Date   

Re: AP-400 and ST7 calibration

Herb and Paula York <ztrmann@...>
 

As you probably know you must set the hand controller to 1 or .5 to
calibrate. You can set the hand controller to 1 for calibration and then set
it to .5 to track. It also works at .5 and .25. If you left your hand
controller to 12X or 600X etc this may be why it is moving off the chip or
if your polar alignment is bad.
Thanks
Herb
http://www.buytelescopes.com
Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird
(360)588-9000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Leikind" <sleikind@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 9:55 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] AP-400 and ST7 calibration


This may be one for the SBIGUSER list, but here goes. I tried
calibrating my ST7 self-guider chip for my new AP-400 and ran into a
problem. During the calibration process, the calibration star
consistently moved off the chip meaning that I could not calibrate.
I tried a number of calibration settings, but not seemed to work
Things were pretty well balanced before I attempted calibration and
polar alignment seemed pretty good. I made sure the ST7 was lined up
with the RA axis per SBIG's recommendation.

I had previously used my ST7 with an LX-200 and had no difficulty
self-guiding. Obviously the AP is a different mount and requires
different ST7 settings. I did not get to spend much time working on
this, but thought I would post this to see if anyone as any
suggestions.

-Steve


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Re: Power Problem

rck <rkuberek@...>
 

"Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky" wrote:

All these power problems... you'd figure Roland, Marge, and Chuck would have
long since run into all this and solved the sensitivity if it's truely very
sensitive.
Actually, I was wondering if there is a some kind of regulator that
could be put on the circuit that would guarantee that the voltage
does not drop below 12 (for some period of time).

Bob K.


Re: Power Problem

Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky
 

All these power problems... you'd figure Roland, Marge, and Chuck would have
long since run into all this and solved the sensitivity if it's truely very
sensitive.

This 'sounds' like a problem that would drive people nuts. Are most of you
experiencing power problems? A quick survey. How do most of you power your
mounts? Just a one liner is informative enough.

This and polar alignment seem to be real bug-a-boos with GTO mounts. At
least on this group! <g> Or is it just a case of a vocal/wired few?

Jeff "New 400 GTO owner" G


Re: AP-GOTO Polar and Star alignment

rck <rkuberek@...>
 

Steve Leikind wrote:

I just started using my new ap-400 mount and have a few questions
about its operation:

1. There is an altitude adjustment screw that increases latitude.
However, I haven't found anything that can lower altitude besides
loosening the "main bolt" and lowering manually. This seems
rather coarse. Have I got this right?
I think someone already responded to this on.



2. The manual (which I haven't read carefully enough <g>)
describes several methods of polar/star alignment. What is the best
way of re-calibrating the scope, after you have polar aligned if you
accidentally move it manually? Is there a one-star type of alignment?
N-Polar alignment is fastest for me.



3. Most of my GOTO experience has been with an LX-200 which has a
built-in feature called "high precision pointing". When you
In the "objects" menu, there's a "recal" button. I GOTO a bright star near
the object of interest, center it and hit "recal." This seems to work.

Regards,
Bob K.


Re: Power Problem

Mark Jenkins <markj@...>
 

I have a 90AH deep cycle battery and man is it heavy! I plan on using this
for just the 400GTO. I want to get a 100-140AH deep cycle for Laptop, CCD
and Dew heater. The 100-140's are even heavier!

I found a nice solution to this bulky problem at Lowe's this last weekend.
It is a heavy duty large, black "tool box" on wheels. It has a metal handle
with a rubber comfort grip that slides into the box when not in use. I plan
on dedicating 1/2 of the bottom to power. I will have various outlets and
switches on the side of the box to accommodate several 12v DC, 2 to 4 120v
AC and of course a master switch for each circuit as well as a charger
hook-up. A self-contained, rolling power source that will be able to be
charged at any standard 110/120 household outlet. The rest of the box will
be foam lined and used to carry all the other equipment including the mount.

It also has a pull out top "tool carrier" that I plan on lining with foam
and utilizing as a potential eyepiece holder. The only downside to the top
carrier is its color. Yellow I will probably paint it black or red.

The top is flat and will make a nice table for star charts, red gooseneck
lights etc. It is really only limited to one's imagination what can be made
from this box.

It about $40-$50 if I remember correctly.

Nebraska bound I am!


--
Clear Skies!

