Date   

Re: PASILL4 on Mach1, update

Muhammed Samir Kharusi
 

Hi again,
Your photos confirmed that the engraving for the stars was fine, but
not whether the North Celestial Pole is shown at the correct
position. That is the critical one! For this you need to locate where
the NCP is located in your software (for 2008!), mark it as a user
point in Skymap Pro, and then verify that it is indeed at the
location where all those lines in the reticle cross in the middle.
Hopefully you have not yet erased your reticle photos. Thereafter you
will have full confirmation whether it is operator error or that the
reticle is erroneous. There are two generations of reticles currently
in use. It is possible that the older one is fully correct and the
newer one that you are using is erroneous. This could have happened
if, eg whoever drew the reticle had put in the NCP precessing in the
wrong direction (mirror image). Mine is the older one, and it's
always possible that the above report confirming that the reticle
checked out fine after an independent/software polar alignment was
also the older reticle. Was it the older or the newer reticle?

--- In ap-gto@..., "phenrotay" <Pierre.Henrotay@...>
wrote:

Hi Samir,

thank you for the tip, looks like a good idea.

I just did so, but not using TheSky which I do not have:
- in SkyMap Pro, I made a map of the area next to the North Pole
(about 15 degrees wide) and saved it as bitmap
- I took a photo in daytime thru the polar scope against a white
background; easy with my digicam
- I used MaxIm to align the map and the photo (plain translate,
rotate and scale) using 2 stars as alignment: Polaris and delta UMi
- added both images with 50% intensity each

The result is that OV Cep ends up at the right place as well.
The conclusion is that the reticle is fine. BTW, I rechecked that
it
is centered by taking 4 pics thru the polar scope, with a distant
object as target, each pic differing from previous by 90 deg: all
fine, centering is OK.


Re: DEC Backlash and RA "Drift" on AP1200GTO

Jim S.
 

Hi Roland,

I can't speak for Maxim, but CCDSoft "knows" the binning state of the
guiding chip and will adjust the speeds accordingly. E.g., if one
calibrates 1x1 and then guides 2x2, CCDSoft will automatically adjust
the speeds to account for the resulting change of guiding image scale.
Further, if one decides to enter his own values into the Motion
fields in CCDSoft, for whatever reason, he MUST do so as if the
guiding chip was binned 1x1 regardless of how the guiding chip will
actually be set (1x1, 2x2, or 3x3) while guiding.

Any thoughts on my post which started this thread? --

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto/message/21815

JS



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

If you guide at 1x1, then calibrate at 1x1. If you guide at 2x2
binned, you
must also calibrate at 2x2, or simply take your 1x1 values and cut
them in
half.

Rolando


Re: Some pictures updated

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 4/28/2008 1:54:21 AM Central Daylight Time,
marcolorenzi70@... writes:


Dear all, I eventually found little time to update my home page with 8 new
shots. They all were taken with my worthy 900GTO

The direct links to the images and the preview is accessible here
http://astrosurf.com/lorenzi/lastupdate.htm

All shots were made using my STL11K (now sold) and relative to the following
objects:

M 51 the Whirlpool Galaxy, one of my preferred objects (Vixen Visac 20cm
f/9)

M106 Another nice galaxy, quite extended (Vixen Visac 20cm f/9)

M65/66/NGC3628 The popular Leo Triplet (Vixen Visac 20cm f/9)

M97/M108 The intriguing Owl Nebula and its neighbour galaxy (Vixen Visac
20cm f/9)

M1 The Crab Nebula (Vixen Visac 20cm f/9)

M78 A charming reflecting nebula in Orion (Vixen Visac 20cm f/9)

NGC2264 The Christmas three and its jewels (Tec140)

M42 The Great Orion Nebula, this picture made with data from both the TEC140
and the Visac to increase core details

Comments and critics are welcome
All very impressive images.

Rolando


**************
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Re: PASILL4 on Mach1, update

Pierre Henrotay
 

Hi Samir,

thank you for the tip, looks like a good idea.

I just did so, but not using TheSky which I do not have:
- in SkyMap Pro, I made a map of the area next to the North Pole
(about 15 degrees wide) and saved it as bitmap
- I took a photo in daytime thru the polar scope against a white
background; easy with my digicam
- I used MaxIm to align the map and the photo (plain translate,
rotate and scale) using 2 stars as alignment: Polaris and delta UMi
- added both images with 50% intensity each

The result is that OV Cep ends up at the right place as well.
The conclusion is that the reticle is fine. BTW, I rechecked that it
is centered by taking 4 pics thru the polar scope, with a distant
object as target, each pic differing from previous by 90 deg: all
fine, centering is OK.

I must be doing something wrong when using the polar scope itself,
but yet wonder what. Especially since for the last test, we were two
guys to crosscheck what we were doing.

Need further clear nights to retest... unfortunately no clear skies
forecast for the next days/weeks.

So the status so far: operator error ?

Pierre
--- In ap-gto@..., "Samir Kharusi" <samirkharusi@...>
wrote:

At least from what you have drawn, the indication is that the
magnification is correct. It is thus fairly simple to verify that
the
reticle is correctly engraved or not. Take a photograph, daytime
against a clear sky or a white sheet of paper, through the polar
scope. Just try various lenses on a digicam or dslr holding the
lens
against the eyepiece. Something always works well enough. Match up
your photo, ie using Image Link, with The Sky. My old version of
The
Sky did not show the location of the North Celestial Pole, but I
added it in as a user point. Be careful that you put it in for
2008!
The error in the sketch does seem to be too large to be blamable on
atmospheric refraction, IMHO, and if it is indeed in error,
Losmandy
should be able to produce corrected reticles fairly quickly.


Re: Mach1 and checking PASILL4 results

Pierre Henrotay
 

Hi Dean,

lucky are you ;-)

Thank you for these test reports. This indicates that I have a
particular problem with mine - or, not to be excluded yet, that I
repeatedly did something wrong (but in my last tests, we were 2).

I need some more clear night(s) to recheck what is going on here;
unfortunately there is little hope for this in the very near future.

What I rechecked so far:
- the polar scope reticle is centered on the optical axis of the
polar scope
- the polar scope optical axis is aligned with the RA axis of the
mount (well, not mine, but an AP900GTO)
- the magnification of the polar scope is fine (I compared with a
previous model, unfortunately this is not suitable for the Mach1 as
it is non rotating)
- the engravings are OK (I followed a suggestion made on this list to
take a pic thru the polar scope with a digicam and check for
alignment with a map of the North Pole area - I did the map with
SkyMap Pro and used MaxIm to align with my pic - 2 stars align, no
centroid use): all 3 "stars" fall nicely in place where expected

So I am puzzled.

Is there a chance that I constantly mistake one star for another ? I
have a doubt on the position of what I assumed to be OV Cep. I'll
redo my checks just using Polaris and delta UMi.

Thanks again anyway !

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

Hi Pierre,

I managed to check the polar alignment scope tonight. After my
drift
alignment with Pempro, the polar scope is perfectly aligned with
all 3
stars.

What was unusual is, that when I looked thru the polar scope, it was
perfectly aligned without me even touching it. I doubt that would
happen
very often.

Dean


Re: DEC Backlash and RA "Drift" on AP1200GTO

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 4/27/2008 3:04:26 PM Central Daylight Time,
reseavey@... writes:


In paragraph 2), it seems to say that one has to calibrate the guider with
the binning set to 1x1. I don't believe that is true.
If you guide at 1x1, then calibrate at 1x1. If you guide at 2x2 binned, you
must also calibrate at 2x2, or simply take your 1x1 values and cut them in
half.

Rolando


**************
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used car listings at AOL Autos.

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Re: Focuser Backlash

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 4/27/2008 10:41:12 AM Central Daylight Time,
llp41astro@... writes:


After using FocusMax with my new AP 140 4" focuser using a FeatherTouch
motor, I am wondering if there is anyway to adjuct the focuser backlash.

Larry
Make sure that the 4 mounting screws on the bottom of the pinion block are
fully tightened. They may have loosened during shipping due to vibration. Next,
remove the large focuser knob and snug up the 2 small set screws on the side
of the pinion block until the block does not move any more when the focus is
moved back and forth. Finally, snug up the two black Delrin screws on the bottom
side of the focuser body.

Roland Christen


**************
Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for
U.S. used car listings at AOL Autos.

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Re: Mach1 and checking PASILL4 results

Dean S
 

Hi Pierre,

I managed to check the polar alignment scope tonight. After my drift
alignment with Pempro, the polar scope is perfectly aligned with all 3
stars.

What was unusual is, that when I looked thru the polar scope, it was
perfectly aligned without me even touching it. I doubt that would happen
very often.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean S" <dean@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:50 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach1 and checking PASILL4 results


Hi Pierre,

Last night I got some time to test my new Mach1GTO. I aligned it with the
same polar scope I use with my 1200. My targets where on the chip after
my
first star synch, not perfect but very close.

