Re: Manage Cables Which Plate to Use for Top Mount Hardware?

Dale Ghent

On Nov 6, 2020, at 8:12 AM, Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...> wrote:

Hi Dale, do you feel you've lost any functionality with the Pegasus? I am forever looking for a better solution.
When I decided to go for the UPBv2, the one thing I was ultra hesitant about was using its built-in stepper motor controller to drive the Starlight/Optec HSM35 motor instead of the rather substantial FocusBoss controller, and I also just really like the Optec ASCOM driver for their focusers and moving things to the UPBv2 would mean not using those anymore. All the other changes - going from a 8x powerpole hub to the 4x coaxial power connectors, a fantastic Starlink USB3 hub to the one built into the UPBv2 when I have a QHY600 spewing 120MB frames over the wire... those things worked and adapting my powerpole cables would be simple. But it was that focuser controller that I was wary about.

The focuser controller on the UPBv2 can drive any number of stepper-based systems and the setup of it in the app has presets for some popular ones, including the HSM and PosiDrive series from Starlight/Optec. The only thing is that you need a cable to convert from the UPBv2's pinouts in its 8-pin modular jack (aka RJ45) to the pinouts of the RJ45 connector on the HSM motor. You can buy a ready-made cable from Pegasus, or make your own with the pinout diagrams provided by Pegasus. Since I wired my house with cat6 ethernet a few years ago and I still have an ungodly amount of cable left over from that project, I opted to make my own and it works fine and the Pegsus ASCOM driver for focusers implements what I need, so I'm not missing the Optec one either.

When I set up now, I just slide the 130GTX into the DOVEV10 on my Mach1, connect single USB and power cables to the UPBv2, remote desktop in to my mount-side miniPC and turn on the auto-dew feature of the UPBv2. It will monitor the dewpoint and start ramping up the heater straps as ambient temperature and dewpoint converge. When it's dark enough I tweak my polar alignment in SharpCap and get on with my imaging once it turns astro-dark. Breakdown in the morning is just as simple.

All in all, I'm very happy with it. I subsequently bought a Pocket Powerbox Advanced from Pegasus, which is basically a mini version of the UPBv2, to go on my airline-portable setup (CFF 92 f/6, RST-135 mount) so that I can elide the separate USB and powerpole hubs from that rig and add a dewpoint-controlled dew heater in the same motion.


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