Date   

Re: Pier for 1100GTO #Guiding

weems@...
 

My understanding is that the diameter is more significant than the thickness of the tube. Why not just pour a 12” diameter concrete pier with a Dan’s pier plate and AP adapter? That would be stiffer than an 8” tube, and less expensive than a whole new metal pier. 

Chip 


Pier for 1100GTO #Guiding

dbrannan0523@...
 

I have an 1100GTO mount on order and plan to house it in an observatory on permanent pier with imaging in mind.   I own an old AP 8" diameter portable pier.  Would anchoring this in concrete and filling the tube with sand be sufficiently stable or is there clear benefit in purchasing a heavier thicker permanent pier for best performance.  Any thoughts?


ISS Tracking with APCC & Horizons plus using handbox buttons ??

drgert1
 

Hello All,

Alas, a recent ISS passage and the ISS tracking questions pour in. :-)

I guess this is for Ray.  Tracking ISS yesterday with APCC / Horizons / AP1200 worked reasonably well.
Video from the AP130 with 2x barlow and Canon T3i
http://skywatcher.space/download/iss_20210316.mp4

During the tracking I tried to use the hand-paddle buttons to superimpose correction onto the tracking trying to keep the ISS in the camera view screen. It somehow worked a bit but I had the feeling that the tracking was 'fighting' me back. Once I pushed a button to move the ISS to the center 'something' pushed it back by a bit moments later. I got some success by over-compensating and ISS got then back (closer) to center. At one point in this effort however it got lost outside the view  finder screen and never came back.

Question:
  • What is happening there?
  • Is it a correct expectation to operate the hand paddle buttons independent from the APCC tracking? (My thinking is that the APCC uses custom tracking rate which is something different from what the buttons do). Is that assumption correct?
  • Really cool would be to have a USB access to a PC 'gaming' joystick and use that to move the mount. Any ideas in the AP mount driver to support that?

As always great shout-out to Ray for the excellent work he does!

Cheers,
Gert


Re: Tracking ISS with Horizons #APCC #Mach2GTO

Brent Boshart
 

It appears the first screen displays RA rate in arcsec/sec but the second screen displays the RA rate in sec/sec?  Since there is 15 degrees in 1 hr RA to convert sec/sec to arcsec/ hr would be 11.06992 x 15 x 60 x 60 = 597775.   I cannot explain why it does that but that is what appears to be happening?


Re: Tracking ISS with Horizons #APCC #Mach2GTO

David Johnson
 

Okay, I’ve been playing around with this, both using the Test Tracking and in real-time, albeit in my basement due to the clouds, and I am learning how this works, but I do have one relatively simple question.  

Tonight I did a run in real-time and also using Test Tracking.  The numbers in Test Tracking puzzle me..  The first image shows the screen during the real-time run.  Note the values for RA and Dec rates, in arc-sec/sec and arc-sec/hour.  Both rates show as roughly comparable for both units (arc-sec/sec and arc-sec/hr).



Now, look at the second image.  The values in arc-sec/hr are roughly the same, but the values in arc-sec/sec are more than an order of magnitude different.  Am I missing something here?



Thanks.


Re: Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Bob,

Unfortunately, Sky6 has very little support for ASCOM, and it may not support the ASCOM Park operation. However, you can park the mount from the AP V2 ASCOM driver.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Gillette via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 2:20 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver #ASCOM_V2_Driver

I run my AP900/CP3 setup from MaxIM DL 5.24 and TheSky6 (yes, I know.) All worked fine until I decided to
download the current AP driver 5.3010 and the current ASCOM plugin for TheSky5/6, V5.0.04.

MaxIM does now talk to TheSky and everybody talks to the mount. But...in TheSky/Telescope/Options, the menus
to set tracking rates and to park the scope have now disappeared. Yes, I have specified in the AP driver setup
utility that the mount should start and end at Park 1.

But I can no longer find a. command anywhere to actually park the scope. (Or to set tracking rates, which is useful
as I do both DSO and linear/planetary imaging.

How to fix this?

Thanks, Bob Gillette


Re: Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Don Anderson
 

Bob
I have an almost identical setup. Mine is: AP900GOTO CP3, The Sky6 serious astronomer, MaximDL6.11, AP Ascom driver ver 5.30.1. I haven't updated the Sky Ascom plug in for a couple of years but I don't believe it has changed for several years. You mention that in The Sky/Telescope/Options there is no longer a menu to set tracking rates and park options. I have never seen those options in The Sky. All I get for choices is "focus control and slew" .I use the AP Ascom driver to set the park position and tracking rate.

With regard to using Park1, AP discourages it's use because if your computer or hand controller clock is off by only a few seconds, a park1 command can send the scope diving under the pier. I personally have not had a problem with that since I keep the CP3 clock, computer clock and hand controller clock in sync. Park 4 is pretty much the same and is safer to use. I use Park 3 pretty much all the time now.
As I said above, you can do all your park options and tracking rate setting through the AP driver.
Hope this helps

Don Anderson


On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 03:20:38 p.m. MDT, Bob Gillette via groups.io <tekic545@...> wrote:


I run my AP900/CP3 setup from MaxIM DL 5.24 and TheSky6 (yes, I know.) All worked fine until I decided to download the  current AP driver 5.3010 and the current ASCOM plugin for TheSky5/6, V5.0.04.

