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Introduction, DaveS


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#1 DaveS

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 08:45 PM

New member, only just joined the community of ASA mount users with a DDM60 Pro.

 

Living and imaging from Ruislip in North (-ish) West London, where the light pollution is horrible, hence mostly narrow-band.

 

At present my telescope is fairly budget, a Megrez 90 with AFR IV, and a Starlight Xpress Trius 694 camera, with Astrodon 3nm filters (A full house), and Baader RGBs. But the mount was purchased with a view to being able to mount considerably more ambitions 'scopes on it in the future (A 130-ish mm apo being on the shopping list for sometime in the future)

 

I expect to have a lot of questions as I get to grips with the mount and the ASA way of working.



#2 Waldemar

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 10:39 PM

Hi Dave,

 

welcome to the club of ASA owners.

This is a society of not so easily frustrated people with a lot of patience and perseverence :P, so fire away!

Once you get through the initial mindboggling learning curve, you're in for a treat with this cool piece of equipment 

I assume you bought your mount secondhand? If so, is it the type with USB connections on the RA axis and a 7 and 4 pole connector? The 2012 type so to speak?

 

Best regards,

Waldemar


Waldemar
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Mount: DDM85 Standard 12V ; Telescopes: TEC140 + 140FF + Quad TCC ; Celestron RASA; TMB 92SS + 27TVPH Cameras: ZWO ASI 174MM cool; SBIG STF8300M; ATIK4120EX; TRIUS SX-36
Filters: Astronomik and Baader NB + RGB; Lunt double stack 75 mm unobstructed signature series + BF 3400; Dutch weather and light polluted skies.  

#3 DaveS

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 02:54 PM

Hi Waldemar

 

Yes, sort of S/H, ex-demo from Astrograph, so I'd seen it in action swinging around an improbably long 180mm apo. It does have the USB and power connectors on the RA axis. I hope soon to take advantage of these connectors but will have to sort out some cables first.

 

When Rupert delivered it and set everything up for me, he did warn about the learning curve.. A huge upgrade from my HEQ5, with a corresponding learning curve, but worth it (I think and hope) in the end.



#4 Waldemar

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 05:24 PM

Yes the difference with a HEQ5 is quite a leap... What cables do you have? There should be two power cables with it. I made new cables for it, because I did not like the original ones, so if you need help, just let me know. For USB:  the new USB 3 cables with normal A connectors are of very good quality, better than the old USB 2 cables. Just so you know... USB is always tricky.

I made a little power hub to attach to a dovetail with Velcro, or a rider clamp, That is very nice, because the power connector on the DEC axis provides you with two totally separated power options. In that way you can use three different power supplies: 1 for the main power for the mount and two for the 4 pole power option. In that way there will never be power issues like interferences or a brown out because of a power dip or a surge if some of your equipment decides to do something weird or when a heavy dew protector kicks in.

 

Anyway, your are welcome if you need tips about that.

 

Waldemar


Waldemar
--------------
Mount: DDM85 Standard 12V ; Telescopes: TEC140 + 140FF + Quad TCC ; Celestron RASA; TMB 92SS + 27TVPH Cameras: ZWO ASI 174MM cool; SBIG STF8300M; ATIK4120EX; TRIUS SX-36
Filters: Astronomik and Baader NB + RGB; Lunt double stack 75 mm unobstructed signature series + BF 3400; Dutch weather and light polluted skies.  

#5 DaveS

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 10:47 PM

I have the main and aux power cables and one USB cable. There is also I think the data cable but I'm not sure, will investigate further.

 

I hope to pick up another A-to-A USB cable tomorrow plush a couple of short USB cables to connect my camera and FW to the mount hub.

 

I'm thinking of connecting the camera power to the mount power with the aux power cable, but may pick up another PSU when I'm in Maplins getting the USB cables.

 

 

 

Been having problems making a pointing file for refining the PA tonight, seeing the star jump back and forth in Dec. Not sure if it's the bolts not tight enough or the gusty wind.



#6 GeorgeCarey

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 09:06 AM

Hi Dave, welcome to the club! There are not many owners of ASA mounts in the UK.
Feel free to ask plenty of questions - the learning curve has been known to defeat some people.

ASA DDM60Pro, homemade 8" and 10" reflectors, QSI 683 camera, Astrodon 5nm filters, Pulsar dome observatory. Website: http://www.geoastro.co.uk


#7 DaveS

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 06:32 PM

Thanks George.

 

Beginning to realise just how steep the curve is, fortunately I have a reputation as a cantankerous old so-and-so.

 

I think a lot of the "problems" I've been having are down to my own errors, rather than the ASA way of doing things. I may need to check the balance, as I changed the flattener spacing, and with it the focus distance since the original set up. I'll have a go at updating Autoslew to the latest version, and hope I can get rid of the connection errors I had been getting.

