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Yet another DIY Electronic collimator


rsarwar
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I am planning to get a 200 mm RC scope but i hate collimation process on my newtonian. i tried lasers and a cheshire. whilst i am able to get fairly okay collimation following testing with a LED torch under a Al foil with a pin hole, the process usually takes hours. and the results were never fully satisfactory . then i saw a Ocal Electronic Collimator on FLO and thought it should not be difficult to make it using a Arducam + some python/openCV coding. So I 3d  printed a 2 inch frame in which I screwed the camera. 

first impression, need to  reprint the 2 inch frame in red, so that it is easier to see on the mirror. camera i chose is a bit expensive but works well.

total cost was about 50 pounds for the camera. python codes and stl files are in https://github.com/rsarwar87/pyReflectorCollimator

camera: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YHJK4LN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Edited by rsarwar
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4 hours ago, JamesF said:

I have to admit that I wasn't aware of DIY electronic collimators at all, so "yet another" came as a surprise.  Interesting project though.

James

I am sure someone must have made it.  :)

Edited by rsarwar
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I’m trying to work out what the Ocal is- is it just a camera with concentric circle overlay or does it do something cleverer? I have used my PA camera- an ASI120, with its wide angle lens and freeware concentric circles overlay which is quite useful for adjusting secondary position.

Mark

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Good job! I've done something similar with my QHY5L-II and a CS mount CCTV lens attached to it. I used oacapture to view the video feed. It has a few different style reticles you can overlay on top of the image but nothing like in your software. Curious if you're planning to add support for any commercial astro cameras?

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42 minutes ago, markse68 said:

I’m trying to work out what the Ocal is- is it just a camera with concentric circle overlay or does it do something cleverer? I have used my PA camera- an ASI120, with its wide angle lens and freeware concentric circles overlay which is quite useful for adjusting secondary position.

Mark

It is a lot more complex than that. 


http://www.ocalworld.com/en/PDF说明书/OCAL Electronic Collimator PRO user's Manual.pdf

Still expensive though. 🤔

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14 hours ago, kbrown said:

Good job! I've done something similar with my QHY5L-II and a CS mount CCTV lens attached to it. I used oacapture to view the video feed. It has a few different style reticles you can overlay on top of the image but nothing like in your software. Curious if you're planning to add support for any commercial astro cameras?

I could. Should not be difficult at all. However, how do you change focus on the Cs mounted lens? 

I have a ASI290mm with the c mount lens it comes with, but the reason why I got the camera for arducam is because we need to be able to change focus. This would allow you to correctly focus properly on the edges of the second art mirror to ensure that it is within the circular overlay. And then swap focus on to the image on the secondary mirror to fine tune the secondary and align the primary mirror. 

 

Ps: zwo publishes python drivers for their camera, so it will be straight forward indeed

https://github.com/python-zwoasi/python-zwoasi/blob/master/zwoasi/examples/zwoasi_demo.py

 

Edited by rsarwar
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9 minutes ago, rpineau said:

@rsarwar , which Arducam are you using exactly (they have a few ;) ).

Do you have a link ?

Thanks

Rodolphe

 

This one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YHJK4LN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

but i suppose you can also get the ones that are based MIPI, but that may require modifying the application.

basically any camera that can have motorized focus would do and can be centred on the two inch would work.

Edited by rsarwar
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6 hours ago, rsarwar said:

I could. Should not be difficult at all. However, how do you change focus on the Cs mounted lens?

I didn't really bother doing much with the focusing. I just set it manually to where I thought I'd see enough. I used this mainly for centring and aligning the secondary mirror on my newt after taking it out. Really handy for that. Then I used a laser collimator and a chesire eyepiece to fine tune things. Iterated the whole process a few times and I got a very good collimation.

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46 minutes ago, kbrown said:

I didn't really bother doing much with the focusing. I just set it manually to where I thought I'd see enough. I used this mainly for centring and aligning the secondary mirror on my newt after taking it out. Really handy for that. Then I used a laser collimator and a chesire eyepiece to fine tune things. Iterated the whole process a few times and I got a very good collimation.

I see. I guess that is the most tricky bit, however, If you are able to change the focus you should be able to do the whole collimation process without a laser. Like collamating with a Cheshire only. Saves you from ensuring correct collimation the laser collimator as well.

 

I just used the laser to confirm that collimation worked. 

Edited by rsarwar
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