Re: Meridian Flip Feature Yet?


On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 10:55 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
It is easy to automate the flip point. You can do this using the AP V2 ASCOM driver (or the hand controller). You can configure the flip-point so that the mount will flip at the necessary hour angle with a slew to the same RA/Dec.

APCC's meridian limits feature goes much further. It allows you to define different flip points for each declination and pier-side. In operation, this allows worry-free pier flipping and tracking limits to prevent pier collisions without any human intervention. I don't think any of the other mounts you mention have that feature.
Hi Ray, 

Thanks for your feedback, however I don't want my mount to flip at any particular hour angle. This is not a seamless or user friendly process for someone that just needs to flip to the other side of the pier. I also do not need to define different flip points for each declination point. It seems AP has completely missed the point of why many of us need to pier flip. It has nothing to do with the meridian. 

There is also a sentiment on here about the scope crashing into the mount and that is why AP have made this feature the way it is. No other brand I have used has this issue (I've used those brands extensively, AP's build wins, but a simple pier flip is badly needed). The scope simply slews through the counter weight down position and then continues onto its target on the other side of the pier for a safe pier flip. No threat of crashing, no trying to trick the mount into thinking the meridian is elsewhere. Pier flip is not dangerous or hard to develop. 

Rolando I do have the latest hand controller software. Version 4.19.3, I downloaded and installed it purely because of this thread, hoping to gain a pier flip function. I am using a GTOCP3. When I follow your instructions and hit the +- button, and then press 9, nothing happens. Please tell me how to access the pier flip please? When I hit +- then 9 as per your instructions at the beginning of this thread, nothing happens. 

Rolando Christen wrote:

The main reason we never had it before is because it is way too easy to crash the scope into the pier by just pressing a flip button when the scope does not have enough clearance on the other side under the mount. So, in trying to keep your equipment safe, we made it a bit harder for you in the past and probably gave you the impression that we just didn't know how to do some things that other companies have done for a long time. We fixed that now with our latest software, so you will be able to flip the scope back and forth as needed with just one button push.

Sorry, but again, there is no danger of a scope crashing into the mount if the mount slews through the counter weight down position halfway through its pier flip. All other major brands have a single touch pier flip feature and there is no danger when someone does a pier flip with those brands or yours, and there is no messing with hour angles or meridian delays to get the mount to flip.

The contention that AP lacks a simple pier flip feature to protect our scopes doesn't make sense and is confirmed by most other leading brands offering simple pier flip functionality and doing it easily without issue. There is no danger of a correctly programmed pier flip feature damaging our scopes. 

So from reading other comments here, am I right in thinking that AstroPhysics 1600GTO with a GTOCP3 using the latest software 4.19.3 cannot do a simple pier flip on command. Is this correct please? 

Thank you for your comments so far gentlemen and I hope you are all enjoying your holiday season. 

Raymond D Palmer
Western Australia

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