New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated


Pete Tuson
 

Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete


Karen Christen
 

Hello Pete,

Welcome to the Astronuts!  We're happy to have you, regardless of how you obtained your AP equipment.  I won't attempt to answer your tech questions but we have lots of Mach1 owners here who can offer their perspectives.  Did you get the user's manual with your mount?  If not, you can find it, along with a plethora of other information, in the Support section of our website, here: https://www.astro-physics.com/support/

Wishing you clear skies and lots of fun with your new Mach1!
Karen
AP


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of petetuson@... <petetuson@...>
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2022 8:23:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated
 
Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete

--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

Forget pointing models, they do very little for accurate guided tracking for mounts that have to be set up every night. Good tracking is much more dependent on a good PEM for RA and good balance on the Dec axis. Good polar alignment is also important to keep both axes from drifting too much so that the guider doesn't have to work so hard to keep the guide star on track.

PemPro is a great program for creating a good PE curve that can be downloaded into the CP3 controller. It will make guiding so much easier and more stable for the RA axis.

Getting good balance in Dec will reduce the pressure on the gear teeth (every 1lb of unbalance will produce approx 10lb of pressure on the gear teeth). Low pressure reduces or even eliminates the static friction that occurs on the Dec worm, which helps reduce backlash and retrograde motion. This is especially important on spring loaded worms which are pushed into full mesh by the spring action. You want the Dec axis to respond quickly and accurately to reversal commands during guiding.

Unless you have a very long focus telescope, like a C14, with a small sensor camera, your standard pointing with good polar alignment will normally place the object somewhere in the field. From there, you can either do plate solve and center, or manually center and Recal. Both a quick and easy to do. Modeling with APPM comes into play for advanced setups where you want to automate your imaging sessions, or where you might want to go unguided. But doing so opens up another layer of complications because of the many options that start to exist for such setups.

KISS (Keep it simple ...)

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: petetuson@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Mar 27, 2022 8:23 am
Subject: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated

Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Jeffc
 

I would start by using the mount with PEC enabled, and just use the keypad if that Mach1 comes with a keypad. (The CP3 should already have a curve set in it from the factory.. but likely you’ll eventually want to load a new curve.)

Ideally that mount comes with a version of PemPro. (Eg My 1200 came with a PemPro license… The upgrades recently expired so I just purchased the latest. )

So start with just using the mount to learn the basics. If it has a keypad, you don’t really even need a computer.

As for computer control… I used the AP “v2 driver” for many years on the AP1200 and 1100 with various Astro software. It just works. It is all you need for computer control / imaging.

My new Mach2 came with APCC, so I started using APCC last year.
I look at APCC as “control/managemt software sorta positioned between the mount and the V2 Driver”. APCC is required for some “advanced” stuff and does the custom rate logic (afaict) for the pointing model.
Fwiw, I used the Mach2 for months without a pointing model as I was figuring it all out, and also setting up nightly.

It’s not clear if this Mach1 you are getting comes with an APCC license — I suspect not.
If you don’t get APCC with the mount, you can just continue to use the “V2 Driver” until you figure out if you need/want pointing models.

Btw, the Mach1 is (imo) a perfectly sized small mount. It should be a joy to use and the other APCC features.

-jeff

On Mar 27, 2022, at 8:25 AM, petetuson@... wrote:

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?


Clement Elechi
 

Hello, Pete,

I too have a Mach1 CP3.  I have not gone beyond the KISS stage.  ASCOM driver (with PEC enabled), planetarium and imaging software have fulfilled all of my needs.  The mount itself tracks extremely well, sufficiently so for the shorter exposures that the newer cameras permit.  The RAPAS is great.  I collimated mine one evening when both Polemaster and Sharpcap were in agreement. 

Clem

============================

My flickr gallery:


On Sunday, March 27, 2022, 11:25:51 AM EDT, <petetuson@...> wrote:


Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete


Pete Tuson
 

Rolando, thank you for this. One of the things I want to try is using my EdgeHD 8 at F10 2032mm focal length (I unfortunately can't fit on the 0.70x reducer with my esatto focuser, there's not enough back focus distance). I'm going to be upgrading my guidecam to the ASI 174 as I think this has much bigger pixels than my 290mm. Main imaging camera is a 2600mm. This focal length was impossible for me to consider on my CEM40.

Is guiding at these longer focal lengths within this mount's capability? I'm hoping that binning the 174 guide cam 2x2 (giving 1.2" per pixel) will be enough to handle the Edge HD focal length. Do you foresee any issues with that?

