To allow a full remote control of my telescope, even thousands of kilometers away, I designed and improved over the years my own Powerbox to fulfill all my specific needs.
The custom Powerbox is attached on the side of the telescope and allows to control all the different devices from a program on the main computer :
It powers the mount and the main camera cooling Peltier, it controls the focusing stepper motor, allows to move the bahtinov mask in front of the aperture, powers the secondary mirror dew heater, allows to move the flip mirror to switch between the large field deep sky camera and the planetary camera, and gives information on the humidity/temperature conditions.
Thus, a single USB cable and a single 12V power cable are attached to the moving part of the telescope, improving a lot the reliability of the complete system over the months of remote use.
Several iterations of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) were designed over the years in order to include as many options, and make it as flexible as possible for future developments of the equipment.
The Powerbox provides the possibility to control up to :
• 4 stepper motors
• 3 outputs with 12V power activated by relays
• 2 outputs with 7.5V power activated by a relay
• 3 servo motors
• 3 dew heaters with adjustable power from 0V to 12V
• 2 USB 5V power outputs
• 2 contacts to trigger 2 DSLR cameras
• 1 Temperature / Humidity sensor
• 1 Bluetooth module
• 3 contact sensors (limit switches)
• Fuse protected