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Setting iOptron ASCOM driver to "SYNC ALIGN"

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#1 Domer

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 11:02 AM

I have a CEM40 and am trying to use BackyardEOS (BYE) to plate-solve and align the mount.  I have the plate-solving with ASTAP working now, but when the process completes BYE is supposed to sync the mount to correct the pointing error.  That's not happening.  I posted this on the BYE forum and was told, "you need to make sure you set your telescope ASCOM driver to 'SYNC ALIGN' and not 'SYNC APPEND'.  This is the most common mistake."  But I cannot find any place to make this change in the iOptron driver.  

 

Does anyone have any experience with this who can point me in the right direction?



#2 bosh60

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 12:37 PM

I believe that "Sync Align" and "Sync Append" are options with SkyWatcher mounts and the EQMOD ASCOM driver.  iOptron only has a single "sync to target" option. 


Edited by bosh60, 27 October 2020 - 12:38 PM.


#3 Domer

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 12:59 PM

I believe that "Sync Align" and "Sync Append" are options with SkyWatcher mounts and the EQMOD ASCOM driver.  iOptron only has a single "sync to target" option. 

OK, do you have any idea how I can fix this issue with BYE?  Is there something I need to change in the iOptron ASCOM driver somewhere?



#4 bosh60

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:38 PM

I am not familiar with BYE, but I can verify that the Sync command through ASCOM does work with iOptron Commander.  I have a CEM60 and use SYNC often with software that I wrote and with N.I.N.A.  Be aware that a SYNC done in one part of the sky does not necessarily improve pointing in a different part of the sky.  To test that it is working, platesolve for a particular object and sync, manually slew the scope to a  different part of the sky and then do a goto back to the same object where you previously sync'ed.  It should be well entered again if Sync worked.  But, don't expect the same pointing accuracy in other parts of the sky.  A sync is like a "one star alignment" and does not compensation for all the factors that can affect pointing accuracy. 



#5 Domer

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

Brent,

 

Thanks for the info.  For a product-for-purchase, the BYE support is severely lacking.  The administrators are rude an unhelpful.  I'm really disappointed with their responses.

 

So if BYE fails on the sync step, should I just go to the iOprton Commander and click on Sync there?  Will that force the mount to be sync'ed with Stellarium as well?

 

In any case, it sounds like I'm not going to be able to skip the 3-star alignment process if I want pointing accuracy everywhere in the sky.  So maybe the best process for me is to do this:

 

1) Polar align

2) Start 3-star alignment

    2a) Go to first star, plate-solve and center, then confirm star position

    2b) Repeat for 2nd star

    2c) Repeat for 3rd star

 

Then the mount should be aligned properly and sync'ed with Stellarium and BYE.



#6 bosh60

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 11:36 AM

So if BYE fails on the sync step, should I just go to the iOprton Commander and click on Sync there?  Will that force the mount to be sync'ed with Stellarium as well?

 

That may not work.  Before the Sync command, the commanded RA and commanded Dec must be set first.  The mount needs to know what coordinates it is syncing to.   

 

As you mention, if you want good overall pointing performance then a careful 3 star alignment is the way to start.  If I am only imaging though, I don't bother with alignment (just set home position) and plate solve every new target.  Platesolving with NINA and ASTAP is very quick and reliable. 



#7 DuncanM

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 11:49 AM

Brent,

 

Thanks for the info.  For a product-for-purchase, the BYE support is severely lacking.  The administrators are rude an unhelpful.  I'm really disappointed with their responses.

 

So if BYE fails on the sync step, should I just go to the iOprton Commander and click on Sync there?  Will that force the mount to be sync'ed with Stellarium as well?

 

In any case, it sounds like I'm not going to be able to skip the 3-star alignment process if I want pointing accuracy everywhere in the sky.  So maybe the best process for me is to do this:

 

1) Polar align

2) Start 3-star alignment

    2a) Go to first star, plate-solve and center, then confirm star position

    2b) Repeat for 2nd star

    2c) Repeat for 3rd star

 

Then the mount should be aligned properly and sync'ed with Stellarium and BYE.

I use Astroart 7 (AA7) and it's built in platesolving engine. I start with my CEM60 and 120  in the home position (mounts are PAed), then command them through AA7 to goto the first target object. Because I haven't done a 3 star alignment, the goto is typically a degree or two off target, but then I do a ~10 sec exposure and command AA7 to do a plate solve assisted goto to the target - AA7 plate solves the image, computes the offset to the target and commands the mount to move the offset amount, and 99% of the time the target is centred within a few pixels of the camera centre, on the 2nd (platesolve assisted) goto.



#8 bosh60

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 01:52 PM

Hey Domer, 

 

Just curious, what version of the ASCOM platform do you have installed?  I read in a few places the last couple days that v6.5 has plate solve/sync issues with some software whereas the users with the problems said it worked fine with v6.4sp1



#9 Domer

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 01:55 PM

Hey Domer, 

 

Just curious, what version of the ASCOM platform do you have installed?  I read in a few places the last couple days that v6.5 has plate solve/sync issues with some software whereas the users with the problems said it worked fine with v6.4sp1

Yes, I am on v6.5.  The Stellarium folks claim that v6.5 broke the mechanism they added to eliminate the need to use Stellarium Scope (see thread here).  But I hadn't heard anything about plate-solving/sync issues.  Can you point me to that information so I can read up on it?  I may have to downgrade to v6.4sp1.



#10 bosh60

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:18 PM

Yes, I am on v6.5.  The Stellarium folks claim that v6.5 broke the mechanism they added to eliminate the need to use Stellarium Scope (see thread here).  But I hadn't heard anything about plate-solving/sync issues.  Can you point me to that information so I can read up on it?  I may have to downgrade to v6.4sp1.

Here are two links concerning platesolve issues.  There was another that mentioned SYNC but I cannot find it now, but I think the first link sounds like your issue? ...  I am running v6.4sp1 myself. 

 

 

https://ascomtalk.gr...20,2,0,77615141

 

 

https://ap-gto.group...20,2,0,76842117


Edited by bosh60, 29 October 2020 - 05:19 PM.


#11 Domer

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:30 PM

I've been trying to locate v6.4 to download, but cannot seem to find it anywhere.  I can only find v6.5 for download.  Do you know where I can retrieve it?



#12 Domer

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Posted 30 October 2020 - 10:18 AM

BTW - I have no problems plate-solving with v6.5 using ASTAP, either through BackyardEOS or NINA.  But my mount does not sync  with either tool.  The Stellarium issue has also not been resolved yet.



#13 bosh60

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Posted 30 October 2020 - 02:39 PM

I've been trying to locate v6.4 to download, but cannot seem to find it anywhere.  I can only find v6.5 for download.  Do you know where I can retrieve it?

https://github.com/A.../tag/Build_2695



#14 Domer

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 11:05 AM

I tried v6.4 last night and syncing works fine. 

 

Additionally, I can use Stellarium without having to launch it through Stellarium Scope.  So something is definitely broken in v6.5.


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