Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_30_second_exp_2_winners.thumb.jpg.b5430b40547c40d344fd4493776ab99f.jpg

kman42

Help with Raspberry Pi Controlled Telsecope Mount

Recommended Posts

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?

Thanks

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, kman42 said:

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?

Thanks

 

RPi is a small linux based computer, -  you can also install adjusted Windows for it (it was Windows 10 IoT I think).

Linux distros, for example Ubuntu, has free Astro software for guiding  and imaging (available to download), you can Install Ubuntu into any larger USB drive and boot it on your laptop to test the soft with your devices before you buy RPi.

Not sure about RPi windows version... never tried it before.

I guess, there are even Specialized Linux Distros for Astrophotography (with the software pre-installed), - you should be able to install them on USB stick for testing also, but I am almost sure not all of them will work with RPi

 

Edited by RolandKol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S.

Once I had a thought about it also... the time spent on all the learning just for one particular task, - guiding - set me off.

I think,, - the second hand 14" laptop connected to WiFi and controlled via TeamViewer is much simpler/faster/ and probably cheaper solution in total.

Edited by RolandKol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raspberry Pi is quite handy for controlling astronomy hardware. I've been using it for a long time.

This however means switching to linux. If you're ready for this, take a look at KStars/Ekos, INDI and either install all the neccessary components RPi yourself or use ready to use RPi system images, namely Stellarmate or Astroberry Server.

I see some challenges though... First, you use custom solution for driving RA/DEC axis. Nothing that I know would support it out of a box. Second, using Raspberry Pi Camera Module is not supported with astro software I know. And the last but not least, make sure you're ready for a learning curve with linux and new software. It might be frustrating, however I believe it's worthwhile.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RolandKol said:

P.S.

Once I had a thought about it also... the time spent on all the learning just for one particular task, - guiding - set me off.

I think,, - the second hand 14" laptop connected to WiFi and controlled via TeamViewer is much simpler/faster/ and probably cheaper solution in total.

I have considered this,  the laptop route will be about twice as expensive. It is my plan B if I can't get my head around RPi. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, RadekK said:

Raspberry Pi is quite handy for controlling astronomy hardware. I've been using it for a long time.

This however means switching to linux. If you're ready for this, take a look at KStars/Ekos, INDI and either install all the neccessary components RPi yourself or use ready to use RPi system images, namely Stellarmate or Astroberry Server.

I see some challenges though... First, you use custom solution for driving RA/DEC axis. Nothing that I know would support it out of a box. Second, using Raspberry Pi Camera Module is not supported with astro software I know. And the last but not least, make sure you're ready for a learning curve with linux and new software. It might be frustrating, however I believe it's worthwhile.

What won't be supported out of the box?  Having to control DEC axis? 

If astro software isn't supported by the RPi camera module,  can you suggest an alternative camera?  I thought RPi could only support the RPi camera module

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Gina said:

You might find This Blog of some use.

That is helpful, however I'd love to avoid the use of a laptop in addition to the RPi - do you know what would have to change to achieve this? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With INDI on the RPi you can use any camera supported by an INDI driver. Normally USB connected. Since you have DIY mount controller that becomes harder. If it is coded to use LX200 commands then it should be possible to get it to work.

You can certainly run PHD2 on the RPi and you also have several native camera driver options there too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

- 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?

 

1) Nope, you use existing software called INDI. No programming required.

2) You dont need a screen in the field. You leave the raspberry outside with your scope and connect it to your home network somehow (WiFi, or better, network cable). You generally install Kstars (with INDI) on your computer in the warmth of your house, and then use it to connect to over the network to INDI running on the raspberry pi. 

3) look online to see if there is an INDI driver for your focuser hardware (https://www.indilib.org/devices/focusers.html)

4) I use a raspberry pi 3B, not the 3B+. I use Ubuntu Mate as the OS. I think Ubuntu Mate doesnt work "out of box" on the 3B+, but I may be wrong. I think you can get it to work with some extra work, but read about it online first.

 

You will want to follow some kind of tutorial to set up the raspberry pi. It runs Linux based operating systems, which you may not be familiar with (takes a bit of learning!). Enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kman42 said:

What won't be supported out of the box?  Having to control DEC axis? 

If astro software isn't supported by the RPi camera module,  can you suggest an alternative camera?  I thought RPi could only support the RPi camera module

If you plan to use a raspberry pi for telescope control, you will be using INDI, which is the RPi/linux equivalent to ascom. INDIserver is a piece of software thet sits between the hardware drivers and the astronomy software client. On the indilib web site there's a list of all devices that are supported, ie for which hardware drivers exist. The list also contains cameras that are supported. ZWO, QHY, Atik and dslr cameras as well as most other astro cameras are supported out of the box. Btw, the original RPi camera is very limited in capability, and not really suited for AP. Have a look here

https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?topic=10003.0

If you build your own hardware you have two options in order to get communication between your solution and your client going. 1. You build your own hardware driver. 2. You build your hardware such that it is compatible with an existing driver. Eg. there are several diy autofocusers that are based on an arduino microcontroller and that use the moonlite communications protocol. These hardware solutions can then use the Moonlite autofocus driver that comes with INDI.

If you use your own ra and dec motors, you need software that can translate indi commands (track, slew, etc) to actual motor movements. Easiest is probably option 2. where you use an arduino to do this translation, because even if you write your own driver, you still need a micro controller based motor driver (from your other thread I can see that you already have an arduino nano for this). And existing drivers (eqmod, celestron, etc) already have a mature functionality.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kman42 said:

What won't be supported out of the box?  Having to control DEC axis?

As already discussed - controlling stepper motors and integrating it with any star map (KStars, Cartes du Ciel etc.) requires compatible software/driver for slewing, tracking etc. Unless you plan to point to an object manually and only manage sidereal speed in RA. This can be easily achieved. However, it get really complicated when considering guiding of such a setup. As @wimvb already stated, I would go for building hardware which is compatible with existing software.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, RadekK said:

As @wimvb already stated, I would go for building hardware which is compatible with existing software.

This is what I plan to do if/when I build my DIY mount for widefield imaging.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the help. After further research I will shrink my project a little to achieve high accuracy at low cost. To this end I will discard DEC control as I have heard they are hard to get accurate tracking when motorised. Instead I will use drift alignment and only guide for sidereal movement. 

To clarify, I will not be doing this in my backyard. Typically I shoot at dark sky sites in Australia,  so will be in the field with my gear. For this reason I don't need autofocus or wireless communication. I was steering away from laptops because of the battery life limitation but I am swinging back around now after what you guys are suggesting. 

It sounds like my Arduino Nano will be sufficient if I am only controlling RA movement. So my setup will be:

1. Stepper motor and driver moves mount

2. Arduino Nano controls motor

3. RPi or computer gives commands to arduino

4. Guide Camera feeds to RPi/computer

Laptop sounds straightforward - my only question is how does my Arduino talk to my laptop? 

I am still interested in the RPi for portability. What would be involved in such a setup using a RPi? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An arduino like the Uno or Pro Micro has usb capability built in. If you start with one of the autofocuser projects that I already mentioned, you can just replace the focus commands (that drive a stepper motor) with the appropriate mount commands. Skywatcher have published their synscan command protocol in the synscan manual. The arduino in essence emulates a synscan hand controller. You just ignore all commands that target the dec motor driver. Or you can make the arduino emulate the motor control board so that you can drive it with the indi eqmod driver. It shouldn't be too much of a problem to make this work.

In stead of a laptop, you can use a raspberry pi which you control with vnc from a tablet, or a laptop inside your car/house/tent/etc. But you won't need a laptop near your mount.

Edited by wimvb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, kman42 said:

Thanks for all the help. After further research I will shrink my project a little to achieve high accuracy at low cost. To this end I will discard DEC control as I have heard they are hard to get accurate tracking when motorised. Instead I will use drift alignment and only guide for sidereal movement. 

To clarify, I will not be doing this in my backyard. Typically I shoot at dark sky sites in Australia,  so will be in the field with my gear. For this reason I don't need autofocus or wireless communication. I was steering away from laptops because of the battery life limitation but I am swinging back around now after what you guys are suggesting. 

It sounds like my Arduino Nano will be sufficient if I am only controlling RA movement. So my setup will be:

1. Stepper motor and driver moves mount

2. Arduino Nano controls motor

3. RPi or computer gives commands to arduino

4. Guide Camera feeds to RPi/computer

Laptop sounds straightforward - my only question is how does my Arduino talk to my laptop? 

