Re: Data base corruption


Christopher Erickson
 

For whatever it's worth, AP did not do the mechanical design of the AP hand controller. It starts out life as a standard, heavy-duty, industrial, machine controller that is pretty commonly seen in heavy equipment control applications. AP gets a custom version of the controller with extended temperature capabilities, extended memory, custom cable, custom button pad overlay and button backlights. They then program it with their own software for use with AP mounts.

Roland has always been a big fan of cutting-edge military avionics technology and it shows in many of the details of various AP products and design decisions.

It had always given me pleasure to recognize various small details in AP products that hint of a fighter jet heritage.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   


On Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 8:08 AM Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

George,

 

I just wish a little more thought had gone into the design and engineering of the keypad.  Placing the battery and its connection to the PCB below all those optical fibers should have been avoided.  As a 40+ year mechanical engineer, I have seen many situations where I wish the engineer who designed systems was forced to work on them afterwards.  Like having to remove valve covers to replace spark plugs on a motor.  Or having to remove the transmission to get at the starter mounted next to the torque converter. 

 

I was worried the whole time I was working on the simple battery replacement that I would damage one of those fine optical fibers.  And then when I went to close up the keypad, the optical fibers would not lay flat and kept trying to get between the case and one of the red plastic standoffs.  I ended up getting a piece of cardboard about the size of an emery board, laying it over the optical fibers to hold them down, placing the cover over the 6 screws, starting to tighten them and then slowly sliding the cardboard out from the case. 

 

At least next time, I will know what to expect.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of George
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 12:51 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Data base corruption

 

Jack,

 

I’m pleased that it worked out well.   Enjoy!

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jack Huerkamp
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 12:47 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Data base corruption

 

George,

 

I guess I got lucky!  I received the replacement battery and, using the instruction downloaded from the AP website, I was able to access the battery.  I did manage to disconnect the old one, fish the wires under the fiber optics and get it plugged in.  Then when trying to secure the battery in its holder, I noticed that the connector had dislodged.  I figure that there wasno battery power for over 30 seconds, but when I got the keypad back together and tried it, it appears that the Messier and NGC databases were not lost.

 

I connected the mount to SkyTools, did a slew to the Sun and that was fine.  Then I used the keypad to go to M33 and then NGC 7814.  In each case the crosshairs moved onto the targets on the atlas, so it appears that all is fine with the keypad. 

 

I will know for sure the next time I get to use the mount.  Once the keypad battery issue was accomplished, I started removing all the scopes from the mount to tackle the regreasing of the RA and Dec gearboxes – another long overdo maintenance issue.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of George
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2021 9:25 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Data base corruption

 

Jeff,

 

You should be good for 20 to 30 seconds…no rush, but I wouldn’t go get a cup of coffee while changing the battery.   <G>

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeffc
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2021 12:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Data base corruption

 

I just replaced a keypad battery (and a cord) (and I have another keypad which will also get a new battery as soon as I get some time). 

  

It seemed the DB did not get lost when I swapped the battery... tho i might not have checked the Messier objects.   

How long will the keypad memory persist without a battery?

 

-jeff

 

On Sat, Mar 27, 2021 at 8:03 PM Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Jeff,

 

George at AP told me if I place the new battery next to the original one and quickly swap them out, the databases will not be lost.  I do not know how quick I need to be.  I guess I will find out as the battery in the keypad has not died, but I want to change it before it does.  BTW the battery for my keypad was $25 plus shipping.

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff B
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 9:59 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Data base corruption

 

Just had this happen to me as well.  

 

The custom battery is a bit expensive but once in every 10 to 12 years ain't too bad.  Removal and installation of the battery requires care but is straightforward as it reloading the database, though it can take a while.

 

I also went to the .19 firmware version.  Jury is still out on that one.

 

Jeff

 

On Sat, Mar 27, 2021 at 9:41 PM Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

It is possible that the keypad battery has died.  I understand when it does, the stars and planet databases still work, but catalogs like the Messier and NGC objects get corrupted.  I just ordered a battery for my keypad before it dies.  Once it does, then you have to replace the battery and then reload the DSO databases.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of paulsimonjones
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2021 8:56 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Data base corruption

 

Starting to reuse my Mach 1 mount after a few years and have found that although the stars and sol data base is ok. The messer database is corrupted - with things like Crab Nebula is in Ursa minor. Any one seen this behavior?

 

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