Date   

Re: leveling the RAPAS on Mach2

Jeffc
 



On Dec 23, 2020, at 10:21 AM, Don Anderson via groups.io <jockey_ca@...> wrote:


The AP portable pier has quite a bit of adjustment range using the turnbuckles for leveling the top plate.


Don - I was going to mention the slight leveling capability, but it is not relevant to the OP (fixed wood Tak tripod) and is tangential to the topic.

Fwiw, I find using the turnbuckles only gives me a tiny amount of movement.  
In the 15 years I’ve been setting up the portable pier w/ AP1200 at a location for public outreach the pavement is never flat enough and I need a shim.   I’ve given up on the turnbuckles, and just shim it.  Much faster setup time. 

Don Anderson


On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 10:00:40 a.m. MST, Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:


Fwiw...  I use an AP portable pier which does not have level adjustment.   I’m more concerned with weight imbalance but I also prefer a level pier when imagining.   

So... I level the pier with a plastic bubble level (or iPhone measure app) and some thin hardwood “shims” under one (or two) of legs as needed.  

-jeff 


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

Bill Long
 

I should also add that APCC movements are not affected by this change, so if you use the "buttons" in APCC to move the mount, they will work at the proper speed selected. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 9:55 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes
 
SN 4298 is new enough to use Keypad V5. It is not released yet though. 

You can install P02-08, but if you do the keypad button movement for 1200x is not accessible due to the change in the controller. Slews will still be fine, but the button movements wont. This will be solved when Keypad V5 is released for CP4 users.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 9:51 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes
 
I want to make sure I understand Marj's comment above. Are you saying that for those of us with older keypads and software versions (mine is S/N 4298 GTO with software version 4.19.2), we should wait until the new keypad software is released and installed before loading the new version P02-08 into our GTOCP4 ?


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

Bill Long
 

SN 4298 is new enough to use Keypad V5. It is not released yet though. 

You can install P02-08, but if you do the keypad button movement for 1200x is not accessible due to the change in the controller. Slews will still be fine, but the button movements wont. This will be solved when Keypad V5 is released for CP4 users.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 9:51 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes
 
I want to make sure I understand Marj's comment above. Are you saying that for those of us with older keypads and software versions (mine is S/N 4298 GTO with software version 4.19.2), we should wait until the new keypad software is released and installed before loading the new version P02-08 into our GTOCP4 ?


Re: Version P02-08 now available for GTOCP4 and GTOCP5 control boxes

M Hambrick
 

I want to make sure I understand Marj's comment above. Are you saying that for those of us with older keypads and software versions (mine is S/N 4298 GTO with software version 4.19.2), we should wait until the new keypad software is released and installed before loading the new version P02-08 into our GTOCP4 ?


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Dale Ghent
 

On Dec 23, 2020, at 21:29, John <obee11@gmail.com> wrote:

I thought the offset for the Pacific time zone is UTC -8 China is UTC +8 I'm not sure why the powers to be started using UTC instead of GMT (as in GMT -8). Doesn't the offset convert
Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) to my Pacific local time.zone? If it's 2200 in Greenwich England, than it is 2200 - 8.00 hrs or 1400 here in NV... UTC -7 during the summer Thanks!
Yes, GMT offset is negative to the west, so you are correct there.

UTC and GMT are indeed equivalent, and it might be confusing why both exist when on the surface they seem to be the same thing. But there is a subtle yet important difference - GMT is an actual time zone, where UTC is not. Time zones are the equivalent of political boundaries, but for time. They can change, they are mutable as political, cultural, or other human wants dictate. UTC will always be UTC. It is a fixed, universal time coordinate. Right now, UTC and GMT are the same time reference. It might be in the future that the definition of GMT could change for whatever reason and, if that comes to pass, UTC clocks won't care while things that are pegged to GMT might.

(Modern) Computer clocks run on UTC time. It is the operating system's timezone database that is what converts the UTC time to the local time, general for presentation for the user. Whenever a political whim changes the definition of a time zone, that database needs to be updated lest the users in the affected time zone(s) start seeing the wrong local time. It can see many such changes in a year and why it's impractical for such a database to be included in something like the mount hand controller. Tracking and issuing hand controller firmware updates would be a major time sink, not to mention the amount of limited storage space it would consume to the exclusion of more useful code.

If you're always using your mount with ASCOM/APCC, but still want to use the keypad, then just set the keypad's auto-connect parameter to EXT. This will cause the keypad to NOT be the initializer of the mount and defer to an EXTernal thing to do that job, such as the A-P ASCOM driver or APCC. If your computer's clock is correct and you have the proper timezone specified for under your site's configuration in APCC, then you will not have to worry about manually updating your mount's notion of what local time it is.

/dale


Re: Precise polar alignment of the azimuth axis

Steven Panish
 

John,
You might also try the SharpCap polar alignment.  It is simple to do (uses the imaging train) and very accurate as far as I can tell.  I prefer it to drift.

Steve

On Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 6:40 PM John <obee11@...> wrote:
Aloha Steve,

  Thanks, I will look into that!

  Spent all day (about 7 hrs) looking at drift alignment theory and trying to get my bearings.  I understand it better now.

  Seems like the drift align will be a lot easier sitting down with a camera (then doing it with a cross-hair eyepiece). May start off with PHD2 first
and then try the drift align (first with the star on the meridian/equator followed by the second star close to the horizon.  Then check what the RAPAS is showing.


Re: Triple Piggy Back works!

Roland Christen
 

That's crazy Stuck out tongue closed eyes but if it works, why not.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Bresler via groups.io <PABresler@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Dec 23, 2020 7:08 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Triple Piggy Back works!

Triple piggy works! Shot taken with the SV80 as shown. Weights are nearly maxed out.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Ray Gralak
 

John,

If you correctly initialized the mount with the keypad, then APCC just sends coordinates to the mount. If mount goes in the wrong direction, that implies the keypad initialization was incorrect.

What happens if you let APCC initialize the mount with the keypad not connected? For this test to mean something you must make sure APCC was synched to the mount the last time the mount was powered off.

To make sure you are sending accurate RA/Dec coordinates, you can use a planetarium program to invoke mount slews.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 6:54 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Aloha All,

Just looking at this time zone business. The keypad takes a positive values for the time zone (8 in my case). As a W
was entered earlier to indicate that we are West of the prime
meridian. I think there's another W in there now (the other W being for Winter).. APCC takes either a positive or
negative value for the offset.

I just powered up the mount again with just the keypad (by itself) connected to the gtocp5. The keypad has auto
connect = yes, so it is initializing the mount. The laptop and apcc are not connected
The mount unparks and starts tracking. The initial goto (using just the keypad) works just fine

The only issue I'm seeing (if it is an issue), is in apcc. The only way I can get the initial goto to work in apcc, is by
pressing the 'find home' button first and then execute the goto,
which is no big deal, thanks!

John


Re: Triple Piggy Back works!

Jeff B
 

Boy, and I thought I was pushing the weight limit.  Looks like you're using a shaft extension too.

Jeff

On Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 8:08 PM Peter Bresler via groups.io <PABresler=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Triple piggy works! Shot taken with the SV80 as shown. Weights are nearly maxed out.


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

John
 

Aloha All,

  Just looking at this time zone business.  The keypad takes a positive values for the time zone (8 in my case).  As a W was entered earlier to indicate that we are West of the prime
meridian.  I think there's another W in there now (the other W being for Winter)..  APCC takes either a positive or negative value for the offset.

  I just powered up the mount again with just the keypad (by itself) connected to the gtocp5.  The keypad has auto connect = yes, so it is initializing the mount.  The laptop and apcc are not connected
The mount unparks and starts tracking.  The initial goto (using just the keypad) works just fine

  The only issue I'm seeing (if it is an issue), is in apcc.  The only way I can get the initial goto to work in apcc, is by pressing the 'find home' button first and then execute the goto,
which is no big deal, thanks!

      John


Re: leveling the RAPAS on Mach2

weihaowang
 

Thank you, Roland.  This solves my problem.


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

John
 

Aloha All,

  Got the new ver 1.8.8.9 of apcc installed.  The mount is still doing the same thing.  Plug in the power adapter, connected via ethernet, the drivers all connect ok, the
mount unparks automatically from Park 3, and starts tracking.  I enter the coordinates for Capella, press the goto button in apcc and the RA slews about 4 hrs (CW shaft pointed
slightly to the East). and the DEC wants to slew completely around to the south.

  So, I stop the slew.  Park it back to Park 3.  Click the 'find home' button, confirm that by clicking  'yes'  I think this causes the mount to unpark (which is ok).  Then do another
goto, and the mount slews to Capella.

  I thought the offset for the Pacific time zone is UTC -8  China is UTC +8    I'm not sure why the powers to be started using UTC instead of GMT (as in GMT -8).  Doesn't the offset convert
Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) to my Pacific local time.zone?  If it's 2200 in Greenwich England, than it is 2200 - 8.00 hrs or 1400 here in NV...    UTC -7 during the summer    Thanks!

      John


Re: Triple Piggy Back Works!

