Date   

Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joe Zeglinski
 

That's TERRIFIC !!! Thanks Mark,

I was really hoping somebody had already proved the possibility of it's working. If you can, perhaps a few pictures of your PAS set up on the AP group site would be helpful to everyone.

By the way, does the PAS illuminated reticle "light up" on the video player screen as well, and have you tried adjusting the reticle light level by plugging it into the reticle port of the GTOCPx ?

Since that helmet camera has it's own lens, you are using AFOCAL projection, so I wonder if the reticle is a virtual image that won't project into the camera. In such case, I would have to use a plastic laptop screen template (or graphic image overlay ) to replace the PAS reticle function, and rotate the camera head to line up the dim star marks (instead of rotating the PAS as normal).

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Squicquero" <docsquic@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:47 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Joseph,

I've been using pretty much what you have described. I have an Archos portable video player that has a "helmet" cam attachment, which is a small video camera. I made an adapter out of pvc which holds the camera up against the Pasill eyepiece. I just stand on the north side of the mount and hold the small player and watch the position of Polaris as I move the Alt and Az adjustments. It works quite well for Polaris but isn't sensitive enough for the other two stars although sometimes I can just make out the second star enough to approximate its position. Once everything is set I just take a quick look through the Pasill and tweek the position of the two fainter stars. A Guider camera would probably work better due to sensitivity< but the concept works quite
well>

Mark








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Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joe Zeglinski
 

Thanks Don,

I think I will try initial in house testing. I was concerned whether the PAS reticle is a virtual image that would not project onto the CCD chip in the guide camera. I was hoping to avoid afocal projection and the added hassle of the extra eyepiece, clutter, and diminished light level. I was expecting to place the guider CCD right at the same position as the eye pupil would have been - and they are probably the same size as well. Something as tiny as a Meade LPI (lunar planetary imager) with 640x480 VGA resolution might be even better and lighter (saves hauling the entire tethered SBIG camera out, when sometimes all you need to use is the RGH).

Worth a shot anyway.

Thanks to all for your advice,
Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "dmwmpd" <westergren@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:43 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Hi Joe,

Yes you can use a camera to view the PAS. However you have to use
AFOCAL (or eyepiece) projection to have it work. That is using a
camera with it's own lens to replace your eye. Perhaps a video cam
would work - it would be light and small so it could be mounted on
the PAS and be close enough to prevent vignetting.

Try it in your living room first - you might be surprised how well
it works. Just hold the camera up to the PAS eyepiece. You would
leave the PAS focussed for your eyes, but have to adjust the focus
on the camera to infinity.

I haven't tried this with my PAS, but I have taken pictures of
planets with my AP scope this way. The magnification increases with
added camera distance from the eyepiece. The FOV and brightness
decrease with increased distance, so you probably want the camera
lens almost touching the PAS eyepiece.

Good Luck, let us know how it works. It's a great idea.

Don Westergren


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Mark Squicquero
 

Joseph,

I've been using pretty much what you have described.  I have an Archos portable video player that has a "helmet" cam attachment, which is a small video camera.  I made an adapter out of pvc which holds the camera up against the Pasill eyepiece.  I just stand on the north side of the mount and hold the small player and watch the position of Polaris as I move the Alt and Az adjustments.  It works quite well for Polaris but isn't sensitive enough for the other two stars although sometimes I can just make out the second star enough to approximate its position.  Once everything is set I just take a quick look through the Pasill and tweek the position of the two fainter stars.  A Guider camera would probably work better due to sensitivity< but the concept works quite
well>

Mark





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


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

dmwmpd <westergren@...>
 

Hi Joe,

Yes you can use a camera to view the PAS. However you have to use
AFOCAL (or eyepiece) projection to have it work. That is using a
camera with it's own lens to replace your eye. Perhaps a video cam
would work - it would be light and small so it could be mounted on
the PAS and be close enough to prevent vignetting.

