Astro-Physics
Electronics - Control Box, Keypad, Controllers
and Cables

Astro-Physics maintains an inventory of electronic parts for current and previous models. If you need a replacement or a spare, we can either ship it from stock or assemble it for you. This list is not complete, particularly regarding the older models. If you do not see what you need, give us a call.

Please read all information carefully since most of these items were designed for a specific electronic drive system and are not interchangeable with other drive systems. Here is a brief history of some of our mounts to help you understand the differences in the various models. You can also refer to the manuals for current and previous mounts on the Technical Support section of our website. If you are unsure which model you have, please give us a call and we will help you to figure it out.

In the future, we will prepare a similar section for the other mounts. You can also refer to the manuals for current and previous mounts on the Technical Support section of our website. If you are unsure which model you have, please give us a call and we will help you to figure it out.

A page describing the various methods for controlling Astro-Physics mounts may be found at this link: Control Your GTO Mounts with Your Keypad, Computer, or Mobile Smart Device.

GTOCP3 Servo Motor Control Box (GTOCP3) - the "Brains" of Your GTO Mount

Although the GTOCP3 control box looks the same on the outside as the prior GTOCP2 model, the internal circuit boards have been redesigned to allow expanded functionality and provide additional protection of the circuit. The command language has been expanded to allow additional functions.

The information below only pertains to new functions of the GTOCP3 control box. It assumes that you are familiar with the basic functions of this control box or prior versions. Please click here for more detailed information.

The new functions listed below cannot be added to the earlier GTOCP1 and GTOCP2 control boxes; they are available only in this newer version. However the GTOCP3 control box can be purchased as an upgrade for all prior GTO mounts. Please keep in mind that implementation of these new commands depends upon the program that you use to control your mount. The ASCOM driver takes full advantage of these commands.

  • All new electronics. All input lines are protected against heavy static discharge with transorbs. Larger internal chip to allow additional functions. FCC and CE certified. Lead-free electronics.
  • Drainage holes. Two threaded drainage holes are drilled into the lower part of the control box housing so that excess moisture can drain easily. This may prove useful if you live in an area with high humidity.
  • Timed guide move command. This allows computer programs to introduce precise motion without the complication of providing accurate time separation between the move and quit commands.
  • Variable tracking rate commands in both RA and Dec. The variable tracking rates in each axis are useful for tracking objects that are not fixed relative to background stars, like comets, asteroids, satellites and the Moon.
  • Variable centering rate commands.
  • PEM memory command. PEM memory is accessible to external software programs in order to smooth out and modify the curve. PEMPro by Ray Gralak and distributed by CCDWare supports directly reading from/writing to the PE storage locations. This allows more accurate programming of the mount's PEM (that is, the mount does not have to interpret move or autoguider commands). Also, programming is significantly quicker than waiting for one worm cycle's worth of playback (6 min 24 seconds) as is the case for the GTOCP2. Also, PEMPro reads parameters and calculates the mount's worm period (useful if you have a non-Astro-Physics mount with the GTO Control System.
  • Solid connection. The control box has more robust power connections to better handle input power fluctuations, “bounces” or glitches.

Mounts that can use this control box: All GTO mounts - All Mach1GTO, 900GTO, 1100GTO, 1200GTO, 1600GTO, 3600GTO and prior models 400GTO and 600EGTO. The parameters of the GTO control box depend on the gear ratio and motor of the mount. Therefore, the control boxes are not necessarily interchangeable from one model to another. For instance, the control box for the 400 mount cannot be used with the 1200 mount. However, the control box for the Mach1GTO, 900GTO, 1100GTO, 1200GTO and 1600GTO mounts are interchangeable. Please check with Astro-Physics before substituting control boxes.

Please note the following additional considerations if you are upgrading from a GTOCP1 control box:

  • 400GTO and 600EGTO - If you are upgrading from the GTOCP1 control box, you will also need to purchase a new carrying pouch, our part #C0024.
  • 900GTO - If you are upgrading from the GTOCP1 control box, you will need a the Quick Release Adapter for Control Box Kit (9CBKIT) to attach it to the RA axis. This dovetail-style adapter has the added advantage of allowing you to easily remove the control box from the mount, if you wish.You will also need a new RA/Dec Y-Cable (S900GYC) to replace the two separate RA and Dec cables that you now have.
  • 1200GTO - If you are upgrading from the GTOCP1 control box, you will need the 1200GTO Quick Release Adapter for Control Box Kit (12CBKIT) to attach it to the RA axis. This dovetail-style adapter has the added advantage of allowing you to easily remove the control box from the mount, if you wish. You will also need a new RA/Dec Y-Cable (S1200GYC) to replace the two separate RA and Dec cables that you now have.

