Date   

Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

jimwc@...
 

I was browsing the internet for roil off observatories. I saw one that was about the size of the old walk in close the door telephone booth.
it had room for his mount, Telescope, computer, etc.. open the door and roll it back on rails .
Google roll off observatories.
Jim  


Re: Interesting way to image with a cheap mount

Christopher M
 

My apologies for going down a garden path.  I do like Mr Ghent's summary image.  :)
Agreed, but I suspect there will always be people who will say or claim such-and-such is just as good as so-and-so.  And there will those who will actually know.  Actually I think most people will know quality when they witness it, be it a telescope mount or a car or whatever.


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Arvind
 

I used those semi-transparent and extremely lightweight container store box to ensure the smaller items don't get thrown around in case I need to swerve at high speeds. The mount itself mostly stayed on the blanket & yoga mats on my SUV.




On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 11:18 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

Thomas Giannaccini wrote:

 

  • Storage facilities often rent space in their secured lot to store a trailer. Sometimes getting 24hr access costs a little extra, I think that is a point of negotiation. I think it just depends on what matters to you most. Used trailers aren’t really that expensive. I agree that storage is the main issue. My mount/tripod is on a dolly with pneumatic wheels. Just something to consider. What is your time and the reduction of stress worth?

 

Sorry, lived on a small farm for decades, and used more types of trailers than I can even remember, as well as later kayak and jet skies and boats.

 

I am just not going to put a delicate piece of equipment on one.  Don’t care if I had one and could store it, it’s just not going to happen.

 


Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

psparkman@...
 

Hi everyone,

I have an AP1100 running APCC Pro with a C14 mounted.  I live in suburban San Diego and have been using it on my back patio with a Telegizmo's cover.  I want to make the absolutely smallest rolloff box enclosure that I can do.  We have a small yard, and in order to keep the wife acceptance factor high enough, it needs to be as small and especially low as I can get away with.  I never do visual, and the weather and wind here are very mild, so I am thinking of building a small box that rolls off to one side on rails and making the pier as low as I can.  This will make it easy to get to everything on the mount and scope.  

To keep it as low as possible, I want to design it around the Park 5 position.  Of course that creates the problem that I need to solve.  I can put an optical interlock on the roll off enclosure to prevent it moving if the scope is not in Park 5 to prevent scope decapitation.  But I am looking for a good solution to prevent the mount from unparking and slewing out of Park 5 if the enclosure is closed.  It would be easy to do an interlock relay that would turn power off to the mount if the enclosure is over the scope, but that seems somewhat brute force and it would make automation a bit more challenging from a sequencing perspective.  Is there a more elegant solution using the APCC software solution that would prevent any movement of the mount if the enclosure is over the scope?

I know that most of you would say just make the box large enough to always clear to be safe.  But that is not an option as it would be too tall and fail the WAF test.  So I want to find the most robust solution possible to ensure that everything is protected.


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Thomas Giannaccini wrote:

 

  • Storage facilities often rent space in their secured lot to store a trailer. Sometimes getting 24hr access costs a little extra, I think that is a point of negotiation. I think it just depends on what matters to you most. Used trailers aren’t really that expensive. I agree that storage is the main issue. My mount/tripod is on a dolly with pneumatic wheels. Just something to consider. What is your time and the reduction of stress worth?

 

Sorry, lived on a small farm for decades, and used more types of trailers than I can even remember, as well as later kayak and jet skies and boats.

 

I am just not going to put a delicate piece of equipment on one.  Don’t care if I had one and could store it, it’s just not going to happen.

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Thomas Giannaccini
 

Storage facilities often rent space in their secured lot to store a trailer. Sometimes getting 24hr access costs a little extra, I think that is a point of negotiation. I think it just depends on what matters to you most. Used trailers aren’t really that expensive. I agree that storage is the main issue. My mount/tripod is on a dolly with pneumatic wheels. Just something to consider. What is your time and the reduction of stress worth?

On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 11:57 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

Thomas Giannaccini wrote:

 

  • I’m assuming transporting the entire mount/pier setup fully assembled on a dolly strapped into an enclosed trailer is not an option?

 

While it has a certain simplicity appeal (heck I wouldn’t even have to remove it at the dark site), buying a trailer, finding a place to store a trailer (I live in an HOA community where they are not allowed) is not really in the cards.

