How to Raise AP1600 Height


Worsel
 


Jack Huerkamp
 

Joe, 

I had the 1000 Newton thrust column pairs in use for almost 8 years and they never became unsynchronized.  When I shipped them to their new owner in New Jersey, he tested them like I did with the new ones.  The two columns were sitting on the floor and when he raided them to their maximum extension, one column was about 1mm taller than the other.  After he ran the initialization routine, both columns were the same height.

As far as lifter runaway, the 1000 Newton columns take 25 seconds to full extend the 500mm (19.7").  The 2500 Newton columns take 50 seconds to full extend the same amount.  I doubt of your safety override mechanism would be needed, but if desired, it could be added to the system.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


Jack Huerkamp
 

Don,

The hand controller for the new higher thrust columns is identical to the one I received for the low thrust units.  But the controllers are different.  The original lifting columns have a different screw thread pitch and fully extended in about 1.2 the time of the new high thrust columns.  

Jack Huerkamp


Woody Schlom
 

Bruce,

 

Interesting comments regarding Vito.  My experience has been the exact opposite (with PT mobile observatory).  Once I’d fully paid him, it was mine – along with all its problems.  Warranty useless.  My club has had much worse experiences with him on two large observatories.  We’ve all had to solve our own problems – at our own expense.

 

Once I had to sick PayPal on him TWICE to get money back I’d paid him – for accessories he never shipped.

 

Fortunately my single column PT pier has performed flawlessly over 4 years.

 

Just a warning.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Donzanti
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2020 9:43 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height

 

Jack,

Are you thinking of getting something like the PT-3 dual pier column that Pier-tech sells?  I know you mentioned Pier-Tech previously but looking for another source as it is expensive.  I must say, if you are looking for this design, the one I got from Pier-Tech, albeit expensive, has worked like a charm for almost 2 years now with my AP1100, C11" and now 80mm piggybacked on top.  Vito is always available and everything is under warranty.  It makes me sleep better at night.

Bruce



 


Bruce Donzanti
 

Jack,

Are you thinking of getting something like the PT-3 dual pier column that Pier-tech sells?  I know you mentioned Pier-Tech previously but looking for another source as it is expensive.  I must say, if you are looking for this design, the one I got from Pier-Tech, albeit expensive, has worked like a charm for almost 2 years now with my AP1100, C11" and now 80mm piggybacked on top.  Vito is always available and everything is under warranty.  It makes me sleep better at night.

Bruce



 


Joe Zeglinski
 

Jack,
 
    I must admit that I have a bit of trepidation that the two pillars might become unsynchronized – one passing by the other pillar height position. Image if it was more than an inch of height difference, causing a dangerous tilt of the mount and scope, in an uncontrolled “lifter runaway” on one side's motor. I would attached a cam’’d micro switch to each one, touching the opposite surface,, each with a (very short)  “Boss Bump” for the switch levers to ride on and  open or close the circuit. If one switch lever slips too far past the other (inner facing) side, it immediately kills the lift power to both, until reset by the user. This emergency override would be in addition to any logic in the TWO lifters controller.
 
    That would be a very inexpensive and simple safety override precaution. But, I would feel more confident with a powerful, single lift pillar, in such case.
 
Joe Z.


Don Anderson
 

Jack
Which model control box and hand controller do you use? Are they universal to all column models? My rig (127mm refractor AP-900 mount) is not that heavy would likely go with a single column. Not sure which one though.
Don


On Mar 22, 2020, at 8:48 AM, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Christopher, 

I just checked Ebay and there were several Linak lifting columns and accessories available.  The key is getting a system with hand controller, control box, cables and lifting column.  Also with dual column systems, they have to be synchronized so they work together,  You can do that by running the columns to their lowest position, releasing the down button, and then holding down the down button for a few seconds.  The columns will move downward slightly (about 1/16") and return.  This is how I was told to synchronize them so that they work together.  When the person I sold my original 1000 Newton system to received them, he noted that when fully extended one column was slightly taller than the other.  After running the above sequence twice, the columns had reset and worked perfectly as a pair.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp 


Don Anderson
 

Thanks Jack
I have a lathe and drill press and could do some work myself. Will look into this further.
Thanks for the link to the Linak site. Will check out their site as well as Ebay. 
Keep safe
Don


On Mar 22, 2020, at 8:39 AM, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Don,

I do not know if Linak sells direct to the general public.  Here is a link to their website:

https://www.linak-us.com/products/lifting-columns/

The DL2 is the column that I have been using.

If you have access to a machine shop that can fabricate top and bottom plates for the columns, the completed lifting column setup can be cheaper than a system from Pier-tech.  But if you do not have the resources to fabricate the needed plates, then it is probably best to pay more and get a system from Pier-tech.  My next door neighbor runs a small machine shop and another friend is a welder, so I had access to the resources I neede to make a system once I purchased the lifting columns, control box, hand controller and cables.

Jack Huerkamp


Jack Huerkamp
 

Christopher, 

I just checked Ebay and there were several Linak lifting columns and accessories available.  The key is getting a system with hand controller, control box, cables and lifting column.  Also with dual column systems, they have to be synchronized so they work together,  You can do that by running the columns to their lowest position, releasing the down button, and then holding down the down button for a few seconds.  The columns will move downward slightly (about 1/16") and return.  This is how I was told to synchronize them so that they work together.  When the person I sold my original 1000 Newton system to received them, he noted that when fully extended one column was slightly taller than the other.  After running the above sequence twice, the columns had reset and worked perfectly as a pair.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp 


Jack Huerkamp
 

Don,

I do not know if Linak sells direct to the general public.  Here is a link to their website:

https://www.linak-us.com/products/lifting-columns/

The DL2 is the column that I have been using.

If you have access to a machine shop that can fabricate top and bottom plates for the columns, the completed lifting column setup can be cheaper than a system from Pier-tech.  But if you do not have the resources to fabricate the needed plates, then it is probably best to pay more and get a system from Pier-tech.  My next door neighbor runs a small machine shop and another friend is a welder, so I had access to the resources I neede to make a system once I purchased the lifting columns, control box, hand controller and cables.

Jack Huerkamp


Don Anderson
 

Thanks for the tip Chris
Keep safe from Covid2

Don Anderson


On Saturday, March 21, 2020, 08:33:37 p.m. MDT, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


I have seen a fair number of Linak re-sellers on eBay.


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

On Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 2:52 PM Don Anderson via Groups.Io <jockey_ca=yahoo.ca@groups.io> wrote:
Thank Jack
I have been thinking about these as a pier option for a couple of years now. I know that they are sold by Pier-tech. I was thinking they would be cheaper direct from Linak. Will Linak sell direct?
Don 


On Mar 21, 2020, at 7:11 AM, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Don,

Those are Linak DL270CA00500655 lifting columns.  I purchased two of them along with the control box, power cord, handset and motor cables directly from Linak back in September of 2019.  When I purchased my original 1000 Newton column system, I was the Chief of Engineering for a public utility in New Orleans and we had a complete machine shop, welding shop and electrical fabrication shop and utilized these skilled trades to keep our 100 plus year old drainage and puming systems operational.  Because of my connection to a manufacturing company, Linak agreed to sell the original system to me.  And when I desired to upgrade the system to one with more thrust, Linak agreed to do so under my existing account.

Linak makes these columns with three different thrust levels - 1000 Newton (225#), 1500 Newton (337.5#) and 2500 Newton (562.5#).  If I had known how much load I would ultimately place on the lifting columns, I would have purchased the 2500 Newton units.  The difference in cost was minimal.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


Christopher Erickson
 

I have seen a fair number of Linak re-sellers on eBay.


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

On Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 2:52 PM Don Anderson via Groups.Io <jockey_ca=yahoo.ca@groups.io> wrote:
Thank Jack
I have been thinking about these as a pier option for a couple of years now. I know that they are sold by Pier-tech. I was thinking they would be cheaper direct from Linak. Will Linak sell direct?
Don 


On Mar 21, 2020, at 7:11 AM, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Don,

Those are Linak DL270CA00500655 lifting columns.  I purchased two of them along with the control box, power cord, handset and motor cables directly from Linak back in September of 2019.  When I purchased my original 1000 Newton column system, I was the Chief of Engineering for a public utility in New Orleans and we had a complete machine shop, welding shop and electrical fabrication shop and utilized these skilled trades to keep our 100 plus year old drainage and puming systems operational.  Because of my connection to a manufacturing company, Linak agreed to sell the original system to me.  And when I desired to upgrade the system to one with more thrust, Linak agreed to do so under my existing account.

