Date   

Re: Mobile Mounts

Kevin Cook
 

Bill - Perfection is definitely not the name of the game for outreach.  Most of these events start right at sunset and run for 2-3 hours, though I just did one that ran from 9-11PM.  We volunteers typically are told to arrive a half hour before event start for setup; most organizers of these outreach events have something planned (often dinner) before it gets dark, so don't want the clutter or distraction of us setting up during that part of their event.  Distance from the vehicle to the actual observing location can be anywhere from 20 yards to 100+ yards.  Physical setup is not the problem (other than weight with my current gear), but a continuing challenge is getting a decent polar alignment when it is not dark enough to see stars for polar alignment.  If there is something bright in the sky and people are dying to see it ASAP, I will do a rough polar alignment based on latitude and compass app on my phone, and that gets us started on targets like the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn.  As soon as there is a little break from the crowds, I will go back and refine polar alignment.  The crowd changes over time as new people trickle in, so I don't stay on any one target for longer than 5-10 minutes total.

Typical unguided exposures for deep sky targets are in the 30-to-60 second range.  The only times I have been able to go to longer exposures has been when set up on a paved surface and when I could refine polar alignment.  I was satisfied with 90-second unguided exposures under those circumstances (e.g. Grand Canyon Star Party in June).  The viewing public was happy with 120-second exposures as they could see more large-scale structure in M51 and M101, but I was generally not satisfied with the star images.  I would add that most times we are set up on gravel or grass; level paved surfaces are the exception, not the norm.  Just did one recently where the organizer put us on a large wooden deck - it was designed as a stage so it was fairly stable for a deck, but still transmitted vibrations from the viewing public walking around.  

So you can see why perfection of the star images is not the issue (or the goal) for EAA outreach.  For my own imaging from our dark sky site (from nice level concrete pads with AC power), I typically do guided 300-second exposures.  Some friends keep advocating for more, shorter exposures (this typically from the RASA crowd), but my desktop ain't happy dealing with 2 or 3 times the number of 26MB images.  It is very possible that something like a RASA8 on a harmonic mount would work fine (especially with shorter exposures) for EAA outreach, but that would defeat my goal of getting down to one scope and one mount.

Kevin

On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 10:03 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
When you say unguided 90 second images, what level of star quality are you looking for from those images? That would inform just how much accuracy you will need in terms of the tracking. To be perfectly honest, most non-encoder mounts would fail to meet the perfection mark at 90 seconds without a model of some sort to support it. 

The AP400GTO is not sold any longer but would definitely be something that would meet your needs if you can find one. With a PEC Curve and a sky model, you could hit 90 seconds with little problems. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Kevin Cook <kvc3509@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 11:33 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mobile Mounts
 
My outreach is EAA using the 130 refractor and an ASI2600MC camera, with the ASIAIR running things.  No guiding, but I need to be careful on my initial polar alignment so that I can take unguided images as long as 90 seconds.  That scope-camera combination lets me show wide-field targets like M42 and just zoom in the tablet view to show smaller targets like M51 or M57.  I love the freedom of displaying the images wirelessly on a Samsung tablet, it makes it so much easier to show and explain celestial targets to a small group, to move around to avoid glare from nearby lights, and no fuss with helping every individual ensure the image is focussed for them.  Kids these days grow up naturally knowing how to view images on electronic screens.  After reading a lot on harmonic mounts, I am not sure how well they would perform in such an unguided application.  At the end of the day, I think I am conservative about still wanting a traditional GEM mount.  A modern version of an AP400 with an encoder option for those who want them, coupled with a smaller/lighter scope than the AP130, sounds ideal for me.

There is another factor which I did not mention.  Sometimes I am the only astronomy volunteer at places that are not in the best of neighborhoods.  Not that I picture some late-night thief running down the street carrying 100lbs of my AP gear, but I do worry someone with malicious intent could just topple it all over, causing lots of expensive damage.  At times like that, when it is suspiciously quiet, my mind can't help but tally up how much $$$ I have invested in that gear.  A lot of my fellow astronomers doing outreach are using less expensive scopes and mounts, typically SCTs or Dobs, but I don't want to give up the "Oh wow!" reaction that I get from the AP130 views.  To be fair, I could probably get better results from an 8-inch Hyperstar setup, but at heart I am still a refractor guy.  And my ultimate goal in the next year or so is to downsize to one scope and one mount that serves for both EAA outreach function and my own imaging.

On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 10:08 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:
On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 08:05 AM, Kevin Cook wrote:
Can't lift an 1100-class mount and though it can be separated into two pieces, then that is not quick setup for outreach use. Maybe my sports car analogy wasn't perfect, but I am seeking a small, light, transportable mount. Nobody expects Roland would ever produce ZWO-quality products. I would have complete confidence that any travel mount he produces would be awesome, just like his smaller refractors.

Outreach means visual, right?   Mostly?  The Harmonic drives, combined by more forgiving tracking requirements, would seem ideal -- no (or far fewer) counterweights and a light footprint saves on both ends.

Long focal lengths for DSO imaging and portable seem the hard niche to fill.  But if I were an outreach visual focused person I think I'd jump on one of the harmonics; no need for AP level precision.  

Or am I missing something? 

Linwood


Re: APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Sam,

 

> “run time error 402 - must close or hide topmost modal first” (see image). Not sure what “topmost modal “ is?

 

The 402 error is not normal, and suggests the driver is displaying a modal dialog somewhere that needs to be closed. (For example, the driver's Settings window)

 

> But APCC still can not connect the APV2 driver.

 

But, you do not need to connect APCC to the ASCOM driver. The option is removed in the next APCC build, as some people have assumed it is required. Its only purpose is to speed up ASCOM client connections and disconnects by keeping one client (APCC) connected to the driver. But, APCC communicates to the mount directly and does not need the driver. It is the driver that communicates through APCC to the mount.

 

I suggest you configure APCC like the screenclip below and not open the driver’s Settings window, if that was what you were doing.

 

 

-Ray

 


Re: We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images

George LaBelle
 



--
George
Prineville, Oregon


Re: We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images

Eric Baumgartner
 

Hi, Brian:

 

Here is a beauty shot of my AP140EDF on a Mach1 and Eagle tripod at a recent star party in Maine, outfitted to do some white-light (Herschel wedge) solar observing.

 

Eric Baumgartner

Redding, CT USA


Re: Mobile Mounts

Bill Long
 

I have had a good time with the AP400, but it has not been without some issues along the way. DEC seems to have some fits now and then, which could be due to an aged worm or perhaps something else. I have set backlash comp in PHD2 to about 2500 with a guide exposure time of 2 seconds and the mount seems to be quite responsive to that. If I increase the guider exposures I run into some cases where DEC becomes completely unresponsive to pulses. I have already sent mail about this to AP. I checked all of the usual suspects Roland shared (worm mesh, end nut/washer) and everything seems to be in good working order on that front.

Nonetheless, the 2.0 sec guiding with the 2500 backlash setting in PHD (which seems to change downward on its own -- very cool!) is working well, in tandem with a 32 point model. So at the end of the day, I am getting great performance from the mount. I just had a 1.75" FWHM image land, with a median of 0.39 eccentricity - and this was a 10 minute OIII sub with the GTX and 268M, so 0.89"/px image scale. Nothing to scoff at.

I do want to find root cause on the DEC delays that seem to occur at random. For that I will work offline with AP support to root out.

I can say that if you can find one of these gems, and are willing to breathe some life back into it -- you will not be disappointed. 

-bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of richard payne <rpayne85392@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 9:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mobile Mounts
 
I have a 400 GTO and about 5 years ago 
replaced the motors and gearboxes plus a CP3
computer, very quiet,smooth, superb guiding.
A flawless mount.
Richard Payne


On Sep 30, 2022, at 12:49 AM, Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:


This is a guide graph, at 1 second intervals, from a AP mount (Ap400GTO) made about 20+ years ago. 

I dont know what yall are trying to do, but you have lost your way if you think these new mounts, can beat this old soul. 

image.png


Re: APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

Bill Long
 

Do this:
  1. Kill the AP v2 driver, by double clicking on the "Client" part of the driver window.
  2. In APCC, click on the Virtual Port tab, and make sure the ports are created. If they aren't, click the create button for each
  3. On the connection section of APCC, click the Now button to auto-configure the v2 driver.
  4. Then you should be able to connect the driver to APCC.
  5. If this works, check the box to auto-create the Virtual Ports in APCC.
-Bill


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of S Berrada <sberrada19@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 9:10 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM
 
Hi Ray,

thank you for the response 

I must have rebooted the computer 10 times but still getting the error.

The workaround which seems to get the mount working with NINA / ASCOM  (but still showing error):
- load APCC and connect to mount
- The APCC ‘connect’ button for APV2 Driver does not work,
- so I go directly to NINA and click on ‘ telescope / mount settings’ which gets the ASCOM window to pop up (albeit gives same 402 error)
- afterwards I click on NIna ‘connect mount’ and it seems to connect to ASCOM and get the mount working 

Only then can I get PHD to connect to mount.
But APCC still can not connect the APV2 driver.

Everything worked fine in this computer until yesterday.

Thanks
Sam


Re: Mobile Mounts

Bill Long
 

When you say unguided 90 second images, what level of star quality are you looking for from those images? That would inform just how much accuracy you will need in terms of the tracking. To be perfectly honest, most non-encoder mounts would fail to meet the perfection mark at 90 seconds without a model of some sort to support it. 

The AP400GTO is not sold any longer but would definitely be something that would meet your needs if you can find one. With a PEC Curve and a sky model, you could hit 90 seconds with little problems. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Kevin Cook <kvc3509@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 11:33 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mobile Mounts
 
My outreach is EAA using the 130 refractor and an ASI2600MC camera, with the ASIAIR running things.  No guiding, but I need to be careful on my initial polar alignment so that I can take unguided images as long as 90 seconds.  That scope-camera combination lets me show wide-field targets like M42 and just zoom in the tablet view to show smaller targets like M51 or M57.  I love the freedom of displaying the images wirelessly on a Samsung tablet, it makes it so much easier to show and explain celestial targets to a small group, to move around to avoid glare from nearby lights, and no fuss with helping every individual ensure the image is focussed for them.  Kids these days grow up naturally knowing how to view images on electronic screens.  After reading a lot on harmonic mounts, I am not sure how well they would perform in such an unguided application.  At the end of the day, I think I am conservative about still wanting a traditional GEM mount.  A modern version of an AP400 with an encoder option for those who want them, coupled with a smaller/lighter scope than the AP130, sounds ideal for me.

There is another factor which I did not mention.  Sometimes I am the only astronomy volunteer at places that are not in the best of neighborhoods.  Not that I picture some late-night thief running down the street carrying 100lbs of my AP gear, but I do worry someone with malicious intent could just topple it all over, causing lots of expensive damage.  At times like that, when it is suspiciously quiet, my mind can't help but tally up how much $$$ I have invested in that gear.  A lot of my fellow astronomers doing outreach are using less expensive scopes and mounts, typically SCTs or Dobs, but I don't want to give up the "Oh wow!" reaction that I get from the AP130 views.  To be fair, I could probably get better results from an 8-inch Hyperstar setup, but at heart I am still a refractor guy.  And my ultimate goal in the next year or so is to downsize to one scope and one mount that serves for both EAA outreach function and my own imaging.

On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 10:08 AM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:

On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 08:05 AM, Kevin Cook wrote:
Can't lift an 1100-class mount and though it can be separated into two pieces, then that is not quick setup for outreach use. Maybe my sports car analogy wasn't perfect, but I am seeking a small, light, transportable mount. Nobody expects Roland would ever produce ZWO-quality products. I would have complete confidence that any travel mount he produces would be awesome, just like his smaller refractors.

Outreach means visual, right?   Mostly?  The Harmonic drives, combined by more forgiving tracking requirements, would seem ideal -- no (or far fewer) counterweights and a light footprint saves on both ends.

Long focal lengths for DSO imaging and portable seem the hard niche to fill.  But if I were an outreach visual focused person I think I'd jump on one of the harmonics; no need for AP level precision.  

Or am I missing something? 

Linwood


Re: Mobile Mounts

Bill Long
 

Oh, of this I am very aware. When I was younger both of my parents had thier own '66 Mustangs.  Coolest cars ever, and when my mom picked me up from school all my friends thought I was the coolest kid. 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of weems@... <weems@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 8:31 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mobile Mounts
 

The Mustang is why they call these mounts “Mach”. Of course, a smaller mount couldn’t be called a Mach 0.5. But with advanced features, it could be a Mach-E :-)

Chip


Re: APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

 

Hi Sam

When you have APCC running but ASCOM not yet connected, have you tried clicking the auto config option for the ascom driver first?



