Date   

Re: Side-by-side saddle and dovetail suggestions

Worsel
 

Michael

If you cannot mount it sideways, ADM makes a unit that turns the bars 90 degrees.  It says Celestron, but it will fit any D-series dovetail
https://www.admaccessories.com/product/cgx-sbs-celestron-cgx-side-side-adapter/


Bryan


Re: Thanks to AP stuff

Roland Christen
 


I do not know what happened with my older GTOCP3 and/or keypad, but it went crazy because it stared very fast movement of the mount in RA whenever I pressed ANY button, even STOP one.
Usually this is caused by a faulty motor encoder. Therefore a new CP4 and new keypad will not solve the problem. It can also be caused by a broken connection in the Y cable, where one of the encoder wires has become loose. From your description I am guessing that the faulty encoder connection is in the Declination axis.

We can propose a couple of tests that will determine if the cable is bad or the encoder needs replacing.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Soldan <astrosoft@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Apr 20, 2021 1:41 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Thanks to AP stuff

I would like to thanks AP stuff, especially Daleen Palmer who sent me very quickly a new GTOCP4, keypad and other accessories to Czech Republic for my AP-900. 

I do not know what happened with my older GTOCP3 and/or keypad, but it went crazy because it stared very fast movement of the mount in RA whenever I pressed ANY button, even STOP one... this was very dangerous. I checked all cables, etc., but nothing helped. In any case, I am very glad to have GTOCP4 now.

Thanks,
Jan

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Thanks to AP stuff

George
 

Jan,

 

Please contact me directly if there continues to be a problem.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jan Soldan
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 1:41 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Thanks to AP stuff

 

I would like to thanks AP stuff, especially Daleen Palmer who sent me very quickly a new GTOCP4, keypad and other accessories to Czech Republic for my AP-900. 

I do not know what happened with my older GTOCP3 and/or keypad, but it went crazy because it stared very fast movement of the mount in RA whenever I pressed ANY button, even STOP one... this was very dangerous. I checked all cables, etc., but nothing helped. In any case, I am very glad to have GTOCP4 now.

Thanks,
Jan


Re: Thanks to AP stuff

Jan Soldan
 

staff...


Thanks to AP stuff

Jan Soldan
 

I would like to thanks AP stuff, especially Daleen Palmer who sent me very quickly a new GTOCP4, keypad and other accessories to Czech Republic for my AP-900. 

I do not know what happened with my older GTOCP3 and/or keypad, but it went crazy because it stared very fast movement of the mount in RA whenever I pressed ANY button, even STOP one... this was very dangerous. I checked all cables, etc., but nothing helped. In any case, I am very glad to have GTOCP4 now.

Thanks,
Jan


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

George
 

Ernie,

 

We are investigating with Sky Safari to see if we can find a possible bug.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ernie.mastroianni@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 8:18 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Questions.....does wireless now work correctly with latest updates AND does your Sky Safari 6 Pro allow multiple Park positions now.

 

I'm a Mach2 owner and use it with a MacBook Pro and iPhone and keypad hand controller. The recent upgrades to Sky Safari are a big improvement. I can use Sky Safari Plus to run the mount with my iPhone, even with no computer or keypad controller. The same with my Macbook. I've had occasional dropouts, but they seem to be related to the autolock on the phone, autosleep on the laptop, or conflicts with both the laptop and phone trying to simultaneously communicate to the CP5. When I keep just one device in constant active mode on the CP5 network, all seems fine.

However, there's a glitch in the disconnect commands while using my Macbook Pro with OSX Sierra (not the current OS).

1. when I request to park in its current position, it does, but stays connected.
2. When I request it to go to Park 3, it disconnects in place.
3. When I request it to disconnect at Park 4, it disconnects and slews to Park 3.
4. When I ask it to find Home, it disconnects and and then slews to Park 4.

Despite the command mix-ups, the mount does reconnect and accurately follows commands to any star or object. I've sent this info along the the Sky Safari folks.

Ernie Mastroianni
Milwaukee, Wis.


