Date   

Re: APCC for backyard setup

Mark Striebeck
 

Thanks for the quick reply Ray

On Feb 28, 2016 5:59 PM, "'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> wrote:
>
>  
>
> Hi Mark,
>
>
> > I can use RAPAS for polar alignment - though it's not as exact as the T-Point based process.
>
> What evidence do you have to support that conclusion?

If I measure the polar alignment error afterwards, the T-Point based method shows a smaller error. And I think it also makes sense: with the RAPAS I put polaris into the same spot that my phone shows. With T-Point, I center a star in my camera (with a much higher resolution and I don't have to guess where the star has to go).
>
> TPoint and APCC are best fit models to data and thus “checking” or “unchecking” model terms will change the polar alignment offsets. Which alignment is exactly correct? IMO, none of them. They are just best fit to the data but who knows how accurate the data and model are.
>
> Using a properly aligned RAPAS should be more than accurate enough and quicker. If you want the highest possible accuracy drift align manually or use PEMPro’s polar electronic drift alignment procedure.

So, can I then re-calibrate my model with a smaller model after I correct the polar alignment? Or would I have to run a completely new model each night?
>
> -Ray Gralak
>
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2016 5:21 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: [ap-gto] APCC for backyard setup
>
>
> Hi,
>
> In the last couple of months I compared the MyT mount with the Mach1 mount. I am imaging mostly from my backyard where I can leave the scope out for a couple of nights. Still, with two kids and two dogs, chances are that the mount shifted slightly at the end of the day.
>
> With the MyT mount, it is really fast to get back to an aligned state:
>
> In the first night, I run a 200+ point model and use that for tracking improvement (allowing me to do 10min unguided imaging).
>
> In the subsequent nights I do:
> 1. Run a T-Point run with 20+ points and use that for polar alignment. The polar alignment routine (centering a star) is really fast and precise
> 2. Run another T-Point run with 20+ points to re-align the model.
>
> This takes ca. 10 mins, then I can start imaging.
>
> I haven't found a similar process with APCC. I can use RAPAS for polar alignment - though it's not as exact as the T-Point based process. And then I (think I) need to run a full new 200+ model with APCC. Is that correct? What do others use for similar setups?
>
> Thanks
> Mark
>
>
>
>


Re: APCC for backyard setup

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mark,



I can use RAPAS for polar alignment - though it's not as exact as the T-Point based process.


What evidence do you have to support that conclusion?



TPoint and APCC are best fit models to data and thus “checking” or “unchecking” model terms will change the polar alignment offsets. Which alignment is exactly correct? IMO, none of them. They are just best fit to the data but who knows how accurate the data and model are.



Using a properly aligned RAPAS should be more than accurate enough and quicker. If you want the highest possible accuracy drift align manually or use PEMPro’s polar electronic drift alignment procedure.



-Ray Gralak



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2016 5:21 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC for backyard setup





Hi,

In the last couple of months I compared the MyT mount with the Mach1 mount. I am imaging mostly from my backyard where I can leave the scope out for a couple of nights. Still, with two kids and two dogs, chances are that the mount shifted slightly at the end of the day.

With the MyT mount, it is really fast to get back to an aligned state:

In the first night, I run a 200+ point model and use that for tracking improvement (allowing me to do 10min unguided imaging).

In the subsequent nights I do:
1. Run a T-Point run with 20+ points and use that for polar alignment. The polar alignment routine (centering a star) is really fast and precise
2. Run another T-Point run with 20+ points to re-align the model.

This takes ca. 10 mins, then I can start imaging.

I haven't found a similar process with APCC. I can use RAPAS for polar alignment - though it's not as exact as the T-Point based process. And then I (think I) need to run a full new 200+ model with APCC. Is that correct? What do others use for similar setups?

Thanks
Mark





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


APCC for backyard setup

Mark Striebeck
 

Hi,

In the last couple of months I compared the MyT mount with the Mach1 mount. I am imaging mostly from my backyard where I can leave the scope out for a couple of nights. Still, with two kids and two dogs, chances are that the mount shifted slightly at the end of the day.

With the MyT mount, it is really fast to get back to an aligned state:

In the first night, I run a 200+ point model and use that for tracking improvement (allowing me to do 10min unguided imaging).

In the subsequent nights I do:
1. Run a T-Point run with 20+ points and use that for polar alignment. The polar alignment routine (centering a star) is really fast and precise
2. Run another T-Point run with 20+ points to re-align the model.

This takes ca. 10 mins, then I can start imaging.

I haven't found a similar process with APCC. I can use RAPAS for polar alignment - though it's not as exact as the T-Point based process. And then I (think I) need to run a full new 200+ model with APCC. Is that correct? What do others use for similar setups?

Thanks
     Mark


Re: Handy Powerpole voltage/current/power meter

Joe Zeglinski
 

Barry,
 
    Thanks for the info. For the extra $10, I suspect the Powerwrx model might be preferable for those who do imaging, since it has a “dark blue screen background” instead of bright green.That is, assuming your meter won’t be covered  inside some electronics & cable box.
 
    Should also look at their “PWRcheck” version, much more expensive ($184), but worth it if you want or need to upload “power use performance data” via its USB port. Comes with graphing software, and the unit has on-board memory to log for 4 months – (rather than losing Max/Min values, on the cheaper one, right after power down of the scope).
 
    If your setup suffers from strange spikes, dropouts, or general power instabilities under certain telescope and temperature or humidity  operating conditions, then this one would be great for post-analysis as well as real time, and especially for “remote access to power performance”.
 
Joe


Handy Powerpole voltage/current/power meter

Barry Megdal
 

Now that the CP4 uses Powerpole connectors, some might be interested in this handy little volt/amp/power meter that easily plugs in series with a Powerpole cable:

 

http://www.rc-electronics-usa.com/ammeters/rv-battery-monitor.html

 

If plugged in series with a mount power cable it will tell you the voltage of your supply, and you can watch current draw under various conditions, like low temperatures or looking at current drain when slewing in both directions as way of balancing the mount.

 

I also use it in series with my battery chargers, as it will show cumulative amp-hours as the battery is charged.

 

Also available in a similar version here:

 

http://www.powerwerx.com/digital-meters/dc-inline-watt-meter-power-analyzer-powerpoles.html

 

-       Barry

 

 

Dr. Barry Megdal

 

Faculty

Dept. of Electrical Engineering

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

bmegdal@...

 

 


Re: 900 GTO3

Richard Moore
 


Hi Vince,

You are welcome.
I forgot to mention that you can download the 900 GTO User Manual from the Astro-Physics website.

Richard


On 2/28/2016 06:20, salfranc@... [ap-gto] wrote:
 

Hi Richard,

Many thanks for the information. I am used to work with ASCOM so I think I will be OK with the information you gave me.
Vince


Re: 900 GTO3

Vince Salfranc
 

Hi Richard,
Many thanks for the information. I am used to work with ASCOM so I think I will be OK with the information you gave me.
Vince


Re: 900 GTO3

Richard Moore
 


Hi Vince,

I do not know how much experience you have so this might be too simplistic.

To get started only controlling the mount:

   1.  Laptop with a LOT of memory....  You will wish you had the memory when your system gets more sophisticated.

   2.  Load your astronomy software:
         a.  A planetarium program to see where the mount is pointing and to command the mount to Go To a selected object.
                    1. "Cartes du Ciel" Freeware. But not as intuitive as others.  See:  "http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/start" 
              or  2. "The Sky X"  Expensive but it will do everything; control mount, camera, filter wheel, focuser, autoguide, etc.
                                  You will need the PRO version for it to be able to talk to your other astronomy programs.
                                        See:  "http://www.bisque.com/sc/pages/TheSkyX-Editions.aspx"
              or  3.  Look on the web for "astronomy planetarium program  "
          WHEN ENTERING WHICH TELESCOPE YOU WANT TO CONTROL IN YOUR PLANETARIUM PROGRAM CHOOSE "ASCOM"

         b.  "ASCOM PLATFORM" So your programs do not need to have built in drivers for the myriad devices they could control.
                                         See:  "http://ascom-standards.org/"  Download Platform and any DOT NET files required.

         c.  "AP V2 ASCOM Driver"  See: "http://www.astro-physics.com/"   Click on "AP V2 ASCOM Driver" on list on left side.
                                          On the Driver page that appears, click on link near top "Ray Gralak's ASCOM driver page".
                                          Under Quick Links, click on link "AstroPhysics V2 Setup v5.07.02" to download.

   3.  Get a USB to Serial Converter.  Be sure it has a FTDI chip inside.  Cheap Chinese converters are nothing but trouble.

