Date   

Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Jeffc
 

Well... originally this thread was about a small portable mount.... which equates to something that can also be setup quickly.  Maybe I should have stressed that a bit more in my comment regarding portability.

My initial experience with the 1100 setup was that mating the axis , fishing the cables, etc. is not a "quick" operation.
However, the beauty of the 1100 is that it _can_ be transported as a single unit, and while I am no strongman/weightlifter, I can lift the assembled 1100 mount onto a tripod/pier.

After (?) 20+ years of "going portable" either for imaging or visual work, I've gone from 5 minute setup/teardown times, to hour long setup/teardown durations (e.g. the 1200 is tedious, and I'm sure you will agree the same with the 1600).   
So with the 1100 I was looking at reducing the setup/teardown time... and indeed it is better than the 1200 and also a smaller footprint transport size than the 1200.    My point is the Mach2 takes it a step further, and without much downside.   

TBH, when I got the 1100 I was impressed with the compactness of the shipping boxes.   
But then I realized I would never be able to use the "compact shipping" configuration for "portable transport"... just way too many things to fiddle with getting it setup.   

¯\_()_/¯


On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 4:06 PM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
Certainly, if you don't separate the AP1100 axes, it's bigger and heavier than the Mach2.  I do separate them, though, for packing and transport.  The bin in which I carry it would need to be much larger if I didn't separate them.

For what it's worth, I'm no stranger to using big mounts as "portable" mounts.  I take my AP1600 into the field at least once per year, for Oregon Star Party.  Occasionally, I take it to another event or two, but mostly I use the AP1100 as my portable imaging mount.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeffc
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:09 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas



> On Apr 27, 2021, at 1:13 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
>
> and I don't think that it's any more portable than my AP1100, since
> the axes don't separate.

Fwiw… I transport the 1100 (non AE version) with the axis mated.
It is easier/faster to setup this way given the Dec cable.    The removable Dec/saddle plate is nice because then the whole mount fits in a decent size tub with the Dec plate + 16” saddle removed.

I’m finding the Mach2 definitely takes up less space in the vehicle than the 1100.   The weight of the Mach2 (the part I need to carry off the tripod) is a tad bit less than the 1100 Ra+Dec.
But yes the Mach2 is surprisingly heavy.

Just another perspective: I prefer the Mach2 over the 1100 since the biggest OTA I’m using is a 12” ACF SCT.   The Mach2 seems to carry it no problem.   (Of course the 1100 I own is non-AE ; this also biases me to the Mach2.)

And for “portable” work , I don’t think I need the 1100 capacity (no observatory here until we move to a different location.)

Background: I acquired the 1100 to “downsize” from a 1200.  Note: I still have the 1200 — it is a bit dated, but is also “portable” and imo a very nice mount.
I signed up for the “Mach 1 replacement” and was also surprised by the Mach2 size when I saw it at AIC.   Now that I’m using the Mach2 for a bit I’m not at all disappointed by the larger size.



















Re: Zodiacal light over the Pacific

Jeff B
 

Sounds like you and Marj had a great and relaxing time Roland.  You all deserve a nice break and thanks for supporting us in our wonderful hobby.

Jeff

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 8:48 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
My latest entry at Astrobin:


Back in April Marj and I visited Hawaii Island for a short vacation. We had some very clear nights with bright Milky Way overhead, and I did some observing with friends and neighbors with our 175 refractor. Someone mentioned that Saturn was her favorite planet because it has rings. I added that actually many of the planets had rings, including our Earth. I had them look west over the Pacific where the Zodiacal light rose straight up, reaching overhead into the Milky way. I explained that this is a ring of dust that is being illuminated by the sun, and we can see it every night after sunset in this pristine sky.

I was able to capture it on the following night with my 12mm Rokinon lens on my little Sony camera. It took a number of tries because some images were ruined by airplanes in their decent towards the Kona airport. But eventually I got five 30 second exposures that i combined in this shot.

I also spent quite a few nights getting acquainted with the southern skies using both 100mm binoculars and our 175 refractor. No imaging, just visual the way people used to look at the skies. Down here in the south Pacific, one can see Omega Centauri quite high up, and easily see the Carina Nebula and other deep sky objects in that part of the sky. I eventually went to bed as the Scorpion rose over Mauna Kea and the gibbous Moon appeared over the top of Kohala mountain. From my observatory I have a view of 5 volcanoes - Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Kohala, and Maui's Haleakala.

