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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc
      #5865786 - 05/16/13 08:24 PM

Hi All.

Well it's time to upgrade the ole CGE-Pro. I need more capacity. The Pro was a true performer especially with add-ons such as the TDM and aeroquest/hypertune service.

I'm looking at either the AP1600, SB MEII, 10Micron CM3000HPS (coming out soon). The Planewave 200HR mount is also interesting. A Chronos HD32 would be freaking awesome but at 50 grand, that's more than double my budget.

Around a 200+ pound capacity is what I am looking for.

I'm possibly looking at getting the encoders with the mount. Having a TDM on the Pro really spoiled me.

Any and all opinions are welcomed. Pro's, con's, like's, dislike's, love, hate. It does not matter. I am in an equal opportunity kind of mood for any and all opinions.

If I get 50 replies, I'll probably get 50 different opinions but one of those opinions might sway me.

The mount will be observatory kept with a PC connected full time.

Does anyone have experience with the 10 micron mounts?

Thanks!


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Joe C
sage
*****

Reged: 11/29/08

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5865839 - 05/16/13 08:49 PM

If it were my choice, there would be no contest. I would opt for the AP1600. The after purchase support along with machining is second to none. AP is a ZERO compromise manufacturer. You can get support not only web based but on the phone if you want or ever need it.

Another point is that AP holds their value better than any other. Not that you would need to sell it. Everything from Roland is a lifetime piece of art.


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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Joe C]
      #5865901 - 05/16/13 09:22 PM

I guess part of the answer depends what you are going to put on it. I'm curious what will push you up beyond 90lbs and approaching 200.

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: end]
      #5865944 - 05/16/13 09:45 PM

HI End. My current side by side setup is 84 lbs with all gear minus the side-by side bar and cable weight.

Future expansion to an HD14 and possible Planewave will require the larger mount.


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jamesprovi
member


Reged: 09/20/08

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5865998 - 05/16/13 10:18 PM

I have used the SB ME and AP1200 and both are excellent mounts (great guiding performance, robust software). I am still using the AP1200 mount (preferred the portability benefits) and agree that the support from AP is excellent. The mount has been running flawlessly since 2008 and has carried 100+ payloads easily. The Paramount ME has some advantages if you plan to operate the mount at a remote site. If you are looking for 200+ capacity, I would also recommend AP1600 or the new Paramount. I should point out that if your needs are closer to 150 ib payloads, there are excellent deals on ASTROMART for Paramount ME and AP1200 mounts.

James


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5866005 - 05/16/13 10:23 PM

Just to add grist for the mill:

Parallax.

Mathis Instruments.

And Mathis Instruments offers an equatorial fork...no meridian flip! Can't say that there's not enough choices!

David


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5866059 - 05/16/13 10:46 PM

Thanks for the links David. I'm checking them out.

I am not set on a brand yet.


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crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5866858 - 05/17/13 10:55 AM

For me its simple, if you live in North America you go AP, if you live in Europe then its 10 micron. Both top of the line manufacturers but support is naturally better in home markets. If the 10 micron is so new that its not on sale yet then I'd give it a miss. I know they had a few gremlins with the 1000hps initially which they have ironed out and its now a fantastic mount. If your goal is a C14 Edge why not the new AP 1100, save some money?
I'm mountless at the mo and don't know what the hell to get, trying to figure future use into a purchase is a thinker....


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: crow]
      #5867289 - 05/17/13 02:21 PM

AP1600 without encoders at the introductory price is sweet.

Dave, I'm a bit bemused by your situation because you are always saying your CGE Pro will blow away any AP or SB or...


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5867658 - 05/17/13 04:45 PM

Not at 150lb. Weight!

A cge pro cannot be compared to a me2. Ap1600, 10micron 3000, etc.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5867661 - 05/17/13 04:47 PM

What I heard is that Deep Space Products will be providing sales, service and support in the US for 10Micron mounts in the very near future.

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crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5868022 - 05/17/13 07:47 PM

If thats the case thats good news.

Didn't notice your mega weight requirement. AP1600, encoders etc, how can you go wrong?


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: crow]
      #5868744 - 05/18/13 04:11 AM

That would be good news, the 10Micron mounts look impressive. This won't be an easy choice.

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turtledude1
member
*****

Reged: 10/08/08

Loc: SW Fla.& SW. NM
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: WesC]
      #5868896 - 05/18/13 07:43 AM

If your budjet is in the 25K area then why the AP 1600? I'd go all the way with the AP 3600 that covers you up to 300 pounds.

Russ


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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: turtledude1]
      #5869069 - 05/18/13 10:04 AM

AP 1600 with encoders.

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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Joe C]
      #5869595 - 05/18/13 03:37 PM

Quote:

If it were my choice, there would be no contest. I would opt for the AP1600. The after purchase support along with machining is second to none. AP is a ZERO compromise manufacturer. You can get support not only web based but on the phone if you want or ever need it.

Another point is that AP holds their value better than any other. Not that you would need to sell it. Everything from Roland is a lifetime piece of art.




I agree which is why I ordered one. Within your budget even with encoders too. And definitely can easily handle your weight requirement at 220 lbs capacity. I have the AP recommended permanent ATS pier in my observatory; it can even be colored Astro-physics white!


Edited by Aquarist (05/18/13 03:47 PM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5869748 - 05/18/13 05:11 PM

You mentioned the Planewave mount. I talked to the designer/builder at the AIC in San Jose a couple years ago. That mount is a work of art as well. The machining is exquisite and the design is very well thought out. AND it is available with precision encoders.

David


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5870034 - 05/18/13 08:01 PM

Quote:


Dave, I'm a bit bemused by your situation because you are always saying your CGE Pro will blow away any AP or SB or...




What I know now.. reading the Beta Tester Site, talking with the engineer (you know who), I would never ever buy a Celestron mount again. This is nothing against the pro, or the CG5 I own, it's just the back and forth BS Celestron does. The Pro started out with an advertised +/-7 PE. Then it was changed to +/-3. Now it's up to +/-5. (I guess whatever batch comes out of china at the time, they will change the PE numbers to match?) They just make stuff up as they go.. It's pathetic. If you do get a new mount that's PE is over the advertised PE, the techno mumbo jumbo that is feed to the end user is total fabrication. I love the "typical unguided PE" line they use in the advertising now. Nice out clause right there.

I also noticed on the beta site, celestron is allowing the users to make there own repairs on still under warranty mounts. Voided Warranty? Something just doesn't pass the smell test... If they can't fix the dec issue, all those "beta" testers are out of luck for warranty repair.


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5870220 - 05/18/13 08:58 PM

You cannot go wrong with AP, they are good people making good mounts and they will help you out personally anytime. They will sell you a part if you need it and you talk with a real person when you call, maybe even Roland.
The quality, price, performance and support is top notch.
Blueman


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: blueman]
      #5870541 - 05/19/13 12:04 AM

It's AP all the way for me. No contest, and for all the reasons given in the other pro-AP posts.

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hungerford
sage


Reged: 08/23/08

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Calypte]
      #5870659 - 05/19/13 02:13 AM

Hi,
I use the Mesu 200 and I am other the moon with the quality and the accuracy of the mount. Maybe it is not available in the US but it is manufactured in the Netherlands.
Vince


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Calypte]
      #5871294 - 05/19/13 12:36 PM

Well as an AP user.... you know what I'll say.

IMHO the AP mounts are among the best bang for the buck mounts you can get. Really! compare them to say a Tak mount of comparable capacity.

The AP3600 is damn cheap! compared to the similar-capacity EM-3500.

And I can personally attest to AP's first-rate tech support. I'm not even in the US and I never call them. I was able to buy (new!) parts for my circa-1997 AP600 QMD mount. Very reasonable prices too (*cough* Celestron $130 motors *cough*).


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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5871784 - 05/19/13 03:41 PM

AP support is just phenomenal. I experienced it for my mount and was just amazed at the extent they go for the customer.
You can get fast and direct support on phone from their mount experts. They will stay on the phone as long as it takes to get your issue resolved and questions answered. Their support is second to none.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: korborh]
      #5875206 - 05/21/13 06:35 AM

And I'm a 10Micron guy

In fact, I got myself two of them and love them. One hour unguided without PC dependency.

/per


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5877461 - 05/22/13 07:24 AM

Check out this video for an AP tour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBMBqoh9WI4

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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5881503 - 05/24/13 01:24 AM

That looks nice!

My only concern is wether the results of the runs with the aid of a computer will be usable without one. Does the comet tracking require the PC or can it be done with the mount alone? Same for utilizing the precision of the model and the tracking accuracy. Anyone know?

/per


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raf1
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/18/05

Loc: south Texas
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: korborh]
      #5881764 - 05/24/13 08:40 AM

Quote:

AP 1600 with encoders.




+1


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5881781 - 05/24/13 08:50 AM

Quote:

That looks nice!

My only concern is wether the results of the runs with the aid of a computer will be usable without one. Does the comet tracking require the PC or can it be done with the mount alone? Same for utilizing the precision of the model and the tracking accuracy. Anyone know?

/per




Hi, I think all of those will require APCC which is on the PC.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: korborh]
      #5882459 - 05/24/13 02:36 PM

Quote:

AP 1600 with encoders.




Well, since we're all spending his money...

I'll agree with this suggestion!


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5882537 - 05/24/13 03:23 PM

Quote:



Hi, I think all of those will require APCC which is on the PC.




I was afraid of that. An ASA mount can't even find it's own motors, much less make any use of them, if not connected to the PC. Now AP is taking the same route? That is sad. AP mounts are really good, but the tracking models need to be in-mount and the mount should perform to its fullest without a pc.

That, of course, is my opinion. One can argue about the signifficance of this since you are probably imaging with a pc anyway, but I still feel that the mount should be autonomous in its base functions.

Why can't the firmware run the comet or ISS tracking? It is a simple thing to implement, as some mount makers have realized and done.

/per


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5883292 - 05/24/13 11:37 PM

I think 10micron is the only mount that can do the long exposure corrected unguided without a PC...

Because it IS A PC! (Well a Linux PC).

The AP mount controller is a basic affair that only does single star alignment. So I don't expect 10micron like behaviour from it anytime soon.


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5883373 - 05/25/13 12:43 AM

If you are imaging, you will have to have a computer anyway. That means that AP or other mounts that require one for some reason or another.
So if you are imaging, you have the computer resources that are required for the mount.
I cannot imagine why you would require a high end mount unless you are imaging.
Blueman
Blueman


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: blueman]
      #5883442 - 05/25/13 03:03 AM

blueman, this all goes back to the "AP vs SB" question.

Many in the AP camp say "but the SB won't even work without a computer!" while the AP works fine without a PC.

Now it's "the AP can't do 20-minute unguided without a PC and APCC! but the 10Micron can!" (of course the SB can as well with ProTrack, but it has always required a PC)


BTW: forgot about this until reminded.. it's worth mentioning that the 10Micron GM1000HPS is the cheapest mount you can get with absolute encoders. The encoders are not an option, they are built into the mount.

The downside (for me) of the GM1000HPS is that, for similar capacity to a Mach1, it weighs more (don't know if it costs more).

But it seems Dave has a huge setup, so weight would not be an issue for him, so I suspect 10Micron would be a viable alternative.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5883456 - 05/25/13 03:34 AM

A pc will be running.

It would be nice if they ditch the hc, or keep it, and have full tablet control.

Anyone know the price of apcc pro? Standard looks to be $250.

Im leaning towards the ap1600 or 10micron 3000. If i did the 1600, i would let ap install and test it. 10micron/dsp needs to hurry up with their US release.


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Aircrftr
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/29/06

Loc: Claremore OK
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: raf1]
      #5884609 - 05/25/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

AP 1600 with encoders.




+1




WERD. + 2


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Aircrftr]
      #5885113 - 05/26/13 04:38 AM

AP may very well get all this very right, no doubt about that, but if computer dependency gets into ASA territory then I am seriously worried.

Yes, the 10Micron box contains a small PC which runs a trimmed dwon version of Linux, but you really cannot compare a firmware-based solution to a full desktop operating system, especially in terms of stability. The PC has software from tons of companies while the firmware is truly downsized and tested as a whole and will never see anything it hasn't been tested with.


Just a final note on the PC or no PC required for "full fledged" operation... If you move the mout or control it from several different PCs, it becomes a hassle if the pointing and stuff is not in the mount itself.

Orlyandico, you are right. It is the only mount that does it self-contained and it is a mount that has absolute encoders and NEVER needs to home.

Wolfman, what's with the "GM3000"? Any info?

/per


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Nodinute
member


Reged: 06/05/07

Loc: 49°21'N / 6°10′E
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5885121 - 05/26/13 04:52 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Hi,
and what about a Direct Drive mount such as this one : Skyvision Nova 120 ?
No worm wheel & gear (no PE), high res encoders, payload of 260 lb, ideal for remote use...seen it during an astro show, really impressive mount.

Edited by Nodinute (05/26/13 11:13 AM)


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Nodinute]
      #5885195 - 05/26/13 07:27 AM

Why do you say that Skyvision has no need for encoders?

It has encoders.


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Nodinute
member


Reged: 06/05/07

Loc: 49°21'N / 6°10′E
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5885398 - 05/26/13 11:11 AM

Ooops...yes of course it has encoders, and very high res encoders...I must be drunk No need for worm wheel & gear
Thks.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5886983 - 05/27/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

AP1600 without encoders at the introductory price is sweet.





Are you saying the $11,700 is the intro price and is going to go up or that the price is cheaper somewhere else?


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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Calypte]
      #5891707 - 05/30/13 01:56 AM

can you post the native PE date and photos when you get your mount

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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Calypte]
      #5891727 - 05/30/13 02:17 AM

Cannot wait to see the Native PE and 15 minute sup from such an expensive mount. God I hope you do not put a small APO on this beast

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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Calypte]
      #5891787 - 05/30/13 04:14 AM

Cannot wait for the raw data on the PE and photos

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5892463 - 05/30/13 01:39 PM

Which mount did you decide to purchase?

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: bigj]
      #5908570 - 06/07/13 07:00 PM

Quote:

can you post the native PE date and photos when you get your mount




Yes


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: bigj]
      #5908572 - 06/07/13 07:01 PM

Quote:

God I hope you do not put a small APO on this beast




No..


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5909156 - 06/08/13 03:00 AM

Quote:

Which mount did you decide to purchase?





AP1600 with encoders.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5909357 - 06/08/13 08:38 AM

Quote:

AP1600 with encoders.





This post is NOT meant to be combative as when it comes to battle over the benefit to cost ratio for encoders, I am an unarmed man trying to find his way.

I have read the feature list for encoders. I have seen the A-P Sky and Tel NEAF 2013 video.

But I still don't see what these encoders offer as anything other than insanely little for their daunting cost. Most of what they address is handled by guiding.

Not having to home, reduced PE, reduced dec backlash. All very nice of course. But the cost is $7480 for the 1600.

I have to ask myself if this makes sense and I have worries about the longevity of these little slectronic gizmos too.

