Date   

Maintenance for a 5 year old AP mount

michael mccann
 

Hi
Before I get fully configured on my new “used” mount. What maintenance should I do? It’s 5 years old housed in a ROR that probably was in year round temperatures extremes seen at 4000 ft elevation in SW New Mexico.

Cheers

Mike


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

Eric Weiner
 

I had the save problem a year or so ago. A-P said to make sure you accept the cookies or that function won’t work. I just checked and the notification field is visible on my browser.

Eric


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

natscher0514@...
 

The Mach2 order and notification to place an order buttons are not showing for this item at the A-P website.  Is the Mach2 not available to order or to get a notification to order at this time?


Re: Smart Meridian Flip with NINA #APCC

Joseph Beyer
 

Given the information you've provided I dug a bit further into APCC-Pro.  I know there have been a lot of discussion about smart meridian flips with SGP and several more with NINA but I haven't seen a specific check list of toggles to enable the Smart Meridian Flip in NINA

In "Settings" >> "Advanced Settings"  I hadn't realized there was a button to enable NINA - Resetting the Third Party Applications >> Meridian Support to NINA enables the checkbox for "Send Limit with Offset to NINA" in the "Meridian" tab

I was incorrect in unchecking the "Counterweight up slews within" boxes. It makes sense because without the boxes checked the custom obstruction file data wouldn't be used.   Enabling the "Send Limit to NINA" option requires the toggling of both EAST and WEST Limit boxes.  

I believe I've got the rest of the options configured correctly.  I'll have to give it a run and see if it works now. 

Apologies for introducing more confusion.

Joe


Re: Questions about APCC

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Ray wrote:

2. If I have plate solved an image in Maxim using PinPoint is it OK to use Maxim's "Sync to solved position"?
Yes, you can do that. However, if you use APCC Pro with a pointing model, I recommend you recalibrate through APPM, as it will be slightly more accurate.
In my scenario I set up each night, but in almost precisely the same spot. I then polar align, and am always already within a few arc minutes, which I tweak to get back closer.

At that point, since everything is more or less as it was, I plate solve and sync (recal actually) from NINA and move on.

Should I instead, after the polar align, open APPM and do a plate solve and sync? Running the recal through ASCOM thru APPC (with the model turned on) does something different than the recal (only, with no new model) in APPM?


Re: Smart Meridian Flip with NINA #APCC

Joseph Beyer
 

Mike,

I got it to work on my mount and there are a couple differences between your setup and mine mainly I unchecked the boxes for Counterweight Up Slews within East and West Limit boxes.  I also have the box for Clear Delay on Exit box checked.  Meridian Delay = 0. I'm not seeing the box you're describing as Send Limit with offset to NINA - I see one for SGP but not NINA.  Even though mine is working I may have it configured incorrectly.

In NINA: Minutes after meridian = 1min; Max minutes after meridian = 1 min; Pause before meridian = 0min

Joe


Re: Smart Meridian Flip with NINA #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Mikey,

Seems odd - if the OTA is Pier Side West, shouldn't that be an indication that a pier flip is needed?
It sounds like NINA should have initiated a pier flip, but there may be a good reason it didn't.

I don't know if Dale always reads this forum, so maybe you could post this information to the NINA Discourse forum?

-Ray


Re: Questions about APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Geoff,

a bit. So I centre the star with the NSWE keypad buttons and decide to do a recal.
1. Do I use the keypad or the GoTo/Recal tab in APCC?
If you are not using APCC Pro with a pointing model, then you can recalibrate from the keypad, APCC, a planetarium program, and most astronomy imaging software. If you are using APCC Pro with a model, then recalibrating from the keypad will not be accurate. However, you can plate solve and recalibrate from APPM, or planetarium programs, etc.

2. If I have plate solved an image in Maxim using PinPoint is it OK to use Maxim's "Sync to solved position"?
Yes, you can do that. However, if you use APCC Pro with a pointing model, I recommend you recalibrate through APPM, as it will be slightly more accurate.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Geoff Smith
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:07 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Questions about APCC

I have finally decided to bite the bullet and start using APCC and naturally I have some questions. The first
concerns using the keypad with APCC. Normally I use the keypad's extensive database to slew to my object. I
occasionally use Maxim DL to do they same thing. Lets suppose I have initialised, unparked etc the mount
using APCC and i have the keypad set on EXT. I now slew to a star with the keypad and find the pointing off
a bit. So I centre the star with the NSWE keypad buttons and decide to do a recal.
1. Do I use the keypad or the GoTo/Recal tab in APCC?
2. If I have plate solved an image in Maxim using PinPoint is it OK to use Maxim's "Sync to solved position"?
Thanks
Geoff


Re: Pickering's (or Fleming's) Triangle

Glenn
 

Thanks, Roland!

