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  #541  
Old 16-05-2015, 10:00 AM
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MattT
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All done! Gone steampunk with encoder brackets....now to learn haow to use it.
I have read every post here and I'm not sure how exact the GEM exact align is. Is 1 of the pole exact enough? or is that rough align territory? On page 16 Clive seems to be the only GEM AN user.
Here is my mount with AN fitted.
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  #542  
Old 16-05-2015, 10:23 AM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattT View Post
All done! Gone steampunk with encoder brackets....now to learn haow to use it.
I have read every post here and I'm not sure how exact the GEM exact align is. Is 1 of the pole exact enough? or is that rough align territory? On page 16 Clive seems to be the only GEM AN user.
Here is my mount with AN fitted.
Hi Matt,

Absolutely wonderful implementation and I loved how you kept it looking antique.

What we recommend these days is to consider using the GEM EXACT ALIGN setting in conjunction with what we call
a short TPAS run. TPAS stands for Telescope Pointing Analysis System, which is an in-built feature of Argo Navis that
appears under the SETUP MNT ERROR functionality.

To use this technique, set the GEM EXACT ALIGN setting in SETUP MOUNT and set your latitude and longitude accurately in SETUP LOCATION.
Also set your time accurately either from SETUP DATE/TIME or better still via your PC running an NTPS client and using Argonaut Version 2
(see page 188 of the Edition 11 of the Argo Navis User's Manual).

Align on one star and then use TPAS to sample the position of at least four stars (see pp 122-149 for a description of how to use TPAS
in the section of SETUP MNT ERRORS).

With the press of a few buttons, one then fits a mount error model that includes the polar misalignment terms in azimuth and elevation and
and what are called the index error terms for the RA and Dec axes. The polar misalignment terms are abbreviated as MA & ME.
The Index Error terms are abbreviated as ID & IH.

In practice this takes probably less than five minutes. It then typically results in excellent pointing performance because Argo Navis
is mopping up any residual polar misalignment in its pointing model. Dropping the mount down within a degree of the pole,
using the GEM EXACT ALIGN setting and combining it with a short TPAS sampling run will typically ensure everything lands
in the FOV without having to do a FIX ALT REF step.

What is also good about this approach is that it is extensible. All mounts have a certain amount of geometric and gravitational
flexure errors that can be a detriment to their overall pointing performance.

The TPAS system allows you to analyze and potentially compensate for many of the common geometric and flexure errors
within the mount/OTA. For example, you might devote one night, perhaps when the Moon is out. to sample say 20 to 50
stars and to use the in-built TPAS to analyze the data for any likely persistent mount errors. You can then store these
parameters in the unit as a mount error model. On a subsequent observing night you can re-synchronise this model by sampling
as few as four stars and your pointing performance will typically return to as good as the night you did the long sampling run.

So you can think of TPAS a "super N-star alignment" but really it is much more than that because of its complex modelling.

Otherwise there is a little bit to take in here and I don't want to make your eyes glaze over with it all at once, but I cannot over emphasise
how quick and convenient it is to use the EXACT align setting in conjunction with a short TPAS run is in practice.

The link to a case study of an Argo Navis Telescope Pointing Analysis System (TPAS) sampling run on a G11 mount will be of interest -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/group_post_5573/

Should you have additional questions or require clarification on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #543  
Old 24-05-2015, 04:33 PM
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troypiggo (Troy)
Bust Duster

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Posts: 4,843
Anyone have any tips on preventing the "alt encoder error"? I think it's slipping in the rubber ring on the rocker box, but I don't want to glue it or anything.

Edit: I'll try putting some tape on the encoder shaft to make a more snug fit.

Last edited by troypiggo; 24-05-2015 at 08:33 PM.
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  #544  
Old 24-05-2015, 11:54 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troypiggo View Post
Anyone have any tips on preventing the "alt encoder error"? I think it's slipping in the rubber ring on the rocker box, but I don't want to glue it or anything.

Edit: I'll try putting some tape on the encoder shaft to make a more snug fit.
Hi Troy,

Thanks for the post.

What model Dob do you have?

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #545  
Old 25-05-2015, 05:12 AM
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troypiggo (Troy)
Bust Duster

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Posts: 4,843
It's a 10" Black Diamond SW OTA on a custom dob base by Alex Massey. The rubber ring I'm referring to is in a 3 pronged metal bracket entered on the alt axis.
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  #546  
Old 26-05-2015, 07:08 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troypiggo View Post
It's a 10" Black Diamond SW OTA on a custom dob base by Alex Massey. The rubber ring I'm referring to is in a 3 pronged metal bracket entered on the alt axis.
Hi Troy,

Sounds like it is a JMI Meade Lightbridge three-pronged bracket with
a rubber O-ring that has been adapted?

We have an alternative three-pronged bracket that doesn't use an O-ring
but instead uses a rigid coupling with a set-screw.

Otherwise ensure that the center of the bracket corresponds to the exact
center of rotation around the altitude axis.

Does the tangent arm metal bracket that is fastened to the encoder employ
self-adhesive Velcro? If so, this too is a JMI bracket.

We have an alternate tangent arm and tangent arm coupler that allows the
arm to "float".

Otherwise ensure that the tangent arm is parallel to the side of the rocker
and that it is not exerting a sideways force on the encoder when the OTA
is rotated around the altitude axis.

The encoders don't "like" sideways forces and they can result in encoder
errors.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #547  
Old 21-07-2015, 12:16 PM
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MattT
Reflecting on Refracting

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Posts: 1,202
Hi Gary,

A question on East-West side for the tube in the initial alignment with a GEM.

I read a few threads on Yahoo group but still am confused on this

Tried it all out for the first time last night and aligned on Acrux with the tube, that is myself and the focuser end was on the East side of the mount... is that right?

Got a warp factor for Acrux of 0.0 when it was in the crosshairs so I guess so far so good. Couldn't remember what to do next and stopped there, but hope to get out a few times next week to work it out.

Cheers,

Matt
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  #548  
Old 21-07-2015, 11:13 PM
gary
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Argo Navis GEM alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattT View Post
Hi Gary,

A question on East-West side for the tube in the initial alignment with a GEM.

I read a few threads on Yahoo group but still am confused on this

Tried it all out for the first time last night and aligned on Acrux with the tube, that is myself and the focuser end was on the East side of the mount... is that right?

Got a warp factor for Acrux of 0.0 when it was in the crosshairs so I guess so far so good. Couldn't remember what to do next and stopped there, but hope to get out a few times next week to work it out.

Cheers,

Matt
Hi Matt,

GEMs have the attribute that you can look at many specific parts of the sky
using two distinct mechanical orientations of the scope.

When the OTA flips over the meridian, the direction sense of the Dec encoder
reverses.

This is an attribute of three dimensional space rather than because of some
caveat of the Argo Navis.

Let us assume that your mount is polar aligned and you have set the SETUP MOUNT
type to GEM EXACT ALIGN.

The only thing you need to remember is that the SETUP ALT STEPS encoder
direction sense sign (the + or -) has to be set to a value that is consistent
with which of the two alternate orientations the mount is in when you perform
the star alignment.

Thus you will hear the terminology such as the tube on the East side of the
mount pointing West and vice versa.

Having the OTA on one side of the meridian and pointing to the other then
eliminates circumpolar stars. Circumpolar stars can otherwise bring about an
ambiguity depending on if they are above or below the pole.

So avoid using Acrux at your latitude because it is circumpolar. Choose
something more northerly.

What we recommend these days is to consider using the GEM EXACT ALIGN setting in
conjunction with what we call a short TPAS run. TPAS stands for Telescope
Pointing Analysis System, which is an in-built feature of Argo Navis that
appears under the SETUP MNT ERROR functionality.

To use this technique, set the GEM EXACT ALIGN setting in SETUP MOUNT and set
your latitude and longitude accurately in SETUP LOCATION. Also set your time
accurately either from SETUP DATE/TIME or better still via your PC running an
NTPS client and using Argonaut Version 2 (see page 188 of the Edition 11 of the
Argo Navis User's Manual).

Align on one star and then use TPAS to sample the position of at least four
stars (see pp 122-149 for a description of how to use TPAS in the section of
SETUP MNT ERRORS).

With the press of a few buttons, one then fits a mount error model that includes
the polar misalignment terms in azimuth and elevation and and what are called
the index error terms for the RA and Dec axes. The polar misalignment terms are
abbreviated as MA & ME. The Index Error terms are abbreviated as ID & IH.