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Zodiacal light over the Pacific

Roland Christen
 

My latest entry at Astrobin:

https://www.astrobin.com/full/0ueuhs/0/?nc=Uncarollo

Back in April Marj and I visited Hawaii Island for a short vacation. We had some very clear nights with bright Milky Way overhead, and I did some observing with friends and neighbors with our 175 refractor. Someone mentioned that Saturn was her favorite planet because it has rings. I added that actually many of the planets had rings, including our Earth. I had them look west over the Pacific where the Zodiacal light rose straight up, reaching overhead into the Milky way. I explained that this is a ring of dust that is being illuminated by the sun, and we can see it every night after sunset in this pristine sky.

I was able to capture it on the following night with my 12mm Rokinon lens on my little Sony camera. It took a number of tries because some images were ruined by airplanes in their decent towards the Kona airport. But eventually I got five 30 second exposures that i combined in this shot.

I also spent quite a few nights getting acquainted with the southern skies using both 100mm binoculars and our 175 refractor. No imaging, just visual the way people used to look at the skies. Down here in the south Pacific, one can see Omega Centauri quite high up, and easily see the Carina Nebula and other deep sky objects in that part of the sky. I eventually went to bed as the Scorpion rose over Mauna Kea and the gibbous Moon appeared over the top of Kohala mountain. From my observatory I have a view of 5 volcanoes - Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Kohala, and Maui's Haleakala.

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Meridian

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Great!!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 8:24:00 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian
 

Can I still use the GOTO for my next double star if Antares has crossed to the west side of the Meridian?
Certainly you can acquire the next star. No need to ever start over.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 27, 2021 6:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Meridian

I know this is probably in a manual somewhere but if someone knows the answer I would appreciate it.
 If I observing double stars and am following Antares (eyepiece on the west side of the mount and Antares on the east side of the Meridian) Can I still use the GOTO for my next double star if Antares has crossed to the west side of the Meridian? Or, do I have to re-calibrate or start over? I have AP 600 GOTO and AP Mach1 mounts.

JimP


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Meridian

Roland Christen
 


Can I still use the GOTO for my next double star if Antares has crossed to the west side of the Meridian?
Certainly you can acquire the next star. No need to ever start over.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 27, 2021 6:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Meridian

I know this is probably in a manual somewhere but if someone knows the answer I would appreciate it.
 If I observing double stars and am following Antares (eyepiece on the west side of the mount and Antares on the east side of the Meridian) Can I still use the GOTO for my next double star if Antares has crossed to the west side of the Meridian? Or, do I have to re-calibrate or start over? I have AP 600 GOTO and AP Mach1 mounts.

JimP


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Meridian

thefamily90 Phillips
 

I know this is probably in a manual somewhere but if someone knows the answer I would appreciate it.
 If I observing double stars and am following Antares (eyepiece on the west side of the mount and Antares on the east side of the Meridian) Can I still use the GOTO for my next double star if Antares has crossed to the west side of the Meridian? Or, do I have to re-calibrate or start over? I have AP 600 GOTO and AP Mach1 mounts.

JimP


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

W Hilmo
 

Certainly, if you don't separate the AP1100 axes, it's bigger and heavier than the Mach2. I do separate them, though, for packing and transport. The bin in which I carry it would need to be much larger if I didn't separate them.

For what it's worth, I'm no stranger to using big mounts as "portable" mounts. I take my AP1600 into the field at least once per year, for Oregon Star Party. Occasionally, I take it to another event or two, but mostly I use the AP1100 as my portable imaging mount.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeffc
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:09 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas



On Apr 27, 2021, at 1:13 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

and I don't think that it's any more portable than my AP1100, since
the axes don't separate.
Fwiw… I transport the 1100 (non AE version) with the axis mated.
It is easier/faster to setup this way given the Dec cable. The removable Dec/saddle plate is nice because then the whole mount fits in a decent size tub with the Dec plate + 16” saddle removed.

I’m finding the Mach2 definitely takes up less space in the vehicle than the 1100. The weight of the Mach2 (the part I need to carry off the tripod) is a tad bit less than the 1100 Ra+Dec.
But yes the Mach2 is surprisingly heavy.

Just another perspective: I prefer the Mach2 over the 1100 since the biggest OTA I’m using is a 12” ACF SCT. The Mach2 seems to carry it no problem. (Of course the 1100 I own is non-AE ; this also biases me to the Mach2.)

And for “portable” work , I don’t think I need the 1100 capacity (no observatory here until we move to a different location.)

Background: I acquired the 1100 to “downsize” from a 1200. Note: I still have the 1200 — it is a bit dated, but is also “portable” and imo a very nice mount.
I signed up for the “Mach 1 replacement” and was also surprised by the Mach2 size when I saw it at AIC. Now that I’m using the Mach2 for a bit I’m not at all disappointed by the larger size.


Re: What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

mjb87@...
 

Hi Roland,

This is an 1100/CP4 without encoders (at least not yet) with a CFF 300 Cassegrain at f/15, but typically reduced to f/10 with a CCDT67. 

Marty


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Jeffc
 

On Apr 27, 2021, at 1:13 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@hilmo.net> wrote:

and I don't think that it's any more portable than
my AP1100, since the axes don't separate.
Fwiw… I transport the 1100 (non AE version) with the axis mated.
It is easier/faster to setup this way given the Dec cable. The removable Dec/saddle plate is nice because then the whole mount fits in a decent size tub with the Dec plate + 16” saddle removed.

I’m finding the Mach2 definitely takes up less space in the vehicle than the 1100. The weight of the Mach2 (the part I need to carry off the tripod) is a tad bit less than the 1100 Ra+Dec.
But yes the Mach2 is surprisingly heavy.

Just another perspective: I prefer the Mach2 over the 1100 since the biggest OTA I’m using is a 12” ACF SCT. The Mach2 seems to carry it no problem. (Of course the 1100 I own is non-AE ; this also biases me to the Mach2.)

And for “portable” work , I don’t think I need the 1100 capacity (no observatory here until we move to a different location.)

Background: I acquired the 1100 to “downsize” from a 1200. Note: I still have the 1200 — it is a bit dated, but is also “portable” and imo a very nice mount.
I signed up for the “Mach 1 replacement” and was also surprised by the Mach2 size when I saw it at AIC. Now that I’m using the Mach2 for a bit I’m not at all disappointed by the larger size.


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

W Hilmo
 

That's kind of my position on this.

When I think past my own desires and consider the market, it seems like a
very small mount, made to Astro-Physics standards, might not be a huge
seller. The biggest problem is that the scopes that such a mount would
carry would be really small. Smaller scopes are lots more forgiving of the
mount. Because of that, I would think that most people would think that the
current offerings are "good enough". Certainly, the "success" of the
RST-135 shows that there is a market for highly portable mounts (I have
"success" in quotes because I am basing it just on the discussion that I can
see as a user. I have no idea how many of these things they actually sell.)

The question then is, can Astro-Physics make a mount that is both price
competitive with the RST-135 and meet Astro-Physics quality standards?
Based on the conversation so far, I'm skeptical that's possible. Of course,
there are some people who would be happy to pay more for Astro-Physics
quality, but the "masses" are interested in good enough, at the lowest price
(again in quotes, because "masses" probably doesn't apply to part of the
amateur astronomy market...)

For my own part, I'm a bit disappointed that the Mach1 is no more. The
Mach2 is a vastly superior mount, to be sure. But for me, the Mach1 hit a
sweet spot in price to size to performance. The Mach2 exceeds my
requirements for a third mount by a wide margin - but it also exceeds my
budget for a third mount, and I don't think that it's any more portable than
my AP1100, since the axes don't separate. I'll probably keep my eyes open
for a nice used Mach1. But there is probably a 50/50 chance that I'll
eventually just buy a Mach2. So AP's marketing strategy will probably be
successful at extracting some more of my cash at some point, without
designing any new mounts...

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of richard
payne
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:41 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

The AP400GTO, a sweet mount and fairly small. The money is probably the
issue.
It would cost the same as a Mach 1 to manufacture.
Richard


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

richard payne
 

The AP400GTO, a sweet mount and fairly small. The money is probably the issue.
It would cost the same as a Mach 1 to manufacture.
Richard


Re: What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

Roland Christen
 

8 arc minutes is probably too small to mess with. What scope are you working with and what mount?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Apr 27, 2021 12:14 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

I have been getting squirrelly results from various APPM runs which could easily be attributed to a suboptimal camera setup (15x20 arc minute FOV, very low image scale) which I am in the process of correcting with a different camera, if USPS ever delivers it.

Some of those runs suggested a high degree of cone error, on the order of 3-5 degrees, which I found hard to believe. So I thought I'd check it out. I just ran Cone Sharp and it concluded my cone error was just over 8 arcminutes.

I assume that a proper APPM model will easily correct for that. Or should I mechanically shim first to reduce the cone error? I'd rather not attempt that.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

DFisch
 

Great analysis Howard, thanks for your wonderfully logical insight. 

