Date   

Re: Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

Shailesh Trivedi
 

In my experience if your OTA+imaging train weighs 55lbs you need more than this since it is recommended to keep the largest CWs close to the top to reduce moment arm swings and then fine balance with a lighter CW lowering on the shaft . You can begin with 1 30lbs, 2 18lb and maybe 1 10lb; also order a 5lb just for posterity.

Shailesh


Re: Dec Arc APPM mode: any l best practices for field set up

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Thank you Howard,
Will try this next time, I’ll let you know.
Andrea 


Re: Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

Michael Kelly
 

Excellent, thank you all for the responses!!

Next question is that I need to buy counterweights as the previous owner is using on his 1100. My current set up weighs about 40lbs and new scope which I should have in a few weeks will dress out at about 55lbs. How much weight will I need? 

Best,

Michael

On Thursday, September 30, 2021, 12:56:54 PM EDT, Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:


We recommend both the FTDI dongles and the Keyspan by Tripp-Lite.  Both have excellent drivers.  We now sell the FTDI USB to Serial converter because we use the FTDI chipset in the GTOCP4/5.  The same FTDI driver works for both the dongle and the on-board chip. 

 

The Keyspan has the advantage of offering a utility that can be extremely handy for diagnostics.  We DO NOT recommend the cheaper and more generic Tripp-Lite converters – only the more premium Keyspans.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steven Panish
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2021 8:44
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

 

I agree the USB->serial converter is all you need to be happy with the CP3.  The FTDI chipset has been the standard for about 20 years, and you can download drivers direct from them.  The Prolific chipset used to have a bad reputation, but I tried one recently, loaded the latest driver, and it worked well.   On the other hand, I tried a no-name that was about $5 from Ebay and the drivers were junk.  Kept grabbing new logical serial ports on the PC.

 

Steve 

 

Steve

 

On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 11:29 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:

Welcome….

> On Sep 29, 2021, at 1:34 PM, Michael Kelly <Michael@...> wrote:
>
> .  The mount I've bought has a CP3 controller and wondered some insight here in how to integrate. Do I need the CP4 to get the USB-B port which is not on a CP3 but on the CP4?


You can use a Serial -> USB adapter on the CP3.     The brand you want to buy is, i think, Tripp-Lite KeySpan.   

Tripp Lite Keyspan High-Speed USB to Serial Adapter, PC & Mac (USA-19HS) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000VYJRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_4SPYE16DG4W4NXRE421F

I’ve used a few different serial/usb adapters with the CP3, but iirc the KeySpan adapter was recommended, and it is the adapter I use with the CP3 and other serial needs like the robofocus (Tho I no longer use robofocus).   Other adapters might have questionable chips which aren’t as reliable.

-jeff







Re: More basic mount questions

michael mccann
 

Well , more like delegated to the light work:)


Re: Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

Howard Hedlund
 

We recommend both the FTDI dongles and the Keyspan by Tripp-Lite.  Both have excellent drivers.  We now sell the FTDI USB to Serial converter because we use the FTDI chipset in the GTOCP4/5.  The same FTDI driver works for both the dongle and the on-board chip. 

 

The Keyspan has the advantage of offering a utility that can be extremely handy for diagnostics.  We DO NOT recommend the cheaper and more generic Tripp-Lite converters – only the more premium Keyspans.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Steven Panish
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2021 8:44
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

 

I agree the USB->serial converter is all you need to be happy with the CP3.  The FTDI chipset has been the standard for about 20 years, and you can download drivers direct from them.  The Prolific chipset used to have a bad reputation, but I tried one recently, loaded the latest driver, and it worked well.   On the other hand, I tried a no-name that was about $5 from Ebay and the drivers were junk.  Kept grabbing new logical serial ports on the PC.

 

Steve 

 

Steve

 

On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 11:29 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:

Welcome….

> On Sep 29, 2021, at 1:34 PM, Michael Kelly <Michael@...> wrote:
>
> .  The mount I've bought has a CP3 controller and wondered some insight here in how to integrate. Do I need the CP4 to get the USB-B port which is not on a CP3 but on the CP4?


