Date   

Re: The call came today

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

Hey Ken,
 
FWI: I got a call about 2 weeks ago from AP (for a 1200), having put my name on the notification July or August of '99 (I think). My name came up a lot sooner than I anticipated, but I turned it down, realizing a 900 would better suit my needs.
 
Paul
 
PS: My 600 arrived earlier this week (ordered through Company Seven last July)... time to start playing with the Digital Sky Voice (way cool)!
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2000 11:46 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The call came today

Ron, I'm curious - when did you put your name on the notification list for
the 1200?

-Ken


Re: The call came today

Colt Bednorz <colt@...>
 

Ron,
You are very lucky. I think I was second to last a couple of weeks
ago. Either it's a new production run or someone got bumped.
But who cares, it is good news either way.
Colt

Ron Wodaski wrote:

OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

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Re: The call came today

Bobby Middleton <bobm@...>
 

You'll love it! I did mine ; I got it about 10 months ago.
Bobby Middleton

----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Wodaski <ronw@nwlink.com>
To: <ap-gto@egroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 9:19 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] The call came today


OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: The call came today

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

I don't recall, but a long time ago. <g> I have changed computers twice in
the last year, with some lost email involved, so I don't have a record of
when I got the acknowledgement back from AP at the time I put my name on the
notification list.

However, I've owned a half-dozen different mounts since I put my name on the
list, so it has been a while. <g>

Ron

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Sablinsky [mailto:ksablin@jps.net]
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2000 8:47 AM
To: ap-gto@egroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The call came today


Ron, I'm curious - when did you put your name on the notification list for
the 1200?

-Ken

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@nwlink.com>
To: <ap-gto@egroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 7:19 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] The call came today


OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: The call came today

Ken Sablinsky <ksablin@...>
 

Ron, I'm curious - when did you put your name on the notification list for
the 1200?

-Ken

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@nwlink.com>
To: <ap-gto@egroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 7:19 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] The call came today


OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: The call came today

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

I know, I know: you were left speechless. <g>

Ron

-----Original Message-----
From: mrrockets@home.com [mailto:mrrockets@home.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 10:16 PM
To: ap-gto@eGroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The call came today


"ron wodaski" <ron-@nwlink.com> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=470
OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski
Ron,


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The call came today

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski


Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

For anyone who would like to lay there mount down, there is a good option
from the same source. The parts I have outlined on my web site are "normally
engaged," in the sense that, if you turn the handle, the screw turns as
well. you can lift the handle a quarter of an inch to disengage, and
reposition the handle.

McMaster-Carr offers another little handle, which just arrived today, that
is "normally disengaged." That is, the handle turns freely, but if you press
down on the handle, it engages the screw and you can adjust it. This has the
nice safety feature that if you bump the handle at any time, you will not
change the tension on the screw. The part information is:

Part number 6610K33, "Teardrop plastic safety adjustable clamping handle M6
threaded stud, 20mm stud length, 35mm handle"

The plastic looks like it would tolerate moisture well. I have not installed
this part on my mount (it's packed up for a trip to Arizona right now), but
I will give these a try in a week or two and report back.

Ron Wodaski

-----Original Message-----
From: Marj [mailto:astrophy@pair.com]
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2000 12:54 PM
To: ap-gto@egroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series


Ron,
You are full of good ideas and your explanations are very clear (looking for
a technical writer/customer service job?). The side bolts on the 600E mount
are M12x1.75P. An alternate supplier is Reid Tool Supply Co.
Phone:1-800-253-0421 (at least as of 1997). We have provided them to several
people in northern latitudes since the normal knob would be in the way. I
don't know the exact part number.

We did consider this type of handle a couple of years ago, but did not add
them as a standard item to the mount for several reasons:
The stainless handles are very expensive, but less expensive ones would
rust. Since few people would realize the benefits, the cost was prohibitive.
The mounts are already expensive to produce.
The handles would protrude from the side and would be likely to be damaged
when people lay their mounts down (and they do), especially the plastic
handles.

