Date   

Re: Eagle 8” Tripod for AP1100?

Roland Christen
 

The Eagle gets steadier the more weight you put on it. To hold an 1100 mount would require some modification of the top, or a larger pier.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Dec 2, 2021 9:44 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Eagle 8” Tripod for AP1100?

Yeah for sure.

The Eagle was known to hold the Mach 2 and an AG 12.5 scope with perfectly good frames from the perspective of the mount.

Roland has an even bigger load on his. Close to 100lbs scope and imaging train alone 

There's some data here, from the Eagle, Mach 2 and AG12.5:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtqRof7LftCbg7w7cULG6my8_qiC-A?e=wqSNNp

Clearly good, and not overloaded. Perhaps you'll have a look and change your mind.

Everyone here has already done that.

Bill


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of RogerM <rogezeus2003@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 2, 2021 7:23 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Eagle 8” Tripod for AP1100?
 
Thats what I’m thinking, there is definitely a market for this item for those of us who want a tripod solution directly from Astro-Physics. 
At a sale price of ~$2500 I would be interested. 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Eagle 8” Tripod for AP1100?

Bill Long
 

Yeah for sure.

The Eagle was known to hold the Mach 2 and an AG 12.5 scope with perfectly good frames from the perspective of the mount.

Roland has an even bigger load on his. Close to 100lbs scope and imaging train alone 

There's some data here, from the Eagle, Mach 2 and AG12.5:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtqRof7LftCbg7w7cULG6my8_qiC-A?e=wqSNNp

Clearly good, and not overloaded. Perhaps you'll have a look and change your mind.

Everyone here has already done that.

Bill


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of RogerM <rogezeus2003@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 2, 2021 7:23 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Eagle 8” Tripod for AP1100?
 

Thats what I’m thinking, there is definitely a market for this item for those of us who want a tripod solution directly from Astro-Physics. 

At a sale price of ~$2500 I would be interested. 


Re: Eagle 8” Tripod for AP1100?

RogerM
 

Thats what I’m thinking, there is definitely a market for this item for those of us who want a tripod solution directly from Astro-Physics. 

At a sale price of ~$2500 I would be interested. 


Things that happen this time of year

Roland Christen
 

Hello Astronuts,

I want to alert and make you all aware of things that you may encounter as the weather gets cold. And that is cool-down issues. People will take their scopes out from warm rooms, set them up and start taking images and freak out! What's happening??

The issue is almost always related to cool-down of optical components. It is not limited to the main telescope optics, but can include everything downstream - the diagonal, eyepieces, cameras etc. that are attached to the scope. What tends to happen is that warm components inserted into the focuser sends warm air up the focuser drawtube and distorts the star shapes in the image. Inside of focus you will see a flat on the out-of-focus star, outside of focus you will see a plume. It is always in the direction of vertical with respect to the scope, regardless of which way you are pointing. Only straight up at the zenith, the plume may disappear, to be replaced by a slowly swirling pattern, causing the stars to do a circular dance.

Many a customer has freaked out, sent their optics in for evaluation and not realized what may be really going on. How long does it take for things to settle down? If you take a scope out from a warm room and set it up, it might take 2 hours or more to get round stars (maybe longer for big scopes). Then if you switch the eyepiece with another one from your pocket, the tube currents will start all over again.

So, please be aware of this possibility if you don't get pristine stars right away on these cold nights. Even quartz optics are not immune to this problem. Even though the quartz itself is almost totally immune to dropping temperatures, it's really the tube currents inside the enclosed scope structure that causes the problem.

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Portability of RA and DEC modules

Jack Huerkamp
 

Brian,

 

A lot more eligant than my light bulb trick.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2021 4:52 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

>>> Another trick I did before setting up a dehumidifier in my observatory was to place a 25 watt incandescent bulb in a shop light holder and drape the extension cord over the RA shaft so that the bulb hung between the counterweight shaft and pier. 

 

I do something similar with my TG cover (which is outside 24/7/365) but it's with a gun safe dehumidifier rod. it's around 10W and is a metal tube

 

 

I just went through 6" of rain in 24 hours, the telescope and mount were dry thanks to TG cover and rod

 

Brian

 

 

On Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 2:49 PM Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Another trick I did before setting up a dehumidifier in my observatory was to place a 25 watt incandescent bulb in a shop light holder and drape the extension cord over the RA shaft so that the bulb hung between the counterweight shaft and pier.  I then put the 24/7 cover over it and the reflectix inside helped trap the heat and keep the mount dry no matter how humid it got outside.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Howard Ritter via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2021 4:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

Thanks for the personal observations, Wade. I’m especially interested to read that you apparently keep it outdoors under a TG 365 shroud, because I’ve concluded that keeping the Meade 16” on the 1600 on Meade’s giant field tripod outdoors for the 8 months each year that we spend at our primary residence in Ohio will be more cost-effective than buying a permanent pier and digging a foundation for it. I’ve received other personal testimony for doing this with a TG 365 cover as well. In the winter, I’d put the mount, two small OTAs, and a suitable tripod in the trailer along with the bikes etc. for the trip to FL.

