Date   

Re: APM Telescope (175mm) and AP900 weight limits

Hank Sielski
 

Hi,

I have a friend with an AP 180/F9 which he used to use visually on an
AP900. He was generally happy with it, except on windy nights. So he (like
Eric) also upgraded to the 1200. Of course you do sacrifice some
portability. but I would certainly agree that the 1200 is the way to go with
this scope, if you're intent on doing imaging.

Hank

On 8/18/07, r1300rs <cardiofuse@...> wrote:

Thank you for the very useful information. I believe you are right on
point regarding the
mount. I don't think that by adding 1 more inch to my normal scope will do
much for CCD
imaging but the mount, clear skys and technique will make a difference.
Perhaps I should
stay with the 150-160mm range. I have to stay portable with my location.



Reticle illuminator fried

r1300rs
 

Ok, it was dark and the first time using my new AP900. I accidently plugged the illuminator
cable (with polarity switching adapter) to the 6volt connection instead of the reticle
connection (3 volt I assume). Naturally I smoaked the red LED. Will this cause any harm to
the control box (versus my pride)? How would I obtain a replacement; from Losmandy?

Roland, thanks for the hat and keychain; I'm the envy of the Colonel.

Thanks,

I remain bruised.


Re: APM Telescope (175mm) and AP900 weight limits

r1300rs
 

Thank you for the very useful information. I believe you are right on point regarding the
mount. I don't think that by adding 1 more inch to my normal scope will do much for CCD
imaging but the mount, clear skys and technique will make a difference. Perhaps I should
stay with the 150-160mm range. I have to stay portable with my location.


Re: APM Telescope (175mm) and AP900 weight limits

Eric Baumgartner
 

Hi, there:

I have had a TMB 175 f/8.0 "classic" (the one with the silver CNC focuser
and silver tube rings) for about two years now. It is a heavier OTA than the
new versions of this scope; I think mine weighs in at 48 lbs, including the
massive rings.

I first mounted it on a new AP900GTO with the 15" ribbed mounting plate
(900RPA), following the lead of a friend who has had good success with this
combination for visual use. Scope vibrations didn't damp out quickly enough
for my tastes, and I have since upgraded to the AP1200 with the 24" ribbed
mounting plate (1200RP). I am very happy with this arrangement. Damping time
is about one second now, and the long tube is much more resistant to
breezes. I think that a lot has to do with the length of the 24" mounting
plate, which spaces the tube rings nearly two feet apart, and thus
significantly reduces the lengths of the cantilevered focus and objective
ends.

If I were an imager, I don't think that there would be any question but to
go with the larger A-P mount. As Roland has said on this forum on at least
one occasion, the three most important parts to successful imaging are (1)
the mount, (2) the mount, and (3) the mount.

Hope this helps,

Eric Baumgartner
Redding, CT USA

On 08/17/07 3:23 PM, "r1300rs" <cardiofuse@...> wrote:

I was wondering if the APM 175/1400 (6.9") refractor which weighs in at 39
pounds and 45 pounds with the tube rings and brackets will fit on my new AP900
without too much stress.

The only other additional weight would include the SBIG
Camera/finder/telecompressor; probably another 5-8 pounds. This gives a total
of about 53 pounds.

I see the specs on the AP900 will carry 70 pounds but this scope isf/8 and
close to 60 inches long.

Any thoughts?

You guessed it; I'm on the 4+ year plan for an AP scope.

Thanks!


Re: Mount does not stop Update - E1 chip installed

bcoote37
 

Hi Roland,
I have Sky 6 and have been using a 500ms update frequency. I just changed it to 4000 ms and on re-opening The Sky it had become 4 ms
In fact any figure over 3000 ms reverts to the single first digit.
It saved 2900ms update time fine however.
Brian
http://www.bcoote-astro.com/default.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: chris1011@...
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2007 2:16 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mount does not stop Update - E1 chip installed


In a message dated 8/17/2007 1:15:17 AM Central Daylight Time,
cluster@... writes:

> Next I need to change out the serial cables themself just to get them
> out of the picture. But running both programs with 2 serial cables
> still won't fly, its very easy to get pulse guide not to stop the mount
> from slewing.
>

What two programs do you have attached to the two serial cables? Is one of
them TheSky6? If so, what refresh rate do you have for the position cursor? If
it is a fast rate, try changing it to update position every 2 - 4 seconds. If
your refresh rate for the position cursor is very fast, the servo may become
overloaded with requests for RA/DEC position and not have time to respond to any
other commands.

