Date   

Additional Options for storing the RAPAS,CP and Counterweights

john vogt
 

Following Tony's (Harley Davidson) lead showing what he uses to store his mount accessories, here is what
I came up with.

For the RAPAS and CP3/4/5 and cables I use a Caseling hard case purchased from Amazon:
Amazon.com: Caseling Universal Electronics/Accessories Hard Travel Organizer Carrying Case Bag, 9.8” x 5.6”x 2.8” - Black: Computers & Accessories

For my Keypad, also from Amazon:
Amazon.com: BUBM 3pcs/set Padded Travel Office Cord Cable Gear Organizer Electronics Accessories Bag Gadget Carry Pouch Electrical Cord Management: Office Products
I had a bit of a problem finding a case just large enough to fit the keypad without severely bending the strain relief until I came across this one. It comes with a total of 3 cases, the largest being the one I used. The two smaller ones are good for other odds and ends.

Lastly for the counterweights I use two Neoprene cases sold Track the Stars for their Panther mount. The cases fit the AP weights perfectly. I cut up circular pieces of Polyethylene foam to use as dividers and prevent the weights from banging into each other. Each one hold two weights, 18lb and/or 10lb,5lb.




Another Recommendation of the Ridgid Tool Cart for transporting the AP900/1100

john vogt
 


Dec 1   

After watching Tony's (Harley Davidson) videos of how he transports his mounts (Thanks Tony!)
I purchased from Home Depot the Ridgid Mobile Gear Cart($60), 2-22" Tool Boxes($40each) and 22" Gear Organizer($20).
At the time the Gear Organizer was free with the purchase of a Cart and Tool Box.

As I had quite a bit of Polyethylene Foam sheeting I custom cut a number of pieces to hold and cushion the various
parts of the mount. I also lined the bottom and sides of the cart and one tool box with cut pieces of a floor cushion
from Harbor Freight. The RA assembly fits nicely into the cart and the Tool Box holds the Dec housing, Dec Top Plate
and saddle, CWT shaft and extension. I used some CPVC pipe to hold the shafts for further protection.

The second Tool Box holds the CWT and accessory (RAPAS,CP3,Keypad) cases.

As Tony mentions in his review the Ridgid system is well built, light, sturdy and best of all inexpensive. Highly Recommended.

Below are a few pix. 

John


Re: NGC 1097, Arp 77

REDIGER-LIZLOV Didier
 

hello Geoff, 
it was not a critique just the expression of my personnal taste 😉. Many images are now saturated like that  (escpecially from USA) but personnaly I  prefer stay  on softer coloration. 😉

Didier REDIGER-LIZLOV


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Geoff Smith <ghsmith45@...>
Envoyé : mardi 1 décembre 2020 22:29
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] NGC 1097, Arp 77
 
Thanks for all the positive comments. Didier, about the colour and FOV. I certainly thought about pulling the colour back a little, but I decided that there was more immediate impact leaving it as it is. It was cropped from 49' x 49' down to 45' x 34'


Re: APPM Models

Worsel
 

Lee

A tip on using MGBox V2 with APPC.

Do not use the astro-mi.ch Windows app.  Just download the ASCOM Local Server.  Use the same COM port in that app and in APPC and APPC will get the data when you connect  in GPS Tab via ASCOM Observing Conditions.

Bryan


Re: Change Mount COM Port

dang.astro
 

Thank you Mike! I will give this a try and report back

Best,
Dan


Re: Storage box for the Mach2 mount

Jim Hawn
 

Thanks.  I think I will go with Kaizen foam as well now that I have found a local supplier (couldn't find Kaizen foam at Home Depot).  Rockler also has retail outlets throughout the US.
https://www.rockler.com/fastcap-kaizen-tool-storage-foam


Re: Storage box for the Mach2 mount

David Albers <humealbers@...>
 

One type of foam I like to use is Kaizen foam.  It cuts easily and is layered so you can cut to a certain depth and then peel back just that layer.  It's available from multiple places, even Home Depot sells it I think...and yes it's expensive as well.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 1:43 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Storage box for the Mach2 mount
 
Hi Jim

I found my foam on eBay. There are quite a few sellers that offer the Density 1.7 Polyethylene Foam Sheets in different colors and densities (higher density = "harder"). I bought my foam from Hexapackaging. They offer 2 ft X 2 ft and 2 ft X 4 ft sheets in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 1/2" to 2".

This foam is not cheap ! A couple years ago I had to send my 180 EDT back to Astro-Physics for some upgrades. Since I did not have the original shipping carton, I had to make one using these 2-inch thick foam sheets. At the same time, I also had to replace the foam in the wood storage case that came with the scope. This project cost several hundred dollars. The moral of this story is to save those shipping cartons with all of that high density foam. 


