Date   

Re: Abell Catalogue and things

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

Yeah, I noticed that too... I think I'll toss a plastic document spine over the original one to help clench it together.
 
Paul
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2000 5:41 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Abell Catalogue and things

...Also, the keypad's (600E Goto) manual binding is a wee bit poor as
the pages are already separating after only 2 weeks. I haven't used
it that much either! (Especially not in the damp outside.)  Anyone
else noticed this? The poor binding that is.


Abell Catalogue and things

Chris Spratt
 

I notice that the there are 2715 Abell galaxies listed in the GOTO
Keypad listings for my 600E mount. (Not all the Abell objects are
covered). Is there a "master" list of these somewhere as I don't want
to have to scroll down the entire list and write it out to see what
is there.

Also, the keypad's (600E Goto) manual binding is a wee bit poor as
the pages are already separating after only 2 weeks. I haven't used
it that much either! (Especially not in the damp outside.) Anyone
else noticed this? The poor binding that is.

And - On choosing stars for polar alignment it is recommended in the
600E Goto Keypad manual that one doesn't use Arcturus as it is close
to Polaris in RA. As Polaris is at 2 hours and Arcturus is closer to
14-15 why is this too close? Aldebaran on the other hand is close -
under the recommended + or - 4 hours. Misprint perhaps?


Alignment again. . .

GrayFox65@...
 

AP GTO'ers,

Yes, I know. Aligning the AP GTO mounts has been discussed endlessly on this
group. By now, everyone who has owned their GTO for more than a few months
has long since mastered the (initially frustrating) procedure. However, a
number of new GTO owners are now taking delivery of their mounts, and since
alignment is a virtual necessity to use the mount, the simulated stardrift
procedure bears repeating for those who have not previously encountered it.

This alignment method is a variation of Roland Christen's simulated stardrift
method. It is most appropriate for users who cannot (or do not wish to) use
the Polaris-and-one-other-star method. Note, however, that I have modified it
slightly based on experience. I think the variation works better and is
faster than the original. Long time users are invited to comment.

The method can be performed in 15 minutes or less—a little longer if precise
alignment in a high power eyepiece is desired. (Some are able to complete
this in 5 minutes; I have never been able to finish so quickly.) Once
aligned, and depending on care taken, the mount can reliably place a star or
deep sky object very near the center of a 3mm Radian eyepiece (365X and 10
arc minutes FOV on a 155 EDF) for the rest of the evening. For alignment
perfectionists (I count myself as such), an occasional RECAL will cure any
remaining small errors, at least for a local sky area.

As others on this group have repeatedly noted, the limiting factor in
achieving perfect alignment is not the altitude and azimuth adjustments
described below but rather the small errors introduced when re-tightening the
azimuth bolts, and to a lesser degree the altitude bolts, once alignment is
complete.


Simulated Star Drift Polar Alignment for Astro-Physics GTO Mount

1. If you do not use a polar alignment scope, rough align the tripod to
North using a compass with magnetic anomaly adjustment calibrated for
observing location. The tripod must be pre-aligned closely enough to North
so that the mount's azimuth adjustment travel can remove the residual azimuth
error. Rough level the tripod in N-S and E-W using a small level or
calibrated eyeball method. Perfection is not required; the mount does not
have to be level to be aligned. However, out-of-level errors will result in
small altitude and/or azimuth errors that must be corrected during mount
alignment. Install mount head and telescope.

2. Select the two-star alignment method on the hand control and center the
chosen first alignment star in a low power eyepiece. In this variation, it
is not necessary to begin with an eastern star, and the same star can be used
as both the first and second stars in the two-star process. Simply chose the
same star when prompted by the hand control for a second star. This speeds
up the process but, needless to say, the mount is NOT yet properly aligned.

3. To set the altitude of the mount, use the STRS or TOUR selection (button
#5 or #8) to slew to a star that is near the meridian overhead. Pick a star
that is a few degrees south of zenith (e.g. 10 degrees) to insure that the
OTA does not hit the tripod legs when it is slewed to this overhead star.
Center the star in a low power eyepiece with the N-S-E-W buttons and perform
a RECAL with button #9.

4. Change the clock time by 1 hour and choose the same star on the hand
control. (If the scope is on the East side of the mount pointing to the
West, set clock time one hour earlier; if on the West side pointing East, set
clock time one hour later.) The telescope will slew to the other side of the
mount. The star will be offset in declination by some amount. (It can also
be offset in R.A. but this is not due to polar alignment error, rather it is
due to non-orthogonality of the telescope vs. the mount.) Loosen the
altitude bolts and move the star half way to the center of the eyepiece field
in DEC with the altitude adjuster only. Move the star the rest of the way to
the center of the eyepiece field with the N-S buttons only. Perform a RECAL.

