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About skybadger

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    Riseley Berkshire
  1. Thanks. Both I tried a 21mm spark socket it was tight and scratched, so I've bought a 22 mm to try. I like the idea of ratchet handles as well. Ta
  2. re-awakening this topic. What size socket will comfortably fir these handles ? And if replacing with ratchet handles, what size thread ? Cheers Mike
  3. Pretty much, de-centralised sensors reporting wirelessly to the dashboard and on the spot heat control without a chunky controller on the mount. Still need power cabling sadly. It's just another preference..
  4. I'd like to control at the individual heater level, on the heated item itself, rather than at the shared controller.
  5. I was just thinking of building something like this. But remotely controlled, power only. I'll have to read it ..
  6. I was just thinking of building something like this. But remotely controlled, power only. I'll have to read it ..
  7. There may well be. It's up to you. I'm happy to use it with mine.
  8. I use a 12v to 19v DC/DC converter off my 12 battery for this. That's all the Lenovo car charger is. The real trick is finding the the right power connector.
  9. I'm doing something similar. For years I've had a wireless dome link to an i2c controller which talked to the dome compass, but the controller itself seems unreliable. (It might be my code but not that I can see...). In the middle of a session it will just stop talking. Not what I need. So I have moved to using the Arduino toolkit driving Wi-Fi-enabled esp8266 devices. I talk to these over a REST api , which just means they host a simple web server and respond with JSON. I have a filter wheel done and the base unit for a revamped dome controller. The shutter unit that revolves with the dome is also complete but I am having trouble finding it in DNS from the base unit. At the moment. Once that is done, my shutter control will be in place. I too have a hygreon sensor lurking in the corners for rain detection, but the plan would be to create an ascom safety driver which monitors the environment as reported to the local Mqtt server which all the sensors pump their data to. In esp land it's very cheap to Wi-Fi enable these sensors to report centrally. That will include weather, temp, dew, Aurora etc... HTh.
  10. Hi Peter I've been reading the thread on automating the dome and see you mention a 2 part shutter. How are you going on with automating that ? I have a similar dome and working on the shutter.  You also mention other sensor integration, how are you planning that , if you don't mind me asking ?



    1. pmlogg



      I'm not actually doing anything about the shutter at the moment.  There is an Irish amateur astronomer who has a first model Pulsar 2.7m dome like mine.  He started from scratch and used Exploradome parts that he bought in the US and brought back to Ireland. 

      Unlike me, and more conventionally, he has the Velleman card mounted on the wall of the dome so did not need a wireless, battery operated, system for rotation.  This is a link that shows something about it.  https://www.irishastronomy.org/kunena?view=topic&catid=22&id=95329#96208 

      Exploradome have changed their system for the lower shutter to one that uses a pair of electro-hydraulic rams.  I did not have much joy getting a price from them but it does appear that they can still supply, on request, the old-style lower shutter part.  They use very expensive (but apparently very good) motors,  the cost now even higher with the very weak £. 

      It does not look impossible though to have someone skilled to replicate the actual metal hardware.  For the upper shutter you will see that Michael used parts from Exploradome's rotation system.  The acorn gear and trackway are available separately from other US sellers and are not very expensive.  On how it all works and how he did it Michael is very approachable. 

      Michael has however told me that he really doesn't use the automation of his shutter. The main reason is that he finds the weather where he is too unpredictable to rely on it closing quickly enough, even with a weather station.  As our weather in Scotland is probably no better my thinking was that spending a lot of time and money on the shutter, and then not using the automation would be a waste.  To me the manual system is easy and likely quicker than any sensible motor system.  Rotation is of course different, not having to go out to nudge the dome around during an imaging session is much more useful and I think being able to slew to new targets from indoors will be too.  I don't though have a method to automate flats which remains one of the limitations to my automation.

      Before Michael told me that about the shutter I spent quite a while looking at the option of using rams for the lower section of it.  I could not find a position for the bottom of the rams that did not involve having a pretty massive framework projecting into the dome.  I didn't try to take advice on that but there are a lot of bright people on this forum so one of them might have the expertise to advise on that sort of solution.

      Sorry not to have an actual solution for you.



  11. I'm looking at this picture and wondering why you are not considering ... an English mount, with the dome shutter axis being along the polar axis. A very short ra axle , with a big bearing to compensate (skywatcher travel block would do) One of those offset single arm mounts. A coelostat type arrangement to feed a fixed camera where you just need to point a large flat at the sky. A very stubby alt-AZ and rotator . If you can do the drive for this you can do the rotator for the camera. Especially if fixed. A DC servo motor to drive it. A 2 rpm motor as source will give you awful slew speeds. I'm considering use of the SW travel head a a coelostat base since it can do 0.5X happily. It just doesn't do slew at all. Just some thoughts Mike
  12. I I run a set of TPLink powerline adapters around the house , covers the blackspots for internal reception and goes out via the spur to the obbo, which runs it's own local Access Point for the wireless sensors I have in there. That works perfectly well at up to 150Mbps on a 500Mbps adapter. The adapter in the obbo has three outlets, one to the PC, one to the web relay and a spare. No fuss, no bother. Don't see why you can't do the same. Spur length is about 30m.
  13. So far underwhelmed. lots of words and pretty advertising, , not a lot of detail on specs, performance, access to kits etc.
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