Date   

Re: More comfortable way using the Polar Alignment Scope

Joe Zeglinski
 

Sorry,

Forgot to add the link to Barry Carter's website review of right angle
viewers, I referred to previously :
visit - http://www.barrie-tao.com:80/d70finder.html
Barry Carter has tested three right angle viewers on his website.
The Hoodman HRAV, looks identical to the Nikon DR-6 in his article:
"Nikon D70 Manual Focus Aids".
Joe


More comfortable way using the Polar Alignment Scope

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,

I posted this to the Losmandy group, but since it applies to AP mount
owners as well, here is a copy ...

One thought I have been toying with is putting a photographic accessory,
"right angle viewer" onto the Polar Alignment Scope. This would make polar
alignment so much more comfortable, easier on the back, save neck pains, and
scraped, wet, frozen and muddied knees in the process.

I bought a "Hoodman HRAV" (i.e. Right Angle Viewer) for my DSLR, just for
that purpose.
( http://www.hoodmanusa.com/prodinfo.asp?number=H%2DRAV )
However, I find it can also do double duty, since it would be easy to slide it
off the camera viewer lens and onto a clip (fitted) to the Polar Scope.

I gave it a rough try in the house just now, and it focuses on the reticle
quite nicely with very minimal vignetting. It has a "2.5X slide switch" that
kicks in a lens into the viewer, now the Polaris marking is still in view, but
the FOV is magnified. Of course, it swivels 360 degrees, for easy viewing from
any side, a very smooth viewing focus ring of its own, and a huge rubber
eyecup. So, this has great potential.

The nice thing about the Hoodman camera eyepiece viewer is that at US$130,
it is half the cost of the Nikon, Kodak, or Canon "look alikes" - I can't tell
it apart from a Nikon version which I almost bought, has a 2.5X switchable,
magnifier, and it comes with 5 slide mount brackets to fit over a dozen brands
& models of SLR's. I bought it to fit my Kodak DSLR, which has a Nikon body.
The Canon, Sony, Minolta etc., mount brackets are superfluous for me, for now.
That being the case, I am considering using one of the "least likely to be
used" (Minolta in my case), slide mount bracket as a base, to a short plastic
barrel, that could be slid onto the Polar Scope barrel. This now adapts the
PAS to the right angle viewer, just as though it were yet another model DSLR
camera!

The beauty of this setup is that the view is erect and "not reversed" -
obviously, since if you use a right angle viewer attached to your SLR, you
would expect the "framing view" to be unchanged.
So, I see the same reticule view of Polaris whether I do the alignment in
comfort while standing, or wrench my body and look through the PAS (the hard
way). Also, it is made of plastic, so it is a feather weight attached to the
PAS. Being able to switch it to any SLR camera you might own, is a real bonus,
when you are using more than one camera model on your scope - otherwise, you
would have spent over $200 for each brand for individual right angle viewers.
In this case, one RAV fits ALL, even the PAS, with a little bit of trivial
adaptation!

This should be a standard PAS accessory - I will never go back to the
standard way of using it, once I get one of the spare camera slide mount
adapter modified.

P.S.
Barry Carter has tested three right angle viewers on his website.
The Hoodman HRAV, looks identical to the Nikon DR-6 in his article:
"Nikon D70 Manual Focus Aids".

Joe


Re: Reticle illuminator fried

planetary_hunter
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "r1300rs" <cardiofuse@...> wrote:

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.
You got a hat?

Bryan


Sharpless 2-119 halpha

Richard Crisp
 

300mm f/4 pentax 6x7 camera lens

fli img6303 camera

ap1200gto

baader 7nm halpha filter
http://www.narrowbandimaging.com/sh2_119_p300_6303_baader_ha_page.htm


Sharpless 2-54

Richard Crisp
 

it took a few more nights than I originally expected due to too much fog lately, but I now have enough data to at least see what the "Scary Face Nebula" looks like as a tricolor emission line image shot in Sulfur, Hydrogen and Oxygen.

this is 6x 20 minutes of Halpha, 7x20 minutes of [SII] and 20x20 minutes of [OIII] shot using the Stinger 450, Dream Machine, 4.5nm CS emission line filters and AP1200GTO.

the [OIII] was a real bear for me due to the object being in my southern sky and that is right in the middle of silicon valley light pollution. Plus it is shooting over my roof and is pretty low in the sky.

Adding to the misery is the fact that the [OIII] signal is very faint. Hence the 20 exposures of 20 minutes.

The [SII] really needs more exposure time too. I had to smooth the layer to keep the noise under control and I usually don't like to do that. So more [SII] is the order for the next imaging session.

The Halpha seems fine as is: there's a lot of Halpha strength in this object.

http://www.narrowbandimaging.com/sh2_54_mk1sn2_dm_geg_cs_s2hao3_page.htm

it would be nice if the seeing was better :-)


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


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




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


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


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.