#Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders #Keypad


Thomas Giannaccini
 

Hello All,
I have used my AP 1100 GTO for several nights (using just the keypad) and I have noticed that I have never been able to achieve all the Park positions (1-4) simultaneously.

After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then be attainable. However, I have not found this to be the case. It seems to be hit and miss as to what other Park positions I can achieve. I can generally get 2 of the 4 to work but never all 4.

I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able to find my targets. In the several sessions I have had after speaking with George, it seems as though one only needs polar alignment and Park 3; several stars can be found and synched afterwards with a reticle in the main OTA. DSOs seem easy to find thereafter. 

I don't want to over-analyze the setup process, but am I missing something about the mount not being able to reach the other Park positions (not even relatively close)?

 

Thank you in advance,

 

Tom

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Roland Christen
 

The only way Park 1 and Park 4 will be wrong is a wrong latitude entry in the keypad location. Park 3 and Park 2 are not affected by latitude.
If you open another program such as SkyX and connect to the mount via the ASCOM driver, it will update the CP4 location and time entries, so if they are wrong this will also mess up the park positions. All your programs that attach to the mount servo have to have the same time, date, location entries. That includes keypad, ASCOM driver, SkyX or other planetarium programs. All have to have the same settings.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 5:57 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Hello All,
I have used my AP 1100 GTO for several nights (using just the keypad) and I have noticed that I have never been able to achieve all the Park positions (1-4) simultaneously.
After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then be attainable. However, I have not found this to be the case. It seems to be hit and miss as to what other Park positions I can achieve. I can generally get 2 of the 4 to work but never all 4.
I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able to find my targets. In the several sessions I have had after speaking with George, it seems as though one only needs polar alignment and Park 3; several stars can be found and synched afterwards with a reticle in the main OTA. DSOs seem easy to find thereafter. 

I don't want to over-analyze the setup process, but am I missing something about the mount not being able to reach the other Park positions (not even relatively close)?
 
Thank you in advance,
 
Tom
--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
be attainable
Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
to find my targets.
I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike


Roland Christen
 

All this only works if the latitude location data is correct. If the keypad is set for Miami and the mount is in Montana, then this will cause the park positions to be wrong.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Thomas Giannaccini
 

Hi Roland,
I used the GPS coordinates from the compass app on my iPhone for where I was standing right next to the mount. I'm somewhat tech savy but not immune to  the learning curve. As a related disclaimer, I am able to get the pier somewhat level but not completely level due to landscape features. I am able to polar align the scope using the RAPAS. I did realize that I had set the time zone and daylight savings settings incorrectly early on but have long since fixed that. I do check time and location each time I start the mount up. The mount only moves about 20 to 30 ft between uses (from inside a tarp shed to outside the shed). Sometimes I even leave it in place overnight if the forecast is dry and I'll be using it the next night. I've used the mount approximately 8-10 times and the keypad seems fairly intuitive at this point but I do verify that I am not making mistakes.

As per George, an issue I was having early on was that I was hitting a limit. I had been starting at Park 1. The issue was resolved by slewing to Park 3 then manually adjusting the scope to Park 3. Generally, from Park 3 I can attain Park 1. Generally, I cannot attain both Park 4 and Park 1 simultaneously. When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off. Park 2 has been hit and miss depending on the sequence prior to an attempt to reach it. I cannot tell if I am hitting other limits somehow. A good question to ask now is when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North? 

It seems as though polar aligning then starting at Park 3 and just moving forward is the easiest and most reliable process.

George did mention that it would probably be easier to run the mount from my PC, so I am deciphering that process now. I have already downloaded the drivers and such from the AP support page. I will be using Prism to run the mount which is ASCOM compliant.  In terms of hardware connections, I will be using an ethernet cable directly from my PC to the CP4 ethernet port.

Thank you for your help,

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 5:51 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
All this only works if the latitude location data is correct. If the keypad is set for Miami and the mount is in Montana, then this will cause the park positions to be wrong.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Thomas Giannaccini
 

Thank you Mike, I thought the mount would "know" where these Park positions were based on internal features to the mount rather than input data. I do also wonder if somehow I keep hitting various limits. I believe I did hit a RA limit slewing ease and west which was resolved by starting from Park 3. I am now wondering if I'm hitting a Dec Axis (North/South) limit. It is possible I was swinging the main objective of the OTA in the wrong direction when manually moving from Park 1 to Park 4. 

