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Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC)?

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#1 Aquarist

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:55 AM

Anyone know when the Astro-Physics mount control software will be available? Anyone using it now?

#2 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:12 AM

It's like waiting for Godot, the release date has been "really soon" for years, literally for years.

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#3 Aquarist

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:25 AM

Well, the last "word" I heard was Fall of 2013. Which, in theory is now.

#4 Skunky

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 04:01 PM

 

#5 blueman

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

I think it will not be long. The new AP mounts are coming and I would bet that APCC will come right behind them.
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#6 Calypte

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:01 AM

I'm at AIC. I asked Ray Gralak about this today. "Soon" is the answer. I told him that APCC always seems to be "soon." Ray and Howard Hedlund insisted that they were "very close."

Edited to correct spelling of "Gralak."

#7 PGW Steve

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:02 AM

I'm anxiously awaiting it here. I recently picked up a 1600 with absolute encoders and the all sky pointing is absolutely incredible, 6 arc seconds with a 125 sample T Point model. Being able to build a model in APCC, and then have it create variable tracking rates based on the model is going to be neat. Also the dynamic safety zone for crossing the meridian while imaging is going to be fun....actually there are a lot of features that are going to be exciting!

#8 Raginar

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:26 AM

PEMPRO 3... Hilarious :)

#9 blueman

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:52 PM

This program should be great for permanently mounted setups, but for portable use I fear it would be very time consuming.
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#10 dawziecat

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:49 PM

PEMPRO 3... Hilarious :)


Humor is lost on me. What's the joke? :question:

#11 Hilmi

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:46 PM

PEMPRO 3... Hilarious :)


Humor is lost on me. What's the joke? :question:


Google Duke Nukem Forever fiasco and all shall be clear

#12 gavinm

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:40 PM

Looking at how companies get universally panned on this website when they release products and they still have bugs, do you blame Ray for wanting his releases to be as close to perfect as possible? I would certainly take my time...

#13 Aquarist

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

The folks at AP seem to be very sensitive to turning out the best possible product the first time. Since I have a permanent installation, I am looking forward to APCC.

#14 psandelle

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:55 PM

Don't mean to get too much off-topic, but is there anywhere that explains what the APPM (pointing/tracking software) is capable of? Will it have Software Bisque-like T-Point & Pro-Track capabilities? Or ASA-type MLPT sort of tracking?

Just curious if anyone knew. If it were to have advanced non-guider guiding, then I might throw AP into the hunt for my next mount come Spring.

Thanks,

Paul

#15 Calypte

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:10 AM

Don't mean to get too much off-topic, but is there anywhere that explains what the APPM (pointing/tracking software) is capable of? Will it have Software Bisque-like T-Point & Pro-Track capabilities? Or ASA-type MLPT sort of tracking?

Just curious if anyone knew. If it were to have advanced non-guider guiding, then I might throw AP into the hunt for my next mount come Spring.

Thanks,

Paul

Look at the A-P website for info. At AIC they had a scope and mount running through their paces with APCC, but they had that last year, too. I've been wondering the same as your question, and I asked Ray Gralak about it. Since I already use MaxIm DL, TheSkyX Pro, FocusMax and CCD Commander (the four programs I use for imaging), the question is: what does APCC do for me that's genuinely useful that I don't already get? I was still not clear about that after listening to him. I mean, the software knows where the scope is at all times, and it'll prevent mount crashes and trying to image through walls, but these haven't been particular problems for me. But we had a session this morning where Ron Wodaski talked about all of the things that mess up our images, even things that we think are working well or are "good enough." He specifically mentioned that applying a good pointing model goes a long way to improving, not just pointing accuracy, but tracking, too. I'm not equipped to argue the issue or ask knowledgeable questions, but this comment caught my attention. I'll be looking into APCC when it is finally released.

Edited to add: Awhile back I asked Rick Johnson, who posts those amazing galaxy images in the CCD forum, what he does for guiding, since his stars are perfectly round. As I understood his answer, he doesn't guide at all. He uses a pointing model that he created with TPoint. Maybe Rick will see this and clarify what he told me.

#16 Hilmi

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:21 AM

Looking at how companies get universally panned on this website when they release products and they still have bugs, do you blame Ray for wanting his releases to be as close to perfect as possible? I would certainly take my time...


I purchased PEMPro 2 because it was announced that version 3 was coming soon and I will get it for free. This was on 31 Dec 2011. There is a point where delays become excesive and beyond reasonable expectations off delays to get it right. If we were not a tollerent lot with a sense of humor we would be screaming false advertising. The least Ray could have done was send an appology to all buyers who purchased while that advert was up. Anyway, I am only mildy annoyed and poking a bit of fun at the delay is only fair game after almost 2 yearsof waiting

#17 orlyandico

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:04 AM

My understanding is that the killer feature is a Pro Track like capability.

