Date   

Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Jerry Zakariasen <j.zakariasen@...>
 

Wow Ray, very impressive work on both the imaging and on the
processing. Truely a spectacular result! Very nice detail on the dust
lane in M81. Can't wait to get my 155.

Jerry


M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

Here are some recent images I took with my AP equipment (AP1200GTO
and Traveler mounted on 155EDFS). The first is a widefield shot
of M81/82 with my ST-8E CCD camera and Traveler at f/4.5. It is
20 minutes each color from my backyard in San Jose, California:

http://www.gralak.com/Astro/M81-82-RGB-AP105.jpg

Then I went back and reimaged M81 and M82 with my 155EDFS at f/7
(same camera, my ST-8E). I used the RGB data from the above image
to create a color LRGB of M81 and M82.

The M81 image is 180 minutes luminance unbinned and M82 is 50
minutes unbinned. Again, both are from my backyard complete with
first quarter moonlight. I had lots of blooming stars with the
10 minute exposures I used so I had to touch up those stars - if
any look a little funny that's probably why. In fact even the core
of M81 started to bloom!!

M81: http://www.gralak.com/Astro/M81-LRGB-AP155.jpg
M82: http://www.gralak.com/Astro/M82-LRGB-AP155.jpg

Then I spliced in the above two images into a enlarged version of
the Traveler image to create a semi-RGB, semi-LRGB of the region. I
reduced the size of the image to 66.7% or original so that it
will at least fit on a 1600x1200 display:

http://www.gralak.com/Astro/M81-82-LRGB-AP155-Reduced.jpg

-Ray Gralak


Re: Using AP900 GTO with TheSky/T-Point

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/2/01 8:45:00 PM Central Standard Time,
j.zakariasen@... writes:

<< What I have been doing is firing up the AP and
getting it centered on a bright star. Then I establish the link with
TheSky. When the software link comes up, it seems to already be sync'ed on
the star the scope is pointing at. Is anything further needed? >>

No, nothing further is needed. The only reason to ever use the sync feature
is when the mount has not been started with the hand controller. Whenever the
mount is first fired up, something has to tell it the date, location, time,
and where the scope is pointing. This is normally done with the hand
controller. If you don't use the hand controller and start with The Sky, then
you have to manually enter that information, and tell it what star you are
pointing at by syncing on that object.

In the future, that information will all be automatically saved in the
servodrive, and if Software Bisque decides to add us to their list of
supported mounts, you will be able to start up automatically with The Sky
(assuming your scope and mount have not been moved since the last session).
No entries will be needed either with the hand controller or with the
computer program. The cursor will be located on the object where your scope
is pointing. In other words, the mount will auto-park anywhere in the sky as
soon as you turn off the power, and will resume normal operation
automatically as soon as you turn the power back on, minutes, hours, days,
weeks, months, years later.

Roland Christen


Re: Using AP900 GTO with TheSky/T-Point

Jerry Zakariasen <j.zakariasen@...>
 

Happy New Year Everyone,

I got the above two programs for Christmas and have been out experimenting a
couple of nights. I must say that the pointing improvements derived from
T-Point are quite profound. I expect that with a little effort I will get
the pointing down to below 40 arc seconds RMS.

I do have some questions about using T-Point with the 900 GTO. First of
all, since there is no AP dedicated driver yet I have been using the driver
for the LX200. The T-Point Manual states that LX 200 users should set the
T-Point Pressure and Height parameters to zero since the LX-200 control
system does the refraction calculations automatically. Is this also true
for the AP mounts as well, or should I be entering information for pressure
and height so that T-Point can do the atmospheric refraction calculations?

Another question I have relates to using terminal mode to trick TheSky into
sending higher precision data on celestial coordinates. Is this advisable?
I read somewhere that the LX200s normally operate in a mode that rounds to
the nearest arc minute?! If this is true I would think that getting the
accuracy of the coordinates down to arc second accuracy should improve
pointing. Does anyone out there know if this is true? If so, can you please
provide instruction which explains how to kick the software into high
precision mode?

