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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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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]
      #5216115 - 05/10/12 07:13 PM

If it is anything >$50, I don't think I am going to buy it. Currently that is my threshold on APCC value.
My guess it will be >$150.


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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]
      #5216302 - 05/10/12 09:20 PM

Quote:

Guys, I think some of you are really going overboard with the ProTrack hate.




No not hate. Just doubt, skepticism and questioning.


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gillmj24
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5216633 - 05/11/12 07:23 AM

At NEAF they said in the $200 range.

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: gillmj24]
      #5216682 - 05/11/12 08:13 AM

o.O

WoW!


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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: David Pavlich]
      #5217482 - 05/11/12 04:40 PM

A question for you T-Point users: How does the automated system work when the horizons aren't so great? In my case, directly north is the pits, NE to SE is good down to about 35°, SE to W is about 40°.

Do you have to set parameters or does the mount just decide that if the camera can't see a star it moves on its own? SiTech has an automated routine, but the user is required to set minimum parameters for it to do its search pattern.

Thanks!

David


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jmiele
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5217521 - 05/11/12 05:14 PM

You can define your horizon elevation for the entire 360 degrees. There are a couple of ways to do so, one that affects the program overall and the other specific to a T-point run. The one that's specific to a T-point run would raise the horizon to the same point for the entire 360 degrees. The other way lets you select the individual horizon elevation in each direction.

Joe


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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: jmiele]
      #5217623 - 05/11/12 06:34 PM

If you have a horizon defined, then automated calibration will use that as a mask and won't bother trying to image through horizon obstructions. The best way to create a horizon is to create a custom horizon from a panoramic picture of your observing site (requires TheSkyX). The next best way is to draw it using a cross-hair finderscope and the mount's joystick to slew the mount around outlining your horizon as you go (requires TheSky6). In automated calibration itself where you set how many data points you want to collect and how they're distributed over the sky, you can also drag around some sky handles to restrict coverage by azimuth and elevation. If it still ends up trying to image through an obstruction, it'll do it, the plate solve will fail for lack of stars, it'll note that on screen, then it'll just move on to the next one. It'll also do retries with slight offsets if you want it to. That can be handy when imaging right through some trees.

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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: frolinmod]
      #5217933 - 05/11/12 10:12 PM

Thanks, guys! Sounds sorta' like I expected.

David


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Alph]
      #5223510 - 05/15/12 01:00 PM

Quote:

Quote:

It is, like the 1200, being updated with new features and capacity.



Wrt to new features in the AP1600 I see practically none. A high precision encoder has been available for the AP1200 for some time. It is called telescope drive master.



The optional encoders in the AP1600 are not a copy of other solutions. The encoders in the AP1600 are absolute encoders, which are much better than encoders used in some other solutions.

In addition to being extremely precise encoders for RA and Dec tracking, absolute encoders allow the mount to always knows it's exact orientation. This eliminates the need for hardware homing and limit switches. In fact theoretically this would allow for soft-configurable home and dynamic limits in the mount (not requiring a PC at all).

-Ray Gralak


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5224147 - 05/15/12 08:39 PM

Ray, One question... The 3600 offers HiRES encoders but still has a homing switch option. Are the home switches needed if I get the HiRES encoder? Are they still needed because the 3600 doesn't offer HiRES for both axis? Is the 1600 actually a step beyond the 3600 from a technology standpoint?

Ok, so it wasn't one question.

Joe


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5224556 - 05/16/12 02:11 AM

To eliminate the home/limit switches you need absolute encoders on both axes. The 3600 does not use an absolute encoder nor does it have encoders on both axes. Thus, the 1600 is thus a couple steps ahead of the 3600 in this regard when the 1600 is equipped with its absolute encoders.

-Ray


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5225475 - 05/16/12 04:46 PM

Thanks Ray for the explanation. Joe

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5225806 - 05/16/12 08:10 PM

Quote:

In addition to being extremely precise encoders for RA and Dec tracking, absolute encoders allow the mount to always knows it's exact orientation. This eliminates the need for hardware homing and limit switches. In fact theoretically this would allow for soft-configurable home and dynamic limits in the mount (not requiring a PC at all).




