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About SonnyE

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    Star Forming
  • Birthday 12/03/50

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    Santa Clarita, CA; U.S.A. N34 26' , W118 36, West of Orion.

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  1. Hey UKJay, Last night I had the occasion to run my mount with everything being brought to my laptop with a single USB2 cable from the Star Tech USB3 hub. I was having some WiFi issues so I unplugged the mini computer to give the laptop a go. It worked flawlessly. Before revamping my telescope and adding the mini Stick computer, I had long USB cables (~15 feet) feeding off my mount to a table in the garden where my hub was. It was my early configuration. My intent was always to put the hub closer to the telescope and have a single USB cable (~10 feet). Last night that worked fab. I use to get a drop out of my main imaging camera, but that seems to be a thing of the past now with the powered hub being at the mount. I would say go for it.
  2. I'm using a Star Tech 7 port USB, and most recently I'm powering it with my 12 volt circuit that is feeding my CCD, Focuser, and now the hub. I'm only actually using 4 of the 7 available USB hubs. Mount, CCD, Auto-guider camera, and focuser. Port powered hubs gave me a lot of odd problems. Using the Star Tech powered hub solved most of those.
  3. I wouldn't have any idea, Gina. I'm like the Man in the Moon, and you are like Orion's Nebula. Way out there... (But I do enjoy your posts.)
  4. I use a sealed Lead-Acid AGM deep cycle battery to run my mount and CCD camera, and now more. Focuser, USB3 hub. My reason was because after two failures of my mount's motor control board, I decided to feed it only 12 volt pure DC power like you only get from a battery. And I happened to have the one I'm using on hand anyway. So far, no more failures. I don't need dew heaters where I live very often. I've tried making some, but they fell by the wayside and got packed away. One thing I find with my AGM battery is it lasts for days and days before wanting for charging. Do check on what type charging your battery you get wants for. I have a charger that has a setting for Regular, Deep Cycle, or AGM type batteries.
  5. OK, so its been raining horrifically here for what seems like months, but really only a couple of months. Very unusual for here. An Idle Mind is the Devils Workshop. I grabbed onto TekkyDaves focuser and that went very well indeed after a little help from Dave. I had a working remote controllable focuser added to my telescope. Joy! Another friend mentioned to me how he was looking into Mini Computers as a means to go wireless to his pier outside. I took the lead and ran with it. I'm a Windows 10 user, and have used Windows as my operating system all along. Other OS's I've tried didn't quite work out for me. But there is absolutely no reason that Linux, or Apple users couldn't do this as well. And/or a Raspberry Pi So I acquired one of these little Intel Mini Stick Computers and set to work to make my mount wireless. Or in my case wires less. Or Less wires. If you will Please excuse my laziness, I'd like to paste from another of my posts... "EAA - Electronically Assisted Astronomy. My rainy dayz project. The direction I headed when getting into this maddening sport. Often I said, "All I want is the Hubble." Plain and Simple, can't. But I'm a function sort of guy. I like taking a pigs ear, and trying to make a silk purse from it. Getting the most I can from whatever it is I'm doing. A mutual friend of ours mentioned a new method to me. I took the ball and ran with it. Especially once the CFO here told me to go ahead. I've finally arrived at being ready for the weather to give us a damned break so we can go back out and shoot some stars. Electronically controlled focusing and Stick Computers. My next natural steps towards mount independence. Or going wireless, or in my case wires less. Because after all, things need power. So I do have 2 - 12 volt circuits from my big battery, and a 5 volt, 3 amp circuit feeding up the mount. But the Stick Computer running Windows 10 is alive and wirelessly in control perched up on top of my telescope tube Velcro mounted. (It's not just for shoes anymore. ) The focuser is an Arduino project where an electronic programmable logic controller (USB2), controls a motor driver circuit board and a small geared stepper motor to adjust the focuser in or out to adjust my telescopes focuser. In a nutshell... The Focuser Project came from here. The stick computer is essentially a Mini, fully functioning, Windows 10 OS computer. Its intention is to plug into an HDMI port in a big screen TV display, and turn it into a functioning Windows 10 computer, and to (once set-up) Bluetooth connect to a wireless keyboard and touch pad or mouse. (It requires a USB keyboard (wired) for initial start-up. $10 at Walmart) But we are in dark waters here and following paths of those who have ventured