Date   

Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 3

Harley Davidson
 

That's a beast of a setup Howard.

tony

On 6/7/2022 3:27 PM, Howard Ritter via groups.io wrote:

I love it when a plan comes together!

I wanted to see how a completed FrankenScope would look, so here’s a version with body parts from 3 different lines from 2 different mfrs. that were never meant to go together: Meade tripod, Astro-Physics 155 EDF, and between them a highly under-utilized A-P 1600GTO mount that’s way above the pay grade of the OTA (and mine, for that matter). Inspection is being carried out by the First Deputy to the Plant Manager, who’s out shopping today.

Stage I Step 4 will be the Meade 16” OTA instead of the refractor. I paused the project here primarily for the purpose of becoming familiar with the mount in the comfort of my living room, since the 16” OTA is waaaay too heavy to be swapping it on & off the mount. It’ll go on once Mr Muscles has helped me get the mount & tripod relocated to the patio.

Stage II would be the fully realized FrankenScope, a PW 17 replacing the Meade 16 – highly notional at this point! 

—howard




Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 3

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Tue, Jun 7, 2022 at 06:11 PM, Howard Ritter wrote:
What do you have on your 1100/Planet?
The biggest at present is an AP1100 with a C11.  With it sitting flat it is very stable, the actual worst part is when it is empty, just the mount, as the mount's weight is a bit off center, so if I am loading the tripod + mount onto a handtruck (which I do every morning) I need to make sure I do not tip it too far when raising the light leg.  Or more precisely, I try to always have the mount's heavy side highest, so I lift it first, and lower it last. 

But imaging it's great, fairly low (the top of the C11's dew shield is probably still almost 6.5 to 7' up so hardly low). I wouldn't like to use an eyepiece with with the ota aimed high, but the camera doesn't mind being near the ground.  

I'm a big fan of that planet, very light and portable but still dead to vibrations and strong. 

Linwood


Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 3

Howard Ritter
 

I’ve been thinking about the height because I’d like to, as you suggest, preserve the stability of the tripod and have a lower lift to deal with when assembling and disassembling. Though I plan to do this cycle only twice a year, once here and once in FL, it might be that I’d want to put this 155 back on from time to time for imaging purposes, and I’m sure both my back and my son would appreciate the lower height when we’re wrangling the Meade 16” OTA, which is the whole purpose of this project. 

The more I think about it, especially with the 16” in place, I think this height should be workable. It might require using a chair for observing objects high in the sky, but for imaging it’s irrelevant.

Speaking of the 155, if inflation ever deflates and the stock market zooms up again (!), I’d like to put it on an 1100. It now sits on its original 600E mount on a (replacement) Planet, and I was wondering whether that tripod would handle the mount. I guess you’ve answered my question. What do you have on your 1100/Planet?

—howard

On Jun 7, 2022, at 3:31 PM, ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

The main problem I see is that the sled dog you have ready to tow the mount into position may be a little outsized by the load.  :) 

Incidentally, and a bit more seriously, why extend the legs when you get out in the field, isn't lower more stable, less wind, easier to lift stuff up to it, etc.?  I keep my planet all the way down (with an 1100) and proportionally it looks about the same height, maybe a bit taller.

But that is one beefy tripod, that's for sure. 

Linwood


Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 3

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

The main problem I see is that the sled dog you have ready to tow the mount into position may be a little outsized by the load.  :) 

Incidentally, and a bit more seriously, why extend the legs when you get out in the field, isn't lower more stable, less wind, easier to lift stuff up to it, etc.?  I keep my planet all the way down (with an 1100) and proportionally it looks about the same height, maybe a bit taller.

But that is one beefy tripod, that's for sure. 

Linwood


FrankenScope Stage I Step 3

Howard Ritter
 

I love it when a plan comes together!

I wanted to see how a completed FrankenScope would look, so here’s a version with body parts from 3 different lines from 2 different mfrs. that were never meant to go together: Meade tripod, Astro-Physics 155 EDF, and between them a highly under-utilized A-P 1600GTO mount that’s way above the pay grade of the OTA (and mine, for that matter). Inspection is being carried out by the First Deputy to the Plant Manager, who’s out shopping today.

