Recently I wrote a document showing the use of PWI software and ASCOM drivers to run PHD2 and SGP thereby bypassing the hand controller. This can be done via the USB 2 cable or the wifi module sold by Celestron. Located here is the document. Mount setup using PWI software-1
I recently revisited my needs for powering and controlling my rig while doing Astrophotography. What I came up with is a 5 gallon Craftsman tote sold at Lowes home center with a 12v powerwerx power supply, an Anderson power poles distribution block, a Beelink i5 headless P.C. that runs on 12v, a 120v power strip for all the items that need the 120v ac power, a Starizona Microtouch focus controller all inside the tote. On the outside I put 4 water resistant anderson power poles connectors, an rj12 port for the starizona microtouch controller cable to connect, a USB 3 powered 7 port hub and a male water resistant three pronged 120v ac power port. You will notice that I did not include a battery for running off grid and this is due to the fact that I do not go many places that I don’t have shore power and for those places I do need a battery I have an EGO Nexus power station which will run my system for multiple days before needing a recharge and for that I came up with a way to charge it via solar. Anyways below is a photo of the actual GoBox 3.2.
After I built the GoBox 1.0 and used it I figured out that I mainly used it connected to an AC power source. I also decided that I needed to downsize the unit to make it easier to transport and I also wanted more options for connections on the exterior of the box. I think I succeeded in accomplishing both in my latest version of the GoBox, the 2.0 version. It has no internal battery but has a 30 amp AC to DC switching power supply, an Anderson Power Poles connector with 7 output connectors, a 7 port powered USB hub and an i3 based P.C with 256 gb SSD drive. On the exterior of the unit I have six USB 3 connectors that allow me to connect it to my rig. I have even added a USB C powered monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse to allow me to visually control the unit without a laptop. And since I use Voyager to control my rig I can use a tablet to manage my imaging session.
I use a product called Hotspot to allow my GoBox 2.0 to provision IP’s to my laptop or tablet so even though I am not at a site with WIFI I can work with my rig over a wifi connection.
I used a 5 gallon plastic tote to contain it all and I used a fan in the bottom of the tote to draw air into the tote.
As to the off the grid power I chose to use the EGO Nexus Power system to power everything as my mount uses the EGO battery packs for it’s power and the system will shortly have a solar charging option.
So I had a bit of fun creating a power source that allows me to go off grid and also allows me to be on grid if available. It inclueds the Epic PWRGate charger and power failover. A PWRcheck keeps tabs on the juice left in the battery and to power/charge it all a 30 amp fixed/adjustable power supply from PowerWerx or when the sun is up a 200 watt portable solar panel. The battery is a 76.5 AH Li-ion battery I built from scratch. The Go Box has my focus controller, a headless P.C., Powered USB hub and allows connectivity via ports in the rear of the box for USB, AC power and DC power for the mount and camera. I’ve attached a picture of the insides for your looking pleasure and will upload more photos once I get a chance to take them.