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408RE: [William-Optics] GT-One First Impressions

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  • Ron Wodaski
    Feb 1, 2001
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      For visual use, you would experience exactly nothing from the cold weather
      thing. It's a movement of just a few arc seconds, and is only of concern to
      imagers; I can't see how you could detect it visually without using a
      reticle and observing carefully for at least a couple of minutes. It would
      be hard to distinguish the PE from whatever drift you get from a slight
      polar mis-alignment.

      Ron Wodaski
      The New CCD Astronomy
      http://www.newastro.com

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Bob Schmall [mailto:bschmall@...]
      Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 10:29 AM
      To: William-Optics@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [William-Optics] GT-One First Impressions


      They worked--the mount is now in RA/Dec mode. It got its initiation into
      Wisconsin cold today, for about 2.5 hours at 25 degrees while I observed the
      sun
      with my 6" Mak-Cass. I didn't notice any problem with the motors, but then
      I'm
      not sure what to look for. My initial sense that damping time is less than a
      second was pretty close. The mount has performed well so far.

      Bob

      Ron Wodaski wrote:

      > I didn't have a SkySensor handy to check those various modes and I listed
      > them from memory (always dangerous). I may have gotten them out of order.
      > But they work as describes; it's only the order in which you will
      encounter
      > them that may be different.
      >
      > Ron Wodaski
      > The New CCD Astronomy
      > http://www.newastro.com
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Ron Wodaski [mailto:ronw@...]
      > Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 3:16 PM
      > To: William-Optics@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [William-Optics] GT-One First Impressions
      >
      > Good, detailed report; thanks.
      >
      > In answer to your question about why do both axes move: the SkySensor has
      > three modes of movement; you encountered the default mode, which is Alt
      Az.
      > When it Alt-Az mode, both motors move simultaneously on an EQ mount to
      mimic
      > the action on an alt-az mount.
      >
      > To change modes, press the Mode key on the keypad when you start up. press
      > it one time to see the current mode; press it again within a second or so
      to
      > move to the next mode (Ra/Dec), and again to move the X/Y mode.
      >
      > Ra/Dec and X/Y are similar, but differ in a key. In Ra/Dec mode, the
      > SkySensor uses the modeling information it has developed from the
      alignment
      > stars to determine the difference between true Ra/Dec and the mount's
      > current orientation. When in Ra/Dec mode, the mount will move both motors
      in
      > order to follow true Ra/Dec even when you are not perfectly polar aligned.
      >
      > In X/Y mode, the SkySensor will move only the Ra or Dec motor, and will
      not
      > attempt to correct for an inaccurate polar alignment. So:
      >
      > * For casual use, try the Alt-Az mode. It's different, and some folks love
      > and some folks don't. <g>
      >
      > * For precise visual use, try the Ra/Dec mode. You will get true Ra/Dec
      > movement when star hopping.
      >
      > * For imaging, use the X/Y mode. you get movement in only one axis at a
      > time, essential for imaging.
      >
      > Of course, the SkySensor also includes full GOTO, and that works no matter
      > what manual movement mode you choose.
      >
      > Ron Wodaski
      > The New CCD Astronomy
      > http://www.newastro.com
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Bob Schmall [mailto:bschmall@...]
      > Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 2:54 PM
      > To: William-Optics@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [William-Optics] GT-One First Impressions
      >
      > Executive Summary: satisfied so far.
      >
      > The mount arrived early in the afternoon of Monday, the 29th. It came in
      > two cardboard boxes, one of which had a small puncture that did no harm.
      > The mount had been opened and resealed, probably by Anacortes since I
      > ordered an accessory, but perhaps at customs. The mount was made in
      > Taiwan.
      >
      > (comment: This is not a problem for me. I am also a woodworker, and know
      > that much of the equipment--even that thought to be made in the USA--
      > used there is made in Taiwan as well. The operating principle is that
      > when QA is tight, very good equipment results)
      >
      > The packaging is very sturdy, with lots of peanuts and everything in
      > separate boxes with their own peanuts. The Losmandy saddle plate is the
      > accessory, and I was concerned about the fact that it mounted with only
      > two screws, but have been assured by Herb York that this is SOP and very
      > solid. He said the mounting bolts were Grade 8 and they appear to be so.