I really don't mind about pointing errors, as you say, slew and centre is pretty good in NINA and that works fine for me. I'm a big fan of KISS in all walks of life.

Saying that, do you suggest I buy a copy of PEMPro? I believe that records multiple revolutions of the worm gear and averages it. I think PHD2 has Predictive PEC - should I use that along side any curve uploaded to the mount from PEMPro?

Thanks for taking the time.

Peter


On Sun, 27 Mar 2022 at 17:01, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Forget pointing models, they do very little for accurate guided tracking for mounts that have to be set up every night. Good tracking is much more dependent on a good PEM for RA and good balance on the Dec axis. Good polar alignment is also important to keep both axes from drifting too much so that the guider doesn't have to work so hard to keep the guide star on track.

PemPro is a great program for creating a good PE curve that can be downloaded into the CP3 controller. It will make guiding so much easier and more stable for the RA axis.

Getting good balance in Dec will reduce the pressure on the gear teeth (every 1lb of unbalance will produce approx 10lb of pressure on the gear teeth). Low pressure reduces or even eliminates the static friction that occurs on the Dec worm, which helps reduce backlash and retrograde motion. This is especially important on spring loaded worms which are pushed into full mesh by the spring action. You want the Dec axis to respond quickly and accurately to reversal commands during guiding.

Unless you have a very long focus telescope, like a C14, with a small sensor camera, your standard pointing with good polar alignment will normally place the object somewhere in the field. From there, you can either do plate solve and center, or manually center and Recal. Both a quick and easy to do. Modeling with APPM comes into play for advanced setups where you want to automate your imaging sessions, or where you might want to go unguided. But doing so opens up another layer of complications because of the many options that start to exist for such setups.

KISS (Keep it simple ...)

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: petetuson@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Mar 27, 2022 8:23 am
Subject: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated

Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Michael Kelly
 

Pete,

Congrats on the new mount!  I can vouch for the abilities of the Mach1/CP3 for sure. I also have a CEM40EC that easily handles a WO132FLT to 0.40" with average seeing, but indeed they are completely different animals altogether!!!  My Mach1 has a PW12.5 and use a Z73 as a guidescope strapped to it, the other night with no wind and average seeing, it was tracking as low as 0.31". That's with 60lbs of gear and 84lbs of counterweights!!!!

Get a good PA, set your sequence and enjoy as the mount slips away and becomes something you simply don't have to worry about. 

Enjoy and Clear Skies!!!

Best,

Michael

On Monday, March 28, 2022, 06:27:40 AM EDT, Pete Tuson <petetuson@...> wrote:


Rolando, thank you for this. One of the things I want to try is using my EdgeHD 8 at F10 2032mm focal length (I unfortunately can't fit on the 0.70x reducer with my esatto focuser, there's not enough back focus distance). I'm going to be upgrading my guidecam to the ASI 174 as I think this has much bigger pixels than my 290mm. Main imaging camera is a 2600mm. This focal length was impossible for me to consider on my CEM40.

Is guiding at these longer focal lengths within this mount's capability? I'm hoping that binning the 174 guide cam 2x2 (giving 1.2" per pixel) will be enough to handle the Edge HD focal length. Do you foresee any issues with that?

I really don't mind about pointing errors, as you say, slew and centre is pretty good in NINA and that works fine for me. I'm a big fan of KISS in all walks of life.

Saying that, do you suggest I buy a copy of PEMPro? I believe that records multiple revolutions of the worm gear and averages it. I think PHD2 has Predictive PEC - should I use that along side any curve uploaded to the mount from PEMPro?

Thanks for taking the time.

Peter

On Sun, 27 Mar 2022 at 17:01, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Forget pointing models, they do very little for accurate guided tracking for mounts that have to be set up every night. Good tracking is much more dependent on a good PEM for RA and good balance on the Dec axis. Good polar alignment is also important to keep both axes from drifting too much so that the guider doesn't have to work so hard to keep the guide star on track.

PemPro is a great program for creating a good PE curve that can be downloaded into the CP3 controller. It will make guiding so much easier and more stable for the RA axis.

Getting good balance in Dec will reduce the pressure on the gear teeth (every 1lb of unbalance will produce approx 10lb of pressure on the gear teeth). Low pressure reduces or even eliminates the static friction that occurs on the Dec worm, which helps reduce backlash and retrograde motion. This is especially important on spring loaded worms which are pushed into full mesh by the spring action. You want the Dec axis to respond quickly and accurately to reversal commands during guiding.

