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My attempts at SID monitoring have been languishing for a while due to radio problems, though I have been getting to grips with Arduino and even had a go at building my own.
In order to move things along I went to the UKRAA stand at Astrofest and bought the VLF radio kit, their signal generator and the 15V power supply.
Last weekend I soldered the board. It wasn’t too difficult following their instructions which are pretty clear. The only fiddly bit was soldering on an SMD capacitor but they also give you a through-hole one as well. Initial tests suggest it is working but I will have a better idea when it is all connected.
This weekend I have been working on the housing and hopefully tomorrow get the leads soldered. From left to right will be led power, 15V in, 15V out, antenna in, then analogue -ve and +ve (can be 5V or 2.5V).
I am building it as-is, so the first iteration will have the radio running off mains power and in turn the radio will power the Arduino. That seems a bit backwards but I would just like to get logging data. For the time being it will write to an SD card, but the Arduino MKR 1010 looks rather good and comes with WiFi and encryption.
That though, is a long way off..! Anyway, this shows progress so far.
I recently posted my design for a weather station in this section.
As I had bought several pressure/humidity sensors, as well as ir temperature sensors and ESP32 development boards, I wondered how small a weather monitor could get. The sensors are quite small, and so is the micro controller. Such a weather monitor wouldn't incorporate wind speed measurement nor a rain detector, since these take up more space. But otoh, there is seldom rain without clouds, so if you detect clouds, you should be safe.
Here it is, a miniature (9.8 x 5.9 x 2.7 cm) weather monitor. The device has built in wifi, is powered from a micro usb contact and is compatible with the INDI Weather Watcher driver.
(the mat underneath has a 1 inch grid pattern)
plastic box 9.8 x 5.8 x 2.7 cm a piece of V-board, in my case with copper islands rather than strips ESP32 development board with male headers MLX90614 ir temperature sensor with I2C interface BME280 environmental sensor with I2C interface micro usb cable and power adapter, or a powerbank for wireless operation Assembly is really easy and involves drilling a hole in the box, soldering the components in place and wiring to the ESP.
The finished monitor in place. As this is a box with a click lid, I used silicone to seal it. The holes on the sides and bottom are drilled at an angle to keep rain out.
As I built it, the electronics will heat the BME slightly, and because it is mounted inside the casing, it will be slow to reach ambient temperature should this change abruptly. Adding more holes near the ESP would take the inside temperature down. Otoh, temperature readings don't have to be that accurate, and you could use the MLX ambient reading for more accuracy.
Here's the INDI control panel for the weather monitor
(Wind and rain are simulated, because I was testing the driver when I took the screen shot)
Here is how it looks in Ekos scheduler. The red marker indicates that weather conditions are bad. In this case clouds = 100 %. If the tickbox next to "Weather" is checked, Ekos will allow weather conditions to control an imaging sequence.
And in the ROR driver
(I know it says Dome, but the ROR driver is derived from the dome driver, and it's still under development. Besides, this is the simulator driver.)
The code for the esp is on my github page:
You need the files:
bme280.py mlx90614.py boot.py (replace the ssid and password with your own, or comment/uncomment lines to create an access point) main_mini.py (which you will have to rename to main.py before uploading to the esp board)
For quite some time now I've been working on a small weather station. The idea is to add automation to an obsy I'm building. The weather station as is measures temperature, humidity, pressure and presence of cloud. I also have the components to build a rain detector, but haven't implemented that yet.
First the box:
Made from vent covers and pieces of aluminium
All put together
With sensors. The IR sensor is in the far back (top of the housing) and the BME280 sensor is the free hanging red pcb. The other pcb holds a few pull-up resistors and a capacitor for the I2C wires. Insulation added to keep critters out.
First I thought of using an Arduino to control and collect the data, but recently I started tinkering with ESP32 wifi boards. These are a lot faster and have more memory than Arduinos, and I wanted to use microPython.
The ESP32 board is also smaller than an Arduino UNO (about the size of an Arduino nano) and has built in wifi, which means I just need power to the device.
I uploaded the code to GitHub
Output is as a HTML file (index.html) which presents data in a simple way. The INDI driver 'Weather Watcher' can read this file.
For now, temperature is mapped to temperature (of course), and 'clouds' is mapped to 'forecast/Weather' in INDI. 'Clouds' is a parameter that varies from 0 to 1. I used the same criteria as the AAG Cloud Watcher device: if sky temperature is less than -8 degrees, the sky is assumed cloud free. For a sky temperature between -8 and 0 degrees, there is partial cloud, and for a sky temperature higher than 0 degrees, the sky is overcast. This seems very arbitrary, and I expect to have to adjust this piece of code later.
The weather station now also reads and reports the SQM values from my wifi-SQM. 😋 See further down this thread for details.
Can anyone identify which control box this is? Is it focusmaster? And does it run off robofocus driver in Indi lib as I cannot get a successful connection (in indi within ekos)
I bought a robofocus motor with this control box second hand.
I have faith with seller that hardware works as should.
I've tried other cables and USB ports too. The software (k stars) I use does do port search when connecting equipment..
Any help appreciated
I am selling my Moonlite installation kit for 8" newtonian focuser as shown here
The installation kit was fitted on my 8" dobson in Italy and used very little (it is essentially new). I no longer need it as the focuser now sits on my 12" dob.
New £58, my price: £40 (including RM 1st class signed-for). PayPal (pay as a friend) or direct bank transfer.
Also advertised on ABS.
Thanks for looking,