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yesyes

the yesyes observatory - the build

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is that EQMOD better than using stellarium and pressing CTRL + 1 to go to the stars etc??  

No. EQMOD is an ASCOM driver with lots and lots of features. But it is not planetarium software. You would sill need something like Stellarium or CdC.

I wish Stellarium had native ASCOM support, not just through a plug-in with weird key combinations for scope control. CdC is much better in that respect but I would prefer if the sky map part of it could be navigated in the same way as Stellarium or Google Earth, not with those awkward scroll bars. But can't really complain, it's free... ;)

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You're right about the controls used in CdC, if you're brought up on Stellarium then its a bit of a pain converting, and CdC doesn't seem as quick to respond as Stellarium or it might just be the controls again....

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This discussion is taking the thread a little off topic, but basically EQmod sits between the planetarium application and the mount, with ASCOM driver being the communicator between the planetarium software and EQMod.  So in essence when you right click on a star in CdC and select slew to target, the positioning data is sent to the ascom driver, which in this case sends it to EQMod, which then translates that into Skywatcher protocol and send the correct amount of pulses to move the mount. (I'm sure Chris S will elaborate more on this).    With Stelarium, as the application does not support the ascom platform a separate plug-in is required, which is one further link in the chain.  

An alternative would be to install linux on the observatory PC, download Kstars (has a fantastic look and feel), and install INDI which is the linux equivalent of ASCOM platform, only INDI supports Celstron telescopes.  INDI is also supported by CdC which helps if you are use to the look and feel of CdC.  The downside is that as far as I can see, and through my experiments, INDI doesn't support Skywatcher mounts, other than using a basix LX200 command set.

Links:  INDI http://indilib.org/

Kstars http://edu.kde.org/kstars/

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hmm hmm and hmm...

That INDI stuff looks interesting. Lots of stuff there. But switching the obsy computer to Linux, hmmm...

I just installed Kstars on Windows but it seems a little pointless as there is no INDI for Windows and it doesn't do ASCOM.

I have no problem with being a bit off-topic. It's still somehow related to "installing the obsy". ;)

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There is wINDI


wINDI is an INDI wrapper and INDI server for ASCOM drivers. It was developed as a supporting module for jINDI cross platform observatory control software, but can be used for personal or educational purposes for free with any other INDI client running on the same or a remote machine (e.g. KStarsXEphem or CdC).

I've tried it and whilst I get the connections, the option in Kstars to set up the telescope is always missing...  I've raised a ticket almost a year ago asking for ASCOM support in the windows version of Kstars but nothing is forthcoming

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Looks like it is not really a Windows version of Kstars but rather a KDE emulator(?) running on Windows and then the Linux Kstars running inside that.

I'll keep my eye on that and maybe try out the INDI / Kubuntu virtual machine they offer. But for now I'll just keep using Windows and ASCOM and try to get used to the CdC interface.

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ok a little off topic but if you wanna run linux you can still use windows, just you this software on ya desktop over windows. virtualbox. i used to use it before i installed a operating system to see if i liked it or not. 

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ok a little off topic but if you wanna run linux you can still use windows, just you this software on ya desktop over windows. virtualbox. i used to use it before i installed a operating system to see if i liked it or not. 

Sorry, continuing off-topic but to comment on Ant F's post... Virtualbox is a great application - I have used it for many years. There would be problems though. The complexity of possibly using Windows applications alongside a virtual Linux box is one thing. But there would also be the issue of latency. Since mount control is through USB, you would have to use Virtualbox's USB emulation. Latency would make guide commands lag.

I admit I have not tried to control a mount via Virtualbox but my other interest is electronic music and latency is the killer when trying to control virtual synthesizers via a USB MIDI keyboard.

Back on topic, well done Chris. A most impressive observatory. I am about to embark on my own obsy build. More on this later...

John

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I'm an IT guy, so I know this. But might be useful for others.

Slewing to a new target is probably not a problem if it's delayed a bit but for guiding it might be a problem.

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I've hot had much time for the obsy recently. There's a few other things to do around the house that have priority (says the wife) :D Also, it was her birthday yesterday (a round one) and party preparations for this weekend are in full swing. So I won't have much time for a while yet.

I did, however, use the warm room for a bit of electronics tinkering for an hour here and there. It feels good to wield the soldering iron again after such a long time. ;)

I have also installed my new (used) HEQ5 and connected it up to the obsy PC but will wait for a proper pier adapter before installing the scope. With the much heavier HEQ5 that adapter I have now does not seem to be up to the job. I don't want to risk breaking the scope.

I'm at work now but will upload a few photos tonight.

Oh, and I also ordered bits for motorising the roof. It will be belt driven on both sides of the roof. A 8mm stainless steel rod will be attached to the top of the dividing wall (scope room side) with ball bearings. There will be timing belt pulleys on either side driving a belt along the track over the warm room walls. Another pair of pulleys will be on the other side of the warm room as idler pulleys (is that the right term?). The stainless rod will then be driven by a 12V motor somewhere along its length.

More on that when all the bits have arrived.

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OK, here's a few more pictures

door threshold fixed down and sealed

post-2143-0-98197100-1395775061_thumb.jppost-2143-0-81753000-1395775080_thumb.jp

HEQ5 installed

post-2143-0-64346400-1395775199_thumb.jppost-2143-0-16048200-1395775205_thumb.jp

Piece of ply installed over the door (before/after pictures). there's more of these small bits to do but this has time, will do these during the summer probably.

post-2143-0-44372000-1395775240_thumb.jppost-2143-0-33967400-1395775246_thumb.jp

LED strip lights installed for the electronics corner

post-2143-0-55759000-1395775343_thumb.jppost-2143-0-59287600-1395775349_thumb.jppost-2143-0-37743200-1395775354_thumb.jp

Cleared out and tidied up the scope room a bit. I *need* to get rid of these ply sheets and left-over timber!

post-2143-0-47087800-1395775434_thumb.jppost-2143-0-67163700-1395775439_thumb.jp

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....

Cleared out and tidied up the scope room a bit. I *need* to get rid of these ply sheets and left-over timber!

Idea: Have you considered keeping the sheets and making some rise up 'light pollution - street light' blockers?

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In the scope room use the left over ply to make shelves to go across the corners not very deep but its wasted space and there's never enough space to put dust caps, red torch ect ect....

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I've had that idea regarding the shelves. I'll probably do that but there's way more ply than I could possibly use for shelves in the scope room. I've got to build some shelves somewhere else as well (loft and under stairs storage room), so will use that there.

What I really meant was that I need to get it out of the scope room to some other place... ;-)

But that street light shield is a good idea. There is one light that shines in a bit from quite far away. It will have to be on the outside though, so I need to paint it with something waterproof.

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I just thought I'd post this picture here. This is my man cave in the warm room. No clear nights for a while so lots of soldering has taken place instead... ;-)

post-2143-0-95093600-1397433885_thumb.jp

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I had planned to start motorising the roof today but it's been pouring down all day here. No chance of opening the roof.

So instead I finally installed the ceiling lights in the warm room.

They are red and warm white LED strips.

post-2143-0-68541700-1398012937_thumb.jp

White light on. The white strips branch off to give some extra light over the scope control desk and the area behind that desk.

post-2143-0-05000500-1398012990_thumb.jppost-2143-0-08345200-1398013002_thumb.jp

Red light on

post-2143-0-78485000-1398013079_thumb.jp

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Great lighting Chris :smiley:

Looking back over your very enjoyable build, I've been trying, and failing, to find the details of the V wheels and angle that you used for the rolling roof.

Please can you remind me where you purchased these from?  I've been looking on the web and the only types I can find appear quite costly, but this looks such a great design compared to rubber/nylon castors, that I'm seriously tempted.

thanks

kevin

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Hi Kevin. I knew I had forgotten to mention something... ;-)

The wheels are these:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=161011184587&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160

I used 6 of the 60mm diameter ones.

The rails are two 5metre lengths of 20x20mm steel angle

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=271172322139&ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:GB:3160

Though if I could do it again, I would not use mild steel but pay a bit more and get stainless or maybe aluminium angle (despite the steel wheels).

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Brilliant, thanks Chris.

I haven't been on the astro "scene" much over the last year, so my obsy build sadly stalled before it had even begun.  I'm hoping to pick up where I left off at some point this year (though think it would be tempting fate to make any promises!).

In the meantime, I'm continuing to collect ideas awaiting the big day when I finally break ground.

This has of course allowed me to see your build through to completion, and it's righht up there with the best of 'em. I'll apologise in advance, as I'm sure I'll be pinching more than a few of your ideas, so thanks for providing loads of inspiration.

Kevin

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Hi yesyes,

Really enjoyed reading this thread, if you ever need a job you can come build me one!

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another update...

Today my new pier adaptor arrived, another masterpiece from Gary1968.

Now I can finally mount my scope properly and start aligning everything.

post-2143-0-23183500-1399407074_thumb.jppost-2143-0-83849200-1399407087_thumb.jppost-2143-0-30931600-1399407100_thumb.jp

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