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alcol620

SGPro and Pulsar motorised Dome slaving an AZEQ6 mount

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alcol620    59

Anyone out there using the above set up or similar who can comment on the following situation.

Most of the time with SGPro slaving the dome against the mount movements works fine. However, occasionally (once every 4 or 5 nights) the dome stops slaving. The box is still ticked to slave in the SGPro control panel. Obviously the mount continues to track and eventually starts taking pictures of the inside of the dome's roof! The only way to get the dome active again is to pull it's power plug or USB lead. This, however, crashes SGPro and turns off and has to be restarted (along with camera, filter wheel, focuser, dome etc. in the SGpro Sequencer window). Having got it all running again, clicking the slave to telescope function gets the dome following the mount again.

Comments welcome, not sure if it is a SGPro, Pulsar or Windows issue or a bit of each

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PhotoGav    2,099

Hi, I have a Pulsar Dome and HEQ5 mount running with SGP. I haven’t had that exact problem, but my best guess is that you are experiencing a USB issue. What versions of SGP & Pulsar software are you running? How are things connected with USB? Are they direct into the PC or through a hub?

My current problem with dome slaving is that when I tick slave in SGP (v3.0.0.2 beta), the dome doesn’t move to slave with the mount. If I nudge the dome a couple of degrees from within SGP, it moves and then moves to slave with the mount and works fine. What I am realising is that all the disparate bits of software and hardware involved in an automated dome are basically a house of cards which rarely stays up for more than an hour or so!

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alcol620    59
2 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

Hi, I have a Pulsar Dome and HEQ5 mount running with SGP. I haven’t had that exact problem, but my best guess is that you are experiencing a USB issue. What versions of SGP & Pulsar software are you running? How are things connected with USB? Are they direct into the PC or through a hub?

My current problem with dome slaving is that when I tick slave in SGP (v3.0.0.2 beta), the dome doesn’t move to slave with the mount. If I nudge the dome a couple of degrees from within SGP, it moves and then moves to slave with the mount and works fine. What I am realising is that all the disparate bits of software and hardware involved in an automated dome are basically a house of cards which rarely stays up for more than an hour or so!

Thanks Gav

Running them through a powered USB2 hub, only a short USB2 lead to the laptop. Hub also has mount and focuser on it. Camera and filter wheel run off a separate USB3 powered hub (same laptop). SGPro is version 2.6.0.23 and Pulsar Observatory package is 1.0.12.0. I am always relieved when I power up and click the slave to telescope button and the dome cranks into action to slave to the Mount position

I think your last comment is spot on.

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PhotoGav    2,099
54 minutes ago, alcol620 said:

Thanks Gav

Running them through a powered USB2 hub, only a short USB2 lead to the laptop. Hub also has mount and focuser on it. Camera and filter wheel run off a separate USB3 powered hub (same laptop). SGPro is version 2.6.0.23 and Pulsar Observatory package is 1.0.12.0. I am always relieved when I power up and click the slave to telescope button and the dome cranks into action to slave to the Mount position

I think your last comment is spot on.

Mmm, I remain suspicious of the USB connections... most of my issues boil down to flakey USB technology. It could be any of the connections though, not necessarily the Dome connection. I have had freezing dome problems when the focuser has dropped out and they are on completely different hubs and pc ports! As for my CCD, that has a nasty habit of dropping out when it’s cold, hence my pc now resides in a cardboard box! Oh, and my Lodestar guidecam drops out at random intervals too.

Sorry I can’t be of more help...

Good luck and hopefully tonight will be clear and give us another opportunity to watch the circus and see who the clown is this time!! It is wonderful when it works though and I wouldn’t want to be without it now!

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alcol620    59

Thanks Gav, food for thought. Will certainly be having a more careful look round the connections. I suppose a look at the logs might show something (if I knew what I was looking for!)

 

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KyleStoke    136

Hi are you using poth hub?

I say this because that is where i slave the dome to the mounts movement which i have to tick to put into action. 

If it is a USB drop out which is common you can test it by disconnecting the dome from SGP then opening the Pulsar utility and try to move it through that. if no movement then connection has been lost. you can double check this if there is still no movement by seeing if the dome will move by pressing the directional buttons on the controller.

If it still will not move then that may suggest an issue with the unit.

