As I mentioned in my (edited) previous post, I have just tested with "if HA > 0.0" and things worked, the mount flipped. I would have thought that most, if not all, mounts can go slightly past the Meridian before having to flip but I was wrong with the AM5. It has to be no greater that 0 degree past but exactly 0.
Another lesson learned.
I had an idea from what you mentioned and tried it but no luck. Instead of flipping if HA > 5 degrees, I thought that I could try flipping the mount if HA > -1 degree, i.e 1 degree before it gets to the Meridian but the wise person who wrote the EKOS Meridian flip trigger did not allow small negative numbers to be used.
My logic behind that was that if one an wait 5 degrees past the Meridian to flip, it should be possible to do a preemptive flip a few degrees before getting to the Meridian with similar results. I could try modifying EKOS to do that but I don't know the code enough to play with it with confidence. I'll look anyway, just in case.
Anyway, I still have to try flipping with the 0 degree condition and see if it works. I will let you know.
Hi John, thanks for the info.
HA limits are switched off, and time and location are correctly set for my position. I did an indoor test where I pointed the mount/scope toward Mars which was close to the Meridian, on the East side. Flip if HA > 5 degrees was checked and the Meridian flip countdown timer was running toward 0 but stopped about 16 minutes short of the flip time. Checking the mount tab in Indi, I can confirm that tracking had stopped. I waited for Mars to cross the Meridian and then told the mount to slew to Mars. It indeed did a flip to point to Mars so the logic and mechanics of doing a flip is working. It's just not happening when tracking an object getting close to the Meridian.
Haven't checked yet if the mount has a specific flip feature but I will dig a little further, hoping I find something. Any further hints are welcome though.
If this may help you decide, here is the setup I use for my compact setup. It consists of a MeLe 3Q on top of a Pegasus Astro Pocket Power Box Advanced.
As I was testing the meridian flip capabilities of my ZWO AM5, I realised that instead of performing a flip when slightly past the meridian, the mount would just stop tracking. In EKOS mount tab, I have the default (ticked) flip if HA > 5 degrees and the countdown timer decreases until the mount is supposed to flip but no flip occurs, the mount tab in indi tells me that the mount has stopped tracking.
Is there a way to activate or force a flip to occur once the mount has passed the meridian? I haven't seen anything obvious.
That is an excellent idea and it could be refined if needed. Thanks!
The issue with my request is to enable the use of AUX2 in addition to AUX1, so AUX1 can control the azimuth stepper motor, and AUX2 can control the elevation (altitude) stepper motor for the Polar Alignment procedure.
AUX1 is currently available with the driver but AUX2 is not. I do not think that the focus functionality is required for the motorized PA procedure as we only need to activate the stepper motors forward or backward to correct for the PA error.
Let me know if you need more info and thanks for inquiring.
A number of KStars/EKOS/indi users possess the Avalon M-Zero OBS mount with the motorized PA option that connect to the AUX1 and AUX2 ports so they can drive the elevation and azimuth stepper motors. It would be a great add-on if the capability of controlling both AUX output ports could be implemented in the StarGo driver. The Stargo driver already has the functionality for a focuser on the AUX1 output port so I wishfully assume that adding the AUX2 control in the driver may not be that difficult. I looked at the driver but it's somewhat out of my league, unfortunately.
I don't know if there is interest and, most importantly, time from one of the Avalon StarGo driver authors to add that feature. It could be that the user either selects that AUX1 be used as a focuser, as is currently implemented, or AUX1 and AUX2 be used to perform the elevation and azimuth mount movements needed for polar alignment.
I can contribute to the driver modifications if someone guides me and I will be able to test it as I own an M-Zero OBS.
Thanks for your interest n this matter.
Maybe it's more of a warning, to protect themselves, to those who would think of using that to charge their phone... but distractedly plug it into a 9 or 12v source instead of a 5v source.
I use a USB-C power cable similar to the one you're using and haven't had any power problem so it should be OK.
I run all but one of my telescope systems from battery power. My dolly transportable telescope is run with a 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery, my DIY mini observatory is run from a cold tolerant SiO2 12V 100Ah battery (-40C to 65C operating range) charged by solar panels, so I do not rely on the power grid. I have to admit though that I use a Samlex IDC-100A-12 DC to DC converter that gives me 12.5 volts from an input ranging from 9 to 18 volts, in order to protect the equipment from under/over voltage; all this under fused circuits. I guess it may not all be necessary but I assume it's like wearing belt and suspenders with stretched pants .
Good luck with your system.
As I mentioned in the recent powerbank post, I run a Mele Quieter 3Q (the 3C was not available at the time) and it runs without any issue via a PPBA with my 12V LiFePO4 battery but I had to make/convert a USB-C cable such that one end is USB-C (for the Quieter) and the other end is 5.5-2.1mm round connector that connects to the PPBA.
Now that the Quieter 3C is available, it will likely make life simpler by being able to use USB PD powerbanks. The only drawback I can see is that you may require either a big powerbank or a number of them so you can run PC, mount, cameras, focuser, dew heaters, etc... since all that equipment may require a fair bit of power to operate. But... it would make for a nice portable astrophotography system as a few powerbanks are much lighter that my LiFePO4 battery.
Keep us posted with your decision and findings.