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Roy_P

Messu mount and remote control?

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Hi all,

I'm considering Messu Mount 200 as a mount for my remote observatory. Of course version with Sitech controller. So here are my questions:

1.How well this mount is situated for my purpose?

2.Can it be controlled remotely?

3.Can I defined custom park position and once set up how accurate is that position? If I'm not wrong, I heard that there was a problem with repeatability of park position (I read about it on Messu yahoo group) but I'm not sure if it was common problem.

4.How easy (mechanically) is Polar Alignment?

5.In case of power loss (of course I use UPS in my observatory) do I loose mount position? 6. Can I control it from TheSky6?

7. If I understand Pulse Guiding is recommended method for guiding. Is that correct?

I know that most of my questions are down to Sitech controler/software but first hand experience is the best source.

Roy

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I host (but am not closely involved with) a robotic Sitech Mesu. I'll answer within my competence.

Mechanical polar alignment is easy.

It can be controlled remotely but...

The park position on the mount here does sometimes cause problems as it takes it upon itself to slew away from park for reasons unknown. This could be anything, including something not connected directly with the mount. I don't know. Perhaps the owners will see this and respond.

If powered off, will it move? It might, but the mount has a lot of inherent drag and my non-robotic one (Argo Navis-Stellarcat) has no tendency to move when left unattended, so far as I know. It is out of the wind, which would move it for sure.

I don't use pulse guiding on mine. I use the 'ST4' cable and either AstroArt of PHD. It is by far the best mount I've ever used and, imaging commercially for maybe 200 nights per year over the last (almost) three years I have yet to drop a sub exposure to guiding error. (Focal lengths between 530 and 2,400 mm.) It simply works.

Olly

http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/22435624_WLMPTM#!i=2266922474&k=Sc3kgzc

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Thank you Olly for all info. Yes, the park position is my main concern. The problem is that the telescope must be at specific position to let my roof controler close the roof. If this can't repeat every time, than I wan't be able to close the roof remotely.  Can someone from users confirm that problem?

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I have found the park feature of the sitech software not 100% reliable.

I too have to park in a particular position for my Observatory to be able to roll over the scope.

I still think that this should not be an issue for you as the park -unpark error at least in my case is ever so small (end of my weight bar moves 1-7cm from saved position), therefore not hindering the passage of the doorway rolling over the scope.

PA is a doddle and so is drift aligning.

Attached is a word file with my procedure for drift aligning specific for the Mesu mount.

Regards,

Simon

MESU MOUNT DRIFT ALIGN ROUTINE FOR REFLECTOR TELESCOPE.docx

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Roy,

I've used my Sitech Mesu remotely and found it fine.  The level of remote-ness ('remotivity'? [Olly will love that...]) has varied - from 10m away while i sit in my lounge, to 3500 miles, when I've controlled it while I've been away working in California.

Occasionally, at first, it did seem to have a mind of its own.  Not always parking when asked, and sometimes setting off in the opposite direction to that which I expected.  But with the latest version of sitech.exe it seems to be playing.

It's in a DIY roll off roof obsy, using a garage door opener to slide the roof, and an IR reflective light switch, which only allows the roof to open and close if the scope is pointing in a specific direction (the reflector is on the back of the ccd camera).  I've used it in 'full auto': CCDAP, cloud sensor, sky x, DIY ascom roof driver. Here, it checks for clear sky, opens the roof, plate solves and images etc.

But I've also used it in what I call 'virtual remote'.  I use windows remote desktop to control the laptop in the Obsy from anywhere, but control it as if I was actually on that laptop in real time.  I have a homebrew web relay control box which allows me to turn power on and off to all the peripherals and override the roof.

My safety blanket is a webcam in the obsy.  So you can watch it all live, and press the stop button if something crazy is happening (and hope the connection doesn't drop out).

Does that help?

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Jack,

Your observatory looks similar to what I have. I too have roll off roof observatory with garage door opener to slide the roof, and an IR reflective light switch ( Foster System controller)  to open and close the roof if the scope is pointing in a specific direction. My reflecting disk is 5cm diameter so that's why is so important to me to have a reliable park position.

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