Date   

Re: The perfect telescope mount

Richard O'Neill <syzygy42@earthlink.net> <syzygy42@...>
 

Hello Rolando,

   I attended Stellafane during that decade and saw something like you describe. From a stowed position for travel to fully setup, going through the motions it reminded me of a Transforming Bot. If memory serves, didn't that hydraulic actuated mount also have a telescope on it? If we're thinking of the same mount I think I might have a color slide of it, which I'll scan and post if I can locate it.

Richard


Re: The perfect telescope mount

Christopher M
 

Even with all of that technology, there would still be many people who wouldn't open the manual to figure out how to unpack it (such as my brother).  


Re: APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Andrea,

 

To answer your question, you should provide the APCC, ASCOM, and APPM logs, and PNT files.

 

You should use APCC's Log Zipper utility, available from APCC's tool menu. Here is a screenshot of the options you should select:

 

 

 

-Ray

 

> -----Original Message-----

> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Andrea Lucchetti

> Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2021 3:27 AM

> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io

> Subject: [ap-gto] APCC model files: which files to ask for help

>

> Hi, can someone remind me the files needed to "share" the model?

> I'd like to ask for help here.

> I've run a small model (20 points in two dec arcs.

> There are some large value in the est , but the values on the west side are completely out of range in my

> opinion.

>

> Thank you in advance,

> Andrea


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

George LaBelle
 

You may try this:

https://interactiveastronomy.com/skyroof.html

I've used their equipment for total roof control and it has ASCOM drivers.
--
George
Prineville, Oregon


Guiding a Mach 2 in PHD2 ( and NINA)

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hello,
I had to quickly move to NINA because my skyx doesn't cooperate well with APCC Pro after 1.9.

I almost used the standard setting in PHD2 and saved the night but guiding was bad.
I noticed the corrections were 4 times the magnitude of the reported errors.
in skyx I have values suggest by Roland in the past and they worked well:
-minimum move:0,03 sec
-maximum move:0.2 sec
-delay after correction:0.1 sec
-simultaneous corrections: off

I'll be very grateful if you can share PHD2 settings for AP mounts and Mach2 in particular (algorithm, settings, etc).
Also, For NINA Users:
-(Dale, if you see the message), in NINA there is a parameter called "direct guide duration" that was preset at 2 and I don't know if it must be changed and how.
-the calibration in PHD must be done before the sequnce start or NINA wait for PHD calibrating, so Idon't do anything in PHD?

Thank you very much,
Andrea


tracking with APCC 1.9 doesn't work with skyx

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hello,
second post this morning thanks to the good night.
I have APCC PRO 1.9.0.5 and Mach2.

When slewing or closed looping in skyx the tracking rate increase to a point that a 2 second frame is trailed.
I have only one image that show the behaviour in which seems that the trail is actually a set of pulses.

I don't know if useful but in the Rate settings panel setting king rate and pushing "set now" doesn't change anyting.
There is a combination of clicks in "reset tracking rate and "set all" that make the tricks for king rate.
In addition to that the status bar at the bottom always say "sideral" so it is very difficult to understand for me if it worked or not and with which sequence of tabs.
I have few chances to use the telescope so for me it is difficult to provide additional data in the short term.

I can say that Focus Max connected didn't work  alone or from CCDAP. Both leverage a skyx camera add on but never succeeded because stalled in the subframing  (probably because the star moves quicly out of the frame. I will ask some suggestios in a separate post
Thank you
ANdrea

I also tried NINA and had no trouble at all, except that I don't know PHD and guiding was bad.



APCC model files: which files to ask for help

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hi, can someone remind me the files needed to "share" the model?
I'd like to ask for help here.
I've run a small model (20 points in two dec arcs.
There are some large value in the est , but the values on the west side are completely out of range in my opinion.

Thank you in advance,
Andrea


Re: #Keypad Motor Stall Error Message #Keypad

Thomas Giannaccini
 

I saw the post where the other user had a stall as well. I tightened my signal cables and that seemed to help for awhile. 

Suddenly, when the mount tried to slew west to see the moon the red light turned yellow and the mount stopped. I’m starting to think it might be a problem with the cables. It seems to be when the mount tries to go west.

