Date   

Re: APPM with Dome Questions

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Shane,

APPM's "Active mode" sends the telescope's destination coordinates to the dome ASCOM driver. In this case, it is the responsibility of the driver or intermediate application to translate the RA/Dec coordinates to the appropriate dome position.

In "Passive mode" APPM waits for the dome to finish slewing by polling the dome's driver (or intermediate application).

So, it seems that your dome's ascom driver (or intermediate application) may not be correctly indicating when the dome is slewing.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Shane Ramotowski
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 9:19 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM with Dome Questions

Hi gang,

I am the proud owner of a brand new (well 2 weeks) Mach2 and tried to do
my first APPM model tonight. I'm having problems with the dome control
and hope someone can point in the right direction.

My observatory is a ClearSkys (I don't think they are around anymore) 8
ft dome. The pier is centered and the bottom of the mount is just about
even with the bottom of the dome. The rotation control is homemade (my
COVID quarantine project) and works very will with both ASCOM DeviceHub
and SGP. I'm using SGP for image capture and plate solve.

I can't figure out how to set up APPM to control the dome properly. If I
use "Active" in the "AP Point Mapper - Dome Settings" panel, APPM seems
to do it's calculations based on the center of the dome instead of where
the telescope is. This is not surprising since I can't seem to find any
where in the program or the documentation to set the mount and telescope
geometry. I suppose, since APCC knows that I'm using a Mach2, it
_could_ already know roughly how far from the center of the RA/DEC axes
intersection the bottom of my telescope is. But I don't see anyway that
it could know where the center of my OTA is. I really don't think it's
using the parameters from 3D view; I haven't set that up, but the
default is a much larger diameter telescope than mine.

Anyway, when I use "Active", I end up imaging across the edge of the
slot because the slot is positioned for the center of the mount instead
of where the telescope is. Most of the images ended up plate solving
anyway, but since the stars are all diffraction spikes, I don't know
the quality of those solutions. The initial slew to meridian is
probably the worst because the dome is in the exact opposite position
than it should be and my slot just goes barely past vertical. I
checked the ASCOM logs on the PC and my ASCOM debug screen on the dome
controller. The dome _is_ slewing to the position that APPM requests;
that position just doesn't seem to be based on where the telescope is.

Can anyone tell me what I'm missing? Where do I enter the offsets for
the mount/scope geometer so that APPM can got to the correct position?

So, after trying "Active", I swiched to "Passive" and tried with two
different dome slaving programs: ASCOM Device Hub and SGP. For "Delay
before starting dome slew checking", I used values ranging from 5 to 30
seconds. For "Settle time after dome stops slewing", I used values from
1 to 20 seconds. I didn't see any effect when changing these settings;
in all cases the the telescope slewed to the next position and started
imaging a few seconds after it got there--many seconds before the dome
was in position. None of those images solved since the dome was in the
way. Again, I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong--it's like I'm not
even changing the values. Is there another setting that I'm missing
that enables these timeouts?

I'm sure someone else has successfully done an APPM run from an
automated dome! What am I missing?

Thanks - Shane

--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@cotse.net
https://www.kor-astro.net




Re: GTOCP4 Control Box

Seb@stro
 

Thanks for sharing, Tom. You definitely put a lot of thought into it. Really a nice compact setup, love it. Any specific model for the NUC (besides it being an i5 from last year) ?


Re: Keypad V5.xxx Software Status?

Martin Rabanser
 

I'd like to second those thoughts.

The AP website still mentions that software version 5 for CP4 owners will (should have been) released by late December 2020 or early January 2021. We're now approaching March 2021 and there's still no word. Not to mention the fact it should have been released a year ago. At least the AP website should have been updated to reflect this.

I'm sure the folks at AP face a lot of issues, but at least comunicate, give some updates on the status. That would have been helpful.

Martin


Large Eagle Hand Knobs

Bill Long
 

Are these sold in a set separately? I could use a spare set if so. If anyone knows the part number I can look up that would be helpful. Otherwise I can call AP on Monday.


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

alan.dang@...
 

I understood that one of the differences between many mounts with “pointing models” such as they in an entry level Celestron CG5 and APCC-APPM is that the AP mounts will fine tune the RA speed so that it’s not 1x sidereal to account for DEC drift.  I guess my question is that, how bad does the PE have to be for that to stop mattering?  That is what is the equivalent PE difference between a 1x sidereal vs. advanced sky model?

User focused is that you really focus on what amateurs need and you try to give your customers, whether they bought new or old, the same kind of technical support you’d give to your friends or family.  User focused is exactly what you just mentioned — all of your mounts share the same software.  In contrast, other companies will tier their software to meet specific price points and artificially
enable or disable features depending where you enter in the product line.  User focused is that you don’t inflate carrying capacity and make sure people understand torque.  User focused is going with notifications lists instead of using eBay, rewarding the patient astronomer as opposed to the merely wealthy astronomer.

User focused is being a celebrity in the amateur astronomy world but taking time to talk with hobbyists across the world you have never actually met :)


APPM with Dome Questions

Shane Ramotowski
 

Hi gang,

I am the proud owner of a brand new (well 2 weeks) Mach2 and tried to do my first APPM model tonight.  I'm having problems with the dome control and hope someone can point in the right direction.

My observatory is a ClearSkys (I don't think they are around anymore) 8 ft dome.  The pier is centered and the bottom of the mount is just about even with the bottom of the dome.  The rotation control is homemade (my COVID quarantine project) and works very will with both ASCOM DeviceHub and SGP.  I'm using SGP for image capture and plate solve.

I can't figure out how to set up APPM to control the dome properly. If I use "Active" in the "AP Point Mapper - Dome Settings" panel, APPM seems to do it's calculations based on the center of the dome instead of where the telescope is.  This is not surprising since I can't seem to find any where in the program or the documentation to set the mount and telescope geometry.  I suppose, since APCC knows that I'm using a Mach2, it _could_ already know roughly how far from the center of the RA/DEC axes intersection the bottom of my telescope is.  But I don't see anyway that it could know where the center of my OTA is.  I really don't think it's using the parameters from 3D view; I haven't set that up, but the default is a much larger diameter telescope than mine.

 Anyway, when I use "Active", I end up imaging across the edge of the slot because the slot is positioned for the center of the mount instead of where the telescope is.  Most of the images ended up plate solving anyway, but since  the stars are all diffraction spikes, I don't know the quality of those solutions.  The initial slew to meridian is probably the worst because the dome is in the exact opposite position than it should be and my slot just goes barely past vertical.   I checked the ASCOM logs on the PC and my ASCOM debug screen on the dome controller.  The dome _is_ slewing to the position that APPM requests; that position just doesn't seem to be based on where the telescope is.

Can anyone tell me what I'm missing?  Where do I enter the offsets for the mount/scope geometer so that APPM can got to the correct position?

So, after trying "Active", I swiched to "Passive" and tried with two different dome slaving programs: ASCOM Device Hub and SGP.  For "Delay before starting dome slew checking", I used values ranging from 5 to 30 seconds.  For "Settle time after dome stops slewing", I used values from 1 to 20 seconds.  I didn't see any effect when changing these settings; in all cases the the telescope slewed to the next position and started imaging a few seconds after it got there--many seconds before the dome was in position.  None of those images solved since the dome was in the way.  Again, I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong--it's like I'm not even changing the values.  Is there another setting that I'm missing that enables these timeouts?

I'm sure someone else has successfully done an APPM run from an automated dome!  What am I missing?

Thanks - Shane

--
Shane Ramotowski
kor@cotse.net
https://www.kor-astro.net


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

If you built a correction model when using the mount it would not matter at all. Throw the guider in the drawer. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 8:27 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

The biggest benefit to an encoder on the dec axis is elimination of declination backlash.  If the mount doesn’t have significant backlash, then this would be ok.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 4:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

Do you need a Dec encoder for what? Remember, Dec doesn't have to track.

 

Rolando

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 4:07 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Low weight, medium cost, dual absolute encoders.  🙂 

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 2:01 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.

A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.

A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.

A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

 

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

 

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

 

Pick any 3 out of 5.

 

Rolando

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

W Hilmo
 

The biggest benefit to an encoder on the dec axis is elimination of declination backlash.  If the mount doesn’t have significant backlash, then this would be ok.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 4:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

Do you need a Dec encoder for what? Remember, Dec doesn't have to track.

 

Rolando

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 4:07 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Low weight, medium cost, dual absolute encoders.  🙂 

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 2:01 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.

A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.

A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.

A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

 

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

 

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

 

Pick any 3 out of 5.

 

Rolando

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: How to Take Best Advantage of Partial APPM Model Runs #APCC

 


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 7:50 PM Greg Vaughn <gregvaughn@...> wrote:
Hi Luca,

I went to download the BETA 4 version of SGP and it shows that only the 32 bit version is currently available for download.

Is there something that you needed to sign up for that allowed you to download the V4.657 Beta version of SGP?   I had to acknowledge the risks of the Beta software to download it, but I didn't realize that the only one I could download was the 32-bit version of the Beta (with a much lower version number than what you've quoted).   I'm curious I'm missing something in this process.