You can use a Serial -> USB adapter on the CP3.     The brand you want to buy is, i think, Tripp-Lite KeySpan.   

Tripp Lite Keyspan High-Speed USB to Serial Adapter, PC & Mac (USA-19HS) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000VYJRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_4SPYE16DG4W4NXRE421F

I’ve used a few different serial/usb adapters with the CP3, but iirc the KeySpan adapter was recommended, and it is the adapter I use with the CP3 and other serial needs like the robofocus (Tho I no longer use robofocus).   Other adapters might have questionable chips which aren’t as reliable.

-jeff







Re: More basic mount questions

fernandorivera3
 

Michael, ownership of your new AP mount means your Losmandy & iOptron mounts will now become doorstops or paperweights 😃

Fernando


Re: Dec Arc APPM mode: any l best practices for field set up

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Andrea, for portable setups, the APCC Dec Arc feature is amazing!  It is perfect for your situation. 

 

I would definitely run 3 arcs if you can spare the time – one right on the target declination, and two more – one a couple degrees north, and the other a couple degrees south of your target dec. 

 

As for the RA density, I would experiment a little.  You presently do 2 arcs each with 10 or so points giving 20 total.  3 arcs totaling between 25 and 30 should rock!

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

AP Phone: 815-282-1513

Direct Phone:  815-315-7015

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Andrea Lucchetti
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2021 6:16
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Dec Arc APPM mode: any l best practices for field set up

 

Hi, the new functionality is now more mature and I assume some of you have some good data to share.

I usually shoot one subject per night.
Given the declination, what is the best combination of :

-number of dec arcs
-total number of points
-RA spacing

my present strategy is to run 2 arcs one degree north /south of the object declination for a total of 20 points.
But I wonder if there is a better approach. I think I can increase the number of total points while still investing a reasonable amount of time.
it is better to increase the number of points in the two arcs or may be have one middle arc running on the object declination?

Also, Someone recommended a new feature to easily model these points: I think that it would be very useful for people with a nomad set up.

Thank you,
Andrea


Re: Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

Steven Panish
 

I agree the USB->serial converter is all you need to be happy with the CP3.  The FTDI chipset has been the standard for about 20 years, and you can download drivers direct from them.  The Prolific chipset used to have a bad reputation, but I tried one recently, loaded the latest driver, and it worked well.   On the other hand, I tried a no-name that was about $5 from Ebay and the drivers were junk.  Kept grabbing new logical serial ports on the PC.

Steve 

Steve

On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 11:29 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:
Welcome….

> On Sep 29, 2021, at 1:34 PM, Michael Kelly <Michael@...> wrote:
>
> .  The mount I've bought has a CP3 controller and wondered some insight here in how to integrate. Do I need the CP4 to get the USB-B port which is not on a CP3 but on the CP4?


You can use a Serial -> USB adapter on the CP3.     The brand you want to buy is, i think, Tripp-Lite KeySpan.   

Tripp Lite Keyspan High-Speed USB to Serial Adapter, PC & Mac (USA-19HS) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000VYJRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_4SPYE16DG4W4NXRE421F

I’ve used a few different serial/usb adapters with the CP3, but iirc the KeySpan adapter was recommended, and it is the adapter I use with the CP3 and other serial needs like the robofocus (Tho I no longer use robofocus).   Other adapters might have questionable chips which aren’t as reliable.

-jeff








Dec Arc APPM mode: any l best practices for field set up

Andrea Lucchetti
 

Hi, the new functionality is now more mature and I assume some of you have some good data to share.

I usually shoot one subject per night.
Given the declination, what is the best combination of :

-number of dec arcs
-total number of points
-RA spacing

my present strategy is to run 2 arcs one degree north /south of the object declination for a total of 20 points.
But I wonder if there is a better approach. I think I can increase the number of total points while still investing a reasonable amount of time.
it is better to increase the number of points in the two arcs or may be have one middle arc running on the object declination?

Also, Someone recommended a new feature to easily model these points: I think that it would be very useful for people with a nomad set up.

