Date   

Jupiter and Saturn with AP 130 EDF

Jim Fakatselis
 

Thought I’d share some results with the vintage AP130 EDF on Mach1GTO and my new QHY5III485C OSC CMOS planetary camera.  First time I’ve tried OSC, not too bad for the north shore of Long Island   

Used a TV 5x Powermate barlow for an efl of f/30, around 3900mm! The seeing was unusually steady during the captures, best I’ve seen in quite a while   

Captured 5000 frames and used best 75% in Autostakkert3 and then AviStack for wavelet filtering.  

Jim
Peppermill Skies Observatory
Huntington, NY 

 


Re: To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

Mark Knogge
 

My favorite lube is Break-Free CLP but there are others too.
Should this be used on spacers and adaptors? They can be difficult to deal with at times. The difference between tight enough and joined for life seems small.

Mark


Re: Just had about 500 motor stall comm errors on Mach2

Roland Christen
 

Send me an e-mail and I may be able to help

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 7, 2021 7:14 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Just had about 500 motor stall comm errors on Mach2

Actually, I'm at 520 such motor stall errors and climbing! I've tried to move the mount (via SGPro and SkySafari) and have encountered this issue every time. I've encountered dozens (hundreds) of such errors anytime now I try to move the mount.  There are no unusual noises coming from the mount. I have not used the mount in about 4 weeks but nothing has changed since the last successful session a month ago. Here is image I took before it reached the maximum number of errors:




 
Mach2 with latest firmware
APCC v.1.8.8.17.
Power via PSVPW25A -- no apparent issues
Connected via TCP LAN with USB backup

What are my next steps?

Marty
PS: I had an issue with the mount earlier in which a couple of washers had come lose from the RA control unit but I sorted that out.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Just had about 500 motor stall comm errors on Mach2

mjb87@...
 
Edited

Thanks, Sébastien

I had two missing bolts and washers in my RA motor assembly which caused a (very loud) motor stall when the mount first arrived.  After discussion with Roland, I replaced the missing washers and bolts. I did also check the Dec motor assembly for anything missing and tightened the bolts at that time.  I'll check again just in case.

Marty


Re: Just had about 500 motor stall comm errors on Mach2

Sébastien Doré
 

Hi Marty,

Is any of your axis loose when parked (just wiggle it a bit by hand)? If yes, it looks similar to a problem I had a few weeks back.

Issue was a loose screw inside the Dec motor assembly that probably got loosen during shipping. Roland and folks at AP kindly guided me through the troubleshooting steps to solve issue. So I would suggest you contact them directly too so they can do the same for you no matter what your issue turns out to be.

Sébastien


Just had about 500 motor stall comm errors on Mach2

mjb87@...
 

Actually, I'm at 520 such motor stall errors and climbing! I've tried to move the mount (via SGPro and SkySafari) and have encountered this issue every time. I've encountered dozens (hundreds) of such errors anytime now I try to move the mount.  There are no unusual noises coming from the mount. I have not used the mount in about 4 weeks but nothing has changed since the last successful session a month ago. Here is image I took before it reached the maximum number of errors:




 
Mach2 with latest firmware
APCC v.1.8.8.17.
Power via PSVPW25A -- no apparent issues
Connected via TCP LAN with USB backup

What are my next steps?

Marty
PS: I had an issue with the mount earlier in which a couple of washers had come lose from the RA control unit but I sorted that out.


Re: To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

W Hilmo
 

Olive oil is a super food.  It’s really, really good for you.

 

Mixing it with bacon grease for fried chicken would not be such a great idea.  Olive oil breaks down at frying temperatures into compounds that have some toxicity.  I use it for lots of things, but not cooking.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 3:07 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

 

Roland: 

> I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Well, for me it's time of day.  Mornings are bacon, evenings are Olive.

And I guess night time for astronomy it is teflon impregnated.  So I better make sure the sautéed spinach is cooked before midnight.

More seriously, based on Christopher, it sounds like it's never harmful to add a bit.  The whole dissimilar metal chemistry thing is a bit of a mystery; I understand why things happen, but not what for which metals. Thanks.    

It's really sad how much cloudy nights gives one time to wonder about things.  I mean now, I am wondering if Olive and Bacon grease would mix well for fried chicken.  :) 


Re: APCC move axis question

Andy Ermolli
 

Oh wow thank you Ray! That is exactly right, I was always near the park 3 position. Thank you for looking into this!
I will update APCC right away.


