Date   

Re: M 81

KHursh
 

Thanks Jeff. It was the Esprit 120, which is a triplet


Re: M 81

KHursh
 

Thanks Howard


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

michael mccann
 

Great instructions.

Marty I’ve sent an email, let me know if you haven’t received it.

I have some Losmandy saddles and had purchased the “Easy Balance Saddle” initially. I’ll try the SBS18”  with my existing saddles and see if that works. I’ll see if my 3D adjustable saddle can handle the 130mm.  I hadn’t thought to check if I could mount the Easy Balance saddle (162) horizontally. So I’ll try that

thanks


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

Christopher Erickson
 

Balancing isn't that big of a deal. All it takes is a wooden pencil and a few pieces of blue painter's tape.

On the floor, use the pencil to find the center of gravity for each OTA setup. Have your cams, wheels, etc. in place and refractors set to approximate focus.

Mark the center of gravity on each OTA dovetail bar with bits of the painter's tape.

Mount the OTA's on your double/triple/quadruple, etc. tandem dovetail bar.

Center them in their dovetail brackets using the tape marks.

Put the entire assembly on the floor and find the center of gravity for the whole assembly with the pencil and mark it with the painter's tape.

Make sure your mount has enough counterweights on it.

Remove the OTA's.

Mount the tandem bar assembly on the mount.

Mount the OTA's on the tandem bar, starting with the biggest/heaviest.

Check EVERY KNOB THREE TIMES for tightness and security.

Go forth and slew.

P.S. ADM makes extra-long dovetail bars for building up double/triple/quadruple OTA assemblies.

P.P.S. I'll guarantee that none of the OTA's will point to exactly the same point in the sky. Use adjustable dovetail X-Y stages or focal plane X-Y stages for all but the biggest/heaviest OTA.

 



Roland's suggestion is best. Get another AP mount or three. LOL

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

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Happy to help if I can. One thing to remember is that the mount balancing gets VERY complicated this way. There is an excellent write-up available from Astro-Physics that explains the various steps required.

BTW, if you have trouble securing the 18" SBS bar -- if Astro-Physics can't supply one in a reasonable time -- let me know. Mine is serving as a paperweight now.

Marty


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

mjb87@...
 

Happy to help if I can. One thing to remember is that the mount balancing gets VERY complicated this way. There is an excellent write-up available from Astro-Physics that explains the various steps required.

BTW, if you have trouble securing the 18" SBS bar -- if Astro-Physics can't supply one in a reasonable time -- let me know. Mine is serving as a paperweight now.

Marty


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

michael mccann
 

Thanks 

I actually just figuring my new “used” mount . As they say spend your money on the mount. I did

. until I have enough for much larger “galaxy killer “, I’ll make my three scopes work.  I’ll look into that  saddle and plate configuration.  Right now I’m learning the software.  Which image capturing software are you using?


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

mjb87@...
 
Edited

Indeed, Roland. That is excellent advice -- and why my brand new Mach2 was delivered in November!! (Remember the washer?)

I now have two mounts in operation. Much better solution for me (not to mention Astro-Physics.) The problem now is that I am spoiled by the absolute encoders, which is why I'm wait listed on them for the 1100.

Marty


Re: Questions.....does wireless now work correctly with latest updates AND does your Sky Safari 6 Pro allow multiple Park positions now.

Allen Ruckle
 

Yes and NO,

The upgrade for the iPad iOS  v 1.8.+  does everything added for my A-P Mach2 GTO.    I began to wonder if the Mac OS version would be updated with the new A-P features.  

On March 31, the Mac OS version 1.8.0 was of SkySafari was released.   At first appears to have the A-P park Home, 3, & 4 positions added.  however upon trying it out with my MacBook Pro laptop I was surprised to find out that the selection of the Home Position goes to Position 4,   Selecting Park 3 goes to Park Position 4,   Selecting Park Positon 3.    It is nice to now be able to choose a park position on shut down but It would help if it parked in the position 3 when selecting position 3.   Since the A-P, APCC manual describes the Home Position as NCP with counterweight down, Sky Safari should send the scope position to NCP counterweight down.

On April 7th  an update to Sky Safari 1.8.0 was updated to 1.8.1,   However correcting the park positions was not included in that update for my MacBook pro with the Mach2 GTO attached.

I attempted to notify Simulation Curriculum of the issue on April 8th but my attempts to register an account to their SkySafari forum were not successful.  

