Date   

Re: Earth Centered Universe program

 

Whoops, don't know where the word "accurate" came from. Please ignore.
Marj
Astro-Physics
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
http://www.astro-physics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Marj [mailto:marj@...]
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 8:38 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Earth Centered Universe program

David Lane of Nova Astronomics has informed me that he has completed the
telescope driver for the Astro-Physics GTO mounts. Please see additional
information on our website: accurate
http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/using_software.htm.

Many thanks to Chris Spratt who assisted David with the testing of the
driver on his GTO mount.

Marjorie Christen
Astro-Physics
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
http://www.astro-physics.com


Earth Centered Universe program

 

David Lane of Nova Astronomics has informed me that he has completed the
telescope driver for the Astro-Physics GTO mounts. Please see additional
information on our website: accurate
http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/using_software.htm.

Many thanks to Chris Spratt who assisted David with the testing of the
driver on his GTO mount.

Marjorie Christen
Astro-Physics
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
http://www.astro-physics.com


Re: AP1200 and TPoint polar alignment

Andy Forsberg <CS-Imaging@...>
 

Roland,

Thanks very much for the info. You saved us the trouble of making the
calculations.

Take care great mount!

Andy


On the 1200 mount, the azimuth threads are 24 TPI at a 4.5" distance, which
comes out to .53 degrees per turn, on the altitude axis, the threads are 20
TPI at about 5.7" distance, which comes out to .5 degrees per turn. So each
axis moves at close to 1/2 degree for each full rotation of the knob.

Roland Christen


Re: AP1200 and TPoint polar alignment

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

In a message dated 1/8/01 10:29:26 AM Central Standard Time, ray@...
writes:

<< I just used trial and error. On the elevation one-quarter turn (I think)
was
about 20 arc mins. If Roland posts the threading on the elevation knob and
the EW knobs you can calculate with Trig how much to turn the knobs. This
would actually be nice to know. >>


On the 1200 mount, the azimuth threads are 24 TPI at a 4.5" distance, which
comes out to .53 degrees per turn, on the altitude axis, the threads are 20
TPI at about 5.7" distance, which comes out to .5 degrees per turn. So each
axis moves at close to 1/2 degree for each full rotation of the knob.

Roland Christen
Thanks Roland! That is very helpful.

-Ray


Re: 400GTO with DSV question

Jeffrey Gortatowsky
 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky" <jgortatows@...>
<snip>

A quick follow up... Assuming the com port is setup correctly, is there a
drop dead simple test I can do to make sure the mount is communicating? For
example on powerup of the mount, does it send anything out to the serial
ports?

Clear skies,
Jeff


400GTO with DSV question

Jeffrey Gortatowsky
 

Hi all,

Last night I was toying with my 400GTO hooked up to a Dell Latitude CPi. The
Dell is running Win98SE and DSV 2.0.18 (I think it's 2.0.18).

DSV always says the mount can not be found. _Yet_ if I go to DSV's emulation
mode, link to scope, and then turn _off_ emulation mode, the North, South,
East, West buttons of DSV _do_ cause the mount to operate as expected in
that the axis' move. But I'll be gall-durned if I can get the two (or any
thing else for that matter) to get a response from the mount. It's like the
mount listens but will not transmit. Well sort of...

I went into hyperterm and set it for TTY emulation on com1 at 9600,n,8,1. I
tried typing

:SG-08#<enter>

or

:GG#<enter>

and got nothing back (uh, yes I tried com2: but it's on com1 <g>). It's
strange the mount responded to DSV's N,S,E,W buttons huh? I figured the
mount is listening so I tried :Mn#<enter> in hyperterm to move it north but
nothing happened. Very weird.

And I have not tried lugging the mount up to my desktop inside. Guess I
should try that first. In the mean time, any ideas?

