Date   

Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Mike Dodd
 

On 10/15/2020 7:07 PM, Woody Schlom wrote:
Once focused to your guide camera, that should be it. Lock down the
fine-focus with the retaining ring and call it done.
Lock it down is what I do. Some may smile at my method, but it works: <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html#Autoguiding>

My 60mm f/5 guide scope no longer has a focuser mechanism, and the camera is bolted to a bracket on a dovetail plate. I loosen the bolt, and nudge the camera while my wife at the computer tells me if focus is better or worse.

It takes about five minutes. I tighten the bolt, and we're done for many months.

Clear skies.

--- Mike


Re: Park 4 or Park 5 using ASCOM V2 on AP900GTO #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Roland Christen
 

You can create custom park positions in APCC to point anywhere.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: anismo@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 15, 2020 6:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Park 4 or Park 5 using ASCOM V2 on AP900GTO #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Thank you Rolando. 

If I get APCC, can I use Park 1 as custom park position? I just need it to park in the same spot everytime for park confirmation for roof to close and for flat panel position on the wall.

Best Regards
Anis


Re: Park 4 or Park 5 using ASCOM V2 on AP900GTO #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Anis Abdul
 

Thank you Rolando. 

If I get APCC, can I use Park 1 as custom park position? I just need it to park in the same spot everytime for park confirmation for roof to close and for flat panel position on the wall.

Best Regards
Anis


Re: Park 4 or Park 5 using ASCOM V2 on AP900GTO #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Roland Christen
 

The CP3 did not have Park4 and 5 available. Only 1, 2 and 3.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: anismo@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 15, 2020 5:35 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Park 4 or Park 5 using ASCOM V2 on AP900GTO #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Hi All,

I have been using my AP900GTO with CP3 (V chip) for few years. now and it has been very good. I always used Park 3 position and operated with just SGP and ASCOM driver (not APCC).

I am working on setting up in a remote observatory and I need to set the scope in Park 4 position (For roof park detection and operation). However, whenever I try to use Park 4 (or Park 5), the mount doesn't seem to the horizontal CW position . The RA just swing a small amount and the scope basically. wants to twist 180 degrees. But It goes to Park 3 correctly (Plate-solving etc are all working perfectly).
I have the pretty new  ASCOM V2 (may not be absolute latest but may. be a month old). I cant do user defined park position as well using just the ASCOM driver.

My question is: Do I need to get APCC to get this working properly? I do see park 4/5 as options in the ASCOM driver so I thought it should be working .

TIA and Regards
Anis


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Woody Schlom
 

Nick,

 

Once focused to your guide camera, that should be it.  Lock down the fine-focus with the retaining ring and call it done.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Nick Iversen
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 3:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

 

I tried the Baader fine focus but in the end I bought a helical focuser which is much easier to use. Screwing and unscrewing the front lens to focus was a pain because it unlocks the lens which has to be locked again.

What is best practice for using the fine focus?


Park 4 or Park 5 using ASCOM V2 on AP900GTO #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Anis Abdul
 

Hi All,

I have been using my AP900GTO with CP3 (V chip) for few years. now and it has been very good. I always used Park 3 position and operated with just SGP and ASCOM driver (not APCC).

I am working on setting up in a remote observatory and I need to set the scope in Park 4 position (For roof park detection and operation). However, whenever I try to use Park 4 (or Park 5), the mount doesn't seem to the horizontal CW position . The RA just swing a small amount and the scope basically. wants to twist 180 degrees. But It goes to Park 3 correctly (Plate-solving etc are all working perfectly).
I have the pretty new  ASCOM V2 (may not be absolute latest but may. be a month old). I cant do user defined park position as well using just the ASCOM driver.

My question is: Do I need to get APCC to get this working properly? I do see park 4/5 as options in the ASCOM driver so I thought it should be working .

TIA and Regards
Anis


Re: ASCOM 6.5?

 

d'oh! I found it on astro-physics.com (instead of ascomplatform). never mind!

On 10/15/2020 3:39 PM, Morris Jones wrote:
I'm moving into a new imaging computer for my Mach1-GTO (early version) with CP3 (current firemware) and APCC pro.

Are we still avoiding ASCOM 6.5? I can't seem to find a download for 6.4 SP1.


ASCOM 6.5?

 

I'm moving into a new imaging computer for my Mach1-GTO (early version) with CP3 (current firemware) and APCC pro.

Are we still avoiding ASCOM 6.5? I can't seem to find a download for 6.4 SP1.

Mojo


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Nick Iversen
 

I tried the Baader fine focus but in the end I bought a helical focuser which is much easier to use. Screwing and unscrewing the front lens to focus was a pain because it unlocks the lens which has to be locked again.