Having said this, it is a great idea for our tips and techniques section of
the web site, if we ever have time to work on it.

Astro-Physics

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Wodaski [mailto:ronw@nwlink.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2000 1:09 PM
To: ap-gto@egroups.com;
Subject: [ap-gto] Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

I have taken some pictures of the replacement clamps I installed on my AP
600 base. They work very well, and are really easy to install. You probably
don't need detailed instructions, but I posted them anyway. The details are
there so folks can see what the result is, and decide if it's worth doing:

http://www.multimediamadness.net/wodaski/ap600clamp.htm

Links to the McMaster-Carr web site and to the catalog page where these
puppies are sold are on the page above.

Next project: those big bolts that lock down altitude adjustment. Anyone
happen to know the thread on those, to save me a trip to the hardware store
to find out?

Ron Wodaski


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Time

Chris Spratt
 

This is probably another "stupid" question. But here goes. Does the
computer time zone for DigitalSky Voice have to be the same as the AP
keypad's?

I set the keypad to PST (soon to be PDT this weekend) but my laptop
runs on UT. Is this a problem?

Chris. Spratt


600E Counterweight Shaft - Update

paul_schroeder@...
 

Hi all -

As a follow up to my issue last weekend (the counterweight shaft on my new 600E
GTO seemed too wide on one end), I talked with AP on Monday and they immediately
sent out a new shaft. The new one arrived today and works fine, confirming that
the original shaft was too wide at the non-threaded end. On the new one, the
counterweight slips on with no problem.

The response from AP was terrific; as usual, they were ready and willing to do
whatever it takes. Thanks AP! Now if only the clouds would clear . . .

Best regards,

Paul Schroeder


Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

SteppZimmr@...
 

Thanks again, Ron. Please let us know how the new handles work out when you
have a chance. I am following you modifications with great interest. I have
just joined this group. Are there any previous modifications I missed?

Peter


Egroups Downtime

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

From egroups:

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We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you or subscribers.
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Re: New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount

Mike Mah
 

Hi Steve,

It is my impression that the AP GTO on the Parallax implements the same
software as with the AP mounts. Keypad controller and control panel
should be the same except that the control panel on the 125 is not
built into the mount but is in a little pouch which one hangs from one
of the bolts on the equatorial head. Joe Nastasi of Parallax says that
the same servo motors are used.

With the few times I have used the mount, it seems sturdy and solid
enough. It tracks fine for visual purposes but I have yet to do drift
alignment. One of these days, I'll learn how to use my CCD camera and
take some pictures.

The gears on the motors are exposed, so I have to be careful that
cables don't get caught in them. The clutches are of the knob kind and
do not completely lock the axes as they still can be moved by hand,
although I suspect that this by design.

Mike Mah


"steve leikind" <sleikin-@visi.com> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=459
Mike:

I am afraid I cannot help, but it sounds like you are getting useful
information form others on this list. I am curious if you have any
general impressions you can share on the Parallax implementation of
the
AP Goto. This is the only company other than AP itself, that uses the
AP GOTO with its mounts. Also, what do you think about the Parallax
mount itself? Sounds like you have a lot of stuff on their given the
size of the 125 though the 1200 you have on order should handle this
easily. Any comments on tracking, stability etc. of the 125? Thanks.

-Steve


Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

David A. Silva <dasilva@...>
 

Hi Ron

User suggested improvements - from the current metal motor covers to
the lever handles on the tripods. - were the source of many updates to
the GM8 and G11 mounts. There is always someone out there who conceives
an elegant improvement to a product(g).

-David

PS: Another thanks and kudos for your own improvements!

On Mon, 27 Mar 2000 13:17:48 -0800, Ron Wodaski wrote:

I can understand the logic behind wanting to put something out the door that
is affordable and supportable; makes sense to me -- you can't possibly make
a perfect anything; everyone has different ways of working. It's fun, though
to come up with alternate solutions so that different folks can choose what
works best for them. After all, even very high-end automobiles are always
getting customized; that's part of the fun. <g>


Re: New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount

Mike Mah
 

Hi Charles,

Yes, my problems are likely from sloppy initial setup.

