Date   

Re: Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Jeff B
 

Really nice Roland and one of my favorites too, in fact, the very first deep sky object I saw with my first telescope, a Sears 2" F11 achromat.

I've noticed that you and other skilled imagers manage to bring out a decided 3D effect on this nebula, almost like I'm peering down into it.

Thanks!

Jeff

On Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 12:51 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just got around to processing my winter project. Images were taken back in February on one bitter cold clear night at our northern Illinois observatory.
This much-photographed object is still one of my favorites of the winter sky. It brings back fond memories of my youth, first observing it with a small 30mm achromat lens when I lived in Canada.


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Roland Christen
 

Just got around to processing my winter project. Images were taken back in February on one bitter cold clear night at our northern Illinois observatory.
This much-photographed object is still one of my favorites of the winter sky. It brings back fond memories of my youth, first observing it with a small 30mm achromat lens when I lived in Canada.

https://www.astrobin.com/aqv6e3/0/

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

 

Hello,

 

Just a reminder for those who procrastinated – the deadline for completing the form is noon, central daylight savings time – TODAY!

 

Yes, I know the last week passed very quickly.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of Karen Christen
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2021 2:17 PM
To: ap-ug@groups.io
Subject: [ap-ug] 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

 

Hello Astro-Nuts,

The fourth production run of our 92mm f6.65 Stowaway is well underway and we have contacted all of the remaining people who had signed up on our notification list in April 2018.  Roland fulfilled his promise of making enough scopes for everyone who signed up the first time who wanted one.  We are producing more scopes that will need a good home. So, now what do we do? 

After much deliberation we’ve decided to offer the remaining scopes in a random-drawing format.  This is a departure from our usual processes, so we know you have questions.  We have answers:

Why can’t I just order one? We wanted to provide an equal opportunity to people who would really like to own and use this scope. If we simply opened our phone lines to take orders, it would favor people who live in particular time zones and only those who happened to hear about it. We anticipate that they would have sold out very quickly, possibly even before people on the other side of the globe were awake. Since we have an international following, we wanted to give everyone an opportunity.

What do you mean, random drawing?  For one week from Friday, July 30 to Friday, August 6 (12pm noon central daylight savings time), anyone can sign up on the 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form.  It does not matter when you sign up, as long as it’s within the sign-up window.  From this group of interested people, we will randomly choose the people who will be notified of the opportunity to purchase a 92mm Stowaway.

Why aren’t you just notifying people in order of when they signed up, like usual?  Traditionally we have collected names of those interested in a particular product in chronological order and notified folks of the opportunity to purchase the item in that order.  We’ve occasionally received criticism, most especially if the list is only open for a short time, from folks who were unaware of the list, on vacation, on the other side of the world and asleep when the list was open, etc.

We only have a limited number of Stowaways and wanted to give everyone an equal chance to purchase one.  With advanced notice and a one-week sign-up window, we hope to catch everyone who might be interested in this scope.

How do I sign up?  Go to the 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form and fill in all the required fields, including your name, phone number, email address and billing address.  The link to this form will be available on July 30th at noon on the Availability tab of the 92mm Stowaway website page: www.astro-physics.com/92f665

When can I sign up?  The 92mm Stowaway 2021 Random Drawing Entry form will be available from July 30 to August 6 (12pm noon central daylight savings time for both). 

Will I receive a confirmation of my sign-up?  Yes.  Following submission, a confirmation window will appear. Assuming that you provided a valid email address, you will also receive an auto-generated confirmation email with all of the information that you provided for your reference. If you do NOT receive a confirmation email, it may be in your spam folder or you may have entered an incorrect email address. 

When will I know if I was selected?  After the deadline, we will contact the people whose names we draw randomly from the entries. This process may take several months since we do not sell the final scopes in the run until they are completed. We will post periodic messages on the Availability tab of the 92mm Stowaway website page regarding the status of the drawing: www.astro-physics.com/92f665

When would I pay for my order?  The order process will remain the same as usual: Once you’re notified, you will have 2 weeks to decide whether to purchase and submit a 50% deposit.  At that time a scope will be reserved for you and we will provide an estimated date of delivery.

We wish you luck!

The Astro-Folks


Re: Mach2 runaway behavior

Luca Marinelli
 

Thank you for taking a look, Ray. Let me know if there is any data I can provide that would be helpful.

Luca

On Aug 6, 2021, at 9:30 AM, Ray Gralak via groups.io <iogroups=siriusimaging.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Luca,

For some reason, APCC thinks the Home operation failed. The slew to Home completed the move, but there was no attempt by APCC to sync the mount. I'm not sure why (yet).

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Luca Marinelli
Sent: Thursday, August 5, 2021 7:43 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 runaway behavior

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: Mach2 runaway behavior

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Luca,

For some reason, APCC thinks the Home operation failed. The slew to Home completed the move, but there was no attempt by APCC to sync the mount. I'm not sure why (yet).

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Luca Marinelli
Sent: Thursday, August 5, 2021 7:43 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach2 runaway behavior

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 AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

Ray Gralak
 

I would like to understand: Do we have a „Home“ function also for non encoder mounts? How is „software home“
implemented?
Yes, APCC has a Home function for non-encoder mounts, but to work homing requires that the scope not be moved by loosening the clutches. This should be the case at a remote site.

It works by saving the home position's RA and Dec angles, and allows recovery from such scenarios as:
* A bad sync/recal.
* Uncorrected time change/ bad time zone settings.
* Incorrect Latitude/Longitude configuration.
* Unparking from the wrong Park number (e.g. the mount is physically at Park position 3, but was unparked from a different park position number).

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Horia
Sent: Thursday, August 5, 2021 2:12 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

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: new user's Keypad ? #Keypad

Dean Jacobsen
 

One of the happiest days of my life was the day I sold my 10” x 42” ATS portable pier that I used for my 1200.  That was a heavy beast and I had to lift it up on the tailgate of my F350 4x4 and then down twice each trip.  The 1200 and the ATS pier were eventually downsized to a 900 and Losmandy HD pier when all of the heavy lifting got old… or I got old… or both.
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


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

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