Date   

Re: A quick image of moon

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Thanks Steve!

Yes, the replacement ASCOM driver (which I am also working on) is intended to
work with this Control Center.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Steve Reilly
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 7:54 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] A quick image of moon

Nice Moon Ray. Is this the replacement driver as well?

Steve

From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of
Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 10:31 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
; ap-ug@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-ug%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [ap-gto] A quick image of moon

It was a very transparent evening last night so I started
initial testing of
different user interface layouts for the upcoming replacement
program for
PulseGuide (so far it is named the "AP Control Center").

While doing that the moon looked so nice from my backyard
that I drug out my
Canon 1D Mark III and took a few shots through Traveler with
2x AP barlow
mounted on my AP1200GTO. Seeing was a little wavy but all of the shots
turned
out fine. Here is one of them (1/30th second exposure, ISO 100):

http://www.gralak.com/Astro/Moon-07-22-2007.jpg
<http://www.gralak.com/Astro/Moon-07-22-2007.jpg>

-Ray Gralak







Re: A quick image of moon

Steve Reilly <sreilly@...>
 

Nice Moon Ray. Is this the replacement driver as well?



Steve





From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Ray Gralak
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 10:31 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com; ap-ug@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] A quick image of moon



It was a very transparent evening last night so I started initial testing of
different user interface layouts for the upcoming replacement program for
PulseGuide (so far it is named the "AP Control Center").

While doing that the moon looked so nice from my backyard that I drug out my
Canon 1D Mark III and took a few shots through Traveler with 2x AP barlow
mounted on my AP1200GTO. Seeing was a little wavy but all of the shots
turned
out fine. Here is one of them (1/30th second exposure, ISO 100):

http://www.gralak.com/Astro/Moon-07-22-2007.jpg

-Ray Gralak


A quick image of moon

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

It was a very transparent evening last night so I started initial testing of
different user interface layouts for the upcoming replacement program for
PulseGuide (so far it is named the "AP Control Center").

While doing that the moon looked so nice from my backyard that I drug out my
Canon 1D Mark III and took a few shots through Traveler with 2x AP barlow
mounted on my AP1200GTO. Seeing was a little wavy but all of the shots turned
out fine. Here is one of them (1/30th second exposure, ISO 100):

http://www.gralak.com/Astro/Moon-07-22-2007.jpg

-Ray Gralak


Re: simple resolution certain flat-field anomalies involving square emission line filters

Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
 

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Rick Wiggins" <rickwiggins@...> wrote:

Hi Richard,
Very nice work! Seems the problems with filters just
continue...almost like protoytpes are not well tested.
Rick

thanks Rick,

someone once told me that when things work out as planned you haven't
learned anything. when they don't there's a chance for learning.

it seems that just about anything these days turns into a "project",
but that's just another aspect of the hobby that I enjoy.

Since I had originally suggested using square filters as a cost
reduction scheme for these larger sensors, I have an interest in
seeing the idea to its logical conclusion so I am happy that this
issue was resolved so quickly and for zero additional cost.


Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

astrokattner
 

Patrick,

Spending time making the OTA orthogonal is time well spent. I took a
lot of time investing in T-Point etc. But finally, I took several
nights shimming my OTA (a C9.25) on a losmandy dovetail attached to
my AP900. It took some time to get right, but now I don't really
even need T-Point much anymore. Objects are on the chip on either
side of the meridian.


--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Astrodude" <dude@...> wrote:

Thank you all, looks like I will be spending more time making the
scope orthoganal to the mount.

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold
http://www.astrodude.com

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 7/23/2007 11:53:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
dude@ writes:


Is there a time that I may have recalibrated too many times
that
I
would have to do a new alignment?
You can recal any number of times. All this does is to establish
the present
position as the new position for GoTo to the next object.

Roland Christen


**************************************
Get a sneak peek of the
all-new AOL at http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Astrodude
 

Thank you all, looks like I will be spending more time making the
scope orthoganal to the mount.