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



on 6/27/00 9:36 PM, rck at rkuberek@... wrote:

Terry and group,

This is exactly what I do--two batteries, one 60AH deep cycle just for the
scope and one 100AH deep cycle for PC and Camera. Putting a dew
heater together with the scope on one battery (large or small) is just too
much. With just the dew heater (on the large battery) I get around 12.25
volts, but when I add the scope I get only around 11.75 volts and the keypad
freezes on GOTO often.

Regards,
Bob K.


Terry Johnson wrote:

I am thinking of getting a smaller battery to power the AP control box and a
larger one to power PC, CCD, Dew System, Inverter,
television, air conditioner, espresso bar, heating blanket, ice maker, and so
on.


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Re: AP900GTO and C-11

rck <rkuberek@...>
 

Steve Reilly wrote:

Just joined the group while waiting for the call on the mount.
Thought
I'd check out the posts for info. I will be using my C-11, NGFs
focuser with digital readout and ST-8 CCD camera. Anyone using a
similar setup? Any sugestions as to counter weights and other
accessaries? Most images will be at f6.3.
I use that setup, w/o the NGFS but with the CFW8 filter wheel.

I use two 18 lb. counterweights, but the scope does not quite balance in
dec, so i have ordered a counterweight set from Losmandy. For the
dovetail plate.

Great mount on 42" portable pier.

Regards,
Bob K.


Re: APO GOTO Polar and Star alignment

Chuck Hancock
 

Steve-

My experience with the 400GTO, so far, is meager. Just the same, here
is what I can tell you:

1. There is an altitude adjustment screw that increases latitude.
However, I haven't found anything that can lower altitude besides
loosening the "main bolt" and lowering manually. This seems
rather coarse. Have I got this right?
The same knob increases the altitude and decreases it. I have found
that you can loosen the "main bolt", the one with the large Allen cap
head, just a little loose, and then proceed with the polar alignment.
You can adjust the mount up and down in altitude (latitude) with the
hand knob on the South end of the mount. I see no harm in leaving the
main bolt a little loose, at least in my experience. You are supposed
to retighten it after you are polar aligned, though.

enough <g>) describes several methods of polar/star alignment. What
is the best way of re-calibrating the scope, after you have polar
aligned if you accidentally move it manually? Is there a one-star
type of alignment?
I have had a to do a massive re-alignment when, a couple of times, the
scope wanted to slew to the completely wrong area of the sky. I assumed
I did something wrong, such as recalibrating in error or moving the
scope manually, although I wasn't sure exactly. Anyway, in such an
instance, I simply motor-slewed to the nearest "name" star, and then
proceeded to recalibrate on that one. All was well again after a
correct recal. As long as the alt and az adjustments aren't moved, and
the tripod remains undisturbed, the polar alignment will be exactly the
same. It's just a matter of re-orienting the mount's brain.

3. Most of my GOTO experience has been with an LX-200 which has a
built-in feature called "high precision pointing". When you
GOTO an object with high precision pointing turned on, the system
goes, instead, to the "bright star" nearest your target. That star
...
flexure, mirror flop, or aren't perfectly polar aligned. Is there
any equivalent to this in AP GOTO? Of course, you could recalibrate
manually with any GOTO mount by finding a star etc, but it really
saves time to have the software lead you through this automatically.
You will have to coax the 400GTO through this type of routine yourself
by choosing a nearby star and recalibrating. There are a vast number of
name stars on the 400GTO rom, as well as a catalog of stars by Bayer
designation (Greek letter and constellation). For the Greek, got to the
objects/tours/stars by constellation menu. I find this list more useful
than the name stars at times. I haven't exactly memorized *all* the
names yet, and the Bayer designations are easier to look up in my
handiest of atlases, the Cambridge Star Atlas.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,
Chuck Hancock

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


Re: Power Problem

rck <rkuberek@...>
 

Terry and group,

This is exactly what I do--two batteries, one 60AH deep cycle just for the
scope and one 100AH deep cycle for PC and Camera. Putting a dew
heater together with the scope on one battery (large or small) is just too
much. With just the dew heater (on the large battery) I get around 12.25
volts, but when I add the scope I get only around 11.75 volts and the keypad
freezes on GOTO often.

Regards,
Bob K.


Terry Johnson wrote:

I am thinking of getting a smaller battery to power the AP control box and a larger one to power PC, CCD, Dew System, Inverter,
television, air conditioner, espresso bar, heating blanket, ice maker, and so on.


Re: Power Problem

Mark Jenkins <markj@...>
 

on 6/27/00 7:00 PM, Terry Johnson at tjohnson@... wrote:


I am thinking of getting a smaller battery to power the AP control box and a
larger one to power PC, CCD, Dew System, Inverter, television, air conditioner,
espresso bar, heating blanket, ice maker, and so on.
Let's see... You will be the one with the 50ft Winnebago complete with 10'
automated dome and hydraulic ram to "set your pier", satellite dish and 64"
projection TV at the Nebraska Start Party... right?

oooh, wouldn't that be cool! Hook up an STV to the 64" projection TV and
display dso's for all to see! Now that's sidewalk astronomy!

;-)

Just sitting here like a little kid at Christmas waiting for my 400GTO, 48"
pier and oodles of mounting hardware to arrive!

--
Clear Skies!

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


Re: Power Problem

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

Dan, great desciption of the problem you are having. I have found that the AP control box cannot take an electrical surge whatsoever. Any device that you power up after you have already powered up the AP control box may cause the keypad to freeze. When I powered on my PC for autoguiding later, after I had completed polar aligning using the keypad, I found often enough, my keypad would freeze.
 
With respect to the Dew system, the Dew system cycles on an off as part of its design and will also cause the keypad to freeze.
 
If I am not using my Dew system, I have found that I can eliminate the keypad freezing by powering up the PC before I power up the AP control box which eliminates the surge. I have not had the keypad freeze when I power up in this order.
 
I am thinking of getting a smaller battery to power the AP control box and a larger one to power PC, CCD, Dew System, Inverter, television, air conditioner, espresso bar, heating blanket, ice maker, and so on.
 
Thanks again for your note...Terry Johnson

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 6:22 AM
Subject: Power Problem

Terry,
 
Some comments on your power problems that are pending further testing on my part.
 
I started experiencing problems at the Arunah Hill Winter Star Party in January.  This is a real winter star party, with temperatures in the 10-20 degree range.  I was using a Kendrick 17ah that had serviced my needs since last summer.  I have the 155f7/600E GTO combination with Kendrick heaters (6" for ota, 2" for eyepiece, 1.5 for StarBeam finder) off one controller.
 
To maximize the observing time in cold weather, I did a lot of slews.  After about 2 hours (or less) the keypad would either freeze or reset. Like most people, I get nervous when my expensive electronic equipment has power problems.  To get by, I turned off my dew heaters, which is not part of the master plan.
 
Subsequent tests at home showed that the Kendrick battery could not power both scope and heaters in cold weather for long observing periods.  The combination of a depleted battery, a slew, and a heater duty cycle would *eventually* create an undervoltage spike below the Control Box minimum.
 
I purchased an Ultima D750U deep cycle battery (65AH, 750 CCA, 124min Reserve Capacity).  If you haven't heard of AGM batteries (http://www.optimabatteries.com/main.htm), this is state-of-the-art stuff. Not cheap, and not dainty.  The Reserve Capacity specification means this battery can feed a constant 25A drain for 124 minutes!
 
Anyway, I now had the reasonable expectation of powering both mount and heaters for a night of observing.  I was up at Arunah Hill three weeks ago, and I still get resets.  This was after about two hours in much warmer weather.
 
I've seen the comments about accessories and dual batteries.  I haven't seen mention that "accessories" also means dew heaters.  Either this has been overlooked, or assumed to be a non-issue.  What I've seen leads me to believe that the dew heaters should be powered separately.  Personally, I think this is a bit much.  I have more than enough battery to power both functions through one night, even in cold weather.
 
I've set up a test rig to measure both voltage and amperage.  My next round of tests will be at the Summer Star Party in August.  I'm going to use the AGM battery to power the mount, the Kendrick battery for the heaters.  Although this means I have to carry both batteries, I want the problem to go away.  If I can't find something that's not working properly, then this will become a permanent configuration.
 
I'll post my results when the facts are solid.
 
djc
 
BTW, the Control Box power cable appears to have a weak link at the input fitting.  The center contact on mine has lost it's spring tension. I field repaired it with electrical tape.  Since AP is not considering an immediate change in the fitting, I'm ordering a spare set of cables (two cables = $114.00).  After the SSP, I'll send the defective to be repaired.
 
 
 
 
 
 
>>> Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...> 15 Jun 2000 20:02:27 -0700 >>>
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.


Re: APO GOTO Polar and Star alignment

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

I just started using my new ap-400 mount and have a few questions
about its operation:

1. There is an altitude adjustment screw that increases latitude.
However, I haven't found anything that can lower altitude besides
loosening the "main bolt" and lowering manually. This seems
rather coarse. Have I got this right?
-snip


If it is like my older AP 400, yes, that adjustment bolt only pushes.

Loosen the bolt on the side and unscrew the knobbed bolt in the
back (south side of the mount). If you have the counter weight shaft
installed (no OTA), that should be heavy enough to cause the mount
to follow the knobbed adjustment bolt as it is backed out.

Rich


Re: AP900GTO and C-11

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

I've done a fair amount of work with a similar setup: using a C9.25" and AP
600 instead. Had a lot of success with the combination; let me know if you
have any question. I've also used the NGF-S on other scopes; check out the
page on my web site (www.wodaski.com).

Ron W

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Reilly [mailto:sreilly@...]
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2000 8:17 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] AP900GTO and C-11


Just joined the group while waiting for the call on the mount.
Thought
I'd check out the posts for info. I will be using my C-11, NGFs
focuser with digital readout and ST-8 CCD camera. Anyone using a
similar setup? Any sugestions as to counter weights and other
accessaries? Most images will be at f6.3.

Thanks for any info.

Regards,

Steve


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AP900GTO and C-11

Steve Reilly <sreilly@...>
 

Just joined the group while waiting for the call on the mount.
Thought
I'd check out the posts for info. I will be using my C-11, NGFs
focuser with digital readout and ST-8 CCD camera. Anyone using a
similar setup? Any sugestions as to counter weights and other
accessaries? Most images will be at f6.3.

Thanks for any info.

Regards,

Steve


Re: DSV and Windows 2000

Charles Sinsofsky <strfire@...>
 

DSV will work find with Windows 2000, but durring install you will see some
messages about certain files that are already present on the windows 2000
machine. Accept the current file, ie: do not overwrite the file with what my
install is trying to do.

Afterwhich all will work fine. DSV only needs to have the 'program files'
reside on 'c' as my registry info works from there. I can create a fix for
anyone requiring the registry info to point to another drive for program
files etc...ie: other then 'c'

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


p.s. will the next BETA 3.x07 ever come out?? ...YES very soon. I am sorry
for the long delay, but I have been getting many requests for changes on
certain parts of the DSV 3.x and want to basicly only have one more beta
(hopefully) so I want to be absolutly sure about it ...before I release.
Should not be long now....hopefull ;-)


Re: DSV and Windows 2000

Paul Wilson <plw@...>
 

54 Gig, wow! SCSI hard drives will have to come down even more
dramatically in price if I'm going to get that much storage in my
home PC ;-)

I went with the 18G SCSI 160 too, but since I'm not much of a gamer
(hence not much need for Win98) I'm going to skip the dual boot
setup. Of course if ME (Millennium Edition) shows some chops... ;-)

Paul



--- In ap-gto@..., "Paul Gustafson" <drgus@e...> wrote:
You're quite right. My previous system was a dual boot Win95/WinNT
with
separate OS partitions and shared applications. Unfortunately, this
prevented me from using NTFS. Since hard drives have come down
dramatically
in price, I went for a different setup this time, with an 18 gig
scsi160 in
two partitions, C: is 12 gig and is Win98 OS and games, and D: is 5
gig
Win2000 for the OS alone. Then I took two more 18 gig scsi160's
(striped as
one 36 gig for speed), 32 gig NTFS for my Win2000 applications use
alone and
the rest as FAT for a paging file. I gave up on shared applications
between
the OS's, and it works like a dream (fast, too). Even if I wind up
duplicating installation of some key applications, I should have
more than
enough hard drive space. :-) Of course, I remember hearing the same
a few
years back when I picked up a monster 20 _meg_ hard drive -- "It's
more
space than anyone could ever use."

Gus

Paul Wilson wrote:
Thanks for the info, Gus. I've thought long and hard about the
dual
boot option too. The classic trick is to have separate O/S
partitions
and a common partition for shared applications. It sounds like DSV
should be happy as long as it lives on the same partition as the
(boot) O/S.

The real drag (IMHO) about the dual boot is having to swallow the
least common denominator in filesystems, if you plan to share.


Re: DSV and Windows 2000

Paul Gustafson <drgus@...>
 

You're quite right. My previous system was a dual boot Win95/WinNT with
separate OS partitions and shared applications. Unfortunately, this
prevented me from using NTFS. Since hard drives have come down dramatically
in price, I went for a different setup this time, with an 18 gig scsi160 in
two partitions, C: is 12 gig and is Win98 OS and games, and D: is 5 gig
Win2000 for the OS alone. Then I took two more 18 gig scsi160's (striped as
one 36 gig for speed), 32 gig NTFS for my Win2000 applications use alone and
the rest as FAT for a paging file. I gave up on shared applications between
the OS's, and it works like a dream (fast, too). Even if I wind up
duplicating installation of some key applications, I should have more than
enough hard drive space. :-) Of course, I remember hearing the same a few
years back when I picked up a monster 20 _meg_ hard drive -- "It's more
space than anyone could ever use."

Gus

Paul Wilson wrote:

Thanks for the info, Gus. I've thought long and hard about the dual
boot option too. The classic trick is to have separate O/S partitions
and a common partition for shared applications. It sounds like DSV
should be happy as long as it lives on the same partition as the
(boot) O/S.

The real drag (IMHO) about the dual boot is having to swallow the
least common denominator in filesystems, if you plan to share.


Re: DSV and Windows 2000

Paul Wilson <plw@...>
 

Thanks for the info, Gus. I've thought long and hard about the dual
boot option too. The classic trick is to have separate O/S partitions
and a common partition for shared applications. It sounds like DSV
should be happy as long as it lives on the same partition as the
(boot) O/S.

The real drag (IMHO) about the dual boot is having to swallow the
least common denominator in filesystems, if you plan to share.

p


--- In ap-gto@..., "Paul Gustafson" <drgus@e...> wrote:
I talked with Charles about it and he said it should work fine
unless you
have more than one partition, in which case he needs to do a
workaround for
you if Win2K and DSV aren't going in the C:&#92; partition. I have a
dual-boot
system, so Win2K is on D:&#92; and DSV is going on E:&#92;. Haven't
installed it
yet.

Gus

Does anyone have any experience with DSV on Windows 2000
Professional? I've got some new PC hardware on the way and I'm
thinking of going that route with the O/S. The alternate plan is
to
stick with the tried and true: Windows NT Workstation 4.0. My
sound
card will be a genuine Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live!, so I
don't
anticipate trouble there.

Any experiences, good or bad, I'd love to hear them...

Paul


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Re: DSV and Windows 2000

Paul Gustafson <drgus@...>
 

I talked with Charles about it and he said it should work fine unless you
have more than one partition, in which case he needs to do a workaround for
you if Win2K and DSV aren't going in the C:&#92; partition. I have a dual-boot
system, so Win2K is on D:&#92; and DSV is going on E:&#92;. Haven't installed it
yet.

Gus

Does anyone have any experience with DSV on Windows 2000
Professional? I've got some new PC hardware on the way and I'm
thinking of going that route with the O/S. The alternate plan is to
stick with the tried and true: Windows NT Workstation 4.0. My sound
card will be a genuine Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live!, so I don't
anticipate trouble there.

Any experiences, good or bad, I'd love to hear them...

Paul


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DSV and Windows 2000

Paul Wilson <plw@...>
 

Hello All,

Does anyone have any experience with DSV on Windows 2000
Professional? I've got some new PC hardware on the way and I'm
thinking of going that route with the O/S. The alternate plan is to
stick with the tried and true: Windows NT Workstation 4.0. My sound
card will be a genuine Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live!, so I don't
anticipate trouble there.

Any experiences, good or bad, I'd love to hear them...

Paul


AP 1200 and TPoint

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

This was posted to the other group, please send responses to Max also.

Derek




Has anyone been able to park their AP GOTO and have TPoint and TheSky
still work? The TPoint solution is lost once I power down the mount. I
have do to a short mapping run each
time I start up. Has anybody found a work around? Software Bisque is not
anxious to support TheSky for AP GOTO products. I doubt they will ever a
separate driver for AP gotos.

Max S. Mirot M.D.
Laboratory Medical Director
Lake Regional Hospital
Osage Beach, MO 65052

maxm@...