 

Since the 1600 will be ready to ship next month, I’ve elected to have it go to our FL winter home. It will be a huge step up in complexity for me, both mechanically and operationally, and the relative lack of distractions down there will be a good opportunity to start getting familiar with while it carries only the refractor or the RASA. The one field excursion I’m hoping to make with it is the Orange Blossom Special Star Party, which my southern club (the St. Pete Astronomy Club) puts on every February. The plan is to drive our small RV there with a little U-Haul for the heavy pieces. Eventually I’d like to get a Mach2 for the FL migration.

 

I’ll keep your email for reference on the configuration of accessories. Thanks for the tips!

 

—howard

 

On Nov 29, 2021, at 12:15 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

 

I've been using my AP1600 as a transportable mount since I got it about 9 years ago.

It spends most of its time on my home property under a TG365 cover, but I take it with me to some star parties.  Up until about 4 years ago, I took it with me to every remote imaging session.  At the 2017 AIC, I was shopping for a new Mach1, but came across an amazing deal on an AP1100.  So I bought the AP1100, and now I only take the AP1600 to Oregon Star Party.  OSP is held in a national forest, so I can go up early.  I'm usually up on site for about 2.5 weeks or so.  I would not transport and set up the AP1600 for a couple of nights, now that I have the AP1100.

The AP1600 is actually pretty manageable as a transportable mount.  The heaviest part is the RA assembly, which weighs in at about 57 lb.  Prior to the AP1600, my imaging mount was a Celestron CGE, which was 50 lb.  The thing is, that the CGE was more difficult to move because it didn't separate.  To protect the worms on that mount, I always released the clutches to move it.  Carrying the CGE with the clutches released was a bit of a hazard, since each axis could move quite freely, creating a pinch hazard.  The RA assembly for the AP1600 is safer to carry.

As for the AP1100, it is an amazingly portable mount for what it is.  I transport it with the axes separated.  I set the RA for zero degrees latitude to minimize its size, and then I can get both halves into a single plastic tub, with padding around each half and between the halves.  I can lift the tub easily enough with both halves in it, but once I arrive on site, I usually carry the halves separately from the cargo trailer to the pier.  They are each light enough that I sometimes do it in one trip, with one half in each hand.

As for running cables through the mount, I use a Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox V2.  Each of my imaging scopes have dovetails on both the top and bottom.  I mount the PowerBox on the top dovetail.  Most of the cables are just a short run, locally on the scope (I started doing this after seeing that Astro-Physics set up their display Mach2 at AIC this way, and it works brilliantly).  This makes it easy to leave the camera, focuser, PowerBox, dew straps, etc. permanently attached to the scope.  I can then mount and unmount the scope, with everything attached, as a single piece.  I'm currently using only refractors for imaging, and I can mount or unmount everything as one piece.  With a much larger imaging scope, it would be more work.

As for the computer, I use a NUC.  Instead of mounting it on top of the scope, I have it permanently mounted inside of an Apache case, with a wireless router, a network switch, a RigRunner, etc.  To attach the computer, I just set the case on the ground and run two cables through the mount, one power cable and one USB cable.  This is trivial to do on either the AP1600 or AP1100 and takes just a few seconds.  I run power and an Ethernet cable to the mount directly from the case.  When I am done, I just disconnect the cables and close the case.

Moving forward, I miss having the AP1600 at each remote site that I use.

I like to image with one scope and do visual with my C14.  The two Astro-Physics mounts are the only ones I have that are suitable for imaging or carrying the C14.  So when I leave the AP1600 home, the C14 also stays home and I do visual either with a smaller scope mounted on an AVX, or with my 14" Dob.  The plan for 2022 is to build a roll-off roof observatory at home and move the AP1600 into it permanently.  The observatory will be large enough for an imaging pier and a visual pier.  The AP1100 will spend most of its time in the observatory, but will come with me to each remote astronomy event.

To be able to do both imaging, and visual with the C14 at the same time, I have put myself on the Mach2 notification list.  I'll be using the Mach2 and the AP1100 as my portable mounts.  When not doing portable duty, either the AP1100 or Mach2 will be in the observatory as a visual mount.  I'm not sure which mount that will be.  I'll make that decision after getting to know the Mach2 really well.

