Date   

Tr : new AP 1200 user

PHILIPPE RENAUD <phiren60@...>
 

----- Message transféré ----
De : PHILIPPE RENAUD <phiren60@...>
À : ap-gto@...
Envoyé le : Samedi, 19 Janvier 2008, 16h35mn 47s
Objet : new AP 1200 user


Hello,
very new AP 1200 user , this morning I switched on the power of the Equatorial mount for the first time and aftter setting up , when slewing to the sun , the error message " motor stall" rose on the key pad, the LED turned yellow and the mount stopped. I have made this setup without telescope and counterweight shaft , clutch knobs manually tight ;
the N S E W buttons are ok since the AP1200 moves quicky ( up to 1200X) when pressing them.
my autoconnect is set NO , and I think my setting up procedure is ok ( keypad V 4.12 );
Settled permanently in my observatory, I have also tested autoconnect set to YES: same problem ;
I also reset Status , hitting "0" ; no way
any idea ?


thanks
Philippe RENAUD
http://www.astrosurf.com/thellastron



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Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

hewholooks wrote:
Ah. I see.


In theory this sounds good. But in practice the only two scopes that could be aligned to each other would be the refractors. The SCT has a moving primary mirror and this fact alone will introduce random errors.

Bill

--

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


Re: [ANN] ASCOM 2008 Announcements (10th Anniversary)

Chris Curran <curran.chris@...>
 

Finally, a new effort ASCOM-X (X means "cross-platform") is underway
I'm not sure if this makes me happy or sad. Both I think. There has
been a similar movement underway in the Linux world for quite a few
years now - INDI.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_Neutral_Distributed_Interface

It'd be nice if these groups found a way to work together as INDI in
the Linux world has the same clout as ASCOM in the Windows world.
Unfortunately, I strongly suspect there's going to be a lot of ego's
banging heads the next few years (e.g. the linux guys are not going to
write software that supports anything ASCOM just on principle). Hope
I'm wrong....

cheers,
Chris Curran


Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

hewholooks
 

Ah. I see.

Hunter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
wrote:

Hunter,

What I was thinking about is quite straight forward. Basically,
take one
misaligned OTA at a time, - perhaps one as the master reference -
and do the
alignment (RECAL, etc.). Switch to the next OTA, and see how many
arc seconds
(minutes), it is off from the first OTA. Write this down, so the
next time you
switch to this OTA, (or switch back to the first one), you know how
much to
offset your target entry. Finally do this with the third OTA, which
will have
a different offset relative to the fist one (the master reference).

Next time you use any of these OTA's, you do a GOTO, and
then "adjust" by
the offset (error compensation RA & DEC). Now the target should be
dead
centre.

If the ASCOM driver could have this option of setting offsets
for a series
of OTA's, then it would be central and automatic, every time you
changed or
added new OTA's.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 7:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Joe and Dean,

Thanks. I think the math is beyond me for your plan, Joe, but it
does sound like a good idea. I will check with CDC and ask about
sync vs rcal functions.

Hunter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@>
wrote:

Hi Hunter,

On the question of aligning all your scopes, would it not be
possible to
determine the "pointing error", for each scope, without it being
precisely
aligned, and simply plug in the correction to the target
coordinates, based on
that predetermined fixed offset? It would be nice if something
like
that could
be done right in a Planetarium program, so as you switch and
specify which OTA
you are using, the program compensates for you.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time
on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the
saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions
when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly
orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will
leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar
allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on
orthogonality
to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that
will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope
orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing
on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from
there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my
orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my
subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a
FOV
of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object
and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object,
or
do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt
my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount
as
if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in
anticipation
of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount
first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hunter,

What I was thinking about is quite straight forward. Basically, take one
misaligned OTA at a time, - perhaps one as the master reference - and do the
alignment (RECAL, etc.). Switch to the next OTA, and see how many arc seconds
(minutes), it is off from the first OTA. Write this down, so the next time you
switch to this OTA, (or switch back to the first one), you know how much to
offset your target entry. Finally do this with the third OTA, which will have
a different offset relative to the fist one (the master reference).

Next time you use any of these OTA's, you do a GOTO, and then "adjust" by
the offset (error compensation RA & DEC). Now the target should be dead
centre.

