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Suggestions on remote telescope control

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#26 JJK

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:43 AM

JJK, this is the camera that I use to monitor the scope:
D-Link DCS-932L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Day/Night Network Camera
It is wired or wireless, has a mic so I can hear the mount and camera shutter when I image. Another nice feature is that if i start an imaging session in my capture sw and I hear some wind i can pause the session until it stops I dont have to be looking at the images as they come in. Real easy to access from anywhere with a browser or iPad/phone app. I do not know if the ir sensor will cause any issue with long exposure, I have not seen any with the short exposures I have been doing. Once you set it up you can unplug the power and plug it in anywhere and it stays on the network.


Mike,

Thanks for the info. The IR light is ok. I'd check on the scope/mount between exposures.


Clear Skies,
John

#27 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:27 PM

I only scanned the posts so far but don't see that the NexRemote question has been answered. I've used it and the HC pretty extensively and they are two completely separate hand controllers. It's the same as if you plugged a second HC into the scope. Each has its own memory and calibration and are talking directly to the motor controllers. I have been able to more-or-less get them both to work "simultaneously" by calibrating each, but not very well. When one takes over, the other stops tracking and vice versa. For automation I generally will use NexRemote and have the software talk to it, but that's primarily for cabling convenience, and only practical if you don't plan to touch the scope. If you need a hand controller, then the serial port on the HC is generally a better bet. You'll probably find more info in this area on the NexStar and Mount forums.

Beo

#28 gastargazer01

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:13 PM

Thanks Beo,
I will testing out a few configurations out as soon as the wind stops, I just had some accessories arrive so should be about a week ;)
I will be testing the NexRemote and ASCOM scope control from at the scope by vnc to the control machine inside. It seems like other usuall go the other way and remote access to the control system outside. I has been years since I used vnc type apps, they started out very slow but I think it will be better but I will see how much.

#29 gapalp

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:46 PM

Just thought I would layout my workflow for imaging with the short focal length AT65EDQ to see if you could glean anything from it with your intended setup:

1. Open the dome a couple of hours before imaging so scopes reach temp of outside air.
2. About 30 minutes - 1 hour before wanting to start the imaging session, power on everything in the dome: the scope, the cameras, the computer, etc.
3. Wake up the scope from hibernation (no alignment needed).
4. Head inside the house.
5. Remote control the computer in the observatory from the home office.
6. Open MaximDL, Backyard EOS, Weather program, etc. on the observatory computer.
7. Connect the scope (which uses the ASCOM drivers) and the cameras (which use native drivers) in MaximDL.
8. Perform a plate solve in MaximDL.
9. Sync the scope to the plate solve in MaximDL.
10. Slew scope to target using MaximDL.
11. Setup autoguiding in MaximDL.
12. Open Backyard EOS and connect the DSLR to it.
13. Start taking subs.

Thats it in a nutshell. The only variation is if I need to refocus since the last session due to large temparture changes which I have to go into the obs to do (one day I will have a remote focuser). It took time and testing to get to this point. But once I was there its pretty much like clockwork now.

#30 gastargazer01

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:59 PM

Gapalp,
when you power on your mount and come out of hibernation what method does the mount get the time and date from? GPS, MaximDL via ASCOM, or manually enter in the HC

Thanks for the break down

#31 gastargazer01

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:11 PM

Just an update, I ordered the CGEM DX mount and should be here next week. I spent the other night working with NexRemote and started having problems with No Responce 16 & 17 errors so some of my stability issues may be mount related. Tonight when the wind slows I am going to test some with the CG-5, power source, etc. I have looked at the errors and have a good idea of what and where to test. I saw these errors before when I attached and enabled a GPS. I have switched MC cables and crimped connectors etc, so I think may be my 2500ma Ac adapter, HC, or MC board. I don't think it's the encoders because the errors only start when something is plugged in to the HC serial port and commands are sent external to the HC. Fingers crossed its a low power issue. Even though the new mount is coming I want to get this one running properly for travel or if I decide to sell the CG-5 that everything works as it should.

