View Full Version here: : Cable Routing
16-08-2011, 10:04 AM
Ok, a bit early but I am planning ahead for SkySlab. With all the issues with cables and computers, controls etc where do you guys place your computers with respect to the pier. I feel that the closer the better due to cabling lengths, minimal plugs etc. I was looking at placing the guide PC almost on the lower side of the pier. I have almost limitless access to various laptops or small form factor PC's so hardware is not an issue, I intend to have at least 3 PCs available in the Ob, Guiding, Imaging and Stellarium/CDC or whatever on screen. I can probably boost the WiFi signal enough to reach as well so hopefully no network cabling to worry about although it could be done. I hear of issues with long run USB cables but I could set the PCs up on a sheltered desk area and run USB maybe 5 meters under floor to the pier. Is this a better option ?
16-08-2011, 11:20 AM
Personally if i was to build a local observatory i would place a simple control PC which can be purchased very cheaply and then create a wireless LAN connection to the PC and use another PC for control, Observing and processing.
To monitor I would use either Remote desktop or some other visual connection to the remote PC. Main advantage is that you can control easily either in the observatory or in the home with little issues.
16-08-2011, 01:33 PM
when I first built my dome a lot of niggly layout problems didn't
reveal themselves until after months and years of visual and imaging.
For example, when I imaged Mars during apparitions in 2001, 2003, 2005
most of the frustration was due to how poorly I'd thought out
the layout of something in the dome.
IE, the power supplies would give off heat right near the open bottom end
of the 8" F7 Newt when I imaged anywhere east when Mars was a
Also, as I sat at the imaging PC, the Newt OTA would hover over my
head. My body would be giving off heat that affected the top open
end of the OTA....If I had a coffee, forget imaging Mars altogether.
These problems caused me to have two control stations in the dome.
One on the western side of my deskspace, one east.
The control PC (Stepper Drive ) sits to the south.
To swap from one control spot to the other only means lifting up the
keyboard and mouse and plugging it into the west/east side.
The Stepper Drive handpad can also reach both sides from it's Northern wall tether point.
All of this changed though when I started to remotely control the scope
from inside the shed and house.
I initially used a handpad extension but then went totally wired LAN.
If I am controlling the scope locally I sit either at the west station or
east station, depending on my target.
The 8" F7 scope is now a 12" F5 and space is a lttle more confined,
but still not a big problem.
2 adults can be in the dome at once easily.
The Imaging PC sits under the wraparound desk at the northern end
inside a box with castors. All cabling to the GEM pier is via in slab
conduits so I can walk right round my scope and not trip on
Hope this helps,
16-08-2011, 02:26 PM
Thanks Guys, just the sort of information I am needing. Hadn't even considered the heat issue and as for having to do without my coffee .... well. I suppose whiskey fumes from my Irish is a no-no too.
As I said I have access to a number of PCs and laptops, I'm not worried about cheap, I get free.
I was intending to keep the Control and Imaging PCs quite seperate to eleiminate any CPU resource conflicts. Possibly a vented area to one side might be in order eventually. Pull the heat away from the scope zone. Get a bigger fan.
Keep them coming, the more I consider now the better.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.