Date   

Re: AP1100AE No response from DEC Encoder

Mike Hanson
 

Hi Linwood,

Your observations of the encoder LED color and the APCC warnings are likely related.  The encoders aren't doing much in the middle of a slew - your slew accuracy is not affected as long as the LED does not remain red after a slew.

Suggest moving the axis' through the relevant spots on the encoders at a much slower rate and observe the LED's.  In RA, track through the "orange spot".  In DEC, use the N-S buttons to "hover" over the "red spot".  If the encoders remain blue or green at tracking speeds and at rest, there will not be any adverse affects.  Otherwise we may need to investigate further, contact us privately.

Make sure you are using the latest version of APCC (are you?).  The latest version requires the condition to persist for multiple encoders readings before annunciating anything.  If the warnings continue to annoy you, contact us privately.

Regards,
Mike Hanson


Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

For Dec rotate the telescope so that it is horizontal  the ground and any movement of the scope is perpendicular to the ground.   Find something to hook the scale on to and pull down and read the force vector (weight, I forget my physics in my old age) on the scale.  Then do the exact same thing pulling up with the scale.  The weight needs to match so you move the scope back and forth to balance DEC.

 

For RA I do the same thing and manually slew the telescope to the east side so it is parallel to the ground, but I usually use the end of the weight bar to do the measurement.   I measure the force that it takes to move the scope up.  Just at the point where you overcome friction.  I then do the same and measure the force that it takes to move it down, just as you break friction.  I adjust the weights accordingly.

 

It is kind of the same thing you do to balance the scope manually but, you use a scale to get a more accurate indicator of what force is needed to move the scope just after you break friction.

 

I hope this helps.   It is working for me.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Andrew J
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2022 10:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

 

On Sun, Jan 23, 2022 at 08:44 PM, Emilio J. Robau, P.E. wrote:

Use this to measure the weight reading as you pull up and down on both Dec and RA.   Make sure your moment arm is equal and pick a spot of equal distance from the centroid of the mount and match the reading pulling up and down.  Once you do that you should be well balanced.

I am still trying to visualize how this works in practice. When you say "pull up and down on both Dec and RA", what do you mean? Hook the scale to the end of the dew cap or end of camera on the DEC Axis? End of weight bar, top of scope for RA? Can you expand a bit on how this works. I would like to give it a try.


Re: PrimaLuceLab EAGLE LE

Steve Salvo
 

Ed,

I have the Eagle 3 with The Celeron Chip but 8gb of RAM, an upgrade from 4gb. 

The computer has its own power supply. I run mostly NINA and PHD 2.  On occasion I run ASIstudio.  

I power the guide camera (ASI290mini), imaging camera (ASI294mcpro) and Senso Sesto Autofocuser using the Eagle 3.

No issues, everything runs fine with no dropped wifi!

Hope this helps,
Steve


On Jan 24, 2022, at 10:02, Ed Wiley <ewiley@...> wrote:

Hi Aygen: 

Can you elaborate on the whole system slowing down? I am juggling CPU upgrade against double the price. I do not contemplate capturing video for luck imaging or doing any processing on the Eagle. All calibration and post processing would be done on the home computer after downloading images.

Many thanks,
Ed


Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

Craig,

Very interesting report and I will follow the progress if you are kind enough to continue to document your activities.    I think for some reason the DEC motor meshing on my mount is also very touchy.  I did spend quite a bit of time on it last night and although I think I have good meshing, I still have some doubt.   I think you indicated that you had the newer motor box.  My mount must be older, because I don't have the newest motor box that allows a free movement of the mount so you can attain perfect balance even though it does not really have to be perfect.

One of the things I noticed on my mount is that George told me to adjust meshing in  out ever so slightly in our out so you eliminate backlash (ability to slightly move the mount without engaging the motors) yet don't apply too much engagement pressure.   I did this repeatedly and I noticed that I would adjust the spacing on the mesh so that the spur gear was easy to turn.   Then when I went back and slewed at higher speeds, the spur gears would get tight again.   I thought this was not right so I did it several times.  It seems like they get stuck and then all of a sudden they free up and the gears turn easy.   All of this is done with the cap off the box to expose the gears.  After a while I gave up on the notion that the spur gears would run easily when well meshed and ended up getting them to run easily and then placed the cap back on and tested everything out.

Certainly you do have an issue and I have some lingering doubt about my DEC meshing.   RA meshing seems to be perfect.  That motor sings a steady and constant song with no oscillations and it sounds like I think it should.  DEC is almost the same, but it does not sound the same as RA.  Also, the sticking points on my mount are around the pole as the mount shifts pointing location.

