New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Mike Mah
 

Hi Steve,

It is my impression that the AP GTO on the Parallax implements the same
software as with the AP mounts. Keypad controller and control panel
should be the same except that the control panel on the 125 is not
built into the mount but is in a little pouch which one hangs from one
of the bolts on the equatorial head. Joe Nastasi of Parallax says that
the same servo motors are used.

With the few times I have used the mount, it seems sturdy and solid
enough. It tracks fine for visual purposes but I have yet to do drift
alignment. One of these days, I'll learn how to use my CCD camera and
take some pictures.

The gears on the motors are exposed, so I have to be careful that
cables don't get caught in them. The clutches are of the knob kind and
do not completely lock the axes as they still can be moved by hand,
although I suspect that this by design.

Mike Mah


"steve leikind" <sleikin-@visi.com> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=459
Mike:

I am afraid I cannot help, but it sounds like you are getting useful
information form others on this list. I am curious if you have any
general impressions you can share on the Parallax implementation of
the
AP Goto. This is the only company other than AP itself, that uses the
AP GOTO with its mounts. Also, what do you think about the Parallax
mount itself? Sounds like you have a lot of stuff on their given the
size of the 125 though the 1200 you have on order should handle this
easily. Any comments on tracking, stability etc. of the 125? Thanks.

-Steve


Mike Mah
 

Hi Charles,

Yes, my problems are likely from sloppy initial setup.

On my GTO, the hand controller plugs into the GTO control panel
(GTOCP2) which is portable and in its own little pouch and not built
into the mount, as I believe it is on the AP mounts. This control panel
accepts RS232 input from other programs and I have used Digital
SkyVoice with it (at home anyways).

Thanks,

Mike Mah

"charles sinsofsky" <strfir-@attglobal.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=456
OK, hello,

One last note, inside the mount itself is more code, above and
beyound
that what is in the hand controller, sometimes it is possible
depending on
your code base, I do not know what code would be in a paralex 'bought
the
a/p goto system' e-prom code base, the hand controller first decides
if it
is safe to move to an object, the code there will say 'fine' and send
the
mount the ra/dec cords though it is possible that the mount itself
will
refuse. this is a safety feature built into the code base in the mount
because not everyone uses the mount with a hand controller. remember
the a/p
goto system can be used directly from a p.c. if the given computer
program
being used did not check for horizon it could technically inform the
mount
to move the scope into the pier...we placed in additional checks for
horizon
to compensate for just that type of case. this code has over time
been even
more refined, so because of this, I am not sure what level of code
would be
in your given gto system, as opposed to the latest and greatest one
in a
given a/p gto mount right now.

But I would not worry about it...really..

- Charles Sinsofsky
Author: DigitalSky Voice, and contributor to the A/P mount GTO
system.
www.digitalskyvoice.com
email: strfire@attglobal.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Mah <mikemah@attglobal.net>
To: <ap-gto@eGroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 9:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Hello everybody,

I've just joined and I find these postings useful and informative. I
hope I can find help for some questions:

I have an AP155 EDFS with piggybacked Tak FSQ106 on a pier mounted
Parallax Series 125 with AP GTO v2.6. I have acquired these recently
and have only used this setup a few times, so that I have more
equipment than experience. I am waiting for an AP1200 mount, to
which I
will move the AP155.

With mount level and after proper polar alignment using the Polaris
routine, I have noticed that occasionally objects are indicated as
below the horizon when they are not. For example, last night at
about
9:30 pm the Orion Nebula was indicated to be below the horizon when
it
was not, and I could goto Betelgeuse. Did I miss something in the
manual on the GTO keypad controller about the horizon?

When I tried to goto M81, I had to stop the slewing as the scope was
going to hit the pier. What angle does the safety zone number (0-20)
refer to? Degrees from the polar axis so that the safety zone is a
cone
(or circle on the sky)? Is this then a blind spot that the scope
can't
access?

Thanks,

Mike Mah




Charles Sinsofsky <strfire@...>
 

OK, hello,
to answer your questions regarding the safe zone, and also I will place
this into the group area so that others may also use the information if they
find it usefull

1) Orion below the horizon, when it really was not.. Well that really
depends on how you set up the internal clock and date and your location
information. Remember the mount will calculate the altitude of an object
based on this information. if an object is relativly close to the horizon,
but visualy it is not, if your internal clock and position information is
not correct then it may very well indicate it is below the horizon.

