Date   

Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Christopher Erickson
 

Here are some rambling musings of an equipment addict and observatory engineer. FWIW.

All of my OTA's have permanent dovetail bars on them. Additionally, all of them also have handles or bars on top of the OTA. This extra gripping spot really helps me to get OTA's on and off of mounts. Sometimes I have had to machine the handle or bar myself if a commercial solution wasn't available. I NEVER take any of my OTA's out of the rings, if it has them. My AP 130 and 92 both have handles on top and never come out of their rings. I had a custom case made to hold my 130 in its rings and handle, along with room lengthwise for a camera and such too. I am not lucky enough to have a BIG AP refractor or I might be doing it the way Roland does his. Fortunately (unfortunately?) my 130 and 92 aren't very heavy.

As for my C14, C11 (x2), C9.25, C8, M16, M10, M5, N10 and RC20, only the C14, M16, N10 and RC20 offer much challenge. The others are pretty-easy and don't require much strength.

I tried the Rayox "automatic engaging" saddle bracket with my C14 and found it even more difficult to use than a regular AP D-style dovetail bracket. I just couldn't hold the entire weight of a C14 steady enough (video method one) to carefully line it up with the darn bracket. I tried both Park2 and Park 3 and it was just as impossible either way. The Rayox dovetail bracket now lives in my spare parts piles. What helps the most is having that long, grippable bar on top of the C14.

The N10 (10" f3.8 RFT Newt in a fiberglass tube with custom, permanent rotating rings on a long D-bar) also benefits from a long bar (handle) on top.

I really, really don't like the old-style Losmandy dovetail bracket that requires sliding the OTA dovetail bars in and out from the end. I have several in my spare parts piles. Free to anyone who wants them. My G11 currently has a Chinese combination D-V dovetail bracket on it. Eventually I will put an AP D-style dovetail bracket on it. I really prefer combination D-V brackets on my mounts. I am always testing or repairing different OTA's and having a combination D-V saddle bracket is very handy.

Having the bracket locks independent from each other is much better than having them combined. Example is the comparison between the ADM brackets (combined) and the AP brackets (independent). IMO, it takes a lot less human-force on the knobs to securely lock an OTA in an AP bracket than it does an ADM bracket. Whenever I have had to put an OTA onto an ADM bracket, I have always used the special ADM wrench to really-tighten the knobs. Not very convenient. The AP locks feel significantly more secure.

On my M16 (Meade LX200GPS-16), I use a hitch-crane (hitch-hoist/game-hoist from Cabella's) to assemble and disassemble the scope by myself. Required adding a dovetail bar to the top of the OTA with a threaded hole in the top bar for a stainless eye bolt. Works well and feels very secure and safe. I put a bar on the bottom too. Handy for counterweights, Polemasters, dome-cams, etc. I use the same hitch-crane on my RC20. RC20 currently under re-construction and being moved to a custom Alt-Az mount with optical rotator. Will probably still need the hitch-crane when I am done. Unless I install it in an observatory.

I am 62 and My C14 is getting heavier every year. Currently I am using video-method-1 but eventually will probably have to move to video-method-2. Or extend the height of my hitch-crane. I have tried video-method-2 in the past and it was a real PITA to handle. Everything depends on the quality, size and stability of the astro-chair involved. The bigger, probably the better and more stable. A better approach might be a Lymax electric lifting column (Pier-Tech style) with four fold-out, locking, 8" wheeled, legs on the bottom and an OTA-diameter, cup-style base on top.

In observatories, adding an eyebolt to a strong point in a roll-off roof is handy for a lifting point, if your structure can handle the weight of your various scope parts. Ash domes are super-strong and I often drill a hole into the center tab on the bottom of the upper shutter and put a stainless-steel clevis through the drilled hole for a lifting point. Rotating the dome and running the upper shutter up and down allows me to get the lifting point just about anywhere over the scope and the observatory floor. Sometimes I use an electric winch and other times a simple come-along. Instant, one-person observatory crane!

I hope this helps.

"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 7:17 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
I always put the rings on the mount, open them and then place the scope into the rings. This is done in Park2 position. I can load my 155 and 160EDF refractors that way by myself, and I'm not a strong man weight lifter.

I would NEVER load any refractor with the dovetail and rings attached to the scope. It's asking for disaster.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Dec 31, 2020 10:04 am
Subject: [ap-gto] safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Hello,
I am not new to the hobby but my current OTA makes the set up phase not easy at all.

the diameter is 270mm and weight around 19 kg, and I don't feel confident in loading the telescope by myself on the mount.
I wonder if someone has perfectioned a style for the move. :-)
I use the AP DoveDV10 saddle plate, open the lockers, put the bar flat and on the left, close the lockers.
I load the scope in PARK3 position.
previously I used to slide the telescope from behind ( a TEC 140) but now this seems impossible.

I know it sounds like a joke but I don't like to be dependent on other people for the task.
if you know a trick , please share it.
Thank you
Andrea

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)

Mike Dodd
 

On 12/31/2020 1:25 PM, Brian Valente wrote:
imo there is no easy answer for Windows 10 upgrade

If it were me, i would not try to upgrade but rather start with a fresh
install or better yet a new computer with windows 10 already installed.
Right. I'm not thinking of UPGRADING the observatory PC from Win 7 to 10. I would buy a different PC with Win 10 Pro already installed, and move all my drivers and apps to that.

Regarding updates and internet access, imo it seems an
unfortunate situation that constantly updated software and OS is where
we are headed, which has both good and bad consequences.
That's a real shame. I really don't like software vendors assuming everyone has unlimited Internet speed and data. I live in a rural Virginia county, and get Internet via a 4G cell tower. We don't stream anything, and can't join a Zoom call because of the limited speed and data. But I have fairly dark skies. :-)

--- Mike


Re: Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)

Worsel
 

Mike

MS has given the user more, but not complete control, over updates.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-control-updates-in-windows-10/

I have had WIN10 Pro since it first came out.  Early on, updates caused me some grief with astro software, but nothing in the last 2 years.

Bryan


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Worsel
 

Andrea

I use the method shown in the video that Wayne and Ted list to load a 25 kg OTA on an 1100 mount.  I built a wooden table (sturdier than a step stool in the video!) that is at the correct height so it fits snugly under the OTA when rotated to the 'unload' position.  In this fashion, the OTA is never suspended even a few inches without support as the dovetail clamps are loosened.

Bryan


Re: Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)

 

imo there is no easy answer for Windows 10 upgrade

If it were me, i would not try to upgrade but rather start with a fresh install or better yet a new computer with windows 10 already installed

Most of the headaches i've had over the years related to the upgrade process rather than actual Windows 10 capabilities.

Regarding updates and internet access, imo it seems an unfortunate situation that constantly updated software and OS is where we are headed, which has both good and bad consequences.

Personally I keep everything updated as much as possible and I have not run into many major issues (none that I can recall in recent memory, and i run 2-3 remote telescope setups).  




On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 10:20 AM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote:
On 12/30/2020 10:23 PM, deonb wrote:
>Windows 7 on parallels. By now
> it's an 11 year old operating system that got obsoleted 8 years ago, and
> stopped getting security updates a year ago.

> As a developer myself....

You probably know quite a bit about Windows 10 Professional. I still use
Win 7 Pro on my observatory computer, and am well-aware of the issues
you mentioned. I would like to use Win 10, but....

I have metered Internet data, and when I bought a Win 10 Pro PC for my
home office a few years ago, its automatic upgrades burned through 8 GB
of my 10 GB monthly quota in one day! After three phone calls with
Microsoft Support (they DID call me back, usually within an hour), I was
told there was no way to bring the updates completely under my control,
so I rolled-back to Win 8.1 on that PC.

QUESTION: Has Microsoft upgraded Win 10 Pro to allow full user control
over updates? I've heard rumors they have. I want to be able to choose
when an update is downloaded, so I can do that when we're not close to
our data limit. I can't have the OS assume I have unlimited Internet data.

QUESTION: I've heard horror stories about updates that result in
application and driver crashes. Are these issues pretty-much a thing of
the past, or do updates still cause problems?

Thank you for your information and comments about the current Windows 10
Professional.

--- Mike








--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Windows 10? (Was: Lost communications with mount)

Mike Dodd
 

On 12/30/2020 10:23 PM, deonb wrote:
Windows 7 on parallels. By now
it's an 11 year old operating system that got obsoleted 8 years ago, and
stopped getting security updates a year ago.
As a developer myself....
You probably know quite a bit about Windows 10 Professional. I still use Win 7 Pro on my observatory computer, and am well-aware of the issues you mentioned. I would like to use Win 10, but....

I have metered Internet data, and when I bought a Win 10 Pro PC for my home office a few years ago, its automatic upgrades burned through 8 GB of my 10 GB monthly quota in one day! After three phone calls with Microsoft Support (they DID call me back, usually within an hour), I was told there was no way to bring the updates completely under my control, so I rolled-back to Win 8.1 on that PC.

QUESTION: Has Microsoft upgraded Win 10 Pro to allow full user control over updates? I've heard rumors they have. I want to be able to choose when an update is downloaded, so I can do that when we're not close to our data limit. I can't have the OS assume I have unlimited Internet data.

QUESTION: I've heard horror stories about updates that result in application and driver crashes. Are these issues pretty-much a thing of the past, or do updates still cause problems?

Thank you for your information and comments about the current Windows 10 Professional.

--- Mike


Re: Precise polar alignment of the azimuth axis

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

I agree that there's always flexure. I have moved to OAG for imaging and that's saved a lot of flexure headaches. 

But for PA if the flexure is minimal, i.e. PA error < 1 arc min with the guidescope as measured by SC, at the Park3 and 90 deg position, I would think that it is accurate enough for most imaging sessions.

As usual YMMV

cytan


On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 07:17:11 PM CST, Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:


> Do the PA routine in SC as usual with the scope starting at Park 3. Adjust Alt and Az to get your PA to good or
> excellent. At this point, your scope should be about 90 deg from Park 3. Then in SC hit the restart button. This
> time, let SC plate solve with the scope at 90 deg from Park 3. Then once SC is done, send the scope back to Park
> 3. And without touching Alt or Az,  note what what SC reports. It should still be good or excellent to show that
> flexure is not a problem.

Because of gravity, there is always flexure.  It's just a matter of how much.

The bigger the instrument the more flexure there will be. "Piggy-backed" guide scopes, even if they are light, can be subject to flexure exerted on the rings by the primary scope.

-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 Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io
> Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2020 4:11 PM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Precise polar alignment of the azimuth axis
>
> Actually there is a way to see whether your guide scope is flexing w.r.t. the mount with SharpCap (SC):
>
> Do the PA routine in SC as usual with the scope starting at Park 3. Adjust Alt and Az to get your PA to good or
> excellent. At this point, your scope should be about 90 deg from Park 3. Then in SC hit the restart button. This
> time, let SC plate solve with the scope at 90 deg from Park 3. Then once SC is done, send the scope back to Park
> 3. And without touching Alt or Az,  note what what SC reports. It should still be good or excellent to show that
> flexure is not a problem.
>
> The above routine is described in SC doc:
>
> Polar Alignment Troubleshooting – SharpCap – Lunar, Planetary, Solar and Deep Sky Imaging. EAA and Live
> Stacking. <https://www.sharpcap.co.uk/sharpcap/features/polar-alignment/polar-alignment-troubleshooting>
>
>
> <https://www.sharpcap.co.uk/sharpcap/features/polar-alignment/polar-alignment-troubleshooting>
>
> Polar Alignment Troubleshooting – SharpCap – Lunar, Planetary, Solar and...
>
>
>
>
>
> I use it all the time to make sure that nothing has moved during PA.
>
> IMO, using the guide scope gives a more accurate PA because of its finer image scale. In my workflow, I do a
> rough PA with PoleMaster (PM) and the PM scope  and then use SC with the guide scope for the final PA.
>
> Also SC tells you what your PA error is while PM just asks you to eye ball the alignment between the dot in the
> square and the circle. I think having a PA error allows you to know how precise your PA is.
>
> cytan
>
> P.S. I've never had any success with drift align with PHD2. I think I'm just not patient enough to wait for drift to get
> the error to a steady value.
>
>
>
> On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 04:27:13 PM CST, Ray Gralak <groups3@...> wrote:
>
>
> > Try the Sharpcap polar align app using the Polemaster camera.
> > That works for me and allows setups using Sharpcap without a guide camera.
>
> Using the Polemaster camera is the best way to do it.
>
> If a guide camera is used and the entire scope is rotated, there is going to be flexure somewhere, which can affect
> the calculated polar alignment position.
>
> There is only so much accuracy you are going to get with this method with a guide scope.
>
> -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 Greg McCall
> > Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2020 1:53 PM
> > To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Precise polar alignment of the azimuth axis
> >
> > Hi,
> > Re Sharpcap and Polesmaster.
> > Try the Sharpcap polar align app using the Polemaster camera.
> > That works for me and allows setups using Sharpcap without a guide camera.
> >
> > Greg
> >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>






Re: Lost communications with mount

Worsel
 

Ray

Is there something in the A-P logs that would shed light on the error?

