Date   

M42 from my future observatory site

Robert Chozick
 

I am buying some property in West Texas and this is my first light.  I have not purchased yet and just went out there with my portable setup one night.  I lost most of my subs as the humidity was 90 percent but I managed to use about  an hours worth.  I did get shorter exposures for the various parts of the nebula.  I will redo this later with 4 or 5 hours of exposure.  I really love my 16 bit CMOS ASI2600.  It is a great camera.


Robert


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

Tom Blahovici
 

Oops.  Here you are:


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

 

Hi Tom

i need the guidelog, not the debug log thanks

On Sat, Dec 19, 2020 at 9:13 AM Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...> wrote:
Hi Thanks for the offer.  You will some some of the shorter ones with the wild behavior.
Best regards, Tom



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

Tom Blahovici
 

#5 is particularly bad.


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

Tom Blahovici
 

Hi Thanks for the offer.  You will some some of the shorter ones with the wild behavior.
Best regards, Tom


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

Geert
 

Great, thanks Stacey.  Serial to serial is what I have, I’ll do the upgrade later this week then.

 

Geert

 

Van: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> Namens Stacey Mills
Verzonden: zaterdag 19 december 2020 14:36
Aan: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Onderwerp: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

 

I used straight serial to serial, not the USB->Serial converter.


This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

Stacey Mills
 

I used straight serial to serial, not the USB->Serial converter.


Re: AP1200 - Starting from Park5

Horia
 

Thank you George.

 

This is a roll-away shed and it has been designed such that we must use Park 5. Coming from another mount not having the issue, we were not aware of this problem. We will have to take care of it in the automation software. Will see …

 

Regards,

Horia

 

 

Von: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> Im Auftrag von George
Gesendet: Freitag, 18. Dezember 2020 23:17
An: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Betreff: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 - Starting from Park5

 

Horia,

 

To avoid the downward dip, it is also possible to use Park 4.    I assume that your facility will allow it.

 

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 Horia
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 3:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 - Starting from Park5

 

George,

 

yes this is a solution.

 

But this is supposed to be an automated system, starting in the evening and parking in the morning. Having to insert a GoTo Park 3 in front of the start-up procedure – this not being an ASCOM command – is not an elegant option. We might insert Polaris as a dummy target for the evening preparation but this is a kludge.

 

I would expect to have some option like „intelligen slew“ inside the driver to prevent this to happen.

 

Would APCC take care of this?

 

Kind regards,

Horia

 

 

 

Von: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> Im Auftrag von George
Gesendet: Freitag, 18. Dezember 2020 22:12
An: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Betreff: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 - Starting from Park5

 

Horia,

 

Unpark the mount from your Park 5 and go to Park 3.    From there you can slew around.    By doing the above you’ll avoid a downward dip.

 

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 Horia
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 2:43 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 - Starting from Park5

 

We have an AP-1200 mount carrying a 16“ f/5 Newton. The scope must be parked at Park5. As the system is installed at 50° North, the declination of the Park5 is 40°.

 

 

 

 

Now, every time the mount does a GoTo from the park position to a target on the East side and having a declination lower than 40° (and a lot of them targets are there) both axes start slewing at the same time. The net result is that the telescope first makes a sharp nosedive and only later starts pointing back to the stars. This is between bad (the mirror moves in the cell) and awfully bad (the scope makes a hard landing).

 

 

The Mount has a CP3 controller. For the firmware version I would have to check (the system is remote). The ASCOM driver is at 5.30.10 level. No APCC.

 

Is there an option to tell the mount to delay the DEC axis until it is safe to start it? Is this function only available in APCC? Would an upgrade to CP4 help?

 

Kind Regards,

Horia

 


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

Geert
 

Stacey, so you did not use a USB/serial connector but straight serial to serial ports?

Geert

Op vr 18 dec. 2020 23:26 schreef Stacey Mills <w4sm@...>:

Thanks! I did it through the COM port and it was quick and painless!!!


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

 

if you are using PHD i can look at the guidelogs and give you some feedback


On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 8:00 PM Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...> wrote:
Oh, that's unfortunate. It's really weird.  I shut down all the software, rebooted windows and the problem remained.  I shut down everything again, and this time powered off the observatory and when it came back up things seem more stable.
So it's not software but rather something in the hardware.  I am using a CP4 with a 600e mount.
Tom



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

Tom Blahovici
 

Oh, that's unfortunate. It's really weird.  I shut down all the software, rebooted windows and the problem remained.  I shut down everything again, and this time powered off the observatory and when it came back up things seem more stable.
So it's not software but rather something in the hardware.  I am using a CP4 with a 600e mount.
Tom


Re: Can smog effect autoguiding?

