Date   

Re: APCC

M Hambrick
 

I watched all 1 hour and 16 minutes of the video. It seems like this one is geared more for the APCC users with more experience. I would be interested to see something more like a getting started with APCC covering the very basics.

Mike


Re: [ap-ug] A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

Roland Christen
 

yep, I rem,ember doing that with my Nikon camera and Tri-X film.
Whatever happened to that 7"F15 lens? It was one of the first lenses we ever made.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff B <mnebula946@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Apr 29, 2021 7:44 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

That's great Roland and what a wonderful story.  

Yeah, looking back, the days of film seem down right barbarous today.   For lunar/planetary shots, I did the old "hat trick".  I'd focus the old Olympus OM-1 as best I could with a magnifier, retract the mirror, climb up on the ladder and literally placed a hat over the objective (it was a 7" F15 triplet you made), climb back down, open the shutter, climbed back up, slowly pulled the hot forward so it was not touching the scope, waited a few seconds for vibration to settle, flip the hat away then back over the lens to do the exposure, climbed back down again and closed the shutter.

For the next exposure, I did it all-over-again.   

I do NOT miss those days....except that I had a 2 in front of my age.  That part I do miss.

Jeff

On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 7:47 PM Pete Lardizabal <p14@...> wrote:
Great stuff Roland! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I always marvel at the incredible works posted by this group but it is so fun to see the results of impromptu pix. That’s some kinda nice “telephoto” lens you used. 

😂😂😂

Pete



On Apr 29, 2021, at 7:16 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Hi Astronuts,

I uploaded a second image taken at my Hawaii observatory. While cruising around the southern skies with my 175 refractor, visually, I was struck by the brightness and beauty of this famous object. Now I know that this has been imaged with much more high resolution cameras and scopes, in narrowband and RGB etc, and this image is nowhere near what can be done with even rudimentary equipment. It's just a quick snapshot of a small number of 30 second exposures with my Sony DSLR replacing my 2" eyepiece in the diagonal. No guiding, no processing, just a fun image. It actually looked similar visually in my 2" eyepiece, but without the bright colors that the camera recorded.

I would have been over the Moon if I could have done something like this back 30 years ago with color slide film. Would have taken over an hour, with me glued to a guiding reticle eyepiece, pushing buttons to and fro to keep the guide star on the crosshairs. And then have the film destroyed at the local photo developer (don't laugh, it happened to me a few times).


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: [ap-ug] A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

Roland Christen
 

Yes indeed, it's about the right focal length for that object to fit in my little APS sensor. 1312mm +-

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Pete Lardizabal <p14@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Cc: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Apr 29, 2021 6:47 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

Great stuff Roland! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I always marvel at the incredible works posted by this group but it is so fun to see the results of impromptu pix. That’s some kinda nice “telephoto” lens you used. 

😂😂😂

Pete



On Apr 29, 2021, at 7:16 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Hi Astronuts,

I uploaded a second image taken at my Hawaii observatory. While cruising around the southern skies with my 175 refractor, visually, I was struck by the brightness and beauty of this famous object. Now I know that this has been imaged with much more high resolution cameras and scopes, in narrowband and RGB etc, and this image is nowhere near what can be done with even rudimentary equipment. It's just a quick snapshot of a small number of 30 second exposures with my Sony DSLR replacing my 2" eyepiece in the diagonal. No guiding, no processing, just a fun image. It actually looked similar visually in my 2" eyepiece, but without the bright colors that the camera recorded.

I would have been over the Moon if I could have done something like this back 30 years ago with color slide film. Would have taken over an hour, with me glued to a guiding reticle eyepiece, pushing buttons to and fro to keep the guide star on the crosshairs. And then have the film destroyed at the local photo developer (don't laugh, it happened to me a few times).

https://www.astrobin.com/wn85k8/

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: [ap-ug] A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

Jeff B
 

That's great Roland and what a wonderful story.  

Yeah, looking back, the days of film seem down right barbarous today.   For lunar/planetary shots, I did the old "hat trick".  I'd focus the old Olympus OM-1 as best I could with a magnifier, retract the mirror, climb up on the ladder and literally placed a hat over the objective (it was a 7" F15 triplet you made), climb back down, open the shutter, climbed back up, slowly pulled the hot forward so it was not touching the scope, waited a few seconds for vibration to settle, flip the hat away then back over the lens to do the exposure, climbed back down again and closed the shutter.

