Date   

Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

stlrvus
 

Hi John,

You need to outfit it with the 2" male end plugs for the PVC tubing.  No restrictions.  The 24" length PVC I bought fit both my 14" and 8.5" shaft extension, excluding the AP shaft stop.
The shafts are for my 1200 and 1100 mounts.  Hope that helps.

Clear skies,
Jose


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

John A. Sillasen
 

Fritz, I dumbly got a reducer that slipped over the pipe properly but had a smaller cap with female threads. 

Went back to HD and got two different pieces.  This time the part that slips over the pipe with a female thread and a male cap that gives me the full opening necessary.  Managed to return the old and get the right parts this time.

Didn't over think it just gave myself a dope slap!


John A. Sillasen



Re: Connecting ASIAIR Pro to a CP4 - Mach1

Lee Decovnick
 

Just an update on the ASI AIR Pro and the  Mach 1( CP4) ..The Raspberry Pi software/plate solve in the AAP does a wonderful job of polar alignment .. After two iterations of PA ,I checked it against SharpCap and RAPAS and it was dead- on with both. More importantly I was doing three minutes subs without guiding and saw nice round stars.  The AAP (PhD 2 light) auto guider is just ...um...ok... a bit of patience/ frustration to get the aggressiveness correct and the other setting needed more than bit of tweaking.

So to answer the question I asked above about resetting  to Park...The 'trick" is after you PA, do a long GOTO to the West side of the mount, plate solve, hit sync in AAP and got to park on the AAP. You'll be a bit or a lot off.. open the clutches and manually  move the mount to the Park position of you choice  and tighten the clutches. Do a long GOTO East, plate solve,  and back to Park and open and close the clutches again to get the mark lined up perfectly. I have hit every GOTO right in the middle of the camera's field of view since then.  And even after shutting off the CP4 and AAP, the postitioning/ GOTO was perfect two nights later.

I posted my first light pic at Lee D. Photos


Re: STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mike,

The mount is the only stationary thing that the NUC needs to control, and it will indeed
being sending UDP over wifi to the StarTech box.
It's working flawless since it turned up now on UDP, zero comm errors in APCC.
APCC does not know or care which type of COM port (i.e., real/virtual) it uses for the connection to the mount.

More likely, the problem was something in the Startech's WiFi network protocol stack.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mike C
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 11:04 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial



I don't think I can control my Sony mirrorless with Maxim, so I will be using an independent app for camera
control.
Or worst case -- a plug-in timer/intervalometer.

The Camera and the NUC are both attached to the tracking platform, so all the cabling will be tied down for
camera control. (USB-C)

The mount is the only stationary thing that the NUC needs to control, and it will indeed being sending UDP over
wifi to the StarTech box.
It's working flawless since it turned up now on UDP, zero comm errors in APCC.

Mike





Re: Dual scope setup question

John Jennings
 

I guess it wasn't a well defined question. We have seen multiple paradigm shifts in the last 5-10 years that are driving fast growth in the amateur imaging community.

Changes include:
   CMOS cameras (short exposures with lots of data)
   unguided imaging with/without ABS encoders  (AP / APCC Pro and others)
   narrowband/broadband filters for OSC cameras (Imaging from the city and pseudo narrowband)
   automated acquisition software to capture more data during precious good weather nights (CCD Autopilot, SGM  & others)
   processing software and techniques (PixInsight, StarTools, DSS, ASTAP & others)
   low cost entry mounts that produce reasonable images at short focal lengths with fast CMOS cameras. (short exposure, less tracking issues)
   Social media that drives amateur collaboration. (Quick answers for new imagers.)

It would be great at the amateur level to have multiple computer systems coordinating dithering and automated imaging run tasks etc. This could be used for tandem setups or multiple telescope systems (occultations etc). I already use onboard NUC's or Beelink clones for each scope's instrument package. This requires changes to the camera control software like MaximDL and/or automated control programs like CCD Autopilot and SGM.  Simple open platform semaphore communication could really help with coordination between systems. Yes, I was a career software engineer but I don't control the applications software and prefer to spend time imaging and not writing code.

I went for the dual tandem bar / different focal length setups for awhile and just gave up as the operation was awkward for unattended automated imaging for my goals. APPC Pro does pretty good with my tandem setups, (Scopes are aligned with minimum cone)  but I get better unguided results at higher focal lengths with an individual setup. (Mach1, AP900, AP1200)

John


Just asking a general forward thinking question.


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

Fritz K
 

John,

Surely you are making this too hard.  My plastic pipe came from Home Depot.  For the ends I got fittings that slipped over the outside of the pipe and was threaded for a cap.  It does not restrict the pipe throat at all.  And forget the pipe dope.  I just used epoxy.  Cheaper :)
fritz k


Re: STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial

Mike C
 

 

I don't think I can control my Sony mirrorless with Maxim, so I will be using an independent app for camera control.
Or worst case -- a plug-in timer/intervalometer.

