So if you have followed my past posts on NexDome you'd already know that I've had some trouble with NexDome. Please see my previous posts for history.
This thread will go over the issues I had with the RK and the final elegant solution by cloudynights user rpineau(Images will be posted below this first post).
here's a quick summary:
May 2016-order placed thru telescopes.net. NexDome kit + rotation kit
Nov 2016-NexDome(ND) walls and dome received, no rotation kit(RK)
Feb-2017-rotation kit arrives, 7 months after I ordered it.
May 2017-rpineau sends the shield he designed.
June 2017-functional rotating dome.
Didn't quite work. Figured out I had to install the arduino environment to get it to communicate to my PC, now I have connection to the controller, but it won't home or calibrate. Followed ND recommendations for dip switches and installed the shareware driver fro, github. Still won't work. Opened up the controller box to find a mess of hot glue and wires. Now I'm not an EE but, I know enough sense that hot glue isn't how wires should be secured(see photos). I was surprised that for the $900 price tag, how poorly put together this controller was assembled. I had sent ND a request for an RMA and was told to return the unit but to hold off shipping it for 2 weeks as they would not be in the office. About then user rpineau contacted me and instructed me how to connect using a telnet program and send it Home and Calibrate commands. It accepted the H command but the C command would always return errors. He asked for an image of the wiring, I laughed and said to myself, he must mean the hot glue and wires. He responded quickly saying that there was a wire connected to the wrong pin on the arduino board. Now I thought I could just pull it out and place it in the correct pin. Well, there was soooo much hot glue that it was impossible to re-insert the wore into the correct pin. Now, rpineau sent me a design for a shield(or PCB) that could easily plug into the arduino and motor stepper. I thought, why not? Why risk not getting the unit or a replacement for who knows how long. So I went with rpineau's idea of a shield. This would eliminate all the wires and ALL of the hot glue. Problem was getting all the hot glue off the board. I decided just so spend the $17 and order the same board off of Amazon. rpineau sent me the shield, fit like a glove, better yet, it worked....kinda. So after testing and testing, the thing couldn't find home. It would just spin and spin. Rpineau gave me lots of tips to try. Turned out, the home sensor wasn't working. It would randomly find home but not at the sensor. Looked at the adapter jack closely, removed hot glue from inside the jack and then noticed that sloppy soldering was the culprit. I had already ordered an new switch from Amazon. Connected it and Viola!!! Home is found and it calibrated! I couldn't wait to try it out with my mount, Work got in the way of speedy testing so I finally tested it beginning of June with my mount using SGP to control the dome. IT LIVES!!!!!! The dome rotated with the mount. I did some quick slewing during the day. Went to the sun, then some objects in different parts of the hemisphere. The mount would move and after it slewed, the dome would move. This is probably due to the driver and another user at SGP forum verified this is how his non-ND dome behaves but it slews together during a run sequence. Now I just have to put it in a nice box. Been waiting to try it out with an image run, but I'm only home on weekends and the clouds have found out my dome is operational so they've all come by to visit.
I have to give much appreciation and praise to rpineau as his shield design saved my rotation kit from a hot glue mess and sloppy soldering. You'd be surprised how little it will be to add rotation capability to your dome using rpineau's solution and the github code.
Now, I will say the dome I like. Yes I had issues with ND but the dome itself is a nice dome for the money and ND did make right the issues I had with the dome kit. They did attempt to make it right with the RK but at that point I was done and decided a new path with the shield. In my opinion, ND should have had a solution like rpineau to begin with, but decided to take short cuts.