Robert Sinitiere <bobstar9@...>
 

Well now you’ve done it, now I will have to place a quadruple piggyback on my AP SCOPE! Just kidding, your imaging set-up is magnificent and so are your images!

🎄🎄🎄⛄️Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!⛄️🧐🔭🎼🎄⛄️.  Bob S in Baton Rouge.    Stay safe!


On Dec 23, 2020, at 7:12 PM, Peter Bresler via groups.io <PABresler@...> wrote:



[Edited Message Follows]

Triple piggy back works! Shot taken with the SV80, weights are nearly maxed out.
<20201223_140214.jpg>
<IC 1805 Heart Nebula HHSO.jpg>


Re: Triple Piggy Back Works!

Jeffrey Wolff
 

Which mount do you have loaded up. I currently have the AP900 but waiting on the AP1100 so I can piggyback a refractor on my 10 inch f/4 newtonian. 

Your wires look like they have a lot of potential to snag. Looks like you have a roll away shed. I also use one.

Jeff


Re: Triple Piggy Back Works!

Frank Widmann
 

I’m not impressed with the image, particularly with an 80 mm scope. AP cautions against large moments of inertia. You are moving the center of gravity a long way from the RA axis. Even with good balance that creates a high inertia load. You have created a real cable management nightmare. All those wires add weight, affect balance and are snag opportunities. 

Frank

On Dec 23, 2020, at 5:12 PM, Peter Bresler via groups.io <PABresler@...> wrote:



[Edited Message Follows]

Triple piggy back works! Shot taken with the SV80, weights are nearly maxed out.
<20201223_140214.jpg>
<IC 1805 Heart Nebula HHSO.jpg>


Re: Triple Piggy Back Works!

Frank Widmann
 

AP has an extension for the counterweight shaft.

Frank

On Dec 23, 2020, at 5:12 PM, Peter Bresler via groups.io <PABresler@...> wrote:



[Edited Message Follows]

Triple piggy back works! Shot taken with the SV80, weights are nearly maxed out.
<20201223_140214.jpg>
<IC 1805 Heart Nebula HHSO.jpg>


Triple Piggy Back Works!

Peter Bresler
 
Edited

Triple piggy back works! Shot taken with the SV80, weights are nearly maxed out.


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Roland Christen
 

If that's in the keypad, a -8 puts you somewhere in India or China.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: John <obee11@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Dec 23, 2020 6:03 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

Aloha Ray and Dominique,

  Oops, I'm using ver 1.8.8.3.  I'll get the new version installed tonight.  The site location coordinates look good and the time offset is -8.00 for the Pacific time zone.
I'll double check the 'mount location' info in the "Site Tab" after installing the new version and re-connecting to the mount (via Ethernet).  I'm not connected to the mount right now

  What I meant about the keypad, was that I was using the keypad by itself (in stand alone mode with no laptop and no apcc).  As another test (for a goto), I powered up the mount with
just the keypad connected and all the initial gotos worked fine (no nose dive).  I haven't tried using both apcc and the keypad set to EXT yet. 

  I'll reply back after the 1.8.8.9 update,  No big deal if I have to use the 'find home' button first in apcc.  Last night I was thinking that maybe the initial goto nose dives in apcc had to do with me
removing power every night.  Thanks!!

      John

 
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Initial GoTo In APCC Pro Cause Nose or Tail Dive

John
 

Aloha Ray and Dominique,

  Oops, I'm using ver 1.8.8.3.  I'll get the new version installed tonight.  The site location coordinates look good and the time offset is -8.00 for the Pacific time zone.
I'll double check the 'mount location' info in the "Site Tab" after installing the new version and re-connecting to the mount (via Ethernet).  I'm not connected to the mount right now

  What I meant about the keypad, was that I was using the keypad by itself (in stand alone mode with no laptop and no apcc).  As another test (for a goto), I powered up the mount with
just the keypad connected and all the initial gotos worked fine (no nose dive).  I haven't tried using both apcc and the keypad set to EXT yet. 

  I'll reply back after the 1.8.8.9 update,  No big deal if I have to use the 'find home' button first in apcc.  Last night I was thinking that maybe the initial goto nose dives in apcc had to do with me
removing power every night.  Thanks!!

      John

 
 


Re: Precise polar alignment of the azimuth axis

John
 

Aloha Steve,

  Thanks, I will look into that!

  Spent all day (about 7 hrs) looking at drift alignment theory and trying to get my bearings.  I understand it better now.

  Seems like the drift align will be a lot easier sitting down with a camera (then doing it with a cross-hair eyepiece). May start off with PHD2 first
and then try the drift align (first with the star on the meridian/equator followed by the second star close to the horizon.  Then check what the RAPAS is showing.

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