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MLPT for external programs


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#21 maxmirot

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 02:20 AM

Unless the company begins to have interest in their small customers, it is not worth it.



#22 maxmirot

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 03:28 AM

Thinking more....

 

If I was going to reverse engineer MPLT I would not use sequence at all. 

 

The LPT doc looks like it is just a measurement the target residual offsets at each point. If this is true all the magic happens in Autoslew

The parent automation program should do the images including the flip. 

Just have to get Autoslew to load it. Wouldn't  this be available to program  in ACP?

 

 

Max



#23 lukepower

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 07:56 AM

Max,

 

your logic is correct, but due to the lack of documentation - how would you load the data in Autoslew?

One could reverse engineer that part, but god knows how many possible bugs sleep there...


Lukas Demetz
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www.skygemsobservatories.com
Astro Dolomites Observatory, Skygems Network
Santa Cristina Valgardena, Italy
20" Cassegrain-Newton on ASA DDM85XL


#24 maxmirot

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 02:18 PM

Ever ask Dr. Keller if the Autoslew load function can be made to open for script? They wound not have to be involved otherwise.

The big problem with the software is Dr. Keller just don't have the time to do much. They might be be willing to add just this function without too much effort.

You know these guys better than most. Worth another try?

 

Max



#25 lukepower

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 05:56 PM

Honestly I gave up.  <_<

SOmetimes Dr. Keller is very helpful and quick to fix bugs and implement new functions. This particular MLPT request, flying around since several years, has never been regarded at all


Lukas Demetz
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Astro Dolomites Observatory, Skygems Network
Santa Cristina Valgardena, Italy
20" Cassegrain-Newton on ASA DDM85XL


#26 Jay

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:05 PM

I'm still studying how the SGP works and it seems to be a very versatile program. E.g. you're able to input scripts before and after every event !! 

So it really might be possible to use MLPT with the SGP.

 

However, one additional obstacle is that Autoslew/Sequence/MLPT forces us to use Maxim DL and Pinpoint. Pinpoint isn't a problem but using Maxim DL at the same time when the camera is connected to the ASCOM drivers through SGP might be difficult ? 

 

Jay


Edited by Jay, 13 January 2017 - 09:10 PM.


#27 maxmirot

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:14 PM

There are only a few way to engineer / reverse engineer MPLT. 

 

One way is to command all camera, scope and plate solve functions and load the data into autoslew.

 

There is no way for a user to control these functions in SGP.  You can run a script to control other programs.

That means currently SGP would require to script all these functions in an external ASCOM program such as MaxIM.

I don't think you can share a camera connection.

So I think this a dead end without a big effort from ASA and SGP.

 

ACP has some potential because it can script these functions in MaxIM etc. Hopefully, sequence would not be necessary.

You would have to load the MPLT solutions into autoslew.  Only Lukas or someone with a lot of scripting knowledge could reverse engineer this.

 

It might be different if ASA was willing to take requests.

 

Max



#28 Jay

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 07:44 AM

Max,

 

You're probably right. I've started to give up also what comes to ASA's willingness to help or develop their own software.

 

It's a shame that such a wonderful mount is bound to old-fashion and clumsy software. Especially when so much better alternatives are available.

 

Clear skies,

Jay   



#29 maxmirot

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:37 PM

I can't agree more. I am not sure why ASA developed Sequence. 

It binds the best features of their product into a dead end without  support or flexibility.



#30 maxmirot

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 07:21 PM

Their is 2yr is old in like new condition DDM 85SX with incremental encoders on Astromart.

This poor fellow has been trying to sell it for two months. It is now down to 10,500 USD.

 

If ASA was involved with their customers, I would of snapped it up long ago for my second pier.

ASA support model too strange. Silence is not golden. I don't even know how report a bug any more.

 

I am too nervous to buy another one at any price. Right now my DDM85 is performing perfectly unguided if I use Sequence.

 

 

 

 

Max

 

 

Max



#31 Astrograph

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:54 AM

As a dealer I will probably get into trouble for this but anyway.....

 

I (and am sure other dealers) are just as frustrated about the locked in nature of MLPT. I sold a DDM85 for commercial applications 18 months ago based on its unguided abilities but despite this I now discover that commercial user is running the mount with ACP and a guide scope. Sad.

