Technical Innovations RoboDome Robotic Observatory
Technical Innovations RoboDome is a complete robotic observatory that measures only 50" tall. The package includes a fiberglass dome with base and one shutter, all hardware and motors for rotation and shutter movement. Technical Innovations RoboDome also includes Digital Dome Works hardware and software for computer (remote) control of observatory and the dome is shipped fully assembled. Let's learn more...
Think of a dome that is... robotic... big enough for a telescope but not a person... equipped with motors for rotation and shutter control, and with Digital Dome Works automation... designed for remote use from your computer control room, network or internet site... shipped with software for dome control and telescope control... ready for your GOTO mount and telescope... ready for CCD or video imaging... fully assembled when it arrives at your site... surprisingly affordable. Now, imagine a dome just the right size for your Meade LX200 8" to 10" scope... Celestron 8" Ultima, or up to 11"... small refractors such as AstroPhysics or Televue... small Maksutov or Takahashi scopes... or any similar scope that can be matched with a GOTO mount and equipped with CCD or video equipment. And envision a dome that is... designed for the professional, priced for the amateur... a pleasing oval shape... easily installed by bolting the base to a space of just 14 square feet... motorized for rotation, a full 360º... That's it....
You've just pictured Tehnical Innovations RoboDome!
Put RoboDome to work doing remote astronomy (CCD or video); watching birds or wild game; coastline surveillance; satellite tracking; sheltering non weatherproof video equipment. You can bolt a Technical Innovations Robotic Observatory Dome to any flat roof that is accessible for installation/service - such as an academic building, office building, home, garage or even a remote out-building. All you'll need is approximately 14 sq. ft. of space for the dome, plus space for the user to stand when installing or servicing equipment. You can also install this small dome on a concrete pad, raised deck, or tower. For mobile use, put it on a travel, cargo or equipment trailer.
Technical Innovations RoboDome is designed to shelter your telescope and be used for remote observing. It is designed to accommodate telescopes as large as a Meade 10" LX200 and its small size can make a BIG difference in the way you observe! By using the included Technical Innovations Digital Dome Works, you can simply set your telescope up once and DDW will "park" its position, saving you complex start-up procedures. The addition of a battery or uninterruptable power supply will carry you through any unforeseen power outages. If you should need to make physical adjustments to your telescope? Just reach inside! The opening measures a full 24" wide and the entire 40 pound dome can be removed easily in a matter of minutes from the base should full access be needed.
Technical Innovations RoboDome also come complete with a modified Digital Dome Works (DDW) remote control package, too. DDW includes the observatory control software (PC WIN95, also runs on Windows NT). The software is “open source”, so you can modify it if you want to fit your own needs. For example, some users may want to link to the DDW Control Program via a software interface from their Linux or Mac operating systems. The DDW package also includes the “Astronomers Control Package” (ACP), a product by Robert Denny, which provides the full set of LX200 commands, as well as a trial use scripting and voice control package. To slave the dome to the scope, the DDW processor can directly read the scope azimuth from an LX200. Alternatively, the DDW software can interface with the ACP and TheSky V.6 to obtain the telescope position. The software also will correct for the offset from a German Equatorial Mount.
Now, just add your own computer for complete control of the RoboDome. Best is the distance from the user computer to the dome short enough for direct wiring. For purposes of Digital Dome Works, this distance is typically about 300-400 ft, which is the maximum distance for reasonably reliable RS232 operation. RS232 requires three conductors. For short runs (say, 100 ft) virtually any cable, including telephone cable, can be used. For the longer runs, we would recommend cables with larger conductors such as Romex #14 power cable for RS232 connections. For distances of more than 400 ft, there are alternatives to RS232 connections. In practice, for distances greater than a few hundred feet, you will probably want to use a computer in or adjacent to the dome to handle the CCD camera, observatory, and scope (we call this long distance remote). You would then control the programs using PCAnywhere or a similar program via a local network, phone line, or other communication means.
Technical Innovations RoboDome Robotic Observatory Features
- Requires only approximately 14 sq. ft. of space for the dome, plus space for the user to stand when installing or servicing equipment.
- Includes the “Astronomers Control Package” (ACP), a product by Robert Denny, which provides the full set of LX200 commands, as well as a trial use scripting and voice control package.
- Package includes a fiberglass dome with base and one shutter, all hardware and motors for rotation and shutter movement.
- Perfect for remote astronomy (CCD or video); watching birds or wild game; coastline surveillance; satellite tracking; sheltering non weatherproof video equipment.
- For mobile use, put it on a travel, cargo or equipment trailer.
Technical Innovations Product Number: TT-RD1M
Customer Note: Because Technical Innovations RoboDome is a highly specialized product that will be shipped directly from the manufacturer, it would be next to impossible for us to give you even a rough estimate of shipping costs for both domestic and international orders via our on-line calculator. For that reason, we've included special information on both packaging and shipping . If you decide to purchase a RoboDome, you will be given full shipping and packing charges at the time of your purchase - or you may feel free to email our professional sales staff at any time for further estimates. OPT has also put together several telescope, computer controlled mount and imaging packages to accompany RoboDome. Thank you!