User’s Manual FOR

GoTo & Tracking Systems Ó
Original manual text written by Wm. J. Wiegert.

Volume 1
Equatorial Mounts

Pre-startup information
Step 1: Connecting the cables
Step 2: The Handpad – Description
Step 3: The Software & Laptop computer
Program screen
Step 4: Test the Handpad
Step 5: Operation of the system
Navigating with the Arrow Keys
Step 6: GOTO – First Exercise
Step 7: Grand Touring
Custom Grand Tour Files – General Overview
Custom Grand Tour File – Example
A word about System Files
Meridian Flip
Backlash Adjustment

Pre-startup information

  1. Prior to actual startup, polar alignment of the mount is required!
  2. The system is set to begin observing West of the Meridian. To view East of the Meridian, you must first execute a "Meridian Flip". Details about a Meridian Flip are in Appendix-A of this manual.
  3. The steps involved in setup and operation of your GOTO System are quite simple. However, you should read these instructions carefully, and do a "practice run" indoors (or in daylight) to familiarize yourself with the "feel" and location of all the components. For instance, the motor-cables are fitted with DB-9 connectors on each end [See Step-1, ‘B’ below]. One end is a male connector; the opposite end female. In darkness it can be difficult to match their profiles for a proper connection. It is therefore strongly advised that you identify or mark these connectors in a way that will make it easy to mate them in dim light. Forcing them together incorrectly will damage the connectors, and adversely affect operation of the system. Color-coding is recommended (we suggest yellow and black – Note: red will of course be difficult to distinguish in red light).
Step 1: Connecting the cables

There are three (3) sets of cables:
A.     One (1) "Telephone" cord.
    Connects the handpad to the control-box containing the
    Printed Circuit Board (PCB). It is Omni-directional.
    NOTE: - This is NOT a standard phone cord.
     It is a straight through data cord.

B.    Two (2) Motor-Control cables with DB-9 connectors (9-pin).
    One is for the Right Ascension motor.
    One is for the Declination motor.
These are interchangeable. However, each motor MUST be connected to its correct (corresponding) terminal on the PCB, or Declination and Right Ascension functions will be reversed.

  1. Power cables. (These are bundled from the PCB).
  2. Two (2) battery clamps.
One BLACK (for the Negative battery terminal).
One RED (for the Positive battery terminal). Caution:
Step 2: The Handpad – Description

There are six buttons and a switche on the handpad. Four of the buttons represent back-and-forth directions in each axis. The 2-position switch (in the center of the 4 buttons) toggles between slew-speed and slow-motion.

There are two other red buttons that control functions such as the Grand Tour mode. (In Grand Tour, Each time the switch is pressed in one direction, the telescope slews to the next object in the Tour. Conversely, if the switch is pressed in the opposite direction, the telescope slews back to the previous object). For a typical user, the Grant Tour mode is all these buttons are needed for.

To utilize the handpad, all the cables must be connected, and the program must be running. Connect the cables as described above in STEP 1.
Step 3: The Software & laptop computer

Brief description:

The software is event-driven by either keyboard or input by the handpad. If no events occur, then the scope remains at the current equatorial coordinates. If the coordinates remain unchanged the scope tracks. If new coordinates are entered, the scope slews. TRACKING can be turned ON and OFF easiest by pressing "t" on the keyboard.

NOTE: "t" is a Hot-Key. Hot-Keys are described later.

With user input, the software handles Backlash (Appendix-B) and Periodic Error Correction (PEC) for both axes. A 'Guide' function is also included so that guiding for a minute or two nulls occasional tiny residual drift.


Power-up the laptop computer using the 12V marine battery. You will be presented with a start-up screen that displays this message:

Warning: to prevent overheating motors & electronics,
                turn off the motor power supply if program not
                running and stop tracking before hot-keying to
               another program.
Please turn on the motors’ power supply now.

Press any key to continue

The program "Scope.exe" will come up on the screen. It presents several menu topics, only a few of which are related to EQUATORIAL MOUNTS (Don’t let it scare you)!

Here's what the program display looks like... 

"Current" displays the coordinates of where the telescope is currently pointing.

"Input" displays coordinates input by the user.

You are now ready to test operation of the Handpad.
Step 4: Test the Handpad

You should now test movement of the telescope (assuming that the scope is mounted, and the computer is powered-up). Pick up the handpad, and hold it as shown here. Press one of the red buttons.