Re: To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

Christopher Erickson
 

For me, the keto diet means olive oil and vinegar for the salad dressing and bacon bits in the huge salad! Along with boiled egg, black olives, green olives, nuts, seeds, lotsa green leafy stuff, three kinds of cheese and a bunch more.

Metallurgy is an entire science all to itself. Most metal and metalloid formulas oxidize in some way or another. Some combinations create electrolysis. When machined, some tear instead of being smoothly cut. Some chatter very easily when cut. Some require very high speed cutting, lots of pressure and lots of special cutting oil. Some are fine at low speed cutting. Some don't need any cutting oil at all. Some are tempered by heat and cooling processes, others are softened. Some can be pounded into different shapes, some would prefer to shatter. And some of the ones pounded into different shapes will mostly-return to their original shape when cooled. Some will return when heated. And all of them have different coefficients of thermal expansion. And wildly different melting points. There is one, gallium, that has a melting point just below human skin temperature. Put a cube of it in your hand and watch it melt. Some are toxic. Some are not. Some we don't really know for sure.

And titanium is really crazy stuff. And amazingly difficult to manufacture and work with. Processing titanium from raw ore even requires the titanium go through a gaseous state before being re-solidified and processed/refined further.

And all flavors of stainless steel (various formulas, different applications) still rust (oxidize.) It's just that the rust layer is usually only several molecules thick and is generally transparent.

At various times in the past I have tried to talk Roland into making us a super compact, travel "Mach10" out of titanium and other exotic materials. Price being no object. 

Let's just say I now know what Roland's "evil eye" expression looks like.

Metallurgy is crazy cool stuff.


"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 12:06 PM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

Roland: 

> I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Well, for me it's time of day.  Mornings are bacon, evenings are Olive.

And I guess night time for astronomy it is teflon impregnated.  So I better make sure the sautéed spinach is cooked before midnight.

More seriously, based on Christopher, it sounds like it's never harmful to add a bit.  The whole dissimilar metal chemistry thing is a bit of a mystery; I understand why things happen, but not what for which metals. Thanks.    

It's really sad how much cloudy nights gives one time to wonder about things.  I mean now, I am wondering if Olive and Bacon grease would mix well for fried chicken.  :) 


Re: To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Roland: 

> I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Well, for me it's time of day.  Mornings are bacon, evenings are Olive.

And I guess night time for astronomy it is teflon impregnated.  So I better make sure the sautéed spinach is cooked before midnight.

More seriously, based on Christopher, it sounds like it's never harmful to add a bit.  The whole dissimilar metal chemistry thing is a bit of a mystery; I understand why things happen, but not what for which metals. Thanks.    

It's really sad how much cloudy nights gives one time to wonder about things.  I mean now, I am wondering if Olive and Bacon grease would mix well for fried chicken.  :) 


Re: To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

Christopher Erickson
 

I ALWAYS put a small drop of Teflon-impregnated lubricant into the starting point of threads involving aluminum or stainless steel. My favorite lube is Break-Free CLP but there are others too.

ALWAYS.

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


On Tue, Sep 7, 2021, 10:25 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

So had an incident yesterday unrelated to the mount, some M54 spacers, but it reminded me to ask, and I think there are a lot of machinists out here... 

When should one apply lubricant to bolts (and similar) when attaching? 

I've been told (though in the context of boats) basically "always", and 'especially with dissimilar metals'.  And if I'm assembling something I expect to stay for years, I try to remember to put a dollop (a precise measure to be sure) on the bolt before threading it in.

It doesn't seem to be discussed much in astronomy, yet almost everything is stainless to aluminum, sometimes to stainless, and often in heavy humidity and dew, and often left outside (though I do not). 

So for example: The bolts holding the saddle to the DEC plate on the AP1100 -- a bit of grease?  What kind if so?  I have some Lubriplate I have been using, but I confess when I put the 1100 together I was changing it so often I did not bother.  Now that it is somewhat stable, should I just remove each bolt and add a dollop?  Or a half-dollop?

Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease?  It works for most things, keeps my arteries from rusting.

The idea of course being to ensure that down the road nothing has seized, and also reduce corrosion.

Is there a best practice we should be following? 

Am I over-thinking it and it just doesn't matter? 

Linwood


Re: To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

Roland Christen
 


Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease? 
I'm more oriented towards Mediterranean so i always use Olive oil (extra Virgin of course!).

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: ap@... <ap@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 7, 2021 3:25 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

So had an incident yesterday unrelated to the mount, some M54 spacers, but it reminded me to ask, and I think there are a lot of machinists out here... 

