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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Paramount MX on its way (photos added)
      #6047545 - 08/26/13 07:14 PM

I've been waiting (not so patiently) to receive the Paramount MX that I ordered through Astronomics back in June. It's finally on the UPS truck direct from Bisque. I will now play tag with the UPS guy for the rest of the week until he finally just throws it up on the lawn without a signature, or perhaps leaves it with a neighbor without telling me. That's what happened previously with my CGEM and C11 Edge courtesy of UPS and Fedex, anyway.

I was hoping to actually get it during a part of the lunar cycle where imaging is not so great so I could start up the long and steep learning curve in the light-polluted back yard without wasting valuable imaging time. However, I'm just glad it's on the way at this point. 2 months is not such a bad wait when you consider what I could have suffered on some of the other waiting lists out there. Will post pictures once I have it assembled, but before I break it.


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darbyvet
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Seneca Falls, New York
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6047563 - 08/26/13 07:23 PM

you are going to love it!! Now they have the all sky imaging worked out it is easy to set up.Just attach your imaging camera and take a picture doesnt matter where the scope is pointing.Do an image link at the software will plate solve the image.Synch on that image.Do an automated calibration run of 50 points and watch the scope wizz around on its own finding the 50 targets and plate solving the images.At this point the software will tell you how to adjust the mount to polar ailgn-it even tells you how mant turns on the adjustment knobs to use.Repeat the automated calibatration run with 100-200 tragets and have the software build a supermodel and you will likely have less than 20 arcsec pointing accuracy and be abvle to take severla minute unguided exposures with no guiding.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: darbyvet]
      #6047605 - 08/26/13 07:58 PM

Lucky lucky man! I think anytime spent with astronomy gear is time well spent!

HAVE FUN!


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: WesC]
      #6047885 - 08/26/13 10:46 PM

I'm envious. Looking forward to pictures of your new setup. Congratulations!!

David


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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6047934 - 08/26/13 11:15 PM

Awesome! You'll love it. I've had mine for about 15 months, and I've taken about 1750 subs so far (15 mins normally). With *1* bad one. 1, yep. And I probably caused that one. It's flawless, and makes great noises (Paramount's make the coolest electronic noises)!

Mine matched with the Rob Miller Tri36M tripod:

http://www.silvren.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/two1.jpg

Jeff


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Jesus Munoz
sage


Reged: 03/09/07

Loc: Querétaro, México
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: jarin]
      #6047968 - 08/26/13 11:31 PM

Congratulations! Don't forget some unboxing pictures

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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: jarin]
      #6047971 - 08/26/13 11:33 PM

As Darbyvet mentioned, they just got the AllSky worked out but clouds are killing me. You'll love the mount but TSX Pro is a lot to take on all at once. If the USB cable seems like it will fall out at any minute, you can bend it under the alignment knob. Good luck.

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Wouter D'hoye
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/27/03

Loc: Belgium
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6048089 - 08/27/13 01:33 AM

Congrats. I'm sure you'll love yours as much as anybody else loves his. It's a great piece of kit and an investment you'll enjoy for many years to come.

Enjoy your new mount.

Wouter.


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Dave MModerator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Wouter D'hoye]
      #6048444 - 08/27/13 09:25 AM

Congrats! on a Beautiful mount, be sure and post pics after it arrives.

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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Dave M]
      #6049018 - 08/27/13 02:52 PM

The automated polar alignment with plate-solving has me giddy just thinking about it. I'm like a 4 year old who had too much sugar! Have to get up early tomorrow so I can follow the UPS truck around town until they get the idea and fork it over.

The strange thing is that the usual "new equipment curse" is nowhere in sight. That is, our weather forecast is looking extremely good for 4-5 days. I suppose that means the delivery will be delayed by 4-5 days!


