Topics

Phd2 Connection issue in APT #EXOS2 #ASCOM #astrophotography

charles mckowen
 

Looking for some help getting stable connection with phd2 in apt. So here goes, I'm running Apt, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and phd2 through Ascom Poth hub. I'm using my explore scientific Exos 2 pmc - eight mount for this setup. So right now everything is connected wirelessly through Wi-Fi and I know I need to switch over to a wired connection. The only wires going into the computer is my guide camera and imaging camera. I'm connecting phd2 last. its sync to server also but when starting up. It just shows and says connecting to phd2 in Apt and nothing else. So does that mean it is actually connected? The weather has been so bad lately. I haven't had a chance to test it. I've just been testing connection in my house. Thanks in advance for the help! PS: is it better to just use explore stars ? I know explore stars cant talk to ascom. I'm using this current setup for plate solving. If I go back to explore stars. Workflow would follow: Sharpcap for polar -  explore stars for alignment and slewing to object - APT for imaging - PHD2 for guiding !


--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8  
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2
Explore Stars - APT and PHD2

 

charles mckowen
 

I got it working. port was off in APT but I still want to know. if explore stars is better !?
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8  
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2
Explore Stars - APT and PHD2

 

Wes Mcdonald
 

Charles:

Well, is Explorestars better?  Answer is in my view no, not if you are doing astrophotography, especially with plate solving.

The first problem you would have is that explorestars does not support guiding.  Now it would be possible however to use the ST4 port and guide while tracking with explorestars however.  With Explorestars in T mode the mount will just run along at the proper rate.  But of course with explorestars you have no plate solving ability -- not that you couldn't plate solve, but you would have to move the mount manually to the correct location after a solve.  Not something I would want to do.  Also, if you use the ST4 port, you pretty much need to calibrate PHD every time you go to a new target.  With ASCOM pulse guiding, one PHD calibration does the deed.

While using Explorestars you can tell APT to go ahead and take pics though, so you have that going for you.

The best way to do astro with the Exos2-PMC8 is to connect via serial and use ASCOM, Stellarium/Stellarium Scope, PHD in server mode (or not, not needed if you don't dither) and APT to take pics.  Use Stellarium to select a target, then transfer those coordinates into APT and do a plate solve after moving to the target.  Then engage PHD to guide, and start APT taking pics.  Remember somewhere in there you need to focus.

The thing is that you will need to get good polar alignment prior to starting.  And you will want a pretty good polar home setting.  But with plate solve the polar home position criticality is low, as the plate solve finds where the mount ended up after the go to and moves you on in.  

By using the serial ascom you have a far more integrated system.  In reality, Explorestars is best for simple use visually.  

That's my 2 cents.

Wes.




--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired

charles mckowen
 

Wes,
Thanks for getting back with me and thanks for the help. I've just heard in some forums. Explore stars isn't so bad for using with alignment and slewing until you can switch over to a wired connection for astro. Someone was saying if your still using a wireless connection Explore stars is better than Ascom. Even though Explore stars cant communicate with any other software. Anyway how hard is it to switch over to a wire connection? If I cant figure it out, you explore Scientific be able to configure for me? 
--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8  
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2
Explore Stars - APT and PHD2

 

charles mckowen
 

PS: I have been using Explore stars, APT, and PHD2 for imaging 
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8  
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2
Explore Stars - APT and PHD2

 

Chris Tardif
 

Hi Chuck.   

Wes and I share the 2 cents about Explore Stars.  I use Astrophotograhy Tool (APT) from the comfort of my office and remote into a PC attached to the mount.  I haven't used explore stars since trying it out once after I got the mount.

Once you switch over to serial you will also have the USB cable to the PC from the mount.  This is how I run my rig.  For astrophotography, I also believe this is the only way to go.   Once you get clear skies launch PHD2 and get it running you can see how it is working with the PHD graph.  You do need to calibrate PHD first but that's simple enough.  

I would also like to hear how the EOS Ra works for you.  

Bortle 3?  Nice.

