Date   

Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

John Stiner
 

When can we hear the details of the new PA technique for AE mounts? I like the sound of it!


Re: List vs reseller

Roland Christen
 

Depending on where you are on the list versus where the dealer is. A lot of dealers jumped on right after the announcement. In any case, we'll get around to everyone eventually.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 7:20 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] List vs reseller



IIRC the reseller has to wait just like you would.


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of glutch@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2019 4:36 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] List vs reseller
 
 
So being new to the process of being on a list to purchase vs getting the mount via a reseller my question is which is the better route?  I am already on the wait list for the Mach2 but have seen options to put a down payment on a mach2 mount on a resellers web site.

George C. Lutch




Re: List vs reseller

Bill Long
 

IIRC the reseller has to wait just like you would.


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of glutch@... [ap-gto] Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2019 4:36 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] List vs reseller
 
 

So being new to the process of being on a list to purchase vs getting the mount via a reseller my question is which is the better route?  I am already on the wait list for the Mach2 but have seen options to put a down payment on a mach2 mount on a resellers web site.

George C. Lutch



Re: List vs reseller

Roland Christen
 

Dealers are great, but he might not get it any sooner than you will.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: glutch@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 6:36 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] List vs reseller

So being new to the process of being on a list to purchase vs getting the mount via a reseller my question is which is the better route?  I am already on the wait list for the Mach2 but have seen options to put a down payment on a mach2 mount on a resellers web site.

George C. Lutch




Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

Well I think we can do a limited pointing model where you only need a few stars on either side (maybe 3 to 6). That's not enough data to do unguided imaging, but it can be done quickly. The real key is to do precision polar alignment, and I can show you how to use the power of the encoder mount's goto function to nail PA to the arc sec level in less than 60 seconds per azimuth and altitude adjustment. It uses what I call my "Pivot Star" method. It's a new method as far as i know but it borrows some features from my Daytime Polar Alignment routine - but much easier and very fast.

Once you are precision polar aligned, I have found that you can slew almost anywhere in the sky and have the object in the field of an 80 - 100 power eyepiece. No model needed. The only thing that throws it off is tube non-orthogonality when you flip sides. That would either have to be fixed mechanically (another incredibly easy thing to do) or it has to be measured and compensated in the software. I'll be looking at that also.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: 'Wade Hilmo' y.groups@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 5:37 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Just to toss out my thoughts on this response (since I asked for a pointing model earlier in the thread)…
 
You make the suggestion below that a portable user might use plate solving for imaging.  I would point out that if I am plate solving, then I am using a computer and will be running with APCC Pro – and this will definitely be my own common use case.
 
I can see the use case for unguided imaging with only a camera, and no computer and that’s really cool.  But I’m not sure how many people work like that.  I would guess that, for this quality of mount, that the majority of users would be imagers with an Astro camera and a computer.  I would guess that there are also going to be a lot of visual users (which is where I would personally benefit from a pointing model vs. a tracking model).  And I would think that the DSLR imagers with no computers would be quite a bit smaller than either of the other groups.  Of course, you are have actual data, and I just have my anecdotal experience at a (pretty large) number of star parties, so I could easily be wrong about this.
 
I’ve actually considered getting a stick PC to run APCC and attaching it to the mount, and then connecting SkySafari to the PC’s WiFi instead of the CP4’s WiFi.  The idea would be that I would run APPM at dusk to create a pointing model with a modest number of points.  For the rest of the night, I would do visual using SkySafari to drive the mount.  I would love to have this capability built into the mount.
 
That said, this is just my wish.  And frankly, if I were to sit down and come up with a list of every possible feature that I could ever want, the Mach2 pretty much hits everything, but this one case.  And then some.  It truly advances the state of the art in mounts.
 
Thanks,
-Wade
 
 
 
 
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2019 12:12 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 
I will let you know more about it when we get our new keypad software. Both CP4 and CP5 have memory allocated for modeling. Right now we have plans to implement tracking modeling for unguided imaging.
 