 

I also would think that just the height of the tripod would cause any back and forth motion to be terribly exaggerated unless there was some serious dampening.  Most utility trailers are hardly a smooth ride.

 

The real solution is a pellet gun to take out the nearby street lights, and keep observing from my back yard.  But I’m told that remotely imaging from jail might not be permitted.  😊

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Thomas Giannaccini wrote:

 

  • I’m assuming transporting the entire mount/pier setup fully assembled on a dolly strapped into an enclosed trailer is not an option?

 

While it has a certain simplicity appeal (heck I wouldn’t even have to remove it at the dark site), buying a trailer, finding a place to store a trailer (I live in an HOA community where they are not allowed) is not really in the cards.

 

I also would think that just the height of the tripod would cause any back and forth motion to be terribly exaggerated unless there was some serious dampening.  Most utility trailers are hardly a smooth ride.

 

The real solution is a pellet gun to take out the nearby street lights, and keep observing from my back yard.  But I’m told that remotely imaging from jail might not be permitted.  😊

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Thomas Giannaccini
 

I’m assuming transporting the entire mount/pier setup fully assembled on a dolly strapped into an enclosed trailer is not an option?



On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 11:39 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

Jimwc wrote:

 

  • Original packing is the best. AP packed it the way they did for a reason.

My failing memory is showing here but… when AP packs them, are the gears disengaged, or left engaged?

 

I have no memory of needing to engage them, I think they shipped it engaged, but am not sure.

 

I do have the original packing, but wanted to save it from wear and tear in case I ever need to return it.

 

Seriously – to all those showing me case solutions – I get it, seen most of them posted elsewhere.  I’m not against it and may end up with one of those.  I was just looking for evaluation of this possibility.

 

Donald Rudny wrote;

 

  • On your idea to bolt it to the floor, I would be concerned about the connection to the floor of your SUV.  

 

That looks pretty manageable.  I have a compartment under the floor, so there’s a removable panel.  I had a bike mount there before so am familiar with it.  There’s plenty of room to put a backing board to distribute the load as well.  I’m really not worried about that aspect (well, again, absent an accident, but all bets are off for any packaging in an accident).

 

It’s vibration that concerns me, since in that position you cannot disengage the gears, at least without it flopping around.

 

J. Belden wrote:

 

  • I just put my mount on my front seat and buckled it in, seriously I did.  Also, did the same for C14, no issues.  Though, now I have an AP1600 so thats a bit too heavy for either seat.  So I have been using the factory boxes in my truck bed but only went to one star party this year.

 

I’ve thought of that also.  With my CEM70 on the Berlebach, I actually just had a big pile of moving blankets, lots of padding, and disconnected the gears and locked the RA axis (with a pin) and laid the tripod + mount down on the pads.   It worked great.  The AP1100 is too heavy for that (plus some other structural reasons).   But I’m looking for something similarly easy, and just have no (other) use for a case.  It’s just something else big and awkward I need to find room to store.  When not in use, the mount lives on the tripod, it won’t be put in a case.

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Jimwc wrote:

 

  • Original packing is the best. AP packed it the way they did for a reason.

My failing memory is showing here but… when AP packs them, are the gears disengaged, or left engaged?

 

I have no memory of needing to engage them, I think they shipped it engaged, but am not sure.

 

I do have the original packing, but wanted to save it from wear and tear in case I ever need to return it.

 

Seriously – to all those showing me case solutions – I get it, seen most of them posted elsewhere.  I’m not against it and may end up with one of those.  I was just looking for evaluation of this possibility.

 

Donald Rudny wrote;

 

  • On your idea to bolt it to the floor, I would be concerned about the connection to the floor of your SUV.  

 

That looks pretty manageable.  I have a compartment under the floor, so there’s a removable panel.  I had a bike mount there before so am familiar with it.  There’s plenty of room to put a backing board to distribute the load as well.  I’m really not worried about that aspect (well, again, absent an accident, but all bets are off for any packaging in an accident).

 

It’s vibration that concerns me, since in that position you cannot disengage the gears, at least without it flopping around.

 

J. Belden wrote:

 

  • I just put my mount on my front seat and buckled it in, seriously I did.  Also, did the same for C14, no issues.  Though, now I have an AP1600 so thats a bit too heavy for either seat.  So I have been using the factory boxes in my truck bed but only went to one star party this year.