Try it in your living room first - you might be surprised how well
it works. Just hold the camera up to the PAS eyepiece. You would
leave the PAS focussed for your eyes, but have to adjust the focus
on the camera to infinity.

I haven't tried this with my PAS, but I have taken pictures of
planets with my AP scope this way. The magnification increases with
added camera distance from the eyepiece. The FOV and brightness
decrease with increased distance, so you probably want the camera
lens almost touching the PAS eyepiece.

Good Luck, let us know how it works. It's a great idea.

Don Westergren

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

Hi,

As winter will too soon be here, I am NOT looking forward to
having to shovel a trench in the snow to kneel into, in order to use
the polar scope. It was awkward enough in summer (at 45 deg N).

I wonder if anyone has tried any other way of centering
Polaris through the PAS.

One possibility is to perhaps modify a diagonal, with a
Barlow relay lens, to bring the alignment image to a more
comfortable standing view position. This would be a great "optical"
option for AP to produce for the PAS.

Perhaps a much better method might be to temporarily plug a
standard "guider head", such as your (SBIG RGH, Orion autoguider, or
Trifid autoguider), over the PAS eyepiece, and view the polar
alignment on the laptop screen. In many cases, these guide heads are
just waiting to start use as guiders, so perhaps they can also serve
double duty as a PAS camera. An additional advantage, especially at
light polluted sites, is that the guider will cut through the haze
to bring out the other two dim reference stars, barely visible on
the reticle right now.

I suppose this will be a real bonus for south pole PAS
alignment. In that case, it should be possible to program (or draw)
a laptop screen overlay/template, with a south pole centre point,
using the other reference stars.

Has anyone tried the latter method? I wonder if there might
be some issue with the focus reaching the guider chip - although,
with the camera (or star diagonal) 1.25" eyepiece tube
bottomed "overtop" of the PAS eyepiece, that may not be a problem.
You still would need to make an eyepiece adapter from 1.25" down to
the much smaller PAS eyepiece diameter, with a limiting collar (set
screw ring), to prevent bottoming of the PAS eyepiece onto the chip.

Comments, please?
Thanks
Joe

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


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Chuck Hancock
 

Joe, I wonder if the 10 mW laser would damage the reticle in the polar alignment scope.
Chuck

Joseph Zeglinski wrote:

Thanks Hank,

I just figured since a laser is already highly collimated, yet another lens after the lens in the laser, wasn't going to do anything.

I looked at a 150 mw laser in the local astro store, and asked if it is "street legal". The clerk said it was - in Canada - but likely not in the USA. Have you seen anything on the legality of these anywhere, and what the legal power levels are? I was surprised that these can be sold. If they are legal, I may get one since my 5 mw GLP is really too weak for astro, unless you sight right along the beam, not to the side.

If that works, I may try just mounting the GLP "front end section", which has the laser module itself, and power it with a battery wire connection. That would make the attachment much easier and alignment of the GLP more precise. Most of the GLP pen is taken by two AA batteries, so just converting the laser end cap to a slip on eyepiece cap, would make the GLP as easy to add to the Pasillx PAS, as a normal eyepiece cover.

Joe


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joe Zeglinski
 

Thanks Hank,

I just figured since a laser is already highly collimated, yet another lens after the lens in the laser, wasn't going to do anything.

I looked at a 150 mw laser in the local astro store, and asked if it is "street legal". The clerk said it was - in Canada - but likely not in the USA. Have you seen anything on the legality of these anywhere, and what the legal power levels are? I was surprised that these can be sold. If they are legal, I may get one since my 5 mw GLP is really too weak for astro, unless you sight right along the beam, not to the side.

If that works, I may try just mounting the GLP "front end section", which has the laser module itself, and power it with a battery wire connection. That would make the attachment much easier and alignment of the GLP more precise. Most of the GLP pen is taken by two AA batteries, so just converting the laser end cap to a slip on eyepiece cap, would make the GLP as easy to add to the Pasillx PAS, as a normal eyepiece cover.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hank Sielski" <hsielski@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 3:19 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Hi Joe,

The aperture of the PAS is a small one, but at least its a refractor...no
secondary. Also, while it does probably attenuate the beam a bit, it may
also have the effect to collimate it, so the "pointing" error may be offset
somewhat. At least, I only use it to get "close" to the final Alt/Az of
Polaris. Finally, my green laser pointer doesn't really suffer from the
attenuation by the PAS simply by being a bit more powerful than
yours...150mW...see www.kaidomain.com.

Clear Skies,

Hank


Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

eugene roeschlein
 

Hey There
What ever happened to Digital Sky Voice ??
Used it a lot when I first got it and still use it at times
Thought it was really neat
Gene R

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


Digital Sky Voice, which we used to provide with our mounts, also
has a
planned observing feature.

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)


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


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Hank Sielski
 

Hi Joe,

The aperture of the PAS is a small one, but at least its a refractor...no
secondary. Also, while it does probably attenuate the beam a bit, it may
also have the effect to collimate it, so the "pointing" error may be offset
somewhat. At least, I only use it to get "close" to the final Alt/Az of
Polaris. Finally, my green laser pointer doesn't really suffer from the
attenuation by the PAS simply by being a bit more powerful than
yours...150mW...see www.kaidomain.com.

Clear Skies,

Hank

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 11:10 PM, Joseph Zeglinski
<J.Zeglinski@...>wrote:

Thanks Hank,

Actually, I tried using my green laser pointer (GLP) as a test, by
firing it into my Questar-7 Maksutov, thinking it would work the same as
one
of the US observatories did, hitting the "Laser Ranging Array" retro
reflector package left on the moon. However, either my 5 mw laser beam was
too weak, or was bouncing directly back from the secondary spot on the
corrector, but in any case the ad hoc test failed. I couldn't see the beam
pointed at Polaris. I thought perhaps I needed to disperse the laser in a
wider beam with a pellicle lens, or some such. I must say, your approach
with the PAS seems like a good one.

But I don't see why you shoot through the PAS itself - isn't it just as
easy to simply rig up a holder for the GLP to fit into the mount in place
of
the PAS? You would need the jig in either case, and I don't think the PAS
optics add anything to the laser beam, other than slight attenuation. It
would be nice if it would project the PAS reticle on the sky, like a BATMAN

Signal. Just kidding <g>.

As for the comfort in using a lawn chair for the task of lining up
Polaris in the PAS, I agree that would be easy but only in regions of lower

latitude, ideally at the equator. Further north/south, when the PAS is set
at 45 degrees or higher elevation, there is not enough room for a chair
next
to the pier, while the risk of craning the neck at such an S-bend is liable

to cause not only back ache, but also potential neck injury - I tried that.

I am eager to try out my idea of using the RGH guide camera with the
PAS, just as soon as my recent back injury lets me out of the house,
hopefully before winter. So far, I am getting a better view of the floor,
than the sky :-)

As an alternative, I did consider getting a Meade "Electronic Eyepiece"
with an NTSC video output to a small monitor, avoiding use of a laptop and
CCD imager. However, at 320x240 resolution, I suspect that the dim stars
will be barely visible, or they will pop in and out of view. Besides, I
suspect most owners of an AP mount are likely to be imaging, and the
ubiquitous laptop and guide camera are going to be readily available. In
fact, SBIG has a free downloadable "Seeing Program" for use with their
SBIG-402 (or other imagers) on Polaris - I thought that could be a bonus at

the start of a night, since the guider is already set on the PAS.

Finally, if used for just visual observing, polar alignment is not that
critical, and it might suffice to use the old "boy scout trick" - stick a
wet finger in the air and test which way the solar wind is blowing? :-)

Cheers Hank,

Joe


----- Original Message -----
From: "Hank Sielski" <hsielski@... <hsielski%40gmail.com>>
To: <ap-gto@... <ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:28 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joseph,

Joking aside, a taller pier or using an astrochair to sit lower might
help.


If you move around in latitude a bit like I do (between northern and
southern California), or find that your altitude (or azimuth) is way off
for
some reason, I find that shooting a green laser up through the PAS helps
to
get Polaris close to the center of the FOV of the PAS without
kneeling/bending. After that, then you still need to look through the
PAS
to get Polaris moved to the offset area and align the other two stars.

Even if you can't do this later part (bright skies, or whatever) , you
still
might be able to use the meridan delay or two star method (documented in
the
manual) to get even closer.

After that, you can do a drift alignment, if you need to, but this isn't
necessary if you're only going visual.

Beyond that, I think you'll have to resort to something with software on
a
PC and a camera to zero in your polar alignment (Pulseguide,
Pole-Align_Max,
etc. lots of choices here).

The idea to use to hook up a guide camera to use as a video finder or
something seems interesting...let us know if you get something working.

Hank



Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joe Zeglinski
 

Thanks Hank,

Actually, I tried using my green laser pointer (GLP) as a test, by firing it into my Questar-7 Maksutov, thinking it would work the same as one of the US observatories did, hitting the "Laser Ranging Array" retro reflector package left on the moon. However, either my 5 mw laser beam was too weak, or was bouncing directly back from the secondary spot on the corrector, but in any case the ad hoc test failed. I couldn't see the beam pointed at Polaris. I thought perhaps I needed to disperse the laser in a wider beam with a pellicle lens, or some such. I must say, your approach with the PAS seems like a good one.

But I don't see why you shoot through the PAS itself - isn't it just as easy to simply rig up a holder for the GLP to fit into the mount in place of the PAS? You would need the jig in either case, and I don't think the PAS optics add anything to the laser beam, other than slight attenuation. It would be nice if it would project the PAS reticle on the sky, like a BATMAN Signal. Just kidding <g>.

As for the comfort in using a lawn chair for the task of lining up Polaris in the PAS, I agree that would be easy but only in regions of lower latitude, ideally at the equator. Further north/south, when the PAS is set at 45 degrees or higher elevation, there is not enough room for a chair next to the pier, while the risk of craning the neck at such an S-bend is liable to cause not only back ache, but also potential neck injury - I tried that.

I am eager to try out my idea of using the RGH guide camera with the PAS, just as soon as my recent back injury lets me out of the house, hopefully before winter. So far, I am getting a better view of the floor, than the sky :-)

As an alternative, I did consider getting a Meade "Electronic Eyepiece" with an NTSC video output to a small monitor, avoiding use of a laptop and CCD imager. However, at 320x240 resolution, I suspect that the dim stars will be barely visible, or they will pop in and out of view. Besides, I suspect most owners of an AP mount are likely to be imaging, and the ubiquitous laptop and guide camera are going to be readily available. In fact, SBIG has a free downloadable "Seeing Program" for use with their SBIG-402 (or other imagers) on Polaris - I thought that could be a bonus at the start of a night, since the guider is already set on the PAS.

Finally, if used for just visual observing, polar alignment is not that critical, and it might suffice to use the old "boy scout trick" - stick a wet finger in the air and test which way the solar wind is blowing? :-)

Cheers Hank,

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hank Sielski" <hsielski@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:28 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Joseph,

Joking aside, a taller pier or using an astrochair to sit lower might help.


If you move around in latitude a bit like I do (between northern and
southern California), or find that your altitude (or azimuth) is way off for
some reason, I find that shooting a green laser up through the PAS helps to
get Polaris close to the center of the FOV of the PAS without
kneeling/bending. After that, then you still need to look through the PAS
to get Polaris moved to the offset area and align the other two stars.

Even if you can't do this later part (bright skies, or whatever) , you still
might be able to use the meridan delay or two star method (documented in the
manual) to get even closer.

After that, you can do a drift alignment, if you need to, but this isn't
necessary if you're only going visual.

Beyond that, I think you'll have to resort to something with software on a
PC and a camera to zero in your polar alignment (Pulseguide, Pole-Align_Max,
etc. lots of choices here).

The idea to use to hook up a guide camera to use as a video finder or
something seems interesting...let us know if you get something working.

Hank


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joe Zeglinski
 

Sorry to pi** you off, Bill, but I figured somebody would state the obvious without much contemplation.

To answer the obvious, as a professional engineer, I spent quite some time - months - planning, measuring and testing the best height to always set my Losmandy tripod, to suit the OTA placement procedure. The main concern was to fix the height "precisely" so that the AP-900 saddle would be no higher than MY shoulder height when I carried the OTA into position. I figured this would avoid back injury, which I have a pretty good start on already.
So ... the AP-900 must be at the chosen height. Short of a hoop toss of the OTA into the saddle, your taller pier idea is inappropriate.

That being the case, this makes the polar scope position difficult, but not impossible to use - physically. However, my being limited to suburb use, the polar scope view is fairly dim. I did get all three stars aligned, but it takes more kneeling position time than I would like - O.K. on grass, but snow makes things uncomfortable.

As you propose, I could hire somebody to do it - I suppose the price of the equipment implies that hiring a servant isn't a big deal ... for some.

As for sticking to visual - how does that solve the PAS use problem?
Of course, using the PAS is only the first setup step, and I do use Roland's procedure to get final alignment. However, it sure would be nice to make good, BUT "easier" use of the PAS.

Thanks for your practical suggestions, Bill. What else 'ya got?
Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "William R. Mattil" <wrmattil@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Sure,

Get a taller pier so you don't have kneel down.

Hire somebody to do it for you

Stick to visual

Buy a Hubble book instead of doing astrophotography.



Bill


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Richard Crisp
 

hey that's a cool idea Hank!

I have a GLP and that's a great use for it.

I'll try it next time I set up at the ranch!
rdc

----- Original Message -----
From: Hank Sielski
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Joseph,

Joking aside, a taller pier or using an astrochair to sit lower might help.

If you move around in latitude a bit like I do (between northern and
southern California), or find that your altitude (or azimuth) is way off for
some reason, I find that shooting a green laser up through the PAS helps to
get Polaris close to the center of the FOV of the PAS without
kneeling/bending. After that, then you still need to look through the PAS
to get Polaris moved to the offset area and align the other two stars.

Even if you can't do this later part (bright skies, or whatever) , you still
might be able to use the meridan delay or two star method (documented in the
manual) to get even closer.

After that, you can do a drift alignment, if you need to, but this isn't
necessary if you're only going visual.

Beyond that, I think you'll have to resort to something with software on a
PC and a camera to zero in your polar alignment (Pulseguide, Pole-Align_Max,
etc. lots of choices here).

The idea to use to hook up a guide camera to use as a video finder or
something seems interesting...let us know if you get something working.

Hank

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM, William R. Mattil
<wrmattil@...>wrote:

> Joseph Zeglinski wrote:
> > [snip]
> >
> > Comments, please?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> Sure,
>
> Get a taller pier so you don't have kneel down.
>
> Hire somebody to do it for you
>
> Stick to visual
>
> Buy a Hubble book instead of doing astrophotography.
>
> Bill
>
>


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Ladislav Nemec <nemecl@...>
 

Bit naughty?

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
William R. Mattil
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 3:03 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method



Joseph Zeglinski wrote:
[snip]

Comments, please?



Sure,

Get a taller pier so you don't have kneel down.

Hire somebody to do it for you

Stick to visual

Buy a Hubble book instead of doing astrophotography.

Bill


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Hank Sielski
 

Joseph,

Joking aside, a taller pier or using an astrochair to sit lower might help.


If you move around in latitude a bit like I do (between northern and
southern California), or find that your altitude (or azimuth) is way off for
some reason, I find that shooting a green laser up through the PAS helps to
get Polaris close to the center of the FOV of the PAS without
kneeling/bending. After that, then you still need to look through the PAS
to get Polaris moved to the offset area and align the other two stars.

Even if you can't do this later part (bright skies, or whatever) , you still
might be able to use the meridan delay or two star method (documented in the
manual) to get even closer.

After that, you can do a drift alignment, if you need to, but this isn't
necessary if you're only going visual.

Beyond that, I think you'll have to resort to something with software on a
PC and a camera to zero in your polar alignment (Pulseguide, Pole-Align_Max,
etc. lots of choices here).

The idea to use to hook up a guide camera to use as a video finder or
something seems interesting...let us know if you get something working.

Hank


On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM, William R. Mattil
<wrmattil@...>wrote:

Joseph Zeglinski wrote:
[snip]

Comments, please?



Sure,

Get a taller pier so you don't have kneel down.

Hire somebody to do it for you

Stick to visual

Buy a Hubble book instead of doing astrophotography.

Bill


Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

Joseph Zeglinski wrote:
[snip]

Comments, please?



Sure,

Get a taller pier so you don't have kneel down.

Hire somebody to do it for you

Stick to visual

Buy a Hubble book instead of doing astrophotography.



Bill


An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,

As winter will too soon be here, I am NOT looking forward to having to shovel a trench in the snow to kneel into, in order to use the polar scope. It was awkward enough in summer (at 45 deg N).

I wonder if anyone has tried any other way of centering Polaris through the PAS.

One possibility is to perhaps modify a diagonal, with a Barlow relay lens, to bring the alignment image to a more comfortable standing view position. This would be a great "optical" option for AP to produce for the PAS.

Perhaps a much better method might be to temporarily plug a standard "guider head", such as your (SBIG RGH, Orion autoguider, or Trifid autoguider), over the PAS eyepiece, and view the polar alignment on the laptop screen. In many cases, these guide heads are just waiting to start use as guiders, so perhaps they can also serve double duty as a PAS camera. An additional advantage, especially at light polluted sites, is that the guider will cut through the haze to bring out the other two dim reference stars, barely visible on the reticle right now.

I suppose this will be a real bonus for south pole PAS alignment. In that case, it should be possible to program (or draw) a laptop screen overlay/template, with a south pole centre point, using the other reference stars.

Has anyone tried the latter method? I wonder if there might be some issue with the focus reaching the guider chip - although, with the camera (or star diagonal) 1.25" eyepiece tube bottomed "overtop" of the PAS eyepiece, that may not be a problem. You still would need to make an eyepiece adapter from 1.25" down to the much smaller PAS eyepiece diameter, with a limiting collar (set screw ring), to prevent bottoming of the PAS eyepiece onto the chip.

Comments, please?
Thanks
Joe


Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

ayiomamitis
 

Howard,

This is awesome! Will this feature be replacing an existing list or is it simply an addition?

Anyway, I would certainly be interested in any further details you may have available.

Anthony.

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

The next full version of the keypad firmware, v.4.20 will also have a
"bookmarking" feature that will allow up to 50 objects or custom RA /
Dec coordinates to be assembled into a list like you want. This would
eliminate the need for an external computer. Contact me at A-P for
more information.



Mag. 7 skies!



Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

815-282-1513

________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of philipdombrowski
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:47 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] question re a preplanned observing session...



Dear Howard, Roland & any group member that knows the answer to my
question....
If I am doing a nightly sequence of variable star observations is
there a way to have a preplanned (pre-programmed) sequence of targets
so that I can simply go from one star to the next without having to
enter the RA & DEC of each target star? On any given night I may want
to do 15 variable stars and it would be most desirable to go from one
star to the next without the re entering of coordinates. Earlier
Vstar observers would likely tell me that a "good" observer would just
know how to get from one star to the next from my knowledge of the
night sky! However, I would like to take advantage of the AP1200's
full capabilities. Many of my target stars are in fields were I am
looking for a target that my only be 12th mag or fainter. A feature
that may already be on the AP1200 that I am unaware of would be rather
"cushy".
I very much appreciate your response.
Phil Dombrowski
Glastonbury, CT





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


Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

Hank Sielski
 

Phil,

While I and others are looking forward to the new version (4.20) of the
keypad software, as well as the new AP Control Center, for now, I want to
second Eric's recommendation of AstroPlanner. In its current form, it has
tremendous capabilities. In addition to the pre-planned observing list, it
has more than 125 catalogues that you can download and use with your
studies, so you may not have to id your targets with just RA and Dec. You
can download a free trial version of 1.6.1 (no telescope control in the free
version, I think, though), but if you decide to buy and test out the
telescope control, it doesn't cost much ($35, I think). And if you register
now, I think you'll get a free upgrade to the forthcoming V2 (almost in beta
now), which promises to be even better...and as Eric says, Paul Rodman's
support is right up there with AP's...

Good luck,

Hank

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 9:48 AM, Eric Baumgartner <malkasten@...>wrote:

Hi, Phil:

You might want to acquaint yourself with Paul Rodman's AstroPlanner (see
<http://www.ilangainc.com/astroplanner>). It is an observing planning and
logging application with lots of functionality, including the capacity to
send goto commands to A-P GTO mounts.

You could easily compile an observing plan for your variable star targets
on
a given night, sort them by virtually any criterion (culmination time, RA,
constellation, etc.), and then slew to each object from within the
application.

Paul Rodman is the Roland Christen of observing software, in that he
constantly monitors the AstroPlanner users group and responds to questions,
problems, or concerns nearly instantly and with great patience. I can't
recommend the application more highly. (Oh, yes, it also runs on both Mac
and Windows computers!)

Hope this helps,

Eric Baumgartner
Redding, CT


On 9/17/08 10:53 AM, "chris1011@... <chris1011%40aol.com>" <
chris1011@... <chris1011%40aol.com>> wrote:

In a message dated 9/17/2008 6:47:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
phil.dombrowski@... <phil.dombrowski%40cox.net> writes:


Dear Howard, Roland & any group member that knows the answer to my
question....
If I am doing a nightly sequence of variable star observations is
there a way to have a preplanned (pre-programmed) sequence of targets
so that I can simply go from one star to the next without having to
enter the RA & DEC of each target star? On any given night I may want
to do 15 variable stars and it would be most desirable to go from one
star to the next without the re entering of coordinates. Earlier
Vstar observers would likely tell me that a "good" observer would just
know how to get from one star to the next from my knowledge of the
night sky! However, I would like to take advantage of the AP1200's
full capabilities. Many of my target stars are in fields were I am
looking for a target that my only be 12th mag or fainter. A feature
that may already be on the AP1200 that I am unaware of would be rather
"cushy".
I very much appreciate your response.
Phil Dombrowski
Glastonbury, CT
There is no function like that in the AP servo or keypad. However, what
you
are describing is a scripting program. I know Bob Denny sells one. You
will
need a laptop to run a scripting program. Anyone out there have any other
software recommendations?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)





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

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




Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

Eric Baumgartner
 

Hi, Phil:

You might want to acquaint yourself with Paul Rodman's AstroPlanner (see
<http://www.ilangainc.com/astroplanner>). It is an observing planning and
logging application with lots of functionality, including the capacity to
send goto commands to A-P GTO mounts.

You could easily compile an observing plan for your variable star targets on
a given night, sort them by virtually any criterion (culmination time, RA,
constellation, etc.), and then slew to each object from within the
application.

Paul Rodman is the Roland Christen of observing software, in that he
constantly monitors the AstroPlanner users group and responds to questions,
problems, or concerns nearly instantly and with great patience. I can't
recommend the application more highly. (Oh, yes, it also runs on both Mac
and Windows computers!)

