Date   

Re: Airline Travel

Roland Christen
 

 
I don't think the Mach II breaks down into separate pieces like the 1100 does
The RA and Dec don't separate but you can remove the RA axis from the bottom end by removing the 6 screws that hold them together. The RA + Dec axes by themselves weigh 29 lb. The bottom end is another 10lb. When you get to your destination, you can re-assemble the bottom section, for expediency use just the top and bottom screws, leave the middle ones out.
 
Rolando
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Hambrick via Groups.Io <mike.hambrick@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Mar 6, 2020 9:59 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Airline Travel

Hi Dave

I travel quite a lot for my job, predominantly international and (luckily) business class. The airlines are very strict about the weight limit of each piece of luggage. In the US the limit for checked luggage is 50 pounds per piece, and if you go over that limit you are going to pay a hefty fee. That is why you will often see people at ticket counters repacking their luggage while everyone behind them waits. In Europe, the weight limit is 25 KG (about 55 lbs).

It is probably a safe option to check your Mach II mount provided you have good cases for it. I don't think the Mach II breaks down into separate pieces like the 1100 does, so you wlii likely need one case for the mount and another for the counterweights. There was a good series of posts on the forum several months ago (Look at the Feb 2019) from a member who showed how he made some nice carrying cases for his 1100 mount using Rigid tool boxes.

As for carrying on your OTA, just be aware that because the airlines now charge an extra fee for each piece of checked luggage, you now see more and more people trying to squeeze all their items into a carry-on. This creates a real problem because the overhead bins will fill up very quickly, and unless you are one of the first passengers to board, you will be out of luck. You would probably be OK with a 92 mm Stowaway or 130 mm Gran Turismo if you had to fit them underneath your seat, but if they don't fit, you may be forced to gate check your carry-ons. This is a less bad option than checking your bags because there is normally no charge to do this, and the bag is less likely to get lost. It can still be very nerve-wracking to if you happen to watch how the luggage handlers treat the gate checked bags. They are not gentle.

Don't forget that you will need to pack clothes and other personal items. I would guess that if you want to take an OTA and mount to a star party, you will have 3 pieces of checked luggage, one carry on, and your personal item. You did not mention if you were bringing a camera. Don't just show up at the airport with 3 pieces of checked luggage. You should make arrangements ahead of time with the airline so that they know you will have extra luggage.

The A-P folks do quite a lot of traveling to star parties and conferences with all of their gear. They can probably offer some good advice as well. Marj once told me that when they go to their vacation home in Hawaii they ship a lot of their gear ahead of time.

Good luck.




Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...


Closing the loop: PEMPro Dec backlash question

Mike Dodd
 

Let's put this thread to bed. Clearly I need to learn more about what
my system is doing.
Good news! I just finished a PEMPro backlash analysis, and the triangle wave looks perfect -- no flat tops and no overshoot.

So there is no need for me to set any backlash compensation in MaxIm or in the ASCOM driver.

I'm very pleased. My old 1200 is still at the top of its game.

--- Mike


Re: Encoder Differences between Mach2 and AP1100

Allen Ruckle
 

Clearly a lot of thought went into the design features of the next generation A/P Mach2 GTO mount.  They need to stay ahead of the competition.  


Re: Encoder Differences between Mach2 and AP1100

Wayne Hixson
 

Thanks! I can verify through my experience with the Mach2 that it does retain its position. This is a nice feature given how many times on my Mach1 I had to loosen clutches, manually park and resume from park , and then goto and reposition and recalibrate. 


Re: Encoder Differences between Mach2 and AP1100

Allen Ruckle
 

It is my understanding the location in the drive train of the Encoders is different between the  AP1100 and the Mach2 GTO.   The Mach2 has them located so that you can move the scope by hand and not loose calibration with the sky model,   The AP 1100 Encoders are in a location with the relation to the clutches that, if moved by hand you do loose calibration with the sky model.   

I was unable to find the text in the description of the new Mach2 Gto, however it's in there somewhere.

aruckle


Encoder Differences between Mach2 and AP1100

Wayne Hixson
 

I was curious for anyone familiar with the AP1100with AE. Does that mount allow you to move the axes by hand and not lose position as with the Mach2? My friend that bought the 1100 was asking. 


Re: Notified!😍 #Mach2GTO

Wayne Hixson
 

PS Did you find a serial number on the mount? I know it’s supposed to be the same as the CP5 but thought it would be on the mount too


On Mar 7, 2020, at 8:26 AM, Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io <wayneh9026@...> wrote:

Congratulations Terri, hope you get a chance to try it soon under dark skies, which I’m also impatiently awaiting. I’d planned to do more setup outside today until the dry forecast mysteriously changed to Chance of Showers. (Thinking Seattle should be renamed “Chance of Showers”. Somewhat surprisingly we have a pretty large and active astronomy community here and a great local retailer in Cloud Break Optics).

It’s straightforward to modify the driver settings when you go to APCC. You’ll have APCC create a couple virtual ports (George recommended higher COM ports like COM21 and COM22,  to avoid potential conflicts). Then click the Use APCC Virtual Port box in the driver and select COM21 for example. You’ll then launch APCC to connect to the mount 

I have a partially occluded setup under the eaves of my house and complex horizon of trees and houses, so I like APCC for its Horizon and Meridian mapping and meridian flip flexibility. I’ve also used it with its Horizon module to track asteroids and comets. 

Congrats again, looking forward to more reports. 

Wayne


On Mar 7, 2020, at 7:18 AM, Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...> wrote:



Thanks guys, I have received the mount and it’s all together and up and running.    I’ve installed the v2 ascom driver and gotten that working with cartes du ciel.   This was all pretty fast and no troubles.   I use EQMOD so it’s all pretty similar.  I’ve yet to try SGP but expect that will work fine.  

I followed the setup instructions for the v2 driver which made that all pretty simple.  

Where things get a bit confusing is with the APCC setup.   I’ve read Ray’s instructions for APCC after having already installed And setup the V2 driver and think they imply a different setup of the v2 driver with virtual ports instead of the com port I used with the built in FTDI chip In the GTOCP5.   I’m sure it’s not  a huge deal to resolve, it’s just confusing.   Right now I’m thinking my first outside work will be with the V2 driver and SGPro and just seeing how well it tracks and runs.   Given I use an ASI 1600 cmos camera my exposures are typically 5 minutes or less.  

Besides the pointing model aspect of APCC/APPM I’m not very clear on what this software does for the user, but I’ve only read the setup so far so need to dive into it more.    

In general the mount is very solid and has zero play that I can feel, so it exudes quality craftsmanship.
The counterweight bar is heavy and balances my stowaway, without a weight, when it has no accessories or imaging setup.    I’m wondering if I need a 5 lb weight to tune the balance for the light scopes.   So far I have only purchased heavier weights.  

So far, very happy with what I have, the real smiles will come when I can experience very good tracking.  I just need some cooperative weather now.


Terri


Re: Notified!😍 #mach2gto #Mach2GTO

Wayne Hixson
 

Congratulations Terri, hope you get a chance to try it soon under dark skies, which I’m also impatiently awaiting. I’d planned to do more setup outside today until the dry forecast mysteriously changed to Chance of Showers. (Thinking Seattle should be renamed “Chance of Showers”. Somewhat surprisingly we have a pretty large and active astronomy community here and a great local retailer in Cloud Break Optics).

It’s straightforward to modify the driver settings when you go to APCC. You’ll have APCC create a couple virtual ports (George recommended higher COM ports like COM21 and COM22,  to avoid potential conflicts). Then click the Use APCC Virtual Port box in the driver and select COM21 for example. You’ll then launch APCC to connect to the mount 

I have a partially occluded setup under the eaves of my house and complex horizon of trees and houses, so I like APCC for its Horizon and Meridian mapping and meridian flip flexibility. I’ve also used it with its Horizon module to track asteroids and comets. 

Congrats again, looking forward to more reports. 