Thank you,
Andrea


Re: Seeking CP3 Control Box with V2 Chip

Chris White
 

On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 10:59 PM, Marj Christen wrote:

Chris,

 

According to the APCC requirements, you only need the V chip. If the custom tracking rates are important, the V1 chip.  BTW, we can provide a loaner for you while yours is in for evaluation/repair.

 

These are the additional features in the V1 and V2.:

 

Version V2

• Optimized RA and DEC guiding corrections for Absolute and Precision Encoders.

 

Version V1

• Increased the range of the custom tracking rates from 99x to 999x. NOTE: Implemented in ASCOM V2 Driver v.5.10.00 and APCC v.1.6.0.0.

• Improved autoguider performance for mounts with Absolute Encoders or Precision Encoders.

• Fixed bug that occasionally moved DEC to the wrong place when returning from overshoot ("DEC Dither") in fork mode.

 

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

Wow!  You can!?  That's amazing.  :-)

I'll send an email to you to set that up.  Thank you so much!


Re: More basic mount questions

Thomas Giannaccini
 

Yes that’s a lot of weight to think about. Maybe put some weight on first before you load the OTA? I’ll defer to the board here but off the cuff yes I personally loaded the OTA from the Side as you state.

Best,

Tom

On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 11:28 PM michael mccann via groups.io <mmccawsprojects=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
Thanks Tom
These AP are definitely a different animal than the Losmandy and iOptron, more options, higher quality. I appreciate you going over your approach.  It’s curious that they start in position #3. When I get to the point of comfort that I’ll load my RC (OTA about 65lbs) , I’ll be probably loading it from park position #1 or #4. But I see that I’ll have to park at #3 and disengage clutches.
So When you load your scope , do you have it in park #3, release the clutches, move RA and Dec to a easy loading position, load telescope into the saddle , then reposition to park #3, tighten clutches. Then balance process starts at park position #3.
I guess with nearly 100lbs of weights I’m figuring out what’s the process I need to do this safely.
But I’ll start with some small setup first.

Cheers






--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: Maintenance for a 5 year old AP mount

michael mccann
 

We got here about 10 days ago. And after hard day of setting up the trailer, my wife and I were sitting outside just before sunset when we saw a series of bright flashes about 160° south of us. I asked my friends, about 20 miles away, if they were seeing the flashes. The thought we were “seeing things” , they couldn’t even see any clouds. Well I was using the mapping feature of wunderground to figure where the thunder heads were. I had to expand that map to over northern Mexico, to see the storm was over Nuevo Casas Grande, about 150 miles away.  I would have thought those storms were heading your way. But Texas is pretty broad. Last year it was a drought here. I’m just wintering here, so I could see it was dry here.  This time , it seems we’re getting daily showers, growing weeds, locust, all kinds of bugs, frogs and toads.
Hopefully you’ll get moisture soon.


On Sep 29, 2021, at 3:52 PM, fernandorivera3 via groups.io <fernandorivera3@...> wrote:

Michael send those monsoons over this way to deep southern Texas; only 1 day of rain since the end of July & no break from the endless heat blast 😳

Fernando


Re: More basic mount questions

michael mccann
 

Thanks Tom
These AP are definitely a different animal than the Losmandy and iOptron, more options, higher quality. I appreciate you going over your approach. It’s curious that they start in position #3. When I get to the point of comfort that I’ll load my RC (OTA about 65lbs) , I’ll be probably loading it from park position #1 or #4. But I see that I’ll have to park at #3 and disengage clutches.
So When you load your scope , do you have it in park #3, release the clutches, move RA and Dec to a easy loading position, load telescope into the saddle , then reposition to park #3, tighten clutches. Then balance process starts at park position #3.
I guess with nearly 100lbs of weights I’m figuring out what’s the process I need to do this safely.
But I’ll start with some small setup first.

Cheers


Re: More basic mount questions

Thomas Giannaccini
 

My mount is an AP 1100GTO. Spell check changed it.

To


On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 10:50 PM Thomas Giannaccini via groups.io <tgiann3=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I’m a new owner of a used AP 1200 GTO mount but I will do my best to tell you my experience. 

So park 3 is where you start. Weights on an off in that position with clutches tight. In my case tight means finger tight plus a little more. So snug but not wrenched down. Loose to me means just loose. So from tight where it’s finger tight plus some to loose is probably 1-2 full turns. Maybe less.

So weights on then just barely loose to get a feel for the weight and how it will act. My AP 1100 has a fair amount of natural friction in it even with the clutches loose. So in my case this can make it difficult to determine what is exactly balanced. So this is what I did. I intentionally changed the weighting enough so I could tell what out of balance felt like. But I kept a tight grip on my OTA so there were no mishaps.

My OTA says 32 pounds but then there is the diagonal plus eyepiece, a GLP and whatever else. I ended up with 48# of weight and it feels balanced enough. With the friction that’s natural to the system it can only be tuned so much. The book says err on the side of more weight so that’s how I handled it. Once you think you’re close you can try loosening the clutches a little more to see if that will help you feel the balance point.

You have a different mount but I hope this will give you some idea.

Hope that helps.


Tom




On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 10:22 PM michael mccann via groups.io <mmccawsprojects=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi again
Getting a feel for AP1600 clutch methods. It seems like the AP clutch system is more like the Losmandy G11 than the iOptron iEq30 Pro ( which in reality is how the iEq30 mount engages the worm gear). 
So when achieving balance on the G11 I would loosen the clutches to balance RA and Dec.  Your manual says to keep the clutches hand tight on both axis. Disengage the gear mesh as one balances.
My question is even though you disengage the gear mesh, wouldn’t you still want to disengage the clutch on the axis your balancing? So you know your design better, what am I missing?

Cheers
Mike






--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: More basic mount questions

michael mccann
 

Thanks Rolando
I see I skipped the preliminary balancing section.

Cheers 


On Sep 29, 2021, at 10:43 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


I-Optrons don't have clutches, they only have gear release.

The 1600 has clutches which allow basic balancing. For fine balance you can use the gear release knob, but this should be done only in Park3 position for both axes precision balancing!
Please read the manual to keep from damaging your worm wheels

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: michael mccann via groups.io <mmccawsprojects@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Sep 29, 2021 11:22 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] More basic mount questions

Hi again
Getting a feel for AP1600 clutch methods. It seems like the AP clutch system is more like the Losmandy G11 than the iOptron iEq30 Pro ( which in reality is how the iEq30 mount engages the worm gear). 
So when achieving balance on the G11 I would loosen the clutches to balance RA and Dec.  Your manual says to keep the clutches hand tight on both axis. Disengage the gear mesh as one balances.
My question is even though you disengage the gear mesh, wouldn’t you still want to disengage the clutch on the axis your balancing? So you know your design better, what am I missing?

Cheers
Mike






--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: More basic mount questions

Thomas Giannaccini
 

I’m a new owner of a used AP 1200 GTO mount but I will do my best to tell you my experience. 

So park 3 is where you start. Weights on an off in that position with clutches tight. In my case tight means finger tight plus a little more. So snug but not wrenched down. Loose to me means just loose. So from tight where it’s finger tight plus some to loose is probably 1-2 full turns. Maybe less.

So weights on then just barely loose to get a feel for the weight and how it will act. My AP 1100 has a fair amount of natural friction in it even with the clutches loose. So in my case this can make it difficult to determine what is exactly balanced. So this is what I did. I intentionally changed the weighting enough so I could tell what out of balance felt like. But I kept a tight grip on my OTA so there were no mishaps.

My OTA says 32 pounds but then there is the diagonal plus eyepiece, a GLP and whatever else. I ended up with 48# of weight and it feels balanced enough. With the friction that’s natural to the system it can only be tuned so much. The book says err on the side of more weight so that’s how I handled it. Once you think you’re close you can try loosening the clutches a little more to see if that will help you feel the balance point.

You have a different mount but I hope this will give you some idea.

Hope that helps.