Your reply is very helpful. 

Thank you,

Tom   

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 5:43 PM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote:
On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/21/2021 8:37 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then
manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off.
After you manually adjust the mount in Park 4, what do you do next? Do you "Resume From Last Parked?"

...when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way
is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North?
In Park 1, the OTA is horizontal pointing north. In Park 4, the OTA is horizontal pointing south.

The issue with Park 1, as pointed out by A-P, is that as soon as you unpark, the mount is tracking, and after only a few seconds, it believes the counterweight is up, which can be bad. From the keypad manual: "Park 1 is only seconds away from tracking into a counterweight-up status and slews from Park 1 to western objects may cause the scope to point toward the ground when beginning the slew."

How long do you wait after unparking from Park 1 before you slew to a sky target? I usually do that immediately, as quickly as I can pick a target. I have never had a problem unparking from Park 1 if I'm quick to slew to an east target. But, again, Park 4 where I level the mount and OTA if necessary. (Actually, I will use Park 5 in the future because that doesn't stretch my imaging cables as much as Park 4.)

--- Mike


--- Mike


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/21/2021 8:44 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
I do also wonder if somehow I keep hitting various limits.
I don't have any limits set, so I can't address those possible issues.

--- Mike


Roland Christen
 

Using your keypad only (no other program attached to the mount) I would test the parks this way:

1) level the mount as best you can. It does not need to be perfect
2) send the mount to Park3 and adjust the RA and Dec axes manually so that the reference marks on the side of the axes line up
3) send the mount to Park2. The DEC will swing 90 degrees to point due East. See if the Dec axis reference marks line up. The RA axis will stay where it was in Park3.
4) send the mount to Park5. The RA should swing exactly 90 degrees until the reference marks on RA line up. The Dec axis will point the scope to the northern horizon. If it points low or high, adjust the altitude axis until the scope is level.

Forget about Park4, I never use it because it puts the scope in an awkward position where the camera is towards the north end and it tends to stretch out my camera cables.
Forget about Park 1, it is an obsolete park position that is at the cwt up position and is not useful any more (even though it was once our preferred starting position).

Parks 2, 3 and 5 are the only really important ones for daytime polar alignment. They have no other purpose really, except that they can be used to recover a mount after being lost due to an errant sync or recal. You can use them for initial setup if you are always tearing down the mount after each use, but have no function for a permanent setup. You NEVER have to park the mount at any of these park positions when you are finished with a session unless one of them happens to be convenient. You can pull the plug at any point and wherever the scope happens to be pointed and the CP4 servo will remember exactly where it is the next time you apply power, unless you loosen the clutches and move the axes manually.

If you have any questions about your 3 park positions, run thru the above 4 steps and send me a quick picture of the exact position where your mount ends up in each of these 3 parks. From that I will have a much better idea of what is happening with your rig.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 7:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Hi Roland,
I used the GPS coordinates from the compass app on my iPhone for where I was standing right next to the mount. I'm somewhat tech savy but not immune to  the learning curve. As a related disclaimer, I am able to get the pier somewhat level but not completely level due to landscape features. I am able to polar align the scope using the RAPAS. I did realize that I had set the time zone and daylight savings settings incorrectly early on but have long since fixed that. I do check time and location each time I start the mount up. The mount only moves about 20 to 30 ft between uses (from inside a tarp shed to outside the shed). Sometimes I even leave it in place overnight if the forecast is dry and I'll be using it the next night. I've used the mount approximately 8-10 times and the keypad seems fairly intuitive at this point but I do verify that I am not making mistakes.

As per George, an issue I was having early on was that I was hitting a limit. I had been starting at Park 1. The issue was resolved by slewing to Park 3 then manually adjusting the scope to Park 3. Generally, from Park 3 I can attain Park 1. Generally, I cannot attain both Park 4 and Park 1 simultaneously. When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off. Park 2 has been hit and miss depending on the sequence prior to an attempt to reach it. I cannot tell if I am hitting other limits somehow. A good question to ask now is when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North? 

