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Sky Safari 6 Pro - Scope Control - Slew Speeds turn red

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#1 rockethead26

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:43 PM

Hi all,

 

I was going to post in the Sky Safari yahoo user group, but for some reason I couldn't find it this morning.

 

While training on our new scopes using AP GTO mounts with the iPad screen in Daytime Mode NOT in Night Mode red, we've had a couple of occasions (after a GOTO is performed) while using the slewing buttons to center the object in the FOV, the slew control buttons become non-responsive and the little scope popup that shows the 4 selectable slew speeds turns red.

 

The only way out is to disconnect and reconnect and sometimes shut down SkySafari and restart it to regain use of the slew controls.

 

Because I can't keep track of any sequence of button pushes while operators are doing their thing, I have no idea why this function freezes up. Maybe simultaneous button pushes contrary to each other? Holding down one of the buttons too long? Changing the slew speed while slewing?

 

Has anyone else seen this behavior?

 

 



#2 Xeroid

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:40 PM

You may want to post this item on the SkySafari Community Forum:

 

https://support.simu...Safari-iOS-Apps



#3 rockethead26

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:48 PM

You may want to post this item on the SkySafari Community Forum:

 

https://support.simu...Safari-iOS-Apps

Thanks, for some reason (lack of sleep and overwork) I thought it was a Yahoo Group. I'll post there now,



#4 junomike

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 07:44 AM

Sky Safari 9?  Did you mean 6?



#5 NMBob

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 09:32 AM

I know you are trying to use just SkySafari, but Luminos seems much friendlier for A-P mounts. You can slew at different speeds and other stuff. They even put in a 300x speed for me to keep from waking up star party neighbors. :) Since you are already over-budget you might get a copy and see if it behaves the same way. One would think it could be something bad with the mount, but it might just be a comm problem, since you have to jump up and down to clear the error.

 

I may have to walk by and see the place during Labor Day weekend. I'll be over there again. Woohoo!



#6 Bowman

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 04:26 PM

Hi all,

 

I was going to post in the Sky Safari yahoo user group, but for some reason I couldn't find it this morning.

 

While training on our new scopes using AP GTO mounts with the iPad screen in Daytime Mode NOT in Night Mode red, we've had a couple of occasions (after a GOTO is performed) while using the slewing buttons to center the object in the FOV, the slew control buttons become non-responsive and the little scope popup that shows the 4 selectable slew speeds turns red.

 

The only way out is to disconnect and reconnect and sometimes shut down SkySafari and restart it to regain use of the slew controls.

 

Because I can't keep track of any sequence of button pushes while operators are doing their thing, I have no idea why this function freezes up. Maybe simultaneous button pushes contrary to each other? Holding down one of the buttons too long? Changing the slew speed while slewing?

 

Has anyone else seen this behavior?

I assume that you are using WiFi. If you have access to a SkiWire cable, see if the problem persists when hard-wired. I had a problem with strange behavior on my Mach 1, including loss of connection, with WiFi. I tracked the problem down to interference between USB 3 and WiFi. I switched to a SkyWire cable and never had a problem again.

 

Larry Hoffman


Edited by Bowman, 22 August 2019 - 04:30 PM.


#7 rockethead26

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 05:14 PM

I assume that you are using WiFi. If you have access to a SkiWire cable, see if the problem persists when hard-wired. I had a problem with strange behavior on my Mach 1, including loss of connection, with WiFi. I tracked the problem down to interference between USB 3 and WiFi. I switched to a SkyWire cable and never had a problem again.

 

Larry Hoffman

Hi Larry,

 

Thanks for your response. We are using the built-in wifi on the Astro-Physics CP4 processor that provides its own access point. No USB cables in the setup.


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#8 Bowman

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 07:05 PM

Hi Jim

 

Unfortunately, USB is not as reliable as we would like. If you have anything USB 3 connected, like a camera, try disconnecting it and see if the problem goes away. If you have access to a Mac with SS on it, try using a USB cable or a USB cable with a USB to Serial adapter. You will need an FTDI adapter like A-P sells. If you are using an iPad or iPhone, you will need the SkyWire cable to test if that is the problem. I now only use WiFi on my CP4 box if there is no camera. If my ASI 294 is operating, I use the SkyWire. The only way to know if that is the problem, is to try a hard-wired connection.

