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daz

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About daz

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  • Birthday 06/08/69

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  • Website URL
    http://darrenjehan.me.uk

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    Male
  • Interests
    Astronomy, Guitar, Eating
  • Location
    Bedford
  1. Drop me a PM with your email address and I'll send the link
  2. So, I have done some more on this and now have a working command line utility that also interfaces with the ASCOM Focuser driver from HTA. I can now cycle the power relays, operate the dew controllers and the focuser! This is a big leap in my ability to add automation to the observatory... If anyone with a MHP would like a copy, let me know and I'll make it available. I'm also going to add in support for my MBox weather station, which has an ASCOM driver so theoretically, it would work for any ASCOM-enabled weather monitor. The idea is to monitor dew point and adjust dew heater power accordingly....
  3. I am taking the same simplistic approach! If the temperature at the lens (or close to it, at least) is getting close to the dew point, then I need to apply power to the heater - this is my basic thinking. The trick is determining how much power! @MarkyD - interesting - and yes, perfectly understandable . So again, this uses an arbitrary value of ambient vs dew point to determine how much power to apply. @hughgilhespie - unfortunately, your post does not appear to have pasted well from the source, so it's difficult to tell whats equation and what's formatting! Still, I think it's to do with calculating dew point. Which I don't need. My weather station does that for me, I just need to work out how much power to apply to the dew strap to compensate. Thanks everyone that has responded! I think I'll go with 5 deg off set from an earlier post and see how that works! I can always adjust it - I'll keep you posted
  4. Just to follow up on Grant's post.... If there is anything specific you want to see in image processing, or capture, please say. That way, we can potentially run some smaller, focused sessions if needed.
  5. I have started my breakfast consumption strategy with immediate effect... so far, it's going well!
  6. Thanks guys! I don't need the circuit, as I already have a controller on the Mount Hub Pro - it was about programmatically being able to set the power % based on ambient and dew temps. The one that redtail links to uses a 5 deg C threshold (0% at 5 deg above dew through to 100% at 0 deg above). I found another arduino based one that used a 10oF delta in much the same way. Ultimately, you would indeed want precision temp sensing at the optics, but I think this will suffice for now...
  7. Having acquired a Mount Hub Pro and having an MBox Weather station - both of which I can interface to - I got to thinking about incorporating a simple (?) app to regulate the power to the dew strap.vRather than just being on at some arbitrary setting - which of course, may not be enough - I thought about finding out how the relationship should work. So, I understand that the optics needs to be above dew point for dew not to form, but how should that compare to the temperature and then the heater power % ? I am thinking that I need to understand the characteristics of the dew tape, so if I set up a test to measure the temperature increase for every 10% of heater power, that would give me a known scale for the band, at least. Then I can measure the air temp (aT) and the dew point (dT) and do some calculation that takes these, and the change measurement above, into consideration to come up with a sensible power setting for the dew strap... The question is - what should that calculation look like...? I can find plenty of calculations for working out the construction of a band, but not for the amount of power to apply... Your thoughts appreciated
  8. Well, I finally got this working via a convoluted route! I installed a component for Visual Studio that lets me look the DLL file they ship, and then imported this into a new project in VS. From this I found what I think is a bug that stopped the unit from responding (in fairness to HTA I won't share the code, as I have sent this onto them). I compiled this into a new DLL. I then wrote a simple command-line utility referencing the new DLL and presto! I can interact with the unit perfectly via scripts now! The lunatico stuff looks good but it was funds I didn't have!
  9. Been a busy / mixed few weeks... In summary: Got my new Eclipse ED100 - Yay! Weather has been pants - Boo! Observatory automation project has moved forward - Yay! Couldn't get Mount Hub Pro working as expected - Boo! Worked out how to write an ASCOM driver for the roof control - Yay! Custom spacer for the scope has been delayed, won't be here till next week - Boo! Got the Mount Hub Pro working with custom program - Yay! Weather still pants - Boo! lol!! What a fun hobby we do!!
  10. I thought it was disappointing this year too. I'm in the same vein as others when it comes to the talks - only one interested me, but I didn't want to pay for the others I wasn't going to attend... The middle level was mainly devoted to Widscreen - they had both the Celestron and Skywatcher stands with them also, but I felt that Skywatcher had just recruited people to stand and give out leaflets - no expertise there. At least from what I saw. And I was surprised to see only one of the new EQ6-Rs on show, and even then only static. It should have been powered up with someone telling anyone that would listen all about it!! I wasn't shopping this year, so maybe that was a factor - but I met up with various friends, which was the highlight for me!
  11. No solution as yet. I am fairly certain it's the device - whether it needs a firmware flash I don't know. I too am waiting on a response from HTA. I have a backup plan but it would be easier if this were working!
  12. Those good people at FLO have kindly sent me my new baby... an Esprit 100ED! OK, I had to swap it for some of the 'money' stuff but it was certainly worth it!! Just need the custom CCD adapter and some clear skies and then we're good to go! Here's a couple of pics - there'll be more when it's installed in the obsy!
  13. If you can connect to the mount via the ASCOM Toolbox, and you can control it, slew it, park it, etc. then the issue is not with EQMOD I would suggest, but Stellarium. I think Starlight was checking that you had the GOTO version of the HEQ5, the non-goto version can't be controlled by EQMOD as it doesn't have the correct motors and circuit board.
  14. Hi John Yep, tried that, and the interface appears but when I create a bit code to switch a switch, nothing happens. I actually want to do it in VBScript and have tried Dim mhp set mhp = CreateObject("mhpCOM.mhpCOM") as per the documentation, but I get the ActiveX error. I've tried on a Win10 and a very clean Win7 (both 64bit) and get the same result. I'll keep plugging away!
  15. Playing with the MHP and the API but I get "ActiveX can't create object" error. Is anyone else using this? I should say that the supplied MHP application works just fine - it's the API I can't get operational