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CEM60 Meridian Flip Failure - Again

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#1 Dynan

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 11:43 AM

I had this trouble before with a CEM60-EC. I would get this SGP error:

 

ASCOM Telescope: Failed to flip because starting pier side and ending pier side are the same!

 

To cure this I was instructed to set the CEM60-EC in iOptron Commander to 2° (8 minutes past as 1° sidereal = 4 minutes) past meridian, with flip at meridian behavior as 'Flip', not Stop. I then set SGP Auto Meridian Flip at 7 minutes past meridian. This assured that SGP was controlling the flip, and that the target center was surely past meridian. All worked fine.

 

But now I have a CEM60 (Non-EC) and it repeatedly fails to flip. Same error as bolded above. I have tried 6,7, and 8 minute entries in SGP without success. (I'm testing now, during the day, if you want an idea tried right away.)

 

The mount WILL flip when it hits the 2° (8 minutes) set in the Commander. But, again, will NOT flip in SGP.

 

It there something that causes a time miscommunication? My computer and Commander are time synced. The time difference between the mount (and computer) and Commander is less than one second. So I don't believe it is a time-lag problem.

 

The mount successfully searches zero. Goto's after a three point calibration are perfect. I can find nothing that would cause this in the mount or program function. The mount is used so there might have been a pier collision in its past. Would this knock something out if alignment? (As I said, it searches Zero Position successfully and returns there once searched.)

 

If you happen to use both a CEM60 (Non-EC preferably) and SGP, can you post your settings you have in Commander (or Hand Controller), and SGP? Actually any sequence program's setting that work would be appreciated.

 

Any ideas?

 

EDIT: Installed all newest firmware, mount and HC. Commander and ASCOM are the latest versions.


Edited by Dynan, 18 October 2020 - 11:58 AM.


#2 gotak

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 11:58 AM

Did you set it to wait for flip? SGP needs to be told not to start an image unless there's enough time.

Also i set SGP to flip at Meridian and the CEM to flip 3 minutes past.

Edited by gotak, 18 October 2020 - 11:59 AM.


#3 Dynan

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 12:24 PM

I DO have "Wait" checked. It operates perfectly.

 

I just failed a flip with: CEM at 1° and SGP at 0 minutes. bangbang.gif



#4 Dynan

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 12:42 PM

Gotak...can I ask what version of ASCOM and Commander you are using?

 

I have (newest from iOptron download):

 

Commander 5.75

 

ASCOM: 6.5.0.3091


Edited by Dynan, 18 October 2020 - 05:03 PM.


#5 ryanha

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 05:01 PM

Have you tried to set the meridian on CEM to 0 and STOP and see if SGP will ever do the meridian flip itself?

 

Also, are you sequencing when you are testing?  I use NINA not SGP but I think that maybe it will not flip unless it is actively sequencing a target?

 

--Ryan


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#6 Dynan

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 05:04 PM

I am sequencing...profusely lol.gif

 

If all keeps failing, I'll try your suggestion. Thanks!



#7 Dynan

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 05:55 PM

I dropped back to a previous version of ASCOM driver: iOptron_ASCOM_DriverInstaller5731

 

It's more than a year old so it's bound to have some problems. But I cannot get the newest ASCOM driver to flip.

 

Still investigating the driver above....



#8 gotak

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:12 PM

Gotak...can I ask what version of ASCOM and Commander you are using?

 

I have (newest from iOptron download):

 

Commander 5.75

 

ASCOM: 6.5.0.3091

5.7.3.1

 

I suggest you set CEM to flip 5 degrees past and let SGP do it at 0. SGP is a bit slow. Also your mount settling time is set long enough? I suggest 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make other stuff slower but ensure the mount has time to do stuff before SGP try to do something else.

 

Also you can check your SGP logs to see if it recorded what the issue was.


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#9 Dynan

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 07:00 PM

I'll give that a try! Thanks G!

 

Just realized that I can't go past 2° because of pier collision. Can't do half a degree.


Edited by Dynan, 18 October 2020 - 07:02 PM.


#10 RossW

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:02 PM

5.7.3.1

 

I suggest you set CEM to flip 5 degrees past and let SGP do it at 0. SGP is a bit slow. Also your mount settling time is set long enough? I suggest 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make other stuff slower but ensure the mount has time to do stuff before SGP try to do something else.

 

Also you can check your SGP logs to see if it recorded what the issue was.

I recommend you never have a mount flip at zero degrees. This is an edge case where, due to timebase differences between the mount and computer, it is possible for the mount to be still pointing slightly on the east side when SGP tells it to "flip" (SGP "flip" is just a slew actually), meaning the mount never flips, it simply slews to the same side of the meridian.

 

I suggest you set SGP to flip at least 1 minute after the meridian to avoid such edge cases, and set your mount to flip well after SGP's setting; 4 to 8 minutes (1 to 2 degrees) should be ok if you have no pier collision  problems. I've never had problems with any of my mounts following the above rules.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross


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#11 gotak

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 11:19 PM

I recommend you never have a mount flip at zero degrees. This is an edge case where, due to timebase differences between the mount and computer, it is possible for the mount to be still pointing slightly on the east side when SGP tells it to "flip" (SGP "flip" is just a slew actually), meaning the mount never flips, it simply slews to the same side of the meridian.

 

I suggest you set SGP to flip at least 1 minute after the meridian to avoid such edge cases, and set your mount to flip well after SGP's setting; 4 to 8 minutes (1 to 2 degrees) should be ok if you have no pier collision  problems. I've never had problems with any of my mounts following the above rules.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

And you are correct as I actually have SGP set to do it 1 minute past and commander at 5. Been I guess 3 years since I set it.


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#12 Dynan

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 01:02 PM

I still fail at all 27 (9 x 3) settings from:

 

SGP 0 - 8 minutes

 

Commander 0 - 2°

 

I have started a thread on SGP forum and subscribed for $59 to hopefully get the 'new and improved premium support'. Heck, I'll forego the premium for a successful flip!

 

I DO have to mention that two (possibly three) thing have changed since my last successful meridian flip setup:

 

Windows Update 1909

 

One or both of the following may have changed:

 

ASCOM driver for CEM60 from iOptron

 

(Mounts are no longer listed as iOptron ASCOM Driver for Mount, but a long name starting with "iOptron CEM60/..."

 

So these changes might contain changes that caused this reoccurrence of this problem. I'll see what SGP says.



#13 RossW

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:17 AM

My computer and Commander are time synced. The time difference between the mount (and computer) and Commander is less than one second. So I don't believe it is a time-lag problem.

 

 

Does the hand controller show the time, GMT offset, and daylight saving settings to be correct? They can change when you install new firmware.


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#14 Dynan

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:33 AM

Thanks, Ross.

 

I had remounted the CEM60 onto the pier last week and had trouble aligning initially. At that time I double checked the time zone offset from GMT and DST setting. All were ok.

 

I don't know if I have all the drivers (ASCOM, CEM60) from when it worked previously. I'll try dropping back to what worked, including Win 10 updates.

 

In searching just now I ran across Cone Error. Could this be the culprit. I've never checked it. Not sure this would be a problem since my Zero Position and 3 point alignment turn out perfectly for goto's.

 

I'm just grasping at straws now. I did drop back the CEM60's drivers and got sporadic success on flips...very sporadic...like one in twenty. I can't explain that.

 

Curiouser and curiouser...



#15 rgsalinger

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:29 PM

All that a meridian flip consists of is a GOTO command. When you issue a GOTO command either an iOptron mount flips or it doesn't. That's how both of my iOptron mounts work(ed). The "Meridian Behavior" box is about what to do when TRACKING reaches . You can prove this yourself by setting it to "STOP" and then doing a slew to the other side of the sky. 

 

So, I just set the Commander Meridian Behavior setting to STOP at 0 degrees --- NOT to flip. That is the key, I think, to solving your problem. That's exactly how I have my current CEM120EC2 set and if flips perfectly 100 percent of the time. You want SGP to order a flip a couple of minutes after the time where the mount has stopped. Set up SGP to flip 10 minutes late and I think you'll have your problem solved. 

 

FWIW I use the same settings in my Paramount. The mount stops at the meridian and then the automation program sends a GOTO the target a few seconds later. I used the same settings in my Mach 1 and in my AZ/EQ6. I always stop the mount at the meridian and then use the automation program to flip it. 

 

Once you get it working then that's the time to reduce the time between the stop and the flip. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#16 Dynan

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:40 PM

THAT makes SENSE! Can't wait to give it a try.

