Date   

SatelliteTracker is now SkyTrack

jimmyjujames
 

SatelliteTracker was sold back to the original developer/owner and renamed to SkyTrack.
SkyTrack is now under development with an ascom connect.
$9.00 license
I ordered SkyTrack today and have not received license and have not tried SkyTrack
 
I still use SatelliteTracker v2.51 direct connect pc to CP3 on Astro-Physics 900GTO
 but I know some of yall were waiting on an ascom connect.
 
SkyTrack Satellite Tracking Software
 
Homepage
 
Youtube SkyTrack setup operation
 
What is it boy? What do you see?
 


Re: Should I record a PEM?

Mike Dodd
 

On 6/29/2020 5:37 PM, Mojo Jones wrote:
Finally my question: This system is very forgiving, with a huge wide
field, and 2.45 arc-seconds per pixel. That's a little bit high compared
to the recommendations for recording a PE curve in PEMpro.
I think you should record a PE curve and turn on PEM. Nothing to lose, but possibly something to gain. Even though you're getting decent results now, why not use PEM to potentially improve things, even if only slightly.

If things get worse, you can always turn off PEM. But at least the curve is in the mount, ready to use.

--- Mike


Re: North Keypad button problem

Dominique Durand
 

On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 08:55 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
I think you may want to not follow this advice and not heat your keypad. We are in contact with the manufacturer, and will advise shortly what their recommended fix is for the keypad.
Thanks Rolando, I'm waiting for your advice as to when this will happen again.


Re: Should I record a PEM?

Roland Christen
 

Yes, definitely record a PE curve and then turn PEM ON. You can record it with your main camera on your scope, and you will be accurate, even at your short focal length. Don't record the pE curve with a short guide scope or finderscope.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Mojo Jones <mojo@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 29, 2020 4:37 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Should I record a PEM?

I'm successfully using APPM in the early evening to map 23 points or so. I have to say, not having the autoguider makes everything so much more reliable and fast. There's no need to "plate solve and center" on a new target -- it's always center of the frame in SGP. I'm also in a very forgiving system with a wide field and old camera.

I'm sorry I didn't buy APCC Pro back when I had a discount offer with a new 1100GTO. I didn't think it would serve any purpose when I'm not in a fixed observatory. I was very wrong!

I've been shooting a Messier survey from home in Los Angeles County. Not because my shots are interesting or especially good, but because I can. :) Doing this has given me tons of experience with the entire process from set up  to final image processing, by repeating it frequently. I've captured 47 Messier objects in the past two months, about 30 minutes of imaging time on each, with an old one-shot color SBIG camera.

I have two setups: My small system is a very old (first run) Mach1 GTO with an AP Traveler 105mm f/6. The big beast is an 1100GTO with an AP 180EDT. I haven't been using the big one so often because taking it down involves waking up my wife at 2:30 to come out and help me lift it off the rings and stow it. She's been very willing for the most part, but I save that for special occasions.

The Mach1 has a few enhancements, like the updated Alt-Az base, and adapter for the RAPAS scope. I've upgraded the CP3 to the V2 chip, so it works beautifully with APCC Pro. It does NOT have levers to disengage the drives from the gears, so I'm not able to do a delicate balance on the Mach1. But the system is light enough that it doesn't seem to be critical.

Since I upgraded my CP3 controller chip, I've been running with PEC OFF.

Finally my question: This system is very forgiving, with a huge wide field, and 2.45 arc-seconds per pixel. That's a little bit high compared to the recommendations for recording a PE curve in PEMpro.

Should I bother?

Best regards,
Mojo
--
Morris Jones, Monrovia, CA
BridgeMojo
Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers
Mojo's Blog   


Re: Should I record a PEM?

Christopher Erickson
 

Roland and Ray will certainly give you the best and most useful answers but I'll throw in my two cents because I am in a sharing mood right now.

On lights of exceptionally-bad seeing, I have experimented with PEM training runs, just for fun and self-teaching.

My experience has been that running about 7 to 10 worm turns results in pretty good and even excellent PEM training, in spite of the bad seeing. Exactly like combining a lot of subs to minimize noise. This success is certainly partly due to how smooth the RA worm gears and wheels are my Mach1 and 1100. Cheaper mounts with sharper changes in periodic and random tracking errors might not give the same good results. Make that WILL not give the same good results. LOL


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   


On Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 11:37 AM Mojo Jones <mojo@...> wrote:
I'm successfully using APPM in the early evening to map 23 points or so. I have to say, not having the autoguider makes everything so much more reliable and fast. There's no need to "plate solve and center" on a new target -- it's always center of the frame in SGP. I'm also in a very forgiving system with a wide field and old camera.

