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ASCOM DarkLight Cover/Calibrator

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#1 iwannabswiss

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 07:33 PM

I am excited to announce the DarkLight Cover/Calibrator, and its ASCOM ICoverCalibrator driver is now officially online and available.

 

The DarkLight Cover/Calibrator, known going forward as DLC, is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) solution using an Arduino Nano, servo motor, and if desired, an Electroluminescent (EL) Panel. This device aims to act as a dust cover for remote telescope users, and a calibration panel if desired. With the DarkLight, fully compliant, ASCOM driver, the cover can be operated using the DLC Windows application or any automation software supporting the ICoverCalibrator driver in ASCOM v6.5 or newer.

 

While this device DOES NOT make the scope weatherproof, it is an excellent addition to any observatory to accomplish hands-off control of the cover. If elected, it can be expanded to include a hands-off dark/light calibration capability for astrophotography.

 

The application, Arduino firmware, driver, manual, and schematics are available on my SourceForge page.

 

There are currently two versions of 3D parts, which have been designed for the Takahashi FSQ-106N and the Explore Scientific ED102 Essential Series but may fit other telescopes depending on their size. The two variations will fit dew shields with an outside diameter of approximately 146.3mm and 156mm, respectively, and all files can be printed on beds that are at least 200 mm. The STL files also are located on the SourceForge site or available on Thingiverse.

 

See it in action here:
https://www.youtube....h?v=GfghQwwDgMY

 

If you build one, please share a picture or two, I'd love to see it!

 

DL

DL App W EL

darklightback

darklightfront

106right


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#2 Tom K

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 11:46 AM

Very interesting - I will certainly be taking a look at this project.   I am getting some sort of error on the Thingiverse page, but that may be on my end.

 

Update - it seems that Thingiverse is having technical problems.   At least it is not me this time!


Edited by Tom K, 21 August 2020 - 01:50 PM.

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#3 iwannabswiss

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 04:20 PM

Thanks, Tom.

 

I just pulled up Thingiverse, and you're right, they have a banner stating they're "running into technical difficulties," but I was able to access the project.


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#4 Tom K

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 04:47 PM

I see that they fixed it so I was able to get access to the page.   Where did you source the EL panel from?



#5 iwannabswiss

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 05:54 PM

I see that they fixed it so I was able to get access to the page.   Where did you source the EL panel from?

I bought both of my A5 EL Panels from this vendor on ebay.


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