Linak makes these columns with three different thrust levels - 1000 Newton (225#), 1500 Newton (337.5#) and 2500 Newton (562.5#).  If I had known how much load I would ultimately place on the lifting columns, I would have purchased the 2500 Newton units.  The difference in cost was minimal.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


Don Anderson
 

Thank Jack
I have been thinking about these as a pier option for a couple of years now. I know that they are sold by Pier-tech. I was thinking they would be cheaper direct from Linak. Will Linak sell direct?
Don 


On Mar 21, 2020, at 7:11 AM, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Don,

Those are Linak DL270CA00500655 lifting columns.  I purchased two of them along with the control box, power cord, handset and motor cables directly from Linak back in September of 2019.  When I purchased my original 1000 Newton column system, I was the Chief of Engineering for a public utility in New Orleans and we had a complete machine shop, welding shop and electrical fabrication shop and utilized these skilled trades to keep our 100 plus year old drainage and puming systems operational.  Because of my connection to a manufacturing company, Linak agreed to sell the original system to me.  And when I desired to upgrade the system to one with more thrust, Linak agreed to do so under my existing account.

Linak makes these columns with three different thrust levels - 1000 Newton (225#), 1500 Newton (337.5#) and 2500 Newton (562.5#).  If I had known how much load I would ultimately place on the lifting columns, I would have purchased the 2500 Newton units.  The difference in cost was minimal.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


Jack Huerkamp
 

Don,

Those are Linak DL270CA00500655 lifting columns.  I purchased two of them along with the control box, power cord, handset and motor cables directly from Linak back in September of 2019.  When I purchased my original 1000 Newton column system, I was the Chief of Engineering for a public utility in New Orleans and we had a complete machine shop, welding shop and electrical fabrication shop and utilized these skilled trades to keep our 100 plus year old drainage and puming systems operational.  Because of my connection to a manufacturing company, Linak agreed to sell the original system to me.  And when I desired to upgrade the system to one with more thrust, Linak agreed to do so under my existing account.

Linak makes these columns with three different thrust levels - 1000 Newton (225#), 1500 Newton (337.5#) and 2500 Newton (562.5#).  If I had known how much load I would ultimately place on the lifting columns, I would have purchased the 2500 Newton units.  The difference in cost was minimal.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


Don Anderson
 

Hello Jack
Those look like Linak columns. If so, what model are they and where did you get them?

Don Anderson


On Friday, March 20, 2020, 10:32:56 a.m. MDT, Jack Huerkamp <mallincamusa@...> wrote:


Robert,

I will get a roll of the Safety Tape.  I remember seeing it demonstrated in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon was demonstrating the safety procedures in his and Leonard's apartment.  Now that I know what to look for, I will get some.

As far as the dual lifting column, I built it originally after seeing one my friend had erected in his observatory.  He had a single column with 1000 Newton (225#) thrust.  And he had it installed with the long dimension in the North-South direction.  When he had the column at maximum height with his CGE PRO and Meade 14" SCT on top, it did tend to have some flex in the East-West direction.  I decided to purchase two of the 1000 Newton columns, mount them parallel to each other with the long dimenseion in the East-West axis, and I started with a CGE PRO on top of the lifting columns.  The 450# thrust capacity was fine initially.  But the mount got replaced for the AP1600, I changed scopes from a single C11 to a MallinCam VRC-10 riding parallel to a Lunt 152.  And ocassionally I added an additional scope on top of the Lunt.  With my total load approaching 550#, I still was successful at using the dual 1000 Newton columns, but I ended up ordering a set of 2500 Newton lifting columns and installed them at the end of 2019.  With over 1100# of thrust available, I now have a nice safety factor and have had no issues with them.


Woody Schlom
 

Jack,

 

  1. The glow tape I use is made for the live theater industry.  It glows in the dark so actors can find their marks during blacked out set changes – and so they don’t bang into things in the dark.  It’s UV sensitive, so a short blast of UV light (I use a powerful Fenix L.E.D. UV flashlight) wakes it up and “recharges” it.  It glows a lime-greenish color.
  2. I posted photos of the 12” riser I made for the top of my PierTech pier (similar to yours but single column) and sent them to this group as well as directly to your MallinCamUSA Email address – but I don’t think either ever were delivered.  I made my riser out of big 80/20 aluminum extrusions – through bolted with long SS bolts.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jack Huerkamp
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 9:26 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height

 

Robert,

I will get a roll of the Safety Tape.  I remember seeing it demonstrated in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon was demonstrating the safety procedures in his and Leonard's apartment.  Now that I know what to look for, I will get some.

As far as the dual lifting column, I built it originally after seeing one my friend had erected in his observatory.  He had a single column with 1000 Newton (225#) thrust.  And he had it installed with the long dimension in the North-South direction.  When he had the column at maximum height with his CGE PRO and Meade 14" SCT on top, it did tend to have some flex in the East-West direction.  I decided to purchase two of the 1000 Newton columns, mount them parallel to each other with the long dimenseion in the East-West axis, and I started with a CGE PRO on top of the lifting columns.  The 450# thrust capacity was fine initially.  But the mount got replaced for the AP1600, I changed scopes from a single C11 to a MallinCam VRC-10 riding parallel to a Lunt 152.  And ocassionally I added an additional scope on top of the Lunt.  With my total load approaching 550#, I still was successful at using the dual 1000 Newton columns, but I ended up ordering a set of 2500 Newton lifting columns and installed them at the end of 2019.  With over 1100# of thrust available, I now have a nice safety factor and have had no issues with them.


Jack Huerkamp
 

John,

I use a drummer's throne in my observatory and I, too, have missed it in the darkness.  I will place the Safety Tape around the cushioned seat area to make it easier to find in the dark.

Jack
Huerkamp


Jack Huerkamp
 

Robert,

I will get a roll of the Safety Tape.  I remember seeing it demonstrated in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon was demonstrating the safety procedures in his and Leonard's apartment.  Now that I know what to look for, I will get some.

As far as the dual lifting column, I built it originally after seeing one my friend had erected in his observatory.  He had a single column with 1000 Newton (225#) thrust.  And he had it installed with the long dimension in the North-South direction.  When he had the column at maximum height with his CGE PRO and Meade 14" SCT on top, it did tend to have some flex in the East-West direction.  I decided to purchase two of the 1000 Newton columns, mount them parallel to each other with the long dimenseion in the East-West axis, and I started with a CGE PRO on top of the lifting columns.  The 450# thrust capacity was fine initially.  But the mount got replaced for the AP1600, I changed scopes from a single C11 to a MallinCam VRC-10 riding parallel to a Lunt 152.  And ocassionally I added an additional scope on top of the Lunt.  With my total load approaching 550#, I still was successful at using the dual 1000 Newton columns, but I ended up ordering a set of 2500 Newton lifting columns and installed them at the end of 2019.  With over 1100# of thrust available, I now have a nice safety factor and have had no issues with them.


Jack Huerkamp
 

Roland,

I have a big roll of the large perforated bubble wrap and I will try placing some around the weights.  I hate hiding the beauty of the great machining; but my head will appreciate the bubble wrap more.


David Albers
 

The glow in the dark tape that I use stays effective most of the night.  While I have not stayed awake from dusk to dawn to be exact in the actual number of hours, I can attest to at least 6-8 hours of effectiveness.



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Joe Zeglinski <J.Zeglinski@...>
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 11:22 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height
 
Had to ask ...
 
    How does GLOW Tape work in the dark, around the scope which has been imaging?
Do you recharge the strip with a flashlight, every so often, such as between exposures?
 
    Otherwise, maybe a battery operated (or wired to a USB port on the mount),  flashing LED taped to the “counterweight bar safety stop”. Same idea as the red lights atop tall buildings/towers near airports.
 
    Since this has been an astronomer’s hazard for many decades, maybe AP could design a new Safety Stop, with a built-in or affixed (coin) battery holder and a flashing,  LED-lighted fibre optic (annular) ring around its edge. One could probably rig this up to an existing safety stop without much difficulty, using PC cabinet,  glow-fibre optics kits from any gaming PC store.
 
    Then we wouldn’t need to keep recharging the Glow Tape.
 
Just a thought,
Joe Z.
 
From: John A. Sillasen
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 1:13 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height
 
Glow tape is a great idea in addition to your wanting to raise everything with a pier extension.  I use both on my Mach 1, although I never considered putting the tape on the CounterWeights.  Definitely going to do that now that it's been brought up here.

I put the glow tape and it does have a tiny green tinge to a beige/white appearance in the light.  I put it on my Eagle Pier legs with the extra extension. I also have a Musicians Friend practice stool. Its solid black steel with a movable seat in slots in the steel. Very easy to miss in the dark. I went to sit back down on it after being just too close to the CounterWeights and shaft at Cherry Springs State Park last year. Missed the chair completely and ended up on my butt!  It was past midnight and the skies were starting to go right after that so I decided to pack it in as I knew I was going to be sore in the morning!

Definitely going to put that tape on each CounterWeight!  Thanks for the tip!
 
My ATS Portable Pier for my 1100 is all white so the tape won't be as obvious but still going to do it - definitely on the CounterWeights as well.
 
John A. Sillasen