5. Reset the clock time to the original hour and slew back to the same star
on the original side of the mounting. Using a high power eyepiece, again
adjust DEC half way with the altitude adjuster and the rest of the way with
the N-S buttons. Perform a RECAL.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with higher power eyepieces as many times as needed.
Retighten the altitude bolts but not so tight that the altitude adjuster
cannot move the mount. The altitude adjustment may change slightly during
tightening. Make a final, small altitude adjustment without loosening the
altitude bolts. Unless these bolts have been tightened very securely, the
mount will move through the small displacement needed to finalize the
altitude calibration.

Ignore any small displacement in R.A, as this represents orthogonality error.
Adjust the orthogonality of the mounting by shimming up one of the mounting
rings until the star is centered in R.A. also.

7. To set azimuth on the mount, pick a star near zenith and near the
meridian. This can be the same overhead star that was used to adjust
altitude. Center the star in R.A. using the E-W buttons only. Do not use
the azimuth adjusters. Ignore any small displacement in DEC. Perform a
RECAL.

8. Using STRS or TOUR, slew to a star in the south and at a similar R.A,
i.e. near the meridian. Loosen the azimuth bolts. Bring the star all the
way to the center of the eyepiece with the azimuth adjuster. Do not use the
E-W buttons. The choice of a star directly overhead (or nearly so) in step 7
creates a celestial "pivot point" for azimuth alignment, and it insures that
virtually the entire error exhibited by the second azimuth alignment star,
the one in the south and on the meridian, is due to azimuth alignment error.
Perform a RECAL. Ignore any small displacement in DEC.

9. Slew back to the original star overhead and repeat steps 7 and 8 with
higher power eyepieces as many times as needed. Retighten the azimuth bolts.
The mount may go off slightly in DEC; readjust altitude one last time with
the altitude adjuster without loosening the mount's altitude bolts.


Re: Happiness is...

jim runsdorf
 

On Fri, 7 Apr 2000, Paul Hyndman wrote:

There's still a lot of fun to be had before IRS sends me my refund and I can
go computer shopping.

IRS!!! REFUND!!! Yikes, that'll be the day when I give 'em 1 cent more than
I absolutely, positively have to ahead of time (my Scottish ancestors would
be spinning in their graves at the mere though of it)!
It's out of my hands. The accountant commands and I reach for the
checkbook. Do you happen to know whether A-P purchases can somehow be
deducted? :-)

Oh... BTW, enjoy the mount!
Thanks: that's the plan.

Paul


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Re: Happiness is...

Chuck Hancock
 

Paul-

Thanks. I'm trying to extrapolate (?) the date mine might be shipped.
I confirmed Feb. 7th or 8th. The delivery date is supposed to be May to
July. Maybe they are slightly ahead. I guess the anticipation is
getting to me.

AP does indeed notify you prior to shipment. That's when you come up
with the rest of the $$$ for your purchase ;-) I ordered at the end
of January and had everything in my possession this week, which
matched up exactly with the estimated dates. If you provide an email
address UPS will send a shipping notification and tracking numbers.
Very handy!
--
Best regards,
Chuck Hancock

c d h 5 9 at b e l l s o u t h d o t n e t


Re: Happiness is...

Paul Wilson <plw@...>
 

Hi Chuck,

AP does indeed notify you prior to shipment. That's when you come up
with the rest of the $$$ for your purchase ;-) I ordered at the end
of January and had everything in my possession this week, which
matched up exactly with the estimated dates. If you provide an email
address UPS will send a shipping notification and tracking numbers.
Very handy!

Paul



--- In ap-gto@..., Chuck Hancock <cdh59@b...> wrote:
Paul,
Great!
I have two questions, and forgive me if it has been answered here
already.
Does A-P call or notify you some time prior to shipment? Also,
what was
your order date, and original estimated time of arrival?

Thanks, and clear skies to you!

...getting my new AP 400 GTO mount! It's now off the UPS truck,
out
of the boxes and ready to "go" ;-)
Paul
--
Best regards,
Chuck Hancock

c d h 5 9 at b e l l s o u t h d o t n e t


Re: Happiness is...

Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky <mrrockets@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Hyndman" <pghyndman@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
IRS!!! REFUND!!! Yikes, that'll be the day when I give 'em 1 cent more
than
I absolutely, positively have to ahead of time (my Scottish ancestors
would
be spinning in their graves at the mere though of it)!
I'm with you Paul! I owe. Big time. No penalty, but I owe. But that money
was in the market the last 12 months and has bought my 400GTO. I think I
will name my mount 'Cisco'. Whatd'ya think? Has nice ring to it... <grin>

BTW: Just to keep this slightly on topic, Marj, if you see this, that 130EDT
focuser with the old pinion block is on it's way. Do think I can have it
back by RTMC at the end of May? Please!! :)

Clear skies,
Jeff "whose observing session was hazed out tonight" G


600E GTO - Brief Comments

paul_schroeder@...
 

Hi all -

Well, I've had my 600 for a few weeks now, and I've actually had a few nights
that were clear! My initial comments relative to the mount will surely echo
what others have said.

In short, it is terrific -- extremely solid and stable. I'm mainly using my
Traveler on it, and as you might expect this combination is incredibly stable.
I've also put my C8 on it, with similar results. While I shouldn't be
surprised, the difference between this mount and my Great Polaris is really
quite dramatic, particularly in terms of stability. Of course, at roughly 5x
the price, the differences should be quite dramatic!

Also, while it is much bigger than the Great Polaris, I've found that setup time
isn't that much longer -- maybe 10 minutes instead of 5 minutes to get the mount
set and roughly polar aligned.

Pointing accuracy so far has been pretty good, with most (but not all) items
showing up in the field of view of a 9mm Nagler. I should note that both times
I've used the mount I used the one star + Polaris method, but only had time to
do one or two alignment passes. I would guess with further practice and greater
precision on my part that pointing accuracy will continue to improve.

I still need to tweak my C8 to make it orthogonal, but that will have to wait
until I have more time. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the mount, and am
looking forward to having more time with it. Just need these clouds to go away!
Hopefully before too long I can get the Traveler out and try a few experiments
with unguided photography.

Best regards,

Paul Schroeder


Re: Happiness is...

Chuck Hancock
 

Paul,
Great!
I have two questions, and forgive me if it has been answered here
already.
Does A-P call or notify you some time prior to shipment? Also, what was
your order date, and original estimated time of arrival?

Thanks, and clear skies to you!

...getting my new AP 400 GTO mount! It's now off the UPS truck, out
of the boxes and ready to "go" ;-)
Paul
--
Best regards,
Chuck Hancock

c d h 5 9 at b e l l s o u t h d o t n e t


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

ericj <ericj@...>
 

Sounds great Marj thanks.
 
Clear Skies,
 
Eric Jamison

-----Original Message-----
From: Marj <astrophy@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Date: Friday, April 07, 2000 5:01 PM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] AP Polar Alignment Scope

Terry and all,
We are finalizing arrangements for a new polar scope which I hope to have by the summer. We will send notice to all people who have purchased GTO mounts and anyone else who is interested. Will also post on the web site.
Marjorie Christen
Astro-Physics
-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Johnson [mailto:tjohnson@...]
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 7:29 PM
To: ap-gto@...;
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Polar Alignment Scope

Hi there, I am looking for a new or use AP Polar Alignment Scope.
 
Please respond to tjohnson@...
 
Thanks...Terry Johnson





AP GTO Mount Photo's

ericj <ericj@...>
 

Hi All:

If anyone is interested I have posted some photo's on my web page of the AP
400, 600, and 1200 mounts that Roland and Marj brought to AstroFest last
September. Go to my web page at:

http://www.metro2000.net/~ericj/

and click on the link for Telescopes. Scroll down past the home-made Dob
mount photo's.

Sorry for the cross posting with the ap-ug.

Clear Skies,

Eric Jamison


Re: Happiness is...

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

There's still a lot of fun to be had before IRS sends me my refund and I can
go computer shopping.

IRS!!! REFUND!!! Yikes, that'll be the day when I give 'em 1 cent more than
I absolutely, positively have to ahead of time (my Scottish ancestors would
be spinning in their graves at the mere though of it)!

Oh... BTW, enjoy the mount!

Paul


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

 

Terry and all,
We are finalizing arrangements for a new polar scope which I hope to have by the summer. We will send notice to all people who have purchased GTO mounts and anyone else who is interested. Will also post on the web site.
Marjorie Christen
Astro-Physics

-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Johnson [mailto:tjohnson@...]
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 7:29 PM
To: ap-gto@...;
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Polar Alignment Scope

Hi there, I am looking for a new or use AP Polar Alignment Scope.
 
Please respond to tjohnson@...
 
