Date   

Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

fernandorivera3
 

John, when using the carrier make sure the cap is threaded on well. If it goes unchecked and it's loose, the counterweight shaft could fly out the open end & hit your foot or smash gear next to it when in your vehicle ūüė≤

Fernando


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Chris White
 

WOW!  Thanks Sébastien!  Very kind of you to provide this. Much appreciated!!


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Seb@stro
 
Edited

Chris, 
 
This is quite simple actually. Bill's post gave me the exact same idea and I figured it out quite easily. Just follow along as there are several steps.
 
  • In APCC, go to Settings -> Environmental Settings
  • Check the "Enable Environmental Polling" checkbox
  • Under "Source", select "ASCOM ObservingConditions"
  • Hit "Select Driver" button
  • Under dropping list, select ASCOM Observing Conditions Hub (OCH), then hit "Properties"¬† button. It'll open OCH Configuration window where you can select and configure the driver on an environmental property basis:

 
 
Under pressure, select OBSCON: OpenWeatherMap ObservingConditions and click the Setup (gear) button. A window will pop and let you enter the API key you got from the link Bill provided (or you can click the Obtain Key button). It will open the OpenWeatherMap website
 
Once on the OpenWeatherMap website, you'll need to:
1- create an account and activate it (they'll send you a verification email)
2- then head over to the API section and click "Subscribe" under Current Weather Data.
3- on the next page, click "Get API key" from the Free column option. 
4- click on "API keys" and copy the key that was generated to clipboard
 
  • Paste the API key in the appropriate field from the OpenWeatherMap Setup (ASCOM) window. Click on the "Select Site" tab and populate the fields according to your location (by name or Geo Coord.) and hit "Check" button (It might take a few minutes before the API key gets activated, so be patient if it returns an error. Just try again until it works).¬†
  • Select the nearest location in the list and click OK.
  • Click OK again, and again
  • Back to the APCC Environmental Configuration/Status window, click the "Test" button. Fields shoud populate with the data from your sensor as well as Atmospheric Pressure from OpenWM.
  • Click OK one last time. Done!
 
Sébastien
 
 

De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de Chris White <chris.white@...>
Envoyé : 13 mai 2021 19:32
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 04:16 PM, Marcelo Figueroa wrote:
The latter is what I do, I use the Pegasus Powerbox Advance which has sensors for temperature and humidity, but not pressure. The latter I get via openweathermap.org and combine it all using the ASCOM Observing Conditions  driver (OCH) in APCC.
Great idea.  I also use a Pegasus Advance and have internet access in my BYO.  Is there a guide you can recommend to configure this with OCH?  Thanks!


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Marcelo Figueroa
 

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 06:32 PM, Chris White wrote:
Great idea.  I also use a Pegasus Advance and have internet access in my BYO.  Is there a guide you can recommend to configure this with OCH?  Thanks!
It was posted right here last year:

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/message/73588


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Chris White
 

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 04:16 PM, Marcelo Figueroa wrote:
The latter is what I do, I use the Pegasus Powerbox Advance which has sensors for temperature and humidity, but not pressure. The latter I get via openweathermap.org and combine it all using the ASCOM Observing Conditions  driver (OCH) in APCC.
Great idea.  I also use a Pegasus Advance and have internet access in my BYO.  Is there a guide you can recommend to configure this with OCH?  Thanks!


Re: Is pulse guiding of a Asro-Physics mount limited to using Ascom?

skester@...
 

I have never used Indi, but according to the documentation the AP driver does support pulse guiding.  There are three versions of the driver depending on which version of the controller you are using.

https://indilib.org/telescopes/astrophysics.html


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Having up-to-date climate information is vital for the model to work correctly over long periods of time, this is especially important for permanent installations, as it is not necessary to redo the model.
 
As Bill points out, it is not strictly necessary to have a device that does this, as you can obtain such information via the internet. It is also possible to combine methods and get some information locally via hardware device and other data via the internet.
 
The latter is what I do, I use the Pegasus Powerbox Advance which has sensors for temperature and humidity, but not pressure. The latter I get via openweathermap.org and combine it all using the ASCOM Observing Conditions  driver (OCH) in APCC.
 