I'm sorry I didn't buy APCC Pro back when I had a discount offer with a new 1100GTO. I didn't think it would serve any purpose when I'm not in a fixed observatory. I was very wrong!

I've been shooting a Messier survey from home in Los Angeles County. Not because my shots are interesting or especially good, but because I can. :) Doing this has given me tons of experience with the entire process from set up  to final image processing, by repeating it frequently. I've captured 47 Messier objects in the past two months, about 30 minutes of imaging time on each, with an old one-shot color SBIG camera.

I have two setups: My small system is a very old (first run) Mach1 GTO with an AP Traveler 105mm f/6. The big beast is an 1100GTO with an AP 180EDT. I haven't been using the big one so often because taking it down involves waking up my wife at 2:30 to come out and help me lift it off the rings and stow it. She's been very willing for the most part, but I save that for special occasions.

The Mach1 has a few enhancements, like the updated Alt-Az base, and adapter for the RAPAS scope. I've upgraded the CP3 to the V2 chip, so it works beautifully with APCC Pro. It does NOT have levers to disengage the drives from the gears, so I'm not able to do a delicate balance on the Mach1. But the system is light enough that it doesn't seem to be critical.

Since I upgraded my CP3 controller chip, I've been running with PEC OFF.

Finally my question: This system is very forgiving, with a huge wide field, and 2.45 arc-seconds per pixel. That's a little bit high compared to the recommendations for recording a PE curve in PEMpro.

Should I bother?

Best regards,
Mojo
--
Morris Jones, Monrovia, CA
BridgeMojo
Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers
Mojo's Blog   


Should I record a PEM?

 

I'm successfully using APPM in the early evening to map 23 points or so. I have to say, not having the autoguider makes everything so much more reliable and fast. There's no need to "plate solve and center" on a new target -- it's always center of the frame in SGP. I'm also in a very forgiving system with a wide field and old camera.

I'm sorry I didn't buy APCC Pro back when I had a discount offer with a new 1100GTO. I didn't think it would serve any purpose when I'm not in a fixed observatory. I was very wrong!

I've been shooting a Messier survey from home in Los Angeles County. Not because my shots are interesting or especially good, but because I can. :) Doing this has given me tons of experience with the entire process from set up  to final image processing, by repeating it frequently. I've captured 47 Messier objects in the past two months, about 30 minutes of imaging time on each, with an old one-shot color SBIG camera.

I have two setups: My small system is a very old (first run) Mach1 GTO with an AP Traveler 105mm f/6. The big beast is an 1100GTO with an AP 180EDT. I haven't been using the big one so often because taking it down involves waking up my wife at 2:30 to come out and help me lift it off the rings and stow it. She's been very willing for the most part, but I save that for special occasions.

The Mach1 has a few enhancements, like the updated Alt-Az base, and adapter for the RAPAS scope. I've upgraded the CP3 to the V2 chip, so it works beautifully with APCC Pro. It does NOT have levers to disengage the drives from the gears, so I'm not able to do a delicate balance on the Mach1. But the system is light enough that it doesn't seem to be critical.

Since I upgraded my CP3 controller chip, I've been running with PEC OFF.

Finally my question: This system is very forgiving, with a huge wide field, and 2.45 arc-seconds per pixel. That's a little bit high compared to the recommendations for recording a PE curve in PEMpro.

Should I bother?

Best regards,
Mojo
--
Morris Jones, Monrovia, CA
BridgeMojo
Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers
Mojo's Blog   


Re: North Keypad button problem

Roland Christen
 

I think you may want to not follow this advice and not heat your keypad. We are in contact with the manufacturer, and will advise shortly what their recommended fix is for the keypad.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Dominique Durand via groups.io <dom33.durand@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Jun 29, 2020 1:47 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] North Keypad button problem

[Edited Message Follows]
Joe,
I too had to clean a TV remote control with this problem. Thanks for the photo.
There with the AP keypad I went there quiet. I'm not sure I have exceeded 95 °F (35 °C).
It was not a thermal stripper and I think the problem may return.

Dominique


Re: North Keypad button problem

Dominique Durand
 
Edited

Joe,
I too had to clean a TV remote control with this problem. Thanks for the photo.
There with the AP keypad I went there quiet. I'm not sure I have exceeded 95 °F (35 °C).
It was not a thermal stripper and I think the problem may return.

Dominique


Re: AP 800

Christopher Erickson
 

Here is another vote for the OneStep solution.


