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New ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Mount

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#1676 davidparks

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Posted 18 September 2022 - 08:40 PM

I was curious about my calibration too.  This is a graph of my latest calibration run viewed on the viewer app.  Note the rotation.  Is the rotation an indication of incorrect PA or incorrect home position or normal?

 

It’s normal.  Calibration simply establishes the relationship between the North/South/East/West axis of your mount and the Up/Down/Left/Right of your guide cam.   Basically your guide cam’s rotation relative to your mount.

 

Guide scopes (with cam) are generally fixed to the OTA, and very rarely change their rotational relationship with the mount, so there is rarely need to re-calibrate guiding, even if you rotate the main cam/image train.  Because OAG’s are a part of the image train, and may be rotated for framing the shot (or the use of a rotator), then you need to re-calibrate every time the image train (with OAG) is rotated.

 

Some folks like to rotate their guide cam and re-calibrate until the axis line up, thinking it is somehow “better”, others say having them offset like yours are produces better results…  If your stars are round, it doesn’t matter.


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#1677 hfsarber

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Posted 18 September 2022 - 08:47 PM

Flew back to Florida yesterday with the AM5.  Just spent less than an hour tonight setting up and start imaging the Deer Lick group.  I love this thing.

 

DLG.jpg


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#1678 joshman

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Posted 18 September 2022 - 09:00 PM

Yeah making dew heaters is beyond me. I'd rather pay someone to make better length cables. Maybe I'll just loom it all up.

For the Askar, feel free to PM, but I did answer you when you asked me earlier smile.gif

 

Really want to go out and shoot. Weather looks dreadful for the next few days in Sydney.

When the pier extensions arrive today, I'll test out the Esprit on this mount as well. Reckon the tripod will hold it all fine? 

Hahaha. Looks like i've got a dumb Monday brain.

 

I think it should handle the Esprit quite well, though I'm more concerned about the balance and centre of gravity of the entire setup - I feel like to wouldn't take more than a nudge is the right (wrong?) direction to tip the entire thing over when pointed straight up. I'll definitley be looking at weighing my setup down.



#1679 hfsarber

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Posted 18 September 2022 - 09:15 PM

This type of mount is always going to end up being top heavy.  Lightweight carbon fiber tripods holding rather light mounts with image trains ending up weighing more than the tripod and mount can cause anxiety.  First time I had my AT115EDT on the RST-135 I turned my head sideways and thought "that's not right".  It 'looks' like it's just going to fall over, but it seems to be fairly stable.  Bumping into it in the dark or wind would worry me the most.  I still don't have any counerweights.  For my purposes, at this time, I don't need any.



#1680 rimcrazy

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Posted 18 September 2022 - 09:15 PM

It’s normal.  Calibration simply establishes the relationship between the North/South/East/West axis of your mount and the Up/Down/Left/Right of your guide cam.   Basically your guide cam’s rotation relative to your mount.

 

Guide scopes (with cam) are generally fixed to the OTA, and very rarely change their rotational relationship with the mount, so there is rarely need to re-calibrate guiding, even if you rotate the main cam/image train.  Because OAG’s are a part of the image train, and may be rotated for framing the shot (or the use of a rotator), then you need to re-calibrate every time the image train (with OAG) is rotated.

 

Some folks like to rotate their guide cam and re-calibrate until the axis line up, thinking it is somehow “better”, others say having them offset like yours are produces better results…  If your stars are round, it doesn’t matter.

Ah That makes perfect sense. Thanks for explaining that to me. I have some obvious guiding errors I need to correct.  It look like I must have not set my guiding to auto since it appears my DEC guiding is only working in one direction. I will look at that tonight. 
 

Think I found my guiding issue. I haven’t RTFM for the AA+ and I must have inadvertently disabled DEC guiding or at least took it off auto. That is why it started to work after a meridian flip. I believe I have it working correctly now. 


Edited by rimcrazy, 18 September 2022 - 10:53 PM.


#1681 Wow!

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 04:36 AM

So the piers turned up today, which is cool.

 

With the counterweight bar, though... is there a stop to screw into the bottom of the shaft?

The one that screws into the mount itself doesn't fit into the counterweight shaft.


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#1682 joshman

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 04:50 AM

I took a few photos of the 3d printed bits and pieces this afternoon and the cable routing. i ended up re-printing the cable holder at the DEC head to accept a socket instead of a plug. the sockets are 8-sided and slightly wider, the plugs are only 6.

