Topics

locked ES EXOS2 and ZWO ASI Air Pro


Matthew Krauft
 

Is the ZWO ASI Air Pro compatible with the EXOS2? I’m new to the community and new to amateur astronomy. Thank you all in advance for the advice and answers. 


Omar Rahman
 

Hi Matthew,

I use the original Asiair with Exos2-pmc8. It really makes things a lot simpler and I'm up and imaging within a few minutes without needing a laptop and its power requirements. I imagine the pro will work fine too. I'm still deciding whether to upgrade or not-so far I don't feel like I'm missing anything from the pro (live stacking, nicer box, power distribution). In addition, the pro has known to have some wifi range issues because of the aluminum case. The rest of the feature are the same. It doesn't matter immediately anyway since there is almost zero availability from ZWO. 

One important thing to note (at least how it worked for me) is that at first it would just stop tracking repeatedly after a few minutes and I almost gave up and sold the ASIAIR. Then I read a post by Jerry Hubbell that made me think to try the B version of the firmware which doesn't drop tracking after an interrupted connection. It has worked almost flawlessly since then. The app talks to the ASIAIR which is mounted on the scope. Even if there is a momentary dropped connection or lost wifi/hotsopt everything keeps proceeding normally.

I also use the Stellarmate OS flashed to a Raspberry Pi 4 with the Exos. That also works and is more flexible and configurable, at the cost of ease and stability. It crashes regularly enough to make me think twice. For visual I still use Stellarmate though since it works with Sky Safari and I can just point to anywhere in the sky and touch the screen to slew to that point. 

Hope this helps.

Omar
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


Matthew Krauft
 

Omar,

Thank you so much for the useful and informative advice. I truly appreciate it. I did have to google a couple things (i.e. Stellarmate, Rasberry). It’s a whole new world I never even knew about. I’ll move forward with the Pro once I decide on a dedicated astro camera. I’m leaning toward the ASI294MC Pro. Right now I’m using a Sony A7s, and the Air Pro doesn’t support Sony yet. Bummer. So, in the meantime, I’ll just being learning with what I have.
Thanks again!!! Great support in this group.  

-Matt

On Apr 2, 2020, at 4:44 PM, Omar Rahman <omar1166@...> wrote:

Hi Matthew,

I use the original Asiair with Exos2-pmc8. It really makes things a lot simpler and I'm up and imaging within a few minutes without needing a laptop and its power requirements. I imagine the pro will work fine too. I'm still deciding whether to upgrade or not-so far I don't feel like I'm missing anything from the pro (live stacking, nicer box, power distribution). In addition, the pro has known to have some wifi range issues because of the aluminum case. The rest of the feature are the same. It doesn't matter immediately anyway since there is almost zero availability from ZWO. 

One important thing to note (at least how it worked for me) is that at first it would just stop tracking repeatedly after a few minutes and I almost gave up and sold the ASIAIR. Then I read a post by Jerry Hubbell that made me think to try the B version of the firmware which doesn't drop tracking after an interrupted connection. It has worked almost flawlessly since then. The app talks to the ASIAIR which is mounted on the scope. Even if there is a momentary dropped connection or lost wifi/hotsopt everything keeps proceeding normally.

I also use the Stellarmate OS flashed to a Raspberry Pi 4 with the Exos. That also works and is more flexible and configurable, at the cost of ease and stability. It crashes regularly enough to make me think twice. For visual I still use Stellarmate though since it works with Sky Safari and I can just point to anywhere in the sky and touch the screen to slew to that point. 

Hope this helps.

Omar
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


Omar Rahman
 

Hi Matthew,

You're welcome. I'm still learning lots from others. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Omar
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


Jeny@
 

Hello Omar,

I thinking of adding Asiair to my EXOS2 PMC8 setup and have couple questions to you. To connect Asiair to PMC8, I will need a cable 
with FTDI chipset and reprogram it. Did you have any issues with connecting to Asiair?
Do you use Sky Safari and Asiair's plate solving to center an object - how it works for you?

Thanks!


Omar Rahman
 

Hi Jeny,

The FDTI cable works fine once reprogramed. Just plug into Asiair and it recognizes the Exos 2 and works well. Other than it would stop tracking until I changed the PMC8 to firmware B.

SkySafari does not work with the Asiair/PMC8 combo. The Asiair has it's own database that I use to goto objects. You can also enter RA/Dec coordinates directly into the Asiair for those I can't find (and save them too). And yes, it plate solves to center and does it well and quickly. I often use another program (e.g., Stellarium) to get the exact framing I want with my camera sensor and note the coordinates of the center of that frame and then enter that into Asiair. That way, I have to adjust minimally.

I also use Stellarmate (usually for visual) and that has a way to connect SkySafari to the PMC8. That works well too. 

It took a while to get everything working right but I'm glad I took the time. Now I can set up, polar align, and start imaging within 20 minutes.