Re: Dual scope setup question

Mike Dodd
 

On 5/13/2021 12:43 PM, Kent Kirkley via groups.io wrote:
...long focal length guide scopes aren't necessary.
You could use any guide type camera and short focal length lens, even a
35mm camera lens or Borg short focal length scope. Small and light weight
is the key.
I use a 60mm f/5 scope for guiding, with an old SBIG ST-402 camera.

Regarding small and lightweight guide scopes, years ago Chris Peterson (Cloudbait Observatory <https://www.cloudbait.com/>) sent me a photo of his guide scope.

Chris clamped a bare 80mm f/5 lens and the guide camera to a dovetail plate atop his SCT, with nothing in-between. The camera had a 1-1/4" nosepiece with a clear filter to prevent dew. He took minimalist to the extreme!

--- Mike


Re: Dual scope setup question

Kent Kirkley
 

Andrew

Contrary to rational thinking, you don't have to use a long focal length guide scope (depending
on the focal length of the imaging instrument).
I have an AP160 on an AP1200GTO mount and have used an SBIG eFinder with Remote Guide
Head with my SBIG STL-11000 camera. The Remote Guide Head and eFinder is mounted directly
to the AP160's focuser housing. It has guided the 1200mm focal length perfectly. Yes it's older technology
today but demonstrates long focal length guide scopes aren't necessary.
You could use any guide type camera and short focal length lens, even a 35mm camera lens or Borg
short focal length scope. Small and light weight is the key.

Kent



-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Jones <andjones132@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, May 13, 2021 9:02 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dual scope setup question

On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 02:09 PM, Kent Kirkley wrote:
To prevent this, mount the guide scope directly on the primary instrument, not
on the rings.
Hi Kent/All.
 
Thank you for your response to the OP question. Your response reminded me of a question I have had for some time. I often hear the advice to avoid mounting a Guide Scope using rings and to mount the guide scope directly to the primary instrument to avoid flexure issues. What is not as clear to me is how to mount a guide scope other than small finder scopes to the primary instrument without using rings? 
I have a TEC 140 equipped with a Starlight Instruments FTF#3545 Feather Touch Focuser which has mounting holes for a small guide/finder scope. I currently use the 10×60 Baader Vario scope with the AP 10 x 60 Quick Release Guider Bracket (1060VGKIT). Which is all well and good as long as I stick with a small light weight finder/guide scope like the 10 x 60 Baader Vario scope. However, if I wanted to use something larger, like an 80mm scope for guiding, how can this be mounted directly to the primary instrument without using rings? I have just always been curious as to what mounting options you have if you want to use a larger guide scope and still avoid using rings. It maybe that the side-by-side mounting option being discussed in this thread is the only option, but just wanted to confirm. 

Thanks for the useful advice.
 
Clear Skies,
Andrew J


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Joseph Beyer
 

I've looked at purchasing a THUM for a year or so since I started using APCC-Pro and creating a model each time I set up.  I just added in the step of manually entering the temperature and pressure from a small weather station in my yard each time I start up the system.  I routinely shoot 3-4 minute unguided subs with my Mach1/FSQ106 and have no problem getting pinpoint stars.  Unfortunately the local skies don't permit longer exposures but I've pushed it to 5 minutes on particularly good nights with the same result.  The local temperatures rarely change more than 5 degrees - at my station - during imaging sessions.  Some nights that's more than enough to change the sky above me from visibly clear to completely overcast in a matter of minutes.  Another potential source for temperature and pressure is WeatherUnderground that publishes private local weather stations on the web.  They seem to be all over the place.


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

john vogt
 

Fernando,

That is a great idea! I just checked Amazon and they offer a huge variety of telescoping document carriers.
I just ordered this one for my 1100 CW shaft, 17.5"- 29", 2.5" outer diameter. The ID is not shown but it should 
be just large enough to fit the 1.875" diameter shaft.

Link:
Amazon.com : Black Plastic 17.5‚ÄĚ x 2.5‚ÄĚ Diameter Telescoping Document and Poster Storage Transit Tube w/Nylon Carrying Strap (1 Pack) : Office Products
 
John


Re: Dual scope setup question

Andrew J
 

On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 02:09 PM, Kent Kirkley wrote:
To prevent this, mount the guide scope directly on the primary instrument, not
on the rings.
Hi Kent/All.
 
