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LX80 RA tracking

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#1276 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:38 PM

Gday Rich

Andrew. But this is still with the old firmware, isn't it?



Nope. I am currently testing my full patches on A3S4, ie the latest released firmware.
Lots of stuff changed with this release, so i have had to test fairly closely before releasing my patch, and this new buglet has popped up in that process.
Dunno yet if it was in the older firmwares, but it will certainly make DEC guiding fun in A3S4.

Andrew

#1277 Starhawk

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Gday Andrew,

Wait- the new firmware does this? So which is better, the previous or the new? This is really disconcerting- I was thinking this was the old version and the one would be clean.

So in the meantime, did you see the eclipse? Someone I know at work went to Australia to see it. He is a lifelong eclipse chaser, but in this case he said it was finally an excuse to go to Australia.

-Rich

#1278 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:26 PM

Gday Rich

Wait- the new firmware does this?



Yes it is the new firmware that does this, and it is a result of the new changes made in how it works. The bug i found yesterday has two parts interracting. One will affect all scopes and arbitrarily truncates guide durations, the other only occurs if DEC guiding on a scope where the DEC ratio sign is different to the RA ratio sign ( that ones a killer ).

So which is better, the previous or the new?



Currently, i'm not sure. For Polar, i would say the new version "will" work better when patched, but only if PEC is also erased and set to ON.

I was thinking this was the old version and the one would be clean.



:funny: :lol: :roflmao: :tonofbricks:
This latest firmware still has more bugs than a doss house mattress, and some new ones introduced along the way. It fixed some bits, rebroke others and left all the others untouched.

So in the meantime, did you see the eclipse?


Yep, well at least what could be seen from Melbourne.
Clear as a bell weather for once, with crystal clear skies
The funniest part was i almost had to put a dewheater on my solar scope to prevent it fogging up :confused:
Very early and very cold where i was.

Andrew

#1279 Starhawk

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

Gday, Andrew.

Well, at least the eclipse worked out. I hope to get the fam out for the one in 2017, here.

Meade sent a couple of guys and had a double-size booth at ASAE here, last week. They were wearing LX800 T-shirts.

What you're describing just sounds like this has all gotten away from them. Unless they give out the source code so people can poke at it and fix it, I'm wondering if this will ever get fixed.

-Rich

#1280 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

Gday Rich

What you're describing just sounds like this has all gotten away from them.



I think you are close, as there are now three different sets of motor control flags used based on how a move is done. Not sure all parts of the code know about each other anymore :(

Anyway, just for fun, have attached a plot of the effects of this new bug.
Test is Polar tracking with PEC OFF
I wrote a program to send :Mgn5000# commands to the scope every 9 seconds. Ie ALWAYS north.
I then peeked the absolute DEC encoder offset (red ) and the current "float" (green). The float is registered as the motor reverses through the backlash region.
I preloaded my drive train as 200 arcsec and then set my float to 100 arcsec. I then set it running.
You will note the absolute arcsec started increasing until the float = 200, at which time the backlash routines cut in.
As i have 200 arcsec of lash, it forces me down 200 then starts oscillating,
Sooooo, after sending nothing but north guides, i have actually ended up 100 arcsec SOUTH of where i started.
Also, each of the :Mgn commands runs for 5 seconds, hence i should move 50 arcsec for each move. I never get more than 20 arcsecs, as there is another internal timer that kills all moves when it runs ( on a different 2 second independent timer )
As such, even when guides go the right way, you have no idea what duration you will get :bawling:

Andrew

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#1281 mmalik

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:58 PM

They were wearing LX800 T-shirts.


Where is LX800 re-release at; any updates?

#1282 chboss

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

Wow it is not a good sign that this thread is still going.
At least the owners seem to have a lot of patience tinkering with their guiding... :scratchhead:

best regards
Chris

#1283 Mkofski

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:31 PM

What is bad about this thread still going?

#1284 ur7x

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

What is bad about this thread still going?


The logic kinda goes like this...

