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August 2021 - Anyone playing tonight


Jkulin
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5 minutes ago, Dmack1 said:

I'm set up and running again, two nights in a row. But my mount is playing up by stopping tracking after meridian flip, so it won't platesolve and resume the session.

What you could do is stop your scope just before the flip. Send the mount home, then restart your session. No time will be lost, it won't cure the problem, but at least you'll know it is some settings on the flip needs adjusting.

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8 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

What you could do is stop your scope just before the flip. Send the mount home, then restart your session. No time will be lost, it won't cure the problem, but at least you'll know it is some settings on the flip needs adjusting.

Yeah I thought about that but decided I really want to troubleshoot it out early in the season so that I can leave it alone and get some sleep. The strange thing is that this never happened before the summer break. 

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The gremlins are out tonight, not too much, but my RPi reported that it had run out of  storage - first report was that PHD2 said it couldnt save log file and then the subs were being 'stored' with zero file size..... aargh

 

Ah I thought lots of subs in Trash and flats and darks etc and all 52Mb each, so tried to empty trash - nope could not do that for some reason -  said empty trash completed with errors - in other words it had not deleted anything - so thinking  how to get around this - I thought why not delete files via the FTP client - That worked, and back saving subs again.

 

I really must look at the process to increase the file system to use the entire memory card as its a big 128gig - dont think its that difficult, but I'm not doing it tonight in moddile of a session...

 

Edited by Astrobdlbug
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Gremlins everywhere tonight. Autofocus not working for me - back to manual for tonight.

SCT at full FL not really working well for imaging. Stars are boomerangs. I need to get the focal reducer working properly, but I'm close to packing it up. 

Ha Bubble from last night - 3 hours of Ha, binned 3x3 to an acceptable image. I'm oversampling anyway at 2032mm.

 

Bubble-H_alpha-St.thumb.jpg.62f07da62d34549ec70197fc169c84cd.jpg

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34 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Have you updated anything recently?

Updated APT I guess. So it failed again there just now. Slews but then stops tracking as it goes to the GoTo++ routine. So I parked the scope then tried GOTO++ from home, same again, slewed then stopped tracking so the image was trailed. I parked it again and did it manually - normal goto, image, solve, sync, goto, image solve  start image run - no problem atall. So I thinking something in APT's Goto++ I'll go onto the APT forum tomorrow, they are usually pretty good at helping out. But off to bed now - image run is going away fine, guiding at a reasonable 0.63" total. Conflicting forcasts - its either clouded in an hour or clear all night. We shall see tomorrow. Night all!

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4 minutes ago, Dmack1 said:

Updated APT I guess. So it failed again there just now. Slews but then stops tracking as it goes to the GoTo++ routine. So I parked the scope then tried GOTO++ from home, same again, slewed then stopped tracking so the image was trailed. I parked it again and did it manually - normal goto, image, solve, sync, goto, image solve  start image run - no problem atall. So I thinking something in APT's Goto++ I'll go onto the APT forum tomorrow, they are usually pretty good at helping out. But off to bed now - image run is going away fine, guiding at a reasonable 0.63" total. Conflicting forcasts - its either clouded in an hour or clear all night. We shall see tomorrow. Night all!

Check your meridian limits. I have my EQ6 to flip 5 minutes past the meridian, no pauses etc, the only option I have is to auto centre after a flip. I am using SGP, but I'm sure APT has similar options. Another thing you might want to check, make sure auto meridian flip is not checked in the EQMOD toolbox.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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2 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Check your meridian limits. I have my EQ6 to flip 5 minutes past the meridian, no pauses etc, the only option I have is to auto centre after a flip. I am using SGP, but I'm sure APT has similar options. Another thing you might want to check, make sure auto meridian flip is not checked in the EQMOD toolbox.

 was looking for those limits today but could not find them. I was rooting around in EQmod today and the "Allow auto meridian flip" was not checked so I checked it! Wrong?

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15 minutes ago, Dmack1 said:

 was looking for those limits today but could not find them. I was rooting around in EQmod today and the "Allow auto meridian flip" was not checked so I checked it! Wrong?

Yeah uncheck it, that will cause a conflict with your software. APT will control the flip, if you have that box checked, EQMOD will be controlling the flip. Also uncheck mount limits if you are using APT to do the flip.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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I'm using EKOS an ddont have any automation set up - I just eyeball the mount when it is passed meridian and then stop-park and slew back to target using a previously captured sub to platesolve. Bit clunky, but works for me.