MaxIM does now talk to TheSky and everybody talks to the mount. But...in TheSky/Telescope/Options, the menus to set tracking rates and to park the scope have now disappeared.  Yes, I have specified in the AP driver setup utility that the mount should start and end at Park 1.

But I can no longer find a. command anywhere to actually park the scope. (Or to set tracking rates, which is useful as I do both DSO and linear/planetary imaging.

How to fix this?

Thanks, Bob Gillette


Re: APCC model like Mach2

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Max,

That feature has been done for over 18 months, having been in successful beta-tests during that time. However, it will be bundled with a few other new features (like support for plate solves using ASTAP) that are still under test and development. I can't give you a specific date yet because progress depends on the weather and other factors.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Max Mirot via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 8:56 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] APCC model like Mach2

Ray,

When is the Dec arc tracking model coming out in APCC?
I would like trying with my AP1100

Thanks

Max Mirot


Re: Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Bob Gillette
 

Thanks, John. I've also read that.  Park 1 has never been a problem for me, but I'd happily go with Park 4 if something gave me any park options.  (I parked the scope today with the handset, but that's so... manual.)

CS, Bob


Re: Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver

John Shutz
 

This probably doesn't help with your issue, I have an undated AP document that advises the previous Park 1 position has been relegated to obsolete status and replaced by the new Park 4 position.  This has something to do with lessening the chance of contact between the scope and pier using the Park 1 position which would often slew under the horizon after a start up from park.  Park 4 has the same advantages as Park 1, but minimizes any lower than the horizon slews.  However, according to the document, Park 1 has not been deleted, AP advises you could still use it but do so with caution.  That tells me Park 1 is still an active option just like the other park positions and your problem doesn't relate to the AP advisory I mentioned.  I wonder if APCC has any influence here? You would expect the AP driver setup utility would dictate things, who's the boss?   



----- Original Message -----
From:
main@ap-gto.groups.io

To:
<main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Cc:

Sent:
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 14:20:30 -0700
Subject:
[ap-gto] Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver #ASCOM_V2_Driver


I run my AP900/CP3 setup from MaxIM DL 5.24 and TheSky6 (yes, I know.) All worked fine until I decided to download the  current AP driver 5.3010 and the current ASCOM plugin for TheSky5/6, V5.0.04.

MaxIM does now talk to TheSky and everybody talks to the mount. But...in TheSky/Telescope/Options, the menus to set tracking rates and to park the scope have now disappeared.  Yes, I have specified in the AP driver setup utility that the mount should start and end at Park 1.

But I can no longer find a command anywhere to actually park the scope. (Or to set tracking rates, which is useful as I do both DSO and linear/planetary imaging.

How to fix this?

Thanks, Bob Gillette


Help Parking AP 900 in TheSky #ASCOM_V2_Driver

Bob Gillette
 

I run my AP900/CP3 setup from MaxIM DL 5.24 and TheSky6 (yes, I know.) All worked fine until I decided to download the  current AP driver 5.3010 and the current ASCOM plugin for TheSky5/6, V5.0.04.

MaxIM does now talk to TheSky and everybody talks to the mount. But...in TheSky/Telescope/Options, the menus to set tracking rates and to park the scope have now disappeared.  Yes, I have specified in the AP driver setup utility that the mount should start and end at Park 1.

But I can no longer find a. command anywhere to actually park the scope. (Or to set tracking rates, which is useful as I do both DSO and linear/planetary imaging.

How to fix this?

Thanks, Bob Gillette


Re: Running APMM with Moon

mjb87@...
 

Thanks very much for the advice.

My apologies for the APPM in the title -- I keep getting it all confused.


APCC model like Mach2

Max Mirot
 

Ray,

When is the Dec arc tracking model coming out in APCC?
I would like trying with my AP1100

Thanks

Max Mirot


Re: AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

Jack Huerkamp
 

Ray,

Thanks,

Right now I have Auto-Connect set to EXT as I am using APCC to initialize the mount. I assume I will need to set Auto-Connect to YES since I only have one location programmed into the keypad. Is that correct?

Jack

Jack Huerkamp
Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC
38388 Pine Street
Pearl River, LA 70452-5192
985-445-5063
mallincamusa@gmail.com
www.mallincamusa.com
30.37N 89.76W

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.
………………………………….Neil Peart

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 9:39 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

Hi Jack,

The sky does not care if I am in standard time or daylight savings
time. Is it possible to set the keypad on the
AP1600 to Central time and Winter, and also set the computer to
Standard Time not subject to changing when daylight savings time
changes occur? If so, the mount and computer would be in sync. They
both would have a different time showing than local time, but who cares as long as the planetarium program is able to slew to targets successfully.
You can do that if you:

1. Turn off the time synchronization option in the AP V2 ASCOM driver 2. If you use APCC, turn off time synchronization in APCC.
3. Always initialize the mount with the hand controller and not with the AP V2 driver, or APCC.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf
Of Jack Huerkamp
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 7:08 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to
Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

I woke up this morning and started thinking again about the issue with
daylight savings time and my AP1600 mount/keypad. I know that can be dangerous!



