Version 2.7 Hand controller goodies


 

Roland accidentally posted this to the other users group on Friday. It
really belongs here:

For those who have struggled through the startup menus of our older
versions, I have good news. Charles and I just spent 2 exhausting days
hammering out a way to totally eliminate the need for startup. Charles came
up with a way to autoconnect the system. By writing everything into memory
and doing some other software checks during startup, we can now restore
automatically all parameters needed to get the mount running again after
power down and reconnection of power.

For the case of a permanently mounted polar aligned mount:

In the new version of the hand control software, when the mount is powered
up, you get immediately to the Main menu. You can modify your location or
clock time as usual in the setup, but assuming you did that at the
beginning, you can go directly to any object. When you are done observing,
you can either park the scope in any of the three reference park positions,
OR you can now leave it pointed anywhere in the sky. The mount can be
powered down at this point, and the memory will keep track of where it was
pointed when you removed power. Upon power up, the scope will know exactly
where it is pointing in the sky, so you can resume your telescope operation
seamlessly. (With a seperate computer, you will be able to activate the
Alt-Az mode and park it at a known Alt-Az position). Alt-az is not yet
available in the hand controller, but may be implemented in V2.8

For the case of a mount that requires setup and polar alignment:

In the setup routine, you will have the choice to flag either Autoconnect or
no Autoconnect. If you choose no, then upon power up, you will be asked to
enter your location, and the Polar Align, the 2 Star Align, and the Resume
from reference Park options will all appear, just like they do now. Resume
from Reference Park will allow you to do the Bubble Level daytime Polar
Align routine that you all know so well and have all tried, right? Anyway,
for those who move their mount after each session, they will have the
option to startup from scratch just like they do now. If you are going to be
setup for a few days and want to autostart, you can simply go to the last
setup menu, toggle the Autostart feature. When you're done and tear the
system down, you can turn off the autostart for manual startup the next
time.

Meridian swap delay:

We have also added a simple feature that allows you to delay your meridian
swap, so you can image and slew around for mosaics even though you are well
past the meridian. If you forget to reset the meridian at the end of your
session, the mount will assume that you want the swap to occur at the delay
point until you reset it. Thertefore, this feature should be used with
caution.

Synch and Recal:

You will now be able to synch your mount on any of the objects in the
database. this means that if you move the scope around manually, and end up
on a known object, and want to synch on it, you just have to bring the
object up on the screen and press the synch button, which will be defined on
the screen. Recal is now enabled anywhere in the menu system. It can be
called up by pressing the RA/DEC button (bottom right button) and then
pressing 9. That way you don't have to exit Tour mode or any other menu to
recal on the object.

Running RA/DEC display:

You can now access the present RA/DEC position of the scope by pressing the
Next key. The menu shows a running display, which is basically a digital
setting circle. You can move the scope with the buttons, and watch the
display instantly update to the new position. This way you can control the
scope position manually down to the arc sec in DEC and 1 sec time in RA.

Object data:

You can now display the object's data before the GoTo command. In the past
versions, you had to slew to the object before the data was made available
on the screen.

These are the major changes made to the hand controller ( I hope I have not
forgotten anything). There are some very minor changes to some of the
screens.

In order for the Autoconnect to work, the servocontroller will need to have
a new chip upgrade. This chip will also allow you to upload all future
versions of the hand control software from the web site. Work on the chip
will take about 4 weeks, as I indicated before.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


C. G. Anderson
 

Marj:

I have just subscribed to this list, so I may have missed something.
How/what do I have to do in order to update the hand controller in my
AP900GTO?

Chris

Marj wrote:


Roland accidentally posted this to the other users group on Friday. It
really belongs here:

For those who have struggled through the startup menus of our older
versions, I have good news. Charles and I just spent 2 exhausting days
hammering out a way to totally eliminate the need for startup. Charles came
up with a way to autoconnect the system. By writing everything into memory
and doing some other software checks during startup, we can now restore
automatically all parameters needed to get the mount running again after
power down and reconnection of power.

For the case of a permanently mounted polar aligned mount:

In the new version of the hand control software, when the mount is powered
up, you get immediately to the Main menu. You can modify your location or
clock time as usual in the setup, but assuming you did that at the
beginning, you can go directly to any object. When you are done observing,
you can either park the scope in any of the three reference park positions,
OR you can now leave it pointed anywhere in the sky. The mount can be
powered down at this point, and the memory will keep track of where it was
pointed when you removed power. Upon power up, the scope will know exactly
where it is pointing in the sky, so you can resume your telescope operation
seamlessly. (With a seperate computer, you will be able to activate the
Alt-Az mode and park it at a known Alt-Az position). Alt-az is not yet
available in the hand controller, but may be implemented in V2.8

For the case of a mount that requires setup and polar alignment:

In the setup routine, you will have the choice to flag either Autoconnect or
no Autoconnect. If you choose no, then upon power up, you will be asked to
enter your location, and the Polar Align, the 2 Star Align, and the Resume
from reference Park options will all appear, just like they do now. Resume
from Reference Park will allow you to do the Bubble Level daytime Polar
Align routine that you all know so well and have all tried, right? Anyway,
for those who move their mount after each session, they will have the
option to startup from scratch just like they do now. If you are going to be
setup for a few days and want to autostart, you can simply go to the last
setup menu, toggle the Autostart feature. When you're done and tear the
system down, you can turn off the autostart for manual startup the next
time.

Meridian swap delay:

We have also added a simple feature that allows you to delay your meridian
swap, so you can image and slew around for mosaics even though you are well
past the meridian. If you forget to reset the meridian at the end of your
session, the mount will assume that you want the swap to occur at the delay
point until you reset it. Thertefore, this feature should be used with
caution.

Synch and Recal:

You will now be able to synch your mount on any of the objects in the
database. this means that if you move the scope around manually, and end up
on a known object, and want to synch on it, you just have to bring the
object up on the screen and press the synch button, which will be defined on
the screen. Recal is now enabled anywhere in the menu system. It can be
called up by pressing the RA/DEC button (bottom right button) and then
pressing 9. That way you don't have to exit Tour mode or any other menu to
recal on the object.

Running RA/DEC display:

You can now access the present RA/DEC position of the scope by pressing the
Next key. The menu shows a running display, which is basically a digital
setting circle. You can move the scope with the buttons, and watch the
display instantly update to the new position. This way you can control the
scope position manually down to the arc sec in DEC and 1 sec time in RA.

Object data:

You can now display the object's data before the GoTo command. In the past
versions, you had to slew to the object before the data was made available
on the screen.

These are the major changes made to the hand controller ( I hope I have not
forgotten anything). There are some very minor changes to some of the
screens.

In order for the Autoconnect to work, the servocontroller will need to have
a new chip upgrade. This chip will also allow you to upload all future
versions of the hand control software from the web site. Work on the chip
will take about 4 weeks, as I indicated before.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

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