First Post SiTech Ascom error #question #ascom #mesu


ZS1RA
 

Hi,

I am setting up my newly purchased Mesu 200. I am able to control the scope, i.e. slew, read from the controller and write to the controller, from my PC using SiTechExe without problems. However when I try to use it with Ascom I have a problem. I ran Ascom Driver Connect to get to the bottom of the problem. When I try to connect via Ascom I get the following error message SiTechDll.cfg not found.

Can anyone offer some help please?


Don W
 

What program are you running that you want to connect to the SiTechexe system?  ASCOM is a stand-alone program.  You are choosing the wrong setting for SiTech, use SiTechDLL Telescope, not ASCOM.SiTechDLL Telescope.

Don W


ZS1RA
 

Thanks for taking the time to reply Don. The programs that I use are Stellarium and PHD2. I have been having problems connecting with these programs so I ran Ascom Driver Connect to test the connection and ended got the error message that I displayed in the orignal post.

I then decided to run SiTechExe went to the Config tab checked all the settings were correct and saved the file as SitechDll.cfg and it worked BUT I now have a new problem.
My mount keeps giving me the error message Below Horizon and Not Intialized. I have my coords in decimal format inserted with the help of ServoConfig. I start my scope with the scope aligned to the SCP (I live in the Southern Hemisphere). I have tried the routine of pointing the scope to the Zenith and holding the ESC button for more than 4 seconds then the RTN button... but the error remains.

Any advice?


paul K
 

Hello ZS1RA,

You'll need to do two things 1) Initialise your mount and 2) Set up your horizon file. (It is possible via a sitech config option to ignore the horizon file, but from my experience I would not recommend that, however in the first instance to get the idea of initialisation, it may be helpful. You can find the option here: Sitech config Tab -> change config- > mount parms - use horizon file SiTech.hrz).

My advice is don't forget to re-tick this box before you use the scope at night. Other folks may have different views.

I would suggest reading the manual about the horizon file, it's fairly easy to set up. To get to the horizon file setup tab: Sitech config Tab -> change config- >Horizon file tab. Set the green line to suit your observing site.

Are you using the mount for visual purposes or for astroimaging?

If the latter, the following initiialisation process works well on my MESU 200:

Set the mount counterweight down (CWD) and scope horizontal and pointing west. Use a spirit level to check horizontal, but it's only a rough initialisation, so personally I just check horizontal by eye.
Now Power on the Sitech controller and run Sitech.exe
In the skyview application (in the 'scope' tab), use your mouse to point at the west horizon so that mouaz is close to 270 degrees (west azimuth), and mouAlt is close to zero, right click and pick 'goto or sync', then click sync from the dialog.

the scope is now initialised and tracking and I'd suggest to follow this immeiately by setpark and park at this point. When ready to goto an object, you can unpark and goto etc.

The scope is now initialised well enough to get you roughly to the right area of sky when you slew to an object. A platesolve will get you an accurate initialisation.

The above process is very useful as you can do it in daytime in readiness for an evening session and also you can use a planetarium to slew the scope during the day if you want to check your horizon file out once created.

If you're using the mount for visual observing, there are other more useful tools you'll need to use, but I don't do visual with Sitech, so can't help with that.

let us know how you get on.
Paul


Don W
 

On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 03:56 AM, paul K wrote:

Hello ZS1RA,
Paul offered very good advice.  You should always choose to connect to SiTech from your other programs using the SiTechDLL Telescope.  When SiTechexe is started, the program doesn't know where the scope is pointed - that is why it tells you the error message Below Horizon and Not Initialized.  That is completely normal.  So use the procedure Paul described to initialize and everything will work fine.

Don W


ZS1RA
 

Hi Paul,

I cannot thank you enough for the assistance. I was using a Initialising routine that required the Hand Controller and the scope pointing at the Zenith. I am sure that pointing at the Zenith would work but this is great. Thank so much.

I am a terrible astronomer as I am clunky navigating my way around the night sky so I don't really do much observation. I really wish I continued my interest in astronomy when I was a young man. For now I am happy with my Astrophotography and to be honest, if it was only for observation I would probably never spent the amount of money that I did on a mount.

Thanks again and regards

Shaun
ZS1RA
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ZS1RA
 

Thanks Don. I only came across your post advising that there is a typo in the Initialising instructions when performing it with the handset. Thanks to you and Paul for helping with my newby dumb questions


paul K
 

It was Don who put me onto the idea in the first place Shaun. It's so useful because you can do daytime testing for slews etc. I found it optimised my night sessions, and no fiddling around in the dark especially with new kit!. Once it gets dark, you just unpark, goto, then platesolve. I found it easiest to do my first platesolve of a session in a non ambiguous place (i.e. well away from the meridian) as Sitech logic requires to know whether the scope is pointing east or west at the time of the init, I generally pick an object in the SW for the first solve. After that my session management programme does various gotos, platesolves and image captures without any intervention. Sitech and MESU is a nice combination.
good luck with it,
Paul