Date   

Re: Mach2 APCC/APPM model for multiple nights in a mobile setting

Joseph Beyer
 

The process of covering and uncovering my equipment combined with ground movements, +/- tripod dynamics (it’s a Berlebach) changes my PA every night.  Once I correct the PA each night my model works fine for at least a week.  That’s on a Mach1 unguided.  


Re: Mach2 APCC/APPM model for multiple nights in a mobile setting

David Johnson
 

I often leave my equipment set up over multiple nights when the weather is favorable (as it is right now). I always do a quick polar alignment and redo mapping each night.  I don’t know if this is necessary, especially at shorter focal lengths, but I have seen issues, which I believe might be due to the tripod settling into the soil. It’s generally possible to finish both polar alignment and mapping before it’s dark enough to do serious imaging, so there’s little or no time lost. I understand that if the polar alignment is correct that I theoretically don’t need to remap, but polar alignment is never perfect, and mapping with APPM is quick and automated and accounts for PA errors. When I eventually get a permanent setup, I don’t think this will be necessary. 


Re: Mach2 APCC/APPM model for multiple nights in a mobile setting

Bill Long
 

Something is changing day over day that is enough to invalidate the mount model. You could try fixing the PA before each run and see if that has any effect. Maybe something is getting disturbed when you cover and uncover the gear? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of mindspringtsai@... <mindspringtsai@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 7:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 APCC/APPM model for multiple nights in a mobile setting
 
I'm seeking advice on a multiple night mobile workflow to reuse an APCC/APPM pointing/tracking model created on the first for subsequent nights. 

Here are my observations from the most recent new moon:
Night 1:  Created 50pt model. Successfully imaged unguided throughout the night on a two objects in different parts of the sky.  Powered down mount and covered it during the day.

Night 2:  Powered up mount, ran APPM verify with 30pts and found pretty large pointing deltas, greater than several arcmin.  A quick test exposure seemed to show a little bit of star trailing, but I didn't not spend time to quantify or debugging it.  Since the object I was shooting had a limited window, I just ran another 50pt model and successfully imaged throughout the night again.  Powered down mount and covered it during the day.

Night 3:  Ran 50pt model and successfully imaged throughout the night. 

Running a 50pt model every night isn't a deal breaker for me because it only takes about 20min, but I'm interested in the experience of other mobile imagers. 

Other details that may or may not be relevant:  OTA is OS RH200 and camera is ASI6200.  

Cheers,
Curtis


Mach2 APCC/APPM model for multiple nights in a mobile setting

mindspringtsai@...
 

I'm seeking advice on a multiple night mobile workflow to reuse an APCC/APPM pointing/tracking model created on the first for subsequent nights. 

Here are my observations from the most recent new moon:
Night 1:  Created 50pt model. Successfully imaged unguided throughout the night on a two objects in different parts of the sky.  Powered down mount and covered it during the day.

Night 2:  Powered up mount, ran APPM verify with 30pts and found pretty large pointing deltas, greater than several arcmin.  A quick test exposure seemed to show a little bit of star trailing, but I didn't not spend time to quantify or debugging it.  Since the object I was shooting had a limited window, I just ran another 50pt model and successfully imaged throughout the night again.  Powered down mount and covered it during the day.

Night 3:  Ran 50pt model and successfully imaged throughout the night. 

Running a 50pt model every night isn't a deal breaker for me because it only takes about 20min, but I'm interested in the experience of other mobile imagers. 

Other details that may or may not be relevant:  OTA is OS RH200 and camera is ASI6200.  

Cheers,
Curtis


Re: The Elephant Trunk Nebula in the Hubble palette

Glenn
 

I forgot to mention that once you have a starless image, you can import it into Photoshop and do whatever you want with it. 

Best,

Glenn


Re: The Elephant Trunk Nebula in the Hubble palette

Glenn
 

Thank you, Robert. 

The process called Starnet+, which is also integrated into PixInsight, does not automatically produce a separate image with the stars that were just removed. However, doing so is easy and only requires checking the "make star mask" button in the process window. I have been doing it on stretched images but I think the process may be been updated to work on linear ones—you would have to verify. You could make a starless image either in PixInsight or by running Starnet+ as a separate application. The program is available on one of the more popular open-source repositories (can't remember which). 