I’ll call this week. 

Thank you everyone,

Tom

On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 2:55 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
That looks fine.
As far as power supply, it might be advisable to add a power meter between the battery and mount. https://www.astro-physics.com/cabppwm
This will tell you everything you need to know about the health of your power supply.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 11, 2021 3:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Motor Stall Error Message

It was by keypad. The power system/motorized dolly was designed, I believe, by JMI. The cable from the battery to the mount is under 2 feet long. There is a single connection in the middle of that path as shown below.

This is a picture of the mount and the cable:



On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 2:23 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hard to tell what's going on since you don't say how you initialized the mount and slewed to these positions (keypad? Laptop with ASCOM driver? Planetarium program? APCC?). Incomplete info means we have to guess.

Best to contact either George or Howard at AP on Monday and have them help you step by step. They may find that you have some wrong setting somewhere (time wrong, location wrong, or some such thing).

Generally low battery voltage and overly long 12 volt power cord can result in the mount stopping or stalling but will not cause the mount to park in the wrong spot.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 11, 2021 2:52 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] #Keypad Motor Stall Error Message

I recently purchased a used AP 1100 GTO with Encoders
I've read the manuals and carefully set the time each session. The system is powered by a 50Ah deep cycle glass mat battery which the prior owner was using without any reported issues. The battery does look like it has some age on it but looks fine when tested with a battery tester. I have been having random issues with the mount slewing correctly. I understand this is a common issue with new users. I went back and re-read the manuals and I believe I was doing everything correctly in my most recent session. 

In my latest session here is a brief synopsis of what happened. 

Plugged in system to the battery which had been full charged a few days earlier and not used since.
Selected location
Set time carefully
Selected new setup from park location
selected park 1
physically moved and leveled scope and weight bar (was correctly balanced and all 6 clutches were about 1 turn loose from hand tight
tightened clutches on correct axis as instructed
slewed to park 2.....Mount slewed to completely wrong position
re-slewed to park 1 and re-leveled both axi
tried again to slew to park 2.....same issue
Slewed back to park 1---releveled
slewed to park 4...approximately correct position achieved
adjusted level via altitude adjuster as outlined in manual
slewed back to park 1....was roughly correct
tried slewing to Vega to see what would happen (polaris cloud covered)
approximately correct location achieved...used direction keys to fine tune Vega to center of reticle eyepiece in main scope; noticed that Vega was visibly moving (slowly) in the reticle
correctly re-aligned vega and re-synched (1 and only time)
tried slewing to Polaris to see if I could see it through the clouds...approximately correct location achieved

the remainder of the session is a bit murky in my memory but here is an approximation:
I tried to re-slew to the park positions to see what would happen (a test of both me and the mount). The scope kept ending up in random, incorrect locations
At some point I received a "motor stall" error message
I believe I was able to slew (incorrectly) to another park location once but after that, it would act like it was going to start slewing and then return right back to its same existing position

Without going on about it, that is what I am also experiencing today
I'm starting to think it may be the battery as the prior owner mentioned that the mount can be sensitive to low power
I'm working on getting a new battery now but wont have it until the end of the week at the earliest

Is there any other probable cause?




--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

dcraft34@comcast.net
 

Hi Jim,
Please explain what you mean by "it would make automation a bit more challenging from an automation perspective".  I am missing something.  My naive mental image is: with the scope tucked away into a tiny box, no useful motion can occur, automated or otherwise.  I would establish a remote mechanical/electrical switch (thinking microswitch here)  that allowed power to reach the CP-4 controller but was only activated when the 'tiny box' was moved far from the scope.  Seems foolproof.  But I would like to understand what functionality I'm missing, because someday I may wish to do this myself.  So what am I overlooking? 

Dave


Re: The perfect telescope mount

dvjbaja
 

Just buy the Unistellar EV scope and be done with it.  ;-)  


On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 5:02 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Watched this and with my background in designing precision telescope mounts, I found this quite entertaining.


