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DIY Equatorial Telescope Mount

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  • #46
    Both? Have you seen the price of movie tickets lately?

    Found a case to cram the controller in and am finding all the rest of the bits for the telescope I have scattered everywhere in the past 2 years this thing has sat.

    Speaking of hollywood, heading down next week to LA to help with a photo booth at an anime con, there were over 100k people at this con last week. I really want to take the scope down someplace like death valley to do some time lapses. I got axed a little over a month ago so shooting is mostly what I have been up to. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Last edited by macona; 06-24-2017, 08:01 AM.

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    • #47
      Whatever, nice mount automation. I really should do something like that with my 1000mm f1:8 refractor.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by macona View Post
        Both? Have you seen the price of movie tickets lately?

        Found a case to cram the controller in and am finding all the rest of the bits for the telescope I have scattered everywhere in the past 2 years this thing has sat.

        Speaking of hollywood, heading down next week to LA to help with a photo booth at an anime con, there were over 100k people at this con last week. I really want to take the scope down someplace like death valley to do some time lapses. I got axed a little over a month ago so shooting is mostly what I have been up to. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
        That link is almost kiddie porn. Is that what you do in your spare time?...
        Bill
        I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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        • #49
          That looks like a lot of fun. Now I want to go rabbit hunting. Great photography Macona!
          Kansas City area

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Seastar View Post
            That link is almost kiddie porn. Is that what you do in your spare time?...
            Bill
            You mean cosplay? Nothing kiddie or porn about it.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by macona View Post
              You mean cosplay? Nothing kiddie or porn about it.
              I saw some very young, very naked circuit boards in there. I guess if that's your thing...

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              • #52
                Now it's time to think of a solid pillar to replace the tripod if you have the room at home.

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                • #53
                  I dont have a view of the sky at home is the problem, so it has to be portable.

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                  • #54


                    Its been 6 years now and I have finally finished the **** thing. I still have not taken it out to look at anything.



                    So. I ended up ditching the SiTech controller, it was just not fast enough and I had to add on for stuff like focusers and the like. I decided to take a look at Howard's OnStep again and it had matured a whole lot since I first played with it. I decided to build the MaxPCB2 version of the controller using the Teensy 3.6 which would give me the highest pulse frequency out possible to handle my high res encoders on the servos. I did end up having to make some little boards that replaced the Pololu style stepper driver boards that the OnStep is built around to send differential step and direction signals to the servo drives and also provide some onto isolated outputs to the electronic gearing mode select in the drive.



                    You can see the little differential driver boards with the blue leds on them in this photo:

                    OnStep Controller by Jerry Biehler, on Flickr



                    I also added a little fan and vents to flow air through the case to get accurate ambient temperature and barometric pressure.



                    OnStep Controller by Jerry Biehler, on Flickr



                    The OnStep also supports a hand controller, not being happy with the small size of the display I ended up taking the existing schematic for the smart hand controller and re-rolling it into a larger package with a 2.42" OLED. At the suggestion of others I also replaced the cross pattern of buttons for a analog joystick like you would find in game controllers and Howard rolled basic support into the firmware.



                    OnStep Controller by Jerry Biehler, on Flickr



                    So thats about it, made some wiring changes to consolidate the power wires to the servo motors. Ill probably try to use some sound deadening material around the motors, the PWM whine from them is kind of annoying. I also got a Lumenera 16MP monochrome usb3 camera from a friend which I just built a TEC water cooler for to drop the sensor temp down. Ill post another thread about that. Oh yeah, I added GPS to it so it so once it get a sat lock it reads the time and location in.



                    OnStep Con

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                    • #55
                      Woohoo! You're not dead! I've missed your bleeding edge posts, glad to see you back. As for the controller it looks awesome even if I don't understand much of what you wrote

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                      • #56
                        Glad to see you finished it. That was quite a project. Looks like a nice job.

                        I went through five pages on the link you provided and only the first half page was related to this topic. After that it seemed to get more and more difficult to explain if my wife walked in. And I am still waiting to see some galaxy far, far away. But you seem to have a more interesting hobby there so perhaps we will have to wait a while or renew our subscriptions to Sky and Telescope.

                        I really was curious as to how well a harmonic drive worked for astrophotography.



                        Originally posted by macona View Post
                        Both? Have you seen the price of movie tickets lately?

                        Found a case to cram the controller in and am finding all the rest of the bits for the telescope I have scattered everywhere in the past 2 years this thing has sat.

                        Speaking of hollywood, heading down next week to LA to help with a photo booth at an anime con, there were over 100k people at this con last week. I really want to take the scope down someplace like death valley to do some time lapses. I got axed a little over a month ago so shooting is mostly what I have been up to. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
                        Paul A.
                        SE Texas

                        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                        You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                        • #57
                          Congrats on getting a fine scope mount build, bring it out to OSP when it starts up again.
                          It is not typical for the walkabout, but the walkabout is all about not typical.

                          https://duckduckgo.com/?t=lm&q=orego...lkabout&ia=web
                          Last edited by Astronowanabe; 06-17-2020, 02:26 AM.
                          --
                          Tom C
                          ... nice weather eh?

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                          • #58
                            Its been 6 years now and I have finally finished the **** thing.
                            This is about how my projects go. On a good day.
                            "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                            • #59
                              Yeah, I need to make it out to OSP sometime. I also got a new camera to put on the scope, a lumenera 16MP monochrome full frame camera, USB3 too. Its uncooled and gets really hot (50c) running so I ended up making a complete cooling system for it, now I can get it down to -15c. Ill post another thread on that.

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                              • #60
                                I am glad I am not the only one. I have one in the shop that I started back when I first retired, around 2012. I will finish it someday. But probably not soon.



                                Originally posted by mickeyf View Post

                                This is about how my projects go. On a good day.
                                Paul A.
                                SE Texas

                                And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                                You will find that it has discrete steps.

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