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LX200 Classic and Arduino

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#1 drbyyz

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

So, after moving around over the past 5 years and having my scope in storage at random locations, I managed to lose all the wires and keypad for the scope. While I do enjoy the challenge of finding stuff on my own(was never a big fan of the GoTo function),I do miss the motors keeping stuff in the eyepiece once I found it.

I have a decent amount of experience with programming, motor control, and microprocessors/controllers so I'm thinking about getting started on a little project to rebuild my lost parts. I have 2 Arduino Unos already at my disposal that I'd like to use for the foundation of the control, if they have enough memory to hold all required programming.

Like I said earlier, all I really want to get done is having it track the sky. No GoTo functions needed at this point.

Has anyone on here done something like this before? Specifically with the Arduino platform. Would love any advice or warnings as I get started.

Thanks!

#2 jareddewitt

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:37 PM

I started researching this same thing once upon a time. Check out the command set for the LX200 serial commands. I totally think it's possible.

http://www.meade.com...0CommandSet.pdf

Might want to try stellarium with a laptop first though.

#3 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:48 PM

I started researching this same thing once upon a time. Check out the command set for the LX200 serial commands. I totally think it's possible.

http://www.meade.com...0CommandSet.pdf

Might want to try stellarium with a laptop first though.


Without restoring the existing electronics to functionality, those commands aren't going to be useful.

#4 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

So, after moving around over the past 5 years and having my scope in storage at random locations, I managed to lose all the wires and keypad for the scope. While I do enjoy the challenge of finding stuff on my own(was never a big fan of the GoTo function),I do miss the motors keeping stuff in the eyepiece once I found it.

I have a decent amount of experience with programming, motor control, and microprocessors/controllers so I'm thinking about getting started on a little project to rebuild my lost parts. I have 2 Arduino Unos already at my disposal that I'd like to use for the foundation of the control, if they have enough memory to hold all required programming.

Like I said earlier, all I really want to get done is having it track the sky. No GoTo functions needed at this point.

Has anyone on here done something like this before? Specifically with the Arduino platform. Would love any advice or warnings as I get started.

Thanks!


It sounds like you want to set up an Arduino to drive a 12-18V bidirectional gearhead DC motor using PWM (Pulse Wave Modulation) and using a two-bit relative optical encoder for feedback speed control. And have the drive rate adjustable by some user-controllable means for fine adjustments and possible even controlling the DEC axis so as to give dual-axis pointing adjustments.

That is all certainly doable but it would be significantly easier and faster to just send your existing dead electronics to Ron Sampson for repair. The existing LX200-Classic electronics can easily be used for simple, dual-axis control without aligning with the sky and using the GOTO capabilities.

And if you are in Alt-Az configuration, simple dual-axis motor control won't work at all.

#5 drbyyz

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

Well I decided to scrap that project after doing quite a bit of research. Seems like a bit more work than I have the time and possibly ability to put in. Going to work on finding that darned keypad, it's got to be at my parents house somewhere.

As for the Arduino, I've been reading up on some dew controllers made with them and that definitely seems much more on my level. Plus, it's a badly needed accessory for me, this South Carolina humidity is killing my sessions...have to bring out the hairdrier every 10 minutes.

#6 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

Well I decided to scrap that project after doing quite a bit of research. Seems like a bit more work than I have the time and possibly ability to put in. Going to work on finding that darned keypad, it's got to be at my parents house somewhere.

As for the Arduino, I've been reading up on some dew controllers made with them and that definitely seems much more on my level. Plus, it's a badly needed accessory for me, this South Carolina humidity is killing my sessions...have to bring out the hairdrier every 10 minutes.


Classic hand controllers pop up from time to time on the used market and David Fansler has a hand controller emulator that would allow you to control the scope with a PC or smartphone instead.

http://www.dv-fansle..._keypad_sim.htm

I hope this helps.






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