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Questions on my new PMC-8 #EXOS2

AndreaB
 

I'm a new owner of an Exos 2gt PMC-8.  I'm very excited and plan to use it with my Lunt 60mm Solar Scope and an Edge HD8.  This is to replace a Celestron Advanced VX that I've had issues with.  I'm realizing I can't balance the Lunt scope with the included counterweights as they're too heavy.  Is there a recommended smaller one I could purchase?  I think about a 5 pound one would work.  

Also, I have the ExploreStars app installed, and I guess the only way to set the tracking from Sidreal to Solar is to actually type in the rate number into the preferences, and not simply selecting it somewhere?

One more question.. I see you can use Sky Safari now.  Do I need Sky Safari 6 plus at the least, or can I use Sky Safari 5?  I already have Sky Safari 5.

It's a beautiful mount and I cant wait to get it outside after it stops raining here!

Wes Mcdonald
 

Andrea B

More on you other questions in a bit but as to the weight.

I bought an ioptron 8605 counterweight got my ETX 90.  I expect it will work fine for the Lundt.  As I remember it is about 5# or so.

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

Wes Mcdonald
 

Andrea B:

1.  SkySafari.  Where did you see that?  I was not aware SF supported the 
pmc8 natively.  I have posted the method for using SkySafari so long as you are using ASCOM wired connection to the mount.  What you do in that case is load WiFiScope onto your PC.  It connects via Poth to the mount.  You load SF on your iPhone or Android.  I believe you need the Pro version to include telescope control.  I have 6+pro on my iphone, and I think that is needed.  I don't believe 5 has what you need.  

As the PC is connected to the mount via serial cable, the PC can be attached to a LAN router.  Make sure the wireless phone is also connected to that router...suggest you use the device in airplane mode to prevent broadband confusion.  You will setup the SF telescope control per the instructions in WiFiScope.  Basically you select the scope to be a Meade Classic (right, that's just how they did it) and make sure the IP Port number is correct for WiFiScope.

I am assuming you are familiar with ASCOM etc, and this makes sense to you.  If not we can discuss further.

What the SkySafari does is send commands to the WiFiScope that are correct for a direct connection a Meade scope using the Meade classic command set.  WiFiScope serves as an intermediary which translates the Meade commands into ASCOM compliant method calls through POTH.  POTH then will send these through to the ES ASCOM driver.  It all works swimmingly well.  You can also run Stellarium on the PC in concert with SF on the phone and use which ever you need at the time.  Search the forum for how to setup Stellarium.  If you can't find it, we can discuss.

As for the rate, i believe that is correct.  Jerry published the corresponding values for the rates and i believe they are in the PMC8 Programmers Reference Manual.  Seems to me the Solar rate was something like 45.  What version of Explorestars are you using?  I don't believe any of them set the rates to solar for you.

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

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sat, Nov 23, 2019 at 07:48 PM, AndreaB wrote:
Also, I have the ExploreStars app installed, and I guess the only way to set the tracking from Sidreal to Solar is to actually type in the rate number into the preferences, and not simply selecting it somewhere?
Hi Andrea, welcome to the forum. I realize that it is a bit quirky to not have a pull-down for the different legacy Solar and Lunar rates, but consider the following. The Solar rate is not significantly different from the Sidereal rate as the Sun only lags the stars by 4 minutes in RA in 24 hours. 4 minutes in RA is equal to a 1 degree drift in angular motion per day, or only 2.5 arc-minutes per hour. This rate is not significant when observing the sun over a 10 to 15 minute period at a time and would only result in a drift of 25 arc-seconds in a 10 minute period, hardly noticeable in an eyepiece. This is not significant when doing video imaging of the sun either as you would typically only record a video for maybe 2 -3 minutes at a time. The other significant factor is that even if you corrected the RA tracking rate to the Solar rate, the sun would drift in Declination due to the difference between the ecliptic and equatorial planes. 

It is for this reason that I always suggest to our customers that going to the trouble of changing the tracking rate in ExploreStars is not really necessary for visually observing the sun. We do include a pull-down selection in the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver for Sidereal, Solar, Lunar, and King rates because when doing high-resolution imaging it may be needed, although again, there is no real issue if you do not use those rates.  I think that having these rates is more of a legacy issue and this feature has always been included in tracking mounts since the 1960's. 

--
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!

eric.harant@...
 

Hi Andres,
I use the Bresser 2,0 Kg counterweights for EXOS 2. They are white and have exactly the same shape and look.

--
Eric
Nargis (45) France.

57 years old, Computer science engineer.
Some skills in sofware development (Windows / Unix)
Canon EOS 10D, 40D, 600D 1300D, EOS-R. + several lenses.
ToupTek IMX 294 cooled camera.
ZWO ASI120MM
BRESSER Messier AR-102xs/460, Bresser Messier AR-152S/760
Orion 80ED.
MAK INTES 713.
Meade LX200 GPS 10"
Old Losmandy G11.
SvBony 60mm x 240mm guide scope.

AndreaB
 

Thanks you for your quick responses!  I'm going to order a counterweight today after I do a quick test trying 3 pounds.  I might need the Besser 5 lb one as I have a ZWO camera and a barlow adding a pound or two to everything.
 
I had read you could use sky safari through the wifi scope PC app with the pmc-8 connected to my PC theough a serial port.  I have version 5 pro and I did try to connect and the PMC-8:didn't show as a listed device/mount in Sky Safari.  Not a big deal, just a little coolness factor to it.  The star explorer app works great on my PC and I do have a bluetooth gamepad I'll try to use with it for manual control.  I might try that today.  
 
As for the solar tracking rate, it is almost sidreal rate, and frankly isn't a big deal.  I do notice the sun moving a hair more in sidreal rate and when I had the Advanced VX (my first mount) I didn't even know about different tracking rates.  When I got the Lunt scope, I discovered it and saw the difference.   I used to be a software developer and with things being open souce, I might put a drop down there and share it.  .I like doing solar since I live about 3 miles from downtown Atlanta and i have light pollution to deal with.  
 
Again, thanks for all your help!  The mount is super awesome and I'll share any photos I may take on here.
 
Andrea
Atlanta, GA
Data Engineer 
Mount: ES EXOS-2GT w/PMC-8
Scopes: Celestron Edge HD8,  Lunt LS60THa DS
Cameras: ZWO ASI174MM; ZWO ASI224MC

Wes Mcdonald
 

AndreaB

I wrote details of connections SkySafari in reply to you last night .  Hopefully you received it.  It shoukd be posted on the forum.  Long story short SF does not have a Pmc8 option.  It uses Meade Classsic and connects to wifi scope.  Follow directions that come with wifi scope.

Regards.

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