Date   

Re: GTO Keypad Freezes Problem

rck <rkuberek@...>
 

Hi Terry,

Something like this has happened to me several times. I narrowed it
down to undervoltage, and since fixing that, it's ok.

Regards,
Bob Kuberek
 

Terry Johnson wrote:

Marj, I spoke with Roland about a problem I was having with my 600GTO mount. The problem centers around the GTO keypad. I have explained the problem below in more detail. Would you please see that he gets this information. I will also provide a printed copy when I send you the equipment he requested.


New Setup Questions

Mark Jenkins <markj@...>
 

Hi all,

I posted this to s.a.a. on 6/14 but have not received any feedback. I
figured this would be an appropriate place!

I would like to setup the following:

(1) TeleVue Genesis SDF

(2) AP 400GTO Mount

(3) Guidescope on top. I looked into the Losmandy "side by side" but prefer
"on-top" unless anyone can convince me that "side by side" is a better
solution.

(4) 35mm Nikon or Medium Format (Pentax 6x7 or Hasselblad/Mamyia type)
PiggyBacked to the GuideScope and able to support 28mm - 200mm lenses.

Concerned about Orthogonality. (spelling?)

Concerned about weight.

The 400GTO is scheduled to be delivered next month along with a 48" AP
portable pier.

I have not yet ordered any mounting plates, rings, etc. I really like the AP
Dovetail system but AP does not make rings that will fit the Genesis.
Although I can use the AP Dovetail with a Losmandy Universal plate if I
remember correctly.

Marj suggested the Parallax Rings. I think I would need some sort of custom
drilling/taping performed which is not a problem. What we talked about
looked to me like the guidescope rings would only be attached by a single
bolt in the center. Will this provide enough rigidity? I would like the
guidscope rings to be mounted with a Dovetail system for quick
setup/removal.

I've heard of orthogonality problems with the parallax rings. Is this common
problem?

Looking for suggestions for an appropriate guidescope (I'm considering the
80mm AP). Also want advice on mounting plates, rings and camera attachment.

I would like to let the camera take wide field long exposures while tracking
with an ST-5C and simultaneously doing multiple integration's of DSOs with a
yet to be purchased CCD imager on the Genesis.

Am I trying to do too many things at once here?

TIA

--
Clear Skies!

Mark Jenkins
markj@...
http://www.pcsincnet.com/astronomy/


GTO Keypad Freezes Problem

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

Marj, I spoke with Roland about a problem I was having with my 600GTO mount. The problem centers around the GTO keypad. I have explained the problem below in more detail. Would you please see that he gets this information. I will also provide a printed copy when I send you the equipment he requested.
 
 
The Problem
 
I was just completing a polar alignment process using the north polar alignment procedure, I was using Polaris and Vega as my two stars, as I was doing a final alignment on Vega, and was asked to press 'menu' to have the scope slew to polaris for the final time, I pressed the 'menu' key on the keypad and nothing happened. I pressed the key several more times and still nothing happened. I pressed other keys and still nothing happened. The keypad was locked on the 'press menu to exit' command.
 
I was able to get around the problem by turning off and on the power to the GTO control box. I now had to polar align again.
Since I was very near completing the alignment in the previous aligning process, it did not take long to polar align this time. After aligning, I slewed the scope to Vega. I then added the additional equipment for taking exposures(see Equipment, after polar aligning, below). I was going to slew to another location in the sky, however, the keypad was lock up again while on Vega. The problem was the same where the keypad was locked on the 'press menu to exit' key.
I gave up for this evening, packed up and went home.
 
The next night I was able to polar align correctly. I then added my guiding equipment for camera exposures (see Equipment after polar alignment, below) I slewed to arcturus to practice my guiding on a bright star. After having success on the guiding practice, I decided to take an exposure of M-13. I keyed in M-13 using the keypad, pressed the 'GOTO' key and the scope did not move, however, the keypad did display the information about M-13 as it normally does after you press the 'GOTO' key. I pressed other keys and still no response. I had to power off/on the GTO control box to clear the problem.
 
Possible Causes
  • I had accidentally reversed the 12V polarity to the GTO keypad and mount while connecting the system on the first night. After talking with Roland, he did not see this as a problem.
  • After changing the equipment before and after polar alignment, I did not re-balance the scope. I did not mention this to Roland, however, I do not believe an out-of-balance condition will cause the keypad to lock-up.
I would appreciate any advice or experience on what is causing this problem. Roland has asked that I send in my keypad, cables, and GTO control box to be checked out. I will send the equipment in tomorrow.
 
Thanks for your help in this matter...Terry Johnson
 
 
The Equipment:

While polar aligning:
  • AP130F6 scope with 2" 'Maxbright' diagonal, 2" to 1/125 reducer, and a Meade 1/125 9mm illuminated recticle
  • AP80X900 guidescope 1/125 diagonal and a Panoptic 12mm eyepiece
  • 600GTO mount
  • AP wood tripod
  • 2 nine pound, and one six pound counter weights
  • attached to an 88amp gel cell battery
    • GTO control box and control pad
After polar aligning:
  • AP130F6 scope with focusing extender, a 2" barlow, a canon 35mm camera
  • AP80X900 gusidescope with ST-4 autoguider
  • 600GTO mount
  • AP wood tripod
  • 2 nine pound, and one six pound counter weights
  • attached to an 88amp gel cell battery
    • GTO control box and control pad
    • 12V to 110V inverter for PC
    • ST-4 autoguider
 


Re: problem with GTO keypad

howard lazarus <lazhow@...>
 

I too had the same problem. problem disappeared when I went to direct
current.

----- Original Message -----
From: visonneau-vin <visonneau-vin@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2000 7:23 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] problem with GTO keypad


Hi
I have a problem with my 900 Gto keypad.Sometimes (3 times tonight)the
light
of the alphanumeric keypad switch off during few second.The lightscreen of
the keypad is all right but the alphanumeric no.
Has someone the same problem?
I use the battery of my car to power on my mount,is there a possibility
than
the battery is too weak for that?
I already have the keypad locked,perhaps it is the same problem.
Bye
Vincent




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Re: problem with GTO keypad

Chris Spratt
 

This can happen if the battery isn't fully charged. I've had it happen AP600
GOTO even when the battery shows 12.8 volts on my tester.


visonneau-vin wrote:

Hi
I have a problem with my 900 Gto keypad.Sometimes (3 times tonight)the light
of the alphanumeric keypad switch off during few second.The lightscreen of
the keypad is all right but the alphanumeric no.
Has someone the same problem?
I use the battery of my car to power on my mount,is there a possibility than
the battery is too weak for that?
I already have the keypad locked,perhaps it is the same problem.
Bye
Vincent

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problem with GTO keypad

visonneau-vin <visonneau-vin@...>
 

Hi
I have a problem with my 900 Gto keypad.Sometimes (3 times tonight)the light
of the alphanumeric keypad switch off during few second.The lightscreen of
the keypad is all right but the alphanumeric no.
Has someone the same problem?
I use the battery of my car to power on my mount,is there a possibility than
the battery is too weak for that?
I already have the keypad locked,perhaps it is the same problem.
Bye
Vincent


Re: Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>
 

Eric,

Based on over two years experience with the Starfire 130 mm f/6 and the AP 400
mount, I would agree 100% with the statement by A-P that the above combination
is a good platform for visual astronomy. I have also found that the folks at
A-P are as knowledgible and helpful as their products are good (which makes
perfect sense). I have never received mis-information from A-P.

The point I was making is that you were also considering telescopes that are
either heavier and/or longer than the 130 mm f/6 Starfire. In that case, you'd
be beter off with a larger mount. But if you wait for the Starfire, the AP 400
GTO mount will serve you very well for visual astronomy... no problem at all
with that combination.

It is also a good combination for "casual" astrophotography. But, as they
state, when one becomes "serious" about astrophotography (i.e., when one is
willing to pawn the wife and kids for astronomy equipment), the AP 600E GTO is a
better choice.

I have spent nearly 5 years trying to find the *one* perfect
telescope-mount-camera combination. There is no such thing :-( You have to
know precisely what you want to accomplish and you must match your equipment to
meet your *primary* goal. If you have different goals, you will likely need
more than one system.