Clear skies
Jeff


Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

No need to train PEC. This has no effect on the pointing accuracy.
Actually there may be a small effect when the PEC is not trained. If
the gears have an error of +/- 5 arc seconds that can introduce up to
a 10 arc-seconds pointing error, which is significant if you are trying
to get your pointing accuracy to less than say 30 arc-seconds (where
the introduced error would be up to 33%).

But then there is the question of how backlash figures into all this...
I'm not sure about that yet.

-Ray Gralak


Re: AP1200 and TPoint polar alignment

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/8/01 10:29:26 AM Central Standard Time, ray@...
writes:

<< I just used trial and error. On the elevation one-quarter turn (I think)
was
about 20 arc mins. If Roland posts the threading on the elevation knob and
the EW knobs you can calculate with Trig how much to turn the knobs. This
would actually be nice to know. >>


On the 1200 mount, the azimuth threads are 24 TPI at a 4.5" distance, which
comes out to .53 degrees per turn, on the altitude axis, the threads are 20
TPI at about 5.7" distance, which comes out to .5 degrees per turn. So each
axis moves at close to 1/2 degree for each full rotation of the knob.

Roland Christen


Re: AP1200 and TPoint polar alignment

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

Thanks Ray,

One other question. After you take the six stars positions and TPoint gives
you the numbers on how far off the pole you are, say 1.1 deg elevation and
34 min azimuth, How do you know how much correction you should turn the AZ
and ELV to correct for what TPoint is telling you.

I guess what I'm asking is, the AP1200 controls are not graduated so how do
you know how much to move them after you obtain the TPoint information?
I just used trial and error. On the elevation one-quarter turn (I think) was
about 20 arc mins. If Roland posts the threading on the elevation knob and
the EW knobs you can calculate with Trig how much to turn the knobs. This
would actually be nice to know.

In the mean time you could just turn the knobs one full revolution and do another
Tpoint run to measure how much one turn is. Then you can calculate the appropriate
number of turns (and fraction of a turn) to bring you close to polar alignment.
Once close then do minor variations afterwards.

Once you adjust the AZ and ELV do you again run TPoint to make sure you are
right on?
Yes.

I take it you serial cables are also 100 feet.
Yes. See the paragraphs under AP1200GTO here for a full description of my setup:
http://www.gralak.com/Astro/Equipment.html

By the way, my setup is temp. also but with the 42 inch pier. I'm pleased
with the stability. Also overkill, but what the Hay, it doesn't move. Some
movement once with a C14 in a 12 knot open wind. I guess you can never be
too stable.
True!


Thanks for the input.
You're welcome!

-Ray


Re: 400GTO with DSV question

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/8/01 1:21:30 PM Central Standard Time,
jgortatows@... writes:

<< For
example on powerup of the mount, does it send anything out to the serial
ports? >>

No, only if you ask it a question, does the mount send an answer. The
question can be any of the LX200 commands that results in a message from the
mount.

Roland Christen


Re: AP1200 and TPoint polar alignment

Andy Forsberg <CS-Imaging@...>
 

Thanks Ray,

One other question. After you take the six stars positions and TPoint gives
you the numbers on how far off the pole you are, say 1.1 deg elevation and
34 min azimuth, How do you know how much correction you should turn the AZ
and ELV to correct for what TPoint is telling you.

I guess what I'm asking is, the AP1200 controls are not graduated so how do
you know how much to move them after you obtain the TPoint information?

Once you adjust the AZ and ELV do you again run TPoint to make sure you are
right on?

I take it you serial cables are also 100 feet.

By the way, my setup is temp. also but with the 42 inch pier. I'm pleased
with the stability. Also overkill, but what the Hay, it doesn't move. Some
movement once with a C14 in a 12 knot open wind. I guess you can never be
too stable.

Thanks for the input.

Andy


Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

Hi Andy,

I currently use a JMI DRO focuser controlled through 100 feet of cable.
However, I am planning soon to move to the RoboFocus product from HomeDome
to take my automation one step further.

When establishing polar alignment (my setup is temporary) I only use the
minimum 6 stars. After I obtain a polar alignment within one arc-minute
I do one more run of about a dozen stars then every time I image a new
target I add a map point for it. Typically I get an RMS of around 40
arc-sec,
although this last time I'm at just over 20 arc-sec.

Two things worth mentioning: 1) this is with my 155EDFS refractor, AP Rings,
and
AP 18" Heavy duty mounting plate, and ST-8E CCD camera sitting on my 1200GTO
mount,
so there is no mirror flop and I'm "overmounted", and 2) I use the shortest
AP pier
made so that the mount is as stable as possible.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Forsberg [mailto:CS-Imaging@...]
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:21 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS


Ray,
How do you remote focus the instrument? How long are your serial cables
from the computer to the mount? How many TPoint targets to you take in a
run for polar alignment?

Thanks Andy

Also, if you ever hope to go remote with your mount the
1200 is a better choice. I've taken mine with me on perhaps
10 remote trips. You will not have that ability with the
Paramount.

And by the way, I use all of the Bisque software with no
problems. I've been using TPoint lately to refine my
polar alignment to within 1 arc-minute and pointing
accuracy to any part of the sky to less than 20-arcseconds
with my 155EDFS on the stock AP pier setup in my backyard.








Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Andy Forsberg <CS-Imaging@...>
 

Ray,
How do you remote focus the instrument? How long are your serial cables
from the computer to the mount? How many TPoint targets to you take in a
run for polar alignment?

Thanks Andy

Also, if you ever hope to go remote with your mount the
1200 is a better choice. I've taken mine with me on perhaps
10 remote trips. You will not have that ability with the
Paramount.

And by the way, I use all of the Bisque software with no
problems. I've been using TPoint lately to refine my
polar alignment to within 1 arc-minute and pointing
accuracy to any part of the sky to less than 20-arcseconds
with my 155EDFS on the stock AP pier setup in my backyard.


Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/7/01 9:40:07 PM Central Standard Time,
j.zakariasen@... writes:

<< m thinking that using the :U# command
may help, but I'm not sure if you are supposed click the send button
or simply click OK after typing in the command. Is there anyway to
tell if the command is invoked in the software?>>

You do need to send the :U# command. There is no return message to inform you
that it have been received, but received it has for sure. Once that command
is sent, the pointing accuracy is much improved. Without that, the accuracy
will be no better that +- 120 arc sec.

I also assume that you would have to train PEC before creating the T-
point model. Am I correct on that? >>

No need to train PEC. This has no effect on the pointing accuracy.

Roland Christen


Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

Hi Jerry,

Hi Ray,

And by the way, I use all of the Bisque software with no
problems. I've been using TPoint lately to refine my
polar alignment to within 1 arc-minute and pointing
accuracy to any part of the sky to less than 20-arcseconds
with my 155EDFS on the stock AP pier setup in my backyard.
It sounds like you are using the exact software that I am trying to
get a handle on! So far using T-Point I've not gotten the pointing
any better than 60 arc seconds RMS. Your figure of 20 arc seconds is
incredible!! Do you think the 900GTO has the same quality pointing
potential as the 1200? All I have on the mount at this time is my
TV101 so mirror flop is not the issue.
I don't know if the 900GTO has the same accuracy or not. Perhaps
Roland will comment. Still, 60 arc seconds is very good. My first
few attempts were about that accuracy.

Also, could you look back at my message #1719. Roland answered the
question on sync'ing for me but there were some other questions you
might be able to help me on. I'm thinking that using the :U# command
may help, but I'm not sure if you are supposed click the send button
or simply click OK after typing in the command. Is there anyway to
tell if the command is invoked in the software?
You need to press the "Send" button. If you just press "ok" the mount
will still be in low precision mode. And you absolutely need to send
the ":U#" or there is no way you'll get better than 1 arc-minute
accuracy.

The key to getting a good TPoint model is to use a CCD camera and take
snap shots at each map point and use the Image Link feature of TheSky.
This will precisely locate the map point (but you still need to press
the "map" button for the mapping to actually occur). If you try to (or
have to) do it by hand you will certainly lose some accuracy.

