Date   

Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

Rich N. <rnapo@...>
 

Yes, AP does list 6.5" tube rings. They are much
nicer than a set of Parallax rings I have for a FC-100.

Rich

markdambrosi-@webtv.net wrote:
Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy" Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark


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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

John Gleason
 

Mark,

It would seem unlikely that your AP 15-inch dovetail plate would work on
the 1200 mount. But you should check with AP to be sure.
I use the 24-inch saddle plate to support a 7/7 refractor on the 1200, and
the 18-inch plate to support the 6/7. Solid as a rock. As for the
rings -- AP rings are matched in style and bolt pattern.

John Gleason, dvj@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~dvj/


----------

From: MarkDambrosio@webtv.net
To: ap-gto@egroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use
Date: Monday, August 30, 1999 2:45 PM

markdambrosi-@webtv.net wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=130
Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand
controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop)
Mark:

My mount was pretty easy to use right out of the box. However, the
alignment process can be a bit frustrating at first, especially if you
don't have an orthogonal setup (if you have a non-AP scope this may be
the case). I would strongly recommend getting the polar alignment
scope. You can get excellent alignment for visual work, and will only
need minor adjustments if you want very high precision pointing.

Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy" Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark


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Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use

MarkDambrosio@...
 

markdambrosi-@webtv.net wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=142
Mark,

It would seem unlikely that your AP 15-inch dovetail plate would work
on
the 1200 mount. But you should check with AP to be sure.
I use the 24-inch saddle plate to support a 7/7 refractor on the
1200, and
the 18-inch plate to support the 6/7. Solid as a rock. As for the
rings -- AP rings are matched in style and bolt pattern.

John Gleason, dvj@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~dvj/


----------
From: MarkDambrosio@webtv.net
To: ap-gto@egroups.com
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: GOTO Mounts, Ease of use
Date: Monday, August 30, 1999 2:45 PM

markdambrosi-@webtv.net wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=130
Just curious, have those of you who have the AP GOTO mounts,
i would like to ask how you found their ease of use when you
first
got
them? (I'll probably be using mine with just the hand
controller
at first, due to a lack of a laptop)
Mark:

My mount was pretty easy to use right out of the box. However,
the
alignment process can be a bit frustrating at first, especially
if you
don't have an orthogonal setup (if you have a non-AP scope this
may be
the case). I would strongly recommend getting the polar alignment
scope. You can get excellent alignment for visual work, and will
only
need minor adjustments if you want very high precision pointing.

Derek Wong Hi Derek,
One thing i would like to do is possibly replace the "Cheesy"
Parallax
tube rings, and buy a set of the AP tube rings. The Apomax has an OD
tube dia. of 6.5" AP does list a set of this size. Quality of the AP
rings, i assume should be vastly superior to the Parallax rings. I
do
have a brand new AP 15" Dovetail Plate/Slide bar. I imagine this
will
work on the 1200 mount, No? Mark

Hi John. You are correct. An e-mail reply from Roland himself
confirms this. Thanks, Mark


New RGB Images

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

Hi all,

I've posted some new images with the AP600 at

http://sciastro.net/flashca

The images are tricolor, using the ST7E camera. Both images were
made from suburban Los Angeles in bright moonlight last week. They
are selfguided. Tracking was good, but not good enough for these
long exposures. Quite a lot of color in M13 that I did not expect.

Bob Kuberek


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

GrayFox65@...
 

Paul,

Greetings from Fredericksburg. I noticed from a previous posting, on S.A.A I
think, that you live in nearby Williamsburg. What a marvelous historic
locale. My wife and I have visited there many times---we love the
architecture so well that we designed our house based on the Williamsburg
story-and-a-half style, complete with dormer windows on the upper floor.
Hope the seeing is good there---although truly good seeing seems to be a
rarity in Virginia, at least in the more settled areas.

