Re: GTO Keypad

Joe Zeglinski

Hi Diego,
    I would NOT sell the Keypad, even if you almost never use it.
Fact is, odd things with the mount controller, and the Keypad provides you an alternate I/O device which can be used to test the controller and operation of the mount. A PC can really screw up, even a Win-10 Update can cause software to stop working suddenly. The keypad is independent of software, and is the most basic device to check out your mount.
    Also, there are times when using the PC to move the mount around,. like when re-greasing the gears can be messy possibly getting grease on the PC keyboard or mouse. Besides, I find it a heck of a lot easier to jog the mount a bit, when I want to move it for checking something. Using the PC is an enormous hassle in such cases.
    Besides, if you use the scope visually, it is far easier to jog the mount to center a star in an eyepiece than going back to the PC – jogging in the eyepiece FOV using a PC is impossible. Even if you use a tablet or a smartphone, you still need to look away from the eyepiece for that operation, Meanwhile, you can learn to feel the positions of the slew buttons on the keypad and jog the mount without moving your viewing through the eyepiece.
    The only other method would be using “voice commands” to a PC with voice recognition app, and train it for your voice, and AP CPx command set. as the way the old (no longer available) “Digital Sky Voice “software was used.
    Finally, there are mount tests, like a yellow/amber LED coming on, when the servo has a problem. The keypad is the best testing device.
    When everything else has been tried, this basic device, which doesn’t depend on PC hardware, or operating systems, is the easiest to test with, and the one whose results can be believed by tech support.
I think it would be foolish to sell the keypad.
Joe Z.

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