Glenn


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

M Hambrick
 

I think that the standard protocol has always been to charge whatever the price is when you receive your notification and not when you put your name on the notification list. 

Having said that, are there any price increases expected for the Renishaw encoders ? I am on the notification list for a set of encoders for my 1100 mount, but there is currently no price listed on the website. Or maybe the $0.00 price that they show is what they are actually going to charge for them. That is a really good deal ! Maybe I will order two sets of encoders for that price :>)

Mike


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

Karen Christen
 

The new price applies for all orders dated 9/24/21 and after.
Karen
AP

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Frank Widmann via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:28 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] MACH2GTO Price increase

What price applies if you were already on the list?

Frank







--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Questions about APCC

M Hambrick
 

Hi Geoff

You and I are essentially at the same point with APCC. I told myself that I was going to force myself to start using it. I read somewhere that commands through the keypad will override APCC or other software (e.g. A-P ASCOM V-2).

On your first question I am pretty sure that you can just do a recalibrate with the keypad after you have centered the star.

I am not sure about the answer to your second question. I just today upgraded to the from the PinPoint LE version that comes with MaxIm DL to the full PinPoint version, so now I have yet another software to figure out how to use.

Mike

One thing I am confused about is what are the differences between using APCC to control my mount versus the Observatory Control tab in MaxIm DL Pro which I have not used yet either. Until now, I have been using my keypad exclusively.


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

Frank Widmann
 

What price applies if you were already on the list?

Frank


JPL New Format for Ephemeris #APCC

dnakic@...
 

Just today I was using Horizons and went to JPL Website to download Ephemeris.  I did both the text file download and the data and the format looks a bit different.  Note, the website looks different too.  The data pull would not work in Horizons.  Appreciate insight into issue.

Header format:
*******************************************************************************
 Revised: July 31, 2013             Moon / (Earth)                          301
 
 GEOPHYSICAL DATA (updated 2018-Aug-15):
  Vol. mean radius, km  = 1737.53+-0.03    Mass, x10^22 kg       =    7.349
  Radius (gravity), km  = 1738.0           Surface emissivity    =    0.92
  Radius (IAU), km      = 1737.4           GM, km^3/s^2          = 4902.800066
  Density, g/cm^3       =    3.3437        GM 1-sigma, km^3/s^2  =  +-0.0001  
  V(1,0)                =   +0.21          Surface accel., m/s^2 =    1.62
  Earth/Moon mass ratio = 81.3005690769    Farside crust. thick. = ~80 - 90 km
  Mean crustal density  = 2.97+-.07 g/cm^3 Nearside crust. thick.= 58+-8 km 
  Heat flow, Apollo 15  = 3.1+-.6 mW/m^2   Mean angular diameter = 31'05.2"
  Heat flow, Apollo 17  = 2.2+-.5 mW/m^2   Sid. rot. rate, rad/s = 0.0000026617
  Geometric Albedo      = 0.12             Mean solar day        = 29.5306 d
  Obliquity to orbit    = 6.67 deg         Orbit period          = 27.321582 d
  Semi-major axis, a    = 384400 km        Eccentricity          = 0.05490
  Mean motion, rad/s    = 2.6616995x10^-6  Inclination           = 5.145 deg
  Apsidal period        = 3231.50 d        Nodal period          = 6798.38 d
                                 Perihelion  Aphelion    Mean
  Solar Constant (W/m^2)         1414+-7     1323+-7     1368+-7
  Maximum Planetary IR (W/m^2)   1314        1226        1268
  Minimum Planetary IR (W/m^2)      5.2         5.2         5.2
********************************************************************************


Thanks,
Don


Re: Smart Meridian Flip with NINA #APCC

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

Actually, I have a question about the Smart Meridian Flip plugin.  Three nights in a row my AP1100 failed to flip and once caused a pier crash - the other two times I was monitoring the sequence and stopped in when the flip did not occur.  I have followed your video and have set all the appropriate settings:
In APPC:  Enable Meridian Tracking Limits checked; Action when limit reached set to Just Warn; Limit to Meridian unchecked; Counterweight Up Slews East and West limits checked; Send Limit with offset to NINA checked; Override ASCOM checked.  I have created a Meridian Tracking Limits file and copied East Limits to West Limits.
In NINA, loaded the latest Smart Meridian Flip - added to the Trigger section in the advanced sequencer.

