Date   

Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

For visual use, wouldn't encoders be way overkill? 

For imaging mobile space is a serious concern, especially if you have a smaller car or when it is a family outing as well. Mount, counterweights, tripod, camera, wheel, guide accessories, imaging computer, cabling, backup supplies, tools, etc. Making the mount smaller and lighter helps a lot. Smaller and lighter tripod helps as well.

Taking imaging gear on a plane isn't really a need for me now, which is why the RST135 isn't in my gear herd yet. The AP400AE would be awesome and would work with all of my scopes except for the two big iDK scopes which I wouldn't likely take on a road trip anyhow.

For solo trips where the space is all mine to use, then my other mounts are fine. But boy would a nice light more compact mint be wonderful to have!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Andrew J
 

Hi Roland.

 

Thanks for this explanation. However, I am now a bit confused again. This discussion would seem to recommend using the gearbox release levers when repositioning the mount. However, I took away from the below response to my question the other day related to using clutches vs the gearbox release that I should almost never use the gearbox release except for fine balancing in order to not risk damaging the worm teeth on the mount. This post now seems to indicate that if you don’t want your mount to get lost that you should use the gearbox release if your mount has encoders. So now I am confused again. Do you recommend using the gearbox release lever to reposition the mount if your mount has encoders? Maybe I am making this more complicated then it needs to be…

 

 

“Use the clutches when you want to manually move the scope around the sky (example: for visual sweeping of the Milky way). Use the clutches for placing the mount manually to one of the park positions during startup if you have moved the mount from a previous setup. use the clutches to get a rough balance in the two axes….”

 

“Loosen the Gearbox Release Levers only with the scope in Park3 positions. Releasing them in any other position could cause the gear teeth to rake across each other and possibly damage the worm teeth. The result will be poor guiding. Damaged teeth are expensive to fix. Use this method only for fine balance. If you don't need to do fine balance, don't release the lever.”


Re: GTOCP4 Control Box

Sébastien Doré
 

That's a nice compact obs you have there, Tom. 

Would be interested seeing the inside as well... What NUC model do you use ? Is it a rugged type ? I like your idea of the goldenrod heaters. I suppose once the NUC has warmed up and booted, it pretty-much self-heats for the rest of the night. Have you tested at -20 Celsius and the like? Maybe a bit off-topic here, sorry about that...

At my location (about 15 km North of Quebec City, in the mountains) I pretty much get temps of -15 to -25C all winter long (Brrr). But when the sky clears, I feel like I'm floating in space, which obviously I am on that little rock called Earth... 🤓

Clear skies!
Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
Envoyé : 24 février 2021 20:45
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] GTOCP4 Control Box
 
Hi Donald,
This is my setup.  Since you have a ROR setup you have a lot more space than me.
My mount is still an older AP600 but it has the latest CP4 controller. If you look at the picture of my "observatory",  you will see a little box to the left of the observatory under the wood platform.  In there is a 12V power supply, an Ethernet hub, and an IOT power bar.
The Ethernet hub connects to an I5, Intel NUC running Windows 10 Pro and is accessible via Remote Desktop. The NUC has a few USB ports and one connects to a hub mounted on the telescope itself.  The hub provides connectivity to an ASI6200mm, filter wheel, an ASI290mm off axis guider, and a Moonlight Nitecrawler focuser.
The CP4 itself uses an ethernet connection from the hub.  The NUC is very versatile and also has a Thunder bolt interface.  I use that with a Thunderbolt to 10G ethernet adapter.  Gives me 10 times the throughput of a standard gigabit Ethernet connection.  Pretty useful with the 125Mbyte images of the ASI6200.
The NUC is really good.  Will last a long time.
My observing session goes like this:  I turn on the computer and equipment remotely using my IOT phone app to let it warm up and get ready. This connection also has a couple of heaters (Golden Rod heaters to keep the "observatory" warm. These are then turned off).  I go outside, unlock the cover to my Observatory and lift off the cover.  It is made of foam and aluminum angle strips and weights 15 pounds. It is covered in Dacron, and filler (same material used for aircraft wings) and is super durable (6 years and counting with Montreal weather).  I then go inside, connect to the NUC with Windows remote desktop, Open APCC, connect to the mount, and start Voyager.
Running in 5 minutes.  Can't wait until it's housing an Ap 1100
Tom


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

W Hilmo
 

I would be interested in a smaller Astro-Physics mount.

 

In terms of size, I would want to be able to carry my 130 GTX for imaging.  That would allow me to leave my big Astro-Physics mount at home when I travel to dark sky sites 4 or 5 times per year.  The smaller the mount, the better, as long as it meets this performance criteria.

 

In terms of price, I would want to see the mount, equipped for use with counterweights, pier, dovetail plates, etc., come in somewhere below a similarly equipped MyT.

 

In terms of features, I would love to have a baby Mach2, with identical features.  I just don’t think that’s possible at the price target above, due to the encoders, but I think that’s OK.  If you could build a 40lb capacity version of the Mach1, with performance to match the Mach1, I think that would be a sweet mount.  It would also be a logical entry for folks looking to step up into a premium mount.  I know that I’d be all over it.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Frost David
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

 

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

 

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

 

David

 



On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

 

Rolando


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

DFisch
 

Rolando, when you get those encoders to put on the 400 mount I have one that I would love to retrofit.  it is such a delight to use on small set ups and enables carefree observation Tom fischer INDY

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 08:38 Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

The RST135 really fits the airplane carry on portable need well. The revived 400AE mount would be really great for trips where space is at a premium in your vehicle. You really want that performance and precision, and you're heading out with your 5" refractor but you don't want the whole vehicle filled with big cases, large tripod, etc. You also want to take other humans with you. Maybe a dog as well. They like food, clothes, and their own stuff too. Once you're there you find a really great spot to set up, but you'll need to hike a mild amount to get there. The size, weight, and capacity enable that scenario well. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Frost David <frosty5@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

David


On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Frost David
 

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

David


On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Re: Encoders in the Mach2 vs 1100

Sébastien Doré
 

Thanks for the explanations Rolando. That clears it up a bit. Indeed resolution and accuracy are two different beasts...

What I was missing is the fact that the accuracy spec is for an entire revolution of the ring. I also had a somewhat hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the pitch of the ticks (or barcodes) is the same for any ring size (at 30 microns) and that its not giving any benefits in actual resolution (ticks per arc-sec). But reading further, I understood that the output resolution is not solely dependant on the mechanical aspect, but also on the encoding protocol used. 

So my understanding at this point is that even if the pitch is the same for every size of ring, hence giving more "barcodes" on larger rings, the readhead is nonetheless outputting a value that is limited by the characteristics of the serial protocol used (26 bits for the Mach 2, as you stated). 

I also understand that these figures of 0.16 and 0.12 arc-sec accuracy are theoretical and achievable only under hypothetical ideal conditions. 

From all this, should I also understand that the Mach2's stated native periodic error of 0.25 arc-sec (peak-to-peak) is also a per-hour figure or am I still missing some parts of the puzzle ? (Is periodic error the same as accuracy in this context with encoders ?)

Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Envoyé : 24 février 2021 19:41
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Encoders in the Mach2 vs 1100
 

I would have thought that a bigger ring gives more space to mark a higher number of "ticks", hence giving higher resolution and so accuracy...
Resolution is not the same as accuracy.

There are 2^26 individual addresses (67,108,864) that can be accessed in the RESA encoder, whether it is 75mm or 100mm. Therefore the resolution is the same for both rings.

The stated accuracy is a measure of how accurate the encoder is over a 24 hour period of revolution (360 degree total angle of rotation). For the 75mm ring, accuracy would be approximately +-3.82arcsec/24hr or 0.16 arc sec per hour of tracking. For the 100mm ring it would be 0.12 arc sec. per hour.

In reality one can never get the ring to have zero runout, so the practical accuracy will come in at perhaps +-0.5 arc sec per hour, more or less. So whether you have a 100mm ring or a 75mm ring, it makes no practical difference. Star motion due to atmospheric refraction will be an order of magnitude higher if you are anywhere but at the exact zenith.

The way the RESA works is not like any other encoder system. It does not read "ticks" the way an ordinary encoder does. It reads a barcode that is imprinted on the steel ring. The barcode is read over a fairly large circumference angle. The readhead is a miniature camera, not a photodiode that registers black and white tick marks. It's really quite revolutionary how it works, and it does work splendidly for telescope mounts.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Feb 24, 2021 4:40 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Encoders in the Mach2 vs 1100

Hello Roland,

Your post made me take a quick look at Renishaw's spec for the Resolute extended temp encoder and I found two interesting observations (not related to the low temp version) which made me realize I'm probably missing something in my understanding of how the encoders actually works...

