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Knowledge base for ASA mounts


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#1 maxmirot

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:31 PM

Is there a way the community can develop and a knowledge base, Wiki etc?

 

God knows the documentation has not been updated in years and does not contain may details. 

The company rarely answers user's questions online which make this worse.

 

That means it is falling on the owners to be more effective in detailing  best practices. 

 

Examples :

 

What does a good motor waveform look like?

 

How much current should the motor be using?

 

What are the tip offs that something is wrong.

 

When and how to use motor filters for RA and Dec.

 

 

Balance how good does it have to be?  Best way to use the balance tool or is a manually balance effective  too?

 

How to cope with offset weights such as finders scopes and non concentric filter wheels.

 

Understanding and refining models.

 

Procedure for adding only PA or PA with Collimation data to a larger model ( Just figured this out ).

 

Tweaking superfit.  The polynomials can improve the models ( just figure this out).

Understanding the superfit plots.

 

Identifying and removing outliers.

 

What does the sync and refere box do in Sequence?

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With these mounts, understanding a single check box can make a big difference in the unguided performance.

Ignorance may lead to other problems with motors, usb etc.

 

Those of us that have these mounts have found the answers to some of these questions.

We need to share our collective experience. i think we could do this somehow including screen prints and figures as needed.

 

What do you think?

 

Max

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Waldemar

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 10:09 PM

That is a great initiative, Max.

It will certainly help a lot of us...

 

Waldemar


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.  

#3 nakbrooks

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 10:18 PM

It's been suggested and would be a great idea. Needs someone with both the time and knowledge to get it started though. It's not a trivial task as it needs to cover both beginners and more experienced users and, ideally, be multilingual.
Nigel Brooks
Stratis Observatory, Hautes Pyrénées, France.
http://www.facebook.com/stratisobservatory

#4 w0mbat

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 01:27 AM

As Nigel says this has been suggested before. It is an excellent idea, particularly as ASA clearly has no intention of ever providing proper documentation. I just wish they had admitted this long ago rather than repeatedly promising improvements that never eventuate! I am really quite angry about this as I feel they have acted no better than conmen!

Nevertheless we have already spent the money and being angry will get me nowhere.

So I strongly support Max's suggestion.

Ian


ASA DDM60Pro, ASA N10 Astrograph, Orion ED102T CF Refractor, Canon 60Da DSLR, Sirius 2.3 Metre Observatory, WIN10 Pro 64bit.


#5 MarkS

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 06:35 AM

We should do this, but I have no idea what is the best/easiest way to set up such a knowledge base. Do we have in our cohort anyone who can and is willing to do so?

 

Or can we simply use this forum via some dedicated 'knowledge base threads'? Presumably ASA would not object to such an initiative.

 

Mark



#6 maxmirot

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 06:47 AM

As Nigel says this has been suggested before. It is an excellent idea, particularly as ASA clearly has no intention of ever providing proper documentation. I just wish they had admitted this long ago rather than repeatedly promising improvements that never eventuate! I am really quite angry about this as I feel they have acted no better than conmen!

Nevertheless we have already spent the money and being angry will get me nowhere.

So I strongly support Max's suggestion.

Ian

We need a process to build our own documents online. I don't have the experience to do this. I am will to contribute.

 

Max



#7 lukepower

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 08:35 AM

We discussed this a while ago. Probabily a WiKi would be a suitable way of collecting the knowledge, as everybody could contribute.

The tricky thing is to get it started. Among all the " I will help" guys only a few will actually do the work in the end (and it would be a lot of work!).

 

Another question is who will host this? Maybe the forum admin could set up a Wiki on ASA's webspace and put it to a place like wiki.astrosysteme.com...


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


#8 nakbrooks

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 11:06 AM

I would suggest that this should be a project for an ASA Users Group and that such a Group should arrange the creation and hosting of the wiki, independent of ASA (but preferably with their support).  I think it is important that ASA do not have editorial control and do not have the power to arbitrarily edit or remove the wiki.

 

A paid-for hosting service would be more reliable than a free one and would not be expensive - maybe a few hundred dollars per year.  I am sure this could be funded by donations from interested users (I would certainly donate a modest amount myself).

 

MediaWiki is the most widely-used and widely hosted wiki software (it is what Wikipedia uses) so is probably the best choice. The software itself is free so if necessary the initial version of the site could be built using a private server and then uploaded to a hosted service once it has reached a critical mass of content and becomes self-sustaining in terms of content authorship.

 

The wiki project would definitely need to be led by someone with experience of creating wikis as there are a lot of practical issues to be addressed (is it an open or closed community? Can anyone edit content? What content moderation arrangements are put in place, etc, etc).  I do not have any wiki experience myself.

 

Probably step 1 is the formation of a user group.  This would be useful, quite apart from the wiki, as a means of giving the user community a focus for communicating constructively with ASA.

 

Who would be interested in taking an active part in forming an ASA Users Group, with a wiki as one of its projects?


