Modification of a telescope motor controller for autoguiding

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

This page describes how I have modified my SkyWatcher dual axis EQ5/EQ4 motor controller to allow autoguiding through the parallel port from a PC. The modification allows the RA+, RA-, Dec+ and Dec- buttons to be activated from the PC via the parallel port and a cheap IC. I have tested the modification together with K3CCDTools v3. 0. 1 with good res

Modification of a telescope motor controller for autoguiding
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

ults (see bottom of this page). There is a good chance that the modification will also work with other controllers. In particular, the SkyWatcher EQ3-2 and the Orion "TrueTrack" controllers seem to be almost identical to the one I modified. A procedure for verifying if the modification shown here is likely to work with a different controller is described here. I would be glad to hear from you if you have success with modifying a different type of controller, (e-mail address at the bottom of this page), and I would be glad to include the information (and credits) here. Warning: You may use the following information on your own risk. There is always a risk that your equipment can be damaged when you follow procedures like the ones described below. The author is not responsibility for any damage to your computer, motor controller or other equipment. The navigation buttons on the EQ5/EQ4 controller keyboard are implemented as switches which are closed (become connected) when they are pressed down. Each switch is connected to ground on one side and to the microcontroller on the other side (on the main circuit board). The inputs to the microcontroller are also connected to +5V via pull-up resistors. When the switch is pressed down the microcontroller senses that the corresponding input signal changes from +5 V to ground, and the signals to the stepper motors are changed accordingly. The modification uses four out of seven...

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