The sky does not care if I am in standard time or daylight savings
time. Is it possible to set the keypad on the
AP1600 to Central time and Winter, and also set the computer to
Standard Time not subject to changing when daylight savings time
changes occur? If so, the mount and computer would be in sync. They
both would have a different time showing than local time, but who cares as long as the planetarium program is able to slew to targets successfully.



Yours truly,



Jack



Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@gmail.com <mailto:mallincamusa@gmail.com>

www.mallincamusa.com <http://www.mallincamusa.com/>

30.37N 89.76W



All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart







From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Don
Anderson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 10:15 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to
Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control



Me too. takes 60 seconds to make the biannual change in the keypad.



Don Anderson





On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 06:44:38 p.m. MDT, Jack Huerkamp <mallincamusa@gmail.com> wrote:





Dale and the Others Who Responded,



I tried leaving the AP keypad set to UT and setting the PC to my local
time (CDT) and added a second UT Clock. I got a similar view to what
you sent to me. I tried setting my location in SkyTools to Central
Time with Auto DST enabled in SkyTools. I tried to slew to the Sun at
about 5PM CDT and from the Park 3 position, the mount started moving to the eastern side of the meridian. The Sun was setting in the WSW. I stopped the slew, parked the mount in the Park 3 position and shut down SkyTools and APCC.



I powered the mount down, waited 30 seconds and powered it back up. I
set the keypad to Central Time and Summer. I set the computer time to
Central Time, eliminated the second time zone (UT) and started
SkyTools. I set my location to Central and enabled auto DST rules. I connected the mount to Sky Tools, did a slew to the Sun, it did so with the Sun centered.



I give up on trying to use UT in the keypad and will have to bite the
bullet and change the keypad twice a year to conform to either winter
or summer. Using this technique for 6 years has worked. I just
wanted to eliminate the semi-annual change the keypad time routine. But I am finding the doing so is easier and less stressful than trying to use UT.



Yours truly,



Jack



Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@gmail.com <mailto:mallincamusa@gmail.com>

www.mallincamusa.com <http://www.mallincamusa.com/>

30.37N 89.76W



All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart





From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale
Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 11:24 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to
Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control





As the document implies, confusion can be lessened by just running all
the things in UTC, especially if the person is unaccustomed to
operating in multiple time zones. By having your PC and keypad display
in UTC, you won't have to change the GMT offset on the keypad twice each year and the time on the keypad will always match the time displayed on your PC. In that sense, such consistency might be attractive to some people.



But it isn't an absolute must for proper operation of the mount. You
can still run your PC and keypad in any combination of UTC and local
time, you just need to be aware of what the keypad is set to
regardless, and if it is set to something other than GMT/UTC, then you will need to manually adjust the timezone offset twice a year if you are in a locale that observes some form of DST.



In Windows (and, at least Windows 10, I'm not sure about previous
versions) you can configure the clock in the system tray to display
the time in multiple timezones. For example, my imaging PC's clock's
main display is my local time zone (US/Eastern), but I added UTC as well if you mouse over it. You add time zones to display under the system time settings in Windows.









On Mar 16, 2021, at 11:29, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@gmail.com> wrote:

Dale,

I got this link from George at Astro-Physics in which it says for a
dedicated observatory PC, to set its clock to UT along with the hand
controller being set to UT:

https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad/keypad-setting-gmt-utc
.pdf

But it sounds like you are saying to set the observatory PC to local time
and the hand controller to UT, since SkyTools in my case is looking to the
computer time to locate targets.

If so, I will go to the observatory today and set the computer back to local
time, set SkyTools as well and see what happens.

Yours truly,

Jack

Jack Huerkamp
Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC
38388 Pine Street
Pearl River, LA 70452-5192
985-445-5063
mallincamusa@gmail.com
www.mallincamusa.com
30.37N 89.76W

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.
..............Neil Peart



-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 8:58 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary
Astronomy Programs for Control


So here's the deal: the mount CP deals only in UTC. All calculations
involving positions of objects in the sky are done UTC. For the purposes of
a mount's internal operations, UTC is the only thing that matters.

When you set the timezone on the keypad, you are essentially just
configuring the keypad's display and input of UTC time as local time. The
mount itself doesn't care that your offset from GMT is now -5 instead of -6.
That factors into none of its operations and calculations. What it does
factor into is how your keypad displays time, and how it converts time that
you input to and from UTC. The former - displaying the same time as your
local time - is just for convenience. The latter - inputting your local time
- is critical for the mount to derive the proper UTC time if you were to
program the mount's clock using the keypad. So if your local time is
18:45:00 and you were to program your mount's clock using the keypad today,
it would definitely need to know your current offset from GMT so that the
proper conversion to UTC can take place (that it would be 23:45:00 UTC).

The reason why you have to manually set the GMT offset in your keypad every
time DST begins or ends (or if you move to a different timezone altogether)
is because the keypad lacks its own timezone database that it can use to do
this automatically. You might ask "well how hard would it be for the keypad
to have one so that I don't need to do this". It's a valid question, but the
reasons are fairly basic. The timezone database is large and would occupy a
non-trivial amount of the keypad's very finite amount of static memory. It
also changes quite often as various countries and locales change their DST
observances or, in rare cases, which timezone(s) they are in. This would
demand that A-P issue several firmware updates a year in order to keep up
with these changes.

