Re: Software Update to V5.XXX for Existing Keypads
I generally use my AP mounts without computer and only with the keypad when I do solar imaging. I can do that because I use a DSLR to take photos – generally with either an external or built in interval timer (depending on the camera).
What I find works well for both examination of, and focusing with, the magnified Live View image on the camera LCD AND viewing the menus/text on the keypad is a magnified HOODMAN HoodLoupe that I purchased for the 2017 Great American Eclipse. George had suggested putting a towel over my head to read the keypad, but I found this pretty cumbersome and never got proficient at it.
On Amazon, a quick Google search turned up the following: https://www.amazon.com/Hoodman-H32MB-HoodLoupe-Outdoor-Screens/dp/B074N4Z4J1/ref=asc_df_B074N4Z4J1/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309770125437&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6255938973769466240&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008185&hvtargid=pla-568855316281&th=1
The above link is for a 3.2 in LCD screen.
There are also a number of accessories that you can purchase, some bundled in kits, that I found at B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Hoodman%20Hoodloupe&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&ap=Y&gclid=Cj0KCQjwxJqHBhC4ARIsAChq4atcuubNgdkbWYsQKnciWSrS2EACTVP7E5gay8qc3Xg7Pty94ATbLwkaApxKEALw_wcB
Some accessories allow you to leave the loupe on the back of a DSLR, but that doesn’t give me the freedom I desire. If you use an articulated screen (very common now), like on the Canon Ra (so you’re not on your hands and knees to look out the scope), you have to use two hands to view with the loupe, just as you would need to do with the keypad if you are holding it. (One hand holds the articulating screen still and the other holds the loupe over it. Once settled and the loupe focused, I can hold the loupe still on the LCD screen with pressure from my face and eye socket while I manually focus the scope.)
When I’m solar observing, I have the loupe lanyard (comes with it) around my neck and it allows ready access to the loupe so I can use it for either the camera/focusing or the keypad. The loupe is also useful before dark as well on the keypad - when checking altitude adjustment from Park 5 for example – although I have the necessary keystrokes memorized at this point.
Hope this helps.
p.s. It’s important to first focus the loupe itself with the its own diopter adjustment. I focus on the lettering projected on the screen and I found it quite easy and quite quick to get the loupe in good focus. That focus generally holds for then moving it to the keypad.