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DIYASTRO

quad multi lens imaging camera

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That's outstanding Boyd, neat and tidy, hope you have a nice spot for it when you move.

+ 1

Stunning build. Wish I had skills like yours.

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IT's a pleasure to see nicely laid out veroboard Boyd.

I'm with you 100% on forks, why did GEMs ever take off, forks are so much more elegant, here's mine:

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BTW, that would carry a quad 8 inch array.

Keep up the good work

Huw

I intend to build a fork mount for my widefield imaging rig (3 Asahi SLR lenses and 3 Atik 460EX CCD cameras).  I'm not really a fan of GEMs either.  At least not as applies to astronomy - pretty stones OTOH oooh yesss - luv 'em :)

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+ 1

Stunning build. Wish I had skills like yours.

  :grin:  Maybe a bigger reprap Gina.

On the other hand it is possible to cut aluminium on a band saw and finish the edges off with a router. Routers can follow straight edges or even wooden patterns. My brother works for an aerospace company and they needed some large aluminium discs so they mounted a router on a trammel. I've had no need yet but tried routing the edge of some 6mm plate. Looks feasible to me given smaller cuts than people might take in wood, slower feeds seemed to be the main thing.

John

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Been a few days since I posted, but I assure you I have been busy! My advice, don't move house!

Firstly very many thanks to Xplode , Pan Euro , Gina and Ajohn for the likes posts, I find that very encouraging so thanks.

special thanks to Horwig! WOW Hue, what a wonderful fork mount! Its not very often that I get that twinge of envy but that set up you posted is quite remarkable! It would indeed take the 'ultimate' multi camera set up maybe even a four 10" mirror system with care over design and weight factors, absolutely gorgeous.

I have been working on various designs for the control console and have 'nearly' decided on the one that I am now posting a couple of pics of. 

At the moment just a mock up of what I want to build so its just MDF shapes glued together, but it demonstrates the ideas.

The Quad image processor is the grey unit centre bottom, above that the white 'panel' will be for the mount  controls .  The two black left / right control panels I have described earlier for focus and camera control.

The plain Perspex panel on the right is for the controls for the PWM heat / dew bands for the five lenses.

The Toshiba notebook is for the PHD guiding, still cannot decide either loadstar / qhyii with pc or stand alone system for guiding. The large flat screen is for the four camera images via the quad processor . 

So, still lots to do and unless someone comes forward with advice or suggestions by which I can make this more efficient (which is always welcome)  I will plod on and try and get something finished so as to enable control of the rig and get some test images....Wish me luck!

Boyd

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awesome peice of kit and dedication...did anybody else hear the thunderbirds tune in their head when viewing above picture?

cracking work and hope it all works as you have hoped for

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Thankyou bogdog!

I have mentioned several times in other threads of mine that as child the Gerry Anderson creations have been a major influence for me! I preferred UFO to all others, perhaps because a few less strings attached to personnel! I work in theatre so understand the strings and actors bit so don't go there!

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I used to watch UFO and I always thought the Gerry & Silvia Anderson creations were very clever :)

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Once again! Thankyou to all who posted likes etc.

So from the vaults of the Gerry Anderson appreciation society!!!!

Finally got some of the console wired up and working!

Having some problems with the 5 meter power cable to switch the cameras on / off. I think I will need to place the regulator within the batt. case since the voltage drop over 5 meters tells the camera to replace the battery

Working at present with normal camera batteries.

Tested the focus controls and they work really well, the quad processor is great. Splits the lcd screen in four and can see the cameras image really well, especially when each camera is selected for whole screen view. More than adequate for focusing purposes.

posting a couple of pics to show the image of screen views etc.

Still heaps to do, including full conversion to goto for the mount and the mount drive electronics / controls which will be where the white panel is located on the console.

So far so good will post more as it develops.

Boyd

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So from the vaults of the Gerry Anderson appreciation society!!!!

Boyd

Hope you haven't designed an uniform to wear whilst piloting the rig Boyd  :grin:

Still a nice rig though.

Huw

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Yes indeed, very impressive :)

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You really need a 5 pin din plug on a stalk to serve a a microphone  :grin: as per thunderbirds if I remember correctly.

John

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post-2084-0-90842100-1428249387.jpgThankyou to those who posted likes and some very welcome comments on my new rig.