  1. The telescope will move in either Right Ascension or Declination.
  2. The scope will either move in Slow Motion, or will Slew rapidly.
  3. The opposite button will move the scope in the opposite direction.
  4. Flipping the switch between the buttons will toggle between Slew-
Speed and Slow Motion. Note the difference in sound.
  1. Press ‘t’ on the computer keyboard. « Tracking starts.
  2. Press ‘t’ again – tracking shuts off.
  3. While tracking is ON, alternately place a finger on each motor-shaft. Ensure that the Right Ascension motor is the one running, and NOT Declination. If the Right Ascension motor is NOT running, the motor cables are reversed.
NOTE: - Before disconnecting the motor cables, you must first TURN OFF THE PCB. You can then swap the motor cables without causing a circuit problem or blowing a system fuse.

You should identify the cables as RA and DEC on their connectors, and on the PCB terminals as well.

Familiarize yourself with the functions of the handpad. Operate it through several sequences of Right Ascension and Declination swings. Become familiar with the scope’s behavior in Slewing and Slow Motion. Note that your particular setup and arrangement may offer unforeseen interference-points between the scope and mounting platform (tripod or pier).

NOTE: - The power supply will continue to provide torque to the motors despite any interference between the optical tube and the mounting platform. To prevent damage, check closely, and note any potential interference hazards. Use caution when approaching the Zenith! You must become familiar with the motion-limits of your system!

NOTE: - Slewing can be stopped in Grand Tour Mode by pressing ESCAPE on the computer keyboard.
Step 5: Operation of the system

Look at the computer screen:

Left & Right arrow keys select the menu category. Up & Down arrow keys select the submenu items within a category. Just beneath the group of menu selections, a description of the submenu item is displayed.

  1. Navigating with the Arrow Keys:

  2. [Note the top line of menu choices].

    The program opens with "FILE" highlighted at the upper left. Beneath it are listed several submenu functions that are accessible with the UP or DOWN arrow keys. As each submenu function is chosen, (highlighted) a description of that function appears below. Note that the first option highlighted under FILE is "Quit". If "Quit" is highlighted, a description of Quit is beneath the list of options. Note that it says: "Quit the program".

    NOTE: - Hot-Keys (The most used "Hot-Keys" are t, d, q, r, and 1).
    There are several keyboard "Hot-Keys" that perform all the necessary functions in the program. The Hot-Key for "Quit" is the letter "q".

    A complete list of Hot-Keys is in the program. It’s the last submenu item under FILE.

  3. Bright Star Alignment:
The program contains a file of bright stars to align on (following polar alignment). This will "tell" the system where the telescope is aiming in relation to the Celestial Pole (Polaris).
  1. Following a polar alignment, Aim the telescope at another known star, (West of the Meridian§). Type the HOT-KEY ‘t’ to turn on tracking.

  2. NOTE: - The Bstars.dat file is quite substantial. It is a list of the common bright stars that are universally recognized for alignment purposes. The use of other stars for alignment, even though you may be familiar with them, is not recommended.
  3. Center the star in a low or medium-power eyepiece with the handpad buttons.
  4. Change to a high-power eyepiece, and "balloon" the star in the field of view by de-focusing it. This aids the eye in judging "perfect center". Center the star carefully.
  5. Ensure that the main-menu item "FILE" is highlighted.
  6. Use the UP or DOWN arrow keys to highlight "data file" and press ENTER. Or simply type the HOT-KEY ‘d’. This will bring up the DATA FILES.

  7. Tracking will stop for the length of time that you are in the Data-mode. This is normal – the program will monitor the length of time that tracking is off, and will automatically re-position the scope when you return to the main screen.
  8. The Data files will appear inside a box on the screen.
  9. NOTE: - the Spacebar is used to advance through the list of files.
  10. A line-letter appears to the left of each title.
  11. Type the line-letter of the file titled "Bstars.dat". A list of stars will appear on the screen.
  12. Select the star you are using for alignment from the list (type its line-letter). Tracking will restart, and the computer will return to the main screen.
  13. Type the HOT-KEY ‘r’, and press ENTER. This resets the system to the coordinates of the star you just selected.
  14. NOTE: - The star should still be in the center of the eyepiece. If not, re-center it with the handpad in slow motion, and type "r" again.
  1. You should now be tracking perfectly on the alignment star. You’re now ready for GOTO!
Step 6: GOTO.