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold
http://www.astrodude.com

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 7/23/2007 11:53:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
dude@... writes:


Is there a time that I may have recalibrated too many times that
I
would have to do a new alignment?
You can recal any number of times. All this does is to establish
the present
position as the new position for GoTo to the next object.

Roland Christen


**************************************
Get a sneak peek of the
all-new AOL at http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

Patrick, I believe the manual indicates that pointing accuracy is dependent on orthogonality so you could follow those instructions to ensure your OTA is orthogonal to the mount axes.

Stuart
============================================================
From: "Astrodude" <dude@astrodude.com>
Date: 2007/07/23 Mon AM 10:20:24 EDT
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

All,

I have owned my 900GTO for about three or four months now and have
resisted asking questions because I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing
something really stupid and then telling the world.

I am permentaly mounted, balanced, fully powered and aligned. I have
been drift aligning for the last three nights. My question is after I
have what I believe very good polar alignment what should I do to
improve pointing accuracy. Should I redo an alignment routine? I have
been doing the recalibrate but I was hoping for better accuracy without
having to recal in new parts of the sky.

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold
http://www.astrodude.com


============================================================


Re: simple resolution certain flat-field anomalies involving square emission line filters

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Richard,
Very nice work! Seems the problems with filters just
continue...almost like protoytpes are not well tested.
Rick

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Crisp" <rdcrisp@...> wrote:

Late last week I was asked if I could help identify the root cause
of some anomalies observed in some flat fields taken using some
square emission line filters.

as it turns out some of the square emission line filters when used
in the CFW4-5 have an unprotected edge that can cause spurious
reflections. There are a number of ways to address the issue but a
simple one is to install the filter wheel carousel upside down. That
will require inverting the drive sprocket too but that's simple
enough as well.

here is a writeup of my findings and some before and after images
and photos of what was done

http://www.narrowbandimaging.com/square_flat_anomalies_page.htm



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Button-cell illuminator for polar scope?

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

I ran across a picture yesterday of an AP600E with a polar scope which
protruded from the back a bit more than the current model, and had a
button-cell illuminator (the kind where the batteries are in a tube
with the illuminator at the end, similar to most wireless reticle
eyepieces).

Anyone know if this (I assume older?) polar scope had the same
illuminator threads? I've checked my Tak finderscope and Lumicon
illuminated reticle, but they both use much larger threads.

I assume the Rigel Pulseguide also has the bigger threads? Can anyone
confirm?

I'd really like not to have to fuss with all the wires and the keypad
for illumination control....

-- Jeff.


Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 7/23/2007 11:53:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
dude@astrodude.com writes:


Is there a time that I may have recalibrated too many times that I
would have to do a new alignment?
You can recal any number of times. All this does is to establish the present
position as the new position for GoTo to the next object.

Roland Christen


**************************************
Get a sneak peek of the
all-new AOL at http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


Re: Controlling 900GTO Mount without a Serial Port - what about PCMIA adapters

Harald Bardenhagen
 

Hello Ruben!

If you do have an inbuild USB port, I do suggest using an external
USB-to-Serial adapter. This gives you a solid connection. PCMCIA
adapters are very "flat", the mechanical stability of any connectors
to them is not reliable - I assume the power consumption will be
higher, too.
With an external USB-to-Serial adapter, you might use a long USB
expansion cable for the "long" conection between laptop and mount and
place the USB-to-Serial adapter directly at the mount. The USB
expansion cable will be less heavy than a full-connected serial cable
and you might also use it (with an additional USB hub near the
mouint) to connect other devices like a webcam tp your laptop.
I do vote for USB instead of PCMCIA.

Greetings, Harry

Windows-Powered-AP-900GTO-mounted telescope and astro-camera

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "stardoctor5" <stardoctor5@...> wrote:

I have seen some adapters that use the PCMIA slot instead of a USB
slot. Does anyone have experience with these? Should these be
better or worse? I think they would be less likely to be pulled
out
accidently.