GTO Manual

Link to GTO Manual Astro-Physics GTO Servo Motor Drive System - Model GTOCP3 - Manual

GTOCP3 Upgrade - Required Information Form: Each control box must be configured for the specific mount based on the characteristics of that mount. Please be prepared to provide the information requested on this form (PDF format) when you place your order. You do not have to send the form, we can complete it with information provided on the phone. Alternatively, you can include the information in the comments box of the online order form.

GTOCP3$995.00 JuneAdd GTOCP3 To My Cart
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Pouch for GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 Control Box(C0024)
Since the GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 control boxes cannot be directly mounted to either the 400GTO or 600EGTO mounts, the control box must be supported by this pouch or the Control Box Adapter (CBAPT). The pouch includes a strap that can loop around one of the knobs that attach your mount to the pier or tripod. It also features a flap that will fold over the electronics panel when not in use.

C0024$22.00 in stockAdd C0024 To My Cart
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Control Box Adapter for Piers and Tripods (CBAPT)

The Control Box Adapter (CBAPT) can be used with the GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 control boxes for the 400GTO, 600EGTO, Mach1GTO. It might be possible to use it with OEM mounts that use our GTO Servo Drive System depending on the pier configuration. Please refer to this link for additional information.

C0024$22.00 in stockAdd C0024 To My Cart
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GTO Keypad with Keypad Protector (KEYVFK)

The Keypad has evolved in its construction and firmware features over the years since its introduction in 1998. All new Keypads include the Keypad Protector (part # KEYPRO, also sold separately).

The information below only pertains to new functions of the Keypad. If you require additional information regarding function and features, please click here.

Hardware
These improvements were phased in from April 2002 through Jun 2003. Most customers already have the current model. New Keypads can be purchased as replacements and backups for all GTO mounts.

  • Larger chip memory capacity on new circuit board. Will allow us to add more features to the firmware program in the future. All Keypads with serial # 1491 and later numbers have this larger chip.
  • LED fiber optic backlit panel. Does not require a transformer as the prior EL backlit panel did so they will operate more quietly. Keypads with this feature must also have the updated circuit board. All Keypads with serial # 1568 and higher have this backlit panel.
  • Epoxy coated elastomeric keys.The Keypad graphics will retain their appearance longer. All Keypads with serial # 1568 and higher have this backlit panel.
  • Additional improvements that take advantage of advancements in technology.

Firmware
Firmware updates are available at no charge to all owners of Astro-Physics GTO mounts through an internet download. Please refer to the Technical Support section of our website.

Manuals

V.4.12 Manual GTO Keypad Controller, Version 4.12 (03-07-08) - PDF document
V.4.17 Addendum GTO Keypad Controller, Version 4.17 Addendum to the v.4.12 Manual - Includes the complete Revised GTO Quick Star Drift Method for Polar Alignment Instructions and a handy one-page Quick Reference Sheet (06-01-10) - PDF document


Mounts that can use this Keypad:
All GTO mounts - Mach1GTO, 900GTO, 1100GTO, 1200GTO, 1600GTO 3600GTO and prior models 400GTO and 600EGTO.

KEYVFK$1,060.00 in stockAdd KEYVFK To My Cart
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Keypad Protector (KEYPRO)
The keypad protector is now included with all mounts and keypads, however it can be purchased separately, if you need one.

The KEYPRO keypad protector (shown in the keypad photo above) is a heavy-duty molded rubber casing with a full 1/4" thickness on all impact surfaces. If you accidentally drop your keypad, the rubber casing will absorb much of the blow. Your display, keypad, electronics and the case itself will be protected from damage. In addition, the rubber prevents the keypad from sliding when placed on a table or other flat surface and the keypad will feel secure in your hands as you observe. The KEYPRO also offers protection during transport and storage.

The black case is designed with cutouts for the cable and retractable hanger.

Instructions: Removing and Installing the KEYPRO Keypad Protector for all Keypads.

KEYPRO$59.00 early AprilAdd KEYPRO To My Cart
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Y-Cable for GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 Control Boxes - 900GTO (S900GYC) and 1200GTO (S1200GYC)
If you are upgrading your 900GTO or 1200GTO from the GTOCP1 Control Box, you will need the appropriate cable for your mount. The GTOCP3 (and previous GTOCP2) Control Boxes have one output connection for the RA and Dec motors. We accomplish this by providing a single connector and two cables, one for each motor. We call this configuration a Y-cable.

We also recommend that you have an extra Y-cable on hand as a backup in case your original cable is damaged.