You didn't mention which alignment method you are having trouble with:
Polaris, two-star or simulated star-drift. Unfortunately, because I live
among trees, I can't see to the North so I can't use the Polaris method, and
I can't see to the East so I can't use the two-star method. I'm stuck with
the simulated star drift method and can therefore only give advice on that
method. However, although it took me awhile, it does work extremely well
once mastered.

Nor did you mention eyepiece/magnification. I seem to recall that the
default N/S/E/W button speed is 64X, which, for me at least, isn't a problem
at low magnification. I always start the alignment process using a 55mm
Plossl, and ratchet up the magnification once I'm close. It takes several
seconds for a star to traverse the Plossl's 2.5 degree field at 64X. The
only eyepiece that gives me a little trouble is my 3mm Radian. At 365X,
stars do scoot by quickly. But even then, if one "taps" the N/S/E/W buttons
rather than holding them down, one can place the alignment star near the
center of the field fairly reliably.

Could it be that your controller is defective and is somehow erroneously
changing itself to a higher speed, say 300X, 600X or 1200X, rather than
staying set at 64X or at the slower settings you are entering?

Don't know what other problems you have encountered in getting precise
alignment. Fortunately, I don't have much orthogonality error. My 155 EDF,
rings, dovetail plate and Maxbright are all pretty well square. The biggest
barrier I've found is one that several of the first GTO mount owners
mentioned in the early going: loosening and then retightening the altitude
and azimuth bolts during alignment tends to move the alignment star out of
dead center in a high power eyepeice---just enough to be aggrevating. Early
on, someone suggested using two hex wrenches rather than one to tighten the
azimuth bolts simultaneously. This does indeed reduce the problem for me,
but it doesn't eliminate it completely. Also, tightening the altitude bolts
can cause some change of alignment.

However, with care one can approach perfection. As I've gotten better at
this, I've become rather insistent on putting things near the center of the
3mm Radian every time. Once one gets to that point---and it took me well
over six months to get there, during which time I made just about every
mistake that can be made---using the AP GTO mount (I have the 600E) is great
fun. My interest in observing has never been higher.

Best wishes,
Michael Masters


Can't adjust speed when aligning

Paul Gustafson <drgus@...>
 

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
centered very difficult. I'm tired of shooting back and forth and back and
forth until I finally get the star close to being centered.

Am I being obtuse? It's probably something simple I'm missing, but I can't
find it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, did anyone else see the shadow transit this morning, right in the
middle of the GRS?

Regards,
Paul Gustafson

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars
makes me dream..." -- Van Gogh


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

Paul Gustafson wrote:

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
I've wondered about this myself, but haven't figured it out. The only thing I
know
is that the older firmware didn't do this, which is the main reason I haven't
upgraded yet.

Bob Kuberek


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

HOWARD L LAZARUS <LAZHOW@...>
 

Hi Bob;

Just wondered about the firmware. i am still on the original firmware and
have no problem in adjusting the slew speed , that is , it never reverts
back to 64X uinless i wish it so.
My question to you what is different about the new firmware and to my
knowledge i have never gotten notice from AP inviting me to make the change
over???
Can you fill me in.
Thanks
Howard lazarus

----- Original Message -----
From: RCK <rkuberek@ix.netcom.com>
To: <ap-gto@egroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 1999 8:18 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning


Paul Gustafson wrote:

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to
adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter
what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
I've wondered about this myself, but haven't figured it out. The only
thing I
know
is that the older firmware didn't do this, which is the main reason I
haven't
upgraded yet.

Bob Kuberek


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Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

HOWARD L LAZARUS wrote:
Hi Bob;

Just wondered about the firmware. i am still on the original firmware and
have no problem in adjusting the slew speed , that is , it never reverts
back to 64X uinless i wish it so.
My question to you what is different about the new firmware and to my
knowledge i have never gotten notice from AP inviting me to make the change
over???