Appreciate any advice.

cheers,
Greg



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

deonb
 

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 04:31 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
Do you need a Dec encoder for what? Remember, Dec doesn't have to track.
 

Dec encoder provides push-to recovery functionality which is a big plus on a ultra-portable mount.

My vote would be: Ultra-low weight, Clutched, Dual Absolute Encoders.

However, I'm not sure what "low tracking performance" in combination with "dual absolute encoders" would even mean? Like... the mount knows it's wrong but doesn't know how to fix it?


Re: How to Take Best Advantage of Partial APPM Model Runs #APCC

Eric Weiner
 

Greg,

It’s there. Just look under the beta downloads, not the main V4 links. Bottom of the downloads page. 

Cheers,
Eric


On Feb 26, 2021, at 20:50, Greg Vaughn <gregvaughn@...> wrote:

Hi Luca,

I went to download the BETA 4 version of SGP and it shows that only the 32 bit version is currently available for download.

Is there something that you needed to sign up for that allowed you to download the V4.657 Beta version of SGP?   I had to acknowledge the risks of the Beta software to download it, but I didn't realize that the only one I could download was the 32-bit version of the Beta (with a much lower version number than what you've quoted).   I'm curious I'm missing something in this process.

Appreciate any advice.

cheers,
Greg


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

weihaowang
 
Edited

Low to ultra-low weight and compact (if these imply no-clutched, I will accept), for air travel and for elder people.

Single encoder to eliminate PE and need of guiding for sub-500mm imaging.

medium or higher price (but what "medium" means?)

Cheers,
Wei-Hao



On Sat, Feb 27, 2021 at 06:01 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.
A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.
A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.
A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.
 
There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.
 
Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.
 
Pick any 3 out of 5.
 
Rolando

 


Re: How to Take Best Advantage of Partial APPM Model Runs #APCC

Greg Vaughn
 

Hi Luca,

I went to download the BETA 4 version of SGP and it shows that only the 32 bit version is currently available for download.

Is there something that you needed to sign up for that allowed you to download the V4.657 Beta version of SGP?   I had to acknowledge the risks of the Beta software to download it, but I didn't realize that the only one I could download was the 32-bit version of the Beta (with a much lower version number than what you've quoted).   I'm curious I'm missing something in this process.

Appreciate any advice.

cheers,
Greg


Re: How to Take Best Advantage of Partial APPM Model Runs #APCC

Greg Vaughn
 

Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for making me double check APPM settings.   I have selected ‘Binning = 2’ under the APPM ‘Camera Settings’ tab and I know that in the settings summary page you get when you hit run that my image scale is double the value I record in the ‘Plate Solve Settings’ tab of APPM which asks for the unbinned image scale for X and Y.   So, I think these settings in APPM mean that APCC has registered them.  

 

I just now see the opportunity to select Full Frame or ½ by ½ or ¼ by ¼ in the ‘Subframe’ drop-down menu in the ‘Camera Settings’ tab.   I have always left in ‘Full Frame’ in the past.   Now that I’m aware of the choice there and If I continue to have issues, I will certainly try that – thanks!

 

Cheers,

Greg

 


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Pay Attention to Those Declination Top Plate Locking Knobs

 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 02:40 PM, Joe Zeglinski wrote:
Hi Mike,
 
   Nice job on your pencilled setting circles.  I was thinking the same thing about perhaps AP providing “stick-on-tape” setting circles as visual aids for their mounts, as an option. That would save production work and materials & stocking for the old fashioned types. However, I suppose the pencil (or inked) marked ones can easily wash off or smudge, after all that hard work.
 
    Easy to make permanent ones – just measure and test print such setting angle strips  first, on paper. Later , when they seem to be correct with their ends taped/joined, plastic ones could then be printed with a laser printer,  onto “overhead projection cell” material, as a clear acetate glue-on. You might have to print on the sheet’s diagonal, depending on axle cap diameter, to fit – or even as two pieces, 180 degree strips. I would first “reverse” the printing image, so that once it is printed (mirror imaged) and flipped over, the lettering would be on the back side of the strip, protected from dew etc.
 
    Might even glue the printed strips onto “Glow in the dark”  tape, before applying that tape to the axle. That way, it will be easier to read the angles with the glow backlighting effect,  even without a permanent battery operated LED indicator bulb. But don’t forget to account for the tape’s thickness, adding to the diameter, when measuring the printed setting circle  strips.
 
Joe Z.
 
