Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
I would like to share my design of a smart barn door tracker. It is a simple to build isosceles barn door tracker with tangent error correction through a Arduino micro-controller. I have shared all the details about the tracker including the mechanical design, electrical circuit and the software source code here:
If you are interested in the math and other details about a barn door tracker, more details are there in the blog. Also find an online calculator which helps in calculating various parameters while designing a barn door tracker. The blog is here:
M46 and M47 shot with this tracker.
135mm lens, ISO800, 15sec X 200 subs (50 minutes) exposure. Cannon 500D.
Comments and suggestions most welcome!
Decided to put cooling fans on my newtonians a 200pds and a 130pds ,used a 120mm on the 200 and a 80mm on the 130pds ,i used, Be Quite silent Wings2 fans they use rifle bearings and are so quite German made, i did the 200 first and was impressed with this make so ordered the same make for the 130 pds it comes with a lead with four wires but only needed neg ang pos so snipped other two out , made a disc from plastic and cut out around collimation screws on primary then used velcro to attach to OTA fitted a 2.1mm dc socket on to the disc then bought a usb lead to 2.1mm barrel though i may fit another 2.1mm socket on my power box and use 12v either way it works ,i used a dimmer on the 200pds but it doesnt need it and wouldn't use it again but its fitted now so will leave in place.
I want to display FWHM values on a homemade focuser handset over USB from either BYN or Metaguide.
Does anyone know if these programs even output their data, and can it be obtained?
I have an arduino, and access to some good programmers thankfully.
I bought an Opticstar 2" Manual Filter Wheel and the plan is to stick an arduino controlled stepper motor on the wheel perimeter to turn it. Magnets and hall effect switches will be used to keep track of the position and which filter is active. The mechanical design is done using the open source apps LibreCAD and FreeCAD. G-code for my CNC mill is produced using HeeksCAD and the mill itself is controlled by LinuxCNC. Electronic design is done using the awesome KiCad which recently has had a massive boost by the propeller heads at CERN.
The mechanics is almost done. Still need to etch the PCB and put it together before the real fun begins writing the firmware
Imaging season is still a few weeks away up here, but I've started dusting of my gear and upgrading some parts.
One step closer to automation is a motor focuser, and I opted for a budget solution. I bought a SkyWatcher DC focuser and built a computer control for it. Since I use INDI for my automation, I had to find a way to connect the focuser to indiserver. A first thought was to use the INDIduino code, but after some coding and testing I found out that this code is very limited and not really supported by indi clients. The Ekos/Kstars focus module can't be used for focus control if you use INDIduino, apparently.
But then I stumbled upon an Arduino solution that emulates the MoonLite focuser (http://www.indilib.org/forum/general/283-moonlite-focuser-protocol.html). Unfortunately, this protocol is for a focuser with a stepper motor, whereas the SkyWatcher has a geared DC motor.
I had already rewritten some code from stepper to (geared) DC motor, so it was easy to adapt this to the MoonLite based code.
My solution consists of the following:
- SkyWatcher DC focuser (only the motor is used, the handbox is replaced by the Arduino)
- Arduino UNO
- Velleman motor controller shield for Arduino
- 9 V power adapter to power the shield
- Raspberry Pi
- Arduino sketch with Geared Motor library (see below for link)
- INDI server on RPi, and client (Ekos/Kstars) on Windows
I've tested this setup on my SkyWatcher Explorer 150PDS and it runs fine. Unfortunately I haven't been able to test the autofocus, due to absence of astrodarkness and clear skies.
Since a DC focuser has no knowledge about the position of the actual focuser, the software assumes that position '0' is all the way in. Maximum position is 25000 for my setup. By default, focus is increased by 100 steps, which is supposed to be 100 ms of motor drive.
BTW, the code is in my GitHub repository: