What are the advantages of the APCC Pro


Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Guys,

 

Recently purchased a AP1100 mount and am quite happy with everything so far. Curious about the advantage of upgrading to the Pro version of the APCC software. Been busy modifying my pier so I could mount this beast on it, getting all my equipment set up and running, trying to figure out all the new software…..a plethora of “things to do” lately and been loving every minute of it. Now I’ve got some time to think about this software thing. My initial thought is, you “need” the Pro version if you have the absolute encoders (which I do not have), otherwise it looks to me like an option for a point modeling that should improve the pointing accuracy is the main advantage. Is that correct or is there more to it than that?

 

Steve


Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

I actually have the same question. And I have been doing everything just as Steve said. I could have written that email 😎

Also lovin this mount. 

Mikey 


On May 7, 2020, at 2:24 PM, Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D. <smitchell@...> wrote:



Hey Guys,

 

Recently purchased a AP1100 mount and am quite happy with everything so far. Curious about the advantage of upgrading to the Pro version of the APCC software. Been busy modifying my pier so I could mount this beast on it, getting all my equipment set up and running, trying to figure out all the new software…..a plethora of “things to do” lately and been loving every minute of it. Now I’ve got some time to think about this software thing. My initial thought is, you “need” the Pro version if you have the absolute encoders (which I do not have), otherwise it looks to me like an option for a point modeling that should improve the pointing accuracy is the main advantage. Is that correct or is there more to it than that?

 

Steve


Roland Christen
 

You can do modeling, unguided imaging and a lot more.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri <mjmangieri@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, May 7, 2020 3:23 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] What are the advantages of the APCC Pro

I actually have the same question. And I have been doing everything just as Steve said. I could have written that email 😎

Also lovin this mount. 

Mikey 


On May 7, 2020, at 2:24 PM, Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D. <smitchell@...> wrote:


Hey Guys,
 
Recently purchased a AP1100 mount and am quite happy with everything so far. Curious about the advantage of upgrading to the Pro version of the APCC software. Been busy modifying my pier so I could mount this beast on it, getting all my equipment set up and running, trying to figure out all the new software…..a plethora of “things to do” lately and been loving every minute of it. Now I’ve got some time to think about this software thing. My initial thought is, you “need” the Pro version if you have the absolute encoders (which I do not have), otherwise it looks to me like an option for a point modeling that should improve the pointing accuracy is the main advantage. Is that correct or is there more to it than that?
 
Steve


Michael Hambrick <mike.hambrick@...>
 

Hi Steve

Just a comment on your pier: Make sure that the top of the pier is perfectly flat and that you can not feel any wobble when you sit the RA axis in place and try to rock it back and forth. Once everything is installed, the weight will be centered over the north side of the mount and will want to tip the mount out of the pier. You have to make sure the screws holding the mount onto the pier are properly tightened, and it is a good idea to use lock washers. Toothed lock washes are good, but wedge lock washers are better. Both types are available from McMaster Carr.

This may sound trivial, but if the mount shifts on the pier after you have polar aligned it I am not sure that APCC or encoders will be able to compensate.




Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...


 

I've opted not to buy Pro while it was available discounted (on a time limit). Being purely a mobile setup/takedown observer, I haven't uncovered any use cases where I actually needed the Pro version.

I'm convinced that my only real reason to buy it would be "because I want it." I think I can overcome that. :)

Mojo

On 5/7/20 1:23 PM, Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri wrote:
I actually have the same question. And I have been doing everything just as Steve said. I could have written that email 😎

Also lovin this mount. 

Mikey 


On May 7, 2020, at 2:24 PM, Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D. <smitchell@...> wrote:



Hey Guys,

 

Recently purchased a AP1100 mount and am quite happy with everything so far. Curious about the advantage of upgrading to the Pro version of the APCC software. Been busy modifying my pier so I could mount this beast on it, getting all my equipment set up and running, trying to figure out all the new software…..a plethora of “things to do” lately and been loving every minute of it. Now I’ve got some time to think about this software thing. My initial thought is, you “need” the Pro version if you have the absolute encoders (which I do not have), otherwise it looks to me like an option for a point modeling that should improve the pointing accuracy is the main advantage. Is that correct or is there more to it than that?

 

Steve



Mike Dodd
 

On 5/7/2020 2:23 PM, Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D. wrote:
... it looks to
me like an option for a point modeling that should improve the pointing
accuracy is the main advantage. Is that correct or is there more to it
than that?
I have an AP1200 and I was planning to buy APCC Pro, but I was laid off from my part-time copy editing job, so hobby funds are scarce at the moment.

I know APCC will improve pointing accuracy, but I also think it can improve TRACKING accuracy, to the point where long unguided exposures might be possible. That was MY main reason for considering it.

Currently I use ACP automation software and MaxIm for imaging. I have a 130mm f/7 OTA, and guide with a 60mm f/5 scope and separate camera. When ACP runs an observing plan, it slews to the target, then plate-solves a test image and moves the mount if necessary to center the target to under 2 arcmin accuracy. My camera's FOV is 51x67 arcmin.

So for me, additional pointing accuracy isn't a big deal. However, the ability to take 10-minuite unguided images would be nice, but not essential -- ACP almost always finds a suitable guide star, and MaxIm's autoguider error typically is about 1 arcsec.

So, if I ever replenish my hobby money, I need to think about whether unguided imaging is worth the investment in APCC Pro, since I don't really need the improved pointing. Problem is, I don't know if APCC really could track well enough to give me good images.

And likewise you can decide if improved pointing and tracking are worth it.

HTH.

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Peter Bresler
 

I had APCC Pro...never could get a pointing model, and have been using SGP plate solves for months to locate objects. It usually works fine, and I accurately find objects. Since SGP is required for the plate solve pointing model in APCC Pro, it seemed like a duplication, but maybe there would be an advantage if unguided imaging is possible.


Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Sorry for such a long delay in replying, for some reason I can't send emails to the group anymore and most of the time iogroups tells me I don't have any groups to check or respond to; wierd!
Thanks Peter,
Sorry to hear your issue with the program, thanks for the advice.
Steve


Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Michael,
I did use the internal tooth lock washers on my pier extension, just in case. The steel plate is nice and flat with no wobble in the flat plate adapter or telescope base sitting on it. I'll see about getting some photos of my adapter and put them up here, but not before I figure out what the heck is wrong with my exchange server and groups.io. 

Steve


Michael Hambrick <mike.hambrick@...>
 

Hi Steve

Good to know that the fit on your mount and pier is good. I have to think about getting one of the flat plate adapters for my pier. I am still using the original 8-inch pier that I bought with my 800 mount in 1992 and the fit of the 1100 mount base is pretty sloppy. It was not long after I got my 1100 mount that I noticed that the mount base would tilt about 1/16" after the counterweights and scope were installed. You can see the gap between the base of the mount and the top of the pier in the picture below.

I have mostly solved the problem by hand scraping the top of the pier to make it perfectly flat and then upgraded to NORD-LOCK washers. I may eventually install some dowel pins to positively hold the mount base in position on the pier.
 




Best Regards

Michael Hambrick
ARLANXEO
TSR Global Manufacturing Support
PO Box 2000
Orange, TX 77631-2000
Phone: +1 (409) 882-2799
email: mike.hambrick@...


Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

So far I've not seen any compelling evidence that "I need it either" Mojo.
Thanks for your comments.
Steve


Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey Mike,
The pointing accuracy probably isn't a real big deal, as you say, but improved tracking MIGHT be an advantage. IF it would improve the tracking so it doesn't "creep" over time and it could make auto-guiding better, it might be worth it. Taking unguided 10 minute images doesn't pull my chain too much. Guiding seems to work fairly well with my QSI683 with built in OAG mounted on my 12" Meade ACF with piggybacked 80mm F5.6 refactor for wide-field work; so I don't see the advantage of unguided capability.
I can certainly understand the issue with cash flow in this crazy unemployment time! I'm a practicing Optometrist, who's had nothing but emergency patients for almost two months now trying to keep all my employees on the payroll without cash flow has been quite difficult enough, but I don't get anything without patients. Fortunately we we released for full time practice this week here in Kansas. Hopefully everyone will be set free again REAL SOON.
Improved tracking, hmmmm....
Steve


Steve C. Mitchell, Sr., O.D.
 

Hey again Mike,
Wow! that is a gap between your mount and pier. Sorry about that. My permanent pier in my observatory was originally built for an RCX400 several years ago. I got lucky and snagged a "free" piece of 12" square tubing with 1/2" wall thickness that I turned into a pier. I used double 1/2" plates, both 22" square, on top of the square pipe. One welded on and the other mounted on 3/4" bolts in each corner for adjustability and leveling. It has worked great and VERY stable. I swear I could run into it with my truck and barely make it move. For the AP1100 mount I needed a a vertical extension for clearance so I took a 14" long piece of 8" pipe and made it, with another 1/2" plate welded on top of that; the whole thing then bolts down on top of the original pier. So AP's flat plate adapter is bolted on top of the pile!
Steve