Date   

Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Roland Christen
 

Just so there's no confusion, the CP4 in question had a deposit of low ohmic value surrounding the pins of the Auxiliary input. This Aux input is used to stop mount motion in the 2 axes when the appropriate pins are shorted to common. If enough water accumulates inside and enough stuff gets deposited between the pins, then the stop motion is triggered. There was no corrosion of any kind on the board itself or any of the electronic components. A simple cleaning of the pins restored the normal operation of the CP4.

There is no Aux input on the CP3, so we never saw any of this in the older servo controller.

Normally the CP4 is mounted on the side of the mount where rain cannot enter the connectors. If it's left face up and it rains, then you probably will get water inside. We get a lot of heavy dew conditions here just about every clear night. I have had my own scope and mount so covered with water from dew that it literally runs off the tube like a spigot. Never ever had the CP4 accumulate any moisture inside.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto Sent: Tue, Oct 9, 2018 10:25 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding



You’re welcome Elliot. Glad you enjoyed some of the tongue-in-cheeky commentary.
 
    The post came out of a lot of frustration over the past three years of using the new CP4 , but in any narrative, one can always add sugar to the vinegar.
I have always had a very high regard for Chris, and continue to value his opinion, but some conjectures can be misguided. Then again, wouldn’t surprise me if there is regular contractual or personal exchange with AP on engineering matters, for a second opinion.
 
    I will continue to trust that there wasn’t  “acidic corrosion” – being produced from infiltrated “humid” outdoor air, and certainly dew water, entering the case. Nor should there be very much dried acid,  remaining from the board manufacturing process and latent acidic manufacturing chemicals not having been washed away properly upon completion of  board assembly. Otherwise, my washing down of the milky residue with “PCB cleaner” – on the second drowned CP4 circuit board, (with Marj’s permission and guidance) – would have exposed obviously corroded fiberglass strands on the board’s substrate, leading to further damaged components. My belief is that it was mostly the result of major short circuiting from the visibly obvious  “rust” from the RJ-45,  dissolved in the water, even though “distilled  dew water” could have done almost as much.
  
To quote the great American - Ben Franklin:
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Benjamin Franklin
    Likewise with CP4 “Waterproofing” or lack thereof, and AP’s production – for want of a toothpick-sized dab of RTV or similar rubber calk around the leak prone Ethernet RJ-45 connector ... a CP4, or two, actually so far at least four now known ... to be lost. Hopefully such laggard disregard won’t damage AP’s “competitive kingdom” in the marketplace.
 
    But really, as long as everyone has their CP4  vertically positioned, with all dew respect there shouldn’t be many more repeats of such disasters.
Of course, that excludes being struck by mild showers from open domes or direct hits from sprinklers ... on any CP4.
 
Joe
 
 
From: Steven Elliott steven447@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 4:55 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


Hi Joe,
 
You are a very funny man, my friend, now I truly appreciated your post, and I'm saving it! Thank You for the enjoyment.
 
Steve
 
(PS, you probably realize that vog is a legit met term nowadays? Doesn't matter if you don't know, I still LOVE your reply, it made my day)



From: ap-gto@... gto@...> on behalf of 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, 9 October 2018 1:47 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 
 
Chris,
 
    I don’t know who at AP has been  “talking you up” on this “CP4 corrosion myth”, since I only had Marj posit that theory to me, and she not being technical, probably heard it from someone else on staff, tossing it around the table – likely, the so-called “servo engineer” who declared the first drowned CP4 was definitely not “caused by water corrosion”. Marj then countermanded his errant opinion – actually, she is way smarter than most. So, it was definitely just “plain drowning”. The high water mark, an  inch-wide white scum mark, rubs off easily, like chalk, the copper traces were unaffected, thus the PCB surface was NOT corroded. I just took it for granted that Marj uses the term “corrosion”  someone loosely, as offhand  non-technical parlance, signifying nothing other than  there was a swath,  demarcating the depth of dew built up inside the CP4 case, over a few nights of viewing time – but neither of which had bottom corner DRAIN holes, for the CP4 ..... to “relieve itself”.
 
    Now, as you reported in another post’s reply below, as a professional engineer you are quite familiar with and have regularly experienced “acid rain corrosion”, such as at your observatory near the Hawaiian volcanoes. Although you attempted to apply your own circumstance to my pristine site here in Canada, you should realize that if there had actually been ANY outward sign of  “acid rain corrosion” causing the CP4’s to burn out, then the same “acidic dew” would have been raining down on my “nylon tarp”,  covering the scope over the past 6 years, (from May 2012). The nylon tarp would be a very delicate “lace cloth” by now.
 
    You remember, Chris  ---  my nylon “HINDENBURG Tarp”, as you recently referred to - covering my AP-1200, with its 900 WATT automatic dew heater underneath the tarp, keeping it at 60% relative humidity, 24/7/365, when it is not open for a few short hours during a session. Yes ..... the tarp is still quite intact, didn’t burn up as you expected, doing well, with not even a single pin-prick hole in its large nylon surface – from anything like acid rain. Besides, Chris, if there were a molecule of sulphuric acid in the dew downpour entering my leaky CP4 – actually BOTH of them -  then the AP-1200 paint job would have yellowed or burned off in spots by now, as would the primary mirror coating,  my backyard lawn wouldn’t be the rich green colour it has been all summer as in every year, the beautiful flowers bloomed in my garden a few feet away, fruit trees nearby didn’t prematurely shed their leaves even until now in the fall, and there wasn’t one single dead bird in the yard – i.e. no equivalent sure-tell “Coalmine Canary”, if you please.
 
    Is that enough evidence to contradict AP’s cockamamie assumption your contact is espousing,  about “corrosion from acid rain” causing my CP4’s to fail – BOTH of them – rather than ending up as a one inch deep baptismal font? I can’t see it being your own professional, well-considered, engineering conclusion – without evidence.
 
    I assume your own CP4,  at the occasionally volcano gassed, “Waikoloa Hawaii,  is on a “new AP model” mount, rather than being attached at your site’s local Latitude angle on top of the RA axle. So I find your claim quite interesting  ... that with all the “sulphuric acid rain” occasionally hitting YOUR own  CP4, it still has not corroded (inside or outside), and yet you presume that MY far cleaner Canadian skies  have an even stronger sulphuric acid content than your VOG in Hawaii. This is Canada  ... not VENUS ! 
 
    You really should check out the pretense your friends at AP may been trying to foist on you – if that really was the case. Unlike the “vog” (volcanic fog, as you called it) near your site, the only “smell of sulphur” here on the North American  mainland, might be emanating from someone’s oval-like office, or more recently coming from under ... “a Bench” ;-)
 
Clear non-VOG skies, Chris -
Joe Z.
 
 
From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:21 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.
 
Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with water becomes sulfuric acid.
 
My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island.. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant humidity, rain and corrosion.
 
Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 
 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi Chris,
 
Good advice.
 
Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow right up the hill, eh?
 
Steve E
NZ




Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Joe Zeglinski
 

You’re welcome Elliot. Glad you enjoyed some of the tongue-in-cheeky commentary.
 
    The post came out of a lot of frustration over the past three years of using the new CP4 , but in any narrative, one can always add sugar to the vinegar.
I have always had a very high regard for Chris, and continue to value his opinion, but some conjectures can be misguided. Then again, wouldn’t surprise me if there is regular contractual or personal exchange with AP on engineering matters, for a second opinion.
 
    I will continue to trust that there wasn’t  “acidic corrosion” – being produced from infiltrated “humid” outdoor air, and certainly dew water, entering the case. Nor should there be very much dried acid,  remaining from the board manufacturing process and latent acidic manufacturing chemicals not having been washed away properly upon completion of  board assembly. Otherwise, my washing down of the milky residue with “PCB cleaner” – on the second drowned CP4 circuit board, (with Marj’s permission and guidance) – would have exposed obviously corroded fiberglass strands on the board’s substrate, leading to further damaged components. My belief is that it was mostly the result of major short circuiting from the visibly obvious  “rust” from the RJ-45,  dissolved in the water, even though “distilled  dew water” could have done almost as much.
  
To quote the great American - Ben Franklin:
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Benjamin Franklin
    Likewise with CP4 “Waterproofing” or lack thereof, and AP’s production – for want of a toothpick-sized dab of RTV or similar rubber calk around the leak prone Ethernet RJ-45 connector ... a CP4, or two, actually so far at least four now known ... to be lost. Hopefully such laggard disregard won’t damage AP’s “competitive kingdom” in the marketplace.
 
    But really, as long as everyone has their CP4  vertically positioned, with all dew respect there shouldn’t be many more repeats of such disasters.
Of course, that excludes being struck by mild showers from open domes or direct hits from sprinklers ... on any CP4.
 
Joe
 
 
From: Steven Elliott steven447@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 4:55 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


Hi Joe,

 

You are a very funny man, my friend, now I truly appreciated your post, and I'm saving it! Thank You for the enjoyment.

 

Steve

 

(PS, you probably realize that vog is a legit met term nowadays? Doesn't matter if you don't know, I still LOVE your reply, it made my day)




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, 9 October 2018 1:47 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 
 
Chris,
 
    I don’t know who at AP has been  “talking you up” on this “CP4 corrosion myth”, since I only had Marj posit that theory to me, and she not being technical, probably heard it from someone else on staff, tossing it around the table – likely, the so-called “servo engineer” who declared the first drowned CP4 was definitely not “caused by water corrosion”. Marj then countermanded his errant opinion – actually, she is way smarter than most. So, it was definitely just “plain drowning”. The high water mark, an  inch-wide white scum mark, rubs off easily, like chalk, the copper traces were unaffected, thus the PCB surface was NOT corroded. I just took it for granted that Marj uses the term “corrosion”  someone loosely, as offhand  non-technical parlance, signifying nothing other than  there was a swath,  demarcating the depth of dew built up inside the CP4 case, over a few nights of viewing time – but neither of which had bottom corner DRAIN holes, for the CP4 .... to “relieve itself”.
 
    Now, as you reported in another post’s reply below, as a professional engineer you are quite familiar with and have regularly experienced “acid rain corrosion”, such as at your observatory near the Hawaiian volcanoes. Although you attempted to apply your own circumstance to my pristine site here in Canada, you should realize that if there had actually been ANY outward sign of  “acid rain corrosion” causing the CP4’s to burn out, then the same “acidic dew” would have been raining down on my “nylon tarp”,  covering the scope over the past 6 years, (from May 2012). The nylon tarp would be a very delicate “lace cloth” by now.
 
    You remember, Chris  ---  my nylon “HINDENBURG Tarp”, as you recently referred to - covering my AP-1200, with its 900 WATT automatic dew heater underneath the tarp, keeping it at 60% relative humidity, 24/7/365, when it is not open for a few short hours during a session. Yes .... the tarp is still quite intact, didn’t burn up as you expected, doing well, with not even a single pin-prick hole in its large nylon surface – from anything like acid rain. Besides, Chris, if there were a molecule of sulphuric acid in the dew downpour entering my leaky CP4 – actually BOTH of them -  then the AP-1200 paint job would have yellowed or burned off in spots by now, as would the primary mirror coating,  my backyard lawn wouldn’t be the rich green colour it has been all summer as in every year, the beautiful flowers bloomed in my garden a few feet away, fruit trees nearby didn’t prematurely shed their leaves even until now in the fall, and there wasn’t one single dead bird in the yard – i.e. no equivalent sure-tell “Coalmine Canary”, if you please.
 
    Is that enough evidence to contradict AP’s cockamamie assumption your contact is espousing,  about “corrosion from acid rain” causing my CP4’s to fail – BOTH of them – rather than ending up as a one inch deep baptismal font? I can’t see it being your own professional, well-considered, engineering conclusion – without evidence.
 
