Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by hughgilhespie

  1. Hi Nigel. A very well thought out shutter automation project! I am really impressed with some of your innovations, particularly the use of the kitchen cabinet bits to give a 'soft' close action to the microswitches. A nice sense of deja vu looking at your motor drive. Mine is below, motor mounted on aluminium angle, spring-loaded pivot point....... Although my use of chain works well, it was a lot more difficult to implement than I expected and I if I had to start again I would definitely use the timing belt route now. So, thank you for your kind words about MagicWire and my congratulations on a really nice project. Hugh
  2. Hi Steve, No problems and I hope you had a good time. I am also off gallivanting with the family for one week on February 15th. We have rented a large house in St Ives and there will be 10 of us there so it should be fun, albeit exhausting! Take care, Hugh
  3. Hi Steve, It seems a long time since the last postings. I spent quite a bit of it looking for an elusive software bug in the MOVING module code. Eventually, after nearly abandoning the whole project I discovered it wasn't a bug at all. My ULN2003 chip had died! Anyway, I have made a bit more progress on the User Manual side and I have now (I think) finally finished the software. It has been tested using my actual observatory computer with LesveDomeNet and everything seems to work as planned. The latest files are attached. Let me know if you have any problems. Regards, Hugh Manual_Rev0.pdf MagicWireMOVING_master.ino MagicWireSTATIC_master.ino
  4. Hi Steve, I have been working on the updated documentation for the PCB version of Magic Wire. It is still a work in progress with quite a lot left to write but I am sending you the document as far as I have managed to date. The last 3 pages are very relevant!! Regards, Hugh LESVEDOME DOME CONTROL HARDWARE_A4_MASTER_1_r1.pdf
  5. I expect the marketing department thought it was a really good idea. Not something that any technically minded person would do but.....
  6. Hi Steve, I have just looked at your latest photos and I am afraid that you still have the electrolytic capacitors in the wrong way round. The RED stripe on the top of the capacitor is on the NEGATIVE side. That may well be why you are not seeing any output from the 3.3 volt regulator on the static board. The correct orientation for the electrolytic capacitors is: Static Board: Side with red stripe nearest to the Safety Sensor terminal block. Moving Board: Side with red stripe nearest to Arduino Nano. For now, I suggest just removing the two capacitors. The boards will likely work OK without them so you can carry on testing before you replace them. I suggest the following order for testing: Static Board 1. Check voltage at Arduino Nano pin VIN - should be close to 5 volts 2. Check voltage at nRF24L01 pin 2 - should be close to 3.3 volts. If not the MCP1826S-3302E/AB regulator may be fried and you will have to wait for the replacement. 3. If the voltages in 1 & 2 are OK, hook up the Arduino Nano to your computer via a USB port as if you are going to program it. Set up in the Arduino IDE Tools menu for: Board "Arduino Nano" Processor "ATmega328P (Old Bootloader)" Port - whatever the actual com port you are using. Now open the Arduino serial monitor by clicking the icon like a magnifying glass in the top right of the screen. After a short pauseHopefully you will see the following MAGIG WIRE: STATIC MODULE STATIC Build Version 1.0 OPTIONS SELECTED ARE: OPTION TWO: DETECT_UNSAFE_CONDITION: This Option is ACTIVE If you see this then the Arduino side of things is working OK. If not, I suggest that you try uploading the code again and retrying. If it still doesn't work after a fresh upload it is possible that the Nano is duff. To test this, try to upload the 'blink' sketch - The command chain in the Arduino IDE is File - Examples - 01.Basics - Blink. if this won't work it is likely that the Nano is duff - so next would be to try the Nano from the Moving board. Hopefully, you will get to having a working Nano on the static board. After this you can repeat the same procedure, but this time with The Moving board. The Serial Monitor message you see should be: MAGIG WIRE: MOVING MODULE MOVING Build Version 1.2 OPTIONS SELECTED ARE: OPTION ONE: USE_LIMIT_SWITCHES: This Option is ACTIVE Shutter State is Case 0: No switches active. Shutter position not known OPTION THREE: CLOSE_ON_LOW_BATTERY: This Option is ACTIVE Shutter will close when voltage falls below 11.20 volts OPTION FOUR: CLOSE_ON_COMM_LOSS: This Option is ACTIVE That's probably enough for now. Let me know how you get on and once you get to having both Arduinos working OK we can do some testing of the radio modules. Regards, Hugh
  7. Hi Steve, Happy New Year to you. I have been out all day so only just seen your message. I will reply tomorrow and we can have a go at working out what's happening. Regards, Hugh
  8. Hi Gina, The input voltage regulators used on the Magic Wire boards only need ceramic caps which makes them easy to use. The electrolytic cap is to give a little boost to the nRF24L01 radio module when it goes into transmit mode. I looked at a few circuits for these and they all recommended using something like a 22 uf cap accross the 3.3 volt rail located very close to the module. So, I just copied what everyone else had done. Regards, Hugh
  9. Hi Steve, The only polarized capacitor is the 22uF electrolytic in the 3.3 volt rail so that shouldn't be a problem. The ceramics can be inserted either way round without problems. What are you using as your 12 volt supply - perhaps that is where the problem is if it's the only thing common to the moving and static boards? Sorry for your troubles. If you can give a bit more information I may be able to work out what's going wrong. Regards, Hugh
  10. Hi Steve, For some really stupid reason the Arduino IDE was updated so that cloned Nano's won't load unless you change the settings in Tools / Processor to 'ATmega328P (0ld Bootloader)' This change has caused loads of problems and caught out loads of people! Regards, Hugh
  11. Hi Steve, Sorry the RF24 library is misbehaving. I am very far from an expert on how to include Arduino libraries and in fact I think it is all a right mess with appallingly bad documentation but what does work for me is as follows. If you follow the link I put in my first post yesterday then you get to a web page 'Optimized High Speed NRF24L01+ Driver Class Documentation. Under the heading 'Useful References' is one called Download. Click on this and you will download RF24-master.zip. Download this somewhere then do 'Show in Folder'. Select then 'Extract All'. This will give you a folder called RF24-master. I then renamed the folder to RF24 and put it in my Arduino directory 'C:\Users\User\Documents\Arduino\libraries\RF24' Then I opened the Arduino IDE and under Sketch / Include Libraries I can see RF24. I click on this to include it and it adds the following to my sketch #include <nRF24L01.h> #include <RF24.h> #include <RF24_config.h> Hopefully everything will now work! Regards, Hugh
  12. Hi Steve, I have been out of action for a few days with some hospital stuff but I'm back at home and looking forward to making some progress. My final tasks are to construct the PCB version of the static module then put everything together in it's final configuration for testing. This will include the K8055 board (many thanks), then the static module -----radio ---radio---moving module, my little relay/limit switch board and my mini-shutter hardware. All this will then be tested using the Lesvedome software running on my actual OTA computer with and without SGP. If that all works I will be delighted and I will then think about producing the final documentation for the project. Let me know how your system works out. It is interesting because you will be using without the Magic Wire manual switch - should be OK but it will be nice to be sure!! Regards, Hugh
  13. Hi Steve, Try these - I think they are the ones I am using. Let me know if they don't work and I will dig a bit deeper. Regards, Hugh Also **See http://tmrh20.github.io/RF24 for all documentation** RF24.cpp RF24.h
  14. Hi Steve, I have modified the Arduino code for the Magic Wire project so that it works with the PCB based project and in particular, allows the manual opening and closing of the shutter using a switch attached to the Moving Module. The code for both Static and Moving modules is attached. The code is semi-tested but I would welcome all reports of bugs, problems, suggestions, etc. Finally - another boo-boo I made. The toggle switch I specified in the DigiKey parts list was meant to be a single pole, 3-position switch that had a momentary action. In fact the switch I ordered is a latching switch so you will have to manually operate and then return to the centre-off position. If the switch is left in either the open or close positions, it will stop the Lesvedome software from operating the shutter. Regards, Hugh MagicWireMOVING_1217b.ino MagicWireSTATIC_1216a.ino
  15. Hi Steve, Well done! But - I made a bad mistake! The DigiKey order I gave you was wrong. The 5 volt to 3.3 volt regulator I specified turned out to be a 1.2 volt output type, not the required 3.3 volts! I only spotted this this afternoon while I was soldering up my boards. I am very sorry about this, but you will have to remove the two regulators, part numbers MCP 1826S-1202E/AB-ND. I suggest just cutting through the legs and then unsoldering one leg at a time. I have ordered the correct parts from RS (MCP 1826S-3302E/AB) and they should be with me on Monday - worst case Tuesday. I have ordered enough for both of us so as soon as I get them, I will put a couple in the post to you. Once again my apologies for the cock up! On a slightly more positive note, I have modified the code for the Moving module to work with the manual open/close switch. This is completely untested and is sure to need some debugging but at least it's done. Regards, Hugh
  16. Points to look for: Does it have a licensed copy of Windows? If so, Pro version allows you to run Remote desktop which is very handy. Will it work from a 12 volt power supply? How much memory is installed? Can you add an SSD? How many USB2 and USB3 ports? Is it fanless? No vibrations HTH Regards, Hugh
  17. Hi Steve, Windows 10 is still working.............. A shame that Microsoft are finally stopping support for Windows 7, it was IMHO their best ever. Still, if SGP recommend moving to Windows 10 and it's free, can't really argue. Regards, Hugh
  18. Hi Steve, Finally have my computer back! I have -foolishly? - upgraded from Windows 7 Pro to 10 Pro. I saw this http://forum.mainsequencesoftware.com/t/sgpro-will-no-longer-support-windows-7-upgrade-for-free/10979 and recklessly decided to go for the free upgrade. It seems to have worked but only time will tell! OK - Moving Module. In my write-up I missed out in saying that the diode used in the Moving Module is the Schottky diode that came with the EmbeddedCoolness parts kit. I used because it was there! Plus it is always nice to have reverse polarity protection. The EmbeddedCoolness website has well and truly disappeared, so that route is now closed and I will redo the instructions based on using the PCBs I have designed. There is a Chinese company that will make 5 copies of both of the boards for $10.00. I don't know what the postage / courier costs are yet but it seems to be the way to go. I still haven't built and tested the boards I had made by Aisler but as soon as I do I will let you know. Thank you very much for your kind offer of the loan of a spare VM100 board. In return I would be happy to send you a spare pair of the Aisler PCBs. I have three of each, so it's no problem. There is are some minor changes to the components used on the PCBs, mainly due to my decision to source everything from DigiKey. If you would like them, send me a PM with your address and I'll get them in the post and also send you the revised schematics and the parts list. The main difference is that the Moving Module now will accept a two-way momentary action switch for manual opening and closing of the shutter. However, the software hasn't been updated for this function yet. If you do choose to use my relay schematic, which works fine, then you will need to source relays with a contact rating suitable for the motor you intend to use. The relay coil must operate with a current less than 500 mA as this is the limit of the ULN2803 driver chip on the Moving Module. Regards, Hugh
  19. Hi Steve, I don’t have access to my computer at present so a detailed reply will have to come later. Glad to hear you are making progress and you are definitely not being pedantic. You are doing exactly the right thing in finding all the snags that I have missed. One point though, AFAIK there is only one diode on the Moving module. That is the reverse polarity protection diode in the 12 volt input. I assume you are referring to the diodes on the trial relay board that I built and sent you the schematic and strip board layout for? I wasn’t intending to make that board part of the magic wire project as I thought that people would probably be using one of the published designs on Pierre’s site. For info, when I built my relay board I used some 1N4007 diodes I had in laying around. I think any rectifier diode would be suitable with the proviso that it has a high reverse voltage tolerance so it isn’t destroyed by the transient voltages when the relay coils change state. HTH. Keep up the good work and let me know all the problems you encounter. Regards, Hugh
  20. I would recommend CT1 sealant. It is waterproof, UV resistant and it has held my observatory together for the last 5 years. It will even stick over previously applied silicone. HTH, Hugh
  21. Hi Steve, Sorry to hear about the flooding. This weather is something else! My Pulsar dome does let water in, particularly when its very windy - it comes in around the shutter then runs down to one specific area where it drips onto my computer keyboard. So I now have a fully automated observatory except that I need to take a keyboard to the obsy every time I want to use it. It also gets very wet under the rubber floor tiles so I have a routine of taking up the tiles every so often to allow the dehumidifier to dry out the floor. Just some of the extra pleasure of astrophotography in the UK. Regards, Hugh
  22. Hi Steve, A quick update. The PCBs I designed have now arrived and need assembling and testing. I am in the middle of some other stuff at present so it will be a few days before I can get around to this. Anyway, this is what the boards look like. Regards, Hugh
  23. Hi Steve, Thanks for the kind words! I know what you mean about chest infections. I am an ex-asthmatic and now have severe COPD. A self-inflicted wound really as I was a smoker for far too many years and I actually count myself lucky to be still going. Each cold I get has the potential to turn very nasty so it's fingers crossed for the winter! You are getting a quick reply as I am playing around on the computer, being exiled from the living room whilst Strictly is on. Regards, Hugh
  24. Hi Steve, I hope you are feeling better and have recovered from the dreaded lurgies! I have been inching my way forward with KiCad, actually more millimetering than inching and I now have designs for the static module and the moving module. Naturally you have to start from a schematic so at least we now have decent schematics for these modules. Copies of the schematics and the PCB top sides are attached. There is one change on the moving module schematic. I have added connections for either a pair of push-button switches or a momentary on-off-on toggle switch. These will allow the shutter to be opened and closed manually. I noticed that most if not all the relay schematics that are circulating provide this manual switching so Magic Wire includes it as well. For this revision of the project, I have gone with DigiKey as a single source supplier for all the parts except the Arduinos and the nRF24L01 modules. The reason for this is to make the design as 'international' as possible. DigiKey ships everything from the US to pretty much everywhere and it's free shipping if the parts total is over £33.00. By buying the parts for both modules plus a couple of plastic boxes the total does go over the magic £33.00. Then you have to add 15% VAT but the good news is that DigiKey handle all the customs stuff so there is no duty and you won't get ParcelForce adding an £8.00 handling fee. I intend to do a completely revised write up of the project based on using the PCD route. I have ordered the PCD's from Aisler in Germany plus enough componetnts to make up the two modules. The design is is still in beta stage and will stay that way until I have built and tested the modules. More on this in a couple of weeks when all the bits arrive. Regards, Hugh MagicWireMoving.pdf MagicWireStatic.pdf
  25. Hi Steve, Sorry to hear that you are poorly and I wish you a speedy recovery. There is no rush and no pressure, so take your time and get fully fit before starting the build. I am still plugging away at trying to teach myself KiCad so that I can replace the American sourced nRF24L01 breakout board with a PCB. Assuming I am successful - which is quite an assumption - the boards will be available directly from Aisler.net in Germany. The main problem I am having is that there have been very big changes in the latest version of KiCad (5.1.4) and all of the hundreds of Youtube videos that are available use an earlier version so the commands are different. I am slowly getting there but it is a struggle! Anyway, take care, take it easy and make a full recovery. Regards, Hugh
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.