Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) Software

The Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) provides advanced mount control features useful for local or remote operation of your Astro-Physics GTO mount. It was developed by Ray Gralak, the author of PulseGuide and PEMPro in collaboration with Astro-Physics.

Whether you are controlling your mount while seated at your computer six feet or half a world away, there are functions to provide you with a more productive and pleasurable experience. Comet or satellite trackers will love the custom rates and 3600GTO owners with limit switches and/or precision encoder will appreciate the user interface. Through the application of virtual serial ports, APCC will act as a hub for a number of other applications that can all communicate with the mount through a single COM port. APCC provides useful safeguards even if you are operating your scope in your backyard.

APCC will be offered in two versions: APCC Standard (APCC-ST) and APCC Pro (APCC-PRO). APCC Upgrade from Standard to Pro Version (APCC-UP) will also be available.

APCC Standard Version (APCC-ST), includes Horizons

Features of APCC Standard

APCC Pro Version (APCC-PRO), includes Horizons

Features of APCC Pro IMPORTANT: APPM requires the PinPoint Astrometric Engine for plate solves. Please go to the following website to download the 60- day trial version or make your purchase: http://pinpoint.dc3.com. PinPoint is Included with ACP Observatory Control software by Bob Denny and available from DC-3 Dreams .

Astro-Physics Horizons - Bonus Application

Horizons allows your Astro-Physics mount to accurately follow solar system objects such as Comets, Asteroids, Planets, and even the moon and sun. It uses data that you import from the JPL Horizons Ephemerides web site to calculate the precise tracking rates needed to follow a target without any guiding. This means you can do longer unguided exposures of a comet without it blurring. Or, in the case of fast moving asteroids, you don't need to worry about keeping your scope centered because Horizons will do that for you.

APCC and Astro-Physics Horizons Demonstration

In the video below, Howard Hedlund, from the Astro-Physics Technical Support staff, demonstrates key features of APCC Pro and the Astro-Physics Horizons program at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern, NY in April 2013. Dennis DiCicco, Sky & Telescope editor, conducted the interview. If you wish to skip ahead and view only the APCC portion of this video, start at 13:50. However, we invite you to view the entire video for demonstrations of these exciting products: 1100GTO and 1600GTO German Equatorial mounts with discussion of the Absolute Encoder System, Right-Angle Polar Alignment Scope and the 10 x 60 Vario Finder with Quick Release Guider Bracket.



Screenshots

Here are a few screenshots of APCC to give you an idea of the interface.

This is the Main Window of APCC Standard Version. The Setup Tab is visible and various other tabs, the 3D View or Status Window can be easily selected. The telescope position values continually update and the graphic plots the position of your telescope and indicates the pier side. Move commands are readily available as is the status bar on the lower portion of the window. Connection information is always visible. Note that you can set up a backup COM port that will be available if you experience connection problems with your primary port. The circular help buttons direct you to the specific part of the manual that discusses the function of the group box.

The 3D scope view is a separate window that can remain open alongside the main window, if you wish. It provides a visual representation of the movement of your mount and telescope relative to the pier. The dimensions of the telescope, dewcap, focuser, camera and pier can all be edited (and saved for future use) to provide a fairly accurate graphic of your instrument. However, we do not recommend that you rely solely on this graphic as you move into tight positions near the pier. Nevertheless, this is a very useful (and fun) tool.

The horizon tracking limits graph is featured here. You can either set your limits by double clicking on this screen or use the alternate procedure available with the edit button.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Mount Hardware Requirements Minimum Recommended Computer Hardware Requirements Minimum Recommended Computer Software Requirements Pricing

APCC Standard - $250
APCC Pro - Price to be determined.


When Will APCC Be Available?

Since APCC requires the installation of the new “V” version chip for the GTOCP3 (rather than the "S" version, as originally planned), the first phase of the rollout will be shipping free upgrade “V” chips to people who have the "S","S1","T" or "U" chips. This upgrade phase is currently in process. We are managing this phase in groups. Please be patient if you have not heard from us yet regarding your upgrade. If you purchased a mount from a dealer or another individual and have not yet registered, fill out the Mount Registration Form and either e-mail, fax or send it in. We will enter the change of ownership information into our database. If you have one of the chips mentioned above, we will contact you.

In the near future, we will begin accepting new orders for the "V" chip from customers who have earlier versions. Please refer to this information in order to purchase your chip.


We anticipate that the APCC Standard and Pro versions will be available for download by early November 2014.

If you would like to give APCC a test drive before you make your purchase, a 30-day trial version will allow you to try it before you buy. The download link for the trial version will be available soon. Please note that you must have the "V" chip (or later version) in order to download and use the trial.

Please watch this website for further information regarding the download location.

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This page was last modified: October 16, 2014

Astro-Physics, Inc.
11250 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL  61115, U.S.A.
Phone: 815-282-1513   Fax: 815-282-9847