Date   

Re: new user's Keypad ? #Keypad

weems@...
 

There’s a 10”x42” ATS pier currently listed on Astromart under Mounts-Equatorial. Located in Texas. 

Chip


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Linwood,

 

I’ve had my AP100 non AE since March of 2020, before the SHTF! I have never been sorry for the purchase, can’t believe how wonderful a “premium” mount really is. I got lucky and there was one in stock at OPT when my CGE Pro died and I grabbed it. No waiting or ordering; lucky me! I’ve had more than one Meade fork mounted SCT and the last mount before this one was a Celestron CGE Pro which died and couldn’t be repaired barely over one year in service. Altogether I probably could have bought at least two AP1100’s, years ago, and never looked back. Experience; there is no substitute for that, but when you finally wise up, you are never sorry.

The folks at AP are top notch! First of all, it takes good, honest people to make a great product and AP has both those qualities!! Not to mention their excellent workmanship! They’ve gotta have a machine shop to envy.

 

A very happy AP1100 camper!

 

Steve

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2021 10:24 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

 

@Marj Christen wrote;

 

 

  • The 1100 and CP4 manuals on the website are now up to date. I apologize that we did not catch this earlier. I also realized that the manuals that were copied onto the USB drives sent with the mounts were also not current. So, new mount owners may wish to substitute the current versions on their USB drives. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

 

Well, you folks had the priorities right, get the mounts out the door!   😊

 

Mine’s been wonderful, in all of two nights I could get it out.  Great guiding, easy to use and setup.

 

And proof someone reads the things you folks put all that effort into writing!

 

Thanks!

 

Linwood

 


Mach2 runaway behavior

Luca Marinelli
 

The last few nights I have been experiencing runaway behavior with the Mach2 when the imaging sequence starts in SGP. The target is in Cygnus, in the Eastern sky and when SGP issues the first slew the mount starts rotating West in RA, Dec doesn't move, until it strikes the pier and motor stall errors start flying. At this point, I issue a Find Home command and then start the sequence over and everything works properly. This is similar to problems I had encountered when switching APCC Pro from the AP1100 to the Mach2. The solution there was to delete the Settings file and start over, which I attempted today. Unfortunately, it didn't fix the problem. When I launched the sequence, the mount slewed in RA only until the OTA hit the pier. 

I have posted the APCC logs here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zjrzxw434ed9laz/ApccZip-Luca_Marinelli-2021-08-05-222758.zip?dl=0

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

thanks,

Luca
 


Re: new user's Keypad ? #Keypad

fjk5146
 

Hi Michael,

The Keypad uses a special battery.  You can contact Astro-Physics and they can sell you the correct battery for your Keypad.  

Fred

--
Fred Keller
Gold Cr


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Roland Christen
 

Better balance is good. Generally I try to place the filter wheel vertical with the scope in the Park3 position. That would produce the best balance. That assumes that the camera rotation can be independent from the filter rotation angle.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Aug 5, 2021 11:17 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

I rotated the guide camera 180 Degrees and the balance is much better.

I wouldn't say I am obsessing about the RA balance, but I am trying to avoid any situations where the RA axis is heavier on the west side. I recall reading that this can cause "chatter" in the RA gear. Maybe this is not such a problem with the A-P mounts.

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Current manuals electronically?

M Hambrick
 

I rotated the guide camera 180 Degrees and the balance is much better.

I wouldn't say I am obsessing about the RA balance, but I am trying to avoid any situations where the RA axis is heavier on the west side. I recall reading that this can cause "chatter" in the RA gear. Maybe this is not such a problem with the A-P mounts.

Mike


Re: New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

Horia
 

According to HKursh:

 

>> The 'HOME' button does not exist on a mount without AE. It is on the AE tab of APCC pro.

 

 

According to astro-physics.com ( https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc - Features --> APCC Standard ):

 

>>  Added software home and limits function for all GTO mounts. Note: To avoid errors, this tab

>>  will not appear if the mount has absolute encoders, which has its own separate hardware/software solution.

 

I would like to understand: Do we have a „Home“ function also for non encoder mounts? How is „software home“ implemented?

 

Kind regards,

Horia

 

Von: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> Im Auftrag von KHursh via groups.io
Gesendet: Sonntag, 1. August 2021 15:55
An: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Betreff: Re: [ap-gto] New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

 

The 'HOME' button does not exist on a mount without AE. It is on the AE tab of APCC pro.


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Roland Christen
 

But why are you obsessing about perfect balance in RA? I already indicated that it's not that important in RA because there is no static friction to overcome.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
To: mhambrick563@... <mhambrick563@...>; main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 9:06 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

Very simple. It's caused by your filter wheel being sideways.
You would need to add a small counterweight on the other side, opposite to the filter wheel, in order to achieve proper Dec balance.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 9:00 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

Hi George & Roland

Here are a couple pictures of my NP101is imaging train in Park 3. If I disengage the RA gearbox from Park 3 the scope will tip over to the east and oscillate back and forth a couple times before coming to rest in the horizontal position. If I rotate the RA axis so that the CW shaft is horizontal with the scope on the west side, it will stay balanced. If I move into Park 2 and disengage the RA gearbox, it stays put.

I have also  included a picture from above so that you can see the axes of the imaging and guide scopes, and per your and Roland's comments you can see that the guide scope and camera is on the east side of the center. 

Sebastien also makes a good point. This particular imaging train is very short making it more challenging to balance. I had very similar issues trying to balance my Stowaway which is even shorter than the NP101.

I guess what I am looking for in all this is to try to make sure that my guiding is least impacted by balancing issues. If it turns out that I need to have several different balancing configurations depending on where in the sky I am imaging, then I am OK with that. I would just like to get some advice on the best way to do this.

I am also sure that a set of absolute encoders would also help. I am just waiting for the notification that you have some available for mount upgrades :>)

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Roland Christen
 

Very simple. It's caused by your filter wheel being sideways.
You would need to add a small counterweight on the other side, opposite to the filter wheel, in order to achieve proper Dec balance.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 9:00 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

Hi George & Roland

Here are a couple pictures of my NP101is imaging train in Park 3. If I disengage the RA gearbox from Park 3 the scope will tip over to the east and oscillate back and forth a couple times before coming to rest in the horizontal position. If I rotate the RA axis so that the CW shaft is horizontal with the scope on the west side, it will stay balanced. If I move into Park 2 and disengage the RA gearbox, it stays put.

I have also  included a picture from above so that you can see the axes of the imaging and guide scopes, and per your and Roland's comments you can see that the guide scope and camera is on the east side of the center. 

Sebastien also makes a good point. This particular imaging train is very short making it more challenging to balance. I had very similar issues trying to balance my Stowaway which is even shorter than the NP101.

I guess what I am looking for in all this is to try to make sure that my guiding is least impacted by balancing issues. If it turns out that I need to have several different balancing configurations depending on where in the sky I am imaging, then I am OK with that. I would just like to get some advice on the best way to do this.

I am also sure that a set of absolute encoders would also help. I am just waiting for the notification that you have some available for mount upgrades :>)

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Current manuals electronically?

M Hambrick
 

Hi George & Roland

Here are a couple pictures of my NP101is imaging train in Park 3. If I disengage the RA gearbox from Park 3 the scope will tip over to the east and oscillate back and forth a couple times before coming to rest in the horizontal position. If I rotate the RA axis so that the CW shaft is horizontal with the scope on the west side, it will stay balanced. If I move into Park 2 and disengage the RA gearbox, it stays put.

I have also  included a picture from above so that you can see the axes of the imaging and guide scopes, and per your and Roland's comments you can see that the guide scope and camera is on the east side of the center. 

Sebastien also makes a good point. This particular imaging train is very short making it more challenging to balance. I had very similar issues trying to balance my Stowaway which is even shorter than the NP101.

I guess what I am looking for in all this is to try to make sure that my guiding is least impacted by balancing issues. If it turns out that I need to have several different balancing configurations depending on where in the sky I am imaging, then I am OK with that. I would just like to get some advice on the best way to do this.

I am also sure that a set of absolute encoders would also help. I am just waiting for the notification that you have some available for mount upgrades :>)

Mike


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Sébastien Doré
 

Hi Mike,

I think perfect balancing isn't possible in every possible mount position. OTAs with attached astro-gears are generally complex loads in that they are not evenly distributed nor infinitesimaly small and centered at a single center of mass. The mass distribution of the mount itself would play a role in this too. 

Therefore, when we try to balance them at certain positions, we do so for the worst case scenarios and with only one degree of liberty (we can't adjust the OTA's center of mass side-to-side in a standard dovetail, only back to front), which will only result in approximate balancing at best for all other positions. Several iterations of incremental adjustments probably tends to minimize the uneven distribution of the load, but its never going to be perfect everywhere.

I also think some OTA types are more sensitive to their balance point in every axes by design, eg we know SCTs are inherently back-heavy while long refractors with attached eyepieces / cameras are more symetrically balanced in length, width and height, hence their center of mass easier to align in multiple positions.

That's my uneducated understanding anyway...

Clear skies,
Sébastien


De : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> de la part de M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
Envoyé : 4 août 2021 14:56
À : main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Objet : Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?
 
Thanks Roland

The DEC balance is spot on with the scope positioned on both west and east sides, but I still have the top heavy RA axis in Park 3.

