Date   

Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 05:34 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
We tried to make this mount, and all our mounts, as easy to operate as possible. Problem is that people go thru all kinds of steps that are simply not necessary. Parking is nice for certain operations, but it is not necessary.
Roland, I'm just trying to help others avoid the pitfalls I've encountered.    If there is a specific way to do things, that is documented somewhere,  which I've overlooked, please point me in the right direction as I'm always happy to learn and admit my own mistakes.   

T


Re: New user of an AP1100 #APCC

Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Rolando,
That sounds like exactly what I think the problem is. I have not even attempted to do a polar alignment on the mount yet. Just got everything all up and running and was just trying to play with it. I strongly suspect a good polar alignment will probably solve my problem, it probably isn't really that far off. Being able to disable that particular setting could be nice as long as you know what you're doing. The computer time I believe is right, but I'll double check that this evening when I get a chance.
I have had some conversation with George about some other topics and he was quite helpful with that, I'm sure he can help get this particular loose nut tightened up on this mount! 8>)
Steve


Re: New user of an AP1100 #APCC

Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Konstantin,
No, I don't have a handpad, keyboard only.


Re: New user of an AP1100 #APCC

Roland Christen
 

Best to talk to George at AP and have him explain how to set up your APCC software. You can disable the setting in APCC that prevents recal on an object that is too far away. It is a safety feature to prevent errant recals.

The main thing that prevents finding objects in the field of view, when you first start a system up, are poor polar alignment and error in your local time. If your computer time is off by 5 minutes your pointing will be way off.

George can help you go thru the various settings to get you started.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D. <smitchell@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 21, 2020 3:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] New user of an AP1100 #APCC

Hey Guys,
I'm a new owner of a fabulous AP1100 mount that I know is going to be awesome, but some troubles with getting started. First, I'm not new to this game, been an amateur astronomer for 40 years, climbed the upgrade ladder in hardware and software to this current setup with the 1100 mount, 12" LX850, APCC software as well as using Cartes Du Ciel.
I'm just getting everything set up and working and I know this is probably due to the loose nut behind the wheel not comprehending how this fancy stuff works, but.... My only real problem, at this moment is about doing a recal on a star after unparking and initialization. I think I've got everything okay in APCC for the initialization and unparking, the scope goes almost directly to Arcturus, but it's not quite even in the field of view of the 80mm piggybacked on the LX850 (hence my assuming polar alignment issues). Therefore I have to then use APCC to move the scope to both find and center Arcturus and then when I try a recal so I can eventually then go somewhere else, it tells me I can't do that because I moved the scope too far. I strongly suspect IF and WHEN I get it polar aligned it won't be so far off and this might work and maybe I am doing things properly, but...... I tried a sync once which seemed to do nothing but as soon as I tried to go somewhere else the scope flew off to "who knows where" and was totally lost in space. After repositioning the scope with loose clutches and sending the scope to Park 3, then aligning the marks and tightening the clutches; All was well with the Universe again!
I guess I don't understand the recal and sync functions, even though I have read and re-read the documentation, clicked the question mark in the software and read that info, etc. perhaps I am too thick between the ears to get it; at  least yet.
Thanks for listening and hopefully someone can shed a little light on my concerns and dim brain right now.
 
Steve


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Roland Christen
 

There is no need to park any of our mounts. You can just yank the power cord out of the wall, then next time plug it back in. The mount doesn't care, and that includes the Mach1, mach2, 1100, 1600, 900, 1200 etc.

Parking simply gives you a reference in case you tear it down and want to build it up again next time close to what you had before and don't want to go thru a lengthy setup routine. That way you can use a level to set one of the park positions where you last left it and simply resume from present position.

The Mach2 never needs to be told where it is even if you don't put it back the way you had it before. Simply resume tracking . My workflow is just this: I open SkyX and press "Connect Telescope". That's it. Done! The cursor on SkyX shows where the scope is pointed. I right click on an object that I want to slew to and it moves there.

When I'm done, I leave the scope wherever I feel like it and simply press "Disconnect Telescope" in SkyX. Then turn off power.

You can do the above with any of our mounts if you don't loosen the clutches. On the Mach2 you can loosen the clutches and move the axes without causing any kind of issue for the next setup. It doesn't matter where the scope is pointing when you click on "Connect Telescope", the cursor on SkyX will show you exactly where the scope is pointed, even if it's pointed to China (down to the ground).

We tried to make this mount, and all our mounts, as easy to operate as possible. Problem is that people go thru all kinds of steps that are simply not necessary. Parking is nice for certain operations, but it is not necessary.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 21, 2020 3:30 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] RAPAS on Mach2

Even if one adjusts the counterweights to avoid the RAPAS when imaging in the east, it looks like a pier flip to an object just to the west of the meridian will cause the top of the dec. axis to strike the RAPAS.  It is hard to tell though just using photos.

