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Big Scope Flat Frame Automation

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#1 jsowens

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:20 PM

I'd been using the EL panel system for my flat frames for months.  I taped the EL sheet to the rear of a 1/8 sheet of HIPS and attached to my observatory wall.  For each filter I would slew to it and expose.  This worked well but I noticed while slewing that I would lose focus as the OTA traveled and the mirror shifted/flopped.  The 4 additional slews also complicated automation. All of this was manageable but enough of a hassle that I went seeking something better.  I looked at the Flatman, but no automated product for a 14" scope, same was true for Aurora and the others.

 

I realized I would need to engineer something on my own.  I tried many EL configurations to address these issues (reticulating arms, booms, lampshades, attaching it to the dome shutter) but all had tradeoffs and were less than perfect.  In the end, a shaft/disk/stepper assembly worked the best and was the most stable.

 

Cost was about $600 all-in (I already had the Astrozap shield) which included the Arduino, stepper motor, stepper driver, shaft, pillow blocks, flanges, EL disk, EL inverter and the sheet of HIPS.

 

I figured I'd share as a flat alternative to those who are also looking for a fully automated solution for a big scope.

 

See it in action here:
https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be


Edited by jsowens, 12 December 2018 - 03:26 PM.


#2 jsowens

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:21 PM

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#3 jsowens

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:22 PM

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#4 jsowens

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:22 PM

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#5 jsowens

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:23 PM

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