver.  Then tell PHD and NINA to go to POTH.

This will fix your problems.
Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Nihar Pattnaik
 

Hi Wes,

I've tried getting POTH but the ASCOM website says that POTH has been discontinued now. with something called Device Hub. Do I connect PHD and NINA to connect to Device Hub Telescope ?


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

HI Nihir,

Wes is correct that you have to use POTH. POTH is still available in ASCOM Platform 6.5. You need to select POTH when installing the platform as it is not automatically selected. Just rerun the ASCOM 6.5 Platform installation program and make sure to select POTH when it gives you the selection dialog box, That should get you going.
--
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!


Nihar Pattnaik
 

Hi Wes and Jerry
I connected to POTH like you said. Here are the steps I took, I've attached screenshots at every step. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong. I've never used PHD2 before so I dont know how it is expected to behave. The cross hairs remain yellow ( I'm told they are supposed to turn green once they lock onto a star?) and lose track of a guide star in seconds and my guide graph never shows anything.

1.  first connect to the mount on wifi
2 . connect PM8 telescope to POTH hub
3. Open up PHD2 and connect to my guide cam and then to POTH hub
4. Open NINA, connect my DSLR, under camera, to POTH hub under Telescope, amd to PHD2 under Guider
5 At this stage usually POTH hub stops responding ( Freezes)
Even if its not frozen, it doesnt do anything
6. Slewing to Target, plate solving, homing in , taking test shots with the amera all work great under NINA
7 The moment I start a guided sequence, NINA keeps waiting with the llittle circle going round and round at the bottom right, ad infinitum.

If i try the NINA sequence with guiding turned of, the camera gets to work instantly, all works great

PHD2 meanwhille has drifted of the guide star by many pixels, the crosshairs remain yellow, and the performance graph still shows empty


Nihar Pattnaik
 

Here's PHD's debug log


Jennifer Shelly
 

On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 05:05 PM, Nihar Pattnaik wrote:
1.  first connect to the mount on wifi
Nahir:

I suspect the reason why POTH is freezing is because of the WiFi connection.  You really should be using a USB connection.  It is more reliable and I suspect it would solve the freezing issues you are experiencing.

--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 iEXOS-100
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, Askar FRA 400, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, QHY Mini Guide Scope, Solomark F60 Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY600M, QHY128C, QHY168C
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance, QHY CFW3-L, Baader 2” LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


Nihar Pattnaik
 

Installed the FTDI driver today, got a wired serial connection running. Daylight, indoor tests show that POTH + NINA is running fine  . Have to wait and test it out tonight with PHD, thank you Wes and Jennifer ! 
--
iExos 100 PMC Eight mount
Bresser 102/460mm f/4.5 achromatic refractor
Orion Apex 90 Maksutov Cassegrain
Orion 130mm f/5 Newtonian
StarTracker 114 mm f/4.5 Newtonian
Canon EOS 1500D DSLR
iOptron iGuider + 120 mm guidescope
12v 2A Field Battery


Nihar Pattnaik
 

Hi

Could someone please help me with this  - the cabled connections were running fine earlier today  , but after I powered it on outdoors, connecting the USB doesn't seem to get the mount online.  I tried using the configuration manager to change it to a wired ASCOM connection  , but the CM says the mount is not connected. What's worse, now I can't switch it to wifi either,  and the PMC 8 wifi server appears to be switched off  . Could anyone guide me on this ? The mount is completely disconnected form the computer at the moment and nothing seems to get it back online 
--
iExos 100 PMC Eight mount
Bresser 102/460mm f/4.5 achromatic refractor
Orion Apex 90 Maksutov Cassegrain
Orion 130mm f/5 Newtonian
StarTracker 114 mm f/4.5 Newtonian
Canon EOS 1500D DSLR
iOptron iGuider + 120 mm guidescope
12v 2A Field Battery


Nihar Pattnaik
 

Does the wifi turn off as soon as the USB is connected? What I mean to say is, once the USB is disconnected, does the mount automatically switch back to wifi or does it need to be changed manually via the CM ? If it needs to remain connected over wifi for the CM to switch it back to wifi, isn't this something of a catch 22 situation?
--
iExos 100 PMC Eight mount
Bresser 102/460mm f/4.5 achromatic refractor
Orion Apex 90 Maksutov Cassegrain
Orion 130mm f/5 Newtonian
StarTracker 114 mm f/4.5 Newtonian
Canon EOS 1500D DSLR
iOptron iGuider + 120 mm guidescope
12v 2A Field Battery


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Nihar,

If you have installed the new firmware version 20A01 the serial port and the WiFi are available all the time to connect to, no more need to execute a switch. The ESX! command no longer exists in the firmware. Please review the update document that comes with the installation zip file. If you have not updated your firmware then the mount needs to be manually switched back and forth between WiFi and Serial.
--
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!