As far as electronics, I’m using a Gefen USB extender, 2 Digi USB Hubports, and an Edgeport (serial). A couple of RigRunners help keep the 12VDC wiring manageable. It is important that the voltage and signal wire harnesses be separated to prevent any noise. Shielded wires were used whenever possible. Noise is a bad thing when imaging with sensitive equipment. All of the AC wires are kept near the observatory floor and far away from any signal wires. A CPS UX-3 is used to control the AC switching. The mount, camera, and 12VDC power supply are turned on/off remotely using the CPS. Video cameras are used in the ScopeDome to keep an eye on things.
|The 12VDC power supply (upper left on the pier) has been relocated to a lower position. As the scope slewed to meridian, I was uncomfortable at how close the CCD camera came to the power supply.|
|Power supply wiring is isolated from signal wiring. AC wiring is kept low on the pier.|
|The bracket I fabricated is a nice platform for the autofocuser, dew heater, USB hub, and one of the RigRunners|
A friend of ours took a look inside the ScopeDome. She said, "Wow! It's a real telescope! I thought it would be a plastic tube thingy. You're really lucky." I replied, "Yes, I'm lucky... to have a wife that will let me do this." George
Update: The scope is balanced and I have been doing some software tests. I discovered that I often have connection problems. I troubleshot the problem down to the Gefen USB extender. It's not reliable enough for my purposes. I will be replacing the unit with an Icron Ranger 2204. The Gefen was purchased almost 6 years ago. At that time, I was imaging with a Hyperstar and a DSLR. My entire imaging train has been updated and the Gefen is not up to the task. The Icron Ranger will reliably handle all of my equipment for years to come. In the meantime, I have moved the computer into the dome for further extensive software testing. This is going to take some time to get the "bugs" worked out.
Up next...progress with the exterior of the house