DomeControl requires MacOS X 10.6.6 and has the following requirements:
• Dome hardware controller, and/or
• Shutter control hardware;
• MacDome hardware controller(s);
• USB-Serial converter(s)
For use with Equinox Pro the following requirements are valid:
• Equinox Pro 6.13.0 or higher
For use with TheSkyX Pro the following requirements are valid:
• TheSkyX Pro 10.1.10 or higher
• [or, 10.1.9 Build 4276]
A USB-Serial converter is needed before the controller can be connected. These devices are available from many vendors, but largely fall into 3 groups:
• devices manufactured by Keyspan (now TrippLite-Keyspan);
• devices based on the FTDI chipset;
• devices based on Prolific chips.
The Keyspan devices are known to work with this application, but the driver for MacOS X 10.7 (Lion) is still in a beta stage.
The FTDI-based devices (many vendors) are also known to work, have a good reputation and the drivers are frequently updated for MacOS X.
Devices based on the Prolific chipset sometimes present problems on MacOS X. None have been tested with this application.
Details and Screenshots
Automated shuuter close and park in response to a hardware signal.
Possibility of a fixed offset, East or West.
Operation slaved to TheSkyX via the X2 interface.
DomeControl provides the software complement to the Dome control and Shutter control hardware projects. It enables software control of dome rotation and/or shutter opening, with many convenience features. Particular highlights include:
• control of the shutter position to continuously track the telescope (or a defined point on the celestial sphere);
• manual control with a hand control knob;
• control is proportional, with variable speed;
• entry of dome geometry with allowance for fork or german equatorial mount;
• geometry accounts for variable height piers, with direct reading of height by a dedicated sensor;
• display of key housekeeping parameters (such as battery voltages).
Connection to the telescope can be made using any of 3 distinct methods:
• serial connection (LX200 protocol);
• Applescript exchange with Equinox Pro;
This connection is used to get the pointing direction of the telescope as an input to the computation of the orientation of the dome aperture. Alternatively the coordinates of the object to be tracked can be entered into a dialog box.
The park position can be set independently of the home position (used to set the reference position for the dome), and the calibration of the relationship between encoder counts and dome movement can be performed by the software itself.
DomeControl offers Mac-based astronomers the opportunity to provide dome control in synchronism to the telescope's movements.
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