Topics

Possible defective unit - SOLVED! #iEXOS-100


Michael Bartness <mikebartness@...>
 

Hello all, im sorry if im asking this in the wrong place. This email forum thing is foreign to me. Anyways, I just recently recieved the iexos 100 and i think i got a bad unit. Im hoping someone can help me. It worked with the explore star app for a portion of the day while i played with it. Went out to do some imaging and all of a sudden i couldnt connect to the iexos-100 wifi connection. I finally got connected again and the explore star app just said please wait. I had used the configuration manager a little bit trying to learn it and realized it needed to be manually switched back to the explorestar drivers ūüė§. Finally got back into the explorestar app the next morning. While trying to learn how to connect to phd2 the unit started making this pulsing whirring sound of some sort and stopped sending out a wifi signal or connecting to my computer. Now when I turn it on itll come on Like normal with the red light. Then the green light will come on amd my computer will find and connect to the wifi, and then it just starts the whirring again and then the wifi stops and i do it all over again. Anyone have any ideas? I paid so much to have it 2 day shipped and now its a paperweight. Thanks for any and all help


On Fri, Aug 28, 2020, 12:00 PM Luke <Nikolas234@...> wrote:
Hi Jerry,  I tend to disagree with you about guiding is not part of the PMC-8, the whole idea is exactly to use PMC8 mounts to track and get beautiful pictures. What ever sub system you use, be asiair or any other mean, it  has to work in concert with the PMC-8. Also if you are to keep away from the main group people who uses outside added equipment, you might end up at some point in time with ghost members, they show up on your list but spend little time there as the interest is in a different group. It is my opinion that a sub group will be well suited. In the eventuality ES design asiair like device, there could be a sub group for that too. There will be more and more asiair user as it is a very nice, simple and very user friendly item. Teamed with any of the fantastic PMC-8 mount, It is a game changer. Take care. Luc

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...>
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2020 11:40:07 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Can we create a PMC-Eight and ASIAir Subgroup?
 
On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 10:57 AM, Chris Bourque wrote:
Would it make sense to instead create a sub-group for PMC-Eight Autoguiding instead? Thereby making it more a general discussion. Lots of questions come up on the forum here around auto-guiding in general. Would that be worth its own sub-group?
Maybe but probably not. I say that because again, autoguiding is a complete subject area totally separate from the PMC-Eight. There is no "real" extensive discussion about how to setup the PMC-Eight system for autoguiding. All the discussion would be about everything else other than the PMC-Eight. An autoguiding forum dedicated to that topic would be much better.
 
--
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!


--
Mounts:       ES PMC-Eight G11 - upgraded with OPWB on both RA and DEC
                     EXOS-2 GT PMC-EIGHT
Scopes:       Televue NP127IS with HSM20 and focuser boss II - Questar field model 3.5 - Takahashi FC76 classic MC Starbase Tokyo edition - Takahashi FOA60Q - Zeiss telementor - Lomo Astele 150mm
Cameras:     ZWO ASI071 PRO
                     ZWO ASI 290
Misc:            Televue 0.8 X  Focal Reducer - ZWO ASIAIR-PRO
Eyepieces:  Pentax - Masuyama - Televue - Takahashi - Vixen
Software:     Starry night PRO 8  - Nebulosity - Topaz studio - Sharp cap


Paul
 

I have something similar happening with my iEXOS-100 that I received about three weeks ago.  When I power on the mount, I hear a constant hissing sound that begins about 5-8 seconds after I turn it on, before there is a connection to the PC or internal Wi-Fi network or ExploreStars or APT.  It happened the very first time I turned on the mount and every time since. It just sits there and both motors hiss (and there is no movement of the mount since nothing is talking to it or controlling it).  I am working with ES support to try and find out if this is normal behavior for the mount.  Does anyone else experience this hissing sound?  Thanks.


Mario
 

Hi Paul, I noticed that also.
In fact, it seems to be a 'cyclical' sound ...like the motor is whirring round and round.
I didn't think much of it as the mount was finding and tracking objects quite well. 
That is until I went to track the moon and switched from siderial to lunar tracking....that's when i noticed the moon appeared to 'wobble' a little bit in synch with the hissing noise you've mentioned.
The wobble might not be related to the hissing sound - perhaps my balancing is off and I need to adjust - but I just thought I'd mention it.

Either way, I have noticed the same sound as you are describing.

Regards,

Mario

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 9:50 AM paulw617 via groups.io <paulw617=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have something similar happening with my iEXOS-100 that I received about three weeks ago.  When I power on the mount, I hear a constant hissing sound that begins about 5-8 seconds after I turn it on, before there is a connection to the PC or internal Wi-Fi network or ExploreStars or APT.  It happened the very first time I turned on the mount and every time since. It just sits there and both motors hiss (and there is no movement of the mount since nothing is talking to it or controlling it).  I am working with ES support to try and find out if this is normal behavior for the mount.  Does anyone else experience this hissing sound?  Thanks.


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Wes Mcdonald
 

Relative to hissing sound.

Folks the pmc8 drives the motors 100% of the time, even when the mount is sitting still.  Wait, what?  Yep.  The motors are stepper motors and are always energized.  The current into them is pulsing on and off (42,000 times per second), it’s the nature of the beast.  So they make noise.    And the noises are variable.  So noise ordinarily does not equal issue. Now if the mount is moving in an abnormal fashion and making a racket you have something going on, generally binding on an axis.  