On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 9:10 PM S Berrada <sberrada19@...> wrote:
Hi Ray,

thank you for the response 

I must have rebooted the computer 10 times but still getting the error.

The workaround which seems to get the mount working with NINA / ASCOM  (but still showing error):
- load APCC and connect to mount
- The APCC ‘connect’ button for APV2 Driver does not work,
- so I go directly to NINA and click on ‘ telescope / mount settings’ which gets the ASCOM window to pop up (albeit gives same 402 error)
- afterwards I click on NIna ‘connect mount’ and it seems to connect to ASCOM and get the mount working 

Only then can I get PHD to connect to mount.
But APCC still can not connect the APV2 driver.

Everything worked fine in this computer until yesterday.

Thanks
Sam




Re: APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

Sam
 

Hi Ray,

thank you for the response 

I must have rebooted the computer 10 times but still getting the error.

The workaround which seems to get the mount working with NINA / ASCOM  (but still showing error):
- load APCC and connect to mount
- The APCC ‘connect’ button for APV2 Driver does not work,
- so I go directly to NINA and click on ‘ telescope / mount settings’ which gets the ASCOM window to pop up (albeit gives same 402 error)
- afterwards I click on NIna ‘connect mount’ and it seems to connect to ASCOM and get the mount working 

Only then can I get PHD to connect to mount.
But APCC still can not connect the APV2 driver.

Everything worked fine in this computer until yesterday.

Thanks
Sam


Re: We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images

Howard Ritter
 

Here’s my Meade 16” SCT on its original tripod, after undergoing a “mount transplant” in which it received an A-P 1600GTO AE.

Howard

image0.jpeg

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Re: Mobile Mounts

weems@...
 

The Mustang is why they call these mounts “Mach”. Of course, a smaller mount couldn’t be called a Mach 0.5. But with advanced features, it could be a Mach-E :-)

Chip


Re: APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

Ray Gralak
 

Time to reboot your computer, as something seems corrupted. Those types of errors should never happen.

 

-Ray

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of S Berrada
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 5:36 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

 

Hi 

I am having another type of problem connecting to my AP1100.

I am using a computer where virtual ports used to work ; now I get an error when I try to connect “ APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM …. (See image)

When I try to use the IP Address selection in ASCOM, it gives me an error that I have not seen before “run time error 402 - must close or hide topmost modal first” (see image).  Not sure what “topmost modal “ is?

Yet when I go into ASCOM, I am able to confirm that it finds the mount  with virtual port.  So I when try to go back to virtual port in ASCOM, it gives me same error “run time error 402 - must close or hide topmost modal first”.

So this run time error is preventing me from connecting either with ASCOM or virtual port.

 Any help would be appreciated 

Sam


Re: Small quirk when homing Mach2

Ray Gralak
 

I believe that the "yes" in step 8 is supposed to be clicked to cancel the homing. I don't have a Mach2 to test with but maybe Mike
at A-P can check this.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Sébastien Doré
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 3:49 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Small quirk when homing Mach2

Hi,

I'm getting a small quirk when trying to home the mount after unparking from the ASCOM driver (in NINA). Not a
big deal but I thought it would be worth reporting nonetheless.

Here's is the course of events that inevitably ends with the mount not homing properly :

1 - Starting in park 2, I manually connect to the mount with APCC.
2- Then I manually connect NINA to the mount (through ASCOM)
3 - I unpark in NINA (manually or within an imaging sequence, doesn't seem to matter)
4 - Mount start tracking (through the sequence or if I toggle tracking in APCC). I have it configured to not track
upon unparking.
5 - At the end of the sequence (or manually in NINA) the mount gets parked (park 2 is my defined position). No
issue up to this point.
6 - If I then unpark again from NINA and hit 'HOME' in APCC (AE tab), mount start homing itself but for some
reason RA starts moving slowly too (from park 2, only DEC should start moving - or does it ?)
7 - Then DEC reaches home, and RA seem to continue drifting slowly away from the home position (East
direction)
8 - If I hit 'CANCEL HOME' button in APCC (AE tab), I get a confirmation window asking if I want to cancel but the
choice are :
a) Yes, find home
b) No, cancel find home


9 - If I hit 'NO - cancel find home', nothing happens ie RA keeps slowly drifting away while APCC keeps waiting
for it to reaches home coordinate, which never happens.
10 - If I hit 'Yes - find home', I get an error message saying 'homing failed - canceled by user'. But then I can hit
'find home' again and it goes directly to it successfully.


