#Mach2GTO #Mach2GTO


Richard
 

I recently took a trip to a dark sky location at high altitude (Bortle 1 skies, 9,200 ft elevation) and ran into some problems in the field with my Mach2 mount. I had the telescope and mount set up properly, balanced and was starting my electronic checkout  and daytime polar alignment only to find an error in APCC:  Motor Stall.  When I tried to park the mount, I would hear a buzzing noise, receive Motor Stall error and APCC would "settle" the mount.  I was able to reproduce these symptoms reliably and did what debugging I could in the field.  This debugging included:
  • Checking the telescope balance (unpowered).
  • Removing the RA/DEC motor covers to check movement (unpowered). 
Re-balancing the scope had little/no effect.  The two axes each appeared to move freely when I moved the motor axis (again unpowered).  Tests after these checks reproduced the problem.

On return to my home I further isolated the problem to the RA motor and it appears to be vibrate when a slew is attempted.  The DEC axis appears to behave normally.

During transit, the mount was in a pelican case packed with the same materials and configuration as when I received the mount (see attached image for the packing configuration).

Any advice in further debugging/ or recovery of the mount would be appreciated?

Rick


Roland Christen
 

That is a symptom of a motor connection that is broken somewhere along the path from the CP5 to the motor. One of the 4 leads is not making contact. It could be:

1) in the RA cable
2) at the connector at the back of the RA axis (inside the rear cover)
3) at the motor inside the gearbox (least likely)

If you have any electronic skills, you can try finding where the break is. If not, then the best I can recommend is to send the mount back for a complete overhaul.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics



-----Original Message-----
From: Richard via groups.io <tesarek@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Aug 2, 2022 12:23 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] #Mach2GTO

I recently took a trip to a dark sky location at high altitude (Bortle 1 skies, 9,200 ft elevation) and ran into some problems in the field with my Mach2 mount. I had the telescope and mount set up properly, balanced and was starting my electronic checkout  and daytime polar alignment only to find an error in APCC:  Motor Stall.  When I tried to park the mount, I would hear a buzzing noise, receive Motor Stall error and APCC would "settle" the mount.  I was able to reproduce these symptoms reliably and did what debugging I could in the field.  This debugging included:
  • Checking the telescope balance (unpowered).
  • Removing the RA/DEC motor covers to check movement (unpowered). 
Re-balancing the scope had little/no effect.  The two axes each appeared to move freely when I moved the motor axis (again unpowered).  Tests after these checks reproduced the problem.

On return to my home I further isolated the problem to the RA motor and it appears to be vibrate when a slew is attempted.  The DEC axis appears to behave normally.

During transit, the mount was in a pelican case packed with the same materials and configuration as when I received the mount (see attached image for the packing configuration).

Any advice in further debugging/ or recovery of the mount would be appreciated?

Rick

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Richard
 

Thanks Roland,
I thought the problem was something like suggest, just wasn't sure quite where to start. 
I admit I confused the RA/DEC and the problem was in DEC, not RA.  That said, removing the rear cover, I found a black wire disconnected from the circular connector (see attached photo).  A few minutes with a soldering iron and the problem was fixed.

Visual inspection before the repair there was solder on both the solder cup for the connector and the wire.  The cables all look to have good strain relief.  I'm not entirely sure why this solder connection failed.
Thanks again,
Rick


Roland Christen
 

Make sure that the connector retaining nut is on tight and the connector cannot move when you attach the cables.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard via groups.io <tesarek@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Aug 2, 2022 2:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Mach2GTO

Thanks Roland,
I thought the problem was something like suggest, just wasn't sure quite where to start. 
I admit I confused the RA/DEC and the problem was in DEC, not RA.  That said, removing the rear cover, I found a black wire disconnected from the circular connector (see attached photo).  A few minutes with a soldering iron and the problem was fixed.

Visual inspection before the repair there was solder on both the solder cup for the connector and the wire.  The cables all look to have good strain relief.  I'm not entirely sure why this solder connection failed.
Thanks again,
Rick

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


garyemc
 

Rick,

Which case are you using to store your mount.

