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Hi from SE Australia


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I came upon an article by 'Astrotux', "A Low Cost ATmega8A Based RA Stepper Motor

Controller and Electronic Focuser for Small Telescopes" so I've joined Stargazers Lounge to follow up.

I have a Celestron C6 on a Skywatcher EQ3 mount, and, not being able to afford the cost of commercial drives, I'm looking to use my Arduino board to drive the mount in RA. and rather than having focus control as described in the article, I'd like to attempt to drive the thing in Dec. I already have a motorized focus.

I've been into astronomy on and off for 30 + years, sadly always trying to do it on the cheap!

But when finances are tight and the wife has other priorities, that's the way it has to be.

I'm a great believer in: 'Happy wife = Happy life', it's worked for the past 30+ years!

I also have a 10" Dob on a DIY mount that I'm very happy with.



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Welcome to SGL Chris. I can't help with your request but I'm sure there's someone here who can.

I like your philosophy for a happy life (and doing things on the cheap!) It's worked for me.

Good luck and clear skies:)


Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk HD

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Thanks for the welcome gentlemen, I've already had a local Ozzie contact me re the project.

This being a UK site, I should add that I originally hail from Maidstone in Kent.

Thanks again,


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What ?????

You swapped Maidstone for SE Australia ? NSW or Victoria ??

Our lack of sun, lack of any summer at all actually :sad2: , nice refreshing winds :huh2: , the driving horizontal rain :clouds2: , perpetual cloud :clouds1: , we had snow yesterday - road had to be closed due to snow and all this at the end of May (Our summer in case you have forgotten) :evil6:

Cannot think why anyone would do that. :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

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Hi Chris (another auspom!),

Welcome to SGL from me to - just caught your post an astrotux's brilliant ATMega Stepper thread, which is a great example of SGL at it's very best (and there are many other examples and from my own experience considerable amounts of adhoc advice as/when needed). Obviously I don't need to say what a great resource and community this is and sure you will find it extremely useful.

I share a similar ethos on budget - particularly with regard to the electronics, cameras and general DIY stuff. Though until my local college runs a tutored mirror grinding evening course, I'll probably pass on making the optics!

Enjoy your wonderful clear Southern skies!

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Hi Chris,

welcome from me too. Like you I have a philosophy of 'Astronomy on a budget' which loosely translates to 'Keep SWMBO happy' :grin: :grin: :grin:

I'm pleased you found the project interesting and will be publishing an update soon. I've added micro-stepping of the RA drive motor ( to reduce vibration significantly ), brightness control of the LCD and ( more-recently ) a USB interface so I can handle things from my PC. As I play with Linux the code I have written for the PC side uses libusb and gtk, but I'm sure someone intelligent could soon port this to other operating systems if required. I hope to have the update in publishable form within the next six weeks or so.

I've also replied to your PM and look forward to hearing from you.

all the best, and enjoy SGL - I know I do........... :grin: :grin:


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