 

I like having the hand-controller available at the scope if needed. at least until a time that i'm confortable enough to not need it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • AM50012.jpg
  • AM50014.jpg
  • AM50013.jpg
  • AM50015.jpg
  • AM50011.jpg

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#1683 rimcrazy

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 05:46 AM

I took a few photos of the 3d printed bits and pieces this afternoon and the cable routing. i ended up re-printing the cable holder at the DEC head to accept a socket instead of a plug. the sockets are 8-sided and slightly wider, the plugs are only 6.

 

I like having the hand-controller available at the scope if needed. at least until a time that i'm confortable enough to not need it.

Joshman maybe you mentioned this in a different post but have or could you post your STL files?  You have done nice work there and I would like to print at a minimum the HC holder.  Thanks.

 

Very nice setup BTW.


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#1684 joshman

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 06:21 AM

Joshman maybe you mentioned this in a different post but have or could you post your STL files?  You have done nice work there and I would like to print at a minimum the HC holder.  Thanks.

 

Very nice setup BTW.

If you have an Onshape account you can view and take a copy of the original 3d model here:

https://cad.onshape....58f4a4d335d6c43


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#1685 rimcrazy

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 07:46 AM

If you have an Onshape account you can view and take a copy of the original 3d model here:

https://cad.onshape....58f4a4d335d6c43

I will make one.  Thanks much!


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#1686 rimcrazy

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 07:48 AM

Did MUCH better on guiding last night.  Definite problem between the telescope and the chair but I fixed that and saw the error of my ways.  Captured the Pacman Nebula last night and was able to get in a 6 hour session.  Loaded the log into PHD viewer and things went a whole lot better.  

 

NGC281 - Pacman Nebula

 

NGC281 Final
 
Here is one section of the guiding log. 
 
NGC281 Guiding

 


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#1687 Tom M

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 09:16 AM

So the piers turned up today, which is cool.

 

With the counterweight bar, though... is there a stop to screw into the bottom of the shaft?

The one that screws into the mount itself doesn't fit into the counterweight shaft.

Interesting. The filler plug from my AM5 fits the ZWO CW shaft perfectly and acts as the toe saver for the CW.



#1688 sctchun

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 01:58 PM

So the piers turned up today, which is cool.

 

With the counterweight bar, though... is there a stop to screw into the bottom of the shaft?

The one that screws into the mount itself doesn't fit into the counterweight shaft.

 

Interesting. The filler plug from my AM5 fits the ZWO CW shaft perfectly and acts as the toe saver for the CW.

I can also confirm that the AM5 screw does fit onto the bottom of the ZWO CW shaft.



#1689 Wow!

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 06:11 PM

geez. Okay I'll send the counterweight bar back. Thanks folks.

 

edit: I can see the problem. The internal thread inside the counterweight bar is mashed on the first turn, so the screw can't bite into it. Definite flaw.


Edited by Wow!, 19 September 2022 - 06:18 PM.

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#1690 xonefs

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 08:44 AM

Has anyone used this mount with a mac?  Is there a native driver or just indi? 

 

I would be using asiair for DSOs but would like to use direct control on a mac for solar with firecapture

 

Also, how is the ios app for control of this mount?


Edited by xonefs, 21 September 2022 - 08:45 AM.


#1691 Kevin_A

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 09:26 AM

Good work on the cable management there. Speaking of which, I've set up my "Travel Configuration" per the below images. This will be the 2600MC + ASI Air Plus. I've yet to spend time cabling up my "local config" which will be the 268M and a mini-PC.

 

That said, any suggestions for dew heaters with shorter cables? Everything I've seen so far has cables that are way too long, and it triggers me because it looks like a snakes nest.

 

Also, I should hopefully be getting the pier extensions today.

 

mAXIYb4.jpg

 

OvGK14h.jpg

I just cut mine, shortened them by 2 ft, opened the switch housing and soldered the wires back inside the switch housing then snapped it all back together. Now they are short. I also replaced the female connectors with males. Mine are 12v 5.5 x 2.1 and not 5v usb.


Edited by Kevin_A, 21 September 2022 - 09:29 AM.

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#1692 Mike Sandy

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 11:04 AM

Has anyone used this mount with a mac?  Is there a native driver or just indi? 