2) the safe zone, what it refers to is the number of defrees in a giant
circle from the zenith (stright above your head) outword. so a 20 degree
safe zone would mean the scope would refuse to slew into any object at
altitude 90 - 20 (or nothing greater then 70 degrees up). we designed it
this way as not to have a large refractor bump an expensive camera or
eyepiece or ccd into the tripod or pier rob or base for that matter. in
most cases you will not have to set the safe zone. or rightly explained or
refered to as 'exclusion zone' ....ie: the scope will not enter that area.

One last note, inside the mount itself is more code, above and beyound
that what is in the hand controller, sometimes it is possible depending on
your code base, I do not know what code would be in a paralex 'bought the
a/p goto system' e-prom code base, the hand controller first decides if it
is safe to move to an object, the code there will say 'fine' and send the
mount the ra/dec cords though it is possible that the mount itself will
refuse. this is a safety feature built into the code base in the mount
because not everyone uses the mount with a hand controller. remember the a/p
goto system can be used directly from a p.c. if the given computer program
being used did not check for horizon it could technically inform the mount
to move the scope into the pier...we placed in additional checks for horizon
to compensate for just that type of case. this code has over time been even
more refined, so because of this, I am not sure what level of code would be
in your given gto system, as opposed to the latest and greatest one in a
given a/p gto mount right now.

But I would not worry about it...really..

- Charles Sinsofsky
Author: DigitalSky Voice, and contributor to the A/P mount GTO system.
www.digitalskyvoice.com
email: strfire@attglobal.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Mah <mikemah@attglobal.net>
To: <ap-gto@eGroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 9:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Hello everybody,

I've just joined and I find these postings useful and informative. I
hope I can find help for some questions:

I have an AP155 EDFS with piggybacked Tak FSQ106 on a pier mounted
Parallax Series 125 with AP GTO v2.6. I have acquired these recently
and have only used this setup a few times, so that I have more
equipment than experience. I am waiting for an AP1200 mount, to which I
will move the AP155.

With mount level and after proper polar alignment using the Polaris
routine, I have noticed that occasionally objects are indicated as
below the horizon when they are not. For example, last night at about
9:30 pm the Orion Nebula was indicated to be below the horizon when it
was not, and I could goto Betelgeuse. Did I miss something in the
manual on the GTO keypad controller about the horizon?

When I tried to goto M81, I had to stop the slewing as the scope was
going to hit the pier. What angle does the safety zone number (0-20)
refer to? Degrees from the polar axis so that the safety zone is a cone
(or circle on the sky)? Is this then a blind spot that the scope can't
access?

Thanks,

Mike Mah




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howard lazarus <lazhow@...>
 

Hello again , Mike.

I use a pier and have never had the scope hit the pier. Set your slew or
pier stop number to #3....it will handle problems annd you will be able to
go to the zenith. You must be very careful on the setting up on your keypad
as you have already learned ...i think you will be set to go and hope you
enjoy you new mount. Mine is almost two years old being recieved in Oct 98.

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Mah <mikemah@attglobal.net>
To: <ap-gto@eGroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 7:42 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Hi Howard,

Whoops, I just realized the values for longitude and latitude were
reversed - I've corrected it to long W 79:24, lat N 43:52 (I copied the
info from my LX200 manual where the order is lat/long rather than
long/lat.

Thanks again.

Mike Mah



"mike mah" <mikema-@attglobal.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=449
Hi Howard,

1) yes long W 43:52, lat N 79:24
2) yes time zone 5, DS 0

but I double checked the time and it was one hour advanced. This could
account for the horizon problem.

3) yes, polar alignment with Sirius/Procyon.

Thanks. Any idea re safety zone?

Mike Mah


"howard lazarus" <lazho-@prodigy.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=448
Hi Mike;
First do you have the correct long. and lat. settings.???
Second do you have the correct time zone/ daylight or standard.

Third did you do a polar alignment and did you start off with a
southern
star???

Hope that helps
Howard Lazarus

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Mike Mah
 

Hi Howard,

Whoops, I just realized the values for longitude and latitude were
reversed - I've corrected it to long W 79:24, lat N 43:52 (I copied the
info from my LX200 manual where the order is lat/long rather than
long/lat.

Thanks again.

Mike Mah



"mike mah" <mikema-@attglobal.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=449

Hi Howard,

1) yes long W 43:52, lat N 79:24
2) yes time zone 5, DS 0

but I double checked the time and it was one hour advanced. This could
account for the horizon problem.

3) yes, polar alignment with Sirius/Procyon.

Thanks. Any idea re safety zone?

Mike Mah


"howard lazarus" <lazho-@prodigy.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=448
Hi Mike;
First do you have the correct long. and lat. settings.???
Second do you have the correct time zone/ daylight or standard.

Third did you do a polar alignment and did you start off with a
southern
star???

Hope that helps
Howard Lazarus


Mike Mah
 

Hi Howard,

1) yes long W 43:52, lat N 79:24
2) yes time zone 5, DS 0

but I double checked the time and it was one hour advanced. This could
account for the horizon problem.

3) yes, polar alignment with Sirius/Procyon.

Thanks. Any idea re safety zone?

Mike Mah


"howard lazarus" <lazho-@prodigy.net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/ap-gto/?start=448
Hi Mike;
First do you have the correct long. and lat. settings.???
Second do you have the correct time zone/ daylight or standard.

Third did you do a polar alignment and did you start off with a
southern
star???

Hope that helps
Howard Lazarus


howard lazarus <lazhow@...>
 

Hi Mike;
First do you have the correct long. and lat. settings.???
Second do you have the correct time zone/ daylight or standard.

Third did you do a polar alignment and did you start off with a southern
star???

Hope that helps
Howard Lazarus

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Mah <mikemah@attglobal.net>
To: <ap-gto@eGroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 9:58 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] New member: AP GTO on Parallax mount


Hello everybody,

I've just joined and I find these postings useful and informative. I
hope I can find help for some questions:

I have an AP155 EDFS with piggybacked Tak FSQ106 on a pier mounted
Parallax Series 125 with AP GTO v2.6. I have acquired these recently
and have only used this setup a few times, so that I have more
equipment than experience. I am waiting for an AP1200 mount, to which I
will move the AP155.

With mount level and after proper polar alignment using the Polaris
routine, I have noticed that occasionally objects are indicated as
below the horizon when they are not. For example, last night at about
9:30 pm the Orion Nebula was indicated to be below the horizon when it
was not, and I could goto Betelgeuse. Did I miss something in the
manual on the GTO keypad controller about the horizon?

When I tried to goto M81, I had to stop the slewing as the scope was
going to hit the pier. What angle does the safety zone number (0-20)
refer to? Degrees from the polar axis so that the safety zone is a cone
(or circle on the sky)? Is this then a blind spot that the scope can't
access?

Thanks,

Mike Mah




------------------------------------------------------------------------
Good friends, school spirit, hair-dos you'd like to forget.
Classmates.com has them all. And with 4.4 million alumni already
registered, there's a good chance you'll find your friends here:
http://click.egroups.com/1/2637/3/_/3615/_/954090674/

-- Check out your group's private Chat room
-- http://www.egroups.com/ChatPage?listName=ap-gto&m=1


Mike Mah
 

Hello everybody,

I've just joined and I find these postings useful and informative. I
hope I can find help for some questions:

I have an AP155 EDFS with piggybacked Tak FSQ106 on a pier mounted
Parallax Series 125 with AP GTO v2.6. I have acquired these recently
and have only used this setup a few times, so that I have more
equipment than experience. I am waiting for an AP1200 mount, to which I
will move the AP155.

With mount level and after proper polar alignment using the Polaris
routine, I have noticed that occasionally objects are indicated as
below the horizon when they are not. For example, last night at about
9:30 pm the Orion Nebula was indicated to be below the horizon when it
was not, and I could goto Betelgeuse. Did I miss something in the
manual on the GTO keypad controller about the horizon?

When I tried to goto M81, I had to stop the slewing as the scope was
going to hit the pier. What angle does the safety zone number (0-20)
refer to? Degrees from the polar axis so that the safety zone is a cone
(or circle on the sky)? Is this then a blind spot that the scope can't
access?

Thanks,

Mike Mah