Recent encoder discussion on CN


Roland Christen
 

This post has a bit of misinformation about encoders on our 1100/1600 mounts, and I need to clarify how the encoders actually work:


Sounds way too complicated to me. When I even suspect that one of my Paramounts is lost, I just home the mount and I'm done with it. Doesn't matter how many times I've moved the axes or lost power or anything else. I just home the mount. After homing the PEC is still perfect. 
 
I use a 50 year old system that we upgraded to absolute encoders. That beast has all sorts of old age problems but when it stalls or I get the dreaded "lost contact" message. I just reconnect and go on from there. If one of my partners parks the mount by hand, same thing. The mount figures out exactly where it is. 
 
The fact is that AP had to put the encoders on the 1100's where they would fit and it's the wrong location. You would not have to do any of this with a Mach 2 which was designed from the beginning to be an encoder mount. Same thing with a 10 micron or a Paramount MEII.


First, the 1100 mount encoders are not in the wrong place. They are attached to the axis shaft where they monitor and control the axis position and rotation. The upper part of the mount is a "Lazy Susan" mechanism which can be rotated independently from the axis shaft and then can be locked into place via tightening the clutch knobs. The axis shaft and the worm wheel are one piece machined out of a single billet of high grade aluminum (it is the most rigid and accurate way to form a worm and axis for a telescope mount). The clutch is simply a way to lock or unlock the upper "Lazy Susan" mechanism to the actual axis. You can permanently lock the scope to the axes by tightening the clutch knobs fully, and you basically have the same configuration as a Paramount MEII. That is, you have a clutchless mount which you can unlock via the motor box locking/unlocking mechanism, and you can do your fine balance, or just move the mount to another position in the sky WITHOUT losing your position.

That's right, the encoder mount always knows where it is if you set it up this way. If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates. This is the way we have set up our remote mounts in Chile, and they have NEVER gotten lost due to operator error, computer malfunction, internet crashes, power outages and other small disasters. They have operated remotely for over 6 years without a single issue. The reason is that we locked the clutches when we set them up so that they are basically the same as any clutchless mount. So, it doesn't matter how many times you unlock the lever and move the axes, or lose power or anything else, the mount always knows where it's pointed because it has absolute encoders. You don't even have to home it after moving the axes this way, the encoders track the movement - no homing needed, although it's always available.

For our non-encoder mounts, if you move the axes, you will not lose the PE correction. Our mounts will not lose position if the power is lost. Just turn power back on and resume from present position, or set the keypad to Autoconnect. If you leave the clutches locked in a permanent setup, you can also always send the mount "Home" via APCC if you make a mistaken recal or sync. So, again the poster's information is incorrect - our mounts do not lose PEC when the axes are moved. You will lose pointing in our non-encoder mounts if you unlock the clutches and move the axes manually, but that has always been the case, and you can quickly re-establish pointing by simply resuming from a known park position (you have 5 to choose from).

In our design of the 1100 mount we could have left off the upper portion clutch assembly and made a simpler clutchless mount. However, then you would have lost the ability to use the mount manually with the clutches set to slip. You would not be able to move a scope around in a sweep of the sky or Milky Way and have the mount track when you let go. You would also lose the ability to place the scope into a normal position in the cradle plate or at 90 degrees in a side-by-side multi-scope configuration without re-orienting the cradle plate.

The 1100 mount is NOT like other mounts, it has both clutches and worm gear unlocking. Unlike 10-micron, it has hollow axes into which you can stuff power, USB, Ethernet cables, etc. to your heart's content. You can order it with and without Absolute Encoders for true remote imaging applications, or just for the best way to do high resolution imaging. It comes apart for easy setup-tear down. You can hot plug any of the cables without fear of destroying the electronics. It has robust protection against severe static discharge and won't be damaged short of a direct lightning strike.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


W Hilmo
 

I have posted a fair amount of stuff to that thread regarding encoder operation on Astro-Physics mounts, including the AP1100/AP1600 and the Mach2.  I hope that it’s been accurate – and I am always happy to make corrections if I am wrong.

 

I am pretty sure that most of what Ross has said below is something that I addressed earlier.  The issue is that so much has been said in the thread already, that I don’t know that another long response is going to help…

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Roland Christen via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io; main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

This post has a bit of misinformation about encoders on our 1100/1600 mounts, and I need to clarify how the encoders actually work:

 

 

Sounds way too complicated to me. When I even suspect that one of my Paramounts is lost, I just home the mount and I'm done with it. Doesn't matter how many times I've moved the axes or lost power or anything else. I just home the mount. After homing the PEC is still perfect. 

 

I use a 50 year old system that we upgraded to absolute encoders. That beast has all sorts of old age problems but when it stalls or I get the dreaded "lost contact" message. I just reconnect and go on from there. If one of my partners parks the mount by hand, same thing. The mount figures out exactly where it is. 

 

The fact is that AP had to put the encoders on the 1100's where they would fit and it's the wrong location. You would not have to do any of this with a Mach 2 which was designed from the beginning to be an encoder mount. Same thing with a 10 micron or a Paramount MEII.

 

 

First, the 1100 mount encoders are not in the wrong place. They are attached to the axis shaft where they monitor and control the axis position and rotation. The upper part of the mount is a "Lazy Susan" mechanism which can be rotated independently from the axis shaft and then can be locked into place via tightening the clutch knobs. The axis shaft and the worm wheel are one piece machined out of a single billet of high grade aluminum (it is the most rigid and accurate way to form a worm and axis for a telescope mount). The clutch is simply a way to lock or unlock the upper "Lazy Susan" mechanism to the actual axis. You can permanently lock the scope to the axes by tightening the clutch knobs fully, and you basically have the same configuration as a Paramount MEII. That is, you have a clutchless mount which you can unlock via the motor box locking/unlocking mechanism, and you can do your fine balance, or just move the mount to another position in the sky WITHOUT losing your position.

 

That's right, the encoder mount always knows where it is if you set it up this way. If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates. This is the way we have set up our remote mounts in Chile, and they have NEVER gotten lost due to operator error, computer malfunction, internet crashes, power outages and other small disasters. They have operated remotely for over 6 years without a single issue. The reason is that we locked the clutches when we set them up so that they are basically the same as any clutchless mount. So, it doesn't matter how many times you unlock the lever and move the axes, or lose power or anything else, the mount always knows where it's pointed because it has absolute encoders. You don't even have to home it after moving the axes this way, the encoders track the movement - no homing needed, although it's always available.

 

For our non-encoder mounts, if you move the axes, you will not lose the PE correction. Our mounts will not lose position if the power is lost. Just turn power back on and resume from present position, or set the keypad to Autoconnect. If you leave the clutches locked in a permanent setup, you can also always send the mount "Home" via APCC if you make a mistaken recal or sync. So, again the poster's information is incorrect - our mounts do not lose PEC when the axes are moved. You will lose pointing in our non-encoder mounts if you unlock the clutches and move the axes manually, but that has always been the case, and you can quickly re-establish pointing by simply resuming from a known park position (you have 5 to choose from).

 

In our design of the 1100 mount we could have left off the upper portion clutch assembly and made a simpler clutchless mount. However, then you would have lost the ability to use the mount manually with the clutches set to slip. You would not be able to move a scope around in a sweep of the sky or Milky Way and have the mount track when you let go. You would also lose the ability to place the scope into a normal position in the cradle plate or at 90 degrees in a side-by-side multi-scope configuration without re-orienting the cradle plate.

 

The 1100 mount is NOT like other mounts, it has both clutches and worm gear unlocking. Unlike 10-micron, it has hollow axes into which you can stuff power, USB, Ethernet cables, etc. to your heart's content. You can order it with and without Absolute Encoders for true remote imaging applications, or just for the best way to do high resolution imaging. It comes apart for easy setup-tear down. You can hot plug any of the cables without fear of destroying the electronics. It has robust protection against severe static discharge and won't be damaged short of a direct lightning strike.

 

Roland Christen

Astro-Physics Inc.

 

 


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Peter Nagy
 

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter


Roland Christen
 


the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

This is good to know! 

So if I released the mount with the lever, and moved it from Park 3 position to Part 5 position, and locked the lever, and told the mount to home (lets say home == park 3) then it would park to the park 3 position without the need for re-initializing, etc? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

Yes, the mount would know it was in position 5, so when you apply power and sent it home, it would go to position 3. Release the lever only when the mount is powered off, otherwise the encoder will try to drive the mount back to the original position. We have some new CP4 software which will stop the encoder from fighting you. Will release soon.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

This is good to know! 

So if I released the mount with the lever, and moved it from Park 3 position to Part 5 position, and locked the lever, and told the mount to home (lets say home == park 3) then it would park to the park 3 position without the need for re-initializing, etc? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Peter Nagy
 

Rolando,

Unfortunately mine is the first run mount so I don't have the gearbox lever but I really love the mount!!!!

But I understand your comments.

Thanks,
Peter 


Bill Long
 

Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.

I did not know that it needs to be powered off. I'll be sure to do that until the new update comes out. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Yes, the mount would know it was in position 5, so when you apply power and sent it home, it would go to position 3. Release the lever only when the mount is powered off, otherwise the encoder will try to drive the mount back to the original position. We have some new CP4 software which will stop the encoder from fighting you. Will release soon.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

This is good to know! 

So if I released the mount with the lever, and moved it from Park 3 position to Part 5 position, and locked the lever, and told the mount to home (lets say home == park 3) then it would park to the park 3 position without the need for re-initializing, etc? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 


Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.
This is only with an encoder mount. Non-encoder mounts will need to be re-calibrated if you move it manually.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 7:06 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.

I did not know that it needs to be powered off. I'll be sure to do that until the new update comes out. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Yes, the mount would know it was in position 5, so when you apply power and sent it home, it would go to position 3. Release the lever only when the mount is powered off, otherwise the encoder will try to drive the mount back to the original position. We have some new CP4 software which will stop the encoder from fighting you. Will release soon.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

This is good to know! 

So if I released the mount with the lever, and moved it from Park 3 position to Part 5 position, and locked the lever, and told the mount to home (lets say home == park 3) then it would park to the park 3 position without the need for re-initializing, etc? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

I no longer use mounts without encoders. 🤣 😂 😄


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:33 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.
This is only with an encoder mount. Non-encoder mounts will need to be re-calibrated if you move it manually.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 7:06 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Very cool. I always thought I was making the mount lost if I released the lever to make a small balance adjustment. Now I know it's not lost at all.

I did not know that it needs to be powered off. I'll be sure to do that until the new update comes out. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:03 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Yes, the mount would know it was in position 5, so when you apply power and sent it home, it would go to position 3. Release the lever only when the mount is powered off, otherwise the encoder will try to drive the mount back to the original position. We have some new CP4 software which will stop the encoder from fighting you. Will release soon.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

This is good to know! 

So if I released the mount with the lever, and moved it from Park 3 position to Part 5 position, and locked the lever, and told the mount to home (lets say home == park 3) then it would park to the park 3 position without the need for re-initializing, etc? 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on?
Read carefully what I wrote. You must leave the clutches locked. You cannot move the mount via the clutches. You can move the mount by unlocking the gearbox lever. The encoders will follow the motion of the worm wheel and the mount will not be lost.

Home is either in APCC or you can use the AE utility.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Nagy <topboxman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Hi Rolando,

You said:

"If you lose the mount thru an errant recal or sync, a simple "Home" will re-establish the correct co-ordinates."

I have A-P1100GTO-AE and I was not aware of the "Home" feature. I don't have APCC but is this feature available with just A-P V2 ASCOM mount driver or using AE utility?

Another question. After unparking the mount, slew to a known star, center the star and RCAL, the AE mount will never be lost even after I unlock the clutches and manually move both axes from then on? If so, please explain how it works. What I'm seeing is that the encoder has no idea that the mount was manually moved because the encoders do not appear to follow the manual movement of the axes (clutches unlocked), correct?

Thanks,
Peter

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Shailesh Trivedi
 

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh


Bill Long
 

Hand tight works for me. Can always get it a little baby nudge with a hex if you really care that much.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:04 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh


Peter Nagy
 

I use the long side of the Allen wrench into the knobs and tighten the short side with my fingers. This way it’s more difficult to over tighten.

Peter 


Peter Nagy
 

One more thing, modern A-P mounts no longer use Delrin plugs. Read the operating manual about tightening knobs.

Peter 


Roland Christen
 

There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

The 1100/1600 were always designed to accept encoders. These mounts were designed to replace the 900/1200 mounts which could not be retrofitted with encoders. The whole idea of the 1100/1600 was to be able to offer encoders for higher performance and remote operation.

These mounts have a 1 piece worm-shaft. In other words, the worm wheel and shaft are machined from one billet of aluminum. It was done so for maximum strength. Since they are one piece, and the encoders are attached to the back of the shaft, they can only turn when the worm wheel turns. The shaft cannot turn by itself because it's part of the worm wheel. Worm wheels cannot turn if they are in mesh with the driving worm. We decided to have a clutched "Lazy Susan" rotating mechanism on top of the axis so that people could use the mount manually. We could have left this out, and made a non-clutched mount. However, I wanted to make a more universal mount and not copy the Paramount. Was it a mistake? I really don't know, but amateurs have several brands of high performance mounts to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the choice is there.

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

Thank you for the response, Roland. 

On the smaller mount, I have posted and talked about this topic pretty frequently on CN. The Mach 1 being gone leaves a void in the lineup and in the marketplace for entry level premium high-precision mounts. If you want that right now, you have the MyT and nothing else really. Its that $6k range though -- could the hypothetical 400AE hit that target? If so, I think you have solved the problem and provided an excellent product that reflects A-P quality.  


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
The 1100/1600 were always designed to accept encoders. These mounts were designed to replace the 900/1200 mounts which could not be retrofitted with encoders. The whole idea of the 1100/1600 was to be able to offer encoders for higher performance and remote operation.

