Topics

New to Guiding

Jay Stanley
 

Greetings and happy new year,
Sorry if this is redundant, I did do some searching thru the messages and still don't understand. I'm looking into setting up guiding on my EXEXOS2 PMC Mount and need to know what and how to hook up a guide camers. The PMC has an ST4 port, do I use that and how does that talk to the computer? VIa Wifi? Also wanted to use PHD software or others. I've seen using serial connections etc. Not sure how to do that and you have to remember your talking to an ID10T user :)
I had the scope up and running using Stellarium and Stellarium scope but that's been a while back, I can figure it out again but others seem to prefer CdC. I'd appreciate any help. Weather's been awful in OKC area and most of my AP has been solar or lunar so no guiding needed.
Best to all,
Jay

 

Jay,
 
Yep, lots of posts here on guiding, but if you're just getting oriented the connections between the dots might not be apparent.
 
The PMC8's ST4 port is best ignored, in favor of What's called ASCOM pulse guiding.  You should use wired connections, for their reliability.  Unless you have a scope computer (laptop?) with a lot of USB ports free, you will probably want to connect mount, cameras, etc. to a POWERED usb hub, not unpowered (reliability again). 
 
I can't speak to Stellarium, as I don't use it (CdC here).  

My physical USB connections for guiding, FWIW, look like this:
Guide camera                                                    -> USB Hub
PMC8 (via FTDI serial-to-USB cable + driver)  -> USB Hub
USB Hub      -> Laptop
 
On the laptop (and leaving out a bunch of stuff not relevant to your question): 
ASCOM POTH w/PMC8 driver (the ASCOM server/hub) is running and connected to the PMC8
PHD2 knows how to connect to POTH for the mount, as part of its initial setup/config.
PHD2 knows how to connect to the guide camera (remember, it's a USB device), as part of its initial setup/config.
When you start PHD2 for guiding, you tell it to connect to POTH and the guide camera, using the config set up earlier.
 
More here:
https://openphdguiding.org/about-open-phd/

Hope this helps...
 
- Bob
 
  
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Jay Stanley
 

Bob,

Many thanks sir! This will get me pointed in the right direction for sure. I'll try also to download and use CdC. Where can I find POTH and could anyone recommend a good powered usb hub..not sure how many ports to look for.
CS,
Jay
PS..one last thing, can I get this up and running in the house (of course guiding won't work) to work out connections etc??

On 1/2/2020 9:38:30 AM, Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:

Jay,
 
Yep, lots of posts here on guiding, but if you're just getting oriented the connections between the dots might not be apparent.
 
The PMC8's ST4 port is best ignored, in favor of What's called ASCOM pulse guiding.  You should use wired connections, for their reliability.  Unless you have a scope computer (laptop?) with a lot of USB ports free, you will probably want to connect mount, cameras, etc. to a POWERED usb hub, not unpowered (reliability again). 
 
I can't speak to Stellarium, as I don't use it (CdC here).  

My physical USB connections for guiding, FWIW, look like this:
Guide camera                                                    -> USB Hub
PMC8 (via FTDI serial-to-USB cable + driver)  -> USB Hub
USB Hub      -> Laptop
 
On the laptop (and leaving out a bunch of stuff not relevant to your question): 
ASCOM POTH w/PMC8 driver (the ASCOM server/hub) is running and connected to the PMC8
PHD2 knows how to connect to POTH for the mount, as part of its initial setup/config.
PHD2 knows how to connect to the guide camera (remember, it's a USB device), as part of its initial setup/config.
When you start PHD2 for guiding, you tell it to connect to POTH and the guide camera, using the config set up earlier.
 
More here:
https://openphdguiding.org/about-open-phd/

Hope this helps...
 
- Bob
 
  
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

 

Jay,

When you download and install the ASCOM platform, POTH is part of the package.  It's a messaging hub/server, so devices connected with it can communicate with each other. 

Powered hubs?  Lots of different opinions on good and bad.  I ended up with an Anker 7-port and I've been happy with mine.  Connects to my laptop with USB3, supports connected devices w/both 2 and 3, so one consideration is what your scope computer/laptop is happy supporting.

Yes, you can set up indoors.