Wes 

--
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


Harry
 

Hi Paul,
What you hear is perfectly normal. I have had my iExos100 for over 11/2 years and have used it with ExploreStars/iPad and a Fire HD8 tablets, and now use it with a serial cable connected to an ASIair. I have had no issues and my operations and tracking are still excellent. Better with serial.
Regards,  Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL

Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Software: ASIair Pro, iPad Pro, MacOS, Starry Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom,  SkySafari Plus
Cameras: Nikon D600, D5500
Misc: ES USB Power Bank, Rigel QuikFinder, 0.8x Focal Reducer
Filters:  Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance





Paul
 

Hello Wes and Harry,

Thank you for the quick response and for putting my mind at ease.

Paul


Jennifer Shelly
 

For what it is worth sound even occurs with the PMC-8 G-11 version.
It started with the v14 firmware update that increased the torque of the stepper motors.  Here is a YouTube video that I recorded in August of last year.


--
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, 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‚ÄĚ LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


James Ball
 

I really like that video Jennifer.  My iEXOS-100 has always made that hissing sound from the control area and I wondered if it was normal, now I see it is.  I haven't noticed that drastic of a change between firmware but I have always heard the pulsing sound when it is tracking.  When doing high magnification planetary and Lunar imaging you can actually see the pulses in the movement of the image as it tracks, they time perfectly with the pulses heard from the control boards. 

Unlike a constant spin of a servo motor, the stepper motors move in pulses, it is why there is no need for encoders, since the software knows how far the mount moves with each pulse.  At low f ratio you won't see it, but when working at f10-f30 for planetary they are easily seen.  Fortunately stacking software nulls them out and doesn't affect the image at all.
--
James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.


Mario
 

Thanks James, the pulses in the movements of the image when doing lunar planetary imaging at magnification is exactly what I am seeing also. 

Is there any way this can be minimized without having to remove it with an additional step in post-processing?


On Sat., Sep. 19, 2020, 10:25 a.m. James Ball, <jedijeb@...> wrote:
I really like that video Jennifer.  My iEXOS-100 has always made that hissing sound from the control area and I wondered if it was normal, now I see it is.  I haven't noticed that drastic of a change between firmware but I have always heard the pulsing sound when it is tracking.  When doing high magnification planetary and Lunar imaging you can actually see the pulses in the movement of the image as it tracks, they time perfectly with the pulses heard from the control boards. 

Unlike a constant spin of a servo motor, the stepper motors move in pulses, it is why there is no need for encoders, since the software knows how far the mount moves with each pulse.  At low f ratio you won't see it, but when working at f10-f30 for planetary they are easily seen.  Fortunately stacking software nulls them out and doesn't affect the image at all.
--
James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Wes Mcdonald
 

Guys

The movement of the steppers is not perceivable in images.  The steps are way to small to be discerned by your camera.  Just so you know when you are actively guiding, where the motor rate is altered at a two or one second rate (one of your many guiding parameters) the mount maintains pointing to 1 arc second or so.   This is smaller than your imaging pixel so that is how you can integrate for 2-5 minutes and not have any smeared images.

If you are imaging with explorestars, not recommended, if you are seeing movement it is because the thing is in P mode.   In that mode the mount only updates it’s position 5 times per second.  It is literally still for most of the time between pulses.  Objects move in camera-discernible amounts in 200ms.  You must image in T mode which is tracking.  In T mode the mount runs at sidereal rate in RA and not at all in DEC.  there is essentially no interval between stepper shaft rotations (ok there is , it is 23micro seconds).  This is 43,000 times per second.  Your mount has inertia and believe me, those tiny nudges 42000 times per second are silky smooth by the time the mount filters them.   

If you are not guiding then your explorestars (it any other control app) basically needs you to have very good polar alignment.  This is where the most error in your images is going to come from with out guiding if you are in T mode.  If you insist on not guiding then you are going to have to learn how to get superb polar alignment.  And then operate explorestars in T mode .  

For bright solar system objects any small difference between sidereal rate and the object won’t mess up your short exposures .   But with poor polar alignment the objects will slowly march across the camera field of view with slight minor rotation between images.  You just have to live with it and post process it out.

Hope this helps your understanding of this mount.  Believe me, if stepper motors were somehow inferior to servos virtually every manufacturer of mounts would not be using them in new designs.  As far as I can see they are superior in almost every way.

Wes 

--
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


James Ball
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JtPhXAn0J4&feature=youtu.be

This is an example of what we are seeing with high magnification on the iEXOS-100.  The "wobble" seen in in RA and times perfectly with the pulses heard from the control board.  When looking at the drive gear with the belt removed you can also see the gear stop and start in rhythm with the sound and it matches what is seen in the video.  Watching the video i count 16 cycles in 25 seconds.  I don't have anything but a webcam on the laptop so I am not sure I can get a video of the drive gear movement but I will try.

I have tried using the object tracking feature in SharpCap but it always fails in the RA calibration step and I wonder if it is because of this movement.
--
James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.


Mario
 

Hi James,

I can confirm I'm seeing the same wobble you are seeing and in your video.

I thought I t might be related to tracking commands being sent to the mount from my ASIAir in lunar tracking mode but your are on a different platform altogether.

I also thought it might be that my balancing wasn't quite right but I've swapped out my Orion short tube for a new Meade cassegrain this weekend and the issue is still there.



On Sun., Sep. 20, 2020, 10:38 a.m. James Ball, <jedijeb@...> wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JtPhXAn0J4&feature=youtu.be

This is an example of what we are seeing with high magnification on the iEXOS-100.  The "wobble" seen in in RA and times perfectly with the pulses heard from the control board.  When looking at the drive gear with the belt removed you can also see the gear stop and start in rhythm with the sound and it matches what is seen in the video.  Watching the video i count 16 cycles in 25 seconds.  I don't have anything but a webcam on the laptop so I am not sure I can get a video of the drive gear movement but I will try.

I have tried using the object tracking feature in SharpCap but it always fails in the RA calibration step and I wonder if it is because of this movement.
--
James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop