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pjmaciw

Dob hooked up to SkySafari

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I have just completed a small project to add encoders to my 12" Dob and connect it up using Bluetooth to the SkySafari app running on phone or tablet.  I am amazed how good this setup is.  I managed to move effortlessly from one object to another and have never viewed so many objects in one hour.

I used an Arduino nano  with bluetooth adapter and a couple of cheap encoders from China (£9 each off Ebay) all hooked up with patch wires, so no need to solder.  It fits neatly into a small plastic box and is powered from a small phone battery pack.  The whole build only cost about £50 and has transformed my viewing.  I no longer have to spend ages trying to star hop in light polluted skies where half the stars cannot be seen.

The encodes were the key as other options I looked at used expensive 4000 PPR or 10000 PPR encoders but for visual observing using a Dob I felt this was over kill.  I opted for optical encoders with 600 PPR which, using software to detect each rise and fall on both channels, gives 2400 PPR which is enough for visual.

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Edited by pjmaciw
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The Arduino code is given below.  I take no credit for this as I pasted and modded other examples that I found on the internet to see what worked.  I cannot remember or find the exact sites I found but thank you all.

 

Update - Found it ...... this was the site that got me started - http://vincechanblog.ca/blog/?p=47

 

SkySafariEncoder_v0.3.ino

Edited by pjmaciw
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