 

Larry



#9 rockethead26

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 11:55 PM

Hi Jim

 

Unfortunately, USB is not as reliable as we would like. If you have anything USB 3 connected, like a camera, try disconnecting it and see if the problem goes away. If you have access to a Mac with SS on it, try using a USB cable or a USB cable with a USB to Serial adapter. You will need an FTDI adapter like A-P sells. If you are using an iPad or iPhone, you will need the SkyWire cable to test if that is the problem. I now only use WiFi on my CP4 box if there is no camera. If my ASI 294 is operating, I use the SkyWire. The only way to know if that is the problem, is to try a hard-wired connection.

 

Larry

HI Larry,

 

No camera, no USB cables, nothing except CP4 and wireless iPad. It hasn't repeated tonight in our prep before the training session. I'll see what happens in the next two hours.



#10 NMBob

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 12:26 PM

HI Larry,

 

No camera, no USB cables, nothing except CP4 and wireless iPad. It hasn't repeated tonight in our prep before the training session. I'll see what happens in the next two hours.

Oh yeah, wireless interference. How many networks are in the area? Celestron says to tell your phone/tablet to "forget" all wireless networks, except the one you want to use, like for an Evolution mount. That way, in your case, if any disconnection occurs the iPad will try to reconnect to the CP4 network and only the CP4 network. On a MacBook you can arrange the wifi networks in order of preference, so it won't try to connect to your house (or other) network first, but you can't do that on iOS.


Edited by NMBob, 23 August 2019 - 12:29 PM.

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#11 rockethead26

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 03:43 PM

Oh yeah, wireless interference. How many networks are in the area? Celestron says to tell your phone/tablet to "forget" all wireless networks, except the one you want to use, like for an Evolution mount. That way, in your case, if any disconnection occurs the iPad will try to reconnect to the CP4 network and only the CP4 network. On a MacBook you can arrange the wifi networks in order of preference, so it won't try to connect to your house (or other) network first, but you can't do that on iOS.

Good idea, Bob. We had already turned off auto connect on extraneous wifi bands, but I'll do the forget trick. That, hopefully, will help.

 

Thanks!



#12 rockethead26

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:13 PM

Even with other WiFi channels being forgotten, I still get lockup of the slew buttons. I didn't see the red issue last night, but it's frustrating. I'm going to try a different iPad Sun night and see it its the touch screen on that one iPad that. is the problem. Nothing back fro the Sky Safari forum folks yet.


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#13 rockethead26

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:34 PM

Sky Safari 9?  Did you mean 6?

Yes, sorry. I did better on my first post which I forgot to submit.



#14 NMBob

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 03:27 PM

Even with other WiFi channels being forgotten, I still get lockup of the slew buttons. I didn't see the red issue last night, but it's frustrating. I'm going to try a different iPad Sun night and see it its the touch screen on that one iPad that. is the problem. Nothing back fro the Sky Safari forum folks yet.

 

Gosh. It sounds just like you ARE talking to an Evolution mount. With their "bad" wifi the display in SF just lock up at random times, but usually just for a few seconds or less. When slewing the display freezes and then jumps to where the mount is pointing. The slew buttons stick "on", or won't come "on". You can't bring up different menus and stuff. The Celestron mounts just went from quite bad behavior back to good behavior with a recent firmware update, so your trouble is probably just some software problem, especially if it slews and does things well with the hand paddle. You have one, right? :)

 

With my Mach 1 I usually only have the readout rate set to 2/sec. It's always been really smooth. There are a few odd settings if you get into the controller through the Ethernet port and the setup web pages. You might take a look in there for things to fiddle with. I think they are mostly to do with getting connected vs. running. My mount currently in storage.



#15 rockethead26

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 06:17 PM

Gosh. It sounds just like you ARE talking to an Evolution mount. With their "bad" wifi the display in SF just lock up at random times, but usually just for a few seconds or less. When slewing the display freezes and then jumps to where the mount is pointing. The slew buttons stick "on", or won't come "on". You can't bring up different menus and stuff. The Celestron mounts just went from quite bad behavior back to good behavior with a recent firmware update, so your trouble is probably just some software problem, especially if it slews and does things well with the hand paddle. You have one, right? smile.gif

 

With my Mach 1 I usually only have the readout rate set to 2/sec. It's always been really smooth. There are a few odd settings if you get into the controller through the Ethernet port and the setup web pages. You might take a look in there for things to fiddle with. I think they are mostly to do with getting connected vs. running. My mount currently in storage.

Yeah, Bob, the 1100GTO works great with the hand paddle. I have the readout at 4/sec now, I'll reduce that to 2/sec for tonight's training and see if that helps. Thanks for the great suggestions.



