Date   

Re: Pier flip before meridian crossing is not possible with SGP and Mach1

Luca Marinelli
 

Hi Leo,

From looking at your configuration, I think you need to change the flip offset to a value larger than the duration of your exposures. Say you are taking 5 minute exposures, you want the flip offset to be 10 minutes or so, so that an exposure started on one side of the meridian flip limit will not go over the other side before it is completed. Also, a zero flip offset as you have in your screenshot will create a situation where SGP may not have enough time to communicate with the mount and start the meridian flip before the mount sends out messages that the meridian limit has been reached, possibly creating an error condition for SGP regardless of how short your exposures are.

Also, I know Ray in his video has the action when meridian limit is reached as "Just Warn" but I would be careful with that choice. If you are running your mount unattended, if I understand this correctly, there is no protection against tracking into the pier in a condition of telescope West of pier, pointing West. If all the objects you image are within the East limits and you start every imaging session with telescope East of pier, pointing East CW up and track to the morning, then there is no problem. I know this is the exception to the rule for me, not my standard imaging situation.

I will give a shot to the setup presented by Ray in the video and see if it works with SGP. I don't think I have ever been successful at starting to image in the East CW up with SGP but my meridian flip limits are probably set up more appropriately as a safety limit in the West than a opportunity limit in the East.

Cheers,

Luca


Re: Pier flip before meridian crossing is not possible with SGP and Mach1

Bill Long
 

How do you have APCC configured? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 8, 2020 1:10 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pier flip before meridian crossing is not possible with SGP and Mach1
 
Ray,

I have the same problem and I have watched the video as well. I still can't figure out how I am supposed to set this up. I had Howard help me with it in a Remote Session. He couldn't figure how to set this up too and said, he will come back to me on this. He probably is busy with lots of things because I haven't heard from him yet. 

I can't enable checkboxes - probably because there is a conflict with another checkbox, but because there is no "How can´t check this because ...." message I can only guess. 

I love my mount, it is a fantastic piece of engineering. But the only software in my imaging stack that constantly gives me problems and frustration is APCC. I am sure APCC and APCC pro have great functionality. Why don't you write a text here, with screenshots for every screen to be configured? Start with a clean installation, not having preset limits etc. and explain how to set this up in an easy to follow way? And please, use a real mount and not the simulator. 

I am an amateur when it comes to mounts, astro-photography etc. But I have some qualifications in software. I was the CEO of a commercial software vendor for 16 years and a software CTO for Dell Computers in the last years of my professional career. I managed projects where software was used by millions of users and I have written my fair share of Windows code too. I am happy to give you feedback for any training material you build for APCC. 

Best regards,
Eckhard Völcker

http://voelcker.com


Re: Pier flip before meridian crossing is not possible with SGP and Mach1

eckhard.voelcker@...
 

Ray,

I have the same problem and I have watched the video as well. I still can't figure out how I am supposed to set this up. I had Howard help me with it in a Remote Session. He couldn't figure how to set this up too and said, he will come back to me on this. He probably is busy with lots of things because I haven't heard from him yet. 

I can't enable checkboxes - probably because there is a conflict with another checkbox, but because there is no "How can´t check this because ...." message I can only guess. 

I love my mount, it is a fantastic piece of engineering. But the only software in my imaging stack that constantly gives me problems and frustration is APCC. I am sure APCC and APCC pro have great functionality. Why don't you write a text here, with screenshots for every screen to be configured? Start with a clean installation, not having preset limits etc. and explain how to set this up in an easy to follow way? And please, use a real mount and not the simulator. 

I am an amateur when it comes to mounts, astro-photography etc. But I have some qualifications in software. I was the CEO of a commercial software vendor for 16 years and a software CTO for Dell Computers in the last years of my professional career. I managed projects where software was used by millions of users and I have written my fair share of Windows code too. I am happy to give you feedback for any training material you build for APCC. 

Best regards,
Eckhard Völcker

http://voelcker.com


Re: Power connector 900GTO

Woody Schlom
 

I think I got my locking threaded 2.1 x 5.5 connectors through Amazon.  And then I made a couple of pig-tails to PP connectors. 

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of khursh via groups.io
Sent: Friday, August 07, 2020 9:19 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Power connector 900GTO

 

I think the 2.1 x 5.5 mm is the most elegant solution. I will do the ring connectors in the short term and fashion or purchase the 'real' connector.


