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Losmandy G11 Gemini 2 and Stellarium

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#1 akoroves

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

I was wondering if someone who owns a G11 with Gemini 2 can answer a question I had about using this mount with ASCOM and Stellarium.

I am expecting my G11 next week, and I'm very excited to try it with Stellarium. I've downloaded all the necessary ASCOM stuff and other software. I want to control my mount from in the house. I'm wondering, can I use Stellarium to set limits on my mount so it doesn't crash into the pier, or would I have to use the web interface. If I use the web interface, will it work with Stellarium so if I am using Stellarium to go to an object, it will also know not to slew past a certain point?

Another question. Can I use a camera and take a picture, plate solve and enter the coordinates of where ever the telescope is pointing into Stellarium to align the mount and provide more accurate gotos, or will it be best to use the bright star alignment routine with the hand controller.

Many thanks in advance for anyone who can give me advice. I really appreciate it.

#2 zytrahus

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:34 PM

I've been using Stellarium to control my G11 w/ G2. It's been working great so far.
I am thinking of trying Carte du Ciel next time though.

Take a look at this post I made when I first set up Stellarium to work with the G11.

http://cooledpix.com...emini-ii-ascom/

#3 akoroves

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

Thank you, that is a really informative article. Do you know if I can use a straight through ethernet cable (because I have one) or is it manditory to use a cross over type.

Thanks again.

#4 Charlie B

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

Direct from your PC, use a crossover cable. From a router, use straight through.

See the Gemini-2 website.

Regards,

Charlie

#5 akoroves

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

Thanks guys. Will a Cat6 cross over ethernet cable work? Or does it have to be a Cat5e?

#6 akoroves

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

Rather will a Cat5e work, since that is the type I just ordered...

#7 gdd

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

I'm using a Cat5e straight-through from the router. Use the crossover only when connecting directly to a PC or laptop.

Some PC's and laptops are smart enough to allow use of a straight-through cable and automatically detect a crossover is needed and make the necessary adjustment. This is according to the Yahoo Gemini-2 user group.

Gale

#8 akoroves

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:58 PM

Thanks ggd. I ordered the Cat5e crossover, and will be plugging it straight into my laptop. I'm now fairly sure it will work okay, since you also use a Cat5e.

#9 zytrahus

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:18 PM

You can even use a straight cat5/6 cable from your laptop the G2, that's what I do. It works as long as you have a laptop that is not too old. Not sure how old is too old though :)

#10 orlyandico

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:23 PM

any laptop made in the last 4-5 years should have automatic media sense and will work with either a cross or straight through cable...

#11 akoroves

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:42 PM

Thanks guys. Good to know. I can't wait until the mount gets here! Hopefully this week rather than next. ^^

#12 gdd

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 02:33 AM

I've been using Stellarium to control my G11 w/ G2. It's been working great so far.
I am thinking of trying Carte du Ciel next time though.

Take a look at this post I made when I first set up Stellarium to work with the G11.

http://cooledpix.com...emini-ii-ascom/

These instructions no longer work. The StellariumScope has changed and behaves very differently. There is no Ethernet selection. Three ports are now assigned: scope, sync, and cancel. It says I'm connected after I turn G2 off.

 

Gale



#13 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 09:03 AM

I'm wondering, can I use Stellarium to set limits on my mount so it doesn't crash into the pier, or would I have to use the web interface. If I use the web interface, will it work with Stellarium so if I am using Stellarium to go to an object, it will also know not to slew past a certain point?

The mount limits are set in the mount firmware using either the hand controller or the web interface (much easier).  If the mount limits are set then nothing will allow the mount to slew past the limits and strike the pier or whatever.  The planetarium software has nothing to do with limits.  So even if you use Stellarium to slew to an object that is past your limit, the mount will start slewing but as soon as it reaches the limit it will stop.  I'm not sure if either Stellarium of the Gemini2 Ascom is smart enough to not allow the slew to start at all if the target will be past the limit.  I think it will always slew and then stop at the limit (not sure about that though).  

 

Can I use a camera and take a picture, plate solve and enter the coordinates of where ever the telescope is pointing into Stellarium to align the mount and provide more accurate gotos, or will it be best to use the bright star alignment routine with the hand controller.

If you will be using the mount for imaging primarily, then plate solving is the way to go.  I don't even bother to build a model anymore and just do a cold start every time, plate solve and sync the mount and away it goes.  I use SequenceGeneratorPro for image capture and when I "solve and sync" the mount is synced to the sky coordinates.  Again, that has nothing to do with Stellarium.  Stellarium just tells the mount to go to certain coordinates but if the mount is not aligned/synced it will be off.  If you watch Stellarium during a solve and sync, the telescope icon will shift slightly after the solve and sync happens.  Once the coordinates have been updated in the MOUNT, Stellarium will reflect that on the planetarium interface.  

 

So here's what I do:

Turn on Gemini2 in the CWD position

Start Gemini2 ascom (Gemini.Telescope.net)

Connect the mount via ethernet

Start Stellariumscope, which automatically starts Stellarium

Connect Stellariumscope to ascom

In Stellarium, slew to a moderately bright star in the east (this step is not technically necessary but I think it works better)

Start SequenceGeneratorPro

Connect the camera and mount (Gemini2 ascom)

Push "solve and sync"

SGP takes an image, plate solves it, and syncs the mount to those coordinates.  

 

That's it.  At this point the mount is synced to that particular position in the sky.  If your mount is reasonably polar aligned then slewing to different objects will get you close, and plate solving to the target will get you dead center on that target (but that's outside the scope of your question).  

 

By the way, the instructions following the link above are technically correct (I think) but unnecessary.  You don't have to do anything within Stellarium itself to set up a mount connection to ascom.  That is all done within StellariumScope and is much easier to do.  Just follow the directions on the StellariumScope website.



#14 gdd

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:21 AM

Joel, Thanks for the help. I found the missing step. I had installed the Ascom Gemini Telescope but had not used the Setup>Configure Telescope. That is where you can set the port to Ethernet. I was trying to do that from Stellarium>TelescopeControl and also from StellariumScope, but you are not offered Ethernet there. I am now able to slew the G11/Gemini-2 with Stellarium.

 

Thanks again,

 

Gale



#15 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:36 AM

Glad you got it sorted out.  Stellarium is a great planetarium.  One question for you, which version of Stellarium are you using?  I'd like to know if stellariumscope works fine with Stellarium v0.13.1



#16 terry59

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 11:17 AM

 

I'm wondering, can I use Stellarium to set limits on my mount so it doesn't crash into the pier, or would I have to use the web interface. If I use the web interface, will it work with Stellarium so if I am using Stellarium to go to an object, it will also know not to slew past a certain point?

The mount limits are set in the mount firmware using either the hand controller or the web interface (much easier).  If the mount limits are set then nothing will allow the mount to slew past the limits and strike the pier or whatever.  The planetarium software has nothing to do with limits.  So even if you use Stellarium to slew to an object that is past your limit, the mount will start slewing but as soon as it reaches the limit it will stop.  I'm not sure if either Stellarium of the Gemini2 Ascom is smart enough to not allow the slew to start at all if the target will be past the limit.  I think it will always slew and then stop at the limit (not sure about that though).  

 


 

 

FWIW, I get "target unavailable" on the HC and no movement if the target is beyond the safety limits.


Edited by terry59, 07 January 2015 - 11:18 AM.


#17 gdd

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:47 PM

Glad you got it sorted out.  Stellarium is a great planetarium.  One question for you, which version of Stellarium are you using?  I'd like to know if stellariumscope works fine with Stellarium v0.13.1

I use Stellarium v0.13.1 with StellariumScopeWD v2014.11.9.73.

 

I run them on a 64bit ASUS T200 Transformer netbook with detachable tablet. It has an Ethernet port in the keyboard section.

 

 

I have not tested the safety limits yet. However you can set them with the Gemini Ascom Telescope which lets you do most of what the web interface allows. So I would expect it to work so long as you are using ASCOM with Stellarium.

 

 

Gale


Edited by gdd, 07 January 2015 - 12:52 PM.


#18 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:46 PM

 

 

 

 

Good to know Terry, thanks for the info.



#19 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:49 PM

I hadn't seen the newest version of Stellariumscope (2014.11.9).  I was waiting for that before updating Stellarium to 13.  Thanks for the info.



#20 gdd

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:29 PM

What do you think is the best way to setup wireless access to StellariumScope such that can run it with my Windows tablet detached from the keyboard? One way is to plug a Netgear WNCE2001 Ethernet/wireless bridge into the Gemini-2. Another way is to plug the Gemini-2 into a travel router.

 

Gale


Edited by gdd, 07 January 2015 - 04:09 PM.


#21 tazer

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:31 PM

Gale,

 

I control my Gemini II over wireless (connected to an old WIFI router) with PHD2/Astrotortilla/Cartes du Ceil and it works very very well. I couldn't imagine there would be any issue with Stellarium/Stellarium Scope in the same configuration.

 

Mark



#22 gdd

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 08:13 PM

Gale,

 

I control my Gemini II over wireless (connected to an old WIFI router) with PHD2/Astrotortilla/Cartes du Ceil and it works very very well. I couldn't imagine there would be any issue with Stellarium/Stellarium Scope in the same configuration.

 

Mark

I think I will use a 2nd router when I am out in the field. But in my backyard I will use a Ethernet/wifi bridge to connect with the home router. The StellariumScope seems to be working very well with my ASUS T200.

 

I wonder if Stellarium and StellariumScope PC versions will work on Windows 8 cell phones?

 

Gale



#23 tazer

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 08:20 PM

I'm actually using an old wifi router in bridged mode to connect to the one in the house, so when my mount's in the yard all devices appear to be on the same network. Very convenient. If it were a more permanent setup I'd just run a CAT6 cable out there.

 

Not sure if those apps would work on a WIndows phone. Lots of cell phones run ARM based CPU's so the x86 code of Stellarium and such won't run. Even if it did I think Stellarium would gripe about the video adapter (I've had that happen on lower end tablets before.)

 

Mark




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