Also, why does one even need to use the park positions with the Mach 2?  The mount is always supposed to know where it is.  So I would think that you could just put the mount in a position where the OTA or the counterweights aren’t in the way of the RAPAS, set the alignment and then just initialize the mount from that position, or wherever else you choose to place it.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Roland Christen
 

I always use Park2 position to load up the scope onto the top dovetail plate (rings open, swing scope up and into rings, close rings). Then next i slide the RAPAS into its dovetail, position Polaris on the reticle via the alt-az adjusters. Next tighten the alt-az adjusters. Remove the RAPAS with its dovetail by sliding it back out and put is snuggly away into its box. Then it's time to image.

That's how it was designed to be used. Anything else is probably superfluous.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 21, 2020 1:57 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] RAPAS on Mach2

To all with Questions on Mach2 RAPAS.    It can not be left on the mount in use, period.    If you don't put a weight at the top of the bar, it will clear the mount by some amount (I didn't measure, maybe 3/4"+-).   So basically do not use the top 1/2 or inch or so, you can check for those that get a Mach2.  Something to add to mount directions.    You can not move the mount right (east direction for those in the north).    I was using it with the weight at the top of the bar.     I will probably tape that or block it off somehow so I never go there again.    SO at least I can go west without hitting anything.   But it must still be removed in use.

Thanks for the person who recommended Park2, I've never used that one.. but I think that will work.   Park 4, 5, and 1 will not.   Park 1 can avoid hitting the RAPAS, if there is no weight at the top, but then the weight bar would be in the direct line of sight I believe of the polar scope.    Park 4,5 would hit the RAPAS housing (not the optical tube).   I'll take some pictures.    

T

Terri


Re: APCC COM PORTS

Roland Christen
 


So what could have happened that changed the COM port in the driver/APCC?
Windows 10 is constantly changing my com ports. I sure would like to find out why it does that.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 21, 2020 1:54 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC COM PORTS

Yesterday evening I went to start the observatory as usual and ran into a rather unusual issue. To set things clear I use ACP/MaxIm/FocusMax/APCC to image with. I’ve used this for a long time with minor issues. Yesterday ACP Scheduler started the startup like always and everything appeared fine until the end. Usually the last thing is it unparks the mount. Here’s where it gets foggy. ACP is sitting there waiting forever to unpark the mount and nothing happens. At this point ACP can’t be aborted so it just sits and waits. The telescope is and has been connected and APCC is showing just that. I look at APCC and go to the park tab and tell it to unpark from last park position. Nothing, try again and a message flashes that says background activity…….or something to the sorts. I can not unpark the mount although I am connected. Connected via the LAN with Serial backup. I open the ASCOM driver and it says I’m connected but I see where it says COM Port 12. Wasn’t sure that was correct. A number of different attempts have happened at this point and I finally go through the list of COM Ports in the driver and when I get to COM 10 it connects. I try to unpark and it works….great except now ACP Expert won’t. That’s a story Bob and I will be working on shortly.
 
So what could have happened that changed the COM port in the driver/APCC? If the telescope was connected as indicated why couldn’t it be unparked?
 
-Steve
 


Re: CP4 Sharing?

George
 

Robert,

 

Yes, the PE is stored in the control box, but it corresponds with the gear angles of the motors.    When you switch mounts you are switching to totally different gear angles.   Going back to the original mount, the gear angles will have changed slightly, even if the motors do not move.   You are not talking about lining up the lug nuts of a car; rather, you are talking about tiny fractions of an arc second.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-282-1513

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Robert Berta
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 4:00 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] CP4 Sharing?

 

Clarification needed....I have a 900 with CP3 and 1100  with CP4 mounts. I use the same hand controller with both (waiting for the new features before getting a second controller dedicated for the 1100 that can take advantage of those features).  I have a PE curve for each mount that I assume is stored in the control box....not the controller. So I assume if PE is turned on in the controller, it will use the correct one in each control box even though the same hand controller is swapped between them.  I know that once the new features are loaded in the hand controller it won't work with the old CP3 control box...only the CP4.

Am I correct in my assumptions?


Re: New user of an AP1100 #APCC

Konstantin von Poschinger
 

Hi,

Are you using a handpad?

Grüsse

Konstantin

Konstantin v. Poschinger


Hammerichstr. 5
22605 Hamburg
040/8805747
0171/1983476

Am 21.04.2020 um 22:25 schrieb Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D. <smitchell@...>:



Hey Guys,

I'm a new owner of a fabulous AP1100 mount that I know is going to be awesome, but some troubles with getting started. First, I'm not new to this game, been an amateur astronomer for 40 years, climbed the upgrade ladder in hardware and software to this current setup with the 1100 mount, 12" LX850, APCC software as well as using Cartes Du Ciel.

