Date   

Re: Mach1 on the way/ Losmandy tripod

Dean S
 

Tho,

I have the Losmandy G11 tripod and got it because the legs are individually
adjustable in case you are on uneven ground. Plus the legs have a lot of
travel so you can vary the height depending on the scope you are mounting,
probably at least 10".

The only thing I don't like is the way the leg knobs are positioned as they
can snag cables if you aren't careful. I plan on rotating them somehow or
switch them out to Allen head socket head bolts later on.

Otherwise for what it costs, even with the adapter plate you have to
purchase from AP, it is a very good tripod/pier for the money. I got mine
on Astromart used for under $400.

And I did opt for the AP900-1200 weight shaft since I also have a 1200 so my
weights are interchangeable. I ordered the short version shaft but it was
too short for balancing my E160 without adding a lot of weights, so I got
the AP900 shaft which works perfectly. The short shaft will store in the
mount but you have to remove the saddle to do so.

I currently have about 28lbs of weights on it and the mount works
flawlessly, as good or better than the 1200.

Good luck,
Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tho Dinh" <astro@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 4:16 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach1 on the way


Hello all,

I am soon to be the proud owner of my first AP product, an almost-new
Mach1,
and should take possession of it by the end of next week. First order of
business is to get a portable pier or tripod for it, so I'm looking for
some
advice. I am considering the 6X24PP or the 6X32PP but need to make sure
that
it will fit on my JMI medium wheeley bars, which can accommodate a
tip-to-tip distance between 33" - 43". Can someone with one of the 6"
portable piers measure this for me?

I'm also considering the 6" Eagle although it is quite a bit more
expensive.
I do expect to travel quite a bit with it, so can someone comment on how
the
Eagle compares to the portable piers as far as ease of setup in the field?
What about stability? My load will be about 30lbs of imaging equipment
when
either my 8" Newt or 8" Cassegrain is on it.

Another question I have relates to counterweights. The Mach1 will come
with
the 10.7" x 1.875" CW shaft as well as the stock CW shaft, but no CWs are
included. I was planning on getting the standard 1.875" CWs since they're
more common and when I travel with the mount, the shaft will store neatly
in
the declination axis. But does anyone see any advantages to getting CWs
with
the 1.125" bore? It seems these are being phased out, correct?

Thanks for the advice!

Clear skies,
Tho





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Re: Mach1 on the way

Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

Tho --

My 6x42PP is rock-steady with an AP600 and 30lb (10") Mewlon on it. It's not that much trouble to set up, but carrying around and packing the 8 separate pieces can get old. It's at my place in Colorado, though, so I can't measure it for you.

I have both size CWs (small ones for my 400 and 600; big ones for my 1200). There's really not much to chose between them. If you do go with the larger bore, Casady's counterweights are just that little bit nicer (with spring-loaded pins).

-- Jeff.


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of Tho Dinh
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:16 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach1 on the way


Hello all,

I am soon to be the proud owner of my first AP product, an almost-new Mach1,
and should take possession of it by the end of next week. First order of
business is to get a portable pier or tripod for it, so I'm looking for some
advice. I am considering the 6X24PP or the 6X32PP but need to make sure that
it will fit on my JMI medium wheeley bars, which can accommodate a
tip-to-tip distance between 33" - 43". Can someone with one of the 6"
portable piers measure this for me?

I'm also considering the 6" Eagle although it is quite a bit more expensive.
I do expect to travel quite a bit with it, so can someone comment on how the
Eagle compares to the portable piers as far as ease of setup in the field?
What about stability? My load will be about 30lbs of imaging equipment when
either my 8" Newt or 8" Cassegrain is on it.

Another question I have relates to counterweights. The Mach1 will come with
the 10.7" x 1.875" CW shaft as well as the stock CW shaft, but no CWs are
included. I was planning on getting the standard 1.875" CWs since they're
more common and when I travel with the mount, the shaft will store neatly in
the declination axis. But does anyone see any advantages to getting CWs with
the 1.125" bore? It seems these are being phased out, correct?

Thanks for the advice!