Tom




On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 10:22 PM michael mccann via groups.io <mmccawsprojects=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi again
Getting a feel for AP1600 clutch methods. It seems like the AP clutch system is more like the Losmandy G11 than the iOptron iEq30 Pro ( which in reality is how the iEq30 mount engages the worm gear). 
So when achieving balance on the G11 I would loosen the clutches to balance RA and Dec.  Your manual says to keep the clutches hand tight on both axis. Disengage the gear mesh as one balances.
My question is even though you disengage the gear mesh, wouldn’t you still want to disengage the clutch on the axis your balancing? So you know your design better, what am I missing?

Cheers
Mike






--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Re: More basic mount questions

Roland Christen
 

I-Optrons don't have clutches, they only have gear release.

The 1600 has clutches which allow basic balancing. For fine balance you can use the gear release knob, but this should be done only in Park3 position for both axes precision balancing!
Please read the manual to keep from damaging your worm wheels

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: michael mccann via groups.io <mmccawsprojects@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Sep 29, 2021 11:22 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] More basic mount questions

Hi again
Getting a feel for AP1600 clutch methods. It seems like the AP clutch system is more like the Losmandy G11 than the iOptron iEq30 Pro ( which in reality is how the iEq30 mount engages the worm gear). 
So when achieving balance on the G11 I would loosen the clutches to balance RA and Dec.  Your manual says to keep the clutches hand tight on both axis. Disengage the gear mesh as one balances.
My question is even though you disengage the gear mesh, wouldn’t you still want to disengage the clutch on the axis your balancing? So you know your design better, what am I missing?

Cheers
Mike






--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


More basic mount questions

michael mccann
 

Hi again
Getting a feel for AP1600 clutch methods. It seems like the AP clutch system is more like the Losmandy G11 than the iOptron iEq30 Pro ( which in reality is how the iEq30 mount engages the worm gear).
So when achieving balance on the G11 I would loosen the clutches to balance RA and Dec. Your manual says to keep the clutches hand tight on both axis. Disengage the gear mesh as one balances.
My question is even though you disengage the gear mesh, wouldn’t you still want to disengage the clutch on the axis your balancing? So you know your design better, what am I missing?

Cheers
Mike


Re: Hello All and pardon the newbie questions.....

Jeffc
 

Welcome….

On Sep 29, 2021, at 1:34 PM, Michael Kelly <Michael@completedieselva.com> wrote:

. The mount I've bought has a CP3 controller and wondered some insight here in how to integrate. Do I need the CP4 to get the USB-B port which is not on a CP3 but on the CP4?

You can use a Serial -> USB adapter on the CP3. The brand you want to buy is, i think, Tripp-Lite KeySpan.

Tripp Lite Keyspan High-Speed USB to Serial Adapter, PC & Mac (USA-19HS) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000VYJRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_4SPYE16DG4W4NXRE421F

I’ve used a few different serial/usb adapters with the CP3, but iirc the KeySpan adapter was recommended, and it is the adapter I use with the CP3 and other serial needs like the robofocus (Tho I no longer use robofocus). Other adapters might have questionable chips which aren’t as reliable.

-jeff


Re: Seeking CP3 Control Box with V2 Chip

 

Chris,

 

According to the APCC requirements, you only need the V chip. If the custom tracking rates are important, the V1 chip.  BTW, we can provide a loaner for you while yours is in for evaluation/repair.

 

These are the additional features in the V1 and V2.:

 

Version V2

• Optimized RA and DEC guiding corrections for Absolute and Precision Encoders.

 

Version V1

• Increased the range of the custom tracking rates from 99x to 999x. NOTE: Implemented in ASCOM V2 Driver v.5.10.00 and APCC v.1.6.0.0.

• Improved autoguider performance for mounts with Absolute Encoders or Precision Encoders.

• Fixed bug that occasionally moved DEC to the wrong place when returning from overshoot ("DEC Dither") in fork mode.

 

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Chris White
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 9:05 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Seeking CP3 Control Box with V2 Chip

 

Fernando,   I fid find this on AP website: The Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) requires either the CP4 control box or the CP3 control box with the V2 chip installed.


So it would seem I'm looking for the cp3 v2. 

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