Date   

Re: AP 900 Maintenance Resources

George
 

Dean,

 

Call our office and get a Grease Kit.   Check your control box chip version and firmware/software and bring it up to date.   Call me with questions.   Enjoy!

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-282-1513

Email:  george@...

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2019 9:48 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] AP 900 Maintenance Resources

 

 

Hi All,

 

I have brought my 2009 version AP 900 home from its usual position in my friend's observatory this month for a little cleaning and "maintenance".

 

As usual it has been working perfectly but it is 10 years old now. 

 

In the past I have been following AP's advice to put a drop or two of light oil in the clutch plug holes once a year.  Other than that, I haven't opened the motor covers or done anything to change the original factory configuration - I am a believer in the "If it isn't broke, then don't fix it" philosophy.

 

So, now that the mount is 10 years old, are there any maintenance items I need to perform?

 

I have been searching through a few posts here for "AP 900 maintenance" and have been looking through the "support" pages on the AP site.  Can someone direct me to a good tutorial or documents that can walk me through the maintenance that needs to be done on a mount of this age?

 

Thanks in advance for the assistance.

 

Dean Jacobsen

personal web pages - http://astrophoto.net/wp/

Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


APCC model, how much efford is needed in getting the scope orthogonal

lacour.morten
 

In the APCC manual it is stated that mechanical problems need to be corrected as best one can.

I've worked with that after I installed encoders on my 1600 system. Currently my orthogonality is some 800" off.

My question is 

1) how important is it to get orthogonality down towards zero for the model to function at its best? i.e. what tolerance should be strived for?


My second question is that I have noted that the 8 APCC parameters do not change very much if one makes a model based on rather few (ca. 50) compared to a model based on a much denser grid. Are the 8 parameters in each hemisphere all there is, or is there a deeper layer with more parameters so e.g. slight mirror movements can be detected, and corrected for. 


Morten



AP 900 Maintenance Resources

Dean Jacobsen
 

Hi All,


I have brought my 2009 version AP 900 home from its usual position in my friend's observatory this month for a little cleaning and "maintenance".


As usual it has been working perfectly but it is 10 years old now. 


In the past I have been following AP's advice to put a drop or two of light oil in the clutch plug holes once a year.  Other than that, I haven't opened the motor covers or done anything to change the original factory configuration - I am a believer in the "If it isn't broke, then don't fix it" philosophy.


So, now that the mount is 10 years old, are there any maintenance items I need to perform?


I have been searching through a few posts here for "AP 900 maintenance" and have been looking through the "support" pages on the AP site.  Can someone direct me to a good tutorial or documents that can walk me through the maintenance that needs to be done on a mount of this age?


Thanks in advance for the assistance.


Dean Jacobsen

personal web pages - http://astrophoto.net/wp/

Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Operating the Mach2 with a long heavy scope (Re: New file uploaded to ap-gto)

Roland Christen
 

Hi Astronuts,

Take a look at this and the three other images I just posted from a test I did last night with the Mach2 Dual Encoder mount:

The folder is at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ap-gto/files/Mach2%20Dual%20Encoder%20Guided%20Imaging/

I had a clear steady seeing night last night here at my observatory. I uploaded 4 images to the Files folder showing the Mach2 operating a 180F9 refractor with Quad TCC and QSI CCD camera. Although total weight is about 50lb, it represents a large moment arm and therefore is at the limit of the mount's capacity for imaging. With the Quad TCC the scope operates at F7.2 at 0.859 arc sec/pixel, which makes it an ideal astrograph for high resolution deep sky imaging. I posted a screenshot showing the star size of one of my sub-exposures at just over 1 arc sec FWHM. That's close to the limit for this size scope under very good seeing.

The scope was guided with a Starlight Instruments Lodestar off-axis guider using PHD2 guide software. The screenshot posted at the link below shows how well the mount works even with this kind of high moment arm load. The dual encoders kept the mount on the straight and narrow for hours, and even when i reached down to focus, the disturbance to the tracking graph amounted to just 1 arc sec peak in both axes, which settled in two guider exposures.

