PalmDSC: A Digital Setting Circle program for PalmOSPalmDSC screenshot


Back in 2004 I decided to add a DSC (digital setting circle) system to my scope.  In these photos you can see the encoders mounted on my 10.5" Dob.  I decided to try using a Palm Pilot as the display unit for the DSC system.  I tried a couple of free and commercial DSC programs for the Palm, but I was not satisfied with how well they worked.  So I decided to write my own...

The result is the program PalmDSC.  This free program will let a PalmOS handleld  interface with a DSC encoder system, such as the one sold by Ouranos, or the build-it-yourself design by Dave Ek.  I designed PalmDSC to be robust and easy to use in the field.


By the way, Yahoo's Phone-astro group is a good place to get tips about using PalmDSC and other astronomy software with a Palm handheld.

September 2013: End of the line.

I still use this program with my scope, but I have gotten rid of almost all of my Palm gear, and I won't be doing any more developement for Palms.
I'm slowly working on an Android version of this program.

March 3, 2009: New 1.3 Alpha2 release, with Bluetooth and 5-way rocker key support!

This release will let you wirelessly connect to your encoders through a Bluetooth-to-serial adaptor. It also has support for the 5-way rocker keys of the newer model Palms, such as the Tungsten and Treo series. Get it here.

February 24, 2009: New 1.3 Alpha1 release, with Bluetooth support!

This release will let you wirelessly connect to your encoders through a Bluetooth-to-serial adaptor. Get it here.

September 22, 2006: Official 1.2 release

This is the long-awaited official version 1.2 release. The code is actually identical to the 1.2beta9 release of 9/18/06, but I have finally updated the Manual.

Changes in this release:
There is a new "Fake Alignment" command, to let you play with the program in the daytime.
In the NGC/IC screen, the up and down hardware buttons now scroll through the objects.
Tweaked the red-screen feature a little.
Fixed a bug in the MG encoder communications protocol.
Improved the "Current Position" screen.
Added a red-screen feature for color Palms.
Fixed a problem with remembering the current Caldwell object.
Fixed a problem that could cause a crash at startup on Palm T3 and T5 handhelds.
More detailed error messages are printed for encoder-related problems.
A problem specific to Handspring Visors was fixed.
A bug in the NGC screen, seen only on PalmOS 3.3, was fixed.
PalmDSC can be run from a memory card now.
PalmDSC now works on PalmOS 3.1 and up! Previously it didn't run on anything older than 3.3.
MemoPad object catalogs can have longer titles and descriptions now.
I fixed a bug in the "Nearby NGC/IC Objects" screen, where garbage objects were being listed.
I have added support for German Equatorial mounts.
I've also added a new User Catalog feature based on Palm MemoPad memos.
Finally, there is better support for large-screen devices.

Here is PalmDSC version 1.2.
Here is the Readme.txt file for this release. It explains the new features and fixes.

Here is the previous version 1.2 Beta8, in case you find a problem with the official 1.2 release.
Here is the previous version (1.1) of the software. With the release of version 1.2, this is officialy obsolete.

Here is the version 1.2 source code.

Note on supported PalmOS versions: PalmDSC is known to run OK on PalmOS 3.1.1 and up (in the 1.2 Beta5 and later releases).

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