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Martin Mobberley

Hi Andy,

Back in 2003 I faced the same issue with my C14/Paramount/SBIG ST9XE system, some 35 metres from the indoors PC I wanted to use. The Paramount was controlled via a serial port in those days, and the JMI focuser was just voltage controlled. I simply extended the wires by 100 feet! However, the camera was USB 1.1 so that was the real problem…. I solved it by purchasing a USB extender manufactured by Icron and marketed by Scene Double. This consists of two boxes, named REX and LEX. LEX sits indoors by the PC and REX sits on the telescope plinth. The LEX box is powered, the REX is not. They are joined by a single Cat 5 cable under the lawn. There are 4 USB ports on the outdoor Icron REX so 4 USB inputs can be used, although I usually use just one. Of course, USB 1.1 is very slow these days, but, the system still works, after 12 years outdoors and with the outdoor REX box a bit rusty now! Icron still make these units and Scene-Double still sell them. They are not cheap, BUT, when something has worked flawlessly for 12 years, in all weathers, that’s pretty good. The current webpage can be found here, with USB 2 and 3 systems now:


Of course, you are just talking about a distance more than 5m, whereas my system is 35m, so you may not need such an expensive overkill solution, but, that’s the system that has proved reliable for me.