Rolando

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APM Telescope (175mm) and AP900 weight limits

r1300rs
 

I was wondering if the APM 175/1400 (6.9") refractor which weighs in at 39 pounds and 45
pounds with the tube rings and brackets will fit on my new AP900 without too much stress.

The only other additional weight would include the SBIG Camera/finder/telecompressor;
probably another 5-8 pounds. This gives a total of about 53 pounds.

I see the specs on the AP900 will carry 70 pounds but this scope isf/8 and close to 60 inches
long.

Any thoughts?

You guessed it; I'm on the 4+ year plan for an AP scope.

Thanks!


Re: Mount does not stop Update - E1 chip installed

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

I will check on that but I kind of thought that might be an issue, so
I suspended the link to the Sky when moving the scope with Pulse
Guide. Just to let you know, the Sky can be disconneted completey
although I have not tried this with never connecting to the sky. But
it seems just having the 2nd serial cable attached is enough to do
the damage.

I talked to Howard today. I am going to swicth out the serial
cables. If that does not help, then order the VART and MAXIM chips.
He feels the VART would be more the guy but since the other is not
much more, I would have them both. If replacing the chips do help,
then I suspect they were issues from day one, but it was not
discovered. I would do the VART first and then try it out.


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

In a message dated 8/17/2007 1:15:17 AM Central Daylight Time,
cluster@... writes:


Next I need to change out the serial cables themself just to get
them
out of the picture. But running both programs with 2 serial
cables
still won't fly, its very easy to get pulse guide not to stop the
mount
from slewing.
What two programs do you have attached to the two serial cables? Is
one of
them TheSky6? If so, what refresh rate do you have for the position
cursor? If
it is a fast rate, try changing it to update position every 2 - 4
seconds. If
your refresh rate for the position cursor is very fast, the servo
may become
overloaded with requests for RA/DEC position and not have time to
respond to any
other commands.

Rolando


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Re: Mount does not stop Update - E1 chip installed

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 8/17/2007 1:15:17 AM Central Daylight Time,
cluster@... writes:


Next I need to change out the serial cables themself just to get them
out of the picture. But running both programs with 2 serial cables
still won't fly, its very easy to get pulse guide not to stop the mount
from slewing.
What two programs do you have attached to the two serial cables? Is one of
them TheSky6? If so, what refresh rate do you have for the position cursor? If
it is a fast rate, try changing it to update position every 2 - 4 seconds. If
your refresh rate for the position cursor is very fast, the servo may become
overloaded with requests for RA/DEC position and not have time to respond to any
other commands.

Rolando


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Mach1 transport case

jybeninger
 

Hi,

Could someone give me the minimum internal dimensions that a transport
case must have to carry a Mach1, with the optional shaft and no weights.

I plan to prepare such a case to handcarry onboard planes.

Thank you

Jean-Yves


Re: Mount does not stop Update - E1 chip installed

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

Well I got the E1 chip and it was easy enough to stick in there.

Before I replaced the chip, when I had 2 serial cables attached and
used TheSky and PulseGuide, the keypad had the same issue as PulseGuide
in that when I press the direction buttons and then let go, the mount
would sometimes still slew.

With the same setup as before but now with the E1 chip, the keypad
seems to be working the way it should be (it was already on 4.12), so I
wonder if that was just an independent issue with the D chip. Nothing
I do can do will break the keypad, it stops when I tell it to and that
is about it.

At this point I can just live with one cable but now it is a puzzle to
solve. I only need pulse guide to initialize the mount, CCD Commander
will take over from there. (again, I am trying to remove the keypad for
remote operations, more for protection than anything else)

Next I need to change out the serial cables themself just to get them
out of the picture. But running both programs with 2 serial cables
still won't fly, its very easy to get pulse guide not to stop the mount
from slewing.


Dean

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean Salman" <cluster@...> wrote:

I do plan on updating all the chips needed, I think there is a Max
chip or something Howard told me about. I was in line with a new one
but got a good deal for this one, so spending some cash for the
latest stuff is something I do not mind.


Re: Cables getting caught

Scott Hammonds <shammo@...>
 

Dean I have had a similar problem with my 1200 dec cable. I placed a piece
of tape over the knob to allow it to slip easier. Since I am imaging
remotely that is a huge concern, so far no problems. It is cool the way the
cables slip through the housing on my Mach 1.



Scott



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
Dean Salman
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:44 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Cables getting caught



The other night the cable that connects to the DEC got gaught on the
silver knob that locks the DEC housing down. I suspect this is rare
but a concern. I did replace the black knobs and the cable was
clipped as it should be to the back of the mount.

One thought is to put a larger plastic sleeve around the cable so it is
too large to catch on the knob, because it is fatter. Another if it
would work is to put a cover over the knob. The first idea may work,
any others out there ?

Dean


Re: Cables getting caught

Joe Mize
 

Dean, there's a couple unused 1/4 20 holes in my AP1200, I placed a spark plug stand-off on the reaward one to hold my cables
away from the mount...joe :)


"May You Go Among The Imperishable Stars"

Joe Mize
StarFields Observatory http://www.cav-sfo.com/
Chiefland, FL 29:24'33.4"N 82:51'37.7"W

------- Original Message -------
From : Scott Hammonds[mailto:shammo@...]
Sent : 8/15/2007 6:07:26 PM
To : ap-gto@...
Cc :
Subject : RE: [ap-gto] Cables getting caught

Dean I have had a similar problem with my 1200 dec cable. I placed a piece
of tape over the knob to allow it to slip easier. Since I am imaging
remotely that is a huge concern, so far no problems. It is cool the way the
cables slip through the housing on my Mach 1.



Scott


Re: Cables getting caught

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

Hi Jerry,

I think I have the cables worked out except the Y cable that goes to
the DEC. I do remember that night in April. I am working with Sara
to see if I can expand the CCD imaging part a bit and also get into
procesing as well. They have an older non goto AP mount that needs
some fixing with the keypad. So I will be contacting AP about that
soon.


--- In ap-gto@..., "Jerry A. WIlson" <JerryAWilson@...>
wrote:

Hi Dean

I find that cable management is my biggest headache during an
observing session. Cables catching on projections, or tangling
with
other cable or me just stepping on one have ruined a fair number of
my photos. Having spent a lot of time in a physics lab I find that
the best solution is to tie the cables into bundles and stick them
to
something away from trouble. I usually use painters blue masking
tape. Applied to a dry surface it comes off easy and can be
relocated as needed. It doesn't leave marks or residue. It's
perfect for me since I don't have a permanent set up.

By the way I believe you hosted an evening session I had at Vega-
Bray
observatory in Benson last April. I had a great time. I'm still
learning the modern art of CCD imaging. Some of your comments were
very useful.

Best Regards, Jerry



At 07:43 AM 8/15/2007, you wrote:

The other night the cable that connects to the DEC got gaught on
the
silver knob that locks the DEC housing down. I suspect this is rare
but a concern. I did replace the black knobs and the cable was
clipped as it should be to the back of the mount.

One thought is to put a larger plastic sleeve around the cable so
it is
too large to catch on the knob, because it is fatter. Another if it
would work is to put a cover over the knob. The first idea may
work,
any others out there ?