Hope this helps.

Omar
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


Jeny@
 
Edited

Omar, thanks for fast response! I googled Stellarmate - sounds like a fun toy to have! Do you use a gamepad to control your telescope with Stellarmate?
Have you tried that 'Mount Modelling' - seems like it something to improve go-to accuracy - should be good thing to have if no plate solving - is it working with exos2/pmc8 ?


Omar Rahman
 

Sure-anytime. 


I don’t use a game pad. The sky safari buttons on the screen on my phone are easy enough to press with one hand without looking once you get used to it. 
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


Henry Staub
 

Omar:

I have EXOS2 and ASIAir Pro.  I cannot connect with the Pro.  Do you know if flashing the FTDI cable would solve the issue.

Thanks

Hank


Wade Prunty
 

Hank, have you used the PMC-Eight configuration manager to enable the serial port that you're connecting that cable to?
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100
William Optics SpaceCat 51 APO
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro, ASI533MC Pro
Canon 5D, T3i (Both Astro Mods)
William Optics UniGuide
ZWO ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASIAIR Pro


Mario
 

We've developed a guide that can walk you through it :)


On Thu., Sep. 3, 2020, 4:50 p.m. Wade Prunty, <wadeprunty@...> wrote:
Hank, have you used the PMC-Eight configuration manager to enable the serial port that you're connecting that cable to?
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100
William Optics SpaceCat 51 APO
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro, ASI533MC Pro
Canon 5D, T3i (Both Astro Mods)
William Optics UniGuide
ZWO ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASIAIR Pro


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Henry Staub
 

No I was wondering.


Henry Staub
 

How do I do it?  


Henry Staub
 

So I am at the point where nothing I do connects to the mount.

Set Gonfig Mgr to Serial and flashed the cable so it thinks it is a serial cable.

1. on the PMC8 box i run serial cable to ASIAIR
2. PMC8 box picks up power from serial cable in the ASI box.
3 Using ASI software I set wifi to local 
4 11200 is baud rate
5. Setting the slider to green gives me error of no connection

This is grand fund some one help me please.

Thanks

Hank


Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

Did you switch the pmc box to serial before you switched the FTDI chip 


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Henry Staub via groups.io <hkstaub@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 2:11 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] ES EXOS2 and ZWO ASI Air Pro
 
So I am at the point where nothing I do connects to the mount.

Set Gonfig Mgr to Serial and flashed the cable so it thinks it is a serial cable.

1. on the PMC8 box i run serial cable to ASIAIR
2. PMC8 box picks up power from serial cable in the ASI box.
3 Using ASI software I set wifi to local 
4 11200 is baud rate
5. Setting the slider to green gives me error of no connection

This is grand fund some one help me please.

Thanks

Hank


--

1458310636860_logo.png

 

Tyler Bowman - Customer Service

Office   +1(866) 252-3811 Ext: 516

Fax        +1(479) 717-2898


Vijay <vijaysam@...>
 

I use ASI AIR with iExos 100 which also has the PMC8 system.

When you try to connect, on ASI AIR, just below "Telescope" next to "Serial" it should show something like USB-RS232 and your Baud rate after it which is 115200. Unless you see something next to "Serial" clicking on the slider will not connect. Even before you press the slider next to the telescope selected, you should have the green "Serial" identify your RS232 connection. I presume it should be mostly similar for EXOS2 as well.

Once in a while when I  connect, the serial connection does not properly show up. Most times I disconnect the connection to the mount and make sure its properly connected, when the RS232 serial connection pops up next to "Serial" on ASI AIR.


Mario
 

Hi Hank, 

I run the ASIAir Pro with the iExos 100.
Can you connect to the mount using a serial cable and the Explore Scientific configuration manager?
If so, in the config manager, can you confirm the connection type by clicking 'Do it' and reviewing the response in the screen at the bottom?

That's your starting point.

Once you have the mount in serial ...COM3 or COM8 etc...then the ASIAir Pro will find it also,
Just connect, start up the ASIAIR, go to the scope symbol at the top and then enable the scope/mount by moving slider in top-right to the on position.

But that serial connection needs to be confirmed via the ES Config Manager first.




On Tue, Sep 8, 2020 at 3:25 PM Tyler Bowman - Explore Scientific Customer Service <Tyler@...> wrote:
Did you switch the pmc box to serial before you switched the FTDI chip 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Henry Staub via groups.io <hkstaub=gmail.com@groups.io>
Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 2:11 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] ES EXOS2 and ZWO ASI Air Pro
 
So I am at the point where nothing I do connects to the mount.

Set Gonfig Mgr to Serial and flashed the cable so it thinks it is a serial cable.

1. on the PMC8 box i run serial cable to ASIAIR
2. PMC8 box picks up power from serial cable in the ASI box.
3 Using ASI software I set wifi to local 
4 11200 is baud rate
5. Setting the slider to green gives me error of no connection

This is grand fund some one help me please.

