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A software for ATM telescope automation

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SoundStepper is a 100% software telescope controller, for Windows, that uses audio hardware to control step motors in real time. All it requires is an external analog current amplifier to operate.

SoundStepper Web Site


Robotics, Astronomy


Public Domain


  • SoundStepper can control up to 4 motors (RA, Dec, focuser and field derotator) of a equatorial or alt-azimuth-mounted telescope.
  • SoundStepper can control any type of equatorial-mounted telescopes with step motors. Manual-pointing mounts (ex: barndoor, poncet platforms, "polar axis", threaded-rod driven mounts), "meridian-flip" mounts (ex: GEM or cross-axis), and "no-meridian-flip" mounts (ex: Fork, yoke, horseshoe, split-ring), and beginning from 5.0 beta version, alt-azimuth mounts too.
  • SoundStepper can "sync" and "go-to" manual-pointing mounts, making faint objects easier to find (manually center scope on a star, find the star in Cartes du Ciel, right-button, "sync", right-button on faint object, "go-to").
  • Using analog control, SoundStepper drive step motors with quietness, smoothness and linearity. With adjustable linearity, the typical wobbling is 1/20 of step. Like microstep controllers, it can put the motors in any position between step positions.
  • In addition to the analog control option, SoundStepper is also capable to control commercial "pulse/direction" microstepping drivers.
  • No PICs, no micro soldering on small SMDs, no EPROMs. SoundStepper uses cheap USB-AUDIO devices to drive steppers, through a simple (SUGGESTED) analog current controller, or standard "pulse/direction" drivers.
  • No MS-DOS dedicated computers. SoundStepper does realtime control sharing the computer with planetarium, photo/video capture and others applications, in Windows. It take advantage of the audio devices buffering and autonomous playing.
  • SoundStepper has built-in PEC and NPEC (periodic and non-periodic error correction systems). With NPEC, the entire threaded rod can be "trained", enabling the use of cheap thread rods, and the "thread rod/nut/arm" system (like "Astrotrac").
  • Main screen with keyboard arrows "control box" (four speeds: slew, find, center and guiding), go-to, flip, park/unpark, and focuser/rotator controls.
  • Permit save many defined positions of focuser, according eyepiece, camera, barlow and filter being used.
  • LX200 command interface compatibility, enabling the use of LX200 ASCOM driver, through any virtual serial-TCP redirector. The TCP/IP interface enable control the scope from a remote computer. Compatible and tested with many softwares, including Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium.
  • Configuration screen with many controls, to match SoundStepper with your motors and mount.
  • Autosave and autorecover last telescope and motor positions (crash recover)
  • Joystick interface: You can control the telescope with a standard joystick, wired or wireless.
  • Field derotation for alt-azimuth mounts
  • Backlash compensation
  • Portable: You can run SoundStepper from any external HD or Pen-drive. No installation procedure is required.
  • Now certified from Windows XP to Windows 10, including Vista, 7 and 8.1 versions, 32 and 64-bit


User Ratings

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User Reviews

  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    I know my own opinion can't be neutral, but I have to write it here: it really works, is cheap, and easy to assembly. Thank to it, I'm rid of parallel/serial ports and MSDOS for the equivalent of US$25 per motor. And I didn't have to weld PICs nor burn EPROMs. And the software is free, open source and public domain. No more I lose 30 minutes or more trying to find a 16th magnitude comet or asteroid in the sky! Using latest version of Soundstepper, even with my "threaded rod/arm" mount, now I can do "sync" in a nearby star, and "go-to" for an object that would be almost impossible to find otherwise.

    Posted 09/22/2010
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