PalmDSC: A Digital Setting Circle program for PalmOS
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.
designed PalmDSC to be robust and easy to use in the field.
By the way, Yahoo's
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
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
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