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AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60

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#26 Starhawk

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:35 PM

The main problem I have is convergence- I can follow the routine N times and don't appear to be able to markedly improve the alignment. And, after seeing the suggestion here and reading the warning about orthogonality again, I'm thinking I must not be orthogonal. And I think I know why- I set up the scope in the rings just behind the neck-down in the AP 130 EDFGT barrel. But there is actually a radiused runout, and I'll bet my combination of setting up,in park 3 and that feature has me on it, and that's why it doesn't converge. I'll have to try out a forward installation and see if this longstanding problem magically disappears...

-Rich

Sorry for the potentially naive question, but on AP polar alignment, why doesn't AP's basic polar alignment routine work well enough? You set the mount approximately north, you position the scope with a star, it slews to where Polaris should be, and you adjust the alt-az; why doesn't that get you there? Is it because the mount should really be aligning on two stars and THEN pointing to Polaris? Or because adjusting the alt-az is too insensitive? Or because you need to account for a scope that is not perfectly squared to the mount?

I know that I have to go back and forth many times between the star and Polaris to get reasonable alignment, but once I am done it is quite accurate (I am actually using an AP600EGTO).

I am not taking images, so I don't star drift.

George



#27 R Botero

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:44 AM

Very interesting post Rich - many thanks for your input!

As Andy, I have found that after following AP's Quick Drift Alignment Routine (1-pager) I have managed to get within 10 arc-minutes of the NCP (checked with PoleAlignMax afterwards). I bought the RAPAS after having had my AP900 and found that I had to align it to the mount but it was a simple process. As I need to set up every night I observe or image, I have found the RAPAS very accurate and easy to use once the local position of Polaris is known (through the mobile application/PC applet). I can align the mount (once properly levelled E-W), Sync it to a bright star and all my Go-Tos are basically spot on for visual and easily plate solved for imaging even after pier flipping.

I do agree, however, that AP would do us all a great favour if they built a modelling routine in their next handset chip release.

Roberto

#28 Peter in Reno

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:22 AM

I went from Celestron NexStar to A-P Mach1GTO and personally I find the A-P hand controller easier to operate. I feel A-P hand controller is more intuitive than Celestron's but that's a personal taste.

I don't miss the pointing model in NexStar. A-P mount is so easy to polar align and every object on one side of the Meridian is in FOV of eyepiece or camera. Because of mis-orthogonality of scope to mount, if you want to slew to objects at other side of Meridian, all you have to do is slew to any star first, center it and Recal (similar to sync) and you are ready for DSO hunting. Takes a minute or two to sync on a star. Personally I don't think modeling in A-P hand controller is necessary.

My setup is always portable and I am an imager. I don't really want to spent a little extra time modeling the sky if I image one DSO per night. All is needed is a good polar alignment to avoid field rotation. Modeling the sky may help calibrate any mis-orthogonality of scope to mount even if polar alignment is off but with mis-polar alignment, modeling the sky will not help reduce field rotation during imaging. Good polar alignment is required to reduce/eliminate field rotation.

It seems that A-P Mach1GTO is the only mount in the title of this thread has polar scope. 10Micron obviously does not have polar scope due to large motor box blocking where the polar sight hole could be. I am not sure whether ASA mounts have polar scopes but I think they have some kind of laser to aid initial polar alignment but requires final tweaking using the included software. It looks like A-P mount might be the easiest to polar align and offers many different ways.

Critical balance is not necessary for Mach1GTO or other A-P mounts. The motors are so strong that they will easily handle a badly balanced setup.

I am replacing Mach1GTO with AP1100 and it will come with RAPAS (Right Angle Polar Alignment Scope). I look forward to even quicker polar alignment setup using RAPAS.

Bottom line, A-P makes fantastic mounts. Their design is very simple. It's very easy to maintain or repair. The mesh adjustment of the gears are incredibly simple. A-P is still providing support and parts for discontinued mounts. They are still providing parts for A-P400 mounts!!!!

Peter

#29 orlyandico

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

.. and AP600 mounts. wish I could use a RAPAS! (can't see Polaris)

#30 Dave M

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:44 PM

That RAPAS is a real back saver.. :ubetcha:

#31 Skunky

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

Critical balance is not necessary for Mach1GTO or other A-P mounts. The motors are so strong that they will easily handle a badly balanced setup.

Peter


I'm running over 110lb in a side-by side and 105lb of counterweight on my 1600. And by all means, my balance is not perfect. I could not believe at full slew with both axis, the mount only pulls about 1.4 amps and tracking about .4 amps.. My old cgepro would be pulling near 3 amps.

#32 Footbag

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:48 PM



Critical balance is not necessary for Mach1GTO or other A-P mounts. The motors are so strong that they will easily handle a badly balanced setup.

Peter


I'm running over 110lb in a side-by side and 105lb of counterweight. I could not believe at full slew with both axis, the mount only pulls about 1.7 amps and tracking about .4 amps.. My old cgepro would be pulling near 3 amps.


That's not with a Mach 1, is it?

#33 Skunky

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:49 PM

you beat me to my edit..

#34 tom63

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:53 PM

hello rich,

thank you again for your advice with software. up to now i was using starmap pro on iphone/ipad and the skyx with osx. tonight i bought skysafari pro licenses for ios and osx - works like a charm - and is so much more intuitive than what i used before :)

regarding the mount maybe i will come back to you with a few questions the next days.

thanks for sharing your expertise
tom

#35 Footbag

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:54 PM

you beat me to my edit..


Lol! You had me dreaming about a bigger OTA for my mount.

#36 tomcody

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:13 AM

I use VMware Fusion with Windows XP Pro on my Macbook Pro and do not notice any more battery drain with it running. Note, you can also boot directly into Bootcamp and run Windows native on the Mac which will give you only one OS operating at a time. But I see no reason to go native Bootcamp in operation, other than to check out any possible conflict in the Apple windows drivers.
Note: I hear that Parralls is ok now, but earlier versions of it caused me many crashes on my Macs and I stopped using it in version 3? (I think) , VMware has been perfect always.
I would not even be concerned about the battery life when running windows on a Macbook.
Rex

#37 andysea

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:00 PM

I use Parallels 8 and it seems to be working fine. No crashes so far. However I run XP which is notoriously stable. I can't speak for the most recent versions of windows. I run it on my 11" air. I haven't tried it on my Macbook pro yet.

#38 psandelle

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:12 PM

Whelp, looks like I might have to get a MacBook of some sort (like the Air a lot, but I've grown accustomed to a 15" screen...so it may have to be a new Pro when they come out).

Paul






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