Re: APCC "don't unpack" question


Hi Linda

I don't know if this will help, but here's how i do it for complete automation and starting the sequences well before the actual start time

when I first initialize my 1600, i then park it (park 3). 

When the imaging sequence finishes for the night, it parks the telescope, and it sits there waiting for the next night. 

I do not power cycle the mount, and instead leave everything powered on

so for me the initialize/park issue is only when we power cycle everything (which also includes the computer, so i'm focused on re-setting up everything anyways)


On Thu, Aug 12, 2021 at 10:35 AM Linda Thomas <linda@...> wrote:
Thanks, Howard, for all those details. 

I verified that it’s set to zero in the “Edit Initialize Mount Settings” dialog and then verified the same behavior still exists.

Perhaps if I clarify why I’m trying to do this someone might suggest a better alternative. It seemed the simplest solution at first glance but clearly it has complexity that I wasn’t aware of.

The mount is in a remote observatory and given the time difference anyone on the team might kick up the evening’s run off well before actual imaging time. The script should park the mount but in case something went wrong somewhere we wanted to make sure the mount was in it’s most secure state and not capable of moving on its own. I know setitng tracking to zero keeps it from moving but parked seemed like the safer alternative. If Voyager were to crash or get otherwise confused we didn’t want the mount to be moving, potentially for hours, without anyone paying attention.

Right now, we have to make sure we catch that “you didn’t really mean it” dialog and it wouldn’t be hard to miss if someone got distracted when doing startup. That’s the impetus for my question.

If there is a better way to do this, I can change the way we do startup.


On Aug 12, 2021, at 12:55 PM, Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:

Hi Sam and Linda,


George and I will get together with Ray and see if we can clarify all of this.  (Ray, please don’t make any changes until we talk.) For now, here are some additional comments:
  • Unparking a mount is an integral part of initialization.  This is not something inherent to APCC or the AP V2 driver.  It is instead inherent to the AP GTO system and has been a part of the GTOCPx since the outset back in the late 1990s.  There is a single command which completes the initialization and simultaneously unparks the mount.  Completing initialization necessarily unparks the mount.
  • Initialization unparks the mount, but unparking the mount does not necessarily involve initialization.  Initialization only happens once per power-cycle (power-on / power-off). 
  • If you park the mount in mid-session to wait for the next target to get high enough, or to go grab a slice of pizza, you won’t reinitialize the mount when you unpark it. 
  • Either scenario for unparking can be set so that it does NOT start tracking by setting the tracking rate to zero before unparking.  This is done as George described below.
  • The  * Stop Tracking after unparking * checkbox in APCC’s Park tab is intended for mid-session parks and unparks.  It does not really apply to initialization.
  • We added the behavior in APCC to always revert to unparking from last parked.  This is why APCC doesn’t appear to believe you, Linda when you set it to:  * Don’t Unpark. *.  In hindsight, we should have included an exception for the * Don’t Unpark * option.
  • Finally Linda, Tracking must be set to zero in the  * Edit Initialize Mount Settings * window – NOT the plain old * Initialize Mount * window.  You know you have the right place if there is a * Save * button at the bottom, and of course, you want to save the new settings before testing. 


Brian Valente

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