Date   

Re: Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

Joel Short
 

Terri,
I did the same thing Glenn did with ONE of those Apache cases from Harbor Freight.  They are fantastic cases and very, very sturdy.  I have over 50lbs in one Apache 4800 case and I have no worries about the handle or the case.  
joel


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Terri Zittritsch
 

For those that followed this and might be considering a polemaster, and noted that I wasn't getting the result I expected, I think I've figured out why I was seeing such a poor result.     When I started using the polemaster, it was with my Atlas mounts, and given I always need to do guiding, I didn't much worry about whether I was exactly on the pole or not, and didn't bother with drift measurements.. and guiding seemed to work just fine.   And as I recall, I was always on the 2nd step for both gain and exposure time.    Fast forward to getting the Mach2.  Now I'm trying to evaluate the performance of the Mach2, so wanting to do a more accurate polar alignment, and get it done early in the evening.   So I moved to the lowest setting on gain and exposure time (screen becomes viewable earlier).. I could always see the stars, but they were dimmer and smaller, and my thinking is that smaller is better for more accurate alignment.     But, for last step, the fine adjustment monitor step (going from 5-6 arc min alignment to 30" alignment) Polemaster actually picks up some other dimmer stars..   I believe when I decreased my gain and exposure times, these stars weren't being picked up reliably in the monitor step.  
To cut off the story,I think I was basically staying at the 5-6 arc minute gross polar alignment, which is essentially what I was measuring in PHD2.   After thinking about it, I decided to go back to the higher gain and exposure time to see if it made a difference.     This past weekend, I upped the gain and exposure time on the camera, did my polar alignment, and I noted that the monitor step adjustment required more tweaking than it had needed in prior mach2 polar alignments.     In checking my drift in PHD2... I had essentially zero.   Curve jumping around due to atmosphere, but no trend whatsoever over at least 5 minutes.   

So for anyone else who's had trouble getting better than the advertised gross polar alignment on the polemaster, this could be your issue.


T
 


Re: Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

Terri Zittritsch
 
Edited

Glenn, Now that's a nice way to handle the weights, I like it (actually love it).     Given the cost of the weights, the cases probably are a small price to pay to keep them from flying around.   I've kept my original packaging but as with other similar packaging, the boxes will eventually fall apart.     For my 18lb weights, I wonder if 2 of those will be carry-able without ripping the handles off.   Hard to tell what weight you're putting in each one.    


Terri


Re: Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

Terri Zittritsch
 

Thanks Eric, I've played around in mycasebuilder before, it seems a good way to go without custom patterns from A-P.   Thanks for the suggestion on the bucket boss, I'll take a look.


Terri


Re: Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

Glenn
 

Terri,

I bought a couple of cases from Harbor Freight and made custom foam with mycasebuilder.com. The counterweights definitely need the sturdier foam because anything softer will collapse in short order. 

Kind regards,

Glenn


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

Bill Long
 

Should be fine. I know Tolga is imaging on a Paramount/CDK at DSW using no guiding (with ProTrack model) and while I think Mike Selby is guiding on his rigs at El Sauce, unguided imaging is certainly feasible there. Having the backup guider in place is critical though. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Brian Valente <bvalente@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 9:31 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model
 
Thanks Bill

our plan is unguided imaging on the CDK17 down at el sauce, so i'm banking on ae/appc. we are aware that it may not work out, so guiding is our plan b

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 9:07 AM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
Yeah, guiding can make things better. In some cases, you cant guide (i.e. no good guide star available on the chip) and the APCC/APPM model with the encoders can save the project.

Like this one:


Shot completely unguided using APCC/APPM, 1100AE, on 10" iDK scope. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:27 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model
 
Abs encoders can't compensate for OTA flexure, mirror-flop, etc., however a good pointing model might help a bit with those.

In a nutshell...

Guiding is like bacon. It makes everything better.


On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 7:07 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
just out of curiosity with encoders, do you feel a need to guide?

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 9:53 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
Thanks Christopher. I just installed them and they show a nice improvement in PHD2 :)



--
Brian 



Brian Valente



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

 

Thanks Bill

our plan is unguided imaging on the CDK17 down at el sauce, so i'm banking on ae/appc. we are aware that it may not work out, so guiding is our plan b

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 9:07 AM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
Yeah, guiding can make things better. In some cases, you cant guide (i.e. no good guide star available on the chip) and the APCC/APPM model with the encoders can save the project.

Like this one:


Shot completely unguided using APCC/APPM, 1100AE, on 10" iDK scope. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:27 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model
 
Abs encoders can't compensate for OTA flexure, mirror-flop, etc., however a good pointing model might help a bit with those.

In a nutshell...

Guiding is like bacon. It makes everything better.


On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 7:07 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
just out of curiosity with encoders, do you feel a need to guide?

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 9:53 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
Thanks Christopher. I just installed them and they show a nice improvement in PHD2 :)



--
Brian 



Brian Valente



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

Bill Long
 

Yeah, guiding can make things better. In some cases, you cant guide (i.e. no good guide star available on the chip) and the APCC/APPM model with the encoders can save the project.

Like this one:


Shot completely unguided using APCC/APPM, 1100AE, on 10" iDK scope. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:27 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model
 
Abs encoders can't compensate for OTA flexure, mirror-flop, etc., however a good pointing model might help a bit with those.

In a nutshell...

Guiding is like bacon. It makes everything better.


On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 7:07 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
just out of curiosity with encoders, do you feel a need to guide?

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 9:53 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
Thanks Christopher. I just installed them and they show a nice improvement in PHD2 :)



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

Eric Baumgartner
 

Hi, Terri:

 

I also use My Case Builder for custom-foam-lined cases for small mounts and small telescopes, and their online user interface is second to none. It’s a fun mental exercise to jockey equipment pieces around to maximize content and protection in a case of a given size.

 

My first-gen Mach1 is transported in a Pelican 1620 case. The case accommodates everything related to the mount except the counterweights. I carry the counterweights in a Bucket Boss Gatemouth canvas bag, with pieces of foam in between each weight to prevent them from banging around. Works well.

 

Eggcrate foam is open cell and much to squishy to afford much protection for heavy gear. Closed-cell foam, also known as Ethafoam, is the way go to.

 

Hope this helps,


Eric Baumgartner

Redding, CT USA

 

 

 

From: Astro-Physics GTO users group <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...>
Reply-To: Astro-Physics GTO users group <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 9:19 AM
To: Astro-Physics GTO users group <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

 

I used mycasebuilder.com for my Mach1 case. Couldn't be happier. I designed it on their web based software. Works perfect and space is maximized for the size of the case. I took a picture of the profile of my mount and traced the outline using their software. Careful measuring is needed to check and verify the pattern but totally worth it.CheersDan


That's a beautiful job Dan!    Having a new Mach2, I'd like to have a case for it.     I purchased a pelican 1600 case, with the eggcrate foam, but the foam is so soft my guess is the whole thing will fall apart in no time, so I returned it.    

I like your process and may give it a go at some point.    

I personally wouldn't worry about the altitude setting needing to be different for everyone, and would prioritize setting the altitude so everything fit best first.   That is for a standard foam cutout pattern.   Resetting the altitude when I put it back on the tripod isn't that big a deal.   Since i'm portable, it needs to be reset when traveling anyway.    My biggest concern with the mach2, is where to put the counterweight bar, it is very substantial and will need some good padding to keep anything around it safe, or its own case.

Can I ask what everyone does with their weights?    Do you put them in their own boxes for traveling?

Terri


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

Christopher Erickson
 

Abs encoders can't compensate for OTA flexure, mirror-flop, etc., however a good pointing model might help a bit with those.

In a nutshell...

Guiding is like bacon. It makes everything better.


On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 7:07 PM Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:
just out of curiosity with encoders, do you feel a need to guide?

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 9:53 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
Thanks Christopher. I just installed them and they show a nice improvement in PHD2 :)



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

 

just out of curiosity with encoders, do you feel a need to guide?