The thing most people underestimate is the precision needed to align things, and if they are made automatic, it becomes a nightmare of high precision sensors and actuators in order to do simple things like polar alignment. There is no smart phone, or software app that can tell you precisely down to a few arc seconds where the earth's pole actually is at any point on the map. But your eyeball looking thru a polar scope (or a small imaging camera) can do that in a second. You could theoretically send signals to a pair of motors to move the axes, but then you would basically be doubling the size of your mount to not only precisely control the RA and Dec, but also precisely control the Alt and Az axes. That takes another set of electronics, drivers, servo-motors, precision gear sets etc. You can't do this on the cheap and get it to be both stable enough to hold 60 - 100 lb of gear plus 60 lb of equatorial mount plunked on top, plus precise enough to aim the entire enchilada exactly to the pole (North or South).

But dreaming of a totally self leveling self polar aligning mount is fun, no? I saw such a beast, designed and built by a mechanical engineer, way back in the 1970's at Stellafane. The thing was mounted on a trailer, had umpteen hydraulic actuators that stabilized the trailer (lifted it off the wheels), and then automatically polar aligned the mount. It was a beast for sure, but fun to watch it work. Did it track well enough to do serious imaging with today's cameras and scopes? Hell no! None of the mounts back then could do that without someone sitting at a crosshair eyepiece and pushing NSEW buttons for hours (or until your eyeballs glazed over).

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


The perfect telescope mount

Roland Christen
 

Watched this and with my background in designing precision telescope mounts, I found this quite entertaining.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvRj9Bf2kHg

The thing most people underestimate is the precision needed to align things, and if they are made automatic, it becomes a nightmare of high precision sensors and actuators in order to do simple things like polar alignment. There is no smart phone, or software app that can tell you precisely down to a few arc seconds where the earth's pole actually is at any point on the map. But your eyeball looking thru a polar scope (or a small imaging camera) can do that in a second. You could theoretically send signals to a pair of motors to move the axes, but then you would basically be doubling the size of your mount to not only precisely control the RA and Dec, but also precisely control the Alt and Az axes. That takes another set of electronics, drivers, servo-motors, precision gear sets etc. You can't do this on the cheap and get it to be both stable enough to hold 60 - 100 lb of gear plus 60 lb of equatorial mount plunked on top, plus precise enough to aim the entire enchilada exactly to the pole (North or South).

But dreaming of a totally self leveling self polar aligning mount is fun, no? I saw such a beast, designed and built by a mechanical engineer, way back in the 1970's at Stellafane. The thing was mounted on a trailer, had umpteen hydraulic actuators that stabilized the trailer (lifted it off the wheels), and then automatically polar aligned the mount. It was a beast for sure, but fun to watch it work. Did it track well enough to do serious imaging with today's cameras and scopes? Hell no! None of the mounts back then could do that without someone sitting at a crosshair eyepiece and pushing NSEW buttons for hours (or until your eyeballs glazed over).

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Mach 1 Motor Stall

Roland Christen
 

I'm glad it was a simple fix.
See, I do know a lot about mounts and can usually spot what the likely issue is. I get "trouble shooter of the day" award today Stuck out tongue closed eyes

By the way, Marj tells me you used to help out in Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Visitor center. Have you been back there or planning to go back at some point?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: John A. Sillasen <jasillasen@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 11, 2021 6:34 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Motor Stall

Thanks Roland. I found the problem and fixed it.
A total dumb guy don't setup a mount before having dinner.  I forgot to plug in the Dec motor cable.

See, it was a dumb guy mistake. 

John

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Mach 1 Motor Stall

John A. Sillasen
 

Thanks Roland. I found the problem and fixed it.
A total dumb guy don't setup a mount before having dinner.  I forgot to plug in the Dec motor cable.

See, it was a dumb guy mistake. 

John


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

psparkman@...
 

Thanks Jerome.  You have a nice setup there.  Funny how you got the wisteria to grow up on it.  That is part of my plans as well to get the plants to camouflage it some.  I still need to keep it lower though as we have a "view" I don't want to obscure.  I think that I can make fully analog switches and optical sensors to protect the scope while the box moves.  I can also do a simple contact switch to control the power to the mount so that it can't move while the box is closed.  Just wondering if there is a more elegant way to do this?


Re: Park Position based interlock for small roll off observatory

Michael Hamburg
 

Be careful. Those vines get hungry. 