Since the mount is being run via the high resolution absolute encoders, the mount and the guide software were really just loafing the whole time. I had set the aggressiveness to just 50% and used a 4 second guide exposure with an additional 2 second delay so that the mount was being just gently nudged once every 6 seconds. I could have gone even longer and still stayed well under 1 arc sec peak error. Guide error was well under 0.2 arc sec RMS from 8:30pm to midnight during my testing.

Our software development team has spent the last couple of months really perfecting the operation of this mount. I am extremely please with the performance after testing with various scopes from a wide field 130EDF to a medium field 155EDF and now a larger 180 refractor. I am confident that you will be able to run this mount with any scope within its capacity envelope and get superb results.


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, Aug 7, 2019 8:12 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] New file uploaded to ap-gto

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ap-gto
group.

  File        : /Mach2 Dual Encoder Guided Imaging/Mach2-180F9Guiding.jpg
  Uploaded by : uncarollo2 <chris1011@...>
  Description : Screenshot of PHD guiding the Mach2 with AP 180EDF refractor imaging setup.

You can access this file at the URL:

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:

Regards,

uncarollo2 <chris1011@...>


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New file uploaded to ap-gto

ap-gto@...
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ap-gto
group.

File : /Mach2 Dual Encoder Guided Imaging/M13-RGBFinishlrg.jpg
Uploaded by : uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
Description : M13 color image image, 9x120 seconds of R,G,B filters

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ap-gto/files/Mach2%20Dual%20Encoder%20Guided%20Imaging/M13-RGBFinishlrg.jpg

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_GRPS&locale=en_US&id=SLN15398

Regards,

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>


New file uploaded to ap-gto

ap-gto@...
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ap-gto
group.

File : /Mach2 Dual Encoder Guided Imaging/180F9-QTCC-Resolution.jpg
Uploaded by : uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
Description : Resolution of 180EDF scope with Quad TCC on a good seeing night

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ap-gto/files/Mach2%20Dual%20Encoder%20Guided%20Imaging/180F9-QTCC-Resolution.jpg

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_GRPS&locale=en_US&id=SLN15398

Regards,

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>


New file uploaded to ap-gto

ap-gto@...
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ap-gto
group.

File : /Mach2 Dual Encoder Guided Imaging/Mach2-180F9Guiding.jpg
Uploaded by : uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
Description : Screenshot of PHD guiding the Mach2 with AP 180EDF refractor imaging setup.

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ap-gto/files/Mach2%20Dual%20Encoder%20Guided%20Imaging/Mach2-180F9Guiding.jpg

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_GRPS&locale=en_US&id=SLN15398

Regards,

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>


New file uploaded to ap-gto

ap-gto@...
 

Hello,

This email message is a notification to let you know that
a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the ap-gto
group.

File : /Mach2 Dual Encoder Guided Imaging/180F9EDF-Mach2.jpg
Uploaded by : uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
Description : Mach2 mount operating with an AP180F9 refractor, Quad TCC, QSI683 CCD camera.

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ap-gto/files/Mach2%20Dual%20Encoder%20Guided%20Imaging/180F9EDF-Mach2.jpg

To learn more about file sharing for your group, please visit:
https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_GRPS&locale=en_US&id=SLN15398

Regards,

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>


Re: Mach2GTO and C14 ?

christian viladrich
 

Thanks Rolando :-)

Christian

Le 06/08/2019 à 15:23, chris1011@... [ap-gto] a écrit :
The Mach1 will hold a C14 even for long exposure imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: christian viladrich christian.viladrich@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Aug 6, 2019 6:21 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2GTO and C14 ?

Hello,

I already have an AP1200, but I was wondering whether the Mach 2 would
be a good combination with a C14 for planetary imaging  as a more
portable setup ?

The cameras used are very light. The weight of the OTA with focuser is
about 24 kg. The stiffness of the mount would be an advantage in windy
condition (mountain site).

Any idea ?

Best regards

Christian Viladrich



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Re: Mach2GTO and C14 ?

Roland Christen
 

The Mach1 will hold a C14 even for long exposure imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: christian viladrich christian.viladrich@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Tue, Aug 6, 2019 6:21 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2GTO and C14 ?

Hello,

I already have an AP1200, but I was wondering whether the Mach 2 would
be a good combination with a C14 for planetary imaging  as a more
portable setup ?

The cameras used are very light. The weight of the OTA with focuser is
about 24 kg. The stiffness of the mount would be an advantage in windy
condition (mountain site).

Any idea ?

Best regards

Christian Viladrich



------------------------------------
Posted by: christian viladrich <christian.viladrich@...>
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Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Steven Waldren
 

To connect remotely, I use an SSH tunnel and a dynamic DNS service. On Windows, you can use Putty (links below) as your SSH client. SSH is easy on OSX and Linux. SSH tunneling allows you to map a local port on your machine to a distant port on another computer. All the traffic travels through the SSH tunnel securely. The only change you have to do with the software you normally use to connect on your lan is change the IP address to localhost (same as 127.0.0.1). I also use a dynamic DNS service (www.noip.com) that updates my home computer public IP to a domain name of my choosing (i.e. myobservatory.ddns.org). Now I can setup my SSH tunnel to myobservatory.ddns.org even if my home computer gets a new public IP. Putty and noip.com (have to manually confirm you are still using every 30 days for the free service) are free.

To download Putty:

How to setup SSH tunnel with Putty:

Dynamic DNS service with free tier:

Also, nice thing about SSH tunnel is that you can map distant ports from multiple computers at the same time, so if you have two or more computers that you need during a session, you can map them all to your local computer. 

Best,
Steven

On Aug 5, 2019, at 5:41 PM, bryancashion@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


In addition to the benefits that Joe and Ben provide, there is also no real downside in going from Wide Area Access (WAN) to LAN.  If you ever need to run your observatory from a true remote location, just use your LAN IP address and the port for your local PC, which you can setup in most VNC software.

Bryan


---In ap-gto@..., wrote :

I'll second Joe's recommendation about using local LAN connections only with TV when connecting between the house and backyard observatory.  This is what I do.  For one thing, it's much more efficient since the connection doesn't go through the entire internet.  Second, the activity may (I stress may) not fall under TV's scrutiny as being a commercial enterprise.

I have not yet had the pleasure of coming under TV's scrutiny, and it may be because I just use it locally within my firewall.  But I do know that TV reaches out to its home website to check for updates.  Knowing that it could happen and would likely happen right in the middle of an imaging session, I have set up Remote Desktop as a backup on one of my imaging computers since it runs Windows 10 Pro.

I just set up another imaging rig, however, and it runs off a laptop with Windows 10 Home, meaning no Remote Desktop here.  Sounds like it would be a good idea to have one of the VNC applications on standby as well!

Best Regards,
Ben





Mach2GTO and C14 ?

christian viladrich
 

Hello,

I already have an AP1200, but I was wondering whether the Mach 2 would be a good combination with a C14 for planetary imaging  as a more portable setup ?

The cameras used are very light. The weight of the OTA with focuser is about 24 kg. The stiffness of the mount would be an advantage in windy condition (mountain site).

Any idea ?

Best regards

Christian Viladrich


Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Worsel
 

In addition to the benefits that Joe and Ben provide, there is also no real downside in going from Wide Area Access (WAN) to LAN.  If you ever need to run your observatory from a true remote location, just use your LAN IP address and the port for your local PC, which you can setup in most VNC software.

Bryan


---In ap-gto@..., <benjamin.e.c.koltenbah@...> wrote :

I'll second Joe's recommendation about using local LAN connections only with TV when connecting between the house and backyard observatory.  This is what I do.  For one thing, it's much more efficient since the connection doesn't go through the entire internet.  Second, the activity may (I stress may) not fall under TV's scrutiny as being a commercial enterprise.

I have not yet had the pleasure of coming under TV's scrutiny, and it may be because I just use it locally within my firewall.  But I do know that TV reaches out to its home website to check for updates.  Knowing that it could happen and would likely happen right in the middle of an imaging session, I have set up Remote Desktop as a backup on one of my imaging computers since it runs Windows 10 Pro.

I just set up another imaging rig, however, and it runs off a laptop with Windows 10 Home, meaning no Remote Desktop here.  Sounds like it would be a good idea to have one of the VNC applications on standby as well!

Best Regards,
Ben



Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

George LaBelle
 

Benoit. One minor problem with Chrome Remote. To transfer files, you have to upload them to Google Drive. I'm on a metered uW Internet link and don't want to do that.

Thanks,
George


Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Benoit Schillings
 

Chrome remote desktop.good,free and secure

-- benoit

On Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 11:43 AM benjamin.e.c.koltenbah@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

I'll second Joe's recommendation about using local LAN connections only with TV when connecting between the house and backyard observatory.  This is what I do.  For one thing, it's much more efficient since the connection doesn't go through the entire internet.  Second, the activity may (I stress may) not fall under TV's scrutiny as being a commercial enterprise.

I have not yet had the pleasure of coming under TV's scrutiny, and it may be because I just use it locally within my firewall.  But I do know that TV reaches out to its home website to check for updates.  Knowing that it could happen and would likely happen right in the middle of an imaging session, I have set up Remote Desktop as a backup on one of my imaging computers since it runs Windows 10 Pro.

I just set up another imaging rig, however, and it runs off a laptop with Windows 10 Home, meaning no Remote Desktop here.  Sounds like it would be a good idea to have one of the VNC applications on standby as well!

Best Regards,
Ben



Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Joel Short
 

I also have been using TV for years without issue.  About a year ago I received the commercial use suspected message and went through the process to be reinstated.  I had to print and sign a form stating that I was only using for private use.  It probably took 6 weeks before I was totally back up and running with TV.  Then about 4 months ago the same thing happened, however this time it took about 2 weeks to get full use of TV.

As has been said, you can always use TV and the computer's IP address if the computers are on the same local network.  That bypasses TV's servers and thus you don't get the commercial use message.  In fact, this is what I do when I am traveling with no internet access. 

Unfortunately nothing else is as good as Teamviewer.  The last time TV gave me the commercial use suspected message I did a lot of searching for an alternative that was as good.  Chrome remote desktop works well but that requires internet access.   AnyDesk is what I started using as a replacement for TV but grew frustrated with it.  I tried TightVNC but found it terribly confusing.  Bottom line, TV is the best I've found and as long as I can use the IP address connection I'm good to go and will continue to use it.  

joel


Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Ben Koltenbah
 

I'll second Joe's recommendation about using local LAN connections only with TV when connecting between the house and backyard observatory.  This is what I do.  For one thing, it's much more efficient since the connection doesn't go through the entire internet.  Second, the activity may (I stress may) not fall under TV's scrutiny as being a commercial enterprise.

I have not yet had the pleasure of coming under TV's scrutiny, and it may be because I just use it locally within my firewall.  But I do know that TV reaches out to its home website to check for updates.  Knowing that it could happen and would likely happen right in the middle of an imaging session, I have set up Remote Desktop as a backup on one of my imaging computers since it runs Windows 10 Pro.

I just set up another imaging rig, however, and it runs off a laptop with Windows 10 Home, meaning no Remote Desktop here.  Sounds like it would be a good idea to have one of the VNC applications on standby as well!