Wayne


On Mar 7, 2020, at 7:18 AM, Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...> wrote:



Thanks guys, I have received the mount and it’s all together and up and running.    I’ve installed the v2 ascom driver and gotten that working with cartes du ciel.   This was all pretty fast and no troubles.   I use EQMOD so it’s all pretty similar.  I’ve yet to try SGP but expect that will work fine.  

I followed the setup instructions for the v2 driver which made that all pretty simple.  

Where things get a bit confusing is with the APCC setup.   I’ve read Ray’s instructions for APCC after having already installed And setup the V2 driver and think they imply a different setup of the v2 driver with virtual ports instead of the com port I used with the built in FTDI chip In the GTOCP5.   I’m sure it’s not  a huge deal to resolve, it’s just confusing.   Right now I’m thinking my first outside work will be with the V2 driver and SGPro and just seeing how well it tracks and runs.   Given I use an ASI 1600 cmos camera my exposures are typically 5 minutes or less.  

Besides the pointing model aspect of APCC/APPM I’m not very clear on what this software does for the user, but I’ve only read the setup so far so need to dive into it more.    

In general the mount is very solid and has zero play that I can feel, so it exudes quality craftsmanship.
The counterweight bar is heavy and balances my stowaway, without a weight, when it has no accessories or imaging setup.    I’m wondering if I need a 5 lb weight to tune the balance for the light scopes.   So far I have only purchased heavier weights.  

So far, very happy with what I have, the real smiles will come when I can experience very good tracking.  I just need some cooperative weather now.


Terri


Re: Notified!😍 #mach2gto #Mach2GTO

Terri Zittritsch
 

Thanks guys, I have received the mount and it’s all together and up and running.    I’ve installed the v2 ascom driver and gotten that working with cartes du ciel.   This was all pretty fast and no troubles.   I use EQMOD so it’s all pretty similar.  I’ve yet to try SGP but expect that will work fine.  

I followed the setup instructions for the v2 driver which made that all pretty simple.  

Where things get a bit confusing is with the APCC setup.   I’ve read Ray’s instructions for APCC after having already installed And setup the V2 driver and think they imply a different setup of the v2 driver with virtual ports instead of the com port I used with the built in FTDI chip In the GTOCP5.   I’m sure it’s not  a huge deal to resolve, it’s just confusing.   Right now I’m thinking my first outside work will be with the V2 driver and SGPro and just seeing how well it tracks and runs.   Given I use an ASI 1600 cmos camera my exposures are typically 5 minutes or less.  

Besides the pointing model aspect of APCC/APPM I’m not very clear on what this software does for the user, but I’ve only read the setup so far so need to dive into it more.    

In general the mount is very solid and has zero play that I can feel, so it exudes quality craftsmanship.
The counterweight bar is heavy and balances my stowaway, without a weight, when it has no accessories or imaging setup.    I’m wondering if I need a 5 lb weight to tune the balance for the light scopes.   So far I have only purchased heavier weights.  

So far, very happy with what I have, the real smiles will come when I can experience very good tracking.  I just need some cooperative weather now.


Terri


Re: Does APCC 1.8.0.2 update disable encoders?

Craig Young
 

Yes, mine is also off when I startup.  But also, I noticed both yours and mine show the home positions as -100H (HA) and -100 degrees (DEC).  Does that mean the AE function needs to be initialized or calibrated?  Also, seems like those numbers are a bit extreme and should be limit checked in the software to something like +/- 6 hours for HA and 0 degrees for DEC.

Craig


Re: Airline Travel

Michael Hambrick <mike.hambrick@...>
 

Hi Dave

I travel quite a lot for my job, predominantly international and (luckily) business class. The airlines are very strict about the weight limit of each piece of luggage. In the US the limit for checked luggage is 50 pounds per piece, and if you go over that limit you are going to pay a hefty fee. That is why you will often see people at ticket counters repacking their luggage while everyone behind them waits. In Europe, the weight limit is 25 KG (about 55 lbs).