Mike


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Roland Christen
 

Sometimes a finderscope or guide scope sticking out to the side will cause that. Dec seems balanced, but the actual weight is not centered along the axis.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 1:56 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

Thanks Roland

The DEC balance is spot on with the scope positioned on both west and east sides, but I still have the top heavy RA axis in Park 3.

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Current manuals electronically?

George
 

Mike,

 

Please send a photo of the setup.

 

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 M Hambrick
Sent: Wednesday, August 4, 2021 1:57 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

 

Thanks Roland

The DEC balance is spot on with the scope positioned on both west and east sides, but I still have the top heavy RA axis in Park 3.

Mike


Re: Current manuals electronically?

M Hambrick
 

Thanks Roland

The DEC balance is spot on with the scope positioned on both west and east sides, but I still have the top heavy RA axis in Park 3.

Mike


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Bill Long
 

Neutral balanced (rather than cw and camera side bias) improved the performance of the Mach 2 with the max capacity load on it that I've been running for this project. I assume the same will apply to the 1100, etc?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 4, 2021 8:26 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?
 
You can do rough balance in both axes but then:

Always balance Dec first before final balance in RA.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 10:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

Thanks for the heads-up Marj. I will wait for the new balancing recommendations.

In the meantime I have some questions about balancing that George, Howard, or Roland may want to comment on.

I have been taking advantage of the terrible weather here to check the balance of my imaging trains indoors. During this process I observed some behavior that has me concerned about whether my system is really balanced or not.

I followed the 9-step precision balancing procedure that is described in the current version (March, 2021) of the 1100 GTO manual:
  • Started from Park 3
  • Disengaged the RA gearbox and swung the CW shaft horizontal with the weights on the east side
  • Adjusted counterweights to achieve balance then slid bottom weight down slightly to bias weight very slightly towards the CW side.
  • Reengaged RA gearbox with CW shaft still in horizontal position.
  • Disengaged DEC gearbox and moved scope into horizontal orientation (facing south)
  • Moved scope in the dovetail to achieve balance, then slid slightly to camera end to bias weight slightly to the camera end.
  • Reengaged DEC gearbox
  • Repositioned the scope and mount into Park 3
After I completed this balancing procedure I disengaged the RA gearbox again with the mount in Park 3, and the scope immediately started rotating downwards. If I just let it go it would swung back and forth a few times and come to rest with the CW shaft approximately horizontal.

Next, I moved the mount into Park 2 and disengaged the RA gearbox again. This time the scope did not start swinging downwards, but behaved as it did during the RA balancing procedure with a slight bias toward the CW side.

The takeaway from this is that the RA balance is heavily dependent on the declination. My concern is how does this moving balance point affect the guiding performance.

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Current manuals electronically?

Roland Christen
 

You can do rough balance in both axes but then:

Always balance Dec first before final balance in RA.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Aug 4, 2021 10:12 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Current manuals electronically?

Thanks for the heads-up Marj. I will wait for the new balancing recommendations.

In the meantime I have some questions about balancing that George, Howard, or Roland may want to comment on.

I have been taking advantage of the terrible weather here to check the balance of my imaging trains indoors. During this process I observed some behavior that has me concerned about whether my system is really balanced or not.

I followed the 9-step precision balancing procedure that is described in the current version (March, 2021) of the 1100 GTO manual:
  • Started from Park 3
  • Disengaged the RA gearbox and swung the CW shaft horizontal with the weights on the east side
  • Adjusted counterweights to achieve balance then slid bottom weight down slightly to bias weight very slightly towards the CW side.
  • Reengaged RA gearbox with CW shaft still in horizontal position.
  • Disengaged DEC gearbox and moved scope into horizontal orientation (facing south)
  • Moved scope in the dovetail to achieve balance, then slid slightly to camera end to bias weight slightly to the camera end.
  • Reengaged DEC gearbox
  • Repositioned the scope and mount into Park 3
After I completed this balancing procedure I disengaged the RA gearbox again with the mount in Park 3, and the scope immediately started rotating downwards. If I just let it go it would swung back and forth a few times and come to rest with the CW shaft approximately horizontal.

Next, I moved the mount into Park 2 and disengaged the RA gearbox again. This time the scope did not start swinging downwards, but behaved as it did during the RA balancing procedure with a slight bias toward the CW side.

The takeaway from this is that the RA balance is heavily dependent on the declination. My concern is how does this moving balance point affect the guiding performance.

Mike

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Current manuals electronically?

M Hambrick
 

Thanks for the heads-up Marj. I will wait for the new balancing recommendations.

In the meantime I have some questions about balancing that George, Howard, or Roland may want to comment on.