On just about any other "Please help me with my mount" thread... where a mount owner states the they a frustrated that their mount is doing X when they think is should be doing Y... Within 5 or 6 responses, the original problem is identified and at least one or two common solutions are proposed and everyone goes on to the next thing.

But with this mount (and this thread), and not to diminish the significant headway that has been made in any way, here we are 65 pages in and we are STILL struggling with a dual mode, PEC, 40# rated, mount that seems to have serious issues holding up a 25# OTA, even more serious issues tracking anything in polar mode for more than a few seconds, and now we are seeing PE graphs that look like a New Zealand seismograph.

If after 65 pages and almost 1300 posts everyone is still debugging a mount, even if people continue to have "ah-ha" moments... Something is a little amiss.

#1285 biz

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

What is bad about this thread still going?


The logic kinda goes like this...

On just about any other "Please help me with my mount" thread... where a mount owner states the they a frustrated that their mount is doing X when they think is should be doing Y... Within 5 or 6 responses, the original problem is identified and at least one or two common solutions are proposed and everyone goes on to the next thing.

But with this mount (and this thread), and not to diminish the significant headway that has been made in any way, here we are 65 pages in and we are STILL struggling with a dual mode, PEC, 40# rated, mount that seems to have serious issues holding up a 25# OTA, even more serious issues tracking anything in polar mode for more than a few seconds, and now we are seeing PE graphs that look like a New Zealand seismograph.

If after 65 pages and almost 1300 posts everyone is still debugging a mount, even if people continue to have "ah-ha" moments... Something is a little amiss.


I couldnt agree more.
cheers.
Graham.. from NZ

#1286 chboss

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:56 PM

If after 65 pages and almost 1300 posts everyone is still debugging a mount, even if people continue to have "ah-ha" moments... Something is a little amiss.


That was exactly what I meant with my comment... :smirk:
I am really puzzled how a manufacturer can release a product in this state to the market, especially if they are not a newcomer in this field!

best regards
Chris

#1287 neilson

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:46 PM

This mount is still in the beta testing stage.

Seriously though, I think the problem is that Meade doesn't think there is anything wrong with this mount.

neilson

#1288 ky1duck

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:00 AM

:foreheadslap: after reading for hours i still cant figure out what i am doing wrong. as i see others here using PHD and pempro with there lx80 mounts via ascom drivers and 505 cable. my set up is
lx80 mount in eq
audiostar with a3s4
orion ssag with 50mm f3.4
ascom platform 6 with meade lx200 clasic driver

with PHD i get the same problem i see here without guiding the star will stay close to center for hours. but when i hit calabrate it starts moving up the screen and wont stop till i make it.

with pempro after hitting the connect for mount and cam dosent matter witch way i tell the mount to slew using the arrow keys on scree it moves east then back for all for directions moves east only. hopefully i can get something worked out here.

and also after upgrading to A3S4 there is a new setting under telescope ( german mount traning ) but i cant find any info anywhere on ho to do it. called meade and all i get is we will email you something but after 3 calls still no email. :tonofbricks:

on a side note scope works great with starry nights and the sky. goto's work great

thanks
robert

#1289 Starhawk

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:23 AM

This really says it all. Typical problems like pilot error, software foulups, or mechanical faults on one copy have a short half-life on the forum. But all of these have the same problems, and no one has succeeded in fixing one, despite getting some of the best expertise in the hobby involved in trying.

-Rich

What is bad about this thread still going?


The logic kinda goes like this...

On just about any other "Please help me with my mount" thread... where a mount owner states the they a frustrated that their mount is doing X when they think is should be doing Y... Within 5 or 6 responses, the original problem is identified and at least one or two common solutions are proposed and everyone goes on to the next thing.

But with this mount (and this thread), and not to diminish the significant headway that has been made in any way, here we are 65 pages in and we are STILL struggling with a dual mode, PEC, 40# rated, mount that seems to have serious issues holding up a 25# OTA, even more serious issues tracking anything in polar mode for more than a few seconds, and now we are seeing PE graphs that look like a New Zealand seismograph.

If after 65 pages and almost 1300 posts everyone is still debugging a mount, even if people continue to have "ah-ha" moments... Something is a little amiss.



#1290 ky1duck

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

:foreheadslap: after reading for hours i still cant figure out what i am doing wrong. as i see others here using PHD and pempro with there lx80 mounts via ascom drivers and 505 cable. my set up is
lx80 mount in eq
audiostar with a3s4
orion ssag with 50mm f3.4
ascom platform 6 with meade lx200 clasic driver

with PHD i get the same problem i see here without guiding the star will stay close to center for hours. but when i hit calabrate it starts moving up the screen and wont stop till i make it.

with pempro after hitting the connect for mount and cam dosent matter witch way i tell the mount to slew using the arrow keys on scree it moves east then back for all for directions moves east only. hopefully i can get something worked out here.

and also after upgrading to A3S4 there is a new setting under telescope ( german mount traning ) but i cant find any info anywhere on ho to do it. called meade and all i get is we will email you something but after 3 calls still no email. :tonofbricks:

on a side note scope works great with starry nights and the sky. goto's work great

thanks
robert

after playing around and taking my mount to a friends house and hooking it to an older computer running xp with all the .net framework on it mount and software work great. so it has something to do with my laptop running windows 7 64bit. and not alowing me to have all the .net framework that the ascom drivers need.


robert

#1291 dksolar3294

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

I have both WinXp-32bit and Win7-64bit computers and I have not had an luck getting the LX80 to autoguide by the ASCOM/RS232 link to the Autostar497 hand control. I have seen some movement, however it is generally always eastwards.

I also have tried the AutoguiderPortModule (APM#07509) which I ordered when first available last October & before it became unavailable in December. With the APM, I also see movement eastward with PHD and MaxIm5. Most autoguider ST4 ports are nothing more than a connection for a switch closure. Short any one of the 4 direction contacts to ground and the mount should move in the corresponding direction at guide speed. That is how the LX200 & CGEM work. When I connect a set of 4 switches to the APM, I see East movement for each of the E,W,S contacts and no movement with the N contact.

Robert: If you are seeing proper autoguider results on a WinXp, then please explain in detail what your setup is. Is the WinXp 32 or 64bit? Which SrvPack? What ASCOM platform & drivers? What control programs?

#1292 turtledude1

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:28 PM

Years ago I came up with the perfect fix for fishing reels that kept screwing up no matter what I tried. It may work here also. To fix it I would take the reel off my rod place the reel under my left rear tire and pull forward slowly. The fix works every time and I soon forgot about all my reel problems.

Russ

#1293 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

Gday DkSolar

Do you actually have one of the new 909 guider lumps???
How are you set up ( polar or AltAz )??
What Firmware rev are you using??
Have you done drive training, and if so, what sort of
numbers have you got?
The current pulseguide code has some "interesting" results
and depends on how you are set up ( Polar or AltAz, PEC On or Off ),
what order you send commands ( ie calibrating DEC before RA may not work )
and in some cases, how long between commands.

That said, testing the latest firmware with an old 909 guider
shows the "motors" do go the correct directions when asserted,
but they dont always stay where they stopped, they can drift back.
It's orrible.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#1294 dksolar3294

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

Russ: most funny!! I'm too far into this - now it's a mind challenge!!

Andrew: I've seen some of your other post on Yahoo Grp ASCOM. You've given me a good idea to try. I read the APM#909 is for the LX90. For the LX80, it's the APM#07509 - attached. When I first tried it in Nov & did not get it work, I ordered a second one. The idea being in case the original was defective, I would have a comparison. A month later, I was informed the part was on back-order. It still is. I'm guessing there aren't $5 worth of parts in it & would take only a few minutes to assemble in mass. Two months on back-order - very suspicious.

