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  #561  
Old 24-12-2015, 03:55 PM
SA_Dolphin_22 (Tony)
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Location: Salisbury Park, SA, Australia
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Another Very Happy member

Afternoon to All, Like all in this thread, I can not heap enough praise or blow enough smoke up Gary's proverbial in regards to his outstanding service.

Picture this, It's a Friday night and the 'loaned' ARGO hand controller decides to throw it's legs in the air, Leave a post and a question , not expecting an answer until the Monday, especially as it's no moon and a Friday night around 11ish, where else should the great Gary be but an unexpected answer within 20 mins .

Well, after numerous attempts to bring life back into the beast, through Gary's correspondence and after having to send the controller back, providing him some head scratching moments, I had given him something to work on which I believe is now a training aid for the apprentice(possibly) as the issue could not be resolved. End result is I now have a new controller to replace the loaned one and all is right the world..

Again I can not recommend Gary, his team and equipment highly enough, Your assistance is greatly appreciated

Gary, I wish you and your family a very Merry and a lot of good will for the future.

A very grateful

Tony -
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  #562  
Old 25-12-2015, 12:01 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA_Dolphin_22 View Post
Gary, I wish you and your family a very Merry and a lot of good will for the future.

A very grateful

Tony -
Thank you Tony!

We would like to wish you, your family and all IceInSpace readers a very Merry Christmas.

Should Argo Navis owners require assistance during the holiday period,
we are here to support you.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #563  
Old 18-02-2016, 07:27 PM
Zubenel's Avatar
Zubenel (Wes)
Awe and Wonder

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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SE QLD
Posts: 397
Argonavis with Slave

Hi Gary , Can you point me to a link that will show what hardware /software i need to connect the Laptop using my prefered Planetarium program as a slave to ECU via the Servocat. I have looked around but haven't had a great deal of success. i haven't got my head around the ASCOM program. Feel like i need to register for a course or something. THX for getting the help getting Argo talking after Ron updated it
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  #564  
Old 18-02-2016, 09:43 PM
gary
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Interfacing ServoCAT to ECU & ASCOM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zubenel View Post
Hi Gary , Can you point me to a link that will show what hardware /software i need to connect the Laptop using my prefered Planetarium program as a slave to ECU via the Servocat. I have looked around but haven't had a great deal of success. i haven't got my head around the ASCOM program. Feel like i need to register for a course or something. THX for getting the help getting Argo talking after Ron updated it
Hi Wes,

I'd recommend you drop an email at Gary Myers at StellarCAT and he
will be able to assist. Email rxdesign@ssvecnet.com

ASCOM is a telescope device driver interface that can connect Windows
planetarium programs that support ASCOM with a variety of telescope
controllers.

You can grab the ASCOM Platform 6.2 from here -
http://www.ascom-standards.org/Downloads/Index.htm

Additional plugins are then available for ASCOM that provide the
telescope controller specific device driver.

Pete Eschman in Albuquerque, New Mexico has written an ASCOM ServoCAT
driver and you can download it from Pete's web site here -
http://www.unm.edu/~eschman/ServoCAT%20ReadMe.htm

You will need the specific ServoCAT cables for interfacing between your
laptop and the ServoCAT.

Within ECU, the Telescope Menu provides access to the telescope
functions.

The Enable Telescope Interface menu selection is used to
initiate or terminate communication with the telescope controller, in
this case the ServoCAT.

See the ECU User's Manual for details.

The Argo Navis will be interfaced to the ServoCAT in the usual way
and there is nothing that needs changing there.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #565  
Old 10-04-2016, 12:31 PM
gary
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Location: Mt. Kuring-Gai
Posts: 4,835
Cool OzSky 2016 and satellite tracking using Argo Navis

The 2016 OzSky event took place at Coonabarabran this past week
with 49 northern hemisphere observers attending. I was there again
as a volunteer and had transported up and back the 3RF 150mm Fujinon
binoculars and associated motorized StarChair.

In fact I had inadvertently left behind a crucial bracket and made the
11 hour round trip to Sydney and back to retrieve it shortly after just
arriving. So I ended up doing the drive there and back twice in the
space of 24 hours.

As an amusing anecdote, I am always vigilant for wildlife and cattle
on the road on that route. For example I spotted in time
a couple of cows in the dark on the Warrumbungles Way between
Binnaway and Coolah. But when I arrived back in Coonabarabran and
pulled into the Woolworth's car park I was confronted with one of
our American visitors coming on the wrong side the opposite way.
He realised his error and pulled to the left.

An array of eleven large aperture Dobs were made available at the event,
including a flock of 18"'s, couple of 25"'s and a 30", nine of which were
fitted with Argo Navis.

One highlight was satellite tracking using the latest Version 3.0.1
Argo Navis firmware on James Pierce's ServoCAT-equipped 14" Dob.

It's exciting to watch the satellite appear to remain stationary in the
eyepiece as the background stars go whizzing by. Some compared it to
"Star Wars".

We observed five in all before it the sun eclipsed the possibility of observers
others in low orbit.

James described it as the "highlight of his week" and issued a couple of his
rare high-fives. He is now hooked. Everyone that looked was excited.

This is something we recommend users can try even before it gets fully dark.
The Heavens Above web site can assist with planning which satellites will be
visible from your site and it can also provide orbital elements.

The real-time satellite tracking feature was a result of an close collaboration
between Wildcard Innovations and StellarCAT in developing the latest
version of the ServoCAT communications protocol.

Both companies continue to work on exciting new developments for
the future.

Also on-hand at the event was our good friend Dave Kriege of Obsession
Telescopes, now a regular visitor to Australia.

Steve Gottlieb found the Sacred Mushroom (ESO-138-IG29/30) using
Argo Navis on an 18" Obsession and invited others to see if they
could see it. A challenging pair of objects.
See http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1994ApJ...433..631W

It was great to catch with old friends such as Bob Rose, Dragan Nikin and
Alan Dyer. Plus it was wonderful to meet many people for the first time.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
wildcard@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #566  
Old 10-04-2016, 01:41 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Location: Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary View Post
The 2016 OzSky event took place at Coonabarabran this past week
with 49 northern hemisphere observers attending. I was there again
as a volunteer and had transported up and back the 3RF 150mm Fujinon
binoculars and associated motorized starchair.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
wildcard@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
Hi Gary,

Good to hear you made it home safely and once again successfully survived a week of my snoring.

We had a partly cloudy night at Pilliga pottery last night with Rod, Phil and John and Anna Gerkin. We put up with patchy cloud and sucker holes until about 11:30pm when we all concurred that it was getting pretty frustrating. We had Phil's 28"/f3.3, Rod's 20"/f5 and John's 18"/f4.5. All scopes had Argo Navis on them and John and Phil's scopes also had Servocats. With only 5 of us observing I didn't even bother getting my 2 scopes out of the trailer. All 3 scopes performed flawlessly and the Argo Navis was a very welcome accessory to assist finding targets in the patchy sky.

Cheers
John B
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  #567  
Old 11-04-2016, 09:20 AM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausastronomer View Post
We had a partly cloudy night at Pilliga pottery last night with Rod, Phil and John and Anna Gerkin. We put up with patchy cloud and sucker holes until about 11:30pm when we all concurred that it was getting pretty frustrating. We had Phil's 28"/f3.3, Rod's 20"/f5 and John's 18"/f4.5. All scopes had Argo Navis on them and John and Phil's scopes also had Servocats. With only 5 of us observing I didn't even bother getting my 2 scopes out of the trailer. All 3 scopes performed flawlessly and the Argo Navis was a very welcome accessory to assist finding targets in the patchy sky.
Thanks John,

Some pictures attached taken by Andrew Murrell during the OzSky event.
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  #568  
Old 19-04-2016, 11:57 AM
gary
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Location: Mt. Kuring-Gai
Posts: 4,835
Showcase of 24" f/3.5 Dobsonian powered by Argo Navis and ServoCAT

Marco Guido has shared some images of his new 24" f/3.5 Dobsonian
which is powered by Argo Navis and ServoCAT.

