Topics

Meridian Flip Feature Yet?


ray.palmer@...
 

Hi Group,

I am using a 1600GTO. Just wondering if any of the latest software updates have included a Meridian Flip feature yet please (I haven't updated the firmware for about two years)? AP make elite mounts there is no question, but many other brands have had this feature for many years, it is industry standard, where you basically press one button and she flips. I'm not looking for a timely work around solution, such as trying to reset the meridian to trick the mount into flipping (that is clunky, time consuming and not user friendly if you require to do it a few times per night). I am looking for instantaneous functionality like many other brand mounts have built into them. I have to flip numerous times through the night and it is not because of the meridian (dome slit angle, power pole, observatory door, etc). Otherwise is there any software that can flip an AP mount please? Thanks in advance and have a great Xmas. 
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Bill Long
 

For some reason, my posts never go through this late at night. See the circled bit in this image below. Flip Mount button in APCC. Pro not required.


Bill Long
 




From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ray.palmer@... <ray.palmer@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 9:57 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?
 
Hi Group,

I am using a 1600GTO. Just wondering if any of the latest software updates have included a Meridian Flip feature yet please (I haven't updated the firmware for about two years)? AP make elite mounts there is no question, but many other brands have had this feature for many years, it is industry standard, where you basically press one button and she flips. I'm not looking for a timely work around solution, such as trying to reset the meridian to trick the mount into flipping (that is clunky, time consuming and not user friendly if you require to do it a few times per night). I am looking for instantaneous functionality like many other brand mounts have built into them. I have to flip numerous times through the night and it is not because of the meridian (dome slit angle, power pole, observatory door, etc). Otherwise is there any software that can flip an AP mount please? Thanks in advance and have a great Xmas. 
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Roland Christen
 

APCC has a flip feature. The latest keypad software also has a flip feature as well as the original meridian delay.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ray.palmer@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Dec 22, 2020 11:57 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Hi Group,

I am using a 1600GTO. Just wondering if any of the latest software updates have included a Meridian Flip feature yet please (I haven't updated the firmware for about two years)? AP make elite mounts there is no question, but many other brands have had this feature for many years, it is industry standard, where you basically press one button and she flips. I'm not looking for a timely work around solution, such as trying to reset the meridian to trick the mount into flipping (that is clunky, time consuming and not user friendly if you require to do it a few times per night). I am looking for instantaneous functionality like many other brand mounts have built into them. I have to flip numerous times through the night and it is not because of the meridian (dome slit angle, power pole, observatory door, etc). Otherwise is there any software that can flip an AP mount please? Thanks in advance and have a great Xmas. 
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


ray.palmer@...
 

Thank you Bill / Rolando. 

Rolando I downloaded and installed the latest version of the keypad software (4.19.3), but I cannot see the meridian flip feature. How do you perform or access the feature please?
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Bill Long
 

Anytime sir. Merry Christmas! 


Roland Christen
 

Press +- and then 9 and you will see the meridian features.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ray.palmer@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Dec 25, 2020 12:02 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Thank you Bill / Rolando. 

Rolando I downloaded and installed the latest version of the keypad software (4.19.3), but I cannot see the meridian flip feature. How do you perform or access the feature please?
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


ray.palmer@...
 

Hi Rolando, 

When I press the +- button, I get a menu that controls guiding speed and slewing speed, but pressing 9 does nothing. However when I press the bottom right corner button (RA / DEC / Rev), I do get a message on the screen that says 0W. Would that be the Meridian flip feature?
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


R Botero
 

Raymond

Read the manual: https://www.astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/keypad/keypad-manual.pdf 
Page 59 has specific instructions for the Meridian Delay feature. 

Roberto


ray.palmer@...
 

Hi Roberto,

I don't think that is what Rolando was referring to. That is a work around that tries to trick the mount into thinking it has hit the meridian. Your settings also may cause the mount to forget its location if the mount is not set back to 0W before powering off. I am looking for the one touch solution, where you hit a button and it flips (like a ton of other mounts do). AP's engineering is the best across the industry in IMHO, but it desperately needs a meridian flip feature. Playing with the settings to trick the mount to flipping is not a meridian flip feature. Note that I don't need a meridian flip because of the meridian's position. Note that the instructions make no reference to a "meridian flip" anywhere when searching for that search term, all they have is "meridian delay" (This is not a meridian flip feature). 
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Christopher Erickson
 

There must be some communications failures going on here.

