Gemini-2 and Gemini-1 Telescope Mount Controllers
Website and Tutorials by Thomas Hilton
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See Paragraphs below picture for explanations.
Please Note that you cannot change site 0.  It will always default back to Hollywood.
You can however change sites 1 through 4.
  • Predefined Observation Sites - This lets you select between 4 Predefined sites.  They are numbered between 1 and 4, with 1 being the top one on the hand controller.  If you do a firmware update, they will normally return to the default sites. You will also have to use "Select Site" to make sure the one you want is the active site.

  • Geographic Locations - This is where you can define the 4 sites.  Notice that Hollywood (Site 1), Phoenix AZ (site2), Berlin Germany (site 3) and Sydney NSN (Site 4) are predefined by default, but they can be changed.

  •   See movie on changing them. Hand controller after movie.
    • To change one of these, Select a new site name and enter it into the Site Name location.

    • Then enter a Time offset from UTC.  Note that if your site has daylight saving time, or a partial offset you need to take that into account. Time Zone Offset Chart and Half and Quarter Time zones  This site will Convert between the Different Coordinates Systems

    • Please note the Gemini-2 always uses UTC time and date for it's internal calculations.  The time zone offset is just a way that your UTC can be calculated from your local time.  If you enter UTC as your local time and set the Time Zone to zero, the Gemini-2 will continue to function just fine.  You would never have to worry about daylight saving time, or half and quarter time zones, if you live in one of them.

    • Then enter both latitude and longitude.  Notice Longitude is negative for the USA. Latitude is positive for the northern hemisphere.  This is the setting that tell the Gemini-2 what hemisphere it is in, there are no switches to flip like on some mounts.

    • Longitude is entered as 180 to -180 degrees, 0 to 59 minutes, and 0 to 59 seconds.
    • Latitude is entered as -90 to +90 degrees 0 to 59 minutes, and 0 to 59 seconds.
    • To Convert Decimal Degrees to Degrees Minutes Seconds see these instructions.

    • Elevation is optional. 

    • Enter the Site number you want to store this information for: 2, 3, or 4

    • Select the set Location button to store the values.

    • The undo should put back the original values before hitting Set Location button.

    • If you want to use this site you just entered, then you need to select it in the "Predefined Observing Site" pulldown, and then hit "Select Site"

  • Time Setting:

    • Civil Time: Enter it as Hours (24 hours format) : Minutes : Seconds

    • Civil Date: Enter it as Month (2 digits). Day (2 digits). Year (4 digits)

    • Hit Set Civil - this should update sidereal time and Julian date.  It should also update the UTC time and date if you have the offset correctly set for the site.

    • UTC Time: Enter it as Hours (24 hours format) : Minutes : Seconds

    • UTC Date: Enter it as Month (2 digits). Day (2 digits). Year (4 digits)

    • Hit Set UTC- this should update sidereal time and Julian date.  It should also update the civil  time and date if you have the offset correctly set for the site.

  • The Query NTP Server -  You can get the time from a national NTP server or you can make your Windows PC act as a NTP server.  (The Window PC will need a Registry Patch to act as a NTP Server.)  You do this by putting in the IP address of the NTP server you want to use in the.  If you have a proper NTP IP address and internet connection, then hitting the "Query NTP server" button will go out and bring back the time in UTC hours, minutes, seconds and the UTC date.  The Time offset for the site does not matter.  If you have it correct then your local time and date should show up.  If you have the time offset set to ZERO then the local time setting will be the same as the UTC time and date setting.  This is because the Gemini-2 only uses UTC time for all it's calculations, and a NTP server returns UTC time/date only.  To enter the NTP IP address see Net Time Protocal in the Network web page.  Also see NPT instructions.

  • The Query GPS Receiver -  You can select the serial com port that the GPS receiver tries to use to get GPS setting.  Com Port 1 is default.  See setting Serial Ports for setting the GPS baud rate.  Hit Query GPS receiver to get a new GPS reading.
    Note: If you are using a GPS receiver. to get the time, then the time zone offset does not matter. The Gemini-2 only uses UTC time for all it's calculations, and a GPS returns UTC time/date only.  You can disregard local time when using a GPS receiver.   However, if your time zone offset is not correct, then the Gemini-2 will show a wrong Local time and date. This really does not throw off any calculations of the sky position calculations.

If your Gemini-2 is connected Via Ethernet, turned ON, and Responds to http://gemini/sitetime.cgi then this link will open this page in the Gemini-2 web interface, after prompting for a log-in.
Page last updated on Jan 19, 2017
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