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Gina

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Blog Entries posted by Gina

  1. Gina
    This blog describes Installing 3rd Party Drivers into a Raspberry Pi having installed Ubuntu MATE and followed the instructions to run the AstroPi3 script to install INDI and other astro related software. 
    SSH has been enabled so that now the RPi can be accessed remotely from Terminal.  eg. ssh gina@rpi where gina is my user name and rpi is the computer name as set up during the Ubuntu MATE installation.
    This set up process is detailed in my blog :- Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro Imaging and Control - Updated Feb 2020 for RPi 3B & RPi 3B+
  2. Gina
    INTRODUCTION
    This is a tutorial explaining how to install an operating system and software into a micro SD card to use in a Raspberry Pi 3B or Raspberry Pi 3B+ for astro imaging and control of the relevant hardware.  The software to capture images, control camera cooling and other things such as the mount etc. is called INDI and provides a set of drivers to control all the hardware. The Raspberry Pi will run in what is called "headless" mode - meaning that no human interfaces are directly connected to the RPi - instead the RPi is connected to the local area network (LAN) using either Ethernet (preferred for speed and reliability) or WiFi.  Everything is then controlled from indoors on a computer also connected to the LAN.  This computer is called a "client" and the Raspberry Pi a "server".
    This tutorial will detail all the steps involved in installing the operating system and software - there are rather a lot of them, hence the need for a tutorial but there is a script that is downloaded that does all the difficult stuff.  I believe that anyone with some knowledge of computers should be capable of following these steps and setting up a working Linux based astro imaging system.  The Raspberry Pi can be put on the pier (or tripod) or even directly on the telescope mounting and would replace a laptop for instance, reducing the use of long cables etc.
    The operating system used is Ubuntu Mate and involves using a monitor, keyboard and mouse (or trackball) in order to set up the operating system and enable remote control before the RPi can be used headless in the observatory or on a tripod.  The Raspberry Pi is a "proper" computer though a bit slower and with less storage space that a desktop or laptop (called a Single Board Computer).  When powered up the operating system goes into a setup routine and you just have to answer the questions, same as when setting up any computer.  Near the beginning there's an opportunity to set up WiFi so you'll need your WiFi password if you want to use WiFi.  This section can be skipped if using Ethernet cable rather than WiFi.
  3. Gina
    INTRODUCTION
    This is a tutorial explaining how to install an operating system and software into a micro SD card to use in a Raspberry Pi 3B+ for astro imaging and control of the relevant hardware.  The software to capture images, control camera cooling and other things such as the mount etc. is called INDI and provides a set of drivers to control all the hardware. The Raspberry Pi will run in what is called "headless" mode - meaning that no human interfaces are directly connected to the RPi - instead the RPi is connected to the local area network (LAN) using either Ethernet (preferred for speed and reliability) or WiFi.  Everything is then controlled from indoors on a computer also connected to the LAN.  This computer is called a "client" and the Raspberry Pi a "server".
    This tutorial will detail all the steps involved in installing the operating system and software - there are rather a lot of them, hence the need for a tutorial but there is a script that is downloaded that does all the difficult stuff.  I believe that anyone with some knowledge of computers should be capable of following these steps and setting up a working Linux based astro imaging system.  The Raspberry Pi can be put on the pier (or tripod) or even directly on the telescope mounting and would replace a laptop for instance, reducing the use of long cables etc.
    The operating system used is Ubuntu Mate and involves using a monitor, keyboard and mouse (or trackball) in order to set up the operating system and enable remote control before the RPi can be used headless in the observatory or on a tripod.  The Raspberry Pi is a "proper" computer though a bit slower and with less storage space that a desktop or laptop.  When powered up the operating system goes into a setup routine and you just have to answer the questions, same as when setting up any computer.  Near the beginning there's an opportunity to set up WiFi so you'll need your WiFi password.
  4. Gina
    This is based on the ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool CMOS astro camera and vintage film SLR camera lenses.  In particular the Asahi Pentax Takumar, Super Takumar and Super Multi-Coated Takumar lenses.  I plan to use this rig for LRGB and where I have only one lens of a particular focal length for NB imaging.  Between these is the ZWO EFWmini filter wheel.
  5. Gina
    I modify my 28BYJ-48 stepper motors to run off the A4988 driver modules, just like the Nema 17.   I use these for remote focus for my astro imaging.
    These motors come with centre-tapped coils with the centre-taps connected internally.  We need the full coils without the centre-taps and these need to be separate so the internal link needs breaking and center-taps ignored.  This in turn effectively changes a 5v rated motor to one that works fine with 12v.
    These photos show the coils and connection PCB taken out of the motor, to explain the process.  (Don't jump straight in and take the motor apart, it isn't necessary.)