Nigel Brooks
Stratis Observatory, Hautes Pyrénées, France.
http://www.facebook.com/stratisobservatory

#9 lukepower

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 03:48 PM

I could help with the technical basis (installation of a MediaWiki, for example). This would save us some money, as I'd have enough power on my current hosting plan to add such an installation.

 

Personally I don't want to pay for wiki hosting - not after having paid for the mount lacking documentation. I agree that ASA should not be directly involved, but on the other side a nice feature of a wiki is that it keeps track of the changes over time. If an ASA guy would change stuff there it would be easily recognizable.


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


#10 astrosirius

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 12:20 PM

Maybe can help to open a YahooGroup to share and gather all the inputs from users ASA, including all the documentation. Well is just an idea, but as luke said any updated from ASA will be trouble.

 

The trouble is, who can be the administrator! :blink:

 

Luis

 

https://www.flickr.c...hotos/llromero/



#11 nakbrooks

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 12:43 PM

I think a wiki is definitely the way to go. However we mustn't underestimate the effort involved i creating a wiki that meets the needs of beginners through to experts, covers all ASA equipment and is kept up to date as new software versions come out.

If it were easy ASA would do it themselves!!

This will only work if we have multiple webmasters/moderators - otherwise we will be too dependant on a single individual who may lose enthusiasm for the project.

This why I think the first step must be the creation of an ASA Users Group that can own the wiki project.
Nigel Brooks
Stratis Observatory, Hautes Pyrénées, France.
http://www.facebook.com/stratisobservatory

#12 RamaSpaceShip

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 02:07 PM

I wonder if we should do this. I understand it will help a lot ASA mount users, but it will mainly help ASA. And I don't like to help someone which knows it can help me and does nothing in that direction. Even worst, they make promisses that never become real.

 

Remind what they wrote in this forum last summer: have you seen anything they claimed?



#13 pesa

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 02:29 PM

I think its an excellent idea and I am willing to contribute.

I have no knowledge on how to create a wiki and I vote against that format if at all cumbersome.

A simple webpage with menu items such as max mentioned would be great.

Perhaps can Christer (Swedish reseller. Also at this board) host it, what do you say Christer?

 

pelle



#14 lukepower

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:29 PM

I think the WIki is the only real option. A user group á la Yahoo Mailing group is not structured enough. A wiki is predestined to create something like a manual with constant updates.

 

The way I see it is like this: Import the latest manuals from ASA directly as text into the wiki. Then, everybody willing to contribute should edit the various sections, adding content and modifying whatever seems reasonable. Starting with an existing text - even if it might be outdated - should be the easiest.

As for the software side, MediaWiki with a WYSIWYG editor should be easy enough for most people to understand it. I agree with Nigel that, if this becomes something separated from ASA, a solid user base would be needed to keep it updated. Although I think that there is plenty of knowhow in this forum, so if everybody would spend, say, 1 hour, we should have more information put together than ASA ever did.

 

If Christer could host this thing, well, I guess that would be great. If it helps I could install the software. Administering such an installation should be relatively trivial once it gets going.

 

As an alternative we could use a Wikia hosted wiki (which is free).


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


#15 lukepower

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:31 PM

Look at this thread, anno 2013: http://forum.astrosy...a-wiki-for-asa/

 

And here for a (very primitve) example: http://astrosysteme-...ki/DDM85_Manual


Edited by lukepower, 31 August 2016 - 03:39 PM.

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


#16 nakbrooks

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 06:18 PM

I agree that importing existing manuals is the best starting point. However ASA own the IP in those manuals so will have to give consent. Who is best-placed to discuss this with ASA?
Nigel Brooks
Stratis Observatory, Hautes Pyrénées, France.
http://www.facebook.com/stratisobservatory

#17 robertp

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 07:50 PM

Hi,

 

on the 10th of September, there's the AME fair in southern Germany. ASA usually has a booth there so I can try to discuss with them whether they would have a problem with us using their documentation as a basis for a user-group-maintained wiki page.

 

I like the idea and would be willing to contribute where possible.

 

Best regards,

 

Robert



#18 Waldemar

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 08:30 PM

Those manuals really need to be edited first... They are hard to read sometimes, especially when English is not your mother tongue like myself.

Good English is a lot easier to understand then what is used in the manuals. :P

 

Waldemar


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.  

#19 nakbrooks

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 09:14 PM

Provided the wiki has a good WYSIWYG editor it would be easier to edit the text within the wiki than offline.

Wikis also mean a different way of thinking. There is no such thing as editorial control - any user can edit the content and it evolves through community consensus. Can be quite difficult to get your mind around, but it works.
Nigel Brooks
Stratis Observatory, Hautes Pyrénées, France.
http://www.facebook.com/stratisobservatory

#20 nakbrooks

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 09:17 PM

Robert - that would be great. ASA need to either commit to decent up to date documentation or allow their user community to do what we can to improve it.
Nigel Brooks
Stratis Observatory, Hautes Pyrénées, France.
http://www.facebook.com/stratisobservatory




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