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Hi all.

Just a question about the goto systems.

Why do we need to input our location into the handset when we have gps? Why are they all not set up with gps as standard? We can get gps on our mobiles that cost next to nothing, but not goto's........unless of course there are.

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58 minutes ago, Anvil Basher said:

Hi all.

Just a question about the goto systems.

Why do we need to input our location into the handset when we have gps? Why are they all not set up with gps as standard? We can get gps on our mobiles that cost next to nothing, but not goto's........unless of course there are.

Some do have GPS built into them now like the iOptron AZGoto. Some, like the SW AZGTi link to a phone and get the position, time and date from there. You can also get GPS dongles that plug into the handsets to upgrade them. I'm sure this technology will get more and more common.

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GPS was not available generally when GOTO mounts first came along - GOTO has been around since the mid 1980's. As Stu says, each generation of GOTO will incorporate newer technologies that will improve the functionality and ease of use of the systems.

This was my 1st GOTO mount (circa late 1980's) - the handset is around the size of a house brick and about as user friendly !:

 

 

bresseruranus.jpg.bf822fd21426df719d0152bc7216037c.jpg

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4 hours ago, Anvil Basher said:

Hi all.

Just a question about the goto systems.

Why do we need to input our location into the handset when we have gps? Why are they all not set up with gps as standard? We can get gps on our mobiles that cost next to nothing, but not goto's........unless of course there are.

If you have GPS you do not need to input your location, The only thing you have to input is your time zone and is Yes or No Summer or Wintertime ... as the GPS give the time in UTC ...

https://www.septentrio.com/en/insights/how-gps-brings-time-world

Quote

We can get gps on our mobiles that cost next to nothing

Yes and the GPS in the mounts do cost nearly the same ?

Quote

Why do we need to input our location into the handset when we have gps?

The question is how was the firmware programmed and if this sends the data to your hand controller or not ...

Quote

Why are they all not set up with gps as standard?

This can only be answered by the company which builds the mounts ? without GPS ...

Edited by Rainer

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11 hours ago, Rainer said:

If you have GPS you do not need to input your location, The only thing you have to input is your time zone and is Yes or No Summer or Wintertime ... as the GPS give the time in UTC ...

That is what I said. But it is no use if the goto does not have the ability of utilising gps.

Yes and the GPS in the mounts do cost nearly the same ?

Next to nothing then

The question is how was the firmware programmed and if this sends the data to your hand controller or not ...

This can only be answered by the company which builds the mounts ? without GPS ...

 

Again, this is not available.........but should be. I should easily be able to connect my phone to the controller via usb, and download the data. None of that is really going to cost much. I expect the usual reason is they have to sell all the ones without gps first, rather than be left with warehouses full of them. They will bring them out when stocks of the old are dwindling, because if it's available they would sell few without it.......and I bet they have the prototype already with updated software.

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17 hours ago, Anvil Basher said:

Again, this is not available.........but should be. I should easily be able to connect my phone to the controller via usb, and download the data. None of that is really going to cost much. I expect the usual reason is they have to sell all the ones without gps first, rather than be left with warehouses full of them. They will bring them out when stocks of the old are dwindling, because if it's available they would sell few without it.......and I bet they have the prototype already with updated software.

Hi,

You are right. Call them and complain directly to the mount producers. Perhaps you can change their way of thinking ...

?

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20 minutes ago, Rainer said:

Hi,

You are right. Call them and complain directly to the mount producers. Perhaps you can change their way of thinking ...

?

Right o.........I shall start calling.....not ?

Honestly.........are you serious? You have me cracking up right now with laughter. Why would I start phoning companies? This is a forum......I believe.......and my question was not to get a petition up or form a grievance committee, it was simply a question to start a chat about it. You may not like my questions, so you need not answer, but the question will not go away. I am sure there are others that enjoy a chat over something we have interest in, and give their opinions, not links to websites.

Why did you join this forum? to give answers such as above? To me, you are being sarcastic. You know you are being sarcastic. Anyone reading your answer knows. I joined to have a chat, talk about our hobby, ask questions..............did I do wrong thinking that?

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23 hours ago, Anvil Basher said:

Why do we need to input our location into the handset when we have gps? Why are they all not set up with gps as standard? We can get gps on our mobiles that cost next to nothing, but not goto's........unless of course there are.

