Re: Meridian Flip Feature Yet?


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Ray,

that's great news then. I'm using a 1600GTO with a GTOCP3 using the latest software 4.19.3.
How do I do a simple pier flip please? What is the keypad path? I tried using +- and pressing 9, as per
Rolando's instructions, but it doesn't do anything.
I don't know, as I hardly use the keypad.

Hard pier stops and tracking past the meridian or 360 degrees past the meridian are
very different features than what is being requested here Ray.
It's relevant because if a telescope mount has a physical stop, the telescope may never physically get into a position where a pier collision can easily happen.

It is because A-P mounts don't have such a stop that pier collisions have more potential to happen. However, the lack of a physical stop offers the potential for a telescope to never need to be flipped throughout the night.

BTW, APCC has a meridian limits explorer tool to map out the slew limits at every declination and pier side. Once mapped out, APCC automatically allows pier flips within the meridian limits. Note that the concept of "meridian limits" is not the same as the mount's "meridian delay".

The idea that pier flipping is meridian based is strongly misguided.
A pier flip in any mount results in multiple operations. In the case of an AP mount, the meridian delay is just one of the two commands needed to do a pier flip:

1. Set meridian delay.
2. Slew to current RA/Dec.

Setting the meridian delay sets the destination pier side.

Can the keypad be programmed to do that: yes. Can software be programmed to do that: yes.

APCC has a button to do a pier flip, but a simple script can be made to perform the pier flip without APCC. The script could be placed on the desktop and double-clicked when needed. I can't help you with the AP keypad operations, but I can create a (free) script for you that will flip the mount if you are interested?

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ray.palmer@...
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2020 7:39 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 12:06 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:


First, as Roland pointed out, there is a way to do the pier flip from the hand controller.

Hi Ray, that's great news then. I'm using a 1600GTO with a GTOCP3 using the latest software 4.19.3. How do I do
a simple pier flip please? What is the keypad path? I tried using +- and pressing 9, as per Rolando's instructions, but
it doesn't do anything.




Many of the other mount manufacturers have hard pier stops, so they cannot go more than a certain angle
past the meridian. Which German Equatorial mounts have you used that provide a pier flip feature and can also
allow tracking a telescope 360 degrees under the pier, provided no pier collision would take place?

Hard pier stops and tracking past the meridian or 360 degrees past the meridian are very different features than
what is being requested here Ray. I am chasing a simple pier flip feature, nothing more. For my imaging needs, I
rarely use tracking past the meridian, however it is great to have. Just chasing a simple pier flip feature like all these
other mounts out there have. Whether those mounts can track past the meridian or not means nothing to me,
however I acknowledge AP mounts offer great range past the meridian, but that doesn't negate the need for a
simple pier flip function either. It is like you are saying, but we've got other features. Those features will satisfy other
users that don't need to pier flip like I do, but like I've said in this thread a few times, that my pier flip requirement
has nothing to do with the meridian. I'm just chasing the same simple functionality as other brands offer, nothing
more. I've been pier flipping since the late 90's with one or two presses of the keypad. I don't understand why this is
so elusive. I think there is a strong sentiment that because AP mounts can track past the meridian, that pier flipping
is not really required then, but that couldn't be more misguided IMHO. There are a dozen reasons that do not
include the meridian's position as to why you'd want to flip to the other side, and this is why other brands have
offered this simple and dedicated pier flip feature for over two decades. The idea that pier flipping is meridian based
is strongly misguided.

My feedback here is only to strengthen AP. If a simple pier flip cannot be done with my mount, then I see a gaping
hole in functionality, and friendly feedback like this is hopefully how AP improve their products.

Ray / Rolando, hopefully you guys are correct and I can perform a simple pier flip without having to try and trick the
mount into thinking where the meridian may be. Looking forward to learning how to do that.

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

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