It's not that you can't use one set up for mutiple purposes, but each system is
optimum for one job. E.g., Planet observation or photography can certainly be
carried out successfully with the 130 mm f/6. I've viewed Saturn and Jupiter
many times. The views are extraordinary. But if you are a "dyed in the wool"
planet person, you'd be happier with the 130 mm f/8 Starfire (if you can find
one), or with the TAK 128 mm f/8. For nebulae, star fields, etc, the f/6 is
ideal, even though the f/8 can be used for those endeavors. Note that the
scopes I chose in the above example are quite similar, but each is optimized for
a different purpose.

By the choices you presented, (the Starfire 130 mm f/6, the TAK 128 mm f/8, and
the TAK CN-212) I can tell that you have yet to learn the above lesson. But
take heart, I haven't really learned it either. I now know enough to recite the
formula... but in my heart (wallet?) I still don't believe it <G>. -- In the
end, you pays yo money and you takes yo chances ;-)

Larry
----
E-mail ..... kldenmark@...
Web site .. http://home.att.net/~kldenmark/

Ron, Larry,
Thanks for your thoughts about these mounts. As you no doubt have noticed,
the A-P web site features the 130 Starfire (pardon my earlier typo) f/6
prominently on the 400gto and recommends it for use with this mount, except
for "serious" astrophotography. I get the impression from what I read here
and elsewhere though that the ap400 is a little bit light even for visual
use with the 130mm scope.

I had thought (or wished) that the ap400 is substantially stabler than an
EM-10 and closer to an EM-200.

-- Eric


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Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

Eric Cafritz <cafritz@...>
 

Ron, Larry,
Thanks for your thoughts about these mounts. As you no doubt have noticed,
the A-P web site features the 130 Starfire (pardon my earlier typo) f/6
prominently on the 400gto and recommends it for use with this mount, except
for "serious" astrophotography. I get the impression from what I read here
and elsewhere though that the ap400 is a little bit light even for visual
use with the 130mm scope.

I had thought (or wished) that the ap400 is substantially stabler than an
EM-10 and closer to an EM-200.

-- Eric


Re: Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>
 

Eric,

The two refractors you are looking at are similar, but not identical, and the
differences in weight and tube length may be enough to make a difference in how
they perform on a small mount such as the AP 400. The 5" f/8 TAK weighs 16.5
lbs. and has an OTA that is a little over 40 inches long. The 5.1" Starfire
(the f/6 version) is 15 lbs. and the OTA is just under 30 inches long.

I used the AP 400 quite successfully for astrophotography with my AP 130 mm f/6
and a SBIG ST-8e/color filter wheel combination... that's an additional 3 lbs.
hanging off the end. (Most of the images on my web site were acquired with that
combination.) However, for photography, it required careful balancing and no
more wind than a slight breeze.

I now have the AP 600 and it is a much better platform for astrophotography with
my setup. You can certainly use the AP 400 with the AP 5.1" scope - especially
for visual use. That will be no problem at all. Your "problem" is that you are
already looking at larger scopes: the TAK CN-212 weighs 19 lbs. and it's OTA is
34" long. Add a nice eyepiece like one of the large f.o.v. Naglers and you are
easily in the 20 + lb. category. I think that would be pushing the capacity of
the AP 400... perhaps not for visual use on calm nights, but for photography
will be problematic (should you get bitten by the bug).

Caveat: For a permanent observatory, buy the largest mount you can afford; for
a portable observatory, buy the largest mount you can afford to lug around.

Larry Denmark
----
E-mail ..... kldenmark@...
Web site .. http://home.att.net/~kldenmark/

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Cafritz [mailto:cafritz@...]
Subject: [ap-gto] Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

I have the opportunity to purchase an A-P 400gto, and I am wondering how
stable it is as compared to a Takahashi EM-200. Although I hope eventually
to acquire a 130 Starmaster, if my number ever comes up, I am also thinking
about a Takahashi FS128 or perhaps even a CN-212 both of which Takahashi
recommends be used with the EM-200. I am interested only in visual not
photographic use.

Perhaps the 600gto is more directly comparable to the EM-200?

Any informed views out there?

Reply from: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

I've owned all of these mounts (AP 400, 600; EM-200) and I would say the 600
is closer to the 200. I also own a 5" APO (Tak FC-125), and the 600 GOTO was
really needed for it. I think you could go casual visual observing with the
5" APOs on the AP 400, but you would be pushing it. A 4" is really at home
on the AP 400, or Tak EM-10. A 5" is really at home on the AP 600, or
EM-200.


