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heliostat control

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dklinglesmith Posted: 02-06-2019 10:24 AM

We are building a heliostat using a celestron nextstar+ mount can either theksy6 or theskyX drive that mount at 1/2 the solar rate?

Dan Klinglesmth

Etscorn Campus Observatory

New Mexico Tech

505-321-1089

Dr. Daniel A. Klinglesmith III Magdalena Ridge Observatory Etscorn Campus Observatory New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, NM 87801

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Software Bisque Employee

Please see this related thread from last December.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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Posts 3,827
Software Bisque Employee

Also, take a look at the NexStar command protocol. It would appear to me that you could use the "P" command to set the variable RA tracking rate as needed. For instance, to achieve a rate of one rotation per 48 hours:*

  • ( 360° × 60' / 1° × 60'' / 1' ) ÷ ( 48h × 60m / 1h × 60s / 1m ) = 1 296 000'' ÷ 172 800s = 7.5'' ÷ 1 s
  • The integer trackRateHigh = ( 7.5 × 4 ) ÷ 256 = 0
  • The integer trackRateLow = ( 7.5 × 4 ) mod 256 = 30
  • The command to issue to the NexStar would be:
    • "P" & chr(3) & chr(16) & chr(6) & chr(trackRateHigh) & chr(trackRateLow) & chr(0) & chr(0)
      –or–
    • "P" & chr(3) & chr(16) & chr(6) & chr(0) & chr(30) & chr(0) & chr(0)
      –or– (in hexadecimal form)
    • 50 03 10 06 00 1E 00 00

Note that it is recommended to first disable tracking ( "T" & chr(0) ), issue the variable tracking rate command, and then enable tracking ( "T" & chr(2) ). Thus, the full sequence, in hexadecimal form, would be:*

  • Send: 54 00
  • Receive: 23
  • Send: 50 03 10 06 00 1E 00 00
  • Receive: 23
  • Send: 54 02
  • Receive: 23

*This is according to my understanding of the command protocol. I have not tested this operationally.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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