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Raspberry controlled HEQ5


Astrofriend
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Last night I could do my first test with a Raspberry controlled HEQ5 mount. Worked much better now compare with all problem I had one year ago. I succeeded to: Plate solve, auto focus, take images. What's left to fix, auto guiding, GPS module to communicate.

Tonight it looks to be a clear night too. I will do a new test run, concentrate me on the auto guider, now in the beginning I use the internal guider, later maybe I change over to PHD2. Very exiting.

My setup of HEQ5 and a 300 mm Pentax 645 lens:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-heq5/01-heq5.html


/Lars

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Hi Steve,

Yes, Ekos and KStars. I have a lot of problem with this earlier, but now with the new Astroberry version 2.0.3 everything worked after an update. I use this because it takes much less space and don't need very much power to run, important when on battery with a portable equipment.

 

This is what I did one year ago, never got it to work:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-kstars-raspberrypi4/01-project-kstars-raspberrypi4.html

 

Now when it works and if it's stable I can replace my other setup which is Windows based with a similar controller. Windows get more an more complicated to use, all these updates gets me crazy and all problem with drivers. But the functions in the astro software I think is still better.

 

Do you have any experience of Ekos ?

/Lars

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday I got a massive help from my friend. It was the stup of GPS unit for the Raspberry which has caused me problem the last 5 years.

Now we got the GPSD driver to work direct with a GPS dongle:
http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-heq5/07-heq5.html

And the GPS NMEA where the Raspberry get the clock and position from a smartphone:
http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-heq5/08-heq5.html

Very glad to have solved these problems.

Next step is to install KSTars on an Android pad. My own was to old to install the software on.

/Lars

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  • 8 months later...

Now I have used the Raspberry system for almost a year but with a paus during the summer. It works like a dream now and there is not much problem left.

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-heq5/01-heq5.html

This was an important step towards the low power transportable equipment. The total power of the system, mount, camera, dew heaters, Raspberry, GPS, focuser, USB HUB, guide camera takes only 1.5 Amp at 12 Volt, about 20 Watt. Have a look at the last pages.

I can now replace the heavy car lead batteries with a more modern Lithium battery. Today I ordered a 24 Volts, 12 Amph LiPo battery, about 300 Wh. How well this battery will work during cold nights I have no idea about. But insted of 18 kg battery it will be 3 kg, big difference. I will come back about the battery project in a new thread later.

/Lars

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  • 4 weeks later...

It was a long time since last I wrote something about my HEQ5 project. One important part in my travel equipment.

It replace my EQ6 that weight 70 kg with TS130 APO and car acid batteries. Newer did any tavel with that equipment. With the new HEQ5 I have as a goal to be close to 20 kg and at battery operation for ten hours.

The Raspberry is also important, it save a lot of energy and I can have a much smaller battery and it's a Lithium battery, 3kg.

I have now got the GPS device work, it's important when traveling to different places. The Raspberry doesn't have any battery backup for the clock either.

I can't have the heavy TS130 APO refractor on this mount. Instead I replaced it with a Pentax 645 300 mm ED medium format lens, a nebula hunter.

The HEQ5 mount is Rowan modded and from my balcony I can after some tweaking of the paramneters have a total rms guide error at 0.8", it should be even better from outside the city where I live.

Now when I got it working I concentrate me on to get it even more compact and lighter. The last pages is about how I shorten the legs on the tripod and 3D-Print a special head that hold the lenses.

That was the short story, more details here:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-heq5/01-heq5.html

The Raspberry with Astroberry works nowadays much better compare to my Windows server. Here is an overview:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/tutorials/tutorial-ekos-sequencer/01-tutorial-ekos-sequencer.html

I just say, have a look at it if you don't already use a Raspberry to control your equipment. It's amazing what you can do with this little matchbox size computer system. And it can be powered from a USB Backup battery.

/Lars

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