The Dob Driver II (DDII) Page

This page has some informations about the amazing Dob Driver II from Tech2000. There is not too much information at the homepage of Tech2000, so this page has some hints, links and some gimmicks for you.
The support of Tech2000 is really great, so ask them, they will answer your questions.

ROBOSCOPE 5.0: File format

The ROBOSCOPE software brings GO TO functions with about 13000 objects (NGC+IC+Messier+Caldwell+King) for the DDII. It communicates from the DDII with a PC by a special cable. 

You can use own objects (100 at a time) using a file called 'USER'  as input.  Typing objects in the USER file is a lot of work. So i have analyzed the files of ROBOSCOPE. Now i (or you) can write a tool to convert other data files for use with ROBOSCOPE. 

Hint: There is only ONE 'USER' file at a time. If you want use different libraries you MUST RENAME the files ! Just copy  (e.g. 'EXAMPLE.USR') as 'USER' in the directory of ROBOSCOPE. 

Here is the format of the 'USER' file:

Number of every object is the number in the file (55th data set in file M is Messier 55).
Every object has a length of 55 bytes exactly
The file also has n=55*number of objects bytes

Data set of an object  (55 bytes in order):

15 bytes : ASCII: name of the object
8 bytes : ASCII: constellation
2 bytes : ASCII: type of the objekts = GC/BN/OC/GX/PN
16 byte: ASCII: object description ('fair, poor,......')
1 byte : 20h (without funktion)
1 byte: Value as dezimal/10= magnitude => So  113 dezimal is 11,3 mag
1 byte: 00h (ohne Funktion)
3 bytes: ASCII: Ua#=’1’’2’’5’ side number in Uranometria (i think)
2 bytes: RA coordinate: 1st byte low, 2nd byte high: swap bytes -> as dezimal / 1000 = Value of RA in hours with fractions of minutes, NOT separated values of minutes in seconds ! 
2 bytes: DEC coordinate: 1st byte low, 2nd byte high:
If bigger than 8888h then negativ value: Example: D8DC (swap bytes) - > DCD8  -> FFFF-DCD8 (invert value) -> 8999 -> +1 (add 1) -> 9000 /100 = -90,0 ° DEC
Positive value: E803h (swap bytes) -> 03E8h -> 1000/100 = 10,0 °DEC
4 Bytes: 00h (without function)

Conversion program for .dat-files from scope.exe (Mel Bartels)  to ROBOSCOPE:

Typing objects in the USER-file in ROBOSCOPE is lot of work. Here are two little programs which can conver data-files for scope.exe (Mel Bartels project)  to a file usable as "USER" in ROBOSCOPE.

The file 'xyz.dat' is converted to the file 'xyz.usr'.  Simply copy 'xyz.usr' as 'USER' in the ROBOSCOPE directory and use it. The file 'xyz.dat' must in the same directory as the conversion program.
Only the first 100 objects of the file 'xyz.dat' are converted, a limitation of the ROBOSCOPE software.
The first version of the tool has no exception routines for your errors. 

      Here you can download the program 'melconv.exe' for conversion of files for 'scope.exe' by Mel Bartels.

EXAMPLE: For conversion of the file 'SGE.DAT' just give the program as input name 'SGE' WITHOUT EXTENTION. Output is then the file 'SGE.USR' including the first 100 objects of 'SGE.DAT'.


Upgrade to ROBOSCOPE V5.0

You can upgrade to the newest version 5.0 by Tech2000. Send simply an e-mail, they mail you the new software. 



Astrofotography with the DDII and a MX512 CCD

Installation instructions by Bill Lennartz