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griz11

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griz11 last won the day on December 2 2014

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About griz11

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    Motorsports Photography AstroPhotography Science
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    Granite Shoals Tx USA
  1. Thanks I'll check those out. Finally finished up the clusters so I'm about to get back on this project for a bit. Where is Staffordshire I can't seem to remember is it close to London? I lived in Reading and on 3 bases when I was a kid. Brize Mildenhall and Lakenheath. My mom's side of the family is from Swindon. Building the clusters has been awesome. Forgot how much fun it is to hack on this stuff. My unix admin skills are soooo rusty but they are coming back fairly quickly. Seems like every day I remember another useful command. Its all changed too. A lot. I used BSD before but the Tegras require Linux to flash and cross compile so I've installed that instead. Pixinsight works better for me on it but I suspect its a badly beat up win 7 install that is causing the colors to be all messed up. I brought in some pics onto the Linux side and it was perfect. As much as I beat on the OS with all my experiments I'm surprised it's worked this long. Silverlight has quit working and no matter what I do it won't reinstall. The registry is probably frogged. But no worries I put in a fresh ssd for win 10 so I suspect once that is installed and I reinstall my image processing stuff all will be well. The final piece of the clusters came in today. An enclosure for the disks. Half of each disk is for the Pi's and half for the Tegras they all mount all disks. Makes it easier to distribute parallel code that way. Although I think I'm going to go with docker. Its virtual containers are really slick. Using that I can keep all the nodes to a minimal install just enough to make docker work and send containers with whatever programs I need to run at the time. It bundles up all the dependencies for you so it all in one package. I put Kstars in one and it works fine. Really simplifies admin. Found a climate modeling program that is parallel. Compiled that tonight and tested it on one node. Works fine. So tomorrow hopefully it will finally be running something in parallel using all the nodes. You can simulate climate on earth mars and some exo planets with it. Should be an excellent test of the system. I'll finally get good feeling for the performance. Griz
  2. Just make sure it has real windoze on it and not the rt whatever. It won't run it or anything else compiled for the x86_64 versions. I picked up one and ended up giving to the wife and buying an Asus Transformer. Its worked flawlessly. Has a 500Gig drive in the keyboard in addition to the ssd memory. USB3.0 and its fairly quick. Griz
  3. Yep its a full course on motor control and ASCOM. I'm fooling around with the Indi stuff. I am an old Unix hack so thats what I'd like to use for all my stuff. After thinking about it I'm going to do a module for the focus and one for the mount. Use the Trinket Pro's I bought for the keypad and some more of the Bluetooth modules. Put the SciTech board inside with the controller so there won't be any wires except for the servo cables. I picked up a nice enclosure flanged at the bottom so easy to get on the mount. Has a fitted perfboard for all the sensors etc and deep enough to double deck the pcduino. After looking into all this I can see generic modules using downloaded firmware for everything instead of a specific set of electronics and handcontroller for each mount. Make it accessible via a smartphone. I've been talking to some others on another forum about this approach. One of the reasons I bought the pcduino is it will run android. And that would be a better OS to use if a phone were to be the target controller. Probably not going to work on it much the next few weeks. My brother is on his way home from the middle east and we are going to play around with a can bus controller hooked up to his car. Reading the packets looking at doing some custom gauges. I bought a shield for this app. Easier to mess with in the car. Just plugs into a Uno. Has its own sd to log the data and a gps port that I have a gps module for. I thought the GPS would be some fun to get hooked up. I was disappointed. All you do is plug it in and it will get hooked up to the sats and start spewing out NEMA strings. Being an old R/C guy I'm thinking about building an autonomous tracked bot to play with. Found this company the other day that makes pretty much anything you might need to build robots. All kinds of extrusions and custom machined parts. A one stop shop for mounting stuff. Wheels gears all the stuff I don't like to try and fabricate. I have plenty of terrain to test it out