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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: bigj]
      #5891545 - 05/29/13 11:18 PM

Bigj, just do a search. The AP Mach 1 GTO is one of the best characterized mounts made, so you don't have to wait for raw data to crunch through.

-Rich

Quote:

Cant wait to see the imanges on the night sky and PE data




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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5891554 - 05/29/13 11:22 PM

Quote:

It's a nice mount. But keep your thumb over the stop button on slews until you really know what you're doing.

-Rich




Great suggestion! Even when you know what you're doing I suggest keeping your thumb on that stop button
I even reduced my slew speed to 600x just to be safe.

Andy


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: andysea]
      #5891568 - 05/29/13 11:32 PM

I crashed my AP 130 EDFGT into the pier that way :-/ It had always seemed to know what it was doing. And it *almost* made it.

AP had a paint kit, though you had to know where to look to find the scrape mark (the paint is kind of odd stuff- sort of like painting by dabbing on yogurt).

If Bigj wants a link to get started:

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1925

-Rich


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5891622 - 05/30/13 12:18 AM

I'm a bit puzzled by the doom and gloom around mount crashing etc

The Mach1 is probably the simplest darn mount there is to set up (in my experience). You just point it to a star opposite where the scope is (i.e. not on the same side of the meridian), sync, and you're off!

The only case I see where there might be mount confusion is if you sync on a star on the same side of the meridian after power on, but the manual explicitly says not to do that.

In any case I've never had a mount crash, and I barely read the manual.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5891655 - 05/30/13 12:53 AM

There are other ways of causing that. One of them happens with the polar alignment routine, and I haven't quite figured out what causes it.

-Rich


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mikeschuster
super member


Reged: 08/25/11

Loc: SF Bay area
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5891665 - 05/30/13 01:09 AM

My Mach 1 (sold) did seem to have a slew under the mount quirk. Setup in Park 1 position, Resume Ref-Park 1, let the mount track a few minutes or so from this position, then slew. Often the slew was under the mount. I never did figure out why this was happening, but likely I was doing something wrong,
Mike


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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #5891691 - 05/30/13 01:37 AM

The native PE would be nice to see and photos with 10 minutes subs would be nice. I cannot wait to see them.

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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: bigj]
      #5891703 - 05/30/13 01:52 AM

by the way, why does the mount hand controller have a "resume from park X" menu option? that seems a surefire way to get it confused - if it's at park 3 for instance and you tell it to resume from park 1 it's idea of the sky gets messed up.

seems like if it was in any park position the right thing to do is simply "resume from park", since the mount should know where it was parked.


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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: pfile]
      #5891718 - 05/30/13 02:05 AM

I think AP is a good mount but technology is old, look at the controller its dated about 20 years

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: bigj]
      #5891767 - 05/30/13 03:23 AM

I always do park 3 and resume from park 3. That's the home position for CGEM's.

The native PE is well-known. Mine does about 6" p-p. After PEC training that drops to < 1" p-p.

I have numerous 10- and 20-minute guided subs. 20 minutes is too much for unguided with my not-so-good polar alignment (at 600mm).

The hand controller does seem a bit ancient, and the interface isn't so good compared to even the humble Nexstar. But it's vacuum fluorescent and doesn't dim in cold weather. And it's very beefy. The thing would outlast most contemporary electronics gear.


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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5891786 - 05/30/13 04:11 AM

please give the raw data

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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: bigj]
      #5892176 - 05/30/13 11:07 AM

sure, i do park 3 and then just resume from park. it just seems like having specific "resume from park X" controls is really dangerous. i've done it once and a recal fixes everything but until then a goto could drive the scope into the pier.

the hand controller seems fine to me. i agree it is very robust. i don't care that much though because i drive the mount with ASCOM - wifiscope + SkySafari and AstroTortilla.


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: pfile]
      #5892512 - 05/30/13 01:57 PM

Coming from a Takahashi mount I thought that the AP hand controller was a big improvement. What is a comparable mount that has a good hand controller? just curious....it doesn't really matter to me anyway as all I use is goto and meridian delay.

Andy


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JumboFlex
sage


Reged: 01/20/09

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: andysea]
      #5892839 - 05/30/13 04:27 PM

Not sure if i would call anything from AP "old" tech. The hand controller worked for me at below freezing temps, the "advanced" tech of an iphone wouldnt.

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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: JumboFlex]
      #5892940 - 05/30/13 05:36 PM

I came from a Celestron CPC, and giving up the Celestron firmware was hard. I was very concerned with the "old" AP hand controller. Truth is, it's simpler but better.

And having more then one line of text gives you much more info. I actually learn the sky with it.


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turtledude1
member
*****

Reged: 10/08/08

Loc: SW Fla.& SW. NM
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: dhaval]
      #5893032 - 05/30/13 06:40 PM

I know just how you feel with your new Mach 1. Fedex just delivered my used but never got used AP 1200GTO this morning. It's going to take six months to wipe the grin off my face. This will be a huge improvement over my CGE Pro.

Russ


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: turtledude1]
      #5893143 - 05/30/13 08:08 PM

The really weird thing about AP after using something like a Celestron is the alignment which "Just is". Turn it on, and it's aligned. I have been starting at Park 3, and then drive it to Park 1 and do initial alignment with a level. I then go to the first object. This was how I was able to see the M81 supernova a year ago- the sky was overcast except for that area. But I was able to get a compass bearing and get aligned with the level, and had it drive there blind. Voilà, the supernova was in the field of view.

I'd tend to say what you really need to do is THINK REAL HARD before using a Sync command.

The original Sky Safari sent Sync instead of RCAL when you pressed the "Align" button on the mount control. That was what I had done just before the collision. So, I talked to Tim at Southern Stars as well as AP, and now Sky Safari is fixed so it sends RCAL instead of Sync.

For Bigj, who apparently hasn't discovered Google:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3952049/page...

-Rich


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5893170 - 05/30/13 08:26 PM

good one Rich.

You're right about the "just is" alignment... it does require that your polar alignment be well-nigh perfect. But it's nice that the AP GTO controller follows the principle of least astonishment.


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bigj
member


Reged: 05/07/13

Re: New to me Mach 1! new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5893618 - 05/31/13 03:26 AM

Starhawh
Thanks for googal tip. I still would like raw see data from a new mount. The 8.4 arc second was nice but not to AP standard. I was hopping to see 6 arc secounds or better.


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: New to me Mach 1! [Re: bigj]
      #5893734 - 05/31/13 07:32 AM

My Mach 1 celebrated its 4th birthday a few weeks ago and it's still the best investment I ever made in astronomy.

I don't know how anyone could regret switching from Celestron electronics to Astro-Physics. The circuit boards are better, the hand controller is much better, and the commands are easier to use. I start from Park 3, Goto a single star, Synch, and off I go. Keying in a database object or a set of RA/Dec coordinates couldn't be easier.

Six years ago, when I first got on the A-P waiting list, a friend told me that if I ever tried the A-P hand paddle I would never be happy going back to Celestron, Synta, or Gemini - mounts I had used previously. I have to agree that he was right.

Cheers,

Ron


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