 

I have chased questions of Sequence Run and the ability to integrate MLPT with other programs, particularly SGP but it falls on deaf ears. All I am told is 'we prefer to have our own solution'. The trouble with that is that by the time ASA have their own solution we will be old and grey and it will be limited and not developed enough. I pointed out to ASA that by the time the 'Revolution' concept actually appears it will be outdated. On board systems have been around for a while with the likes of Primaluces Eagle. As for polar alignment with built in cameras, QHY's Polemaster is the obvious one but I recently suggested a customer use Sharpcap (free) on a 50mm guider to get their DDM85 polar aligned quickly. It takes less than 5 minutes and is more than accurate enough to use MLPT. It works the same way as Polemaster. If you have a wide enough FOV you can even use the main scope and camera (if its supported).

 

I think the bottom line is that ASA cannot make up their mind what they want to be. It is either a maker of big professional systems or amateur ones. At the moment it seems they prefer to take the big money. I can understand that but I would have thought that the need to integrate with third party software was an even bigger demand in the professional sector. Even ASA Sales are frustrated (like me) that the DDM60 has been discontinued. I also think that the people within ASA that have the final say have probably got so used to using in house software in a particular way they see no need to do anything. I experienced this 'blinkered' view myself when working for a manufacturer many years ago. Your view of a manufacturer, its products and whats needed when looking from the outside, is very different when your on the inside looking out.

 

Personally I am resigned to using an ASA mount manually. Getting it going on a target with MLPT and letting it do its thing. Maxim allows dither as do SGP and Astro Photography Tool with ASA mounts. They all use PlateSolve now and that just adds to the frustration of having to spend money on Maxim (which I find a bit crude) and Pinpoint. I will be putting a DDM85 out in Spain with our hosting partner E-Eye in the next couple of months. It looks like I will be having some very long nights unless things change!

 

If ASA did not make generally fabulous equipment I would have dropped them and their very odd ways years ago but we live in hope........



#32 Jay

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:14 AM

I couldn’t agree with you more…

 

I really love my ASA mount because it’s simply a wonderful piece of equipment when everything is functioning well. However, at the same time I’m completely frustrated with ASA’s willingness to develop their own software, and especially not allowing the MLPT to be used in combination with other software.

 

In addition, ASA mounts are rather complicated to operate, and even small mistakes can cause a lot of problems. Without good (up to date) documentation it feels like a constant battle when trying to make the mount functioning properly.      

 

Sequence is a severely outdated software and a limiting factor when using the mount. Very basic functions are missing like creating a mosaic or framing the target with a skymap (e.g. TheSkyX). You have to do a lot of manual work even with simple sessions. Sequence also forces you to use their own focusing program which I’ve never managed to make working reliably (instead I’m using FocusMax).   

 

The only reason for using the Sequence is the MLPT, and unfortunately the MLPT is a must when doing unguided imaging. Without MLPT the mount is simply like any other high quality mount that needs to be guided.   

 

So I’m stuck with a very high quality mount (mechanically) that cannot be used fully automated because ASA’s peculiar software policy and lack of interest to develop their own software. I don't understand why ASA can't let their customers decide what software they want to use instead of forcing them to operate the mount with outdated software package. This "do it our way or don't do it at all" policy is very shortsighted and not how things should be handled.    

 

Jay


Edited by Jay, 16 February 2017 - 09:43 AM.


#33 Jay

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 08:32 AM

It looks like there is fast development going on with some other mount manufacturers software. MLPT is not something unique anymore....

 

https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be



#34 Waldemar

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 11:35 AM

Hi Jay,

 

Did you try this programm with your DDM60?


Waldemar
--------------
Mount: DDM85 Standard 12V ; Telescopes: TEC140 + 140FF + Quad TCC ; Celestron RASA; TMB 92SS + 27TVPH Cameras: ZWO ASI 174MM cool; SBIG STF8300M; ATIK4120EX; TRIUS SX-36
Filters: Astronomik and Baader NB + RGB; Lunt double stack 75 mm unobstructed signature series + BF 3400; Dutch weather and light polluted skies.  

#35 Jay

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:46 PM

Hi Waldemar,

 

Unfortunately it's only for the 10Micron mounts.