   4.  Get a Straight-through Serial Cable.  Read about the different types of Serial Cables on the Astro-Physics web site.
                          Products > Serial / USB Mount to Computer Connectivity Products
         If there is going to be less than 15 feet between your mount and your laptop, buy the one on that page.
         If you want your laptop to be up to 100 feet away from your mount, ask Astro-Physics where to find a long one.

   5.  Connect  one end of the Serial Cable to your USB Converter and the other end to the top DB-9 connector on your
             CP3 Control Box.t

   6.  Plug the USB Connector of your USB to Serial Converter into a USB Oort on your laptop.

GOOD LUCK

Richard


On 2/27/2016 01:24, salfranc@... [ap-gto] wrote:
 

Hi, Uhttp://www.astro-physics.com/

I  have just manage to get a second hand AP 900 gto3 and I know absolutely nothing about  this mount.

I would like to connect it to a laptop and i am wondering what bits of equipment I need to do it.

Thank you.molunt to

Vince



Re: Where is the Serial Number on the 1200GTO?

 

Glad to help!
Floyd 


Re: 1600 encoders?

Roland Christen
 

No, you don't have to upgrade the keypad.
Rolando

Sent from AOL Mobile Mail


-----Original Message-----
From: 'Mike Shade' mshade@q.com [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sat, Feb 27, 2016 10:24 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] 1600 encoders?




I received the AP newsletter and it offers prices for absolute encoders for the 1600...are the user installed kits now available for order?

 

Another question: to upgrade to the CP4 controller on the 1600, does one need to upgrade the handpad to V 4.19 (which I never use but maybe twice a year when collimating the telescope)?  For me, 4.17 works just fine, I park through the GTOV2 ASCOM driver as well as run the system.

 

Thanks...

 

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 




Re: Two mounts, one computer?

jerry10137@yahoo.com <jerry10137@...>
 

Newegg.com sells refurbished Windows 7 Lenovo laptops for under $300. Sometimes closer to $200. Great bargains because Lenovo laptops are built like tanks.

Jerry Gardner

On Feb 27, 2016, at 6:46 PM, Don Anderson jockey_ca@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Get a second laptop. They are cheap!


On Feb 27, 2016, at 7:24 PM, 'Mike Shade' mshade@q.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

I have a 1600 as the main mount in the observatory.  Run with the ASCOM driver/The Sky, I think on COM3 (via serial card).  Is the automated system, run with ACP for imaging.  I start The Sky>telescope>establish and this will connect the computer and starts the ASCOM driver.  I also have my older 1200GTO in a corner of the observatory, want to use that for some planetary imaging.  question, how do I switch between these mounts with the SAME computer (which is networked into the house)?  In other words I have to move the 1600 with the driver (from its park position, needed to open roof), then turn the tracking off then connect to the 1200.  The 1200 will of course be on another COM port but on the Same computer.  I cannot switch the serial cables between the two mounts (plug the one for one mount into another mount).

 

So, how do I do this?  Do I need to install another version of the ASCOM driver, configured for the 1200 and its COM port?  What about The Sky, which is good for control with its interface.  A whole second version of The Sky with a separate version of the ASCOM driver just for the 1200?

 

Anyone done this, or know how this may be accomplished?

 

It is a Windows 7 based system.

 

Thanks...

 

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 


Re: Two mounts, one computer?

Don Anderson
 

Get a second laptop. They are cheap!


On Feb 27, 2016, at 7:24 PM, 'Mike Shade' mshade@q.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

I have a 1600 as the main mount in the observatory.  Run with the ASCOM driver/The Sky, I think on COM3 (via serial card).  Is the automated system, run with ACP for imaging.  I start The Sky>telescope>establish and this will connect the computer and starts the ASCOM driver.  I also have my older 1200GTO in a corner of the observatory, want to use that for some planetary imaging.  question, how do I switch between these mounts with the SAME computer (which is networked into the house)?  In other words I have to move the 1600 with the driver (from its park position, needed to open roof), then turn the tracking off then connect to the 1200.  The 1200 will of course be on another COM port but on the Same computer.  I cannot switch the serial cables between the two mounts (plug the one for one mount into another mount).

 

So, how do I do this?  Do I need to install another version of the ASCOM driver, configured for the 1200 and its COM port?  What about The Sky, which is good for control with its interface.  A whole second version of The Sky with a separate version of the ASCOM driver just for the 1200?

 

Anyone done this, or know how this may be accomplished?

 

It is a Windows 7 based system.

