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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
10Micron
      #4397542 - 02/19/11 05:30 PM

Are there people who know something about the 10Micron GM 1000 HPS mount?

Is it already available?

Thanks


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4398601 - 02/20/11 03:40 AM

Are there users who have the 10MICRON GM 2000 QCI?
Is this a good mount for a 6" scope?


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4398612 - 02/20/11 04:29 AM

Maurits,
I have the GM2000 QCI.

I can tell you that it is a superb mount. Certainly the best I have tried, because of it's software so advanced, which receives regular updates with new functions. Mechanically it is superb as well.
A 6" will not even be felt by the GM2000.
Look at what Rolf Geissinger is doing with it and a Planewave 12.5" from a balcony. (www.stern-fan.de)

Can't write much now, but will write more later on why I say it is superb.

E.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398672 - 02/20/11 05:58 AM

I am very keen to buy one of the GM2000 mounts and would love to hear what users have to say about them

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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4398696 - 02/20/11 06:43 AM

Hello again.

As I was saying the 10Micron mounts (GM2000QCI/HPS, GM4000, and in a few mounts GM1000HPS) are seriously superb.
I have the version with the Centaurus tripod in Carbon Fiber, which saves some weight.
Mechanically, there not much to say, beside that they are machined to the highest standards.
Software-wise they are one of the most advanced (if not the most advanced) mounts. I had a Tak Em200 and a Tak Em400 before getting the Gm2000QCI, and I really don't miss the Taks, which are superb in their own way.

The mount uses belt drive system, and consequently has no backlash. Motors are AC Servo Brushless.

Setup is very easy and fast.
I do not have the optional polar scope, because it is not needed. I use it's Polar Alignment routine. I choose the "3 Stars Alignment" routine and I get within 1 arcmin of the Pole, normally. With that, I can image for 5 min UNguideded at 980mm focal length (TEC140).
You can of course use as many stars (up to 25) as you want to refine the Polar Alignment. So, you can practically get a perfect polar alignment.
Moreover, the software will calculate the Orthogonality error between the main imaging scope and the guidescope, and correct for it.
By using the athmospheric pressure, temperature, and altitude, it will also correct for athmospheric refraction.
You can imagine what kind of guiding you can get with these mounts. (usually I have errors of 0.03-0.05 pixels with a 3 star alignment routine, so I don't even need to guide)
The keypad also has a T-Point like software in it. You can build a pointing model and save it internally.

The mount has a LAN port, which you can use to connect it to your laptop. No need for Serial to USB adapters, finally. The Kaypad has its own IP Address. So, if you have an observatory, you can access the mount remotely, without needing to have a planetarium program (with which of course they are compatible, by using either the LX200 or the APGTO protocols)

The mount can go up to 20deg/sec of slewing and tracking speed. Yep, 20degress per seconds. Tracking satellites is super easy. The mount waits for the satellite (if it is below the horizon) 5 deg below the horizon line, and starts beeping slow when the satellites is 1 minute away from being visible. 10 seconds before, the beeps become faster, and it will start tracking it as it become visible. There is usually no need to refine the pointing, if it was done correctly, but you can use the Keypad to adjust and center the satellite, and the mount will calculate the new track based on the correction you made in the keypad while tracking it for the first few seconds.

Look here for another review of it: http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1704

For any other questions, please feel free to ask.

E.

PS: The GM1000HPS will be available soon, I hear. Within 6 months.


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398704 - 02/20/11 07:07 AM

Hello,

I've had a 10Micron GM2000 & GM4000. Both Mounts are a desaster !!!!
They have big issues with autoguiding especially correction in the DEC Axis. With the GM 4000 Autoguiding was horror. I would never ever buy a 10 Micron.

Only my 2 Cents

Immo


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398727 - 02/20/11 07:47 AM

Immo,
that is strange to hear. Have you talked with Ivan, explaining what the problem is?

E.


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398731 - 02/20/11 07:56 AM

Hi Emanuel,

I was in the Beta Tester Group with some others (R. Geisinger, S. Voltmer etc.). We had all the same Problems. That was the reason for the big sofwareupgrade (cause it's a software problem, mechanics are ok). Also the reason for the Encoders. But if you can't manage the first closed loop, I don't know, how it shoul work with two. I think, thats the reason, why they have advertised the Encoder upgrade long time ago ant it is still not available.

Regards

Immo


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398747 - 02/20/11 08:07 AM

Oh, I see. Well, I guess that problem has been taken care of a long while ago, because I don't know anyone that is having that problem these days. Actually I have talked with Rolf many times, and he recommended the Gm2000 to me as well, as a superb mount.
He is very happy with his.
Dirk Bautzmann has one as well, and he told me he is very happy with it.

I think it is normal to have problems while beta testing a mount. As long as the problems are corrected when the mount comes out of beta testing.

You can check here Dirk's GM2000 QCI PE (with PEC OFF):
http://www.astro-fotos.com/ausruestung.html
Scroll down to see the setup and the PE graph. 3.52 arcsec Peak-to-Peak unguided with an RMS of 1.01



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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398763 - 02/20/11 08:16 AM

Emanuel,

this problem is up to Date.
Dirk Bautzmann had the same issues. He sold his GM2000 a short time after he has got it. Now he has a ASA DDM 85. Dirk has had a Losmandy Titan before he had sold it to buy a GM2000, cause he has heard only good things about this mount. But he declaired the same guiding issues and he said, that he had much better results with the Titan.

Look, I was one of the first, who reported those issues and was also one of the BETA Testers for the actual Softwareupgrade. The main reason for that, was the guiding Problem. As long as I was a 10Micron owner and a Beta Tester they have not solved the main problems. But made a lot of new things instaed solving the realy big problems. But this is the decision from 10 Micron. Those Mounts and the big problems with them was the main reason for us, to give up our remote observatory in Verclause.

Regards

Immo

Edited by darkforce (02/20/11 08:21 AM)


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398770 - 02/20/11 08:21 AM

Immo,

ok. I don't have that problem, and neither all the people that are using the mounts here in Italy.
As I said, I think the problem you were having while Beta Testing the mount, has been fully resolved, as I didn't even know about it.


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398774 - 02/20/11 08:25 AM

Emaluel,

as I mentioned, it is no mechanical problem. So the PE curve is very good and smooth. But the guiding issues are significant. We had guiding peaks at both mounts GM4000 & GM 2000 from 2" to 5"

And the problems are still there - in the old and the beta software.

Immo


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398778 - 02/20/11 08:31 AM

Immo,

thank you for your input. I will investigate with Ivan (owner) on this problem, as I have never heard about it from anyone else (Rolf Geiss, Dirk etc), and neither from the person who reviewed it in Swizterland.


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398780 - 02/20/11 08:34 AM

Emanuel,

then you have better Mounts for the iatalian market ;-)
The problems has nothing to do with beta software, cause the reason to change so much in the software where those issues before , in the old and tested software. I know only people, who have problems, but no one would tell here in a public forum. If your GM 2000 is making no problems - congratulations !

But I cant confirm that by my own experiences.

Immo


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398784 - 02/20/11 08:37 AM

Emanuel,

Rolf was also in the Beta Tester group and he reported about the problems. I know Dirk very well and he sold his GM2000 because of that problems - you can believe me :-)


Immo

Edited by darkforce (02/20/11 08:38 AM)


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398887 - 02/20/11 09:36 AM

I believe you Immo. There might have been some problems in the beta test software, but I also believe Rolf's pictures on his website. he got an Apod for his IC1396 not too long ago.
I see no problems in his pictures with guiding.


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398925 - 02/20/11 09:51 AM

Emanuel,

the problems are not from the BETA softwate it was still in the older versions. The main reason to come out with this big upgrade was to solve those problems. But it didn't. So they decided to bring out a Encoder solution. The Reason is, they have no idea, what causes those problems. From my point of view, the reason is a buggy software to translate the guider signals into servo signals. That is not realy trivial job. But there is only one person responsible for the IT - solutions....

Emanuel, I think you are long enough a Astrophotographer. You know, that a APOD or every pic which is not a full resolution RAW frame sais nothing about the quality from the Equipment. Rolfs Apod is done with a TEC 140 @ 980mm focal length. It is also a narrowband image. You can't evaluate guiding or tracking issues with pics like this.

Immo

P.S. For me it is no problem, if you say 10Micron's are the best Mounts still out there, but as I said, my experiences say something completly different. And as I also mentioned, I'm not alone ;-)

Edited by darkforce (02/20/11 09:54 AM)


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4398940 - 02/20/11 09:57 AM

That's ok, Immo.
I guess to each his own. I have never heard of these guiding problems anywhere. In fact here's a website with satisfied customers:
http://www.10micron.de/

Anyway. Let's close this discussion otherwise it will go on forever.


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4398943 - 02/20/11 09:59 AM

Emanuel,

I think that is the only solution for both of us
to come out of the "...if then ... Goto..," loop :-))))

Regards

Immo


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4399394 - 02/20/11 01:54 PM

Are you really telling me thst a mount costing 11000 euros and that has been in production for a number of years cannot function with an auto guider?

I will be contacting the company in the morning referring them to darkforce's comments and if unfounded will be referring these very harmful comments to the administrator and owner of cloudy nights...these type of comments an destroy a company and i have not heard of this from any other owner before


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4399547 - 02/20/11 03:03 PM

Howard,

do what you want to do. It's the truth & sometimes it's hard to believe.
The best way to find it out is, buy a 10Micron and test it by yourself.

CS

Immo


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4399613 - 02/20/11 03:32 PM

Quote:

From my point of view, the reason is a buggy software to translate the guider signals into servo signals. That is not realy trivial job.



This sounds very odd. Even fairly cheap mounts can handle guider commands correctly. Are you telling us that the 10Micron mount canít track at a specified or desired rate? Is guiding done via the ST4 port or some other port?


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Andrea.Moroni
journeyman


Reged: 09/18/09

Loc: Milan - Italy
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Alph]
      #4399647 - 02/20/11 03:46 PM

Hi Emanuele,
looks like this german boy has something personal against 10micron.
Maybe he is right but the style and the fury are very suspicious to me.


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Andrea.Moroni]
      #4399676 - 02/20/11 04:00 PM

I don't think there's anything to add to this thread, beside just going to Stern-fan.de website and look at the pictures Rolf is taking with a Planewave 12.5". and that is just one example.
Another example is Danilo Pivato pictures in the CCD forums.
I am guiding at 0.25X with my Lodestar through the ST4 port and usually take 20min subs at 1000mm of focal length without problems.
Aggressiveness is set to 1 in both X and Y axis.

Anyway, I am not going say anything more about this. Seems not worth it at this point.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4399719 - 02/20/11 04:29 PM

It might not be "worth it" to you Emanuele but I am about to make a bank transfer for 14000 euros for this mount...which I am now being told cannot track with a guider...and I would imagine there are others equally alarmed by what Immo has to report..............the people in Italy will have to report on this..........this is as serious as it gets for a high end mount to be completely useless at guiding is a distinct breach of every retail sales law I know of...a product has to be fit for purpose..I would like to hear from others who cannot guide with their GM2000...........a report can then be made and class actions against the company can be initiated if this is indeed the case.............I will not let 10 Micron make and sell a mount that cannot guide

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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4399783 - 02/20/11 05:04 PM

Howard, please do get in contact with other 10Micron users and with the company itself as well.

I am not affiliated with 10Micron. just a very happy user of their superb mounts.


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dietmar
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/21/05

Loc: linz, austria europe
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4400817 - 02/21/11 02:14 AM

hi guys,

I am afraid I will have to chime in with Immo.
you will not notice the guiding issue at an image-scale larger than 2" per pixel. in that cases, you might have nice results of course.
but anything that goes below that number (oversampling, like in longer focal length) you will certainly have the problem, like so many others! and it is a repeatable error.
nothing to do with mechanics, wich is veray good in 10 micron. it is a problem of the module "electronics-software".
high resolution imaging with 10 micron is simply not possible, in case you have to guide in dec-axis.
RA is reasonable and fairly ok.

please consider your purchase very carefully and gather this input.
unfortunately ba far not all users who have seen the same problems (and we are NOT talking about beta-testers but customers and users like we were) would ever want to report over this issues in public.

until 10 micron does not have a totally new setup for their dec-drive system, the mount does not qualify for high plate scale imaging (resolution below 2" per pixel) that is a mathematical evidenced based fact.

cheers


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4400828 - 02/21/11 02:21 AM

It is also difficult for me to believe that a very expensive mount would have a problem!
But you never know!!!

In any case I was planning to buy a GM 2000, but now after reading this.....?

Is 10MICRON aware of these problems?

Are there other persons who have NO problem with this mount?

After all it is a seriously investment.

Please, give us more information!


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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4400870 - 02/21/11 03:23 AM

Dietmar,

If what you are saying is true, how do I image, then, at 1.14"/pixel?
How do people using Planewaves and Officina Stellare RC image?
If there ever was a problem in the Beta Test software it has certainly been corrected because I, like many other users, dont have it.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4401503 - 02/21/11 12:39 PM

the company in Italy will be fully informed and I will keep all posted here on what they have to say....I for one have cxl'd my order and will look at an american high end mount that actually functions

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Emanuele
Lord of the Ring
*****

Reged: 11/19/03

Loc: Brescia-Italy, and Iowa-US
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4401546 - 02/21/11 01:00 PM

The company has already been fully informed of the accusations Howard

Hope you'll be happy with the new mount and lots of clear nights to you.
E.


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geissi
member


Reged: 12/28/06

Loc: Germany
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4401618 - 02/21/11 01:32 PM

Hello Maurits,
Hello HowardK

>Are there other persons who have NO problem with this mount?

Yes, there are! Me and many other satisfied 10micron users!

Do you detect any severe guiding problems in the following raw-images?
Autoguiding was done with an off-axis guider and a SX lodestar cam. Location was my city-balcony, surrounded by many other houses.
Mount was a 10micron GM2000.



20 min H-alpha-frame with TEC140 (980mm focal length)
FLI ML 16803-65 cam with 9Ķm Pixels




full res


20 min luminance-frame with Planewave 12.5" CDK (2541mm focal length)
FLI ML 16803-65 cam with 9Ķm Pixels




full res

Please check out my gallery at www.stern-fan.de for further pics.



Review 10micron GM2000 in German:
http://www.stern-fan.de/Seiten/montierung-gm2000.htm

Review 10micron GM2000 in English:
http://www.stern-fan.de/Seiten/montierung-gm2000_eng.htm



In my optinion, 10micron manufactures very fine mounts with most advanced firmware and
very helpful features. The developers at 10micron improve the internal firmware
to the customerís needs.
Of course, a GM2000 can even handle big focal length scopes properly.
I can recommend this mount - no matter what other's may say.
I use my 10micron since several years without any problems.

There are many happy 10micron users around, please read their
reports on www.10micron.de (everybody can translate the German
language with Google), even professional observatories are working
successfully with these mounts in the conventional QCI version
But the GM 1000 HPS is even more advanced because it has high
resolution encoders in both axis and corrects every little
tracking problem - if itīs from wind or mechanically - immediately.



Regards
Rolf Geissinger

Edited by geissi (02/21/11 02:29 PM)


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wz2
Most Boring Astronomer...


Reged: 07/30/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4401700 - 02/21/11 02:15 PM

I e-mailed 10-Micron and suggested they join this discussion. Would like to know their position on this.

Chris


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: wz2]
      #4401723 - 02/21/11 02:25 PM

chris

i will also be contacting the company directly and drawing their attention here............there is completely conflicting information presented here about the most critical part of this mount.........being able to guide


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darkforce
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4401817 - 02/21/11 03:18 PM

Hello,

hope we can talk factually without polemics and without trading insults.
So what I can see, there are several experiences about this Mounts. I can accept this and I think, we should demonstrate respect for each other.

So here are two examples from guiding error-graphs which we have done with Maxim DL ca. one year ago.
Scope was a 9" Folded TMB APO with round about 2000mm of focal
length. Camera was a SBIG STL 11k. So the image scale is something like
0,90arcsec/pixel. The Guiding was done via guider Relays, with self guiding (SBIG) plugged in the ST4 port from the GM4000. We have also tried software guiding (pulse) with AP - Protocol. Without success. Also various programs like CCD-Soft.

The Mount was a GM4000 fitted on a concrete pier at our Remote Observatory in the south of france. The problems, we had with guiding in the DEC-Axis is, as I mentioned, ca. 1 year ago. I do not know, cause we sold both mounts (GM2000 & 4000) if they have a solution for this problem right now, but that was our experiences with both mounts - I'm sorry.

Here are the two examples from Guiding-Error Graphs (Blue=DEC):




So you can see, in DEC the graph shows something like a saw tooth design. Both Mounts GM2000 & GM4000 showed the same type of saw tooth error. As I mentioned, we tried many things (rd. about 6 month) to get this out. We is Dietmar Hager, Martin Winder and myself.

And here is the PE Curve from the same Mount. As you can see, it's very good and smooth (Peak to Peak 2,65"):

PE-Curce GM4000

So it's no question from the PE or the mechanics. From our experiences it was a problem with electronics, software .... especially in DEC.

Hope this helps a little bit to show our point of view.

CS

Immo


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4401838 - 02/21/11 03:32 PM

Thanks for this Immo

We will have to see what 10 Micron themselves have to say.......i would not be happy if i had ordered a mount from them


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4402986 - 02/22/11 01:11 AM

Thanks for all the answers and let's hope these arguments end up good!

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Dennis Sakva
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/19/04

Loc: Kiev, Ukraine
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4403600 - 02/22/11 11:33 AM

Sawtooth graphs like this can be due to a sticky axis combined with bad balance when worm rotation pulls heavier side of the telescope instead of pushing it. This way the strain accumulates in worm-wheel pair until the force breaks the friction and telescope makes a small jump which is seen on the graph.
If the guiding graph shows accumulation of the error followed by rapid correction overshoot there's high probablity that we are dealing with improperly loaded axis.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Dennis Sakva]
      #4405369 - 02/23/11 07:11 AM

Dennis

Please read what Immo has to report.....he states absolutely that the guiding problem with 10 micron's mounts are due to electronic or software problems and NOT MECHANICAL such as sticky axis or poor
balancing.....i have been calling the company but there is no one answering the phone.......my order is cancelled for the GM2000 as I will
wait for the new mount to come out....I would presume then that this
issue would have been corrected so that a guider can talk perfectly with
the mount.


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Emanuele
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4405599 - 02/23/11 09:40 AM

Howard, it's really interesting how you only give weight to what Immo says. Makes me think if you are the same person?
Immo and Dietmar shared an observatory together. The problem they were having might have been localized to their own setup (stability problems with a folded refractor?), as no one is having this problems now.