These mounts have a 1 piece worm-shaft. In other words, the worm wheel and shaft are machined from one billet of aluminum. It was done so for maximum strength. Since they are one piece, and the encoders are attached to the back of the shaft, they can only turn when the worm wheel turns. The shaft cannot turn by itself because it's part of the worm wheel. Worm wheels cannot turn if they are in mesh with the driving worm. We decided to have a clutched "Lazy Susan" rotating mechanism on top of the axis so that people could use the mount manually. We could have left this out, and made a non-clutched mount. However, I wanted to make a more universal mount and not copy the Paramount. Was it a mistake? I really don't know, but amateurs have several brands of high performance mounts to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the choice is there.

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

I should add to this with a little more detail.

Lets say you are a new imager. You buy yourself a CEM mount from iOptron and walk out for about 3k-ish. You use it for a bit, like it, but now you want something a little better. A little more premium. 

On the market for you is the MyT (6.5k) Mach 2 (9k),  10um 1000 HPS (10k) and some others that are in far higher reaches in terms of $$$. The Mach 1 used to sit nicely there at 5.6k + some money for your saddle you want, etc... largely putting the MyT and Mach 1 kitted at the same price.

That void is really large now. So the 400AE could fill that nicely. It could sport capacity enough for people to use smaller 130-140mm refractors, which I would believe is the upper limit of most of the target market. If you can sell that with encoders for 6k-6500.... you would be printing money. 🙂

-Bill 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:20 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
Thank you for the response, Roland. 

On the smaller mount, I have posted and talked about this topic pretty frequently on CN. The Mach 1 being gone leaves a void in the lineup and in the marketplace for entry level premium high-precision mounts. If you want that right now, you have the MyT and nothing else really. Its that $6k range though -- could the hypothetical 400AE hit that target? If so, I think you have solved the problem and provided an excellent product that reflects A-P quality.  


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:16 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
The 1100/1600 were always designed to accept encoders. These mounts were designed to replace the 900/1200 mounts which could not be retrofitted with encoders. The whole idea of the 1100/1600 was to be able to offer encoders for higher performance and remote operation.

These mounts have a 1 piece worm-shaft. In other words, the worm wheel and shaft are machined from one billet of aluminum. It was done so for maximum strength. Since they are one piece, and the encoders are attached to the back of the shaft, they can only turn when the worm wheel turns. The shaft cannot turn by itself because it's part of the worm wheel. Worm wheels cannot turn if they are in mesh with the driving worm. We decided to have a clutched "Lazy Susan" rotating mechanism on top of the axis so that people could use the mount manually. We could have left this out, and made a non-clutched mount. However, I wanted to make a more universal mount and not copy the Paramount. Was it a mistake? I really don't know, but amateurs have several brands of high performance mounts to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the choice is there.

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

Yeah the 1100 is really well designed. If a bonehead like me can use it for 5 years and not have it be smoldering pile of aluminum -- anyone can use it. 😂

Speaking of design, there is a sentiment on CN that the 1100 and 1600 had their encoder systems "retro-fitted" to them, meaning the mounts were not designed with encoders and the design was later changed to include them. I do not think that is true, rather I think they were designed with encoders in the mind, but were made in a fashion that users could buy the mount with or without them -- then add them on later if they wanted to.

I believe the latter is the truth. Can you confirm?


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
There are no Delrin plugs. You can tighten to your heart's content. Use hex keys to really lock them up if you wish, but make sure that your scope doesn't run into something since the clutches won't slip.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Recent encoder discussion on CN

On an AP1100 can I tighten the clutch with hex keys or just hand tighten? Will overtightening damage Delrin plugs?

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


weihaowang
 

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:16 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

I love to see a portable mount from Astro-Physics. However, before you go ahead and design one, you may want to ask what kind of portability you are aiming at.

Portable with a car? Then I think Mach2 fits it nicely. Mach1 is even better I suppose, but there is a tradeoff in payload.

Portable for air travel? Then Mach2 is too heavy for that for most people. Even Mach1 may be too heavy. I think a compact design with 20lb of weight (including base and counterweight shaft) would be desirable for this. It will need a light-weight dovetail system.  The counterweight shaft needs to be thinner, and longer too, so people don't need to bring many heavy counterweights to the plane.  

For those who do this kind of portable imaging, do they need high-prevision absolute encoders?  I am not sure.  At least for me, I don't need.  A smooth PE curve with less than +/- 4" of amplitude will be sufficient for me (good enough for 5 minutes of exposures on 300mm lenses).  Even +/-8" would be acceptable if there is good permanent PEC.  The mount has to be rigid, in case the places we travel to is windy, but I think AP mounts are all good for this.  The polar scope may need some rethinking.  The current RAPAS may be a bit too bulky for such a small mount.  Finally, its power consumption needs to be as small as possible.

That's my wishlist for an air-portable mount.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao

--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/