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Old 16-10-2020, 02:51 PM
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mldee (Mike)
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mldee is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Warwick, Qld, Australia
Posts: 524
Off Grid Ioptron CEM60 Cable Management USB Mod

Since commenting in MarkInSpace's thread on cable management frustrations, I have been busy doing the mod to my Ioptron CEM60 to allow total remote operation from my house with NO cables hanging off the used GSO 10" CF Truss Newt OTA that I'd purchased some years ago from an IIS member. I've just finished and it works a treat.

Since there is precious little on IIS about CEM60 mods, I thought I'd indulge and document my experience for future IIS reference.

As background, I've been out of astrophotography for the last four or so years while building my new off-grid house in a nice Bortle 2 valley about 130Km west of Brisbane. Close to civilisation, broadband, etc. but Energex just wanted too much to run the wires 300 metres to my block.

55kWh of used AGM and new LiFePO4 batteries, 5kW of used solar panels, new 5kVa backup genset and 50kL of rainwater storage plus bore, and I'm snug as a bug in a rug for far less than Energex asked and I feel better for it too!

Back to cable management....One of the reasons I purchased my CEM60 about three years ago was its cable management feature, plus of course its load bearing capability, GPS, etc, etc.

Having completed the house building activity, I then moved on to planning my 5x3m rolloff obs, basically using leftovers from the house, etc. I suppose I should name it the "Ramshackle Observatory". It doesn't leak TOO much...

The OTA has a Gigabyte Brix NUC and Pegasus Astro Powerbox Advanced mounted on the top rail, plus Pegasus focusser, dew heater and mirror fans to manage.

The addition of a USB2 output port from the NUC to the mount base just needed removal of the polar scope (I'm 77, lousy eyesight, and love plate solving, so no need for the scope!) feeding the 1 metre USB M-F extender cable down the cable management hole under the saddle and with a pair of long nose, grasped the USB2 female cable end and I now had a port to connect my Aliexpress USB to rj11 cable directly to the mount rs232 port.

I won't go into the gory details of the disassembly, apart to say it was easier than expected, did it all in less than a day, and that is by an old fart with shaky fingers who likes to drop small screws on the floor. I'll post some pics of the trip, and if anybody has a question, feel free to ask. I might even reply!

It all works fine, and not one cable hangs off the OTA despite having focusers, dew heater, fans, guiding, etc, etc. The Pegasus Astro Powerbox Advanced is a great piece of kit, highly recommended.

I am quite proud of the OTA pic, and the lack of dangling cables. I also attached a doc that explains in good detail how to remove the polar scope. Just one heads up, don't confuse the three reticule alignment grub screws with the two further-to-the-rear scope holder grub screws inside the base.

Now for the hard part, taking pics....
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (GSO 10 CF Newt small.jpg)
197.4 KB16 views
Click for full-size image (screen.jpg)
179.3 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (Saddle 1.jpg)
101.2 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (Saddle 2.jpg)
93.0 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (Mount out.jpg)
119.3 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (USB out.jpg)
108.0 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (Focusser.jpg)
153.2 KB11 views
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CEM60_PolarScope_Alignment.pdf (367.1 KB, 2 views)
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