Mach 1


doctp12 <doctp12@...>
 

Hi,

I am new to this forum, just received a AP 130 f/6 [1995] and Eagle 6.
Awaiting my Mach 1 in late May.
What do you think of this combo.? Good for visual and/or
Astrophotography? CCD Photography? Please post all good as well as bad
points about all of the above. Any shortcuts to the learning curve?

Any chance that this could double as a "grab and go" setup for a 1/2
hour after work viewing session or should a completely different setup
be aquired for that purpose [e.g. A.Z. mount?]

Sorry for the very elementary questions, I am really new to this level
of sophisticated equip.!

Thank you.
Tom.


observe_m13
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "doctp12" <doctp12@...> wrote:

Hi,

I am new to this forum, just received a AP 130 f/6 [1995] and Eagle 6.
Awaiting my Mach 1 in late May.
What do you think of this combo.? Good for visual and/or
Astrophotography?
YES!

CCD Photography?

YES!

Please post all good as well as bad
points about all of the above.
You will need the field flattener for any large CCD ST11K or FLI16803
cips otherwise should be ok as -is.

Any shortcuts to the learning curve?

No. You are going to have to learn how to set it up and to polar
align. There is a lot of information out there on how to do it. RTFM.
It is well written and has a lot of info. Read parts of it multiple
times if you are not familiar with the concepts. Most everyone learns
teh same way you are going to - by reading about it and doing it. One
thing to help out with the polar aligning is getting the PAS. One of
the most beneficial methods of learning is by joining your local astro
club and going out with them to learn how someone sets up similar
equipment and ask questions or aks tehm to explain what they are doing
as they do it. I don't know the level of your knowledge but learn the
sky fairly well especially the brighter stars. They are going to be
your friends for polar aligning and calibrating the keypad to the sky.
People can help out on specific questions but take things one step at
a time. Don't unwrap it and expect to be taking CCD pictures that
night unless you are taking pictures of it, not through it. I would
start out by leaving all the CCD stuff for later. Learn how to set it
up, learn how to polar align. An excellent polar alignment isn't
necessary for visual use but it certainly is for long deep exposures
with CCD's. Spend the time to learn how to get very close without the
CCD. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and it is going to be
the startng point for critical CCD polar alignment at some point. You
will have to learn all about guiding and working with the software to
control the camera, etc. Above all, look through the scope. If you get
frustrated trying to get that last tweak of polar alignment to work,
take a break, release the clutches a bit and manually point the
telescope at a known star. Tighten the clutches up a bit so that they
no longer slip easily, pick that star out of the list on the keypad
and 'RCAL' on it. Go on a sky tour with the keypad. Lots of things to
do. Have fun!


Any chance that this could double as a "grab and go" setup for a 1/2
hour after work viewing session or should a completely different setup
be aquired for that purpose [e.g. A.Z. mount?]
Oof, it's pretty heavy for a 'grab and go'. Maybe leaving it set up,
ready to go on some JMI wheels to roll it around? If you can do that,
then mark the spot it goes so that you can return it to where it was
relatively accurately, and be ready to go quite quickly.

Sorry for the very elementary questions, I am really new to this level
of sophisticated equip.!

Thank you.
Tom.


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@... writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


ivanong
 

As good as it gets, that combo. That's what I had.

Now here's an idea for grab n go- why don't you get a Discmount DM-6
with an A-P adapter? Then you can use that as a quickie alt-az head.
The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.

Ivan

--- In ap-gto@..., "doctp12" <doctp12@...> wrote:

Hi,

I am new to this forum, just received a AP 130 f/6 [1995] and Eagle 6.
Awaiting my Mach 1 in late May.
What do you think of this combo.? Good for visual and/or
Astrophotography? CCD Photography? Please post all good as well as bad
points about all of the above. Any shortcuts to the learning curve?

Any chance that this could double as a "grab and go" setup for a 1/2
hour after work viewing session or should a completely different setup
be aquired for that purpose [e.g. A.Z. mount?]

Sorry for the very elementary questions, I am really new to this level
of sophisticated equip.!

Thank you.
Tom.


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 2/12/2008 7:23:34 AM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@... writes:


Man, you're good! It takes me that long to screw in the polarscope
and do an alignment! :)
Why? Why screw in a polar scope. You would not do that with an alt-az, would
you? Why align it at all, you would not do that with an alt-az, would you?
Would you not simply place your scope onto the mount and observe? With a GEM you
simply point it approximately north, loosen the clutches and swing the scope
into observing position, just like you would with an alt-az. So why would you
need an Alt-Az?

