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WIP Sky-Watcher Adventurer Pro Upgrade Hat.

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#1 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:19 AM

A bit of backstory. I already made mods for my EQ DEC attachment that motorized it. This was ~5 years ago. This worked pretty well after calibrating the worm gear adjustment set screws. However it still had about 5 degrees of backlash, which was pretty high. PHD2 would fail 3 out of 4 calibrations. Regardless when Auto guiding did calibrate and work it would work fairly well for the most part Allowed me to get pretty pictures with my 500mm f/4. For example https://imgur.com/FvWbcOz.

Mod Gallery link:
https://imgur.com/a/C4pjZ

I had since acquired a 3D printer and have gotten pretty good at making things with it. I decided to try and get back into astrophotography and the 1st thing I wanted to do was making PHD2 calibrate easier with my DEC mount mods. So the first step was to make it easier to turn so I added some gears and clutch that came with the Celestron Motor kit. Now the motor can turn the DEC mount twice as fast and disengaging the clutch I can still hand adjust the angle if I want to. 
 

 

 

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Edited by CardBoardBoxProcessor, 09 September 2020 - 10:25 AM.

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#2 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:33 AM

So I was able to fire up the motor. It had some wiggle so i added an extra piece of bracing to the motor and some bearings with a shaft that attaches to the main drive gear. This reduced the motor wiggle significantly. While I was at it I designed and printed Gear Covers, A holder for the fragile exposed PCB power connector for the motor, a new motor cover with more ventilation and more wire protection. 

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#3 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:44 AM

Now that the motor, wire, and connector was all secured and solid it was time to get it working. In the past I knew nothing about electronics so I used the modified shoestring astronomy guide to add auto guiding to the DEC motor via the hand controller and ST4 line of the. 5 years later I am more versed in simple electronics. So i figured i would a a middle man inbetween the guider camera and the motor controller. 


So I programmed an Arduino nano to look for the DEC+/- ST4 lines dropping to ground as they are open drain type communications. For example if DEC - was 5V (5V supplied by the Arduino digital pins set to INPUT_PULLUP mode) but is now ~0Vs and current is flowing then the guider camera is telling the guider to move that direction. So the stepper motor controller starts moving the motor in that direction till it goes HIGH (5v) again. Now if DEC+ is low the guider wants it to move that direction. When the Arduino detects a - movement and transitions to a + movement (of vice versa) the Arduino quickly turns the motor a pre-calibrated number of steps to make up for the DEC worm gears large backlash.  PHD2 is ignorant of this middle man which makes it calibrate sooo much quicker and guide so much better. 

Here is a video of the gear moving back and forth as PHD2 commands it to switch form DEC+ to - and back over and over. It successfully and very accurately guides for an hour before I halted the testing. 

https://imgur.com/UYbcdst

 

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Edited by CardBoardBoxProcessor, 09 September 2020 - 10:47 AM.


#4 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 11:13 AM

Well now I have all these circuit boards, wires, connectors, and such. What am I to do with them? The one thing i hate the most about astrophotography is All the wires! I suppose I could put them in a case which would be much smaller than the Celestron hand controller they replace and work better than. However it is stll wires and parts laying and hanging about. Perhaps I could mount it on my Adventurer's back battery case. Though I never use my Adventures AA battery slots so perhaps I'll use them as a mounting point instead. While investigating I notice these four screws atop and out comes the battery holder with power line as well.  They even mount right to the metal. 



 

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#5 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 11:13 AM

since I now have access to the Guiders mounts power wires and I need to run power up to power the motor and Arduino I might as well make the same power cord power the Adventurer as well.  One power cord for two devices in one. hey! while I am at it Why not just use the Adventurers ST4 port to get the DEC signals as well. bam! another wire removed.

 

Very nice of these ST4 wires to be so accessible. Just map them out with a multi meter and solder on some leads that lead up and out of the top. What does this put our wire kill count at? So far this will remove the Adventurer's power cord, DEC ST4 splitter and long cord going to the hand controller, bulky hand controller, hand controller power cord, hand controller 6v power bank,  Long cord going form hand controller to DEC motor. hey getting rid of bulk separate parts and consolidating them is fun.  What else can I put in the Adventurer's new Hat. and what should the hat look like? I suppose I like the top of the iOptron's pro guider. Maybe it can resemble that... I guess I will think about it.

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#6 LarsMalmgren

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 04:13 PM

Excellent work waytogo.gif bow.gif



#7 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:04 PM

I tried using A4988 drivers, they blew up a capacitor. Cheap Chinese crap I guess. So I decided to use these a3967 easydriver's. They can do 0.75 A but have built in capacitors and power supply for logic. They also have screw holds to attach them. Oh there are 2 now huh? I figured why not add support for a focus motor while I am at it?  I have the RA stepper from the Celestron retrofit kit just laying around. 
Anywya i suppose I will attach them here. 