Some find it annoying that GoTo systems do not have RTC clocks, which one assumes would cost very little to incorporate.  One might say the same about GPS modules.  Mobiles incorporating GPS don't cost next to nothing - they may cost hundreds of pounds.  The GPS module does not cost much, but it's an added cost and potential headache - did you see the thread about a GPS rollover bug?  One of my mounts does have GPS, but it has a £2000 price tag.  If you dismantle a GoTo mount, it can be a surprise to see how little is inside.

The answer is that the makers could incorporate these things, but they would have to charge slightly more, and buyers would shy away and buy a rival product.  Also, their sales charts tell them that wifi enabled mounts sell well, and these allow the user to pull in GPS data from a device that the mount maker isn't paying for. ?

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2 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

Some find it annoying that GoTo systems do not have RTC clocks, which one assumes would cost very little to incorporate.  One might say the same about GPS modules.  Mobiles incorporating GPS don't cost next to nothing - they may cost hundreds of pounds.  The GPS module does not cost much, but it's an added cost and potential headache - did you see the thread about a GPS rollover bug?  One of my mounts does have GPS, but it has a £2000 price tag.  If you dismantle a GoTo mount, it can be a surprise to see how little is inside.

The answer is that the makers could incorporate these things, but they would have to charge slightly more, and buyers would shy away and buy a rival product.  Also, their sales charts tell them that wifi enabled mounts sell well, and these allow the user to pull in GPS data from a device that the mount maker isn't paying for. ?

Good point.

The easy answer for these mount and goto companies is to offer a gps module as an extra or aftermarket buy. We can already buy gps modules for cars @5 notes, the pcb boards are cheap as chips, and adding a routine into the software should be a sinch. So the real reality of cost is not that high. They could do that very quickly, all the products are out there available. It does not need to be fitted, just put it on the ground..........a standalone item. The important part is writing in the new routine and adding an outlet on the handset for connection to mobile. Wi-fi can be another optional extra but not necessary.

They could even offer a deal to those with a goto system to upgrade the handset only, so they can still sell the ones without. I think most of us would take up such an offer of upgrade handset, even though we might initially not, it will become the norm. I also think that the cost would be affordable to all.

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3 minutes ago, Anvil Basher said:

Good point.

The easy answer for these mount and goto companies is to offer a gps module as an extra or aftermarket buy. We can already buy gps modules for cars @5 notes, the pcb boards are cheap as chips, and adding a routine into the software should be a sinch. So the real reality of cost is not that high. They could do that very quickly, all the products are out there available. It does not need to be fitted, just put it on the ground..........a standalone item. 

Something like this .

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5 minutes ago, Anvil Basher said:

The easy answer for these mount and goto companies is to offer a gps module as an extra or aftermarket buy.

If you check some catalogs I think you will find that such things are already available - but they are not cheap. I would rather enter location myself than spend £150 on a module that plugs into a mount port.

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3 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

Something like this .

Yes, so there is one. Excellent. I have bookmarked that link page. I shall be a purchaser in the near future..............job sorted. ?

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2 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

If you check some catalogs I think you will find that such things are already available - but they are not cheap. I would rather enter location myself than spend £150 on a module that plugs into a mount port.

Cheers. I see them now. I think it is handy.

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Not everyone wants/ needs a GPS on their goto mount. Just personal preference and I for one am glad that there is still options available that do not require it. 

Even though I have goto mounts my favorite is still a older CG-5 with a single tracking motor and occasionally I may even plug the Argo Navis in. 

I seem to be in a growing minority though as I do not take electronics (phone/ tablet/ laptop)  anywhere near my telescopes when viewing. 

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22 hours ago, Anvil Basher said:

Again, this is not available.........but should be. I should easily be able to connect my phone to the controller via usb, and download the data. None of that is really going to cost much. I expect the usual reason is they have to sell all the ones without gps first, rather than be left with warehouses full of them. They will bring them out when stocks of the old are dwindling, because if it's available they would sell few without it.......and I bet they have the prototype already with updated software.

Hi Anvil Basher,

Please reread this answer you are giving. It sounds more like a complain then a question how to adapt a GPS to something ...

OK ?

I had two Losmandy mounts with the Gemini I system with no GPS but one could buy a separate GPS an plug it into the Gemini control box ...

https://www.stargps.ca/

but the control software must be able to read the GPS because if not then you can connect whtever you want and you will not get the info into the control box ...