If you take a moment to read again what Immo wrote in his posts, you'll see that:
In his first post he said the mounts have big problems guiding.
Then he said that he was a beta tester for a new software.
Then he said the guiding problem is up to date.
Then in his last posts he said the he doesn't have the mount anymore since 1+ year ago, and he doesn't know if the problem is still there.

Which one is it of the 4 different answers?

I don't think it's really coherent to say that 10Micron mounts apparent guiding problems (which again might have been very well localized to their own setup) are up to date, when they don't even own a 10micron mount since 1+ year ago.

And why are you considering only Immo report and not mine, Rolf Geissinger, and the other reviews we have linked to?


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4405623 - 02/23/11 09:52 AM

I would always look at the worst case scenario, Emanuele,...it is obvious that Immo could not guide and i cannot commit thousands of euros in case this worst case happens to me....too many bad experiences with mounts...I must be certain that the next one I buy will be the one I keep...i will speak with 10 Micron and see what they have to say.....your reference to me being Immo is infintile and reveals your closed mindedness....I am happy though that you love your mount

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4405637 - 02/23/11 10:02 AM

Too many bad exoeriences? Which one are the others? Because in this thread you have 1 bad experience with a non standard scope, really. As I said, Immo and Dietmar shared the observatory and they had 1 mount.

Again. They have no idea if their problem was their own setup, and moreover if the apparent problem is up to date.

I am not trying to convince you to buy a10Micron mount, at all. Do what you think its best for you.
I am just trying to point out that there's something really strange going on in is thread against 10Micron for some strange reason.


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4405648 - 02/23/11 10:07 AM

Ok...i think to end this now is best.......speaking with the manufacturers will help me with my decision

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darkforce
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4405675 - 02/23/11 10:23 AM

Hi Emanuele,

I'm really wondering about you arguments !
First of all, I think we know each other from
various mails & PN's with other topics (the last at a.de).
I thought, we foster a good relationship. Now, we have one topic with different experiences. So I can't see a big problem. As I wrote, I accept your and the comments from other users, which have made good experiences with the 10 Micron. But I'm sorry, that we tried both Mounts without success. Aim was high resolution imaging. That means for us a guiding-accuracy from max. +-0.5" for Lum.
So that you assume HowardK and me is the same person,
is more than strange. So there is nothing like a complot or anything else. We have only made our experiences with this mounts - that's all. We have had TWO 10 Micron Mounts. First we used the GM2000.
As she showed the reported Guiding error, we supposed,
that she may be on her limit with the 9" TMB APO. So, we decided to get a upgrade to the GM4000. As I have shown, the same problem occurred.

Thats all !

Best Regards

Immo

P.S.

I think also, it's the best for all, to close this thread now !
Cause I think it's time to quiet our minds. At the end of the
day, I will not have trouble with Emanuele and the others caused
by a thread called 10Micron. So thats my last statement in this topic.

Edited by darkforce (02/23/11 10:36 AM)


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geissi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: darkforce]
      #4406051 - 02/23/11 01:21 PM

Hello,

my name is Rolf Geissinger and I am a member of the 10micron beta tester team. Baader-Planetarium authorized me to give a statement in their name until their CN account is verified in order to get the users informed on time.



Unfortunately Mr. Gerber left the project of
betatesting and gave the mount back before we could finalize the work in finding his problem.
Mr. Gerber worked with firmware version around 1.7.2 - meanwhile there have been different new
releases. 2.7.9 is the actual firmware version which certainly is much advanced - but this was not
the source of Mr.Gerberīs problem.

Mr. Gerberīs mount was shipped back to the factory 10 Micron where it got a very thorough examination.
The mount was performing very well when tested at the manufacturer, not any "jumps" during guiding/tracking
were detectable. To solve the mystery, the software engineer examined the tracking logs again that Mr. Gerber
had e-mailed while he was a member of the Betatester team. It was found that the biggest jumps were due
to some strange interrupts in the signal from the guider that "freezed" the guiding commands.

The reason for this behaviour was caused by an outside phenomenon, probably induced from somewhere else
into the electronics. Most likely due to the camera or PC, guiding head, power source, switches, cables - we
cannot say where exactly but definitely not in the mount.It was a unique problem in the equipment/configuration.

Mr. Gerber was not aware of this at this time and we have not been aware at this time too because we could not
directly test it as the mount was remotely used somewhere in France. This is also a logical explanation for the
fact that there are not any other customer reporting about such extreme behaviour of their mounts.

Mr. Gerber is right, some of the betatester team experienced jumps too a year ago, but nowhere that big and
certainly not that much.

The reason for those small jumps was analyzed to be a universal problem of any worm wheel drive - namely
"static friction" (stiction) - happening in the very moment when the DEC motor starts to make a guiding correction.
Every mount with worm-gear drive is affected by stiction. The new firmware 2.7.9 has the function of
"stiction compensation" which allows to finetune the drive in a way that when the motor starts it overcomes this
"stiction" almost completely.

Furthermore the newest firmware version enables "dual axis guiding", meaning that the declination axis is
contiunuously working in ever so miniscule increments so that no static friction jumps can occur. With these
new tools and the newly developed "Advanced PEC" (A-PEC), the drive is working very smoothly, that explains
that users report guiding accuracies around 1"-2" - without any jumps.

The new firmware also enables the GM mounts to run much higher slewing speeds so that they are now able to
track satellites ( without any PC or Laptop attached ) - for example please check Mr. Duins photo of an Ariane
rocket stage:

http://www.10micron.de/kundenzitate_htm/duin_erfahrungsbericht.htm

If 10micron mounts would generally create "jumps" of eight seconds while tracking - or cause similar problems -
they would have a hard time to sell the mounts and fight against all the complains of the customers.

This is not the case.

The HPS mounts with high accuracy encoders will be available as a second, higher priced product
line from May/June this year on. They are very interesting for those customers which donīt have an observatory
and are using mobile equipment. The HPS mount line is not a replacement, it is a new product category
that fills a gap on the marked.

Best Regards
Rolf Geissinger


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4406202 - 02/23/11 02:28 PM

At last.......somebody with the answer to Immo's problem......i think Immo has a lot to learn from this.......to seriously put down a product without knowing the full outcome of the manufacturer's report on his 2 mounts...is irresponsible in the least......if I were10 Micron I would be most upset....mind you 10 Micron should have notified Immo of the results so he would have realsed that the mount itself was not at fault.

Thanku Ralph....my confidence is restored


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4406220 - 02/23/11 02:35 PM

I meant Rolf not Ralph

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Emanuele
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4406250 - 02/23/11 02:49 PM

Thank you Rolf once again for chiming in and with Mr.Baader authorization to release this information.

I apologize to HowardK for anything wrong (against him) I have said in my posts. But you can't believe the frustration to hear those accusations and knowing of how good the mount is.

Clear skies to all.
E.


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4406637 - 02/23/11 05:56 PM

Apology accepted

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MAURITS
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Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4414516 - 02/27/11 09:41 AM

When I look on the site from 10MICRON there is the "GM2000-HPS" mount, with a movie (rotation demo), and it goes very FAST!

The "black" color is very nice to see.

BUT what I can't seen is a sort of the "QCI control System", or is it something else?

With the "GM2000 QCI" there was a controller integrated into the base of the mount!

Is it a 2-Piece Mount Head?

Any way, I find it a very "beautiful" and "functional" mount!


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Emanuele
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4414744 - 02/27/11 12:04 PM

Maurits,

yep, the slew speed with the new firmware (i have 2.7.6) has been brought up to 20 deg/ sec.
I usually use 10 deg / sec and it is more than enough. It is kind of scary to see the scope moving around so fast.

If I am not mistaken the only thing that changed in the new HPS mounts is the added encoders and the cable management.

It is still a 2 piece mount (UltraPortable version).


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4414804 - 02/27/11 12:33 PM

Emanuelle, thanks for the quick reply!

Do you think that the "GM2000 HPS" uses the same controller and software like the "GM2000 QCI"?

Is there also a hand terminal available?

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=N6GvuO_9tLY&vq=medium

When you look around the "centaurus" tripod, there isn't a terminal like by the QCI.

10MICRON 2000 HPS


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4415317 - 02/27/11 04:48 PM

In the above post you can see that there is a difference in the "base" of the GM2000HPS.

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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4416468 - 02/28/11 07:56 AM

I have been looking very good to the base of the GM2000 HPS mount and I "think" that the "QCI control module" is the same separate (with the last software version) as by the GM2000 QCI.

I "think" you can move this module from the centaurus tripod, isn't it?


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Dennis Sakva
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4416534 - 02/28/11 08:51 AM

Howard,
It's often hard to deduce if the problem is mechanical/electrical/firmware/software or a combination of three.


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geissi
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Loc: Germany
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Dennis Sakva]
      #4416925 - 02/28/11 12:29 PM

Hello Maurits,

the new 10micron HPS-Mount can be purchased with a separate controller box or with an integrated box as well. Both options are still available. The controller hardware and firmware are (nearly) the same as with the GM2000 QCI.

The mount is available as a "one-piece" monolithic as well as a "two-piece" separatable version.

The handcontroller and the software handling will be the same as in the "normal" GM-mounts.

Mechanics, look-and-feel and electronics of the HPS are nearly the same as in te QCI-Version (except the built in encoders of course)

For further information please contact
baader-planetarium.de

e-mail: kontakt(at)baader-planetarium.de

Best Regards
Rolf Geissinger

Edited by geissi (02/28/11 12:33 PM)


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4416974 - 02/28/11 12:49 PM

Rolf, thanks so much for the valuable information!

Because after I've read your experience message (in German), I got a confidence in this product!


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Joe Cipriano
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4417077 - 02/28/11 01:43 PM

I'm curious about the new GM1000 HPS (price & capacity).
The tracking error graph is impressive - although the ad text differs from the graph, stating 4" p-p (still darn impressive).


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Joe Cipriano]
      #4417355 - 02/28/11 04:10 PM

Hey Joe....deep dish, anyone? I've never seen the mount in action, but I gave it a good look-see at last year's AIC. If fit, finish and beauty count for anything, this mount is a winner! It's a piece of artwork for someone that's a mount junkie. You can see that extra care is taken when producing the thing.

It looked very much like the quality of the Planewave mount which is another dandy. But the 10 Micron is a winner in my eyes.

David


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geissi
member


Reged: 12/28/06

Loc: Germany
Re: 10Micron new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4417402 - 02/28/11 04:35 PM

Hello Joe,

just I got the latest info concerning the new GM1000.

weight: 18kg
load capacity: 25kg
Build in high res encoders.


Regards
Rolf


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4417428 - 02/28/11 04:46 PM

Rolf, do you have the same latest info about the new GM2000HPS?

I saw on a picture that the centaurus mount was black, is it a new color tripod that mach the color of the mount, or is it the carbon version?

Thanks in advance.


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geissi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4417466 - 02/28/11 05:03 PM

Hi Maurits,

mechanics of the GM2000 HPS are nearly the same as the GM2000 QCI. So weight and load will be the same, as well.

DEC-unit: 13.5kg
R.A.-unit: 15.1kg
photographical load: approx. 40kg

I'll check with Baader-Planetarium, if there are the newest prices available.

Sorry, I have no idea with the tripod colors. I think, these will be the same as with the GM2000 QCI (steel and carbon)


Regards
Rolf


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Joe Cipriano
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4417527 - 02/28/11 05:38 PM

Hey, David!
Re: Deep Dish... none lately, which reminds me - I need my fix!

Rolf:
Many thanks. 25kg, if that's for imaging, is more than sufficient for my needs.
Whenever you can get info on the price, I'd appreciate it.


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Joe Cipriano]
      #4418363 - 03/01/11 02:12 AM

This is the picture from the black centaurus tripod.


Link black centaurus


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Emanuele
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4418388 - 03/01/11 02:59 AM

Maurits,

The black tripod is the Centaurus, all aluminum if I am not mistaken.
There are not many information on this mount just yet.


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geissi
member


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Loc: Germany
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4418390 - 03/01/11 03:04 AM

Hello,

just, I got the newest prices. Please remember, these are netto without VAT.

GM1000 HPS: EUR 5800,- (w/o VAT)
GM2000 HPS Monolith: EUR 10500,- (w/o VAT)
GM2000 HPS Ultraport: EUR 10900,- (w/o VAT)
GM2000 HPS full package: EUR 12000,- (w/o VAT)

The new price list will be available soon at the Baader-Planetarium website.

Regards
Rolf


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4418416 - 03/01/11 04:05 AM

Rolf, Emanuelle, thanks so much for the great information!

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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4418448 - 03/01/11 05:07 AM

Rolf

Do you know.......

When will the GM2000 HPS be finished with its testing and available to the public?


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geissi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4418503 - 03/01/11 06:03 AM

Hello Howard,

some first test-mounts should be deliverd in April/Mai 2011.
I'm very sorry - I don't know much more.

Regards
Rolf


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4418954 - 03/01/11 11:48 AM

Thanks, Rolf

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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4432122 - 03/07/11 12:01 PM

I've seen that the new 10MICRON GM2000 HPS mount has no longer a hole for the polar aligment finder!

Look at the pictures


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geissi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4439640 - 03/10/11 11:17 AM

Hallo Maurits,

you will not need any polar finder scope with 10micron mounts. Polar alignement can easily be done with the firmware - fast and precise. I never missed a polar scope. You even don't need polaris - just select a star from the list, center it - done.

By the way: The new price list is available now:
http://www.10micron.de/10micron_htm/preise.htm

Regards
Rolf


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: geissi]
      #4442225 - 03/11/11 12:19 PM

Rolf, thanks for the link to Baader with the prices!

It's a lot of money, but it is a fantastic mount, especially with the carbon fiber centaurus tripod!


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4444459 - 03/12/11 12:50 PM

Am i right in saying that the 2000 HPS mount does not use gears from the motor to the worm but instead uses a kevlar belt?

And if so does this remove backlash that is found in mounts with traditional gears?


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Emanuele
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4444589 - 03/12/11 01:44 PM

Hi Howard,

yes, that is correct. And it is also valid for the normal GM2000 QCI and all the other mounts.
They are belt driven, and have no backlash.


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4445058 - 03/12/11 05:28 PM

Man I love this black mount a lot

I save money for this beauty, and for the carbon tripod!


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SPACEMAN
sage


Reged: 01/30/05

Loc: grömme,Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #4445182 - 03/12/11 06:20 PM

Hello,

i would not go for the Carbon Tripod if i where you..., Carbon is really stiff, and if it cracks, it crack and you equipment is on the floor..., what are you planning to put on the mount?


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #4445305 - 03/12/11 07:10 PM

Hi

No backlash...thats just great....i got to have one of these mounts!!!!,


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: SPACEMAN]
      #4445317 - 03/12/11 07:16 PM

Spaceman

There is no way i can see that a carbon tripod will split........what made you say that?


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #4446045 - 03/13/11 04:34 AM

Spaceman, I plan to buy a Tec APO 160 FL in the near feature!

The carbon centaurus tripod seems to be strong and very well made!


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SPACEMAN
sage


Reged: 01/30/05

Loc: grömme,Belgium
Re: 10Micron new [Re: MAURITS]
      #5199988 - 05/01/12 11:56 AM

Putting back an old post:
I will be ordering a 10 Micron 2000GM HPS with in a week!


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HowardK
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: SPACEMAN]
      #5200260 - 05/01/12 02:24 PM

Excellent news fr you

Please let us know how the mount works out...
I'm very sure it will be just fantastic

Please keep us posted with phts if possible


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zakky2k
newbie


Reged: 10/17/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #5274053 - 06/16/12 08:08 AM

Hi All, any updates regarding the GM1000 HPS?

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jsteinberg48
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #5275131 - 06/17/12 01:29 AM

Alpine Astro represents them in the U.S. They look nice but I have not used one.

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wz2
Most Boring Astronomer...


Reged: 07/30/10

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Emanuele]
      #5275410 - 06/17/12 10:22 AM

Quote:


Setup is very easy and fast.
I do not have the optional polar scope, because it is not needed. I use it's Polar Alignment routine. I choose the "3 Stars Alignment" routine and I get within 1 arcmin of the Pole, normally. With that, I can image for 5 min UNguideded at 980mm focal length (TEC140).
You can of course use as many stars (up to 25) as you want to refine the Polar Alignment. So, you can practically get a perfect polar alignment.
Moreover, the software will calculate the Orthogonality error between the main imaging scope and the guidescope, and correct for it.
By using the athmospheric pressure, temperature, and altitude, it will also correct for athmospheric refraction.
You can imagine what kind of guiding you can get with these mounts. (usually I have errors of 0.03-0.05 pixels with a 3 star alignment routine, so I don't even need to guide)
The keypad also has a T-Point like software in it. You can build a pointing model and save it internally.





Interesting, so it has software similar to T-Point. Does it have anything similar to Bisque's Pro-Track as well? Also, can you elaborate on the comment about correcting for atmospheric refraction.

Thanks! Chris


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: wz2]
      #5685342 - 02/17/13 02:32 PM

My 10Micron 1000 HPS arrives on Tuesday from Ian King Imaging. I'll post back on my impressions once the observatory is finished in April.

Note that this mount does not have provision for a polar scope. I'm hoping that PA is as easy as the T-Point like routine provided by the Losmandy Gemini which I'ved used for 9 years with great success. IKI says its pretty much the same on the HPS.


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #5685689 - 02/17/13 06:23 PM

Congrats on the new mount
Do keep us posted
I am most interested in this.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #5686077 - 02/17/13 10:09 PM

Pretty cool, Tony! I saw one at the AIC a couple years ago. A work of mount art!! Can't wait to read your review.

David


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Per Frejvall
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Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5686756 - 02/18/13 10:32 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

Got my GM1000HPS today as a compliment to the GM2000HPS that I already have. This is the future!

Mechanically, they're works of art and the accuracy is stunning. I have never guided my GM2000 and have taken one hour long subs with round stars. I expect the same from the GM1000HPS.

As for modeling the sky, I have written a model maker for 10Micron mounts and it works great. Note that the model is not kept in a PC in the 10Micron world; it is all in the mount controller. Thus, the mount is fully stand-alone when the model has been created (with the aid of a PC, MaximDL, Pinpoint and my ASCOM driver).

I have just thrown a site together with info on the model maker and some other stuff. You can also download the ASCOM driver and a command-line utility from there. http://astro.frejvall.se is the address.

I put an unboxing thread on SGL http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/177893-gm1000hps-unboxing/

Unfortunately, this forum doesn't lend itself to free linking to images from the internet so I cannot post the unboxing here

Full review coming up on SGL eventually. Right now the weather is promised to be cloudy for at least another ten days and I have to go on a trip to the US and Canade for ten days next Monday, so... It'll take a while.