Dean


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


Re: Cables getting caught

rags_the_cat
 

Hi Dean

I find that cable management is my biggest headache during an
observing session. Cables catching on projections, or tangling with
other cable or me just stepping on one have ruined a fair number of
my photos. Having spent a lot of time in a physics lab I find that
the best solution is to tie the cables into bundles and stick them to
something away from trouble. I usually use painters blue masking
tape. Applied to a dry surface it comes off easy and can be
relocated as needed. It doesn't leave marks or residue. It's
perfect for me since I don't have a permanent set up.

By the way I believe you hosted an evening session I had at Vega-Bray
observatory in Benson last April. I had a great time. I'm still
learning the modern art of CCD imaging. Some of your comments were
very useful.

Best Regards, Jerry

At 07:43 AM 8/15/2007, you wrote:

The other night the cable that connects to the DEC got gaught on the
silver knob that locks the DEC housing down. I suspect this is rare
but a concern. I did replace the black knobs and the cable was
clipped as it should be to the back of the mount.

One thought is to put a larger plastic sleeve around the cable so it is
too large to catch on the knob, because it is fatter. Another if it
would work is to put a cover over the knob. The first idea may work,
any others out there ?

Dean


Re: color of mount

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean Salman" <cluster@...> wrote:

I want to match the peir to the color of the mount, I have a custom
made one. Is there a spary paint color or code I can go by
Dean --

I querried AP about this a few months ago and got the reply:

The current color code in the RAL chart is RAL9001 "cream white".
I don't know the first thing about paint codes, but the answer
satisfied my OTA builder.

Cheers,
-- Jeff.


Cables getting caught

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

The other night the cable that connects to the DEC got gaught on the
silver knob that locks the DEC housing down. I suspect this is rare
but a concern. I did replace the black knobs and the cable was
clipped as it should be to the back of the mount.

One thought is to put a larger plastic sleeve around the cable so it is
too large to catch on the knob, because it is fatter. Another if it
would work is to put a cover over the knob. The first idea may work,
any others out there ?

Dean


Goto's and a pointing model

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

I've been using my 16" SCT with the mirror locked lately to try and get
more consistent collimation. There's still some flop (either in the
primary or secondary) when I cross the meridian or go from pointing N
to pointing S. But much less than without the mirror lock.

I suppose it's no surprise that my GoTos have also dramatically
improved. While I still get a bit of error crossing the meridian or E-
W line, my pointing is +/- 2 arc-minutes within a quadrant.

I have an instrument on order with a fixed primary, which should solve
the crossing quadrants issue. So, to be honest, I'm not even sure I'd
use that pointing model I've been requesting....

-- Jeff.


Goto's and a pointing model

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

I've been using my 16" SCT with the mirror locked lately to try and get
more consistent collimation. There's still some flop (either in the
primary or secondary) when I cross the meridian or go from pointing N
to pointing S. But much less than without the mirror lock.

I suppose it's no surprise that my GoTos have also dramatically
improved. While I still get a bit of error crossing the meridian or E-
W line, my pointing is +/- 2 arc-minutes within a quadrant.

I have an instrument on order with a fixed primary, which should solve
the crossing quadrants issue. So, to be honest, I'm not even sure I'd
use that pointing model I've been requesting....

-- Jeff.


Re: Mount does not stop Update

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

I do plan on updating all the chips needed, I think there is a Max
chip or something Howard told me about. I was in line with a new one
but got a good deal for this one, so spending some cash for the
latest stuff is something I do not mind.


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

There are two sets of software, the one in the keypad and the one
in the
servo controller. These two are separate from each other and stand
alone from each
other. Version 4.12 is the keypad software, but this has no effect
whatsoever
on the action between the servo controller and other external
command
software such as Pulse Guide and TheSky6.