      > The WO mount has eight holes for attaching their as-yet-unavailable
      > plate.
      >
      > The tripod tray (12" on a side) is a beautifully finished red wood,
      > quite dense. It mounts to the tripod with 3 knobbed bolts running up
      > into brass inserts in the tray. The mounting brackets are fixed, so the
      > tray does not swing down; it must be removed each time the mount is
      > taken down. It's a bit tricky to attach, and I had to lay down on the
      > floor for the last bolt.
      >
      > The tripod is the same wood, 37" high at the mounting plate. In the
      > photographs on Anacortes and Yang's web sites it looks like most but in
      > the flesh it is much larger. The legs are 1 3/8" thick, 4" wide at the
      > top tapering to 3" at the feet. I cannot make the tripod twist, which is
      > my measure of solidity. The feet have braced push plates for driving
      > into the ground. They have "William Optics" cast in. The mounting plate
      > is aluminum painted to match the head, and is held to the legs by
      > stainless hardware. It has a depression in the center that matches a
      > boss on the underside of the mount head. The head is dropped in then
      > secured by a 1-piece knobbed bolt that is trapped once threaded in from
      > the bottom. Good idea-- no more searching for a dropped bolt or nut with
      > a white flashlight at 2 a.m.
      >
      > The counterweight is all the name implies. It has a brass insert to
      > prevent marring of the polished counterweight shaft. How can this cost
      > $150 as an accessory?
      >
      > The EQ head is very large, about 20" tall. It is painted in a pearl
      > white that I think is very attractive but others may think too bright
      > and a distraction at night. The trim is powder-coated near-matte black.
      > The polar scope has a machined aluminum cover with fine threads at the
      > bottom end, and a deeply fluted knob, also with very fine threads, at
      > the top. The scope itself has etched guide lines inside, with sighting
      > points for Polaris and two other nearby stars. For that retro effect, it
      > has additional lines for epoch 1990, and for Clarke fans, 2010.
      >
      > The head is quite large, much larger than a Losmandy. It weighs about
      > 42-45 pounds.
      > It secures to the tripod top plate with that trapped bolt, and is
      > supposed to be tightened with a hex wrench, which was the only thing
      > that was missing from the shipment. York said that one would be coming,
      > that the design had been changed for easier use. I used on from my own
      > set. BTW, the mount is all metric.
      >
      > The latitude adjustment is very tight, and is done using 10mm chromed
      > bolts with sliding handles like a vise. Azimuth can be adjusted within a
      > 15 degree range with knobbed bolts. (All of these on the mount match.)
      >
      > Height from floor to highest point of mount is 56".
      >
      > I couldn't find the counterweight shaft, so I went back through all the
      > boxes. Nope. Well, they'll ship one to me. Then I noticed an extra knob
      > on the lower end of the mount. A twist, and the shaft slid down against
      > its stop. A nested counterweight shaft! Take me home to die. No more
      > screwing and unscrewing and munged-up threads. (The manual mentions it,
      > but who reads that first?) I have an older Tak P2 which has seriously
      > messed up threads and appreciate this feature a lot.
      >
      > A word about the WO manual: poor. Photocopied and poorly translated,
      > with far too little information. A free upgrade when the real one is
      > available, perhaps?
      >
      > The Sky Sensor 2000PC is standard with the mount. I fired it up today
      > after recharging a marine battery and buying a female lighter socket
      > with alligator clips. Anacortes wanted $10 for this, and $9.16 for
      > shipping (!) but I paid $8.80 at the local auto supply store.
      >
      > The 135-page SS2000 manual walks you through the setup, but the WO
      > manual gives additional instructions. The only glitch I had was in
      > entering the longitude, but after figuring out that I should enter -088
      > instead of just -88, it went down smoothly. (I got my exact coordinates
      > from mapblast.com by getting close to the location, then actually
      > bringing the red cross over my house by slowly changing the coordinates)
      >
      > I made a mounting plate from Finnish birch ply, using 6 bolts, and added
      > a couple of cheapo rings for the 6" Mak-Cass. Since the mount brought an
      > ice storm with it, and then fog, sleet, and just clouds, I expect it
      > will be Spring before Wisconsin sees sun again.So I aimed the scope at a
      > terrestrial target and tapped the tube. Estimated damping time: less
      > than one second.
      >
      > A quick run-through of the motor operation raised a question. Why do
      > both motors operate when any of the directional buttons are pushed? They
      > are quieter than my LX50, however.
      >
      > The mount comes with a one-year warranty.
      >
      > More as results come in.
      >
      > Bob
      >
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