Date   

Azimuth and altitude adjusments on Mach1

Pierre Henrotay
 

Dear,

when adjusting altitude, I noticed that locking the altitude locking
lever moves the star by about 1-2 arcminutes: I clearly see it on my
CCD which I use for centering the star.
The mount (Mach1) is balanced and by far not overloaded.
In azimuth, I see also a (smaller) displacement effect when tightening
the azimuth lock knobs.
Maybe I am tightening too much ?
Note that for altitude I am able to turn the adjustment knob evevn when
the lever is locked - normal ?
I'd welcome any suggestion and hint. Thanks !

Pierre


Re: PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Any idea when it (AP Command Center) might be ready for prime time?
It's hard to say for sure... it will be ready when it's ready. :-) Much of
the user interface is done but the remaining details are likely going to be
time consuming and I only usually get to work on it on weekends. The object
library will be one of the last things put in (and so that hasn't been done
yet).

-Ray


Re: PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Dean S
 

Ok, Howard & Ray,

I am looking forward to it and will sit patiently and wait. Any idea when it might be ready for prime time?

Thanks

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Gralak" <rgr@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 5:52 PM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available


Hi Dean,

I think you are thinking of the Astro-Physics Command Center, which is still
in development.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
On Behalf Of Dean S
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 2:40 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Hi Ray,

I thought the next version would have the object data base in
it so it could
be exactly like the handbox and I don't need a planetarium program?

Thanks,
Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Gralak" <rgr@... <mailto:rgr%40gralak.com> >
To: <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
; <ap-ug@... <mailto:ap-ug%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:44 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Hello all,

I am announcing the general availability of PulseGuide v1.36.

I want to thank Howard at AP for helping test this new
version. He helped
find a few Southern hemisphere bugs and a very subtle
timing bug. You can
download the new version and get a list of the new
features/bug fixes
here:

http://www.pulseguide.com <http://www.pulseguide.com>

Direct download of the update is here:

http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe
<http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe>

NOTE: This version will not uninstall the previous version
of PulseGuide,
so
you can use both versions interchangeably.

Thanks,

-Ray Gralak






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<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto>
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Re: PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hi Dean,

I think you are thinking of the Astro-Physics Command Center, which is still
in development.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
On Behalf Of Dean S
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 2:40 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Hi Ray,

I thought the next version would have the object data base in
it so it could
be exactly like the handbox and I don't need a planetarium program?

Thanks,
Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Gralak" <rgr@... <mailto:rgr%40gralak.com> >
To: <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>
; <ap-ug@... <mailto:ap-ug%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:44 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Hello all,

I am announcing the general availability of PulseGuide v1.36.

I want to thank Howard at AP for helping test this new
version. He helped
find a few Southern hemisphere bugs and a very subtle
timing bug. You can
download the new version and get a list of the new
features/bug fixes
here:

http://www.pulseguide.com <http://www.pulseguide.com>

Direct download of the update is here:

http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe
<http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe>

NOTE: This version will not uninstall the previous version
of PulseGuide,
so
you can use both versions interchangeably.

Thanks,

-Ray Gralak






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





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Date: 2/15/2008
9:00 AM




Re: PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Howard Hedlund
 

Hello Dean,



This is not the new Astro-Physics Command Center that Ray is still
working on. It is instead a version of the same PulseGuide you have
been using that addresses several issues primarily for southern
hemisphere observers that needed to get fixed. Anyone in the southern
hemisphere definitely needs to update to this version. There are also
a few additional items that were improved or fixed that make it
worthwhile for all of us in the north. Since the logic involved will
also apply to the new Astro-Physics Command Center, there was every
reason to go forward with the fixes even though PulseGuide is set to be
replaced with Ray's new software when it is finished.



Mag. 7 skies!



Howard Hedlund

Astro-Physics, Inc.

815-282-1513

________________________________

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of Dean S
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:40 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available



Hi Ray,

I thought the next version would have the object data base in it so it
could
be exactly like the handbox and I don't need a planetarium program?

Thanks,
Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Gralak" <rgr@... <mailto:rgr%40gralak.com> >
To: <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> >;
<ap-ug@... <mailto:ap-ug%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:44 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Hello all,

I am announcing the general availability of PulseGuide v1.36.

I want to thank Howard at AP for helping test this new version. He
helped
find a few Southern hemisphere bugs and a very subtle timing bug. You
can
download the new version and get a list of the new features/bug fixes
here:

http://www.pulseguide.com <http://www.pulseguide.com>

Direct download of the update is here:

http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe
<http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe>

NOTE: This version will not uninstall the previous version of
PulseGuide,
so
you can use both versions interchangeably.

Thanks,

-Ray Gralak






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





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2/15/2008
9:00 AM


Re: PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Dean S
 

Hi Ray,

I thought the next version would have the object data base in it so it could be exactly like the handbox and I don't need a planetarium program?

Thanks,
Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Gralak" <rgr@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>; <ap-ug@...>
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:44 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] PulseGuide v1.36 is available


Hello all,

I am announcing the general availability of PulseGuide v1.36.

I want to thank Howard at AP for helping test this new version. He helped
find a few Southern hemisphere bugs and a very subtle timing bug. You can
download the new version and get a list of the new features/bug fixes here:

http://www.pulseguide.com

Direct download of the update is here:

http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe

NOTE: This version will not uninstall the previous version of PulseGuide, so
you can use both versions interchangeably.

Thanks,

-Ray Gralak






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





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PulseGuide v1.36 is available

Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hello all,

I am announcing the general availability of PulseGuide v1.36.

I want to thank Howard at AP for helping test this new version. He helped
find a few Southern hemisphere bugs and a very subtle timing bug. You can
download the new version and get a list of the new features/bug fixes here:

http://www.pulseguide.com

Direct download of the update is here:

http://www.pulseguide.com/Installs/PulseGuide136.exe

NOTE: This version will not uninstall the previous version of PulseGuide, so
you can use both versions interchangeably.

Thanks,

-Ray Gralak


Re: Cable issues

divenuts
 

Seems as though a couple different size tie wraps would work...that's what I use on my pier(and Velcro)
Chuck/divenuts

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Winfield" <winfij@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 7:21 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues


Would it be possible to get some other solution which didn't involve
bolting the parts together and requiring a tool to remove/adjust them?

A better cable routing, possibly a longer cable, or redesigned knobs
have all been suggested and all seem to have possible merit.

Perhaps you could invest some lab time to try different solutions and
come up with something workable?

Cheers,

John



--- In ap-gto@..., "howard4ap" <howard@...> wrote:

Hi all,

Roland, as usual, has come up with an ingenious solution for those of
you with permanent installations. We don't have a part number or
price (or even Marj's permission yet), but I've uploaded a jpeg to
the files section with an alternative to the offending dovetail
knob. We will post when they are ready to sell.

Howard

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@>
wrote:

... Maybe a bit of cello tape on the inside, to take up the slack.
That is
what I did with a loose fitting PASILLx polar scope eyepiece cap.

Thanks,
Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Geert Vandenbulcke" <geert.vdbulcke@>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:59 PM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues


Depends how much you like the Kinder chocolate ;-)
The male side of the caps fits tight, the female side is a little
on the
loose side.

Geert

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] Namens
Joseph
Zeglinski
Verzonden: woensdag 13 februari 2008 18:16
Aan: ap-gto@...
Onderwerp: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues

Thanks Geert,

To save my diet, do I need to buy one Kinder Surprise chocolate
egg for
each cap, or do both halves of the toy capsule fit sufficiently
tightly
(i.e.
us either half) - so I only need to buy a half dozen eggs?

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Geert Vandenbulcke" <geert.vdbulcke@>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues


Joseph, these caps can fit the DEC axle tightening knobs but you
have to
use some tape, they are somewhat too large for these knobs. I
never remove
them, all movement of the mount is the motor's job, it is a
permanent setup.



Geert



_____

Van: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] Namens
Joseph
Zeglinski
Verzonden: woensdag 13 februari 2008 17:18
Aan: ap-gto@...
Onderwerp: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues



Thanks Geett,

That is what I was suggesting as well - but I am glad you found a
perfect
fit. I will go out and buy "a dozen eggs" with 4 spares if I lose a
cap. Did

you find one for the DEC axle tightening knob?

One question: is there any problem putting them on in the cold, if
you
have to remove and later put them on again? The plastic OTA cap on
my 4"
Bausch & Lomb will not go on after a night of observing in winter -
I have
warm up the OTA cover first.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Geert Vandenbulcke" <HYPERLINK
"mailto:geert.vdbulcke%40skynet.be"geert.vdbulcke@>
To: <HYPERLINK "mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com"ap-gto@>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:29 AM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues

Hello,



I came up with this solution for the clutch knobs:

HYPERLINK
"HYPERLINK
"http://www.astronomie.be/Tranquility.Base/ap1200.htm"http://www.ast
ronom-ie
.be/Tranquilit-y.Base/ap1200.-htm"HYPERLINK
"http://www.astronomie."http://www.astronom-ie.
be/Tranquility.-Base/ap1200.-htm



Geert Vandenbulcke

Belgium



_____

Van: HYPERLINK "mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com"ap-gto@
[mailto:HYPERLINK "mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com"ap-gto@]
Namens Joseph
Zeglinski
Verzonden: woensdag 13 februari 2008 3:48
Aan: HYPERLINK "mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com"ap-gto@
Onderwerp: [ap-gto] Re: Cable issues



Hi Dean,

I had a look at your AP2.jpg close-up, and I think this knob, as
well as
others, can definitely use some "cosmetic streamlining"--. I
don't like
the
idea
of making the cables even thicker by encasing them in flume(?),
they are
plenty thick enough.

What if some kind of cap could be made, that would fit over the
knobs, but
can be removed if they needed adjustment. Most of the time, once
the mount
is
set up, these knobs no longer need attention. How often do you
adjust the
latitude knob, for example - yet it is there to cause potential
cable
grief.

As a test, I propose you use a wide piece of cello tape -
like "shipping
tape" - and spread it horizontally across the DEC knob (you could
brace
the
cello bridge on each side, with a piece of shipping foam peanut,
to give
some
lateral support). Now do the test, and watch if the standard AP
unsheathed
cable still snags on that knob. I expect it will merely "ride
over it".

If that works each time, then either use tape over the problem
knobs -
which can be done for permanent setups - or somebody should
devise a more
solid bridging device. Something that comes to mind is a plastic
strap,
like

that use in a recent product for "opening the nasal passages" for
suffers
trying to sleep with nasal conjestion. That kind of bridging
strip, if it
can
be held in place on top of the knob, would act as a "cable
deflector".

I hope I have explained this clearly.

Joe




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Re: AP 900 problem

drgert1
 

Hi,

How much effort did you put into focusing? If the ST4 is not properly
focused the guiding can be erratic.

Clear Skies,
Gert

--- In ap-gto@..., Michael Cater <nitemike1@...> wrote:

I have had no problem with the ST4 calibration mode. The problems
develops after a few minutes of guiding and then the accuracy drops
off. I will try my friend's ST4 to see if the problem is duplicated;
if his works then my ST4 is defective.

Mike

Rick K <JunkMailGoesHere@...> wrote:
If the mount works and tracks the sky without the ST4 then
it's almost
definitely the ST4. It is either incorrectly set up or the cable
connecting it to the mount is damaged or broken. Does this ST4 work
with another mount you have? Since I have never had an ST4 I would
have no idea of how to go about testing and calibrating it. There
should be lots of info on the internet though.

--- In ap-gto@..., "nitemike1" <nitemike1@> wrote:

I am new to the group. I have an AP 900 mount (V 4.12) that I bought
on Astromart. It tracks very well and the GOTO function works
flawlessly. However, I have been unable to get my ST4 to guide for
more than a few minutes at a time. I tried using the periodic error
function to correct any flaws in the RA worm but to no avail. I don't
know whether the problem is in the ST4 or the stepper motors. What
would you suggest? If it is the stepper motors is replacing them a
major expense/problem?

Thanks, Mike





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Re: AP 900 problem

William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

Michael Cater wrote:
I have had no problem with the ST4 calibration mode. The problems develops after a few minutes of guiding and then the accuracy drops off. I will try my friend's ST4 to see if the problem is duplicated; if his works then my ST4 is defective.
Mike,

It is extremely doubtful that your ST-4 is defective. The scenario that you describe isn't at all uncommon and the root cause of it is that the parameters selected are not appropriate. Just because you successfully calibrate is no guarantee that the guiding will be successful. You haven't provided nearly enough information for anyone to actually help you with this either. I would suggest that you check the group archives as Roland has explained the mount parameters needed a number of times. Then it is up to you to provide the following.