on. Huge field besides my house. But I want to get this done first and get my imaging rig the way I want it. We are getting pounded by the tropical storm tonight. Not sure I'll be able to make it to Houston tomorrow. Most of the heavy rain is falling right in my path. Areas that are soaked already. Didn't do much on the coast but inland it could really cause some problems the next 48 hours. The touchscreen has been working now for almost 3 days with out a hitch. I've cut the power to the BT modules a few times to make sure they would hook back up and other than that no disconnects or errors. Its running at 115200 which I could never get to work reliably with the wifi modules. I have a replacement for the one that didn't work coming so I'm going to try and get those working as well. The ones I have are good for 100m so thats plenty for what I need. I'm going to go looking for an enclosure for the touchscreen when I get to Houston. I want to actually see them to pick the one I want. Its going to be much thinner than the old one. If I can find the right case. I want to get one for the analyzer as well. I'm afraid I'm going to short it out leaving it bare. There is a store not far from my brothers that has tons of electronics so I should be able to find what I want there. Played around with darlington transistors today getting the dew heaters going. Not much to those. The pcduino is a 3.3v machine so it needs some more oomph to drive the heaters. I hooked up the analyzer to the dew controller I have to get the voltages to apply to the strips. So it was easy to get it going and I didn't roast any of my heaters. Going to start on the focus control next. I'll use the analyzer to figure out that as well. Right now I have some relays hooked up to the controller box to emulate me pressing the buttons. But soon I'll be doing away with the handpad and going to the Trinket Pro. Its a miniature Uno and the Lipo backpack will be good for the focus motor and the Trinket. It goes through batteries pretty quick so putting 2500mah lipo on it will extend that a bunch plus its rechargable. Pretty much down to writing code and testing now finally. Griz
  4. Ascom is an interface to Msoft's com objects. Basically a scripting interface. Check out onstep here http://www.stellarjourney.com/index.php?r=site/equipment_onstep Its a complete mount control system with ASCOM driver. All the source is available so it would be a good place to start if you are going to roll your own. He has an ASCOM driver so you should be able to figure it out reading the code. That should be enough to get you going. Griz
  5. Last night I finally made the wireless link to the touch pad work. Switched over to a pair of bluesmirf bluetooth modems. For what I want to do they are a much better solution. You config them with a terminal program and then they just hook up with each other and provide a serial link whenever they are turned on. No software to write on either side. Switched over from the Arduino to a pcduino for the main computer. The duino is a 1ghz A20 dual core processor with a gig of ram. It has HDMI SATA USB Ethernet and WIFi. Runs linux or android. It has enough horsepower and a floating point unit so I can use it to calculate FWHM and such for my attempts at autofocus. I have it set up to be a headless server. You access it via VNC X-windows client or ssh. It also has a serial debugging port you can use to log into it. Much faster than the Pi. There is an 8 core model that has a unique split kernel. 4 A15 cores and 4 A7 cores. Now that I finally have this problem solved the rest of the project will move right along. I plan on working with the wifi modules and eventually replacing the bluetooth with them. They are just a little flakey. Random resets and serial corruption. The firmware isn't even up to 1.0 yet so I expect those problems will be fixed soon. The modems I bought are class1 so they have a range of 100meters. Now I'm thinking I should set up a piconet and go totally wireless with a little module that plugs into the SciTech controller using a Trinket Pro and a bluetooth modem and one for the focuser. They will all form a piconet. I have the Trinkets I was going to use them in the handpad but no longer need too. I have the power supply for the handpad done. Its a single 2500mah 3.7v lipoly cell with a small charger/managment board and booster so it puts out 5v as long as the input is over 1.8v. Also has pins to monitor for low battery and critical battery conditions. Its all very small so the case for the handpad can be thin. The weather continues to be a thorn in my side. Its clear but its been windy. Not just a little wind but fairly heavy gusts. I did get out the other night for a few hours to do some testing on my wedge fixes. That all works easy to get it aligned using the guide scope then putting the WO onboard. With the band around the base of the wedge I was able to get it aligned with the WO onboard as well. Just a lot harder to turn the adjusters. I have some hex head bolts I can put in for those and use a long allen wrench if I need them. The DSLR was really hot though. Didn't take it long to start bumping up against 100degrees and the noise level was horrible. Not going to use the 7DII while its this hot. I just feel like exposing it to those kind of temps for hours at a time can't be good for it. I'll use the 7D until I can get the ccd. I'm working towards having the handpad and all that done and the ccd bought installed and working by fall. I picked up an 11channel analyzer. It has 2 oscilloscope analog channels as well. Software runs on a PI so I picked up a 3.5in touch screen for the PI and now I have a nice portable analyzer. This is a pic of it being used to debug a SPI interface. Its accessible over the net via VNC so the PI can function as a pod as well. Its a really nice piece of kit. 100 bucks open source hardware and software. Has another processor onboard that is set up just to generate signals for you to use to learn how to use the instrument. The daughtercard is a LPC Link2 board that can function as a hardware debugging probe (jtag). It has a 4370 which is an Arm Cortex optimized for signal processing. Faster sample rate and larger bandwidth than similar priced or even 2x over this price equipment. I have some ideas on how to use it on the mount. It has several protocol analyzers and its possible to write them for whatever protocol you want. I was thinking about writing one for guiding so you could analyze whats happening with the motors and the pulse guiding or hardware guiding signals. So it might end up in my little project at some point. I say little its gotten pretty complicated actually. As I find out more about the microcontrollers I keep finding stuff I want to experiment with and incorporate. The little sensor boards etc are so cheap its hard to resist. The whole system right after the bluetooth came up and started working. Its reading the sensors and sending the readings to the touch screen over the two little red boards. I've been fooling around trying to get this working for a few weeks now so its nice to finally have it beaten into submission Griz
  6. Its first night outside. William Optics 102GT with Flat6 Borg mini50 guidescope. Haven't gotten to use it much 27 straight days of rain after it arrived Had it out last night but the wind was just too much so I packed up early. Its in the 90's now when the sun sets here so the DSLR is super noisy. Saving up for a CCD and filters. Griz
  7. Thanks thats close to what I want. However I think I have it solved by offsetting the guidescope just a bit to the light side of the tube. Instead of mounting the clamps on the scope rings I put them on the WO rings. The clamps have 2 holes and the WO rings have 5 threaded holes spread across the top. So by moving the clamps around till I was able to get the right offset all is well. Wasn't much but when I put the dual saddle on and it balanced I noticed it wasn't much of an offset. So the weight of the Borg camera and rings was enough. And putting the clamps on the WO clamps allowed me to mount a dovetail to the guidescope so it fits in the main saddle of the scope in case I go to that method of polar align. I have a call into Losmandy to see if the AltAz adjuster block for the GM-8 will bolt up to what I have. If so I'll just go that way with the mount. Use the Meade adapter either on the pier or pick up a meade field tripod. I think moving to a G-11 is just too much weight for me and it would end up in the garage gathering dust. I weighed everything and its 22.5lbs. Well within the capacity of the SL. Hoping the mods I made to the wedge will solve my problems and I can pick up the STF-8300 this month instead of spending more money on my mount. Griz
  8. No place to attach another dovetail it has to be on the side of the scope. There are two M5 threaded holes on the sides of the rings I'm assuming are for weights but just using washers its very difficult to get the right number of washers on each ring so the effect falls somewhere between the rings. I'm using an external battery for the DSLR so the weight is different. The battery plug for the external battery doesn't weigh anything compared to the real battery. But even putting a regular battery back in doesn't fully fix the problem. The camera is just heavy on one side. I can rotate the focuser assembly and almost get it to balance. I wish the holes were larger. I can't find any angle fittings that size I was thinking I'd get a threaded rod and make one. Then just find some weights and drill and tap them to fit. M5 is pretty small. Hopefully when I'm able to get the ccd it will be balanced better than the DSLR and the problem will go away. Its only a problem when the scope is almost straight up. It has a big moment