Re: APCC/APPM requirements for the Astro-Physics mounts.


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Arvind,

Agreed on the challenges with firmware vs desktop based software delivery but I believe given the prevalence
of internet connected devices and especially in our hobby how we're most often already using an internet
connected computer, applying a firmware patch periodically (can even automate this with customer consent)
might solve the problem. In fact, the more often this is done the less wrinkles such a process would have --
and the firmware process itself could just be limited to Windows. Actually using the model-building & tracking
could be then done using any protocol compliant software (say, NINA to send GoTo commands, align
commands, sync commands etc) because the mount itself would know how to handle those situations
internally without requiring a desktop program. But this is just wishful thinking on my side :-)
There's another side to this. One problem with the modeling being built in the controller approach is that it is then limited to the hardware of the mount's control box. To improve performance or memory would likely mean buying a new, relatively expensive control box. And that still won't have near the performance and memory/storage of even a modest modern laptop. For example, another manufacturer's mounts have a limited number of mapping points, while there is no limit in APCC. Also, testing, debugging, and improving modeling algorithms is much easier on a desktop, which allows more frequent advances and without requiring a hardware update.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Arvind
Sent: Thursday, November 4, 2021 9:22 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC/APPM requirements for the Astro-Physics mounts.

Thank you for the clarification, Mike. It's good to know first hand about these improvements and how they
come together!

Linwood, appreciate your new-customer perspective as well; lots of interesting points & experiences have
been shared in your response, so I thank you for taking the time to be thorough.

Overall it's good to know that I am better off using the APCC Pro than not, especially if I'm going to be
buying an encoder version of A-P mounts to be able to fully utilize its capabilities. I'll be using another mount
for my smaller / portable scopes so I'm exploring options for my toa-150b which will most likely be semi-
permanently mounted and maybe travel with me on rare occasions - likely 1100AE or the 1600AE. I will
continue to track the updates around NINA-APCC integration as well -- NINA is what I am currently using for
image acquisition. I hope the 32-bit issues are addressed on the APMM side though (wouldn't have known if
you have not called this one out, so I will try to learn more!). But good to know these are not deadends and
there are known workarounds.

Agreed on the challenges with firmware vs desktop based software delivery but I believe given the prevalence
of internet connected devices and especially in our hobby how we're most often already using an internet
connected computer, applying a firmware patch periodically (can even automate this with customer consent)
might solve the problem. In fact, the more often this is done the less wrinkles such a process would have --
and the firmware process itself could just be limited to Windows. Actually using the model-building & tracking
could be then done using any protocol compliant software (say, NINA to send GoTo commands, align
commands, sync commands etc) because the mount itself would know how to handle those situations
internally without requiring a desktop program. But this is just wishful thinking on my side :-)

Thanks, and best regards,
Arvind

On Thu, Nov 4, 2021 at 12:17 PM Mike Hanson <mikeh@...> wrote:


Hi Arvind,

There is, in fact, simple modeling provisions in the V5 Keypad and CP5 combo, presently being
shipped with the Mach 2. We are working to make this available for the CP4/keypad combo. Here's some
recent dialog:
https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/search?p=%2C%2C%2C20%2C0%2C0%2C0&q=keypad+model
The keypad provides a simple user interface, while the mount retains the database and performs
corrections based on it.

To address your last question, realize that APPM/APCC runs on the host computer, and can interact
with your camera and other software in ways that the keypad cannot. For example, APPM can initiate image
captures and plate solves, which enables automation in the mapping process. This also enables model data
to adhere strictly to constant-DEC lines, which offers performance advantages in some usage domains.
Either APPM/APCC or the Keypad model can run passively in the background while using other third-party
software.

The keypad model, in contrast, is intended to be ASAP (as simple as possible), with a small learning
curve. It can be used with, but doesn't require, other computer software.

Regards,
Mike Hanson







Join main@ap-gto.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.