Thank you for your response to the OP question. Your response reminded me of a question I have had for some time. I often hear the advice to avoid mounting a Guide Scope using rings and to mount the guide scope directly to the primary instrument to avoid flexure issues. What is not as clear to me is how to mount a guide scope other than small finder scopes to the primary instrument without using rings? 
I have a TEC 140 equipped with a Starlight Instruments FTF#3545 Feather Touch Focuser which has mounting holes for a small guide/finder scope. I currently use the 10×60 Baader Vario scope with the AP 10 x 60 Quick Release Guider Bracket (1060VGKIT). Which is all well and good as long as I stick with a small light weight finder/guide scope like the 10 x 60 Baader Vario scope. However, if I wanted to use something larger, like an 80mm scope for guiding, how can this be mounted directly to the primary instrument without using rings? I have just always been curious as to what mounting options you have if you want to use a larger guide scope and still avoid using rings. It maybe that the side-by-side mounting option being discussed in this thread is the only option, but just wanted to confirm. 

Thanks for the useful advice.
 
Clear Skies,
Andrew J


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Bill Long
 

Its always better to have real local data from a device, but you can get a free Open WeatherMap API key and use that. with the Observing Conditions ASCOM Driver.


The free one is more than enough for what we use it for.

-Bill 




From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Chris White <chris.white@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] How important is THUM? #APCC
 
I've just purchased APCC Pro to use with my 900GTO.  I've carefully configured everything including horizon and meridian limits.  Tonight it will be clear so I will test out the pointing model feature for pointing and tracking.  In the manual I read about the THUM device. 

Curious how much benefit this would give when compared to just inputting temp and pressure manually?  It's a relatively small investment to purchase so if there is a significant benefit I'm not opposed to it. 

Thank you,


How important is THUM? #APCC

Chris White
 

I've just purchased APCC Pro to use with my 900GTO.  I've carefully configured everything including horizon and meridian limits.  Tonight it will be clear so I will test out the pointing model feature for pointing and tracking.  In the manual I read about the THUM device. 

Curious how much benefit this would give when compared to just inputting temp and pressure manually?  It's a relatively small investment to purchase so if there is a significant benefit I'm not opposed to it. 

Thank you,


Re: Dual scope setup question

R Botero
 

Yanzhe

I have been imaging with a dual scope rig on my 1100GTO (and now on a 1600GTO) for the last 12 months.  I mount my scopes side by side: a 6" f/7.5 StarFire EDF and a Stowaway.  In fact, the Stowaway's rings are attached via a small dovetail to the hexagonal rings (original AP version) of the larger refractor.  This keeps both scopes close together, their centre of gravity as near the DEC head as possible.  Aligning the smaller scope to the larger one just needed a couple of shims and the rig is as stable at all angles as I could wish.  I can take up to 10 min unguided exposures with the larger refractor (1.4"/px at 1300mm) in this arrangement (using APCC/APPM) without any trailing in any of the two imaging cameras.
I run all my cables through the mount:  two power cables, one for each CCD camera, two ethernet cables for the focusers, four USB cables - two for each camera, one for the main scope's filter wheel and one for the guide camera and finally three cables for dew heaters: one for each scope and one for the guidescope (AP's Baader Vario Finder).  I really should have run fewer cables through the mount and have a hub on top of one of the scopes but this is a historic build up of machinery...
My scope and cameras are controlled by Voyager Array which does the imaging, controls dithering and sequencing and manages my ROR.
See some pictures here:

https://www.astrobin.com/zwq72j/G/?nc=user


Good luck!

Roberto


Re: Dual scope setup question

Christopher Erickson
 

Personally if I were doing a dual scope setup on one mount I would put a NUC on top of each OTA and have two serial cords going down to the two serial ports on the CP3/4/5. SO MUCH EASIER to get the software bits to all work correctly when each NUC only sees one cam, one filter wheel, one mount, one focuser, one autoguider, etc.

Or MUCH BETTER yet, give each OTA it's own AP mount.

And just like I always say...