It seems as though polar aligning then starting at Park 3 and just moving forward is the easiest and most reliable process.

George did mention that it would probably be easier to run the mount from my PC, so I am deciphering that process now. I have already downloaded the drivers and such from the AP support page. I will be using Prism to run the mount which is ASCOM compliant.  In terms of hardware connections, I will be using an ethernet cable directly from my PC to the CP4 ethernet port.

Thank you for your help,

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 5:51 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
All this only works if the latitude location data is correct. If the keypad is set for Miami and the mount is in Montana, then this will cause the park positions to be wrong.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

Just to be clear, after you send the mount to Park3, adjust the RA and Dec axes manually by loosening the clutches and moving the axes to the Park 3 reference marks by hand, not via the keypad buttons!! Then tighten the clutches and do step 3 and 4.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 8:03 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Using your keypad only (no other program attached to the mount) I would test the parks this way:

1) level the mount as best you can. It does not need to be perfect
2) send the mount to Park3 and adjust the RA and Dec axes manually so that the reference marks on the side of the axes line up
3) send the mount to Park2. The DEC will swing 90 degrees to point due East. See if the Dec axis reference marks line up. The RA axis will stay where it was in Park3.
4) send the mount to Park5. The RA should swing exactly 90 degrees until the reference marks on RA line up. The Dec axis will point the scope to the northern horizon. If it points low or high, adjust the altitude axis until the scope is level.

Forget about Park4, I never use it because it puts the scope in an awkward position where the camera is towards the north end and it tends to stretch out my camera cables.
Forget about Park 1, it is an obsolete park position that is at the cwt up position and is not useful any more (even though it was once our preferred starting position).

Parks 2, 3 and 5 are the only really important ones for daytime polar alignment. They have no other purpose really, except that they can be used to recover a mount after being lost due to an errant sync or recal. You can use them for initial setup if you are always tearing down the mount after each use, but have no function for a permanent setup. You NEVER have to park the mount at any of these park positions when you are finished with a session unless one of them happens to be convenient. You can pull the plug at any point and wherever the scope happens to be pointed and the CP4 servo will remember exactly where it is the next time you apply power, unless you loosen the clutches and move the axes manually.

If you have any questions about your 3 park positions, run thru the above 4 steps and send me a quick picture of the exact position where your mount ends up in each of these 3 parks. From that I will have a much better idea of what is happening with your rig.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 7:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Hi Roland,
I used the GPS coordinates from the compass app on my iPhone for where I was standing right next to the mount. I'm somewhat tech savy but not immune to  the learning curve. As a related disclaimer, I am able to get the pier somewhat level but not completely level due to landscape features. I am able to polar align the scope using the RAPAS. I did realize that I had set the time zone and daylight savings settings incorrectly early on but have long since fixed that. I do check time and location each time I start the mount up. The mount only moves about 20 to 30 ft between uses (from inside a tarp shed to outside the shed). Sometimes I even leave it in place overnight if the forecast is dry and I'll be using it the next night. I've used the mount approximately 8-10 times and the keypad seems fairly intuitive at this point but I do verify that I am not making mistakes.

As per George, an issue I was having early on was that I was hitting a limit. I had been starting at Park 1. The issue was resolved by slewing to Park 3 then manually adjusting the scope to Park 3. Generally, from Park 3 I can attain Park 1. Generally, I cannot attain both Park 4 and Park 1 simultaneously. When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off. Park 2 has been hit and miss depending on the sequence prior to an attempt to reach it. I cannot tell if I am hitting other limits somehow. A good question to ask now is when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North? 

It seems as though polar aligning then starting at Park 3 and just moving forward is the easiest and most reliable process.

George did mention that it would probably be easier to run the mount from my PC, so I am deciphering that process now. I have already downloaded the drivers and such from the AP support page. I will be using Prism to run the mount which is ASCOM compliant.  In terms of hardware connections, I will be using an ethernet cable directly from my PC to the CP4 ethernet port.

Thank you for your help,

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 5:51 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
All this only works if the latitude location data is correct. If the keypad is set for Miami and the mount is in Montana, then this will cause the park positions to be wrong.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Thomas Giannaccini
 

Roland,
A follow up question:
There is no Park 5 available in my Park list. I'm assuming this means I need to update the Keypad software?
The DEC and RA axis reference marks...all I remember seeing are the Altitude ticks on the side of the RA axis, but I will look for other markings.
I did see your other email and, yes, I was moving the mount by loosening the clutches and manually moving the mount by hand. But I was using Park 1 and 4 heavily so that is probably a large part of the issue.

Thank you this helps alot.

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 7:03 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Using your keypad only (no other program attached to the mount) I would test the parks this way:

1) level the mount as best you can. It does not need to be perfect
2) send the mount to Park3 and adjust the RA and Dec axes manually so that the reference marks on the side of the axes line up
3) send the mount to Park2. The DEC will swing 90 degrees to point due East. See if the Dec axis reference marks line up. The RA axis will stay where it was in Park3.
4) send the mount to Park5. The RA should swing exactly 90 degrees until the reference marks on RA line up. The Dec axis will point the scope to the northern horizon. If it points low or high, adjust the altitude axis until the scope is level.

Forget about Park4, I never use it because it puts the scope in an awkward position where the camera is towards the north end and it tends to stretch out my camera cables.
Forget about Park 1, it is an obsolete park position that is at the cwt up position and is not useful any more (even though it was once our preferred starting position).

Parks 2, 3 and 5 are the only really important ones for daytime polar alignment. They have no other purpose really, except that they can be used to recover a mount after being lost due to an errant sync or recal. You can use them for initial setup if you are always tearing down the mount after each use, but have no function for a permanent setup. You NEVER have to park the mount at any of these park positions when you are finished with a session unless one of them happens to be convenient. You can pull the plug at any point and wherever the scope happens to be pointed and the CP4 servo will remember exactly where it is the next time you apply power, unless you loosen the clutches and move the axes manually.

If you have any questions about your 3 park positions, run thru the above 4 steps and send me a quick picture of the exact position where your mount ends up in each of these 3 parks. From that I will have a much better idea of what is happening with your rig.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 7:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Hi Roland,
I used the GPS coordinates from the compass app on my iPhone for where I was standing right next to the mount. I'm somewhat tech savy but not immune to  the learning curve. As a related disclaimer, I am able to get the pier somewhat level but not completely level due to landscape features. I am able to polar align the scope using the RAPAS. I did realize that I had set the time zone and daylight savings settings incorrectly early on but have long since fixed that. I do check time and location each time I start the mount up. The mount only moves about 20 to 30 ft between uses (from inside a tarp shed to outside the shed). Sometimes I even leave it in place overnight if the forecast is dry and I'll be using it the next night. I've used the mount approximately 8-10 times and the keypad seems fairly intuitive at this point but I do verify that I am not making mistakes.

As per George, an issue I was having early on was that I was hitting a limit. I had been starting at Park 1. The issue was resolved by slewing to Park 3 then manually adjusting the scope to Park 3. Generally, from Park 3 I can attain Park 1. Generally, I cannot attain both Park 4 and Park 1 simultaneously. When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off. Park 2 has been hit and miss depending on the sequence prior to an attempt to reach it. I cannot tell if I am hitting other limits somehow. A good question to ask now is when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North? 

It seems as though polar aligning then starting at Park 3 and just moving forward is the easiest and most reliable process.

George did mention that it would probably be easier to run the mount from my PC, so I am deciphering that process now. I have already downloaded the drivers and such from the AP support page. I will be using Prism to run the mount which is ASCOM compliant.  In terms of hardware connections, I will be using an ethernet cable directly from my PC to the CP4 ethernet port.

Thank you for your help,

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 5:51 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
All this only works if the latitude location data is correct. If the keypad is set for Miami and the mount is in Montana, then this will cause the park positions to be wrong.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Roland Christen
 

You must have an old version of the mount. For several years now we include reference marks on the side of the axis in 4 places on each axis. Allows easy mechanical alignment. You can make your own with a piece of tape and a sharpie.

