Nowadays, it is more and more frequent to remote control our telescopes. It brings some comfort but also a better quality of observation – because the less we touch the instrument, the less we risk to break the tuning. It is particularly true in spectroscopy.

Most of the spectroscopes in Shelyak Instruments product range today have the ability to remotely control the flat and calibration lamps – specially, it is the case for Alpy 600, Lhires III and LISA.

From the remote control ability to the actual control, there is… SPOX!

SPOX is a small box allowing the remote control of the flat and calibration lamps for Alpy, Lhires III and LISA. It can be manually controlled, nearby the telescope (if you are in nomadic configuration for instance) either through your computer, using an USB cable – whether it is under Windows or Linux.

When designing SPOX, we tried to cover the most possible cases of use. Whatever your telescope is at hand, at the backyard or at several thousand kilometers.
Some of you need an easy-to-use syetem, up and running in a few minutes. Others wish to have the complete control to integrate it into a given observatory control system. SPOX can cover all these needs.

SPOX est fourni avec un logiciel (sous Windows) qui s’installe en quelques clics. Il est également accompagné d’un driver ASCOM, d’un driver Indi (pour un fonctionnement sous Linux). Et si cela ne suffit pas, le protocole de communication est entièrement décrit, avec un exemple d’application en Python.

SPOX is supplied with a software (under Windows) which is installed in a few clicks. It also includes an ASCOM driver, and an Indi driver (for Linux users). And if it is not enough, the communication protocol is completely defined, with an example of application in Python.
SPOX embeds a defective lamp detector – it is specially useful in remote mode. The principle is simple: a red LED switches on if the current throught the lamps is lower than a given (and adjustable) threshold. Note: the detection works only for Alpy and Lhires III


SPOX is unique, but it can be delivered with various cables set according to your configuration. If you install SPOX directly onto the telescope, we recommend a short cable (0,8m long). It is probably your case if you work remotely. On the other hand, if SPOX is used locally – for example on the table next to the telescope – then rather prefer the cable of 5m..

Besides, if you work with Alpy or one LISA, you will need the complementary cable, which matches the connectors of these instruments.

You can select your prefered cable set when ordering SPOX (see SPOX product)

Last but not least: SPOX was developed in “Open source” mode, with a strong contribution of some key actors of the community (Jean-Paul Godard and Jean-Baptiste Butet first of all). This accessory is based on an Arduino. All the detailed technical elements of SPOX are thus completely available – just ask for them!

SPOX is available from now: go to this SPOX  product page to order it.