About AstroEQ

What is AstroEQ

AstroEQ is a DIY System for converting any equatorial telescope mount into a Go-To mount which connects to ASCOM star maps via the excellent EQMOD software. This project uses the same communications protocols as the SkyWatcher/Synta controllers opening up the possibility of using EQMOD with any mount. An open loop control system is used meaning that all that is necessary to fit AstroEQ to a mount is a pair of stepper motors (one for each axis) - no need for expensive encoders or servo motors.

About its Maker

profile for Tom Carpenter on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites AstroEQ was designed by Thomas Carpenter, an Electronic Engineering Student at the University of Leeds. Since having a small telescope as a young child and looking though magazines at all the wonderful new digital telescopes that can be bought, I have been fascinated with the idea of having a telescope which you can click on a star and watch the telescope drive itself around.
Being heavily into Electronic Engineering I decided that if I was going to get a Go-To mount, I would rather build by own, hopefully saving some money in the process. When researching a way of connecting such a controller to a computer so that I could select stars in a sky chart, I came across EQMOD which seemed perfect, except for the fact that it was limited only to commercial mounts. I took it upon myself to find a way to reverse engineer the same protocol being used so that my controller would work with the software without any modification. AstroEQ was born.
Not sure where the name came from, in the end it seemed a nice mix of Astronomy and Equatorial Mount - perhaps one day I'll make a controller for Alt-Az mounts and call it AstroAZ, who knows.