1) A known good Autoguider Cable

2) Accurate Polar Alignment

3) Reasonable Parameter Settings for the ST-4.

I can assure you that both of my ST-4's worked well with my AP900 Mount.

The situation that you describe indicate that the feedback loop is out of kilter. Assuming that the Polar Alignment is good enough.


Regards

Bill


--

William R. Mattil : http://www.celestial-images.com


Re: AP 900 problem

Michael Cater <nitemike1@...>
 

Thank you, for your input. I have a feeling that it's an ST4 problem.

Mike

chris1011@... wrote:
In a message dated 2/14/2008 10:36:37 AM Central Standard Time,
nitemike1@... writes:

I have had no problem with the calibration function of the ST4 as long as I
calibrate for about 10 seconds in both axis. When the guiding starts it
seems to work well for several minutes and then the numbers on the screen
progressively increase in the RA axis (as in periodic error).
1) In the old days when I was using one of these beasts, I figured out quite
quickly that I could not determine anything by looking at the numbers. I
placed a crosshair eyepiece on a seperate telescope, and while the ST4 was doing
its thing, I monitored the prosition of the star on the crosshair. So, if you
don't start out with this fundamental concept, you will probably be in the dark.
Start by watching the star motion when you calibrate. Is the star actually
moving in the 2 directions N-S and E-W? Next, press the 4 direction buttons.
Does the star actually move when you do this? If you don't do these things, then
you might as well forget trying to work with the ST4.

2) Your symptoms do not indicate periodic error. They do not indicate any
kind of mount electronics error besides maybe a slight polar misalignment (which
is not a mount problem). They indicate simply that the ST4 is probably not
sending any correction signals to the mount, and the star is simply drifting
slowly away from the center (stars will always drift for a variety of reasons not
related to the mount electronics, so this is quite normal).

Finally, your heading is misleading. It should not read "AP 900 Mount
problem", rather it should say "SBIG ST4 Problem".

Rolando

**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the
Grammy Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)








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Re: Mach 1

jimhp29401us <thefamily111@...>
 

I definately know what I am doing when I use an AP mount. I
presently own an AP 6OO GOTO, a 9OO GOTO a 12OO GOTO and a 12OO QMD.
I am selling the AP 6OO Goto so I can buy a Mach1. I often carry my
AP 155 F/7 out and do a very rough polar alignment from my backyard
where you can NOT see Polaris. By synchronizing on the first few
objects I am able to find whatever I am looking for. As for webcam
imaging being incredibly simple and that once you've done Mars,
Jupiter and Saturn you are pretty much done, all I can do is laugh.
These planets change, often nightly. If you try to get images like
Alan, and I do, it is not "easy". There is an art and a science to
it. I can imagine Deep Sky imaging is great fun. I did it for a while
with an SBIG ST-6 years ago. I prefer the Sun, Moon and planets.

All the Best,

JIm Phillips



Yes, it takes time to set up and polar align so that one can do half
hour to hour long exposures without field rotation with a big chip
CCD. There is no getting around it. Multiple short exposures simply
do
not give the best results.

Webcam imaging is incredibly simple in comparison. I have done both
but prefer the big CCD and deepsky. Once you have done Mars, Jupiter
and Saturn, you are pretty much done. That is unless you are Alan
Friedman who pops up fairly regularly to post those incredible lunar
shots. VERY nice stuff indeed.

One should NEVER use SYNC with an AP mount unless you are really
familiar with how it works. RCAL instead. One of those "nearby"
goto's
might smack your scope into the pier one day otherwise. Besides, if
you are using the keypad then you have already hauled out the power
supply can 110 cord or battery, mount cords, keypad, etc. Might as
well screw in the PAS and spend a minute or two getting a close
polar
alignment. If I work at it with my PAS v3 for a bit, maybe 5 minutes
or so, I can get really close - as in good enough for imaging with
15
to 20 minute shots. For some reason my PAS v4 isn't quite as nicely
aligned. One of these days I might get around to tuning it in.

I like looking all over the sky and when I send keypad commands to
goto someplace 120 degrees away I like it to go there and I like it
to
be in the FOV. It really doesn't take that long to do a rough polar
alignment with the PAS, but it does take a while to get everything
ready to go with power, control and cables. If I am strictly hands
on
and manually slewing the scope (push-to) then polar alignment
matters
not other than if I want to use a star atlas to combination star hop
and follow those invisible lines in the sky that cross each page.

It all depends on how you want to use your mount. I personally like
to
have it polar aligned and powered up no matter what my plans are for
the evening.



--- In ap-gto@..., "jimhp29401us" <thefamily111@> wrote:

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate
polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use
the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to
whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging
of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to
keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all
over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem
processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips



Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement,
out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on
one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and
roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky
it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply,
power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much
always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it
would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and
there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter
tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since
tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all
relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500
for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and
go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable
in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to
open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not
apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm
lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod.
Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing
roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell
battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the
optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it
on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt
to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else
but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of
parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be
treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are
worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to
set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc.
Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from
nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads
attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another
level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats
and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



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

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard
Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many
things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it
into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate,
insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)




Re: Mach 1 - delivery

jimhp29401us <thefamily111@...>
 

My notification from AP says beginning March continuing up to several
months after.

Jim Phillips

Dear all, is there anybody here that has an update about the
beginning of delivery of the current production run of Mach 1? I
transferred the deposit to Anacortes some months ago, last rumors I
heard was that they expected to receive some units from the end of
January but have had no more news about it..

Clear Skies
Marco


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Re: Mach 1

observe_m13
 

Yes, it takes time to set up and polar align so that one can do half
hour to hour long exposures without field rotation with a big chip
CCD. There is no getting around it. Multiple short exposures simply do
not give the best results.

Webcam imaging is incredibly simple in comparison. I have done both
but prefer the big CCD and deepsky. Once you have done Mars, Jupiter
and Saturn, you are pretty much done. That is unless you are Alan
Friedman who pops up fairly regularly to post those incredible lunar
shots. VERY nice stuff indeed.

One should NEVER use SYNC with an AP mount unless you are really
familiar with how it works. RCAL instead. One of those "nearby" goto's
might smack your scope into the pier one day otherwise. Besides, if
you are using the keypad then you have already hauled out the power
supply can 110 cord or battery, mount cords, keypad, etc. Might as
well screw in the PAS and spend a minute or two getting a close polar
alignment. If I work at it with my PAS v3 for a bit, maybe 5 minutes
or so, I can get really close - as in good enough for imaging with 15
to 20 minute shots. For some reason my PAS v4 isn't quite as nicely
aligned. One of these days I might get around to tuning it in.

I like looking all over the sky and when I send keypad commands to
goto someplace 120 degrees away I like it to go there and I like it to
be in the FOV. It really doesn't take that long to do a rough polar
alignment with the PAS, but it does take a while to get everything
ready to go with power, control and cables. If I am strictly hands on
and manually slewing the scope (push-to) then polar alignment matters
not other than if I want to use a star atlas to combination star hop
and follow those invisible lines in the sky that cross each page.

It all depends on how you want to use your mount. I personally like to
have it polar aligned and powered up no matter what my plans are for
the evening.

--- In ap-gto@..., "jimhp29401us" <thefamily111@...> wrote:

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips



Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



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

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


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


Mach 1 - delivery

marcolorenzi70
 

Dear all, is there anybody here that has an update about the beginning of delivery of the current production run of Mach 1? I transferred the deposit to Anacortes some months ago, last rumors I heard was that they expected to receive some units from the end of January but have had no more news about it..

Clear Skies
Marco


___________________________________
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Re: AP 900 problem

Michael Cater <nitemike1@...>
 

I have had no problem with the ST4 calibration mode. The problems develops after a few minutes of guiding and then the accuracy drops off. I will try my friend's ST4 to see if the problem is duplicated; if his works then my ST4 is defective.