You’ve aligned the telescope on a known star, and you’ve told the system where the telescope is pointing. The system is now ready to GOTO an object of your choice (west of the Meridian).

NOTE: - (REMEMBER) To view in the East, you must perform a "Meridian Flip". See Appendix-A for simple instructions on executing a Meridian Flip.

NOTE: - If you are not familiar with the night sky, consult a planisphere, or the "Guide to The Evening Sky" in a current issue of Sky & Telescope or Astronomy magazine.

FIRST EXERCISE: - GOTO a Messier object.

Tracking must be ON for GOTO. Type the HOT-KEY "t" to turn tracking ON.
  1. You should first be Polar Aligned, and aligned on a known star.
  2. Consult a planisphere to determine which Messier objects are visible west of the Meridian.
  3. Insert a low-power (20 to 40x) eyepiece in the telescope.
  1. Type the HOT-KEY ‘d’ to select ‘Data Files’.
  2. If necessary, use the spacebar to advance through the data files until you see the Messier file. Type its line number.
  3. Select a Messier object by typing its line number (TIP: - open star clusters are brighter objects, and are easier to see. They make better first-time objects).
  4. Note that the RA & DEC coordinates of the object you just selected are now posted on the screen below the word "Input".
  5. HOT-KEY type ‘1’ (tells the system to GOTO the coordinates of the object you just selected). The telescope will immediately start slewing rapidly toward the selected object.
  6. When the scope stops slewing, it will begin tracking on the object.

  7. NOTE: - Near the end of a slew, the motors may make minor positioning adjustments with short "correcting" movements. This is normal, and necessary for accuracy. After these adjustments, normal tracking will resume.
  8. Look in the eyepiece. If the object is off-center, you can position it with the handpad in slow-motion.
NOTE: - It will take some practice to get used to which buttons move the scope in which direction. First-time users will need a few minutes of trial and error.
  1. Observe tracking. It should be steady and smooth. If the object tends to drift off center, it may be due to incorrect polar alignment.

  2. NOTE: - After tracking for an extended period of time, it is recommended that you re-center the object in the eyepiece (slow-motion, using the handpad) and press "r", then "ENTER" to reset the coordinates. This will compensate for any irregularities, accidental bumping of the tripod, inaccurate polar alignment, etc. If the object is still reasonably well-centered, re-centering is not required.
  3. Try another Messier object:
Step 7: Grand Touring.

A Grand Tour is the ‘automated’ viewing of successive objects in a database. The user merely ‘flicks’ a toggle switch on the handpad, and the telescope slews to the next object on the Tour. The scope tracks each object until the switch is activated again. Pressing the switch in the opposite direction causes the scope to slew back to the previous object. You can advance or step back in the Tour as far as you wish.

Any data file can be used for a Tour. For instance, if you were to select one of the constellations in the program’s database, you could do a Grand Tour through the entire list of objects in that constellation (the list of objects in some constellations is enormous!). The tour can contain an infinite number of objects, or just a few. There is no minimum or maximum.

The quick-and-easy way to experience a Grand Tour is to select a constellation from the database. There are however, two disadvantages with that approach: First, many objects in the database are beyond the capability of medium-sized telescopes, i.e. – thousands of galaxies that are fainter than 10th magnitude. Second, many of the objects listed are not likely to be your favorites. For these reasons, it is pleasing and popular to have custom Grand Tour files that are tailored to your telescope, and to your particular preferences.

We will start out with the easy/simple method, and then briefly discuss a custom tour. To build a Custom Grand Tour you must first assemble a list of objects in Windows Notepad (or a similar utility) and then convert it to a ‘dat’ file.

Grand Tour, using existing program files

This section assumes that you are correctly polar aligned, and that you are currently tracking on a known object.

  1. Type ‘d’.
  2. Search through the files for a constellation that is visible in your night sky. Type its line-letter.
  3. Type ‘H’ (upper case). This brings up a list of handpad options.
  4. Select "Grand Tour".
  5. Pick up the handpad. Note the two red buttons that are outside the group of 4 buttons. These switch activates the telescope through a Grand Tour. Press one. (If nothing happens, press the other button). The scope will slew to the first object in the file (which is now a Grand Tour). The name of this first object (and its coordinates) will be posted on the screen.
  6. When the scope stops slewing, it will begin tracking.
  7. When you are ready to view the next object, press a button again. Continue at will. The Tour will last as long as there are objects left in the file to view, or until you decide to quit.

