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Switching between Nexremote and Hand control

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#1 astrovienna

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

I'm permanently setup, so I hibernate my scope between sessions. As far as I know, the alignment is stored in the handcontrol, not the mount. So there's no way to use Nexremote one night, hibernate the scope, and use the hand control the next night, without having to realign. But if I'm wrong, please let me know. Sometimes I find one more convenient than the other.

Kevin

#2 Peter in Reno

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:47 PM

Hand controller and NexRemote do not know each other. If you run star alignments with Hand Controller, you cannot slew to target objects with NexRemote and vice versa. The only thing you can use both are four button directional controls.

So, if you use hand controller and hibernate, then in order to use NexRemote, you will have to re-do star alignments with NexRemote if you want to use the scope with NexRemote.

Personally I found this to be a serious design flaw. My A-P Mach1 hand controller can work with Sellarium and they know each other pretty well.

Peter

#3 rmollise

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:05 PM

They can, but it is not the same thing at all. Stellarium will work fine with the Celestron HC, just like it does with your AP HC.

NexRemote is a different story. It is not just a program like Stellarium...it IS the hand control, just running on your PC instead of on the HC hardware. Apples and oranges, IOW.

#4 Peter in Reno

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:35 PM

But if you use Stellarium to slew to target object, will the Celestron HC know about the new target and vice versa? If that's the case, that might be Kevin's answer. The only problem is Stellarium does not have 4 directional button controls if you want to frame an DSO in camera.

Or you can buy a very long "straight" phone cable like 50 or 100 feet and use it as an extension cable between the scope and Celestron Hand Contoller. I have done it at 35 feet and works fine. This way you can operate the hand Controller from inside the house. You can get "Straight" phone cable from:

http://www.monoprice...102&cp_id=10222

Look for "Straight". I think you want "6P6C" for six wire.

Peter
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#5 mclewis1

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:28 PM

But if you use Stellarium to slew to target object, will the Celestron HC know about the new target and vice versa? If that's the case, that might be Kevin's answer. The only problem is Stellarium does not have 4 directional button controls if you want to frame an DSO in camera.

Peter, If Stellarium is doing things correctly (like most of the other scope control/planetarium apps) then yes it knows where the hand controller is pointed to and vice versa. When an app executes a goto it is also supposed to precede that with something like a "get current position" request. This way the scope control app is always aware of where the hand controller is currently pointed to.

If you setup Stellarium with the StellariumScope app so you can use the ASCOM platform you should also have access to a very basic hand controller emulator (NSEW buttons) that is created by the Celestron unified device driver. Most folks using Celestron scopes don't use StellariumScope since there is also a Celestron scope driver available directly within Stellarium. In this case ASCOM really only becomes necessary if other hardware needs to be managed (like focusers).

#6 Peter in Reno

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:06 PM

Sounds like a reasonable solution. If you can use Stellarium and basic emulated hand controller, you can use Stellarium to slew to a star near target DSO, use emulated hand controller to center the star, sync on the star using "Ctrl-3", and finally slew to target DSO with Stellarium. You can do all that from indoors.

Peter

#7 astrovienna

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:00 PM

Actually, I didn't realize I could still use the real HC arrow buttons while connected to Nexremote. That might be all I need. For me the real hassle of Nexremote is the move buttons. I usually find it more convenient to use the HC move buttons when I'm at the scope. But as you no doubt guessed, I'd like to control the scope from inside my warm house when possible. :) Thanks for the info.

Kevin

#8 James Cunningham

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:33 AM

I have found that if you get an alignment with Nexremote and then try to use the handset to move the scope just a little, you lose your tracking. Same thing if you get an alignment with the handset, if you use Nexremote to move the scope, you lose tracking.

#9 mclewis1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

Actually Kevin is correct. You can use the real HC's direction buttons ... but only those 4 buttons without messing up NexRemote's sync with the scope/mount during an initial alignment. I believe the reason is that the sky map hasn't been built yet. When you do this (move with the real HC's direction buttons) it appears to NexRemote that the selected alignment/calibration stars are already centered exactly.

As for ongoing interaction between the real and virtual HCs it's all about where the sky map is stored. When you perform the initial alignment from the real HC then the sky map is stored in the real HC, and NexRemote has no idea it exists. So if you do anything from the other HC (real or virtual) that references the sky map (any goto, sync on a star, etc.) then the sky map in the HC that performed the initial alignment is no longer valid and your tracking and gotos will no longer be accurate.

