Getting Started with Voyager and SkyGazer

Setting Up Your Telescope

Voyager 4.5 can drive your computer-controlled telescope (SkyGazer cannot). To do this, you'll need the appropriate serial cable for your telescope, and for most computers (which no longer have serial or COM ports), a USB-to-serial or serial-to-Bluetooth adapter. You may also need to install drivers specific for your USB-to-serial adapter, and/or for your telescope - see the Voyager 4.5 Telescope Control page for details.

Assuming you have all this stuff, first set up your telescope and power it on. Make sure your finderscope is aligned correctly, and that your mount is set up and levelled properly. Then connect one end of the serial cable to the serial or RS-232 port on telescope (or on its hand controller). Connect the other end of the serial cable to the USB-to-serial adapter. Then plug the other end of USB-to-serial adapter into the USB port on your computer.

Now launch Voyager. Go to the Telescope menu, and select Control Setup.... Select your telescope type, then select the communication port to which the hardware are connected. Then click the "OK" button. If everything is configured correctly, a small Telescope Panel control panel window will appear, and a bullseye will mark the telescope's field of view in Voyager's sky chart window. If this does not happen, see the troubleshooting section of the manual, or the Voyager 4.5 FAQ page.

Once communication is established, use the Telescope menu > Send Time... and Send Location... commands to send your computer's system clock time and your current location to the telescope. Note - if your telescope model doesn't support these commands, these menu items will be disabled; enter the time and location manually on your telescope's hand controller.

You now need to align your telescope mount to the sky. Every telescope's alignment procedure is slightly different; check your telescope manual for details. Most have a "one-star" or "two-star" alignment procedure, where you select an alignment star using the hand controller, point the telescope at the star, and then press an "align" or "enter" button on the hand controller when the star is centered in the field of view.

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Next: Controlling Your Telescope


Copyright February, 2011

Carina Software & Instruments, Inc