If anyone has a picture handy, please post it showing the marks. I have to head home now (it's late and I'm pooped). Will pick up tomorrow. Maybe I'll do a series of photos showing how to do a quick easy setup based on the park positions below. Seems like this is a never ending question and a source of confusion.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 8:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Roland,
A follow up question:
There is no Park 5 available in my Park list. I'm assuming this means I need to update the Keypad software?
The DEC and RA axis reference marks...all I remember seeing are the Altitude ticks on the side of the RA axis, but I will look for other markings.
I did see your other email and, yes, I was moving the mount by loosening the clutches and manually moving the mount by hand. But I was using Park 1 and 4 heavily so that is probably a large part of the issue.

Thank you this helps alot.

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 7:03 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Using your keypad only (no other program attached to the mount) I would test the parks this way:

1) level the mount as best you can. It does not need to be perfect
2) send the mount to Park3 and adjust the RA and Dec axes manually so that the reference marks on the side of the axes line up
3) send the mount to Park2. The DEC will swing 90 degrees to point due East. See if the Dec axis reference marks line up. The RA axis will stay where it was in Park3.
4) send the mount to Park5. The RA should swing exactly 90 degrees until the reference marks on RA line up. The Dec axis will point the scope to the northern horizon. If it points low or high, adjust the altitude axis until the scope is level.

Forget about Park4, I never use it because it puts the scope in an awkward position where the camera is towards the north end and it tends to stretch out my camera cables.
Forget about Park 1, it is an obsolete park position that is at the cwt up position and is not useful any more (even though it was once our preferred starting position).

Parks 2, 3 and 5 are the only really important ones for daytime polar alignment. They have no other purpose really, except that they can be used to recover a mount after being lost due to an errant sync or recal. You can use them for initial setup if you are always tearing down the mount after each use, but have no function for a permanent setup. You NEVER have to park the mount at any of these park positions when you are finished with a session unless one of them happens to be convenient. You can pull the plug at any point and wherever the scope happens to be pointed and the CP4 servo will remember exactly where it is the next time you apply power, unless you loosen the clutches and move the axes manually.

If you have any questions about your 3 park positions, run thru the above 4 steps and send me a quick picture of the exact position where your mount ends up in each of these 3 parks. From that I will have a much better idea of what is happening with your rig.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 7:37 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Hi Roland,
I used the GPS coordinates from the compass app on my iPhone for where I was standing right next to the mount. I'm somewhat tech savy but not immune to  the learning curve. As a related disclaimer, I am able to get the pier somewhat level but not completely level due to landscape features. I am able to polar align the scope using the RAPAS. I did realize that I had set the time zone and daylight savings settings incorrectly early on but have long since fixed that. I do check time and location each time I start the mount up. The mount only moves about 20 to 30 ft between uses (from inside a tarp shed to outside the shed). Sometimes I even leave it in place overnight if the forecast is dry and I'll be using it the next night. I've used the mount approximately 8-10 times and the keypad seems fairly intuitive at this point but I do verify that I am not making mistakes.

As per George, an issue I was having early on was that I was hitting a limit. I had been starting at Park 1. The issue was resolved by slewing to Park 3 then manually adjusting the scope to Park 3. Generally, from Park 3 I can attain Park 1. Generally, I cannot attain both Park 4 and Park 1 simultaneously. When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off. Park 2 has been hit and miss depending on the sequence prior to an attempt to reach it. I cannot tell if I am hitting other limits somehow. A good question to ask now is when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North? 

It seems as though polar aligning then starting at Park 3 and just moving forward is the easiest and most reliable process.

George did mention that it would probably be easier to run the mount from my PC, so I am deciphering that process now. I have already downloaded the drivers and such from the AP support page. I will be using Prism to run the mount which is ASCOM compliant.  In terms of hardware connections, I will be using an ethernet cable directly from my PC to the CP4 ethernet port.