In practice this takes probably less than five minutes. It then typically
results in excellent pointing performance because Argo Navis is mopping up any
residual polar misalignment in its pointing model. Dropping the mount down
within a degree of the pole, using the GEM EXACT ALIGN setting and combining it
with a short TPAS sampling run will typically ensure everything lands in the FOV
without having to do a FIX ALT REF step.

What is also good about this approach is that it is extensible. All mounts have
a certain amount of geometric and gravitational flexure errors that can be a
detriment to their overall pointing performance.

The TPAS system allows you to analyze and potentially compensate for many of the
common geometric and flexure errors within the mount/OTA. For example, you might
devote one night, perhaps when the Moon is out. to sample say 20 to 50 stars and
to use the in-built TPAS to analyze the data for any likely persistent mount
errors. You can then store these parameters in the unit as a mount error model.
On a subsequent observing night you can re-synchronise this model by sampling as
few as four stars and your pointing performance will typically return to as good
as the night you did the long sampling run.

That the RA and Dec axis on your mount are pretty square (NP error) and that it
is dwarfed by the optical to Dec axis non-perpendicularity (CH error) is pretty
common on GEM's. What we recommend is that rather than saving the CH term for
use as a fixed TPAS term for use on a subsequent night, just leave it to COMPUTE
and sample a few more stars on the night to then peg it.

So you can think of TPAS a "super N-star alignment" but really it is much more
than that because of its complex modelling.

Otherwise there is a little bit to take in here and I don't want to make your
eyes glaze over with it all at once, but I cannot over emphasise how quick and
convenient it is to use the EXACT align setting in conjunction with a short TPAS
run is in practice.

Should you have additional questions or require clarification on any of the
above, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #549  
Old 25-07-2015, 08:47 AM
garymck (Gary)
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Location: Geelong
Posts: 731
Older Argo Navis?

Hi,

I've just come across for sale an old Argo Navis - is in a rectangular box rather than the current sculptured one. Has very old firmware - I think it has probably never been updated. Looks in fairly good nick...

Is this upgradeable to the latest firmware? Any functional differences?

Is there any reason not to buy it?

cheers
Gary
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  #550  
Old 25-07-2015, 05:39 PM
gary
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Location: Mt. Kuring-Gai
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Upgrading to the latest Argo Navis firmware

Quote:
Originally Posted by garymck View Post
Hi,

I've just come across for sale an old Argo Navis - is in a rectangular box rather than the current sculptured one. Has very old firmware - I think it has probably never been updated. Looks in fairly good nick...

Is this upgradeable to the latest firmware? Any functional differences?

Is there any reason not to buy it?

cheers
Gary
Hi Gary,

As part of our commitment to offer products that provide lasting value,
all Argo Navis units can be upgraded to the latest firmware.

Simply Register online to receive your Registration Code and then
use your Registration Code to perform the download.
See http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/firmware.html

Be sure to grab the latest Argonaut Version 2 -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/utilities.html

Be sure to download the Argo Navis User Manual from here.
It includes information on how to perform the upgrade -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....mentation.html

There are no functional differences.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #551  
Old 26-07-2015, 08:18 AM
garymck (Gary)
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Location: Geelong
Posts: 731
cheers Gary!

Thanks for the info.....great support

regards
Garymck
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  #552  
Old 06-09-2015, 06:59 AM
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xstream (John)
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Location: "Where ever the wind blows".
Posts: 5,693
Hi Gary,
Hope you and Mai are doing well!
I have a quick question, I am still yet to upload the new firmware update but before I do so is a firmware update needed for the servoCat for it to benefit from your update?

Cheers,
John.
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  #553  
Old 07-09-2015, 10:32 AM
gary
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Argo Navis ServoCAT firrmware enhancements

Quote:
Originally Posted by xstream View Post
Hi Gary,
Hope you and Mai are doing well!
I have a quick question, I am still yet to upload the new firmware update but before I do so is a firmware update needed for the servoCat for it to benefit from your update?

Cheers,
John.
Hi John,

Long time, no hear!

All well here. Hope you and Anna have been well.

A firmware upgrade to the ServoCAT at the same time is highly
recommended. Wildcard Innovations originally co-developed the
ServoCAT protocol with StellarCAT and we extended and enhanced the
protocol for both products in the latest releases to support some new
features.