at that point and if you turn loose of it the thing will accelerate and almost go full circle. When its parallel to the ground or almost anyplace in between its fine. I'm starting to wonder if the axis isn't sticking making me think its balanced when its actually not. Another month of clouds and gloom here according to the forecast. Seriously thinking about taking a road trip for some clear sky soon. Big Bend area is awesome for imaging and its been clear. Last set of images had a huge doughnut in them I couldn't get out. Looks like it was me not putting the cover on the viewfinder. That night the moon was behind the scope and I was shooting low away from it. I played with a led here in the house with it and was able to recreate a very similar pattern. And I know better I just was in heat to try out my new toy Griz
  9. I've been fussing with a balance issue on my frac. Fixed it with some washers but its still not quite right. I've seen some pictures of fracs with side mounted weights along a threaded shaft. Free to move up and down the tube. I've been trying to find something like that and have had no luck. I can put together the threaded rod right angles and all but don't know where to get the weights. My rings have m5 threaded spots to mount it. Just seems like it would be much easier to move that weight up and down to get perfect balance instead of adding washers to the two rings. I can't get it exactly balanced that way. So if anyone knows where I can get the weights or a whole setup I'd appreciate a link. Griz
  10. The washers fixed the imbalance. Now its good everywhere. But I'd like to find something that didn't look so diy if I could. The threaded holes are M5 anyone know of some small weights with that for a center bore? Looks like its between 1/2 and 3/4 of a lb. Don't have anything to weigh them accurately. I misread the weight on the WO on their page. I thought it was 11kg not 11lb. So that kind of changes the whole picture with the GM-8 vs G-11. I was thinking I should get the G-11 since I was right at the weight limit of the GM-8/Starlapse. But I'm well within it now so I think I'm going to try and find a solution for the polar align. I was thinking the other night why not try it with just the guidescope lock everything down and put the WO onboard. A little unconventional but it should work. Any droop would be measurable with using the same drift align program. Then I could just set it to accommodate. I'm worried if I go with the G-11 its going to be too heavy and end up gathering dust. 35lbs plus 22lbs of counterweight. Just wish we'd get a night of partly cloudy at least so I could test the band. The Astrotrac wedge has a center peg of sorts. But there is a little slop in it. Wouldn't be a problem under less load though so its not the wedge's fault I'm having this problem. I have till the end of the month to decide so hopefully I'll get a night before then to test. Actually I think the band and knowing about the problem and taking precautions will get me through it. I'd like to keep what I have its nice and lite and easy for me to use. Griz
  11. No I'll figure out something else. Too easy to unplug stuff like it is. Might have a board made I hear its not that expensive these days. Decided to buy a used Losmandy G-11. Its just the head no motors or electronics. I have the motors and controllers to do the G-11 and the Starlapse. I'm going to use this software on an Arduino to run the Starlapse http://www.stellarjourney.com/index.php?r=site/software_telescope Pretty complete even has an ascom driver and will work on an android phone. That should be easy pickings to convert over to my handpad. It will be nice to have a mount just to experiment with. I'm really getting into this microcontroller stuff. Lots of nights you can't image. I don't know if I'll keep both of them but for now I'll have two set-ups. Running into issues with the wedge trying to use the 102GT. So rather than battle it I'm just going to get something that can handle about twice what I have to put on it. It was a really good deal and I know the guy so I'm not worried about it being defective. Griz
  12. Turns out the WO rings have a tapped hole on the side so you can add a little weight to get the balance perfect. Some washers and a nut and bolt should do it. Which is good because I didn't want to use the dual saddle really. Just more weight and possible misalignment. Mounted on top of the WO the guidescope is pretty close to perfectly in line. Going to go ahead and buy the G-11. Its going to be a bit heavier to move but can always haul it to the yard in the basket of my scooter. I'm hauling 22lbs now and its 35 so I should be able to make it work. The Meade field tripod is around 20 so not much difference and fewer trips. A pretty good deal on the G-11 so I don't want to pass it up. It will handle anything I can afford to put on it so I'll be set.