Clear skies,
Tho


Mach1 on the way

Tho Dinh
 

Hello all,

I am soon to be the proud owner of my first AP product, an almost-new Mach1,
and should take possession of it by the end of next week. First order of
business is to get a portable pier or tripod for it, so I'm looking for some
advice. I am considering the 6X24PP or the 6X32PP but need to make sure that
it will fit on my JMI medium wheeley bars, which can accommodate a
tip-to-tip distance between 33" - 43". Can someone with one of the 6"
portable piers measure this for me?

I'm also considering the 6" Eagle although it is quite a bit more expensive.
I do expect to travel quite a bit with it, so can someone comment on how the
Eagle compares to the portable piers as far as ease of setup in the field?
What about stability? My load will be about 30lbs of imaging equipment when
either my 8" Newt or 8" Cassegrain is on it.

Another question I have relates to counterweights. The Mach1 will come with
the 10.7" x 1.875" CW shaft as well as the stock CW shaft, but no CWs are
included. I was planning on getting the standard 1.875" CWs since they're
more common and when I travel with the mount, the shaft will store neatly in
the declination axis. But does anyone see any advantages to getting CWs with
the 1.125" bore? It seems these are being phased out, correct?

Thanks for the advice!

Clear skies,
Tho


Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hi Pawel,

ASCOM V5 should operate identically to V4 from a user's point of view so it
wouldn't hurt to upgrade.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
On Behalf Of Pawel T. Lancucki
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 12:33 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM


Hi Ray

Thank you again.

I made already a number of the steps described by you, but
indeed did not
try to move POTH itself out of equation. I will do more tests.

Do you think it is worthwhile to upgrade now to ASCOM 5?

Best regards

Pawel Lancucki





Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM

Pawel Lancucki
 

Hi Ray

Thank you again.

I made already a number of the steps described by you, but indeed did not
try to move POTH itself out of equation. I will do more tests.

Do you think it is worthwhile to upgrade now to ASCOM 5?

Best regards

Pawel Lancucki


New 900GTO owner!

chris <lineman_16735@...>
 

My new 900 GTO arrived today. What a piece of gear! The attention to
detail is astounding. Fit and finish as anyone who owns an AP product
knows are second to none. I have been SO impressed with AP from my
initial order, email updates, and final delivery. You folks are just a
class act through and through. The day before my mount arrived I just
completed the demolision of my observatory in order to construct a new
larger one. So if I decide to get the mount under the sky I will have
to resort to setting it up and taking it down for a while. Like an
idiot I forgot to pick up a RS-232 cable for mount control so I'm not
sure I will get a chnce to try it tonight. Anyway enough
rambling...thanks Roland, Wally, Daleen and anyone else I have
forgotten. You run a impressive operation at AP!

Chris


Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hi Pawel,

1. I can connect to and control the mount from under TheSky^
(using it's native AP GTO driver) or Pulseguide

2. When I disconnect TheSky and launch POTH and try to
configure the mount
driver as AP, it says "AP mount not found" (at the same port)
The "AP Mount not Found" is coming from the AP ASCOM driver. As I said in my
last post the AP driver will say this sometimes even if the mount is there.
What

3. When I try to connect from under TheSky as "TeleAPI"
connecting to POTH
Before using POTH try using only the AP Driver only to make sure you have
followed the instructions exactly, which I have copied and pasted below.
Just ignore any mount not found messages from the ASCOM driver if you know
the COM port is set correctly. Then try linking with TheSky as is described
in the procedure below:

-Ray


============================================================

TheSky ASCOM Plugin
===================

This plugin allows Software Bisque's TheSky to communicate with
ASCOM-compliant telescopes via TheSky's "TeleAPI" feature.

Installation
------------

(1) Rename the file

C:&#92;Program Files&#92;Common Files&#92;System&#92;TeleAPI.dll

to TeleAPI-Original.dll

(2) Copy the ASCOM TeleAPI.dll to

C:&#92;Program Files&#92;Common Files&#92;System&#92;TeleAPI.dll


One-time Telescope Setup
------------------------

(1) In TheSky, Telescope menu, select Setup...

(2) In the Control System box, select "Telescope API"

(3) Click Settings... to open the ASCOM Telescope Chooser and
select the ASCOM compliant telescope you wish to use.

(4) Now click Properties... in the Chooser, which will display
the settings window for the telescope type you just chose. Make
adjustments as your telescope needs.

(5) Close all windows including the TheSky Telescope Setup
window by clicking OK or Close. Do not click any Cancel buttons
:-)

Operation
---------

(1) Make sure both your telescope and TheSky are set for the same
geograpic location and time.

(2) In TheSky, Telescope menu, select Link->Establish. You should
see the cross-hairs indicating where the telescope is pointing.


Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM

Pawel Lancucki
 

Posted by: "Ray Gralak" rgr@... raygralak
Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:51 am (PDT)
Many thanks for response. I did some basic troubleshooting as
far as my
limited knowledge allowed. Yes I set a proper port. Also, as
As long as you confirmed you can connect with PulseGuide that should be
good
enough to confirm the COM port had not changed.

my RS232 hub,
I do use Edgeport - these devices and their drivers are very
well made and
keep all settings between sessions, i.e. rebooting does not
change COM port
assignment (well this is even marketed as their feature). I
have checked
use of other COM ports on the hub. I can still connect from under
Pulseguide and TheSky6 but not from under Ascom.
FYI, even when you set the correct COM port in the AP ASCOM driver for
some
reason it will still say that it cannot find the mount (in the driver
dialog). So ignore that. Also, currently you can connect only one program
at
a time so make sure all other programs are disconnected from the mount.

So which ASCOM client program did you use to connect and that is failing?

-Ray
Hi Ray

Thank you again for response. To summarize:

1. I can connect to and control the mount from under TheSky^ (using it's
native AP GTO driver) or Pulseguide

2. When I disconnect TheSky and launch POTH and try to configure the mount
driver as AP, it says "AP mount not found" (at the same port)

3. When I try to connect from under TheSky as "TeleAPI" connecting to POTH
- same as above.

I think I will give up for a while, I can try to use a "semi-manual"
approach to center under Maxim, keeping the mount connected from under
TheSky.

Best regards

Pawel Lancucki


Largest Perigee Moon of 2010

Anthony Ayiomamitis <anthony@...>
 

Dear group,

Today's full moon is the largest (perigee) moon for 2010 thanks to its 356,600 km or so approach to earth and elliptial orbit. There was some turbulence in the atmosphere this evening and which was even slightly noticeable even when the moon was caught while crossing the meridian and between clouds.

(1) x-ray version - http://www.perseus.gr/Astro-Lunar-Scenes-Perigee-2010-Inv.htm
(2) regular version - http://www.perseus.gr/Astro-Lunar-Scenes-Perigee-2010.htm

I had a close call with an overhead passenger plane but it just missed the lunar disk by about half a degree.

Anthony.


Re: DEC strangeness

r1300rs
 

It would be great see a You-Tube video or .wmv file of how to "tighten" these gears.

The AP900 and 1200 is a bit pricey to have any doubt about what you're doing.

Just a thought; I'm very mechanical but.......

Rick.


Re: DEC strangeness

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 7/29/2008 6:06:12 PM Central Daylight Time,
cardiofuse@... writes:


It would be great see a You-Tube video or .wmv file of how to "tighten"
these gears.
It's just one gear, and all you do is tighten a setscrew. No other gear has a
setscrew so it is impossible to get wrong. Even I can do it!

Rolando


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Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Many thanks for response. I did some basic troubleshooting as
far as my
limited knowledge allowed. Yes I set a proper port. Also, as
As long as you confirmed you can connect with PulseGuide that should be good
enough to confirm the COM port had not changed.

my RS232 hub,
I do use Edgeport - these devices and their drivers are very
well made and
keep all settings between sessions, i.e. rebooting does not
change COM port
assignment (well this is even marketed as their feature). I
have checked
use of other COM ports on the hub. I can still connect from under
Pulseguide and TheSky6 but not from under Ascom.
FYI, even when you set the correct COM port in the AP ASCOM driver for some
reason it will still say that it cannot find the mount (in the driver
dialog). So ignore that. Also, currently you can connect only one program at
a time so make sure all other programs are disconnected from the mount.