#32 mclewis1

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:21 PM

Mike,

There have been a number of examples of the external GPS unit causing NR16/17 errors ... I would unplug it while you are testing things.

#33 gastargazer01

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:52 AM

I have not been hooking up the GPS. I did have the data cable hooked to the HC and when I would hit enter in NexRemote I was getting the errors, so tonight I tested the cig adapter because also low power from some of the 12v 2500ma AC adapters caused the errors as well. I am just going to wait on the new mount and if everything goes smooth the I will get the CG-5 checked out.

#34 gapalp

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:54 PM

I believe it gets the new time/date from GPS. I don't enter anything manually through the HC or software and things work fine.

#35 gastargazer01

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:00 AM

The new CGEM DX worked flawlessly. I setup the mount where the pier is planed attached GPS, data cable through USB serial cable then through a active 50ft USB cable into the house. I did park the scope and then started up NexRemote and tested and communications was flawless.
Then with the hand controller at the mount I was able to do a 2 start alignment and 4 calibration stars.
Next I did a polar alignment frome the HC.
Then hookedup the DSLR and connected a second active USB cable to the house PC
I started up BackyardEOS and Stellarium and connected to COM4 to the mount.
I have a JMI MOTOFOCUS and 50ft extension so I can use the JMI controller at scope and at my desk in side.
I used Stellarum to slew to M51 and was a little off, then used the HC at the scope and was dead on, this must be because the difference in time between the HC GPS time being accurate and the PC time being off a little maybe.
I tracked M51 for 4 hours and did some imagining for that time and was easily getting 30 45 and 120 second exposures.
I shot my dark frames, bias, and flats then broke my foot.
I did not have the guide scope or camera hooked up yet.
From the scope I was able to remote access the control PC from my iPad.
A lot more testing but when I am finished I will document and put together my simple setup with flow chart.

#36 gapalp

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:01 PM

Sounds like a great start!

#37 cn register 5

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:56 PM

Apart from the foot. Hope that's not required :)

Chris

#38 gastargazer01

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:28 PM

Yes me too. Just able to put weight on it today. My deck is wheel chair accessable and now i know where to wire some red lighting because i tripped on one of the ramps. :foreheadslap: The crutches will force me to take it slow. Hopefully tomorrow night I will be able to get back at it and start using NexRemote to control the mount. I also am going to start looking into MaxiumDL because I see a lot of people use this application.

#39 gastargazer01

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 03:51 AM

Here is a link that really helped me with understanding and configuring NexRemote and Stellarium. I also found on eBay and ordered the WingMan Cordless game pad controller to use with NexRemote.
http://www.cloudynig...4605834/page...

#40 gastargazer01

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 04:12 AM

I think this is what I found. NexRemote will get time and date from the Computer time unless in NexRemote - Utilities - Enable GPS is enabled. Both NexRemote and the hand controller settings are independent but both can get the GPS data.

#41 PWP

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 11:35 AM

I have the same setup but with a 8 inch SCT.   Sounds like you're reversing the order of alignment using stellarium and nexremote.   Here is a video I put together that hopefully may help you.

 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=F8jwJzQu8qA


Edited by PWP, 11 September 2014 - 11:49 AM.


#42 Dan Crowson

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 10:39 AM

Mike

Have you thought about getting a laptop that remains outside connected to the telescope/cameras, and controlling that one with a second computer from inside via Remote Desktop or Teamviewer? If this is an option it would greatly simplify the process of aligning the scope without having to hook up and unhook the computer, and eliminate the long cable runs. I use an old laptop for that purpose.

At first I tried a similar setup as yours, but soon realized that this not going to work very well (for me, at least).
Eric

 

I'd add that I do the same thing as Eric. I don't have an observatory so I setup and tear down nightly. When at home, I just pull a single cat5 cable to my laptop and control it over using RDP. When at a dark site, I just use my laptop's access point functionality to create a wireless network and again use RDP to connect. The extra laptop eliminates all of the long cable drama you run into.

 

I like to use cheap Dell laptops that can be found cheap. The added bonus is that you can pick up docking stations with all of the ports you would ever need for next to nothing as well.

Dan








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