before us. The Stick has WiFi, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. I went low buck, but there are pricier versions and more power and RAM memory available. I've also put one of my mini SD cards (64Gb) in my stick and programmed it to store everything there. (It can use up to a 128Gb mini SD card.) (My point there was to keep the Sticks hard drive light and unburdened) With a hub (I used a powered hub) connected to the USB2 port (works for my 2.4 MHz router), it connects through a WiFi extender to my router. And that let's me log into it with Tight Vnc giving me the Sticks desktop and full function wirelessly of the Stick computer. It has a noticeable lag in function, but it works. And I'm in day 4 of long run testing of function (12 to 16 hours a day). I have my typical programs open and working as much as they can without actually guiding and imaging objects. But my cameras are running and imaging capped scopes, the mount, Stellarium, and PHD2 are running, and all appears well. I had my USB3 hub plugged into the Stick's USB3 port at first. But a guy recommended I connect via the USB2 port and that cured all my problems. USB3 works better over the new C type connections and 5 MHz WiFi. Which this church mouse doesn't have. I have a 2.4 MHz G type wireless router. (Hot item in its day) Set-up, or tear down consists of 4 plugs (Cables) to free the telescope of the mount, or to mount it. (12 V, 5 V, 1 USB, and 1 RJ-11) Hense, why I say Wire Less. Or Less wires. The 1 USB (white), and RJ-11 (Guider) simply jump down to the AVX. So only the 12V (2 wires) and 5V (1 wire) actually exit the mount. Some folks are doing a portable router for remote locations set up. Sitting in their warm car, running their mount outside, wirelessly. (I don't see me doing that, I like being home.) So... this to get rid of what? USB cables for one. And to free up my laptop and dragging it out and back every night. But there is a caveat here, I can connect my desktop, and I can connect my laptop, and recently discovered I can even connect my phone... all at the same time. And any of the 3 can be used to run the equipment wirelessly through my (antiquated) wireless network. (Password protected, of course) Something that held me back was, to go wireless at the mount would eliminate the visual the laptop afforded. Now, a laptop can log on to my network, connect through Vnc, and there is the mounts computers desktop. Folks are sitting in their recliners in their living rooms, and running their mounts wirelessly. It sounded appealing to me. Fine adjusting the focus, and doing anything I used to sitting out in my yard I will be able to do now (except filter wheel changes, and the manual adjustments of an All Star Polar Alignment) from my wireless devices. I've already been doing wireless alignments, just for fun and to experiment. OK, so no pictures = didn't happen. The hardware: (The out-of-place looking white USB cable is connected to the NexStar handset of my AVX. It has to do with Celestron's NexRemote, which replicates the hand control onto the computers display)"
  6. Glad you got it going, Billy. My computer kept telling me mine was up to date. And it was, with the 6.2 version. When I actually went and got 6.3, then it updated. I'm running Windows 10 Home Edition. (But sometimes I wonder if it isn't the Homeless Edition)
  7. Well, things change, and set-ups grow. So modifications come. Even down at my level a different tack is being taken. I have a few bits on order to put a Stick Computer to my mount. A bold new move for me, but a natural direction for me to go. Pier, or Tripod. Tough call. For all that I move my modest mount, it might as well be on a pier. But I don't see me doing such a change. So my mount spends much of its time outside under cover when not in use.
  8. I am of the opinion that cell phone cameras are going to surpass other cameras. Most of us have one, and they are so much more than a mere phone. It's a pocket computer. And we can text a picture to Friends or Family. Be careful or you can run out of ink.... (Don't ask how I know that... )
  9. Beautiful! Very sorry to hear of your wife. Best wishes for a long and Happy Retirement! I'm retired, too. I was tired yesterday. And I'm retired today. (Been retired since 2010) And it sounds like you have climbed the learning curve well.
  10. I use a large Leisure battery (an AGM 12 volt 53 pound baby) to run my mount and CCD cooling. I don't run dew heaters. Were I to run them, I would do so on a mains power supply separate from my mounts needs. Would it be possible to separate your loads? I'm suggesting a second battery for the dew heaters, while keeping your voltage/power critical loads separate. Thus, if you lose power to your heaters, it's not a big deal. But getting into a critical voltage with your mount and it's motors could really spoil the fun. (Ie: burned out motors, fried electronics) Edit in: Like a bigger, newer battery, and use it for your critical loads, while using the older battery for the heaters.