So as I said, no big deal, but a bit surprising and unintuitive at first.


I'm running the lastest of all sw/fw (APCC 1.9.4.3, AP V2 5.50.3, VCP5-P02-15, NINA 2.0HF1) and have a keypad
connected in ext mode with the latest version too (5.010) though I do not use it in that course of events.


I have attached my logs FYI but I'm not looking a for an ongoing support on this, just reporting so it can be fixed in
a future release of whatever is at cause.


Sébastien


Re: We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images

Donald Rudny
 



Hi Brian,

I use my AP1100GTO both for my home based observatory and as a portable setup for outreach around the Big Island of Hawaii.  I do a regular outreach show at the VIS on Maunakea using a camera taking short exposure images and displaying them on a monitor.  I stack subs that are usually less than a minute in exposure.  It’s called EAA (Electronic Assisted Astronomy).  The captured images certainly aren’t astrophotography quality, but they are good enough to amaze visitors wanting to see astronomy on Maunakea.  I can even Airdrop them from my computer if they have an iPhone.  It makes for a nice souvenir.  I’ll be 75 this Tuesday and the 1100GTO is very manageable for me.  The split design makes for easy quick assembly.  The RAPAS is an invaluable tool to help speed setup.  I use SkySafari on my iPad to initialize and control the mount.  Attached are pics of my permanent pier setup and my portable setup at the VIS on Maunakea.  The AP1100GTO is by far the best piece of astronomy equipment I ever bought.

Don Rudny
Pepeekeo, HI 

e62bf668-c00b-480f-bd38-2cb18ca8ddd1.jpg

b6f7e9c0-d9e7-4867-b8b0-49d6515459f5.jpg

On Oct 2, 2022, at 2:18 PM, thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...> wrote:


Drawings made at the eyepiece of my first AP scope, a 6” F/12 Superplanetary in 1989-90.

Jim Phillips 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mundhir <Mundhir@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 1:42:31 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images
 

DSC03387.jpeg

Sent from my mobile

On 1 Oct 2022, at 12:41 am, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:


Hi Astro-Nuts,

We are wrapping up the next AP tutorial and are requesting your images for inclusion


We are looking for your images in one or both of these categories:

1. Your best astro images shot with AP equipment (mount or telescope). Any target, any time

2. A beauty shot of your observing/imaging setup (doesn't have to be 100% AP equipment, but AP should be prominent in your picture)



Please PM me with your pics, astrobin link, portfolio link etc. that would be great

If we use your image, you will of course get full credit and Roland will even record your outgoing voicemail message! 

(Disclaimer: Roland will not actually record outgoing message)

Thanks for the images some of you already submitted from our prior request


Image.jpegImage.jpegImage.jpegImage.jpeg


APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM

Sam
 

Hi 

I am having another type of problem connecting to my AP1100.

I am using a computer where virtual ports used to work ; now I get an error when I try to connect “ APCC Error connecting to AP V2 ASCOM …. (See image)

When I try to use the IP Address selection in ASCOM, it gives me an error that I have not seen before “run time error 402 - must close or hide topmost modal first” (see image).  Not sure what “topmost modal “ is?

Yet when I go into ASCOM, I am able to confirm that it finds the mount  with virtual port.  So I when try to go back to virtual port in ASCOM, it gives me same error “run time error 402 - must close or hide topmost modal first”.

So this run time error is preventing me from connecting either with ASCOM or virtual port.

 Any help would be appreciated 

Sam


Re: We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images

thefamily90 Phillips
 

Drawings made at the eyepiece of my first AP scope, a 6” F/12 Superplanetary in 1989-90.

Jim Phillips 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mundhir <Mundhir@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 1:42:31 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images
 

DSC03387

Sent from my mobile

On 1 Oct 2022, at 12:41 am, Brian Valente <bvalente@...> wrote:


Hi Astro-Nuts,

We are wrapping up the next AP tutorial and are requesting your images for inclusion


We are looking for your images in one or both of these categories:

1. Your best astro images shot with AP equipment (mount or telescope). Any target, any time

2. A beauty shot of your observing/imaging setup (doesn't have to be 100% AP equipment, but AP should be prominent in your picture)



Please PM me with your pics, astrobin link, portfolio link etc. that would be great

If we use your image, you will of course get full credit and Roland will even record your outgoing voicemail message! 