On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 5:34 PM, Jerome A Yesavage
<yesavage@...> wrote:
Hi,

I have a 6'x6'x6.5' PierTech.  I have it on my roof using a complex system to get pier stability.  This is the "industrial strength" solution used by big observatories... yet Bob Denny advised me never use ACP or APCC to close the roof if there is any chance of a crash.  Originally I always had the scope lower than the traverse of the roof as a fail safe solution... but this cuts down the ability to see low objects.  Finally I permanently moved the pier to a high position and use the Park 5 solution.  I open and close manually and have a web cam to watch the proceedings.

IMHO do not trust any software no matter how "good and expensive"... trust your eyes....

Now, regarding the "Wife Acceptance Factor" may I suggest a gander at what I did to camo the system and my wife is just ecstatic at the results:

https://www.astrobin.com/310660/E/

Best wishes and do not hesitate to be in contact if you have any questions...


Re: Mach 1 Motor Stall

Roland Christen
 

Bad connection between CP4 and the two motors. If the mount tracks in RA but then won't slew, it's probably the Dec connection. You can push the E-W buttons at any centering or slew speed, without touching the N-S, and see if the RA works. Don't even bother to put the scope in any park position, just initialize with the keypad and see if the red light stays red when you move the RA.

Then try Dec, and I bet the light will go amber. Most likely you have a bad Dec connection. Could be inside the cable (broken wire on one of the pins) or could be inside the motor box. Check the connections and you might be able to fix it.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: John A. Sillasen <jasillasen@...>
To: ap-gto@groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 11, 2021 5:47 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach 1 Motor Stall

I'm at a Star Party and do not have the CP4 manual with me.  I've been using a Kendrick Power Pack with a special power plug to connect the CP4.

Tried a different 34 Ah battery I used to use back when I had the CP3 but cannot be sure of its health  

Could be both batteries.  I had a red light that went Amber and stayed Amber when I got the motor stall.  

Picked a location,  New Setup, Resume from Park 3, 2 Setup Park 1 to load the scope.  Nothing happened.  Hit Park 3 again and it moved a hair and Motor Stall.

Shut it down.  Good thing I've got binoculars tonight. 

What are the causes of this I can try to troubleshoot later?

Thanks!



John A. Sillasen



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Marj Christen wrote:

 

  • For extra protection, we pack our mounts to ship with the motor box unsupported so that if the box receives a blow or is dropped, the force is not transferred to the motor box. In other words, we support the remainder of our mount with the foam blocks, but the blocks do not touch the motor boxes. The motor boxes are open to the air.

 

Thanks.  I was so excited when it arrived, I did not pay close enough attention.

 


Mach 1 Motor Stall

John A. Sillasen
 

I'm at a Star Party and do not have the CP4 manual with me.  I've been using a Kendrick Power Pack with a special power plug to connect the CP4.

Tried a different 34 Ah battery I used to use back when I had the CP3 but cannot be sure of its health  

Could be both batteries.  I had a red light that went Amber and stayed Amber when I got the motor stall.  

Picked a location,  New Setup, Resume from Park 3, 2 Setup Park 1 to load the scope.  Nothing happened.  Hit Park 3 again and it moved a hair and Motor Stall.

Shut it down.  Good thing I've got binoculars tonight. 

What are the causes of this I can try to troubleshoot later?

Thanks!



John A. Sillasen



Re: #Keypad Motor Stall Error Message #Keypad

jimwc@...
 

I dont know how long power Pole connectors will last (how many connections made and disconnections made) it could be they are a little corroded, or worn out.
go on the power pole site there is lots of information there. there is also a tool to take them apart but can be done with a X-acto knife, or a very fine screw driver.  YouTube has lots of videos.
might be worthwhile to pull them apart for a good inspection. if you belong to a club some one might have a crimper you can borrow to replace them if necessary. Of course AP has cables already made.
Jim


Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

Christopher M
 

Apparently it is being retired:  https://www.astrobuysell.com/propview.php?view=59500
not sure what has happened to the OTA or trailer.  The seller might know.
(apologies for the thread diversion)

3401 - 3420 of 84287