Ruben

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Bert Katzung" <katzung1@> wrote:

Hi Wade:
I have an Edgeport USB to serial
hub and it works perfectly.
Bert

katzung1@
www.astronomy-images.com
www.visionlightgallery.com/katzung/

----- Original Message -----
From: "twade35" <twade35@>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2007 3:04 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Controlling 900GTO Mount without a Serial Port


I recently purchased a laptop which unfortunately has no serial
ports.
Is it possible to use a USB to Serial Port cable with a 900GTO
mount?

Thanks,

Wade



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Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Astrodude
 

Rolando,

Thank you for the reply I will start looking at the orthogonal issue
more closely.

BTW, my setup is a Tak FSQ with an SBIG ST2000XM/CFW8a and for
alignment I use a 12mm reticled eypiece with a TV Powermate 5x. I
do image at both F/5 and F/8. I also have the 7x50 Tak finder.

Typically, the object I would GOTO would be about 1/3 FOV out from
center in the finder and this is pretty consistant. Not hard to
center from there but I wouldn't complain if I could improve the
pointing. As for imaging the mount is outstanding. My guiding
error is roughly X +-.2 and Y +-.1. This is without PEC turned on.
I will eventually train the PEC and turn it on when I have really
fine tuned the alignment.

Is there a time that I may have recalibrated too many times that I
would have to do a new alignment?

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold
http://www.astrodude.com

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 7/23/2007 10:10:52 AM Central Daylight Time,
dude@... writes:


I am permentaly mounted, balanced, fully powered and aligned. I
have
been drift aligning for the last three nights. My question is
after I
have what I believe very good polar alignment what should I do
to
improve pointing accuracy. Should I redo an alignment routine? I
have
been doing the recalibrate but I was hoping for better accuracy
without
having to recal in new parts of the sky.
Your pointing accuracy will depend on how orthogonal your scope
is. For each
1 degree that the scope points optically off from the mechanical
axis, you
will be off by 2 degrees when the scope does a meridian flip. If
your scope has
wide-field, then the object will always be somewhere in the field
of view, but
never centered. If you have a long focus scope, then obviously the
object will
be out of the field of view. No matter which mount you buy, this
will always
be the case. Therefore, to solve this problem, you would either
align the
optical axis of your scope with the mechanical axis, or you would
use external
software such as T-Point to do it for you. Even with perfect polar
alignment, you
can never have perfect GoTo without some software intervention,
because the
sky itself is distorted by the atmosphere.

At this point, we do not have software for the keypad to do this
function,
but we are working at it. We probably will have it later this
year, perhaps
earlier for beta testing.

One other thing: scopes such as large SCTs present more
complexities to the
pointing issue because their internal optical path shifts around
randomly due
to the way they are constructed. Therefore you may have problems
even with
T-Point to get the system to always point exactly. Therefore you
may have to use
the Rcal function to center the object even though you are using T-
Point or a
similar software solution.

Rolando


**************************************
Get a sneak peek of the all-new
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Astrodude
 

Kent,

Thank you for replying, and yes the drift aligning has served me
very well for imaging. It is just that I have to recal once I GOTO
an object. My imaging setup is a Tak FSQ with a SBIG ST2000/CFW8a.
I run it both in F5 and F8. To drift align I use a 12mm reticled
eyepiece with a TV Powermate 5x. I will have to look into the
orothogonal issue as that may be my problem.

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold
http://www.astrodude.com


Patrick:
If you have been 'drift aligning' for 'the last three nights' I
doubt you
need to do anything else.

A really good drift alignment over several nights should serve you
well for
imaging exposures out to several hours and, if visual, way beyond
what is
required.

Kent Kirkley


Re: Keypad battery

Adrian Catterall
 

I also changed mine recently, both on the AP1200 and AP400 as the former is now 8 years old.
I had the mount powered and also noticed a reset noise when the old battery came out, but everything looks fine.

