The CN Encoder Debate Continues...


Bill Long
 

With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"

From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).

 

It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.


Roland Christen
 

I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"
From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
 
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.



Bill Long
 

This is likely going to get deleted, but I at least had the opportunity to talk about economics, which I always enjoy. 🙂

chadrian84, on 15 Apr 2019 - 4:16 PM, said:

I'm hardly a "greed-fretting anti-capitalist" or someone who "sits around for product announcements suspicious of a secret evil."  I've been fortunate to make a good living taking risks and selling items at (often very large) mark-ups.  AP should charge as much as the market will bear (as all companies do).

 

Your claim seems to be that AP willingly sacrifices profit for the benefit of the astro community.   Yes, they sometimes sell products below market value, but I'm not so naive to think it's not part of the business strategy.  They do limited releases which sell below market, but they make up the difference (and more) by getting an enormous amount of marketing, perceived demand, and goodwill in return.

 

Regarding why I'm interested in encoder prices: A good consumer should question the price of things and always put downward pricing pressure on manufacturers (in an honest way) - for strange reasons, the M.O. of some consumers here is to do the opposite - praise, praise, praise, and never question.  If it comes to light that AP has a 400% markup on each encoder sold, they may be pressured to lower their prices, or a competitor may come along and sell it cheaper.  Both cases benefit us.  If AP goes out of business, it will be due to another company producing a better product for a better price; not because they didn't get the markup they wanted on their encoders.

 

I fully agree that AP provides exceptional products and service (though I haven't yet personally experienced the latter) - these things are built into their pricing.  I own two AP1100s and live a short distance away from Rockford.  I have great respect for Roland, his reputation, and the company he built.  However, I'm not a shareholder or employee, so I have zero allegiance to them and neither should anyone else.

A few things about your comments:

 

1. Selling products below market value, is not a business strategy in a capitalistic free market society. At all. Ever.  So the comment you made, that I highlighted in red, is completely wrong and if you want to know why (which is off topic to this thread) I suggest you study economics.

2. "Perceived demand" is a misnomer (highlighted in blue). There is no such thing as "Perceived Demand" at all. I would love to see you explain this about a businesses with 10 year waiting lists for the products they produce. I think what you actually meant to say, is "Perceived Value". That is real, and worthy of a discussion on another thread.  Goodwill, on the other hand, has economic value and is the reason I think you meant "Perceived Value" over "Perceived Demand". There is no doubting the demand for AP products. At all. If you think that is the case, you are not paying attention or are not plugged into their community of consumers.

3. Consumers can put downward pressure on products (purple in this case; two different points you made, equally as incorrect), but not by questioning producer surplus levels. If Audi sells you a car with a $5000 sound system in it, that actually cost them $250, do you really think you are going to change that by publicizing that fact? No, you arent, no matter how honey and sugar you want to be about it -- nothing will change. If you want to put downward pressure on it, you use the lever of capitalism you have -- your wallet. Further if you assume you can change the elasticity of demand based on posting things from Renishaw's website on the internet, you are equally as naive as you claimed here.

4. (Orange this time) You are finally coming to terms with your own statements you made. See 1, 2, and 3 above for why you came to this realization. You contradicted yourself here, and hopefully I have shown you why.

5. (Salmon this time) You are completely wrong here. Did Roland's pricing strategy make it so when I personally asked him to review the quality report from my RCOS system (which he did and provided extensive feedback and opinion on) he felt compelled to do it for his profit margin? The answer to that is a resounding NO and I think you need to get off of the soap box here. 

 

Getting back on the topic of the Mach2 I would love to hear your thoughts on where Astro-Physics is sourcing the CNC machines, the raw materials they used to make the Mach2 mount, and further I would love to know your perspective of their providers cost of FPL53, FCD100 and other glass they have used to produce telescopes over the years. I am sure you must have an opinion on this matter, especially as it relates to the Mach2, as you just spent time of your own trying to rationalize the economics of the encoders in the Mach2, so surely you have something to offer on this point. 




From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"
From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
 
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.



Stuart Heggie <stuart.j.heggie@...>
 

Way to fight the good fight Bill!!!

Stuart

On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 11:32 PM Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

This is likely going to get deleted, but I at least had the opportunity to talk about economics, which I always enjoy. 🙂

chadrian84, on 15 Apr 2019 - 4:16 PM, said:

I'm hardly a "greed-fretting anti-capitalist" or someone who "sits around for product announcements suspicious of a secret evil."  I've been fortunate to make a good living taking risks and selling items at (often very large) mark-ups.  AP should charge as much as the market will bear (as all companies do).

 

Your claim seems to be that AP willingly sacrifices profit for the benefit of the astro community.   Yes, they sometimes sell products below market value, but I'm not so naive to think it's not part of the business strategy.  They do limited releases which sell below market, but they make up the difference (and more) by getting an enormous amount of marketing, perceived demand, and goodwill in return.

 

Regarding why I'm interested in encoder prices: A good consumer should question the price of things and always put downward pricing pressure on manufacturers (in an honest way) - for strange reasons, the M.O. of some consumers here is to do the opposite - praise, praise, praise, and never question.  If it comes to light that AP has a 400% markup on each encoder sold, they may be pressured to lower their prices, or a competitor may come along and sell it cheaper.  Both cases benefit us.  If AP goes out of business, it will be due to another company producing a better product for a better price; not because they didn't get the markup they wanted on their encoders.

 

I fully agree that AP provides exceptional products and service (though I haven't yet personally experienced the latter) - these things are built into their pricing.  I own two AP1100s and live a short distance away from Rockford.  I have great respect for Roland, his reputation, and the company he built.  However, I'm not a shareholder or employee, so I have zero allegiance to them and neither should anyone else.

A few things about your comments:

 

1. Selling products below market value, is not a business strategy in a capitalistic free market society. At all. Ever.  So the comment you made, that I highlighted in red, is completely wrong and if you want to know why (which is off topic to this thread) I suggest you study economics.

2. "Perceived demand" is a misnomer (highlighted in blue). There is no such thing as "Perceived Demand" at all. I would love to see you explain this about a businesses with 10 year waiting lists for the products they produce. I think what you actually meant to say, is "Perceived Value". That is real, and worthy of a discussion on another thread.  Goodwill, on the other hand, has economic value and is the reason I think you meant "Perceived Value" over "Perceived Demand". There is no doubting the demand for AP products. At all. If you think that is the case, you are not paying attention or are not plugged into their community of consumers.

3. Consumers can put downward pressure on products (purple in this case; two different points you made, equally as incorrect), but not by questioning producer surplus levels. If Audi sells you a car with a $5000 sound system in it, that actually cost them $250, do you really think you are going to change that by publicizing that fact? No, you arent, no matter how honey and sugar you want to be about it -- nothing will change. If you want to put downward pressure on it, you use the lever of capitalism you have -- your wallet. Further if you assume you can change the elasticity of demand based on posting things from Renishaw's website on the internet, you are equally as naive as you claimed here.

4. (Orange this time) You are finally coming to terms with your own statements you made. See 1, 2, and 3 above for why you came to this realization. You contradicted yourself here, and hopefully I have shown you why.

5. (Salmon this time) You are completely wrong here. Did Roland's pricing strategy make it so when I personally asked him to review the quality report from my RCOS system (which he did and provided extensive feedback and opinion on) he felt compelled to do it for his profit margin? The answer to that is a resounding NO and I think you need to get off of the soap box here. 

 

Getting back on the topic of the Mach2 I would love to hear your thoughts on where Astro-Physics is sourcing the CNC machines, the raw materials they used to make the Mach2 mount, and further I would love to know your perspective of their providers cost of FPL53, FCD100 and other glass they have used to produce telescopes over the years. I am sure you must have an opinion on this matter, especially as it relates to the Mach2, as you just spent time of your own trying to rationalize the economics of the encoders in the Mach2, so surely you have something to offer on this point. 




From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"
From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
 
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.



Bill Long
 

Well, that may have gotten me banned from CN, oddly enough. 


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9:44 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

Way to fight the good fight Bill!!!

Stuart

On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 11:32 PM Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

This is likely going to get deleted, but I at least had the opportunity to talk about economics, which I always enjoy. 🙂

chadrian84, on 15 Apr 2019 - 4:16 PM, said:

I'm hardly a "greed-fretting anti-capitalist" or someone who "sits around for product announcements suspicious of a secret evil."  I've been fortunate to make a good living taking risks and selling items at (often very large) mark-ups.  AP should charge as much as the market will bear (as all companies do).

 

Your claim seems to be that AP willingly sacrifices profit for the benefit of the astro community.   Yes, they sometimes sell products below market value, but I'm not so naive to think it's not part of the business strategy.  They do limited releases which sell below market, but they make up the difference (and more) by getting an enormous amount of marketing, perceived demand, and goodwill in return.

 

Regarding why I'm interested in encoder prices: A good consumer should question the price of things and always put downward pricing pressure on manufacturers (in an honest way) - for strange reasons, the M.O. of some consumers here is to do the opposite - praise, praise, praise, and never question.  If it comes to light that AP has a 400% markup on each encoder sold, they may be pressured to lower their prices, or a competitor may come along and sell it cheaper.  Both cases benefit us.  If AP goes out of business, it will be due to another company producing a better product for a better price; not because they didn't get the markup they wanted on their encoders.

 

I fully agree that AP provides exceptional products and service (though I haven't yet personally experienced the latter) - these things are built into their pricing.  I own two AP1100s and live a short distance away from Rockford.  I have great respect for Roland, his reputation, and the company he built.  However, I'm not a shareholder or employee, so I have zero allegiance to them and neither should anyone else.

A few things about your comments:

 

1. Selling products below market value, is not a business strategy in a capitalistic free market society. At all. Ever.  So the comment you made, that I highlighted in red, is completely wrong and if you want to know why (which is off topic to this thread) I suggest you study economics.

2. "Perceived demand" is a misnomer (highlighted in blue). There is no such thing as "Perceived Demand" at all. I would love to see you explain this about a businesses with 10 year waiting lists for the products they produce. I think what you actually meant to say, is "Perceived Value". That is real, and worthy of a discussion on another thread.  Goodwill, on the other hand, has economic value and is the reason I think you meant "Perceived Value" over "Perceived Demand". There is no doubting the demand for AP products. At all. If you think that is the case, you are not paying attention or are not plugged into their community of consumers.

3. Consumers can put downward pressure on products (purple in this case; two different points you made, equally as incorrect), but not by questioning producer surplus levels. If Audi sells you a car with a $5000 sound system in it, that actually cost them $250, do you really think you are going to change that by publicizing that fact? No, you arent, no matter how honey and sugar you want to be about it -- nothing will change. If you want to put downward pressure on it, you use the lever of capitalism you have -- your wallet. Further if you assume you can change the elasticity of demand based on posting things from Renishaw's website on the internet, you are equally as naive as you claimed here.

4. (Orange this time) You are finally coming to terms with your own statements you made. See 1, 2, and 3 above for why you came to this realization. You contradicted yourself here, and hopefully I have shown you why.

5. (Salmon this time) You are completely wrong here. Did Roland's pricing strategy make it so when I personally asked him to review the quality report from my RCOS system (which he did and provided extensive feedback and opinion on) he felt compelled to do it for his profit margin? The answer to that is a resounding NO and I think you need to get off of the soap box here. 

 

Getting back on the topic of the Mach2 I would love to hear your thoughts on where Astro-Physics is sourcing the CNC machines, the raw materials they used to make the Mach2 mount, and further I would love to know your perspective of their providers cost of FPL53, FCD100 and other glass they have used to produce telescopes over the years. I am sure you must have an opinion on this matter, especially as it relates to the Mach2, as you just spent time of your own trying to rationalize the economics of the encoders in the Mach2, so surely you have something to offer on this point. 




From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"
From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
 
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.


--


Bill Long
 

Confirmed, I was banned from Cloudy Nights for this post.


From: Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:19 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
Well, that may have gotten me banned from CN, oddly enough. 


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9:44 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

Way to fight the good fight Bill!!!

Stuart

On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 11:32 PM Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

This is likely going to get deleted, but I at least had the opportunity to talk about economics, which I always enjoy. 🙂

chadrian84, on 15 Apr 2019 - 4:16 PM, said:

I'm hardly a "greed-fretting anti-capitalist" or someone who "sits around for product announcements suspicious of a secret evil."  I've been fortunate to make a good living taking risks and selling items at (often very large) mark-ups.  AP should charge as much as the market will bear (as all companies do).

