Thursday, January 18, 2007

Shoestring FCUSB received

This is the first non-observation log entry to this blog, and I will be adding more content when I've time. Ideas from my mind right now would be my old equipment reviews, my ideas about various equipments, observation or imaging methods, and some technical documents for beginners, and also my random ideas towards amateur astronomy. I hope you will enjoy. Back to the topic below:-

I have ordered a FCUSB controller from Shoestring Astronomy last week and it arrived today, it's well packed and the delivery has been fast. I just have to pay $6 more for the shipping to Hong Kong.

The controller is very nice in appearance, similar to a JMI hand controller. It's plastic but it serves the purpose well enough. The included USB cable is quite long.

No driver has to be installed since it's a standard HID device, the other software, ASCOM driver can be downloaded from their website.

Since I don't have any Windows PC here, nor I've my JMI NGF-S available with me, I couldn't test it right now. But I did try to plug it in my Linux box and the following was shown with dmesg:-

[17685717.880000] usb 2-1: new low speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 2
[17685718.112000] hiddev96: USB HID v1.11 Device [Shoestring Astronomy FCUSB USB Focuser Control Adapter] on usb-0000:00:02.3-1

indicating that the hardware should be ok, I'm going to try it out tonight.

For those who don't know what is it, to make it simple, it is a USB device in which it can be used to replace your regular hand controller of your motorized focuser, it draws power from your USB port to power the DC motor of your focuser so that you don't have to provide a separate power supply. The downside is, USB can only provide 5V power and thus some higher voltage motors might work slower, like my 9V NGF-S. However, it could be a good thing as well, since your motor will run slower, and thus allow finer adjustment. I've to test to verify that.

This is a part for my remote solar telescope project, which I gave up about a month ago. However, when I came by a good dealer on a second hand JMI NGF-S, the fire burn up again!

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