Re: APCC feature request - Get time from mount

W Hilmo

I think that I understand the user's scenario.

They have initialized the mount from a device with accurate time. In my case, I sometimes initialize my mount from Luminos on my phone which has accurate time.

They then connect the computer to the mount. Having spent most of my working career as a software engineer, I have pretty much zero trust in the real time clock on most computers. If they are continuously connected to the internet and syncing to a time source, then they are pretty good, and they tend to stay pretty accurate while running. When you power them down, though, they lose their time information and have to retrieve it from the real time clock when they boot. Partly because I'm a bit OCD, and partly because I do a daytime polar alignment, I want the most accurate time and location information as accurate as possible. Computer real time clocks can drift a noticeable amount over a few days.

The solution that was requested here is to have either the ASCOM driver or APCC able to get the time from the mount and update the PC's time. I would love a similar feature where APCC can use GPS time to update the computer clock. I already have APCC connected to a GPS receiver, so that it can get location information. And APCC can show me the GPS time - but it cannot update the PC clock. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, I believe that this is because updating the PC clock requires administrator privilege, which is not available to APCC unless you "run as administrator", and that is strongly discouraged.

There are workaround for this to be sure. I have multiple, accurate time sources. My watch syncs nightly to a time source. I could just read the time from the watch and enter it manually, for example. What I've chosen to do is to connect a second GPS receiver to my computer. I then have a service that I installed that has sufficient privileges to periodically update the PC time.

It would be convenient for APCC to offer this feature. I could then remove the service, and one of the GPS receivers, from my imaging computer. But I understand why it may not be possible (privileges).

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Mike Dodd
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2021 8:20 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC feature request - Get time from mount

On 9/26/2021 10:51 PM, Brent Boshart wrote:
...The original poster was referring to a circumstance where the
computer is not connected to a network (internet).

If the PC or laptop can be connected to a network every few days (maybe with a wi-fi dongle), the network time sync software could accurately set it then. Most PC clocks are good enough to maintain fairly accurate time over several days.

Or, as The he said, a GPS dongle would do the job. They're inexpensive.

Worst case: Set the PC clock manually by watching an analog clock on a cell phone, and clicking the PC clock button when the cell clock second hand passes 12.

--- Mike

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