The last issue I am wondering about is the proper procedure for syncronizing
T-Point with the AP mount. What I have been doing is firing up the AP and
getting it centered on a bright star. Then I establish the link with
TheSky. When the software link comes up, it seems to already be sync'ed on
the star the scope is pointing at. Is anything further needed? The T-Point
manual says to establish the link, and then from within TheSky, synchronize
the telescope on a known star. If someone can elaborate on the correct
procedure it would be most appreciated.

Am I correct in the assumption that once we have the new chip and hand
controller software installed that this sync'ing process will no longer be
necessary and the the AP mounts will behave in much the same fashion as the
Paramount?

Thanks to all in advance for sharing your knowledge.

Jerry


Re: AP-1200 pointing and guiding data

Richard Seavey <seavey@...>
 

Hi Gary,
I have an AP-1200 that is semi-permanently mounted. With reasonably accurate polar alignment and good OTA orthogonality, I get about +-2.5 arc-min over most of the sky. With T-point, I get 10 to 20 arc-sec rms over the whole sky.

Richard

At 04:51 PM 12/31/2000 +0000, you wrote:
I'm new to your group and considering the purchase of an AP-1200
Mount. I have been unable to find any data on the pointing accuracy
or guiding accuracy when using common CCD cameras such as the SBIG ST-
7,8,9 etc. Does anyone have any first hand data they would share on
pointing accuracy with or without the use of pointing programs such
as T-Point and data on guiding using a CCD camera? Any data and
comments are appreciated.

Gary Vander Haagen
Gray Dunes Observatory, Michigan


Re: AP-1200 pointing and guiding data

John Menke <domepage@...>
 

I have a 1200 mount with a 6in. f12 and ST7.

With moderate attention to orthogonality and scope alignment, I get
about 3-4 a-min pointing accuracy (this is the max error) at all parts
of the sky. If I worked at it, my impression is that this could be
knocked down to 2-3 a-min. without too much trouble. Of course, it is
also easy to goto a local target, resynch, then move to the object of
interest. If T-p[oint or something similar is used, one should be able
to do better than that. My uncorrected tracking is 3 a-sec peak to
peak.

Using the ST7 guide chip, I regularly track with a precision of well
under 0.5 pixel (roughly 1 a-s at f12). Combining images is easy--all
you do as add them (no alignment issues). I have done many 2-4 hours
of ten minute exposures at either f12 or f22 with all round stars.

John menke
Technical Innovations



twocat@... wrote:


I'm new to your group and considering the purchase of an AP-1200
Mount. I have been unable to find any data on the pointing accuracy
or guiding accuracy when using common CCD cameras such as the SBIG ST-
7,8,9 etc. Does anyone have any first hand data they would share on
pointing accuracy with or without the use of pointing programs such
as T-Point and data on guiding using a CCD camera? Any data and
comments are appreciated.

Gary Vander Haagen
Gray Dunes Observatory, Michigan


Re: AP-1200 pointing and guiding data

Adrian Catterall <Catterall@...>
 

Pointing depends on orthoganility of your OTA on the mount and polar
alignment to name but a few, but the accuracy can be very good indeed,
such that an object is on the chip every time.

Periodic error is very low at 4 arc secs peak to peak for my AP1200. You
can see some results from my Web page quoted below..

Adrian


In message <92no65+k7qm@...>, twocat@... writes
I'm new to your group and considering the purchase of an AP-1200
Mount. I have been unable to find any data on the pointing accuracy
or guiding accuracy when using common CCD cameras such as the SBIG ST-
7,8,9 etc. Does anyone have any first hand data they would share on
pointing accuracy with or without the use of pointing programs such
as T-Point and data on guiding using a CCD camera? Any data and
comments are appreciated.