Stage I Step 4 will be the Meade 16” OTA instead of the refractor. I paused the project here primarily for the purpose of becoming familiar with the mount in the comfort of my living room, since the 16” OTA is waaaay too heavy to be swapping it on & off the mount. It’ll go on once Mr Muscles has helped me get the mount & tripod relocated to the patio.

Stage II would be the fully realized FrankenScope, a PW 17 replacing the Meade 16 – highly notional at this point! 

—howard



Re: APCC Virtual Ports intermittenly not working

Rory Clarke
 

Howard,
Thanks you, I will give that a try and get back, it's going to be a couple days before I can make it out to my observatory though.

Much appreciated!
Rory


Re: APPM - Dome Settings - Offset Question

Ray Gralak
 

Or have I missed something in how to use the "Passive"
option? Thank you!
Unfortunately, the ASCOM Dome API is very low-level and does not provide any support for telescope offsets. You might try installing/enabling the legacy "POTH" in ASCOM which can act as a hub to allow multiple applications to connect to a dome's ASCOM driver.

-Ray


Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 2

Howard Ritter
 

Hi, Chris—

Do you mean you have just the Meade OTA, and that’s why you need to find a tripod? I can’t imagine they’re very plentiful on the used market, unfortunately.

If you get lucky, you’ll be glad to know that the bolt holes in the A-P Flat Surface Adapter nicely avoid the cast structural webs on the underside of the tripod head when the FSA is centered and the N is aligned with one of the legs.

Good hunting!

—howard


On Jun 7, 2022, at 1:23 AM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:

LOL! Ironically, I am trying to do the exact same thing. I have a new-from-AP 1600 and a Meade LX200GPS-16. I just need to find another Meade Super Giant Field Tripod for a good deal and get it shipped to Hawaii.

"Always take the high road. There's less traffic."

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Mon, Jun 6, 2022 at 5:39 PM Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Well, I couldn’t wait until my son comes over tomorrow. I decided to try it myself, and was thrilled to find that, despite having just turned 77, I could wrangle the components of the 1600GTO onto the tripod by myself and assemble the mount in place.  It looks pretty imposing in the photo, but IRL, when I got it together and stepped back, my reaction was MY GOD THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

Tomorrow the GTOCP4 and 155EDF go on it and I’ll start to RTFM and exercise the mount. When I think I understand its operation well enough, we’ll disassemble it and reassemble it in the back yard with the legs extended. I’ll probably do some imaging with the 155 first, but then swap it out for why I bought the 1600 instead of the 1100 – the Meade 16” SCT. For that, I definitely WILL need my son!

Thank you, Rolando, Marj, Amber, George, and the whole crew!

—howard


<FrankenScope Stage I Step 2.jpeg>




Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 2

Christopher Erickson
 

LOL! Ironically, I am trying to do the exact same thing. I have a new-from-AP 1600 and a Meade LX200GPS-16. I just need to find another Meade Super Giant Field Tripod for a good deal and get it shipped to Hawaii.

"Always take the high road. There's less traffic."

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Mon, Jun 6, 2022 at 5:39 PM Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Well, I couldn’t wait until my son comes over tomorrow. I decided to try it myself, and was thrilled to find that, despite having just turned 77, I could wrangle the components of the 1600GTO onto the tripod by myself and assemble the mount in place.  It looks pretty imposing in the photo, but IRL, when I got it together and stepped back, my reaction was MY GOD THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

Tomorrow the GTOCP4 and 155EDF go on it and I’ll start to RTFM and exercise the mount. When I think I understand its operation well enough, we’ll disassemble it and reassemble it in the back yard with the legs extended. I’ll probably do some imaging with the 155 first, but then swap it out for why I bought the 1600 instead of the 1100 – the Meade 16” SCT. For that, I definitely WILL need my son!

Thank you, Rolando, Marj, Amber, George, and the whole crew!

