Dome Rotation Control

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       Dome rotation control at the observatory is maintained by a semi automatic system I develped myself. I found commercially availavle systems to automatically rotate a dome to be too expensive for my budget. The system I created uses the existing dome motors, modified power supply, and a commercially available modular computer controlled relay board.

 

I realized after several months of operating the dome manually that all one needs to do to keep the open slit in front of the tracking scope is to wait a length of time, then run the dome motors for a few seconds. Therefore I designed a system that will do just that. With the help of software engineer   Tim Long 

a computer program was created that tells the relay board to wait so many seconds, then run the dome motors for so many seconds.   It doesn't take too much time and experience to estimate these values for different telescope positions.