Date   

moderated Re: APPM ASCOM Camera Broken

Bill Long
 

Hey that seemed to work. Fog rolled in and killed my night but the ASCOM camera connection did work. Thanks!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2021 7:07 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM ASCOM Camera Broken
 
Hi Bill,

I believe there was a fix in one of the recent betas. Here's a link to the latest beta in case you would like to try it:

https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.apastrosoftware.com%2Fapcc_download%2FAPCC_Pro_BETA_Setup_1.9.2.1.exe&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7Ca3913ff9c5c1465b6e0c08d9a9787d43%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637727157229948378%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&amp;sdata=7aE1gieLocz%2FAgyWonSHwY97baL%2Fbu2bpMeiv4YIzIQ%3D&amp;reserved=0

-Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2021 6:39 PM
> To: AP-GTO Groups.io
> Subject: [ap-gto] APPM ASCOM Camera Broken
>
> I have never been able to get ASCOM Camera to work. I get arcane dialogs like this one:
>
>
>
>







Re: New JPL Format for Horizons Ephemeris #APCC - Format Causes Issue #APCC

Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

Any word on the upcoming update to APCC to correct this?  I am setting up to capture C/2021 A1 (Leonard) and it is a fast moving comet.


Re: APPM Model sanity check (suggestion)

Dale Ghent
 

On Nov 16, 2021, at 20:25, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

Thanks! That is helpful.

I notice that the version that I'm running does not have the Dec Arc tab in the properties for the plug-in. The plug-in version number that I have is 1.3.5.0.

What version do I need, and do I need to do anything to get it other than download a nightly build that has it?
This dec arc code isn't released yet. APCC's current beta introduces a new REST API for controlling how APPM is configured, so I've spent the past day or so converting the plugin over to it. Prior to this API, the instruction would generate a configuration file of parameters and launch APPM with an argument that told it to use that file. Better testing can be done once some loose ends with this API are addressed.

Speaking of testing, it looks like weather and prior obligations will lock me out of testing this under actual sky until later next week. We're getting our first winter storm on Monday or Tuesday, and I won't be available on the only clear-ish night between now and then. My remote setup plans can't happen soon enough (and those are still roughly a year out from coming to fruition.)


Re: Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

Tom Blahovici
 

Take a look at the AP 1612FSA Flat Surface Adapter and you will see why.


Re: 130 EDFS

Karen Christen
 

Thanks for sharing, Kevin.  We’re really happy you’re enjoying your new scope!

 

“Nerded out on this one…”  😆

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of KHursh via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2021 10:57 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] 130 EDFS

 

[Edited Message Follows]

And now for something completely different...

My acquisition computer didn't like the over 90% humidity we've had lately and we have some partly cloudy skies on top of the nearly full moon, so I decided to give my new-to-me 130 some visual only time. I had Sky Safari driving the CP5 and it was working fine.

Caveat: I don't have a huge selection of eyepieces, so this is pretty limited. I was working with a 25mm Televue plossl and a 8mm Radian as well as a Barlow.

According to Astrospheric, Seeing is average. Being directly under the jet stream here in Northern California, expectations are always low, especially as we head toward winter. 

Luna: I kept the moon at 34x, but she was lovely. Just the barest edge of the eastern edge was in shadow but it was super crisp. I am not very experienced with lunar observation, but the view was great.

Almach: Gamma Andromeda is a lovely double star system very similar to Albireo with a large bright yellow star paired with a smaller blue star. The color contrast is beautiful with the blue member to the upper right of the yellow star. This is not all that difficult to split and was easy at 100x.

Zeta Aquarii: This was a slightly more challenging target. I could see a peanut at 100x, but you drive a truck through the pair at 200x. Seeing was steadying quite a bit because I could clearly see the first diffraction rings around each star and they weren't bouncing around much. The two members appeared in a N-S orientation with each other.

Now here's where it gets surprising.

Epsilon Arietis: Yes I managed to split this tight pair. They are listed at 1.3" separation and was able to cleanly split the pair. I was not expecting this.

Jupiter: With only 5" of aperture, there isn't a whole lot of detail one can see. The Galilean moons were not quite disks as they would be in 10+" scopes. Equatorial banding was easily seen with moments of detail showing in the clouds. A little patience paid off and I could sense just a little bit of festooning. The red spot was not visible.

Uranus: A little gem. Clearly blue disk visible at 200x. My first time seeing it visually. Nerded out on this one.

I finished with the double-double. Epsilon Lyrae is not a challenged for the scope, but I can't resist looking when it is visible. At 200x, there was plenty of daylight there on both pairs.