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 09:40 Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:
Hi Andrew and all of you other fine Gentlemen,
Please bear a few things in mind about a potential high performance mini-mount:
  • We can't just scale down a Mach 2 (or Mach1, even) to design this mount.  Engineering will be a significant cost.
  • Direct costs of a smaller mount are only reduced a small fraction by the reduction in raw materials.  Machining, finishing, assembly, documentation, and support time and labor will be little different from any of our other mounts all the way up to the 1600GTO.
  • We do not have an unlimited pool of manufacturing facilities, and our highly skilled machinists, finishers and assemblers were very hard to come by.  If we devote resources to building a small mount, it will take resources away from producing our other 3 mounts.  It's hard enough keeping up with current mount demand!
  • You are in competition with the other end of the mount spectrum.  For every loyal AP customer who wants a small travel mount, there is also a customer wanting us to build a bigger mount (a new version to replace the discontinued 3600GTO) for huge scopes in remote observatories.
  • Believe me when I say that all of us would like to produce a mini mount.  But it's a tough call to make.  I'm just glad that such decisions are above my pay grade!

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Jeff B
 

Great response Howard!  

Has anyone heard the name "Losmandy"?

Jeff

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 1:37 PM David Fischer <dkn.fischer@...> wrote:
Speaking as a user of both AP and iOptron mounts, I find my little CEM25 to be more than adequate for portable imaging.  I use it for 80mm refractor and smaller optics all the way down to simple camera lenses and get guided tracking good enough (1.1 arc-sec rms typical) that the mount is not the determining factor to image resolution.  The mount seems to be a practical choice. 

What would be the motivation for a customer to spend more money to handle a similar payload while having a similar carry weight for all the gear ? 

While Astro-Physics would certainly build a mount with even better tracking, how would the end user actually benefit ? 

How could A-P recoup the engineering costs without selling very large quantities of the mount ?  Would they not have to garner a major share of all the small mount users to make this work fiscally ?  Is that realistic when these iOptron (and other) mounts cost only $1000 new ?

I love A-P quality enough that I would not wish to see the health of the company hurt by pursuit of a market in which their strengths don't align with customer interests.

-- David F.

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 6:46 AM David via groups.io <phrosty5=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have asked for this several times as well.  Obviously there is a market for this.  The premium is being paid now by everyone that buys a RainbowAstro mount.  I bought mine due to the ridiculously small size for the capacity, and no counterweights.  With accessories it was over $4k.  The new one with an encoder is around $1k more.  People are already paying this premium for the sake of portability.  Just not quite getting AP quality.  There is a market.  Whether or not it’s profitable and worth the effort for AP is the question.

I was hoping for this when I got my Mach2.  The Mach2 is the best mount I’ve ever had.  But I’d still love one from AP that was 1/3 the weight and had a capacity of around 20-30 lbs.  That would be a game changer for portability.  Yes it can’t compete with a $2k iOptron, but there are many people that don’t care and will easily pay a premium to have better quality, and have something not Chinese made.  Right now there just isn’t an option.

David



On Apr 27, 2021, at 2:18 AM, eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker=me.com@groups.io> wrote:

A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

David Fischer
 

Speaking as a user of both AP and iOptron mounts, I find my little CEM25 to be more than adequate for portable imaging.  I use it for 80mm refractor and smaller optics all the way down to simple camera lenses and get guided tracking good enough (1.1 arc-sec rms typical) that the mount is not the determining factor to image resolution.  The mount seems to be a practical choice. 

What would be the motivation for a customer to spend more money to handle a similar payload while having a similar carry weight for all the gear ? 

While Astro-Physics would certainly build a mount with even better tracking, how would the end user actually benefit ? 

How could A-P recoup the engineering costs without selling very large quantities of the mount ?  Would they not have to garner a major share of all the small mount users to make this work fiscally ?  Is that realistic when these iOptron (and other) mounts cost only $1000 new ?

I love A-P quality enough that I would not wish to see the health of the company hurt by pursuit of a market in which their strengths don't align with customer interests.

-- David F.

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 6:46 AM David via groups.io <phrosty5=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have asked for this several times as well.  Obviously there is a market for this.  The premium is being paid now by everyone that buys a RainbowAstro mount.  I bought mine due to the ridiculously small size for the capacity, and no counterweights.  With accessories it was over $4k.  The new one with an encoder is around $1k more.  People are already paying this premium for the sake of portability.  Just not quite getting AP quality.  There is a market.  Whether or not it’s profitable and worth the effort for AP is the question.