When should one apply lubricant to bolts (and similar) when attaching? 

I've been told (though in the context of boats) basically "always", and 'especially with dissimilar metals'.  And if I'm assembling something I expect to stay for years, I try to remember to put a dollop (a precise measure to be sure) on the bolt before threading it in.

It doesn't seem to be discussed much in astronomy, yet almost everything is stainless to aluminum, sometimes to stainless, and often in heavy humidity and dew, and often left outside (though I do not). 

So for example: The bolts holding the saddle to the DEC plate on the AP1100 -- a bit of grease?  What kind if so?  I have some Lubriplate I have been using, but I confess when I put the 1100 together I was changing it so often I did not bother.  Now that it is somewhat stable, should I just remove each bolt and add a dollop?  Or a half-dollop?

Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease?  It works for most things, keeps my arteries from rusting.

The idea of course being to ensure that down the road nothing has seized, and also reduce corrosion.

Is there a best practice we should be following? 

Am I over-thinking it and it just doesn't matter? 

Linwood


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


To grease or not to grease, that is the question....

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

So had an incident yesterday unrelated to the mount, some M54 spacers, but it reminded me to ask, and I think there are a lot of machinists out here... 

When should one apply lubricant to bolts (and similar) when attaching? 

I've been told (though in the context of boats) basically "always", and 'especially with dissimilar metals'.  And if I'm assembling something I expect to stay for years, I try to remember to put a dollop (a precise measure to be sure) on the bolt before threading it in.

It doesn't seem to be discussed much in astronomy, yet almost everything is stainless to aluminum, sometimes to stainless, and often in heavy humidity and dew, and often left outside (though I do not). 

So for example: The bolts holding the saddle to the DEC plate on the AP1100 -- a bit of grease?  What kind if so?  I have some Lubriplate I have been using, but I confess when I put the 1100 together I was changing it so often I did not bother.  Now that it is somewhat stable, should I just remove each bolt and add a dollop?  Or a half-dollop?

Or, being southern, should I use bacon grease?  It works for most things, keeps my arteries from rusting.

The idea of course being to ensure that down the road nothing has seized, and also reduce corrosion.

Is there a best practice we should be following? 

Am I over-thinking it and it just doesn't matter? 

Linwood


Re: Which Camera?

Bill Long
 

Recently placed a pre-order for the Atik APX60. Really hoping this one solves all the challenges previous IMX455 cameras have had and provides some stability. On paper, it looks pretty solid.

Meanwhile the 16803 continues to hum right along.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Monday, September 6, 2021 9:22 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which Camera?
 
I have not decided yet what to get. I'm looking at other possibilities. Meanwhile I'm having fun with my old QSI 683 - a real gem of a camera.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Martin <terry@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Sep 6, 2021 7:42 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Which Camera?

Hi Roland,

Did you ever decide on a camera?

If you decided on a QHY, I hope your experience is better than mine.  I had purchased a 268C, Early Bird Version, and when I got it and connected it all up I had lots of connection issues.  When I asked QHY for assistance all I was told that the camera had been tested before shipping and that it was fine (I had bought it directly from QHY).  Well, after some time it started working fine and I left it on the scope and didn't touch it.  I then decided to set up the camera on a different scope and I again got lots of connection issues.  Then I noticed that the USB connector was broken which was probably the problem all along.  Anyway, I sent the camera for repair through QHY repair service in the US. The camera was then sent to Hong Kong. After a couple months I sent them an email asking for an update and was told that the camera could not be repaired in Hong Kong and therefore needed to be sent to Beijing.  I sent them more emails with no response until after 5 months when I finally heard from QHY and was told that they would replace the camera.  I received the camera today, but what I got was a used camera and not even the same model camera.  I had sent an Early Bird version and what I received was a Photographic version. From what I remember there was a significant price difference between the two versions.  To say that I'm not impressed would be a major understatement.

I hope your luck is better than mine.

Terry

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: PEM Curve vs. Worm Gear Position

billk@...
 
