Software wish list


Richard Kinsey
 

GPS is probably the last thing that I would like to see on my AP1200.
However, I can think of a number of "refinements" that I would like to
offer as constructive comments for consideration.

1. Numbering of the reference stars. If the reference stars were
numbered, instead of having to scroll through the list to find an
individual star, this would enable the user to quickly select stars at
any point in the alphabetical list. No one is going to remember the
number of every star, but the idea is that knowing there are say 50
stars on the list, entering 35 quickly puts the user three quarters the
way through the list close to the required star and then the next and
previous keys can be used to find the exact star. In practice one soon
remembers the numbers of stars used on a regular basis and these can be
selected immediately by entering their number on the keypad.

2. A "calibration" facility within the software to overcome the effect
of a non-orthogonal telescope. I appreciate that shimming the telescope
obviously overcomes this problem. However, with over 100lbs of
telescope on my AP1200, shimming has become very difficult in practice.
A facility within the software to "calibrate" the mount using reference
stars on each side of the meridian would be very useful indeed.

The only other thing that I would say, bearing in mind Gerald's
difficulties in polar aligning in the southern hemisphere, is that I
imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars would be
very welcome by some users.

As I have previously said, the above are intended as constructive
comments for discussion/consideration.

Thanks, Richard

--- In ap-gto@..., Gerald Sargent <sargentg@...> wrote:

I think that this topic has been exhaustively covered,
clearly fixed location users do not feel they need
anything more, and the minority portable users are
not all in accord. I do hope that the moderator will close
this topic now
For Roland, yes I do understand what you are saying,
ten minutes of time allows 150 nautical miles of rotation
at the equator, etc.


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 9/11/2008 4:12:19 AM Central Daylight Time,
richard.kinsey@... writes:


The only other thing that I would say, bearing in mind Gerald's
difficulties in polar aligning in the southern hemisphere, is that I
imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars would be
very welcome by some users.
The meridian delay method eliminates any need for reference stars. It is
quick, easy and deadly accurate. All you need is a bright star near the meridian.
You then flip the scope back and forth using the meridian delay feature on the
keypad to center the star on your crosshair using the altitude adjust. Once
you have the star on the crosshair, the altitude axis is set and needs no more
adjustment. You can do this in either north or southern hemisphere. No need
for a pole star.

Once the alt is set, you can adjust the azimuth axis independently. To set
the azimuth, you do not need a pole star either. You can start with the same
star above that you used to set the alt axis. Center it, press Rcal, then slew to
a star anywhere else in the sky with the scope on the same side of the
meridian (to avoid the effects of non-orthogonality of the scope). That second star
can be in the south, in the east, or in the west. It can even be south-east or
south west. Don't go near the pole because the accuracy becomes less up
there. The amount of azimuth offset will show up when you start with the star above
and then slew to a star in the E, W or S location. Simply adjust the azimuth
axis until the second star is centered, then slew back to the one near the
zenith. This one will not have moved much since it is in the center of the
rotation of the azimuth axis. In this way, you can very quickly set the azimuth
angle of your mounting without using any software, without polar scope and since
you are free to pick any star E, W or S, you can even do it if you have limited
viewing area due to buildings or trees.

I think people have trouble with my meridian delay method because they never
try it. Maybe they read it in the manual, and conclude that it is somehow very
complicated. It is indeed the simplest method available to you. If you start
out the scope from Park1 and use the Sun as a reference star, you can set up
the mount reasonably close in the daytime, so that at dusk you can begin this
Meridian Delay method as soon as the first bright stars are visible. Then, you
can quickly begin a more rigorous drift align if need be. However, I have
found that the Meridian delay gives me such dead nuts accurate polar align, that I
need no other follow up method for normal imaging in the field - it takes me
no more than 5 - 10 minutes tops. Only when I am imaging with more than 3000mm
focal length do I sometimes use the drift method for final alignments.

