Hitecastro are delighted to announce details of their newest focus controller, HitecDCFocus.
HitecDCFocus is specially designed and extensively tested to support both the 'Skywatcher' and 'JMI' focus motors. Sockets for both types of motors are standardised on the high quality CNC machined housing. Additionally there is included manual focus buttons so you can use your HitecDCFocus unit, even when its not connected to a PC.
Of course, it is when connected to a PC via USB2.0 that HitecDCFocus comes into its own. The specially written software provides very accurate control over your focus motor. The smallest of focus motion can be achieved by adjusting the parameters of the software to your needs.
The included dedicated software provides a vast amount of options to satisfy the most demanding of astronomers.
Everything from the speed of the focuser to the frequency the motor operates at can be controlled.
HiTec have developed a 'simulated' step mode which emulates a stepper based control in function. It should be clearly noted that all DC motors are NOT capable of repeated absolute positioning. Unlike stepper motors which can be commanded to move a fixed number of steps, DC motors can only be turned on and off for a period of time. This limits the use for autofocusing. We have however tested this with autofocus software and obtained very good results.
Where our DC focuser excels is in providing the finest hands off control over your focus procedure. The DC motor can either be slewed by pushing the buttons on the controller or via software control.
Depending on the settings you can either operate in continuous mode where the focuser will move until the button is released or our simulated step mode allows the focuser to be moved in equal steps for each push of the button. The amount the focuser moves for each step is fully controllable through the speed and steps parameters of the software. During development HiTec were amazed at just how small a movement could be achieved using the software. This far exceeds what can be done by hand focusing and makes the process of accurately focusing a CCD camera simple and painless (well as painless as your local seeing conditions will allow!!)
We think planetary imagers will be particularly interested in this focuser since anyone who has tried to focus on planets at high magnifications will know that even touching the telescope to focus at very high magnification cause impossible shaking of the image on screen. By reducing the speed of the focuser and adjusting the frequency of the motor to suit your setup you can acheive vibration free focusing even at the highest of f/d ratios.
But we havent forgotten about visual observers. Again focusing at high magnifiactions can be acheived even with the highest power eyepieces. The addition of slew buttons on the unit itself means that even if you don't wish to take a PC to your dark site, you can use HitecDCFocus. If you do bring a PC, the integrated night vision mode will help ensure your hard won dark adaptation is not compromised.
We are currently in the final stages of developing an ASCOM compliant driver to compliment the HitecDCFocus software bundle. This will allow HitecDCFocus to be used with any software which supports the ASCOM standard such as Maxim DL. CCD Soft, Focus Max etc.. (Please see our earlier stated caveat regarding autofocusing).
In short, HitecDCFocus is a quantum leap in functionality and useability from the standard motor hand controllers and when it comes to a comparison with manual 'hand' focusing, well there simply is none!! Once you've focused with our controller you will never want to touch your telescope focus wheel ever again!
Hands-free DC focusing for precise focusing with the minimum of vibration.
Dual speed push-button operation (fast & slow).
Can be used with the following telescopes: Evostar models 90, 102, 120 & 150, Startravel 80, 102, 120 & 150, Skyliner models 150, 200, 250 & 300 and Explorer models 150, 200, 250 & 300.
The Hitec USB Guider Interface will work with pretty much any standard ST-4 compatible guide port and allows the user to utilise practically any USB based camera be it a webcam, Meade DSI, Imaging SOurce camera or similar to be used as an autoguider.
Simple install. Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will automatically recognise it and install a base driver.
ASCOM driver allows USB Guider to be used by any software package which can leverage the ASCOM standard for guiding.
All outputs are optically isolated to ensure that your mount and PC do not interfere with each other.
A diagnostic mode allows you to see what the device is actually doing this can be used by you as part of the diagnostic process for autoguiding.
Includes a 2m ST4 compatible.
Click here to download Manual and Drivers
The mount Hub Pro is the answer to many observatory or mobile power requirements.
In addition to the below functionality the new Mount Hub pro now also includes a 5 Port USB Hub
In one small neat and tidy unit you can do the following
Control via a PC and the included software
Control & Power Up to 4 Dew Heater Bands
Power CCD Cameras and autoguiders
Power motorised Filter Wheels
Power a Flatfield Panel
Power a Robo Focus or Moonlite Compatible motor focuser and control via the included ASCOM software
Power most popular telescope mounts
Power many other peripheral devices
In manual mode where no PC is necessary you can
Power up to 4 Dew Bands
Power a Robofocus or Moonlite compatible motor focuser with the optional manual hand control
The Mount hub Pro draws it's power from one Mains to 13.8v supply (not supplied) and allows you to neatly and easily power nearly all observatory peripherals.
The MHP is an integrated device consisting of
• 8 Individually selected power outlets.
• 4 Controllable ‘Dew Heater’ Outputs.
• A focus controller capable of driving any unipolar stepper motor based
• A USB connection which enables the above to be controlled from any PC
using Windows XP, Windows Vista. Windows 7
A driver has been developed which will allow the focus controller to operate with any ASCOM compliant software such as Maxim DL, CCD Auto Pilot,or the excellent (and free) Focus Max.
This new compact and convenient EQDIR adapter allows direct connection of Skywatcher HEQ5 and EQ6 mounts (Synrek and PRO models) to your laptop via a standard USB lead.
The EQMOD project consists of a suite of open source applications that bypasses the hand-controller and communicates directly with the mount's stepper motor controller
EQMod User Group
This is an upgraded stable regulated switched mode power supply suitable for the Skywatcher Synguider.
Skywatcher's new synguider offers users a stand alone autoguiding solution for autoguiding without the use of a laptop.
Power supply requirements for this unit must be rigidly adhered to therefore we have developed a small unit perfectly suited to powering this device.
6v Switched mode output meets the requirements perfectly.
The HiTec Astro unit provides a steady reliable supply from any 12vDC source.
Supplied with cabling and a cigar plug for connection to your 12V DC power supply.
Will not cause interference with other devices (e.g. CCD camera
Written by HitecAstro
As fellow astronomers we know that possibly the single biggest obstacle to any form of astronomical observation or imaging (apart from clouds) is dreaded dew. Sadly we can't help to bring you clear skies, but what we can do is help make those precious clear skies more productive by providing a range of manual dew controllers to help keep those expensive optics dry and clear right throughout your observing session.
SCTs (Schmidt Cassegrain) telescopes have large front surfaces which are particularly susceptible to dew. We recommend to use our dew controller in conjunction with an appropriate dew cap to give you the best chance of making the most of your night under the stars. Also it is important to ensure the air inside the telescope is as dry as possible to prevent dew forming on the inside of the corrector plate. We will provide an article in the near future on some of the best ways to acheive this.
Click the 'Read More' button below to see our range of Manual Dew Controllers.
4 Channel 4 Port Dew Controller.
The four channel controller allows you to connect and control the output to four individual heat strips (not included). Most heater strips, tapes and pads from all the major manufacturers are supported via phono type sockets. Each controller can out put up to 5amps which should be more than enough for most astronomers needs. While choosing your product keep in mind that some 14" dew tapes require over 4amps. You will need to ensure that your power supply can deliver enough power for your requirements keeping in mind other equipment such as your mount and cameras also need to be powered.
Each output can be set to the selected output level and the power output for each channel is indicated by an LED above each turn knob. A cigar plug connection and 1m of cable is provided.
Any astronomer who has set up complex astronomical equipment knows that often too many wires and cables can be as much a problem as too few. For this reason HiTec Astro created this simple but effective single channel, 2 port dew controller.
Simply plug it in to an appropriate power supply and connect one or two tapes/pads and you are good to go. The power output to both ports is set on the front of the device.
Each controller can power heating tapes UP TO 5 amps. Included is a high quality cigar plug adaptor and 2m of cable.
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