Re: Is the GTOCP3 North-South switch really needed?

Joe Zeglinski

Hi Dave,

I'm glad you corrected my thinking. I had completely forgot the
possibility of using it manually, without GOTO. In such case, definitely, a
N-S switch would make good sense; it would be essential in an uncomputerized

Then again, I don't think a non-GOTO version of the AP900/1200 (maybe
others) has been made since the "AP900 SMD Servo" back in 1998 - and that was
discontinued due to lack of a market for it. Besides, if you were able to
order something like an AP900 QMD or SMD today, there is no longer a "quartz
digital drive"(similar to the non-GOTO Losmandy G11 digital drive) available
for it . The only way you could adjust the position of the scope is to push
and pull it by hand, unless you attach one of those "springy rods" directly to
each worm, somehow. Shades of the 60's!

I think I am right in saying that there are no "non-GOTO" AP mount
versions available. So the hemisphere switch isn't required, unless you can
dig up an old quartz drive. Besides, the ancient digital drive is the one
requiring the switch - not the computer controlled GOTO controller, which can
do the same thing based on the firmware being given your latitude (north or

Thus, the N-S switch on a GOTO controller these days, is an anachronism,
better replaced as a power switch. It is akin to leaving a place for the buggy
whip, in a new automobile :-)

Then again, I don't work at AP, so I don't know the "real purpose" of the
N-S switch, and why it wasn't removed from the GTOCP0, in 1998. Maybe it's
like that switch on the lamp post at the crosswalk, that a pedestrian pushes
to change the traffic lights - its a "feel good switch" that really isn't
wired to anything; the lights still change in their own sweet time, by some
computer controller downtown.

I'm joking, of course. Its just that it suddenly, one day, it struck me as
odd to have a manual motor direction reversing switch, when the firmware is
smart enough to do it, based on available information.


----- Original Message -----
From: "mogulskier_groups" <mogulskier_groups@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:41 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Is the GTOCP3 North-South switch really needed?

I personally would rather have a power switch. That aside, I believe
that the AP mounts were designed with many target requirements, one
of those being someone doing visual observing with or without the
goto (my guess). In that case, one could align and use the scope
manually, but the RA would need to rotate in the opposite direction,
depending on the hemisphere.

Why not both?

A switch somewhere would be welcome.


--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>

I wonder if someone at AP might consider eliminating the N-S
switch, in
future versions of the GTO Control Panel. Indeed, use it as a
lighted POWER
Switch, which many of us have asked for.

Seems to me that if you enter your location coordinates, you
are already
specifying whether your AP Mount is being used in the north or
hemisphere. That makes the N-S switch redundant.

If there is more than one circuit board contact that needs to
be switched,
couldn't this be done by the firmware setting flip flops, or
activating a
multi-pole reed relay, based on that observer's Latitude setting?

By comparison, the Losmandy G11 Digital Drive controller - the
motor version, not being a GOTO, and thus having no processor -
does require
an internal N-S switch, which the user needs to set after removing
the control
panel. However, the Losmandy GEMINI GOTO controller, servo motor
version, does
NOT have a N-S switch on that processor board. I suppose it relies
on the
observer's North or South latitude setting, instead of wasting
panel space for
a mechanical switch, which perhaps for most of us, is rarely
toggled anyway.

Just wondering,

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