This is a fantastic telescope. The thermal stability really beats the tar out of my Esprit 120. That is where it truly exceeds the Sky-Watcher. Of course it is better in other ways, but its a little more subtle. The thermal stability is NOT subtle.

Thanks Roland. I don't if you were ever thanked 20+ years ago when this was first made, but let me make amends for that. This is such a fine instrument. I couldn't be happier with it.

Kevin


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: 130 EDFS

Roland Christen
 

Glad you're enjoying the scope.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: KHursh via groups.io <khursh@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Nov 16, 2021 10:57 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] 130 EDFS

And now for something completely different...

My acquisition computer didn't like the over 90% humidity we've had lately and we have some partly cloudy skies on top of the nearly full moon, so I decided to give my new-to-me 130 some visual only time. I had Sky Safari driving the CP5 and it was working fine.

Caveat: I don't have a huge selection of eyepieces, so this is pretty limited. I was working with a 25mm Televue plossl and a 8mm Radian as well as a Barlow.

According to Astrospheric, Seeing is average. Being directly under the jet stream here in Northern California, expectations are always low, especially as we head toward winter. 

Luna: I kept the moon at 34x, but she was lovely. Just the barest edge of the eastern edge was in shadow but it was super crisp. I am not very experienced with lunar observation, but the view was great.

Almach: Gamma Andromeda is a lovely double star system very similar to Albireo with a large bright yellow star paired with a smaller blue star. The color contrast is beautiful with the blue member to the upper right of the yellow star. This is not all that difficult to split and was easy at 100x.

Zeta Aquarii: This was a slightly more challenging target. I could see a peanut at 100x, but you drive a truck through the pair at 200x. Seeing was steadying quite a bit because I could clearly see the first diffraction rings around each star and they weren't bouncing around much. The two members appeared in a N-S orientation with each other.

Now here's where it gets surprising.

Epsilon Arietis: Yes I managed to split this tight pair. They are listed at 1.3" separation and was able to cleanly split the pair. I was not expecting this.

Jupiter: With only 5" of aperture, there isn't a whole lot of detail one can see. The Galilean moons were not quite disks as they would be in 10+" scopes. Equatorial banding was easily seen with moments of detail showing in the clouds. A little patience paid off and I could sense just a little bit of festooning. The red spot was not visible.

Uranus: A little gem. Clearly blue disk visible at 200x. My first time seeing it visually. Nerded out on this one.

I finished with the double-double. Epsilon Lyrae is not a challenged for the scope, but I can't resist looking when it is visible. At 200x, there was plenty of daylight there on both pairs.

This is a fantastic telescope. The thermal stability really beats the tar out of my Esprit 120. That is where it truly exceeds the Sky-Watcher. Of course it is better in other ways, but its a little more subtle. The thermal stability is NOT subtle.

Thanks Roland. I don't if you were ever thanked 20+ years ago when this was first made, but let me make amends for that. This is such a fine instrument. I couldn't be happier with it.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

Howard Ritter
 

Thanks, Christopher. What you describe is what I had envisioned for the tripod and the 1600. Using it would also enable the 1600 to carry the Meade OTA, which would be Plan B if I don’t get to my notional PlaneWave 14”. Pretty and versatile aren’t necessary to the idea I have of stationing the installation (semi-)permanently on my patio, to be protected with a bespoke heavy, aluminized, weatherproof shroud, nor to the possibility of taking the whole shebang in pieces back and forth in a U-Haul to our Florida winter home for the 5 months or so that we spend there.

(Parenthetically, I’d like to know whether you're familiar with Optec’s field flattener/focal reducer for the classic Meade 16” SCT. Optec claims, with some evidence, that this accessory makes the Classic’s optical performance equivalent to that of the current ACF design. Considering the cost differential between keeping the Meade OTA and selling it to buy a PlaneWave 14", would I be just as well advised to stay with the Meade + Optec?)

I’ve found a local machine shop whose boss is fascinated by my reasons for bringing in telescope parts for modification, and they could certainly do the work. But if there’s no problem drilling and tapping the top plate of the tripod to take the FSA, why not just drill and tap for direct mounting of the 1600?

Thanks again!

—howard



On Nov 16, 2021, at 4:54 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:

The LX200-16 tripod will work without much effort but it isn't very pretty or versatile. I have one so I am speaking from experience.

It would be very simple to place the AP 1612FSA Flat Surface Adapter on the Meade tripod top and mark, drill and tap the correct mounting holes on the tripod. Then attach the FSA and then the mount.

The new threaded holes can easily be created with simple hand tools. Or if you prefer, a machine shop or maybe even a handy friend could help you out.

And the new threaded holes would not prevent the tripod from still being used with the Meade LX200-16 scope, if desired.