  8. NOTE: - After tracking for an extended period of time, it is recommended that you re-center the object in the eyepiece (slow-motion, using the handpad) and press "r", then "ENTER" to reset the coordinates. This will compensate for any irregularities, accidental bumping of the tripod, inaccurate polar alignment, etc. If the object is still reasonably well-centered, re-centering is not required.
  9. If at any time you wish to return to a previous object, simply press the toggle switch in the opposite direction.
  10. When you want to stop the tour, type ‘H’ and select ‘OFF’.
CUSTOM Grand Tour Files – General Overview:

Assembling a Grand Tour file requires familiarity with the program, and knowledge of a utility like Windows Notepad (or any utility that allows you to save your work as a data-file (i.e. – .dat file-extension). Only files that end with a "dat" extension will work in the program.

NOTE: - Making custom Grand Tour files is recommended for experienced users only! Therefore, it is highly recommended that you contact GOTO & Tracking Systems for assistance when a custom Grand Tour file is needed.

The following is a brief description of a custom Grand Tour file. It is intended for demonstration purposes only.
Here’s what a short Custom Grand Tour might look like for October-November. Next to the coordinates you can type a short description which will appear on the screen. There are only 25 objects shown here, but the list can be as lengthy as you like.
NOTE: - For this Tour, a convenient alignment star would be Vega.

18 44 20 39 40 12 Epsilon Lyrae

18 53 36 33 02 00 Ring Nebula [M-57]

19 16 29 30 10 00 GC [M-56]

19 16 36 30 11 00 NGC-6779 GC 08.3

19 41 51 50 31 03 16 Cygni A/B Xtra-Solar

19 53 41 18 46 59 GC [M-71]

19 59 36 22 43 00 NGC-6853 PN [M-27] 07.3

20 13 36 46 42 00 Omicron Cygni [Triple]

20 23 59 38 31 00 OC [M-29]

20 34 12 07 24 00 NGC-6934 GC 08.9

20 45 42 30 43 00 WEST VEIL NGC-6960

20 46 13 33 58 13 52 Cygni in WestVEIL

20 56 24 31 43 00 EAST VEIL NGC-6992/95

21 04 12 –11 22 00 NGC-7009 Saturn Nebula

21 06 54 38 45 00 61 Cygni Double

21 07 00 42 14 00 NGC-7027 PN 08.5

21 30 00 12 10 00 NGC-7078 GC [M-15] 06.0

21 33 30 –00 49 00 NGC-7089 GC [M-2] 06.4

21 39 06 57 30 00 IC-1396 OC+Nebula 03.5

22 37 06 34 25 00 NGC-7331 GXY 09.5

23 25 36 42 32 00 NGC-7662 PN 08.3

23 57 00 56 44 00 NGC-7789 OC 06.7

00 42 42 41 16 00 NGC-224 GXY [M-31]

01 05 05 54 00 40 SN-CAS 1995 09.2

01 33 05 30 38 59 GXY [M-33]

NOTE: - Each line must start with a space.

The utility used to organize the data files for your system is a program called "SkyTools" from CapellaSoft.
Their current web address is

The best way to obtain Grand Tour files of your favorite objects is to contact GOTO & TRACKING SYSTEMS, either through their website, ( or by e-mail ( Custom files are free of charge.

A word about System Files:

The system contains files for observers of all levels, and for a wide range of equipment. Besides the highly popular Messier and Caldwell subjects, there are listings of nearly every type of deep space object, including those difficult challenges which inhabit the far-reaching domains of larger apertures, darker skies, etc. Conversely, there are some files dedicated to urban sites where light pollution might be a factor. And for users of medium telescopes, there is a file labeled "6-inch Newt".

The 6-inch-Newt file was created for 6-inch reflectors, but is quite suitable for medium refractors, SCT’s and Maks. Of course, it is also suitable for large telescopes of virtually any type.

Within this file, you will find some interesting subjects:

You will find the database of objects to be quite extensive. Although "every known object" cannot possibly be represented, great care was taken to make it as complete as possible. If you would like more objects added to your database, or if you need information about custom files, please contact us. We will be happy to supply you with all the information and /or data you need to supplement your GOTO system.
Meridian Flip

by Bill Wiegert

The Meridian is an imaginary line (directly overhead) that extends between the North and South Celestial Poles. It "divides" the sky into two distinct halves – East and West. As you look up at Polaris, and then directly south, you will see which constellations are east and west of this imaginary line. During polar alignment, this orientation should become evident.