It is probably a safe option to check your Mach II mount provided you have good cases for it. I don't think the Mach II breaks down into separate pieces like the 1100 does, so you wlii likely need one case for the mount and another for the counterweights. There was a good series of posts on the forum several months ago (Look at the Feb 2019) from a member who showed how he made some nice carrying cases for his 1100 mount using Rigid tool boxes.

As for carrying on your OTA, just be aware that because the airlines now charge an extra fee for each piece of checked luggage, you now see more and more people trying to squeeze all their items into a carry-on. This creates a real problem because the overhead bins will fill up very quickly, and unless you are one of the first passengers to board, you will be out of luck. You would probably be OK with a 92 mm Stowaway or 130 mm Gran Turismo if you had to fit them underneath your seat, but if they don't fit, you may be forced to gate check your carry-ons. This is a less bad option than checking your bags because there is normally no charge to do this, and the bag is less likely to get lost. It can still be very nerve-wracking to if you happen to watch how the luggage handlers treat the gate checked bags. They are not gentle.

Don't forget that you will need to pack clothes and other personal items. I would guess that if you want to take an OTA and mount to a star party, you will have 3 pieces of checked luggage, one carry on, and your personal item. You did not mention if you were bringing a camera. Don't just show up at the airport with 3 pieces of checked luggage. You should make arrangements ahead of time with the airline so that they know you will have extra luggage.

The A-P folks do quite a lot of traveling to star parties and conferences with all of their gear. They can probably offer some good advice as well. Marj once told me that when they go to their vacation home in Hawaii they ship a lot of their gear ahead of time.

Good luck.




Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...


Re: Does APCC 1.8.0.2 update disable encoders?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

My GTOCP4 firmware version is A01-13 which I believe is the latest version.

I tried again tonight and checked the status of the encoder. And again, the encoder setting is off when I start up. I just don't remember whether the encoder is automatically turned on after APCC initialization. Is anyone else seeing this?

cytan

On Friday, March 6, 2020, 04:28:07 PM CST, Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...> wrote:


This seems to happen occasionally with users - it would seem a nice enhancement and reduce the support load for AP if APCC checked for the minimum version of firmware required for a given APCC release and report a warning if the firmware is too old.

Michael Fulbright


On 3/6/20 3:53 PM, Brian Valente wrote:
Hi Cytan

i believe you need to be on the latest GTOCP firmware, you might want to check that out

 

On Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 12:48 PM Cheng-Yang Tan via Groups.Io <cytan299=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi guys,
   I'm wondering whether upgrading to APCC 1.8.0.2 disables encoders from an older version? Please see screen capture:


I didn't realize the encoder was disabled until I looked at the AE tab. And that was after the upgrade. Which then begs the question as to whether my encoders were disabled before the upgrade.

Is there an obvious way to know whether the encoders are enabled *without* going to the AE tab? When I look at the bottom right window the "ENC" rectangle is in yellow, and so I thought that the encoders were on.

Thanks!

cytan


--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Azimiuth Display around Park Altitude = 0

Stacey Mills
 

I just updated to the newest version of APCC and the driver.  I park at Park-2, which is basically azimuth=90, altitude=0.  When parked the altitude sometimes dithers a few arcseconds.  With the new update I've noticed that when the altitude dithers to a very small negative value (just a few arcsecs less than zero), the azimuth display jumps from 90 to 270.  I don't recall seeing this before the upgrade.  Because of the weather, I haven't see whether this has any effect on the dome slaving when the dome is sitting open at startup (cool down), the scope is at 90/0 and the dome is slaved to the scope.  I hope doesn't try to do a 180 with each dither.  


APCC 1.8.0.3 : Custom Slew Rate

Yves Laroche
 
Edited

Hi Ray,
 
The custom slew rate fields are no longer available in the drop-down list menus.  Please refer to the Optional Initialization window and also to the Rate Settings tab.
 
Regards,
Yves
 


Re: Does APCC 1.8.0.2 update disable encoders?

Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...>
 

This seems to happen occasionally with users - it would seem a nice enhancement and reduce the support load for AP if APCC checked for the minimum version of firmware required for a given APCC release and report a warning if the firmware is too old.

Michael Fulbright


On 3/6/20 3:53 PM, Brian Valente wrote:
Hi Cytan

i believe you need to be on the latest GTOCP firmware, you might want to check that out

 

On Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 12:48 PM Cheng-Yang Tan via Groups.Io <cytan299=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi guys,
   I'm wondering whether upgrading to APCC 1.8.0.2 disables encoders from an older version? Please see screen capture:


I didn't realize the encoder was disabled until I looked at the AE tab. And that was after the upgrade. Which then begs the question as to whether my encoders were disabled before the upgrade.

Is there an obvious way to know whether the encoders are enabled *without* going to the AE tab? When I look at the bottom right window the "ENC" rectangle is in yellow, and so I thought that the encoders were on.

Thanks!

cytan


--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Airline Travel

Dave Newbury
 

Hi Folks,
Have a question about airline travel with mounts and tripods. The Mach1 was advertised as airline friendly. Given that the Mach2 is heavier, would it still qualify as 'airline friendly'?

If so, what issues should I consider when traveling by plane (ie. to star parties)?  Presumably would need a good case with wheels - one which fits standard airline checked-bag size/weight limits (for some airlines: 50lbs and 62" linear dimension). Lightest possible tripod also in a case I guess would be prudent...

Traveling by vehicle is just not an option for me from my location. And I would be traveling across borders so shipping ahead of time is probably not a viable option for me (cost/hassle wise). OTA would probably come with me as carry-on.

Appreciate any other considerations or tips.

CS,
DaveNL


Re: Does APCC 1.8.0.2 update disable encoders?

 

Hi Cytan

i believe you need to be on the latest GTOCP firmware, you might want to check that out

 

On Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 12:48 PM Cheng-Yang Tan via Groups.Io <cytan299=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi guys,
   I'm wondering whether upgrading to APCC 1.8.0.2 disables encoders from an older version? Please see screen capture:


I didn't realize the encoder was disabled until I looked at the AE tab. And that was after the upgrade. Which then begs the question as to whether my encoders were disabled before the upgrade.

Is there an obvious way to know whether the encoders are enabled *without* going to the AE tab? When I look at the bottom right window the "ENC" rectangle is in yellow, and so I thought that the encoders were on.

Thanks!

cytan



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Does APCC 1.8.0.2 update disable encoders?

Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi guys,
   I'm wondering whether upgrading to APCC 1.8.0.2 disables encoders from an older version? Please see screen capture:


I didn't realize the encoder was disabled until I looked at the AE tab. And that was after the upgrade. Which then begs the question as to whether my encoders were disabled before the upgrade.

Is there an obvious way to know whether the encoders are enabled *without* going to the AE tab? When I look at the bottom right window the "ENC" rectangle is in yellow, and so I thought that the encoders were on.

Thanks!

cytan


Re: PEMPro Dec backlash question

Roland Christen
 

 
My MaxIm has backlash set to 0 on both axes. I might play with the Dec
setting there to see if that reduces star trails at high elevations.
Your guider software should produce a tracking graph which will tell you what's happening. You could be having a calibration issue, or too high aggressiveness, or a bunch of other settings that are not optimized. Singling out backlash and pursuing it is probably not the right approach.
 
Rolando
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Mar 5, 2020 8:37 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PEMPro Dec backlash question

On 3/5/2020 1:06 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io wrote:

> Backlash by itself does not produce trails. Are you guiding or shooting
> unguided?

Guiding with MaxIm using ASCOM Direct (Pulse Guide).

> If you are guiding, then the guider software automatically handles any
> Dec backlash.

My MaxIm has backlash set to 0 on both axes. I might play with the Dec
setting there to see if that reduces star trails at high elevations.

Let's put this thread to bed. Clearly I need to learn more about what my
system is doing.

Thanks for all the advice.

--- Mike





Re: Mach2 Fun #Mach2GTO

Bill Long
 

The weather is supposed to clear out for Sunday and possibly Monday. I need to finish up some collimation work on my iDK so I am hoping this comes to fruition.