As for the computer and accessing the mount through the ASCOM driver, this
changes the situation in terms of mount time management. In this case, it is
presumed that your computer's clock is reasonably accurate as any modern OS
will automatically sync the computer's clock to an internet time source at
least once a week or more often, assuming it has internet access. There is a
setting in the A-P ASCOM driver to sync the computer's clock to the mount.
This should always be on if your computer's clock is reasonably accurate.
The ASCOM driver itself will then program the mount in UTC time directly in
this case. Despite your computer's timezone being set to US/Central, the OS
itself still operates in UTC internally. Because your OS does have a
maintained timezone database, it can do the display and input conversions
between your timezone and its internal clock, which runs in UTC.

So, the only reason why you would want to run your computer in UTC is if you
prefer viewing time that way. Even if you set the display of time on your PC
to be in your local timezone, the mount is still going to get programmed
with the proper time in UTC. It makes no difference to the mount.

As for the keypad, you can also just leave it with a timezone offset of 0 so
that it displays and takes input in UTC. However if you want it do display
and take time input in terms of your local time, you will need to manually
set the proper GMT offset whenever DST starts and ends.




On Mar 16, 2021, at 09:13, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@gmail.com> wrote:

I use SkyTools 3 and SkyTools 4 to control my AP1600 mount using the
ASCOM

driver. But every 6 months, I was having to switch the AP keypad from
standard time to daylight savings time and then back again 6 months later.
It was suggested to me to set the AP keypad to UT and also setting the
computer to UT to avoid have to mess with keypad settings every 6 months. I
did so and can control the mount using the keypad.


I then tried configuring my observatory location, but when I
connected the

mount to SkyTools and did a slew to the Sun this afternoon, the scope tried
to aim into the ground on the southwest side of the pier. I need to know
how to set my location in SkyTools now that the mount and computer are set
to UT. I am in the Central US time zone.


I would appreciate feedback on this as I would hate to have to go
back to

setting the computer and AP keypad to the current local time.


Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp









--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com











<http://www.avg.com/email-signature?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&u
tm_campaign=sig-
email&utm_content=emailclient>

Virus-free. www.avg.com <http://www.avg.com/email-
signature?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_
content=emailclient>








--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com


Re: Bench testing / learning APCC with JPL Horizon for ISS

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Gert,

Is there a way to play with APCC and JPL horizons without mount connection to practice for ISS?
No, sorry there is not.

Any way to get to a better practice session?
The best and only way to practice is with the mount connected. With Horizon issuing moves to the mount, you can see in advance where it is pointing and ensure the mount can keep up with the specific track across the sky.

-Ray

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of drgert1 via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 6:05 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Bench testing / learning APCC with JPL Horizon for ISS

Hello all,

Is there a way to play with APCC and JPL horizons without mount connection to practice for ISS?
I mean some way where the software emulates the mount and allows me to run the JPL ephemeris and mimic the
tracking of ISS on my desk?
Just trying it I get a big blinking display 'No response from mount'. Any way to get to a better practice session?

Thanks,
Gert


Re: AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Jack,

The sky does not care if I am in standard time or daylight savings time. Is it possible to set the keypad on the
AP1600 to Central time and Winter, and also set the computer to Standard Time not subject to changing when
daylight savings time changes occur? If so, the mount and computer would be in sync. They both would have a
different time showing than local time, but who cares as long as the planetarium program is able to slew to targets
successfully.
You can do that if you:

1. Turn off the time synchronization option in the AP V2 ASCOM driver
2. If you use APCC, turn off time synchronization in APCC.
3. Always initialize the mount with the hand controller and not with the AP V2 driver, or APCC.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jack Huerkamp
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 7:08 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

I woke up this morning and started thinking again about the issue with daylight savings time and my AP1600
mount/keypad. I know that can be dangerous!



The sky does not care if I am in standard time or daylight savings time. Is it possible to set the keypad on the
AP1600 to Central time and Winter, and also set the computer to Standard Time not subject to changing when
daylight savings time changes occur? If so, the mount and computer would be in sync. They both would have a
different time showing than local time, but who cares as long as the planetarium program is able to slew to targets
successfully.



Yours truly,



Jack



Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@gmail.com <mailto:mallincamusa@gmail.com>

www.mallincamusa.com <http://www.mallincamusa.com/>

30.37N 89.76W



All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart







From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Don Anderson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 10:15 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control



Me too. takes 60 seconds to make the biannual change in the keypad.



Don Anderson





On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 06:44:38 p.m. MDT, Jack Huerkamp <mallincamusa@gmail.com> wrote:





Dale and the Others Who Responded,



I tried leaving the AP keypad set to UT and setting the PC to my local time (CDT) and added a second UT Clock. I
got a similar view to what you sent to me. I tried setting my location in SkyTools to Central Time with Auto DST
enabled in SkyTools. I tried to slew to the Sun at about 5PM CDT and from the Park 3 position, the mount started
moving to the eastern side of the meridian. The Sun was setting in the WSW. I stopped the slew, parked the mount
in the Park 3 position and shut down SkyTools and APCC.



I powered the mount down, waited 30 seconds and powered it back up. I set the keypad to Central Time and
Summer. I set the computer time to Central Time, eliminated the second time zone (UT) and started SkyTools. I
set my location to Central and enabled auto DST rules. I connected the mount to Sky Tools, did a slew to the Sun,
it did so with the Sun centered.