Is the resetting normal behaviour? I wasn't expecting it, as the power to the hand controller came from the mount. I am asking because both my handsets frequently reset during normal use and have tried the usual tricks to eliminate it. Since I replaced the batteries, there have been no resets, so I do wonder. The remaining charge in both batteries was 3.23 and 3.27V

Adrian

chris1011@aol.com wrote:


In a message dated 7/20/2007 4:08:04 AM Central Daylight Time,
a.w.colburn@warwick.ac.uk <mailto:a.w.colburn%40warwick.ac.uk> writes:


Recent posts regarding the keypad battery have spured me into action
since my AP 1200 is now 7 years old. I purchased a replacement battery
some time ago when Roland advised the lifetime is expected to be about
5 years.

Following the instructions on the AP website I noticed two things I was
not expecting. When I lifted the clip to free the battery I heard the
click from the speaker indicating the keypad was reset and when the
battery was out the display was blank. The display returned to normal
after inserting the new battery. Is this expected behaviour for battery
replacement?

I measured the old battery at 3.29V so it probably still had a few
years of life left in it. On the Gemini system I use for field work the
memory back-up battery which is a much larger cell needs to be changed
every year.

Alex
As a caution to others contemplating replacement of the battery: The battery
changing instructions are on the web site. If you replace the battery, first
power the keypad up with your normal power source plugged into the servo. Now,
when you replace the battery, you will not lose any of the data base. If you
pull the battery out and do not have the keypad powered up from an external
supply, then you will lose the database and will have to reload it via the AP
website using the download procedure.

Roland Christen

**************************************
Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
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tradeoffs on filter wheel/filter interaction

Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
 

obviously the square filter issue could be resolved by the filter makers spending more time and effort to better prepare the edges of their filters. That adds cost and cost increases that are unnecessary should be avoided in my way of thinking. That's what engineering is all about: making the best solution for the lowest cost.

The attractive thing about flipping over the carousel and using the bottom of the filter pocket for providing the edge exclusion is that it adds ZERO cost to the system. That is better in my way of thinking that having the carousel upright and the filters modified. There are five filters in the wheel and each has four edges that would require 'work'. It is a better optimization in my opinion to put the burden on the user to install the filters in such a way that doesn't cause a problem when that can be done at no additional cost and with virtually no additional work.

To me that's a great optimization that saves us all money including the people that are selling filters.

I still think it would be nice to have a stamped stainless steel "knife edge" that can be placed over the filters to retain them in the pocket and to provide a very nice and clean edge for the filter's aperture stop..... just in case anyone is listening.


tradeoffs on filter wheel/filter interaction

Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
 

obviously the square filter issue could be resolved by the filter makers spending more time and effort to better prepare the edges of their filters. That adds cost and cost increases that are unnecessary should be avoided in my way of thinking. That's what engineering is all about: making the best solution for the lowest cost.

The attractive thing about flipping over the carousel and using the bottom of the filter pocket for providing the edge exclusion is that it adds ZERO cost to the system. That is better in my way of thinking that having the carousel upright and the filters modified. There are five filters in the wheel and each has four edges that would require 'work'. It is a better optimization in my opinion to put the burden on the user to install the filters in such a way that doesn't cause a problem when that can be done at no additional cost and with virtually no additional work.

To me that's a great optimization that saves us all money including the people that are selling filters.

I still think it would be nice to have a stamped stainless steel "knife edge" that can be placed over the filters to retain them in the pocket and to provide a very nice and clean edge for the filter's aperture stop..... just in case anyone is listening.


tradeoffs on filter wheel/filter interaction

Richard Crisp <rdcrisp@...>
 

obviously the square filter issue could be resolved by the filter makers spending more time and effort to better prepare the edges of their filters. That adds cost and cost increases that are unnecessary should be avoided in my way of thinking. That's what engineering is all about: making the best solution for the lowest cost.