Gary Vander Haagen
Gray Dunes Observatory, Michigan



Adrian Catterall, CCD astronomer
email: Catterall@...
Visit my Web page at: http://www.observatory.demon.co.uk
Guilden Morden
Hertfordshire
U.K.


AP-1200 pointing and guiding data

twocat@...
 

I'm new to your group and considering the purchase of an AP-1200
Mount. I have been unable to find any data on the pointing accuracy
or guiding accuracy when using common CCD cameras such as the SBIG ST-
7,8,9 etc. Does anyone have any first hand data they would share on
pointing accuracy with or without the use of pointing programs such
as T-Point and data on guiding using a CCD camera? Any data and
comments are appreciated.

Gary Vander Haagen
Gray Dunes Observatory, Michigan


Need 10 pound cweight for AP900

C. G. Anderson
 

Was wondering if anyone has a 10 pounder they want to get rid of?
Contact me via private email at chris@....

Chris Anderson


Re: GTO to laptop computer questions

Tim Khan
 

Jeff,


--- "Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky" <jgortatows@...>
wrote:
Coupla quick questions...

While waiting for my hand controller to return from
the AP Doctor I tried
hooking up DSV to the 400GTO using a Dell Latitude
CPi running Win98, but
never got the two to connect. Does one need a null
modem cable? I was using
a straight through RS-232 cable which means the
mount would need to reverse
send and receive.
The straight through DB-9 Cable should work perfectly
fine. I would check your Baud rate, and settings in
DSV & Windows. Also, check your cable, you could have
a defective cable, although unlikely.

And does one need the hand
controller? I thought the whole
setup routine and polar alignment routine, yada,
yada, yada, could be done
without it. Finally what the baud rate at power up
of the mount?
To align the mount without the hand controller using
DSV: you start up DSV, link to the mount, manually
move the scope to a known star, like Rigel, tell DSV
that you are pointing to Rigel, then tell DSV to find
Polaris, and do you Alt AZ adjustments on Polaris.
Then you slew back to Rigel, and center the star and
have DSV Calibrate on it. And repeat as required,
just like you would do with the hand controller.

I hope this helps,

Tim

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Re: new software chips

Dan Knauss <dknauss@...>
 

Do you know if a 1200GTO shipped in late September would have the latest
chip?

Dan Knauss

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew E. Forsberg <forsberg@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2000 9:21 AM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: new software chips



What is the latest version of this chip 2.06 or 3.0 etc.? How can you
tell
if you have the latest ver?

Andy


Hi Scott, From what Roland has stated (In recent earlier posts on this
forum). all new mounts are shipping with the new eeprom chip in the
Servo-Motor Controller.






GTO to laptop computer questions

Jeffrey Gortatowsky
 

Coupla quick questions...

While waiting for my hand controller to return from the AP Doctor I tried
hooking up DSV to the 400GTO using a Dell Latitude CPi running Win98, but
never got the two to connect. Does one need a null modem cable? I was using
a straight through RS-232 cable which means the mount would need to reverse
send and receive. And does one need the hand controller? I thought the whole
setup routine and polar alignment routine, yada, yada, yada, could be done
without it. Finally what the baud rate at power up of the mount?

PS: If I missed these in the manual, just e-kick me in the e-butt and tell
me to go back and RTFM more closely.

Thanks,
Jeff


Re: other OTAs on A-P mounts

Gregory Scott Bass
 

As far as I know the only way to get around this law is to by a
parallax mount with the ap gto. Scott
--- In ap-gto@..., "Terry R. Friedrichsen" <terry@v...> wrote:

According to my copy of the A-P Mafia Code Book (published in
1999), no one
is allowed to place non A-P OTAs atop A-P GTO mounts (sec. IV,
subparagraph
2).
But wait - how do I file for an exemption? Roland doesn't make 16"
reflec-
tors.

And anyway, the dog ate my copy of the code book, so I can plead
ignorance,
right?




The Code also states that the punishment for disobeying this rule
is
swift and severe. ~8^)
But wait - I'm on the *waiting list* for an A-P OTA; *surely* that
counts
as a mitigating circumstance?

I can do nothing but throw myself on the mercy of the court!

Wait! WAIT! Can't we talk this over??
AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!



Terry R. Friedrichsen

terry@v...


Re: new software chips

Gregory Scott Bass
 

Thanks guys, Roland had said they were going to be ready to ship the
new chips for the older units soon but that was about 6 weeks ago so
I was just checking to see what the status was, I will wait and email
them after the first of the year. Thanks Scott

--- In ap-gto@..., "Mark D'Ambrosio" <markdambrosio@w...>
wrote:
Hi Andy, I don't have my 1200 manual down here in Florida, but I
believe the latest version is v2.06

I think Roland, and Marj will be away till after the New Year to
confirm this. mark


Re: new software chips

Mark D'Ambrosio <markdambrosio@...>
 

Hi Andy, I don't have my 1200 manual down here in Florida, but I believe the latest version is v2.06

I think Roland, and Marj will be away till after the New Year to confirm this. mark


Re: new software chips

Andrew E. Forsberg <forsberg@...>
 

What is the latest version of this chip 2.06 or 3.0 etc.? How can you tell
if you have the latest ver?

Andy


Hi Scott, From what Roland has stated (In recent earlier posts on this
forum). all new mounts are shipping with the new eeprom chip in the
Servo-Motor Controller.


other OTAs on A-P mounts

Terry R. Friedrichsen <terry@...>
 

According to my copy of the A-P Mafia Code Book (published in 1999), no one
is allowed to place non A-P OTAs atop A-P GTO mounts (sec. IV, subparagraph
2).
But wait - how do I file for an exemption? Roland doesn't make 16" reflec-
tors.

And anyway, the dog ate my copy of the code book, so I can plead ignorance,
right?




The Code also states that the punishment for disobeying this rule is
swift and severe. ~8^)
But wait - I'm on the *waiting list* for an A-P OTA; *surely* that counts
as a mitigating circumstance?

I can do nothing but throw myself on the mercy of the court!

Wait! WAIT! Can't we talk this over?? AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!



Terry R. Friedrichsen

terry@...


Re: new software chips

Mark D'Ambrosio <markdambrosio@...>
 

Hi Scott, From what Roland has stated (In recent earlier posts on this forum). all new mounts are shipping with the new eeprom chip in the Servo-Motor Controller.

Very soon, AP states that they will have the feature of uploading any future upgrades for the hand controller directly from thier website.
If you have an "Older GTO Mount", and wish to have this new chip installed, I recommend that you contact AP directly, and make arrangements with them for the chip upgrade. Mark


new software chips

Gregory Scott Bass
 

Anyone know the status of the new software/hardware for the apgto?
thanks Scott


Re: C-14 ota with 6"Christen Triplet APO refractor on top on 1200 GOTOmount

John Menke <domepage@...>
 

We and several of our customers have 1200 mounts in remote operated
observatories that are exposed to the full range of temperatures and
conditions. No problem. Roland does advise if you are putting the 1200
into a permanent installation that you lightly oil the mating aluminum
surfaces so they don't stick together from the inevitable minor
corrosion.

John Menke
Technical Innovations
www.homedome.com

YADAV@... wrote:


I noticeed quite few of members of the group with c-14 on GOTO 1200
mount. I want to mount old (1986) Rolands F/8 refractor on top of C-14
using Ken Dauzat rings,I would like to share experince with someone
who has tried this combination in past. I just received new mount 8
weeks ago. I plan to use in in subzero winter weather in the
observatory. Any fear of oxidation of metallic bearings etc. or damge
to motors or electronics if left out side in the observatory for
prolonged periods? Thanks for the input. Mahesh Yadav