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German equitorial mount

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  • W. W. Mathis
    Hi All, This may or may not be a stupid question, but do you have to flip a telescope over to the other side of the ....uhhhh meridian(right word?) with a GEM
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 31, 2006
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      Hi All,

      This may or may not be a stupid question, but do you have to flip a telescope over to the other side of the ....uhhhh meridian(right word?) with a GEM on a permanent pier? Do the weights hit anything as the scope approches the pier? Bear with me, cause I've never seen a pier, except in pictures.

      Thanks for putting up with me and my questions!

      Ward Mathis

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Wodaski - Yahoo
      Think of a pier as a really skinny tripod. The weights swing wide of the pier (they are at right angles to your latitude, actually). They can t hit
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 31, 2006
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        Think of a pier as a really skinny tripod. <G>

        The weights swing wide of the pier (they are at right angles to your
        latitude, actually). They can't hit anything unless you put something in
        the way!

        The telescope/camera, however could hit the pier if you allow the scope
        to go too far past the meridian. How far is too far? Well, it varies
        dramatically among mounts. For some, even 5 degrees past the meridian is
        too much. For others, they can go 15, 30, even 45 degrees past the meridian.

        How far a mount can go past the meridian is part of the trade-offs made
        during design. You have to make adjustments to the mount to allow going
        far past the meridian. For example, you might need a taller mount, or
        use beefier metal in some places to support things.

        If the mount makes it easy to flip (e.g., Paramount ME), then I don't
        consider the "past the meridian" thing a big deal, but you do have to
        take some steps to deal with it (like maybe buying something like
        CCDAutopilot to help with the flips).

        Ron

        W. W. Mathis wrote:
        > Hi All,
        >
        > This may or may not be a stupid question, but do you have to flip a telescope over to the other side of the ....uhhhh meridian(right word?) with a GEM on a permanent pier? Do the weights hit anything as the scope approches the pier? Bear with me, cause I've never seen a pier, except in pictures.
        >
        > Thanks for putting up with me and my questions!
        >
        > Ward Mathis
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        --

        Ron Wodaski
        New Astronomy Press
        http://www.newastro.com
      • W. W. Mathis
        I think I ve taught you to spell equitorial wrong. Well, does the software that came with my very pricey Celestron CGE 1400 handle the flip for you or do
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 31, 2006
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          I think I've taught you to spell "equitorial" wrong. Well, does the software that came with my very pricey Celestron CGE 1400 handle the flip for you or do you gotta do it yourself? I've spent almost a year equiping the scope, and have yet to see thru it or see it in motion. Sigh. I suppose in the last analysis it just means cutting an exposure short and then starting another after the scope has been flipped.

          Oh by the way, the manual is very wary of mentioning if you can input the RA and DEC directly from the star atlas and the scope does the conversion for you, or you have to convert it yourself before input. funny how they can skate around mentioning little details like that, aint it???

          I had thought the problem was the weights hitting. Hadn't thought of the camera/scope hitting. Always assumed you used prime focus photography and everything hung back of the scope in a straight line, and that made everything ok. DRAT! Thanks for the software recommendation!

          B O O ! ! ! ! <g> Ward Mathis
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Wodaski - Yahoo
          To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:21 PM
          Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] German equitorial mount


          Think of a pier as a really skinny tripod. <G>

          The weights swing wide of the pier (they are at right angles to your
          latitude, actually). They can't hit anything unless you put something in
          the way!

          The telescope/camera, however could hit the pier if you allow the scope
          to go too far past the meridian. How far is too far? Well, it varies
          dramatically among mounts. For some, even 5 degrees past the meridian is
          too much. For others, they can go 15, 30, even 45 degrees past the meridian.

          How far a mount can go past the meridian is part of the trade-offs made
          during design. You have to make adjustments to the mount to allow going
          far past the meridian. For example, you might need a taller mount, or
          use beefier metal in some places to support things.

          If the mount makes it easy to flip (e.g., Paramount ME), then I don't
          consider the "past the meridian" thing a big deal, but you do have to
          take some steps to deal with it (like maybe buying something like
          CCDAutopilot to help with the flips).

          Ron

          W. W. Mathis wrote:
          > Hi All,
          >
          > This may or may not be a stupid question, but do you have to flip a telescope over to the other side of the ....uhhhh meridian(right word?) with a GEM on a permanent pier? Do the weights hit anything as the scope approches the pier? Bear with me, cause I've never seen a pier, except in pictures.
          >
          > Thanks for putting up with me and my questions!
          >
          > Ward Mathis
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --

          Ron Wodaski
          New Astronomy Press
          http://www.newastro.com





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Wodaski - Yahoo
          A mount is just a mount. There are various software programs you can use to control the mount, such as TheSky. Some of them are pretty good, give you lots of
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 31, 2006
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            A mount is just a mount. There are various software programs you can use
            to control the mount, such as TheSky. Some of them are pretty good, give
            you lots of options (like the ones you are looking for) and make it
            easier to do things. Of course, they also open new doors, so they can
            also complicate your life by giving you more and more powerful options! <G>

            Whatever software came with the mount, it's a reasonably popular mount
            and you probably have multiple choices in terms of what software you can
            use with it.

            From your description, you are just getting started. Long road ahead,
            but it has lots of new interesting things in it. I sense your impatience
            - I run into it a lot. <G> I always counsel patience, but it's hard to
            do. Nonetheless, everything you need is available, just give yourself
            the time to get it all figured out.

            Ron

            W. W. Mathis wrote:
            > I think I've taught you to spell "equitorial" wrong. Well, does the software that came with my very pricey Celestron CGE 1400 handle the flip for you or do you gotta do it yourself? I've spent almost a year equiping the scope, and have yet to see thru it or see it in motion. Sigh. I suppose in the last analysis it just means cutting an exposure short and then starting another after the scope has been flipped.
            >
            > Oh by the way, the manual is very wary of mentioning if you can input the RA and DEC directly from the star atlas and the scope does the conversion for you, or you have to convert it yourself before input. funny how they can skate around mentioning little details like that, aint it???
            >
            > I had thought the problem was the weights hitting. Hadn't thought of the camera/scope hitting. Always assumed you used prime focus photography and everything hung back of the scope in a straight line, and that made everything ok. DRAT! Thanks for the software recommendation!
            >
            > B O O ! ! ! ! <g> Ward Mathis
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Wodaski - Yahoo
            > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:21 PM
            > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] German equitorial mount
            >
            >
            > Think of a pier as a really skinny tripod. <G>
            >
            > The weights swing wide of the pier (they are at right angles to your
            > latitude, actually). They can't hit anything unless you put something in
            > the way!
            >
            > The telescope/camera, however could hit the pier if you allow the scope
            > to go too far past the meridian. How far is too far? Well, it varies
            > dramatically among mounts. For some, even 5 degrees past the meridian is
            > too much. For others, they can go 15, 30, even 45 degrees past the meridian.
            >
            > How far a mount can go past the meridian is part of the trade-offs made
            > during design. You have to make adjustments to the mount to allow going
            > far past the meridian. For example, you might need a taller mount, or
            > use beefier metal in some places to support things.
            >
            > If the mount makes it easy to flip (e.g., Paramount ME), then I don't
            > consider the "past the meridian" thing a big deal, but you do have to
            > take some steps to deal with it (like maybe buying something like
            > CCDAutopilot to help with the flips).
            >
            > Ron
            >
            > W. W. Mathis wrote:
            > > Hi All,
            > >
            > > This may or may not be a stupid question, but do you have to flip a telescope over to the other side of the ....uhhhh meridian(right word?) with a GEM on a permanent pier? Do the weights hit anything as the scope approches the pier? Bear with me, cause I've never seen a pier, except in pictures.
            > >
            > > Thanks for putting up with me and my questions!
            > >
            > > Ward Mathis
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            > --
            >
            > Ron Wodaski
            > New Astronomy Press
            > http://www.newastro.com
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >

            --

            Ron Wodaski
            New Astronomy Press
            http://www.newastro.com
          • L.Knoll
            Hi Ward: I have an ASGT-GT5 mount and it certainly has it s limitations but with the proper software (K3CCDTools, The Sky for me) and TLC in doing polar
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 31, 2006
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              Hi Ward: I have an ASGT-GT5 mount and it certainly has it's limitations but with the proper software (K3CCDTools, The Sky for me) and TLC in doing polar alignments, I've been *amazed* at what it can do.

              If the counterweights were bumping into the tripod (difficult to do), or the plastic motor housings were bumping into each other (as I've found on several occasions), it always boiled down to choosing my celestial targets judiciously based on the time of night and where they were angularly wrt the NCP.

              Every mount has its limits, including GEMs.

