This interface control panel, which essentially provides a range of Serial and USB outputs, was designed to significantly tidy up the observatory! It is fed by a single USB cable from the observatory computer, plus one DC power connection for powering an AAG CloudWatcher unit. Internally there is a 7-port USB hub which is linked to 2 Keyspan USA49WG USB-Serial converters (removed from their casing). These provide a link to the AAG CloudWatcher as well as 4 dedicated serial ports and 3 non-specific serial ports on the front panel. A further USB connection goes to a ShoeString Astronomy GPUSB USB-Autoguider interface, and the output from that is also fed to a port on the front panel. The remaining 4 USB ports are also fed to the front panel.
The AAG CloudWatcher power line is led to a front-panel switch, and the relay-closure line is again led to a front-panel connection.
This assembly, which mounts in a 1U space in a 19” rack, has removed an enormous amount of cable and box clutter.
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