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 on: September 26, 2021, 11:28:44 
Started by mtoastro - Last post by mtoastro
Greetings after a long time!


 on: September 09, 2021, 15:49:58 
Started by almcl - Last post by almcl
A few nights ago the USB socket on my home assembled V 4.6 AstroEQ came loose:- one of the mounting lugs on the socket had become detached and so had one or more of the connecting pins.

A new PCB USB socket was obtained and the old one de-soldered and the new one attached.  Unfortunately the track around the ground pin was damaged in the process, although there is still continuity to ground according to my multimeter.

The problem now is that on power connection the power LED lights up, but so too does the status LED which come on solid and stays on.  If a USB cable is plugged in the USB LED flashes, but the status LED stays on solid.  On attempting to start EQMOD an ASCOM 'Out of memory error' appears and the mount is unresponsive to commands.

My eyesight is not what it was when the board was assembled, but I can't find any obvious short circuits in the area of USB socket connections, is there anything I can do or check to try and revive the AstroEQ?

 on: July 20, 2021, 17:53:15 
Started by Jimbob17 - Last post by Jimbob17
Just a small update, purchased a BlueTooth module (https://thepihut.com/products/hc-05-bluetooth-module) and connected it to the AstroEQ ... seems to work but I haven't used it connected to the motors on the mount. I can see the AstroEQ in the config utility and edit / save the config, so looks good to me. The only downside is I couldn't fit the BlueTooth module in the case and it's taped to the outside - looks crap but works so far ;D

 on: July 12, 2021, 16:42:11 
Started by astrochemist - Last post by astrochemist
Finally had time to assemble the shield and wire and test. One issue I had was I forgot to update the Mega Boot Loader until I had full wired the box (opps). I have tested the shield and every thing is fully working.

I use a DC-DC board for the 5 V power. I have also added a Schottky Diode to prevent usb power from back feeding through the converter and attempting to power the steppers when the 12 V supply is disconnected.

I have two boards spare and lots of parts if any would like a to make there own shield. I can provide the screw terminals and headers plus a diode and caps.

Please see pictures and video.

 on: June 24, 2021, 20:15:51 
Started by Jimbob17 - Last post by Jimbob17
Thanks for this and apologies for the delay replying.

Would it be a mad idea to desolder the chip socket and add wires when I resolder the socket back in? This is another option I was thinking about ...unsure whether I'll be able to squeeze small cables in as well as the socket. I did have an idea of making a cable with a diode inline for the 5V line rather than trying to solder to the SMD diode as it's so tiny.

Thanks for the PicKit info as I have no idea at all. The clones seem to be really cheap but I also found a PicKit 3 made by another manufacturer that I might try ... just deciding whether to take a punt on a clone or not.

 on: June 08, 2021, 14:19:49 
Started by vdt - Last post by vzr
Maybe you can try without INDI then? I mean with ASCOM-EQMOD if you have windows machine nearby, just to isolate the cause.

 on: June 08, 2021, 12:55:01 
Started by vzr - Last post by vzr
My DEC axis misbehave.

In ASCOM-EQMOD it worked excellent. But when connected to INDI server on raspberry Pi, at the beginning, DEC axis moved in opposite direction, but GoTo software reported it moves wher it should. I tried every possible option in INDIlib, double checked everything (pier side, park side, date, time, location, hemisphere...), whatever I do the result is the same. If i set DEC reverse in INDIlib, then it moves where it should, but GoTo software now reads the opposite direction, because this option does not only reverse motor direction but also encoder values, so doesn't help at all.

To fix this, I had to reconfigure AstroEQ and set option "Declination Axis" to "Backward". Then it moves as it should and it reports back to GoTo software correct encoders values. But guess what, now I have the same problem when connect AstroEQ directly to ASCOM-EQMOD. And option "DEC recerse" in ASCOM-EQMOD did no help, because even though it reverse slewing commands, it reports back to GoTo software reversed encoder values, so it show moving south when it actually moves north and vice-versa, just the same as in INDIlib.

I have this problem only with DEC axis. My question is what option "Forward" and "Backward" in AstroEQ Config Utility do? Does it only reverse motor direction, or it does also reverse internal encoder values? Is there anything I could try to make AstroEQ works the same on ASCOM and INDIlib or reconfiguring firmware every time is only option? Is there any way either in ASCOM-EQMOD or in INDIlib EQMOD to reverse motor direction only, but not encoder values, that would be helpul?

 on: June 07, 2021, 00:16:17 
Started by Jimbob17 - Last post by TCWORLD
Given its only full-speed USB (12Mbps), the wiring is quite forgiving, so you can probably bodge something reasonably well.

I'd probably get a through-hole USB connector (same PN as the BOM for the V4.6). You could try placing the connector upside down in the same place and glue or solder the sides of the connector to the board.
Some hookup wire to the pins marked in the image on the diode D2 and on the PIC socket (probably drill a small hole through the board and solder on the bottom using something like magnet wire or other thin wire).

For the PIC programming, any programmer that claims to program a PIC18F14K50 should do the job. The hex file contains the program and various settings. A PICKit 2 clone would be best as that's what I use (will I use genuine one that I got way back, but a clone should work too).

 on: June 06, 2021, 18:47:58 
Started by astrochemist - Last post by astrochemist

Just updating my mount and I found all the wiring for the arduino mega a pain. So I designed a Mega Shield that once populated plugs on top of the Arduino Mega and then the stepper drivers on top of that. Just ordered 5x boards from JLCPCB for £10 including P & P. I will post photos of the populated shield when it arrives. I use a DC-DC converter to supply 5V to the Mega as the onboard regulator self destructed and took out my first controller.

Attached is the preview and the KICAD and gerber files for anybody that is interested.

 on: June 06, 2021, 14:48:20 
Started by Jimbob17 - Last post by Jimbob17
Hello all,

Has anyone tried to add 64 and 128 microstep support to AstroEQ for the LV8729 chip? I can see 1/32 support was added recently. I've starting tinkering with the source for the config utility and have managed to get a dropdown for LV8729 with the 64 and 128 microstep option and also added some config info to the firmware source (I think all I've added is the config for the 1/64 and 1/128 modes) but I don't know how to link it all up to try and get it working. I also don't fully understand how the slow / fast modes are set as I received some warnings when I selected either 1/64 or 1/128 mode in my modified config utility.

I finally have my Nema14 motors attached to my Celestron CG4 mount and rather than buying more Nema motors with 0.9 degree steps I was hoping to use the full functionality of the LV8729 driver chip.


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