On 11/28/21 4:02 PM, Howard Ritter via groups.io wrote:

I’m glad to hear that the 1100 lives up to its reputation as being easily transportable in two pieces. I’m expecting to take delivery of a new 1600GTO at our winter home in Florida in February, and to transport it back to our primary residence in Ohio in May. I envision using it on a Berlebach Planet tripod to carry my 155 EDF refractor and 8” RASA in Florida, and on Meade’s giant field tripod to carry a Meade 16” SCT back in Ohio. Optimistically, I’m hoping to make this round trip every year. According to the AP webpage, I should be able to single-hand the 1600 taken down into its basic components. 

 

Does anyone have personal experience using the 1600 as a transportable mount?

 

On Nov 28, 2021, at 15:04, dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...> wrote:

 



I do this always with the 1100.  Easy to store, handle, assemble.  I passed on the Mack 2 because of its weight.  The 1100 breaks into more manageable pieces and was actually less expensive with better load carrying capability with the option to upgrade to Renshaw encoders later if I wish.  Tracking is so good, I doubt I will ever do that.  

 

Clear sky!  

 

 

 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

 

 

-------- Original message --------

From: Masahiko Niwa <masahiko234@...>

Date: 11/28/21 8:29 AM (GMT-08:00)

Subject: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

I would like to hear about your experiences. I am considering buying a 1100 GTO. I live in the city and would have to travel by car to shoot. I'm thinking of taking the RA and DEC modules of 1100 GTO in pieces and assembling them in the field. Is this realistic?

 

 

 

Virus-free. www.avg.com


 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente


Re: Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

>>> Another trick I did before setting up a dehumidifier in my observatory was to place a 25 watt incandescent bulb in a shop light holder and drape the extension cord over the RA shaft so that the bulb hung between the counterweight shaft and pier. 

I do something similar with my TG cover (which is outside 24/7/365) but it's with a gun safe dehumidifier rod. it's around 10W and is a metal tube


I just went through 6" of rain in 24 hours, the telescope and mount were dry thanks to TG cover and rod

Brian


On Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 2:49 PM Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Another trick I did before setting up a dehumidifier in my observatory was to place a 25 watt incandescent bulb in a shop light holder and drape the extension cord over the RA shaft so that the bulb hung between the counterweight shaft and pier.  I then put the 24/7 cover over it and the reflectix inside helped trap the heat and keep the mount dry no matter how humid it got outside.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Howard Ritter via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2021 4:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

Thanks for the personal observations, Wade. I’m especially interested to read that you apparently keep it outdoors under a TG 365 shroud, because I’ve concluded that keeping the Meade 16” on the 1600 on Meade’s giant field tripod outdoors for the 8 months each year that we spend at our primary residence in Ohio will be more cost-effective than buying a permanent pier and digging a foundation for it. I’ve received other personal testimony for doing this with a TG 365 cover as well. In the winter, I’d put the mount, two small OTAs, and a suitable tripod in the trailer along with the bikes etc. for the trip to FL.

 

Since the 1600 will be ready to ship next month, I’ve elected to have it go to our FL winter home. It will be a huge step up in complexity for me, both mechanically and operationally, and the relative lack of distractions down there will be a good opportunity to start getting familiar with while it carries only the refractor or the RASA. The one field excursion I’m hoping to make with it is the Orange Blossom Special Star Party, which my southern club (the St. Pete Astronomy Club) puts on every February. The plan is to drive our small RV there with a little U-Haul for the heavy pieces. Eventually I’d like to get a Mach2 for the FL migration.

 

I’ll keep your email for reference on the configuration of accessories. Thanks for the tips!

 

—howard



On Nov 29, 2021, at 12:15 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

 

I've been using my AP1600 as a transportable mount since I got it about 9 years ago.

It spends most of its time on my home property under a TG365 cover, but I take it with me to some star parties.  Up until about 4 years ago, I took it with me to every remote imaging session.  At the 2017 AIC, I was shopping for a new Mach1, but came across an amazing deal on an AP1100.  So I bought the AP1100, and now I only take the AP1600 to Oregon Star Party.  OSP is held in a national forest, so I can go up early.  I'm usually up on site for about 2.5 weeks or so.  I would not transport and set up the AP1600 for a couple of nights, now that I have the AP1100.

The AP1600 is actually pretty manageable as a transportable mount.  The heaviest part is the RA assembly, which weighs in at about 57 lb.  Prior to the AP1600, my imaging mount was a Celestron CGE, which was 50 lb.  The thing is, that the CGE was more difficult to move because it didn't separate.  To protect the worms on that mount, I always released the clutches to move it.  Carrying the CGE with the clutches released was a bit of a hazard, since each axis could move quite freely, creating a pinch hazard.  The RA assembly for the AP1600 is safer to carry.