I am waiting for the AP1100. I don't plan on the encoder option. I am still unsure of what I will really be missing other than the above I mentioned.

I am assuming the 1100 will use the same encoders, at the same cost, as the 1600. So, they're a $7,480 "option" on an $8,800 mount.

So, Dave, what is it that made you decide to spring for the encoders?


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5909444 - 06/08/13 09:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

AP1600 with encoders.





This post is NOT meant to be combative as when it comes to battle over the benefit to cost ratio for encoders, I am an unarmed man trying to find his way.

I have read the feature list for encoders. I have seen the A-P Sky and Tel NEAF 2013 video.

But I still don't see what these encoders offer as anything other than insanely little for their daunting cost. Most of what they address is handled by guiding.

Not having to home, reduced PE, reduced dec backlash. All very nice of course. But the cost is $7480 for the 1600.

I have to ask myself if this makes sense and I have worries about the longevity of these little slectronic gizmos too.

I am waiting for the AP1100. I don't plan on the encoder option. I am still unsure of what I will really be missing other than the above I mentioned.

I am assuming the 1100 will use the same encoders, at the same cost, as the 1600. So, they're a $7,480 "option" on an $8,800 mount.

So, Dave, what is it that made you decide to spring for the encoders?




Read through this thread and you'll see why encoders are so much desired. 20 minutes unguided at a 2400mm focal length is pretty impressive. Is it worth $7400? If it's in the budget, then yes!

David


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Alph
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5909680 - 06/08/13 12:36 PM

Quote:

Read through this thread and you'll see why encoders are so much desired. 20 minutes unguided at a 2400mm focal length is pretty impressive. Is it worth $7400? If it's in the budget, then yes!



If that's the goal then Telescope Drive Master will do for much less.


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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5909742 - 06/08/13 01:16 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Read through this thread and you'll see why encoders are so much desired. 20 minutes unguided at a 2400mm focal length is pretty impressive. Is it worth $7400? If it's in the budget, then yes!



If that's the goal then Telescope Drive Master will do for much less.




Maybe, but only in one axis.


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dawziecat
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5909791 - 06/08/13 01:39 PM

Quote:

Maybe, but only in one axis.




I don't understand the function of an encoder on the dec axis at all for AP.
Forget whether it can or can not "eliminate" dec backlash. I gather that is a controversial claim.

The guider must still send corrections to the mount for errors in dec. What does the encoder do then? It must assume perfect alignment and no movement in dec at all, does it not? And the guider is trying to move the dec axis because alignment is never perfect? What happens? Who wins this tug of war, guider or encoder? The guider must, so why have the dec encoder at all? I am confused. I am also talking only about encoder use in AP. Not concerned with the mount never being "lost in space."

The unguided images taken by encoder-equipped mounts are pretty impressive though.

I am asking out of serious interest. If I were to be convinced these things really would make a huge difference, I just might (gulp!) reconsider buying my AP1100 with them.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5909976 - 06/08/13 03:43 PM

I don't get why encoder systems are so expensive. Seems to me you could whip one up with the guts of a dvd player. Once you've got the optical reader mechanics the rest is programming and control boards. I replaced a motor encoder on my LX200gps for less than 50 bucks IIRC.

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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5910040 - 06/08/13 04:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Maybe, but only in one axis.




I don't understand the function of an encoder on the dec axis at all for AP.
Forget whether it can or can not "eliminate" dec backlash. I gather that is a controversial claim.

The guider must still send corrections to the mount for errors in dec. What does the encoder do then? It must assume perfect alignment and no movement in dec at all, does it not? And the guider is trying to move the dec axis because alignment is never perfect? What happens? Who wins this tug of war, guider or encoder? The guider must, so why have the dec encoder at all? I am confused. I am also talking only about encoder use in AP. Not concerned with the mount never being "lost in space."

The unguided images taken by encoder-equipped mounts are pretty impressive though.

I am asking out of serious interest. If I were to be convinced these things really would make a huge difference, I just might (gulp!) reconsider buying my AP1100 with them.




First and foremost is the often sought goal of unguided imaging. Double absolute encoder systems allow for highly accurate tracking with less reliance on polar alignment. The availability of double absolute encoder systems is really in answer to the never ending goal of many astro imagers to achieve the unguided AP nirvana that so many seek.

In regards to guiding, the mounts can still be guided when the target so requires it, but guiding adjustments can be taken to their absolute minimum and are made in both axes. The encoders resolve the vast majority of the mechanical errors of the mount (which all mounts have) leaving the guiding to deal mostly with any flexure and refraction issues that remain with the imaging system and the sky.

Dual absolute encoder systems also allow for building of highly accurate and stable pointing models. Such models are of particular interest those people conducting imaging (especially remote imaging) of multiple targets or fast survey work like supernova searches.

Finally, dual absolute encoder systems can be run at much higher speeds than autoguided systems making them suitable for observation and imaging of fast moving objects like asteroids and satellites.

While similar performance can be obtained through the use of a direct drive mount, those mounts remain extremely expensive and uncommon at this point and have a tendency to be either very large or small and less robust than some of these higher-end worm drive systems.

Does everyone need such as system? No. A lot can be done with very well guided mounts that do not have absolute encoders. But dual absolute encoder systems remove the mount from the guiding challenge almost completely as is the goal of direct drive mounts. For those and need it and can afford it, it's the way to go.


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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5910046 - 06/08/13 04:25 PM

Quote:

I don't get why encoder systems are so expensive. Seems to me you could whip one up with the guts of a dvd player. Once you've got the optical reader mechanics the rest is programming and control boards. I replaced a motor encoder on my LX200gps for less than 50 bucks IIRC.




Mike,

We're not talking about 4000 or even 10000 tic encoders with relative positioning here. We are talking about 10 million tic encoders with absolute positioning (i.e., they always know exactly where they are pointing in their rotation). These things are darned expensive. When you are looking for sub-arc.sec. tracking and pointing accuracy, 10000 tic encoders won't do the trick.


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dawziecat
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5910181 - 06/08/13 06:01 PM

I still don't see it. Help me please.
The encoders do not "see" the star the way a guider does. In fact they will happily track all night under thick cloud . . . or during day, pointed at a clear blue sky, for that matter. They "track" only the angular rotation of the axis.
When imaging, the dec axis is not supposed to have any angular rotation at all!
So, when imaging, what is the function of the encoder on the dec axis? The dec axis is not supposed to move at all, assuming perfect alignment. Yet, when connected to an autoguider, the guider will certainly send orders to move the dec axis.
How does the dec encoder respond to that?

Unguided images are not an especial goal of mine, and not at an extremely high cost. Perfectly tracked images are my goal. I expect I will have to OAG to get that, encoder equipped or not.

There is an example alluded to in the thread of a 20 minute unguided sub at 2400mm IIRC. Impressive for sure. But surely an extremely accurate polar alignment is essential to achieve that . . . far more accurate than I ever see myself having in my mobile rig.

Edited by dawziecat (06/08/13 06:01 PM)


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5910195 - 06/08/13 06:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I don't get why encoder systems are so expensive. Seems to me you could whip one up with the guts of a dvd player. Once you've got the optical reader mechanics the rest is programming and control boards. I replaced a motor encoder on my LX200gps for less than 50 bucks IIRC.




Mike,

We're not talking about 4000 or even 10000 tic encoders with relative positioning here. We are talking about 10 million tic encoders with absolute positioning (i.e., they always know exactly where they are pointing in their rotation). These things are darned expensive. When you are looking for sub-arc.sec. tracking and pointing accuracy, 10000 tic encoders won't do the trick.



So you're saying you can't get 10 million optical ticks on the circumference of a dvd? What is the spacing of the 1s and 0s on a data disc? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding how data discs work.


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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5910305 - 06/08/13 08:02 PM

Quote:

I still don't see it. Help me please.
The encoders do not "see" the star the way a guider does. In fact they will happily track all night under thick cloud . . . or during day, pointed at a clear blue sky, for that matter. They "track" only the angular rotation of the axis.
When imaging, the dec axis is not supposed to have any angular rotation at all!
So, when imaging, what is the function of the encoder on the dec axis? The dec axis is not supposed to move at all, assuming perfect alignment. Yet, when connected to an autoguider, the guider will certainly send orders to move the dec axis.
How does the dec encoder respond to that?

Unguided images are not an especial goal of mine, and not at an extremely high cost. Perfectly tracked images are my goal. I expect I will have to OAG to get that, encoder equipped or not.

There is an example alluded to in the thread of a 20 minute unguided sub at 2400mm IIRC. Impressive for sure. But surely an extremely accurate polar alignment is essential to achieve that . . . far more accurate than I ever see myself having in my mobile rig.




"Assuming perfect [polar] alignment." That is part of it right there. What this type of system relies on is a very accurate model over a very accurate polar alignment. In essence, the mount can be set up, a roughly polar aligned and a group of modeling stars quickly centered and off you go. Polar alignment does not have to be perfect, nor is it necessary to rely completely on a guider to tell the DEC axis to move one way or another, which it may or may not do depending on stiction, backlash, etc.

You can find many mounts where it is obvious that the DEC axis is considered unimportant and is less well built than the RA axis as a result. In a perfect world with perfect polar alignment, that would be fine, but this is not a perfect world. With careful drift alignment you can certainly get close, but never perfect (someone who deals with large professional observatories would have to tell you how procession is ultimately dealt with in those systems).

I don't write the software that these systems use so I can't tell you how they prioritize movement between the encoders and a guider.

Whether or not you want or need unguided imaging or even imaging up to these standards is entirely up to you (and your pocketbook). A lot can be done with less certainly. Does everyone need to go out and spend this kind of money on a mount just to do any level of AP? No. But all you have to do is look around on the forums to see how many people struggle to do unguided AP on mounts that are simply incapable of it. For those that really want to do that, double absolute encoder systems are a way it may be accomplished, but it simply can't be done cheaply.

Should you spend as much to add on encoders as you spend on the mount? Again, that's up to you. The difference isn't that much in some systems while it may be in other systems. Should you spend as much or more on an encoder system as you spend on your mount to try to improve a lesser quality mount? There are arguments both ways on that as well.

Besides the ability of these systems to track non-sidereal objects and be up and running quickly at mobile sites, something else they excel at is remote imaging. Power loss is not a problem because as long as the mount knows the date time and location, it knows exactly where it is pointing, period. Wind gusts (or even bumping into the OTA) don't matter because the mounts can almost instantaneously correct for such movements.

When it comes down to it, the relatively recent rise of these double absolute encoder systems is a purely market driven phenomenon. It would be great if it were cheaper and we would all have them in that case. But at this point there is no way to do this on the cheap so you have to decide whether it is worth it to you or not. If not, I wouldn't agonize over it.


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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5910311 - 06/08/13 08:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I don't get why encoder systems are so expensive. Seems to me you could whip one up with the guts of a dvd player. Once you've got the optical reader mechanics the rest is programming and control boards. I replaced a motor encoder on my LX200gps for less than 50 bucks IIRC.




Mike,

We're not talking about 4000 or even 10000 tic encoders with relative positioning here. We are talking about 10 million tic encoders with absolute positioning (i.e., they always know exactly where they are pointing in their rotation). These things are darned expensive. When you are looking for sub-arc.sec. tracking and pointing accuracy, 10000 tic encoders won't do the trick.



So you're saying you can't get 10 million optical ticks on the circumference of a dvd? What is the spacing of the 1s and 0s on a data disc? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding how data discs work.




I see what you are saying now, but I can't really answer that question since I don't make the things. Obviously, the large the encoder disk, the easier you can make more tics in it, so a lot of this has to do with miniaturization and accuracy along with the absolute position systems in the encoders which add another layer of complexity over the simple straight line tics that can be seen on the average 256 count optical encoder. Beyond that you would have to talk with someone who makes them, uses them in the equipment they manufacture or programs for them.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5910332 - 06/08/13 08:22 PM

No problem Ed, I was just observing that the tech to read data off a circular disc exists in dirt cheap consumer disc players. Seems like it could be applied to some sort of basic drive rate control system.

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5910469 - 06/08/13 09:36 PM

Quote:


So, Dave, what is it that made you decide to spring for the encoders?




I'm still trying to ask myself the same question.. I talked with AP about it. They recommend the encoders for remote observatories. The encoders always know where the mount is so this option helps a lot for remote. For a backyard observatory, what's the point... except I use my backyard OB as remote with everything automated., so I guess that is why.. Is it still worth that price? Unknown I guess. AP holds their value very well.. will the encoders option allow for the markup when it comes to to sell the mount? Unknown since I will probably keep the mount long enough until it's only worth the price of it's metal.


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orlyandico
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5910681 - 06/09/13 12:32 AM

1) I have not seen any 10-million tick encoders at a reasonable cost. The cheapest I've seen are absolute, 22-bit Hengstler at about $500 (I'm trying to justify buying some of these because using incremental encoders in my project has hit a dead end of sorts). 22 bits is 4 million ticks, but absolute accuracy is only +/- 35" (2048 ppr).

Heidenhain also has the 25-bit ECN425, but even though that's 32 million ticks, the repeatable accuracy is only +/- 10 arcseconds. Hence I am still puzzled how the TDM manages to do +/- 1" to +/- 2" with the (lower class) Heidenhain ERN180/480 incremental encoder - a feat I have not managed to duplicate.

The problems with encoder swash, eccentricity, etc. (all issues I haven't solved in my DIY encoder) are addressed in the AP mounts using multiple read heads. I fully expect the AP mounts use Renishaw encoders with the inner diameter of the RA and DEC housings as the encoder tracks.

2) Ed isn't saying this because he sells them, but the 10Micron HPS1000 is the cheapest dual absolute encoder mount that you can get. It weighs more than a Mach1, has the capacity of a Mach1, costs about $1000 more, but has dual absolute encoders.

Incidentally... Ed, if you could share the manufacturer and model number of the encoders on the GM1000HPS I would be enlightened.


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vdb
sage


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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5910900 - 06/09/13 05:45 AM

When buying the mesu 200 we considered high res encoders ...
We've seen plenty of shots that are unguided at 20 minutes and over 2 meter ... Partner even has an ASA and doesn't need guiding ...
In the end we decided to buy without as the mesu's error is really slow and smooth and has no backlash.

Another advantage is that guider sees other errors's the encoder does not, flex, mirror movement etc ... yes you can model for those errors, but then they need to be 100% identical time after time.


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freestar8n
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5910910 - 06/09/13 06:03 AM

My take on encoders is the following:

If you want to do unguided imaging with a permanent setup, they would be a big win. If the mount is well modeled, then even if it is perfectly aligned there will still be a need for some motion in dec., so accurate dec. encoders would have value.

If you have such a setup then I expect good guiding with OAG alone would do better than unguided - especially if the seeing is good. If a low end mount has encoders then they may smooth out the motion and improve guided images - but I don't know why it would help with a high end mount. Either way - I don't know any examples where someone did tight oag autoguiding with and without encoders enabled - and saw an improvement in the resulting images due to encoders.

I can see the benefit of absolute encoders on a remote mount to give you a firm indication of where it is pointing - but even crude encoders would do the job to know your approx. location - and plate solves would then let you know exactly.

I can imagine that with mid-range equipment, a high res encoder would help on the dec. axis to reduce the effects of backlash and stiction. But even then that would only really be a need if stars tend to be oblong in dec. - indicating it's a limiting factor.

Overall - I would much rather have them than not have them, ignoring budget, and if I had a high end mount in a permanent observatory I would want encoders also - for accurate fast tracking of asteroids and satellites for example. But I wouldn't expect it to improve guided images.

Frank


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orion69
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5910957 - 06/09/13 07:57 AM

Quote:

What this type of system relies on is a very accurate model over a very accurate polar alignment. In essence, the mount can be set up, a roughly polar aligned and a group of modeling stars quickly centered and off you go. Polar alignment does not have to be perfect, ...




Frankly, I don't quite understand this...
Let's say we have a mount with absolute encoders and using most accurate model, but polar alignment is not perfect, it's just a little off.
So, how would encoders with model compensate field rotation which will most certainly happen in 30 min or longer subs if polar alignment is not accurate enough?
I'm not aware of any mount that is able to correct polar alignment in "run time" and that assumes alt-az correction of the mount.


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freestar8n
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orion69]
      #5910974 - 06/09/13 08:25 AM

I think there can be a middle ground where the polar alignment is very accurate and would not show field rotation - but it would still benefit from very accurate and well modeled corrections in dec. A mid-range mount without encoders could not blindly make corrections in dec. that would be beneficial - but with high-res encoders I think it is possible.

But again - tight guiding with OAG would be better - and then you don't need encoders, and you don't need to model the mount and polar alignment with a bunch of stars. To me that is much more of a "set up and go" system.

Frank


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Per Frejvall
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5911449 - 06/09/13 02:37 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Guys and gals, a few comments from a real absolute buff

I have two of them, a GM1000HPS and a GM2000HPS. It isn't just the fact that it can do unguided that thrills me. In essence, the totally hassle-free operation of these babies is absolutely wonderful.

I haven't calculated how much field rotation you get with, say, 15 minutes of polar error and 20 minutes of exposure, but it can't be much.

I have my balcony setup on a pier. With the GM1000 I did the following:

1. Set correct altitude on mount
2. Aimed at the chimney that I know is about N
3. Ran a 15 star alignment
4. Consulted handset and got "0.5Lf, 0.7Up"
5. Adjusted Az screw by half a turn to the left
6. Adjusted Alt screw by 0.7 turns further up
7. Ran a 55 star model followed by a model optimization

The handset now reports as shown in the image. "Running a model" means invoking my model making software - avilable for free or donation - and reading a book while the stuff is being done. "Model optimization" is a function of that software and it involves removing the worst point repeatedly until the desired target RMS error is achieved.

This is all super cool and I love technical gadgets

Now, as for guiding. Considering the fact that I shot a couple of one-hour subs with my GM2000HPS with a 190MN (1000mm FL) unguided and got round stars, I am thinking of trying with only an adaptive optics thing and no guide inputs to the mount. It may work!

Encoders. 10Micron will not tell you what encoders are in their mounts. Renishaw is one candidate and there are others. I have noticed that absolute encoders differ in terms of how absolute they are. Most will need an initial movement in order to find out where they are, and the amount of movement required decreases with increasing encoder cost.

I believe most absolute encoder equipped mounts will do a slight movement back and forth per axis in order to get a fix on the encoders.

Now, I can do one hour subs with my NEQ6 too, but I will have to guide it and I will lose more subs. I do not like guiding. Sure, it can be pretty reliable but never totally hassle free. And you lose imaging time with all the calibration and stuff.

I guess hte final verdict is that encoders are a sure way to success but you do not really need them. But just like a car, where we all do fall victims to our vanity, it is more satisfying to have a cool mount (and leather upholstery, power this, power that, more cylinders and many extra horsepower that you do not really need in order to drive).

/per


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Alph
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5911487 - 06/09/13 03:02 PM

Quote:


3. Ran a 15 star alignment
4. Consulted handset and got "0.5Lf, 0.7Up"
5. Adjusted Az screw by half a turn to the left
6. Adjusted Alt screw by 0.7 turns further up



So a 15 star pointing model and crude knob adjustments got you 39" from the NCP!? That's a luck not a method.

Quote:

Now, as for guiding. Considering the fact that I shot a couple of one-hour subs with my GM2000HPS with a 190MN (1000mm FL) unguided and got round stars,



That tells me nothing. What's your plate scale?


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5911638 - 06/09/13 04:44 PM

Quote:

I am thinking of trying with only an adaptive optics thing and no guide inputs to the mount. It may work!




Better hurry up before I try it!

Nice software in those 10Micron Mounts.. To bad they don't offer the 3000 in the US yet. I really considered it. A US based manufacture was the final decision with their top notch support.

Thanks for the info Per. I believe JWalk has a 1600 with encoders using the beta ver of APCC in NM Skies.


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Per Frejvall
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5912735 - 06/10/13 10:21 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:


3. Ran a 15 star alignment
4. Consulted handset and got "0.5Lf, 0.7Up"
5. Adjusted Az screw by half a turn to the left
6. Adjusted Alt screw by 0.7 turns further up



So a 15 star pointing model and crude knob adjustments got you 39" from the NCP!? That's a luck not a method.

Quote:

Now, as for guiding. Considering the fact that I shot a couple of one-hour subs with my GM2000HPS with a 190MN (1000mm FL) unguided and got round stars,



That tells me nothing. What's your plate scale?




Polar alignment after 15 model points is usually sub minute. No luck involved. The adjustment instructions, as well as the knobs, are very precise and works well with both the GM1000 and the GM2000. No crudeness involved there...

Plate scale should be easy to guess, at least. Most cameras seem to be around five to seven microns pixel size. In this case it was an SX M26C, so image scale was 1.24"/px. It was a test and, naturally, the subs were useless with burned-out stars.

Single sub M106, one hour unguided, SW 190MN, SX M26C, GM2000HPS.


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5912767 - 06/10/13 10:40 AM

Quote:


Polar alignment after 15 model points is usually sub minute. No luck involved. The adjustment instructions, as well as the knobs, are very precise and works well with both the GM1000 and the GM2000. No crudeness involved there...





If I understand correctly, first you set 15 model points (not using alt-az knobs I presume) and after that polar alignment is sub minute?
How can that be if you didn't use alt-az knobs and mount isn't permanently setup?

Or is it after 15 model points and adjusting alt-az knobs?

Edited by orion69 (06/10/13 10:43 AM)


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orlyandico
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orion69]
      #5912881 - 06/10/13 11:49 AM

I think he builds a 15-star model. The mount then figures out how far off the pole he is. Then it tells him how many turns to turn the Alt and Az knobs to get on the pole.

Seems like a supercharged version of ASPA. I believe it..


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5913036 - 06/10/13 12:55 PM

Quote:

I think there can be a middle ground where the polar alignment is very accurate and would not show field rotation - but it would still benefit from very accurate and well modeled corrections in dec. A mid-range mount without encoders could not blindly make corrections in dec. that would be beneficial - but with high-res encoders I think it is possible.

But again - tight guiding with OAG would be better - and then you don't need encoders, and you don't need to model the mount and polar alignment with a bunch of stars. To me that is much more of a "set up and go" system.

Frank




This might help from the manual of a dual absolute encoder mount:

Quote:

Notes on autoguiding

When properly aligned, and using the dual axis tracking option, the [dual absolute encoder] mount is able to track stars with extreme accuracy. Usually autoguiding is not required, and may easily be counter-productive if the seeing is worse that about 1 arcsecond FWHM; in that case, guiding corrections will likely “correct” what are really movements of the guide star image due to the atmosphere.

With very long exposure times (tens of minutes) tracking errors could show nevertheless. In this case you will need autoguiding. In order to minimise the possible errors introduced by the guiding corrections, you will need to use a very low “aggressiveness” setting in your autoguiding software, and/or very low autoguide speed (down to 0.1x) and integration times up to several seconds. If your alignment is not very good, you may use higher autoguider speeds and faster integration times in order to track objects, but accuracy will suffer accordingly.

Note that if you need to autoguide on the declination axis, you may obtain a slightly better result if you disable the dual axis tracking option, so that the declination corrections will be always in the same direction.




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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5913060 - 06/10/13 01:12 PM

Quote:

I think he builds a 15-star model. The mount then figures out how far off the pole he is. Then it tells him how many turns to turn the Alt and Az knobs to get on the pole.

Seems like a supercharged version of ASPA. I believe it..




What he is doing is a combination of alignment procedures including one of two possible polar alignment routines as follows:

Iterative Alignment of the Polar Axis

This procedure uses a star (chosen among a small list) and Polaris to align the polar axis. The accuracy of the alignment will depend of the orthogonality error of the optical axis: the larger the orthogonality error, the worse the polar axis will be aligned.

1. If you have not done it before, select MENU – Alignment – Clear Align and press ENTER.
2. Select MENU – Alignment – Polar Iterate.
3. The system will provide a small list of suitable stars. Choose the star you prefer and press ENTER.
4. Now the system will ask to slew to the star. Press ENTER to confirm the slew.
5. Centre the star with the keypad and press ENTER.
6. Now the system will ask to slew to Polaris. Press ENTER to confirm the slew.
7. Centre Polaris moving the polar axis with the altitude and azimuth movements as described in paragraph 4.13 and press ENTER.
8. Repeat the procedure from step 4 until both stars are centered with a good precision, i.e. you can slew between the two without significant errors.
9. Press ESC to terminate the procedure.


Aligning the Polar Axis with the Polar Align function

This procedure uses the data computed in the alignment step to align the polar axis. If done after at least a three-stars alignment, or a two-stars alignment followed by at least one refinement, it is insensitive to orthogonality error; moreover it can be done without using Polaris, so it is very useful if you can't see Polaris from your point of view.
The first thing to do is a two-stars alignment or a three-stars alignment.
After the alignment, the mount will know the polar axis misalignment. Now do the following:
1. Select MENU – Alignment – Polar align and select a star from the list.
2. The system will ask to slew to the star. Press ENTER to confirm.
3. The scope will slew to the star and miss it. Now move the polar axis of the mount with the altitude and azimuth movements until the star is accurately centered in the field of view and press ENTER.
The polar axis now is correctly aligned, and the mount will point correctly. However, it is advisable to make a new three-stars alignment in order to improve the pointing accuracy. At this point you can't use directly the Refine 2-stars function, since you would obtain a wrong model.
In order to obtain optimal performance, it is not required to correct physically the orthogonality error; if you wish to do so, however, the mount will help you with the procedure.


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freestar8n
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Reged: 10/12/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5913617 - 06/10/13 05:23 PM

I don't see anything there that would explain why good oag autoguiding without encoders would be inferior to autoguiding with encoders. Encoders would allow you to guide with less aggressiveness - but what matters in the end is the actual size of stars you get for the given conditions. I haven't seen results or even anecdotal evidence that "My stars are much smaller now." But I don't doubt the unguided imaging would be better.

Frank


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5913881 - 06/10/13 08:02 PM

Per - what's the average time it takes you to run through your setup? (I don't know if you're a fast reader, or a slow reader. )

Thanks,

Paul


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5914445 - 06/11/13 02:06 AM

Quote:

Polar alignment after 15 model points is usually sub minute. No luck involved. The adjustment instructions, as well as the knobs, are very precise and works well with both the GM1000 and the GM2000. No crudeness involved there...



It is simply unbelievable. I have never heard anyone touting this type of performance from TPoint and the Paramount ME. TPoint has been used for a couple of decades in many professional observatories and the author of TPoint published many papers on mount pointing models. On the other hand, 10micron can’t even make the user manual available for download. They have zero credibility. I don’t buy for a minute that a 15 point model plus two knob turns can result in the polar alignment accuracy of less than one arc-minute.

Quote:

Plate scale should be easy to guess, at least. Most cameras seem to be around five to seven microns pixel size



Not at all. Pixel sizes in commercial cameras range from 3 to 26 microns.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5914520 - 06/11/13 04:33 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Alph,

If you choose not to belive what I say, that is quite alright by me. I do agree that 10Micron should make the manual available, but the argument I have heard put forward against it is that they have such novel technology in their mounts that they do not want to give the competition the benefit of peeking into it.

T-point may model the sky perfectly (and I think it probably does) but it cannot read any positional feedback from the mount axis and thus can only apply corrections on a blind basis. 10Micron has the absolute encoders connected in the feedback control loop (along with the less accurate motor encoders) and produce a much tighter control pattern.

I found a technical note on this on their site: http://10micron.de/informations/differences-between-mount-drives/?lang=en


Frank,

Guiding is guiding, I agree to that. I have never had serious issues with guiding but it is still something that I have learned to enjoy being without. So, for me unguided imaging is a nifty technical feature that I enjoy, and on top of that I have very good unguided performance. Unguided imaging also gives more imaging time which I will utilize this fall when my stuff will be running ACP Scheduler.

As for the notes on 0.1x guiding speed and agressiveness, I believe those are valid notations. I have yet to try serious guiding with my 10Micron mounts, and I plan to do that this fall when darkness returns. Right now I do not even have nautical dusk and just barely civil (-7° tonight). Experiments will be with the smaller mount, the GM1000HPS that will be in a small obsy on an island in the Stockholm archipelago. The GM2000HPS will be in Provence and thus more difficult to get to.

Paul,

Time varies and as I have a fixed setup on a pier on the balcony I only have to do something when I change scope or something.

Generally speaking and looking at model run logs I can deduce that with 4 seconds exposure and 2 seconds of slew settle time, a 100-point model takes 48 minutes. That is with a slew rate of just 5°/s (my neighbors complain when I run the GM1000HPS at full speed, which us 15°/s, when the sound travels in the concrete floor of the balcony to their ceiling...)

I do not perform the iterative polar alignment described in the manual nor the "center star" polar alignment. I simply let my own software clear the model, enter new refraction data and then create plate solved alignment points in the mount. After that I just follow the info shown in my post above (the screen dumps from the handset). If it below two minutes on the first try I let it bee, else I redo once. The latter situation is somewhat unusual and the result is mostly sub minute. Somebody at 10Micron apparently calculated the effect of a knob-turn very accurately.

Attached is a log from a model run a while ago. I have since developed the model builder further and it can now do an iterative point deletion in the mount with a target expected RMS error. Usually, the optimization zaps 10-15 points for a target RMS error of 4-5".

I actually made a small screen-dump clip of my new model optimization at work. For those interested, it gives an insight as to how the model builder works and looks, and also shows the terrible terrain mask I have from the balcony

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



In general, mount technology has taken a giant leap forward with the introduction of high accuracy absolute encoders in generally available commercial products. My personal belief if that encoders are needed in modern products and that they should be included in the modeled internal control loop for best results. My take. My 2 cents

All the best from sunny Sweden,

Per


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5914521 - 06/11/13 04:38 AM

Ed,

See my post above. I do not do either of the suggested methods. I just follow the knob advise. The center star polar alignment works very well too but involves repeated exposures and time out in the cold with an iPad or something I do not have, nor have I ever had, an eypiece on my scope so the CCD is my only eye.


/per


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famax
member


Reged: 07/01/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5914564 - 06/11/13 06:41 AM

A simple test on the 10µ gm1000 hps on this french website :
http://www.astrosurf.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/038986.html


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: famax]
      #5914584 - 06/11/13 07:08 AM

Per, is there any difference in alt/az knob system between GM2000HPS and GM1000HPS?
How does it work, any similarities with standard mounts like CGEM?


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orion69]
      #5914612 - 06/11/13 07:58 AM

Knez,

Yes they differ but the firmware, even though it is the same in 1000, 2000 and 4000, naturally knows which mount it is handling and thus supplies the correct instructions.

I haven't seen a CGEM so I cannot comment on similarities... 10Micron uses fairly fine-threaded screws that push onto a metal block and I guess that is pretty standard practice. The altitude system is rack and pinion on the 1000 and push-screw on the 2000.

/per


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5914697 - 06/11/13 09:23 AM

Quote:

On the other hand, 10micron can’t even make the user manual available for download. They have zero credibility.




Wrong as usual. The manuals are here:

GM1000HPS

GM2000HPS

GM4000HPS

Read away. Do you think I don't know what the US market wants?


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: famax]
      #5914745 - 06/11/13 10:02 AM

Quote:

A simple test on the 10µ gm1000 hps on this french website :
http://www.astrosurf.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/038986.html




I love the Google translator that obviously turns what is "mount" in French to "horse" so that they are talking about hauling a horse around.


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R Botero
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/02/09

Loc: Kent, England
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5914763 - 06/11/13 10:15 AM

Thank you!!! At last some sense to this nonsense of no manual being available anywhere!

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5914767 - 06/11/13 10:21 AM

Per - thanks for the times. Just curious on how long it takes to set things up. Or, in my case, if I mess up, how long I have to do it over again.

Paul


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5914798 - 06/11/13 10:40 AM

Quote:

T-point may model the sky perfectly (and I think it probably does) but it cannot read any positional feedback from the mount axis and thus can only apply corrections on a blind basis. 10Micron has the absolute encoders connected in the feedback control loop (along with the less accurate motor encoders) and produce a much tighter control pattern.



According to SB, the Paramount mounts can achieve all-sky pointing accuracy of 10 arc-seconds which is pretty close to your result of 6 arc-seconds that is not all-sky anyway. The Paramount ME II with hi-res on-axis encoders can achieve 5 arc-second all-sky pointing accuracy. The point being, the paramount mounts without hi-res encoders are very accurate yet they can't get PA under one arc-minute with a 15 point TPoint model.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5914999 - 06/11/13 12:38 PM

I really suggest reading the document at http://10micron.de/informations/differences-between-mount-drives/?lang=en as it explains quite a bit about encoder technology.

As for the accuracy... If the scope is without irregular flexure and the pier or tripod steady, and I run a 100-star model, I can refine it down to 3" by loosing some of the worst points.

Now, the thing for me is not pointing accuracy at all, but rather tracking accuracy, and this is where 10Micron's products truly excel. We all plate solve anyway so pointing is not that key. With the encoders in the control loop all is well.

I think Bisque will have encoders ready late 2013 at the price of $3000 per axis. Luckily they state that the encoders will have to be installed at the factory, this in contrast to other mount manufacturers who state that they can be field installed. The latter I don't believe. Given the Bisque mounts excellent track record, I am sure that they will get this right. The mount is kind of exensive, though, at $16,500 (but with an impressive payload!).

I truly do not understand why hey can't get decent polar alignment though. Both my 10Micron mounts are easy to get sub-minute.

/p


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EFT
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5915072 - 06/11/13 01:30 PM

Quote:

I really suggest reading the document at http://10micron.de/informations/differences-between-mount-drives/?lang=en as it explains quite a bit about encoder technology.

As for the accuracy... If the scope is without irregular flexure and the pier or tripod steady, and I run a 100-star model, I can refine it down to 3" by loosing some of the worst points.

Now, the thing for me is not pointing accuracy at all, but rather tracking accuracy, and this is where 10Micron's products truly excel. We all plate solve anyway so pointing is not that key. With the encoders in the control loop all is well.

I think Bisque will have encoders ready late 2013 at the price of $3000 per axis. Luckily they state that the encoders will have to be installed at the factory, this in contrast to other mount manufacturers who state that they can be field installed. The latter I don't believe. Given the Bisque mounts excellent track record, I am sure that they will get this right. The mount is kind of exensive, though, at $16,500 (but with an impressive payload!).

I truly do not understand why hey can't get decent polar alignment though. Both my 10Micron mounts are easy to get sub-minute.

/p




Installation at the factory is not at all surprising due to the precision requirements for these systems. I'm not sure what systems are field-installable other than the one add-on system out there and the adapters for that system are $400 which is not surprising considering the necessary level of precision. Increasing levels of precision is what you are paying for in all of these mounts, with and without absolute encoders. What is amazing is the professional level of precision that is now becoming available in amateur mounts now. Truly amazing.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5915268 - 06/11/13 03:26 PM

With Tpoint I always do a plate solved sync then at least 42 plate solved samples followed by a supermodel. I do not trust polar alignment reports done with fewer samples or without doing a supermodel.

It's certainly possible to get within one arc minute after the first adjustment (especially if you use CCD/video feedback while turning the altitude axis knob). But with only 15 samples it would be pure luck and more importantly perhaps not 100% accurate for lack of sufficient sampling.

Gather more samples well distributed over the sky and Tpoint will find all sorts of flexures and harmonic terms that cause it to produce a different polar alignment report. Perhaps one that shows that with these in mind that you're actually more than an arc minute off after all...


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5915368 - 06/11/13 04:13 PM

AP says you can install yourself for the precision encoders.

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5915419 - 06/11/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

As for the accuracy... If the scope is without irregular flexure and the pier or tripod steady, and I run a 100-star model, I can refine it down to 3" by loosing some of the worst points.



I think you are blindly trusting a tool that has no established record from a company that is afraid to publish the user manual.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5915435 - 06/11/13 04:56 PM

Coz,

Yes, AP was in my head when I wrote that but I didn't want to stir up any feelings

Absolute encoders need to be modeled themselves using even better and bigger encoders. At least that is what 10Micron, and I suspect Bisque, does. The encoder is put in place with rediculous precision and then the whole assembly is modeled with an even more rediculously accurate encoder thingy. The parameters for the encoder is then stored permanently in the mount. The results are staggering.

Frolinmod,

I am not familiar with the terms used by T-point, but I am certain that the mathematics are impeccable. As for number of samples needed for a reasonable polar alignment, I am not sure more is necessarily better.

If I run a 15 point and then adjust, clear the mount and run a 100 point model the result is always quite good with a low polar error. 10Micron uses complex model terms in their modeling algorithm and the more you get the better. A model usually results in 9 to 22 complex model terms and there is not a fixed correlation to the number of points. I visualize it as similar to a polynomial curve fitting, meaning the model won't actually hold corrections for different positions. Instead it holds the complex model terms that seamlessly warp the sky.

The 10Micron model computations yield polar error as well as orthogonal error and flexure. What it cannot do is model random flexure. It doesn't have to model harmonics as these eliminated already in the servo control loop. Given that, I guess the T-point algorithms are more advanced as they are used to correct harmonics as well.

Off to bed

/per


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5915453 - 06/11/13 05:06 PM

Quote:

I think you are blindly trusting a tool that has no established record from a company that is afraid to publish the user manual.




I guess I have to post this again for you. The manuals are here:

GM1000HPS

GM2000HPS

GM4000HPS

Sorry to burst your conspiracy bubble. No fear at all, it's just that some markets want different information than other markets. Seems to me that 10 years is at least a reasonable track record for a relatively new high-end mount company. You seem to be grasping at straws and name calling as usual.

If you have specific questions that don't involve company design secrets, then let's hear them so that they can be addressed. If you simply won't believe anything you read or are told, then please go design your own equipment and prove everyone wrong.

As for Per's software (which you seem to be alluding to), he will have to explain that, but other than not believing his results, you haven't presented anything to prove his software unsuitable or his methods wrong.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5915466 - 06/11/13 05:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I don't get why encoder systems are so expensive. Seems to me you could whip one up with the guts of a dvd player. Once you've got the optical reader mechanics the rest is programming and control boards. I replaced a motor encoder on my LX200gps for less than 50 bucks IIRC.




Mike,

We're not talking about 4000 or even 10000 tic encoders with relative positioning here. We are talking about 10 million tic encoders with absolute positioning (i.e., they always know exactly where they are pointing in their rotation). These things are darned expensive. When you are looking for sub-arc.sec. tracking and pointing accuracy, 10000 tic encoders won't do the trick.



So you're saying you can't get 10 million optical ticks on the circumference of a dvd? What is the spacing of the 1s and 0s on a data disc? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding how data discs work.




I see what you are saying now, but I can't really answer that question since I don't make the things. Obviously, the large the encoder disk, the easier you can make more tics in it, so a lot of this has to do with miniaturization and accuracy along with the absolute position systems in the encoders which add another layer of complexity over the simple straight line tics that can be seen on the average 256 count optical encoder. Beyond that you would have to talk with someone who makes them, uses them in the equipment they manufacture or programs for them.




You cannot compare a CD player as it has the bits passing underneath it all the time but only gets the absolute position of the track very seldom. Besides, the absolute position comes serially which means it takes up a bunch of ticks in itself. Not doable.

A high resolution encoder needs to use some kind of pattern that increases the resolution. It also needs some mean of becoming absolute. A number of encoders are absolute only to a certain extent and rely on a small calibration at start up.

You can picture a hi res encoder as having a pattern with nine ticks per unit of distance on one "channel" and ten on another. When you interpolate the two you get a resolution that is higher than ten per unit. Exactly the same way callipers work actually.

Now transform the principle up to 12 million points to a revolution on a four inch wheel's circumference. Imagine the problem of making each interpolated tick absolute with its own value. You would probaly opt for a solution that has an absolute address available every 1000 interpolated steps or so and rely on the fact that you pass an address ever so often and then count your way from there. On startup the system would move the axis just a little bit back and forth in order to pick up the actual position on the "wheel", and then move back to where it was, now knowing exactly where it is. And it can go back to exactly where it was as it is recording what is happening with the ticks during the calibration.

Simple analogies but I believe they drive the point through. If you want to look at expensive and good encoders, then check out Renishaw.

Incidently, when I power either of my 10Micron mounts up it will do a very quick and hardly noticeable dance on each axis

/per


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5915491 - 06/11/13 05:22 PM

Quote:

Absolute encoders need to be modeled themselves using even better and bigger encoders. At least that is what 10Micron, and I suspect Bisque, does. The encoder is put in place with ridiculous precision and then the whole assembly is modeled with an even more ridiculously accurate encoder thingy. The parameters for the encoder is then stored permanently in the mount. The results are staggering.




This is my understanding of the process as well. Just look over at Orly's thread where he has been trying to make a homemade encoder system and the problems with machining and mounting accuracy become obvious. You can buy a high accuracy absolute encoder, but that doesn't mean you can slap it on something and make it work. Nothing is perfect so to increase the accuracy of a measuring system, the measuring system itself must be measured and adjusted for it's inherent inaccuracies. It all comes down to cost. The more accurate, the more expensive. When the cost comes down on one system, then a new even more accurate system arises and the cost cycle begins again.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5915526 - 06/11/13 05:37 PM

Quote:

It doesn't have to model harmonics as these eliminated already in the servo control loop.



Good point.


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5915535 - 06/11/13 05:40 PM

I don't know, after all the complicated gobbledegook (including the fact that Per's mount does some kind of dance, but not which dance - hopefully not Gangnam Style, or I'd have to pass on that mount), it really does turn out to be quite simple:

Guided or unguided - do you get nice small round stars? Any rotation? Trailing? Etc.? If you get great stars, then it works. The longer the subs, the better. If you don't get great stars, it doesn't work.

People can declaim "something is impossible because I say it's impossible," but if you throw up a pre-post picture and the stars look great, those people are just plain wrong. Seriously - if someone says they get 30 minute unguided and there's a picture with nice round tight stars doing that, and they never throw out subs...there is no debate.

So, really: do you get great stars? If you do, then it works, no matter what anyone who doesn't have the mount, never seen the mount says. If you don't, then the mount's not up to spec.

There, simple. Do you get great stars?

At least that's how I pick my mounts,

Paul


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5915550 - 06/11/13 05:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

As for the accuracy... If the scope is without irregular flexure and the pier or tripod steady, and I run a 100-star model, I can refine it down to 3" by loosing some of the worst points.



I think you are blindly trusting a tool that has no established record from a company that is afraid to publish the user manual.




Oh, well... I guess 10Micron hasn't been peer-reviewed but which mount has?

The company has 35 years of precision mechanics experience of which 15 in the mounts division. The encoder design was developed in cooperation with Baader Planetarium, another company with an outstanding record.

Apparently the user manual is openly available.

Now, what was the point of your comment? I don't get it.


/per


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5915553 - 06/11/13 05:53 PM

Quote:

Now, what was the point of your comment? I don't get it.





I think it's Precision Mount Envy....


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5915577 - 06/11/13 06:04 PM

Quote:

I don't know, after all the complicated gobbledegook (including the fact that Per's mount does some kind of dance, but not which dance - hopefully not Gangnam Style, or I'd have to pass on that mount), it really does turn out to be quite simple:

Guided or unguided - do you get nice small round stars? Any rotation? Trailing? Etc.? If you get great stars, then it works. The longer the subs, the better. If you don't get great stars, it doesn't work.

People can declaim "something is impossible because I say it's impossible," but if you throw up a pre-post picture and the stars look great, those people are just plain wrong. Seriously - if someone says they get 30 minute unguided and there's a picture with nice round tight stars doing that, and they never throw out subs...there is no debate.

So, really: do you get great stars? If you do, then it works, no matter what anyone who doesn't have the mount, never seen the mount says. If you don't, then the mount's not up to spec.

There, simple. Do you get great stars?

At least that's how I pick my mounts,

Paul




I get great stars and the dance is just a buzz back and a buzz forward, not Gangnam Style

My M106 crop above, which is a single sub, has round stars. This forum doesn't allow picture posting to the extent that I am used to or I would post a few examples of unguided imaging from a balcony 14 km from the center of Stockholm (in Sweden, not Wisconsin). But if you do care to click on a link, here are two examples:

http://filer.frejvall.se/M101_v3.jpg

http://filer.frejvall.se/NGC2403_Norrland_edition.jpg

Both are unguided and shot with a not so perfectly collimated 190MN with scratches in the primary mirror (accident during collimation).

Anyway, I am very pleased with the mounts and will most likely get another one after I burn all I have saved up for now on a 29050-based QSI 700 series... Yikes!

/per


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5915646 - 06/11/13 06:55 PM

Those shots look really nice. I'd say your rig is working really well and you're enjoying it. Frankly, I'm just jealous of all the money you good people have to buy these amazing toys.


I really do not understand all the anger and implied cloak and dagger nonsense that certain users seem to push hard every time someone likes their equipment. For God's sake its a freaking equatorial mount, not a nuclear bomb, chill out and go look at some stars or something. Sheesh.


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: WesC]
      #5915670 - 06/11/13 07:07 PM

Per - yup, you get nice stars (that's why I mentioned that above), and that's the proof in the pudding (or, if you don't like pudding, just the proof).

Whether people want to guide or unguide, polarscope or not, heavy mount, light mount, those are all personal variables. In the end, do you get great stars? - that's always the one main thing a mount is supposed to do (well, track, but that's one of the best symptoms of great tracking/guiding/modelling).

If someone can get their old 1960's GEM with a "clock drive" all cherried out to get great stars while they're manually guiding with their eye through a finder scope, then bully for them! I'm not going to say anything's wrong with that. It all comes out in the wash. I just don't know why people who've never even seen a piece of equipment are SO SURE that someone who has that piece of equipment, are using that piece of equipment, are getting great stars with that piece of equipment is wrong. It baffles me.

It was like the time when I was younger and I had Ferrari's. I was parked outside a friend's house waiting for them to come out and this guy comes by, looks at the car, then tries to explain to me why it was a waste of money and a hopped up Honda would, and I quote, "kick its *BLEEP*." Of course, he had never even driven a Ferrari. Then my friend, who was a very beautiful actress, came out all dolled up for one of her movie premieres and got into the car. I smiled at the guy, who recognized the actress, and I winked and said: "But can your Honda do that?"

Paul


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5915786 - 06/11/13 08:17 PM

Great shots!

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5916204 - 06/12/13 01:25 AM

Quote:

It was like the time when I was younger and I had Ferrari's.



Got a speeding ticket in 1975 in a Ferrari Daytona (on loan while the Dino was in the shop) going 165MPH. It was just loafing along like any other car would at 65MPH. Nice car. Spent a lot of time in the shop though. Or at least that's the way I remember it.



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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5916205 - 06/12/13 01:25 AM

Quote:

Now, what was the point of your comment? I don't get it.



No worry. I am sure you will get it one day when you learn more about TPoint.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: R Botero]
      #5916266 - 06/12/13 02:20 AM

Quote:

Thank you!!! At last some sense to this nonsense of no manual being available anywhere!



The manuals posted on deepspaceproducts website are for the QCI models. Better something than nothing, i guess. I contacted Baader Planetarium back in May 2012 about the user's manual for the HPS model. Here is their response:

Dear Sir,

thanky for the inquiry. We do not offer the manuals in the web to not supply templates for countless
of Chinese how to reformulate their manuals.

Also we do not intend to provide information to all gifted competitors. This market is VERY small - not like
for refrigerators or consumer electronics.

If you were to ask us questions and let us know why you ask and if you ask for yourself or for whomever else,
then we will be thankful for the opportunity to answer them.

Best regards,



Service Team
BAADER PLANETARIUM GMBH


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5916267 - 06/12/13 02:20 AM

Quote:

Don't worry. I am sure you will get it one day when you learn more about TPoint.




Well, I am not totally in the dark nor in the land of arrogance, so correct me if i am wrong. TPoint improves pointing and polar alignment by modeling the sky the same way that my Model Maker for 10Micron mounts does in cooperation with the firmware in the mount.

The mathematics included in the 10Micron firmware does the same thing as TPoint and the resulting model terms are thus able to affect not only pointing, but also the tracking.

TPoint.
If I use it in the TheSky add-on version it will improve the pointing of GM2000HPS and my NEQ6. Let those two represent two main categories of mounts.

Should my mount be a Bisque mount I also get the additional benefit of improved tracking as Software Bisque has bothered to implement it partly in-mount, or at least somewhere where the application of parameters can reach the behavior of the tracking.

So, TPoint, to which excellence I have have paid my due respect, will do absolutely nothing for me in terms of tracking unless I choose a Bisque mount or desire the perfect polar alignment. I do not ever need pointing accuracy as I only do AP and always use software that plate solve and correct after every slew.

With that I know that I know enough about TPoint, its great flexure modeling features and its shortcomings.

Without any discredit and without anything but admiration for TPoint, I can conclude that I need to learn about as much more about it as Mr Alph needs to know about the dual motor controller advanced fuel injection that I have in my car. This in spite of it being a very interesting system from Bosch that models the engine behavior in a very cool way controlling many parameters and many cylinders.

Oh, and my "I don't get it" comment had absolutely nothing to do with TPoint.

Now, even though I do love the summer time, there are so many things I need to try out and develop further in the AP field, so I find myself longing for the fall... Tonight's minimum sun altitude is a little over -7°, quite enough to read an instruction sheet


All the best,

Per


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R Botero
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/02/09

Loc: Kent, England
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #5916315 - 06/12/13 03:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Thank you!!! At last some sense to this nonsense of no manual being available anywhere!



The manuals posted on deepspaceproducts website are for the QCI models. Better something than nothing, i guess.




NO THEY ARE NOT. Did you actually click on the links? There's a picture of the HPS model on the front page of each manual!...
I downloaded the 1000HPS manual from that link yesterday and read it from beginning to end. The way the encoders work is explained in several sections. The manuals are extremely well written by the way.
I don't own an HPS mount but I wanted a particular question answered about its operation and I found it clearly explained in the manual. Maybe you should try reading them?....
If the tone you used to write to Baader is the same you use in these forums, I'm not surprised something got lost in translation.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: R Botero]
      #5916351 - 06/12/13 05:12 AM

Personally, I would find the Baader reply satisfactory. No *BLEEP*, just a straight answer.

I just tried to download a Paramount ME manual and the Bisque site asked for a login name and a password... Also totally acceptable for me.

/p


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5916352 - 06/12/13 05:12 AM

Ah, sensoring! A cool feature!

/p


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vdb
sage


Reged: 12/08/09

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5916406 - 06/12/13 06:41 AM

I think we all can agree that high res encoders are the future ...
But we also see for the last 10 year great results with guiding ...
In the end it's a budget thing. As long as the encoders where not introduced to mask a mechanical and/or guiding issue ;-)
There are also plenty of unguided examples of the PM's without encoders, so getting the model and Polar alignment wright, with active tracking on RA and DEC seem to be of essence.
So to each his own, we made a selection on mechanical/weight capacity/software and today price performance nothing beats a mesu 200 ...
(which can be ordered with or without high res encoders)


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5916667 - 06/12/13 10:36 AM

Quote:


Got a speeding ticket in 1975 in a Ferrari Daytona (on loan while the Dino was in the shop) going 165MPH. It was just loafing along like any other car would at 65MPH. Nice car. Spent a lot of time in the shop though. Or at least that's the way I remember it.






Yeah, those Daytona's were something, but the Dino was maybe the prettiest of the whole lot. I got into the Ferrari's in the 80's when they didn't need mechanics so much (and I had a good mechanic, so it was never, ever a problem). Now, I have a kid, and astro gear. But at least the Italians are big in the beautiful astro gear!

And how could one see the wrong manual online if one looked? I mean, it's right there on the cover of the manual? HPS - right in the picture. Seriously. What's to miss? How could it be a QCI model when it says HPS. In big bold letters. And on the header of every page. Someone needs to apologize for disseminating wrong info on that one. I mean, what's up with that? I get it if you don't want to buy this mount, but really: wrong info? That's kinda low.

Paul


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5916906 - 06/12/13 12:47 PM

Quote:

I just tried to download a Paramount ME manual and the Bisque site asked for a login name and a password.



To be clear, anyone can freely download the Paramount ME/MX/MEII manuals. All you need to do is create a free account first. No big deal and takes just a few minutes to do. I recommend downloading the latest MX/MEII manual rather than the old ME manual. Much more informative and current. Most of the content applies to the ME as well with very little that doesn't.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5916969 - 06/12/13 01:17 PM

Frolin,

It was not a complaint from my side All is well!

/p


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5916977 - 06/12/13 01:21 PM

Quote:


Got a speeding ticket in 1975 in a Ferrari Daytona (on loan while the Dino was in the shop) going 165MPH. It was just loafing along like any other car would at 65MPH. Nice car. Spent a lot of time in the shop though. Or at least that's the way I remember it.






Ah, that is good for a 70's car! I'm aiming for above 187 mph when I drive down to Olly Penrice's place in Provence on Friday. Autobahn! Rules!

(187 mph becomes the magic 300 km/h when translated to units that differ from "furlongs per fortnight" and the likes)

/per


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5917001 - 06/12/13 01:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Got a speeding ticket in 1975 in a Ferrari Daytona (on loan while the Dino was in the shop) going 165MPH. It was just loafing along like any other car would at 65MPH. Nice car. Spent a lot of time in the shop though. Or at least that's the way I remember it.






Ah, that is good for a 70's car! I'm aiming for above 187 mph when I drive down to Olly Penrice's place in Provence on Friday. Autobahn! Rules!

(187 mph becomes the magic 300 km/h when translated to units that differ from "furlongs per fortnight" and the likes)

/per




Woof! That's scary fast.


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famax
member


Reged: 07/01/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5917027 - 06/12/13 01:46 PM

Care Per, lots of cops theses days on french Autobahn, just keep this for germany...

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5917047 - 06/12/13 01:57 PM

Quote:

Per - yup, you get nice stars (that's why I mentioned that above), and that's the proof in the pudding (or, if you don't like pudding, just the proof).

Whether people want to guide or unguide, polarscope or not, heavy mount, light mount, those are all personal variables. In the end, do you get great stars? - that's always the one main thing a mount is supposed to do (well, track, but that's one of the best symptoms of great tracking/guiding/modelling).

If someone can get their old 1960's GEM with a "clock drive" all cherried out to get great stars while they're manually guiding with their eye through a finder scope, then bully for them! I'm not going to say anything's wrong with that. It all comes out in the wash. I just don't know why people who've never even seen a piece of equipment are SO SURE that someone who has that piece of equipment, are using that piece of equipment, are getting great stars with that piece of equipment is wrong. It baffles me.

It was like the time when I was younger and I had Ferrari's. I was parked outside a friend's house waiting for them to come out and this guy comes by, looks at the car, then tries to explain to me why it was a waste of money and a hopped up Honda would, and I quote, "kick its *BLEEP*." Of course, he had never even driven a Ferrari. Then my friend, who was a very beautiful actress, came out all dolled up for one of her movie premieres and got into the car. I smiled at the guy, who recognized the actress, and I winked and said: "But can your Honda do that?"

Paul




I agree with you on this. There are definitely different ways to skin the cat, some are just easier than others. It is rarely, if ever, a matter of "you can't do that." I have seen absolutely brilliant images taken with relatively inexpensive equipment, particularly in the hands of naturally talented imagers. Some people do great work with nearly anything. I have some images taken with a CGEM that I blew up to 8 feet tall and they were perfect. Besides the mount being well tuned, the person who took the images is simply a very naturally talented imager and understands the proper match between scope and mount. There are many people who would say that the level of his images are simply not possible on that mount, but they are wrong. At the same time, for many people a lot of benefit is gained and less effort required to get the same results by using better gear in the first place. Even then, it is possible to take poor images with very good gear.

Every time you tell someone that something can't be done, you will find someone who has done it (although some things are ill advised). It's really just a matter of how hard you want to work at it in many cases and how talented you are.

BTW, this is one of the best anecdotes I have read in a while. I enjoyed relating it to some of my family members.


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pbsastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/21/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5917091 - 06/12/13 02:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Now, what was the point of your comment? I don't get it.





I think it's Precision Mount Envy....




I understand that, I have that too.
To solve it, I have just placed an order *today* for a GM1000HPS. Two weeks delivery time.
I had an AP600EGTO, which I sold intending to buy the Mach1GTO, for the extra load capacity. Then I bumped into the GM1000HPS and was sold on it, everything I always wanted in a mount, except for the weight which is not on par with AP.
Then AP comes with the AP1100, which is an amazing achievement in terms of load/weight. I discarded the Mach1 and my decision become between the 1000HPS and AP1100.
It took me a couple of weeks to confirm my decision on the 1000HPS.
I have read both AP1600 and 1000HPS manuals carefully several times. The HPS manual is very well written and easy to follow. In some parts AP manuals look like guide for dummies, listing obvious unnecessary steps.
Conclusion is HPS is another world. It is everything high-end mounts will be in the future. The AP is really old tech.
Note weight is the most important factor to me, and AP clearly wins there, but everything else comes short to the HPS.

Although I feel like criticizing both companies, 10micron for not improving on the weight and AP for not offering such a brilliant system as HPS, I really have to congratulate both companies for their pieces of art: AP weight and 10micron HPS. These are what other companies will try to copy in the future. Except for ASA but that is another world that does not really fit my needs.

I have to thank the people that have went ahead and have been using this mount with great success in the last few months, but very specially to Per, which is an amazingly knowledgeable guy and HPS master user. I hope 10micron will try to use to use his services to improve HPS software even more.

Pedro


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5917097 - 06/12/13 02:25 PM

Famax,

Yep, I already have a "You pay me ninety euros NOW!" in bad french accent ringing in my ears from my honeymoon a few years ago (I should call it "honeyweek" because it was cut short by really poor weather).

The car is supposed to do well over 300 while maintaining a cool 18°C in the cabin with an outside temperature of +55°C. Ferdinand Piech - crazy guy but he pulled it off!

Ed,

I too have seen (and perhaps produced) excellent images shot with half indecent equipment. Maybe it is just the odds of success and the number of bad subs that change with the price of the gear.

I'm sure there is a car just like that in your area that you can have a spin in. They were sold in the US up to and including 2006 - with a speed limiter (and this is where I go "Moaaahahahahaaaa" with reverb).

/per


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5917109 - 06/12/13 02:29 PM

Pedro,

You do me too much credit, but thanks for the warm words. You will get a kick out of this for sure. In two weeks time I will be back from my astro trip to Les Granges in Provence and thrilled to hear how you are getting along.

All the best,

Per


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5917119 - 06/12/13 02:35 PM

Per - take your allergy pills before hitting the Autobahn...one sneeze at that speed, and it's all over!

Ed - yeah, someone can always make something work when they have the talent and knowledge and patience. And, I agree, the "better" the equipment, the easier it is to get it right and repeat getting it right, if someone knows what they're doing, but it isn't necessary. (8 feet - wow!)

Also, warning someone that something might be less efficient (like putting a 14" Edge on a photo tripod and trying to go f/20 with a barlow and taking 10 minute unguided subs) than something else is okay in my book, but coming down like a ton of bricks on good equipment that the person "warning" has never used...I just think it's bad for astronomy. It's tough enough trying to get this stuff to work for veterans, let alone beginners, and being essentially told "you're an idiot if you use that" just seems counter-productive to helping the hobby. I mean, people were down on ASA mounts - why? They're different than what most people are used to, therefore the learning curve might be different and the amount of people who can help might be less, but what's the point of being down on the mount? Makes no sense.

