GTO Keypad with Keypad Protector - for GTOCP1, GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 Control Boxes. Serial # of mount required for purchase. (KEYVFK)

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This Keypad should only be purchased for use with the GTOCP1, GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 control boxes. This Keypad model will be supplied with the original button layout suitable for Keypad firmware version 4.19.3 firmware included with this keypad. Please note that we not develop the firmware any further due to keypad memory limitations. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that if you later decide to upgrade to the new keypad version 5 (after you have upgraded to the GTOCP4), two of the buttons on the button membrane will not be labeled correctly.  You will still be able to use it, but will have to memorize a different function for the button.  In order to obtain the new membrane, the keypad will have to be returned to Astro-Physics for an upgrade with additional charges. 

If you have a GTOCP4 or GTOCP5 control box, please consider the KEYVFK2 so that you can take full advantage of the new features of the version 5 firmware.

The Keypad is a self-contained handheld computer that allows you to control all essential telescope functions and includes an extensive database of objects. We have designed this unit to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible, while filling it with terrific features to make your observing session productive and pleasurable.

You will be very pleased with the intuitive operation of this controller. You do not have to remember shift key patterns or complex keystroke sequences. The directional buttons are shaped like arrows to help you find them in the dark without looking at your keypad. The stop button is readily accessible if you need to cancel any slewing request immediately. It is so easy to use that even if you don't use it for a few months, you will feel at home with the Keypad very quickly.

The menu system is very easy to navigate. Each 4-line screen will display several choices which correspond to a number button. Simply press the number button to initiate the command, e.g. "1=M, 2=NGC." When you press "1", the Messier entry screen will display and you can enter the number of the object that you wish to view. Press GOTO, which will cause the mount to slew. The <PREV and NEXT> buttons will allow you to scroll quickly through the lists of common names or from one menu to another.

Mechanical Features

  • Handheld keypad with red backlit alphanumeric keypad and red 4-line by 20-character data display.
  • Vacuum-fluorescent display rated to -40 degrees F or C (F and C are equivalent at this temperature!) allows hardy observers to view or image on cold winter nights (please contact Astro-Physics if you wish to operate the mount in severe temperatures below -20F). Normal computers and mobile devices cannot be used at these temperatures.
  • Directional N-S-E-W keys provide immediate response when you wish to center an object or cruise the surface of the moon.
  • Retractable hanger.

Firmware Features - Version 4.19.3

  • Autoconnect:Yes setting allows rapid startup if your mount is at a permanent location and polar-aligned.
  • External Auto-Connect mode allows primary mount control from an external computer and places the GTO Keypad into a secondary role for seamless operation in computer dominated application
  • Set tracking, slewing, guiding and centering rates. 
  • Set R.A. and declination reversal (E-W reversal in R.A. and N-S reversal in Dec.) for correct object orientation and movement in eyepiece.
  • PEM - Periodic Error Memory (a.k.a. PEC) 
  • Meridian Delay function allows imagers to continue imaging past the meridian or to start counterweight up and eliminate the pier flip (at safe declination).
  • Altitude/Azimuth display allows you to position the mount for fixed targets to any Alt/Az point. This is great for taking dark frames.
  • What's Up Now function will suggest objects to view based on what is above the horizon at the time.


  • More than 17,000 objects in extensive databases: Messier (110), NGC (7840), IC (5,386), ADS double stars (215), Abell galaxy clusters (2,712), calibration stars by common name (200), Greek star names by constellation (1053), common objects (100), planets (8) , Moon and Sun.
  • Tour functions assist you to plan observing session.
  • Display will indicate if object is below horizon and cancel slewing request.
  • STOP button to cancel your slewing request when the telescope is already moving.
  • Timer will let you know when the exposure time of your image is complete.
  • Continuous readout of current position.

Keypad Hardware History

Improvements listed below phased in from April 2002 through June 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 # 1565 and later numbers have this larger chip as well as some earlier units that were updated during their repair.
  • 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.
  • Keypad button pad updated in preparation for release of version 5 software as shown in the photo. All keypads with serial # 4522 and higher have this new version have this button pad unless the purchaser chose to have the original version installed. 

Specifications of the Keypad

Dimensions 7.2 x 4.1 x 1" (181.6x104.1x24.6mm)
Weight 1 pound 8 ounces, including cable and KEYPRO (680 grams)
Cable 15' coiled cable included; optional extension available


Red LED fiber optic backlit, alphanumeric
Display screen 4x20 character alphanumeric
Pre-defined Tracking Rates Sidereal, solar, lunar and stop (Note: lunar rate is R.A. only, and does not include the moon's movement in declination.) 
Pre-defined Direction Button Rates 0.25x, 0.5x, 1x, 12x, 64x for centering and manual guiding. Also, 600x, 1200x
Pre-defined Rapid GoTo Slew Rates - All 900GTO, 1200GTO and Mach1GTO 600x, 900x and 1200x ( top speed - 5 degrees per second)
Pre-defined Rapid GoTo Slew Rates - 3600GTO and 3600GTOPE 300x, 450x and 600x ( top speed - 2.5 degrees per second)
Pre-defined Rapid GoTo Slew Rates - 400GTO and 600EGTO with 32:1 gearbox 590x, 860x and 980x (Top speed dependent on available voltage from power supply. Note that these rates differ from those in the GTOCP2 - 460x, 580x, and 675x)
Pre-defined Rapid GoTo Slew Rate - 400GTO and 600EGTO with 19.8:1 gearbox 600x, 900x and 1200x ( top speed - 5 degrees per second)


GTO Keypad Controller Manual, V.4.19.3
Keypad Database Corruption and Reloading - non-Java method
Keypad Database Corruption and Reloading - Java-based method 

Keypad Firmware Updates

Refer to the Software Updates page for all firmware updates. We do not anticipate further development of v4.xx firmware that utilizes the original button pad. All further development will be for the version firmware that can only be used with the GTOCP4 or GTOCP5. 

Version 4.19.3 Use with GTOCP1, GTOCP2 and GTOCP3 control boxes. 

Version 4.19.5 was developed for owners of GTOCP4 control boxes to accommodate a change in the rate table within the GTOCP4 firmware and requires the GTOCP4 for the Java-based upload process. However, it can also be used with any other GTO control box (GTOCP1, GTOCP2, GTOCP3).