|4. How to Bench Test.
I prefer to do bench testing with motors removed from the mount.
Now you can safely run the Gemini-2 or Gemini-1 without motors, but
you can tell so much more with the motors connected.
You can almost test all the functions of the Gemini-2 on the bench this way. Just about all of the pictures
taken for this web site was done this way.
Notice when first powering on, that the RA motor does not turn.
It only starts rotating after a boot mode is selected. (Assuming
you are in parking mode 0, more on this later.)
The RA motor turns CCW for GM-8 and G11. It turns CW for
HGM-200, Titan, Titan 50 and MI-250. The speed is about 1
revolution in 10 seconds, but depends on the mount type.
- Testing the guider input: If you have a Classic/Standard
hand controller, this can be plugged into the Guider input jack.
You can use the DEC and RA button to then simulate Guider input
If you have a GPUSB from Shoestring Astronomy along
with there GPUSBNudge program to do the same thing.
buttons will cause the RA shaft to slow down with an -RA button
and speed up with a +RA button.
DEC buttons will cause the CW with Positive DEC (GM8 & G11) and
CCW with negative DEC button (again GM8 & G11) The other
mounts will be opposite.
- Testing Hand Controller input.
- The hand controller normally connects to the Serial Port 2
input jack. The baud rate for the hand controller is
always 57600 baud. This can only be set using the Web
interface using the
Serial Ports tab. Set Serial Port 2.
- Will the hand controller work into Serial Port 1, Yes, but
you must set the baud rate of that port to 57600. Serial
port 1 will default to 9600 baud after a firmware update, so
having the hand controller connected to it is not the best idea.
- Testing Serial Port 1 for GPS connection.
Please see this
for using the Losmandy GPS or the Star GPS unit.
Please note that the GPS does not update the TimeZone setting.
All GPS units only return UTC time. The Gemini-2 then can
take that time and the TimeZone value you have set using either
the site menu or the TimeZone menu and display your local time.
If your Timezone is set wrong, then the Gemini-2 will calculate
the local time wrong. If you do not like to worry about
daylight saving time changing the TimeZone requirements, then
set the TimeZone to UTC which would be zero. Enter UTC
Time and Date manually or use a GPS unit. The local time
now will display the UTC time and date, and the G2 will be
happy. Make sure your Latitude and Longitude are correct.
It is possible to simulate a GPS connection using programs such as GPS port director found under useful Programs.
This program will allow a GPS connected to a PC to be redirected to a com port connected into the Gemini-2. Your PC
is of course going to have to have 2 serial ports. Now one of these can be a USB style GPS unit
(such as the ones that used to be supplied with Microsoft
Streets and Maps. There are also many cheap USB GPS units
on the market.), where it's driver
creates a virtual serial port. Most likely, you would have to use a USB to Serial adapter for the second serial port.