I give up on trying to use UT in the keypad and will have to bite the bullet and change the keypad twice a year to
conform to either winter or summer. Using this technique for 6 years has worked. I just wanted to eliminate the
semi-annual change the keypad time routine. But I am finding the doing so is easier and less stressful than trying to
use UT.



Yours truly,



Jack



Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@gmail.com <mailto:mallincamusa@gmail.com>

www.mallincamusa.com <http://www.mallincamusa.com/>

30.37N 89.76W



All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart





From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 11:24 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control





As the document implies, confusion can be lessened by just running all the things in UTC, especially if the person is
unaccustomed to operating in multiple time zones. By having your PC and keypad display in UTC, you won't have
to change the GMT offset on the keypad twice each year and the time on the keypad will always match the time
displayed on your PC. In that sense, such consistency might be attractive to some people.



But it isn't an absolute must for proper operation of the mount. You can still run your PC and keypad in any
combination of UTC and local time, you just need to be aware of what the keypad is set to regardless, and if it is set
to something other than GMT/UTC, then you will need to manually adjust the timezone offset twice a year if you are
in a locale that observes some form of DST.



In Windows (and, at least Windows 10, I'm not sure about previous versions) you can configure the clock in the
system tray to display the time in multiple timezones. For example, my imaging PC's clock's main display is my
local time zone (US/Eastern), but I added UTC as well if you mouse over it. You add time zones to display under
the system time settings in Windows.









On Mar 16, 2021, at 11:29, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@gmail.com> wrote:

Dale,

I got this link from George at Astro-Physics in which it says for a
dedicated observatory PC, to set its clock to UT along with the hand
controller being set to UT:

https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad/keypad-setting-gmt-utc
.pdf

But it sounds like you are saying to set the observatory PC to local time
and the hand controller to UT, since SkyTools in my case is looking to the
computer time to locate targets.

If so, I will go to the observatory today and set the computer back to local
time, set SkyTools as well and see what happens.

Yours truly,

Jack

Jack Huerkamp
Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC
38388 Pine Street
Pearl River, LA 70452-5192
985-445-5063
mallincamusa@gmail.com
www.mallincamusa.com
30.37N 89.76W

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.
..............Neil Peart



-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 8:58 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary
Astronomy Programs for Control


So here's the deal: the mount CP deals only in UTC. All calculations
involving positions of objects in the sky are done UTC. For the purposes of
a mount's internal operations, UTC is the only thing that matters.

When you set the timezone on the keypad, you are essentially just
configuring the keypad's display and input of UTC time as local time. The
mount itself doesn't care that your offset from GMT is now -5 instead of -6.
That factors into none of its operations and calculations. What it does
factor into is how your keypad displays time, and how it converts time that
you input to and from UTC. The former - displaying the same time as your
local time - is just for convenience. The latter - inputting your local time
- is critical for the mount to derive the proper UTC time if you were to
program the mount's clock using the keypad. So if your local time is
18:45:00 and you were to program your mount's clock using the keypad today,
it would definitely need to know your current offset from GMT so that the
proper conversion to UTC can take place (that it would be 23:45:00 UTC).

The reason why you have to manually set the GMT offset in your keypad every
time DST begins or ends (or if you move to a different timezone altogether)
is because the keypad lacks its own timezone database that it can use to do
this automatically. You might ask "well how hard would it be for the keypad
to have one so that I don't need to do this". It's a valid question, but the
reasons are fairly basic. The timezone database is large and would occupy a
non-trivial amount of the keypad's very finite amount of static memory. It
also changes quite often as various countries and locales change their DST
observances or, in rare cases, which timezone(s) they are in. This would
demand that A-P issue several firmware updates a year in order to keep up
with these changes.

As for the computer and accessing the mount through the ASCOM driver, this
changes the situation in terms of mount time management. In this case, it is
presumed that your computer's clock is reasonably accurate as any modern OS
will automatically sync the computer's clock to an internet time source at
least once a week or more often, assuming it has internet access. There is a
setting in the A-P ASCOM driver to sync the computer's clock to the mount.
This should always be on if your computer's clock is reasonably accurate.
The ASCOM driver itself will then program the mount in UTC time directly in
this case. Despite your computer's timezone being set to US/Central, the OS
itself still operates in UTC internally. Because your OS does have a
maintained timezone database, it can do the display and input conversions
between your timezone and its internal clock, which runs in UTC.

So, the only reason why you would want to run your computer in UTC is if you
prefer viewing time that way. Even if you set the display of time on your PC
to be in your local timezone, the mount is still going to get programmed
with the proper time in UTC. It makes no difference to the mount.

As for the keypad, you can also just leave it with a timezone offset of 0 so
that it displays and takes input in UTC. However if you want it do display
and take time input in terms of your local time, you will need to manually
set the proper GMT offset whenever DST starts and ends.




On Mar 16, 2021, at 09:13, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@gmail.com> wrote:

I use SkyTools 3 and SkyTools 4 to control my AP1600 mount using the ASCOM

driver. But every 6 months, I was having to switch the AP keypad from
standard time to daylight savings time and then back again 6 months later.
It was suggested to me to set the AP keypad to UT and also setting the
computer to UT to avoid have to mess with keypad settings every 6 months. I
did so and can control the mount using the keypad.


