FrenchyArnaud Posted March 18 Share Posted March 18 Hi guys, Starting yet a new thread for another diy build - but this time it could well be the diy project of a life time because, let's face it, I am too stupid and arrogant to know when I am out of my league. So, on the strength of "He did not know it was impossible so he did it", I am tackling the build from scratch of an equatorial mount with very serious ambitions, namely and in no particular order: - Must be able to take overkill loads without breaking a sweat, even if one day I can afford a quattro 12" or sthg like that. - Must have near perfect tracking speed - Must have negligeable backlash RA + Dec - Must be 100% ascom compatible so as to snuggle lovingly with NINA & PHD2, which also means - that it must be "pulse guiding capable" The things I DO NOT need, because it will be on the pier with illimited power supply: - A weight limit. Even if it ends up weighting 50kg: who cares. - Battery autonomy and reasonnable current use (it's on the mains) - Advanced Goto. I only need to be able to point roughly in the right direction, NINA will plate solve afterwards. With this in mind I have already determined quite a few things. Hardware: - Motors will be heavy duty steppers, NEMA17 or even 23. With low backlash gearboxes either 30:1 or 100:1 and the transmission will be 100% belts. First calculations tell me that can move up to 15kg of balance error which means it's effectively unlimited load. - The base will be a wedge, much easier to build rock solid than a GEM turret. - For now the plan is to have both axis free spining using car wheel bearings (there is pretty much zero play in these things and the load is obviously not a problem) - These axis will be hard mounted on a BIG steel barcket that will in effect act as the "chassis" of the mount. - It will embark its own RealTimeClock and Eprom so that it is effectively plug and play. Electronics: - prototyping and firmware/software dev is now on Arduino Nano and Uno but I will surely need a Mega plus a whole collection of rotary encoders, LCD, temp probes etc. For now I have just put 2 tiny steppers on a bread board to confirm that I can get it to be seen as a telescope by a basic ascom driver and get the motors to act as Ra+Dec. So yes, this tiny mess is, technically, a computerized telescope mount. First estimations tell that the build budget would be surprisingly low - in the order of £200 to £500 at the very, very max. In the other hand, the firmware and ascom driver could be really, really long to write. But hey, dream big. All ideas, inputs, remarks etc more than welcome. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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