Date   

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

Bill Long
 

When you connect to APCC you can look at the top of the window and see the firmware version on the right side.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of weihaowang <whwang@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes
 
Hi Marj,

Could you tell me how to identify the version of my GTOCP5 so I know if I need the update?
I got the Mach2 two weeks ago, but I am not sure if the update is needed.

Also, when I proceed to the download, the website asked for my username and password.
How do I get these?

Thanks.

Wei-Hao

--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


Re: More unguided images with the Mach2 and APCC Pro #APCC #Mach2GTO

Bill Long
 

That is slated to appear in mid Jan 2021. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Don Anderson via groups.io <jockey_ca@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:08 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] More unguided images with the Mach2 and APCC Pro #Mach2GTO #APCC
 
Nice to see such good images being taken with CMOS cameras. They are getting better all the time. Now the mainstream guys not just the Chinese manufactures are starting to produce them. I am pretty much confined to narrowband being in a large light polluted (Bortle 8-9) city. My icx694 based mono camera works well with narrowband. Love the sensitivity of this Sony chip. Would like to get into something with a larger format possibly and imx455 based camera to get a wider field of view using my TV NP127is scope. However that would mean new FW and 2" filters plus the camera. Hard to justify right now. I wonder if Sony will come out with a mono APS C format CMOS sensor.

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 09:16:45 p.m. MST, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:


On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 06:21 PM, Don Anderson wrote:
How do you feel the OSC camera images compare to those of Mono cameras with filters?
I like this particular camera Don.  I have been enjoying using it.  I'll still be using mono cameras for things like narrowband but I think that the color camera works great for star fields and brighter objects.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Bill Long
 

For some reason, my posts never go through this late at night. See the circled bit in this image below. Flip Mount button in APCC. Pro not required.


Re: Precise polar alignment of the azimuth axis

Steven Panish
 

Look into ConeSharp.  Works REALLY well to eliminate cone error.  From the SharpCap folks.

Steve

On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 5:44 PM John <obee11@...> wrote:
Aloha All,

  I will review all of this, thanks! 

  Somehow I missed the info on page 26 of the pdf file.  That pdf file is for keypad ver 4.19.3 and I was looking in the newer Keypad manual ver 5.x.x.x (dated 11 Nov 2020).
The newer manual is a little different.  No worries!!

  I'm using the Sharpcap polar align tool which is probably similar to the others (ie take an image and rotate the ra axis 90 degrees, take another image, and then adjust the mount to the ncp).
I can do this thru either the guide scope camera on the main C8 camera. But I'm a little worried that I might be introducing some small ortho or cone errors. I guess a Polemaster camera mounted
on front of the Mach 2 would take care of that!  And the modeling will help to (just haven't got to it yet)

    John

 


Re: leveling the RAPAS on Mach2

W Hilmo
 

In terms of making the adjustments to polar align the mount, being level matters very little.  The only effect is that an adjustment to one axis might slightly affect the other, but as long as you put Polaris in the right spot, you are correctly polar aligned.

 

The possible issue with being unlevel in east/west, is that the clock angle of the reticule might be slightly off.  My thought off the top of my head, is that you would need to be very unlevel for this to make a meaningful difference.  In thinking it through, I think that the actual effect of this is latitude dependent.  For example, if you are at the equator, if your mount is tilted two degrees towards the west, the reticule would also be rotated two degrees west.  But if you are at the pole, the reticule would be at the correct clock angle, no matter how much the mount is tilted.  You could use some trigonometry to calculate this for other latitudes.

 

In practice, I maintain that this is simply not an issue.  I tend to image between 40 and 48 degrees north, depending on which site I’m using.  When I set up the mount, I do use a carpenter’s level to level the pier before I put the mount on it.  My polar alignment routine is to do the daytime polar alignment when I set up the mount, and then use the RAPAS to touch up the polar alignment at dusk.  The purpose of the daytime polar alignment is to get close enough that Polaris is unmistakable in the RAPAS reticule.  It also gives me a chance to sanity check my compass work that I have sufficient azimuth adjustment to complete the polar alignment (if I have to turn the entire setup a few degrees, I would rather do it during the day).  If you add up the total time that I spend on polar alignment, including both the daytime work and using the RAPAS, it’s probably around two to three minutes.