    I assume your own CP4,  at the occasionally volcano gassed, “Waikoloa Hawaii,  is on a “new AP model” mount, rather than being attached at your site’s local Latitude angle on top of the RA axle. So I find your claim quite interesting  ... that with all the “sulphuric acid rain” occasionally hitting YOUR own  CP4, it still has not corroded (inside or outside), and yet you presume that MY far cleaner Canadian skies  have an even stronger sulphuric acid content than your VOG in Hawaii. This is Canada  ... not VENUS ! 
 
    You really should check out the pretense your friends at AP may been trying to foist on you – if that really was the case. Unlike the “vog” (volcanic fog, as you called it) near your site, the only “smell of sulphur” here on the North American  mainland, might be emanating from someone’s oval-like office, or more recently coming from under ... “a Bench” ;-)
 
Clear non-VOG skies, Chris -
Joe Z.
 
 
From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:21 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.
 
Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with water becomes sulfuric acid.
 
My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant humidity, rain and corrosion.
 
Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 
 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi Chris,

 

Good advice.

 

Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow right up the hill, eh?

 

Steve E

NZ



Mount initialization options for SkySafari

Hemant Hariyani
 

Hello all,

Sorry if this has been asked and answered before. I use APCC to initialize my 1600 CP4/AE mount and The SkyX and/or SkySafari to control my mount. Everything works just fine.

The problem is that since I do not have a hand controller, even for small observing sessions outside of my permanent setup, I need to carry my laptop etc. I use the (brilliant) daytime polar alignment method to get setup before it gets dark. I would love to be able to do the initialization and alignment using my mobile. I know that SkySafari can initialize the mount with location, time etc but I am not sure how I would go about polar aligning it using pre-defined park positions. Any suggestions?

I guess a simpler (in the longer term) solution would be to have a simple dedicated app to do this. If one doesn't yet exist, I can try and write one - at least for Android. I will really appreciate if I can get help with some of the questions related to this - 

 - What are coordinates of 4 park positions? I guess I need to slew to park positions and then park the scope. Since park4 and park1 point north/south along the horizon, I guess this needs pier side information as well - right?

 - Since alignment involves four axes (RA/Dec/Alt/Az), shouldn't encoders remove/reduce the need to align RA/Dec? If I am roughly polar aligned using a compass and known latitude, and if location and date/time are sec correctly, shouldn't the mount slow to correct RA/Dec axes positions irrespective of weather the axes were moved by hand or not? Am I missing something here?

- Can someone summarize initialization sequence?

Regards
Hemant








Re: Weird interaction between Maxim and AP900

Roland Christen
 

You would have to record what is being sent to the mount via the serial port in order to determine what is the cause for the errant moves.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ghsmith45@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Oct 9, 2018 12:32 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Weird interaction between Maxim and AP900



Background: I have a dark sky, permanent setup to which I go over every new moon period. I normally guide by the "telescope" option in MaximDL. For the last few months I have found that after guiding successfully for a period the mount may (or may not) suddenly begin oscillating in RA--typically 10 arc seconds.  Restarting the guide camera sometimes settles things down, or if not, restarting Maxim often works.  The problem usually occurs once, or rarely, twice in a full night session. The oscillations are obvious in the guide star window.

Now for the really weird part.The problem was more persistent two nights ago, so I started trying to investigate exactly what was happening. I switched off guiding and just started loading continuous 3sec exposures from the guide camera.There was an obvious jitter from image to image.  Then I disconnected the mount from the computer.  From then on the images were completely steady! Reconnecting the mount (via keyspan serial port adapter) brought back the jitter.  So somehow, the connection from Maxim to the mount was sending pulses to the mount.

This happened with both Maxim5 and Maxim6.

So I tried recalibrating the guider.  After a few false starts I got a good calibration. The mount then guided problem free for the next 4 hours.

Suggestions welcome!
Geoff




Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Ron Kramer
 

wow - of course I didn't real 98% of it.  Past government employee?


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 10:05 AM 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Hi Joe,

> The site is a backyard, 20 feet from the house, in the middle of a major city of 4 million people on Lake Ontario –
> not out in the deep woods or farmer’s field. We don’t have “corrosive air pollution” like many places in the US or
> China. People in the US, and most of the world consider Toronto as one of the cleanest cities, air, streets, etc. on
> the planet, and we don’t wear medical face masks when walking outdoors. – Ever been here

I don't know what caused the problems with your two CP4's, but in all fairness almost all cities have major pollutants.

Even Toronto it seems:

https://www.torontoenvironment.org/smog_facts

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Monday, October 8, 2018 10:48 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
>
>
>
> Chris,
>
> I don’t know who at AP has been “talking you up” on this “CP4 corrosion myth”, since I only had Marj posit that
> theory to me, and she not being technical, probably heard it from someone else on staff, tossing it around the table
> – likely, the so-called “servo engineer” who declared the first drowned CP4 was definitely not “caused by water
> corrosion”. Marj then countermanded his errant opinion – actually, she is way smarter than most. So, it was
> definitely just “plain drowning”. The high water mark, an inch-wide white scum mark, rubs off easily, like chalk, the
> copper traces were unaffected, thus the PCB surface was NOT corroded. I just took it for granted that Marj uses
> the term “corrosion” someone loosely, as offhand non-technical parlance, signifying nothing other than there was
> a swath, demarcating the depth of dew built up inside the CP4 case, over a few nights of viewing time – but neither
> of which had bottom corner DRAIN holes, for the CP4 .... to “relieve itself”.
>
> Now, as you reported in another post’s reply below, as a professional engineer you are quite familiar with and
> have regularly experienced “acid rain corrosion”, such as at your observatory near the Hawaiian volcanoes.
> Although you attempted to apply your own circumstance to my pristine site here in Canada, you should realize that
> if there had actually been ANY outward sign of “acid rain corrosion” causing the CP4’s to burn out, then the same
> “acidic dew” would have been raining down on my “nylon tarp”, covering the scope over the past 6 years, (from
> May 2012). The nylon tarp would be a very delicate “lace cloth” by now.
>
> You remember, Chris --- my nylon “HINDENBURG Tarp”, as you recently referred to - covering my AP-1200,
> with its 900 WATT automatic dew heater underneath the tarp, keeping it at 60% relative humidity, 24/7/365, when it
> is not open for a few short hours during a session. Yes .... the tarp is still quite intact, didn’t burn up as you
> expected, doing well, with not even a single pin-prick hole in its large nylon surface – from anything like acid rain.
> Besides, Chris, if there were a molecule of sulphuric acid in the dew downpour entering my leaky CP4 – actually
> BOTH of them - then the AP-1200 paint job would have yellowed or burned off in spots by now, as would the
> primary mirror coating, my backyard lawn wouldn’t be the rich green colour it has been all summer as in every
> year, the beautiful flowers bloomed in my garden a few feet away, fruit trees nearby didn’t prematurely shed their
> leaves even until now in the fall, and there wasn’t one single dead bird in the yard – i.e. no equivalent sure-tell
> “Coalmine Canary”, if you please.
>
> Is that enough evidence to contradict AP’s cockamamie assumption your contact is espousing, about “corrosion
> from acid rain” causing my CP4’s to fail – BOTH of them – rather than ending up as a one inch deep baptismal
> font? I can’t see it being your own professional, well-considered, engineering conclusion – without evidence.
>
> I assume your own CP4, at the occasionally volcano gassed, “Waikoloa Hawaii, is on a “new AP model” mount,
> rather than being attached at your site’s local Latitude angle on top of the RA axle. So I find your claim quite
> interesting ... that with all the “sulphuric acid rain” occasionally hitting YOUR own CP4, it still has not corroded
> (inside or outside), and yet you presume that MY far cleaner Canadian skies have an even stronger sulphuric acid
> content than your VOG in Hawaii. This is Canada ... not VENUS !
>
> You really should check out the pretense your friends at AP may been trying to foist on you – if that really was
> the case. Unlike the “vog” (volcanic fog, as you called it) near your site, the only “smell of sulphur” here on the
> North American mainland, might be emanating from someone’s oval-like office, or more recently coming from
> under ... “a Bench” ;-)
>
> Clear non-VOG skies, Chris -
> Joe Z.
>
>
> From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
> Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:21 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
>
>
>
> There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And
> the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.
>
> Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with
> water becomes sulfuric acid.
>
> My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic
> fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant
> humidity, rain and corrosion.
>
> Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with
> my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.
>
>
> -Christopher Erickson
> Observatory engineer
> Summit Kinetics
> Waikoloa, HI 96738
> www.summitkinetics.com <http://www.summitkinetics.com/>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
>
>
>
> Hi Chris,
>
>
>
> Good advice.
>
>
>
> Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow
> right up the hill, eh?
>
>
>
> Steve E
>
> NZ
>
>
>


Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Joe,

The site is a backyard, 20 feet from the house, in the middle of a major city of 4 million people on Lake Ontario –
not out in the deep woods or farmer’s field. We don’t have “corrosive air pollution” like many places in the US or
China. People in the US, and most of the world consider Toronto as one of the cleanest cities, air, streets, etc. on
the planet, and we don’t wear medical face masks when walking outdoors. – Ever been here
I don't know what caused the problems with your two CP4's, but in all fairness almost all cities have major pollutants.

Even Toronto it seems:

https://www.torontoenvironment.org/smog_facts

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Monday, October 8, 2018 10:48 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding



Chris,

I don’t know who at AP has been “talking you up” on this “CP4 corrosion myth”, since I only had Marj posit that
theory to me, and she not being technical, probably heard it from someone else on staff, tossing it around the table
– likely, the so-called “servo engineer” who declared the first drowned CP4 was definitely not “caused by water
corrosion”. Marj then countermanded his errant opinion – actually, she is way smarter than most. So, it was
definitely just “plain drowning”. The high water mark, an inch-wide white scum mark, rubs off easily, like chalk, the
copper traces were unaffected, thus the PCB surface was NOT corroded. I just took it for granted that Marj uses
the term “corrosion” someone loosely, as offhand non-technical parlance, signifying nothing other than there was
a swath, demarcating the depth of dew built up inside the CP4 case, over a few nights of viewing time – but neither
of which had bottom corner DRAIN holes, for the CP4 .... to “relieve itself”.

Now, as you reported in another post’s reply below, as a professional engineer you are quite familiar with and
have regularly experienced “acid rain corrosion”, such as at your observatory near the Hawaiian volcanoes.
Although you attempted to apply your own circumstance to my pristine site here in Canada, you should realize that
if there had actually been ANY outward sign of “acid rain corrosion” causing the CP4’s to burn out, then the same
“acidic dew” would have been raining down on my “nylon tarp”, covering the scope over the past 6 years, (from
May 2012). The nylon tarp would be a very delicate “lace cloth” by now.

You remember, Chris --- my nylon “HINDENBURG Tarp”, as you recently referred to - covering my AP-1200,
with its 900 WATT automatic dew heater underneath the tarp, keeping it at 60% relative humidity, 24/7/365, when it
is not open for a few short hours during a session. Yes .... the tarp is still quite intact, didn’t burn up as you
expected, doing well, with not even a single pin-prick hole in its large nylon surface – from anything like acid rain.
Besides, Chris, if there were a molecule of sulphuric acid in the dew downpour entering my leaky CP4 – actually
BOTH of them - then the AP-1200 paint job would have yellowed or burned off in spots by now, as would the
primary mirror coating, my backyard lawn wouldn’t be the rich green colour it has been all summer as in every
year, the beautiful flowers bloomed in my garden a few feet away, fruit trees nearby didn’t prematurely shed their
leaves even until now in the fall, and there wasn’t one single dead bird in the yard – i.e. no equivalent sure-tell
“Coalmine Canary”, if you please.

