AO-X calibration help

Discussion in 'Adaptive Optics (AO)' started by Bethel College, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    F10 16 inch Meade lx200 gps, stx16803, fw-7stx,stx guider.
    Have not been able to get the ao-x to calibrate. Continue to get x+ motion too small error. I am using The SkyX and am able to exercise the ao-x with it and have visually verified the motion. Would appreciate suggestions regarding settings etc.
     
  2. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    There are two types of calibration - are you calibrating the AO tip/tilt or the mount?

    If the mount isn't responding, check your software settings. I'm not very familiar with the software you are using, but there should be a way to select how guider commands are sent to the mount.
     
  3. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    The mount calibrates successfully, the failure occurs when trying to then calibrate the ao tip/tilt
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Please try it with CCDOPS. That will tell us whether it is a software or hardware issue.

    (That said, the fact that the exercise works suggests to me that it is a software issue.)
     
  5. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    It's been a while since I've used TSX with an AO-X.
    I recall something about you have to calibrate the guiding with TSX's camera and guider set up as regular SBIG, then you have to repeat with it selected as SBIG w/AO.

    Are you running TSX 10.5.0 Daily Build 12304 ?
    Make sure you download the latest version of their user manual, as I saw a note a few months back that they had fixed the instructions for using the SBIG AO in their manual.
    I think its up to 6.6.

    Did you try the steps in their online manual:
    http://www.bisque.com/help/TheSkyXSAEAndPro/index.htm#t=Autoguide_Using_Adaptive_Optics.htm

    If I get a few minutes, I'll have a look on the Bisque support forum and see if anybody else has an issue with this or if somebody has an issue getting it working and a solution is posted.
     
  6. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    I had not seen the updated manual. I think there may be some things in there that will help. You will find a post from me on the txs support forum re this. I didn't receive much feedback. At this point, I have no reason to believe that it is hardware or software related, but rather, operator error. Thanks for the suggestions. It will be awhile until we have more clear nights to work on this, but will let you know what happens.
     
  7. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    Tried to calibrate with ccdops last night without success. The program indicates that it is calibrating AO-7, not AO-X. Is this correct? I didn't get much time to work with it before clouds rolled in, but the error I got was invalid motion in x+.
     
  8. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Here's one possibility:
    a) Do you have a cable from the camera's guide port to the LX200 mount ?
    OR
    b) are you using ASCOM Direct Guide ?

    If a) then it may be that you have to sort out whether its a flipped vs straight thru cable.
     
  9. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    CCDOPS can’t tell the difference between AO-7 / AO-8 / AO-X. When it was written originally the current model was AO-7.

    If it can’t calibrate just one direction then the tracking interface cable is suspect.
     
  10. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    Yes there is a cable from the camera guide port to the lx200 mount and we are using the one that came with the camera. The relays calibrate with no problem, so I believe the cable is correct and functional.
     
  11. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Maybe you just need to increase the bump time.
     
  12. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    will that change the amount of deflection that the ao will do for calibration? I thought that allowing 100% tilt did that.
     
  13. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Okay I think we're getting confused about which part we are calibrating. Since you are using CCDOPS there are two separate calibration functions.

    Track menu Calibrate is required to calibrate the relays. That uses the Tracking Interface Cable to send commands to the mount. This is needed to prevent the AO tilt from hitting the limits over time. It could easily fail in one direction if there is a problem with the TIC cable.

    AO menu Calibrate is used to calibrate the AO tilt. It would be very strange for it to not calibrate in one direction when the exercise command works in all directions.

    Which command are you having trouble with?
     
  14. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    ao calibration
     
  15. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    The error I was getting when using tsx was "motion too small"
     
  16. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Please use CCDOPS for testing - we don't have tsx and are not familiar with it.

    Can you pull the camera off the telescope and run the calibration process while watching the AO plate? Make sure it is moving correctly each time in all directions X and Y?
     
  17. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    I will try that and let you know.
     
  18. Bethel College

    Bethel College Standard User

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    I removed the camera so that I could observe the ao plate. I exercised it a 200ms and it seemed fine. Ran the calibration, also seemed like it was tilting correctly. I decided to try again, and after I powered the camera and connected, the red light on the ao was on solid, not blinking. Tried to exercise and it only moved in one axis even though I had selected both. I power cycled again. This time the light was flashing, but the plate would not move at all when I tried to exercise it. To sum it up, the operation seems erratic an unpredictable.
    Cable problems?, Driver? I plan to try again when I get some time. Happy to try anything you might suggest.
     
  19. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    That's really strange. I'd check the cable first - make sure it's properly screwed down and all.

    Failing that, pop the lid off the AO-X. Gently (without touching glass) tilt it in all directions by hand - make sure it's not binding anywhere. Inspect (but do not touch) the magnet wire connections to the board and make sure they're not damaged.

    If there isn't something obvious then it may have to come back for service. I'll also ask @Tim to chime in if he has any suggestions.
     
  20. Tim

    Tim Staff Member

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    It should tilt smoothly on all 4 axes as it floats magnetically.

    While you have the lid off, you can verify the polarity of the coils: Push and release the button labeled “SW1” on the board. This will begin energizing the coils in the sequence X-, Y-, X+, Y+.

    Also make sure the gimbal tilts equally on all 4 axes.

    aocalibrate.jpg
     

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