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Jon Sales

How does GPS work on mounts?

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I k ow it sounds daft but when you buy a GPS module for your mount does it do all the alignment for you providing your mount is polar aligned?

Or are there mounts available with it built in?

Would it help with AP?

cheers. 

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7 minutes ago, Jon Sales said:

I k ow it sounds daft but when you buy a GPS module for your mount does it do all the alignment for you providing your mount is polar aligned?

Or are there mounts available with it built in?

Would it help with AP?

cheers. 

I purchased a used GPS mouse for my mount (AZEQ5), as much out of curiousity as anything else.

All it really does it make sure the time and position are correctly set. You still have to do the polar alignment and two or three star align. I did find it useful though and it avoids any of the silly errors you can get entering the data.

As an example, the iOptron AZGoto has GPS built in .

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I have owned two GPS units - the first was built into my CPC1100 and the second, a Celestron SkySync, is connected to my AZ-EQ6 through the StarSense system. Both of these GPS units work the same way - you turn on the scope, the GPS tells your handset the date, time and location and then you take over from there to do whatever style of alignment your mount allows/needs.

I love GPS on a scope, mainly because I am lazy and can't be bothered working out or having to remember what data to enter every time I use it.

The downside is they are expensive.

Edited by DRT
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44 minutes ago, DRT said:

I love GPS on a scope, mainly because I am lazy and can't be bothered working out or having to remember what data to enter every time I use it.

I could not put it any better.:icon_biggrin:

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How accurate are scope GPS's?

I have previously used my Garmin 60CSx to get the time and the location but I know it can vary a bit in the accuracy of the latter. Perhaps not enough to matter?

I've mostly been in the back garden and I know the lat/lon for that off by heart, but I plan on getting to a better darker site in the near future so a GPS would come in very handy. Would a scope GPS be worth it given I already have the 60CSx?

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The GPS on the mount is not going to be  any more accurate than the one built in to a  smartphone. If the GPS add-ons  were cheap I would get one, but a couple of apps on my phone do the same things for free. I think what really puts me off is that a gps puck is less than £20

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In the days before I had my Ioptron mount, I found it a pain to set my location. The scope manufactures put the nearest place to m as Birmingham! There wasn't a single place in Wales in the handset, I wouldn't be without my Ioptron, it's my travelling mount so I make use of the gps. As to my eq6, I have a plugin dongle for the laptop and then get the scope to get its position and time from the laptop!

Anne

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I normally take my hand held Garmin to any site for accurate co-ordinates but as Jon says there are numerous phone apps you can use. A good one on Android is Synscaninit which has all the details in the correct format. Any co-ordinates are apparently good for 50 miles but I must admit to using the Garmin to get them to the nearest 3 metres! What would be good if you could have multiple custom sites in the HC and rename them to the places you visit.

Edited by JG777

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Is GPS that useful if you always set up in the same location?  Handsets and ASCOM remember where you are. 

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1 hour ago, Ouroboros said:

Is GPS that useful if you always set up in the same location?  Handsets and ASCOM remember where you are. 

apart from making sure everything is in the correct format, including location, time, date, no.

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Only when you first set up and you can get that from the internet.

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Some handsets do not remember some of the data and it has to be entered every time.

I think GPS is like lots of other bits of astro kit. In themselves they give only marginal gains, but when you add them all together the experience of observing or imaging changes significantly. 

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I'm on my 2nd Ioptron - I never discovered the handset has a battery to keep the time and date until I had the 2nd one! The older manual didn't mention it and, as it was a display one, the battery was dead by the time I got it. The IEQ30Pro manual referred to it. I don't think the UK distributor knew either as I was having real problems getting the gps signal with the first one - probably didn't know where the satelites were!

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8 minutes ago, Anne S said:

I'm on my 2nd Ioptron - I never discovered the handset has a battery to keep the time and date until I had the 2nd one! The older manual didn't mention it and, as it was a display one, the battery was dead by the time I got it. The IEQ30Pro manual referred to it. I don't think the UK distributor knew either as I was having real problems getting the gps signal with the first one - probably didn't know where the satelites were!

You should have joined the iOptron Yahoo group, they knew all about it :grin: as you say no mention of it in the manual.

Dave

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On my 2 Meade LX-series scopes, which are AltAz, they find the date and time. Then they will show you a listing of stars visible from your location - unless a tree blocks it or a house, etc. - and you select 2 or 3 you can see unimpeded and it will then slew to the first one. It may be off by a degree or so, but then you use the hand-box to center it dead-center and click on the box. The hand-box (which acts as a navigational-computer here) will remember it's position. Then it repeats on a 2nd. star. Again - dead-center it and 'click.' You have now trained the drive. After 2 or 3 stars, your GOTO's will now be spot-on accurate. You want M51? 'Click!' How about Mizar? 'Click!'

And away you go!

Have fun -

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont

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Thanks for all the info. 

I need to check my handset as had problems this weekend with it. 

It was off by miles!

Damn you synscan!

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12 minutes ago, Jon Sales said:

Thanks for all the info. 

I need to check my handset as had problems this weekend with it. 

It was off by miles!

Damn you synscan!

Perhaps you put the wrong data in?

a GPS would sort that :evil:

 

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I'm always wary of gizmos intended to stop me from having to think. On balance, I think thinking is good...

Olly

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