Is that enough evidence to contradict AP’s cockamamie assumption your contact is espousing, about “corrosion
from acid rain” causing my CP4’s to fail – BOTH of them – rather than ending up as a one inch deep baptismal
font? I can’t see it being your own professional, well-considered, engineering conclusion – without evidence.

I assume your own CP4, at the occasionally volcano gassed, “Waikoloa Hawaii, is on a “new AP model” mount,
rather than being attached at your site’s local Latitude angle on top of the RA axle. So I find your claim quite
interesting ... that with all the “sulphuric acid rain” occasionally hitting YOUR own CP4, it still has not corroded
(inside or outside), and yet you presume that MY far cleaner Canadian skies have an even stronger sulphuric acid
content than your VOG in Hawaii. This is Canada ... not VENUS !

You really should check out the pretense your friends at AP may been trying to foist on you – if that really was
the case. Unlike the “vog” (volcanic fog, as you called it) near your site, the only “smell of sulphur” here on the
North American mainland, might be emanating from someone’s oval-like office, or more recently coming from
under ... “a Bench” ;-)

Clear non-VOG skies, Chris -
Joe Z.


From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@gmail.com [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:21 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding



There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And
the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.

Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with
water becomes sulfuric acid.

My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic
fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant
humidity, rain and corrosion.

Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with
my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com <http://www.summitkinetics.com/>



________________________________

From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding



Hi Chris,



Good advice.



Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow
right up the hill, eh?



Steve E

NZ



Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Steven
 

Hi Joe,


You are a very funny man, my friend, now I truly appreciated your post, and I'm saving it! Thank You for the enjoyment.


Steve


(PS, you probably realize that vog is a legit met term nowadays? Doesn't matter if you don't know, I still LOVE your reply, it made my day)




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, 9 October 2018 1:47 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 
 

Chris,
 
    I don’t know who at AP has been  “talking you up” on this “CP4 corrosion myth”, since I only had Marj posit that theory to me, and she not being technical, probably heard it from someone else on staff, tossing it around the table – likely, the so-called “servo engineer” who declared the first drowned CP4 was definitely not “caused by water corrosion”. Marj then countermanded his errant opinion – actually, she is way smarter than most. So, it was definitely just “plain drowning”. The high water mark, an  inch-wide white scum mark, rubs off easily, like chalk, the copper traces were unaffected, thus the PCB surface was NOT corroded. I just took it for granted that Marj uses the term “corrosion”  someone loosely, as offhand  non-technical parlance, signifying nothing other than  there was a swath,  demarcating the depth of dew built up inside the CP4 case, over a few nights of viewing time – but neither of which had bottom corner DRAIN holes, for the CP4 .... to “relieve itself”.
 
    Now, as you reported in another post’s reply below, as a professional engineer you are quite familiar with and have regularly experienced “acid rain corrosion”, such as at your observatory near the Hawaiian volcanoes. Although you attempted to apply your own circumstance to my pristine site here in Canada, you should realize that if there had actually been ANY outward sign of  “acid rain corrosion” causing the CP4’s to burn out, then the same “acidic dew” would have been raining down on my “nylon tarp”,  covering the scope over the past 6 years, (from May 2012). The nylon tarp would be a very delicate “lace cloth” by now.
 
    You remember, Chris  ---  my nylon “HINDENBURG Tarp”, as you recently referred to - covering my AP-1200, with its 900 WATT automatic dew heater underneath the tarp, keeping it at 60% relative humidity, 24/7/365, when it is not open for a few short hours during a session. Yes .... the tarp is still quite intact, didn’t burn up as you expected, doing well, with not even a single pin-prick hole in its large nylon surface – from anything like acid rain. Besides, Chris, if there were a molecule of sulphuric acid in the dew downpour entering my leaky CP4 – actually BOTH of them -  then the AP-1200 paint job would have yellowed or burned off in spots by now, as would the primary mirror coating,  my backyard lawn wouldn’t be the rich green colour it has been all summer as in every year, the beautiful flowers bloomed in my garden a few feet away, fruit trees nearby didn’t prematurely shed their leaves even until now in the fall, and there wasn’t one single dead bird in the yard – i.e. no equivalent sure-tell “Coalmine Canary”, if you please.
 
    Is that enough evidence to contradict AP’s cockamamie assumption your contact is espousing,  about “corrosion from acid rain” causing my CP4’s to fail – BOTH of them – rather than ending up as a one inch deep baptismal font? I can’t see it being your own professional, well-considered, engineering conclusion – without evidence.
 
    I assume your own CP4,  at the occasionally volcano gassed, “Waikoloa Hawaii,  is on a “new AP model” mount, rather than being attached at your site’s local Latitude angle on top of the RA axle. So I find your claim quite interesting  ... that with all the “sulphuric acid rain” occasionally hitting YOUR own  CP4, it still has not corroded (inside or outside), and yet you presume that MY far cleaner Canadian skies  have an even stronger sulphuric acid content than your VOG in Hawaii. This is Canada  ... not VENUS ! 
 
    You really should check out the pretense your friends at AP may been trying to foist on you – if that really was the case. Unlike the “vog” (volcanic fog, as you called it) near your site, the only “smell of sulphur” here on the North American  mainland, might be emanating from someone’s oval-like office, or more recently coming from under ... “a Bench” ;-)
 
Clear non-VOG skies, Chris -
Joe Z.
 
 
From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:21 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.
 
Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with water becomes sulfuric acid.
 
My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant humidity, rain and corrosion.
 
Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 
 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi Chris,

 

Good advice.

 

Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow right up the hill, eh?

 

Steve E

NZ



Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Joe Zeglinski
 

Chris,
 
    I don’t know who at AP has been  “talking you up” on this “CP4 corrosion myth”, since I only had Marj posit that theory to me, and she not being technical, probably heard it from someone else on staff, tossing it around the table – likely, the so-called “servo engineer” who declared the first drowned CP4 was definitely not “caused by water corrosion”. Marj then countermanded his errant opinion – actually, she is way smarter than most. So, it was definitely just “plain drowning”. The high water mark, an  inch-wide white scum mark, rubs off easily, like chalk, the copper traces were unaffected, thus the PCB surface was NOT corroded. I just took it for granted that Marj uses the term “corrosion”  someone loosely, as offhand  non-technical parlance, signifying nothing other than  there was a swath,  demarcating the depth of dew built up inside the CP4 case, over a few nights of viewing time – but neither of which had bottom corner DRAIN holes, for the CP4 ... to “relieve itself”.
 
    Now, as you reported in another post’s reply below, as a professional engineer you are quite familiar with and have regularly experienced “acid rain corrosion”, such as at your observatory near the Hawaiian volcanoes. Although you attempted to apply your own circumstance to my pristine site here in Canada, you should realize that if there had actually been ANY outward sign of  “acid rain corrosion” causing the CP4’s to burn out, then the same “acidic dew” would have been raining down on my “nylon tarp”,  covering the scope over the past 6 years, (from May 2012). The nylon tarp would be a very delicate “lace cloth” by now.
 
    You remember, Chris  ---  my nylon “HINDENBURG Tarp”, as you recently referred to - covering my AP-1200, with its 900 WATT automatic dew heater underneath the tarp, keeping it at 60% relative humidity, 24/7/365, when it is not open for a few short hours during a session. Yes ... the tarp is still quite intact, didn’t burn up as you expected, doing well, with not even a single pin-prick hole in its large nylon surface – from anything like acid rain. Besides, Chris, if there were a molecule of sulphuric acid in the dew downpour entering my leaky CP4 – actually BOTH of them -  then the AP-1200 paint job would have yellowed or burned off in spots by now, as would the primary mirror coating,  my backyard lawn wouldn’t be the rich green colour it has been all summer as in every year, the beautiful flowers bloomed in my garden a few feet away, fruit trees nearby didn’t prematurely shed their leaves even until now in the fall, and there wasn’t one single dead bird in the yard – i.e. no equivalent sure-tell “Coalmine Canary”, if you please.
 
    Is that enough evidence to contradict AP’s cockamamie assumption your contact is espousing,  about “corrosion from acid rain” causing my CP4’s to fail – BOTH of them – rather than ending up as a one inch deep baptismal font? I can’t see it being your own professional, well-considered, engineering conclusion – without evidence.
 
    I assume your own CP4,  at the occasionally volcano gassed, “Waikoloa Hawaii,  is on a “new AP model” mount, rather than being attached at your site’s local Latitude angle on top of the RA axle. So I find your claim quite interesting  ... that with all the “sulphuric acid rain” occasionally hitting YOUR own  CP4, it still has not corroded (inside or outside), and yet you presume that MY far cleaner Canadian skies  have an even stronger sulphuric acid content than your VOG in Hawaii. This is Canada  ... not VENUS ! 
 
    You really should check out the pretense your friends at AP may been trying to foist on you – if that really was the case. Unlike the “vog” (volcanic fog, as you called it) near your site, the only “smell of sulphur” here on the North American  mainland, might be emanating from someone’s oval-like office, or more recently coming from under ... “a Bench” ;-)
 
Clear non-VOG skies, Chris -
Joe Z.
 
 

From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:21 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.
 
Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with water becomes sulfuric acid.
 
My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant humidity, rain and corrosion.
 
Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 
 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi Chris,

 

Good advice.

 

Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow right up the hill, eh?

 

Steve E

NZ



Weird interaction between Maxim and AP900

Geoff Smith
 

Background: I have a dark sky, permanent setup to which I go over every new moon period. I normally guide by the "telescope" option in MaximDL. For the last few months I have found that after guiding successfully for a period the mount may (or may not) suddenly begin oscillating in RA--typically 10 arc seconds.  Restarting the guide camera sometimes settles things down, or if not, restarting Maxim often works.  The problem usually occurs once, or rarely, twice in a full night session. The oscillations are obvious in the guide star window.

Now for the really weird part.The problem was more persistent two nights ago, so I started trying to investigate exactly what was happening. I switched off guiding and just started loading continuous 3sec exposures from the guide camera.There was an obvious jitter from image to image.  Then I disconnected the mount from the computer.  From then on the images were completely steady! Reconnecting the mount (via keyspan serial port adapter) brought back the jitter.  So somehow, the connection from Maxim to the mount was sending pulses to the mount.

This happened with both Maxim5 and Maxim6.

So I tried recalibrating the guider.  After a few false starts I got a good calibration. The mount then guided problem free for the next 4 hours.

Suggestions welcome!
Geoff



Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Dale Ghent
 

On page 6 of the CP4 documentation[1], under the heading of Environmental Considerations, the tolerance to liquids is rather explicitly stated:

"We strive to make our control boxes moisture and dew resistant; however, they are not waterproof! Please be responsible to shield them from excessive dew and condensation."

And further:

"The GTOCP4 control box and optional Keypad are not waterproof and should be protected from rain and excessive condensation."

I suppose it's up to the reader to determine what excessive condensation means to them within the context of their own operations and take any appropriate actions. But that's the extent to any claims of water resistance that are made for the CP4. There are certainly no stated adherence to an industry standard regarding contaminant resistance, such as DSM&T's IP (Ingress Protection) rating system.

The root cause you described is basically water splashing onto the unit, almost the equivalent of someone spilling their drink onto it. Per the instructions, it would follow that you'd want to devise a way - appropriate for your setup and operations - to prevent that. Yeah, it would be nice if A-P could both have a better-sealed design and maybe even assign an IP rating, but those things cost money to do.

To boot, waterproof RJ45F sockets require a male mate with the appropriate housing around it in order to screw together and make a sealed connection. You just can't solder a female waterproof RJ45 jack to the pcb and call it a day. To do it proper, it's an actual system. As for RTV? I'd expect that answer from my roofer.

[1] http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/servo/GTOCP4-Servo-Control-System-manual2.pdf

On Oct 8, 2018, at 12:31 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@rogers.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



Chris,

We are both professional electrical engineers, and your points here, are so waaaaay off.

An expensive and professional level electronics product like the CP4 ... should NOT require a paper or plastic bag on it, to operate properly.
Putting a bag over the CP4 – while that would be an appropriate look for its present state – would be difficult with all the attached cables in the way. A “dew heater patch” under it, if there actually were enough space between its backside and its cradle to still lock it down, might work – I doubt there is. There is probably enough heat given off by the enclosed electronics, to be equivalent to using a dew heater patch.

However, I was thinking about integrating a “Liquid level sensor” inside the CP4, based on its present case design status.

All that AP had to do was simply to put some RTV around just that ONE leaky RJ-45 connector, or use a proper water proof Ethernet connector, similar to ALL the others on the panel, or even just stipulate that it NOT be attached on top of the RA axle of old model mounts, and the CP4 would be “water proofed” – but they DID NOT, couldn’t be bothered to make the effort, and AP’s “legal disclaimer” on water resistance was an easier out, for the company.

Don’t know why you assumed my CP4 and telescope is installed inside an “observatory” – I thought I made it perfectly clear, it was NOT. You must be skim-reading, or confusing the post with some other case.
The site is a backyard, 20 feet from the house, in the middle of a major city of 4 million people on Lake Ontario – not out in the deep woods or farmer’s field. We don’t have “corrosive air pollution” like many places in the US or China. People in the US, and most of the world consider Toronto as one of the cleanest cities, air, streets, etc. on the planet, and we don’t wear medical face masks when walking outdoors. – Ever been here? – Try again, Chris.

The only way it would be corrosion, from (distilled) water “dew”, is if the circuit board wasn’t PROPERLY RINSED during manufacture, to neutralize solder paste acid, etc. and THAT acidic water solution would definitely make the incoming dew water, corrosive. So, perhaps it is a case of poor AP manufacturing practices? But, I wouldn’t expect that.

Mainly, it is simply a case of plain drowning, and the circuits were blowing from a string of “orange rust”, obvious in the photo, between several pins along the bottom of the PCB. That is also evidenced by a huge wide swath of “rust stain” along the case inside bottom ledge, at the base of the circuit board, about 2 inches long – that’s REALLY significant rusting. Would you care to see Marj’s photo of the first damaged board, and mine of the second drowning?

It was just normal average city dew, perhaps a bit heavier on one night, than average. Good grief Chris, it “wasn’t raining” from dew at the time – the skies were pristine, since I was imaging without problems. It also happened to TWO CP4 boards – and by the way, NEVER happened to my original two CP3 boards, after over a decade of use, in the exact same spot. But then ... CP3’s don’t leak – CP4’s can easily leak, if facing skyward, rather than being vertical.

And yes, the 14.5 inch primary mirror is doing just fine, no corrosion or dulling, nice and shiny, even after more than 7 years since re-coating, and the ASUS laptop sitting right beside it, exposed to the same environmental dew conditions, (covered by a LAPDOME, but not closed up) didn’t short out ... so please don’t go spinning cobwebs about corrosive air around here.

Don’t know why you think the circuit board is “dip sealed”, it certainly isn’t “Potted” which would be overkill. Perhaps you actually mean “Conformal Coated PCB Traces” - but obviously the solder joints are NOT – they, and all IC’ pins are bare solder, fully exposed to water and being short circuited by water and the iron in the rust, even if the PCB circuit traces themselves, are (green) conformal coated.

The CP4 needs proper water proofing, more than your suggestion of just relying on its “PCB conformal coating”, since Astronomical Telescope electronics are ACTUALLY MEANT to be exposed and used outdoors, at night, even in winter conditions of wind blown snow dusting. Even some lowly porch and garage lamps are especially required to be UL/CSA rated for water penetration, before allowed to be sold to the public.
What makes “astronomy accessories like the CP4” ... UL/CSA exempt?

I would surprised if the CP4 could have passed UL or CSA certification – didn’t find it stated in the documentation – only the FCC radio emission standards.

Joe

From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@gmail.com [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:00 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding



If you have a condensation problem with your CP4, simply put a plastic, paper or cloth bag over it. Or put a dew heater patch on the back of the CP4.

More importantly, if you are getting this kind of profound volumes of dew inside of your observatory or around and on the rest of your observing site and equipment while observing, you have other problems that urgently need to be dealt with. Serious problems. All of the rest of your electronics will be much-more vulnerable to corrosion than the CP4 electronics. Not to mention OTA parts and delicate optical surfaces.

The circuit board in the CP4 is dip-sealed and dew is, by definition, non-corrosive, distilled-water. However if your observing location atmosphere has potentially-corrosive gasses or particulates in it, like car/truck/furnace/propane/butane exhaust, that could be, when mixed with water, the source of your corrosion issues.

My suggestion is to stop fixating on the CP4 and start evaluating your entire setup location and see what-all is vulnerable and what can be done about the condensation and corrosive gasses and particulates. Your cameras, optics, computers and everything else are at serious risk, not just the CP4.

I have seen people use a big binder clip to wrap a beach towel around the lower half of their mounts and all of the electronics. Not high-tech and it doesn't involve new holes and machine tools, but is very effective.

I hope this helps.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com


From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 4:50 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi,

One further note of observation, on my original post on CP4 dew water entry.

I should emphasize that the CP4’s “Achilles Heel” – the CP4 Ethernet RJ-45 connector – is most prevalent for those who “Upgrade their CP3 on one of their OLD AP mounts” and choose to continue using the new CP4 still attached, angled upward on top of their RA axle. This leaves the gaps in the panel around the RJ-45 fully exposed to its own dew condensation as well as the excess dripping down off the OTA surface. There would still remain a slight risk of water going straight down the center plug’s hole, to the circuits inside.

The best avoidance is to attach it vertically to the AP-900 or AP-1200 pier or tripod, rather than on the RA axle. This will make the CP4 as well protected as on the current model mounts – (AP-MACH-1, AP-1100 and AP-1600, etc.) ... in their vertically oriented position.

You should still “RTV or Silicone rubber seal” around the Ethernet (and possibly a bit around the Guider) panel connector gaps, and either unplug the corner rubber stoppers from the new CP4 (black) models, or drill the two missing corner DRAIN holes in the first few years released CP4 (white) model versions, case bottom edge, backsides.

Upon closer examination, I notice that WHEN the CP4 is mounted “vertically”, there is an... additional BONUS in dew protection.
The “upper front cover” (the one with the antenna stick), sticks out in front of the connector panel by 3/4 inch, compared to the old CP3 which stuck out slightly less, (1/2 inch).

Although not likely intended, this acts as an “OVERHANGING ROOF”, protecting the panel of connectors below it, from being hit directly by dripping dew from above, such as dew streaming off the far greater OTA surface. Thus, the Ethernet connector’s oversized hole’s gaps (approx. 0.030 inch), would not endure a direct splash, in this configuration.

Furthermore, if you still wanted a bit more protection, you could even glue a square dowel or piece of wood/plastic, 6-1/4 inches long by whatever extra thickness you like, along the upper cover’s bottom edge, to provide an even further outward diversion of the dew, away from the connector panel. Ideally, you could even locate a triangular prism cross section dowel, or just use a small piece of plastic or metal strip, to angle outward from just slightly above the CP4 top cover’s lower edge, which would divert the water drips even further away, with a smoother run-off – while presumably still not interfering with the mount’s cabling.

All of the remaining panel connectors, (except for the Ethernet and the Guider), are seen to be bolted VERY securely from beneath their panel surface, making those connectors very likely “water tight”, to begin with.

Along with the YOUR now properly sealing the Ethernet connector, and “opened” DRAIN holes (for insurance), the CP4 should then be truly “water resistant” ... if not finally ..... “WATER PROOFED” - ready in its vertical attachment position, to challenge dew, unexpected rain showers, and errant sprinkler blasts.

Joe Z.

Virus-free. www.avg.com



Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Joe Zeglinski
 

Chris,
 
    We are both professional electrical engineers, and your points here,  are so waaaaay off.
 
    An expensive and professional level electronics product like the CP4 ... should NOT require a paper or plastic bag on it,  to operate properly.
Putting a bag over the CP4 – while that would be an appropriate look for its present state –  would be difficult with all the attached cables in the way. A “dew heater patch” under it, if there actually were enough space between its backside and its cradle to still lock it down, might work – I doubt there is. There is probably enough heat given off by the enclosed electronics, to be equivalent to using a dew heater patch.
 
    However, I was thinking about integrating a “Liquid level sensor” inside the CP4, based on its present case design status.
 
    All that AP had to do was simply to put some RTV around just that ONE leaky RJ-45 connector, or use a proper water proof Ethernet connector, similar to ALL the others on the panel, or even just stipulate that it NOT be attached  on top of the RA axle of old model mounts,  and the CP4 would be “water proofed” – but they DID NOT, couldn’t be bothered to make the effort, and AP’s  “legal disclaimer” on water resistance was an easier out, for the company.
 
    Don’t know why you assumed my CP4 and telescope is installed inside an “observatory” – I thought I made it perfectly clear,  it was NOT. You must be skim-reading,  or confusing the post with some other case.
    The site is a backyard, 20 feet from the house, in the middle of a major city of 4 million people on Lake Ontario – not out in the deep woods or farmer’s field. We don’t have “corrosive air pollution” like many places in the US or China. People in the US, and most of the world consider Toronto as one of the cleanest cities, air, streets, etc. on the planet,  and we don’t wear medical face masks when walking outdoors.  – Ever been here? – Try again, Chris.
 
     The only way it would be corrosion,  from (distilled) water “dew”, is if the circuit board wasn’t PROPERLY RINSED during manufacture,   to neutralize solder paste acid, etc. and THAT acidic water solution would definitely make the incoming dew water,  corrosive. So, perhaps it is a case of poor AP manufacturing practices? But, I wouldn’t expect that.
 
     Mainly,  it is simply a case of plain drowning, and the circuits were blowing from a string of “orange rust”, obvious in the photo, between several pins along the bottom of the PCB. That is also evidenced by a huge wide swath of  “rust stain” along the case inside bottom ledge, at the base of the circuit board, about 2 inches long – that’s REALLY significant rusting. Would you care to see Marj’s photo of the first damaged board, and mine of the second drowning?
 
   It was just normal average city dew, perhaps a bit heavier on one night,  than  average. Good grief Chris, it “wasn’t raining” from  dew at the time – the skies were pristine, since I was imaging without problems.  It also happened to TWO CP4 boards – and by the way, NEVER happened to my original two CP3 boards, after over a decade of use, in the exact same spot. But then ... CP3’s don’t leak – CP4’s can easily leak, if facing skyward, rather than being vertical.
 
    And yes, the 14.5 inch primary mirror is doing just fine, no corrosion or dulling, nice and shiny, even after more than 7 years since re-coating, and the ASUS laptop sitting right beside it,  exposed to the same environmental dew conditions, (covered by a LAPDOME, but not closed up)  didn’t short out ...  so please don’t go spinning cobwebs about corrosive air around here.
 
    Don’t know why you think the circuit board is “dip sealed”, it certainly isn’t “Potted” which would be overkill.   Perhaps you actually mean “Conformal Coated PCB Traces” -  but obviously the solder joints  are NOT – they,  and all IC’ pins are bare solder, fully exposed to water and being short circuited by water and the iron in the rust, even if the PCB circuit traces themselves,  are (green) conformal coated.
 
    The CP4 needs proper water proofing, more than your suggestion of just relying on its  “PCB conformal coating”,  since Astronomical Telescope electronics are ACTUALLY MEANT to be exposed and used outdoors, at night, even in winter conditions of wind blown snow dusting. Even some  lowly porch and garage lamps are especially required to be UL/CSA rated for water penetration, before allowed to be sold to the public.
  What makes “astronomy accessories like the CP4” ... UL/CSA exempt?
 
    I would surprised if the CP4 could have passed UL or CSA certification – didn’t find it stated in the documentation – only the  FCC radio emission standards.
 
Joe
 

From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 7:00 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 


If you have a condensation problem with your CP4, simply put a plastic, paper or cloth bag over it. Or put a dew heater patch on the back of the CP4.
 
More importantly, if you are getting this kind of profound volumes of dew inside of your observatory or around and on the rest of your observing site and equipment while observing, you have other problems that urgently need to be dealt with. Serious problems. All of the rest of your electronics will be much-more vulnerable to corrosion than the CP4 electronics. Not to mention OTA parts and delicate optical surfaces.
 
The circuit board in the CP4 is dip-sealed and dew is, by definition, non-corrosive, distilled-water. However if your observing location atmosphere has potentially-corrosive gasses or particulates in it, like car/truck/furnace/propane/butane exhaust, that could be, when mixed with water, the source of your corrosion issues.
 
My suggestion is to stop fixating on the CP4 and start evaluating your entire setup location and see what-all is vulnerable and what can be done about the condensation and corrosive gasses and particulates. Your cameras, optics, computers and everything else are at serious risk, not just the CP4.
 
I have seen people use a big binder clip to wrap a beach towel around the lower half of their mounts and all of the electronics. Not high-tech and it doesn't involve new holes and machine tools, but is very effective.
 
I hope this helps. 
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 
 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 4:50 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi,
 
    One further note of observation, on my original post on CP4 dew water entry.
 
    I should emphasize that the CP4’s  “Achilles Heel” – the CP4 Ethernet RJ-45 connector – is most prevalent for those who “Upgrade their CP3 on one of their OLD  AP mounts” and choose to continue using the new CP4 still attached,  angled upward on top of their RA axle. This leaves the gaps in the panel around the RJ-45 fully exposed to its own  dew condensation  as well as the excess dripping down off the OTA surface. There would still remain a slight risk of water going straight down the center plug’s hole, to the circuits inside.
 
    The best avoidance is to attach it vertically to the AP-900 or AP-1200 pier or tripod, rather than on the RA axle. This will make the CP4 as well protected as on the current model mounts – (AP-MACH-1, AP-1100 and AP-1600, etc.) ... in their vertically oriented position.
 
    You should still “RTV or Silicone rubber seal” around the Ethernet (and possibly a bit around the Guider) panel connector gaps, and either unplug the corner rubber stoppers from the new CP4 (black) models, or drill the two missing corner DRAIN holes in the first few years released CP4 (white) model versions,  case bottom edge,  backsides.
 
    Upon closer examination, I notice that WHEN the CP4 is mounted “vertically”, there is an...  additional BONUS in dew protection.
The “upper front cover” (the one with the antenna stick), sticks out in front of the connector panel by 3/4 inch, compared to the old CP3 which stuck out slightly less,  (1/2 inch).
 
    Although not likely intended, this acts as an “OVERHANGING ROOF”, protecting the panel of connectors below it, from being hit directly by dripping dew from above, such as dew streaming off the far greater OTA surface. Thus, the Ethernet connector’s oversized hole’s gaps (approx.  0.030 inch), would not endure a direct splash, in this configuration.
   
    Furthermore, if you still wanted a bit more protection, you could even glue a square dowel or piece of wood/plastic,  6-1/4 inches long by whatever extra thickness you like, along the upper cover’s bottom edge, to provide an even further outward diversion of the dew, away from the connector panel. Ideally, you could even locate a triangular prism cross section dowel, or just use a small piece of plastic or metal strip, to angle outward from just slightly above the CP4 top cover’s lower edge, which would divert the water drips even further away,  with a smoother run-off – while presumably still not interfering with the mount’s cabling.
 
    All of the remaining panel connectors, (except for the Ethernet and the Guider), are seen to be bolted VERY securely from beneath their panel surface,  making those connectors very  likely “water tight”,  to begin with.
 
     Along with the YOUR now properly sealing the Ethernet connector, and  “opened” DRAIN holes (for insurance), the CP4 should then be truly “water resistant” ... if not finally ....   “WATER PROOFED” -  ready in its vertical attachment position, to challenge dew,  unexpected rain showers,  and errant sprinkler blasts.
 
Joe Z.

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Christopher Erickson
 

There aren't any corrosive gasses or particulates on the top of Mauna Kea. It is way above the inversion layer. And the humidity at 14,000' is usually around 20-30%.
 
Mauna Loa does get "gassed" by sulfur dioxide blown up from Kilauea from time to time. And when mixed with water becomes sulfuric acid.
 
My home is in Waikoloa, on the dry side of the island. Once in a great while we get a visible cloud of vog (volcanic fog) rolling through, which is corrosive. Most of the time it is the East side of the island that suffers from constant humidity, rain and corrosion.
 
Although I live in Hawaii and regularly have 60-80% humidity outside, I have NEVER had corrosion problems with my CP4's. And about every other month I am setting up my scopes within a stone's throw of the ocean.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 6:05 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi Chris,


Good advice.


Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow right up the hill, eh?


Steve E

NZ




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, 7 October 2018 7:00 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 
 

If you have a condensation problem with your CP4, simply put a plastic, paper or cloth bag over it. Or put a dew heater patch on the back of the CP4.
 
More importantly, if you are getting this kind of profound volumes of dew inside of your observatory or around and on the rest of your observing site and equipment while observing, you have other problems that urgently need to be dealt with. Serious problems. All of the rest of your electronics will be much-more vulnerable to corrosion than the CP4 electronics. Not to mention OTA parts and delicate optical surfaces.
 
The circuit board in the CP4 is dip-sealed and dew is, by definition, non-corrosive, distilled-water. However if your observing location atmosphere has potentially-corrosive gasses or particulates in it, like car/truck/furnace/propane/butane exhaust, that could be, when mixed with water, the source of your corrosion issues.
 
My suggestion is to stop fixating on the CP4 and start evaluating your entire setup location and see what-all is vulnerable and what can be done about the condensation and corrosive gasses and particulates. Your cameras, optics, computers and everything else are at serious risk, not just the CP4.
 
I have seen people use a big binder clip to wrap a beach towel around the lower half of their mounts and all of the electronics. Not high-tech and it doesn't involve new holes and machine tools, but is very effective.
 
I hope this helps. 
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 4:50 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi,
 
    One further note of observation, on my original post on CP4 dew water entry.
 
    I should emphasize that the CP4’s  “Achilles Heel” – the CP4 Ethernet RJ-45 connector – is most prevalent for those who “Upgrade their CP3 on one of their OLD  AP mounts” and choose to continue using the new CP4 still attached,  angled upward on top of their RA axle. This leaves the gaps in the panel around the RJ-45 fully exposed to its own  dew condensation  as well as the excess dripping down off the OTA surface. There would still remain a slight risk of water going straight down the center plug’s hole, to the circuits inside.
 
    The best avoidance is to attach it vertically to the AP-900 or AP-1200 pier or tripod, rather than on the RA axle. This will make the CP4 as well protected as on the current model mounts – (AP-MACH-1, AP-1100 and AP-1600, etc.) ... in their vertically oriented position.
 
    You should still “RTV or Silicone rubber seal” around the Ethernet (and possibly a bit around the Guider) panel connector gaps, and either unplug the corner rubber stoppers from the new CP4 (black) models, or drill the two missing corner DRAIN holes in the first few years released CP4 (white) model versions,  case bottom edge,  backsides.
 
    Upon closer examination, I notice that WHEN the CP4 is mounted “vertically”, there is an...  additional BONUS in dew protection.
The “upper front cover” (the one with the antenna stick), sticks out in front of the connector panel by 3/4 inch, compared to the old CP3 which stuck out slightly less,  (1/2 inch).
 
    Although not likely intended, this acts as an “OVERHANGING ROOF”, protecting the panel of connectors below it, from being hit directly by dripping dew from above, such as dew streaming off the far greater OTA surface. Thus, the Ethernet connector’s oversized hole’s gaps (approx.  0.030 inch), would not endure a direct splash, in this configuration.
   
    Furthermore, if you still wanted a bit more protection, you could even glue a square dowel or piece of wood/plastic,  6-1/4 inches long by whatever extra thickness you like, along the upper cover’s bottom edge, to provide an even further outward diversion of the dew, away from the connector panel. Ideally, you could even locate a triangular prism cross section dowel, or just use a small piece of plastic or metal strip, to angle outward from just slightly above the CP4 top cover’s lower edge, which would divert the water drips even further away,  with a smoother run-off – while presumably still not interfering with the mount’s cabling.
 
    All of the remaining panel connectors, (except for the Ethernet and the Guider), are seen to be bolted VERY securely from beneath their panel surface,  making those connectors very  likely “water tight”,  to begin with.
 
     Along with the YOUR now properly sealing the Ethernet connector, and  “opened” DRAIN holes (for insurance), the CP4 should then be truly “water resistant” ... if not finally .....   “WATER PROOFED” -  ready in its vertical attachment position, to challenge dew,  unexpected rain showers,  and errant sprinkler blasts.
 
Joe Z.

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Steven
 

Hi Chris,


Good advice.


Question: Do you have any concerns about the salty corrosive atmosphere on the mountain? Trade winds blow right up the hill, eh?


Steve E

NZ




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Sunday, 7 October 2018 7:00 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding
 
 

If you have a condensation problem with your CP4, simply put a plastic, paper or cloth bag over it. Or put a dew heater patch on the back of the CP4.
 
More importantly, if you are getting this kind of profound volumes of dew inside of your observatory or around and on the rest of your observing site and equipment while observing, you have other problems that urgently need to be dealt with. Serious problems. All of the rest of your electronics will be much-more vulnerable to corrosion than the CP4 electronics. Not to mention OTA parts and delicate optical surfaces.
 
The circuit board in the CP4 is dip-sealed and dew is, by definition, non-corrosive, distilled-water. However if your observing location atmosphere has potentially-corrosive gasses or particulates in it, like car/truck/furnace/propane/butane exhaust, that could be, when mixed with water, the source of your corrosion issues.
 
My suggestion is to stop fixating on the CP4 and start evaluating your entire setup location and see what-all is vulnerable and what can be done about the condensation and corrosive gasses and particulates. Your cameras, optics, computers and everything else are at serious risk, not just the CP4.
 
I have seen people use a big binder clip to wrap a beach towel around the lower half of their mounts and all of the electronics. Not high-tech and it doesn't involve new holes and machine tools, but is very effective.
 
I hope this helps. 
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 4:50 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi,
 
    One further note of observation, on my original post on CP4 dew water entry.
 
    I should emphasize that the CP4’s  “Achilles Heel” – the CP4 Ethernet RJ-45 connector – is most prevalent for those who “Upgrade their CP3 on one of their OLD  AP mounts” and choose to continue using the new CP4 still attached,  angled upward on top of their RA axle. This leaves the gaps in the panel around the RJ-45 fully exposed to its own  dew condensation  as well as the excess dripping down off the OTA surface. There would still remain a slight risk of water going straight down the center plug’s hole, to the circuits inside.
 
    The best avoidance is to attach it vertically to the AP-900 or AP-1200 pier or tripod, rather than on the RA axle. This will make the CP4 as well protected as on the current model mounts – (AP-MACH-1, AP-1100 and AP-1600, etc.) ... in their vertically oriented position.
 
    You should still “RTV or Silicone rubber seal” around the Ethernet (and possibly a bit around the Guider) panel connector gaps, and either unplug the corner rubber stoppers from the new CP4 (black) models, or drill the two missing corner DRAIN holes in the first few years released CP4 (white) model versions,  case bottom edge,  backsides.
 
    Upon closer examination, I notice that WHEN the CP4 is mounted “vertically”, there is an...  additional BONUS in dew protection.
The “upper front cover” (the one with the antenna stick), sticks out in front of the connector panel by 3/4 inch, compared to the old CP3 which stuck out slightly less,  (1/2 inch).
 
    Although not likely intended, this acts as an “OVERHANGING ROOF”, protecting the panel of connectors below it, from being hit directly by dripping dew from above, such as dew streaming off the far greater OTA surface. Thus, the Ethernet connector’s oversized hole’s gaps (approx.  0.030 inch), would not endure a direct splash, in this configuration.
   
    Furthermore, if you still wanted a bit more protection, you could even glue a square dowel or piece of wood/plastic,  6-1/4 inches long by whatever extra thickness you like, along the upper cover’s bottom edge, to provide an even further outward diversion of the dew, away from the connector panel. Ideally, you could even locate a triangular prism cross section dowel, or just use a small piece of plastic or metal strip, to angle outward from just slightly above the CP4 top cover’s lower edge, which would divert the water drips even further away,  with a smoother run-off – while presumably still not interfering with the mount’s cabling.
 
    All of the remaining panel connectors, (except for the Ethernet and the Guider), are seen to be bolted VERY securely from beneath their panel surface,  making those connectors very  likely “water tight”,  to begin with.
 
     Along with the YOUR now properly sealing the Ethernet connector, and  “opened” DRAIN holes (for insurance), the CP4 should then be truly “water resistant” ... if not finally .....   “WATER PROOFED” -  ready in its vertical attachment position, to challenge dew,  unexpected rain showers,  and errant sprinkler blasts.
 
Joe Z.

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Christopher Erickson
 

If you have a condensation problem with your CP4, simply put a plastic, paper or cloth bag over it. Or put a dew heater patch on the back of the CP4.
 
More importantly, if you are getting this kind of profound volumes of dew inside of your observatory or around and on the rest of your observing site and equipment while observing, you have other problems that urgently need to be dealt with. Serious problems. All of the rest of your electronics will be much-more vulnerable to corrosion than the CP4 electronics. Not to mention OTA parts and delicate optical surfaces.
 
The circuit board in the CP4 is dip-sealed and dew is, by definition, non-corrosive, distilled-water. However if your observing location atmosphere has potentially-corrosive gasses or particulates in it, like car/truck/furnace/propane/butane exhaust, that could be, when mixed with water, the source of your corrosion issues.
 
My suggestion is to stop fixating on the CP4 and start evaluating your entire setup location and see what-all is vulnerable and what can be done about the condensation and corrosive gasses and particulates. Your cameras, optics, computers and everything else are at serious risk, not just the CP4.
 
I have seen people use a big binder clip to wrap a beach towel around the lower half of their mounts and all of the electronics. Not high-tech and it doesn't involve new holes and machine tools, but is very effective.
 
I hope this helps. 
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2018 4:50 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Hi,
 
    One further note of observation, on my original post on CP4 dew water entry.
 
    I should emphasize that the CP4’s  “Achilles Heel” – the CP4 Ethernet RJ-45 connector – is most prevalent for those who “Upgrade their CP3 on one of their OLD  AP mounts” and choose to continue using the new CP4 still attached,  angled upward on top of their RA axle. This leaves the gaps in the panel around the RJ-45 fully exposed to its own  dew condensation  as well as the excess dripping down off the OTA surface. There would still remain a slight risk of water going straight down the center plug’s hole, to the circuits inside.
 
    The best avoidance is to attach it vertically to the AP-900 or AP-1200 pier or tripod, rather than on the RA axle. This will make the CP4 as well protected as on the current model mounts – (AP-MACH-1, AP-1100 and AP-1600, etc.) ... in their vertically oriented position.
 
    You should still “RTV or Silicone rubber seal” around the Ethernet (and possibly a bit around the Guider) panel connector gaps, and either unplug the corner rubber stoppers from the new CP4 (black) models, or drill the two missing corner DRAIN holes in the first few years released CP4 (white) model versions,  case bottom edge,  backsides.
 
    Upon closer examination, I notice that WHEN the CP4 is mounted “vertically”, there is an...  additional BONUS in dew protection.
The “upper front cover” (the one with the antenna stick), sticks out in front of the connector panel by 3/4 inch, compared to the old CP3 which stuck out slightly less,  (1/2 inch).
 
    Although not likely intended, this acts as an “OVERHANGING ROOF”, protecting the panel of connectors below it, from being hit directly by dripping dew from above, such as dew streaming off the far greater OTA surface. Thus, the Ethernet connector’s oversized hole’s gaps (approx.  0.030 inch), would not endure a direct splash, in this configuration.
   
    Furthermore, if you still wanted a bit more protection, you could even glue a square dowel or piece of wood/plastic,  6-1/4 inches long by whatever extra thickness you like, along the upper cover’s bottom edge, to provide an even further outward diversion of the dew, away from the connector panel. Ideally, you could even locate a triangular prism cross section dowel, or just use a small piece of plastic or metal strip, to angle outward from just slightly above the CP4 top cover’s lower edge, which would divert the water drips even further away,  with a smoother run-off – while presumably still not interfering with the mount’s cabling.
 
    All of the remaining panel connectors, (except for the Ethernet and the Guider), are seen to be bolted VERY securely from beneath their panel surface,  making those connectors very  likely “water tight”,  to begin with.
 
     Along with the YOUR now properly sealing the Ethernet connector, and  “opened” DRAIN holes (for insurance), the CP4 should then be truly “water resistant” ... if not finally ....   “WATER PROOFED” -  ready in its vertical attachment position, to challenge dew,  unexpected rain showers,  and errant sprinkler blasts.
 
Joe Z.

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,
 
    One further note of observation, on my original post on CP4 dew water entry.
 
    I should emphasize that the CP4’s  “Achilles Heel” – the CP4 Ethernet RJ-45 connector – is most prevalent for those who “Upgrade their CP3 on one of their OLD  AP mounts” and choose to continue using the new CP4 still attached,  angled upward on top of their RA axle. This leaves the gaps in the panel around the RJ-45 fully exposed to its own  dew condensation  as well as the excess dripping down off the OTA surface. There would still remain a slight risk of water going straight down the center plug’s hole, to the circuits inside.
 
    The best avoidance is to attach it vertically to the AP-900 or AP-1200 pier or tripod, rather than on the RA axle. This will make the CP4 as well protected as on the current model mounts – (AP-MACH-1, AP-1100 and AP-1600, etc.) ... in their vertically oriented position.
 
    You should still “RTV or Silicone rubber seal” around the Ethernet (and possibly a bit around the Guider) panel connector gaps, and either unplug the corner rubber stoppers from the new CP4 (black) models, or drill the two missing corner DRAIN holes in the first few years released CP4 (white) model versions,  case bottom edge,  backsides.
 
    Upon closer examination, I notice that WHEN the CP4 is mounted “vertically”, there is an...  additional BONUS in dew protection.
The “upper front cover” (the one with the antenna stick), sticks out in front of the connector panel by 3/4 inch, compared to the old CP3 which stuck out slightly less,  (1/2 inch).
 
    Although not likely intended, this acts as an “OVERHANGING ROOF”, protecting the panel of connectors below it, from being hit directly by dripping dew from above, such as dew streaming off the far greater OTA surface. Thus, the Ethernet connector’s oversized hole’s gaps (approx.  0.030 inch), would not endure a direct splash, in this configuration.
   
    Furthermore, if you still wanted a bit more protection, you could even glue a square dowel or piece of wood/plastic,  6-1/4 inches long by whatever extra thickness you like, along the upper cover’s bottom edge, to provide an even further outward diversion of the dew, away from the connector panel. Ideally, you could even locate a triangular prism cross section dowel, or just use a small piece of plastic or metal strip, to angle outward from just slightly above the CP4 top cover’s lower edge, which would divert the water drips even further away,  with a smoother run-off – while presumably still not interfering with the mount’s cabling.
 
    All of the remaining panel connectors, (except for the Ethernet and the Guider), are seen to be bolted VERY securely from beneath their panel surface,  making those connectors very  likely “water tight”,  to begin with.
 
     Along with the YOUR now properly sealing the Ethernet connector, and  “opened” DRAIN holes (for insurance), the CP4 should then be truly “water resistant” ... if not finally ...   “WATER PROOFED” -  ready in its vertical attachment position, to challenge dew,  unexpected rain showers,  and errant sprinkler blasts.
 
Joe Z.


Re: ASCOM Driver Beta - v5.20.04

topboxman
 

I just like it better. I usually manually position the mount to Park 3, load equipment, position to Park 5 and go from there.

When I was using Park 4, after loading equipment in Park 3 and then position to Park 4, sometimes I would rotate Dec axis in one direction and other times to opposite direction to point the scope to south, the cables inside the mount can get twisted and recently they were twisted so I had to untwist them.

Using Park 5 from Park 3, it's easy to rotate Dec axis in only one direction to point scope to North because rotating Dec axis to opposite direction to point the scope to North is much longer so it's obvious to rotate Dec axis much shorter direction and avoid cables get twisted inside the mount. I hope I am making it clear.

It's mainly a personal preference and easy not to get cables twisted inside the mount from Park 3 to Park 5.

Peter


---In ap-gto@..., <bill@...> wrote :

What is the advantage? 




From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of pnagy@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 6, 2018 7:03 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: ASCOM Driver Beta - v5.20.04
 
 

Just wanted to say that Park 5 works well. Will use this park position from now on.

Thanks Ray.

Peter


---In ap-gto@..., <groups3@...> wrote :

Hello all,

Here is new beta version of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. If you see any problems please report them here or to me via private email.

https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/AstroPhysics_V2_Setup_5.20.04.exe

Changes since v5.20.02:

V5.20.04 - 2018-Oct-01 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- IMPROVEMENT - Park/Unpark positions will not change because of the new Park 5 position.
- Update documentation for various features, including Time synchronization options.
- Change wording of sync time during initialization.
- BUG FIX - Change RA/DEC AxisRates from 0-5, to -5-5 degrees/sec.

V5.20.03 - 2018-Sep-24 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- NEW FEATURE - Added Park 5
- BUG FIX - Dec MoveAxis was always setting Rate=0
- Removed extra "PEC" label from the Handbox
- When Encoder tracking is enabled on encoder-equipped mounts, disable PEM Enable/Disable buttons, and hide PEM Record button


-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


Re: ASCOM Driver Beta - v5.20.04

Bill Long
 

What is the advantage? 




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of pnagy@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, October 6, 2018 7:03 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: ASCOM Driver Beta - v5.20.04
 
 

Just wanted to say that Park 5 works well. Will use this park position from now on.

Thanks Ray.

Peter


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

Hello all,

Here is new beta version of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. If you see any problems please report them here or to me via private email.

https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/AstroPhysics_V2_Setup_5.20.04.exe

Changes since v5.20.02:

V5.20.04 - 2018-Oct-01 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- IMPROVEMENT - Park/Unpark positions will not change because of the new Park 5 position.
- Update documentation for various features, including Time synchronization options.
- Change wording of sync time during initialization.
- BUG FIX - Change RA/DEC AxisRates from 0-5, to -5-5 degrees/sec.