Then I did about 45 minutes of guided images, what a smooth graph!
Perhaps
better than my 1200 even? Well only because I was guiding at a much
smaller
image scale really. But regardless it guided extremely well, so good in
fact I see little need to drift any more, at least when I am imaging at
2.44
arcsec image scale.

Then I went to Pempro and checked the polar alignment. On azimuth it was
off at about 2.3 arc minutes. I adjusted until I got it about 0.5 which
seeing was bad so that is probably best I could do then.

Then went to check Dec and it said it was off about 6.0 arcminutes. I
adjusted and went back to Azimuth which was then off a bit and readjusted
just little back to about 0.5.

Unfortunately clouds or fog was making Polaris hard to see at this point
so
I could not check the polar scope but will do so tonight

Anyways I will be happy with only the polar scope alignment for the most
part unless I need to do longer exposures at longer F/L.

Dean Sch.


----- Original Message -----
From: "phenrotay" <Pierre.Henrotay@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:35 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach1 and checking PASILL4 results


Hi,

good news for you ! I rechecked mine again yesterday (got a few hours
before clouds rolled in) and same result: align with polar scope
only, check with PoleAlignMax => 10 arcminutes error.

Which mount did you check it on ?
I'll be interested in your future feedback on your Mach1, although I
am convinced that the mount is not the trouble; I suspect my
polarscope is (or I am missing something but honestly, no clue).
My next plan is to check on a friend's 900GTO, when he is available
for a test ... and the weather clears up...

Pierre

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

I found that my finder is right on the money after I did a drift
alignment
using the PemPro alignment tool. I could only see Polaris and the
2nd star
but they are both right where they should be. Mount and polar
scope new as
of 12/07.

And I never did adjust the polar scope, or even check it really. I
will
have an opportunity in a couple weeks to check it with a Mach1 and
can
report back.

Dean

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Re: Getting hot

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Dean,
I had mine in the desert last year when the temps hit 115F. I had it
under the silver scope cover from TeleGizmos. This keeps it relatively
cool as it reflects the heat.
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean Salman" <cluster@...> wrote:

Well summmer is coming and the observatory is getting warm. I do
not
have a roof completed yet so how much heat can the mount handle.
This
was not an issue with my old mount since it was so simple.

I do cover the mount during the day, but it does get hot enough you
can't pick it up. I have recorded temps close to 120 in June


Re: Mach1 and checking PASILL4 results

Dean S
 

Hi Pierre,

Last night I got some time to test my new Mach1GTO. I aligned it with the
same polar scope I use with my 1200. My targets where on the chip after my
first star synch, not perfect but very close.

Then I did about 45 minutes of guided images, what a smooth graph! Perhaps
better than my 1200 even? Well only because I was guiding at a much smaller
image scale really. But regardless it guided extremely well, so good in
fact I see little need to drift any more, at least when I am imaging at 2.44
arcsec image scale.

Then I went to Pempro and checked the polar alignment. On azimuth it was
off at about 2.3 arc minutes. I adjusted until I got it about 0.5 which
seeing was bad so that is probably best I could do then.

Then went to check Dec and it said it was off about 6.0 arcminutes. I
adjusted and went back to Azimuth which was then off a bit and readjusted
just little back to about 0.5.

Unfortunately clouds or fog was making Polaris hard to see at this point so
I could not check the polar scope but will do so tonight

Anyways I will be happy with only the polar scope alignment for the most
part unless I need to do longer exposures at longer F/L.

Dean Sch.

----- Original Message -----
From: "phenrotay" <Pierre.Henrotay@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:35 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach1 and checking PASILL4 results


Hi,

good news for you ! I rechecked mine again yesterday (got a few hours
before clouds rolled in) and same result: align with polar scope
only, check with PoleAlignMax => 10 arcminutes error.

Which mount did you check it on ?
I'll be interested in your future feedback on your Mach1, although I
am convinced that the mount is not the trouble; I suspect my
polarscope is (or I am missing something but honestly, no clue).
My next plan is to check on a friend's 900GTO, when he is available
for a test ... and the weather clears up...

Pierre

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

I found that my finder is right on the money after I did a drift
alignment
using the PemPro alignment tool. I could only see Polaris and the
2nd star
but they are both right where they should be. Mount and polar
scope new as
of 12/07.

And I never did adjust the polar scope, or even check it really. I
will
have an opportunity in a couple weeks to check it with a Mach1 and
can
report back.

Dean

------------------------------------

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




Re: Meade tripod - wedge bolt hole pattern

eric98112
 

I believe this might be what you are looking for:

http://www.pierplates.com/AP%20900%20to%20PierTopPlate.pdf

I had my 900 pier adapter modified in this way. I'm not sure
whether you have a permanent pier installation, but note that the
countersunk holes for attaching the 900 pier adapter to your pier
top plate will interfere with the tapped holes for mounting the RA
axis to the 900 pier adapter unless you can rotate your pier top
plate away from north by at least 7 degrees.

-Eric

--- In ap-gto@..., "pm57uk" <ast57@...> wrote:

Hi,

This is a long shot but I thought I'd try anyway.

I'm going to be putting the 900 standard pier adapter onto the top
of
my flat-topped pier.

My pier top has some tapped holes to match the pattern of the bolt
holes of the meade wedge (centre hole plus 3 holes 120 deg apart a
few inches out from the centre) which used to sit on my pier.

I was hoping to have the AP pier adapter pre-drilled so I could
fasten it directly to my pier for minimum hassle and was wondering
if
anyone might know the specifications of the bolt hold pattern for
the
meade wedge that I could supply in advance to have holes drilled.

(I guess I could paper trace the bolt pattern on my pier top, but
I
don't want to disasemble the mount that is currently riding on it
if
at all possible for the moment.)

Cheers
Paul McGale


Re: Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hi Larry,

No, the full version has all of the features of the AP SE version and more.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
On Behalf Of Larry Phillips
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:16 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Ray,
I have a Mach1 and the regular version of PemPro. Any reason to use
the AP SE version instead of the full version when using an AP mount?

Larry

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

Hello everyone,

The version of PEMPro AP that Luca is using is rather old. If you
are using
PEMPro AP please make sure you have v1.70 build 149 (click Help-
About).

If needed you can download the latest version from here:

http://www.siriusimaging.com/PEMPro/PEMPro-APSE-1.70.149.exe
<http://www.siriusimaging.com/PEMPro/PEMPro-APSE-1.70.149.exe>

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro




Re: Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Luca <darknrg@...>
 

Hello Larry,
for as much as my opinion counts, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't
use the full version since you have it.
The AP version is a reduced version of the one you have and it was
SPECIFICALLY and ONLY for AP mounts. The full version applies to most mounts
and has features that the AP doesn't have, such as the polar align wizard.
I believe that Ray will reply to you, but I'm quite sure his answer won't be
different from mine.

Ciao Larry

Luca

-------Original Message-------

From: Larry Phillips
Date: 30/04/2008 0.16.01
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Ray,
I have a Mach1 and the regular version of PemPro. Any reason to use
the AP SE version instead of the full version when using an AP mount?

Larry

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

Hello everyone,

The version of PEMPro AP that Luca is using is rather old. If you
are using
PEMPro AP please make sure you have v1.70 build 149 (click Help-
About).

If needed you can download the latest version from here:

http://www.siriusimaging.com/PEMPro/PEMPro-APSE-1.70.149.exe

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro


Re: Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Larry Phillips
 

Ray,
I have a Mach1 and the regular version of PemPro. Any reason to use
the AP SE version instead of the full version when using an AP mount?

Larry


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

Hello everyone,

The version of PEMPro AP that Luca is using is rather old. If you
are using
PEMPro AP please make sure you have v1.70 build 149 (click Help-
About).

If needed you can download the latest version from here:

http://www.siriusimaging.com/PEMPro/PEMPro-APSE-1.70.149.exe

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro


Re: Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Luca <darknrg@...>
 

Well Ray,
after installing the latest version, I started all over again and
successfully created and uploaded to my 1200 a very good curve that
virtually eliminated the effects of PE. Before I could go unguided for no
more then 2 minutes (at 1250mm focal length). After uploading the curve I
tried a 5 minute exposure and the outcome was perfectly round stars all over
the field!

Thanks Ray for your assistance and help.

Luca

-------Original Message-------

From: Ray Gralak
Date: 25/04/2008 19.47.39
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Latest version of PEMPro AP SE

Hello everyone,

The version of PEMPro AP that Luca is using is rather old. If you are using
PEMPro AP please make sure you have v1.70 build 149 (click Help->About).

If needed you can download the latest version from here:

http://www.siriusimaging.com/PEMPro/PEMPro-APSE-1.70.149.exe

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro


Meade tripod - wedge bolt hole pattern

pm57uk
 

Hi,

This is a long shot but I thought I'd try anyway.

I'm going to be putting the 900 standard pier adapter onto the top of
my flat-topped pier.

My pier top has some tapped holes to match the pattern of the bolt
holes of the meade wedge (centre hole plus 3 holes 120 deg apart a
few inches out from the centre) which used to sit on my pier.

