Software on MonteBoo

The camera and telescope is eye of an astronomer and the control software is his/her mind. The MonteBoo's software controls a motion of our telescope (xmove) and our CCD camera (exposures, cooling, filters, package nightview). Both are freely available for others. A few hacker fitting for your HW instruments will be probably need.


The xmove package has a two main software levels to resolve of different parts of the telescope move problem.

The low-level part works directly with the serial port of our computer and it communicates with MICROCON controllers by use of an UNC-machine like commands. This routines knows of transformations between a number of steps of motor and a sky angle. It also starts/stops the daily motion. They are represented by the subroutines written in perl and waits for angle and direction on input. This is a very HW specific and non-portable part of our software.

The xmove front-end to these low-level subroutines is more portable. It was written in GTK perl. It calls (some) commands to move telescope and remember a current telescope position, and so on. Please, see screenshots.

[xmove: screenshot] Typical screenshot of xmove. [xmove-info: screenshot] Info window of xmove after click on Show Info button.

The accuracy of our mount with this "mind" is better then 5 arc min for a spin of 180 degrees in Right Ascension. The precision of the daily motion is better than 3 arc min per 6 hours. Now, our problem is to justify of the polar axis of our telescope to the Earth's polar axis (non-precision in vertical axis is more then 3 arc min).

Manual control

The telescope manual control is done by the taster(?). It is connected to computer over the second parallel port (first is reserved to a CCD camera). Its switches makes logical 0 or 1 on pins of the port. The port is monitored by the small C code taster on base of the Parapin library by Jeremy Elson. It is useful for small corrections of telescope position (for example justify of coordinates).


The camera control software is developed on the libsbig library maintained by Steve Ashe (Steve's ftp). The nightview packages was developed as a fully functional network application. This package contains a server implementing simple protocol for communication with clients and camera. The nightview package have the home page.


This is a Czech detailed description of telescope and software for our students and guests.

[Monte Boo]