File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #ExploreScientific #file-notice #UniversalFirmware


MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io Notification <noreply@...>
 

The following files have been updated in the Files area of the MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io group.

By: Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>

Description:
PMC-Eight Universal Firmware 20A01 RELEASE 2021-05-13 Software Files 2021-05-13 Added Configuration Manager (CM) version 1.03 to kit 2021-05-11 Fixed minor bug in firmware - RA motor stop 2021-04-24 Clarified Instructions and Added Startup Message Box 2021-04-14 Updated UFCT and Instruction Document


 

Jerry, I’ve been completely re-cabling my EXOS2 for the past week or so and haven’t had a chance to try any of the very recent firmware updates until tonight. When I unpacked that 05-13 kit from this morning’s file upload, I was surprised to find the 05-11 firmware, and experienced the dreaded RA crunches.  Am I looking the wrong spot for the 05-13 version?

 

Here’s my configuration:

 

Firmware: 2021.05.11 ES2A06BA20A01.RN131.AST4

PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver:5.13.21 (according to Apps & Features)

 

I ran the mount successfully using Explore Stars and had no RA issues.

 

I’ve attached the ASCOM Log (a really short one).

 

I’ll post pix of my cabling, mini-computer mount, etc. to the MOUNTS group soon.

 

 

Chuck Lewis

 

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io Notification
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2021 9:37 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #file-notice

 

The following files have been updated in the Files area of the MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io group.

By: Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>

Description:
PMC-Eight Universal Firmware 20A01 RELEASE 2021-05-13 Software Files 2021-05-13 Added Configuration Manager (CM) version 1.03 to kit 2021-05-11 Fixed minor bug in firmware - RA motor stop 2021-04-24 Clarified Instructions and Added Startup Message Box 2021-04-14 Updated UFCT and Instruction Document


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Hi Chuck,

Can you provide the boot splash screen text using the UFCT? That would help us troubleshoot the problem. The release kit is dated 05-13 but the latest firmware is dated 05-11. The release kit date is based on the latest file in the kit date.

Thanks.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Wes Mcdonald
 

Chuck:

Also, what is the "dreaded RA crunch"?  Do you mean binding?  The latest release fixed an RA delay issue.  But a "crunch" implies binding.  This is mechanical, not firmware.

Please let us know what it is you are experiencing.
Wes.


On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 11:16 AM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Further comments about release date for kit]

Hi Chuck,

Can you provide the boot splash screen text using the UFCT? That would help us troubleshoot the problem. The release kit is dated 05-13 but the latest firmware is dated 05-11. The release kit date is based on the latest file in the kit date.

Thanks.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


--
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


 

Wes, Jerry,

 

I’ll go get the splash screen. But first, an answer to your question: It does seem like binding, but when I’ve had real binding from a meridian crossing, for example, the sound is a periodic clunking. This is more of a granular sound. I slewed using CdC (so I wasn’t dealing with the singularities of the Poth hub buttons) and could hear what sounded like the motor was being sent noise rather than clean pulses. Then, to rule out any mechanical binding in my mount, I moved the ring gear (several times) by slewing in RA and rebooting to reset the home position.  The problem persisted. Then I loaded up Explore Stars and moved all around using the compass rose. No issues there. When I do slew from the Poth hub buttons, I can slew East and hear a clunk (like the clunk one hears upon PMC bootup) about one second into the slew. Then slewing West, it will go crazy after a second or two. These directions are inconsistent, probably related to the home position singularity.  

 

As a separate test, I’ll remove and reseat all DB9 connectors, too.  I’ll do those tests in the next hour or so, and will send the splash screen, as well.

 

CL

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Wes Mcdonald
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2021 10:38 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #file-notice

 

Chuck:

 

Also, what is the "dreaded RA crunch"?  Do you mean binding?  The latest release fixed an RA delay issue.  But a "crunch" implies binding.  This is mechanical, not firmware.

 

Please let us know what it is you are experiencing.

Wes.

 

 

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 11:16 AM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Further comments about release date for kit]

Hi Chuck,

Can you provide the boot splash screen text using the UFCT? That would help us troubleshoot the problem. The release kit is dated 05-13 but the latest firmware is dated 05-11. The release kit date is based on the latest file in the kit date.

Thanks.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes
: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras
:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc
: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software
: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


--
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


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


 

OK. That 05-11 label on the firmware had me chasing versions. I am using the firmware from the 05-13 kit.

CL

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2021 10:13 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #file-notice

 

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Further comments about release date for kit]

Hi Chuck,

Can you provide the boot splash screen text using the UFCT? That would help us troubleshoot the problem. The release kit is dated 05-13 but the latest firmware is dated 05-11. The release kit date is based on the latest file in the kit date.

Thanks.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


 

Boot splash screen attached.

 

I re-ran all the tests I had done last night with the same results. I then reseated all the DB9 connectors and retested…same results. When I tried Explore stars this time, I was careful to slew in RA far enough to emulate the tests I had done using Poth. I parked from a significant East excursion, to give it every chance to misbehave. Perfect parking in Explore Stars. No issues

 

Along the way, I remembered having played around with tracking currents while trying to improve my guiding in PHD2. This was a couple weeks ago, and I can no longer recall what versions I was using. When I raised the tracking current to 900ma., I remember experiencing the identical noise and hesitation I’m seeing today. I reverted to 600ma., and the problem was gone. BUT…in the process of playing around with motor currents, I noted that UFCT would not hold the revised current settings over a boot cycle; it reverted to the default values. At the time. I set that thought aside, and today, I checked for that same behavior. It is OK now; it will hold the updated settings. But I had the nagging notion that motor currents might be part of my issue today, so I dropped down to 400ma. in TRACKNG (since it was TRACKiNG that I had been messing with before). I re-ran the slew test, and it was perfect. HOORAY, I thought! But in a second test, the crunching returned. For grins, I tried reducing both currents to 600ms., but to no avail.

 

I’m adding the comment above, about currents, just to pass along all the clues I have. I know, that sometimes muddies the water, but I like to have all the clues I can get!

 

Did I miss anything?

 

 

Chuck

 

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Wes Mcdonald
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2021 10:38 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #file-notice

 

Chuck:

 

Also, what is the "dreaded RA crunch"?  Do you mean binding?  The latest release fixed an RA delay issue.  But a "crunch" implies binding.  This is mechanical, not firmware.

 

Please let us know what it is you are experiencing.

Wes.

 

 

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 11:16 AM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Further comments about release date for kit]

Hi Chuck,

Can you provide the boot splash screen text using the UFCT? That would help us troubleshoot the problem. The release kit is dated 05-13 but the latest firmware is dated 05-11. The release kit date is based on the latest file in the kit date.

Thanks.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes
: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras
:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc
: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software
: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


--
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


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 02:10 PM, Chuck Lewis wrote:
I re-ran the slew test, and it was perfect. HOORAY, I thought! But in a second test, the crunching returned. For grins, I tried reducing both currents to 600ms., but to no avail.
Hi Chuck,

Thanks for reporting all this... above you said it was all working and then it started crunching again. Do you recall changing anything that would cause it to fail again, or did you do the second test right after the first test that was good? 
 
--
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!


Bear40
 

A quick suggestion you may want to update the pdf instructions as the refer to the 4/13 update.  I did not try the link to see where that sent me. 
--
Bear40 
Clestron C5
Zhumell 10in Dob
exos 100
Zwo 120 mc
Sony alpha 6000
Sbony 60mm guide scope


Jennifer Shelly
 

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 12:39 PM, Chuck Lewis wrote:
When I do slew from the Poth hub buttons,
Chuck:

What speed from the drop-down list are you using in POTH to slew?  I used 2.5 when I was doing all of my testing with no issues.
 
--
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


 

I did the second test immediately. No other changes. I tried a few more times and chalked it up to “testing noise/random artifacts” and “this is not the problem you are seeking”.  

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 8:41 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #file-notice

 

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 02:10 PM, Chuck Lewis wrote:

I re-ran the slew test, and it was perfect. HOORAY, I thought! But in a second test, the crunching returned. For grins, I tried reducing both currents to 600ms., but to no avail.

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for reporting all this... above you said it was all working and then it started crunching again. Do you recall changing anything that would cause it to fail again, or did you do the second test right after the first test that was good? 
 
--
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!


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


 

Jennifer, I was using 30’ (distance). When I use 2.5 (rate) it’s OK.

 

Chuck

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jennifer Shelly via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 10:35 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] File /PMC-Eight 20A01 Firmware Installation Kit 2021-05-13.zip updated #file-notice

 

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 12:39 PM, Chuck Lewis wrote:

When I do slew from the Poth hub buttons,

Chuck:

What speed from the drop-down list are you using in POTH to slew?  I used 2.5 when I was doing all of my testing with no issues.
 
--
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


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools