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attach accessories to ZWO-ASIAIR

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:46 am
by sajjad
I have these products so how to attach them to ZWO-ASIAIR
1-ASI1600MM Pro (mono)
2-ASI290MM (mono)
5-Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 GoTo Mount
6-QHY PoleMaster
I need 6 usb ports to connect separately But ZWO-ASIAIR only has 4 usb ports
Another question Does ZWO-ASIAIR support QHY PoleMaster?

Re: attach accessories to ZWO-ASIAIR

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:24 pm
by W7AY
The PoleMaster is not supported. The polar alignment function in ASIAIR renders the PoleMaster unnecessary.

Like the SharpCap polar alignment feature, the ASIAIR uses plate solving to determine the position of the mount's polar axis relative to the pole. Till today, the PoleMaster still requires the human to slew the mount and manually align templates. Until you have to adjust the altitude and azimuth bolts, if your mount is supported by ASIAIR, everything is automated for you in ASIAIR's polar alignment process. For unsupported mounts, you will still need to manually slew the telescope.

As to the other 5 USB devices, one thing that you can do is to plug the EAF and EFW into the USB hub at the back of the ASI1600 camera. Then plug the remaining three devices directly into ASIAIR.

I have been successful with using an external USB hub that is connected to the ASIAIR. Various people have reported different success with external hubs, and ZWO themselves have recommended connecting at least the mount directly to the Raspberry Pi itself. I have not had any problem with connecting my mount and cameras to the ASIAIR through a USB hub.

The problem that some people encountered might be mount dependent. I use both a RainbowAstro RST-135 and a Takahashi EM-11 (with an FTDI serial adapter), and both work well through a hub that is connected to the ASIAIR. So, your mileage may vary.

It might also be dependent on the hub design. The hub that I have success with is this one:

This hub only provides three output ports, while eating up one port on the ASIAIR, so you really only save two ports on the ASIAIR. But that may be sufficient for you. If you need more ports, try other hubs that you have lying around. If you try USB 2.0 hubs, at least use the ones with chipsets which support MTT.

I power the above hub using a USB port of a RigRunner 4004-USB that I use to distribute 12V power, so the hub is powered up by the time the ASIAIR has finished booting.

Good luck,

Re: attach accessories to ZWO-ASIAIR

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:27 pm
by sajjad
Thanks for usb hub
Sorry PoleMaster can do Polar accuracy below 30 arc seconds .
ASIAIR can do Polar accuracy similar PoleMaster?

Re: attach accessories to ZWO-ASIAIR

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:09 am
by W7AY
>> ASIAIR can do Polar accuracy similar PoleMaster?

30 arc seconds is child's play when you use SharpCap or ASIAIR.

I have been able to get well within 10 arc seconds with ASIAIR. That is the number that is reported by ASIAIR -- I don't know how accurate it really is, since the accuracy depends on factors like atmospheric refraction. Since we can't see the source code of ASIAIR, there is no way to find out how large the potential errors are, except from how long you can track an object without using autoguiding.

(One weakness with the ASIAIR is that the engineering specs like polar alignment accuracy are not available.)

With patience, I have gotten the reported polar alignment error to within 2 arc seconds, but both of my mounts moves 10 seconds or more off when I lock the altitude and azimuth bolts (the RST-135 is especially poor in that regard). That makes trying for more precision rather moot :-). Since I always auto guide and do not do exposures of more than 180 seconds, the field rotation is tolerably small even when the error is as large as 30 arc seconds, so I don't even spend time for to get better than 10 arc seconds anymore. I suspect that when winter arrives, I would settle for even 30 arc seconds, and then scoot indoors to do everything else :-).

The ASIAIR reports the altitude, azimuth, and total error in actual numbers, and not just graphically -- I have found the graphical interface to be rather superfluous, and simply adjust the bolts based on the error numbers.

(I had made a request through a more direct channel for ASIAIR to also report the error as an audible pitch (like on the Hinode Solar Guider), and if they implement that, it should make adjustment in the dark, and with your hands full on the adjustment bolts, an even easier task than adjusting by numbers.)

I have stopped using my PoleMaster when SharpCap implemented plate-solved polar alignment, and I stopped using SharpCap after ZWO included plate solved polar alignment in ASIAIR. Before polar alignment appeared on ASIAIR, SharpCap was worth its price just for the polar alignment function alone, IMHO. And now you have a similar function baked into the cost of the ASIAIR.

Best regards,

Re: attach accessories to ZWO-ASIAIR

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:40 am
by sajjad
Does polar alignment function by ZWO-ASIAIR or the plate solve or any other functionality require internet connection?
if i attach a power box, similar Pegasus Power box. ZWO-ASIAIR Support it?
Will the ZWO decide to produce Powerbox in the future?
can i planetary image by zwo asi air and zwo 290 mono usb3?it does support video capture?

Re: attach accessories to ZWO-ASIAIR

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:47 am
by W7AY
Plate solve in ASIAIR uses its own database and does not require an internet connection.

Indeed, the lack of an internet connection is one of the weakness when connected to the ASIAIR (at least presently). The ASIAIR acts as its own WiFi Access Point (AP) -- you need to open the ASIAIR's SSID from your smart device's network selection before starting ASIAIR. Because of that, you cannot access the internet at all when you connect to ASIAIR. And unless you double-NAT some router, you also cannot connect ASIAIR to your home network.

The saving grace is that once you begin an "autorun" sequence, you can quit from the ASIAIR app, select an SSID on your tablet that can connect to the internet, and the Raspberry Pi part of the ASIAIR system will still continue to take exposures, autoguide, etc, without need of the tablet -- you can connect back to the ASIAIR's AP at any later time. Unless there is a Meridian flip at some point -- the ASIAIR does not presently perform automatic Meridian flip.

There is no support for the Pegasus PowerBox, as far as I can tell. Except for a number of Nikon and Canon DSLRs, and a number of popular mounts, I cannot think of anything else but ZWO devices that currently works with ASIAIR. You can always ask :-).

No video format; the ASIAIR is primarily a DSO tool. The amount of file space available is also limited to about 25 GB for now. But who knows what the future could bring.