/per

Edited by Per Frejvall (02/18/13 10:39 AM)


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5689555 - 02/19/13 07:36 PM

My GM 1000 HPS has arrived! God is it a work of art!! But its without the base adapter . When thats sorted out by IKI I can get it on its pier for some test runs.

I've run though the 84 page manual tonight and so far the HPS controller seems to operate in a very similar fashion to my Losmany Gemini controller - certainly when it comes to buildin pointing models and polar alignment. So I'm expecting to get familar quickly.

The hand set is wonderfully chunky (unlike the Losmandy hand set) and designed to be operated with thick gloved hands.

Even though its 10 Microns smallest mount in the HPS series - I wouldn't say its "portable" - not without a trolley. Losmandy's GM-8 mount on the other hand is portable. I'm going to keep the latter for a year so see how I get on with both mounts. I've got the HPS to go on a permanent pier that the trailer park I use is allowing me to place next to our trailer (its a posh managed site in the Yorkshire Dales so is relatively safe when it comes to leaving gear out under tarps. If I find I'm still needing to be mobile I keep the GM-8.

Can't say much more at present until the missing bit is acquired and the German plug on the 24V regulated PSU gets changed for a UK one!

Quote:

I have never guided my GM2000 and have taken one hour long subs with round stars. I expect the same from the GM1000HPS




This is what I am hoping. The specs say 1" error after 15-20 minutes. I really want to avoid autoguiding. Good to hear this is real for the higher spec 2000.

Quote:

Got my GM1000HPS today as a compliment to the GM2000HPS that I already have.




I think you might need to go to Astronomers Anonymous - sound like an addiction. I can't aford to get this addiction as I had to plead with wife that after 10 years of sterling service my GM-8 was old and creaky and needed up-grading. Actually I was going to get a PMX but at the Astrofest exhibition 10 days ago in London, I saw and fell in love with the GM 1000 - well it is Italian!

Per - I have your links book marked.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #5731571 - 03/14/13 02:45 AM

Short report...

Just like a sudden bolt of lightning the weather has changed from always cloudy to always clear, so I've had some time to get familiar with the 1000.

The only issue I have so far is guiding. Now, that's going to sound like music to the "opponents" of the 10Micron mounts, but I will immediately inform everyone that the mount guides to 0.05" RMS in both axis when using PHD Guiding. It is with MaximDL that the problem arises; it simply won't guide well.

It is probably a settings problem, but I can inform you that I have not yet ironed it out. I got it working once with 10s exposures, 2.5 in agressiveness and a guide factor of 0.25. As soon as CCD Autopilot turned off guiding for dither and the re-enabled it it lost it. And I mean completely.

So I reverted to just tracking directly in Maxim for some tests. Ra will hardly move during calibration despite different settings regarding auto declination, mount set to declination compensation or not, dual axis tracking and what not.

There has to be a way to tame Maxim but so far I have not found it. When I will, and I will, I'll post the results.

So what's the magic with PHD? I have used it extensively and only ever had to change the calibration pulse duration at times - that's all. I whish it was compatible with MaximDL and that the two could be used side by side and in concert.

Anyway, I have confirmed that the pulse-guiding support in my ASCOM driver is and always was OK. That's good.

As for AA, well, yes, that could be an option Currently looking - but not buying (promise) cool scopes. It's a pity I do not like diffraction spikes

/per

Edited by Per Frejvall (03/14/13 03:01 AM)


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WadeH237
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5731609 - 03/14/13 03:34 AM

Poor guiding in Maxim is often a calibration issue. Did the Maxim calibration go smoothly (and produce an 'L' with a nice, 90 degree angle)?

Maxim calibrates by making one, relatively large movement on each axis, and sometimes gets confused about which star it's using for calibration. PHD use many shorter steps during calibration and seems to be a bit more robust.

-Wade


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5732266 - 03/14/13 01:30 PM

It's total chaos with Maxim. The general feeling is Windows 3.1 but that's just my feeling

Anyway, when Maxim sends a 10s pulseguide command the mount receives it and initiates movement. It does, however, not produce a 10 seconds worth of movement in the mount. When PHD send the exact same command the mount does it. I am now enabling a special trace mode in the firmware in order to log ALL traffic to the mount. I might find that Maxim sends soemthing else to the mount that inhibits the movement, perhaps becaus e of a frirmware bug in the mount or something.

First, however, I'm giving CCDSoft a chance to guide the scope. We'll see what comes out of that.

Now, guiding a 10Micron shouldn't really be necessary, but I have two reasons for this:

1. Confirm my ASCOM driver's pulse-guide functionality
2. Compare a guided image to an unguided

Point 1 is already confirmed. It works like a charm. The ASCOM driver I wrote actually bypasses the firmaware "is pulseguiding" detection and does it with timer instead as I found that to be more robust than screaming at the mount all the time.

Point 2 is a thought I've had recently. I get round stars from a 1-hour unguided exposure with my GM2000HPS, but can the stars be smaller? Not that they were large, but nonetheless, perhaps all unguided imaging, no matter if ASA or 10Micron, can be slightly improved with the aid of very mild guiding? We'll see what comes out of it

/per


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Tapio
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Reged: 09/24/06

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5761740 - 03/28/13 04:51 AM

Just got through this thread.
My 50th birthday is nearing and I'm considering how to please myself.
A new mount would be nice and so far my options are Mesu-Mount, Losmandy (G11), AP (Mach-1) and this 10Micron is the the dark horse in my list.
So would be nice to hear real experience (Tonk and Per ?).


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Lagonda
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Loc: Zg, Croatia, Europe
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tapio]
      #5776990 - 04/04/13 03:46 AM

We have GM 4000. I must say it is great looking mount, but...
Counterweight suppose to be stainless steel but we have a lot of rust on them. We payed software upgrade approx. 300 US dollars. The red light on the hand controller is gone.
After only 2-3 years of use.
Maybe it's "a bad piece" of production, but nevertheless. The mount is to expensive to have two, three problems like that. And we have to tell them to put park/unpark option somewhere "closer" in the menu because it was buried deep in the menu (it was not very easy to find it).


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Lagonda]
      #5780115 - 04/05/13 04:40 PM

Well, I, for one, is very pleased with both my 10Micron mounts. I think the HPS versions are the ones to get, though, because of the absolute encoders. The QCI may be fine mounts mechanically but lack the encoders.

The longest sub I have gone for was a one hour at FL 1000mm. I ran six of them and lost one due to a gust and one due to clouds. A single sub crop can be seen at http://filer.frejvall.se/Hour.png

The GM2000 is now loaned to a friend and I have the GM1000 on the balcony pier. It's good too

/per

Edited by Per Frejvall (04/05/13 04:44 PM)


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5780122 - 04/05/13 04:45 PM

Note: the one hour sub was, of course, unguided. I have never guided a 10Micron mount...

/per


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Mike X.
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Reged: 06/28/10

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5780265 - 04/05/13 06:03 PM

Fantastic mount , just saw it on the shop today

Edited by Mike X. (04/05/13 06:04 PM)


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5781005 - 04/06/13 01:15 AM

Do these mounts have absolute encoders? and what is the tick count?

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Per Frejvall
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Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5781043 - 04/06/13 02:19 AM

The QCI ones do not have absolute encoder but the newer HPS series (High Precision and Speed) do. They are somewhere over 10 million ticks per rev.

In addition, they have retained the motor encoders present in the QCI series and use both in the control loops.

You can leave it pointing in any direction, power it off and come back a week later. It still knows where it's pointing after power on. No homing, no adjustments, no worries.

/per


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orlyandico
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5781048 - 04/06/13 02:24 AM

Sounds like a good deal for us outside-Europe types. It turns out to be $7500 USD if we remove the MWST (the GM 1000 HPS).

Might be a good choice for me when I need something more than my Mach1.


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6004401 - 08/03/13 07:26 AM

Quote:

I'll post back on my impressions once the observatory is finished in April




Ha ha - holiday parks are a law unto themselves. April, May, June passed quietly - always "we have a few jobs to complete first then we do your observatory". Well 3 weeks ago they give the go ahead, two weeks ago they turned up to dig the hole for the pier and pour the concrete. It now at the halfway stage for the concrete curing and robust enough to try out the mount on the pier - briefly - so thats what I did two nights ago. So here is my report:

So the first run was to get used to the new mount, learn how to build the pointing model and nail polar alignment and report back how easy and how accurate the outcome was.

Imaging runs come later once the concrete has fully cured and I've dealt with some shrinkage issues.

So after the HPS1000 was set level on the pier (it has a bubble level) I booted the mount computer*.

After the boot completed, I set up the longitude, latitude and time by hand copying the values off the Losmandy Gemini. I have a StarGPS NX that connects to the Losmandy - would be useful now if I could connect it to the HPS1000!

Once setup, I selected from the handpad screen menu Alignment -> 3-Star Align. My first two attempts to use this resulted in failure.

The procedure starts by offering a list of stars. I picked Altair, the HPS1000 slews close and emits a beep when done, then its over to you to center it in an illuminated reticule eyepiece and press "enter" when you are done (the keypad +> and -> keys are used to change the slew rates at any time the menu selection isn't active - this is a nice touch and very different from the Gemini - much easier in fact).

Next up pick Deneb from the list ... slew, beep, centre and press "enter". My last star was Vega directly overhead. This is were the HPS1000 failed, the slew started but the mount stopped while no where near pointing at Vega and I got no confirming beep. I could hear the motors buzzing like a mosquito (this is OK BTW) and the keypad screen still had it saying it was slewing. Nothing doing.

Not yet proficient with the way out of this I pressed the "shutdown" button on the mount computer, reset the parked position (clutches off, repoint scope by hand, clutches on). Re-booted, cleared any pointing model data via the menu and re-did the 3-Star align using Altair, Deneb and Alberio this time. Same outcome - the mount failed to finish slewing to Alberio (again a star nearly overhead for me).

This time I remembered the "Esc" key on the keypad and was able to backup the menu tree and try a 3-Star again using Altair, Deneb and Alpheratz (over on east side of the sky). This time success!

(later on I did 9 further 3-star aligns and as long as I avoided an overhead star it was successful each time)

At this stage you can use the handpad to get info on how good the pointing model is (as an RMS error value in arc seconds) and what your polar align error is in terms of offset distance (in arc seconds) and position angle or alternatively as Alt/Az off set from the true pole.

A 3-star align is just the start. The next step is to add more stars to the pointing model. From the keypad select 2-Star Refine and pick a star from the list, the HPS1000 will slew to it, halt and beep and you center it and press enter. Keep doing this to build up say a 12 star model from stars spaced widely over the sky - overhead stars now work too (you can build a max of 25 stars into your model). After each additional star you are told what the RMS pointing error is.

Now is a good time to polar align. Pick the polar align procedure from the keypad and pick a star from a list. I picked Altair as it was near the meridian and fairly close to the equator (for no good reason other than the Gemini procedure I used before works best in this region of the sky). This time you must not use the handpad to centre, but use the mount alt/az adjustment knobs to to the centering. Press enter when done.

Thats very nearly it - but not quite. Final step is to 3-star align and refine once more to build a full model - necessary after a physical repointing of the mount.

I experimented for 4 hours to learn how best to do it and how fast it could be done and how good the results are and if further iterations improved things. I performed the procedure 3 times from scratch with the pointing model wiped out at the start.

The optimum solution trading time for accuracy was to 3-star align, add stars to build at least a 12 star model, polar align, then repeat the 3 star align a second time (I added a barlow this time for centring) and again go for at least 12 all-over-the-sky stars and polar align a second time and finally finish off with a third 3 star align and refine to build a final min 12 star model. This took less than 30 minutes and with practice could probably be reduced to 20 minutes

Code:
The results of 3 runs:


RMS error of pointing model over whole sky: 5 (best) to 10 arc seconds (worse)

Error of polar alignment: 16, 17 and 18 arc second offset in the 3 runs I did (2 polar align iterations**).




The PA error in alt/ az was typically 5 arc second in az and ~16 arc secnds in alt.

As an additional test I centered Altair (near equator) and Alkaid (high dec) on the crosshairs (12 mm eyepiece + x2 barlow on 600mm FL scope) and noted that the star remained on the crosshairs for at least 20 minutes.

There are huge differences when comparing these procedures between the HPS1000 and Losmandy GM-8/Gemini. The most striking is with the HPS1000 a slew from E to W (or in reverse) has no initial significant pointing error after the 3 star align. With the GM-8 the intial pointing model is built on one side of the sky first and then when flipping over to the otherside the miss can be a degree or so. Once this initial miss is accomodated into the Gemini model the large pointing error is removed. I suspect this difference must be an absolute encoder thing.

First impressions. Other than the "overhead star" glitch in the 3-Star align, the HPS1000 setup, model building and polar align are extremely easy to do, very accurate with little effort and time and the observed tracking accuracy is superb.

In comparison the best the Gemini can report is to 1 arc minute polar alignment error. The GM-8 unguided tracking accuracy can be occasionally good for 5/6 mins but often only 4 mins as this is dependent on the true polar alignment error.

Note however the if you want to measure the scope/mount orthogonallity error on the HPS1000 you should not use a diagonal (unless its been calibrated). Due to neck craning on a refractor this will certainly slow down the set up. Possibly this measurement can be done after polar alignment has been set up. Then take out the diagonal and redo the 3-star/2-star refine to measure and trim the scopes alignment on the mount.

I got this mount to avoid autoguiding! Looks like it does what it says on the tin.

Next up is testing some imaging runs ....



*BTW someone said earlier on the thread that the "keypad" handles the pointing modelling. The keypad is just a keypad - it is attached to a smallish black aluminium ruggardised industrial strength box fitted with fans running a dedicated version of Linux to which the power, keypad and mount are attached by cables - its the Linux box that is the compute powerhouse.

** Additional iterations did not improve matters - often the PA error increased slightly to ~20 arc seconds only to reduce once again to ~17 arc seconds on a forth pass. It appears that using this approach (iterating 3-star align + refine stars), then once you get below 20 arc seconds error you are effectively done using this method.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6006993 - 08/05/13 02:54 AM

Nice write-up!

I have not had any problems with high altitude stars myself... Interesting!

You could try to automate the whole process of building the model, which by the way supports 100 points if you have the newest firmware, and sit back and relax while 100 stars are processed in just a short while.

The software I wrote requires MaximDL and Pinpoint (full version), but I really think that it is worth every penny as you get full automation for the model building part.

I have made the same observations that you have regarding the pier side: it doesn't matter at all. It is always dead on.

As you can see above, I have run me 2000 unguided for one hour with perfectly round stars. I haven't stressed the 1000 to the same level but I figure it will do about the same if loaded to the same level.

/per


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6006994 - 08/05/13 02:55 AM

Question: what is your firmware version?

/per


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6007051 - 08/05/13 05:10 AM

Quote:

Question: what is your firmware version?




I'll check tonight - its at my "remote" observatory and I'm driving up there to get my first imaging run tonight - weather permitting.

Quote:

I have not had any problems with high altitude stars myself... Interesting!




It was very specifically the 3rd star in the 3-star align step. Never had an issue in the refine steps and did't test an overhead star for the 1st or 2nd of the 3 star align.


Quote:

You could try to automate the whole process of building the model, which by the way supports 100 points if you have the newest firmware, and sit back and relax while 100 stars are processed in just a short while.




How do you "automate" centering a star in the crosshairs? and the alt/az knob turning for PA?? If this involves a CCD I'm out of luck as I only have a Canon 450D and an intervalvometer.

Can you explain the procedure basics and what additional items are needed besides MaximDL/Pinpoint - thanks. Can you avoid MaximDL - I really don't want to use this as I have Images Plus and that enough money to spend on software!!


Anyone got any ideas about the 3-star alignment/overhead star issue? I guess that one to ask 10Micron folk


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6010793 - 08/07/13 02:37 AM Attachment (23 downloads)

Automating the model making involves using MaximDL, Pinpoint full and my Model Maker. Any camera Maxim can control works - DSLR or CCD.

Maxim is old school and considered the "Gold Standard" in AP by many. I, for one, really do not like it at all. It is, however, what people who write software normally choose as an interface to the observatory and I walked down the same path when I wrote the Model Maker. I figured that since I was about to run one rig with CCD Autopilot and had ACP on the horizon I needed Maxim anyway. Another interface is CCDSoft (which Bisque discontinued). If ASCOM camera drivers were more common I would probably go straight to the source and just control it myself. Pinpoint is pinpoint, even though there are alternatives. I wanted something that was independant of an internet connection so that left me with... Pinpoint

When you do venture into some degree of automation you will most likely be "forced" to get Maxim...

Below is a screen dump of the Model Maker (which I offer for free at the site in my signature).

I now have at least nautical twilight and have the GM1000 on the balcony pier with a 190MN/ST8300M. I need to run a model anyway so I can look at the high altitude situation next time the skies are clear.

/per


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6011116 - 08/07/13 09:40 AM

Hi Per - thanks for this - food for thought.

I'd done my first imqging run and came away very very impressed. This time I only needed to do 3-star + refine, a PA and a final 3-star + 9 refine stars to get a PA error of 18 arc seconds. I selected comet C/2012 F6 which was overhead in Cepheus and tried 8 minute exposures (at ISO 800). 8 to 10 minutes is nearing the maximum I can do for my sky conditions (SQM measure was 20.75 bpsas) to retain good dynamic range.

The result was perfect round stars in every frame for 4 hours! The meridian flip was spot on. Flipping the post meridian flip images and overlaying on the pre flip images showed a very close match up.

So for the FL I like to work at (480mm) I can do a fresh by-hand pointing model/polar align that is more than good enough in <20 mins now. Its still an exciting novelty that thoughts of automation are a little way off.

I forgot to get the version number(s) (doh!) The first one was 1.7 right at the start of booting but there was another one further along the boot sequence with 3 digits (x.y.z) which I have not been able to recall. Which is the one you are interested in.

Oh - one final note - I checked the errors for each star in the pointing model. I had put Vega in (overhead) as the 4th star in the model. It had an error of >200 arc seconds whereas most other stars had error <20 arc seconds. I deleted Vega from the model and gained a slight improvement in the pointing error and each remaining star in the model also gained a very slight improvement. So the interesting thing was that the one overhead star in the model had a high error. The other 11 stars in the model dominated such that the one "rogue" didn't degrade the model by any significance. Still there appears to be some sort of issue with overhead stars that I'm picking up.

I have read somewhere that some goto's have issues pointing with accuracy at the polar region around Polaris while others have a similar problem around the zenith. Is this familiar with anyone?


Right small sidebar for Per ....

I'm very interested in the automation game. What functions of MaximDL and PinPoint are you needing. I'm a long in the tooth software developer (since 1977!) and can see that I could utilize/adapt the open source AstroTortilla in place of PinPoint but what else is needed to use your automation tool (I like the idea of resisting MaximDL and also developing open source for the astro community - something to do when I retire in a few years time )

http://sourceforge.net/projects/astrotortilla/


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6011293 - 08/07/13 11:41 AM

Good numbers, good results. Some say it can't be done but they have only read about these mounts, not tried one in the flesh

All polar coordinate systems have difficulties near the pole. When I landed a helicopter on the North Pole in 2004 I had real difficulty in determining what the GPS actually said. It finally shut down a few meters from the pole and had to be restarted...

Anyway... Automation. There are only a few things that I want that Maxim has. It has to do with camera control, and since so few suppliers write ASCOM drivers for their cameras you are stuck with a software package that can do full COM and handle a camera.

Same for automation. It's Maxim or CCDSoft behind it all. Nebulosity doesn't have aproper automation interface, I do not know about the Tortilla stuff. I have considered writing an alternative to ACP and may go ahead with that. Such a project would be written from the start to utilize different camera control platforms. We'll see...

/per


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Per Frejvall
sage


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6011336 - 08/07/13 11:57 AM

I found a movie I made in order to show the model optimization that can be done from the latest version of Model Maker. Thinking of you Vega deletion, check this out for cleaning up a model. The film doesn't contain the model run, just the cleanup functions.

/per

http://filer.frejvall.se/Optimize.swf.html


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6011404 - 08/07/13 12:31 PM

Quote:

... a movie I made in order to show the model optimization that can be done from the latest version of Model Maker.




Crikey that is a nice piece of work!!! maybe I'm going to have to shake out my piggy bank for maximDL etc.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6011606 - 08/07/13 02:28 PM

Thanks!

/p


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frolinmod
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6012141 - 08/07/13 07:10 PM

Quote:

It's Maxim or CCDSoft behind it all.



In the case of CCDSoft, it has now been retired and replaced with the Camera Add On to TheSkyX.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6012834 - 08/08/13 02:05 AM

Yes, I noticed that. It was quite good and some people even reported that SBIG images from CCDSoft were of better quality of MaximDL ones shot with the same camera... I wonder what goes

Maybe I should hide in a closet for a few months and write a lean and mean alternative...

/p


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6017898 - 08/10/13 04:16 PM

My overhead star issue when doing 3-star align seems to have gone. I suspect it was something to do with the default slew/tracking limits.

Two questions.

1) Do I have to explicitly save the pointing model before turning off the mount controller? I noticed when I turned it back on this morning it had a zero star model! This seems to be counter intuitive - the Losmandy Gemini preserves the model automatically (you have a "warm" vs "cold" restart option meaning keep or wipe the prior model)

2) How do you synchronise an existing model with the sky? The gemini had a nice "sync" menu option. Can't find the equivalent on the 1000HPS

Thanks


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6018012 - 08/10/13 05:36 PM

1) Nope. It stays there. Do remember to turn off the mount with the switch, not by cutting power!

2) Set it to "Sync refines OFF" and a sync will just move the existing model to the sync position. If it is ON it will just add another refinement point to the model, which is not what you want.

How's that for straight answers on a Saturday night?

/per


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6018528 - 08/11/13 04:09 AM

Quote:

Nope. It stays there. Do remember to turn off the mount with the switch, not by cutting power!




Er yes I do use the switch and only the switch - and the model definately gone when I power up again. For example going to the "Delete star" list you are informed that there are no stars in the list. Before powering off I had 14 stars in the list. So far I've had to rebuild the pointing model from scratch on each reboot (thats 4 times now). Hunting around the menu system I found a place were models are saved, just wondered if I should have used that.

Quote:

Set it to "Sync refines OFF" and a sync will just move the existing model to the sync position.




And my problem is how do you do the "sync" bit. I see the "mode" setting but I see no menu item that is "do a sync now"


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Pogo30
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6018545 - 08/11/13 04:55 AM

Quote:


And my problem is how do you do the "sync" bit. I see the "mode" setting but I see no menu item that is "do a sync now"




Just center the star and push and hold the enter button. It will then do the sync.

Regards
Martin


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6018547 - 08/11/13 05:00 AM

Hello again!

Number one really puzzles me! That sounds totally wrong. Number two is simple, just slew to any bright star by means of the handset, center it wit hthe arrow keys and then hold enter depressed for a few seconds. This is the "sync here" command you seek!

Can you please go into menu item Settings, then Version and report the firmware version for me?

/per


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6018574 - 08/11/13 06:12 AM

New ASCOM driver (6.5.1) is up on my site. Try it out!

/per


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6018587 - 08/11/13 06:50 AM

Thanks Martin and Per re sync'ing - that was a huge help

Nice to see they made it really obvious! . I spent ages searching the menu system for that!

Per the two numbers that I see during the boot up sequence are 1.7 and then a bit later 2.9.8

Can't try out Ascom just yet - still using my simple intervalvometer for camera control and its just the handpad for the mount - no additional computer involved.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6019033 - 08/11/13 01:17 PM

OK, you need to upgrade your firmware. Time to bring out the little old computer

Let me know if you need some help with that.

/per


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orion69
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6049683 - 08/27/13 09:12 PM

Several dealers (TS, Baader...) lately changed max. capacity of GM1000HPS from 25kg to 35kg.
Is that official change or something else?


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orion69]
      #6049839 - 08/27/13 11:00 PM

Quote:

Several dealers (TS, Baader...) lately changed max. capacity of GM1000HPS from 25kg to 35kg.
Is that official change or something else?




I looked on both the TS and Baader sites and saw only 25kg listed for the GM1000HPS so I am not sure where you saw that and am unaware of any change to the GM1000HPS specs at this time.


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orion69
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6050116 - 08/28/13 06:38 AM

Here:

TS (click on english flag for english version), interestingly, english version says 35kg but german says 25kg... :
http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p4789_10-Micron-GM1...
Interestingly,

Baader:
http://baadersites.de/10micron/files/downloads/2012/03/hps-mont-poster-e.pdf


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orion69]
      #6050380 - 08/28/13 10:13 AM

As far as I know those are mistakes but I will confirm that. I couldn't find those when I went looking.

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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orion69]
      #6055347 - 08/31/13 12:05 AM

There has been no change to the mount specifications so those two pages listing the capacity as 35kg are incorrect.

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orion69
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6055580 - 08/31/13 06:28 AM

Thx

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TerraPassenger
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orion69]
      #6299403 - 01/08/14 06:54 AM

I've got a couple of questions for 10 Micron mount owners. (I'm thinking about getting a GM1000HPS) as follows:

1) Are you using 10 Micron's Perseus software? If so, do you like it? If not, what software are you using?

2) Does anyone have experience with the 10 Micron Aries Tripod?


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: TerraPassenger]
      #6299453 - 01/08/14 07:43 AM

Hi Passenger!

Question 1...
Nope. Package still unopened. I use MaximDL, Nebulosity 3, FocusMax, ACP and CCD Autopilot. Occasionally I use Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium for planning, usually not connected to the scope (works fine, though).

2
I have the Arcturus tripod. It is extremely steady

/per


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TerraPassenger
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6300551 - 01/08/14 06:09 PM

One more question... The GM1000HPS can be ordered with "polar laser pointer support." What's included if I purchase this? The user manual doesn't cover this option and I can't find any information about it on the Internet.

Thanks.

Dave


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: TerraPassenger]
      #6301318 - 01/09/14 04:22 AM

You really don't need a polar laser pointer for the 1000HPS.

The built in polar alignment procedure is based off building a regular multi-star pointing model and does not require a clear view of the Polaris region at all. The procedure is very accurate and reproducable.

My experiments doing multiple polar aligns (from scratch each time as a reproducability test) consistently got me within 15 arc seconds of true pole after 3 iterations of the model-building/polar-aligning routines. This took roughly 20-30 minutes for each go and doing it manually with a astrometric eyepiece (with illumated reticule cross-hairs) centering 12 - 15 nominated stars spread over the visible sky (you can go up to 100 stars in the model - good for permanent setups but takes longer to complete by hand).

If you have the right software (plate solving stuff etc), Per Frejvall has writen a very nice graphical utility that totally automates the pointing model building part (so does all steps bar the necessary alt/az knob adjustments for the polar align step)

I guess if you have a view of Polaris a laser pointer gets the rough(er) alignment started off without hassle. Notably the 1000HPS come with no provision to fit a polar scope.

(as a side note I had a polar scope fitted on my GM-8 but once I got the Gemini controller I had no real use for the Polar scope as the Gemini PAC polar align routine did the job. A rough starting align using a compass was all that was needed - YMMD)

Hope this helps


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Art43
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6302817 - 01/09/14 07:13 PM

Tonk,

By chance do you have images taken with use of your 10 Micron GM 1000 HPS.

Thank you


Art


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: TerraPassenger]
      #6302824 - 01/09/14 07:15 PM

Quote:

One more question... The GM1000HPS can be ordered with "polar laser pointer support." What's included if I purchase this? The user manual doesn't cover this option and I can't find any information about it on the Internet.

Thanks.

Dave







Not strictly necessary, but nice if you already have a GLP.


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6303513 - 01/10/14 05:02 AM

Quote:

By chance do you have images taken with use of your 10 Micron GM 1000 HPS.




Sure - these samples are on Astrobin. Tracking times were chosen for the targets I was shooting. I.e. fast moving very bright comets like Lovejoy couldn't be pushed to far, while comet Lemmon was so slow moving (and dim) I could use 10 minute subs. All are unguided.

http://astrob.in/full/65740/0/ 4 min subs
http://astrob.in/full/67937/0/ 8 min subs
http://astrob.in/full/67940/0/ 10 min subs
http://astrob.in/full/68315/0/ 5 min subs

The 10 min subs are just starting to show a hint of non-roundness. However I shot that image (and the 8 minute sample) before I discovered the dual-tracking mode that works to reduce the small drift in both RA and DEC I had due to polar mis-align. I need to have another go at 10 minutes to see how dual-tracking faires. The 4 and 5 minutes samples had dual-tracking mode enabled.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6304216 - 01/10/14 01:24 PM

Those shots are excellent, Tonk!
/per


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TerraPassenger
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6304330 - 01/10/14 02:12 PM

Thanks for the responses.

How long does it take to set up the GM1000HPS in the field - at a location you've never been to before - in preparation for astrophotography? If it makes any difference for your answer, I would be using a laptop and would center stars by looking at the laptop display.


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: TerraPassenger]
      #6304436 - 01/10/14 03:05 PM

Quote:

How long does it take to set up the GM1000HPS in the field




Per hopefully will help re commenting on his automated software for building pointing models as this speeds things up. However I can help by commenting on the long winded way using an astrometric eyepiece for star centering.

OK as long as you had a solid base for the tripod fixed up I have been able to get fully set up within twilight time - so that 40 to 60 minutes tops. I can actually do this routinely between 20 - 30 minutes now I've had practice. This includes balancing, building a 12 - 15 star model followed with the polar align procedure and repeating this 3 times if needed. The mount estimates the pointing accuracy and polar misalignment off the pointing model. If you get polar alignment within 20" then you are good to go. Turn on dual tracking. Also add a barometer to your kit and enter the barometric pressure and site altitude if your target is below 30 degrees alt to get differential tracking accurate as possible

I will say the setup method is very similar to using a Losmandy mount and Gemini controller and I had 10 years experience with that system - so I was nearly up to speed at the outset - main thing was learning a new handset/menu layout and slightly different function terminology but that wasn't too hard.

My biggest puzzle at first was working out how to sync to a star (just a long hold on the enter key) and where PEC training was (the latter does not exist it has APEC which is totally automatic)

Quote:

Those shots are excellent, Tonk!




Thanks Per - gives me confidence that the mount was worth it


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Art43
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6305309 - 01/11/14 12:41 AM

Thanks for posting the URL's to the images. These have been very helpful as I review mounts. I am considering a new portable mount. With none of the frames guided, I am stunned at the 10 Micron performance.

Mr. Frevjall also had some images I reviewed. There were a different type of object imaged, but with the same round star, beautiful results. There are also small galaxies visible in the Comet LoveJoy image.

I appreciate you taking the time to share some of your images with the mount.

A


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famax
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Art43]
      #6308041 - 01/12/14 12:22 PM

Just to add my experience from late night about quick polar align.
In juste one pass (3star align +polar correction , about 10minutes job)
i gave me 15" polar misalignement, verified with a PE measurment gave 6" dec drift in almost 50 minutes.
Pretty good....


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308059 - 01/12/14 12:32 PM

Quote:

Just to add my experience from late night about quick polar align.
In juste one pass (3star align +polar correction , about 10minutes job)
i gave me 15" polar misalignement, verified with a PE measurment gave 6" dec drift in almost 50 minutes.
Pretty good....




How do you know it's 15" (both RA and DE) if you don't verify it with another proper plate solve set ? Just wondering...


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famax
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6308158 - 01/12/14 01:26 PM

Yep gir you are right, you have to do another 3 star pointing to verify your polar correction.
But as you know, automatic pointing and solving is just a question of seconds in time (typical cycle time for one plate solve is for my setup :
-slew to a star (or any sky place) between 1s to 15 sec , depend of the travel)
-acquire frame 2s
-plate solve 1s
so for three star it is 1 minute maximum.


anyway, the question was does these automatic routines are
almost as precise as they claim, because reading 15" of pa error on the hand pad is a thing, but reallity can differs.

In that exemple it is proven that it works really good.

To be repeated to avoid the "by luck" factor.


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308250 - 01/12/14 02:10 PM

I know it's very fast to do another 3-star set, was just wondering why you didn't mention it.

Still have some problems visualizing how you hit 15" with one go...

You set up your mount by eye and point it as close to Polaris as possible(no laser involved). Then you do the 3-star which will give you values how much RA and DE axis are off from target and should be moved. The result will be way off however well you've set up the mount/scope.
After that you manually turn RA and DE adjustment knots and get the 15" error to both RA and DE axis. Something that is VERY challenging to do even with several iterations. And all this with a Newton scope.
I wouldn't call it luck, it's a miracle


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6308282 - 01/12/14 02:29 PM

I usually get within half a minute, if not after one iteration so definitely after two. If the rig is stable it works.

My procedure is to do the first adjustment with three points in the model, and then run a new model with perhaps 15 or 20 points. If that reports below a minute of polar error I let it go, otherwise I do the adjustment and start a full model with at least 35 points. If no adjustment is necessary I just add another 25 points to the model.

The mount firmware expects you to clear the model after you touch the knobs, so there is always one extra run after you have adjusted.

Currently running a model in Provence on my GM2000HPS:



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famax
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6308295 - 01/12/14 02:35 PM

So to tell precisely what is done :
-Wood pier is setup thanks to a compas
-Mount setup with all equipement
At this step it is important to say that the mount use to be aligned the night before, at a same place, but dismounted and reset for this night.
-So once the mount is on the wood pier, it is no very far from polar align : first three stars befor PA correction is
30' error.
-So i proceed for PA correction with centering the star on the CCD thanks to ALT/AZ correction.
-another 3 plate solve (that i forgot to mention as you pointed, gir) give you an estimate of your corrected PA error.

I agree that 15" seems very tight for a one run , but the 6"dec drift during 50 minute tend to prove that it isn't far from that.Or maybe there's a thing i does'nt understand ?


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6308321 - 01/12/14 02:46 PM

Per
Your example is very different from what famax was talking about, and any mount with good encoders and software should be able to do that.

P.S. ASA pointing models look even prettier


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famax
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6308339 - 01/12/14 02:54 PM

Impresive model per !You have now full sky access in provence !
Gir, the question is : can we trust the model/handpad assesement on the corected polar error.
From what i feel :
Evry setup has its own accuracy : at a certain precision step, the mount given you an estimate that will reamin with its own accuracy.
So for my example , the mount gives 15" , but we have to know the +/- arond this value.

I have to see if there a way to calculate the real polar error given the measured dec drift.

What is the typical PA error you have on the ASA , when
you are on the field ? something between 0" and 1 or 2' ?

Edited by famax (01/12/14 02:56 PM)


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308350 - 01/12/14 03:00 PM

Quote:

So to tell precisely what is done :

At this step it is important to say that the mount use to be aligned the night before, at a same place, but dismounted and reset for this night.
-So once the mount is on the wood pier, it is no very far from polar align : first three stars befor PA correction is
30' error.




Quite a different story from the first one
It would make all these 10Micron stories a lot more credible if they wouldn't change so much after a bit closer scrutiny.


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famax
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308357 - 01/12/14 03:02 PM

Found a page :
http://celestialwonders.com/tools/driftRateCalc.html

that helps :
So a 6" dec drift during 46 ' lead to a 30" error in polar align.

so twice that is reported in the hand pad.
But the model used to estimate this error is only three stars.
Still impressive.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308361 - 01/12/14 03:06 PM

Even with a large polar error the mount will track fine unguided. As long as you get it reasonably low the field rotation will be small enough.

/per


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famax
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308539 - 01/12/14 04:32 PM

GIR ,
I don't understand, would you please precise your point of view ?
It seems that you do not accept what is described here.
It would be more constructive if you where able to discuss
with smart arguments, and not trying to bash evryone's experience about 10Ķ.

i remind you that you said the same thing to Tonk.
I feel like you are a bit paranoÔd about that... ???


By the way my intention was to find out was kind of confidence we can put in these software PA alignement process, no matter 10Ķ or asa's.
I gave informations for people to dig in.
I also did ask to you what was the typical thing with asa ddm60.

But maybe i did forget that you are in an observatory, so do not Polar align a lot ?




Edited by famax (01/12/14 05:05 PM)


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: famax]
      #6308755 - 01/12/14 05:48 PM

Quote:

It seems that you do not accept what is described here.




Take no notice

Take this on board - 3 of us are here sharing similar experiences - i.e. easy, quick and accurate PA in a short number of model building/PA iterations with a nice portable mount so that's saying something .

As Per notes, if you get a reliable PA error below at least 30" (in whatever number of iterations it needs - I find it takes 2 or 3) and enable the dual tracking mode, your mount will go unguided for some considerable time.

I am more than happy with my imaging results and that's all I need to go on . I've not lost one frame yet to guiding issues - only to clouds, trees and a TV arial!


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6309462 - 01/13/14 01:20 AM

Quote:

Even with a large polar error the mount will track fine unguided. As long as you get it reasonably low the field rotation will be small enough.

/per




Per, that is very true.

However, being able to do that (or doing unguided imaging in general) requires a good model of the sky, and building an extensive model takes some time. Another alternative is to build a quick model and add a ďlocal modelĒ into it. That kind of local model uses plate solves taken from the path youíll be imaging. Very fast and effective way to solve a problem concerning mainly mobile setups but itís a very good tool for the permanent setups also.

ASA mounts have MLPT for that, and it looks like AP is building similar function to their new software. However, if I've understood it correctly 10Micron mounts donít have anything similar available.