On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 5:43 AM Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...> wrote:
Someone used the cool OnStep project to convert an AP400 - might give you some ideas:

https://onstep.groups.io/g/main/topic/onstep_on_astro_physics_ap400/26511793

Michael Fulbright

On 6/29/20 10:30 AM, Peter Bresler via groups.io wrote:
Stepper motors are pretty easy to find and not expensive.


Re: North Keypad button problem

Joe Zeglinski
 

Dominique,
 
    Don’t want to scare anybody about this problem  – but I would be VERY careful – with using a hair dryer on your expensive AP Keypad. 
If it helps momentarily by cooking the oil, perhaps bubbling it away from the carbon contact, then it might also do the same for the rubber button tops. Those are very thin skinned rubber tops, which you don’t want to become stretched, floppy, or torn.
 
    Whenever I took a “marginally working” keypad membrane out of some misbehaving “remote controller case”, the circuit board pads were “quite slimy”, almost dripping, when I got it on my fingers.
 
    For example, zoom in very tightly on my attached  picture of my old Panasonic Cordless phone circuit board cleaning, when one of the keypad digits wouldn’t make a good contact for me to dial out. You can see fairly large, round drops of oil at the far left edge of the circuit board, especially next to the FLASH key pad,  and “puddled islands of oil”,  where pressing the other buttons, squirted  away some oil between the circuit pads in other places. Since we hold such devices “upright” during use, I think the oil eventually accumulates more toward the bottom edge, as seen in my picture – and this one wasn’t really bad yet, with just one button losing connection.
 
    The dark backside (buttons) of the membrane itself is a bit harder to see how wet it was, but it was all a big mess. It is NOT an “intended” button lubricant ! – I have seen circuit boards & keypads  bone dry, on newer devices I have taken apart to check.
 
    I haven’t needed to wash the oil from my AP-900 & 1200 Keypads yet, since I rarely use them, so I can’t speak about any difficulty of doing the same procedure there. But, this will give you some idea “what really goes on, under any”  of our common household Remote devices. Most people aren’t aware of such things, and simply throw away the device, and (hopefully) can still buy a new  phone handset, TV Remote, or a substitute etc.
You don’t want to do that for the AP Keypad, and nobody warns us about this “common” problem.
 
Joe Z.
 

From: Dominique Durand via groups.io
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2020 11:51 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] North Keypad button problem
 
Hi,
It may only be part postponed,but if they were oily structures stuck on contacts and preventing the activation of the button, one could think that a dose of heat could thin the thing. So with the screen and the buttons down, with a hairdryer, I moderately heated the "N" button, for 1 to 2 ', 2 to 3 times, and then I tried again and on the 2nd press on the N button the Dec axis started to move. After several tests the button remained operational.I will therefore follow its functioning on my next outings and I will inform you of the situation.

Dominique


Re: First light with Mach2GTO

Karen Christen
 

Wow, Jian.  That’s a really pleasing image.  Congratulations!

Karen C

AP

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of jypeng@...
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 5:56 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] First light with Mach2GTO

 

Hello Ray,
Thank you for helping out. Mach2 is a great mount and worth every dime to own it. 
This is my first image using Mach2GTO without modeling. The stars are round and small. 
https://www.astrobin.com/p245n9/0/
It was a long store after Ray found out it was user error not using the ASCOM 6.4 when I tried to create the model.
My next image will be modeled without PHD2! 
Regards, 
Jian Yuan Peng

Telescope: TEC 160FL + 0.9 FRC

Mount: Astro-Physics Mach 2 GTO

Camera: ASI6200MC Pro

Acquisition Date: June 2 ~ June 9, 2020

Frame: 97x600" bin2x2

Filter: Triad Ultra Quad-Band Narrowband Filter

Software: PHD2, PixInsight, Lightroom, Sequence Generator Pro, Photoshop

Location: Palo Alto, California, USA


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: North Keypad button problem

Dominique Durand
 

Hi,
It may only be part postponed,but if they were oily structures stuck on contacts and preventing the activation of the button, one could think that a dose of heat could thin the thing. So with the screen and the buttons down, with a hairdryer, I moderately heated the "N" button, for 1 to 2 ', 2 to 3 times, and then I tried again and on the 2nd press on the N button the Dec axis started to move. After several tests the button remained operational.I will therefore follow its functioning on my next outings and I will inform you of the situation.

Dominique


Re: AP 800

Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...>
 

Someone used the cool OnStep project to convert an AP400 - might give you some ideas:

https://onstep.groups.io/g/main/topic/onstep_on_astro_physics_ap400/26511793

Michael Fulbright

On 6/29/20 10:30 AM, Peter Bresler via groups.io wrote:
Stepper motors are pretty easy to find and not expensive.


