1. Maksutov f 1000 mm, f/10
Maksutov and Ponchado A Maksutov 10 cm objective in a B2 Zeiss equatorial mount. The fibre (200 micron) is connected to "Ponchado" spectrograph. This was the equipment used to obtain the spectra of the Hyakutake Comet.
Maksutov and Adapter A detail of the telephoto objective, the fibre adapter and the Zeiss mount. The fibre input head holds a microscope eyepiece to place and guide the star in front of the fibre. 

2. Meade LX200 10" f/6.3 and its Control

For controlling our Meade LX200 10" we use its serial RS232 input to connect the telescope to the serial port of a laptop. In it runs the RedHat 6.0 Linux kernel 2.2.5-22 where we have installed the latest release of Xephem 3.5

Xephem is a free interactive astronomy program developed by Elwood C.Downey for UNIX systems with X Windows and Motiff or Lesstif. Xephem was installed in our PC/Linux from source distribution and using egcs 2.91.66 and Lestiff 0.88.

In addition to Xephem source distribution, we added the PPM and SAO catalogs in hard disk and the Hubble Guide Star Catalog in a CD-ROM.

We developed for Xephem 3.5 a Telescope Control Panel (TCP) on top of a modified C library, from Ken Shouse (, to control the telescopes in the Meade LX200 series.

The latest release of the TCP has been also tested to work with the SkySensor 2000 PC from Vixen. My personal gratitude to Prof. W. Meyer
( who carried out most of these tests.

This new panel is fired from the sky view panel from Xephem and receives from it target information like coordinates, spectral type, magnitude, date and time. The telescope control panel not only commands the LX200 telescope, but also calculates exposure time, air mass and maintains a log file.

A view of XEPHEM with the TCP for the LX200.
The TCP window alone.


We offer here for download the TCP source files in xephem-lx200- (208 Kb) if you want to install them on top of the original source distribution xephem-3.5.tar.gz (2464 Kb). See installation details here.

For Linux and already compiled and linked, you may want to dowload just the executable xephem as xephem-lx200- (704 Kb) , or a complete binary xephem installation as xephem-lx200- (2144 Kb). See installation details here.

You may also find useful the following catalogs for xephem: