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Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900?

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#176 jmiele

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:16 PM

Sorry if I came out as personal. Where did I try to judge you, why do you feel so? Maybe I was too direct in the question, and perhaps I used the word 'claim' too strongly. Sorry about that again. Nothing personal.

Questioning is not allowed in this forum? Are we supposed to check how many posts someone has made, how old they are, and what their name is, before asking a fair question or objective data?



Of course questioning is allowed. :) I'll try not to be so sensitive moving forward. I wasn't attempting to prove or disprove anything with my statements or links. I posted the first unguided single sub I could find. I didn't measure FWHM prior to posting. I looked at it, it looked decent, I linked it.

I do take issue when folks without practical experience question those sharing and attempting to assist with their experience. However, I can be a cement head, and as Alph can tell you I've had plenty to say about TDM gear and have not own any. :)

Sorry for the distraction. I will look further for data, but as stated by others, I think plenty exists out there. That said, good solid work can and has been done on mid to low end gear as well. Ones understanding of their gear and diligence can result in great things regardless of the pedigree.

Joe

#177 korborh

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:58 PM

Joe,
Again I sincerely apologize, never intended to be personal. :getem:

The good thing about quantitative analysis of guiding quality is that it is easy to compare with other methods (numbers speak for themselves). I guess I am one of the 0.01% out there. :Uh:

BTW, just because I am new to posting on the forum does not mean I do not have experience with imaging or equipment :). In fact I am helping resolve issues and get two PME's on the path to imaging productivity. These are not my mounts, but I know about them.

#178 frolinmod

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:27 PM

Guys, I think some of you are really going overboard with the ProTrack hate. ProTrack is just one more useful feature that makes our life easier. It's one more useful tool in our tool belt. It isn't a magic bullet that will cure the common cold. It just makes things easier and that is all. If you had this feature available to you, you'd probably appreciate having it too. In fact, I predict that once APCC is released and A-P mount owners get a somewhat similar feature, we'll see bragging and hear loud horn tooting (and for good reason too).

#179 blueman

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:53 PM

No hate from me, I was curious to see what results you could achieve with this tool. All tools are great, if a mount has special tools that are very useful, then it is good to know about them.
Blueman

Guys, I think some of you are really going overboard with the ProTrack hate. ProTrack is just one more useful feature that makes our life easier. It's one more useful tool in our tool belt. It isn't a magic bullet that will cure the common cold. It just makes things easier and that is all. If you had this feature available to you, you'd probably appreciate having it too. In fact, I predict that once APCC is released and A-P mount owners get a somewhat similar feature, we'll see bragging and hear loud horn tooting (and for good reason too).



#180 jmiele

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:55 PM

We're good NP Korb.....


Fro, Agreed.... And as for APCC I've no doubt there will be horns. :) My question, and I think it's in keeping on topic, how much do we think APCC will cost? After seeing it I couldn't venture a guess and I'm not thinking it's going to be a toss in like PEMPro... ??


Joe

#181 korborh

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

If it is anything >$50, I don't think I am going to buy it. Currently that is my threshold on APCC value.
My guess it will be >$150.

#182 korborh

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:20 PM

Guys, I think some of you are really going overboard with the ProTrack hate.


No not hate. Just doubt, skepticism and questioning.

#183 gillmj24

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:23 AM

At NEAF they said in the $200 range.

#184 jmiele

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:13 AM

o.O

WoW!

#185 David Pavlich

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:40 PM

A question for you T-Point users: How does the automated system work when the horizons aren't so great? In my case, directly north is the pits, NE to SE is good down to about 35°, SE to W is about 40°.

Do you have to set parameters or does the mount just decide that if the camera can't see a star it moves on its own? SiTech has an automated routine, but the user is required to set minimum parameters for it to do its search pattern.

Thanks!

David

#186 jmiele

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:14 PM

You can define your horizon elevation for the entire 360 degrees. There are a couple of ways to do so, one that affects the program overall and the other specific to a T-point run. The one that's specific to a T-point run would raise the horizon to the same point for the entire 360 degrees. The other way lets you select the individual horizon elevation in each direction.

Joe

#187 frolinmod

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:34 PM

If you have a horizon defined, then automated calibration will use that as a mask and won't bother trying to image through horizon obstructions. The best way to create a horizon is to create a custom horizon from a panoramic picture of your observing site (requires TheSkyX). The next best way is to draw it using a cross-hair finderscope and the mount's joystick to slew the mount around outlining your horizon as you go (requires TheSky6). In automated calibration itself where you set how many data points you want to collect and how they're distributed over the sky, you can also drag around some sky handles to restrict coverage by azimuth and elevation. If it still ends up trying to image through an obstruction, it'll do it, the plate solve will fail for lack of stars, it'll note that on screen, then it'll just move on to the next one. It'll also do retries with slight offsets if you want it to. That can be handy when imaging right through some trees.

#188 David Pavlich

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:12 PM

Thanks, guys! Sounds sorta' like I expected.

David

#189 Ray Gralak

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:00 PM

It is, like the 1200, being updated with new features and capacity.


Wrt to new features in the AP1600 I see practically none. A high precision encoder has been available for the AP1200 for some time. It is called telescope drive master.

The optional encoders in the AP1600 are not a copy of other solutions. The encoders in the AP1600 are absolute encoders, which are much better than encoders used in some other solutions.

In addition to being extremely precise encoders for RA and Dec tracking, absolute encoders allow the mount to always knows it's exact orientation. This eliminates the need for hardware homing and limit switches. In fact theoretically this would allow for soft-configurable home and dynamic limits in the mount (not requiring a PC at all).

-Ray Gralak

#190 jmiele

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:39 PM

Ray, One question... The 3600 offers HiRES encoders but still has a homing switch option. Are the home switches needed if I get the HiRES encoder? Are they still needed because the 3600 doesn't offer HiRES for both axis? Is the 1600 actually a step beyond the 3600 from a technology standpoint?

Ok, so it wasn't one question. :)

Joe

#191 Ray Gralak

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:11 AM

To eliminate the home/limit switches you need absolute encoders on both axes. The 3600 does not use an absolute encoder nor does it have encoders on both axes. Thus, the 1600 is thus a couple steps ahead of the 3600 in this regard when the 1600 is equipped with its absolute encoders.

-Ray

#192 jmiele

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:46 PM

Thanks Ray for the explanation. Joe

#193 Alph

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:10 PM

In addition to being extremely precise encoders for RA and Dec tracking, absolute encoders allow the mount to always knows it's exact orientation. This eliminates the need for hardware homing and limit switches. In fact theoretically this would allow for soft-configurable home and dynamic limits in the mount (not requiring a PC at all).



Here is more on absolute encoders from 10micron

gm2000HPS

#194 Ray Gralak

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:50 PM

Thanks Alph for that! I think you now probably can see that absolute encoders on both axes is not the same as adding the device you mention below to a 1200.

-Ray

Alph wrote:

Alph wrote:
Wrt to new features in the AP1600 I see practically none. A high precision encoder has been available for the AP1200 for some time. It is called telescope drive master.



Here is more on absolute encoders from ...



#195 saadabbasi

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

Well, it's been quite some time since I made this thread, but I wanted to update and let everyone who helped know I went with the MX. I received my tracking numbers on Wednesday. The $1000 off discount really helped out my decision and I'm pretty sure I made the right choice.

There have been some reports of a few faulty worms (which kinda worries me) and some MXs having trouble, but I hope SB has grown out of the teething problems now.

#196 korborh

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:00 PM

Congratulations Saad, you made a good choice.
While nothing is perfect, with AP/SB problems are usually rare due to their extreme QC.
Once you get the mount, I recommend you give it a thorough test to measure PE/smoothness with different degress of imbalance and different sky regions.

#197 Hilmi

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:26 PM

Congrats Saad. I was going to pull the trigger this month on the MX or Mach1 but there is a major leak that has caused damage to the house costing me $2500. And the leak timed itself perfectly in time to my bonus so as to prevent me from taking advantage of the sale on the MX :(

#198 shams42

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:05 PM

Please follow the link below for my experience doing unguided imaging with the Paramount MX. This animated gif compares a stack of unguided images vs guided images. The mount is a Paramount MX. The imaging scope is a TOA-130 with reducer (f/5.76) producing a plate scale of 1.49" / pixel. The image here has been resampled to 200% to better show the star shapes.

Prior to data collection, a 192-point TPoint model was created, allowing TheSkyX to alter the tracking on the fly to compensate for polar alignment errors, flexure, and atmospheric refraction (via ProTrack). Also, periodic error correction (PEC) was applied, reducing the mount's native periodic error (4.6" peak to peak) to less than the seeing.

The images were acquired on the same night with the system alternating between guided and unguided exposures.

Processing including only a histogram stretch. I basically applied PixInsight's automatic screen transfer stretch to each image. Note that for a "real" process I would have stretched less aggressively and sought more contrast between the galaxy and the background.

Posted Image

Here is a PixInsight DynamicPSF analysis on the same 20 stars from the guided and unguided stack:

GUIDED

Average Moffat PSF
N ....... 20 stars
B ....... 0.043250
A ....... 0.142536
sx ...... 2.43 px
sy ...... 2.36 px
FWHMx ... 3.23 arcsec
FWHMy ... 3.14 arcsec
r ....... 0.972
theta ... +19.94 deg
beta .... 3.81
MAD ..... 5.615e-003

UNGUIDED


Average Moffat PSF
N ....... 20 stars
B ....... 0.044185
A ....... 0.154625
sx ...... 2.41 px
sy ...... 2.34 px
FWHMx ... 3.16 arcsec
FWHMy ... 3.06 arcsec
r ....... 0.968
theta ... +41.95 deg
beta .... 3.92
MAD ..... 5.670e-003

As you can see, seeing wasn't great the night I did this. It is possible that with better seeing more difference would be noticeable. Also, a test with longer subs would be informative. I was collecting actual data when I did this and under my skies, there is no advantage to doing LRGB subs longer than 5 minutes. I just got the mount last week so I haven't yet had the time to do all the tests I'd like to do.

#199 orion69

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:26 PM

Matthew, this is quite impressive performance, I'll be in the market for a new mount soon so PMX is really looking good.

Btw, your images are beautiful, well done!

#200 Jesus Munoz

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:36 PM

Outstanding performance. It's impossible to choose between both which one is better. Congratulations for your mount.






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