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Found 16 results

  1. I have an EQ5 telescope mount which i use for astrophotography. I have modified it with a motorised RA axis using a bipolar stepper motor - my thread for the build is here . I want to expand the mount's tracking ability by motorising the DEC axis and using a guide scope/camera. I generally use the mount in fairly remote locations so would like to use a raspberry Pi for portability. I understand that I'll need to use a Raspberry Pi Camera Module for the guide camera. The capability I want is: 1. guide the mount along RA and DEC axes using a guide star as feedback 2. track the mount using the RA axis only, and if possible continuously take 20-30 second exposures on the guide camera (this functionality is optional, but would assist in polar alignment of the mount) I don't want any GOTO capability. I am very new to RPi and need some help: - do I need to write code for this, or is there existing programming available for what I want to do? - is it possible to avoid the use of screens (in the field)? My preferred option would be to flick a switch to start and stop the guiding, with another switch for alignment mode (or something simple like this). - do I need to use any particular stepper motors/drivers for raspberry Pi? I'm using a bipolar stepper motor running quarter steps, with an A4988 stepper driver - is the RPi 3 Model B+ the unit I should buy? Thanks
  2. Starting my 1st IOT project. Since i've been an astrophotographer with no permanent setup, it makes sense to reduce the physical footprint (and the weight) of as many equipment as possible, as well as to do better cable management. I am soon going to start using Astroberry Pi server, an Ubuntu based suite for Astrophotography. Just purchased a Raspberry Pi 3B along with a 3.5" display for that. Lets see how it goes.
  3. £130 Ono ! Will calculate postage when sale agreed but I can't see it being more than £10 with royal mail Stellarmate imaging astrophotography computer. Based on raspberry pi . Comes with upgraded 32gb card rather than the standard 16gb. Included in box is hdmi cable and usb cable with power switch. This was an early Christmas present but is turning into a project I just don't have the time for. Works with anything that has an indi driver. https://www.stellarmate.com It's like the zwo ASI air ...but can be used with other equipment including zwo. Please note if you have Altair cameras the driver is still in development.
  4. Hey there, Curious about which CCD's you have been or are using successfully with auto guiding on a rpi2 or even a rpi3? lin_guider seems to support a bunch of manufacturers but a list of what models are proven to work with the Raspberry pi's will surely help my quest! Cheers for the help!
  5. I have two Raspberry Pi boards - A Pi 2 and a Pi 3 which I would like to use for astro stuff and/or 3D printer control. I gather these can have versions of Linux installed. I have used Python to program Linux machines in the past mainly running Ubuntu or Linux Mint though may be a bit rusty now. Am I thinking along the right lines? Could someone give me some hints on using the Pi, please?
  6. Inspired, as usual by Gina's exploits with a Raspberry Pi and Indi I decided to have a go myself. I have ordered an RPi 3 and await arrival. In the meantime I decided to modify a cheap 28BYJ-48 stepper motor for bipolar operation following Gina's instructions. Then I tested the motor with a Pololu A4988 stepper driver I had left over from my 3D printer build using details I found here and it worked first time. I needed a 12V supply to drive the 5V motor as now the windings are being used in series. Once the Pi arrives I will be installing Raspbian, Indi and connecting up to my Nexstar 127 SLT and then building a new focuser using my existing sketch and the motor I modded today.
