Date   

Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Rick Thurmond
 

I haven't seen condensation inside yet, but a bag of dessicant sitting
on the base of the mount might be a good idea. I think hardware
stores sell them to dry musty closets. Some of them might be
rechargeable in the oven.

Rick

On Oct 29, 2007, at 2:46 20PM, Jim S. wrote:

Thanks Ian. And thanks much Rick for your help here and off-line as
well!

Ok, you both have me seriously wanting to install a permanent pier for
my new AP1200. But an observatory is out of the question with the
Aesthetics Committee. So, I worry about protecting the mount from the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?

Thanks,
JS

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ian Underhill" <astro1ds@...> wrote:

But I would have to say in the long run you should
consider what Rick said. Having your setup ready and aligned every
night just makes life sooo much easier and more enjoyable. I still
can't believe I went for a year before learning that lesson. Hope
this helps.

Ian


--- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@> wrote:

Jim,
I'm also observatory-less at present, at least compared to my last
place where I had an Astro-Haven dome. But I would never go pier-
less. I have a Astro-Pier from LeSeur bolted to a few hundred
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.


Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Jim,

I think we are on the same wavelength ...

I have also been thinking of how to protect my AP900, without actually
building an observatory. You see, I AM my own aesthetics committee, and as
much as I would love to have a dome, the best place is in the middle of my
landscaped yard - and it would look like a white elephant, blocking the view
of my garden. The best spot, in the far corner of the yard, is surrounded by a
few small trees, and one of them is the neighbour's.

Anyway, as an example of a "boxed enclosure for an 8" Meade SCT, used by a
university, have a look at:
http://home.moravian.edu/users/phys/mejjg01/interests/apparatus_pages/telescope_enclosure.htm

or yet another boxed enclosure at:
http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

Meanwhile, I am considering installing a wide pier in the middle of my
yard (the best open sky spot). The pier will look like the bottom half of an
aluminum Greek column (e.g. Home Depot, hollow decorative porch posts), on top
of which will be my AP900. When not in use, a similar, very slightly wider,
Greek column upper half will be dropped down over the mount, mated to the
lower column. I might even put a sundial on top, for daytime aesthetics. As
far as security is concerned, except for the neighbours, intruders will think
it is just "yard sculpture".

Inside, a hygrometer might be used to turn on a blackened light bulb for
heat and condensation control. The lower and upper column sections will be key
locked at the join, for security.

Still working on the nitty-gritty details, for next spring. Any comments?

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim S." <blues_rule_solomon_1999@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 5:46 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


Thanks Ian. And thanks much Rick for your help here and off-line as well!

Ok, you both have me seriously wanting to install a permanent pier for
my new AP1200. But an observatory is out of the question with the
Aesthetics Committee. So, I worry about protecting the mount from the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?

Thanks,
JS


--- In ap-gto@..., "Ian Underhill" <astro1ds@...> wrote:

But I would have to say in the long run you should
consider what Rick said. Having your setup ready and aligned every
night just makes life sooo much easier and more enjoyable. I still
can't believe I went for a year before learning that lesson. Hope
this helps.

Ian


--- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@> wrote:

Jim,
I'm also observatory-less at present, at least compared to my last
place where I had an Astro-Haven dome. But I would never go pier-
less. I have a Astro-Pier from LeSeur bolted to a few hundred
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




Re: More AIC Photos

Paul M
 

John,
it must have been the angle Ray took the picture at making me look shorter ;-) thanks Ray.!!!
Actually its huge, makes my 1200 look like a toy. The mount is so big, I'm sure John could put his Hummer on it plus a scope.

kudos to Ray for taking the time from being behind his table to take the shots and post them too. Nice record of the event.

...paul.


Re: 3600GTO - El Capitan unveiled at AIC

Joe Zeglinski
 

James,

You can fill the pipe with concrete at ANY time you like, perhaps in a
year or two - if you think it might help.

