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 Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!! 
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Post Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Okay finally I've put everything together and made a 2 part series on what you'll need and how to use this little stand alone software. It allows you to get gentle linear start acceleration and stop deceleration on your timelapse and realtime pans using the Meade DS head (with the 497 autostar controller).

Here's the intro video:


And part 2 with the dry software stuff:


You can find the program and source code at the project homepage on openmoco.org (with other information as well).

Free and Open-source! Enjoy and pass the link on. The only thing I ask is that you give some credit when you use it to blow peeps minds and spread some love back my way...


Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:13 am
Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
tmophoto wrote:
will a pocket pc/palm work? or is it only able to run on a laptop? i have a netbook, but i hate lugging a laptop around if i dont have to.


I know where your coming from and I wish this was the case... I would love it if someone with portable PC skills picked up the source code and adapted it to this. Basically all the head needs is serial commands parsed to it (after the custom firmware has been loaded onto the 497) so I'm sure it's possible.


Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:24 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Dude, this is awesome! Now I just need to get my hands on a 497 controller.

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Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:38 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Great stuff indeed.
Alas, now I have to wait a few months to get out of here before I can go shopping for a 497 :cry:

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Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
tmophoto wrote:
no fedex?


I wish we could get you one antz! :cry:

tmophoto wrote:
talked to some people that know palm/pocket pc's etc. no go on using the software on any current handheld.


Yeh. I'm sure it would have to be re-written for a mobile OS and possibly involve a bluetooth receiver.


Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:51 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
milapse wrote:
tmophoto wrote:
no fedex?


I wish we could get you one antz! :cry:


At least in the mean time I discovered by accident a trick I employed the other night (on purpose)... the onboard battery pack will go flat after about 2 hours at -30deg, slowing down the drive on it's own towards the end. Hey presto -instant ramped deceleration motion.
I set it to pan upwards from a building to finish looking up at the stars for a fixed shot for the rest of the night. Worked well. :)

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Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:46 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Antz wrote:
the onboard battery pack will go flat after about 2 hours at -30deg, slowing down the drive on it's own towards the end. Hey presto -instant ramped deceleration motion.


no kidding! it was smooth? I wonder if that would mess with the electronics...


Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:53 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
It decelerated for a while, then stopped. I'm guessing that was the point when the voltage became too low to drive the electronics, then cut all power to the motors.
So while it was not a smooth stop, it definitely was not as jarring a stop as just cutting straight out.
When I checked on it after a few hours, motion had stopped and the display was only half-working.
Generally speaking you will not damage electronics by have too low a voltage applied.
Still, no substitute for laptop control though.

I've noticed this with horizontal sun-tracking shots running it off a car battery.
When the battery was up around 13.5 volts, it was going faster than the sun, as the voltage dropped to about 11.8 volts, the sun smoothly "accelerated" out of the picture.

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Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:57 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Antz wrote:
I've noticed this with horizontal sun-tracking shots running it off a car battery.
When the battery was up around 13.5 volts, it was going faster than the sun, as the voltage dropped to about 11.8 volts, the sun smoothly "accelerated" out of the picture.

This seems odd to me - it really should regulate the input voltage to a constant output to ensure that tracking (of stars as it was intended) is consistent and doesn't go down the drain as battery voltage changes. Also, that would ensure the same tracking rate for different battery types (alkaline/rechargeable).
I've experienced the issue with horizontal sun tracking myself. At least part of the problem there is that the horizontal angular speed of the sun changes throughout the day. I was hoping battery voltage wasn't a factor... :-|

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Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Milapse, I would send you a PM but I think this deserves to be seen in case someone else is having the same issue.

I have the full set to use the OpenMoco for the Milapse head including the Asus EEE PC. I noticed that you had one too and you say that you can use it out in the field for shoots. Here's probably what the problem is, I had to sort of improvise a way of connecting the controller to the netbook. Bear with me, because I don't have photos to show, but I'm going to try to explain this.