Glad you liked the story. And, for the record, the fastest I ever got in my 8-cylander Ferrari's was 157...on the 10 at 2 am, right after I'd passed a traffic incident where seven cop cars were. I figured: "If the cops are there, they won't be ahead of me." And I took off, but then the 405 snuck up REAL fast, and that was that.

Paul


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5917140 - 06/12/13 02:46 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Paul,

Good point, but they make you drowsy, right? Hmmm... Need to contemplate...


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5917179 - 06/12/13 03:12 PM

Quote:

Per - take your allergy pills before hitting the Autobahn...one sneeze at that speed, and it's all over!

Ed - yeah, someone can always make something work when they have the talent and knowledge and patience. And, I agree, the "better" the equipment, the easier it is to get it right and repeat getting it right, if someone knows what they're doing, but it isn't necessary. (8 feet - wow!)

Also, warning someone that something might be less efficient (like putting a 14" Edge on a photo tripod and trying to go f/20 with a barlow and taking 10 minute unguided subs) than something else is okay in my book, but coming down like a ton of bricks on good equipment that the person "warning" has never used...I just think it's bad for astronomy. It's tough enough trying to get this stuff to work for veterans, let alone beginners, and being essentially told "you're an idiot if you use that" just seems counter-productive to helping the hobby. I mean, people were down on ASA mounts - why? They're different than what most people are used to, therefore the learning curve might be different and the amount of people who can help might be less, but what's the point of being down on the mount? Makes no sense.

Glad you liked the story. And, for the record, the fastest I ever got in my 8-cylander Ferrari's was 157...on the 10 at 2 am, right after I'd passed a traffic incident where seven cop cars were. I figured: "If the cops are there, they won't be ahead of me." And I took off, but then the 405 snuck up REAL fast, and that was that.

Paul




I was able to use the 8-foot prints for tradeshow backgrounds. They're great.

Back in my sports car days I passed a cop going the other way when I was doing 145 on a long straight road in the middle of nowhere Nevada. I was darned glad that he didn't have his radar on. But I never had a car as nice as yours. Probably a good thing. Switched from sports cars to Volvos after my second kid and was glad I did when it got totaled 10 months later (not my fault) and have driven them ever since. It's good to drive a tank sometimes.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5917193 - 06/12/13 03:16 PM

Volvo... Good old Swedish quality, soon to be replaced by Chineese quality... They're good! So why do I drive German cars and use Italian mounts with American cameras? Well, I don't know, do I?

/per


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5917201 - 06/12/13 03:20 PM

I switched to Volvos on my kid, too! Fits astro gear better, too, though I always wanted to do an article for Sky & Telescope about traveling over the summer from Star Party to Star Party across the States in a Ferrari.


Paul


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5917229 - 06/12/13 03:39 PM

OK, I'll do one while astro-traveling with a Veyron, then. Germany against Italy, kind of...

/p


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psandelle
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5917238 - 06/12/13 03:41 PM

Per - works for me. Fortunately, there's a lot of red astro gear to match the Ferrari red when the time comes.

Paul


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5917240 - 06/12/13 03:43 PM

Grossly off-topic... It is blue but it is not mine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIsao6YG4Zo

/per


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5917362 - 06/12/13 05:08 PM

Per - in order to bring it back on topic, we must theorize a mount that does not track, but is attached to a car fast enough, on a road long enough and straight enough, to counter the rotation of the Earth.

There, back on topic.

And thanks for all the info the 10Microns...I didn't know enough about them, though I've looked them over online off-and-on. Up till this point, the ASA mounts were the most exotic of the bunch that I was learning about.

Paul


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5917369 - 06/12/13 05:12 PM

See my avatar

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Stew57]
      #5917416 - 06/12/13 05:43 PM

I knew it! It's old technology already. I'm so behind the times on mount innovation....

Paul


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bratislav
sage


Reged: 09/07/06

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: pbsastro]
      #5917712 - 06/12/13 08:57 PM

Quote:

my decision become between the 1000HPS and AP1100.
It took me a couple of weeks to confirm my decision on the 1000HPS.
...
I have read both AP1600 and 1000HPS manuals carefully several times. The HPS manual is very well written and easy to follow. In some parts AP manuals look like guide for dummies, listing obvious unnecessary steps.
Conclusion is HPS is another world. It is everything high-end mounts will be in the future. The AP is really old tech.





Good luck with it. I have no experience with 10micron 1000HPS, but just looking at it, it is obvious to me that 1100 is in completely different class, capacity wise. It will carry your scope way, way easier, smoother, secure and with far greater precision.

I just hope your decision, based on comparing manuals, was wise.

I know I would pick AP1100 in a heartbeat. It is beefy where it counts, and that is by far the most important aspect in an astrophotography mount. All the glitz and software smarts matter exactly zilch when wind buffets start to shake your scope.

I hope one day you will get a chance to set up next to someone with AP1100 (or 1200 or even 900). Grab a counterweight shaft and try to wiggle it. Repeat the same with 1000HPS.
As I said, I haven't even seen a 10micron mount, let alone try it; but I've been in this game long enough to be fairly sure of the outcome. Old technology it might be, but that is what mounts are - old technology. They need to be rigid, precise, stiff, smooth and solid. Yes, software smarts are nice. But mount basics are crucial.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: bratislav]
      #5917824 - 06/12/13 09:59 PM

Quote:

Good luck with it. I have no experience with 10micron 1000HPS, but just looking at it, it is obvious to me that 1100 is in completely different class, capacity wise. It will carry your scope way, way easier, smoother, secure and with far greater precision.

I just hope your decision, based on comparing manuals, was wise.

I know I would pick AP1100 in a heartbeat. It is beefy where it counts, and that is by far the most important aspect in an astrophotography mount. All the glitz and software smarts matter exactly zilch when wind buffets start to shake your scope.

I hope one day you will get a chance to set up next to someone with AP1100 (or 1200 or even 900). Grab a counterweight shaft and try to wiggle it. Repeat the same with 1000HPS.
As I said, I haven't even seen a 10micron mount, let alone try it; but I've been in this game long enough to be fairly sure of the outcome. Old technology it might be, but that is what mounts are - old technology. They need to be rigid, precise, stiff, smooth and solid. Yes, software smarts are nice. But mount basics are crucial.




In reality, German equatorial mounts are "old tech" seeing as they have been around for a long time now. What works, works. The new tech is actually the drive systems (high precision, belts, zero backlash, direct drive, etc.) and the high precision encoder systems that are coming into play. Even mount computerization is not really new tech anymore, but it is certainly improving in capabilities.

There is of course no real comparison between the AP1100 and the 1000HPS. One is a semi-permanent mount while the other is a portable mount with half the payload. The real comparison would be with the 2000HPS which is in the same capacity and cost class. If you are choosing a mount with a 55 pound instrument payload capacity but are planning on putting a 110 pound instrument load on it, that would be a ill advised with any mount (of course there are people who claim to do this all the time, but they don't usually do it with equipment in this price range).

However, in either case I'm sure you would find the mounts to be rigid, precise, stiff, smooth and solid within the rated capacities. This is one of the prime reasons people purchase high-end mounts in the first place.

Wind is not a terrible problem for dual absolute encoder mounts and is another of their advantages. If you take an absolute encoder mount (or usually a direct drive mount as well), set the control display to show you the RA and DEC coordinates and give the mount a good shove, you will see the coordinates change with the shove and then very quickly go right back to tracking at the original coordinates (adjusted for tracking time). They can do this because of the precision of the encoder and drive systems. Not that I really understand the desire to be out in a wind storm, but people who live in areas with frequent very windy conditions can use absolute encoder and direct drive mounts very effectively to combat the problems caused by wind (within reason). While not necessarily the only way to combat wind, it is a very effective way to do so when you have no choice but to be out in it.


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bratislav
sage


Reged: 09/07/06

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5917905 - 06/12/13 10:42 PM

Quote:



Wind is not a terrible problem for dual absolute encoder mounts and is another of their advantages. If you take an absolute encoder mount (or usually a direct drive mount as well), set the control display to show you the RA and DEC coordinates and give the mount a good shove, you will see the coordinates change with the shove and then very quickly go right back to tracking at the original coordinates (adjusted for tracking time).




Perhaps in theory. "Very quickly" is a strechable term. What is very quick for someone observing at low magnification will not be so quick for an imager pushing the arc second envelope; even with direct drive mounts. There is simply way too much inertia and mass involved. And my understanding that 10micron are NOT direct drive, so they will be even slower to react. (but same logic applies for AP)
The only way to combat wind is with rigidity or adaptive optic (tip/tilt guiding); even better, both at the same time! There is no such thing as "overmounting" in astrophotography.

PS it was the poster I quoted that compared 1000HPS and AP1100. And in my mind there is no comparison. I agree the choice between 2000HPS and 1100 could be tougher, depending on user's priorities. AP's track record is second to none in the US; it is hard to compete on someone else's turf - good luck! Competition is always good for consumers.


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Per Frejvall
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Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: bratislav]
      #5918102 - 06/13/13 01:17 AM

I have only looked an AP mount once and they are mechanically very sturdy. Being very interested in encoder technology I have investigated the 1600GTO and found that they opted for the Renishaw Resolute series of encoders. Th Resolute series is a new offering from Renishaw and sports good resolution from a single optical track on the outside of a ring. This makes it one of the least installaton sensitive encoder systems on the market. Basically, if any encoder can be user retrofitted it is the Resolute series.

What boggles my mind is that they do not get to model the encoder. Suppose it ends up slightly off-center (we're talking a few microns only). The excentricity would make it behave differently over the course of a revolution and the system as a whole would thus benefit from modeling in situ. Being a single channel encoder, the axial offset is of less concern which is good. This is what makes it more installation insensitive. The radial problem, however, remains.

I am quite certain that Bisque models their encoder solution about to be released (only offered as a factory installed option) as does ASA.

The again, perhaps most people continue to guide and the problem thus never pops up.

Has anyone checked AP's encoder solution and can offer any insights?

(definitely back on topic now)
/per


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vdb
sage


Reged: 12/08/09

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5918121 - 06/13/13 01:51 AM

If I take high res encoders it would only be on direct drive or friction based systems ...
The reasons being quite simple ...
-less prone to wind (even very low wind speeds can affect a big scope, especially if there is backlash)
-gears will potentially require more maintenance over time ...

Only if portability is important I would go for a 10micron 1000HPS (we dismissed it for the fix setup as it was limited in capacity and the 2000 pricing is just out of proportion)


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jjongmans
super member


Reged: 02/11/12

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: vdb]
      #5918241 - 06/13/13 06:09 AM

Interesting topic. I decided to buy a high precision mount last year. I chose the ASA DDM60, absolutely no regrets, outstanding performance for its price:
- Direct Drive
- No Periodic Error
- No Backlash
- Needs a PC
- Pinpoint stars on 30 min unguided subs (0.806"/px)
- No problem with strong wind (5 beaufort)
- 0.3" tracking peak-to-peak (even 0.22" once)
- Silent, absolutely no sound
- Affordable < $12000

I use it completely automated with guiding, just to be sure. I always analyze the guiding log and I almost never see a correction.

I had a USB issue once, the mount was picked up by ASA and I received it back within 2 weeks. Great service! I live in Europe.

Edited by jjongmans (06/13/13 06:20 AM)


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: jjongmans]
      #5918278 - 06/13/13 07:20 AM

jjongmans, do you have a permanent setup? if not do you build a pointing model with the DDM60 for each use? How long does that take? thx

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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5918303 - 06/13/13 07:48 AM

I've been using ASA DDM60 since last winter and couldn't be happier.

Have pretty much the same comments than jjongmans except that I'm using it only unguided. And the mount really is completely silent and very accurate. The direct drive technology is simply astonishing.

Building e.g. a 60 point model takes about 15-20 minutes depending how fast your camera can download the frames for plate solving. I'm using bin 3x3 so it's quite fast. You can use an existing model even when moving the setup around, however, I've never tried it myself because have a permanent setup.

ASA doesn't have absolute encoders but when starting up the system, it'll automatically search the "homing position", so there is really no need for the encoders to be absolute just high resolution. What comes to being able to use the mount without a computer, well, I'm taking only astrophotos so have never had a need for that.

One thing (in addition to the direct drive) that was very important for me when deciding to buy ASA instead of some other alternatives was the quality of software. ASA has a VERY high quality software (Autoslew and Sequence), and as far as I know, is quite far ahead from some other manufacturers.


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pbsastro
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/21/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: bratislav]
      #5918333 - 06/13/13 08:27 AM

Bratislav:
I did not based my decision on the manual alone, but also on the reports I have been reading for several months. I like to base my decisions on my own understanding of things, and not only because the experts say it is good, while I don’t understand why, neither if their “good” fits my needs. So I think it is very important to match user reports with understanding the mount reading the manuals.

I am aware AP1100 is not in the same load capacity class of 1000HPS. Note I stated:
“AP1100 is an amazing achievement in terms of load/weight”
“weight is the most important factor to me, and AP clearly wins there”

You are right 1000HPS is in the same capacity class of Mach1. However AP1100 and 1000HPS are in the same weight and price class.
So 1000HPS can be compared to either Mach1 or AP1100 depending on which class type we focus.

So to me AP clearly wins on mechanical design, but AP clearly loses in the encoders design, in my view AP took all wrong decisions there, again in my view, I respect other opinions.
First , as Per stated they chose more expensive encoders in order to make them an ad-on item. If they used cheaper encoders like 10micron, they could put them standard on all mounts, so not requiring add-on. It seems to me AP tries to solve a problem (add-on requirement) that they created themselves.
Second, AP made the encoders attached to the wheel rather than to the axis. This means if you unlock the axis, and move the scope by hand you lose all alignment. Roland stated that he prefers it this way because he wants to model the wheel as well, and it would not be possible if the encoder-wheel position would change. I don’t see the need to model the wheel, the encoders can pretty well correct all wheel errors. What we need to model is errors outside the mount (alignment, sky refraction, flexure, etc).


I am a type of user completely opposite to Per. Per does imaging 100% of time, never puts eyepiece on scope. I am 90% visual and only occasional imager. I do not plan to lose much time imaging, and I want it to be simple and fast, that is simple setup and no long exposures. This means I want to avoid guiding for simplicity and can avoid guiding with HPS.
And visually HPS is so much better. You don’t have to polar align at all and get perfect visual pointing and tracking. And we can pan the scope by hand without losing alignment, which for me is a very important thing. I hate to always have keep pressing buttons to pan the sky. There is something magical about just pan the scope manually and the mount telling you where it is. Similar to what some Discmount mounts do, but with tracking included.

Regarding looks I much prefer white color of AP1100 to black color of 1000HPS and Mach1. But more important than that is clean design of the 1000HPS with no wires sticking out. AP1100 or AP1600 with encoders seem like prototype mounts, (not production mounts) with wires sticking out and in all over the place. Really ugly. Why not using covers like the 1000HPS? I understand AP wants it modular, but the user could easily remove the cover with two screws, or keep the cover off all the time if preferred.

Regarding support, I guess it depends on which country you live... If I lived in the US maybe I went with AP only for the support.

Pedro


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jjongmans
super member


Reged: 02/11/12

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: pbsastro]
      #5918340 - 06/13/13 08:34 AM

There are two types of models you can use with an ASA DDM:
- All-sky model
- Declination model

I have a permanent setup, so I use the all-sky model. It can be generated completely automated within 15 min, depending on the amount of points and download time of the CCD.

In a mobile setup you can use a declination model, that is for one object during that night. The DDM60 is developed for mobile use, but it's quite heavy.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5918936 - 06/13/13 02:45 PM

Quote:


ASA doesn't have absolute encoders but when starting up the system, it'll automatically search the "homing position", so there is really no need for the encoders to be absolute just high resolution.




The ASA DDM60 is not in the same weight class as the AP1600, 2000/3000HPS etc Now the ASA DDM85 is in the weight class and does have renishaw encoders.

Now i'm more confused than ever..

Maybe I should put up a vote to see if I should cancel my AP1600 w/encoders order and go with someone else... sigh..

AP1600 w/encoders option(1100 does not have enought weight capacity)
10micron 2000 (132lb) or 3000HPS encoders standard
ASA DDM85 with 143lb or the 220lb version encoders standard
Bisque MEII w/encoders option

This is worse than trying to find the fabled universal camera that works with all scopes.



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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5918972 - 06/13/13 03:16 PM

Too late Dave. You already ordered a mount. You need to stop reading this forum.

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famax
member


Reged: 07/01/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5918976 - 06/13/13 03:18 PM

Since you are in US, you should consider the €/$ balance
and the local service/support.
Européens tend to go 10µ or ASA because of the same but reversed argument :
For example the AP mach one cost nearly 10000$ in germany
THe 4000$ difference are mainly transport and dealer profit/costs/fees (VAT) , +count 5% for import cost in EU for optical goods.


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: famax]
      #5918992 - 06/13/13 03:26 PM

I don't think you'll be disappointed with the AP1600!

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5919010 - 06/13/13 03:36 PM

They're all great mounts! Unless there's some very specific reason you have that one mount fulfills over another (like some weird supernova mapping purpose you're putting it to, and one of the mounts is directly better at that task), and you've already ordered the AP, it seems like you should probably stay with the AP.


I'm with frolinmod: stop reading and get ready to enjoy!

Paul


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: pbsastro]
      #5919013 - 06/13/13 03:37 PM

Quote:


Second, AP made the encoders attached to the wheel rather than to the axis. This means if you unlock the axis, and move the scope by hand you lose all alignment. Roland stated that he prefers it this way because he wants to model the wheel as well, and it would not be possible if the encoder-wheel position would change.




Really? Do we have any first hand knowledge of this? Per AP's site: Absolute encoder knows the exact position of the gear angle of the mount when the power is applied.

So if you were aligned, manually moved the scope, the encoder should 'read" the marks on the ring and know it's offset down to a few microns.. Yes,No?


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: psandelle]
      #5919017 - 06/13/13 03:38 PM

Quote:

They're all great mounts! Unless there's some very specific reason you have that one mount fulfills over another (like some weird supernova mapping purpose you're putting it to, and one of the mounts is directly better at that task), and you've already ordered the AP, it seems like you should probably stay with the AP.


I'm with frolinmod: stop reading and get ready to enjoy!

Paul




I Know, I know.. that darn other voice in my head.. lol!


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: famax]
      #5919019 - 06/13/13 03:41 PM

Quote:

Since you are in US, you should consider the €/$ balance
and the local service/support.
Européens tend to go 10µ or ASA because of the same but reversed argument :
For example the AP mach one cost nearly 10000$ in germany
THe 4000$ difference are mainly transport and dealer profit/costs/fees (VAT) , +count 5% for import cost in EU for optical goods.




It is actually not too bad to import things from Europe (or elsewhere) to the US because, while there is the shipping cost to consider, the import duty is only 8% and there is no VAT so European items can actually end up less expensive in the US than in the EU. Going from the US to the EU is tough because of the 5% duty plus the 22% VAT. The fees on some of the items I ship to the EU are sometimes huge. The EU dealer is unlikely to make any more than the US dealer.


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5919026 - 06/13/13 03:42 PM

Dave
AP 1600 with encoders will be a fantastic mount, and the local service/support really is a valuable thing especially with mounts.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5919030 - 06/13/13 03:47 PM

Stick with the AP1600... you won't be sorry.

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: WesC]
      #5919060 - 06/13/13 04:03 PM

Dave - as long as the little voice doesn't tell you to go to the top of a water tower and throw your mount off...it's probably okay.

I think the AP is a great mount, and I'm not sure any of the choices will be a mistake.

Paul


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5919199 - 06/13/13 05:31 PM

Quote:

..., and the local service/support really is a valuable thing especially with mounts.




For that reason (because they are both very close to me) I have 2 options and both are excellent. First is DDM60 (Austria) and second is GM1000HPS (Italy). I'll probably go with one that requires less time to start imaging since I don't have permanent setup.

Edited by orion69 (06/13/13 05:33 PM)


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famax
member


Reged: 07/01/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EFT]
      #5919324 - 06/13/13 06:45 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Since you are in US, you should consider the €/$ balance
and the local service/support.
Européens tend to go 10µ or ASA because of the same but reversed argument :
For example the AP mach one cost nearly 10000$ in germany
THe 4000$ difference are mainly transport and dealer profit/costs/fees (VAT) , +count 5% for import cost in EU for optical goods.




It is actually not too bad to import things from Europe (or elsewhere) to the US because, while there is the shipping cost to consider, the import duty is only 8% and there is no VAT so European items can actually end up less expensive in the US than in the EU. Going from the US to the EU is tough because of the 5% duty plus the 22% VAT. The fees on some of the items I ship to the EU are sometimes huge. The EU dealer is unlikely to make any more than the US dealer.





I do agree, moreover without the vat, the price you propose for 10µ mount are very attractive


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pbsastro
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/21/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5919401 - 06/13/13 07:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Second, AP made the encoders attached to the wheel rather than to the axis. This means if you unlock the axis, and move the scope by hand you lose all alignment. Roland stated that he prefers it this way because he wants to model the wheel as well, and it would not be possible if the encoder-wheel position would change.




Really? Do we have any first hand knowledge of this? Per AP's site: Absolute encoder knows the exact position of the gear angle of the mount when the power is applied.

So if you were aligned, manually moved the scope, the encoder should 'read" the marks on the ring and know it's offset down to a few microns.. Yes,No?




Note they say "gear angle", and gear is internal position, not output position.

From Roland himself (yahoo ap-ug 8-4-2013):
“The encoders are tied to the worm gear, not to the clutched shaft, so if you loosen the clutches and move it by hand, you will have to reset the encoder positions. However, this has the advantage of always having the encoder tied directly to the worm gear teeth, so when you build up a pointing model, it will always be valid because you are not changing the relationship between the worm teeth and the encoder.”

However I now found this a little ahead on the same thread. Roland says (18-4-2013):
“The absolute encoders are attached to the output shaft of each axis. So they know exactly where each axis is pointed at all times. Since they are absolute encoders, the output of the encoder sensor always knows the exact angle of the worm wheel position upon power-up.”

So it seems output shaft and clutched shaft are not the same thing. You may want to reactivate the question there and clarify with Roland.
To me, if you use absolute encoders in a way that moving by hand looses position, then they are really relative encoders, not absolute encoders. After all you could get the same result by using relative encoders and storing the last position in the mount controller flash memory.

Pedro

Edited by pbsastro (06/13/13 07:54 PM)


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: pbsastro]
      #5919964 - 06/14/13 02:55 AM

Couple of comments concerning the ASA direct drive mounts…

My main goal was to get a high quality mount that would also enable to do unguided imaging. And being able to do unguided imaging properly requires some things that might not be so important otherwise.

First of all, the mount has to be very solid technically (0 backlash, very small PE and preferably low frequency) and has to have high resolution encoders. All ASA direct drive mounts have 0 backlash and 0 PE with high resolution Renishaw encoders.

The other central issue is high quality software. I'm sure one can do unguided imaging with many high end mounts to a certain point. However, if you want to do it without getting some extra grey hair and spending time imaging rather than tuning your equipment, then the software is the key. So I would recommend anybody buying a mount for unguided imaging to compare the software of different manufacturers …the difference is huge.

ASA direct drive technology is very different from traditional worm/belt gear drive mounts, and will require some time to get used to it. E.g. when the power is off, both axis can move freely and there is nothing else holding the DEC and RA axis in place other than the perfect balance.
However, when you turn the power on, everything changes and both axis become very stiff. I'm not a technical person but it seems like there is some kind of strong magnetic field moving the axis. That would explain why the mount is completely silent to operate.

Anyway, even if the learning curve is a bit steeper in ASA direct drive mounts than in some "traditional" mounts, it's not too difficult to learn and very logical in the end.


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5919991 - 06/14/13 03:29 AM

GIR, I noticed you have permanent setup, but let's suppose that you don't, how long will it take from turning mount on to starting imaging (30 min subs @ 1000mm)?

Thx


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5919999 - 06/14/13 04:26 AM

Quote:


The other central issue is high quality software. I'm sure one can do unguided imaging with many high end mounts to a certain point. However, if you want to do it without getting some extra grey hair and spending time imaging rather than tuning your equipment, then the software is the key. So I would recommend anybody buying a mount for unguided imaging to compare the software of different manufacturers …the difference is huge.





And best of all is NO software dependency and still unguided imaging

I am all for direct drive technology and think that it is the future, but someone has to bite the bullit and move the motor control algorithms into the mount firmware. With today's high end micro controllers the performance is not an issue and the reliability of things in firmware compared to things in the PC environment is lightyears better. I am quite certain that ASA's mounts will function more or less flawlessly with their 100 percent PC dependency, but the scary part is USB communication and the not so real-time performance of Windows. Besides, I think an investment in a truly high-end PC is very important - the stuff will be as reliable as your PC.

Now, one can argue that you are software dependant anyway when it comes to imaging. But, and this is a big BUT, when you have your stuff on a remote site, or are asleep inside, and the scope won't park so that the roof can be closed when the rain comes, something unspeakable is going to hit the rotating air mover big time.

This, of course, is a highly personal comment as it involves many feelings and hunches, but I do believe it has some merit.

My ideal mount would be a direct drive technology one with total firmware control, no need for motor traing (should be done at the factory), no external PC or software dependency and electromagnetic axis locks that engage with loss of power.

The last part should be on anyone's short-list. Suppose you start a slew at 20°/s, the mount accelerates and *POOF* - power-out. Your equipment will hit the pier with a speed of just under 1 km/h. Unlikely, yes, but we regularly protect ourselves from many even more unlikely things.

Now that qualfies as genuine two-cent advice

/per


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orion69]
      #5920015 - 06/14/13 05:05 AM

Quote:

GIR, I noticed you have permanent setup, but let's suppose that you don't, how long will it take from turning mount on to starting imaging (30 min subs @ 1000mm)?
Thx




Knez

You made a tough question because I've never tried it…

What takes quite a lot of time is to learn the different tuning/balancing methods in the beginning. There are many different ways to do it …automatically or manual fine tuning. However, the tuning/balancing itself has to be done only once. So even if you move the mount to a different place you can use all the previous (stored) settings. Of course the setup has to be exactly the same.

Polar alignment is pretty fast because you can get a quite accurate alignment with only 3 stars when using the Autoslew software assistance. After the polar alignment is done, building a model is quite fast also. As said before it'll take 15-20 minutes to build a new 50-60 point model (which is very accurate) or you can actually use an existing (stored) model somehow with the help of Autoslew but I've never tried it myself.

One of the most useful tools especially if not having a permanent setup is the new MLPT tool. It creates a kind of local pointing file that enables to track one object very accurately. Creating a MLPT model for a single object takes 2-3 minutes.


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5920019 - 06/14/13 05:16 AM

Quote:

And best of all is NO software dependency and still unguided imaging

I am all for direct drive technology and think that it is the future, but someone has to bite the bullit and move the motor control algorithms into the mount firmware. With today's high end micro controllers the performance is not an issue and the reliability of things in firmware compared to things in the PC environment is lightyears better. I am quite certain that ASA's mounts will function more or less flawlessly with their 100 percent PC dependency, but the scary part is USB communication and the not so real-time performance of Windows. Besides, I think an investment in a truly high-end PC is very important - the stuff will be as reliable as your PC.

Now, one can argue that you are software dependant anyway when it comes to imaging. But, and this is a big BUT, when you have your stuff on a remote site, or are asleep inside, and the scope won't park so that the roof can be closed when the rain comes, something unspeakable is going to hit the rotating air mover big time.

This, of course, is a highly personal comment as it involves many feelings and hunches, but I do believe it has some merit.

My ideal mount would be a direct drive technology one with total firmware control, no need for motor traing (should be done at the factory), no external PC or software dependency and electromagnetic axis locks that engage with loss of power.

The last part should be on anyone's short-list. Suppose you start a slew at 20°/s, the mount accelerates and *POOF* - power-out. Your equipment will hit the pier with a speed of just under 1 km/h. Unlikely, yes, but we regularly protect ourselves from many even more unlikely things.

Now that qualfies as genuine two-cent advice

/per




Per

I know that 10Micron makes excellent mounts but I'm a bit puzzled why you seem to criticize the ASA mounts and their way of doing things so much in different forums. The critique seems to boil down to couple of things …using a separate computer for operating the mount and the encoders not being absolute but relative.

Don't really understand the separate PC critique at all. I've been using a mid priced laptop in my (back yard) observatory with W7 and operating it remotely from the house using a lan connection all winter, and have never had problems with it. What comes to power issues and backup systems when doing things remotely has nothing to do with just ASA mounts and are a completely different topic. However, there are several ways to make sure that the horror scenarios you've described can be avoided.

All I can say about the high resolution Renishaw encoders ASA is using that they'll find the absolute homing position in few seconds and after that it really doesn't matter if your encoders are absolute or relative.

What comes to the 10Micron GM1000HPS software, if I've understood it correctly you've been writing a lot of extra scripts yourself to fix the deficiencies, including a proper ASCOM support ?


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jjongmans
super member


Reged: 02/11/12

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5920045 - 06/14/13 06:19 AM

ASA is working on a gyroscope so that the homing can be completely automatic, even in a remote setup without being able to see it.
I'm using my DDM with a cheap mini laptop, dedicated for controlling the mount (and CCD, focuser, weather, SQM, etc.)

Balance is critical and needs to be very good, in that case the setup won't move if the motors aren't engaged.

PID tuning is always necessary because that depends on the load you put on the mount. The ASA software has an autotune feature and that works great, so tuning isn't an issue.