Thanks

Hank


--

1458310636860_logo.png

 

Tyler Bowman - Customer Service

Office   +1(866) 252-3811 Ext: 516

Fax        +1(479) 717-2898


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Mario
 

Hi Henry, try this process....we put some instructions together when a few of us were trying to get the ASIAir working with the iExos.
Instructions/process is in this email below...but also attached as a PDF.

Regards,

Mario

===========

1)       Update iExos to enable the mini-USB port

 

Scenario: Do this when you want to control the mount via a serial cable (using the mini-USB on the mount) so it can be controlled via the ASIAir Pro

 

What you need:

Mini-USB to USB cable – about 12 to 18 inches long.

1)       Download the PCM8 utility from the ES download site here  (http://02d3287.netsolhost.com/pmc-eight/setup-pmc8.exe).

Just in case my link doesn't work, the main ES download page is here.

2)       Install the utility on your Windows laptop.

3)       Power up your mount.

 

What you need to do to: Using the PCM Eight Interface Utility:

1)       Connect a Mini-USB to USB cable from your mount to your windows PC

2)       Connect your windows PC to the mount via WIFI 

3)       On your windows PC start the PCM8 utility you just downloaded

- 2 screens should pop-up:

 

Main Screen                                         Settings Screen

(Just in case the Settings screen doesn't come up, you can access it from the Main screen by going to Edit and selecting 'Settings')

 

4)       On the Main screen - Go to Edit, from the drop-down ensure iExos 100 is CHECKED

5)       On the Main screen - Go to Edit, from the drop-down ensure Autoscan is CHECKED

6)       On the Main screen - Go to Edit from the drop-down, click on 'Switch'. (to go from wifi to serial)

 

It will attempt to switch your mount from WIFI to the mini-USB cable using COM8 first.

If it works, the Main screen will indicate it's worked and you're ready to move on to the next section below.
If it doesn't work on, on the Settings screen, change the serial port to COM3 and repeat step 6 (click 'Switch')

 

7)       On the Main screen you should now have a 'PCM-Eight is active on COMx' message:
You have successfully enabled the mini-usb on your mount :)

8)       Take the mini-USB cable that is currently plugged to your mount and to your PC- unplug it from your PC and plug into the ASIAir.

9)       Power on the ASIAIR & iEXOS-100 (in the Park Position - this is with the scope pointing

towards the pole and the counterweight straight down)

10)   iEXOS-100 should be connected to the ASIAIR via the same USB cable used to update firmware.

(Need to buy separately  - refer to picture)

11)   Open the ASIAIR app, go to the Telescope Settings page, at the top of the page from the drop-list choose:

‘Explore Scientific IEXOS100’ then tap the right switch to connect to the mount.

 

 

Note: The Serial: USB-RS232 and the Baud: 115200 should be filled automatically. If not refer to the picture above.

12)   You are done. You’ll know as the Serial indicator will switch to ‘USB-RS232’


On Tue, Sep 8, 2020 at 3:11 PM Henry Staub <hkstaub@...> wrote:
So I am at the point where nothing I do connects to the mount.

Set Gonfig Mgr to Serial and flashed the cable so it thinks it is a serial cable.

1. on the PMC8 box i run serial cable to ASIAIR
2. PMC8 box picks up power from serial cable in the ASI box.
3 Using ASI software I set wifi to local 
4 11200 is baud rate
5. Setting the slider to green gives me error of no connection

This is grand fund some one help me please.

Thanks

Hank


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Marko Pola
 

I just purchased an EXOS2-GT PMC8 from Woodland Hills and i will be using it with the ASIAir Pro. Are these instructions similar for that mount too? Except with a different cable since that mount doesn’t have micro usb? I want to do a wired connection to asiair.


Marko Pola
 

I just got my Exos2 with PMC-8 set up. After a day spent troubleshooting issues connect to my windows PC via wifi, I used a different computer to finally to connect to the PMC-8 and switch to the serial connection in the configuration manager. I'm using a USB/Serial cable with the FTDI chipset.

I tested the serial connection with the ASCOM Device Hub and was able to successfully connect to my PMC-8 and control my telescope via my PC and ASCOM.

Then I plugged the USB side of my serial cable into the ASIAIR and powered it up. I went to the telescope settings and selected the EXOS2 mount with serial connection at baud 115200. Then i move the slider to try to connect to the telescope and I receive this error "CONNECT FAILED".

I then tested all the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports on the ASIAIR and got the same results. Restarted my PMC-8 and tried again with same results. Restarted my ASIAIR and tried again with same results.

I'm running ASIAIR version 1.4.4 firmware 5.81 on my ipad 13.6.1

Anyone else ever run into this problem. Should I post this into the ASIAIR facebook group and forums too?