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samtheeagle

ArduinoAstroControl - Homebrew Autoguider MkII

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Hmmm yeah, I had a real job finding them until I knew they were called RJ-12 A.K.A. 6P6C. An example retailer: MH CONNECTORS|MHRJJ66NFV|SOCKET, RJ12, 6P6C | Farnell United Kingdom

But just google for "RJ-12 socket" or "6P6C socket" for more options :)

HI Guy

I found the plugs and sockets (6P6C) no problem. What the problem I am finding is attaching the wires to the socket. Soldering ! not a lot of sapce is there?

BTW did you experience any problems with the white flat ribbon cable in the hand controller? Mine seemed to have been manufacture using a spiders web - Doodeness you only had to look at it and it snapped. I had to repair 5 of the lines. What a nightmare.

Thanks for you help.

Now got the software, haven't installed it yet then I shall upload your file. Getting there:)

Regards

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Doodeness - what a typo - should read Goodness

Need a secretary

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Doodeness - what a typo - should read Goodness

Need a secretary

:evil6: But what a good typo!

I agree with you on both your points. Soldering the 6P6C wires to the socket is very fiddly :icon_eek: And yes, the internal ribbon cable in the hand controller appears to be made of the most fragile material known to man! I only had one wire break, and once that was repaired I dumped a load of hot glue on the connections to strengthen them.

Glad it's starting to come together for you :D

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Hmmm yeah, I had a real job finding them until I knew they were called RJ-12 A.K.A. 6P6C. An example retailer: MH CONNECTORS|MHRJJ66NFV|SOCKET, RJ12, 6P6C | Farnell United Kingdom

But just google for "RJ-12 socket" or "6P6C socket" for more options :)

Hi again

Managed to get some 6P6C plugs and have made them up. I have finished the controller mod and also finished (wired) the Arduino. Downloaded the Arduino software and updated the UNO.

I also downloaded your software but must confess to being slightly (or perhaps a lot) confused. There was a lot of files when the zip was extracted. Do you think you could explain what is to be done with these.

The .pde file was loaded by UNO, compiled and uploaded to the UNO, successfully, but what about all those other files?

You see what I mean about being confused.

Would really appreciate your guidance here.

Regards

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Heh heh :) Well, most of the files are going to be the source code for the ASCOM driver. Unless you intend to build the driver yourself you can ignore them. The two key files are the documentation, which I guess you've found considering the progress you've made, and there should be a Driver Install executable in there too. That will install and configure the software bits you need, but make sure that you have the ASCOM platform installed on the computer before you try to install the driver :D

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Hmmm yeah, I had a real job finding them until I knew they were called RJ-12 A.K.A. 6P6C. An example retailer: MH CONNECTORS|MHRJJ66NFV|SOCKET, RJ12, 6P6C | Farnell United Kingdom

But just google for "RJ-12 socket" or "6P6C socket" for more options :)

Hi Again

Got the plugs, so everything is ready. I have downloaded all the files and got the programme (.pde) into the UNO, but I don't know what the other files are for after extracting the zip file.

This is a bit beyand me at the moment.

Any chance of stepping me through the whole process?

Danny

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Heh heh :) Well, most of the files are going to be the source code for the ASCOM driver. Unless you intend to build the driver yourself you can ignore them. The two key files are the documentation, which I guess you've found considering the progress you've made, and there should be a Driver Install executable in there too. That will install and configure the software bits you need, but make sure that you have the ASCOM platform installed on the computer before you try to install the driver :D

Hi

Ignor the email asking again!

So, judging by the Heh, Heh am I to consider myself caught:eek:

I shall print out your last message and continue with the project.

It's terrible dealing with a numpty sometimes Yeh:evil6:

Thanks for you patience

Danny

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Hi Guy

Finished the "homebrew autoguider" thanks for your help - not tested it for real yet.

New question concerning the Arduino.

There were a number of available inputs/outputs left in the quad opto isolator, the ones that were connected together unused. Could these be used to operate a Skywatcher Auto Focuser? The one from FLO.

The reason I ask is I am using Backyard EOS for camera control, great prog! It has the facility to control focus as well. Now, I have a SkyWatcher 102 with manual focus. This woould mean that I would have to run back and forth between the OTA and the screen (not on a laptop on a desktop) so it would be great to do that through the programme. Are those empty cells in the ILQ4 suitable for the task?

Regards

Danny

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Looks interesting,

I will have a look at your code as i am finishing off a focus driver with the arduino at the moment. Got it working last week but i now need to make a comms server if i want to add more stuff to the arduino. (only a stand alone focuser at the moment).

I will be doing 2 focus controls, dew control and cloud sensor.

I have no idea how the ascom hub thing works so your code should come in usefull!

Neil c

Hi Neil

I have just read your message to sametheeagle and read that you have just finished a focus driver on the Arduino.

I was asking Colin if the Arduin UNO had capacity to control a focuser. I would be great to keep every in the same box.

I would be very interested in learning more about your implementation. It would probably help me a great deal in my attempts to do the same sort of thing.

Any chance of the details?

Regards

DAnny

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AAArrrggghh...I wrote this out once and then accidentally hit some button that opens another version of the website...damn.

Ok...again....

