GTOCP4 Control Box


Vince Salfranc
 

Hi,

I have an Astro Physics GTO 1100 fitted with the CP3. I have been reading about the CP4 and got myself in a twist. 

I would like to know if I would get better tracking and auto guiding if I installed the CP4 to my mount.

Thank you 

Vince


Bill Long
 

You can upgrade the chip in your CP3 (if you dont have the V2 chip that is) and that would allow you to use APCC Pro, which has a very good pointing and tracking correction model in it. Similarly, you can use PEMPro (which should have come with the mount) to record a fresh PE curve, which should help as well.

While I do have CP4 on my 1100, I think a fresh well-made curve and using APCC/APPM to build a model (it doesnt take that long to do) would be the first places I would look to improve performance at.

CP4 does have its benefits though. For the purpose you stated, I think the two things I mentioned here would be cost effective to do. The chip is like $80, and APCC Pro is $500, but would of course work with any AP mounts and a CP4 box as well.


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of salfranc@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:17 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] GTOCP4 Control Box
 
 

Hi,

I have an Astro Physics GTO 1100 fitted with the CP3. I have been reading about the CP4 and got myself in a twist. 

I would like to know if I would get better tracking and auto guiding if I installed the CP4 to my mount.

Thank you 

Vince


Bill Gardner
 

Very interested in this thread as I have an AP900 with CP2 and have been seriously considering the upgrade to CP4.

Bill
_____________

Pictor Observatory
http://www.pictorobservatory.ca

Twitter: @pictorobs

Minor Planet 21350 - billgardner


Virus-free. www.avg.com

On Wed, 23 Jan 2019 at 02:33, Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


You can upgrade the chip in your CP3 (if you dont have the V2 chip that is) and that would allow you to use APCC Pro, which has a very good pointing and tracking correction model in it. Similarly, you can use PEMPro (which should have come with the mount) to record a fresh PE curve, which should help as well.

While I do have CP4 on my 1100, I think a fresh well-made curve and using APCC/APPM to build a model (it doesnt take that long to do) would be the first places I would look to improve performance at.

CP4 does have its benefits though. For the purpose you stated, I think the two things I mentioned here would be cost effective to do. The chip is like $80, and APCC Pro is $500, but would of course work with any AP mounts and a CP4 box as well.


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of salfranc@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:17 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] GTOCP4 Control Box
 
 

Hi,

I have an Astro Physics GTO 1100 fitted with the CP3. I have been reading about the CP4 and got myself in a twist. 

I would like to know if I would get better tracking and auto guiding if I installed the CP4 to my mount.

Thank you 

Vince




Virus-free. www.avg.com


Tyrel Smith
 

I was recently considering this as well.. I have an ‘07 Mach1 that had the CP3 with its original L chip. In the end I decided I didn’t need some of the CP4 functions like WiFi and Ethernet, and elected to do as Bill mentioned and upgraded my CP3 to the V2 chip. I used the money saved to purchase APCC Pro so I could do pointing models. Happy with the decision so far.

If I didn’t already have a hand controller I might have further considered the CP4 so I could use my phone or iPad to run the mount from planetarium software for visual use.

Ty Smith

On Jan 23, 2019, at 08:18, Bill Gardner pictorobservatory@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Very interested in this thread as I have an AP900 with CP2 and have been seriously considering the upgrade to CP4.

Bill
_____________

Pictor Observatory
http://www.pictorobservatory.ca

Twitter: @pictorobs

Minor Planet 21350 - billgardner


Virus-free. www.avg.com

On Wed, 23 Jan 2019 at 02:33, Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


You can upgrade the chip in your CP3 (if you dont have the V2 chip that is) and that would allow you to use APCC Pro, which has a very good pointing and tracking correction model in it. Similarly, you can use PEMPro (which should have come with the mount) to record a fresh PE curve, which should help as well.

While I do have CP4 on my 1100, I think a fresh well-made curve and using APCC/APPM to build a model (it doesnt take that long to do) would be the first places I would look to improve performance at.

