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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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mewmartigan
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/02/08

Astro-Physics APCC is here
      #5529549 - 11/20/12 08:04 AM

Looks like AP is finally getting their Astro Physics Command Center software out. The yahoo group says they are now taking orders for the "S" chip that needs to go in the control box for APCC to work.

http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc

I haven't decided if I will jump in yet or wait.

Good to see it coming though and can't wait until people's thoughts/reviews start rolling in!


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: mewmartigan]
      #5529670 - 11/20/12 09:35 AM

Marcus, could you give us a run-down of what this chip will add to my Mach 1 mount's capabilities. The email I got from AP didn't specify....

Thanks

Dave


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Cotts]
      #5529725 - 11/20/12 10:08 AM

The APCC I saw running at ASAE was pretty neat. It does a pointing model automatically using plate solves of the sky, then uses the data on how the mount moved to correct its tracking (yes, you read that right- not just GOTO pointing, but rates as well).

Quite interesting. I am wondering if you can feed it data from a DSLR.

From what they were saying, not all mounts need the upgrade.

-Rich


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5529761 - 11/20/12 10:24 AM

in order to plate solve you need a camera with an ASCOM driver (or native driver for maxim/ccdops/etc)

i know that backyardEOS can download images from a DSLR automatically via the USB cable.. but can it be controlled via ASCOM?


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5529768 - 11/20/12 10:29 AM

Ok, after some reading on the AP site:

Only GTO CP3 controllers can be upgraded to the S chip.

Only AP 3600s after Oct 15, 2012 shipped with the S chip.

All AP 1600s have the S chip.

AP900 or Mach 1 mounts shipping now can get the S chip as a $65 upgrade.

No AP 900 or Mach 1 mounts with the S chip shipped without you knowing about it.

If you want AP to install the chip, send them the GTOCP3 unit and they'll do it for $45.

This is a biggie: GTO cp3 controllers with version Q or earlier will lose all PEC and other data as a result of the S chip upgrade. So, if like me, you've been happy with Wally's PEC track and won't be immediately able to run the mount with the whole APCC suite to generate a new one, this is a good time to think twice. I'll need to look at what version is in mine from June 2011, and I'll post the result, here.

-Rich


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5529801 - 11/20/12 10:48 AM

So, my Mach 1 GTO controller shipped in June, 2011, is version Q. That means losing all the data. Maybe PEM Pro can read it off the mount. Anyone know for certain?

-Rich


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5529898 - 11/20/12 11:29 AM

Quote:

So, my Mach 1 GTO controller shipped in June, 2011, is version Q. That means losing all the data. Maybe PEM Pro can read it off the mount. Anyone know for certain?

-Rich




Hi Rich,

PEMPro can read the PEC table and restore it but I don't think the PEC Index is saved so you would have to reprogram the mount anyway. But if you don't have PEMPro you can always download the trial and use it to analyze and reprogram PEC. Besides, periodic error changes over time as the gears wear in so you want to occasionally confirm the mount's PEC curve is still doing a good job... and if not, reprogram it.

-Ray


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: mewmartigan]
      #5532965 - 11/21/12 09:16 PM

I seem to remember that APCC is really effective if you have a permanent setup. For those who have to travel it might not be necessary as a new pointing model would have to be generated at every imaging session.
I see that they have a 30day trial version. Since I have the S chip I might download it and report back. I will have to wait for better weather here in the NW which means months from now

Andy


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: andysea]
      #5533005 - 11/21/12 09:52 PM

Don't AP mounts come with a PemPro license?

I could've sworn I read that in the literature somewhere..


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5533016 - 11/21/12 09:59 PM

Not for Mach1GTO. Only for AP-900 or bigger.

Peter


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5533050 - 11/21/12 10:29 PM

That's correct. The Mach1 does not come with Pempro, It's not that expensive tho. Orlando did you eventually get a Mach1?

Andy


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: andysea]
      #5533151 - 11/21/12 11:44 PM

"S" chip is $80. Why so expensive
Pass.....


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5533164 - 11/21/12 11:54 PM

Andy, no, not yet. Still wrestling with the possibility of that JPZ..

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wiruna
member


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5533219 - 11/22/12 12:52 AM

Quote:

"S" chip is $80. Why so expensive
Pass.....



Well, it IS Astro-Physics, so expect to get your money's worth.

Edited by wiruna (11/22/12 06:07 PM)


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gavinm
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/26/05

Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: wiruna]
      #5533258 - 11/22/12 01:28 AM

You're talking about a $10,000+ mount - is $80 expensive?

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5533270 - 11/22/12 01:42 AM

Thanks for writing back on this, Ray. That clears up a lot about what to expect.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

So, my Mach 1 GTO controller shipped in June, 2011, is version Q. That means losing all the data. Maybe PEM Pro can read it off the mount. Anyone know for certain?

-Rich




Hi Rich,

PEMPro can read the PEC table and restore it but I don't think the PEC Index is saved so you would have to reprogram the mount anyway. But if you don't have PEMPro you can always download the trial and use it to analyze and reprogram PEC. Besides, periodic error changes over time as the gears wear in so you want to occasionally confirm the mount's PEC curve is still doing a good job... and if not, reprogram it.

-Ray




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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: gavinm]
      #5533272 - 11/22/12 01:43 AM

APCC is something many mount owners have been looking forward to for some time. I have a few AP items on my wish list and have been waiting for the release of APCC. Just in time for Christmas.

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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5533280 - 11/22/12 01:50 AM

Orly for permanent installation I am also considering the Tak JPZ if one comes up used....

best regards
Chris


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5533284 - 11/22/12 01:52 AM

Quote:

"S" chip is $80. Why so expensive
Pass.....



How much should it cost, then?


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Joe Cipriano
Entropy Personified
*****

Reged: 09/03/05

Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: chboss]
      #5533560 - 11/22/12 09:03 AM

Quote:

Orly for permanent installation I am also considering the Tak JPZ if one comes up used....

best regards
Chris




Coincidentally, there's a JP-Z on that other site right now. I don't have a membership (anymore), so I don't have price or other particulars.

Apologies for the short OT, folks. NJPs don't show up on the used market all that often; figured Chris might want to know about it.


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Calypte]
      #5533565 - 11/22/12 09:10 AM

Its not AP that manufactures these chips....just programs them. Chips are mass manufactured.
I don't know what exact chip it is, but $80 for a ROM chip seems overly expensive. I'd be interested to know the chip details though that make them so costly assuming AP is not marking them up 5x.


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5533611 - 11/22/12 09:38 AM

Perhaps to salve the underlying complaint about how expensive AP equipment is, the replacement ROM should be included with the purchase of APCC? $80? AP? ... sounds about right to me ...

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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5533642 - 11/22/12 10:03 AM

Quote:

Its not AP that manufactures these chips....just programs them. Chips are mass manufactured.
I don't know what exact chip it is, but $80 for a ROM chip seems overly expensive. I'd be interested to know the chip details though that make them so costly assuming AP is not marking them up 5x.




First, these chips are not your typical ROM. The part itself is expensive (I heard $30-35). That doesn't include the labor cost to program the chips.

Plus, I know that there was a lot of development and testing time that went into this new version. The new chip significantly improves the robustness of the mount when used with the AP V2 ASCOM driver. I think that AP has the right to recoup some of the development costs that went into making this chip. I really find it interesting that people are complaining about the cost of this chip. If $80 is too much for you then don't upgrade, but don't complain about the price. It is very reasonable considering the price of these mounts.

-Ray Gralak


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5533660 - 11/22/12 10:10 AM

Quote:

Perhaps to salve the underlying complaint about how expensive AP equipment is, the replacement ROM should be included with the purchase of APCC? $80? AP? ... sounds about right to me ...



And when mounts start shipping with the new chip they would expect a $80 discount if they buy APCC.

The pricing was set individually because some people might not want both APCC and the "S" chip. Some might not want either. You can pick what you want.

-Ray Gralak

Edited by Ray Gralak (11/22/12 10:11 AM)


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FaronD
sage


Reged: 03/25/10

Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: andysea]
      #5533684 - 11/22/12 10:23 AM

Quote:

I seem to remember that APCC is really effective if you have a permanent setup. For those who have to travel it might not be necessary as a new pointing model would have to be generated at every imaging session.
I see that they have a 30day trial version. Since I have the S chip I might download it and report back. I will have to wait for better weather here in the NW which means months from now

Andy





Hi Andy, what benefits did you gain by adding the S-chip to your Mach 1? I understand it is required for the APCC software, are there any new features besides that?

