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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: netwolf]
      #4918492 - 11/16/11 07:45 AM

Quote:

here are are some sitech results from a g11.
https://sites.google.com/a/sitechservo.info/chuck-shaw-s-site/Home/g-11-gurley-mounting
can anyone pls link some TDM results for a g11.

.....




Here is a link to my initial post about setting up my TDM with PemPro results. Looks close to what you had. Good job

G11 Results


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: D_talley]
      #5252679 - 06/02/12 10:14 PM

I just thought I'd bump this thread up again.
I am interested in the TDM encoder kit.
I notice the price is still high:
$1800 for the box & encoder
http://www.shopspaceweather.com/tdm-telescope-drive-master-ver-2-encoder-and-electronics-set-requires-mount-adapter.aspx

plus $330 for an adapter to go on my EQ6 mount.
http://www.shopspaceweather.com/eq6-mount-new-version-adapter-for-tdm.aspx

That's $2130 which is more than I paid for the EQ6 mount.
My mount is already modified with an Astro-physics counterweight bar.
That mod. plus machining etc cost about $350.

Lets add up everything if I invested in a TDM:
EQ6 mount $1800
TDM cost $2130
Bar Mod $330

total = $4260.

That's quite a big total outlay for a Chinese mount.

Talking of Chinese mounts:
I notice this Ioptron mount:
The iEQ45-GT
GoTo German Equatorial Mount
With Renishaw Encoder

http://www.ioptron.com/index.cfm?select=productdetails&phid=cdde52d7-5d26-4d5b-84ee-cab88ed07bd2


for $4800 ready to go.


It seems that you need to spend about $5,000 to get a decent mount.

That being said.
I find that I can get quite nice photos as long as the wind
doesn't buffet my telescope.

That tells me that adaptive optics would mosty likely be a better path
but it seems that to make those fast 20 times per second
changes to an adaptive optics system requires a bright guide star
which you would seldom obtain.

I am just thinking of good upgrades & it's starting to get confusing.

cheers
Alpal


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: alpal]
      #5252688 - 06/02/12 10:21 PM

Well...I've seen some really nice images taken with bone stock Atlas mounts. If the mount has a good polar alignment and your not trying to image at 3000mm focal length and overloading the mount, why spend that much money that you'll never get back? Were it me, I'd sell the atlas and look for a good used Mach I or a Tak EM 200. You don't need high performance encoders with the Mach I or the EM200. They just do a terrific job right out of the box.

David


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5252792 - 06/02/12 11:42 PM

Quote:

Well...I've seen some really nice images taken with bone stock Atlas mounts. If the mount has a good polar alignment and your not trying to image at 3000mm focal length and overloading the mount, why spend that much money that you'll never get back? Were it me, I'd sell the atlas and look for a good used Mach I or a Tak EM 200. You don't need high performance encoders with the Mach I or the EM200. They just do a terrific job right out of the box.

David




Hi David,
Agreed - I wish the price of the TDM option was lower
otherwise you're paying a lot of money for a Chinese mount.

I think the real problem is wind.
My idea was to have a fully portable system but I just
didn't realise how difficult it is to get a dark site without high wind problems.
3 out of 4 trips to Mount Baw Baw at 5,000 altitude gave me wind affected data.
Having a telescope inside an observatory provides a shield from wind but you lose portabilty.

I think the answer is to research adaptive optics:
http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=329-13244

And:

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p4700_Orion-SteadyStar-Off-Axis-Guider---Adaptive-Optik---50mm-Oeffn-.html


But once again I'm not sure how these can work without a very bright star -
does anyone know?


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: alpal]
      #5252842 - 06/03/12 12:52 AM

alternative - Gurley encoder ($600 plus) and Sitech servo drive ($800). Throw away the Atlas electronics and no more EQMOD.

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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5253070 - 06/03/12 09:19 AM

Another alternative to addressing wind is an observatory tent.

I started using a Kendrick observatory tent specifically to help mitigate wind. It does that job, plus I find that I like it for lots of other reasons, like giving me a place to store my gear, being very quick to weather seal, etc.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5253244 - 06/03/12 11:18 AM

Quote:

alternative - Gurley encoder ($600 plus) and Sitech servo drive ($800). Throw away the Atlas electronics and no more EQMOD.




If I'm not mistaken, the Atlas is driven by stepper motors. In order for SiTech to work, you'd have to change to servo motors. And for the Gurley encoder, you'd have to have someone machine an adapter. It can get complicated.

My advice is to use the Atlas with EQMOD, get a really good polar alignment, keep the focal length down and get a good guidescope and guide camera. It's been a successful combination for a lot of imagers. Kfir and Harel, the PowerNewt guys, have been using an Atlas or the equivalent for a long time and do some pretty nice work!
David


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5253441 - 06/03/12 02:00 PM

David, the "bare bones" SiderealTech system for $800 includes motors. It would be a complete retrofit.

But that said, my second suggestion would be the observatory tent. The Smart Astronomy one - http://store.smartastronomy.com/poobte.html - is $380.

No matter how robust the mount, wind will move it unless you are severely over-mounted (think, 70mm OTA on a CGEM class mount, in my experience that setup is wind resistant).


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5253686 - 06/03/12 05:23 PM

If it can be done, it's a good product. I have the Controller 1 with the remote handpad for my MI250. It's terrific!

David


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5254252 - 06/04/12 05:59 AM

Quote:

Another alternative to addressing wind is an observatory tent.

I started using a Kendrick observatory tent specifically to help mitigate wind. It does that job, plus I find that I like it for lots of other reasons, like giving me a place to store my gear, being very quick to weather seal, etc.




I had considered using a tent.
The problem would be pitching the tent on a roadway -
basically a car park at e.g. Mt Baw Baw.
How could I secure the tent from blowing away in the wind?


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5254255 - 06/04/12 06:02 AM

Quote:

David, the "bare bones" SiderealTech system for $800 includes motors. It would be a complete retrofit.

But that said, my second suggestion would be the observatory tent. The Smart Astronomy one - http://store.smartastronomy.com/poobte.html - is $380.

No matter how robust the mount, wind will move it unless you are severely over-mounted (think, 70mm OTA on a CGEM class mount, in my experience that setup is wind resistant).





Yes - what I do if the wind comes up is to take
the telescope off the fully aligned mount &
secure just a camera on top to take wide field photos.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: alpal]
      #5254347 - 06/04/12 08:29 AM

Quote:

I had considered using a tent.
The problem would be pitching the tent on a roadway -
basically a car park at e.g. Mt Baw Baw.
How could I secure the tent from blowing away in the wind?




I use my tent at Oregon Star Party, which has both occasional high winds and a dusty/rocky ground where tent spikes often won't work.

My solution is to bring a bunch of canvas bags. At OSP, there is a ready supply of large rocks, so I put about 50lb of rocks into each of 6 bags. I then put one bag into each corner of the tent, and one at the midpoint of each long edge. This makes the tent quite stable.

Depending on what's available at a given site, I could use rocks, sand etc. to fill the bags. You could also use 5 gallon buckets instead of canvas bags.


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5254425 - 06/04/12 09:40 AM

Thanks - that's a good idea.

I also thought that in a car park you could tie the tent to
2 different cars
by tying rope to the front 2 tyres of each car
so that all 4 corners of the tent were each tied to one wheel.


That being the case a TDM would be icing on the cake.


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Wembley2000
sage
*****

Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: alpal]
      #5255417 - 06/04/12 10:22 PM

This is a great thread, alot of good information. The TDM is an attractive option for me and my lx200 classic and its less than stellar pe (i have never measured it yet, but it something I want to get done during this full moon). Just watching the star move in ra during drift alignment is bad enough. My classic ota weighs in at 30lbs with losmandy dovetail, add in the at72ed, camera, finder and mounting accessories it puts me right near the limits of an affordable to me gem ($2000 or so). Buying a affordable gem might not be much better than my fork mount, but if I could purchase this TMD with that money and get +/- 2, it could be a worthwhile purchase (at least until the lx200 electronics take a dump).

Wem


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5255421 - 06/04/12 10:26 PM

Quote:

This is a great thread, alot of good information. The TDM is an attractive option for me and my lx200 classic and its less than stellar pe (i have never measured it yet, but it something I want to get done during this full moon). Just watching the star move in ra during drift alignment is bad enough. My classic ota weighs in at 30lbs with losmandy dovetail, add in the at72ed, camera, finder and mounting accessories it puts me right near the limits of an affordable to me gem ($2000 or so). Buying a affordable gem might not be much better than my fork mount, but if I could purchase this TMD with that money and get +/- 2, it could be a worthwhile purchase (at least until the lx200 electronics take a dump).