"My advice is free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


Virus-free. www.avg.com


On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 6:02 PM Kent Kirkley via groups.io <kgkirkley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
If each gas it's own OAG, no problem.
I can't advise on 'wiring' as I use an AP1200 which doesn't have
thru the mount access. I would say just minimize and carefully
route the cables, bundle and cord wrap.

Kent Kirkley



-----Original Message-----
From: yanzhe liu <liuyanzhe@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, May 12, 2021 7:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dual scope setup question

Yes, Imaging.

When you say both can work, are you talking about "piggy back" and "side by side"?
How about power supply and USB?

Each will have its own OAG to eliminate flexure.

Yanzhe

On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 2:09 PM Kent Kirkley via groups.io <kgkirkley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
By 'one at a time", are you referring to imaging?
Either way can work, I've done both.
The biggest issue will be the possibility of flexure between
components depending on how you will be guiding.
If you intend to use an off axis guider on both scopes, no problem.
If you intend to use a guide scope of some sort, be wary of how it's
mounted. Scopes are usually mounted in rings which have felt, cork or
some other material lining them. If a guide scope is mounted on the rings,
the main scope can move slightly within the rings which the guider won't
know about. The result, oval or trailed stars.

To prevent this, mount the guide scope directly on the primary instrument, not
on the rings.
This also applies to a side by side set up where you mount the guide scope
on the side by side plate.

Kent Kirkley




-----Original Message-----
From: yanzhe liu <liuyanzhe@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, May 12, 2021 3:53 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Dual scope setup question

Have been thinking of setting up two scopes (4" and 5") on AP1100, only 1 scope will be used at any time.
A few questions on exactly how it should be configured/connected.
- Piggy back vs side by side? Which is the preferred way.
- I am thinking of having 3 110v/12V power adapters, and 3 USB ports.
One power adapter and one USB port are for connecting GTOCP3.
Each telescope will have a power adapter and a USB port, which provide power and communication for all gears eg, CCD/focuser/dew controller/USB hub etc.

I am not too sure whether there are any potential issues with this setup:
- Can all 4 cables (2 powers and 2 USB2 cables) go through AP1100?
- Is there any concern on the electrical side, e.g. USB ground loop or something similar?
- Or is it possible to have 2 scopes sharing the same power and USB? Then I need a IP controller 12v power switch?

Yanzhe



Re: Dual scope setup question

Frank Widmann
 

Here is my AP1600 quad scope rig.
One 250 mm RC scope
One 152 mm refractor
Two 80 mm guide scopes.
Two through the mount power lines each feeding a ten-port Rigrunner power distribution unit.
One through the mount power line from a separate power supply for the anti-dew system.
Two through the mount USB cables each feeding a seven-port Startech powered USB hub.
I also added a USB controlled relay box on the mount to allow me to power cycle old school USB cameras and filter wheels.
The mount has its own power supply and is connected with an old reliable RS 232 line.
All of the off mount equipment is housed in a waterproof cabinet, and AC power is controlled with a WiFi DataLoggers switching unit.
All acquisition software, including APCC, SkyX, PHD2, Focus Lynx Commander, SGP, PEM Pro and MaximDL runs on a Kingdel industrial computer. There is a field monitor in the cabinet, but normally the Kingdel runs headless and is controlled from various computers using Remote Desktop.
With the help of APPM, I have no difficulty getting round stars with eccentricity of .5 or less, as measured by PixInsight, in either of the main scopes using either of the guide scopes.
I regularly image with both scopes, one camera shooting automated sequences controlled by SGP and one controlled manually with SkyX to work around dithering.
A key to successful side by side operation is to only use the best saddles, rails and side by side bars. No el cheapo. The target is visible in my main and guide cameras.
It takes careful balance to make it all work, and avoid off center loads.


Re: Dual scope setup question

Kent Kirkley
 

If each gas it's own OAG, no problem.
I can't advise on 'wiring' as I use an AP1200 which doesn't have
thru the mount access. I would say just minimize and carefully
route the cables, bundle and cord wrap.

Kent Kirkley



-----Original Message-----
From: yanzhe liu <liuyanzhe@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, May 12, 2021 7:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dual scope setup question

Yes, Imaging.

When you say both can work, are you talking about "piggy back" and "side by side"?
How about power supply and USB?

Each will have its own OAG to eliminate flexure.

Yanzhe

On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 2:09 PM Kent Kirkley via groups.io <kgkirkley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
By 'one at a time", are you referring to imaging?
Either way can work, I've done both.
The biggest issue will be the possibility of flexure between
components depending on how you will be guiding.
If you intend to use an off axis guider on both scopes, no problem.
If you intend to use a guide scope of some sort, be wary of how it's
mounted. Scopes are usually mounted in rings which have felt, cork or
some other material lining them. If a guide scope is mounted on the rings,
the main scope can move slightly within the rings which the guider won't
know about. The result, oval or trailed stars.

To prevent this, mount the guide scope directly on the primary instrument, not
on the rings.
This also applies to a side by side set up where you mount the guide scope
on the side by side plate.

Kent Kirkley




-----Original Message-----
From: yanzhe liu <liuyanzhe@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, May 12, 2021 3:53 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Dual scope setup question

Have been thinking of setting up two scopes (4" and 5") on AP1100, only 1 scope will be used at any time.
A few questions on exactly how it should be configured/connected.
- Piggy back vs side by side? Which is the preferred way.
- I am thinking of having 3 110v/12V power adapters, and 3 USB ports.
One power adapter and one USB port are for connecting GTOCP3.
Each telescope will have a power adapter and a USB port, which provide power and communication for all gears eg, CCD/focuser/dew controller/USB hub etc.

I am not too sure whether there are any potential issues with this setup:
- Can all 4 cables (2 powers and 2 USB2 cables) go through AP1100?
- Is there any concern on the electrical side, e.g. USB ground loop or something similar?
- Or is it possible to have 2 scopes sharing the same power and USB? Then I need a IP controller 12v power switch?

Yanzhe



Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

Don Anderson
 

John
I have the large counter weight shaft for my AP900GOTO. I made a carrier out of ABS pipe and fittings to transport mine. See the link below to my Flickr page.
Hope you find it useful.

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 09:09:14 p.m. MDT, John A. Sillasen <jasillasen@...> wrote:


Just wondering how other GTO owners with the larger thickness counterweight shafts are transporting them?
1200, 1100, 900 & Mach2 mounts all use the thicker style shaft. My Mach 1 has the thinner style. Why?  Pffft, a I'm only going to own one Astro-Physics mount, why would I need a thicker style shaft, right?  Then, the 1100GTO came home with me. Three scopes too but that's a whole different topic.

The Mach 1 counterweight shaft is safely stored in my ScopeGuard case.  Nice case, holds everything but weights.

But that big,  heavy toe crusher?  It was in my SKB case but no more.  I'd want to keep the threads safe - especially with Molybdenum disulfide on the threads for protection and reduce that counterweight dry shaft 'squeak.'

So how are people transporting their counterweight shafts?
I'd consider one of those Harbor Freight Apache cases but don't expect pluck foam to stand up to the weight.  Besides any of their cases would be too small or way too hig.

Thoughts anyone?  Case, soft bag?, towel?  How to protect it on a multi-day travel?

Thanks!

John 


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

John A. Sillasen
 

I appreciate the information Dr. Barry. Like you, my post on a case for 1100 was several years ago too. Sometimes, you just need to reevaluate past choices. In my case having the counterweight shaft in the case with the mount was too heavy. My case was damaged in a tree fall so I had an opportunity to get a new design going, sans counterweight shaft.

How concerned should I be about an 'almost air tight' fit inside schedule 80 tubing?
Did you ever have a problem getting the shaft out of the tube when it was hot, cold or freezing &/or extremely humid conditions?

Wonder if I can make a pipe tube with screw on ends properly?  I've always found the closed cell ethafoam (DuPont), used by Astro-Physics when used with scopes, counterweights & mounts to be exceptionally strong and protective.  I may use it at the top and bottom of the tubes.  Well, if what you said about almost air tight isn't a concern that I may not be able to get the counterweight shaft out of the tube!

Appreciate the information and any further insight you may provide.

Thank you,


John A. Sillasen


3861 - 3880 of 82382