Thank you for your help,

Tom

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 5:51 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
All this only works if the latitude location data is correct. If the keypad is set for Miami and the mount is in Montana, then this will cause the park positions to be wrong.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dodd <mike@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

On 9/21/2021 6:57 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> After speaking with George (who was very helpful) I have come to realize
> that Park 3 is the position which is central to all else. One would
> think that once Park 3 is re-established that Park 1,2 and 4 would then
> be attainable

Park 1 used to be the "reference" position, but now Park 4 or 5 is
recommended instead. Loosen the clutches and command the mount with the
keypad or ASCOM driver to park in Park 4 or Park 5.

Next, loosen the clutches and physically make the counterweight shaft
and the OTA level. Once you do this, unpark the scope from "last parked."

If the mount has your date/time and your local coordinates, you should
be able to slew to a target with good accuracy.

> I spent several sessions with the mount where I thought that because I
> was unable to achieve all (1-4) Park positions, that I would not be able
> to find my targets.

I use a machinist's level accurate to 20 arcsec to level my 1200's CW
shaft and OTA in Park 1(I'll use Park 4 next time), and when I unpark
and slew to a target, it's within the central 50% of my camera's sensor.

I don't think one Park position is related to any other one. They ARE
related to coordinates and date/time.

--- Mike







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Thomas Giannaccini
 

Mike,
I received an email from Roland telling me to use Park 3, 2 and 5. So I will try that. 

I think I generally only used “resume from park” on the initial startup. Initially that was Park 1, until George said to use Park 3. So, from that point forward I would resume from Park 3. 

I store the mount in Park 1 so it will fit in the shed. Perhaps I can try Park 4 or 5 to store it. I will first try resuming from Park 4 or 5 but if that doesn't work, I will just start from Park 3 by manually placing it there by hand if necessary  after slewing to Park 3.

In terms of waiting, I never timed it but I never went immediately to a target, I didn’t realize there was a time crunch. I did read the manual but I think it takes a few iterations for it to all sink in. 

What was confusing is that some Park attempts would end with the OTA in very odd positions. So it wasn’t a small margin of error as if the difference was based on movement from tracking; there were many times it wasn’t even in the ballpark. As to if the weights were pointed upwards, I did not notice them pointing up but if it was by a small amount I may not have seen it.

I am interested to try Roland’s suggestion. I think I may have to update my keypad to get Park 5. 

I try not to bog the forum with beginner questions, I only really ask when my attempted solutions don’t seem to work at all.

Thank you for your help,

Tom




On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 6:56 PM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote:
On 9/21/2021 8:37 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then
> manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off.

After you manually adjust the mount in Park 4, what do you do next? Do
you "Resume From Last Parked?"

> ...when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way
> is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North?

In Park 1, the OTA is horizontal pointing north. In Park 4, the OTA is
horizontal pointing south.

The issue with Park 1, as pointed out by A-P, is that as soon as you
unpark, the mount is tracking, and after only a few seconds, it believes
the counterweight is up, which can be bad. From the keypad manual: "Park
1 is only seconds away from tracking into a counterweight-up status and
slews from Park 1 to western objects may cause the scope to point toward
the ground when beginning the slew."

How long do you wait after unparking from Park 1 before you slew to a
sky target? I usually do that immediately, as quickly as I can pick a
target. I have never had a problem unparking from Park 1 if I'm quick to
slew  to an east target. But, again, Park 4 where I level the mount and
OTA if necessary. (Actually, I will use Park 5 in the future because
that doesn't stretch my imaging cables as much as Park 4.)

--- Mike


--- Mike







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Mike Dodd
 

On 9/21/2021 10:32 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
I think I generally only used “resume from park” on the initial startup.
Initially that was Park 1, until George said to use Park 3. So, from
that point forward I would resume from Park 3.
I think the best thing to do is Resume From Last Parked. If I've loosened the clutches, I use a park position that puts the CWT shaft and the OTA both horizontal. These are 1 (obsolete), 4, and 5.

I store the mount in Park 1 so it will fit in the shed. Perhaps I can
try Park 4 or 5 to store it. I will first try resuming from Park 4 or 5
but if that doesn't work, I will just start from Park 3 by manually
placing it there by hand if necessary after slewing to Park 3.
I'm sure you know that Park 4 and 5 are the same, with the OTA pointing in opposite directions. Hopefully one of those will work for you.

A-P told me how to resume from a Park position:
1. With the scope set up, loosen the clutches, then command a Park to the desired position.
2. Wait until the motors stop, then turn off mount power.
3. Physically adjust the mount to the correct position using reference marks or a level (I use a level because my 1200 has no marks).
4. Tighten the clutches, and power-up the mount.
5. Command a Resume From Last Parked. If you don't have that option, resume from the position you parked the mount in step 1.

Is your mount connected to a computer? If so, the ASCOM driver gives you access to Park 5 and Resume From Last Parked if your keypad doesn't have those.

As to if the weights were pointed upwards,
I did not notice them pointing up but if it was by a small amount I may
not have seen it.
RA tracks at 15 degrees per hour (3600 seconds), so if it takes just several seconds for the CWT shaft to become "up," that angle will be less than 0.02 degrees. You'll never notice that! :-)

I am interested to try Roland’s suggestion. I think I may have to update
my keypad to get Park 5
Do you have a computer? The ASCOM driver has park 5. Get the A-P utility called APJog, and use that to connect to the mount. Connecting launches the ASCOM driver, and you can use its windows to setup the mount, slew it, and park it any of the five positions. Very handy!

I haven't used my (old) keypad for a long time -- just APJOG and the ASCOM driver.

--- Mike


fernandorivera3
 

I do not have park 5 either on my keypad from July 2009, this was made well before park 4 & 5 as well as APCC different versions came out. I do see park 4 on my screen which followed the download of 4.19.3 firmware- I believe. 
Also my CP box is GTOCP3, not the current CP4 or newest CP5.

Fernando


M Hambrick
 

Here is a picture of the alignment marks on the 1100 mount. This mount was purchased in February, 2017.

FYI, those "setting circle" marks were done by hand. The mount did not come with them.

As for the availability of Park 5, I am anxiously waiting for the new keypad software version 4.19.5 to become available to those of us with GTOCP4 and older control boxes.

Mike

 


Thomas Giannaccini
 

Thank you Mike

On Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 6:58 AM M Hambrick <mhambrick563@...> wrote:
Here is a picture of the alignment marks on the 1100 mount. This mount was purchased in February, 2017.

FYI, those "setting circle" marks were done by hand. The mount did not come with them.

As for the availability of Park 5, I am anxiously waiting for the new keypad software version 4.19.5 to become available to those of us with GTOCP4 and older control boxes.

Mike

 


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua


Jerry Floyd
 

Of course you can't "achieve" all the Park positions (1-4) simultaneously. You can only put a mount in one park position at a time.  Otherwise the mount would need to be in 4 places at once, which would violate Einstein's laws of relativity.


Roland Christen
 

Let me ask you a more fundamental question. Do you have a fixed setup where you do not remove the scope from the mount after each session?

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 9:32 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Mike,
I received an email from Roland telling me to use Park 3, 2 and 5. So I will try that. 

I think I generally only used “resume from park” on the initial startup. Initially that was Park 1, until George said to use Park 3. So, from that point forward I would resume from Park 3. 

I store the mount in Park 1 so it will fit in the shed. Perhaps I can try Park 4 or 5 to store it. I will first try resuming from Park 4 or 5 but if that doesn't work, I will just start from Park 3 by manually placing it there by hand if necessary  after slewing to Park 3.

In terms of waiting, I never timed it but I never went immediately to a target, I didn’t realize there was a time crunch. I did read the manual but I think it takes a few iterations for it to all sink in. 

What was confusing is that some Park attempts would end with the OTA in very odd positions. So it wasn’t a small margin of error as if the difference was based on movement from tracking; there were many times it wasn’t even in the ballpark. As to if the weights were pointed upwards, I did not notice them pointing up but if it was by a small amount I may not have seen it.

I am interested to try Roland’s suggestion. I think I may have to update my keypad to get Park 5. 

I try not to bog the forum with beginner questions, I only really ask when my attempted solutions don’t seem to work at all.

Thank you for your help,

Tom




On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 6:56 PM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote:
On 9/21/2021 8:37 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then
> manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off.