Last night, I was imaging Abell 85. The OTA was facing east, counterweights down, which I believe is Pier Side West.  I expected the mount to flip when the meridian limit was reached (11:25PM). Both APCC and NINA reported that time as the flip time. However, no flip was initiated. I checked the NINA Log and found the following section:

...
2021-09-27T22:16:18.6496|INFO|SequenceItem.cs|Run|213|Finishing Category: * Instruction Set *, Item: NINA.Sequencer.Container.ParallelContainer, Strategy: ParallelStrategy, Items: 1, Conditions:  Triggers: 
2021-09-27T22:16:18.6517|INFO|SequenceItem.cs|Run|213|Finishing Category: * Instruction Set *, Item: NINA.Sequencer.Container.SequentialContainer, Strategy: SequentialStrategy, Items: 1, Conditions:  Triggers: 
2021-09-27T22:16:18.6526|INFO|SequenceItem.cs|Run|195|Starting Category: * Instruction Set *, Item: NINA.Sequencer.Container.SequentialContainer, Strategy: SequentialStrategy, Items: 6, Conditions:  Triggers: Trigger: AutofocusAfterFilterChangeTrigger: AutofocusAfterTemperatureChangeTrigger, Amount: 2°Trigger: SmartMeridianFlipTrigger
2021-09-27T22:16:18.7126|INFO|SmartMeridianFlipTrigger.cs|ShouldTrigger|301|Smart Meridian Flip - Telescope already reports pierWest. Automated Flip will not be performed.
2021-09-27T22:16:18.7136|INFO|SequenceItem.cs|Run|195|Starting Category: Utility, Item: WaitForTime, Time: 20:25:9h
2021-09-27T22:16:18.7146|INFO|SequenceItem.cs|Run|213|Finishing Category: Utility, Item: WaitForTime, Time: 20:25:9h
...

Seems odd - if the OTA is Pier Side West, shouldn't that be an indication that a pier flip is needed?

Here is a link to the complete log: 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/trqbxivm0lyd76p/20210927-184110-1.11.0.1151.9208.log?dl=0

Here is a link to my mlm file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dd9gcbwvgvzii7r/Default.mlm?dl=0

Baffled - 
Mikey


Re: using a Simulator

Roland Christen
 

heck, I just attach my keypad and slew all over the place in the daytime. I also simply connect SkyX (in ASCOM mode) and point and click. Works just like the keypad.

Rolando ;^))

-----Original Message-----
From: ap@... <ap@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Sep 28, 2021 6:54 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] using a Simulator

Derek S wrote:
 
  • I would like to spend some time learning my mount in the comfort of my office(the real reason is the RV is in the shop, so I am stuck at home.)  Any is there a document somewhere on how to do this?  I have been using sharp cap and the skyX so for, but would like go move to APCC and NINA(I think).  I assume that the mount on a tripod is all of the hardware I need and I can use the ascom camera simulator, I think.

    Any pointers or suggestions would be appreciated.
 
Plagued by bad weather for two months I have done this quite a bit, and it is both easier and harder than you might think.
 
I use NINA and APCC, so what I do is set up a NINA profile for “simulator” so as not to mess up my usual profile as I go back and forth.  In your case you might just start one with the idea of migrating it later.  Each profile has all the equipment and other settings like focal length, options choices, etc.
 
In APCC I do it live, as it really does not need anything different for indoor/simulation and outdoor.
 
APPM is different, come back to that…
 
Skipping details like configuring APCC as there’s a ton of info on that….
 
Start APCC first (doesn’t have to be, simpler, easier to see what happens).
 
In NINA, set up equipment for the NINA Simulator Camera.  Here’s an annoying aspect – you have to hit setup and configure it for the sky survey each time you use it, it reverts to something else.  You can then do things like filter wheel, rotator, focuser, etc. if you really want to but are not needed; there are simulators for all.
 