Thanks
Faron


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5533688 - 11/22/12 10:25 AM

Ray,
+1. People need to keep in mind that AP is not some large, mass production concern operating out of China. There is a reason AP equipment is held in such high regard and it has nothing to do with the cost of their products.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5533698 - 11/22/12 10:33 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Perhaps to salve the underlying complaint about how expensive AP equipment is, the replacement ROM should be included with the purchase of APCC? $80? AP? ... sounds about right to me ...



And when mounts start shipping with the new chip they would expect a $80 discount if they buy APCC.

The pricing was set individually because some people might not want both APCC and the "S" chip. Some might not want either. You can pick what you want.

-Ray Gralak




Thanks for the post, Ray.

David


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: FaronD]
      #5533831 - 11/22/12 12:00 PM

Hi Faron,
The S chip became available as I ordered the mach1. For $65 it sounded like a no-brainer upgrade. I ordered it mostly for resale value.

Andy


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wiruna
member


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: andysea]
      #5534281 - 11/22/12 06:03 PM

Quote:

Hi Faron,
The S chip became available as I ordered the mach1. For $65 it sounded like a no-brainer upgrade. I ordered it mostly for resale value.

Andy



Similar experience for me. I got a new AP900 in August and I still qualify for the $65 upgrade. Cost of a new mount plus shipping and Australian taxes made the $65 a clear no-brainer.
Geoff


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: wiruna]
      #5534357 - 11/22/12 07:34 PM

Any differences for standalone operation?

-Rich


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5534426 - 11/22/12 08:31 PM

Quote:

I really find it interesting that people are complaining about the cost of this chip. If $80 is too much for you then don't upgrade, but don't complain about the price. It is very reasonable considering the price of these mounts. -Ray Gralak




Ray, if you read my post, I deemed $80 as expensive and decided not to upgrade. Not complaining, just want to understand the price. Hopefully someone will post the chip details when they get it.

BTW, price of mount has nothing to do with the price of the chip.


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5534523 - 11/22/12 09:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I really find it interesting that people are complaining about the cost of this chip. If $80 is too much for you then don't upgrade, but don't complain about the price. It is very reasonable considering the price of these mounts. -Ray Gralak




Ray, if you read my post, I deemed $80 as expensive and decided not to upgrade. Not complaining, just want to understand the price. Hopefully someone will post the chip details when they get it.

BTW, price of mount has nothing to do with the price of the chip.




Not sure what you mean by "chip details when they get it". I can tell you that it won't look any different than the square one that is in your CP3 right now. The software/firmware on it will allow you to do certain things you could not do previously IF you have additional software which will take advantage of it.


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5534532 - 11/22/12 10:07 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I really find it interesting that people are complaining about the cost of this chip. If $80 is too much for you then don't upgrade, but don't complain about the price. It is very reasonable considering the price of these mounts. -Ray Gralak




Ray, if you read my post, I deemed $80 as expensive and decided not to upgrade. Not complaining, just want to understand the price. Hopefully someone will post the chip details when they get it.

BTW, price of mount has nothing to do with the price of the chip.



That's not what I said. I said the price of the chip is inexpensive compared to the price of the mount. The cost of the chip includes the physical cost of the chip, labor to program it, and the amortized cost of its development. Again, no one is forcing you to buy it. If you are happy with the firmware you have then that's great.

-Ray


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #5534536 - 11/22/12 10:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I really find it interesting that people are complaining about the cost of this chip. If $80 is too much for you then don't upgrade, but don't complain about the price. It is very reasonable considering the price of these mounts. -Ray Gralak




Ray, if you read my post, I deemed $80 as expensive and decided not to upgrade. Not complaining, just want to understand the price. Hopefully someone will post the chip details when they get it.

BTW, price of mount has nothing to do with the price of the chip.




Not sure what you mean by "chip details when they get it". I can tell you that it won't look any different than the square one that is in your CP3 right now. The software/firmware on it will allow you to do certain things you could not do previously IF you have additional software which will take advantage of it.