              Cheers,
              Leonard



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: W. W. Mathis
              To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 5:42 PM
              Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] German equitorial mount


              I think I've taught you to spell "equitorial" wrong. Well, does the software that came with my very pricey Celestron CGE 1400 handle the flip for you or do you gotta do it yourself? I've spent almost a year equiping the scope, and have yet to see thru it or see it in motion. Sigh. I suppose in the last analysis it just means cutting an exposure short and then starting another after the scope has been flipped.

              Oh by the way, the manual is very wary of mentioning if you can input the RA and DEC directly from the star atlas and the scope does the conversion for you, or you have to convert it yourself before input. funny how they can skate around mentioning little details like that, aint it???

              I had thought the problem was the weights hitting. Hadn't thought of the camera/scope hitting. Always assumed you used prime focus photography and everything hung back of the scope in a straight line, and that made everything ok. DRAT! Thanks for the software recommendation!

              B O O ! ! ! ! <g> Ward Mathis
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Wodaski - Yahoo
              To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:21 PM
              Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] German equitorial mount

              Think of a pier as a really skinny tripod. <G>

              The weights swing wide of the pier (they are at right angles to your
              latitude, actually). They can't hit anything unless you put something in
              the way!

              The telescope/camera, however could hit the pier if you allow the scope
              to go too far past the meridian. How far is too far? Well, it varies
              dramatically among mounts. For some, even 5 degrees past the meridian is
              too much. For others, they can go 15, 30, even 45 degrees past the meridian.

              How far a mount can go past the meridian is part of the trade-offs made
              during design. You have to make adjustments to the mount to allow going
              far past the meridian. For example, you might need a taller mount, or
              use beefier metal in some places to support things.

              If the mount makes it easy to flip (e.g., Paramount ME), then I don't
              consider the "past the meridian" thing a big deal, but you do have to
              take some steps to deal with it (like maybe buying something like
              CCDAutopilot to help with the flips).

              Ron

              W. W. Mathis wrote:
              > Hi All,
              >
              > This may or may not be a stupid question, but do you have to flip a telescope over to the other side of the ....uhhhh meridian(right word?) with a GEM on a permanent pier? Do the weights hit anything as the scope approches the pier? Bear with me, cause I've never seen a pier, except in pictures.
              >
              > Thanks for putting up with me and my questions!
              >
              > Ward Mathis
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >

              --

              Ron Wodaski
              New Astronomy Press
              http://www.newastro.com

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mike Dodd
              ... The CGE does not have an automatic meridian flip; you have to do it yourself. It stops tracking when the limit switch trips. ... Yes, but that s usually
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 31, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                W. W. Mathis wrote:
                > ...does the
                > software that came with my very pricey Celestron CGE 1400 handle the
                > flip for you or do you gotta do it yourself?

                The CGE does not have an automatic meridian flip; you have to do it
                yourself. It stops tracking when the limit switch trips.

                > I suppose in the last analysis it just means cutting
                > an exposure short and then starting another after the scope has been
                > flipped.

                Yes, but that's usually not a big deal unless you're making exposures of
                15+ minutes. Even with my very limited sky visibility (about 2-3 hours
                each side of the meridian), it doesn't hurt the overall image much if I
                lose one 5-minute exposure. Now, 30-minute H-a exposures are a different
                story - I need to plan for those. :)

                > Oh by the way, the manual is very wary of mentioning if you can input
                > the RA and DEC directly from the star atlas and the scope does the
                > conversion for you, or you have to convert it yourself before input.
                > funny how they can skate around mentioning little details like that,
                > aint it???

                The new CGE 4.10 hand control firmware allows you to enter specific RA
                and Dec coordinates and slew to it. This is under the View Time Site
                menu, and described in the GEM 4.10 Firmware Addendum document available
                for download on the Celestron site.

                > I had thought the problem was the weights hitting. Hadn't thought of
                > the camera/scope hitting. Always assumed you used prime focus
                > photography and everything hung back of the scope in a straight line,
                > and that made everything ok.

                The Observatory page on my Web site has a photo of my CGE 9.25 pointing
                high in the southern sky, just after the meridian flip (scroll down).
                This should give you an idea of what things look like, and how the
                camera equipment could hit the pier. From this position, during tracking
                the OTA will move upward and point toward the right (west), and the
                counterweight shaft will move downward until it's perpendicular.

                Mike
                --

                Mike Dodd
                Montpelier, VA USA
                http://astronomy.mdodd.com
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