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PC-TCSPersonal Computer-based
Telescope Control System

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PC-TCS is a Personal Computer based Telescope Control System designed for use with moderate to large professional astronomical telescopes. PC-TCS is a mature product, having been developed over the past nine years. This system is now in use at over fifty observatories around the world, including the Stewart Observatory 60- and 90-inch telescopes. The software will run on all IBM computers and compatibles. Optical Guidance Systems supplies PC-TCS pre-installed in a Pentium-class Windows computer.

PC-TCS operates in a DOS exclusive mode as a telescope/dome control computer, and as a slave to the observatory host computer for Internet operation. However, Its true utility is the sophisticated user interface that allows the observer to perform functions previously unavailable in any observatory class control system.

PC-TCS provides the observer with a highly flexible battery of motion control functions handsomely matching the demands of astronomical observing. As much as possible, system complexity is minimized by the use of a "Menu Driven" user interface that, in most cases requires only single keystrokes to make the telescope perform complex tasks.

Version 5.0/DCS of PC-TCS includes several third party digital and analog I/O cards; version 5.0/CT includes only a single counter/timer control card, available from a number of vendors if replacement or upgrading is required. Optionally, PC-TCS can use a single 4-Port Serial Card (Personal Computing Tools, Inc.) to accommodate up to 8 channels of remote serial access to the control system.

To learn more visit The COMSOFT® Web Site.

Software Bisque®

MKS-3000Telescope Motion Control System

The Paramount's MKS-3000 control system boasts state-of-the-art electronics for unmatched performance.

The MKS-3000 control system uses brush-less DC Servo motors. If your mount is used for survey astronomy all night, every clear night, no other type of motor is sufficient. Note that the life of the brush-less DC servo motor is limited to the service life of the bearings. This translates to about 100,000 hours under normal operating conditions. On the other hand, the life of brushed DC Servo motors is limited to the life of the carbon brushes, which is anywhere from 4,000-10,000 hours according to the manufacturers specifications.

Brush-less motors also do not "cog" at any rate.  This ensures a smooth, constant output when tracking at the Sidereal rate.

MKS-3000 Features/Specifications
Brush-less DC-servo motors ensure long life and smooth operation.
Field upgradeable flash RAM permits easy, immediate software updates.  
Fast slew speeds and consistent torque at all slew rates. A maximum rate of five degrees per second in right ascension and seven degrees per second in declination gets you to the object, fast.
Virtually unlimited selection of tracking and slew rates.
AutoHome™ capability (to better than one arcsecond) with built-in sensor circuitry on each axis ensure that the mount always knows its orientation (after a one-time initialization), even after power failure.
Software controlled "hard limits" prevent the mount from tracking or slewing into itself.
User-defined parameters can be stored to on-board flash RAM.
Numerous safety features critical to remote operation including current-limit protection, encoder-error limits, acceleration ramping, and user-definable maximum slew speeds.
Joystick or PC software control.
Programmable and updateable Periodic Error Correction.
Intelligent German Equatorial flipping eliminates unnecessary long slews.
The MKS-3000 control system can track at true lunar, solar, minor planet or comet, NEO or LEO satellite rates, or at almost any user-defined rate (when used with TheSky).  No other commercially available control system can make this claim.
TheSky has been updated to provide many new capabilities that were previously not possible. Some examples of these new features include: display a graph of the periodic error of the worm gear; track a low-earth satellite by clicking on the object on the Sky Display.

Visit the Software Bisque® Web site

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(Prices and specifications subject to change w/o notice.)