I am still interested in the RPi for portability. What would be involved in such a setup using a RPi? 

If you ask even such a basic questions, I would not jump into guiding system straight...
Try a simple autofocuser first.. There are several DIY autofocusers projects using arduino and stepper motors online.

Just keep in mind, if you will decide to go Arduino + Rpi and 100% DIY and not to use any of OpenSource pre-built software and drivers, -  you will need:

1) Learn coding Arduino  (to create Arduino code to control Motor)

2) Learn coding Linux (to Create Linux Soft and Drivers  to Control Arduino device)

Even simple focuser becomes, Not completely simple. 

If you have got coding knowledge/Experience, - possible.

Otherwise, - it will take ages to learn two different coding languages/systems, - and I doubt you will built something reliable

Edited by RolandKol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use the intermediate Arduino but a HAT on the RPi with A4988 stepper driver module plugged into that.   The A4988 is driven from GPIO lines of the RPi directly.  A HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) is a PCB with a connector that plugs onto the GPIO pins of the RPi with either a stripboard for your own circuitry which I use or other electronic components with a variety of functions.  The stripboard version brings out all available GPIO lines to convenient solder rings plus the +5v and +3.3v power lines and data Ground.

This photo shows the HAT board plugged onto the RPi with a modified mini stepper motor used for remote focussing.  The HAT also has a power MOSFET for controlling a dew heater and provides a convenient place to mount a buck converter to drop my 12v observatory power supply to 5.1v for the RPi.  Firmware in the RPi micro SD card includes INDI drivers including the Astroberry Focuser (modified slightly for controlling the A4988).

Electronics.JPG

Edited by Gina
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎06‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 12:57, RolandKol said:

RPi is a small linux based computer, -  you can also install adjusted Windows for it (it was Windows 10 IoT I think).

Not sure about RPi windows version... never tried it before.

I tried to use the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ for a SkyAlert system using Windows 10 IoT however it appears you cannot install any .exe files on it so I would stray away from it unless you know how to code the programs properly. I have zero coding experience 😛

Edited by stardude07

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick with Ubuntu Mate on the RPi and run INDI drivers and control system on it, then KStars/Ekos on your indoor computer and you have easy and free (except for the hardware) remote control of mount, EFW, focussing and imaging camera plus anything else you want to control such as a dew heater or roll-off-roof or dome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/02/2019 at 10:54, Gina said:

I don't use the intermediate Arduino but a HAT on the RPi with A4988 stepper driver module plugged into that.   The A4988 is driven from GPIO lines of the RPi directly.  A HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) is a PCB with a connector that plugs onto the GPIO pins of the RPi with either a stripboard for your own circuitry which I use or other electronic components with a variety of functions.  The stripboard version brings out all available GPIO lines to convenient solder rings plus the +5v and +3.3v power lines and data Ground.

This photo shows the HAT board plugged onto the RPi with a modified mini stepper motor used for remote focussing.  The HAT also has a power MOSFET for controlling a dew heater and provides a convenient place to mount a buck converter to drop my 12v observatory power supply to 5.1v for the RPi.  Firmware in the RPi micro SD card includes INDI drivers including the Astroberry Focuser (modified slightly for controlling the A4988).

Electronics.JPG

That would make a more compact setup than RPi + Arduino with less cables to worry about, but would require coding in Python or similar, afaIk. With this solution there is a small risk that a bug in the motor code can cripple the whole setup. Using an Arduino and having a similar bug would most likely only result in unresponsive piece of hardware. There are advantages and disadvantages with either solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the code is in the INDI driver and written in C++.  It works well.  Yes, I'm well familiar with the C++ language.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/06/2019 at 22:38, Gina said:

All the code is in the INDI driver and written in C++

But also has python API (converted using can't remember 🙂 ) and has straight forward scripting language DBUS API. Examples of which on the Indi site.

BUT IMO dont bother just use one of the existing drivers (e.g. Moonlite focuser ) and just make you RPI or Arduino talk the same protocol and connect using Serial/UDP or TCP even though its on the same RPI device - you can always then split things up easily and dont have to support your own coding.