I have a USB to Serial adapter which connects to the serial to RJ45 connector. With the help of a friend I have a cable that is RJ45 on one end and RJ11 on the other to go from the Serial to RJ45 adapter to the Controller. Now... if you're still follwing, I tested it out on my desktop and it works well. But I think because there so many connections, the netbook is not picking up on the connection. Any thoughts or solutions?

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Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:09 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
My guess would be that the USB->serial adapter is the culprit as that is a common problem. Some work, some don't. If I remember correctly, Keyspan adapters are the most recommended.

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Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:53 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Trendnet TU-S9 works reliably for me on both Windows and Mac.

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Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:18 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Hey guys. I just got my RS232 to phone adapter exactly like the one pictured in the post above and I also bought a USB to serial cable (just like the one pictured above as well). My problem is, I can connect a regular phone cord into the RS232 adapter but, the other end of the phone cord won't fit into the "phone jack" on my #497 controller! The phone jack on the #497 controller is too small! Do I need some special type of phone cord or did Meade purposely put a special type of phone jack on the #497 controller so you HAVE TO buy their 505 cable? From what I gather from watching Jay's MILapse OPEN MOCO setup in the video above, he's just using a regular phone cord to go from the #497 controller to the RS232 adapter but, maybe I'm wrong. Can someone please help me with this? Thanks.


Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:22 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
the 'phone jack' is a RJ10 which is in fact a strange smaller phone jack... It's a pain I know...


Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:48 pm

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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Thanks for the reply, Jay. I ended up going to a nearby telescope store and bought the 505 cable because I was worried about compatibility issues with the #497.

I have a new problem though. I have the Open Moco software up and running and I can do real time pans without any problems but, when I try and do a 90 degree tilt downward, the mount starts to tilt down and then exactly three seconds after the "Accelerate for" duration, it tilts up for the remainder of the session. So, if the "Accelerate for" is set to 10 seconds, then at 13 seconds, the mount just stops and goes in the opposite direction! Then, after its done, when I press the up or down buttons on the 497 controller, they cause the mount to go in the opposite direction of the button I'm pushing (I went into Telescope Setup to make sure the buttons "Reverse Up/Down" was set to "Off" and, sure enough, it was set to "Off"). It does the same thing if I program it to tilt up. It tilts upward until exactly three seconds after the "Accelerate for" duration, then, goes in the opposite direction, and tilts downward. This only happens when I use the Open Moco software. If I just use the #497 controller up/down buttons, it tilts fine. Do you know if anyone else has run into this problem with Open Moco and if there is a way to solve the problem? Thanks.


Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:13 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
I figured I would supplement my previous post with some photos.

Image

Image

If you'll notice the jacks are different. I had a friend help me terminate an RJ45 jack (ethernet) onto the RJ10 phone cable, that way it would work with my Ethernet to Serial adapter.

As for the issues with tilting the head downward; Karizma did you modify your MOCO for full range of motion? There's a plastic tab inside as a safety precaution that keeps telescopes from going too far and dinging against the tripod. This isn't necessary to have for most normal timelapse equipment, unless there's a huge telephoto lens on it... in which case it's basically a telescope anyway. BUT it does sound like a software issue.


Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Thanks for the reply, Drayg0. Yeah, its definitely a software issue because I can do a full 90 degrees straight up tilt if I just use the up and down buttons on the Autostar controller. Its only when I use the MOCO software that the mount titlts upward then, reverses, and vice versa. I'm going to make this a post on its own and hopefully someone who has had the same problem or who knows a solution to this problem will see it and reply. Thanks.


Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:10 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Jay, once you go with the new firmware on the 497 can you restore it to the original?

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Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:06 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Andrew Curtis wrote:
Jay, once you go with the new firmware on the 497 can you restore it to the original?


Yes no problem. Simply download the latest firmware from Meade (linky) and go through the same 'asu' update process. That effectively restores it to factory fresh.


Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:36 pm
Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Karizma wrote:
Its only when I use the MOCO software that the mount titlts upward then, reverses, and vice versa. .


IF you have issues like this RESET THE HANDBOX via the settings menu. If for example you send the commands too quickly (to 'tight') it can somehow mess up the serial communication. So RESET, back off on the speed or 'steps' and all will be fine.


Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:42 pm

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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Hey Jay, thanks for the reply. What part of the handset do I reset? Which menu do I go into and what exactly do I need to reset? Sorry, I'm confused. Thanks.


Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Karizma wrote:
Hey Jay, thanks for the reply. What part of the handset do I reset? Which menu do I go into and what exactly do I need to reset? Sorry, I'm confused. Thanks.


go into the menu system. Enter SETUP scroll (arrow key) down to RESET (enter) confirm (enter)

Pg 5 in the manual shows the menu tree: http://www.meade.com/manuals/TelescopeM ... nglish.pdf


Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:22 am

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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Thanks for taking the time to help me, Jay. I appreciate it. :D


Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Dude, first I did a cable with a RJ10 plug, it was bigger than the hole. Than I did one with a RJ9 that fitted perfectly.


Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:12 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
Regarding the new chipset Meade started using in the 497 controller in early 2009, which is incompatible with the custom firmware. I found a guy on eBay that has a bunch of brand new 497's from 2006, I know from past experience he can be trusted to deliver. He's selling these for $85 including priority mail in US. Link to his store:

http://stores.ebay.com/Shop-Telescope-Parts


Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:48 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
About the 497EG incompatibility warning, i just bought a brand new one and the firmware loaded on fine so maybe this isnt an issue anymore.


Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:33 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
grif wrote:
About the 497EG incompatibility warning, i just bought a brand new one and the firmware loaded on fine so maybe this isnt an issue anymore.


It is still an issue! You probably just happened to get a 497 from the older stock.


Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:39 am

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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
I bought it from the guy you recommended, telescopewarehouse, and asked him what the firmware version was, he said EG but that he hasnt received any complaints about them not working with timeismotion from other customers, but maybe i lucked out.


Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:59 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
That's correct. Bill @ telescope-warehouse.com is fully aware of the issue and making sure he's getting you guys the older controller.

That doesn't change the fact that can't run it on the new controller.


Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
how can I tell which 497 I have?

Thanks.


Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
The new version will show 497EP and not 497 in the display when starting up (from what I read, I only have the old version).

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:14 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
sorry if this posts twice, my wifi is angry at me....

you're talking about the screen on the controller? Here is a picture of what mine says when I first start the milapse head. I don't see anything with "497", maybe I am looking in the wrong place?
Thanks for your help. I am getting the wiring to connect my laptop and try out the timeismotion software this weekend, that is if I have the right controller.

Another question for all the helpful people on here, will the timeismotion software run on a macbook using VMware Fusion or Bootcamp?


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Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
It appears that the new controller shows 497EP at startup, but the old 497 doesn't identify itself directly - I hadn't actually checked mine. :oops:
However, 43E refers to the firmware version and is for the old 497 (firmware is not interchangeable between the two). One last clue would be that the connectors look slightly different:

http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/200 ... w_497.html

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Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:41 am
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
UPDATE:
I was able to pick up the needed cables today and run the software on my macbook using VMware Fusion. I have attached a video of my first test. I noticed it vastly over estimates the amount of shots taken. I know it mentions something about that in the demo video. The software said I should have taken 660 shots, in reality I only took 420. Is this a common ratio others have run into?

Thanks.




OLD:
Sweet! If that picture you linked to is correct I should have the old version. Good stuff!!!


Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:26 pm
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Post Re: Timeismotion software for the MiLapse Head!!
No need to use their estimates, just know what your framerate is per minute and your shot duration. The totals are suggested amounts.


Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:47 pm
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