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6049019 - 08/27/13 02:54 PM

Congrats

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: coz]
      #6049062 - 08/27/13 03:11 PM

When you receive the mount I recommend not using the software CD in the box. Having been produced in large quantity it will likely contain oldish software. I recommend instead downloading and installing the latest full installer, update installer, latest daily build installer and all-sky image link file directly from the www.bisque.com website. In order to get access to the installer downloads you'll first need to create a username on the site and register your mount and software serial numbers to that username. Feel free to post lots and lots of questions as needed to the Bisque support forum on their website. Tom Bisque is back. His detailed and informative posts are always fun to read.

Be aware that severe handing in shipping can possibly knock mount adjustments out of whack. Please be mindful of this during the first week or so of mount operation.


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Wembley2000
sage
*****

Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6049517 - 08/27/13 07:38 PM

If you have a place where you can have the UPS guy leave it pretty securely you can sign up on UPS.com for ups mychoice, I think that is what it is called, and you can have them leave signature required items without a signature. I did that with my Mach One, but I live in the country and my porch hides any packages that they drop off.

BTW, congrats!


Wem


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: darbyvet]
      #6049523 - 08/27/13 07:42 PM

Quote:

you are going to love it!! Now they have the all sky imaging worked out it is easy to set up.Just attach your imaging camera and take a picture doesnt matter where the scope is pointing.Do an image link at the software will plate solve the image.Synch on that image.Do an automated calibration run of 50 points and watch the scope wizz around on its own finding the 50 targets and plate solving the images.At this point the software will tell you how to adjust the mount to polar ailgn-it even tells you how mant turns on the adjustment knobs to use.Repeat the automated calibatration run with 100-200 tragets and have the software build a supermodel and you will likely have less than 20 arcsec pointing accuracy and be abvle to take severla minute unguided exposures with no guiding.




How long does that take from first star sighting to creating the model, the polar alignment, etc., to starting an AP run?

Thanks,

Paul


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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: psandelle]
      #6049560 - 08/27/13 08:04 PM

If you have a permanent setup, you'll spend the whole first night getting your alignment points, polar, and PEC. After that, it's very quick. If you are portable, maybe an hour and a half.

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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6049629 - 08/27/13 08:36 PM

I'm 100% portable, and from the time I first Home the mount to imaging is about 20-30 minutes, not an hour and a half. I end up with a 20-point model and both axes showing Excellent polar alignment. Perfectly good for 6 hours straight of 15 min guided subs. I don't use PEC in the field. Once you get a routine down it's like 2nd nature. If I was pier-mounted, I'd spend all night with a 750 point model, SuperModel and PEC. :-)

Jeff


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darbyvet
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Seneca Falls, New York
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: psandelle]
      #6049861 - 08/27/13 11:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

you are going to love it!! Now they have the all sky imaging worked out it is easy to set up.Just attach your imaging camera and take a picture doesnt matter where the scope is pointing.Do an image link at the software will plate solve the image.Synch on that image.Do an automated calibration run of 50 points and watch the scope wizz around on its own finding the 50 targets and plate solving the images.At this point the software will tell you how to adjust the mount to polar ailgn-it even tells you how mant turns on the adjustment knobs to use.Repeat the automated calibatration run with 100-200 tragets and have the software build a supermodel and you will likely have less than 20 arcsec pointing accuracy and be abvle to take severla minute unguided exposures with no guiding.




How long does that take from first star sighting to creating the model, the polar alignment, etc., to starting an AP run?

Thanks,

Paul




I do a 5 second exposure, 5 second dark frame and then it takes about 10 secs to plate solve and another 5-10 seconds to find the next target.

the supermodel takes about 30 sec to 2 minutes to build depending on the speed of your PC.


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Matt Houston
member


Reged: 02/08/13

Loc: Florida
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: darbyvet]
      #6050852 - 08/28/13 02:42 PM

I ordered mine back in March and got it last week. Stunning quality. Waaaay nicer quality compared to my old CGE Pro. The MX mount is easy to carry and I don't have to break down the mount like I had to do with the CGE Pro. You'll love it!

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Matt Houston]
      #6051111 - 08/28/13 05:25 PM

Thanks for the responses on how long it takes to get going. Still trying to figure out what my ultimate mobile mount will be, and with my limited days out at the darksite, every minute helps.

