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.
|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.|