—howard



Re: FrankenScope Stage I Step 2

 

looks great Howard, nice work


On Mon, Jun 6, 2022 at 8:39 PM Howard Ritter via groups.io <howard.ritter=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Well, I couldn’t wait until my son comes over tomorrow. I decided to try it myself, and was thrilled to find that, despite having just turned 77, I could wrangle the components of the 1600GTO onto the tripod by myself and assemble the mount in place.  It looks pretty imposing in the photo, but IRL, when I got it together and stepped back, my reaction was MY GOD THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

Tomorrow the GTOCP4 and 155EDF go on it and I’ll start to RTFM and exercise the mount. When I think I understand its operation well enough, we’ll disassemble it and reassemble it in the back yard with the legs extended. I’ll probably do some imaging with the 155 first, but then swap it out for why I bought the 1600 instead of the 1100 – the Meade 16” SCT. For that, I definitely WILL need my son!

Thank you, Rolando, Marj, Amber, George, and the whole crew!

—howard





FrankenScope Stage I Step 2

Howard Ritter
 

Well, I couldn’t wait until my son comes over tomorrow. I decided to try it myself, and was thrilled to find that, despite having just turned 77, I could wrangle the components of the 1600GTO onto the tripod by myself and assemble the mount in place.  It looks pretty imposing in the photo, but IRL, when I got it together and stepped back, my reaction was MY GOD THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

Tomorrow the GTOCP4 and 155EDF go on it and I’ll start to RTFM and exercise the mount. When I think I understand its operation well enough, we’ll disassemble it and reassemble it in the back yard with the legs extended. I’ll probably do some imaging with the 155 first, but then swap it out for why I bought the 1600 instead of the 1100 – the Meade 16” SCT. For that, I definitely WILL need my son!

Thank you, Rolando, Marj, Amber, George, and the whole crew!

—howard



FrankenScope Phase I, Step 1

Howard Ritter
 

Rehabilitation of the Meade Giant Field Tripod is done except for the cosmetic removal of surface rust on the legs.

The A-P Flat Surface Adapter is mounted with 8 socket-head bolts to holes drilled in the top plate of the tripod.

The 1600GTO sits on the carpet, observing the proceedings as it awaits its ascent to the throne…

…which will probably have to await a visit from my son, who has muscles. Maybe tomorrow.

—howard



Re: AP900 CP4 with ASIAIR - need some guidance

Kevin Cook
 

Hi Dan - I don't know if this will help in your situation, which is a little different than mine. I am using a Mach 1 mount with the CP3 version.  The mount is connected to my ASIAIR PRO via an RS232 cable (on the CP3 side) to the ASIAIR (regular USB connector).  When it works, it works like a charm for polar alignment, plate solving, and guiding.  Where it gets squirrely seems to be when I power up the mount first, then power up the ASIAIR - that is when the mount motions go seriously astray, sometimes starting with that first polar alignment rotation of the RA axis.  It seems as though the ASIAIR does not know when the home position (Park 3 for me) is, so all subsequent motions are out of whack. Things go much better when I power up the ASIAIR first, make sure I hear it beep that it has set up its little local wifi network, then I power up the mount and open the ASIAIR app.  No guarantees it will resolve your issues, but give my recommended startup sequence a try.

Kevin Cook

On Fri, Jun 3, 2022 at 5:28 AM Dan_Paris <danysra@...> wrote:
   Hi everyone,

since yesterday I am a happy owner of an AP900 with CP4 upgrade. What a beautiful an impressive mount! 

Coming from a Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 driven by an ASIAIR using EQMOD, I tried to use the AP900 in the same way.

I connected the ASIAIR to the CP4 with an USB cable, an turned everything on. After choosing "Astro-physics CP3/CP4" in the mount menu of the ASIAIR, the mount was instantly recognized and reacted to the arrow buttons on the phone screen. So far so good.  I then tried to simulate a full imaging session.  Everything eventually worked but there was some oddities:

  1. When I ran the polar alignement procedure, after the first plate solve the mount moved in RA (as it should) but the displayed angle stayed at 0° and the motion stopped then midway. To remedy this I had to first point the mount away from the pole, take a picture, sync the mount, come back to park 3 position (all with ASIAIR), before launching PA.
  2. I sent a GOTO command with the ASIAIR to M13, which was then 1h30m east of the meridian. However the mount moved in the "wrong" direction and ended up counterweight up (fortunately the scope cleared the mount - but not by much). I sent after that another GOTO command to M51 (which was about 2h west of the meridian) and this time the mount was in the standard position, i.e. counterweights down.
  3. I tried to calibrate autoguiding. The West steps were as they should (small), but when it reverted to East, the mount made a very large motion (enough to put the guide star out of the FOV). I tried then to enforce guiding speed 1x with the GTO keypad first, it worked but only to some extent (the star was lost but eventually found).
I managed to take few autoguided frames and the results are very encouraging - significantly tighter stars than with my previous mount. 