Re: Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

I've owned all of these mounts (AP 400, 600; EM-200) and I would say the 600
is closer to the 200. I also own a 5" APO (Tak FC-125), and the 600 GOTO was
really needed for it. I think you could go casual visual observing with the
5" APOs on the AP 400, but you would be pushing it. A 4" is really at home
on the AP 400, or Tak EM-10. A 5" is really at home on the AP 600, or
EM-200.

Ron Wodaski

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Cafritz [mailto:cafritz@...]
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 9:08 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto


I have the opportunity to purchase an A-P 400gto, and I am wondering how
stable it is as compared to a Takahashi EM-200. Although I hope eventually
to acquire a 130 Starmaster, if my number ever comes up, I am also thinking
about a Takahashi FS128 or perhaps even a CN-212 both of which Takahashi
recommends be used with the EM-200. I am interested only in visual not
photographic use.

Perhaps the 600gto is more directly comparable to the EM-200?

Any informed views out there?

-- Eric Cafritz





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Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

Eric Cafritz <cafritz@...>
 

I have the opportunity to purchase an A-P 400gto, and I am wondering how
stable it is as compared to a Takahashi EM-200. Although I hope eventually
to acquire a 130 Starmaster, if my number ever comes up, I am also thinking
about a Takahashi FS128 or perhaps even a CN-212 both of which Takahashi
recommends be used with the EM-200. I am interested only in visual not
photographic use.

Perhaps the 600gto is more directly comparable to the EM-200?

Any informed views out there?

-- Eric Cafritz


Re: Wirless Microphone... HELP!

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

Hi Charles,

I'm tempted to just order a Shure wireless mike, but the info on their site
seems to allude to 15-18VDC operation (or AC rack-mount) receivers... YIKES!
I'm trying to minimize the amount of cra... er, uh... sophisticated
equipment I need to support my habit, er... hobby, and would like to have
something that can be powered directly from a 12VDC source. Any idea if
Shure has such an animal?

Paul

PS: Congratulations on your engagement!

Snip---->

I have had reports of users using the sure wireless, this is a
much more expensive one, and reports are it works great.


I picked up a Radio Shack FM Wireless Microphone System (#32-1221B),
as it seemed to meet the requirements for DSV and was capable of
being driven by my DC source, but some key phrases (ie: Constellation
Ursa Major/Ursa Minor etc.) are all but unrecognized. This has me
wondering if I should just return it and look for a better system (or
microphone... I was planning to replace the small lapel mike with a
headset one if this system is otherwise okay). Herein lies my problem:

I checked out the DSV site, and it does list many mikes/systems, but
does not rank the relative success of them with the system or the
ease of integrating them for outdoor portability... I want a receiver
that does not require additional inverters,converters, or adapters to
allow it to run from my big-bad 12VDC source.

Oh yeah... the Radio Shack sytem does work with the vast majority of
phrases, but the 10% (or so) that it does not work with, makes for a
very frustrating experience!


Re: Wirless Microphone... HELP!

John J. Kasianowicz <surpher@...>
 

Hi Charles,

Get a prenuptial agreement that excludes the A-P equipment! ~8^)

Best,
John

I
just got engaged and have been tied up with my 'other job...ie: my career'
and that has taken some valuable time away from finnishing the next beta.
It
has to be VERY strong because I only really want one more beta....more on
this in the general email.


Re: Wirless Microphone... HELP!

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>
 

One, to annouce some info concering my Version 3.x...
Charles, what are you referring to: version 3 of Digital Sky Voice or version 3
of the GTO Key Pad Controller?

Where are the current beta versions posted? Can the key pad controller software
(I have v. 2.5) be upgraded by a software download?

Larry Denmark
----
E-mail ..... kldenmark@...
Web site .. http://home.att.net/~kldenmark/


Re: Wirless Microphone... HELP!

Charles Sinsofsky <strfire@...>
 

Hello Everyone and Paul,
I want to conduct this summer as Microphone test survey. which is the
best both wired and not wired ie: wireless. I have not had that much
feedback from my user base about wireless mikes, so I could not really rate
them now.

