AstroLink 4 additional modules

Microstepping module

Microstepping module

This module can be used if you want to increase precision of the focuser position. When stepper motor is used to set focuser position, then the precision is limited to the number of steps per motor shaft revolution. Usually it is 48 steps for unipolar motors, and 200 or 400 steps for bipolar motors. With microstepping module it is possible to increase this number up to 32 times, because it splits each motor step to 32 microsteps. 

Microstepping module needs to be connected to STEPPER output of AstroLink 4 device and in the focuser settings there needs to be MICROSTEPPING mode selected. Only bipolar motors can be used with microstepping module. The stepper motor that can be used must be low voltage (2-6V), so current limiter will work. Maximum current that can be provided to motor is 1.4A per each coil (for example like this or this stepper motor). When you order microstepping module please select proper current value that will fit to the stepper motor you will use. 

Warning! When stepper motor is controlled with microsteps, then it is always powered, even when idle. Depending on stepper model, it may become warm or even hot. That’s why current limit in microstepping module should not be set to value larger than maximum stepper motor current.

Microstepping module is available at AstroLink category page.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Voltage regulator

Voltage regulator

Voltage regulator module can be used to power devices that require less than 12V. You do not need any additional supplier, just plug this module to AstroLink DC output and set the voltage that you want – there is small potentiometer inside to adjust output voltage. Maximum continuous current that module can provide is 3A, and maximum peak current is 4A. You can power the module with voltage from 5 to 30V, and the output voltage can be set in a range from 1.25V to 28V. Module is protected for overcurrent and for overheating – it will switch off safely. 

The module can only decrease input voltage – you cannot set output voltage higher than input voltage. If you need such module to increase input voltgate please contact me.

Voltage regulator module is available at AstroLink category page.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Hand controller

AstroLink hand controller

This small box contains five buttons that can be used to move manually focusing motors. Yellow and blue buttons are used to move main focuser. Green and white to move DC focuser motor. Central red button changes both focusers move speed in four cycled values – current speed is confirmed with buzzer. After pressing focuser move button stepper motor accelerates smoothly to desired speed, so at lowest speed it is possible to move focuser even with single step precision.

Voltage regulator module is available at AstroLink category page.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Sky temperature / cloud sensor

Sky temperature sensor
Sky temperature sensor

Sky temperature sensor work is based on remote-sensing thermometer. Sensing element is well known MLX chip produced by Melexis. Sensor measures temperature of the sky, and depending on the amount and level of the cloud this temperature varies. Two values are displayed in the AstroLink panel software: measured sky temperature and also the difference between sky temperature and ambient temperature. This latter value can be used to determine the cloud coverage. The higher the difference is, the more clear the sky is. Actual cloud coverage to temperature difference mapping may be different for different locations (like high mountains, desert, forest, etc), so its exact values must be determined empirically. Field of view of sky temperature sensor is 30 degree and its placement must be chosen in such way, that no obstacles will interfere into this field of view. Sensor should “look at” the sky and only the sky.

Sky sensor temperature is available at AstroLink sensors page.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


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