What is best practice for using the fine focus?


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

CurtisC
 
Edited

Assuming you use MaxImDL, what is your Min Mov?  What is your guide camera?  I have the SX Superstar.  Back in 2014, when I was planning to buy the Baader, I was advised that the smaller pixels of the Superstar (compared to the version of the Lodestar available at the time) would be better suited to the Baader Vario-Finder.  Right now I'm inclined to think that one of the newer CMOS cameras with even tinier pixels might be the better bet.


Re: Unguided tracking with a 1200?

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Peter,
 
    I’ve been regularly  doing 15 minute unguided photos with an RCOS-14.5 an my old AP-1200/CP4, and APCC PRO.
However, this was only after dedicating several hours over a few nights to running my PEMPRO for polar alignment, and PEC curve generation.
 
    I very strongly urge you to wisely invest in a copy of Ray Gralak’s  PEMPRO – it’s a no-brainer, even if you don’t have APCC, and no matter what other apps you use.
 
    You should  also have kept the APCC, just for ease of using the mount, and more importantly,  keeping an eye on the 3D view  of where it is actually pointed – to avoid unexpected collisions caused by some apps situations. I always keep a mouse button finger resting on the Emergency Stop button, whenever I slew the mount. After one crash, it is probably the best reason I bought APCC.
 
    Anyway, never go on long trip without checking the car, and likewise for Universal sky trips with the scope.
Joe Z.
 

From: Peter Bresler via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, October 7, 2020 11:04 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Unguided tracking with a 1200?
 
My first AP mount was a Mach1. I purchased APCC Pro with to use the pointing model. I was not successful in using that with my camera at the time and returned it, and also because SGP by itself met my need for accurate goto's with its auto centering. I am wondering now about unguided tracking with my Planewave 12.5 and AP1200? I now use only dedicated astro cameras, I still use SGP, which is the platesolve program for APPC Pro in any case. My need would be for 10 minute exposures, probably never more than 15 minutes. Should I try APPC Pro to try for unguided tracking with the 1200? I also have not yet purchased Pempro.


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

George
 

It works great.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of CurtisC via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 3:55 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

 

George, what do you think of the Baader Vario-Finder for guiding?  I know in 2013 you seemed to have some success with it.  What have seven years of experience taught you?


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

CurtisC
 

George, what do you think of the Baader Vario-Finder for guiding?  I know in 2013 you seemed to have some success with it.  What have seven years of experience taught you?


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

George
 

Guys,

 

Use the Baader scope’s fine focus, not a helical focuser…flexure can enter into the guiding.    The point of the guidescope design was to eliminate all flexure.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert Berta
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 3:31 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

 

Huetech used to sell a nice helical focuser that didn't rotate the camera. You can lock down all of the adjustments with thumb screws so once locked down there is NO flexure or unwanted movement. I have had that setup (with a 50mm guide scope) since about 2005 and it works great with my 152mm and 80mm APO refractors. I have another 70mm guide scope with a longer focal length  and different focuser that I use with both the 152mm APO refractor and a 11" SCT. The trick is to eliminate ALL possible loose/soft connections....once you do you will get great guiding. 

I don't have the part number of that Huetech focuser anymore so can't help there. 


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

 

>>> "Guiding Assistant" in PHD or PHD2?


PHD2


On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:39 PM CurtisC via groups.io <calypte=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Thank you, Rolando.

"Guiding Assistant" in PHD or PHD2?

I've reviewed most of what you've posted about guiding in this forum, going back two decades.  That's not to say that maybe I haven't missed something important.  In the past I ignored the Advanced Settings in MaxImDL  I never looked at them.  I got what I got.  Having studied your advice, I believe my results have noticeably improved on nights of good seeing.  It's the nights of bad seeing, like the last few nights, that still trouble me.  Fiddling with the Min Move and aggressiveness, I've been able to get good results (= approximately round stars) on NGC 7293, which -- even for me at 33.5 deg N -- is pretty far south.  But guiding on something straight overhead, like M33, has been less successful.  That's where I ordinarily expect the best results.  So I'm still trying to get things worked out on nights of bad seeing.  As we speak, I'm still using the QSI's OAG.  But I may go back to using the Baader Vario-Finder again.  There are always guide stars, and I don't have to recalibrate if I rotate the QSI from landscape to portrait orientation.  But I assume the Min Move has to be increased significantly.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

CurtisC
 

Thank you, Rolando.

"Guiding Assistant" in PHD or PHD2?