  7. Part 1: What complicated electronicality goes into your average GoTo mount? Answer: Not as much as you’d think! In fact, that’s it. The above picture comprises the entire guts of an early generation (circa 2000) Celestron Nexstar GoTo Mount that accompanied a 90mm refractor scope. This particular example is a dead one, but it’s enough to show us what’s going on. So what have we got there? Let’s break it down… The Control Board Ooohhh… it’s got chips on it. Must be clever. No. Ultimately there are 3x components here that do the work. On the right are 2x XIC0014 oscillators with a 4mhz crystal each. We can summarise their job as: timing. These keep tabs on timing for signals going to and from each motor. On the left in the middle we have a 74HC240D. This is an octal line driver which takes 8 incoming teensy pulse signals and amplifies them into 8 larger pulse signals. In the lower left corner we have an L293DD. This is a part of interest. This is a 4channel H-Bridge motor driver. The pins on the right hand edge are for the hand controller. The pins on the left hand edge are for the Azimuth motor (left & right horizontal motion). The pins on the top edge are for the Altitude motor (up & down vertical motion). That’s a lot of pins for a motor tho… There’s also a MOSFET up top, which will be involved in regulating the incoming 12v DC down to 5v DC to run the electronics. The Handset board Nothing complicated here. It’s an RJ45 socket, mounted on a board along with the 12v power connector. Black & Red are 12v, which goes up to the handset, and across to the controller. The remaining 4 wires carry TTL signals from the handset to the control board. The Motors (x2) The mount contains 2x motors. These are DC controlled, and rely on 2 wires only. So what are the rest of the wires (6x) for? Feedback! Mounted to the rear of each motor is an optical encoder wheel. The black box at the top has an LED mounted in it, pointing at a light sensor. In between these, the wheel passes. Note the slots. The sensor detects the light being blocked and unblocked by the wheel, and converts these into pulses. So there are 2 wires providing Grnd and 3.3v to the LED. The encoder itself outputs one pulse for each slot. This is our speed signal (by counting pulses over a period of time), and by storing the count they can be used for position also. That’s one wire. It also outputs a direction signal. This is a high or low (on or off) signal. If the output is high, the motor is moving forwards. If the output is low, it’s moving backwards. That’s another wire. The encoder circuit needs power… 5v & grnd. That’s another 2 wires, giving our 6. Gearbox… Each motor mounts to a gearbox. I haven’t a clue of it’s ratio, but from the surface dimples we can see that it contains an input gear, which translates it’s motion through 4 other gears, then to the output gear on the other side… …which in typical fashion is smothered with the stickiest cheap & nasty grease known to man. This drives the transmission wheel, which uses a friction plate to move the relevant part of the actual mount. Again, this is liberally smeared in sticky cheap mank. Summary All the control board does is translate signals from the handset directly into drive commands for the motors. ALL the intelligence is in the handset. A bit of diagnosis tells me that the handset for this mount has been fried, along with the control board, but both motors and encoders are in perfect working order, so how can we resurrect this setup? Seeing as all the control board is is a multi channel H Bridge motor driver and feedback sensor board, we can replace the lot with a Raspberry Pi and a few bits. The Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins can quite happily output 2 channels of PWM to control the motors themselves, and can easily receive 4 channels worth (2 per motor encoder) of feedback pulses. All we need to do is get power to everything. Conveniently, all the bits needed can be picked up for a grand total of sod all (or less) from most robotics hobby places. I already have a veritable mountain of Raspberry Pi boards so I don’t need to acquire one. These cost me £18 each. To hook up the motors, I’ll need a dual channel Pi motor driver board, so I’ve opted for a DRV8355-based kit which can take a 12v DC power supply to run the motors, and with the addition of a 5v step-down board it can also power the Raspberry Pi itself which in turn can power the encoder boards (which also run at 5v). The Pi also provides a 3.3v output which can power the LEDs on the encoder boards. These two components from the provided links total £12.36 inc shipping. Add the cost of the Pi, and that’s £30.36 for a replacement control board.
  8. Hey guys, I recently found out about INDI and Ekos and was curious to see how well it worked (check it out here). I had a raspberry Pi collecting dust and after a couple minor setup steps, my equipment was recognized and connected. My mount, DSLR, shutter release serial cable, and guide camera all connect directly to the Raspberry Pi. I then connect to the Pi from my mac laptop using SSH and the Virtual Machine provided by http://www.indilib.org/. The nice thing about the PI is that it uses little power (about 0.5 amps at 5v), has 4 usb ports, and has built in wifi. I picked up a usb battery bank for the Pi and threw the two into a project box. I'm fairly sure the Pi would run 20 - 40 hours on this small battery alone. Anyways, I've seen a couple posts touching on this subject and thought I should share my efforts as I'm quite excited about it. It seems like it will perform better than my previous setup. My previous setup consisted of an intel compute stick, small usb hub, 12v battery with a 5v converter, and an additional windows laptop to control it all. I would connect all my gear to the stick through the usb hub. In order to get everything going, I'd remote desktop into the compute stick through my windows laptop. This worked ok, but the compute stick (running windows) was unreliable, there were a number of imaging sessions where it decided it would be best to install an update for half an hour. Other times, it refused to auto connect to the wifi hotspot without logging in, meaning I could not remote desktop into it and would need to connect a screen. Eventually, I tried using a LattePanda board as well but had similar experiences due to Windows 10. Regardless, I do recommend the LattePanda for windows applications, it is a slightly stronger board than the Pi and has an Arduino built in but unfortunately is not too great at running linux yet. (old setup below)
  9. Hi Folks, I'm just about to start on my AstroPi project inspired by this site, a great website by some very clever lads. My project will be to remote my mount control via a Raspberry Pi using SkySafari, Dslr control via Backyard Eos and guiding via PHD or Lin_Guider. I have though come across two small queries someone may be able help me with: 1. It's suggested that control of the mount using SkySafari is done using a skywatcher serial connection to a usb-serial connector onto the RaspPi but could this not just be done with the ethernet in the RaspPi to the similar port on the Synscan handset? 2. Also the more problematic on is that Lin_guider apprently works the best but only has support for the QHY5 mono and i have the QHY5v, has anyone every had success in over coming this problem of driver support? Thanks for looking and I'll keep this thread updated with progress.
