Re: mechanical home capability


UPS sounds like a really good idea. Make it a heavy duty one though.
A webcam is a great idea. Mechano - electrical switches would be great
if built in and accessible from software but one does not really have
to add them if you already have the webcam. Set up teh webcam to be
able to 'see' two easily visible indexing marks, one on the RA and one
on the DEC as well as the complete scope. Watch on the webcam and
'manually' slew the mount. Once the index marks are aligned, reset the
mount. Since it is now in a 'close to' known position, slew to a piece
of sky, take an image and plate solve to fine tune. This is of course
off the cuff since I haven't done it, but over the next several months
I hope to set up something like this. If someone has done something
similar and has had significant problems or has found something
easier, please jump in.


--- In ap-gto@..., "Steve..." <s-walters@c...> wrote:

Hi Walt (& Jim),

I've also been contemplating this capability and I think Jim has
given you two good recommendations - UPS and a webcam so you can see
what's happening.

Beyond this, I've considered adding some mercury switches to the dec
and polar axis that are oriented so that they operate when the mount
reaches a particular orientation in one of the "Park" positions. I"d
use Park 1 for this myself but it could be done to any of the other

Two switches would be pretty simple to add and interface (two bits)
to an existing port on a computer and would give a reasonably
accurate homing capability. You'd just slew the mount until the
closure occured. A script could be written to automate it.

It would be even nicer if this were built into the AP1200. But I'd
still want that webcam so I could tell what was going on. I think
even the Paramount owners do this. Homing without any clue what is
going on would be quite dangerous for the equipment.

My $0.02....


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