Topics

UPDATED Android ExploreStars Application and Database Available #ExploreScientific #iexos-100 #G11 #EXOS2 #TECHNICAL

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

A new version of the ExploreStars Application for ANDROID as been released and is available for download on the Google Play Store and Amazon Store (for Amazon Fire). 

To do the upgrade, use the Google Play Store or Amazon Store to update the app,  Then you should use the following link for instructions on how to update the database:

https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/android-os-download

I would suggest that you also use the following link to update the firmware to get the most out of your system. The new version of ExploreStars and it's database work fine with your current firmware, so no worries there. We do recommend that you update your firmware according to the instructions linked here: (Scroll down to find the links)

https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/software-and-downloads-for-pmc-eight-system

Along with the new application, and updated/expanded database has ben released and should be installed also on your Android Tablet.

The update includes the following new/updated features:

1) New button to display objects near where the telescope is pointed (OBS button) where the FOV is set in Settings
2) The TRACK and POINT icon now operates as a "toggle button" to switch between the control modes. There is no longer any need to manually transfer RADEC coordinates to start "Pointing" at the current coordinates via the Coordinate Input Screen.
3) A switch in the Settings to have the firmware version code automatically select the "Mount Type" This can be disabled to allow for a custom motor scaling if needed. (This is used for prototype mount development).
4) Larger Bright Star Catalog
5) Additional Alignment Stars to give more choices  when doing a 2-star or 3-star alignment.
6) Improvement in the Alignment Routine operation.
7) The button used during alignment was changed from SYNC to ENTER to more accurately describe the function during the alignment process. When pressing ENTER during the alignment process, the data is being gathered for 2 or 3 stars and then after the final data is acquired, the mount model calculation is performed and the alignment is completed. The SYNC button now only does as it is defined, see time 3 below. The SYNC is also known as a 1-star alignment and is used when you have a good to excellent physical polar alignment typically needed when doing astrophotography.

A few bugs were identified and corrected in combination with the firmware update:
1) You should see multiple stars available for the third star when doing a 3-star alignment
2) An intermittent STOP during slew when doing an alignment was corrected.
3) The SYNC button functionality now works as designed, setting the current mount position to the target coordinates when pressed.

These updates and fixes will be rolled into the Apple iOS ExploreStars version over the next few weeks and tested. Our plans are to release the updated Apple iOS version of ExploreStars by the end of August. After that, we plan on revisiting the Windows version of ExploreStars and completely convert it to the common code base that is now used by the Android and iOS versions. This is done under the Universal  Windows Platform (UWP). Once we upgrade to that version, that will allow us to make much better use of the system hardware than that provided by the original Windows version which was created as a Windows 8 "Metro App". This severely restricted our access to the system hardware and was a dead end going forward.

It is with great pleasure that we have finally released these updates to the PMC-Eight system.
I wish to thank the following members of our team who over the past few months have worked diligently to identify, correct, and test the fixes to the numerous items found by you.

Dan Dickerson
Stephen Vickers
Wes McDonald
Chris Moses
Kent Marts
Alex Sanchez

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions

--
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!

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I meant to mention the version numbers you will see when you go to the ABOUT screen at the top after you upgrade the application and database. You should see the following:

ES Version 1.2.19218.454 DB Ver.2.3[85643]

If you see anything else, you do not have the upgraded version.

--
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@...
 

On Tue, Aug 6, 2019 at 06:02 PM, Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering wrote:
ES Version 1.2.19218.454 DB Ver.2.3[85643]
Do you mean ES Version 1.3.19218.454 DB Ver.2.3[85643] ?

 
--
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.
Brand new ES PMC-Eight EXOS-2

SvBony 60mm x 240mm guide scope.

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Tue, Aug 6, 2019 at 07:51 PM, <eric.harant@...> wrote:
Do you mean ES Version 1.3.19218.454 DB Ver.2.3[85643] ?
Yea, typo …. DOH!
 
--
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!

 

My #EX0S2 mount was working fine this morning, but I dutifully downloaded and installed the firmware fix.  Followed the instructions and saw verification for the  RAM and EEPROM loads.  Was careful to set everything to EXOS-2, not G11 and used the right firmware file for my mount.  

Now I get the dreaded "Please Wait" message. Did a fresh download and install.  Also rebooted the EXOS box. Re-did the firmware updates.  Tried both versions of Exos2 - a and non a.  No apparent problems connecting for the firmware update both wirelessly and serially, but since the first update, I've got the slow green blink on led 4 and am in the "Please Wait" limbo.. Waited up to 30 minutes to not avail - Godot does not seem to be coming. 

Any suggestions?