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Jay Stanley
 

I'm guessing download the PMC Configuration Manager as well? Is it pretty intuitive?
Thanks again for all the help. I'll probably get the cable and start there with CdC and get that up and running first.
BTW anybody use the ASIAir Pro...all wireless and self contained?
CS,
Jay

PS...a bit cloudy, bad seeing and transparency tonite..not so good for the meteor shower.

On 1/2/2020 4:44:54 PM, Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:

Jay,

When you download and install the ASCOM platform, POTH is part of the package.  It's a messaging hub/server, so devices connected with it can communicate with each other. 

Powered hubs?  Lots of different opinions on good and bad.  I ended up with an Anker 7-port and I've been happy with mine.  Connects to my laptop with USB3, supports connected devices w/both 2 and 3, so one consideration is what your scope computer/laptop is happy supporting.

Yes, you can set up indoors.


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

 

Jay,
 
You're welcome :-)
 
The Configuration Mgr is indeed useful.  
 
Remember, the cable needs to be an FTDI cable, don't forget to install the drivers for it.  The search tool here will turn up some reccos for you.  The drivers create a virtual COM port for the PMC8 driver to connect to.
 
Do a search here and you will find a few folks using ASIair, or Stellarmate or INDI (all related).  I believe the INDI drivers (linux, I  don't use it yet, but some day...), came together about a year ago, so support should just flow through to those products.  Wireless in the PHD2 control loop is probably not a good idea, but lots of folks doing a remote session into their scope computer running that control loop.  I use TightVNC from my (warm, inside) laptop over the house wifi, into my laptop outside.  More than one way to do it.  :-)
 
HTH,
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Pavel
 

Hi,

I tried to establish a wireless connection with INDI drivers without any
success, and it looks like it is a problem of the mount. It probably
receives the commands and works, but the problem is responding. For UDP
control it probably never sends any response at all, and for TCP it is
responding with great delay (if at all) and confuses the INDI driver.
So, wired control seems the only working way.

Best regards,
Pavel

I'm guessing download the PMC Configuration Manager as well? Is it
pretty intuitive?
Thanks again for all the help. I'll probably get the cable and start
there with CdC and get that up and running first.
BTW anybody use the ASIAir Pro...all wireless and self contained?
CS,
Jay

PS...a bit cloudy, bad seeing and transparency tonite..not so good for
the meteor shower.

On 1/2/2020 4:44:54 PM, Robert Hoskin <@Devonshire> wrote:

Jay,

When you download and install the ASCOM platform, POTH is part of the
package.  It's a messaging hub/server, so devices connected with it
can communicate with each other. 

Powered hubs?  Lots of different opinions on good and bad.  I ended up
with an Anker 7-port and I've been happy with mine.  Connects to my
laptop with USB3, supports connected devices w/both 2 and 3, so one
consideration is what your scope computer/laptop is happy supporting.

Yes, you can set up indoors.


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

 

Pavel,
 
I did a quick search on forum posts and see that wireless PMC8 connection for INDI has been worked on, as well as wired, although whether that covers both flavors of PMC8 wifi, I wouldn't know.  In any case, wired would be the more reliable connection.
 
If you do want to get your mount (an iEXOS-100?) working with INDI and wifi, rather than wired, I'd suggest you open a new post, specifically asking for help on that.
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Pavel
 

Yes, the support is there, in the INDI driver. Bit the problem is
obviously on the side of the mount, so there is probably no help. I
tested the communication manually and it just does not seem to respond
well. INDI cannot do much about that.

Anyway, I have already asked the audience in the INDI forum, but it does
not seem there are many people following. Nevertheless, I also consider
the wired connection more reliable, so I am quite happy this way. The
only problem is the difficult way to switch to ExploreStars in case
something goes wrong. And there are other things that make me worry -
never know if something is just my mistake or a real problem...

Regards,
Pavel

Pavel,
 
I did a quick search on forum posts and see that wireless PMC8
connection for INDI has been worked on, as well as wired, although
whether that covers both flavors of PMC8 wifi, I wouldn't know.  In any
case, wired would be the more reliable connection.
 
If you do want to get your mount (an iEXOS-100?) working with INDI and
wifi, rather than wired, I'd suggest you open a new post, specifically
asking for help on that.
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64