The only problem is welding the top, which then commits you to the pier as
it is right now, with no adjustments, making height mods impossible. If you
could get a heavy 1/2" steel "trash can" (or top hat, if you prefer) made,
that could be slipped over the top and bolted sideways (mid can) to the pier
on 3 sides, then you could use the side bolts to adjust and shift the can to
level the top of the pier quite easily. As a bonus, next year you could remove
the mount, and unbolt the trash can top, to fill the pipe, if you need to. I
would fill it with beach sand rather than concrete which could crack or strain
the pipe with observatory environmental changes, and see if it helps or
hinders. Then you can always vacuum the sand back out, if it doesn't work.
Besides, if it were me, I would use the pier pipe for an inside PVC cable run,
for a tidier looking exterior. The PVC pipe would enter the pipe through a
small hole (reinforced by welding a steel plumbing nut or pipe collar, if you
like) below deck, and come out at the top below the mount.

Actually, a hollow cylinder is stronger than a solid pipe, so I don't see
the purpose of the discussion. DOB's don't use solid pipe, do they - for good
reason (solidity and vibration issues) ?
(Ref: The Dobsonian Telescope - by David Kriege and Richard Berry)

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "jsmiller58" <jsmiller58@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2007 6:58 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: 3600GTO - El Capitan unveiled at AIC


Great points Niels!

As to filling the steel pipe - only the bottom of the pipe had some
concrete go into it from below. However, there isn't much concrete in
the pipe. I purposely chose to not have much concrete put in the pipe
due to (a) desire to have the option to shorten up the pipe as needed,
and (b) a long article on this (I think on Cloudy Nights) where it was
mathematically demonstrated that for a sufficiently strong pipe
(meaning wall strength) what is most important is the pier diameter,
and not whether the pipe is full of concrete... Having said all of
this, if it makes a difference, until late November when the actual
observatory gets built around the pier, it will be easy for me to fill
the pipe with more concrete, so I am open to the idea!!

I had exactly the same worry about the flatness of the plate, and
exchanged some mail had a phone call as well as with Howard at AP
about this. He wasn't very worried about the level nature of the
plate at all - indicating that this is a very overrated concern and
that he was able to get very good polar alignment when purposely
putting the plate way off level in the field... Nonetheless, I have
already discussed this with my contractor and he assures me that the
welder can do a very good job of getting the plate welded quite flat.

So, combining the assurance that being perfectly level is no big deal
with the assurance that we can in fact get quite level, all in all,
not too worried, yet... Now, if I spend the next 2 months trying to
get a good polar alignment for astro-photography... well... :-)

James

--- In ap-gto@..., "nfoldager" <nf@...> wrote:


James,

- The steel pipe extends another 42" above the surface of the
observatory floor. This portion is just the 12" steel tube, and is
the "pier" on which the mount and OTA will be placed.
Did you fill anything into the tube?

As to attaching the mount to the pier, I will be welding a
flat plate to the top of the steel tube.
Are you sure it is wise to weld it instead of bolt it? There is a
danger that the plate will not be flat afterwards.

Best regards,

Niels Foldager



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




new member question

Alan Smallbone
 

Hi all,

I am in the process of buying a used 1200 with gtocp2. Since I do not
have the mount yet nor have I used one, my questions is this, is there
any good reason to upgrade to the gtocp3? If I did I would want to do
it before I install the mount on my pier and start using it. What would
be the compelling reasons to do this? I have Pempro2. I have been using
a Losmandy G-11 with Gemini, and this will be my portable mount now. I
have been using The Sky 6, CCDCommander for control and MaximDL for
imaging.

Thanks and appreciate any input and tolerance on the newbie question.

Alan


Re: Pier design

dmwmpd <westergren@...>
 

Hi Niels,

Filling the pier with sand doesn't dissipate any energy during the
cantelevered oscillation. The sand just goes back and forth with
the pier. The added mass lowers the frequency, which is the same as
increasing the period (length of each oscilation). With no change
in damping, the sand filled pier will oscillate the same number of
cycles, which will take longer.

Don

--- In ap-gto@..., "N. Foldager" <nf@...> wrote:


Hi Don,

Filling the steel pier with sand doesn't damp this fundamental
bending.
Is this something that you know? The sand column inside
is "bended"
too, why I (and others) would expect energy to disappear in the
sand.

But filling with sand (or concrete) increases the mass of
the pier...
and lowers the amplitude (for a particular energy level).

... and makes the frequency lower - making the waving take
longer to damp out.
Is it a law of physics that lower frequency will take longer to
damp
out (for same energy)?

Best regards,

Niels


Three last images of AIC

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Here are three panoramas I put together that try to show the conference in a
different way (people were moving so that's why there are "ghosts" in some
spots in these images):

Vendor area:
http://tinyurl.com/3a385c

Conference area (front):
http://tinyurl.com/375jkj

Conference area (back):
http://tinyurl.com/2qfawk

-Ray Gralak


Re: Pier design: see LINKs section

tucstargzr
 

Borrowing from a commercial "You're going to love your mount". My
1200 is the stepper version, and you almost forget it's there. Roll
the roof off, power up the mount, and away ya go.

Tom
Sings with Stars

--- In ap-gto@..., "jsmiller58" <jsmiller58@...> wrote:

Thanks Tom.

Well, after posting my desire for a white paper, I can only quote
my
hero, the immortal Homer Simpson - "Doh!"

Having said that, after reading the paper I think that I can feel
comfortable with my pier - if I read it correctly, I have
approximately 0 arcseconds or 0 mils deflection. I like those
numbers... :-)

Anyway, this is a forum for Astro-physics mounts, and I am excited
to
announce - I just got notice that my 1200 shipped. It is at the
tender mercies of UPS. Say a little prayer - for the mount, and
the
delivery person...

James

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

Just a friendly reminder to those planning a pier that in the
LINKS
section of this group there is an excellent Pier Design white
paper.
The cost is right, too ;-)

Tom


Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi JS,
Yes, condensation is a issue. There are many approaches. I suggest
that you make the cover completely air tight on all sides and the
top. On the bottom, have it so that air can enter and exit, but
screened/filtered to keep out tiny insects, etc. Then, install any
small heat source (i.e. 25 light bulb). It works even better if you
install a small fan blowing the heated air over the device to be
protected and limit the amount of air that can enter the system. You
could also insulate the housing to get even more protection.

Also, you might try to negotiate an asthetic approach to a modest
observatory. Check out the Observatories Group
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Observatories/
for some great ideas.

A 1200 on a permanent pier is a dream come true!
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Jim S."
<blues_rule_solomon_1999@...> wrote:

Thanks Ian. And thanks much Rick for your help here and off-line
as well!

Ok, you both have me seriously wanting to install a permanent pier
for
my new AP1200. But an observatory is out of the question with the
Aesthetics Committee. So, I worry about protecting the mount from
the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my
climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans
observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?

Thanks,
JS


--- In ap-gto@..., "Ian Underhill" <astro1ds@> wrote:

But I would have to say in the long run you should
consider what Rick said. Having your setup ready and aligned
every
night just makes life sooo much easier and more enjoyable. I
still
can't believe I went for a year before learning that lesson.
Hope
this helps.

Ian


--- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@>
wrote:

Jim,
I'm also observatory-less at present, at least compared to my
last
place where I had an Astro-Haven dome. But I would never go
pier-
less. I have a Astro-Pier from LeSeur bolted to a few hundred
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the
whole
sky.


Re: Pier design

tucstargzr
 

Whoops- Didn't see you had linked to the same paper, Edd. Sorry to
step on your toes.

Tom
Sings with Stars
--- In ap-gto@..., "eddwen2001" <Eddwen@...> wrote:

Perhaps this will help:

http://home.att.net/~dpersyk/Pier_Design.htm

Clear skies,

Edd Weninger

--- In ap-gto@..., "jsmiller58" <jsmiller58@> wrote:

Rick,

It would be great if some of the Astro vendors would put out
a "white
paper" on pier design, with guidelines for weight bearing,
stability,
and dampening, etc. They would not have to necessarily endorse
any
approach or pier, but at least show us how to get there
ourselves...


Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

davidjmcdonald
 

Jim - not sure how much help this will be to you... I have a C14 mounted on an
AP1200/portable pier. Its been here in my back yard (in Ireland) for close to
18 months now and not been broken down and removed to indoors at all.

