Date   

Re: Mach 2 Torture Data

Roland Christen
 

Tons of detail. Great image!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: AP-GTO Groups. io <ap-gto@groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Aug 7, 2021 4:57 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Torture Data

Hello all,

Thought I would share some of the data that came from the torture test I put the Mach 2 through. For those not aware, I loaded up about ~68lbs of scope, camera, and accessories on the Mach 2 and ran it for 10 nights collecting narrowband data. 

The results are impressive.

I placed 2 subs, one normal stack of HA data, and a drizzle integrated HA stack here:


Scope: AG Optical 12.5" iDK
Camera: FLI Proline 16803 w/ CFW 5-7 wheel
Focuser: MoonLite Nitecrawler WR35
Guider: Optec Sagitta OAG + SX Ultrastar Guide Camera 
Filter: Chroma 3nm HA, 50mm square
Mount: The Amazing AP Mach 2 GTO
Software: APCC Pro, PHD2 Guiding, Starkeeper Voyager, AG Optical Thermal Control 
Exposures: 46 x 1200s (20 mins) HA
Calibration Data: 50 Bias, 19 darks, 60 flats (SkyFlats w/ Voyager)

I am still working through the SII and OIII data. I need one more night of SII which I should be able to collect on Monday night (fingers crossed). Looking forward to seeing the end image.

Nice work by AP on what is proving to be an incredibly mighty and impressive mount. To say I love my Mach 2 would be putting it lightly. :) 

-Bill



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Steven Panish
 

See my post from last night!  A loose DEC worm spur-gear lockscrew gives the same symptoms, except since the mesh is still good, you won't get any shaft wiggle.  Slow rates just take forever to turn the shaft enough to get rid of the play.  Guiding corrections will fail to do anything.  Just wish I hadn't ordered the y-cable.

Steve

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021 at 8:56 AM Chris White <chris.white@...> wrote:
The other night my guiding went haywire using my 900GTO.  It's worked flawlessly for several months so I initially thought I was having a software problem.  Essentially, after about 60 seconds of guiding dec would drift a little bit and despite PHD sending corrections, it would not respond.  To compound the issue, not only was DEC calibration failing in PHD, but also RA was requiring about 25 steps to clear the backlash. 

I spend a couple of hours debugging software, trying to see if APPC model correction could have impacted it.  I also changed PHD versions, and rebooted gear several times.  I checked my balance and fine tuned... I dialed in my PA (observatory mounted) but nothing seemed to work.

My last ditch was to see if there was a backlash issue, which in hindsight based on the behavior should have been my first check.  Sure enough, there was wiggle in DEC.  RA was solid.  The locking bolts for the motor/gearbox were gorilla tight, but following the AP PDF I remeshed in about 30 seconds and all of my problems were solved!  Gotta love this user friendly design to allow a quick and easy field adjustment.  In the PDF it explained that seasonally the mesh may need to be tweaked, so I assume that my wild Vermont temperature swings led to this. 

Well, now I know!  Of course, those of you who have mounts that automesh dont need to worry about this, but thought I would tell the story as there are a TON of older mounts out there that are faithfully performing like a champ!


PSA- Check your gear mesh! (Older mounts)

Chris White
 

The other night my guiding went haywire using my 900GTO.  It's worked flawlessly for several months so I initially thought I was having a software problem.  Essentially, after about 60 seconds of guiding dec would drift a little bit and despite PHD sending corrections, it would not respond.  To compound the issue, not only was DEC calibration failing in PHD, but also RA was requiring about 25 steps to clear the backlash. 

I spend a couple of hours debugging software, trying to see if APPC model correction could have impacted it.  I also changed PHD versions, and rebooted gear several times.  I checked my balance and fine tuned... I dialed in my PA (observatory mounted) but nothing seemed to work.

My last ditch was to see if there was a backlash issue, which in hindsight based on the behavior should have been my first check.  Sure enough, there was wiggle in DEC.  RA was solid.  The locking bolts for the motor/gearbox were gorilla tight, but following the AP PDF I remeshed in about 30 seconds and all of my problems were solved!  Gotta love this user friendly design to allow a quick and easy field adjustment.  In the PDF it explained that seasonally the mesh may need to be tweaked, so I assume that my wild Vermont temperature swings led to this. 

Well, now I know!  Of course, those of you who have mounts that automesh dont need to worry about this, but thought I would tell the story as there are a TON of older mounts out there that are faithfully performing like a champ!


Mach 2 Torture Data

Bill Long
 

Hello all,

Thought I would share some of the data that came from the torture test I put the Mach 2 through. For those not aware, I loaded up about ~68lbs of scope, camera, and accessories on the Mach 2 and ran it for 10 nights collecting narrowband data. 

The results are impressive.

I placed 2 subs, one normal stack of HA data, and a drizzle integrated HA stack here:


Scope: AG Optical 12.5" iDK
Camera: FLI Proline 16803 w/ CFW 5-7 wheel
Focuser: MoonLite Nitecrawler WR35
Guider: Optec Sagitta OAG + SX Ultrastar Guide Camera 
Filter: Chroma 3nm HA, 50mm square
Mount: The Amazing AP Mach 2 GTO
Software: APCC Pro, PHD2 Guiding, Starkeeper Voyager, AG Optical Thermal Control 
Exposures: 46 x 1200s (20 mins) HA
Calibration Data: 50 Bias, 19 darks, 60 flats (SkyFlats w/ Voyager)

I am still working through the SII and OIII data. I need one more night of SII which I should be able to collect on Monday night (fingers crossed). Looking forward to seeing the end image.

Nice work by AP on what is proving to be an incredibly mighty and impressive mount. To say I love my Mach 2 would be putting it lightly. :) 

-Bill



Re: Mach2 runaway behavior

Luca Marinelli
 

Tonight I tried a different experiment and before starting the sequence, I manually sent the mount home. When I started the sequence, the first slew was to the target and the mount did not rotate into the pier. One thing that was curious is that even that I had both pointing and tracking correction checked with a loaded model, the mount did not start using the model until i manually unchecked and re-checked the check boxes.

Luca


Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Roland Christen
 

Great! Glad it's working and not needing repair.

Yes, the spur gear locking screw can come loose over the years on the 900/1200 mounts. Both on the RA and the Dec gearboxes.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Panish <scpanish@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 6, 2021 9:07 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Hi All,
Problem is resolved.  The lock screw on the worm spur gear was loose.   Diagnosis by George...Thanks!  Big improvement in guiding too.

Steve

On Tue, Aug 3, 2021 at 3:28 PM George <george@...> wrote:
Steven,
 
Please use my email below.   
 
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 Steven Panish
Sent: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 1:59 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3
 
Thanks George.  I considered freeing up the box, but that mucks up my cabling.  A new y-cable will be here tomorrow and **maybe** that will work.  If not I'll give you a call since the issue is deeper, and at that point I really will need to start taking things apart.
 
Steve
 
On Mon, Aug 2, 2021 at 10:12 AM George <george@...> wrote:
Steve,
 
If the cable won’t come to the box, take the box to the cable!   You have to free the CP3 from the mount and then reverse the cables…yes, the box will dangle in the air.
 
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 Steven Panish
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 10:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3
 
Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.  
 
There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.
 
There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.
 
Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.
 
Steve
 
On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:
 
 
On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:

Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.
 
Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case. 
 
 
And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   
 
On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation
TJF Mobile
 
On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:

Eric,
The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.   And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.
Steve
 
 
 
On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Steven Panish
 

Hi All,
Problem is resolved.  The lock screw on the worm spur gear was loose.   Diagnosis by George...Thanks!  Big improvement in guiding too.

Steve

On Tue, Aug 3, 2021 at 3:28 PM George <george@...> wrote:

Steven,

 

Please use my email below.   

 

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 Steven Panish
Sent: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 1:59 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

 

Thanks George.  I considered freeing up the box, but that mucks up my cabling.  A new y-cable will be here tomorrow and **maybe** that will work.  If not I'll give you a call since the issue is deeper, and at that point I really will need to start taking things apart.

 

Steve

 

On Mon, Aug 2, 2021 at 10:12 AM George <george@...> wrote:

Steve,

 

If the cable won’t come to the box, take the box to the cable!   You have to free the CP3 from the mount and then reverse the cables…yes, the box will dangle in the air.

 

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 Steven Panish
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 10:29 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

 

Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.  

 

There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.

 

There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.

 

Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.

 

Steve

 

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:

 

 

On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:



Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.

 

Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.

I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case. 

 

 

And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.


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

 

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation

TJF Mobile

 

On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:



Eric,

The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.   And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.

Steve

 

 

 

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:

Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Being a totally visual guy, I wouldn?t know which one to get but, congratulations!!

