Re: Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Thomas Giannaccini

Thank you Bill,
Yes, this helps. I just emailed Daleen about APCC and APPM so I'll wait to hear back. I believe Backyard Nikon allows this extra functionality you were speaking about; really the DSLR is just to limit what I have to learn right now.  An astro cam is in my near future but probably after an electronic focuser.

Thank you,


On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM Bill Long <bill@...> wrote:
You dont need that box in the first 3 photos. That is not provided with the mount anyhow and its intention is to convert physical serial devices to a USB output.  It is not necessary.

On the CP4, you see one USB and one Ethernet on the left side. That you plug into your computer. You can plug one or both of them in if you would like. Motor cable runs to the connector labeled motor. The encoder box under the RA axis has a cable that plugs into the port labeled encoder. The hand controller (if you have one) plugs into the port labeled keypad. The power plugs into the port labeled 12v DC. 

On your PC you install the following:

  1. ASCOM Platform:
  2. AP V2 ASCOM Driver: Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver and Tutorial Videos (
At this stage you have the basic stuff to connect your PC to the mount and software to the mount that uses ASCOM. You also have the platform installed so other ASCOM devices can work, such as focusers, cameras, filter wheels, etc.

The next step would be to install the software you want to use to control the mount and your imaging devices. That will vary, based on taste. Some common ones include:
  1. Starkeeper Voyager 
  2. NINA
  3. Sequence Generator Pro
  4. PRISM (which you said you already bought)
Since you said you will use a DSLR make sure the software package you install allows you to do that. Not all of them support DSLR cameras. Voyager for example does not, as there is no native DSLR support and I am not aware of any functional DSLR ASCOM drivers. Someone else may know better than me on that topic, as I do not use DSLR's for imaging.

You did mention you bought the mount used, so APCC Pro would require a license transfer from the previous owner to you. Depending on when the seller obtained APCC (or if they did at all) this experience will vary and you should contact Astro-Physics to sort that out. 


From: <> on behalf of Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 2:17 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone for helping me through my question on Park positions. As for the posts on Cloudy Nights…

So this 1100GTO w/ AE and CP4 is my first mount. I bought it from Ken. He drove 27 hours over 2 days to deliver it to me personally, and the price was fair.  So, I do own him a debt of gratitude for that. I believe that the initial aspects of the conversation on Cloudy Nights was just him trying to point me in what he thought was the right direction and including some of his personal experiences in those posts.

It is very obvious to me that we have some incredibly intelligent people both here and on Cloudy Nights. Those people often have various backgrounds which may make the process of setting up astro equipment much easier. It is also very easy to forget how difficult it was to first learn a concept or skill; especially if it happened a long time ago. But please remember, not everyone comes from a physics or computer science background. Personally, I am in healthcare.


I can see how an end user can end up with certain impressions of how astro equipment works based on their experiences. It can take a great deal of research and trial and error to get these things working right, and often its done without someone next to you guiding you through it. I can understand the Astro-Physics community being upset about how certain things were worded. There may be some frustration involved on the part of the poster. So, please, when educational materials are being developed, please take this into consideration. Videos should be given serious consideration.  Some of us do need to be walked through from start to finish because we lack pre-requisite background. I do know Ray has some videos and they are on my near future to-do list. I think they were out of my grasp until now.

I do have decent computer skills and I would say my general trouble shooting skills are pretty darn good. When it comes to connecting astro equipment of any sort to a computer this is a completely new topic for me.

The way I understand it is that ASCOM is the language or platform through which all astro equipment communicates. Easy enough. There are drivers one needs to make various equipment operate. Got that as well. What gets muddy very quickly is how an end user goes about setting up the communication between parts. My father was a network engineer before the birth of mainstream internet and I don’t ask him about this because it strikes me as a special use of common items where the exact details of how the network and software connections are made must be accurate.   I can see very easily how a new user would struggle here.

Com Ports. A place where data must pass through. Virtual ports are different from physical ports. That’s about as much as I understand. When I look at this piece of equipment, I am very puzzled:


Front.jpgBack 1.jpgBack 2.jpg





I see A USB 2.0A/B port and 4 serial ports. Serial ports have what look to be Ethernet to Serial Adapters.  How you would use it and why you would use it was an absolute mystery to me before Ken’s post on CN; especially when you look at the back of the CP4. 


CP4 Picture.jpg



There is already an ethernet and USB 2.0 A/B port on the CP4. Is the USB converter just to add additional ports?


For now, my plan is just to control the 1100 with a peer to peer ethernet connection from my PC.  When we are in the ASCOM settings, COM 1 and such…what exactly do those refer to? If I use a peer to peer ethernet connection, what setting do I use?


I’m sorry for the long email, I felt it was best to keep this all in one piece.


Thank you,




On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 12:16 PM Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:
Thanks, Bill!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf Of Bill Long
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 11:13 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
> Done deal.
> I will keep an eye on that thread and chime in more if he tries to mislead people further.
> HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula uses this group as well. Please do not listen to Ken, he has no idea what he is
> talking about.
> ________________________________
> From: <> on behalf of Ray Gralak
> <iogroups@...>
> Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2021 10:57 AM
> To: <>
> Subject: [ap-gto] Some APCC mis-information on Cloudy Nights
> Hi all,
> It would be appreciated if someone has time to post a response to the incorrect information on Cloudy Nights
> about APCC's Virtual Ports and APPM at this link:
> 0334-has-anyone-used-prism-to-run-an-ap-1100-gto-from-a-
> pc%2F%3Fp%3D11386165&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C619444cd2b544de63c1908d9804e0441%7C84df9e7
> fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637681894831878711%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
> MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=%2F0y60TThJ4m
> Zyf%2B2D3gJYVqbnCkkqDTuOtqA0tyqlTQ%3D&amp;reserved=0
> KennyRichmond (his CN handle) wrote this:
> > APCC Pro can and will set up "virtual" com ports that I found to be worthless.
> Then this:
> >Okay, well...assuming you read the APCC manual (start at pgs. 99-101), you don't need virtual serial ports
> > to connect to SKYX or Pulse Guide.  Just go through Ascom as you did before APCC.
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver uses the virtual COM ports to communicate with APCC. In fact, the first two virtual
> COM ports allow for TWO instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver. One is created for applications that run
> under the regular user account, and the second is created for client applications that are run "as
> administrator". Both instances of the AP V2 ASCOM driver can be active simultaneously because APCC
> multiplexes their requests.
> And this is also incorrect:
> > Virtual Ports start at Com 21, or better yet, Com 31.
> This is not true. Virtual COM ports can start at COM1 and go up from there if there is no COM1 on the
> computer already. Generally, all unused COM ports from COM1 to COM256 are available in the virtual port
> config's drop down list.
> > Point mapping for the purpose of tracking rate calibration is far from perfect.  It may be fun for the
> > stalwarts who obsess over unguided astrophotography, but all of the tinkering in Dec and RA required
> > is seemingly pointless (in my humble estimation) when an on-axis guider achieves the same result with
> > 60 seconds of calibration effort.
> I have no idea what he means by "tinkering in RA and Dec"? Maybe setting the RA and Dec ranges in APPM
> with the sliders?
> -Ray

CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

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