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09-13-2013, 07:41 AM   #1
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A Proposal: A thread for diagnosing user's O-GPS1 "problems"

(I'm posting this here, because this is where most of the O-GPS1 AstroTracer issues get discussed, but this is a forum proposal, so I will also send a link to it to Adam for his consideration.) I hope each reader will comment on what they think of the merits of the ideas below.

I think that the AstroTracer functionality of the O-GPS1 is one of the most creative, out-of-the-box thinking, ideas and engineering to come along in a looooong time. When you look at some of the results that it can achieve (by stacking multiple shorter exposures, which is the standard method of astrophotographers) such as those by (PF member) Stéphane Poirier:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/photo-andromeda-galaxy-37156/ &
http://poirierstephane.free.fr/photos/index.php?/category/132
then it is clear to me that this is a product that Pentaxians interested in astrophotography should be VERY excited about.

I also have to admit that it is not the best-documented product on the planet and I fault Pentax (and it's parent Ricoh) for not doing a better job of doing that, for this product.

Secondly, I have to tell you that when someone is having problems, especially with a complicated bit of technology, that I suspect USER ERROR first. However, there are a number of factors that could result in less than perfect results. There are a lot of variables, such as: What camera are you using? What firmward is it using? What focal length of lens are you using? Where are you located? Did you perform precise calibration (and if so, precisely HOW?). Did you move from the spot you performed the precise calibration before taking the problem photos? How many satellites did it pick up? What is your elevation? Are you surrounded by trees or buildings (etc.) that might interfere with GPS signals?

I suggest that a good service to Pentaxians everywhere might be if we created a SINGLE thread for ANYONE with O-GPS1 troubles to answer a set of standard questions so that they (or we) could find commonalities between those that were having problems and those that were not. (Or for those that have both success AND failures to determine what it is that results in the failures). This can only happen if we have a central "repository" for such information, which a single "troubleshooting thread" would provide.

On the other side of this (should people get the impression that the O-GPS1 is nothing but trouble) I propose that we also create a "O-GPS1 AstroTracer CLUB" thread where users can post images of their successful astrotracer images, and other users can comment on them. Threads in the "O-GPS1 AstroTracer CLUB" can point towards the troubleshooting thread, for those having difficulties, and the "O-GPS1 AstroTracer Troubleshooting" thread can point to the Club thread to encourage users to figure out what their problems are so that they too can enjoy successfully using the AstroTracer functionality of their O-GPS1.

The AstroTracer functionality of the O-GPS1 is another amazing advantage that only Pentax users have available to them. Why this isn't being shouted from the roof tops (by Ricoh/Pentax and others) I don't know. But if more of us were producing images like Stéphane, I think a LOT of people in the astronomy community would sit up and take notice, because to take photos like this, from earth, without any sort of equatorial tracking system or mounting your camera on a clock-driven telescope (properly polar aligned) would have been UNTHINKABLE a few years ago. The price barrier to producing such images has dropped to a ridiculous level. All you need is the appropriate Pentax camera (including the K-01), a tripod, and the O-GPS1. AMAZING.

Let's do this and help our fellow Pentaxians to enjoy this wonderful piece of equipment.


Last edited by cheekygeek; 09-13-2013 at 10:18 AM.
09-13-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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Here is the set of questions that I came up with, that should be answered by each and every person who is having difficulty with their AstroTracer functionality (to help determine the cause and correct it):

Feel free to add any questions YOU think might also be relevant in your comments.

Camera & firmware being used:

Location where it was used (LAT/LONG):

Elevation of location:

Did they perform the precise calibration (and method?):

Did they remain at the exact same spot for all exposures (or did they
pick up and move several meters away)?

If they moved, did they repeat the precise calibration before taking
more pictures?

Did the problems occur early in your session (right after turning the unit on) or in the middle, or at the end (or all the way through)?

Feel free to add any others you might think of.

Last edited by cheekygeek; 09-13-2013 at 10:16 AM.
02-23-2014, 07:58 PM   #3
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well I am buying the gps soon, want to try it out, I hope its worth it….from the posts I've seen so far I am a little worried It looks more complicated to set up than I anticipated
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