    The yellow and blue wires are one coil (or winding) and the orange and pink wires are the other.  The red wire is no longer used and cut short for safety.
    At first I opened the motor casing to get at the connection PCB but it was very difficult to get everything back in so I decided to try and cut the PCB track without taking the motor apart. 
    I carefully drilled a hole through the blue plastic connection cover to access the PCB where the strip wanted cutting through.  Then I was able to take a very small screwdriver and scrape through the track without disturbing anything else.  This is shown in the close-up photo below.  As before the coils are orange-pink and yellow-blue.  Do not connect the red wire.

    Note :-  Seems not all motors use the same colour wires but the outer two wires are one coil and the inner two are the other.  The middle wire is not used and should be cut short and insulated for safety.
  6. Gina
    I'm starting this Blog as I have decided to resurrect my Giant 3D Printer project sometime in the relatively near future.  From building other printers I have gained extra knowledge and may have a plan.  This will be based on both the Mk.2 and Mk.3 Giant printer designs plus my Concorde 3D Printer for the Z drive system.  The main casing has yet to be decided.  The print bed will be moving to provide the Z axis, having thought long and hard about a moving XY frame as in the Mk.2 and rejected it.  The Z drive will move the print bed as in Concorde printer with trapezoidal form threaded rods and C-Beam Linear Rail – Cut To Size with C-Beam Double Gantry Plates.
  7. Gina
    A new improved version of my "GinaRep Mini" 3D Printer.  The first version used cord for the drives whereas this one will use the standard timing belt for X and Y and trapezoidal screw drive for Z.  I also expect to use a stout wooden case of 18mm plywood like my Concorde printer, for maximum rigidity.  This is to be a specially accurate 3D printer with option of nozzles as small as 0.2mm.  Print bed will be 200mm x 200mm with around 200mm printing height.  Essentially this is to be a reduced size, higher resolution, version of my Concorde printer.
  8. Gina
    Based on some of my other clocks this will be a wall clock for my living room to go above the fireplace.  It will have a dial of around 3ft diameter with a sweep seconds hand as well as the usual minute and hour hands.  It will be driven by a stepper motor controlled by an Arduino Nano with Real Time Clock module to ensure excellent time keeping.  Unlike other clocks it will not have any extras such as moon dial or striking, nor a pendulum.  This will be of the simplest design using an epicyclic gearing principle with minimal number of parts.
  9. Gina
    Traditional longcase (grandfather) clock but using 3D printed gears etc.  Also transparent acrylic clockface and mechanism front and back plates to show all the works.  The case is made of wood and pretty much traditional shape.  In addition to the usual hour and minute hands and dial this clock will have a moon globe above the main clock face similar to my moon dial clock.  I may add a small seconds dial if this proves viable.  There will also be an auto-winding mechanism driven from a stepper motor.   I'm hoping to add a striking mechanism once I have the main clock working.
  10. Gina
    This 3D printer makes a bit of a departure from my others in that it is designed to give the best accuracy I can achieve rather than concentrating on speed or size, though I did want to print at least as big as my Titan printer (290mm x 290mm x 250mm).  Like Titan it uses a box as the main frame but unlike Titan and my other printers does NOT use "pink string and ceiling wax".  It uses tried and tested 3D printer designs rather than my usual "way out" ideas.  I took advice from a friend who has spent a lot of time on developing high accuracy 3D printers.
  11. Gina
    This clock runs off a stepper motor controlled by Arduino and Real time Clock module.  It is about 300mm square with analogue display of hours and minutes with a sweep seconds hand.  Atop the main clock face is a globe displaying the phase of the moon.  The clock face is of clear acrylic to show all the gears etc.  This clock is finished and has been running for several months.
  12. Gina
    I've offered to give a talk with pictures to our local social group and thought a Blog on here would be a good place to prepare and assemble it.  Also, I would welcome any comments and suggestions.  I have a few ideas and will see how it progresses.  I will probably take me several days to get my initial ideas sorted out.
  13. Gina
    This is basically a mechanical perpetual calendar with 3D printed plastic parts but whether I drive it from a clock with hands etc. or simply from a stepper motor remains to be decided.  The display consists of drums with numbers and letters stuck on.  Each drum is driven from specialised gears and levers.  The mechanism is designed to be visible and show the workings.
  14. Gina
    This is a 3D printer with a 200mm square print bed and probably around 250mm build height depending on how things work out.  It will use many of the parts from my "GinaRep Pilot" printer which has now served its purpose and needs upgrading/rebuilding.  The Pilot printer had a moving print bed for the Y axis whereas the Mini will use Core-XY and the print bed will move up/down to provide the Z axis.  This arrangements minimises the mass of moving parts in the XY plane where motion is fastest.
  15. Gina
    I'm hoping this is my final and hence "Ultimate" generation of all sky cameras.  Based on the ASI185MC CMOS astro camera and Fujinon fish-eye lens of 1.4mm focal length and f1.8.  Image capture is provided by a Raspberry Pi 3 in conjunction with INDI drivers.  This is used with KStars/Ekos client software running on a Linux Mint desktop indoors.  Communication is via Wi-Fi.  The astro camera is an uncooled version but I have added a Peltier TEC cooler.  This cools the camera down to something like -15°C for night sky imaging with longer exposures of around a minute.  Daytime imaging is also covered using the camera's minimum exposure and gain.  The colour camera differentiates between dark clouds and blue sky and also shows the colours of stars at night.
    This Blog will describe the construction of the hardware and the special driver coding used to control dew heater, camera cooling and focussing.
     
