Re: GPS on a German Equatorial Mount
Hi Marj,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Please ignore my previous, obviously confused reply. I was too tired to
think straight. Of course, I was confusing "calculating" local sidereal time -
not setting up the UT entry. Without a computer, LST does require knowing
one's precise longitude within a time zone, and GPS would be an occasionally
used asset. However, GPS coordinates can just as easily be obtained clicking
on Google Maps, for the intended destination observing site.
I have considered GPS, but the portable one's are getting so cheap in the
local electronics store, that I wouldn't want to waste money and firmware
space for such a trivial item on-board. Even my digital Kodak DCS PRO SLR/n
camera has an option for a GPS module inside. If you fish, you might already
own a GPS based fish finder, which can be used for mount data setup as well. I
don't know if it is possible yet, since I don't own one, but cell phones
should be able to display GPS coordinates. New units are required, by the
authorities, to have GPS capability. If not displayable, then placing a call
to a GPS capable site, should be able to text you back (or by automated
voice), the coordinates where you are calling from - perhaps that could be
made a "geocities or Yahoo" capability. It would be nice to use the cell phone
for GPS info at setup - which in most cases, for a new observing site, would
only be a one time requirement anyway. Then again, a car's GPS navigator
would suffice as well, with dual use - if you don't trek too far through the
woods, from where you parked. Or, press your ON_STAR button, if you are
already paying for that service, and ask the operator: "Where the heck am I ?"
However, in the end, I have found that before a trip, I can Google Map
zoom down - even to the nearest tree - and use those GPS coordinates when I
There may be more desirable improvements, like USB, and "nice-to-haves"
like a power on/off switch, perhaps a nice compact "AP embossed" roto moulded
travel case, mount levelling bubbles, (or getting rid of that redundant
North-South switch on the panel). An on-going "improvements suggestions" file
on this group, might be useful.
Otherwise, there isn't much else to improve on such a fine instrument like
my AP900. You also have to be cost conscious - too many add-ons, and the mount
will be even less attainable in most amateur's lifetimes.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@rogers.com>
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 8:28 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: GPS on a German Equatorial Mount