As to the R.S wireless, I have had reports from users who have tired it,
but to deep. I have had reports of users using the sure wireless, this is a
much more expensive one, and reports are it works great. I am not fully
confident with the sensitivity of the R.S model. Also when compairing mikes
the speed of the given computer, plus the sound card chip set in use on the
laptop can make a lot of difference in the performance of the given mike. On
some systems because of the input voltage the sound card requires, can
drastically change the results of how good a given mike is for a given
laptop.

I will try and get some results, I am planning a general email to all DSV
users soon.

One, to annouce some info concering my Version 3.x (why the next beta is
late) this is due to alot of things, one my life is very busy right now, I
just got engaged and have been tied up with my 'other job...ie: my career'
and that has taken some valuable time away from finnishing the next beta. It
has to be VERY strong because I only really want one more beta....more on
this in the general email.

Well, look for the survey on mikes, and the general email coming soon....

Thanx...

- Charles Sinsofsky
Author: DigitalSky Voice
www.digitalskyvoice.com
email: strfire@...

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 7:42 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Wirless Microphone... HELP!


My apologies for posting this to both the AP-UG and AP-GTO sites, but
the GTO site seems to get far less traffic and I wanted to ensure a
response.

I picked up a Radio Shack FM Wireless Microphone System (#32-1221B),
as it seemed to meet the requirements for DSV and was capable of
being driven by my DC source, but some key phrases (ie: Constellation
Ursa Major/Ursa Minor etc.) are all but unrecognized. This has me
wondering if I should just return it and look for a better system (or
microphone... I was planning to replace the small lapel mike with a
headset one if this system is otherwise okay). Herein lies my problem:

I checked out the DSV site, and it does list many mikes/systems, but
does not rank the relative success of them with the system or the
ease of integrating them for outdoor portability... I want a receiver
that does not require additional inverters,converters, or adapters to
allow it to run from my big-bad 12VDC source.

Oh yeah... the Radio Shack sytem does work with the vast majority of
phrases, but the 10% (or so) that it does not work with, makes for a
very frustrating experience!

Thanks for any insights on this.

Paul


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Re: Wirless Microphone... HELP!

Dan Cook <danco@...>
 

Charles, does DigitalSky Voice work with the Paramount
GT-1100 or GT-1100S mount?

- Dan


Wirless Microphone... HELP!

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

My apologies for posting this to both the AP-UG and AP-GTO sites, but
the GTO site seems to get far less traffic and I wanted to ensure a
response.

I picked up a Radio Shack FM Wireless Microphone System (#32-1221B),
as it seemed to meet the requirements for DSV and was capable of
being driven by my DC source, but some key phrases (ie: Constellation
Ursa Major/Ursa Minor etc.) are all but unrecognized. This has me
wondering if I should just return it and look for a better system (or
microphone... I was planning to replace the small lapel mike with a
headset one if this system is otherwise okay). Herein lies my problem:

I checked out the DSV site, and it does list many mikes/systems, but
does not rank the relative success of them with the system or the
ease of integrating them for outdoor portability... I want a receiver
that does not require additional inverters,converters, or adapters to
allow it to run from my big-bad 12VDC source.

Oh yeah... the Radio Shack sytem does work with the vast majority of
phrases, but the 10% (or so) that it does not work with, makes for a
very frustrating experience!

Thanks for any insights on this.

Paul


Re: ST-4 and CCDTRACK software

Todd Gross <toddg@...>
 


ST-4 and CCDTRACK software

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

Hi There,
 
I have a ST-4 for autoguiding my AP130 F6 scope. The guidescope is an AP 80X900 mounted on top of the AP130.
 
I am trying to use the CCDTRACK software that came with the ST-4 and I am having trouble with the ST-4 guiding the scope correctly.
 
Is there someone out there in astronomy land who is using the CCDTRACK software that is well versed on how to use the software and would be willing to share their experience and settings with me.
 
Thanks for your help in this matter...Terry Johnson


Keypad Controller Brightness

Chuck Hancock
 

I had my (3 day old) 400GTO mount out last night for a shakeout under
dark skies. It performed wonderfully; even helped find Pluto with the
C8. But, I was wondering if anyone has found a way to dim the keypad
controller more than the standard "dim" setting. The display is easy:
colored Rolodex card protectors. So, what about the buttons?

BTW - in reference to my recent questions - I took the RA housing out of
its mount, then tightened two allen head bolts. That fixed the
rattling.

--
Best regards,
Chuck Hancock

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