If the servo controller is not responding to external commands, it
might be
because it is being overloaded with requests (such as position
requests from
The Sky6). This was a weakness in very early software and was fixed
in later
versions of the servo control software (not to be confused with the
Keypad V4.12
software). I asked Mike, our development engineer, and here is what
he said:

Very early versions of firmware occasionally dropped com port
characters if
the com ports kept the mount very busy. I do not recall which
version
introduced the fixes. But I recall dealing with Bob Denny, Ray
Gralak, and a couple
others on this. Bob e-mailed us "Port Mon" sessions that showed
dropped
commands. We also replicated issues with the mount dropping
move/stop commands from
the keypad until the software was fixed. The reason the keypad is
affected
is because there were brief periods of time that the controller was
busy
processing commands from other ports while the interrupts were
disabled. If the
controller is "out to lunch" longer than two characters (2.3mS),
one character
could be ignored, which could make the entire command
unrecognizable and
therefore lost.

Marj might have records that show what firmware versions introduces
the fixes
to these problems, we recently discussed revision history of the
world.
Otherwise I can look it up later tonight.

If he is ordering an E1 chip, he must have a GTOCP2. I do not
recall these
problems with the GTOCP2, but a new chip is the next logical step.

-Mike

Therefore it appears that your mount has some very old version of
servo
control software which had problems handling more than 1 input from
external
programs. We have basically solved this in later chips, so
hopefully this will go
away when you receive the new chip.

This is also something that others should be aware of if they have
purchased
a used mount from another individual. It would be a good idea to
check the
chip set that is in the servo (easily done by removing the cover
plate), as well
as checking the keypad software version. Updating everything is not
expensive
and can avoid headaches like the ones in this post.

Roland Christen

In a message dated 8/14/2007 12:14:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
cluster@... writes:


Hi Howard,

I upgraded to the version 4.12 but before doing that moved Pulse
guide on the top serial port and the Sky on the bottom. I
connected
Pulse Guide and then the sky. Issue still occurred. I was
thinking
how the previous owner had no issue BUT, he was using only one
cable. So I disconnected the 2nd cable and used only one. I can
only connect TheSky or Pulse Guide one at a time, however, the
problem went away including with the key pad. So I shut
everything
off and tried again with 2 cables and problem was back. So I
swicth
cables using one cable only and issue was gone. So this only
happens
when I have 2 cables connected.

A storm moved in so I need to let it pass. Now it is time to
remove
the connector and put each cable on its own USB/Serial (the one I
had
before was 2 ports on one USB.) Still puzzled why this affects
the
key pad but it does. I can't break it with one cable, although a
full nights use is the main test. I did use the 2 port serial
programming the key pad and had no issue, so my guess is the
mount
does not like 2 serial ports that move the mount.

Does anyone else have Pulse guide and TheSky setup on 2 serial
cables
and can slew everywhere with pulse guide or the keypad.

Again, the issue is when you hold the button down on either pulse
guide or the keypad for at least 20 seconds and let go, it
usually
keeps slewing.

It is possible that the com port is not setting the state to off
when
the button is release, I know the things are pickly. At this
point
my work around is to use one cable. but I will still switch
cables
and USB/serial to see if one of those are an issue.

Howard and the AP staff offer fantastic support. I did order the
E1
chip as well








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


Re: Home page photo

ayiomamitis
 

Thanks Derek. I have exchanged many emails with Jim ... we know each
other. :-)

Anthony.

--- In ap-gto@..., Derek Wong <dawong@...> wrote:

The photographer is Jim Fakatselis, one of our moderators. I will
let him tell you more about the photo, but FYI Jim has a folder named
"NEAF 2006" in the photos section of the group with more photos of
Roland and Marj. This is also a good time to mention that Yahoo
Groups has graciously expanded both the files and photos sections, so
we have much more room to post images and folders. We would prefer
jpgs less than 1MB so that everyone can contribute.

Derek


-----Original Message-----
From: ayiomamitis <ayiomami@...>
Sent: Aug 14, 2007 7:08 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Home page photo

Congrats to whoever took the great photo on the group's homepage. Nice
to see the man himself working on his latest gem.

Speaking of the Mach1GTO, I received mine last Friday and I am
thoroughly impressed. I am eager for first light and I will follow-up
when I have something to report.

Anthony.



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