Howard,

You might want to call Christine and ask. I'm not sure if I got an "official"
notice, but I'm pretty sure that Mark Wilson did. I also saw a post a while
back from Charles Sinsofsky (who, I believe, designed the firmware) that there
would be a new, new release and to wait a little longer for it. One important
difference in the new firmware, I think, is that you no longer need to slew
*manually* back to the initial calibration star when recalibrating in N-Polar
Align model.

Here is the text of Charles' post on 7/31:

Hello All,
   This most likly applies to all goto people, so the latest hand controller
code is 2.5, but i am finnishing 2.6 which will be a very bug [sic] upgrade new
features etc.

 ok first, how long to upgrade a hand controller, i suggest everyone wait
just little longer the new chip code is finnished and i am now in trhe
prcoess of setting up the internet based upgrading of the hand contorller
the chips will most likly be available from a/p in late september and soon
after the web based update system will be in place and it will be very easy
to use, I will design it that way.

 So I hope this answers some questions concerning the hand controller.

Maybe Charles would give us a status report?

Bob Kuberek


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

RCK wrote:

HOWARD L LAZARUS wrote:

Hi Bob;

Just wondered about the firmware. i am still on the original firmware and
have no problem in adjusting the slew speed , that is , it never reverts
back to 64X uinless i wish it so.
My question to you what is different about the new firmware and to my
knowledge i have never gotten notice from AP inviting me to make the change
over???
Howard,

Further to this, the letter I received from AP dated May 27 mentions the keypad
upgrade prominently. It also lists the revisions by date and function. The 11-2-98 version
2.2 upgrade added a feature to change the button rate at five additional places.
According to this, you can push the +- key to bring up a screen to change the
button rate while in the Pick Star and Cal Star screens. Maybe this will help.

Bob Kuberek


Tricking the 1200 GTO on the time

Bobby Middleton <bobm@...>
 

This post is a cross-post with the AP users-group. Both it
and this group are having light traffic now so I've posted on
both hoping to get a faster response.

I've been told that there is a way to re-set something, probably
the time, so that one can avoid twirl around to the other side
of the AP GTO mounts. I realize the reason for this is to avoid hitting the
OTA
into the pier or tripod, but my goal is to be set up shooting for the
western side
of the mount when starting a long exposure. Right now I am shooting 3
hour exposures of the cocoon nebula (ic 5146) and for the first exposure
early in the night the mount will slew to the eastern side. (OTA on the west
side looking east)
Near the end of the exposure it gets the tube very close
to my pier. If I can start this exposure some way
on the western side (OTA on the east side looking west)
then my problem will be fixed. I once had the fix for this in my
files but a computer crash fixed that!
Thanks for any info,



Bobby Middleton

http://www.koyote.com/users/bobm/astro1.htm


AP 600E Polar Alignment Question

Jim Fakatselis <jfakatse@...>
 

Thought I'd pose a question to the group.
My AP 600EGTO hand controller has version 2.2 and my manual is dated
11/2/98. Method 1 suggests a star greater than +/- 4 hrs RA from the
pole Why in the first method of polar alignment does the manual state
that Arcturus is not a good star for aligning since it is too close to
Polaris in RA? Polaris has an RA around 2 H, Arcturus is around 15 H,
what am I missing?
Also, are the upgrades to the servo box and hand controller going to be
available soon? I can't wait.
Would anyone volunteer any method to get a closer polar alignment
besides Method 1? Every time I try to align and try to refine via an
additional iteration as stated in the manual, it doesn't get much
better. Can anyone help?
I have read Roland's modified method but I need to get past Method 1 and
get close before I refine.

Thanks in advance,
Jim Fakatselis


Re: AP 600E Polar Alignment Question

RCK <rkuberek@...>
 

Jim Fakatselis wrote:

Thought I'd pose a question to the group.
My AP 600EGTO hand controller has version 2.2 and my manual is dated
11/2/98. Method 1 suggests a star greater than +/- 4 hrs RA from the
Jim,

You didn't say whether you were having trouble with tracking or with pointing.
If it's pointing, you may also want to look at the orthogonality of your setup.