 

Hi Tom

>>>I just heard on the radio that there is a smog warning in my area.
Is this a possibility? 

it's very unlikely. you can open the log viewer and see if your guide star SNR has dropped significantly, but I would not imagine that kind of change


>>>am I destined to always have problems, just when all have been sorted out. 

If you are doing astronomy, yes you will always have new and exciting problems to solve :)

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 7:14 PM Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...> wrote:
After two perfect nights automating imaging into the wee hours of the morning, tonight it has been a disaster. I get swings of 4" whereas I was getting .6" the last two evenings for 10 hours each night.
At first I had not idea what was going on. I checked the scope, there were no wire hang ups, everything looks perfect.  Outside, the night appears nice and clear.
It now all of a sudden seems to be performing ok, not as good as usual, but I just heard on the radio that there is a smog warning in my area.
Is this a possibility? Or am I destined to always have problems, just when all have been sorted out.  You goot love this hobby.
Tom



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Can smog effect autoguiding?

Tom Blahovici
 

After two perfect nights automating imaging into the wee hours of the morning, tonight it has been a disaster. I get swings of 4" whereas I was getting .6" the last two evenings for 10 hours each night.
At first I had not idea what was going on. I checked the scope, there were no wire hang ups, everything looks perfect.  Outside, the night appears nice and clear.
It now all of a sudden seems to be performing ok, not as good as usual, but I just heard on the radio that there is a smog warning in my area.
Is this a possibility? Or am I destined to always have problems, just when all have been sorted out.  You goot love this hobby.
Tom


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

 

Hello Pam,

 

Here is some information that pertains to upgrading older keypads to the new version 5 software:

https://www.astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad_update/419/upgrading-older-keypads-1119.pdf

 

I hope that it is helpful.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Pamela Morgan
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 6:24 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

 

Hi Marj.

 

I am planning to purchase a GTOCP4 control box.  Hoping I can take advantage of the new keypad software too.   Can all keypads update to the version 5.0 software?  My keypad is an older one.

 

Thanks.

 

pam

 

 

On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 6:26 PM Marj Christen <marj@...> wrote:

Happy Holidays! 


Astro-Physics has put a new software version for our GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes under the Christmas Tree Nebula for you to open and enjoy.   

https://www.astro-physics.com/software-updates/

This is a major upgrade for GTOCP4 control boxes.  In addition to the Ethernet download method, we now have an option for USB/Serial updates. Be sure to check the version history for a list of the improvements. Some of these were implemented for the new Keypad version 5 software which will be available for GTOCP4 owners in the near future. 


For Mach2 owners, unless your mount was shipped in the last couple of weeks, this upgrade is for you too.

Enjoy!  

--
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

 

Larry,

I’m glad it worked out well for you. I know what you mean. I really like it also.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics, Inc

11250 Forest Hills Rd

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

Fax: 815-282-9847

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Larry Phillips
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 11:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making the USB option available.  It was so much more straight forward and much quicker than the ethernet version I used for P02-07. It probably took less than 5 minutes from the time I connected the mount to the PC to finishing.  I no longer dread having to do future updates.  

Larry Phillips


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

Pamela Morgan
 

Hi Marj.

I am planning to purchase a GTOCP4 control box.  Hoping I can take advantage of the new keypad software too.   Can all keypads update to the version 5.0 software?  My keypad is an older one.

Thanks.

pam


On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 6:26 PM Marj Christen <marj@...> wrote:
Happy Holidays! 


Astro-Physics has put a new software version for our GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes under the Christmas Tree Nebula for you to open and enjoy.   

https://www.astro-physics.com/software-updates/

This is a major upgrade for GTOCP4 control boxes.  In addition to the Ethernet download method, we now have an option for USB/Serial updates. Be sure to check the version history for a list of the improvements. Some of these were implemented for the new Keypad version 5 software which will be available for GTOCP4 owners in the near future. 


For Mach2 owners, unless your mount was shipped in the last couple of weeks, this upgrade is for you too.

Enjoy!  

--
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

Woody Schlom
 

Ah, thanks Roland.  I didn’t realize that the “old” amp draw method only works with the original Mach1 – which I have.  Interesting.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 3:28 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

 

 

As to Balancing, I am surprised that I don't find some sort of balancing tool in APCC.  Seems simple enough to sample the amp draw in both axis to see which side is heavier and then instruct the user with "scope is camera heavy" or "Scope is counterweight heavy" with some sort of % measurement. 

The Mach2 uses micro-stepper servo motors which do not change current with load. Therefore it is not possible to measure any difference between balanced and unbalanced. Just loosen the clutches and do your balance that way. With clutches loose you can attain very accurate balance manually.

 

In general, you cannot extrapolate from one manufacturer all functions to another manufacturer.

 

Rolando

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Micheal Fields Jr via groups.io <mpfjr@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Dec 18, 2020 4:51 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

Hi there!

First day owning a AP mount which happens to be the Mach2GTO :)
Up until today my imaging mount was solely a 10Micron.  I bought the Mach2 to put in an observatory because having one premium mount I have been taking it down and transporting it 2 hours every time I want to do some back yard imaging or go out to the clubs star parties.

Now I have two good mounts so I don't have to do that!

Ok so I am used to doing things a different way and I think some things are pretty good ideas.  Two that come to mind first are Balancing and Polar Alignment.

As to Balancing, I am surprised that I don't find some sort of balancing tool in APCC.  Seems simple enough to sample the amp draw in both axis to see which side is heavier and then instruct the user with "scope is camera heavy" or "Scope is counterweight heavy" with some sort of % measurement.   I would have to imagine that the access to that data is there it just would need to be added.  But maybe it simply doesn't matter and balance by hand is more than fine?   You tell me.

The second thing is polar alignment.  I went into the Pointing Model tab in APCC Pro and clicked on the button (blueish color) that says APPM and it did NOT launch point mapper. I had to launch it from the desktop.  Once in there I looked around and it seems to have a lot of great information. But again, nothing that seems to indicate that it can command the mount to do something akin to The Sky X's Precise Polar Alignment where it uses the sky model to determine polar alignment error and asks you to center a star using the physical knobs. Once the star is centered, you are polar aligned.  This has been the way I did polar alignments for the last five years on a few different mounts.    Did I overlook this tool somewhere or is this simply something that nobody wants?  

How are you doing polar alignment ?  Are you all using the RAPAS?   Since I am going to be permanent on a pier I only have to do this once.   Just use Sharpcap and move on? 

I believe both of these features would be pretty nice to have and wouldn't require further software purchases.  

Thanks


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

Woody Schlom
 

Micheal,

 

First off I have a Mach1, not the new Mach2.  But all my comments should apply to the Mach2 also.

 

  1. Balance technique #1.  Balancing the DEC access of the original Mach1 is a bit tricky as it has no gear/friction release for balancing.  So there was quite a bit of friction even with the clutch released.  But Roland suggested how he did it – using a low-tech fish scale.  And by golly, it works.  I have a new-fangled digital fish scale which works even better.  Basically you release the DEC clutch fully, lay out the CW shaft horizontal, and then attach the hook of the fish scale to the end of the CW shaft and gently tug straight up and read the weight on the scale.  Then reverse direction and gently tug the end of the CW shaft down and note the weight on the scale.  The goal is to get both readings to be the same.  So adjust the weights accordingly.
  2. Balance technique #2.  This uses the electronic technique you described – compare the amp draw in both directions, and adjust the CW until amp draw is the same in both directions.  And for this the handiest solution is to buy one of Powerwerk’s inline volt/amp meters.  It comes with PP connectors on both ends.  So you just plug it in between the mount’s power supply and mount – and with the CQ shaft horizontal, do the same as with the fish scale – except using the mount move controls to move the mount – and adjust the CW until the amp draw is the same in both directions.
  3. I use two methods for PA.  #1  The fast method (which I use 99% of the time) is using the RAPAS and a Polar Alignment APP on my Android phone.  The APP takes the phone’s current time, date, and location and displays an identical RAPAS reticle image on the phone – with a white dot where you’re supposed to put Polaris.  And then you just adjust the Az and DEC mount adjustments until the real Polaris in the RAPAS is in exactly the same place where it is on the phone’s APP.  Done.  With just a little practice you can do it in about a minute.  And it’s plenty accurate enough.
  4. #2 PA method I use.  PemPRO.  This basically is a camera assisted speeded up drift alignment.  It works well, but takes me a whole lot longer than the RAPAS method.  And to be honest, about the only time I use PemPRO for PA is to calibrate and align my RAPAS.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Micheal Fields Jr via groups.io
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 2:52 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

 

Hi there!

First day owning a AP mount which happens to be the Mach2GTO :)
Up until today my imaging mount was solely a 10Micron.  I bought the Mach2 to put in an observatory because having one premium mount I have been taking it down and transporting it 2 hours every time I want to do some back yard imaging or go out to the clubs star parties.

Now I have two good mounts so I don't have to do that!

Ok so I am used to doing things a different way and I think some things are pretty good ideas.  Two that come to mind first are Balancing and Polar Alignment.

As to Balancing, I am surprised that I don't find some sort of balancing tool in APCC.  Seems simple enough to sample the amp draw in both axis to see which side is heavier and then instruct the user with "scope is camera heavy" or "Scope is counterweight heavy" with some sort of % measurement.   I would have to imagine that the access to that data is there it just would need to be added.  But maybe it simply doesn't matter and balance by hand is more than fine?   You tell me.

The second thing is polar alignment.  I went into the Pointing Model tab in APCC Pro and clicked on the button (blueish color) that says APPM and it did NOT launch point mapper. I had to launch it from the desktop.  Once in there I looked around and it seems to have a lot of great information. But again, nothing that seems to indicate that it can command the mount to do something akin to The Sky X's Precise Polar Alignment where it uses the sky model to determine polar alignment error and asks you to center a star using the physical knobs. Once the star is centered, you are polar aligned.  This has been the way I did polar alignments for the last five years on a few different mounts.    Did I overlook this tool somewhere or is this simply something that nobody wants?  

How are you doing polar alignment ?  Are you all using the RAPAS?   Since I am going to be permanent on a pier I only have to do this once.   Just use Sharpcap and move on? 

I believe both of these features would be pretty nice to have and wouldn't require further software purchases.  

Thanks


AP1600 installing a home switch

Greg Bradley
 

I have an AP1600 and it has the older controller CP.

What is the latest CP model for this mount and what does it need to get a home switch installed?

Is it a do at home upgrade?

Greg. 


Re: Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

Roland Christen
 


As to Balancing, I am surprised that I don't find some sort of balancing tool in APCC.  Seems simple enough to sample the amp draw in both axis to see which side is heavier and then instruct the user with "scope is camera heavy" or "Scope is counterweight heavy" with some sort of % measurement. 
The Mach2 uses micro-stepper servo motors which do not change current with load. Therefore it is not possible to measure any difference between balanced and unbalanced. Just loosen the clutches and do your balance that way. With clutches loose you can attain very accurate balance manually.

In general, you cannot extrapolate from one manufacturer all functions to another manufacturer.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Micheal Fields Jr via groups.io <mpfjr@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Dec 18, 2020 4:51 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Balance helper by amp draw? #Mach2GTO

Hi there!

First day owning a AP mount which happens to be the Mach2GTO :)
Up until today my imaging mount was solely a 10Micron.  I bought the Mach2 to put in an observatory because having one premium mount I have been taking it down and transporting it 2 hours every time I want to do some back yard imaging or go out to the clubs star parties.

Now I have two good mounts so I don't have to do that!

Ok so I am used to doing things a different way and I think some things are pretty good ideas.  Two that come to mind first are Balancing and Polar Alignment.

As to Balancing, I am surprised that I don't find some sort of balancing tool in APCC.  Seems simple enough to sample the amp draw in both axis to see which side is heavier and then instruct the user with "scope is camera heavy" or "Scope is counterweight heavy" with some sort of % measurement.   I would have to imagine that the access to that data is there it just would need to be added.  But maybe it simply doesn't matter and balance by hand is more than fine?   You tell me.

The second thing is polar alignment.  I went into the Pointing Model tab in APCC Pro and clicked on the button (blueish color) that says APPM and it did NOT launch point mapper. I had to launch it from the desktop.  Once in there I looked around and it seems to have a lot of great information. But again, nothing that seems to indicate that it can command the mount to do something akin to The Sky X's Precise Polar Alignment where it uses the sky model to determine polar alignment error and asks you to center a star using the physical knobs. Once the star is centered, you are polar aligned.  This has been the way I did polar alignments for the last five years on a few different mounts.    Did I overlook this tool somewhere or is this simply something that nobody wants?  

How are you doing polar alignment ?  Are you all using the RAPAS?   Since I am going to be permanent on a pier I only have to do this once.   Just use Sharpcap and move on? 

I believe both of these features would be pretty nice to have and wouldn't require further software purchases.  

Thanks

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

2961 - 2980 of 77827