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Just got myself a new laptop and have noticed it has got a serial port, With my SW127 (goto AZ mount) I had a lead for such a port. Is it possible to control my scope from my laptop or is this only for updates? Was thinking of using one of the Sky softwares to point it for me so i dont have to get off my bum!

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Hi simmo39,

A word of caution... you may find that this is not a serial port, but an external VGA monitor port.

How many pins does it have?... if it has 15 then it is a VGA monitor port... an RS232 serial port will only have 9pins.

Nor sure how old the laptop is (I know it is new to you) but most modernish (is that a word?) laptops are no longer fitted with serial ports.

What mount are you using?... this may help us to advise you better as to how you can control it from your laptop.

Best regards.

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Hi, It looks like a video port from the number of pins, Doh! I got a new Toshiba Satellite 855 as I managed to get a nasty virus on my desk pooter. The mount is the cheapo AZ goto mount that comes with the SW 127. My plan was to be able to control scope from pooter and find some sort of camera to display on screen.

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Hi Again,

I thought that might be the case, however, all is not lost.

What you need is one of these: -


This can be inserted into one of your USB ports and the 9 pin end of the lead you were supplied with (for updating the handset software) can be plugged into this.

The other end of the supplied lead then plugs in to your handset (see your manual) RJ11 socket.

You should just plug the USB end of the adaptor into your laptop first though... this will detect the converter and load the appropriate drivers (you may get a CD with these on it... if so then insert the CD when prompted and let the task complete.

If you then open 'DEVICE MANAGER' from your laptop control panel and scroll down to 'PORTS (COM & LPT)'

click on this and you should see your adaptor listed... take a note of the COM port number assigned to it... Stellarium will need to know this number.

If you now download 'STELLARIUM' (google it) which is a FREE planetarium software, this has a plug in (installed when you install the package) I think it's called 'Stellarium Scope' with which can control your telescope.

Stellarium is also great for learning the night sky and for planning a viewing/photo session.

Once the adaptor drivers and Stellarium are installed, you can then connect your telescope using the supplied lead.

As for a camera, well I would suggest a webcam, modified with a suitable nosepiece (there are quite a few webcam mod theads under the DIY section which will help you with this)... in conjunction with 'SharpCap' which is a FREE video capture programme for astrophotography use.( Google it)

I hope this is of some help.

Best regards.

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