Manual flip before target reaches meridian

I use an EQ6-R-Pro permanently mounted in a sliding roof observatory in the UK. When imaging objects in Orion I need to be able to initiate a manual pier flip at least 30-45 mins before it reaches the meridian, due to the walls of the observatory blocking the guidescope FOV, plus obstructions on the southern aspect of my observing site. The ‘run manual pier flip’ button is permanently greyed out no matter what I do. I know some mounts don’t allow flip before the meridian but I’m sure this one does - previously when I used a fairly ancient laptop it seemed to work ok, but since changing to a new PC I seem to have lost this option. As far as I can tell I kept the settings the same, but I assume I must be missing something fairly basic in the settings of either SGP or EQMOD/ASCOM.

Can anybody who uses this mount force a meridian flip early if they need to? Does anyone have any ideas how I can re-enable this function? I can’t see that this precise question has been posted & answered elsewhere - apologies if it has. Thanks in anticipation.

EQMOD is a maze of options (and traps) so I can’t be much help there other than pointing you to our EQMOD FAQ.

Some additional info on the manual pier flip below, but I don’t think that’s what your after (seems like that is just a stop gap to perform an early flip… but if i’m wrong there is info below that will be helpful).

In terms of convincing a sequence to flip early, you’ll need to go into the Meridian Flip settings and add a -45 or whatever works for you:


Not all mounts support early flip and, unfortunately, I think that EQMOD can or cannot be one of those mounts depending on settings, but if you connect to your mount before altering this setting, SGPro will balk if it can’t support the early flip.

In terms of the pier flip button, it is disabled if SGPro does not have access to all of the things it needs to do a meridian flip. This can usually be cleared, by performing a “Connect all Equipment” in the Tools menu. The quick list is:

  • Camera
  • Telescope
  • Observatory (if slaved to scope)
  • Plate Solver
  • Auto Guider

In addition to this, manual flips cannot be formed if any one of those items is in use by another process (for instance, you cannot execute a manual flip when a sequence or auto focus is running).

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Thanks very much, Ken. This is really useful. The sequence IS running when I need to to do this so that might be the issue. I thought I used to be able to do this mid-sequence, but maybe my memory is faulty. I suspect if I stop the sequence to force an early flip, restarting the sequence will just cause it to flip back to the other side again, won’t it? I’ll try it & see. I’ll also try adding the -45 mins as you suggest to see if that does anything.

It won’t. SGPro will not attempt to flip if the telescope reports that it is already on the east. Will the negative value in the flip settings not work for you?

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I don’t know. I expect if SGP is designed to allow negative values in the flip setting it should work ok. Tbh it hadn’t occurred to me to try that until you mentioned it yesterday, & last night was cloudy. I’ll try it as soon as I get another clear spell (possibly tonight). I’ll let you know. Thanks again, Ken.

Ok so no joy. If I enter negative 45 or any negative value SGP throws up a warning box: ‘Your mount does not allow pier flips prior to crossing the meridian and your “Degrees Past Meridian To Flip” has automatically been set to 0’. So it is the mount and unless it can be fixed outside of SGP I guess that’s that.
Weird. I could have sworn I used to be able to do this a couple of years ago. I must have dreamt it…

Maybe there is a setting in Gemini2 that can enable or disable the ability to do that?

What’s Gemini2?

You can Disregard… it’s what happens when handling multiple support requests in short periods of time; they start to blur. Gemini2 is a control system for Losmandy mounts (which happens to be what a different user / sequence was using). I really just meant EQMOD.

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