Pointing models such as what is in APCC Pro do an all-sky measurement of sky positions which allows the sky map to be distorted and shifted to account for polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and a host of other variables. This is quite useful for permanent installations since it only has to be done once and then tweaked for atmospheric pressure. Out of this modeling, you not only get a pointing correction but the model allows extracting a tracking correction over most of the sky.
 
However, if you're portable, you may use plate solve to do your pointing function, but you really want tracking correction for unguided imaging. This can be done much easier and straight forward, and that is what we are proposing to use the extra memory for. If it turns out that you all want a simple pointing correction model, then that may also be possible, but will be nowhere near the complexity of what's in APCC Pro.
 
Roland
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: marfig1970@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 3:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
Thank you for all the information. But I have a couple of questions about the new Pointing Model:
 
1) When will it be available for current CP4 users, will it work with all mounts that have it?
 
2) How exactly will it work, will it require any special software to use it?
 
Thanks again.
 



List vs reseller

George Lutch
 

So being new to the process of being on a list to purchase vs getting the mount via a reseller my question is which is the better route?  I am already on the wait list for the Mach2 but have seen options to put a down payment on a mach2 mount on a resellers web site.

George C. Lutch



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

I'm not sure how you would do that.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Thorsten Lockert tholo@... [ap-gto] To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 2:53 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Does this mean that (in the future) APCC Pro will be able to upload (parts of) its generated model to the CP4 (or CP5) and have it be effective even when not using APCC?

Thorsten

On Apr 11, 2019, at 12:12, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


I will let you know more about it when we get our new keypad software. Both CP4 and CP5 have memory allocated for modeling. Right now we have plans to implement tracking modeling for unguided imaging.

Pointing models such as what is in APCC Pro do an all-sky measurement of sky positions which allows the sky map to be distorted and shifted to account for polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and a host of other variables. This is quite useful for permanent installations since it only has to be done once and then tweaked for atmospheric pressure. Out of this modeling, you not only get a pointing correction but the model allows extracting a tracking correction over most of the sky.

However, if you're portable, you may use plate solve to do your pointing function, but you really want tracking correction for unguided imaging. This can be done much easier and straight forward, and that is what we are proposing to use the extra memory for. If it turns out that you all want a simple pointing correction model, then that may also be possible, but will be nowhere near the complexity of what's in APCC Pro.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: marfig1970@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 3:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Thank you for all the information. But I have a couple of questions about the new Pointing Model:

1) When will it be available for current CP4 users, will it work with all mounts that have it?

2) How exactly will it work, will it require any special software to use it?

Thanks again.







Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Thank you.

I will keep an eye out for new developments. I would love to do images without PHD2 and be able to do long exposures without guidance.


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

W Hilmo
 

Just to toss out my thoughts on this response (since I asked for a pointing model earlier in the thread)…

 

You make the suggestion below that a portable user might use plate solving for imaging.  I would point out that if I am plate solving, then I am using a computer and will be running with APCC Pro – and this will definitely be my own common use case.

 

I can see the use case for unguided imaging with only a camera, and no computer and that’s really cool.  But I’m not sure how many people work like that.  I would guess that, for this quality of mount, that the majority of users would be imagers with an Astro camera and a computer.  I would guess that there are also going to be a lot of visual users (which is where I would personally benefit from a pointing model vs. a tracking model).  And I would think that the DSLR imagers with no computers would be quite a bit smaller than either of the other groups.  Of course, you are have actual data, and I just have my anecdotal experience at a (pretty large) number of star parties, so I could easily be wrong about this.

 

I’ve actually considered getting a stick PC to run APCC and attaching it to the mount, and then connecting SkySafari to the PC’s WiFi instead of the CP4’s WiFi.  The idea would be that I would run APPM at dusk to create a pointing model with a modest number of points.  For the rest of the night, I would do visual using SkySafari to drive the mount.  I would love to have this capability built into the mount.

 

That said, this is just my wish.  And frankly, if I were to sit down and come up with a list of every possible feature that I could ever want, the Mach2 pretty much hits everything, but this one case.  And then some.  It truly advances the state of the art in mounts.

 

Thanks,

-Wade

 

 

 

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2019 12:12 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

 

 

I will let you know more about it when we get our new keypad software. Both CP4 and CP5 have memory allocated for modeling. Right now we have plans to implement tracking modeling for unguided imaging.