Hope this helps,

Eric Baumgartner
Redding, CT

On 9/17/08 10:53 AM, "chris1011@..." <chris1011@...> wrote:

In a message dated 9/17/2008 6:47:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
phil.dombrowski@... writes:


Dear Howard, Roland & any group member that knows the answer to my
question....
If I am doing a nightly sequence of variable star observations is
there a way to have a preplanned (pre-programmed) sequence of targets
so that I can simply go from one star to the next without having to
enter the RA & DEC of each target star? On any given night I may want
to do 15 variable stars and it would be most desirable to go from one
star to the next without the re entering of coordinates. Earlier
Vstar observers would likely tell me that a "good" observer would just
know how to get from one star to the next from my knowledge of the
night sky! However, I would like to take advantage of the AP1200's
full capabilities. Many of my target stars are in fields were I am
looking for a target that my only be 12th mag or fainter. A feature
that may already be on the AP1200 that I am unaware of would be rather
"cushy".
I very much appreciate your response.
Phil Dombrowski
Glastonbury, CT
There is no function like that in the AP servo or keypad. However, what you
are describing is a scripting program. I know Bob Denny sells one. You will
need a laptop to run a scripting program. Anyone out there have any other
software recommendations?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)





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

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



Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

Howard Hedlund
 

The next full version of the keypad firmware, v.4.20 will also have a
"bookmarking" feature that will allow up to 50 objects or custom RA /
Dec coordinates to be assembled into a list like you want. This would
eliminate the need for an external computer. Contact me at A-P for
more information.



Mag. 7 skies!



Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

815-282-1513

________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of philipdombrowski
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:47 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] question re a preplanned observing session...



Dear Howard, Roland & any group member that knows the answer to my
question....
If I am doing a nightly sequence of variable star observations is
there a way to have a preplanned (pre-programmed) sequence of targets
so that I can simply go from one star to the next without having to
enter the RA & DEC of each target star? On any given night I may want
to do 15 variable stars and it would be most desirable to go from one
star to the next without the re entering of coordinates. Earlier
Vstar observers would likely tell me that a "good" observer would just
know how to get from one star to the next from my knowledge of the
night sky! However, I would like to take advantage of the AP1200's
full capabilities. Many of my target stars are in fields were I am
looking for a target that my only be 12th mag or fainter. A feature
that may already be on the AP1200 that I am unaware of would be rather
"cushy".
I very much appreciate your response.
Phil Dombrowski
Glastonbury, CT


Re: question re a preplanned observing session...

Mark Galiyano Jr <mgjr@...>
 

Bob Denny's ACP is an automated imaging system. I think Starry Night allows
the creation of observing lists that could be prepared ahead of time, and
selected and slewed to during the observing session.

Mark

_____

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
chris1011@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:53 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] question re a preplanned observing session...



In a message dated 9/17/2008 6:47:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
phil.dombrowski@ <mailto:phil.dombrowski%40cox.net> cox.net writes:

Dear Howard, Roland & any group member that knows the answer to my
question....
If I am doing a nightly sequence of variable star observations is
there a way to have a preplanned (pre-programmed) sequence of targets
so that I can simply go from one star to the next without having to
enter the RA & DEC of each target star? On any given night I may want
to do 15 variable stars and it would be most desirable to go from one
star to the next without the re entering of coordinates. Earlier
Vstar observers would likely tell me that a "good" observer would just
know how to get from one star to the next from my knowledge of the
night sky! However, I would like to take advantage of the AP1200's
full capabilities. Many of my target stars are in fields were I am
looking for a target that my only be 12th mag or fainter. A feature
that may already be on the AP1200 that I am unaware of would be rather
"cushy".
I very much appreciate your response.
Phil Dombrowski
Glastonbury, CT
There is no function like that in the AP servo or keypad. However, what you
are describing is a scripting program. I know Bob Denny sells one. You will
need a laptop to run a scripting program. Anyone out there have any other
software recommendations?

Rolando

**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelis
<http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014>
t.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)