I'm just getting everything set up and working and I know this is probably due to the loose nut behind the wheel not comprehending how this fancy stuff works, but.... My only real problem, at this moment is about doing a recal on a star after unparking and initialization. I think I've got everything okay in APCC for the initialization and unparking, the scope goes almost directly to Arcturus, but it's not quite even in the field of view of the 80mm piggybacked on the LX850 (hence my assuming polar alignment issues). Therefore I have to then use APCC to move the scope to both find and center Arcturus and then when I try a recal so I can eventually then go somewhere else, it tells me I can't do that because I moved the scope too far. I strongly suspect IF and WHEN I get it polar aligned it won't be so far off and this might work and maybe I am doing things properly, but...... I tried a sync once which seemed to do nothing but as soon as I tried to go somewhere else the scope flew off to "who knows where" and was totally lost in space. After repositioning the scope with loose clutches and sending the scope to Park 3, then aligning the marks and tightening the clutches; All was well with the Universe again!

I guess I don't understand the recal and sync functions, even though I have read and re-read the documentation, clicked the question mark in the software and read that info, etc. perhaps I am too thick between the ears to get it; at  least yet.

Thanks for listening and hopefully someone can shed a little light on my concerns and dim brain right now.

 

Steve


Re: CP4 Sharing?

Robert Berta
 

Clarification needed....I have a 900 with CP3 and 1100  with CP4 mounts. I use the same hand controller with both (waiting for the new features before getting a second controller dedicated for the 1100 that can take advantage of those features).  I have a PE curve for each mount that I assume is stored in the control box....not the controller. So I assume if PE is turned on in the controller, it will use the correct one in each control box even though the same hand controller is swapped between them.  I know that once the new features are loaded in the hand controller it won't work with the old CP3 control box...only the CP4.

Am I correct in my assumptions?


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Dean Jacobsen
 

Well, this appears to be the trade-off for having through the mount cabling.   I hadn't realized the situation before.  Having the counterweights as high on the shaft as possible is the preferred position.  Forgetting to remove the RAPAS and then having the dec axis head crash into the RAPAS when doing a meridian flip could ruin your day(night).
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: APCC COM PORTS

Steve Reilly
 

Actually in the observatory and both programs and driver are up to date but by itself I can not get the scope unparked. I’m dead in the water. Any suggestions? I have the driver set to use the IP address for the mount and testing says it finds the mount. But I can’t unpark.

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steve Reilly
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 2:54 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC COM PORTS

 

Yesterday evening I went to start the observatory as usual and ran into a rather unusual issue. To set things clear I use ACP/MaxIm/FocusMax/APCC to image with. I’ve used this for a long time with minor issues. Yesterday ACP Scheduler started the startup like always and everything appeared fine until the end. Usually the last thing is it unparks the mount. Here’s where it gets foggy. ACP is sitting there waiting forever to unpark the mount and nothing happens. At this point ACP can’t be aborted so it just sits and waits. The telescope is and has been connected and APCC is showing just that. I look at APCC and go to the park tab and tell it to unpark from last park position. Nothing, try again and a message flashes that says background activity…….or something to the sorts. I can not unpark the mount although I am connected. Connected via the LAN with Serial backup. I open the ASCOM driver and it says I’m connected but I see where it says COM Port 12. Wasn’t sure that was correct. A number of different attempts have happened at this point and I finally go through the list of COM Ports in the driver and when I get to COM 10 it connects. I try to unpark and it works….great except now ACP Expert won’t. That’s a story Bob and I will be working on shortly.

 

So what could have happened that changed the COM port in the driver/APCC? If the telescope was connected as indicated why couldn’t it be unparked?

 

-Steve

 


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 04:30 PM, Dean Jacobsen wrote:
Even if one adjusts the counterweights to avoid the RAPAS when imaging in the east, it looks like a pier flip to an object just to the west of the meridian will cause the top of the dec. axis to strike the RAPAS.  It is hard to tell though just using photos.

Also, why does one even need to use the park positions with the Mach 2?  The mount is always supposed to know where it is.  So I would think that you could just put the mount in a position where the OTA or the counterweights aren’t in the way of the RAPAS, set the alignment and then just initialize the mount from that position, or wherever else you choose to place it.
--
Dean, you are correct, you don't need to use a park position.    I was just slewing the mount a bit west, enough to get my head in there to look through the scope with my right eye.  This is after running into the weights the first time out, I was a bit 'skittish' myself.  Don't want to ruin my new toy so quickly.   

Just some warnings in the instructions would have sufficed (don't put weights high, don't go east, and do not leave it on the mount).     It just never occurred to me a polar scope would interfere with anything.     It is certainly made well,  like everything else A-P makes, and I'm sure will be accurate to a level necessary for doing most things.  