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)


Jeff Young <jey@...>
 

I think Richard's second suggestion is already being acted upon.

However, I had a thought about his first: as text messaging becomes more popular, more and more people know the mapping from number keys to letters (2 = a, 22 = b, 222 = c, 3 = d, 33 = e, etc.) You could hook it up so that the number keys jumped into the star list at that point in the alphabet.

-- Jeff.


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of Richard Kinsey
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 10:12 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Software wish list


GPS is probably the last thing that I would like to see on my AP1200.
However, I can think of a number of "refinements" that I would like to
offer as constructive comments for consideration.

1. Numbering of the reference stars. If the reference stars were
numbered, instead of having to scroll through the list to find an
individual star, this would enable the user to quickly select stars at
any point in the alphabetical list. No one is going to remember the
number of every star, but the idea is that knowing there are say 50
stars on the list, entering 35 quickly puts the user three quarters the
way through the list close to the required star and then the next and
previous keys can be used to find the exact star. In practice one soon
remembers the numbers of stars used on a regular basis and these can be
selected immediately by entering their number on the keypad.

2. A "calibration" facility within the software to overcome the effect
of a non-orthogonal telescope. I appreciate that shimming the telescope
obviously overcomes this problem. However, with over 100lbs of
telescope on my AP1200, shimming has become very difficult in practice.
A facility within the software to "calibrate" the mount using reference
stars on each side of the meridian would be very useful indeed.

The only other thing that I would say, bearing in mind Gerald's
difficulties in polar aligning in the southern hemisphere, is that I
imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars would be
very welcome by some users.

As I have previously said, the above are intended as constructive
comments for discussion/consideration.

Thanks, Richard

--- In ap-gto@...<mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com>, Gerald Sargent <sargentg@...> wrote:

I think that this topic has been exhaustively covered,
clearly fixed location users do not feel they need
anything more, and the minority portable users are
not all in accord. I do hope that the moderator will close
this topic now
For Roland, yes I do understand what you are saying,
ten minutes of time allows 150 nautical miles of rotation
at the equator, etc.


Chris Curran <curran.chris@...>
 

Richard,

2. A "calibration" facility within the software to overcome
Just curious: how does a non-ortho scope impact me? None of my scopes
are ortho and I never have a problem with guiding. Is it pointing?
Isn't AP already working on that (or have I misunderstood what AP is
planning with 'modeling')?

I imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars
would be very welcome by some users.
My 1200 does this now. You point at a reference star, change the
meridian setting in the hand controller, then re-goto that same star.
Adjust alignment. Repeat. It's pretty darn simple (and very accurate).
Works in the northern or southern hemisphere. What improvements should
be made to this?

I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris


Larry Phillips
 

The Mach1 has a bubble level.

Larry

--- In ap-gto@..., "Chris Curran" <curran.chris@...>
wrote:

Richard,

2. A "calibration" facility within the software to overcome
Just curious: how does a non-ortho scope impact me? None of my
scopes
are ortho and I never have a problem with guiding. Is it pointing?
Isn't AP already working on that (or have I misunderstood what AP is
planning with 'modeling')?

I imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars
would be very welcome by some users.
My 1200 does this now. You point at a reference star, change the
meridian setting in the hand controller, then re-goto that same
star.
Adjust alignment. Repeat. It's pretty darn simple (and very
accurate).
Works in the northern or southern hemisphere. What improvements
should
be made to this?

I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 9/11/2008 2:35:31 PM Central Daylight Time,
cdh59@... writes:


I'd like to have a luminescent 6" straight level included w/ the mount,
rather than a bubble level
Why not purchase one at Ace Hardware?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 9/11/2008 3:20:10 PM Central Daylight Time, dean@...
writes:


Maybe you could machine a nice level directly in the counter weight shaft
with a digital readout???
No, because to use the Park method you need to move the level from the tube
assembly to the counterweight shaft. Also, how would you time the cut in the
counterweight shaft so that when you screw it into the axis, that the level
would be on the upper part?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)


Richard Kinsey
 

Hi Chris, it is just a matter of pointing accuracy across the
meridian and nothing to do with guiding. If the ota is orthogonal to
the mount, then this isn't a problem, but when it isn't, pointing
accuracy across the meridian can be quite a way off.
It sounds as though a facility of this nature might be "in the
pipeline", which is obviously good news if that is the case.
Cheers, Richard

--- In ap-gto@..., "Chris Curran" <curran.chris@...>
wrote:

Richard,

2. A "calibration" facility within the software to overcome
Just curious: how does a non-ortho scope impact me? None of my
scopes
are ortho and I never have a problem with guiding. Is it pointing?
Isn't AP already working on that (or have I misunderstood what AP is
planning with 'modeling')?

I imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars
would be very welcome by some users.
My 1200 does this now. You point at a reference star, change the
meridian setting in the hand controller, then re-goto that same
star.
Adjust alignment. Repeat. It's pretty darn simple (and very
accurate).
Works in the northern or southern hemisphere. What improvements
should
be made to this?

I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Chris,

I would second your wish for the "red light". I think it should be pointed up from in front of the keypad hook, since I find it hassle to poke around in the dark trying to attach the BLACK ring onto a mating hook on the mount. That requires two hands as I end up doing it by feel - much more difficult with gloves on.

To solve my own problem - for lack of a red LED - I plan on "painting the AP keypad hook" with luminous white paint used for fishing lures. If the keypad hook were made of clear plastic material, a backward (not top) pointing red LED could both light up the hook with "edge-lighting", and provide a back pointing lamp when you need to check something with it, and avoid it pointing upward at the scope.

As for item #1, the bubble level, I bought one of those cheap two axis bubble levels ( visit Scopestuff) - the one that is on a flat red plastic triangle plate - and simply place it approximately on the AP base plate pivot point, or flush against the azimuth adjuster block, for a more convenient viewpoint.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Curran" <curran.chris@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:49 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Software wish list



I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris


Dean S
 

Since I believe Roland buys the handbox from an industrial supplier it may
be hard to expect them to want to modify it for what they probably consider
a small quantity.

But I like your idea of some glow in the dark paint for the hanger.

The red light on my old Meade Autostar was handy only becasue it did not
keep track of the time like AP does.

Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 12:52 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Software wish list


Hi Chris,

I would second your wish for the "red light". I think it should be
pointed up from in front of the keypad hook, since I find it hassle to
poke
around in the dark trying to attach the BLACK ring onto a mating hook on
the
mount. That requires two hands as I end up doing it by feel - much more
difficult with gloves on.

To solve my own problem - for lack of a red LED - I plan on "painting
the AP keypad hook" with luminous white paint used for fishing lures. If
the keypad hook were made of clear plastic material, a backward (not top)
pointing red LED could both light up the hook with "edge-lighting", and
provide a back pointing lamp when you need to check something with it, and
avoid it pointing upward at the scope.

As for item #1, the bubble level, I bought one of those cheap two axis
bubble levels ( visit Scopestuff) - the one that is on a flat red plastic
triangle plate - and simply place it approximately on the AP base plate
pivot point, or flush against the azimuth adjuster block, for a more
convenient viewpoint.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Curran" <curran.chris@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:49 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Software wish list



I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris



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Chuck Hancock
 

I'd like to have a luminescent 6" straight level included w/ the mount, rather than a bubble level. That way one could use it for resuming from park on initial setup, as well as leveling the tripod AND the mount. If you could implement this in the software, that would be OK, too. Oh, and a coffee maker on the larger mounts, if it could be used for tea as well. :)
Clear skies,
Chuck

Chris Curran wrote:

Richard,


2. A "calibration" facility within the software to overcome
Just curious: how does a non-ortho scope impact me? None of my scopes
are ortho and I never have a problem with guiding. Is it pointing?
Isn't AP already working on that (or have I misunderstood what AP is
planning with 'modeling')?


I imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars
would be very welcome by some users.
My 1200 does this now. You point at a reference star, change the
meridian setting in the hand controller, then re-goto that same star.
Adjust alignment. Repeat. It's pretty darn simple (and very accurate).
Works in the northern or southern hemisphere. What improvements should
be made to this?

I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris



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Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 9/11/2008 6:09:55 PM Central Daylight Time,
llp41astro@... writes:


#1. In adjusting azimuth you say you can use the same star used for
altitude to move back to, which you said earlier in the description
should be near the meridian. Then you say after going to a second
star you move back to the one near the zenith. You never mentioned
the star should be near the zenith earlier. Did you mean meridian?

I usually use the star near the Zenith, near or on the meridian for the first
step. If you use this for the second step, you will not change its position
on the crosshair as you adjust the azimuth angle (simply because its directly
overhead).


#2. In the Keypad manual to make the azimuth adjustment, it says to
select two stars in the east or west with similar right ascension
values. Your description here is different since you say you can use
for one of the stars the one used for altitude adjustment. Will
either way work the same?
Think about it. You can realistically use any star in any direction if you
start with the one at the Zenith.

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)


Dean S
 

Maybe you could machine a nice level directly in the counter weight shaft
with a digital readout??? That would be Sweeeeet :) (and $$$)

----- Original Message -----
From: <chris1011@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:12 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Software wish list


In a message dated 9/11/2008 2:35:31 PM Central Daylight Time,
cdh59@... writes:


I'd like to have a luminescent 6" straight level included w/ the mount,
rather than a bubble level
Why not purchase one at Ace Hardware?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)





------------------------------------

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Chris Curran <curran.chris@...>
 

I don't "hang" my controller on it's hook. I have some of that 2"
industrial velcro on the back of my controller and at various places
on the pier. I just "stick" it. I'd like the red led for use as a
flashlight - for when I drop stuff on the ground and my real
flashlight it back at the laptop. Say you're trying to adjust that PAS
reticle and you drop that 0.9mm black hex wrench on the ground....
Yea, I did that and by the time I got back with light, it was too late. :)

I have plenty of bubble/other levels. I'd just like to have it "built
in" so I didn't have to find it each time I setup. I suppose I could
epoxy one to the mount...

Luminous white paint? Really? Please don't setup next to me. :)

cheers & beers,
Chris

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...> wrote:

Hi Chris,

I would second your wish for the "red light". I think it should be
pointed up from in front of the keypad hook, since I find it hassle
to poke
around in the dark trying to attach the BLACK ring onto a mating
hook on the
mount. That requires two hands as I end up doing it by feel - much more
difficult with gloves on.

To solve my own problem - for lack of a red LED - I plan on
"painting
the AP keypad hook" with luminous white paint used for fishing
lures. If
the keypad hook were made of clear plastic material, a backward
(not top)
pointing red LED could both light up the hook with "edge-lighting", and
provide a back pointing lamp when you need to check something with
it, and
avoid it pointing upward at the scope.

As for item #1, the bubble level, I bought one of those cheap
two axis
bubble levels ( visit Scopestuff) - the one that is on a flat red
plastic
triangle plate - and simply place it approximately on the AP base plate
pivot point, or flush against the azimuth adjuster block, for a more
convenient viewpoint.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Curran" <curran.chris@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:49 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Software wish list



I have two suggestions for upcoming AP mounts though:

1) A bubble level built into the base of the mount.
2) a red led light built into the hand controller.

cheers & beers,
Chris


Ladislav Nemec <nemecl@...>
 

As a 'poor relative' of you AP folks with my Losmandy/Gemini mount I dare to
ask a question: can this method be used on my mount? OK, I should have
probably googled the subject first.



From the description below it seems that the method does not really depend
on any specific feature of AP mounts but I may be wrong.



Apologies form a poor relative.



LN

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
chris1011@...
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:34 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Cc: Howard@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Software wish list



In a message dated 9/11/2008 4:12:19 AM Central Daylight Time,
richard.kinsey@ <mailto:richard.kinsey%40tiscali.co.uk> tiscali.co.uk
writes:

The only other thing that I would say, bearing in mind Gerald's
difficulties in polar aligning in the southern hemisphere, is that I
imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars would be
very welcome by some users.
The meridian delay method eliminates any need for reference stars. It is
quick, easy and deadly accurate. All you need is a bright star near the
meridian.
You then flip the scope back and forth using the meridian delay feature on
the
keypad to center the star on your crosshair using the altitude adjust. Once
you have the star on the crosshair, the altitude axis is set and needs no
more
adjustment. You can do this in either north or southern hemisphere. No need
for a pole star.

Once the alt is set, you can adjust the azimuth axis independently. To set
the azimuth, you do not need a pole star either. You can start with the same

star above that you used to set the alt axis. Center it, press Rcal, then
slew to
a star anywhere else in the sky with the scope on the same side of the
meridian (to avoid the effects of non-orthogonality of the scope). That
second star
can be in the south, in the east, or in the west. It can even be south-east
or
south west. Don't go near the pole because the accuracy becomes less up
there. The amount of azimuth offset will show up when you start with the
star above
and then slew to a star in the E, W or S location. Simply adjust the azimuth

axis until the second star is centered, then slew back to the one near the
zenith. This one will not have moved much since it is in the center of the
rotation of the azimuth axis. In this way, you can very quickly set the
azimuth
angle of your mounting without using any software, without polar scope and
since
you are free to pick any star E, W or S, you can even do it if you have
limited
viewing area due to buildings or trees.

I think people have trouble with my meridian delay method because they never

try it. Maybe they read it in the manual, and conclude that it is somehow
very
complicated. It is indeed the simplest method available to you. If you start

out the scope from Park1 and use the Sun as a reference star, you can set up

the mount reasonably close in the daytime, so that at dusk you can begin
this
Meridian Delay method as soon as the first bright stars are visible. Then,
you
can quickly begin a more rigorous drift align if need be. However, I have
found that the Meridian delay gives me such dead nuts accurate polar align,
that I
need no other follow up method for normal imaging in the field - it takes me

no more than 5 - 10 minutes tops. Only when I am imaging with more than
3000mm
focal length do I sometimes use the drift method for final alignments.

Rolando

**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelis
<http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014>
t.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)


Dean S
 

I'm sure the if it could be done AP can figure it out :)

In the mean time I will keep using my digital protrac level.

Dean

Yes I was joking, but then again.............

----- Original Message -----
From: <chris1011@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:23 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Software wish list


In a message dated 9/11/2008 3:20:10 PM Central Daylight Time, dean@...
writes:


Maybe you could machine a nice level directly in the counter weight shaft
with a digital readout???
No, because to use the Park method you need to move the level from the tube
assembly to the counterweight shaft. Also, how would you time the cut in the
counterweight shaft so that when you screw it into the axis, that the level
would be on the upper part?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)




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--
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 270.6.20/1666 - Release Date: 9/11/2008 7:03 AM


Chuck Hancock
 

kidding ;)

chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 9/11/2008 2:35:31 PM Central Daylight Time, cdh59@... writes:



I'd like to have a luminescent 6" straight level included w/ the mount, rather than a bubble level
Why not purchase one at Ace Hardware?

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.
(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)




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Ladislav Nemec <nemecl@...>
 

One should, indeed, do his quick search before asking a question here. It
appears that the method described in detail in one of the AP manuals can be
used for Gemini Level 4. I never tried that but, apparently, as long as the
same object can be reached from both east and west from meridian, a command
'Meridian Flip' appears on the Gemini Quick Menu. Actually simpler than
described in the AP manual. In about 5 hours I'll try that.



Again, my apologies for being off-topic here but Rolando certainly gives a
good advice, not only to AP users.



Best,

LN

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
Ladislav Nemec
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 2:28 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Software wish list



As a 'poor relative' of you AP folks with my Losmandy/Gemini mount I dare to
ask a question: can this method be used on my mount? OK, I should have
probably googled the subject first.

From the description below it seems that the method does not really depend
on any specific feature of AP mounts but I may be wrong.

Apologies form a poor relative.

LN

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups. <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> com
[mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups. <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> com] On Behalf
Of
chris1011@aol. <mailto:chris1011%40aol.com> com
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:34 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups. <mailto:ap-gto%40yahoogroups.com> com
Cc: Howard@astro- <mailto:Howard%40astro-physics.com> physics.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Software wish list

In a message dated 9/11/2008 4:12:19 AM Central Daylight Time,
richard.kinsey@ <mailto:richard.kinsey%40tiscali.co.uk> tiscali.co.uk
writes:

The only other thing that I would say, bearing in mind Gerald's
difficulties in polar aligning in the southern hemisphere, is that I
imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars would be
very welcome by some users.
The meridian delay method eliminates any need for reference stars. It is
quick, easy and deadly accurate. All you need is a bright star near the
meridian.
You then flip the scope back and forth using the meridian delay feature on
the
keypad to center the star on your crosshair using the altitude adjust. Once
you have the star on the crosshair, the altitude axis is set and needs no
more
adjustment. You can do this in either north or southern hemisphere. No need
for a pole star.

Once the alt is set, you can adjust the azimuth axis independently. To set
the azimuth, you do not need a pole star either. You can start with the same

star above that you used to set the alt axis. Center it, press Rcal, then
slew to
a star anywhere else in the sky with the scope on the same side of the
meridian (to avoid the effects of non-orthogonality of the scope). That
second star
can be in the south, in the east, or in the west. It can even be south-east
or
south west. Don't go near the pole because the accuracy becomes less up
there. The amount of azimuth offset will show up when you start with the
star above
and then slew to a star in the E, W or S location. Simply adjust the azimuth

axis until the second star is centered, then slew back to the one near the
zenith. This one will not have moved much since it is in the center of the
rotation of the azimuth axis. In this way, you can very quickly set the
azimuth
angle of your mounting without using any software, without polar scope and
since
you are free to pick any star E, W or S, you can even do it if you have
limited
viewing area due to buildings or trees.

I think people have trouble with my meridian delay method because they never

try it. Maybe they read it in the manual, and conclude that it is somehow
very
complicated. It is indeed the simplest method available to you. If you start

out the scope from Park1 and use the Sun as a reference star, you can set up

the mount reasonably close in the daytime, so that at dusk you can begin
this
Meridian Delay method as soon as the first bright stars are visible. Then,
you
can quickly begin a more rigorous drift align if need be. However, I have
found that the Meridian delay gives me such dead nuts accurate polar align,
that I
need no other follow up method for normal imaging in the field - it takes me

no more than 5 - 10 minutes tops. Only when I am imaging with more than
3000mm
focal length do I sometimes use the drift method for final alignments.

Rolando

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Larry Phillips
 

Roland,
I have two questions about your comments below concerning the Meridan
Delay alignment procedure.

#1. In adjusting azimuth you say you can use the same star used for
altitude to move back to, which you said earlier in the description
should be near the meridian. Then you say after going to a second
star you move back to the one near the zenith. You never mentioned
the star should be near the zenith earlier. Did you mean meridian?

#2. In the Keypad manual to make the azimuth adjustment, it says to
select two stars in the east or west with similar right ascension
values. Your description here is different since you say you can use
for one of the stars the one used for altitude adjustment. Will
either way work the same?