 

Pointing models such as what is in APCC Pro do an all-sky measurement of sky positions which allows the sky map to be distorted and shifted to account for polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and a host of other variables. This is quite useful for permanent installations since it only has to be done once and then tweaked for atmospheric pressure. Out of this modeling, you not only get a pointing correction but the model allows extracting a tracking correction over most of the sky.

 

However, if you're portable, you may use plate solve to do your pointing function, but you really want tracking correction for unguided imaging. This can be done much easier and straight forward, and that is what we are proposing to use the extra memory for. If it turns out that you all want a simple pointing correction model, then that may also be possible, but will be nowhere near the complexity of what's in APCC Pro.

 

Roland

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: marfig1970@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 3:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

 

Thank you for all the information. But I have a couple of questions about the new Pointing Model:

 

1) When will it be available for current CP4 users, will it work with all mounts that have it?

 

2) How exactly will it work, will it require any special software to use it?

 

Thanks again.

 


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Thorsten Lockert
 

Does this mean that (in the future) APCC Pro will be able to upload (parts of) its generated model to the CP4 (or CP5) and have it be effective even when not using APCC?

Thorsten

On Apr 11, 2019, at 12:12, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


I will let you know more about it when we get our new keypad software. Both CP4 and CP5 have memory allocated for modeling. Right now we have plans to implement tracking modeling for unguided imaging.

Pointing models such as what is in APCC Pro do an all-sky measurement of sky positions which allows the sky map to be distorted and shifted to account for polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and a host of other variables. This is quite useful for permanent installations since it only has to be done once and then tweaked for atmospheric pressure. Out of this modeling, you not only get a pointing correction but the model allows extracting a tracking correction over most of the sky.

However, if you're portable, you may use plate solve to do your pointing function, but you really want tracking correction for unguided imaging. This can be done much easier and straight forward, and that is what we are proposing to use the extra memory for. If it turns out that you all want a simple pointing correction model, then that may also be possible, but will be nowhere near the complexity of what's in APCC Pro.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: marfig1970@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 3:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Thank you for all the information. But I have a couple of questions about the new Pointing Model:

1) When will it be available for current CP4 users, will it work with all mounts that have it?

2) How exactly will it work, will it require any special software to use it?

Thanks again.





Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

The CP5 is exactly like the CP4.

One thing we will implement is a fixed position setting for horizon and meridian lines because these can be defined as an absolute encoder number in both axes.

For the rest, Ray is correct, you would be using APCC Pro to control the mount, build models, set safe zones, etc to fully automate your mount. No keypad is needed for any functions in a remote observatory.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: ATM@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 4:15 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Thank you for this fantastic mount!

Some more questions:

1.    Will the mount fit the Tripod Adapter (ADATRI)?

2.    What options will the CP5 offer for connecting to it?

3.    I will use the mount in a remote observatory, and will have no way to access the Keypad. Will I be missing something (except for the objects database)? Will I be able to create/update the new CP5 Pointing/Tracking model? Will there be a Software utility to do so? Will the Interface commands for building the model be documented?

4.    After building and activating a model, will the Mount accept Sync/Recal commands?

5.    Will the ASCOM driver implement the “Set Side of Pier” function?

6.    Will the CP5 implement meridian and horizon (fixed value, no horizon profile necessary) limits? I know that APCC have that but have the feeling that for a mount with absolute encoders the natural position for this function is inside the mount controller. That way, the equipment will be protected even when the controlling PC crashes (it happens!).

Kind regards,
Horia




Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

I will let you know more about it when we get our new keypad software. Both CP4 and CP5 have memory allocated for modeling. Right now we have plans to implement tracking modeling for unguided imaging.

Pointing models such as what is in APCC Pro do an all-sky measurement of sky positions which allows the sky map to be distorted and shifted to account for polar misalignment, atmospheric refraction and a host of other variables. This is quite useful for permanent installations since it only has to be done once and then tweaked for atmospheric pressure. Out of this modeling, you not only get a pointing correction but the model allows extracting a tracking correction over most of the sky.

