DIY PC To Telescope Interface Cable

If you’re serious about astronomy these days, you want to have a computer controlled telescope. Although you can easily purchase a pre-made cable that connects the two devices, where’s the fun in that? [Charles], being an avid Maker, has created a nice step by step guide so you can build your own.

This is a great weekend project, and one that even a novice electronics hobbyist should be able to tackle. It’s straight forward, rather quick, and very easy. Strip some insulation off both ends of the cable, then cut off the unneeded wires. (You’ll only be working with three of them.) Prep everything with heat shrink tubing. Crimp one end of the wires into an RJ10 plug, then solder the other end of the wires into a DB9 connector. Secure the heat shrink tubing in place, attach the housings, and you can call it finished!

[Charles] said the whole procedure only took him around 15 minutes. Total cost? Less than $17 in parts.

13 thoughts on “DIY PC To Telescope Interface Cable

    1. If anyone ever gets around to making a cheap TDR or class certification tester, I’m all ears. Until then, making a cat5 cable using actual cats in the process would be sufficient.

  1. you guys missed the point, HAD is for Teaching as well as showing off cool hacks. This was an easy to follow guide made for people just getting into hacking… one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

  2. On the contrary, I’m very forgiving on the Hack/NOT Hack debate, but my beef with this is its just a very simple cable, I make things like this all the time and wouldn’t consider submitting it to HAD.

    Its no different than a guide to making Cat5/XLR/any other kind of cable…

    If he had added level translation/protocol conversion for example I wouldn’t argue its hackiness..

  3. Exactly! This is not a hack, but an educational guide that will maybe encourage someone who is not a battle tested, hard core hardware hacker, into breaking out a soldering iron and making something for themselves instead of wasting money on something that was pre-built. Isn’t that what this whole Maker Movement and DIY Revolution is all about? Instead of wasting time sitting on a couch watching basketball, someone could read this tutorial and sped their time being productive.

  4. So what’s the deal? People don’t build their own telescopes anymore? Is this as adventurous as one gets after they’ve obtained their store bought telescopes?

  5. I built a Beowulf cluster from 600 used hallmark singing greeting cards that can run Crysis at 300fps, but I don’t want to submit it because of all the haters.

    This isn’t “dude built a cable” it’s “dude DOCUMENTED building a cable.” And 10 minute hacks are still hacks, peeps.

  6. Its a nice detailed tutorial in building a cable. If there is something to complain, its the size of the images used in the linked page. Total size (including images) is ~20megs, load time 2 mins on my slow connection.

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