Rolando


**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the
Grammy Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 2/12/2008 10:22:21 AM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@... writes:


Yes, you are perfectly right there. I happen to have an old DM-6
with DSS which I use for Alt Az (birding and astronomy)- setup is
pretty quick. I use the Mach1 when I need tracking for webcamming,
long term viewing of planets, double stars, etc. Just a personal
preference really as I have to make it up and down a flight of
stairs and open a couple of doors; the DM-6 is easier to carry. The
Sky Commander DSS is nice plus as the skies above my backyard are
pretty light polluted and it gets hard to find stuff in certain
quadrants.
So it's really a matter of aples and oranges, yes?

The fact that the GEM has more options (i.e. polar alignmnet, tracking, GoTo
etc) versus a simple Alt-Az is really the reason why it might take longer to
set up, not because it is a GEM. Another way to say this is that it takes
longer to get a sailboat underway than a kite.

Rolando


**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the
Grammy Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


ivanong
 

Man, you're good! It takes me that long to screw in the polarscope
and do an alignment! :)

In seriousness, my 40min is probably overstated. That is the time it
takes me to set up the mount and scope completely in the field for
imaging- including polar alignement and calibration of the guider.
The mount itself, pier, c-weights, cables and all, goes up within
15min. But 5min- impressive! In the old days I could field strip my
M16 and re-assemble it within 40s but nowadays working like that
only means I will drop something expensive in the dark.

Ivan


--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@... writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


ayiomamitis
 

Ivan,

My experience is similar to that of Rolando's involving my AP1200GTO.
I have the pier permanently outside (and aligned). Each session
involves (1) removing the protective tarp, (2) inserting the rings
into the dovetail, (3) loading the baby (AP160) and (4) getting the
battery out and connected.

Total time: probably 3-5 minutes.

I used to have a C14 with Losmandy G11 permanently outside until I
woke up one day to find 100+ lbs of equipment on the ground and with
the primary of the SCT missing a good "slice" thanks to incredible
winds during the night.

A good intermediate solution is to have the pier permanently outside
and polar aligned. Everything else follows like child's play.

Anthony.

--- In ap-gto@..., "ivanong" <ivanong@...> wrote:

Man, you're good! It takes me that long to screw in the polarscope
and do an alignment! :)

In seriousness, my 40min is probably overstated. That is the time it
takes me to set up the mount and scope completely in the field for
imaging- including polar alignement and calibration of the guider.
The mount itself, pier, c-weights, cables and all, goes up within
15min. But 5min- impressive! In the old days I could field strip my
M16 and re-assemble it within 40s but nowadays working like that
only means I will drop something expensive in the dark.

Ivan


--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)




Richard Crisp
 

my older AP1200GTO has resided outdoors covered by a Scrim bag for about 4-5 years

one time I replaced an RA motor/encoder and that cost me aboutt $200 and took about 30 minutes to replace.

so far as I am concerned these mounts are darn near bullet-proof.

We get these week long rain storms from time to time in NORCAL, and this guy gets awfully damp under that tarp but it jus always works. I uncover it, plug a few things into the laptop, flip a couple of switches and I am ready to focus and shoot

----- Original Message -----
From: ayiomamitis
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:07 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach 1


Ivan,

My experience is similar to that of Rolando's involving my AP1200GTO.
I have the pier permanently outside (and aligned). Each session
involves (1) removing the protective tarp, (2) inserting the rings
into the dovetail, (3) loading the baby (AP160) and (4) getting the
battery out and connected.

Total time: probably 3-5 minutes.

I used to have a C14 with Losmandy G11 permanently outside until I
woke up one day to find 100+ lbs of equipment on the ground and with
the primary of the SCT missing a good "slice" thanks to incredible
winds during the night.

A good intermediate solution is to have the pier permanently outside
and polar aligned. Everything else follows like child's play.

Anthony.

--- In ap-gto@..., "ivanong" <ivanong@...> wrote:
>
> Man, you're good! It takes me that long to screw in the polarscope
> and do an alignment! :)
>
> In seriousness, my 40min is probably overstated. That is the time it
> takes me to set up the mount and scope completely in the field for
> imaging- including polar alignement and calibration of the guider.
> The mount itself, pier, c-weights, cables and all, goes up within
> 15min. But 5min- impressive! In the old days I could field strip my
> M16 and re-assemble it within 40s but nowadays working like that
> only means I will drop something expensive in the dark.
>
> Ivan
>
>
> --- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:
> >
> > In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
> > ivanong@ writes:
> >
> >
> > > The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
> to
> > > screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
> > >
> >
> > Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
> the pier,
> > tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
> eyepiece,
> > look. What am I missing?
> >
> > Rollie
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > **************
> > The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
> > Awards. Go to AOL Music.
> >
> > (http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)
> >
> >
> >
> >
>


ivanong
 

Yes, you are perfectly right there. I happen to have an old DM-6
with DSS which I use for Alt Az (birding and astronomy)- setup is
pretty quick. I use the Mach1 when I need tracking for webcamming,
long term viewing of planets, double stars, etc. Just a personal
preference really as I have to make it up and down a flight of
stairs and open a couple of doors; the DM-6 is easier to carry. The
Sky Commander DSS is nice plus as the skies above my backyard are
pretty light polluted and it gets hard to find stuff in certain
quadrants.


Ivan

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 2/12/2008 7:23:34 AM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@... writes:


Man, you're good! It takes me that long to screw in the
polarscope
and do an alignment! :)
Why? Why screw in a polar scope. You would not do that with an alt-
az, would
you? Why align it at all, you would not do that with an alt-az,
would you?
Would you not simply place your scope onto the mount and observe?
With a GEM you
simply point it approximately north, loosen the clutches and swing
the scope
into observing position, just like you would with an alt-az. So
why would you
need an Alt-Az?

Rolando


**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the
Grammy Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)




observe_m13
 

Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up. Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it, going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative. Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@... writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


dogonenuts1 <nham@...>
 

Hi,

I have the setup you will have with the AP 155. While it is not
exactly grab and go, I can be set up quicker than the scope
equilibrates with the temp. If you use your legs to lift with, you
can leave the mount on the Eagle and take it outside as a unit.
This will save a bunch of time. It still takes a few minutes to put
on the counter weights, get the power source hooked up, scope
balanced, finder scope, eyepiece adapteron and polar aligned. I can
do it in 20 minutes rouhgly.

You will love the Mach 1. I was using a G 11 for several years
before my mount came in(6-7 years after sending my name in-they
didn't gorget me though!) and it was all I could do to do the same
sith it. Leveling and polar alignment seemed to take a lot longer
and the DSCs took a lot longer to synch and point. The Mach 1 is a
dream for the casual astronomer like me who just loves to look at
the grandeur of the night sky. Roland has made some pretty nice
stuff. Good luck with CCD imaging. I don't think I am man enough
for that.

RCH

--- In ap-gto@..., "doctp12" <doctp12@...> wrote:

Hi,

I am new to this forum, just received a AP 130 f/6 [1995] and
Eagle 6.
Awaiting my Mach 1 in late May.
What do you think of this combo.? Good for visual and/or
Astrophotography? CCD Photography? Please post all good as well
as bad
points about all of the above. Any shortcuts to the learning curve?

Any chance that this could double as a "grab and go" setup for a
1/2
hour after work viewing session or should a completely different
setup
be aquired for that purpose [e.g. A.Z. mount?]

Sorry for the very elementary questions, I am really new to this
level
of sophisticated equip.!

Thank you.
Tom.


masterson_harold <hfm5022@...>
 

I have a 900 mount on a Meade super field tripod and a 12" 200R
OTA. My wife thought I had lost it when I told her I was going to
Toys-R-Us for a new accessory. Picked up a Radio Flyer Big Red
Wagon. The mount, counterweight shaft, two 18 Lbs counterweights,
battery, keypad and cables all fit nicely in the wagon.
Significantly cuts down on the number of trips to set everything.
I can have everything outside and setup, but not polar aligned , in
10 to 15 minutes. The tripod setup and leveling is a large part of
this time. I can't say enough about my Red Wagon.


--- In ap-gto@..., "Rick K" <JunkMailGoesHere@...> wrote:

Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)




ivanong
 

That is indeed the case, Rolando. The lazziness and backbone
strength varies night to night. Some nights even a 7x50 is a pain
to "setup".

Although your suggestion of using the Mach1 as a quickie "alt az" I
will try out and see how it works. The old Vixen mounts (GP series)
had slow motion knobs you can engage to track manually if you were
roughly polar alinged. But the Mach1 has a buttery smoothness and
just the right gentle resistance with the clutches released so it
might hand track very well- I'll try it out the next time. I know
for sure it was certainly not do-able with my former EM-200, which
was why I originally got the DM-6.

Ivan






So it's really a matter of aples and oranges, yes?

The fact that the GEM has more options (i.e. polar alignmnet,
tracking, GoTo
etc) versus a simple Alt-Az is really the reason why it might take
longer to
set up, not because it is a GEM. Another way to say this is that
it takes
longer to get a sailboat underway than a kite.

Rolando


**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the
Grammy Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)




jimhp29401us <thefamily111@...>
 

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips



Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


observe_m13
 

Yes, it takes time to set up and polar align so that one can do half
hour to hour long exposures without field rotation with a big chip
CCD. There is no getting around it. Multiple short exposures simply do
not give the best results.

Webcam imaging is incredibly simple in comparison. I have done both
but prefer the big CCD and deepsky. Once you have done Mars, Jupiter
and Saturn, you are pretty much done. That is unless you are Alan
Friedman who pops up fairly regularly to post those incredible lunar
shots. VERY nice stuff indeed.

One should NEVER use SYNC with an AP mount unless you are really
familiar with how it works. RCAL instead. One of those "nearby" goto's
might smack your scope into the pier one day otherwise. Besides, if
you are using the keypad then you have already hauled out the power
supply can 110 cord or battery, mount cords, keypad, etc. Might as
well screw in the PAS and spend a minute or two getting a close polar
alignment. If I work at it with my PAS v3 for a bit, maybe 5 minutes
or so, I can get really close - as in good enough for imaging with 15
to 20 minute shots. For some reason my PAS v4 isn't quite as nicely
aligned. One of these days I might get around to tuning it in.

I like looking all over the sky and when I send keypad commands to
goto someplace 120 degrees away I like it to go there and I like it to
be in the FOV. It really doesn't take that long to do a rough polar
alignment with the PAS, but it does take a while to get everything
ready to go with power, control and cables. If I am strictly hands on
and manually slewing the scope (push-to) then polar alignment matters
not other than if I want to use a star atlas to combination star hop
and follow those invisible lines in the sky that cross each page.

It all depends on how you want to use your mount. I personally like to
have it polar aligned and powered up no matter what my plans are for
the evening.

--- In ap-gto@..., "jimhp29401us" <thefamily111@...> wrote:

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips



Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


jimhp29401us <thefamily111@...>
 

I definately know what I am doing when I use an AP mount. I
presently own an AP 6OO GOTO, a 9OO GOTO a 12OO GOTO and a 12OO QMD.
I am selling the AP 6OO Goto so I can buy a Mach1. I often carry my
AP 155 F/7 out and do a very rough polar alignment from my backyard
where you can NOT see Polaris. By synchronizing on the first few
objects I am able to find whatever I am looking for. As for webcam
imaging being incredibly simple and that once you've done Mars,
Jupiter and Saturn you are pretty much done, all I can do is laugh.
These planets change, often nightly. If you try to get images like
Alan, and I do, it is not "easy". There is an art and a science to
it. I can imagine Deep Sky imaging is great fun. I did it for a while
with an SBIG ST-6 years ago. I prefer the Sun, Moon and planets.

All the Best,

JIm Phillips



Yes, it takes time to set up and polar align so that one can do half
hour to hour long exposures without field rotation with a big chip
CCD. There is no getting around it. Multiple short exposures simply
do
not give the best results.

Webcam imaging is incredibly simple in comparison. I have done both
but prefer the big CCD and deepsky. Once you have done Mars, Jupiter
and Saturn, you are pretty much done. That is unless you are Alan
Friedman who pops up fairly regularly to post those incredible lunar
shots. VERY nice stuff indeed.

One should NEVER use SYNC with an AP mount unless you are really
familiar with how it works. RCAL instead. One of those "nearby"
goto's
might smack your scope into the pier one day otherwise. Besides, if
you are using the keypad then you have already hauled out the power
supply can 110 cord or battery, mount cords, keypad, etc. Might as
well screw in the PAS and spend a minute or two getting a close
polar
alignment. If I work at it with my PAS v3 for a bit, maybe 5 minutes
or so, I can get really close - as in good enough for imaging with
15
to 20 minute shots. For some reason my PAS v4 isn't quite as nicely
aligned. One of these days I might get around to tuning it in.

I like looking all over the sky and when I send keypad commands to
goto someplace 120 degrees away I like it to go there and I like it
to
be in the FOV. It really doesn't take that long to do a rough polar
alignment with the PAS, but it does take a while to get everything
ready to go with power, control and cables. If I am strictly hands
on
and manually slewing the scope (push-to) then polar alignment
matters
not other than if I want to use a star atlas to combination star hop
and follow those invisible lines in the sky that cross each page.

It all depends on how you want to use your mount. I personally like
to
have it polar aligned and powered up no matter what my plans are for
the evening.



--- In ap-gto@..., "jimhp29401us" <thefamily111@> wrote:

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate
polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use
the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to
whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging
of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to
keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all
over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem
processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips



Hmm,

It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement,
out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
going
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on
one
of
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and
roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky
it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply,
power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much
always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it
would
take
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and
there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
stars
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter
tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since
tripod
and
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all
relative.
Is
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500
for
a
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and
go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
reserve
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable
in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to
open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not
apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm
lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod.
Plunk
it
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing
roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell
battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the
optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
subject
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it
on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt
to
get
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else
but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of
parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be
treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are
worth
using.

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to
set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc.
Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from
nothing
to
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a
miracle.

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads
attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another
level, IF
I
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats
and
go
find a subject to image. It's all relative.



--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard
Time,
ivanong@ writes:


The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many
things
to
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it
into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate,
insert
eyepiece,
look. What am I missing?

Rollie




**************
The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy
Awards. Go to AOL Music.

(http://music.aol.com/grammys?NCID=aolcmp00300000002565)