The Camera and the NUC are both attached to the tracking platform, so all the cabling will be tied down for camera control. (USB-C)

The mount is the only stationary thing that the NUC needs to control, and it will indeed being sending UDP over wifi to the StarTech box.
It's working flawless since it turned up now on UDP, zero comm errors in APCC.

Mike



Re: STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial

 

Hi Mike

are you using wifi and udp between your imaging app and mount?


On Sat, May 15, 2021 at 7:14 PM Mike C <mike@...> wrote:

OK, minutes later here, but after... hours... trying to get this to work, I changed the STAR TECH driver to use UDP instead of TCP and everything has been perfect since. I am now controlling my mount over wifi with that adapter mounted to my pier.

Any words of warning about using Eltima devices on both ends of APCC? (or words of validation, I'll take that too)

Mike



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial

Mike C
 

OK, minutes later here, but after... hours... trying to get this to work, I changed the STAR TECH driver to use UDP instead of TCP and everything has been perfect since. I am now controlling my mount over wifi with that adapter mounted to my pier.

Any words of warning about using Eltima devices on both ends of APCC? (or words of validation, I'll take that too)

Mike


Re: STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial

Christopher Erickson
 

I have seen nothing but troubles trying to use Eltima software with APCC. AFAIKT, the problems are on the Eltima side of things.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Sat, May 15, 2021, 3:59 PM Mike C <mike@...> wrote:
I have an Intel NUC computer mounted on top of my telescope.

I want the simplest tether possible from pier to scope -- DC power and ground.

The NUC connects to my WI-FI access point and talks to a STAR TECH Ethernet->RS232 adapter which connects to my AP1200 GTO CP3.
The device: https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/netrs2321p

STAR TECH seems to create an ELTIMA virtual serial port on the NUC to handle this device.
It looks like APCC is also creating ELTIMA ports. 

APCC seems to go bonkers trying to talk to the mount.  Any tips ? (like.. give up, is APCC compatible with Eltima port as main port?)

Cheers
Mike in Alaska


STAR TECH Ethernet->Serial

Mike C
 

I have an Intel NUC computer mounted on top of my telescope.

I want the simplest tether possible from pier to scope -- DC power and ground.

The NUC connects to my WI-FI access point and talks to a STAR TECH Ethernet->RS232 adapter which connects to my AP1200 GTO CP3.
The device: https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/netrs2321p

STAR TECH seems to create an ELTIMA virtual serial port on the NUC to handle this device.
It looks like APCC is also creating ELTIMA ports. 

APCC seems to go bonkers trying to talk to the mount.  Any tips ? (like.. give up, is APCC compatible with Eltima port as main port?)

Cheers
Mike in Alaska


Re: Dual scope setup question

Christopher Erickson
 

Maybe elaborate on what you are asking?


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   


On Sat, May 15, 2021, 6:08 AM <johnrogerjennings@...> wrote:
Ok Christopher,

You have to elaborate on the transformation.....

John


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

John A. Sillasen
 

Thank you. So I've heard.  Good to know that's for sure. 

My problem is I got fittings with caps to go over both ends but the opening isn't wide enough to get the shaft out!!

One side isn't bad. I'd still have enough room to give it a push with a broomstick if needed but I need a threaded cap that goes over the tube opening that allows full access to the 2" ID PVC. 

I got schedule 40 PVC, not Schedule 80.  For the most part the only difference is color. 

Anyone know if Home Desperate has a cap that gives access to the entire 2" opening?  I imagine a rubber cap would do but it gives the danger of having the counterweight shaft push it off if enough turns to one direction made the shaft slide out!

Thoughts?



John A. Sillasen



Re: Dual scope setup question

John Jennings
 

Ok Christopher,

You have to elaborate on the transformation.....

John


Did the design of the 900GTO or SPA change at some point, so the RPA is not essential?

Chris White
 
Edited

At the beginning of the year I purchased a 2009 900GTO.  It came with the standard pier adapter, which I mounted everything on a Losmandy HD tripod with the AP FSA bolted right to the top.  I had multiple people tell me that adjusting azimuth was a bit of a pain with the SPA so I kept my eyes open for the rotating pier adapter.  I bought one when it popped up on the classifieds, but to be honest I havent felt any need to install it.  Adjusting azimuth with the SPA is buttery smooth and precise.  Am I missing out by not using the RPA?  Did something change at some point with the SPA or the 900 that improved adjustment?

I do have incentive to not use the RPA as it adds almost an inch to the height of my setup.  I have my mount in a very small back yard observatory that I built and while the extra height wont be a problem in position 5 for the refractor it cuts it close for the Edge scope I have when I close the roof.

And as any of you who have an observatory will attest... they make us even more LAZY as astronomers so breaking apart the setup to run a test sounds like work especially when everything is just sitting there ready to go on a moments notice! 

