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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: tom63]
      #6139524 - 10/15/13 05:49 PM

I used a T Point model to get my Mach 1 polar aligned. I then set the RAPAS to have Polaris in the correct spot. Now when I go out, polar alignment takes less than a minute. I've run a T Point model after aligning with the RAPAS and have seen values of around one arc minute in ALT/AZ. I routinely do 30 minute guided exposures with NB filters and see no rotation in the corners.
A properly set up RAPAS is a HUGE asset to mobile astrophotography with any A-P mount.


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #6139566 - 10/15/13 06:20 PM

Really? No drift-align and then tinkering with the RAPAS? Just stick it into the mount and it works? (I'm spoiled by my iOptron polarscope, supposedly very Tak-like.) Hmmm...I have to rethink things, maybe.

Paul


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tom63
member
*****

Reged: 08/15/13

Loc: Munich / Germany / Europe
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6139693 - 10/15/13 07:42 PM

@paul
we run windows 7 in our office natively (with bootcamp) on mac pro 8cores and macbook pro - just because solidworks isn't availible for mac.
this way power consumption is a little bit (maybe 20% or so) higher than with osx.
we also run virtual machines with windows 7 (vmware fusion 6) - battery life on the notebooks this way goes down to 1/2 or 1/3.

@andy
i have theskyx since a couple of years but do not like it so much, now will give a try to equinox.
they say it works together with starmappro on ipad/iphone with some mounts - did you already check out this equinox thing?
ap unguided up to 20 minutes and 600mm for me is the only reason to maybe spend the money for upgrading from tak em 200 to a new one ...

@rich
again - thanks so much for spending lots of your time and write all this down to help me with my decision!
what i read from your post is: both mounts are good ones and the 10micron is a little bit easier to setup and use.
the bad thing is - i like the look of the mach 1 so much (found a blog from a really humorous canadian guy and he has such a beauty: http://www.flickr.com/photos/astroporn/)
i'm lazy - so lazy that maybe sell my brandnew 105sdp and go for a second fsq85 - just because the weight and handling.
so reading your post 3 times - it says to me - go for the 1000hps - this is the best for lazy guys (despite it weights over 10 pounds more than the mach 1) ...

time to go to bed - it's 1:30 in the morning over here
kind regards
tom


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #6139723 - 10/15/13 08:05 PM

Quote:


A properly set up RAPAS is a HUGE asset to mobile astrophotography with any A-P mount.



Yep


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: andysea]
      #6139790 - 10/15/13 08:47 PM

tom63 - good to hear it's only about a 20% hit on Bootcamp. I did think of partitioning half the laptop drive to Bootcamp/Windows and the other to OSX (I never contaminate my astro laptops with anything BUT astro, but this way the astro would be totally separate), but half the goodness of Mac laptops is the software helps with the battery life, and I was afraid I'd lose too much. I can live with 20%. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have a 20ah LiFePO4 battery JUST for the laptop...but I'm paranoid. What if my battery is stolen by aliens? Would my laptop have enough juice to get through the night?

A lot of people swear by the 10Microns because all the modelling and polar stuff is complete within the HC, no computer necessary for that if you don't want it.



Paul


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: George9]
      #6140134 - 10/16/13 12:35 AM

The main problem I have is convergence- I can follow the routine N times and don't appear to be able to markedly improve the alignment. And, after seeing the suggestion here and reading the warning about orthogonality again, I'm thinking I must not be orthogonal. And I think I know why- I set up the scope in the rings just behind the neck-down in the AP 130 EDFGT barrel. But there is actually a radiused runout, and I'll bet my combination of setting up,in park 3 and that feature has me on it, and that's why it doesn't converge. I'll have to try out a forward installation and see if this longstanding problem magically disappears...

-Rich

Quote:

Sorry for the potentially naive question, but on AP polar alignment, why doesn't AP's basic polar alignment routine work well enough? You set the mount approximately north, you position the scope with a star, it slews to where Polaris should be, and you adjust the alt-az; why doesn't that get you there? Is it because the mount should really be aligning on two stars and THEN pointing to Polaris? Or because adjusting the alt-az is too insensitive? Or because you need to account for a scope that is not perfectly squared to the mount?

I know that I have to go back and forth many times between the star and Polaris to get reasonable alignment, but once I am done it is quite accurate (I am actually using an AP600EGTO).

I am not taking images, so I don't star drift.

George




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R Botero
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/02/09

Loc: Kent, England
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: tom63]
      #6140735 - 10/16/13 11:44 AM

Very interesting post Rich - many thanks for your input!

As Andy, I have found that after following AP's Quick Drift Alignment Routine (1-pager) I have managed to get within 10 arc-minutes of the NCP (checked with PoleAlignMax afterwards). I bought the RAPAS after having had my AP900 and found that I had to align it to the mount but it was a simple process. As I need to set up every night I observe or image, I have found the RAPAS very accurate and easy to use once the local position of Polaris is known (through the mobile application/PC applet). I can align the mount (once properly levelled E-W), Sync it to a bright star and all my Go-Tos are basically spot on for visual and easily plate solved for imaging even after pier flipping.

I do agree, however, that AP would do us all a great favour if they built a modelling routine in their next handset chip release.