Thanks!
gary


Richard
 

No problem.  I double checked the retaining nut tightness and it is snugged down tight (never loosened it). The screws holding the assembly to the back plate and the plate to the main housing are also tightened down.
Rick


Richard
 

Gary,
I have a pelican 1640 case.  The case also allows me to include the counterweight bar in the case with an additional 2" of lower density foam around the original AP higher density packing material for the mount.  From personal experience, this solution is a little larger than need be and is a bit unwieldy when trying to navigate stairs.  I can load/unload this case into the bed of my pickup myself, though this is probably at the limit of what I would want to do on a routine basis.

Hope this helps,
Rick


garyemc
 

Rick,

Thanks for the help! I’m still deciding whether to go with the case recommended by AP the Pelican IM2875, or look for another solution. I would like to keep the mount and controller box together. Not sure if the Pelican IM2875 can do that.

Thanks again!
Gary


Andrea Lucchetti
 

My opinion, the case would be too big.
I have a pelican like case that can take just the mount and the combo it is already big and heavy…
The only annoyance for me is to mount the saddle plate but it is much lighter and easy to move around

Il giorno sab 6 ago 2022 alle 06:06 garyemc via groups.io <garyemc=winfirst.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
Rick,

Thanks for the help! I’m still deciding whether to go with the case recommended by AP the Pelican IM2875, or look for another solution. I would like to keep the mount and controller box together. Not sure if the Pelican IM2875 can do that.

Thanks again!
Gary


Greg McCall
 
Edited

I wrap the mount in a big beach towel (we have real beaches and necessary towels in Australia :-) with some straps. It’s too heavy to slide around in back of SUV (Toyota Prado) and is lighter with no case. Pick up by grabbing under straps. I don’t know the deal in needing a case unless you want to rough it a chuck in the back of a truck. 

On Sat, 6 Aug 2022 at 5:04 pm, Andrea Lucchetti <andlucchett@...> wrote:

My opinion, the case would be too big.
I have a pelican like case that can take just the mount and the combo it is already big and heavy…
The only annoyance for me is to mount the saddle plate but it is much lighter and easy to move around

Il giorno sab 6 ago 2022 alle 06:06 garyemc via groups.io <garyemc=winfirst.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
Rick,

Thanks for the help! I’m still deciding whether to go with the case recommended by AP the Pelican IM2875, or look for another solution. I would like to keep the mount and controller box together. Not sure if the Pelican IM2875 can do that.

Thanks again!
Gary

 

 

 

 


Richard
 

Gary, et al.,
My choice of the pelican 1640 was based on an attempt to keep all the mount equipment together, protected and dust free.  I go to a Bortle 1 site at a 9,200 ft elevation and clear horizons. This site requires some effort to get to; a little over an hour on unpaved, wash board roads (when in good condition).  Round trip from where I live to this site is ~2,000 miles and not something I do over a weekend.
My original requirements/considerations for a case were:
  • Cushion the equipment
  • Keep the equipment dust free
  • If possible, keep all like equipment in one case to minimize the number of items to track in the field
  • Light enough for one person to move
The 1640 satisfies most of these requirements.  On the positive side the first two above are largely satisfied, though I suspect high frequency vibrations,10-20 Hz, from washboard roads are transmitted to the mount during transport (witness the solder joint failure above).  As for the other two considerations, I'm able to keep the mount, counterweight shaft, CP5, some hardware and cables in the case.  What I haven't found room for are the hand controller and saddle; these I have in separate, smaller boxes.  Counter weights will always be in a different case.  As for ease of handling, I admit that this case is large and at the limit of what I feel comfortable handling on my own, both in size and loaded weight; I wouldn't add more to the weight. 

Paige at AP recommended both the 1640 and the IM2875 when I purchased my Mach 2.  I did consider the IM2875 but like you figured that I couldn't get the other equipment inside.  As noted above, I can't get the hand controller in the case and it would be nice have a saddle attached to the mount).  I would be interested to learn from those with experience using the IM2875.

Some observations: 
  • The pelican case does a great job at keeping out very fine dust.  I have a cap on my truck  that is "sealed" against dust and weather.  I find that the very fine dust kicked up from the road still makes it into the "sealed area" of the cap.  No dust makes it into the case.  Also, I don't worry about the de-pressurization coming from an elevation of ~800ft where I live to over 9,200 ft. 
  • The pelican pick and pluck foam is not sufficiently dense (stiff) to adequately restrain the mount.  If you wish to transport the mount in a pelican case, consider higher density packing foam.  I use the same packing foam provided by astro-physics inside the lighter density pelican foam (I took it from the box the mount came in, see photo above). 
  • When I get to the site, I don't completely unload the case from my truck.  The case sits on the tailgate of my truck while I unload the mount; this is a good height and doesn't require me to bend over to extract the mount.  This may also be the case if you use an SUV
Overall I'm reasonably happy with my choice.Rick


Nathan Myhrvold
 

My plan for the 1100 GTO AEL is two Zarges aluminum cases.  They are a little larger than the size of the shipping boxes so I was able to reuse the foam, with a little additional padding.

Have 2 cases means I must reassemble on getting to my location.  I am nomadic and typically set up for a week of imaging in one spot.

Do other nomads on the list carry the 1100 assembled? 

Keeping the mount together seemed like it would be too heavy for one case.  

Nathan


Nathan
Going mobile

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Richard via groups.io <tesarek@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 6, 2022 12:21:13 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [ap-gto] #Mach2GTO
 
Gary, et al.,
My choice of the pelican 1640 was based on an attempt to keep all the mount equipment together, protected and dust free.  I go to a Bortle 1 site at a 9,200 ft elevation and clear horizons. This site requires some effort to get to; a little over an hour on unpaved, wash board roads (when in good condition).  Round trip from where I live to this site is ~2,000 miles and not something I do over a weekend.
My original requirements/considerations for a case were:
  • Cushion the equipment
  • Keep the equipment dust free
  • If possible, keep all like equipment in one case to minimize the number of items to track in the field
  • Light enough for one person to move
The 1640 satisfies most of these requirements.  On the positive side the first two above are largely satisfied, though I suspect high frequency vibrations,10-20 Hz, from washboard roads are transmitted to the mount during transport (witness the solder joint failure above).  As for the other two considerations, I'm able to keep the mount, counterweight shaft, CP5, some hardware and cables in the case.  What I haven't found room for are the hand controller and saddle; these I have in separate, smaller boxes.  Counter weights will always be in a different case.  As for ease of handling, I admit that this case is large and at the limit of what I feel comfortable handling on my own, both in size and loaded weight; I wouldn't add more to the weight. 

Paige at AP recommended both the 1640 and the IM2875 when I purchased my Mach 2.  I did consider the IM2875 but like you figured that I couldn't get the other equipment inside.  As noted above, I can't get the hand controller in the case and it would be nice have a saddle attached to the mount).  I would be interested to learn from those with experience using the IM2875.

Some observations: 
  • The pelican case does a great job at keeping out very fine dust.  I have a cap on my truck  that is "sealed" against dust and weather.  I find that the very fine dust kicked up from the road still makes it into the "sealed area" of the cap.  No dust makes it into the case.  Also, I don't worry about the de-pressurization coming from an elevation of ~800ft where I live to over 9,200 ft. 
  • The pelican pick and pluck foam is not sufficiently dense (stiff) to adequately restrain the mount.  If you wish to transport the mount in a pelican case, consider higher density packing foam.  I use the same packing foam provided by astro-physics inside the lighter density pelican foam (I took it from the box the mount came in, see photo above). 
  • When I get to the site, I don't completely unload the case from my truck.  The case sits on the tailgate of my truck while I unload the mount; this is a good height and doesn't require me to bend over to extract the mount.  This may also be the case if you use an SUV
Overall I'm reasonably happy with my choice.Rick


Andrea Lucchetti
 

Rick,
I have a maxcases 540.
I have bought the same foam AP uses for shipping, which is high density and cutted with a saw to the mount shape.
I find them of very good quality and reasonably priced in Europe.
I am not an expert but I do have a few smaller Peli and to me they seem very similar. They have bigger options , 640 and even 740 and 820 mm but far bigger than what I can manage 
Andrea

Il giorno sab 6 ago 2022 alle 21:21 Richard via groups.io <tesarek=fnal.gov@groups.io> ha scritto:
Gary, et al.,
My choice of the pelican 1640 was based on an attempt to keep all the mount equipment together, protected and dust free.  I go to a Bortle 1 site at a 9,200 ft elevation and clear horizons. This site requires some effort to get to; a little over an hour on unpaved, wash board roads (when in good condition).  Round trip from where I live to this site is ~2,000 miles and not something I do over a weekend.
My original requirements/considerations for a case were:
  • Cushion the equipment
  • Keep the equipment dust free
  • If possible, keep all like equipment in one case to minimize the number of items to track in the field
  • Light enough for one person to move
The 1640 satisfies most of these requirements.  On the positive side the first two above are largely satisfied, though I suspect high frequency vibrations,10-20 Hz, from washboard roads are transmitted to the mount during transport (witness the solder joint failure above).  As for the other two considerations, I'm able to keep the mount, counterweight shaft, CP5, some hardware and cables in the case.  What I haven't found room for are the hand controller and saddle; these I have in separate, smaller boxes.  Counter weights will always be in a different case.  As for ease of handling, I admit that this case is large and at the limit of what I feel comfortable handling on my own, both in size and loaded weight; I wouldn't add more to the weight. 

Paige at AP recommended both the 1640 and the IM2875 when I purchased my Mach 2.  I did consider the IM2875 but like you figured that I couldn't get the other equipment inside.  As noted above, I can't get the hand controller in the case and it would be nice have a saddle attached to the mount).  I would be interested to learn from those with experience using the IM2875.

Some observations: 
  • The pelican case does a great job at keeping out very fine dust.  I have a cap on my truck  that is "sealed" against dust and weather.  I find that the very fine dust kicked up from the road still makes it into the "sealed area" of the cap.  No dust makes it into the case.  Also, I don't worry about the de-pressurization coming from an elevation of ~800ft where I live to over 9,200 ft. 
  • The pelican pick and pluck foam is not sufficiently dense (stiff) to adequately restrain the mount.  If you wish to transport the mount in a pelican case, consider higher density packing foam.  I use the same packing foam provided by astro-physics inside the lighter density pelican foam (I took it from the box the mount came in, see photo above). 
  • When I get to the site, I don't completely unload the case from my truck.  The case sits on the tailgate of my truck while I unload the mount; this is a good height and doesn't require me to bend over to extract the mount.  This may also be the case if you use an SUV
Overall I'm reasonably happy with my choice.Rick


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Sat, Aug 6, 2022 at 03:37 PM, Nathan Myhrvold wrote:
Do other nomads on the list carry the 1100 assembled? 
I know people laugh at this so to share amusement.... I carry my 1100 mounted to my car.   I bought an extra flat surface adapter, and mounted it with bolts through the floor of the back of the SUV.  There's space under it for storage that closes with a plastic latch, and rather than trusting it there is a metal rod (seen under/behind) that spans that area and ensures it cannot be wrenched up with a sudden stop.  It looks unsupported, but a few screws in the ring and it is not going anywhere.  

Then when I arrive I just set up the tripod, remove the base screws, pick up the 1100 up and set it on the tripod's ring.  The ring in the SUV stays there all the time.  The DEC module and saddle stay on, so it's probably 55-60 pounds or so to lift, but the SUV is already at tripod height so it is an easy lift and carry, you do not have to try to pick it up out of a case with foam getting in the way of your hands. 

While you can't stack on top of it like you can cases, it takes up less volume in the vehicle than cases do.  I have separate cases made for counterweights, shafts, etc.  For that I used Home Depot cases, about $29 if I recall, replacing the inside with Kaizen foam which is great (if pricey) stuff to carve out custom shapes.  The nice thing about those cases is they have built in clamps that let you stack securely so they cannot slide off.  The one big case is for things too deep (like imaging train still assembled) for the Home Depot cases.  Typically I'll have a stack of 4 of the HD cases on a trip, mostly counterweights, if I'm taking the C11. 

But to the original point, leaving the 1100 assembled and ready to go saves a lot of time both packing and unpacking, even if mounting it to the SUV seems a little odd.

Linwood





ernie.mastroianni@...
 

I use a Seahorse case (model 920) which by chance precisely fits the Mach2 configured in the 43 degree north position with the 10" saddle and ADATRI attached. I added a layer of the A-P high-density foam on the case bottom. It's a snug fit and a very good deal at about $120.
http://www.seahorsecases.com/Seahorse-SE920-Large-Waterproof-Protective-Equipment-Storage-Shipping-Case-Wheels.html
Ernie