As for the AP1100, it is an amazingly portable mount for what it is.  I transport it with the axes separated.  I set the RA for zero degrees latitude to minimize its size, and then I can get both halves into a single plastic tub, with padding around each half and between the halves.  I can lift the tub easily enough with both halves in it, but once I arrive on site, I usually carry the halves separately from the cargo trailer to the pier.  They are each light enough that I sometimes do it in one trip, with one half in each hand.

As for running cables through the mount, I use a Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox V2.  Each of my imaging scopes have dovetails on both the top and bottom.  I mount the PowerBox on the top dovetail.  Most of the cables are just a short run, locally on the scope (I started doing this after seeing that Astro-Physics set up their display Mach2 at AIC this way, and it works brilliantly).  This makes it easy to leave the camera, focuser, PowerBox, dew straps, etc. permanently attached to the scope.  I can then mount and unmount the scope, with everything attached, as a single piece.  I'm currently using only refractors for imaging, and I can mount or unmount everything as one piece.  With a much larger imaging scope, it would be more work.

As for the computer, I use a NUC.  Instead of mounting it on top of the scope, I have it permanently mounted inside of an Apache case, with a wireless router, a network switch, a RigRunner, etc.  To attach the computer, I just set the case on the ground and run two cables through the mount, one power cable and one USB cable.  This is trivial to do on either the AP1600 or AP1100 and takes just a few seconds.  I run power and an Ethernet cable to the mount directly from the case.  When I am done, I just disconnect the cables and close the case.

Moving forward, I miss having the AP1600 at each remote site that I use.

I like to image with one scope and do visual with my C14.  The two Astro-Physics mounts are the only ones I have that are suitable for imaging or carrying the C14.  So when I leave the AP1600 home, the C14 also stays home and I do visual either with a smaller scope mounted on an AVX, or with my 14" Dob.  The plan for 2022 is to build a roll-off roof observatory at home and move the AP1600 into it permanently.  The observatory will be large enough for an imaging pier and a visual pier.  The AP1100 will spend most of its time in the observatory, but will come with me to each remote astronomy event.

To be able to do both imaging, and visual with the C14 at the same time, I have put myself on the Mach2 notification list.  I'll be using the Mach2 and the AP1100 as my portable mounts.  When not doing portable duty, either the AP1100 or Mach2 will be in the observatory as a visual mount.  I'm not sure which mount that will be.  I'll make that decision after getting to know the Mach2 really well.


On 11/28/21 4:02 PM, Howard Ritter via groups.io wrote:

I’m glad to hear that the 1100 lives up to its reputation as being easily transportable in two pieces. I’m expecting to take delivery of a new 1600GTO at our winter home in Florida in February, and to transport it back to our primary residence in Ohio in May. I envision using it on a Berlebach Planet tripod to carry my 155 EDF refractor and 8” RASA in Florida, and on Meade’s giant field tripod to carry a Meade 16” SCT back in Ohio. Optimistically, I’m hoping to make this round trip every year. According to the AP webpage, I should be able to single-hand the 1600 taken down into its basic components. 

 

Does anyone have personal experience using the 1600 as a transportable mount?

 

On Nov 28, 2021, at 15:04, dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...> wrote:

 



I do this always with the 1100.  Easy to store, handle, assemble.  I passed on the Mack 2 because of its weight.  The 1100 breaks into more manageable pieces and was actually less expensive with better load carrying capability with the option to upgrade to Renshaw encoders later if I wish.  Tracking is so good, I doubt I will ever do that.  

 

Clear sky!  

 

 

 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

 

 

-------- Original message --------

From: Masahiko Niwa <masahiko234@...>

Date: 11/28/21 8:29 AM (GMT-08:00)

Subject: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

I would like to hear about your experiences. I am considering buying a 1100 GTO. I live in the city and would have to travel by car to shoot. I'm thinking of taking the RA and DEC modules of 1100 GTO in pieces and assembling them in the field. Is this realistic?

 

 


Virus-free. www.avg.com



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Portability of RA and DEC modules

Jack Huerkamp
 

Another trick I did before setting up a dehumidifier in my observatory was to place a 25 watt incandescent bulb in a shop light holder and drape the extension cord over the RA shaft so that the bulb hung between the counterweight shaft and pier.  I then put the 24/7 cover over it and the reflectix inside helped trap the heat and keep the mount dry no matter how humid it got outside.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Howard Ritter via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2021 4:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

Thanks for the personal observations, Wade. I’m especially interested to read that you apparently keep it outdoors under a TG 365 shroud, because I’ve concluded that keeping the Meade 16” on the 1600 on Meade’s giant field tripod outdoors for the 8 months each year that we spend at our primary residence in Ohio will be more cost-effective than buying a permanent pier and digging a foundation for it. I’ve received other personal testimony for doing this with a TG 365 cover as well. In the winter, I’d put the mount, two small OTAs, and a suitable tripod in the trailer along with the bikes etc. for the trip to FL.

 

Since the 1600 will be ready to ship next month, I’ve elected to have it go to our FL winter home. It will be a huge step up in complexity for me, both mechanically and operationally, and the relative lack of distractions down there will be a good opportunity to start getting familiar with while it carries only the refractor or the RASA. The one field excursion I’m hoping to make with it is the Orange Blossom Special Star Party, which my southern club (the St. Pete Astronomy Club) puts on every February. The plan is to drive our small RV there with a little U-Haul for the heavy pieces. Eventually I’d like to get a Mach2 for the FL migration.

 

I’ll keep your email for reference on the configuration of accessories. Thanks for the tips!

 

—howard



On Nov 29, 2021, at 12:15 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

 

I've been using my AP1600 as a transportable mount since I got it about 9 years ago.

It spends most of its time on my home property under a TG365 cover, but I take it with me to some star parties.  Up until about 4 years ago, I took it with me to every remote imaging session.  At the 2017 AIC, I was shopping for a new Mach1, but came across an amazing deal on an AP1100.  So I bought the AP1100, and now I only take the AP1600 to Oregon Star Party.  OSP is held in a national forest, so I can go up early.  I'm usually up on site for about 2.5 weeks or so.  I would not transport and set up the AP1600 for a couple of nights, now that I have the AP1100.

The AP1600 is actually pretty manageable as a transportable mount.  The heaviest part is the RA assembly, which weighs in at about 57 lb.  Prior to the AP1600, my imaging mount was a Celestron CGE, which was 50 lb.  The thing is, that the CGE was more difficult to move because it didn't separate.  To protect the worms on that mount, I always released the clutches to move it.  Carrying the CGE with the clutches released was a bit of a hazard, since each axis could move quite freely, creating a pinch hazard.  The RA assembly for the AP1600 is safer to carry.

As for the AP1100, it is an amazingly portable mount for what it is.  I transport it with the axes separated.  I set the RA for zero degrees latitude to minimize its size, and then I can get both halves into a single plastic tub, with padding around each half and between the halves.  I can lift the tub easily enough with both halves in it, but once I arrive on site, I usually carry the halves separately from the cargo trailer to the pier.  They are each light enough that I sometimes do it in one trip, with one half in each hand.

As for running cables through the mount, I use a Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox V2.  Each of my imaging scopes have dovetails on both the top and bottom.  I mount the PowerBox on the top dovetail.  Most of the cables are just a short run, locally on the scope (I started doing this after seeing that Astro-Physics set up their display Mach2 at AIC this way, and it works brilliantly).  This makes it easy to leave the camera, focuser, PowerBox, dew straps, etc. permanently attached to the scope.  I can then mount and unmount the scope, with everything attached, as a single piece.  I'm currently using only refractors for imaging, and I can mount or unmount everything as one piece.  With a much larger imaging scope, it would be more work.

As for the computer, I use a NUC.  Instead of mounting it on top of the scope, I have it permanently mounted inside of an Apache case, with a wireless router, a network switch, a RigRunner, etc.  To attach the computer, I just set the case on the ground and run two cables through the mount, one power cable and one USB cable.  This is trivial to do on either the AP1600 or AP1100 and takes just a few seconds.  I run power and an Ethernet cable to the mount directly from the case.  When I am done, I just disconnect the cables and close the case.

Moving forward, I miss having the AP1600 at each remote site that I use.

I like to image with one scope and do visual with my C14.  The two Astro-Physics mounts are the only ones I have that are suitable for imaging or carrying the C14.  So when I leave the AP1600 home, the C14 also stays home and I do visual either with a smaller scope mounted on an AVX, or with my 14" Dob.  The plan for 2022 is to build a roll-off roof observatory at home and move the AP1600 into it permanently.  The observatory will be large enough for an imaging pier and a visual pier.  The AP1100 will spend most of its time in the observatory, but will come with me to each remote astronomy event.

To be able to do both imaging, and visual with the C14 at the same time, I have put myself on the Mach2 notification list.  I'll be using the Mach2 and the AP1100 as my portable mounts.  When not doing portable duty, either the AP1100 or Mach2 will be in the observatory as a visual mount.  I'm not sure which mount that will be.  I'll make that decision after getting to know the Mach2 really well.


