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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5213768 - 05/09/12 01:11 PM

What I am hearing here is the rosy-picture of building pointing-models and such.

Is there a single serious DSO imager that uses Protrack instead of auto-guiding?
One of the requirements of protrack is that it needs a large-pointing model and a fixed mirror system. How many high-res images there are with Protrack being used and adding productivity to imaging?

Consider this - why do you need 30 images to go to a DSO when you need only 1? No one has mentioned plate-solve and sync. Once you use that, you see how efficient and accurate it is than to build long pointing runs.

I know folks who spend all their time trying to perfect their pointing models and PA to arcsec, and not getting much imaging done.

What are your goals - several dozen images in one night? Maybe pointing model will help there. Using pointing models for PA is not as fool-proof as drift align, and at best inefficient. Why not just drift align?


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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5213874 - 05/09/12 02:00 PM

Quote:

What I am hearing here is the rosy-picture of building pointing-models and such.

Is there a single serious DSO imager that uses Protrack instead of auto-guiding?
One of the requirements of protrack is that it needs a large-pointing model and a fixed mirror system. How many high-res images there are with Protrack being used and adding productivity to imaging?

Consider this - why do you need 30 images to go to a DSO when you need only 1? No one has mentioned plate-solve and sync. Once you use that, you see how efficient and accurate it is than to build long pointing runs.

I know folks who spend all their time trying to perfect their pointing models and PA to arcsec, and not getting much imaging done.

What are your goals - several dozen images in one night? Maybe pointing model will help there. Using pointing models for PA is not as fool-proof as drift align, and at best inefficient. Why not just drift align?




No matter how perfect your mount is tracking there can still be an issue of variable-degrees of flexure in the optical axis that will benefit from autoguiding. Changing cameras or accessories will likely change those flexure characteristics as well. Some people have different T-Point models for different equipment configurations. And atmospheric refraction (King rate) is influenced by altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and ambient humidity. One more reason to avoid imaging low in the sky, when you can help it.

I hope this helps.


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Daniel Bisque
Vendor


Reged: 04/20/11

Loc: Golden, CO USA
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5213889 - 05/09/12 02:10 PM

Quote:

I would be very curious to hear more about this polar alignment adjustment being done at some large observatories. Can you provide more information? The names of the observatories in question?




This post (from Patrick Wallace) might be helpful:

http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/p/12959/49180.aspx#49180


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5213961 - 05/09/12 02:50 PM

Quote:

Is there a single serious DSO imager that uses Protrack instead of auto-guiding?



I'm NOT a serious DS0 imager, but I do use ProTrack and I don't autoguide. With an EdgeHD 14 at f/11 (nominal FL=3911mm) on a Paramount ME with ProTrack turned on, I just plain haven't needed to autoguide. Of course when I start doing narrow band, it's highly likely that I'll finally have to off-axis guide and I'm fully prepared for that with a QSI-WSG and a Loadstar. Guys, my sub-exposures are five minutes, not super long. I'm lazy and I'm not willing to go longer.


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5214077 - 05/09/12 03:53 PM

Frolinmod, do you have images you can share that show tight rounds stars (<2" arcsec FWHM) in long exposures with your setup and Protrack?
That would be a good data point for reference.


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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
*****

Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5214170 - 05/09/12 05:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What I am hearing here is the rosy-picture of building pointing-models and such.

Is there a single serious DSO imager that uses Protrack instead of auto-guiding?
One of the requirements of protrack is that it needs a large-pointing model and a fixed mirror system. How many high-res images there are with Protrack being used and adding productivity to imaging?

Consider this - why do you need 30 images to go to a DSO when you need only 1? No one has mentioned plate-solve and sync. Once you use that, you see how efficient and accurate it is than to build long pointing runs.

I know folks who spend all their time trying to perfect their pointing models and PA to arcsec, and not getting much imaging done.

What are your goals - several dozen images in one night? Maybe pointing model will help there. Using pointing models for PA is not as fool-proof as drift align, and at best inefficient. Why not just drift align?




No matter how perfect your mount is tracking there can still be an issue of variable-degrees of flexure in the optical axis that will benefit from autoguiding. Changing cameras or accessories will likely change those flexure characteristics as well. Some people have different T-Point models for different equipment configurations. And atmospheric refraction (King rate) is influenced by altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and ambient humidity. One more reason to avoid imaging low in the sky, when you can help it.

I hope this helps.




"No matter how perfect your mount is tracking there can still be an issue of variable-degrees of flexure in the optical axis that will benefit from autoguiding."

The autoguided setup can also suffer from issues induced by flex of the autoguider itself if the autoguider is not an off-axis guider. A separate auto-guider on a piggy-backed or side-by-side mounted OTA can have flex issues with different characteristics than those of the imaging train. If present those errors in a non off-axis guided setup will not be corrected by the autoguider.


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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5214192 - 05/09/12 05:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

What I am hearing here is the rosy-picture of building pointing-models and such.