Best,

Glenn


Re: Tool for saddle clamping

Joseph Beyer
 

I keep a pair of nitrile gloves in my equipment box and slip one on my right hand to get a bit more grip on the knob when removing the telescope.  I've always been able to release the knobs wearing the gloves no matter the temperature.  They are inexpensive enough to just replace when they age to the point of not being as effective.  


Re: M27 OSC and Mono combined

Robert Chozick <rchozick@...>
 

I intended to have a lot more Ha and OIII added to my M27 but that did not work.  I would take a lot of OSC subs,  I like to take at least 4-5 hours.  With your filter you will probably get much more of the outer Ha and OIII.  I would search the internet to see examples of these outer parts.  I have an old version that had more:


I like the 2600 Mono a lot. I want to use it for Ha and OIII to add to my OSC shots from the Color version.  I did do an HaLRGB shot with just the Mono below:


I will play with both and compare.   I may go back to LRGB but I sure like OSC.

The 2400’s only disadvantage is that it is 14 bit.  The 16 bit 2600 produces really nice images.  How much difference is there between 14 and 16 I am not sure but I think it is pretty significant.

I hope they make a 16 bit version of the 2400 someday and in both Mono and Color.  I would like to have bigger pixels.    For my widefield images the smaller pixels are great.

Robert

On Jul 26, 2021, at 6:02 PM, Alex <alex@...> wrote:

Hi Robert,

The image turned out pretty good. I want to image this nebula as well and I also have a 2600 color camera that I use a quad band narrow filter with. Now, I have a good image to compare too.

How do you like the mono version of the 2600?  For my next camera, I was looking at the ZWO 2400MC due to its pixel size (5.94um). Unfortunately, the 2400 is only available as a color camera and not in mono. It is on sale now for $2999.

Best,
Alex


Re: M27 OSC and Mono combined

Alex
 

Hi Robert,

The image turned out pretty good. I want to image this nebula as well and I also have a 2600 color camera that I use a quad band narrow filter with. Now, I have a good image to compare too.

How do you like the mono version of the 2600?  For my next camera, I was looking at the ZWO 2400MC due to its pixel size (5.94um). Unfortunately, the 2400 is only available as a color camera and not in mono. It is on sale now for $2999.

Best,
Alex


Re: The Elephant Trunk Nebula in the Hubble palette

Alex
 

Hello Glenn,

Thanks for sharing! Very nice image.

I too, just recently started to capture the Elephant Trunk Nebula but still need to process the images. I use a quad narrowband filter with a ZWO ASI2600 color camera on a 130GTX. Did stacks at 240, 360, and 720 seconds. Here in California, even with a nearly full moon I got decent results with the filter in place. Now I need to start processing in PixInSight. 

Having your image as a reference is helpful. 

Best,
Alex



Re: Tool for saddle clamping

Dale Ghent
 

I wouldn't bother with trying to replace the knobs. You can look for a "soft jaw wrench" or "soft jaw pliers" and use them instead. They're regular adjustable wrenches that have a hard rubber or silicone jaw - strong enough to hold something, but flexible and soft enough that whatever it is isn't marred. The long handles give you all the leverage you might need.

https://www.amazon.com/soft-jaw-wrench/s?k=soft+jaw+wrench

I bet these would work well for your saddle knobs. Like George said, you need only a light touch when it comes to tightening them.

On Jul 26, 2021, at 17:11, drgert1 via groups.io <drgert1=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

@George,

Any option to replace 'old style' knobs (no hex key inset) with 'new style' ones (with hex key inset) ?

Cheers,
Gert


Re: Tool for saddle clamping

drgert1
 

@George,

Any option to replace 'old style' knobs (no hex key inset) with 'new style' ones (with hex key inset) ?

Cheers,
Gert


Re: New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

Bill Long
 

The encoders just work. You don't need to do anything special for them. You do want to initialize the 1100 from a known park position when you first set it up. But other than that just connect the mount up and use it. APCC is great, spend some time with the modeling software in it. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 8:37 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please
 

Excited my AP1100 due Wednesday, trying to read through all the documentation.  It's a little hard to sort through old vs new vs no longer true, I wonder if I could ask for a sanity check.  This is for imaging, no keypad, and a portable setup. 

