by Ray Gralak of Sirius-Imaging
PulseGuide is a stand-alone
Windows (98, ME, 2000, NT4, XP, Vista only) utility that provides
complete remote control of Astro-Physics Mach1GTO,
900GTO, 1200GTO and 3600GTO mounts as well as the older 400GTO and 600EGTO models. It derives its name from
its most distinctive feature, pulse guiding, which can
improve unguided tracking. Specifically, it can help
correct tracking errors caused by polar misalignment
and atmospheric refraction. You can also train PulseGuide
to track objects moving relative to the stars, such
as asteroids, comets, and the moon. In addition to pulse
guiding, PulseGuide also has many useful utility features.
With just a few exceptions, it supports the entire serial
Astro-Physics command protocol.
PulseGuide requires a serial connection
from your PC to your mount using a straight-through
DB9 cable. One end of the cable must have a female
connector and the other end male. Cables as long as
100 feet or more should work provided the cable is
made from high-quality shielded cable. Cables with
twisted pair wires work best, such as those from Belden. We now offer several
USB connectivity devices for computers that lack serial ports.
PulseGuide was written by Ray Gralak
of Sirius-Imaging. Please refer to his website http://www.pulseguide.com
for further developments and enhancements. The software
will be provided on a CD-ROM with all Astro-Physics
mounts delivered in 2004 or later. Previous owners
of any Astro-Physics mount can download the software
free-of-charge courtesy of Ray. We appreciate Ray's
committment to the development of this program.
- Fully supports the Astro-Physics serial command protocol.
- Pulse guiding. Corrects for drift due to mispolar
alignment and atmospheric refraction. Pulse guiding
is an idea originally suggested by Roland Christen
of Astro-Physics and implemented in this application.
It works by sending precisely timed serial commands
that make the mount move faster in RA and/or Dec
for a short period (hence “pulses”).
- Declination axis tests that you can use to check the function of
- With one button Unpark, automatically setting the time, time zone, longitude, and latitude without ever needing to plug in the hand controller. PulseGuide will even detect that your mount is not initialized and ask to initialize it.
- One-button Park feature allows you to park the mount at its current position, one of the AP park positions, or a user-defined Alt/Az.
- Unpark from one of the AP park positions or your
- Set guide/slew rates.
- Buttons to move the scope conveniently.
- A status bar that shows the scope’s position in RA/Dec (or Alt/Az), the side of mount that the scope is on, Local Sidereal time, and Object Hour Angle.
- Set the tracking rate (sidereal, lunar, solar, zero).
- Delayed stop or park of the mount so the scope will not hit the pier if you fall asleep or forget to shut down the scope.
- PEM (On/Off, record with timer).
- Set mount to PC Time and set Time Zone.
- Set a Meridian delay so the mount will not flip on a GOTO command.
- Convenient Site management.
- GOTO/Sync to RA/DEC coordinates. STOP button to stop a GOTO, if desired.
- TPoint resynchronization. This is a useful tool if you are using Software Bisque’s TheSky with a TPoint model and lose synchronization because you moved the scope by hand.
- Focus control including a counter to keep track of position.
- Reticle brightness control.
- Set mount backlash.
- Other miscellaneous features.
GTOCP1 and GTOCP2 Control Boxes
must have a chip dated 05-07-01 (designated as "D"
or "KD") in order to use this program. Click
for more information on chip upgrades. The GTOCP3 Control Box is ready to go.
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Inc. - All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified:
August 15, 2010
11250 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL 61115, U.S.A.
Phone: 815-282-1513 Fax: 815-282-9847