The pier sits on three flagstones and to be honest, I thought shifts in the soil
etc would be a nightmare but I can’t even remember the last time I needed to
polar align. I get minimum 90 sec exposure with no trailing whatsoever - in all
areas of the sky. I guess the soil is very heavy clay and with the weight of
the mount/OTA and imager etc, its settled in quite nicely. It really hasn't
budged since I put it there back in 2006.

As for weather protection, I throw a basic tarp (nothing special) over the whole
lot (though the base of the 42" pier is not covered). So far, no sign of any
corrosion on the mount or any of the stainless steel bits (counterweights etc).
The stainless steel tension rods are showing a little discolouration but I don’t
sweat that.

Covering the whole lot, I have a rolling shed. At first this was a 6 month
temporary affair during the summer/autumn. But its actually turned out to be
absolutely fine and in good nick 18 months later. The shed has one open end, is
totally waterproof and held down with bungee cords when the wind picks up a
little. It moves very easily and I can be up and running in less than 10
minutes and packed away again in 10 minutes.

We don't get the varying conditions you see (temp swings) though we get plenty
of rain and humidity does creep into the high 90's quite often. All I really
have to do is wipe down the mount every few months with a damp cloth, turf out
all the bugs who have squatted there and then give the main surfaces a very
light rub-down with a cloth sprayed very lightly with WD40.

On a night with lots of dew, if rain isn’t forecast, I leave the whole rig
outside in the early morning sun to dry out au naturel. Otherwise, I roll back
the shed but leave off the tarp. By the next day, any condensation has
evaporated. I've not come back to the rig the next day with it still dripping.
On the other hand, I did have the whole rig exposed to a flash shower a year or
so ago. I just mopped up with a dry towel, let it air dry for the next few
hours and all was well.

That's really all I can offer you. It works well for me and the mount, OTA,
imager et al all look great - bar the tension rods on the pier.

Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim S." <blues_rule_solomon_1999@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 5:46 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


So, I worry about protecting the mount from the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?

Thanks,
JS


Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Dean S
 

Hi Jim,

Have you thought about a light bulb on a timer? If you can keep the cover held out away from the mount a bit, and of course away from the light bulb, that should keep the humidity under control.

I have also seen some really neat removable 'boxes' that protect the mount and allow circulation.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim S." <blues_rule_solomon_1999@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 5:46 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


Thanks Ian. And thanks much Rick for your help here and off-line as well!

Ok, you both have me seriously wanting to install a permanent pier for
my new AP1200. But an observatory is out of the question with the
Aesthetics Committee. So, I worry about protecting the mount from the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?

Thanks,
JS


--- In ap-gto@..., "Ian Underhill" <astro1ds@...> wrote:

But I would have to say in the long run you should
consider what Rick said. Having your setup ready and aligned every
night just makes life sooo much easier and more enjoyable. I still
can't believe I went for a year before learning that lesson. Hope
this helps.

Ian


--- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@> wrote:

Jim,
I'm also observatory-less at present, at least compared to my last
place where I had an Astro-Haven dome. But I would never go pier-
less. I have a Astro-Pier from LeSeur bolted to a few hundred
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links





--
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.15.12/1098 - Release Date: 10/29/2007 9:28 AM


AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Jim S.
 

Thanks Ian. And thanks much Rick for your help here and off-line as well!

Ok, you both have me seriously wanting to install a permanent pier for
my new AP1200. But an observatory is out of the question with the
Aesthetics Committee. So, I worry about protecting the mount from the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?

Thanks,
JS

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ian Underhill" <astro1ds@...> wrote:

But I would have to say in the long run you should
consider what Rick said. Having your setup ready and aligned every
night just makes life sooo much easier and more enjoyable. I still
can't believe I went for a year before learning that lesson. Hope
this helps.

Ian


--- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@> wrote:

Jim,
I'm also observatory-less at present, at least compared to my last
place where I had an Astro-Haven dome. But I would never go pier-
less. I have a Astro-Pier from LeSeur bolted to a few hundred
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.


Re: Pier design: see LINKs section

jsmiller58
 

Thanks Tom.

Well, after posting my desire for a white paper, I can only quote my
hero, the immortal Homer Simpson - "Doh!"

Having said that, after reading the paper I think that I can feel
comfortable with my pier - if I read it correctly, I have
approximately 0 arcseconds or 0 mils deflection. I like those
numbers... :-)

Anyway, this is a forum for Astro-physics mounts, and I am excited to
announce - I just got notice that my 1200 shipped. It is at the
tender mercies of UPS. Say a little prayer - for the mount, and the
delivery person...

James

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

Just a friendly reminder to those planning a pier that in the LINKS
section of this group there is an excellent Pier Design white paper.
The cost is right, too ;-)

Tom


Re: Interim Daylight Savings Settings (Remote Setup) - How To ??

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Rick,
I gues Rick's think alike, because I said that to a colleague today.
I think I will do that if it will work. Right now I have to reset
the system 4 times a year. Once each in the Spring and Fall for the
interim period when all the old firmware etc resets the system and
once when the new date happens.
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Rick K" <JunkMailGoesHere@...> wrote:

Hi Rick,

This whole DST issue and problems is getting to be crazy. I haven't
done this yet but I am strongly considering putting everything on
UT
and leaving it there. No DST, no local time, just set and forget. I
don't know if there are issues with this approach but it does merit
further consideration.

Rick.

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

Hi Members and Roland,
I want to know how to set up my system over the next week to
deal
with the various DST issues.
I have an AP 1200 mount that is set to "Ext".
The keypad was used to turn DST "On" last spring and it is now
unplugged.
The computer is still on DST and will not change until next
Sunday
Nov 4th at 1:59AM, when it rolls back to 1:00 AM.
The various software packages vary between total manual settings
to
total automatic.
I am using TheSkyPro6, CCDCommander, Maxim, CCDSoft, Robofocus,
Focusmax, DDWver5 (Technical Innovations), Clarity1 (Boltwood1
System), Virtual Weather (with Weather Link and Vantage PRO2),
and
Windows XP SP2 (complete with all the wonderful features).

I assume that I can figure out how to set the software programs
for
each time period, so my question mostly centers around what do I
need to do with the AP Mount?

I am concerned about the period of time between the old DST
switch
and the new time switch. This time started this past Sunday Oct
28th
(when old firmware and software switched off of DST) and ends
this
coming Sunday at 1:59AM (when everything should be off DST and
the
new official DST ends).

I assume that I can set all the software to think things are
still
on DST, as it is officially. I have to watch out for anything
that
has offset the time this past Sunday, but I am assuming that
this
can be done.

So now, is there anything that I need to do regarding the AP
Mount?
Please remember that I am going to attempt all this remotely, so
I
don't have the option of pushing physical buttons.
Does the AP Mount just get time from TheSky since I have it set
for "Ext"?

Thanks for the help,
Rick


Re: Interim Daylight Savings Settings (Remote Setup) - How To ??

observe_m13
 

Hi Rick,

This whole DST issue and problems is getting to be crazy. I haven't
done this yet but I am strongly considering putting everything on UT
and leaving it there. No DST, no local time, just set and forget. I
don't know if there are issues with this approach but it does merit
further consideration.

Rick.

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

Hi Members and Roland,
I want to know how to set up my system over the next week to deal
with the various DST issues.
I have an AP 1200 mount that is set to "Ext".
The keypad was used to turn DST "On" last spring and it is now
unplugged.
The computer is still on DST and will not change until next Sunday
Nov 4th at 1:59AM, when it rolls back to 1:00 AM.
The various software packages vary between total manual settings to
total automatic.
I am using TheSkyPro6, CCDCommander, Maxim, CCDSoft, Robofocus,
Focusmax, DDWver5 (Technical Innovations), Clarity1 (Boltwood1
System), Virtual Weather (with Weather Link and Vantage PRO2), and
Windows XP SP2 (complete with all the wonderful features).

I assume that I can figure out how to set the software programs for
each time period, so my question mostly centers around what do I
need to do with the AP Mount?

I am concerned about the period of time between the old DST switch
and the new time switch. This time started this past Sunday Oct 28th
(when old firmware and software switched off of DST) and ends this
coming Sunday at 1:59AM (when everything should be off DST and the
new official DST ends).

I assume that I can set all the software to think things are still
on DST, as it is officially. I have to watch out for anything that
has offset the time this past Sunday, but I am assuming that this
can be done.

So now, is there anything that I need to do regarding the AP Mount?
Please remember that I am going to attempt all this remotely, so I
don't have the option of pushing physical buttons.
Does the AP Mount just get time from TheSky since I have it set
for "Ext"?

Thanks for the help,
Rick


Pier design: see LINKs section

tucstargzr
 

Just a friendly reminder to those planning a pier that in the LINKS
section of this group there is an excellent Pier Design white paper.
The cost is right, too ;-)

Tom


1200gto losing time base

mizzou156 <mizzou156@...>
 

Hello,
New to astronomy and my 1200 gto seems to have developed a
peculiar problem. If I use the keypad to initialize contact with the
mount and then switch over to external control via a windows 2000 xp os
computer, the pointing and time base gets screwed up. the computer goes
into hibernate (resting) mode after one hour of inactivity. (This is
per the windows power management system and that can be changed.)
After I reactivate the computer, it seems that the time base for the
keypad is way off from the time base of the computer. I have use the
keypad feature for getting the time/ location from the mount, when I
initiate connection with the computer.
Does anyone have an idea of how to solve this problem? When I
utilize only keypad connection, there appears to be no
problem.......Thanks.....Jerald
P.S. I have good polar alignment and good sync with the Sky 6
software when the computer is first connected to the mount. It seems
there are only problems when the computer goes into hibernate mode, and
then is reactivated.


Re: Pier design

N. Foldager
 

Hi Don,

Filling the steel pier with sand doesn't damp this fundamental
bending.
Is this something that you know? The sand column inside is "bended"
too, why I (and others) would expect energy to disappear in the sand.

But filling with sand (or concrete) increases the mass of
the pier...
and lowers the amplitude (for a particular energy level).

... and makes the frequency lower - making the waving take
longer to damp out.
Is it a law of physics that lower frequency will take longer to damp
out (for same energy)?

Best regards,

Niels


Re: Pier design

dmwmpd <westergren@...>
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "jsmiller58" <jsmiller58@...> wrote:
As to sand in the pipe, I think that it certainly can't hurt, so I
will put that in as well! >
James
Hi James,

Putting sand in the steel tube CAN HURT. My recommendation is don't
fill the tube. The steel pier is cantelevered up from the concrete
support (very rigid). The steel tube is a spring. It can vibrate
mainly in two ways. First it can ring like a bell - which snad can
dampen out. But this is a high frequency vibration that won't
affect your viewing or astrophotography. Besides, who wants a bell
ringing in the peace of the night, so who would "hit it"?

The second vibration is the fundamental bending of the pier tube -
where the top of the pier waves back and forth. This is the cause
of optical motion when you touch the focuser or your eyebrow touches
the eyepiece at high magnification - and the required "settling
time" for the view to quit moving. This is a low frequency
oscillation that normally damps out in a couple of cycles.

Filling the steel pier with sand doesn't damp this fundamental
bending. But filling with sand (or concrete) increases the mass of
the pier and makes the frequency lower - making the waving take
longer to damp out. This is not what you want.

BTW, I have a pier made from the same steel tube you are using.
Mine extends 60 inches above the concrete with an AP1200 Plus about
70 lbs of scope and camera and 60 lbs of counterweights. I can
manually focus on planets at 50X with virtually no motion and
damping time less than 1/4 sec.

I solved the top plate warping "problem" with a 1/2" steel plate
welded to the tube, then bolting a 1" thick machined aluminum plate
using three stainless steel bolts with a stainless washer between
the aluminum and steel plates to make a stable, flat surface to
mount the AP1200. It has worked for 5 years now with no corrosion.

You should have a very nice setup, better than mine with a lower
pier.

Don Westergren