I've reviewed most of what you've posted about guiding in this forum, going back two decades.  That's not to say that maybe I haven't missed something important.  In the past I ignored the Advanced Settings in MaxImDL  I never looked at them.  I got what I got.  Having studied your advice, I believe my results have noticeably improved on nights of good seeing.  It's the nights of bad seeing, like the last few nights, that still trouble me.  Fiddling with the Min Move and aggressiveness, I've been able to get good results (= approximately round stars) on NGC 7293, which -- even for me at 33.5 deg N -- is pretty far south.  But guiding on something straight overhead, like M33, has been less successful.  That's where I ordinarily expect the best results.  So I'm still trying to get things worked out on nights of bad seeing.  As we speak, I'm still using the QSI's OAG.  But I may go back to using the Baader Vario-Finder again.  There are always guide stars, and I don't have to recalibrate if I rotate the QSI from landscape to portrait orientation.  But I assume the Min Move has to be increased significantly.


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

 

zwo also sells a helical non-rotating focuser, I'm not sure if it meets your specs

I think i have one of those hutech helical focusers i'm not using if that's the path you choose


Brian

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:31 PM Robert Berta <biker123@...> wrote:
Huetech used to sell a nice helical focuser that didn't rotate the camera. You can lock down all of the adjustments with thumb screws so once locked down there is NO flexure or unwanted movement. I have had that setup (with a 50mm guide scope) since about 2005 and it works great with my 152mm and 80mm APO refractors. I have another 70mm guide scope with a longer focal length  and different focuser that I use with both the 152mm APO refractor and a 11" SCT. The trick is to eliminate ALL possible loose/soft connections....once you do you will get great guiding. 

I don't have the part number of that Huetech focuser anymore so can't help there. 



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Crayford style focuser for Vario-Finder 10x60 ; 61x250 f/4.1

Robert Berta
 

Huetech used to sell a nice helical focuser that didn't rotate the camera. You can lock down all of the adjustments with thumb screws so once locked down there is NO flexure or unwanted movement. I have had that setup (with a 50mm guide scope) since about 2005 and it works great with my 152mm and 80mm APO refractors. I have another 70mm guide scope with a longer focal length  and different focuser that I use with both the 152mm APO refractor and a 11" SCT. The trick is to eliminate ALL possible loose/soft connections....once you do you will get great guiding. 

I don't have the part number of that Huetech focuser anymore so can't help there. 


Re: "Bump guiding" question - FU question from Roland's experience

Roland Christen
 


can we experiment adding bump guiding using a much smaller attached guidescope?
My inclination is NO, the separate guide scope will be guiding along quite nicely and show no guide errors, but after a few minutes the large scope will slowly point in a different direction than the guide scope, due to differential flexure. That slow motion will be captured on your imaging camera as a slow migration and the stars will eventually be non-round.

How long it takes for the two scopes to point in different directions depends on how much flex the large scope has. It will flex for sure, there is no doubt. If it exceeds 1 arc sec differential, you will probably see out-of round stars. Depends on the seeing of course, but Chile has great seeing and every tiny error will show immediately.

Personally I would never build up a major system like that with a 17" scope and not inherently include an off axis guider. Big Cassegrains are notorious for having flex, especially if the main mirror is heavy and supported by flotation system. It will certainly move sideways as it moves around in the sky. The secondary support will flex for sure. It's a bad system for a separate guide scope.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Valente <bvalente@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Oct 15, 2020 3:06 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] "Bump guiding" question - FU question from Roland's experience

For our AP1600AE with a large APCC tracking model installed, can we experiment adding bump guiding using a much smaller attached guidescope? (the 'guide every 10 seconds' approach we were discussing)


the image scale on the main CDK17 is 0.63" 
the image scale on the piggyback scope (SVX80) is approx 1.7"

Right now we can get pretty good results on 600sec exposures, but not sure if the issues we're seeing (minor issues) are seeing or tracking related. 


The reason i'm asking this is because the telescope is in Chile, so buying a compatible OAG, shipping it there, installing it, etc. is quite expensive. We already have the piggyback scope there and available so we can at least try it out if you think it would be a valid test.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


"Bump guiding" question - FU question from Roland's experience

 

For our AP1600AE with a large APCC tracking model installed, can we experiment adding bump guiding using a much smaller attached guidescope? (the 'guide every 10 seconds' approach we were discussing)


the image scale on the main CDK17 is 0.63" 
the image scale on the piggyback scope (SVX80) is approx 1.7"

Right now we can get pretty good results on 600sec exposures, but not sure if the issues we're seeing (minor issues) are seeing or tracking related. 


The reason i'm asking this is because the telescope is in Chile, so buying a compatible OAG, shipping it there, installing it, etc. is quite expensive. We already have the piggyback scope there and available so we can at least try it out if you think it would be a valid test.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente

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