Was just wondering how 10Micron has solved that dilemma when using their mounts in mobile setups ?


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6309524 - 01/13/14 03:23 AM

Gir,

The fact that I get unguided imaging with as little as ten points in my model sort of does away with the need for a local declination model, but I do see the point of it. I do not know if ASA handles the local model differently, but in the 10Micron case, building a model with points along the same dec is not a problem; the question is how it affects the sky as a whole as the actual points are not used when tracking, just the resulting set of model parameters.

As per ASA's CEO's video interview regarding the local model, he suggests using 20 points along the same declination. If I do a 20-point model I get unguided imaging all over the sky and the process is quick. Autoslew and Model Maker probably build the same size model in the same amount of time, especially when considering that both will need to make the same number of exposures and do the same number of plate solves. There is just no way around that. They both have approximately the same slew rate, 13į/s for DDM60 and 15į/s for GM1000HPS.

When I get the time I will try a model with all points along the same declination and see what happens.

I am currently expanding Model Maker to do offline modeling, i.e. expose first and then plate solve the whole bunch and download them as a batch to the mount. The time saving will be minimal, but still; the firmware support is there, so...

Sorry, but i definitely do not share your view of Autoslew being "pretty". To me it has the same look and feel as TheSky or some incarnations of Linux desktops, i.e. not very consistent and a bit too bloated. But hey, that's just me

/per


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6309562 - 01/13/14 05:01 AM

Per

I don't know were that "20 points along the same declination" comes from because the use of that many MLPT points is really not necessary in most of the cases. Besides I know that the results are a lot better with a specific MLPT model than with a general model including the same amount of points.
Anyway using MLPT is dependent on the time you're imaging a target not some specific number of plate solves ...which is pretty logical if you think about the rotation of earth. I'm getting excellent result with only couple of MLPT points even when imaging several hours. It really makes a difference especially when imaging with longer focal lengths.

It's nice that you like to compare Autoslew/Sequence software to your Model Maker. So let's make one thing clear...

As far as I know, 10Micron doesn't really have any kind of software of their own to support automated modeling or using a PC in general. Hand pad is their main tool for operating the mount. All the software development we've seen and talking about here has been developed by you Per Ö.and not 10Micron ?

If that is the case, I really respect your effort. Without all that work 10Micron mounts would be able to take advantage only few of the benefits included into using high resolution encoders and unguided imaging. Iím sure all 10Micron mount owners are very grateful for you for that.

So comparing Model Maker to ASA or AP software is a bit odd and doesn't really give a truthful picture of what's going on IMHO.
What concerns me is that such an important aspect of using a high end mount has been left for the mount ownersí responsibility. Other high end mount manufacturers are spending a lot of time and money building sophisticated software packages for their customers.


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6309637 - 01/13/14 07:11 AM

And what is the real point of all this sniping and rather pathetic backhanded complements GIR?

I notice that anywhere on CN where a 10Micron mount gets mentioned its always you who step in and say its all rubbish. A take it you are a real authority on 10Micron stuff so we should be listening?

Quote:

What concerns me is that such an important aspect of using a high end mount has been left for the mount ownersí responsibility.




Rubbish!

I'm a pragmatist - If I'm getting excellent results without using some gismo then I don't need to know about that gismo. I use my 10Micron in the field, I don't use a laptop or any external computer to control it or set it up. Its just a scope, my camera, and an intervalometer for automating image acquistion sequences. I haven't a clue about plate solving - not really sure what this is either. Do I need to know?

I'm getting excellent results and that is all I need to care about. So I'm not bothered about all this stuff you seem to asume is absolutely necessary. I only get bothered when there is a problem to solve.

Yeah - so I seem to be able to use what comes in the box, don't need a computer, don't need Per's stuff, don't need this "plate solving" thing and it all works exceptionally well and I create nice pictures. What a mount!!!!


But you will tell me different ....


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6309692 - 01/13/14 08:05 AM

Quote:

And what is the real point of all this sniping and rather pathetic backhanded complements GIR?

I notice that anywhere on CN where a 10Micron mount gets mentioned its always you who step in and say its all rubbish. A take it you are a real authority on 10Micron stuff so we should be listening?

Quote:

What concerns me is that such an important aspect of using a high end mount has been left for the mount ownersí responsibility.




Rubbish!

I'm a pragmatist - If I'm getting excellent results without using some gismo then I don't need to know about that gismo. I use my 10Micron in the field, I don't use a laptop or any external computer to control it or set it up. Its just a scope, my camera, and an intervalometer for automating image acquistion sequences. I haven't a clue about plate solving - not really sure what this is either. Do I need to know?

I'm getting excellent results and that is all I need to care about. So I'm not bothered about all this stuff you seem to asume is absolutely necessary. I only get bothered when there is a problem to solve.

Yeah - so I seem to be able to use what comes in the box, don't need a computer, don't need Per's stuff, don't need this "plate solving" thing and it all works exceptionally well and I create nice pictures. What a mount!!!!


But you will tell me different ....




Yes I will...

...because that might be the way youíre using your mount for imaging. However, most people taking astro photos use CCD cameras, computers, automated focusing, need to plate solve, and use many other gismos (like you call them). And thatís actually where high resolution encoders and unguided imaging really shines, and makes your life easier.

So what you call rubbish is actually what most people are doing when imaging


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6309693 - 01/13/14 08:06 AM

Tonk,

Couldn't agree more. It works WITHOUT a computer and it doesn't need any software at all. The other solutions out there are dud without a PC.

Gir,

I developed Model Maker because I saw a personal need for it. People like Tonk here do fine without it as did I for the first couple of months.

All my software does is automate a process that is available as manual IN THE FIRMWARE. The tracks model assisted with only power available. No other mount does that as far as I know.

As for other parties' software packages that are delivered with the mount... I started software development in the early 70's and have worked extensively in hat line of work. Let me just say that I am not always impressed by the packages floating around out there, neither in therms of robustness nor stability.

/per


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6309706 - 01/13/14 08:16 AM

Quote:

Tonk,


...All my software does is automate a process that is available as manual IN THE FIRMWARE...
/per




Per

You said the magic word ...manually. Most people buying high end mounts don't want to do things manually and/or are using remote setups

As said before you've done very good work with the Model Maker, it's just a shame that 10Micron (as a manufacturer) can't provide any kind of software for their customers who don't want to play with the mount manually.


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Re: 10Micron *DELETED* new [Re: GIR]
      #6309785 - 01/13/14 09:02 AM

Post deleted by guyroch

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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6309831 - 01/13/14 09:28 AM

I thought this was a thread about 10Micron?

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guyroch
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: guyroch]
      #6309857 - 01/13/14 09:43 AM

Quote:

However, most people taking astro photos use CCD cameras.




That is simply not true!

Guylain


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6310028 - 01/13/14 11:11 AM

Quote:

So comparing Model Maker to ASA or AP software is a bit odd and doesn't really give a truthful picture of what's going on IMHO.




Funny how the only poster I see bringing up ASA or AP software in a thread about 10Micron is you. The ASA is a great mount, buy why don't you start you own thread to defend it's honor against non-existent attacks?


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6310053 - 01/13/14 11:23 AM

Quote:

Quote:

So comparing Model Maker to ASA or AP software is a bit odd and doesn't really give a truthful picture of what's going on IMHO.




Funny how the only poster I see bringing up ASA or AP software in a thread about 10Micron is you. The ASA is a great mount, buy why don't you start you own thread to defend it's honor against non-existent attacks?




With all due respect Ed, there is nothing funny about it and the comment was very much linked to 10Micron. Besides there has been a lot of "funny" comments about AP software development by some "10Micron fans" So I thought it was only fair to bring out that fact about the 10Micron software development.
And if I recall correctly you're the 10Micron rep in US, so maybe your comments about me being funny can be seen against that background


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epdreher
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6310079 - 01/13/14 11:33 AM

Whoa there, GIR. I've got no dog in this hunt as I don't own either maker, but to imply that Ed is anything less than ethical and neutral in his comments and business dealings is overstepping your boundaries at the very least.

I've had dealings with Ed in which he actually steered me away from buying goods or services from him that he felt weren't needed. How often does a businessman do something like this?

It appears that you're far less neutral than those at whom you point your finger.


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6310116 - 01/13/14 11:55 AM

I'm not a moderator so it is not proper for me to explain the rules or proper etiquette (even when no one else will).

Please help keep threads meaningful and on topic as it benefits everyone.

Edited by EFT (01/13/14 03:49 PM)


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6310186 - 01/13/14 12:26 PM

I hear you Ed and will not mention AP, ASA or any other manufacturers names in this thread. Have to say that I'm a bit surprised of your strong reaction because still don't quite understand why it's such a bad thing to bring out different views on some quite important issues. Even if that includes mentioning some other manufacturers names.
But enough about that and back to the original topic...


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron *DELETED* new [Re: GIR]
      #6310216 - 01/13/14 12:49 PM

Post deleted by EFT

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psandelle
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6310249 - 01/13/14 01:05 PM

I'd be interested in the "plate solving vs. mount modeling methods and software" thread, but would be even more interested if it also including guiding versus "unguided." I mean, which is more accurate (and we can use the same mount(s) as the base), methods using a guide camera, or methods using mount modeling/purely software guiding. We say someone took 20 minutes unguided, but is that more or less accurate than 20 minutes guided (on the same mount, even)?

Oops, now I'm forking this thread!

Paul


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6310276 - 01/13/14 01:19 PM

BTW, we all get off-topic to some extent (even this brief discussion of thread etiquette is off-topic), but its a question of why something is going off topic (i.e., a real topic or subtopic of interested spawned by the original topic, trying to steer something back on topic like here, or simply trolling) and at what point it makes more sense to start a new topic. The best example is when someone joins a thread and changes the title. That's pretty clear cut.

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Pinbout
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Re: 10Micron@NEAF new [Re: EFT]
      #6310281 - 01/13/14 01:21 PM

Ed are you going to neaf? bringing any mounts?



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EFT
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Re: 10Micron@NEAF new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6310304 - 01/13/14 01:32 PM

Quote:

Ed are you going to neaf? bringing any mounts?






Yes. We should at least have a GM1000HPS, GM2000HPS and the new binomount there from 10Micron.


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Starhawk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6310319 - 01/13/14 01:39 PM

I would second this- one of the biggest strengths I have seen with the 10Micron GM1000HPS I was using was beig able to do a pointing model when in the field with no camera. And the pointing was fast enough for it to not take long. It was really neat how by the end of a large pointing group, stars were dropping into the reticle's basket when slewing from across the sky.

GIR, stop writing here and get out and get some experience. The 10Micron controller really has a lot going for it.

-Rich

Quote:

Tonk,

Couldn't agree more. It works WITHOUT a computer and it doesn't need any software at all. The other solutions out there are dud without a PC.

Gir,

I developed Model Maker because I saw a personal need for it. People like Tonk here do fine without it as did I for the first couple of months.

All my software does is automate a process that is available as manual IN THE FIRMWARE. The tracks model assisted with only power available. No other mount does that as far as I know.

As for other parties' software packages that are delivered with the mount... I started software development in the early 70's and have worked extensively in hat line of work. Let me just say that I am not always impressed by the packages floating around out there, neither in therms of robustness nor stability.

/per




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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6310627 - 01/13/14 04:36 PM

Quote:

I'd be interested in the "plate solving vs. mount modeling methods and software" thread, but would be even more interested if it also including guiding versus "unguided." I mean, which is more accurate (and we can use the same mount(s) as the base), methods using a guide camera, or methods using mount modeling/purely software guiding. We say someone took 20 minutes unguided, but is that more or less accurate than 20 minutes guided (on the same mount, even)?

Oops, now I'm forking this thread!

Paul




Paul,

Plate solving or centering with an eyepiece or camera makes no difference at all, except for the fact that a plate solve is accurate to parts of arc-second and manual centering is not. But apart from that it is exactly the same as far as the mount is concerned. We should, in order to get the full picture, make note of how different modeling software handles the model construction.

Autoslew and TPoint collect measurements and calculates the model based on all of them at the same time. It is a one-time calculation that takes place prior to sending the model to the software responsible for handling the mount (TPoint is pointing only, but there is a counterpart for tracking, or will be, Autoslew handles the tracking and the pointing).

10Micron works differently. A model requires three points, called "base points" in order to initiate complex model calculations. So, when the scope has been synced three times it has a complex alignment. Any sync you do after that will refine the model with the additional information. You can do this point by point until you are happy with the calculated expected RMS error, all in an iterative way.

The above works when the mount is set to "Syncs refine model", but there is also a setting for "Syncs align model". The latter will simply align an existing model to the location you are syncing, in a sense moving it to the proper place. This feature can be used, for instance, if you take your scope off the mount, clean the lenses and then put it back. Flexure should be about the same but it may end up pointing slightly different due to the dovetail or something.

Models can be stored in the mount database (again in-mount, no PC necessary) and recalled at will. This is good if you decide on running a new model and want to be able to revert to the old one.

Unguided or guided, that was the question. If you guide, the model is of use only to "stabilize" the tracking of the mount and get rid of most of the periodic error (assuming 10Micron). If you do not guide, the model is the only way you can achieve your goal (tracking an object reliably and accurately). The mount can be told to track in Ra only, a feature that can be useful if you guide.

Personally, I have very little experience with guiding a 10Micron mount. I have tried it and found that it indeed does work. For me it has always been the pleasure of not having to guide that has thrilled me. Just a week or so ago I measured my GM2000HPS tracking by means of the main imager and PHD with guide outputs turned off. The mount in question has a polar alignment error of 52 arc-minutes (and some) due to mis-drilled holes in my pier-top plate; I simply cannot adjust Az any further (new holes coming up in a month or so).

The PHD guide graph showed much the same picture as a well-behaved guided mount. RMS error was 0.14 arc-seconds, a figure that would most likely improve some with a better polar alignment. The PHD oscillation index was 0.03. Mount model had, if I remember correctly, 43 points evenly spread at Alt > 30į.

So, the answer to the base question above is that the mount performs on par with guided operation on its own. At least a good deal better than the seeing. Could it be even better? Yes, I believe it could - with guiding - but would it be worth it? Not in my book.

The topic is interesting. I do not throw away subs and I don't have any pointing error to speak of. My images are crisp with round stars and I do not guide my two 10Micron mounts. My maximum achievement in a test was a one-hour exposure of M106 taken through my SW 190MN at 1m FL. I have presented it before; burned through stars and all, but round. An uneducated guess is that if it tracks this good for an hour, it should track equally well for an hour and a half, or two.

All the best,

Per

M106, single one-hour sub, GM2000HPS from my calcony pier:



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psandelle
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6310649 - 01/13/14 04:45 PM

Per - thanks for the detailed insight. If they're pretty much the same, guided vs. unguided (software predictive guiding), then I figure unguided is more fun with less possible physical problems (cables, power, CCD's, user dropping the CCD on the ground because they have a sandwich in one hand while trying to set up, etc.).

The 10Micron mounts sound great, plus, for those who really want to minimize their gear (especially lugging big batteries), if they're using a DSLR, they can go without a PC and still get phenomenal unguided tracking and images. That's pretty dang cool!

Paul


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6311549 - 01/14/14 01:23 AM

No worries, Paul!

/per


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6311572 - 01/14/14 01:52 AM

Quote:


Autoslew and TPoint collect measurements and calculates the model based on all of them at the same time. It is a one-time calculation that takes place prior to sending the model to the software responsible for handling the mount (TPoint is pointing only, but there is a counterpart for tracking, or will be, Autoslew handles the tracking and the pointing).

10Micron works differently. A model requires three points, called "base points" in order to initiate complex model calculations. So, when the scope has been synced three times it has a complex alignment. Any sync you do after that will refine the model with the additional information. You can do this point by point until you are happy with the calculated expected RMS error, all in an iterative way.






A short clarification concerning the Autoslew softwareÖ

As Per said the model calculation is done only once before the mount starts using the (pointing and tracking ) model. However, in Autoslew you can refine the model by adding points (plate solves) to the model any time and let the software perform the calculation again. In TPoint the model is ďlockedĒ after the calculations. So you canít add points to that model but have to start over and make a new model if wanting to refine it.


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orlyandico
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6311626 - 01/14/14 04:46 AM

Definitely running unguided is much more fun than guided, iff the results are the same.

However: I think guided will outperform unguided at small pixel scales and long exposures on a mount with no encoders. If you look at SB's ProTrack page (https://www.bisque.com/help/paramountme/what_is_protrack.htm), they show some images at modest pixel scales (1.56"/pixel).

I think if you're down in the weeds at say 0.4"/pixel then properly-working OAG will outperform unguided with mount modeling. It definitely would on an encoder-less mount. On a mount with encoders? I don't know, but I would guess yes.

Per keeps mentioning his 1 hour long unguided but that's at 1m focal length. I'm thinking his pixel scale is > 1"/pixel, probably closer to 1.5"/pixel.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6311701 - 01/14/14 06:51 AM

Gir,

Good clarification! Thanks!

Orly,

Yes, I keep mentioning it Running long sub tests is not my usual nighttime activity so available data is sparse. Image scale, if I remember correctly, is 1.24"/px (190MN, FL1000, M26C camera)

/per


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psandelle
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6311873 - 01/14/14 09:38 AM

orly - that makes sense. I'm wide-field at the moment, so not a big deal for me, but when I decide to go galaxy hunting, I'll keep that in mind. Fortunately, any of the mounts that do unguided so well, probably do guided as well, too. So, it's all good.

Still, one day someone will do a 60 minute exposure at < 0.5"/pixel with guided and unguided and have the official word. If I had an observatory, I'd give it a go.

Paul


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korborh
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6311887 - 01/14/14 09:48 AM

Good points Orly. I expect closed loop guiding with OAG to be significantly better than any open loop unguided model based tracking, especially with long FL Reflectors.
Per, what is the FWHM of the stars in arcsec in your unguided exposure? Without this number it is hard to say what you are trading off by doing unguided. And I am sure you can do better guided.
Unguided seems very useful for short exposures, photometry, supernova hunting etc. type of work. But for serious high-res long exp imaging, a real star based feedback from OAG closed loop guiding is the way to go.


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Hilmi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: korborh]
      #6312094 - 01/14/14 11:24 AM

Quote:

Good points Orly. I expect closed loop guiding with OAG to be significantly better than any open loop unguided model based tracking, especially with long FL Reflectors.
Per, what is the FWHM of the stars in arcsec in your unguided exposure? Without this number it is hard to say what you are trading off by doing unguided. And I am sure you can do better guided.
Unguided seems very useful for short exposures, photometry, supernova hunting etc. type of work. But for serious high-res long exp imaging, a real star based feedback from OAG closed loop guiding is the way to go.




Or maybe encoders and an AO unit are the way to go.


