Re: GTOCP4 Caps
I ordered the plastic caps set for mine. They really should come standard with any CPx controller, and the metal ones offered as a valuable option.
Two things to keep in mind about sourcing the such caps elsewhere.
First, the AP set also includes that ... tiny plastic plug ... for the CP4/5 USB port (which I don’t use), and it isn’t one of the common PC caps listed in a recent vendor link. The USB and Ethernet socket protection plugs are essential, since these can - (in some perhaps rare cases, like older mount top-side placement), become “tiny water reservoirs” exposed to dew rolling off an OTA slewing by, potentially puddling inside the controller. My two unfortunate experiences.
The other Mil-Spec Amphenol socket ports not only have hermetically sealed leak-proof pin bases inside their sockets, but are very firmly bolted from behind, preventing any panel seepage.
Second, I wonder if the metal caps could become “FROZEN”, (perhaps) difficult to unscrew, on exceptionally cold northern winter days.
Guess I would have to either have a portable hair dryer or take the controller indoors, or into the heated vehicle to thaw out the caps.
Tony’s detailed, excellent video - as his always are - about sourcing these metal caps, mentions their underlying “rubber cushions” to provide some push-back, allowing the twist-bayonet cap locks to be snugged-up. But, another benefit of the rubber cushion is to hermetically seal up the exposed tops of the pins, during storage, so they don’t oxidize as easily.
However, I would caution about snipping off the “cap chains” if the scope travels to a dark site. You might lose a cap in the snow or dark ground cover, if they aren’t at least tethered by a shared lanyard to the pier/mount. The black plastic caps are far easier to lose.
If I don’t opt for replacing some of them with the metal caps, I may paint the standard AP black ones with glow-in-the-dark paint. Red plastic “CAPLUGS”, like the AP reducer covers, etc. would have been somewhat better in that regard, but round ones may not be commonly available in such a wide assortment.
From: M Hambrick
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 11:58 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTOCP4 Caps
Actually, Astro-Physics offers a set of plastic covers for all of the connectors on the GTOCP4/5 and the mount motors. You will have to call them to order a set. The interest in the metal covers is because they are more durable, and they will stay put, but as a minimum you should get a set of the plastic ones. I think they run about $15.00.