 

Would be good to automate and watch it all happen without my intervention .....

I have swapped onto the Western Veil now to add more time on that panel, hoping to get another 2hrs tonight so I have 4 hrs on each panel

 

Guiding has improved since I started about 10:30pm, so happy with that.

 

215319771_Screenshot2021-08-29001942.thumb.png.7df65e311cc9ef3eb4ba28dfe083c86e.png

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28 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

was looking for those limits today but could not find them. I was rooting around in EQmod today and the "Allow auto meridian flip" was not checked so I checked it! Wrong?

If you have downloaded the APT manual, check the chapter on Session Craft and Meridian flip, all the settings are in there, regarding delays etc.

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14 minutes ago, Astrobdlbug said:

I'm using EKOS an ddont have any automation set up - I just eyeball the mount when it is passed meridian and then stop-park and slew back to target using a previously captured sub to platesolve. Bit clunky, but works for me.

 

Would be good to automate and watch it all happen without my intervention .....

Auto meridian flip is a great time saver once set up. It fascinates my wife watching the scope flip as if by magic.

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I am so glad I don't automate much of my imaging set up, seems to cause so many problems. 

 

I use the handset (not EQMod & CdC which I have but don't bother with).

I don't use autofocusser, I use a Bahtinov and my fingers.

 

Don't autoflip.  I go back to park and start again as my mount always misses the target after a flip (cone error).

 

Can't automate my roof as it is a POD.  Have to open and close it manually and also, manually move it onto the POD Zenith table if need be (not my favourite job). 

 

Only thing I do is monitor it all from indoors using Anydesk, (I can operate the software from indoors).  

 

OK, so I have to be a bit hands on, and I can only go to sleep if I know there is no meridian flip coming up and no rain, but to me this is all part of doing it.  

 

Carole 

 

 

   

Edited by Carastro
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7 hours ago, Carastro said:

I am so glad I don't automate much of my imaging set up, seems to cause so many problems. 

 

I use the handset (not EQMod & CdC which I have but don't bother with).

I don't use autofocusser, I use a Bahtinov and my fingers.

 

Don't autoflip.  I go back to park and start again as my mount always misses the target after a flip (cone error).

 

Can't automate my roof as it is a POD.  Have to open and close it manually and also, manually move it onto the POD Zenith table if need be (not my favourite job). 

 

Only thing I do is monitor it all from indoors using Anydesk, (I can operate the software from indoors).  

 

OK, so I have to be a bit hands on, and I can only go to sleep if I know there is no meridian flip coming up and no rain, but to me this is all part of doing it.  

 

Carole 

 

 

   

I have to say some automate things are cool. I can use eqmod and Stellarium to go to a target. APT bathinov mask tool it helps a lot to achieve a good focus , obviously you still need the mask itself. I have also learnt plate solving and most important think PHD2 and the guiding scope.

 

I recently added a gamepad to my scope so I can slowly move the scope if I need. I don’t have autofocuser yet .

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Was lucky to have two clear-ish nights but now it's back to clouds. I've automated as much as I can with ZWO EAFs on all three scopes. Now that I stopped worrying about optimised backlash values, I haven't had any issues getting excellent focus. It's not optimal for speed but it is reliable and accurate with crayford and RnP focusers with ASIAIR or N.I.N.A. I had lots of trouble with APTs AF.

 

My first night out with N.I.N.A and meridian-flip just worked and I have had no problems with it on the CEM70 at all. I have shortened some timings now because the defaults created a big pause. Setting up a script for the night which parks the newt at the end of a session was easy - so if the rain comes it at least won't run down the tube. Sadly, I can't easily automate the tent to cover up at the end so I always sleep lightly and keep checking forecasts. A rain alarm is probably a good idea😄

 

The HEQ5 is out on some slabs, I use it for the 70mm mostly and combined with an ASIAIR PRO it handles meridian flips well also. The ASIAIR PA routine is similar to the Sharpcap routine and is easy and accurate - with the plus being the ASI AIR automatically rotates the scope 60 degrees saving you fumbling for the controller. The ASIAIR scripting for captures is very basic but it will do for now.

 

Its only in the last 12 months that I have been using plate solving instead of 3-star alignment and squinting through guide scopes. I feel a bit divorced from the physical side of astronomy now but it is so quick I won't go back.

 

 

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It's not looking good here until possibly Thursday so brought the scope in but left the tripod under the covers and jousting toilet tent. It only has 2 connections (power and data) to make if I need to put the scope back one as I have prewired everything.

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