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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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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 If you need those, you'll have to upgrade to a newer version of the electronics and/or motors rather than just purchase direct replacements.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
Pooh-Bah


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 [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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