Explore Scientific EXOS2-GT-PMC can Auto Guide 30 sec to 600 sec with very low RMS


Christopher Engell
 
Edited

Hello, I wanted the people that have used or owned or own the "Explore Scientific EXOS2-GT Equatorial Mount with PMC-Eight GoTo System" mount and I know that it says that for Astrophotography that it can handle 28 lbs and 40 lbs for visual and I wanted information from users and owners that is this mount really a 14-28 lbs mount with auto guiding will the ok PE Error that would be good enough with PHD2 Auto guiding for 30 to 600 seconds exposures?

 

I understand that with a wide field scope like an 300mm or 600mm focal length on this mount would be great but I want to use my Orion 180 Mak and my Tak FS102 both about 15-20 lbs loaded with camera & guide camera, filter wheel the full setup would my expectations be correct that I can do 30 sec to 600 sec auto guiding with PHD2?

 

Or this mount when working in good condition can do this or no way? As I am also looking at an iOptron CEM 26 about the same weight load class at 26 lbs and I read that this weight is not real world but any advice is welcomed as I am thinking getting either mount and leaning towards the EXOS2-GT PCM?

 

Also understand that a bigger and more stability for the  mount would handle the wind but I can't control that much in my driveway but will keep either tripod legs short as possible to improve the satiability.   

 

Thank you for your input!

Christopher


Micheal
 

Christopher

I have a 6"x750mm reflector w/ motor focuser total wt around 22 lbs. I take 240 sec light do to air plane traffic and light pollution. With PHD-2 and the updated PMC eight firmware update I'm typically seeing .22 to .45 arc second guiding with PHD-2. I just picked up a 6"x1370mm  RC  about 26 lbs w/ guide scope and was able to Center Jupiter  the other night and it tracked Jupiter with out a guide scope just find without any correction for about 45 min's.

Balance seem to be the Key as with any mount. I also had to tune the mounts RA and Dec backlash to get these numbers.  I also am doing astrophotography only using APT and Sharp cap using the serial connection.


On 11/23/2021 8:29 PM, Christopher Engell wrote:

Hello, I wanted the people that have used or owned or own the "Explore Scientific EXOS2-GT Equatorial Mount with PMC-Eight GoTo System" mount and I know that it says that for Astrophotography that it can handle 28 lbs and 40 lbs for visual and I wanted information from users and owners that is this mount really a 14-28 lbs mount with auto guiding will the RMS Error would be good enough with PHD2 Auto guiding for 30 to 600 seconds exposures?

 

I understand that with a wide field scope like an 300mm or 600mm focal length on this mount would be great but I want to use my Orion 180 Mak and my Tak FS102 both about 15-20 lbs loaded with camera & guide camera, filter wheel the full setup would my expectations be correct that I can do 30 sec to 600 sec auto guiding with PHD2?

 

Or this mount when working in good condition can do this or no way? As I am also looking at an iOptron CEM 26 about the same weight load at 26 lbs and I read that this weight is not real world but any advice is welcomed as I am thinking getting either mount and leaning towards the EXOS2-GT PCM?

 

Also understand that a bigger and more stability for the  mount would handle the wind but I can't control that much in my driveway but will keep either tripod legs short as possible to improve the satiability.   

 

Thank you for your input!

Christopher


Christopher Engell
 

Thanks Micheal, good to hear! Now when you say you had to tune the RA & Dec backlash are you talking on this doc "https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/User%20Contributions/EXOS2PMC8_TuningNotes_v2.pdf"?
This site is so Awesome for the Explore Scientific EXOS2-GT-PMC, that I am leaning to this mount, as I have a bigger mount the iOptron CEM 60 but too big and heavy and I know I won't get that payload and tracking but then again I not using it either, so my search for a medium quality mount for less then $1K and I think since the LXD85 is not made anymore and the CEM26 and or the GEM28 and this mount all around the $1k-$1050 range and would like to get feedback like yours on my expectations on the EXOS2-PCM. I only wished that SkySafari 7 Pro would support this mount directly but it won't until if ever they add it!

Thank you again!
Christopher


Micheal
 

Yes

This is the first thing i would do with the Mount. I had several issues and if I had tuned the mound first i think I would of solved all my problems.

I'm really like the mount know.