However, if you're portable, you may use plate solve to do your pointing function, but you really want tracking correction for unguided imaging. This can be done much easier and straight forward, and that is what we are proposing to use the extra memory for. If it turns out that you all want a simple pointing correction model, then that may also be possible, but will be nowhere near the complexity of what's in APCC Pro.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: marfig1970@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 3:43 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Thank you for all the information. But I have a couple of questions about the new Pointing Model:

1) When will it be available for current CP4 users, will it work with all mounts that have it?

2) How exactly will it work, will it require any special software to use it?

Thanks again.



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

Yes, it will definitely hold the RH305 plus camera.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: ramviswanathan@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 1:13 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Will the Mach2 GTO be able to hold an RH305 with camera? Or is that asking for too much?





Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Horia,

I think I can answer a couple of your questions.

You wrote:
2. What options will the CP5 offer for connecting to it?
The connections to the CP5 should be the same as the CP4 (two serial, one USB, one Ethernet, wi-fi). As was previously said, the CP5 is roughly the same as the CP4. The main difference is that the motor controller logic is different because of the different motors on the Mach 2.

4. After building and activating a model, will the Mount accept Sync/Recal commands?
Yes it should. What is your concern here?

6. Will the CP5 implement meridian and horizon (fixed value, no horizon
profile necessary) limits? I know that
APCC have that but have the feeling that for a mount with absolute encoders
the natural position for this function
is inside the mount controller. That way, the equipment will be protected even
when the controlling PC crashes (it happens!).
This is what happens today when using APCC (Standard or Pro). The feature is called "Safety Park".

If the computer crashes, APCC crashes, or the connection is broken to the mount, the mount will stop tracking after a user-configurable period of time (e.g. 1 minute).

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2019 2:15 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Thank you for this fantastic mount!

Some more questions:

1. Will the mount fit the Tripod Adapter (ADATRI)?


2. What options will the CP5 offer for connecting to it?


3. I will use the mount in a remote observatory, and will have no way to access the Keypad. Will I be missing
something (except for the objects database)? Will I be able to create/update the new CP5 Pointing/Tracking
model? Will there be a Software utility to do so? Will the Interface commands for building the model be
documented?


4. After building and activating a model, will the Mount accept Sync/Recal commands?


5. Will the ASCOM driver implement the “Set Side of Pier” function?


6. Will the CP5 implement meridian and horizon (fixed value, no horizon profile necessary) limits? I know that
APCC have that but have the feeling that for a mount with absolute encoders the natural position for this function
is inside the mount controller. That way, the equipment will be protected even when the controlling PC crashes (it
happens!).

Kind regards,
Horia




Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Horia
 

Thank you for this fantastic mount!

Some more questions:

1.    Will the mount fit the Tripod Adapter (ADATRI)?

2.    What options will the CP5 offer for connecting to it?

3.    I will use the mount in a remote observatory, and will have no way to access the Keypad. Will I be missing something (except for the objects database)? Will I be able to create/update the new CP5 Pointing/Tracking model? Will there be a Software utility to do so? Will the Interface commands for building the model be documented?

4.    After building and activating a model, will the Mount accept Sync/Recal commands?

5.    Will the ASCOM driver implement the “Set Side of Pier” function?

6.    Will the CP5 implement meridian and horizon (fixed value, no horizon profile necessary) limits? I know that APCC have that but have the feeling that for a mount with absolute encoders the natural position for this function is inside the mount controller. That way, the equipment will be protected even when the controlling PC crashes (it happens!).

Kind regards,
Horia


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Marcelo Figueroa
 

Thank you for all the information. But I have a couple of questions about the new Pointing Model:

1) When will it be available for current CP4 users, will it work with all mounts that have it?

2) How exactly will it work, will it require any special software to use it?

Thanks again.


Re: CP3 V2 longitude

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi William,

 

This is one of those historical things where undoing it will cause more headaches than dealing with it.  For compatibility with early astro-software, the original servo command language was modeled on the Meade LX200 protocol.   In that protocol, and contrary to convention, western longitudes were entered as positive values, and eastern longitudes were simply the 360 degree compliment of the number.  For example, your longitude is correct at  +76*55:33.    The same longitude EAST would be  (360 – 76*55:33) =  283*04:27.

