Date   

Happiness is...

Paul Wilson <plw@...>
 

...getting my new AP 400 GTO mount! It's now off the UPS truck, out
of the boxes and ready to "go" ;-)

DSV will have to wait for the acquisition of a more powerful laptop,
but I expect to give the mount a pretty good workout with the hand
controller, assuming that the clear skies I see now hold out until
dark.

I've read in this group about the forthcoming updates to DSV and the
controller software. I'm sure the improvements to DSV will be
obvious, but what kind of changes are in store for the controller?
Bug fixes, enhancements, or both?

Oh well, back to that controller manual... :-)

Paul


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

Paul Hyndman wrote:

Are they available now?
I don't think so. The last time I talked to AP they were apparently not
being made anymore. I also confirmed this with Company 7 a few weeks
ago.

Even with the GOTO mounts, I find the polar scope useful. There is a
rumor that it is possible to fit a Losmandy polar scope to an AP GTO
mount with a custom made adaptor. Otherwise, you are stuck with
Astromart--be fast, as they go quickly.

Derek


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

You should be able to find a new one at
http://www.astro-physics.com/ .

Rich

Are they available now?

Last I had heard they weren't, and no ETA was available. I paid a
premium for a (ahem!) "nearly new" one from a private party just a
short while ago. I dislike abetting the "pumping up" of the prices on
this merchandise and (being Scottish) it kills me to pay over list,
but sometimes one has to bite the bullet!

Paul

I don't know. I suggest you call AP, 815-282-1513.

Rich


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

You should be able to find a new one at
http://www.astro-physics.com/ .

Rich

Are they available now?

Last I had heard they weren't, and no ETA was available. I paid a
premium for a (ahem!) "nearly new" one from a private party just a
short while ago. I dislike abetting the "pumping up" of the prices on
this merchandise and (being Scottish) it kills me to pay over list,
but sometimes one has to bite the bullet!

Paul


Re: AP Polar Alignment Scope

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

Hi there, I am looking for a new or use AP Polar Alignment Scope.

Please respond to tjohnson@...

Thanks...Terry Johnson


You should be able to find a new one at http://www.astro-physics.com/ .

Rich


AP Polar Alignment Scope

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

Hi there, I am looking for a new or use AP Polar Alignment Scope.
 
Please respond to tjohnson@...
 
Thanks...Terry Johnson


Re: DigitalSky Voice and AP600E

Charles Sinsofsky <strfire@...>
 

Hello Chris, and others who may of seen such a problem,

Here is what I would like you to do:

This problem is due to a run-time file problem and can happen with some
implmentations of DSV.

ok 1st, what release / version was your original cd/rom ??? when you
first bring up DSV what release number is in the 'main info window upper
left corner in green on the screen...2.xx.xx

1) using the control panel in windows use add/remove to remove DSV
(digitalsky voice ) from your computer. If the system assks to remove
'shared components' say YES to this.

2) after windows completly removes DSV
delete the following directories with windows explorer please:

c:&#92;program files&#92;astro-physics <-- delete from astro-physics and down

c:&#92;program files&#92;common files&#92;microsoft shared&#92;speechengines
<-- delete from speechengines and down

c:&#92;windows&#92;speech <-- delete from speech and down

3) remember only the directories above, do not delete program files, only
the botton directories and down from the point i indicated.

4) now re-install your cd/rom of DSV at this point. simply go through the
entire reintall. if your release version of before 2.02.18 ..then vist
please the web site and obtain the latest and greatest release frorm the
transporter room the current release if 2.02.18 obtained by downloading
setup16.exe from the transporter room, your enterance to the transporter
room is obtained with a password found on the inside cover of your users
manual.

5) install the setup16.exe if you do not have 2.02.18 yet.

6) re-start DSV now and re-enter your location etc... make sure you used
originally the mike wizard to ensure the proper input volumes for DSV.

by the way what type of computer?? ..i know you are on windows 98...but
what is the brand of pc..laptop or desktop?? and what is the sound card make
please?

Thanx...please let me know how it goes...i am here to help in any way I
can

Charles Sinsofsky
www.digitalskyvoice.com
author: DigitalSky Voice
email: strfire@...

----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Spratt <cspratt@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 9:30 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] DigitalSky Voice and AP600E


This is a repeat post as the other one from last night never appeared.