Roberto


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: R Botero]
      #6140797 - 10/16/13 12:22 PM

I went from Celestron NexStar to A-P Mach1GTO and personally I find the A-P hand controller easier to operate. I feel A-P hand controller is more intuitive than Celestron's but that's a personal taste.

I don't miss the pointing model in NexStar. A-P mount is so easy to polar align and every object on one side of the Meridian is in FOV of eyepiece or camera. Because of mis-orthogonality of scope to mount, if you want to slew to objects at other side of Meridian, all you have to do is slew to any star first, center it and Recal (similar to sync) and you are ready for DSO hunting. Takes a minute or two to sync on a star. Personally I don't think modeling in A-P hand controller is necessary.

My setup is always portable and I am an imager. I don't really want to spent a little extra time modeling the sky if I image one DSO per night. All is needed is a good polar alignment to avoid field rotation. Modeling the sky may help calibrate any mis-orthogonality of scope to mount even if polar alignment is off but with mis-polar alignment, modeling the sky will not help reduce field rotation during imaging. Good polar alignment is required to reduce/eliminate field rotation.

It seems that A-P Mach1GTO is the only mount in the title of this thread has polar scope. 10Micron obviously does not have polar scope due to large motor box blocking where the polar sight hole could be. I am not sure whether ASA mounts have polar scopes but I think they have some kind of laser to aid initial polar alignment but requires final tweaking using the included software. It looks like A-P mount might be the easiest to polar align and offers many different ways.

Critical balance is not necessary for Mach1GTO or other A-P mounts. The motors are so strong that they will easily handle a badly balanced setup.

I am replacing Mach1GTO with AP1100 and it will come with RAPAS (Right Angle Polar Alignment Scope). I look forward to even quicker polar alignment setup using RAPAS.

Bottom line, A-P makes fantastic mounts. Their design is very simple. It's very easy to maintain or repair. The mesh adjustment of the gears are incredibly simple. A-P is still providing support and parts for discontinued mounts. They are still providing parts for A-P400 mounts!!!!

Peter


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6140879 - 10/16/13 01:00 PM

.. and AP600 mounts. wish I could use a RAPAS! (can't see Polaris)

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Dave MModerator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6140961 - 10/16/13 01:44 PM

That RAPAS is a real back saver..

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Skunky
sage


Reged: 09/16/13

Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6141375 - 10/16/13 05:45 PM

Quote:



Critical balance is not necessary for Mach1GTO or other A-P mounts. The motors are so strong that they will easily handle a badly balanced setup.

Peter




I'm running over 110lb in a side-by side and 105lb of counterweight on my 1600. And by all means, my balance is not perfect. I could not believe at full slew with both axis, the mount only pulls about 1.4 amps and tracking about .4 amps.. My old cgepro would be pulling near 3 amps.


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Skunky]
      #6141383 - 10/16/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Critical balance is not necessary for Mach1GTO or other A-P mounts. The motors are so strong that they will easily handle a badly balanced setup.

Peter




I'm running over 110lb in a side-by side and 105lb of counterweight. I could not believe at full slew with both axis, the mount only pulls about 1.7 amps and tracking about .4 amps.. My old cgepro would be pulling near 3 amps.




That's not with a Mach 1, is it?


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Skunky
sage


Reged: 09/16/13

Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Footbag]
      #6141387 - 10/16/13 05:49 PM

you beat me to my edit..

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tom63
member
*****

Reged: 08/15/13

Loc: Munich / Germany / Europe
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6141399 - 10/16/13 05:53 PM

hello rich,

thank you again for your advice with software. up to now i was using starmap pro on iphone/ipad and the skyx with osx. tonight i bought skysafari pro licenses for ios and osx - works like a charm - and is so much more intuitive than what i used before

regarding the mount maybe i will come back to you with a few questions the next days.

thanks for sharing your expertise
tom


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: Skunky]
      #6141403 - 10/16/13 05:54 PM

Quote:

you beat me to my edit..




Lol! You had me dreaming about a bigger OTA for my mount.


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tomcody
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: psandelle]
      #6142416 - 10/17/13 08:13 AM

I use VMware Fusion with Windows XP Pro on my Macbook Pro and do not notice any more battery drain with it running. Note, you can also boot directly into Bootcamp and run Windows native on the Mac which will give you only one OS operating at a time. But I see no reason to go native Bootcamp in operation, other than to check out any possible conflict in the Apple windows drivers.
Note: I hear that Parralls is ok now, but earlier versions of it caused me many crashes on my Macs and I stopped using it in version 3? (I think) , VMware has been perfect always.
I would not even be concerned about the battery life when running windows on a Macbook.
Rex


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 new [Re: tomcody]
      #6143927 - 10/17/13 11:00 PM

I use Parallels 8 and it seems to be working fine. No crashes so far. However I run XP which is notoriously stable. I can't speak for the most recent versions of windows. I run it on my 11" air. I haven't tried it on my Macbook pro yet.

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: AP Mach 1 | 10Micron GM 1000 HPS | ASA DDM 60 [Re: andysea]
      #6144028 - 10/18/13 12:12 AM

Whelp, looks like I might have to get a MacBook of some sort (like the Air a lot, but I've grown accustomed to a 15" screen...so it may have to be a new Pro when they come out).

Paul


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