The control unit

SkyStopper Home

I designed the computerized control for The SkyStopper. It has the capability to control the 3 motors of the unit, as well as ensure that calibration and guiding are easy to do.

The control unit uses an IR receiver and an inexpensive remote control to accept commands. It operates on 12v from a power tank via a auto accessory plug (supplied) and uses less than 0.2 A when tracking the sky.

An ST4 compatible interface connector allows attachment to industry standard guide controllers for astrophotography.

The controller interprets certain triple guide commands (for example, simultaneous RA+ RA- DEC+) combinations as special requests to move the various actuator motors individually.

Depending on where in the sky you want to point while guiding, the controller can do a ratio of vertical and lateral motion in response to a guide input.

It's easy to set. If the target is on the meridian, use all vertical. If the target is on the east or west horizon, use all horizontal. In between use a pro rated amount.

There are 10 ratios that are easy to access and change using the red button on the control. For more precise setting, a percentage ratio can be specified.