So which ASCOM client program did you use to connect and that is failing?

-Ray


Re: DEC strangeness

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 7/29/2008 4:22:22 AM Central Daylight Time,
richard.kinsey@... writes:


when
the dec axis slews at either 600, 900 or 1200 x, the gearbox makes
a "singing" noise, which actually sounds quite unhealthy. If I put my
hand on one end of the ota to add a small amount of additional load
the noise will stop. I have checked the worm gear for backlash and it
appears to be adjusted correctly and none of the gears appear to be
loose. However, I was wondering whether such a noise is an indication
that the worm gear is either too tight or whether a small amount of
backlash does exist?
The spur gears inside the gearbox have many teeth. These are going to sing or
make some noise. This singing is not an indication that you have any problem.
My mount makes noise too. If you want, you can put a bit of grease on the
pinions of each spur gear. It has zero to do with worm mesh.

Rolando


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Re: DEC strangeness

Richard Kinsey
 

Hi Rolando,

I was intersted to read your your very helpful comments about Bob's
autoguiding problem and would be grateful if you could advise on an
issue that I have with the dec axis of my 2007 model AP1200. My mount
works perfectly in terms of movement and autoguiding, however, when
the dec axis slews at either 600, 900 or 1200 x, the gearbox makes
a "singing" noise, which actually sounds quite unhealthy. If I put my
hand on one end of the ota to add a small amount of additional load
the noise will stop. I have checked the worm gear for backlash and it
appears to be adjusted correctly and none of the gears appear to be
loose. However, I was wondering whether such a noise is an indication
that the worm gear is either too tight or whether a small amount of
backlash does exist? Many thanks, Richard

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 7/28/2008 12:45:44 PM Central Daylight Time,
bob@...
writes:


Hi everyone,

I have an older (circa 1999) A-P 1200 GTO, and I'm seeing some
strange
Declination behavior when calibrating and autoguiding with MaxIm.

In the past I've seen times where the system seemed "reluctant"
to make
Dec corrections (i.e. the star would drift off for several
guiding
iterations before it would start moving back. Software backlash
adjustments never really seemed to make much difference, and
basically
I just "lived with it".

However, a couple nights ago things started getting really weird.
I
tried calibrating repeatedly and sometimes the star would move
back and
forth as expected in Dec, where other times it wouldn't move at
all in
either direction, or it would move the expected amount in the
first
direction but not back. Again, this was seen doing successive
calibrations, one after the other, without moving the scope.

I intend to check the worm gear backlash test as described
in "Adjustments to remove worm gear backlash 1200 GTO" as soon as
I get
a moment, but I was wondering if anyone had any idea what might
be
going on. Does it sound like a worm mesh problem (too loose or
too
tight) or perhaps an actual problem with the motor?

Thanks for any advice you might have,

Bob
Two things come to mind. First, you can do the Dec characterization
as
outlined on the AP website under the Technical Support section. It
forces you to
move the Dec axis via your control buttons and gives you instant
feedback via
your own eyeballs whether or not the Dec axis is responding to your
commands. The
problem with trying to troubleshoot things when software is
involved is that
you do not really know what the software is telling the mount to
do. When you
do things via your own thumbs and you do not get the desired
result, then you
know that the action is not correct and can pursue toward a
solution.

2) If the little spur gear on the end of the worm shaft is loose,
then you
will not get the desired motion from your Dec axis. A loose spur
gear on the end
of the RA shaft does not affect the guiding action because the axis
is never
asked to reverse direction during guiding. It only slows down and
speeds up,
which results in a proper and instant E and W motion of the guide
star. In
order to get proper N and S motion the Dec axis must reverse, so
you can see that
if the spur gear is not tight on the shaft, the Dec axis will not
reverse in a
timely manner. The star may not move for many seconds until the
little set
screw has found the high spot on the shaft and digs in. At that
point the worm
begins to turn again.

So, the first thing you want to do, after determining that the star
takes way
too long to reverse direction in Dec, would be to check that spur
gear - the
one attached to the end of the worm shaft. Removing the largest
gear with an
ordinary screw driver will reveal the smaller gear below. Check to
see if it is
tight or loose. If loose, you can then use the Allen wrench
supplied with
your mount to tighten the setscrew that attaches the gear to the
worm shaft. MAKE
SURE that you tighten this set screw on the center of the flat on
the worm
shaft, not on the round part.

Everyone who owns a 900 or 1200 mount, who is a regular on this
user group,
should note this about the gearboxes on these mounts. Get
yourselves aquainted
with the inner workings of this gearbox. Please remove the DEC
motor gearbox
cover every once in a while. Check that the small spur gear on the
worm shaft
is tight. Also check the worm mesh by moving the large gear with
your fingers
to make sure that the motion is smooth and there is minimal
backlash in the
worm tooth connections. If you do this once a year or so, your
mount will always
work properly and guide accurately. This is especially true if you
have
purchased a second hand mount. Check out the motor gearboxes and
worm mesh before
you take it out for a spin. These are precision gears which can go
out of
adjustment due to rough handling and high frequency vibration
during shipping. They
can go out of mesh and small screws can loosen. This is especially
true if the
mounts are not packed well by the previous owner.

Rolando


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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici With Ap1200 and C14 T...

Anthony Ayiomamitis <anthony@...>
 

O/H chris1011@... έγραψε:

The seeing at my observatory is quite variable. In winter it will never get
much below 3 arc sec, but by summer it can be as low as 1.2 arc sec.
That is some awesome seeing at 1.2". The lowest I have ever hit is 1.4" and typically I am between 1.6" and 2" during summers. We have nice flows coming off the Mediterranean which really help.

When I
was in the Florida Keys in the winter, I was able to image below 1 arc sec
with my 10" Mak-Cass.
I have never had the fortune to experience such seeing and it makes me drool just reading about it.


It seems that best seeing comes at a price of lower transparency and vice
versa.
This is something I have observed countless times and no argument from me. Winters typically have phenomenal transparency but the seeing falls apart and vice versa during summer.


Here is M51 taken at my Illinois observatory with approx. 1.2 - 1.4 arc sec
seeing:
http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/m51bw.html <http://geogdata.csun.edu/%7Evoltaire/roland/m51bw.html>
This is a very sweet result and brings up something I forgot to ask Carl, namely his use of 2-min subs. I usually pursue 10- and 15-min subs (lum) for galaxies and I see you have 20-min subs for this particular result and, yet, Carl went with 2-min subs. Unless he is using Hyperstar, I certainly would have used much greater exposure time per sub.

Here is my M13 from a couple of years ago: http://www.perseus.gr/Astro-DSO-NGC-6205b.htm ... since it was taken with my ST-2000XM, the is very little red and which is the primary reason I have not pursued globular clusters more aggressively. Now that I also have the ST-10XME in my arsenal, I will be back at it with globulars. Further details in relation to my M13 at http://www.perseus.gr/Astro-DSO-NGC-6205.htm .

I am also eager to pursue Pease 1 in M15 .... I must check your list of images, for I recall you nailing it.

Anthony.


Rolando

In a message dated 4/28/2010 3:35:25 PM Central Daylight Time,
anthony@... <mailto:anthony%40perseus.gr> writes:

We have a very dry climate and yet we also have very good seeing
throughout the country. In Crete where one of the observatories is set
up, it is sub-arc-second on a daily basis. I am under 2" FWHM between
April and November every year and, for the balance of the year (ie.
winter), it varies from about 2" to 3.5" FWHM.

During winters I have also experienced some horrific conditions with
FWHM 6" and higher and were focusing is impossible.

Anthony.

O/H chris provost ???a?e:


I had never thought of that...Regardless I get excited to see low
3's(FWHM)
I think I'll start a new topic regarding that:-)

Chris

--- On Wed, 4/28/10, Anthony Ayiomamitis <anthony@...
<mailto:anthony%40perseus.gr>
<mailto:anthony%40perseus.gr>> wrote:

From: Anthony Ayiomamitis <anthony@...
<mailto:anthony%40perseus.gr>
<mailto:anthony%40perseus.gr>>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici With
Ap1200 and C14 T...
To: ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 4:25 PM



Chris,

It is no coincidence that some of the best solar, lunar and planetary
imaging comes from the UK. Yes, it rains "all the time" but the
humidity
also leads to very good seeing.

Anthony.

O/H chris provost ???a?e:


Why can't I get 2 arc second seeing:-(

Chris

--- On Wed, 4/28/10, Carl <carl@webtreatz. com
<mailto:carl% 40webtreatz. com>> wrote:

From: Carl <carl@webtreatz. com <mailto:carl% 40webtreatz. com>>
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici With
Ap1200 and C14 T...
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups. com <mailto:ap-gto% 40yahoogroups. com>
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 4:03 PM



Hi Rolando,

The seeing would be around 2 arc-secs

Carl

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups. com, chris1011@.. . wrote:

In a message dated 4/28/2010 10:47:57 AM Central Daylight Time,
carl@... writes:


It depends really on where the jet stream is most of the
time it's
between 5 and 6. What I did with this image was a Multi Strength
Decon Layer
Blend using photoshop it a great way of bring out a great amount
of detail from
images.
When you say 5 and 6, do you mean arc seconds or ?

Rolando



Re: DEC strangeness

Bob Fera
 

Thanks, Roland, for the quick and informative reply! I'll try to work
on it this evening and let you know what happens.

Best regards,

Bob

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 7/28/2008 12:45:44 PM Central Daylight Time,
bob@...
writes:


Hi everyone,

I have an older (circa 1999) A-P 1200 GTO, and I'm seeing some
strange
Declination behavior when calibrating and autoguiding with MaxIm.

In the past I've seen times where the system seemed "reluctant"
to make
Dec corrections (i.e. the star would drift off for several
guiding
iterations before it would start moving back. Software backlash
adjustments never really seemed to make much difference, and
basically
I just "lived with it".

However, a couple nights ago things started getting really weird.
I
tried calibrating repeatedly and sometimes the star would move
back and
forth as expected in Dec, where other times it wouldn't move at
all in
either direction, or it would move the expected amount in the
first
direction but not back. Again, this was seen doing successive
calibrations, one after the other, without moving the scope.

I intend to check the worm gear backlash test as described
in "Adjustments to remove worm gear backlash 1200 GTO" as soon as
I get
a moment, but I was wondering if anyone had any idea what might
be
going on. Does it sound like a worm mesh problem (too loose or
too
tight) or perhaps an actual problem with the motor?

Thanks for any advice you might have,

Bob
Two things come to mind. First, you can do the Dec characterization
as
outlined on the AP website under the Technical Support section. It
forces you to
move the Dec axis via your control buttons and gives you instant
feedback via
your own eyeballs whether or not the Dec axis is responding to your
commands. The
problem with trying to troubleshoot things when software is
involved is that
you do not really know what the software is telling the mount to
do. When you
do things via your own thumbs and you do not get the desired
result, then you
know that the action is not correct and can pursue toward a
solution.

2) If the little spur gear on the end of the worm shaft is loose,
then you
will not get the desired motion from your Dec axis. A loose spur
gear on the end
of the RA shaft does not affect the guiding action because the axis
is never
asked to reverse direction during guiding. It only slows down and
speeds up,
which results in a proper and instant E and W motion of the guide
star. In
order to get proper N and S motion the Dec axis must reverse, so
you can see that
if the spur gear is not tight on the shaft, the Dec axis will not
reverse in a
timely manner. The star may not move for many seconds until the
little set
screw has found the high spot on the shaft and digs in. At that
point the worm
begins to turn again.