Edited

Thanks Bill. I found this under a PEM topic and it was just the technical rationale I was looking for. Just happened to find it after posting:

And here are some more great and exclusive features of AP electronics that AP doesn't bother to mention in their literature or specifications:
 
A. Power-loss detection and data preservation. AP servo controllers can detect when power has been lost/cut and by using a special "brownout protection circuit" they quickly save the worm gear angle, worm wheel angle and spur gear train rotation position to NVRAM. That way the controllers know exactly where the spur and worm gears and wheels are positioned when power is restored. This is how the PEM data is kept in sync and how the controller already knows where the mount is pointed when it is powered up. Of course if a user is doing portable setups and/or the clutches are opened, the controller won't know if the OTA is pointing to stuff accurately or not. A single Calibration/Sync will fix that, when needed. This is also a great feature at star parties and outreach events. If someone kicks out your power connection, all you have to do is restore power, initialize the CP1/2/3/4 servo controller (automatic with the AP hand controller) and do another GOTO the object to get it back in the center of the eyepiece and track it 

Thanks for the quick answers - 

Bill K.


Re: #APCC Pro 1.9 w/ASTAP platesolve test always fails #APCC

Sébastien Doré
 

Thanks for the educative insights, Dale and Ray.

It is true that feature is probably not « necessary ». ASTAP is able to solve my subs after all. But while not « horrific » (and definitely not roasting, freezing is much more a concern at my place), my system f-ratio (F10) / FL (2132) with an image scale of 0,42 ‘’/px is « challenging », I’d say. My exposure time with this system is 15s at ISO 3200 which I found to be the sweet spot relative to exposure + solving time. And the very reason I ticked the box in the first place was to try shorter (5-10s) exposure times without burying the signal in noise and hence still be able to solve quickly (which I obviously haven’t been able to do yet). As I setup / tear down each night, I’m trying to save as much time as possible building a model.

One might argue that the new DEC-ark modeling alone will save me much more time in comparison to all-sky that I should not worry about the 5-10s/point savings, and it is a fair point. But since I have never use modeling before (freshly new AP mount user), from my standpoint, that additionnal step (modeling) is one more thing to account for in my planning, so I’m trying to mitigate its impact as much as possible...

Anyway, just exposing my need/situation here, so take it for what it is. Definitely not criticizing your work guys. Really happy to see so much integration between platforms (re NINA, AP ecosystem, ASTAP) and the way you take into account what users are reporting (when relevant)!

FWIW, if AP’s feature request platform would be up and running ;-), I’d vote FOR the option to specify/use a master dark as Dale suggested.

Clear skies!
Sébastien


Re: PEM Curve vs. Worm Gear Position

W Hilmo
 

The interface between the worm and the wheel (which is what you are affecting when you balance) has a 24 hour period.? This is not something that you need to worry about with PEM.

The key to knowing whether you need to redo PEM or not is knowing whether the mount can keep track of the worm position.? If you make any adjustments to the spur gears inside the gearbox, the mount will not know about the new position, so you would need to redo PEM after such an adjustment.

-Wade

On 9/7/21 10:51 AM, Bill Long wrote:
No, disengaging the worm for balance will not cause a problem with your PEM Curve.?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of billk@... <billk@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 8:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] PEM Curve vs. Worm Gear Position
?
I just started doing some astrophotography with my new 1100 and I have been reading up on PEM. Since I'm new to PEM and I cannot seem to find an answer to my simple question, I figured I would just ask it here. I'm curious if there is anything about the PEM curve application that is affected when the worm gears are disengaged from the RA/DEC drive gears for checking balance etc.? Does the mount's servo system have sensors to know the exact position of the worm gears such that there are no phasing issues?


Re: PEM Curve vs. Worm Gear Position

Bill Long
 

No, disengaging the worm for balance will not cause a problem with your PEM Curve. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of billk@... <billk@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 8:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] PEM Curve vs. Worm Gear Position
 
I just started doing some astrophotography with my new 1100 and I have been reading up on PEM. Since I'm new to PEM and I cannot seem to find an answer to my simple question, I figured I would just ask it here. I'm curious if there is anything about the PEM curve application that is affected when the worm gears are disengaged from the RA/DEC drive gears for checking balance etc.? Does the mount's servo system have sensors to know the exact position of the worm gears such that there are no phasing issues?


PEM Curve vs. Worm Gear Position

billk@...
 

I just started doing some astrophotography with my new 1100 and I have been reading up on PEM. Since I'm new to PEM and I cannot seem to find an answer to my simple question, I figured I would just ask it here. I'm curious if there is anything about the PEM curve application that is affected when the worm gears are disengaged from the RA/DEC drive gears for checking balance etc.? Does the mount's servo system have sensors to know the exact position of the worm gears such that there are no phasing issues?


Re: CP4 not creating a COM port...

Khushrow Machhi
 

It's all good now.  Reseated the board, downloaded the CP4 FTDI driver and everything is back to normal.

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