From this page you can set the tracking rate, park and unpark your mount and set up a “delayed stop” of your mount.
All of the AP GTO mounts have four standard tracking rates. Use Sidereal when tracking fixed RA/DEC objects, Solar when tracking the sun, Lunar when tracking the moon, and Zero when looking at a fixed terrestrial object or to stop the mount from moving (without parking).
When you press one of these buttons, the Last Sent field will be filled with the rate that you select. However, the displayed rate may not be valid later if you disconnect, park, unpark, select rates from the keypad, or power cycle the mount.
You can use this feature to stop your mount automatically in case you forget or fall asleep during an imaging session. It works with the use of a timer that counts down to zero. When it decrements to zero the mount is stopped or parked.
Stopping the mount sets the rate to zero (same as pressing the Zero button in the Tracking Rates section). You can still use the buttons to move the scope. Parking not only stops the mount, it also de-energizes the motors.
If you have an autoguider connected to the mount then I recommend parking the mount in case the autoguider tries to keep on tracking . If you just stop the mount the autoguider may keep sending signals to move the mount further even though the rate is zero.
Note: While a delayed stop/park countdown is in progress, you cannot disconnect from the mount or exit PulseGuide.
WARNING: BE CAREFUL IF YOU USE THIS FEATURE! You may risk a mount collision if you calculate the wrong time, your PC crashes, or you disconnect the serial cable. This feature has been tested well and it has worked without fail, however it is entirely your responsibility to prevent damage to your equipment. I recommend you keep your RA clutches on the loose side (but not too loose) so the mount will gently slip if the scope comes to rest on the mount.
PulseGuide has a one-button unpark feature that sends all necessary information to the mount to initialize it without the keypad. You cannot unpark from the last parked position if the mount is already initialized because a second unpark will reset the RA and Dec to what they are at the last parked position and your mount will no longer be pointing correctly.
When you first connect to the mount if PulseGuide detects that the mount is at RA=0 Dec=90 or Dec=-90 (the uninitialized position) it will ask if you want to initialize the mount (see Getting Started section).
If you have moved your scope and don’t remember where you parked it last then you can also unpark from one of the three AP park positions or your own ALT/AZ. However, you should always unpark From Last Parked if you have not moved your mount between imaging sessions.
Before unparking you should also set the site to unpark from. If you have not set this up yet you can do so in the Site Page.
Clicking the Unpark button will initialize the mount with the following information:
# (clears buffers)
:U# (sets high precision mode)
Longitude (if you have a site selected)
Latitude (if you have a site selected)
Set Sidereal Rate
PulseGuide uses the current PC time and the time zone that is set on the Time Page, and the longitude and latitude of the site selected in the drop down list box. Additionally PulseGuide sends a command to set the tracking rate to Sidereal in case it was set otherwise. The list box’s first entry is an option not to send the long/lat to the mount. Other entries in the list box are from entries in the table in the Site Page.
Parking stops the mount completely and de-energizes the motors. If power is maintained to the mount, RA and Dec are still calculated when queried, but RA will change as the mount will not move.
PulseGuide has a one-button unpark feature that can park the mount in the current position, one of the three AP Park Positions, or a user defined ALT/AZ position. There is also an option to slew east a number of hours before doing the park.
First, select the position to park in. There are five choices:
Park at current position – Parks the mount exactly where it is (unless Slew East First is checked).
Goto AP park position 1 then Park – Slews to park position 1 then parks.
Goto AP park position 2 then Park – Slews to park position 2 then parks.
Goto AP park position 3 then Park – Slews to park position 3 then parks.
Goto user-defined Alt/Az then Park – Slews to the ALT/Az defined in User Park Position.
Slew East First: Sometimes when imaging a southerly object across the meridian the telescope may start to pass under the north side of the mount. I have found that if this happens and you do a park to AP Park Position 3 the scope could hit the pier as the mount tries to orient the scope north.
To prevent this from happening select this option and set the number of hours to whatever you think is necessary. 6 hours equals one quarter rotation of the mount’s RA axis.
When you click Park, PulseGuide will ask for confirmation before proceeding. Once started PulseGuide will send the PC’s current time just in case a meridian delay had been in use. It will then slew east if that option is selected. Next, it will do a GOTO the park position, again if that option is selected. Lastly, it will send the mount park command.
Once a park begins the label of the Park button changes to Stop. Pressing this button will immediately stop the park including an active slew or GOTO.
Note 1: While a park is in progress, you cannot disconnect from the mount or exit PulseGuide.
Note 2: According to Astro-Physics, after parking you should power off the mount. While parked DO NOT MOVE THE MOUNT with the keypad or via PulseGuide’s controls or the mount’s position could be wrong the next time you unpark.