  11. Thank You for the link to Rob's. I had already been there and that project is on hold. Apparently indefinitely. So I'll continue my quest for shared codes. I have found and bookmarked one example that is very close to my needs, up to the actual attempt to verify it. I don't have a dome, and most likely won't, as I live in a more desert like climate zone. But thank you for sharing your Accel Stepper code example.
  12. Thank You, Nick! I didn't know what INDI was, so I went looking. And it looks very good. I'll be off looking over the site. Thank You! Is INDI more of a LINUX based system? Because I'm Windows 10 here. Are the INDI compatible with my Arduino and Windows 10 base? Oh, sorry I just checked and answered my own question. No Windows portal yet.
  13. Thank You very much for sharing that. As a fledgling Arduino user, I'm just beginning to get a grasp on the coding. I downloaded the code you posted, but I'm doing something wrong I'd imagine. I copy and pasted it in its entirety. When I run the "verify" I get error messages, and it stumps me. Arduino: 1.8.1 (Windows 10), Board: "Arduino Nano, ATmega328" DomeControl:2: error: expected unqualified-id before 'case' case ORDER_OPEN_FULLY: //Shutter Full Open from any position ^ DomeControl:5: error: 'isActive' does not name a type isActive = true; ^ DomeControl:6: error: expected constructor, destructor, or type conversion before '(' token digitalWrite(pnMotorEnable,HIGH); ^ DomeControl:7: error: 'myMotor' does not name a type myMotor.moveTo(fastOpenTarget); //A bit short of fully open ^ DomeControl:8: error: 'shutterState' does not name a type shutterState = MOVE_OPENING; ^ DomeControl:9: error: expected constructor, destructor, or type conversion before ';' token SendShutterState(); ^ DomeControl:10: error: expected unqualified-id before 'if' if (BENCH_TEST) ^ DomeControl:18: error: expected unqualified-id before 'if' if (isAutoActive) ^ exit status 1 expected unqualified-id before 'case' This report would have more information with "Show verbose output during compilation" option enabled in File -> Preferences. I don't have a dome, unless my inverted, manually operated, plastic trash bin somehow qualifies (doubtful). But I hope to save your generously shared code in my Arduino code library. (Hope? I have saved it.) Might you have, or might you know, where I could acquire code for a motorized filter wheel? I'm currently dabbling with a Nano (clone) to drive a ULN2003 and a 28byj 48 stepper motor. I have high hopes of being able to run my equipment outside from inside, including filter wheel and focusing. One of these days I will likely blow up my laptop with all these demands I want it to do.... Thank You, Hugh, for sharing! Clear Skies!
  14. I happened to check mine a couple of weeks ago and it was up to date. Then after seeing your post I checked it again... still up to date. So I think I'm good. But Thank You! Oh, well, I went to ASCOM and did download the newest version 6.3. It updated the previous 6.2 So although it was telling me it was up to date, 6.2 was, but it has to be manually updated to 6.3 Thanks Oddsocks.
  15. I have long had a peculiar problem with my G3 (Orion) camera program freezing, or locking up. Then, the only apparent fix was to unplug the USB cord and reinsert it, and restart the Orion Camera Suite. It was really bad when I used a non-powered hub with my laptop. A powered hub helped a lot, but did not entirely stop this annoying problem. Even Orion was scratching their heads with no suggestions. After adding a AAF2 Mark 2 Focuser, a new monster reared its head along this line. Since I have had to retreat my mount to the house while a storm comes and passes, I thought I would work on what could be causing my USB woes. Happy in having decided it was not a program related problem, I turned my USB detective work towards the laptop itself. Lo and Behold, I think I found a culprit... I run a PC, and have had Windows based operating systems since DOS 3.11. I've always been able to fix my own by bumble-fumbling my way through. So I began searching for USB freezing or dropping out fixes. Something that cropped up was "How to Fix an Annoying Windows USB Problem". And so far, it's working. Mining down to this little 'helper' was a bit fun. But I got there. Now this "USB Selective Suspend" is implanted with, I'm sure, good intentions. It's purpose is to conserve power by suspending idle USB ports. But it apparently misses the boat for those of us sitting in the night trying to keep our telescopes running along, albeit, sometimes slowly. By disabling this "feature", my laptop and the programs I use, including TekkyDave's AAF2 has run for over 6 hours now. It is a major milestone for me to finally find a work around for a most annoying problem. I most often have my computers on, and plugged in, and on auto-update. So if you are having some odd things from your USB connected devices, it may not be your equipment, nor your programs, but some obscure little helper buried down in the advanced settings of your operating system. Worth a look...