Massapoag Pond Photography

Dome Control Overview

I have all my electronics and software all set to install into my dome (Update all installed and working!)- I'm sure there are going to be bugs that need to be worked out - here goes. I'm on a Mac but the principles all apply. I use a LabJack as the main control hardware to read the dome position using the feed back from a pot and to control the relays to drive motor. The pot is to be connected to the output shaft of the gear motor to drive the dome. Below is the bench testing for this.
Chain Drive...

I use a dual roller chain for the drive, one side dual chain is to mount to the dome and the other for the drive sprocket. The last piece is the software to control it....... I have talked to the developer of EquinoX a Macintosh program and requested a AppleScript verb to report the scope position, he has included this into the latest version. From that information I wrote a AppleScript application to control the the dome. I have used the information from the Braye BrooK Observatory website for the calculations to sync the scope to the dome.
Dome control hardware
Dual chain drive
Dome Control Hardware and Software

Dome Control in Action...

Here is a movie that I made showing the dome tracking the scope. I poll the scope every 30 seconds and if the 2 are not in sync I then move the dome. The system works okay there are a few bugs to work out, but mainly the design works fine.