Bryan


Re: Lost communications with mount

Roland Christen
 


 However, every minute or two, Mach2 makes a small click sound. It makes the sound even after I completely unplug the USB.  Should I worry about it?  Is it normal?
The motors will make a click sound when they are energized from a de-energized condition and vice versa. There are several possibilities here.

1) Parking the mount will de-energize the motors. Unparking the mount will re-energize them and they will "click" each time. These are software commands sent to the mount, the mount will not park or unpark itself without an outside command.

2) Loss of voltage, below 11.5 volts or bad connection to the DC power supply can also cause the motors to make a clicking noise.

3) loss of connection of either the RA or Dec connectors between the CP5 and the mount will cause a click but only once and the CP5 LED will turn yellow indicating a Motor Stall. It will not re-energize the motors until an external program re-initializes the mount.

If you have a meter installed between your power supply and the CP5, you can monitor the current draw. At 24 volts the current will be about 0.7 amps. When the mount is parked or there is a motor stall condition (yellow LED) the current will drop to about 0.15 amps.

I keep a meter such as this in-line device on my power cords: https://www.astro-physics.com/cabppwm

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: weihaowang <whwang@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2020 9:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

[Edited Message Follows]
Hi Roland, it is indeed very simple.  My current workflow in TheSky6 is almost as simple as what you said, except that I have to click "establish" to link to the mount.  Otherwise it's the same.  So I am not complaining about the simplicity (or lack of).  It's the lost communication problem that keeps bothering me.  I just tried it without going through APCC (and that's also what I did last week as well, before I got the APCC license).  The issue remains.  Next I will try to change the timeout setting and let you know if it works.

deonb, I will switch to Win10 eventually, probably sooner.  Previously I was told that not every telescope-related program runs on Win10 (like PHD2 perhaps), so I did not try to update.  (Also the notorious Win10 auto update issue.)  Now I think everything should run on Win10.  So perhaps it's time for an upgrade.

When I am typing this, Mach2 is connected to the computer via USB.  But TheSky6 is not connected to it.  ASCOM is not launched.  However, every minute or two, Mach2 makes a small click sound. It makes the sound even after I completely unplug the USB.  Should I worry about it?  Is it normal?

--
Homepage:

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Ted Mickle
 

Check out this video - I believe it’s the one you’re looking for:

https://youtu.be/IwVg1M6bURI





Dr Ted Mickle 
Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Ret)

On Dec 31, 2020, at 11:09, Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:

I saw a video once where a large OTA was mounted by putting the OTA vertical on a tall chair next to the mount, and then bringing the DEC axis to a vertical position to mate with the OTA.   

I cannot find the video, but it goes something like this:

1) A chair (or table, or custom stand) is positioned next to the mount directly east or west… it will require some alignment that will become clear in a moment. 

2) The OTA , with lens cap on, is placed on the chair / stand etc pointing down.  Eg if the OTA is a SCT then the visual back is sticking up.   Likely a strap should be used to prevent the OTA from falling.  

3) The OTA is positioned so the dovetail is facing the mount.  

4) The mount RA axis is positioned horizontal with the DEC axis dovetail on the side where the OTA is now positioned. 
At this point I think you don’t want any counterweight. 

5) The DEC axis is then rotated vertical to match up with the OTA dovetail.  

6) At this point some alignment, ie moving the chair/table will likely be required…. Once aligned with the saddle, the dovetail saddle can then be clamped, and counterweights added, OTA strap removed, and chair/stand removed.  

I have not tried this approach.  I also have a rather heavy OTA - 300mm diameter and weighs about 18kg.   This OTA has a handle on the back such that I can use one hand under on the dovetail and the other hand on the handle to lift the OTA to just above my shoulders and slide the dovetail in.
Getting the OTA off in the dark is also a bit scary.     It is borderline weigh for me, and I would prefer a different approach — possibly one with less “drama”.