I have been taking advantage of the terrible weather here to check the balance of my imaging trains indoors. During this process I observed some behavior that has me concerned about whether my system is really balanced or not.

I followed the 9-step precision balancing procedure that is described in the current version (March, 2021) of the 1100 GTO manual:
  • Started from Park 3
  • Disengaged the RA gearbox and swung the CW shaft horizontal with the weights on the east side
  • Adjusted counterweights to achieve balance then slid bottom weight down slightly to bias weight very slightly towards the CW side.
  • Reengaged RA gearbox with CW shaft still in horizontal position.
  • Disengaged DEC gearbox and moved scope into horizontal orientation (facing south)
  • Moved scope in the dovetail to achieve balance, then slid slightly to camera end to bias weight slightly to the camera end.
  • Reengaged DEC gearbox
  • Repositioned the scope and mount into Park 3
After I completed this balancing procedure I disengaged the RA gearbox again with the mount in Park 3, and the scope immediately started rotating downwards. If I just let it go it would swung back and forth a few times and come to rest with the CW shaft approximately horizontal.

Next, I moved the mount into Park 2 and disengaged the RA gearbox again. This time the scope did not start swinging downwards, but behaved as it did during the RA balancing procedure with a slight bias toward the CW side.

The takeaway from this is that the RA balance is heavily dependent on the declination. My concern is how does this moving balance point affect the guiding performance.

Mike


Re: Deep Trifid from Hawaii Island

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, 6:41 PM, Jeff B <mnebula946@...> wrote:

Wow Roland, it looks three dimensional.  

Well done sir!

Jeff

On Tue, Aug 3, 2021 at 7:35 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
I thought I would post this first to our group before making it available to the general public. This is a multi-week project that I was working on while testing mounts, CP4 and keypad functions during our recent trip to Hawaii Island. The very dark and clear skies made it possible to get some deep narrowband data.

The image was taken with my 175EDF refractor, my trusty QSI WSG8 camera, all mounted on a 1600 AE mount. I started each night with the scope under the mount, about 3.5 hours from the zenith and finished about 3.5 hours in the west with the scope on top. Seeing varied all over the place, at times better than 1.8 arc sec, and at worst over 6 arc sec. I used all frames to build the faint background image and then used the best frames for the central bright nebula.

Scope, mount and camera worked like a champ, and the roll-off roof only gave us one bad scare when the roof motor system blew a bearing. Marj and I worked until 3 am to get the roof closed, cause it does rain there occasionally. A quick call to Scott at Backyard Observatories got us a new shaft and bearing set in 2 days and we were back in business.


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Deep Trifid from Hawaii Island

Jeff B
 

Wow Roland, it looks three dimensional.  

Well done sir!

Jeff

On Tue, Aug 3, 2021 at 7:35 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
I thought I would post this first to our group before making it available to the general public. This is a multi-week project that I was working on while testing mounts, CP4 and keypad functions during our recent trip to Hawaii Island. The very dark and clear skies made it possible to get some deep narrowband data.

The image was taken with my 175EDF refractor, my trusty QSI WSG8 camera, all mounted on a 1600 AE mount. I started each night with the scope under the mount, about 3.5 hours from the zenith and finished about 3.5 hours in the west with the scope on top. Seeing varied all over the place, at times better than 1.8 arc sec, and at worst over 6 arc sec. I used all frames to build the faint background image and then used the best frames for the central bright nebula.

Scope, mount and camera worked like a champ, and the roll-off roof only gave us one bad scare when the roof motor system blew a bearing. Marj and I worked until 3 am to get the roof closed, cause it does rain there occasionally. A quick call to Scott at Backyard Observatories got us a new shaft and bearing set in 2 days and we were back in business.


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Deep Trifid from Hawaii Island

Roland Christen
 

I thought I would post this first to our group before making it available to the general public. This is a multi-week project that I was working on while testing mounts, CP4 and keypad functions during our recent trip to Hawaii Island. The very dark and clear skies made it possible to get some deep narrowband data.

The image was taken with my 175EDF refractor, my trusty QSI WSG8 camera, all mounted on a 1600 AE mount. I started each night with the scope under the mount, about 3.5 hours from the zenith and finished about 3.5 hours in the west with the scope on top. Seeing varied all over the place, at times better than 1.8 arc sec, and at worst over 6 arc sec. I used all frames to build the faint background image and then used the best frames for the central bright nebula.

Scope, mount and camera worked like a champ, and the roll-off roof only gave us one bad scare when the roof motor system blew a bearing. Marj and I worked until 3 am to get the roof closed, cause it does rain there occasionally. A quick call to Scott at Backyard Observatories got us a new shaft and bearing set in 2 days and we were back in business.

https://www.astrobin.com/full/bjp0m9/0/

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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