Thanks,


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Chris White
 
Edited

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 11:37 PM, Worsel wrote:
That's pricey, considering the AstroMi MGBoxV2 is about 185USD (temp, pressure, RH, dewpt, and GPS data) and works well via ASCOM ObservCond with APCC.

https://www.astromi.ch/product/mgbox-v2/
Bryan,

Thanks for sharing this alternative.  For my case, I'll just stick with using the Pegasus Advance I already I have with temp and RH and the API for pressure.  My 900GTO already produces tight round stars without APCC Pro, so I think in the end adding another gadget will likely not get me better data.  I'm happy to be proven wrong though!  lol...


Re: How important is THUM? #APCC

Worsel
 

That's pricey, considering the AstroMi MGBoxV2 is about 185USD (temp, pressure, RH, dewpt, and GPS data) and works well via ASCOM ObservCond with APCC.

https://www.astromi.ch/product/mgbox-v2/

Bryan

---
PegasusAstro had also posted this today as well.
"Price range will be close to 350-400 USD and yes, we aim to provide the gps coord / temp and abs pressure to 10micron interface.


Re: Celestial Whale

Don Anderson
 

Thanks Rolando! I'll try that with my Tele Vue NP127is using the .8X reducer (528mm f/l). I can use your procedure to fine tune the calibration on my RAPAS.

Don Anderson


On Friday, May 14, 2021, 06:15:18 p.m. MDT, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Start with my quick and easy daylight polar alignment (Park4, level etc.). Use your main imaging camera with H-a filter and send the mount to a bright star overhead. Use a wide field short FL scope (no SCTs). Have the camera aligned so that left-right is RA and up-down is Dec.

1) pull up the crosshair in MaximDL
2) Put the star on the crosshair and watch it drift for about 2 minutes. Use continuous mode and note the exact pixel where it ended up after 2 minutes.
3) Turn the azimuth adjuster until the star is at one end of your frame (left or right). Using your up-down slo-mo buttons, put the star back on the crosshair (not the center but at the edge).
4) Watch it drift for same exact amount of time. Note the exact pixel where it ended up.

Draw a line between the 2 end positions. Where it intersects the left-right crosshair is where you want to put this star using the azimuth adjusters.

I take two images of the star's positions and layer one on top of the other so that both stars can be seen. Then use a line tool to draw the line between them.

Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Don Anderson via groups.io <jockey_ca@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 14, 2021 5:56 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Celestial Whale

And what is that?

Don Anderson


On Friday, May 14, 2021, 02:01:23 p.m. MDT, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


MaximDL has no way to tell. However it has a nifty tool that I developed to get the drift to zero in just a few minutes.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff B <mnebula946@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, May 14, 2021 2:02 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Celestial Whale

Yeah I'm curious too but I also imagine the software can tell you too.

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 2:51 PM Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Roland

That's amazing performance.  Do you have an idea how polar mis-aligned the setup was, even qualitatively?

Bryan

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Celestial Whale

Roland Christen
 

Start with my quick and easy daylight polar alignment (Park4, level etc.). Use your main imaging camera with H-a filter and send the mount to a bright star overhead. Use a wide field short FL scope (no SCTs). Have the camera aligned so that left-right is RA and up-down is Dec.

1) pull up the crosshair in MaximDL
2) Put the star on the crosshair and watch it drift for about 2 minutes. Use continuous mode and note the exact pixel where it ended up after 2 minutes.
3) Turn the azimuth adjuster until the star is at one end of your frame (left or right). Using your up-down slo-mo buttons, put the star back on the crosshair (not the center but at the edge).
4) Watch it drift for same exact amount of time. Note the exact pixel where it ended up.

Draw a line between the 2 end positions. Where it intersects the left-right crosshair is where you want to put this star using the azimuth adjusters.

I take two images of the star's positions and layer one on top of the other so that both stars can be seen. Then use a line tool to draw the line between them.

Rolando





-----Original Message-----
From: Don Anderson via groups.io <jockey_ca@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, May 14, 2021 5:56 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Celestial Whale

And what is that?

Don Anderson


On Friday, May 14, 2021, 02:01:23 p.m. MDT, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


MaximDL has no way to tell. However it has a nifty tool that I developed to get the drift to zero in just a few minutes.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff B <mnebula946@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, May 14, 2021 2:02 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Celestial Whale

Yeah I'm curious too but I also imagine the software can tell you too.

On Fri, May 14, 2021 at 2:51 PM Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Roland

That's amazing performance.  Do you have an idea how polar mis-aligned the setup was, even qualitatively?

Bryan

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

M Hambrick
 

Those PVC cutting tools don't do that good a job anyway. The cut never seems to be square. You could probably do better with a hacksaw. It just takes a little longer, and you will have to get rid of the burr on the edge where you cut it. 150 grit Sandpaper does a good job for this.

Mike

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