When using any Equatorial Mount as a motorized GOTO device, objects can be viewed on one side of the Meridian at a time. To view objects on the other side of the Meridian you must execute what’s called a "Meridian Flip" (sometimes referred to as a "GEM-Flip"). If this maneuver isn’t done, the system will confuse directional movement with the opposite side of the Meridian, and GOTO functions will not be possible.

Your system was preset at the factory to begin slewing to objects that are West of the Meridian. This is because objects in the west are setting, while those in the east are rising, and western setting objects are usually what observers want to catch first (you have more time to catch those rising in the east).

The procedure for executing a Meridian Flip is NOT DIFFICULT. In fact, the program does almost all of it FOR you. You merely have to type a HOT-KEY, and then follow a simple instruction on the screen.

The following procedure (if done correctly) will accurately reset the system, to enable pointing, finding, and tracking to be accurate and repeatable on the other side of the Meridian.

  1. The procedure is performed during an observing session, when it is desired to GOTO and view objects on the opposite side of the Meridian.
  2. Perform the following steps:
  1. Aim the telescope at a point near the current side of the Meridian, preferably to the North, and slightly to the side of Polaris that you’d been observing on.
  2. Type the HOT-KEY ‘r’.
  3. This highlights the RESET function in the program menu.
  4. Use the UP or DOWN arrow keys to highlight GEM FLIP.
  5. Hit ENTER.
  6. A window will pop up:

  7. "Now flip the scope across the Meridian; press any key to continue".
  8. Move the telescope past Polaris, across the Meridian.
  9. Hit a key – Spacebar, ENTER, etc. (The normal program screen returns).
  10. Aim the scope at a known bright star on that side of the Meridian. Center it in the eyepiece as you did for initial alignment.
  11. Type the HOT-KEY ‘d’.
  12. Search the Data File for that star. Type its line-letter.
  13. Type the HOT-KEY ‘t’. Tracking turns on.
  14. Meridian Flip is complete! You are again ready to GOTO any object.
Backlash Adjustment

Contributed by Jerry Pinter

(Edited by Bill Wiegert)

"Without backlash compensation, prior to every change of direction for slewing, microstepping, and tracking, the motors will spin for awhile and the [program] will think the scope is moving (and thus will change the coordinates on the screen). However the scope [itself] is not yet moving. This creates errors in pointing accuracy.

"Backlash can cause serious slewing, finding and tracking errors, especially if the backlash is a significant portion of the field of view.

"Also, when tracking an object for CCD imaging, if backlash is not compensated for, the object will drift across the [field of view] before backlash is taken up. With backlash properly compensated for (as described below), everything is taken care of automatically. The [program] knows exactly where the scope is pointing during initialization, resets, and slews. When the scope slews to an object, [that] object will land on the CCD chip, and tracking will start immediately after the motors take out the slop, leaving the object in the same place within the field of view. It's important to have the scope balanced (alt axis) since any imbalance will tend to make the backlash appear only in one direction, which will [tend to spoil] the backlash compensation."

The following procedure (if done correctly) will accurately determine and compensate for backlash in each axis to within an arcminute or less.

  1. The procedure is best done in full daylight, and with the aid of an assistant.
  2. A laser pointer taped to the scope is extremely helpful in performing this routine, (to project a dot onto a wall or fence). Or you can use an eyepiece equipped with a crosshair.
  3. In either case, put an eyepiece in the focuser.
  4. Have a pencil or some masking-tape handy for marking reference points on the wall (to help determine when the dot or crosshair moves).
  5. Connect all wires and cables, and start the program as normal. Tracking must be OFF.
  1. Press ‘m’ on the keyboard. This brings up a window that allows adjustment of Microstepping speed.
  2. IMPORTANT: Record the current number! Write it down! (You will need to retype it at Step 16).
  3. Type in a small number, (i.e. – 100, 200, or 300). This will enable a finer and more accurate movement. Make certain that your motors will turn that slow! Press ENTER.
  4. Using the handpad, microstep for awhile in one direction. Move the scope enough to take up any backlash. Then STOP. Remember which button you just used!
  5. If using a laser pointer, mark a line or place a strip of tape at the dot. If using a crosshair eyepiece, guide an assistant in marking a line or placing a strip of tape where the crosshairs intersect.
  6. Press ‘r’ on the keyboard, then use an arrow key to highlight ‘HOME’.
  7. Press ENTER. This zeros the Alt-Az coordinates.
  8. Look in the eyepiece. Using the OPPOSITE handpad button, reverse the motor direction. The motor will begin running but the scope will lag behind. STOP IMMEDIATELY when the scope starts moving (when the laser-dot or crosshair just begins to move on the image in the eyepiece).
  9. Note that the Alt-Az reading is no longer Zero. Read and record the new Alt-Az coordinates to determine your amount of backlash (in degrees).
  10. Repeat this routine several times (the more – the better!) going back-and-forth in opposite directions. Re-mark the location each time with pencil or tape. Take your time. Record all the readings in EACH AXIS.
  11. Calculate an AVERAGE for each axis. (Add the readings, then divide by the total number of readings). example: .100 + .300 + .200 + .100 + .100 = .800 divided by 5 = .160
  12.  Convert the AVERAGE to arcminutes (multiply it by 60). example: (160 X 60 = 9.60 arcminutes)
  13. In the program  highlight "CONTROL" with the Left or Right arrow key.
  14. Highlight the submenu item "BACKLASH" with the Up or Down arrow key.
  15. Enter the new Alt-Az values as prompted. Record these numbers elsewhere for future reference.
  16. IMPORTANT: Go back into the Microstepping screen (type ‘m’) and retype the original number you wrote down in step 2.
  17. After entering the new backlash parameters, repeat the routine as a test.
  18. The scope should now "take up the slack" prior to microstepping, [and function as though backlash was non-existent].
"[As a test], quickly depress [and release] a handpad pushbutton. You should hear the motors spin, but the scope should not move much at all, and the altaz coordinates should not change appreciably. Even though the motors are spinning to take up the backlash, the scope is not moving and [thus] the altaz coordinates do not change in value."


From time to time Mel Bartels updates the scope.exe program. You can always look for the current version of the program at his website
To update your software, it is really easy to do. All of the current settings you have in the program, backlash, microstepping speed etc., all stay with the program. This is what you need to do:

Make a backup copy of the scope.exe program and the config.dat file on a separate floppy disk. Save these in case something goes wrong.

Download the zipped file to your computer.
Unzip it into a directory.
Take ONLY the file called scope.exe from the archive and put it on a floppy disk.
Take that file and overwrite the current version of scope.exe on your scope computer.

For those of you that forgot how to do this in DOS, the instructions are below. I'll assume you can put a single file onto a floppy from a Win xx computer.

Insert the floppy
Open scope and exit until you get the c:/scope prompt
Type this: copy a:/scope.exe
DOS will ask if you want to overwrite the current version of scope.exe, press Y
Type scope at c:/scope
The new scope version will open.

You can check to make sure this is the new version by looking at the top line of the program for the compiled date.


For those of you that change mounts or belts and pulley's, this is how you change the software to correct for your final gearing change.

Count the grooves on the pulley on the stepper motor for both axis'.
Count the grooves on the pulley on the worm shaft for each axis. This must be a higher number than what is on the motor shaft. Some timing pulleys will have the number of grooves stamped on them, if you are lucky.
The gear ratio of the timing belts is the number of teeth of the larger pulley divided by the number of teeth on the motor shaft. Typical ratio's are from 1:1 to 5:1 and all decimals in between.
Some people have a gear box attached to the stepper. Get the ratio of the gearbox in place of the above value.
Determine the gear ratio of wheel and worm gear on each axis. You can use your setting circles and some simple math to figure this out. Remember, the gear ratio of the wheel and worm gear is the number of turns of the worm shaft it takes to move the gear one revolution. If you have setting circles, you can count the number of turns it takes to move a certain amount on the setting circle and then multiply appropriately. If you have no setting circles, it is likely you can just count the grooves in the gear. Use a fine felt tip to count in 10's of teeth, then count the marks on the gear you made.
Once you have all of the ratio's determined, you also need to determine the number of full steps your motors have per revolution. Typically 200 or 400 step steppers are used.
This is the math to figure it out the value to put into the scope software:

timing pulley ratio X W/W gear ratio X 400 = a large number

Divide this number into 1,296,000

Example: 3x180x400=216,000  1,296,000/216,000 = 6

6 is the value to put into the Motors/AZStepsizes menu item for an axis.