Pier flip with Paramount ME impossible


#1

I understand that it is impossible to do a meridian flip with a Paramount ME because the mount does not support the “which side of pier” attribute.
Is there no work around to do a pier flip automatically? I have to do it every night by hand…
I need my sleep :wink:


#2

I do it automatically all the time with the PMX.

I set my software limits in Bisque TCS to about 40 minutes of each side and in SGP, set meridian flip to about 5-10 degrees (just less than the software limit). In TSX, I drag the little red square on the flip line to sit on the meridian.

Works a treat.


#3

I need to do a pier flip way BEFORE the croshairs reach the meridian in TheSky6, and start after the flip way beyond the meridian, else my filterwheel with rotator will hit the pier on either sides.
So I’m afraid I have to start always beyond the meridian till dawn…
There is no way to say to SGPro when meridian is coming near:

  • Stop tracking
  • wait 20 minutes
  • slew to target (now on the other side of meridian)
  • continue

Not possible?


#4

Not in an elegant manner. You can somewhat force it using multiple targets. Set your main target to stop 20 minutes before the meridian, you’ll have to find the appropriate time using a planetarium application.

Have the next target set to be west of the meridian which will force the mount to flip. Take a 20-30 minute image in this target just to “pause”. Now add a 3rd target which is a copy of the first target.

So, not idea at all…but technically possible with some planning.

Thanks,
Jared


#5

Thanks Jared,

That would be a solution.
Will try to implement that.


#6

Hi, guys. I’m a bit confused. @buzz seems to say above he has what sounds like a working meridian flip solution with a Paramount, but @Andre is considering the workaround? Am I missing something about @buzz’s situation that makes it not apply to @Andre?

I’m about to start imaging with a Paramount MX in the near future and the gear config is just coming together so I haven’t had a chance yet to exercise it all in SGP…


#7

I believe buzz is flipping after the meridian and Andre wants to flip before. We can flip a Paramount after the meridian, but not before as it doesn’t expose the correct methods in the ASCOM driver.

Thanks,
Jared


#8

That’s correct Jared.
Due to the big a-concentric filterwheel and the rotator the equipment (filterwheel with camera) CAN hit the pier before the meridian is reached. And its an APO so it is mounted low.


#9

So use a stand-off to lift the scope away from the puck by a few inches. I use one with my 10-Micron (it’s about 2-1/2" thick) and that is enough to allow the scope to point anywhere without worrying about the camera hitting the pier. It made such a big difference not having to worry about where the scope is pointing - and it will track past the meridian even through the zenith.

ChrisH


#10

Correct - that is the difference, I’m going past the meridian. Now that you mention it, I remember my focuser used to graze the top of the 10 micron housing if I had it at an angle. A had to use standoffs between the refractor and the lozmandy.

I don’t have the same issue with the Paramount MX but sometimes use a 0.5" standoff under short refractors tube rings as they have to be positioned well-forward and the focuser / camera fouls (any) Lozmandy clamp.


#11

Andre,
Can you move the filter wheel on top? That’s what I have to do on my G11 with my AP130. But I’m not using a rotator either, which would complicate things.

Thanks,
Jared


#12

I have been thinking about raising the whole scope-setup, but It’s a bit difficult to raise my complete scope-setup:
http://www.abrelosojos.nl/e-eye/setup.jpg

The versa-plate is turned 90 degrees and the two losmandy plates are bolted onto it.
It is a remote setup in spain so I can’t change things every week.

About moving the filterwheel up, the whole imaging train is carefully designed by the designers of CFF telescopes, all fits well. I’m not gonna change that (if it were possible)


#13

SB are the only people who can help. They could add a function to their scripting language that would allow the flip to be done early, then use this to add the set SideOfPier functionality to their ASCOM driver. They have control over all of this, no one else can, especially with no early flip functionality in their scripting. They added the ability to read the current pointing state (Side of Pier) so maybe they would be amenable to this. I don’t think the probability is high but if you don’t ask them they won’t know that this is needed.

Chris R


#14

I wonder if you could achieve what you want by a pre-event script? I just played about and did one that blocked exposures until a certain altitude was reached. I wonder if you could do the same but stop the mount tracking when it reached a certain Az, wait for the no-mans-land period and then slew to target afterwards before exiting the script. When SGP executes a script it pauses whilst it is executed. SGP would continue and not realise that it was on the other side of the meridian. You could have a try using the TSX simulator first.


#15

Thanks, will look at it :slight_smile:


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