(Disclaimer: Roland will not actually record outgoing message)

Thanks for the images some of you already submitted from our prior request



Small quirk when homing Mach2

Sébastien Doré
 

Hi,

I'm getting a small quirk when trying to home the mount after unparking from the ASCOM driver (in NINA). Not a big deal but I thought it would be worth reporting nonetheless.

Here's is the course of events that inevitably ends with the mount not homing properly :

1 - Starting in park 2, I manually connect to the mount with APCC.
2- Then I manually connect NINA to the mount (through ASCOM)
3 - I unpark in NINA (manually or within an imaging sequence, doesn't seem to matter)
4 - Mount start tracking (through the sequence or if I toggle tracking in APCC). I have it configured to not track upon unparking.
5 - At the end of the sequence (or manually in NINA) the mount gets parked (park 2 is my defined position). No issue up to this point.
6 - If I then unpark again from NINA and hit 'HOME' in APCC (AE tab), mount start homing itself but for some reason RA starts moving slowly too (from park 2, only DEC should start moving - or does it ?)
7 - Then DEC reaches home, and RA seem to continue drifting slowly away from the home position (East direction)
8 - If I hit 'CANCEL HOME' button in APCC (AE tab), I get a confirmation window asking if I want to cancel but the choice are :
a) Yes, find home
b) No, cancel find home

9 - If I hit 'NO - cancel find home', nothing happens ie RA keeps slowly drifting away while APCC keeps waiting for it to reaches home coordinate, which never happens.
10 - If I hit 'Yes - find home', I get an error message saying 'homing failed - canceled by user'. But then I can hit 'find home' again and it goes directly to it successfully.

So as I said, no big deal, but a bit surprising and unintuitive at first.

I'm running the lastest of all sw/fw (APCC 1.9.4.3, AP V2 5.50.3, VCP5-P02-15, NINA 2.0HF1) and have a keypad connected in ext mode with the latest version too (5.010) though I do not use it in that course of events.

I have attached my logs FYI but I'm not looking a for an ongoing support on this, just reporting so it can be fixed in a future release of whatever is at cause.

Sébastien


Re: We want your Astro and AP Equipment Images

Chris White
 

Great shot Tony!


Re: Mobile Mounts

Bill Long
 

How is "drive to the site" portability defined? I assume this will be drastically different from person to person.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Arvind <base16@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 11:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mobile Mounts
 


On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 11:00 AM Sébastien Doré <sebastiendore1@...> wrote:
Disclosure: I am mostly in the camp of new lightweight kinda nextgen AP400 size mount, which I would love to be able to bring to the nearest dark site on short notice (for wide field imaging) after a day of work. Pack 3 light cases (OTA, tripod & mount) in the car and go. Unpack the car and be ready to image within minutes.

To me, it’s not that much about AP precision (though I would obviously appreciate it) but rather the build quality and mostly the RELIABILITY of AP equipment that is appealing. No fuss, just power up and it works every time. That’s my thing I guess...

I’ll manage the rest as far as guided vs unguided go...

In fact, I’d leave to Rolando and AP team the care to get the balance of trade offs (2 encoders vs Ra encoders vs no encoder, harmonic vs stepper) right to make this an economically viable product. I’m sure they would come up with a wonderful and unique design.

Just my two cents from up here (Canada) where getting a used AP product can be twice as hard and long as getting a new one.

Sébastien



+1.

I was about to clarify Linwood's comment with something along the same lines.

Extremely minor nitpick / clarification of what you also perhaps intended: it is about precision, as well.. but not beyond where it stops making a difference. We expect AP gear to be precise so my feedback on this thread has been to not over-optimize for tracking especially when the said optimization starts compromising on portability (drive to the site portable (ideally even airline portable.. but this might be a stretch)). For mobile use cases I don't expect to be lugging my C14s or Planewaves to the field on a monthly basis... and at the same time just because we're after widefield (or doing visual) doesn't completely negate the need for high-quality, reliable, and precise-for-the-usecase mount -- and this segment of users if any is only growing.

All in the hopes, not sure if any of this will ever materialize :-) One can only wish.