I currently have seventeen mounts/scopes using nine different GOTO systems and AFAICT, not one of them has a "do a meridian flip" button or menu command.

And I can't think of a single time that I have ever had to "trick" an AP mount into doing something that it wasn't already capable of doing by design.

The AP mount meridian flip and delay functions work exactly as described in the manual and have always worked perfectly for me and my purposes and as far as I can tell, nothing is missing from their functionality.

My guess is that you are a bit new to AP mounts and their operation. AP mounts do operate a bit differently from most other mounts and if you are already familiar with a different GOTO system, there can be a bit of a re-learning curve. Some time ago I wrote some brief orientation documents for users migrating from Meade, Celestron, Vixen and Losmandy GOTO mounts to the AP way of doing things. Maybe I should find those old documents, upgrade them and put them back on-line someplace. And maybe I should add iOptron, Rainbow, Sidereal Technology and Synta/Skywatcher to the list. I have been sort of waiting on the new AP hand controller firmware before making the effort, since I expect a bunch of new AP functions and commands in the hand controller.

In my mind, the biggest difference between AP and just about everyone else is AP's servo controller "brownout feature" which is capable of saving the exact positions of the axis worm gears and worm wheels to non-volatile memory when it detects that power has been removed from the servo controller. When power is re-applied to the servo controller, it knows the last positions of the worm gears and wheels and knows where it was last at. This design has a lot of benefits but my favorite benefit is that I am doing public outreach and someone kicks out my power cord, I can re-power the mount and do a GOTO to whatever I was just pointing at and it will go back to the object without a hiccup. The CP5 is always connected to the Mach2 abs encoders so it doesn't need the brownout feature that the CP1/2/3/4 needs and since I don't have a Mach2, I can't speak to that detail of the CP5 functionality.

As for meridian flips and meridian delays, I think this is quite possibly the thing that confuses more new AP users than any other feature. I believe there isn't any missing functionality and it works exactly the way I think it should work. The mount will track through the meridian and will flip to the other side during the next GOTO command, as needed. The meridian delay setting tells the mount how far before or past the meridian you want a flip to occur during the next GOTO command. When combined with whatever imaging and mount control software you are using, this works exactly as I would want it to. It won't flip in the middle of an image capture and instead flips between captures.

I hope this helps.

"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 10:36 PM <ray.palmer@...> wrote:
Hi Roberto,

I don't think that is what Rolando was referring to. That is a work around that tries to trick the mount into thinking it has hit the meridian. Your settings also may cause the mount to forget its location if the mount is not set back to 0W before powering off. I am looking for the one touch solution, where you hit a button and it flips (like a ton of other mounts do). AP's engineering is the best across the industry in IMHO, but it desperately needs a meridian flip feature. Playing with the settings to trick the mount to flipping is not a meridian flip feature. Note that I don't need a meridian flip because of the meridian's position. Note that the instructions make no reference to a "meridian flip" anywhere when searching for that search term, all they have is "meridian delay" (This is not a meridian flip feature). 
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


ray.palmer@...
 

Hi Chris, 

I appreciate your feedback, but nope, I am not new to astrophysics mounts. There are many brand mounts out there that have a meridian flip feature. You hit one or two buttons and she flips. Many mount owners, due to their observatory or environment, may only need to flip once the object they are imaging passes the meridian, and AP has developed a mount that can track for many hours past the meridian. 

I need to flip due to the angle of my dome slit, neighbors trees, observatory door, etc. On a mount as advanced as an AP, there should be a simplistic function that tells the mount the flip immediately without trying to trick it into thinking it has hit the meridian, this is quite standard on many of the mount brands you mention. It kind of blows me away that this feature has to be sold on here. If you've always had an environment where meridian flips are not required unless hours have passed since hitting the meridian, then I understand your feedback. But for those of us that need to flip the mount before even hitting the meridian, its a different world. 

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Ray,

I need to flip due to the angle of my dome slit, neighbors trees, observatory door, etc. On a mount as advanced as an
AP, there should be a simplistic function that tells the mount the flip immediately without trying to trick it into thinking it
has hit the meridian, this is quite standard on many of the mount brands you mention. It kind of blows me away that
this feature has to be sold on here. If you've always had an environment where meridian flips are not required unless
hours have passed since hitting the meridian, then I understand your feedback. But for those of us that need to flip the
mount before even hitting the meridian, its a different world.
It is easy to automate the flip point. You can do this using the AP V2 ASCOM driver (or the hand controller). You can configure the flip-point so that the mount will flip at the necessary hour angle with a slew to the same RA/Dec.

APCC's meridian limits feature goes much further. It allows you to define different flip points for each declination and pier-side. In operation, this allows worry-free pier flipping and tracking limits to prevent pier collisions without any human intervention. I don't think any of the other mounts you mention have that feature.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ray.palmer@thecosmicartgallery.com
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2020 2:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Hi Chris,

I appreciate your feedback, but nope, I am not new to astrophysics mounts. There are many brand mounts out there
that have a meridian flip feature. You hit one or two buttons and she flips. Many mount owners, due to their
observatory or environment, may only need to flip once the object they are imaging passes the meridian, and AP has
developed a mount that can track for many hours past the meridian.

I need to flip due to the angle of my dome slit, neighbors trees, observatory door, etc. On a mount as advanced as an
AP, there should be a simplistic function that tells the mount the flip immediately without trying to trick it into thinking it
has hit the meridian, this is quite standard on many of the mount brands you mention. It kind of blows me away that
this feature has to be sold on here. If you've always had an environment where meridian flips are not required unless
hours have passed since hitting the meridian, then I understand your feedback. But for those of us that need to flip the
mount before even hitting the meridian, its a different world.

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Roland Christen
 

If you have the original keypad software then yes, the meridian flip feature is accessed by pressing button 9.
I was under the impression that you had the latest software, which places it under the +- button.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ray.palmer@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Dec 26, 2020 11:39 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Hi Rolando, 

When I press the +- button, I get a menu that controls guiding speed and slewing speed, but pressing 9 does nothing. However when I press the bottom right corner button (RA / DEC / Rev), I do get a message on the screen that says 0W. Would that be the Meridian flip feature?
--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

The original keypad has only the meridian delay feature. You can move the meridian flip point either east or west so when you enter the object again and press GoTo, the mount will flip around and acquire the object in a counterweight up position. Since this requires some thinking on the operator, it becomes a bit of a problem trying to choose which way to move the meridian in order to get the mount to flip.

So, in our latest keypad software release, which was first introduced in the Mach2 and will be available shortly for all the other mounts, we have added a simple button push which automatically flips the mount and sets the meridian delay appropriately.

The main reason we never had it before is because it is way too easy to crash the scope into the pier by just pressing a flip button when the scope does not have enough clearance on the other side under the mount. So, in trying to keep your equipment safe, we made it a bit harder for you in the past and probably gave you the impression that we just didn't know how to do some things that other companies have done for a long time. We fixed that now with our latest software, so you will be able to flip the scope back and forth as needed with just one button push.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ray.palmer@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Dec 27, 2020 4:49 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Hi Chris, 

I appreciate your feedback, but nope, I am not new to astrophysics mounts. There are many brand mounts out there that have a meridian flip feature. You hit one or two buttons and she flips. Many mount owners, due to their observatory or environment, may only need to flip once the object they are imaging passes the meridian, and AP has developed a mount that can track for many hours past the meridian. 

I need to flip due to the angle of my dome slit, neighbors trees, observatory door, etc. On a mount as advanced as an AP, there should be a simplistic function that tells the mount the flip immediately without trying to trick it into thinking it has hit the meridian, this is quite standard on many of the mount brands you mention. It kind of blows me away that this feature has to be sold on here. If you've always had an environment where meridian flips are not required unless hours have passed since hitting the meridian, then I understand your feedback. But for those of us that need to flip the mount before even hitting the meridian, its a different world. 

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Don Anderson
 

will the new keypad software work on GOTO CP3 V chip?

Don Anderson


On Sunday, December 27, 2020, 09:04:33 a.m. MST, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


The original keypad has only the meridian delay feature. You can move the meridian flip point either east or west so when you enter the object again and press GoTo, the mount will flip around and acquire the object in a counterweight up position. Since this requires some thinking on the operator, it becomes a bit of a problem trying to choose which way to move the meridian in order to get the mount to flip.

So, in our latest keypad software release, which was first introduced in the Mach2 and will be available shortly for all the other mounts, we have added a simple button push which automatically flips the mount and sets the meridian delay appropriately.

The main reason we never had it before is because it is way too easy to crash the scope into the pier by just pressing a flip button when the scope does not have enough clearance on the other side under the mount. So, in trying to keep your equipment safe, we made it a bit harder for you in the past and probably gave you the impression that we just didn't know how to do some things that other companies have done for a long time. We fixed that now with our latest software, so you will be able to flip the scope back and forth as needed with just one button push.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ray.palmer@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Dec 27, 2020 4:49 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Hi Chris, 

I appreciate your feedback, but nope, I am not new to astrophysics mounts. There are many brand mounts out there that have a meridian flip feature. You hit one or two buttons and she flips. Many mount owners, due to their observatory or environment, may only need to flip once the object they are imaging passes the meridian, and AP has developed a mount that can track for many hours past the meridian. 

I need to flip due to the angle of my dome slit, neighbors trees, observatory door, etc. On a mount as advanced as an AP, there should be a simplistic function that tells the mount the flip immediately without trying to trick it into thinking it has hit the meridian, this is quite standard on many of the mount brands you mention. It kind of blows me away that this feature has to be sold on here. If you've always had an environment where meridian flips are not required unless hours have passed since hitting the meridian, then I understand your feedback. But for those of us that need to flip the mount before even hitting the meridian, its a different world. 

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 


will the new keypad software work on GOTO CP3 V chip?
No, I'm afraid not.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Anderson via groups.io <jockey_ca@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, Dec 27, 2020 3:19 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

will the new keypad software work on GOTO CP3 V chip?

Don Anderson


On Sunday, December 27, 2020, 09:04:33 a.m. MST, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


The original keypad has only the meridian delay feature. You can move the meridian flip point either east or west so when you enter the object again and press GoTo, the mount will flip around and acquire the object in a counterweight up position. Since this requires some thinking on the operator, it becomes a bit of a problem trying to choose which way to move the meridian in order to get the mount to flip.

So, in our latest keypad software release, which was first introduced in the Mach2 and will be available shortly for all the other mounts, we have added a simple button push which automatically flips the mount and sets the meridian delay appropriately.

The main reason we never had it before is because it is way too easy to crash the scope into the pier by just pressing a flip button when the scope does not have enough clearance on the other side under the mount. So, in trying to keep your equipment safe, we made it a bit harder for you in the past and probably gave you the impression that we just didn't know how to do some things that other companies have done for a long time. We fixed that now with our latest software, so you will be able to flip the scope back and forth as needed with just one button push.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ray.palmer@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Dec 27, 2020 4:49 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

Hi Chris, 

I appreciate your feedback, but nope, I am not new to astrophysics mounts. There are many brand mounts out there that have a meridian flip feature. You hit one or two buttons and she flips. Many mount owners, due to their observatory or environment, may only need to flip once the object they are imaging passes the meridian, and AP has developed a mount that can track for many hours past the meridian. 

I need to flip due to the angle of my dome slit, neighbors trees, observatory door, etc. On a mount as advanced as an AP, there should be a simplistic function that tells the mount the flip immediately without trying to trick it into thinking it has hit the meridian, this is quite standard on many of the mount brands you mention. It kind of blows me away that this feature has to be sold on here. If you've always had an environment where meridian flips are not required unless hours have passed since hitting the meridian, then I understand your feedback. But for those of us that need to flip the mount before even hitting the meridian, its a different world. 

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


ray.palmer@...
 

On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 10:55 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
It is easy to automate the flip point. You can do this using the AP V2 ASCOM driver (or the hand controller). You can configure the flip-point so that the mount will flip at the necessary hour angle with a slew to the same RA/Dec.

