Digital Indicator / TVFocus Software
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Instructions and Usage Tips
Digital Indicator and RS232 Cable
- The instructions for the RS232 cable explain how to mount the cable interface in the digital indicator's battery compartment. Make sure to mount the interface with the smooth side-up (image right).
- Mount the indicator with cable on the telescope, following the instructions for the digital indicator kit.
- Plug the serial port side of the cable into your computer's serial port or serial-to-USB adapter.
Digital Indicator and TVFocus Software
- A default install will place TVFocus software in Start/Programs/TVFocus on your computer's menu system. Start the software from there. You should now see the software's dialog box display with Setup and Run tabs.
- At the Setup tab, select the COM port connected to the RS232 cable
and press the [Connect] button. If the LCD display on the indicator
does not become active, you may have selected the wrong port: press
[Disconnect] and try another port.
You can find COM ports available your PC by clicking Control Panel (under Start or Start/Settings) and selecting System. Select the Hardware tab and then click [Device Manager...]. On the menu tree, expand Ports (COM & LPT). Native ports on the PC are usually COM1 and COM2. If you are using a USB-to-serial adapter, its name will show up on the list with its assigned port number.
- If a connection can not be made with any COM port, check that the cable interfaces are tight (on the indicator the smooth side should be inserted facing up, when looking down at the LCD display).
- Referring to the instructions that came with the digital indicator, select
units of measure and set it for normal mode (usually the default mode). If you
use the preset values in the Run tab (explained below), it is
advisable to use the same units of measure each time you start the digital
- The Night Vision checkbox in Setup causes the backgrounds of all applications to turn black and the text to turn deep red. This color scheme helps preserve your night-vision and is recommended for use only in the dark.
- The Poll Time selector in Setup determines how often the display is updated. Decreasing the value here will cause the Run tab display to update faster, but may cause software on your computer to run slower. The value here will persist between sessions.
- On the Run tab, press the [Read Continuously] button to begin reading focus positions. Adjust the focuser on your scope to cause the indicator plunger to compress and expand. The large Focus Position display should update with the position of the plunger. You can return to the Setup tab to change the update rate with the Poll Time selector.
- Clicking any of the four Set buttons in the Run tab will save the current focus position and highlight the associated position box in green. You can enter a reminder note in the text box to the right of the set focus position. You can enter text past the visible width of the box. These preset positions and notes are saved for the next time you start the program. For the presets to have meaning in the next session, you must keep the digital indicator set to the same units of measure.
- The Display Offset checkbox and [Set Zero] button in the Run tab work together to create a virtual zero point. Clicking [Set Zero] makes the current focus position a virtual zero point. Checking the Display Offset checkbox causes the Focus Position to display the offset position from the virtual zero point. It will also change the values in the preset boxes to reflect the offset distance from the virtual zero point to the preset focus points. In this mode, the reading on the digital indicator will differ from that of the Focus Position display. Uncheck the Display Offset checkbox to return to the initial zero point.