I then tried configuring my observatory location, but when I connected the

mount to SkyTools and did a slew to the Sun this afternoon, the scope tried
to aim into the ground on the southwest side of the pier. I need to know
how to set my location in SkyTools now that the mount and computer are set
to UT. I am in the Central US time zone.


I would appreciate feedback on this as I would hate to have to go back to

setting the computer and AP keypad to the current local time.


Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp









--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com










<http://www.avg.com/email-signature?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-
email&utm_content=emailclient>

Virus-free. www.avg.com <http://www.avg.com/email-
signature?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=emailclient>


Re: AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

Jack Huerkamp
 

I woke up this morning and started thinking again about the issue with daylight savings time and my AP1600 mount/keypad.  I know that can be dangerous!

 

The sky does not care if I am in standard time or daylight savings time.  Is it possible to set the keypad on the AP1600 to Central time and Winter, and also set the computer to Standard Time not subject to changing when daylight savings time changes occur?  If so, the mount and computer would be in sync.  They both would have a different time showing than local time, but who cares as long as the planetarium program is able to slew to targets successfully.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Don Anderson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 10:15 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

 

Me too. takes 60 seconds to make the biannual change in the keypad.

 

Don Anderson

 

 

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 06:44:38 p.m. MDT, Jack Huerkamp <mallincamusa@...> wrote:

 

 

Dale and the Others Who Responded,

 

I tried leaving the AP keypad set to UT and setting the PC to my local time (CDT) and added a second UT Clock.  I got a similar view to what you sent to me.  I tried setting my location in SkyTools to Central Time with Auto DST enabled in SkyTools.  I tried to slew to the Sun at about 5PM CDT and from the Park 3 position, the mount started moving to the eastern side of the meridian.  The Sun was setting in the WSW.  I stopped the slew, parked the mount in the Park 3 position and shut down SkyTools and APCC.

 

I powered the mount down, waited 30 seconds and powered it back up.  I set the keypad to Central Time and Summer.  I set the computer time to Central Time, eliminated the second time zone (UT) and started SkyTools.  I set my location to Central and enabled auto DST rules.  I connected the mount to Sky Tools, did a slew to the Sun, it did so with the Sun centered.

 

I give up on trying to use UT in the keypad and will have to bite the bullet and change the keypad twice a year to conform to either winter or summer.  Using this technique for 6 years has worked.  I just wanted to eliminate the semi-annual change the keypad time routine.  But I am finding the doing so is easier and less stressful than trying to use UT.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 11:24 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

 

 

As the document implies, confusion can be lessened by just running all the things in UTC, especially if the person is unaccustomed to operating in multiple time zones. By having your PC and keypad display in UTC, you won't have to change the GMT offset on the keypad twice each year and the time on the keypad will always match the time displayed on your PC. In that sense, such consistency might be attractive to some people.

 

But it isn't an absolute must for proper operation of the mount. You can still run your PC and keypad in any combination of UTC and local time, you just need to be aware of what the keypad is set to regardless, and if it is set to something other than GMT/UTC, then you will need to manually adjust the timezone offset twice a year if you are in a locale that observes some form of DST.

 

In Windows (and, at least Windows 10, I'm not sure about previous versions) you can configure the clock in the system tray to display the time in multiple timezones. For example, my imaging PC's clock's main display is my local time zone (US/Eastern), but I added UTC as well if you mouse over it. You add time zones to display under the system time settings in Windows.

 

 

 

On Mar 16, 2021, at 11:29, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Dale,

I got this link from George at Astro-Physics in which it says for a
dedicated observatory PC, to set its clock to UT along with the hand
controller being set to UT:

https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad/keypad-setting-gmt-utc
.pdf

But it sounds like you are saying to set the observatory PC to local time
and the hand controller to UT, since SkyTools in my case is looking to the
computer time to locate targets.

If so, I will go to the observatory today and set the computer back to local
time, set SkyTools as well and see what happens.

Yours truly,

Jack

Jack Huerkamp
Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC
38388 Pine Street
Pearl River, LA 70452-5192
985-445-5063
mallincamusa@...
www.mallincamusa.com
30.37N  89.76W

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.
..............Neil Peart



-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 8:58 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary
Astronomy Programs for Control


So here's the deal: the mount CP deals only in UTC. All calculations
involving positions of objects in the sky are done UTC. For the purposes of
a mount's internal operations, UTC is the only thing that matters.

When you set the timezone on the keypad, you are essentially just
configuring the keypad's display and input of UTC time as local time. The
mount itself doesn't care that your offset from GMT is now -5 instead of -6.
That factors into none of its operations and calculations. What it does
factor into is how your keypad displays time, and how it converts time that
you input to and from UTC. The former - displaying the same time as your
local time - is just for convenience. The latter - inputting your local time
- is critical for the mount to derive the proper UTC time if you were to
program the mount's clock using the keypad. So if your local time is
18:45:00 and you were to program your mount's clock using the keypad today,
it would definitely need to know your current offset from GMT so that the
proper conversion to UTC can take place (that it would be 23:45:00 UTC).

The reason why you have to manually set the GMT offset in your keypad every
time DST begins or ends (or if you move to a different timezone altogether)
is because the keypad lacks its own timezone database that it can use to do
this automatically. You might ask "well how hard would it be for the keypad
to have one so that I don't need to do this". It's a valid question, but the
reasons are fairly basic. The timezone database is large and would occupy a
non-trivial amount of the keypad's very finite amount of static memory. It
also changes quite often as various countries and locales change their DST
observances or, in rare cases, which timezone(s) they are in. This would
demand that A-P issue several firmware updates a year in order to keep up
with these changes.

As for the computer and accessing the mount through the ASCOM driver, this
changes the situation in terms of mount time management. In this case, it is
presumed that your computer's clock is reasonably accurate as any modern OS
will automatically sync the computer's clock to an internet time source at
least once a week or more often, assuming it has internet access. There is a
setting in the A-P ASCOM driver to sync the computer's clock to the mount.
This should always be on if your computer's clock is reasonably accurate.
The ASCOM driver itself will then program the mount in UTC time directly in
this case. Despite your computer's timezone being set to US/Central, the OS
itself still operates in UTC internally. Because your OS does have a
maintained timezone database, it can do the display and input conversions
between your timezone and its internal clock, which runs in UTC.

So, the only reason why you would want to run your computer in UTC is if you
prefer viewing time that way. Even if you set the display of time on your PC
to be in your local timezone, the mount is still going to get programmed
with the proper time in UTC. It makes no difference to the mount.

As for the keypad, you can also just leave it with a timezone offset of 0 so
that it displays and takes input in UTC. However if you want it do display
and take time input in terms of your local time, you will need to manually
set the proper GMT offset whenever DST starts and ends.


On Mar 16, 2021, at 09:13, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

I use SkyTools 3 and SkyTools 4 to control my AP1600 mount using the ASCOM

driver.  But every 6 months, I was having to switch the AP keypad from
standard time to daylight savings time and then back again 6 months later.
It was suggested to me to set the AP keypad to UT and also setting the
computer to UT to avoid have to mess with keypad settings every 6 months.  I
did so and can control the mount using the keypad.


I then tried configuring my observatory location, but when I connected the

mount to SkyTools and did a slew to the Sun this afternoon, the scope tried
to aim into the ground on the southwest side of the pier.  I need to know
how to set my location in SkyTools now that the mount and computer are set
to UT.  I am in the Central US time zone.


I would appreciate feedback on this as I would hate to have to go back to

setting the computer and AP keypad to the current local time.


Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp









-- 
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com




 

 

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Which GTOCP* connection do you use?

Kenneth Tan
 

No problem with laptop. Problem is with the ultraportable asi air pro .... which, otherwise works beautifully with a minimum dangling wires. 

On Wed, 17 Mar 2021 at 10:26, John <obee11@...> wrote:
Aloha All,

  I connect to the Mach 2 via Ethernet to the laptop and I really like it.  Haven't used anything else since I got the mount about 6 months ago!
No connectivity issues

  John


Re: AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

Don Anderson
 

Me too. takes 60 seconds to make the biannual change in the keypad.

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 06:44:38 p.m. MDT, Jack Huerkamp <mallincamusa@...> wrote:


Dale and the Others Who Responded,

 

I tried leaving the AP keypad set to UT and setting the PC to my local time (CDT) and added a second UT Clock.  I got a similar view to what you sent to me.  I tried setting my location in SkyTools to Central Time with Auto DST enabled in SkyTools.  I tried to slew to the Sun at about 5PM CDT and from the Park 3 position, the mount started moving to the eastern side of the meridian.  The Sun was setting in the WSW.  I stopped the slew, parked the mount in the Park 3 position and shut down SkyTools and APCC.

 

I powered the mount down, waited 30 seconds and powered it back up.  I set the keypad to Central Time and Summer.  I set the computer time to Central Time, eliminated the second time zone (UT) and started SkyTools.  I set my location to Central and enabled auto DST rules.  I connected the mount to Sky Tools, did a slew to the Sun, it did so with the Sun centered.

 

I give up on trying to use UT in the keypad and will have to bite the bullet and change the keypad twice a year to conform to either winter or summer.  Using this technique for 6 years has worked.  I just wanted to eliminate the semi-annual change the keypad time routine.  But I am finding the doing so is easier and less stressful than trying to use UT.

 

Yours truly,

 

Jack

 

Jack Huerkamp

Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC

38388 Pine Street

Pearl River, LA 70452-5192

985-445-5063

mallincamusa@...

www.mallincamusa.com

30.37N  89.76W

 

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

………………………………….Neil Peart

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 11:24 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Cc: mallincamusa@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary Astronomy Programs for Control

 

 

As the document implies, confusion can be lessened by just running all the things in UTC, especially if the person is unaccustomed to operating in multiple time zones. By having your PC and keypad display in UTC, you won't have to change the GMT offset on the keypad twice each year and the time on the keypad will always match the time displayed on your PC. In that sense, such consistency might be attractive to some people.

 

But it isn't an absolute must for proper operation of the mount. You can still run your PC and keypad in any combination of UTC and local time, you just need to be aware of what the keypad is set to regardless, and if it is set to something other than GMT/UTC, then you will need to manually adjust the timezone offset twice a year if you are in a locale that observes some form of DST.