Paul


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: psandelle]
      #6051189 - 08/28/13 06:11 PM

Do any of you guys guide with OAG and use PHD?
Could somebody please post PHD graph with OAG and PMX?

I'm deciding between Paramount MX and 10Micron GM1000HPS.


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: orion69]
      #6051200 - 08/28/13 06:13 PM

orion69, here's my guiding graph. The MX is tracking as we speak:



This is with a OAG. I don't have PEC trained nor am I using ProTrack.

Edited by saadabbasi (08/28/13 06:16 PM)


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #6051213 - 08/28/13 06:20 PM

That was fast, thank you!

What FL is that and what exposure?

Edited by orion69 (08/28/13 06:22 PM)


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: orion69]
      #6051242 - 08/28/13 06:33 PM

Just 450mm, Knez at an image scale of 2.47"/pixel. Guider exposures are 5s and my imager's subs are 30 minutes.

Here is a 15 minute sub unguided, no PEC and no ProTrack: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/76983650/15min.jpg


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Bill Dean
member


Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Encinitas, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: psandelle]
      #6051251 - 08/28/13 06:36 PM

Hi Paul,

Half an hour is about right. I use the polar alignment scope and it can speed up the process a bit if it's good and dark but the automated routine works well enough before it gets good and dark that I would probably skip the polar scope, it really isn't necessary.

Clear skies,
Bill


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #6051272 - 08/28/13 06:46 PM

Quote:

Just 450mm, Knez at an image scale of 2.47"/pixel. Guider exposures are 5s and my imager's subs are 30 minutes.

Here is a 15 minute sub unguided, no PEC and no ProTrack: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/76983650/15min.jpg




Thanks, Saad!

That is impressive 15 min unguided sub!
Do you notice any difference in quality of guiding near equator vs closer to Polaris?
I wander how would PMX perform with 150mm refractor, around 18-19kg total weight, FL 750-1000mm ...


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: orion69]
      #6051275 - 08/28/13 06:48 PM

orion69, I don't really have enough experience with the MX to tell you if there is any significant difference between guiding at the equator vs near the pole but if I had to guess, no I don't think there's significant difference.

I think the PMX would handle that refractor but I've never even seen a 150mm refractor so I can't imagine the size that well. 1000mm FL should be no problem.


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Tonk
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/19/04

Loc: Leeds, UK, 54N
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #6051419 - 08/28/13 08:06 PM

This was the mount I was all set to buy 6 months ago having saved up for it over the previous year, but I saw the 10 Micron GM 1000 HPS at the dealers and fell in love at first sight. Really hope the MX I abandoned ended up with a caring owner. Sadly I'll now never know what I've missed out on.

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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Tonk]
      #6051483 - 08/28/13 08:52 PM

I mostly use an ES127CF with my MX (I also use an AT8RC and a 480mm triplet), and I use PHD. My graphs are smooth and around 0.17RMS with the ES127 @952mm FL.

I just shot this two nights ago:

http://www.silvren.com/astrophotography/08-24-2013/ngc7000-0.jpg

Jeff


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: jarin]
      #6052329 - 08/29/13 11:15 AM

The mount arrived yesterday around 7 PM with a THUD. That was the sound of the UPS guy chucking the mount off the back of the truck from a height of about 5 feet. He was surprised to see me standing there when he turned around, so the tripod and accessories got unloaded more carefully, but man, he had to throw my MX off the back of the truck? He didn't get a tip. I then learned that he didn't think there was anything particularly valuable in the box, because no signature was required. Yup, they were going to throw it up onto my porch and leave if I wasn't there.

OK, the unpleasant part is over, so let's get on with the good stuff. I took lots of photos of the boxes during unpacking in case there was damage, but it appears that the mount didn't suffer any external damage. I do hope there's nothing internal that's out of whack, but only time will tell. Two pictures for you: the assembled mount, and the C11 Edge riding on it for the first time.





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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6052334 - 08/29/13 11:17 AM

One additional thing: I discovered that The SkyX doesn't have drivers for my Atik 383L+ camera. They support SBIG and Orion, but not Atik. I wonder if anyone else here has gotten an Atik camera to work with their MX through ASCOM? I suppose I should just ask over on the Bisque forum, but doesn't hurt to mention it here too.

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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6052369 - 08/29/13 11:30 AM

You have the Versa-Plate/saddle pointing backwards by the way. :-) Knobs should be on the left.

See: http://www.silvren.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/two1.jpg

Jeff


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: jarin]
      #6052405 - 08/29/13 11:58 AM

Thanks- I will fix that before trying to operate the mount!
I actually loaded the 'scope on there just as the mount came out of the box, so this has me a bit puzzled! The instructions state to lock the axes before removing the mount from the box, so they shipped it in this orientation.


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Bill Dean
member


Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Encinitas, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6052431 - 08/29/13 12:13 PM

That's the correct orientation for the packaging when shipping but you need to rotate the DEC axis per the manual for use. You can't home the mount like you have it set up.

Clear skies,
Bill

Quote:

Thanks- I will fix that before trying to operate the mount!
I actually loaded the 'scope on there just as the mount came out of the box, so this has me a bit puzzled! The instructions state to lock the axes before removing the mount from the box, so they shipped it in this orientation.




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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Bill Dean]
      #6052449 - 08/29/13 12:21 PM

That thing just dwarfs the Edge 11! Wow.

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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: WesC]
      #6052466 - 08/29/13 12:33 PM

Ron - yea, that's how it's shipped, and how it's stored, if you bought the storage case. But you rotate DEC 180 degrees to operate. You'll figure it out. And the 3-way knobs are great, just make sure you always *lock* the 3-way knobs when loading/unloading the mount. IE: don't engage the gears until you're fully balanced, less stress on the gears that way over the long-term. You'll figure it out. Wait until you fire it up and hear the warbles and whistles the mount does (which are perfectly normal) when you're finally out and tracking.

Jeff


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: jarin]
      #6052476 - 08/29/13 12:36 PM

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I also loaded the 'scope backwards onto my CGEM when I first got it. This is what I get for working on assembling things until 2 AM.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6052516 - 08/29/13 01:01 PM

Don't feel too bad, I did the same thing on my CGEM until I looked for the index mark and realized I had it 180-degrees around. Being a right-handed person it seemed to make sense having the handles on the right side of the axis.

Evidently that's not how it is.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: WesC]
      #6052532 - 08/29/13 01:10 PM

Now that UPS has possibly thrown your new MX out of whack, you may need to make some adjustments. Worm adjustments and the like. Just don't be surprised if you end up needing to do that. It's not a big deal.

In your picture it looks like the Versaplate is in the most rearward position. If that is the case, then you should move it to the most forward position.


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tomcody
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: orion69]
      #6052662 - 08/29/13 02:20 PM

Question for Paramount owners, can you phone Bisque with sales or support issues? I have heard that they don't have any phone support for anything.
Also, have any of you tried to price or buy spare parts for your mounts ( such as motors, main boards, limit switchs etc.) and how can you do that without phone support?
Rex


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6052664 - 08/29/13 02:20 PM

I had to slide the optical tube pretty far forward to achieve balance with the camera attached, so I think that the plate position quite likely needs to be adjusted. However, it's mounted backwards right now, so let's see how it looks once I reverse it. I think I will be checking out of work early this afternoon. **cough**cough**

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crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6052705 - 08/29/13 02:39 PM

Amazing mount, congrats. It looks like its built like a rock so hopefully the fall won't effect it.

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: tomcody]
      #6052751 - 08/29/13 03:03 PM

Quote:

can you phone Bisque with sales or support issues?



Official Software Bisque technical support is via their support forums on their website where all posts are visible to all registered users which everyone, SB staff and customers alike, can therefore benefit from, read, browse, search, reply, etc. They're forums, similar to the ones you're reading and posting on now. Anyone can become a registered user and post there just like anyone can here. You don't even have to be a customer.

