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Live Stacking with the ASIAIR Pro

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#26 S.Boerner

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 10:35 AM

For David or anyone else who can answer regarding the Lynx Astro FTDI EQDIR USB cable...

 

I've ordered a Lynx cable.  Do I need to do anything special on either the ASIAir's RPi or the AZ-GTi to make the connection over the Lynx cable?  Since it is doing INDI I assume that Synscan Pro isn't part of the mix.  Can you point me to any directions that will walk me through the process? 

 

TIA



#27 SpaceOddities

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 11:38 AM

For David or anyone else who can answer regarding the Lynx Astro FTDI EQDIR USB cable...

 

I've ordered a Lynx cable.  Do I need to do anything special on either the ASIAir's RPi or the AZ-GTi to make the connection over the Lynx cable?  Since it is doing INDI I assume that Synscan Pro isn't part of the mix.  Can you point me to any directions that will walk me through the process? 

 

TIA

I'm using the same setup as you, and it's really straightforward:

  • Plug the cable into both devices and turn them on
  • In the ASIAIR app, on the startup screen, select "EQMod Mount" as a mount
  • In the "Telescope Settings" menu, you should see the automatic settings "Serial USB-RS232" and "Baud 9600"
  • In the main screen, change the speed to 800x and test if the mount is moving when you press the arrows

That's all! Hope that helps :)


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#28 wenjha

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 10:53 PM

here is the manual how to connect AZGTI

https://astronomy-im...cher_AZ-GTI.pdf


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#29 davidparks

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 11:49 PM

and some more...

 

Instructions:  Connecting ASIAIR Pro and AZGTi


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#30 jonbosley

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 08:33 PM

Looks great just wish it worked with none Zwo camera’s via Ascom drivers as most other software does. Maybe Zwo should consider this to appeal to a much wider market. 
 



#31 S.Boerner

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 08:43 PM

Looks great just wish it worked with none Zwo camera’s via Ascom drivers as most other software does. Maybe Zwo should consider this to appeal to a much wider market. 
 

An ASIAir runs on a Raspberry Pi with Linux using INDIASCOM isn't part of the mix.
 



#32 wrnchhead

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 09:32 PM

The biggest thing I notice about the Pro is the speed. Plate solves in 2 seconds! Also love the mounting. I am going to use it to power my EAF (one less wire down to my power supply) but for some insane reason, it's been clear every night since I got it, so it's been working non stop. 


Edited by wrnchhead, 20 April 2020 - 09:32 PM.


#33 S.Boerner

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 09:38 AM

I ordered a Lynx Astro FTDI EQDIR USB and it is still in transit.

 

As a curiosity is there a way to set up the AZ-GTi in Alt/AZ with the ASIAir Pro or is it only EQ on a wedge with EQMOD mount?  

 

Tks



#34 ccs_hello

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 09:59 AM

EQMOD, as far as I know, does not support AltAz mode of mount operation.



#35 SpaceOddities

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 06:29 AM

With the ASIAIR v1, you can't use the AZ-GTi in AZ mode. Can't comment for the ASIAIR Pro, but I doubt there's a difference anyway, the software is essentially the same.

 

As far as I know, only the SynScan app allows you to select between AZ or EQ modes.


Edited by SpaceOddities, 23 April 2020 - 06:30 AM.


#36 davidparks

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 07:32 AM

Correct.  Neither the Guiding or the GoTo would work properly for ASIAIR with the GTi in AZ Mode.

 

You could, however, control the mount via other method, such as Synscan or SkySafari, and still use the ASIAIR for Camera/Focus/Filter Live Stacking/Sequencing.   Particularly with the anticipated and pending release of direct GTi support in SkySafari.



#37 descott12

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 07:48 AM

great review and that device seems to be incredibly well designed and made.
blows away the stellina-type devices and seems almost as easy to use
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#38 S.Boerner

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 07:59 AM

I kind of expected that it was going to be EQ only.

 

I do a lot of outreach.  Once things open up and it starts again, I think I'll be a bit hesitant about letting people look though/touch my scope.  I can't see wiping down things with Chlorox wipes between users.frown.gif   I think that EAA using a ZWO camera, my GTi, and ASIAir just might be the way to go to make it safe for all.  The only problem I see is getting polar aligned as we move towards summer's shorter nights.  It doesn't get dark enough here to really do an EQ polar alignment until after 9:30 p.m. but people start showing up at 8 p.m.  With Alt/Az I can usually get going faster with a compass and level.  That's why I asked the question.

 

FWIW I'm going to use an Android ChromeBook because a charge will get me about 5hrs.  It can run the ASIAir app, but SynScan Pro crashes as it opens.    I do want to control the GTi with the ASIAir for plate solving.   Looks like I'll be doing EQ.

 

Tks to all who responded.


Edited by S.Boerner, 23 April 2020 - 08:44 AM.

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#39 TXDigiSLR

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 01:30 AM

Just received my ASIAIR Pro and I have not had the time (or clear skies) to get it out and see it in action yet.  I do have a few questions though, since as pointed out, there is no manual for the Pro yet, maybe someone here can answer...

 

I have an ASI120mm-s (USB3) for a guid camera, 1600mm Pro for imaging (USB 3), a ZWO EAF (USB2) and ZWO EFW (USB2) and an EQ-6R Pro mount (Newer version with the USB Port)

 

I figure the cameras will take both the USB3 Ports on the ASIAIR, the EAF and EFW will plug into the USB Hub on the ASI1600, and the mount will plug into one of the USB2 ports.  This leaves me with one open USB 2 port.   The ASIAIR comes with a 64 Gig USB(3) stick...   Will this work properly if I plug it into a USB2 port...  Will the data aquisition keep up?  Should I plug the 120mm-s into a USB2 Port since I'm just using it to guide?

 

Finally, can I take the 32Gig MicroSD card and move the OS onto say, a 256Gig card, and just not worry about additional storage on a USB stick?

 

I've read that backing up the original MicroSD card onto a larger than 32 Gig card will still only show a 32 Gig card because of how the image is actually copied to the new card...  Is there a way around this?  I put the micro CF card into a card reader and it appears as though there are only a few bytes of data on the card, although there really is Gig of data copied on the backup image.  (perhaps simply hidden files?)

 

Thanks in advnace for any info!


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#40 Ulmish

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 09:46 AM

Thanks, David – as usual, that is very useful information.  It was really helpful getting me started with ASIAir.

 

I finally got outside and set up my ASIAIR Pro, AT72EDii scope, Az-GTi mount (wired connection) and ASI294mc camera.  I’m using the same iOptron EQ base as well. The Astro-Tech .8x reducer/flattener I ordered back in November finally arrived (no doubt delayed by all the virus shenanigans), and I got the optical train set up.  Then I went out the other night to try it out and see if I could get a photo of comet Neowise.

 

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to do the polar alignment.  The process is a little tedious with the EQ base, especially adjusting the elevation, but after 5 minutes of fiddling I got a good result.  The Az-GTi seemed to track nicely, though my exposures were 30 seconds or less.  The reducer/flattener looks pretty good at the edges too, considering the large size of the 294 sensor.  The plate solving feature is great – it’s fast and even if the mount is a little off in the GoTo, it does a good job centering.

So I created a custom object for the comet by entering the RA and Dec, and bingo – there was Neowise on the screen. My stack was a total of 200 seconds (20x10 second exposures).  Although I didn’t do any darks or flats, I’m happy with the photo for a first try.

I did run into a few curiosities, though:

 

1. I did a GoTo to the moon, which was just a sliver up low on the horizon.  But I was informed that the object was below the horizon and wouldn’t take me there!  I haven’t checked yet, but maybe there is a setting in the Az-GTi for minimum elevation?  Other than that I can’t think of any explanation.  The time, date and location were correct, and I was using sidereal tracking.

 

2. When I set up the optical train between the flattener to the ASI294, I made sure I had the requisite 55mm spacing.  In the AsiAir connection screen, I entered in 344mm for focal length, which is the AT72EDii’s 430mm focal length multiplied by 0.8 for the reducer.  The next time I powered up my ASIAir, I noticed it had changed the focal length to 347mm – presumably the plate solving figured out the actual focal length and updated it, which is nice.  I guess that means my spacing is pretty close.

 

Neowise-20x10sec-1x1-gain195.JPG

 

 

3. I saved the stacks I made to the SD card, which ASIAir saves in FITS format.  I wasn’t expecting this, and simply wanted to save a JPG.  After the fact I realized I could have just done a screen snapshot from the tablet (I’m using a Kindle Fire HD10 with Google Play added).  So I had to stumble around finding a tool to display the file.  I found Zwo’s ASIStudio, which has a FITS viewer, but am curious what others are using to view and process the FITS files from ASIAir?