 

I would be using asiair for DSOs but would like to use direct control on a mac for solar with firecapture

 

Also, how is the ios app for control of this mount?

There is an ASCOM driver, it should work if you are using a Mac with the appropriate software ( I use mostly Macs at my home).

 

I use the mount for solar (EQ Mode) most of the time right now,  I attach the hand controller, rough align to the north, connect my iPhone, and use the app to send it to the sun.  It puts the sun close enough to center that a few adjustments with the hand controller and I'm viewing (or imaging).  The app works fine as is for this purpose.  I use SharpCap right now, but for now I have not attached to mount to the software (I just haven't needed to yet).  You'll like having a solid mount when you change eyepieces or cameras - that part really impressed me. 


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#1693 xonefs

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 12:56 PM

Nice, sounds good and that is exactly what I was wondering about for daytime solar polar alignment with the app.

 

 

Follow up question for the carbon tripod- does anyone make a leg spreader tray or know of one that fits the bottom of the tripod legs low to the ground with a platform? If there was something that worked I could just use my 100ah lithium battery as a weight on the bottom for stability. 


Edited by xonefs, 21 September 2022 - 12:57 PM.

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#1694 rimcrazy

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 01:14 PM

Nice, sounds good and that is exactly what I was wondering about for daytime solar polar alignment with the app.

 

 

Follow up question for the carbon tripod- does anyone make a leg spreader tray or know of one that fits the bottom of the tripod legs low to the ground with a platform? If there was something that worked I could just use my 100ah lithium battery as a weight on the bottom for stability. 

Well the tripod comes with a cloth shelf that attaches to the legs.  I keep my Jackery in there as a weight.  Seems to work perfect.

 

Carbon Tripod Shelf


#1695 Mike Sandy

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 01:17 PM

Nice, sounds good and that is exactly what I was wondering about for daytime solar polar alignment with the app.

 

 

Follow up question for the carbon tripod- does anyone make a leg spreader tray or know of one that fits the bottom of the tripod legs low to the ground with a platform? If there was something that worked I could just use my 100ah lithium battery as a weight on the bottom for stability. 

They come with a fabric piece the attaches to the legs.  I use the battery exactly as you suggest.

 

funnypost.gif Yeah looks just like that - even the same Jackery


Edited by Mike Sandy, 21 September 2022 - 01:20 PM.

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#1696 rimcrazy

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 01:43 PM

If you have an Onshape account you can view and take a copy of the original 3d model here:

https://cad.onshape....58f4a4d335d6c43

Thanks again Joshman.  Downloaded, put it on my Prusa and printed up the things I wanted this morning.  Printing a couple of your Hand Controller mounts as it should work great on my EQ6R-Pro that has an adapter plate very similar to the 160mm extension cage.  I have a ZWO EAF on there and I've been looking for exactly this to put the EAF Hand Controller into when I am working with that telescope.


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#1697 Wow!

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 07:42 PM

I just cut mine, shortened them by 2 ft, opened the switch housing and soldered the wires back inside the switch housing then snapped it all back together. Now they are short. I also replaced the female connectors with males. Mine are 12v 5.5 x 2.1 and not 5v usb.

thanks! Maybe I'll give that a go. I don't know how to solder so it will be a learning experience.



#1698 Wow!

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 07:47 PM

There's not much guidance on this except for the one spec by ZWO stating that you shouldn't have more than 5kg in CW at the end of the bar (25cm from center).  It's noted in their page page for the product after the pictures of sample Load Capacities.

 

https://astronomy-im...quatorial-mount

 

I was using 4.8kg with the 152ED doublet (approx 12.2kg in weight).  Good luck

Thanks for this, by the way. I'm not yet ready to test my Esprit owing to the fact the counterweight bar I received is faulty. But it's good preparation.

 

It's interesting they say the counterweight should be no more than 5kg. I guess it's not really for balance in the normal sense, but more to remove/minimise any moment of inertia? So it still doesn't have to balance perfectly.



#1699 hfsarber

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Posted 21 September 2022 - 08:15 PM

19 minutes.  That was the total time from getting home, set up the mount, put the C8 on it, fire up the mini PC, polar alignment, and then started back imaging the Deer Lick group.  Yep, this thing is nicely portable and easy to set up.


Edited by hfsarber, 21 September 2022 - 08:15 PM.

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#1700 xonefs

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Posted 22 September 2022 - 12:57 AM

So what vendor is getting these in quickest?


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