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#8 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:41 PM

Arduino soldered to a maze of wires. I really hope I soldered it all in the right order. Added some Buttons for input, a small red LED for feedback output, a USB 3.0 splitter a 5v power supply that feeds the splitter power rails as well as the arduino and Skywatcher.  using some rj-12 6c6p jacks to connect to the steppers because theya re easy and cheap and compact. 

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#9 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:44 PM

Okay printed an enclosure that should accommodate everything.  A nice lid for it to hid the tangle mess inside. Putting some 12V 5.5mm plugs out the top of side lid since there is 12v heading up to it of course. Coat all the wire ends in shapelock because  do not trust electrical tape. Then plug in the 12v supply and everything comes to life with all their individual; power on leds. What a light show. Nothing released any magic smoke so that is great!

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#10 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 01:22 PM

Needed a heatgun to loosen all the wires up enough to jam them down inside so that the lid fits, Hopefully everything is okay?!  I guess I'll find out. Anyway the USB splitter works. As a test i figured I'd program the Arduino through it for comedic effect. Now to see if it will drive he steppers. 

 

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#11 CrossoverManiac

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 02:34 PM

A bit of backstory. I already made mods for my EQ DEC attachment that motorized it. This was ~5 years ago. This worked pretty well after calibrating the worm gear adjustment set screws. However it still had about 5 degrees of backlash, which was pretty high. PHD2 would fail 3 out of 4 calibrations. Regardless when Auto guiding did calibrate and work it would work fairly well for the most part Allowed me to get pretty pictures with my 500mm f/4. For example https://imgur.com/FvWbcOz.

Mod Gallery link:
https://imgur.com/a/C4pjZ

I had since acquired a 3D printer and have gotten pretty good at making things with it. I decided to try and get back into astrophotography and the 1st thing I wanted to do was making PHD2 calibrate easier with my DEC mount mods. So the first step was to make it easier to turn so I added some gears and clutch that came with the Celestron Motor kit. Now the motor can turn the DEC mount twice as fast and disengaging the clutch I can still hand adjust the angle if I want to. 
 

Two questions:

 

1. How difficult was it to drill holes through the DEC bar for the DEC motor mount?  What did you use to drill the holes?

 

2. How much torque did your motor need to turn the DEC plate?



#12 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 04:54 PM

Two questions:

 

1. How difficult was it to drill holes through the DEC bar for the DEC motor mount?  What did you use to drill the holes?

 

2. How much torque did your motor need to turn the DEC plate?

1. there was no holes that needed to be drilled at all. They are already there 2 holes that are threaded and fit M5 bolts and lock nuts behind the plate and 2 holes threaded for M4 bolts. https://www.teleskop...to-set-1000.jpg 

2. It can be rather large torque but the motors from the "Celestron Dual Axis Motor Drive Kit for Celestron CG-4 Telescope Mount" have gear boxes and have pretty large torque and handle it easily. I adjusted my DEC mounts worm gear such that it is pretty easy to turn and has the least amount of backlash as possible. the Arduino takes up the rest.  


Edited by CardBoardBoxProcessor, 15 September 2020 - 05:00 PM.


#13 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:14 AM

Well it seems to all work. A nice little addition to the Sky-watcher Adventurer pro. Consolidates so many extra parts into a single unit and in a pretty compact manner. 

It how contains:

  • the DEC controller with backlash compensation control
  • Buttons to control it DEC movement and focus
  • Focus motor controller 
  • USb 3.0 splitter with plug for single USB cord to tablet/laptop
  • Single 12v supply in with x2 12v power supply out.
  • separate 12v powered 5v power supply to power everything in the mount and supplements USB power supply to reduce demands on the Tablets USB power.  
  • consolidated sky watcher st-4 port for single guider wire vs the old splitter. 
  • exposed programming port. 

     

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Edited by CardBoardBoxProcessor, 16 September 2020 - 09:26 AM.


#14 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 11:27 AM

A video demonstration Pretty much done with this project. 
https://youtu.be/jm3x0DrmFUs



#15 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:11 PM

Set this up for a real world test.
Pretty amazing how easy it was too set up. So many less wires. I kept Feeling like I was forgetting something. Four wires and basic two axis guiding is up and running.
The 5v supply closer to the guider camera real cuts down the power usage of the tablet

Edited by CardBoardBoxProcessor, 20 September 2020 - 07:12 PM.



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