 

All in all, I thought it was a successful night.  ASIAir seemed easier to use than Sharpcap.  I’ve got nothing against Sharpcap, it is an excellent piece of software but it has so many options and features it can be daunting to use.  ASIAir provides a very streamlined experience, by comparison.

 

BTW, I did notice that Zwo now has a user manual for the ASIAir Pro at https://astronomy-im...User_Manual.pdf


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#41 davidparks

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 01:06 PM

It’s been awhile, and I lost track of this thread apparently...  but here’s some updates:

 

The ASIAIR Pro continues to work flawlessly, and really very fast and easy to get setup, aligned, and imaging.  The ASIAIR Pro pretty much has a permanent home on my Redcat 51 mounted on the AZGTi, with my Z73 on the CEM40 being controlled by NINA.  Also, my “usual” is to have the EFW and ASI294 riding on the Redcat, while the ASI2600 with filter drawer is on the Z73.  However, for my widest views for framing both the Heart and Soul,  or Lagoon/Trifid, or even a nice framing of M31, I will sometimes use the ASI2600 on the Redcat.

 

Using the ASIAIR Pro on the Redcat with the 2600, EAF and OAG is a real joy.  This week while camping I mounted it on the CEM40 for a  look at Neowise.  Having the ASIAIR Pro makes setup remotely in the field so easy, without any cable fuss and it’s wonderful to just flip open the iPad and get right into Live Stacking.

Redcat / CEM40 / ASI2600 / ASIAIR Pro
 

 I was actually surprised to find C/2020 F3 in the ASIAIR Pro database.. also surprising was just how BIG and LONG the comet tail is!  The ASIAIR Pro makes it easy to “Center Here” by just long-pressing the screen anywhere on your image, so it was easy to ‘tweak’ my view in order to capture more of the tail.

Redcat / CEM40 / ASI2600 / ASIAIR Pro
 
 
 

 


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#42 descott12

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 01:16 PM

 

It’s been awhile, and I lost track of this thread apparently...  but here’s some updates:

 

The ASIAIR Pro continues to work flawlessly, and really very fast and easy to get setup, aligned, and imaging.  The ASIAIR Pro pretty much has a permanent home on my Redcat 51 mounted on the AZGTi, with my Z73 on the CEM40 being controlled by NINA.  Also, my “usual” is to have the EFW and ASI294 riding on the Redcat, while the ASI2600 with filter drawer is on the Z73.  However, for my widest views for framing both the Heart and Soul,  or Lagoon/Trifid, or even a nice framing of M31, I will sometimes use the ASI2600 on the Redcat.

 

Using the ASIAIR Pro on the Redcat with the 2600, EAF and OAG is a real joy.  This week while camping I mounted it on the CEM40 for a  look at Neowise.  Having the ASIAIR Pro makes setup remotely in the field so easy, without any cable fuss and it’s wonderful to just flip open the iPad and get right into Live Stacking.

 
 

 I was actually surprised to find C/2020 F3 in the ASIAIR Pro database.. also surprising was just how BIG and LONG the comet tail is!  The ASIAIR Pro makes it easy to “Center Here” by just long-pressing the screen anywhere on your image, so it was easy to ‘tweak’ my view in order to capture more of the tail.

 
 
After Neowise set into the soup I went ahead and took a quick peek to the south...
 
 
 
 

 

 

All I can say is WOW! I am guessing/hoping you have some really dark skies because I can't come close to those images.



#43 davidparks

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 01:18 PM

 The only problem I see is getting polar aligned as we move towards summer's shorter nights.  It doesn't get dark enough here to really do an EQ polar alignment until after 9:30 p.m. but people start showing up at 8 p.m.  With Alt/Az I can usually get going faster with a compass and level.  That's why I asked the question.

 

I can usually get EQ alignment with ASIAIR Pro a bit before I can actually see stars visually...  about the time I can just make out Vega I think...  In any case, often your EQ Mount is already set real close if not spot on for Declination, having not moved from the night before/last time you used... so setting up with a compass pointing North generally gets you real close, and sometimes that’s all you need for ASIAIR Pro’s Platesolving.   You might be able to GoTo and Platesolve well enough to “get going“ for those early show people, And I’ve been able to guide out a 6degree error with ASIAIR.  You can do a proper Polar Alignment a bit later...  Just a thought.



