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John Ott has a 20 inch Alt/Az scope with a SiTech field De-rotator, and has been sending great images.

I'm really pleased with how things are working. I can't tell you how discouraged I was getting before I started working with your [SiTech ASCOM] driver. I am enthusiastic about all of this again!!

Thanks,

John Ott

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Andrew Aurigema, Florida. Andrew has a 28" optically challenged (he's working on that problem) RC scope, with a SiTech control and a SiTech ASCOM compliant focuser. He uses FocusMax to focus the SiTech focuser.

The controllers and software are working great so there is nothing to report. They just wake up, work great, go to sleep and give me no issues. Totally sweet Dan......... job well done.

Andrew

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From Chuck Shaw after Texas Star Party, 2006:

The mount was running with the ASCOM driver. It ran perfectly every night, all night we were out on the observing field, and the GOTO's would put the target in the HX916's FOV 100% of time...
This controller and ASCOM driver is OUTSTANDING!

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From Bob Kirschenmann, about the SiTech ASCOM driver, and controller. Bob has a GEM.

Hi Dan,
Woweeee!!! The clouds finally parted for a few hours last night and I had a chance to really try the SiTech ASCOM stuff out. I had a copy of Cartes Du Ciel that I installed on the dedicated computer in the Bobservatory and gave it a try mid-week with the roof closed as it was raining outside. The scope moved when told to and I was impressed when it went back to 'Park' when I clicked on that button on the right side of the screen that I hadn't paid much attention to. I tried it a couple more times after moving the scope around, and it went back each time..to the same place. Knowing that the scope now had goto to 'park' at least, left me anticipating what it might be able to do under some clear sky. Initialization was a piece of cake and I was off and touring in about 5 minutes. I played around for about two hours, fine tuning the auto-guider, getting the focus right, and just having fun. And, it went back to the 'park' position when I was finished!! And, it went back to M-13 after being shut down and then restarted...too cool!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

See Ya, Bob

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From David Hatfield, Australia:

Thanks Dan. Had the scope out again last night after re-tuning ticks per rev. Got a good polar alignment and tracked objects in all parts of the sky with great accuracy. My cross hairs eyepiece with 2x barlow showed only slight drift and PE. After getting such a great result with dragNtrack, got the AN out and lined it up, and slewed all over the sky with accuracy I have never experienced with my scope before. Think that the accuracy of the scope will only improve when I get around to using the AN's TPAS .Thanks for all your help and advice Dan, I now have a scope that I was only able to dream of a little while ago.

Regards,
David.


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This is from Charlie Wicks of San Jose California who is using Dave Sopchak's configuration and Control software from the MacDob project. I believe at this point he's using the "dragNtrack" mode. The "problem" referred to was the Azimuth and Altitude motor encoder tick values were mixed up in the controller configuration.....:

Hi Guys,

Just thought I'd give everyone an update on my progress. I've had my first chance to do some real testing of the drive, now that we figured out what the problem was.

I did a good alignment on polaris, then moved the scope to altair, and let it track. After 30 minutes, it was still in a 300x field of view. I got bored waiting for it to drift out of the field, so I decided to test the slip clutches. I set both the alt and az clutches to very light settings and moved the scope from target to target. What a Joy!!!! I let go of the scope and at 300x everything just sits still. I'd let it track for a few minutes, then moved on to the next target and each time I let go, the star field was fixed and motionless. This is the first large scope that I've had that works like an equatorial mounted scope with slip clutches, and something that i've wanted for a long time. I can't wait to actually use it on a dark night! This is so cool!!!

THANKS DAN, MEL, and DAVE!!!!

Charlie

The box said "Windows XP or better," so I bought a Mac.

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Howard Banich's comments about using it on his 28 inch telescope. He's strictly using the dragNtrack mode so far.:

Although I'll never stop tinkering with the new 28, I'm finally making the transition back to observing from telescope making. The drive tracks beautifully when the scope is properly leveled and drive aligned on the NCP. A great example of the tracking is what I showed you at the Oregon Star Party with Stephan's Quintet.

After observing the galaxy group for awhile around 460x I left the scope to go observe with some friends at their scopes, thinking this would be a good test of the drive's accuracy. Coming back about 45 minutes later I was delighted to find that Stephan's Quintet had moved only about halfway to the edge of the fov from the center. That's when I called you [Dan Gray] over for a look, but the best part was when an anonymous person came by just then and commented "I think your drive is slipping a little, it's moved about halfway to the edge of the fov." When you said yeah, but it took 45 minutes for it to happen, his "oh!" was eloquent enough praise.

The Drag and Track friction clutches are fabulous and are the feature that really sold me on your drive system. Being able to manually move the scope while the drive maintains its proper tracking rate anywhere in the sky is exactly what I wanted. To me this is the mark of a successful, elegant system - it works wonderfully well and requires no thought to use once it's initialized. Observe and enjoy, that's what its all about for me."

Howard
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