Edited by jjongmans (06/14/13 06:25 AM)


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: jjongmans]
      #5920062 - 06/14/13 06:45 AM

Thanks for the comments I never realized you had to balance the ASA so well. Right now I have to use a portable setup and so the Astro-Physics mounts make more sense for me. i.e. balance doesn't matter and I can use the keypad only for quick use. If I had a permanent setup I would really consider ASA.

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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: coz]
      #5920093 - 06/14/13 07:32 AM

Gir,

It is all personal opinion. I have 20 years of working experience designing a nd programming different radio and control systems so I guess I am damaged by that.

The autonomous mount thing is a crucial design factor and I think ASA has taken a wrong turn there. USB is a very flaky communications system and, as I said, Windows may be a wonderful and stable operating system in all respects but real-time. The mount is a unit and it could controlled in terms of slewing, changing parameters etc from whatever type of system the user desires, be it hand controller, a computer or whatever. Putting the time-critical motor control loop in a PC is not the way to go. And that is MY opoinion made from the experience I have.

I bought my first 10Micron mount (GM2000HPS) on the hunch that it just had to be good. The only thing it lacked at that time was a proper ASCOM driver and that prompted me to write my own instead. Since then 10Micron has released their own dedicated as a replacement for having to rely on the AP driver or the LX200 driver.

Building a model with 10Micron mounts has always been possible with the aid of the handset. That is, however, not a pheasable way to do it so I wrote an automated plate solving model maker that sort of rose out of a specific need.

Niether of these two "products" have provided anything that cannot be done with other drivers or the handset, but I think they make life better and easier.

I love the fact that the model resides in-mount and is always available. But again, that is me, a crazy, 55-yearold technically interested person that stumbled upon modern astrophotography just a few years ago and love every second of it.

/per


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GIR
super member


Reged: 01/02/10

Loc: Finland
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5920175 - 06/14/13 08:54 AM

Per

I’m not qualified to say if ASA has taken a wrong turn (like everybody else except 10Micron ?) by choosing to use a separate computer controlling the mount. But I know that I haven’t had any problems using the system so far. And I’ve been using it in -27 C (-16 F) without a hint of problems, so it looks like a pretty solid system even for a cold weather.

I also know that the ASA software package can do a lot of things fully automated, including building all kinds of models, and tuning and balancing the system. It’s quite an experience to push a button and see the mount start slewing across the sky with an amazing speed, taking pictures and plate solving them …and everything happens in a complete silence.

On top of everything there is of course the direct drive technology which is something that makes me smile every time when using the mount. And as you said yourself, direct drive is probably the ideal technology for building a high end mount.

So I do understand what you’re saying and we’re all just expressing our personal views and experiences here. But it would be fair to point out that the only thing that 10Micron mount is doing “better” (in your opinion) is having the very basic operations included and integrated into the mounts own “mini computer”. How much of an advantage that might be in reality, will probably depend a lot on how the mount will be used.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5920220 - 06/14/13 09:23 AM

GIR,

I'll definitely agree to that. 10Micron has, in my opinion taken a right turn, it is all opinions and, top top it off, I really think the ASA mounts are amazing products

/p


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pbsastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/21/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: GIR]
      #5920416 - 06/14/13 11:36 AM

Quote:

Per,
I know that 10Micron makes excellent mounts but I'm a bit puzzled why you seem to criticize the ASA mounts and their way of doing things so much in different forums. The critique seems to boil down to couple of things …using a separate computer for operating the mount and the encoders not being absolute but relative.





GIR,
You should take Per criticism in a positive and constructive way. After all Per is saying his ideal amount is a direct drive mount with built-in controller.
So, who do you think is in better position to achieve that soon? ASA of course. ASA has most of the work done: mastered direct drive technology and developed all the software algorithms to control it, which is not easy, and took them some time to refine it, but they have done it. Now all is missing is the easy part, transport that software to a controller, but that is easy, as the algorithms are already developed.

So what I think everybody should do (especially if you are a ASA supporter and want all the best for ASA) is shout loud that ASA ***must*** do that final step (move the SW to a built-in controller), and show ASA that many potential customers are waiting that final small step to buy a ASA mount. Just praising a product is not the best way to make it better.

Note I have decided this week to order a 10micron, but that did not stop me to criticize it for their poor load/weight ratio compared to AP. AP users should follow the same route and criticize AP for their shortcomings, but AP has reached a religious status that makes that difficult to happen.

The best part for ASA and its customers is that that controller seems to me to be possible to easily add to existing mounts already sold.

Right now opinions on better mount on the market are split, some say AP, some say ASA, some say 10micron. If ASA completes that, it can be quickly the undisputed king (queen?) of high-end mounts. Other competitors will take ages to come on par with ASA again, as ASA has it almost ready, and others have not started on direct-drive nor are likely to start soon.


Edited by pbsastro (06/14/13 02:03 PM)


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: pbsastro]
      #5920668 - 06/14/13 02:08 PM

"AP has reached a religious status that makes that difficult to happen."

Funny, ha ha!

I didn't know ASA put the motor control loop in the PC. I'm with Per on this. I am disturbed by the concept. Motor PID control is a really, really basic feature, and to have it offloaded to an external PC.... I haven't seen that kind of "outsourcing" since Mel Bartels' SCOPE.EXE where even generating the stepper pulses gets relegated to the PC.

But then again SCOPE.EXE has a ton of features that most stand-alone GoTo controllers, even today, can't match - and Mel has an asteroid named after him, so what do I know...

Heck SB mounts will track without the PC, they just won't do PEC or GoTo. That points to the fact that motor control should reside in the mount firmware.

Of course if ASA came up with a strap-on box that contained a mini-ITX PC with the same Windows software, maybe that would qualify as "mount firmware."


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5920673 - 06/14/13 02:10 PM

Quote:


Heck SB mounts will track without the PC, they just won't do PEC or GoTo.




I believe SB mounts store their PEC curve in the MKS5000 system so I'm quite sure the PEC is being applied without being connected to PC - though I could be wrong.


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5920687 - 06/14/13 02:16 PM

Saad, I stand corrected if so. Am not really an expert on those. In fact was surprised SB mounts actually worked without a PC - I thought they were totally dependent.

That said, SkyVision - http://www.skyvision.fr/wordpress/mount/direct-drive-mount/?lang=en and Astelco - http://www.astelco.com/html/products/ntm/ntm.htm also have direct-drive mounts. ASA isn't the only game in town here.

I admit that based on Roland's past comments on the AP mailing lists, that he is skeptical of the benefits of direct drive, and floats some of the same arguments that Per does about the payload banging into something if you lose power.

I see things this way - SB and AP are the pinnacle of traditional, worm-driven mount technology. We're at an inflection point where newer technologies such as direct drive, harmonic drive, and roller drive are becoming cost-competitive enough with the 100+ year old worm drive technology, to be interesting.

And direct drive has been used for years and years for things like GRB searches, where fast slewing is a necessity.

But today - I would still say worm-drive technology is the best-known, best-understood, and well-proven technology. And good worm drive mounts, while they still suffer from things like backlash and periodic error, keep these issues under very good control that they simply aren't relevant, unless you need that 100-degree per second slew.


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Craig Ballew
newbie


Reged: 03/24/07

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6021422 - 08/12/13 06:58 PM

Well, now my head hurts. I too am getting ready to purchase a new mount and assumed it was obvious that the best decision was going to be between these two options:

AP1600 w/encoders option
Bisque MEII w/encoders option

Then I read this thread. Very little to no support for the SB MEII which surprised me. Is it the quality, features or pricing that has turned people away?


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Craig Ballew]
      #6021551 - 08/12/13 08:11 PM

SB mounts are actually very well priced for the payload you're getting. They also bundle some stuff like weights and a versa-plate which for AP you have to buy separately.

Me, I want to have the ability to use the mount "bare" with no PC, so that's what turned me off SB. Also the smallest SB mount (PMX) is still much more mount than I need or can lift. So...


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6021755 - 08/12/13 09:48 PM

Quote:


Me, I want to have the ability to use the mount "bare" with no PC, so that's what turned me off SB.




That and the difference in tech support....I guess...

Edited by wolfman_4_ever (08/13/13 08:40 PM)


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #6021864 - 08/12/13 10:58 PM

In my experience Software Bisque technical support for their line of Paramount mounts is excellent. It is online forum (www.bisque.com) based support, not telephone support. If you create a user account there (anyone can), you can read through the threads and post there.

CN certainly does have many outspoken A-P mount fans. Paramount mount users on CN are comparatively less outspoken. I don't see this as a reflection on the companies, their employees or their mounts. It appears to me to be a difference in user personalities and not anything sinister or derogatory. I don't fault A-P for that.


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Craig Ballew]
      #6022109 - 08/13/13 01:51 AM

Quote:


Then I read this thread. Very little to no support for the SB MEII which surprised me. Is it the quality, features or pricing that has turned people away?




I've been running a Paramount ME-II remotely from New Mexico since last Spring, as part of a research collaboration between the University of Toronto and Yale. It's a really great mount. The capacity is high (we've got about 175lb on it and it's not breaking a sweat) and the tracking has been extremely good. The integration with TheSkyX and T-Point (all running on a Mac, which was important to my team) has been terrific. The mount has performed flawlessly and whenever I have asked a question on the Bisque forum I've gotten an authoritative answer. I think the support has been excellent.

When I decided to get this mount I did a bit of due diligence and looked at all the alternatives, and it seemed to me that for remote observing the ME series had the best track record. I've been using T-point for a couple of decades and trust it, and the integration between TheSkyX and T-point is terrific. If I were doing it again I'd get the ME-II again... but bear in mind that my needs may not be the same as yours. I can assure you though that our ME-II has been a total joy to use.

Until last month we also had a 24" scope on an AP3600 in New Mexico too (a beautiful system I ordered for our institute), and I've got an AP Mach-1 in my back yard, so it's not like I'm being driven by brand loyalty... everything is a trade off, and I think the best mount for a given circumstance depends on many factors. But certainly everybody who has used our system in New Mexico has been delighted with the ME-II, and most of our experience has been with much larger professional systems, so the acceptable performance bar is set pretty high.

Bob

Edited by Bob Abraham (08/13/13 11:32 AM)


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6022713 - 08/13/13 11:40 AM

It sounds like your set-up is professional. Hence the type of mount is not important to the user, hence irrelevant and invisible to the user, as it should be.

I assume the A-P mounts at the South Pole are used similarly. What is important to the user is the data collected via an acceptable software interface.

We amateurs like to stroke the scope and mount when we go out to the observatory ;-) Either A-P or SB work in that situation also.


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: EddWen]
      #6023134 - 08/13/13 02:43 PM

Hi Edd,

Yes, it's a professional setup feeding data to very fussy users, including me. The lack of complaints says a lot about the quality of the mount. So far we're very happy with it indeed.

I assure you that some of us professionals like to stroke the scopes and mounts too... :-)

Bob

Edited by Bob Abraham (08/13/13 02:44 PM)


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6023295 - 08/13/13 03:49 PM

Quote:

the tracking has been extremely good



Can you post one or two autoguider logs?


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Alph]
      #6023374 - 08/13/13 04:24 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Next time we autoguide with it I'll try to remember to save the log... but our setup consists of a bank of 400mm lenses and autoguiding is optional at this focal length with this mount. Autoguiding is needed if the setup has changed and a new T-Point model hasn't been made so the ProTrack hasn't yet been dialed in, but with good PEC training and ProTrack we can often get away without autoguiding.

A picture of our setup is attached so you can see the load the ME-II is carrying.

Bob

Edited by Bob Abraham (08/13/13 08:19 PM)


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Per Frejvall
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Reged: 09/28/12

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6025530 - 08/14/13 04:48 PM

Cool rig! What do you have in terms of CCDs behind all them tubes of glass and aluminum? Do I see an SBIG lurking behind the leftmost one?

/per


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end
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Reged: 08/31/11

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6025560 - 08/14/13 04:59 PM

Impressive! I have no idea what you need an array like that for, but the first think that popped into my mind was that the top row was for R, G, B and the bottom was for L, Halpha, Hbeta, OxygenIII, and Sulfur. All at the same time!


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WesC
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: end]
      #6025982 - 08/14/13 08:58 PM

That's kinda overkill for a filter wheel replacement.

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Bob Abraham
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: WesC]
      #6026396 - 08/15/13 01:59 AM

Hi, it's part of an ultra low surface brightness imaging experiment to test galaxy formation models by mapping very faint substructures around nearby galaxies. Those are Canon 400mm f/2.8 lenses (fast 140mm refractors, basically) and in terms of effective speed it acts like a big f/1 refractor The multiple distinct optical paths help with flat fielding and dealing with systematics like time dependent additive terms from airglow which you need to worry about when you have to flatten to better than 0.1% of sky. We are using SDSS g and r band filters. Each lens feeds an STF-8300.

Anyway, sorry for going off topic. The basic point I was trying to make is that the ME-II is doing a nice job of handling this fairly heavy setup.

Bob

Edited by Bob Abraham (08/15/13 02:07 AM)


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mikeschuster
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Reged: 08/25/11

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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6026741 - 08/15/13 09:26 AM

Bob,
Can you provide a reference for the calibration/flattening algorithms you are using?
Thanks,
Mike Schuster


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Bob Abraham
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Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #6027286 - 08/15/13 02:12 PM

Hi Mike,

We're using very similar techniques to the ones that Chris Mihos and collaborators have been using for their Virgo intra-cluster light work, and which they've been developing over the years to study galaxy halos. Our own first paper just got submitted two weeks ago and is now being refereed, but basically we're using similar techniques to those in the papers given below.

Mihos et al. 2005 (Virgo intra-cluster light):
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005ApJ...631L..41M

Slater et al. 2009 (modelling internal reflections paper):
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009PASP..121.1267S

Mihos et al. 2012 (M101 paper):
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012arXiv1211.3095M

Section 2 of the 2005 paper and the whole of the 2009 paper are particularly interesting if you're interested in the techniques for flattening, sky subtraction, and calibration.

If you want more info feel free to pop me an email as I don't want to take the thread further off on a tangent. (Though I'm on vacation at the moment and so my email checking is a little sporadic at the moment... basically I am only allowed on the computer when my wife and kids are distracted!).

Cheers,

Bob


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WesC
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Re: Mount Upgrade Time! AP, SB, 10Micron, etc new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6027704 - 08/15/13 05:34 PM

Quote:

Hi, it's part of an ultra low surface brightness imaging experiment to test galaxy formation models by mapping very faint substructures around nearby galaxies. Those are Canon 400mm f/2.8 lenses (fast 140mm refractors, basically) and in terms of effective speed it acts like a big f/1 refractor The multiple distinct optical paths help with flat fielding and dealing with systematics like time dependent additive terms from airglow which you need to worry about when you have to flatten to better than 0.1% of sky. We are using SDSS g and r band filters. Each lens feeds an STF-8300.

Anyway, sorry for going off topic. The basic point I was trying to make is that the ME-II is doing a nice job of handling this fairly heavy setup.

Bob





Bob, That. Is. COOL!


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