Best Regards,
Ben



Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Ross Salinger <rgsalinger@...>
 

I have set up chrome remote desktop on my remote systems as a free but supported backup contingency if TV takes away my privileges. Seems to work fine.

Rgrds-Ross

On 8/5/2019 5:05 AM, sreilly24590@... [ap-gto] wrote:
 

Must be a timing thing as I did get the message yesterday. This isn’t the first time, maybe a year ago I went through the same thing. They did their thing and I was cleared.

 

 

 

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2019 6:54 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

 

 

I also received the same message while using TV a few days ago. I did send an email to let them know that my use was personal and not commercial. While waiting to here from them I have also been exploring options. Will follow this thread for your experiences and will post mine.

Barbara


Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

Thomas Swann
 

Ugh. I forgot RDP isn't supported by Windows Home SKU's.

On 8/5/2019 3:30 PM, steven hoffman stevenhoffman53@... [ap-gto] wrote:

I use Windows remote desktop, a native part of Windows Pro. It's used with Windows10 and Window7 versions. I just changed my connection to the AP1600 to TCP/UDP and couldn't be happier with the performance to my back yard observatory from the house.


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Walt Cooney waltc111@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2019 9:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

I have been using teamviewer for years for observatory remote access. I
got the message that they believed I was using it for commercial
purposes last Monday. I submitted the form requesting they reconsider
and have not heard anything. Some amateur astronomy friends of mine
also went through this last year. Seems like teamviewer has decided to
turn as many private users as possible into paying "commercial"
customers. Even if Teamviewer gives me free access again, I can't
afford to be disconnected for a week or more at a time at their whim.
I've used TightVNC in the past and guess I will be going back to that.

Clearest skies,
Walt Cooney

On 8/5/2019 7:05 AM, sreilly24590@... [ap-gto] wrote:
> Must be a timing thing as I did get the message yesterday. This isn???t
> the first time, maybe a year ago I went through the same thing. They did
> their thing and I was cleared.
>
> *From:* ap-gto@...
> *Sent:* Monday, August 5, 2019 6:54 AM
> *To:* ap-gto@...
> *Subject:* [ap-gto] Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior
>
> I also received the same message while using TV a few days ago. I did
> send an email to let them know that my use was personal and not
> commercial. While waiting to here from them I have also been exploring
> options. Will follow this thread for your experiences and will post mine.
>
> Barbara
>
>



Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior

steven ho
 

I use Windows remote desktop, a native part of Windows Pro. It's used with Windows10 and Window7 versions. I just changed my connection to the AP1600 to TCP/UDP and couldn't be happier with the performance to my back yard observatory from the house.


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Walt Cooney waltc111@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2019 9:29 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior
 
 

I have been using teamviewer for years for observatory remote access. I
got the message that they believed I was using it for commercial
purposes last Monday. I submitted the form requesting they reconsider
and have not heard anything. Some amateur astronomy friends of mine
also went through this last year. Seems like teamviewer has decided to
turn as many private users as possible into paying "commercial"
customers. Even if Teamviewer gives me free access again, I can't
afford to be disconnected for a week or more at a time at their whim.
I've used TightVNC in the past and guess I will be going back to that.

Clearest skies,
Walt Cooney

On 8/5/2019 7:05 AM, sreilly24590@... [ap-gto] wrote:
> Must be a timing thing as I did get the message yesterday. This isn???t
> the first time, maybe a year ago I went through the same thing. They did
> their thing and I was cleared.
>
> *From:* ap-gto@...
> *Sent:* Monday, August 5, 2019 6:54 AM
> *To:* ap-gto@...
> *Subject:* [ap-gto] Re: Remote desktop software weird behavior
>
> I also received the same message while using TV a few days ago. I did
> send an email to let them know that my use was personal and not
> commercial. While waiting to here from them I have also been exploring
> options. Will follow this thread for your experiences and will post mine.
>
> Barbara
>
>

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