SkyWalker1 Introduced

SkyWalker1 is a telescope motor and accessory controller designed for installation on custom telescope mounts. SkyWalker1 is a time-tested design (shipping since 1995) that together with our SkyGuide Telescope Control System Software (SkyGuide-Win, included with all systems) and 3rd-party motors and drivers constitutes a complete telescope control system.

With its handpaddle, SkyWalker1 is a "stand-alone" telescope controller or, when used with a PC running SkyGuide-Win, a complete telescope control system. SkyWalker1 achieves high slew rates while maintaining accurate positioning and smooth and precise tracking. SkyWalker1 is designed to control not only the telescope mount but also many accessories from the one handpaddle or PC.

SkyWalker1 is also available pre-packaged with DC servomotors, servo drivers, power supplies and all necessary cabling as our integrated SkyWalker1i telescope control system.

An important part of our SkyWalker1i package is the support we provide advising the customer in setting-up their telescope control system.

SkyWalker1 will work with any motor driver that accepts "step and direction" input signaling. Here is a picture of SkyWalker1 attached to 3rd party (IMS) micro-stepping stepper motor drivers and large bipolar stepper motors.

• See the SkyWalker1 Spec Sheet

SkyWalker1's major features and benefits

SkyWalker1 is a highly integrated and compact design. It serves as the hub of a complete telescope control system. All control system components are controlled by and make clean connection to SkyWalker1.

The range of components SkyWalker1 provides interface to, and/or control of, is broad:

  - Motor drivers.
  - Axial optical encoders. Encoders enable SkyGuide-Win to maintain the current telescope position on instruments with clutched axes (where the telescope can be manually moved).

  - Autoguider.
  - Five general purpose HighDrive outputs provide control of a variety of accessories, some of which include: variable speed focus control, dew heaters, illuminated reticle with variable brightness and blink rate, electronic shutter, electronic clutches and dome rotation.

Connections to items generally used on or at the telescope's optical tube assembly (ex. autoguider, HighDrive accessories, handpaddle) are provided at the top end of the SkyWalker enclosure. Connections to items on the telescope mount or elsewhere (ex. motors, encoders, communications) are provided at the bottom end.

SkyWalker1 is build for tough environments and is build to last. The following features assure this:
  - Use of only extended temperature range components.
  - Very stable crystal oscillator time-base.
  - A rugged extruded aluminum enclosure protecting the electronics from physical and electrical damage.

SkyWalker1's functionality

All SkyWalker systems, new and old, share the same functionality. Since our first commercial SkyWalker model in 1995 we have carefully designed all our SkyWalker systems to allow free or "at cost" functional upgrades. We strongly believe that our customers deserve to have their investment protected. SkyWalker's quality, painless upgrade path and our strong commitment to customer support protects your investment.

Together with its handpaddle, SkyWalker is a stand-alone telescope controller or, when used with a PC running SkyGuide-Win, a complete full featured telescope control system. These two levels of functionality are called SkyWalker mode and System mode. For complete details on these two modes visit our SkyWalker Functionality page.

SkyWalker1's HP1 handpaddle

The HP1 handpaddle is included standard with all SkyWalker systems. It has been designed for ease of use under typically adverse astronomical observing conditions. Features include large, tactile and backlit buttons, clear indication of Slew / View velocities and track rate, peripheral control (e.g. Focus), and "assignable" keys. Complete details on the HP1 handpaddle can be found here.

Copyright © 2002 Astrometric Instruments, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Web site created by Roth Ritter and Chris Houghton.