I am just trying to clear up the confusion in my mind about this.
Thanks for any response you can provide.

Larry


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

In a message dated 9/11/2008 4:12:19 AM Central Daylight Time,
richard.kinsey@... writes:


The only other thing that I would say, bearing in mind Gerald's
difficulties in polar aligning in the southern hemisphere, is
that I
imagine that a facilty to polar align using reference stars would
be
very welcome by some users.
The meridian delay method eliminates any need for reference stars.
It is
quick, easy and deadly accurate. All you need is a bright star near
the meridian.
You then flip the scope back and forth using the meridian delay
feature on the
keypad to center the star on your crosshair using the altitude
adjust. Once
you have the star on the crosshair, the altitude axis is set and
needs no more
adjustment. You can do this in either north or southern hemisphere.
No need
for a pole star.

Once the alt is set, you can adjust the azimuth axis independently.
To set
the azimuth, you do not need a pole star either. You can start with
the same
star above that you used to set the alt axis. Center it, press
Rcal, then slew to
a star anywhere else in the sky with the scope on the same side of
the
meridian (to avoid the effects of non-orthogonality of the scope).
That second star
can be in the south, in the east, or in the west. It can even be
south-east or
south west. Don't go near the pole because the accuracy becomes
less up
there. The amount of azimuth offset will show up when you start
with the star above
and then slew to a star in the E, W or S location. Simply adjust
the azimuth
axis until the second star is centered, then slew back to the one
near the
zenith. This one will not have moved much since it is in the center
of the
rotation of the azimuth axis. In this way, you can very quickly set
the azimuth
angle of your mounting without using any software, without polar
scope and since
you are free to pick any star E, W or S, you can even do it if you
have limited
viewing area due to buildings or trees.

I think people have trouble with my meridian delay method because
they never
try it. Maybe they read it in the manual, and conclude that it is
somehow very
complicated. It is indeed the simplest method available to you. If
you start
out the scope from Park1 and use the Sun as a reference star, you
can set up
the mount reasonably close in the daytime, so that at dusk you can
begin this
Meridian Delay method as soon as the first bright stars are
visible. Then, you
can quickly begin a more rigorous drift align if need be. However,
I have
found that the Meridian delay gives me such dead nuts accurate
polar align, that I
need no other follow up method for normal imaging in the field - it
takes me
no more than 5 - 10 minutes tops. Only when I am imaging with more
than 3000mm
focal length do I sometimes use the drift method for final
alignments.

Rolando


**************
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blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

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masterson_harold <hfm5022@...>
 

Roland,

Is any consideration being give to replacing the existing keypad
polar alignment routines (N Polar Calibrate and Two-star
Calibration) with a more automated keypad version of the MD
procedure? Seems the existing routines can have a problem
converging while the MD procedure is very robust.

Thanks
Harold


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

In a message dated 9/11/2008 6:09:55 PM Central Daylight Time,
llp41astro@... writes:


#1. In adjusting azimuth you say you can use the same star used
for
altitude to move back to, which you said earlier in the
description
should be near the meridian. Then you say after going to a
second
star you move back to the one near the zenith. You never
mentioned
the star should be near the zenith earlier. Did you mean
meridian?


I usually use the star near the Zenith, near or on the meridian for
the first
step. If you use this for the second step, you will not change its
position
on the crosshair as you adjust the azimuth angle (simply because
its directly
overhead).


#2. In the Keypad manual to make the azimuth adjustment, it says
to
select two stars in the east or west with similar right ascension
values. Your description here is different since you say you can
use
for one of the stars the one used for altitude adjustment. Will
either way work the same?
Think about it. You can realistically use any star in any direction
if you
start with the one at the Zenith.

Rolando


**************
Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion
blog, plus the latest fall trends and hair styles at StyleList.com.

(http://www.stylelist.com/trends?ncid=aolsty00050000000014)