Saturday, December 2, 2017

New Mount: 10Micron GM1000 - MGBox

For location accuracy and also to get data necessary for using the pointing model (temperature, refraction parameters) I bought an MGBox with the mount. It's a nice, small box that connects to the mount (via an RJ-45 cable) to provide data and/or to the computer (via USB).

I first tried it out with the computer through the program that came with it:

As the software auto-detects on which ports it runs, there aren't really any settings:

One change can be made after the ASCOM driver is installed: connect through ASCOM and not directly. This will allow to connect from multiple sources simultaneously. After a few minutes, you can see the measured parameters:

In order to run it with a 10Micron mount, one needs to install a special firmware that you download from the website.

After downloading it, you install it through setup dialog.

Now, when restarting the MGBox and the mount it looks like this:
(notice the Mount Model and Firmware info)
The next part I found VERY confusing! The MGBox manual says "Configure the Mount’s GPS-Port to be a serial port. Details about this can be found in the 10Micron Manual." But the 10Micron instructions say to "GPS-Port needs to be set to "GPS", and "Use GPS Data ON"...

So, which setting is it? Serial or GPS? I tried both and there wasn't any real difference. Nothing on the MGBox program changed (still shows model and firmware version), nothing on the keypad of the mount changed (still seems to show the same location information).

I asked on the 10Micron forum about this and apparently, the 10Micron instructions are correct: you have to set it to GPS. After closer inspection, I could actually see that the MGBox would overwrite the location data on boot, but the location string ("San Jose" or "Custom" or such) won't be overwritten.

So, "GPS" it is.

Now, my mounts location is update on startup, the time is set super accurately through GPS and while using it, the software and mount will have access to refraction data and such. E.g. using it as an environmental device in SGPro:

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