Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_30_second_exp_2_winners.thumb.jpg.b5430b40547c40d344fd4493776ab99f.jpg

Gonzo

a remote unmanned pico observatory

Recommended Posts

This sounds right and I had the same issue with my 80mm ES refractor before I purchased some extension tubes. I believe you can put the camera in the diagonal to see if focus can then be achieved which would confirm it's a spacing issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have the diagonal with me here, it doesn't matter too much as I will take the scope back home.

I will however give it another try tonight, maybe I wasn't patient enough and the focuser tube needs to go out a few more millimetres.

In the mean time, I've finished the first draft of my micro switches script.

root@heidenrod-obs:/Astro/obs-dev/gpio# more monitor_gpio.sh #!/bin/bash while true;do #   roof_sensorLeft=$(gpio read 10)#   root_sensorRight=$(gpio read 6)#   roof_sensorBack=$(gpio read 5)#   rain_sensor=$(gpio read 4)       if [ $(gpio read 10) = '1' ]; then        echo "open" > /dev/shm/rLelseecho "close" > /dev/shm/rL      fi      if [ $(gpio read 6) = '1' ]; then        echo "open" > /dev/shm/rR        else        echo "close" > /dev/shm/rR      fi      if [ $(gpio read 5) = '1' ]; then        echo "open" > /dev/shm/rB        else        echo "close" > /dev/shm/rB      fi      if [ $(gpio read 4) = '0' ]; then         echo "rain" > /dev/shm/rain        else        echo "dry" > /dev/shm/rain      fi sleep 1doneroot@heidenrod-obs:/Astro/obs-dev/gpio#

It reads the GPIO's and dump the data in memory (/dev/shm/) instead of writing to the disk.

The above script is a quick draft, it will get changed.

Edited by Gonzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Planning to setup an indoor weather box to check the box temperature and humidity, this will allow me to open up the lid slightly if needed.

I will also add a anemometer outside the box, today it's a little bit windy, not much but I thought that I might need one comes this winter. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I have left my "all-sky-camera/weather station box" power supply at home, I can't operate the observatory without it really. I don't want just to rely on the rain sensor.

Also, I need to sort out this focus thing, the focuser tube is almost all out, I don't think this is right.

I'm taking the scope/ccd/wheel combo back home, I will fix this focus issue.

Also need to build that usb arduino dew heater I saw in the DIY section (http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/225528-arduino-dew-controller-feature-rich/)

Need to also setup the anemometer.

So far, I would say that the remote observatory is a success.

Having polar aligned the mount, used the scope, ran my scripts, took a 5min unguided image ,I think it's good for now.

One thing is for sure, it's not like the stars are going away anytime soon.... ;)

so a few more weeks before going 100% live is not going to make  any difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi  Gonzo

I have just successfully breadboarded a weather station (the meteostation described on the indilib website) and am looking to build a housing.  I have not, however, found enough detail in SGL about how 

one should mount the IR sensor, to ensure that it is rain-proofed.  How have you managed this? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

In the following post, you will find some pictures of my weather box ~ all-sky-camera

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/121275-diy-all-sky-cam/page-11#entry2377427

However, here's an updated picture for you:

post-16663-0-74310700-1448656507.jpg

You can see the IR sensor, bottom left. Where the blue line is, it's where the clear dome seats.

No, it's not protected from the rain, I don't think it matters to be honest.

I'm struggling with the box, not air tight (the dome, I have a post about it somewhere here).

It's still at home here in the UK as I have been mega busy recently, too busy to play with the observatory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NGC_188_original.jpg

NGC_188.jpeg
http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/1013104#annotated
Taken with a 314L+ , single 10sec exposure.

It might not be much to look at but this is my first picture, taken from the remote observatory in Germany and 100% remotely controlled from HQ here in the UK.

There is still tons to do, as in for example alignment... I've sent the telescope to polaris and got NGC188 instead (close but not what I wanted)... lol

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations.  When I started following this thread last summer, I was in the process of building my completely manned (and womanned) observatory.  It is now built.  Nevertheless I am constantly tinkering with it.  I have nothing but admiration for those who have been able to set things up to work remotely.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You must have some serious patience with astronomy, now that my system is up and running (minus the weather box), the weather forecast for the next week is utter Rubbish!!!!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Gonzo said:

You must have some serious patience with astronomy, now that my system is up and running (minus the weather box), the weather forecast for the next week is utter Rubbish!!!!!!

I think the expression that gets used is 'character-building'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night was a no moon/no cloud one so I took the opportunity to do more live testing with Ekos.

I took a single shot of M52
M52.jpeg 

http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/1028277#annotated

Now, to get to this point, the telescope wasn't pointing in the right direction (see above in this thread) so I used the solve (local as astrometry.net wasn't playing balls) and sync. done that quite a few times.
Slewed the telescope from Polaris to M52 back and forth with the odd random location, and every time I got Polaris and M52 nicely in the centre.

I have to say that I'm getting more comfortable with it, still I have the "what if" something has gone wrong before I close the lid....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that summer has gone... and that the nights are getting darker and longer, it is time to revive the observatory... so here I am in Germany on holidays at my remote box location.

Had to remove all the cobwebs... also found out that my box somehow got knocked off slightly... so the alignment isn't quite where I left it last time I was here...