 

The AP V2 ASCOM driver handles this properly, so as long as you are using it, you will be fine. 

 

Call me at AP if you have more questions.

 

Mag. 7 or Better Skies!

 

Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

Please include this e-mail with your response.

 

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 15:36
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] CP3 V2 longitude

 

 

I have my longitude set to 76 55 33 West.

When I query the CP3 with :Gg# it returns +76*55:33#

ASCOM routines want West longitude as negative. 

Is there a way to get East or West longitude from the CP3?

 

Thanks,

William

 


Re: [ap-ug] Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Bill Long
 

That makes perfect sense to me, thanks for the information. 

Will the Mach2 enable me a better chance of imaging black holes? (Totally kidding).

Looking forward to seeing the production model and happy folks imaging and observing with the Mach2. 🙂


From: ap-ug@... <ap-ug@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-ug] <ap-ug@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 7:46 AM
To: ap-ug@...; ap-gto@...; marj@...; george@...
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 

Hi Bill,

In order for us to lower the cost of the encoders we will need to change the shaft and bearing system from the present design to accommodate the smaller encoders that we are using in the Mach2. This will mean that the present easy thru-mount cabling of the 1100 will have to go away. Right now there is enough room for the user to almost stick his arm up the shaft. Bringing cables from the telescope equipment down thru both axes is simple - the cables just flow from the inside of the Dec shaft into the RA shaft and out the back. There is no such easy path thru the shafts in this new design. The encoders that we use for the Mach2 cannot be simply adapted to the present 1100 - 1600 mounts.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-ug] <ap-ug@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>; marj@... <marj@...>; george@... <george@...>; ap-ug@... <ap-ug@...>
Sent: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 12:29 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Thank you, Roland for this explanation. I am very pleased to hear that the CP4/5 controllers will run tracking models. If they were only pointing models, that would be largely irrelevant to imagers since the vast majority of us use plate solving and centering capabilities. My AP mount always seems to deliver solid results with good polar alignment, as you mentioned.

I am in the line to get one of these mounts. I think you guys did a great job making a solid premium mount with elegant features that will help people achieve their imaging goals quite easily. I just wish it was not $5600 to upgrade my 1100 with AE. Perhaps over time that may come down? 


From: ap-ug@... <ap-ug@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-ug] <ap-ug@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:57 PM
To: ap-gto@...; marj@...; george@...; ap-ug@...
Subject: [ap-ug] Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 
Hello Astronuts,

I spent a bit of time reviewing the posts here on the AP user group as well as CN and our Facebook. I want to clear up some misconceptions that have developed along the way.

The Mach2 design is brand new from the ground up. It has some similarity to the Mach1 but very few things are common to both mounts.

The most important feature of the Mach2 is the enhanced stability due to the 4 bearing design. The mount can handle large loads without developing the Jello Wiggles. In fact, we overloaded the mount by placing a 14" Celestron RASA on it and it got even more stable. A sharp rap on the tube settled almost instantly. My laser pointer placed a dot on a distant wall, it did not seem to move at all. YES, this mount is super stable, much more so than the Mach1. C14? easy-peasy. 14" astrograph? it won't even know it's on there.

Thru-mount cabling - the Mach2 has internal cabling for the RA/Dec axis motors and encoders, but that is NOT the same thing as thru-mount cabling. For the Mach1 it was easy for the user to run cabling from their cameras, dew heaters and other stuff thru both axes and out the back. The shaft, bearing and encoder system on the Mach2 does not allow similar easy user-run cabling.

Shipping costs - some people have estimated shipping to be $200-$300. Our policy has always been the same - shipping in the continental US is included in the price, it is not an extra cost to the user.

What good are encoders since the mount inherently tracks accurately, especially if you are guiding anyways? The dual axis encoders enable the mount axes to accurately respond to your guider software commands down to the 1/10 arc sec level. There is no periodic error to fight, there is no Dec backlash delay to overcome. Those of you who image will know how important that is. On a good night you can get 0.1 RMS arc sec guiding.