APCC's meridian limits feature goes much further. It allows you to define different flip points for each declination and pier-side. In operation, this allows worry-free pier flipping and tracking limits to prevent pier collisions without any human intervention. I don't think any of the other mounts you mention have that feature.
Hi Ray, 

Thanks for your feedback, however I don't want my mount to flip at any particular hour angle. This is not a seamless or user friendly process for someone that just needs to flip to the other side of the pier. I also do not need to define different flip points for each declination point. It seems AP has completely missed the point of why many of us need to pier flip. It has nothing to do with the meridian. 

There is also a sentiment on here about the scope crashing into the mount and that is why AP have made this feature the way it is. No other brand I have used has this issue (I've used those brands extensively, AP's build wins, but a simple pier flip is badly needed). The scope simply slews through the counter weight down position and then continues onto its target on the other side of the pier for a safe pier flip. No threat of crashing, no trying to trick the mount into thinking the meridian is elsewhere. Pier flip is not dangerous or hard to develop. 

Rolando I do have the latest hand controller software. Version 4.19.3, I downloaded and installed it purely because of this thread, hoping to gain a pier flip function. I am using a GTOCP3. When I follow your instructions and hit the +- button, and then press 9, nothing happens. Please tell me how to access the pier flip please? When I hit +- then 9 as per your instructions at the beginning of this thread, nothing happens. 

Rolando Christen wrote:

The main reason we never had it before is because it is way too easy to crash the scope into the pier by just pressing a flip button when the scope does not have enough clearance on the other side under the mount. So, in trying to keep your equipment safe, we made it a bit harder for you in the past and probably gave you the impression that we just didn't know how to do some things that other companies have done for a long time. We fixed that now with our latest software, so you will be able to flip the scope back and forth as needed with just one button push.

Sorry, but again, there is no danger of a scope crashing into the mount if the mount slews through the counter weight down position halfway through its pier flip. All other major brands have a single touch pier flip feature and there is no danger when someone does a pier flip with those brands or yours, and there is no messing with hour angles or meridian delays to get the mount to flip.

The contention that AP lacks a simple pier flip feature to protect our scopes doesn't make sense and is confirmed by most other leading brands offering simple pier flip functionality and doing it easily without issue. There is no danger of a correctly programmed pier flip feature damaging our scopes. 

So from reading other comments here, am I right in thinking that AstroPhysics 1600GTO with a GTOCP3 using the latest software 4.19.3 cannot do a simple pier flip on command. Is this correct please? 

Thank you for your comments so far gentlemen and I hope you are all enjoying your holiday season. 

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Ray,

First, as Roland pointed out, there is a way to do the pier flip from the hand controller.

You wrote:
There is also a sentiment on here about the scope crashing into the mount and that is why
AP have made this feature the way it is. No other brand I have used has this issue (I've
used those brands extensively, AP's build wins, but a simple pier flip is badly needed).
Many of the other mount manufacturers have hard pier stops, so they cannot go more than a certain angle past the meridian. Which German Equatorial mounts have you used that provide a pier flip feature and can also allow tracking a telescope 360 degrees under the pier, provided no pier collision would take place?

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of ray.palmer@thecosmicartgallery.com
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2020 7:18 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Meridian Flip Feature Yet?

On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 10:55 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:


It is easy to automate the flip point. You can do this using the AP V2 ASCOM driver (or the hand controller).
You can configure the flip-point so that the mount will flip at the necessary hour angle with a slew to the same RA/Dec.

APCC's meridian limits feature goes much further. It allows you to define different flip points for each declination
and pier-side. In operation, this allows worry-free pier flipping and tracking limits to prevent pier collisions without any
human intervention. I don't think any of the other mounts you mention have that feature.

Hi Ray,

Thanks for your feedback, however I don't want my mount to flip at any particular hour angle. This is not a seamless or
user friendly process for someone that just needs to flip to the other side of the pier. I also do not need to define
different flip points for each declination point. It seems AP has completely missed the point of why many of us need to
pier flip. It has nothing to do with the meridian.

There is also a sentiment on here about the scope crashing into the mount and that is why AP have made this feature
the way it is. No other brand I have used has this issue (I've used those brands extensively, AP's build wins, but a
simple pier flip is badly needed). The scope simply slews through the counter weight down position and then continues
onto its target on the other side of the pier for a safe pier flip. No threat of crashing, no trying to trick the mount into
thinking the meridian is elsewhere. Pier flip is not dangerous or hard to develop.

Rolando I do have the latest hand controller software. Version 4.19.3, I downloaded and installed it purely because of
this thread, hoping to gain a pier flip function. I am using a GTOCP3. When I follow your instructions and hit the +-
button, and then press 9, nothing happens. Please tell me how to access the pier flip please? When I hit +- then 9 as
per your instructions at the beginning of this thread, nothing happens.

Rolando Christen wrote:



The main reason we never had it before is because it is way too easy to crash the scope into the pier by just
pressing a flip button when the scope does not have enough clearance on the other side under the mount. So, in trying
to keep your equipment safe, we made it a bit harder for you in the past and probably gave you the impression that we
just didn't know how to do some things that other companies have done for a long time. We fixed that now with our
latest software, so you will be able to flip the scope back and forth as needed with just one button push.

Sorry, but again, there is no danger of a scope crashing into the mount if the mount slews through the counter weight
down position halfway through its pier flip. All other major brands have a single touch pier flip feature and there is no
danger when someone does a pier flip with those brands or yours, and there is no messing with hour angles or
meridian delays to get the mount to flip.

The contention that AP lacks a simple pier flip feature to protect our scopes doesn't make sense and is confirmed by
most other leading brands offering simple pier flip functionality and doing it easily without issue. There is no danger of
a correctly programmed pier flip feature damaging our scopes.

So from reading other comments here, am I right in thinking that AstroPhysics 1600GTO with a GTOCP3 using the
latest software 4.19.3 cannot do a simple pier flip on command. Is this correct please?

Thank you for your comments so far gentlemen and I hope you are all enjoying your holiday season.

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com


ray.palmer@...
 

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 12:06 PM, Ray Gralak wrote:
First, as Roland pointed out, there is a way to do the pier flip from the hand controller.
Hi Ray, that's great news then. I'm using a 1600GTO with a GTOCP3 using the latest software 4.19.3. How do I do a simple pier flip please? What is the keypad path? I tried using +- and pressing 9, as per Rolando's instructions, but it doesn't do anything.


Many of the other mount manufacturers have hard pier stops, so they cannot go more than a certain angle past the meridian. Which German Equatorial mounts have you used that provide a pier flip feature and can also allow tracking a telescope 360 degrees under the pier, provided no pier collision would take place?
Hard pier stops and tracking past the meridian or 360 degrees past the meridian are very different features than what is being requested here Ray. I am chasing a simple pier flip feature, nothing more. For my imaging needs, I rarely use tracking past the meridian, however it is great to have. Just chasing a simple pier flip feature like all these other mounts out there have. Whether those mounts can track past the meridian or not means nothing to me, however I acknowledge AP mounts offer great range past the meridian, but that doesn't negate the need for a simple pier flip function either. It is like you are saying, but we've got other features. Those features will satisfy other users that don't need to pier flip like I do, but like I've said in this thread a few times, that my pier flip requirement has nothing to do with the meridian. I'm just chasing the same simple functionality as other brands offer, nothing more. I've been pier flipping since the late 90's with one or two presses of the keypad. I don't understand why this is so elusive. I think there is a strong sentiment that because AP mounts can track past the meridian, that pier flipping is not really required then, but that couldn't be more misguided IMHO. There are a dozen reasons that do not include the meridian's position as to why you'd want to flip to the other side, and this is why other brands have offered this simple and dedicated pier flip feature for over two decades. The idea that pier flipping is meridian based is strongly misguided.

My feedback here is only to strengthen AP. If a simple pier flip cannot be done with my mount, then I see a gaping hole in functionality, and friendly feedback like this is hopefully how AP improve their products.

Ray / Rolando, hopefully you guys are correct and I can perform a simple pier flip without having to try and trick the mount into thinking where the meridian may be. Looking forward to learning how to do that. 

--
Raymond D Palmer
Astronomer
Western Australia
www.MyAstroSpace.com
www.TheCosmicArtGallery.com