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Remote Power on Scope

Meade observatory
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#1 denebstarlight

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 06:41 PM

I'm looking into making my school's observatory remotely operational. I have options for dome automation and I use SkyXPro software to point the telescope, but I'm not sure how to power on the telescope remotely? Our telescope is a Meade RCX-400 that powers on with a rocker switch. When you park the scope it automatically powers off and you have to manually hit the rocker switch to put it back in the "off" position before you switch back to the "on" position and power it on again. How do you remotely power on your observatory? 

 

Thanks in advance! 

 

Heather J.

Mt. San Antonio College  



#2 Couder

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 07:15 PM

I would think you should at least look at the scope to be sure everything is OK before powering it on remotely, at that time you can power it up. Don't you keep a dust cover on it?



#3 Xplode

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 07:15 PM

There's 3 choices i see here:
1) A device that clicks the rocker switch physically controller by a relay.
2) Open the mount and connect 2 more leads to the rocker that connects to a relay or an astromi.ch Pbox which is originally made for 10 Micron mounts, it would work perfectly for this since 10 Micron mounts also have a rocker switch, but they are actually made for remote usage and have a 3.5mm jack for this usage
3) Get a good mount actually made for remote use lol.gif



#4 f430

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 09:14 PM

One of these;

 

https://dlidirect.co.../new-pro-switch

 

Leave the mount power switch on. You can turn the power on and off from your computer.



#5 MJB87

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 06:06 AM

One of these;

 

https://dlidirect.co.../new-pro-switch

 

Leave the mount power switch on. You can turn the power on and off from your computer.

I don't think this solves the problem, unless you can remove the functionality of the rocker switch or stop the rocker switch from shutting off the mount when it is parked.



#6 kathyastro

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 06:46 AM

I don't think this solves the problem, unless you can remove the functionality of the rocker switch or stop the rocker switch from shutting off the mount when it is parked.

I'd be willing to bet that turning the power off at the source and then switching it back on will duplicate that functionality.  Easy to check: just unplug the mount without touching the rocker switch.  If it comes back on when you plug it in, you are good to go.  If it doesn't, toggle the rocker and then find a way to bypass that function.



#7 MJB87

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 08:58 AM

I hope that works. On the other hand, it might not if the description given was correct:

 

"When you park the scope it automatically powers off and you have to manually hit the rocker switch to put it back in the "off" position before you switch back to the "on" position and power it on again."

 

But, as you say, it is easy to test.



#8 Raginar

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 03:59 PM

I'm looking into making my school's observatory remotely operational. I have options for dome automation and I use SkyXPro software to point the telescope, but I'm not sure how to power on the telescope remotely? Our telescope is a Meade RCX-400 that powers on with a rocker switch. When you park the scope it automatically powers off and you have to manually hit the rocker switch to put it back in the "off" position before you switch back to the "on" position and power it on again. How do you remotely power on your observatory? 

 

Thanks in advance! 

 

Heather J.

Mt. San Antonio College  

Heather,

 

   Please don't sleep your RCX400. Ever.  There is a firmware bug that can cause it to wake up... and start tracking.  It will run itself into it's hard stop and burn out the motors/motor control boards.  I have one that had this happen to it... it is challenging to get working.  

 

https://www.digital-...s.com/lpc7.html

 

I used one of these.  It has a webserver you can log into and turn on/off devices... your RCX400 can be 'parked', and then power it down/on with this.  I'm not sure about how to run the alignment routine from there; but if you're using a camera remotely, you can just plate solve your way around the sky just fine.  

 

PM if you have any questions.

 

I don't think it's a rocker on the power switch... I remember the switch just being on or off.. I'm not near that scope to check right now though. There is a 'park scope' option that when selected prompts you to power the scope off.  I believe you could remove power via the digilogger... and then when you turned the outlet back on it would 'remember' your alignment for you. 


Edited by Raginar, 25 October 2020 - 05:13 PM.



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