Date   

Tricking the 1200 GTO on the time

Bobby Middleton <bobm@...>
 

This post is a cross-post with the AP users-group. Both it
and this group are having light traffic now so I've posted on
both hoping to get a faster response.

I've been told that there is a way to re-set something, probably
the time, so that one can avoid twirl around to the other side
of the AP GTO mounts. I realize the reason for this is to avoid hitting the
OTA
into the pier or tripod, but my goal is to be set up shooting for the
western side
of the mount when starting a long exposure. Right now I am shooting 3
hour exposures of the cocoon nebula (ic 5146) and for the first exposure
early in the night the mount will slew to the eastern side. (OTA on the west
side looking east)
Near the end of the exposure it gets the tube very close
to my pier. If I can start this exposure some way
on the western side (OTA on the east side looking west)
then my problem will be fixed. I once had the fix for this in my
files but a computer crash fixed that!
Thanks for any info,



Bobby Middleton

http://www.koyote.com/users/bobm/astro1.htm


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

RCK wrote:

HOWARD L LAZARUS wrote:

Hi Bob;

Just wondered about the firmware. i am still on the original firmware and
have no problem in adjusting the slew speed , that is , it never reverts
back to 64X uinless i wish it so.
My question to you what is different about the new firmware and to my
knowledge i have never gotten notice from AP inviting me to make the change
over???
Howard,

Further to this, the letter I received from AP dated May 27 mentions the keypad
upgrade prominently. It also lists the revisions by date and function. The 11-2-98 version
2.2 upgrade added a feature to change the button rate at five additional places.
According to this, you can push the +- key to bring up a screen to change the
button rate while in the Pick Star and Cal Star screens. Maybe this will help.

Bob Kuberek


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

HOWARD L LAZARUS wrote:
Hi Bob;

Just wondered about the firmware. i am still on the original firmware and
have no problem in adjusting the slew speed , that is , it never reverts
back to 64X uinless i wish it so.
My question to you what is different about the new firmware and to my
knowledge i have never gotten notice from AP inviting me to make the change
over???


Howard,

You might want to call Christine and ask. I'm not sure if I got an "official"
notice, but I'm pretty sure that Mark Wilson did. I also saw a post a while
back from Charles Sinsofsky (who, I believe, designed the firmware) that there
would be a new, new release and to wait a little longer for it. One important
difference in the new firmware, I think, is that you no longer need to slew
*manually* back to the initial calibration star when recalibrating in N-Polar
Align model.

Here is the text of Charles' post on 7/31:

Hello All,
   This most likly applies to all goto people, so the latest hand controller
code is 2.5, but i am finnishing 2.6 which will be a very bug [sic] upgrade new
features etc.

 ok first, how long to upgrade a hand controller, i suggest everyone wait
just little longer the new chip code is finnished and i am now in trhe
prcoess of setting up the internet based upgrading of the hand contorller
the chips will most likly be available from a/p in late september and soon
after the web based update system will be in place and it will be very easy
to use, I will design it that way.

 So I hope this answers some questions concerning the hand controller.

Maybe Charles would give us a status report?

Bob Kuberek


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

HOWARD L LAZARUS <LAZHOW@...>
 

Hi Bob;

Just wondered about the firmware. i am still on the original firmware and
have no problem in adjusting the slew speed , that is , it never reverts
back to 64X uinless i wish it so.
My question to you what is different about the new firmware and to my
knowledge i have never gotten notice from AP inviting me to make the change
over???
Can you fill me in.
Thanks
Howard lazarus

----- Original Message -----
From: RCK <rkuberek@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 1999 8:18 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning


Paul Gustafson wrote:

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to
adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter
what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
I've wondered about this myself, but haven't figured it out. The only
thing I
know
is that the older firmware didn't do this, which is the main reason I
haven't
upgraded yet.

Bob Kuberek


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Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

Paul Gustafson wrote:

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
I've wondered about this myself, but haven't figured it out. The only thing I
know
is that the older firmware didn't do this, which is the main reason I haven't
upgraded yet.

Bob Kuberek


Can't adjust speed when aligning

Paul Gustafson <drgus@...>
 

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
centered very difficult. I'm tired of shooting back and forth and back and
forth until I finally get the star close to being centered.