 
I used that exact technique to make various labels and scales for equipment I made or used at work. Thought I was the only one. :)  Solve the various angles and lengths of the label with a CAD program and many tests, since most printers aren't as accurate as I expected.  Mirror them in the program, laser print on overhead projector acetate sheets (wonder if they're still around), cut out, flip and attach using double-sided tape with the toner safely underneath.  Worked great.

Jerome


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long
 

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/wiki/14360

The groups.io Wiki is useful. For those that might not know it exists. 😁


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:09 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Roland,

Please point me to your simple polar alignment method. 

Shailesh


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Shailesh Trivedi
 

Roland,

Please point me to your simple polar alignment method. 

Shailesh


Re: GTOCP4 Control Box

Tom Blahovici
 

oops, the base is 3 feet in diameter.  The pier is from Software Bisque and is 10" in diameter.  It bolts to 4 stainless steel rods embedded in the concrete. In the summer I take the whole things down, replace the small hole with an upside down bucket covered in astroturf.  Can hardly see it at all.


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Roland Christen
 

Pointing model comes automatic with APCC-APPM. It's not mount specific.

Polar alignment is so simple, almost anyone can do it with eyes closed if you use my method. It's also fast and quite accurate. I will probably turn it into an automatic keypad routine at some point. All you need is a scope and camera with crosshairs on the image - Maxim DL has this.

Not sure what user focused means.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 6:14 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

What can AP do that others cannot?
1. reliability/customer service
2. sophisticated pointing model
3. sophisticated polar alignment
4. user/focused (understands needs of users).

So in terms of picking 3 out of the 5.

1) Tracking performance should be good enough to make having an advanced pointing model worthwhile.  If the tracking performance is bad enough that a mount set at sidereal will give you the same result, it’s not taking advantage of the performance.

It is not clear to me how much guiding solves this.  My understanding is that a good model avoids the need for guiding.  
It is not clear to me how much clutches affect this target of performance.

it is not clear to me if corrections in DEC are needed after an AP model is created or if it’s just RA modifications.
I don’t know what pixel size to assume but I think 3-4 microns is a reasonable assumption.

2) You have hit it spot on that there are older hobbyists who would do better with lightweight mounts and there are plenty of young hobbyists who like to travel.

3) Make it as affordable as possible.  The Stowaway lets a lot more people enjoy your optics.  
Let’s call this the “AP Traveler GTO”.

4) if it is spec’d to meet the criteria of “good enough to benefit from a pointing model” versus just tracking with the 92/6.65 versus the 130GTX, how does that change the price and size?

Maybe for the 92/6.65 “good enough to benefit from a pointing model” it would still be “very good” with the overloaded 130GTX or C11.


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Roland Christen
 

Rough estimate ~ $15k.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 5:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

High precision abs encoder on RA. For precise homing, pointing and tracking.
Lower resolution abs encoder on DEC. Much cheaper and perfectly suitable for precise homing and pointing.
Servo motors. For lowest voltage and current requirements.
Operable on 8-20VDC.
Strain wave gears with electric brakes. For zero backlash, no reverse-driving when power is lost, and size/weight savings.
Super-lightweight and compact overall.
No clutches needed. I haven't missed having clutches on my RST-135 at all.
Motor-current-measuring-based balancing function.
New, dedicated hand controller with integral GPS & Bluetooth, and optionally WiFi, serial, USB and Ethernet.
Maybe have an XBee socket or two in the hand controller. Let users pick their own wireless frequency and protocol options.
Mount setup procedure optimized and simplified for travel. OLED display good to -40F/C
Built-in base adapter to put it on a carbon-fiber Gitzo 85 (or clone 85mm head) tripod.
Optional hollow composite counterweight. Fill with water when in the field.
Lightweight counterweight shaft. I am a strong believer in counterweights for strain wave mounts, whenever possible. I don't care what Rainbow pushes in their ads.
Lightweight, telescoping, two-section, aluminum pier with 85mm socket head option for travel. More rigid than a Gitzo CF tripod.
Ability to operate in Alt-Az as well as polar mode. Alt-Az is great for visual, solar and occultation use.
Options for both electronic as well as optical polar scopes.
Give the electronics enough horsepower to add cool stuff in the future, like Slo-Mo all-sky tracker features and the like.
Bubble levels in mount and pier. Optional compass.
Multi-star alignments with software ortho compensation.
Voltage and current displayed continuously on the hand controller.
If possible, through the mount power and USB3/USB-C. Or put cable securing points on the DEC axis and base so a springy umbilical channel can be used.
Optional custom, lightweight, wheelie travel case. Maybe have a stroller or diaper bag camouflage kit for it. LOL

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

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 12:01 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.
A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.
A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.
A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

Pick any 3 out of 5.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.

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Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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