The CP4 will connect first via USB via the FTDI driver, from where I can configure ethernet (or Wifi, in my case to turn off). 

Afterwards the application connection will go (Ascom 6.5SP1 assumed): 

CP4 -> APCC -> (Virtual ports) -> Ascom V2 -> third party software as needed

APCC Pro now contains the AE stuff so the variously mentioned standalone utility is not needed. 

The manual indicates APCC is not needed you can go from the Ascom driver to the mount, but it doesn't really explain why one would do that (or not).  I'm assuming since 99% of what I read mentions APCC that one should use that in the middle. 

Where I am struggling a bit is finding where exceptions are for AE use.  My GUESS is:

- Manually placing in a park position to register a location during initialization is not needed?  It should just know?

- No PE curve is needed, and PE correction should be turned off?   Or is that magic when it sees encoders?

- Is there any special precautions to protect them, e.g. do all the clutch/gear mesh instructions related to balance apply equally? 

- Is there any check/sync/calibration needed?

Maybe there's an AE document, but I could not find one on the Technical Support page. 

Finally, there's mention of several Apple cell phone programs one can use, but I did not find any Android ones (for mount control, I found the polar align). I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?

Some of this may become obvious when I actually start setting it up, but especially the Encoder aspect worries me, since I found so little guidance in what I have read so far. 

Corrections and pointers welcomed.

Oh... and is there an estimate of how long the weather stays bad after one receives a new mount?  :) 

Linwood



Re: How to tighten Mach2 base

Roland Christen
 


The problem I am seeing is without Tripd. I turn the mount up side down, and I can feel the backlash if I move the base back and forth.
Anything else should I check?
The two push-pull azimuth adjuster knobs need to be fully tight against the stop. These are used for azimuth adjustment, so if one is backed off, the mount can rotate if you pull on the scope.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: yanzhe liu <liuyanzhe@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jul 26, 2021 8:13 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to tighten Mach2 base



On Mon, Jul 26, 2021 at 8:43 AM George <george@...> wrote:
Yanzhe,
 
That is set to a foot/pound tightness.   I should be left as is.   If it is tightened too much, it will make azimuth adjustments difficult.   Instead, check that the both “captain’s wheels are snug on the polar forks.  
Yes, I belive so. 
Also there should be three knobs securing the Mach2 to the pier/tripod.   They must be at 120 degrees with respect to each other.   Hand tightening them will not give a secure mounting.   Use a hex key and give them an extra snugging.  
The problem I am seeing is without Tripd. I turn the mount up side down, and I can feel the backlash if I move the base back and forth.
Anything else should I check?
 
Regards,
 
George
 
George Whitney
Astro-Physics, Inc.
Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)
Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)
Email:  george@...
 
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of yanzhe liu
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2021 3:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] How to tighten Mach2 base
 
I came to notice some backlash when I moved my telescope back and forth. Initially I thought it must have been RA or DEC, but then I realized that it was the base.
 
I tried to tighten the bolt underneath the base, it got slightly better but did not fix the problem. The bolt is already very tight so I dont want to tighten it any further.
 
Does anyone see a similar issue? It probably wont affect the imaging but it may affect polar alignment if someone accidentally moves the mount between sessions.
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: How to tighten Mach2 base

yanzhe liu
 



On Mon, Jul 26, 2021 at 8:43 AM George <george@...> wrote:

Yanzhe,

 

That is set to a foot/pound tightness.   I should be left as is.   If it is tightened too much, it will make azimuth adjustments difficult.   Instead, check that the both “captain’s wheels are snug on the polar forks.  

Yes, I belive so. 

Also there should be three knobs securing the Mach2 to the pier/tripod.   They must be at 120 degrees with respect to each other.   Hand tightening them will not give a secure mounting.   Use a hex key and give them an extra snugging.  

The problem I am seeing is without Tripd. I turn the mount up side down, and I can feel the backlash if I move the base back and forth.
Anything else should I check?

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of yanzhe liu
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2021 3:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] How to tighten Mach2 base

 

I came to notice some backlash when I moved my telescope back and forth. Initially I thought it must have been RA or DEC, but then I realized that it was the base.