Am I being obtuse? It's probably something simple I'm missing, but I can't
find it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, did anyone else see the shadow transit this morning, right in the
middle of the GRS?

Regards,
Paul Gustafson

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars
makes me dream..." -- Van Gogh


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

GrayFox65@...
 

Paul,

Greetings from Fredericksburg. I noticed from a previous posting, on S.A.A I
think, that you live in nearby Williamsburg. What a marvelous historic
locale. My wife and I have visited there many times---we love the
architecture so well that we designed our house based on the Williamsburg
story-and-a-half style, complete with dormer windows on the upper floor.
Hope the seeing is good there---although truly good seeing seems to be a
rarity in Virginia, at least in the more settled areas.

You didn't mention which alignment method you are having trouble with:
Polaris, two-star or simulated star-drift. Unfortunately, because I live
among trees, I can't see to the North so I can't use the Polaris method, and
I can't see to the East so I can't use the two-star method. I'm stuck with
the simulated star drift method and can therefore only give advice on that
method. However, although it took me awhile, it does work extremely well
once mastered.

Nor did you mention eyepiece/magnification. I seem to recall that the
default N/S/E/W button speed is 64X, which, for me at least, isn't a problem
at low magnification. I always start the alignment process using a 55mm
Plossl, and ratchet up the magnification once I'm close. It takes several
seconds for a star to traverse the Plossl's 2.5 degree field at 64X. The
only eyepiece that gives me a little trouble is my 3mm Radian. At 365X,
stars do scoot by quickly. But even then, if one "taps" the N/S/E/W buttons
rather than holding them down, one can place the alignment star near the
center of the field fairly reliably.

Could it be that your controller is defective and is somehow erroneously
changing itself to a higher speed, say 300X, 600X or 1200X, rather than
staying set at 64X or at the slower settings you are entering?

Don't know what other problems you have encountered in getting precise
alignment. Fortunately, I don't have much orthogonality error. My 155 EDF,
rings, dovetail plate and Maxbright are all pretty well square. The biggest
barrier I've found is one that several of the first GTO mount owners
mentioned in the early going: loosening and then retightening the altitude
and azimuth bolts during alignment tends to move the alignment star out of
dead center in a high power eyepeice---just enough to be aggrevating. Early
on, someone suggested using two hex wrenches rather than one to tighten the
azimuth bolts simultaneously. This does indeed reduce the problem for me,
but it doesn't eliminate it completely. Also, tightening the altitude bolts
can cause some change of alignment.

However, with care one can approach perfection. As I've gotten better at
this, I've become rather insistent on putting things near the center of the
3mm Radian every time. Once one gets to that point---and it took me well
over six months to get there, during which time I made just about every
mistake that can be made---using the AP GTO mount (I have the 600E) is great
fun. My interest in observing has never been higher.

Best wishes,
Michael Masters


New RGB Images

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

Hi all,

I've posted some new images with the AP600 at

http://sciastro.net/flashca

The images are tricolor, using the ST7E camera. Both images were
made from suburban Los Angeles in bright moonlight last week. They
are selfguided. Tracking was good, but not good enough for these
long exposures. Quite a lot of color in M13 that I did not expect.

Bob Kuberek


Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

MarkDambrosio@...
 

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=142
Mark,

It would seem unlikely that your AP 15-inch dovetail plate would work
on
the 1200 mount. But you should check with AP to be sure.
I use the 24-inch saddle plate to support a 7/7 refractor on the
1200, and
the 18-inch plate to support the 6/7. Solid as a rock. As for the
rings -- AP rings are matched in style and bolt pattern.

John Gleason, dvj@...
http://home.earthlink.net/~dvj/


----------
From: MarkDambrosio@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use
Date: Monday, August 30, 1999 2:45 PM

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=130
Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you
first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand
controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop)
Mark:

My mount was pretty easy to use right out of the box. However,
the
alignment process can be a bit frustrating at first, especially
if you
don't have an orthogonal setup (if you have a non-AP scope this
may be
the case). I would strongly recommend getting the polar alignment
scope. You can get excellent alignment for visual work, and will
only
need minor adjustments if you want very high precision pointing.

Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy"
Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I
do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this
will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark

Hi John. You are correct. An e-mail reply from Roland himself
confirms this. Thanks, Mark


Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

John Gleason
 

Mark,

It would seem unlikely that your AP 15-inch dovetail plate would work on
the 1200 mount. But you should check with AP to be sure.
I use the 24-inch saddle plate to support a 7/7 refractor on the 1200, and
the 18-inch plate to support the 6/7. Solid as a rock. As for the
rings -- AP rings are matched in style and bolt pattern.

John Gleason, dvj@...
http://home.earthlink.net/~dvj/


----------

From: MarkDambrosio@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use
Date: Monday, August 30, 1999 2:45 PM

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=130
Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand
controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop)
Mark:

My mount was pretty easy to use right out of the box. However, the
alignment process can be a bit frustrating at first, especially if you
don't have an orthogonal setup (if you have a non-AP scope this may be
the case). I would strongly recommend getting the polar alignment
scope. You can get excellent alignment for visual work, and will only
need minor adjustments if you want very high precision pointing.

Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy" Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark


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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

Yes, AP does list 6.5" tube rings. They are much
nicer than a set of Parallax rings I have for a FC-100.

Rich

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy" Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark


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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

MarkDambrosio@...
 

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=130
Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand
controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop)
Mark:

My mount was pretty easy to use right out of the box. However, the
alignment process can be a bit frustrating at first, especially if you
don't have an orthogonal setup (if you have a non-AP scope this may be
the case). I would strongly recommend getting the polar alignment
scope. You can get excellent alignment for visual work, and will only
need minor adjustments if you want very high precision pointing.

Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy" Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark


Great Group!

MarkDambrosio@...
 

Hi, I'd just like to say that i'm very happy to be a member of both
groups, and i think you are all a very fine bunch of people! I will
continue to benefit, and learn from all of you. Mark


Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

A friend likes to use a 48" pier with his 180EDT (he may be
getting a taller pier). To keep the eyepiece closer to the mount
he uses an 8x50 finder and a TV Ranger mounted near the
rear of the tube using two large tube rings. Along with the binoviewer
his OTA balanced much closer to the rear of the tube. I think he
will be replacing the Ranger with his AP 90. He loves the 90.

Rich

Rich, good point about the height affecting stability. I'll
keep this in mind. Perhaps the 54" height pier will be the best one.
The Apomax is quite heavy at both ends... Massive lens cell, and
massive 4" focuser. Mark






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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

MarkDambrosio@...
 

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=136


Hi Mark,

It also depends on where the OTA balances. With a finder,
Telrad, binoview, etc. my 180EDT balances closer to the
focuser end of the OTA. Without the Telrad and an 1 1/4
That should say.. Without a Telrad and with just 1 1/4"
Brandon eyepiece. Brandon's are very light weight eyepieces.

Rich


Brandon eyepiece the balance point is near the middle
of the OTA.

If I have to stand when viewing I like to lean on the top of
my ladder. It is more relaxing. Most of the time I prefer to
sit and observe. I use a StarBound adjustable chair.

Usually the taller the Pier the less stable it is.

Rich

Hi Rich, I get the feeling the 54" pier may be too short, even with
the 1200 head upon it. Although with the HGM-200 w/60" legs, near
horizon viewing did require a short (24") stepladder, at the
zenith, i
would be on my knees. Just about right for my tastes. (I like
standing)
I'll have to hope that someone will have a 7.1" EDT at Astrofest
this
year, so i can better judge this. I don't believe Tom Back will be
bringing his. Mark


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Rich, good point about the height affecting stability. I'll
keep this in mind. Perhaps the 54" height pier will be the best one.
The Apomax is quite heavy at both ends... Massive lens cell, and
massive 4" focuser. Mark


Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

Hi Mark,

It also depends on where the OTA balances. With a finder,
Telrad, binoview, etc. my 180EDT balances closer to the
focuser end of the OTA. Without the Telrad and an 1 1/4
That should say.. Without a Telrad and with just 1 1/4"
Brandon eyepiece. Brandon's are very light weight eyepieces.

Rich


Brandon eyepiece the balance point is near the middle
of the OTA.

If I have to stand when viewing I like to lean on the top of
my ladder. It is more relaxing. Most of the time I prefer to
sit and observe. I use a StarBound adjustable chair.

Usually the taller the Pier the less stable it is.

