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About Mart

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  1. I have three OTAs in my Obsy each with a motorised focuser but only one focuser control unit. I just swap the cable from the controller to the focuser motor on whichever OTA I'm using for imaging. I'm now "upgrading" to run two cameras to double my image capturing whenever there's a gap in the clouds. So I need two focuser control units. I've started a build of Robert Brown's DIY controller - just waiting for the bare PCB to be delivered from China. I have a Lakeside focuser motor connected to one of the OTAs which has the standard Robofocus motor wiring on pins 1-5 of the DSub
  2. Thanks Chris. Still puzzled. I've found set park commands in TheSkyX and POTH but neither seem to be permanent. When I disconnect and power down the scope and PC and power it all up again the client software is still sending the mount to somewhere other than my Home position. I wrote a VBscript to perform an explicit setpark and have put that at the beginning of my CCDC script - so long as the mount is in the Home position I can then run the CCDC script and the Park commands work. I just didn't need to do all this "last week"?
  3. I have an EQ8 worked through EQMOD connecting with a number of clients - TheSkyX, MaximDL, CCD Commander etc. I ran a CCDC script last night and was puzzled as to why when it did a "Park" command the mount put the scope on its side. A Park from any client has always (in the past) put the scope upright with weights down (my Home position). However, EQMOD still Parks to the Home position. I've been trying lots of things this morning, turning off - moving scope - turning on; resyncing encoders; autohoming using SynScan handset and rehoming .... but not fixed the problem. The EQMOD
  4. Well, I suppose it was bound to happen as we approach Halloween fright season ... My observatory PC decided to do the Win 10 Anniversary upgrade ... my observatory is now broken. I can no longer connect to my mount and my dome controller has stopped working. Many thanks for all the suggestions above - I went for the fix Billy pointed to at http://www.totalcardiagnostics.com/support/Knowledgebase/Article/View/92/20/prolific-usb-to-serial-fix-official-solution-to-code-10-error and it worked a treat, I can connect to my mount, lovely. .... but now I can't connect to my
  5. Hi Hugh, happy for you to play with the app - but the code is not a pretty sight. Come to that the app might not be that pretty - e.g. if you haven't got ASCOM installed you may get an "unhandled exception" rather than a friendly user error. I've zipped up and attached the programme. As mentioned above, I'm running it on Windows 10. I know it doesn't run on Windows XP so can't vouch for any other operating system. Happy to share my "experience" from putting it together if there's a problem you've had doing similar things. Cheers, Mart DPoint.zip
  6. Last October I started a topic (here) seeking help for a "challenge" I had with pointing side-by-side telescopes through the narrow opening in my motorised dome. After a lot of research, going back to first principles on spherical geometry and teaching myself how to do Visual Basic programming - I've come up with a software solution I've called DPoint. It's running on my Windows 10 Observatory PC and acts as a "pointing controller" for the dome. I set up the dome and telescope geometry measurements in DPoint and tell DPoint how to connect to the dome and telescope. The software then
  7. Ahah, there was something obvious I was missing. Always upgrade to the latest version of your software. ASCOM-talk forum advised that there was a problem with side-of-pier flagging in earlier versions of EQMOD which probably account for the wrong geometry I was seeing. I've upgraded to the latest version of EQMOD ASCOM and the Dome Target Azimuth looks much more sensible. Now I'm just back to my original problem - how can I adjust the Dome pointing to centre either of my side-by-side scopes to the Dome opening. (Note to self, always check software versions ...)
  8. Even more puzzling. I've just connected to the "Telescope Simulator for .NET" and slewed to "Kappa-1 Cet/96 Cet/HIP15457 (Star)". The scope and dome data look similar to yours: I then connected to the "EQMOD ASCOM Simulator" and again slewed to "Kappa-1 Cet/96 Cet/HIP15457 (Star)". The scope data looks the same but the dome data is completely different ???? I changed nothing else - so it looks like the EQMOD driver is confusing the calculation of the Dome pointing somehow ?
  9. Back to the start of this discussion and my problem of pointing the dome with side-by-side scopes on a GEM. I've reworked the measurements in my dome and used Steve's spreadsheet (thanks Steve) to get the signs the right way up ... and my dome still doesn't line up with the scopes. I tried MaximDL and POTH. I prefer MaximDL as it tells me the "target" azimuth it's trying to get to for the given scope azimuth. With POTH I can only see the dome's current azimuth - so I don't know where it's actually trying to get to but it's not in line with the scopes. I've just connected the ASCOM telescope si
  10. Hi Hugh, I think you said you had a number of Arduino modules doing different things. You connect the one you use as the controller to your PC with a USB cable - as you do to download the code and run the window to read values during debugging. That window terminal on your PC is connected to the USB port that's connected to the Arduino board - so what you type into the terminal is sent down the USB cable to the Arduino and the messages from the Arduino come back up and are displayed in the window. When you connect the ASCOM driver to the Arduino, you open the setup dialogue and select the USB
  11. Hi Hugh, as Andrew describes, the ASCOM site has developer downloads and a couple of very good tutorial videos that are worth stepping through if you want to go down the DIY path - http://ascom-standards.org/Developer/DriverImpl.htm I developed my own simple protocol to talk between the ASCOM Driver and my Arduino - from the Arduino end it's "just" a matter of doing serial reads and writes. You parse what you receive from the ASCOM driver to work out what command it sent and then send back an appropriate response. The great thing about using Arduino is that you can just use a dumb terminal on
  12. Steve, that's great, I'll have another go at measuring up my observatory and trying out POTH. The measurement I have least confidence in is the U/-D offset from the notional "equator" of the dome - the dome is distinctly not hemispherical. Any feeling for the sensitivity of the maths to this dimension ? Hi Hugh, not wanting to discourage you but this project is hard ! Happy to help where I can. I can't quite picture your system model but here's an outline of the bits in my systems that control the dome if it helps (I ought to draw a picture - maybe later, I'm meant to be fixing a plumbing prob
  13. Hi Mike, my challenge is that I have an old dome with a much narrower slot opening - just a fraction over 20". When the GEM is slewed over on its side my 10" has to be aimed exactly mid-centre of the opening to see through it and the side-by-side 4" scope is looking at the inside of the dome. For photographic sessions I have to choose which scope to use and align it to mid-centre of the opening and that's fine with the dome slaved to the scope so long as I keep away for the zenith - but after a meridian flip the geometry is completely wrong and the scope is looking at the inside of the dome ag
  14. Summer last year I started a little project to motorise the dome on my observatory. Little did I know that it would get so involved and take so long. The need to motorise the dome arose when my old LX200 mount finally gave notice and I decided to invest in a new mount - I opted for an EQ8 GEM. I have two scopes which I wanted to mount side-by-side - a 10" Meade SCT and a 4" refractor. I was agog to watch the GEM leaning over as it contorted to slew to a target. By the time I moved the dome to line the slot up with one of the scopes, the scope is leant over and looking through the dome slot at
  15. Mart


    Herefordshire skies
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