Re: Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Joe,

Fans can help but completely. I've tried many different mounting points on my 18" Newtonian.

Open tube assemblies are vulnerable from many outside sources. For instance, you can't stop heat from the ground, the secondary mirror assembly, and other sources. Since you have to be near the scope to adjust knobs, even your own body heat, or heat from the camera can waft into the light path and linger under the right conditions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2020 4:34 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Ray,

Tube Currents in a Truss.
Which 18” truss OTA do you use, and do the fans blow at the back of the primary to cool off the day heated
glass, or blow out from the back, drawing ambient air stream in TOWARD the primary?

I have an RCOS 14.5 truss OTA, and the fans on the back plate draw air from the front onto the face of the
primary. I think the heat plumes image distortions (if any), are much less, since the ambient is already cooling off
(being cooler than the glass), and the fans are not blowing latent mirror heat upward into the path of the light
cone. RCOS pointed the fans to blow mirror heat backwards, instead of upward, in front of the primary.

I think that is a better way. Simple solution next time you remove the primary, is to reverse your fans. May help
a lot.

Joe

From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2020 1:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Joe,

Not worried by “tube currents” – it is a 14.5” truss rather than a solid tube.
I have an 18" truss tube with cooling fans, so I can say that you can have tube currents even with a truss tube. I
found that heat can waft off of the primary, secondary, and even the ground through a nylon cover over the truss
tubes. :-)

That said, I will confirm proper operation, and fix if needed, by doing a polar alignment test with the latest build of
PEMPro (v3.00.33) when the skies clear up here in Northern California.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2020 9:56 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Ray,

Not worried by “tube currents” – it is a 14.5” truss rather than a solid tube.
A little reluctant to experiment with greatly offsetting the polar axis, after spending around 6 hours getting it
close
to (IIRC) around a 40 arc second drift.
Your warning about careful attention to step 2 & 3 – I assume you mean getting the mouse pointer dead
centered
on the star trail ends and the sampled star in the three test images. I used your “magnifying glass curser to
center
on the three samples, then moved the curser grid with the keyboard direction keys, for ultimate precision. to get
the curser dead center on the star or trail. That was a GREAT idea, as so very many of yours are, in recent
versions of PemPro.

The plan is to do an East side run, with the camera oriented as it was, and always is when I set up for a
session. I’ll also pick a spot further away from the prime meridian, since I was already crowding your default 5
degree proximity for the tracking starting position’s initial user slew.

Finally, IIRC you once said that PEC being on or off didn’t matter for the polar alignment process, as
PEMPRO
already compensates for it, during the analysis. I always leave it turned OFF when starting PEMPRO –
especially
now, since this CP4 unit is under its first use since repair two years ago, so there is no valid PEC curve
recorded
in it.

Not to worry – PEMPRO is and always was, a great tool, fun to use, provides a wealth of detail about the
scope
and controller. The program and I just have to come to terms on our sense of adjustment directions :-)

Joe Z.

From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2020 11:23 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Joe,

If you want to confirm your findings, and that you aren't getting fooled by something else like tube currents, try
purposely offsetting the polar alignment by a large amount in both Alt and Az. Make sure you accurately
perform
steps 2 and 3, otherwise you might see the behavior you saw.

I would try it myself with the latest version but have been socked in by the marine layer and smoke from fires.
That
said, I used PEMPro to tweak polar alignment just a couple weeks ago and the directions were not reversed for
me.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physicscom/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 5:56 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Yes Ray.

We’re on the same page, and I’ve got my bearings.
It is a standard “Push-Pull” system. Screwing-in the right side knob (on the west side on an AP-1200),
where
the
AZ adjuster is located on the AP-1200 North side of the pier, pushes the mount’s base plate around, away
from
the pier-fixed center post – and turns the entire mount counter-clockwise.

I’ve done it lots of times, and every time I do, I try to envisage what each turn of a knob results in.

Joe.

From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 7:04 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Joe,

Just to be sure you are adjusting the correct knobs, for a 1200GTO, to rotate the mount clockwise, you
tighten
the
knob facing to the East. To rotate the mount counter-clockwise, you tighten the knob facing to the West. After
each
adjustment, you should tighten all mount knobs so that you are measuring the drift in the state that the mount
will
be in when you will be using it.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physicscom/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 3:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro..Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Ray,

It was a very long night, so I must have redone PEMPRO about 5 or 6 times. I could have made the
same
mistake in the lead up to the drift graph, every time, but I doubt it I’m not new to PEMPRO use, but it is
infrequent.
Luckily, the instructions are simple.

As Tom mentioned earlier, after a few tries following screen hints, it was obvious that doing so made the
drift
error progressively worse, so I reversed the logic, and turned the AZ “knobs” to rotate the mount towards
the
other
direction. This made it settle down, and using the reverse direction was then consistently better.
By reversal, I mean that the entire run was giving contrary directions, as did the reruns after that. It wasn’t a
logic
reversal DURING a run.