I've had problems DigitalSky Voice with and without the cheap
microphone I use? The program quits after one or two inputs from mike
or mouse. I use a laptop from IBM 1412i Thinkpad with 64k ram,
soundcard, 366 Celeron chip, all on Com 1 with 6'cable. No problem
at all linking to the 600E GOTO mount and the first one or two moves
(voice or mouse) do work but very slowly. After that no response
although I can quit the program okay. Running Win98.

Ideas anyone (the computer very expensive is new last summer!!!)

Chris. Spratt


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DigitalSky Voice and AP600E

Chris Spratt
 

This is a repeat post as the other one from last night never appeared.

I've had problems DigitalSky Voice with and without the cheap
microphone I use? The program quits after one or two inputs from mike
or mouse. I use a laptop from IBM 1412i Thinkpad with 64k ram,
soundcard, 366 Celeron chip, all on Com 1 with 6'cable. No problem
at all linking to the 600E GOTO mount and the first one or two moves
(voice or mouse) do work but very slowly. After that no response
although I can quit the program okay. Running Win98.

Ideas anyone (the computer very expensive is new last summer!!!)

Chris. Spratt


Re: Pier Construction

Tim Khan
 

--- Mark Jenkins <markj@...> wrote:

The sonotube/concrete only solution has me worried
about cracks in the
concrete where the bolts protrude. Are these fears
unfounded?

Just a note on sonotube/concrete:

Concrete cracking around the bolts are due to, a
couple of items. First cracking is ussually due to too
much water in the mixture (shrinkage during curing),
use between .25 to .35 water to cement ratio.
Secondly, be sure that you use horiz. reinforcing like
#3 ties at 8" and where the anchor bolts are use #3
ties at 4" to increase the confinment.


--- Mark Jenkins <markj@...> wrote:

I posted this to alt.binaries.pictures.astro but
have yet to get a response.

Looking for any and all advice for constructing my
permanent pier.

Is a solid concrete pier better than a steel tube
set in concrete?

Initial thoughts are:

Dig a 4' x 4' hole 7' deep.

Pour 1' thick of reinforced concrete with 4 "J"
bolts set in the concrete.

Fabricate a steel pier that is constructed using a
8" - 10" mild steel tube
5/16" to 1/2" wall thickness with a 3/4" x 2'
square plate on the bottom.
Paint with industrial grade epoxy both inside an
out. Use the bolts at the
bottom of the now 6' deep hole to secure and level
the pier to the footer.
Fill the hole with reinforced concrete and let cure
for about a week. Fill
the steel tube with concrete and let cure. Weld a
3/4" steel plate on top to
be used to fine adjust the level of the Meade
SuperWedge or AP 400GTO that's
due in July, or future AP mounts like a 600 or 900.

Or...

would it be better just to pour concrete in a
sonotube with bolts at the
top?

Looking for a proven design and willing to go to
extremes to assure complete
stability.

The sonotube/concrete only solution has me worried
about cracks in the
concrete where the bolts protrude. Are these fears
unfounded?

Thanks.

--
Mark Jenkins
markj@...
http://www.pcsincnet.com/astronomy/



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Re: Pier Construction

John J. Kasianowicz <surpher@...>
 

Hi Mark,

I don't know the specific answers to your questions, but you might want to
contact John McCubbin (mccubbin@...). His Halfmoon Observatory
(http://www.usit.com/mccubbin/astronomy.html) looks great and has some nice
design ideas. John is very helpful.

His metal pier/concrete deadman design has several neat features. First,
different hollow metal tube piers can be interchanged easily (with some
grunting). Second, it looks really massive (Le Seur's AstroPiers suggests
using much less concrete, which is probably unwise for an observatory,
particularly if you ever want to do imaging). I'd tend to err on the side of
using too much concrete placed too deeply. Third, the base of the tube that
mates with the ring (that bolts to the metal atop the concrete deadman) is
reinforced w/metal ribs (gussets?).

If you go this route, and if you use a wood floor instead of a concrete
slab, John's design makes it easy to remove the pier and cover the deadman
with wood flooring (you have to make sure that the bolts coming out of the
deadman are below the level of the bottom of the wood floor). If your
observatory is designed with flexibility in mind, it can be used as a garden
tool storage shed or a kid's playhouse by whoever buys your house (i.e. the
structure will ADD to the value of your home).

I'm in the next to final design stage for my own backyard observatory. I'd
love to toss some ideas around, if you like.


Best,
John Kasianowicz

Looking for any and all advice for constructing my permanent pier.


Pier Construction

Mark Jenkins <markj@...>
 

I posted this to alt.binaries.pictures.astro but have yet to get a response.

Looking for any and all advice for constructing my permanent pier.

Is a solid concrete pier better than a steel tube set in concrete?

Initial thoughts are:

Dig a 4' x 4' hole 7' deep.

Pour 1' thick of reinforced concrete with 4 "J" bolts set in the concrete.

Fabricate a steel pier that is constructed using a 8" - 10" mild steel tube
5/16" to 1/2" wall thickness with a 3/4" x 2' square plate on the bottom.
Paint with industrial grade epoxy both inside an out. Use the bolts at the
bottom of the now 6' deep hole to secure and level the pier to the footer.
Fill the hole with reinforced concrete and let cure for about a week. Fill
the steel tube with concrete and let cure. Weld a 3/4" steel plate on top to
be used to fine adjust the level of the Meade SuperWedge or AP 400GTO that's
due in July, or future AP mounts like a 600 or 900.

Or...

would it be better just to pour concrete in a sonotube with bolts at the
top?

Looking for a proven design and willing to go to extremes to assure complete
stability.

The sonotube/concrete only solution has me worried about cracks in the
concrete where the bolts protrude. Are these fears unfounded?

Thanks.

--
Mark Jenkins
markj@...
http://www.pcsincnet.com/astronomy/


Re: FW: (SBIGUSER) Takahashi Mounts

Terry Johnson <tjohnson@...>
 

I agree...Terry Johnson

----- Original Message -----
From: Derek Wong
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 11:06 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: FW: (SBIGUSER) Takahashi Mounts

Ron:

You have some great suggestions, and both Charles and AP are getting
these messages.

> * The procedure for two-star alignment is very challenging. In some
> situations, moving one-half the distance in two such disparate coordinate
> systems (polar and alt-az) is truly mind boggling...

Go to message #10 of this group for another method. For those who don't
know the shortcut, you can get there on egroups by using the message
calendar and selecting June.

> * On the 600 at least, polar alignment is challenging due to the geometry of
> the mount base - tightening anything tends to throw alignment off by quite a
> bit. (This explains why any 600 mount you find in use will have quite a bit
> of paint scraped off around the adjustment screws. ) Why do so few mounts
> come with micrometer-style alt-az adjustments? These would seem to be
> essential for rock-solid polar alignment.

I had the same issues--some people on the group use nylon washers (I
can't remember where that post was) and tightening both sides at the
same time.

Derek

eGroups.com Home: http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto
www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications


Re: AP900 arrived

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

Ed Couture wrote:

http://people.ne.mediaone.net/edcouture
Wow, that's a really nice observatory--did you build it yourself?

Nice images as well.

Derek


**Remember, egroups will be very slow 6PM EST tonight for about 12
hours**


AP900 arrived

Ed Couture <edcouture@...>
 

900 arrived, installed, waiting for clear weather to fine tune.
Better and bigger than I had anticipated.

Photos at my web site.

http://people.ne.mediaone.net/edcouture

Ed Couture


Re: The call came today

ericj <ericj@...>
 

Hi Ron:

Congratulations on getting your new 1200 GTO mount. Since you already owned
an AP 600 mount you already had a good idea how nice they were. However,
although I had seen AP 900 mounts at star parties I didn't really get a
chance to appreciate the quality of the workmanship until I received one a
couple of weeks ago and assembled it. The last equatorial mount that I owned
was an AP 706 mount. Since then buying AP optical tube assemblies as they
came available took higher precedence over mounts so have been using my
refractors on home-made Dob mounts. It will be nice to have tracking again,
particularly for the planets.

Clear Skies,

Eric Jamison

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 9:52 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] The call came today


OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

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Mylar washers instead of nylon

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

During the last week, somewhere in the discussion about clamping handles for
the AP 600, the suggestion came up to add a nylon washer -- either under the
metal washer, or in place of the metal washer. A trip to my local hardware
store today turned up something that I'd never heard of, but that is a
better solution than the nylon washers: Mylar washers.