After you manually adjust the mount in Park 4, what do you do next? Do
you "Resume From Last Parked?"

> ...when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way
> is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North?

In Park 1, the OTA is horizontal pointing north. In Park 4, the OTA is
horizontal pointing south.

The issue with Park 1, as pointed out by A-P, is that as soon as you
unpark, the mount is tracking, and after only a few seconds, it believes
the counterweight is up, which can be bad. From the keypad manual: "Park
1 is only seconds away from tracking into a counterweight-up status and
slews from Park 1 to western objects may cause the scope to point toward
the ground when beginning the slew."

How long do you wait after unparking from Park 1 before you slew to a
sky target? I usually do that immediately, as quickly as I can pick a
target. I have never had a problem unparking from Park 1 if I'm quick to
slew  to an east target. But, again, Park 4 where I level the mount and
OTA if necessary. (Actually, I will use Park 5 in the future because
that doesn't stretch my imaging cables as much as Park 4.)

--- Mike


--- Mike







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Thomas Giannaccini
 

The mount and pier are on a motorized dolly. The dolly moves about 20-30 ft. I have not taken the setup apart yet but in the future, yes, it will be disassembled and substantially moved. 

I think updating the keypad to Park 5 and using the sequence you suggested will go a long way. 

Thank you,

Tom

On Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 8:42 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Let me ask you a more fundamental question. Do you have a fixed setup where you do not remove the scope from the mount after each session?

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannaccini <tgiann3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 9:32 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] #Keypad Park Positions: AP 1100 GTO with encoders

Mike,
I received an email from Roland telling me to use Park 3, 2 and 5. So I will try that. 

I think I generally only used “resume from park” on the initial startup. Initially that was Park 1, until George said to use Park 3. So, from that point forward I would resume from Park 3. 

I store the mount in Park 1 so it will fit in the shed. Perhaps I can try Park 4 or 5 to store it. I will first try resuming from Park 4 or 5 but if that doesn't work, I will just start from Park 3 by manually placing it there by hand if necessary  after slewing to Park 3.

In terms of waiting, I never timed it but I never went immediately to a target, I didn’t realize there was a time crunch. I did read the manual but I think it takes a few iterations for it to all sink in. 

What was confusing is that some Park attempts would end with the OTA in very odd positions. So it wasn’t a small margin of error as if the difference was based on movement from tracking; there were many times it wasn’t even in the ballpark. As to if the weights were pointed upwards, I did not notice them pointing up but if it was by a small amount I may not have seen it.

I am interested to try Roland’s suggestion. I think I may have to update my keypad to get Park 5. 

I try not to bog the forum with beginner questions, I only really ask when my attempted solutions don’t seem to work at all.

Thank you for your help,

Tom




On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 6:56 PM Mike Dodd <mike@...> wrote:
On 9/21/2021 8:37 PM, Thomas Giannaccini wrote:
> When I try to attain Park 4 by slewing to it then
> manually adjusting, it throws the other Park positions off.

After you manually adjust the mount in Park 4, what do you do next? Do
you "Resume From Last Parked?"

> ...when the mount is in Park 1 and slews to Park 4 which way
> is the main objective of the OTA supposed to swing? South or North?

In Park 1, the OTA is horizontal pointing north. In Park 4, the OTA is
horizontal pointing south.

The issue with Park 1, as pointed out by A-P, is that as soon as you
unpark, the mount is tracking, and after only a few seconds, it believes
the counterweight is up, which can be bad. From the keypad manual: "Park
1 is only seconds away from tracking into a counterweight-up status and
slews from Park 1 to western objects may cause the scope to point toward
the ground when beginning the slew."

How long do you wait after unparking from Park 1 before you slew to a
sky target? I usually do that immediately, as quickly as I can pick a
target. I have never had a problem unparking from Park 1 if I'm quick to
slew  to an east target. But, again, Park 4 where I level the mount and
OTA if necessary. (Actually, I will use Park 5 in the future because
that doesn't stretch my imaging cables as much as Park 4.)

--- Mike


--- Mike







--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


--
CN: HasAnyoneSeenMyNeblua