First, when we look at the following table, the "system accuracy" is increasing with the diameter of the ring (kind of opposite of what you stated earlier), which made sense to me since I would have thought that a bigger ring gives more space to mark a higher number of "ticks", hence giving higher resolution and so accuracy... So I assume the "system accuracy" of the encoder (which is defined as graduation + SDE by Renishaw) doesn't directly translate into the "tracking accuracy" of the mount.



Second observation, still looking at that table, the order of magnitude of that system accuracy seems to be more than ten-fold lower in comparison to the spec'ed tracking accuracy of the mount (+/- 3.82 arc-sec "system accuracy" for the 75 mm ring vs +/- 0.25 arc-sec "tracking accuracy" of the Mach2).

To explain these differences, my guess would be that some (gear/pulley) ratio somewhere does indeed make the tracking accuracy similar throughout the mount models and while at the same time increasing it by a factor of about 10X relative to the Renishaw's specs, but I wondered if there was more to it...

Am I lost in space ? 

Regards,
Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Envoyé : 24 février 2021 11:48
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : [ap-gto] Encoders in the Mach2 vs 1100
 
Hello Astronuts,

To clear up any confusion about mount encoders, both Mach2 and 1100/1600 use the same Renishaw RESA high resolution encoders. The main difference is that the ring diameter of the 1100/1600 mounts is 100mm, the Mach2 uses a 75mm ring. Resolution and accuracy is the same for all. The readheads are the same RESA readheads, except that they are matched to their respective diameters, so that the 75mm readheads cannot be used on the 100mm rings and vice versa.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Elenillor
 

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John


On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

weihaowang
 

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:16 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

I love to see a portable mount from Astro-Physics. However, before you go ahead and design one, you may want to ask what kind of portability you are aiming at.

Portable with a car? Then I think Mach2 fits it nicely. Mach1 is even better I suppose, but there is a tradeoff in payload.

Portable for air travel? Then Mach2 is too heavy for that for most people. Even Mach1 may be too heavy. I think a compact design with 20lb of weight (including base and counterweight shaft) would be desirable for this. It will need a light-weight dovetail system.  The counterweight shaft needs to be thinner, and longer too, so people don't need to bring many heavy counterweights to the plane.  

For those who do this kind of portable imaging, do they need high-prevision absolute encoders?  I am not sure.  At least for me, I don't need.  A smooth PE curve with less than +/- 4" of amplitude will be sufficient for me (good enough for 5 minutes of exposures on 300mm lenses).  Even +/-8" would be acceptable if there is good permanent PEC.  The mount has to be rigid, in case the places we travel to is windy, but I think AP mounts are all good for this.  The polar scope may need some rethinking.  The current RAPAS may be a bit too bulky for such a small mount.  Finally, its power consumption needs to be as small as possible.

That's my wishlist for an air-portable mount.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao

--

Homepage:

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

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


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

I should add to this with a little more detail.

Lets say you are a new imager. You buy yourself a CEM mount from iOptron and walk out for about 3k-ish. You use it for a bit, like it, but now you want something a little better. A little more premium. 

On the market for you is the MyT (6.5k) Mach 2 (9k),  10um 1000 HPS (10k) and some others that are in far higher reaches in terms of $$$. The Mach 1 used to sit nicely there at 5.6k + some money for your saddle you want, etc... largely putting the MyT and Mach 1 kitted at the same price.

That void is really large now. So the 400AE could fill that nicely. It could sport capacity enough for people to use smaller 130-140mm refractors, which I would believe is the upper limit of most of the target market. If you can sell that with encoders for 6k-6500.... you would be printing money. 🙂

-Bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:20 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Thank you for the response, Roland. 

On the smaller mount, I have posted and talked about this topic pretty frequently on CN. The Mach 1 being gone leaves a void in the lineup and in the marketplace for entry level premium high-precision mounts. If you want that right now, you have the MyT and nothing else really. Its that $6k range though -- could the hypothetical 400AE hit that target? If so, I think you have solved the problem and provided an excellent product that reflects A-P quality.  


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
The 1100/1600 were always designed to accept encoders. These mounts were designed to replace the 900/1200 mounts which could not be retrofitted with encoders. The whole idea of the 1100/1600 was to be able to offer encoders for higher performance and remote operation.

These mounts have a 1 piece worm-shaft. In other words, the worm wheel and shaft are machined from one billet of aluminum. It was done so for maximum strength. Since they are one piece, and the encoders are attached to the back of the shaft, they can only turn when the worm wheel turns. The shaft cannot turn by itself because it's part of the worm wheel. Worm wheels cannot turn if they are in mesh with the driving worm. We decided to have a clutched "Lazy Susan" rotating mechanism on top of the axis so that people could use the mount manually. We could have left this out, and made a non-clutched mount. However, I wanted to make a more universal mount and not copy the Paramount. Was it a mistake? I really don't know, but amateurs have several brands of high performance mounts to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the choice is there.

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

Thank you for the response, Roland. 

On the smaller mount, I have posted and talked about this topic pretty frequently on CN. The Mach 1 being gone leaves a void in the lineup and in the marketplace for entry level premium high-precision mounts. If you want that right now, you have the MyT and nothing else really. Its that $6k range though -- could the hypothetical 400AE hit that target? If so, I think you have solved the problem and provided an excellent product that reflects A-P quality.  


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
The 1100/1600 were always designed to accept encoders. These mounts were designed to replace the 900/1200 mounts which could not be retrofitted with encoders. The whole idea of the 1100/1600 was to be able to offer encoders for higher performance and remote operation.

These mounts have a 1 piece worm-shaft. In other words, the worm wheel and shaft are machined from one billet of aluminum. It was done so for maximum strength. Since they are one piece, and the encoders are attached to the back of the shaft, they can only turn when the worm wheel turns. The shaft cannot turn by itself because it's part of the worm wheel. Worm wheels cannot turn if they are in mesh with the driving worm. We decided to have a clutched "Lazy Susan" rotating mechanism on top of the axis so that people could use the mount manually. We could have left this out, and made a non-clutched mount. However, I wanted to make a more universal mount and not copy the Paramount. Was it a mistake? I really don't know, but amateurs have several brands of high performance mounts to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the choice is there.

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Roland Christen
 

The 1100/1600 were always designed to accept encoders. These mounts were designed to replace the 900/1200 mounts which could not be retrofitted with encoders. The whole idea of the 1100/1600 was to be able to offer encoders for higher performance and remote operation.

These mounts have a 1 piece worm-shaft. In other words, the worm wheel and shaft are machined from one billet of aluminum. It was done so for maximum strength. Since they are one piece, and the encoders are attached to the back of the shaft, they can only turn when the worm wheel turns. The shaft cannot turn by itself because it's part of the worm wheel. Worm wheels cannot turn if they are in mesh with the driving worm. We decided to have a clutched "Lazy Susan" rotating mechanism on top of the axis so that people could use the mount manually. We could have left this out, and made a non-clutched mount. However, I wanted to make a more universal mount and not copy the Paramount. Was it a mistake? I really don't know, but amateurs have several brands of high performance mounts to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the choice is there.

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Roland Christen
 

There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Peter Nagy
 

One more thing, modern A-P mounts no longer use Delrin plugs. Read the operating manual about tightening knobs.

Peter 


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Peter Nagy
 

I use the long side of the Allen wrench into the knobs and tighten the short side with my fingers. This way it’s more difficult to over tighten.

Peter 


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

Hand tight works for me. Can always get it a little baby nudge with a hex if you really care that much.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:04 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Shailesh Trivedi
 

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh


Re: Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

I no longer use mounts without encoders. 🤣 😂 😄


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:33 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.
This is only with an encoder mount. Non-encoder mounts will need to be re-calibrated if you move it manually.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 7:06 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.

I did not know that it needs to be powered off. I'll be sure to do that until the new update comes out. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Yes, the mount would know it was in position 5, so when you apply power and sent it home, it would go to position 3. Release the lever only when the mount is powered off, otherwise the encoder will try to drive the mount back to the original position. We have some new CP4 software which will stop the encoder from fighting you. Will release soon.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

This is good to know! 

So if I released the mount with the lever, and moved it from Park 3 position to Part 5 position, and locked the lever, and told the mount to home (lets say home == park 3) then it would park to the park 3 position without the need for re-initializing, etc? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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