Hell you can even use Node.js Node-red to access/control most, if not all, Indi devices via the Indiserver over TCP or UDP or Serial if you don't like the integrated Ekos/Kstars method. 

There are pro's and con's to using remote PC using Kstars/Ekos connected to Indiserver on a RPI and the alternative is just run it all on the RPI with local devices (Arduino or Distributed Indi set up) and just Remote Desktop. As always it depends on the kit and RPI know limitations (USB2/share Ethernet).

I tend to bend towards Wimvb design and comments about using a RPI and HAT VS Arduino but agree its neat.

Just my opinion - good luck which ever route you use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By MalVeauX
      Hey all,
      I made an acquisition and processing tutorial a while back (3 years ago? Yikes!) and it is fairly dated in terms of what I'm doing these days. I've been asked for a long time to make a new one showing what I'm doing these days. Specifically how I'm processing a single shot image for both the surface and prominences and how to process them together to show prominences and the surface at once. I've abandoned doing split images and composites and strictly work from one image using layers. Acquisition does not use gamma at all anymore. Nothing terribly fancy, but it's not exactly intuitive so hopefully this new video will illustrate most of the fundamentals to get you started. Instead of an hour, this time it's only 18 minutes. It's real time from start to finish. I'm sorry for the long "waiting periods" where I'm just waiting for the software to finish its routine, it lasts 1.5 minutes and 30 seconds tops typically at first. The first 4 minutes is literally just stacking & alignment in AS!3. I typically will go faster than this, but wanted to slow down enough to try to talk through what I'm doing as I do it. Hopefully you can see each action on the screen. I may have made a few mistakes or said a few incorrect things or terms, forgive me for that, this is not my day job. I really hope it helps folk get more into processing as its not difficult or intimidating when you see a simple process with only a few things that are used. The key is good data to begin with and a good exposure value. Today's data came from a 100mm F10 achromatic refractor and an ASI290MM camera with an HA filter. I used FireCapture to acquire the data with a defocused flat frame. No gamma is used. I target anywhere from 65% to 72% histogram fill. That's it! The processing is fast and simple. I have a few presets that I use, but they are all defaults in Photoshop. A lot of the numbers I use for parameters are based on image scale, so keep that in mind, experiment with your own values. The only preset I use that is not a default is my coloring scheme. I color with levels in Photoshop, and my values are Red: 1.6, Green 0.8, Blue 0.2 (these are mid-point values).
      Processing Tutorial Video (18 minutes):
      https://youtu.be/RJvJEoVS0oU
      RAW (.TIF) files available here to practice on (the same images you will see below as RAW TIFs):
      https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zjeoux7YPZpGjlRGtX6fH7CH2PhB-dzv
      Video for Acquisition, Focus, Flat Calibration and Exposure (20 minutes):
      (Please let me know if any links do not work)
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Results from today using this work flow method.
      Colored:




      B&W:




      SSM data (sampled during 1.5~2 arc-second seeing conditions):

      Equipment for today:
      100mm F10 Frac (Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 masked to 4")
      Baader Red CCD-IR Block Filter (ERF)
      PST etalon + BF10mm
      ASI290MM
      SSM (for fun, no automation)


      Very best,
       
    • By Andy_ZH
      Hello all,
       
      this is my first post at SGL, and it will be quite long. I am not native a English speaker, so please excuse any mistake.
       
      I have quite some plan with my telescope mount and its goto control, and I am looking for some feedback and comments. If somebody else did a similar project, please let me know. And please feel free and encouraged to make suggestions, ideas, critics, etc.
      The story in a few buzzwords: Raspberry Pi Zero → direct control of TMC2209 stepper drivers via the Pi's Uart serial interface to drive my telescope mount. I am writing a software (optionally: open source?) to control the mount. The language will NOT be C, as typically used for Microcontrollers (I know for instance OneStep)
      I am using Kotlin, which is a more advanced JVM language.
       
      I think this should be enough information to filter the readers who are interested in reading the rest of my post.
       