On 11/28/21 4:02 PM, Howard Ritter via groups.io wrote:

I’m glad to hear that the 1100 lives up to its reputation as being easily transportable in two pieces. I’m expecting to take delivery of a new 1600GTO at our winter home in Florida in February, and to transport it back to our primary residence in Ohio in May. I envision using it on a Berlebach Planet tripod to carry my 155 EDF refractor and 8” RASA in Florida, and on Meade’s giant field tripod to carry a Meade 16” SCT back in Ohio. Optimistically, I’m hoping to make this round trip every year. According to the AP webpage, I should be able to single-hand the 1600 taken down into its basic components. 

 

Does anyone have personal experience using the 1600 as a transportable mount?

 

On Nov 28, 2021, at 15:04, dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...> wrote:

 



I do this always with the 1100.  Easy to store, handle, assemble.  I passed on the Mack 2 because of its weight.  The 1100 breaks into more manageable pieces and was actually less expensive with better load carrying capability with the option to upgrade to Renshaw encoders later if I wish.  Tracking is so good, I doubt I will ever do that.  

 

Clear sky!  

 

 

 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

 

 

-------- Original message --------

From: Masahiko Niwa <masahiko234@...>

Date: 11/28/21 8:29 AM (GMT-08:00)

Subject: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

 

I would like to hear about your experiences. I am considering buying a 1100 GTO. I live in the city and would have to travel by car to shoot. I'm thinking of taking the RA and DEC modules of 1100 GTO in pieces and assembling them in the field. Is this realistic?

 

 


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Portability of RA and DEC modules

Howard Ritter
 

Thanks for the personal observations, Wade. I’m especially interested to read that you apparently keep it outdoors under a TG 365 shroud, because I’ve concluded that keeping the Meade 16” on the 1600 on Meade’s giant field tripod outdoors for the 8 months each year that we spend at our primary residence in Ohio will be more cost-effective than buying a permanent pier and digging a foundation for it. I’ve received other personal testimony for doing this with a TG 365 cover as well. In the winter, I’d put the mount, two small OTAs, and a suitable tripod in the trailer along with the bikes etc. for the trip to FL.

Since the 1600 will be ready to ship next month, I’ve elected to have it go to our FL winter home. It will be a huge step up in complexity for me, both mechanically and operationally, and the relative lack of distractions down there will be a good opportunity to start getting familiar with while it carries only the refractor or the RASA. The one field excursion I’m hoping to make with it is the Orange Blossom Special Star Party, which my southern club (the St. Pete Astronomy Club) puts on every February. The plan is to drive our small RV there with a little U-Haul for the heavy pieces. Eventually I’d like to get a Mach2 for the FL migration.

I’ll keep your email for reference on the configuration of accessories. Thanks for the tips!

—howard

On Nov 29, 2021, at 12:15 PM, W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I've been using my AP1600 as a transportable mount since I got it about 9 years ago.

It spends most of its time on my home property under a TG365 cover, but I take it with me to some star parties.  Up until about 4 years ago, I took it with me to every remote imaging session.  At the 2017 AIC, I was shopping for a new Mach1, but came across an amazing deal on an AP1100.  So I bought the AP1100, and now I only take the AP1600 to Oregon Star Party.  OSP is held in a national forest, so I can go up early.  I'm usually up on site for about 2.5 weeks or so.  I would not transport and set up the AP1600 for a couple of nights, now that I have the AP1100.

The AP1600 is actually pretty manageable as a transportable mount.  The heaviest part is the RA assembly, which weighs in at about 57 lb.  Prior to the AP1600, my imaging mount was a Celestron CGE, which was 50 lb.  The thing is, that the CGE was more difficult to move because it didn't separate.  To protect the worms on that mount, I always released the clutches to move it.  Carrying the CGE with the clutches released was a bit of a hazard, since each axis could move quite freely, creating a pinch hazard.  The RA assembly for the AP1600 is safer to carry.

As for the AP1100, it is an amazingly portable mount for what it is.  I transport it with the axes separated.  I set the RA for zero degrees latitude to minimize its size, and then I can get both halves into a single plastic tub, with padding around each half and between the halves.  I can lift the tub easily enough with both halves in it, but once I arrive on site, I usually carry the halves separately from the cargo trailer to the pier.  They are each light enough that I sometimes do it in one trip, with one half in each hand.

As for running cables through the mount, I use a Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox V2.  Each of my imaging scopes have dovetails on both the top and bottom.  I mount the PowerBox on the top dovetail.  Most of the cables are just a short run, locally on the scope (I started doing this after seeing that Astro-Physics set up their display Mach2 at AIC this way, and it works brilliantly).  This makes it easy to leave the camera, focuser, PowerBox, dew straps, etc. permanently attached to the scope.  I can then mount and unmount the scope, with everything attached, as a single piece.  I'm currently using only refractors for imaging, and I can mount or unmount everything as one piece.  With a much larger imaging scope, it would be more work.

