Astro-Physics S chip upgrade
Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:04 PM
The procedure is very simple, 5 minutes. A bit confusing because the (one page) instruction sheet that comes with the chip advises not to use the chip extraction tool as a lever.
But you do need to use it as a lever. The only thing to remember is, the tool must bottom out in the chip socket, otherwise when you lever it, the force may be concentrated not on the bottom of the socket, but on some other part of the socket (and destroy the socket, which would require that the $1000+ CP3 go back to AP). This is noted in the instruction sheet for the chip extractor tool.
Took about four rounds (two levering-up on each corner of the chip) to pull out the previous Q chip. Then fairly easy to put the S chip in. It is a PLCC package, for those who care about such things.
I had to re-train the PEM curve with PEMPro afterwards; took me several hours, and I could only get the residual PE down to 0.78" (the native is about 6" - this is different from the value I got before of 0.42" and 3.5").
Since I don't have APCC, the only thing I could verify was the "pull the power socket" trick. You can disconnect the mount from power at any time. When you re-power it, you can resume from park and the mount knows where it is (no need to re-sync). I only tried this trick once, and the power was only off for a few minutes.
It's a nice-to-have (the pull-the-power trick) but if you don't use APCC and are not handy with pulling chips, the upgrade may not be that useful. But it's only $80 so what the heck..
Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:36 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:42 PM
I will not yet buy the S chip until a new firmware upgrade for hand controller becomes available. The new firmware is supposed to allow both the hand controller and A-P ASCOM driver to know better with each other. For example, if you change the Meridian Delay in hand controller, the A-P ASCOM driver will know about it and vice versa. This will be valuable and no more accidental crazy slews when fiddling with hand controller and A-P ASCOM driver at the same time.
Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:56 PM
I always thought "Pull the plug" always worked with pre-S chip. I've read from various forms including Rolando saying that you can power down the mount without parking and then re-power the mount and still knows where the mount is pointing to.
Only if the Keypad is set to "Autostart : YES" . The keypad then auto-initializes the mount on power failure with its time and the servo uses the time difference when it powered off vs. this time to remain aligned.
However, if "Autostart" is anything else then one has to have the mount parked before power off otherwise mount will be lost. That is pre S-chip.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:05 AM
According to Ray.. "Yes, the new autoparking command was implemented specifically for remote imaging so when power is lost then regained the mount would not automatically start tracking. Having the mount start tracking automatically before being initialized is great for visual users but for imagers it can cause the mount to appear to be "lost" if not initialized soon after power is restored."
I'm not sure how that relates to Autostart in pre-S versions. I never use Autostart anyway.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:38 AM
Maybe Ray is talking about a corner case when even with autostart=yes it could get lost without S chip.