Is there a single serious DSO imager that uses Protrack instead of auto-guiding?
One of the requirements of protrack is that it needs a large-pointing model and a fixed mirror system. How many high-res images there are with Protrack being used and adding productivity to imaging?

Consider this - why do you need 30 images to go to a DSO when you need only 1? No one has mentioned plate-solve and sync. Once you use that, you see how efficient and accurate it is than to build long pointing runs.

I know folks who spend all their time trying to perfect their pointing models and PA to arcsec, and not getting much imaging done.

What are your goals - several dozen images in one night? Maybe pointing model will help there. Using pointing models for PA is not as fool-proof as drift align, and at best inefficient. Why not just drift align?




No matter how perfect your mount is tracking there can still be an issue of variable-degrees of flexure in the optical axis that will benefit from autoguiding. Changing cameras or accessories will likely change those flexure characteristics as well. Some people have different T-Point models for different equipment configurations. And atmospheric refraction (King rate) is influenced by altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and ambient humidity. One more reason to avoid imaging low in the sky, when you can help it.

I hope this helps.




"No matter how perfect your mount is tracking there can still be an issue of variable-degrees of flexure in the optical axis that will benefit from autoguiding."

The autoguided setup can also suffer from issues induced by flex of the autoguider itself if the autoguider is not an off-axis guider. A separate auto-guider on a piggy-backed or side-by-side mounted OTA can have flex issues with different characteristics than those of the imaging train. If present those errors in a non off-axis guided setup will not be corrected by the autoguider.




Agreed!

Pretty-much all I ever use is off-axis guiders (a.k.a. radial guiders) and I overlooked that some people still prefer to autoguide with separate scopes.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5214667 - 05/09/12 11:10 PM

A Paramount properly modeled with protrack enabled does not require auto guiding in order to do AP. AO would be a different story. Adaptive Optics can actually assist with seeing if properly configured. This is a mount that when properly configured is going to have less than an arc second of PE. Protrack will deal with tracking error resulting from alignment error in both RA and Dec - if any exists. At least, the above has been my experience with 2 separate ME's and an MX.

I'm not talking about taking this mount out and plugging it in and go.. I spent many cloudy nights perfecting my setup and modeling. Understanding your gear is always a plus, but these mounts have capabilities that when combine with the software can really take you as far as you want. I take great pride in the fact I can point at 10 arc second accuracy after only 20-25 minutes. At the same time, spending the time I did is NOT required to do 5-10 minute unguided subs. IME 5-6 minute unguided subs on a paramount is a first night thing. Provided you already have the software setup and configured. The best part is you can configure and test in daylight using images from the DSS.

Joe


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5214723 - 05/09/12 11:53 PM

I would love to see an image taken with 10 minute unguided subs. Would you mind posting one?
Blueman
Quote:

A Paramount properly modeled with protrack enabled does not require auto guiding in order to do AP. AO would be a different story. Adaptive Optics can actually assist with seeing if properly configured. This is a mount that when properly configured is going to have less than an arc second of PE. Protrack will deal with tracking error resulting from alignment error in both RA and Dec - if any exists. At least, the above has been my experience with 2 separate ME's and an MX.

I'm not talking about taking this mount out and plugging it in and go.. I spent many cloudy nights perfecting my setup and modeling. Understanding your gear is always a plus, but these mounts have capabilities that when combine with the software can really take you as far as you want. I take great pride in the fact I can point at 10 arc second accuracy after only 20-25 minutes. At the same time, spending the time I did is NOT required to do 5-10 minute unguided subs. IME 5-6 minute unguided subs on a paramount is a first night thing. Provided you already have the software setup and configured. The best part is you can configure and test in daylight using images from the DSS.

Joe




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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5214735 - 05/10/12 12:03 AM

Quote:

A Paramount properly modeled with protrack enabled does not require auto guiding in order to do AP.




Any images showing long exposures (10 min+) with small tight stars (<2" FWHM) to corroborate the above? This would be good data point to showcase Protrack feasibility for DSO imaging.

Quote:

I spent many cloudy nights perfecting my setup and modeling. Understanding your gear is always a plus, but these mounts have capabilities that when combine with the software can really take you as far as you want.




This learning curve and time to productivity needs to be not taken lightly. Not everyone will be able to master T-point and have time to do 100+ point models.

Could we know what the MX can do that other high-end mounts can't? (Well maybe tracking a satellite, but how many are interested in that). Don't tell me the open-loop Protrack is a replacement for auto-guiding until we see high-res long exp images that show tight round stars. Auto-guiding is relatively painless compared to building and sustaining long and delicate models.

If you are talking about 3-4" FWHM stars, then a lot of mounts will do that unguided with good PA, PEC and fixed mirror/lens OTA.


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5214760 - 05/10/12 12:20 AM

Rick J has Paramount ME and Meade 14" SCT and always takes 10 minute subs unguided at F/10 or about 3500mm focal length. His images look fabulous. Look for "Rick J" at "CCD Imaging & Processing" category. His setup is always permanent.