If the ASCOM driver could have this option of setting offsets for a series
of OTA's, then it would be central and automatic, every time you changed or
added new OTA's.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 7:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Joe and Dean,

Thanks. I think the math is beyond me for your plan, Joe, but it
does sound like a good idea. I will check with CDC and ask about
sync vs rcal functions.

Hunter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
wrote:

Hi Hunter,

On the question of aligning all your scopes, would it not be
possible to
determine the "pointing error", for each scope, without it being
precisely
aligned, and simply plug in the correction to the target
coordinates, based on
that predetermined fixed offset? It would be nice if something like
that could
be done right in a Planetarium program, so as you switch and
specify which OTA
you are using, the program compensates for you.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the
saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions
when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will
leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar
allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality
to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that
will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope
orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from
there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my
orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV
of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object
and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or
do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as
if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation
of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount
first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links






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[ANN] ASCOM 2008 Announcements (10th Anniversary)

Bob Denny
 

The ASCOM Initiative, now in its 10th year, is pleased to announce the ASCOM
Platform 2008 and an all-new ASCOM web site. The new Platform includes extensive
support for Microsoft's .NET family of languages, plus major upgrades to its
core components and optional developer tools. The new web site has loads of new
information for users and developers alike, plus (as always) the latest drivers
for devices that don't ship with their drivers included.

The ASCOM Platform is a framework that supports astronomy device drivers that
are cross-vendor and cross-language. ASCOM drivers are similar to printer
drivers - which make it possible for any program to print to any printer that
has a driver loaded. An ASCOM driver makes it possible for any program to use
any astro-device that has an ASCOM driver loaded. ASCOM drivers are currently
usable from virtually any programming language (currently over 20) on Windows,
making them truly universal for Windows.

At present, over 35 astronomy software packages from all over the world use
drivers to control devices, and and drivers are available for over 50 different
mounts, domes, focusers, filter wheels, cameras, and rotators. The lists are
always growing.

Finally, a new effort ASCOM-X (X means "cross-platform") is underway to extend
the ASCOM driver architecture to operating systems other than Windows (e.g.,
Linux and Mac OS). Our goal is to make drivers for Linux and Mac OS (at a
minimum) that have the same commands as those on Windows, and which can be used
by all languages (that matter) on those platforms. In addition, ASCOM-X is
addressing the future where devices with built-in Ethernet can speak standard
protocols, allowing them to be used by any software on any operating system. As
part of this, another goal is to allow a driver to be on one computer with the
software on another, with each running a different (or the same) operating
system. This is a long-range project, but it has started with a "big bang".

For more information go to http://ascom-standards.org/

####


Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

hewholooks
 

Joe and Dean,

Thanks. I think the math is beyond me for your plan, Joe, but it
does sound like a good idea. I will check with CDC and ask about
sync vs rcal functions.

Hunter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
wrote:

Hi Hunter,

On the question of aligning all your scopes, would it not be
possible to
determine the "pointing error", for each scope, without it being
precisely
aligned, and simply plug in the correction to the target
coordinates, based on
that predetermined fixed offset? It would be nice if something like
that could
be done right in a Planetarium program, so as you switch and
specify which OTA
you are using, the program compensates for you.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the
saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions
when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will
leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar
allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality
to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that
will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope
orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from
there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my
orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV
of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object
and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or
do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as
if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation
of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount
first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

hewholooks
 

Rolando,

Thanks for the hugely informative notes. I haven't bought the mount
yet, but I feel like the pampered customer already.

Sorry for the worrying, but switching to one of your fine mounts is a
big step and I am trying to learn as much as I can before hand. I am
willing to switch to whatever setup and software is neccesary to make
things work, but would like to stay with what I am familiar with at
first, use the mount right away and learn what to add and tweak to
get more out of it as I go. Imaging time is so precious here right
now that I don't want to lose any.

I think I understand how the mount works now and the apprehension
level is about 80% less.

Thanks again,

Hunter

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

In a message dated 1/18/2008 3:16:56 PM Central Standard Time,
hewholooks@... writes:


Could you elaborate on the differences between 'sync'
and 'recalibrate' and when it is proper to use each one with the
AP
mount and software.

To me, 'sync' is when I goto a star and hit the 'sync' button on
my
planetarium program (Cartes du Ciel) so that the planetarium grid
is
in line with the mount.

'Calibrate' at this point is when I am autoguiding and calibrate
the
autoguider to match the part of the sky I am imaging in.
We don't have a calibrate on the mount. We have Sync, which is
mount/scope
specific and then we have Rcal (or recal) which allows you to
center the last
object that you slewed to and adjust the internal RA/Dec pointing
to that
position.

A "Sync" defines not only the mount pointing position but also
assumes that
the scope is on top of the mount and not underneatth - as you
probably know,
there are always 2 ways for a scope to point at any object in the
sky with a
German mount. One way is safe, the other may be safe, or it may
cause sscope and
pier to collide. If you use Sync, then you MUST always be sure that
your scope
is on the proper side. If it is not, and you Sync on an objetc that
is past
the meridian (and scope is now under the mount) the mount will
assume that you
wish for all subsequent objects to be aquired under the mount also.
If your
pier has a geometry that allows the scope to swing freely under the
mount, then
this would be theoretically ok. However, i doubt that you have such
a
situation. So avoid Sync and use Rcal always, ad your mount/scope
configuration will
never change (i.e. the scope will always be above the mount after
any slew).

Rolando


**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.

http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?
NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


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


Re: AP900 sensitivity to wind

Steve Peters
 

Thanks, Rick. I tend to agree that it's not a problem with the ATS
pier, but rather with the worm gear mesh. This weekend I'm going to
adjust that a bit and see what happens. When I received the new mount
in 2007 from AP it came with some very noticeable play in the dec
axis. You could see it easily when you pushed the scope back and
forth in dec. I made an adjustment to get rid of the excessive
backlash and it seemed to work, but I suspect it just needs a little
more tweaking.

Steve

www.picturethecosmos.com


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

Hi Steve and guys,
I would not recommend these pads for imaging. They may help if you
are bumping the pier and scope with your visual observing. I have
not had any problems with stability with either the AP or the ATS
piers. I have been operating two setups with ATS and AP piers for 3
years in very windy conditions. Both setups work very well!
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve Peters" <capitoladude@>
wrote:

That's a good sugggestion, Bob. My AP900 is supported on an ATS
portable pier (which AP also sells), which is very stable, as far
as
I can tell. However, I'll try and anti-vibration pads to see if
they
have any effect.

Thanks,

Steve

www.picturethecosmos.com


--- In ap-gto@..., "Robert Berta" <biker123@> wrote:

I don't see any way the mount itself would contribute to
vibration...it
is most likely the mount support. You didn't mention the type
of
support you have. Whether you have a pier mount of some type or
a
heavy
duty tripod (I use a modified Meade Giant Field tripod from the
7"
meade refractor with my AP900 GTO and 6" APO refractor with STL
camera)
I suspect that you can eliminate the vibration by interrupting
the
hard "connection" to the ground. Get a set of the Celestron,
Meade
or
Orion vibration damping pads and put under the three tips of
your
portable pier/tripod. They use a sandwich of hard plastic with
Sorbothane between them. They dramatically reduce vibration to
at
least
60% of what ever you saw before. I have experimented with these
pads
and they can make even a marginal tripod more than
satisfactory.
Just
putting rubber or a piece of carpet between the ground and the
tripod/pier tip will help also but not to the level of the
vibration
reducing pads.

If you have a permanent pier you can also have vibration due to
the
rigid connection to the ground. You could fill the pier with
sand
or
similar material to dampen it. While it would seem that a heavy
metal
tube pier and the AP mount would be desireable...you may have
inadvertently created a form of a tuning fork.

Bob Berta

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve Peters" <capitoladude@>
wrote:

Hi All,

My AP900 seems to vibrate in even a slight breeze, causing
erratic
guiding and some lost shots. I use both an AP160 on it and an
FSQ.
Everything is battened down tight, so I'm thinking I may need
to
adjust
out some backlash by tightening the gear mesh a bit. Has
anyone
else
experienced this and if so, is that how you solved it? The
looseness
seems to be mainly in dec and to a lesser extent in RA. My
friend
who
also has an AP900 says his is pretty impervious to light
wind,
which
is
as I'd expect it to be.

Thanks,

Steve Peters


Re: AP900 sensitivity to wind

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Steve and guys,
I would not recommend these pads for imaging. They may help if you
are bumping the pier and scope with your visual observing. I have
not had any problems with stability with either the AP or the ATS
piers. I have been operating two setups with ATS and AP piers for 3
years in very windy conditions. Both setups work very well!
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve Peters" <capitoladude@...>
wrote:

That's a good sugggestion, Bob. My AP900 is supported on an ATS
portable pier (which AP also sells), which is very stable, as far
as
I can tell. However, I'll try and anti-vibration pads to see if
they
have any effect.

Thanks,

Steve

www.picturethecosmos.com


--- In ap-gto@..., "Robert Berta" <biker123@> wrote:

I don't see any way the mount itself would contribute to
vibration...it
is most likely the mount support. You didn't mention the type of
support you have. Whether you have a pier mount of some type or
a
heavy
duty tripod (I use a modified Meade Giant Field tripod from the
7"
meade refractor with my AP900 GTO and 6" APO refractor with STL
camera)
I suspect that you can eliminate the vibration by interrupting
the
hard "connection" to the ground. Get a set of the Celestron,
Meade
or
Orion vibration damping pads and put under the three tips of
your
portable pier/tripod. They use a sandwich of hard plastic with
Sorbothane between them. They dramatically reduce vibration to
at
least
60% of what ever you saw before. I have experimented with these
pads
and they can make even a marginal tripod more than satisfactory.
Just
putting rubber or a piece of carpet between the ground and the
tripod/pier tip will help also but not to the level of the
vibration
reducing pads.

If you have a permanent pier you can also have vibration due to
the
rigid connection to the ground. You could fill the pier with
sand
or
similar material to dampen it. While it would seem that a heavy
metal
tube pier and the AP mount would be desireable...you may have
inadvertently created a form of a tuning fork.

Bob Berta

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve Peters" <capitoladude@>
wrote:

Hi All,

My AP900 seems to vibrate in even a slight breeze, causing
erratic
guiding and some lost shots. I use both an AP160 on it and an
FSQ.
Everything is battened down tight, so I'm thinking I may need
to
adjust
out some backlash by tightening the gear mesh a bit. Has
anyone
else
experienced this and if so, is that how you solved it? The
looseness
seems to be mainly in dec and to a lesser extent in RA. My
friend
who
also has an AP900 says his is pretty impervious to light wind,
which
is
as I'd expect it to be.

Thanks,

Steve Peters


Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Hunter,

On the question of aligning all your scopes, would it not be possible to
determine the "pointing error", for each scope, without it being precisely
aligned, and simply plug in the correction to the target coordinates, based on
that predetermined fixed offset? It would be nice if something like that could
be done right in a Planetarium program, so as you switch and specify which OTA
you are using, the program compensates for you.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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




Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

Dean S
 

Hunter,

I do know that The Sky6 has added a "Rcal" function to their software to avoid possible issues usning Synch that Roland talked about. Might be worth checking to see if your planetarium program has an update for this, or one in the works.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 4:16 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Dean,

Could you elaborate on the differences between 'sync'
and 'recalibrate' and when it is proper to use each one with the AP
mount and software.

To me, 'sync' is when I goto a star and hit the 'sync' button on my
planetarium program (Cartes du Ciel) so that the planetarium grid is
in line with the mount.

'Calibrate' at this point is when I am autoguiding and calibrate the
autoguider to match the part of the sky I am imaging in.

Hunter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean S" <dean@...> wrote:

Hi Hunter,

I am not perfectly orthogonal yet either, new mount and have not
taken the
time to adjust it yet. But I do not have a problem finding my
targets with
a CCD. I generally stay on the east side so once I am synched or
recalibrated, which is safer, I have no problem on any object.
Even after I
change OTA's there is nto a problem after the first recal.

When I do a flip, I will always flip to a bright star, adjust as
needed,
then recalibrate. This has worked fine for me for 2+ years on my
last
mount, and so far on this one. I keep saying that one of these days
I will
adust it so it will flip perfectly but it has not been a big enough
issue to
bother me yet.

I park each night in #3 and the next start up I can go directly to
a bright
star if it is on the same side of the mount as my last recalibrate
was done
from the previous night. Be sure to understand the difference
between synch
and recalibrate so you don't get into trouble.

Dean



----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the
saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions
when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will
leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar
allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality
to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that
will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope
orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from
there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my
orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV
of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object
and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or
do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as
if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation
of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount
first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
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11:55 AM




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Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

hewholooks
 

Dean,

Could you elaborate on the differences between 'sync'
and 'recalibrate' and when it is proper to use each one with the AP
mount and software.

To me, 'sync' is when I goto a star and hit the 'sync' button on my
planetarium program (Cartes du Ciel) so that the planetarium grid is
in line with the mount.

'Calibrate' at this point is when I am autoguiding and calibrate the
autoguider to match the part of the sky I am imaging in.

Hunter

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean S" <dean@...> wrote:

Hi Hunter,

I am not perfectly orthogonal yet either, new mount and have not
taken the
time to adjust it yet. But I do not have a problem finding my
targets with
a CCD. I generally stay on the east side so once I am synched or
recalibrated, which is safer, I have no problem on any object.
Even after I
change OTA's there is nto a problem after the first recal.

When I do a flip, I will always flip to a bright star, adjust as
needed,
then recalibrate. This has worked fine for me for 2+ years on my
last
mount, and so far on this one. I keep saying that one of these days
I will
adust it so it will flip perfectly but it has not been a big enough
issue to
bother me yet.

I park each night in #3 and the next start up I can go directly to
a bright
star if it is on the same side of the mount as my last recalibrate
was done
from the previous night. Be sure to understand the difference
between synch
and recalibrate so you don't get into trouble.

Dean



----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the
saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions
when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will
leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar
allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality
to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that
will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope
orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from
there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my
orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV
of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object
and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or
do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as
if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation
of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount
first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.6/1231 - Release Date:
1/18/2008
11:55 AM


Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

Dean S
 

Hi Hunter,

I am not perfectly orthogonal yet either, new mount and have not taken the time to adjust it yet. But I do not have a problem finding my targets with a CCD. I generally stay on the east side so once I am synched or recalibrated, which is safer, I have no problem on any object. Even after I change OTA's there is nto a problem after the first recal.

When I do a flip, I will always flip to a bright star, adjust as needed, then recalibrate. This has worked fine for me for 2+ years on my last mount, and so far on this one. I keep saying that one of these days I will adust it so it will flip perfectly but it has not been a big enough issue to bother me yet.

I park each night in #3 and the next start up I can go directly to a bright star if it is on the same side of the mount as my last recalibrate was done from the previous night. Be sure to understand the difference between synch and recalibrate so you don't get into trouble.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "hewholooks" <hewholooks@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Switching Scopes on 900GTO


Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter



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





--
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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.6/1231 - Release Date: 1/18/2008 11:55 AM


Switching Scopes on 900GTO

hewholooks
 

Sorry, but another almost owner question.

I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter


Re: AP900 sensitivity to wind

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/18/2008 5:02:58 PM Central Standard Time,
capitoladude@... writes:


Thanks, Rick. I tend to agree that it's not a problem with the ATS
pier, but rather with the worm gear mesh. This weekend I'm going to
adjust that a bit and see what happens. When I received the new mount
in 2007 from AP it came with some very noticeable play in the dec
axis. You could see it easily when you pushed the scope back and
forth in dec. I made an adjustment to get rid of the excessive
backlash and it seemed to work, but I suspect it just needs a little
more tweaking.
With noticeable play in Dec it will need more than simple tweaking. It is
either so far out of mesh that the teeth rock in free air over a large angular
motion, or something else is happening. It is always possible that the worm gear
locking nut has come loose, and the entire worm gear is moving sideways. In
other words, instead of the teeth being out of mesh, the gear is allowed to
move with considerable end play. Highly unlikely, but possible.

To understand a bit further, all mounts that have worm gear reduction also
have a pair of bearings on the ends of the small driving worm shaft. These
bearings actually take the torque load. The load originates from the moment arm of
the scope, gets transferred to the large worm wheel which in turn transfers
this torque to the teeth of the small driving worm gear, and this in turn
transfers the torque to the mount housing via two ball bearings. In order for the
worm not to move, the worm gear must be clamped in position by these two
bearings. The bearings are typically preloaded by a few hundred pounds pressure, so
they will not move even a micron until this preload is exceeded. However, if
the nut that holds the bearings in place has somehow come loose, then the worm
and bearing is free to move that distance that the nut has backed off. So, you
can easily check this by removing the small cover off the end of the worm
shaft which is located on one end of the motor housing (the other end has the
gearbox cover). Simply unscrew it and look at the worm end and see if it moves as
you apply pressure to the telescope tube. It should not move whatsoever.

Rolando


**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.

http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


Re: AP900 sensitivity to wind

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/18/2008 4:39:38 PM Central Standard Time,
rickwiggins@... writes:


Hi Steve and guys,
I would not recommend these pads for imaging. They may help if you
are bumping the pier and scope with your visual observing. I have
not had any problems with stability with either the AP or the ATS
piers. I have been operating two setups with ATS and AP piers for 3
years in very windy conditions. Both setups work very well!
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve Peters" <capitoladude@...>
wrote:

That's a good sugggestion, Bob. My AP900 is supported on an ATS
portable pier (which AP also sells), which is very stable, as far
as
I can tell. However, I'll try and anti-vibration pads to see if
they
have any effect.
I second this. Anti-vibration pads damp out high frequency wiggles, but they
are complient - in other words they move. This allows the entire mount system
to flex slowly as the scope moves across the sky, with resultant loss of polar
alignment. While this is of no consequence for visual use, it does cause
guiding problems.

There should be no reason that the mount moves in a light wind, unless the
scope has a large sail area. And this can cause problems with any mount,
regardless of size. Tony Hallas has a huge Shaefer mount with 14" gears. It weighs a
ton and is very solidly mounted on a thick walled steel pier. He told me that
he tried to use it with a 12" F6 Newtonian with solid tube. He had problems
with any kind of wind, and the setup was not stable, the Newt had too much sail
area. He solved his problem by switching to a shorter Cassegrain scope.

Rolando


**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.

http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/18/2008 3:16:56 PM Central Standard Time,
hewholooks@... writes:


Could you elaborate on the differences between 'sync'
and 'recalibrate' and when it is proper to use each one with the AP
mount and software.

To me, 'sync' is when I goto a star and hit the 'sync' button on my
planetarium program (Cartes du Ciel) so that the planetarium grid is
in line with the mount.

'Calibrate' at this point is when I am autoguiding and calibrate the
autoguider to match the part of the sky I am imaging in.
We don't have a calibrate on the mount. We have Sync, which is mount/scope
specific and then we have Rcal (or recal) which allows you to center the last
object that you slewed to and adjust the internal RA/Dec pointing to that
position.

A "Sync" defines not only the mount pointing position but also assumes that
the scope is on top of the mount and not underneatth - as you probably know,
there are always 2 ways for a scope to point at any object in the sky with a
German mount. One way is safe, the other may be safe, or it may cause sscope and
pier to collide. If you use Sync, then you MUST always be sure that your scope
is on the proper side. If it is not, and you Sync on an objetc that is past
the meridian (and scope is now under the mount) the mount will assume that you
wish for all subsequent objects to be aquired under the mount also. If your
pier has a geometry that allows the scope to swing freely under the mount, then
this would be theoretically ok. However, i doubt that you have such a
situation. So avoid Sync and use Rcal always, ad your mount/scope configuration will
never change (i.e. the scope will always be above the mount after any slew).

Rolando


**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.

http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


Re: Switching Scopes on 900GTO

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 1/18/2008 2:24:13 PM Central Standard Time,
hewholooks@... writes:


I currenly image with 3 different scopes - Orion ED80, APM/TMB
130/780, and C9.25. I place these on my mount one at a time on a
dual saddle and guide with an ST80 on the other side of the saddle.

Most likely these scopes point in slightly different directions when
mounted in the saddle and probably none are exactly orthogonal. I
would plan on doing the same with the 900GTO, although I will leave
the mount set up in an observatory, not changing the polar allignment
from night to night.

As I understand it, the AP mounts are dependent on orthogonality to
perform accurate gotos across wide sections of the sky, so that will
leave me out (unless I spend the time making each scope orthogonal on
it's respective dovetail). If that's true, I can live with it
because I hardly ever observe and most always image, syncing on a
star nearby to my intended object and slew a few degrees from there
to the object.

Question is - assuming I am not totally skewed in my orthogonality,
will this work out for me? - that is - syncing close to my subject
and expecting the mount to get me close enough to be within a FOV of
the target.

Second question is - after I image one target and want to go to
another that night, should I sync on a star near the new object and
proceed in the same fashion that I did with the first object, or do I
need to turn off the mount and start over so as not to corrupt my
planetarium alignment with another sync?

Third - when the session is over, should I turn off the mount as if I
were taking down a temporary setup for the night in anticipation of
using another OTA the next session, or should I park the mount first?

Thanks in advance.

Hunter
First of all, you have a lot of worries, none of which are necessary.

1) NO mount will point accurately if the scope is not orthogonal, not a
Paramount, not an XYZ mount, not an AP mount - you would need special compensation
software in order to counter orthogonal errors. That, of course is avaialble
for anyone who wishes to fix this, but it requires your orthogonal error to
always be the SAME from one session to the next so that the software compensation
is repeatable.

For every 1 degree ortho error, your pointing error from stars in the east to
stars in the West will be off by 2 degrees. That does not mean that you will
have any error at all going from one star in the eastern part of the sky (or
western) to another star in the eastern part (or western). In fact, the mount
will point just ducky in that quadrant with zero error (assuming you have good
polar alignment. It is just when you flip sides (do a meridian flip) that the
scope will now point off on the other side by 2x the orthogonal error.

2) When you do a meridian flip, you can aquire a known star via the GoTo
software, center it via slo-mo buttons and do a Recal (verrrry easy and quick to
do) on that star. You can also aquire a known object (example M27), center it
and do a Rcal same easy way. Just press one button and you are recalibrated. NO
NEED to turn off the mount for any reason EVER!! No need for any sort of Sync
on a star EVER!! Your mount will not be lost. You do NOT need to turn it off,
park it, or do any other crazy convoluted action.

3) Whenever you are done with your observing session, you can do whatever you
want - turn off the power wherever the scope is pointing, in fact while it is
still tracking -or - turn off the power after parking the mount, pointing
anywhere in the sky - or - park the mount in any of the 3 park positions which
are in the keypad software (or any planetarium software) and then turn off the
power.

Why can you do any of these without losing position? Because the servo drive
always knows where it is on the RA and DEC drive gears, and as long as it has
the proper local time in its memory, it will also know where all sky objects
are. It knows this whether it is running, parked, slewing or centering in both
axes.

My suggestion would be to get the longest focal length scope as orthogonal as
possible, and then not worry about the shorter ones. Even if they are off a
bit, chances are that the object which you want to acquire will be somewhere in
the field.

As far as syncing on a known star after a guiding session, I have never ever
done this in all the years of imaging, even though my mounts are not perfectly
aligned and the scope is not perfectly orthogonal. If after many hours of
guiding, your object has slowly drifted a significant amount from its initial
position (and thus you needed to make constant corrections in RA/DEC), then the
mount electronics will be pointing at a slightly different internal RA and DEC
number, so in essence the mount is now not pointing accurately, even though
the object is centered perfectly in the field. All you need to do is press the
Rcal button on the keypad and the mount internal RA/DEC number automatically
becomes equal again to the object RA/DEC. It is that simple. Then, you can slew
to a new object, knowing that you started off centered on the old one. Simple,
yes??

Finally, you NEVER have to use Sync if you have a permanent setup and you
have found and centered your first object. A simple Rcal is all you will ever
need to do: Step 1 slew to object, Step 2 center object, Step 3 press Rcal button
- you are done, calibrated and ready to do anything from that point on. Slew
to new object and it is not quite centered? repeat step 2 and 3.

Rolando




**************
Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.

http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


Re: AZ/ALT

Howard Hedlund
 

It is info that I have added within the past two years. I can't
remember exactly when - Alzheimer's!



Mag. 7 skies!



Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

815-282-1513

________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of peturnielsen
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 10:18 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: AZ/ALT



thanks - i don't think this is in the old manual (i hope not as i did
look !!)

P

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

Hi Peter,



See pp 12 & 13 of the most recent 900GTO mount manual in tech support
on
the website.



http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/900-GTOCP3-03-30-07-web
<http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/900-GTOCP3-03-30-07-we
b>
.pdf



Mag. 7 skies!



Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

815-282-1513

________________________________

From: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
[mailto:ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> ] On
Behalf
Of peturnielsen
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 8:26 PM
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: AZ/ALT



... the AP900 mount

Peter

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

what is the scale of the markings on the azimuth on the mount. I'm
approximately 14 arc min to the right of the pole and 7 arc min too
low (according to polar align max). seems like it is more difficult
to figure out how much to elevate the mount (dont see any markings)

Peter