It's based on (late) Per Frejvall's driver and Model Maker software. Now someone has taken it a step further and added quite a few features including "next generation MLPT". The Mountwizzard" software seems to be working jointly with Seguence Generator Pro. A combination I'd love to have with ASA Sequence also. 

 

The additional bonus is that you don't need expensive Maxim DL or Pinpoint to operate it. SGP is about 100 euros and Mountwizzard is free...


Edited by Jay, 19 February 2017 - 12:49 PM.


#36 Waldemar

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:02 PM

Thanks Jay, 

I will download and try the MountWizzard software anyway, it seems to run with ascom mounts, so should work...I guess...


Waldemar
--------------
Mount: DDM85 Standard 12V ; Telescopes: TEC140 + 140FF + Quad TCC ; Celestron RASA; TMB 92SS + 27TVPH Cameras: ZWO ASI 174MM cool; SBIG STF8300M; ATIK4120EX; TRIUS SX-36
Filters: Astronomik and Baader NB + RGB; Lunt double stack 75 mm unobstructed signature series + BF 3400; Dutch weather and light polluted skies.  

#37 Jay

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 03:23 PM

Waldemar,

 

You might be right, I'll probably try it sometime also.

Let me know if you'll get it running. It would be great to be able to use it. I have SGP already...

 

Jay

 

P.S. Installation instructions

https://www.youtube....yqzfns5E&t=224s


Edited by Jay, 19 February 2017 - 03:28 PM.


#38 maxmirot

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:33 PM

As a dealer I will probably get into trouble for this but anyway.....

 

I (and am sure other dealers) are just as frustrated about the locked in nature of MLPT. I sold a DDM85 for commercial applications 18 months ago based on its unguided abilities but despite this I now discover that commercial user is running the mount with ACP and a guide scope. Sad.

 

I have chased questions of Sequence Run and the ability to integrate MLPT with other programs, particularly SGP but it falls on deaf ears. All I am told is 'we prefer to have our own solution'. The trouble with that is that by the time ASA have their own solution we will be old and grey and it will be limited and not developed enough. I pointed out to ASA that by the time the 'Revolution' concept actually appears it will be outdated. On board systems have been around for a while with the likes of Primaluces Eagle. As for polar alignment with built in cameras, QHY's Polemaster is the obvious one but I recently suggested a customer use Sharpcap (free) on a 50mm guider to get their DDM85 polar aligned quickly. It takes less than 5 minutes and is more than accurate enough to use MLPT. It works the same way as Polemaster. If you have a wide enough FOV you can even use the main scope and camera (if its supported).

 

I think the bottom line is that ASA cannot make up their mind what they want to be. It is either a maker of big professional systems or amateur ones. At the moment it seems they prefer to take the big money. I can understand that but I would have thought that the need to integrate with third party software was an even bigger demand in the professional sector. Even ASA Sales are frustrated (like me) that the DDM60 has been discontinued. I also think that the people within ASA that have the final say have probably got so used to using in house software in a particular way they see no need to do anything. I experienced this 'blinkered' view myself when working for a manufacturer many years ago. Your view of a manufacturer, its products and whats needed when looking from the outside, is very different when your on the inside looking out.

 

Personally I am resigned to using an ASA mount manually. Getting it going on a target with MLPT and letting it do its thing. Maxim allows dither as do SGP and Astro Photography Tool with ASA mounts. They all use PlateSolve now and that just adds to the frustration of having to spend money on Maxim (which I find a bit crude) and Pinpoint. I will be putting a DDM85 out in Spain with our hosting partner E-Eye in the next couple of months. It looks like I will be having some very long nights unless things change!

 

If ASA did not make generally fabulous equipment I would have dropped them and their very odd ways years ago but we live in hope........

 

They have to make up their mind what business they are in.

 

Believe me, your not the only dealer that has told them this.

 

 

The bigger problem for ASA is that they can lose bids on larger systems based on the reputation for smaller systems. Professional do talk with amateurs from time to time.



#39 maxmirot

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:39 PM

Waldemar,

 

You might be right, I'll probably try it sometime also.

Let me know if you'll get it running. It would be great to be able to use it. I have SGP already...

 

Jay

 

P.S. Installation instructions

https://www.youtube....yqzfns5E&t=224s

 

The problem is you have to load the model info into Autoslew.

 

Is MLPT or model info is a standard ASCOM function?

 

I don't think so.

 

Still there might some work around






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