Re: AP1100 park position question

Seb@stro
 

Shailesh,

What exactly do you mean by "stable"? 

Do you mean in a position where the scopes and CW are in balance on the mount or in a position where you can safely add / remove the components to it ?

In the latter case, the only stable park positions would be Park 2 and 3. Others (park 1, 4 and 5) would require some kind of support under the CW shaft to prevent it from swinging around once the scope side equipments are removed. 

Sébastien


Re: AP1100 park position question

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Shailesh,
 
    I see good suggestions about stable, and also safe Park positions for stowing. However, I am somewhat concerned about stowing the telescope at other than Park-2 or Park-3.
 
    I assume there would be an “undo additional strain” on all the various screw attachments on the saddle and OTA, as well as its attached accessories, if the OTA is hanging - straight out to the side. Depending on your observatory’s Latitude, the Park 2&3 positions lessen the overhang loading, as the OTA and the heavy bar sit slightly more OVER the mount, closer to its centre of gravity, and thus somewhat decreases any undo strain on both the OTA various attachments, as well as the counterweight bar threads.
 
    This may be a minor point, but may be worth considering, from a mechanical point of view, assuming  that is a viable option.
 
Joe Z.
 

From: Shailesh Trivedi
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 12:54 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1100 park position question
 
I am sure this question is straightforward and I have read it in the manual but I must ask for clarification about stability.

I am considering putting my AP1100 in an observatory. To reduce the height of a potential ROR observatory, is it possible to "stably", stable being the key word, park with CW horizontal and the OTA either on east or west side of the pier?

This will be the normal park resting place always, hence the request for confirmation and stability.

This decision will make a large difference for me in my choices.

Thanks,

Shailesh


Re: AP1100 park position question

Erik Stein
 

As long as you are balanced, it should be stable in any position.


Re: AP1100 park position question

Erik Stein
 


Re: AP1100 park position question

Dale Ghent
 

Park positions 1, 4, or 5 will orient the mount as you wish. Positions 4 or 5 are the suggested park positions and put the telescope on the east side of the pier. Park 1 will put the telescope on the west side. The direction that the telescope points in these positions depends on which hemisphere you are in.

Review this document for the details:
https://www.astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/park-positions-defined.pdf

On Apr 20, 2021, at 12:54, Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@brightfeathers.com> wrote:

I am sure this question is straightforward and I have read it in the manual but I must ask for clarification about stability.

I am considering putting my AP1100 in an observatory. To reduce the height of a potential ROR observatory, is it possible to "stably", stable being the key word, park with CW horizontal and the OTA either on east or west side of the pier?

This will be the normal park resting place always, hence the request for confirmation and stability.

This decision will make a large difference for me in my choices.

Thanks,

Shailesh


AP1100 park position question

Shailesh Trivedi
 

I am sure this question is straightforward and I have read it in the manual but I must ask for clarification about stability. 

I am considering putting my AP1100 in an observatory. To reduce the height of a potential ROR observatory, is it possible to "stably", stable being the key word, park with CW horizontal and the OTA either on east or west side of the pier? 

This will be the normal park resting place always, hence the request for confirmation and stability. 

This decision will make a large difference for me in my choices. 

Thanks,

Shailesh


Re: Powering Remote Imaging Systems

 

+1 for OnLogic 

we have had zero problems so far with it at remote obs, can't report the same for many other components ;)

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 5:30 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:

Hi Steve,

I use units from OnLogic, specifically the ML100G-51 model. They have a variety of system in industrial and rugged designs. I would keep to i3 or better systems. Celerons, especially N-series Celeron CPUs, don't really have the core count or clock speed when it comes to Windows. OnLogic systems are made in the US, and support is out of the US as well.

In the US and UK, there is SimplyNUC and their Porcoolpine line of passively-cooled units, but a recent update saw an emphasis on Thunderbolt instead of classic USB ports. They're still fine if you need only 1 or 2 USB connections to the box (ie, you have a USB hub).

There are of course a lot of options on Amazon and AliExpress, such as the Kingdel units that Luca mentions, as well as ones from Topton.


> On Apr 18, 2021, at 11:19, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the reply Dale. I probably should replace at least the SRO computer. Any particular brand or vendor you can recommend for getting these? Hopefully they can be well configured which is what I think kept me from using these early on.
>
> -Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
> Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2021 11:08 AM
> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Powering Remote Imaging Systems
>
>
> I wouldn't worry about computers needing a "rest" unless you have power availability considerations that would necessitate a complete shutdown of everything during idle periods. Computers are pretty resilient things. You can get fanless systems with SSDs and be completely free of any moving parts that could wear out from long periods of running. It's far better to have a fanless system that is designed to be fanless, than one that relies on a fan for cooling and is in trouble if that fan breaks or gets clogged up with the kind of dust and gunk that often floats around inside observatories.
>
> I don't know what your current in-observatory system is, but I would just opt for a low power system instead of trying to come up with some power management/synchronization machination for a single remote PC. Something NUC-ish is suitable for almost any observatory's control and acquisition system. You can find small systems with 15W TDP Intel i3 or i5 CPUs that sip power are completely adequate for the task.
>
> You can have it do stuff during the daytime, too. Run a weather station, monitor inside temperature/humidity sensors, or an all-sky or security cameras, for example.
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2021, at 08:17, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:
>>
>> While not directly mount related it does concern powering systems. For a system I run at SRO and one at home I have Web Power switches for the scripting the powering of equipment on/off through ACP Expert which works great but now years after just leaving the computers on 24/7 forever I wonder about the intelligence of that practice. I do have the computer’s BIOS set to restore to previous state should there be a power loss so that it turns back on and in turn opens the programs I have in the Start Menu which is fine for emergencies but I suspect I wouldn’t want to force stop/start it like that on a regular basis if not necessary. I’ve read a bit about Wake On LAN but that requires a computer that is on that network to access the computer you want woken which in this case is doable even with SRO as they have a VPN that sets the remote computer as part of your local network. I can Remote Desktop into that system using the IP address from home when the VPN is connected.
>>
>> But of course I’m looking for more fool proofing such as not relaying on memory to connect and turn on each system every day  as that will most certainly be forgotten from time to time and likely on the very best of nights. So the real question hidden deep in this post is if anyone knows of a mostly foolproof method to have remote computers turn on and off at predetermined times. I would expect you’d want to calculate the earliest time for On in your area considering DST and off by the latest morning time. Say you may want 4PM start for the winter when you could be imaging by 5:30pm in some areas and off at 9am in the morning which would/should allow time for sky flats should you take them both evening and morning. This at least gives the computer a rest of 15+ hours a day and in my case where I use a Starlight Xpress UltraStar guider t to would be powered down as it’s always on when connected to the computer’s USB.
>>
>> Just think there should be a more reasonable way to run these system that would be easier on the computers as well as being more efficient. Anything obvious I’m missing? Suggestions?
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>








--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

John Jennings
 

Yes Yes Yes Yes!!!!!!!!!

I've been diagnosing a "mount problem" for 2 weeks. Mach1, APPC Pro, AP155.+Flattener. Perfect round stars on 8 minute unguided exposures repeated one night after a new model. Next week, bad bad bad carrot!!!!!  Tore the mount apart, cleaned all gears,  re-greased, re-meshed, reset backlash on RA  axis and set perfect balance with pinion disengaged (remove gear), generally spent 2 days on mount mechanics.  It absolutely looked like the tracking rate was incorrect.... New medium model, no dice! 

Same Pegasus UPBV2 with latest software.... Did not have this behavior for quite sometime. Not to complain, but Pegaus has had a lot of bugs in their software. I've updated my system 3 times for bugs introduced in new versions. Twice in 24 hours. 

Saw this post and checked the temp in APPC Pro window. Sure enough, 65 degrees C reported. Pegasus reports 65 degrees F in its box.  I would have been searching for another month without this post. Gonna try it tonight with manual temp input. I was so careful about entering the station pressure too. It's always something.