I use method 1 (N-Polar calibrate) exclusively, and ususally end up with only
2-3 sec. of drift in either axis over a 10 minute period. This is ok for me since
I am using either the T&A or self-guided modes of the ST7. Here is a track list
from my 10 min. T&A run on NGC 6946 last week. Pixel scale is 1 sec. per
pixel. The first column is DEC and the second column is RA. I had used Deneb
for alignment, and iterated about 5 times.

Version = 1
Snapshots = 20
Snapshot_time = 30.00
Temperature = -4.82
Height = 510
Width = 765
Offset = 0
0,0
0,-1
0,-1
-1,-2
-1,-1
-1,-1
-1,-1
-1,-1
-1,-3
-2,-3
-2,-4
-2,-4
-3,-3
-3,-3
-3,-3
-3,-4
-3,-5
-3,-5
-4,-6
-3,-6
End

I don't know the answer to the Arcturus puzzle, except that Arcturus doesn't
work well for me either, so I avoid it. Perhaps it is because Arcturus is almost
exactly 12 hours in RA from Polaris.

As for iterating, this works great for me and the more iterations I do the better
the alignment gets. Charles S. has suggested iterating on one star until it's good
then picking a second star on the other side and re-running the N-Polar alignment
procedure using the second star.

Bob Kuberek


Re: Tricking the 1200 GTO on the time

Philip Perkins <philip@...>
 

to my pier. If I can start this exposure some way
on the western side (OTA on the east side looking west)
then my problem will be fixed. I once had the fix for this in my
files but a computer crash fixed that!
Thanks for any info,
Hello Bobby
You can set the time plus or minus from the correct local time, which has
the effect of moving the meridian where you want in the sky. I use 2 hours
offset quite regularly, sometimes up to 3. It works very well - just be
careful not to hit the pier, but you know that one already.
--Philip

Philip Perkins - philip@astrocruise.com
Wiltshire UK & Luberon France
Astrocruise - http://www.astrocruise.com


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

Philip Perkins <philip@...>
 

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
centered very difficult. I'm tired of shooting back and forth and back and
forth until I finally get the star close to being centered.
Paul, I think this is a known bug. I have a very similar thing with
version 2.4. Except that I steer well clear of the iterative routines,
which are hopeless unless you have excellent orthogonality of the optics
with the mount. I notice the same thing when I do a Recal (button 9) - the
star veers off in an RA direction and the guide speed changes. That, I am
afraid, is a bug. Charles said that it was being fixed in 2.5

Regards
--Philip

Philip Perkins - philip@astrocruise.com
Wiltshire UK & Luberon France
Astrocruise - http://www.astrocruise.com


Re: AP 600E Polar Alignment Question

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

Hi Jim:

Method 1 suggests a star greater than +/- 4 hrs RA from the
pole Why in the first method of polar alignment does the manual state
that Arcturus is not a good star for aligning since it is too close to
Polaris in RA? Polaris has an RA around 2 H, Arcturus is around 15 H,
what am I missing?
Perhaps Charles could comment, but I think what the manual should state
is that the best alignment stars should be 4-8 hr. RA from the pole,
preferably at declinations below 0. Arcturus is nearly opposite Polaris
(close to 12 hrs. away) and would take several iterations to work
properly.

Previously, Charles indicated that a new two star alignement would be
available which sounds very promising.

Would anyone volunteer any method to get a closer polar alignment
besides Method 1? Every time I try to align and try to refine via an
additional iteration as stated in the manual, it doesn't get much
better. Can anyone help?
Get the polar alignement scope--it's the easiest way.

Also, check your orthogonality.

Derek


Re: AP 600E Polar Alignment Question

jfakatse@...
 

