Staff Assigned: Brian Brown AO-8a won't bump mount

Discussion in 'Adaptive Optics (AO)' started by mike m benjamin, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    I used my U694/FW8G/AO-8a with my cem120 mount last night and I noticed the AO wasn't bumping the mount, it would get to 100% deflection and I would have to manually restart to reset the AO lens. A clue is that I received a message when I hit start in the expose tab " dithering enabled but guider not connected, continue?"
    Not sure why I get this message as I already did a mount and AO calibration in the AO tab and it successfully moved the mount. I used the camera guiding with the built in oag in the filter wheel previously with no issue so I know everything connects and guides properly. I use pulseguide with this mount.
     
  2. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,572
    That message occurred because you had configured your Expose tab / Autosave sequence to have dithering. But that only works if you are running conventional autoguiding. When you are dithering with the AO you have to turn the Autosave dithering setting off and activate dithering in the AO control instead.

    Unfortunately that message is not related to your bumping problem.

    Bump commands are sent to the mount via the Guide tab Settings / Control Via selector. You need to make sure that is configured for "Camera Relays" if using the Tracking Interface Cable on the camera itself, or via some other method (usually Telescope or ASCOM Direct) as appropriate.

    Also we expect to release an update to MaxIm DL within the next week. It includes a bunch of improvements. It's currently in beta release, available through the Cyanogen Software section of this forum.
     
  3. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Doug,
    I connect my mount via ascom direct ( Telescope option isn't in the drop down in my copy of Maxim LT) and I have no problem doing the AO calibration, the star moves so it clearly can bump the mount. I just don't understand why it doesn't when it's tracking? Is this a know issue that is going to be fixed with the update?
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,572
  5. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Doug, I had a chance to try out the beta with the AO, still doesn't bump the mount by itself. Tonight I am using the camera without the AO, and dithering doesn't work, either via guider or mount. I have no problem calibrating either the AO or guider, I can manually move the mount using the nudge pad. It would seem these are related.
     
  6. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,959
    Mike, the final 6.21 release is out. You should go get that.
    Can you zip up your MaxIm settings and use the Upload a File button to the lower right to attach?
    The settings live in somewhere like:
    C:\Users\Mike\Documents\MaxIm DL 6\Settings

    How is the Autoguider output controlling the mount?
    Guider Relays? ASCOM Direct?
     
  7. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Hi Colin,

    The autoguider is using "telescope" to control the mount in DL pro, funny thing in LT it doesn't have that option so I used ascom direct. both seemed to work fine.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,959
    Hi Mike,
    Some things are a bit messed up with your Settings. The Settings directory is normally named Settings, and CCDPlugAOShip is normally a directory underneath it.
    Maybe it's just a bit of accidentally mouse clicking ;-)

    Questions:
    Have you updated the firmware in your camera to the latest?
    http://diffractionlimited.com/aluma-fpga-firmware/

    Are you running the latest DL Imaging drivers?
    https://forum.diffractionlimited.com/threads/dl-api-version-1-4-0-0-released.6677/#post-35753

    Did you notice MaxIm DL 6.21 - the final (not beta) release is available? Please update that too.
    In MaxIm, use Help... Check For Updates.

    After all that is done, here's the next bunch of stuff:
    -------
    In MaxIm 6.21, you need to clean up some important settings, as it impacts the calculations going on.

    Do the following:
    Edit... Preferences
    Site and Optics
    I'm pretty sure you telescope aperture is larger than 10mm. That's smaller than my pinkie finger.

    The guide scope settings are missing entirely.
    Since you are using a self-guiding filter wheel with an internal 0.7x focal reducer, you to use the same (corrected) aperture of the main scope, but change the focal length to 0.7 x 925 = 647.5. I'm assuming 925 is correct.

    These settings are essential, or the math won't work.

    If you're in Nova Scotia, then you're coordinates are ok, except elevation ZERO is a bit low... but you're not far from the ocean.
    --------
    You might also want to put something useful in the FITS Header - so you will know how the images were taken 10 years from now.
    Edit... Preferences
    FITS Header
    --------
    In the Camera Control window, Setup tab, there are a couple things that aren't coming up as I expected on my PC.
    Camera Control Window, Setup, under camera 1, Options.
    Confirm that "[ ] Use Filter wheel as a shutter" is UNCHECKED (OFF).
    Confirm that "[ ] Auto-dark subframe extraction" is UNCHECKED (OFF). (Unless you need this later for some reason).
    Advanced
    Confirm that "[X] Camera Threading on" is CHECKED (ON).
    Confirm that "[X] Filter wheel thread on" is CHECKED (ON).
    -------
    Camera Control Window, Guide tab
    Settings
    Control Via...

    Right now I see it is set to Telescope, not ASCOM Direct or Guider Relays.

    Guider Relays would be the correct setting if you are using the RJ11 flat cable between the Guide Port on the Aluma camera and the mount.
    iOptron mounts used to have the reverse wiring, so you may need a straight-thru RJ11 cable instead of the one supplied.
    Otherwise the guide pulses will have no effect.

    If you are using Telescope or ASCOM Direct, then have you got the ASCOM driver configured ? (I dont have an iOPTRON CEM120 here, so can't test this sort of thing).
    iOptron updated their stuff several weeks back:

    Full MaxIm DL Pro is usually needed to control the scope, dome, focuser etc., - this is an upgrade from MaxIm LT.

    Next steps would be to test that the guide commands are actually moving the mount.
    An easy way to test is to use:
    Camera Control Window
    Guide
    Move button
    and then use the direction buttons to check correct movement in each axis.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
    Cheers
    Colin
    Let us know how you make out.


    Let us know once you have all that sorted out.
     
  9. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Colin,

    Yes, you were correct about filling out the site/optics and a couple other settings, yes the mount will bump now. Now for some reason I have a different issue, and I've tried figuring it out over a few nights with little success, I can't for the life of me get the AO to work properly while bumping the mount. Once the AO gets to the activation level, it will bump the mount right out of the box and the deflection just keeps on increasing until it hits 100%. I had to decrease the bump time to the minimum (.01 sec) to even have any hope that the star stays in the box and the deflections decrease. I am mounted on a pier and the polar alignment is quite good.
    The weird thing is when I first bought the camera and used the AO for the first time, I used all the default settings, didn't bother filling out the site/optics properly and imaged NGC 891 (posted on here) with no issues whatsoever, LRGB 4x300s. Is it a coincidence that this was the last version of Maxim DL? I know the lastest has some updates to AO control. Is it possible to install the previous version to confirm on way or the other. I am quite familiar with AO's, had previous AO-8, T versions for a ST-10xme, STT-8300 and a Starlight xpress AO, I've used these models controlled with Theskyx and PHD2 (SX AO), I've never has any issue with the bump time, set it and forget about it, same mount as well, cem120.
     
  10. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,959
    Mike, thanks for the update.
    It's a wonder that it ever worked for the NGC891, without the complete set up of values.
    In the windows control panel, apps, you can uninstall 6.21 and re-install 6.20.
    Do not install over top.
    Your settings will be preserved.

    I'd like our @Adam Robichaud to review this thread and comment.
     
  11. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Colin, I had the same results this time with the older 6.20. I am at a loss here. If I try guiding by the self guiding filter wheel only, if it guides properly can I assume then all the correct signals will be sent to the mount when doing the calibration routine using the AO?
    I am using Maxim LT now since my pro licence ran out, if it's so important to set up your site and optics why is the observatory option blanked out in the LT version?
     
  12. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,959
    Calibrating the guide derives the mount movement directions and pulse lengths. This is a necessary first step.
    Calibrating the AO determines the amount of tip and tilt needed to move the star around the sensor. The Mount bump is also determined this way. In other words, when the AO can't compensate by tilting or tipping any further, it has to tell the mount to move, via the guide pulses.

    These two things aren't really related.

    Site and Optics are necessary to do many calculations.
    For example, it provides necessary data for calculating the arcseconds per pixel resolution of your optical system. That way you know how big a pixel is on the sky. e.g. If your star drifts 2 pixels, then you know it moved 1 arcsecond.
    Positions and coordinates can only be calculated if MaxIm knows your "home base" - where your stuff is located. Things like the thickness of the atmosphere cause refraction of starlight, and so when doing calculations, we need to know something about where you are pointing and how much to correct for it.

    MaxIm LT has fewer capabilities than MaxIm DL Pro. We provide it to Aluma camera owners at no charge, so they have something to start imaging with. The observatory controls include a bunch of extra capabilities - like controlling a dome, getting weather data from a Davis Instruments weather station or ASCOM Weather hub, a mini-planetarium to go to targets, switch controls, all kinds of stuff. MaxIm DL Pro also includes a scripting interface / COM components so it can be driven by other programs like FocusMax, ACP, CCDAP and so on.
     
  13. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Oh very aware of this, I've tried a number of calibration routines in the AO window, no change in the inability to get the AO to bump the mount to recenter the AO lens deflection. I did notice the log information maybe had some useful information, after the calibration routine was complete the message was " X and Y axis swapped-yes, X axis - No, Y axis- Yes."

    I can try my portable mount instead next clear night, a Celestron CGX to narrow things down.

    Yes, this was my point; if setting up site and optics were necessary in DL Pro so the software knew how to calculate much to bump the mount, why isn't important to include this information in the LT version, which still has AO control along with standard autoguiding?
    I've already requested an upgrade path to DL Pro from LT ( I assume it has some built in value) but haven't heard anything back.
     
  14. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,959
    Where did you make this upgrade request?
     
  15. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,572
    I've given a poke to the upgrade process. (It's currently manual for LT to Pro.)
     
  16. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,572
    Although it's a good idea to set things up properly in Site and Optics, the values there should not impact the operation of the AO.

    The discussion above is a bit confusing, so maybe we can start at the top. AO Locate Tab:

    https://www.diffractionlimited.com/help/maximdl/AO_Locate_Tab.htm

    [​IMG]

    Step 0 - go to the Guide tab Settings and choose your mount Control Via mode. Guider Relays if you're using the Tracking Interface Cable. ASCOM Direct if you're using PulseGuide commands through the mount (if using MaxIm DL Pro you can use Telescope instead). Click OK.

    Step 1 - Set an Exposure time, select Locate, click Start. Make sure you have a nice bright guide star visible. If not you may have to nudge the telescope.

    Step 2 - Select Calibrate Drive. Click Start. You should see the star position change in an "L" shape as the telescope mount is exercised. If it doesn't move then check your Control Via settings on the Guide tab. (Note: if your star doesn't drift very quickly, you can optionally turn off telescope corrections on the Drive tab. That requires your polar alignment to be spot-on.)

    Step 3 - Select Calibrate AO. Click Start. Again the star should move but in a different pattern.

    If at any point it doesn't work correctly, then post your Log here.

    Note that if you are using a German Equatorial mount, the drive calibration changes when you flip over the pier.
     
  17. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Yes Doug, I've had no issue ever with the AO calibration process, The movement of the star in a L pattern and sort of cross pattern is quite evident, no error messages, in the log I watch the X and Y pixel numbers change as expected. When it comes to tracking is the problem, it reaches your deflection limit as set and the mount will bump the mount without end and the star moves out of the box and the deflection quickly increases until it pegs out at 100%. I've tried many combination of settings with little success. Strange thing is, is that it wasn't always wasn't this way, my first test image of NGC 891 posted here and more recently I have many subs of M81 I've yet to process. It was the last 10 or so subs of M81 I started noticing these issues taken around the end of January. That's why I want to try the camera/AO out on a different mount, my CGX to narrow things down, it would be easier to test it out on TheskyX as I already own it but for now I can't.
     
  18. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,572
    Are you running V6.21?
     
  19. mike m benjamin

    mike m benjamin Cyanogen Customer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
  20. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,572
    Curious. I did pretty extensive tests in my observatory before we released.

    Can I get your settings files? Zip the folder Documents\MaxIm DL 6\Settings, and upload here.
     

Share This Page