The Meade super-giant field tripod isn't very tall and you might consider adding a half-pier to it.  
 
"Always take the high road. There's less traffic."

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 5:28 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
The eagle pier is not meant for the 1600. We have 10" diameter piers for the larger mounts. They come in several lengths, depending on what scope you have. For a short SCT type, I would recommend using the shortest pier to keep the mount low to the ground.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter=mac.com@groups.io>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 15, 2021 11:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

Thanks, Roland. I had been looking at the Eagle portable pier, but the listing doesn’t mention the 1600GTO. Are the two adaptable to each other and play nicely together?

By the way, my 25-year-old 155EDF says “Hi, Dad!”

—howard

On Nov 15, 2021, at 4:42 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:

For the 1600 nothing beats an ATS for rigidity. I have found that wood tripods like the Berlebach will twist slightly with variable moisture in the atmosphere, and thus change the polar alignment. Not my choice for a permanent setup, but fine for portable use.

Our portable piers are also great for backyard setups and don't cost as much as the ATS.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 15, 2021 2:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

I have been hoping to put my 1600GTO mount, due in February, on a pedestal in my side yard. This is looking like it may not be feasible, and I’m thinking again of the idea of tripod mounting. I have a Meade Giant Field Tripod for my 16” LX200 that I could have an adapter machined for, but that tripod may be too much to deal with easily.

I have a spare Berlebach Planet tripod rated for 120 kg, but I don’t know whether it’s adequate for the 100 kg of mount, scope, and counterweights that I have in mind (PlaneWave 14”, or failing that, a C14).

If the Planet is marginal for astroimaging with this setup, what’s a good option? Berlebach makes a bigger tripod, the Graviton, rated for 220 kg, but it’s 5x the cost of a Planet. The listing fo the A-P Eagle doesn’t mention a mount as big as the 1600. That leaves the Bisque Pyramid.

Any thoughts? Experiences?

—howard







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics




130 EDFS

KHursh
 
Edited

And now for something completely different...

My acquisition computer didn't like the over 90% humidity we've had lately and we have some partly cloudy skies on top of the nearly full moon, so I decided to give my new-to-me 130 some visual only time. I had Sky Safari driving the CP5 and it was working fine.

Caveat: I don't have a huge selection of eyepieces, so this is pretty limited. I was working with a 25mm Televue plossl and a 8mm Radian as well as a Barlow.

According to Astrospheric, Seeing is average. Being directly under the jet stream here in Northern California, expectations are always low, especially as we head toward winter. 

Luna: I kept the moon at 34x, but she was lovely. Just the barest edge of the eastern edge was in shadow but it was super crisp. I am not very experienced with lunar observation, but the view was great.

Almach: Gamma Andromeda is a lovely double star system very similar to Albireo with a large bright yellow star paired with a smaller blue star. The color contrast is beautiful with the blue member to the upper right of the yellow star. This is not all that difficult to split and was easy at 100x.

Zeta Aquarii: This was a slightly more challenging target. I could see a peanut at 100x, but you drive a truck through the pair at 200x. Seeing was steadying quite a bit because I could clearly see the first diffraction rings around each star and they weren't bouncing around much. The two members appeared in a N-S orientation with each other.

Now here's where it gets surprising.

Epsilon Arietis: Yes I managed to split this tight pair. They are listed at 1.3" separation and was able to cleanly split the pair. I was not expecting this.

Jupiter: With only 5" of aperture, there isn't a whole lot of detail one can see. The Galilean moons were not quite disks as they would be in 10+" scopes. Equatorial banding was easily seen with moments of detail showing in the clouds. A little patience paid off and I could sense just a little bit of festooning. The red spot was not visible.

Uranus: A little gem. Clearly blue disk visible at 200x. My first time seeing it visually. Nerded out on this one.

I finished with the double-double. Epsilon Lyrae is not a challenged for the scope, but I can't resist looking when it is visible. At 200x, there was plenty of daylight there on both pairs.

This is a fantastic telescope. The thermal stability really beats the tar out of my Esprit 120. That is where it truly exceeds the Sky-Watcher. Of course it is better in other ways, but its a little more subtle. The thermal stability is NOT subtle.

Thanks Roland. I don't if you were ever thanked 20+ years ago when this was first made, but let me make amends for that. This is such a fine instrument. I couldn't be happier with it.

Kevin


Re: [ap-ug] Glazed Donut

Roland Christen
 


BTW, I had fun searching out all the faint galaxies you also captured. 
What did you find? How faint?

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff B <mnebula946@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Nov 16, 2021 7:15 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Glazed Donut

Pretty cool Roland.  Yeah it does look like a glazed donut.  Now I'm hungry.  