Mounts that can use these cables: 900GTO (S900GYC) and 1200GTO (S1200GYC) with either the GTOCP2 or GTOCP3 Control Box (The model number is silk screened on the front panel of the control box). Cable available on request.

S900GYC$110.00 in stockAdd S900GYC To My Cart
S1200GYC$110.00 in stockAdd S1200GYC To My Cart
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Y-Cable for GTOCP3 Control Box - Mach1GTO (SM1GYC)

It is always a good idea to have a backup Y-cable for your mount. This is particularly true for the Mach1GTO since the Mach1 is a portable mount that is often taken to star parties at great distances. You do not want to be 300 miles from home and have a cable problem that leaves you dead-in-the-water!

Our cables utilize a high-tech rubber sheathing that remains flexible in the coldest of conditions. Please note that our Y-cables are mount specific and cannot be interchanged due to dimensional differences.

We also recommend that you consider a backup Locking Power Cable (CABLPF).

SM1GYC$111.00 JuneAdd SM1GYC To My Cart
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24" Servo Extension Cable for Mach1GTO, 400GTO or 600EGTO that has a GTOCP2 or GTOCP3 Control Box (CABGT024)

People who wish to use one of our Control Box Adapters (CBAPT) in a lower position on the 6" EAGLE Adjustable Folding Pier may need this Servo Cable Extension. It will allow the full use of all the EAGLE's control box mounting positions and may also come in handy for certain custom installations to keep the control box out of harm's way. The cable is designed to be used between the mount's normal Y-cable and the control box. We do not recommend the extension cable for other Astro-Physics mounts at this time.

CABGTO24$95.00 Made to orderAdd CABGTO24 To My Cart
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12" RA Cable for GTOCP1 and SMDCP1 Control Boxes - 900 or 1200 SMD and GTO (SRDC12)

This 12" replacement cable is available if you damage or lose yours.

Mounts that can use this cable: 900GTO and 1200GTO with a GTOCP1 Control Box and 900SMD and 1200SMD with SMDCP1 Control Box. The control box model numbers are silk screened on the front panel of the control box). Cable available on request.

SRDC12$80.00 Made to orderAdd SRDC12 To My Cart
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37" Dec Cable for GTOCP1 and SMDCP1 Control Boxes - 900GTO and 1200GTO (SRDC37)

This 37" replacement cable is available if you damage or lose yours.

Mounts that can use this cable: 900GTO and 1200GTO with a GTOCP1 Control Box and 900SMD and 1200SMD with SMDCP1 Control Box. The control box model numbers are silk screened on the front panel of the control box. Cable available on request.

SRDC37$85.00 Made to orderAdd SRDC37 To My Cart
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Locking Power Cable - all Mounts with a Locking Connector (CABLPF)

Our 8' locking power cable is available as a spare part. Unfortunately, we cannot offer a longer power cable due to power loss over longer distances. If you have an early mount with a non-locking connector (including the first black 1200 mounts), please call us. We can provide these cables as well.

Mounts that can use this cable: All mounts that have a locking power connector. This includes all 400, 600E, 900, and 1200 mounts with these control systems: DA, QMD, SMD and GTO (except the first black 1200 mounts), Mach1GTO, 1100GTO, 1600GTO and 3600GTO. It can also be used for the cooling fans on the 10" Maksutov-Cassegrain and the 305 mm Riccardi-Honders Astrograph.

CABLPF$58.00 Made to orderAdd CABLPF To My Cart
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GTO Keypad Extension Cables (CABKEY--)

As of this writing, we have produced extension cables up to 50' that work properly. We cannot guarantee longer cables. The two dashes in the part number will be replaced by the number of feet in the cable when you place your order.

Mounts that can use this cable: All GTO mounts.

CABKEY--TBD Call Contact Astro-Physics about CABKEY--
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Other Cables and Controllers

If your early model mount requires a replacement cable or controller that is not mentioned here, please give us a call. We can also provide the custom cables listed below; price determined by length:

  • Extension Cable for Quartz Microdrive Controller: We have produced extension cables up to 40'.


Upgrade Mount with HDA or QMD Drive System to GTO?

Initially, our goal was to allow upgrades for older 400, 600E, 900 or 1200 stepper motor mounts. However, the accuracy demanded of a go-to mount is much higher than a conventional mount. As the GTO model of each mount was developed, we redesigned various mechanical components to achieve optimal performance. These changes cannot be made to existing mounts. The cost of updating the electronics of an existing mount would probably be extremely expensive (the entire drive system and controller would have to be replaced), yet an older mount would not be as accurate as the newer mounts. As a result, we determined that upgrading would not be cost effective for the customer. We have decided that upgrades will not be made available.

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Copyright © 2004-2011, Astro-Physics, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified: February 21, 2014

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