The Shoestring Astronomy Store


Shoestring Astronomy has always been an "evening and weekend" enterprise when I was employed full-time. Now that I am retired, we do like to travel frequently. I will do my best to fill orders and respond to emails in a timely manner, but please realize that there may be times when I cannot respond as quickly as I would like to.

Thanks for your patience, and your patronage. Doug Anderson

Astronomy is a wonderful hobby. As an electrical engineer and all-around tinkerer, part of the fun for me is designing and building tools that I can use to enhance the time I spend sitting out under the dark open sky. Some of these tools are specific to my setup, but some of them are certainly useful to others so I offer them for sale here.
I believe that you will find these products useful and a value for the price. If you order anything and are not satisfied, you can return them within 30 days and I will gladly refund the price of products. Contact me at with any questions or concerns you have.
Check out the products that are here. Check back often for new products. But most importantly, get out and enjoy the stars!!
Doug Anderson

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Updated postal rates

Shipping rates continue to climb, so we have had to increase our rates for international customers. For US customers, we decided to switch to First Class Mail instead of Priority Mail. This has allowed us to reduce the price of domestic shipping.

A new EQMOD cable

We are now seeing mounts such as the Skywatcher AZ-GTi that use the RJ12 6-pin connector for the Synscan handcontroller jack. We have added the USB2RJ12 adapter cable to make these mounts work with EQMOD as well. Link

Nice work Matt!

Check out how this customer integrated a GPUSB into his DIY equatorial mount. Astronomy Blogger

Improved ASCOM Drivers for FCUSB and FCUSB2

This completely overhauled version combines the ASCOM drivers for the FCUSB and FCUSB2 and also allows you to configure your focuser as absolute or relative. It also brings the driver up to the latest ASCOM and Windows compatibility standards.

Improved EQMOD Interface Options

Interfacing to your EQMOD compatible mount (see for details on this open source project) just got easier and less expensive with our USB2EQ6 and USB2EQ5 Interface Cables.

No More DSLR Remote Control Modification!

Certain models of Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras have proprietary connectors for their wired remote control input. Until now, this required the modification of a compatible remote control in order to be used to use these cameras with our DSUSB shutter control interface. We now offer the DSCBL-11 cable for Canon N3 connector camera models and the DSCBL-12 for Nikon 10pin connector camera models. These will allow you to use the DSUSB without having to get a remote control modified.

New Version of FocusPal and FocusPal2 Released

Based upon some excellent feedback from customers, we have added a few new features to our FocusPal and FocusPal2 software. The biggest change is a Motor Time Accumulator that keeps track of how many milliseconds the motor has run in or out. Its not as good as an actual position indicator, but it is the next best thing! There is also an indicator to let you know the motor is running. This is especially important if you are located where you cannot hear the motor. The installers can be found on our Downloads page.

Now There is a Kit to Modify Your Own Canon or Nikon DSLR Remote Control

We've modified many of these remote controls for our customers, but we realize that some of you would like to do this modification yourselves. Now we offer a kit of parts you'll need, and the instructions to do it with. The instructions can be found on our Downloads page.

See our part number DSCBL-KIT.

Adapter Cable for Orion AccuFocus and Skywatcher SWELFOCUS!

The Orion AccuFocus and Skywatcher SWELFOCUS use a modular RJ-22 connector. We now sell an 8-foot cable to adapt from our FCUSB Focus Motor Controller to either of these electric focus motors.

See our part number FCCBL-01.

Now You Can Drive Two Focus Motors!

Many astrophotographers need to use two focusers, one for their imaging scope, and one for their guide scope. One of the inherent problems with most USB devices is that when two of them are used, they will appear identical to the computer and there is no easy way to tell one from the other. Thus, we created the FCUSB2. It is identical to the FCUSB in all respects except for its USB identifier. Now you can run two focusers, one from a FCUSB, and one from a FCUSB2.

Use your FCUSB with CCDSoft

We have just released a FocusAPI plugin for use with CCDSoft. If you are a CCDSoft user, now you can control a DC motor focuser from this software using the FCUSB from Shoestring Astronomy.

More Autoguiding for Macintosh and PCs Too!

Whether you are a Macintosh or PC owner, you now have another fine choice for autoguiding software at a price that no one can complain about. PHD Guiding from Stark Labs ( is completely free, and completely loaded with features to make autoguiding simpler. PHD Guiding supports both the GPUSB and GPINT-PT from Shoestring Astronomy.

Infrared Shutter Remote Control for Nikon ML-L3 Compatible Cameras

If you own a Nikon camera that is compatible with the Nikon ML-L3 wireles infrared (IR) remote control, then we now have a USB shutter control interface for you. The DSUSB-IR1 includes a 6-foot extension cable and IR transmitter head that is mounted where the camera's IR receiver can "see" it. This product is fully compatible with all third-party software that supports the DSUSB wired remote control, which is also available from Shoestring Astronomy.

Interface Directly to Your EQ-5 GoTo or EQ-6 GoTo Mounts

The latest generation of Synta EQ-5 and EQ-6 mounts (such as the Orion Sirius EQ-G and Orion Atlas EQ-G) show great performance as stable, quality GOTO mounts at affordable prices for observing and imaging. However, the features available when they are interfaced to a personal computer are somewhat limited, primarily due to the type of data that is available through the handcontroller's serial interface. Now, thanks to the efforts of several individuals, far more powerful features are made available by bypassing the handcontroller and communicating directly with the mount's stepper motor controller. More information on the EQ Direct method can be found in the Yahoo EQMOD Group ( or on the EQ Mod website (

The only drawback of the EQ Direct approach is that the input to the mount is not directly compatible with the serial port signals that come out of a personal computer. Thus, you will need the EQDIR Interface Module to translate the voltage levels.

Control your DC Focus Motor from your Computer
The FCUSB is a product that allows you to control a DC focus motor (or any DC motor for that matter) by way of a USB port and software on your computer. If you are already using a computer in your observatory for other reasons, this provides a way for you to focus your telescope without fumbling around in the dark for the focuser handcontroller. It works best with 5V focus motors such as the newer style JMI Motofocus, but can also work with 9V or 12V motors. Motors requiring up to 100mA of current will work with the FCUSB. The FCUSB also eliminates the need for a battery to run your focuser, since the motor is now powered directly from the USB port of your computer. Using the free FocusPal software, or the FCUSB ASCOM driver with third-party software, you can control the speed and direction of your motor with just mouse clicks!

Now There is Mac Support for the GPUSB
Astro IIDC 3.0 ( now allows Mac users to autoguide with the GPUSB Guide Port Interface. Of course Astro IIDC also has many other fine features. If you are, or know of, an astrophotographer that prefers Macintosh, you should definitely check this out.

Technical Support Forum
To provide a better way to collect technical support questions and answers, and to make the information easily available to all, we have established a forum for tech support. Anyone can read the forums, but you will need to register as a user in order to post question. Check it out at

ASCOM Driver for the GPUSB
Now any autoguide software that support the ASCOM telescope standard can be used with the GPUSB Guide Port Interface Adapter. This opens up support for the GPUSB to popular software packages such as GuideDog and MaxIm Essentials. Details can be found in the GPUSB User Manual and on the Shoestring Astronomy Autoguide Port Interface Products webpage.

A Converter for the Vixen SkySensor2000
Although the guide port on an SS2K handcontroller looks like an ST-4 port, it uses a different pinout. Now you can purchase the GPCNV-SS2K converter and quickly and easily connect a GPUSB or GPINT-PT Autoguider Port Interface Adapter to your SkySensor2000.

Control your SAC7 Camera with USB
With the LXUSB modified webcam interface and the LXCNV-SAC7 converter, you can now control your SAC7 camera without needing a parallel port.

Maxim DL and MaxDSLR Now Support the GPUSB
With V4.52 of Maxim DL or V4.02 of MaxDSLR, both available at, you can now autoguide without using a parallel port. These software products now support the USB guide port interface adapter, GPUSB, from Shoestring Astronomy.

Nebulosity Adds Support for the LXUSB
In the past, if you used a SAC7 imager, you needed a parallel port to control the auxilliary signal lines. Nebulosity from now allows you to control these signals through USB by way of the LXUSB from Shoestring Astronomy.

K3CCDTools adds support for GPUSB, DSUSB, and LXUSB
Peter Katreniak has added support to K3CCDTools 3.0 for all of our USB interfaces. Thank you, Peter! Information on K3CCDTools 3.0 can be found at (

Control your Modified Webcam via USB!!
We have just released the third member of our USB interface family, the LXUSB. The LXUSB will allow the control of added signals on SC-modified webcams via USB. Currently, this product is supported by K3CCDTools 3.0 ( We are also working with several other software vendors to broaden the support base for this product.

Interface to your Guide Port via USB!!
We have had many requests in the past from people who wanted to set up a webcam autoguide system, but did not have a parallel port on their computer. In response to this, we developed the GPUSB Guide Port Interface is now available for sale. Currently, this product is supported by AstroArt ( We are also working with several other software vendors to broaden the support base for this product.

Control the shutter of your DSLR camera via USB!!
Are the serial and parallel ports on your computer overworked, or maybe non-existent? Now you can control your DSLR shutter through USB. This product is currently supported by DSLRFocus and ShutterBug from Chris Venter ( We are also working with several other software vendors to broaden the support base for this product.

A proud supporter of the Cloudy Nights Astronomical Community