Re: GTOCP4 Control Box

Mike Dodd

On 2/24/2021 5:50 PM, Donald Gaines wrote:
outside in a structure with a ROR, and connect to a PC in the house
about 150 ft away. I was thinking of using the Ethernet port and I read
that it can also be done with a USB and Icron 2304 USB extender. I am
curious if cameras, focuses and other accessories can be connected to
the GTOCP4 and then be operated by the PC in the house? Is there a
preferred method for this kind of setup? I would appreciate any advice
you might be willing to pass along.
I have a PC in the observatory to keep thing simple. I have an Icron 2304 between the PC and the pier, a cable length of about 15 feet. It works great. Here are some factors to consider:

* The 2304 is USB 2 only, so if you have a USB 3.0 camera, image transfer will be significantly slower. I wanted high-speed image transfer, so I installed a powered USB 3.0 extender for the camera. Another reason for the PC to be in the observatory.

* My focuser, rotator, and guide camera go through the 2304, so the USB 2 speed is not an issue.

* My AP1200 connects to the PC via old-fashioned, reliable RS-232 serial.

* connect to the observatory PC from my house with Windows Remote Desktop via a 300-foot buried Ethernet cable. It works very well. I have the option of saving images to a Linux server in the basement via the same Ethernet link, or saving them on the observatory PC, then transferring them to a Win 10 computer for processing with PixInsight.

I highly recommend a PC in the observatory. As I said, it keeps things simple. I can do EVERYTHING from inside the house -- start the PC, open the roof, power-up and connect all the equipment, and start an ACP imaging plan.

--- Mike

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