I am wondering whether there are extra steps or settings that would make the dialog between the ASIAIR and the CP4 smoother ?

Thanks for your help,

Dan


APPM - Dome Settings - Offset Question

nx6a <danrprice3@...>
 

I have a Mach2GTO-L which is several feet off center in a 15 foot Pro-Dome.  If I go to "APPM/setting/Dome Settings" and select "Active" the APPM appears to assume the mount is at the exact center of the dome and positions it accordingly.  I've been able to work around this problem by handing control of the dome over to Digital Dome Works or TheSkyX and setting the "settling" time of APPM to twenty or thirty seconds.  Both Digital Dome Works and TheSkyX allow mount offset values to be added in their settings.  But, I really like the feature that APPM has of waiting for the dome to position itself and then proceeding with imaging and plate solving - this is much faster than waiting twenty or thirty seconds for each Measurement Point.  I've tried using the "Passive" option, but it appears to require the dome be connected and this does not seem to be possible when Digital Dome Works or TheSkyX are controlling the dome.  Is there any chance that APPM can be modified to allow us to enter a mount offset in "APPM/setting/Dome Settings"?  Or have I missed something in how to use the "Passive" option?  Thank you!


155 image from down under

Roland Christen
 

Hello all,

Just wanted to pass on an image from Peter Ward in Australia, doing imaging with his venerable 155EDF:
Rolando

"I was wanting to pass on some impressions of the new Quad TCC for my venerable AP155.
What a superb accessory! 
The image below was taken in just one evening.
 
 
Suffice to say, the stars are perfectly formed, right to the edge of field and given a full-frame 60Mp CMOS imager was used  (which takes no prisoners when it comes to less than perfect stellar profiles) the result is simply stunning.

Well done!
 
Regards
 
Peter Ward
General Manager
Advanced Telescope Supplies
37 Thomas Mitchell Drive
Barden Ridge NSW 2234
Australia
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: 400GTO

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Chris,
George asked me to assist you.  We'll get your CP3 personality changed.  I'll respond privately.
HKH


Re: APCC Virtual Ports intermittenly not working

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Rory,
I would pull a *ditch and switch.*  Ditch the virtual ports and switch to using the ReST API to connect the driver to APCC
Set up APCC for the ReST API in the API tab of the Advanced Settings window.  You will need to restart APCC.
Set up the ReST API in the driver.
Done.  Call me if you have further questions.
HKH


APCC Virtual Ports intermittenly not working

Rory Clarke
 

I am running APCC from Windows 10 from a USB connection on an AP Mach 1 using a G4 controller. My issue is my virtual comm ports don't work most of the time, but every once in awhile after testing various comm ports it will work for a session, but when I restart my computer it will not work anymore. I am always trying comm ports greater than 21, but I Have used lower number ports as well (in this picture below I tried 5 and 6). I have spent several nights (3 or 4 entire nights) attempting to trouble shoot this. I have click all the buttons (create virtual ports first, auto connect, auto-config, auto start) in every combination possible and have reset my computer countless times. Like I said, every once in a while I'll get lucky and the comm port will recognize, but it is not repeatable. When it works, it's great. 


Re: 400GTO

Chris White
 

Thanks for the tip Bill.  I've been using a 900GTO, which I think has the same potential danger with the clutch knobs.  But it is good to know, so thanks for bringing this up. 

Glad to hear you like this little mount! 


Re: 400GTO

WMarton@...
 

You have an identical configuration to mine (upgraded CP3 with V2 chip).  It is a terrific little mount.  My only advice: be careful and do not overtighten the clutches.  Unlike the Mach1 and later mounts, the clutch knobs have delrin tips that can deform if you apply too much pressure.  The original manual came with an insert reiterating this fact; you may not have access to it secondhand.  Also, I would mark the 90 degree RA and DEC axes using painter's tape so putting the mount in the various park positions is easier.

Bill

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