Here is more on absolute encoders from 10micron

gm2000HPS

Edited by Alph (05/17/12 01:00 PM)


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Alph]
      #5226159 - 05/17/12 12:50 AM

Thanks Alph for that! I think you now probably can see that absolute encoders on both axes is not the same as adding the device you mention below to a 1200.

-Ray

Quote:

Alph wrote:
Quote:

Alph wrote:
Wrt to new features in the AP1600 I see practically none. A high precision encoder has been available for the AP1200 for some time. It is called telescope drive master.




Here is more on absolute encoders from ...





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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5707108 - 03/01/13 12:45 PM

Well, it's been quite some time since I made this thread, but I wanted to update and let everyone who helped know I went with the MX. I received my tracking numbers on Wednesday. The $1000 off discount really helped out my decision and I'm pretty sure I made the right choice.

There have been some reports of a few faulty worms (which kinda worries me) and some MXs having trouble, but I hope SB has grown out of the teething problems now.


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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: saadabbasi]
      #5707333 - 03/01/13 03:00 PM

Congratulations Saad, you made a good choice.
While nothing is perfect, with AP/SB problems are usually rare due to their extreme QC.
Once you get the mount, I recommend you give it a thorough test to measure PE/smoothness with different degress of imbalance and different sky regions.


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5707373 - 03/01/13 03:26 PM

Congrats Saad. I was going to pull the trigger this month on the MX or Mach1 but there is a major leak that has caused damage to the house costing me $2500. And the leak timed itself perfectly in time to my bonus so as to prevent me from taking advantage of the sale on the MX

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shams42
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/05/09

Loc: Kingsport, TN
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6123609 - 10/07/13 09:05 PM

Please follow the link below for my experience doing unguided imaging with the Paramount MX. This animated gif compares a stack of unguided images vs guided images. The mount is a Paramount MX. The imaging scope is a TOA-130 with reducer (f/5.76) producing a plate scale of 1.49" / pixel. The image here has been resampled to 200% to better show the star shapes.

Prior to data collection, a 192-point TPoint model was created, allowing TheSkyX to alter the tracking on the fly to compensate for polar alignment errors, flexure, and atmospheric refraction (via ProTrack). Also, periodic error correction (PEC) was applied, reducing the mount's native periodic error (4.6" peak to peak) to less than the seeing.

The images were acquired on the same night with the system alternating between guided and unguided exposures.

Processing including only a histogram stretch. I basically applied PixInsight's automatic screen transfer stretch to each image. Note that for a "real" process I would have stretched less aggressively and sought more contrast between the galaxy and the background.



Here is a PixInsight DynamicPSF analysis on the same 20 stars from the guided and unguided stack:

GUIDED

Average Moffat PSF
N ....... 20 stars
B ....... 0.043250
A ....... 0.142536
sx ...... 2.43 px
sy ...... 2.36 px
FWHMx ... 3.23 arcsec
FWHMy ... 3.14 arcsec
r ....... 0.972
theta ... +19.94 deg
beta .... 3.81
MAD ..... 5.615e-003

UNGUIDED


Average Moffat PSF
N ....... 20 stars
B ....... 0.044185
A ....... 0.154625
sx ...... 2.41 px
sy ...... 2.34 px
FWHMx ... 3.16 arcsec
FWHMy ... 3.06 arcsec
r ....... 0.968
theta ... +41.95 deg
beta .... 3.92
MAD ..... 5.670e-003

As you can see, seeing wasn't great the night I did this. It is possible that with better seeing more difference would be noticeable. Also, a test with longer subs would be informative. I was collecting actual data when I did this and under my skies, there is no advantage to doing LRGB subs longer than 5 minutes. I just got the mount last week so I haven't yet had the time to do all the tests I'd like to do.

Edited by shams42 (10/07/13 09:09 PM)


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: shams42]
      #6123640 - 10/07/13 09:26 PM

Matthew, this is quite impressive performance, I'll be in the market for a new mount soon so PMX is really looking good.

Btw, your images are beautiful, well done!


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Jesus Munoz
sage


Reged: 03/09/07

Loc: Querétaro, México
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: orion69]
      #6123940 - 10/08/13 12:36 AM

Outstanding performance. It's impossible to choose between both which one is better. Congratulations for your mount.

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