Rich

Hi Rich, I get the feeling the 54" pier may be too short, even with
the 1200 head upon it. Although with the HGM-200 w/60" legs, near
horizon viewing did require a short (24") stepladder, at the zenith, i
would be on my knees. Just about right for my tastes. (I like standing)
I'll have to hope that someone will have a 7.1" EDT at Astrofest this
year, so i can better judge this. I don't believe Tom Back will be
bringing his. Mark


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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

In the past they have usually been in stock. I haven't
tried to buy one of thes items for a couple of years.

Are you going to be doing photography or imaging with
your APOMAX?

Rich

Also, this post brings another question to mind. Are the
accessories such as the polar scope, piers, counterweights usually
stock items. Saw a polar scope without illuminator on Astromart just
yesterday, and it was $275. (Thought new price was $250) This made me
think that these may be very hard to aquire. (Such as the Losmandy
scope currently) Mark


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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

Hi Mark,

It also depends on where the OTA balances. With a finder,
Telrad, binoview, etc. my 180EDT balances closer to the
focuser end of the OTA. Without the Telrad and an 1 1/4
Brandon eyepiece the balance point is near the middle
of the OTA.

If I have to stand when viewing I like to lean on the top of
my ladder. It is more relaxing. Most of the time I prefer to
sit and observe. I use a StarBound adjustable chair.

Usually the taller the Pier the less stable it is.

Rich

Hi Rich, I get the feeling the 54" pier may be too short, even with
the 1200 head upon it. Although with the HGM-200 w/60" legs, near
horizon viewing did require a short (24") stepladder, at the zenith, i
would be on my knees. Just about right for my tastes. (I like standing)
I'll have to hope that someone will have a 7.1" EDT at Astrofest this
year, so i can better judge this. I don't believe Tom Back will be
bringing his. Mark


------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

MarkDambrosio@...
 

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=132
markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=129

Hi Mark,

The 54" pier should be fine for most observing. Most of
the time you can be sitting and part of the time you may
want to stand or lean on a ladder.

At this time I have an older 56" pier and mount I use with my
180EDT.
It is just a little longer fl than your APOMAX.

If you want to be looking straight overhead most the time then you
may
want a longer pier.

Rich


Hi Folks, Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO
mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand
controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop) I'm hoping that they are
not
too much of a head scratcher!, Also which Semi-pier (In height)
would
you think to be suitable for the Apomax 5.2" F-12 refractor? (OTA
about
60" Long) Thanks, Mark
Hi Rich, I get the feeling the 54" pier may be too short, even with
the 1200 head upon it. Although with the HGM-200 w/60" legs, near
horizon viewing did require a short (24") stepladder, at the zenith, i
would be on my knees. Just about right for my tastes. (I like
standing)
I'll have to hope that someone will have a 7.1" EDT at Astrofest this
year, so i can better judge this. I don't believe Tom Back will be
bringing his. Mark
Also, this post brings another question to mind. Are the
accessories such as the polar scope, piers, counterweights usually
stock items. Saw a polar scope without illuminator on Astromart just
yesterday, and it was $275. (Thought new price was $250) This made me
think that these may be very hard to aquire. (Such as the Losmandy
scope currently) Mark


Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

MarkDambrosio@...
 

markdambrosi-@... wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=129

Hi Mark,

The 54" pier should be fine for most observing. Most of
the time you can be sitting and part of the time you may
want to stand or lean on a ladder.

At this time I have an older 56" pier and mount I use with my 180EDT.
It is just a little longer fl than your APOMAX.

If you want to be looking straight overhead most the time then you may
want a longer pier.

Rich


Hi Folks, Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO
mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop) I'm hoping that they are
not
too much of a head scratcher!, Also which Semi-pier (In height) would
you think to be suitable for the Apomax 5.2" F-12 refractor? (OTA
about
60" Long) Thanks, Mark
Hi Rich, I get the feeling the 54" pier may be too short, even with
the 1200 head upon it. Although with the HGM-200 w/60" legs, near
horizon viewing did require a short (24") stepladder, at the zenith, i
would be on my knees. Just about right for my tastes. (I like standing)
I'll have to hope that someone will have a 7.1" EDT at Astrofest this
year, so i can better judge this. I don't believe Tom Back will be
bringing his. Mark