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I have an EQ5 telescope mount which i use for astrophotography. I have modified it with a motorised RA axis using a bipolar stepper motor - my thread for the build is here .
I want to expand the mount's tracking ability by motorising the DEC axis and using a guide scope/camera. I generally use the mount in fairly remote locations so would like to use a raspberry Pi for portability.
I understand that I'll need to use a Raspberry Pi Camera Module for the guide camera.
The capability I want is:
1. guide the mount along RA and DEC axes using a guide star as feedback
2. track the mount using the RA axis only, and if possible continuously take 20-30 second exposures on the guide camera (this functionality is optional, but would assist in polar alignment of the mount)
I don't want any GOTO capability. I am very new to RPi and need some help:
- do I need to write code for this, or is there existing programming available for what I want to do?
- is it possible to avoid the use of screens (in the field)? My preferred option would be to flick a switch to start and stop the guiding, with another switch for alignment mode (or something simple like this).
- do I need to use any particular stepper motors/drivers for raspberry Pi? I'm using a bipolar stepper motor running quarter steps, with an A4988 stepper driver
- is the RPi 3 Model B+ the unit I should buy?
Starting my 1st IOT project. Since i've been an astrophotographer with no permanent setup, it makes sense to reduce the physical footprint (and the weight) of as many equipment as possible, as well as to do better cable management. I am soon going to start using Astroberry Pi server, an Ubuntu based suite for Astrophotography. Just purchased a Raspberry Pi 3B along with a 3.5" display for that. Lets see how it goes.
Allsky camera and weather station is very important parts of the modern observatory.
Here I wanna describe project that I build for my observatory.
I started a new topic because I believe that this project is unique and I hope this description may be useful because project is open source/open hardware.
This device contains two cameras, one is for beautiful daytime shots (over the horizon) and second for useful night shots. Also there is a lot of sensors: clouds, ir, light, temperature and humidity.
Heart of the device is Raspberry PI 2 microcomputer.
Everything is built in waterproof electrical box which can be found in hardware stores.
Yep this exterior is not very nice looking due to silicone sealant. But nice looking is not most important part, especially when mounting device somewhere on a roof
Acrylic dome is from CCTV camera.
Inside the box I glued a thermal insulation and copper foil which acts like a EMI shield. This foil is connected to the building grounding circuits.
All devices inside the box:
- Raspberry PI 2
- internal temperature/humidity sensor
- powering system (+3.3, +5, +12 volts)
- ethernet lightning protection
- tsl2561 ir/luminosity sensor
- mlx90614 cloud sensor
- cooling system
- rtc with a back-up baterry
External temperature/humidity sensor is mounted in separate aluminium can.
Cameras module is mounted on the bronze pcb stands and will be described below.
Raspberry PI runs all device software except database and long-time storage of the images.
Camera can be accessed through simple web interface which running on nginx server.
All data collecting and generation software is wrote on C, Python and Bash.
All processes is starting by the CRON.
Database is working on the remote server with reliable storage system and can be accessed through network. I'm using Mysql in this project.
I found that this solution is more reliable and convenient rather than local storage on the SD card.
All images are postprocessed by the software. Dark frames is extracted (only for night camera) and generated some text information on the bottom of the image.
With March about to pass without a single image being taken my mind has turned to wire reduction and being able to move the OTA and mount further away from the house tethered only by a network cable and mains supply. Because I have a Raspberry Pi3 Model B+ to hand I thought I would try Virtualhere - just to see how far I can get to realising my goal without too much extra spend.
The Virtual Client installed fine on the NUC and I have been able to install the basic usb-server (vhusbdarm) code on the Pi3B+; you can install the specific usb-server code without a licence although when I tried I got an illegal instruction command from the Pi. Nevertheless I persevered with the basic usb-server, connected successfully to the NUC and could see the Atik428ex connected to the Pi. I was all the more encouraged to see that Artemis could also see and use the camera. The resulting image was not so encouraging and I wonder if anyone can tell me the likely cause of the banding on the image. This is a 0.2s exposure using an L filter. The pylon is not that black but the sky colur is pretty accurate!
I did not go so far as to try the mount connection (NEQ6) or guide camera (ASI120MM-S).
Thanks in anticipation of any help.
Got tired of the mess of cables and loose devices I had to always put together and dismantle after each astrophotography session so I figured I'd do something about it. This tray will sit nicely under the tripod and provide a hub for everything including Fused Power, Raspberry Pi, USB Hub, GPS, Dew Heaters, Long Range WiFi etc...
First version will be really crude as I need to have this working in less than a week as I'm going on a holiday taking my astro gear with me.