 

I tried to tighten the bolt underneath the base, it got slightly better but did not fix the problem. The bolt is already very tight so I dont want to tighten it any further.

 

Does anyone see a similar issue? It probably wont affect the imaging but it may affect polar alignment if someone accidentally moves the mount between sessions.

 


Re: New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

Eric Weiner
 

Howdy Linwood,

Congrats.  Getting a new mount is better than Christmas.  I'm a Mach2 owner so I'll allows others to address some of your 1100 specific questions

The CP4 will connect first via USB via the FTDI driver, from where I can configure ethernet (or Wifi, in my case to turn off). 
That will work, as will several other connection methods.  I prefer serial over USB.  You can run two cables for seamless backup.

CP4 -> APCC -> (Virtual ports) -> Ascom V2 -> third party software as needed
This is the order of operations for the CP5, so yes.

SkySafari is available on Android.  It works very well with the CP5, so it will be great with the CP4 as well.


Re: New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

I do the same, but I use an iPad as the iPhone screen is just too small. However, I have noticed that trying to slew the mount in this way can be tricky as the buttons sometimes don't respond unless you click and then drag the mouse pointer a bit.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@CaptivePhotons.com
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 12:17 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

Jeff wrote:

. I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?
I run the Remote Desktop client on my phone when I need to do something with the mount outside away from the computer. For example polar alignment — I use sharpcap and need to see the “off by” numbers outside at the mount. So I just use RDClient and zoom in on that portion of the UI.
I've used that, as well as the Real VNC app on my cell, but the APCC screen as well as programs like NINA are not very optimized for tiny screens. If Covid ever wanes fully, I expect at some point to do some visual work with guests to view, and having a good cell phone app for manual control might be handy. Though that will always be a tiny part of what I do. Maybe I should just order a handheld if that becomes an issue. But if there was a good hand control app, I thought I would try it.

Thanks.

Linwood


Re: New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Jeff wrote:

. I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?
I run the Remote Desktop client on my phone when I need to do something with the mount outside away from the computer. For example polar alignment — I use sharpcap and need to see the “off by” numbers outside at the mount. So I just use RDClient and zoom in on that portion of the UI.
I've used that, as well as the Real VNC app on my cell, but the APCC screen as well as programs like NINA are not very optimized for tiny screens. If Covid ever wanes fully, I expect at some point to do some visual work with guests to view, and having a good cell phone app for manual control might be handy. Though that will always be a tiny part of what I do. Maybe I should just order a handheld if that becomes an issue. But if there was a good hand control app, I thought I would try it.

Thanks.

Linwood


Re: New AP1100AE, startup sanity check please

Jeffc
 

On Jul 26, 2021, at 8:37 AM, ap@captivephotons.com wrote:

. I am not getting a handheld, but is there a mount control for a cell phone that might be useful since my computer display is in the house, not near the mount?
I run the Remote Desktop client on my phone when I need to do something with the mount outside away from the computer. For example polar alignment — I use sharpcap and need to see the “off by” numbers outside at the mount. So I just use RDClient and zoom in on that portion of the UI.

Fwiw, I don’t have too much experience with the apps over WiFi - I’ve used SkySafari, but it just allows for pointing the mount. I’m not sure if the separate controlling app would confuse other apps (eg APCC) controlling the mount.

-jeff


Re: How to tighten Mach2 base

George
 

Yanzhe,

 

That is set to a foot/pound tightness.   I should be left as is.   If it is tightened too much, it will make azimuth adjustments difficult.   Instead, check that the both “captain’s wheels are snug on the polar forks.   Also there should be three knobs securing the Mach2 to the pier/tripod.   They must be at 120 degrees with respect to each other.   Hand tightening them will not give a secure mounting.   Use a hex key and give them an extra snugging.  

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of yanzhe liu
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2021 3:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] How to tighten Mach2 base

 

I came to notice some backlash when I moved my telescope back and forth. Initially I thought it must have been RA or DEC, but then I realized that it was the base.

 

I tried to tighten the bolt underneath the base, it got slightly better but did not fix the problem. The bolt is already very tight so I dont want to tighten it any further.

 

Does anyone see a similar issue? It probably wont affect the imaging but it may affect polar alignment if someone accidentally moves the mount between sessions.

 

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