      Now the long and detailed story:
      My professional background: I am a physicist, and did a PhD in EE (Power Electronics). Later, I became software engineer. Besides being fascinated by Astronomy, I am a tinkerer (Reprap 3D printer, electronics, …). I did grind my first mirror (a 6'' Schiefspiegler) when I was 15 years old, and I built the cookbook CCD cameras in the 90's.
      After many years without a telescope (study time, relationship, ... ), I settled down with my family, and I started to get back to Astronomy.
      Recently, I did by a quite a massive second hand mount: the “Vixen New Atlux” from another other stargazer in Switzerland. My opinion is that the New Atlux' mechanical design is superb. It has (had...) internal wiring, the counterweight bar can be hidden in the mount for transport, good polar alignment screws, it has an excellent polar finder with a dimmable LED.
      But on the other hand the electronics: two weak servo motors in combination with the incredible Starbook 5.... Seigh... the starbook...(!) it is, well... the mount is just superb, and no more comments about the starbook game boy, which shall rest in peace at the garbage dump.
      I removed the servos and all electronics, and I put 2 stepper motors into the mount, which are coupled to the gear with a timed belt. My original plan was to put an Arduino into the mount in order to control the steppers. I have an old goto Celestron cg-5 with Starsense, and it would have been quite easy to mimic - with the Arduino as interface – the servos of the old cg-5 and translate the Starsense control signals to my New Atlux. I can write C, and there is even an open source project called OneStep, which uses a Microcontroller in a similar way as I do.
      But I don't like to write C code anymore. In the 3D printer community, people need to use real time electronics to control the printer steppers. Due to the real time requirement, C with a real time microcontroler (Arduino & similar) are the only option for 3D printers.
      Do we need real time for our telescope? No. We don't need to control a lot of Motor accelerations and high speed control. For the telescope, we need to set the Motors speed precisely, and we need to drive to any position in an accurate and controllable and slow way.
      Then, there are new stepper motor drivers available with as much as 256 microsteps. The TMC2209 stepper driver , which is very well know in the 3D printer community, is not vibrating at all. It runs just smoothly, also at very low speeds. I do drive my motor with 0.25 rpm (sideral speed). In case of a slew, I can accelerate to 1500x sideral speed, which also would allow me easily to track the ISS. Wonderful.
       
      The current status of my project is:
      The mount is equipped with the two new motors The TMC2209 drivers are connected to the Raspberry pi GPIO Interface, and I can control them via Software. Theoretically, I could attach up to 4 motors with a single Uart interface (1 wire protocol). For instance, a focuser or a filter wheel could be attached. I selected Kotlin as language. Java also would have been possible, but I think for a new project, Kotlin will lead to a much more readable code. The TMC drivers can be driven via a chip-internal clock signal. Different to what the 3D printer community is doing (they use the step / dir pins, and create every single microstep with the microcontoller), I can send a “speed” signal from the Raspi via UART to the 2209 chip, and it will execute this speed for me without any further action. The only time critical issue was that I need to precisely count the steps that the 2209 stepper drivers executed. This is done via a GPIO pin, receiving its index signal (a pulse for every 2209 fullstep). Here comes the pain with Linux (non real-time) and the Pi: For user programs, it is impossible to guarantee that every pulse from the stepper drivers will be registered. But I cannot afford to have a step count drift over time. The solution was that I wrote a Linux kernel module in C. I wrote that I don't want to write any C code. Well, a few lines for the kernel module were indeed necessary. I can live with that, having in mind that the rest will be written in Kotlin. The only task of the Kernel module is to count every registered step at the Pi's GPIO input pins. This kernel module output is then mapped to a character device file in /dev/ for every stepper. In Kernel space, it is possible to register and count interrupts without missing even any one of them. From a hardware point of view, this is indeed everything we I need. The project cost so far: 2x10€ for the stepper drivers, 2x10€ for the motors, 2x20€ for the tooth belts and pulley, 10€ Pi Zero plus some peripheral expenses: Micro SD card, USB charger, and 1200 € for the used Vixen new Atlux mount. And a lot of time.
      I have so many ideas on how to extend the ecosystem of my software, but these ideas are for the longer term (maybe years from now on):
      Multi-star alignment. The alignment should be able to be updated continuously during an observation night. With a set of stars, it should be possible to calculate the quality of the aligment points, and e.g. drop them if they are errorneous. PEC correction (should be easy on the Pi) End-Stop support The polar alignment routines of today's goto scopes are quite good. But what I would like to have is some audio-feedback when I move the alignment screws into the right direction. Possibility to pre-plan an observation night (e.g. the mount could tell you that the Jupiter moon shadow will be on Jupiter in a few minutes). Record the telescope movements during the night in order to be able to tag any picture. The TMC drivers have much more capability than what I am using currently. For instance, they could be current controlled for slews in order to set the stepper current exactly to the value that it needs without stalling. This saves a lot of energy. The TMC drivers have a feature called “Stall Guard”. This could be used instead of endstop switches (for 3D-printers, this is done frequently). Advanced options for tracking: siderial, solar, moon speed, ISS speed. Tracking in both axis (e.g. to compensate polar misalignments of atmospheric refraction) or just in right ascension. Commercial mounts do not allow much customization here. With slow slew speeds, 5V input via a USB-C cable is sufficient for the Pi + Motors. Usb-C and newer usb battery packs allow to output a higher voltage via USB. With an “USB-trigger”, the input voltage can be selected to my needs. Higher voltage allows higher slew speeds, but consumes more power. Autoguider support, or even better: simply connect a webcam via the Pi's USB connector and do the guiding on the Pi The Raspberry Pi touch screen could be used for telescope controlls Advanced German mount limits and meridian flip control (e.g. a warning about a necessary flip when driving to a specific goto target). An Android App, connected via WiFi to the Pi could be used as display alternative Language control (have a look at Mycroft, an open-source artificial intelligence). "Hey mount, please slew to the whirlpool galaxy!" Control the mount via SkySafari and Stellarium The Pi has a built in camera interface. How about an open source auto align? The Pi could look at the stars to align itself, which makes a lot of sense. I did already order a long focal length lens and monochrome camera from Arducam in order to do some experiments (the standard Pi camera has 3.5 mm focal length and is not really usable, although star imagining is possible). My first observation site is my balcony. And there, the real Starsense does not work at all. It always spin-loops on 2 alignment positions where the sky is covered by the roof – how silly is that?. This can be done better. Further, Starsense is doing only a initial alignment. It should update its position and accuracy over the time! I think I could do this better.  
      Besides all my ideas, the first and most important focus of the software will be:
      Readability (therefore my choice of Kotlin), extensibility and open source. I like to have the Maths of the internal mount model clearly visible and understandable in the software. The calculations that are done within all our goto mounts are no rocket science. I admit, I am the nerd guy who wants to go the hard way and implement this from scratch.
      I am looking for a good project name, do you have any suggestions? How about QuickStep? this is possibly too close to OneStep and would offend the creators of OneStep?
      Does anyone of you have interest in joining my plan? Doing such a project in a small group would be more encouraging then just doing it for myself. And of course later on, I would appreciate if other stargazers would update their old mounts with my software.
       
      Any comments on my project plan are welcome!
       
      Clear Skies!
      Andy
       

    • By paulobao
      Hello everyone,
       
      QHY5-II (MONO) - as new with original box and acessories.
      Great guiding camera!
      Check some photos at Astrobin or Stargazers Lounge under "paulobao".
       
      I just quit the hobby and sold all my gear (FS102, G11, QSI532, etc...).
       
      Price 70 GBP shipping included.
       
    • By paulobao
      I lefted astronomy, sold my G11, FS102, QSI532....
      From this site https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/starlight-instruments-feathertouch-focusers.html in UK, all these will cost 1147 GBP!
      I am selling it for...basically free.
      Everything in "as new" condition (actually one digital motor was never used). Very precise...MADE in the USA.
      You can see my work in astrobin or Stargazers Lounge as "paulobao".
      Thanks for seeing it.
      I can send you more pics, references, etc.
       
      Price: 250 GBP shipping included.
       

    • By TB00
      Hi A very newbie question here but for the life of me cannot figure it out.
      Have an EQM35 goto mount linked through a skywatcher wifi dongle to a synscan pro app on my android galaxy s9 phone.
      I van use the app but have a couple of things that are either greyed out or dont operate when pressed:
      1. Point  and  track
      2. Doesn't seem to track (tried the.moon) using lunar tracking but mount doesn't move
      Thanks in advance for your help.
      Tim
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.