Since I was trying to eliminate any cables hanging down from the mount, I needed to mount all
of the equipment control and power boxes on top of the mount. From left to right: SBIG STi, Kendrick dew
heater control, Robofocus control, Tripp-Lite Keyspan serial to USB hub and a custom made power distribution box.
All of the equipment except the mount itself is powered by this Pyramid PS12KX 10 amp DC power supply. The cable
that runs the power through the mount was custom made. I split the power into two twisted pairs of wire.
The power cable comes from the DC power supply and is connected using the through the mount power connector
provided by the PMX. You can also see in this picture the two USB cables that I ran through the mount. They
are currently used for the SBIG STi guider and the Tripp-Lite Keyspan hub (the Robofocus is connected to the hub).
The power then is accessed by plugging in a custom made distribution box into the PMX's Versa-Plate Instrument Panel. I also
plug in my SBIG ST 8300M into the Instrument Panel's USB hub.
The power distribution box allows me to power four different pieces of equipment. The connector on the left has sole use of
one of the twisted pairs and I use that to power the dew heater. The other three connections share the second twisted pair of wires.
They currently power the Robofocus and SBIG ST 8300M. On the back side of the box I have two red LED power indicator lights and two
5 amp fuses (one for each twisted pair).
This is just a standard Robofocus configuration. I purchased the mounting bracket specifically made for Takahashi scopes. Since I
have the control box mounted so close to the motor, I made custom cables that were shorter than the supplied Robofocus cables.
I had kind of a difficult time navigating the labyrinth of Takahashi adapter documents. I tried purchasing what I thought were needed
parts to get the correct back focus for my SBIG ST8300M with CFW-5 but no combination worked for me. I decided to have an adapter made
and there isn't a better place than PreciseParts. Ashley Stevens was very helpful in getting
the correct length and what Takahashi parts were needed. The adapter I had made was 42mm but probably could have been 5mm longer to
have the focuser a bit further in.
I only operate the telescope remotely but I am not very far from it (I control the backyard observatory from my home office). I decided
to first try out a Icron Ranger 2204 USB extender to control the telescope with my desktop PC in my home office. I ran 150' of cat 6 network cable out to the
observatory and have not had any major issues with the setup.
Here is the second part of the USB extender that I plug into my office desktop PC. I found that the PC recognizes all of the USB equipment
best if I plug it directly into a USB port on the computer (not a USB hub). I have also found some flakiness with the Tripp-Lite Keyspan serial to usb hub in
this setup. If I unplug the USB extender from my PC while the equipment is powered up, I get a blue screen of death that is caused by the Keyspan driver. To
avoid this, I power down my PC before disconnecting the USB Extender.