MountMonitor

MountMonitor v.3.30 in axial displacement mode.
Figure 1: MountMonitor v.3.30 in axial displacement mode.
As I wanted to know how well the 10Micron GM3000 HPS mount in our observatory holds its proper DEC and RA while tracking (I am doing unguided astrophotography), I have written a small Java tool called MountMonitor. MountMonitor v.3.35 can be downloaded from my server: http://www.dehilster.info/docs/MountMonitor.zip

An extensive help-file is included in the download.

The tool records time, RA and DEC at various polling intervals and displays them graphically, together with a running standard deviation for the last 60 seconds. A tolerance level (between 0.05 and 60'') can be set and any deviation from it is recorded time-stamped in a separate log file. The software does not change any mount settings. The commands used are the LX200 commands as described in the 10Micron document Mount Command Protocol Software version 2.15.8 of 25 October 2017, but since version 3.10 also connects to any ASCOM mount. Being written in Java it should run on all Java supported platforms.

As per version 3.00 a graph is added in which the mount and PC clocks are compared to each other. Also the loop-times according to the PC and mount are shown, so that any time-jumps can be related to either one of them. As per v.3.03 a NIST Time graph is provided as well.

Since version 3.10 it supports ASCOM mounts and since version 3.11 all kind of mount settings are automatically verified during start-up and after each slew.

Since version 3.30 it also interrogates the axial positions of the RA and DEC axis and from that calculates their speeds and displacements, which can be displaced to correct for the inherent time delay since v.3.35.


The slinky seismometer in my observatory.
Figure 2: The slinky seismometer in my observatory.
MountMonitor also allows to monitor vibrations using a seismometer. In addition MM2 has a Fast Fourier Transformation display that allows to see the RA, DEC and seismometer data in the frequency and period domains.

In order to use the seismometer functionality MM2 needs to be registered using an e-mail address (can be set in preferences after which the user will receive an activation e-mail). The registration is for free. MM2 does collect some user data:
  • E-mail address (when set in prefs)
  • Site information
  • Mount type
  • Mount id
All this data is purely for personal interest and will not be shared with third parties.


If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.


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