 

I’ve thought of that also.  With my CEM70 on the Berlebach, I actually just had a big pile of moving blankets, lots of padding, and disconnected the gears and locked the RA axis (with a pin) and laid the tripod + mount down on the pads.   It worked great.  The AP1100 is too heavy for that (plus some other structural reasons).   But I’m looking for something similarly easy, and just have no (other) use for a case.  It’s just something else big and awkward I need to find room to store.  When not in use, the mount lives on the tripod, it won’t be put in a case.

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Donald Rudny
 

I use the attached Husky container from Home Depot to carry my 1100.  I don’t need to separate the halves and I just use the foam pieces that it was shipped with to cushion it.  CW shaft removed.  I carry it in the bed of my F150 and push it to the bulkhead.  I have a backflip tonneau cover that protects it and all my other equipment from rain.  It has wheels and a handle, if you need to move it, it is portable.  The handle is retractable.  I wouldn’t use this to ship anywhere, but it works great for local trips with your vehicle.  It’s nice for home storage, too.  

On your idea to bolt it to the floor, I would be concerned about the connection to the floor of your SUV.  You could get some high loading during braking.  Got to figured 1g with a heavy mount and fairly high CG.  The accident thing is another big concern.

Don


Don Rudny
Pepeekeo, HI 96783-0106


On Sep 11, 2021, at 6:18 AM, ap@... wrote:

I have been looking at various cases people have built, planning what to do, but I had a thought and curious if it's a sane one.

I am not hauling this through airports or checking baggage.  It will ride in my SUV, then go from the back about 10' to a tripod when I get to a dark site, then back.  It's a 90 minute drive and no off-roading (i.e. reasonably smooth ride).  There's no need to protect the mount from anything but the ride itself.

What if I bought a pier adapter, one of the flat ones, and just screwed it to the floor in the back of the SUV.  Then to move the mount it comes off the tripod, and onto this SUV mount.  Pop in 3 or so screws.   No OTA or counterweights of course.  

No case, no foam it just sits there. It seems easier than getting one or two very large cases and custom cutting foam.

Is normal driving acceleration, e.g. curves, bumps, etc. any risk to it?   Or do I need a setup where the gears can be disengaged?

Inspired a bit by similar bike racks, where you just clip the bike's front forks to a bracket on the floor of a car and it stands up for the ride.  

Sane?  Risky? 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

J. Belden
 

I just put my mount on my front seat and buckled it in, seriously I did. Also, did the same for C14, no issues. Though, now I have an AP1600 so thats a bit too heavy for either seat. So I have been using the factory boxes in my truck bed but only went to one star party this year.

Joe


Re: Phd2 warning : "disable synchronous pulse guide option in mounts ascom driver settings"

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Cj,

So Ray are you saying this is an issue of PHD2 coding and therefore operation. It curious that I have never
had this on anything but with my Mach 1 with its GTOCP4 controller. thanks cj
The reason you may not have seen it with another mount is that it requires both the client application (PHD2) and the the ASCOM driver (AP V2) to NOT be .NET Framework applications. That's because the .NET Framework prevents deadlocks by transparently marshaling all COM interop operations from any thread into a single thread that issues requests sequentially. Many of the other manufactures' drivers, since they were written later, and use the .NET Framework, which will do the marshaling.

The AP V2 driver uses a single-threaded apartment model written in VB6, so it cannot handle custom COM interop operations because those are baked into the VB6 runtime. So, it requires the client to follow certain COM interop rules, specifically the rule that clients should perform COM interop operations from the same thread on the client (PHD2). If the client ignores this rule, there is the possibility of a deadlock on the client (PHD2). And to be clear, the driver does not get deadlocked, only the two (or more) PHD2 threads involved! That points to the code in their application. COM interop operations are deadlocked.

Specifically, the PHD2 deadlock occurred during synchronous PulseGuide operations because those can last many milliseconds before returning. So, if PHD2 happened to execute another COM interop operation on another thread that could cause a deadlock in the two involved threads. This won't always happen, but with enough calls from different threads it is likely to happen. Switching to asynchronous PulseGuide allows the driver to return control back to PHD2 almost immediately, dramatically reducing the timing window where PHDs could potentially send a command on another thread to deadlock COM. So, PHD2 can still deadlock, but it will be much rarer.

BTW, one of the PHD2 developers could not reproduce the deadlock using a .NET client, again because of the transparent COM interop marshaling that .NET does. Later, he was able to reproduce the problem with Cart du Soleil, but that application is also a C++ application and is also probably not following the COM interop rules.

So, look at this way: PEMPro has been around since before the AP V2 driver, and APPM and Horizons for about eight years. And there are tons of other .NET apps like SGPro and NINA that have been working with the AP V2 driver without deadlocks. The PHD2 developers may want to ask themselves why these apps can use the AP V2 driver and never experience a deadlock, yet they were a common enough occurrence in PHD2 that the developers had to pop up a window to warn people! :-)

Best regards,

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of crib409acme425
Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2021 9:04 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Phd2 warning : "disable synchronous pulse guide option in mounts ascom driver
settings"

So Ray are you saying this is an issue of PHD2 coding and therefore operation. It curious that I have never
had this on anything but with my Mach 1 with its GTOCP4 controller. thanks cj


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

jimwc@...
 

Home depot and Lowes have plastic "tool boxes" with wheels that work well, I have also used a large Ice chest, just cut the original packing foam to fit 
at my age wheels are nice. the adapter sounds intriguing but I would be afraid of vibration with meshed gears, maybe with a thick rubber pad under the adapter.
Original packing is the best. AP packed it the way they did for a reason.
Jim

 


Re: [ap-ug] 4 = Resume Ref-park (Mach 1 GTO 2014 model)

Roland Christen
 

I think you will want to post your message on the AP GTO group. That is where all the mount experts hang out and have the expertise to help you. I am also on there and can help you get started with your mount. I have seen almost all your posts on Cloudy nights, so i sort of know where you are in your imaging background.
AP mount group is at:
main@ap-gto.groups.io

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics inc.


-----Original Message-----
From: nicholas via groups.io <chironik@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 10, 2021 10:57 pm
Subject: [ap-ug] 4 = Resume Ref-park (Mach 1 GTO 2014 model)

Hello I have purchased this mount from someone with an Eagle mount anyways trying to get the mount to remember the park position. After I entered in my time and decimal minute second locations it is easy enough to park position 1 counterweights facing east OTA west and the mount is reliable to slew to an object from there. I just have not found anywhere in the hand menu where it says  4 = resume ref-park 1. (as on page 16 of the manual. )  and I did like the manual told me  to make sure that auto-connect mount is off. Anyways I can get to the object from the Park 1 position it does that but I am still missing steps I am sure. 
 any changes to the manual or handset that could be causing me confusion? Thank you!
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Thomas Giannaccini wrote:

 

  • There is a YouTube video where a user recommends 3 Rigid 22” Progear Toolboxes. 1 for Dec, 1 for RA, 1 for miscellaneous. Looked like a really nice setup.

 

Thanks.  I’ve spent hours in this group and also forums and youtube and seen many such setups.  I was just trying to avoid the whole “put it inside something” step.  And disassembly.  It’s not that those solutions look bad (they look especially good if you were shifting between vehicles, staying in hotels, etc.)  It’s that I was looking for a cheat that was still safe for the mount.

 

Linwood

 

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Thomas Giannaccini
 

There is a YouTube video where a user recommends 3 Rigid 22” Progear Toolboxes. 1 for Dec, 1 for RA, 1 for miscellaneous. Looked like a really nice setup.

On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 10:27 AM Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...> wrote:
If you want to go “basic”, then the shipping boxes work great and hold up well.  I transported my AP900 around in the two shipping boxes in the back of my pickup or the trunk of my car for 8 or 9 years.  The boxes and foam still looked good when the mount was sold to the new owner.  I use a Pelican Air for my Mach2 now.
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Dean Jacobsen wrote:

 

  • I’m not sure I would want that mount tumbling around in the cabin of my vehicle in the event of an accident.  A rollover accident could be quite interesting if the 1100 were to break free.  🤕

 

Ok, fair enough, though to be honest in a serious accident a plastic case or shipping container may not be much good either.


And honestly in such an event I really will not be that worried about the mount.

 

Let’s assume that there’s no auto accident involved.  Is regular driving and bumps and turns that are normal an issue with the gears engaged, or do they need to be disengaged and lying down?

 

Linwood

 


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 09:17 AM, ap@... wrote:
Sane?  Risky?
I’m not sure I would want that mount tumbling around in the cabin of my vehicle in the event of an accident.  A rollover accident could be quite interesting if the 1100 were to break free.  🤕
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

W Hilmo
 

I use a simple, plastic tub.

I wrap the declination part in a towel and lay it on the bottom of the tub.  I set the RA section to zero degrees latitude.  It also gets wrapped in a towel and laid on the floor of the tub.  I have the two halves oriented so that they are space efficient.  I wrap the top plate in a cut down piece of packing blanket, sized appropriately.  I do the same with the CP4.  Both of these lay on top of the two halves of the mount and I close the tub.

For the counterweights and shaft, I remove the thumbscrews and inserts and put them into a ziplock bag (this prevents them from getting broken in transit).  I wrap each counterweight in a piece of packing blanket, and they all go in a different tub.  I often travel with multiple mounts, so there can be a fair number of counterweights.  I never try to move or lift the tub when loaded.  The reason for the tub is so that it can sit on the floor of my cargo trailer and keep the counterweights protected and contained.

I use the Astro-Physics portable pier.  The cylindrical section gets wrapped in a Harbor Freight packing blanket.  I either strap it to the side of the cargo trailer, or lie it on the floor, depending on what else I am packing.  The pier legs and turnbuckles are wrapped in a towel.  I put down one leg first, and do one wrap.  Then I lay down another leg and do one more wrap, and so on.  The last thing that I wrap are the turnbuckles.  This gives me a compact part that can be tucked into many different places.

The biggest pain is the part to which the pier legs attach.  That's just an odd shape.  I pack it a bit differently each time, depending on the rest of the load.

It sounds complicated, but that's because I am trying to be descriptive.  It's all quite compact and can easily fit in the trunk of most cars.

On 9/11/21 9:17 AM, ap@... wrote:
I have been looking at various cases people have built, planning what to do, but I had a thought and curious if it's a sane one.

I am not hauling this through airports or checking baggage.  It will ride in my SUV, then go from the back about 10' to a tripod when I get to a dark site, then back.  It's a 90 minute drive and no off-roading (i.e. reasonably smooth ride).  There's no need to protect the mount from anything but the ride itself.

What if I bought a pier adapter, one of the flat ones, and just screwed it to the floor in the back of the SUV.  Then to move the mount it comes off the tripod, and onto this SUV mount.  Pop in 3 or so screws.   No OTA or counterweights of course.  

No case, no foam it just sits there. It seems easier than getting one or two very large cases and custom cutting foam.

Is normal driving acceleration, e.g. curves, bumps, etc. any risk to it?   Or do I need a setup where the gears can be disengaged?

Inspired a bit by similar bike racks, where you just clip the bike's front forks to a bracket on the floor of a car and it stands up for the ride.  

Sane?  Risky? 


Re: Interesting way to image with a cheap mount

Benoit Schillings
 

totally agree Roland.

I obviously do not have any issue with image processing and other form
of deconvolution. I think that what I was pointing at is that a little
bit of degradation in the original data can be corrected by clever
software but that the tradeoff is heavy on the number of images
required.

- benoit

On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 8:46 AM Roland Christen via groups.io
<chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Unfortunately we have many people misrepresenting their images on the internet,

I think we're getting far away from what I wrote originally. The issue is that you do your best to get a nice looking image using tricks like I mentioned and disclosing what you did to achieve the best results possible with limited equipment. And that's what the imager did, so no problem with that.
Where the problem comes is that someone else (not the author of the image) points to that image and proclaims that the equipment works just as good as so-called "premium" stuff, so all the people who buy premium stuff are wasting their money.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher M <mirfak@telusplanet.net>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 11, 2021 10:23 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting way to image with a cheap mount

I was thinking along the lines that, taking the "artistic license" to an extreme, one can just paint a picture of a space image with paint or software. I do not disagree with Mr Christen or others. I consider it misrepresentation to say a heavily modified image is a true photograph when technically it is more "art". The method Mr Christen describes reminds me of nightscapes where tracked images of stars are superimposed upon still images of landscape. While some will try hard to produce a final image representing what they saw or felt at that location, others will do the equivalent of pasting pictures of Marvin on a Mars landscape. I believe I fully understand how Mr Christen and others, myself included, are irked by someone saying "This is an actual photograph" when it isn't. Unfortunately we have many people misrepresenting their images on the internet, so Kudos to people like Mr Long, Mr Christen and all who review for quality and honesty. My own teacher has been painfully honest with my imaging attempts to date. Garbage in => garbage out

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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