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Ascom Goto Solution for Vixen Sensor


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I'm looking for an Ascom compatible goto solution for my old Vixen Sensor mount - This is an old Japanese mount of similar capacity to the EQ6/G11.

The mount is currently driven by DD1 controller and analogue motors on clutched direct drive.   I'm thinking of replacing these with stepper motors and belt drives, turning the existing worms and RA/DEC wheels.


vixen sensor.jpgvixen sensor2.jpg


The mount will be used for swinging a 12" newt for PI, so beefy motors more important than ultra low PE

Happy to do the practical motor mount and gearing, but preferably looking for an out of the box customisable motor control with Ascom support if anyone has any suggestions!      Ideally it would be cheaper than buying an NEQ6 ;) 



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15 hours ago, Dr_Ju_ju said:

Hi Jake,

I use one of these (https://www.astroeq.co.uk/tutorials.php) to drive an old EQ5 mount that I retrofitted with steppers \ Belts etc...  And its ASCOM compatible


Thank you Julian,  that is exactly what I was looking for and a very reasonable price as well which should leave plenty in the budget for the motors, belts and gears !

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Thanks to Thomas (TCWorld), I now have a set of preprogramed IC's in the post and the rest of the parts ordered from Farnells.  I have yet to choose appropriate stepper motors and confirm mounting/gearing requirements, but that sounds like another thread for the DIY section.


Thanks to Julian (Dr_Ju_Ju) for signposting this!

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  • 3 weeks later...

And my first ever etched PCB comes out of the Ferric Chloride!



Not 100% perfect, but looks good enough and ready for drilling (which I think will be a PITA).    The board was masked with the Toner transfer method, using Tom Carpenters PDF's from the AstroEQ website - third time lucky in getting the iron heat and duration sufficient for a good adhesion to the PCB.   Ten boards, 500ml of Ferric Chloride and 5 sheets of the thermal transfer paper came in at around £ 15 delivered - though this should see me through a couple of other projects.     


I'll iron on the component overlay, drill and then trim the board to size for the project box before mounting the components, just need a quiet evening or day at work to play!


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