At each correction, I looked down at the mount baseplate, and considered which knob would “push it
towards
or
away from the AZ post” in the direction for the mount to rotate, (horizontally in AZ), per the given instruction.
I
still
“suspect” that this reversal of procedure may have to do with choosing one side of the meridian, while the
camera
is either straight up, or inverted. But, that should have been determined automatically, during the calibration
steps
of clicking on the star trail, and the three star image targets.

PEMPRO worked fine for me a couple of years ago, using an earlier revision, but has also happened the
weird
way, at other times in the past. I have used several versions over more than a decade. I’ll continue to
investigate
its problem, or possibly mine. Perhaps I will discover a unique set of conditions that causes the logic
reversal.

Please stay safe out there Ray. We need you healthy at all times.
Best regards,
Joe Z.



From: Ray Gralak
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 4:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro..Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Joe,

I have used PEMPro a number of times in the last few months on my 1100AE and 1200 mounts, and
haven't
seen
any direction reversals, but I can double check the next year (lol) that my California skies are clear enough.
Assuming you went through the calibration steps correctly, is it possible you could have adjusted the wrong
Azimuth knob?

Also, being above or below the pole will not affect the Az direction at all.

I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the
“Unavailable
ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as
ADMIN”.
The
website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does
NOT
seem to be the case. It has to be started in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO, every time.
CCDSoft (and any other ActiveX control) should register itself when it is installed, which it doesn't. If it can't
register
itself even when running as Administrator, then maybe there is reason. You might try changing the
compatibility
mode of CCDSoft to Windows 7.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physicscom/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joe Zeglinski
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 12:19 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro..Suggestions for my AP600e?

Hi Tom,

Funny that you should mention the odd “adjustment direction” misbehaviour running PEMPRO.

Like you, I have years of familiarity with PEMPRO, and it is actually fun to use. However, I spent hours
last
night, trying to get it to behave with my AP-1200/CP4. I quickly realized that I should do the opposite, to
the
direction it was asking me to adjust the AZ. Every time it said Clockwise rotation, I rotated the AZ
COUNTER
clockwise, and that worked fine. Otherwise, as in your experience, following its suggestion, the gap just
widened
with every suggested direction adjustment.

I think the initial setup calibration pointing to either your East side or West of the meridian, should
automatically
determine if the camera ‘s vertical direction, Mine was upside down, during the run, pointing to West of
the
PM.
Next time out, I will rerun PEMPRO, but with the scope pointing to the East side of the PM, and see if the
direction
to turn then becomes correct. As I recall, the older versions had “hockey sticks” on the drift graph, for us
to
help
specify the camera orientation. Now it is supposed to be automatic.

Ray, is it possible that without doing the DEC adjustment, the scope axis is pointing below or above
Polaris,
and
this makes it offer the contrary direction suggestions?

I also had problems with connecting the camera to the software (CCDSOFT) – kept getting the
“Unavailable
ACTIVEX module” error, unless I run both the camera software (CCDSOFT) and PEMPRO-V3, “as
ADMIN”.
The
website claims this is only necessary to do once, to register CCDSOFT’s Activex module – but that does
NOT
seem to be the case. It has to be started in Admin mode (before) starting PEMPRO, every time.

It is a great program, but seems to have some “direction prompting” quirks, as we have both witnessed,
and
which I will investigate further to double check my observations.

Joe Z.


From: Tom Blahovici
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 2:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Takes hours for me to polar align with PemPro...Suggestions for my AP600e?


Hi,
I am using an AP600e with a CP4 controller and am attempting to polar align with PemPro.

I am quite familiar with the software. That is not an issue. However, how to use it properly is obviously not
apparent in my case. I have spend at least 2 hours trying to get the polar alignment even within 1 arc
minute.
I did the first alignment last week, and it seemed I was within 1 minute I checked it yesterday, and it was
a
degree
off. I kept trying to adjust both azimuth and altitude, but the trend lines were never stable seeing to go all
over
the
place.
It would show a line being off by 6 minutes and I would adjust the mount in the right direction only to find it
was
even higher. Not only that, when I did get it close, the trend line would be fine for the first 3 minutes only
to
then
start slanting again.
It should not be this unstable.
A bit about the mount: It is mounted on a 10 inch diameter pier on top of a solid 3' x 3' concrete block that
is
6
feet
long buried in the ground. It has been there for 5 years or so. There is no flexing on the mounting at all.
Rock
solid. Scope is an FSQ106 with Moonlight nightcrawler with screw in adapters. The drive has a very
smooth 3
arc
second peak to peak tracking. With PEM, +-2.8.
I am using APCC standard and the pointing has been calibrated.
Any hints please?
Thanks, Tom















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