Horwig/Huw, definitely no uniform! Always thought that naked was the best disguise!

Ajohn, Plenty of Din plugs and XLR plugs / skts etc but forgot the microphone!

Psychobilly/Peter, very kind of you and received with respect.

Amongst other things.... have been thinking quite a lot about the GOTO drive electronics.

Intend to follow on from other fork mounts that I have made and use the tried and trusted EQ6 motherboard, control paddle /s (Synscan / Syntrek) with the option of plug in to a pc for Ascom / Stellarium.

The centre panel on the console has been organised to support the controls for the fork mount and the Pulse Width Modulation circuits for the dew heater control.

The PWM control has been designated a colour code to match the wiring looms used throughout the construction of all the other electronic circuits. (makes it easy if fault finding is required)

Will try and get finalised on the circuit boards which 'live' under the central panel this week and complete the connections by next weekend.

The 'conversion' for the stepper motors for RA and may take a little while!

posting a couple of pics to show the new control panel fitted to the console.

Boyd

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Have not had too much free time this last few days but have made a little progress with the control board for the fork mount drive RA / Dec (EQ6 motherboard, re-wired) and the Pulse width Modulation circuits for the dew heaters.

The first pic is the circuit board compilation or 'card' which slides in above the Quad video processor and below the dew heater / mount control panel.

All the circuits are basically mounted on a 30 x 44cm acrylic panel giving sufficient electrical insulation from each other and other components.

I chose a 'card' format for ease of fault finding and possible component replacements, easy to access and replace.

The second pic is the 'card' in situ within the console showing the connections for the control panel switches and resistor pots etc, The third pic shows this panel wired up and ready to be lowered into its correct position.

Still not too sure about the guidescope camera!

Have just purchased a QHY5L-II colour camera and may try that, but perhaps since I have gone this far for analogue control for every thing else to try and avoid pc may opt for the stand alone guider. Just wish they were a little less expensive!

All a bit messy at the moment since I have obviously packed all my cable ties!

Hope to get some more of the mount side of the rig done very soon.

Boyd

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"All a bit messy at the moment since I have obviously packed all my cable ties!"

oh yea, I can see that !!  :smiley:

all looks neat to me Boyd, good work again, nice pictures.

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Thanks to Mickj for his humour and post!

Managed to find a few hours today to complete some of the wiring for the main'card' circuitry.

managed to wire up the EQ6 mother board for the RA / Dec stepper motor skt and complete the syntrek control cable connections.

Also found some cable ties so able to make things a bit cleaner!

Fitted the card and control panel to enable tests for the dew heater controls and the stepper motors for the mount drive.

Used 12v halogen lamps for the test on PWM dew control and all working well.

Plugged the EQ6 syntrek into an existing mount to enable RA /Dec test and that is also working nicely.

Just posting a couple of pics to show progress, some may have noticed in previous posts or in the 3rd image in this post that I have also fitted a master key switch to isolate the whole console, prevents unwanted little fingers from messing with it!

Finally, labelled up the dew heater / EQ6 drive panel so that I know what everything is supposed to be doing!

Boyd

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Boyd you're a cruel man!  :)  I just stumbled onto this thread and you've reminded me of a similar project I started several years ago and which life and several

house movings interfered with!  I had purchased 3 500 mm telephoto lenses (80mm dia) (a fourth was on the cards) and was at the stage of considering how to project images onto a 5 x 4 

film plane.  Maybe I should....hmmm.:))

You have another avid watcher! (to keep pricking my conscience about an unfinished project!) :))

michael

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You need a star trek chair to go with it and a make a cover shield (like spock had).. 

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Delay due to house move, which is on going and beset with complications!

Thanks to Ajohn for likes post

Michael.... so sorry! I had this project on back burner for some years also, don't delay with yours... get it started again.

NickK..... not sure about the Spock chair.... have a chair idea to go along with my 'Pod' design but few people have seen the models and I will be subject to psychological scrutiny when I publish !

Whilst waiting for 40foot container for storage of stuff from house to arrive today have been working on the mount modifications.

My fork mounts are mainly Meades... and I have opted universally to modify using EQ6 drive components... they are tried tested and reliable so why not.

the beauty of these are that they have 180 worm gear config for the electronic circuits to maintain tracking capability.

The EQ6 has 180 tooth worm as does the Meade fork mount so all I do is modify the drives on the Meade forks to accommodate the components from EQ6.

Not quite as simple in practice but achievable.

Intend to post updates on the way I do this but for now just a few pics of the strip down procedure and some of the modifications.

Much more to follow!

I will give explanations to pics when time but really self explanatory.

Boyd

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many thanks to Ajohn and Dsidote for the likes posts.

Thanks Horwig / Hue... Life is not complete for big boys without a small collection of hammers! Mine come in really useful for those circuit boards that refuse to function regardless of the fact that fault finding reveals no fault, just cheap components!

Just a little progress today... A couple of pick to show the start of the GOTO EQ6 drive for the RA.

First pic is the marking out of the stepper motor retaining plate which is fixed to the Meade worm drive mechanism.

Must say that this is quite important and no room for much in the way of error since the whole tracking system is dependant on a really good accurate meshing of the gears etc.

I have now done so many fork conversions, not all GOTO by the way. Sometimes I simply use the standard EQ6 non GOTO drive motors if it is for a rig that I don't mind initially lining up beforehand. However, since modding three other fork mounts to GOTO capability the frustration of waiting what seems hours for the minimum of movement makes me save pennies and try to buy the upgrade kit!

Second pic is the RA motor plate cut out and machined.

Third pic is the stepper motor cast plate which comes as standard with the up grade kit. The one on the left is how it comes, which is too large for the base housing of the Meade mount so has to be cut down to proportion as in the right pic.

forth and fifth pics are the new motor / worm drive assembly ready to be fitted to the base of the Meade fork mount.

A few fiddle jobs to be done to the base section before it can be fitted and hope to show these ASAP.

Boyd

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Nice one Boyd, one question, how do you cut all the curves in your panels?

Huw

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Hi Hue... Thanks.

The curves are usually cut with an 'abrafile' ... its basically a metal rod treated with diamond similar to a tile cutting saw. Like a small diameter round file that fits a standard hacksaw frame. I then use round, half round files to file up to the line and then use a cylindrical 'drum' sanding abrasive thingy in pillar drill to finish off. takes an age but I like the 'ergonomic' feel. Its not so bad when cutting 3mm thick aluminium as in this case but when its 6 or 10mm thick you know that you have done some work!

 If you have a look at my posts on filter wheels etc you will see that I am keen on asymmetric design!

Boyd

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The 'Fiddle' jobs to be done to the fork base! 

Most Meade fork mounts in my limited experience have a  few casting flaws!

The example I have chosen to demonstrate the modification to GOTO that I do is no exception !

Sorry to repeat a pic, but pic 1 shows the problem of casting flaws just in the wrong place!

I have need to 'bore' a hole and tap it with a large thread just at the point where the top bearing is located on the cone of the fork arm bearing fixture on the base assembly.

The need for this will become apparent soon!

Because of the porosity of the casting I have had to drill slightly off centre so as to avoid the holes and get a good thread. This is an important bit, this is what hold the fork arm assembly to the base so with great care!

Pic 2 shows the 1/2" threaded 'plug' after drilling and tapping the casting and also shows some of the porosity that I described.

Pic 3 shows the front of the base housing drilled with three 16mm diam holes and the connection  skts fitted to take the RA / DEC drive cables and also the cables for the PWM heater Dew control loom / connections.

Pic 4 shows the small section of casting that needs to be removed to allow the brass drive gear from the motor assembly access to be fitted.

Pics 5&6 show the modified motor assembly in place within the base structure.

Hope to show the main worm gear in place within this base section in the next day or so.

Then the DEC modification to the arm.

Boyd

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mmmmmm Transplanting drives as mentioned here got me thinking. I thought it might be complicated getting things square if say 2 angled tubes where used to fabricate each side of the fork but it would be stiff enough looking at the commercial design. Then I thought a one sided "fork" using 3 tubes. Much easier.  :laugh: I have a DP-DX with goto that probably wouldn't sell well as I want to keep the pier. 

Looks like Meade use a gashed worm wheel of the type I mentioned in another thread. Just cut with ordinary cutters at an angle to match the lead angle of the thread on the worm. They might even lap them with a worm for a while as well.

John

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