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Messages - TCWORLD

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1
Hardware Development / Re: AstroEQ Basic Hand Controllers
« on: October 03, 2019, 21:14:20 »
Hi,

3.93k should be fine. At a rough guess anything within ~10% should be ok. There's quite a lot of chip-to-chip variation in the internal pull-up resistors of the ATMega anyway, so you may find that the resistor value needs to be adjusted.

2
General Discussion / Re: ST4 Port
« on: September 27, 2019, 20:22:17 »
Hi Mateo,

1. You don't need to connect JP1 and JP2. These are already connected on the top layer of the PCB. In fact none of the small headers on the board need connecting for the purchased PCBs.
The connector footprints are only there to allow people to home etch a single-sided version of the design.

2. For a standard ST-4 guider, pin 1 (IO0) is unused. This pin has a custom use on the AstroEQ to enable a push-button controlled mode to allow use of the AstroEQ without a PC for basic tracking an manual slews (see here for details).

3. Correct, simply connecting the four ST-4 pins (RA+/- and DEC+/-) to ground will cause the telescope to change the tracking speed relative to the sidereal rate. The change is selected via the configuration utility. For example if you selected 0.25x in the config utility, then RA+ would track at 1.25x sidereal, RA- would track at 0.75x sidereal, neither would track at 1x. Pressing DEC+/- would cause the DEC axis to additionally slew at 0.25x sidereal while pressed.

3
AstroEQ Support / Re: First start EEPROM not responding
« on: September 22, 2019, 10:27:51 »
I assume the power LED is on?

If you connect pins 7 and 9 of the USB-Serial PIC, then use a terminal (e.g. putty) to send data to the serial port, do you see it echoed back?

4
AstroEQ Support / Re: First start EEPROM not responding
« on: September 21, 2019, 00:33:15 »
Are you connecting the 12V supply first, before the USB connection? If not make sure you do.

I presume you see the AstroEQ COM port in device manager?

5
AstroEQ Support / Re: First start EEPROM not responding
« on: September 20, 2019, 23:05:55 »
Hi,

The ATMega is sent out programmed only with a bootloader. This is enough to allow the config utility to program the ATMega without any special hardware (through the same USB cable as EEPROM configuration and EQMOD communications).

I program the chips in large batches so in the time it takes to sell them all, I may release firmware updates, so it is simpler just to put on only the bootloader and to let the config utility upload the firmware. It only takes a few seconds.

As a result first time out you will need to click the "Update Firmware" button before trying to configure the EEPROM.


As Mateo points out, you don't need to solder on all the wires (it won't hurt, so no point removing them) as these are connected on the board. The silkscreen lines are because the PCB design can be home-etched onto single sided PCB material, in which case the wires would be necessary.

It is only the two solder jumpers SJ1 and SJ2 that need to be soldered.

6
Hi Mateo,

It simply means that there will be fewer available speeds to choose from. For example you might select 90x speed in EQMOD, then change to 96x speed, but find that both end up the same.

This is only really a problem if you are trying to track high-speed objects like satellites. For lunar/solar/sidereal tracking it won't cause any problems.

Essentially it boils down to a limitation on how fast the timers in the microprocessor can run.

Kind Regards,
Tom.

7
Mount Support / Re: HEQ5 non goto
« on: September 16, 2019, 19:42:31 »
You'll need to add jumpers based on which driver you are using. There are markings on the board to indicate which connections to make.

8
Mount Support / Re: HEQ5 non goto
« on: September 12, 2019, 18:55:55 »
Hi,

Sorry about that, completely forgot about this thread - I'd always inteded to upload the pinout.

Attached is the wiring for these motors. RA is on the left, DEC is on the right.

Kind Regards,
Tom.

9
AstroEQ Support / Re: USB not working
« on: August 14, 2019, 22:00:05 »
Hi Mateo,

Glad the comms problem is sorted.

If the current is too low, or if it is too high, it can cause a loss of steps.
I would drop the current limit down to ~1.2A, which should allow the driver to operate more efficiently.

I would also make sure your mount is well balanced - if the weights aren't balanced the motors can struggle to turn the mount.

If that doesn't help, try lowering the goto speed to see if you can find a point where it doesn't skip steps.

Kind Regards,
Tom.

10
DIY AstroEQ / Re: RA rotates same direction/autoreverses
« on: August 07, 2019, 18:24:51 »
Suggests that there is an issue with the microstepping mode in the hardware.

This could be due to a cold solder joint on one of the MSx pins.

Alternatively it could be that you haven't soldered the driver board type jumpers - there are two jumpers between the MCU and the drivers that need to be bridged (e.g. by a piece of wire) depending on which driver type you are using as noted on the silkscreen.

Have you selected the correct driver board in the config utility?

11
DIY AstroEQ / Re: RA rotates same direction/autoreverses
« on: August 07, 2019, 08:59:30 »
Does it track at sidereal rate correctly? If you time one revolution of the 15T gear, it should take 86164.0905 / 144 ~= 598 seconds.
When tracking also, does the mount rotate in the correct direction?

12
DIY AstroEQ / Re: RA rotates same direction/autoreverses
« on: August 06, 2019, 20:42:18 »
Glad you've sorted it.

Kind Regards,
Tom.

13
AstroEQ Support / Re: USB not working
« on: August 06, 2019, 20:41:07 »
Hi Mateo,

Apologies, I've been away on holiday with very intermittent internet access.

I've had a quick look and the soldering on the boards looks fine, so I'm not quite sure what is going on.

When testing with the arduino as a USB to serial, did you make sure to upload a program onto the arduino that sets the TX/RX pins of the Nano to be inputs?

TX of the arduino (pin 1 of the nano) should be connected to pin 12 of the PIC socket, and RX of the arduino (pin 2 of the nano) connects to pin 10 of the PIC socket. Pin 9 of the PIC socket should connect to the reset pin of the arduino (pin 3 of the nano). With those connections, do you have any success talking to the ATMega?
If not, have you clicked on the "Update Firmware" in the config utility yet? You'll need to update the firmware before you can use the Configure button. The ATMega comes preprogrammed only with a bootloader, which is sufficient to allow the firmware to be updated without a programmer.

If you can get the ATMega talking correctly, that will help narrow down the potential problems.

Kind Regards,
Tom.

14
AstroEQ Support / Re: USB not working
« on: July 26, 2019, 23:58:28 »
Could you upload pictures of front and back of the board?

Also, were you connecting the 12V supply before the USB cable (you need to).

I'd also check that the 12V supply is working correctly and giving a stable voltage.

15
AstroEQ Support / Re: USB not working
« on: July 22, 2019, 18:10:59 »
Sounds like you may have the crystals swapped. Make sure that the crystal next to the 20-pin device is indeed the 12MHz one. Also double check there are no dry solder joints.

Kind Regards,
Tom.

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