  13. Yes there is some play in the dec axis. I have not touched either worm yet I wanted to make sure I knew a little more about the mount before I started adjusting on that stuff. I put the side by side saddle back on and now its balanced just right. It needs a tiny bit of offset to make it all work. But I think I'm going to have to change the mount. The wedge is just not handling the weight. I had this weird problem the other night trying to drift align and I've traced it to the two plates on the bottom of the wedge. They have just enough play in the 3 slots to allow it to rotate that it can slip sideways. Thats why I was getting close to having it aligned then making what I thought would be the final adjustment threw it way off. I have a couple of ideas on how to fix this. I put a stainless hose clamp around the edge of the two plates to keep them lined up. Tightened up it will keep them from slipping I think. If not I located a G-11 head without motors that I can get fairly cheap. If I do that this rig will be for DSLR and experimentation only and the other one will get the WO. I'll move the servos and Scitech to the G-11 use the steppers I have and grab another arduino to make a goto system out of the existing rig. I'm always worried when I'm experimenting with electronics I'm going to blow up something right before a nice clear spell with no moon Another option I'm looking at if the Losmandy alt az adjustment block will bolt onto my RA axis I can just get one of those and solve the problem. I read up on adjusting the worms today. There is a set of flats you can use a feeler gauge to set them. So that shouldn't be too difficult. The WO is heavy on one side. The side with the two knobs for the focuser. You can change the behavior by rotating the focuser. Its not offset much maybe 1/4 of an inch. But that and having the guidescope on the outrigger does the trick. Losmandy makes a bucket for a Meade tripod that will fit on my pier. So it won't be a problem to mate the G-11 up with it should I decide to go that way or the mount I have now with the added base from the GM-8. Then again the clamp might fix it. If it works I can take the wedge up to the local machine shop and have a pin put in that base for it to rotate around with no slop. That was a hard problem to figure out. But it all made sense once I tugged and pulled on the mount and actually saw the two plates get out of alignment. Its not much but enough to throw off a drift align in a big way. So I'm happy and a little smarter than when I woke up this morning so its all good. Griz
  14. It seemed heavy on one side so I put the dual saddle back on and was able to get it balanced perfectly. But that put me slightly over on the other axis so another weight is on the way. Having the guide scope out on the outrigger did the trick. The main scope is a little over a quarter of an inch from being in the spot it was before the dual saddle was put on. So I'm thinking a little lead tape on one side of the scope might work to correct the overbalance. Or maybe rotating the focuser 90 deg. Anyways as soon as the clouds go away again I'll try it out. I should have the other weight by then. Found an issue with my wedge now that its fully loaded. I am over the weight capacity on that piece a bit. Doesn't present a problem except when I'm trying to drift align. Once you loosen up the az plate a bit so you can adjust it the two plates aren't anchored and will sometimes slip. Need to put a pin in the center to anchor that. Its just the distance between the sides of the slots and the screw but that is enough to cause some bizarre stuff to happen. It gets really close to being aligned then one more adjustment was throwing it way off again. I just happened to be twisting around on it and saw it slip ever so slightly. Going to go look for a hoseclamp that is big enough to go around the two plates. They are pretty stiff and I'm thinking it might hold the two plates in alignment so I can get the drift align done then I'm good. Things you get into when you try and build a frankenrig Griz
  15. I was seeing some really bad guiding the other night. So I started looking for the reason and found out when the scope gets close to vertical the balance goes bad. If 0 is straight up it happens at about 10deg. Not only does the dec balance go away but it messes up the balance on the RA axis as well. Mount starts to oscillate when its guiding. I had something similar on my old SCT that I solved with a little weight shaft that attached near the objective. I just can't see how to solve this balance problem. It would require weights that changed position as the tube changed position. So how do you handle this? The PHD2 guiding plot is all over the place. Used to be a nice tight group. And when the scope is lower it still does but when the scope is almost vertical all bets are off. Is this something that happens with refractors. Do you just have to stay away from those angles when imaging? Griz
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