CP4 does have its benefits though. For the purpose you stated, I think the two things I mentioned here would be cost effective to do. The chip is like $80, and APCC Pro is $500, but would of course work with any AP mounts and a CP4 box as well.


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of salfranc@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:17 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] GTOCP4 Control Box
 
 

Hi,

I have an Astro Physics GTO 1100 fitted with the CP3. I have been reading about the CP4 and got myself in a twist. 

I would like to know if I would get better tracking and auto guiding if I installed the CP4 to my mount.

Thank you 

Vince




Virus-free. www.avg.com


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Ty,
 
... If I didn’t already have a hand controller I might have further considered the CP4 so I could use my phone or iPad to run the mount from planetarium software for visual use.
Ty Smith

    My question is, if you go to a CP4 just for this purpose,  HOW LONG would your (particular) smartphone run its intended Planetarium program just to operate the AP mount, until the phone battery died, especially when severe cold drains the battery even faster?
 
    You can operate the AP Keypad even at –20C with a “gloved hand”, but smartphones require a warm bare finger to operate its touch screen for the Planetarium program to operate the mount. I don’t think frostbitten fingers work well on smartphone screens.
 
    Besides, there has been recent discussion on how to keep a smartphone from going to sleep after a brief interval of “user response” inactivity. I don’t think there was a good solution other than running a background program that continually pings the WiFi, as if it were a user input. I would hope that  a planetarium program would do that, when you put the phone down or into a packet,  while observing the skies.
 
    Before deciding on a move to CP4, strictly for WiFi access from a smartphone app, perhaps as a “practical test”, you might want to run the intended smartphone Planetarium (display only) program outdoors on the back porch, on a cold winter’s night, and see how long the program keeps running, and how long the phone battery lasted. This would give you some idea of “real field use” under tough conditions, before you decide on a CP4,  only for this purpose ... and also,  whether you might actually need a new smartphone with a lower drain,  longer lasting battery charge – which will probably cost as much or more than  a CP4 upgrade.
 
    However, if the smartphone works, you should still let your present AP mount Keypad tag along on field trips, just in case the smartphone dies. At least, with the Keypad as a backup,  you won’t have to pack up in early.
 
Joe Z.


W Hilmo
 

I routinely use both an iPhone and an iPad running SkySafari to control my CP4 mounts, plus a few other mounts.



I have no problems with battery life. Plus, I only wake the device when I want to interact with the mount using it. After I’ve done my goto or whatever, I just put the device back to sleep. When I need it again, it resyncs automatically in about 2 seconds. I can easily observe the whole night this way and still have 90% or more battery life in the morning.



It’s possible that other software might not resync as gracefully. I’ve yet to try Luminos, for example. But the whole experience with SkySafari is seamless.



Regarding the performance of the mount, I don’t think that there is any difference in the mount’s accuracy or guiding performance going between a late version of CP3 vs CP4 – unless you have the absolute encoders. I think that the CP4 communicates much faster with the encoders than the AE controller box with a CP3. I bought my encoder equipped mount used, and upgraded to CP4 immediately. As long as I was at it, I upgraded my existing CP3 mount at the same time, so that they both run the same controller version.



Since upgrading, I find that I really appreciate the ability to connect ad-hoc to the mount’s wifi using my phone or tablet. I also appreciate being able to connect using Ethernet for controlling the mount while imaging. I’m happy that both of my mounts are using a CP4 and would do it the same way again.



From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 11:02 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTOCP4 Control Box





Hi Ty,



... If I didn’t already have a hand controller I might have further considered the CP4 so I could use my phone or iPad to run the mount from planetarium software for visual use.
Ty Smith


My question is, if you go to a CP4 just for this purpose, HOW LONG would your (particular) smartphone run its intended Planetarium program just to operate the AP mount, until the phone battery died, especially when severe cold drains the battery even faster?



You can operate the AP Keypad even at –20C with a “gloved hand”, but smartphones require a warm bare finger to operate its touch screen for the Planetarium program to operate the mount. I don’t think frostbitten fingers work well on smartphone screens.