Re: NGC 1097, Arp 77

Geoff Smith
 

Thanks for all the positive comments. Didier, about the colour and FOV. I certainly thought about pulling the colour back a little, but I decided that there was more immediate impact leaving it as it is. It was cropped from 49' x 49' down to 45' x 34'


Re: NGC 1097, Arp 77

Don Anderson
 

Great work Geoff!
I see the jets quite clearly. Amazing detail right down to the galaxy core. 

Don Anderson


On Monday, November 30, 2020, 08:56:17 p.m. MST, Geoff Smith <ghsmith45@...> wrote:


I had some trouble processing this one. There are faint jets emanating from the galaxy and getting these to show up without blowing out the galaxy was tricky.
Taken over the last new moon period.
Image here https://www.astrobin.com/wwb657/B/?nc=user

Taken with Plane Wave 12.5" on an AP 900 mount.
Processed in PixInsight.

Description:
NGC 1097 is a Seyfert galaxy, harbouring a supermassive black hole in its centre. There are four mysterious jets in an X shape centred on the nucleus. Two of these pointing to the upper right corner of the image are easily seen here. The upper one has a right angle bend and is often referred to as the "Dogleg". There is a faint suggestion of a third jet to the left of the image opposite the fainter one on the right. This is readily seen in the inverted view.


Re: Storage box for the Mach2 mount

M Hambrick
 

Hi Jim

I found my foam on eBay. There are quite a few sellers that offer the Density 1.7 Polyethylene Foam Sheets in different colors and densities (higher density = "harder"). I bought my foam from Hexapackaging. They offer 2 ft X 2 ft and 2 ft X 4 ft sheets in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 1/2" to 2".

This foam is not cheap ! A couple years ago I had to send my 180 EDT back to Astro-Physics for some upgrades. Since I did not have the original shipping carton, I had to make one using these 2-inch thick foam sheets. At the same time, I also had to replace the foam in the wood storage case that came with the scope. This project cost several hundred dollars. The moral of this story is to save those shipping cartons with all of that high density foam. 


Re: APPM Models

 

Hi Lee

afaik pressure doesn't really make much of a difference for model accuracy. Temperature is the real variable there


Brian

On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 10:03 AM Lee Dodge <ldodge12@...> wrote:
Worsel,

Thanks for the reply.  I think what was particularly bothering me was the large temperature dependence in the correction equation that I was using to get from barometric pressure to absolute pressure.  I finally gave up and ordered an MGBox V2 to measure the pressure directly.  I hope that this will improve the accuracy of my APPM models.  Previously I was using a THUM device for temperature and humidity, and a fixed value of 737 mbar for pressure, that should correspond to a high pressure, clear day at my altitude.  

When I tried to put together an APPM model, it got about half way through and then froze up for some unknown reason.  I will try again with the MGBox V2 that hopefully will make it more accurate and worth the effort.  Since I am working in a dome, it takes some extra effort to keep swinging the dome around to get a view of the sky.  I did use the search pattern laid out for a dome that helped a bit.    



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: APPM Models

Lee Dodge
 

Worsel,

Thanks for the reply.  I think what was particularly bothering me was the large temperature dependence in the correction equation that I was using to get from barometric pressure to absolute pressure.  I finally gave up and ordered an MGBox V2 to measure the pressure directly.  I hope that this will improve the accuracy of my APPM models.  Previously I was using a THUM device for temperature and humidity, and a fixed value of 737 mbar for pressure, that should correspond to a high pressure, clear day at my altitude.  

When I tried to put together an APPM model, it got about half way through and then froze up for some unknown reason.  I will try again with the MGBox V2 that hopefully will make it more accurate and worth the effort.  Since I am working in a dome, it takes some extra effort to keep swinging the dome around to get a view of the sky.  I did use the search pattern laid out for a dome that helped a bit.    


Re: AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders

 

Shailesh you can do a simple comparison

 

1.     Take a 5 minute sub (or whatever longer exposure) with encoders on.

 

2.     Next disable the encoders in APCC

 

3.     Take another sub of the same length

 

4.     Compare two images

 

5.       Wonder why you didn’t add encoders earlier J

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 9:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders #Absolute_Encoders

 

 

Is there a utility or something in PEMPRO  or APCCPRO? KInd of like PHD2 that shows a RA/DEC tracking graph?

All three of them can show periodic error, or as you say a "tracking graph". While encoders will eliminate the main problem of periodic error, they cannot eliminate the slow drift in both RA and Dec caused by polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and other secondary effects.

 

You need to be aware that perfect sidereal tracking does not compensate for the above items, and that the stars do not move at a simple tracking rate across the sky. If you want to track precisely down to the sub-arc sec level, you need to either guide or build a model that can compensate for the above items.

 

Rolando

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Dec 1, 2020 11:21 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders #Absolute_Encoders

Thank you, Rolando. Greatly look forward to some unguided imaging with my AP Stowaway, 130GTX and FSQ106.

BTW how do I ascertain tracking is cleaner compared to say my Paramount MX without encoders. Is there a utility or something in PEMPRO  or APCCPRO? KInd of like PHD2 that shows a RA/DEC tracking graph?

Shailesh


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders

Roland Christen
 


Is there a utility or something in PEMPRO  or APCCPRO? KInd of like PHD2 that shows a RA/DEC tracking graph?
All three of them can show periodic error, or as you say a "tracking graph". While encoders will eliminate the main problem of periodic error, they cannot eliminate the slow drift in both RA and Dec caused by polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and other secondary effects.

You need to be aware that perfect sidereal tracking does not compensate for the above items, and that the stars do not move at a simple tracking rate across the sky. If you want to track precisely down to the sub-arc sec level, you need to either guide or build a model that can compensate for the above items.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Dec 1, 2020 11:21 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders #Absolute_Encoders

Thank you, Rolando. Greatly look forward to some unguided imaging with my AP Stowaway, 130GTX and FSQ106.

BTW how do I ascertain tracking is cleaner compared to say my Paramount MX without encoders. Is there a utility or something in PEMPRO  or APCCPRO? KInd of like PHD2 that shows a RA/DEC tracking graph?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders

Shailesh Trivedi
 

Thank you, Rolando. Greatly look forward to some unguided imaging with my AP Stowaway, 130GTX and FSQ106.

BTW how do I ascertain tracking is cleaner compared to say my Paramount MX without encoders. Is there a utility or something in PEMPRO  or APCCPRO? KInd of like PHD2 that shows a RA/DEC tracking graph?

Shailesh


Re: AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders

Roland Christen
 

The blue and green means that the encoders are happy and getting solid signals. There is nothing else that you need to do. The mount is set to run under encoder control.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Dec 1, 2020 9:54 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders #Absolute_Encoders

Rolando,

Thanks to George and Liam, I was able to program the personality #120 into the CP4, VIa APCC now I see encoders enabled. Does one blue and one gree light mean the signals are solid?

Besides melting into the background, is there anything I need to be aware of with AEs on the AP1100 GTO?

ShaiIesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1100 GTO with AE installed today - but newbie question #Absolute_Encoders

Shailesh Trivedi
 

Rolando,

Thanks to George and Liam, I was able to program the personality #120 into the CP4, VIa APCC now I see encoders enabled. Does one blue and one gree light mean the signals are solid?

Besides melting into the background, is there anything I need to be aware of with AEs on the AP1100 GTO?

ShaiIesh


Re: Storage box for the Mach2 mount

Jim Hawn
 

M Hambrick,

That is an excellent solution for storing the counterweights and CW bar.  Your photos really help to visualize the possibilities.  Now, I need to hunt down a supplier for the high density foam.  Thanks for sharing the fruits of your ingenuity.


Re: Change Mount COM Port

Mike Dodd
 

On 12/1/2020 9:28 AM, dang.astro wrote:
Thanks Mike for the reply,

When I go the solar guider settings, it only has a single Port listed
which is the same one the mount uses.

I plugged the solar guider into
another USB port on my laptop but it keeps showing up as COM Port 5 and
no other COM ports are listed.
Try this:
1. Turn on the mount and plug the USB-serial dongle for it.

2. Open Control Panel->Device Manager->Ports COM and LPT (see attached screen shot).

3. You should see COM5 listed.

4. Now plug the Solar Guider into a USB port. How does the list of ports change in Device Manager?

I don't know anything about the Solar Guider. Is it a camera with its own USB cable? If so, then Device Manager should show a new port when you plug that cable.

*** If it does not, then your laptop does not recognize that device. In that case, you probably need to install a Solar Guider device driver.

Do you see any message in the Windows System Tray (lower-right) when you plug the Solar Guider? That could be a clue that the device driver is missing. Or perhaps Device Manager shows a new port with a yellow question mark that indicates the device is not working.

As far as I know, Device Manager should display a port for every USB cable plugged into the PC. If it does not -- and only the mount's COM5 port is shown -- that explains why the Solar Guider software is choosing COM5. You need to get Solar Guider's port to show up.

--- Mike


Re: Change Mount COM Port

dang.astro
 

Thanks Mike for the reply,

When I go the solar guider settings, it only has a single Port listed which is the same one the mount uses. I plugged the solar guider into another USB port on my laptop but it keeps showing up as COM Port 5 and no other COM ports are listed. Haven't found a whole lot of documentation on the Hinode Solar Guider to be honest

Thanks again,
Dan

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