BTW, I had fun searching out all the faint galaxies you also captured.  That's pretty cool too.

Jeff

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 5:51 PM Pete Lardizabal <p14@...> wrote:
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

😎

Pete

On Nov 16, 2021, at 2:40 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Hello Astronuts,

This is image #2 from my Hawaiian observatory. The image consists of 60 x600 sec LRGB subs. Imaging scope was the 175EDF at F7.5 (no flattener or compressor, just straight on).

To me it looks like a glazed donut, but it's also known as the Spare Tire Nebula. :^))

What's interesting is that there are no dust defects visible in the image, even though I did not use any flats. They are there, but just not visible because the sky is so dark in Hawaii that there was essentially no background flux. I did get several satellite trails in the red subs early in the morning. Median combine did a fair job of minimizing them


Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


moderated Re: APPM ASCOM Camera Broken

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Bill,

I believe there was a fix in one of the recent betas. Here's a link to the latest beta in case you would like to try it:

https://www.apastrosoftware.com/apcc_download/APCC_Pro_BETA_Setup_1.9.2.1.exe

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2021 6:39 PM
To: AP-GTO Groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM ASCOM Camera Broken

I have never been able to get ASCOM Camera to work. I get arcane dialogs like this one:




moderated APPM ASCOM Camera Broken

Bill Long
 

I have never been able to get ASCOM Camera to work. I get arcane dialogs like this one:



Re: AP1600 Down

Steven Panish
 

Here is the Amazon page for a pair:

Of course the price has nearly doubled since I bought mine 7 years ago!  There was another place off the amazon page for $135.  I think I paid $90/pair and bought an open box one for $40.  These have an integral narrow-band antenna and will go a long way if you have line of sight.  Very easy to set up and reliable.  I believe the speed is 150 Mbps.  We live off-grid and are 1200 ft from the road.  The observatory is about 1/2 way to the road.  We have a Nano base station with a cable drop just off the road on a neighbor's property with a TPLink ethernet router connected to the cable modem.  The bridge connects to the router.  Then there is a Nano each in the observatory and the house.  Each of those locations has an AP.  All our telecom goes through these links.  I remote console to the computer in the observatory for control (doing it now, in spite of the moon, just changed a filter and refocused).  We can both be on the internet and one person on the phone, works fine.  For the phone you need an AP capable of setting Quality of Service (QOS) to high priority or the voice quality will be degraded.

For a regular router with bridge capability, you would need to add external narrow band antennae to get any reach.  But with that you will get serious distance.

I have a TPLink router and AP and my feeling is that both are excellent.  They also sell bridge setups, and I bet they are good too.  The Ubiquiti is considered enterprise quality.  I have no complaints.  Any questions feel free to ping me.

Steve

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 8:14 PM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
Hi Steve,

I'm currently using a regular router in bridge mode.  It's about 100' from the house, connecting to an access point inside the house.  It works, but the signal is such that I could not go much further.

I have considered a point-to-point, long range bridge and running the entire observatory on solar and batteries.  I've had very good success with solar and battery for my system when I am observing at remote sites, but I like the reliability of a wired connection.

Do you have a link to the specific WiFi bridge that you use?  I would be interested in trying it.

Thanks,
-Wade

On 11/16/21 10:09 AM, Steven Panish wrote:
Wade-
I use a wifi bridge to simulate an ethernet connection to my observatory.  Costs about $90.  I use Ubiquite Nanostation M2 but TPLink has good products as well, both are cheap.  Mine works very well.   Actually the whole house is on this system as well with the base station about 1400 ft away.  No wires!  In my case the whole observatory is off-grid PV powered.

Steve

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 6:47 PM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
I've been keeping my AP1600-AE set up outdoors under a cover almost since I got it in 2012.

I lived in Western Washington most of that time.  Our property was surrounded by forest and we never got the full force of the wind at ground level.  I've been on the east side of the mountains for the last year, in an area with high winds.  50 mph winds are pretty common.

The wind over here often continues all night long, and it can wreak havoc on imaging (to say the least).  For the last couple of months, I've had it surrounded by a wind break, comprised of a 6' high square metal frame, 10 feet on a side, with tarps to break the wind.  This has been remarkably effective at allowing me to image in the wind.

I was sitting in my home office today and heard the wind howling (not unusual).  The house made kind of a groaning sound with a particularly large gust.  I looked out my window just in time to see my wind break pull up the anchors and move across the ground.  When it got to the mount, the mount stopped it momentarily until the wind break climbed up and over the mount.  As it went over, it pulled the mount over.  Fortunately, I removed the scope and accessories from the mount last week, when it became obvious that we'd not have any imaging weather for a while (and even if the scope were still mounted, I've been doing wide field stuff, so it would have been my SV80 and not the AP130).  We have a couple of clear nights forecast this week, so I was thinking about putting the scope back on.  Now I'm glad that I didn't.