T


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 12:05 PM, Woody Schlom wrote:

Dean,

 

I learned to take the RAPAS off after PA on my Mach1 because of cable catching problems.  So the same is probably true of the Mach2 too.

 

Woody

Hopefully with the through the mount cabling, cable snags on the RAPAS shouldn't be much of a problem.  Having the mount strike the RAPAS seems to be more of a potential problem though.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: FAPAS vs. RAPAS

Robert Berta
 

As I am in Michigan, the RAPAS is fine with my 1100 and 900 mounts and 6" refractor/11" SCT but my club has a 8" D&G refractor on a AP 1200 mount. That long tube (f15 as I recall)  means the mount has to be mounted quite high above the ground so a RAPAS would require a ladder to use it. In that case a 45 degree prism would be ideal. Currently we are using a straight through polar finder....but that means you have to crouch down to use it....so a 45 degree would be ideal. Luckily the mount/scope stays in our dome observatory most of the time but would be nice to have that 45 degree version. So put us down on the side of a 45 degree version. Now that I think of it, even with my own mounts/scopes....a 45 degree version would work fine also.


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Dean Jacobsen
 

Even if one adjusts the counterweights to avoid the RAPAS when imaging in the east, it looks like a pier flip to an object just to the west of the meridian will cause the top of the dec. axis to strike the RAPAS.  It is hard to tell though just using photos.

Also, why does one even need to use the park positions with the Mach 2?  The mount is always supposed to know where it is.  So I would think that you could just put the mount in a position where the OTA or the counterweights aren’t in the way of the RAPAS, set the alignment and then just initialize the mount from that position, or wherever else you choose to place it.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Managing early pier flip.

Wayne Hixson
 

I’ve got my meridian limits mapped to trigger an early flip, but in some cases I want to manually set a limit to override the mapped limits, but having trouble figuring out how to do it. Say just set a flip at 1 hour East. 


thanks, Wayne 


New user of an AP1100 #APCC

Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Guys,

I'm a new owner of a fabulous AP1100 mount that I know is going to be awesome, but some troubles with getting started. First, I'm not new to this game, been an amateur astronomer for 40 years, climbed the upgrade ladder in hardware and software to this current setup with the 1100 mount, 12" LX850, APCC software as well as using Cartes Du Ciel.

I'm just getting everything set up and working and I know this is probably due to the loose nut behind the wheel not comprehending how this fancy stuff works, but.... My only real problem, at this moment is about doing a recal on a star after unparking and initialization. I think I've got everything okay in APCC for the initialization and unparking, the scope goes almost directly to Arcturus, but it's not quite even in the field of view of the 80mm piggybacked on the LX850 (hence my assuming polar alignment issues). Therefore I have to then use APCC to move the scope to both find and center Arcturus and then when I try a recal so I can eventually then go somewhere else, it tells me I can't do that because I moved the scope too far. I strongly suspect IF and WHEN I get it polar aligned it won't be so far off and this might work and maybe I am doing things properly, but...... I tried a sync once which seemed to do nothing but as soon as I tried to go somewhere else the scope flew off to "who knows where" and was totally lost in space. After repositioning the scope with loose clutches and sending the scope to Park 3, then aligning the marks and tightening the clutches; All was well with the Universe again!

I guess I don't understand the recal and sync functions, even though I have read and re-read the documentation, clicked the question mark in the software and read that info, etc. perhaps I am too thick between the ears to get it; at  least yet.

Thanks for listening and hopefully someone can shed a little light on my concerns and dim brain right now.

 

Steve


Re: RAPAS on Mach2

Terri Zittritsch
 

A few pictures:
Not the best of pictures, but you can see there is room if weights are not at top to move RA west, but not moving RA to the east (for us above equator).   I like the idea of using park 2.   Basically don't move RA at all..  and I would not have to worry about weights.      And just remove RAPAS when done.



Re: FAPAS vs. RAPAS

Christopher Erickson
 

I am hoping that some day AP announces a FAPAS.

A 45 degree polar scope. I am just under 20 degrees North Latitude here in Hawaii and the PASILL is too low and, for me, the RAPAS eyepiece is too high and also interferes too much with the OTA, cables, cameras, etc. to be as convenient as I would like. And a prism diagonal would potentially be able to shorten the height/length of the eyepiece and field tube, meaning less interference, cable snagging, etc.

Just a crazy thought.

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


On Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 9:05 AM Woody Schlom <woody_is@...> wrote:

Dean,

 

I learned to take the RAPAS off after PA on my Mach1 because of cable catching problems.  So the same is probably true of the Mach2 too.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dean Jacobsen
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 11:53 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] RAPAS on Mach2

 

Now that is interesting.  Based on that bottom photo, taking the RAPAS off once you set the alignment of Polaris would probably be advisable. 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 

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