Some of the additional software is free and already available. The V2 ASCOM driver takes advantage of many of the new commands, the most significant of which are those that can read the mount state. So, without initializing the mount the ASCOM driver will know the complete state of the mount. If another application or the keypad changes the mount state, the driver will now see the change and diaplay it. There is a new command that will prevent the mount from tracking after a power cycle, thus preventing one common case of the mount "getting lost" or losing pointing accuracy. Other improvements and refinements have been made to improve accuracy and robustness when tracking, slewing and parking.

-Ray


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gavinm
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/26/05

Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5534578 - 11/22/12 10:47 PM

Quote:


BTW, price of mount has nothing to do with the price of the chip.




I agree completely. What I find fascinating is the consumer psyche where people will pay tens of thousands of dollars on hardware, but consider $100 for some software to use it to its full capabilities too expensive. Happens all the time. Not exactly the same in this case, but you see what I mean. Not meant to be a criticism..sorry if you took it that way.


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5534643 - 11/22/12 11:48 PM

Quote:

Other improvements and refinements have been made to improve accuracy and robustness when tracking, slewing and parking. -Ray




Ray, where can one find the details of these accuracy improvements?


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: gavinm]
      #5534652 - 11/22/12 11:55 PM

Quote:

What I find fascinating is the consumer psyche where people will pay tens of thousands of dollars on hardware, but consider $100 for some software to use it to its full capabilities too expensive.




Depends on how useful the added capabilities are to the particular consumers' needs.
And there are also consumers who will throw money on stuff without knowing enough to know they need it.


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5534697 - 11/23/12 12:58 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Other improvements and refinements have been made to improve accuracy and robustness when tracking, slewing and parking. -Ray




Ray, where can one find the details of these accuracy improvements?



I'm not sure that you can, but I gave you one example... that is the power cycle scenario. If the mount was not parked the accuracy of the RA position can be compromised. That's because there is usually a non-zero time between the time power is applied and mount initialization. This causes an error in RA position equal to the time it takes to initialize the mount. The error doesn't happen if you park the mount but can anyway if power is unexpectedly lost or an application unknowingly starts tracking after the mount was parked.

-Ray

Edited by Ray Gralak (11/23/12 12:59 AM)


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5536171 - 11/23/12 07:59 PM

I just put in the order for the S chip. I also ordered a 24 pound counterweight. I am looking forward to APCC. I will feel more confident about letting the mount go unattended while imaging after set up mount limits.

My biggest challenge will be using PEMpro to reprogram the periodic error after upgrading the chip. I have been using the mount for about 8 months so maybe its time to use PEMpro anyway.

I have been very happy with the AP900GTO mount. It is a very well made mount and it so much nicer than my old Atlas for imaging. I now can image from 420mm to 2800mm in focal length. My 20 minute exposures at 2800mm look much better than my 5 minute 800mm ones ever did on the Atlas.


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: JMW]
      #5536379 - 11/23/12 10:31 PM

Quote:

My 20 minute exposures at 2800mm look much better than my 5 minute 800mm ones ever did on the Atlas.




+1


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #5536674 - 11/24/12 06:03 AM

Does this upgrade do anything for (lack of) cone error in the original config?

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Footbag
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5537015 - 11/24/12 10:54 AM

Very cool to see this come out. I'm taking a wait and see approach. I'm mostly portable, so I rarely need to control the mount with my laptop. Hopefully that will change next spring with a new remotely operated observatory.

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Aircrftr
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/29/06

Loc: Claremore OK
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Footbag]
      #5537594 - 11/24/12 05:41 PM

RAY;

Will this do anything to improve guiding near the poles?


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5537957 - 11/24/12 10:24 PM

Ray, thanks for the info!

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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Astro-Physics APCC is here new [Re: korborh]
      #5538014 - 11/24/12 10:56 PM

Seeing this thread, I finally downloaded Ascom6 and the AP V2 for my Obs mounted 1200. The Ascom/AP V2 Tutorial on Ray's web site was easy to follow. Now I can work more intelligently with Virtual Moon Atlas and perhaps resolve the issue with Earth Centered Universe interfacing with a 64 bit installation.

As you can see, not an early adopter ;-)

Thanks, Ray! Now to pay more attention to the wealth of posts here and on APs web site regarding APCC.


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