-Jeff


On Dec 31, 2020, at 8:04 AM, Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...> wrote:

Hello,
I am not new to the hobby but my current OTA makes the set up phase not easy at all.

the diameter is 270mm and weight around 19 kg, and I don't feel confident in loading the telescope by myself on the mount.
I wonder if someone has perfectioned a style for the move. :-)
I use the AP DoveDV10 saddle plate, open the lockers, put the bar flat and on the left, close the lockers.
I load the scope in PARK3 position.
previously I used to slide the telescope from behind ( a TEC 140) but now this seems impossible.

I know it sounds like a joke but I don't like to be dependent on other people for the task.
if you know a trick , please share it.
Thank you
Andrea


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Roland Christen
 

I always put the rings on the mount, open them and then place the scope into the rings. This is done in Park2 position. I can load my 155 and 160EDF refractors that way by myself, and I'm not a strong man weight lifter.

I would NEVER load any refractor with the dovetail and rings attached to the scope. It's asking for disaster.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Dec 31, 2020 10:04 am
Subject: [ap-gto] safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Hello,
I am not new to the hobby but my current OTA makes the set up phase not easy at all.

the diameter is 270mm and weight around 19 kg, and I don't feel confident in loading the telescope by myself on the mount.
I wonder if someone has perfectioned a style for the move. :-)
I use the AP DoveDV10 saddle plate, open the lockers, put the bar flat and on the left, close the lockers.
I load the scope in PARK3 position.
previously I used to slide the telescope from behind ( a TEC 140) but now this seems impossible.

I know it sounds like a joke but I don't like to be dependent on other people for the task.
if you know a trick , please share it.
Thank you
Andrea

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

W Hilmo
 

Was it this one, by chance?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwVg1M6bURI

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeffc
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 9:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

 

I saw a video once where a large OTA was mounted by putting the OTA vertical on a tall chair next to the mount, and then bringing the DEC axis to a vertical position to mate with the OTA.   

 

I cannot find the video, but it goes something like this:

 

1) A chair (or table, or custom stand) is positioned next to the mount directly east or west… it will require some alignment that will become clear in a moment. 

 

2) The OTA , with lens cap on, is placed on the chair / stand etc pointing down.  Eg if the OTA is a SCT then the visual back is sticking up.   Likely a strap should be used to prevent the OTA from falling.  

 

3) The OTA is positioned so the dovetail is facing the mount.  

 

4) The mount RA axis is positioned horizontal with the DEC axis dovetail on the side where the OTA is now positioned. 

At this point I think you don’t want any counterweight. 

 

5) The DEC axis is then rotated vertical to match up with the OTA dovetail.  

 

6) At this point some alignment, ie moving the chair/table will likely be required…. Once aligned with the saddle, the dovetail saddle can then be clamped, and counterweights added, OTA strap removed, and chair/stand removed.  

I have not tried this approach.  I also have a rather heavy OTA - 300mm diameter and weighs about 18kg.   This OTA has a handle on the back such that I can use one hand under on the dovetail and the other hand on the handle to lift the OTA to just above my shoulders and slide the dovetail in.

Getting the OTA off in the dark is also a bit scary.     It is borderline weigh for me, and I would prefer a different approach — possibly one with less “drama”.

 

-Jeff

 



On Dec 31, 2020, at 8:04 AM, Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...> wrote:

Hello,
I am not new to the hobby but my current OTA makes the set up phase not easy at all.

the diameter is 270mm and weight around 19 kg, and I don't feel confident in loading the telescope by myself on the mount.
I wonder if someone has perfectioned a style for the move. :-)
I use the AP DoveDV10 saddle plate, open the lockers, put the bar flat and on the left, close the lockers.
I load the scope in PARK3 position.
previously I used to slide the telescope from behind ( a TEC 140) but now this seems impossible.

I know it sounds like a joke but I don't like to be dependent on other people for the task.
if you know a trick , please share it.
Thank you
Andrea


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Jeffc
 

I saw a video once where a large OTA was mounted by putting the OTA vertical on a tall chair next to the mount, and then bringing the DEC axis to a vertical position to mate with the OTA.   