Re: AP 800

Peter Bresler
 

Stepper motors are pretty easy to find and not expensive.


Re: North Keypad button problem

Joe Zeglinski
 

AP-Support:
 
    As an after thought about Keypad’s buttons eventually becoming too oily and losing their circuit board pad contact,
may I suggest that AP Tech Support, with their usual excellent customer courtesy, not only change the battery or other servicing, but as a preventative measure also wash off any (possibly) underlying key membrane & circuit pad oil, as I described.
 
    Since the old Keypad battery, sent in for changing,  would already be 7 or more years old, then the “dead buttons” problem would surely soon follow. This way, the keypad and new battery would both be good for another decade, without a customer’s frustration of losing valuable  “sky-time”.
 
Joe Z.


Re: AP 800

Frank Widmann
 

You would probably have to replace the motors. 

Frank

On Jun 28, 2020, at 11:41 PM, Peter Bresler via groups.io <PABresler@...> wrote:

Since the 800 apparently uses stepper motors, it seems like it would be possible to adapt it to a recent controller, like the GT4. Has anyone ever done that?


Re: North Keypad button problem

Dominique Durand
 
Edited

Hi Joe,
Thank you for the link to the related topic, actually the problem could be of this nature, since since 2011 I used this keypad in a common way and it has, depending on the period, lived between -5 and + 30 °.
The other keys may already be partially affected.So I just replaced the battery but looking at how to access the buttons, I saw, with the fiber optic beam present, that it would be tricky. So I didn't go any further and I don't really see how to access the membrane part without removing everything from the keypad and therefore taking some significant risks.I await the opinion of Rolando on the question and I discussed with my dealer the return of the keypad. My concern is more about the repair time with the transport which is added, I have astronomy animations this summer and the mach1 with its keypad is useful to me.But I'm also waiting for a keypad for my mach2, the 2 could arrive together.

Best regards

Dominique


Re: PlateSolve2 vs. TheSkyX Image Link for APPM Point Mapping

Dean Jacobsen
 


Re: North Keypad button problem

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Dominique,
 
    Don’t worry. No need to send your Keypad to AP  for repair. Fixing buttons on ANY  “rubber membrane” keypad (TV Remote, cordless Phone, AP Keypad, etc.), is easy, if you are careful. I have done it several times on various devices. After pressing “certain buttons” on any keypad for many years, the “mould release oil”, soaked into the rubber itself, eventually “leaches out”, and you get its left-over  oil on the contact(s) underneath, electrically insulating the carbon (?) under-side of that button(s), and the corresponding circuit board copper contact pad(s). Over many years, you probably pressed the Keypad NORTH slew button more often than  any of the others.
 
     All you need to do is remove the keypad membrane sheet and wash it,  (and the circuit board surface), with “dish soap”.
 
    Please read my post on June 14, 2020:  “Re: [ap-gto] Old Keypad Repair/Refurbishing”
Should take less than an hour. It is also good a preventative procedure, since the other, less often pressed keys, are probably a bit oily as well and will eventually cause the same problem.
 
    The trickiest part of repairing TV , phone, car-keys Fob, and other Keypads, is finding & removing case screws (in the battery compartment) then splitting the case seam apart. Some can be more difficult than others, but the AP Keypad is easy and meant to be opened for battery changes. I found using a small stiff penknife blade, for prying & pressing along the case seam,  was handy for separating the case halves. Other keypad devices are just snapped together at only a few places, but the CP3/CP4  comes apart after its screws (and their critical nylon washers), are removed.
 
Good luck.
 
Joe Z.
 

From: Dominique Durand via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2020 1:37 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] North Keypad button problem
 

[Edited Message Follows]

Hi AP,
The keypad (3388GTO) of my Mach1 dating a little (2011) I took advantage of the command of my Mach2 to take a battery to replace the original one.
Everything went well and upon reignition I found all my parameters.
However, I have noticed for some time that there was a problem with the N key, on which it was necessary for it to activate the mount.Yesterday evening, after a few weeks without use (The mach2 occupied me well), I, during the evening "On The Moon Again", noticed that the N key on the keypad no longer worked.
Thanks to SkyFi3 that I had with me and skysafari I ensured the rest of the evening, but what to do to repair this problem on the N key?
The other keys work perfectly well.I understand that the new GTOCP5 / CP4 keypad, which I expect, will not be backward compatible with GTOCP3.

Dominique


AP 800

Peter Bresler
 

Since the 800 apparently uses stepper motors, it seems like it would be possible to adapt it to a recent controller, like the GT4. Has anyone ever done that?

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