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psandelle
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6312164 - 01/14/14 11:59 AM

Hilmi - stop! Stop! Too many options! My. Brain. Will. Explode!

Okay, someone please test all of these options for me, right away, please.... And with as many different high-end mounts as possible.

Paul


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Hilmi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6312198 - 01/14/14 12:16 PM

Sure send me the money for expenses and I'll do all the testing you need

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psandelle
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6312217 - 01/14/14 12:24 PM

Hahahahaah! You're killin' me!

Still, one day someone's going to do the tests, and we'll get a more accurate idea of where the extreme points are in the data...FL beyond this, subs beyond that, etc. That'll make choosing a mount a little less guesswork.

Paul


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6312225 - 01/14/14 12:27 PM

Quote:

Definitely running unguided is much more fun than guided, iff the results are the same.

However: I think guided will outperform unguided at small pixel scales and long exposures on a mount with no encoders. If you look at SB's ProTrack page (https://www.bisque.com/help/paramountme/what_is_protrack.htm), they show some images at modest pixel scales (1.56"/pixel).

I think if you're down in the weeds at say 0.4"/pixel then properly-working OAG will outperform unguided with mount modeling. It definitely would on an encoder-less mount. On a mount with encoders? I don't know, but I would guess yes.

Per keeps mentioning his 1 hour long unguided but that's at 1m focal length. I'm thinking his pixel scale is > 1"/pixel, probably closer to 1.5"/pixel.




I can't really imagine that any mount, regardless of how good the construction, how high resolution the encoders, how precise the model, will not at some point benefit from the use of a guider or AO unit. It all depends on the target, pixel scale, etc. and will sooner or later be impacted negatively by atmospheric conditions, unmodeled flexture, etc. Once you get to this point, then some kind of additional help will be necessary, although it may very minor in the scheme of things. But this is why every premium mount out there, regardless of how well it can do unguided imaging, can also be guided. I really can't imaging someone selling a premium imaging mount that can never be guided or integrated with an OA unit. These things simply are not magic. Of course, once we call all set up our own remote telescopes on the moon, then the game will change a bit.


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psandelle
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6312240 - 01/14/14 12:36 PM

Ed - when I buy a mount from you for my moon-based remote telescope, will you being doing onsite setup?

Paul


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6312260 - 01/14/14 12:48 PM

Quote:

Hahahahaah! You're killin' me!

Still, one day someone's going to do the tests, and we'll get a more accurate idea of where the extreme points are in the data...FL beyond this, subs beyond that, etc. That'll make choosing a mount a little less guesswork.

Paul




There's a few problems with getting the testing information that we all want. The first is that when you own the equipment, the last thing you want to be doing with it is a running a bunch of tests for other people to see. You want to be out there making observations and getting to the end-product images. You don't exactly spend all this money as a community service after all.

The second is that, if the manufacturers, dealers or anyone connected to the product does the test, no one believes the results.

Finally, independent testing from magazines is simply very limited and even those results are often questions based the publications accepting advertising dollars.

Kind of a Catch 22 until you find someone who is will to spend a bunch of time just producing a load of data for other people.


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6312263 - 01/14/14 12:50 PM

Quote:

Ed - when I buy a mount from you for my moon-based remote telescope, will you being doing onsite setup?

Paul




Love to, but the travel and expenses bill might add a bit to the cost.


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Pinbout
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6312370 - 01/14/14 01:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Ed - when I buy a mount from you for my moon-based remote telescope, will you being doing onsite setup?

Paul




Love to, but the travel and expenses bill might add a bit to the cost.




how long is the drive to LA from phoenix?


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GIR
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6312529 - 01/14/14 03:18 PM

I thought this was a thread about 10Micron?

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Pinbout
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6312547 - 01/14/14 03:21 PM

Quote:

I thought this was a thread about 10Micron?




I would love a 10micron mount

did you hear it?

neither did I, its so quiet.


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frolinmod
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: korborh]
      #6312665 - 01/14/14 04:08 PM

Quote:

Unguided seems very useful for short exposures, photometry, supernova hunting etc. type of work.



Exactly. That's what robotic mounts are all about. If you're doing patrol work, you're hitting so many targets each night that you don't have night time to waste on letting a guider settle in before each exposure. The ability to do five minutes or so unguided is a godsend there.


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6312677 - 01/14/14 04:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Ed - when I buy a mount from you for my moon-based remote telescope, will you being doing onsite setup?

Paul




Love to, but the travel and expenses bill might add a bit to the cost.




how long is the drive to LA from phoenix?




Five to six hours.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6313569 - 01/15/14 01:41 AM

My one-hour came out at about FWHM 3". It is not a reliable measurement as the stars are severely burned, though. The -3dB point (not exactly astro speak, but...) of a burned star is really way out there towards the edge of it.

When I do not burn stars (that would be a hobby) and instead expose properly I get FWHM values on par with the seeing, regardless of exposure time, but using only fast scopes means I do not do much more than half-hour subs regardless of targets. Usually it is 20 minutes of narrow-band and that's about as long as I need.

The idea of an AO unit in unison with an encoder mount that can track "forever" is an attractive one. I have yet to try it. One more thing to buy - as if I didn't have enough stuff in the closet already.

As for time to test, I can say that I enjoy testing very much, but I still prioritize imaging. The weather in Sweden isn't always top notch and this fall and start of the winter has been impressively unproductive. I set my hopes to my remote setup in Provence, but the weather has been *BLEEP* there too the past couple of weeks.

/per


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6313579 - 01/15/14 01:52 AM

Here's an unguided M33 just to keep the thread pretty.

M33, LRGB, GM2000HPS, Tak FSQ-106EDX III, SBIG ST-8300M, Baader filters, from the balcony 14 km from downtown Stockholm (big forest between me and Stockholm helps, but still).

/per



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dawziecat
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6313778 - 01/15/14 07:18 AM

That's a very pretty M33.
I had not thought it a very suitable target for the FSQ/ST-8300M, both of which I use.
I will reconsider.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6313811 - 01/15/14 07:52 AM

Thanks. It is all about image scale, isn't it? How does a galaxy of that size look with half an arcsecond per pixel? Not so pretty

/per


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6313836 - 01/15/14 08:16 AM

Quote:

Here's an unguided M33 just to keep the thread pretty.




Is this a 60 minutes exposure just like the other one you posted a few days ago?

Guylain


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6314065 - 01/15/14 10:27 AM

Quote:

Thanks. It is all about image scale, isn't it? How does a galaxy of that size look with half an arcsecond per pixel? Not so pretty

/per




What is the pixel scale of that image?


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: guyroch]
      #6314081 - 01/15/14 10:37 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Here's an unguided M33 just to keep the thread pretty.




Is this a 60 minutes exposure just like the other one you posted a few days ago?

Guylain




We will have to see what Per has to say, but I'm sure that it is not a 60 minute, single sub image. The problem with very long subs, guided or unguided, is that they get blown out with very bright objects and stars. Longer exposures may be useful with certain filters and very dim objects, but in most cases very long single exposures are more academic than useful. Its that 10 to 30 minute zone that most people really need and where an unguided mount really needs to do well for normal imaging. The people that I recall asking for the ability to go much longer than 20 to 30 minutes were not doing normal imaging but instead more scientific stuff like spectroscopy if I remember correctly.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6314317 - 01/15/14 12:45 PM

That is 2.1"/px with 3-, 5- and 10-minute exposures. Emphasis on 5-minute ones.

When you move much below the seeing the images are not that retty. Bloaty stars. If you go much above you will get blocky stars. I find the 1-2"/px range most pleasing for the eye.

/per


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6314360 - 01/15/14 01:01 PM

This one was shot using the GM1000HPS, the Tak and the QSI-683. Filters from Astrodon. All subs are 10 minutes in length, BIAS and flats. Again from the balcony, and as always unguided.

The balcony has a disadvantage in the terrain mask which extends to 45 degrees to the south. I tend to do only near-zenith objects from there and that works fine. The mounts have no problems with meridian flips and I do not let them run through the meridian at all. Capture is with ACP/MaximDL/FocusMax.


All the best,

Per



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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6314365 - 01/15/14 01:06 PM

Crop, full res but JPG... Why can I not post images larger than 200KB when they are hosted on my own servers? Anyone know?

/per



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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6314383 - 01/15/14 01:14 PM

Quote:

Crop, full res but JPG... Why can I not post images larger than 200KB when they are hosted on my own servers? Anyone know?

/per






Per,

There is a strict file size limit. The best thing to do is post your "thumbnail" of the image and turn that into a link to your full-resolution image off-site.


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R Botero
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6314493 - 01/15/14 01:56 PM

Compelling examples Per!
Roberto


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Pinbout
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6314781 - 01/15/14 03:52 PM

Quote:

Why can I not post images larger than 200KB when they are hosted on my own servers? Anyone know?





its an old spec. but they now let you post larger than 800x800. you have to compress the *&(& out of the file.

but for some reason its making it the thumbnail and not the full size.

its suppose to be considerate to those in other countries with much slower download connection[like cleveland]. ie an old spec.




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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6314802 - 01/15/14 04:00 PM

I am going to ask my wife to stop by and buy lotto tickets. Or I need to mortgage my house. 10micron mounts are looking amazing! I think I am moving it to the top of my dream mount list.

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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6315839 - 01/16/14 03:48 AM

Quote:

How does a galaxy of that size look with half an arcsecond per pixel? Not so pretty




When the mount is good and seeing is good and focus is good and guiding is good - for me I want the highest resolution possible. There is a recurring theme in CN for comparing optical/mount/guiding performance based on a "pretty" picture - when it is much more informative to use quantitative performance metrics such as fwhm. You can always show a pretty picture with whatever processing in addition - but the most information would come from raw linear sub-exposures at high res - and 0.5" per pixel is not small at all for a high end mount.

Although people will say "I am at the limit of my seeing" - it doesn't really matter in terms of presenting performance results. All you can conclude is that the mount achieved 3" fwhm - and you have no idea what it is capable of achieving. If it achieves 1" fwhm in a 20m exposure - that's great and good info - but if it is 3" and you don't know if it is due to seeing, guiding - whatever - you just don't have good info.

I am not clear on when I will get a high end mount but I am certainly considering the options, and I'm interested to hear comparisons of software and usability. But I also want to see high res unprocessed sub-exposures, along with fwhm's. And the fwhm's are most accurately measured, and the star sizes and shapes visually assessed, with very small pixels, in arc-seconds.

For me, M33 looks nice in big wide field shots - but high res close ups of structures within the galaxy can look amazing - not just for what they are - but for being captured in detail, in the raw data, with good equipment and technique.

Frank


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6316088 - 01/16/14 09:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

How does a galaxy of that size look with half an arcsecond per pixel? Not so pretty




When the mount is good and seeing is good and focus is good and guiding is good - for me I want the highest resolution possible. There is a recurring theme in CN for comparing optical/mount/guiding performance based on a "pretty" picture - when it is much more informative to use quantitative performance metrics such as fwhm. You can always show a pretty picture with whatever processing in addition - but the most information would come from raw linear sub-exposures at high res - and 0.5" per pixel is not small at all for a high end mount.

Although people will say "I am at the limit of my seeing" - it doesn't really matter in terms of presenting performance results. All you can conclude is that the mount achieved 3" fwhm - and you have no idea what it is capable of achieving. If it achieves 1" fwhm in a 20m exposure - that's great and good info - but if it is 3" and you don't know if it is due to seeing, guiding - whatever - you just don't have good info.

I am not clear on when I will get a high end mount but I am certainly considering the options, and I'm interested to hear comparisons of software and usability. But I also want to see high res unprocessed sub-exposures, along with fwhm's. And the fwhm's are most accurately measured, and the star sizes and shapes visually assessed, with very small pixels, in arc-seconds.

For me, M33 looks nice in big wide field shots - but high res close ups of structures within the galaxy can look amazing - not just for what they are - but for being captured in detail, in the raw data, with good equipment and technique.

Frank




I'm sure that this is a great way to evaluate performance and you can demand this kind of data, but are you willing to pay someone for their time and time on their equipment to do this? Probably not (but you would if you were renting a scope to do this yourself). Are you willing to accept results given to you by the manufacturer? Probably not (results directly from manufacturers or people closely associated with them are almost always viewed with a jaundiced eye around here and that's when people are being kind). It's all fine and dandy to say that you want this information, but why should someone who wants to spend their time taking "pretty pictures," instead spend their time conducting and academic experiment? Most people are interested in the results they want, not proof of how they got there or proof that they have the best performing mount around. People who buy this type of equipment do so because they are convinced of its excellent performance. They do not buy this type of equipment so that they can convince other's of its excellent performance (except when they feel the need to justify their purchase to others).

You may think that high resolution images of part of M33 are great, but if no one else is interested in that, then you will have to provide examples for yourself and if the only way you will be convinced of performance is to have those examples, then you may never buy a mount. If you can only find example of what you want from one scope manufacturer (because someone felt the need to justify their purchase or show the world just how good their mount is), then I guess you will be limited to just that brand and close yourself off to other, potentially better, brands.

It just doesn't make sense to demand results that the average person has no interest in or time for in order to make a decision of your own. I've seen you make this demand many times and you get very few, if any, results that satisfy you. If very few people are interested in these type of results then what is the incentive for even the manufacturer to provide these results (not that anyone would believe them anyways)?


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6316313 - 01/16/14 11:40 AM

I'm not demanding anything. I'm responding to the claim that a) high res images of galaxies are not pretty (I disagree) and b) processed images convey mount performance (I disagree). If someone wants to convey performance of a system - I am not asking for more work - I am asking for *less* work - by simply showing a raw sub-exposure rather than something processed. I don't think I'm unusual in requesting this - because people have been doing it for years.

I am involved in free autoguiding software, so I need to convey that it is working well - and I do this with many images on the MetaGuide site. Show a processed image, state the fwhm in arc-seconds, and show a close up of a known region in a sub-exposure with a linear stretch.

For some reason people are focused on processed final images to convey performance, and the key quantitative information compared and plotted is - periodic error. I think that performance should be conveyed by quantitative results from the sub-exposures since everyone ultimately relies on raw sub-exposures to build an image.

There are many ways an image can have impact, and resolution is one of them - both in revealing structures within the objects, and in revealing otherwise blurred background details such as small galaxies. If you aren't interested in resolution, then a small, fast refractor on a mid-range mount guided by a guidescope will do very well.

I'm puzzled that you think people don't regard detail and resolution as important, or that no one is interested in structures within M33, such as the NGC objects it contains. Resolution is a prime reason to get a high end mount in the first place - and the results they yield would then allow performance-based comparison.

Of course if someone doesn't want to convey mount performance that is perfectly fine. But if they do want to - I'm just saying I prefer to see more raw information and at high-res.

Frank


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6316515 - 01/16/14 01:21 PM

Quote:

I'm not demanding anything. I'm responding to the claim that a) high res images of galaxies are not pretty (I disagree) and b) processed images convey mount performance (I disagree). If someone wants to convey performance of a system - I am not asking for more work - I am asking for *less* work - by simply showing a raw sub-exposure rather than something processed. I don't think I'm unusual in requesting this - because people have been doing it for years.

I am involved in free autoguiding software, so I need to convey that it is working well - and I do this with many images on the MetaGuide site. Show a processed image, state the fwhm in arc-seconds, and show a close up of a known region in a sub-exposure with a linear stretch.

For some reason people are focused on processed final images to convey performance, and the key quantitative information compared and plotted is - periodic error. I think that performance should be conveyed by quantitative results from the sub-exposures since everyone ultimately relies on raw sub-exposures to build an image.

There are many ways an image can have impact, and resolution is one of them - both in revealing structures within the objects, and in revealing otherwise blurred background details such as small galaxies. If you aren't interested in resolution, then a small, fast refractor on a mid-range mount guided by a guidescope will do very well.

I'm puzzled that you think people don't regard detail and resolution as important, or that no one is interested in structures within M33, such as the NGC objects it contains. Resolution is a prime reason to get a high end mount in the first place - and the results they yield would then allow performance-based comparison.

Of course if someone doesn't want to convey mount performance that is perfectly fine. But if they do want to - I'm just saying I prefer to see more raw information and at high-res.

Frank




But you are demanding this so that you can make your decisions either on purchasing a premium mount or on your software. You continue to ask people here and elsewhere for information that they don't supply or you are not satisfied with. This either means that people don't have the information to provide you, they don't want to provide it, or that there is no way to satisfy your need. If it was so easy to provide this information, then its seems to me that you would have tons of it by now. It would appear that the images on your website are only those that you have taken in order to support the operation of your software. Again, what is the incentive for anyone else to provide you with information from their mount using different software, particularly when you have a conflict of interest on this yourself. Should someone post an image so that you can say your software would produce something better? In addition, you fall into the same problem that other manufacturers and people associated with them. That is, anything you present in regards to results will be looked at as being biased.

The average imager is focused on final images to convey performance because it is only the final images that matter to them. Why should they focus on anything else? So that they can feel bad that there may be a "better" mount out there that will give them the exact same final images?

It is not just sub-exposures of a wide-field object that you want. It is high resolution sub-exposures of parts of the larger object that people tend to image as a whole. You want people to provide close-ups of a known region in a sub-exposure with a linear stretch. Again, this is more than just posting a sub-exposure on the forum (in low resolution by necessity) for you to look at. There is simply no incentive for the average imager to capture or provide this information. If you want this information, then you have to go to the manufacturer and convince them to provide it, just like on your site.

People certainly do regard detail and resolution as important. There is no question of that since it makes for good final images. But you want something that people are either unwilling or unable to supply as evidenced by the continued lack of response to the demand. You want people unassociated with the manufacturers to provide information that is just as likely (if not more likely) to get pounded on as insufficient or an example of just how bad their expensive equipment is as it is to get praised for quality. Why should anyone open themselves up to that to serve your needs when they are completely satisfied with their results and not in doubt of the quality of their equipment?

To the average person, the best indication of mount performance is the final result. While this may not be the best indication or the most scientific measure, it really is what matters to most people. That does in fact mean that some people can satisfy their imaging goal by simply using a small refractor on a low-end mount. If you provide someone fwhm information on two different mounts and then show them images taken from those mounts that essentially provides the same result when printed out in 8x10 or looked at on a computer screen, why should they really care, or more important, why should they feel the need to provide this information?

The other problem that is completely ignored here, is that the mount is only a part of the complete imaging system and imaging process. The results provided from two different people, using two different mounts, scopes, cameras, etc., in two different locations, at two different times and shooting two different targets, may well be meaningless in the scheme of things. The information that you really need in order to draw the conclusions you want would have to be obtained from one person, using different mounts with everything else the same, at the same location and preferably the same time. That's simply not (and probably never) going to happen (unless one of the big publications decides to do it and then they will be questioned as being bias based on their advertising revenues).

For what you want you are really the only person that can provide it (or at least get near to providing it). You need to borrow, rent or buy and mount and test it out and decide whether you like it or not. If not, then you move on to the next one. Before that, you will most likely have to rely on the information that the manufacturers provide and their level of honesty and integrity. Interestingly, just looking around at a few premium mount manufacturer's websites, I do not see them providing fwhm information on the mounts they make. This suggests that they do not consider this information worth providing (or if you want to be cynical, it is information that makes them all look bad in some way).

I would probably be happy to personally provide this type of data for the mounts I deal with or work on if I felt it were meaningful and not somehow misleading (i.e., convincing people to buy something based on meaningless numbers only). I would do so mostly out of curiosity and the fact that I am not involved in imaging otherwise so it wouldn't take me away from producing other images. But I am not really an imager myself so even I doubt my own results, I don't have the time to work all day and play all night, I don't really have the proper imaging equipment beyond the mount, and scopes, and I am connected to the manufacturers, so that any data I would provide would be considered suspect by many people (and thus a waste of my time).

I don't see any good way around getting you what you want unless someone volunteers to take the time to produce it for you.


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6316539 - 01/16/14 01:35 PM

Ed, if someone has the final image, they also have the individual RAW sub-exposures. How exactly is that harder to post than the final image? It easier - no processing, no nothing just the RAW sub.
You mention about the different variables that can make comparison and root-causing fwhm degradation difficult. Well, using RAW unprocessed images one is reducing some of these variables. The simple fact is without "measuring" the result in RAW images one cannot really quantify the quality of the data. And people buy high-end mount to improve the quality of the data. Mount manufacturers do show FWHM. Roland had posted a screenshot of the RAW sub-exposure and FWHM from his image with a Mach1 from the first batch to showcase the quality of the result.


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: korborh]
      #6316629 - 01/16/14 02:21 PM

Quote:

Ed, if someone has the final image, they also have the individual RAW sub-exposures. How exactly is that harder to post than the final image? It easier - no processing, no nothing just the RAW sub.
You mention about the different variables that can make comparison and root-causing fwhm degradation difficult. Well, using RAW unprocessed images one is reducing some of these variables. The simple fact is without "measuring" the result in RAW images one cannot really quantify the quality of the data. And people buy high-end mount to improve the quality of the data. Mount manufacturers do show FWHM. Roland had posted a screenshot of the RAW sub-exposure and FWHM from his image with a Mach1 from the first batch to showcase the quality of the result.




I agree that, on its face, it seems that it should be that easy to get this information (at least in regards to any image in general), but for some reason that doesn't happen. So what is the reason? I think that it may in large part be related to the poor reception that many people get when they provide anything other than a good final image. In addition, the request is more specific. He wants a high resolution image of a sub-region of something like M33 that many people images as a whole.

Certainly using the raw images reduces some of the variables and simplifies the data by removing the effects of processing, but it does not eliminate them and the failure to consider the imaging system and conditions as a whole is one of the common mistakes that people make. It bothers me every time someone takes a single number (PE being the most common) and says that decisions on different mounts can be reduced down to that simple number.

A lot of people actually buy high end mounts to make the process of collecting data more easy. Good quality data can be captured in many different ways (the current argument between guided and unguided imaging on premium mounts is an example), but some equipment, particularly mounts, may make the capture of that quality date easier or more while not necessarily providing any better data. Other examples are cameras with less noise, scopes with faster optics. These don't necessarily provide better data, they provide the same data faster and easier because your exposures can be shorter and you might eliminate the need for darks or flats. I would say that the reality is that the quality of data is more dependent on the scope and camera used whereas the ease of collecting that data is more dependent on the mount because it may do things like eliminate the need for guiding, allow for less aggressive guiding, allow for longer exposures in general, etc.

Like I said, in at least a quick look around, I could not find any references to FWHM on some of the premium mount manufacturers websites that I checked. That doesn't mean it isn't out there, it's just that it doesn't appear to be a prominent selling point being used by them. If it is such a good measure of mount quality, then why is it not being pushed as such?


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: korborh]
      #6316642 - 01/16/14 02:27 PM

I don't speak for Ed, but I think what he's trying to convey is in order to get the most reliable data, variables have to be eliminated. In order to do that, you need to use one scope, one camera/filter combination, one imaging site and the most difficult, consistent atmospheric conditions...and, of course, the same person pulling the trigger. Once all of this is established, then you have to get the mount(s) for the comparison. And let's not forget that the tester can't go into the program with preconceived notions.

Because these variables can have a profound influence on the results, getting a RAW file from me in SE Louisiana is not going to have the same result as Jim Thommes in SoCal (Jim's would be better because he's way more talented than I am ).

In the end, the result would have to have an asterisk next to them explaining what may have caused the differences. I'm one of those guys that is concerned whether or not the picture I've taken is good enough to be placed in a frame and given to a family member or a friend and not be embarrassed. Blowing up an image to 500% to look at a star in the upper right hand corner that isn't perfectly round is not what I do. Maybe when I retire and have more time to mess with the end result, I will get a bit more critical of what I'm trying to do, but for now, my suburban backyard obs with my MI250 will do just fine.

David


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6316689 - 01/16/14 02:45 PM

Umm... I just realized you are a vendor of the subject mount - which I did not know. I'm not talking about vendors or what they should do at all - and again - I am not demanding anything. I replied to someone who has the mount who was making some effort to provide images to demonstrate its performance, who also made statements with which I disagree.

I expect very little from vendors in terms of relevant information - but when they provide it I make note of it. Korborh has provided an example - and it scores points.

My interest is as a user of mounts striving for good guiding results, and as a potential buyer of a high end mount in the future. There are many imagers who get great results in an image and are happy to show the raw information and the fwhm's achieved. I'm very puzzled that you appear to be unfamiliar with this because I consider it a well known practice that people are proud to do when they invest a lot and have good results to show for it. I encourage others to judge mounts by quantitative performance metrics when available - and when users want to convey how well their mount performs - quantitative measures from raw images have benefits.

The OP asked about this particular mount, and in the same spirit I am asking for what I consider important ways to assess performance. If you as a vendor disagree with my criteria or my imaging aesthetics - that is perfectly ok with me.

Frank


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6316748 - 01/16/14 03:06 PM

Quote:

In the end, the result would have to have an asterisk next to them explaining what may have caused the differences.




When someone processes an image in arbitrary ways, and/or shows it with pixels that are so large they don't tell anything about the guiding performance, you need a huge, gigantic, towering asterisk next to the image. This isn't to say that doing that is bad to do - it's to say it obfuscates the contribution of the mount quality to the image.

Although seeing and other factors will affect fwhm - the standard mantra for someone getting into astrophotography is - get a good mount. This isn't just for usability - it's for *realized performance*. And realized performance shows in the sub-exposures. "You need a good mount."

The other issues of reliability and robustness - etc. - *also* don't show in an image. Showing a nice picture - especially a processed one - says nothing about those other metrics. They are nonetheless important and there are ways to describe them - but a picture doesn't really add much without details of the whole process, the setup, the software, etc.

One telling aspect of all this is when someone gets a good mount and shows a picture - people say things like, "wow - those stars are round" or "wow that's great guiding." Clearly those things are considered important, and are reasons high end mounts are coveted. Well - those things can be quantified in raw exposures so you know exactly how good they are.

It takes a few seconds to measure the fwhm, and whether or not people want to share it - I sure encourage people to measure theirs - if they are striving for best performance from their equipment at any price point. If they just want to image casually and have fun - that's fine, too.

Frank


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6316821 - 01/16/14 03:50 PM

Quote:

Umm... I just realized you are a vendor of the subject mount - which I did not know. I'm not talking about vendors or what they should do at all - and again - I am not demanding anything. I replied to someone who has the mount who was making some effort to provide images to demonstrate its performance, who also made statements with which I disagree.

I expect very little from vendors in terms of relevant information - but when they provide it I make note of it. Korborh has provided an example - and it scores points.

My interest is as a user of mounts striving for good guiding results, and as a potential buyer of a high end mount in the future. There are many imagers who get great results in an image and are happy to show the raw information and the fwhm's achieved. I'm very puzzled that you appear to be unfamiliar with this because I consider it a well known practice that people are proud to do when they invest a lot and have good results to show for it. I encourage others to judge mounts by quantitative performance metrics when available - and when users want to convey how well their mount performs - quantitative measures from raw images have benefits.

The OP asked about this particular mount, and in the same spirit I am asking for what I consider important ways to assess performance. If you as a vendor disagree with my criteria or my imaging aesthetics - that is perfectly ok with me.

Frank




It's unfortunate that people don't (or can't) expect or trust relevant information from vendors since they have more access to the information than others. But it is understandably difficult to trust that source.

I do see some people occasionally provide FWHM data, but not that often. When it comes down to it, I would say that it is clear that many people don't really understand what it is in the first place (I'm certainly no expert). In regards to the specific mounts that are the subject of this thread, one thing you have to keep in mind is that there are very few owners here in the US and thus very few on CloudyNights to even answer the call at this point. There are certainly more extensive threads on European forms regarding these mounts and many more users overseas who might have the desired information, but there are obvious problems in getting that. In the mean time, with the small number of users of these mounts currently on CN, it is asking quite a bit for them to essentially sell the mounts. I appreciate everything these owners contribute here, but there is certainly no incentive for them to provide more (and there is frequently a disincentive to do so). The only people that really want to promote any particular mount are the people that make or sell them. The people that have already bought them are already convinced and don't necessarily feel the need to justify their purchase to others (or sell the products without a commission).

It is not that I disagree with your criteria, I just disagree with it as a single measure of the quality of a mount or that it can even be reproduced consistently. FWHM is but one factor that might (or maybe should) be considered in assessing the quality of a mount. It must be considered with other things and to many people it may not even be one of the most important criteria.

For example, if, as a dealer, I want to convince you to purchase a particular mount and there is specific criteria you need in order to make that decision, then it is up to me to decide whether I want to make the sale and if providing that information is worth making the sale, and then provide the information if I think it is. It is up to you to trust that I am providing it honestly. No one but me has the need to convince you of something and thus no one else is obligated to provide the information you want. The fact that this information is not available from, or being provided by the CN users of a particular mount, should not be viewed in any way as a reflection of the quality of the mount, but that is how it comes off (i.e., if no one will provide this information other the manufacturer, then there must be something wrong).

When someone posts a good image and takes the time to tell us how they got it and what equipment they used, the response does not need to be "show me the FWHM of the stars so that we all know it is a good as it can be." They have already provided what they feel, and many others agree, is the sufficient and pertinent information and they may not feel the need to give us more and they certainly are not obligated to.

We are not really in disagreement here, we are just coming at things from very different directions and for different purposes. With that said, we should let this thread get back on topic.

Ed.


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6316915 - 01/16/14 04:43 PM

Sure, fwhm is one of many metrics - but it's a dang good one that is used consistently in professional work and by advanced amateurs. It has the same value in professional work as it does for amateur - assuming that amateur wants to get sharp images in long exposures.

I think that asking for fwhm is no different from asking for PE - except that PE involves much more work to characterize, and has little bearing on guided performance. For some reason it is perfectly fine to ask for PE values and logs and so forth, while fwhm is taken by some as an affront. I think this is a bizarre and backwards situation, and if someone wants to show a result and feels good about it - it is helpful to the community to communicate all relevant metrics - exposure time, site condition, equipment - and raw fwhm in arc-seconds. If someone doesn't want to do that - it is perfectly fine if they choose not to - just as they can choose not to describe any aspect of what they did. But if their goal is to express how well their equipment performs, and a processed picture is intended to do that - they would achieve their goal with trivial extra effort to state their raw fwhm, and with minor extra effort, as was done in this thread, to show a cropped section at full-res, but in a raw sub-exposure. I do not demand this - I encourage it, so that "that's great guiding" and "that must be a great mount" can have more meaning.

I perfectly understand a vendor's dilemma when it comes to such performance metrics because they can be skewed by ads and so forth. But when it comes to users sharing information with each other on CN - raw performance metrics would add to the impact that a good image is intended to have.

Frank


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6316971 - 01/16/14 05:11 PM

If I own high-end mount like ASA or 10micron first thing what I would do after installing in my (not yet built) observatory is spend first good night testing in this way:

1. shoot 30 min unguided sub
2. shoot 30 min guided sub
3. shoot 30 min unguided sub
4. shoot 30 min guided sub
5. shoot 30 min unguided sub
6. shoot 30 min guided sub
(guided subs are using OAG)

Then I would compare RAW data (fwhm) from each sub and average from guided and unguided subs.
Then I'll repeat all that next night except first sub will be guided.

In my opinion that comparison will tell me if mount can be used for long unguided subs and ultimately if I would be better with high end mount without absolute encoders and more capacity.

Of course I don't demand anything, that is what I would do.


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Skunky
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orion69]
      #6317181 - 01/16/14 07:01 PM

Isn't Frank a vendor too? I don't think offering software free should determine whether you are a vendor or not.. I mean Frank is pretty partial to his own software, Metaguide... Is metaguide open source? If so then I see why Frank would not be considered a vendor.

I don't think Ed should be considered a vendor in this thread.. He's giving away "free" advise... Frank gives away "free" advise as well to steer users towards his "free" software... I don't see much of a difference... Or both are vendors because neither can give impartial advise..





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korborh
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Skunky]
      #6317198 - 01/16/14 07:11 PM

Quote:

I don't think offering software free should determine whether you are a vendor or not..



You are kidding, right? They have to sell something to be a vendor. Free ain't selling.


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orlyandico
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Skunky]
      #6317211 - 01/16/14 07:18 PM

So here's the other thing. How do you even measure fwhm.

I used to use CCD inspector.. until the trial ran out. Deep sky Stacker also provides fwhm (in pixels not arc seconds) but it doesn't agree with CCD inspector...

If you just screenshot the DSS UI after it's done cataloging and grading your images the fwhm is there.

For me more interesting than fwhm is the fwhm of ALL your subs. Because people buy premium mounts for reliability and consistency. Even a CGEM can manage a round sub every now and then... (I exaggerate)

Also, FWHM for short refractors will always be bloated. I think the main reason nobody takes Frank up is that very few people are imaging with long cats or RCs. And those who are, who are by necessity more advanced users, know what they have and can't be bothered to get on this thread.


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Skunky
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: korborh]
      #6317214 - 01/16/14 07:21 PM

Quote:

Free ain't selling.




Says who?

An idea is free and sold around the world all the time.. yes/no? Am i not trying to sell you on the idea? It's free... take it or leave it..

Frank sells the idea to users to use metaguide.. or he suggests.. isn't that the same thing?

I believe there are many synonyms for sell including advertise, hawk, peddle, hustle, pitch, plug, push, assure or convince..

Are they not trafficking in their specific area of interest?

Does Frank try to "convince" or sell users on the idea of using metaguide?

Does Ed try to "convince" or sell users on the idea of a mount purchase?

Getting satisfaction from giving away an item or idea.. would that not be considered selling?


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6317242 - 01/16/14 07:38 PM

Quote:

How do you even measure fwhm.




There are many tools for measuring fwhm and the numbers will vary somewhat, especially if the pixels are somewhat big on the scale of the star.

There will be some variability within an image and across subs - but it is unlikely to get a single sub that has both round and very small stars just by luck.

I'm just encouraging what I consider to be a fairly common practice for people doing high res work on good mounts. They aim for small fwhm and they will monitor it in their images all the time - and complain when the "seeing goes south" and will be happy when it is great. "My fwhm was 1.9" last night but now the jet stream is overhead and I am stuck with 2.5" That kind of thing.

People like high end mounts, and tout the priority of the mount for imaging performance - and that does have empirical basis - just like using OAG. They get better results and smaller stars, and the results stand out against the general variability of seeing.

I think many images are limited by focus quality - and that's another reason to track fwhm. Just to make sure the results aren't limited by something under your control and independent of the mount or the seeing.

But this is getting off topic... It's pretty simple - images tell you something about mount performance, and fwhm tells you even more.

Frank


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korborh
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Skunky]
      #6317265 - 01/16/14 07:47 PM

Quote:

Says who?




CN TOS


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Skunky
sage


Reged: 09/16/13

Re: 10Micron new [Re: korborh]
      #6317465 - 01/16/14 09:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Free ain't selling.




Says who?




CN TOS




lol. so the CN TOS says, and I quote "free ain't selling"

Would you mind directing me to the exact page and paragraph of that statement in the CN TOS?

Anyways, this is not on topic with the OP. Which is a violation of the TOS. (Thread hijacking is the act of trying to steer a web forum discussion thread off topic by discussing a subject entirely unrelated to the subject at hand. While this can be an intentional act of trolling, it is often accidental - caused by other participants in the discussion responding to a throwaway remark, taking the thread off at a tangent to the original subject matter. The results, whilst sometimes humorous or otherwise interesting, often provoke a feeling of resentment from the author of the original post.)

I've had my say (which the TOS allows: Vendor disagreements should be dealt with via the vendor. Feel free to discuss things here, but please don't beat it to death. Stating your viewpoint once, on-topic and in a civil manner, in a thread is sufficient.) and I will no longer


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korborh
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Skunky]
      #6317513 - 01/16/14 10:10 PM

"For sale" is not equal to "for free". Read up on who is a vendor according to TOS. That's what I meant. It's simple. If you can't understand this distinction then its your problem.

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Skunky]
      #6317532 - 01/16/14 10:20 PM

This threads about mounts in general, 10 Micron in particular. Let's keep it that way.

David


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6317800 - 01/17/14 01:40 AM

When I measure the performance of my 10Micron mounts I use PHD guiding in passive mode, just recording the "guide" errors. The FWHM of the subs are also interesting values, but what was 2.2 last night is suddenly 2.8 tonight, but the PHD reported tracking performance is the same.

Unfortunately, I have a black plug in the OAG pickup of the QSI-683 so I have to do it through the actual 8300 chip, which means time will be taken from true imaging.

/per


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6317875 - 01/17/14 03:51 AM

Yes - I see people often quoting the guide error logs as measures of guiding or seeing performance - and there are many reasons I don't think that is a good idea. The fact that the images are not well correlated with the guide log is direct evidence of that. The guide log just shows what the guider "thinks" it is doing - but what is really happening shows as ground truth in the size of stars in the image. And that size is the one that counts. When a small guidescope is used, it can be a sign of limited centroid accuracy.

There are many reports of people with mid-range equipment who have guide logs that look great and at the limit of the seeing. But eventually they get a high end mount - and their images improve.

I expect that most high end mounts with expensive bearings and gearboxes will guide very well without too much tweaking of the system or the guiding - and it may not be possible to tell one from another in terms of the size of the stars. But I'd still like to know if possible - especially if encoders do in fact improve guided imaging, for example. I'm not optimistic they would - but I consider it possible since there are many subtleties involved.