I recommend NOT trying to use the guider in daylight, even though in principle it also has simulators.  Other stuff like weather, etc. as you like.
 
I also recommend now you choose daylight objects, i.e. do NOT try setting the time to the middle of the night.  I did that once, things got really wacky.  Just use stellarium or some such to pick targets (obviously invisible) that are up now.  The camera simulator will automagically download images of those objects when you take an image, based on the RA/DEC of the mount at that moment (you can even build in pointing errors in the camera setup).
 
In theory you can set all this up to do plate solving but in reality I have never had much lock solving the simulator images.  Once in a while it works, often it does not.  I tried TSX also, same result.  Maybe I had something set up wrong, however what I do is build test sequences and leave out any auto-focus (that just won’t work as it relies in getting out of focus images back), and leave out any center, center-and-rotate, auto-center after flip and similar functions.  Stick to slew only, nothing that requires a plate solve.   Or… try plate solve if you want to, but it’s rather boring for sky survey images if it works.
 
I’ve tested meridian flips a lot in that mode, and I would think you could work out all the horizon, meridian limits, even things like counterweight up slews and tracking if you want.
 
APPM: Because I couldn’t get sky surveys to plate solve, I never got APPM to work at all in daylight.  Your mileage may be different.   Now in actual dark, it works great using NINA as a camera, and using ASTAP as a plate solver – just last night every single point worked first try.  You could try it with the NINA simulator, and even if plate solving fails, at least you know you have the connection working.  But it’s not like you need a model the first time(s) you are out.
 
Some things, like NINA’s polar alignment, won’t really work (I mean, moving the mount won’t change anything), though there’s a lot of exploring you can do.
 
But remember, every time you disconnect the camera, if you want to use the sky survey, you have to set it up again next time you connect.
 
Oh… all this presumes you are using version 1.11 (Nightly or Preview edition).  Which is worth using.  I wouldn’t even start with the released or beta version, the nightlies are technically unstable, but a heck of a lot of people use them every night.
 
Final thought: just in case, it is most useful if you do all this where you can see the mount, and hit emergency stop or stop or just yank the power if it goes nuts.  Also, I’d recommend leaving the clutches a bit loose just in case you do end up colliding with the tripod/pier as you are experimenting, things then slip nicely and do no harm (but you need to properly follow the manual to correct the position afterwards).
 
Ask questions, a lot of us are without clear skies, so we are probably doing similar indoor stuff!
 
Linwood
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Questions about APCC

Geoff Smith
 

I have finally decided to bite the bullet and start using APCC and naturally I have some questions. The first concerns using the keypad with APCC. Normally I use the keypad's extensive database to slew to my object. I occasionally use Maxim DL to do they same thing. Lets suppose I have initialised, unparked etc the mount using APCC and i have the keypad set on EXT. I now slew to a star with the keypad and find the pointing off a bit. So I centre the star with the NSWE keypad buttons and decide to do a recal.
1. Do I use the keypad or the GoTo/Recal tab in APCC?
2. If I have plate solved an image in Maxim using PinPoint is it OK to use Maxim's "Sync to solved position"?
Thanks
Geoff


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

Karen Christen
 

Yes, the Mach2 is currently in production behind the 1600GTO.  We anticipate first deliveries in Spring 2022.

Karen

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 6:51 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] MACH2GTO Price increase

 

Hi Karen,

   Does this mean that the Mach2 is going to be or in production?

 

cytan

 

On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 06:13:33 PM CDT, Karen Christen <karen@...> wrote:

 

 

You are correct, Eric.  Due to a variety of factors, including materials and production costs, we did make price modifications to the Mach2GTO and the 1600GTO late last week.  The 1600GTO’s in particular had not been changed in over 5 years.  We still feel both of these mounts are an excellent value.

Karen

AP

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:04 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] MACH2GTO Price increase

 

I’m not sure exactly when this occurred, but I just noticed the Mach2 price jumped up a bit. Was there a design mod, or was this simply due to materials/manufacturing cost increases?

I see the 1600GTO prices are now posted as well. How do these compare against the previous run prices? I’m only asking for reference. Price increases are to be expected periodically for any product. 


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: using a Simulator

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Derek S wrote:

 

  • I would like to spend some time learning my mount in the comfort of my office(the real reason is the RV is in the shop, so I am stuck at home.)  Any is there a document somewhere on how to do this?  I have been using sharp cap and the skyX so for, but would like go move to APCC and NINA(I think).  I assume that the mount on a tripod is all of the hardware I need and I can use the ascom camera simulator, I think.

