Ursa Minor Handset for MC3 MkII Telescope Controller
The Ursa Minor Handset for MC3 MkII is a hand control unit that has been specifically designed for the Ursa Minor MC3 and MC4 telescope controllers.
With this device you can directly use the MC3/MC4 without a computer. This little device contains an astronomical database covering several thousands of celestial objects. These objects include: stars, double stars, variable stars, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies.
In the package
- silicon cable to connect handset to MC3 controller
(MC3 controller and USB cable are not included in the package)
Controls and connections
The following figure shows the major components and connections of the hand control.
LCD display with 128 x 64 pixel resolution. It has red backlight with adjustable brightness.
Pressing the button for longer period (2 seconds), enters to and exit from the menu. The key can be rotated arbitrarily. In one turn it clicks 24 times. This allows entering for different values, such as the date, the motor speed and the catalog number of selected astronomical objects.
Main purpose of them is movement of the telscope. These buttons are also used for navigating in the menu structure.
Connection to MC3
The hand control should be connected to an MC3 or MC4 unit through this connector.
The hand control can be connected to a computer with an USB cable. This allows the update the firmware and the internal database.
This hand controller designed exclusively for the Ursa Minor MC3 Telescope controller. To connect it to the MC3 control unit, you need a cable with RJ45 connectors at the both end. A computer network patch cable is aplicable.
- Connect the hand contorl to the MC3, when the power is off.
- Turn on the MC3-controller and watch the display of the Hand control.
- After a few seconds, the hand control connects to the MC3 and writes the firmware version numbers ontot the screen.
- Press any button to step into "Home screen".The home screen is the default mode of operation: You can move the telescope with the diraction buttons. The speed of the movement is indicated by a slider at the bottom of the screen. The speed can be adjusted by rotating the menu button. Note: This speed adjustment is related to the manual movement only. The speed of te goto movement can be set int the settings menu.
- Pressing the menu button longer for 2 seconds lets you go to the main menu. If you press the menu button for 2 seconds again, it exits from the menu.You can navigate in the menu by rotating the menu button or by pressing the up and down buttons.
Connection to a computer
The Ursa Minor Hand control has an USB port to connect it to the computer. It is useful for the following two purposes:
- Updating the internal software (firmware) of the Hand control.
- Updating the internal astronomical database of the Hand control.
Please note, a USB cable is not included as it is now widely available and most households will have few USB A to USB B type cables.
Using the MC3 with the Hand Control
The Init Scope menu
This menu serves to initialize the system. Normally, the system initializes itself as the scope is in the park position. (Also, it was parked properly at the end of the last observing session.) In such case, you do not need to init the scope again with this menu.
This menu is more useful in mobile astronomy configurations: As you assemble the telescope mount in the filed, you can initialize it to a defined position.
Initial adjustment the telescope to a reference object
By this function we synchronize the position known by the contorller with the actual position of the telescope by pointing to a known reference object. This function is more important in mobile astronomy, but may also useful in fixed observatories too.
Choose a bright star for a reference object, and move the telescope to this target. Please pay attention to the pier side! The reference object should be on the same side, also it should be accessible without doing Meridian flip.
After you moved the scope to the reference star, you should search it in the database of the Hand control. The easiest way is using the graphical constellation map function.
- Go into the menu by pressing the menu button for at least 2 seconds.
- Navigate to the "Select star from chart" menu item and choose it.
- The list of the constellations will be displayed. Choose the constellation which contains the reference star.
- The simplified chart of the constellation will be displayed. One star is fighlighted by a small circle symbol. This selection can be moved to star by star by rotating the menu button. Choose the reference star and press the menu button.