Topics

Polls on ASCOMPAD gamepad interface and ExploreStars Android App


hubbell_jerry@...
 

If you haven't already, I would very much appreciate you taking the 2 open polls I have running now about the ASCOMPAD gamepad interface, and the ExploreStars Android Application. 


https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ESPMC-Eight/polls/open


I value everyone's opinion about the PMC-Eight system and go to you as the core PMC-Eight customers who will make this system better.


This information will help us going forward to schedule the proper resources when doing upgrades and adding features. I am thinking about integrating the gamepad interface into the PMC-Eight driver so you would not have to run a separate application. Also, I will probably turn the driver into a server so that multiple ASCOM Client applications can connect simultaneously to the PMC-Eight. This would do away with the need to run POTH.


Let me know what you think.


Also, if you haven't heard already, we are having an OpenGOTO Community User Conference at Explore Scientific HQ on July 20-21. Here is a link to the information:


https://explorescientificusa.com/collections/destinations-and-experiences/products/opengoto-community-user-conference


Thanks again for all your support


Jerry Hubbell

Director Electrical Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.




Robert Hoskin <r_hoskin@...>
 

Jerry,

Re: Android... Your poll doesn't really cover my situation.
I would probably have picked up an Android tablet at some point, for visual use w/Explorestars.  But now that I know an IOS version is in the works, that's the ticket and I'll wait for it.

Re: EQMOD/ASCOMPAD/Driver-as-a-Server.
I haven't yet seen a need for a gamepad for what I'm doing, so no present intention to try that (I did check the survey box for that), although the EQMOD on-screen applet does look a lot nicer than POTH's and that may win me over at some point.  If we already have both POTH and EQMOD that can act as hubs, what's the benefit of converting the PMC-8 driver to a server, as an additional hub?  Wouldn't this leave you also having to support unrelated equipment (domes, focusers, etc..)?  Just wondering whether this would actually end up simplifying life (for you, as well as us)..

Re: New business...
I'm surprised that you haven't mentioned developing an ASCOM connection choice for Explorestars.  Consider the case where someone is happy using Explorestars for overall control, but wants to also do some AP.  As soon as they do, then ASCOM becomes very useful, but at the cost of dropping Explorestars in favor of Cdc, etc.   If Explorestars was able to use either native *or* ASCOM (on Windows), then you'd make the visual-to-AP transition easier for folks... 

Hope this helps...

- Bob



From: "hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 11:36 AM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Polls on ASCOMPAD gamepad interface and ExploreStars Android App

 
If you haven't already, I would very much appreciate you taking the 2 open polls I have running now about the ASCOMPAD gamepad interface, and the ExploreStars Android Application. 


I value everyone's opinion about the PMC-Eight system and go to you as the core PMC-Eight customers who will make this system better.

This information will help us going forward to schedule the proper resources when doing upgrades and adding features. I am thinking about integrating the gamepad interface into the PMC-Eight driver so you would not have to run a separate application. Also, I will probably turn the driver into a server so that multiple ASCOM Client applications can connect simultaneously to the PMC-Eight. This would do away with the need to run POTH.

Let me know what you think.

Also, if you haven't heard already, we are having an OpenGOTO Community User Conference at Explore Scientific HQ on July 20-21. Here is a link to the information:


Thanks again for all your support

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.





hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your message.  See my comments below in RED

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


---In ESPMC-Eight@..., <r_hoskin@...> wrote :

Jerry,

Re: Android... Your poll doesn't really cover my situation.
I would probably have picked up an Android tablet at some point, for visual use w/Explorestars.  But now that I know an IOS version is in the works, that's the ticket and I'll wait for it.

The poll was meant as a quick way to measure the level of interest in these two features.

Re: EQMOD/ASCOMPAD/Driver-as-a-Server.
I haven't yet seen a need for a gamepad for what I'm doing, so no present intention to try that (I did check the survey box for that), although the EQMOD on-screen applet does look a lot nicer than POTH's and that may win me over at some point.  If we already have both POTH and EQMOD that can act as hubs, what's the benefit of converting the PMC-8 driver to a server, as an additional hub?  Wouldn't this leave you also having to support unrelated equipment (domes, focusers, etc..)?  Just wondering whether this would actually end up simplifying life (for you, as well as us).. 

I think you have confused EQMOD with ASCOMPAD. Even though EQMOD has incorporated the ASCOMPAD functionality with the gamepad interface. It is only for Synta mounts such as the SkyWatcher EQ6 Pro which I have used extensively. The ASCOMPAD program is a client which talks to the mount via POTH. The purpose of turning the PMC-Eight driver into a server is to basically turn it into a hub so that you do not have to run POTH. This would make it a much cleaner configuration when running the mount. Also, the ASCOMPAD functionality could be added to the PMC-Eight driver/server also to further integrate the desired functionality into one program. The only functionality I would add would only pertain to the mount, there would be no need to add anything for focusers/domes, etc since the PMC-Eight is only a Telescope driver/server.

Re: New business...
I'm surprised that you haven't mentioned developing an ASCOM connection choice for Explorestars.  Consider the case where someone is happy using Explorestars for overall control, but wants to also do some AP.  As soon as they do, then ASCOM becomes very useful, but at the cost of dropping Explorestars in favor of Cdc, etc.   If Explorestars was able to use either native *or* ASCOM (on Windows), then you'd make the visual-to-AP transition easier for folks...  

We have discussed this in the past, the problem is that it would require a complete overhaul of the ExploreStars application. Unfortunately the initial development of the ExploreStars app was done on Window 8 for a tablet (I didn't come into the project until much later), and therefore was built as a Metro app. If you aren't familiar with a Metro app, it is the most restrictive way to develop an app. Metro apps do not give you direct access to the file system, nor any IO ports or hardware other than the network. It's a royal PITA to do anything useful.

The source code is written in C# so it is possible to create a new normal windows C# project and cut and paste a lot of the code into the project. There would still be a lot of work to create the interface if the same library is available. It's a lot of work to say the least. At this point, our goal would be to probably release the guts of the code to the OpenGOTO community and see if anyone is interested in picking it up and doing as you suggest. I would rather create a new ExploreStars ASCOM version from scratch than try and use to much of the existing code base. The largest part of it is the HMI. The only real useful part are the calculations and the database.

Hope this helps...

- Bob



From: "hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight]" <ESPMC-Eight@...>
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 11:36 AM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Polls on ASCOMPAD gamepad interface and ExploreStars Android App

 
If you haven't already, I would very much appreciate you taking the 2 open polls I have running now about the ASCOMPAD gamepad interface, and the ExploreStars Android Application. 


I value everyone's opinion about the PMC-Eight system and go to you as the core PMC-Eight customers who will make this system better.

This information will help us going forward to schedule the proper resources when doing upgrades and adding features. I am thinking about integrating the gamepad interface into the PMC-Eight driver so you would not have to run a separate application. Also, I will probably turn the driver into a server so that multiple ASCOM Client applications can connect simultaneously to the PMC-Eight. This would do away with the need to run POTH.

Let me know what you think.

Also, if you haven't heard already, we are having an OpenGOTO Community User Conference at Explore Scientific HQ on July 20-21. Here is a link to the information:


Thanks again for all your support

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.