MBCAA Observatory

Software and computer configuration B2101

Michel Bonnardeau
Creation: 11 July 2012

Previous configuration A7202.


AstroMB version 2.8x Interactive and robotic observations.
Automatic astrometry and photometry
ASCOM Platform 4.1 Interface with telescope, focuser, filter wheel
RoboFocusversion 4.1.0Interface with focuser (ASCOM)
Maxim DL version 4.60 Interface with camera and filterwheel.
Image reduction (bias, dark, flat)
CCDSoft V5 version 5.00.186 Interface with camera and filterwheel.
Image reduction (bias, dark, flat).
No ASCOM interface.
FocusMaxversion 3.2.1Automatic focusing
Dimension4version the computer clock from the Internet
Mathcad 2001 Professionnel
and 14.0
Data analysis

  • AstroMB drives the telescope via ASCOM. It communicates with Maxim DL via a Microsoft script to make images.
  • ASCOM Dome Controller allows the telescope interface to be shared by AstroMB, Maxim DL and PoleAlignMax (no dome is used).
  • FocusMax drives the focuser via the RoboFocus software. It communicates with Maxim DL to make images.
  • Maxim DL drives the camera and the filter wheel. It communicates with the telescope via the ASCOM interface (getting the celestial coordinates, centering the images).
  • CCDSoft V5, occasionally, in place of Maxim DL for the same use. With my setup, it does not communicate with the telescope (no ASCOM).

  • Computers

  • 2 computers are used on a LAN;
  • one computer, running Windows Vista, is used to analyze the images being acquired and to hold a database of astronomical data;
  • the other computer, running Windows XP, is an old one featuring serial and parallel ports. It is used to control the telescope and camera and write the data being acquired to the database of the first computer;
  • a Belkin Ethernet-USB hub is on the LAN, near the telescope, with USB-RS232 converters to communicate with the telescope and the filter wheel;
  • a parallel cable to communicate with the camera and a RS232 cable to communicate with the focuser.
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