On my GTO, the hand controller plugs into the GTO control panel
(GTOCP2) which is portable and in its own little pouch and not built
into the mount, as I believe it is on the AP mounts. This control panel
accepts RS232 input from other programs and I have used Digital
SkyVoice with it (at home anyways).

Thanks,

Mike Mah

"charles sinsofsky" <strfir-@attglobal.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=456
OK, hello,

One last note, inside the mount itself is more code, above and
beyound
that what is in the hand controller, sometimes it is possible
depending on
your code base, I do not know what code would be in a paralex 'bought
the
a/p goto system' e-prom code base, the hand controller first decides
if it
is safe to move to an object, the code there will say 'fine' and send
the
mount the ra/dec cords though it is possible that the mount itself
will
refuse. this is a safety feature built into the code base in the mount
because not everyone uses the mount with a hand controller. remember
the a/p
goto system can be used directly from a p.c. if the given computer
program
being used did not check for horizon it could technically inform the
mount
to move the scope into the pier...we placed in additional checks for
horizon
to compensate for just that type of case. this code has over time
been even
more refined, so because of this, I am not sure what level of code
would be
in your given gto system, as opposed to the latest and greatest one
in a
given a/p gto mount right now.

But I would not worry about it...really..

- Charles Sinsofsky
Author: DigitalSky Voice, and contributor to the A/P mount GTO
system.
www.digitalskyvoice.com
email: strfire@attglobal.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Mah <mikemah@attglobal.net>
To: <ap-gto@eGroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 9:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Hello everybody,

I've just joined and I find these postings useful and informative. I
hope I can find help for some questions:

I have an AP155 EDFS with piggybacked Tak FSQ106 on a pier mounted
Parallax Series 125 with AP GTO v2.6. I have acquired these recently
and have only used this setup a few times, so that I have more
equipment than experience. I am waiting for an AP1200 mount, to
which I
will move the AP155.

With mount level and after proper polar alignment using the Polaris
routine, I have noticed that occasionally objects are indicated as
below the horizon when they are not. For example, last night at
about
9:30 pm the Orion Nebula was indicated to be below the horizon when
it
was not, and I could goto Betelgeuse. Did I miss something in the
manual on the GTO keypad controller about the horizon?

When I tried to goto M81, I had to stop the slewing as the scope was
going to hit the pier. What angle does the safety zone number (0-20)
refer to? Degrees from the polar axis so that the safety zone is a
cone
(or circle on the sky)? Is this then a blind spot that the scope
can't
access?

Thanks,

Mike Mah




Re: 600E Goto

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

Hi all:

My new 600E GOTO arrived this morning! I then spent the pm reading the
instructions and then phoning Christine at AP for an answer to a very
stupid question on my part. Don't ask - it was really, really
stupid!!!! But she is a very nice lady to talk to. And very
understanding.

Congratulations!

I'm glad Christine could get away from making a
big pot of focuser grease to answer your question. ;-)

Rich




Now for a clear night!

I think that a pier will be on the list next. Are they making more any
time soon I wonder?

Chris. Spratt


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600E Goto

Chris Spratt
 

Hi all:

My new 600E GOTO arrived this morning! I then spent the pm reading the
instructions and then phoning Christine at AP for an answer to a very
stupid question on my part. Don't ask - it was really, really
stupid!!!! But she is a very nice lady to talk to. And very
understanding.

Now for a clear night!

I think that a pier will be on the list next. Are they making more any
time soon I wonder?

Chris. Spratt


Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

Thanks for the numbers of the side bolts. For myself, I never lay the mount
down, so I'd like to get some knobs on the side that can be tightened by
hand. The zinc will corrode a bit, but not in a messy way, and the ones I
purchased have steel inserts for the threads, so I don't have to worry about
them binding after a few dewy nights. It won't bother me if I have to change
them out after a couple of years.

I can understand the logic behind wanting to put something out the door that
is affordable and supportable; makes sense to me -- you can't possibly make
a perfect anything; everyone has different ways of working. It's fun, though
to come up with alternate solutions so that different folks can choose what
works best for them. After all, even very high-end automobiles are always
getting customized; that's part of the fun. <g>

I've written a number of books on technical subjects for general audiences,
so I guess you could say I have explaining things in my blood. <g> It's just
something I love to do. I like to see explanations that work for the
broadest possible range of folks. It's challenging to put aside one's own
assumptions and write with your audience uppermost in your mind, but that's
really the best way to convey technical information. Being objective about
your assumptions is also difficult, but necessary.

I know that you are looking for someone onsite for your technical
writer/customer service job. I am interested in pursuing this, but would
have to think about relocation.

Ron Wodaski

-----Original Message-----
From: Marj [mailto:astrophy@pair.com]
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2000 12:54 PM
To: ap-gto@egroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series


Ron,
You are full of good ideas and your explanations are very clear (looking for
a technical writer/customer service job?). The side bolts on the 600E mount
are M12x1.75P. An alternate supplier is Reid Tool Supply Co.
Phone:1-800-253-0421 (at least as of 1997). We have provided them to several
people in northern latitudes since the normal knob would be in the way. I
don't know the exact part number.

We did consider this type of handle a couple of years ago, but did not add
them as a standard item to the mount for several reasons:
The stainless handles are very expensive, but less expensive ones would
rust. Since few people would realize the benefits, the cost was prohibitive.
The mounts are already expensive to produce.
The handles would protrude from the side and would be likely to be damaged
when people lay their mounts down (and they do), especially the plastic
handles.

Having said this, it is a great idea for our tips and techniques section of
the web site, if we ever have time to work on it.

Astro-Physics

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Wodaski [mailto:ronw@nwlink.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2000 1:09 PM
To: ap-gto@egroups.com;
Subject: [ap-gto] Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

I have taken some pictures of the replacement clamps I installed on my AP
600 base. They work very well, and are really easy to install. You probably
don't need detailed instructions, but I posted them anyway. The details are
there so folks can see what the result is, and decide if it's worth doing:

http://www.multimediamadness.net/wodaski/ap600clamp.htm

Links to the McMaster-Carr web site and to the catalog page where these
puppies are sold are on the page above.

Next project: those big bolts that lock down altitude adjustment. Anyone
happen to know the thread on those, to save me a trip to the hardware store
to find out?

Ron Wodaski


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Good friends, school spirit, hair-dos you'd like to forget.
Classmates.com has them all. And with 4.4 million alumni already
registered, there's a good chance you'll find your friends here:
http://click.egroups.com/1/2622/3/_/3615/_/954011255/

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Re: Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

Marj <astrophy@...>
 

Ron,
You are full of good ideas and your explanations are very clear (looking for
a technical writer/customer service job?). The side bolts on the 600E mount
are M12x1.75P. An alternate supplier is Reid Tool Supply Co.
Phone:1-800-253-0421 (at least as of 1997). We have provided them to several
people in northern latitudes since the normal knob would be in the way. I
don't know the exact part number.

We did consider this type of handle a couple of years ago, but did not add
them as a standard item to the mount for several reasons:
The stainless handles are very expensive, but less expensive ones would
rust. Since few people would realize the benefits, the cost was prohibitive.
The mounts are already expensive to produce.
The handles would protrude from the side and would be likely to be damaged
when people lay their mounts down (and they do), especially the plastic
handles.

Having said this, it is a great idea for our tips and techniques section of
the web site, if we ever have time to work on it.