 

When I first got the RAPAS, I did a drift alignment and adjusted the RAPAS accordingly.  It was already very close, so it was a tiny adjustment.  In terms of performance, I always image from dusk to dawn.  As a normal part of my processing, I always blink through my stack of sub exposures.  In doing this, any field rotation through the night would be pretty obvious.  With the above routine, I never see any rotation, even if I blink the first and last exposures against each other.  I don’t know of a better validation of the polar alignment.

 

That’s why I say that the RAPAS works fine and is easily sufficient for any imaging that you want to do.  Don’t worry about it.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ernie.mastroianni@...
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 5:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] leveling the RAPAS on Mach2

 

My thinking has been that if the RAPAS is properly calibrated to the Mach2's RA axis, then a non-leveled tripod won't make a difference. Once the polar axis is precisely aligned, it does not care what is going on below. In the past, the difficulty from a non-level mount presents itself when trying to drift align. Adjustments in alt and az are intertwined. You'd really need a level tripod to calibrate the RAPAS, but perhaps once that is done, you should be fine.

But I may be mistaken in this notion as I don't fully understand how the absolute encoders work. Perhaps an azimuth tilt in an otherwise precisely aligned polar axis would affect how the Mach2 perceives its position. Would the ultra precise Home Position then be off?

Ernie


Re: leveling the RAPAS on Mach2

ernie.mastroianni@...
 

My thinking has been that if the RAPAS is properly calibrated to the Mach2's RA axis, then a non-leveled tripod won't make a difference. Once the polar axis is precisely aligned, it does not care what is going on below. In the past, the difficulty from a non-level mount presents itself when trying to drift align. Adjustments in alt and az are intertwined. You'd really need a level tripod to calibrate the RAPAS, but perhaps once that is done, you should be fine.

But I may be mistaken in this notion as I don't fully understand how the absolute encoders work. Perhaps an azimuth tilt in an otherwise precisely aligned polar axis would affect how the Mach2 perceives its position. Would the ultra precise Home Position then be off?

Ernie


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Dominique
 

Hi John,
When I received my keypad, I had the same type of problem. Solved by setting the keypad to EXT, which I think gives priority to APCC, but normally if the site initializes on the keypad and APCC there shouldn't be a problem. I did not find any information in the manuals indicating incompatibilities.
Dominique


Re: More unguided images with the Mach2 and APCC Pro #APCC #Mach2GTO

Dean Jacobsen
 

Yes, there is a mono version of the Sony IMX571 APS-C detector on the way.  I read on CN today that QHY is trying to get theirs out by mid January.  Both ZWO and QHY introduced a new 4/3” sensor mono camera with a Sony IMX492 sensor a couple of months ago.  
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

ray.palmer@...
 

Hi Group,

I am using a 1600GTO. Just wondering if any of the latest software updates have included a Meridian Flip feature yet please (I haven't updated the firmware for about two years)? AP make elite mounts there is no question, but many other brands have had this feature for many years, it is industry standard, where you basically press one button and she flips. I'm not looking for a timely work around solution, such as trying to reset the meridian to trick the mount into flipping (that is clunky, time consuming and not user friendly if you require to do it a few times per night). I am looking for instantaneous functionality like many other brand mounts have built into them. I have to flip numerous times through the night and it is not because of the meridian (dome slit angle, power pole, observatory door, etc). Otherwise is there any software that can flip an AP mount please? Thanks in advance and have a great Xmas. 
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


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

weihaowang
 

Hi Marj,

Could you tell me how to identify the version of my GTOCP5 so I know if I need the update?
I got the Mach2 two weeks ago, but I am not sure if the update is needed.