So, the first thing you want to do, after determining that the star
takes way
too long to reverse direction in Dec, would be to check that spur
gear - the
one attached to the end of the worm shaft. Removing the largest
gear with an
ordinary screw driver will reveal the smaller gear below. Check to
see if it is
tight or loose. If loose, you can then use the Allen wrench
supplied with
your mount to tighten the setscrew that attaches the gear to the
worm shaft. MAKE
SURE that you tighten this set screw on the center of the flat on
the worm
shaft, not on the round part.

Everyone who owns a 900 or 1200 mount, who is a regular on this
user group,
should note this about the gearboxes on these mounts. Get
yourselves aquainted
with the inner workings of this gearbox. Please remove the DEC
motor gearbox
cover every once in a while. Check that the small spur gear on the
worm shaft
is tight. Also check the worm mesh by moving the large gear with
your fingers
to make sure that the motion is smooth and there is minimal
backlash in the
worm tooth connections. If you do this once a year or so, your
mount will always
work properly and guide accurately. This is especially true if you
have
purchased a second hand mount. Check out the motor gearboxes and
worm mesh before
you take it out for a spin. These are precision gears which can go
out of
adjustment due to rough handling and high frequency vibration
during shipping. They
can go out of mesh and small screws can loosen. This is especially
true if the
mounts are not packed well by the previous owner.

Rolando


**************
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


DEC strangeness

Bob Fera
 

Hi everyone,

I have an older (circa 1999) A-P 1200 GTO, and I'm seeing some strange
Declination behavior when calibrating and autoguiding with MaxIm.

In the past I've seen times where the system seemed "reluctant" to make
Dec corrections (i.e. the star would drift off for several guiding
iterations before it would start moving back. Software backlash
adjustments never really seemed to make much difference, and basically
I just "lived with it".

However, a couple nights ago things started getting really weird. I
tried calibrating repeatedly and sometimes the star would move back and
forth as expected in Dec, where other times it wouldn't move at all in
either direction, or it would move the expected amount in the first
direction but not back. Again, this was seen doing successive
calibrations, one after the other, without moving the scope.

I intend to check the worm gear backlash test as described
in "Adjustments to remove worm gear backlash 1200 GTO" as soon as I get
a moment, but I was wondering if anyone had any idea what might be
going on. Does it sound like a worm mesh problem (too loose or too
tight) or perhaps an actual problem with the motor?

Thanks for any advice you might have,

Bob


Re: DEC strangeness

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 7/28/2008 12:45:44 PM Central Daylight Time, bob@...
writes:


Hi everyone,

I have an older (circa 1999) A-P 1200 GTO, and I'm seeing some strange
Declination behavior when calibrating and autoguiding with MaxIm.

In the past I've seen times where the system seemed "reluctant" to make
Dec corrections (i.e. the star would drift off for several guiding
iterations before it would start moving back. Software backlash
adjustments never really seemed to make much difference, and basically
I just "lived with it".

However, a couple nights ago things started getting really weird. I
tried calibrating repeatedly and sometimes the star would move back and
forth as expected in Dec, where other times it wouldn't move at all in
either direction, or it would move the expected amount in the first
direction but not back. Again, this was seen doing successive
calibrations, one after the other, without moving the scope.

I intend to check the worm gear backlash test as described
in "Adjustments to remove worm gear backlash 1200 GTO" as soon as I get
a moment, but I was wondering if anyone had any idea what might be
going on. Does it sound like a worm mesh problem (too loose or too
tight) or perhaps an actual problem with the motor?

Thanks for any advice you might have,

Bob
Two things come to mind. First, you can do the Dec characterization as
outlined on the AP website under the Technical Support section. It forces you to
move the Dec axis via your control buttons and gives you instant feedback via
your own eyeballs whether or not the Dec axis is responding to your commands. The
problem with trying to troubleshoot things when software is involved is that
you do not really know what the software is telling the mount to do. When you
do things via your own thumbs and you do not get the desired result, then you
know that the action is not correct and can pursue toward a solution.