 
Dan Ward
Oakton, Virginia
EXOS-2  and Celestron Evolution Mounts
TeleVue 102, TeleVue 85 Celestron 9.25
Skyris 236M & Skyris 236C

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Tue, Aug 6, 2019 at 10:22 PM, Dan Ward wrote:
Now I get the dreaded "Please Wait" message. Did a fresh download and install.
Hi Dan,  sorry to hear about this.

The Please Wait message is not related to the firmware update as the state of your connection is stored in the parameter storage area of the EEPROM which is not changed. So if you were configured for the wireless connection before the firmware update, it will stay the same. Have you used the PMC-Eight Configuration Manager to test your box by first determining how the PMC-Eight connection is configured, and then sending commands to it to see how it responds? When you use the "Find Connection" button on the Basic tab it should tell you how it is connected. Make sure you set the mount type and port number plus make sure the SSID is connected before hitting the "Find Connection" button.

 
--
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!

brian skinner
 

Many thanks Jerry. Is it necessary to also update the database when updating the app? I did have problems when I originally installed the dat abasement so will only update it if you say it is essential.
Kind regards, Brian 

On Tue, 6 Aug 2019 17:02 Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering, <jrh@...> wrote:
I meant to mention the version numbers you will see when you go to the ABOUT screen at the top after you upgrade the application and database. You should see the following:

ES Version 1.2.19218.454 DB Ver.2.3[85643]

If you see anything else, you do not have the upgraded version.

--
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!

Wes Mcdonald
 

Brian

I tested the app pre release with the old database on Android and it worked fine, as it should have.  I would say though that the new database is worth installing.  

1.  With the SD card in the PC rename the database to something else.  I added old to its name.

2.  Put the unzipped new database in the same sub directory

Eject the card and reinstall it in the Android.  That's all there is to it.

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

brian skinner
 

Thanks Wes. I'm still green on this so can you explain why the new database is worth installing? I fear having problems with the install but I'm probably being paranoid......
Kind regards, Brian 

On Wed, 7 Aug 2019 08:44 Wes Mcdonald, <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Brian

I tested the app pre release with the old database on Android and it worked fine, as it should have.  I would say though that the new database is worth installing.  

1.  With the SD card in the PC rename the database to something else.  I added old to its name.

2.  Put the unzipped new database in the same sub directory

Eject the card and reinstall it in the Android.  That's all there is to it.

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
 

Brian

If you have Android or iOS the new database will provide more star options for alignment I believe.  There are many more bright stars available.  Differentiating these from other nearby stars might be a bit more difficult but with care they should improve your ability to get a nice 3 star ( or 2 for that matter) alignment when certain areas of the sky are obstructed.

So in my view it can't hurt and probably helps overall.

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,

Thanks for the follow up. In case it might be helpful to other, here's what finally worked for me. 

i didn't mention it in my first note, but neither the dongle nor the reset button were working.

I connected wirelessly and with a serial cable.  Using the Configuration Manager, I issued the command to switch to serial operation mode.  Confirmed ES was now working normally.  Then I issued the command to switch back to wireless operation.  I then used the dongle to change my wifi channel and did a reset. It worked with the wireless connection.  .  I've rebooted several times and full functionality is back.  

Thanks again.

--
Dan Ward
Oakton, Virginia
EXOS-2  and Celestron Evolution Mounts
TeleVue 102, TeleVue 85 Celestron 9.25
Skyris 236M & Skyris 236C

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 04:10 PM, Dan Ward wrote:
I've rebooted several times and full functionality is back.  
That's good to hear Dan, thanks for reporting back on this.
 
--
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!

brian skinner
 

Thanks Wes. I'll try a reload as you suggested once I'm OK with your instructions. ....
Kind regards, Brian 

On Wed, 7 Aug 2019 19:38 Wes Mcdonald, <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Brian

If you have Android or iOS the new database will provide more star options for alignment I believe.  There are many more bright stars available.  Differentiating these from other nearby stars might be a bit more difficult but with care they should improve your ability to get a nice 3 star ( or 2 for that matter) alignment when certain areas of the sky are obstructed.

So in my view it can't hurt and probably helps overall.

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

Inthewoods
 

I understand the instructions kind of for installing database? Step one is what I have difficulty with and where I get confused of where and when to unzip the database? 
The instruction on website reads.

NOTE4: It is recommended that you use a Windows PC to perform step 1.

  1. Unzip the download and place the folder on the root of the MicroSD card.
  2. Install the MicroSD card into your Android device.
  3. Under Settings/APPS/ExploreStars grant Permissions for External Storage and Location. 
Can step one be clarified please?
1. Download zip file folder to root of Android Device MicroSD card from/on your PC
2. Unzip database zip file in root directory of MicroSD Card from/on your PC
3.Install the MicroSD card into your Android device
4.Under Settings/APPS/ExploreStars grant Permissions for External Storage and Location. 