#44 davidparks

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 01:24 PM

All I can say is WOW! I am guessing/hoping you have some really dark skies because I can't come close to those images.

SQM 20.57 for those particular shots, at a “Dark Sky” recreation area here in Michigan.   Hudson Lake Recreation Area.

 

Nothing beats a dark sky waytogo.gif, although, under my normal Bortle 6 city skies, and particularly when using a Duo Band filter I find shooting Nebula quite satisfying.

Veil - Redcat 51, ASI294, ASIAIR
Sadr/Crescent

Edited by davidparks, 25 July 2020 - 01:46 PM.

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#45 Ulmish

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 01:29 PM

David,

 

Very nice photo of Neowise - sure puts mine to shame!  The ion trail really stands out.  Funny, I never thought to look in the database for the comet so I did it the hard way. Thanks for the tip about recentering with a long press, that's very useful.

 

Question:  Do you disable the wireless on your Az-GTi, since you're running it through the wired/USB connection?  I see the AP in the list when I connect my tablet to the ASIAir, seems like it is a waste to have it turned on.



#46 davidparks

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 02:01 PM

Roger, great question!  Nope, I do not disable the GTi wireless AP, and like you, I see it in the list when I am connecting to the ASIAIR.  I leave it on as more or less a “back-door” to connect if something goes wrong or the GTi loses it’s mind... which it never has... still, it doesn’t hurt just in case.

 

The GTi runs at 2.4ghz, and I run the AIR at 5Ghz, so there isn’t any interference or degradation because of it’s presence.

 

Also, I still use that GTi wireless connection for Beta Testing SkySafari.

 

D


Edited by davidparks, 25 July 2020 - 02:02 PM.


#47 Tony Bonanno

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Posted 26 July 2020 - 01:42 PM

Wow, some great information here in this thread for an EAA newby.  I just downloaded the manual for the ASIAIR PRO today.  Was really interested in seeing if it would connect to my CPC 9.25 Edge mount.  Apparently it does!  I did some quick tests in the garage and it looks like it will control my ALT AZ  mounts just fine (I also have a 6SE).  Unfortunately, it is monsoon season here in Santa Fe, so I haven't had a chance to try out anything under the stars yet.  Can't wait for the clouds to clear!   Now, if only the Night Owl .4x Edge reducer would just become reality and ship! (I'm on the waiting list).

Really was blown away by David Parks images with his RedCat setup.  I've always been a visual amateur and only recently (during the pandemic lockdown) decided to learn about EAA and astro cameras, etc.  I'm trying to do what I can with my current scopes, but after seeing David's work, I'm thinking maybe I should be looking at getting a nice compact refractor someday.

 

Thanks everyone...

 

 


Edited by Tony Bonanno, 26 July 2020 - 01:44 PM.


#48 JMW

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Posted 26 July 2020 - 07:45 PM

I got my tracking number for my ASIAir Pro. I ordered it with the finder and small guide camera. I ordered it about 6 weeks ago. 

 

I am glad to see others having success with theirs. Keep up the postings.



#49 davidparks

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 11:14 AM

Reposting with exposure time info:

 

William Optics Redcat 51
ZWO ASI2600MC Pro

iOptron CEM40
ZWO ASIAIR Pro
ZWO EAF
ZWO OAG/ASI290MM Mini

 

Lagoon & Trifid (M8/M20)
July 24th, 2020
6 x 300 seconds

 

These images are NOT processed, they are just iPad screenshots of the ASIAIR Pro Live Stacking, resized from 6248x4176 to 1024x684 and converted to JPG for posting.

Redcat / CEM40 / ASI2600 / ASIAIR Pro
Redcat / CEM40 / ASI2600 / ASIAIR Pro
Redcat / CEM40 / ASI2600 / ASIAIR Pro

Edited by davidparks, 27 July 2020 - 11:19 AM.

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#50 stnagy

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 11:05 PM

Random question to those on this thread. I currently have a dark library I use for EAA in Sharpcap with darks in PNG format (same for flats). Would I need new calibration frames in FITS format to use with the ASIAIR Pro, or can I use the existing library?




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