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Astro Physics AP800 Encoders

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#1 Marker 24

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:49 PM

I have acquired an AP800.  It came with two encoders.  One is installed, the other is not.  The encoders each have what looks like a more or less standard telephone-type female plug.  I'm trying to figure out what hardware/software originally drove the encoders, how available that hardware/software might be, and and if there are alternatives to the original.  Thanks in advance for your help.  Mike.

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#2 photoracer18

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:09 PM

I had one of these a number of years ago. Currently have both an AP400QMD and an AP600E QMD, both with AP encoders. The RA encoders requires you to remove the polar scope from the axis. Then the encoder itself goes into the same thread, and the encoder wheel goes into that and then the cap with the connector goes over that. The cable is a Y-cable that goes from each encoder housing to a single larger connector that plugs into a digital setting circles computer, like a Sky Commander, Advanced Astro Master, Argo Navis, etc. With only a couple of exceptions the cables are the same for everything. If you don't have one the one from JMI or anybody else will work.

Also all AP encoders are 10k tic ones by the way so you have to enter that number in the settings of the DSC computer. Also depending on them you might have to set the encoders for negative or positive  based on which way they drive. JMI has a table that shows what each mount they made them for should be set for. I think you can still download it from their website (even though Farpoint owns them now)


Edited by photoracer18, 11 September 2019 - 05:13 PM.


#3 photoracer18

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:19 PM

The Celestron AAM was made by Tangent who made all the DSC computers except for the Sky Commander and the Meade Magellan in those days. so they were available with a lot of different names on them besides Celestron, like Orion Sky Wizard, JMI NGC, plus Lumicon but I forget their name for it. They were also available in smaller cheaper less capable models which still work but have less objects in their database.



#4 photoracer18

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:23 PM

Here is an old photo my my old AP800.

 

TEC140.jpg

 



#5 AgilityGuy

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:26 PM

Mike, contact A-P by phone.  It doesn't matter that you're not the original owner.  They'll help you out and get you going ASAP.



#6 AstroBruce

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:55 PM

My AP 800 had 4000 tic encoders.

 

Bruce



#7 orlyandico

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:38 AM

My AP600 has 10000 tic encoders.

 

I think you can use an AstroDevices Nexus and your smartphone with SkySafari rather than the antiquated Tangent Instruments encoder boxes.



#8 photoracer18

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 04:54 PM

Its possible earlier mounts had encoders of less than 10K, but my manuals only mention 10K and that is what is on both of my mounts. Also seems to me the AP600 has the exact same model of encoder housings that the AP800 has as they look identical with the three locking screws on the RA module.



#9 semiosteve

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:50 PM

I've got the original ap800 and am the original owner. it's 4000 tics and I've used both ngcmax and Nexus dsc with this mount with no problem. I've no doubt Argo navis would work fine as well. I've also used skytools and SkySafari with the Nexus dsc and this mount as well. it's all push to of course, but it's all good.

#10 orlyandico

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 11:12 AM

my experience with the Tangent boxes was terrible. SkySafari with a Nexus is probably the best option.



#11 semiosteve

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:11 AM

Well the NGC MAX works, but I agree Nexus DSC is much, much better and two generations ahead. Argo Navis was close to Nexus but not quite as modern.


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