Unless you have a very long focus telescope, like a C14, with a small sensor camera, your standard pointing with good polar alignment will normally place the object somewhere in the field. From there, you can either do plate solve and center, or manually center and Recal. Both a quick and easy to do. Modeling with APPM comes into play for advanced setups where you want to automate your imaging sessions, or where you might want to go unguided. But doing so opens up another layer of complications because of the many options that start to exist for such setups.

KISS (Keep it simple ...)

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: petetuson@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Mar 27, 2022 8:23 am
Subject: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated

Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

1) The Mach1 can certainly track and guide well for long focal length scopes. With long focal length SCTs a separate guide scope is not recommended. Differential flexure and mirror flop will cause stars to become oblong. Unless your image exposures are short, the only way to guide SCTs is to use an off-axis guider.

2) Once you do a PemPro run and store the curve into the CP controller, you will not need any other method of PE compensation. You would not use Predictive PEC in PHD2.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Pete Tuson <petetuson@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Mar 28, 2022 5:27 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated

Rolando, thank you for this. One of the things I want to try is using my EdgeHD 8 at F10 2032mm focal length (I unfortunately can't fit on the 0.70x reducer with my esatto focuser, there's not enough back focus distance). I'm going to be upgrading my guidecam to the ASI 174 as I think this has much bigger pixels than my 290mm. Main imaging camera is a 2600mm. This focal length was impossible for me to consider on my CEM40.

Is guiding at these longer focal lengths within this mount's capability? I'm hoping that binning the 174 guide cam 2x2 (giving 1.2" per pixel) will be enough to handle the Edge HD focal length. Do you foresee any issues with that?

I really don't mind about pointing errors, as you say, slew and centre is pretty good in NINA and that works fine for me. I'm a big fan of KISS in all walks of life.

Saying that, do you suggest I buy a copy of PEMPro? I believe that records multiple revolutions of the worm gear and averages it. I think PHD2 has Predictive PEC - should I use that along side any curve uploaded to the mount from PEMPro?

Thanks for taking the time.

Peter

On Sun, 27 Mar 2022 at 17:01, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Forget pointing models, they do very little for accurate guided tracking for mounts that have to be set up every night. Good tracking is much more dependent on a good PEM for RA and good balance on the Dec axis. Good polar alignment is also important to keep both axes from drifting too much so that the guider doesn't have to work so hard to keep the guide star on track.

PemPro is a great program for creating a good PE curve that can be downloaded into the CP3 controller. It will make guiding so much easier and more stable for the RA axis.

Getting good balance in Dec will reduce the pressure on the gear teeth (every 1lb of unbalance will produce approx 10lb of pressure on the gear teeth). Low pressure reduces or even eliminates the static friction that occurs on the Dec worm, which helps reduce backlash and retrograde motion. This is especially important on spring loaded worms which are pushed into full mesh by the spring action. You want the Dec axis to respond quickly and accurately to reversal commands during guiding.

Unless you have a very long focus telescope, like a C14, with a small sensor camera, your standard pointing with good polar alignment will normally place the object somewhere in the field. From there, you can either do plate solve and center, or manually center and Recal. Both a quick and easy to do. Modeling with APPM comes into play for advanced setups where you want to automate your imaging sessions, or where you might want to go unguided. But doing so opens up another layer of complications because of the many options that start to exist for such setups.

KISS (Keep it simple ...)

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: petetuson@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Mar 27, 2022 8:23 am
Subject: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated

Hello all

On a whim yesterday I placed an order for a Mach1 CP3 being sold in the UK. I was looking for a new mount to replace my iOptron CEM40, I'm very excited to step in to the world of precision mounts. I hope it is okay to ask questions here even though I have not purchased the mount new from AP?

There's a huge amount to take in - for example you can't use PPEC on iOptron mounts if you guide, so that's new to me.

So really if there are some good resources I could be pointed to so I don't ask stupid or often asked questions I would sincerely appreciate it!

If you will allow me to indulge in just one question -

PEC with PEMPro, guiding with PHD2, APPM Point Modelling...! How do these play together, what overlap is there, are any 'must haves'? I have to set up and take down my gear most nights and also take it to dark sites, so is pointing model worth it?

I'm primarily interested in improving tracking in both axis as much as us reasonable.

Thank you
Pete

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Christopher M
 

This thread has helped me as well.  I have been pretty confused as to what is or was needed to at least get going with one of these mounts.


Roland Christen
 

Questions can be answered by our very competent staff, George and Howard. No need to be confused, they can probably clear up anything that you need to know. Just give them a jingle.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher M <mirfak@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Mar 28, 2022 4:07 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] New to Mach 1, some newbie help appreciated

This thread has helped me as well.  I have been pretty confused as to what is or was needed to at least get going with one of these mounts.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics