DFM Engineering, Inc.
1035 Delaware Ave. Unit D
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-678-8143
Fax: 303-772-9411

 
 
 
Telescope Control Systems (TheSky)
 
 

The DFM Engineering Telescope Control System (TCS) provides a user-friendly interface to the telescope.

Utilizing an IBM compatible computer with multiple displays and a keyboard, you have continual position display, status reporting, and an easy-to-use, menu-driven command set.

Our pointing model corrects for precession, nutation, aberration, atmospheric refraction, mount misalignments and flexure. Typically, the DFM Engineering TCS and pointing model will achieve 10 to 20 arc- second blind pointing to a 60° zenith distance.

Computer operation is simple. A total of 28 commands are divided into four submenus: initialization, movement, rates and miscellaneous. All commands are available to your external computer, allowing you to create your own custom user interface. And the TCS becomes a peripheral to your computer system, allowing integration with your own observing program.


Control System Standard Features

Utilizing an IBM compatible computer with multiple displays and a keyboard, you have continual position display, status reporting, and an easy-to-use, menu-driven, command set.

Commands:

Commands are divided into four submenus: initialization, movement, rates and miscellaneous.

All commands are available to your external computer, allowing you to create your own custom user interface. Thus, the TCS becomes a peripheral to your computer system, allowing integration with your own observing program.

• Control electronics may be located up to 150 feet from the telescope for remote control from customer-furnished instrument computer

• 28 commands provide complete control of the telescope, dome, etc.

• Built-in library of objects

• Compatible with commercial autoguider systems

• Operates and displays in any epoch

• Hybrid digital/analog servo controllers with zero position error integrator

• 19 in. wide rack-mount houses control system computer and electronics

• Extensive system protection via computer-calculated limits and hard limits

• Hand paddle functions include: guide, set, slew, focus, and dome right-left

• TCS uses a single DC servomotor per axis to simplify mechanical and electronic requirements while enhancing maintainability

• System controls a focus stepper motor with potentiometer as the position sensor. CCT-20 and larger telescopes also have an optical incremental encoder as the position sensors.

• Motor Driver Chassis (MDC) provides power supplies for system, modular components for interface with telescope motors and input signals

• Interface circuit board minimizes discrete wire connections in MDC

• Low electrical draw minimizes uninterruptible power supply requirements

• Mercury limit switch enhances system safety by preventing telescope over-travel

• Shielded cables with proper terminations maximize immunity to electronic noise

• Gold-plated electrical connectors for long-term circuit integrity

• Full wiring schematics provided for maintenance


Computer Control Specifications (TheSky) CCT-16

Computer Features:

• Modern IBM compatible computer

• Custom 4 layer circuit board with IC sockets

• Utilizes serial ports and TCP/IP communication

• MS Windows™ operating system

Options:

• Remote monitor and keyboard located in the dome for public night viewing and instruction where direct access to telescope is required

• Remote hand paddle for use up to 1,000 feet from the controller

• Dome control for Ash-Dome or ObservaDOME using existing motors

• DC servo motors for dome control


Computer Control Specifications (TheSky) CCT-20 - CCT-50

Computer Features:

• Modern IBM compatible computer

• Custom 4 layer circuit board with IC sockets

• Utilizes serial ports and TCP/IP communication

• MS Windows™ operating system

Options:

• Remote monitor and keyboard located in the dome for public night viewing and instruction where direct access to telescope is required

• Remote hand paddle for use up to 1,000 feet from the controller

• Dome control for Ash-Dome or ObservaDOME using existing motors

• DC servo motors for dome control


The TCSGalil™ has replaced the TCS-(TheSky) in current telescope installations. Please see the links below to learn more about the new control system.

 

TCSGalil™ Standard Features

CCT-16 Computer Specifications

CCT-20-50 Computer Specifications