Astro-Physics

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Wodaski [mailto:ronw@nwlink.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2000 1:09 PM
To: ap-gto@egroups.com;
Subject: [ap-gto] Replacement azimuth clamps for 600E series

I have taken some pictures of the replacement clamps I installed on my AP
600 base. They work very well, and are really easy to install. You probably
don't need detailed instructions, but I posted them anyway. The details are
there so folks can see what the result is, and decide if it's worth doing:

http://www.multimediamadness.net/wodaski/ap600clamp.htm

Links to the McMaster-Carr web site and to the catalog page where these
puppies are sold are on the page above.

Next project: those big bolts that lock down altitude adjustment. Anyone
happen to know the thread on those, to save me a trip to the hardware store
to find out?

Ron Wodaski


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Good friends, school spirit, hair-dos you'd like to forget.
Classmates.com has them all. And with 4.4 million alumni already
registered, there's a good chance you'll find your friends here:
http://click.egroups.com/1/2622/3/_/3615/_/954011255/

-- Easily schedule meetings and events using the group calendar!
-- http://www.egroups.com/cal?listname=ap-gto&m=1


Re: New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount

Charles Sinsofsky <strfire@...>
 

OK, hello,
to answer your questions regarding the safe zone, and also I will place
this into the group area so that others may also use the information if they
find it usefull

1) Orion below the horizon, when it really was not.. Well that really
depends on how you set up the internal clock and date and your location
information. Remember the mount will calculate the altitude of an object
based on this information. if an object is relativly close to the horizon,
but visualy it is not, if your internal clock and position information is
not correct then it may very well indicate it is below the horizon.

2) the safe zone, what it refers to is the number of defrees in a giant
circle from the zenith (stright above your head) outword. so a 20 degree
safe zone would mean the scope would refuse to slew into any object at
altitude 90 - 20 (or nothing greater then 70 degrees up). we designed it
this way as not to have a large refractor bump an expensive camera or
eyepiece or ccd into the tripod or pier rob or base for that matter. in
most cases you will not have to set the safe zone. or rightly explained or
refered to as 'exclusion zone' ....ie: the scope will not enter that area.

One last note, inside the mount itself is more code, above and beyound
that what is in the hand controller, sometimes it is possible depending on
your code base, I do not know what code would be in a paralex 'bought the
a/p goto system' e-prom code base, the hand controller first decides if it
is safe to move to an object, the code there will say 'fine' and send the
mount the ra/dec cords though it is possible that the mount itself will
refuse. this is a safety feature built into the code base in the mount
because not everyone uses the mount with a hand controller. remember the a/p
goto system can be used directly from a p.c. if the given computer program
being used did not check for horizon it could technically inform the mount
to move the scope into the pier...we placed in additional checks for horizon
to compensate for just that type of case. this code has over time been even
more refined, so because of this, I am not sure what level of code would be
in your given gto system, as opposed to the latest and greatest one in a
given a/p gto mount right now.

But I would not worry about it...really..

- Charles Sinsofsky
Author: DigitalSky Voice, and contributor to the A/P mount GTO system.
www.digitalskyvoice.com
email: strfire@attglobal.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Mah <mikemah@attglobal.net>
To: <ap-gto@eGroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 9:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Hello everybody,

I've just joined and I find these postings useful and informative. I
hope I can find help for some questions:

I have an AP155 EDFS with piggybacked Tak FSQ106 on a pier mounted
Parallax Series 125 with AP GTO v2.6. I have acquired these recently
and have only used this setup a few times, so that I have more
equipment than experience. I am waiting for an AP1200 mount, to which I
will move the AP155.

With mount level and after proper polar alignment using the Polaris
routine, I have noticed that occasionally objects are indicated as
below the horizon when they are not. For example, last night at about
9:30 pm the Orion Nebula was indicated to be below the horizon when it
was not, and I could goto Betelgeuse. Did I miss something in the
manual on the GTO keypad controller about the horizon?

When I tried to goto M81, I had to stop the slewing as the scope was
going to hit the pier. What angle does the safety zone number (0-20)
refer to? Degrees from the polar axis so that the safety zone is a cone
(or circle on the sky)? Is this then a blind spot that the scope can't
access?

Thanks,

Mike Mah




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