The attractive thing about flipping over the carousel and using the bottom of the filter pocket for providing the edge exclusion is that it adds ZERO cost to the system. That is better in my way of thinking that having the carousel upright and the filters modified. There are five filters in the wheel and each has four edges that would require 'work'. It is a better optimization in my opinion to put the burden on the user to install the filters in such a way that doesn't cause a problem when that can be done at no additional cost and with virtually no additional work.

To me that's a great optimization that saves us all money including the people that are selling filters.

I still think it would be nice to have a stamped stainless steel "knife edge" that can be placed over the filters to retain them in the pocket and to provide a very nice and clean edge for the filter's aperture stop..... just in case anyone is listening.


New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Astrodude
 

All,

I have owned my 900GTO for about three or four months now and have
resisted asking questions because I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing
something really stupid and then telling the world.

I am permentaly mounted, balanced, fully powered and aligned. I have
been drift aligning for the last three nights. My question is after I
have what I believe very good polar alignment what should I do to
improve pointing accuracy. Should I redo an alignment routine? I have
been doing the recalibrate but I was hoping for better accuracy without
having to recal in new parts of the sky.

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold
http://www.astrodude.com


Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Kent Kirkley
 

In a message dated 7/23/2007 11:43:45 AM Central Daylight Time,
dude@astrodude.com writes:

Kent,

Thank you for replying, and yes the drift aligning has served me
very well for imaging. It is just that I have to recal once I GOTO
an object. My imaging setup is a Tak FSQ with a SBIG ST2000/CFW8a.
I run it both in F5 and F8. To drift align I use a 12mm reticled
eyepiece with a TV Powermate 5x. I will have to look into the
orothogonal issue as that may be my problem.

Dark Skies,

Patrick Harrold


Patrick:
Probably.
When I used to do 45 minute to 1 hour film exposures with either Traveler or
155 I did careful drift alignment
with the 155 (1086mm fl). AP Barcon (2x) and 5mm Tak LG eyepiece.
When I began CCD imaging I ran a test where I used only my bore-sighted
Polar Alignment Scope and discovered that I didn't need to drift align with
subexposures of 45minutes.
The 1200GTO will put the object usually in the center of the STL-11000 chip,
but sometimes Recal is necessary.....probably an orthogonal issue too.

Kent Kirkley



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Re: New AP Owner (AP900GTO CP2)

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 7/23/2007 10:10:52 AM Central Daylight Time,
dude@astrodude.com writes:


I am permentaly mounted, balanced, fully powered and aligned. I have
been drift aligning for the last three nights. My question is after I
have what I believe very good polar alignment what should I do to
improve pointing accuracy. Should I redo an alignment routine? I have
been doing the recalibrate but I was hoping for better accuracy without
having to recal in new parts of the sky.
Your pointing accuracy will depend on how orthogonal your scope is. For each
1 degree that the scope points optically off from the mechanical axis, you
will be off by 2 degrees when the scope does a meridian flip. If your scope has
wide-field, then the object will always be somewhere in the field of view, but
never centered. If you have a long focus scope, then obviously the object will
be out of the field of view. No matter which mount you buy, this will always
be the case. Therefore, to solve this problem, you would either align the
optical axis of your scope with the mechanical axis, or you would use external
software such as T-Point to do it for you. Even with perfect polar alignment, you
can never have perfect GoTo without some software intervention, because the
sky itself is distorted by the atmosphere.

At this point, we do not have software for the keypad to do this function,
but we are working at it. We probably will have it later this year, perhaps
earlier for beta testing.

One other thing: scopes such as large SCTs present more complexities to the
pointing issue because their internal optical path shifts around randomly due
to the way they are constructed. Therefore you may have problems even with
T-Point to get the system to always point exactly. Therefore you may have to use
the Rcal function to center the object even though you are using T-Point or a
similar software solution.

Rolando


**************************************
Get a sneak peek of the all-new
AOL at http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour