Re: Using the GTO keypad with the Mach2

Woody Schlom <woody@...>


Got it – and 100% agree on Alt/Az for outreach. I no longer use my Mach1 for outreach.

My point is that that these mounts use very little power while tracking, but lots of power when slewing at top speed. So if you’re not slewing around at top speed, the mounts use little power. And if you are concerned about power consumption, you can set the mount’s maximum slew speed to be slower than top speed – and therefore use less power.

I have the power specs for my Mach1 and A-P’s larger non-encoder mounts using the old CP3 controller, but haven’t seen the various power specs for the Mach2 while tracking and slewing.

For comparison, the Mach1 draws 0.3 – 0.5 amps at 13.8v tracking. The huge A-P 3600GTO draws 0.4 – 0.8 amps at 15v.

So even if the new Mach2 draws twice as much power while tracking, it’s not that much.


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:10 PM
To: chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Using the GTO keypad with the Mach2

Hi Woody, I think you misunderstood, or more likely I wasn’t that clear. I will not be using the Mach2 for outreach. I find that equatorial mounts are more difficult for outreach versus a simple alt-az mount, like a fork mount SCT or something like the DM6, but I like the fork mount SCT because it tracks and I can have a whole line of people looking without worrying about whether I need to re-center the object or not. I will use the mach2 at star parties and for imaging. I’m curious as to what the constant current is during tracking, and I’m thinking it might be higher than other mounts given it has pretty good holding power. I guess we’ll hear from Rolando about this.


On Sep 18, 2019, at 4:36 PM, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... <mailto:woody@...> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@...> > wrote:


Unless I completely misunderstand the mount, it only draws high current (5A for example) while slewing at the fastest speed. Slower slewing speeds use less power and tracking uses almost no power at all.

So if you use the mount for public outreach where you might be slewing all over the sky at top speed, then it’ll use more battery power. But if you use it for imaging, where the mount just tracks for hours, it won’t use any more than you’re used to.


From: <mailto:ap-gto@...> ap-gto@... < <mailto:ap-gto@...> ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 1:28 PM
To: <mailto:ap-gto@...> ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Using the GTO keypad with the Mach2

Hi Wayne, I’ve not gotten any firm delivery dates yet, I’m just hoping that I can enjoy it a little before the numbing cold hits.

I looked up the power source you’re using and it’s quite exotic. I’m not sure I need anything quite like that yet. Although, if the mount will really use 5A continuous, I’ll have to check what the draw is for my other components. So far, I’ve been able to run everything (Camera, cooler, focuser, mount, guider) on the one battery as long as I’ve wanted without putting a dent it its capacity. And been able to charge it back fully during the daytime. But I know my current mounts don’t use anywhere near 5A continuous. Most of the time I run off of AC at home, so it’s only when at a star party that I need the big battery, like at the WSP this year with the power still out due to Irma. I do have a nice Maxoak Li-Ion battery pack with both 12 and 5 volt outputs, that I purchased for doing outreach.. And for outreach I use a meade SCT most of the time as it’s most convenient, low power, and has a good susceptibility to bumps and tugs.


On Sep 18, 2019, at 1:53 PM, <mailto:wayneh9026@...> wayneh9026@... < <mailto:wayneh9026@...> mailto:wayneh9026@...> [ap-gto] < <mailto:ap-gto@...> ap-gto@... < <mailto:ap-gto@...> mailto:ap-gto@...> > wrote:

Hi Terri, I too am waiting for a Mach2 in November. Especially excited about the ‘always Knows where it is’ feature, allowing me to loosen the clutches for balancing and manual slewing without going through the ‘manually park in park 3, park to current position, unpark from
Park 3 and then realigning on a star or doing a platesolve to recover’ dance.

Regarding power, Did you consider going to one of the new Lithium chemistry battery systems? All my Astro power headaches pretty much went away when I got a Renogy Lycan powerbox and 200 watt solar panel system.. Now using a GoalZero Yeti 1400. Less than 50 lbs and about 100 aHours at 12v with more generous discharge characteristics allowing deeper discharge before recharging. Includes USB regular, USB-C high current, power pole 12v DC out and pure sine wave AC Inverter out. Expensive up front, but longer lifetime. Something to think about.

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