 

Your claim seems to be that AP willingly sacrifices profit for the benefit of the astro community.   Yes, they sometimes sell products below market value, but I'm not so naive to think it's not part of the business strategy.  They do limited releases which sell below market, but they make up the difference (and more) by getting an enormous amount of marketing, perceived demand, and goodwill in return.

 

Regarding why I'm interested in encoder prices: A good consumer should question the price of things and always put downward pricing pressure on manufacturers (in an honest way) - for strange reasons, the M.O. of some consumers here is to do the opposite - praise, praise, praise, and never question.  If it comes to light that AP has a 400% markup on each encoder sold, they may be pressured to lower their prices, or a competitor may come along and sell it cheaper.  Both cases benefit us.  If AP goes out of business, it will be due to another company producing a better product for a better price; not because they didn't get the markup they wanted on their encoders.

 

I fully agree that AP provides exceptional products and service (though I haven't yet personally experienced the latter) - these things are built into their pricing.  I own two AP1100s and live a short distance away from Rockford.  I have great respect for Roland, his reputation, and the company he built.  However, I'm not a shareholder or employee, so I have zero allegiance to them and neither should anyone else.

A few things about your comments:

 

1. Selling products below market value, is not a business strategy in a capitalistic free market society. At all. Ever.  So the comment you made, that I highlighted in red, is completely wrong and if you want to know why (which is off topic to this thread) I suggest you study economics.

2. "Perceived demand" is a misnomer (highlighted in blue). There is no such thing as "Perceived Demand" at all. I would love to see you explain this about a businesses with 10 year waiting lists for the products they produce. I think what you actually meant to say, is "Perceived Value". That is real, and worthy of a discussion on another thread.  Goodwill, on the other hand, has economic value and is the reason I think you meant "Perceived Value" over "Perceived Demand". There is no doubting the demand for AP products. At all. If you think that is the case, you are not paying attention or are not plugged into their community of consumers.

3. Consumers can put downward pressure on products (purple in this case; two different points you made, equally as incorrect), but not by questioning producer surplus levels. If Audi sells you a car with a $5000 sound system in it, that actually cost them $250, do you really think you are going to change that by publicizing that fact? No, you arent, no matter how honey and sugar you want to be about it -- nothing will change. If you want to put downward pressure on it, you use the lever of capitalism you have -- your wallet. Further if you assume you can change the elasticity of demand based on posting things from Renishaw's website on the internet, you are equally as naive as you claimed here.

4. (Orange this time) You are finally coming to terms with your own statements you made. See 1, 2, and 3 above for why you came to this realization. You contradicted yourself here, and hopefully I have shown you why.

5. (Salmon this time) You are completely wrong here. Did Roland's pricing strategy make it so when I personally asked him to review the quality report from my RCOS system (which he did and provided extensive feedback and opinion on) he felt compelled to do it for his profit margin? The answer to that is a resounding NO and I think you need to get off of the soap box here. 

 

Getting back on the topic of the Mach2 I would love to hear your thoughts on where Astro-Physics is sourcing the CNC machines, the raw materials they used to make the Mach2 mount, and further I would love to know your perspective of their providers cost of FPL53, FCD100 and other glass they have used to produce telescopes over the years. I am sure you must have an opinion on this matter, especially as it relates to the Mach2, as you just spent time of your own trying to rationalize the economics of the encoders in the Mach2, so surely you have something to offer on this point. 




From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"
From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
 
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.


--


Keith Olsen
 

I cannot understand why CN would ban you for that response.  Seems petty to me. 


Roland Christen
 

Sorry to hear you've been banned, but you are in good company. The encoder debate does continue now in another thread where the following statement was made by one of our customers:

"the EC version of the CEM60 after reading a interesting statement by Roland Christian of AP regarding a rapid ripple effect that can mean 3-5 arc seconds of back and forth motion that cannot be guided out caused by the potential interpolation errors generated in the relative encoders used by iOptron."

I want to clarify this because I never compared any mount manufacturer's encoders to the ones we use. On our webpage for the Mach2 I showed a comparison of the Renishaw Absolute encoder errors with that of a Heidenhain relative encoder. The difference is an order of magnitude lower error for the Renishaw Resolute encoder. You can see the specs for the Renishaw here:
https://resources.renishaw.com/gen/details/Typical%20sub-divisional%20error%20graph%20for%20RESOLUTE%e2%84%a2%20absolute%20encoder(22772)

We have been investigating encoders for about 10 years, all types from inexpensive to the most expensive available. We have tested lots of different encoder systems that are available, some of them approach the cost of the Renishaw but not the accuracy. It turns out that if you want the encoder to not contribute to the tracking error, and to be able to eliminate the periodic errors of a typical geartrain, then you really need an encoder that has inherently sub-arc second Peak errors (not RMS) over a goodly portion of the rotation angle. The Renishaw Resolute readhead meets this criterion, no other system that I have explored comes close. This is why we chose the Renishaw over all the others generally available now.

I don't know what other mount manufacturers are using in their encoder systems, so my comments apply to encoders in general - high resolution Absolute Encoders tend to be more accurate because the individual errors are repeatable for each address point and can be mapped and compensated. This is not possible with relative encoders.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.







-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Thu, Apr 18, 2019 10:19 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



Well, that may have gotten me banned from CN, oddly enough. 


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Stuart Heggie stuart.j.heggie@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9:44 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 
Way to fight the good fight Bill!!!

Stuart

On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 11:32 PM Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
This is likely going to get deleted, but I at least had the opportunity to talk about economics, which I always enjoy. 🙂

chadrian84, on 15 Apr 2019 - 4:16 PM, said:
I'm hardly a "greed-fretting anti-capitalist" or someone who "sits around for product announcements suspicious of a secret evil."  I've been fortunate to make a good living taking risks and selling items at (often very large) mark-ups.  AP should charge as much as the market will bear (as all companies do).
 
Your claim seems to be that AP willingly sacrifices profit for the benefit of the astro community.   Yes, they sometimes sell products below market value, but I'm not so naive to think it's not part of the business strategy.  They do limited releases which sell below market, but they make up the difference (and more) by getting an enormous amount of marketing, perceived demand, and goodwill in return.
 
Regarding why I'm interested in encoder prices: A good consumer should question the price of things and always put downward pricing pressure on manufacturers (in an honest way) - for strange reasons, the M.O. of some consumers here is to do the opposite - praise, praise, praise, and never question.  If it comes to light that AP has a 400% markup on each encoder sold, they may be pressured to lower their prices, or a competitor may come along and sell it cheaper.  Both cases benefit us.  If AP goes out of business, it will be due to another company producing a better product for a better price; not because they didn't get the markup they wanted on their encoders.
 
I fully agree that AP provides exceptional products and service (though I haven't yet personally experienced the latter) - these things are built into their pricing.  I own two AP1100s and live a short distance away from Rockford.  I have great respect for Roland, his reputation, and the company he built.  However, I'm not a shareholder or employee, so I have zero allegiance to them and neither should anyone else.
A few things about your comments:
 
1. Selling products below market value, is not a business strategy in a capitalistic free market society. At all. Ever.  So the comment you made, that I highlighted in red, is completely wrong and if you want to know why (which is off topic to this thread) I suggest you study economics.
2. "Perceived demand" is a misnomer (highlighted in blue). There is no such thing as "Perceived Demand" at all. I would love to see you explain this about a businesses with 10 year waiting lists for the products they produce. I think what you actually meant to say, is "Perceived Value". That is real, and worthy of a discussion on another thread.  Goodwill, on the other hand, has economic value and is the reason I think you meant "Perceived Value" over "Perceived Demand". There is no doubting the demand for AP products. At all. If you think that is the case, you are not paying attention or are not plugged into their community of consumers.
3. Consumers can put downward pressure on products (purple in this case; two different points you made, equally as incorrect), but not by questioning producer surplus levels. If Audi sells you a car with a $5000 sound system in it, that actually cost them $250, do you really think you are going to change that by publicizing that fact? No, you arent, no matter how honey and sugar you want to be about it -- nothing will change. If you want to put downward pressure on it, you use the lever of capitalism you have -- your wallet. Further if you assume you can change the elasticity of demand based on posting things from Renishaw's website on the internet, you are equally as naive as you claimed here.
4. (Orange this time) You are finally coming to terms with your own statements you made. See 1, 2, and 3 above for why you came to this realization. You contradicted yourself here, and hopefully I have shown you why.
5. (Salmon this time) You are completely wrong here. Did Roland's pricing strategy make it so when I personally asked him to review the quality report from my RCOS system (which he did and provided extensive feedback and opinion on) he felt compelled to do it for his profit margin? The answer to that is a resounding NO and I think you need to get off of the soap box here. 
 