Get the polar alignement scope--it's the easiest way.

Also, check your orthogonality.

Derek
Hi Derek,
I have the polar alignment scope but I have not installed it yet. I
understand that it first needs to be aligned coaxial with the RA axis
then it can be usedproperly. Any tips on getting it coaxial? I have a
lot of trees in my back yard and can't sight a far away HV insulator.
Could it be aligned at night?
Also seems confusing on the polar reticle. What stars correspond to the
reticle marks? It's not clear from the documentation.
Thanks for your assistance.
Regards,
Jim


Re: AP 600E Polar Alignment Question

Derek Wong <dawong@...>
 

I have the polar alignment scope but I have not installed it yet. I
understand that it first needs to be aligned coaxial with the RA axis
then it can be usedproperly. Any tips on getting it coaxial?
There should be some instructions, and I poseted my thoughts on message
#2 of this e-group.

I have a
lot of trees in my back yard and can't sight a far away HV insulator.
Could it be aligned at night?
I think it would be very difficult. Perhaps you can set up during the
day in front of your house just to align the scope--then you could sight
something far away.

Also seems confusing on the polar reticle. What stars correspond to the
reticle marks? It's not clear from the documentation.
If you look at a map, it is confusing. Alpha, Delta, and Beta
correspond to Polaris, Delta Ursae Minoris, and Beta Ursae Minoris
(sorry, I forgot their common names). When you look through the scope,
turn the axes so that Polaris and Delta are in their respective
circles. The dashed line will point toward Beta, which is out of the
field.

If you look at a map, the angles don't match--the reason is that the
polar scope is a refractor and the image is reversed. Since you are
looking at the Alpha-Delta line directly through the scope and the
Alpha-Beta line naked eye, this illusion is created.

Anyway, good luck--my illuminator just went out, so no polar alignment
for me!

Derek


Re: AP 600E Polar Alignment Question

visonneau-vincent <visonneau-vin@...>
 

Hello

Also, check your orthogonality.
What can i do to verify orthogonality.I have a C8 and a ap900 gto and
i have some problems with the precisions of pointing of the mount.
When i press Rcal to recalibrate on a star (for exemple deneb) then i
can slew to another star (for exemple polaris).Polaris is away of the
center of the ocular.If i press Rcal 3,4 or 5 times (with different
star) on the same night then i slew to polaris,i can't see polaris
with the ocular:the precision is decreasing!!!
What's wrong,orthogonality or else?
Is the horizontality important with the polar alignement scope?
Bye
Vincent FRANCE


Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning

Charles Sinsofsky <strfire@...>
 

Hello Everyone,

Sorry I did not respond to these questions right away, I have been VERY
busy with DSV 3.0, the upcoming downloadable Hand controller code. a new
chip will be required for your mounts but you will all be able to use thew
web site now to download the hand controller code as I bring it out. 2.6 is
well on the way to being completed.

As to changing the button speed, remember there is a somewhat hidden menu,
when ever you can press the buttons say at alignment mode, you can press the
'+-' button to bring up a speical hidden menu that allows you to adjust the
button speads from the slowest to the highest by presssing the next and
previous buttons then press the 'menu' button and you will return to exact
position you left off but the hand controller buttons will now slew the
scope much slower or faster if you like.

- charles sinsofsky

----- Original Message -----
From: RCK <rkuberek@ix.netcom.com>
To: <ap-gto@egroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 1999 8:18 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Can't adjust speed when aligning


Paul Gustafson wrote:

When polar aligning, a constant frustration for me is my inability to
adjust
the N/E/W/S button speed when centering the alignment star. No matter
what
speed I pick at the initial screen, as soon as I enter the alignment
routine, the button speed increases and makes getting the alignment star
I've wondered about this myself, but haven't figured it out. The only
thing I
know
is that the older firmware didn't do this, which is the main reason I
haven't
upgraded yet.

Bob Kuberek


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