Re: Power connector 900GTO

KHursh
 

I think the 2.1 x 5.5 mm is the most elegant solution. I will do the ring connectors in the short term and fashion or purchase the 'real' connector.


Re: Power connector 900GTO

Bill Long
 

I should have clarified, on the CP3 I have that is the set up. On my CP4 I use the provided CP4 to PP cable.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 8:19 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Power connector 900GTO
 
A simple 2.1x5.5mm center positive cable with appropriate ends works great. Powerwerx can make whatever you want. 🙂 I run mine into a PP distribution box which is connected to whatever power source I use (battery, PP AC box, etc). 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Michael Hambrick via groups.io <mike.hambrick@...>
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 8:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Power connector 900GTO
 
Hi Kevin

I think Astro-Physics makes most of their own cables. You might be able to get them to make a modified version of the CABLPF to put whatever kind of connectors you want on the end. I like the Anderson Powerpole connectors that they use on their 1100GTO mount power cables. If you go this way you will also need a short adaptor cable with ring connections on one end to connect to your power supply.


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: Power connector 900GTO

Bill Long
 

A simple 2.1x5.5mm center positive cable with appropriate ends works great. Powerwerx can make whatever you want. 🙂 I run mine into a PP distribution box which is connected to whatever power source I use (battery, PP AC box, etc). 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Michael Hambrick via groups.io <mike.hambrick@...>
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 8:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Power connector 900GTO
 
Hi Kevin

I think Astro-Physics makes most of their own cables. You might be able to get them to make a modified version of the CABLPF to put whatever kind of connectors you want on the end. I like the Anderson Powerpole connectors that they use on their 1100GTO mount power cables. If you go this way you will also need a short adaptor cable with ring connections on one end to connect to your power supply.


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: Power connector 900GTO

Michael Hambrick <mike.hambrick@...>
 

Hi Kevin

I think Astro-Physics makes most of their own cables. You might be able to get them to make a modified version of the CABLPF to put whatever kind of connectors you want on the end. I like the Anderson Powerpole connectors that they use on their 1100GTO mount power cables. If you go this way you will also need a short adaptor cable with ring connections on one end to connect to your power supply.


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: Power connector 900GTO

KHursh
 

I think that is the most straightforward way. Thanks Mike.


Re: Power connector 900GTO

KHursh
 

I'm sorry. I should have specified. I got the powerwerx sps-30dm with binding posts, not the PowerPole connectors.


Re: Power connector 900GTO

Mike Dodd
 

On 8/7/2020 10:35 PM, khursh via groups.io wrote:
First, the good news - I'm picking up a new-to-me 900GTO CP3 tomorrow.
Congrats! I hope you put it to good use.

How does one connect the CABLPF that is
connected to the mount to the power supply? A cigarette lighter to ring
or horseshoe clip?
I think the Powerwerx supply has 1/4" binding terminals on the rear.

And the AP900 power cord has a cigarette lighter plug on it? CUT IT OFF!

I strongly recommend AGAINST using a cigarette lighter plug/socket for anything. I've had these go flaky in the past, as the metal contacts accumulate crud.

Strip the insulation from the ends of the power wires, then install crimp-on ring terminals on the wires. Be sure to mark which one is positive (red) and which is negative (black).

You can get crimp-on terminals at hardware stores and auto supply stores, as well as a crimping tool.

--- Mike


Re: Power connector 900GTO

Bill Long
 

You can just use something like this:


It wont thread on like the stock one though. You could also use this:





From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of khursh via groups.io <khursh@...>
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 7:35 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Power connector 900GTO
 
First, the good news - I'm picking up a new-to-me 900GTO CP3 tomorrow. I got the Powerwerx 30A power supply to go with it (probably overkill). I have a rather dumb question. How does one connect the CABLPF that is connected to the mount to the power supply? A cigarette lighter to ring or horseshoe clip?
TIA

Kevin


Power connector 900GTO

KHursh
 

First, the good news - I'm picking up a new-to-me 900GTO CP3 tomorrow. I got the Powerwerx 30A power supply to go with it (probably overkill). I have a rather dumb question. How does one connect the CABLPF that is connected to the mount to the power supply? A cigarette lighter to ring or horseshoe clip?
TIA

Kevin


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Roland Christen
 

The thing that is puzzling is that when imaging unguided there is Dec drift, yet when he measured the drift there is no Dec drift in 7 minutes (ignore RA drift for the moment). There is no known mechanism that can cause short term Dec drift (2 minutes to 7 minutes) except polar misalignment. Mirror flop generally acts in the RA direction as the scope slowly moves from east to west, but even in RA it doesn't move rapidly in 60 seconds. Nothing else really causes Dec drift of such short term duration.

