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What software do I need to make a PMC-Eight work with stellarium #EXOS2 #ASCOM

nico bers
 

Hi was wondering what software do I need to make my Exos 2 PMC-Eight work with stellarium 

thanks 

wcblack1020@...
 

You can get most everything from the Explore Scientific downloads page: https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/software-and-downloads-for-pmc-eight-system
From there you need the ASCOM Platform and the PMC8 ASCOM driver.
The only other thing you need is Stellarium Scope: https://welshdragoncomputing.ca/x/index.php/home/stellariumscope/download-stellariumscope

You will connect the PMC8 to the ASCOM POTH via the ASCOM driver (all of that from the ES downloads page above).
Then start Stellarium Scope and select the ASCOM POTH for your mount.
There is a button on Stellarium scope that will launch Stellarium... I always just launch from there. When you first set up Stellarium Scope, you have to go through some Stellarium Configuration updates, but as I recall it walks you through those.

Also, I've found it to be much more stable to use the serial connection between the PC and the PMC8. Using the Wifi has been iffy for me and sometimes essentially unusable with Stellarium Scope. However using the serial connection has been very reliable.
--

Bill
Location: Dallas, GA
Scopes:
 Celestron C8, AstroTech 80mm APO

Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75

Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385

nico bers
 

Thanks so much this is very helpful. How do you align the telescope in stellarium? Is there a 2 or3 star align because I haven’t seen that yet? 


thanks

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Nico,

A physical polar alignment is required when using the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver as the standard telescope mount ASCOM API does not provide any virtual alignment routines like the ExploreStars application has.
--
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!

wcblack1020@...
 
Edited

Stellarium does not have an alignment procedure, but if you can get a good polar alignment, you really don't need one.
Here's my process:
  • Set-up and level the mount in the polar home (park) position;
  • Get a decent polar alignment with the polar scope (for visual, this may be good enough),
    • Note, with my polar scope, alignment is much closer if I put Polaris at the 40' mark instead of inside the little circle. I'm not sure if that has to do with my 34° latitude or something else. I've checked the polar scope alignment and it is dead center of the RA axis;
  • Start SharpCap polar alignment routine - go through a couple of iterations until I'm getting good/excellent alignment back and forth,
    • You need a camera connected to the computer for this, but probably not necessary if you are just doing visual;
  • Put the mount back in the park position;
  • Start POTH, Stellarium Scope, launch Stellarium (I also launch ASCOMPAD connected to POTH for manual control from the computer),
    • Note, when POTH connects, it will show the mount as parked -- you have to click unpark for anything to work;
  • Stellarium will show the scope pointed to the N pole,
    • Note, Stellarium will show 3 scopes connected:
      • Sync - for syncing the mount to Stellarium (shortcut key is ctrl-3)
      • Scope - for slewing the scope from Stellarium (shortcut key is ctrl-1)
      • Cancel - to stop any slew in progress (shortcut key is ctrl-5);
  • From Stellarium, pick a familiar star in the region of the sky I'm interested in observing and slew the scope to the current object (ctrl-1 or pick "Scope" from the Stellarium telescope dashboard and click slew),
    • The mount will slew toward the star and you see the scope pointer moving across the sky in Stellarium, 
    • If your polar alignment was good, the star should end up in your FOV at the end of the slew... mine is usually close to center after polar aligning with SharpCap;
  • Manually center the star in the FOV (I use ASCOMPAD for manual adjustments, but you could use POTH directly or a game controller if you have one connected), 
    • Make sure you leave the star selected as the current object in Stellarium,
    • The scope will appear to be pointing off a little in Stellarium, depending on how much you manually adjusted,
    • Note, if you want to use the POTH controller directly for manual adjustments, it takes some getting used to... it is literal on its NEWS buttons... if you are pointed at the N pole, then pressing N does nothing;
  • Pick Sync in the Stellarium telescope dashboard and click "slew" (or just press ctrl-3),
    • This will place the Stellarium scope pointer back on the star without physically slewing the mount;
  • Now you're all set for pointing to objects in that region of the sky,
    • From my experience, I can pretty much hit everything close to spot on that's on the same side of the meridian that I synced on,
    • If I move to the other side of the meridian, I will usually re-sync (ctrl-3) with a star on that side.
Hope that helps!--

Bill
Location: Dallas, GA
Scopes:
 Celestron C8, AstroTech 80mm APO

Mounts: EXOS II PMC-Eight, LXD75

Cameras: ZWO ASI294MCPro, ASI385

nico bers
 

Thanks so much this is exactly what I need!!!!!!!!!!!!