The wind break was completely destroyed.  I live in a good sized chunk of property, but the wind was taking the structure towards the road (a few hundred feet from the mount's site), so I went out and cut the tarps loose so that it would (hopefully) stay on my property.

It's still far too windy to attempt any clean up.  It was dangerous enough getting the wind break broken up so that it's not still heading across the state to the east.  The mount was tipped over to the west, so I'm hoping that the dovetail saddle, or any part of the declination axis made contact with the ground.  It's still under the cover, so I need to investigate that once the wind calms.  My neighbor has his own weather station that is connected to Weather Underground.  It claims that the winds is 34 mph, gusting 38.  I don't think that's remotely correct.  The gust that took everything down was much stronger than the sustained wind.

I have my fingers crossed that there is no damage to the mount...

-Wade




Re: APPM Model sanity check (suggestion)

W Hilmo
 

Thanks!  That is helpful.

I notice that the version that I'm running does not have the Dec Arc tab in the properties for the plug-in.  The plug-in version number that I have is 1.3.5.0.

What version do I need, and do I need to do anything to get it other than download a nightly build that has it?

-Wade

On 11/15/21 10:42 PM, Dale Ghent wrote:
Alright, here's 30 minutes of me talking about it:

https://youtu.be/TOUqKZXJyUs

On Nov 15, 2021, at 21:18, Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


I don't have anything fresher than that video at the moment, but I have been working on this Advanced Sequencer plugin quite a bit lately. It has turned into a project between Ray and myself, with some new features in APPM that allows external thingies such as this plugin to interact with APPM better.

The backend of the plugin is kind of exploded on the floor at the moment so it's not a good moment to hand something off to try, and the code will require a beta version of APPM that I don't think is generally available. But, what I can do right now is whip up a better video to explain things in a clearer manner.


On Nov 15, 2021, at 16:48, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

Do you have any links to an alternative description of how this works?

The video on the first link is, as you say, in potato mode. The YouTube link has legible video, but both videos are missing audio for me. I may have a clear night or two this week and I would like to experiment with integrating creation of the dec-arc tracking model into my sequence.

Thanks,
-Wade

On 11/7/21 12:47 AM, Dale Ghent wrote:
Ack! I didn't realize that imgur reduced the video resolution to potato mode. Here's a better view:

https://youtu.be/OoJCp6sZhuo

On Nov 7, 2021, at 02:38, Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


I meant to get this rolling sooner, but life threw me a curveball last month. Thanks to Ray's additions to the upcoming APCC Pro 1.9.1.x, there's now an easy way to programmatically feed model creation parameters to APPM so that it can produce a model plan using that also considers the other things you might have configured in APPM - horizons, limits, ordering strategy and so on.

So I created a new sequencer instruction for my AP mount plugin for NINA called "Create Dec Arc Model". It will get the RA and dec of the current target and have APPM create a model plan based on that info. You would place this instruction at the start of a target's run so that a dec-arc model is created and put in place prior to getting down to business.

It'll currently create 3 arcs - 1 centered on or (or at least very near) the target's declination, and 2 additional arcs - one on the north side and the other on the south side of the target's declination, separated from the center arc by a configurable number of degrees. Point density along the arcs, in the RA, is another parameter that can be tuned. The arcs will begin (ie, their eastern-most extent) slightly before the target's current hour angle and extend to the configured minimum altitude or the western horizon limit, whichever is hit first. Obviously it's quite advantageous to use your local horizon limits in order to cut down on pointless (ha ha) map points.

Below is a short video of me futzing around with the new code. In it, I select a target in Stellarium (the CA nebula) and import it into NINA's Framing Assistant. I then create a target session using a small sequence template I made that has just the "Create Dec Arc Model" instruction in it. I then run that sequence. With debug logging on, the APPM configuration gets quoted in NINA's log file, so I copy and pasted that config into its own text file and loaded it into APPM to look at the point map. Presto, there's a 3-arc wide dec model based on the CA nebula's location at that time. Obviously this would all be automatic in practice, with a temporary config file being made and fed to APPM directly... this just lets me debug at each step as I work on the code.

