Re: Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

W Hilmo

I like it quite a lot.  It replaces three other pieces of gear:  an Optec FocusLynx, a DewBuster and a USB hub.  I also like that it’s easy to mount to the top rail on the scope.  It allows me to use software to turn the power ports and USB ports on and off from the computer.  It also reports the amount of current that is in use.


The one thing that I’ve run into is that it is pretty sensitive to how the cables are routed.  When I first set it up, and had all of the cable nicely bundled together on the side of the OTA.  When I had it all tidied up, the main imaging camera was pretty unstable.  That’s why the cables are all loose in the image.


From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2020 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO


Wade how do you like that pegasus powerbox?


i've been curious about it, but it's a little pricey and i don't need the focus motor controller.


On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 6:18 AM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I have a small form factor PC (a Core i5) installed in an Apache case, along
with a RigRunner, an Ethernet hub and a wireless router.  I also have a
Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox V2 mounted to the top dovetail plate on my
OTA.  The Ultimate PowerBox runs the focuser and dew heaters, and provides a
USB hub for the main and guide cameras.  I have one power cable and one USB
3 cable that run through the AP1600.

I have no cable snags because most of the cabling rides on the OTA and I
have just the two cables running through the mount.  For setup and take
down, I have just the above 4 connections to plug in.  And when I want to go
portable, I can take the OTA and Apache case along with my AP1100 and use
the same setup.

When I want to image, I carry the Apache case out to the mount and attach
the two through-the-mount cables to the computer.  I then attach the
Ethernet and power cables from the CP4.  At home, I have the wireless router
configured as a bridge to my how wireless network.  In the field, I have the
wireless router configured to run as a hotspot.   I run the whole thing by
using Remote Desktop to connect to the computer from a laptop, a tablet, or
another PC, depending on whether I am home or in the field. 

This would work great with a Mach2.  The only difference would be that I
would use the Mach2's power and USB routing instead of running my own cables
through the mount.  I was inspired to change my setup to work like above
after looking at the Mach2 at Advanced Imaging Conference.  That was a neat
setup with two refractors mounted side-by-side with an Ultimate PowerBox
between them.  Prior to doing it this way, I mounted the PC, the RigRunner,
the wireless router, etc. on a plywood board.  I strapped the board to the
pier and ran all the cables through the mount.  The way that I'm doing it
now is much cleaner and easier.

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Frank
Widmann via
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2020 8:58 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

Rather than put a mini pc on the moving side of my AP 1600. I mount a
Startech 7-port industrial USB and a Rig Runner power distribution and run
two cables through the mount. I house an industrial mini PC and two power
supplies, one for the mount and one for the accessories, in a waterproof
cabinet. I use Belkin Wemo wireless switched outlets to turn power on and
off. I run the mini PC headless from my office using Windows Remote Desktop.








Brian Valente

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