Anyways, constructive documentation of your issue will be helpful to those that come behind us with this issue.

Thanks



Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

Andrew J
 

On Sun, Jan 23, 2022 at 08:44 PM, Emilio J. Robau, P.E. wrote:
Use this to measure the weight reading as you pull up and down on both Dec and RA.   Make sure your moment arm is equal and pick a spot of equal distance from the centroid of the mount and match the reading pulling up and down.  Once you do that you should be well balanced.
I am still trying to visualize how this works in practice. When you say "pull up and down on both Dec and RA", what do you mean? Hook the scale to the end of the dew cap or end of camera on the DEC Axis? End of weight bar, top of scope for RA? Can you expand a bit on how this works. I would like to give it a try.


Re: PrimaLuceLab EAGLE LE

Erkaslan Aygen
 

Hi Ed,

Sorry for my late reply - been quite a busy day :)

Why have I decided not to install another Eagle ? Simply put, I am not really willing to invest in a computer which is a bit "outdated" (for instance, CPU). Rather, I got the last Ultimate Powerbox v2 from Pegasusastro along with a mini computer (equipped with 11th I5 CPU and with lots of RAM / SSD). Sure, you won't be using your Eagle to pre-process your data nor using Pixinsight or whatever processing softwares. However, if you have a full frame camera (ASI 6200) and use automation softwares which requires you to have somehow a "fast" computer, then you might experience some issues as I have been experiencing with my Eagle installed in my backyard observatory. Hence my strong recommendation (if you have similar setups as mine) to invest at least with an Eagle 4s (if you want to get such products). However, given the price,  you can get a much better computer along with a very cool piece of technology as the Pegasusastro's. 

Let me know if you need anything.

Best regards,
Aygen



Le lun. 24 janv. 2022 à 16:02, Ed Wiley <ewiley@...> a écrit :
Hi Aygen: 

Can you elaborate on the whole system slowing down? I am juggling CPU upgrade against double the price. I do not contemplate capturing video for luck imaging or doing any processing on the Eagle. All calibration and post processing would be done on the home computer after downloading images.

Many thanks,
Ed


Re: [ap-ug] Life after the Stowaway

Andrew J
 

On Tue, Jan 18, 2022 at 07:51 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
Celestron and Meade pretty much put the kabosh on anything Cassegrain. Fact is they use plate glass optics and aluminum tubes, which together pretty much insures that you are constantly fiddling with the focus knob. Plus you have those nice heat plumes that run up the baffle tubes. Do people know that's happening? Do they really care? Probably not because they got them brand new and shiny at ridiculously low cost. And somehow they can make them work, although I'm completely baffled how they manage it.
I agree. It is kind of a shame that the EdgeHD (or equivalent for Meade) is the best SCT we can get right now. It would be nice if someone could make a better mouse trap. An SCT that didn't have all the cooling issues if for once and for all the could solve the mirror flop issue while still being able to focus without locking the mirror and useing an external focuser. It would be a game changer. That said, I am sure it would end up costing 3 or 4x what a EdgeHD or simular would cost, so seems we are stuck with what we have..


Re: PrimaLuceLab EAGLE LE

Ed Wiley
 

Hi Aygen: 

Can you elaborate on the whole system slowing down? I am juggling CPU upgrade against double the price. I do not contemplate capturing video for luck imaging or doing any processing on the Eagle. All calibration and post processing would be done on the home computer after downloading images.

Many thanks,
Ed


Re: APPM data meaning

Andrew J
 

@Sam. Nevermind. Your original sceen shots didn't come through on the email. I see you did post them in the online groups.io posting. I have to admit i have no idea what these different check boxes do. I typically just leave them all checked. 


Re: APPM data meaning

Andrew J
 

@Sam. I would like to better understand this as well. Can you share screen shots of the check boxes you are talking about. I don't recall seeing check boxes in APPM. 


AP1100AE No response from DEC Encoder

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Last night I imaged, everything worked fine, the mount parked (2) about 3am, at 8am or so I woke up, did a slew-to-zenith to do my flats.  

Two errors popped up: Error reading from DEC encoder and No Response from DEC Encoder.

But it slewed, all good there, did my flats, and experimented a bit, going to various Park positions and then a find home.  Got the errors four more times (but everything still seemed to work). 

Disassembled, brought it inside (I do it every morning) and set up in the house, I did various parks and find-home, did not get more errors, but standing and staring at the mount I saw both DEC and RA encoders change color occasionally.  98% of the time they are bright blue, but at spots as they slew the RA became orange, but the DEC because red - only for about a second as it slewed (at 1200x).  Seemed to be about the same spot as I went back and forth, and both are solid blue until right at those spots. 