Micheal

On 11/23/2021 10:05 PM, Christopher Engell wrote:
Thanks Micheal, good to hear! Now when you say you had to tune the RA & Dec backlash are you talking on this doc "https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/User%20Contributions/EXOS2PMC8_TuningNotes_v2.pdf"?
This site is so Awesome for the Explore Scientific EXOS2-GT-PMC, that I am leaning to this mount, as I have a bigger mount the iOptron CEM 60 but too big and heavy and I know I won't get that payload and tracking but then again I not using it either, so my search for a medium quality mount for less then $1K and I think since the LXD85 is not made anymore and the CEM26 and or the GEM28 and this mount all around the $1k-$1050 range and would like to get feedback like yours on my expectations on the EXOS2-PCM. I only wished that SkySafari 7 Pro would support this mount directly but it won't until if ever they add it!

Thank you again!
Christopher


Christopher Engell
 

Thanks again, so did you use that doc "https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/User%20Contributions/EXOS2PMC8_TuningNotes_v2.pdf"?

Or did you tune with some other info, sorry I am new here and really thank everyone here!

Christopher


Wes Mcdonald
 

Christopher

Yes. That document details what to do for the backlash and a few other things that might be useful.  

SkySafari can be used to control the mount.  What you do is connect your pc to a WiFi network, and run a program called WiFiscope.  SkySafari is then configured to send Meade classic LX100 commands to the wifiscope IP address.  WiFiscope catches the commands and converts them to ascom method calls which are then used by ascom and the explore scientific driver to run the mount via the serial connection.  You can use your home network WiFi for this purpose.  In the field I also use an old WiFi router to create a local lan that everything connects to.

But there are other options also.  You can use the explore scientific tablet application, Explorestars, which connects via WiFi to the pmc8 and provides a nice visual control system .  You can also at the same time have your pc running ascom and PhD via serial and take astrophotos.  Explorestars gives you the hand held ability to manipulate the mount.  Presently Explorestars runs on an iPad or android tablet (also on windows, but the other apps are better in certain ways) but explore scientific has advertised that a version will be coming out in 2022 for iPhones and android phones.

The best way though for astrophotography is to use all applications on the pc with some site automation software such as APT or NINA.  These integrate PhD and stellarium or CDC planetarium programs with plate solving and image acquisition.  It’s all very slick 

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+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, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Steve Siedentop
 

Regarding SkySafari…it appears the newly released SkySafari 7 isn’t playing well with WiFiScope.  I’ve seen a few messages on their support forum but I haven’t seen a resolution yet.  

If you have your heart set on SkySafari, you can also check out AstroBerry that runs on a RaspberryPi with INDI.  The INDI framework has a SkySafari bridge that does the same thing.  The hardware is certainly cheaper than a Windows device, but it may take a bit to become familiar with AstroBerry.  There are also instructions here to set up your usb to serial adapter to connect to the RaspberryPi. You don’t need to do this on the iEXOS-100, but you’ll need to do it on the G-11 and EXOS-2 PMC-8 mounts.

-Steve

On Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 9:14 AM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Christopher

Yes. That document details what to do for the backlash and a few other things that might be useful.  

SkySafari can be used to control the mount.  What you do is connect your pc to a WiFi network, and run a program called WiFiscope.  SkySafari is then configured to send Meade classic LX100 commands to the wifiscope IP address.  WiFiscope catches the commands and converts them to ascom method calls which are then used by ascom and the explore scientific driver to run the mount via the serial connection.  You can use your home network WiFi for this purpose.  In the field I also use an old WiFi router to create a local lan that everything connects to.

But there are other options also.  You can use the explore scientific tablet application, Explorestars, which connects via WiFi to the pmc8 and provides a nice visual control system .  You can also at the same time have your pc running ascom and PhD via serial and take astrophotos.  Explorestars gives you the hand held ability to manipulate the mount.  Presently Explorestars runs on an iPad or android tablet (also on windows, but the other apps are better in certain ways) but explore scientific has advertised that a version will be coming out in 2022 for iPhones and android phones.

The best way though for astrophotography is to use all applications on the pc with some site automation software such as APT or NINA.  These integrate PhD and stellarium or CDC planetarium programs with plate solving and image acquisition.  It’s all very slick 

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+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, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40, Celestron C-11
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Misc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, Sequence Generator Pro, SkySafari


Christopher Engell
 

Thank you Steve Siedentop, I kinda do want to use SkySafari 7 Pro, but also have Ver 6 that does work with WiFiScope I understand. Will any FTDI DB-9 Male to USB 2.0 adapter work as long as it used the FTDI chipset? 

Well thank you to everyone replying to my post and tonight because I just ordered an EXOS-2 PMC-8 mount! I just hope it's in stock????

Christopher


Wes Mcdonald
 

Christopher 

I believe the new exos2 are coming with a usb to serial cable.  Check with ES customer service.  