All the files are in a yahoo group which was started to share a few ideas but I have just been sticking all my Cloud sensor and Focuser stuff there:-

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sgl_observatory_automation/files/

If you look in the "Focus control easy driver" folder you will find a .pde for the arduino and a setup file called SGL Focuser Setup V1_11.exe

I have just downloaded it and checked it works with my Arduino. If you download focusmax then you can install my driver and use it in focusmax to do autofocus routines but you must set focusmax up by doing a number of calibration routines (there are instructions for that if you google them)

I am using serial to connect and the following command structure in the comms:-

#IN1:00;

#in1 is the command IN and 00 is just a null.

It sends the required position or number of steps using:-

#STP:200;

STP = Step

200 = number of steps.

If you want the source code I'll send it to you but I will post it in the group as well...its dead easy.

Any questions then PM me or post a question in the group and i'll anwer it when I can. You can change the pde to work with a driver chip instead of an easy driver board quite easily...I posted one on the goup for someone somewhere...I am a bit unorganised.

Saludos

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I am using Backyard EOS for camera control, great prog! It has the facility to control focus as well.

Regards

Danny

Thank you for the BackyardEOS plug Danny! I appreciated the reference :)

Guylain

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Hi Guy

Finished the "homebrew autoguider" thanks for your help - not tested it for real yet.

New question concerning the Arduino.

There were a number of available inputs/outputs left in the quad opto isolator, the ones that were connected together unused. Could these be used to operate a Skywatcher Auto Focuser? The one from FLO.

The reason I ask is I am using Backyard EOS for camera control, great prog! It has the facility to control focus as well. Now, I have a SkyWatcher 102 with manual focus. This woould mean that I would have to run back and forth between the OTA and the screen (not on a laptop on a desktop) so it would be great to do that through the programme. Are those empty cells in the ILQ4 suitable for the task?

Regards

Danny

Sorry for the slow replay Danny, not been online as much just recently. I'm just refreshing my memory by looking at the circuit diagram, and there shouldn't be any unused pins. It's a QUAD opto-isolator, and all 4 inputs and outputs are used.

That said, any spare I/O pins on the Arduino board could be used for other functions, and I would imagine that another opto-isolator circuit from those could drive the focuser, that's Neil's area of expertise though :)

Where it might get tricky is the software side of things. You'd need to merge together the ArduinoAstroControl code and the focuser code for the Arduino board, and assuming you want the focuser to be ASCOM compliant you'll need to add a focuser driver project to the ArduinoAstroControl code. If you want one hardware device to serve up multiple ASCOM interfaces it gets a bit more complicated, but if I remember correctly I did implement my driver code to support that.

Edited by samtheeagle

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I have been having a look through this thread and it looks very interesting but I have a couple of questions.

Am I right in saying that the handset modification is only for if you don't have an autoguiding port (I have a CG5-GT that has a port already)?

and...

I don't know much about arduino so should I just get the UNO (most recent?) or how does it work thats.

P.S. I do know a little about electronics and soldering isn't a problem

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Yes, the hand controller mod is for if you don't have a proper guide port available, so I guess you can skip that part.

To be honest I've not been keeping up with the latest Arduino boards, but so long as the code is compatible between the devices it should all be fine I guess, so long as you have enough output pins to play with.

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Hey,

I think this has been answered before but just to clarify the output pins of the arduino are 2,3,4,5?

It's just that on your picture they seem to be coming from different pins.

Thanks

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OK ignore my last post it was I looked at the code and answered my own question.

I have finished mine, now the only problem is that I am in Spain and my scope is in Britain :)

Got any ideas how I can test it without my scope :(

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Hi Colin

It's been a while since my last message re Homebrew Autoguider.

I have finished mine and I'm ready to give it a trial run. Can I ask you what program do you use for guiding.

Dante

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Sorry for getting your name wrong in my last post

Danny

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I have ordered the board on ebay to built this autguiding setup on my eq-3-2. On the waiting, can someone who have done this before on eq 3-2 tell me advises on problem i can have ?

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Well the driver already supports very basic GOTO functions via the SyncToCoordinates and SlewToCoordinates methods. I can point the scope at a known star, update the driver with the SyncToCoordinates method, and then ask it to slew from there.

I'm sorry if this is a bit off topic.

Am I understanding this correctly? Can you make the EQ3-2 mount slew short distances from one known position to another? This would be very useful.

I have just found out that MaximDL can do PinPoint Astronomy. I have tried it and it works. So, if I was to manually slew using say setting circles, take an exposure, get MaximDL to get the scope position from PinPoint Astronomy, could I then input the exact coordinates of my target and get the scope to slew the final bit?

What is this SyncToCoordinates and SlewToCoordinates that I have read about?

I have made the SimpleGpUsb (thanks Guy) and this works very well. I am, however, someimes guilty of spending a long time finding my target and it would be great if the above could also be used to assist.

Thanks.

Bill

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I've been using homebrew autoguider with EQ3-2 for about 7 months. Worked very well. But now I've burned out my hand controller for dual motor drive because I put it on 12V instead of 6V. So I ordered HEQ5 Synscan mount (will eat nothing for a month or so :icon_confused:). Will arduino autoguider work with it? If it will I might even start developing goto for it since I currently have some time for a hobby project.

Edited by PecenkA

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