I was hoping to have the AP pier adapter pre-drilled so I could
fasten it directly to my pier for minimum hassle and was wondering if
anyone might know the specifications of the bolt hold pattern for the
meade wedge that I could supply in advance to have holes drilled.

(I guess I could paper trace the bolt pattern on my pier top, but I
don't want to disasemble the mount that is currently riding on it if
at all possible for the moment.)

Cheers
Paul McGale


Re: Getting hot

Richard Crisp
 

commercial grade semiconductors are typically rated to 70C operation. That is considerably hotter than 120F

rdc


Dean Salman <cluster@...> wrote:
Well summmer is coming and the observatory is getting warm. I do not
have a roof completed yet so how much heat can the mount handle. This
was not an issue with my old mount since it was so simple.

I do cover the mount during the day, but it does get hot enough you
can't pick it up. I have recorded temps close to 120 in June


Getting hot

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

Well summmer is coming and the observatory is getting warm. I do not
have a roof completed yet so how much heat can the mount handle. This
was not an issue with my old mount since it was so simple.

I do cover the mount during the day, but it does get hot enough you
can't pick it up. I have recorded temps close to 120 in June


Re: Power light and switch

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

Dean --

A wire attached to the servo controller will act as a bit of an antennae
for static discharge from a nearby lightning strike -- whether or not
it's plugged into anything. If you live in an area that gets any
lightning at all, you're better off disconnecting the power cord from
the mount.

At least that's how I understand it. I'm certainly no expert on the
subject....

-- Jeff.


________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On
Behalf Of Dean S
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 5:10 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Power light and switch



My 12 volt power supply has an on/off switch which I use in the
observatory
so I never have to unplug the mount from it.

For field use I use a cig lighter plug with alligator clips that
clip on the
battery, and it has an on/off switch built in it. So again I
never unplug
the mount from that adapter.

I have not read the other thread but I assume they are worried
about
possible stray voltage or power spike either turning the mount
on, or
damaging the controller?

I always unplug all my equipment from outlets and computers when
I close up
at night.

Dean (another)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean Salman" <cluster@...
<mailto:cluster%40ccdimages.com> >
To: <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 11:43 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Power light and switch

> It does not seem to be there from the descriptions I read, but
I can't
> understand why an off/on switch can not be used for anything.
i am
> just about to call AP and see if they have a direct cable, but
if a
> power off/on is impossible which is really suprising, then
they need a
> new power cable that connect directy to a battery, not though
an
> adaptor.
>
>
> --- In ap-gto@...
<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> , "Rich N" <rnapo@...> wrote:
> >
> > You might want to look back in the files to see why
> > they don't use a power switch.
> >
> > Rich
> >
> > Subject: [ap-gto] Power light and switch
> >
> >
> > I have a couple of issues to suggest as a future change and
upgrade.
> > -snip
> >
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------
>
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo> ! Groups Links
>
>
>
>


Re: Power light and switch

Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

I am going to buy another cable and do just that. Just make sure
that cigarette lighter plug is in all the way or you are really going
to be in for a big suprise when you connect it to the battery. Maybe
the AC/DC boxes are better built than a simple radio shack adaptor
that goes from cigarette lighter to the two clips. Still think AP
should offer a power cable with clips on it in addition to the
other. Anyone that has an AP mount should have a backup power cable
and if they are battery powered anytime, a direct connect is always
better. I have backup Y cables as well because if those go at a star
party, your toast.

The switch idea won't work because you need to see if the red light
is red first before you turn on the rest, so I take that suggestion
back.


BTW, I really suggest Pulus-Guide if you anyone is not using it. If
your pointing is not the way it should be, bad power will prevent the
RA/DEC from being updated correctly. In the case I dealt with this
weekend, after the slew the RA/DEC were the exact same as before the
Slew. PulseGuide from I understand is the only way to get the
current RA/DEC the mount is at.

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


In a message dated 4/28/08 10:44:24 AM, cluster@... writes:


It does not seem to be there from the descriptions I read, but I
can't
understand why an off/on switch can not be used for anything.  i
am
just about to call AP and see if they have a direct cable, but if
a
power off/on is impossible which is really suprising, then they
need a
new power cable that connect directy to a battery, not though an
adaptor.
Dean:
The AP power cables have the traditional 'cigarette lighter' plug.
There is no reason why one couldn't cut that off and add whatever
connection
system-device you wanted......just so long as the polarity is
correct.

For my 1200GTO, I plug the mount cable into a 12v power supply
which does
have an on-off switch
which I use to turn the mount on or off. If you operate from a
battery, you
could place a switch inline and accomplish the same thing.

Kent Kirkley


**************
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