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Chris Rowland

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Everything posted by Chris Rowland

  1. Are you the same proflight2000 who posted a rather abrasive message on TeamCelestron saying that you had sent it back? Chris
  2. Post #93 in this thread explains how to download the CFM and how it updates things. Bear in mind that the CFM version is NOT the SSA code version. The CFM version is irrelevant to the SSA version. And running on 1.07 is asking to have problems. It behaves a lot differently, especially in calibration. I've fired off about three feature requests as a result of these recent posts (Improve Centre Calibration, Improve web site description for CFM, Don't use Polaris for centre calibration). Chris
  3. The 1.07 HC version is out of date, the current one is 1.10. Things like needing to cycle power are what's changed most recently, the 1.10 version definitely seems to be better, especially for the AVX (I've got one). Proflight doesn't say but what he describes is for aligning an AltAz mount. The GEMs need to start with the mount at the index positions. I know it doesn't mention the index marks but it's where the starting position is. The critical point is his (10) where you don't power cycle or move the mount. The mount knows where it is because you haven't power cycled so can do the alignment from there and will go to the usual positions. You can power cycle if you like but then you need to set the mount to the alignment position when prompted. Earlier HC versions need the mount to be power cycled. The HC will say what to do. Hope this helps, Chris
  4. This sort http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/ALPS-STEC12E08-Encoder-With-6-MM-D-plastic-Shaft-Vertical-with-Switch-49-6180 is what's used and at £2.09 isn't hugely expensive. Chris
  5. Everyone, PLEASE say what scope/mount you have and - for a fork mount - if you are on a wedge. The alignment process is different for GEMs, Altaz mounts and Fork mounts on a wedge. Also say what version software you are using. "The Latest" tells us nothing other than that you believe it it the latest. UNDO == BACK. They changed the name on the button but it does about the same. As for Polaris, I wouldn't use it for calibration for the reasons I mentioned above and which see to be borne out by proflight's report but if your intent is to make the centre calibration as inaccurate and difficult as possible then that looks like a good way to do it. As I've said before, the most reliable information on how to operate the HC will be shown on the HC itself. Read and follow the instructions there. Remember that the up and down buttons (6 and 9) can be used to scroll through the full message. If that says to set the mount to a particular position then do so. If it doesn't then don't. Try not to over think this. Chris
  6. Total change in reply in response to your last message, good to hear that it's working. Chris
  7. Set the bench power supply to 13.8V and the current limit to 0.7A and charge. That's very similar to the float charger that's used with these batteries in emergency lighting and burglar alarms. The current taken by the battery should drop to something pretty low after a while - 20 to 40mA. It isn't the fastest way to charge but a whole lot better than letting the batteries go flat. Chris
  8. There's a commercial focus motor driver that uses a rotary encoder to do this, the only difference is that it has one encoder and uses presses on the push button on the end of the knob to change the rate. http://www.wa-chur-ed.com/perfectstar.html Chris
  9. Are you using Polaris as a calibration star? That's so close to the pole that tiny errors in position could make a big difference in Ra and Dec and these will affect pointing everywhere. Also, what software versions are you using? The latest 8th January version doesn't need power cycling after centre calibration, it takes you to the align menu, you choose the option you want and off it goes. No need to power cycle or set the mount to the align position. Chris
  10. My NS11 on a wedge likes to start pointing South with the OTA at right angles to the forks. Or you can do a 2 star alignment and manually point the scope at the first star. It will then slew to the second star that you choose and should get pretty close. People obsess about how close the scope gets to the alignment stars before it's aligned but it doesn't seem to matter. Once you have centred the first star the mount uses this as a preliminary alignment. If you are about 15 degrees out in hour angle then check the time and DST values to see if the recent change to DST makes a difference. Chris
  11. You have to set the align mode to EQ N. Two up button presses and Enter. Then you get to the equatorial alignment modes. The alignment may work if you don't do this but the tracking will not work. Chris
  12. Thanks for your offer Per. Sequence Generator has just moved to a new platform - Discourse I think - and seem to be hosting it themselves. That seems to be showing promise and we may consider moving to that. I'm not sure what Yahoo are playing at. From their perspective their system is a means of delivering adverts to our desktops and it only has to be good enough to do that but as it is it's driving people away. Maybe they want to close it. Rather like the UK railways in the 1960s. Chris
  13. All that happened was that none of the ASCOM-Talk moderators were around for about 36 hours. We've tried several alternatives to Yahoo over the years and none of them worked. The most hopeful was StackExchange but they pulled the rug out from under us. Chris
  14. Albeiro is a good calibration star, when it's around, it's difficult to mistake it for anything else. I use Betelgeuse or Procyon at the moment. The prompts on the HC are likely to be more accurate than the manual because the prompts were written by the developer at the same time as the code. Chris
  15. Calibrate Centre is a once only operation (well until you move it). It's an electronic equivalent to aligning a finder scope. Select a star in the Star - named Star menu. Press Align and you are told what the offset is, Follow the prompts on the HC, I think it's Centre the star, press Enter, do a fine alignment and press Align It says Acquiring Image, then solving and finally solved with a new centre position. Press Enter to accept it, then press Undo to back out of the Calibrate Centre menu system. You may need to do a new alignment. This may not be quite right, I just follow the HC prompts. The only trick is to press Undo once the calibrate has completed. Chris
  16. What are you powering? And for how long? There's a huge difference between just driving a mount for an evening and a long weekend of imaging at a remote observing site with mount, cooled CCD camera, dew heaters, laptop and a few extras. Driving a mount for an evening should be possible with a 7Ah SLA. The mount will probably only take 0.5A so 7 hours will use half the capacity. The full house system will need 0.5A for the mount, 2A for the camera, 1.5A for the dew heaters and maybe 3A for the laptop. That's 7A. 3 * 12hr nights will be 36hrs * 7A = 250 Ah. That's an extreme but is gives an idea of what might be needed. The reality will almost certainly be somewhere between. It's worth working out what the various devices actually take on average and how long you want to run. Make your battery capacity at least half as much again. Another thing is that lead acid batteries prefer to be kept fully charged so it's a good idea to recharge it after each use rather than running it until it's flat, then fully recharging it. Chris
  17. It doesn't. It assumes that your corrections are prefect. The one thing is that for the 16 minute run it may be averaging your corrections over two of the 8 minute worm cycles. Most people train PEC by using an auto guider program to keep the star centred. This will probably do a better job than you can. They may also use a PEC training program such as PEMPro or, for Celestron mounts, PECTool. These will do multiple training sessions, average, smooth and load the results to the mount. Also keep a copy locally so you don't loose it. I don't know exactly how your mount does this, you will need to go through the manual carefully and maybe ask on mount specific forums. Chris
  18. A star to the East should still work for the Azimuth correction for ASPA because the azimuth movement is the same regardless of the azimuth. It gets less sensitive at the zenith. The Altitude coerrection won't work but will do for drift alignment. So using ASPA for the Azimuth adjustment followed by drift for the altitude adjustment may work. Chris
  19. I'd spend the money on a reticle EP rather than a polar scope. This will give more accurate alignment and so more accurate ASPA. I've been using an 80mm Oynx with a ST80 on a heavy home made side by side mount, an electric focuser moonlite, filter wheel and two ATIk cameras. No problems. Guides well. Chris
  20. What part of Wiltshire? When I was a kid I lived in Westbury - on the road up to the White Horse. Chris
  21. I use the ASPA routine in the Celestron mounts and AFAIK the Synscan routine is similar. But 30 arc seconds? I don't know about Synscan but the Celestron gives an unrealistic estimate of the error after ASPA because it assumes that everything is perfect. You need to do a new alignment to get an idea of the residual alignment error. Chris
  22. What methods give polar alignment accuracy of 30 arc seconds? And how do you know? Chris
  23. Baader do a good OIII filter as well. It may be easier to get in the UK. Most supplers will have them. Chris
  24. I tried the public CFM today. If you download what's on the web site, unzip it and run the CFM.jar program it starts, phones home and announces that there is a later version. It downloads that (with your permission) and you unzip it and run it. This will also phone home and downloads the update files for Nexstar plus, the starsense HC and starsense camera. What you end up with on your system is the latest HC and camera versions. That's all with no HC or camera connected. If they are connected and turned on it should connect and update both. It will always update the HC, even if it's the same version but will check the camera version and only update it if the new version is newer. This isn't ideal but it's all still in development, both the software for the HC and camera and the CFM updater. The process isn't helped by using Java with the intent that the update process is platform agnostic. Chris
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