Most of our readers here will be surprised to learn that I am an avid amateur astronomer. I spend every chance I get under the stars taking in the amazing views that can be seen from my 10″ Meade LXD-55 Schmidt Newtonian. With my background in photography, it should come as no surprise that I have shifted more into astrophotography than visual observing. My imaging sessions are usually conducted with two of my best friends at a private observatory owned by one of them . The observatory is nice but it is located about 35-40 minutes from me and thus I do not get out there as much as I would like to. So over the last couple of months I have been gearing up my scope for imaging. One of the first task I had to tackle was building a cable that would allow me to control my telescope from my PC, and that is what today’s tutorial is all about.
There are several reasons one would want to control their telescope with a PC:
It is faster than using the hand controller.
It gives you a visual aid when searching for something hard to find.
If you find something unknown, the planetarium software will be able to identify it.
It is a necessity if you plan on imaging anything for longer than a single quick exposure.
It’s wicked cool!
Building the cable is quite simple and only requires soldering 3 joints and placing 3 wires into a RJ10 plug and crimping the punch downs to secure the cable. The schematic below is what we will be following. I found this diagram online several months ago and do not remember where I found it. If it is yours, please contact me so I can add attribution. I have edited it to display the colors of the wires we will be using.
- DIY Meade 505 Telescope to PC Cable
- USB RS232 to 4P4C RJ10
- Cable length:1m/3.2ft
- Building the cable is quite simple and only requires soldering 3 joints and placing 3 wires into a RJ10 plug and crimping the punch downs to secure the cable