Date   

Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 4/8/2008 1:07:41 PM Central Daylight Time,
msfainc@... writes:


Money saved from building a remote observatory should buy me a Prius...
Save for a Chevy Volt ;^)

Rolando


**************
Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel
Guides.

(http://travel.aol.com/travel-guide/united-states?ncid=aoltrv00030000000016)


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

elraeburn
 

My State Farm agent told me several years ago to photograph any
"unusual" items. Replacing a TV is easy for them to do; replacing an
AP refractor is not. They don't generally deal with such gems, so the
more information you can provide in case of a loss, the easier it will
be should you need to file a claim.

I keep detailed photos of my astronomical and musical equipment locked
in a drawer at work, where they won't be damaged in a catastrophic
loss at home. As a possibly-useful aside, it is more difficult to
document the value of a vintage saxophone than a pristine AP scope, so
I periodically get my musical instruments reappraised by a qualified
repair person.

-Eric


--- In ap-gto@..., "mizzou156" <mizzou156@...> wrote:

Hello,
Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will
insure mounts,
telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it
and I would want full
replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be
appreciated. Thank You


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Dean S
 

I just spoke with my home owners insurance this morning, State Farm, and she
said my observatory contents are included with the content coverage of my
house. Cameras, telescopes, computers, etc.

And as long as it is just a hobby there is no additional coverage needed,
assuming it is enough overall. However to be safe I am looking into adding
this as an addition to be absolutely sure there would be no hidden
exclusions.

Dean
www.doghouseastronomy.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "mizzou156" <mizzou156@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 12:10 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment


Hello,
Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will insure
mounts,
telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it and I
would want full
replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be appreciated.
Thank You


------------------------------------

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Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Dale Ghent
 

On Apr 7, 2008, at 9:45 PM, Joseph Zeglinski wrote:
Sounds great,

What kind of hedge are you selecting - that will not harbour mosquitoes,
etc.?
Do cedar trees discourage mosquitoes?
Having lived in Tiger Mosquito-infested (which is in turn West Nile Virus-infested) Baltimore, MD... the big thing to do with mosquitoes is to eliminate any areas of standing water - from bird baths to catch basins under potted plants and clogged rain gutters - and inform the neighbors of the benefits of them doing the same. If you have a garden pond, stock it with Koi fish as the find mosquito larvae quite the snack.

As for natural repellant, lemon grass does the job well and smells good, to boot. Grows much faster than a cedar tree and is a good landscaping grass in most north american climes... well, the ones where mosquitoes tend to be a real nuisance anyway.

I'm trying to figure out how to work something AP-GTO into here to keep it at least semi-on topic but I'm failing ;)

/dale


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Bill Bradford
 

Rick makes a good point about agents and underwriters. If you are dealing with a particular agent and cannot get the coverage you want, you need to try other agents that have better knowledge of underwriters that will cover your items or that are willing to simply work harder at finding an underwriter that will cover your items.

I use a State Farm agent that works hard to find the appropriate coverage. I had to change companies to get the coverage I wanted.

Bill

----- Original Message -----
From: Rick Wiggins
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 4:03 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment


Hi,
I will post the short version here. Please be aware that
the "Insurance Company" is rarely the company that actully writes the
policy and provides the protection. This and the following explains
the variation in coverage etc.
1. The consumer buys coverage from an individual or company.
2. The selling agent that we (the consumer) deal with may work for a
large insurance company (i.e. State Farm), a small company, or be
totally a one person operation.
3. The actual insurance policy is provided by an underwriter (the
actual insuring agency) and this is usually tranparent to the
consumer. This underwriter could be the large insurance company itself
or any one of hundreds of underwriters all over the world.
4. It is common for agents and companies to deal with multiple
underwriters to get the most appropriate and best deal for each
individual policy.
5. There are state and possibly other governing bodies that legislate
some restrictions in some areas.
This means that "State Farm is not State Farm" and you milage may vary.
The best advice is to check your policy, call around, and read any
policy very carefully. If you don't understand it, get a friend
(preferably an agent or broker) to help you understand the policy.

Getting insurance on observatories is difficult...more difficult of
off your residential property...and far more difficult if it is on
someone else's property.

I would be seriously concerned if your homeowner's policy did not
cover a modest amount of astronomy equipment (personal property kept
at home or traveling with you). If they don;'t cover this, what else
don't they cover?

I am not an agent and I am still looking for a good observatory
policy, but this is my current understanding.
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "mizzou156" <mizzou156@...> wrote:
>
> Hello,
> Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will
insure mounts,
> telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it
and I would want full
> replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be
appreciated. Thank You
>


Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Joe Zeglinski
 

Sounds great,

What kind of hedge are you selecting - that will not harbour mosquitoes, etc.?
Do cedar trees discourage mosquitoes?

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 9:36 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


I had thought about this. But since I also need to screen the local
house and street lights, I'm thinking about a "secret garden" - a
space enclosed by a hedge of 6' tall arborvitae, accessed by a gate in
one of the hedge walls. This would provide shelter from wind and
light; security; temperature equilibrium for scope and mount; and
allow me to place it on the best spot on my property - without the
neighborhood watch group getting upset! Even the wife has given the
thumbs up...so I'll keep you all posted as I go ahead.
Morgan


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Bill Bradford
 

That's a great idea, Stuart. I am going to start a similar spreadsheet.

I have to provide sales invoices to put items on the policy but I need to keep up with changing values.

Bill

BTW, if I buy something on AM, they just need to see a photo of the item and some documentation on its market value.

----- Original Message -----
From: S HEGGIE
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment


Something else I do is maintain a spreadsheet of serial #'s and market
pricing for all items. I give this to my insurance company anytime something
major changes. I don't want to get into a debate on the insured value of
something that gets stolen. Also, I found out that when you say "camera" or
"bicycle" they assume it is cheap - some items over a particular value
(bicycle over $1000 for example) they want to see a copy of the receipt.

Stuart

>From: "Dean S" <dean@...>
>Reply-To: ap-gto@...
>To: <ap-gto@...>
>Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment
>Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 00:30:18 -0400
>
>I just spoke with my home owners insurance this morning, State Farm, and
>she
>said my observatory contents are included with the content coverage of my
>house. Cameras, telescopes, computers, etc.
>
>And as long as it is just a hobby there is no additional coverage needed,
>assuming it is enough overall. However to be safe I am looking into adding
>this as an addition to be absolutely sure there would be no hidden
>exclusions.
>
>Dean
>www.doghouseastronomy.com
>
>
>
>
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "mizzou156" <mizzou156@...>
>To: <ap-gto@...>
>Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 12:10 PM
>Subject: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment
>
>
> > Hello,
> > Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will
>insure
>mounts,
> > telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it and I
>would want full
> > replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be appreciated.
>Thank You
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------
> >
> > To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> > see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links
> >
> >
> >
> >
>


Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

I had thought about this. But since I also need to screen the local
house and street lights, I'm thinking about a "secret garden" - a
space enclosed by a hedge of 6' tall arborvitae, accessed by a gate in
one of the hedge walls. This would provide shelter from wind and
light; security; temperature equilibrium for scope and mount; and
allow me to place it on the best spot on my property - without the
neighborhood watch group getting upset! Even the wife has given the
thumbs up...so I'll keep you all posted as I go ahead.
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@..., "tucstargzr" <tucstargzr@...> wrote:

Hi Morgan,

How are your town ordinances in regards to "art"? You might be
able to make a stable pier which "transforms" into a Telescope Mount
at night while looking like (IE) Miniature Lighthouse by day.
Amazing what a box made from plywood can be painted to resemble or
how easy Stucco sticks to Styrofoam and chicken wire.

At night, you unbuckle/remove the top that protects your "Thermo-
Nuclear Concentrator".

I'm NOT advocating you try to hoodwink or defraud. Some city
halls/HOA are notorious for denying projects that have unfamiliar
names in them. While a small shed in the front yard is unattractive,
a small garage isn't.

Tom


--- In ap-gto@..., "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hi Steve,
Would if I could but can't so...the best area is in the front of my
house, and the town won't allow any kind of shed in a front area.
So
my choice is to leave the mount out in an area of the garden next
to
the driveway that I will wall off from view with a dense hedge.
I'll
drop some footings in for the tripod feet (I use a Meade giant
field
tripod, very solid) and plant some kind of ground cover I can walk
on
or grass. Run electric to it from the garage, make a path for a
dolly
to bring the computer and other equipment out (maybe even the OTA,
not
sure whether I'll load it each time or leave it mounted and covered
too), and I can be set up, polar aligned and ready to go in 5
minutes...at least, thats the plan so far. I've got all spring and
summer to work it out. Its really to avoid the winter
setup/breakdown,
like you've done the the Out Haus.

Morgan

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@..., "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell
did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty
good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some
high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent
into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe
that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a
flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Bill Bradford
 

As I posted earlier, I also have State Farm but have a Personal Articles policy that includes not only the astronomy equipment but other high value items.

I wonder if they are putting yours under your homeowner's policy because the observatory is a structure on your property. I don't have an observatory and travel to dark sites, so I wanted something to cover my equipment anywhere it happens to be. My coverage is for replacement value and the rate is quite reasonable.

Of course, I'm in Texas and we have some weird insurance regulations in this state :>), so my circumstance may not apply to those in other states.

Bill

----- Original Message -----
From: Dean S
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 11:30 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment


I just spoke with my home owners insurance this morning, State Farm, and she
said my observatory contents are included with the content coverage of my
house. Cameras, telescopes, computers, etc.

And as long as it is just a hobby there is no additional coverage needed,
assuming it is enough overall. However to be safe I am looking into adding
this as an addition to be absolutely sure there would be no hidden
exclusions.

Dean
www.doghouseastronomy.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "mizzou156" <mizzou156@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 12:10 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment

> Hello,
> Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will insure
mounts,
> telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it and I
would want full
> replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be appreciated.
Thank You
>
>
> ------------------------------------
>
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>


Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

Hi Mark,

I like the suggestion about removing the electronics to a garage or
unheated building - I could do that easily. Thanks for all the tips...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@..., "Mark Clegg" <Mark63clegg@...> wrote:

Morgan,

I have had a AP1200GTO for 7 years now, kept in a observatory here at
my home since day one. The observatory has no heating or cooling,
just
a small exhaust fan to pull hot air out when the space reaches >100
degrees in the summer. The scope and mount are always near ambient
temperature, this seems to work well and means quick set-up times.

The only issues I have experienced during the past 5 years is a few
keypad resetting problems and several intermittent power problems.
All
of the problems I have seen were due to oxidation on the pin
connectors
on the electronics.

I would think twice about bringing the electronics (keypad and
control
box) into a heated space after an observing session during cold
weather, this will eventually create problems with the electronics
due
to condensation. These left in a out building or garage at near
ambient
would be best.

Most important.. I have found that reseating the pin connections on a
regular basis, every 3-4 months works best for me... is essential for
maintaining continunity at all electrical connections if the mount
remains in the elements (event if it is in a observatory). I also
check and clean all electrical connections at least once a year to
prevent intermittent problems.

Mark Clegg
Pittsboro, N.C.






--- In ap-gto@..., Morgan Spangle <msfainc@> wrote:

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter,
so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by
remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount
to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the
group's
opinion?


Morgan Spangle


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Bill Bradford
 

I have State Farm and they cover my equipment as a Personal Articles policy. We also have auto and homeowners with them. Don't know if they would cover the equipment if I did not have the other policies.

Bill

----- Original Message -----
From: mizzou156
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 11:10 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Insurance for astronomy equipment


Hello,
Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will insure mounts,
telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it and I would want full
replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You


Mach1GTO Cable Routing

reddbarron2000 <bbarron1@...>
 

1. When running cables through the mount, is that any reason to remove
the polar scope adapter rather than feeding the cables through the
polar scope hole?

2. The manual recommends feeding the Y-cable out the RA Access Hole
and running the control box end of the cable externally. Is there a
reason not to feed the control box end of the Y-cable out the polar
scope hole and just have the RA end of the cable go out through the RA
Access Hole? The would permit better harnessing of all of the cables
coming out of the mount.

Bruce


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Dean S
 

I told her that and she said I should go ahead and give her some of the invoices of the more expensive items, and then she would give me a quote for them seperately as well.

----- Original Message -----
From: "ancient.sull" <ancient.sull@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 7:14 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment


--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean S" <dean@...> wrote:

I just spoke with my home owners insurance this morning, State Farm,
and she
said my observatory contents are included with the content coverage
of my
house. Cameras, telescopes, computers, etc.
I too insure with State Farm and probably everyone's policy is a little
different, but did you tell your agent a ball park dollar value for the
equipment?

Your agent may be thinking, "Oh, a camera or similar. Maybe $500"
not "$30,000 to $50,000 of mounts, cameras, computers, filters, etc."

Mine is insured but with a separate rider and an added premium based on
the total value.

Drew Sullivan



------------------------------------

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links





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Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

ancient.sull
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean S" <dean@...> wrote:

I just spoke with my home owners insurance this morning, State Farm,
and she
said my observatory contents are included with the content coverage
of my
house. Cameras, telescopes, computers, etc.
I too insure with State Farm and probably everyone's policy is a little
different, but did you tell your agent a ball park dollar value for the
equipment?

Your agent may be thinking, "Oh, a camera or similar. Maybe $500"
not "$30,000 to $50,000 of mounts, cameras, computers, filters, etc."

Mine is insured but with a separate rider and an added premium based on
the total value.

Drew Sullivan


Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Rick,

Here is a link to the Hanna City Remote Robotic Observatory, pics and plans:
I think that is what you were referring to as a BOX observatory.

http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Wiggins" <rickwiggins@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 4:34 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


Hi Morgan,
Have you seen the little boxes that some people have made? I wish I
had a link to them, but will attempt a brief description.

Imagine the closed position of a wooden box around just the top of
the pier and just big enough to cover the mount. The box comes in
two pieces that fit together with overlapping weather seals. It has
a round cutout in the bottom to fit around the pier and spring
loaded closer hasps to seal it tight when closed.

Another version has two flat pieces that fit together just below the
mount and around the pier to form the bottom of a box and then a top
hat box that fits over the mount and clamps to the bottom.

Top off the design with a 15 watt light bulb and some bottom vent
holes to allow minimum air flow and I think you have a winner. Even
better, cover the mount first in a nice warm, breathable, non-
hygroscopic blanket (i.e. Gore-tex fabric) first, then cover it.

Just another idea.
Thanks, Rick


Re: Insurance for astronomy equipment

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi,
I will post the short version here. Please be aware that
the "Insurance Company" is rarely the company that actully writes the
policy and provides the protection. This and the following explains
the variation in coverage etc.
1. The consumer buys coverage from an individual or company.
2. The selling agent that we (the consumer) deal with may work for a
large insurance company (i.e. State Farm), a small company, or be
totally a one person operation.
3. The actual insurance policy is provided by an underwriter (the
actual insuring agency) and this is usually tranparent to the
consumer. This underwriter could be the large insurance company itself
or any one of hundreds of underwriters all over the world.
4. It is common for agents and companies to deal with multiple
underwriters to get the most appropriate and best deal for each
individual policy.
5. There are state and possibly other governing bodies that legislate
some restrictions in some areas.
This means that "State Farm is not State Farm" and you milage may vary.
The best advice is to check your policy, call around, and read any
policy very carefully. If you don't understand it, get a friend
(preferably an agent or broker) to help you understand the policy.

