Date   

Re: Error in AP driver

Ajai Sehgal
 

I have looked at the code and can't see anything that would cause
this. The code is common to all the drivers that I write and so far
no issues have been reported. Here is the code. If someone can spot
the error I am will certainly fix it:

'Get the longitude from the AP and convert it to degress
SiteLongitude = -m_Util.DMSToDegrees(CommandString("Gg"))

' Convert from AP 0-359 westward to ASCOM format +/- 180 +E
If SiteLongitude < -180# Then SiteLongitude = SiteLongitude + 360#

This is the entire AP documentation on the topic (leaves quite a bit
to be desired - as you can see is is VERY open to interpretation:

Command: :Gg#
Response: +DDD*MM# or +DDD*MM:SS# if long format
Gets the current longitude.

It would be helpful if you could send me a serial trace of what the
AP is reporting back when you query the longitude when east (I can't
get to my AP right now because it is in a dome and it is pouring rain
here - can't open the dome to get in - remote computer shut itself
down - sigh).

Please ensure that you have the updated helper2.dll installed from
the ASCOM site. This is required as the old version had a bug in it.

Ajai

--- In ap-gto@..., "Chuck Faranda" <mail_lists2@...>
wrote:

FYI: Ajai is investigating the issue and will report ASAP.

Regards,
Chuck Faranda
http://ccdastro.net

----- Original Message -----
I am running the latest driver for AP GTO mounts (4.1.25)
under ASCOM 4. My mount is a Mach1.
The reported site information is incorrect: after a Get
Lat/Long is done, I get a correct value for Latitude, but
Longitude is wrong:
it reports
E 4 10.00
instead of
E 5 50.00
I checked the AP keypad: it's OK there.
So I suspect a wrong conversion... possibly for all of us
sitting E of Greenwich...


Re: Broken clutch knob

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Pete,

If you do decide trying a "screw extractor", to get the rest of it out, it
might be obvious, but I will state it here anyway.

Remove one of the other clutch screws, using a good one to determine how
much remains broken inside. That will give you the maximum depth you can go
with a pilot drill hole, for the extractor - obviously less depth is safer.

I suspect, that it will not take very much torque at all to ease out the
broken stub. Mere friction alone might almost ease it out since it wasn't
really screwed in tight.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Santangeli" <peter@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:27 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Broken clutch knob



Maybe a picture is indeed worth 1000 words... Here is a shot of the
broken knob:

http://www.santangeli.net/knob.jpg

As you can see, the device is actually a hollow threaded aluminum tube
with the knob part screwed into it. The walls of the tube are not that
thick, but should take quite a bit of torque without breaking. All I
can assume is that the knob got banged longitudinally somehow, and the
tube broke.

The rest of the tube (with the "outer" thread) is unfortunately still
in the mount.

Pete


Re: Broken clutch knob

Peter Santangeli
 

Maybe a picture is indeed worth 1000 words... Here is a shot of the
broken knob:

http://www.santangeli.net/knob.jpg

As you can see, the device is actually a hollow threaded aluminum tube
with the knob part screwed into it. The walls of the tube are not that
thick, but should take quite a bit of torque without breaking. All I
can assume is that the knob got banged longitudinally somehow, and the
tube broke.

The rest of the tube (with the "outer" thread) is unfortunately still
in the mount.

Pete

--- In ap-gto@..., Gregory Nottingham <gnpnotti@...> wrote:

My experience using Eazy Outs on exhaust studs on cylinder heads has
not been good. I know that the telescope situation is different.
What is the diameter of screw? As long as you are sure that screw
isn't cross-threaded, you should be alright but every-time I've used
one, I have gone in with the assumption that I will have to take the
head to a machine shop to drill out the stud and the broken, hardened
steel Easy Out.
Good luck.
Greg
On Dec 15, 2007, at 2:01, Peter Santangeli wrote:


Good suggestion. I was thinking about something like this.

Pete

--- In ap-gto@..., kawasaki99@ wrote:

Hello Strong Man,
Local hardware store ought to sell an (easy-out)
which is a
sort of a left hand thread tap and the proper size pilot drill
for the
easy-out. If it's only hand tight to ought to come out. Have an
assistant hold a
vacuum cleaner hose close to broken screw while drilling the pilot
hole to
capture any small chips. A small center drill or sharp prick punch
may be necessary
to ensure the pilot drill puts the hole close to the true center of
the
broken screw. Sounds like a lot but it's generally easy.



**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)








Fw: [SPAM] Fw: [ASCOM] Re: Error in AP driver

Chuck Faranda <mail_lists2@...>
 

FYI: Ajai is investigating the issue and will report ASAP.

Regards,
Chuck Faranda
http://ccdastro.net

----- Original Message -----
I am running the latest driver for AP GTO mounts (4.1.25)
under ASCOM 4. My mount is a Mach1.
The reported site information is incorrect: after a Get
Lat/Long is done, I get a correct value for Latitude, but
Longitude is wrong:
it reports
E 4 10.00
instead of
E 5 50.00
I checked the AP keypad: it's OK there.
So I suspect a wrong conversion... possibly for all of us
sitting E of Greenwich...


Re: Broken clutch knob

Bob Olson <r.olson@...>
 

Hi Pete,

Be very careful that the pilot drill doesn't wander off the hard clutch screw and into the soft aluminium casting. I believe the clutch screw is stainless steel and it might work harden when it is being drilled. You might want to consider having a machine shop do the job.

I think that you can use the mount as it is, so you might want to wait until the AP folks get back from their Christmas holidays, and then check with them.

Bob


Re: Broken clutch knob

Gregory Nottingham <gnpnotti@...>
 

My experience using Eazy Outs on exhaust studs on cylinder heads has
not been good. I know that the telescope situation is different.
What is the diameter of screw? As long as you are sure that screw
isn't cross-threaded, you should be alright but every-time I've used
one, I have gone in with the assumption that I will have to take the
head to a machine shop to drill out the stud and the broken, hardened
steel Easy Out.
Good luck.
Greg

On Dec 15, 2007, at 2:01, Peter Santangeli wrote:


Good suggestion. I was thinking about something like this.

Pete

--- In ap-gto@..., kawasaki99@... wrote:

Hello Strong Man,
Local hardware store ought to sell an (easy-out)
which is a
sort of a left hand thread tap and the proper size pilot drill
for the
easy-out. If it's only hand tight to ought to come out. Have an
assistant hold a
vacuum cleaner hose close to broken screw while drilling the pilot
hole to
capture any small chips. A small center drill or sharp prick punch
may be necessary
to ensure the pilot drill puts the hole close to the true center of
the
broken screw. Sounds like a lot but it's generally easy.



**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)





Re: Broken clutch knob

Peter Santangeli
 

Good suggestion. I was thinking about something like this.

Pete

--- In ap-gto@..., kawasaki99@... wrote:

Hello Strong Man,
Local hardware store ought to sell an (easy-out)
which is a
sort of a left hand thread tap and the proper size pilot drill for the
easy-out. If it's only hand tight to ought to come out. Have an
assistant hold a
vacuum cleaner hose close to broken screw while drilling the pilot
hole to
capture any small chips. A small center drill or sharp prick punch
may be necessary
to ensure the pilot drill puts the hole close to the true center of
the
broken screw. Sounds like a lot but it's generally easy.



**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)




Re: Broken clutch knob

Peter Santangeli
 

Unfortunately, the piece that remains in the mount is 3mm INSIDE the
casting (the knob came off with 5mm - enough to leave the rest truely
embedded).

Pete

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

--- In ap-gto@..., "Peter Santangeli" <peter@> wrote:


Sadly, while setting up today in my yard, I went to tighten one of my
RA clutch knobs on my AP900 and it snapped off in my hand. It broke
off about 5mm down, so that I can just see about 2 mm of the bolt
inside of it. The rest of the shaft is no doubt stuck down in the hole
it screws into.

A couple of questions...

Is there a way for me to get the shaft out?
Can I order a replacement?
Am I stuck sending my RA assembly back to AP :-(
Any danger of me using it this way until a convenient time?

I'm really surprise - I've never, ever tightened this much. Never used
hex keys, for instance. I must be stronger than I thought!

Pete
Sounds like you had a faulty part. I doubt that you could have twisted
it off otherwise. Now, getting it out is going to be a thorny issue.

One of the first things that come to mind is to use a Dremel tool with
a cut-off wheel attachement to carefully grind a slot across the
exposed end of the 2mm portion extending out of the piece and then use
a flat blade screwdriver to back it out.

Another is to use a brand new set of high quality vise grips so that
the biting edge is new and sharp. 2mm isn't much to grip but it might
be possible.

The next obvious method is using a bolt extractor, but this will
probably require a drill press and some sort of jig to hold the head
in position. You might be able to use a hand held drill to drill the
hole for the extractor if you use a Dremel and grind a cross centered
on the exposed broken end. The center of the cross will act a a guide
to center the bit for the hole. If it looks like this isn't going to
work, or you are not mechanically inclined with small parts and
precise work, I think taking the head to a machine shop or possibly
shipping it back to AP is in order. Give AP a call on Monday and see
what they say.

In the meantime, I can't see why you can't use the mount.

Rick.


Re: Broken clutch knob

observe_m13
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Peter Santangeli" <peter@...> wrote:


Sadly, while setting up today in my yard, I went to tighten one of my
RA clutch knobs on my AP900 and it snapped off in my hand. It broke
off about 5mm down, so that I can just see about 2 mm of the bolt
inside of it. The rest of the shaft is no doubt stuck down in the hole
it screws into.

A couple of questions...

Is there a way for me to get the shaft out?
Can I order a replacement?
Am I stuck sending my RA assembly back to AP :-(
Any danger of me using it this way until a convenient time?

I'm really surprise - I've never, ever tightened this much. Never used
hex keys, for instance. I must be stronger than I thought!

Pete
Sounds like you had a faulty part. I doubt that you could have twisted
it off otherwise. Now, getting it out is going to be a thorny issue.

One of the first things that come to mind is to use a Dremel tool with
a cut-off wheel attachement to carefully grind a slot across the
exposed end of the 2mm portion extending out of the piece and then use
a flat blade screwdriver to back it out.

Another is to use a brand new set of high quality vise grips so that
the biting edge is new and sharp. 2mm isn't much to grip but it might
be possible.

The next obvious method is using a bolt extractor, but this will
probably require a drill press and some sort of jig to hold the head
in position. You might be able to use a hand held drill to drill the
hole for the extractor if you use a Dremel and grind a cross centered
on the exposed broken end. The center of the cross will act a a guide
to center the bit for the hole. If it looks like this isn't going to
work, or you are not mechanically inclined with small parts and
precise work, I think taking the head to a machine shop or possibly
shipping it back to AP is in order. Give AP a call on Monday and see
what they say.

In the meantime, I can't see why you can't use the mount.

Rick.


Broken clutch knob

Peter Santangeli
 

Sadly, while setting up today in my yard, I went to tighten one of my
RA clutch knobs on my AP900 and it snapped off in my hand. It broke
off about 5mm down, so that I can just see about 2 mm of the bolt
inside of it. The rest of the shaft is no doubt stuck down in the hole
it screws into.

A couple of questions...

Is there a way for me to get the shaft out?
Can I order a replacement?
Am I stuck sending my RA assembly back to AP :-(
Any danger of me using it this way until a convenient time?

I'm really surprise - I've never, ever tightened this much. Never used
hex keys, for instance. I must be stronger than I thought!

Pete


Holiday Greetings from Astro-Physics

 

To all,
Astro-Physics will be closed for the Holiday Season beginning December 22 and will officially reopen on Thursday, January 3, 2008. Please understand that we will not be shipping for most of the first week of January as we take inventory (we have a lot of parts to count).
Roland and I will not be in the office next week. If you have any questions, please contact our capable staff for assistance. Of coarse, you can call on the expertise of the people on this user group, as well. I am always amazed and gratified at the way all of you help each other out when questions come up. We particularly appreciate this over the weekends and during holiday periods. You are extraordinary individuals and we areproud to count you among our customers and friends.

We wish all of you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. We appreciate your support and business throughout 2007 and look forward to offering exciting products in 2008.

Please enjoy the holiday card posted on our website:
http://www.astro-physics.com/xmas07.htm




Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Road
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
www.astro-physics.com
Please include this e-mail with your response.


Re: Broken clutch knob

kawasaki99@...
 

Hello Strong Man,
Local hardware store ought to sell an (easy-out) which is a
sort of a left hand thread tap and the proper size pilot drill for the
easy-out. If it's only hand tight to ought to come out. Have an assistant hold a
vacuum cleaner hose close to broken screw while drilling the pilot hole to
capture any small chips. A small center drill or sharp prick punch may be necessary
to ensure the pilot drill puts the hole close to the true center of the
broken screw. Sounds like a lot but it's generally easy.



**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct one) ... (Happy) end...

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Ray,
I just want to second all your points. USB is very convenient, but
Ethernet is much more robust. I also find that serial is very robust.
Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <rgr@...> wrote:

Hi John,

There are many examples of USB unreliability if you search the net
(as with
almost any other hardware interface). I've personally seen USB
errors happen
hundreds of times in my day job. And they *absolutely* do happen
to USB
storage systems. I think for storage systems to be reliable the
firmware/software app needs to confirm the writes and repeat if
necessary.

In any case I think USB is a bad choice for telescopes/cameras in
general.
Ethernet is far more robust and works on every system available
without
having to create a driver. Also, USB plugs can come out too
easily. Ethernet
connectors have a more reliable plug, and even if it does get
unplugged
won't bring your mount link down if you use a connectionless
network
protocol (i.e., UDP).

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
On Behalf Of John Winfield
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:48 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Desperately trying (this is the correct
one) ... (Happy) end...

Hmm, I'm not sure I'd agree - my day job is developing USB based
storage systems and if it's good enough for reliably
transferring tens
of megabytes of data per second, it can probably cope with a few
ASCII
characters.

Presumably he's aware of the (lack of) robust error checking on
an
RS232 serial line?
The single parity bit on RS232 isn't very reliable - the USB
datagrams
are CRC32 protected.
I think the AP mount uses 8-N-1, so there's not even parity
checking
being performed on the RS232 comms currently.

John

--- In ap-gto@...
<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> , chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 12/12/2007 10:01:20 PM Central Standard
Time,
rdcrisp@ writes:


another suggestion is to abandon serial ports entirely,
as has the pc
industry across the board largely, and just adopt USB or
USB2.0 etc.
USB is not robust, according to our software engineer. It
can result in
dropped bits that can cause problems.

Rolando


**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop000300000000
04 <http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?
NCID=aoltop00030000000004> )







Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ben Ritchie" <count.zero@...> wrote:

P.S. in an attempt to keep this slightly on-topic, i'd just like to
say that my 1200GTO is undoubtedly the best Astronomy purchase I ever
made. It's just an absolute pleasure to use... :)
Ben,

I am so impressed with my AP1200GTO, I will be looking to pick up
another one during 2008. In fact, I have a little dilemma ... one
AP3600 or two AP1200???? I suspect the latter so as to have multiple
scopes imaging at each opportunity. YES!!!

Anthony.


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

Ben Ritchie <count.zero@...>
 


I *think* it should be fixable by modifying the ST7-RC adapter to swap
X- and Y- (in fact, the adapter may be the cause of the problem).
Yes, good point. I forgot about the ST7-RC adapter.


Sorry, i'll stop cluttering up the list with SBIG-speak!
No problem with me since we all use one of the two to three programs
out there for image acquisition. Also, seeing such problems is
educational for all of us. Case in point is your experience right now
and which is something I have never encountered personally or in any
of the groups I follow.

Anthony.
I've just taken the ST7-RC to pieces (hope I can get it back together
again ;) and i'm fairly sure X+ and Y+ are swapped in the adapter.
Looking at SBIG's wiring diagram, pin 3 of the 9-pin plug (X+) is
connected to pin 2 of the RJ11 socket (Y+), so when the camera issues
an X+ slew it's going to go to Y+ on the mount - and vice versa (pin 4
-> pin 1). I'll check with SBIG before rewiring it, but I think that's
it. Chalk up another one to the list of "weird things that can go
wrong while imaging".

At least it's the cheapest bit to replace ;)

Ben.

P.S. in an attempt to keep this slightly on-topic, i'd just like to
say that my 1200GTO is undoubtedly the best Astronomy purchase I ever
made. It's just an absolute pleasure to use... :)


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Ben Ritchie" <count.zero@...> wrote:

--- In ap-gto@..., "ayiomamitis" <ayiomami@> wrote:
I am also a dedicated CCDSoft user and I have NEVER seen such
behaviour. I am almost convinced it is the camera.

As an aside, a better means to assess how parallel the camera is with
the axes of the mount is to look at the calibration result tab which
gives a very nice graphic of the +X, -X, +Y and -Y movements and the
associated calibrated results/values for each second of pulse.
Hi Anthony
Hi Ben,


The calibration graphic is clearly wrong.
My comment in relation to the graphic was in response to your comment
that you use the slews with the hand controller to see how close you
are to having the two sets of axes (camera and mount) parallel. A
really neat way is to look at the graphic following a calibration and
which will show you precisely how well they match.

Sadly I can't attach a
screen grab on these forums (I think?) but the values I get (pixels/s
and angle) are

X+ 9.2436 1.8809
X- 6.8117 91.0365
Y+ 6.8739 271.3662
Y- 9.2714 181.4919
The good thing about these numbers is that they show a very good
calibration (ignoring the problem of the mixed up X+/Y- and X-/Y+).

so X+ and Y- are pretty much perfectly matched, as are X- and Y+. The
graph looks almost perfect ... until you realise that the labels are
wrong.
Yes, I agree.


I *think* it should be fixable by modifying the ST7-RC adapter to swap
X- and Y- (in fact, the adapter may be the cause of the problem).
Yes, good point. I forgot about the ST7-RC adapter.


Sorry, i'll stop cluttering up the list with SBIG-speak!
No problem with me since we all use one of the two to three programs
out there for image acquisition. Also, seeing such problems is
educational for all of us. Case in point is your experience right now
and which is something I have never encountered personally or in any
of the groups I follow.

Anthony.


Ben.


Re: what's the best software package to automate a remote observatory with a dome?

William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

Richard Crisp wrote:
the headline says it all

I want to use an APGTO CP3 (1200 mount)

Currently I use Maxim DL 3.21 and The Sky along with FocusMax
Is ASCOM the best way to go or is something else better?

What are people in this group using?



Hi Richard,

I have and use ACP but it requires Maxim v4.xx. And yes it uses ASCOM.


Regards

Bill

--

William R. Mattil : http://www.celestial-images.com


Re: Newbie at autoguiding, what's happening?

Ben Ritchie <count.zero@...>
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "ayiomamitis" <ayiomami@...> wrote:
I am also a dedicated CCDSoft user and I have NEVER seen such
behaviour. I am almost convinced it is the camera.

As an aside, a better means to assess how parallel the camera is with
the axes of the mount is to look at the calibration result tab which
gives a very nice graphic of the +X, -X, +Y and -Y movements and the
associated calibrated results/values for each second of pulse.
Hi Anthony

The calibration graphic is clearly wrong. Sadly I can't attach a
screen grab on these forums (I think?) but the values I get (pixels/s
and angle) are

X+ 9.2436 1.8809
X- 6.8117 91.0365
Y+ 6.8739 271.3662
Y- 9.2714 181.4919

so X+ and Y- are pretty much perfectly matched, as are X- and Y+. The
graph looks almost perfect ... until you realise that the labels are
wrong.

I *think* it should be fixable by modifying the ST7-RC adapter to swap
X- and Y- (in fact, the adapter may be the cause of the problem).

Sorry, i'll stop cluttering up the list with SBIG-speak!

Ben.


what's the best software package to automate a remote observatory with a dome?

Richard Crisp
 

the headline says it all

I want to use an APGTO CP3 (1200 mount)

Currently I use Maxim DL 3.21 and The Sky along with FocusMax

Is ASCOM the best way to go or is something else better?

What are people in this group using?


Re: Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

Wade --

The standard pier adapter already has holes drilled and countersunk for
mounting to a flat surface. See:

http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/12pierad.htm

for details. You'd need to drill and tap your existing pier top to
match, or if it already has threaded holes that don't match, you could
drill and countersink additional holes in the standard pier adapter.

It won't give quite as much of a "dressed finish" look at the flat
surface adapter (since the shoulder and outside threaded holes will be
exposed), but it works fine.

-- Jeff.


________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On
Behalf Of Dean S
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 1:43 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO



Hi Wade,

If I understand it correctly, you can drill and counter sink
holes in the
standard pier adapter so you can bolt it down to your plate.

In my case I bought the new Rotating pier adapter so I had to
have the Flat
Surface Adapter to mount first on my flat plate.

So save the money and get only the standard pier adapter and
mount it
directly to your plate.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wade Van Arsdale" <uwpf23@...
<mailto:uwpf23%40yahoo.com> >
To: <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 2:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Pier Adapter Options for 2002 AP-1200GTO

> Hello Roland and group,
> I am purchasing a used 2002 AP-1200GTO mount. It has had some
> hardware upgrading done on it (just in case any of this is
relevant
> to my question below):
> 1) AZM Adjustor Kit "12AZKIT"
> 2) Polar Fork Assembly "S1200PF-B"
> 3) Spring-loaded motor mounts both axes
> 4) CP3 Keypad and firmware
>
> I need to adapt it to a Paramount ME pier top with their
flat-plate
> on top. The 1200 did not have an included AP Pier adapter. Do
I need
> BOTH these parts to adapt the 1200GTO to a flat surface?
> 1) Standard Pier Adapter: "1200SPA"
> 2) Flat surface Pier Adapter: "1200FSA"
>
>
> Thanks,
> Wade Van Arsdale
> Little Rock, AR., USA
>
>
>
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>