About using those 4 direction buttons after the initial alignment: I'm not convinced this really works but perhaps the small amount of movement when centering an object isn't enough to really throw off the goto accuracy? Or is there really something unique about those 4 direction buttons?

When I'm using NexRemote I also use a gamepad when at the scope to perform these small corrections. One of these days I'm going to try using the 4 direction buttons on the real HC and see if the amount of movement has an effect on my goto or tracking accuracy.

#10 Peter in Reno

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

I have found that if you get an alignment with Nexremote and then try to use the handset to move the scope just a little, you lose your tracking. Same thing if you get an alignment with the handset, if you use Nexremote to move the scope, you lose tracking.


I am not sure what you mean by losing tracking? Do you mean the motors stopped running? Or do you mean the GoTos were affected?

Peter

#11 astrovienna

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

Ah - tbat's what I was afraid of. If NR doesn't know the scope has been moved, the gotos will be off. While it might be only a small error in a single night, over time the errors would build up (I'm permanently setup and hibernate between sessions, so I'm always aligned). Thanks for the info.

Kevin

#12 rmollise

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

But if you use Stellarium to slew to target object, will the Celestron HC know about the new target and vice versa? If that's the case, that might be Kevin's answer. The only problem is Stellarium does not have 4 directional button controls if you want to frame an DSO in camera.

Or you can buy a very long "straight" phone cable like 50 or 100 feet and use it as an extension cable between the scope and Celestron Hand Contoller. I have done it at 35 feet and works fine. This way you can operate the hand Controller from inside the house. You can get "Straight" phone cable from:

http://www.monoprice...102&cp_id=10222

Look for "Straight". I think you want "6P6C" for six wire.

Peter


That's not what he's talking about at all. Yes, the HC will know about your target IF YOU SLEW TO IT WITH A STANDARD PLANETARIUM TYPE PROGRAM. NexRemote is far different. It is an HC _running on your PC_. This would be like having two hand controls connected to your scope at the same time...confusuion is the result... :lol:

#13 Peter in Reno

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

You can try using Celestron Unified Driver that has built-in emulated directional controls. You will have to use ASCOM.

The ASCOM driver for my A-P Mach1GTO GEM already has built-in directional controls and does not affect the hand controller. I still think Celestron did a poor job of writing software for hand controller and NexRemote and not allow both to know each other.

Peter

#14 rmollise

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:22 PM

Ah - tbat's what I was afraid of. If NR doesn't know the scope has been moved, the gotos will be off. While it might be only a small error in a single night, over time the errors would build up (I'm permanently setup and hibernate between sessions, so I'm always aligned). Thanks for the info.

Kevin


There's no knowing or not knowing. If you align the scope with the NexRemote HC you have to use it for almost all functions. Except, you can use the direction buttons on the real HC -only- to move the scope if you wish.

#15 James Cunningham

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

I mean that if you get an alignment one way (nexremote or handset), that if you use the other method to move the scope after you have your object within your FOV, that you will see the object start to move from the FOV.

#16 Peter in Reno

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:28 PM

But if you use Stellarium to slew to target object, will the Celestron HC know about the new target and vice versa? If that's the case, that might be Kevin's answer. The only problem is Stellarium does not have 4 directional button controls if you want to frame an DSO in camera.

Or you can buy a very long "straight" phone cable like 50 or 100 feet and use it as an extension cable between the scope and Celestron Hand Contoller. I have done it at 35 feet and works fine. This way you can operate the hand Controller from inside the house. You can get "Straight" phone cable from:

http://www.monoprice...102&cp_id=10222

Look for "Straight". I think you want "6P6C" for six wire.

Peter


That's not what he's talking about at all. Yes, the HC will know about your target IF YOU SLEW TO IT WITH A STANDARD PLANETARIUM TYPE PROGRAM. NexRemote is far different. It is an HC _running on your PC_. This would be like having two hand controls connected to your scope at the same time...confusuion is the result... :lol:


I am very well aware of what he's talking about. I was simply suggesting an alternative, that's all. Celestron did a poor job of not letting both HC and NexRemote know each other. If NexRemote is running and you use HC to run star alignments, NexRemote should know about but it does not. Use one or the other but not both is a POOR design. Which is why I suggested to use long cable to use HC only. Set it up outdoors and when everything is all setup like star alignments and slewing to target DSO, then using long cables and bring the HC along with the computer indoors and use HC indoors.

Peter

#17 Peter in Reno

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:34 PM

I mean that if you get an alignment one way (nexremote or handset), that if you use the other method to move the scope after you have your object within your FOV, that you will see the object start to move from the FOV.


I wonder if it's because you are using Alt/Az setup. I have never experienced this with equatorial wedge since Alt (or Declination) motor never moves during tracking. Both Alt and Az motors always move during tracking in Alt/Az mode. I never used Alt/Az so I am not 100% sure.

Peter

#18 rmollise

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

I am very well aware of what he's talking about. I was simply suggesting an alternative, that's all. Celestron did a poor job of not letting both HC and NexRemote know each other. r


I don't think they did a bad job at all. They did a fantastic job. Actually, they didn't do any kind of a job. NR was created first by independent developers.

There is no reason for you to use two hand controls, or for one to be aware of the other. That's what the wireless gamepad is for. Much better than long wires or extra HCs. ;)

#19 mclewis1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

It very likely is because Jim is using an alt az scope. I think he described the issue well, objects drifting out of the fov after using the other HC to move things around.

Peter also raises a good point, in that an EQ oriented mount will continue to track an object effectively even if the sky map is way out of whack and the gotos are all over the place.

Also about the interaction between Nexremote and a real HC. Remember that NexRemote was developed waaaay back when ... and was initially intended for use on the PC port on the mount (as a complete replacement for the physical HC). While you could keep the real HC in place it wasn't really intended to be run like that. Celestron also didn't write HCAnywhere, it was a private effort that Celestron simply purchased and renamed NexRemote. It was also not intended to be a replacement for a planetarium application.

So with NexRemote you get a complete hand controller emulator running on a PC plus a pass through virtual comm port so that planetarium and other scope control applications can also interact with the scope/mount using the same physical connection. Using an inexpensive gamepad gives you local control right at the scope (direction buttons as well as a number of other HC functions). Interaction with the real HC was never intended nor advised. The fact that it happens to work with the direction buttons in a limited fashion is really just a curiosity.

#20 mrlovt

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:49 PM

I'm permanently setup, so I hibernate my scope between sessions. As far as I know, the alignment is stored in the handcontrol, not the mount. So there's no way to use Nexremote one night, hibernate the scope, and use the hand control the next night, without having to realign. But if I'm wrong, please let me know. Sometimes I find one more convenient than the other.

Kevin


This is my situation and question as well. I do not want to take my computer out every night. Some nights I want to use the hand controller for quick views. Other nights I want to use Nexremote and Stellarium to spend an extended time observing or taking pictures. I hibernate the mount between settings. Still, this doesn't seem to work without aligning from scratch every time.

It seems that when Nexremote is used, it erases the previously used alignment settings from the hand controller. So, going back and forth between the two from one observing session to the next (between hibernations) must also involve realigning the scope every night. Or, am I missing something?

#21 rmollise

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

There is no way around that muchacho. Because NexRemote isn't just some program, it IS the hand controller, just executing on a PC. It is exactly the same as switching between two HCs, two hardware HCs. There is not nor will there be any way around doing another alignment. BUT...how hard is doing a fracking two-star alignment? ;)

#22 mrlovt

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

BUT...how hard is doing a fracking two-star alignment? ;)


Weeeell... not too hard at all, even with adding four calibration stars just for good measure. I just wanted to make sure I understood the situation correctly. I may still wind up leaving a computer out in the "telescope house" just to keep things simple. Thanks for clarifying (and for all your participation on the forums)!

#23 astrovienna

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

Four calibration stars? I thought the polar align procedure only uses two?

Kevin

#24 Peter in Reno

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:26 PM

That's because CPC's have fork mounts and do not require or have calibration stars. OTA's in fork mounted CPC's are orthogonal with the forks, therefore no calibration stars are required, OTA's mounted on Celestron's GEM's are naturally not orthogonal and calibration stars are there to correct any cone errors when pointing to other side of the Meridian.

Peter

#25 astrovienna

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:09 PM

Thanks Peter. I was hoping that, even after all these years, I had completely overlooked some advanced precision pointing technique. :)

Kevin






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