Re: Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Christopher Erickson

There must be some communications failures going on here.

I currently have seventeen mounts/scopes using nine different GOTO systems and AFAICT, not one of them has a "do a meridian flip" button or menu command.

And I can't think of a single time that I have ever had to "trick" an AP mount into doing something that it wasn't already capable of doing by design.

The AP mount meridian flip and delay functions work exactly as described in the manual and have always worked perfectly for me and my purposes and as far as I can tell, nothing is missing from their functionality.

My guess is that you are a bit new to AP mounts and their operation. AP mounts do operate a bit differently from most other mounts and if you are already familiar with a different GOTO system, there can be a bit of a re-learning curve. Some time ago I wrote some brief orientation documents for users migrating from Meade, Celestron, Vixen and Losmandy GOTO mounts to the AP way of doing things. Maybe I should find those old documents, upgrade them and put them back on-line someplace. And maybe I should add iOptron, Rainbow, Sidereal Technology and Synta/Skywatcher to the list. I have been sort of waiting on the new AP hand controller firmware before making the effort, since I expect a bunch of new AP functions and commands in the hand controller.

In my mind, the biggest difference between AP and just about everyone else is AP's servo controller "brownout feature" which is capable of saving the exact positions of the axis worm gears and worm wheels to non-volatile memory when it detects that power has been removed from the servo controller. When power is re-applied to the servo controller, it knows the last positions of the worm gears and wheels and knows where it was last at. This design has a lot of benefits but my favorite benefit is that I am doing public outreach and someone kicks out my power cord, I can re-power the mount and do a GOTO to whatever I was just pointing at and it will go back to the object without a hiccup. The CP5 is always connected to the Mach2 abs encoders so it doesn't need the brownout feature that the CP1/2/3/4 needs and since I don't have a Mach2, I can't speak to that detail of the CP5 functionality.

As for meridian flips and meridian delays, I think this is quite possibly the thing that confuses more new AP users than any other feature. I believe there isn't any missing functionality and it works exactly the way I think it should work. The mount will track through the meridian and will flip to the other side during the next GOTO command, as needed. The meridian delay setting tells the mount how far before or past the meridian you want a flip to occur during the next GOTO command. When combined with whatever imaging and mount control software you are using, this works exactly as I would want it to. It won't flip in the middle of an image capture and instead flips between captures.

I hope this helps.

"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii

On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 10:36 PM <ray.palmer@...> wrote:
Hi Roberto,

I don't think that is what Rolando was referring to. That is a work around that tries to trick the mount into thinking it has hit the meridian. Your settings also may cause the mount to forget its location if the mount is not set back to 0W before powering off. I am looking for the one touch solution, where you hit a button and it flips (like a ton of other mounts do). AP's engineering is the best across the industry in IMHO, but it desperately needs a meridian flip feature. Playing with the settings to trick the mount to flipping is not a meridian flip feature. Note that I don't need a meridian flip because of the meridian's position. Note that the instructions make no reference to a "meridian flip" anywhere when searching for that search term, all they have is "meridian delay" (This is not a meridian flip feature). 
Raymond D Palmer
Western Australia

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