Not sure I'd pay 500 bucks for it though. No idea how much APCC Pro will cost. And you need the Pro version to get the unguided tracking feature...

#18 Aquarist

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:02 AM

APCC will cost $250. So, most likely the Pro version will be an addition. A version of Pempro for Astro-Physics comes with the AP1600GTO mount but it is not fully featured.

#19 psandelle

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:10 AM

A Pro-Track-like feature would be cool. Not much said on the website (other than a mention of APPM) that I can find. If it comes out soon, I guess we'll know then.

Paul

#20 Calypte

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

Looking at how companies get universally panned on this website when they release products and they still have bugs, do you blame Ray for wanting his releases to be as close to perfect as possible? I would certainly take my time...

Well, yes, and Astro-Physics' name is attached to this, and they've built a reputation on products working perfectly out-of-the-box, even when they're brand new. Years ago, when I was developing business applications software, I wished I had Ray's luxury of endless tweaking and delaying to get it right.

#21 PGW Steve

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:41 AM

As I stated before, my 1600 has ridiculous pointing based on a fairly low sample model. I absolutely love dropping little NGC's on my small FOV on a full sky basis, even from meridian flip to meridian flip. If building a bigger model improves upon this AND can calculate out a slick tracking model, it should be a new level in guided and unguided imaging for owners of AP mounts, especially those with the long focal length scopes that typically sit on a rigid AP mount.
I've just learned that when using CCDAP that I can't take advantage of my pointing model unless I don't use the A-P ASCOM driver, and use The Sky X driver. If I do that, I can't take advantage of the accuracy of the encoders, that were a substantial portion of the purchase price of the mount.
With that said, I'd really really like to know if I build a pointing model, with APCC, that it will fall in the correct path of connectivity with all of my software, like The Sky and CCD Auto Pilot to allow me to have amazing pointing, and tracking while automated.
To me the encoder function is geared towards an automated observatory, but right now it is not being used to its capability due to the available software not being evolved to take advantage of it.
It isn't the supporting manufacturers (CCDAP) fault as the features are new, and specific to one mount (A-P). I expect A-P to have this sorted out quickly as more and more mounts with encoders are hitting the street. This isn't even taking into consideration all of the features that non encoder mounts can benefit from.


Hilmi- Does PEMPro V2. not work at all for you? I'm sure V3. will have some new features, but V2. does what it claims, no false advertising there.

Aquarist- The disk that came with my 1600 says 'Full Version' or something like that on it. I never loaded it since I bought the full version in the spring with all of the CCD Ware suite. I know my 1200 came with PEMPro 'lite'.

#22 WadeH237

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:36 PM

It's been a long time since I spoke with Ray about APCC, but if I remember right, it sits between the ASCOM V2 driver and the mount's firmware. As such, it should work transparently with whatever you are doing today.

As for the benefit of the pointing model (which will only be in the Pro version), APCC will be able to use the model to send the mount custom tracking rates that account for polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction, repeatable flexure, etc. The other comment that Ron Wodaski mentioned in his talk is that the goal is to get away from guiding completely. With enough samples in the pointing model, APCC should get you mostly there. You would still need to handle non-repeatable effects (like intermittent mirror shift in an SCT, for example) if your system has them. If you are using the encoders, you should be able to achieve all-sky tracking to an accuracy approaching 0.2 arc seconds. That is really cool.

I try not to bug people "in the know" too much about the release date because I am sure that they get it all the time. I did hear a couple of things about it from people who should know, but I don't want to repeat anything here. Like everything else AP ships, it will be ready when it's ready. And it should be really cool.

I learned a long time ago that astrophotography is a game for the patient.

#23 dawziecat

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

A version of Pempro for Astro-Physics comes with the AP1600GTO mount but it is not fully featured.


It's not?

Awwww . . . :bawling: :bawling: :bawling:

Will I be able to drift align with it?

#24 Tom and Beth

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:59 PM

A version of Pempro for Astro-Physics comes with the AP1600GTO mount but it is not fully featured.


It's not?

Awwww . . . :bawling: :bawling: :bawling:

Will I be able to drift align with it?


Yep. I've been using it with my Ap1200s. It's amazing just how (bleep) you can get with it on Full Moons dialing in alignment to single digit arc seconds..... :p

#25 Aquarist

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:09 PM

A version of Pempro for Astro-Physics comes with the AP1600GTO mount but it is not fully featured.


It's not?

Awwww . . . :bawling: :bawling: :bawling:

Will I be able to drift align with it?


I am going from recollection here, but yes you can. Somewhere is a table showing which features the AP "version" supports and which ones come in the fully featured package. But I can no longer find it among my various links.






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