I cannot find the video, but it goes something like this:

1) A chair (or table, or custom stand) is positioned next to the mount directly east or west… it will require some alignment that will become clear in a moment. 

2) The OTA , with lens cap on, is placed on the chair / stand etc pointing down.  Eg if the OTA is a SCT then the visual back is sticking up.   Likely a strap should be used to prevent the OTA from falling.  

3) The OTA is positioned so the dovetail is facing the mount.  

4) The mount RA axis is positioned horizontal with the DEC axis dovetail on the side where the OTA is now positioned. 
At this point I think you don’t want any counterweight. 

5) The DEC axis is then rotated vertical to match up with the OTA dovetail.  

6) At this point some alignment, ie moving the chair/table will likely be required…. Once aligned with the saddle, the dovetail saddle can then be clamped, and counterweights added, OTA strap removed, and chair/stand removed.  

I have not tried this approach.  I also have a rather heavy OTA - 300mm diameter and weighs about 18kg.   This OTA has a handle on the back such that I can use one hand under on the dovetail and the other hand on the handle to lift the OTA to just above my shoulders and slide the dovetail in.
Getting the OTA off in the dark is also a bit scary.     It is borderline weigh for me, and I would prefer a different approach — possibly one with less “drama”.

-Jeff


On Dec 31, 2020, at 8:04 AM, Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...> wrote:

Hello,
I am not new to the hobby but my current OTA makes the set up phase not easy at all.

the diameter is 270mm and weight around 19 kg, and I don't feel confident in loading the telescope by myself on the mount.
I wonder if someone has perfectioned a style for the move. :-)
I use the AP DoveDV10 saddle plate, open the lockers, put the bar flat and on the left, close the lockers.
I load the scope in PARK3 position.
previously I used to slide the telescope from behind ( a TEC 140) but now this seems impossible.

I know it sounds like a joke but I don't like to be dependent on other people for the task.
if you know a trick , please share it.
Thank you
Andrea


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Xentex
 

Mine's not as heavy as yours, but I find loading much easier on park 2.  With the scope pointing sideways, I get the bottom edge of the D plate into the bottom edge of the saddle, then tilt it back so the plates are fully together, slide it left or right for where I know the balance point is, and then tighten it down.

My scope is mounted on the D plate with rings.  I have a vixen bar on top of rings that I use as a handle, and enough space under the rings that I can get my other hand between the scope tube and the mount plate.


safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hello,
I am not new to the hobby but my current OTA makes the set up phase not easy at all.

the diameter is 270mm and weight around 19 kg, and I don't feel confident in loading the telescope by myself on the mount.
I wonder if someone has perfectioned a style for the move. :-)
I use the AP DoveDV10 saddle plate, open the lockers, put the bar flat and on the left, close the lockers.
I load the scope in PARK3 position.
previously I used to slide the telescope from behind ( a TEC 140) but now this seems impossible.

I know it sounds like a joke but I don't like to be dependent on other people for the task.
if you know a trick , please share it.
Thank you
Andrea


Re: Lost communications with mount

 

>>>  not every telescope-related program runs on Win10 (like PHD2 perhaps), so I did not try to update.  

PHD2 definitely runs windows 10. I don't know about the original PHD, it hasn't really been in wide circulation for quite a while now



On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 7:52 PM weihaowang <whwang@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Hi Roland, it is indeed very simple.  My current workflow in TheSky6 is almost as simple as what you said, except that I have to click "establish" to link to the mount.  Otherwise it's the same.  So I am not complaining about the simplicity (or lack of).  It's the lost communication problem that keeps bothering me.  I just tried it without going through APCC (and that's also what I did last week as well, before I got the APCC license).  The issue remains.  Next I will try to change the timeout setting and let you know if it works.

deonb, I will switch to Win10 eventually, probably sooner.  Previously I was told that not every telescope-related program runs on Win10 (like PHD2 perhaps), so I did not try to update.  (Also the notorious Win10 auto update issue.)  Now I think everything should run on Win10.  So perhaps it's time for an upgrade.

When I am typing this, Mach2 is connected to the computer via USB.  But TheSky6 is not connected to it.  ASCOM is not launched.  However, every minute or two, Mach2 makes a small click sound. It makes the sound even after I completely unplug the USB.  Should I worry about it?  Is it normal?

--

Homepage:

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

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Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Lost communications with mount

weihaowang
 
Edited

Hi Roland, it is indeed very simple.  My current workflow in TheSky6 is almost as simple as what you said, except that I have to click "establish" to link to the mount.  Otherwise it's the same.  So I am not complaining about the simplicity (or lack of).  It's the lost communication problem that keeps bothering me.  I just tried it without going through APCC (and that's also what I did last week as well, before I got the APCC license).  The issue remains.  Next I will try to change the timeout setting and let you know if it works.

deonb, I will switch to Win10 eventually, probably sooner.  Previously I was told that not every telescope-related program runs on Win10 (like PHD2 perhaps), so I did not try to update.  (Also the notorious Win10 auto update issue.)  Now I think everything should run on Win10.  So perhaps it's time for an upgrade.

When I am typing this, Mach2 is connected to the computer via USB.  But TheSky6 is not connected to it.  ASCOM is not launched.  However, every minute or two, Mach2 makes a small click sound. It makes the sound even after I completely unplug the USB.  Should I worry about it?  Is it normal?

--

Homepage:

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

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


Re: Lost communications with mount

deonb
 

Wei-Hao,

I would still rethink your workflow of Windows 7 on parallels. By now it's an 11 year old operating system that got obsoleted 8 years ago, and stopped getting security updates a year ago.

As a developer myself, we don't test any of our software on Windows 7 anymore. It's too much of a security risk having Windows 7 devices in our environment. I wouldn't expect Astro-Physics to test on or support Windows 7 either.

And there's of course no way that Windows 7 is ever going to work on an M1 Mac. So at some point you're going to have to change your workflow anyway.

Just something to think about.


Re: Lost communications with mount

Roland Christen
 

Certainly for imaging you can bring as much firepower as you want. But that doesn't change what's needed for controlling the mount. All you need is a planetarium program that works in ASCOM mode. That's it, nothing else is needed.

Try my suggestion. Try it first without APCC in the loop. If that works, then configure the ASCOM driver to operate thru APCC (it's a simple check box in the ASCOM setup app). You can run with or without APCC, your choice.

I don't know how to make it any simpler.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: weihaowang <whwang@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2020 8:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

Hi Roland,

My "portable" includes carrying/bringing any whwere between 30 and 200 kg of equipments to fly to a different island/continent/hemisphere.  The computer I carry does not only control the telescope+cameras, but also does on-the-fly raw-decoding, and off-line image processing and stacking, to spot potential problems and correct them immediately.  (I don't do this when I image in my home country, as correcting any problems in the next new moon run is not a big deal.  However, for oversea trips, who knows when will be the next time?  So I want to find and correct problems immediately.)  So the computer has to be at least powerful enough to do simply calibration and stacking in PI for gauging the final image quality (to decide if more integration is needed). If it is a 200 kg class trip, then a second computer or even a third is easily justifiable.  But if it is a 30 kg class trip, a computer that does everything is more reasonable, even if that means 0.5 kg heavier for the computer.

On the other hand, for portable stargazing, I do want to make things as simple as possible.  I plan to use my iPhone to control Mach2.  So I am waiting for the new version of SkySafari to correct the parking/initialization issues.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao

--
Homepage:

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Lost communications with mount

weihaowang
 

Hi Roland,

My "portable" includes carrying/bringing any whwere between 30 and 200 kg of equipments to fly to a different island/continent/hemisphere.  The computer I carry does not only control the telescope+cameras, but also does on-the-fly raw-decoding, and off-line image processing and stacking, to spot potential problems and correct them immediately.  (I don't do this when I image in my home country, as correcting any problems in the next new moon run is not a big deal.  However, for oversea trips, who knows when will be the next time?  So I want to find and correct problems immediately.)  So the computer has to be at least powerful enough to do simply calibration and stacking in PI for gauging the final image quality (to decide if more integration is needed). If it is a 200 kg class trip, then a second computer or even a third is easily justifiable.  But if it is a 30 kg class trip, a computer that does everything is more reasonable, even if that means 0.5 kg heavier for the computer.

On the other hand, for portable stargazing, I do want to make things as simple as possible.  I plan to use my iPhone to control Mach2.  So I am waiting for the new version of SkySafari to correct the parking/initialization issues.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao

--

Homepage:

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

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

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