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EXOS-2GT Information Thread...

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#326 nmk456

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 07:43 PM

For all who are wondering, I bought the cable and flashed the handset.  Yes, you can run the mount with Stellarium.  You have to download Stellarium Scope.  You connect the mount with Stellarium Scope and then start Stellarium.  The bad news: same clunky software.  I see no difference in the software before and after the upgrade.  Unfortunately, when it has been clear I have had outreach commitments so I have not tested the gotos.  I suspect they won't be any better than before.  I am used to my Nexstar 8SE.  If I take my time and do a good alignment, my targets will be dead center in the eyepiece for hours.  So, since the gotos in Stellarium are based on the alignment of the scope, they won't be any better.

 

I can't believe that they upgraded the software without fixing the glitches: Sagittarius is still Tagittarius.  They still sell this mount with their other products.  If anyone else has done this, I would be interested in your experience.

Would the GoTo++ function in APT fix this, because, as I understand it, it uses plate solving to find out where the scope is actually pointing vs supposed to be pointing, and corrects for it automatically?



#327 nmk456

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:49 PM

For those who have bought the cable set, could you take a picture of the connectors on the cable? You should be able to see the individual wires on each pin, and the electrical pinout can be found from that. If it is the same as one of these or this, those might be a cheaper option.



#328 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 05:31 PM

U can NOT open the clutches and slew manually to center a star because the computer will not know where U pushed it to cause you bypassed the encoders. 

But this is the point of it!

 

When you pick that first star, the mount moves to where it thinks the star is.  When you open the clutches and manually align it, you're matching the two (where it thinks it should be, and the actual target).

 

After locking the clutches again, the 2nd star in my alignment is always in my field of view.

 

I've done this many times.  No credit for this 'hack' goes to me.  I read about it here on CN.



#329 Gustoresto

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:45 AM

Coffee;  This is V instructive and totally against the info I got from ES.    It also makes perfect sense; to "trick" the computer into behaving, and I may not have believed it if U hadn't proved it by seeing it catch the 2nd star.      This may B one of the most important things to come out of this thread which has often wandered far off the subject.   Getting the EXOS 2 [or ANY goto mt] to B better aligned = better goto.  Can U find that other reference to this?     

   Scott Roberts, the pres of ES  has extensive tech experience in developing the stepper motors, and encoders on GEMs and I was V sure he told me U can't do what we're discussing because the EXOS 2GT has servo motors and encoders whereas the PMC8 version has steppers not encoders and the computer counts the steps to  know where it's going.   (U ARE using the EXOS2 GT right not the PMC8???)    I'll have 2 ask Kent at ES to show this to his engineers.        

   PS   With half decent alignment (only bore sighting the polar fix)  and using the Hbox to center the 1st star,  I've been getting that 2nd star also.  But when I ask for say M31 far to the N  60-90 degrees away  I'm only getting to maybe within 2 deg.      At present I'm attributing this to imprecision in leveling, centering alignment targets and orthogonality of the OTA being off.   I dropped yet another $70  to get a wide angle (70deg)  illum reticle EP to help the former, and am inclined to accept it being a "closeto" mount for now cause I'm getting targets OK in my 70mm 9X finder.   I intend to improve this. There is a way to fix out of whack orthogonality (googleit) that a LOT of amateurs ignore and then blame the mount.    In my research on goto probs over and over people learned how vital leveling and alignment is on Meade and Celestron also.   Probs like lack of alignment stars and them being too close only magnifies any small errors here.    Regards  Gus


Edited by Gustoresto, 28 November 2018 - 06:46 AM.


#330 Rock22

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 11:43 AM

I use the same method, which I also saw in a thread on CN, and it works for me, too. I do this when the mount doesn’t align with the star, but sometimes it does... Like you suggested, there are mounts with problems that we just need to work around, especially since it works well for me for my uses.


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#331 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:00 AM

Coffee;  This is V instructive and totally against the info I got from ES.    It also makes perfect sense; to "trick" the computer into behaving, and I may not have believed it if U hadn't proved it by seeing it catch the 2nd star.      This may B one of the most important things to come out of this thread which has often wandered far off the subject.   Getting the EXOS 2 [or ANY goto mt] to B better aligned = better goto.  Can U find that other reference to this?     

 

 

The encoders are on the same shaft as the motor.  No motor turning = no change of position as far as the GOTO system is concerned.

 

This is NOT my normal method of alignment.  I only do this if the 1st star is outside of the eyepiece view.  If you're closer than that, no need...just slew.  Since I started using PHD2 to get a better polar alignment, I've rarely resorted to this method.

 

This is just one more tool in the toolbox for us EXOS2 users.  If you need it, it's there.  If you're having serious problems, I recommend you try and see for yourself.

 

For the new firmware...  If the reports of it being just as bad as the original are true, that's the end of the road for me.  I've been saving for a new mount since I bought this garbage.  It's just about time to pull the plug.  I'm thinking Ioptron 30, or 45 if I save a bit more.



#332 Gustoresto

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:27 AM

I'm not passing any premature judgement on the upgrade.   A jury of two ain't gonna cut it, and as usual on the web the naysayers will voice loud and we may not see others reporting successes.   I'm working on getting answers from the techs who built it.  As well as unbiased info here.    Thx  Gus



#333 xon432246

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 08:49 AM

Has anyone tried moving the mount instead of using the HC or clutches? Would this also help polar alignment?



#334 rmollise

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 10:43 AM

Has anyone tried moving the mount instead of using the HC or clutches? Would this also help polar alignment?

 

No. Goto alignment really has nothing to do with polar alignment. 

 

Not sure what you mean by "moving the mount". You can move the scope into position with the direction buttons, or you can loosen the clutches and move the mount to center the alignment star without using the buttons.



#335 xon432246

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 08:02 PM

Please explain that. Moving the mount means adjusting the Latitude and Azimuth control knobs on the mount. I have done this on one star alignment and it works every time.


Edited by xon432246, 02 December 2018 - 08:12 PM.


#336 rmollise

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 10:13 AM

Please explain that. Moving the mount means adjusting the Latitude and Azimuth control knobs on the mount. I have done this on one star alignment and it works every time.

That would be a mistake. Moving the mount in altitude and azimuth to center a goto alignment star, will throw your polar alignment (if any) off. To polar align, you would have to again move the mount in altitude and azimuth, throwing your goto alignment off. ;)


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#337 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:39 AM

Since this is an ongoing thread about EXOS-2GT info, I figured I should add some info about some updates to my own EXOS-2GT...

 

1.  I updated the firmware and now I have the option to use a computer/tablet to control the mount through Stellarium, Cartes du Ciel or Starry Nights 7/8 Pro Plus.  Stellarium required jumping through some hoops to get it to work correctly but it is working just fine now through POTH ---> Stellarium Scope ---> Stellarium.   This is a long-awaited upgrade for a lot of people.

 

2.  I also used a red Sharpie to add some color and contrast to the index arrows on both axes of the mount.  See the photo below.  This might actually be the most useful upgrade!

 

3.  That red polar cap on the mount in my photo, below, is a mount for PoleMaster...  which was a very useful upgrade too.  

 

4.  While testing the mount after the firmware update which added functionality for computer control, I realized that my car jump starter wasn't holding a powerful enough charge for more than 30 minutes or so.  I was going to buy a Talentcell battery pack and probably will in the future but, since I have yet to go beyond my yard with my scope, I decided to purchase an ac/dc adapter for the mount.  I found a 12v, 8 amp adapter on Amazon and it seems to work just fine.  Here is a link to the item I purchased...  https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I've had this mount since April and, overall, I'm very happy with it. 

 

Patrick

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Edited by PatrickVt, 20 December 2018 - 06:11 PM.


#338 CDallas32

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 12:55 PM

I got my Exos2 gt yesterday. I can't give you guys a status report on motor functionality (I dont have power supply yet). My question is- what is the micro USB type B on the hand controller used for?

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Edited by CDallas32, 20 December 2018 - 12:55 PM.


#339 CDallas32

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 01:01 PM

Manufactures and Vendors seem to have a hard time keeping up with spec changes. I just came from the ES web site and it says the "First Light" EXOS 2 GT has 1.25 in steel legs. I am certain they are 1.75 in. Jerry, if you are out there you might want to look into that. Beware of any vendor that says 2 in legs as that was changed to the current 1.75in.

The EXOS PMC 8 has 2in legs.

Mark C


When I bought the mount, the listing was 1.25" legs. I measured mine when it came in (this was a concern of mine). I got 2in legs so I believe it is mislisted or I got the last of the stock.

#340 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 01:43 PM

I bought my mount in April and it came with 2 inch legs.  I bought it at B&H.   

 

About the USB port on the handbox...  as of yet, there is no use for it.  

 

Patrick



#341 CDallas32

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 01:58 PM

I bought my mount in April and it came with 2 inch legs. I bought it at B&H.

About the USB port on the handbox... as of yet, there is no use for it.

Patrick

Thanks Patrick. I wonder if eventually the mount can be controlled from a mobile device using skysafari with the micro USB?

Edit: do you have any ideas for keeping the polar alignment cap on? It falls off all the time.

Edited by CDallas32, 20 December 2018 - 02:00 PM.


#342 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 02:13 PM

Thanks Patrick. I wonder if eventually the mount can be controlled from a mobile device using skysafari with the micro USB?

Edit: do you have any ideas for keeping the polar alignment cap on? It falls off all the time.

I don't know for sure but suspect we've seen the last of updates on the EXOS-2GT.   Then again, any updates for this mount would come from Bresser and I don't think they have any more advanced mounts at this point so they might continue some development on the EXOS-2GT.  I'm thankful that they provided an ASCOM driver even though most felt it would never materialize. 

 

Explore Scientific, however, has shifted toward their PMC-8 mounts....   the EXOS-2GT PMC-8 and the iEXOS-100 PMC-8.  I think this is the direction I am going to go in the very near future.  Of course, I'll continue to use the EXOS-2GT too.  Those PMC-8 mounts have really captured my attention.  

 

About the polar alignment cap...  I assume you mean that big cone-shaped one...  as you see in my photo, I don't have it on my mount.  I cannot get it to stay on either!  I do have a cap on the end of the polar alignment hole though.  And, when I was using a polar alignment scope (I now have Polemaster), I had a small cap for the end of the polar scope.  That cone-shaped cap is useless though.

 

Patrick



#343 Rock22

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 02:37 PM

I use a strip of the felt/soft side of 1" wide Velcro to keep the cap in place.  There is adhesive on the back of the strip, and I lined the inside of the cap just under the rim.  Works well for me.


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#344 CDallas32

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:20 PM

I have had my mount for 3 days now (first day powering on). So far I am pleased. My only question is: what the heck is "zone" during setup? I would imagine it is referring to time zone but I have never seen it in the way it was presented on the hand controller. Its default was "e00". I couldn't get past this step so I tried to find my location on the list. I guess I am overlooking something because Boston was the only US city. Boston's "zone" was listed at "w05" and since I live in Oklahoma (central time) I tried "w06" and that seemed to work. I roughly polar aligned in my garage with a compass and did a fake two star alignment. I had 5 or 6 options for stars. I chose deneb and altair. Comparing to skysafari, both were right on. I then slewed to vega and that was right on as well. I also tried a sync but I have no idea if it worked due to being inside. There is a little rattle in the RA axis but I have no need to mess with it because it works lol.gif

 

Don't mind the duct tape on rings. Those are from an old scope and I thought they would fit. I was wrong and had to DIY it with some foam to make the rings smaller and duct tape to remove friction.cool.gif  

 

Ps. The tube is not actually balanced on RA. I thought I could get away with the included counterweight. I'll need to order another.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by CDallas32, 22 December 2018 - 03:36 PM.


#345 PatrickVt

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:34 PM

There is a chart in the user manual showing the zones and the correct nomenclature for the handbox initialization.  For instance, on the east coast of the US...  it would be W for west...  and 05 for five hours off of UTC.  

 

You can find the user manual online.   Just search for EXOS-2GT User Manual.  

 

The other place people often mess up the initialization is the custom coordinates.  The coordinates need to be in degrees and minutes...  not decimal degrees.  

 

Patrick  


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#346 PatrickVt

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:37 PM

I should have also mentioned that I don't even bother trying to find a programmed city.  I have always just input a "Custom Location" using my own coordinates for my own backyard.  

 

Enjoy the mount!

 

Patrick



#347 CDallas32

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:40 PM

There is a chart in the user manual showing the zones and the correct nomenclature for the handbox initialization.  For instance, on the east coast of the US...  it would be W for west...  and 05 for five hours off of UTC.  

 

You can find the user manual online.   Just search for EXOS-2GT User Manual.  

 

The other place people often mess up the initialization is the custom coordinates.  The coordinates need to be in degrees and minutes...  not decimal degrees.  

 

Patrick  

Thanks Patrick. I just took a look at the manual and I made a good guess with "w06". grin.gif


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#348 PatrickVt

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 04:07 PM

Out of curiosity...  how much does that OTA weigh?    I assume it is an 8"...   probably about 20-22 lbs...?

 

Patrick  



#349 CDallas32

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 04:14 PM

Out of curiosity...  how much does that OTA weigh?    I assume it is an 8"...   probably about 20-22 lbs...?

 

Patrick  

It is an 8in. The OTA is listed at 16.5 pounds. A 10 pound counterweight should balance it but obviously not.

 

https://www.telescop...s?keyword=203mm


Edited by CDallas32, 22 December 2018 - 04:14 PM.

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#350 CDallas32

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 08:19 PM

I'm taking new ota and mount out tonight for first light. Full moon will wash out everything useful but as a trial run I'm okay with it. I'm going to try and catch Comet 46/P Wirtanen and maybe the ring nebula. Hopes are high!
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