For the next exposure, I did it all-over-again.   

I do NOT miss those days....except that I had a 2 in front of my age.  That part I do miss.

Jeff

On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 7:47 PM Pete Lardizabal <p14@...> wrote:
Great stuff Roland! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I always marvel at the incredible works posted by this group but it is so fun to see the results of impromptu pix. That’s some kinda nice “telephoto” lens you used. 

😂😂😂

Pete



On Apr 29, 2021, at 7:16 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Hi Astronuts,

I uploaded a second image taken at my Hawaii observatory. While cruising around the southern skies with my 175 refractor, visually, I was struck by the brightness and beauty of this famous object. Now I know that this has been imaged with much more high resolution cameras and scopes, in narrowband and RGB etc, and this image is nowhere near what can be done with even rudimentary equipment. It's just a quick snapshot of a small number of 30 second exposures with my Sony DSLR replacing my 2" eyepiece in the diagonal. No guiding, no processing, just a fun image. It actually looked similar visually in my 2" eyepiece, but without the bright colors that the camera recorded.

I would have been over the Moon if I could have done something like this back 30 years ago with color slide film. Would have taken over an hour, with me glued to a guiding reticle eyepiece, pushing buttons to and fro to keep the guide star on the crosshairs. And then have the film destroyed at the local photo developer (don't laugh, it happened to me a few times).


Rolando


Re: [ap-ug] A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

Pete Lardizabal
 

Great stuff Roland! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I always marvel at the incredible works posted by this group but it is so fun to see the results of impromptu pix. That’s some kinda nice “telephoto” lens you used. 

😂😂😂

Pete



On Apr 29, 2021, at 7:16 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Hi Astronuts,

I uploaded a second image taken at my Hawaii observatory. While cruising around the southern skies with my 175 refractor, visually, I was struck by the brightness and beauty of this famous object. Now I know that this has been imaged with much more high resolution cameras and scopes, in narrowband and RGB etc, and this image is nowhere near what can be done with even rudimentary equipment. It's just a quick snapshot of a small number of 30 second exposures with my Sony DSLR replacing my 2" eyepiece in the diagonal. No guiding, no processing, just a fun image. It actually looked similar visually in my 2" eyepiece, but without the bright colors that the camera recorded.

I would have been over the Moon if I could have done something like this back 30 years ago with color slide film. Would have taken over an hour, with me glued to a guiding reticle eyepiece, pushing buttons to and fro to keep the guide star on the crosshairs. And then have the film destroyed at the local photo developer (don't laugh, it happened to me a few times).

https://www.astrobin.com/wn85k8/

Rolando


A colorful Southern Sky Beauty

Roland Christen
 

Hi Astronuts,

I uploaded a second image taken at my Hawaii observatory. While cruising around the southern skies with my 175 refractor, visually, I was struck by the brightness and beauty of this famous object. Now I know that this has been imaged with much more high resolution cameras and scopes, in narrowband and RGB etc, and this image is nowhere near what can be done with even rudimentary equipment. It's just a quick snapshot of a small number of 30 second exposures with my Sony DSLR replacing my 2" eyepiece in the diagonal. No guiding, no processing, just a fun image. It actually looked similar visually in my 2" eyepiece, but without the bright colors that the camera recorded.

I would have been over the Moon if I could have done something like this back 30 years ago with color slide film. Would have taken over an hour, with me glued to a guiding reticle eyepiece, pushing buttons to and fro to keep the guide star on the crosshairs. And then have the film destroyed at the local photo developer (don't laugh, it happened to me a few times).

https://www.astrobin.com/wn85k8/

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

 

Yeah, I'll second that. I love my Mach 1 (original issue with updates, many years old). The 1100 is actually easier to schlep because it divides into smaller pieces.

I can still lift the Mach 1 in it's Scopeguard case, but it's not getting any easier. :)

Mojo

On 4/29/21 11:26 AM, Woody Schlom wrote:

NO on the Mach1 being little and light-weight.  Got one – and as the years go on, it keeps putting on weight.  It’s already at my limit to schlepp around just the mount in a rolling case.  And lifting that monster up into a vehicle is a real back-killer.

 

Sorry, but you young strong whipper-snappers don’t understand yet that a Mach1 isn’t a light-weight travel mount.  Not even close.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Kenneth Tan
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2021 10:51 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

 

No I mean Mach1. The Mach2 is a great mount but on the heavy side. 

 

On Fri, 30 Apr 2021 at 01:48, John Chakel <jachakel@...> wrote:

You mean a Mach 2?



Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Jeff B
 

Another great, straight forward reply Roland and thanks.

Jeff

On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 2:43 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Both mounts are about the same size mechanically. The extra weight comes from the following:

The Mach2 is heavier, in part, because it uses a pair of high power servo-stepper motors with belt drive that weigh more than the much smaller DC servo motors used on the Mach1. Using the belt drive servos reduced the slewing noise that some people objected to, and also saved cost that was then used to partly offset the added cost of the two encoders.

The Mach2 added an extra set of bearings in the clutch system to allow users to balance their scopes without having to back off the gear teeth. Backing off the gear teeth can be problematic if users ignore the safe way to do this (only in park3 position!!!), and our experience is that a number of people wrecked their worm gear teeth doing it wrong, and we ended up having to replace costly parts. I don't want to repeat that in a small mount.

The Mach2 extended the main shafts all the way to the back where the encoders are, and this stiffened the mount significantly and eliminated shaft runout. It allowed the mount to be rated for a higher payload without being larger in size.

The Mach2 added internal wiring which added some extra parts on top of the Dec axis, thus incrementally increasing weight.

The Mach2 has a much beefier low end that adds stability in windy conditions and allows larger and longer refractors to be used with less settling time compared to the Mach1. This also increased weight.

The Mach2 has the gearboxes enclosed in rigid covers that protect the critical parts during transport and rough handling. I felt that this was very important for a mount that would be thrown into a car trunk and transported to a weekend observing site. It makes the Mach2 more robust versus the more delicate Mach1. Are most people really careful with their equipment? Yes, but we have seen quite a few mounts that were not so carefully handled and had their gears mashed and parts bent.

The difference in weight is about 9 lb between the two. Can we do something about that - maybe, maybe not.

The Mach2 is for serious imagers who want to get the best possible result from their imaging equipment and not have the mount be a limitation. If your skies allow it, the mount will deliver the tracking accuracy that you need to realize the best resolution of your telescope and camera.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Kenneth Tan <ktanhs@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Apr 29, 2021 12:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

No I mean Mach1. The Mach2 is a great mount but on the heavy side. 

On Fri, 30 Apr 2021 at 01:48, John Chakel <jachakel@...> wrote:
You mean a Mach 2?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Roland Christen
 

Both mounts are about the same size mechanically. The extra weight comes from the following:

The Mach2 is heavier, in part, because it uses a pair of high power servo-stepper motors with belt drive that weigh more than the much smaller DC servo motors used on the Mach1. Using the belt drive servos reduced the slewing noise that some people objected to, and also saved cost that was then used to partly offset the added cost of the two encoders.

The Mach2 added an extra set of bearings in the clutch system to allow users to balance their scopes without having to back off the gear teeth. Backing off the gear teeth can be problematic if users ignore the safe way to do this (only in park3 position!!!), and our experience is that a number of people wrecked their worm gear teeth doing it wrong, and we ended up having to replace costly parts. I don't want to repeat that in a small mount.

The Mach2 extended the main shafts all the way to the back where the encoders are, and this stiffened the mount significantly and eliminated shaft runout. It allowed the mount to be rated for a higher payload without being larger in size.

The Mach2 added internal wiring which added some extra parts on top of the Dec axis, thus incrementally increasing weight.

The Mach2 has a much beefier low end that adds stability in windy conditions and allows larger and longer refractors to be used with less settling time compared to the Mach1. This also increased weight.

The Mach2 has the gearboxes enclosed in rigid covers that protect the critical parts during transport and rough handling. I felt that this was very important for a mount that would be thrown into a car trunk and transported to a weekend observing site. It makes the Mach2 more robust versus the more delicate Mach1. Are most people really careful with their equipment? Yes, but we have seen quite a few mounts that were not so carefully handled and had their gears mashed and parts bent.

The difference in weight is about 9 lb between the two. Can we do something about that - maybe, maybe not.

The Mach2 is for serious imagers who want to get the best possible result from their imaging equipment and not have the mount be a limitation. If your skies allow it, the mount will deliver the tracking accuracy that you need to realize the best resolution of your telescope and camera.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Kenneth Tan <ktanhs@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Apr 29, 2021 12:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

No I mean Mach1. The Mach2 is a great mount but on the heavy side. 

On Fri, 30 Apr 2021 at 01:48, John Chakel <jachakel@...> wrote:
You mean a Mach 2?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Dale Ghent
 

TBH, anything that involves counterweights is going to be on the heavy side by default. There's just no way around that single most important aspect when it come to weight translating into portability. With that in mind, I don't think a slimmed down Mach1-quasi-400GTO would really hit all the checkboxes when it comes to a truly portable mount that you can take anywhere without much fuss. As Chris said, the wave-strain gear design enables a mount to hit all those portability points - ability to carry a load in a small mechanical space with the least amount of weight. It should also be suitable for use with common and still-portable stocky photo tripods; an aspect that'll further inform the mount's overall size and weight. Gizo 4 and 5 series and Really Right Stuff TVC-33 series are good reference points there.

I got my RST-135 in 2019 because it let me have a full, quality imaging rig with a 92mm refractor in a package that was juuuust barely able to fit into a carry-on configuration suitable for flying on an ERJ/CRJ-sized regional jet. The only part that I put into checked baggage was a small 6A Pyramid power supply, and it made more sense to stick that in checked baggage anyway. LiFePO4 batteries would need to be carryon and are of course subject to airline regulations in terms of per-person quantity and capacities. It's something that I have taken Internationally* and wouldn't have any qualms taking it to places father afield. I really wish I had this setup back when I visited Chile and Namibia.

If this setup required counterweights and shaft of any sort, that would have eaten into my baggage weight allowance considerably. Counterweights are also actually kind of hard to transport loose in suitcases. Sure you can pack them in with clothes as I've done in the past, but any decent amount of bag jostling will still make them side around and potentially wreck anything else in there, not to mention possibly wrecking the suitcase itself. I've seen too many bags fall off the unloading conveyer and onto the tarmac and roll past in baggage claim with split zippers and contents sticking out to want to continue tempting fate in that department... and who knows what else happens to bags when you can't see them.

* more like "International-lite", in my instance to Mexico. But it was still a good first test, even with an infant in tow.

On Apr 29, 2021, at 13:51, Kenneth Tan <ktanhs@gmail.com> wrote:

No I mean Mach1. The Mach2 is a great mount but on the heavy side.

On Fri, 30 Apr 2021 at 01:48, John Chakel <jachakel@comcast.net> wrote:
You mean a Mach 2?



Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Woody Schlom
 

NO on the Mach1 being little and light-weight.  Got one – and as the years go on, it keeps putting on weight.  It’s already at my limit to schlepp around just the mount in a rolling case.  And lifting that monster up into a vehicle is a real back-killer.

 

Sorry, but you young strong whipper-snappers don’t understand yet that a Mach1 isn’t a light-weight travel mount.  Not even close.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Kenneth Tan
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2021 10:51 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

 

No I mean Mach1. The Mach2 is a great mount but on the heavy side. 

 

On Fri, 30 Apr 2021 at 01:48, John Chakel <jachakel@...> wrote:

You mean a Mach 2?


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Kenneth Tan
 

No I mean Mach1. The Mach2 is a great mount but on the heavy side. 

On Fri, 30 Apr 2021 at 01:48, John Chakel <jachakel@...> wrote:
You mean a Mach 2?


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

John Chakel
 

You mean a Mach 2?


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Kenneth Tan
 

A Mach 1 size mount with encoders will be great! 

On Thu, 29 Apr 2021 at 23:40, dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...> wrote:
All AP would really have to do is just bring back the Mach 1. No design work necessary, tools exist.   As has been previously said by George, it's all about manufacturing capacity at AP. They seem very busy, and as we know, folks wait a long time for AP products.  In the meantime, I had the RST-135 out last night with the Stowaway. What a wonderful machine and great experience.  In alt-az mode, I zeroed in on 100 double stars with a 4.5 Delos eyepiece in very short order.  That little telescope was crying out for more magnification!   Cheers.

On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 8:59 PM <alan.dang@...> wrote:

If we are going to do fantasy-football type scenarios, I think reasonable strategies would be to do a collaboration with 

Takahashi
- EM-11 with AP electronics/software

AP doesn’t have to invest in manufacturing a small mount and gets the closest thing to an AP400.

Takahashi doesn’t even have official ASCOM support even with the Temma3.  They need software help.

Win-win.  The EM-11 and EM-200 really do not compete with any of the current AP mounts.  Risk is that an EM200 with AP secret sauce cannibalizes the Mach2 line, so it might have to be limited to the EM-11.


Vixen 
Starbook Ten for GTOCPO4
APCC/APPM for Starbook Ten

Starbook Ten is a very nice controller for visual astronomy and portability.  Its database won’t disappear if the battery runs out.  They have software to handle relative encoders already.  Would be a nice upgrade to the Mach2 for visual astronomers.

The current SXD2 and SXP2 are lighter than a Mach2.  Maybe AP can get acceptable portable performance with support for APCC/APMM and adding a factory PEC.  It’s further away from the Mach2 so there is zero chance of cannibalism and AP gets to offer two options for the hand controller on their premium line.

Unitec
The SWAT-350 V-spec is a really good ultra light mount and can be combined as a pair to provide GEM capabilities.  There is no good software support so AP could tweak CPOGT4 to support this setup if there was a way to increase the drive speed (it’s limited to 2x sidereal right now)
https://reflexions.jp/tenref/astro/equipment/mount/9283/

Clearly would not cannabilize the current AP mounts but may involve a lot more effort than the other two options. 


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

dvjbaja
 

All AP would really have to do is just bring back the Mach 1. No design work necessary, tools exist.   As has been previously said by George, it's all about manufacturing capacity at AP. They seem very busy, and as we know, folks wait a long time for AP products.  In the meantime, I had the RST-135 out last night with the Stowaway. What a wonderful machine and great experience.  In alt-az mode, I zeroed in on 100 double stars with a 4.5 Delos eyepiece in very short order.  That little telescope was crying out for more magnification!   Cheers.


On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 8:59 PM <alan.dang@...> wrote:

If we are going to do fantasy-football type scenarios, I think reasonable strategies would be to do a collaboration with 

Takahashi
- EM-11 with AP electronics/software

AP doesn’t have to invest in manufacturing a small mount and gets the closest thing to an AP400.

Takahashi doesn’t even have official ASCOM support even with the Temma3.  They need software help.

Win-win.  The EM-11 and EM-200 really do not compete with any of the current AP mounts.  Risk is that an EM200 with AP secret sauce cannibalizes the Mach2 line, so it might have to be limited to the EM-11.


Vixen 
Starbook Ten for GTOCPO4
APCC/APPM for Starbook Ten

Starbook Ten is a very nice controller for visual astronomy and portability.  Its database won’t disappear if the battery runs out.  They have software to handle relative encoders already.  Would be a nice upgrade to the Mach2 for visual astronomers.

The current SXD2 and SXP2 are lighter than a Mach2.  Maybe AP can get acceptable portable performance with support for APCC/APMM and adding a factory PEC.  It’s further away from the Mach2 so there is zero chance of cannibalism and AP gets to offer two options for the hand controller on their premium line.

Unitec
The SWAT-350 V-spec is a really good ultra light mount and can be combined as a pair to provide GEM capabilities.  There is no good software support so AP could tweak CPOGT4 to support this setup if there was a way to increase the drive speed (it’s limited to 2x sidereal right now)
https://reflexions.jp/tenref/astro/equipment/mount/9283/

Clearly would not cannabilize the current AP mounts but may involve a lot more effort than the other two options. 


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

Jon L Williams
 

Q


On Apr 28, 2021, at 7:25 PM, Jil Tardiff <jtardiff@...> wrote:

Hi Scott,

Ah, this helps quite a bit.  Yes, I have an MN190  (hoisting that sucker up on the 1100GTO should be an adventure ;-) .  Actually one of the main reasons to move up to the 1100GTO from my Eq6R-Pro was to improve my imaging with that scope, so I'll give it a shot.  Good news that your RAPAS was so close, it seems that most of the time that is the case, but I figured I would give it a good look just to be sure. 

That is really encouraging re: Sharpcap PA with such a long focal length , I had assumed the field of view would be problematic and just used a guidescope.  Would be nice to avoid using one.

Great - now I have a good starting point for when the clouds finally go away.   I'm really hoping to have things squared away before I take the setup on it's first "trip" in mid-May.

Thanks again for the help,

Jil


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

alan.dang@...
 

If we are going to do fantasy-football type scenarios, I think reasonable strategies would be to do a collaboration with 

Takahashi
- EM-11 with AP electronics/software

AP doesn’t have to invest in manufacturing a small mount and gets the closest thing to an AP400.

Takahashi doesn’t even have official ASCOM support even with the Temma3.  They need software help.

Win-win.  The EM-11 and EM-200 really do not compete with any of the current AP mounts.  Risk is that an EM200 with AP secret sauce cannibalizes the Mach2 line, so it might have to be limited to the EM-11.


Vixen 
Starbook Ten for GTOCPO4
APCC/APPM for Starbook Ten

Starbook Ten is a very nice controller for visual astronomy and portability.  Its database won’t disappear if the battery runs out.  They have software to handle relative encoders already.  Would be a nice upgrade to the Mach2 for visual astronomers.

The current SXD2 and SXP2 are lighter than a Mach2.  Maybe AP can get acceptable portable performance with support for APCC/APMM and adding a factory PEC.  It’s further away from the Mach2 so there is zero chance of cannibalism and AP gets to offer two options for the hand controller on their premium line.

Unitec
The SWAT-350 V-spec is a really good ultra light mount and can be combined as a pair to provide GEM capabilities.  There is no good software support so AP could tweak CPOGT4 to support this setup if there was a way to increase the drive speed (it’s limited to 2x sidereal right now)
https://reflexions.jp/tenref/astro/equipment/mount/9283/

Clearly would not cannabilize the current AP mounts but may involve a lot more effort than the other two options. 


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

Jil Tardiff
 

Hi Scott,

Ah, this helps quite a bit.  Yes, I have an MN190  (hoisting that sucker up on the 1100GTO should be an adventure ;-) .  Actually one of the main reasons to move up to the 1100GTO from my Eq6R-Pro was to improve my imaging with that scope, so I'll give it a shot.  Good news that your RAPAS was so close, it seems that most of the time that is the case, but I figured I would give it a good look just to be sure. 

That is really encouraging re: Sharpcap PA with such a long focal length , I had assumed the field of view would be problematic and just used a guidescope.  Would be nice to avoid using one.

Great - now I have a good starting point for when the clouds finally go away.   I'm really hoping to have things squared away before I take the setup on it's first "trip" in mid-May.

Thanks again for the help,

Jil


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Raymond Lillard
 

Christopher, I'm happy to say that my advice is price competitive with your own.



On April 28, 2021 9:03:55 AM PDT, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:
The G-11 isn't much lighter than the Mach1. And the Losmandy worm block + motor designs are better these days than days past, but still crap.

The GM-8 combined with their Gemini-II isn't a bad solution for a portable mount and is better than all of the far-East stuff. Still nothing like a Mach1. And nothing like the Rainbow Astro mounts for portability. 

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

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


Virus-free. www.avg.com

On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 4:48 AM Raymond Lillard <rlillard@...> wrote:

I am on the wait list for a Mach2, but from recent communication with
AP, it will be at least a year before my name comes up.  My concern with
the Mach2 is the weight.  I have a Mach1 which I can muscle around when
mobile and shooting with one of my big guns.  When my name comes up I
will need to think very carefully about its weight.

I also have an iOptron CEM25EC and a good collection of Nikon camera
lenses, the longest focal length is 300mm.  It is good enough to shoot 5
minute subs @300mm with the ASI2600MC.  The stars are just barely oval
at 7 minutes.  This is UNGUIDED with a very precise polar alignment.

I'll omit the details of the mechanical modifications I had to make to
get good polar alignment.  Take my word for it, the machining is
embarrassingly bad and I say the same about the software. I does work,
not because of, but in-spite of...

I said all of that to make a point that I would love to have an similar
offering from AP.  I don't think it would not need to retail for more
than $5k-ish as the tolerances for such wide-field work need not be as
tight as for AP's big mounts.

What about the crazy idea of AP working with Losmandy to put encoders on
a G11 ?  I'd buy one right now.  I'd even help with the firmware
development for free.  I am a semi-retired (sometimes just tired)
engineer who has managed many development projects and written miles of
code to control similar things.

I'm not sure how the Gemini thing would work in this scenario. Maybe it
goes away, maybe not.  A joint effort would not burden AP's overloaded
factory and Losmandy would not need to build a software team.

I too like the feature that the Mach1 and the G11 axes can be separated.

I should have warned everyone at the top that I never know where my
stream-of-consciousness posts will go when I get wound up.

--
Ray


On 4/27/21 4:06 PM, W Hilmo 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.
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--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Eric Dreher
 

I haven't discussed my G11G experience in 2017, especially in a public forum.

Suffice it to say I'm glad to be here.

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