I've got a 497EP with A3S4, in Polar mode, with PEC off. Meade support told me the problem could be due to backlash and to train the drive. Using the training procedure described on p.48&57, I saw no improvements. Now that I'm starting to catch on, I see there is also the PEC training described on p.64. I assume this is what you mean (& Meade). No, I have not done that yet, so I have no numbers to report. I assume the procedure gives some kind of feedback, i.e. numbers?

For others still learning the LX80, there are two (2) training procedures. In the 497 hand controller menu, under Setup/Telescope, there are Train Drive (p.48,57) and Smart Drive (p.64). Do both procedures.

I will try training gain & report back in a few days.

Don

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#1295 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

Gday Don

I read the APM#909 is for the LX90. For the LX80, it's the APM#07509 - attached.



Incorrectamundo :grin:
The code in the handbox really hasnt changed comms wise, and i know A3S4 will happily talk with the OLD APM909 modules, ( which were discontinued ). Therefore, the assumption is this new beastie MUST work the same way ( but i have never got my hands on a unit to test its comms )
Ie The old APM909 modules should work on any scope via A3S4
and the new 909 guide only should also work on old 497 Hbxs on any scope.

I'm guessing there aren't $5 worth of parts in it


At a minimum, there is a PIC microprocessor, as the lump talks to the Hbx using Meades proprietary I2C comms on the Aux bus.

I've got a 497EP with A3S4, in Polar mode, with PEC off.



Do a Factory reset of your PEC and then turn PEC ON and retry.
The whole drive/tracking system can change the way it operates based on this.

Meade support told me the problem could be due to backlash and to train the drive.



Quite possible for DEC, but not RA.
In RA, the drive will not reverse, but asserting the E/W pins should make the drive slow down or speed up.
In DEC, you need to hold the assertion long enough for the backlash to be accounted for.
Guiding works at 10 arcsec per sec so if you had say 150 arcsec of lash in DEC, it would take 15 seconds of assertion for the drive to reverse.
What you could do testing wise is set the DEC percentage to 100 and then do a DEC train.
You should see a result them.

I assume the procedure gives some kind of feedback, i.e. numbers?


If you do a drive train, in normal means you cannot see the results.
If you load our patches, that allows inspection of a lot of data and hence you can dynamically read the data. Unpatched, you can still use my PEC editor to read the data, but it requires going into download mode to do it.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#1296 dksolar3294

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

Thanks mate, That's a pretty good list you gave me. I'll need a few days (or week) to experiment some more. It's winter up here, so I work on it when time permits. I'll report back.

Don, TX

#1297 Stew57

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

I thought train drive was for backlash and smartdrive is for pec.

#1298 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

Gday Stewart

I thought train drive was for backlash and smartdrive is for pec.


It is. :jump:

However, the way the latest code ( A3S4 ) is written, the status of the PEC setting can control how the steady state tracking works when polar,
and also how pulse guiding works in certain circumstances.

The drive training value ( in conjunction with the DEC percentage ) will affect how long it takes to see a reversal when using ST4 commands in DEC.

As such, both are possible causes in what is being seen ( or not ). ;)

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#1299 Stew57

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:11 PM

Thanks makes sense. Explains what I am seeing on my lowly ETX80 guiding. Never have been able to get a real improvement out of smart drive (pec) with it, probably due to the gears. Now back to on topic. Has anyone found a source for new worms for the LX80? Are the gear ratios still adjustable in the LX80 HC?

#1300 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

Gday Stew

As to new worms etc, you would need a new worm and wormwheel,
so not a simple exercise.
That said, the PEC side of things would require a new ( or better quality ) set of gears in the geartrain, as from the data posted by most people, the biggest PE appears to come from the geartrain, not the worm.
For visual, low load AltAz or Polar, the current design should work quite well and point/track just as good as any other Meade scopes. Its just under heavier loading that things might go astray.
As to ratios, yes, anything can be set in the Hbx or patches, so in theory, different motors etc could be tried, but i dont think it would be a cost effective operation.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia






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