Hi Scott - I’m on a very similar path to what you describe below. I’ve provided some answers below.
Robert J. Enouen
On Dec 14, 2021, at 5:49 PM, Scott B <biebs123@...> wrote:
Hello All -
I'm the proud new owner of an AP 1600. As I get started with it, I'm hoping some of the experienced observers and imagers can weigh in on a few questions.
Circumstances gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to design and build a permanently housed observatory as part of a new home construction. We are going to have a Meade LX 850 OTA side-by-side with an AP 130mm refractor, mounted onto the AP 1600. This is all a big step up from my current rig, an AVX mount controlled by CPWI and PhD2 , SV70 OTA, ZWO 183 OSC camera, using Sharpcap for imaging. I've used sharpcap for polar alignment and I'm reasonably confident that I'll be able to get the AP mount aligned accurately.
What is the status? What kind of observatory have you decided to go with? I have a 16” RC on my AP1600 and there isn’t much room left under the dome to add another scope. I plan to dual image at some point with an APM 152 refractor and ~100ish refractor tbd. The RAPAS worked great for me, and then I removed it to avoid cable snags.
The plan for the new observatory is imaging only for the 130mm OTA, while the 16'' SCT will be used for visual as well as imaging small DSOs like planetaries and probably the planets too. Down the road I'd love to get into photometry when I have the time to dedicate to it.
I haven't chosen a camera yet for the refractor. A camera with 3.75 micrometer pixels would yield an image scale of about 1.33''/pixel for the 130mm (there is a focal reducer). I am near the Atlantic Ocean - a block away - would the seeing over the ocean allow me to be more aggressive about a smaller image scale? FWIW I've yet to image in monochrome or use an autofocuser, so this will be another piece of the learning curve.
I use a ZWO6200MM at 2x2 binning with a ZWO EF7 filter wheel. I just tested it last night at 3x3 and I like the stars even better.
I plan to run the Pegasus Ultimate Powerbox 2 thru the mount to connect and power the cameras and accessories. Would any other cables need to go thru? I'd like to get everything setup in such a way that I can leave all the heavy parts of the mount in place permanently, so I'm trying to plan out cable management in advance.
I didn’t run any additional cables through the mount. I tucked my shuttle pc in the cubby hole between the polar fork assembly and I connected the mount and everything else that doesn’t move to it. The dc converter for the pegasus sits there too. The pegasus sits under the scope and zip tied wires connect it to the pc, camera, ef7, and focuser.
Some other questions -
Do most users prefer APCC or ASCOM?
APCC Pro with a 300 point APPM model that allows me to get good 180 second Lights without guiding. NINA has been great.
Do most imagers use PhD to guide, or other software?
I have used PHD in the past but don’t need to now.
I've never used an OAG - will this be a necessity for imaging with the LX850?
Finally, when it comes to this new mount and OTAs, I don't know what I don't know, so any experiences you consider worth sharing are appreciated. Thanks very much
I thought about trying to start with the dual setup you describe but decided that it was a bridge too far and I’d just take it one step at a time.