Images of finished scope -
www.marcoguidihires.com/setup.html

Images of construction -
http://www.marcoguidihires.com/const...escope-24.html

Congratulations Marco!

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #569  
Old 14-08-2016, 03:44 PM
Zubenel's Avatar
Zubenel (Wes)
Awe and Wonder

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Location: SE QLD
Posts: 397
Great effort Marco , I am hoping to do something like this in the future THX for sharing Gary.
Gary , at this years QLD Astrofest I saw Dennis's 18" ATM setup to run a planetarium program on a PC . All that is required is the Keyspan serial adaptor available from your web site . 2 star alignment with the ARGO and away you go . No ASCOM complication to contend with . Simple as. Cheers
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  #570  
Old 21-12-2017, 04:06 PM
MattT's Avatar
MattT (Matthew)
Reflecting on Refracting

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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,177
Getting back to clapping hands....it’s only been nearly three years since I took my old Thomas Gaunt EQ mount to Gary’s place for a measuring up for gears for Argonavis.
In that three years I have built a bigger 2” shaft pillow block mount that Gary provided gears for too...the result....a Polar aligned big EQ mount with tracking and push to GOTO via Argo and iPad with skywire connection.
Just about perfect cantering on any object all over the sky my scope is capable of revealing....very happy.
Thanks Gary for a great product.
Matt
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  #571  
Old 21-12-2017, 06:50 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattT View Post
Getting back to clapping hands....it’s only been nearly three years since I took my old Thomas Gaunt EQ mount to Gary’s place for a measuring up for gears for Argonavis.
In that three years I have built a bigger 2” shaft pillow block mount that Gary provided gears for too...the result....a Polar aligned big EQ mount with tracking and push to GOTO via Argo and iPad with skywire connection.
Just about perfect cantering on any object all over the sky my scope is capable of revealing....very happy.
Thanks Gary for a great product.
Matt
Thank you Matt.

The Thomas Gaunt mount is looking even more mind bogglingly wonderful.

Congratulations on such a fantastic makeover.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #572  
Old 13-01-2018, 06:44 PM
GrahamL's Avatar
GrahamL
pro lumen

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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ballina
Posts: 2,968
Gary thanks so much for the new face plate for my argo
new scope arrived to ,, so I'll fit it soon .
My unit is quite old ,original shape , and still works fine .
(my viewing screen had started to get a little/lot scratched up )

No charge and you spring for postage as well speaks volumes on the service you provide , again many thanks

graham
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  #573  
Old 14-01-2018, 03:44 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamL View Post
Gary thanks so much for the new face plate for my argo
new scope arrived to ,, so I'll fit it soon .
My unit is quite old ,original shape , and still works fine .
(my viewing screen had started to get a little/lot scratched up )

No charge and you spring for postage as well speaks volumes on the service you provide , again many thanks

graham
Thank you Graham,

You are more than welcome and we appreciate your support and kind words.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #574  
Old 18-01-2018, 10:29 AM
Zubenel's Avatar
Zubenel (Wes)
Awe and Wonder

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Location: SE QLD
Posts: 397
Hi Gary, I am currently dabbling in the dark art with “Zamar” and as we all know the guidance from the servocat is not astrophotography quality not even considering its alt az. My question to you is .. is a guide scope /software able to be “spliced “into the servocat argonavis system to dramatically improve the systems tracking ?
Cheers Wes
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  #575  
Old 19-01-2018, 06:28 AM
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Deeno
“We are star-stuff”

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Location: Central Coast
Posts: 1,308
Hi Gary

Congratulations on engineering such a wonderful device!
I've had my Argo since around 2006 and I'm always amazed, even after months of slumber, it still operates as it did the very first night it was pressed into service.

Quick question...
The button battery has never been replaced. If I were to change it would I lose my custom setting? Locations etc...

While I'm here...
Ever thought about doing an encoder 'kit' and 'app' for mobile devices or even laptops?

Hope you and Mai are well
Cheers
Deeno
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  #576  
Old 19-01-2018, 06:35 AM
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Deeno
“We are star-stuff”

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Should have looked at your website first as the answer is there..
Thanks Gary
Deeno

[QUOTE=Deeno;1353102]Hi Gary

Congratulations on engineering such a wonderful device!
I've had my Argo since around 2006 and I'm always amazed, even after months of slumber, it still operates as it did the very first night it was pressed into service.

Quick question...
The button battery has never been replaced. If I were to change it would I lose my custom setting? Locations etc...
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  #577  
Old 23-02-2018, 09:56 AM
aworley
Queenslander

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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 57
Hi All
Wanted to add my applause and thanks to Gary.
Just bought an AN for my 12" dob from Gary. Great service, great product. He is so generous with his time. Very simple to use, intuitive, accurate, FUN!! Learned how to use it last night through 2 hours of murky haze and it found every object on the button! Really looking forward to using it and my scope to enjoy the sky.

Couldn't be happier!! THANKS GARY! You are so patient with my "oopses" and brain fades!!

Alex
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  #578  
Old 12-04-2018, 07:24 PM
GrahamL's Avatar
GrahamL
pro lumen

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Location: ballina
Posts: 2,968
Hi All

i'm just getting to know my new DM4 mount/mewlon 180 and plugged in the argo tonight and while both encoders are reading I'm way off on on set up i believe , I've changed the encoders to 4000 step but nothing else , i must be missing something important as everythings like in a parallel universe almost opposite to this one any ideas.
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  #579  
Old 13-04-2018, 12:47 PM
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erick (Eric)
Starcatcher

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Location: Sydney
Posts: 8,451
Encoder direction sense, Graham?

This from Gary's FAQs on his website:

How do I establish the encoder direction senses for my Dob?

To check the SETUP ALT STEPS sign, point the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) to the vertical and DIAL up MODE FIX ALT REF, ALT REF=+90, AUTO ADJUST OFF and then press ENTER.

Now DIAL up MODE ENCODER. The right-hand displayed value should be close to +90 degrees.

Now push the OTA downward in Altitude toward the horizon. The right-hand displayed value should decrease, +89, +88, ... +3, +2, +1, 0 as you go from the zenith toward the horizon. If not, reverse the SETUP ALT STEPS sign and repeat the test.

To check the SETUP AZ STEPS sign, rotate the scope in Azimuth clockwise whilst observing the left-hand displayed value in MODE ENCODER. The Az angle should increase. If it does not, reverse the SETUP AZ STEPS sign.
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  #580  
Old 13-04-2018, 03:14 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erick View Post
Encoder direction sense, Graham?

This from Gary's FAQs on his website:

How do I establish the encoder direction senses for my Dob?

To check the SETUP ALT STEPS sign, point the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) to the vertical and DIAL up MODE FIX ALT REF, ALT REF=+90, AUTO ADJUST OFF and then press ENTER.

Now DIAL up MODE ENCODER. The right-hand displayed value should be close to +90 degrees.

Now push the OTA downward in Altitude toward the horizon. The right-hand displayed value should decrease, +89, +88, ... +3, +2, +1, 0 as you go from the zenith toward the horizon. If not, reverse the SETUP ALT STEPS sign and repeat the test.

To check the SETUP AZ STEPS sign, rotate the scope in Azimuth clockwise whilst observing the left-hand displayed value in MODE ENCODER. The Az angle should increase. If it does not, reverse the SETUP AZ STEPS sign.
Thanks Eric!

Hope you have been keeping well.

Couldn't have asked for a better response to Graham's query, so thank you!

Graham, if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff

Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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