  16. Gina
    Having played with water cooling for astro cameras and seen this applied to 3D printers instead of fan and fins for cooling hotends but at high cost, I though I would like to try myself.  I have reasonable DIY skills   Some filament types benefit from a heated chamber and warm air is not so good for cooling.  This is one example where water cooling is particularly beneficial.  Another benefit should be reduced weight for the X carriage permitting faster acceleration and deceleration for fast printing.
  17. Gina
    Following on from my abandoned original Giant printer project, this uses the same size printing platform of 400mm square but a much smaller frame.  The build height will be around 500mm.  It will use the Core-XY drive principle for the X and Y axes and the print bed will be raised and lowered to provide the Z axis.
  18. Gina
    The centre light fitting in my living room is looking tired and I want to replace it with something funky that fits my interests, like 3D printing and clocks as well as astronomy, so my idea is a giant 3D printed gear wheel with five globes as shades for LED lamps.  The gear wheel represents both 3D printing and clocks which contain lots of gears.  The globes can represent moons or planets.  Thinking about this, I guess I could add a star in the middle - I'll give it some thought.
  19. Gina
    This is my latest generation of all sky cameras and based on the ASI178MM followed by ASI185MC CMOS astro camera and a Fujinon fish-eye lens of 1.4mm focal length.  Although rated at f1.8, this lens lets a lot more light through than this would imply.  Image capture is provided by a Raspberry Pi 3 in conjunction with INDI software.  This is used with KStars/Ekos client software running on a Linux Mint desktop indoors.  Communication is via Wi-Fi.  The Mark 6 ASC has proved inadequate after being in use for some time. 
    This blog will describe the problems of the Mark 6 and report my progress in developing this new version.
  20. Gina
    I'm starting with an empty area about 10 x 4 metres between sun lounge and observatory in front of living room window and facing roughly south.  I have killed off most of the weeds and grass by covering with an old tarpaulin for a year or so.  This has also stopped the ground from drying out and making it easier to dig.   In addition to providing a path to the observatory, this will provide flowers and shrubs to see from the living room window.  Plus a small pond and fountain.  The latter is something I have been working on in 3D printing and plan to have something unique.  Apart from the pond there will be planting areas and slabs and ornamental stepping stones.
    I have removed most of the tarpaulin and started digging a hole for the pond.  The latter is a pre-formed pond I bought from Amazon :-
    Bermuda Sand Pre Formed Pond 128 x 84 cm.
    Here are some photos of pond hole digging and the general area.

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