Besides, there has been recent discussion on how to keep a smartphone from going to sleep after a brief interval of “user response” inactivity. I don’t think there was a good solution other than running a background program that continually pings the WiFi, as if it were a user input. I would hope that a planetarium program would do that, when you put the phone down or into a packet, while observing the skies.



Before deciding on a move to CP4, strictly for WiFi access from a smartphone app, perhaps as a “practical test”, you might want to run the intended smartphone Planetarium (display only) program outdoors on the back porch, on a cold winter’s night, and see how long the program keeps running, and how long the phone battery lasted. This would give you some idea of “real field use” under tough conditions, before you decide on a CP4, only for this purpose ... and also, whether you might actually need a new smartphone with a lower drain, longer lasting battery charge – which will probably cost as much or more than a CP4 upgrade.



However, if the smartphone works, you should still let your present AP mount Keypad tag along on field trips, just in case the smartphone dies. At least, with the Keypad as a backup, you won’t have to pack up in early.



Joe Z.





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Tyrel Smith
 

Joe, I see your points but I’m not considering the CP4 at this time. I have all the functionality I need (for now) with the CP3/V2 chip and hand controller (which I’m quite fond of). 

I was imaging in -10C a few nights ago, and I have no desire or plans to be outside long enough in those temperatures for my phone’s battery to die ;).

On Jan 23, 2019, at 14:01, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


Hi Ty, 
 
... If I didn’t already have a hand controller I might have further considered the CP4 so I could use my phone or iPad to run the mount from planetarium software for visual use.
Ty Smith

    My question is, if you go to a CP4 just for this purpose,  HOW LONG would your (particular) smartphone run its intended Planetarium program just to operate the AP mount, until the phone battery died, especially when severe cold drains the battery even faster?
 
    You can operate the AP Keypad even at –20C with a “gloved hand”, but smartphones require a warm bare finger to operate its touch screen for the Planetarium program to operate the mount. I don’t think frostbitten fingers work well on smartphone screens.
 
    Besides, there has been recent discussion on how to keep a smartphone from going to sleep after a brief interval of “user response” inactivity. I don’t think there was a good solution other than running a background program that continually pings the WiFi, as if it were a user input. I would hope that  a planetarium program would do that, when you put the phone down or into a packet,  while observing the skies.
 
    Before deciding on a move to CP4, strictly for WiFi access from a smartphone app, perhaps as a “practical test”, you might want to run the intended smartphone Planetarium (display only) program outdoors on the back porch, on a cold winter’s night, and see how long the program keeps running, and how long the phone battery lasted. This would give you some idea of “real field use” under tough conditions, before you decide on a CP4,  only for this purpose ... and also,  whether you might actually need a new smartphone with a lower drain,  longer lasting battery charge – which will probably cost as much or more than  a CP4 upgrade.
 
    However, if the smartphone works, you should still let your present AP mount Keypad tag along on field trips, just in case the smartphone dies. At least, with the Keypad as a backup,  you won’t have to pack up in early.
 
Joe Z.



Joe Zeglinski
 

Wade,
 
    Thanks for the info on smartphone battery life, using a planetarium program. Good to know.
 
    As for the CP4 versus CP3, the CP4 might be a bit more accurate and run coordinate conversions a lot faster.
I was told that unlike the old CP3,  which calculated all coordinate conversions using “integer mode” trig and arithmetic, the CP4 has a modern high speed microprocessor actually using extended precision  “floating point” for its values. Thus, it is faster, more precise and accurate.
 
    However, I don’t know how much improvement would be apparent in continuously running coordinate conversion, since the incremental changes in sky positions are so minute and slowly varying anyway. But, it is nice to have a modern fast processor, with room to add more future firmware functionality in the CP4,  compared to an out-dated, memory limited, microwave oven control level of chip :-)
 
    Either controller, CP3 or CP4 are excellent in design and performance – I would say without competition -  and my trusty old CP3 will never be sold, and  always be my backup in case the CP4  goes in for repairs again. My expectations for better performance and expanded future upgradability in the spiffy new CP4 product, were my deciding factors.
 
Joe