 

In Windows (and, at least Windows 10, I'm not sure about previous versions) you can configure the clock in the system tray to display the time in multiple timezones. For example, my imaging PC's clock's main display is my local time zone (US/Eastern), but I added UTC as well if you mouse over it. You add time zones to display under the system time settings in Windows.

 

 



On Mar 16, 2021, at 11:29, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

Dale,

I got this link from George at Astro-Physics in which it says for a
dedicated observatory PC, to set its clock to UT along with the hand
controller being set to UT:

https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad/keypad-setting-gmt-utc
.pdf

But it sounds like you are saying to set the observatory PC to local time
and the hand controller to UT, since SkyTools in my case is looking to the
computer time to locate targets.

If so, I will go to the observatory today and set the computer back to local
time, set SkyTools as well and see what happens.

Yours truly,

Jack

Jack Huerkamp
Jack's Astro Accessories, LLC
38388 Pine Street
Pearl River, LA 70452-5192
985-445-5063
mallincamusa@...
www.mallincamusa.com
30.37N  89.76W

All of us get lost in the darkness.
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars.
..............Neil Peart



-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 8:58 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP 1600, Universal Time and Connecting to Auxiliary
Astronomy Programs for Control


So here's the deal: the mount CP deals only in UTC. All calculations
involving positions of objects in the sky are done UTC. For the purposes of
a mount's internal operations, UTC is the only thing that matters.

When you set the timezone on the keypad, you are essentially just
configuring the keypad's display and input of UTC time as local time. The
mount itself doesn't care that your offset from GMT is now -5 instead of -6.
That factors into none of its operations and calculations. What it does
factor into is how your keypad displays time, and how it converts time that
you input to and from UTC. The former - displaying the same time as your
local time - is just for convenience. The latter - inputting your local time
- is critical for the mount to derive the proper UTC time if you were to
program the mount's clock using the keypad. So if your local time is
18:45:00 and you were to program your mount's clock using the keypad today,
it would definitely need to know your current offset from GMT so that the
proper conversion to UTC can take place (that it would be 23:45:00 UTC).

The reason why you have to manually set the GMT offset in your keypad every
time DST begins or ends (or if you move to a different timezone altogether)
is because the keypad lacks its own timezone database that it can use to do
this automatically. You might ask "well how hard would it be for the keypad
to have one so that I don't need to do this". It's a valid question, but the
reasons are fairly basic. The timezone database is large and would occupy a
non-trivial amount of the keypad's very finite amount of static memory. It
also changes quite often as various countries and locales change their DST
observances or, in rare cases, which timezone(s) they are in. This would
demand that A-P issue several firmware updates a year in order to keep up
with these changes.

As for the computer and accessing the mount through the ASCOM driver, this
changes the situation in terms of mount time management. In this case, it is
presumed that your computer's clock is reasonably accurate as any modern OS
will automatically sync the computer's clock to an internet time source at
least once a week or more often, assuming it has internet access. There is a
setting in the A-P ASCOM driver to sync the computer's clock to the mount.
This should always be on if your computer's clock is reasonably accurate.
The ASCOM driver itself will then program the mount in UTC time directly in
this case. Despite your computer's timezone being set to US/Central, the OS
itself still operates in UTC internally. Because your OS does have a
maintained timezone database, it can do the display and input conversions
between your timezone and its internal clock, which runs in UTC.

So, the only reason why you would want to run your computer in UTC is if you
prefer viewing time that way. Even if you set the display of time on your PC
to be in your local timezone, the mount is still going to get programmed
with the proper time in UTC. It makes no difference to the mount.

As for the keypad, you can also just leave it with a timezone offset of 0 so
that it displays and takes input in UTC. However if you want it do display
and take time input in terms of your local time, you will need to manually
set the proper GMT offset whenever DST starts and ends.



On Mar 16, 2021, at 09:13, Jack Huerkamp <Mallincamusa@...> wrote:

I use SkyTools 3 and SkyTools 4 to control my AP1600 mount using the ASCOM

driver.  But every 6 months, I was having to switch the AP keypad from
standard time to daylight savings time and then back again 6 months later.
It was suggested to me to set the AP keypad to UT and also setting the
computer to UT to avoid have to mess with keypad settings every 6 months.  I
did so and can control the mount using the keypad.


I then tried configuring my observatory location, but when I connected the

mount to SkyTools and did a slew to the Sun this afternoon, the scope tried
to aim into the ground on the southwest side of the pier.  I need to know
how to set my location in SkyTools now that the mount and computer are set
to UT.  I am in the Central US time zone.


I would appreciate feedback on this as I would hate to have to go back to

setting the computer and AP keypad to the current local time.


Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp









-- 
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com





 


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Which IPad

John
 

Aloha Jim,

  I have an older iPad2 that I have been using with Sky Safari for the last 4 years or so (even with a cracked display due to dropping it last year at night). 

  I didn't like using the WiFi option to control a mount (mostly because I was looking in an eyepiece trying to center something and had to look at the iPad
to find the correct slew buttons again on the iPad and then look in the eyepiece again to see how close I got to re-centering that object).

  I use the iPad and Sky Safari now and then mostly for checking how is object is framed by either an eyepiece or camera's sensor (in conjunction with telescope's FR).
I'm sure any of the newer and lighter iPads would be fine!

  John

6121 - 6140 of 83216