A pair of DomePro2-d for classic domes. One module controls dome azimuth motors for rotation and a second module controls dome shutter motors.

DomePro2-d features list

Single shutter, dual shutter and azimuth-only options available.

Fully enclosed Azimuth and Shutter control modules

  • DomePro2-d is not a board level product. Electronics are packaged in robust industrial metal enclosures which are sealed on all but the bottom panel and are impervious to dust and insects.
  • CNC machined connector panels – accurately fits external connectors.

Drop-in low hassle installation

  • All cables are connected through removable connectors. There are no cables/wires that need to be connected inside the sealed modules.
  • Field installs and replacements are quick and easy. No active electronics are hard-wired to the dome.

Exclusive use of high-quality components

  • Reliable industrial connectors and cables.
  • Extended temperature operation.

Features common to Azimuth and Shutter controllers

  • Designed for reliable remote and unattended operation of all types of telescope domes.
  • Communications between the shutter and azimuth modules is provided by a robust high-gain international ISM-band radio.
  • Direct (i.e., no PC in the loop) weather “unsafe” dome closure with suitable weather station (e.g., Boltwood).
  • “Mains” (AC line) power fail detection… provides immediate power-safe dome closure from UPS/battery.
  • Motor current monitoring and overload protection. Power supply voltage monitoring. Temperature monitoring.
  • Overvoltage/transient/surge protection, fully shielded cabling.
  • A rich set of timeouts protecting against motor or other system component failures. All timeouts are individually programmable and enablable.
  • Keylock and E-Stop switches on front panel.
  • Easy upgrade of controller firmware and PC software.

Additional Azimuth controller features

  • Control of one or multiple rotation motors (typically two for 18’ and above domes). DomePro2-d’s azimuth controller can control DC motors, single-phase AC, 3ph AC (with soft-start capability) or stepper/servo motors. Motors are typically provided by the dome manufacturer however Astrometric can also provide complete motor solutions.
  • Quadrature encoder directly senses rotation direction. Does not rely upon the activated motor direction to determine direction of rotation.  Will read rotation even if the dome is rotated by hand.
  • Never loose position: RFID (radio frequency identification) absolute position tags and redundant encoder options.
  • Home index switch
  • Azimuth position saved at power-off… position restored at power-up with no need to home (if dome has not moved). Any homing is expedited since controller knows which way to rotate to find home.
  • Isolated USB interface to PC running our Maestro user interface software.
  • "Coast" compensation for motor acceleration/deceleration distances.
  • Manual override controls for azimuth left/right rotation and shutter open/close.
  • Remote E-Stop switch support.

Additional Shutter controller features

  • Two models: Single or dual shutter domes. Supports arbitrary shutter sequencing and topology (e.g., drop-out lower shutter, Ash REA “ride along”, TI cascaded shutter, Palomar style, etc.).
  • Control of upper and lower shutter motors. DomePro2-d’s shutter controller can control DC motors, single-phase AC or 3ph AC (with soft-start capability).  Motors are typically provided by the dome manufacturer however Astrometric can also provide complete motor solutions.
  • Power is provided to the shutter module via slip rings on the interior of the dome or via battery (either solar or “at home” charged through contactors).
  • Failsafe shutter closure on PC link and shutter/azimuth RF-link timeouts.
  • Partial open feature to absolute percentage (with optional encoder) or by timed motor activation (i.e., "venting").
  • Failsafe backup limit switch support.
  • Manual override controls for shutter open/close.

Versatile PC-based user interface software (Maestro)

  • PC-access to all DomePro2-d features, settings and diagnoses.
  • Standards support: ASCOM and Bisque X2.
  • Slaving of dome azimuth position to telescope position.
  • Full-featured geometry model that provides accurate azimuth slaving for arbitrary telescope position within the dome. Accommodates German equatorial mount flip.
  • Email/text notification for any fault condition (e.g., timeouts, weather unsafe, power fail, over-current, under-voltage, over-temp, failsafe shutter limits, etc.).
  • Maestro can ping an IP address and provide network-drop/timeout dome closure.
  • Protected access to all system settings.

DomePro2-d systems include

  • An azimuth module configured to control single-phase AC motors (110V-240V 8A max), DC motors (12-28V 16A max) or external motor drivers (e.g., for 3ph AC or stepper/servo motors).
  • A shutter module configured to control one or two shutter motors. The module is configured to control single-phase AC motors (110V-240V 8A max), DC motors (12-28V 16A max) or external motor drivers (e.g., for 3ph AC or stepper/servo motors).
  • An optical encoder sensing rotation in azimuth. This is a sealed encoder and is impervious to condensing moisture (dew).  Depending on the target system this encoder includes hardware to mount on the drive sprocket, on an “idler” sprocket or on a rotation sensing wheel.
  • Azimuth home index switch (sealed against moisture).
  • Shutter limit switches.
  • All necessary system cabling to limit switches, power, azimuth encoder(s) and a USB cable (5m cable with longer options available) connecting to azimuth.
  • Power supplies. AC units do not need a power supply.  DC units require 12V DC for motor power (see options below).
  • Maestro user interface software for Windows. Includes ASCOM Dome driver and Bisque X2 interface.
  • Weather-unsafe interface cable to Boltwood (or other) weather station.
  • “Mains” (AC line) power-good sensing and interface cable.
  • 2 year transferable warranty.
  • 1 year support contract: unlimited email and phone support.

DomePro2-d options

  • 3ph AC “soft-start” motor drivers typically used on larger (>= 15’) domes. DomePro2-d can control multiple parallel drivers for the largest (>=18’) domes.
  • External relay boards to drive AC motors exceeding 8A. AC motors <=8A are directly powered from DomePro2-d.
  • DC motor power supply options up to 16A.
  • Battery shutter power options using either “at home” or solar charging.
  • RFID-based azimuth absolute position sensor that calibrates azimuth by sensing unique RF identification (RFID) tags placed at known azimuth locations. DomePro2-d includes an RFID “discovery” feature which senses and saves the azimuth of each RFID.
  • 2nd optical encoder for redundant azimuth rotation sensing. Useful for detecting sprocket slip on Ash domes.
  • External/remote shutter open/close switch option. This is sometimes used to provide shutter open/close from outside the dome.
  • Shutter backup limits.
  • External/remote E-Stop.
  • Shutter absolute position sensing provides indication of the percentage that each shutter is open.

DomePro2-dx for Explora Dome

The DomePro2-dx system is designed to control Explora Domes from Polydome of Litchfield, MN.  DomePro2-dx is a cost-optimized system that brings much of the “premium” capability of our DomePro2-d system into the affordable amateur market.  DomePro2-dx is designed for drop-in installation in Explora Dome 8’ and 11’ domes.

Two DomePro2-dx modules designed for Explora Domes from Polydome. DomePro2-dx brings “premium” capability of DomePro2-d at an affordable price for the amateur dome market. Drop-in installation for Explora Dome 11’ and 8’ domes.

Below is a features comparison between DomePro2-dx and DomePro2-d.  DomePro2-dx uses the same user interface software (Maestro) and DomePro2-d and retains most of DomePro2-d's functionality.

Note #1: Works with rotation motor kits provided by Polydome.  The Polydome kits that do not include the “key bob” or azimuth controller are all that is needed.

Note #2: Limit switches included with shutter motor kits provided by Polydome.  The Polydome kits that do not include the “key bob” or shutter controller are all that is needed.

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