Having said that, if you choose only to upgrade the Argo Navis now,
we attempted to keep the protocol backward compatible so everything
should keep working.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #554  
Old 23-09-2015, 04:23 PM
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xstream (John)
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Location: "Where ever the wind blows".
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Thanks for your reply Gary, it's very much appreciated.
Anna and I are extremely well thanks mate, just keeping busy with newest grand daughter.

Cheers
John.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gary View Post
Hi John,

Long time, no hear!

All well here. Hope you and Anna have been well.

A firmware upgrade to the ServoCAT at the same time is highly
recommended. Wildcard Innovations originally co-developed the
ServoCAT protocol with StellarCAT and we extended and enhanced the
protocol for both products in the latest releases to support some new
features.

Having said that, if you choose only to upgrade the Argo Navis now,
we attempted to keep the protocol backward compatible so everything
should keep working.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #555  
Old 15-11-2015, 01:02 PM
garymck (Gary)
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Posts: 731
Issue with older Argo

Hi,
Have just obtained an old Argo Navis (rectangular boxed version).

Had to make up serial cable, and a dual cable to connect the encoders.

When testing in Mode Encoder, either of the two encoders I have work perfectly on one channel, but not on the other. The faulty channel changes between 0 and 359.86 when the encoder is moved. Since the cables have been made identically, is it likely that the Argo is faulty? Anything else I should check? This happened with the original V2 firmware, and also after I reflashed with the latest firmware.....

cheers
Gary
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  #556  
Old 15-11-2015, 02:12 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garymck View Post
Hi,
Have just obtained an old Argo Navis (rectangular boxed version).

Had to make up serial cable, and a dual cable to connect the encoders.

When testing in Mode Encoder, either of the two encoders I have work perfectly on one channel, but not on the other. The faulty channel changes between 0 and 359.86 when the encoder is moved. Since the cables have been made identically, is it likely that the Argo is faulty? Anything else I should check? This happened with the original V2 firmware, and also after I reflashed with the latest firmware.....

cheers
Gary
Hi Gary,

Congratulations on picking up a pre-loved Argo Navis.

By way of background, each encoder has two output channels known
as A & B.

If you see the MODE ENCODER diagnostic display alternating between
two values in the way you describe, it means that one of A or B on that
particular encoder path is open circuit somewhere.

If you made your own encoder cable, use a multimeter and perform an
end-to-end continuity test from the connector at the encoder end
to the RJ-45 plug end. If your multimeter probes aren't fine enough,
use a pair of fine needles affixed to the multimeter probes with rubber
bands so you can probe into the RJ-45 contact points.

Alternatively, if at some point in the past an incorrect cable was inadvertently
plugged into the Argo Navis encoder port, it might have blown one of the
protective ferrites. If you require further assistance, please don't hesitate
to email us at sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #557  
Old 17-11-2015, 07:34 PM
garymck (Gary)
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Hi Gary,

thanks for replying .....

My cable measures OK - full continuity. I guess that means the old Argo is toast :-( ? Would a repair be possible? Any idea what it would cost?

cheers
Gary
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  #558  
Old 18-11-2015, 10:12 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garymck View Post
Hi Gary,

thanks for replying .....

My cable measures OK - full continuity. I guess that means the old Argo is toast :-( ? Would a repair be possible? Any idea what it would cost?

cheers
Gary
Hi Gary,

A detailed response was sent to your email inquiry at 1pm on Monday
16th. You might want to check whether it landed in your spam folder.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #559  
Old 21-12-2015, 11:09 PM
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michaellxv (Michael)
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Posts: 1,578
see more stuff

:clap ::cla p:

I took delivery of my AN last friday and installed over the weekend and finished with a stalk today. Not even an 80% moon was going to stop first light tonight. I think I saw more stuff tonight from my suburban backyard under a bright moon than I have seen from any site in one night before. Could not be happier and can't wait for some dark skies.
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  #560  
Old 22-12-2015, 01:27 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellxv View Post
:clap ::cla p:

I took delivery of my AN last friday and installed over the weekend and finished with a stalk today. Not even an 80% moon was going to stop first light tonight. I think I saw more stuff tonight from my suburban backyard under a bright moon than I have seen from any site in one night before. Could not be happier and can't wait for some dark skies.
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the post and great to hear you are finding more stuff despite the Moon.

That's the spirit!

Last Quarter will be around January 3rd so there is even more to look
forward to in the New Year.

Speaking of which, all the best for 2016.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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