RA can be much more easily explained. You have periodic error which is not drift, but acts somewhat analogous to drift. You have true drift due to polar misalignment. You have drift caused by atmospheric refraction, even with perfect polar alignment.

Dec drift is easy to eliminate in most quadrants of the sky because the Dec axis does not move, and thus can be adjusted via the altitude and azimuth axes. RA drift cannot be so easily removed by drift alignment and is always the bulk of the problem.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Thompson via groups.io <cthomp97@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 7, 2020 6:48 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900

Maybe something got bumped... I've done it unknowingly.





Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 8/7/20 6:33 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900


When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes.
You did drift alignment for 7 minutes with no drift. So theoretically you should be able to attach a camera and get zero drift with the camera, and thus by definition you will get perfectly round stars in a 7 minute exposure. So, where is the problem?

Basically there is no information in your response below.
Where was the drift alignment done where you got 7 minutes without any drift?
Was drift alignment not done in the south? That is where drift alignment is normally done, scope pointing due south near the meridian.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Chanan Greenberg <chanan2009@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 7, 2020 3:08 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900

Hi Rolando,

Really appreciate the effort to help. Just as a backdrop, I have been doing astrophotography and drift alignment for 12+ years. 
When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes. This is why I do not believe this has anything to do with polar alignment. Even with poor polar alignment an AP900 should be able to track stars well without auto-guiding for several minutes. 
I am able to get that performance in any direction I point with the exception of pointing south. There it seems to be unable to track for even 30 seconds without drifting in both RA and DEC. 

Which is why i suspect - balance, flexure, mirror flop or something wrong with the mount itself.

Hope this is more complete info.

Thanks
Chanan


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Charles Thompson
 

Maybe something got bumped... I've done it unknowingly.





Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: "uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 8/7/20 6:33 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900


When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes.
You did drift alignment for 7 minutes with no drift. So theoretically you should be able to attach a camera and get zero drift with the camera, and thus by definition you will get perfectly round stars in a 7 minute exposure. So, where is the problem?

Basically there is no information in your response below.
Where was the drift alignment done where you got 7 minutes without any drift?
Was drift alignment not done in the south? That is where drift alignment is normally done, scope pointing due south near the meridian.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Chanan Greenberg <chanan2009@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 7, 2020 3:08 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900

Hi Rolando,

Really appreciate the effort to help. Just as a backdrop, I have been doing astrophotography and drift alignment for 12+ years. 
When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes. This is why I do not believe this has anything to do with polar alignment. Even with poor polar alignment an AP900 should be able to track stars well without auto-guiding for several minutes. 
I am able to get that performance in any direction I point with the exception of pointing south. There it seems to be unable to track for even 30 seconds without drifting in both RA and DEC. 

Which is why i suspect - balance, flexure, mirror flop or something wrong with the mount itself.

Hope this is more complete info.

Thanks
Chanan


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Roland Christen
 


When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes.
You did drift alignment for 7 minutes with no drift. So theoretically you should be able to attach a camera and get zero drift with the camera, and thus by definition you will get perfectly round stars in a 7 minute exposure. So, where is the problem?

Basically there is no information in your response below.
Where was the drift alignment done where you got 7 minutes without any drift?
Was drift alignment not done in the south? That is where drift alignment is normally done, scope pointing due south near the meridian.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Chanan Greenberg <chanan2009@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 7, 2020 3:08 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900

Hi Rolando,

Really appreciate the effort to help. Just as a backdrop, I have been doing astrophotography and drift alignment for 12+ years. 
When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes. This is why I do not believe this has anything to do with polar alignment. Even with poor polar alignment an AP900 should be able to track stars well without auto-guiding for several minutes. 
I am able to get that performance in any direction I point with the exception of pointing south. There it seems to be unable to track for even 30 seconds without drifting in both RA and DEC. 