The Mylar washers have several advantages right off that I can see:

* Thinner than nylon
* Harder than nylon, but not so hard as to be troublesome
* Less friction than nylon, almost slippery in fact

They are recommended for any location where you have frequent tightening and
loosening. They are also quite cheap, .24 to .30 a pair, depending on size.

Ron Wodaski


Re: The call came today

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

I think that Takahashi and Astro-Physics are right at the top of the game. I
can find nits to pick with either one, of course, but the list of things I
love about both are so long, who cares? <g>

I love the AP GTO series because it is so user friendly. I've now been using
my 600 for a few months, and the more I use it the more I appreciate the
overall design. And Roland's service is second to none. I've been quite
picky about what I want out of my mount, and after some time in Roland's
hands, my mount is really suited to exactly what I'm asking of it. I
couldn't be happier about that. I can pretty much put anything I can afford
on the 1200. Someone else mentioned that they felt a 900 would be better for
their needs, and I think sometimes that might be the case for me as well. In
the event that I really should have gotten the 900, the 1200 will be a good
temporary mount. <g>

Takahashi, on the other hand, has been at the mount business (and related
large-scale medical equipment) for a long time, and there are some things
they do that reflect that long experience.

So both are very expensive (Tak a little more so), but both offer great
value simply because they are so good. I intend to devote a few years to
figuring out what I like about both. <g>

You also never know when you are going to get your chance to buy an AP, and
you can do worse than to get a Tak to hold you over.

Ron

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Leikind [mailto:sleikind@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2000 12:55 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The call came today


Congratulations Ron. I was under the impression that you were giving
into the power of the Dark Side (Takahashi), but its good to hear that
the
Force (AP) is with you. Seriously and if you don't mind my asking,
what made you decide on the 1200 over say an EM-500? I suspect money
is a consideration here? I suppose the NJP doesn't have the capacity
of a 1200.

I appreciate the feedback and advice you've given me and others. I am
far behind you in telecope mount acquisition, but trying to follow in
your footsteps. I have an AP-400 on order which I intend to use as my
travel/take anywhere mount for telephoto lenses and scopes up to a
Tak-Epsilon 160mm in size. I have been on the wait list for an AP-900,
but if the Tak Goto is up to snuff, I may go with an NJP instead.
Other owners of this mount seem to echo your views about its smoothness
and freedom from backlash.

-Steve

"ron wodaski" <ron-@...> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=470
OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

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Re: The call came today

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>
 

Lucky, indeed, and quite grateful. <G> Thanks to all who responded.

Ron

-----Original Message-----
From: Colt Bednorz [mailto:colt@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2000 1:13 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The call came today


Ron,
You are very lucky. I think I was second to last a couple of weeks
ago. Either it's a new production run or someone got bumped.
But who cares, it is good news either way.
Colt

Ron Wodaski wrote:

OK, need to share some news with folks who will understand.

Got email from AP today, my number came up for a 1200 GTO mount.

I said yes.

Counting the days.....

Ron Wodaski

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Re: The call came today

Ken Sablinsky <ksablin@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Hyndman

Hey Ken,

FWI: I got a call about 2 weeks ago from AP (for a 1200), having put my
name on the >notification July or August of '99 (I think). My name came up a
lot sooner than I >anticipated, but I turned it down, realizing a 900 would
better suit my needs.

Paul
Cool - I'm one closer! I was just curious. I don't expect to be called
this production run (and maybe not the next ;-) I put my name in around the
second week of January this year. I'm on the list for the 1200 and the 900
but I'd rather have the 1200. Even though I don't have a scope now that
needs this big of a mount, I want to anticipate any future aperture upgrades
<g>.

Thanks for the info (and Ron, for yours as well.)
-Ken Sablinsky


Re: The call came today

Paul Hyndman <pghyndman@...>
 

Hey Ken,
 
FWI: I got a call about 2 weeks ago from AP (for a 1200), having put my name on the notification July or August of '99 (I think). My name came up a lot sooner than I anticipated, but I turned it down, realizing a 900 would better suit my needs.
 
Paul
 
PS: My 600 arrived earlier this week (ordered through Company Seven last July)... time to start playing with the Digital Sky Voice (way cool)!
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2000 11:46 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: The call came today

Ron, I'm curious - when did you put your name on the notification list for
the 1200?

-Ken