Pulsed LED on Polar Scope


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,

I was wondering if there has ever been a consideration of adding "pulsed
power" control for the PASILL3/4 polar scope. This could be either an argument
to the keypad command to change not only the brightness, but also the on/off
rate for the GTOCP3 reticle socket, or an attached box with a small circuit in
the scope illuminator cable, with which you could adjust the pulse rate and
brightness. This is similar to the way the "Pulse Guide" product operates for
illuminated crosshair eyepieces.

The reason I bring this up, is that I took my PASILL4 outdoors for a dry
run test, in the light polluted skies of suburbia of a large metropolitan
city. It was somewhat difficult to spot Polaris, and did not expect any
success in aligning the second, let alone the third, star onto the reticle.
However, I was amazed to actually see the faint "glimmer" of the second star,
if I quickly rotated the scope eyepiece back and forth. Of course, this was
just a test of the scope itself, not yet mounted in my new AP900. It makes no
sense to oscillate the eyepiece, as in my test, when you are attempting to
precisely align the reference stars on the hash marks - that defeats the
purpose. But I realized that if the red LED illuminator were to be "pulsed",
instead of being steady, it would be easier to align two, or maybe even all
three stars on the reticle.

Since the battery powered setup has neither a dimmer nor a pulse width
adjust, the reticle is far too bright, making it difficult to align on
Polaris. An attached control module, and/or a similar control in the keypad
miscellaneous command set for the reticle port on the GTOCP3 control box,
would be useful. The latter, of course, would be used for not only the polar
alignment with the PASILL4, but also perhaps with an illuminated eyepiece on
the main OTA.

Thanks,
Joe


Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Joe,
Here is a point of reference. I use Pasill2,3,&4 models. I can
easily line up the two stars from my home. I am right next to LAX
airport and do the alignment looking right over LAX and into
downtown Los Angeles with streetlights very close, so I am in a near
worst case light pollution situation. I can do it without
illumination at dusk or with any source of red light after full
darkness. I have even used a red flashlight with a cupped hand to
direct light into the polar scope.
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
wrote:

Hi,

I was wondering if there has ever been a consideration of
adding "pulsed
power" control for the PASILL3/4 polar scope. This could be either
an argument
to the keypad command to change not only the brightness, but also
the on/off
rate for the GTOCP3 reticle socket, or an attached box with a
small circuit in
the scope illuminator cable, with which you could adjust the pulse
rate and
brightness. This is similar to the way the "Pulse Guide" product
operates for
illuminated crosshair eyepieces.

The reason I bring this up, is that I took my PASILL4 outdoors
for a dry
run test, in the light polluted skies of suburbia of a large
metropolitan
city. It was somewhat difficult to spot Polaris, and did not
expect any
success in aligning the second, let alone the third, star onto the
reticle.
However, I was amazed to actually see the faint "glimmer" of the
second star,
if I quickly rotated the scope eyepiece back and forth. Of course,
this was
just a test of the scope itself, not yet mounted in my new AP900.
It makes no
sense to oscillate the eyepiece, as in my test, when you are
attempting to
precisely align the reference stars on the hash marks - that
defeats the
purpose. But I realized that if the red LED illuminator were to
be "pulsed",
instead of being steady, it would be easier to align two, or maybe
even all
three stars on the reticle.

Since the battery powered setup has neither a dimmer nor a
pulse width
adjust, the reticle is far too bright, making it difficult to
align on
Polaris. An attached control module, and/or a similar control in
the keypad
miscellaneous command set for the reticle port on the GTOCP3
control box,
would be useful. The latter, of course, would be used for not only
the polar
alignment with the PASILL4, but also perhaps with an illuminated
eyepiece on
the main OTA.

Thanks,
Joe




Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Rick,

I guess I'm spoiled in wanting to use the LED to see the alignment reticle
a bit more easily. Besides, it is difficult to spot Polaris most times, and
nearly impossible in late dusk, around here.
Actually, at that point, without the LED lighting the reticle, it is almost as
easy to just bore-sight Polaris through the opening in the axles, like through
a tank canon (in the olden days).

However, the point I was trying to make is that with just a very few more
lines of firmware code, the LED blink rate could be added, thus improving the
way the PASILL scope works, as well as the user's LED reticle in his "guiding
eyepiece" plugged into the GTOCP3 reticle port.

There is no hardware or other costs involved, for AP to add this standard
capability. The firmware already allows the user to set the LED brightness -
so the added code could easily tap into that section of program to "dim the
Reticle port power to OFF", at regularly spaced intervals, set by the user.

I'm sure this was just a simple oversight at AP, since if they had thought
of it, they would have quickly included it in the latest firmware release.
Distribution and installation isn't an issue, because this could be easily
done in the next GTOCP3 Keypad firmware download. Certainly, there is ample
program space to add this.

Alignment (or guiding) using an LED illuminated reticle that is not
constantly distracting the eye, is much easier to use. Turning the LED off at
regular intervals makes seeing the target much easier. Surely, this would be a
good feature, easily implemented, and a considerable improvement in the way
the Reticle port operates.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Wiggins" <rickwiggins@earthlink.net>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 3:52 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Pulsed LED on Polar Scope


Hi Joe,
Here is a point of reference. I use Pasill2,3,&4 models. I can
easily line up the two stars from my home. I am right next to LAX
airport and do the alignment looking right over LAX and into
downtown Los Angeles with streetlights very close, so I am in a near
worst case light pollution situation. I can do it without
illumination at dusk or with any source of red light after full
darkness. I have even used a red flashlight with a cupped hand to
direct light into the polar scope.
Thanks, Rick