--
Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
CameraASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79

charles mckowen
 

Chris,
Thanks for the info. I switch over to the serial interface last night. It was so easy. Cant wait for some clear skies. The canon ra is pretty sweet. As far as Astrophotgraphy goes though. Its really the same as any modified Canon rebel for shooting through a telescope. When it comes to shooting the milkyway and without. its far more superior. What I like best about it, is the live view. It looks like you took a picture when you have it connected to your telescope. Really really easy to focus now. Ill post some pictures later!
--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8  
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2
Explore Stars - APT and PHD2

 

Wes Mcdonald
 

Chuck:

So how have you been using APT, PHD and Explorestars?  Is PHD via ST4?  Interested in your configuration.

Switching to serial is a snap, but you have to have a serial cable with an FTDI chip set in it for USB-Serial conversion.  This one works fine:


It is also needed to update the PMC8 firmware, which depending upon when you bought your PMC8.  There have been a few important changes.  

BTW what version of Explorestars are you using, Android, Windows, or IOS..

If you load the Configuration Manager it makes switching between serial and wifi a snap.  It also manages your updates.  its all streamlined and simple to do.

The CM is in the User Contributed Files section of one of the Main or Mounts sub group, I can't remember which.

Wes.


 

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired

charles mckowen
 

Wes, . 
With PHD2 ive been using pulse no ST4. Lately, Ive been using Sharpcap to polar alignment. Then I power up the pmc-eight and open up explore stars for star alignment and slewing. Usually I only hit one target a night. Minimize explore stars open APT and PHD2 and start imaging and guiding. Really ive only lost connection twice with explore stars out of probably 25 imaging sessions. Two - Three hours a session. So Explore stars have served me really well. I actually love it. I have notice, if I keep space between my computer and pmc-eight. It keeps a better connection vs being right next to the antenna. 
--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 

Wes Mcdonald
 

Chuck:

That's interesting.  Never thought of that.  So to be clear:

1.  Use Windows Explorestars
2.  Leave it running in the background while ASCOM guides

With A good Polar (Sharpcap) and a good 3 star alignment the GOTO performance is pretty good?  Could you tell me the mount model coefficients you get when you do a 3 star alignment?  These can be seen by enabling their display in the settings.

Wes.



--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired

Jennifer Shelly
 

Chuck:

I use APT with Stellarium and never looked back at Explore Stars via wired connection. You need to start PHD2 before you start APT, so it can sync to APT.  Below is an example of the order in which I start programs.  Please note that if any of the programs is being run in Admin mode then ALL programs must be running in Admin mode. 

I start all of my programs in the following order:  POTH -> ASCOMPAD -> PHD2 -> Stellarium Scope -> Stellarium -> APT (camera 1).  Confirmed everything was connected and playing nice.  Then I slewed to NGC 7293 aka C63.  Next I used APT’s Pointcraft via Blind Solve with ASPS to solve and Synced the coordinates with Stellarium.  
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements

charles mckowen
 

Jeenifer, 
 Thanks for the advice. Im going to try it out tonight. Why are using ascompad as well? 

On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:26 AM Jennifer Shelly via Groups.Io <drunkendogg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Chuck:

I use APT with Stellarium and never looked back at Explore Stars via wired connection. You need to start PHD2 before you start APT, so it can sync to APT.  Below is an example of the order in which I start programs.  Please note that if any of the programs is being run in Admin mode then ALL programs must be running in Admin mode. 

I start all of my programs in the following order:  POTH -> ASCOMPAD -> PHD2 -> Stellarium Scope -> Stellarium -> APT (camera 1).  Confirmed everything was connected and playing nice.  Then I slewed to NGC 7293 aka C63.  Next I used APT’s Pointcraft via Blind Solve with ASPS to solve and Synced the coordinates with Stellarium.  
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 

charles mckowen
 

Doesn't poth have the same controls basically ? 


On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:39 AM charles mckowen via Groups.Io <Cmckow91=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Jeenifer, 
 Thanks for the advice. Im going to try it out tonight. Why are using ascompad as well? 

On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:26 AM Jennifer Shelly via Groups.Io <drunkendogg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Chuck:

I use APT with Stellarium and never looked back at Explore Stars via wired connection. You need to start PHD2 before you start APT, so it can sync to APT.  Below is an example of the order in which I start programs.  Please note that if any of the programs is being run in Admin mode then ALL programs must be running in Admin mode. 

I start all of my programs in the following order:  POTH -> ASCOMPAD -> PHD2 -> Stellarium Scope -> Stellarium -> APT (camera 1).  Confirmed everything was connected and playing nice.  Then I slewed to NGC 7293 aka C63.  Next I used APT’s Pointcraft via Blind Solve with ASPS to solve and Synced the coordinates with Stellarium.  
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 


--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 

Wes Mcdonald
 

Chuck

ASCOMPAD is a convenient app to move the mount around manually.  It works better than the POTH keypad.  Apt keypad should work too tho.  ASCOMPAD also allows you to use a game controller to move the mount if you wanted to set that up.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired

charles mckowen
 

So much to learn...…… Thanks everyone for yalls help 
--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 

charles mckowen
 

plate solving is the sh**. I Don't know why I didn't jump on this 6 months ago. Second night Solving, its so easy. I had no problems solving. I found a tutorial online that showed me the ropes. 
--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 

Jim McKee
 

Chuck,
Plate solving is a life changer for AP.   Nothing better than an auto-centered target galaxy.  I will also suggest looking at NINA for integrating all of the pieces.  I needed better autofocus than APT provided.   NINA also will auto-slew to target, then center the target and start shooting the sequence without having to write a script.
Have fun!
--
Scope:        Orion EON 115mm APO
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-GT w/ PMC-8
Cameras:   ZWO ASI 071MC Pro, Canon 6D Mk 2, Canon 7D2,  EOS 60D Asto Modified
Lens:
          Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Misc:          TELRAD, ZWO ASI120MM Guide Camera, Astromania 60mm Guidescope, Senso Sesto Focus Motor
Software:   EXPLORESTARS IOS & WIN, Stellarium. NINA,  APT, DSS, PixInsight, Photoshop CC
Computer:  Dell Latitude E5450, Windows 10

Dan Kahraman
 

only way to go!

Dan Kahraman

On Tue, 31 Dec 2019 at 21:17, charles mckowen <Cmckow91@...> wrote:
plate solving is the sh**. I Don't know why I didn't jump on this 6 months ago. Second night Solving, its so easy. I had no problems solving. I found a tutorial online that showed me the ropes. 
--
Chuck McKowen
Bortle 3 Mangham/Monroe, La

WO Z61, ES ED 102, AstroTech 6 Rc, 
Celestron onyx 80 edf
Zwo 60mm/ Asi120mc-s
Astromania 60mm/ sgcmos
Exos II Pmc8/ Ioptron Smarteq++
Canon eos rebel t5 modified
Canon Eos Ra 
Poth - APT, Stellarium, Stellarium scope, and PHD2


 

Jim Norwood
 
Edited

If it's handy, can you link the tutorial?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
charles mckowen
12/31/19   

plate solving is the sh**. I Don't know why I didn't jump on this 6 months ago. Second night Solving, its so easy. I had no problems solving. I found a tutorial online that showed me the ropes. 

Dan Kahraman
 

What do you need plate solver in? What is your image acquisition program? The various plate solvers are : PS2, ASPS, Ansvr local or remote, ASTAP, Astrotortilla with or without Nebulosity, N.I. N.A. <<<NINA is a good one because it is free and you can download ASTAP and the database from hnsky.org<<<ALL FREE. There are others. My unusual camera drove me to investigate plate solvers and then programs that are set up for image acquiring with supported cameras

Dan Kahraman

On Thu, 2 Jan 2020 at 10:48, Jim Norwood <J.Norwood@...> wrote:
If it's handy, can you link the tutorial?