ASIAIR erratic telescope control

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Pogo
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:48 am

ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by Pogo » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:39 pm

Hi all,

Last night I connected my ASIAIR to my AP Mach 1 mount via usb. The mount connected without an issue and I used the polar alignment routine without any problems. I then went to align it and finetuned it with a platesolve. No problem so far.
However when I tried slewing to an object on the same side of the meridian via the ASIAIR it would perform a meridian flip where that was not supposed to happen yet. For example I used the handcontroller to slew to Bellatrix, clearly still on the east of the meridian and the telescope slewed right to it keeping the counterweight east. I then performed a platesolve with the ASIAIR and performed a GoTo Bellatrix again, this time from the ASI software. Even though being very close to the target, it would now immediately perform a meridian flip and ended up with the counterweight quite high on the east. Not exactly what you want. I checked all the time settings in the telescope controller as well as the IPad I was using etc. All the same. I have had it work correctly before but occasionally it would display the same behavior. So it looks like user error from my side. I just cannot figure out what that is. Any help is therefore welcome. I am using the built in AP GTO protocol in the ASIAIR software.

Thanks,

Peter

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by W7AY » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:35 pm

Hi Peter,

In your example, the hand controller thinks Bellatrix is on the "same" side of the Meridian from the beginning, so you can slew normally to it, while ASIAIR thinks the star is on the other side of the Meridian, so someone added a Meridian flip.

This could be a bug in the ASIAIR firmware, but it could also be associated with Time (the usual hour angle, right ascension and local sidereal time association, and of course, the local longitude).

If the error happened when Bellatrix is within 15 degrees of the Meridian, even the Daylight Savings Time setting can be the source of the problem.

I would recommend that you compare the Time, Longitude and UTC offset values in the hand controller with the values in the ASIAIR with a fine tooth comb, and also double check the Daylight Savings setting in your hand controller.

At least you can do this in daylight and indoors, and not waste any dark time. Just be prepared for unintended movements.

You can pick two stars within say, 10 degrees of the Meridian (on either side of it meridian), and another star that is more than 15 degrees from the Meridian to start your tests. The result may be enough to identify the source of the error, without tediously going through *all* of the settings that I mentioned above.

By the way, if there is a problem with Meridian flipping, you might also have times when you cannot move to a star because it is "below the horizon." Hopefully, fixing this problem will fix any other associated problems too.

Good luck,
Chen

Pogo
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:48 am

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by Pogo » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:01 pm

Hello Chen,

I did just that this evening. And with mixed results. I checked the time in the handcontroller Asiair and Skysafari. All the same as well as the location. In the handcontroller I can select a timezone with or without dst. All good as well. When I control the mount with the hand controller and SkySafari (connected to the telescope, not ASIAir, all works fine and as expected. Then when I use ASIAIR to go to Aldebaran for example it performs a meridian flip, where SkySafari and the handcontroller do not. If after that I perform a GoTo from the handcontroller back to say Bellatrix, it stays on the wrong side of the meridian and makes things worse. If I then use Skysafari again to make a GoTo it properly makes the flip back . So I still cannot figure out what is wrong. Definitely all times are the same as well as the lat and long. I cannot think of anything else to check at this time.

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by W7AY » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:27 pm

Hi Peter,

You don't happen to be in the Southern Hemisphere? That could be yet another point of confusion (whether an object is east or west of the Meridian).

The weather has not permitted any astrophotography for me for at least a month now, so I might as well connect the hand controller to my mount and do some experiments.

One reason why I have not seen this happening could be the fact that I very rarely even connect the hand controller of my RainbowAstro mount (one fewer thing to take outdoors), and used only the ASIAIR for mount control.

Best regards,
Chen

Pogo
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:48 am

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by Pogo » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:31 pm

Hi Chen,

Not the case I am afraid. 52 degrees north! I'll try it with just ASI Air, but I do not know if that works.

cheers,

Peter

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by W7AY » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:30 am

Hi Peter,

Another thing occurred to me.

What have you set the meridian limit of your mount to? If it is set to something large, it might affect meridian flipping.

On my RainbowAstro, if I set the meridian limit to 10 degrees, the auto meridian flip in ASIAIR would not work since the mount doesn’t think a flip is required at the time ASIAIR executes the goto :-). I need to set my mount’s meridian limit to zero.

Best regards,
Chen

Pogo
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:48 am

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by Pogo » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:58 am

Hi Chen,

Thanks again for thinking with me about this. you can indeed set a delay or ask for early meridian flips, but it is all set to 0. Later today I will again try different things to see if I can figure this out. I am pretty sure that it is something that I do. I realized that the mount is fine through the handcontroller and Skysafari, until after I have ASIAIR sync the mount after a platesolve. Even the mount will than move in the wrong direction. So for some reason it gets the wrong information from ASIAIR.

Thanks,

Peter

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by W7AY » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:42 pm

Hi Peter,

One extra sanity check that you can do (even indoors) is to set the ASIAIR GOTO coordinates to a degree or so West of the Meridian (the RA of the Meridian should correspond to the local sidereal time, by definition :-). Perform a GOTO on ASIAIR.

Next, set a location a degree or so East of the Meridian, and perform a second GOTO on ASIAIR.

If the mount goes directly, without performing a Meridian flip, then there is something wrong with ASIAIR. If it does perform a Meridian flip, then you should be good to go with just controlling everything from ASIAIR.

For good measure, do this for various declination angles both north and south of the zenith.

Be sure to sync the time to the mount (in the ASIAIR mount setup window) before doing the above.

Chen

Pogo
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:48 am

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by Pogo » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:40 pm

Hi Chen,

I did try this tonight, indoors and everything seemed to work as it should now. Only thing I did different from before, is that I did not align the mount with the handcontroller this time but straight from SkySafari through ASIAIR. That seemed to do the trick for some reason. Also a GoTo directly from ASIAIR app did what it was supposed to. Not sure why it worked as it should this time, but I’ll make sure that I stick to that setup next time. Only thing I could not test was a GoTo after platesolving. I’m afraid I will have to wait for some decent weather for that.
Anyway, thanks for your continuous help!

Peter

Wulf
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:43 am

Re: ASIAIR erratic telescope control

Post by Wulf » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:42 pm

Hi all
Thince the last update I am no longer able to use the goto option of asiair.I am using a Skawatcher EQ6 R Pro.
What I found out is:
- Goto using Skysafary works well
- Goto using the Handcontroller works well
- Both Goto to an object and the home position of the mount leads to completely wrong positioning when using Asiair
- Even when already being at the target using Skysafary a goto to exactly that target using Asiair results in an completely new and wrong positioning.
- I tried also the polar alignment option: after the first picture and plate solving the mount is not moving the 60°

- did not have those problems with older software versions and had been very happy with the Asiar. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case

Any help is very appreciated!

Wulf

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