I know from a recent thread that RED is bad. :) 

Interestingly in testing this indoors, it did not give an error in APCC.  If I wasn't staring at the light I would not notice.  Inside I only ran APCC, not ASCOM or NINA, but I assume this is an APCC thing only so that should not matter. 

Indoors is warm, outdoors was awfully cold -- for S.Florida.  Maybe 38f.  So I don't think it was temperature per se.  But probably 10F colder than this mount has been in so far, here.   I actually put on a long sleeved shirt to disassemble (fortunately I still had one, thankfully it was not cold enough for real shoes or long pants, I have no idea where they are). 

However, outdoors was also heavily saturated with dew, if that matters.  But that is also typical, I doubt I have ever imaged here without hitting 100% RH by morning.  I dry things off with a towel, bring it inside and let a ceiling fan blow over everything to dry them out.  So nothing unusual there. 

I have not tried adjusting or taking anything apart, pending advice. 

Any advice?   Or is this the kind of thing i should be calling the office for, not posting?   (I'm still a bit vague on preferred support paths with AP). 

Linwood

PS. New-ish 1100AE, got it late summer.  Outside it was carrying a very light Np101is, so probably 25# or so. Inside it was carrying nothing.


Re: ASCOM 6.6 is out. Anybody tried it yet?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Thanks for the info from everyone. I'll update my setups some time this week. Well, after backing everything up, of course :)

cytan

On Sunday, January 23, 2022, 10:47:47 PM CST, Emilio J. Robau, P.E. <ejr@...> wrote:


I am up and running and everything works well.   Three cameras, Moravian, ZWO, and QHY, One Moravian and Two QHY filter wheels, three focus lynx focusers and focuser boss, one AP1600, The SKYX, PHD2.  ASTAP.  Everything works well.  Three instances of NINA.  Everything running and connected.  I forgot one Starlight Express, Loadstar X2 giving me the standard USB cord hassles, but I think it is stable now.


Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

Steven
 

No question about it, it would break anyone's heart. I'm sad to hear this and somewhat reluctant to do the grease on my own mount, although i've seen the video - it looks too easy. I'd be interested in the outcome.

S


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Craig Young <craig.young.m8@...>
Sent: Monday, 24 January 2022 7:59 pm
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience
 

I was not as fortunate.  My 1600 w/auto adjusting worm mesh, is about 5 years old and I am putting a new OTA on it.  So I figured while switching telescopes I would service the mount, including re-greasing the RA and DEC worm gear.  The greasing part went well, got the old grease off and the new grease went on without a hitch.  To do this I had to remove both the RA and DEC motors.  I got instructions on how to do this from AP which went perfectly.  And now the BUT.  Following the motor install instructions from AP to the T (several times) I put the motors back on and now the mount sounds like a machine shop cutting pipes.  As another user reported, this sounds like my iOptron CEM60 when you re-mesh the worm too tight and have to back it off a bit.  This happens so often with the CEM60 that iOptron provided a procedure on how to fix it.  I have not found such a procedure yet from AP.

I have attached an audio recording of what it sounds like.  The setup is the 1600 without any OTA and CW bar.  But it does have the DEC saddle on it and is in the Park 3 position.  I tested only the DEC motor since it is not balanced in RA but is perfectly balanced in DEC.  I ran the APJog utility from AP which connects to the V2 ASCOM driver and to the mount.  Once connected to the mount I unparked the scope from the last park position.  Move speed was set to 64x for the first test.  Pressing first the "N" button and then the "S" button you can hear the DEC motor as it moves (Test 1).  After the test I clicked the Park button (APJog) to park the scope at the current position.  Clearly the mesh is too tight, but without any instructions on what to do in this case I blindly tried lots of things.

For Test 2, I moved the worm engagement lever to half way so it was still engaged but could be disengaged by hand.  I loosened the attachment bolts (3 of them) and then pulled back on the motor to full disengage it.  With the motor manually disengaged I tightened the attachment bolts and then fully engaged the lever on the side.  The idea here was to try and back off the worm a bit and yet have the engagement lever in the fully engaged position.  I did a new recording at 64x move speed and you can hear the noise is pretty much gone.  I then changed the move speed to 200x (Test 3) and repeated the N and S moves.  As you can hear, the noise is really bad.  So in this state it moves correctly N and S at 64x but makes a horrible sound at 200x.  I am guessing it is some sort of resonance?

George has had me try several other things but so far nothing as worked.  Hopefully this week, between George and other users who have experienced this problem (from the Youtube videos and Forum postings), there will be a modified procedure for attaching the motor to the mount or a method to tweak the motor afterwards (similar to what iOptron did) to get the motors sounding smooth again and help others who run into the same problem.