#16 rockethead26

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:05 AM

Still getting a lot of dropouts on the 1100 GTO even with the sampling set to 2/sec. I'm going to try going higher as for the 32" with Servo-Cat/Nexus-iPad/Sky Safari  system, Mike Zammit of Starstructure had us set the rate at 10 and dropouts are rare. Following that, I will try a different iPad. The investigation continues.



#17 NMBob

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:02 PM

Well, shoot. I guess another iPad is next.

 

Slightly low supply voltage, or maybe it dips when slewing? That's always a popular suggestion on the A-P email list when things are intermittently goofy. But that would probably make hand controller ops funny too.


Edited by NMBob, 26 August 2019 - 01:16 PM.


#18 rockethead26

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:45 PM

Well, shoot. I guess another iPad is next.

 

Slightly low supply voltage, or maybe it dips when slewing? That's always a popular suggestion on the A-P email list when things are intermittently goofy. But that would probably make hand controller ops funny too.

We use the Powerwerx Variable Power Supply sold by A-P. The Power supply is in an adjacent room with 12-gauge wire out to the telescopes (maybe about 40 ft) to minimize voltage drops. We do run it it variable mode where the voltage can float from 5v to 16v as needed. I wonder if I should try using the fixed 14.1v setting? That could be a factor. Communication drops always happen during slewing.  I'll have to give that a try tonight before resorting to another iPad. Thanks again.



#19 NMBob

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:35 PM

Oh yeah. I was thinking of the voltage drop affecting the motors, but I guess it could take out the communication first if the voltage dipped. You might be on to something. At 14V you should still be way over 13V at 2.5A. (That's all they take? That's pretty good!) You might slap a Fluke on there somewhere just to make sure the power supply is handling it, but that Powerwerx stuff is usually pretty good. If there are crimped-on rings and power strips and stuff there could be a simple loose connection eating up some voltage.



#20 rockethead26

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 10:43 AM

I checked the Powerwerks last night and it turns out that they were indeed on the variable setting , but that the limit had been set at 13.8v. I increased that to 16.4v, but we still experienced dropouts and it happened with both iPads we were using on two different scopes last night, so it's not the iPads. Tomorrow night I'm going to try increasing the sample rate higher than 4/sec. That's the last thing I know to try. We can certainly deal with the disconnects and button freezes, but it would really be nice if we didn't have to.

 

Still no suggestions on the Sky Safari Community Forum.



#21 NMBob

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 06:44 PM

Maybe there’s not enough oxygen for the mounts up there in Flag, or they want to be replaced, because they know winter is coming. Is USNO jamming your WiFi? :)

Since it is bothering multiple things that’s just weird. You’ve got 3 or 4 (max) bars, right? iOS is recent? You can log the CP4 on to an external network/access point and then connect the iPad to that network. I tried to do it - in a hurry - once, but didn’t get it figured out. That does give you an extra layer of protection from darling little 12 year old terrorists with iPhones getting access to the mount. There are programs that will show you all of the WiFi networks available...I guess just looking at the list of networks to connect to would show most of them. Is there some stray network, like from an unused thing, or even one of the new mounts, flooding the area? There could just be channel conflicts. I don’t know how smart mounts are about that kind of thing. I don’t know if you can adjust the radio power of mounts like regular house access points. They could be turned way down. The antenna connection in the CP4 box could be disconnected or loose.

It should/is capable of being buttery smooth, so no compromising! Yet. Gee. I’ve just never had any problem with A-P stuff. I guess you could give them a call. They would for sure have some troubleshooting tips. I can’t remember if the CP4 keeps a log of messages or not. I’ve never had to look at it.



#22 rockethead26

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 02:22 AM

Problem appears solved. Set the sample rate to 10/sec on all three iPads (one for each A-P mounted scope) and had not one single disconnect or loss of button control during the training session tonight with 8 trainees and slewing at all speeds operated much more smoothly.

 

We have each iPad set to auto connect with only it's matched wifi access point so it cannot drop the mounts access point for another.

 

It took a while, but it looks like all is well on Mars Hill.



#23 NMBob

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:12 AM

Yay! Never would have guessed that as being a problem. I only run mine at 2/sec and it works great. Huh! Well good good! I'm in town and brought my CP4 and hand controller just in case...but never mind! :)


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#24 rockethead26

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 10:02 AM

Yay! Never would have guessed that as being a problem. I only run mine at 2/sec and it works great. Huh! Well good good! I'm in town and brought my CP4 and hand controller just in case...but never mind! smile.gif

Thanks for thinking of me. Still don't know why the slew speed indicator turns red occasionally. I reserve final judgement on the 10/sec setting until we get more nights under our belt.

 

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