John


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

Robert Berta
 

The latest Sky Safari Pro release has a new issue with the time. You can set the time correctly but it will be an hour behind....(check at the upper right to see what time is shown). I have verified this with two different Android devices. Both had correct time before but now lagging one hour. For the time being you can just manually work around this. I am a BETA tester and have notified them of issue. If you have the notice that an update is available you may want to hold off a bit until it is addressed. I don't know if this is the same issue with the IOS version. I also don't know if the non BETA version has this or not as I have the BETA version.


Re: Powering Remote Imaging Systems

Ben Koltenbah
 

Steve:

I also recommend you take a look at OnLogic.  They have a wide selection of units including fanless, extended temperature range components if that's a concern, lots customization.  I have two computers from them, and they have performed very well.  You mentioned your need for serial ports.  Many of their configurations have multiple ports and expandability.

Ben


Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

W Hilmo
 

Thanks for the response.

 

I’m using the latest version of the Pegasus Astro software for the UPBv2, so it sounds like I need to contact them regarding the temperature reporting issue.  I’ve not yet confirmed that after switching back to Celcius, that it restores the unguided accuracy.  I should be able to give that a try tonight.

 

As for the Advanced Sequencer, I saw it for the first time yesterday.  I was expecting a UI similar to the original sequencer, which it’s not – but I think that it’s better.  I really like to flexibility.  I’m already thinking ahead to when Astro-Physics updates APCC to support the new few-stars tracking model that they introduced with the Mach2.  It would be really cool to write a script to sample and plate solve 6 or 8 points along the target’s declination for unguided imaging, and then have NINA invoke the script at the start of an imaging session.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:34 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Hi Wade,

 

You may need to update your Pegasus software to fix this issue.

 

Older versions of the Pegasus UPBv2 console app and ObservingConditions driver will relay the Fahrenheit temperature to downstream consumers such as NINA or APCC when the console app is set to display units in Fahrenheit. 

 

The ASCOM ObservingConditions interface specification specifies that the values for its various meteorological properties must be in SI units (ie, Celsius when it comes to temperature), so that is what APCC is expecting. Pegasus issued a fix for this last year so you might just need an update unless they’ve reintroduced the bug in a recent version.

 

This issue was even more obvious to those who have NINA set to convert the SI units too imperial for display. This caused NINA to convert the Fahrenheit temperature to Fahrenheit again, resulting in some outlandish temperature values being reported. 

 

Aside from that, your description is quite an interesting depiction of how much temperature can alter the tracking of the mount under a model, though. Glad you were able to work out the cause. Hope you like the Advanced Sequencer, too. It is of course a work in progress but it’s maturing nicely. 



On Apr 20, 2021, at 00:35, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I've been doing some unguided imaging with my AP1600 w/Absolute Encoders and APCC Pro and have seen some interesting behavior with unguided imaging.

The first few nights that I run unguided after building a model of about 180 points, everything was great.  I was blown away by how well it worked.  The last few nights, not so much.  I am seeing elongated stars and some image drift over the course of the night.

I do not believe that this is flexure.  I'm imaging with my AP130GTX, and I've double checked all connections.  I've double checked to make sure that the pointing model is enabled.  I verified that the polar alignment is still spot on.  It's a bit difficult to troubleshoot because, without guiding, there aren't any log files to examine.  All I have are the subs that I can inspect.

Since we're getting into more moonlight, I've done some software updates (switched to the daily builds for NINA so that I can use the advanced scheduler).  I've also set up for doing tonight's run with the guider enabled so that I can get some logs.  As I was watching the session get started, I noticed something odd.  Specifically, I noticed that APCC reported the temperature at over 40 degrees C, which is very wrong.  I am using the Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox v2 as the weather sensor.

It occurred to me that I made a change to the Pegasus software a few days ago to change from reporting the temperature in C, to reporting the temperature in F.  It looks like both APCC and NINA are reporting the Fahrenheit value as Celcius.  I am wondering if the significantly incorrect temperature interpretation has effected the model such that it's lost accuracy.  I have reverted the Pegasus software back to reporting in C, and after tonight's run, I'm going back to unguided operation to see if I get that great result back that I was getting the first couple of nights.

-Wade


Re: ETA on ASTAP Native?

Bill Long
 

I looked all over for that setting. Where is it?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Edward Beshore via groups.io <ebeshore@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:24 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] ETA on ASTAP Native?
 
Hi Bill

I have just been pretty successful at using TheSky for astrometry in a variety of setups, including imaging scales of 0.39"/pix.

I find this in TheSkyX manual which might be helpful..

"Check the All Sky Image Link Crop Options
For photos acquired with a camera that has more than 2500 pixels in one dimension, to speed searches, All Sky Image Link automatically crops the photo (see the All Sky Image Link Crop Settings under “Advanced Preferences” on page 226 to configure this option).If a photo acquired with a large format camera has few stars in it, or a very poor signal to noise ratio, the All Sky Image Link crop process can result in "not enough stars" being found.If your camera has more than 2500 pixels in either dimension, and All Sky Image Link fails, increase the default crop size to 80 percent or so and try All Sky Image Link again."

If you are by default using All Sky Image link, this could be the source of your problem. (If so, I presume you have downloaded the large sky database that TheSky uses for plate solving All Sky Image link images...) On the other hand, if your RA and DEC are approximately correct, and the OBJCTRA and OBJCTDEC keywords are being placed in your FITS header, then TheSky should default to normal ImageLink operation. That given, there are still a number of ways one can get foiled with astrometry, and it may make some sense to spend a bit of time solving your images manually with ImageLink to get the solve parameters right for your imaging setup.

If you would want to share one of your images, I would be happy to take a look at it.

Cheers, Ed Beshore 


Re: ETA on ASTAP Native?

Edward Beshore
 

Hi Bill

I have just been pretty successful at using TheSky for astrometry in a variety of setups, including imaging scales of 0.39"/pix.

I find this in TheSkyX manual which might be helpful..

"Check the All Sky Image Link Crop Options
For photos acquired with a camera that has more than 2500 pixels in one dimension, to speed searches, All Sky Image Link automatically crops the photo (see the All Sky Image Link Crop Settings under “Advanced Preferences” on page 226 to configure this option).If a photo acquired with a large format camera has few stars in it, or a very poor signal to noise ratio, the All Sky Image Link crop process can result in "not enough stars" being found.If your camera has more than 2500 pixels in either dimension, and All Sky Image Link fails, increase the default crop size to 80 percent or so and try All Sky Image Link again."

If you are by default using All Sky Image link, this could be the source of your problem. (If so, I presume you have downloaded the large sky database that TheSky uses for plate solving All Sky Image link images...) On the other hand, if your RA and DEC are approximately correct, and the OBJCTRA and OBJCTDEC keywords are being placed in your FITS header, then TheSky should default to normal ImageLink operation. That given, there are still a number of ways one can get foiled with astrometry, and it may make some sense to spend a bit of time solving your images manually with ImageLink to get the solve parameters right for your imaging setup.

If you would want to share one of your images, I would be happy to take a look at it.

Cheers, Ed Beshore 


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

ernie.mastroianni@...
 

I'm a Mach2 owner and use it with a MacBook Pro and iPhone and keypad hand controller. The recent upgrades to Sky Safari are a big improvement. I can use Sky Safari Plus to run the mount with my iPhone, even with no computer or keypad controller. The same with my Macbook. I've had occasional dropouts, but they seem to be related to the autolock on the phone, autosleep on the laptop, or conflicts with both the laptop and phone trying to simultaneously communicate to the CP5. When I keep just one device in constant active mode on the CP5 network, all seems fine.

However, there's a glitch in the disconnect commands while using my Macbook Pro with OSX Sierra (not the current OS).

1. when I request to park in its current position, it does, but stays connected.
2. When I request it to go to Park 3, it disconnects in place.
3. When I request it to disconnect at Park 4, it disconnects and slews to Park 3.
4. When I ask it to find Home, it disconnects and and then slews to Park 4.

Despite the command mix-ups, the mount does reconnect and accurately follows commands to any star or object. I've sent this info along the the Sky Safari folks.

Ernie Mastroianni
Milwaukee, Wis.

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