Getting back on the topic of the Mach2 I would love to hear your thoughts on where Astro-Physics is sourcing the CNC machines, the raw materials they used to make the Mach2 mount, and further I would love to know your perspective of their providers cost of FPL53, FCD100 and other glass they have used to produce telescopes over the years. I am sure you must have an opinion on this matter, especially as it relates to the Mach2, as you just spent time of your own trying to rationalize the economics of the encoders in the Mach2, so surely you have something to offer on this point. 



From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 
I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



With a post like this:


For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

"
From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
 
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.


--



Roland Christen
 

The Renishaw Resolute encoder readhead is the expensive part. The rings are less expensive, but even the smallest rings are more than an entire relative encoder, readhead and glass disc combined.

The readhead is a complex optical system that does not just read ticks on a glass disc. It images a barcode engraved on the outside of the precision stainless steel ring to determine which of 67 million positions the ring is sitting at for any given time. The rings have to be precisely centered to less than 1/10 of a thou in order to obtain the required accuracy. Runout has to be essentially zero, so there is a fair amount of labor involved setting up each axis. The axes have to be measured against a reference lab encoder, in our case a 9" Renishaw encoder that has extremely low error over the entire 360 degree rotation.

That's only half the equation, the encoders themselves won't do anything without the software to interpret the incoming data stream. We have a very complex software in the CP5 that allows the mount to be controlled in a feed-forward loop for exact tracking, but also allows the user to move the mount manually while the mount is tracking by simply loosening the clutches and moving it by hand. The software switches instantly to manual mode and when the move is finished, goes right back to full loop control. It all works seamlessly in the background. You never lose position in the sky regardless of what you do, move manually, move with the buttons, or do full GoTo with external software.

The encoders are very expensive if ordered in small quantities, so our leap of faith for the Mach2 is to install encoders in all the mounts so that we can place a blanket order for enough to get a reasonable price.

You state that these encoders are on sale for under $1K. Does this include a ring also, because we cannot get that low a price from Renishaw for readhead and ring. Who is selling them for that price and are these new or used?

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.



-----Original Message-----
From: badgerz49@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 4:36 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



I see you gentlemen are discussing my comments (chadrian84) at CN.  Encoders are indeed sensors which determine location.  They are sophisticated sensors, but sensors nonetheless.  When I said they're "just a sensor" my goal was to point out the simplicity of their functionality.  They measure location and return a value.  This was amid comments which uninformed readers may have interpreted as meaning the encoders themselves have 67 million grooves machined into them.   I was not trying to pick a fight - but resident AP sycophant Bill couldn't pass up the opportunity to attack me and make sure Roland saw him do it.

@Roland.  I don't know what your cost per unit is on the encoders.  I find the business side of this hobby interesting, which is partly why I brought up the question of cost.  Somewhere, someone is making a nice profit on encoders - be it Renishaw and/or AP.  From the sound of things, it's mostly the former.  

Someone posted a link for a Renishaw Resolute series encoder that retails for $1,500 but are on sale for just under 1k.  I think they're a smaller diameter, but I found that interesting.  None of this is of consequence to me because I don't think I need encoders.  My AP1100s work fantastic and consistently guide as well as seeing permits.

Over and out.



David
 

Why do you keep pushing the issue?  What do you want, for them to tell you their exact cost of every component of manufacturing? Come on, let it go.  Roland literally just said the redhead is the most expensive component.  He’s been super generous in posting a ton of information about them in many posts in this forum.  Their cost is irrelevant.  No one on the market makes what they’re putting in the Mach2 at that price point. 





On Apr 19, 2019, at 7:52 PM, badgerz49@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


How much does the readhead cost in comparison to the ring?  I interpret your post to mean the readhead costs more than the ring - is that the case?

Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.


The design of the encoders and readhead was discussed later in the CN thread.  I guess us "(laughable) and blind" CN members were able to work out at least some things out on our own.



Bill Long
 

No disparaging occurred on my part here. I simply shared what I stated directly to you on CN. I still stand behind those comments entirely. You came here and referred to me as a "sycophant" the closest I came to something like that was the term naive, which is not disparaging. 

For folks wondering the "ban" is a 3 day suspension, which I disagree with on a number of levels, but have other things to do anyhow so its not a big deal. 


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of badgerz49@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 5:52 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

I was responding to Roland's request for the link.  I also felt there might have been some ambiguity to his comment about readheads being more expensive than the encoder rings.  It will take him 2 seconds to clarify.


I'm only here because Bill made disparaging posts about me.  Roland then proceeded to approve of Bill's tactics.


David
 

"The Renishaw Resolute encoder readhead is the expensive part. The rings are less expensive, but even the smallest rings are more than an entire relative encoder, readhead and glass disc combined."

What part of that is ambiguous?  I thought Bill was just correcting you assumptions?


David
 

Why dont you just call Renishaw and price ring encoders and readheads and put the speculation to rest with a simple phonecall?


Bill Long
 

I am not even sure what clarification is required:

The Renishaw Resolute encoder readhead is the expensive part. The rings are less expensive, but even the smallest rings are more than an entire relative encoder, readhead and glass disc combined.

The second half of this sentence is talking about relative encoders, and that the smallest resolute encoder ring is more expensive than the readhead and glass disc of the relative encoder, combined. 


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of phrosty5@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 6:23 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

Why dont you just call Renishaw and price ring encoders and readheads and put the speculation to rest with a simple phonecall?


Roland Christen
 


Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.

That's just the readhead. The ring is another $600 to $800 depending on size.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.


-----Original Message-----
From: badgerz49@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 6:54 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



How much does the readhead cost in comparison to the ring?  I interpret your post to mean the readhead costs more than the ring - is that the case?

Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.


The design of the encoders and readhead was discussed later in the CN thread.  I guess us "(laughable) and blind" CN members were able to work out at least some things out on our own.



Roland Christen
 

I just want to clarify that an encoder always consists of a readhead and a ring of some type. The ring can be made of glass or stainless and has engravings or lithographed tick marks. Some encoders are self contained and have a shaft and internal bearings that hold the ring in place and allow the readhead to read the tick marks.

US Digital has a number of these with up to 10,000 individual ticks and they can be had for less than $100. They are not accurate enough to be used to control the tracking rate of an astronomical mount, but are accurate enough for the older style digital readouts that are used on a lot of push-to mounts including some of our older 400/600/900/1200 mounts that we made some 20 years ago.

Once you get into the range of sub-arc second tracking performance, you will need more than 8 million counts. This type of encoder gets expensive and there are precious few that have low enough errors to not add significant PE to the mount during tracking. If your mount already tracks to 5 arc sec or less without PE correction, it makes no sense to add an encoder that has 2 arc sec of error of its own. You might as well use PE correction and you will be down below 1 arc sec with no encoders. To get true sub-arc sec accuracy I have found that the Resolute readhead is the only one capable. Cheaper ones all have too much SDE for what I want to produce.

One of the reasons we developed the Mach2 with absolute encoders is to make a mount that is pretty much foolproof. Many customers have worried about a non-encoder mount getting lost and having the scope crash into the pier. Others want to let the mount do imaging while they sleep and know that the mount will not exceed some limit and crash during the night. So, all of this can be done with the software and hardware that we and Ray Gralack have developed to make life easier for you imagers. If you're just going to dabble or do only visual, you won't need this sophistication. You can get away with a lot less mount and have a ball.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto Sent: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 8:28 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...




Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.

That's just the readhead. The ring is another $600 to $800 depending on size.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.


-----Original Message-----
From: badgerz49@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 6:54 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



How much does the readhead cost in comparison to the ring?  I interpret your post to mean the readhead costs more than the ring - is that the case?

Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.