  10. I am preparing for guiding and have the ST80 with ASI120MM camera. I want to connect this to Lin_guider running on a Raspberry Pi, and use StarsPi as a user interface/client. At the moment I have connected the camera to the RPi and I can see the connection on the client in my android device. But it says that the camera is off line. That's where I am stuck. Does anyone know how to continue from here, i.e. get the camera recognised by the app?? Any help appreciated.
  11. I have an old dslr, which won't connect to a computer anymore (USB isn't responsive, not even as a mass storage device). So, for astrophotography I have to use an intervallometer. The problem with this is that I can't control or monitor my camera remotely (remote = garden -- living room). Another, more annoying problem is that intervallometers have these absurdly small batteries that run low by just being outside, it seems. Especially during the rare clear nights we've had this winter, the intervallometer can't be trusted once the temperature drops below zero. Having nothing better to do, I decided to solve these problems. As I use a raspberry pi as a guiding computer, and have installed INDI for mount control, it only seemed natural to write a script to control my camera. With a few cents (kronor actually) worth of hardware, and a python script, I now have a cheap remote control for my camera. This is the hardware: an optocoupler and a resistor. The input (left) is connected to two GPIO pins of the RPi, and the output (right) goes to the remote port of the camera. The script and a more detailed description of its workings can be found here: http://wimvberlo.blogspot.se/2017/02/raspberry-pi-dslr-trigger.html Hope this can be of use to someone. Cheers,
  12. kbrown

    The Crux

    Got tired of the mess of cables and loose devices I had to always put together and dismantle after each astrophotography session so I figured I'd do something about it. This tray will sit nicely under the tripod and provide a hub for everything including Fused Power, Raspberry Pi, USB Hub, GPS, Dew Heaters, Long Range WiFi etc... First version will be really crude as I need to have this working in less than a week as I'm going on a holiday taking my astro gear with me.
  13. Allsky camera and weather station is very important parts of the modern observatory. Here I wanna describe project that I build for my observatory. I started a new topic because I believe that this project is unique and I hope this description may be useful because project is open source/open hardware. This device contains two cameras, one is for beautiful daytime shots (over the horizon) and second for useful night shots. Also there is a lot of sensors: clouds, ir, light, temperature and humidity. Heart of the device is Raspberry PI 2 microcomputer. Everything is built in waterproof electrical box which can be found in hardware stores. Yep this exterior is not very nice looking due to silicone sealant. But nice looking is not most important part, especially when mounting device somewhere on a roof Acrylic dome is from CCTV camera. Inside the box I glued a thermal insulation and copper foil which acts like a EMI shield. This foil is connected to the building grounding circuits. All devices inside the box: - Raspberry PI 2 - internal temperature/humidity sensor - powering system (+3.3, +5, +12 volts) - ethernet lightning protection - tsl2561 ir/luminosity sensor - mlx90614 cloud sensor - cooling system - rtc with a back-up baterry External temperature/humidity sensor is mounted in separate aluminium can. Cameras module is mounted on the bronze pcb stands and will be described below. Raspberry PI runs all device software except database and long-time storage of the images. Camera can be accessed through simple web interface which running on nginx server. All data collecting and generation software is wrote on C, Python and Bash. All processes is starting by the CRON. Database is working on the remote server with reliable storage system and can be accessed through network. I'm using Mysql in this project. I found that this solution is more reliable and convenient rather than local storage on the SD card. All images are postprocessed by the software. Dark frames is extracted (only for night camera) and generated some text information on the bottom of the image.
  14. I'm finally nearing the end of my project to move imaging over from a Olimex A20 running INDI to a raspberry pi (also running INDI) that will be mounted to the side of my LX90 fork arm to really reduce the amount of cables running down the mount. I'm now down to a single multicore cable from the ground to supply two separate power lines, one for the dew heater and then the second that is split between CCD, LX90 and the Raspberry PI. The PI itself controls my CCD, Guide cam and filter wheel via USB but in addition I've built a "Hat" (although I shouldn't really call it that as it violates a few parts of the official hat spec). That provides an RS232 connection for the LX90 autostar and a DRV8805 based controller to drive my newly arrived (Early Christmas present to myself arrived just a few days before Christmas) Moonlite focuser. Below is an image of the final board mounted onto the Raspberry PI and here's a photo of it hooked up to the Moonlite focuser. The project wasn't without its issues, quite a few of them to be honest. From design flaws with the PCB switch mode power supply (luckily fixable without needing a new PCB) to... well they're all covered on my blog which has several posts covering the project. On Christmas Eve, it all came together though. With a custom INDI driver for the board driving the focuser perfectly. Full source for the INDI driver, hardware schematics and PCB gerbers along with a few kicad components are all available at:- https://bitbucket.org/BWGaryP/mup-astro-cat https://bitbucket.org/BWGaryP/mup-kicad-library If you're wondering about the name (he says hoping someone read this far), it was originally the MUP Astro Hat, but since I didn't end up following the full PI hat spec, I decided to rename it. It was a toss up between CAT (after the SCT it's used with) or CAP, since a Cap is like a Hat but not quite a hat! For the odd person who did get this far, there's much more detail on my blog in a series of posts including a totally, amazing, action packed video of the focuser erm moving. http://www.mups.co.uk/post/2016/12/moonlite-focusing/ Bottom of that blog post is a link to all the earlier posts which cover the many mistakes made and bodges to fix them This is the first PCB I've ever made, so I'm incredibly chuffed with how well it turned out despite some rough edges and the many issues along the way. Can't wait to sort the last couple of bits now (few cables and counterweights to sort) so I can finally give this focuser a proper test under the (hopefully not quite as blurry) stars
  15. Seeing as it was rainy the other day, I took to my spare parts box and pulled out an old WifI IP Camera that had been drowned previously, control boards fried. Fortunately, it’s 2x stepper motors still worked (24BYJ-48 - you can get them off eBay for next to nothing). I’d picked up some UL2003 driver boards a while ago with the intention of a play with a Raspberry Pi, so this seemed the perfect project. 30 minutes in Python, a swift bit of Node-Red-UI, 2 pieces of Meccano and 10 minutes soldering et voila! PiFocus Testing the motor control via breadboard... The Raspberry Pi in question currently sports an Energenie two-way RFM69-based radio transmitter for controlling household sockets etc, and 2x 1-wire temp probes - these are handled by Domoticz, a free open source home automation system for which I wrote a plugin a few months back to allow voice / mobile control via Apple HomeKit protocol & Siri. Breadboard tests all worked, so got it all soldered up, and fortunately with the quick addition of two pieces of meccano, got it all strapped to my 114EQ OTA via the existing finder scope mounts... et voila! It’s not the speediest of things at the moment. Still needs some improvement to the “transmission” but it takes 45000 steps of the stepper motor to get from full-in to full-out, so it should be sensitive enough... so here’s the final test - mounted up with the weight of an Opticstar PL131M to give it something to work with: Rather chuffed if I do say do myself!! Last step is to add virtual switches into Domoticz for Siri-controlled action...! Am quite happy to share all the code etc if anyone wants it (s’all standard stepper control code kicking about a few raspberry pi sites). Should work on any Raspberry Pi running Jessie with Node-Red, Node-Red-UI & Python 2.7.x installed.
  16. Hi Everyone, With March about to pass without a single image being taken my mind has turned to wire reduction and being able to move the OTA and mount further away from the house tethered only by a network cable and mains supply. Because I have a Raspberry Pi3 Model B+ to hand I thought I would try Virtualhere - just to see how far I can get to realising my goal without too much extra spend. The Virtual Client installed fine on the NUC and I have been able to install the basic usb-server (vhusbdarm) code on the Pi3B+; you can install the specific usb-server code without a licence although when I tried I got an illegal instruction command from the Pi. Nevertheless I persevered with the basic usb-server, connected successfully to the NUC and could see the Atik428ex connected to the Pi. I was all the more encouraged to see that Artemis could also see and use the camera. The resulting image was not so encouraging and I wonder if anyone can tell me the likely cause of the banding on the image. This is a 0.2s exposure using an L filter. The pylon is not that black but the sky colur is pretty accurate! I did not go so far as to try the mount connection (NEQ6) or guide camera (ASI120MM-S). Thanks in anticipation of any help. Adrian
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