Also, when I proceed to the download, the website asked for my username and password.
How do I get these?

Thanks.

Wei-Hao

--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


Re: More unguided images with the Mach2 and APCC Pro #APCC #Mach2GTO

Don Anderson
 

Nice to see such good images being taken with CMOS cameras. They are getting better all the time. Now the mainstream guys not just the Chinese manufactures are starting to produce them. I am pretty much confined to narrowband being in a large light polluted (Bortle 8-9) city. My icx694 based mono camera works well with narrowband. Love the sensitivity of this Sony chip. Would like to get into something with a larger format possibly and imx455 based camera to get a wider field of view using my TV NP127is scope. However that would mean new FW and 2" filters plus the camera. Hard to justify right now. I wonder if Sony will come out with a mono APS C format CMOS sensor.

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 09:16:45 p.m. MST, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:


On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 06:21 PM, Don Anderson wrote:
How do you feel the OSC camera images compare to those of Mono cameras with filters?
I like this particular camera Don.  I have been enjoying using it.  I'll still be using mono cameras for things like narrowband but I think that the color camera works great for star fields and brighter objects.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: More unguided images with the Mach2 and APCC Pro #APCC #Mach2GTO

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 06:21 PM, Don Anderson wrote:
How do you feel the OSC camera images compare to those of Mono cameras with filters?
I like this particular camera Don.  I have been enjoying using it.  I'll still be using mono cameras for things like narrowband but I think that the color camera works great for star fields and brighter objects.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


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

Gary Steffens
 

Thank you, Marj!!

Merry Christmas to you and our AP friends. 

Gary


Re: 10 inch f6.6 reflector on ap1100?

Roland Christen
 


Would the mount handle it?
The 1100 mount would not even know it was there.
There are many coma correctors available for Newtonians, and you should be able to get good images over a full frame camera field.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Dec 22, 2020 8:36 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] 10 inch f6.6 reflector on ap1100?

Hi
I have an 1100 on order and I have an old 10 inch f6.6 reflector with superb optics. I was thinking I might try imaging with it. Would the mount handle it?
At the moment it is a truss tube DOB. I would need to completely redesign the tube. Any suggestions here? Imaging would be with an asi6200 and filter wheel. I do realize I will need to drastically crop the photos but is there anyway to correct for the coma etc?
Thanks

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


10 inch f6.6 reflector on ap1100?

Tom Blahovici
 

Hi
I have an 1100 on order and I have an old 10 inch f6.6 reflector with superb optics. I was thinking I might try imaging with it. Would the mount handle it?
At the moment it is a truss tube DOB. I would need to completely redesign the tube. Any suggestions here? Imaging would be with an asi6200 and filter wheel. I do realize I will need to drastically crop the photos but is there anyway to correct for the coma etc?
Thanks


Re: leveling the RAPAS on Mach2

weihaowang
 

Hi Christopher,

Thank you!  My tripod is the TAK wood tripod, which cannot be adjusted.  In the past few years, I put heavy TAK stuff on it and there were no stability issues.  Of course I don't put it on a very tilted ground to start with.  So here I am just looking for ways to overcome a tilt of a couple degrees.  (The TAK polar scope comes with a ring level on itself, so the tripod does not need to be leveled.)

I was never a fan of drift alignment, primarily because I am doing portable imaging and every minute under dark sky is precious. Every drift alignment method I had tried took too long.   (I know polar alignment can be done during twilight.  Unfortunately I live in the tropical region, where twilight is very short.)  On the other hand, in the past, a good alignment with a polar scope worked quite well and it took just one or two minutes each time.  Very often I see long term drift during guiding, but it's quite manageable as long as the mount can perform the guiding correction.  So here I am trying to see if I can do the same with Mach2 (unadjustable tripod, polar scope alignment, no drift).