The design of the encoders and readhead was discussed later in the CN thread.  I guess us "(laughable) and blind" CN members were able to work out at least some things out on our own.





Bill Long
 

Since I am quite naive about the technical workings of the encoders, I do have what is likely to be a very silly question to ask. 🙂 I image on a deck in my backyard, that is probably getting close to about 15 years old. Its still rather sturdy, but since it is suspended to the second story of my house, I have always suspected that some of the issues I run into from time to time, are caused by the deck in some fashion. One very interesting thing, is that when temperatures drop dramatically, I assume the wood is responding naturally to that change, and could be causing me some slight performance issues. Would encoders do anything to help this case? 


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 6:48 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...
 
 

I just want to clarify that an encoder always consists of a readhead and a ring of some type. The ring can be made of glass or stainless and has engravings or lithographed tick marks. Some encoders are self contained and have a shaft and internal bearings that hold the ring in place and allow the readhead to read the tick marks.

US Digital has a number of these with up to 10,000 individual ticks and they can be had for less than $100. They are not accurate enough to be used to control the tracking rate of an astronomical mount, but are accurate enough for the older style digital readouts that are used on a lot of push-to mounts including some of our older 400/600/900/1200 mounts that we made some 20 years ago.

Once you get into the range of sub-arc second tracking performance, you will need more than 8 million counts. This type of encoder gets expensive and there are precious few that have low enough errors to not add significant PE to the mount during tracking. If your mount already tracks to 5 arc sec or less without PE correction, it makes no sense to add an encoder that has 2 arc sec of error of its own. You might as well use PE correction and you will be down below 1 arc sec with no encoders. To get true sub-arc sec accuracy I have found that the Resolute readhead is the only one capable. Cheaper ones all have too much SDE for what I want to produce.

One of the reasons we developed the Mach2 with absolute encoders is to make a mount that is pretty much foolproof. Many customers have worried about a non-encoder mount getting lost and having the scope crash into the pier. Others want to let the mount do imaging while they sleep and know that the mount will not exceed some limit and crash during the night. So, all of this can be done with the software and hardware that we and Ray Gralack have developed to make life easier for you imagers. If you're just going to dabble or do only visual, you won't need this sophistication. You can get away with a lot less mount and have a ball.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 8:28 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...




Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.

That's just the readhead. The ring is another $600 to $800 depending on size.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.


-----Original Message-----
From: badgerz49@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 6:54 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...



How much does the readhead cost in comparison to the ring?  I interpret your post to mean the readhead costs more than the ring - is that the case?

Here's the link posted on the CN thread showing the price for a Renishaw Resolute encoder.  It appears the readhead is not included, but I'm not sure.


The design of the encoders and readhead was discussed later in the CN thread.  I guess us "(laughable) and blind" CN members were able to work out at least some things out on our own.





DFisch
 

badgerz, now your posts have evolved from quizzical to badgering, how fitting.  Give it a rest and do your product research with a bit more cordiality.   

Just a suggestion from a lurker who grows weary of vapid side remarks.   Bill Long actually is not a sycophant from what I can read in his posts.  That was an uncalled for label intended to demean and not render an answer or information.   Tom Fischer, Indy


George OBrien
 

I read the white sheet and it seems clear to me that a 32 bit ring encoder has 0.019 arc seconds of resolution. The spec you are quoting is under the rubric of high speed accuracy as on a rotating machine going thousands of rpm. The Resolute is obviously a highly sophisticated optical encoder/reader, which with 2 read heads and 2 ring encoders per mount costs at least $3500 – 3700 for the smallest ones.


From: badgerz49@yahoo.com [ap-gto]
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 10:19 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...

 
Thanks Roland.  A couple questions:

The Renishaw white sheet says the 104mm encoder has an accuracy of +/- 2.69 arc seconds.  Do you find that accurate or were you able to improve upon it - maybe that is the error at maximum speed?  I can't find how many standard deviations they're using for that margin of error (68%, 95%, or 99.7% of the time).

You mentioned a lesser design that has 10,000 tick marks.  Do you know how many ticks are on the encoders you use?




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


George OBrien
 

Let me correct my last post.  The 26 bit encoder resolves 0.019 arc seconds.  [(360*60*60)/(2^26)  = 0.019]