Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) Software

APCC Offically Released October 24, 2014 !!

Read all about the First and Full Rollout Phases below.

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 is offered in two versions: APCC Standard (APCC-ST) and APCC Pro (APCC-PRO). We also offer an upgrade option from Standard to Pro Version (APCC-UP) whenever you wish to use the additional featuares.

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: 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.


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
The whole idea of "minimum computer requirements" for a single application is really no longer valid in today's computer world. Any computer that can run any of the modern software packages that you will be using with APCC will be adequate to run APCC. The issue in today's environment is whether your computer can run ALL of the required software SIMULTANEOUSLY to achieve your desired goals. APCC is unlikely to ever be run as a stand-alone piece of software. When you consider your computer hardware, aim for a system that can handle all of the observing and imaging software that you plan to use, and that can handle all of it running together. That being said, here are some general tips and recommendations and a few specific requirements:

Minimum Recommended Computer Software Requirements Pricing

All prices are in USD

APCC Standard (APCC-ST) - $249
APCC Pro (APCC-PRO) - $449 - Introductory Price until December 31st !!!
Additional APCC Standard License (APCC-ST-A) - $49
Additional APCC PRO License (APCC-PRO-A) - $69

APCC Offically Released October 24, 2014 !!

First Rollout Phase - October 24 - November 4
On October 24th, we officially released APCC to a group of individuals who have "V" chips in the GTOCP3 Control Box of their mounts. We decided to limit the first group of users so that we can be sure that the online order system and download process is operating smoothly. Secondly, some of our technical support team from Astro-Physics will be leaving for the Southwest Astrophography Seminar (SWAP) and the Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo (ASAE) conferences in Tucson, AZ on October 28 and will not be returning to the office until November 5th. Our ability to support this new product during that time will be very limited.

Although we have shipped a large number of "V" chips as free upgrades to people who had the "S", "S1", "T" and "U" chips, there are still some people who do not have this upgrade yet. We will contact the remainder of these people during this period as well, so that they also have the "V" chip for the Full Rollout phase. 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 the mount in your name, 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 for your upgrade.

During the first rollout phase, we will also accept new orders for the "V" chip from customers who have earlier versions, however these chips will not ship until after November 5th. Please fill out the GTOCP3 Chip Upgrade Order Form. Be sure that you also fill out the APCC E-Mail Registration Form if you would like to take the software for a test drive or complete your purchase.

Full Rollout Phase - November 5
On November 5th, we will begin contacting all of the people who have "V" chips and have also given us their official APCC e-mail address. APCC will be available for download to begin your 30-day trial or purchase. The link to the download area will be provided at that time, which will also direct you to our e-commerce site.

What is an APCC e-mail address?
This is the e-mail address that you have designated (or will designate) to be associated with your APCC trial or permanent license.We will enter this e-mail into our APCC database and it must match the e-mail address that you use when you sign up for APCC. Your license key will be sent to this e-mail and you must enter this e-mail when you register. If you have a "V" chip and have not already provided your APCC e-mail address to us, please fill out this APCC E-Mail Registration Form. Please make note of it for your records.

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This page was last modified: October 24, 2014

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