What other advantages do the encoders have? They allow the mount electronics to know exactly where the axes are pointed, whether or not the clutches are locked or loosened to let the user move the mount manually. The mount will never be lost. We can set all kinds of safe zones and limits which will operate under any conditions of locked or loose clutches and allows external software to know always where each axis is pointed.

Any secondary advantages to encoders? Yes, the use of Absolute encoders allows easy startup with no homing or star alignments needed. All you do is polar align, turn on power and start your observing program. The encoders also simplify precision polar alignment to a point where it is very fast and just as accurate as the cumbersome drift alignment method. More on that later.

How is the Pointing Model different in the CP4/5 versus the one in APCC Pro? First let me clarify that the APCC modeling creates an all-sky pointing AND tracking model so that you can go directly to any object of interest and then do unguided imaging. It is a comprehensive modeling system similar to what other high end mounts offer and is especially useful for permanent mounts in remote operation. What we are developing in the CP4/5 is NOT a Pointing model, rather it will be a Tracking model. Our modeling will create the exact path that the object will travel over any period of time from dusk until dawn next morning. This model will be used to essentially guide the mount all night long without having any guider software attached. You won't need a computer to do the modeling, you can use a simple crosshair eyepiece. Or you can use imaging software (like MaximDL) to do the crosshair electronically.

In order for this mount to really be stable, it needs a good underpinning. Yes there are a couple of cheaper knock-offs of our Eagle pier, but if you are going for a fairly heavy imaging setup, nothing comes even close the the Eagle pier. Don't skimp on the pier.

How are the motors different? The older mounts always used DC servo motors with shaft encoders and a 57:1 reduction spur gearbox. These mounts could slew at up to 5 deg/second (1200x sidereal) while operating at 12 volts. The motors could not be run any faster no matter how much voltage we sent to the controller. The Mach 2 uses a simple belt drive microstepper in a closed servo loop configuration. The mount that i showed at NEAF was set for 10 deg/sec (2400x sidereal) and was operating on a simple 24 volt DC supply. That is not the maximum speed either, I have actually run at 15 and 20 deg/sec during system tests to see where the limits are. At 20 deg/sec you are really whipping things around. Practically speaking, we will probably limit this mount to a value that is comfortable to use in all situations.

These microstep servos motors are not cheap steppers with all their resonance and stalling issues. These are high quality motors imported from Germany, and they can really do the job.

Rolando



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Ram
 

Will the Mach2 GTO be able to hold an RH305 with camera? Or is that asking for too much?



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

George OBrien
 

Hi Marj,
I placed my name on the waiting list last week when you made the announcement. Is your first production run large enough to accommodate everyone who has already expressed interest? I was just concerned about being too late to receive one this fall.
[Can you tell that I’m eager to get one? Lol].
Thank you,
George O’Brien



From: Marj marj@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:12 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

 
Bryan,
Shipping for the Mach1GTO was $150. I expect that it will be similar.
 
Clear Skies,
 
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Rd
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
www.astro-physics.com
 
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 10:11 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 
Bryan,
 
Roland had forgotten that there are additional charges for shipping mounts due to the custom packaging materials and weight. We will determine the charges once we know those costs.
 
Clear Skies,
 
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Rd
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
www.astro-physics.com
 
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:27 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 
Roland
 
I suspect that people speculate on shipping is because the web site has shipping costs listed separately even within the US.  Am I missing something??:
 
For example,
 
SKU:
1600
Availability:
Estimated August 2019
Reserve Yours Today:
50% deposit
Shipping - US::
$325
Shipping - International::
$120 plus shipping & insurance
 
 
Bryan
 
 
 
 
 


-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
--In ap-gto@..., <chris1011@...> wrote :
Hello Astronuts,
 
I spent a bit of time reviewing the posts here on the AP user group as well as CN and our Facebook. I want to clear up some misconceptions that have developed along the way.
 
...
 
Shipping costs - some people have estimated shipping to be $200-$300. Our policy has always been the same - shipping in the continental US is included in the price, it is not an extra cost to the user.
 
...
 
Rolando




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