 

The next clear night I hope to nail down the PA, then move on to refining the collimation before building larger models. I still have to get fully to grips with Sequence and MLPT, but they will come.



#8 Waldemar

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 12:03 PM

 Hi Dave,

Connection errors may be caused by bad USB cables (most of them).  USB 3 cables like these:

http://www.delock.co...4/merkmale.html

are far better, because they are capable of handling the higher USB 3 speed, hence better materials are used.

 

Waldemar


Edited by Waldemar, 21 August 2016 - 12:05 PM.

Waldemar
--------------
Mount: DDM85 Standard 12V ; Telescopes: TEC140 + 140FF + Quad TCC ; Celestron RASA; TMB 92SS + 27TVPH Cameras: ZWO ASI 174MM cool; SBIG STF8300M; ATIK4120EX; TRIUS SX-36
Filters: Astronomik and Baader NB + RGB; Lunt double stack 75 mm unobstructed signature series + BF 3400; Dutch weather and light polluted skies.  

#9 DaveS

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 07:12 PM

Hi, and thanks for the link.

 

ATM I'm using the USB cable that came with the mount to connect it. The problems I had were with the drivers, and may have been caused by interference by other software that runs mounts, as I had StellariumScope installed as well as Eqmod. I've since got rid of the former, but need to connect a mount to be able to uninstall Eqmod (Why I don't know).

 

A minor problem is that due to the configuration of balance weights I need USB cables with right-angled connectors to get to the hub. I may have to make my own.



#10 astrosirius

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 03:55 PM

Hello Dave,

 

Try to use this device, and you will forget forever the problems with the USB connectivity with the ASA

 

http://www.silexeuro...ds-3000wan.html

 

I had a lot of problems at the beginning even I bought an expensive and good USB cable, but finally I installed two Silex SX-DS-4000U2 and after 9 months I haven't had any problems anymore.

 

Best regards and good luck.
Luis



#11 Waldemar

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 07:49 PM

Hi Luis,

 

For the same reason and with the same result i use the Icron Ranger, Can extend up to 100 meters with a simple cat5 cable.

I must admit hat was far more expensive, though... 

Thanks for the link.

 

Waldematr


Waldemar
--------------
Mount: DDM85 Standard 12V ; Telescopes: TEC140 + 140FF + Quad TCC ; Celestron RASA; TMB 92SS + 27TVPH Cameras: ZWO ASI 174MM cool; SBIG STF8300M; ATIK4120EX; TRIUS SX-36
Filters: Astronomik and Baader NB + RGB; Lunt double stack 75 mm unobstructed signature series + BF 3400; Dutch weather and light polluted skies.  

#12 DaveS

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 10:41 PM

Thanks, Luis.

 

Sorry, been away for a while. the problems I've been having appear to be software related in Win 7 itself rather than Autoslew, apart from an annoying USB related glitch with the connection to the Trius camera which I had to unplug and replug several times during my pointing file build. I think a higher quality cable set here is called for.

 

I have been finding out the hard way just how sensitive the mount is to balance. As I had changed the flattener spacing, and with it the focus distance I decided to tweak the balance using the tool in the Drive menu. Bad idea! The first run showed the lines very nearly aligned, should have left well alone, as the mount had been running fine up till then. But I thought I could refine it further. Even worse idea, compounded by not thinking to mark the original tube position so I would have something to come back to.

Upshot being that after an hour and a half of nudging the tube back and forth in the rings, and getting serious aches in my hand (Incipient arthritis?) whilst cursing up hill and down dale, as we say, I have a mount that will not even turn the motors on without errors.

So my job for tomorrow is to get that wretched balance right. Pity I've wasted the last clear night this week.

 

Which brings me to my only real gripe, which is the manuals. Nowhere do I see anything about the balance tool, I'm going on what I remember from when it was set up. Hardware and software this cutting edge deserves better manuals, especially given the leap from just about any lesser mount.

Sorry, as I say my only gripe, and not to do with either the hardware or software.



#13 GeorgeCarey

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 07:30 AM

Yes, balancing is tricky. You might like to have a look at this thread - http://forum.astrosy...radial +balance

Since I balanced the scope both 'laterally' and 'radially' I have not had any problems.

ASA DDM60Pro, homemade 8" and 10" reflectors, QSI 683 camera, Astrodon 5nm filters, Pulsar dome observatory. Website: http://www.geoastro.co.uk


#14 DaveS

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 10:57 AM

Thanks George. Yes, I remember that thread from when I was first considering a DDM mount. When I was speaking to Rupert from Astrograph at the last Astrofest he did say that 'scopes on DDM mounts tended to aquire balance weights in surprising places.

I now need to actually *think* about my plan of campaign.




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