2) If the little spur gear on the end of the worm shaft is loose, then you
will not get the desired motion from your Dec axis. A loose spur gear on the end
of the RA shaft does not affect the guiding action because the axis is never
asked to reverse direction during guiding. It only slows down and speeds up,
which results in a proper and instant E and W motion of the guide star. In
order to get proper N and S motion the Dec axis must reverse, so you can see that
if the spur gear is not tight on the shaft, the Dec axis will not reverse in a
timely manner. The star may not move for many seconds until the little set
screw has found the high spot on the shaft and digs in. At that point the worm
begins to turn again.

So, the first thing you want to do, after determining that the star takes way
too long to reverse direction in Dec, would be to check that spur gear - the
one attached to the end of the worm shaft. Removing the largest gear with an
ordinary screw driver will reveal the smaller gear below. Check to see if it is
tight or loose. If loose, you can then use the Allen wrench supplied with
your mount to tighten the setscrew that attaches the gear to the worm shaft. MAKE
SURE that you tighten this set screw on the center of the flat on the worm
shaft, not on the round part.

Everyone who owns a 900 or 1200 mount, who is a regular on this user group,
should note this about the gearboxes on these mounts. Get yourselves aquainted
with the inner workings of this gearbox. Please remove the DEC motor gearbox
cover every once in a while. Check that the small spur gear on the worm shaft
is tight. Also check the worm mesh by moving the large gear with your fingers
to make sure that the motion is smooth and there is minimal backlash in the
worm tooth connections. If you do this once a year or so, your mount will always
work properly and guide accurately. This is especially true if you have
purchased a second hand mount. Check out the motor gearboxes and worm mesh before
you take it out for a spin. These are precision gears which can go out of
adjustment due to rough handling and high frequency vibration during shipping. They
can go out of mesh and small screws can loosen. This is especially true if the
mounts are not packed well by the previous owner.

Rolando


**************
Get fantasy football with free live scoring. Sign up for
FanHouse Fantasy Football today.

(http://www.fanhouse.com/fantasyaffair?ncid=aolspr00050000000020)


Re: Mach-1 and ASCOM

Pawel Lancucki
 

Did you set the proper COM port number in the AP ASCOM driver setup? And
if
you did, did you confirm by using another program (like PulseGuide) that
the
mount still connects after installing the ASCOM driver? Perhaps the COM
port
number changed if you rebooted.

-Ray
Hi Ray

Many thanks for response. I did some basic troubleshooting as far as my
limited knowledge allowed. Yes I set a proper port. Also, as my RS232 hub,
I do use Edgeport - these devices and their drivers are very well made and
keep all settings between sessions, i.e. rebooting does not change COM port
assignment (well this is even marketed as their feature). I have checked
use of other COM ports on the hub. I can still connect from under
Pulseguide and TheSky6 but not from under Ascom.

There is just one point which could be tricky - IIRC, at the moment ASCOM 4
was released, Microsoft used .NET version 1. Now with one of the recent
software installations I am pretty sure I got .NET version 2. Maybe the
ASCOM does not work with the old version?

Would you recommend to install ASCOM 5?

Best regards

Pawel Lancucki


C/2007 N3 Lunin

Dennis Persyk <dpersyk@...>
 

C/2007 N3 Lunin is a magnitude 11.8 comet in Sagittarius. It has a
relative motion of 2.36 arc seconds per minute so I was limited to
120 second exposures when I imaged it to avoid blur.

Conditions were exceedingly poor in north central Illinois on the
morning of July 27. The comet was only 27 degrees high and I could
see no stars at all in the area. The only thing I saw in the area by
unaided eye was Jupiter, and I saw one magnitude 7 star through my 4-
inch refractor.

I was amazed that the Epsilon 160 f/3.3 astrograph and SXV-H9 camera
could pick out details from the murk.

Images, associated data, and imaging notes at
http://home.att.net/~dpersyk/new.htm

Please take a look and give me some feedback. This was quite an
imaging challenge for me. Thank you for visiting my site.

Clear skies,

Dennis Persyk
Igloo Observatory Home Page http://dpersyk.home.att.net
Hampshire, IL

Pier Design Paper: http://home.att.net/~dpersyk/Pier_Design.htm