First light report AP1200GTO

Dean S

WOW, what a fine piece of machinery!!!!

Got it set up, scope and camera mounted and balanced, and connected to my laptop, and communicating with the software just fine, which is amazing for me. Got familiar with the hand controller while impatiently awaiting darkness. BTW, packaging was outstanding and makes a great first impression.

Polar alignment was a breeze, sure do love the smooth adjustments of this mount, and the rotating pier adapter is sweet. Then synched on my first star and I was off.

I used the telescope control in MaxIm for the first time, hand controller cord was to short to reach my warm room, and it did a remarkable job getting everything near center of my chip, then a couple nudges to adjust. What does the Synch button in Maxim do? A true synch, or a recalibrate? I did try the Sky6 and it connects fine to it, and I saw the new recalibrate button too.

The seeing was extremely bad and jumpy but I tried using my STV to monitor the drive in slow, this was disturbing to me. At first I thought the darn STV display had locked up, so I started it again, several times actually. Well, it turns out it was working, this mount is soooooo smooth it was tracking almost center of the graph line and it was hard to even tell! And my alignment then showed only a very small drift in 5 minutes, must have been beginners luck, or just good equipment I suspect.

I downloaded the AP installed PEC file from the mount, and it showed it to be peak to peak 3.7 which is outstanding in my book for raw errors. Later in the evening with things settled down a bit I did a couple pempro runs with PEC on, my image scale is 1.12 arcsecs, and it showed me peak to peak of 1.55 arcsecs!! I can live with that :)))))

I had some trouble with over correcting when guiding due to the seeing, so I need to experiment with this mount and find out what it likes best. But I ended up imaging NGC891, and M1 using 4 minute unguided 1x1 lum subs and they came out great, even considering my poor seeing and transparency.

I feel like I am in love for the very first time :)

Thanks for such a fine mount Roland, Marj, Howard, Robert, and all the gang at AP!

Dean Schwartzenberg

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean S" <dean@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 11:12 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Santa wears brown

Santa just stopped by and dropped off 4 nice boxes for me!!! This is what Brown did for me today, a brand spankin new AP1200GTO :)

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