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sofware "hand control paddle" available/usability

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#1 aacc66

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 05:57 PM

Hello,

Is it possible to have a software version of hand controller paddle (hcp) that can work with the physical hcp? This question is related to a CGEM

And relates to a previous post with subject -- "NexStar Control Pad" where to connect to cgem.

Right now my setup is so simple that I want to do a 2 star alignment, 4 star calibration and polar alignment with the physical hcp (I move my telecope out every time). Then, when looking for DSOs, I can use the physical hcp, or maybe a software tool like "Nexstar Observer List." Finally, when looking in my computer screen, I would like to have something like NexStar Control Pad (NSCP) do the fine motion of the telescope to find the DSO (right now I have a camera with a really small field of view, so this is common). My concern is that NSCP requires NexStar Observer List to work, but for alignment I will be using the physical hcp in the scope, and I think that NexStar Observer List will be lost and send the scope in the wrong direction.

I know this because this week I tried NexRemote hcp with the physical hcp and it was a nightmare. I will do a full alignment with the physical hcp, then I will start NexRemote and I will forget and instead use NexRemote to slew to a new target, and it will send the scope in a crazy direction.

Reiterating the question is there a software hcp that will allow me to tweak my scope from my computer, while allowing me to align with the physical hcp? a second question and preferable: is there an ideal piece of software that will communicate with the physical hcp, and then you do not have to worry which one do you use to slew to a new target?

Thanks

Alvaro

#2 rmollise

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:39 PM

What you want to do is use NexRemote with a wireless gamepad. That will take away the "nightmare." You can map many hand control functions to a Logitech wireless gamepad. Works great. ;)

You can find information on this in the NexRemote help files.

You CAN use the physical hand control, but you must ONLY use its direction buttons. The gamepad is much nicer. ;)

#3 aacc66

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 11:33 PM

Rod,

From your reply (and reading some earlier posts) there seems to be that no PC software will know the position of the scope is you start the alignment with the physical hcp, and vice versa (start with NexRemote). But the setup allows you to use the arrows only, I assume in both ways:
1) Align with NexRemote but allow to use physical hcp arrows
2) Align with physical hcp but allow to use NexRemote arrows.

The wireless gamepad sounds tempting. I wonder if that is a lot of work.
What about connecting a bluetooth (or some kind of wireless connection) to the NexRemote and one to the PC end too?

Alvaro

#4 dragonslayer1

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:20 AM

Sky safari, Kasey

#5 rmollise

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:38 AM

YOU MUST ALIGN THE SCOPE BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING WITH A COMPUTER.

It's not really clear to me exactly what you are trying to do, but you can't mess with the scope until it is aligned. Here is the STRAIGHT POOP:

NexRemote IS the hand control, the code is just running on your PC. That's why you can't do much with the "hardware" HC. Two hand controls = mucho confusion.

Here's what you do:

1. Turn on mount.

2. Start NexRemote.

3. Begin the alignment process just like you would with the hardware HC. NR will use the time/time zone/date from the computer.

4. Use the gamepad to center stars and to accept the alignments with Enter and Align (mapped to HC buttons).

What kind of trouble is it to use a gamepad? With a Logitech...you plug the wireless dongle into the PC and select the joystick with a right click on the NexRemote settings screen. Not much trouble. And it sure is nice having a wireless "hand control."

;)

#6 aacc66

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 11:16 PM

Sorry for the confusion, but I did understood what you mean from your first post.

In my last post I was just concerned with "subtleties" that can arise at 4 AM; e.g. half asleep wondering if I can tweak/align the position of the telescope with the actual hc or with NexRemote by pressing the arrows. Can I change the speed of scope motion when aligning, etc. I assume, that is where a wireless game pad makes a difference and you don't have to worry about those things

BTW, I found last night your blog and read about it. It looks simple enough to implement.


Alvaro

#7 ur7x

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

Sorry for the confusion, but I did understood what you mean from your first post.

In my last post I was just concerned with "subtleties" that can arise at 4 AM; e.g. half asleep wondering if I can tweak/align the position of the telescope with the actual hc or with NexRemote by pressing the arrows. Can I change the speed of scope motion when aligning, etc. I assume, that is where a wireless game pad makes a difference and you don't have to worry about those things

BTW, I found last night your blog and read about it. It looks simple enough to implement.


Alvaro


I did exactly what Uncle Rod is recommending, Though I used a cheap generic game controller that I bought on ebay for something like $6. That takes a little bit of configuring with Nexremote's joystick and keyboard.ini files. If you go for a pricier Logitech you just plug it in.

It works, and works great, my HC is now little more than a backup stored in a box (Oh, to completely eliminate the HC you do need a HC Port -> PC Port adapter which you can make (or buy)

On my game controller (a two joystick model) I have mapped the left joystick as normal l/r/u/d the right joystick is mapped to fast slew (rate 9) l/r/u/d.

Then i mimicked the HC buttons and the 1/2/3/4 on the game pad are mapped to Align, Enter, Undo and Info.

The right toggles are menu up and menu down.

Those are the buttons that I use the most.

Once the mount is aligned I switch over to a PC based tool like The Sky 6/X or Starry Night to select targets.

Maybe once a night, I will have to synchronize the PC software with the telescope so that GOTOs are dead center, other than that the setup works so good that if the weather calls for 0% chance of rain, I don't take it down, I simply Home and hibernate my CGEM, cap the OTA. and the next night I wake it up already aligned and ready to go.

Nothing is better than walking up to the scope, telling it you want to see M13 and there it is centered in the eyepiece.

Once you've got this down... The next step is Backyard EOS and how that tool does for the photo taking what PC controlled mounts do for pointing and setup.

The link to how I set things up is here:

http://www.cloudynig...5986178/Main...

#8 aacc66

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:58 PM

ur7x,

Thanks, I am thinking and biting the bullet and get the logitech. But first, I need to finish paying my focuser, almost done.
Now that you mention BackyardEOS, is that better than Nebulosity?

Alvaro

#9 ur7x

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:56 AM

To me, the answer is very simple. For driving the camera and capturing pictures...Definitely Yes.

I have a simple rule with software, if it comes "free" or bundled with another purchase, I expect to have to fiddle with it to get it to work.

But if the software is a stand alone purchase, it had better work without too much effort. Using that simple measure the two packages are very different.

For me and my very pedestrian Canon T3i to get Nebulosity to just talk to the camera took hours of patching, configuring, experimenting and frustrating cryptic error messages that aren't documented anywhere. "Failed to open Session 7"... gee... thanks...Got passes that one to run into "Error 192"... Some advice here and other forums resulted in downloading Camera patches from the vendor... Finally I got the camera and the software "linked" But to have the software drive the shutter was a lost cause. Cryptic "Image parameter error" gee there are only about 50 image parameters that could be wrong...

Backyard EOS was a case in pure contrast.

Download the trial version, instantly it connects to the camera, no mess, no fiddling, and within 2 minutes the software is driving the camera like a pro.

I know both packages have their fans, I have my favorite too. Both are cheap enough that if you buy one and you hate it, buying the other isn't that much of an impact... My advice, buy BYE first.

#10 aacc66

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:22 PM

Well, that is quite an endorsement. Unless I hear from some one else about Nebulosity, I will be seriously considering BYE. Right now, I am finishing paying my focuser, then start saving for the camera.

Thanks again.

Alvaro






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