Quote:

Also, have any of you tried to price or buy spare parts for your mounts (such as motors, main boards, limit switches etc.)



They sell mount parts (as well as other things) in their web store. For instance, here is a link to a Paramount ME Homing Sensor Cable Assembly for use with MKS-4000 electronics. If there's a part you'd like to purchase that isn't currently listed in the web store, then please post to the support forum and request it be added. In the mean time please e-mail the front desk (see contacts on their website) or call and order it over the phone. They will perform minor clerical tasks (such as ordering parts) over the phone, no problem at all. They're very friendly.

I've had no trouble myself ordering parts from SB, including for Paramounts that are over 13 years old and long since out of production. Some older parts, such as the original electronics boards or motors are no longer made and have all sold out over the past decade. If you need those, you'll have to upgrade to a newer version of the electronics and/or motors rather than just purchase direct replacements. If they don't have an old part in stock, they can tell you where to get it or what to replace it with.

They're also happy to repair and service or upgrade mounts on a time and materials basis if the user doesn't feel up to doing it himself.


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PhilCo126
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6052775 - 08/29/13 03:12 PM

That's a dream-mount... great looking/matching tripod as well... Count on some serious rainy days

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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: PhilCo126]
      #6052990 - 08/29/13 05:21 PM

That is just beautiful! Congrats!!!

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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: orion69]
      #6053542 - 08/29/13 11:25 PM

Without starting a major flame out here, I had a significant manufacturing problem with my new mount and they would not talk to me. You will have to post issues and problems on their support site. Just be patient, I was not, and always always always download the latest daily build.

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Jesus Munoz
sage


Reged: 03/09/07

Loc: Querétaro, México
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6053608 - 08/30/13 12:08 AM

This is a really nice mount. Your scope looks small on the MX. Congratulations!

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Jesus Munoz]
      #6053724 - 08/30/13 01:52 AM

Quote:

always always always download the latest daily build.



Always.


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6054211 - 08/30/13 11:19 AM

Last night was spent finishing the setup and testing the various electronic connections. I actually did not need to move the versa-plate position once the OTA was no longer backwards.

I was able to get my camera, filter wheel, and autoguider to work with ASCOM drivers and the USB cables plugged into either the mount or the computer. Compatibility was a potential pitfall that had me concerned, as there are no X2 drivers for Atik cameras, and I always expect driver issues with new setups. I want to use the automated plate-solving to do polar alignment, so I'm quite glad (surprised?) this hurdle was cleared so easily. I'm used to getting new equipment and finding out I can't use it or else it under-performs because of driver issues.

I am not using the (expensive) portable power supply that Bisque provides, so the next issue was to test the scope, camera, and filter wheel with my marine battery set-up. I have a 96 Ah boat battery, a 3-socket cigarette lighter outlet, and a Samlex DC-AC converter that plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet. The power brick of the PMX plugs into the converter, so I am basically running the mount on AC out in the field. This setup worked flawlessly for 3-4 hours and the 61 lb. battery was still at 87% when I recharged it. Most of that power consumption was likely due to the camera.

The only minor glitch with the self-built power pack was that when I parked the mount, it slewed at a very high rate (higher than default setting "4" on the hand paddle), and the power drain was high enough to set off an alarm on the DC-AC converter. However, this is a non-issue, as I never slew my mounts at that speed out in the field. Cables getting stuck on the mount, chair leg, table leg, etc. in the dark are a serious concern, so I insist on slow slewing and use manual slewing whenever possible.

The mount components are just dripping with quality. There is literally nothing about the construction that shows signs of skimping or cutting corners. The portable pier, while expensive, is amazingly strong and rigid. Mounting the 50 lb. PMX on it is easy. The mount (minus counterweights and bar) can be put down on the level pier and left without any worry of it tipping over (assuming no other humans are around ). Once the PMX is in place, the whole system is incredibly rigid.