Wem




Hey Wem...I don't remember the issue, but Dennis DeCico (S&T) tested one on his 16" LX200. You might want to find the article.

David


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5255679 - 06/05/12 05:30 AM

Quote:

This is a great thread, alot of good information. The TDM is an attractive option for me and my lx200 classic and its less than stellar pe (i have never measured it yet, but it something I want to get done during this full moon). Just watching the star move in ra during drift alignment is bad enough. My classic ota weighs in at 30lbs with losmandy dovetail, add in the at72ed, camera, finder and mounting accessories it puts me right near the limits of an affordable to me gem ($2000 or so). Buying a affordable gem might not be much better than my fork mount, but if I could purchase this TMD with that money and get +/- 2, it could be a worthwhile purchase (at least until the lx200 electronics take a dump).

Wem




This is a great thread.
Just about anyone can get professional performance out of their mount with a TDM.

That being said - I still think that wind - however slight - buffeting the telescope
places a disturbance into the whole system & how the mount
reacts to that - technically, in the way of actively dampening the movement is important.

All mechanical devices have a natural resonance & a properly
tuned closed loop system should be able to compensate to some extent.

If the TDM gives almost zero periodic error it will
will place less of a disturbance into the whole system
so that only minimum compensation is required.
That means that the rms guiding error is far reduced.

I am almost talking myself into buying a TDM.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: alpal]
      #5255690 - 06/05/12 05:57 AM

alpal - the SiTech unit plus a Gurley encoder costs much less than a TDM for similar results. Even better if you have an old non-GoTo G11. So for about $1500 you get GoTo and sub-1" periodic error. Cost about the same as buying a Gemini 2.

Oh BTW - the German Littlefoot Elegance Photo (LFE Photo) also has a tick management routine, and is a stepper-motor driven unit, hence it can reuse the existing Atlas/EQ6 steppers.

It costs about $800 but has a lot of features. I will pick mine up from the post office in a couple days (took a slow boat - courtesy of Deutsche Post - from Germany).

I'm currently not using the encoder-assisted PEC because I don't have a high-resolution encoder, but it's one of those things I will eventually try if I can get a Gurley or similar for cheap.


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alpal
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Melbourne Australia.
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5256013 - 06/05/12 11:18 AM

Quote:

alpal - the SiTech unit plus a Gurley encoder costs much less than a TDM for similar results. Even better if you have an old non-GoTo G11. So for about $1500 you get GoTo and sub-1" periodic error. Cost about the same as buying a Gemini 2.

Oh BTW - the German Littlefoot Elegance Photo (LFE Photo) also has a tick management routine, and is a stepper-motor driven unit, hence it can reuse the existing Atlas/EQ6 steppers.

It costs about $800 but has a lot of features. I will pick mine up from the post office in a couple days (took a slow boat - courtesy of Deutsche Post - from Germany).

I'm currently not using the encoder-assisted PEC because I don't have a high-resolution encoder, but it's one of those things I will eventually try if I can get a Gurley or similar for cheap.




Wow - and will the standard EQ6 Synscan remote control
still work as normal?
I wonder why Skwatcher don't put a
SiTech unit plus a Gurley encoder
on the mounts they sell?
That would be worth the extra money.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: alpal]
      #5256602 - 06/05/12 06:22 PM

no, synscan won't work anymore. the SiTech controller is a complete GoTo retrofit, it basically replaces whatever GoTo controller is there. so it makes more sense for non-GoTo mounts.

as to why Skywatcher isn't using such technology - it costs too much. $800 for controller + $600 for the encoder is more than an entire Atlas costs.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Telescope Drive Master - The Truth of the Matter new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5259214 - 06/06/12 11:29 PM

• TDMv2.5 new version from 2012. This version has a built-in relay box so both TDM Out1 (TTL) and TDM Out2 can be used for both RA and declination control for guider support without any limitations. Extended control range limitation (+/-10”) can tolerate higher wind gusts without auto-reset and USART port provides tracking error codes by 10Hz frequency.

If your mount is shaking that much from the wind, I would think the stars in your pictures would be less than ideal...


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