An issue that I meant to fix last time, the camera is slightly hitting the second linear actuator when the mount slew to a certain position.. ouch, no damages but still... not good.

And the most annoying part of my remote observatory, is that my HEQ5 home position got reset... doh, so I need to deal with that again (it was balls last time to do it).... grrrrrrr.

 

In the mean time, I'm playing with my Star Adventurer on the balcony, this thing is ace, it takes less than 5 min to polar align and off I go take some 5 min subs with minimum star trailing.

Done a visual polar alignment and not using the polar tool from Themos as I wanted a super quick up and running system.

 

Regarding my remote observatory, if anyone is thinking of building one, not talking here of one in your back garden...  but one 100's of miles away from home.... think again as it is not easy at all. I'm considering redesigning the all box as I can see why I'm getting frustrated with a few things.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gonzo.

Inspired when I read this thread last winter, and wanting a fixed polaraligned scope that is up and running in minutes I started building my remote observatory in April

I do not think I will test for any robotic operation of it this winter, but start out remote controlling it from the remote location on LAN, and then start using it from my appartment. Mine is not 100's of miles avay, more like 35, so it will be easier for me to visit the location if something have to be serviced manually.

I'm at the moment in final build stage and have done a 100% systemscheck remotely from my appartment. The observatory is being buildt in my parrents garage, but this or next weekend I hope to install it outdoors.

Hope you get everything up and running again. would really like to see some imaging projects from your obsy.

Magnus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Magnus, 

nice to see you're using Indi, your box design looks similar to mine. Don't make the same mistake as me, don't build the box too small as I've now find out after several uses that it is indeed too small (not much room to swing the telescope inside....). I also have a custom Indi driver to control the two linear actuators, relays.

I'm going to tackle the issue I've highlighted in my previous post and do another polar alignment.

As I do not have my hand controller, I cannot set the home position correctly so that will be done in winter when I'm back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

INDI is the best :) Have been doing a lot of simulated observations with the ccd and guider simulated controlling my mount, roof, power and focuser, so I'm getting wery confident that it will work.

Before I started the build I did a lot of testing mounting all the equiptment next to a wall, slewing the mount manually to see where it will hit and where the outer radius was. So I have 5cm on each side to the 2x4" that is supporting the actuators. The inside box 'opening' of my obsy is 1m^3, so it's cuite big to be a mini observatory. The point that sticks the furthest out from the center is the front thumbscrew on my Mini guidescope, so hopefully I will have room for a ccd upgrade when time comes for that.

I wanted to desgn everything so the viewing would not be hinered by the walls, so my pier is high enough that the scope has a clear view to the horizon, making the roof a small box to house the scope in park position. Hope I have not been to brave. If the roof closes without the mount being parked it will be chrushed with a force of ~120Kg from the actuators + the weight of the roof. One reson to do some real life testing when I'm at the remote site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do like your version a lot, it's like mine but with lots of nice improvements :D:D:D:D.

Actually, I'm going to take my system back home in the UK and re-build the box from scratch. My current box has quite a few issues which I'm not happy with.

Thinking of a wooden base and main structure but aluminium walls. Reason is that the wood panels I've used have shrunk a little bit, and would have needed more weather protection varnish.

One thing to note, is that the box does not suffer from any dew, moisture, water at all. This is all due to a good ventilation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gonzo.

I am going to release the CAD for my build soon. Perhaps you can improve on the improvements :) Just have to update som mesurements with some changes I had to mak while putting it all together.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have now taken down the observatory, the box has been entirely recycled. I'm going to move on onto something ever so slightly different (keeping this under wrap for the time being), just a hint... "Widefield Imaging", still at the same location...

Learnt quite a lot from it and amazed to see a few people were inspired by it, it is a huge challenge to run such compact obs 100's of miles away I can tell you that. But it's not impossible, in fact astronomy with Linux is easy now and there is a growing community with great support (you can break free from Windows....)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting :)  I plan to change over to Linux/INDI/KStars.  What capture software are you using for long exposures?  And what sort of computer?  I'm thinking of Raspberry Pi 3 - probably more than one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Gina said:

Very interesting :)  I plan to change over to Linux/INDI/KStars.  What capture software are you using for long exposures?  And what sort of computer?  I'm thinking of Raspberry Pi 3 - probably more than one.

Hi Gina,

Apart from my own bash script to open/close the box and turn on the power on the devices, I do everything from the Ekos VM http://www.indilib.org/download/virtual-machines.html (well, I have my own indi driver for the box, but I prefer my script).

Ekos/Kstars has everything you need build in, from taking pictures, moving the mount, weather, focuser, guiding, etc.... It's in constant development, I'm Gonzothegreat on the indi forum at http://www.indilib.org/forum.html

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mean it has built-in image capture?  Capable of doing an imaging run of say 100 subs of 120s?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can sequence several exposiures. So you can have one seq with let's say 10 120sec exposiures, followed by 5 60sec exposiures, aso.

You can even use Ekos sheduler to shedule robotic observations. So at first astronomical twilight or at a given date and time, then unpark dome, unpark mount, slew to and track target, plate-solve, start guiding, then complete imaging sequence, then park everything up.

Should only be used when you know parking of mount and dome works 100%, or you 'close the circut' by adding sensors that confirm successfull praking, etc..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.