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About mbalkham

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    Star Forming

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    Wellington, NZ
  1. FIXED!!!!! Don't ask how I did it (I couldn't recreate it lots of forum posts and eventually it worked!) but it works and that's fine by me. Even managed to get the pi system date and time to read the gps and update. Bring on the clouds!
  2. cgps works fine after a manual start (along the lines of sudo gpsd /dev/gps -F /var/run/gpsd.sock) so I know the gps is working fine (it is this one https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/HHAGST0354/GlobalSat-BU-353-S4-Weather-proof-USB-GPS-receiver). The GPS talks to the Pi which talks to KSTARS (running on the mac via wifi hotspot). The location and time in KSTARS are update from GPS. All works fine until the Pi is restarted when gpsd does not run automaticaly (I understand that is the point of the /etc/default/gpsd file and the statement START_DAEMON="true". Just can't get it to work! Work around is to run the gpsd manually each time and everyhting is fine but would be great if I can work out how to do it automatically! Next step talk to Stellarmate. Seen heaps of links and just read the one you posted. Sounds similar problem but I have tried the suggested fix and it hasn't done the trick for me. I'll take another look tonight. Maybe a couple more hours and I'll crack it!
  3. Hi All Been struggling to get the new USB GPS to play ball with the Pi. Manage to manually connect to it and it works with KSTARS but getting it to connect on boot is problematic. I've read heaps of great forum posts on configuring GPSD on boot (using something like below) to modify my /etc/default/gpsd file. Still no joy. Lost a whole night of imaging mucking up drivers and reinstalling everything and now onto about day 3! Running Stellamate OS 1.4.2 and KSTARS 3.3.3. Any pointers welcomed (new to playing with Linux and Pi). Cheers Matt /etc/default/gpsd # Default settings for gpsd. # Please do not edit this file directly - use `dpkg-reconfigure gpsd' to # change the options. START_DAEMON="true" GPSD_OPTIONS="-n" DEVICES="/dev/ttyUSB0" USBAUTO="true" GPSD_SOCKET="/var/run/gpsd.sock"
  4. Sorry just to be clear, I should say I'm very happy with the focuser and not looking go change that. Just looking for motor drive options.
  5. Hi All, Looking to add a motor focuser to my baader diamond steeltrack for newtonian focuser. I see the new SteelDrive II is available but about twice the price of the original steeldrive. Does anyone know if the new one is worth the extra investment?! Open to ideas of other makes if appropriate. Thanks in advance Matt
  6. Hi All, Should start by saying I'm a complete raspberry pi noob so steep learning curve so far! Go easy with any technical replies! Recently been playing with control of the rig using Raspberry Pi 3 essentially as a wireless USB hub (for the mount, autoguider, canon 6D control and PoleMaster), still doing the control with the Widows 10 Nextbook but now from inside the house (hopefully!). I have it all talking to one another whilst on my home wifi network and hope to test it outside when I get a clear sky. Pretty chuffed it seams to work given the trouble we all have with USB drivers and windows updates! My question relates to what happens when I take it to a remote dark site without wifi! I read it might be possible to create a wifi direct link between Pi and Nextbook but it doesn't look straight forward. Else perhaps get a Ethernet-USB dongle for the Nextbook (no Ethernet port) and hard wire (since I don't need the nextbook too far from the scope while I'm elsewhere). Failing that I can unplug and go back to a USB hub but I want to tie wires out the way and fix the Pi on the mount somewhere in a waterproof enclosure and unwiring every time will be a pain. Any tips/ideas welcome. Thanks in advance Matt
  7. Did the power plug mod as per the previous link and had a great night of imagining with no problems. Fingers crossed we're fixed and for less than $15 and an hour of time! Should have done it ages ago! Surprised that the manufacturer hasn't picked this up. Can't be any more expensive than the stock part.
  8. Thanks for the replies. I don't think it's the USB side of things though it could be. I've had many sessions with no problems and assume if it was an underpowered hub I'd see the issues more frequently? I've never liked the connection on the side of the nextbook but haven't yet got any real alternative (though I saw a blutooth/wifi option somewhere). Could be the power connection I guess and I've seen a power socket/plug mod somewhere before (http://bendun.net/Images/STARFEST2011/EQ6 Power Plug Modification.pdf) so it might be time to try that. Have been meaning to rationalize the cable routing so maybe also bring that up the to do list. Reassuring that people don't (so far) think it's internal!
  9. I'm currently experiencing an intermittent problem with my NEQ6 stopping mid slew. It loses connection with the nextbook and all alignment info. I have to manually put back to the home point and start alignment process again (plus target alignment and imaging and PHD calibration). Thinking it might be a loose electrical connection or mechanical issue overloading the drive? A real pain tonight as first clear night in ages and I've given up after 2 resets (the worst is ever been). Most common cause would be parking to home position from a high position (pointing close to vertical). Anyone experienced similar issues and even better fixed them?! Thanks in advance.
  10. I'm fairly sure it's not an external cable issue. It happens at about the same point in the sky and stops with a jolt & funny noise. I'll try taping the cables to the mount and see if I can recreate the issue.
  11. Last night was the first time out for a while. All went pretty well until I needed to flip. As the mount was slewing (controlled via EQMOD from C2C) it froze and lost connection to the computer. I needed to completely restart the mount and EQMOD (and everything else). I then needed to reset everything (guidecam, mount pointing, camera, etc. etc. etc.) which is a real pain. It's happened to me before too same deal doesn't like slewing across the meridian for some reason. Once up and running on the other side no problems imaging for several hours. Any ideas?
  12. Looking to leap into CCD (from canon 6d) and am looking for a camera and filter wheel for my CT10. Anything considered. Must be prepared to post to NZ! Thanks in advance
  13. I've just got my Catseye gear through (TELECAT XLS SIGHT TUBE + BLACKCAT XL CHESHIRE + INFINITY XLKP AUTOCOLLIMATOR). First impressions are good but the info on the website is mega confusing. Does anyone have simplified, plain English advice?! If not I might write some at some stage. I've watched a few videos online and many contain good tips. Anyway got the centre spot applied and everything appears now to be square (after an adjustment of the alignment of the focuser as well as moving the primary and secondary). Two questions 1) I noticed that my collimation appeared to go off during the evening (I was only out for an hour or so given the cloud cover). Is this normal or did I knock something? How sensitive is a big newt to movement? How often should I be checking collimation (every session, every few hours?). I intend to try again indoors over the weekend and make sure everything is locked down once collimated. 2) I noticed my secondary is not central to the focuser. it's too close to the end of the tube. I intend to use longer secondary adjustment screws to correct this at the weekend but how much and what difference will this make if everything else is in line? Just coma/vignetting? Cheers
  14. Interesting post on the comparison. Last night I got a good result with polemaster and good pointing accuracy but my phd2 guiding results weren't as good as I'd expected/hoped. I undertook a PHD2 drift alignment and improved my PA (but worsened my pointing accuracy even with a new 3 star alignment). I'm thinking of adopting a 2 stage PA routine using first polemaster for a (very good) 'roughing in' and then a find tune using PHD2 drift. Then doing my 3+ star alignment for sorting my goto. Anyone else playing with a multi stage approach to PA? Or am I doing something wrong to need to do this?!!
  15. Yep PA wasn't perfect and which I struggled to guide out. I also don't think my balance was quite right. Seeing wasn't great plus I think there was some high cloud. Also I'm not convinced collimation is spot on yet (I have some new tools on order for that one!). Happy enough for first light but hope there's plenty more in the scope for me to get out!
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