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Author Topic: Using DIY motors without a PC  (Read 6045 times)

adfuller

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Using DIY motors without a PC
« on: January 17, 2015, 11:06:36 »

I have a Skywatcher 200p on a eq5 mount and I'm looking to add motors to it.
I hope to learn the dark art of astro photography and add on an autoguider (via a webcam) at some point.
I've been looking at the options and the "Enhanced Dual-Axis DC Motor Drives for EQ-5"
http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/enhanced-dual-axis-dc-motor-drives-for-eq-5.html
seeming a basic but workable option until I can move up to a HEQ5. I would be willing to build my own motors and add an Astroeq for guiding.
Thing is that I live in a rental and the garden is very poor for observing so I need to have something that is portable and can work in the field - i.e. sans laptop and main power.
Is there a way to have basic tracking like the skywatcher kit would give me using diy motors? I'm assuming the DIY motors would be different than skywatcher ones (i.e. amount moved etc) and I could not configure/adapt the hand control to work with them? Also can I run the AstroEq of non mains power? i.e. a car battery?
Cheers
Andrew
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TCWORLD

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Re: Using DIY motors without a PC
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 22:46:20 »

Hi Andrew,

It should be possible to run AstroEQ from a car battery (12V). The power input is suited to running with between 10V to 15V.

It is also possible to run AstroEQ without EQMOD connected if you want just basic tracking. At the moment for that to work though you have to connect EQMOD first, then unplug the USB cable. When I get some free time I have been thinking about adding the ability to connect a basic hand controller for moving the motors around and tracking (non-goto).

Regards,
Tom.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

adfuller

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Re: Using DIY motors without a PC
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 10:49:27 »

Thanks for the info. Would the hand held likely be a DIY project or something bespoke.

Had another (wacky) thought and is it possible to run an AstroEq via a RaspberryPi.
I have one and could add a basic touchscreen with one and also run it off a car battery as well.
Not sure what software I could run to track with or if it's be powerful enough?
I don't mind tinkering but my coding ain't up to much.
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TCWORLD

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Re: Using DIY motors without a PC
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 15:27:23 »

You can use the Pi with eqmod-indi (unrelated to the EQMOD) and KStarrs. But you don't get a lot of the features that you do with EQMOD.

Hand controller will probably be something fairly simple, but I still need to work out what connections to use to make it as compatible as possible with existing controllers. I added some extra I/O connectors on the rev4.3/4.4 controllers which could be used, but that would rule out earlier revisions. Trouble is I have a lot to do at the moment, so not got time to work it all out.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

adfuller

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Re: Using DIY motors without a PC
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 11:57:13 »

Hi Tom,
Understand time is always at a premium, but would be great if there is something I can 'throw together' to 'replicate' the basic tracker handset mode - but sure it'll be more complicated than that  ;).
Getting the bits for my DIY motors together this week so should be a fun build.
Cheers
Andrew
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bojan

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Re: Using DIY motors without a PC
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 20:40:14 »

Yesterday I received shield PCB's I've made (slightly modified to suit motor connectors I am using on my mount).
Today the "first light" will surely happen :-) 

And yes.. I would also be very interested in just basic tracking functionality without a computer (..sometimes I just don't have time for full GoTo setup), but with a possibility to add 4 buttons for up-down-left-right movement, (connected into ST4 port?) with acceleration if possible (.. when buttons are held pressed longer than, say 1 second, or perhaps this functionality could be enabled by logic level on some other processor port).

I wonder if there are plans to do something like that?
Is the source code organised in such a way that  something like this is possible to implement quickly and easily?

Thanks in advance!
Bojan 

EDIT:  It seems the idea is already there :-)
I should have read the forum  posts more carefully....
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 23:03:21 by bojan »
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