Mike

Rick K <JunkMailGoesHere@...> wrote:
If the mount works and tracks the sky without the ST4 then it's almost
definitely the ST4. It is either incorrectly set up or the cable
connecting it to the mount is damaged or broken. Does this ST4 work
with another mount you have? Since I have never had an ST4 I would
have no idea of how to go about testing and calibrating it. There
should be lots of info on the internet though.

--- In ap-gto@..., "nitemike1" <nitemike1@...> wrote:

I am new to the group. I have an AP 900 mount (V 4.12) that I bought
on Astromart. It tracks very well and the GOTO function works
flawlessly. However, I have been unable to get my ST4 to guide for
more than a few minutes at a time. I tried using the periodic error
function to correct any flaws in the RA worm but to no avail. I don't
know whether the problem is in the ST4 or the stepper motors. What
would you suggest? If it is the stepper motors is replacing them a
major expense/problem?

Thanks, Mike





---------------------------------
Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.


Re: AP 900 problem

Michael Cater <nitemike1@...>
 

I have had no problem with the calibration function of the ST4 as long as I calibrate for about 10 seconds in both axis. When the guiding starts it seems to work well for several minutes and then the numbers on the screen progressively increase in the RA axis (as in periodic error). After a few minutes the values improve only to increase again in a few minutes of guiding. Eventually, the values reach the E value (>9) which means the ST4 can't find the guide star. I will probably try my friends ST4 this weekend to see if the issue is my ST4.

Mike

chris1011@... wrote:
In a message dated 2/14/2008 6:02:21 AM Central Standard Time,
nitemike1@... writes:

I am new to the group. I have an AP 900 mount (V 4.12) that I bought
on Astromart. It tracks very well and the GOTO function works
flawlessly. However, I have been unable to get my ST4 to guide for
more than a few minutes at a time. I tried using the periodic error
function to correct any flaws in the RA worm but to no avail. I don't
know whether the problem is in the ST4 or the stepper motors. What
would you suggest? If it is the stepper motors is replacing them a
major expense/problem?
1) the 900 servo mount does not have stepper motors. If it tracks very well,
then certainly the servo motors are working properly.

2) An ST4 is not an easy beast to work with. If it does not work properly,
then it will not interact with the mount. If the relays are shot or stuck in an
open or closed position, then it will not work no matter what you do with the
mount, so the first thing you need to do is find out if the 4 relays are doing
their job properly. Next thing is to make sure that the connector cable from
the ST4 to the mount is of the proper type. You will need to the trace the
pins back to the relays with an ohmmeter to make sure that the proper pins are
opening and closing when the 4 direction buttons on the ST4 are pushed. If the
ST4 is not set up properly, you can forget about using it to guide the mount.

3) you mention that you tried to use the periodic error function to correct
any flaws in the worm. What flaws are in the worm that you are trying to
correct, and how are you setting up the periodic error compensation to do this? Are
you guiding by hand and loading the PE curve this way? Are you using PEMPro?
What is your method for loading the PE curve?

Rolando

**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the
Grammy Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)








---------------------------------
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Re: Mach 1

jimhp29401us <thefamily111@...>
 

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips



Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



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

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


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


Polar scope collimation

r1300rs
 

Has anyone ever tried to use a laser collimator to very accurately align the reticle in the
PASILL scope? I would be interested in developing a technique for this.

Thanks for any thoughts.


Re: AP 900 problem

observe_m13
 

If the mount works and tracks the sky without the ST4 then it's almost
definitely the ST4. It is either incorrectly set up or the cable
connecting it to the mount is damaged or broken. Does this ST4 work
with another mount you have? Since I have never had an ST4 I would
have no idea of how to go about testing and calibrating it. There
should be lots of info on the internet though.

--- In ap-gto@..., "nitemike1" <nitemike1@...> wrote:

I am new to the group. I have an AP 900 mount (V 4.12) that I bought
on Astromart. It tracks very well and the GOTO function works
flawlessly. However, I have been unable to get my ST4 to guide for
more than a few minutes at a time. I tried using the periodic error
function to correct any flaws in the RA worm but to no avail. I don't
know whether the problem is in the ST4 or the stepper motors. What
would you suggest? If it is the stepper motors is replacing them a
major expense/problem?

Thanks, Mike