Mach 2 basic operation


Roland Christen
 

From Cloudy Nights a user asks:

"After three years my name came up for an AP Mach 2, which I've ordered, and is due in October. During that three year wait, I ordered and happily use a 10Micron mount.  Of course I'm very familiar with the 10M mount, and I find it extremely easy to use. Even easier than most commercial mounts that don't use modeling.
 
Not having used an AP mount, and only having browsed the set of documentation available on the AP website including the quick start guide (which is 22 pages!), I already have the feeling the AP mount is more complicated to use.
 
So I'm really interested in hearing from current AP owners on what the basic workflow is to get up and running for a night of imaging (assuming you have to set the mount up from scratch). I image out of my back yard currently, and will disassemble/reassemble each time I want to image.
 
What's the basic set of steps I need to take to get up and running?
 
For my 10Micron, it's the following:
  • Assemble the mount
  • Balance
  • Polar align (three stars, or more if you want)
  • Make a model (or not), its totally optional and you can guide if you want. For modeling it obviously adds additional steps, but only one (load the modeling software, hit start).
  • Pick an object and start imaging
Not sure why he did not ask this on our gto user group. But since I'm a user of the Mach2, I can answer this quite easily.

Basic steps to get up and running a Mach2:

   * Assemble mount, scope and camera
   * Balance
   * Polar align (using any one of several methods)
   * Make a model (or not), it's totally optional. (For modeling, load APCC-APPM, which comes with the mount, and hit start)
   * Pick an object and start imaging

This is the workflow I use, and it's basically all I ever do when I want to image somewhere other than in my observatory.

Rolando

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Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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