    Any pointers or suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Plagued by bad weather for two months I have done this quite a bit, and it is both easier and harder than you might think.

 

I use NINA and APCC, so what I do is set up a NINA profile for “simulator” so as not to mess up my usual profile as I go back and forth.  In your case you might just start one with the idea of migrating it later.  Each profile has all the equipment and other settings like focal length, options choices, etc.

 

In APCC I do it live, as it really does not need anything different for indoor/simulation and outdoor.

 

APPM is different, come back to that…

 

Skipping details like configuring APCC as there’s a ton of info on that….

 

Start APCC first (doesn’t have to be, simpler, easier to see what happens).

 

In NINA, set up equipment for the NINA Simulator Camera.  Here’s an annoying aspect – you have to hit setup and configure it for the sky survey each time you use it, it reverts to something else.  You can then do things like filter wheel, rotator, focuser, etc. if you really want to but are not needed; there are simulators for all.

 

I recommend NOT trying to use the guider in daylight, even though in principle it also has simulators.  Other stuff like weather, etc. as you like.

 

I also recommend now you choose daylight objects, i.e. do NOT try setting the time to the middle of the night.  I did that once, things got really wacky.  Just use stellarium or some such to pick targets (obviously invisible) that are up now.  The camera simulator will automagically download images of those objects when you take an image, based on the RA/DEC of the mount at that moment (you can even build in pointing errors in the camera setup).

 

In theory you can set all this up to do plate solving but in reality I have never had much lock solving the simulator images.  Once in a while it works, often it does not.  I tried TSX also, same result.  Maybe I had something set up wrong, however what I do is build test sequences and leave out any auto-focus (that just won’t work as it relies in getting out of focus images back), and leave out any center, center-and-rotate, auto-center after flip and similar functions.  Stick to slew only, nothing that requires a plate solve.   Or… try plate solve if you want to, but it’s rather boring for sky survey images if it works.

 

I’ve tested meridian flips a lot in that mode, and I would think you could work out all the horizon, meridian limits, even things like counterweight up slews and tracking if you want.

 

APPM: Because I couldn’t get sky surveys to plate solve, I never got APPM to work at all in daylight.  Your mileage may be different.   Now in actual dark, it works great using NINA as a camera, and using ASTAP as a plate solver – just last night every single point worked first try.  You could try it with the NINA simulator, and even if plate solving fails, at least you know you have the connection working.  But it’s not like you need a model the first time(s) you are out.

 

Some things, like NINA’s polar alignment, won’t really work (I mean, moving the mount won’t change anything), though there’s a lot of exploring you can do.

 

But remember, every time you disconnect the camera, if you want to use the sky survey, you have to set it up again next time you connect.

 

Oh… all this presumes you are using version 1.11 (Nightly or Preview edition).  Which is worth using.  I wouldn’t even start with the released or beta version, the nightlies are technically unstable, but a heck of a lot of people use them every night.

 

Final thought: just in case, it is most useful if you do all this where you can see the mount, and hit emergency stop or stop or just yank the power if it goes nuts.  Also, I’d recommend leaving the clutches a bit loose just in case you do end up colliding with the tripod/pier as you are experimenting, things then slip nicely and do no harm (but you need to properly follow the manual to correct the position afterwards).

 

Ask questions, a lot of us are without clear skies, so we are probably doing similar indoor stuff!

 

Linwood

 


Re: MACH2GTO Price increase

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Karen,
   Does this mean that the Mach2 is going to be or in production?

cytan

On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 06:13:33 PM CDT, Karen Christen <karen@...> wrote:


You are correct, Eric.  Due to a variety of factors, including materials and production costs, we did make price modifications to the Mach2GTO and the 1600GTO late last week.  The 1600GTO’s in particular had not been changed in over 5 years.  We still feel both of these mounts are an excellent value.

Karen

AP

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Weiner
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:04 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] MACH2GTO Price increase

 

I’m not sure exactly when this occurred, but I just noticed the Mach2 price jumped up a bit. Was there a design mod, or was this simply due to materials/manufacturing cost increases?

I see the 1600GTO prices are now posted as well. How do these compare against the previous run prices? I’m only asking for reference. Price increases are to be expected periodically for any product. 


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics

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