Peter


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5214795 - 05/10/12 12:55 AM

Quote:

Rick J has Paramount ME and Meade 14" SCT and always takes 10 minute subs unguided at F/10 or about 3500mm focal length.




I looked but could not find reference to 'un-guided' in his images. I believe his camera is a dual-chip one, not sure if that is being used.
Again, it is important to quantify the image in star FWHM to understand how they compare to auto-guided (with OAG of course).
Also, how long does it take to setup the equimpent to get unguided x-minutes with x" FWHM.?
All these are important data for anyone buying into the hype of ProTrack.


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5214803 - 05/10/12 01:05 AM

not to side track the conversation real quick:
Quote:

Could we know what the MX can do that other high-end mounts can't? (Well maybe tracking a satellite, but how many are interested in that)



can one not plug in the orbital parameters w/ the AP mounts to track satellites? being able to image the ISS is definitely on my list of things I'd like to do one day


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5214813 - 05/10/12 01:12 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Rick J has Paramount ME and Meade 14" SCT and always takes 10 minute subs unguided at F/10 or about 3500mm focal length.




I looked but could not find reference to 'un-guided' in his images. I believe his camera is a dual-chip one, not sure if that is being used.
Again, it is important to quantify the image in star FWHM to understand how they compare to auto-guided (with OAG of course).
Also, how long does it take to setup the equimpent to get unguided x-minutes with x" FWHM.?
All these are important data for anyone buying into the hype of ProTrack.




Here is Rick J's example: Rick J unguided comment

Read the whole thread.

Peter


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5214834 - 05/10/12 01:35 AM

800 points in the T-point model !!

Using the image scale 1.06"/px (based on his scope, camera and bin2), the star FWHM are 3.5-4.5" , which is MUCH larger than 2". This is using the full-res image that is posted there. It is jpg though, a fits/tiff would be better to make the assessment.


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #5214836 - 05/10/12 01:40 AM

Yes you are right. The AP mount supports custom tracking but...are the RA/DEC rates for satellites fixed or varying? I am not sure statellitetracker works with AP mount.

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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5214843 - 05/10/12 02:06 AM

Quote:

800 points in the T-point model !!

Using the image scale 1.06"/px (based on his scope, camera and bin2), the star FWHM are 3.5-4.5" , which is MUCH larger than 2". This is using the full-res image that is posted there. It is jpg though, a fits/tiff would be better to make the assessment.




Isn't it difficult to get 2" FWHM even with autoguiding? I'll be happy to get 3" in my usual less than ideal seeing condition.

Peter


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5214848 - 05/10/12 02:20 AM

With high-end mount like yours and OAG, you should be able to get 2" without much effort. I have an AP mount and almost always get <2" stars even in 30mins exposures.

Most don't realize how small 2" is, because when the guiding is up to it, all other issues show up and need to be perfected. Like focusing (often and well), collimation. That is why it is important to back the claims of guiding methods with star FWHM in arcsec in RAW images.

PM me offline and I can help you on getting to the next level of resolution, in the 2" regime, which is exponentially big jump from 3".


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: blueman]
      #5215052 - 05/10/12 08:48 AM

One of our more infrequent posters, Paul Burke (f29pc), posted a 20 minute unguided sub that he did with his MI250 at about a 2300mm focal length. It can be done, but the work to get his 250 to that level was exstensive.

David

Quote:

I would love to see an image taken with 10 minute unguided subs. Would you mind posting one?
Blueman
Quote:

A Paramount properly modeled with protrack enabled does not require auto guiding in order to do AP. AO would be a different story. Adaptive Optics can actually assist with seeing if properly configured. This is a mount that when properly configured is going to have less than an arc second of PE. Protrack will deal with tracking error resulting from alignment error in both RA and Dec - if any exists. At least, the above has been my experience with 2 separate ME's and an MX.

I'm not talking about taking this mount out and plugging it in and go.. I spent many cloudy nights perfecting my setup and modeling. Understanding your gear is always a plus, but these mounts have capabilities that when combine with the software can really take you as far as you want. I take great pride in the fact I can point at 10 arc second accuracy after only 20-25 minutes. At the same time, spending the time I did is NOT required to do 5-10 minute unguided subs. IME 5-6 minute unguided subs on a paramount is a first night thing. Provided you already have the software setup and configured. The best part is you can configure and test in daylight using images from the DSS.

Joe







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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5215217 - 05/10/12 10:44 AM

Quote:

One of our more infrequent posters, Paul Burke (f29pc), posted a 20 minute unguided sub that he did with his MI250 at about a 2300mm focal length. It can be done, but the work to get his 250 to that level was exstensive.





I found the thread and his work and effort is impressive! The image looks pretty good; I wish there was an fit/tiff version for analysis.
Among other things, he used encoders on axis which makes the system more of a closed loop, as feedback is coming from the axis.


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