Date   

Re: AP1100, Berlebach Planet, mounting CP4

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

As a follow on question with a Berlebach planet.

I received the mounting ring from Berlebach, and it emphasized how large the base of the AP1100 will be in comparison to this tripod.

I do not plan to have more than about 45 pounds of OTA, and counterweights of course. 

Does anyone with a similar setup have any kind of idea where the center of gravity is for that kind of setup?  Specifically how far off center?  

I typically image with the legs retracted fully for stability, and legs at closest are 9.5" (between legs) and 17" (at a single leg) from center.  I prefer to image with the single leg south not north, this provides a LOT more clearance (at least on my MyT) near zenith to avoid leg crashes.  But when I looked at that 9.5" it made me worry, this is a larger mount and probably different CG.

I found the Dimension Calculator spreadsheet, clearly aimed at clearance not load.  But I think (emphasis on think) that the point in the first image labeled as offset B, represents the BALANCED CG, basically at the intersection with the DEC axis.  

But what I am worried about is the unbalanced CG -- the point at which I have loaded 50# or so of counterweights and have yet to attach the OTA.  I.e. the situation why everyone says "put the single leg under the counterweight shaft".  Which is good advice I hope to not have to take so I don't hit the legs with my imaging train.

This all works fine on the MyT, it is quite stable.  But worried -- am I in for a rude surprise with the larger AP1100 (with 45# load)?  Yes, this is easy to figure out once I get it -- but if I need a new tripod/pier I'd like to get it on order now.

Anyone know where the CG is going to land?   And yes, I realize it's latitude dependent (I'm at 26d) but any real world experience welcome.

Linwood


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Luca Marinelli
 

Hi Brent,

 

This is awesome! Was this with SkyTrack connected to the Mach2 via AP ASCOM driver or did you write a direct interface?

 

Really nice work!

 

Luca

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brent Boshart via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 7:20 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Chasing a StarLink Satellite

 

[Edited Message Follows]

> How is the gamepad wired up?

The gamepad is not wired to the mount. It provides input to the software that calculates the satellite position.


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Roland Christen
 

WoW, super! Looks like the little satellite is dodging incoming missiles. Smile

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Brent Boshart <bboshart@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, May 18, 2021 12:28 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Chasing a StarLink Satellite

First night out with my Mach2.  How is this for different - a StarLink satellite is a tight round dot and the stars are streaks... :)   The perpendicular movement at 00:24 is me making an adjustment with a gamepad - how fun is that?  Near the end of the video clip you can see the StarLink rotate. I'm looking forward to an ISS pass. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDiPO-QuHPE

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Karen Christen
 

That’s really fun.  It’s fascinating to see what folks can do with our equipment.  Thanks so much for sharing your video, Brent!

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brent Boshart
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 12:28 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Chasing a StarLink Satellite

 

First night out with my Mach2.  How is this for different - a StarLink satellite is a tight round dot and the stars are streaks... :)   The perpendicular movement at 00:24 is me making an adjustment with a gamepad - how fun is that?  Near the end of the video clip you can see the StarLink rotate. I'm looking forward to an ISS pass. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDiPO-QuHPE


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Dean Jacobsen
 

Nice Brent!  It looks like you are making excellent progress on the project.
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Brent Boshart
 
Edited

> How is the gamepad wired up?

The gamepad is not wired to the mount. It provides input to the software that calculates the satellite position.


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Jeffc
 

> making an adjustment with a gamepad

How is the gamepad wired up?

Fwiw, I've been using APPC "remote" with a laptop.
When I need to do something at the mount (e.g. last night for some reason I had to "re-initialize / calibrate"), it is a bit awkward to "push the buttons on the control window"... sure the laptop is wifi and very portable, but it is awkward to look through the viewfinder while pushing a virtual button using the trackpad.

I do have an AP keypad, but i rarely use it as I'm mostly / always using APCC these days.

Having a simple gamepad at the mount would be useful when I occasionally need to move the scope to center an object in the viewfinder.

Btw, I have a celestron four button keypad with RJ12 connector.. I've wondered if I can plug this into the guide port, set the rate appropriately, and use it for minor moves.

-jeff


On Mon, May 17, 2021 at 10:28 PM Brent Boshart <bboshart@...> wrote:
First night out with my Mach2.  How is this for different - a StarLink satellite is a tight round dot and the stars are streaks... :)   The perpendicular movement at 00:24 is me making an adjustment with a gamepad - how fun is that?  Near the end of the video clip you can see the StarLink rotate. I'm looking forward to an ISS pass. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDiPO-QuHPE


Re: Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Christopher Erickson
 

Way cool!

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


Virus-free. www.avg.com


On Mon, May 17, 2021 at 7:28 PM Brent Boshart <bboshart@...> wrote:
First night out with my Mach2.  How is this for different - a StarLink satellite is a tight round dot and the stars are streaks... :)   The perpendicular movement at 00:24 is me making an adjustment with a gamepad - how fun is that?  Near the end of the video clip you can see the StarLink rotate. I'm looking forward to an ISS pass. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDiPO-QuHPE


Chasing a StarLink Satellite

Brent Boshart
 

First night out with my Mach2.  How is this for different - a StarLink satellite is a tight round dot and the stars are streaks... :)   The perpendicular movement at 00:24 is me making an adjustment with a gamepad - how fun is that?  Near the end of the video clip you can see the StarLink rotate. I'm looking forward to an ISS pass. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDiPO-QuHPE


Re: Southern Owl Planetary nebula

skester@...
 

Wonderful capture Geoff!


Re: Southern Owl Planetary nebula

Roland Christen
 

Excellent!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Geoff Smith <ghsmith45@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, May 17, 2021 6:01 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Southern Owl Planetary nebula

This is a seldom photographed object. However, it is quite large (3') and  bright (12.1).
Mount:AP900GTO
Camera: FLI Proline 16803
Telescope: 12.5" Planewave.
Processed in PixInsight.

Technical details here https://www.astrobin.com/onq3o6/
Larger res here https://www.astrobin.com/full/onq3o6/0/
Geoff

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Southern Owl Planetary nebula

Geoff Smith
 

This is a seldom photographed object. However, it is quite large (3') and  bright (12.1).
Mount:AP900GTO
Camera: FLI Proline 16803
Telescope: 12.5" Planewave.
Processed in PixInsight.

Technical details here https://www.astrobin.com/onq3o6/
Larger res here https://www.astrobin.com/full/onq3o6/0/
Geoff


Software Enhancement Requests Process?

Brent Boshart
 

Is there is a formal process for submitting software enhancement requests for the AP ASCOM driver or APCC?  Thanks.


Re: Counterweight Shaft Travel Storage

Barry Megdal
 

Strange – the one I made from Schedule 80 PVC is a good fit in the sense that the shaft slides in and out with a little “whoosh” of air, but not even close to getting stuck.

 

-        Barry

 

Dr. Barry Megdal

 

President

Shb Instruments, Inc.

19215 Parthenia St.  Suite A

Northridge, CA 91324

www.shbinstruments.com

(818) 773-2000  (818)773-2005 fax

bmegdal@...

 

Faculty (retired)

Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Caltech

 


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

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