As for the computer, I use a NUC.  Instead of mounting it on top of the scope, I have it permanently mounted inside of an Apache case, with a wireless router, a network switch, a RigRunner, etc.  To attach the computer, I just set the case on the ground and run two cables through the mount, one power cable and one USB cable.  This is trivial to do on either the AP1600 or AP1100 and takes just a few seconds.  I run power and an Ethernet cable to the mount directly from the case.  When I am done, I just disconnect the cables and close the case.

Moving forward, I miss having the AP1600 at each remote site that I use.

I like to image with one scope and do visual with my C14.  The two Astro-Physics mounts are the only ones I have that are suitable for imaging or carrying the C14.  So when I leave the AP1600 home, the C14 also stays home and I do visual either with a smaller scope mounted on an AVX, or with my 14" Dob.  The plan for 2022 is to build a roll-off roof observatory at home and move the AP1600 into it permanently.  The observatory will be large enough for an imaging pier and a visual pier.  The AP1100 will spend most of its time in the observatory, but will come with me to each remote astronomy event.

To be able to do both imaging, and visual with the C14 at the same time, I have put myself on the Mach2 notification list.  I'll be using the Mach2 and the AP1100 as my portable mounts.  When not doing portable duty, either the AP1100 or Mach2 will be in the observatory as a visual mount.  I'm not sure which mount that will be.  I'll make that decision after getting to know the Mach2 really well.



On 11/28/21 4:02 PM, Howard Ritter via groups.io wrote:
I’m glad to hear that the 1100 lives up to its reputation as being easily transportable in two pieces. I’m expecting to take delivery of a new 1600GTO at our winter home in Florida in February, and to transport it back to our primary residence in Ohio in May. I envision using it on a Berlebach Planet tripod to carry my 155 EDF refractor and 8” RASA in Florida, and on Meade’s giant field tripod to carry a Meade 16” SCT back in Ohio. Optimistically, I’m hoping to make this round trip every year. According to the AP webpage, I should be able to single-hand the 1600 taken down into its basic components. 

Does anyone have personal experience using the 1600 as a transportable mount?

On Nov 28, 2021, at 15:04, dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...> wrote:


I do this always with the 1100.  Easy to store, handle, assemble.  I passed on the Mack 2 because of its weight.  The 1100 breaks into more manageable pieces and was actually less expensive with better load carrying capability with the option to upgrade to Renshaw encoders later if I wish.  Tracking is so good, I doubt I will ever do that.  

Clear sky!  



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Masahiko Niwa <masahiko234@...>
Date: 11/28/21 8:29 AM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: [ap-gto] Portability of RA and DEC modules

I would like to hear about your experiences. I am considering buying a 1100 GTO. I live in the city and would have to travel by car to shoot. I'm thinking of taking the RA and DEC modules of 1100 GTO in pieces and assembling them in the field. Is this realistic?



Re: Keypad issue - Fails to boot, just a blinking red square in upper left hand corner

steve.winston@...
 

Hi Howard,

Unfortunately re-flashing the firmware didn't help.   

The flashing process completed successfully - got all the way to Done... and popped up the Keypad Controller Post-Load Checklist screen, but after power cycling the mount, the keypad comes back to the same flashing square in the upper left hand corner.

Not sure if there is anything else you want me to try or I should just plan to send it in?

thanks,

Steve


Re: Dew control for Mach2

Woody Schlom
 

Far wetter locations for sure -- as in Louisiana.

I've never heard of people concerned about dew on their mounts before -- not
even far lesser mounts than AP.

When my equipment dews up and the dew heater can't cope any more, I just put
a 365 Cover over the scope and let it hang down below the mount and
controller box.

I have an older Mach1. It came with a little coated Nylon bag I could put
the controller into and hang from the mount or tripod. But I got tired of
that and mounted the controller directly.

Woody

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of
Dale Ghent
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2021 10:58 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dew control for Mach2


If you're concerned about the CP, you can take an old hand towel or
something of the sort and wrap the CP with it, and secure it with a small
bungee or the like. People run their systems in far wetter climes without
much ado.

On Dec 2, 2021, at 13:48, Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
wrote:

Dale,

The dew here nowadays in Sacramento makes it dripping wet, as if from a
rain shower, hence my concern.

In the very least I have to protect the CP4, not sure about the rest.

Shailesh



Re: Dew control for Mach2

Greg McCall
 

FYI , a minor point is that the surface temperature needs to be above the dew point and not ambient temperature. 


Re: Dew control for Mach2

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Shailesh,
 
    After my AP-1200, with its traditionally RA  axis-mounted CP4 (at the time),  shorted out – twice – from heavy dew on some sessions,  rolling off the OTA every time  it passes across the Prime Meridian, I decided to finger-squeeze in some (black) “silicone sealer”, around all “four edges” of the Ethernet Port’s panel  connector, the most exposed, worst sealed, (original CP4 at least),  of all the CP4 panel connectors. The others are  extremely well bolted, storm-proof,  to the panel’s underside.
 
    I suppose  dew could still fall directly into the open “unoccupied cable” sockets, but at least the edge-sealed, now  higher edges,  would deviate  the dew,  streaming down the face of the panel,  like a river’s levy. 
I then also  purchased the AP Plastic Filler Plug Kit,  to block dew direct entry. Both measures are also great prevention  for wind blown electrically conductive dust, in the open field or even an observatory in dusty climates.
 
    Just another preventative measure,  for an expensive and  essential  electronic device.
Joe Z.
 
 

From: Shailesh Trivedi
Sent: Thursday, December 2, 2021 1:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dew control for Mach2
 
Dale,

The dew here nowadays in Sacramento makes it dripping wet, as if from a rain shower, hence my concern.

In the very least I have to protect the CP4, not sure about the rest.

Shailesh


Re: Dew control for Mach2

dvjbaja
 

Just place an old t-shirt around the mount loosely during very wet conditions.  



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
Date: 12/2/21 10:49 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dew control for Mach2

Dale,

The dew here nowadays in Sacramento makes it dripping wet, as if from a rain shower, hence my concern.

In the very least I have to protect the CP4, not sure about the rest.

Shailesh 


Re: Dew control for Mach2

Dale Ghent
 

If you're concerned about the CP, you can take an old hand towel or something of the sort and wrap the CP with it, and secure it with a small bungee or the like. People run their systems in far wetter climes without much ado.

On Dec 2, 2021, at 13:48, Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...> wrote:

Dale,

The dew here nowadays in Sacramento makes it dripping wet, as if from a rain shower, hence my concern.

In the very least I have to protect the CP4, not sure about the rest.

Shailesh


Re: Dew control for Mach2

Shailesh Trivedi
 

Dale,

The dew here nowadays in Sacramento makes it dripping wet, as if from a rain shower, hence my concern.

In the very least I have to protect the CP4, not sure about the rest.

Shailesh 


Re: Dew control for Mach2

Dale Ghent
 

I wouldn't worry at all about dew on the mount itself. Dew heaters that would warm its entire surface area to above ambient would be impracticable at any rate.

On Dec 2, 2021, at 12:35, Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...> wrote:

I am a recent owner of a Mach2. In Northern California, presently the dew point is quite high, consequently dew droplets form after 7:30pm. Is there a way to control or eliminate dew formation on the mount?

Shailesh


Dew control for Mach2

Shailesh Trivedi
 

I am a recent owner of a Mach2. In Northern California, presently the dew point is quite high, consequently dew droplets form after 7:30pm. Is there a way to control or eliminate dew formation on the mount? 

Shailesh


Re: Initialization window setting "Button rate"

Ray Gralak
 

The picture needs to be updated. There is no dedicated "button rate".

When the mount is initialized, the move rate is set to the configured guide rate. Pressing a move button sets the move rate to the button rate, and when the button is released the rate is set back to the guide rate.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Matthew Hughes
Sent: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 1:54 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Initialization window setting "Button rate"

[Edited Message Follows]


Hi there,

I've just realized why I cant change the button rate. My initialization window doesn't have a button rate box. I
have uninstalled and reinstalled APCC but still differs. Any ideas?

using V1.9.2.3 but also have same issue with released version on APCC website.

thanks
Matt


Re: MGBox pressure reading

legendtrail@...
 
Edited

The current altimeter setting at Phoenix Sky Harbor is 30.02. The current setting at my local airport here in the desert is 30.04 . Those
convert roughly to 1016 hPa. My MGBox is reporting 927 hPa. If that's a raw reading, it converts to 27.38 in., and I would be expecting
a hurricane coming this way. Actually, the lowest barometer ever recorded in Phoenix history was 29.20 inHg. (988.7 hPa). So I'm still trying
to understand an MGBox report of 927.

I had cervical spine surgery last week and  can't lift any weight, so photography is out of the question for a few weeks. That's why I have
all this time to chase these kinds of ghosts.

edit: Brent, thanks. That calculator worked - gave me a value that was close enough. 


Re: MGBox pressure reading

Brent Boshart
 

As Wade mentioned, stations will usually report pressure adjusted for sea-level whereas your device will report the actual pressure at your elevation.  You can use this online calculator - https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/air-pressure-at-altitude With the calculator put in the station's pressure and then your altitude and temperature.  The answer should be close to your device's reading. 

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