Date   

Re: 400 GTO First report

Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky
 

In a message dated 7/2/00 5:48:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
maroth@...
Hi Mike,
I also am one such "lucky" person who had a non-ortho mount. If you have
time would you please share your method? Previous efforts of mine have
failed.
You mean a production defect? Or you are using something with the mount that
is making it 'non-ortho'. Just how bad are we talking? My 400 GTO mount,
when it slewed all the way from one side of the meridian to another still
put the star in question with 3 arc-mins of the other star's position in the
EP. The FOV of the EP was only 6'.

clear skies,
Jeff


Re: 400 GTO First report

rck <rkuberek@...>
 

"Michael A. Roth" wrote:

Jeff:
I am one such person who received a non-orthogonal mount from
AstroPhysics. You need a lot of time and some patience and DAYLIGHT to
correct this problem. In fact, if you have the light and the time you
might even enjoy it. I devised a daylight correct procedure to do so.
If you ever need this procedure let me know.
Michael,

I need to do this b/c the dp on my C11 is crooked. Could you send me
your procedure?

Regards,
Bob K.


Re: 400 GTO First report

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

I would like to see your daylight procedure for correcting orthoganol
alignment.

Thanks...Terry Johnson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael A. Roth" <maroth@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2000 2:46 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 400 GTO First report


Jeff:
I am one such person who received a non-orthogonal mount from
AstroPhysics. You need a lot of time and some patience and DAYLIGHT to
correct this problem. In fact, if you have the light and the time you
might even enjoy it. I devised a daylight correct procedure to do so.
If you ever need this procedure let me know.

Sincerely,
Mike Roth

Incidentally, I sent my sliding bar BACK because I found it too dangerous
to use. The simple flat plate is MUCH better and I have yet to have a
single heart-stopping moment with it and I have a 155.

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Re: 400 GTO First report

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

I figured six times meant I might have the dreaded 'orthogonalilty' problem.
Now how in @^#$ am I suppose to shim this scope when it's mounted. Man that
looks like a non-newmoon night task. I am not gonna try that in the complete
dark!
Hi Jeff:

You are right, it is frustrating wasting valuable time do orthogonality
at a dark site (if we are at the same dark site I will bring a polar
scope). You may not have as much problem with orthogonality as you
think. Sometimes the alignment procedure does not converge very
rapidly. For visual use, I still think the best way to align is to get
a polar scope, which is rumored to be out soon from AP. For photos,
Roland had some good suggestions which are in message 10 of this group.
Other people use slightly different methods, but I can't remember where
their messages are. Perhaps we should make a FAQ to this group, after
this nearly born child lets me get some sleep...

Derek


Re: 400 GTO First report

Michael Roth
 

Jeff:
I am one such person who received a non-orthogonal mount from
AstroPhysics. You need a lot of time and some patience and DAYLIGHT to
correct this problem. In fact, if you have the light and the time you
might even enjoy it. I devised a daylight correct procedure to do so.
If you ever need this procedure let me know.

Sincerely,
Mike Roth

Incidentally, I sent my sliding bar BACK because I found it too dangerous
to use. The simple flat plate is MUCH better and I have yet to have a
single heart-stopping moment with it and I have a 155.


Re: 400 GTO First report

steppzimmr@...
 

In a message dated 7/2/00 5:48:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time, maroth@...
writes:

<< I devised a daylight correct procedure to do so.
If you ever need this procedure let me know. >>

Hi Mike,

I also am one such "lucky" person who had a non-ortho mount. If you have
time would you please share your method? Previous efforts of mine have
failed.

Thanks for any help, Peter


400 GTO First report

Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky
 

I am on my way back out to Anza tonight in a moment but wanted to let you,
and maybe the folks at AP know, the 400GTO worked very well. As an aside,
while I have never been to Mount Pinos, the S&T article was a bit harsh on
Anza.

Anyways I used a 400GTO with a 130EDT f/8. I installed the 15DOVE which came
with the scope but oddly enough the scope came from it's previous owner with
a GM8 and Losmandy D series plates as well. I thought Christine was send me
the screws for the 15 inch plate but I misunderstood. There is a flat plate
as well and she sent me the screws for that. As you know, is you use those
cap screws with the dove plate, the sliding bar does not slide. <g> So I
order and got some flat head socket screws from McMaster online. I am not
exactly sure how to secure a safety screw to keep the scope from sliding
accidentally, but I was just darn careful when loosening the locks on the
dove plate.

Anyway I secured the rings, still with the 'adaptor blocks' on the bottom of
them, to the sliding bar using one 1 1/2 inch 1/4-20 screw. I don't thing I
need the blocks. If fact they may cause the dreaded 'orthogonality'
problems. Beats me. I followed the manual and setup the wood tripod and
mount with no scope on it and waited for Polaris. I sighted Polaris through
the hole in the RA axis and put the scope on the mount. Whoa! Waaaay outta
balance BIG time and the Dec and RA locks won't hold it. Gotta be REAL
careful and learn where the setup balance points are. I needed both 6 and 9
pound counterweights. Apparently Roland does not believe the locks should be
like vises.<g> They are there to provide 'enough friction' when the scope is
balanced. <sigh> Later this was to be a real pain as the 4mm Takahashi EP
and the 31mm Terminagler are like the odd couple of EPs when it comes to
mass. 8^)

Okay, so the time of year is right and I can follow the manual! Sight Vega
(I used a 7.5mm EP as I forgot my 6mm illuminated crosshair EP). Back to
Polaris. Whoa! Outta balance and the objective end of the tube headed south
down the Dec axis! Fortunately I was right there. Okay move the tube back a
bit in the rings and start over. Vega, Goto, Polaris. Whoa!<g> Not even
within the quickfinder's 2 degree circle! Grunt grunt, wrestle, wrestle and
I moved the tripod, scope and all. Ow! Okay, I _gotta_ balance that tube
some more in declination... <g>. Okay Polaris is in the quickfinder, and I
played with the fine adjustments to center Polaris in the EP. Oooooh NOW I
see what Ron Wodaski means about tighten the screws after an azimuth
adjustment! You have to 'lead them' in the EP. 8^| Oh well. What do I care,
I am not imaging. <g> Back to Vega. Off by 3 degrees! Back to Polaris, off
by 2.5... I see a trend<g>. And so it went for about 6 times. But it did
converged. Cool. It took about 30 to 45 minutes for this 'first timer'.

I figured six times meant I might have the dreaded 'orthogonalilty' problem.
Now how in @^#$ am I suppose to shim this scope when it's mounted. Man that
looks like a non-newmoon night task. I am not gonna try that in the complete
dark! I'll take those 'adaptor' blocks off the rings next time and try that
first. Then it'll be an ALL AP setup. So ff I went to quantify that
orthogonality problem. Follow directions... hmm... it's 9:30PDT on
6/30/2000, Arcturus might work just like the directions say. It slewed to
Arcturus. Whallala-be-darned. It's right there! Center it and choose
epsilon. (or was it eta? dunno the manual is downstairs) Whats this? The
scope just move slightly and it center epsilon. Darn! (and it was
dangerously close to the tripod leg<g>!). Maybe I should have had a safe
zone defined? Or maybe the people who wrote the manual did. Or maybe it was
just too late and both stars were across the meridian. Anyhoo I used Zeta
Herc and Alpha CrB and that worked. What a cool mount. All that movement to
completely the other side and Alpha CrB was in the FOV of the 7.5mm and the
R.A. error was quite small. I'll of course need a crosshair EP to quantify
it. I decided that was *good* enough.

Bottom line was, it was a very accurate mount. I messed up the balance (31mm
T5) and it moved on me in declination once or twice. So I did a N Pole
alignment using the 7.5 and a 1.8x TV barlow and it was as good as I left it
the first time. Then, I left the 7.5 and 1.8x barlow in (249x, 6' FOV) and
slewed to Zeta Boo and was virtually centered. Not bad guys. No HPP mode
needed! <g>

The mount was VERY stable. As good or actually IMO better than the GM8. That
tripod is a gem. You can whack it and it damps in second. I rap tested the
tube and it was steady in 1-2 seconds.

Soooo my only buggaboo is the balance thing. I guess I'll just get used to
it. Or I'll have to remember to start using that brass equalizer I bought a
year or two ago.

Clear skies,
Jeff


Re: Shure VPL/93

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

Hi Chuck,

The system has a list price of $500+ and, since it isn't a run-of-the-
mill item, is neither in stock or discounted at most authorized
dealers.

BUT....

the guys at Agus Industries (1-888-922-2295) or:
http://www.argusind.com/vp3system.html

have the whole shebang (receiver, xmitter, mike, leatherette storage
pouch, and accessories)... in stock... for $331.50! Another site was
willing to sell me one for a couple of bucks cheaper, but did not
have them in stock, whereas Argus shipped it out the very next day...
nice guys to chat with too! (Tim and Joe? I think)

Paul

Where did you buy the Shure VPL/93, and for how much, if I may ask?


Shure VPL/93

Chuck Hancock
 

Paul--

Where did you buy the Shure VPL/93, and for how much, if I may ask?

--
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: My mount talks<.g>

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

Hi Peter,
 
I got the Shure VPL/93. I wanted a unit that (besides working properly with DSV!) would be able to be powered via my 12VDC scope-side power supply (12 VDC battery :o). Most of the Shure receivers I had seen, were spec'd as using 12.5 to 18 VDC. Not wanting to use an inverter for an AC alternative, or having to worry about the fact that my battery voltage may be insufficient... or get that way later on during the session (although I do most of my viewing in my own backyard, I don't want to have to schlep to many things out there). I decided to see what AP's experiences were.
 
They have a power source readily available in their observatory, so had not had to much exposure to my potential quandry. Christine generously contacted the techies at Shure and explained the situation.
 
Their recommendation was the VPL/93, as besides providing the audio quality I was seeking, it could be powered by 12VDC or (better yet!) 9VDC self-contained (transistor radio) batteries.
 
So far it seems to be working like a charm (I haven't had too much opportunity to give it a decent shake-down yet though... courtesy of the weather and my schedule! 
 
Paul

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 6:24 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] My mount talks<.g>

Paul, which Shure wireless mike are you using?  And what sort of help did
Christine provide?  I am curious because I have yet to set up my DSV. Thanks,
Peter


Re: Digital Setting Circles vs Goto Accuracy

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>
 

Hi Brian,

I can't answer the specifics in your question, but the best pointing
accuracy you can get with 4,000 tic encoders is 324 arc seconds (360
degrees x 60 min. x 60 sec. / 4,000). The GTO mounts form AP have the
encoder mechanism built into the motors (I think) and give an accuracy
of 0.2 arc seconds.

Larry

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


Hey Group,
I have an AP400GOTO and a 1200 QMD with NGC max and setting circles.
The dscs are 4000 tic encoders. If I take a little extra time to
align carefully using a 150x EP and level the mount (1200) I can get
the object in the FOV of the 150x EP.
Last night in using the 400goto I noticed it dead centers the object
after a careful polar reiteration and leveling of the mount.
Question is how many "tics" or what is the comparative accuracy of
the two? Does goto have 12000 tic or 24000 tic or the same 4000
tic?
an enquiring mind wants to know.
thanks
Brian


Digital Setting Circles vs Goto Accuracy

Brian <brian@...>
 

Hey Group,
I have an AP400GOTO and a 1200 QMD with NGC max and setting circles.
The dscs are 4000 tic encoders. If I take a little extra time to
align carefully using a 150x EP and level the mount (1200) I can get
the object in the FOV of the 150x EP.
Last night in using the 400goto I noticed it dead centers the object
after a careful polar reiteration and leveling of the mount.
Question is how many "tics" or what is the comparative accuracy of
the two? Does goto have 12000 tic or 24000 tic or the same 4000 tic?
an enquiring mind wants to know.
thanks
Brian


Re: My mount talks<.g>

steppzimmr@...
 

Paul, which Shure wireless mike are you using? And what sort of help did
Christine provide? I am curious because I have yet to set up my DSV. Thanks,
Peter


Re: My mount talks<g>

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

I had problems with about 10% of the vocabulary as well, but switched to a
better mike and am now batting almost 1000! The few remaining errors I
experience are usually attributable to poor annunciation or background
noises.

Initially I was using a Radio Shack wireless system w/hard-wired lavalier
mike (I got it on sale for $40), but even "Ursa Major" or "Ursa Minor" was
not understood. Thanks to the help of Christine (from AP... Thanks
Christine!), who intervened on my behalf with Shure, I now have a system
that provides a dramatically superior success ratio (and doesn't require
exotic power sources)!

I'm still playing with the Shure wireless system, but will try to get a
report out on it after I've had more time to diddle with it.

Oh yeah... Digital Sky Voice is a hoot... I love it!

Paul

Snip---->

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky
I've been playing with Digital Sky Voice which came with the 400GTO. Very
very high coolness factor. I do not know I'd use all the time at the
telescope yet. I of course will try it at least once<g>. I am not sure that
I or the people around me (if any) would appreciate it. It's surprisingly
good at recognizing 90% or so of the phrases it understands. But boy is it
recalcitrant on the other 10%. I say 'constellation VULPECULA' it in insists
I said "constellation VELA" and nothing I do will convince it otherwise. <g>
(Yes I know I need a better mic, but the desktop one I am using until I get
a better one is doing pretty well as is.)


My mount talks<g>

Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky
 

(Some of you will have seen this already on a different egroup. Hit delete
now.<g>)

I've been playing with Digital Sky Voice which came with the 400GTO. Very
very high coolness factor. I do not know I'd use all the time at the
telescope yet. I of course will try it at least once<g>. I am not sure that
I or the people around me (if any) would appreciate it. It's surprisingly
good at recognizing 90% or so of the phrases it understands. But boy is it
recalcitrant on the other 10%. I say 'constellation VULPECULA' it in insists
I said "constellation VELA" and nothing I do will convince it otherwise. <g>
(Yes I know I need a better mic, but the desktop one I am using until I get
a better one is doing pretty well as is.) I have only made it through the
beginning of manual. The program itself is pretty intuitive. More so than
the GTO keypad for me. But when it comes to keypads I am "LX200
impaired."<g> So it may be just me.

I packed the entire mount, sans the large wooden tripod which came with it's
own bag, into a Pelican 1650 case. My goodness is that case now heavy! I
think I'll take the counterweights (2.7kg and 4kg) back out of the case and
place them in their own separate gym bag and leave them in the truck
permanently. Ditto with the two G11 counterweights. One less thing to
transport from the living room to the truck when packing and unpacking.
(Someday they have their own 'astroroom'<g>). My goal is to get every piece
of astro whatnot into a pelican case so as to have everything other than
tripods, in a hard shell case when using the EDT. Or in the case of the dob,
down to two cases. One with only eyepieces and one with knobs, flashlights,
1x finder, and DSCs. Right now I am using two soft-sided bags, two satchels,
various small cases, etc. It's no fun loading and unloading.

Actually for the price of a 400GTO it really ought come with case(s) IMO. At
least for the head. That's about my only complaint so far. And a minor gripe
at that. The fit and finish is typical Astro Physics. That is to say,
excellent. I have not been able to test the function of the mount yet other
than to confirm (in the living room<g>) the electronics are not DOA. The
keypad is really quite large with it's rubber protector on. More so than the
LX200 I just sold. The functionality seems fine but I have to try it under
real conditions before I can make any real judgments. The menus seem ok.
Again I am used to the LX200. At first I was surprised that everything is
selected by numbers rather than the LX200's way of pressing the same key to
cycle through choices. But that's just a 'getting used to it' issue. Reading
the manual the use of the <prev, next>, and Menu keys seem inconsistant. But
again that's an impression. Once I start using it regularly I'll see if I
still think that.

In any case, it all seems fine for the moment and I should easily have 4
clear nights over this holiday weekend in the U.S. with which to play!

Clear skies,
Jeff


Re: Power Problem

Chris Spratt
 

I use the 17amp Kendrick battery (standalone). I feel it is a bit small and to
ensure reliability I have to charge it before and after every observing session.

Chris. Spratt


"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.

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

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Re: AP-400 and ST7 calibration

sreilly@...
 

Steve,

The only suggestion I could make is to check the guiding speed that you
have the mount set to. I sometimes forget and get bad readings.
Aggressiveness on my CG-11 is set for 7/8 with RA/Dec set for 5 sec. I
also made a "L" shaped board that butts up to the dovetail plate and
rests on the flat bottom of my ST-8 to make sure the camera is straight.
If polar alignment and balance is good then this should be close. Also,
try calibrating on a close brighter star outside you FOV for the object
if nothing but dim stars are available. After calibrating, move back to
your object and pick the brightest star available on the guide chip. You
can also switch to the imaging chip to calibrate then switch back but
this takes longer due to the downloading time. Hope this helps.

Steve


Steve Leikind wrote:


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
snip


Re: Power Problem

David A. Silva <dasilva@...>
 

Jeff

The battery stuff is not unique to AP mounts, which I found out last
weekend. I have a 17 AH gel cell that I've been using for my GM8 +/-
Kendrick's dew heater. Last weekend as soon as I plugged in the DH, the
GM8 would not slew. My battery has probably aged enough that it doesn't
have the oommph it used to.

I had read last year that many floks advocate separate batteries for
mount electronics. I didn't see the point, but I now do.

-David ( saving up for a GTO )

On Wed, 28 Jun 2000 08:54:10 -0700, Jeffrey D. Gortatowsky wrote:

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.


Re: AP-400 and ST7 calibration

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

When calibrating, make sure you have the GTO keypad slew speed set to .5 or
1.0 or the slew speed will be to high during calibration and the mount will
slew off the chip during calibration.

...Terry Johnson

----- 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: AP-400 and ST7 calibration

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

With the AP mounts, getting the backlash compensation set correctly is very
important. I recommend doing through this process:

* Verify that end play of the worm and gear mesh are correct.
* Visually set backlash compensation using the mount speeds recommended by
AP in their docs. Whatever backlash setting you use, it should be just
slightly _under_ corrected; you can add any small degree of additional
correction in your camera control software if it includes that feature. It's
just important that you don't go too far. <g>
* Test your backlash settings using your camera control software. Verify
that the movement is equal in RA and Dec, or nearly so. I have found that
this test is more sensitive than the visual test, and will pick up
over-correction very reliably. Verify that the amount of motion is
proportional for varying movement times. That is, if you move the mount for
two seconds in RA, and then for 10 seconds, you should almost exactly 5X
greater movement in the second case. This test will pick up any uncorrected
or overcorrected backlash.

Now calibrate using .5X sidereal; you should get good numbers.

Ron Wodaski

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Leikind [mailto:sleikind@...]
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 9:55 AM
To: ap-gto@...
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


------------------------------------------------------------------------
I wonder if Eddie will be mad?
http://click.egroups.com/1/6000/7/_/3615/_/962211317/
------------------------------------------------------------------------