Our Telescope Control Functionality page describes the functionality of our PrimeTCS-i controller. This page describes the physical details of PrimeTCS-i.
Clean System Architecture
PrimeTCS-i is architected for optimal real world application. From decades of experience installing telescope control solutions we have learned a great deal about implementing systems that are robust and reliable. In particular, by far the leading cause of problems is cable or connector failures. Because of this, PrimeTCS-i has been designed around two important principles best assuring system reliability:
- Electronic co-location: locate the TCS electronics near the “use point” thus minimizing cabling
- Exclusive use of quality components in the design
Our PrimeTCS products include two electronics modules, one for RA/Az and one for Dec/Alt.
PrimeTCS is designed to minimize wiring and cabling by co-locating the electronics modules with the motors and encoders. As the adjacent diagram shows, with separate electronics modules mounted near their associated components (e.g., motors, encoders, guider, handpaddle), the cabling is localized and does not need to run back to the mount’s base or other central location. To facilitate this electronics co-location a single high-flex and tough jacketed cable (of customer specified length) is used to connect the two electronics modules. This cable, shown in green in the diagram, consolidates what would otherwise be many cables (e.g., motor signals, encoder, autoguider, limit switches, handpaddle) into one signaling interface.
Of course, the PrimeTCS electronics modules can be mounted centrally if one chooses.