On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 9:53 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
Thanks Christopher. I just installed them and they show a nice improvement in PHD2 :)



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Thanks Christopher. I just installed them and they show a nice improvement in PHD2 :)


Re: Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

Christopher Erickson
 

ALWAYS leave the abs encoders on. NEVER turn them off.


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

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 6:48 PM Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...> wrote:
Do I leave the AE's on when creating a pointing model?


Absolute Encoders and Running a Pointing Model

Tony Benjamin <tonybenjamin@...>
 

Do I leave the AE's on when creating a pointing model?


Re: Keypad time loss

Mike Dodd
 

On 4/18/2020 8:45 PM, Steve salvo via groups.io wrote:
Good Evening from Cloudy Florida,

I have the newer version of the Keypad with the updated software. The
keypad seems to be losing time, not much, a couple of minutes within the
past few months. Causes?
The time base crystal probably isn't precisely on-frequency. Typically quartz clocks aren't specified to be more accurate than about one minute per month. If my math is correct, that's 0.002% accuracy.

Can you connect your mount to a computer that's synced to an Internet time server? That would synchronize the clock, so the next time you used the keypad, it would have an accurate time.

--- Mike


Keypad time loss

Steve Salvo
 

Good Evening  from Cloudy Florida,

I have the newer version of the Keypad with the updated software.  The keypad seems to be losing time, not much, a couple of minutes within the past few months.  Causes?

Thanks
Steve


Re: Case Foam CUTTING PATTERNS for AP Mounts

Terri Zittritsch
 

I used mycasebuilder.com for my Mach1 case. Couldn't be happier. I designed it on their web based software. Works perfect and space is maximized for the size of the case. I took a picture of the profile of my mount and traced the outline using their software. Careful measuring is needed to check and verify the pattern but totally worth it.CheersDan

That's a beautiful job Dan!    Having a new Mach2, I'd like to have a case for it.     I purchased a pelican 1600 case, with the eggcrate foam, but the foam is so soft my guess is the whole thing will fall apart in no time, so I returned it.    

I like your process and may give it a go at some point.    

I personally wouldn't worry about the altitude setting needing to be different for everyone, and would prioritize setting the altitude so everything fit best first.   That is for a standard foam cutout pattern.   Resetting the altitude when I put it back on the tripod isn't that big a deal.   Since i'm portable, it needs to be reset when traveling anyway.    My biggest concern with the mach2, is where to put the counterweight bar, it is very substantial and will need some good padding to keep anything around it safe, or its own case.

Can I ask what everyone does with their weights?    Do you put them in their own boxes for traveling?

Terri


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

Elenillor
 

Two weeks seems standard in my experience. 

Back in 1998 I got a hint (following thing on the old SAA usergroup) my time might be up on the AP130 list when I was scheduled for an overseas trip.  I sent an email to AP that I would accept if I was was notified while out of the country.  Turns out I was able to get the email notification while I was in England and made a call from there to accept and give a CC number down payment.  A similar thing happened on my Mach1 while traveling in Japan.  A couple of years ago I was off to Nepal for a three week trek and notifications were starting up for the Stowaway and Mak-Cass.  I sent a preemptive email about the Stowaway (declined as I got a Sky90 in 2006 and TEC AP110 a little later to scratch the small quality refractor itch).  I indicated I would accept the Mak-Cass if my name came up, however it did not.  Although I did get notified on the Mak-Cass a year after the trek and was asked to respond promply.  I accepted an hour or two after the email was sent and just love using the scope as it fits my observing stye preciely. 


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

David
 

Last time I was notified it was about a two week window, thats it.

David



On Apr 17, 2020, at 7:55 PM, Larry Phillips <llp41astro@...> wrote:

OK. But how many days would that be?  I will be off the grid for a while soon and it would be my luck that my notice came and expired while I was gone.
Larry


Re: Mach2 Notification Question

Larry Phillips
 

OK. But how many days would that be?  I will be off the grid for a while soon and it would be my luck that my notice came and expired while I was gone.
Larry

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