Getting insurance on observatories is difficult...more difficult of
off your residential property...and far more difficult if it is on
someone else's property.

I would be seriously concerned if your homeowner's policy did not
cover a modest amount of astronomy equipment (personal property kept
at home or traveling with you). If they don;'t cover this, what else
don't they cover?

I am not an agent and I am still looking for a good observatory
policy, but this is my current understanding.
Thanks, Rick


--- In ap-gto@..., "mizzou156" <mizzou156@...> wrote:

Hello,
Does anyone have the name of a good insurance company that will
insure mounts,
telescopes, ccd cameras, ect. Homeowners insurance won't cover it
and I would want full
replacement cost, should a loss occur. Any help would be
appreciated. Thank You


Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Morgan,
Have you seen the little boxes that some people have made? I wish I
had a link to them, but will attempt a brief description.

Imagine the closed position of a wooden box around just the top of
the pier and just big enough to cover the mount. The box comes in
two pieces that fit together with overlapping weather seals. It has
a round cutout in the bottom to fit around the pier and spring
loaded closer hasps to seal it tight when closed.

Another version has two flat pieces that fit together just below the
mount and around the pier to form the bottom of a box and then a top
hat box that fits over the mount and clamps to the bottom.

Top off the design with a 15 watt light bulb and some bottom vent
holes to allow minimum air flow and I think you have a winner. Even
better, cover the mount first in a nice warm, breathable, non-
hygroscopic blanket (i.e. Gore-tex fabric) first, then cover it.

Just another idea.
Thanks, Rick



--- In ap-gto@..., "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@...> wrote:

Hi Steve,
Would if I could but can't so...the best area is in the front of my
house, and the town won't allow any kind of shed in a front area.
So
my choice is to leave the mount out in an area of the garden next
to
the driveway that I will wall off from view with a dense hedge.
I'll
drop some footings in for the tripod feet (I use a Meade giant
field
tripod, very solid) and plant some kind of ground cover I can walk
on
or grass. Run electric to it from the garage, make a path for a
dolly
to bring the computer and other equipment out (maybe even the OTA,
not
sure whether I'll load it each time or leave it mounted and covered
too), and I can be set up, polar aligned and ready to go in 5
minutes...at least, thats the plan so far. I've got all spring and
summer to work it out. Its really to avoid the winter
setup/breakdown,
like you've done the the Out Haus.

Morgan

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@..., "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell
did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty
good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some
high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent
into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe
that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a
flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Re: Atmospheric Refraction, Tracking Accuracy and PulseGuide

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Ray,
I don't want to start a e-mail flame here, but would like to pose a
theory (currently my belief based on years of separate guider use).

I believe that there are several possibilities for flexure.

One is that the configuration (permanent setup that is fixed and
never changes) will always exhibit the same amount of flexure when
pointed/placed in the same position. I believe that this is true
only in part, but I do beliueve that there are terms that will be
repeatable, again assuming a permanent rigid setup.

A second flexure term may be present as well. This one would be due
to flexure that changes with time. There are multiple sources for
such terms such as:
1. Loose components and screws ( I have noticed that the screws in
my dovetails may loosen over a couple of years time). Another source
that some people have is delrin tipped rings that hold the guide
scope. These flow and tend to change with time.
2. Temperature gradients in the components. Many setups are composed
of various material types, all of which have different coefficients
of thermal expansion that are non-zero. For example, the thermal
expansion in aluminum optical tubes is one of the reasons that we
must refocus periodically and it is so predictable over temperature,
that many of the automated programs allow temperature compensation
for focusing. This temperature factor causes flexure over
temperature ranges and is completely independent of pointing
position. I don't have a figure for this, as I have assumed that it
was below the "3dB" SNR point for my guiding error terms.

I believe that a well set up separate guider is nearly as good if
not better than some off axis guiders...especially for rigs below
2000mm FL. Well set up implies near zero mechanical flexure, other
than elastic metal bending (assuming use of thick rigid metals) and
thermal flexure. Many off axis guiders have enough components in
them to have their own internal flexure, and with a pickoff mirror,
that flexure can be amplified. I don't believe that flexure is a
dominant term in my tracking or guiding.

I do believe that you can model out the permanent flexure terms in
guiding with enough attention to detail in the software, so I am not
resisting that effort. I just wanted to point out that there are
still some terms that will exist after removing these terms. Let me
know what you think about this.

I look foward to your new software and multi-star guiders!
Thanks, Rick



--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <rgr@...> wrote:

Sorry but you had better go back and read what I typed. I never
said
flexure was not significant. I did say that it has to be modeled
out.
There is no way you can arbitrarily calculate the flexure of any
of
our amateur telescope systems without modeling their pointing on
the
sky. There are way too many variables.
I guess I don't understand then... because that's how the AP
software I have
been working on is going to work. It model's the telescope's
expected
position against the actual position. From that set of data (N
mapping
points across the sky) differential rates from many factors,
including
flexure can be used to correct both pointing accuracy and the
tracking rate.


-Ray


Re: Atmospheric Refraction, Tracking Accuracy and PulseGuide

Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Roland,
I will assume that your figure (regarding refraction-based tracking
errors) is correct for this reply. If so, then that error will be
the dominant error source in tracking assuming a well set up AP
mount. Only "Seeing" might exceed that error term. Therefore, if you
can eliminate or reduce this term, the guiding can be significantly
improved as the guide algorithm can be optimized to deal with the
remianing residual drifts, PE, and dominant guiding.

I agree with Roland, that eliminating any error term will improve
tracking and thereby guiding. I try to tune my guiding to deal with
my known error sources, so this will allow me to tweak my guiding
even more to get better results. And... when some new software tools
become available, and we can guide with multiple guide stars, we can
realy start to tune the guiding.

Thanks, Rick


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

In a message dated 4/4/2008 11:11:45 AM Central Daylight Time,
JunkMailGoesHere@... writes:


If the system as a whole is extremely well polar aligned and
moving with sub-arcsecond tracking accuracy inherently or with
PEC as
seen on the meridian at 0 Dec, the rate of change due to the
change in
atmospheric refraction over a five minute period most anywhere
in the
sky is completely negligible unless one is imaging at extremely
long
focal lengths.
Actually it's not negligeable at the arc second level. If you want
no drift
in Ra or Dec over 5 minutes time span, you will need to take
atmospheric
refraction into account and vary the drive rate of both axes.
Between the horizon
and 45 degrees elevation, you will have an average of 1.5 arc sec
drift in RA
per second of time if the drive is kept strictly at the sidereal
rate.

Rolando


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


Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

Mark Clegg
 

Morgan,

I have had a AP1200GTO for 7 years now, kept in a observatory here at
my home since day one. The observatory has no heating or cooling,
just
a small exhaust fan to pull hot air out when the space reaches >100
degrees in the summer. The scope and mount are always near ambient
temperature, this seems to work well and means quick set-up times.

The only issues I have experienced during the past 5 years is a few
keypad resetting problems and several intermittent power problems.
All
of the problems I have seen were due to oxidation on the pin
connectors
on the electronics.

I would think twice about bringing the electronics (keypad and
control
box) into a heated space after an observing session during cold
weather, this will eventually create problems with the electronics
due
to condensation. These left in a out building or garage at near
ambient
would be best.

Most important.. I have found that reseating the pin connections on a
regular basis, every 3-4 months works best for me... is essential for
maintaining continunity at all electrical connections if the mount
remains in the elements (event if it is in a observatory). I also
check and clean all electrical connections at least once a year to
prevent intermittent problems.

Mark Clegg
Pittsboro, N.C.






--- In ap-gto@..., Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...> wrote:

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter,
so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by
remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount
to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the
group's
opinion?


Morgan Spangle