I'll put some more polish and testing on it over the next days. If any NINA user here is interested in trying it out, see me on the NINA Discord chat.

https://i.imgur.com/jU1UQTa.mp4

On Nov 6, 2021, at 15:35, Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:

Hi Linwood,

Or... am I just crazy to consider reusing a model after a tear down and reassembly?
You could do a simple test to find out! Specifically, you could do a Verify run in APPM with a much smaller number of points than your model. That is, a Verify run does not have to use the same points as your active model. When you do this, take a look at the measured pointing errors in the table that APPM creates in the verify run.

BTW, in case anyone is wondering, there are two main differences between a normal APPM run and a verify:

1) The Verify run keeps the active model on, while a normal run would have modeling off.

2) The Verify run will not replace your active model. That is, APPM won't ask to load it into APCC, and APPM will even warn you if you try to load a verify run.

Also, a verify run will probably be much less useful if you are checking a few Dec Arc rows, because it wouldn't take much longer to create new Dec Arcs.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Saturday, November 6, 2021 8:33 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APPM Model sanity check (suggestion)

The discussion on refreshing reminds me to ask this.

I set up and tear down nightly, but fairly precisely in the same setup (example: I usually land within 5' of polar
aligned after I put things together).

I have built a nice model of the sky, but for just time constraints (and I guide) I do not build a new model each
night, and because I worry the model is no longer good, I generally do not use one at all.

I know that APPM has a verify process, that will check each model point for consistency (presumably to flush
out equipment variability that may be invalidating it from run to run).

Would it be possible to have a similar process, perhaps a "model sanity check", which would take 10% (or
some specified number of model points), and check just those. The idea is to see if your model is still good
but in far less time than a complete verify run (which basically takes the same time it would to build a model).

I am not sure how to interpret it, but some kind of correlation calculation could tell you if it looks good or bad,
and is worth using. The idea is spending 10 minutes to validate a fairly large model rather than 60-90 minutes
to build a new one.

Or... am I just crazy to consider reusing a model after a tear down and reassembly?

Linwood
















Re: [ap-ug] Glazed Donut

Jeff B
 

Pretty cool Roland.  Yeah it does look like a glazed donut.  Now I'm hungry.  

BTW, I had fun searching out all the faint galaxies you also captured.  That's pretty cool too.

Jeff

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 5:51 PM Pete Lardizabal <p14@...> wrote:
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

😎

Pete

On Nov 16, 2021, at 2:40 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Hello Astronuts,

This is image #2 from my Hawaiian observatory. The image consists of 60 x600 sec LRGB subs. Imaging scope was the 175EDF at F7.5 (no flattener or compressor, just straight on).

To me it looks like a glazed donut, but it's also known as the Spare Tire Nebula. :^))

What's interesting is that there are no dust defects visible in the image, even though I did not use any flats. They are there, but just not visible because the sky is so dark in Hawaii that there was essentially no background flux. I did get several satellite trails in the red subs early in the morning. Median combine did a fair job of minimizing them


Rolando


Re: AP1600 Down

W Hilmo
 

Hi Steve,

I'm currently using a regular router in bridge mode.  It's about 100' from the house, connecting to an access point inside the house.  It works, but the signal is such that I could not go much further.

I have considered a point-to-point, long range bridge and running the entire observatory on solar and batteries.  I've had very good success with solar and battery for my system when I am observing at remote sites, but I like the reliability of a wired connection.

Do you have a link to the specific WiFi bridge that you use?  I would be interested in trying it.

Thanks,
-Wade

On 11/16/21 10:09 AM, Steven Panish wrote:
Wade-
I use a wifi bridge to simulate an ethernet connection to my observatory.  Costs about $90.  I use Ubiquite Nanostation M2 but TPLink has good products as well, both are cheap.  Mine works very well.   Actually the whole house is on this system as well with the base station about 1400 ft away.  No wires!  In my case the whole observatory is off-grid PV powered.

Steve

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 6:47 PM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
I've been keeping my AP1600-AE set up outdoors under a cover almost since I got it in 2012.

I lived in Western Washington most of that time.  Our property was surrounded by forest and we never got the full force of the wind at ground level.  I've been on the east side of the mountains for the last year, in an area with high winds.  50 mph winds are pretty common.

The wind over here often continues all night long, and it can wreak havoc on imaging (to say the least).  For the last couple of months, I've had it surrounded by a wind break, comprised of a 6' high square metal frame, 10 feet on a side, with tarps to break the wind.  This has been remarkably effective at allowing me to image in the wind.

I was sitting in my home office today and heard the wind howling (not unusual).  The house made kind of a groaning sound with a particularly large gust.  I looked out my window just in time to see my wind break pull up the anchors and move across the ground.  When it got to the mount, the mount stopped it momentarily until the wind break climbed up and over the mount.  As it went over, it pulled the mount over.  Fortunately, I removed the scope and accessories from the mount last week, when it became obvious that we'd not have any imaging weather for a while (and even if the scope were still mounted, I've been doing wide field stuff, so it would have been my SV80 and not the AP130).  We have a couple of clear nights forecast this week, so I was thinking about putting the scope back on.  Now I'm glad that I didn't.

