Topics

How to Raise AP1600 Height

Jack Huerkamp
 

I currently have an Astro-Physics Flat Surface Adapter for 1200GTO or 1600GTO Mounts attached to a 3/4" steel plate that is bolted to a dual lifting column system I made.  When extended to their maximum height and aimed toward the south, the counterweights and shaft are right at head height, and I have inadvertently walked into them in the darkness of the observatory  on far too many occasions.  I would like to raise the mount 8" to 12".  Does AP sell an extension cylinder that will drop into the flat surface adapter and that will receive the base of the AP1600 mount?  If so, I have not found it on the AP website and I would appreciate receiving the link to it.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

George
 

Jack,

 

We do not offer a pier extension for the 1600 mount’s 10” flat surface adapter (1612FSA).    

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-282-1513

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jack Huerkamp
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020 3:33 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height

 

I currently have an Astro-Physics Flat Surface Adapter for 1200GTO or 1600GTO Mounts attached to a 3/4" steel plate that is bolted to a dual lifting column system I made.  When extended to their maximum height and aimed toward the south, the counterweights and shaft are right at head height, and I have inadvertently walked into them in the darkness of the observatory  on far too many occasions.  I would like to raise the mount 8" to 12".  Does AP sell an extension cylinder that will drop into the flat surface adapter and that will receive the base of the AP1600 mount?  If so, I have not found it on the AP website and I would appreciate receiving the link to it.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

Jack Huerkamp
 

Thanks, George.  I will have to contact a local machine shop to see what they can come up with.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 


I have inadvertently walked into them in the darkness of the observatory  on far too many occasions.
On my observatory mounts both here and in Hawaii I have wrapped the counterweights in heavy foam shipping material. It has saved my noggin many times.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Mar 16, 2020 3:33 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height

I currently have an Astro-Physics Flat Surface Adapter for 1200GTO or 1600GTO Mounts attached to a 3/4" steel plate that is bolted to a dual lifting column system I made.  When extended to their maximum height and aimed toward the south, the counterweights and shaft are right at head height, and I have inadvertently walked into them in the darkness of the observatory  on far too many occasions.  I would like to raise the mount 8" to 12".  Does AP sell an extension cylinder that will drop into the flat surface adapter and that will receive the base of the AP1600 mount?  If so, I have not found it on the AP website and I would appreciate receiving the link to it.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

Jack Huerkamp
 
Edited

Rolando,

I was going to get some of those foam, colored swimming pool noogles to place around the shaft.  I am also going to re-order the weights on the shaft to see if I can eliminate the shaft extension.  I have the 30# weights closest to the RA Axis with the 24# and 10# below them.  The shaft extension joint is under the 10# weight and I need to remove this weight to be able to put the safety knob on the shaft.  With the weights re-ordered, I should be able to eliminate the shaft extension - that is what I normally bump into.

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 

I think you can safely put the heaviest weights at the bottom of the shaft and eliminate the lighter weight and the shaft extension. You don't have to go overboard trying to get the lowest possible inertia. It won't make that much difference really.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Mar 18, 2020 9:11 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height

Rolando,

I was going to get some of those foam, colored swimming pool noogles to place around the shaft.  I am also going to re-order the weights on the shaft to see if I can eliminate the shaft extension.  I have the 30# weights closest to the RA Axis with the 24# and 10# below them.  The shaft extension joint is under the 10# weight and I need to remove this weight to be able to put the safety know on the shaft.  With the weights re-ordered, I should be able to eliminate the shaft extension - that is what I normally bump into.

Jack Huerkamp
 

Roland,

I eliminated the shaft extension and 10# weight yesterday and reversed the order on the 24# and 30# weights.  Now all I have to do is wair for the skies to clear to try out moving around in the dome at night and seeing if I can avoid bumping into the weights!

Thanks,

Jack

uncarollo2 <chris1011@aol.com>
 

Splendid!

Still, I would wrap some bubble wrap around the weights just in case.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Mar 19, 2020 6:41 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Raise AP1600 Height

Roland,

I eliminated the shaft extension and 10# weight yesterday and reversed the order on the 24# and 30# weights.  Now all I have to do is wair for the skies to clear to try out moving around in the dome at night and seeing if I can avoid bumping into the weights!

Thanks,

Jack

Robert Berta
 
Edited

Jack
May not be the entire answer to your problem but.....
Look for some glow in the dark tape called SAFETY  TAPE. It is a light green cream color and with  a few seconds of exposure to a light or LCD white light flashlight, will glow in the dark for 7 hours or so. It is just a glow and not a light source so won't bother your night vision.  I use on scopes, tripods, etc. to help locate tripping hazards in the dark. I learned about it when I was working as a Safety Engineer before retiring. They use it in building exit hall ways placed low on walls. If lights go off in an emergency you can get low to avoid the smoke and breath as you leave the building in a fire. I introduced it to the astronomy club I belonged to in San Francisco and later when I retired in Michigan 14 years ago...to the club here. Virtually everyone in the three clubs I belong to here uses it. We buy it in 100' x 2 " rolls. It is so popular here we already went through one roll and 1/2 way through our second.

Look for it if you think it might solve your problem....if you want a small sample I could mail you a piece if you send me your address....
biker123 at att dot net

I have a 900 and 1100 mount mounted on flat pier adapters on a permanent pier and also a heavy duty tripod for my own use. I don't think there is any existing riser for that but you could simply build a spacer using  hardwood stacked up and cut round to match the flat plate ring. The wood would actually be beneficial in vibration damping. Alternatively you could have a machine shop built a box riser although that would obviously involve a lot more expensive material and machining. I have my own welder, metal lathe and milling machine so that would be easy in my case. 

Also....how is that double pier working? I have used the single pier model on a 14" Celestron HD SCT mounted on a Celestron CGE-Pro mount in an observtory I designed and manage for boy and girl scouts here. For visual it is just barely usable but horrible vibrations that last a long time so useless for photography. I finally had to build reinforcements but that eliminates some of the ability to raise and lower it that we wanted.  The sad part is the company that makes it guaranteed it would be fine and after installation said "Guess we were wrong." And told us we couldn't return and get credit for the larger capacity model. Needless to say we weren't happy.

John A. Sillasen
 

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


Joe Zeglinski
 

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
 
 

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
 
 

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.

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
 

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

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.

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.

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
 

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