Digital Dome Works

Digital Dome Works
  • $1,950.00

 


Digital Dome Works (DDW) is a computer based automation system which allows you to open and close the shutter, and control the dome azimuth so that it matches the telescope position. DDW is designed primarily for use with Home-Dome and Pro-Dome observatories, but can work with other dome observatories.  While DDW is mainly for situations where the control room and the observatory are located no more than 400 feet apart, Technical Innovations offers options that allows you to operate an observatory many miles away, even across the Internet. You choose the components you need to fit your situation.

Digital Dome Works includes PC based software that presents all control and operating data to the user. DDW includes dozens of services for the user, both inside the observatory or at a remote location. For example, a "smart" hand control allows the user to in the observatory to turn dome slaving off and on, or return the dome to home with a single button push. Built-in interlocks automatically close the dome if the communication link is broken, or if you go off and forget to close the dome. In fact, DDW will even shut off the drive on many telescopes when the dome closes, thus protecting against "wire wrapping". Technical Innovations provides for remote operation of auxiliary equipment and remote voltage.measurement.

Features:

  • Remote dome rotation, you choose azimuth or slave dome to telescope
  • Remote shutter operation (in home position only)
  • Automatic dome closing in case communication is lost
  • Feedback on status of interlocks, shutter position, dome azimuth position
  • Automatic motor shut-down if rotation motor slips
  • Session duration interlock provides automatic closure
  • Smart hand control provides basic rotation and shutter functions, plus easy shortcuts (go home, open/close, slave on/off, etc.)
  • Ability to slave dome to scope (LX200) even without using computer
  • User adjustable dead zones (sets how closely dome moves to match scope)
  • Software adjusts for off center scopes and German Equatorials
  • Automatic park functions (for LX200) when dome closes
  • Two channels of user remote control built-in
  • Two channels of user remote voltage measurement (ADCs) built in
  • DDW drives 12V observatory motors directly, with adjustable ramp up and operating speeds
  • Easy add-on of options and upgrades at any time
  • Windows-based dome control program (included) can be used with with your choice of software for telescope/CCD control
  • Open software architecture allows you to write your own control programs, if desired. (Taking advantage of this feature, some of our Mac and Linux customers are writing their own control programs.)
  • Includes basic LX200 scope control software (Astronomers Control Panel)
  • ASCOM compatible. (ASCOM is a standard set of guidelines for easy script control of your equipment and software.)

Although primarily designed for dome control, DDW can be easily adapted for roll-off roof observatory automation!

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