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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup
      #6446315 - 04/03/14 11:37 PM

I've just attached a new A-P RAPAS Polar Alignment Scope to my newly received 1100GTO mount. I've never used this polar scope before. The entire transportable pier, mount and scope are set up in my garage. The RAPAS reticle is illuminated with the red LED. I don't know how to position Polaris in this new-to-me reticle. There's no published instructions. I'm just doing visual observing. Polaris needs to be placed somewhere inside the outer ring of the reticle. Are the hour numbers 1-24 celestial RA hours or current time hours? Could someone please tell me the simple instructions of how to place Polaris in this reticle?

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Edd Weninger
super member


Reged: 02/16/14

Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #6446438 - 04/04/14 01:20 AM

Somewhere there is an iPhone app for what you need. An Android was to follow.

Best check the A-P website or send an email to either George or Howard. Or phone them.

I hear it works well. I don't have one 'cause I'm pier mounted.

Cheers,


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Jeff Crilly
member
*****

Reged: 07/16/06

Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Edd Weninger]
      #6446464 - 04/04/14 01:51 AM

I use the iPhone app. It works great.

Check out the AP page for more info.. http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/mounting_acc/moun...

This part....

Methods to Determine Position of Polaris on Reticle:

Astro-Physics Polar Alignment Scope Utility - now a part of the AP V2 ASCOM driver
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch App - Click this link to the "Astro-Physics PolarAlign" App
Windows Phone App - Click this link to the "AP Polar Align" App
Android App - Click this link to the "Polar Finder" App


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #6446852 - 04/04/14 10:17 AM

Quote:

I've just attached a new A-P RAPAS Polar Alignment Scope to my newly received 1100GTO mount. I've never used this polar scope before. The entire transportable pier, mount and scope are set up in my garage. The RAPAS reticle is illuminated with the red LED. I don't know how to position Polaris in this new-to-me reticle. There's no published instructions. I'm just doing visual observing. Polaris needs to be placed somewhere inside the outer ring of the reticle. Are the hour numbers 1-24 celestial RA hours or current time hours? Could someone please tell me the simple instructions of how to place Polaris in this reticle?




Yes, those are RA hours around the ring. For 2014, we are almost between the first two rings.

I simply bolted my RAPAS in place and tried it out. The scope was already focused and the initial alignment was more than close enough for visual observing. The iPad app is cheap and easy to use. It immediately shows me where I should place Polaris to start my session.

I am also a visual observer and even though Polaris will circle around the ring during the night, I haven't felt the need to "chase" my polar alignment during a session. Maybe if I do some all-nighters after the weather warms up.... But for a two hour session, the initial fix works fine.

The RAPAS paid for itself the first night I used it. I have just recovered from another back surgery and already have a fused neck. Not squatting down and twisting to do a polar alignment? ....... More than priceless!

Cheers,

Ron


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: RAKing]
      #6446877 - 04/04/14 10:27 AM

There are an iPhone and a Windows phone app.
I used the RAPAS right out of the box with no adjustment. I checked it a couple of times, I put polaris where it should be at the beginning of the night, then checked 8~9 hours later and it was still where it was supposed to be according to the app.

Edited by andysea (04/04/14 10:27 AM)


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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: andysea]
      #6446892 - 04/04/14 10:38 AM

Can't I use the RAPAS by adjusting Polarius position through the eyepiece on the reticle without any app?

Quote:

There are an iPhone and a Windows phone app.
I used the RAPAS right out of the box with no adjustment. I checked it a couple of times, I put polaris where it should be at the beginning of the night, then checked 8~9 hours later and it was still where it was supposed to be according to the app.




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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #6446939 - 04/04/14 11:05 AM

Quote:

Can't I use the RAPAS by adjusting Polarius position through the eyepiece on the reticle without any app?





You need a way to know where Polaris should be in the reticule. This varies by time and your location, so it's not like it's a fixed point.

The app calculates this for you. If you don't want to use a smartphone, the most recent versions of the ASCOM V2 driver for AP mounts also includes an app that runs on your computer. You don't need to connect the computer to the scope to use it.


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Footbag
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #6446948 - 04/04/14 11:08 AM

The app tells you where Polaris should be based on the time and date. It's also available in the ASCOM driver.

The old PASILL4 doesn't require the app, but also isn't very accurate. That just requires your to line up Polaris and one or two other stars.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Footbag]
      #6447465 - 04/04/14 03:17 PM

Spend the $1.99 for the app. It really, really makes polar alignment easy.

-Rich


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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Footbag]
      #6447771 - 04/04/14 06:27 PM

For observing, the PASILL is good enough. If I were imaging then it's another story -- the RAPAS is cool! Perhaps if A-P puts this function into the mount's Keypad, then it'll be really nice! I don't use iPhone and running it on my laptop would just require me to bring along more stuff as I observe only remotely and don't use a laptop while observing.

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Edd Weninger
super member


Reged: 02/16/14

Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #6448187 - 04/04/14 10:34 PM

Peter, all you need is the hour angle of Polaris relative to celestial pole. If you have a planetarium program on your home computer, you might be able to enter the time you plan to set up, zoom in on Polaris and note what it is. If you're off and hour or so, just eyeball the difference.

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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Simple Instructions For A-P RAPAS Setup new [Re: Edd Weninger]
      #6448799 - 04/05/14 10:57 AM

Hi Edd,

Ok, that sounds easy. Thanks!

Quote:

Peter, all you need is the hour angle of Polaris relative to celestial pole. If you have a planetarium program on your home computer, you might be able to enter the time you plan to set up, zoom in on Polaris and note what it is. If you're off and hour or so, just eyeball the difference.




Edited by Peter Natscher (04/05/14 11:00 AM)


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