Howard, Please bring this issue to them since I have been unable to.

aruckle


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

Roland Christen
 


Also, the refractor was for imaging but the CFF was mainly visual and I'd often want to use each but at different targets.
You need another mount Smile

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Apr 19, 2021 2:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

Hi Mike,

I mounted a CFF300 (about 38lbs) and my 130mm GTX on an 1100 mount. With all accessories I was pushing the limits at about 105lbs. I mounted the DOVELM162 sideways on the mount and then used the 18" SBS plate in that. I then mounted the DOVELM162 on one side (for the CFF300) and for the refractor I used the shorter 10"  saddle in order to save weight.  The challenge was that I was fully loaded on the counterweight bar as you can see.



Given the diameter of the C11 I think you will need to use the full 18" SBS plate. Unfortunately, the combination of the two 16" saddles, the 18" SBS and the 10" saddle meant that I was carrying a lot of weight even before I got to the telescopes.

It did work but had disadvantages. For one, whichever telescope was on the "down" side barely cleared the walls. Also, the refractor was for imaging but the CFF was mainly visual and I'd often want to use each but at different targets.

Marty

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

mjb87@...
 

Hi Mike,

I mounted a CFF300 (about 38lbs) and my 130mm GTX on an 1100 mount. With all accessories I was pushing the limits at about 105lbs. I mounted the DOVELM162 sideways on the mount and then used the 18" SBS plate in that. I then mounted the DOVELM162 on one side (for the CFF300) and for the refractor I used the shorter 10"  saddle in order to save weight.  The challenge was that I was fully loaded on the counterweight bar as you can see.



Given the diameter of the C11 I think you will need to use the full 18" SBS plate. Unfortunately, the combination of the two 16" saddles, the 18" SBS and the 10" saddle meant that I was carrying a lot of weight even before I got to the telescopes.

It did work but had disadvantages. For one, whichever telescope was on the "down" side barely cleared the walls. Also, the refractor was for imaging but the CFF was mainly visual and I'd often want to use each but at different targets.

Marty


Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

michael mccann
 

Hi
trying to mount C11 edge, 130mm and 80mm refractors on AP mount. The Astro-Physics mounts offer a variety of saddle and dovetail options. I’m looking for recommendations and links/images of how AP users resolved this. 


thanks

Mike


Re: ETA on ASTAP Native?

Bill Long
 

Also!

I tried to install PinPoint as it has a trial. Yeah good luck with that. The UI is from Windows 95 and the links it offers to help you set it up with catalogs and whatnot? Nothing but 404 Not found errors. Completely horrid experience. 

Getting ASTAP added is not just a user preference. The other options barely even work right, or not at all. 


From: Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2021 7:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?
 
SkyX does some really odd things that you cannot control well. 

Last night, for example, at an agressive imaging scale of 0.46"/px it continually cropped the image 25% yet there was nowhere I could find a setting at all in Image Link to stop that. It completely prevented any usage of APPM at all with that one factor. 

I hooked up SGP, and it can use ASTAP.  You know what did not happen? I did not have to turn off APCC Alt and Az model data for Polar Alignment. It worked as it should have. The previous models were all SkyX and I had to turn that off to do unguided imaging like I emailed you about. So there is that.

So if I were to give a one night (or one week as it were) vs the other experience in unguided imaging, I would actually say ASTAP solving worked better. Not worse. 

Bill

PS -- I can send cookies and coffee if it helps. 🙂 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2021 7:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?
 
Hi Bill,

I'm testing with ASTAP, but I don't have a completion date because there are too many other variables in my day-to-day stuff.

Have you compared the accuracy of ASTAP to SkyX plate solving? ASTAP seems to be less accurate, especially if there are lens
distortions.  Unlike SkyX and PinPoint, ASTAP does not handle high-order distortions even if they are small. If plate-solving is
less accurate, unguided imaging quality may suffer.

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:43 PM
> To: AP-GTO Groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?
>
> Really getting tired of dealing with SkyX for plate solving, it is a really poor experience, as you get into 0.6" - 0.4"/px
> imaging. Meanwhile ASTAP works excellent. I have resorted to using SGP as a middle man to allow ASTAP to work
> with APPM.
>
> Can we please get a timeline on native ASTAP support?
>
> Thanks,
> Bill
>







Re: M 81

Jeff B
 

Yes, very nice.  

Was the optic the doublet or triplet?

Jeff

On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 9:46 AM Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:
Nicely done!  That first good image is always a special one.  Print it; frame it; and hang it on your astro-trophy wall!


Re: ETA on ASTAP Native?

Bill Long
 

SkyX does some really odd things that you cannot control well. 

Last night, for example, at an agressive imaging scale of 0.46"/px it continually cropped the image 25% yet there was nowhere I could find a setting at all in Image Link to stop that. It completely prevented any usage of APPM at all with that one factor. 

I hooked up SGP, and it can use ASTAP.  You know what did not happen? I did not have to turn off APCC Alt and Az model data for Polar Alignment. It worked as it should have. The previous models were all SkyX and I had to turn that off to do unguided imaging like I emailed you about. So there is that.