But I am interested in any numbers for comparison, and I think they would be useful to others considering a new mount like the 10Micron - as long as people know that seeing, focus and other factors do play a role, and that a very small number from one mount doesn't mean it automatically "wins." It's just another performance metric used to gauge a result, and with more people reporting, there is collective evidence for any difference that might show up - just as there is collective evidence that an expensive mount results in smaller stars and improved images.

Frank


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Per Frejvall
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6317903 - 01/17/14 05:05 AM

This is not guide errors, it is the recording of how the guide star moves when the scope is not being guided. Alas, it is a direct measure of how much the mount fluctuates in tracking on its own.

So what you are saying in your first statement is that a centroid calculation (as implemented by Craig Stark in PHD) is not accurate enough, even though it is sub-pixel and the measurement is made through the main imager looking through the scope.

Didn't know that.

/per


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6317924 - 01/17/14 05:45 AM

I disagree with a lot of claims about how autoguiding works, in particular the accuracy of centroiding. So - even passive logging may not represent what is really going on. It's simple to do sanity checks on how meaningful it is - by comparing logs with a small guidescope and with a long focal length system. If you see any difference - whether in passive or active logs - between different guiding systems on the same mount, or between the guiding system and the image - it loses value as an indicator of imaging performance.

There are strong statements about how accurate centroiding algorithms are - and they tend to be backed by simulation rather than actual measurements. A small guidescope may yield a guidestar with 15" fwhm, and the hope is it will yield accuracy on the 0.1" level. This is optimistic, whereas at long focal length the measured fwhm may be 2" and the centroid value will be more meaningful - but it still doesn't capture exactly what the star is doing on the sensor - for many other reasons. The guider measures a proxy; the image captures the reality.

If you are doing passive logs through the actual imaging system, the result will still depend on the centroiding algorithm and the pixel scale. The stars in short guide exposures are not nice Gaussian spots, as is assumed in estimating centroid errors, and the detectors are not perfect, uniform sensors of light.

Again this more off topic - but relevant for mount performance assessment.

Frank


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Starhawk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6318146 - 01/17/14 09:32 AM

Well Frank, it looks like you aren't successfully talking yourself out of the hole you dug. Time to give the thread back to the OP and pocket the FREE education you just got.

-Rich


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freestar8n
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6318292 - 01/17/14 10:38 AM

I don't think you understand my points - which is perfectly fine. I have been trying to hand the thread back - but people coming back with comments I am obligated to reply to - such as yours, which is content FREE.

Frank


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6318391 - 01/17/14 11:23 AM

Okay, lemme see if I got this right.

1. The 10Micron Mounts seem to be up there with ASA's, AP's and Software Bisque's. So, top-end.

2. The 10Microns do one thing none of the others do: they can go unguided (predictive software guiding with a sky model, etc.) IN THE MOUNT and with no need for a PC. Cool!

3. They are not made in the USA, so shipping them for fixing could be a problem, BUT, the USA-based distributor happens to be a mount-fixer kind of guy, so this may not be a big deal (as opposed to a distributor who just forwards the mounts on to the mother company). This wouldn't bother me under these conditions, as opposed to some obscure Mongolian mount that had to be shipped by yak back to get fixed.

4. The 10Microns work on 24v, as near as I can tell. That's a small but important detail for some of us (me) who have put some funds into some kickazz LiFePO4 batteries. Don't want to get a whole 'nother set, but not a determining issue. Just something to know in case one already has some batteries.

5. There's a guy out there (Per?) who's coding some fine software for the 10Micron mounts.

6. The 10Micron mounts don't have a power/usb hub built in like the ASA's and Paramounts do. (Another small detail, but isn't that what decides a Ferrari from a Lambo?) Do they have through-the-mount cabling? I need to check.

7. I do not think anyone would kick a 10Micron mount out of bed if they won one for free.

So, any other differences or comments that one should know about the 10Micron mounts?

Paul


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dawziecat
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6318575 - 01/17/14 12:47 PM

Quote:

opposed to some obscure Mongolian mount that had to be shipped by yak back to get fixed.






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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: 10Micron new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6318597 - 01/17/14 12:56 PM

To clarify a couple of points I made:

1. 10Micron has a 12VDC converter of their own (again: not a big deal, but good to know).

2. The larger 3000 & 4000 mounts have through-the-mount cabling. The smaller ones don't, but they do have their motor/etc. cabling inside the mount (Dec & RA motor cables).

There was a time I was thinking of getting a modded DSLR, one of them PC-less guiders (which I still haven't heard are that great) and head out to the wilds with a smaller battery and a solar charger, and voila: the ultimate survivalist rig.

I went the way of the PC, etc., but the 10Microns, aside from their other sterling points, would make really fantastic super-mobile setups that still gave unparalleled tracking (without guiding). That's pretty great if you need that (and I think there are quite a few that would like it).

Anyway, just some points on the points.

And, for Terry, I have tried to find a way to stabilize a yak to get some quick sub 5 minutes pics...no go. The yak ate the stabilizers.

Paul


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6318611 - 01/17/14 01:02 PM

Frank,

I think that there is definitely an interesting topic for discussion here and I would highly recommend that you start a new thread to discuss the differences between error measurements and FWHM measurements in evaluating mount quality. I suspect that the result will be that neither method should be used alone and they in fact complement each other.

Ed.


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EFT
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6318649 - 01/17/14 01:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

opposed to some obscure Mongolian mount that had to be shipped by yak back to get fixed.









I think that in December all of the shipping services must have switched to yak-back transport. That would explain why everything took so much longer in shipping.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6318650 - 01/17/14 01:23 PM

I have spent some time with one of these, and I can answer a couple of things for this:

1. There were both 120V-24V and 12V-24V converters with the one I used. Note, the main difference is the conversion from 12V to 24v means half the current upstream of the conversion. The original batteries should be OK.

PC-versus on mount: The 10 Micron controller is instantly mount-aware. So, while a fine pointing model won't survive a power outage, as soon as the controller is started again, it has awareness of how the mount is pointed due to the absolute encoders, so you don't have to worry it will think driving into the pier is the right thing to do. I did this experiment by accident when I inadvertently pulled the 120V adapter off the plug adapter.

The other thing is there is no delay to getting to a point where you can invoke a pointing model. What I mean by that is no booting up the mount, booting up the PC, going through a couple hoops to get them to talk, getting all the pieces of software running, then starting a routine in one and watching to see if it is working.

In the field, a GM1000HPS comes up with the pointing model as part of the basic alignment process- go as far as you like, then use it.

-Rich

Quote:

To clarify a couple of points I made:

1. 10Micron has a 12VDC converter of their own (again: not a big deal, but good to know).

2. The larger 3000 & 4000 mounts have through-the-mount cabling. The smaller ones don't, but they do have their motor/etc. cabling inside the mount (Dec & RA motor cables).

There was a time I was thinking of getting a modded DSLR, one of them PC-less guiders (which I still haven't heard are that great) and head out to the wilds with a smaller battery and a solar charger, and voila: the ultimate survivalist rig.

I went the way of the PC, etc., but the 10Microns, aside from their other sterling points, would make really fantastic super-mobile setups that still gave unparalleled tracking (without guiding). That's pretty great if you need that (and I think there are quite a few that would like it).

Anyway, just some points on the points.

And, for Terry, I have tried to find a way to stabilize a yak to get some quick sub 5 minutes pics...no go. The yak ate the stabilizers.

Paul




Edited by Starhawk (01/17/14 01:25 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6318686 - 01/17/14 01:37 PM

Quote:

There was a time I was thinking of getting a modded DSLR, one of them PC-less guiders (which I still haven't heard are that great) and head out to the wilds with a smaller battery and a solar charger, and voila: the ultimate survivalist rig.
Paul




That is exactly what the LX850 is supposed to do for you. All you need is a battery and your camera and you are ready to roll.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6319371 - 01/17/14 08:10 PM

Starhawk, I am sorry, but I do not get the message here. Could you please elaborate. In what way is the 10Micron controller "mount aware"? What is with the "won't survive a power outage"? "Driving into the pier"???

You lost me...

/per


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famax
member


Reged: 07/01/07

Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6319445 - 01/17/14 09:02 PM

Hello,
I did made succesive setup mount/dismount on my balcony the last week, about five time. Complete dismount : pier , mount, scope, etc...

The polar alignement results in one iteration are between 45" and 15".

Tonight i managed to obtain what i think is a good model even with the small number of plate solve made :
click for full image



this gave good 20' unguided subs :
click for full image


you can find a fit of this frame here :

http://fdx75.free.fr/public/astro/10%b5/test/M42-001L_5.fit

3.5" of fwhm is somehow fine for my site.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6319707 - 01/18/14 12:20 AM

Fair enough:

Mount Aware- the controller boots with direct feedback from the encoders. So, even if the mount is in an unusual configuration (e.g. on an object and not in a park position), the controller knows where it is pointed, so if you order it to go to an object to realign it, it goes straight to that object.

What Doesn't survive- If you have the mount lose power, the pointing model needs to be redone when it comes back up.

Driving into the pier- what it didn't do.

-RIch

Quote:

Starhawk, I am sorry, but I do not get the message here. Could you please elaborate. In what way is the 10Micron controller "mount aware"? What is with the "won't survive a power outage"? "Driving into the pier"???

You lost me...

/per




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orlyandico
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6319789 - 01/18/14 02:02 AM

Since the 10Micron uses a Linux controller, it does have a "booting" cycle. I doubt it would instantaneously be ready to go - Linux takes some time to boot.

If the controller in there is something along the lines of a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBoard, it would take anywhere from 10-30 seconds to boot.

Still not bad of course.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6319820 - 01/18/14 03:05 AM

Ah! Got it! My blood level in the alcohol must have been slightly on the low side when I got home last night

I read you loud and clear.

Now, in my observatory startup script I give the mount two minutes to boot up before I attempt to talk to it. The real boot-up time is about a minute and a half for the GM2000 (the on-board computer of that one is about twice as slow as the GM1000) and slightly less for the GM1000.

It sure is mount aware and cannot get lost, and it will instantly adhere to the "stop tracking at nn degrees past the meridian" rule.

The pointing/tracking model survives anything short of a nuclear meltdown.

/per


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6320293 - 01/18/14 11:34 AM

Per - shame on you for not keeping up on the drinking. That will lead to sobriety, and you NEVER want that!

Can you save your tracking/pointing models on your PC (if using your software)?

Paul


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: 10Micron new [Re: psandelle]
      #6320487 - 01/18/14 01:10 PM

Sorry, Paul, but I did. If notice in my post I say "blood level in the alcohol was getting low"...

The Az/Alt coordinates of the desired points can be saved and loaded from files. In the next generation of Model Maker I am implementing batch model downloads to the mount. I am also adding support for shooting the plates separately and then plate-solving them later. Once they are solved they can be downloaded to the mount.

The firmware support for this has just become available.

/per


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Hilmi
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6320700 - 01/18/14 03:02 PM

Plate solving via the sky x pro is a nice option to add for those who dont have pinpoint. I dont own any 10 micron mount but I still feel its a nice feature for your software to add.

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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6327805 - 01/22/14 08:26 AM

Quote:


Quote:

However, most people taking astro photos use CCD cameras.




That is simply not true!

Guylain




Cloudy Nights provides some good numbers that would indicate that its probably about 50:50 (assuming that each forum has an equal weight of "nice picture dude" posts)

Code:

Threads Posts
DSLR & Digital Camera Astro imaging: 28040 258584
CCD Imaging and Processing: 26306 248056



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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6327832 - 01/22/14 08:47 AM

As to the earlier sneering about "going manual" to set up the the mount (quite a few pages back now) - I will reiterate that is an extremely easy mount to set up to a high pointing model accuracy and PA accuracy (both better than 20" error) in just 20 to 30 minutes - ideally done during twilight - and doesn't need anything more than an astrometric eyepiece to accomplish.

So anyone looking for a totally standalone mount (meaning no extra laptop /software needed) that goes unguided up to at least 10 minutes, that can be rapidly setup in the field then the 1000HPS is the mount that can do this very very well. In this respect it is set apart from the 2000, 3000, 4000HPS which are really observatory mounts.

The 1000HPS can be likened to the smaller Losmandy mounts with the Gemini I/II controller (another standalone system) but on steroids performance wise! It is set well apart from the Losmandy mounts in this respect but otherwise the functionality and operation of the controllers is very similar.


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6338434 - 01/27/14 10:19 AM

Hi Tonk.

Are you saying here that the 2000 needs Per's modeling software to perform.

Or will an accurate say 3+5 alignment and accurare polar alignment done thru the hand controller suffice for 10 mins unguided with really accurate goto's.

Am considering the 2000 btw to replace my CGE PRO sometime this year.
But as i do not use a computer nor want to bother with maxim dl and model building all this talk of Per's software has me worried how the 2000 performs out of its box so to speak.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #6338447 - 01/27/14 10:29 AM

Quote:

Hi Tonk.

Are you saying here that the 2000 needs Per's modeling software to perform.

Or will an accurate say 3+5 alignment and accurare polar alignment done thru the hand controller suffice for 10 mins unguided with really accurate goto's.

Am considering the 2000 btw to replace my CGE PRO sometime this year.
But as i do not use a computer nor want to bother with maxim dl and model building all this talk of Per's software has me worried how the 2000 performs out of its box so to speak.




What Per's software does is completely automate the process for those people who want to go hands-off. It also leaves the calibration alignment process up to the computer which can arguably be even more precise than the human operator. It is not a requirement, but instead augments an excellent process that is already built into the mount and the mount's external software (when used). In general, it is recommended to get at least 20-25 alignment stars to start unguided imaging. Gotos are highly accurate with only a few stars, but for dual axis tracking and correction, the larger model is better.


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6338509 - 01/27/14 10:56 AM

Quote:

But as i do not use a computer nor want to bother with maxim dl and model building all this talk of Per's software has me worried how the 2000 performs out of its box so to speak.




I don't use Per's software. Its not a requirement as I pointed out above - its a tool for the lazy See my more detailed answer to your question on the other thread ("10Micron club - I'm in").

Just to make it clear the 1000HPS and 2000HPS use the same controller and handpad - so whats said for one applies to the other - differences are mechanical - imaging load, max slew rate etc


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6338600 - 01/27/14 11:57 AM

Thanku Ed and Tonk.

Sounds like 2 or 3 iterations at alignment with 10-15 stars used each time (depending on how lazy or impatient i feel at the time) will get things working real well, real quick.


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: 10Micron new [Re: EFT]
      #6338661 - 01/27/14 12:25 PM

Quote:

In general, it is recommended to get at least 20-25 alignment stars to start unguided imaging. Gotos are highly accurate with only a few stars, but for dual axis tracking and correction, the larger model is better.




Mounts with absolute encoders use the model for both purposes, gotos and tracking. Gotos are not a problem with a rather small model but if you want to do tracking properly you should make a rather large model to cover the whole sky ...or build a local model which is possible (as far as I know)only with one mount manufacturer's software at the moment.

I have a permanent setup and am using a 120 point model for the unguided imaging. I also add a 5-10 point local model on top of that sometime when the target is located in low alt position.


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/20/04

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Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6339064 - 01/27/14 03:52 PM

Quote:

I have a permanent setup and am using a 120 point model for the unguided imaging. I also add a 5-10 point local model on top of that sometime when the target is located in low alt position.





Are the 5 to 10 points for low altitude modeled to deal with refraction? One thing that has bugged me about the concept of unguided imaging is that refraction is significant for large-scale imaging at moderately high altitudes, like 30 degrees. Even if you have perfect polar alignment and the mount can eliminate periodic error, how do these closed-loop mounts deal with refraction? Thanks.

Tom


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Tonk
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #6339078 - 01/27/14 04:02 PM

Quote:

Even if you have perfect polar alignment and the mount can eliminate periodic error, how do these closed-loop mounts deal with refraction? Thanks.




For the 10Micron controller you input site altitude (or use a GPS receiver) and/or the current barometric pressure. So you need a good barometer for best accuracy!

These inputs are for the refraction part of the tracking equation. If you don't add the measured pressure but just the site altitude it assumes a standard sea level pressure


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HowardK
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tonk]
      #6339319 - 01/27/14 06:05 PM

Can anyone explain the firmware and software updating process for the 2000 HPS.

The 10 micron forum will not let me onto the firmware thread.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: 10Micron new [Re: HowardK]
      #6339402 - 01/27/14 06:45 PM

Quote:

Can anyone explain the firmware and software updating process for the 2000 HPS.

The 10 micron forum will not let me onto the firmware thread.




I'm not sure why you can't get into the thread, but it may be limited to registered owners I suppose. The firmware is updated through a firmware updater program that is run with a connection to the mount computer. I don't know if the connection can be either wired or wireless, but my general recommendation would always be to use a wired connection when updating firmware. Program updates are installed through .exe executable files.


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: 10Micron new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #6340087 - 01/28/14 01:45 AM

Quote:


Are the 5 to 10 points for low altitude modeled to deal with refraction? One thing that has bugged me about the concept of unguided imaging is that refraction is significant for large-scale imaging at moderately high altitudes, like 30 degrees. Even if you have perfect polar alignment and the mount can eliminate periodic error, how do these closed-loop mounts deal with refraction? Thanks.

Tom




Tom

Yes, the main reason for those extra 5-10 plate solves (for low altitudes) is getting rid of the remaining refractions, flexures, plate solving errors etc. It also shrinks the RA and DE tracking errors (which will always be present even in a large model) to practically 0. So itís very handy to use even in connection with large models and especially with mobile setups. The beauty of the local model is that it takes plate solves from the path your imaging. So itís VERY accurate and fast to do build (takes 2-3 minutes).

Playing with barometric readings, altitudes etc. is waste of time and not very accurate IMO. Especially when having all kinds of weather/atmosphere issues (temperature changes, reflections from snow, different seeing conditions etc.) Using plate solves from the path your imaging is far more accurate.

Another important factor is the time and place. Place is usually not a problem because you can get/input coordinates in many different ways (needed in any mount, not just mounts with encoders). Having an accurate time (sub-seconds accuracy) is bit more complicated because even the computer time is not very accurate. However, with a computer (and internet connection) you can use any simple (free) software to sync the computer time to some reliable time source (e.g. every 10 minutes). Or use a GPS unit to handle both the time and place automatically and accurately. Iím using a small 40 euro GPS device to do the job and havenít had any problems even during the cold winter months.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: 10Micron new [Re: GIR]
      #6340127 - 01/28/14 02:41 AM Attachment (4 downloads)

Firmware is updated, as Ed correctly states, with an Updater application that is installed on your computer. It has the firmware embedded, so there are no separate firmware files. You install the updater of the version you want and simply run it.

Connection can be anything; wired RS232, wired Ethernet or WLAN (if