I saw you live in Waikoloa.  Nice place.  I once lived in the Waikoloa village when I was a visiting astronomer at CFHT.  When I had time, I drove up to MKVIS and imaged there. I no longer live in Hawaii, but I came back to conduct MK summit observations from time to time. I really miss the sky there. When the pandemic is gone and when we are free to travel again, I want to come back to Hawaii and see the stars there, perhaps with our Mach2.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao

--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


10 inch f6.6 reflector on ap1100?

Tom Blahovici
 

Hi
I have an 1100 on order and I have an old 10 inch f6.6 reflector with superb optics. I was thinking I might try imaging with it. Would the mount handle it?
At the moment it is a truss tube DOB. I would need to completely redesign the tube. Any suggestions here? Imaging would be with an asi6200 and filter wheel. I do realize I will need to drastically crop the photos but is there anyway to correct for the coma etc?
Thanks


Re: More unguided images with the Mach2 and APCC Pro #APCC #Mach2GTO

Don Anderson
 

Nice work Dean. I love wide field shots. Faithfully reproduced star color is a pleasure to see.
How do you feel the OSC camera images compare to those of Mono cameras with filters?
Don Anderson


On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 04:59:53 p.m. MST, Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:


Thanks for taking a look John. 

I have been recently using a color camera... my first color camera in over twenty years of imaging.  I have been able to preserve star colors with the color camera as well.  I am learning that with color cameras and with the mono cameras that one of the things you have to be careful about is not overexposing the field stars, which will turn them whits no matter what you do in post processing.

Here are some links to the color camera shots:

Messier  31 - https://www.astrobin.com/vh9rug/C/?nc=user

NGC 129 wide field - https://www.astrobin.com/qzh68l/B/?nc=user

Open cluster NGC 133, et al - https://www.astrobin.com/ufwgxg/C/?nc=user

The Double Cluster - https://www.astrobin.com/85ssq8/?nc=user

IC 1805 wide field - https://www.astrobin.com/8o9lzb/D/?nc=user
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


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

 

Gary,

 

I reinstated the webpage for GTOCP4 version P01-14, the version that precedes the newest version. Here is the link to the software updates page. You can go from there.

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

 

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 Gary Steffens via groups.io
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 5:01 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 was just looking for the new keypad software (V5.xxx) and was going to ask where I could find it. Given V5.xxx is not available yet for GTOCP4 control boxes, is it possible to install an earlier version of GTOCP4 software and if so where can I find it? I didn't see an archive of previous releases on the web site.
Thanks!
Gary


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Ray Gralak
 

John,

If APCC is initializing your Mach 2 you should make sure the Longitude/Latitude/Time Zone are set correctly when APCC initializes the mount. If one of these properties is incorrect, then the mount will not be able to go to the target accurately.

You should also make sure that you are using the latest version of APCC Pro, v1.8.8.9. he direct link is:

http://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_Setup_1.8.8.9.exe

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 3:24 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Aloha All,

Not sure if I'm doing something wrong or missed a setting somewhere in APCC Pro. Couldn't find anything in the
documentation. Anyway, after I start apcc, everything connects automatically, the mount unparks (from park 3) and
starts tracking. However, after manually enter a star's coordinates and pressing the 'goto button,' the mach2 mount
always does a weird slew (where I have to manually stop it). At this point I could execute a Park 3, and then press the
'find home' button and then the gotos will work.

Seems like the only way to avoid this behavior, is to press the 'find home' button first and then do the goto. Is this the
correct procedure that everyone is using? Just didn't understand why the mount is acting like it's lost, every time it's
powered up and initialized via apcc. I think I also tried loading the mount's current ra/dec and then goto that, but that
didn't work either. I don't mind using the 'find home' button each time, I just don't want to break the mount! :)

The only reason all of this came up (and the only reason I started trying different goto methods),was because the
same thing was happening in Stellarium.

This isn't a problem with the keypad (with auto connect = yes). I can power up, the mount will unpark, then I can go
into the keypad's objects menu and do a goto without any problem. Thanks and sorry if this is a repeat question!

John


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