Jim

On Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 8:42 PM KHursh via groups.io <khursh@...> wrote:
Well, I was just called by my favorite "Karen" tonight and I will soon be the owner of a new Stowaway. I can't believe my good fortune. Now, do I want the flattener or the reducer? Decisions ... decisions...

Kevin


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

Frost David
 

Congrats!!  I would recommend getting both at the same time as the scope.  Get them while readily available.

David



On Aug 6, 2021, at 7:42 PM, KHursh via groups.io <khursh@...> wrote:

Well, I was just called by my favorite "Karen" tonight and I will soon be the owner of a new Stowaway. I can't believe my good fortune. Now, do I want the flattener or the reducer? Decisions ... decisions...

Kevin


Re: 92mm Stowaway 4th Run Update

KHursh
 

Well, I was just called by my favorite "Karen" tonight and I will soon be the owner of a new Stowaway. I can't believe my good fortune. Now, do I want the flattener or the reducer? Decisions ... decisions...

Kevin


Re: Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Eric Weiner
 

👍 Thanks.


Re: Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Roland Christen
 

It's 5 nm. The 10 sec exposures are for the Trapezium stars and the surrounding area. More than 10 seconds and the Trapezium stars would begin to saturate and bloat out.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Weiner <weinere@...>
To: Reply To Group <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Aug 6, 2021 3:47 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Roland,
At the risk of opening up a can of worms (sooo many opinions on this matter), do you mind if ask what the passband width of H-alpha filter you used for this image is?  It seems like it would necessarily need to be fairly wide with 10s subs.  But then again, M42 is pretty bright. 
 
Eric

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Jeff B
 

👍

On Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 4:27 PM Worsel via groups.io <bryancashion=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Tom

This question comes up over in general imaging forums.  Some 'interesting approaches arise.

See  https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/408507-mount-balance-meridian-flip-and-automation/

Thank you, Roland and A-P, for a more elegant solution!!
"Our mounts have spring loaded worms, so do not need to be unbalanced."

Bryan


Re: Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Eric Weiner
 

Roland,
At the risk of opening up a can of worms (sooo many opinions on this matter), do you mind if ask what the passband width of H-alpha filter you used for this image is?  It seems like it would necessarily need to be fairly wide with 10s subs.  But then again, M42 is pretty bright. 
 
Eric


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Worsel
 

Tom

This question comes up over in general imaging forums.  Some 'interesting approaches arise.

See  https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/408507-mount-balance-meridian-flip-and-automation/

Thank you, Roland and A-P, for a more elegant solution!!
"Our mounts have spring loaded worms, so do not need to be unbalanced."

Bryan


Re: Winter project - Cradle of Starbirth

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Fantastic image. It never ceases to amaze how much detail can be captured with Ha only.


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Roland Christen
 

Yes, even the 900/1200 had spring action in the gearbox mounting. Mach1 also.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff B <mnebula946@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 6, 2021 2:19 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Roland, does that include the older mounts like the 900/1200 and Mach 1?

Jeff

On Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 3:15 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
For Astro-Physics mounts best practice is to balance. Our mounts have spring loaded worms, so do not need to be unbalanced.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 6, 2021 1:52 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Hi
I have read that best practice is to have the balance heavier on the counterweight side when imaging to the east. Ok, makes sense.
However what happens at Meridian flip? It's now completely wrong.
Explanation?
Tom

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Jeff B
 

Roland, does that include the older mounts like the 900/1200 and Mach 1?

Jeff

On Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 3:15 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
For Astro-Physics mounts best practice is to balance. Our mounts have spring loaded worms, so do not need to be unbalanced.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 6, 2021 1:52 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Hi
I have read that best practice is to have the balance heavier on the counterweight side when imaging to the east. Ok, makes sense.
However what happens at Meridian flip? It's now completely wrong.
Explanation?
Tom

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Roland Christen
 

For Astro-Physics mounts best practice is to balance. Our mounts have spring loaded worms, so do not need to be unbalanced.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Blahovici <tom.va2fsq@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 6, 2021 1:52 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Hi
I have read that best practice is to have the balance heavier on the counterweight side when imaging to the east. Ok, makes sense.
However what happens at Meridian flip? It's now completely wrong.
Explanation?
Tom

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Balance: what happens at Meridian flip?

Tom Blahovici
 

Hi
I have read that best practice is to have the balance heavier on the counterweight side when imaging to the east. Ok, makes sense.
However what happens at Meridian flip? It's now completely wrong.
Explanation?
Tom

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