And if English is not your mother language then Please at least try to make short sentences so I can understand you better.

Now accept my Apologies if you felt offended ....

And why did I join this forum ? in order to learn something but also to give something back from what I have learned in the last 20 years doing this Astronomy stuff.

What was wrong with my answer about asking the mount producer. If I have a mount and want something else for it I ask the mount producer ¿? What is wrong with that ¿? In most cases they will help you out ... but ir looks like you are in war with them because they do not deliver you what you think they must deliver you ...

Every producer of anything can built his anything as he likes. If you do not like it ... simple, do not buy it ... but do not generalize that everybody must implement what you allegedly are missing ...End of story ...

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There are other perspectives here - e.g. that of the R&D engineering team who have to develop telescope mounts and their control electronics, and that of the business owners who have to pay for the R&D and the manufactured products and business overheads from sales of rather esoteric and very modestly priced equipment, judged against the standards of other kit mentioned in this thread, e.g. smartphones. Unpick this a little:

1. Most astro kit is developed and manufactured in China these days, by engineers with a hands-on outlook, supported by consultants in specific specialties. These suppliers are focused on cost leadership rather than performance leadership, and they target the volume end of the market rather than the high value/highly engineered end. There is no useful market in top-of-the-line mounts or telescopes - that is closer to handcrafting than organised mass manufacture. There is also little real innovation, which is understandable given the demographics of the user base. Consequently, you will not commonly find 'nice-to-have' but non-essential features that require significant engineering development to make reliable, such as sophisticated real-time mount error and refraction modelling, sophisticated GUI's, programmable PPEC, engineering test and diagnostic routines etc. These require meaty motion controller firmware stacks and fast hardware capable of multi-threaded refined trajectory calculation, motion input summing, high speed axis encoder decoding etc. This costs a lot of money and time to develop, for a target audience that will be generally unengaged by the complexities of getting it to work, and unwilling to pay a price sufficient to cover the R&D and ongoing support costs. Consider too the size of the global market for 50kg payload weight class GEM's and above. It is very small indeed. On the other hand, there are tens of thousands of quite basic, light-duty, cast aluminium, dodgy worm gear driven mounts sold annually with 8 bit microontroller user interface paddles and cheap Allegro-based microstepping GoTo motor drives. Think of the Christmas trade in the West, department store telescopes aimed at childrearing, and the cutthroat pricing that applies to that. This addresses an undiscriminating volume market.

2. After more than 3 decades in engineering one of the constant themes I see is lack of respect for engineering development by non-engineers. Bringing mount location, UTC, altitude, air temperature, mount axis position and other relevant use parameters onboard from either inbuilt or auxiliary devices like smartphones, to the required accuracy and with acceptable reliability, so that Goto can be completely automated and accurate is not simple and not cheap to do. And, to cap that, the market still values antidiluvian mount geometries like the GEM, decades after professional users have abandoned it for more rational and higher performance alternatives.

3. Look at unrelated specialist fields for what is done there. How about 'premium cars' - an increasingly meaningless term once one delves beneath the superficial.  Telematics systems provided are invariably several years behind the state of the art, and invariably far less capable and ergonomic than the smartphone-based alternatives. Meaningful failure diagnostics and condition monitoring  is never offered to end-users, never mind real-time powertrain optimisation and other functions.  The fundamental reason for this seems to be that the business model of mainstream automotive OEM's is based in part on maintaining information barriers to end-users in order to generate revenues from repair costs outside the warranty period. (Tesla seem to be changing that. But Tesla is a market-maker and an evangelist...) The hot take here, is that is unreasonable to demand that astro equipment mount makers 'reach for the stars' technologically-speaking when we see little evidence that in other consumer fields, whether automotive, consumtronics, medical devices, domestic durable goods etc this is prioritised.

The key ways to get suppliers to offer better more capable products is:

1. to assiduously develop a more discerning market, through special interest discussion forums such as this one, and

2. to encourage greater collaborative development of equipment between manufacturer and end-user. 802.11 Wifi modules with serial interfaces cost a few bucls and are easy to program. GPS modules and chips are very cheap. If these things really matter, either the end-user community need to engineer their own retrofits for popular mounts, or market premium pricing in favour of products with these attributes needs to be communicated convincingly to manufacturers.

 

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