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+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, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Christopher Engell
 

Hi Wes, thank you for the info, it's funny that ES does not list that, but I got 1 from amazon for like $6 so no problem. I think it's odd that SE sells or sold 1 that is only 3 feet long as I would want a 6 foot cable so I have more room from the PMC-8 serial port to the laptop right as I think many attach the PMC-8 to the tripod leg and then use a 3 foot cord, that seams really short?

I just hope ES has them in stock as if they didn't why let me purchase 1 if not in stock? I should hear tomorrow that they are shipping it?

Thanks to all that support this site!!! YEAH!
Christopher


Wes Mcdonald
 

Christopher 

I know the cable is a new thing.  

I believe the web site shows when things are out of stock.  So maybe you are good to go.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+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, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Christopher Engell
 
Edited

Thank you again Wes! Yes you are 100% correct it's in STOCK. Also when I put 99 units it said only 93 were in stock...LOL.

But does anyone know if the CG-5 11 LBS counterweight will work or fit the EXOS2-GT PMC-8 or the SE 9.9 LBS is OUT OF STOCK, and anybody who else has them and maybe FREE SHIPPING??

Or know the Diameter of the EXOS2-GT PMC-8 counterweight shaft in mm? Maybe I already have a counterweight that will work??

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!
Christopher


 

Christopher - my counterweight shaft (Exos2 PMC8) is 20mm

On Fri, Nov 26, 2021, at 13:35, Christopher Engell wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Thank you again Wes! Yes you are 100% correct it's in STOCK. Also when I put 99 units it said only 93 were in stock...LOL.

But does anyone know if the CG-5 11 LBS counterweight will work or fit the EXOS2-GT PMC-8 or the SE 9.9 LBS is OUT OF STOCK, and anybody who else has them and maybe FREE SHIPPING??

Or know the Diameter of the EXOS2-GT PMC-8 counterweight shaft in mm? Maybe I already have a counterweight that will work??

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!
Christopher


--
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
 

Christopher 

The exos2 comes with two big old counterweights.  You won’t need more.  Probably.  The issue is less if you have a light weight rig.  How much does your telescope/camera rig weigh?

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+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, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Christopher Engell
 

Well Wes, that depends on which scope. The lightest is a SharpStar 61 EDII and loaded think about 8 LBS loaded, so I agree your right that I will need lighter counterweights. I really did not think about that but with the help here I found 2 older Celestron CG-4 counterweights, and they have 20mm holes so if the EXOS2-GT PMC is a 20mm shaft they should fit and maybe a very little grinding the hole bigger? 

Wes how are you liking your ES EXOS2-GT PMC mount, any mods to it or the tripod? I like doing mods to improve the satiability and making it easier and faster to transport. I understand that this mount comes in a hard ok quality case, so maybe a carry bag? 

Not sure if you saw Facebook ES channel they put about 85 LBS on an stock (Well I HOPE so) EXOS2-GT PMC mount and worked rotated fine, I know this is way beyond normal use even for visual and if I can get about 1 Arc second error with say an 180 MAK loaded and or an Orion 6" F4 Newtonian about 15-18 LBS I WILL BE VERY HAPPY! If not then I will be so SAD...

Thanks
Christopher


Wes Mcdonald
 

Christopher

The Exos2 is a mount that can perform well when guided.  People have varying results depending upon their patience and willingness to work with it.  

For optimal performance you will want to go through the backlash adjustments detailed in the paper by Bob Hoskins found in the files section of the Main subgroup. (look for it in this list:  https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/User%20Contributions)   You will also want to adhere to a usage pattern that tries to maintain the alignment of the wheel and worm, which basically means once you establish where everything is set, use only the motors to turn the mount, especially in DEC.  This will make more sense to you when you get your mount.

I generally manage better than 1.5" rms combined.  On some go rounds it is better, sometimes worse.  How you set your weight balance up is important in this.  

Wind disturbances of course can affect your ability to guide. 

Your newt at F4 has a FL of about 610mm.  For a 4u camera sensor that means the pixel resolution would be about 1.35".  Atmospheric effects typically will be 1-3" and usually limit your usable resolution.  As a result, guiding at about 1-1.5" should be fine for your Newt.  But of course your mileage may vary.   I have taken some very nice images with my exos2 at 750mm with both a D5300 and an ASI 071.  I run exposures up to 240 seconds without too much worry about excessive images being ruined.  Other people run better than I do though.

If your 180 Mak has a 2700mm focal length, I would say you better limit your exposures to planetary lucky imaging for lots of reasons, and if so you will likely be fine.  Don't know really, I don't operate mine longer than 940mm, and don't do planetary.  Others in the forum can comment though, there are some pretty impressive rigs being used on the exos2.

Wes.


Your 



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+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, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired