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CEM60 + APT Auto Meridian Flip, but mount didn't flip?

astrophotography equipment mount
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#1 NuclearRoy

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 02:15 PM

This is the third time I tried to have Astro Photography Tool do an automated meridian flip and it failed.

 

To fully disclose what a newbie I am, the first time I had the +/- E/W Longitude wrong in the location setting frown.gif

 

Even after fixing that, the mount does not actually flip sides.

I'm using a CEM60. I had the following setting in SessionCraft:

Flip moment 1.0minute

Delay Flip Move 4.0minutes

Delay is counted after meridian passing is 'Checked'

Blind solve after flip is 'Checked'

Minimum flip move duration 5sec

 

Everything goes fine. It stops the imaging plan when there isn't enough time to finish an exposure. Images to find the current location. Stops tracking. Waits for the meridian passing. (Session craft timer is inline with the meridian flip clock). Announces meridian passing. Waits the proper delay time. Says it is going to execute the flip, BUT the mount actually just moves in the same directing it was previously tracking, to catch up with the new target location. The rest of the AMF continues as if the mount had actually done the meridian flip. Shoots another image, platesolves, verifies correct location, restarts the imaging plan.

 

If I tell the mount to GoTo a target that is within around 20 minutes of the meridian (on the wrong side) it will continue moving int he current direction. If I keep choosing a target that is further and further past the meridian, it will eventually flip.

Last night I was doing NGC 6960. The first alternate target was Deneb. That was not far enough past meridian to cause the flip. THen I did a GoTo Vega and it flipped.

 

Any thoughts? (I'm sure I have some setting incorrect, but have no idea which one)

 

Thanks for any help!

Roy

 

THis is the APT log text for the time in question:

2019/08/20 00:20:36 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:36) DBG Exposure is ending
2019/08/20 00:20:37 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:37) Op Exp 10/30 : Bin(1x1), Gain(139), Duration(250") Filter(S-II) CCD T(-10°C)
2019/08/20 00:20:37 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:37) DBG Image Timer
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) DBG CCD Image Ready
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) DBG Call Dither
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) Op Dithering started.
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) DBG CCD Image Ready 2
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) DBG Dithering accepted
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) DBG CCD Image Ready3
2019/08/20 00:20:38 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:38) DBG File saved: C:\APT_Images\CameraCCD_1\2019-08-19\Lights\Plan_250x30_Bin1_G139\L_S-II_2019-08-20_00-20-38_Bin1x1_250s__-10C_G139_2019-08-20.fit
2019/08/20 00:20:39 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:39) DBG Dithering limit reached. D:28, L:70
2019/08/20 00:20:39 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:39) DBG Image Saved
2019/08/20 00:20:39 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:39) DBG CCD Image Ready4
2019/08/20 00:20:39 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:39) DBG ResumeAfterTransferCCD
2019/08/20 00:20:39 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:39) Op Command: CCDGain completed (Gain=139).
2019/08/20 00:20:39 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:39) DBG No pause
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) Op Dithering finished.
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Needs flip (1) AFD:1, Clock:3.55, NextExp:4.17, MinsToFlipSet:1.00
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Needs flip (1) FlipTime: 2019/08/20 00:24:21
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) Op Starting Automated Meridian Flip.
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Alt =  80:38:35; Az =  175:20:11; RA =  20:56:02; Dec =  31:20:00
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Going to change Bin
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG No Binning change
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Checking Exp
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG No filter change
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Exposure is starting
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Exposure Started
2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) Op Determining the exact position before Automated Meridian Flip...
2019/08/20 00:21:09 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:09) DBG Exposure is ending
2019/08/20 00:21:10 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:10) Op Meridian Flip Exp 1/1 : Bin(1x1), Gain(139), Duration(20") Filter(S-II) CCD T(-10°C)
2019/08/20 00:21:10 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:10) DBG Image Timer
2019/08/20 00:21:11 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:11) DBG CCD Image Ready
2019/08/20 00:21:11 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:11) DBG CCD Image Ready 2
2019/08/20 00:21:11 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:11) DBG CCD Image Ready3
2019/08/20 00:21:11 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:11) DBG File saved: C:\APT_Images\CameraCCD_1\Focusing_CCD.fit
2019/08/20 00:21:12 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:12) DBG Image Saved
2019/08/20 00:21:12 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:12) DBG CCD Image Ready4
2019/08/20 00:21:12 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:12) DBG ResumeAfterTransferCCD
2019/08/20 00:21:12 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:12) DBG Make a pause
2019/08/20 00:21:19 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:19) Op PointCraft: Image solved in 6s using 294 stars
2019/08/20 00:21:19 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:19) Op PointCraft: Detected FOV size (arc-minutes) - 103.62 x 78.34
2019/08/20 00:21:19 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:19) Op Target locked before flip. RA=20:56:02.05, Dec=31:19:54.30.
2019/08/20 00:21:19 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:19) Op Stopping PHD2 Guiding.
2019/08/20 00:21:22 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:22) Op Tracking disabled.
2019/08/20 00:21:22 (UT 2019/08/20 04:21:22) DBG PHD2 Guiding Stopped.
2019/08/20 00:28:22 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:22) Op Starting flip via GoTo.
2019/08/20 00:28:27 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:27) Op Flip move finished.
2019/08/20 00:28:27 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:27) Op Settling after flip move.
2019/08/20 00:28:37 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:37) Op Target Re-Centering started.
2019/08/20 00:28:46 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:46) DBG Going to change Bin
2019/08/20 00:28:46 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:46) DBG No Binning change
2019/08/20 00:28:46 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:46) DBG Checking Exp
2019/08/20 00:28:46 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:46) DBG No filter change
2019/08/20 00:28:46 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:46) DBG Exposure is starting
2019/08/20 00:28:47 (UT 2019/08/20 04:28:47) DBG Exposure Started
2019/08/20 00:29:07 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:07) DBG Exposure is ending
2019/08/20 00:29:08 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:08) Op Meridian Flip Exp 1/1 : Bin(1x1), Gain(139), Duration(20") Filter(S-II) CCD T(-10°C)
2019/08/20 00:29:08 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:08) DBG Image Timer
2019/08/20 00:29:09 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:09) DBG CCD Image Ready
2019/08/20 00:29:09 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:09) DBG CCD Image Ready 2
2019/08/20 00:29:09 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:09) DBG CCD Image Ready3
2019/08/20 00:29:09 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:09) DBG File saved: C:\APT_Images\CameraCCD_1\Focusing_CCD.fit
2019/08/20 00:29:10 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:10) DBG Image Saved
2019/08/20 00:29:10 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:10) DBG CCD Image Ready4
2019/08/20 00:29:10 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:10) DBG ResumeAfterTransferCCD
2019/08/20 00:29:10 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:10) DBG Make a pause
2019/08/20 00:29:40 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:40) Op PointCraft: Image solved in 29s.
2019/08/20 00:29:40 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:40) Op PointCraft: Detected FOV size (arc-minutes) - 103.00 x 78.00; focal length - 587.00mm
2019/08/20 00:29:40 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:40) Op PointCraft: Successful centering! Target is in 5 pixels.
2019/08/20 00:29:41 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:41) Op Settling after GoTo or Rotation change.
2019/08/20 00:29:51 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:51) Op Starting PHD2 Guiding.
2019/08/20 00:29:57 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:57) Op Guiding star re-selection. (2)
2019/08/20 00:29:57 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:57) Op Target Re-Centering finished.
2019/08/20 00:29:57 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:57) Op Meridian Flip finished.
2019/08/20 00:29:57 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:57) Op Restoring imaging plan context.
2019/08/20 00:29:57 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:57) Op Imaging plan context restored.
2019/08/20 00:29:57 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:57) DBG Exposure is starting
2019/08/20 00:29:58 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:58) DBG Exposure Started
2019/08/20 00:29:58 (UT 2019/08/20 04:29:58) Op Resuming the imaging plan execution.
2019/08/20 00:30:06 (UT 2019/08/20 04:30:06) Op PHD2 Guiding Started.
2019/08/20 00:30:15 (UT 2019/08/20 04:30:15) DBG PHD2 Settle Done from status. D:4
2019/08/20 00:30:15 (UT 2019/08/20 04:30:15) DBG Fix to resume dithering
2019/08/20 00:30:40 (UT 2019/08/20 04:30:40) DBG PointCraft (ASPS): Pixel 3.80, Focal 600
2019/08/20 00:31:04 (UT 2019/08/20 04:31:04) Op PointCraft: Image solved in 24s.
2019/08/20 00:31:04 (UT 2019/08/20 04:31:04) Op PointCraft: Detected FOV size (arc-minutes) - 103.00 x 78.00; focal length - 587.00mm
2019/08/20 00:34:08 (UT 2019/08/20 04:34:08) DBG Exposure is ending
2019/08/20 00:34:09 (UT 2019/08/20 04:34:09) Op Exp 11/30 : Bin(1x1), Gain(139), Duration(250") Filter(S-II) CCD T(-10°C)



#2 bmhjr

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 02:37 PM

Have you verifed the Meridian Treatment as configured in the CEM60 handcontroller?  I have mine set to Flip and the limit set to 2 degrees to give time for a 6 min exposure to complete.  If all is working, your software should initiate the flip before the mount limit is actually reached.  I use SGP, sorry dont have anything to add for APT.


Edited by bmhjr, 20 August 2019 - 02:40 PM.


#3 NuclearRoy

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 03:29 PM

Thanks bmhjr.

On the second try, I had it set to 5min and to flip. It finally did flip itself when one of the GoTo's was past the limit. It was totally confused after that and I ended up shutting everything down, restarting everything, and realigning. (I think APT and the mount got out of sync since ATP was waiting to do the flip and then the mount just did it. Don't really know, but it couldn't get even remotely close on any GoTos)

I believe this time it was set to 1 minute and to just stop.

The mount does move to the GoTo target, it just moves in the same direction instead of swapping sides of the mount, until eventually it is too far and it has to flip.

 

There is quite a bit of room on the CEM60 and tripod for it to track after meridian, but I'd rather not push my luck and tell ATP to use a negative number for the flip moment. And obviously I don't want to lose 20-30 minutes of imaging time by setting the Delay that long to ensure that it will actually go to the other side of the mount.

 

I thought this was odd:

2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Alt =  80:38:35; Az =  175:20:11; RA =  20:56:02; Dec =  31:20:00

 

I thought the Az would have been very close to 180?

But I'm still figuring out RA and Dec, so... confused1.gif



#4 Topographic

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 04:05 PM

Have you posted on the APT forum? if anyone can spot an issue it would be the developers.


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#5 NuclearRoy

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 04:17 PM

Good thought.

Posting there now.

Thanks



#6 Topographic

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 04:21 PM

I get one every millennium or so.

 

You are welcome.


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#7 OldManSky

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:39 PM

Thanks bmhjr.

On the second try, I had it set to 5min and to flip. It finally did flip itself when one of the GoTo's was past the limit. It was totally confused after that and I ended up shutting everything down, restarting everything, and realigning. (I think APT and the mount got out of sync since ATP was waiting to do the flip and then the mount just did it. Don't really know, but it couldn't get even remotely close on any GoTos)

I believe this time it was set to 1 minute and to just stop.

The mount does move to the GoTo target, it just moves in the same direction instead of swapping sides of the mount, until eventually it is too far and it has to flip.

 

There is quite a bit of room on the CEM60 and tripod for it to track after meridian, but I'd rather not push my luck and tell ATP to use a negative number for the flip moment. And obviously I don't want to lose 20-30 minutes of imaging time by setting the Delay that long to ensure that it will actually go to the other side of the mount.

 

I thought this was odd:

2019/08/20 00:20:49 (UT 2019/08/20 04:20:49) DBG Alt =  80:38:35; Az =  175:20:11; RA =  20:56:02; Dec =  31:20:00

 

I thought the Az would have been very close to 180?

But I'm still figuring out RA and Dec, so... confused1.gif

You're right, the Az *should* be closer to 180.  That's the actual meridian.  You were 5 degrees in Az before the meridian -- which is probably why issuing a GOTO to the mount kept it on the same side.  The mount didn't think it was time to flip yet.

I use NINA and not APT, but from looking at your settings I can't see anything shouting out "Hey, I've got this set to flip before I actually reach the meridian!"  Unless there's a setting we've both missed...?

Will have to let the APT experts chime in (more).

 

On my CEM25P, I have the mount's flip point at +5min past meridian (it could go to +12-15).  Then I set NINA's flip point at 2min past.  So far that's worked every time.  And if NINA ever fails or crashes, the mount's default handling will take over (yes, I tested it -- it's set to stop tracking if the NINA flip fails).  Works like a champ.


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#8 NuclearRoy

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:57 PM

You're right, the Az *should* be closer to 180.  That's the actual meridian.  You were 5 degrees in Az before the meridian -- which is probably why issuing a GOTO to the mount kept it on the same side.  The mount didn't think it was time to flip yet.

 

I think that may be it.

That supports this statement from the original post:

"If I tell the mount to GoTo a target that is within around 20 minutes of the meridian (on the wrong side) it will continue moving in the current direction. If I keep choosing a target that is further and further past the meridian, it will eventually flip."

 

20 minutes (time) is equivalent to 5 degrees of Az, right? (again, still working on RA and Dec)

 

Now I just need to figure out why APT knows to point at the correct RA/Dec spot, but that doesn't correspond to the correct Alt/Az. The GPS was working so the time on the Mount should be perfect. I didn't pay any attention to the laptop/APT. Can't imaging I wouldn't have noticed 20 minutes off, but who knows.

 

THANKS!


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#9 NuclearRoy

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:05 PM

Just for closure.

I got the answer on the APT forum.

I needed to clear the old one star alignment from the hand controller. I stopped doing those a month ago and only do the GoTo and plate solve/sync from APT now.

That and resetting the zero position at the start of the session made targets passing the meridian show an Az of +/- 10 minutes, not the 5 degrees I was getting.

All is well.

Thanks everyone!


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