Thanks...Terry Johnson



Re: Happiness is...

jim runsdorf
 

On Fri, 7 Apr 2000, Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky wrote:

---- Original Message -----
From: "James Runsdorf" <jrunsdor@...>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Happiness is...

Paul:
I know exactly what you mean: my 400 arrived a couple of days ago.
I put my deposit down in January. I was told then May-June time frame. I
hope to get it before RTMC so Derek can come by and show me all the tricks
and tips. (Or anyone else who is coming to RTMC is welcome as well!)
I had a quick turn around time: I put down my deposit at the end
of January and was told to expect delivery some time in March. The mount
was indeed shipped at the end of March and arrived Tuesday of this week.

My current laptop, like yours, has too puny a brain to deal with DSV.
Mine is a Dell 266mhz PII with 64meg. That should be enough, yes?
Yes, I think so. I have a geriatric IBM Thinkpad that was state
of the art in 1992 but now probably belongs in the Smithsonian. :-)

Clear skies,
Jeff



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Re: Happiness is...

Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky <mrrockets@...>
 

---- Original Message -----
From: "James Runsdorf" <jrunsdor@...>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Happiness is...

Paul:
I know exactly what you mean: my 400 arrived a couple of days ago.
I put my deposit down in January. I was told then May-June time frame. I
hope to get it before RTMC so Derek can come by and show me all the tricks
and tips. (Or anyone else who is coming to RTMC is welcome as well!)

My current laptop, like yours, has too puny a brain to deal with DSV.
Mine is a Dell 266mhz PII with 64meg. That should be enough, yes?
Clear skies,
Jeff


Re: Happiness is...

jim runsdorf
 

Paul:

I know exactly what you mean: my 400 arrived a couple of days ago.
I've just been fooling around with it indoors, but I hope to take it on
its first real test spin very soon. This is my first equatorial mount, so
it's taken a little getting used to, but I've been surprised at how
intuitive it is...thus far. My current laptop, like yours, has too puny a
brain to deal with DSV. That's OK, though. There's still a lot of fun to
be had before IRS sends me my refund and I can go computer shopping. I
look forward to future discussions of how these little beauties are doing
in the field.

Clear skies,

Jim

On Fri, 7 Apr 2000, Paul Wilson wrote:

...getting my new AP 400 GTO mount! It's now off the UPS truck, out
of the boxes and ready to "go" ;-)

DSV will have to wait for the acquisition of a more powerful laptop,
but I expect to give the mount a pretty good workout with the hand
controller, assuming that the clear skies I see now hold out until
dark.

I've read in this group about the forthcoming updates to DSV and the
controller software. I'm sure the improvements to DSV will be
obvious, but what kind of changes are in store for the controller?
Bug fixes, enhancements, or both?

Oh well, back to that controller manual... :-)

Paul


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Happiness is...

Paul Wilson <plw@...>
 

...getting my new AP 400 GTO mount! It's now off the UPS truck, out
of the boxes and ready to "go" ;-)

DSV will have to wait for the acquisition of a more powerful laptop,
but I expect to give the mount a pretty good workout with the hand
controller, assuming that the clear skies I see now hold out until
dark.

I've read in this group about the forthcoming updates to DSV and the
controller software. I'm sure the improvements to DSV will be
obvious, but what kind of changes are in store for the controller?
Bug fixes, enhancements, or both?

Oh well, back to that controller manual... :-)

Paul


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

Paul Hyndman wrote:

Are they available now?
I don't think so. The last time I talked to AP they were apparently not
being made anymore. I also confirmed this with Company 7 a few weeks
ago.

Even with the GOTO mounts, I find the polar scope useful. There is a
rumor that it is possible to fit a Losmandy polar scope to an AP GTO
mount with a custom made adaptor. Otherwise, you are stuck with
Astromart--be fast, as they go quickly.

Derek


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

You should be able to find a new one at
http://www.astro-physics.com/ .

Rich

Are they available now?

Last I had heard they weren't, and no ETA was available. I paid a
premium for a (ahem!) "nearly new" one from a private party just a
short while ago. I dislike abetting the "pumping up" of the prices on
this merchandise and (being Scottish) it kills me to pay over list,
but sometimes one has to bite the bullet!

Paul

I don't know. I suggest you call AP, 815-282-1513.

Rich


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

You should be able to find a new one at
http://www.astro-physics.com/ .

Rich

Are they available now?

Last I had heard they weren't, and no ETA was available. I paid a
premium for a (ahem!) "nearly new" one from a private party just a
short while ago. I dislike abetting the "pumping up" of the prices on
this merchandise and (being Scottish) it kills me to pay over list,
but sometimes one has to bite the bullet!

Paul