 

Thanks...

 

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 


Two mounts, one computer?

Mike Shade
 

I have a 1600 as the main mount in the observatory.  Run with the ASCOM driver/The Sky, I think on COM3 (via serial card).  Is the automated system, run with ACP for imaging.  I start The Sky>telescope>establish and this will connect the computer and starts the ASCOM driver.  I also have my older 1200GTO in a corner of the observatory, want to use that for some planetary imaging.  question, how do I switch between these mounts with the SAME computer (which is networked into the house)?  In other words I have to move the 1600 with the driver (from its park position, needed to open roof), then turn the tracking off then connect to the 1200.  The 1200 will of course be on another COM port but on the Same computer.  I cannot switch the serial cables between the two mounts (plug the one for one mount into another mount).

 

So, how do I do this?  Do I need to install another version of the ASCOM driver, configured for the 1200 and its COM port?  What about The Sky, which is good for control with its interface.  A whole second version of The Sky with a separate version of the ASCOM driver just for the 1200?

 

Anyone done this, or know how this may be accomplished?

 

It is a Windows 7 based system.

 

Thanks...

 

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 


Re: Park 3 Reported AZ Value

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Joe,

Just curious, but was the round off error attributed to the “old micro processor”
chip in CP3?
Would the CP4’s new advanced uproc, using floating point instead of integer
arithmetic, behave the same?
Honestly, I don't know. The CP3 controller may actually be more accurate as APCC uses the RA/Dec/Sidereal time values, which are rounded off compared to the internal step counts that the controller firmware has access to.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2016 11:38 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 3 Reported AZ Value



Ray,

Just curious, but was the round off error attributed to the “old micro processor”
chip in CP3?
Would the CP4’s new advanced uproc, using floating point instead of integer
arithmetic, behave the same?

Joe

From: mailto:ap-gto@...
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2016 11:10 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 3 Reported AZ Value

Hi Larry,

The difference is just a round off error between the two. For historical reasons all
of the Park positions are very slightly off from perfect positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma



Re: Where is the Serial Number on the 1200GTO?

David Illig
 

Bingo. Thanks very much. This would have been easily found by most people, but I am afflicted with macular degeneration that, in my instance, manifests itself as difficulty in distinguishing objects in low-contrast lighting--such as is found inside my domed observatory. In most situations I can see just fine, but in low-contrast scenes--a small, light-colored aluminum tag against white in the case of the SN label--the two blended to blank grayness. So thanks again!

David


1600 encoders?

Mike Shade
 

I received the AP newsletter and it offers prices for absolute encoders for the 1600...are the user installed kits now available for order?

 

Another question: to upgrade to the CP4 controller on the 1600, does one need to upgrade the handpad to V 4.19 (which I never use but maybe twice a year when collimating the telescope)?  For me, 4.17 works just fine, I park through the GTOV2 ASCOM driver as well as run the system.

 

Thanks...

 

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 


Re: Park 3 Reported AZ Value

Joe Zeglinski
 

Ray,
 
    Just curious, but was the round off error attributed to the “old  micro processor” chip in CP3?
Would the CP4’s new advanced uproc,  using floating point instead of integer arithmetic, behave the same?
 
Joe
 

Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2016 11:10 AM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Park 3 Reported AZ Value
 
Hi Larry,

The difference is just a round off error between the two. For historical reasons all of the Park positions are very slightly off from perfect positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro:  http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


Re: Park 3 Reported AZ Value

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Larry,

The difference is just a round off error between the two. For historical reasons all of the Park positions are very slightly off from perfect positions.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2016 7:56 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Park 3 Reported AZ Value



Why is it that APPC and the V2 driver report the azimuth value after moving to the
park 3 position as non zero? APCC reports it as 12" and the V2 driver reports it as
13". Shouldn't both show 00"?

This is a recent problem with in the past month or so.

Larry






Park 3 Reported AZ Value

Larry Phillips
 

Why is it that APPC and the V2 driver report the azimuth value after moving to the park 3 position as non zero?  APCC reports it as 12" and the V2 driver reports it as 13".  Shouldn't both show 00"?

This is a recent problem with in the past month or so.

Larry



900 GTO3

Vince Salfranc
 

Hi,

I have just manage to get a second hand AP 900 gto3 and I know absolutely nothing about this mount.

I would like to connect it to a laptop and i am wondering what bits of equipment I need to do it.

Thank you.

Vince