Thanks Ross!



#17 rgsalinger

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 08:29 PM

I think that you got the same advice on the SGP forum because I looked over there and saw a post that looked like yours. Incidentally, Ross W makes a good point about timing. I have my rigs set to track 0 and flip 0 and it works fine. That's because they get their time from the computer not from an external source. If your computer and the CEM60 have different times then, depending on what the error is, there can be problems getting the flip to work. That's why I pulled the GPS from my CEM120EC2 - I sync the mount from the computer each night. With my Paramount I have the SKYX which controls the mount set to take it's time from the computer. 

Rgrds-Ross


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#18 Dynan

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 08:59 PM

I have the mount synced to the computer in Commander. There showed only a couple seconds differential at most.

 

Going to try your advice next chance...Clouds have other ideas presently.



#19 benklerk

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 09:02 PM

Dynan,

 

I did have issues with my CEM120EC for a median flip using SGP and commander. I just set in commander 5 deg and in SGP 3 deg and from that it worked. But the biggest issue I have with SGP is it will not park the telescope it fails all the time. So I think their could be some compatibility issues with commander and imaging software, the problem also happens when I try the demo version of voyager.

 

But as I'm sending back my mount for a refund due to other problems, I can't really add much more then that I will never deal or buy a Ioptron again for long focal length telescopes.


Edited by benklerk, 20 October 2020 - 09:51 PM.

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#20 rgsalinger

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:05 PM

Makes me happy that I don't use SGP.

 

I've never had a single problem with my CEM120EC2 and flips but I don't use SGP. The key, though, is to set the mount behavior to STOP tracking at whatever point you would be looking to do a flip. Then set the imaging program to a later time and the mount must flip.

 

What happens after that is another matter. The system needs to adjust itself and find a guide star, not just flip the mount. One of my friends gets his AP mount to flip using SGP but it won't center the object afterward. My suspicion is that he needs some kind of pointing model or a all sky plate solving function. 

 

The message that the OP is getting is that when SGP sends the goto command, the slew is to the same "side of pier" and so it just fails.  


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#21 Dynan

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:33 PM

"The message that the OP is getting is that when SGP sends the goto command, the slew is to the same "side of pier" and so it just fails."

 

So is there a cure for this or any diagnoses possible?



#22 suvowner

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:59 PM

here are my settings and I have had no issue with flip.

 

Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 10.57.36 PM.jpg


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#23 Dynan

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 11:07 PM

Thank Suv. I'll need all the angles I can get when I get to the pier again. Luckily I can test this out during the day.



#24 rgsalinger

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:18 AM

If the parameters that suvowner reported work, then ignore everything I've suggested. He has an 60EC and I have a 120ED. There's some difference between either the CEM120 and the CEM60 and or I'm misreading both the SGP documentation and the advice that the OP got on the SGP forum. 

 

When you set the mount to track past the meridian you are telling it to report east side of pier to and planetarium program for any slew up to 15 degrees past the meridian. So, when the target hits the meridian, the mount will just keep tracking. When SGP sends a goto to the target when it crosses the meridian, the mount will not flip because that slew does not result in a change in side of pier. That's how I understand ASCOM to work.

 

I've got both my mounts set up so that the mounts stop at the meridian and then the goto command issued a few seconds later results in a flip. That's because I'm asking the mount to go to a place in the sky that's on the other side of the pier. My settings also worked with both my old AZ/EQ6 and my Mach 1 GTO so I'm baffled at this point. 

 

I would note that the OP got the same advice from Jared on the SGP forum as what I gave out earlier. I think that Jared also has a 120. So that may actually reinforce the idea that there is some difference in how the commander settings work between the two mounts. I know that the CEM120 uses a different driver and so the behavior of the settings may be different. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

 

 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#25 imtl

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 02:30 AM

Hi Daniel,

 

As suvowner posted his screenshots. I use more or less the same parameters with my CEM60 (non EC) and SGP.

I use 10 deg passed meridian in commander and flip (not stop). In SGP I put anywhere between 0-20 minutes passed meridian (depends on which part of the sky I image. I can push it sometimes even more). Wait for flip. Autocenter after flip.

 

However I take down the take auto close delay after flip to zero. Why do I need for SGP to wait 30 seconds?!

 

I never had an issue flipping with SGP and CEM60 using these parameters.

 

Hope it helps you


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