Which is why i suspect - balance, flexure, mirror flop or something wrong with the mount itself.

Hope this is more complete info.

Thanks
Chanan


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Christopher Erickson
 

If I were having this problem, here is what I would probably do, in rough order...

1. Replace the ancient CP1 with a CP4, if possible. Get atmospheric refraction correction and a bunch of other new and cool functionalities.
2. Check RA axis backlash and axis balance. If your backlash has loosened up over time and the mount is very closely balanced and the worm lube is very dry, the scope could be "bouncing along in the backlash." Make the mount more imbalanced to "wrap up the backlash." This is usually more noticeable near the West and East horizons. Not so much close to the North or South horizons. Still worth checking.
3. Triple-check all of the optical train bits for something loose and flexing/sagging/shifting.  Especially focusers and all set screws and lock screws.
4. Triple-check the polar alignment using the drift method in SharpCap.
5. Carefully re-lube both axis worm drive assemblies and carefully tune the worm mesh/backlash afterwards.
6. Always use on-axis or off-axis guiding, never piggyback guiding. Piggyback guiding only leads to tears. Especially with compound scopes with floating optical elements.
7. Check for loose or broken bolts and knobs on the mount and dovetail bars/brackets/saddles.
8. If this scope is accessible by multiple users, take NOTHING for granted. Check EVERYTHING. Especially the DEC axis disassembly/assembly dovetail lock knobs.
9. When in the Northern hemisphere and observing things near the Southern horizon, the OTA is tipped a considerable amount on its side from the DEC axis. A slightly-loose dovetail lock knob could wreak havoc. Not to mention putting the OTA and cameras in great jeopardy.

I hope this helps.


On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 10:08 AM Chanan Greenberg <chanan2009@...> wrote:
Hi Rolando,

Really appreciate the effort to help. Just as a backdrop, I have been doing astrophotography and drift alignment for 12+ years. 
When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes. This is why I do not believe this has anything to do with polar alignment. Even with poor polar alignment an AP900 should be able to track stars well without auto-guiding for several minutes. 
I am able to get that performance in any direction I point with the exception of pointing south. There it seems to be unable to track for even 30 seconds without drifting in both RA and DEC. 

Which is why i suspect - balance, flexure, mirror flop or something wrong with the mount itself.

Hope this is more complete info.

Thanks
Chanan


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Chanan Greenberg
 

Hi Rolando,

Really appreciate the effort to help. Just as a backdrop, I have been doing astrophotography and drift alignment for 12+ years. 
When I did my drift alignment with a high power illuminated eyepiece in the imaging scope I had zero drift in both axis for 7 minutes. This is why I do not believe this has anything to do with polar alignment. Even with poor polar alignment an AP900 should be able to track stars well without auto-guiding for several minutes. 
I am able to get that performance in any direction I point with the exception of pointing south. There it seems to be unable to track for even 30 seconds without drifting in both RA and DEC. 

Which is why i suspect - balance, flexure, mirror flop or something wrong with the mount itself.

Hope this is more complete info.

Thanks
Chanan


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Roland Christen
 

If you are getting no drift in your imaging scope then you are getting round stars. No drift means round stars.

So, below you say you get drift pointing south, then that means you are getting drift. And that can mean your polar alignment is not correct.

You also have to understand that there are two axes, RA and DEC. Which axis is drifting when pointing south? If the Dec axis is drifting, your azimuth axis is off. If the RA axis is drifting, the altitude axis is off.

Information is your friend. The more you can share, the easier it is to figure out the issue.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Chanan Greenberg <chanan2009@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Aug 7, 2020 2:41 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Tracking issues with AP900

The imaging scope the C9.25.
I will check my drift again tonight maybe PoleAlignMax was giving me inaccurate data.

Question - if I am getting no drift pointing north, or east or west and only getting drift when pointing south - is it likely a drift issue?


Re: Tracking issues with AP900

Chanan Greenberg
 

The imaging scope the C9.25.
I will check my drift again tonight maybe PoleAlignMax was giving me inaccurate data.

Question - if I am getting no drift pointing north, or east or west and only getting drift when pointing south - is it likely a drift issue?

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