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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    18

    Default Multiple Issues - Last guide star fade with AO and ACP

    I have searched the threads but have not found a similar problem to mine. I am not yet running ACP 8.2.

    I have used another executive program for years with the following setup:

    CDK 12.5"
    Gemini focuser/rotator
    AOX
    MOAG which houses the STX RGH
    FW7
    STX 16803
    ME II using a guider relay cable
    I am running Maxim 6.19. All the drivers and firmware are up to date.
    TheSky 10.5.0

    I bought the ACP licence a year ago but never had the time to make the change. I now want to "step up" to ACP and have spent many hours reading the documentation which is very complete I must say. My set up works great when I use it in the OAG mode, but when I try it with the AOX it fails as soon as a bump is required.

    OAG mode:
    My FOV in the sky is the same I have been using for years. I have not gone thru the manual procedure described, but I am pretty sure it is correct. I use the CalibrateGuider script on a target in the East at 0PA, and it completes fine and returns a guide sensor angle of 2.5 (see attached). I have run several targets at different very specific PA on both sides of the meridian without any problems.

    AOX mode:
    When I select the AOX in Maxim and in the guiding tab in ACP and run the CalibrateGuider script on the same target and PA, it completes OK but returns a guide sensor angle of -84.8 (also attached) which is about a 90 degrees difference When I try to guide it works OK until I change the PA and then it runs off the chip. As mentioned above, I am using a guide cable and have "guider relays" selected in Maxim.

    I have also attached my ACP guider settings (in OAG mode). When I try the AOX, the only thing I change is to select AO (and the script changes the guider angle).
    Obviously I am missing on some settings, but I cannot figure out which.

    Thanks for your help,
    Mark
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    28,244

    Default

    Hi Mark -- Thanks for taking the time to look over the ACP docs. ACP is different when it comes to installing with a rotator and an AO, so I'm here to help!

    The CalibrateGuider script is meant to be used with conventional guiding selected. The correct guide sensor angle is critical for AO bumping with ACP. I am actually surprised that guide sensor angle changes when calibrating the AO drive (which the CalibrateGuider script would be doing when being run in SBIG + AO, with the AO active). With ACP, the AO drive never needs to be calibrated (but the tip-tilt, the "calibrate AO", must be done within MaxIm, once, as part of installation). Calibrating the AO Drive establishes the Reverse X Reverse Y and Swap Axes switches in MaxIm. When ACP is being used, however, those switches are calculated by ACP depending on the selected Position Angle for the target. It is for this reason that ACP needs to know the relative angle between the main and guide detectors. ACP eliminates calibrating with the AO completely, once installed, and provides all-sky, all-flip, all rotation guiding with the AO without recalibrating, and that's why its setup/installation is more demanding. Guide cables are fine.

    Anyway, switch to conventional guiding and do the CalibrateGuider script. Then switch back to AO and try an ACP run with a target in the east and at 0PA. It doesn't matter if there is anything interesting in the field, just compose a target with your FOVI at 0 PA and a nice guide star on the guider. If that doesn't work, locate the ACP run log and attach it to your reply here. [att[Attaching instructions are here (click this link)[/att]. If you are doing this using the ACP console (normal during installation) then the run logs are under My Documents\ACP Astronomy\Logs\yyyymmdd.

    If you are new to ACP I would recommend starting out with 8.2. I should have the final out in a day or so. The Pre-Release will get you going fine.
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    18

    Default

    20190126@012726_AO_mode_East_PA=0.zip20190126@014615_With AO unchecked in Preferences_East_PA=0.zip20190126@020721_With AO unchecked in Preferences_West_PA=271.zip20190126@012726_AO_mode_East_PA=0.zip20190126@014615_With AO unchecked in Preferences_East_PA=0.zip20190126@020721_With AO unchecked in Preferences_West_PA=271.zip


    Bob,

    Thanks for your response. I am leaving soon on vacation so I stuck with 8.1 for now.

    I could not select your link to attaching files so I am not sur if it worked.

    I ran CalibrateGuider using RGH configuration and then switched over to the AOX. I have attached three logs that are named for their orientation, PA, and mode (AO or not). The strange thing is at 0PA it guides and bumps appropriately when I do not select "active optics" in Preferences. As soon as I select AO in Preferences it tracks for a while but at the first bump it marches off the chip. However, when I change the PA it no longer works in either mode.

    I would like to point out that I have set up my rotator so that the PA increases CCW (same as TheSky) which means I selected "reverse angles" in the Gemini driver. I hope this is correct.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Default

    I can't put together what you were doing with the AO being turned on and off and trying to guide and what caused you to kill the runs. Let's try to get you going with conventional guiding first. Can you even guide at all? Can you guide at different PAs? If not I may need to get on with you and help. I'm sorry that you're having problems just before vacation.

    I would like to point out that I have set up my rotator so that the PA increases CCW (same as TheSky) which means I selected "reverse angles" in the Gemini driver. I hope this is correct.
    Yes, this is correct. Position Angle increases CCW, just like the angles you learned in high school geometry/trig. Why these rotator people call that reverse is beyond me!!

    I could not select your link to attaching files so I am not sur if it worked.
    Amazing. I don't know how, but you got links to the files into the message. Different but it did work. For future reference:
    HOWTO: Attaching files to messages

    -- Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
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    Default

    Bob,

    Thanks for your reply. I will try to be more clear.

    The whole setup works great for normal off axis guiding, on both sides of the meridian, at all position angles. For this I choose SBIG universal for both the camera and FW, and only “watch star” in MAXIM guider settings. Also, I leave AO unchecked in ACP Preferences.

    Looking East at zero PA...When I check AO in ACP Preferences, and AOX for MAXIM camera and filter settings, it guides on the AOX but when a bump is needed it quickly runs off the chip.

    As a test I unchecked AO in ACP, and left the MAXIM settings alone (ie AOX), and it worked at zero PA only.

    It occurred to me that I received a patch for the guider from MAXIM last year when I was having trouble calibrating CCDAP after a MAXIM update. Even though MAXIM has been updated (twice I think) since then, could this patch be interfering with ACP? Should I try to uninstall/reinstall MAXIM?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
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    I understand now (I think). If possible update to the latest MaxIm. Note that there is some research going on MaxIm's side right now with regard to ACP's usage of the AO. It's possible that something changed recently with the flurry of AO work going on their end.

    Looking East at zero PA...When I check AO in ACP Preferences, and AOX for MAXIM camera and filter settings, it guides on the AOX but when a bump is needed it quickly runs off the chip.
    I see you have a Paramount. Are you running guide cables or are you using ASCOM Direct for guider control in MaxIm? If the latter, you will need to turn on the "Reverse Y" in CAP's guiding setup.

    As a test I unchecked AO in ACP, and left the MAXIM settings alone (ie AOX), and it worked at zero PA only.
    This would be correct. ACP needs to set the bumping per the PA and the guide angle.

    Again I can get on with you during the evening if you give me some times, and a day or two ahead. "I can get on now" doesn't work for me ha ha.
    -- Bob

  7. #7
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    Quebec, Canada
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    Bob,

    It appears it may be an issue with MAXIM (see attachment).

    I will let you know when I get news from them.

    Thx,
    Mark
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Ok good! I try to keep up over there on the MaxIm forum but the last two days have been hell. I was on the phone for a total of seven hours yesterday.
    -- Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Milton, ON, Canada
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    932

    Default

    The team at Diffraction is looking into this.
    There are two parts:
    (1) a forthcoming firmware update for the STX series cameras
    (2) We're looking into MaxIm's behavior with ACP and AO-X.

  10. #10
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    Thank you SO MUCH Colin!!
    -- Bob

 

 

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