I also assume that you would have to train PEC before creating the T-
point model. Am I correct on that?
I don't think the 5 arc-sec accuracy will affect pointing that much.
Through your Tpoint model you can refine your polar alignment which
is a big plus for PEC recording. To do PEC recording I wait for a steady
night (stars not twinkling much) find a 8th-9th mag star near the
celestial equator and the meridian then get my CCD's autoguider tracking
it at a minimum rate of 1 update/second then I invoke the PEC record
usually throught the serial port (":pR#").

Before I start a CCD session after I invoke the ":U#" command I invoke
":pP#" to playback the PEC. I also adjust the counterweight on my mount
so that the scope is always using gravity to keep RA tension.

Thank-you much for all your help on this Ray!!
You're welcome!

-Ray


Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Jerry Zakariasen <j.zakariasen@...>
 

Hi Ray,

And by the way, I use all of the Bisque software with no
problems. I've been using TPoint lately to refine my
polar alignment to within 1 arc-minute and pointing
accuracy to any part of the sky to less than 20-arcseconds
with my 155EDFS on the stock AP pier setup in my backyard.
It sounds like you are using the exact software that I am trying to
get a handle on! So far using T-Point I've not gotten the pointing
any better than 60 arc seconds RMS. Your figure of 20 arc seconds is
incredible!! Do you think the 900GTO has the same quality pointing
potential as the 1200? All I have on the mount at this time is my
TV101 so mirror flop is not the issue.

Also, could you look back at my message #1719. Roland answered the
question on sync'ing for me but there were some other questions you
might be able to help me on. I'm thinking that using the :U# command
may help, but I'm not sure if you are supposed click the send button
or simply click OK after typing in the command. Is there anyway to
tell if the command is invoked in the software?

I also assume that you would have to train PEC before creating the T-
point model. Am I correct on that?

Thank-you much for all your help on this Ray!!

Jerry


Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 

Hi Gary,

Tracking is excellent on my 1200 GTO. When well polar aligned
I can go unlimited exposure length with PEC enabled with my
Traveler. In fact all of my H-Alpha mosaics were unguided
exposures. Take a look here for examples (look for images
where I mention "mosaic"):

http://www.gralak.com/Astro/HAlpha.htm

Of course, once you add a guider then the resulting images
are even better tracked! There are examples of that in that
URL too.

Also, if you ever hope to go remote with your mount the
1200 is a better choice. I've taken mine with me on perhaps
10 remote trips. You will not have that ability with the
Paramount.

And by the way, I use all of the Bisque software with no
problems. I've been using TPoint lately to refine my
polar alignment to within 1 arc-minute and pointing
accuracy to any part of the sky to less than 20-arcseconds
with my 155EDFS on the stock AP pier setup in my backyard.

To collect the information for my H-Alpha mosaics I use
Orchestrate. And of course I use TheSky to locate objects
for acquisition. Bisque is supposedly adding support for
AP mounts and once the new AP firmware is released the
last "problem", that of parking the scope, will be resolved.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Vander Haagen [mailto:twocat@...]
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2001 9:13 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS


Ray, excellent images of M81 and M82. From the looks of the stars it
appears the AP1200 does a good job of tracking. What kind of tracking
accuracy are you typically getting with the mount and the ST-8E? Are both
axes equally stable? I'm pondering the AP1200 versus the Paramount.

Gary Vander Haagen






Re: M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Ray Gralak <ray@...>
 


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

Thanks Jerry! I'm sure you will be extremely pleased with your 155.

-Ray


M81 and M82 Images with Traveler and 155EDFS

Gary Vander Haagen <twocat@...>
 

Ray, excellent images of M81 and M82. From the looks of the stars it
appears the AP1200 does a good job of tracking. What kind of tracking
accuracy are you typically getting with the mount and the ST-8E? Are both
axes equally stable? I'm pondering the AP1200 versus the Paramount.

Gary Vander Haagen


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