The wind break was completely destroyed.  I live in a good sized chunk of property, but the wind was taking the structure towards the road (a few hundred feet from the mount's site), so I went out and cut the tarps loose so that it would (hopefully) stay on my property.

It's still far too windy to attempt any clean up.  It was dangerous enough getting the wind break broken up so that it's not still heading across the state to the east.  The mount was tipped over to the west, so I'm hoping that the dovetail saddle, or any part of the declination axis made contact with the ground.  It's still under the cover, so I need to investigate that once the wind calms.  My neighbor has his own weather station that is connected to Weather Underground.  It claims that the winds is 34 mph, gusting 38.  I don't think that's remotely correct.  The gust that took everything down was much stronger than the sustained wind.

I have my fingers crossed that there is no damage to the mount...

-Wade




Re: AP1600 Down

Jeff B
 

Excellent news!


On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 6:42 PM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:
I just wanted to post a follow-up on my mount.

I set it back up today and it seems to be almost completely undamaged. 
One of the clutch screws on the right ascension axis is bent.  It looks
like it might have been the contact point when it hit the ground, since
there is no other evidence of damage anywhere, not even a scratch.  It
helps that the mount was covered by a TG365 and that my property is
mostly prairie grass and sage, so it didn't land on concrete or anything
else really hard.  I've spoken with George over at Astro-Physics to
arrange to replace it.  In the meantime, the screw still works; it's
just that the head is bent.

To set it back up, I lifted it upright.  It had moved about 2 feet from
the pads where I put the pier feet.  I then took everything apart to
check for any signs of damage.  When I put it back together, I ran each
axis through its range of motion.  I listened for anything unusual and
watched the absolute encoder status lights.  All was well.

I noted that there was some play in each axis, which is not unexpected
after a tumble like this.  I re-meshed each axis and everything is
normal, with no play that I can feel and smooth motion.

Finally, I did a daytime polar alignment.  I must have gotten the mount
back exactly where it was, because very minor tweaks were all that was
necessary.  The sun was even in the field of view of my PST when the
goto completed (there was a really nice loop prominence; if you have an
Ha solar scope).

I really appreciate the advice and information regarding observatory
design.  I'm going to need to make some decisions on how to move
forward.  I'm a software guy and have never done a construction project
like that before, so I was going to have it built for me. One of the
other local astronomers around here has reached out to me to talk to him
about it.  I believe that he's quite capable of this kind of project.

Oh, and to give an idea of how strong the wind really was, another local
astronomer had the roof of his observatory take flight.  There were also
multiple incidents with 30 miles of here, or so, where semi trucks were
blown over on Interstate 90.  I feel like I came away from this
completely unscathed, compared to some other folks.

Thanks,
-Wade

On 11/16/21 9:26 AM, Mike Dodd wrote:
> On 11/16/2021 11:37 AM, Brian Valente wrote:
>> Really nice writeup Mike!
>>
>> I noted your DIY telescope caps. Boy those are fast!
>
> Model servos move really fast. My Arduino program introduces a
> 10-millisecond delay per degree over the 145-degree movement, so it
> takes 1.45 seconds to open or close a cap. The delay can be customized
> to accommodate caps of different sizes.
>









Re: AP1600 Down

W Hilmo
 

I just wanted to post a follow-up on my mount.

I set it back up today and it seems to be almost completely undamaged.  One of the clutch screws on the right ascension axis is bent.  It looks like it might have been the contact point when it hit the ground, since there is no other evidence of damage anywhere, not even a scratch.  It helps that the mount was covered by a TG365 and that my property is mostly prairie grass and sage, so it didn't land on concrete or anything else really hard.  I've spoken with George over at Astro-Physics to arrange to replace it.  In the meantime, the screw still works; it's just that the head is bent.

To set it back up, I lifted it upright.  It had moved about 2 feet from the pads where I put the pier feet.  I then took everything apart to check for any signs of damage.  When I put it back together, I ran each axis through its range of motion.  I listened for anything unusual and watched the absolute encoder status lights.  All was well.

I noted that there was some play in each axis, which is not unexpected after a tumble like this.  I re-meshed each axis and everything is normal, with no play that I can feel and smooth motion.

Finally, I did a daytime polar alignment.  I must have gotten the mount back exactly where it was, because very minor tweaks were all that was necessary.  The sun was even in the field of view of my PST when the goto completed (there was a really nice loop prominence; if you have an Ha solar scope).