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alcol620    59
12 hours ago, KyleStoke said:

Hi are you using poth hub?

I say this because that is where i slave the dome to the mounts movement which i have to tick to put into action. 

If it is a USB drop out which is common you can test it by disconnecting the dome from SGP then opening the Pulsar utility and try to move it through that. if no movement then connection has been lost. you can double check this if there is still no movement by seeing if the dome will move by pressing the directional buttons on the controller.

If it still will not move then that may suggest an issue with the unit.

Hi Kyle, thanks for your comments. I have run it using the poth hub, but for one reason or another I decided dispense with that and to run it as it is now. Your points about checking the connection - noted - I will try this next time it fails. Can you spell out the detailed sequence for checking. Starting from here:

Mount and dome slaving, all connected. Then notice that the dome has stopped slaving. What would be the exact sequence form here?

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KyleStoke    136

I would try as follows

Disconnect dome from sgp.

Open the pulsar stand alone program to see if it can communicate with the dome control unit. If it does the usb is still working so perhaps an issue with sgp. 

If there is no communication from the pulsar program to dome I would see if the dome responds to the manual pressing of the button on the unit.

If that works then it seems like a usb issue. Swap it with a new one and try again. 

If it doesn't move I'd contact pulsar because it would suggest some kind of issue with the unit. 

I hope this makes sense I'm typing on my phone. 

 

You can keep testing this in the bad weather aslong as you don't open the lid 

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PhotoGav    2,099

Just to add a +1 for Matthew-Elecsoft, one of the most accomodating and helpful developers, in the world!! Welcome to the discussion Matt.

My most recent dome experience is from Monday night and the campsite of SGL SP2017. It was cloudy in Hereford, but beautifully clear back home in Marlborough, so I hooked up my laptop to the internet through my iPhone, woke up the observatory PC and carried out an imaging session from the comfort of my campervan! It was a great night of data collection, though I did encounter the usual array of anomolies, hence I nursed the system through till 5am. The dome related issue was that it stopped tracking at 179.90º. I nudged the dome from within SGP and it got back to the task of slaving the mount. I am hoping that the next beta release of SGP resolves these issues as I am pretty sure that it is a problem from within SGP.

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alcol620    59

Hi Kyle

Just one question if I may. When you say "disconnect dome from SGP" are you meaning disconnect/turn off in the SGPro sequencing window? 

Thanks

 

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alcol620    59
2 hours ago, Matthew-Elecsoft said:

I am the developer of the pulsar software. I agree with what Kyle says, feel free to message me if you need to.

Hi Matthew

You may have missed my email to you of 12th October.

Regards

Alec

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alcol620    59
On 19/10/2017 at 21:20, alcol620 said:

Hi Matthew

You may have missed my email to you of 12th October.

Regards

Alec

Thanks for getting back to me Matthew

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alcol620    59
On 19/10/2017 at 18:58, PhotoGav said:

Just to add a +1 for Matthew-Elecsoft, one of the most accomodating and helpful developers, in the world!! Welcome to the discussion Matt.

My most recent dome experience is from Monday night and the campsite of SGL SP2017. It was cloudy in Hereford, but beautifully clear back home in Marlborough, so I hooked up my laptop to the internet through my iPhone, woke up the observatory PC and carried out an imaging session from the comfort of my campervan! It was a great night of data collection, though I did encounter the usual array of anomolies, hence I nursed the system through till 5am. The dome related issue was that it stopped tracking at 179.90º. I nudged the dome from within SGP and it got back to the task of slaving the mount. I am hoping that the next beta release of SGP resolves these issues as I am pretty sure that it is a problem from within SGP.

Hi Gav

You say you "nudged the dome from within SGP" can you clarify exactly what you did?

Thanks

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PhotoGav    2,099
13 minutes ago, alcol620 said:

You say you "nudged the dome from within SGP" can you clarify exactly what you did?

In the control panel or observatory module you can enter a number of degrees and then click the left or right arrow (in green in the screen grab below) to ‘nudge’ the dome that far in that direction. 

52647C41-8948-46BA-8E9F-0AB5529BF963.thumb.png.95b6a95cf640dec3b26430728ca306e5.png

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alcol620    59

Thanks Gav - appreciated. Next time it fails I will run through the processes that you and Kyle set out. I will report back

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