Or are the instructions trying to convey this?
1. Download zip file folder to root of Android Device MicroSD card from/on your PC
2.Install the MicroSD card into your Android device
3.Unzip database zip file in root directory of MicroSD Card from/on android device
4.Under Settings/APPS/ExploreStars grant Permissions for External Storage and Location. 
Thanks for the clarification!

Inthewoods
 

That is the other concern, thanks

Robert Parks
 

1 - download database zip file to desktop of a PC
2 - extract zip file to desktop of PC
3 - copy extracted folder to the SD card which you have inserted in the PC (probably using a micro SD card adapter)
4 - eject the SD card properly
5 - insert the microSD into the Android device

On Sat, Aug 10, 2019, 9:06 AM Inthewoods <jetbuggy39wre@...> wrote:
I understand the instructions kind of for installing database? Step one is what I have difficulty with and where I get confused of where and when to unzip the database? 
The instruction on website reads.

NOTE4: It is recommended that you use a Windows PC to perform step 1.

  1. Unzip the download and place the folder on the root of the MicroSD card.
  2. Install the MicroSD card into your Android device.
  3. Under Settings/APPS/ExploreStars grant Permissions for External Storage and Location. 
Can step one be clarified please?
1. Download zip file folder to root of Android Device MicroSD card from/on your PC
2. Unzip database zip file in root directory of MicroSD Card from/on your PC
3.Install the MicroSD card into your Android device
4.Under Settings/APPS/ExploreStars grant Permissions for External Storage and Location. 

Or are the instructions trying to convey this?
1. Download zip file folder to root of Android Device MicroSD card from/on your PC
2.Install the MicroSD card into your Android device
3.Unzip database zip file in root directory of MicroSD Card from/on android device
4.Under Settings/APPS/ExploreStars grant Permissions for External Storage and Location. 
Thanks for the clarification!


--
Robert Scott Parks - Northwest Arkansas, USA

Mount: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
Polar Finder: EXOS II integrated with illuminated reticle
Telescope: Explore Scientific 127mm f/7.5 FCD1 Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO Refractor
Finder: Telrad
Hardware: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7"
Steering Software: ExploreStars App

Lloyd Simons
 

All,

When I try this method my PC says I need to format the SD card to read. I was able to unzip on my PC, copy to Google drive, then move the folder to the explore stars folder in the root directory. ES works fine. So how do you all get around formatting? Is there something I'm missing? 
--
Lloyd Simons
Mattawan, MI
Telescopes:
 Astrotech AT72ED II, Orion 8" Dobsonian, Tectron 15" Dobsonian
Camera: Canon T3i
Mount: iExos-100 PMC-8
Mount Control: Explorestars on a Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70F Android 6.0

Wes Mcdonald
 

Lloyd

Can’t say why windows wants to format the card It has never asked me to.  If the card is only to be used for es and has No other files on it I suppose one might go ahead and format it but not as ntfs but fat. I believe. I have not done this so do so at your own risk

If you have another sd card you could just try a fresh start with a format and see how it goes.  I am away from my gear for awhile so I can’t test it 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

Lloyd Simons
 

No worries Wes. It is working so it's not critical. I just wanted to let you all know this process did not work for me as written in case someone else encountered it. Thanks!
--
Lloyd Simons
Mattawan, MI
Telescopes:
 Astrotech AT72ED II, Orion 8" Dobsonian, Tectron 15" Dobsonian
Camera: Canon T3i
Mount: iExos-100 PMC-8
Mount Control: Explorestars on a Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70F Android 6.0

Brian Ginn
 

I've got a couple USB devices including an SD card unit, that have worked well for years, now on one PC, it works sometimes, and sometimes tells me random things like the drive is not there, or needs to be formatted.

My thinking is that PC's USB connectors are getting worn out,?? the USB chip is flaking out.


-Brian


On 8/10/2019 11:18 AM, Wes Mcdonald wrote:
Lloyd

Can???t say why windows wants to format the card It has never asked me to.?? If the card is only to be used for es and has No other files on it I suppose one might go ahead and format it but not as ntfs but fat. I believe. I have not done this so do so at your own risk

If you have another sd card you could just try a fresh start with a format and see how it goes.?? I am away from my gear for awhile so I can???t test it 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

--
Brian
Thousand Oaks, CA

Mount: ES EXOS-2GT PMC-8 
Controller: (ExploreStars, Android 8.1.0, 10" Samsung Tab A)
Scope: ES ED80 f/6 Triplet
Camera: Canon 6D