I really appreciate the advice and information regarding observatory design.  I'm going to need to make some decisions on how to move forward.  I'm a software guy and have never done a construction project like that before, so I was going to have it built for me. One of the other local astronomers around here has reached out to me to talk to him about it.  I believe that he's quite capable of this kind of project.

Oh, and to give an idea of how strong the wind really was, another local astronomer had the roof of his observatory take flight.  There were also multiple incidents with 30 miles of here, or so, where semi trucks were blown over on Interstate 90.  I feel like I came away from this completely unscathed, compared to some other folks.

Thanks,
-Wade

On 11/16/21 9:26 AM, Mike Dodd wrote:
On 11/16/2021 11:37 AM, Brian Valente wrote:
Really nice writeup Mike!

I noted your DIY telescope caps. Boy those are fast!
Model servos move really fast. My Arduino program introduces a 10-millisecond delay per degree over the 145-degree movement, so it takes 1.45 seconds to open or close a cap. The delay can be customized to accommodate caps of different sizes.


Re: [ap-ug] Glazed Donut

Pete Lardizabal
 

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

😎

Pete

On Nov 16, 2021, at 2:40 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Hello Astronuts,

This is image #2 from my Hawaiian observatory. The image consists of 60 x600 sec LRGB subs. Imaging scope was the 175EDF at F7.5 (no flattener or compressor, just straight on).

To me it looks like a glazed donut, but it's also known as the Spare Tire Nebula. :^))

What's interesting is that there are no dust defects visible in the image, even though I did not use any flats. They are there, but just not visible because the sky is so dark in Hawaii that there was essentially no background flux. I did get several satellite trails in the red subs early in the morning. Median combine did a fair job of minimizing them

https://www.astrobin.com/p8jrgv/0/

Rolando


Re: Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

Christopher Erickson
 

The LX200-16 tripod will work without much effort but it isn't very pretty or versatile. I have one so I am speaking from experience.

It would be very simple to place the AP 1612FSA Flat Surface Adapter on the Meade tripod top and mark, drill and tap the correct mounting holes on the tripod. Then attach the FSA and then the mount.

The new threaded holes can easily be created with simple hand tools. Or if you prefer, a machine shop or maybe even a handy friend could help you out.

And the new threaded holes would not prevent the tripod from still being used with the Meade LX200-16 scope, if desired.

The Meade super-giant field tripod isn't very tall and you might consider adding a half-pier to it.  
 
"Always take the high road. There's less traffic."

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 5:28 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
The eagle pier is not meant for the 1600. We have 10" diameter piers for the larger mounts. They come in several lengths, depending on what scope you have. For a short SCT type, I would recommend using the shortest pier to keep the mount low to the ground.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter=mac.com@groups.io>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 15, 2021 11:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

Thanks, Roland. I had been looking at the Eagle portable pier, but the listing doesn’t mention the 1600GTO. Are the two adaptable to each other and play nicely together?

By the way, my 25-year-old 155EDF says “Hi, Dad!”

—howard

On Nov 15, 2021, at 4:42 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:

For the 1600 nothing beats an ATS for rigidity. I have found that wood tripods like the Berlebach will twist slightly with variable moisture in the atmosphere, and thus change the polar alignment. Not my choice for a permanent setup, but fine for portable use.

Our portable piers are also great for backyard setups and don't cost as much as the ATS.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 15, 2021 2:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Tripod mounting of 1600GTO

I have been hoping to put my 1600GTO mount, due in February, on a pedestal in my side yard. This is looking like it may not be feasible, and I’m thinking again of the idea of tripod mounting. I have a Meade Giant Field Tripod for my 16” LX200 that I could have an adapter machined for, but that tripod may be too much to deal with easily.

I have a spare Berlebach Planet tripod rated for 120 kg, but I don’t know whether it’s adequate for the 100 kg of mount, scope, and counterweights that I have in mind (PlaneWave 14”, or failing that, a C14).

If the Planet is marginal for astroimaging with this setup, what’s a good option? Berlebach makes a bigger tripod, the Graviton, rated for 220 kg, but it’s 5x the cost of a Planet. The listing fo the A-P Eagle doesn’t mention a mount as big as the 1600. That leaves the Bisque Pyramid.

Any thoughts? Experiences?

—howard







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: No longer lost in space...but the pointing....

Astrobob
 

Thanks for the response Peter. I do have mirror locks.

Even the 40 stars I’ve T-Pointed change to slightly different locations on my imager CCD each time I come back to them during the night.

Something seems to be moving…I’ve checked everything and nothing is loose or slipping.

 

Bob

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 

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