Date   

Mach1 Guide Cable

Bill Bradford
 

I am beside myself with excitement (my wife thinks I have "gone round the bend" :>), because I heard from the good folks at Company Seven that my Mach1 will be shipping soon. Christmas in March. :>)

I will be guiding the mount with my ST-8XME and have a question regarding the guide cable. With the ST-8 I received an RJ-11 cable. I also have a serial to RJ-11 adapter that I received a long time ago with my Tak mount.

It has ST-7-RC on it and has male pins at 2 thru 7 and at 9, on the end that connects to the camera. Can this be used to guide the Mach1?

I also have a serial to RJ 11 adapter that has RC-7 on it and has male pins on the 3 thru 7. Can this be used?

If these cannot be used, I would much appreciate any information on what serial to RJ-11 I need to get.

Thanks,
Bill


Re: Teaching the Mount Permanent Error Memory

hewholooks
 

That was easy - for both of us. Thanks Roland.

As a followup question - what does PEMpro do for us that simply
training the mount's PEM with an autoguider cannot.

Hunter

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

In a message dated 3/26/2008 3:27:38 PM Central Daylight Time,
hewholooks@... writes:


Any autoguiding system (PHD, MaximDL, etc) will
send corrections to the servos to keep the mount tracking
accurately,
so will the mount's controller remember the corrections and
record the
PEM?
Sure.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?
ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


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


Teaching the Mount Permanent Error Memory

hewholooks
 

I was just perusing the updated instruction manual for the keypad and
re-reading the section in the manual concerning permanent error memory
and how to train the servos (page 53 - tools menu).

It states that besides training the PEM manually with crosshair
eyepiece (who does that anymore, anyway?) you can use an ST-4 or STV to
autotrain the mount.

Is there any reason that any other autoguiding system shouldn't be able
to do the same thing? Any autoguiding system (PHD, MaximDL, etc) will
send corrections to the servos to keep the mount tracking accurately,
so will the mount's controller remember the corrections and record the
PEM?

Thanks,

Hunter


sync on wrong side

Mike C
 

If I accidentally sync on the wrong side of the mount, is there a way
to tell the mount to simply invert its picture of the world?


Re: Updated Keypad Manual

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Howard,
Excellent work. Thanks for the update.
One suggestion is to put a doucment revision number just under the
manual title, such as:

Keypad Manual Version 4.12
Revision 2008-03-06-6:00PM

I do this with manuals etc. at work where they get revised
frequently. It will help you and others keep them straight. I did
see the March 6th date, but calling it out explicitly helps.
My 2 cents,
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "howard4ap" <howard@...> wrote:

Hi again everybody!

The latest version of the keypad manual is now posted up on the
website. It has a number of improvements that hopefully will
allow
you to get more out of your Astro-Physics GoTo System.

http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/keypad_v412.pdf

We have tried to give better inclusion to issues affecting those
of
you in the southern hemisphere in this version of the manual. In
particular, see the section on the Park Positions and the Daytime
Polar Alignment Routine.

There has been considerable discussion over the years on the
various
polar alignment methods available to those who use their mounts in
the field instead of in a permanent observatory. This latest
Keypad
Manual for v.4.12 has an expanded section on the GTO Quick Star
Drift
Method that Roland has recommended many times to this group. In
addition to expanded instructions, we have included a table of
suggested stars to make the method much easier to use (Appendix
I).
Check it out and see if it doesn't help you with this little chore
that all of us must face in the field. As always, feedback is
welcome!

If your current keypad manual is several years old, you will also
benefit from the expanded discussion of the Sync and Re-Calibrate
commands in the Advanced Features Section. Also, the Command
Language sections are more up-to-date than those sections were in
the
previous editions of the manual. Finally, there are many small
improvements that come about as customers ask questions that make
us
realize that something wasn't explained as well as it could have
been. We hope that we are always improving our documentation, but
it's of no use if you, our customers, don't see the improvements.

May your skies be clear, dark and steady!
Howard
Astro-Physics


Re: Mach1 Guide Cable

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/26/2008 4:42:59 PM Central Daylight Time,
bcbradford@... writes:


I am beside myself with excitement (my wife thinks I have "gone round the
bend" :>), because I heard from the good folks at Company Seven that my
Mach1 will be shipping soon. Christmas in March. :>)

I will be guiding the mount with my ST-8XME and have a question regarding
the guide cable. With the ST-8 I received an RJ-11 cable. I also have a
serial to RJ-11 adapter that I received a long time ago with my Tak mount.
All our mounts use the same guide cable (see Pinout for Autoguider in the
Technical Support section of our website). This cable is normally supplied with
every SBIG camera and has 6 pins on it. It is a standard 6 pin RJ-11-6
telephone cable available at most electronic stores, if you don't have one already.
Just plug one end into the camera, the other end into the mount servo and you
are done. Nothing else is required.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: Teaching the Mount Permanent Error Memory

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/26/2008 4:40:44 PM Central Daylight Time,
hewholooks@... writes:


As a followup question - what does PEMpro do for us that simply
training the mount's PEM with an autoguider cannot.
It smoothes the curve and takes out the errors of the sky motion.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: Teaching the Mount Permanent Error Memory

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/26/2008 3:27:38 PM Central Daylight Time,
hewholooks@... writes:


Any autoguiding system (PHD, MaximDL, etc) will
send corrections to the servos to keep the mount tracking accurately,
so will the mount's controller remember the corrections and record the
PEM?
Sure.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: AP 1200 got lost again!

mogulskier_groups
 

And.. you don't even have to power the mount off. Just move it by
hand to center an object in your finder, locate and center it in your
camera, and then synch again (as long as you're on the West side of
the pier facing Eastward)

Dave


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

In a message dated 3/22/2008 2:32:22 PM Central Daylight Time,
taka@... writes:


Note that I am not blaming the mount. The current requirements
just make
it a bit more
difficult for me to use it. Because of the issues I have run
into in the
past, I haven't
developed confidence that I can park/unpark the mount remotely.
You don't have to park this mount. It will not get lost if you
simply turn
off the power with the scope at any convenient place. You don't
need to unpark
the mount either. Just turn the power back on and let a suitable
program
initialize it (Pulse Guide) - no need for the keypad to do
anything. The mount will
not be lost. It knows exactly where it is. The only way it
gets "lost" is if
your external program changes something and re-defines the present
RA position
with a new one.

And yes, according to the post headline, you are blaming the
mount "AP 1200
got lost again!" The fact is that your external programs sent the
mount to a
new place by redefining the present RA position.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?
ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


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


Re: AP 1200 got lost again!

mogulskier_groups
 

I had an issue for awhile with the mount's lat/long position. For
some reason, it was positioning me somewhere near China (I'm in
California). And the mount was diving under as you say. I'm sure
you have done this, but check the E/W of your longitude setting. If
you are in the USA, it should be W. For some reason that I still
can't determine, between uses, it got changed. Perhaps PemPro is
adjusting that setting for you?

Dave

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

Normally the servo will re-assign a new RA number to the position
where you
are only when you send a new RA number along with a Sync or Rcal to
the mount.
If that is not happening in your sequence, then perhaps something
else is
being sent to the mount. That something might be a new time. If new
time data is
being sent to the mount, the RA position is not altered, however
the horizon
and overhead hour angle position is changed, and this might place
the present
position underneath the mount in the servo logic, so that for the
next entry the
mount will try to acquire the object on the wrong side of the
mount. I'm
betting that the mount is not lost, it is simply getting a signal
from the
external software to redefine the present RA position.

My advice would be to work with Howard here at AP so that he can
recreate
your exact conditions with the same software, while monitoring the
serial port to
see what commands are being sent by the external software during
this cycle
(you can do this too with Portmon).

Rolando

In a message dated 3/21/2008 9:49:46 AM Central Daylight Time,
wskystalker@... writes:


I realize there are situations where the AP mounts can lose it's
orientation...the senarios have been discussed on this group ad
nauseum. It has happened to me multiple times, but I have
usually
been able to figure out why.

In this case, however, I am completely baffled. I turned on my
1200
by applying the power...autostart is ON. I link the mount with
The
Sky and slew to a star in preparation for evaluating PEC with
PemPro. Once I have centered the desired star, I terminate the
link
with The Sky. I open PemPro which has been configured for the
AP1200 and begin collecting data. I collected three cycles of
data
for evaluation and generated a PEC curve which was uploaded to
the
mount. The mount was then disconnected from PemPro. I went back
and reconnected with The Sky and began to slew to another
target...then IT happened...the telescope started slewing to lala
land and going under the pier, which lately has become somewhat
commonplace. I then have to shut down the mount, reposition in
reference park and reboot to regain orienaion. I repeated this 3
times to see if it would continue to happen...it DID.

Now to answer some of your questions...No, I did not sync OR
recalibrate at any time...No, I did not switch between the
computer
control and hand controller...I have read all the posts
concerning
the problem with "getting lost" and I fully understand how the
mount
works (Roland is quite clear in his explainations of the function
of
these wonderful pieces of art and engineering he has produced).
I
just get a little frustrated and disappointed when the mount
seems
to get a mind of its own during times when I least expect it...I
have to be able to trust the mount since I have a TEC 200 and
STL11000 riding on the back of this guy.

What now?

Norm



**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?
ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


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


Re: sync on wrong side

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/26/2008 2:17:43 PM Central Daylight Time,
mike@... writes:


If I accidentally sync on the wrong side of the mount, is there a way
to tell the mount to simply invert its picture of the world?
Manually slew to the other side of the mount and do another sync.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: Updated Keypad Manual

Pierre Henrotay
 

Hi Howard,

Just had a brief look at the updated document, but I can already tell
you that I definetely appreciate the numerous additions and hints
made to the section about Quick drift alignment ! I am convinced that
the many graphics added will help me finding my way now.

Considering the very few clear nights I have since the acquisition of
my Mach 1 mount 3 months ago, this will be a timesaver (and gives me
enough readings for cloudy nights !).

Hats off, again, to the team.

Pierre
--- In ap-gto@..., "howard4ap" <howard@...> wrote:

Hi again everybody!

The latest version of the keypad manual is now posted up on the
website. It has a number of improvements that hopefully will allow
you to get more out of your Astro-Physics GoTo System.

http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/keypad_v412.pdf

We have tried to give better inclusion to issues affecting those of
you in the southern hemisphere in this version of the manual. In
particular, see the section on the Park Positions and the Daytime
Polar Alignment Routine.

There has been considerable discussion over the years on the
various
polar alignment methods available to those who use their mounts in
the field instead of in a permanent observatory. This latest
Keypad
Manual for v.4.12 has an expanded section on the GTO Quick Star
Drift
Method that Roland has recommended many times to this group. In
addition to expanded instructions, we have included a table of
suggested stars to make the method much easier to use (Appendix
I).
Check it out and see if it doesn't help you with this little chore
that all of us must face in the field. As always, feedback is
welcome!

If your current keypad manual is several years old, you will also
benefit from the expanded discussion of the Sync and Re-Calibrate
commands in the Advanced Features Section. Also, the Command
Language sections are more up-to-date than those sections were in
the
previous editions of the manual. Finally, there are many small
improvements that come about as customers ask questions that make
us
realize that something wasn't explained as well as it could have
been. We hope that we are always improving our documentation, but
it's of no use if you, our customers, don't see the improvements.

May your skies be clear, dark and steady!
Howard
Astro-Physics


Re: Dec Autoguiding problem finally fixed (I think)

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/26/2008 9:10:44 AM Central Daylight Time,
chris1011@... writes:


I haven't been so lucky. I adjusted my dec mesh with
instructions on the phone from Howard at AP. While it took out the
dec play I was seeing, it did not solve my dec oscillation problem.
Not sure what to try next, as it seems I've tried tweaking every
setting in Maxim. For now I'm relegated to shooting in the eastern
sky, where the dec behavior is stable.
One more thing: On the AP website under Technical Support, scroll down until
you get to the heading: "Mount Troubleshooting - For additional
troubleshooting tips, check the mount and keypad manuals." Click on: "Characterizing the Dec
Axis Motions (09-15-03) - PDF document." Follow the instructions in this PDF
to determine whether your Dec axis is moving properly. The instructions should
be plain enough for you to determine if you have a mechanical problem in this
axis. If so, then we can go to the next step.

Rolando



**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: Dec Autoguiding problem finally fixed (I think)

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/26/2008 12:30:18 AM Central Daylight Time,
capitoladude@... writes:


I haven't been so lucky. I adjusted my dec mesh with
instructions on the phone from Howard at AP. While it took out the
dec play I was seeing, it did not solve my dec oscillation problem.
Not sure what to try next, as it seems I've tried tweaking every
setting in Maxim. For now I'm relegated to shooting in the eastern
sky, where the dec behavior is stable.
Start with both Dec directions turned off to monitor the drift that you are
getting in Dec when you are shooting in the western part of the sky. Next turn
on only one Dec direction and monitor the result. Send me an E-mail to let me
know the results of these tests (please include a screen shot of your tracking
chart).

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: Dec Autoguiding problem finally fixed (I think)

Steve Peters
 

Hmm, not sure how the cable would cause a dec oscillation pattern
like you (and I) were seeing. But I'm glad you solved your problem
nonetheless. I haven't been so lucky. I adjusted my dec mesh with
instructions on the phone from Howard at AP. While it took out the
dec play I was seeing, it did not solve my dec oscillation problem.
Not sure what to try next, as it seems I've tried tweaking every
setting in Maxim. For now I'm relegated to shooting in the eastern
sky, where the dec behavior is stable.

Anyway, congrats on solving your dec problem!

Steve

http://www.picturethecosmos.com



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

In followup to the Dec autoguiding problem I was having (bad
autoguiding only in Dec, not in RA and seemingly limited to
tracking
in certain parts of the sky only) I think now I had two problems:

1) I had a cable bundle dragging/catching very slightly. I have an
AC
adapter (to a PDF focuser which comes with a short cord) mounted on
the side of my pier. The camera cable bundle would drag over that
adapter but only when pointing to targets in the southwest (where I
was having the trouble). Thanks to Paul Mortfield for helping me
track that down. I now have an outrigger (a wooden dowel) to hold
the
cable bundle away from everything as the mount tracks.

2) My worm/worm gear mesh appears to have been a tiny bit too
tight.
The mount was not responding to small AG corrections (this was
behaving differently than just backlash as I saw it, and besides, I
have very little backlash).

When you open the Dec drive to check the gears there is a spur gear
(about the size of a silver dollar) that is "on top." I could turn
that large spur gear easily, but the spur gear gives a mechanical
advantage.

When, on a second trip inside the gear box, I removed the spur gear
and tried to turn the worm itself I found I couldn't 9ie the worm
was
so tight I could only rotate it with the mechanical advantage of
that
larger gear). I loosened the worm/worm gear mesh the tiniest bit
and
now I can rotate the worm by hand and the mount will now respond to
small Dec corrections. So I think that was the second problem.

Thanks very much to Roland in particular and to all the others who
provided useful insights in how to approach this problem logically
and step by step.

Drew Sullivan
California


Updated Keypad Manual

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi again everybody!

The latest version of the keypad manual is now posted up on the
website. It has a number of improvements that hopefully will allow
you to get more out of your Astro-Physics GoTo System.

http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/keypad_v412.pdf

We have tried to give better inclusion to issues affecting those of
you in the southern hemisphere in this version of the manual. In
particular, see the section on the Park Positions and the Daytime
Polar Alignment Routine.

There has been considerable discussion over the years on the various
polar alignment methods available to those who use their mounts in
the field instead of in a permanent observatory. This latest Keypad
Manual for v.4.12 has an expanded section on the GTO Quick Star Drift
Method that Roland has recommended many times to this group. In
addition to expanded instructions, we have included a table of
suggested stars to make the method much easier to use (Appendix I).
Check it out and see if it doesn't help you with this little chore
that all of us must face in the field. As always, feedback is
welcome!

If your current keypad manual is several years old, you will also
benefit from the expanded discussion of the Sync and Re-Calibrate
commands in the Advanced Features Section. Also, the Command
Language sections are more up-to-date than those sections were in the
previous editions of the manual. Finally, there are many small
improvements that come about as customers ask questions that make us
realize that something wasn't explained as well as it could have
been. We hope that we are always improving our documentation, but
it's of no use if you, our customers, don't see the improvements.

May your skies be clear, dark and steady!
Howard
Astro-Physics


Astro-Physics Keypad Firmware Version 4.15

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Everybody!

We have put a new version of our keypad firmware up on the website -
v.4.15. This is NOT a complete new version of the firmware. That
will be the upcoming v.4.20, which is still undergoing some final
tweaking. This version addresses some of the issues that customers
in eastern longitudes were having with their location and time zone
data. All of you in the western hemisphere can simply ignore this
update, but anyone east of the Prime Meridian will want to upload
v.4.15 to your keypads right away. Functionally, v.4.15 is identical
to v.4.12, so you can continue to use your v.4.12 manual. In fact,
there is a newly updated manual for v.4.12 on the website that we
encourage you to download. We have also prepared a v.4.15 Addendum
that goes into a bit more detail on the issues addressed by the new
firmware. Version 4.15 and the documentation can all be found in the
Technical Support Section of our website:

http://www.astro-
physics.com/tech_support/mounts/keypad_update/main_inst.htm

Contact us directly if you have forgotten or misplaced the username
and password to download the keypad firmware.

Howard
Astro-Physics


Dec Autoguiding problem finally fixed (I think)

ancient.sull
 

In followup to the Dec autoguiding problem I was having (bad
autoguiding only in Dec, not in RA and seemingly limited to tracking
in certain parts of the sky only) I think now I had two problems:

1) I had a cable bundle dragging/catching very slightly. I have an AC
adapter (to a PDF focuser which comes with a short cord) mounted on
the side of my pier. The camera cable bundle would drag over that
adapter but only when pointing to targets in the southwest (where I
was having the trouble). Thanks to Paul Mortfield for helping me
track that down. I now have an outrigger (a wooden dowel) to hold the
cable bundle away from everything as the mount tracks.

2) My worm/worm gear mesh appears to have been a tiny bit too tight.
The mount was not responding to small AG corrections (this was
behaving differently than just backlash as I saw it, and besides, I
have very little backlash).

When you open the Dec drive to check the gears there is a spur gear
(about the size of a silver dollar) that is "on top." I could turn
that large spur gear easily, but the spur gear gives a mechanical
advantage.

When, on a second trip inside the gear box, I removed the spur gear
and tried to turn the worm itself I found I couldn't 9ie the worm was
so tight I could only rotate it with the mechanical advantage of that
larger gear). I loosened the worm/worm gear mesh the tiniest bit and
now I can rotate the worm by hand and the mount will now respond to
small Dec corrections. So I think that was the second problem.

Thanks very much to Roland in particular and to all the others who
provided useful insights in how to approach this problem logically
and step by step.

Drew Sullivan
California


Re: AP 1200 got lost again!

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 3/23/2008 8:50:18 AM Central Daylight Time,
cardiofuse@... writes:


How do you connect to TheSky: Using Telescope API (ASCOM) I assume.
You do not need ASCOM to connect TheSky to the mount. Just run a serial
connection between laptop and servo, and connect TheSky to the mount via Com1
directly. This program has all the necessary software built in to work directly
with the mount servo.

Rolando


**************
Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on
AOL Home.

(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


Re: AP 1200 got lost again!

r1300rs
 

I don't seem to be having problems either; as long as time and location are precise.

How do you connect to TheSky: Using Telescope API (ASCOM) I assume.

Then do you use: "The Sky Controlled Telescope" for everything else?

Thanks.