I actually got to try polar alignment last night, but this part did not go so well. I cannot see Polaris from my back yard, so I had to sync on a star near the meridian (Altair). Despite careful adjustments to altitude and leveling, slews to Vega and Deneb were missing the mark by like 1-2 degrees. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I have some work to do on re-learning polar alignment this weekend.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6054442 - 08/30/13 01:14 PM

Sounds like a great start to me! Its a complex machine, it'll take time to master. But when you do, it should do anything you want it to without a headache.

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darbyvet
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Seneca Falls, New York
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: WesC]
      #6054573 - 08/30/13 02:51 PM

Looking good Ron.I bought a cradle for my c11 so it is bolted directly to the versa plate. Did you make sure your clear your synch after you adjusted your mount.You have to resynch after the adjustment.I assume you did the alignment manually to polar align.did you do a meridian flip early on in your target acquisition.I usually do 4 or 5 stars and then do a meridian flip and do 4 or 5 more and then you should find any subsequent stars are very close to centered when you slew to them.Once you get image link working it will be easier because you just take an image wherever the scope is pointing and then image link and synch on the image.After that you can do an automated tpoint calibration run.

I had to read the instructions several times before I got polar alignment and tpoint figured out.If you surf the SB forum you will also find some really good tips on how to get everything talking to the software.

I did a 90 star tpoint run last night with a canon DSLR at prime focus with my c11 and got 10arcSECOND pointing accuracy.I found Neptune and Uranus exactly centered in the cameras field of view and was able to take 3 min unguided pics of m57 at 2800mm focal length.
Gotta love this mount.it does also make some really cool noises.


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: darbyvet]
      #6054695 - 08/30/13 04:11 PM

Honestly, the funky noises and red lights concern me a bit. It's only a matter of time before some drunk cowboy mistakes my PMX for a UFO. I'm 3 hrs. or so away from Roswell here. No worries- it's not like people in rural Texas carry guns or anything.

Unguided with your C11 at native focal length? Wow. I'll be happy if I can get PhD to agree with the mount tonight. Looks like absolutely perfect weather in place for tonight, so I hope I don't mess things up with the human errors.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6054734 - 08/30/13 04:36 PM

I've used PhD with the most recent ASCOM TheSkyX telescope driver configured to permit directguide to be used (hence no need for a guide cable). It works very well.

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Psyire
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: 55* North
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: darbyvet]
      #6054984 - 08/30/13 07:37 PM

Quote:

Looking good Ron.I bought a cradle for my c11 so it is bolted directly to the versa plate.




Sorry to interrupt but what cradle did you go with and do you like it?


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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Psyire]
      #6055312 - 08/30/13 11:28 PM

Ron - couple of comments.

The noises, etc, you'll get used to, and come to appreciate, you can tell what a Paramount is doing (or not doing) by the noises it makes. It becomes re-assuring after a while.

As to P.A. - dig into the TPoint PDF manual heavily. First master manually setting up 6 or 8 points, then once you have that down, move into the automated stuff. Don't forget to Home the mount before each TPoint run. It takes a few tries, but after a bit you'll have it down, and you can press Go, and kick back and watch the mount as it whizzes around plate-solving. I still get a kick out of it 16 months later.

Jeff


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: jarin]
      #6055373 - 08/31/13 12:27 AM

You don't need to home before each Tpoint run, but you do need to sync after you mess with the ALT/AZ adjustment knobs.

You only need to home after turning power on to the mount, after turning the worm release knob(s) (such as after balancing) or after the mount thinks it ran into something or otherwise loudly complains about something and stops.


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darbyvet
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Seneca Falls, New York
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6055734 - 08/31/13 09:52 AM

If you can all sky image link you dont need to do manual points - just let it plate solve so it can figure out where it is.

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darbyvet
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Seneca Falls, New York
Re: Paramount MX on its way new [Re: Psyire]
      #6055792 - 08/31/13 10:33 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Looking good Ron.I bought a cradle for my c11 so it is bolted directly to the versa plate.




Sorry to interrupt but what cradle did you go with and do you like it?




It actually is a set of OTA rings from Parallax instruments.They are very well made and give me a rock solid way of mounting my c11 and there are holes at the top of the rings for mounting a second scope.


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