I was hoping for this when I got my Mach2.  The Mach2 is the best mount I’ve ever had.  But I’d still love one from AP that was 1/3 the weight and had a capacity of around 20-30 lbs.  That would be a game changer for portability.  Yes it can’t compete with a $2k iOptron, but there are many people that don’t care and will easily pay a premium to have better quality, and have something not Chinese made.  Right now there just isn’t an option.

David



On Apr 27, 2021, at 2:18 AM, eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker=me.com@groups.io> wrote:

A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

mjb87@...
 

I have been getting squirrelly results from various APPM runs which could easily be attributed to a suboptimal camera setup (15x20 arc minute FOV, very low image scale) which I am in the process of correcting with a different camera, if USPS ever delivers it.

Some of those runs suggested a high degree of cone error, on the order of 3-5 degrees, which I found hard to believe. So I thought I'd check it out. I just ran Cone Sharp and it concluded my cone error was just over 8 arcminutes.

I assume that a proper APPM model will easily correct for that. Or should I mechanically shim first to reduce the cone error? I'd rather not attempt that.


Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

W Hilmo
 

Hey, that’s interesting.

 

If APPM can run and start from the command line, that is probably sufficient to make it work with NINA as well.  If I can define the sample points and configuration ahead of time, and then kick it off from the command line, that would be fine.  The ability to specific sample points from a script would be a “nice to have”, but this looks like all that is really needed.

 

Thanks,

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 12:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Wade,

 

Voyager's Drag Script interface can be used to automate this and your imaging session, flats session, and ending processes in one script.

 

Ray added the ability to call and start APPM from the command line, which would be used in this case by Drag Script.

 

Bill

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Wade,

> For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10 years, now.  Having to be at the mount to
> start APPM, and then again to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step backwards.  I know that
> I could set the automation to start later in the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few
> plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the
> mount.

As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

> If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to pursue, that's fine.  I'll find a workflow that
> does what I need.  I did want to get my request out there, though.

Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray






Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

W Hilmo
 

I've been running automated long enough now, that I have a pretty reliable system. The other day, I set up the automation and started it during the day, and then left for the weekend, leaving it to go on its own (the forecast was for "severe clear" well past the weekend). I pulled the data from it when I got home. That's not to say that I don't get periodic errors, but usually it just means that I don't get the data that I want. I've been doing this long enough that I just shrug it off, even if it happens at a dark sky site.

At star parties. I do check on things periodically when I'm nearby, but I am busiest with social activities in the early darkness hours. If I am working with the imaging rig early in the evening, it takes me much longer to get stuff done, because I am frequently interrupted. I also enjoy outreach, and frequently invite astronomy newbies, or people without scopes, to come to our site for some visual observing (I have multiple setups going, with a few visual scopes in addition to my imaging rig). I usually ask them to arrive just before dark so that I can show them the scopes, etc.

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Wade,

For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10
years, now. Having to be at the mount to start APPM, and then again
to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step
backwards. I know that I could set the automation to start later in
the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the mount.
As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to
pursue, that's fine. I'll find a workflow that does what I need. I did want to get my request out there, though.
Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray


Question re: Checking RAPAS with initial Pempro Polar Align via drift

Jil Tardiff
 

Hi all,

About to do an initial drift align via Pempro V3 to check/adjust my RAPAS (assuming the clouds ever go away).  

For the life of me, I cannot sort out which scope to use for the drift align.  I normally use an OAG,  but prefer to polar align using a 50mm Stellarvue guidescope when I use Sharpcap. Then I guide with the OAG.  

This works fine on my non-AP mounts.  For this original polar align via drift on my AP1100GTO ,  however, obviously I want to use the best option and given the potential for flexure should I use my main scope for the Pempro Wizard?  I have an Esprit 80 that should do the trick.   Or am I over-thinking this (again) and just use the guidescope?

The goal is to get the best polar align possible to check and adjust my RAPAS if necessary .

Thanks for the input.

Jil


Re: GTOCP4 #WiFi Issues #WiFi

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Alex,

Do you have a "#" sign, "$" sign or a ":" in your main password?  The pound sign absolutely cannot work because it is the terminator for all AP commands.  In other words, if your password is:
12345#67890, when you try to tell this to the GTOCP4 or CP5 through the webpage, the command will terminate at the "#" sign.  The CP4/5 will take the password to be:  12345.  
The ":" and the "$" sign are how commands begin, so although the may work, they are best avoided in passwords.  All other letters, numbers and special characters are fine to use.

Howard 

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