So if I were to give a one night (or one week as it were) vs the other experience in unguided imaging, I would actually say ASTAP solving worked better. Not worse. 

Bill

PS -- I can send cookies and coffee if it helps. 🙂 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2021 7:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?
 
Hi Bill,

I'm testing with ASTAP, but I don't have a completion date because there are too many other variables in my day-to-day stuff.

Have you compared the accuracy of ASTAP to SkyX plate solving? ASTAP seems to be less accurate, especially if there are lens
distortions.  Unlike SkyX and PinPoint, ASTAP does not handle high-order distortions even if they are small. If plate-solving is
less accurate, unguided imaging quality may suffer.

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:43 PM
> To: AP-GTO Groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?
>
> Really getting tired of dealing with SkyX for plate solving, it is a really poor experience, as you get into 0.6" - 0.4"/px
> imaging. Meanwhile ASTAP works excellent. I have resorted to using SGP as a middle man to allow ASTAP to work
> with APPM.
>
> Can we please get a timeline on native ASTAP support?
>
> Thanks,
> Bill
>







Re: APPM Image Scale Question and Suggestions

John Jennings
 

I'm really confused about the terminology in this post. I've been using a QHY294C Pro  since it was released. In 11mp mode, A pixel is defined as 4.63um*4.63um. In unlocked 47mp mode, A pixel is defined as 2.314um*2.315um by the manufacturer. I always use these as the Bin x 1 values in plate solver settings (depending on camera driver mode) everywhere just like a monochrome camera. I do understand that underneath the driver at the hardware level, in the 11mp mode, the pixels in "this camera only" (SONY IMX294 BSI CMOS  (Color version)), are Binned x 2. But that's irrelevant at the image level after the driver output.

As I mentioned before, I've had the same issue with these small pixel settings with my Mewlon 300. However, the new QHY Beta drivers are allowing 4x4 color binning on some of the new color cameras. I've not checked this out on my 294C Pro. This will make a big difference in plate solving slow scopes. In general, I do not treat my color cameras any different than my monochrome camera and always use the manufacturers specified pixel size.


Re: ETA on ASTAP Native?

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Bill,

I'm testing with ASTAP, but I don't have a completion date because there are too many other variables in my day-to-day stuff.

Have you compared the accuracy of ASTAP to SkyX plate solving? ASTAP seems to be less accurate, especially if there are lens
distortions. Unlike SkyX and PinPoint, ASTAP does not handle high-order distortions even if they are small. If plate-solving is
less accurate, unguided imaging quality may suffer.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:43 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?

Really getting tired of dealing with SkyX for plate solving, it is a really poor experience, as you get into 0.6" - 0.4"/px
imaging. Meanwhile ASTAP works excellent. I have resorted to using SGP as a middle man to allow ASTAP to work
with APPM.

Can we please get a timeline on native ASTAP support?

Thanks,
Bill


Re: M 81

Howard Hedlund
 

Nicely done!  That first good image is always a special one.  Print it; frame it; and hang it on your astro-trophy wall!


Re: Questions.....does wireless now work correctly with latest updates AND does your Sky Safari 6 Pro allow multiple Park positions now.

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Gentlemen!  I've been working with a team here at AP and a software developer from Sky Safari.  For the present, they have added Mach2 support, Park 3 and Park in place to the existing Park 4.  They also now have resume from last parked.  This should all prove a great benefit to Sky Safari users.
We have also learned through continued testing that one issue with the WiFi was too much signal!  Since you generally operate Sky Safari in very close proximity, much like our keypad, the best thing to do is to fold the antenna into its travel orientation.  
Clear, Dark and Steady Skies!
Howard


ETA on ASTAP Native?

Bill Long
 

Really getting tired of dealing with SkyX for plate solving, it is a really poor experience, as you get into 0.6" - 0.4"/px imaging. Meanwhile ASTAP works excellent. I have resorted to using SGP as a middle man to allow ASTAP to work with APPM.

Can we please get a timeline on native ASTAP support?

Thanks,
Bill 


Re: APPM model how many points portable?

Robert Berta
 

I have a RAPAS on my 1100. I run lots of wires (around 6) through the mount and no issue. There is a plastic segmented "separator" that comes with the mount that allows you to run the cables through and keep them clear of the RAPAS. The reason I have so many cables is I have two interchangeable setups....one for a 6" APO refractor and another for a 11" SCT equipped with Hyperstar so one set is used for each to make it faster to switch setups without rerouting wires. I also have  wires for wireless focuser power. Of course you can also run external wires like I do on my 900 mount if you run out of room. For a permanent setup internal wiring makes it neater but for a portable mount it takes longer to run all the wires through instead of just hanging them off the mount and restraining with Velcro ties.

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