Craig



Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

Craig Young
 

I was not as fortunate.  My 1600 w/auto adjusting worm mesh, is about 5 years old and I am putting a new OTA on it.  So I figured while switching telescopes I would service the mount, including re-greasing the RA and DEC worm gear.  The greasing part went well, got the old grease off and the new grease went on without a hitch.  To do this I had to remove both the RA and DEC motors.  I got instructions on how to do this from AP which went perfectly.  And now the BUT.  Following the motor install instructions from AP to the T (several times) I put the motors back on and now the mount sounds like a machine shop cutting pipes.  As another user reported, this sounds like my iOptron CEM60 when you re-mesh the worm too tight and have to back it off a bit.  This happens so often with the CEM60 that iOptron provided a procedure on how to fix it.  I have not found such a procedure yet from AP.

I have attached an audio recording of what it sounds like.  The setup is the 1600 without any OTA and CW bar.  But it does have the DEC saddle on it and is in the Park 3 position.  I tested only the DEC motor since it is not balanced in RA but is perfectly balanced in DEC.  I ran the APJog utility from AP which connects to the V2 ASCOM driver and to the mount.  Once connected to the mount I unparked the scope from the last park position.  Move speed was set to 64x for the first test.  Pressing first the "N" button and then the "S" button you can hear the DEC motor as it moves (Test 1).  After the test I clicked the Park button (APJog) to park the scope at the current position.  Clearly the mesh is too tight, but without any instructions on what to do in this case I blindly tried lots of things.

For Test 2, I moved the worm engagement lever to half way so it was still engaged but could be disengaged by hand.  I loosened the attachment bolts (3 of them) and then pulled back on the motor to full disengage it.  With the motor manually disengaged I tightened the attachment bolts and then fully engaged the lever on the side.  The idea here was to try and back off the worm a bit and yet have the engagement lever in the fully engaged position.  I did a new recording at 64x move speed and you can hear the noise is pretty much gone.  I then changed the move speed to 200x (Test 3) and repeated the N and S moves.  As you can hear, the noise is really bad.  So in this state it moves correctly N and S at 64x but makes a horrible sound at 200x.  I am guessing it is some sort of resonance?

George has had me try several other things but so far nothing as worked.  Hopefully this week, between George and other users who have experienced this problem (from the Youtube videos and Forum postings), there will be a modified procedure for attaching the motor to the mount or a method to tweak the motor afterwards (similar to what iOptron did) to get the motors sounding smooth again and help others who run into the same problem.

Craig



Re: PrimaLuceLab EAGLE LE

Ed Wiley
 

Hi Aygen,
Good information, thank you very much. I will consider the Eagle 4s. It would also be prudent to have a separate power source, I have two. I contemplate using AnyDesk and Google Remote Desktop, as I do with my existing remote scope. I am interested as to why you are switching to the PC/Pegasus configuration. Any comments?

Clear Skies, Ed


Re: ASCOM 6.6 is out. Anybody tried it yet?

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

I am up and running and everything works well.   Three cameras, Moravian, ZWO, and QHY, One Moravian and Two QHY filter wheels, three focus lynx focusers and focuser boss, one AP1600, The SKYX, PHD2.  ASTAP.  Everything works well.  Three instances of NINA.  Everything running and connected.  I forgot one Starlight Express, Loadstar X2 giving me the standard USB cord hassles, but I think it is stable now.


Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

Basically you use a small electronic fish scale.   I purchased one for about 10 bucks on Amazon. Use this to measure the weight reading as you pull up and down on both Dec and RA.   Make sure your moment arm is equal and pick a spot of equal distance from the centroid of the mount and match the reading pulling up and down.  Once you do that you should be well balanced.   There is an extended set of steps for array mounts with multiple telescopes like mine.   However, I will spare you the details on that one since I do think there is a write up somewhere.


Re: Ap-1600 Re-Greasing Experience

michael mccann
 

Great report! Now I have not heard of the fish scale test. I suspect I understand, but is there a link to the description?

Cheers


Re: ASCOM 6.6 is out. Anybody tried it yet?

Tom Zepf
 

I ran with it last night (and tonight is in progress) and have had no issues so far. I've got APv2, ZWO Filter Wheel, ZWO EAF, ASCOM Observing Conditions Hub, Pegasus PocketPowerBox Advance, and Lunatico Safety Monitor all going w/o issues. Cameras are native to NINA and PHD2, though, so no report there.


Re: ASCOM 6.6 is out. Anybody tried it yet?

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

I loaded it last night and am trying things out now.  Everything connected and seems to be in order.

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