V5.20.03 - 2018-Sep-24 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- NEW FEATURE - Added Park 5
- BUG FIX - Dec MoveAxis was always setting Rate=0
- Removed extra "PEC" label from the Handbox
- When Encoder tracking is enabled on encoder-equipped mounts, disable PEM Enable/Disable buttons, and hide PEM Record button


-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


Re: ASCOM Driver Beta - v5.20.04

topboxman
 

Just wanted to say that Park 5 works well. Will use this park position from now on.

Thanks Ray.

Peter


---In ap-gto@..., <groups3@...> wrote :

Hello all,

Here is new beta version of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. If you see any problems please report them here or to me via private email.

https://www.gralak.com/apdriver/AstroPhysics_V2_Setup_5.20.04.exe

Changes since v5.20.02:

V5.20.04 - 2018-Oct-01 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- IMPROVEMENT - Park/Unpark positions will not change because of the new Park 5 position.
- Update documentation for various features, including Time synchronization options.
- Change wording of sync time during initialization.
- BUG FIX - Change RA/DEC AxisRates from 0-5, to -5-5 degrees/sec.

V5.20.03 - 2018-Sep-24 Beta - Ray Gralak
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- NEW FEATURE - Added Park 5
- BUG FIX - Dec MoveAxis was always setting Rate=0
- Removed extra "PEC" label from the Handbox
- When Encoder tracking is enabled on encoder-equipped mounts, disable PEM Enable/Disable buttons, and hide PEM Record button


-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


CP4 is definitely NOT water tight - VERY suseptible to DEW flooding

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,
 
    At long last, this is a heads-up ... “PRECAUTIONS to take” and easy FIXES for CP4 owners – after my TWO water-logged disasters.
 
    At the very least, check the (white) CP4 backside lower edge, for presence of two drain holes, or  (unwisely) “rubber-stoppered” by default, on the (black) Mach-1 style case.
 
    Back in April,  I had mentioned in a post here,  the demise of my “first” Replacement CP4 - about which Marj asked me – (quite understandably):

QUOTE:   “......  I am aware that on at least two recent occasions on the AP-GTO group, you discussed the problems that you have had with your CP4. I would appreciate it if you would clarify that the issues with the unit that you returned last year was not defective and that it had sustained corrosion as a result of water damage.”

    I am glad comply and to state that indeed the ... electronics failure was entirely caused by “Dew, from  CP4 case panel leakage”.
In spite of this “initial design” oversight, in my opinion and of many others,  AP makes the finest mounts and scopes on the market. Support and response to user problems is very good, perhaps exceptional. I would never choose to own any other brands.
 
    Certainly, the first TWO dew drownings of my CP4 stock units were NOT “electronically” defective, until damaged by dew water forming on clear nights ... and as such – ONLY the (original, white) CASE design was defective,  the black MACH-1 version is corrected, but drains-plugged at the factory!
 
     This made the original CP4’s  far too susceptible to dew infiltration, shorting out of the electronics, under “reasonable observing conditions”, and which could have been easily remedied, and prevented a lot sooner.
With heated dew-free optics, imaging was always fine, and there was never a warning that my CP4 were slowly drowning – over a short time – until disaster and eventual burn out.
 
    But, as with any new product, there are “growing pains”, and lessons to be learned from problems discovered only through vast user experience. My own circumstance is having the CP4 UPGRADE ... specifically, being “attached to the RA axis” to replace the CP3 on my old AP-1200 ...  permanently set up in the backyard. My scope and in particular its new CP4 Upgrade,  are exceptionally well protected when not in use, in a  temperature and humidity tightly controlled climate year round, under a well secured top-to-ground level waterproofed nylon tarp. It has NEVER been exposed to rain showers, nor been hit by a sprinkler system while uncovered during observations.
 
    My first CP4 was purchased on the product’s ... “introductory first ship date” ... and lasted less than 11 months of VERY occasional use of maybe a dozen nights, before it drowned from dew. Its (identical) replacement lasted a mere 5 nights of observing,  through winter, for about 4 months – when it too drowned. The first unit’s actual failure was mis-identified by AP as “Non-water related” ... in spite of an obvious solid white, inch high, swath of dried water residue along the CP4 circuit board backside bottom, in an AP photo.
 
    Had I known otherwise, I would have taken the counter-measures, I outline below – and certainly will implement  on the .. “replacement, of the previous replacement,  CP4” – now that we discovered how a large volume of dew managed to leak inside, and had absolutely NO safe and rapid means of draining right back out as water entered. The two CP4’s  nearly caused permanent scope damage by an uncontrolled runaway mount - both times.
 
    Therefore, I offer the following suggestions, to help other users who have not yet experienced this problem.
 
    Dew entry into the CP4 case, does NOT seem to have yet been reported, as I was told, by either “Domed,  or by Roll-off Roof”  observatory owners.
I suggest that is because the large amount of retained daytime HEAT radiated by such building’s thick concrete floor, elevates the ambient indoor temperature directly around the scope, more than that of a mount planted on just “bare ground” surrounded by cold ambient. This extra,  slowly dissipating observatory heat,  may be enough to WIDEN the difference between ambient temperature and the local DEW point inside the observatory, over a longer time.  A dome would trap more of this “helpful”, though optically undesired heat,  longer than for a mount inside a roll-off’s, fully retracted roof, building. Ideally, users in both types of observatories try to cool down their building to ambient, as quickly as possible, before starting an observing session. This rapid cool down could cause CP4 dew problems to start sooner.  Meanwhile, the gap between ambient and dew point temperatures out in an “open field” can be much narrower, drop quicker, even though typical observatories eventually cool down, and then soon, they too become susceptible to this very same “dew flood” problem. But for those buildings, the “remaining observing hours” after equilibrium, before exposure to normal dewing, might be far fewer before the end of session, or none at all. Therefor less, if any, dew penetrates their CP4 case, or accumulates inside, over months or years.
 
    Open field conditions are worse, but still, observatories nevertheless remain somewhat susceptible to ... one significant CP4 “case design fault”. Also, as with dew formation in humid climates, in temperate regions such as Arizona, there is similar risk for desert sand particles dropping into the case, through the same openings, forming electrically conductive “mini-dunes” between component pins. I have seen that on a different type controller.
My “Easy Fixes” should eliminate the risk of dew (and dust) exposure for the CP4 electronics – until AP gets around to finally sealing the Ethernet connector panel leaks, or using rugged leak proof RJ-type connectors, in future runs.
 
    Joe Z. – Continued below ...
 
**************************************************************
 
From the “original” -  CP4 release webpage description:
 
From:    “ASTRO-PHYSICS GTOCP4 Control Box for Servo Drive “
Mechanical Features:
  • Machined aluminum housing provides “robust protection for electronics”
  • All input lines are protected against heavy static discharge with transorbs
  • Dovetail construction allows quick removal from all GTO mounts
  • 12V DC receptacle (2-pin male) for locking power cable. All upgrades from previous GTO control boxes will require a new cable
  • USB 2.0, ruggedized version for extended temperature range, “dust-tight and water resistant
  • Ethernet receptacle
***************
   I feel that last claim - “dust-tight and water resistant” - was overly optimistic, without  NEMA Industrial Level IP-65 or even a minimal IP-63 water penetration testing and corresponding certification. 
 
 
    The recent Sept. 2018,  considerably expanded second revision of the product document, updated right after the “replacement of my original CP4” was ALSO declared to be yet another drowning fatality -  now has an added  ENVIRONMENTAL (legal) escape section on page-6, emphasizing the following:
 
(Extracted):
Wet and Humid Climates
 
    The GTOCP4 control box and optional Keypad are “not waterproof” and should be protected from rain and excessive condensation.
(See second Rev. 2018): 
  
http://www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/servo/GTOCP4-Servo-Control-System-manual2.pdf
 
    That is fair warning, but I assume that even the former claim of EVEN being  “water RESISTANT” in the initial document version, is no longer true (???)
– especially if considering exposure to acts of God or the Devil -  (i.e.  Rain, and Sprinkler Systems, respectively). There is a distinction between “water resistant and water proof”, the latter implying full immersion.  However, excessive dew condensation, (short of actual falling rain) during a night in perfectly clear skies, is unavoidable, and a natural part of our hobby. Observatory rain detectors do fail, domes and roofs do not always close fast enough, or can even jamb when closing, while those of us who “take a snooze”,  while doing hours of unattended imaging, should all be able to better rely on more robust expensive electronics.
 
    That latest document doesn’t commit to defining what AP considers “excessive” condensation, never mind a reasonable one – not even a “safe dew point temperature difference” from ambient – one we could continually check the weather office and compare our ambient during a session. The worst night, that of my second CP4 washout, my TEMP & RH% logs indicated the ambient was safely still about 6F to 8 F above dew point, measured right on the mount. But then, breezes can cause momentary variations, as automatically logged during my 5 minute interval sampling cycles, so dew still forms on the OTA and slides down, off its slick surface, DIRECTLY onto the CP4 panel beneath it.
 
    Likewise, these same problems exist  using AP’s  “Mounting to Pier Bracket (CBAPT)” as when attaching the CP4 to the RA axis position in a CP3 Upgrade.
The CBAPT adapter has an (optional) bolt-on eyelet which if chosen, conveniently angles the bracket outward at 45 degrees from the pier. Then likewise, for an attached CP4,  dew can  and very likely will seep in along the SIDES of the ETHERNET connector, flooding the case and its electronics with “rust contaminated” water produced from the connector’s steel “centering brace”. Rust, just as copper,  is a near perfect shorting conductor between the circuit board’s soaked pins.
 
Something to Verify on the Ethernet RJ-45 connector
 
    When I looked for causes on my second drowned CP4, I noticed there were  different width open gaps, on all 4 sides,  between the RJ-45 connector and its “oversized” panel cutout. Every CP4 unit will likely have different gap sizes, depending how it was soldered in. In my second unit, I could insert the corner of 3 standard business cards into the widest gaps (left and bottom) – the other sides took one or two. Using a feeler gauge, the two widest gaps were 0.030” wide, enough for water to easily drip into.
 
    This became even more obvious after I removed the circuit board from its CP4 case, holding it up to the sun – the huge gaps just lit up below the panel !
 
******************************
 
Points of DEW Water entry:
 
    In fact there are 3 ways for dew,  either from direct external condensation on the CP4 connector panel surface itself, or possibly in far greater volume – spilling down off the surface of the OTA, directly onto the CP4 from the saddle plate. Once this begins, water will seep inside the case.
In order of decreasing amount, from:
  1. The Ethernet connectors sides, which are considerably separated from its oversized panel cut-out, by as much as “3 business card thickness” - if the RJ-45 connector socket is not soldered perfectly vertical inside, leaving wider gaps at one or more panel opening sides.
  2. The RJ-11 Guider, USB, and Ethernet socket’s center hole – through which you can even spot the exposed circuit board’s lettering underneath
  3. Least likely, even the tightly bolted-down – hairline space between the aluminum case edge and the panel top covers – there is definitely a similar one along the case bottom. Mine was heavily stained by rusty water trying to leak out the bottom, between the two panel screws.
    On the other hand, there should be no leaks through all the remaining  “round connectors” which are either industrial or military grade, with (likely)  hermetically sealed signal pins. These may eventually corrode, providing problems for future “Accessories (AUX) or ENCODER” add-ons. There is a “Plug Kit” to cover them, only recently available for purchase.
    Things get worse for those using “portable” mounts. If you remove the CP4 during transport, or lay the mount  with its CP4 still axis-attached, into its travel luggage, then any “accumulated” dew water that leaked in over time, will then SLOSH around inside, covering not only that  one inch high swath of the circuit board’s  bottom edge, but far worse,  drench every component right to the antenna at top edge, especially the microprocessor. This wash will not be just “pure dew” water, but also floating rust particles from the Ethernet Connector’s steel panel-brace clip, which is  just nickel plated metal of some kind. I have spotted orange rust dots on my last drowned CP4.
 
CP4 Mounting positions – in order of decreasing risk of flooding:
  1. WORST possible position – on top of the RA axis – used as CP3 Upgrades.
    The panel faces upward, exposed to not only its own dew formation but also condensation streaming down from the OTA surface, and entering through the exposed points, noted above.
    ---
  2. Attached at  the (optional) 45-degree angle to the pier, below the mount. Same danger as #1.
    ---
  3. Vertically attached to the side of the mount fork on new models (Mach-1, AP-1100, AP-1600), or vertically to the pier itself
    using an adapter plate - still exposed but LEAST likely to flood. This is almost perfectly safe, so long as dew does not get through the entry points above, such as “catching an edge opening”, then “dribbling in sideways” along the Ethernet connector sides, when dewing up,  or water falls down onto it from the OTA, etc.
SIMPLE quick 2-Minute DIY-FIX  for CP4 Dew Leaks:
 
    There are actually two  things we can do ourselves, to make the CP4 very nearly “Waterproof”.
  1. Easiest,  temporary fix -  If you are like me, and ONLY use the original RS-232 ports for mount control – stick a wide strip of clear shipping tape down over the USB and/or ETHERNET ports. Water will just run past them.
    Or, if you actually DO USE either one of these ports – then use a box cuter or EXACTO Blade to cut a small opening in the Cello-tape, JUST around the cable entry hole. The cable connector’s hood itself should divert any water droplets onto the protection tape, away from the panel gaps.
    ---
  2. Second,  a better,  more “permanent alternative” fix – use RTV, or just (GE) Silicone Seal the cracks  (might even try TUB & TILE CALK) – to block the panel water entry points.
    Only needs a “finger dab” of silicone sealer pushed in, mainly along all the Ethernet connector sides,  to plug the panel gaps.
    Can’t do anything about the Guider port center hole, except filling it with either a permanently attached guider cable, or a dummy RJ-11  or RJ-45 plug (one cut off from a dead cable).
    ---
    If you perform the above preventative “countermeasures”, then CP3 UPGRADES “might” still be safe, even  if attached to the original position on top of the RA axis. However, when I offered to Beta test for a  “dew leak” using my most recent (second) CP4 replacement, management graciously declined my generous offer, thus  avoiding possible replacement with yet a fourth unit.
That would be too many “trips to the well” – pun intended :-)
 
 
Extra protection step – ADD DRAIN HOLES - but may take over an hour:
 
( View Tony’s - a.k.a. Harley Davidson – excellent video at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwU5ibObflw
Posted on 02/10/2018 – [ap-gto] Drain holes in CP4 )
 
        If you have already taken the above quick remedies offered above, there is still one other essential thing that can be done, to almost guarantee water won’t short out the electronics inside the case, if dew SOMEHOW still finds a way in.
 
    Unlike the old reliable CP3, without Ethernet & USB panel gaps – there was a case design “oversight” (... Hej ... stuff happens).
The new (WHITE) CP4 case, shipped during the  first few years,  lacks the TWO “water DRAIN” holes, that the CP3 has along its case bottom, backside edge. The holes on my old CP3 backside were about 3/32” (call it 1/8”), based on measuring by poking a drill bit into the hole. This still might be too tight for “water bubble cohesion” to break through the opening fast enough, without the added weight of more dew and thus a heavier weight, volume of water. A slightly larger diameter hole might be better, depending on the size of bugs you  expect to enter the CP4 case - (Really ??? I never found one dead bug inside,  in all my years of CPx use)

    So, if you don’t perform the quick & simple DYI  “Sealing” suggestions, above, then at the very least opening up DRAIN holes will prevent upto about TWO “shot-glasses” of water accumulating inside, (over time, perhaps months) - covering the circuit board right upto the bottom edge Ethernet connector panel opening, where it will finally flow back out, when the case’s bottom water capacity is full. There is little likelihood that it would otherwise  easily evaporate from inside the case.
For RA attached CP4’s lying flatter - at lower Latitudes, the amount of retained case flood water can be even deeper, and spread out covering more IC’s  at the upper circuit board.
Worst case: observatories nearer to the Equator using old model mounts – where the RA axis attached CP4 lies nearly horizontal, completely inundated with rusty water.

**** PROCEDURE – nicely demonstrated in Tony’s Video ****

    This ADDED SAFETY measure requires first unbolting the top case cover, flipping it up, backside onto a table above the case - to avoid the risk of unplugging the ultra thin WiFi antenna (pull-up) coax cable plug with its delicate miniscule (possibly bendable) gold center pin.
 
    Next, unbolt the 4 bolts of the panel section, and the 3 power IC screws from the case sides - (do NOT lose their lock washers, next to the panel surface) ... holding the power IC’s thermal sink tabs to the aluminum case upper sides. Lift out the connector panel with its circuit board as a unit, as you “pull aside” the now empty aluminum case, leaving the electronics safely resting flat on the table and its upper top cover with antenna,  positioned above it.

    NOW ...  you can easily DRILL at least two holes on the backside, one at each bottom edge end, in the milled,  rounded-out corners – perhaps a third one at upper right and/or upper left, if you think you might need to attach the CP4 rotated by 90 degrees, such as on an AP-900 RA axis, or likewise on an AP-1200 at sites below 37 deg. Latitude, (using a CBAPT adapter). The extra pair of unused (upper) rear DRAIN hole(s) can be covered, with black electrical tape, unseen from the front – or with a special rubber plug, as done on recent (Black) CP4’s. The new ones come with “Drains plugged” by default, looking like “case flat rubber feet” – so, it is far wiser to remove the plugs and store them away.
 
    N.B. Tony’s (video) additional Mach-1 CP4 case two holes may be unnecessary – at least pull out the existing rubber stoppers.
Certainly need to drill a pair in the original white CP4 case, since there were none at all.


    In fact, most of the water ... assuming any still gets in after making the above simple fixes – will drip out MAINLY from “ONLY one” DRAIN hole, not likely both, since the pier/tripod attached mount and its CP4 will likely never stand “perfectly” vertical, especially in the field, so the drops will gradually drift toward just one end drain hole.
----
 
    With this longer, more difficult task completed, re-assemble the CP4,  (carefully) reversing the disassembly steps taken above – do NOT forget those three lock washers.
******** END *****
 


Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC

Ray Gralak
 

I thought TheSkyX can run on a Mac. Doesn't that meet your criteria?
http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/p/32727/168211.aspx

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 6, 2018 8:46 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC



Hi Michael,

It would be nice to have complete documentation for how to use the mount so I could get the most out of it. The
'G' protocol that is the current level of documentation is inadequate.
Over 15 years ago I wrote "PulseGuide", a C++ windows application with less documentation than is available
today. When PulseGuide
was developed the GTOCP3 was new and firmware was only "D".
This firmware didn't even have adjustable tracking rates or meridian delays but I implemented these two features
and more. I also
implemented counterweight-up parking too.

My point is that all the commands necessary for imaging/remote operations where available then. Sure there have
been many
improvements and new commands added, but most are not absolutely required for imaging.

It would also be a nice move to have documentation so an open source tool to generate
and program PEC curves could be developed.
OK, so what's stopping you *today* from starting that? Most mounts don't have direct uploads to the mount so the
most basic feature
it will need is to playback a generated curve while the mount captures the data. PEMPro was able to do that 15
years ago so there is
a precedent that it can work, even with A-P mounts.

That said, the hard part is not uploading to the mount. That's just a small fraction of the work required.

I would really like to get away from needing Windows for any part of my imaging solution and unfortunately this
is not possible with AP mounts (yet). At the moment I find that a con for using AP mounts and if there was
another high end solution offering this I'd be tempted. And no running SkyX on a Raspberry Pi is not a
solution imho.
I thought TheSkyX can run on a Mac. Doesn't that meet your criteria?

As I said previously, I think the next step might be an ASCOM implementation using .Net Core, which is cross-
platform compatible
between Windows, Mac OS, and LINUX.

What's cool about .Net Core 3.x is that it will support WinForms and WPF applications. Thus, apps like APCC,
PEMPro, SGPro,
CCDAutoPilot, etc., could be modified to run on LINUX/Mac OS.

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 6, 2018 7:37 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC



I find the current 'experimental' AP driver in INDI does everything I need to take a night after night of usable
data.
So I've considered it "good enough' for awhile now. I got it to the point it has what I needed - which was
primarily
pulse guiding and meridian delay. I pretty much keep an eye on my scope while imaging so I haven't had a need
for anything fancier.

And honestly without an updated protocol document I really don't feel invested to keep spending time on the
driver
as there isn't much more it can do otherwise.

I think any enthusiastic hobbyist who enjoys astronomy and computing would be successful using INDI and
Linux.
I've had alot of fun being able to modify the behavior of various components of my imaging software stack to act
as I want it to and add features I need, etc. To me the computing side of imaging is as much part of the hobby
as
the astronomy side so this project really hits all the right spots.

For someone wanting a push button remote system that streams frames to their home it is probably not the best
solution. I know people and universities use it this way but it takes a level of technical competence to get it
going
some people might just rather not need to develop.

It would be nice to have complete documentation for how to use the mount so I could get the most out of it. The
'G' protocol that is the current level of documentation is inadequate. It would also be a nice move to have
documentation so an open source tool to generate and program PEC curves could be developed. I would really
like to get away from needing Windows for any part of my imaging solution and unfortunately this is not possible
with AP mounts (yet). At the moment I find that a con for using AP mounts and if there was another high end
solution offering this I'd be tempted. And no running SkyX on a Raspberry Pi is not a solution imho.

Certainly better INDI support is not necessary for most users and their use cases, but I don't see this as a zero
sum game since volunteers out there would provide the majority of the heavy lifting for these open source
efforts.
Really just needs documentation so people can understand how the hardware they own works.

Michael Fulbright


On 10/6/2018 5:17 AM, Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] wrote:






Could use the open source model of testing, have the users that want it, test it.




Even MS does this. :)



________________________________

From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on
behalf of 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@gralak.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-
gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2018 10:15 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC



Hi Bill,

On this "Yes" vs "No" trend, has AP even thought about real INDI support?
You'll need to ask Howard or Marj for an update on the protocol document.

Half the work has already been done by Mike. Taking it to the finish line cant be that hard.
Nothing against Mike here, because he wouldn't know this without the updated document that Howard is
producing, but it looks like
the INDI driver probably needs a lot more work to support the different firmware variations. And a lot of
testing...

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2018 9:41 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC



On this "Yes" vs "No" trend, has AP even thought about real INDI support? Half the work has already
been done
by Mike. Taking it to the finish line cant be that hard.



________________________________

From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on
behalf of 'Ray Gralak (Groups)'
groups3@gralak.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2018 9:34 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC



Hi Keith,

Are you still considering adding a new mode to APCC that would force a pier flip to pier side East(which
can
result
in counter weight up) as long as the target is within East limits even when the pier side is West?
As I said previously in that thread, it is up to A-P (and in that thread Marj explicitly said "no" for now.)

Best regards,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2018 7:41 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: SGP Pier Flip and APCC



Hi Ray,

Are you still considering adding a new mode to APCC that would force a pier flip to pier side East(which
can
result
in counter weight up) as long as the target is within East limits even when the pier side is West?


I hope I worded that correct lol.


Thanks,
Keith